Buckwheat Parfait

I love breakfast! It’s one of my favourite times of the day =) Though I enjoy my green smoothie, sometimes I need a little more. Something different. Especially after a good workout! This breakfast is actually pretty quick and easy – it just requires a little bit of prep the night before.

Buckwheat Parfait (serves 2)

2/3 of a cup of buckwheat groats, soaked overnight

Coconut whipped cream (from 1 can of full fat coconut milk – instructions below)

1 tsp of agave

half of a vanilla bean, cut open and insides scraped (you can use 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract)

Fresh fruit

First things first! The night before you want this breakfast, place your buckwheat groats in a bowl, cover with water and soak ‘em overnight. Take your can of coconut milk and place it in the fridge.

The next morning, drain & rinse your buckwheat groats. Take out your coconut can, remove the lid and scoop out the solidified coconut cream from the top of the can. Use a spoon – don’t dump it out as there will be liquid at the bottom (you have essentially separated the cream from the milk) and place it in a medium sized mixing bowl. You can save your coconut water from the can and use it in smoothies or cooking.

Grab your hand mixer and slowly beat the coconut cream and add in the agave and vanilla bean. Don’t over mix, just mix it up a bit until it has reached a nice, fluffy consistency.

Take two breakfast bowls and layer in a few scoops of buckwheat groats, coconut whipped cream and some fresh fruit. Use the rest of the buckwheat groats for the next layer, most of the rest of the coconut whipped cream and the remaining fresh fruit. Use the rest of the coconut whipped cream to top it off.

YUM!

The Crusher of Dreams (fit tips & tricks during an injury)

I am not having a great week. January isn’t turning out into that super awesome month where things turn around and everything falls into place. It started out that way… then this happened:

I know what you’re thinking – didn’t I *just* injure my foot not that long ago? You would be correct! And how did this lovely new injury occur you may ask? I was walking my pup with completely non-supportive shoes (cheap ballet flats) and she broke into a run and I ran to keep up, but landed on my foot funny. It actually didn’t hurt very much at first. For a whole week I felt a bit of a twinge, but nothing keeping me from any activities. One week after that, I went for a run and really hurt my foot. It turns out it’s a stress fracture :/ So I’m stuck with a boot and have been told to stay off of my foot for 3 whole weeks. This news comes to me one week before I was to start training for a half marathon.

This *really* got me down. I haven’t run a half in several months and was looking forward to training for one again. Since I already beat the time of my goal, I was going to take it easy with this training and go slow & steady. There is absolutely no way I can train for the half now as it’s around mid-March. Even after my 3 weeks is up, I have to get back into things very gradually.

So what does this mean for me? Well, I’ll be completely honest with you, I have been feeling a little sorry for myself and eating a little too much junk food. Instead of beating myself up over it, I will be ok with it for a few days and then move on. I’m trying to tell myself that there are a *ton* of things I can do while my foot heals. Here are some things I am excited to have time to work on:

  • revamp the blog (this is way overdue!)
  • start to learn Spanish
  • work on art projects
  • read lots (already enjoying this one)

And I’m starting to think of a game plan for when I can start to gradually get back into my active lifestyle.

Walking

This is such a great, low-impact activity and is easy to incorporate into any lifestyle. I find this especially easy with the pup =) Go explore your neighbourhood. This defeats the purpose a bit, but you can even hop in the car to walk around a new area.

Swimming

This is a great way to get in some cardio while using your whole body to workout. And it’s super low-impact! This is great to do while injured, to switch up your regular work out routine and good for cross-training.

Strength Training

When I first started to exercise, I was scared of using weights. I wasn’t sure how to properly use them or what to do with them. I’ve gradually incorporated them into my workouts over the years and now I can’t imagine not using free weights a few times a week. I was taught to use them properly from fitness instructors and trainers over the years – be sure you use proper form when using these.

Dancing is also a great activity to do that’ll get the heart rate up – just be mindful not to re-injure yourself and be careful.

**The most important thing is to listen to your doctor. Go through your game plan with your health professional before doing anything. And always be gentle with yourself when recovering from an injury – listen to your body, it will tell you what it can and can’t handle.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help! This is something I have not been good at in the past, but I know that I would drop anything to help a friend in need and do on a regular basis. I’ve already had offers for errand grocery runs and I’ve recruited people to take the dog for walks.

I’m hoping after my 3 weeks is up, I can gradually get back into running. I won’t be able to run my half, but maybe I can walk it! I’ve ran a lot of half marathons over the past few years and am fortunate that my body is strong and able to quickly recover from injuries. In the past, I have allowed my injuries to bring me down into depression. I’m determined not to this time. I have friends helping me out by keeping me company and offering to walk my pup for me. I will look at this as a time to rest and relax.

What do you do when recovering from an injury?

Healthy Vegan Friday #31

Welcome back! I’m excited to get back in the swing of things with you =) And to see more of your delicious, healthy recipes! Yay for Fridays!!

Are you new to HVF? Be sure to find everything you need here.

We had some stellar contributions last time, here are your favs:

Red Pepper Cream Rice from Let’s Get Living:

Aside from the absolutely gorgeous picture – this dish sounds warm & inviting. Such perfect comfort food! Brownie points for having my fav ingredients (kale, mushrooms & chickpeas – yum!).

Spaghetti Squash Primavera from Creating Silver Linings:

I’m always looking for creative ways of using spaghetti squash – this hits the nail on the head! It’s a perfect bowl complete with noodles & veggies & protein. This is one perfect and complete meal.

High-Protein Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Alfredo Pasta from The Taste Space:

You guys are definitely digging the complete meal bowls/pastas this week! I have to be honest… I am not a big cauliflower fan – but the creaminess it lends to this pasta dish has me craving to try it out! I’m totally digging the kelp noodles as a non-traditional pasta addition too =)

This week I’m sharing my Honeynut Squash & Chard Sautée:

I hope you have a lovely weekend! I look forward to seeing all of your wonderful contributions this week. Don’t forget to link up & link back =)


Don’t forget to check out HVF on Facebook & Pinterest.

 

Honeynut Squash & Chard Sautée

Don’t you just love trying new things? As a former chronic picky eater, I will now try anything as long as it’s vegan =) And when we first moved here – I started making my way through all of the interesting produce in Northern California that we had never seen or heard of. I think my favourite is still Buddha’s Hand. Now that we’ve been living her for the past couple of years, we’ve tried pretty well everything that we see at the market. But I was pretty stoked to come across a new kind of squash!

Honeynut squash. It’s as cute as it sounds! Aren’t they adorable? They are actually quite similar to butternut squash, but smaller and the flesh inside is lighter. It also tastes sweeter. Like it’s butternut cousin – it is quite versatile. I kept it simple with this first attempt.

Honeynut Squash & Chard Sautée (serves 2-3)

2 mini honeynut squash (I found some about the same size as sweet potatoes)

1 tbsp of olive oil

sea salt & pepper to taste

1 small bunch of chard, washed & torn into bite-size pieces

1 tbsp of coconut oil

Nut Parm

2 tbsp of almonds

2 tbsp of pecans

2 tbsp of nutritional yeast

salt & pepper to taste

Start by preheating your oven to 375. Peel the squash, chop it and remove the seeds. Chop the squash into bite-size pieces and place in a glass casserole dish. Add the olive oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Bake for 30 minutes or until it is tender when pierced with a fork. While the squash is cooking, prep your chard. Heat a wok on medium heat on the stove and add your coconut oil. Once it has melted, add your chard and sautée for about 5 minutes or until it has turned more green and wilts up a bit. While the chard is cooking, prepare your nut parm. Roughly chop your nuts and place them in a bowl with the nutritional yeast, salt & pepper. Once the squash is done, combine it with the chard. Place the squash & chard on plates and top with the nut parm. This would work well with butternut squash, sweet potato or even roasted carrots instead of the honeynut squash.

How to Survive Disney

Ok – for starters – just have fun! It’s the happiest place on earth after all. I was a little nervous about heading to Walt Disney World, especially since they aren’t exactly known for their vegan-friendliness, but I managed ok. And I can give you some tips that will help you next time you find yourself in the Magic Kingdom.

But first – picture roll!

Spending time with my family was so great! I hadn’t seen them since the summer and I missed them terribly. It’s quite difficult living so far from them. Mom wanted me to come home for Christmas, but it’s much too cold. She had the genius idea for her, my sister, my niece & I to meet at Disney in Florida. It was a week of fun! And eating wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be.

As I mentioned last week, I packed a ton of snacks. They don’t seem to mind you bringing any sort of snack into the park. And after getting off the plane, my first stop was Whole Foods so I could pick up a bunch of fresh produce to make some meals. Among the things I picked up were a can of black beans, some cucumber, tomato and lime and made a few salads out of these simple ingredients. Delicious & packed with protein, it helped keep me full and energized for the afternoon!

After reading Peta’s tips, I was happy to discover that the popcorn was vegan – not super healthy, but a fun treat!

I did try having a veg burger at one of the places in the park – but I felt completely awful after :/ I’m not sure what was in it, I was assured it was vegan a few times, but won’t mention it here on the off chance it had something in it…

So I was sure to make my own supper other nights. We bbq’d one night. And we had a mish mash of leftovers on the last night to clean out the fridge.

BBQ Portobella Burger with bbq sweet potatoes & tomato, cucumber salad

Leftover mushroom burger, roasted broccoli & sweet potato & nachos

I even had enough food leftover to pack myself lunch for the plane ride back.

 Roasted broccoli & sweet potato with black beans and greens. 

These meals were very easy to throw together and were delicious! I also had a ton of fresh fruit and was able to make my beloved smoothie most mornings as the house we rented had a fully equipped kitchen complete with blender!

Oh! And we made the trek out to My Nature’s Delight Health food store. It wasn’t far from where we were staying and I make a habit of checking out local health food stores while on vacation to see if they have stuff other than my local ones at home. This one did =) They had some fun pineapple & cacao granola, cashews & some delicious chocolate. AND they had a little café that is completely vegan. I ordered a burger, which was also gluten-free =) The staff were super friendly and the food was awesome! My apologies for the crapola picture.

So don’t sweat about food on your next vacay – relax & enjoy. Just be sure to plan ahead =)

Sneak peak…

Happy Friday! Hope you are enjoying your week. Oh, and looking forward to a long weekend =)

Healthy Vegan Friday is on break this week as I have been spending some much needed time with my family in a wonderful place. A happy place.

Here’s a sneak peek:

See you all back next week with some stellar pictures and tips & tricks I learned about dining on the go in the Happiest Place on Earth.

Vanilla Bean Hemp Snacky Balls (Raw, Gluten & Guilt Free)

I mentioned earlier this week an upcoming recipe for an easy, portable snack for travel. Here it is! The beauties can be made in 5 minutes – quick, easy and delicious.

I love date balls. They are so great and versatile! They are great sweet treat without much guilt. An afternoon pick me up, a pre-workout snack, dessert… mmm. I usually make mine with chocolate, like these Snacky-Balls or these Coconut Truffles, so I thought I would try something different this time.

Vanilla Bean Hemp Snacky Balls (makes 8 treats)

6 Medjool Dates

1 tbsp of coconut oil

1/2 of a vanilla bean, scraped

1 tsp of lacuma powder (optional)

1 tbsp of hemp seeds (for a topping)

Throw your dates, coconut oil, vanilla & lacuma powder in a food processor and pulse until it turns into a crumbly, sticky mixture (almost like a dough). Scoop out the mixture by the teaspoonful and roll it into small bowls. Throw them in a small bowl with the hemp seeds and roll them around until they are covered with seeds. I put mine in the freezer to firm up – the fridge will work too.

Enjoy!

Vegan Traveling

Vacations are exciting! It’s a time to check out new places (or old favs), take a break from routine and enjoy life.

They can also be stressful… packing, planning, organising, making sure everything gets done before you go. Lots of preparation involved. Especially if you have a special diet and are nervous about what you’ll be able to find to eat.

All you need to do is a little prep work! I’m gearing up for a trip (actually, by the time you read this – I’ll probably be on a jetplane woot!) and felt like I had a million things to do.

Split Planning Duties

I’m traveling with family who don’t travel much and haven’t had to really book or plan vacations. I offered to book flights and accommodations if they could handle the car rental and figure out our excursions. Splitting up duties is a good way to go about things – it took away half of my stress =)

Plan Ahead

I also had to worry about packing (not much for a 5-day trip fortunately) and finding care for my pooch (thank goodness for friends that adore my sweet Sunny dog!). With that done ahead of time, I had time to get some domestic duties done before leaving.

Have a Kitchen Available

My failsafe is to rent a house instead of booking a hotel. I love Airbnb & VRBO for their lovely house rentals. My husband and I have used these sights several times and have always had good experiences. This means we don’t have to worry about noisy hotel halls, living off of restaurant & airport food and being confined to tight quarters. I love cooking, so having my own kitchen while on vacation is a must. I found out the place we’re staying at this week even has a blender in the kitchen so I can have my beloved green smoothies for breakfast.

Do Your Homework

Check out the area before traveling by doing a bit of research. I found out that there is a Whole Foods on the way from the airport to our rented house. Jackpot ;p I also always check HappyCow before going anywhere to see where nearby vegan-friendly restaurant and health food stores are.

FOOD

Lastly – food! If I’m fortunate enough to have time – I always make snacks to bring with me. Sometimes if I don’t, I’ll head to Whole Foods or Sprouts to pick up some pre-packaged healthy treats. For this trip, I made some of  Gena’s Carrot Ginger Crackers, and I packed granola and dark chocolate. Oh! And I made some snacky balls that I will share the recipe for in a couple of days. Check out my haul – got all of this for under $30 at some local health food stores and it will make plenty of snacks & meals.

Final Tips

When having to travel more than a couple of hours on an airplane and it’s a domestic flight – pack your own lunch! For some reason, I get extra hungry during a flight. It’s probably nerves as I don’t like flying. I pack fresh fruit & veggies and usually some bean chips and guacamole. That way I have healthy food I like and am not stuck with an expensive and yucky airport meal. I also am sure to have had lots of sleep the night before flying and drink a ton of water to be hydrated =) Relax and have fun!

My good friend Carrie did a post on traveling before the holidays – she has some great tips too =)

Healthy Vegan Fridays #30

Happy Friday! I hope you are all managing to get back into the swing of things alright after some much needed down time =)

New to HVF? Check out the info here.

Quick announcement! Next week, I’m taking a brief break from the blog hop for a much needed vacation with my family =)

A recipe from last week I’m totally digging are these Apple Gingerbread Muffins from Strength & Sunshine:

I do love a good gluten-free muffin. And the apple & ginger combo has me intrigued! Can’t wait to try them out =)

This week, I’m sharing my Loaded Caesar Salad: 

Things have slowed down over the holidays, I’m hoping we can breathe some new life into HVF. Who is with me????

Link on up – don’t forget to link back. And have a fab weekend!


Don’t forget to check us out on Facebook & Pinterest.

Loaded Caesar Salad

After a bit lot of holiday indulgences, we have both been craving green things. Veggies. Salads. Mmmm. I was looking to make a caesar salad, but we tend to find them a little light for supper fare and prefer them for lunches. I thought maybe I could load the salad up though! The fun thing about this salad, is you can really make it your own. Put your favourite veggies in it. Another option is to make it raw. It’s pretty versatile. There are a few steps involved, but I had this on the table in about 35 minutes.

Loaded Caesar Salad (makes 2 good-sized salads)

1/2 of a bunch of romaine lettuce, washed & torn into bite-sized pieces

1/2 of a bunch of kale, washed & torn into bite-sized pieces

1 cup of sliced mushrooms

1 large carrot, peeled & julienned

1 tomato, chopped

a few marinated artichoke hearts, chopped

Tempeh Bacon

1/3 of a package of 8 oz tempeh, chopped into bite-sized pieces

1 tbsp of maple syrup

1 tbsp of coconut aminos (or soy sauce)

a few dashes of liquid smoke (not a necessity, but enhances that smoky-flavour)

*See instructions below

Dressing

1/2 cup of cashews, soaked 4-8 hours, the longer the creamier the dressing will be

2 tbsp of artichoke marinade

2 tbsp of water

the juice of half a lemon

1 tbsp of hemp seeds

2 tbsp of nutritional yeast

2 tbsp of plain, unsweetened coconut yogurt

Blend all ingredients until creamy & smooth.

Homemade Croutons

2 slices of gluten-free bread, chopped into bite-sized pieces

2 tbsp of olive oil

a pinch of sea salt (I have herbed sea salt, if you don’t – feel free to add some other spices)

Pour the olive oil on the chopped bread and add the salt. Stir it up until well combined and throw it in the toaster oven for about 5 minutes. I like mine a little soft, if you prefer yours crispy, leave them in longer.

As for the actual salad, I preheated a wok on the stove to medium heat and added a little coconut oil. Terry finds raw kale hard to digest, so I sautéed it a bit. After setting the cooked kale aside, I added the tempeh (my wok didn’t need extra oil), the maple syrup, coconut aminos & liquid smoke. Cook for a few minutes. I cook mine until it starts turning golden brown. After setting aside the cooked “bacon”, I added a teeny amount more of coconut oil and sautéed the mushrooms until cooked.

Massage the dressing into the lettuce (I only ended up using half of the dressing – the rest can be used to dip in crackers or for another salad). I layered the carrot, tomato, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, tempeh bacon & croutons. I threw some coconut bacon on top we had. It was dee-licious!

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