Super Easy Veggie Stir Fry

It’s Monday?! That’s how I feel every week because I’m lucky enough to work weekends. Today was such a gorgeous day and I spent it inside at work, that’s when I decided to make this veggie stir fry so I could enjoy the beautiful gifts of the Earth inside! I love to make this with rice or noodles, but my favourite is quinoa! Did you know quinoa has 10g of protein for just a 50g (1/4 cup) serving size, this is a great alternative to animal products (chicken 12.5g/50g, beef 18g/50g, pork 15g/50g) and is filled with vitamins and minerals so you can enjoy your meatless Monday without sacrificing nutrition!

Another reason why I love this recipe is that you can use really any set of vegetables you have in your fridge and are not limited to what is listed below, when in season I also love to use zucchini, eggplant, and cauliflower!

Ingredients (serving size: 6 people)

1 bell pepper chopped, 1 onion diced, 2 cups of sliced mushrooms, 1 cup of sliced cabbage, 1 cup of chopped carrots, 2 cups of chopped broccoli, 1 cup of snap peas, 2 cups of fresh spinach, 2 cups of a grain of your choice (quinoa, rice, noodles, etc.), 1 tbsp of oil

Sweet Garlic Sauce: 1/2 soy sauce, 2 cloves of mined garlic, 1 tbsp of minced ginger, 1 tbsp of honey (maple syrup if vegan)

Note: This recipe can be made with or without an added protein, I like to enjoy it with stirfried tofu, for non vegans/vegetarians chicken, fish, beef, etc. would all go well with this vibrant dish

Steps 

  1. Prepare all vegetables as stated above, heat a large skillet on medium heat and add oil, at the same time, prepare grain of your choice to package specifications
  2. Add onions to pan, cook for 5 minutes until translucent, add mushrooms, cook for another 5 minutes, add all the other vegetables except the spinach and cook for 10 minutes, until vegetables soften and brown slightly
  3. While vegetables are cooking add soy sauce and honey/maple syrup to a small sauce pan, bring to a gentle boil stirring often, add garlic and ginger, simmer for 10 minutes, taste sauce adjust sweetness by adding more honey/maple syrup
  4. Once the vegetables are cooked, add the spinach, cook for 2 minutes until wilted, add the desired amount of prepared sauce ontop of the vegetables, simmer the vegetables in the sauce for two minutes
  5. If desired add grain to the vegetable mixture, serve ontop of the grain, or serve along side the grain

Note: Omit step 3 if you are using your own store bought sauce, if this sauce does not appeal to you, plain soy sauce works great as well.

 

 

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Vegan Enchiladas

Happy Thursday,

I had a wonderful day today, I had a nice long sleep, visited with a friend for lunch, went for a nice walk, made vegan enchiladas and apple crisp. Then after dinner, I have plans to go shopping. The only thing that would make this day better would be if I didn’t have to work tomorrow!

Ingredients (Serving Size: 6)

  • 6 whole grain tortillas, 3 cups of enchilada sauce, 1 can of corn, 1 can of black beans, 1 large sweet potato, 1 tbsp cumin, 1 tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tbsp paprika, 1 medium onion, 2 cloves of garlic, juice of 1/2 lime, 1 cup of uncooked brown rice

Steps 

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F
  2. Cube sweet potato, dice garlic, and onion add 1 cup of water to the bottom of your roasting pan, add sweet potato garlic, onion, and spices, roast for 45 minutes, stir half way through
  3. Cook brown rice according to directions, once cooked, add lime juice, corn, and beans
  4. Once vegetables are roasted and rice mixture is complete, combine together
  5. In a large baking dish, add 1 cup of enchilada sauce to the bottom of the dish
  6. Fill each tortilla with 3/4 cup of filling, add 1 tbsp of enchilada sauce, and fold shut, place into the baking dish, continue with all of the tortillas
  7. Once all tortillas are filled, top with remaining enchilada sauce bake at 375 F for 30 minutes, uncovered
  8. Once baked top with avocado, salsa (add cheese and sour cream if you are not vegan)

 

Lasagna Roll-ups

Hello, friends!

I have just recently explored the world of Lasagna roll-ups and I was very impressed! They are a great substitute for lasagna on busy nights because they are fast to prepare and only take 30 minutes to bake! They were a hit at our dinner table so hopefully, they will be at yours too!

Ingredients (serving size: 5, 1 lasagna roll-up per person, if hungry, two lasagna rolls per person and double cheese mixture) 

1 package of lasagna noodles, 2 cups of ricotta, 1 tsp of lemon zest, 1/2 tsp of nutmeg, 2 cloves of garlic (minced), 1 tbsp of oregano, 1 tbsp of rosemary, 1 tbsp of basil, 1 tbsp of thyme, 1/2 cup of parmesean, 1 cup of cooked spinach, 1 cup of mozzarella, 4 cups of tomato sauce

Steps 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Celcius
  2. Cook lasagna noodles according to directions, some require to be boiled, some required to be soaked
  3. While lasagna noodles are cooking mix together ricotta, lemo zest, nutmeg, garlic spices, spinach and parmesean cheese
  4. Once noodles are cooked lay them out flat and add 2 tbsp of the cheese mixture, spread evenly across the noodle and roll
  5. In a baking dish, spread 1 cup of tomato sauce into the bottom of the pan, put the rolls into the dish, top with the rest of the sauce and mozzarella
  6. Bake covered for 30 minutes, bake uncovered for 15 minutes
  7. Enjoy!

Baking Soda Shampoo

The sun is finally shining and I am trapped inside at work…go figure! Yesterday I tried a DIY baking soda shampoo and I was very impressed! I have used lots of “no poo” shampoos before and have always enjoyed the soft sensation they leave on my hair. The baking soda shampoo left my scalp slightly drier than I wished but I just compensated with a touch of coconut oil! 

Instructions

1. Mix 3 tbsp of baking soda with 1 tsp of water, the consistency must be a paste, add more water if needed 

2. Fully wet hair and apply baking soda paste as if you were washing your hair, remember, there will be no bubbles! 

3. Let baking soda paste sit in your hair for 5 minutes 

4. Rinse baking soda out with water, then rise with diluted apple cider vinegar (1 cup of water, 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar) 

5. Once finished in the shower apply 1/2 tsp of coconut oil to ends and work your way up to your scalp

Greek Quinoa Salad

TGIF, right? How can you say TGIF if you work weekends? I love to make this salad to take camping, on picnics or at the beginning of the week to take for lunches to work.

Ingredients (serving size 4 people) 

2 cups of uncooked quinoa, 1 cup of chickpeas, 1/2 cucumber (diced), 2 roma tomatoes (chopped), 1/3 cup of pitted kalamata olives, 1/2 cup of crumbled feta (omit if vegan), 1/4 cup of red onion minced, 1/2 cup of celery minced

Dressing: 3/4 cup of olive oil, 1 cup of red wine vinegar, 2 tsp of salt, 2 tsp of oregano, 2 tsp of dried basil, 1 tsp of pepper, 1 1/2 tsp of onion powder, 1 1/2 tsp of yellow mustard, 2 garlic cloves minced, 1 tbsp of honey (or maple syrup)

Steps 

  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions, I like to use vegetable broth instead of water to add another depth of flavor
  2. While quinoa is cooking mix together dressing, adjust the amount of honey as needed to your taste preference
  3. Combine all the vegetables and chickpeas together in a bowl and add 1/4 cup of dressing, let sit for 10 minutes
  4. Once quinoa is cooled, add the dressed vegetables feta and 1/2 cup of dressing, mix thoroughly
  5. Let sit for at least one hour in the fridge before consumption

Banana Bread Recipe

Its Friday and its raining again!

I’ve decided to post this recipe because it’s super easy to make! I like to make this recipe early in the week so I can take a slice for breakfast, or put it in my lunch for work during the week.

Ingredients (Makes one loaf) 

3 very ripe bananas, 1/3 cup of melted butter, 1 tsp of baking soda, 1 pinch of salt, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1 large egg, 1 tsp of vanilla extract, 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

Note: chocolate chips, nuts, and raisins can be added if you wish

Steps 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Celcius
  2. In a large bowl, mash the bananas, add the melted butter, egg and vanilla extract, mix together until smooth
  3. In another large bowl, mix baking soda, salt, brown sugar, and flour
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and slowly mix until evenly incorporated
  5. Pour into a greased loaf pan (8×4 or 9×6) and bake for 50 minutes to an hour, check the loaf about 35 minutes through with a toothpick through the middle.
  6. Once the loaf is fully cooked, allow to cool in the pan, once cooled remove from the pan and store in a large glass container for up to a week.

Vegetarian Shepard’s Pie Recipe

Good evening friends,

It seems like where I am from April showers has continued into May, the past week has been all doom and gloom with upwards of 50 mm of rain each day! Damp, cool days make me want my comfort food, if I had to choose my very last meal, this would be it. This recipe will fill you up and warm your belly on a cool day.

Ingredients (serving size: 5 people)

5 medium potatoes of your choice (I like russet/white/yellow, sweet potatoes would be good too), 1/2 cup of corn, 1/2 cup of peas, 1/2 cup of carrots (diced), 1 diced onion, 2 cloves of garlic (minced), 1 package of instant vegetarian/vegan gravy (you could make your own, but this is just too easy!), 1 package of Yves groundround, 1 tsp of steak spice, 1 tsp of onion powder, 1 tsp of turmeric, 1 tsp of yellow curry powder, 2 tbsp of butter (or vegan substitute), 1 tbsp of olive oil, 1/4 cup of milk of your choice

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Note: I often used canned/frozen peas/corn/carrots as it is much faster then preparing them fresh, this recipe’s instructions are designed to use frozen/canned vegetables, if you are using FRESH vegetables, please see the final note within the steps.

Steps 

Prep-time: 30 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Celcius
  2. Wash and chop the potatoes into 3×3 cm cubes, leave the skin on! Place in a large pot cover with water and bring to a boil, cook until a fork can easily be pierced through
  3. In a large pan, bring to medium heat, add oil, spices, and diced onion, cook until onions are translucent and slightly brown about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and the groundround to the pan, cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until slightly browned and heated through.
  4. While the groundround is cooking begin making the gravy, my personal favourite is the Swiss Chalet Homestyle gravy, cook according to the package, OR use your favourite gravy recipe.
  5. Once the potatoes are cooked through drain the pot leaving about 1/4 cup of water, begin mashing them, add the butter of your choice, if the mixture still seems too dry add 1/4 cup of milk of your choice. To make creamier, add 1 tbsp of sour cream and 1 tbsp of cream cheese if desired.
  6. Once the groundround is cooked add the vegetables, turn heat to low and cook for 5 minutes
  7. Once groundround and vegetable mixture is ready, potatoes are mashed, and gravy is prepared, begin assembling the meal.
  8. In a 9×13 pan first add the groundround and vegetable mixture, next pour the gravy over top and mix, finally add the mashed potatoes
  9. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees, before removing from oven gravy should be boiling, if it is not leave in for another 15 minutes
  10. Remove from oven let sit for 5 minutes and enjoy.

Note: If you are using fresh vegetables, within step two, after the onions have cooked for about 5 minutes, add the fresh vegetables and cook for 5 more minutes, once the 10 minutes of cooking of vegetables is up, proceed through the recipe omitting step 6.

Why I hike

I enjoy spending my time in the outdoors, I find it calming and satisfying to see the beautiful things the Earth creates. There are many different scientific studies that have been done correlating with increased memory, mood and decreased stress.

Five reasons why I hike:

  1. Improved short-term memory
  2. Restored mental energy
  3. Stress relief
  4. Reduced inflammation
  5. Improved Concentration

Spending time outdoors is especially important to me while I am practicing my studies. I often take study breaks by going for a short walk outside, 5-10 minutes around the block.

Finally, the earth is a temple, my studies include learning about the effects of humans on the earth. My goal is to protect the earth while learning about its beauty on foot in the natural environment

How you can enjoy the Earth’s beauty to:

  1. Go for walks, take time to admire the small things, the dandelions in the grass, the leaves on the trees and the clouds in the sky
  2. Admire the Earths creations, see yourself as equal, not only to all humans but to all walks of life; to the bees, the ants on the ground and the birds in the sky
  3. Reduce your intake of animal products, one vegetarian meal a week, or one meat meal a week.
  4. Reduce your intake of dairy products and eggs, switch to nut milks, use vegan substitutes for eggs such as tofu or ground flax seed.

Admire the Earths beauty in your own ways, but whatever you do ensure you take time each day to observe its beauty, because it may not be here forever.

Vegetable Quiche

Happy Wednesday everyone,

The sun is finally shining and I am looking forward to going outside and enjoying the spring sun. I love using this recipe on busy nights as it is fast and tasty.

Ingredients (serving size: 4) 

1 deep dish frozen pie crust (or make your own, on busy nights I do not have time for that),  4 eggs, 1/4 cup of milk, and 2 cups of veggies diced, I like to use; onion, broccoli, tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, 1/2 cup of cheese of your choice, I like to use 1/4 of cheddar and 1/4 of feta, 1 tbsp of steak spice, 1 tsp of pepper

Steps 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Celsius
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs and milk, add the diced veggies, 1/4 of cheddar cheese, and the spices
  3. Dump the egg mixture into the uncooked deep dish pie crust, top with 1/4 of feta cheese
  4. Cover with tin foil and bake for 30 minutes, remove the tin foil and bake for 15 more minutes, to ensure the quiche is cooked, poke a fork into the center and pull the egg to the side, if there are no signs of liquid, the quiche is cooked, if there is liquid, bake for another 10 minutes
  5. Let sit for 10 minutes before consumption, and enjoy!

Mac and Cheese Recipe

Hey Folks,

Mac and cheese is one of my favourite recipes to take camping, cooking the mac and cheese over the fire infuses it with a nice smokey taste. The taste of campfire in the mac and cheese is just too good to resist. The taste can be replicated over the BBQ but sometimes mac and cheese baked in the oven is just as good.

This recipe can be a bit overwhelming because it has a homemade cheese sauce, but it is very easy once you get started, and it tastes so good.

Ingredients (serving size: 4) 

Cheese Sauce: 1 cup of butter, 1 cup of flour, 1 tsp of onion powder, 1 tsp of garlic powder, 1 tsp of pepper, 1 tbsp of rosemary, 1 tsp of thyme, 1/2 tsp of chili flakes, 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, 1 cup of cheddar cheese, 1 cup of milk

2-3 cups of pasta of your choice (I like to use mini shells), 1/2 Spanish onion diced, 1 clove of garlic minced

Topping: 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup of panko breadcrumbs (Italian spiced)

Steps

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees celsius
  2. Cook the pasta of your choice according to the directions, ensure the pasta is cooked al dente because the pasta will be baked in the oven
  3. In a large saucepan melt butter, add all the spices, wait until the butter is boiling slightly (do not let it smoke), turn the heat down to low, while mixing slowly add the flour 1 tbsp at a time, the mixture will become very thick and hard to mix, once the flour is added the mixture it should resemble a crumbly playdough
  4. While the heat is still on low, slowly add the milk 1/4 of a cup at a time whisking vigorously, about 1 cup of milk should make the mixture the perfect consistency  (slightly thinner than pudding), you can make your sauce thinner by adding more milk *the mixture will thicken once the cheese is added
  5. Once you have reached the desired consistency of your sauce turn the heat off and stir in the cheeses one of a time
  6. Add the cooked the pasta into a large bowl with a small amount of butter, mix around so the pasta does not stick together, add the diced onion and the minced garlic
  7. Add the cheese sauce to the pasta mixture, mix well
  8. Add the pasta mixture into a glass tray (9 x 13), top with the cheeses and the bread crumbs, I like to mix it up, half cheese, half bread crumbs, half cheese, half bread crumbs
  9. Bake covered with tin foil for 30 minutes and bake uncovered for 15 minutes
  10. Once finished baking let sit for 10 minutes before enjoying