Monthly Archives: January 2016

Soup season- broth bags!

Hi all.

This is not a normal recipe of sorts but more of a go to money saving, time saving tid bit of information I thought I’d share.

Broth bags. What are they? well, I keep a bag in the freezer at all times to throw any of my vegetable odds and ends into. The usual additions are garlic paper, onion scraps, carrot tops, celery tops and ends, zucchini tops etc., Every time I prepare veggies I always always put the scraps in the bag in the freezer. This may seem a little weird but I do the same for meat. Any meat scraps and bones have their separate bags. I have even been known to go to a friend of families house for dinner and bring home the bone. I couldn’t live with myself if a perfectly good carcass went to waste! I’m all about using as much of the animal as I can.

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Anyways all this to say, when that day hits that your not feeling 100% or the weather outside is just awful, all you need to do is throw your frozen veggie scraps in a slow cooker (or pressure cooker or big pot) with any meat bone scraps and water and let simmer until you have pure liquid gold- AKA deliciously nutritious bone broth.

Definitely have a taste before you pack it up to make sure it’s seasoned to your liking.

Depending on my mood i’ll often throw in some fresh rosemary from the garden but this time i just kept it simple.

Also good to know, for you non meat eaters, just don’t add the meat… A la veggie broth 🙂

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In our household soup season last year round, but it definitely ramps up in those cold wintery months.

Get on it people! So cheap,easy, nutritious and so delicious.

 

Pesto Pizza and pasta

Happy Monday everyone. I just wanted to pop in and share a fantastic weekend combination meal I whipped up on Friday that served us all the way through Sunday dinner. The weekends are for delicious meals but also for ease and relaxation. Whenever I have the time to properly meal prep I go for it!

On Friday I roasted up a bunch of veggies, whipped up an easy pesto and was good to go!

The baby is NOT a fan of dairy so my pizza was sans cheese and the pesto was made with nutritional yeast instead of the classic parm.

Okay so here’s what you need!

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(a little bacon for the man friend… and maybe a little for me to snack on while cooking)

Caramelized onion– slice a large onion into strips and sautee in coconut oil until golden.

Roasted veggies

2 sweet potato’s chopped

2 organic portobello mushrooms cut in strips

1 pint of organic tomatoes

Toss all veggies in a little coconut oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast at 400 for about 30 -40 mins, stirring often (the tomatoes will finish much earlier than the mush and potatoes)

Pesto

1 head of organic kale cleaned and chopped

1 package of fresh basil pulled off the stem

1 clove of garlic diced

1 handful of walnuts (probably a heaping 1/4 cup)

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

2-4  tablespoons of water

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

Pinch of salt

Whip everything together in the food processor until its nice and creamy.

Once all your veggies are roasted, onions are caramelized and pesto is made you’re ready to go.

On Friday night I made pizza using all of the above (sans cheese for me)- I guess more of a flat bread. The combination was amazing! I just used a store bought gluten free vegan pizza crust. This would be fantastic with a little feta or goat cheese.

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Saturday night I boiled up a little quinoa pasta, tossed pasta with pesto, onions and roasted tomatoes and dinner was served (add chicken and cheese for the man friend)- it was so easy and delicious. After dinner on Saturday we still had enough leftovers for Sunday dinner- bonus! We both loved the pizza from Friday so much we decided to do it again!

Food wise it couldn’t have been easier but it was also extremely nutritious. A full head of kale in the pesto and you honestly could not even taste it. Pizza and pasta are huge favourites for me but I always feel somewhat guilty after indulging, not at all this weekend 🙂

Pesto and roasted veggies are so versatile- the combinations are endless! Next time I think i’ll make a nice pesto veggie omelette on the Saturday or Sunday morning with leftover roasted sweet potato’s on the side.

Any who i’m babbling… all this to say I love meal planning and I love repurposing leftovers.

Hope you enjoy!

 

New Year, New Me, New Adventure

Here we are in the first week of the New Year. Everything feels so fresh and exciting. It’s like the first week of school- all new supplies, new classes, new teachers. I’m a real sucker for fresh starts.

I love me some New Years resolutions. I normally spend weeks creating them and printing them out to track throughout the year. I find it so incredibly motivating to set goals and start checking them off.

This year however, is a little different for me. I have 1 resolution and 1 only.

Focus on staying in the moment- enjoy each moment and day as it comes- don’t stress about tomorrow, I can deal with it then

There are a few reasons why I chose to only have one resolution this year. #1 and most importantly I’m pregnant :). In a few short months (5!) I will be a brand new mama bear. There are a lot of overwhelming thoughts and decisions that come with a responsibility as large as becoming a parent! Of course I want to be prepared for what’s to come but I don’t want to waste my time stressing on the ‘what ifs’- I will deal with them as they come (I hope!)

Back to the resolution… at this point in my pregnancy, 5 months, I am focusing purely on being as healthy as I can (within moderation). I am trying my very best to keep up a regular exercise routine about 4-5 days a week and to eat mostly home made whole foods. These are things I can do daily that I know will positively impact the health of me and the baby. Some days i’m not going to have a lot of energy and i’m not going to feel like a green smoothie or salad- that’s fine! those days I will choose to sleep in, eat what feels good and move on to the next day.

This is all so new to me, I have NO IDEA what to expect and that is both extremely exciting and terrifying. If I can commit to tackling each moment and day as they come I know I can get through this with a big smile on my face.

Okay enough babble. I thought i’d share a few of my eats that have been getting me through this pregnancy so far. I should note that the first 4 months were pretty awful for me- I was extremely sick and could really only tolerate bagels, cereal, chips, avocado sushi, rice and the occasional piece of fruit. Now that most foods are back on the table I plan to focus on variety for the rest of my pregnancy.

As you can clearly see the first few months were filled with salty carbs- I honestly could not stomach even a piece of lettuce. Sometime just the sight of veggies made me sick to my stomach!! Thank god those days are over! I’m now really getting back into big salads, stir fry veggies, fresh fruit, whole grains, smoothies and the occasional treatie 🙂

The recipe I wanted to share with you today is a really easy, super nutritious soup.

Black bean and veggie soup

2 cups dried black beans (soaked over night) and prepared

2 stalks of celery diced

2 carrots diced

1 onion diced

3 cloves of garlic diced

4 cups home made broth (I used chicken but veggie broth would be great)

1 can (small) diced tomatoes in juice

2 tsp ground cumin

pinch of salt and pepper to taste

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In a large stock pot heat up some coconut oil and sauté the onions for 2-3 minutes, add in the garlic for a minute before adding in the carrots and celery. Sauté for about 5 minutes until all the veggies are going soft and add in the cumin, salt and pepper. Once the spices are incorporated add in the broth and let simmer for about 20 minutes (until the veggies are cooked through). At this point add in half of the beans and puree either with a immersion blender or a blender until smooth (or mash up if your too lazy like me). Add back to the stove and add in the remaining beans and canned tomatoes. Let everything warm up, taste to make sure you have the right amount of salt and pepper and then serve when ready.

I love this soup with some rice or quinoa and with a little diced avocado on top. This soup is great in the fridge for a few days or it can be frozen in batches for later eats.

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(not very photogenic but delicious! trust me!)

Hope you enjoy as much as we did 🙂

Here’s to a happy, healthy exciting 2016 for everyone

 

 

 

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