Orange Creamsicle

HELLO! I’m still here & blogging! I’m sorry that I haven’t posted in awhile and i’m extra sorry for the readers that received a notice about my pancake post on International Pancake Day (Yes, it is a real day). WordPress did something funny to me and only posted half of the message and then the other half was deleted. So don’t worry pancake lovers, I will post that recipe soon enough. 

February has got away from me… seriously, is it really March 1st next week?! Where has this month gone! School has been keep me busy from dusk until dawn; I’ve been writing midterms and term papers. I’m actually starting to feel a bit rundown but that may be from my crazy sleep schedule right now. This past week has been awful with 3-4 hours max a night of sleep; one night I was only able to get 45 minutes. Seriously, the life of a student will do that to you! Aside from school, any free time I have I have been working ALOT! Too much actually! I miss having balance! Balance is so important, you don’t realize that until you have no balance in your life! I truly believe that the only reason I am still functioning right now and not sick or zonked right out is from the diet I follow. Diet is so important! I have been eating and drinking foods that will keep me going & my brain sharp. As well as, provide me with as much energy as possible! 

Please stay tuned, I promise that after next week (midterms are finished) that I will have balance back in my life and have many exciting things to blog about that I was suppose to have out in February. I have really missed the blogging world over the past couple of weeks, so as I take a quick study break at 12:00am this Saturday evening I want to share with you the smoothie recipe that I have been making EVERY morning! No joke… Karim is addicted to this smoothie!! We have been buying oranges, bananas & dates in bulk! But seriously, who doesn’t love an orange creamsicle? This smoothie will remind you of your childhood summer days!

* I never measure anything out when I make smoothies but I seem to follow a somewhat similar pattern each time when making this but I feel that this is a hard smoothie to mess up! 

Orange Creamsicle

1-2 frozen bananas 

2 navel oranges (or oranges of choice)

2 dates (don’t forget to remove the pit)

1/2 cup vanilla almond milk (You may have to adjust depending on your blender)

1/2 tsp-1 tsp orange zest (I love the orange zest for the delicious added orange flavour)

1/2 tsp- 1 tsp vanilla (I’ve been using raw ground vanilla bean from Giddy Yoyo’s super food line. WOW… this is my new favourite product! It smells & tastes absolutely amazing!! 

Optional:

1-2 cups spinach (will not alter the taste, just the colour). I add spinach to mine for the benefit of the greens.

Spirulina 

Directions:

Place ingredients in blender & blend until creamy!

I always add a few ice cubes in and then blend again! 

Feel free to top with chia or flax seeds!

Now enjoy this delicious and healthy Orange Creamsicle!

Orange Creamsicle (vegan & gluten free)

Orange Creamsicle (vegan & gluten free)

Enjoy this healthy & vegan version of the original orange creamsicle!

If anyone else is writing midterms & term papers! Stay motivated, find balance, eat healthy, drink lots of water & sleep! Your body will thank you for it! AND good luck! 

Cheers,

Paige xo. 

 

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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.

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.

Avocado Broccoli Slaw Salad

Tonights dinner was Avocado Broccoli Slaw salad. One of my favourite salads & it is always absolutely delicious. I love this salad for a number of reasons: not only is it delicious, it is also healthy, vegan, quick & easy to make! Does it get much better then that?

Ingredients:

– 1 Lime

– 1 Avocado

– 2 garlic cloves (or whatever you prefer)

– 1 pear (I used an asian pear)

– Fresh ground pepper to taste

– 1 bag of Organic Broccoli Slaw

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For Christmas my mom gave me “M&M Garlic’s” Minced Garlic – I love their garlic products & they are from my hometown, so that is even cooler! Better yet, already having the minced garlic on-hand makes this salad even quicker to make!

Salad Preparation:

– Empty the bag of broccoli slaw into a bowl

– Dice the asian pear & add it to the broccoli slaw (mixing it in)

*I made the dressing in my Blendtec blender but feel free to use an immersion blender.

-Remove the skin & pitt from the avocado. Add the avocado to the blender.

-Add as much garlic as you prefer to the blender. I love garlic and used a tablespoon of minced garlic.

-Cut the lime in half and squeeze all of the lime juice into the blender. Cut the pulp out of the lime & also add it.

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-Add fresh pepper grinds.

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– & blend until you have a creamy dressing!

*I LOVE garlic & pepper- almost all of the food I make I add a ton of garlic and pepper!

– Add the dressing to the salad & mix in!

ImageSince this is all I was making for dinner tonight, I decided to add quinoa to make it more filling. Quinoa is great in salads- the salad becomes more filling & more nutrient rich. Quinoa is full of benefits, to name a few: it is full of fiber (makes for a happy tummy), protein & magnesium rich, contains iron & is gluten free (it is not related to the wheat family).

Quinoa cooking instructions:

1. To add quinoa to this salad- measure out 1/2 cup of quinoa.

Image2. Rinse Quinoa. Why? Quinoa naturally comes with a bitter coating called saponin. You can rinse quinoa or soak to remove the saponin coating.

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3. After rinsing, add it to the cooking pot, add 1 cup of water. I also added a veg cube to add more flavour to the quinoa.

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4. Bring water to a boil, cover with a tight fitting lid, and turn the heat down to simmer.

5. Cook for approx. 15 minutes.

6. Remove quinoa from heat & allow to sit for 5 minutes with the lid left on.

7. Remove lid, fluff with a fork, eat plain or add to the salad!

ImageImageImageIt was my 1st time adding quinoa to the avocado broccoli slaw salad and it was delicious. There was also enough left overs for our lunches tomorrow!

Hope you enjoy this salad as much as I do!

Paige xo.

“I think I’ve died & gone to heaven” -after eating my 1st vegan poutine!

How funny that I start a food blog & my 1st post is on a vegan meal that I never even cooked! I had every intention of making dinner last night & writing my 1st blog post on it! For real, I bought parsnips at WholeFoods today so that I could make parsnip fries for dinner! Maybe today or tomorrow…?!

Karim & I made a trip out to Steveston today because I wanted to walk along the Dyke (something I’ve always wanted to do since living in Vancouver) and Karim wanted to check out Mini Outpost Doughnut Co. (Karim loves doughnuts). Well i’m happy to report that Karim got his doughnuts but we never made the it to the Dyke. After walking around Steveston; we decided to leave the walk along the Dyke for another trip!

1st stop Mini Outpost Doughnut Co. – I didn’t try the doughnuts because they aren’t vegan & gluten free. Karim tried all of the available flavours & approved of them! I must say- CUTEST doughnut shop ever! I loved it & I didn’t even try the doughnuts!

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I’m sorry for teasing all of you vegan & gluten free eaters with doughnuts that don’t fit into the vegan or GF category but this doughnut shop was just to cute to not mention or take a picture of 😉

On the way home while driving down Main Street, I remembered that The Wallflower just happens to be on Main St.- & guess what? It’s a restaurant I’ve always wanted to try after seeing a picture of their vegan poutine! It doesn’t take much to convince Karim that we should try a new restaurant out! I love trying new restaurants… especially when they have a good selection of vegan options! & better yet- vegan AND gluten free options! now that makes for a happy tummy!

First of all, The Wallflower is a super cute modern diner! It is not a vegan restaurant but it is most defiantly vegan friendly & gluten free friendly! It caters to all diets! How great is that! And yes it is true- vegan poutine! I was so excited to try the vegan poutine; I am from Canada- obviously I love poutine!

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Of course, I took a picture of vegan poutine! Who wouldn’t?… Karim wouldn’t, that’s who! He was actually embarrassed when the flash of my camera went off in the dim restaurant. Looks like I may be eating out on my own a lot more now?! I can’t be the only person that takes pictures of exciting food? I guess Karim just doesn’t get excited about food like I do; he is able to eat whatever he wants (lucky guy)! I have diet restrictions so I get super excited about food- especially when I find a good vegan restaurant. I’m so happy to report that the vegan poutine was amazing! I’m not just saying this because for the past 2 years I haven’t been able to have poutine; it was actually tasty & delicious! Karim also agreed & he isn’t even vegan!

I decided to go all out last night & treat myself to a veggie burger with a gluten free bun & side salad. I usually don’t order food that I can make at home (I make veggie burgers, but who am I kidding… as if, I make gluten free buns). I also usually don’t have such a huge appetite; but I am  still in holiday mode. Lucky for me, I am Ukrainian and Ukrainian Christmas is on Monday!

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I am happy to report & so is my tummy, that the burger was also delicious and it was probably one of the best gluten free buns I’ve had! Lucky for me, I was wearing stretchy pants at dinner because I had to finish every last bite!

I have my favourite vegan restaurants in Vancouver but I have a feeling The Wallflower is making that list. I can hardly wait to go back & order something off of the brunch menu!

I was so full that dessert for me was Candy Cane Green Tea from Trader Joe’s. Like I said… still on holidays! If you know me, you know that I am not a big dessert person but a tea addict!

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Photography: I am not a photographer (or a professional photo-taker anyways) and I do not have a fancy camera (I am a poor university student & spend all of my money on food). I am a photographer in the sense, that I love taking pictures and use my Iphone camera!

Thanks for stoping by & for putting up with my photography skills. It is on my wish list to own a nice camera one day! And don’t forget to check out The Wallflower for yourself!

http://www.thewallflowermoderndiner.com

Cheers,

Paige xo.