Low-Carb Recipe Ideas

Hey, everyone! Recently I’ve been experimenting with eating less carbs.

Little summary of my normal diet: oatmeal, bread, pancakes, sandwiches, more bread, grilled cheese, potatoes, granola, fancy little desserts, sweet potatoes, couscous, pizza, muffins, garlic bread, more pretty little desserts, rice, rice, rice, rice, more rice.

It’s a lot of carbs.

I mean, it’s great! Who doesn’t love grilled cheese and rice? Since coming to Australia, though, I’ve been trying to change it up a little bit. Rather than purely eliminating rice from my diet, which would be tragic, I’ve been making small changes.

Changes like using 1/2 cauliflower rice and 1/2 regular rice in stir-fries. Or having omelettes with salad on the side, instead of toast. Eating eggs and veggies instead of my typical morning oatmeal. So far, it’s been wonderful. This is absolutely NOT to say that I don’t eat granola or desserts or grilled cheese anymore – I absolutely still do – but making tiny swaps and healthier additions have made me feel more refreshed.

Here’s a little list that I compiled a while ago to kick-start a series of healthier changes! I’ll be honest, some of them would definitely make me feel deprived (eg. only hard-boiled eggs with berries for breakfast?!), so I haven’t tried them all. The bolded ones are my favourites. 🙂

Breakfast

  • breakfast wrap using egg as “tortilla”
  • breakfast enchiladas
  • pepper egg in a hole
  • egg-applesauce pancakes
  • chocolate banana smoothie
  • poached eggs with tomatoes
  • jalapeno popper egg cups
  • Greek yogurt with LOTS of mixed berries
  • vegetable frittata
  • vegetable omelet
  • egg quiche
  • cottage cheese with berries
  • hard-boiled eggs with berries
  • scrambled eggs with vegetables
  • green smoothie
  • cauliflower breakfast hash
  • cauliflower breakfast bake
  • fluffy cauliflower breakfast bake
  • cauliflower hash browns

Lunch and Snack Ideas

  • cucumber salad with shrimp
  • turkey roll ups (fill with cream cheese, peppers, cucumbers, avocado, hummus, and cheese)
  • grilled chicken spinach salad with nuts
  • tuna salad with avocado
  • mixed berries fruit salad
  • broccoli with quinoa and halloumi
  • Greek yogurt
  • taco salad
  • chia pudding
  • cauliflower cheddar mash
  • pizza soup
  • egg salad in a lettuce wrap
  • chocolate mousse
  • trail mix with seeds and dried fruit
  • hard boiled eggs
  • cottage cheese with berries
  • stuffed mushrooms
  • cheese slices with grapes
  • Greek salad
  • vegetarian minestrone soup
  • vegetables with hummus

Dinner Sides (mix and match with mains below)

  • mashed cauliflower
  • cauliflower breadsticks
  • roasted vegetables
  • makeover spinach gratin
  • brussels sprouts gratin

Dinner Protein Mains

  • cheesy meatballs
  • crustless pizza
  • burger with no bun, topped with mushrooms and onions and cheese
  • turkey lettuce wraps
  • turkey spinach meatballs
  • california spicy crab stuffed avocado
  • salmon patties
  • crustless spinach quiche
  • marinated grilled shrimp
  • shrimp stir-fry with vegetables
  • shredded harissa chicken
  • broiled tilapia parmesan
  • Dijon garlic, lemon dill salmon, maple-soy salmon

Dinner Cauliflower Mains

  • cauliflower fried rice
  • cheesy cauliflower bake
  • loaded grilled cauliflower steak
  • cauliflower baked ziti
  • cauliflower shepherd’s pie
  • cauliflower tamale pie
  • pizza cauliflower bake

Dinner Zucchini Mains

  • zucchini enchiladas
  • chicken parmesan stuffed zucchini
  • loaded zucchini skins
  • lasagna stuffed zucchini boats
  • scalloped zucchini
  • zucchini cheesy bread
  • stuffed zucchini
  • zucchini manicotti

Dinner Spaghetti Squash Mains

  • tomato basil spaghetti squash
  • pizza spaghetti squash
  • 4-cheese spaghetti squash
  • spaghetti squash feta egg bake

Dinner Other Veggies

  • broccoli chicken divan
  • tuna melt on a tomato
  • egg roll in a bowl
  • eggplant lasagna
  • taco lettuce cups
  • cheesy butternut squash skillet
  • bell pepper nachos
  • stuffed peppers
  • taco-filled tomatoes

Finally, a list of low-carb veggies that happen to be delicious…

… with cheese, of course.

Low-Carb Vegetables

  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • spinach
  • kale
  • brussels sprouts
  • cabbage
  • swiss chard
  • lettuce
  • cucumber
  • sprouts
  • eggplant
  • green beans
  • lemon
  • peppers
  • spaghetti squash
  • tomatoes
  • celery
  • parsley
  • avocado
  • radish
  • bok choy
  • mushrooms
  • garlic
  • asparagus
  • yellow squash

Top 15 Meal Prep Tips

Meal prep!

When it comes to meal prepping, I have pretty much made every mistake possible. From leaving this raw to scorching that, I have learned a lot about preparing healthy, tasty food in bulk.

Here are some of my best tips:

  1. Plan the right number of meals, leaving some room for fun activities. For instance, I often overestimate the number of meals I need in a week. I think, I have school five days this week, which means five healthy lunches and five great snacks. But what I leave out is the fact that there might be free pizza on Tuesday, or drinks and board games on Friday. I’ve learned to look at my calendar carefully beforehand, or even cook one less meal than I should (and just buy something special one day of the week!). That way, nothing goes to waste.
  2. Write down cooking times! In the words of Shape magazine: Cooking multiple things, multiple ways, and for multiple times without a timer of some sort is a recipe for disaster, and you don’t want to waste time and money on burning up a chicken. Solution: Download a multi-timer app—there are lots for both iOS and Android. You can set, say, 40 minutes for acorn squash in the oven, 20 minutes for barley on the stove, and another 20 for that sauce in the fridge to set up.
  3. Stock up on spices. The bare minimum for me would be salt and pepper, garlic powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, and curry powder.
  4. Avoid pre-cut vegetables like the plague! They are so pricey, and you don’t get to choose the shape of the veggie. I love to cut my sweet potatoes in small cubes so they cook faster. When you buy in bulk, it’s fresher and much cheaper.
  5. Scour your kitchen for things that should be used up, and base your meal prep off of that. Extra lentils? Plan a lentil stew!
  6. Plan when which meals will be eaten. Delicate items like berries, zucchini noodles, and lettuce wraps will go bad sooner, so they should be gobbled up first. Heartier things like potatoes, grains, chili, and stew can last longer, so plan to eat those later in the week.
  7. Whatever takes the longest to cook, make that first. That way, the chili/stew/pulled pork can cook low and slow while you prepare other things, or clean the kitchen.
  8. Use glass containers or BPA-free plastic containers. I have a love-hate relationship with glass containers because they are heavy, but reheat well. Now, I do half in glass and another half in plastic, depending on what else I need to take to school that day (to avoid overpacking and making my backpack into a 10-kg dumbbell).
  9. Leave some freedom an wiggle room. Be sure to prep some treats. For me, I love yogurt with baked goods and nut butter as a satisfying snack or dessert.
  10. Make what you know you love. My favourite things to meal prep include Thai green curries with vegetables and rice or quinoa, bean chili topped with cheese, and sweet potato or pumpkin stew. As a result, I make these all the time and never seem to tire of them.
  11. Find recipes that look amazing, and stick to them, especially when you go to the grocery store. Whenever I go to the store before getting recipes, I end up with a bunch of ingredients that I don’t need, and they spoil. Now, I find recipes first, write out a shopping list, and stick to the list. This also helps with that #studentbudget.
  12. Pack a good balance of healthy carbs, fat, and protein. While plain, buttered gnocchi is absolutely delicious, be sure to add veggies and protein. Also, watch the portion sizes.
  13. Don’t. Dress. Your. Salad. Ahead. Of. Time.
  14. Save your recipes on your computer or write them down. If you love it, you’ll want to come back to it.
  15. Meal prep with some entertainment! Not going to lie, it isn’t very exciting to stand and chop peppers for an hour. Why not put on an upbeat (or sad, if that’s what you’re into) playlist? Or watch a TV show or movie? Or – my favourite – FaceTime a friend or family member to chat?

Hope these tips work for you, and have a beautiful, healthy, rest of the week!

These photos are from Google, and therefore not my own.

Summer Things (Quinoa Overload)

Good Saturday morning, everyone! This semester is a challenging one. It’s called my “2B” semester, and it’s known by all as the semester “2B or not 2B” because it’s kind of that make-it-or-break-it time.

A delicious creamy pumpkin quinoa casserole was made, topped with loads of fontina (new favourite cheese!) and broiled. I loved every bite of this 8×8 pan that I made!

Long lab reports were written… (this isn’t even all of it!). Glad it’s done.

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Memes were made for my sister, Seline 🙂

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I had plenty of great toast. This was a multigrain thick-sliced loaf baked in-store at Vincenzo’s, and it had great crunch and wonderful flavour from all the seeds. I topped half with smashed avocado, and the other half with almond butter and chopped prunes.

I’m really excited for next week, because I made a full food schedule. I’m looking forward to trying a dark chocolate breakfast quinoa recipe, and revisit some old favourites like broccoli casserole and sweet potato spinach stew. A shopping list was also made!

These peanut butter chocolate banana snacking squares are some of my favourite desserts of all time. All-time, I tell you!

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These chocolate muffins were chock-full of ricotta and surprisingly egg-free! The ricotta lent a great, springy texture.

Mom eats so much fruit back home in BC. I miss having fruit bowls all the time, because it’s pretty unfeasible for a university student to eat say, 1/4 an apple with 1/2 a kiwi, 1/2 a banana, and 1/2 a pear. 😦

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Canada Day happened! No, I didn’t go to see the fireworks… but I stayed at home and listened to got annoyed by them all night. Is that close enough?

Another serving of that amazing pumpkin quinoa casserole, with some brownie! I made a massive pan of spectacular brownies, using pureed prunes (soaked in boiling water). They turned out very rich and decadent… and I have two squares left before I’ve eaten an entire 8×8 pan. By myself.

Oats – I mean quinoa! – in a jar with banana slices.

As you can see, I have a lot of quinoa to use up before I move out in mid-August. This was  another quinoa dish, this time mixed with sautéed mushrooms and yellow squash, mixed with a ricotta-plum tomato sauce, and topped with fontina. It tasted great! On the side, some garlicky green beans sautéed with tons of butter. Butter makes everything better 😉

Another day, I whipped up these glorious pancakes! Two eggs and half a sweet potato were whisked with a bit of flour, some baking powder, vanilla, and cinnamon. They always turn out super tender, and a perfect base for nut butter, yogurt, and granola. This was my favourite breakfast of the week.

Here is that quinoa-ricotta-plum tomato casserole again! I have one serving left, which I’ll be having for dinner tonight. The fontina is my favourite part 🙂

Some other things: I have to sell everything on my desk (actually, everything in my room for that matter). Also, my favourite calculator broke, and it was the saddest moment of my life. Friends and I are loving the summer semester, and we live in the same direction so we often walk home from classes together. Also, FaceTime-ing with Seline! She is the best.

Baked oatmeal (my favourite recipe) was made and enjoyed with blueberries, granola, and coconut chips. Almond butter on top of the baked oats. I have another serving of baked oats that I’ll be savouring tomorrow morning with some peanut butter!

Mom and Dad look so cute.

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Another afternoon, I walked to Sobeys to grocery-shop and saw the nicest sunset over Columbia Lake.

Revisiting old photographs – I took this when I visited the Ripley’s Aquarium last year with my dad. It’s o-fish-ially the best non-food photo I’ve ever taken. <– I’m also good at stealing puns and reusing them multiple times.

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One more thing that I found on the internet and completely agree with:

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Hope you all have a wonderful, wonderful rest of the weekend!

Life.

Screen Shot 2017-05-21 at 1.08.40 PM.pngDo you like poetry? Quick promo, friends! Did y’all know that my crazy, studious, funny, awesome 17 year-old sister writes a blog, too? Hers is called Purely Poetic, and she writes all about mythical lands, strange sensations, and weird-but-wonderful worlds. Seline has a way with words, and is quite talented when it comes to writing creatively. Paired with some incredible aesthetics, I think you will love her writing. Take a look by clicking on this link, which will open up in another tab.

On another note, Mother’s Day was last weekend, and I was more than happy to wish a special day to my one and only mom. ❤ She is such a resilient, compassionate, caring person.

I had oatmeal this morning with an overripe banana, cocoa powder, tons of sunflower butter, and granola with hemp hearts to top.

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Yesterday night’s dinner was fresh pasta from the market, cooked with a pumpkin sauce and market asparagus with frozen peas. Parmesan on top!

The same sauce paired gloriously with fresh gnocchi. I love gnocchi. In fact, I think it is my #1 favourite pasta. What’s yours?

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For lunch yesterday, I met up with some friends to enjoy a meal at Cafe Pyrus. Every semester, the Schulich Leaders Foundation sponsors a get-together, and this time one of my friends recommended this vegan cafe in downtown Kitchener. I savoured every sip of my vanilla steamer, and loved the Angry Vegan sandwich: a panini with Daiya, caramelized onion, spinach, tomato, and a great garlicky aioli. Broccoli soup of the day was tasty, too.

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I wish I was back in Toronto so I could see this aerials showcase, starring my friends. 😥 They all look so beautiful in this shot.

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Eggs, broccoli, cheese, yogurt, fruit, granola – what better breakfast can you ask for?

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Loved this dinner that I enjoyed two nights in a row: baked herb salmon, broccoli, and a side of schoolwork.

I went to Freshii last weekend for this deluxe salad, which was loaded with brown rice (it was essentially a grain bowl), beets, carrots, corn, mushrooms, beans, aged cheddar and feta cheese, crispy wonton strips, spinach, and a spicy yogurt sauce. Loved this!

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Pancakes are another love, of course: this tasted awesome smeared with peanut butter and sunflower butter.

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A tasty lunch featured eggs and frozen almond croissant from Thobors.

Met with my friends at The Works, where I had a big turkey burger with great toppings! I love arugula on my burgers.

Meal prep, which involved a mediocre quinoa pesto chickpea salad and subpar cucumbers.

Chocolate baked oatmeal always exceeds my expectations. This tasted incredible with yogurt and granola… plus peanut butter. Always, peanut butter.

Baked sweet potato, beans and corn, cheddar, avocado, salsa. I need to buy more sweet potatoes this week. They are so versatile.

These are Seline’s drawings. Her artwork never fails to impress me. She did these spontaneously, somehow… with just a pencil and an old notebook!

Her oil paintings are equally wonderful. The waterfall painting is one of my favourites that she’s done. I cannot believe that she is self-taught, and has only been painting for two years.

Yay for cookies! Make this recipe, friends. I adopted the recipe slightly from Oh She Glows, and it is brilliant. And vegan. 😉 I made it with some arm power and a handheld whisk. You don’t need an electric beater for this. You won’t regret it – I baked ’em up and all ten were gone in 4-5 days. I was the only one eating them.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

10 large cookies

Ingredients:

Wet ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon ground flax mixed with 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil (do not melt)
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (see note)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1.5 cups oat flour
  • 1-2 teaspoons non-dairy milk (only if needed to moisten batter)
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flax and water and set aside for a few minutes so it can thicken up. Whisk the flax egg again once thickened.
  2. Add the rest of the wet ingredients into the bowl with the flax egg (coconut oil, sunflower seed butter, brown sugar, cane sugar, and vanilla). Beat the ingredients until combined and smooth.
  3. Now, beat in the dry ingredients, one by one, as you go down the ingredient list (baking soda, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder, oat flour). If your dough is a bit dry, add a teaspoon (or two) of non-dairy milk and beat the mixture again. The dough should be moist enough to form balls without cracking, but not super sticky.
  4. Beat the chocolate into the batter or simply stir by hand.
  5. Shape balls of dough (about the size of a golf ball or 2 heaping tablespoons) and place on the baking sheet 2-3 inches apart. Gently press down on each ball with your hand to form a disc (it should be 1/2-inch thick or so). Sprinkle lightly with salt.
  6. Bake for about 12 minutes until the cookies are spread out nicely.
  7. Cool cookies on the baking sheet for 7 minutes or so and then transfer to a cooling rack for another 10-15 minutes.

One more recipe! This one was a killer dessert that satisfied every cakey craving.

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE MICROWAVE MUG CAKE
 Serves: 1
INGREDIENTS
  • ¼ cup oat flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • ½ tablespoon maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon butter extract (optional)**
  • 1 tablespoon mini chocolate chips
  1. Spray a microwavable mug with cooking spray and then mix together oat flour, baking powder, salt, milk, maple syrup, vanilla and butter extract (if using). The batter should be somewhat thick, but not dry. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons more of almond milk as needed for consistency. Stir in mini chocolate chips and sprinkle a few over the top, if desired.
  2. Microwave on high for about 1 minute and 25 seconds. Take out of the microwave and if desired transfer to a plate. Enjoy!

Have a great rest of the weekend, everyone!

Great Food + The Best Holiday Pun

This is honestly the greatest joke I’ve ever seen.

A couple is walking in St. Petersburg Square on Christmas Eve. They feel a slight precipitation.

“I think it’s raining,” says the man.

“No, it’s snowing,” replies the woman.

“How about we ask this Communist officer here? He is always right!” exclaims the man. “Officer Rudolph, is it raining or snowing?”

“Definitely raining,” Officer Rudolph replies before walking off.

The man turns to his wife with a smile. “See? Rudolph the Red knows rain, dear.”

And this is one of the best breakfasts of the week!

Vegan Banana Bread Buckwheat Bake

Serves 2
  • scant 2/3 cup buckwheat flour
  • 2 tbsp almond meal
  • 2 tbsp ground flax
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1 medium banana, ripe
  • half of 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 6 muffin tins with liners or grease a baking dish with coconut oil.
  2. Mash banana until egg-like. Whisk in milk and vanilla.
  3. Add all dry ingredients to the wet bowl. Whisk until just combined. Mixture will be thick.
  4. Bake for 34-38 minutes, until centre is golden brown.
  5. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Slide a knife around the edge to release.
  6. Top with nut butter and maple syrup.
The nutrition stats for this tasty breakfast are also quite impressive. Each serving has 270 calories, with 20% of your daily required potassium. The buckwheat also provides 9.5 grams of fibre (40% of daily required intake). There are only 9 grams of natural sugar involved. Plus, this vegan brekkie boasts over 8 grams of protein.
Some other good points? I copied and pasted this from a nutrition-analysis website:

It’s so dark and dreary outside nowadays. 😦

You can see that I’ve been loving buckwheat recently!

Vegan Buckwheat Pancakes

Serves 1

INGREDIENTS
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • scant 1 tsp ground flax
  • scant 1 tsp melted coconut oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp buckwheat flour
  • 2 tbsp spelt flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • sprinkle salt
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Stir together milk, flax, oil, vanilla. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Whisk flours, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together in a medium bowl.
  3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Stir until well-blended.
  4. Oil nonstick skillet over medium heat. Pour 1/4 cup batter into skillet. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until bubbly. Flip and cook for 2 more minutes on opposite side. Repeat until all batter is used. Add oil to skillet as needed.
  5. Serve with maple syrup, cinnamon, and desired toppings.
If served with 1/2 banana, 2 tbsp peanut butter, and 1 tsp honey, then this recipe is only 420 calories, with 8 grams of fiber and 13 grams of protein.
 How impressive is that? Not to mention, it’s low in sodium and 100% free of trans fat (thanks to no butter) and free of cholesterol (thanks to the lack of eggs). It’s also very high in manganese and vitamin B6 from the buckwheat. Amazing!
These muffins turned out great. The original recipe called for 1/4 cup coconut oil, but I replaced that with applesauce.
Cherry Chocolate Chip Muffins {vegan}
Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup quick oats
  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 heaping cup frozen cherries, pitted and lightly chopped
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Mix all wet ingredients.
  3. Add dry ingredients, adding flour last. Do not overmix.
  4. Fold in cherries and chocolate chips.
  5. Spoon into 9 greased muffin tins. Top with remaining chocolate and cherries, if desired.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes, until golden. Let rest for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  7. Serve warm and enjoy!
  8. Store in airtight container to keep fresh. Transfer to freezer if needed.
Per 1 delicious muffin: 112 calories, 2 grams fat, 2 grams fiber, 8 grams sugar, 3 grams protein
Low cholesterol and high in manganese, phosphorus, and selenium
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Friends and I rented the “Boiler Room” at the local burger store and had an awesome dinner there. This was their veggie burger with brie, tomato, and mushrooms, and a side of great sweet potato fries.

I made a great veggie quinoa casserole, and I can’t wait to share the recipe!

Lasagna was also made, devoured, and frozen. And then devoured again the next day.

Almond butter and banana sandwiches are an old favourite. This time, I smashed the banana instead of slicing it.

Leftover trout was tossed onto avocado toast and served with muffin and yogurt for breakfast.

Mexican-style sweet potatoes were also devoured.

Here was some of that trout! I seasoned it super simply, with cayenne, paprika, garlic, butter, and lemon. It tasted great!

I try my best to do some meal prep when I have a couple hours at home. I made muffins, overnight oats, and chopped some peppers and mushrooms.

I also baked some sweet potatoes and made a mess in the kitchen.

Any thoughts on this infographic? Because I entirely disagree. Uh, if I want a donut, I want a good old donut. Not a mossy green bubbly drink. Whoever made this – did you really think a craving for cheddar would be curbed by kale and flax?! You’ve got to be kidding…

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My blog is snowing!

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I also found this recipe and can’t wait to replicate. Love peanut butter oats!

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Made a new friend at a Zumba class because she was wearing a Nicolas Cage t-shirt. This made my day. Rational Treasure? YES!

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Lily and I made a Princess Cafe date…

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And I attended some free fitness classes at my school.

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What have you been up to lately?

The Best Vegan Pasta Sauce + Recipe Rewind

It’s Friday, Friday // Gotta get down on Friday // Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend, weekend ♫ The weekend part is true, Rebecca Black! Every time I announce that it’s Friday, her song crosses my mind. Just me?

A couple days ago I made a massive batch of enchiladas. The corn tortillas come in packages of eight, so I made eight yummy rolls and enjoyed them on four separate days with avocado and medium spicy salsa. Here’s a little list of what I put in these enchiladas:

  • Baked sweet potato, chopped into cubes
  • 1 can of black beans cooked with 1/4 tsp cumin and 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • Frozen corn
  • Chopped green onions
  • Grated pepper jack cheese

They turned out awesome! I could eat enchiladas all day long.

Pear pancakes were also devoured! These lovely pancakes were made with 1/2 grated pear, 2 tbsp spelt flour and 2 tbsp buckwheat flour, 1 egg, a splash of almond milk, 1/4 tsp baking powder and 1/8 tsp baking soda, with lots of cinnamon and a splash of vanilla extract. Cooked with coconut oil and topped with peanut butter and yogurt + more cinnamon. These were great on a slow morning!

French Toast was made another day. I always make this vegan French toast recipe when I’m out of eggs but craving sweet, delicious French toast. It uses traditional French toast spices like cinnamon and vanilla, along with coconut milk for creaminess and nutritional yeast for egginess. I love this recipe.

It just never fails! This was filled with pumpkin, peanut butter, and cinnamon. As you can see, creamy yogurt is practically mandatory with any breakfast I create 😉

It was so tasty that I enjoyed the same breakfast two days in a row. You need to check out the recipe and see for yourself! My original recipe uses peanut butter, banana, and chocolate, but a delicious fall spin could involve pumpkin puree, pumpkin spice, and creamy nut butter. YUM.

I subconsciously had a week plentiful in vegan meals, apparently!

Truth: ran out of eggs and milk, too lazy to go to the store.

Anyways, you need to try out this recipe, too! It’s a vegan mac and cheese recipe made with any type of squash. I used pumpkin puree, but have also made it before using kabocha squash and sweet potato. Pumpkin puree was so convenient and tasted amazing. More mac and peas, please!

Dreamy Squash Mac and Cheese Sauce (Vegan)

Serves 3

Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp. butter or Earth Balance (vegan butter)
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened, unflavoured almond milk
  • 1 tbsp. coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 5-6 tbsp. nutritional yeast (to taste)
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree, roasted butternut squash, or mashed kabocha squash (boil 10 minutes without skin, then mash well)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  • sprinkle cayenne
  • sprinkle cinnamon
  • finely-chopped sage (optional)
Directions
  1. Cook onion with butter until caramelized (about 25 minutes).
  2. Whisk all other ingredients together until well combined.
  3. Pour wet ingredients into saucepan. Cook until thickened.
  4. If the sauce is chunky because of the kabocha or cubed butternut, transfer to a blender and blend until fully-combined.
  5. Store in airtight container in the fridge for 7 days. Enjoy with any type of pasta and vegetables.

When I was smaller, I hated carrot cake. I think it was those tiny, chewy, crunchy nuts that turned me off because they would be immersed in a squishy bite of spiced quick bread. Something about having nuts in carrot cake just bugged me, but now I’m neutral about them (same deal for raisins). How about you? Do you like carrot cake “loaded” with stuff, or plain? Anyways, here’s a fun and delicious riff on carrot cake – in breakfast form! Win-win, I tell you.

PS: you need to try this with creamy French cheese-style yogurt. I’m not 100% sure of what the name is – fromage blanc, perhaps? – but it tastes incredible with the spiced carrot cake. Reminiscent of cream cheese icing. Mmmm. Cream cheese icing.

Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal

Serves 2

Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • sprinkle salt
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed shredded carrots
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • heaping tbsp maple syrup
  • heaping 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp freshly-grated ginger
  • OPTIONAL: raisins or chopped walnuts
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix all ingredients together.
  3. Transfer to a greased casserole dish.
  4. Top with raisins or walnuts if desired.
  5. Bake for 35 minutes until lightly golden on the edge. It will still look a little wet but will become more firm as it cools.
  6. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
  7. When it is fully cool, it will become firm enough to slice into squares.
  8. Top with maple syrup, coconut milk, yogurt, or more.

Last but not least, some loaded Mexican-style sweet potatoes. Black beans, corn, scallions, and that yummy red pepper jack!

That’s it for today, everyone!

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