strawberry avocado breakfast “ice cream”

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now i’m going to continue being the canadian i am today by talking about the weather. spring has come finally!! baseball games have been attended, skirts with no tights have been worn, the parka has been put away and fresh strawberries have been eaten! all that’s left is to eat a meal on a patio and it’s official.

to celebrate the arrival of warm temperatures i’m sharing an “ice cream” recipe over at the north coast naturals blog that’s actually a breakfast. that means it’s high in protein, fibre, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, quick and easy to make but also completely delicious.

psssst, i’ll let you in on a little secret: this is actually little more than a super thick smoothie, but it’s way more fun to call it ice cream isn’t it??

head on over to the ncn blog for the recipe!

I’m sharing this recipe on Raw Foods Thursdays and Healthy Vegan Friday!

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
Prep Time Cook Time Servings
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
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
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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chocolate-covered strawberry chia seed pudding

There must be something in the air- this is my second “chocolate-covered” recipe since the year began!

But just because it’s chocolate-covered, does not mean it’s not healthy and doesn’t mean it can’t help you with your healthy eating goals!

That’s because this recipe is packed full of fiber and anti-oxidants, includes 2 superfoods, some fruit and is very low in overall sugar!

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Yes my friends, it’s a chocolate-covered strawberry chia seed pudding. BAM.

I don’t know about all of you, but I fondly remember chocolate-covered strawberries as a special treat when I was younger. They were great because they tasted absolutely decadent, but hey, you were eating fruit so it had to be healthy! While I m totally in agreement that as far as desserts go, chocolate-covered strawberries are not the worst thing you could eat. BUT the chocolate that is often used will contain refined sugar and depending on the chocolate, might contain loads of preservatives and other chemicals, especially if it’s a chocolate sauce.

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So I decided to try and healthify this dessert. And of course I turned to one of my most favourite ingredients- chia seeds. By turning this into a chia seed pudding, I packed it full of fiber and healthy omega-3 fats meaning it will keep you feeling full and will help decrease inflammation in the body!

That’s not the only superfood found in there though! Cacao powder is a superstar- full of powerful anti-oxidants to help combat all the toxins we face on a daily basis. Plus it’s packed full of important minerals like magnesium, which is super important for energy, sulfur which helps promote healthy, glowing skin and others like calcium, manganese, potassium and iron! And let’s not forget it’s mood enhancing properties- it helps to boost serotonin in your body making us feel great!

Strawberries also offer some wicked nutrition- loaded with vitamin C, manganese, fiber and folate to name a few.

It also tastes amazing! It actually tastes exactly like biting into a chocolate-covered strawberry! I love when healthy, delicious and decadent are all found in the same dish :)

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I can’t believe there was a time when I disliked chia puddings…

Delicious, healthful and decadent, this makes a great breakfast, dessert or snack! This really is  a multi-tasking treat!

Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Chia Seed Pudding (Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-free, Raw)

Ingredients (1 bowl)

  • 1/2 cup nondairy milk (homemade for raw)
  • 1 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut nectar (or maple syrup, but won't be truly raw)
  • 4 hulled ripe strawberries
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds

Instructions

Blend the first 4 ingredients until smooth. Move to a bowl and stir in the chia seeds. Let sit for at least 20 minutes or overnight in the fridge to allow the chia seeds to gel and create a pudding like consistency.

I hope you enjoy this delicious treat! See you all on Friday!

I'm submitting this recipe to Allergy-Free WednesdayRaw Food Thursdays and Wellness Weekend!

 

almond butter and quinoa fruit salad

i’m so excited it’s finally here! the second virtual vegan potluck! i had so much time participating last time so of course i jumped at the opportunity to join in again. for those of you who don’t know, the virtual vegan potluck is a twice-yearly, plant-based food party for vegan and vegan-friendly food bloggers. bringing 105 vegan food bloggers together to share a virtual potluck, linked by a blog circle – and our love of cooking, eating and sharing. participating bloggers will post recipes – from appetizers to desserts – and photos on the day of the event. non-vegans welcome as long as they prepare a cruelty- and animal-free dish.  this time around it was organized by the lovely annie, somer and jason so thanks so much guys for putting so much hard work and dedication into this event!

this potluck acts as a sort of chain where there is a beginning and an end, starting with appetizers and finishing with desserts. if this is your first stop make sure to scroll to the end of the post to find links to the post before mine and the one that follows! if you want to go to the beginning and follow it on through, go to vegan blogger’s unite, the host site!

now, when i was trying to figure out what to bring, my initial thoughts were a dessert. i mean, they are my absolute favourite thing to make. but i brought a dessert last time- come on gabby branch out a bit! so i opted to sign up for a salad, with no real idea what it was going to be. slowly the potluck started creeping closer and closer and i still had no idea what i was doing. i eat salads everyday and yet putting together a well-composed and thought out salad was just not happening. then i got an idea, and while it’s a bit of a cheat, i hope my fellow potluckers and visitors don’t mind ;)

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you see, ever since i made my quinoa pilaf with flax citrus dressing and chocolate chunks, i’ve been obsessed with adding sweet components to salads. then i got an idea for an almond butter dressing and from there the whole idea morphed into what i like to think of as a more substantial fruit salad. or more specifically a “gluten-free nut butter, jam and banana sandwich quinoa salad”. i know it’s a mouthful but it’s so delicious i swear you won’t mind! it tastes just like those sandwiches we had as kids with gooey nut butter, sweet jam and sliced banana, maybe even a little honey drizzled on top. epic yes? there’s no honey here, but it tastes like there is thanks to a lovely little product called bee free honee!

this would be a great salad to bring to a potluck for a few reasons:

  1. it can be made ahead of time
  2. it is delicious cold and room-temperature
  3. it makes a lovely sweet side dish to other main meal components
  4. it is more substantial than a regular fruit salad
  5. leftovers can double as dessert or breakfast
  6. it’s delicious!

so i hope you don’t mind my little cheat! not your typical salad, but still delicious. and without further ado here’s the recipe for my nut butter, jam and banana sandwich quinoa salad

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nut butter, jam and banana sandwich quinoa salad (vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free)

ingredients (6 servings)

dressing

  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 2 tbsp almond butter (I used raw)
  • 1 tbsp honee
  • pinch sea salt

salad

  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups hulled and quartered strawberries
  • 1 1/2 bananas, sliced thin
  • squeeze lemon juice

instructions

first you'll want to cook your quinoa. heat a saucepan over medium low heat. rinse your quinoa, then add it to the saucepan to dry toast it. this will give it a lovely nutty taste. stir it continuously while it toasts until it starts to smell nutty and most of the water from the rinsing has evaporated. when it's all toasty, add your 1 3/4 cup water. bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. when it's done, set it aside to cool.

next chop all your fruit and place in a large bowl. squeeze some lemon juice over top, about 1/2 a small lemon and set aside.

next make the dressing. blend all dressing ingredients in a blender until combined.

when the quinoa is cooled add it to the bowl with the fruit, then toss with the dressing. serve cold or at room temperature.

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thanks for stopping by everyone and i hope you enjoyed my dish!

in case you’re interested, here was my last virtual vegan potluck dish: raw strawberry cream cake!

now to go to the dish after mine in the chain over at keepin’ it kind click here:

Go Forward

to go to the one before mine at cadry’s kitchen click here:

Go Back

or to go back to the beginning head over to vegan bloggers unite!

and be sure to come back here tomorrow for healthy vegan friday!

strawberry chia jam and an epic breakfast

Happy Monday my lovely readers! I am coming off of a ridiculously awesome weekend- board game cafe with specialty coffees, farmer’s markets, beer halls and wonderful company. I feel recharged, happy and ready to head into this week.

I am so happy that it’s finally fall! There’s a chill in the air and I just know that soon the leaves will start to change. I love how my face gets cold when I’m walking home and that I can wear sweaters and scarves without over heating. Bring on the pumpkin!

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That being said, I have one final summery recipe to share with you all! I highly recommend taking advantage of the last of the berried and making this Strawberry Chia Jam. It’s so good spread on toast, dolloped on top of oatmeal, drizzled to over pancakes, or just eaten with a spoon!

This recipe all started a couple weeks ago with a visit to the market where there was a deal I just couldn’t pass up. $5 for three baskets of strawberries. Um, how could I not?? Who cares that my kitchen is tiny and I am only grocery shopping for myself. I needed to have them! So I trucked them home and faced the challenge of using them right away to prevent them from going bad. Because I just hate wasting food- especially delicious, ripe, juicy berries that will soon be out of season, and all that will remain are their white, tasteless imposters.

Since I had just moved in, I hadn’t yet stocked my fridge with all the things I like to have around, jam being one of them. So what a perfect opportunity to solve 2 problems in one go.

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I opted to make an almost-raw jam for simplicity’s sake and to preserve those valuable enzymes and when making a raw jam, chia seeds are your best friend. They absorb liquid creating a gel, thickening the jam and giving it texture. The chia seeds also make this jam a fantastic source of omega-3 fats and fibre- what traditional, store-bought jam can make that claim??

It’s naturally sweetened with just a little maple syrup (making it not completely raw) and stevia, but you could use only stevia if you so wished, or maybe some coconut nectar or honey. It’s not an overly sweet jam, but it really lets the wonderful flavour of in season, ripe, local strawberries shine!

This recipe makes about 3 cups, but it freezes and defrosts well. So make up a batch and store it in 3 containers and you’ll have jam to get you through the cold season! Or at least for a few weeks- it’s difficult to make it last ;)

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Strawberry Chia Jam (Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-free, Raw Option)

Ingredients (3 cups)

  • 4 cups hulled strawberries
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup, or agave/coconut nectar for completely raw)
  • 15-20 drops stevia
  • 2 + 2 tbsp chia seeds, divided

Instructions

Blend the strawberries, water, maple syrup, stevia and 2 tbsp chia seeds together. Pour into a bowl and stir in the remaining chia seeds. Cover and let chill in the fridge for at least 60 minutes before serving. Can be stored in the freezer and defrosted! Keeps for a couple weeks once defrosted.

I'm sharing this recipe on Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Raw Foods Thursdays and Wellness Weekends!

 

Now, I’m sure you’ve all noticed by now that all my pictures of this jam are of a wildly decadent looking breakfast. This my friends, was the breakfast I enjoyed on my birthday, and it was an amazingly delicious way to start the day. Store-bought gluten-free waffles and coconut milk ice cream make this a snap to whip up, but bonus points if you make your own. The ice cream gets all melty on top of the warm waffles and the strawberry jam provides some lovely sweetness and tartness. Plus you’ve got some chia, fruit and whole grains in there so it’s not a completely lost cause, nutritionally ;)

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Birthday Waffle Breakfast

Mix together the strawberry chia jam with the maple syrup. Top the waffles with the ice cream and jam mixture and dig in, thanking yourself profusely for this delicious treat!

How were your weekends?

Are you excited for fall, or are you clinging to the last vestiges of summer with all your might?

Enjoy your weeks everyone!

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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Source

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!

almost raw maple walnut cups

Happy Canada Day to all my Canadian friends!

We Canadians are funny, we are quiet, polite and unassuming except for a few days a year where we suddenly become crazily and almost obnoxiously patriotic and I LOVE IT. A day where it’s perfectly acceptable to tattoo maple leaves to your face and where ridiculous clothing, that as long as it’s red and white, you’re good to go.

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These bites are a celebration of our country’s colours and flavours- red and white with some maple syrup thrown in for good measure. Because what’s more Canadian than maple syrup?

Featuring a maple walnut base with a maple cashew cream filling, there are so much healthy fats going on (you all know how awesome walnuts are) and topped with a few more walnuts and strawberries, well these really show just how amazing simple flavours can be. I tossed the strawberries in a little maple sugar but that’s not necessary if you don’t have any!

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The recipe for the filling makes more than you’ll need, so you could double the crust recipe of why not dip some strawberries in it for another red and white (and delicious treat)?

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Now, do your patriotic duty and go and make these bites eh?

Almost Raw Maple Walnut Cups (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Refined-Sugar Free)

These cups are rich and creamy and oh-so Canadian! A maple walnut base with a cashew maple filling, topped with strawberries and walnut pieces. Best enjoyed right out of the fridge!

Makes 9 bites.

Base

  • 3/4 cup walnuts
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup*
  • pinch salt

Filling

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for 2 hours
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 a frozen banana
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup*

Topping

  • 1 tbsp finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped strawberries
  • 1/2 tsp maple sugar (optional)

*this is what makes it "almost raw"

Process the walnuts, maple syrup and salt in a food processor until walnuts are chopped small and the mixture sticks together. Press into a mini muffin pan (or a larger one to make larger cups) that is lined with muffin cups or plastic wrap for easy removal. Place in the fridge while you make your filling.

Blend all filling ingredients except coconut oil until smooth.  Then quickly add the coconut oil (you don’t want it to re-harden) and blend until incorporated). Spoon into the cups and place in the fridge for at least 15 minutes

Toss strawberries in the maple sugar. Sprinkle the walnuts and strawberries onto the cups. Now you can freeze for about 30 min or until firm and serve, or just just refrigerate overnight. In the morning remove from the muffin tin and either eat them right then or continue to store in the fridge.

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Not going to lie, I had 2 of these for breakfast ;)

I hope you are all celebrating the day like true Canadians- barbequing and drinking in the backyard, maybe even some fireworks are sparklers. And to all my non-Canadian readers, why not pay tribute to our super friendly and polite nation by wearing red and white, order some (vegan) poutine (fries with cheese and gravy), throw “eh?” onto the end of every sentence and drench all your food in maple syrup? All right? Awesome :)

I am submitting this post to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays,  Allergy Free Wednesdays and  Wellness Weekends!

canada day “almost raw” maple walnut cups

Happy Canada Day to all my Canadian friends!

We Canadians are funny, we are quiet, polite and unassuming except for a few days a year where we suddenly become crazily and almost obnoxiously patriotic and I LOVE IT. A day where it’s perfectly acceptable to tattoo maple leaves to your face and where ridiculous clothing, that as long as it’s red and white, you’re good to go.

IMG_1536

These bites are a celebration of our country’s colours and flavours- red and white with some maple syrup thrown in for good measure. Because what’s more Canadian than maple syrup?

Featuring a maple walnut base with a maple cashew cream filling, there are so much healthy fats going on (you all know how awesome walnuts are) and topped with a few more walnuts and strawberries, well these really show just how amazing simple flavours can be. I tossed the strawberries in a little maple sugar but that’s not necessary if you don’t have any!

IMG_1526

The recipe for the filling makes more than you’ll need, so you could double the crust recipe of why not dip some strawberries in it for another red and white (and delicious treat)?

IMG_1529

Now, do your patriotic duty and go and make these bites eh?

Almost Raw Maple Walnut Cups (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Refined-Sugar Free)

These cups are rich and creamy and oh-so Canadian! A maple walnut base with a cashew maple filling, topped with strawberries and walnut pieces. Best enjoyed right out of the fridge!

Makes 9 bites.

Base

  • 3/4 cup walnuts
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup*
  • pinch salt

Filling

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for 2 hours
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 a frozen banana
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup*

Topping

  • 1 tbsp finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped strawberries
  • 1/2 tsp maple sugar (optional)

*this is what makes it "almost raw"

Process the walnuts, maple syrup and salt in a food processor until walnuts are chopped small and the mixture sticks together. Press into a mini muffin pan (or a larger one to make larger cups) that is lined with muffin cups or plastic wrap for easy removal. Place in the fridge while you make your filling.

Blend all filling ingredients except coconut oil until smooth.  Then quickly add the coconut oil (you don’t want it to re-harden) and blend until incorporated). Spoon into the cups and place in the fridge for at least 15 minutes

Toss strawberries in the maple sugar. Sprinkle the walnuts and strawberries onto the cups. Now you can freeze for about 30 min or until firm and serve, or just just refrigerate overnight. In the morning remove from the muffin tin and either eat them right then or continue to store in the fridge.

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Not going to lie, I had 2 of these for breakfast ;)

I hope you are all celebrating the day like true Canadians- barbequing and drinking in the backyard, maybe even some fireworks are sparklers. And to all my non-Canadian readers, why not pay tribute to our super friendly and polite nation by wearing red and white, order some (vegan) poutine (fries with cheese and gravy), throw “eh?” onto the end of every sentence and drench all your food in maple syrup? All right? Awesome :)

I am submitting this post to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays,  Allergy Free Wednesdays and  Wellness Weekends!