Cardamom Tahini Granola

The mister and I are heading to Costa Rica. AGAIN, you might say? Yes, again. I have fallen in love with the country, the people and of course the weather. I would buy property there in a heart beat if it wasn’t so damn blasted expensive. I am offering a retreat this coming November at the Bodhi Tree Yoga Resort and will most likely make a visit once a year mandatory until I find another land that I love more. 

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This brings us to granola😊 Everytime we travel  we try to stay with AirBnb. The mister and I eat pretty special diets. Him being Celiac and both of us plantbased. We like to manage our food as much as we can and staying in a place with a kitchen REALLY makes our lives easier.  Our set up is to get a place, find food, and then make food ... but that can be expensive if you want all the comforts and option of being home. We love our superfoods and the last time we went to CR we spent a small fortune in the local organic market buying all of said staples and supplies. Well not this time. This time we are taking everything we need. Hemp seeds, chia seeds, granola, steel cut oats, cinnamon, sea salt and  even our homemade sourdough! 

The mister and I have talked about bringing our food on the plane with us for ages. Airlines TRY to accommodate the needs of their passengers and some go above and beyond (Air Singapore is amazing) but truth be told they just aren’t set up for allergies. The mister flew home from Hong Kong with next to nothing to eat. Our attendant on Air Canada took some snacks from first class to help but suffice to say, that was a long trek home. I have seen lots of insta accounts taking food on planes but it wasn’t until my friend @drtarasunshine posted her oats on route to Barbados that I was like OK, this is SO HAPPENING when we fly to CR! It is important to add here that while I made it thru security, I almost didn’t. If my jars had of been any more liquid he would have taken them away. It helps to SMILE and also, he wanted my recipe🤣

 Ok GRANOLA TIME... we took a huge bag with us cause there is nothing better than a sprinkle of this stuff on oats, toast or in a bowl with some banana and papaya!!  Homemade is always the way to go. I hope you enjoy this recipe and IF you make it, please let me know!

TAHINI CARDAMOM GRANOLA 

  • 3c gf Oats  
  • 1/2c desicated coconut
  • 1c raw almonds chopped
  • 1/2c raw walnuts chopped
  • 1/2c raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2c raw sunflower seeds
  • 1tsp cardamom
  • 1tsp true cinnamon
  • 1/2tsp sea salt
  • 1/2c raisins
  • 1/2c tahini
  • 1/3c maple syrup
  • 1/2c coconut oil
  • 1tsp vanilla

METHOD

Preheat oven to 325

Mix dry ingredients together. In a small pot add tahini, syrup, oil and vanilla. Stir until well incorporated.  Add to dry and mix. Spread out evenly on 1 -2 sheet pans (I love my Pampered Chef) and bake twice.. once for 15 minutes (remove from oven and give a gentle stir) and then a second for 15-18 min or until golden brown. 

 

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Tahini cardamom granola🥣🥣 

 Let cool completely in the pan and transfer to an airtight container like a mason jar.

Pink Chia Pudding

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. We moved on February 27th so my life has literally been a bit topsy turvy. I have not been feeling like myself AT ALL and in these times find it hard to do more. This blog would be considered my more. But today is the first day of spring and I don’t know about you, I am BEYOND READY for some warmth, growth and longer days.  

For the past week I have been dealing with major discomfort in my jaw. I have not shared here on the blog about my trials and tribulations when it comes to my dental history. Who wants to read about that?! It’s a long arduous story, but the coles notes of this current situation is that my left lower implant seems to be failing. Or to be more specific, the bone graft surgery that I have endured not once but twice seems to be failing. To be honest I still don’t have a proper diagnosis. Went to the dentist on Monday and she confirmed what I already feared. Diagnosis is happening today at the periodontist. It started as discomfort when I bit down on something chewy, then it morphed into a full blown TMJ flare (haven’t suffered from that since I was in my early 20’s) and severe headaches. Sounds fun right? I know what you’re thinking... WHAT in the world does this have to do with chia freaking pudding?? Soft food people, soft food. With my mouth and jaw collapse this week I have been forced to slow down, chew S L O W L Y, and predominantly on my right side. Chewing it seems, exasperates the TMJ so I try to avoid that at all costs. Enter in this mornings inspiration for pink chia pudding. Definitely not my first time making in but first time on the blog so here you go! And ps, THANK YOU for listening💓💞

 PINK CHIA PUDDING  

  • 2c cashew milk (homemade rules) 
  • 1/2c chia seeds
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 2tbsp @organika pinkmylk latte
  • 1/2tbsp @flora beetroot crystals  

>>combine milk with powder and crystals and whisk until fully combined. Add in vanilla and whisk again. Add chia seeds and whisk up to a full minute (will speed up gelling process and cut down wait time like crazy💗). Transfer to bowls, let set in fridge for a minimum 30 minutes. Top as you wish💞

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Pink chia in all its glory  

Pink Waffles

I don’t know about you, but I love playing with food. As a child I remember my mom at Christmas or birthdays with food colouring turning white icings pink or blue depending on who’s birthday it was. Food colouring was fun and it still is but that old school stuff has no place in my pantry. INSTEAD, I turn to healthy superfoods for food colouring fun. 

Yesterday was Saturday and I was craving waffles. I have made green waffles using spirulina, chocolate and vanilla using cacao and yesterday my inspiration went toward pink so I used @florafoods beetroot crystals to turn these beauties pink. So much fun! 

After a ton of requests for the recipe I decided to get to work to create one for you and here it is.  Other options for turning food pink would be gorgeous Acai powder, pitaya (pink dragonfruit) powder and I’ve even seen pomegranate powder. I hope you have as much fun making these as I did! 

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Beetroot waffles💓 

Ingredients

1c oat flour

1c buckwheat flour

1tbsp vanilla protein powder(I love @nuzest)

1tsp baking powder

1/4tsp fine sea salt

1/2tsp ground ginger

1tsp cinnamon

..

1c cashew milk

1tsp apple cider vinegar

1c water (plus more if desired)

3tbsp melted coconut oil

1.5tsp beetroot crystals (@flora)

1tsp vanilla

1 flax egg (or 1 real egg)


Method

*preheat oven to 200*

  1. Prepare flax egg and set aside
  2. Combine milk, water, ACV and Beetroot crystals. Whisk and set aside.
  3. In separate bowl combine dry ingredients, whisk, and set aside.
  4. Add flax and wet to dry ingredients and mix gently. The buckwheat flour soaks up ALOT of moisture. At this time you might need to add 1/4c-1/2c more liquid. I added water until I was happy with consistency. Too thin, and it will run, too thick and it won’t spread. 
  5. Heat waffle iron.
  6. Add in a heaping ladle of batter to waffle iron. Once cooked transfer to a wire rack in preheated oven while you make the rest of the waffles. I yielded 4 large round waffles from this recipe.

~Enjoy!!💞💞

 

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Healthy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I don’t know a single person who doesn’t love a good cookie. I know I sure do!TBH I have been on a bit of a cookie run as of late...Thank GOD for my trainer, yoga and all those steps I take daily. Trust me, I do it all for the sake of food. This recipe was adapted from one of my insta crushes Minimilist Baker. I made only a couple changes and one of them was swapping out the sugar for my new found fave Lakanto which is made from monk fruit. It is sugar free AND it tastes good. I know I am not alone here in saying that sugar substitutes taste terrible. I’m talking specifically about my nemesis Stevia. Sorry not sorry for those who love it. I just can’t wrap my head around the taste. Lakanto looks like sugar, tastes like sugar but has zero calories, no artificial flavours and has no weird aftertaste. 

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Here’s the recipe—If you make it, let me know and don’t forget to tag me in your pics!! 

ingredients 

  • 3/4c gf oats (I use @bobsredmill)
  • 3/4c almond flour
  • 1/4c desiccated coconut  
  • 1/4c dairy free chocolate chips (I used @enjoylifefoods) 
  • 3/4tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 fine sea salt
  • 1/4c Lakanto (monkfruit sweetner) 
  • 1/4c aquafaba (the liquid from canned chickpeas) 
  • 2tbsp almond butter
  • 3tbsp avocado oil
  • 1/2tsp vanilla

METHOD

1. In a mixing bowl stir together all dry ingredients. Including chocolate chips. Set aside 

2. In a separate bowl whip aquafaba using electric hand mixer until peaks form. Gently fold in almond butter, vanilla and oil. Add wet to dry and stir to combine  it should be a firm tacky dough. Place in fridge for about 30 min to firm up. 

3. Preheat oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment, or grease. 

4. Scoop chilled dough into roughly 2tbsp amounts. I used my hands to form and I flattened with palm of my hand. Leave approx 1 inch gap between cookies  (they don’t spread). My recipe yeilded 11 cookies. 

5.  Bake for 10 min  and then increase heat to 375 and bake for an additional 3 minutes or until golden brown. 

6. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes if you can wait that long. Grab a tea, a coffee or a glass of cashew milk and enjoy! 

 

 

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Chai Granola

Fewer things give me as much pleasure as a good granola, so when Tara @drtarasunshine and I got together to brainstorm recipes  a while back, I suggested granola and she suggested chai flavours, it was a resounding,  all of the yes😋

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Freshly baked chai granola  

Who among us has TOO many granola recipes. Not this kid, and with all the warm spicy flavours that bring oh so much comfort in these cold AF winter months, who doesn’t want that? So here ya go peeps. Please let us know what you think!  


GRANOLA:

CHAI SPICE MIX

4 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp ginger

1 tsp cardamom

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cloves

1/2 tsp allspice

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 
  • 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
  • 1/2 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 oi
  • 1/4 cup organic tahini
  • 1tsp vanilla 

METHOD

Preheat oven to 325.  In a large bowl mix dry ingredients together and set aside. In small pot, heat tahini, maple syrup and coconut oil until it melds together, remove from heat and add in vanilla. Add wet to dry and mix until well incorporated. You will most likely need 2 cookie sheet pans (or 1 large pan. I love my Pampered Chef ceramic pan☺️) to spread mixture evenly. Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and gently move granola around. Place back in the oven and bake again for a minimum of 15 minutes. With the addition of tahini, this recipe needed more time in the oven to dry out. Don’t be afraid to keep it in until desired crunch factor has been accomplished😉 It will also dry out once cooled. 

ENJOY!!! 

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Pretty Dr T and her gorgeous stove🙌🏼 

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Premeasured always rules. Makes me feel like I’m on a cooking show🤩 

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casual🥄

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Tahini, coconut oil, vanilla and maple syrup 

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All mixed and ready for the trays

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fresh out of the oven

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yum

Sourdough Bread-by Rick the mister Morton

As promised... our recipe for the most delicious HOMEMADE vegan and gluten free sourdough, made by my mister, thoroughly enjoyed by me☺️

 Sourdough Bread

Making a loaf of sourdough bread requires three steps. The first step is to create a levian which is the fermented flour concoction that acts in place of the activated yeast in a regular “yeasted” loaf. The levian is basically a big sourdough starter and the ingredients are mixed together and left on the counter until it becomes active (6 to 12 hours). Once the levian is active, then the dough can be made and formed into a loaf. The formed loaf is then covered with a tea towel, put into a bag and put aside until it has risen (4 to 6 hours). Finally, the loaf is baked in the oven for 60 minutes and, once cooled, it’s ready to eat!

Ready to eat

Ready to eat

Because there are some long wait times in this process it helps to think through your schedule when you are planning on making a loaf of bread. I sometimes make the levian at 10 in the evening, then I form the dough the following morning sometime between 6 AM and 8 AM, and finally I bake the bread in the early afternoon. Alternately, I sometimes make the levian at 6 AM, the dough at dinner time, and I bake just before bed (yikes … long day).

Create a levian

  • 40 g sorghum

  • 40 g buckwheat

  • 110 g filtered water

  • 140 g sourdough starter

Mix all the ingredients in a container and cover with cheesecloth or plastic wrap. Put it on the counter and let it become active. This will take 6 to 12 hours depending on the temperature on your counter. Mine has become active in as little as 4 hours when I was in the kitchen baking and cooking while it was on the counter.

The flours are certified gluten free.

The flours are certified gluten free.

Note: once you take 140 grams of starter to make the levian, you will have only a small amount of your starter left over. This is to be used for starter maintenance and so you should use it when you feed your next starter. I usually feed my starter at the same time as I make the levian.

Make the dough

  • 20 g psyllium husk

  • 10 g ground flax seeds

  • 350 g filtered water

  • 60 g sorghum flour

  • 60 g buckwheat flour

  • 60 g oat flour

  • 60 g corn starch

  • 60 g potato starch

  • 24 g coconut sugar

  • 1 tsp fine sea salt

Weight out the flours, starch, sugar and salt  in a medium size bowl, whisk together and set aside. Weight out the psyllium husk and the ground flax seeds in a large mixing bowl. Add the water to the large bowl and stir until the mixture is uniform (it thickens very quickly). Stir in the levian until the mixture is uniform. Then add the flour blend to the wet mixture in the large bowl. Don’t add it all at once … start with about 1/4 of the flour and stir it in with a wooden spoon, add another quarter and stir again, then another quarter and stir. The last quarter is a little more difficult to stir together. Use the spoon to start, then you can use a hand blender with dough hooks or simply use your hands. I prefer to use my hands … just because it feels good :) The idea is to incorporate all the flour and to have a uniform dough.

Once the dough is uniform then form it into a loaf. I have tried making a regular loaf in a 5” by 9” pan, a free form batard, a free form round boule, and a boule in a 7” diameter dutch oven. I liked the dutch oven boule the best but the loaf pan version was pretty good too. If you’re using a container of some sort then line the bottom and sides with parchment paper before putting your dough in.  Cover your loaf loosely with a tea towel or something similar and then place the covered loaf into a plastic bag. Loosely tie the end of the bag off and set it on the counter to rise. The  bag should be loose and allow some room for gases to be build up around the loaf. I use a thin compostable garbage bag. I don’t really have a test to say if a loaf has risen completely but I have waited only 4 hours and I have waited 6 hours and it hasn’t made much of a difference. The dough should probably double in size during this phase.

Scouring the dough before baking … use your sharpest knife.

Scouring the dough before baking … use your sharpest knife.

Once the loaf has risen, it is time to bake. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degF. Fill a pie dish about half full with water and place it  on the lower shelf of the oven once it is at temperature. Remove the loaf from the plastic bag and the tea towel. At this point you can try making some fine cuts in the top of the loaf. Use a very sharp knife with the finest/thinnest blade that you own. Cut any pattern you want but don’t go too deep. The deeper you go the more the cut will spread during baking. Spritz the loaf with water and then tent it with aluminum foil and place in the oven on the middle rack for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, wait five minutes and then turn the loaf out onto a cooling rack. Let it cool for at least an hour.

Fresh out of the oven.

Fresh out of the oven.

Time to eat bread!

RUSTY (aka, our sourdough starter) —featuring My Mister (aka, Rick😉)

 Sourdough Starter-By Rick Morton

A sourdough starter is basically a fermented flour mixture that will eventually be used as a levian when you make a loaf of bread. It replaces the yeast used in many bread recipes.

A happy, active, and bubbly Rusty.

A happy, active, and bubbly Rusty.

With yeasted bread you buy the yeast and add it to some warm liquid (perhaps milk & water) to wake it up and you mix in a bit of sugar so it has something to eat. The byproduct of the yeast eating the sugar is gaseous and that is what makes the bread rise and have little air holes. With a sourdough bread you ferment flour and the bacteria created during the fermentation process is like a natural yeast. Some might think of their starter as a flatulent teenager … you feed it sugar and flour and it grows and gets gassy :)

From a practical standpoint, the big difference between yeast and a sourdough starter is that it takes time for the flour to ferment and you have to tend to the mixture until it becomes active. To create the starter you mix flour and some filtered water in a jar, cover it with a porous material (I use cheesecloth at home but at work we use plastic wrap), then you put it in a place where the temperature is relatively stable and relatively warm (between 20 degC and 27 degC). You must use filtered water since chlorine in tap water kills the bacteria that makes the mixture active and creates the bubbles. The temperature of the ingredients is important … all of them should be in the low to mid twenties (between 20 degC and 27degC). The cover that you put over the jar needs to allow gas to escape so don’t wrap it too tightly if you are using plastic wrap.

Once the starter is created, it needs to be maintained until it becomes active. Every twelve hours or so you create a new starter and then take half of the previous starter and mix them together. Then cover it and leave it on the counter until the next “feeding”. The other half must be tossed in the organic waste bin :(

You need to keep feeding the starter until it starts to become active and bubbly. This could take anywhere from 3 days to ten days depending on the temperature on your counter. If it is relatively cool then it will take longer and if it is pretty warm then it will happen faster. It’s important that the temperature doesn’t fluctuate too rapidly during this initial growth period.

Once the starter is active and you can see bubbles through the side of your container (I use straight sided mason jars so I can see the activity), you can use it to make some bread (recipe coming soon).

Starter Recipe

  • 30 g Sorghum flour

  • 30 g Buckwheat flour

  • 90 g Filtered water

Starter creation

Weight out the ingredients and mix them together in your container (mason jar, clear bowl, or a clear glass). Cover with cheese cloth or plastic wrap and place on your counter.

All ingredients must be weighted … including the water.

All ingredients must be weighted … including the water.

Feeding - Initial growth

Make a new starter every twelve hours and add half of the previous starter before putting it on the counter again. Discard the other half of the previous starter at this point. Repeat this process every 12 hours until your starter becomes bubbly and active. You can use this to make bread at this point or you can go into maintenance mode until you’re ready to bake.

Adding half of yesterdays starter to todays flour and water.

Adding half of yesterdays starter to todays flour and water.

Feeding - Maintenance

If you are going to make bread every day then you can feed your starter daily when you make your levian/bread. If you are going to make it once a week or less then you can put it in the fridge a couple of hours after feeding. Take it out once a week and make bread or just feed it and return it to the fridge.

Prep-ed and ready to feed.

Prep-ed and ready to feed.

Cauliflower&Sweet Potato Curry

It’s that time of year folks. When soups, stews and curries start flooding your inbox, feed and the like. We, up here in the frosty north are headed into deep freeze season so in order to stay warm we turn to our Dutch ovens, crockpots and one pot meals to stay nourished and comforted. 

Yesterday was a fine example of how shite the weather can be in Toronto so with cauliflower and sweet potato (and all the other ingredients) on hand I got to making this gorgeous curry. Enough for dinner and leftovers (the best!) for the upcoming weeks ahead.  

I find this type of recipe easiest if all the ingredients are prepped before I start the “cooking” part. If you are missing one or two of the spices, don’t worry. It might taste a little different but I’m sure it will be good. This recipe is my take on an “Indian” curry but I’m sure it’s not a traditional recipe

Last time I made this, I had a russet potato so that went into the pot too. You can add pretty much any firm vegetable that you have on hand. If you find it too thick, add another can of tomatoes, some vegetable broth, or some water.

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STAUB makes the best Dutch Ovens🙂 

INGREDIENTS

1 tsp brown mustard seeds

 

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 medium yellow onion - small dice

1 large clove garlic - minced

1 inch ginger - peeled and minced

 

2 Tbsp tomato paste


1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (more if you like it spicy)

1/2 tsp ground cloves (careful this is a powerful flavour)

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp paprika

1 Tbsp curry powder (I added this because I had it)

1 Tbsp turmeric


1 large sweet potato - 1/2” dice, don’t peel it

1 head cauliflower - small florets


1 can crushed tomatoes

1 can full fat coconut milk


1 can chickpeas - drained and rinsed

1 bunch green kale - stems removed and torn into smallish pieces

  

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Spice is Life🧡 

METHOD 

Heat a large heavy pot on medium high. Once hot, add the brown mustard seeds and wait until they start to pop and jump around. Add olive oil to the pot and let it heat up for a minute. Lower heat to medium and add the onions, sprinkle with salt, sauté until translucent and then add the garlic and ginger. Stir until fragrant (1 to 2 minutes). Add tomato paste and stir to coat the onions. Add the spices, another sprinkle of salt and stir. Sauté the spices for about a minute and then add the sweet potato and cauliflower and stir to coat. Once coated, add the crushed tomatoes and the coconut milk. Bring to a boil and simmer on medium low until the veggies are tender (15 to 30 minutes depending on how large you cut the veggies). Add the chickpeas and kale, stir to mix and simmer for another 5 minutes to warm the chickpeas and soften the kale. Add salt and/or pepper to taste at this point. Squeeze 1/2 a lime into the pot and stir and then serve over brown rice with a sprinkle with fresh coriander.

ENJOY and STAY COZY🧡 

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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Strawberry Cream Bircher Oats🍓🍓

As far as breakfasts go these overnight oat jars pretty much win in my household. Flavour combos and additions are endless so there’s no getting bored. This here beauty was my most recent combo and felt compelled to share the recipe cause it was just. that. good☺️ 

So, as promised, here’s the recipe. Enjoy!! 

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Jar food... is there anything better?! 

 

STRAWBERRY CREAM BIRCHER OATS

serves 1

1/3c gf oats

1tbsp hemp seeds

1tbsp chia seeds

pinch of sea salt

6 small organic strawberries sliced

1/4tsp pure vanilla

1c cashew milk (check out my milk recipe!) 

method 

Slice 4 strawberries and layer in the bottom of your jar. In a large glass measuring cup measure out all remaining ingredients (except for strawberries) and stir. Ensuring the chia is evenly distributed. Carefully pour oat mixture into your jar. Add in remaining sliced berries and cover with lid to rest overnight. 

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❤️

It’s Raining Again

Good morning from Ubud. My initial plan today started off GREAT. I woke up around 6 and saw the sky was turning a beautiful clear blue and said YES!! Went back to bed for an hour and started planning the day. Our days here don’t differ too much from one another really. Starts with a meditation (truth be told not everyday but we try), lemon water, Bali coffee and a homemade breakfast of fresh fruit (omg the dragon fruit💕),

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DRAGONFRUIT👆🏼👆🏼👆🏼

and granola or oats or a variation of all the above.. Go to a yoga class at Intuitive Flow and then figure it out from there. We’ve been staying at Pondok Rama #3 or “The Divine Goddess Santuary” (aptly named on Air B&B) which is on a rice field just north of the hustle and bustle of Ubud. It has been lovely. The mister has been a true champion at getting us around on the scooter that was made available to us ($5/day) so it’s been great to get away from the madness. Allowing for real decompression... 

3 weeks on Bali is a good length of time. We’ve been in ubud for 9 days and still have 8 more sleeps to go. Reflecting on our trip we realized that putting Vietnam in for those 8 days at the beginning was probably not the best idea for us. I want to go back to Vietnam when a) the weather is better and b) when we have more time. I am however glad we did it. Anytime spent travelling is never a negative thing.. 

Getting back to today... blue sky didn’t last long. When we looked at coming to Asia I knew the weather was going to be questionable. I watched the weather patterns and decided that it was going to be FINE. And it has been FINE. I will return to  Toronto with a tan to prove I was indeed in a tropical climate but my god it hasn’t been easy. Rain upon rain it has done💦💦☔️☔️ I never knew it could rain so hard! I was in India during monsoon season and I still didn’t experience rain like this. I don’t want to sound like a petulant child so I’ll end with this..  if you don’t mind rain, come to Bali whenever you want, but if you want really nice weather, trust the patterns, and get thee to A dry place. 

oh hey look, the sun is coming out again!!🌦🌦🌦

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G R A N O L A

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💗 

  

 

It Works If You Work It

My mother told me when I was about 14 years old that I would have to work for everything I ever got and man was she right. Call it a self fulfilling prophecy but that's just the way it's ended up. And to be completely honest, I wouldn't have it any other way. 

My journey as I've written before is a long one. I'm on the upswing of my sobriety, albeit one day at a time. The craving to drink still comes and goes. Working at a restaurant, I'm always going to be tested. The restaurant business is where my disease really took hold. I was able to "taste" and "nose" my way into a good drunk every single day without too many sideways glances. Or, so I still tell myself..  

Life gets hard. I'm juggling a few balls right now in the hopes that when they land all my ducks will be in a row and my career as a yoga teacher will be enough to sustain, energize and satisfy me. I love the restaurant industry. I mean, I really love it. It's all I've ever known for work and I'm really really good at it. That counts for a lot in my books. But I feel like something is missing and THAT I guess is the purpose of this/my journey. Isn't that awesome?! The fact that I am on a life journey, with all my faculties in tact is a miracle in of it self. 

5 years ago was an incredibly dark time. The last year of my drinking was the scariest time of my life. I was in such a bad place hurting myself physically and blacking out daily. Waking up in strange places not having any clue how I got there. The sheer terror that I felt after coming to after a black out was enough to make me want to end it all. Shame will do that to you.  That last summer was the downward spiral I needed to say enough was enough. After blacking out and bashing my face in twice in one week I looked at myself in the mirror and I simply couldn't recognize the person staring back at me. My nose was broken, lip split open, eyes bruised and dark. I was bloated, my skin pale and blotchy, eyes bloodshot. I looked like shit. I couldn't believe I had let myself get to that stage. My friendships were strained, my family (especially my poor mom) was terrified and my partner was simply at a loss for what to do. I had hit my bottom. It was undeniable....

Hard to believe how much has changed. How life became so full. How I became so full of life. Getting sober was the best decision I have ever made. Hands down. But there's a caveat here.. I have to work for it.  Life didn't become tulips, enlightenment and rainbows because I put the Chablis down. I have to be present every, single day and work at it. It isn't always easy.. But it's always so worth it. If you had told me I'd be a yoga teacher who has travelled the world 5 years ago I would've laughed in your face but here I am. 

Its worth it. And it works if you work it... Namaste

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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