One meal deal…


Are you a one meal deal type person like me? What does that mean? It means, you can be happily content with the same meal for lunch, dinner, and perhaps again the same thing the next day? This dish is one of those dishes for me. I make it, then eat it, for lunch and dinner for the next couple of days and I just cannot get tired of it. It is so good and so good for me. I am a person of particulars. I am particular about bathroom stalls, cereal bowls, dinner plates, and tea mugs. Every morning I have to eat my cereal out of a large coffee mug. I eat my dinner in a square bowl, and drink my Chai tea in a mighty grand size Starbucks mug. When I was pregnant with 3, I would eat President’s Choice chocolate crackle ice-cream faithfully every night in the same little white tea cup.
For some reason I felt it was not so bad to go for seconds or thirds with such a tiny cup…well, 54 pounds later, hello?! Ice cream + Me = DANGER.
Well, 3 is now one and I have only had ice cream once since the day of his birth. After his birth I went on a Panini kick and raspberries, too. This July, the panini cravings have returned, I did cave once to it and the raspberries, oh man, I just can’t get enough. However, back to what I was saying about this salad, I eat it in a cup that I used to eat the ice cream in. This recipe is from Oh She Glows, it is scrumptious and refreshing and makes every cell in my body rejoice with happiness, because they love healthy salads that taste like colors and music!

Back On Track Salad

Inspired by:  Oh She Glows

Salad Ingredients:
1 cup Bulgar wheat
2 cups/500 ml cooked chickpeas
1 English cucumber, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 large tomato, diced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 cup fresh parsley, diced with large stems removed
4 green onions, diced
Sea salt + pepper, to taste

Dressing Ingredients:
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, to taste
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp spicy mustard
1 tbsp Tamari
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

How To Play:
Boil 1 1/2 cup of water with 1/4 tsp sea salt in a medium saucepan until it boils. Once it boils, pour into a heat proof bowl with the Bulgar wheat and place a plate on top of and let it sit for 30 minutes. In a large bowl, mix together the diced vegetables (cucumber, red pepper, tomato, minced garlic, parsley, green onions). Add in chickpeas and stir.
In a small bowl whisk together the dressing ingredients (olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, Tamari, fresh lemon juice). Set aside.
When the Bulgar wheat is ready, fluff with a fork and make sure all the water has been soaked up then stir into the salad. Add the dressing just before serving and stir well. Now season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Garnish with additional parsley if desired.

Enjoy.

Homemade BBQ Sauce


What do you do when you are going to have a BBQ and realize you have no sauce in the fridge or cupboards? Why, you make your own, of course. I have made this before, so it is kind of like cheating to some degrees, I had all the ingredients. It is a bit of a process, but it beats the preservatives and fake things that go in most BBQ sauces.

Homemade BBQ Sauce:

(From Rebar)

Ingredients:
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 1/2 tsp whole cloves
4 all spice berries
4 cardamom pods
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp molasses
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp chipotle puree (I don’t like smokey flavor, so I didn’t add this)
1 196ml can of tomato paste
1 bottle of dark beer

How To Play:
Combine vinegar and whole spices in a small pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half (15 minutes). Strain out the solids and cool.  Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet and saute the onion until golden, adding garlic halfway through.  Sprinkle sugar into the pan and when it melts, add all of the remaining ingredients, including the vinegar.  Bring mixture to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, or until the sauce is thick and glossy.  Season to taste.  Cool and puree the sauce until smooth. Refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.


Enjoy.

Veggie Tale Burgers…


So, my challenge is not going as smoothly as I had hoped.  Sean had reservations with eating this burger and 1 and 2 were disgusted. I thought with such a crafty name like Veggie Tale Burgers they would be so into it. 3 was.  Does that really surprise me? He’s my vegan baby, seriously! The burgers are from Oh She Glows. I made them pretty much the way she suggests, however, I added more salt and less chili powder. I made them with parsnip fries, but because I didn’t take the massive stick piece out of the parsnips, they were a failed attempt. Next time I’ll make homemade yam fries with a chipotle mayo. Anyhow, I am excited to have another burger tomorrow for lunch!

Veggie Tale Burgers…

(inspired by Oh She Glows)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup onion, diced
1 large garlic clove, minced
Flax eggs: 2.5 tbsp ground flax + 1/2 cup warm water, mixed in bowl
1 cup oats, processed into flour
1.5 cups bread crumbs (I used about 2 pieces of silver hills 20 grain bread, processed)
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup cooked black beans, rinsed and roughly pureed or mashed
Heaping 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1/3 cup almonds, toasted and chopped
1/2 cup sunflower seeds, toasted
1 tbsp. Grapeseed Oil
1 tbsp Tamari
1.5 tsp chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. oregano
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste 

How To Play:

1.  In a large skillet, sauté onions and garlic in 1/2 tbsp oil. Mix your flax egg together in a small bowl and set aside for at least 10 mins while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

2. Place all ingredients (except spices and salt) into a large mixing bowl and stir very well. Now, add seasonings and salt to taste.

3. With slightly wet hands, shape dough into patties. Pack dough tightly as this will help it stick together.

4. Cooking methods: You can fry the burgers in a bit of oil on a skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes on each side. If baking in the oven, bake for 25-30 mins (15-17 minutes on each side) at 350F, until golden and crisp. For the BBQ, pre-bake the burgers for about 15 minutes in oven before placing on a pre-heated grill until golden and crisp on each side. I fried mine in the skillet with Grapeseed oil.

For the toppings, I used fresh red onion, lettuce, sprouts, melted cheese and guacamole.  Sean isn’t a huge guacamole fan, so I used mayonnaise and mustard on his and he liked it, he really liked it!

The Flexible Salad


Last night we had our Pastor’s meeting. Before our meetings, we share a meal together. Adrienne and I will often times prepare new recipes and hope for the best. She made a scrumptious curry chicken dish and I made a toasted sesame salad. The salad dressing actually worked really well with the chicken dish. Unfortunately, I don’t have Adrienne’s chicken recipe. The dressing recipe, however, was one inspired from Oh She Glows, and in my opinion, it is very flexible. This salad and dressing definitely could be used as a side with a variety of different meals. It’s super yum!

Toasted Sesame Salad

Ingredients:
2 cups Spinach
2 Romaine Hearts, chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
3 Tablespoons toasted sesame
1/4 cup red onions, sliced finely

Better than Bottled Balsamic Vinaigrette

Ingredients:
2.5 tablespoons balsamic
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard or regular mustard
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Ground black pepper to taste
1 minced clove of garlic (optional)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

How To Play:
Prepare the salad by toasting the sesame seeds in a dry skillet until browned and placing them on top of the lettuces, cranberries, and onions.  Toss all  the dressing ingredients into a bowl and whisk! Makes about 1/2 cup of dressing.

Enjoy.

Oh She Glows Hummus

I just got back from the Dermatologist and it was reassuring to some small degree that the spots on my face, which were not there when I was in my twenties, is a completely normal thing for people who are blue eyed, fare skinned, and in their thirties…They gist of his message was this… I am aging.  Lately, I have been thinking a lot about my mom.  Especially during the days when I was young, did she feel the way I feel now?  I used to think she knew all the answers and was untouchable by people who were mean.  She came across, to me, as fearless, well, fearless regarding people, the thing I was most fearful of when I was young.  Now, I look at myself in the mirror, with my lines and spots and my favorite lipstick, and in my head I am the same me.  I feel as though I haven’t aged.  I am 11, I am 15, I am 20, but I am really in my thirties.  I don’t know all the answers.  I am not untouchable, and yes, I still have a slight fear of people, so hide under the label of shy, however, my mom paved a way for me to be a mother to my kids.  She exhibited a confidence that made me safe.  I pray that I will do the same for my own children.

After seeing Dr. Dermatologist, I made Hummus, from Oh She Glows.  It is a great snack and I ended up just eating it as my lunch.  I added a wee bit more of lemon juice and one spoonful more of Tahini with a dash more of salt.  Costco has these amazing cracker tortilla chips made by Food Should Taste Good.  They work really well with the spread, as well as peppers and carrots.

Oh She Glows Hummus

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas, liquid reserved and set aside
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 Cup tahini
  • 7-8 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp reserved chickpea liquid (or water)
  • 4-8 drops of Tabasco or hot sauce, to taste
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Paprika, for garnish

How To Play:

Place all ingredients into a food processor (except the salt) and process until the hummus is coarsely pureed. Now add in salt gradually, stopping to taste as you go. Scoop into a bowl and drizzle with a good quality olive oil and garnish with paprika. Makes about 2 cups and lasts for about 4-5 days in the fridge in a sealed container.

Enjoy.

Sunday’s Lunch

I remember one day in school, when I was a sophomore, student counsellors met with us to look over lists of colleges, universities, and other means of higher education.  I felt pressured and trapped.  It was way over my head. At 15, how was I to know what I wanted to be? I only wanted to play soccer and garage sale.  I wasn’t big on school to begin with, so to think about post secondary school after secondary school, discouraged me.  Grades intimidated me.  Peers scared me.  I remember saying to my friend as we were checking off random schools to go to that it would be fun to own of a sandwich shoppe.  I loved sandwiches and I still do, however, I also love to make sandwiches.  It has become a family tradition to go to the grocery store and buy fresh buns, cheese, and meats, for our lunches, after church.  This Sunday I wasn’t able to go to the store due to a prior engagement.  Therefore, I decided to use what I had in the kitchen, and yes, this included Sean’s least favorite thing in the world, the big L word, LEFTOVERS.  I ended up making a grilled avocado and orange pepper cheese sandwich with Oh She Glows’ “Lightened Up Protein Power Goddess Bowl” leftovers.  It was pretty yummy.

Sunday Grilled Cheese with Avocado and Orange Pepper with a side dish…

2 pieces of preferred bread (I like Squirrely Bread)

2 tbsp Grapeseed oil

1/2  Avocado

Shredded Mozzarella and Cheddar Cheese

1/2 Orange Pepper sliced thinly

1 tbsp mayonnaise

1tsp spicy mustard

salt and pepper to taste

How To Play:

In a medium size skillet, heat the olive oil at a medium temperature until warm.  Place the slices of bread in the oil.  I like to have both sides of the bread covered in the olive oil so flip them over before adding the remaining ingredients.  Spread 1/2 of an avocado on one slice of bread and mayonnaise and mustard on the other slice.  Gently place the pepper slices over the mayonnaise and the cheeses on the avocado.  Bring the two slices together and with a metal flipper press down hard on the sandwich and then bring the temperature to a low heat and cover for about 2-3 minutes.  Flip the sandwich to have the other side toasted and again press down really hard with a flipper, and cover again for another 2 minutes.  When the peppers are warm and soft and the cheeses have melted, the sandwich is finito.  Serve with a salad, carrot slices, or tortillas.

For the Lightened Up Protein Goddess Bowl: (Inspired by Oh She Glows)

1 cup uncooked green lentils

1 cup uncooked buckwheat or brown rice

1/2 tbsp olive oil, for sautéing

1/2 red onion, chopped

3-4 garlic cloves, minced

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 large tomato, chopped

3 cups spinach or kale, roughly chopped

1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced

1 batch of Lightened Up Tahini-Lemon Dressing (recipe below)

Sea salt & black pepper, to taste

Lemon Wedges & lemon zest, to garnish

 Directions:

1. Cook lentils and buckwheat according to package directions.  Drain and set aside.

2. Prepare the Lightened Up tahini-Lemon dressing in food processor (see below for recipe).

3. In a large skillet over low-medium heat, add olive oil and sauté the chopped onion and minced garlic for a few minutes.  Add in the chopped red pepper and tomato and sauté for another 7-8 minutes.

4. Stir in the chopped kale or spinach and sauté for another few minutes, just until tender. Stir in the full batch of tahini-Lemon dressing, the cooked & drained grains and lentils, and simmer on low for another few minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the minced parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with lemon wedges and zest.

Lightened Up Tahini-Lemon Dressing

Adapted from Tahini-Lemon Dressing.

Yield: Just under 1 cup of dressing

Ingredients:

1/4 cup Tahini

2 garlic cloves

1/2 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)

1/4 cup nutritional yeast 

2-4 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil, to taste

1 tsp sea salt + freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

3 tbsp water, or as needed

Directions:

1. In a food processor, add all ingredients and process until smooth.

Enjoy.