Loving Lately: November Edition

november rain

Feeling curmudgeonly? Got a case of the post-halloween, pre-christmas blues?

Well never fear…Here’s a bunch of awesome stuff to help ease your early onset winter blahs.

1) THIS BACON: Vegan, coconut-based, gluten-free and generally mind blowing with its double whammy of delicious good-for-you-ness. If this is available in your hood I highly suggest buying it and adding it to everything you eat.

2) THIS INSTAGRAM: Okay maybe some of you already read @deliciouslyella but I’m obvz late to the party. While her blog is very lovely, I was totally inspired by her instagram feed full of these super tasty looking rainbow bowls. Since I almost exclusively eat my meals in thrown together bowl-form, I often forget about how important it is to appreciate each ingredient separately. Ever since seeing these beauty’s on Ella’s site, I’ve been putting in just a little extra time with my meal prep and the results have been glorious!

RAINBOW BOWL OF HEAVEN

3) MORE READS, LESS SCREENS. My new favourite thing is abandoning my phone and computer in the living room and keeping my room as a lady-cave of blankets, tea and solitude. Keeping me company right now is this fantastic new book by Dave Eggers.

4) MUSIC ALL THE TIME. My good pal turned me onto RDIO and I’m obsessed. Its basically Netflix for music so I can listen to new streaming music all the time without feeling like a bad person. Currently blaring: Haim, Arcade Fire, Lorde and FKA TWIGS, July Talk and DIANA.

5) THIS TOQUE. Note: not a “beanie.”

I’m obsessed with it and wear it everyday so I don’t have to brush my hair til spring basically. Yeee! :)

That’s all for the moment…what are y’all lovin lately?

 

 

Everyday Self Care

As the days get shorter and the weather gets colder, I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about how to best take care of myself. I honestly have no idea whether or not Seasonal Affective Disorder impacts me, but as I get older I almost always contract a case of Weather-Related-Bailing-Disorder. Otherwise known as spinster hibernation.

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Anyways I was reading this article by Kris Carr the other day and one paragraph really stood out to me. She said that every time she found herself not knowing what to do in a situation this is what she would think about:

…Brian, my sweet hubby. I put him in the situation I’m facing, and think of what advice I’d give him. Say it’s 2pm, I have a few deadlines that I absolutely have to meet still to go, but I’m beat. There’s no gas left in the tank. If Brian told me this, I’d say, “take a 20-minute nap, and when you wake up I’ll make you some tea.” Voila, my action plan is born!

So first of all I thought this was great advice and second of all I was mildly horrified. I want to be caring and compassionate as a partner, friend and caregiver but I don’t want to forget how to take care of myself first. And I think it’s important that you remember how to take care of yourself on a daily basis, when you’re in need and even when you just want a little treat.

So I made some lists. Working drafts. Of ways I’d like to take care of myself. The advice I am giving myself in advance.

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Okay I know this is a bit goofy. But it felt really great to write down. And I know teeth brushing seems like an odd one but its such a small and manageable form of self-care that I like to include it. :)

What would you put on your lists?

Autumn Eats

 

I’m already nostalgic for fall.

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I’ve always said October is the greatest (my birthday, pumpkin pie AND halloween all in one month? no competition!) and this year was no exception. So far I’ve traveled to rural Pennsylvania to catch my first college football game (y’all are crazy), spent some time in the wilderness hiking through the changing leaves and even flew to NYC for a weekend of art, food and moderate debauchery…more on that soon.

Anyhow in honour of my tender feelings towards my very favourite month I thought I would post a recipe starring the official ingredient of autumn…PUMPKIN!

This simple recipe is perfect to whip up on a Sunday afternoon and enjoy for lunches or quick dinners throughout week.

Turkey, white bean and pumpkin stew

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Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium diced white onion
  • 2-3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 diced celery stalks
  • 1 package lean ground turkey (could sub for 1 block of  tempeh, grated)
  • 1.5 cups cooked white beans
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • sage and thyme 
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Sautee onions, garlic and celery in olive oil on medium heat until just soft.
  2. Add ground turkey and cook until just brown, draining if necessary.
  3. Add in beans, pumpkin, spices and veggie broth. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmering.
  4. Simmer everything together for about 30 minutes or until the broth is thick.
  5. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Enjoy!

Seedy Sunflower Hummus

In my opinion, the ideal Sunday is spent wasted entirely.

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Today was almost perfectly that. It was a sleep in, watch Coronation Street, wear wooly socks for the first time all season, drink 3 cups of green tea, chat with my grandmother, listen to Sarah McLachlan, read my own tarot and make my own chickpea-spread kind of day. The dream, no? And while I can’t share with you the joys of my day…I can share the fruits of my labour.

Seedy Sunflower Hummus

  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 2 cups garbanzo beans, cooked from scratch
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 fresh lemon, juiced
  • 2 tbsp tamari 
  • 1 tbsp olive or flax oil

Directions

  1. Process all ingredients in a food processor til smooth and creamy.
  2. Add water if you need to until you reach the right consistency.
  3. Eat it with a spoon. Repeat all week.

Oh…and in case your wondering…the chariot signifies mastery and triumph which i choose to interpret as my success in hummus and in life.

September Circuit Workout

Jeez, pals. Is it September already? Time sure flies when you’re working full time, taking care of house and home (aka. the dumpy rental that you take way too much pride in), managing your waning late-20′s attempt at a social life and striving to continue living that enviably healthful life you used to blog about.

Well needless to say, keeping it all together has been…well… a challenge.

But it’s the new school year (#illnevergrowup) and I’m sure – like me – you’re hoping to kick it off right. No impossible to manage workout regime, no detox plan, just whole foods, consistent workouts and (if you can manage it) some positive self-talk.

Looking for a little inspiration today? Check out my first CIRCUIT WORKOUT of the month. I find circuits to be super manageable and empowering. They are bodyweight focused, whole body workouts and only take about a half hour to complete. Feel free to adapt and modify it to suit your needs and let me know how you like it!

HERE GOES…

September Circuit Workout

No-Cook Tuna “Casserole” (Gluten and Dairy Free)

It’s been a cold and rainy (dare I even say…snowy) April here in Toronto. So as much as I’d like to be transitioning to fresh spring salads come lunchtime, the thought of something warm and satisfying is far more appealing.

This not-quite a salad, not-quite a casserole is reminiscent of a classic creamy tuna noodle casserole minus the white pasta and soup-in-a-can sauce. Plus its beyond simple to whip together and can be served hot, cold or somewhere in between.

No-Cook Tuna “Casserole”
(Gluten and Dairy Free)

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Ingredients:

  • 1-2 cans tuna
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1.5 cups cooked millet
  • 2 big handfuls of spinach, coursely chopped
  • 1/2 jar capers, chopped (about a palmful)
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1/2 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • pinch of garlic powder
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Mix together millet, chickpeas and tuna in a large bowl.
2. Add in 1 tbsp tahini, nutritional yeast and mustard.
3. Mix in the fresh chopped spinach and capers and the other tablespoon of tahini. Use your hands to mix the salad, ensuring all the leaves are separated and coated in dressing.
4. Season with salt, pepper and a pinch of garlic powder. Stir again to combine.

Flourless PB&B Cookies

On the hunt for a gluten free treat that doesn’t require 8 kinds of overpriced cement flour to stay together? Well look no further.

These cookies are tasty, cheap & ready in a snap. Did I mention they only have 5 ingredients? Srsly I’m always lookin out for you guys.

Peanut Butter & Banana Cookies
(Gluten-Free)

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup all natural peanut butter 
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 banana
  • pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix peanut butter, sugar and egg until well combined.
  3. Add coursely mashed banana
  4. Use a tablespoon to scoop onto wax paper  and press down with a fork. Top with extra banana slices if desired.
  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes. They will still be very soft when they come out of the oven so make sure you allow them to cool completely before serving.

Makes about 16 cookies.

Eat em up!

Savoury Breakfast Frittata (Vegan and Gluten Free)

One of the benefits of living in a big city – and the thing I missed most when I moved away – is the sheer variety of foods I have access to. I live in a Tibetan neighborhood, two blocks from my favourite Portuguese bakery (egg tarts. i die.) and three blocks from a string of West Indian roti restaurants with the hottest pepper sauce I’ve ever tasted. I mean…I’m the luckiest girl.

Beyond restaurants, my city is also full of these tiny hole-in-the-wall grocery stores that full of inexpensive “specialty” foods. Yesterday, when I made a stop at one of these grocers to pick up Chana Masala seasoning, I spotted a massive bag of Chickpea Flour for under 4 dollars. MINE!

I’ve experimented with Chickpea Flour (or besan) before but nothing has ever compared to this latest win. I tasted something similar to it in New York from a vegan foodstand at a farmer’s market in the lower east side and this was my first attempt at recreating what I’m loosely referring to as a “frittata” in that it is savoury, high in protein, can be mixed with any veggies you like and baked. I don’t have a fancy cast iron pan but I imagine it would be perfect prepared in that.

Savoury Breakfast Frittata
Vegan, Gluten-Free

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups chickpea flour
  • 2 cups liquid (I used a mix of almond milk and water)
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp dijon
  • 1 cup of mixed sauteed vegetables (onion, asparagus, zucchini, peppers etc)
  • italian seasoning blend
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients together except vegetables together in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Pour into a loaf pan or baking dish lined with parchment paper or well greased with coconut oil
  3. Sprinkle cooked veggies evenly across the pan.
  4. Bake on 350 for around 30 minutes or until browned on top and cooked through.
  5. Allow to cool completely, cut & enjoy!

adam knows whats up

adam knows whats up

Make-Ahead Meal: Creamy Cashew Ginger Coleslaw

 

 

Today’s recipe is so simple but it’s not to be underestimated.
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A lovely, light dressing might be just what you need to brighten your lunchbox and keep away those winter vegetable blues.

Heartier coleslaw-type salads like kale, cabbage or carrot hold up much better through the week, making them perfect make-ahead meals for your Sunday afternoon food prepping.

For a long time I was feeling too lazy to make dressing myself and just tossed them in a little flax oil and balsamic, but a few weeks back I decided to get creative and have been thoroughly enjoying this tasty, light, oil-free dressing ever since.

Creamy Cashew Ginger Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup cashews (pre soaked 2 hours is ideal)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (about a half a lemon)
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp miso paste
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 1 tsp chia seeds

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Allow to sit 5 minutes or so before tossing with your coleslaw mix.

For the coleslaw

Just slice or process a whole head or bunch of cabbage or kale and toss with about 3/4 of the dressing. I like to save the last little bit to pour it over my salad right before I eat it. So delicious!

Hope you all enjoy!

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