Black Bean Mango Salad

It’s been hot here and instead of my normal run of the mill salad, I wanted to try and make something a little more refreshing. The mango gives the salad a nice, cooling effect. The other thing I love about this salad is that it is super easy to throw together. Quick, easy meal.

Black Bean Mango Salad (makes 3 good-sized salads)

1 medium mango, chopped

1.5 cups of black beans

1 medium, avocado chopped

the juice of half of a lime

2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp of cumin

a sprinkle of salt & pepper

mixed greens

Combine all of the ingredients (aside from the avocado & mixed greens) in a large bowl. I kept my greens & avocado separate as I spread eating the salad over the span of a few days and just assembled it the morning I was going to eat it.

I topped it with cilantro as well.

Guacamole Boats (the 5 minutes or less fun party food) Mofo Day 1

So, you have just spent the entire day out and about having a super fun, but tiring time and you get home and have 15 minutes to change and make food to bring to a summer bbq. This is your recipe =)

It’s cute! It’s summery and super delicious and best of all, you can have it done in as little as 5 minutes.

Guacamole Boats

2 very large, ripe avocados

the juice of half of a lime

the juice of half a lemon

1/2 tsp garlic powder (I was out of fresh…)

1 tsp of sea salt

1 tsp of pepper

1 small handful of fresh, roughly chopped cilantro

Slice your avocado along the outside middle and gently pry the halves apart. Remove the pit and scoop out the middle, keeping the outer skin intact. Place the avocado flesh in a bowl and mash it with a fork or potato masher. Add your juice and seasoning and cilantro (reserving a bit to garnish the tops to make it pretty) and mix until well combined.

Spoon the guacamole into the avocado skins and top with a bit of cilantro. If you have a few more minutes, chop up your favourite veggies to go with it. If not – grab some chips and head out the door!

This was a hit at a bbq I was at =)

In other news, today is my Veganversary!!!! It was 5 years ago that I made the decision to go vegan and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. I have become stronger, happier & healthier because of it. And despite the common misconception that my food choices are limited, I have much more variety in my diet.

Yesterday, Terry and I headed north to Berkeley to celebrate with our pup in tow.

We started out by going to Republic of V – an entire store dedicated to vegans (food, clothing, cosmetics,etc)! They have some things there that I haven’t seen anywhere else and they source a lot of local and organic things, which I love =)

We made our way to Source Mini for lunch. It’s one of my favourite restaurants as the food is amazing and they make things I don’t really make at home. It’s not super healthy though, so we only go once in awhile – perfect for a celebration.

And our final stop was at Cinnaholic for vegan cinnamon buns. Oh yes – you heard me. They are completely vegan and are truly amazing. I actually never liked cinnamon buns before going vegan and tried these out after a friend promised me I would LOVE them. She is right! As they are not gluten-free, I only have 1 or 2 a year, but so worth it. Yum!

Marshmallow

Maple cinnamon

 We split and shared. Mmmmm.

Sunny was disappointed she didn’t get to try any.

We headed home happy and full of delicious food =)

Happy Vegan Mofo =D

Healthy Vegan Fridays #11

Wow… is it just me or did summer whiz by? I can’t believe this is the last HVF for the month of August. And speaking of enjoying every last drop of summer, I am preparing this while hanging out with my lovely co-host Robin. So I best finish up quickly so we can enjoy what little is left of the setting sun =)

New to HVF? Find all the info you need here. We’re excited to see what you have to share with us this week!

Last week, your favourites were:

Farmer’s Market Salad with Eggplant Vinaigrette from Zsu’s Vegan Pantry:

Raw Coffee Quinoa Protein Bars from Strength & Sunshine:

And kale, beetroot, carrot, apple and walnut salad with walnut and cranberry dressing from Happy, Healthy, Holy Home

This week I am sharing my Vitamix Hummus:

And to try and make Healthy Vegan Friday more fun and interactive, Robin and I have decided to try and make one of your recipes at least twice a month (hopefully every week!). This week we made Flourless Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies from Green Gourmet Giraffe. These taste awesome and take 5 minutes to prep & 10 minutes to bake!

Enjoy your last weekend in August and a long weekend!

Link on up with your awesome vegan recipes (don’t forget to link back here!).

Robin and I wish you all a great long weekend while we soak in my hot tub =)

 

Vitamix Hummus!

Your recipe for this week is brought to you by a draft post from a YEAR ago that I forgot about ;p Yay for finding draft posts =)

Ok – I’m going to admit to you that this recipe you are about to see is not particularly creative. There is nothing exciting about this hummus recipe. It has similar ingredients to the zillion recipes already out there… but I made it in my new VITAMIX!!!

Vitamix Hummus

2 cups cooked chickpeas (I had soaked and cooked some dried ones)

2 cloves of garlic

4 tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

the juice of 1 lemon

1 tsp of salt

1 tsp of pepper

Throw it all in your high powered blender (go Vitamix!) and blend until smooth.

Adventures in Ontario, Canada

I made the trek back home to visit family last month & had a blast. I’m finally getting around to sharing the pictures with you =)

Walks

Naps after walks ;p

Lunch with the ladies

Time with the fam

Boating

Catching up with old friends

Oh look – a puppy seat!

Shopping with my mom-in-law

Spending the day in Grand Bend with mom

Family Photos

Healthy Vegan Friday #10

Happy Friday! We’re in the double digits with this reboot =D Very exciting stuff.

New to HVF? Robin and I are pleased as punch that you are checking it out. You can find more information here.

We’ll be announcing the winners from last week’s Sohpie’s Kitchen giveaway today too! But first, let’s check out your fav recipes from last week.

Peanut Butter Cupcakes from our very own Robin:

I can’t say I’m shocked you guys picked this recipe as #1. I was lucky enough to eat a couple of these bad boys and they were seriously AMAZING.

Grilled Margherita Pizza from Strength & Sunshine:

Growing up, pizza was always my favourite food. Not much has changed since then. I like making it weekly and I make it the same boring old way each week. I look forward to trying out this delicious recipe =)

Thin Mint Bliss Balls from House Vegan:

Whoever thought of marrying chocolate & mint the first time was a pure genius. I love this healthy, high-protein version of date balls. YUM

This week, I’m sharing my gluten-free & soy-free banana rhubarb peach muffins:

Link up veganistas! Don’t forget to link back up here and share the HVF love <3


And now – what you’ve all been waiting for.. the winners of the giveaway are:

Mel, Rebecca & @jhlhotos.

Congrats! I will be in touch with you shortly.

Have a fabulous weekend!

Check us out on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter & Instagram.

Banana Rhubarb Peach Muffins (gluten-free!)

OMG I made muffins and they are AMAZING!!!! Ok… not to sound too cocky. But you have to understand that I am normally a complete & utter failure when it comes to baking. Ask my kitchen! It can regal you with tales of meltdowns and tears over wasted ingredients and inedible baked goods. Maybe I should call them baked bads. But check these out!

I have never been much of a baker. It is just not my strength. I struggled through early adulthood not being able to figure out this baking stuff. I finally got a wee bit comfy with making easy-peasy banana bread right before going vegan. It took 2+ years to feel mildly comfortable with my vegan baking (and it was usually a failure…). After going gluten free a couple of years ago, I had basically given up on baking. I could barely bake with normal flour, let alone trying to sub in different stuff (even all purpose gf flour…). I tend to stick to raw desserts – I am comfortable with them, can wing just about anything and it always works out and tastes good. My baking is always dry or flat or tastes awful haha.

These actually rose. And were rich & moist and awesome. I actually eyed them suspiciously as I took them out of the oven thinking they were too pretty to taste good…

I have *never* made muffins this good before. Ever. And I’m super excited to share this gluten-free & soy-free recipe with you =)

**Currently rhubarb & peaches are in season so this works out well, but try subbing in your favourite fruit

Banana Rhubarb Peach Muffins (makes 12 medium muffins or 10 large ones)

1 1/2 cups brown rice flour

3/4 cup chickpea/fava flour

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1 tsp each of baking soda & powder

1 tsp each of salt & cinnamon

1/4 tsp of nutmeg

2 super ripe bananas, mashed

3/4 cup of almond milk

1/2 cup of maple syrup

2 tbsp each apple sauce & liquid coco oil

1 tbsp ground flax seed

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup of rhubarb, sliced (add 1/2 tsp of coconut sugar and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice)

1/2 cup of diced peaches

Preheat the oven to 375. Start by slicing your rhubarb, put it in a bowl and add the 1/2 tsp of coconut sugar & lemon juice.

Combine your dry ingredients (flours, sugar, baking powder & soda and spices) in a small mixing bowl. In a medium mixing bowl, combine your wet ingredients (mashed banana, almond milk, maple syrup, apple sauce, oil, vanilla and the flax seed) and whisk. Combine these two in one, large mixing bowl and stir until just mixed. Add your prepared rhubarb and diced peach and mix it up.

Scoop your batter into 12 muffin liners, throw them in the oven and bake for 25 minutes.

If you are lucky enough to have someone make a makeshift breakfast nook for you – enjoy these delicious muffins in your cute breakfast nook on a cloudy Sunday morning =)

Perfect way to start the day…

This recipe is being shared with my favourite bloghops: Healthy Vegan Fridays & Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck

New place sneak peak

We’re slowly getting settled into our new place. It started out quickly! We moved in on the first Friday in August and were completely unpacked by Sunday evening of the same weekend. But the slowest part is the decorating and furnishing part. Especially since I hate shopping with a passion :/ I basically go to a store or 2 a week to try and find things and then my patience is used up and I do other things that are way more fun (like read or cook).

Any tips you have on putting the finishing touches on an apartment with minimal shopping would be greatly appreciated!

I will be getting pictures up once it’s all done (we’re aiming to have it all done by the time my sister visits next month). In the meantime, I will leave you with this picture of my glorious, new kitchen. It’s huge and beautiful and it was never used before me =D

Look at the counter space!!! Holy work space batman!

And all of the cupboard space…

I’m in LOVE =D

Healthy Vegan Friday #9

Happy Friday! The weekend is here. Time to check out some awesome recipes =) Robin and I are psyched to see what you have for us this week. You know what else we are psyched about?? A giveaway! But first, let’s get down to some Healthy Vegan Friday business.

New to HVF? Check out the 411 here.

Let’s take a peak at your most liked recipes from last week, we had some real contenders.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Buckwheat Cereal from Strength and Sunshine:

OMG breakfast!!!! This looks insanely delicious. I am trying this for breakfast tomorrow as a post-run breakfast. YUM.

Vegan White Pasta Sauce from Chitra’s Healthy Kitchen:

Alright… I’ll admit, I *always* make marinara sauce to go with my pasta. I tried avocado pesto once and didn’t like it. But this healthy almond milk version sounds super creamy and awesome.

And last, but not least – Kale and Carrot Soup from Healthy Balance Happiness:

I’ve been finding it a little warm for soup, but I’m not above relaxing with a bowl of great comfort food. Especially when it’s so fun and pretty looking.

This week I’m sharing my Penne Pasta:

And now for the giveaway!! At the beginning of the summer, you guys were all over this awesome Fish Toast recipe from House Vegan. Some mentioned they would really like to try the Vegan Toona used in the recipe.

We hear ‘ya! And 3 of you lucky readers will be sent product coupons to try their product for free! Although I have yet to ry the Toona, I have tried several of their other products (the crabcakes are my fav and my dog LOVES the vegan smoked salmon) and love their vegan seafood alternatives. Not only vegan, but each of their products are kosher, gluten-free and non-GMO. And they are made with Konjac root, an ancient, Asian superfood.

This contest is open to all of our readers in the US and Canada (sorry international folks!), just enter a comment below letting us know why you would like to try some delicious vegan sea food =) Be sure to comment by Wednesday, August 20th at midnight.

You can find out more info on their website. You can check ‘em out on Facebook & Twitter too!

Oh and please note the new linky tool we are using. We are excited about it as it is cuter and easier to use =) So link up my fellow vegan foodies! Don’t forget to link back up.

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Have a super-rific weekend!!!

Penne Pasta

I’ve been a busy, busy bee! I totally missed posting on Monday. I had meant to give you a birthday update, but I was living it up in San Francisco on a girl’s outing =) I’ll have to post about it next week. In the meantime, I will leave you with this delicious recipe =)

Penne Pasta (serves 2)

1 cup of your favourite penne noodles (I used Tinkyada’s Gluten Free kind)

2 cups of your favourite veggies (I used mushrooms, artichoke hearts and fresh basil)

a couple of handfuls of daiya or if you have time, some homemade cashew cheeze

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Heat a wok on medium heat on your stove & sautée your veggies while the noodles are cooking. Add your favourite pasta sauce (recipe below!), daiya and sprinkle on some nutritional yeast.

What’s good pasta without good, homemade sauce??

Marinara Sauce (makes a huge batch)

4 cups of tomatoes, roughly chopped (I used a variety of heirloom, vine & cherry from my friend’s garden)

1 jar of diced tomatoes (optional – I find this thickens it a bit)

2 stalks of celery, roughly chopped

1 red pepper, roughly chopped

2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped

1 cup of basil

a few tbsp of tomato paste (optional again to help thicken it)

spices (1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp basil, 1 tsp parsley, 1 tsp thyme, 1 tsp salt)

1 tbsp of coconut sugar (this helps reduce the acidity of the tomatoes)

Throw the chopped tomatoes, celery, pepper, basil & garlic into your food processor and pulse a few times until it’s thick, but the larger chunks have disappeared. Add this to a large pot with a bit of olive oil and bring it to a boil. Add the tomato paste, spices, sugar and simmer for a few hours. I simmered mine for 4 hours and then let the flavours meld for 24 hours before using it in my pasta. It was well worth the wait!

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