Mac n’ Squeeze

Well, squash season is almost done here, but I made this awhile ago and forgot to post about it. Hopefully you can still find a butternut squash where you are to enjoy this delicious dish. If not, I bet sweet potatoes would work well too!

I got inspiration from my friend Di (yet again!). She made a similar dish for me and I practically licked my plate clean after 2 generous helpings and was eager to try my hand at recreating it. It had a very particular flavour that I enjoyed but wasn’t sure what it was. A secret ingredient!! Something I had never worked with before but have heard of. Liquid smoke. It really lends a great flavour to dishes, especially if you’re going for that “smoky” flavour. This would of course still be an excellent meal without it, so don’t fret if you don’t have it – just simply omit it. A tip to throw this together quickly at supper time is to cook your squash ahead of time. Just wash it, peel it, cube it and throw it in an oven-safe pan (I used a glass lasagna dish), toss it in some olive oil, salt & pepper and bake it at 400 for about 45 minutes, until it is tender, but not falling apart. Be sure to soak your cashews & marinate your tempeh that morning too!

Mac n’ Squeeze (serves 4)

1 small butternut squash (wash it, peel it, cube it & throw it in an oven-safe glass dish and toss with olive oil, salt & pepper & bake it for 45 minutes until it is tender but not falling apart)

An 8 oz package of tempeh (cut this into cubes and add a few drops of liquid smoke and a couple of tbsp of coconut aminos and allow it to marinate a few hours)

2 cups of your favourite noodles (cooked according to the package directions)

1/2 of an onion, diced

A few cups of your favourite veggies (I used mushrooms, broccoli & kale)

Half of the cooked butternut squash cubes

-Sautée the onion until translucent, then add the tempeh and once cooked through,  add the remaining veggies and stir fry until cooked. Add the squeeze sauce (recipe below).

Squeeze Sauce

1 cup of cashews soaked at least 4 hours (8 is best so they get nice & soft and help make a smoother sauce)

1/2 the cooked butternut squash

1/4 cup almond milk

1/4 cup of nutritional yeast

2 tbsp of tahini

a sprinkle of salt & pepper

-Put all of the ingredients in the blender & blend until smooth. Add to your dish and stir until well combined.

Enjoy!

My date with Carrie on Vegan

One of my favourite things about blogging is all of the super cool people I get to meet! I’m so grateful for the opportunity to have met blogging buddies in person.

I met Carrie of Carrie on Vegan for the first time last summer . Though we didn’t meet through the best circumstance (she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and was nervous about her upcoming surgery and I had been through all of that and thought I could help put her mind at ease), we clicked instantly and have kept in touch. She recently invited me to her house and  I was beyond excited (yes… I am a huge dork – she’s like a vegan celebrity!!).

We started out with a nice stroll.

And ended up at a cute, local market:

More walking to check out some beautiful views.

We worked up quite an appetite!

Ok, I will admit to you that I am a kitchen geek. And cooking with Carrie was like a dream come true. It would be super awesome to always have a fun friend to cook with in the kitchen!  Her kitchen is gorgeous by the way =D

Breakfast was fun too! 

She is very creative with green smoothies. I fall into “smoothie ruts” way too often, she inspired me to be more creative with my smoothies (recipe coming!). Oh and chia pudding! I had not had chia pudding in ages, it was super refreshing & delicious!

We checked out a trail near her place near the ocean. So pretty!

We even saw a tide pool! How cool is this?

Again… working up more of an appetite haha. We stopped for lunch at Shine Café and it was so good! I definitely will be making a trek back out there to try more dishes on their menu.

The views around the café were nice too!

I had a great time! It’s always such a great experience making friends through the blog =) I’m always looking to meet anyone who reads this – if you are ever in the NorCal area – let me know! I will definitely meet up with you =) And if not and are interested in meeting me, let me know and we can figure out if our paths can cross.

To my friend Carrie & Alan – thank you for your wonderful hospitality! I hope to see you both again soon.

Hope you all had a great weekend!!!

Happy Easter!

I just wanted to wish all of you a happy easter =) Hoping you have a weekend filled with friends, family & good vegan food!!

As we are away from family, we have no plans, but we started a new tradition! I had heard of a Easter Biscuit Hunt for dogs in the area, so we took Sunny along. She had a blast!

Omg… DOGS DOGS DOGS I want to make FRIENDS

Wait… I smell a treat!

There it is!!!!

 

Mmmm Treats

Healthy Vegan Friday #14

Happy Happy Friday!!! Long weekend anyone?? I don’t personally have a long weekend… well, I guess I have a perpetual long weekend being a housewife and all haha. But my hubby doesn’t get a long weekend. I hope wherever you are that you get to enjoy a good meal with family & friends =)

Suzanne, Anna & I are very excited to see what you have in store for us this week! Any easter themed recipes?

New to HVF? Check out the deets here.

Let’s recap last week by checking out your most viewed/clicked/liked recipes. You guys liked a lot last week, so there are 4 favs =D

Buckwheat English Muffin Buns from Strength & Sunshine:

I LOVE buckwheat! And how fun does this English Muffin Bun look =) So cute!

Fluffiest Coconut Pancakes from Vegan Mommy Chef:

Potato flesh to make pancakes? Genius idea! I love that they are gluten-free to boot!

Tamale Bowls from Zsu’s Vegan Pantry:

The pictures alone are drool-worthy let alone the actual food ;p

And Raw Snickers from Natalia:

Ok – I’ll be honest. I was never a fan of Snickers in my pre-vegan days. But this decadent treat looks too good to pass up! YUM

And a few recipes that caught my eye…

Noodle Bowl with Ginger Sesame Peanut Sauce from Spabettie:

Oh man… I am such a huge sucker for a good noodle bowl, and this one has my fav veggy in it (mushrooms)!!!

And how about these Apple Muffins from Green Gourmet Giraffe:

They sound (and look!) so good!

And this Raw Caramel Swirl Smoothie from Coconut & Berries:

This sounds like my new favourite post-run snack =)

My submission for the week:

Oh and some exciting news! We have been so excited having you share your recipes with us and we would really love to get to know you better =) Starting next week, instead of giving shoutouts to favourite recipes – we’re going to give shoutouts to one of you HVFers. Let us know a bit about yourself and you could be featured next month!

Well, link on my friends and don’t forget to link back up. And have a fantublous weekend!



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Rawsome carrot wraps and the picnic lunch

On my recent visit to the Great North, I bought a package of my favourite raw carrot wraps. They are so good!!! But super pricey :/ And since I can’t seem to find anything like that in the area I live anyway – it inspired me to try making my own.

Full disclosure… the food pictures suck! I had this great idea in mind of how beautiful they would look when I photographed them. I even planned a picnic lunch to the park and thought it would be a great photo session. Well… we ended up running late. The wraps didn’t “wrap” and we ate them more like bread. And the pictures aren’t great. I thought about re-making the wraps to re-take better pictures. And then said “screw it!”. I worked hard on these wraps and they turned out well and we really enjoyed our picnic lunch. I’ll continue to work on my food photography skills, but until then – here you are =)

Rawsome Carrot Wraps (makes 2 wraps)

5-6 medium carrots, washed peeled & shredded in your food processor (use the shred attachment – or grate them with a grater)

6 sundried tomatoes, soaked in warm water for a few minutes (I found this a little much and would try 3 or 4 next time)

1/4 cup ground flax seeds

1/4 cup of nutritional yeast (if you don’t LOVE nooch like I do, try a couple of tablespoons)

1/4 cup of fresh parsley (or 1 tsp dried)

a pinch of salt & pepper

Add all of your ingredients to your food processor and whir it up until well combined. You will have to add some water until you get a nice cookie-dough texture (I don’t think I used quite 1/4 cup, I just poured a bit in at a time until it looked like a nice batter).

Spread half of the mixture onto a teflex sheet and the other half on another sheet and dehydrate for 5 hours at 115f. Check it after 4 hours, it may be done, or it may need another hour.

We had a lovely lunch and here are some pics my hubby snapped of the gorgeous rose garden in bloom:

I love this last one. Isn’t it gorgeous? It looks like a sunset rose. I have no idea what kind it is, but I like my name for it =)

Sunny came along too!

Although she didn’t get to enjoy a wrap, she did feast on some lovely cucumber slices.

Have a great rest of the week! See you all back here Friday for Healthy Vegan Friday!

Visit to Canuckland (Shout out to Lettuce Love)

I’ve been meaning to post about this and haven’t got around to it. But I had a great trip last month! I went home (to Ontario Canada) for my mom’s birthday. It was a great trip filled with seeing lots of friends and family and eating some great food.

Sunny came with me! She was such an angel on the airplane, it was her first trip and I was very apprehensive. But it all turned out well, she just seemed happy to be with me =) I’m so lucky to have such an awesome furbaby. She made some friends while in Canada:

My sister fell in love with Sunny. She wanted to keep her!

My niece also adored Sunny… and well, Sunny will be your best friend for life if you give her a belly rub =)

She enjoyed a visit with my aunt and uncle’s adorable pit Cali.

Sunny has a crazy amount of energy so I thought maybe I would get a break from having to give her 1.5 hours of walking every day (spread over three walks) as it was so COLD. No luck :( She LOVED the cold and snow and ice. Awesome.

How cool is the ice formation on the river? So pretty.

We enjoyed some nice scenery despite the cold. And it started to warm up a bit by the time we were leaving.

I enjoyed some good food:

Breakfast of champions!

Mmmm chili =)

I have such a sweet tooth. Good thing Sunny wanted to go walking so much ;p

One of my favourite parts of the visit was seeing some old friends:

Bottom middle is my bestie Sarina of Earthgiven Kitchen. And top right is my friend Mel. I miss these ladies so much!

And I got to meet a new friend:

You may recognize the lovely Suzanne from Hello, Veggy! She is one of my co-hosts for Healthy Vegan Fridays and I’ve been really wanting to meet her – I’m so lucky to have had the chance =) She is just as adorable in real life as online. One of these days I hope to meet my other co-host Ana of Herbivore Triathlete.

The four of us met at my favourite restaurant in the UNIVERSE!!! I’ve had my fair share of amazing vegan eats in different cities around Canada and the US (Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto, San Francisco, LA, Honolulu and Portland), but none, and I mean none, hold a candle to Lettuce Love. Some of you may remember the café as Kind Food. I am sure to always visit them when I am in Ontario and this visit was no different.

I was greeted upon entering by manager Mike. Yep – just like Cheers – everybody knows my name (even though I haven’t been there almost 6 months). They call me Kim from California haha =) Sarina and I just couldn’t decide what to get, so we ordered several things and shared.

They had a wonderful broccoli soup and it was divine. It had so much flavour and was very nice & warming on a rather chilly day.

We also split a bowl together. I need to try more of their food. I have eaten through a good chunk of the menu, but I love their burgers so much that I always get them. But this bowl was simply delicious! It was bursting with fresh and wonderful ingredients. and the lemon tahini dressing was so refreshing.

And of course – we did split a burger.

It is so messy to eat, which makes it fun. Anything that messy will be delicious – it’s a rule. We opted for the Cali burger in honour of my visit. The tempeh is the perfect texture to create this burger. The tomato and avocado layer in nicely and the bac-uns… oh my! They lend a subtle and mouthwatering smoky flavour. I cannot get enough of this delicious burger. I have dreams about it. I’m already counting the days until my next visit (ETA 3-ish months).

And even after all of this… I did make room for dessert. We headed on over to Kelly’s Bake Shoppe.

I had absolutely no room for one of their famous cupcakes. This Skinny Cookie wasn’t overly sweet and nice & light – a perfect compliment to my meal. I did of course take some cupcakes to go to enjoy with my family:

Did I mention that the café and bakery are both 100% vegan & gluten-free? Oh yes! Does it get better than this? I think not. I jokingly (not so jokingly) told Mike when I move back to Canada I would like a job. He jokingly (hopefully not jokingly) told me I’m always welcome =D

After saying goodbye to Suzanne, we made the trek back to Sarina’s where I was invited for dinner. She made a wonderful pad thai (my pictures didn’t turn out) and this awesome raw taco wrap:

And as if I didn’t have a ginormous lunch… she made a dessert I couldn’t pass up:

SO GOOD!

I had such a wonderful time back in Canada. I’m looking forward to my next visit =D

See you all back on Wednesday!

Healthy Vegan Friday #13

It’s FRIDAY!!!! Can I get a woot woot? I hope you have all had a fabulous week and are gearing up for a super fun (or super relaxed) weekend!

Me and my lovely co-hosts Suzanne & Anna are looking forward to kicking off this weekend by seeing some of your awesome recipes in this thirteenth edition of Healthy Vegan Fridays.  New to HVF? Check out the deets here. Please remember to link up to one of our HVF posts.

And now, for last week’s recap. Let’s check out your most clicked recipes:

All About Chickpea Flour from Coconut & Berries:

Who would have guessed chickpea flour was so versatile? I’ve only ever tried making an omelette. So many delicious options =)

Healthy Carbonara from Sandy’s Vegan Blogs & Blahs:

Bacon lentils???? Genius! Love this healthy spin on a not so healthy old fav.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Dough Pancakes for One from VeggieNook:

I normally eat breakfast alone as my hubby enjoys his at work, so this is a great option for me! And cookie dough pancakes?! ‘Nuff said!

And now some recipes I’ll be trying out soon!

Favourite breaky idea:

Lemon Raspberry Chia Pudding from The Healthy Maven:

I honestly don’t make chia pudding enough. This flavour combo definitely appeals to my senses and I like switching up breakfast ideas.

Favourite snack idea:

Baked Green Bean Fries & Lime Tahini Dipping Sauce from Detached & Connected:

I admit… I do enjoy the occasional french fry – I love the idea of this healthy version to satisfy my cravings.

And favourite sweet treat:

Chocolatey Avocado Chickpea Cookies from Sandi’s Allergy Free Recipes:

My submission this week is my Ooegy Gooey Cheezy Pasta Bake (excellent the night before a long run):

Great submissions last week guys! I look forward to seeing what you have in store for us this week =) Enjoy your weekend!



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Ooey Gooey Cheezy Pasta Bake

Hey – I wanted to post this on Monday, but I didn’t have the official results yet. But one of my goals was to run a 10km in under an hour. And guess what?

I ran the Spring Forward 10km run in 55:39!!!! This has beat my previous 10km run record by over 2 and a half minutes!!!

And now… on to food!

Earlier this month I got back from vacation and didn’t have much food in the house, but really wanted to try and make it last until my market day. I got creative with my meals… and maybe went out for lunch one day haha =) By the end of the week, I had pretty well cleared out the fridge. I wasn’t sure how to throw what was left together to make a meal. AND the following day I had a 10km  that I wanted to prepare for (hello carbs!). Apparently I’m more creative than I give myself credit for – because I came up with a masterpiece with minimal ingredients. WOOT

I’ve always loved pasta. I am not afraid of carbs. They are fuel for our bodies and our brains – we need them. When I was young, my favourite night was spaghetti night at our house. It was made the exact same way each and every time. And I. loved. it. Since going vegan, I appreciate variety more. And I remembered this one time my dad had an idea to get a little creative with spaghetti night and make baked pasta. My sister and I could not shovel the food into our mouths quickly enough. It was so good! It was basically cooked noodles, my mom’s homemade marinara sauce and a can of mushrooms with cheese on top baked in the oven. It kind of grosses me out thinking about it now, but why not try and make a lighter, updated version?

Ooey Gooey Cheezy Pasta Bake (serves 4ish)

The Sauce

1 roasted red pepper (line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and put a red pepper in the oven at 400 for 20 minutes, flip and cook another 20 – done!)

3 tomatoes

1/2 cup of cashews

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

3 sundried tomatoes (if I had more… I would have used more)

1/2 tsp of tomato paste (dear husband, if you use almost the rest of the tomato paste – please buy more ;p)

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp of agave (tip from mom – sugar cuts the acidity of the tomatoes)

1 tsp each of oregano & basil

a sprinkle of salt & pepper

Throw your tomatoes, pepper, cashews, nutritional yeast & oil in your blender and mix it up until smooth. Pour the sauce into a pot, add the remaining ingredients and simmer on the stove for about an hour (more or less depending on how much time you have).

As you simmer your sauce. Cook your favourite noodles according to the directions, but cook a little shorter than you normally would (I used tinkyada rice noodles & cooked them 3 minutes less than the instructions indicated). Sautée your fav veggies (we only had zucchini & artichoke left in the fridge, but it turned out nicely). Combine the cooked noodles, the veggies & sauce together and pour in an oven safe dish. Sprinkle some daiya cheese on top and bake at 375 for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, broil it for 3 minutes so it gets a little crispy on top.

Remove from the oven and try to let it cool a bit before you devour it. Serve it up with a salad.

I attribute this meal to running my 10km in 55:39 – it’s a fuel food!

March Goals Update

 

Wow… March is over. And has been for over a week. Yikes. Is it just me, or is this year flying by already? I really need find more time to stop & smell the roses. Maybe that should be an April goal ;p

March Goals Recap:

  • 1 new dance routine (recurring monthly goal)
  • Sunny training (I slacked a bit with this in January and want a very well-behaved pup, we’re doing pretty well though!)
  • catch up on ironing (ha – I have been taking any wrinkled clothing out of the dryer and sticking it in a nice, neat pile and kind of forgot about it…)
  • find more ways to be purposeful (maybe add on another volunteer job)
  • work at pulling of a super amazing fundraising bake sale for the love of doggies!!! (let me know if you have any tips about marketing and getting help promoting this awesome event)

Ok overall – not bad. I didn’t touch the ironing. Mreh. I choreographed a new dance routine for the dance class I teach at the Y (it’s pretty awesome if I do say so myself!). I really hunkered down and focused a lot of energy into training Sunny girl and it totally paid off. She now knows “down” (which she couldn’t do before), she can “stay” for a much longer period of time (and can “stay” from a sit or down position), she now knows “drop” and her leash training is much better =) 

I haven’t added a new volunteer job yet, but I have a few I’m considering and honestly, I felt pretty purposeful last month with the bakesale. Which, by the way, went incredibly well! We ended up raising $1,000 for the dog rescue DPS. Very awesome!!!

April Goals:

  • 1 new dance routine (recurring monthly goal)
  • spring cleaning!!! (my mom-in-law is coming up next month and I want this place spic & span! well… more than usual anyway)
  • try to reduce my weekly Whole Foods bill (this is a challenge for sure…)
  • start using my new camera for blog food pics
  • catch up on and stay on top of reading all of your blogs (I’m still only up to March 26th :/)
  • find more ways to be happy (blog post coming up about this)

How are you all doing with your goals? I have a super yummy recipe for you this week – so come on back Wednesday to check it out =)

In the meantime – can anyone figure out how Sunny managed this? I really need to start videorecording her when I leave haha

Healthy Vegan Friday #12

Is it Friday already? Is it just me or did this week fly by? Happy happy Friday. Yay!

Suzanne, Anna and I have been looking forward to your recipes all week! Are you new to HVF? Check out the details here. We’re looking for you to share your favourite healthy, vegan recipes with us. Be sure to link back up to the party =)

Let’s review your favs from last week.

1) Green Protein Breakfast Bowl from Gluten-Free Cat

How pretty is this breakfast bowl? I love spirulina!

2) Hawaiian Lentil Neat Balls with Sweet & Spicy Dipping Sauce from our very own Hello, Veggy!

I never liked meatballs in my pre-vegan days, but I love veggie balls and these sound super unique & tasty.

3) Pre-Ultramarathon Approved Korean Stir Fry from the Gluten-Free Treadmill:

As a runner, I can appreciate this super awesomely balanced stir fry. Even if your’e not a runner, I’m sure you can appreciate it. Yum!

Favourite breakfast idea: Buckwheat Coconut Crepes with Avocado Dill Cream by Quick’n'Healthy:

How creative and pretty is this dish??

Favourite snack (oh yes, I would eat this as a snack!): Spinach Scramble Stuffed Mushrooms by Spabettie:

Tofu scramble stuffed inside a mushroom? Need I say more??! YUM

And most creative appetizer: Vegan Devilled Eggs by The Taste Space:

I used to love devilled eggs in my pre-vegan days. My dad used to make really good ones. I thought I had said goodbye to these when I decided to go vegan, but looks like these would be a great replacement!

And my submission for the week is this fun Healthy Black Rice:

So link on up my friends! I look forward to seeing each and every one of your recipes =)


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