{review} fresh city farms recipe bags

I just got back from a trip to Florida and I have to say, getting back into regular life is a bit of a struggle. How I wish I had one of these recipe bags to ease the transition! Maybe I should get one delivered to me for next week ;)


You know that feeling after a long day where the last thing you want to do is cook and order take out? How about that feeling where you just want to order take out but your wallet just can’t handle it? And finally, that feeling of both of the above coupled with the fact that you just want something healthy and you know nothing but home cooking can truly accomplish that?

I feel like this is a struggle for me almost on daily basis lately, and I know I am not alone. Cooking and being healthy can seem like a chore some days, even when you are the kind of person, like me, who genuinely loves to cook and nerd out on nutrition. Which is why when Fresh City Farms approached me with their new recipe bags, I jumped at the chance to try them!

Basically, these bags are the solution that strikes a balance between wanting to cook something healthy, but just not wanting to put in the prep time. And they are seriously delicious.


There are a few different options with the bags– Meat, Fish and Veggie/Meat/Veggie/Fish and Veggie. Each gives you the ingredients to make 3 meals for 2 people (although I got 3  portions from each). Everything is pre-portioned and comes with a print out recipe. Basically all you are responsible for is a little chopping and the actual cooking. What gets taken out is the rifling through the pantry and fridge and measuring of ingredients.

I loved how easy it was and how healthful the recipes are. Here’s a look into what I tried:


I got to try 2 different recipes- Meghan Telpner’s Red Pepper Pad Thai with Tofu and Broccoli and Sesame Tuna Steak with Avocado Salsa and Rice. I won’t share the recipes here, but those are links to their original sources. And that’s another cool thing about these bags- they feature recipes from bloggers you already love!

The recipes and directions were very clearly laid out so these would be great for beginner cooks. What I especially liked was that they delivered every ingredient save for salt and pepper! This was especially nice when it came to the fish. Since I only recently started eating animal products again, I have no idea how to shop for meat and fish and usually resort to canned fish as a result. Having sustainable fish selected for me was such a treat!


The pad thai was super flavourful and while different from the pad thai you might get from a take out store, it tasted fresh and healthy instead of like ketchup.


The tuna steak was absolutely delicious (although I overcooked it slightly thanks to my inexperience with cooking fish) and the grapefruit salsa was surprising!

A couple other things to note: these use very little packaging compared to other delivery services- they are either completely reusable/compostable/recyclable, the meals are seasonal and sustainably sourced and as many local ingredients as possible are used, many being sourced directly from Fresh City’s farms.

If you live in the Toronto area, definitely check out these bags! You may even see a recipe from yours truly included in one ;)

peanut butter & jam swirled banana bread {v}


So yesterday was Peanut Butter and Jelly Day and no one told me? Rude.

Unfortunately even after being notified, it didn’t do me much good. Through my new work (!) I was participating in a Community Reset Program and hence, PB & J definitely wasn’t on the menu. Just lots of juice and some good ol’ raw organic plant-based foods.

Side note: if you live in the Toronto area, please come and check out Village Juicery– 100% organic cold-pressed juices, pressed each day in Toronto! They are never high pressure processed either and believe me, they are some of the best tasting juices around. It’s been a wonderful and inspiring experience working for them so far! Check out my Instagram for some shots of the juice!


But back to PB & J. For those of you who were also unaware, but who absolutely still want to celebrate National PB&J Day, I’ve got a banana bread for you. I wasn’t planning on posting today, but upon learning what day just passed, I scrambled to get it out. Totally worth it.

I don’t think I need to describe the flavour here, I think it speaks for itself. Just look at those swirls. Sometimes I am amazed I managed to dislike PB as a kid. I mean what business did I have calling myself a normal kid when I didn’t like peanut butter? Don’t worry though, I was converted.


However, I will describe is it’s nutritional goodness. I used whole grain spelt flour here so it’s lower in gluten and easier to digest. There’s coconut oil for healthy plant-based fats and natural peanut butter and jam. With all of the natural sweetness from the banana and honey, conventional PB just isn’t needed. Natural peanut butter keeps this healthy and free of refined oils and sugars. As I said, I used honey as the sweetener, but you can totally use maple syrup for a purely vegan recipe.


Even though PB&J Day passed us by, wouldn’t this make a lovely contribution to your Easter breakfast/brunch/snack table?

And on that note, here’s the recipe and Happy Easter (or simply a long weekend) to everyone!

Adapted from Apples Under my Bed’s Banana Bread with Spelt and Honey, which was slightly apadted from Cookie + Kate’s Honey Whole Wheat Banana Bread.

PB & J Swirled Banana Bread
Banana bread made even butter with the addition of peanut butter and jam.
Prep Time Cook Time Servings
10min 80min 1loaf
Prep Time Cook Time Servings
10min 80min 1loaf
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PB & J Swirled Banana Bread
Banana bread made even butter with the addition of peanut butter and jam.
Prep Time Cook Time Servings
10min 80min 1loaf
Prep Time Cook Time Servings
10min 80min 1loaf
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
Rate this recipe!
Servings: loaf
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
  2. Mix together flax seed and water and set aside to gel.
  3. In a large bowl, beat oil and honey together. Add flax mixture, bananas, vanilla, sea salt and cinnamon and stir to combine. Lastly add flour and baking soda and mix until just combined, but don’t over mix. Some lumps are ok.
  4. Pour half the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Dot with half of the peanut butter and jam, pour the second half on top and dollop with the rest of the peanut butter and jam. Take a knife and drag it through the mixture to marble the PB & J through the batter.
  5. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. Be sure to check that the bread is done baking by inserting a toothpick in the top. It should come out clean. Let the bread cool in the loaf pan for 5 minutes, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes before slicing.
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new look & a pancake round-up

Hello lovelies!

Today is pretty exciting because after over a year of back and forth my blog is finally debuting it’s new look!  I’m so incredibly happy with the way it turned out. There’s a new recipe widget which allows you scale recipes according to the number of servings you want to make as well as a gorgeous new recipe index. You can access the old standard list just by clicking “Recipes” along the top of the homepage, or you can get visual representations by choosing something like “Breakfast” from the drop down menu! Not to mention the (if I may say) adorable new logo and graphics. I really cannot say enough for Rhiannon and Valerie at LionFace Studio and all the hard work they put into this site. Thank you ladies for putting up with my constant emails and my inability to make decisions.

It’s pretty appropriate that my new look launched today because I’ve been blogging for 3 years this month. WOW. For new and old readers alike, thank you for coming back here post after post and sticking with me through dietary changes, sporadic photos and questionable photography. Just THANK YOU <3.

Now onto one of my favourite holidays of the year- Pancake Tuesday! (Or more properly known as Shrove Tuesday). Despite the fact that it’s one of my favourite days of the year (ummm an excuse to eat pancakes is never bad), I didn’t even realize it was already upon us until today! So while I don’t have a new recipe for you, I’m still giving you loads of vegan pancakes options for your eating pleasure. I hope you’ll join me in eating pancakes tomorrow, maybe even every day for the rest of the week. Pancake Tuesday is definitely turning into Pancake Week for me.


Lemony Millet Pancakes {v, gf}


German Chocolate Pancakes {v, wf}


Fluffy Chickpea Flour Pancakes {v, gf}


Grain-free Banana Pancakes {v, gf, paleo}


Double Chocolate Blueberry Pancakes {v, gf}


Lime Cornmeal Pancakes with Ginger-Infused Syrup {v, gf}


Multi-Grain Apple Pancakes {v, gf}

oatmeal raisin cookie pancakes16

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Pancakes for One {v, gf, single-serve}


Lemon Raspberry Quinoa Blender Pancakes {flourless, v, gf}

Happy breakfasting all!

raspberry & goat cheese-swirled brownies {gf, grain-free}


Making it in just under the wire with a Valentine’s Day themed treat!

If you haven’t settled on a dessert to make for that special someone (meaning yourself obviously) or just need an excuse to make a decadent treat, well look no further. Continue reading

warm roasted fennel, brussels sprout and farro salad (with optional arame) {v}

warm fennel, brussels sprout and farro salad

5 years ago, this salad never would have been found in my kitchen. I mean let’s just look at the main ingredients:


Brussels sprouts



rice vinegar

barley miso

20 year old me would have been all, “Ummm what is this foreign language you are speaking?”

warm fennel, brussels sprout and farro salad

Pre-vegetarian and vegan me was the most unadventurous cook in the world. I literally rotated through 3 dinners pretty much every night: chicken stir fry, spaghetti with bolognese sauce and pan fried salmon. Lunches were turkey sandwiches. Breakfast was probably a bagel or some kind oatmeal packet. Dessert- Fudgeos.

How boring does that sound? Continue reading

{review & giveaway} 100 best juices, smoothies and healthy snacks


Today I have the wonderful opportunity of sharing with you an awesome cookbook from a very special blogger Emily von Euw from This Rawsome Vegan Life. I’m sure you all know her, but in case you don’t, Emily is a wonderful vegan, high raw blogger who posts the most stunning pictures of simple, but delicious food. Her desserts are crave worthy and if you haven’t checked out her book Rawsome Vegan Baking (which I reviewed here), you are missing out on a gorgeous book both in recipes and in photos. Now she’s come out with a new book all about juices, smoothies and healthy snacks. This book is just as good as the last! Continue reading

oatmeal raisin cookie pancakes for one {v, gf}

oatmeal raisin cookie pancakes12

This year I was very honoured and excited to participate in Angela at Canned Times “Breakfast in Bed-Fest”. In this year long event, one blogger every month of 2014 shared a healthy, economical and delicious breakfast recipe. I was March’s blogger and I shared a recipe for Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Pancakes for One. Now that 2015 is upon us, it is time for the contest portion of the event! You all get to vote on which of the 12 recipes you liked the most and I would be just thrilled if you would all vote for mine!

I thought I would share the recipe here as well today because it isn’t actually on my blog (although some of you may remember me linking to it back in March). And since it’s one of my favourite healthy pancake recipes to date, it really deserves it’s own place on this lil’ ol’ blog. Continue reading

date-sweetened brownies {v, gf}

date sweetened brownies (v, gf)

Happy Wednesday!

Firstly, I just want to say a huge thank you to all of you incredibly supportive people out there regarding my last post. I was truly touched by all the kind words. Some of the negative ones got a little personal so having so much positivity out there to counter it was amazing. To those of you still here and still reading, you are awesome. I am so looking forward to 2015- I feel lighter, more hopeful and inspired.

In that post I said I would continue to bring you all vegan recipes and today I am living up to that promise! You’ll notice that in the title of this post, I added a “v” to signify this is a vegan recipe. I will continue to do this in the future so you can all easily identify plant-based recipes I am posting. These recipes are still a priority for me and I will, to the best of my ability, ensure most of my recipes are vegan or have vegan options. I stand-by what I said, that no matter what diet ultimately works for you, eating plant-based as much as possible is the best thing we can all do for each other, animals and the planet.

So today, I bring you brownies- I hope that not too many of you are on intense New Years cleanses. Although, the nice thing about these are is that they might just fit in with your cleanse/detox/clean diet/whatever you are calling it because they are gluten-free, vegan and sweetened entirely with dates! Continue reading

here’s the thing…

It’s New Years Day tomorrow. 2015. And with that in mind I want a fresh start for next year.

I’ve written this post so many times in my head. There are so many ways I could say what I have to say, so many explanations, justifications and general word vomit that have built up (wow did I just use the phrase word vomit in a food blog?). But in the end I think I’m going to lay things out simply. No fuss, no frills. I hope you’ll read my words with compassion and understanding and know that these are decisions I have struggled with over the last year.

I’m sure you’ve all been able to tell that my dedication and passion for this blog has been dwindling. Posts are getting fewer and farther in between. I have to force myself to sit down and type. I have to force myself to cook. I’ve made excuses but they’ve been pretty lame. I know why, and now you all will too.

For many reasons, I have chosen to move away from a vegan diet to an omnivore one. A plant-centered omnivore one where I try and ensure all animal proteins are as ethical and healthful as possible. I started exploring vegetarian options like eggs and some dairy and now find myself delving into meat and fish territory. I still see plant-based foods as the base of my diet and have many entirely vegan days. My reasons are many, with health, both emotional and physical health, being at the forefront. I tried to maintain a vegan diet much to my health’s dismay. There were only so many days I could handle feeling awful. I won’t bore you with too many details aa there are many other bloggers who have written about their transition, including their reasons and their struggles. I won’t echo their words, but will say their transitions out of veganism resonated very deeply with me.

I still use the word “compassion” to guide my food choices, but have chosen to start having more compassion for myself. I will do the best I can in a way that still allows me to be healthy and happy.

I will continue posting vegan recipes here, because I do believe we should choose plant-based foods as often as possible for our own health and for the health of all people and the planet. Some recipes with eggs and dairy may find their way in, maybe even some meat down the road, I am not sure.

I have so much love and appreciation for all of you who choose to read this blog. THANK YOU ALL FOR READING, SUPPORTING, ENGAGING. If you choose to stop reading this blog because of what I have said today, I am sincerely sorry to see you go, but I have no hard feelings. I respect your decision as much as I respect my own to write this post. I hope you feel the same. For all of you who continue to read, thank you for staying, listening and heading into 2015 with me in a more healthful, balanced and honest way.

Love to you all xox.

Let’s have an awesome 2015.