Eggplant Bacon

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Say WHA???? Yup, you read it correctly. Eggplant bacon. Ive been eating a plant based diet for the past 7 years and really there’s only a couple of things that I truly miss. One, is for sure, hands down PIZZA. Like true blue cheesy, greasy, stringy... oh you get the point and this post is not about pizza. The other thing I miss is BACON. I grew up eating bacon in all the ways and there really is nothing like the smell of it to bring you back to your childhood. Well, fortunately for us plant based folks, we too can enjoy the satisfying crispy saltiness of bacon without killing Miss Piggy for it.

For those of you who follow me on Instagram you may have seen that we made a big heap of this stuff for Easter brunch and promised you the recipe. So as promised here it is.  Enjoy this the same way you would regular bacon. If you make it, LET ME KNOW!!!! 

 EGGPLANT BACON

2 Japanese eggplants

2 Tbsp Olive oil (or avocado oil)

1 Tbsp Maple syrup

1 Tbsp Apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp tamari

1 tsp mellow miso

4 dashes of liquid smoke (less is more here)

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 pinch of salt

1 pinch garlic powder

Cracked pepper to taste

METHOD

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degC. Use the convection setting if you have it.


Slice the eggplants into quarter inch strips. I like Japanese eggplants because I can use my Mandolin to get a uniform thickness and the slices look like bacon strips. You can use any type of eggplant and cut the slices any way you want as long as you maintain a relatively uniform thickness. Liberally sprinkle the eggplant slices with sea salt and then arrange in layers in a large colander and place in the sink or over a bowl. After 15 or 20 minutes the eggplant will release some moisture. Rinse the salt off the slices and then pat dry and place on a rack over a baking sheet.


Whisk together all the wet and dry ingredients except the pepper. Brush half the mixture on the topside of the eggplant stripes and season with cracked pepper. Put the baking sheet into the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and flip the stripes over. Paint the stripes with the remaining mixture and season with more cracked pepper. Bake until you start to see crispy edges (about another 15 minutes). Watch closely as the stripes can skip from perfect to burnt to a crisp very quickly.


It’s perfect right out of the oven but it’s also great after it’s cooled (BLT anybody?!?).



“Bacon” Lettuce Tomato🤤

“Bacon” Lettuce Tomato🤤

Alllllll the Goods

Alllllll the Goods

Hello there beautiful🥓🥓🍆🍆🍆

 

Green Goddess Salad🌿

With Easter here my feed is full of chocolatey treats, decadent desserts and all sorts of yummy treats. I decided to clean things up in my kitchen and add a healthy detoxifying salad that still has enough sustenance to stand on it own for a protein packed lunch. 

We made this salad for a light dinner before an evening of teaching and it was perfect. With the help of the nuts, seeds, legumes and avocado I stayed pleasantly satisfied until I got home.  

GREEN GODDESS SALAD🌱🌿 

4cbaby spinach

2c baby arugula

Handful pea shoots🌱

1/2c canned rinsed chick peas

1 Apple sliced

1/2 avocado diced

1/2c crushed walnuts

1 green onion sliced

1/2c crumbled vegan goat cheese

1/3c pickled red cabbage

3/4c diced cucumber

1/4c pumpkin seeds

ACV Dressing>>

1/2 cup organic extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup organic apple cider vinegar

juice from 1/2 lemon

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp pure maple syrup (or raw honey)

1 clove garlic, minced

pinch or two of sea salt

Mix salad ingredients in a big bowl and add a couple tbsp of dressing to coat. ENJOY💕💕🐰🐰


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Hazelnut Chocolate Bark

HO HO HO....  So I just got home from Costa Rica. Vacation was awesome, so needed and was far far away from the hustle and bustle of Christmas chaos that seems to grip Toronto at the beginning of each December. 

Being away for two weeks was the perfect amount of time away but didn’t leave me a whole lotta time to prepare for Christmas. This year we (the mister and I) decided to pare down on the spending. More specifically, reducing the feeling of consuming for the sake of consuming. Choosing to give minimal gifts, mostly to children, and asking that the adults in our life do the same. No gifts please. At the end of the day, we don’t need for anything and really, everyone’s money could be put to better use. Right? 

Onto the gifts that are always appreciated ... Food. Last year was a bit of a debacle. We had made and prepped a ton of food to take to Moms but the day we left was a bit of a shit show and with an already overpacked car we somehow overlooked allllll the food. Homemade chocolate truffles, main dishes, and more. Much more... it was a teensy bit hilarious when we realized our gorgeous garlicky kale and lentil potato dish was still on the counter. Funny until we got home days later that is😝 

This Christmas will be different. We are still taking some treats but, again, minimal. We will do our cooking on Christmas Day in my moms kitchen.  

To the treats!  I love chocolate. Good dark chocolate. The higher the percentage of cacao, for me, the better. As we all know, store bought stuff an have all sorts of hidden nasties so the mister and I have a rule, if we want it, we have to make it ourselves. Challenging sure, but also SO WELL WORTH IT!!! 

Heres a recipe I adapted from Minimilist Baker cause she’s the queen and needs to be thanked here.  

CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT BARK 

for the chocolate: 

  • 1 1/4 chopped cocoa butter
  • 2tbsp organic coconut oil
  • 1c pure cacao (not cocoa!)~sifted
  • 2tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 big pinch of Maldon sea salt  
  • 1/2tsp organic vanilla extract
  • 3tbsp cacao nibs (I love Navitas brand) 
  • 2c toasted hazelnuts—preheat oven to 350 and roast for 15 min. Keep your eyes on them! Once out of oven, place on clean towel and rub the skins off. It’s perfectly fine to still have some skin on too!

how to do:

Set up a double boiler. We used a stainless steel bowl over 2 inches of boiling water. The bowl should be bigger than pot so no risk of splashing water in your chocolate. Add in chopped cacao and coconut oil and let melt. Stirring occasionally. 

Once melted, add in cacao using a fine mesh strainer (this helps avoid clumps), and stir to combine. 

Add in maple syrup, vanilla, sea salt and cacao nibs. Stir stir. Finally, add in your nuts (this can be made with any nut and or dried fruit combo!). Transfer to a parchment lined 8 by 12 baking dish and spread evenly. Transfer to the freezer and let set for minimum 1 hour but I let mine set for 3 before breaking apart in desired sized chunks.  

YUM!!! 

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Soup Season!

AAAAANNNND here we are.. we all knew it was coming. Change of season is happening as I type. I teach a 7am class every Tuesday and over the last month it’s gotten darker and darker and then it happened... pitch black AND raining😭 My class was small to say the least so I opted for a nice soothing restorative flow to gently bring in the light. It was lovely... sigh

To the soup! With the season change the sweaters come out, the socks go on and the soups get made. So for the first one of the season I decided to make my Spicy Sweet Potato Curry Tomato Soup🧡 It was spicy as promised and chalk full of legumes, veggies and a boat load of spinach at the end cause I’m forever turning things into a salad🤷‍♀️

This soup is versatile so don’t feel like you need to stick verbatim to the recipe. I have used kale and or Swiss chard instead of spinach, navy beans instead of chickpeas, and I have also thrown in zuchinni, red peppers and a variety of different veggies into the pot. THATS what is so awesome about soup! I have also puréed this soup when I was nursing a soar mouth after dental surgery and it was deeeelish. 

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RECIPE 

  • 1 large sweet potato cut into 1 inch cubes

  • 1 large carrot diced

  • 1 stalk celery diced

  • 1/2 red onion diced

  • 1 large clove garlic minced

  • 2 leeks sliced

  • 1 28oz can diced tomato (I use San Marzano cause they’re THE BEST)

  • 1c green peas (fresh OR frozen)

  • 1 14oz can organic chick peas (rinsed)

  • 1 tbsp curry powder

  • 1/2 tbsp turmeric

  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

  • 2 tsp chilli flakes

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast

  • 2 tomato cans of water

  • 2 tbsp olive oil (a drizz to garnish too🙂)

  • 4c baby spinach

METHOD 

Heat large pot over medium to high heat and add olive oil, chilli flakes, garlic and onion. Sauté until it begins to soften. Add in carrot and celery cook down for a couple of minutes. If mixture feels too dry add in a splash of water. Add in sweet potato and the rest of the spices. Mix well. Again, if mixture seems too dry add a splash of water to get things moving again. Season with salt and pepper.  Once sweet potato starts to soften add in can of diced tomato followed by two cans of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, partially cover and let it hang out for 20 min or until sweet potato and veggies are cooked thru. I like to add the chickpeas and peas near the end. Check for seasoning.. not spicy enough? Add more spice! At this time add in spinach, allow to wilt. Finish with more sea salt and cracked pepper and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. 

Enjoy!!! Xo

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Dog Days of Summer

Summer goes fast doesn’t it? Up here in Canada we get approximately 60 solid days of summer give or take a few and if you blink you just might miss them. 

I knew I was going to be working ALOT this summer. I took the better part of the beginning of the year off to travel and train and while I thought I’d prepared myself for the work I guess I wasn’t expecting the repercussions. At the end of December last year I was suffering burnout. Unsure that was actually a thing I did a little research and it turned out yes indeed it was. Exhausted pretty much ALL the time, trouble sleeping, and constantly needing to nap taking the first 6 weeks off in January-February was not only needed it was necessary. Well, here we are again.... Feeling pretty much the same symptoms I went to the doctor last week to find out WTF is going on with me. Waiting on results... I’ll let you know. 

This is actually a good post and I feel GOOD post believe it or not. Presently I am enjoying a full week off. I am in Niagara with my best girlfriends with all our misters and baby Maia at a gorgeous Air BnB. I am tapping away whilst sitting poolside with the mister reading beside me. Le SIGH... My hash tag this week has been #neverleaving🙂  The besties went winery hopping leaving us to relax and make PEACH CRUMBLE. It’s peach season here in Niagara so what better way to show case that.  

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greasing the vessel😊

 

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🍑🍑🍑🍑🍑🍑🍑🍑 

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Walnuts for crunch (and health) 

 

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Slicing all dem🍑🍑🍑🍑🍑 

 PEACH CRISP (for 7 people)

Ingredients  

  • 9 large peaches 
  • 2tsp maple syrup
  • 1 1/2c gf oats
  • 1/4tsp sea salt
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  •  1/2c almond flour
  • 2tbsp brown sugar
  • heaping 1/2c chopped walnuts
  • 2tbsp melted vegan butter 
  • 2tbsp melted coconut oil (plus more for greasing pan) 
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Dry ingredients🥄🥄 

METHOD 

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix all dry ingredients together then add melted oil and butter to make the crumb. Slice the peaches and add maple syrup to coat. Spread crumble mixture over peaches evenly and place on middle rack in oven. Bake for 42 minutes. I cranked my oven up to 400 add baked for an additional 15 to ensure the peaches were juicy. Serve with nice cream or coconut whip cream. So good!!! IF you make this recipe, please lmk how it goes! 

Oh and let’s make a pact to try to milk the rest of this summer for all it’s worth. Time waits for no one and we are worth every second💛 

 

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All ready for the oven☺️ 

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She’s just so pretty😍 

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Going in🍑🍑🍑 

............. 

 

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Just waiting on vegan ice cream!!!!😁 

Raspberry Chia Jam

Every single time I post anything with raspberry chia jam I tend to get a ton of requests for the how to.. and while this may be a short recipe it doesn’t lack in substance. So by popular demand here ya go. When you see the ingredients and method ya might have a good laugh. It’s really short☺️

Raspberry Chia Jam 

  • 1cup frozen raspberrries 
  • 1 heaping tbsp chia seeds (white or black-try to avoid ground chia.. doesn’t have the same effect) 

Method: 

In a small saucepan heat your frozen raspberries over medium until they start to soften. Add in chia and cook until desired consistency. I don’t use any additional sweetener but if you want a little added sweetness 1tbsp maple syrup would suffice. I love to let the raspberries shine in this one. No need to add sweetener❤️ 

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raspberry chia jam on toast with some of my homemade granola and almond butter... 🤤

 

You can eat it all at once (teehee) or place whatever is left over in a sealed mason jar. Would last up to a week but in my household it’s GONE in a matter of days. Add it to whatever you want but some suggestions are below... happy jam making!! 

 

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chia jam added to oats!

 

waffles😋😋   

waffles😋😋

 

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chia pudding❤️

GRANOLA

It's been far too long since I've posted.. I promise that I will rectify that situation in 2017. Life gets busy doesn't it? I myself have had an emotional couple of months. I broke up with my partner of 10 years. That in of itself is a blog post which I will definetley get to... 

BUT this post is not about breakups, hardships or massive life changes. THIS blog post is about my kickass granola recipe. I promise you will not be disappointed. 

 

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I have been working on different variations of the same recipe now for well over a year and this one hits it out of the park. Crunchy, savoury, a hint of sweet and healthy! I plan on filling my house with this smell and giving the gift of food. Really, how great is that?! I might even whip up my cashew milk and give as the pair cause that stuff is bomb diggity as well💛 

granola 

  •  2 1/2 cups gf oats 
  • 1 cup roughly chopped raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup chopped raw pecans or raw walnuts  
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries or dried blueberries
  • 1/4 cup desiccated unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2 Tbsp hemp seeds
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (my family makes the stuff so I know it's top quality. Don't cheap out on the maple syrup. The good stuff is actually good for you. Full of magnesium. Just don't drink it😉) 
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

method

 Preheat oven to 325 Degrees. 

Mix all dry ingredients. Melt coconut oil and then add room temperature maple syrup (cold syrup will coagulate the coconut oil) and vanilla. Stir to mix and then add to dry ingredients.  Lay out evenly on 1-2 baking sheets and pop it in the oven. After about 20 minutes take a peek. Give a gentle mix to get less cooked granola a chance to be baked and then pop back in for another 10 min. Keep a close watch. You don't want it to burn!
Wait for it to completely cool then put into mason jars. 

cashew milk 

  • 1 cup raw cashew pieces (pieces cuts down your soaking time significantly)---cover in filtered water for min 2 hours
  • 1 Medjool date (optional)
  • pinch of sea salt  
  • 3 cup filtered water
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

 

method 

 rinse soaked cashews, add to high powered blender. Top with 3 cups filtered water. Add the salt, date, vanilla and blend. I put through the smoothie cycle ( i❤️ my Blendtec) twice and put straight into a litre mason jar. Makes a perfect litre!  

 

Enjoy lovelies~~ and Merry Christmas🎄🎄 

 

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It has been a while since I have been here and for that, I am very sorry!  This last summer was a busy one... I have been going through some emotional turmoil in the past 6 months and didn't really know what to say. Instead, I worked. I said yes to everything. I subbed and taught as many classes as I could possibly jam in as well as manage a restaurant 4 nights a week. To say it was exhausting is a bit of an understatement but it was exactly what I needed. Truth is, I'm still doing it. My schedule is still nuts and will probably be more so as we near Christmas. That's ok. It's self-induced and happening as it should. 

Today is a good day. They have all been good days. Even when I feel like I'm having a not- so-great-day it's way better than when I was drinking. I'm coming up on a 5 year anniversary and it literally blows my mind. I haven't had a drink in almost 5 years. How unbelievably amazing is that? On top of all the work this summer I also attended a step-study. We are nearing the end of it. I am so grateful for the opportunity to work my program with some awesome women. It has helped me beyond measure with my current situation. I am trying. Really hard. But I know I am also avoiding the inevitable to avoid hurt, pain and suffering for all parties. Breaks my heart.. but such is life.  So, my friends this is where I'm at. Over-working, over-tired, but loving life. Staying true to my path and staying sober one day at a time. 

Part of staying healthy in my mind, body and spirit is maintaining a healthy diet. Over night Chia pudding is da bomb!!!! 

recipe below: 

 

Over-night Chia Pudding
  • Over-night Chia Pudding

  chia pudding 

  •   1c hemp seed milk (I make all my own milks... recipes on website)
  • 1/4c chia seeds
  • 2 tsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/4tsp vanilla
  • Pinch sea salt   

method

stir all ingredients in a bowl, wait 5 minutes, then stir again. Wrap with Saran Wrap and refrigerate over night. Top with berries, granola, seeds and the like! Enjoy💗 

  

 

Peanut butter Cookies

I love peanut butter. I mean, I love ALL nut butters but peanut butter really is the best. Ever since I was a kid I remember my mom making the best peanut butter cookies. I remember asking her if I could help and by help I meant eating the raw cookie dough😏 HER  idea of me helping was doing the heavy stuff like mixing the batter which always felt like I was mixing cement but then again, I've always been a bit of a drama queen☺️ My favourite part tho was definitely making the fork imprint on each cookie. Turns out, that's still my favourite part!

Since becoming vegan and GF baking has become fun. I love creating healthy versions of the original and being able to enjoy them with a relatively clean conscience😜 Here's my version of my Moms old school pb cookies. The recipe is dead simple and is completely vegan and GF. 

GF, Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies 

  •  1c organic pb 
  • scant 1c coconut palm sugar
  • 1tsp pure vanilla
  • 3 tbsp Aquafaba =1 egg(water from can of chickpeas!)  
  • 2tbsp hemp seeds  
  • 1/2c carob chips
  • course sea salt

method

  1. preheat oven to 350
  2. using electric hand mixer combine Aquafaba and sugar. Add in vanilla and combine.  
  3. Addin pb and mix thoroughly. Addin hemp seeds and carob chips. 
  4. Let sit to rest for 10 minutes.  
  5. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.  
  6. Using 2 teaspoons scoop about a tbsp of dough per each cookie and space accordingly on sheet. Have a glass of cold water handy. Take a fork, dip into cold water and make imprints on each cookie to flatten. Get creative if you want! Create a crisscross pattern on each cookie. Sprinkle each cookie with course sea salt 
  7. Bake for about 15 min. Turning pan once in between.   
  8. Keep an eye not to burn. Take out, let rest and devour.  

Happy, healthy baking!!!

TA😍 

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Soup for the Soul

There's nothing better than a steaming bowl of delicious soup. My favourite thing about making soup is that there is ALWAYS left overs making it accessible for me to have multiple easy, fast and healthy meals. 

Said soup on my Instagram feed😊 

Said soup on my Instagram feed😊 

When I eventually open my own little vegan Cafe the goal is to have a hot plate so that I can create my faves like pancakes, oatmeals and of course a soup of the week or day depending on my traffic. This 👆🏼👆🏼beauty will def be making it on the menu.  

Curried Sweet Potato and Chickpea Soup 

  •  1 large sweet potato diced
  • 1/2 a large red onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 stalk celery chopped
  • 2 carrots choppdx
  • 1 whole can of diced low sodium tomatoes 
  • 1 large can of organic chickpeas rinsed. Or you can cook your own from dried. I just don't have the time usually☺️ 
  • 2 tomato cans of water
  • big fistful of spinach
  • 1 tbsp coconut or olive oil
  • 1 tbsp curry powder. More to taste
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp sea salt and cracked pepper
  • nutrtional yeast  

Method

  1. in a large pot, add coconut or olive oil and chilli flakes 
  2. addin onion and garlic until you can see garlic start to brown. Doesn't take long!! Addin all your spices reserving some the sea salt and pepper. 
  3. Addin carrot and celery and cook for 2-3 min. Then add the sweet potato. Cook another 3,4 min. Adding a touch of water to help in along.   
  4. Once veggies start to soften addin tomato and the desired amount of water. Allow to come to a boil and reduce heat cooking until veggies are fork tender.  
  5. Addin chickpeas and cook for 3 min.
  6. Addin a big handful of spinach just at the end. Check for more seasoning and get your bowls ready!!  

I like to give it about 15 minutes to rest off the heat and then ladle into bowls. Finish with a sprinkling of nutritional yeast, olive oil and a pinch more sea salt and cracked pepper. SO GOOD👍🏼👍🏼💛 

Mason Jars and Oats

I just love mason jars, don't you? They are great for just about everything. Around Christmas last year I picked up a case of 12 with the intention of filling them all with my delicious homemade granola to give away as gifts and while I DID bake a batch only 3 mason jars got filled and given away..the rest went into my belly, I'm not going to lie😜 Now, all those spare jars house all my nuts, seeds, grains and flours. My next step is to put up another shelf and organize them a bit better but this will come in time. Of that I'm rather limited right now☺️.. SO, in the meantime I thought I'd share a recipe that I adapted from the Green Kitchen Travels cookbook. It's the perfect way to start your day or as a post workout (in my case yoga) snack. 

Over Night Oats

~1/2c gf oats

~1 tbsp chia seeds

~1/2 tsp pure vanilla

~1 tbsp maple syrup or sweeter of choice

~ handful blueberries

 ~3/4c nut milk (or seed!!)

~pinch of sea salt

*mix thoroughly and put lid on jar to sit overnight. When ready to devour, top with anything you have on hand..granola, seeds, nuts, more fruit..the options are endless!  

 

Blueberry oat and chia pudding! 

Blueberry oat and chia pudding!