raw peppermint oreos

it doesn’t get much better that being given an excuse to consume more desserts and sweets than normal and this is one of the best parts of the holiday season. baking galore, taste-testing those handmade gifts, potlucks and more-often-than-usual “treating myself” at cafes and restaurants.

in order to make sure i don’t go completely off the back end and abandon the healthy lifestyle i love so much, i try to make sure at least some of these goodies are handmade by me! even better? when a lovely, thoughtful and brilliant blogger brings 25 bloggers together to share 25 cookie recipes that completely fit the bill. 

i am honoured to be participating for the second year in kristy’s vegan cookie swap party. this year i offer up raw peppermint oreos!

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and don't forget to check out last year's contribution: these delicious nutmeg logs

head on over to keepin’ it kind now to get the recipe and check out all the other delicious cookies!

raw (and healthy!) cranberry bliss bars

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i don’t know about you guys, but november 1 officially starts the beginning of the holiday season for me. this means i can start listening to christmas music (michael buble i’m looking at you), watching christmas movies (oh hey there love actually and home alone), decorating the house and whipping up christmas-themed treats and meals. gingerbread spiced smoothies, chocolate-peppermint desserts, savoury stuffing-style pilaffs, egg nog-esque beverages and lets not forget the amazing mulled wines and hot apple ciders!

not only that but i start basically giving my money away on anything christmas themed- from clothes that would be great for a holiday party, to decorations and trinkets i don’t need, ANY christmas themed treat/beverage in the cafes…honestly, i am a retailers dream.

and it is one of those retailers that inspired today’s treat! i’m sure most of you know who i’m referencing- they launch the red cups on november 2, and suddenly christmas is in the air. peppermint mochas, gingerbread lattes, nanaimo bars, snowman cookies an of course, the cranberry bliss bar. NONE of which is healthy (or vegan mind you).

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so of course i set about to recreate one of these treats in my own home! because i refuse to miss out on all this holiday cheer! not to mention, while each one of these items sounds pretty delicious, i happen to know they are each cloyingly sweet, likely to set your teeth on edge and blood sugar soaring. i might have a sweet tooth, but i prefer my sweets on the not-so-sweet side.

these are raw, so no-baking required (yay!) and are packed with good for you ingredients like nuts and coconut to make sure you get a healthy dose of fats and fibre with your treat. i used fruit-juice sweetened cranberries too, to lessen your exposure to refined sugars. finally, i topped it all off with a cashew-based, cream cheese-esque icing. talk about decadent!

i actually made these for the first time last year but missed the boat on posting them for the christmas season. but a friend who tried them said they tasted better than the original version. i’ll take that as a win! and i apologize for making you wait almost a year for the recipe…but hopefully you’ll make them, take one bite and all will be forgiven ;)

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make them listening to some michael buble christmas music please and then enjoy snuggled beneath a blanket watching love actually. it’s just the right thing to do.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17731HiOiXg

Raw (and Healthy) Cranberry Bliss Bars
Raw, Paleo and Vegan version of the popular coffee shop treat.
Prep Time Cook Time Servings
15min 0 min 16bars
Prep Time Cook Time Servings
15min 0 min 16bars
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Raw (and Healthy) Cranberry Bliss Bars
Raw, Paleo and Vegan version of the popular coffee shop treat.
Prep Time Cook Time Servings
15min 0 min 16bars
Prep Time Cook Time Servings
15min 0 min 16bars
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Ingredients
Base
Icing
Servings: bars
Units:
Instructions
  1. Add the nuts to your food processor and process until you get a fine meal. Add the rest of the dry base ingredients and pulse a couple times to mix. Then add in the date and cranberries and process until a sticky dough forms. Press into a plastic wrap-lined square pan and put in the fridge while you make the icing.
  2. Add your soaked cashew nuts and the rest of the icing ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Smooth over top of the bars. Sprinkle on chopped cranberries to decorate and then put back in the fridge to let the icing firm up. Store in the fridge or freezer until just before serving or the icing with get melty and soft again. These freeze well, so you can make them ahead of time!
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mango pudding cups

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The weather in Toronto the past couple days (and for the next couple) freaks me out. And not in a good way.

Sure, the heat has been turned up and we’ve been granted another week of hot weather, summer clothing and cool drinks. We can push the thoughts of winter a little further into our minds and soak up the warmth of the sun as we lounge in the parks and linger on patios. The part of me that’s always cold LOVED this!

But guys, it’s just not meant to be this way. I don’t know about you, but thoughts of climate change, global warming and environmental destruction keep me up at night. I remember taking courses in school discussing the social evolution of humans and how we are programmed to consume. That coupled with a class on the science of climate change was enough to buy me 4 months of sleepless nights. The weather this week has been a reminder of how scary what we are doing to this world is. Were the temperatures Toronto experienced 100% due to our changing climate? Maybe, maybe not. But it’s these little blips, little nudges to the gut that really remind why I went vegan in the first place.

I don’t like being reminded of these global crises but I do welcome the renewed passion and inspiration it brings. I went vegan because I believe in compassion. Compassion is a big word that I believe encompasses many things:

Compassion for animals

Compassion for my body and my health

Compassion for the environment

and Compassion for all others (think food politics and the benefits of living in a cleaner, greener world!)

Eating a vegan, plant-based diet isn’t the absolute solution and goodness knows it has it’s own problems. I love knowing though that my food choices at each meal promote compassion and reduce suffering. Each choice we make has the potential to do good or cause harm. Let’s try and remember this as we bask in the final rays of the summer.

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And with that, here is a bright and sunny recipe to celebrate the last (well hopefully) of the summer sun. I was inspired by these Snack Pack Vegan Cheesecakes by Lisa at Vegan Culinary Crusade. I loved the layers, the portability, the adorable presentation and just had to make a version of my own! I opted to use mango and strawberries to match the sunny weather, but any fruit could be used!

These cups are loaded with healthy fats and fresh fruit and would make a wonderful snack or dessert any time of day.

So let’s remember our responsibilities to each other and this wonderful planet we live on and celebrate compassion while we eat delicious mango pudding cups shall we?

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Mango Pudding Cups
A healthy variation of fruit bottom yogurt cups, but fancied up!
Prep Time Cook Time Servings
20min 4cups
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20min 4cups
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Mango Pudding Cups
A healthy variation of fruit bottom yogurt cups, but fancied up!
Prep Time Cook Time Servings
20min 4cups
Prep Time Cook Time Servings
20min 4cups
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Ingredients
Fruit Bottom
Filling
Crumble Topping
Servings: cups
Units:
Instructions
  1. Muddle with a mortar and pestle or roughly puree in a mini food processor.
  2. Grind cashews until a fine powder in a mini food processor , then add in the rest of the ingredients except coconut oil and process until smooth. Then add in the melted coconut oil and process until incorporated.
  3. Process almond and coconut flakes until finely ground then add in the sweetener and pulse until you get a crumble that sticks together.
  4. Layer it up! Start with putting a couple spoonfuls of the fruit in the bottom of each of your jars. Then layer on the filling and finally top with the crumble topping. You will probably have more crumble topping than you need so save the extra to top a smoothie with!
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coconut lime layered bars

Yay, I’m so excited to be blogging today, because it’s one of my most favourite events! The Virtual Vegan Potluck!

Hello to new readers and loyal followers alike! Welcome to the veggie nook. This is my little corner of the world where I talk about all things food, nutrition and health while pursuing an education in Holistic Nutrition. I believe healthy eating can be delicious and fun and it is the goal of my blog to show you all just how true that is!

For those of you who don’t know, The Virtual Vegan Potluck is the brain child of Annie over at An Unrefined Vegan. A HUUUUGE shout out to her and of course to Somer and Jason who have helped organize the last two! The VVP is an event where food bloggers from all over the world sign up to bring a vegan dish and then we all share it and post it at the exact same time! You can follow all the dishes like a big chain too, kind of like walking down a buffet line. At the bottom of my post you’ll see links to go to the previous blogger in line and the one after. Definitely visit all the blogs if you can!

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For this potluck, I’m sharing a dessert, my favourite thing to make. I don’t know why I like making desserts so much, maybe it’s because they just feel so special!

The inspiration for this dish came from the Nanaimo bar. A treat usually made around christmas that features chocolate layers with a cream filling, sometimes mint too. But I wanted to “summer-ize” this treat and maybe even take away the chocolate. I know, I know, why on earth would I want to do that??? Well my friends, the result is amazing I assure you!

In this treat I used almonds, coconut flake and coconut oil to form the base, with avocado, coconut oil, banana and lime to form the “cream” filling. The lime tastes so bright next to all the coconut! And the final layer, which would normally be pure chocolate, I decided to go with coconut in it’s finest decadent form- coconut butter. The creaminess is offset by the freshness of the flavours and the colours are just perfect for spring!

Nutrition-wise, this dessert is a powerhouse as well! Tons of fiber, healthy fats and not too much sweetener. This is a satisfying, decadent yet healthful treat that I know you’ll all love!

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Coconut Lime Layered Bars (Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-free, Paleo, SCD)

 

 

Ingredients (12 bars)

Base

  • 1 cup coconut flakes
  • 3/4 cup ground almonds
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp sweetener
  • pinch sea salt

Filling

  • 2 small avocados, peeled and pitted
  • juice and zest of 1 lime
  • 1/3 cup raw coconut nectar
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 banana, divided- 1/2 of it sliced thinly

Top

  • 1/3 cup coconut butter
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil

Instructions

Add all of the crust ingredients to your food processor, and process until a "dough" forms. Press this into a plastic wrap-lined loaf pan (I used 9×5) and put in the fridge while you make the filling.

Next, add all the filling ingredients except the melted coconut oil and 1/2 the banana to your processor and process until smooth. Next, with the processor running, pour in the melted coconut oil until incorporated. Pour this on top of your base and smooth the top with a spatula. Place the remaining sliced banana on top of this layer, pressing them into the filling to create a flat surface. Put this in the fridge while you prepare the final layer.

Over very low heat, in a small dish melt together the coconut butter and coconut oil until runny then pour over the filling. Put in the fridge to harden for about an hour. It is helpful at this point to take it out and cut it in the pan, then put it back in to continue hardening for a couple hours. When ready to serve use the plastic wrap to remove from the pan.

Store in the fridge or freezer.

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Now make sure you continue on in the potluck!

To visit the dish after mine at The Little Green House, click below.

Go Forward

To visit the dish before mine at Sift, Stir & Savour, click below.

Go Back

Or, go to the BEGINNING :)

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the potluck!

I'm also sharing these at Raw Foods Thursdays and Wellness Weekends!

warm kale salad with shitakes and coconut sauce

When I’m hungry, it’s usually because it’s been at least a couple hours since my last meal.

I either go to my fridge prepare a meal, reach in my bag for an “emergency snack” or every so often I go and pick something up from a restaurant. While I am on a budget, even though I get “hungry”, I am never far from food, nor do I worry that I cannot get enough food in some way.

But am I really hungry? Can that temporary absence of food in my stomach that I experience and associate with hunger actually be called that?

Lately, I have been forced to question that idea. That maybe hunger goes beyond that sensation in my stomach between meals and snacks. Maybe hunger is something I’ve never actually experienced, not really.

The sad truth is that Food Insecurity is a real and pressing problem. Millions of people in the U.S. and Canada live in households that lack the means to get enough nutritious food on a regular basis. This means that millions of children face uncertain or limited access to nutritionally adequate food. They don’t just get hungry in between meals. They worry about when the next meal might be. Makes my empty stomach 2 hours after snack time seem pretty inconsequential.

Childhood hunger isn’t just a matter of children being a little hungry every  now and then. A who child lacks access to nutritionally adequate food is sick more often, recovers more slowly and is more likely to be hospitalized as a result of a more serious illness. They are more likely to experience fatigue, stomach aches, headaches and infections. They are ironically more likely to suffer from obesity since unhealthy food is cheaper than nutritious food. And there are mental and emotional concerns as well: they simply don’t learn as much and cannot concentrate in school and have higher rates of behavioural and emotional problems such as anxiety or aggression.

Simply put, child hunger puts the child at a disadvantage not only as a child, but for the rest of their lives.

In the U.S. 16.2 million children face food insecurity and 2.5 million Canadians face this same thing. In Canada, we are seeing an increase in the rates of Rickets. A condition that is entirely preventable and results from a lack of vitamin D and sunlight which causes bones to soften and hence are more prone to deforming. And this is the result of not getting enough sunlight and vitamin D rich foods.

We are in highly developed countries, but our children are suffering basic, preventable diseases and issues because good food just isn’t available or accessible.

This is why I am joining in with hundreds of fellow bloggers with Food Bloggers Against Hunger to both bring you a budget-friendly recipe and a call to action.

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Many of Americans who participate in the national food stamp program only have about $3-4 per person per day to supplement their food budget. And since the government subsidizes things like wheat and corn instead of fruits and vegetables, what families are able to buy isn’t food that is going to do them a lot of benefit.

This recipe is built around easy to access produce and ingredients that would be found in most grocery stores. It is nourishing and budget-friendly and of course, extremely delicious. I have included options for more inexpensive ingredients as well as slightly more expensive depending on the need. But I priced this out and this dish costs about $3/serving to make and it’s insanely nutrient rich. You could even cook up some inexpensive brown rice, barley or whatever grain you prefer or throw in some cooked beans to beef it up more, cheap staples that add bulk and extra nutrition. Feel free to play with it!

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Warm Kale Salad with Shitakes and Coconut Sauce (Vegan, Gluten-free, Paleo)

Ingredients (2 servings, easily doubled)

  • 1/2 bunch kale, shredded (or another green)
  • 4 mushrooms, sliced thin
  • fresh ground pepper
  • drizzle olive oil (optional)
  • 1/2 a butternut squash or squash of choice, cubed
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut “crack” sauce (recipe below)
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds (or sunflower seeds)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 475. toss cubed squash in coconut oil and oregano and roast for 30 min.

Sauté shitakes in water with pepper over low-medium heat until they start to release their juices and brown. Add more water as needed so they don’t stick.

Add the kale and sauté until wilted and soft, adding water if needed.

Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Drizzle olive oil. By drizzling the olive oil at the end, you preserve the fats in the oil and get more nutrition. This is ensuring you get the most from your ingredients and hence, your money!

Add butternut squash and coconut crack sauce and toss to combine.

Sprinkle with seeds of choice and serve warm.

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Coconut “Crack” Sauce (Vegan, Gluten-free, Paleo)

This sauce is incredibly addictive. It makes anything you put it on taste divine! You won’t need all the sauce for this recipe so save it and put it on everything!

Ingredients (~ 1 1/2 cups)

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • spices: 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp turmeric, fresh ground pepper
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp sugar (or coconut sugar)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Instructions

Sauté the onion and garlic with spices in a few tbsp of the coconut milk till softened. Add the rest of the can along with the sugar and sea salt. Bring sauce to a simmer and cook until sauce thickens, about 20 min.

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Now, this post is more than just about food, it is a call to action. While I don’t live in the U.S., I do believe passionately in the work of Food Bloggers against Hunger and the documentary A Place at the Table.

A Place at the Table premiered on March 1st, 2013. This documentary follows three families struggling with food insecurity, and sheds light on the very real problem of hunger in America.

Here’s what we’re up against. We subsidize the wrong products. Millions of Americans live in food deserts without access to healthy ingredients. The foods we should be eating—fruits and vegetables—are more expensive than the chips, sodas, and processed foods that are available. We currently spend a mere $1 per week per child in school meal programs. Food stamp participants are only allocated $4 a day to survive.

SNAP—the nation’s food stamp program—is at risk for severe cuts that would impact millions of families, especially children, that rely on school meals and food stamps to survive. In response to the film, the country’s leading anti-hunger organizations, Share Our Strength, Bread for the World, Feeding America, and The Food and Research Action Center, are asking supporters to help spread the word.

Private sector programs and charities aren’t enough. The only sustainable solution is for government policies to change, so we must make our voices heard.

This is where you all come in! There are 2 things I would love for you all to do:

1. Take 30 seconds and send a letter to congress and ask them to support anti-hunger legislation. The more letters we submit, the better!

2. Watch A Place at the Table the film either in your city or on demand through iTunes and Amazon.

Giveaway!

I’ve also been given the opportunity to offer 2 readers a companion book to A Place at the Table and a fork pin so show your support for all to see. Here’s a picture of the pin:

APATTForkPin

To enter, please leave a comment telling me you sent a letter in (YAY), what your favourite part of A Place at the Table is, or just tell me your thoughts on Food Insecurity in developed nations. Just one entry per person on this one!

Thank you all so much! Please do go check out the other bloggers participating (list can be found here) and let’s do our part to help tackle child food insecurity.

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 ;)

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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!

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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!

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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!

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

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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!

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

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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!

pineapple coconut green smoothie {healthy in a hurry}

0822 (2008-06-23 10-59-26)

Ecuador Trip- 2008

It’s that time of the year again when I wish I was in the tropics. Laying on the beach with a (vegan) piña colada in hand, soaking up the sun and getting a good dose of vitamin D. Lounging the day away with not a care in the world other than what delicious dish I’m going to eat for dinner and weather to get a massage or a manicure.

You know what? I’d even settle for a day where I didn’t have to venture out in the cold!

The solid 6 months of winter is starting to wear on me. Anyone else? While there is an end in sight, I need a little escape! And while my budget doesn’t allow for a trip, I can certainly try and mimic the tropical feel with a few ingredients hiding away in my fridge and pantry.

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And best yet, this treat comes together in a matter of minutes so you’ll be sailing to the tropics in minutes!

Now apart from the much-needed escape this smoothie provides, it’s packed with nutrition!

  • Pineapple: apart from the numerous vitamins and minerals, pineapple is also naturally high in enzymes which help to digest your food!
  • Coconut water: rich in electrolytes, coconut water is a super hydrator
  • Coconut oil: rich in medium-chain triglycerides to give you loads of energy and high in lauric acid for antibacterial, antimicrobial and antifungal properties
  • Flax seed– rich in fibre to help keep you regular and phytoestrogens to help regulate hormone levels
  • Spinach: rich in minerals to help alkalize your system
  • Coconut flakes: fibre and healthy fats
  • Protein powder (I used Oriya Organics): easily digestible plant-based protein
  • Greens powder (I used Oriya Organics): energy, chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals, pretty much everything!

Tropical Pineapple Coconut Green Smoothie (Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-Free, Raw)

Ingredients (1 meal or 2 snack-sized smooth)

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup pineapple
  • 1/2 cup coconut water (or more to desired consistency)
  • 1 handful spinach
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp coconut flakes
  • 1 tbsp flax seed
  • 1 scoop favourite protein powder (I used Oriya Organics)
  • 1 scoop greens powder (I used Oriya Organics)
  • favourite sweetener to taste

Instructions

Add all ingredients to your blender and blend away until smooth!

I hope this smoothie helps lift you all out of a winter funk! If you need more ideas, why not try…

PicMonkey Collage

lime cornmeal pancakes with ginger-infused syrup

avocado mango bruschetta

tropical oatmeal

lemon coconut hemp seed bites

banana coconut cream pie oats

What about you guys? What tools do you use to brighten your mood in the dead of winter?

 

carrot coconut curry soup

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I wasn’t going to post this recipe, mostly because I didn’t get any great pictures of it. It had nothing to do with the taste. The taste is UNREAL!

But then I brought it into work, and heated it up. Suddenly all my coworkers were gathered around me wondering what the delicious smell was. Many “mmmm"s were heard without anyone even having a taste!

I should also tell you how significant this is, coming from the people I work with. They like to, lovingly, give me a hard time for my eating habits. I’m sure many of you have been there- the weird health foodie who brings food with her everywhere and won’t eat the desserts we sell! SO the fact that they just smelled my food and had that reaction- well that was saying something!

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Then I gave my manager the recipe. She had been having a particularly hard day and could not wait to go home and snuggle up. I knew this recipe would be perfect for the situation- full of warming spices, creamy coconut milk and most importantly, diary-free since she’s allergic to milk.

The next day she came in and told me the soup was INCREDIBLE. It completely turned her day around and now she has leftovers just waiting for her the next time she has a tough day. I truly believe in the power of food to heal- both physically and emotionally, and I love getting to see it in action- especially when I get to be a small part of that :)

So of course following these experiences, the fact that the pictures I had were mediocre just didn’t seem to matter anymore!

This soup warms the tummy and the soul and just dances on your taste buds. Loaded with fiber and beta-carotene from the carrots this is wonderful for your skin, hair and nails and for boosting your immunity during the flu season. The organic coconut milk gives the soup a creaminess and is loaded with healthy saturated fats that your body can use for energy! Finally the curry spices, cloves and ginger make this the perfect winter soup! I hope you love it as much as we did!

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Carrot Coconut Curry Soup (Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-Free, Paleo)

Ingredients (6 bowls)

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1.5 – 2 lbs carrots, chopped
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can organic coconut milk (organic is important since pesticides concentrate themselves in the fat of foods!)
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pinch coconut sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Sauté the first 6 ingredients in large soup pot until the onions are translucent (about 8 min).

Add in the broth and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 30 min, or until the carrots are tender.

Let cool slightly and remove the cloves. Then transfer to a blender to puree. Or alternatively use an immersion blender.

Add the rest of the ingredients, stir well and serve hot!

 

Happy Wednesday everyone! See you all back here on Friday for Healthy Vegan Friday!

coconut and almond crusted french toast {v}

hello friends!

Peas and Crayons

it’s been a while since i came out to the what i ate wednesday (wiaw) party. i took a break for a while for reasons i outlined in this post, but i feel ready to jump back in and i’m actually really excited! while this isn’t going to be a complete collection of my meals from one day, it will be a little collection of some things i have been enjoying over the last couple days.

the reason i decided to delve back into the what i ate wednesday waters is because, since i’m doing a sugar-free challenge, i thought it might be helpful to others to get some ideas for reducing sugar themselves or even for embarking on the same challenge. i’ll admit it hasn’t been easy so far, but i think it will get easier. expect some posts coming up on tips to deal with cravings, meal ideas, and my thoughts on various sweeteners! if there’s anything you guys would like to see relating to this topic please let me know!

thanks to jenn @ peas and crayons for hosting as always!

(unpictured) water with apple cider vinegar

for those of you who’ve followed my blog for a long time, you might remember i used to drink lemon water all the time. i’ve switched it up recently to acv and i’m really liking it. same effects- wakes up digestions and metabolism and is alkalizing!

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coconut and almond crusted french toast (recipe below!)

a french toast recipe that could use a little tweaking but i thought i’d share it anyway in case anyone is craving some french toast but doesn’t want to overdose on the sweet stuff

a lunch salad, taken in an oh-so-classy green container! in the mix: mixed greens, avocado, mung bean sprouts, red pepper, avocado, sauerkraut, nutritional yeast, dulse flakes and some olive oil for drizzling

sorry for the bad lighting here, but this was a dinner of spinach, rainbow quinoa, smoked tofu and some delicious curry roasted butternut squash with toasted coconut topping. expect a recipe soon.

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another recent dinner: kabocha almond patties with zucchini noodles and a tahini sauce. also an upcoming recipe!

Organic Raw Coconut Butter

spoonfuls of this amazing coconut butter have been eaten whenever a sweet craving hits!

and lots of this has been drunk- this is my favourite bottled coconut water so far- tastes the closest to straight-from-the-coconut that i have found!

and while i don’t have any pics of these i’ve also been eating lots of:

almond butter

raw veggies and hummus

Mary’s Crackers with avocado and sea salt

i’ve also been drinking tons of:

mint tea

truffle mint and gingerbread teas by four o’clock. these both contain chicory and licorice root so they taste sweet without having any sugar

green tea

banana nut bread and mulberry magic herbal teas from david’s tea

and of course, lots of water!

and now for the recipe you’ve all been waiting for!

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this french toast recipe is surprisingly sweet even though it uses no sweeteners or fruit. only coconut and almonds! the bread is dipped in a coconut batter then sprinkle with almond and coconut for a satisfying crunch. served with almond butter this makes a satisfying and filling breakfast!

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coconut and almond crusted french toast (vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free)

ingredients (serves 1, easily doubled)

  • 2 slices bread, slightly stale or lightly toasted
  • 1/2 cup light coconut milk (from a can)
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • splash vanilla
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped almonds
  • 1 tbsp almond butter, thinned with water

instructions

mix together the coconut flakes and chopped almonds in a small bowl.

mix together the coconut milk, coconut flour and vanilla in a shallow bowl. dip a bread slice in, making sure to coat all sides.

carefully, sprinkle one side of the slice of bread with the coconut flakes and almonds, pressing them into the bread. then place this side down in a preheated, greased pan. sprinkle the top with the coconut and almonds. cook for a few minutes over medium heat, then flip when the bottom had turned a golden brown. cook another couple of minutes, then repeat the process for the other slice.

serve with the almond butter and enjoy!

 

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yum

thanks for stopping by everyone- have a lovely day!

 

creamy spiced strawberry coconut oatmeal

Hope isn’t knowing things will turn out all right. Hope isn’t an unshakeable belief that everything is right in the world or a worldview that is all sunshine and butterflies.

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I don’t usually write posts like this. I don’t feel like I am a good enough writer to tackle some of the more philosophical or thoughtful topics. But when the amazing Cara at Fork and Beans tagged me in this Hope Blog Relay, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to dip my toes in the water and see where my stream of thought takes me. Topic to consider: hope.

 

Life is full of twists and turns that are unexpected and unexplained. It can throw us for a loop and leave us gasping for breath. Change, especially forced change can be terrifying- it’s unanticipated and not optional. It would be so easy to get bogged down in the negative.

To me, hope is embracing change and utilizing it to bring out a positive outcome. I wouldn’t be the person I was today if life hadn’t challenged me to rise up against difficult times. Change puts you to the test! It forces you to look at yourself and find the the qualities that will help you through and then bring them to the forefront! We can sink into a glass half-empty perspective and accept what life has given us, or rise up and create goodness and light! Hope is believing in your abilities to achieve this difficult task and knowing that while life may not be exactly what you envisioned it to be, it’s still pretty great because it has made you the person you are. Which is awesome if you ask me.

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Thank you Cara for tagging me and forcing me out of my comfort zone!

Many bloggers have been tagged already but I’m very curious to hear what these ladies have to say (although of course there is no pressure here):

Ann @ An Unrefined Vegan

Nicole @ Cauldrons and Cupcakes

Lou @ fridge scrapings

Heather @ Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes

Raechel @ the rebel grrl kitchen

Sarah @ This is What I Eat

Sara @ my less serious life

Please feel free to comment below with your thoughts!

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And what better way to look at life with fresh new perspective than to start with a delicious breakfast that will nourish your tummy and soul. I was planning on posting a different recipe today, but this just seemed to fit with the topic of the day :). This coconut oatmeal was inspired by Katie’s paleo version. It is warm, comforting, and highlights the beautiful thing that is strawberries in summer.

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Not only does it taste great, but it’s full of fiber, vegan and grain-free. Hard to argue with that right?

Creamy Spiced Strawberry Coconut “Oatmeal” (Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-free)

Adapted from this recipe. Serves 1.

  • 1 tbsp ground chia seeds mixed 3 tbsp water, set aside to let gel
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut flakes (for texture, can omit)
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut oil (for the heathy fats, can omit)
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 of a small ripe banana, sliced thin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 – 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • pinch salt
  • sweetener to taste, optional, I didn’t use
  • sliced strawberries
  • liquid sweetener such as maple syrup, agave or coconut nectar, optional

Put the coconut flour, flakes, almond milk and banana in a small saucepan and heat over medium until the banana slices melt into a creamy texture, full incorporated with the milk, stirring frequently (a few minutes).

Add in the chia gel, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, salt and sweetener if using. and continue cooking until you get a porridge-like texture, stirring constantly. Make sure you stop while it’s still creamy- you don’t want it to get dry!

Top with sliced strawberries and drizzle maple syrup, agave or coconut nectar to serve.

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I'm submitting this recipe to Wellness Weekends!

Before I go, I'd just like to share 2 videos with you all:

This one was shared by Raechel on her blog and was just so full of good ideas I had to share it. It's about the connection between veganism and yoga. I completely relate to the idea of ahisma (non-harming) and it is the main reason I eat plant-based.

This next one is just a funny video that I found in the sidebar when I was watching the above video :) In particular I like the tummy thing she does in the beginning (called Nauli, I'm trying to learn since it's good for digestion) and the almonds. 

I feel like I want to start sharing more articles and videos I find interesting here on the blog.

What do you guys think? Would you be interested in that?

What did you think about my non-food, thoughtful musings at the beginning?

Have a lovely weekend everyone!