on being an only child and vanilla espresso almond butter

13957772921_39c9ba4268_b

This post has been inspired by the book “Dad is Fat” by Jim Gaffigan as a part of the From Left to Write book club.  This book chronicles the challenges and hilarity of raising 5 small children in a 2 bedroom apartment in New York City. Doesn’t that sound like a blast??

9780385349055_custom-fb19dfdb661cf3fd2c5ad96d850c42b483afce79-s6-c30

This book was a really nice change from the more sombre fiction books I had been reading lately. It was my “public transit” book and I certainly laughed out loud a few times, making me that crazy person on the subway. But I didn’t care. This book was light-hearted, funny and completely enjoyable to read. Jim Gaffigan puts his usual hilarious spin on all manner of kid-related stories from home births, to taking the subway with kids to birthday parties. My personal favourite story involves Jim, his 2 year old daughter and her mispronouncing “juice”. You’ll have to read the book to hear the punchline ;)

As an only child who grew up in a large home in a small town, there is little I could relate to in this book, which is probably why I liked it so much. It gave me a glimpse into what childhood could be like with silings. It seems so fitting that I was reading this book on “National Only Child Day” on April 12. It really got me thinking about how unique growing up sibling-less really is.

Here are 5 musings about being an only child:

Continue reading

building up to the big one: raw vegan caramel

raw almond butter caramel apple cheesecake

last week through me for a little bit of a whirlwind. and in all the unexpected goings-on, i completely forgot to celebrate my little blog’s second anniversary! i can’t believe i have been writing for 2 years and i can’t believe the support i have received during that time. none of this would be possible without all of my wonderful readers, some who have been here since the beginning. thank you all of you for taking time out of your busy schedules to read, comment, try my recipes and most importantly connect with me over something i am truly passionate about. here’s to another 2 years, hopefully during which there will be some big changes going on!

this week will be devoted to building up to an apex recipe, one that is worthy of a celebration like a second anniversary. raw almond butter and caramel apple cheesecake squares. a mouthful- yes. but delicious? hells yes.

i decided to split up the components because each could stand on it’s own without the others. today we will start with a raw vegan caramel sauce. 

Continue reading

savoury pumpkin hummus. aka: autumn in a bowl

Hello lovelies!

IMG_3046 pic monkey   

So wonderful to have you all here on a Saturday, It feels so strange to be blogging here on a weekend, but nice. Writing this as I sip my tea enjoying a lazy Saturday morning before my bus to Kingston, I feel incredibly serene and happy. Maybe weekend blogging should become a more regular occurrence around these parts!

Anyway, this is just a quick post to share a delicious recipe I made a few days ago that would be a wonderful part of a Thanksgiving celebration. So to all my Canadian readers, if you need any last minute ideas, I think this has you covered. This Savoury Pumpkin Hummus tastes just like autumn in a bowl.

I got the idea from the wonderful Shira at In Pursuit of More who made an Acorn Squash and Scallion Hummus. Right away I was intrigued and she got my gears turning. I loved the incorporation of one of my favourite fall foods into a hummus but I was feeling lazy. Despite the fact that I had a squash to be roasted, I also had an open can of pumpkin puree in the fridge. So. Much. Easier.

Once the pumpkin went in and it was time to add the spices, I decided to take a departure from the traditional cumin. I wanted this to scream fall. Delicious savoury herbs of sage and rosemary really take this to the next level. I swear when eating bites of this you can feel the cool breeze on your face and the crisp leaves crunching under your feet. You can taste Thanksgiving dinner and feel the weight of a blanket you’re curled up under. In fewer words, it’s everything I love about fall :)

IMG_3047

Any squash puree or even sweet potato could be used in the place of pumpkin, and dried herbs could be used in place of the fresh. Adapt to your needs!

This dip would be delicious with veggies or pita as a light pre-Thanksgiving dinner lunch/snack or spread onto a leftovers sandwich. Or if you aren’t celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend, this would still be an incredible way to celebrate the flavours of the season.

Sidenote: I've always been weird and loved apple slices with hummus. If you have never tried this before, pleeeease try it with this hummus. It is EPIC. 

No matter what, it’s delicious. So go make it. Now.

Please ;)

IMG_3046

Savoury Pumpkin Hummus (Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-free)

 

Ingredients (a whole lot!)

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (about 1 can)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp fresh sage (or 3/4 tsp dry)
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp dry)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • pepper to taste if desired (I didn't think it needed it)
  • chickpea cooking water to thin out if needed (if beans are made from scratch), or water (I used a couple tbsp)

Instructions

Process everything in a food processor. Add chickpea cooking water to help it process as needed until desired consistency. Eat with everything.

I am Sharing this on Pure Ella's Thanksgiving Menu Potluck Party!

 

quick vegan nutella

If you follow me on Instagram (if you don’t- please do! @gabbyouimet), you may have experienced severe mouth-watering when I posted this picture…

2013-07-13 09.26.58

Single serving #banana #cacao nib #pancakes with quick #vegan #nutella! Oh YES #glutenfree #grainfree #paleo #breakfast #yum

Yes that’s a lot of hashtags, but what it all comes down to is my delicious grain-free banana cacao nib pancakes that were smothered in a quick and easy vegan nutella.

It’s a special breakfast worth waking up a little early to make- yes even a Monday is bearable with the prospect of these pancakes!

My first taste of Nutella was actually not so long ago. While doing a tour around Europe (while I was vegetarian, not vegan), I spent a lot of time in hostels. Hostels were wonderful places for a young traveller- the opportunity to meet people combined with cheap accommodations and even free breakfast! Doesn’t get much better than that right? Well I quickly learned that for a vegetarian who wasn’t fond of sugary cereals or any of the weird looking eggs and breakfast meats, toast was the name of the game. For MONTHS. I grew so tired of toast and jam and constantly whined to fellow travellers about the lack of peanut butter. I wanted protein and I wanted the smooth and creamy deliciousness. Turns out, peanut butter is not nearly as popular over there as it is here. What all the cool kids eat (apparently) is Nutella. I tried it a couple times, and while tasty I could never completely come around to it. Too sweet and sugary. Too much at 7 am.

I ended up resorting to buying and extremely expensive small jar of natural peanut butter and carrying it around with me. Hell, if Australians could do it with Vegemite, I could do it for peanut butter.

IMG_2985

For some reason lately I have had a weird craving for nutella. Even though I never actually liked it! I don’t understand it, but knew it needed to be dealt with. And the nutella I created is SO MUCH BETTER than that stuff you buy at the store. This nutella tastes rich and deeply chocolatey, with a hint of sweetness. And even better are the ingredients.

I opted to make a quick nutella, so I used premade hazelnut butter but you could easily make this with hazelnuts from scratch. I used coconut oil to help it get thick and spreadable when chilled. Raw cacao powder brings intense chocolatey taste and tons of antioxidants. Coconut nectar makes this sweet, but since it’s low glycemic, so blood sugar spike will follow. Now I know Nutella would love you to believe eating it in the morning gives kids serious dance skills, I have a feeling they would do much better on mine ;)

IMG_2988

Quick Vegan Nutella (Vegan, Gluten-free, Grain-free, Sugar-free, Paleo)

Adapted from here.

Ingredients (~3/4 cup)

  • heaping 1/2 cup hazelnut butter (or about 1 cup hazelnuts, processed until a butter forms)
  • 3 tbsp cacao powder
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp coconut nectar
  • 2 tbsp almond milk (I used unsweetened vanilla)
  • 2 pinches salt

Instructions

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Hardens up in the fridge to a more spread-like consistency. Store in the fridge.

I know most kids loved Nutella, but I really didn’t! Did you guys love it? How about other sugary “kid foods”?

wiaw and a vegan delish review and giveaway!

Hello lovelies!

Today I’m so excited because not only do I have a day of delicious eats to share with you all, BUT I also get to show off the lovely Carrie’s app Vegan Delish and give a free download code to three of you lovely people!

Now I’m not going to waste any time, so here' goes with What I Ate Wednesday! Thank you to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting!

Some of you might remember from my post on digestive healing, that I’ve started following a 3 meals per day model of eating, much like what is recommended in Ayurveda to give your digestive system a break. Snacking all day basically means your body is constantly diverting energy and resources to digesting as opposed to healing and other important tasks. It also prevents your body from burning stored fat as fuel and instead relied on the foods you are constantly digesting. So, especially for me at this point in my life, this way of eating is win-win! BUT I want to make sure I’m still eating enough and getting enough calories so I’ve been having 3 large meals everyday.

I’ve also been trying to combine my foods properly, but yesterday was not a good example of this. I was very all over the place so if you are trying to combine foods properly, do not use this as a model ;)

IMG_0017

Breakfast: I sipped some tea and lemon water early on but I wasn’t very hungry at all yesterday until around 11, so that’s when I ate this. A slice of amazing sprouted grain bread with coconut oil and naturally-sweetened apricot jam alongside a green smoothie. In the mix was a pear, spinach, Sunwarrior protein, chia seeds and almond milk. I topped it with some of Carrie’s Chocolate Buckwheat Brittle from her Vegan Delish App!

IMG_0018

Lunch: If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve already seen this and honestly, this is one of the BEST things I’ve eaten in a while and I’m so excited to share with you all the recipe for it! I actually ate this at work but photographed it beforehand to get a better shot. I ate both of these and was incredibly satisfied :)

I think I’m going to call this my Smoky Collard Wrap. It’s a sweet, spicy, smoky, creamy AND tangy wrap all in one. It’s very filling, protein packed and nutrient rich! I actually combined a bunch of recipes together to make it, but once you have them all prepared and ready, this comes together very quickly.

Smoky Collard Wrap (Vegan, Gluten-free)

Makes about 2 wraps, enough to feed one hungry person!

Ingredients (2 wraps, 1 serving)

Instructions

Prep the collard leaves according to this tutorial.

Place half of all the fillings on each leaf.

Wrap like she shows in the above tutorial.

Eat!

Anti-Inflammatory Hummus (Vegan, Gluten-free)

A slight spin on a classic, this hummus incorporates the anti-inflammatory properties of cumin and turmeric!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (or 1 can, well rinsed)
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • sea salt to taste
  • water to blend

Instructions

Add all ingredients except the salt and water to a food processor and process until smooth. Add water as needed to help it get nice and smooth. Add salt to taste, process again and serve!

IMG_0008

Coconut Bacon (Vegan, Gluten-free, Paleo)

This stuff is AMAZING. It's smoky, sweet and crunchy- all the things people love about bacon without any of the unnecessary use of animal products! I modified this recipe from Me-Shell in Your City and I cannot thank her enough for he inspiration!

Ingredients (about 1 1/2 cups)

  • 1 1/2 cups large coconut flakes
  • 1/2 tbsp liquid smoke
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos (can substitute tamari or Bragg's if you want, but won't be soy-free)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350F.

Mix all ingredients together except the coconut flakes in a small bowl. Add this mixture to the coconut flakes and mix well to coat. Spread in a thin layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake for 10 min, stir the flakes and bake again for 6 minutes. Take them out, even if they don't feel crunchy yet. They will harden as they cool.

I'm sharing this recipe on Allergy-Free Wednesday!

Ok, back to WIAW!

IMG_0012

Dinner: Packed for work, a big salad with mixed greens, carrot, zucchini, sauerkraut, avocado, brown rice, pumpkin seeds, hemp oil and kelp. YUM!

IMG_0015

Dessert: Food-combining no-no, fruit right after dinner! Unsweetened applesauce with blueberries and some almond butter on the side. My stomach seemed ok with it though.

Vegan Delish sized for blog use

Now I want to talk to you all about this lovely app that my lovely blog friend and Healthy Vegan Friday co-host Carrie developed!

For new and veteran vegans and vegetarians, plus those wanting to explore the benefits of a plant-based diet, Vegan Delish is a recipe app available for iPhones and iPads featuring innovative tools such as a digital shopping list and searchable categories including quick & easy, kid-friendly and slow-cooker. Listed as one of the top 20 Food & Drink paid iPhone apps, Vegan Delish inspires users to make whole food, plant-based meals that are as delicious as they are nutritious.

iPhone screenshot

iPhone Screenshot

I am just loving this app! It has so many great features. The recipes are organized by helpful categories like no sugar, oil-free, gluten-free, low sodium, etc., making it easy to find a recipe according to your dietary needs. There are easy functions that let you email and print a recipe and easy Facebook and Twitter Sharing! It lets you rate recipes and save the ones you love to a “Favourites” section. Within each recipe, you can also add ingredients directly to a shopping list which was so convenient! For more involved recipes, you can check off steps as you complete them too and there’s even a kitchen timer in there!

iPad screenshot

iPad Screenshot

This app is so user friendly and well designed. It’s easy to navigate and is so visually stunning! Not to mention the recipes are absolutely drool-worthy and are all based on whole foods, with no scary ingredients and are 100% vegan!

I’ve made 2 recipes from it so far and already have plans to make more. I made the Chocolate Buckwheat Brittle and Saffron Cheese Sauce which both are featured in this week’s WIAW. They are both absolutely wonderful and were so easy to make!

IMG_2686

Chocolate Buckwheat Brittle: great on it’s own as a snack or as a smoothie topping. Chocolatey, crunchy and raw!

IMG_2682

Saffron Cheese Sauce: an awesome grown-up, elegant flavour. Great as a sauce, dip, or as one of my friend’s suggested, it would make an amazing vegan cheese fondue! I used it in my Smoky Collard Wrap!

If you want to get your hands on this app go to the site here and download it. It’s only $1.99, seriously such a bargain for the quality!

BUT because Carrie is so generous, she is offering to give it to 3 of my readers for free! Simply enter using the Rafflecopter giveaway below. I will announce the winners next Wednesday!a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’ll see you all back here for Healthy Vegan Friday!