Pearlicious Smoothie

I wanted to make a smoothie for my girlfriends who were over for lunch that was green but not too overpowering with “greenness”. This turned out to be a perfect addition to our salad based lunch and had the right about of creaminess, not too sweet and very refreshing. I remade it for the kiddos a few days later as their breakfast smoothie but added in some extra mango to sweeten it a bit more for them. The result was two empty glasses and two happy campers. Give it a worth and let me know how your crew likes it!   Pearlicious Smoothie 1 cup coconut water ½ cup non-dairy milk 1 pear (organic)* ½ cucumber (organic)* ½ avocado 1 cup mango, frozen (optional sweetener for kids) 1 tsp cinnamon (mixed in or sprinkled on top) * If not using organic fruit and vegetables, remember to peel off the skin before adding to the high-speed blender. Measure liquids into the high-speed blender then add remaining fruit and vegetables. Process until smooth and serve … [Read more...]

Creamy Vanilla-y Popsicles

This year while finishing our July 1st Canada then our 4th of July tri-colored popsicles (which also doubled as 14 Juillet (France’s Bastille Day) popsicles the girls made repeated requests for me to make just “white” popsicles. So of course I had to comply and whip some up. What’s great about homemade popsicles is there are so many options!! You can throw together some many combinations of fruit, splash of juice or coconut water or non-dairy milk and you can have so many different varieties. My biggest problem is remembering what I have mixed together and writing it down to remake again. I also love to make a little extra of our morning smoothie and throw that into a popsicle tray for dinner time dessert. This saves time and having to wash the vitamix twice!! J   Creamy Vanilla Popsicles 2 cups non-dairy milk 3-4 tbsp liquid sweetener (maple syrup, honey, or a few drops of stevia)* 2 tsp vanilla extract ½ - 1 cup chopped fruit of choice (blueberries, strawberries, … [Read more...]

Tortilla Soup

This weather has been all over the place this summer. One day its 88F the next its 68F, my system and meals don’t know if they should be warm or cold. Luckily we have lots of options and fun things to prepare with the seasonal summer treats. My Gabi requested a tomato soup last weekend, something I usually serve in fall or winter but I was with her on craving something warm plus I had a handful of veggies that needed to be used. Decided on creating a tortilla soup! Mexican inspired meals are so popular at our house. We do a lot of vegan bean-based meals for my husband and I but then throw in some organic chicken or ground beef for the little ladies. Such meals are great because we are eating (and I am preparing) one dish but get to add our own toppings. Hubby will add some extra jalapeños, salsa or Tabasco and a little cheese and I’ll throw in some extra avocado and cilantro. Gabi will have hers with some cheese too. Plus with a soup like this I will serve it with a big bowl of … [Read more...]

“Nicer” Krispie Squares

We recently received Dreena Burton’s newest book Plant-Powered Families. Dreena is one of my favorites vegan cookbook authors and she’s Canadian! My husband often wants to cook dinner for us but we usually don’t have the ingredients (or the time) for the complicated dishes he proposes. I turned him onto Dreena Burton’s books because her meals are usually quick, easy to follow, prepare and uses ingredients we tend to always have on hand! Her latest book was released just before Father’s Day this year so it was perfect timing to add another book to Dad’s cooking belt. Now I have to admit the hubby has barely opened this new cookbook, but I have devoured reading it cover-to-cover one evening. I was eager to try so many of her recipes but decided to save the savory stuff to darling dearest, while I went straight to the sweet section. So far we have tried out her Fudgesicles, Protein Power Balls and today her “Nicer” Krispie Squares. Rice Krispies were one of these treats that we … [Read more...]

Pomegranate Baby Kale Salad with Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

In spring-summer my go-to lunch is a salad. Rarely the same one, often thrown together with last night’s left-overs or veggies and beans we prepped Sunday night. I love creating a pseudo-salad bar in my fridge where I can just reach in and throw different items together for lunch. Today’s lunch is an example of that. I had bought pomegranate arils for Twin A who put them in our cart at Trader Joe’s on Sunday but hasn’t “been in the mood” to eat them all week so not wanting them to spoil I threw them into our salad! Love the pop of color and crunch they provide plus the hint of sweetness.   These little gems are known to be one of the oldest fruits, originally found in Persia. It has long been toted as a fruit very rich in antioxidants, nutrients and a symbol of vitality, fertility and health. A delicious add-on to today’s lunch! I have always loved mushrooms and often pick them out of a stew or tomato sauce when no one is looking. I just love ‘em!! Portobellos though, were never a … [Read more...]

Vanilla Biscotti

Have a confession to make. Even though I make a lot of muffins, cakes and cookies, these are mostly for the fam but it’s the crunch that gets me. Seriously, the crunchier the better! My favorites tend to be the salty and savory things like chips, rice crackers, crunchy baked green beans (which I am eating right now!) or even cereal.   Wish I could say that carrots, celery or red peppers cured these crunch cravings but unfortunately don’t always do the trick. I do try to be healthier by eating baked chips instead of fried or dried vegetables and watching how many handfuls. Now I don’t always crave salty crunchy things. Often after dinner or in the late morning I crave a sweet crunch. Apples or hard pears can get me by when at work or out and about, but given the choice I’d savor a delicious and crunchy biscotti. I fell in love with these cookies after working in an Italian bakery in high school. The family I worked for was very Italian, the mother from Sicily and the father from … [Read more...]

Fiesta Quinoa Salad

I had some girlfriends over for lunch last week, something I love to do. Entertaining is a different story when it’s a smaller group of adults versus a few families. I love to do both but it was bit more relaxing to just prep food for a few other moms. One of my friends is vegetarian and another is a tri-athlete often training for the next big race. I wanted to make something that would suit everyone, taste delicious and not require a lot of heavy lifting in the kitchen. I drafted up several menus beforehand, which is typical me, even for a casual small lunch I still had so many ideas and plans, but I kept coming back to this easy, delicious quinoa salad. I love quinoa for so many reasons: taste, texture, its filling, quick to cook, very versatile, gluten-free, a great source of vegan protein, plus it is rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Quinoa, unlike most grains (though technically it is a seed) is a complete protein, which means it contains all the essential amino … [Read more...]

Red, White & Blue 4th of July Popsicles

This time of year our desserts and/or our afternoon snacks are often something cold and frozen. I try to limit the ice cream or sorbet to treat nights and instead I do homemade fruit juice, fudge or vanilla popsicles, “nice” cream (frozen banana and mixed fruit) or slushies. These are all fun to make, the kids have lots of input, they are always game to eat these plus they are cool and refreshing. When the girls were old enough we started making home made 4th of July popsicles as an alternative to the tri-colored toxic food coloring popsicles served around this holiday (or really any time of year). We start the week before (June 28th this year) and I make a flavor a day. This year I experimented with both cherries and strawberries to see which the girls preferred. They both said in tandem that it HAD to be strawberries for 4th of July popsicles. So not wanting to waste the cherry yumminess, I used this cherry mix to make Canada Day Popsicles (July 1st) adding in some unsweetened … [Read more...]

Vegan Buckwheat Coconut Risotto

When we used to eat out more often, Risotto was one of those dishes that my husband jumped at ordering if he saw it on a menu.  It was always made with butter, cheese and sometimes a cream or milk that put this dish on the “do not eat” list for someone like me with dairy allergies.  When we first starting dating I thought he ordered this because he didn’t want to share his food, which was fine because to me it was just a bowl of rice sometimes topped with a seafood or meat.  It didn’t entice or appeal to me much but I’d be a little curious when I watched his reaction to this dish.  For the good risottos, his reaction reminded me of an Italian operatic “AHHHHHH AHHHHH”!!  Pure delight, satisfaction and culinary bliss.  He would rave about the risotto and savored it with his wine.  Was it really that good?  What makes this rice dish so amazing?  We tried a few times to make a vegan version at home but I was never blown away by it nor could I make a meal of our it.  Rob reported that … [Read more...]

Red Lentil Dahl with Baby Kale

This weather thing has me and my body never knowing what to expect!! This year’s spring and summer so far, have been all over the place. Lots of rain with bouts of sunshine then colder days, then repeat with the rain again. Can’t we just have a hot and sunny summer universe? We didn’t complain too much about the horrible winter you gave us, Mr. Sun please shine down on me! I came downstairs this morning to a super cold kitchen after leaving the kitchen window open last night. It was +87F degree yesterday after all. But this morning it was chilly, rainy and grey. Today was my “rest day” from working out with Tracy Anderson, so my body really craved something warm and healing for lunch. The girls slept in and the hubby is out of town for work, so I got some time this morning to myself, sacred time for me! My favorite time to prep things is in the morning in a quiet kitchen. This gives me time to think, plan and just start the day out on the right foot. Washing, chopping, prepping food … [Read more...]