healthy vegan friday #1 (!!!)

Hello you vegan-friendly treats! It’s finally time- the first Healthy Vegan Friday (HVF). In case this is your first time here, or missed my brief intro to it the other day here’s what you’ve missed!

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Welcome to the weekly blog hop, Healthy Vegan Fridays! This weekly link up is a place to share your healthy vegan recipes that make use of whole ingredients and minimize the use of processed and refined foods. The recipes shared on this link up are intended to emphasis the beauty, creativity and benefits of a healthy, plant-based diet!

This blog party is hosted by three vegan food bloggers:

When you link up to Healthy Vegan Fridays, your submissions will be shared on all three blogs. The following week, we will feature the top three submissions, as chosen by you, the readers (i.e. the posts with the most views). In addition, each of us will choose 3 submissions to feature on our own blogs. These chosen posts will be ones that we find the most creative, inspiring or tasty! We will also Pin, Tweet and/or post on Facebook all featured recipes. Scroll down for the submission guidelines.

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m excited! I hope a bunch of you will join in the fun! While it may start small, Carrie, Shelby and I are hopeful it will keep growing and growing! We hope it becomes a source of healthy vegan inspiration for you!

For my submission this week I am choosing to highlight one of my older recipes that I posted back in March, before my blog was even 1 month old. It remains the most popular recipe post on my blog, and for good reason! It’s an oatmeal cookie recipe with 2 variations:

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Oatmeal-Tahini-Date Cookies (pictured) or Oatmeal-Tahini-Lime Cookies with Coconut!

These cookies contain loads of healthy ingredients like oats, almonds and tahini for plenty of fiber and healthy fats, with no added oils! They are rustic, chewy, and quite different from each other despite their similar bases. The date cookies have a wonderful earthiness and warmth from the dates and cinnamon and the lime and coconut cookieshave a tropical feel with an intriguing flavour from garam masala.

Submission Guidelines

  • Maximum of 2 submissions per week
  • You do not have to be a vegan food blogger to link up, but all recipes must be 100% vegan.
  • All recipe submissions should focus on the most whole, unprocessed and unrefined ingredients as much as possible, although we will still accept recipes that make use of some processed/refined ingredients.
  • You may submit current or past recipes, just make sure they are not ones that you have shared previously on this blog hop.
  • Besides recipes, feel free to submit informative posts that are aimed at promoting vegan, plant-based diets.
  • You must provide a link back to this blog party on your submitted post. You can either grab our badge to display or a clickable link back somewhere on the post you are submitting.
  • When linking up, please make sure to link back to the post you are submitting, not the homepage of your blog

A special note for submissions on my blog only: since my blog is hosted on WordPress.com (not self-hosted or Blogger) the Linky Tools List cannot be displayed directly on my blog. Click the “Click here” link under the “Time to Submit” heading at the bottom of the page to be directed briefly to another site to add your submission and view the list. (Sidenote: I am in the process of moving to a self-hosted blog so this will *hopefully* be the only time this is an issue!)

Legal Disclaimer

By linking up to Healthy Vegan Fridays, you guarantee that the pictures and posts are your own and not that of someone else. You also agree to give permission to all hostesses (Shelby, Gabby and Carrie) to make use of your pictures and posts on our own Healthy Vegan Friday posts, as well as giving us permission to re-post them on Pinterest, Twitter and/or Facebook.

So go ahead, link up and/or check out the submissions for loads of vegan deliciousness ;) Happy eating!

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the veggie nook’s 100th post! quinoa chocolate chip cookies and a Tropical Traditions giveaway

Hello my chocolate chip cookies :)

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Well, it’s hard to believe, but this is the 100th post I’ve written on my blog! It’s crazy that I’ve written so much since mid-February. It’s all thanks to you, fellow bloggers and readers that I have come this far, so thank you so so much! Your support, kind words, advice and just in general being there have inspired and motivated me in ways I never though possible :)

Now, since you all have been so wonderful, I thought hosting a giveaway would be a great way to show my appreciation. Tropical Traditions contacted me a couple months ago to do a review and giveaway for their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil. Since then I have been putting it through it’s paces, using it in raw recipes, baking, sautéing, in my decaf coffees as well as a moisturizer and make-up remover.

Now, you all probably know by now, how much I love coconut oil. This one is as good as it gets! The scent is subtly coconutty with a mild flavour. It creates delicious raw treats and is a great option for high temperature cooking and baking. For those of you who don’t like coconut oil and are sceptical about using it in cooking, rest assured once incorporated into your recipes, the taste is not detectable. The only place I have ever noticed it’s flavour being apparent is when blended into smoothies and even then it is more of a sweetness than coconut.

I used this coconut oil to make the following recipes on my blog:

As a moisturizer it works great and the subtle coconut scent was very pleasant and as a make-up remover it left my face feeling soft and got all my make-up off easily, even pesky eyeliner and mascara. It was very gentle as well, which was great on my super-sensitive skin.

I also made these quinoa chocolate chip cookies and the results were awesome! They were crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. They aren’t the healthiest thing you’ll ever eat, but as far as cookies go, they are pretty darn good! I switched up the sweeteners I used in various trials with them and I found that both versions came out really well! I also tried out a lower-fat version with some applesauce. I’ll note the different substitutions in the recipe below!

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Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookies (Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-free)

These cookies use quinoa flakes to add in some extra protein and whole grains, which also lend these cookies an awesome chew. Feel free to change up the add-ins! I’ve made a couple different kinds which I’ll point out below!

Makes 30 cookies.

Dry:

  • 3/4 cup quinoa flakes
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca/potato starch (not potato flour!)
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 cup erythritol (a zero calorie, natural sweetener) or coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

Wet:

  • 1 tbsp ground flax seeds + 3 tbsp water, set aside to gel
  • 1/2 tsp liquid stevia (not necessary if using coconut sugar)
  • 2 tbsp blackstrap molasses
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil, melted ( or 1/3 cup coconut oil + 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce)
  • 2 tbsp water (or 5 tbsp water if using applesauce)

Add-ins:

  • to total 1 cup (ensure they are all vegan)
    • chocolate chips
    • cacao nibs
    • dried blueberries/cranberries + white chocolate chips
    • chopped walnuts + chocolate chips
    • raisins + chopped walnuts
    • anything else you might like!

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl and the wet ingredients in another. Form a well in the center of the dry and pour the wet ingredients in. Mix until completely incorporated. Then stir in the add-ins until evenly distributed.

Chill the dough for 30 min-1 hr. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or grease it (I like using a BBQ brush and coconut oil to do this).

Form the dough into balls and flatten onto the baking sheet leaving a little room in between for them to spread (they won’t spread too much).

Bake for 22-27 min (less if you are using applesauce or like softer cookies, longer if you are using coconut oil or like crispier cookies) or until the edges are browned, but the middles are still soft (they will continue to cook a little as they cool). Let cool for 5 minutes on the baking tray then move to a cooling rack to finish. These are delicious slightly warm with a little superpower ice cream ;)

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a version made with dried blueberries and white chocolate chips

Now I bet you’d all like to learn how you can win some super awesome coconut oil for yourself!

Giveaway Details:

Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil - 32 oz.Win 1 quart of Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil!

Tropical Traditions is America’s source for coconut oil. Their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil is hand crafted in small batches by family producers, and it is the highest quality coconut oil they offer. You can read more about how virgin coconut oil is different from other coconut oils on their website: What is Virgin Coconut Oil?

You can also watch the video they produced about Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil:

Tropical Traditions also carries other varieties of affordable high quality coconut oil. Visit their website to check on current sales, to learn about the many uses of coconut oil, and to read about all the advantages of buying coconut oil online. Since the FDA does not want us to discuss the health benefits of coconut oil on a page where it is being sold or given away, here is the best website to read about the health benefits of coconut oil.

How to enter:

Mandatory entries:

  1. Subscribe to the Tropical Traditions newsletter here *
  2. Leave a comment below telling me your favourite way to use coconut oil, or if you’ve never used it, the first thing you’d like to try!

For additional entries:

  1. Subscribe to my blog by email*
  2. Follow me on Twitter*
  3. Tweet about the giveaway with a link to this post*
  4. Follow me in Pinterest*

*You must leave a comment for each of these entries, letting me know you did!

The giveaway will stay open until next Wednesday, August 1st at 11:59 pm EST. Make sure you get your entries in! This is a pretty big jar of the good stuff.

Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

And once again I would just like to say, thank you for all of your support over the last few months. You guys are seriously awesome!

sweet potato and lentil salad with a coconut curry dressing

Good Monday morning my sweet peas :). How was everyone’s weekend? Hopefully you got some relaxing in and are ready to tackle this new week!

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As you read this I am actually in Ottawa! I had a couple days off in a row, as did my mom so we decided to take a little trip just the 2 of us. I think we’re planning on hitting up IKEA to see if I can find a couple things for my new apartment come September. I love IKEA so I’m pretty excited. We are also hoping to check out a couple museums and of course, eat some good food!

I’m so happy you all enjoyed my last post on nooch and my raw pizza bites! I hope some of you try them- you’ll have to let me know what you think! If nothing else, everyone should go buy some nutritional yeast if you don’t have some already and give it a try. You won’t regret it.

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Today I’m going to share with you a lovely salad recipe I had in the middle of a major heat wave here. We were experiencing 33°C weather, but with the humidity it felt like 40+. Everyone was feeling slow and sluggish and idea of cooking or eating warm food was just not appealing. I have to admit, I ate/drank mostly smoothies.

You can only drink so many smoothies though, before you start craving something with a little more chew and a savoury flavour. I decided I wanted something with and Indian flavour, but the idea of standing over a hot stove, cooking up a curry with rice was not a pleasant one in the heat. So this Sweet Potato and Lentil Salad with Coconut Curry Dressing was the answer!

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I included some of my favourite ingredients from curries: lentils, sweet potatoes, raisins and cashews all served on a bed of mixed greens. The dressing uses coconut milk to mimic creamy curry sauces. I used a pinch of chilli powder for a bit of heat, but not so much that you find yourself over-heating.

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This salad covers all your bases nutritionally! Protein from the lentils, carbs and lots of vitamins and minerals like beta-carotene and vitamin A from the sweet potatoes, and healthy fats from the coconut milk and cashews. You could also get a ton of greens in depending on how many greens you serve this on top of.

It’s a great way to get all the flavour of a traditional curry without the heaviness and the heat. The sweetness from the sweet potatoes and raisins goes wonderfully with the brightness of the cilantro, the savoury curry spices and the creamy coconut dressing. It’s light enough for a warm summer meal, but still packed full of flavour!

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Sweet Potato and Lentil Salad with a Coconut Curry Dressing (Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-free)

Serves 2.

Salad:

  • 1/2 cup lentils
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 tsp oil (I used avocado)
  • 1 tsp garam masala (or curry powder)
  • a few handfuls spring mix or your favourite green
  • 2 tbsp golden raisins
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 heaping tbsp chopped cashews

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup coconut milk (canned)
  • 1/2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • pinch chilli powder (to taste)
  • 1/2 tbsp chopped cilantro

First you are going to want to soak your lentils overnight. This makes them easier to digest and they cook faster! Then when you’re ready to make dinner, fill a pot with enough water to steam the lentils for ~20-30 min. Place the lentils in a steaming basket and steam for 20-30 min until soft, but not mushy.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Chop the sweet potato into bite-sized pieces. Toss with the oil and garam masala. Bake for 20 min or until easily pierced with a fork. Set aside when ready. This may make a little more than you need for the salad, depending on the size of your sweet potato. Just save the rest for another salad!

Blend up all the dressing ingredients and set aside.

Now assemble your salad! Place a couple handfuls of greens on each plate. Divide the sweet potato and lentils evenly on both plates. Sprinkle with raisins, cilantro and cashews. Drizzle with the dressing. Serve immediately.

If you have extra dressing store in the fridge. Since the base is coconut milk it will get really thick when chilled. Just add a little warm water when you want to use it again to think it out.

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all served up and ready to go!

Do any of you love IKEA as much as I do? I love all the rooms they have set up and the cute do-dads.

EMMIE LAND Duvet cover and pillowcase(s) IKEAEMMIE LAND Duvet cover and pillowcase(s) IKEA

I’m hoping to find this duvet cover! Thoughts?

What are your go-to foods when it get’s really hot out? For me it’s clearly salads and smoothies. I tend to eat them a lot anyway, but it’s ALL I eat when it’s above 30.

Hope you all have a fantastic Monday and I’ll see you soon!

what the heck is nutritional yeast? with a recipe for raw pizza bites!

Hello dear readers and happy Friday!

In my last post I asked which recipe you would all rather see first- pizza bites or the curry salad. The pizza bites won by a landslide. I’m glad the salad got a few votes, I was starting to feel bad for it!

I also got a request from a reader a few weeks back to do a post on nutritional yeast- what exactly it is and how to use it. I’ve been a little slow in responding, mainly because I wanted a killer recipe to go with my explanation. Well now I have one so hear goes!

What is nutritional yeast?

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Nutritional yeast, or “nooch” as it’s lovingly referred to in the vegan community, is a deactivated yeast. It is not the same as Brewer’s yeast so please don’t go out and buy it to use in my recipes! You will get quite a shock when you taste it ;)

Nutritional yeast is grown on a mixture of can and beet molasses for about 1 week during which B-vitamins are added to help it grow. It then gets pasteurized, washed and dried. It is an excellent source of almost all B vitamins and is a wonderful source of complete protein. Many brands will fortify their flakes with B12 so definitely check for this when purchasing. B12 can be a hard to find nutrient in vegan diets so having your nutritional yeast fortified with it is a bonus!

What does it taste like?

Basically it tastes amazing ;) The flavour is the main reason I use it, the nutrients are a bonus! Nutritional yeast has a slightly nutty and cheesy taste, which makes it a popular ingredient in many vegan dishes to add a cheesy, savoury or eggy flavour.

How do you use it?

I like using it in so many ways! Some of my favourites include:

  • sprinkling it on pasta dishes as a parmesan cheese substitute
  • adding it to non-dairy sauces for a cheesy taste
  • using it in tofu scrambles to give it an eggy flavour
  • as a topping on baked potatoes or in mashed potatoes
  • anywhere where you want to enhance flavour like salad dressings, in beans, etc.
  • sprinkling on popcorn
  • add it to smoothies
  • basically, sprinkle it on everything ;)

Here are some recipes on the blog that use nutritional yeast:

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Now, when I was thinking about what recipe I would create to go along with this post I wanted to keep away from “cheese” sauces. There are so many amazing ones on the internet. I wanted to bring something a little different.

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Enter these Raw Pizza Bites.

I created these one day when I wanted to make something up that I could use as snacks during the week that wasn’t sweet. Usually one of my go to snacks are a raw nut/date snack bite, but as these are sweet they weren’t really an option. Or so I thought. I started to try and think of a way I could make a bite out of nuts or seeds that would hold together without dates.

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star ingredients!

Then it hit me- sundried tomatoes! When blended they act exactly like dates in that they help things stick together. Not to mention they have fantastic flavour. Combine their savoury tomato flavour with nutritional yeast’s cheesy one and you get a snack bite that tastes surprisingly like pizza!

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either way they are delicious

Combined with some Italian spices and sunflower seeds these make the perfect portable snack. You can dehydrate them for a snack that is a little crisp on the outside and soft on the outside, or just skip this step completely. They taste awesome either way! They are really tasty eaten at room temperature making them very portable!

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Raw Pizza Snack Bites (Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-free, Raw)

Makes ~8 bites, but easily doubled.

  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds (soaked and dehydrated is possible)
  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds (or more sunflower seeds)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp sundried tomatoes (try and use ones without sulphites)
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • pinch sea salt
  • pinch red pepper flakes

First process the sunflower seeds and hemp seeds in a food processor until finely ground. Add everything else except the water and process until everything is sticking together. Add the water if needed to help it stick.

Roll into little balls and either store immediately in the refrigerator or dehydrate at 105°F for 4 hours. Try one warm from the dehydrator is you have have one!

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My mind is just spinning with all the flavour combinations possible! This is probably closest to a cheese pizza, but what about a Hawaiian with some dried pineapple in there? Or maybe a Mediterranean pizza with some black olives? Endless possibilities!

Sources

http://www.naturalnews.com/035043_nutritional_yeast_B_vitamins_superfood.html

http://bestnaturalfoods.com/nutritional_yeast.html

Have a great weekend everyone!

I am submitting this post to Allergy Free Wednesdays, Allergy Friendly Friday and Wellness Weekends!

wiaw #20- sips and salads

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Firstly, I just want to say I’m so excited you all loved the recipe for the raw veggie stir-fry I posted on Monday! Sometimes I wonder whether anyone will be interested in something so simple. But you guys definitely appreciate the simple things in life ;) And for that, I thank you!

Since it’s Wednesday, that can only mean on thing! It’s time for some What I Ate Wednesday fun. For those of you who are new to the idea, this is a weekly blog party hosted by Jenn at Peas and Crayons where foodie bloggers post about their daily eats so we can all drool over each other’s deliciousness. Head over to Jenn’s blog to check out all the other posts!

This week, I’ll share a couple recipes with you (!!) and also give you a couple sneak peaks to others that are coming soon. And since July’s theme is fitness, I’ll share with you the workout I did as well. It wasn’t much, I wasn’t feeling too awesome. BUT I had a really good day of eats so without further ado let’s get into it!

What I Ate Wednesday- Sips and Salads!

This was a delicious day of refreshing beverages and salads!

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warm lemon water to start my day!

insert a mental workout here. Well maybe not a workout per say, but definitely a mental exercise!- meditation! I decided to join in with the 21 Day Meditation Challenge where each day you are emailed a link to a short guided meditation with a focus on Love. This was Day 2 and so far I’m really enjoying it! I gave meditation a good shot during my cleanse a couple months ago, but it has fallen to the wayside since. I found it helped with my stress levels a lot so I’m doing this challenge as a way to get back into the habit!

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I decided to take a break from the green smoothies today in favour of a Red Velvet Smoothie! Don’t worry, there are still a veggie in there though ;) This was a nice change of pace and it really tasted like the cake! Scroll down for the recipe!

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Next up I had some of my Raw Pizza Bites. These are seriously so good- you feel like you’re biting into a cheese pizza- but it’s raw, grain-free and vegan! Recipe coming soon ;)

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Next up at work I had a salad with a Mediterranean theme. I had some mixed greens with artichoke hearts, black olives, tomatoes, quinoa and sunflower seeds with a simple lemon juice and hemp oil dressing with fresh ground pepper. This was a super satisfying light lunch (which I ate at 10 am…my work schedule is weird…)

Tony Horton's 10-Minute Trainer<sup>®</sup>

Came home and did my workout! Today I did a quick once since I had to go back out soon and I was really tired. I did the cardio routine from Tony Horton’s 10 Minute Trainer. Now I am not a big Tony Horton fan…I tried P90X a few years ago and only got a couple weeks in because I found him a little annoying and couldn’t listen to him anymore! But these 10 minute routines are great! Small doses of Tony are best :) He really works you for those 10 minutes!

I also worked on my wall sit. I’m up to 2 min 45 seconds!

I find the key to this is to watch something while you’re doing it and don’t put your hands on your legs like in the picture! I found when I did that it made the pose easier- I would push on my thighs with my hands, lessening the load on my core. Keep your hands off!

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After this workout I had a little time to kill before heading out so I snacked on some of these cookies- Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookies to be exact. I made them for a staff potluck a while ago and they were very well received so I had to make another batch so I could share them with you all! I have a recipe coming up for these as well. I’m going to pretend I didn’t eat 4 of these…

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When I got back home I was miserable- it was sooo hot out yesterday and my car’s air conditioning isn’t the best. So when I got back home I felt drained and dehydrated. So I whipped up this Blueberry Peach Kombucha Slushy that was inspired by this drink from Gena at Choosing Raw. Scroll down for the recipe!

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For dinner, I was so tired, I was honestly going to have a bowl of cereal. But then I remembered that I was going to have to post photos of what I ate. Not wanting to be boring, I decided to whip up this salad instead. Thank you WIAW for saving me from a boring, uninspired dinner ;)This is a Sweet Potato and Lentil Salad with a Coconut Curry Dressing. It’s a great way to have a curry, but without the heaviness of the traditional preparations. Not going to lie, I snacked on one more cookie to fuel me through the prep. Recipe coming soon!

After dinner I sipped on some tea and indulged in a little raw chocolate.

Now for the recipes!

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Red Velvet Smoothie (Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-Free, Raw)

This smoothie tastes like a dessert but it healthy enough for breakfast! The beets give it a great colour and an earthy sweetness! The optional ingredients give it a little more staying power, but are, of course, optional!

  • 1 medium beet, peeled and chopped
  • 1 apple, cored
  • 1/2 cup nondairy yogurt (I used So Delicious Coconut in plain)
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch cinnamon
  • stevia to taste (I added 2 drops chocolate stevia)
  • Optional additions:
    • 1/2 a frozen banana
    • 1 tsp flax seeds
    • a few almonds
    • protein powder (I added 1/2 a scoop of Sunwarrior Warrior Blend in Natural)

Put all ingredients in a blended and blend away! Serve with some cacao nibs sprinkled on top!

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Blueberry Peach Kombucha Slushy (Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-free)

This beverage is insanely refreshing and filled with probiotic goodness from the kombucha. The ginger gives it a bit of a kick!

  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen peach slices
  • 1 cup kombucha (I used my homebrewed kombucha which is a green tea base but use whatever your favourite is)
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger

Pop it all in a blender and blend!

I just noticed how similar both those drinks look. Haha oops. I promise they taste different!

That’s it for me today! Have a wonderful day and check back soon for one of the teaser recipes!

Which recipe would you all rather see, the “Raw Pizza Bites” or “Sweet Potato and Lentil Salad with a Coconut Curry Dressing”?

raw veggie stir fry

Ahhh Monday, why do you always arrive so quickly? I was greatly enjoying my day off lounging, reading, cooking and sleeping…let’s make a deal. Next week you just give us an extra Sunday k?

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Good Monday morning my readers! Hope you all had great weekends. As you can probably tell I did and didn’t want it to end! While I worked Saturday, I still got to spend time lounging in the sun and then Sunday, while it brought rain, allowed for some lazing around inside without feeling guilty that I’m not “enjoying the summer weather”. There’s a part of me that misses the cooler weather- I love being all snug and cozy inside. I got loads of prep done for the week too- a new hummus recipe, some raw pizza snack bites (I am SO excited to share these with you!) as well as almond milk, almond butter, coconut butter and some cookies.

So now getting into today’s recipe. I’m happy to report that I am keeping with my goal of putting together 2 nicer dinners for myself every week. While nothing I’ve been making has been complicated, they’ve sure been satisfying! Take this veggie stir-fry for example- the most difficult part is cooking the rice, it’s that simple!

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I’ve been wanting to try and make a raw veggie stir-fry for a while, ever since I discovered this method of preparing raw vegetables so they taste cooked. While in that post I used broccoli, it works great for lots of other vegetables and I knew that with the right marinade I could make them taste stir-fried.

Incorporating more raw vegetables in your diet is super beneficial! As I discussed in this post, since you don’t expose the vegetables to heat, all the nutrients remain intact as do the vegetable’s enzymes which allow you to gain more valuable nutrition from the food. In fact, you can even enhance the nutrition you gain from cooked food by incorporating some raw vegetables on your plate. Cool eh?

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And since you want to eat raw veggies more, it’s important to be able to prepare them many different ways! In this recipe I used a simple, Asian-inspired marinade to help soften and flavour the vegetables. I used broccoli, carrots and red peppers, but I suspect you could use others like cauliflower, green beans and snow peas as well! You can make these with or without a dehydrator and can serve with brown rice like I did for a high-raw meal or feel free to pair with some raw cauliflower/jicama rice for a completely raw dish!

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Raw Veggie Stir-Fry (Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-free, Raw)

Serves 2.

  • 1 small head of broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 a red pepper, chopped
  • 1 tbsp hemp oil (or sesame oil or oil of your choice)
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos/Bragg’s/nama shoyu
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp agave
  • 1/8 tsp red chilli flakes
  • sesame seeds
  • additional coconut aminos/Bragg’s/nama shoyu to finish

Mix the hemp oil, coconut aminos, garlic, vinegar, agave and chilli flakes in a small bowl. Put the vegetables in a ziploc bag and pour in the marinade. Massage the veggies to ensure they are all coated. Leave to marinate in the fridge for a few hours or overnight for the best flavour. I’ve also left it for 2 nights and it was delicious!

The next day, you can either serve the vegetables cold straight from the fridge, or if you have a dehydrator, you can spread the vegetables onto a Teflex lined tray and dehydrate for 1-1 1/2 hours to warm them. You could also try this in an oven set to it’s lowest temperature. I’ve also heard of some raw-foodists sun-cooking their food but I have never tried this.

Serve with short-grain brown rice or raw rice of your choice and sprinkle with sesame seeds and a little more coconut aminos/Bragg’s/nama shoyu if desired.

I’m submitting this recipe to Wellness Weekends!

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eating my stir-fry…it’s not the best pic but man was it difficult getting it! I can’t hold chop sticks to save my life in my left hand, so I was forced to juggle my camera in my left while maintaining a steady right hand. I felt I had to include this picture since I worked so hard to get it ;)

How was everyone else’s weekend?

Do any of you do lots of prep on the weekends to make weekday eating easier?

Hope this is the beginning to a wonderful week for all of you!

I’m sharing this recipe on Allergy Free Wednesday and Wellness Weekends!

ginger cherry & peach oat parfait

morning sunshine :)

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how’s everyone doing today? while it’s friday (the 13th….) and that means the weekend for most, i’m working all day tomorrow so while i can’t quite share in the positive energy that friday brings, i know that when other people are happy, my work day is easier, which makes me happy. so yay for friday anyway!

i got a couple requests after my what i ate wednesday post for the oat parfait i posted. ask and you shall receive! i’ll make apologies ahead of time- pictures aren’t the best since when i made it i wasn’t planning on posting the recipe. but as i was eating it, i was enjoying it so much, i just had to offer.

i made the parfait up with 2 goals in mind:

  1. use up some of the many cherries I purchased this weekend. i’ve been eating big bowls multiple times a day and just loving it. but i figured i should try and incorporate even a few of them into a recipe
  2. incorporate a source of iron- this is a goal for pretty much every meal i have now (for reasons why see this post)

what seemed like the easiest source to incorporate with the cherries for breakfast was blackstrap molasses. i’ll always remember the first time i tasted it. i had just taken a vegan cooking class to help me learn how to prepare some vegetarian dishes (i wasn’t quite vegan yet) and my teacher said one of the breakfasts she enjoyed most was peanut butter and blackstrap molasses on toast. i figured if she ate it all the time it had to be good! so i went and bought myself some, didn’t smell it or taste test it or anything but instead smeared it liberally onto my toast and took a huge bite. i’m guessing i looked something like this:

let’s just say i didn’t touch the stuff for a while after that.

since then though, it’s become one of my favourite natural sweeteners! it has a wonderfully rich taste, almost like deep brown sugar. there is a slight bitterness to it, but since i tend to like my sweets on the less-sweet side (does that even make sense??) i really like this aspect. in fact, i should probably try it on toast again, i’d probably like it this time!

brands of blackstrap molasses vary, so try a couple to find one you like. i think this may have been my problem in the whole toast debacle. the brand i like is wholesome sweeteners which is sweeter than others i’ve tried.

Organic Blackstrp Molasses

now what’s so great about blackstrap molasses? well it’s actually a by-product of sugar production and is rich in vitamins and minerals contained in the sugar cane plant including iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin b6 and potassium. obviously, what interested me the most was the iron! 2 tbsp of blackstrap molasses has about 7.2 mg of iron! that’s pretty awesome if you ask me.

what’s also great about this parfait is that it includes sources of vitamin c- the cherries and peaches! absorption of iron is enhanced when consumed with vitamin c-rich foods. so it’s really important to make sure you get some in!

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now that you know why you should eat it, you probably would like to know what you want to eat it. this parfait has a quick chia cherry ginger jam (whoa that’s a mouthful) that is left in the fridge overnight so the flavours can meld. the oats are soaked overnight to make digestion nice and easy and then in the morning they are mixed with some coconut yogurt, blackstrap molasses, tahini and a little stevia which complements the ginger in the cherry jam beautifully. add in some chopped peaches and this breakfast is ready!

it’s also very easy to make too- you just need to get your jam made and oats soaking the evening before and then assemble in the morning. the hardest part is pitting the cherries- the fact that you have to do this is probably the only thing i dislike about fresh cherries!

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ginger cherry & peach oat parfait (vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free)

the ginger in the cherry jam compliments the blackstrap molasses perfectly which the tahini provides and earthiness that ties everything together. chopped peached add some brightness for a beautiful and delicious breakfast!

  • 1/4 cup rolled oats + 2 tbsp oat bran, soaked overnight in water and a little lemon juice (for why this is important check this post). you could also just used 6 tbsp rolled oats
  • 1 recipe quick chia ginger cherry jam (recipe below)
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp non-dairy yogurt (i used so delicious plain coconut yogurt)
  • 1 tbsp blackstrap molasses (start with less if you are new to it’s flavour)
  • 3/4 tbsp tahini
  • stevia to taste (1 used 2 drops english toffee stevia)
  • diced peaches
  • granola/buckwheat groats to top (for some crunch)
  • a dollop of yogurt and a cherry to finish

prepare your cherry jam the night before. also, soak your oats overnight then in the morning rinse them well.

mix the oats with the yogurt, molasses, tahini and stevia.

spoon about 1/3 of the oats into a bowl or glass, top with 1/2 of the jam and diced peaches. do this one more time. finally top with the last 1/3 of the oats, peaches, sprinkle with granola/groats, finish with a dollop of yogurt and make it feel extra special by adding a cherry on top!

quick chia cherry ginger jam (vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, raw)

this makes only what you need for the parfait but definitely feel free to make more!

  • 1/4 cup diced cherries
  • 1/2 tsp agave
  • 1/2 tsp chia seeds
  • 1/8 tsp ginger

pulse a couple times in a blender/food processor or just mix everything together, mashing with a fork a bit. let sit in the fridge overnight so the flavours can intensify and meld together.

i’m submitting this post to wellness weekends!

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mmm check out them layers!

now i’m sure you all noticed, but this post has no capital letters in it. i really like the look of lowercase letters, much more so than uppercase. so i decided to write this post just how i like it. fun no?

questions for you all!

  • any big plans for the weekend? none for me! i’m working then hopefully sunday will be restful with a lazy brunch and lounging in the sun
  • do you have any weird little quirks when it comes to writing? i tend to even write lists, journal entries etc. entirely in lowercase- looks so much nicer to me!

want a hint for what’s coming up next?

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have a great weekend!