Avocado Smoothies

Have you tried an avocado smoothie before? Don’t judge just yet… I’m not completely crazy! You at least have to try these healthy, creamy and delicious smoothie recipes!

First- avocado’s are oh so creamy! They blend so well in smoothies. Especially helpful if you are not a banana lover or want to cut back on your fruit/natural sugar intake. Replace bananas with avocados for the same creamy texture!

Second- you can’t even taste the avocado! (I’m being serious) The taste of the avocado is masked from the almond milk & fruit!

Third- avocados are HEALTHY! Health benefits of avocados: provides a dose of healthy fats, a high fiber content & is a vitamin and mineral powerhouse… to name just a few benefits of avocados!

Fourth- they belong to the fruit family & not the veggie family 🙂

Avocado & Granny Smith Apple Smoothie

1 granny smith apple

1-2 cups leafy greens of choice (I used a mixture of kale & spinach)

1/2 an avocado

1/2 cup  Unsweetened Breeze Almondmilk Coconutmilk Blend (I know it’s a mouthful)

ImageHave you tried the new Almondmilk Coconutmilk Blend? Thoughts? I really enjoyed it in my smoothies! Let me know what you think!

1/2 tsp vanilla (optional)

Dash of cinnamon (optional)

Handful of ice cubes.

Optional: Feel free to add your Superfood of choice to the smoothie- maca, flax seeds, chia seeds, spirulina, chlorella… etc.

Avocado Granny Smith Apple Smoothie

Avocado Granny Smith Apple Smoothie

Look at how creamy that baby is? Yum!! I love a creamy smoothie! I need a spoon & straw for this one! Especially when it is a full meal!

Blueberry Avocado Smoothie

1 cup of blueberries or mixed berries

1-2 cups spinach

1/2 an avocado

3/4 cup coconut flavoured almond milk

Handful of ice.

Place all ingredients in blender & blend until creamy! Serve & enjoy!

*If the avocado smoothies are not sweet enough for you feel free to add a few drops of stevia or sweetener of choice.

*I find it best to blend all fruit, veggies and liquid and then add in the ice and blend again at the end.

Blueberry Avocado Smoothie

Blueberry Avocado Smoothie

Avocado Helpful Hint:

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Have you tried using avocado in a smoothie before? Let me know if you have any smoothie recipes using avocado!

Happy Weekend!

Paige xo.

Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Cake! A healthy, vegan & gluten free version!

Can you believe it a healthy, vegan & gluten-free version of rice crispy cake!! Well it is true! Thanks to the amazing Ella from Deliciously Ella for sharing this recipe! I came across Ella’s recipe last night and at midnight (I was procrastinating from school work) I decided that I needed to make rice crispy cake now! On that note, is it rice crispy squares or rice crispy cake? Karim & I always argue about this one! I’m a cake girl and he’s a square guy!

A vegan & GF version of rice crispy cake! Made with peanut butter!

A vegan & GF version of rice crispy cake! Made with peanut butter!

Ella makes her rice crispy squares with almond butter! That was my original plan but I was out of almond butter & couldn’t wait until today! So instead I made the cake with raw peanut butter! Karim loves peanut butter & rice crispy squares; so I figured he’d enjoy this!

Inspired & modified from Ella’s recipe: http://deliciouslyella.com/2013/02/02/healthy-rice-crispy-treats-vegan-gluten-free/

You’ll need:

1 – 1.5 cups of raw peanut butter or nut butter of choice

2 cups of puffed brown rice (this makes it gluten-free) & adds fibre for a happy tummy:)

4 tablespoons of Agave

1 tablespoon of extra-virgin coconut oil

1 teaspoon of cinnamon (Ella’s recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of cinnamon but I love cinnamon so added more. A few dashes here & there)

I also added:

1 teaspoon of vanilla (optional)

I topped mine with cocao nibs & coconut flakes (optional)

This recipe is super easy to make & doesn’t take long at all which is a huge bonus! Not that you really need a bonus because the taste will win you over!

In a sauce pan, add the peanut butter (nut butter), coconut oil, agave & vanilla. Over low-medium heat stir until a liquid starts to form. Pour the mixture into the mixing bowl that has the puffed brown rice & cinnamon. Mix well!

Add the mixture to a baking dish. Pat it down & feel free to top it off with cocao nibs or coconut flakes! I also coated my baking dish in coconut oil (not necessary but coconut oil is so delicious & healthy; I figured it couldn’t hurt). Place the baking dish in the freezer for an hour or two (I did two hours). Cut into squares, serve & enjoy! And as Ella said IF there are any left over squares place in the fridge.

I will warn you, they are so tasty AND addictive; there may be no leftovers! At 2am last night, Karim and I were enjoying them while doing school work (yes, the life of students). I also ate two squares for breakfast (which is so unlike me) but I figured peanut butter is a breakfast food 😉 The few that were left I took to work for the girls to try & they all loved the treat! On the way home I stopped at the grocery store and bought more almond butter & peanut butter! I can hardly wait to make more! They are a perfect afternoon pick-me-up for Karim & I while at school!

I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

Have a good week,

Paige xo.

Ice Dreams- This weekends dessert!

Eat your dessert! Especially when it tastes delicious!

Dessert last night was Mint Cacoa Chip Ice Dream! Inspired by my favourite Ice Cream as a kid; mint chocolate chip! Only the Cacoa Chip version is vegan & healthy… a dream come true really!

Mint Cacoa Chip Soft Serve

Mint Cacoa Chip Soft Serve

Serves 1 happy tummy (makes 1 cup)

You’ll need:

2 frozen bananas

Handful of mint leaves. I used 1/2 cup – 3/4 of a cup. (I love mint) You can start with a few leaves and add more when you get to the mint flavour that you love!

1 tablespoon of Cacoa powder

1 tablespoon of Cacoa nibs

1/2 a tablespoon almond milk (optional). *If you do not have a high power blender you may have to add a few dashes of almond milk here & there to help with the blending process. Start with a dash & add if you need too; you don’t want to add to much and have a runny ice cream.

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2-1 teaspoon peppermint extract/oil

Place all ingredients in blender & blend! I have a Blendtec and there is an ice cream option which works wonderful! I use to make this in my Magic Bullet, just add a little almond milk here & there! Top with cacoa nibs & enjoy every single bite!

Options:

– Add vegan chocolate chips

– A pinch of salt really brings out the flavours

– Peppermint extract/oil & vanilla is not mandatory. By simply adding banana, cacao & mint leaves you will still create an amazing mint cacoa ice dream!

– Add a handful of spinach! You can’t taste the spinach & it adds a nice green colour!

– A dash of stevia if you’d like it sweeter!

– Add a piece of Giddy Yoyo mint chocolate. Or your favourite chocolate!

TIP: when freezing bananas: peel, chop into smaller pieces & place in freezer safe bag. Seems easy enough BUT after telling a friend that you can make “ice cream” out of bananas, he reported back to me that he just put a punch of bananas in the freezer and it didn’t work out so well.

Dessert tonight was Peanut Butter Vanilla Soft Serve. (Another Ice Dream)

Peanut Butter Vanilla Soft Serve

Peanut Butter Vanilla Soft Serve

Feeds 1 tummy:

2 frozen bananas (cut into chunks)

1 tablespoon of peanut butter or nut butter of choice

1 teaspoon of vanilla

Place all ingredients in blender & blend until you have a soft serve ice cream texture!

Health Hint: Peanut butter & bananas are an excellent post-workout snack!

What is your favourite kind of ice cream? Can you create a healthier version ice dream?

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Don’t forget to treat yourself to some dessert!

Cheers,

Paige xo.

TACO TUESDAY

Tuesday means taco night… right? Well it did in my house tonight!

Make these tacos for your next taco Tuesday or when you are craving tacos or when you just want something downright tasty & healthy! And yes, also vegan & gluten-free! You can really adjust this recipe to please any diet!

Taco Seasoning:

In a small bowl mix together:

2 tsp chili powder

1.5 tsp onion powder

1.5 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp cumin

Set aside until needed for taco meat.

Ingredients for taco “meat”:

1 cup green lentils *dry lentils & rinse before cooking

2 cups low sodium vegan vegetable broth OR 2 cups of water with a vegan bouillon cube.

1 sweet onion (chopped)

2 garlic cloves (minced)

2 tsp coconut oil

Directions:

In a large pan (I used a wok) on low-med heat sauté chopped onion and minced garlic in coconut oil, until soft or have turned translucent. Add 1 cup of rinsed lentils, 2 cups of vegetable broth, add a few scoops of the taco seasoning and mix everything together. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil, give a few more stirs, cover and reduce to a simmer for approx. 30 minutes or until lentils are soft and water has evaporated. After 30 minutes, I removed the lid and stirred occasionally for 5 more minutes and added more taco seasoning.

Taco topping ideas: lettuce, tomatoes, vegan cheese, beans, olives, jalapeños, green onions, peppers, nutritional yeast, salsa, guacamole… whatever your heart desires!

I had my lentil taco meat on a lettuce wrap topped with guacamole, salsa, green onions, nutritional yeast, a bit of Daiya cheese & hot sauce. The tacos were absolutely delicious and so filling from the lentil taco meat!

Lentil Lettuce Wrap Tacos

Lentil Lettuce Wrap Tacos

Karim made his tacos (well actually I made them because he was rushing out the door for hockey) with gluten-free rice wraps topped with lentil meat, kidney beans, guacamole, salsa, hot sauce, Daiya cheese, lettuce, green onions, tomatoes and S&P to taste.

Lentil Tacos with Rice Wraps

Lentil Tacos with Rice Wraps

Karim actually couldn’t get over how much the lentil taco meat tasted like beef taco meat. I have a feeling that taco Tuesday will be happening weekly since we both loved the tacos so much!

And yes of course I made enough to have leftovers. I am a big fan of making enough food so we have enough for our lunches the next day. Karim and I are both students so we save a lot of money not buying lunch and snacks at school. We also eat much healthier by eating leftovers and packing our own lunches! Having leftovers saves time in the kitchen so you don’t have to make another meal to take for lunch. I also make/pack our lunches in the evening to save us time in the morning. I like to stay in bed for as long as I can in the morning and I also like to eat delicious food at school. I actually have Wednesdays off from school (lucky me) so Karim gets the taco leftovers in his lunch (lucky him).

Taco leftovers for lunch.

Taco leftovers for lunch.

Karim is the guacamole maker in our house. Here is his super easy & tasty guacamole recipe that I love and we used on the tacos tonight:

1 avocado

1 lime

1-2 cloves of garlic (minced)

Salt & Pepper to taste

Optional: a dash of turmeric.

Directions: Peel avocado & remove pit, add avocado flesh to a bowl and smash with a fork. Cut lime in half, squeeze all juice out of it & also feel free to add some of the lime flesh. Add the minced garlic and salt & pepper to taste. Mix all ingredients. Now enjoy! Yes, it is that easy! It is also delicious!

And… I didn’t get this post out on time so it is now officially 1am which makes it Wednesday! But I am still going to call this post Taco Tuesday. Not only does it have a good ring to it but I think taco Tuesday should happen next week in your house; and oh yeah… this was my Tuesday night dinner. I ended up going for a walk with Karim when he got home from hockey, so it is his fault that I am late posting this.

What are some of your favourite taco toppings?

Cheers,

Paige xo.

Sunday Morning Apple Sauce Oat Pancakes (Vegan & Gluten Free)

Make these now! They are easy & delicious! Even better… (yes it gets better) they are healthy, filling, vegan & gluten-free!

Apple Sauce Oat Pancakes

Apple Sauce Oat Pancakes

If you know me; you know that I am a pancake lover! I would even go as far as saying that pancakes are one of my favourite foods! Lately, I’ve experimented with pancake recipes & trying to turn every food possible into a pancake. I’m not going to lie… The first batch of apple sauce oat pancakes was a disaster and went straight into the garbage! The second batch was a success! So make these now & enjoy!

Ingredients: Feeds 2 pancake lovers!

1 cup GF oat flour (I grind my gluten-free oats in my blender & leave a few full oats)

1 tsp GF baking powder (If you aren’t gluten-free, just use baking powder)

1/2 cup almond milk (or milk of choice, I used unsweetened vanilla almond)

1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce

1/2 tsp vanilla

Cinnamon to taste (I love cinnamon)

*If you want a bit of a sweeter pancake feel free to add in a few drops of liquid stevia.

Directions:

Mix dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, add wet ingredients, mix all together and cook. I cooked mine in a bit of coconut oil on a crêpe pan.

Top with your favourite pancake topping!

Today, I topped mine with chopped pecans, apples (pecans & apples go awesome together), sliced bananas, cinnamon & a few drops of maple syrup.

Apple Sauce Oat Pancakes topped with sliced bananas, chopped pecans & maple syrup

Apple Sauce Oat Pancakes topped with sliced bananas, chopped pecans & maple syrup

I also topped one with apple sauce & pecans; and it was delicious!

I love using oats in place of a regular flour. I find that oats are filling and energizing! They will defiantly get you through your morning or workout! Or if you are like me & eat pancakes for dinner; these are enough to fill you up  and satisfy you after a long day!

Serve & Enjoy!

Fluffy, Filling & Delicious- Topped with chopped walnuts, banana slices & a few drops of Maple Syrup

Fluffy, Filling & Delicious Topped with chopped walnuts, banana slices & a few drops of maple syrup

Do you love pancakes? What is your favourite pancake topping? or pancake recipe?

Thanks for sharing!

Paige xo.

Stuffed Zucchini Boats with Cauliflower “Rice” (Healthy, Vegan & Gluten Free).

Two of my favourite veggies are cauliflower and zucchini. Not only are they both delicious tasting; they are also very versatile. I had cauliflower and zucchini in the fridge and wanted to use them, so I decided to get creative and make stuffed zucchini boats with cauliflower “rice”. I’m excited to post & share this recipe with you because they tasted absolutely delicious, are vegan, gluten free and absolutely healthy!

Stuffed Zucchini Boats with Cauliflower “Rice”

Feeds 2 hungry bellies!

For the Zucchini boats, you’ll need:

-2 medium/large zucchinis

For the cauliflower “rice” boat filling, you’ll need:

-1 small head of cauliflower (chop into florets, add to food processor & pulse until rice-like)

-2 cloves of garlic (minced)

-1 small sweet onion (diced)

-1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil

-1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

-Salt & Pepper to taste

-*Broccoli and/or other veggies of choice

-*Spices/seasonings of choice (optional).

For the tomato sauce, you’ll need: 

*Feel free to make your tomato sauce of choice.

I usually make a tomato sauce from scratch with whatever I feel like; but yesterday I made a jar of Ella’s “The Best Tomato Sauce: Vegan” and yes, it is absolutely delicious! So easy to make and so nice to have on hand! Thanks for sharing the recipe, Ella.

You can find the recipe here: http://deliciouslyella.com/2013/01/05/the-best-tomato-sauce-vegan/

Directions:

-Preheat oven to 400F.

– Wash cauliflower, remove core and leaves. Chop the dry cauliflower (you don’t want wet cauliflower) into small florets that are small enough to fit into the food processor. *If you do not have a food processor, you can also grate cauliflower. Add florets to the food processor and pulse until you have a rough grain that looks like rice (not mushy).

-In a large saucepan, add 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and heat on low. Add onion and 2 minced garlic cloves and sauté until soft or golden brown. *If you are adding other vegetables, add now.

-Turn the heat to medium and add the riced cauliflower to the onions. Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, mix in. Cover and cook for approx. 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. *I added small broccoli florets in at this time, seasoned with fresh ground pepper and left covered to steam the broccoli.

-Slice zucchini in half lengthwise. Scoop seeds out. Sprinkle with spices of choice (I used fresh ground pepper and garlic). *I just set the seed’s aside and mixed in a few spoonfuls to the cauliflower mixture, just before adding it to the boats.

-Spoon the cauliflower rice mixture into the zucchini boats. Top with tomato sauce and nutritional yeast. Optional: Daiya or Vegan cheese of choice. *I found it easiest to already have the zucchini boats placed in the baking pan already, so no messy transferring.

-Bake on 400F for approx. 25-30 mins. or until zucchini is tender.

-Enjoy! I love hot sauce so I topped mine with hot sauce!

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The stuffed zucchini boats with cauliflower rice are absolutely delicious & I can hardly wait to make again! Karim even said they should become a regular in our kitchen!

Paige xo.

Vegan Roasted Butternut Squash

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For the love of Butternut squash!

I was first introduced to butternut squash this fall when I decided to pick one up at Vancouver’s Farmers Market (I love farmers markets). The first time I cooked a butternut squash, I roasted it with herbs and ate it as a side dish. It was absolutely delicious and quickly became a regular in my kitchen.

Vegan Roasted Butternut Squash:

Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

1 medium-large butternut squash

1 can no-salt added garbanzo beans, drain & rinse

3 cups of water

1 Tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil

1 large carrot

1 low sodium vegetable bouillon cube *Or you can replace the water with low sodium vegetable broth.

1/2 a large or small-medium sweet onion chopped

2 cloves of garlic (or more or less depending on garlic preference), crushed

1 tsp cayenne pepper (if you like spicy)

Sea salt & fresh black pepper to taste

Top with nutritional yeast

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Peel, de-seed, and cut squash in cubes. Place squash on parchment paper lined baking pan. Brush squash with oil, season with pepper, dash of salt & garlic (or spices of choice). Bake for 45 minutes or until soft.

2. Heat oil in a soup pot on medium heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté until golden. Add carrot and spices.

3. Add water or veggie stock, roasted butternut squash, and garbanzo beans.

4. Bring ingredients to a boil & then reduce to a simmer. Puree using an immersion blender or blender.

*If you are using a blender or food processor be careful not to burn yourself when transferring to the blender and back to the pot.

5. Top with fresh-black pepper & nutritional yeast.

Enjoy!

I make this soup for myself or one other person; I love having leftovers for school or work the next day. Leftovers are the healthy fast-food 🙂

Paige xo.