Ginger Tumeric Butternut Squash Recipe (Vegan)

This delicious ginger, tumeric butternut squash recipe is simple and a good anti inflammatory. Creamy and smooth and made vegan. See the full recipe for non vegan substitutes,

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Chopped Leaf Turn Over A New Leaf Contest

New year, new leaf to turn over. I don't care what anyone says about resolutions and "New Year, New Me". I love a fresh year, fresh start with the intention of changing something for the better. 

January 1st The Chopped Leaf, launched their Turn Over a New Leaf program. For the month of January, offering healthy tips on their Facebook Twitter and Instagram pages with a chance to enter daily to win $15 gift certificates as well as be entered to win the grand prize worth $2500 including  $1000 Chopped Leaf gift card and a year membership to Goodlife and a spa and wellness package! 

So head on over to follow them and get in on the daily draws and  enter to win for the grand prize HERE.

Go Bananas Smoothie

A simple and delicious smoothie. I usually like the banana frozen and it gives it a thicker texture but today I used a fresh banana so I added ice to liquify it more. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • ice if not using frozen banana

Mix all together in a blender and enjoy right away. Sop yummy.!

Honey Cinnamon Roasted Chickpeas

Ooooo I love roasted chickpeas. I make them in a few flavors, but the honey and cinnamon are hitting the spot today for a bit of sweetness! These are fairly simple to make, high in fiber and easy to put in containers for on the go snacks. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • optional 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Rinse chickpeas under water in a strainer. 
  3. Place chickpeas on a cookie sheet or pan and cook for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and set temperature at 350 degrees. 
  5. Mix cinnamon, honey and optional salt in a bowl. 
  6. Stir in the chickpeas and coat evenly. 
  7. Spread chickpeas back out onto the sheet and in the oven for an additional 10 minutes.
  8. Enjoy!

As my daughter says "they start sweet and then nice and crunchy!" A nice healthy snack and they make the house smell soooooo good while cooking.

Love, 

Jen

Self Care Sunday - Walking

Welcome back to Self Care Sunday. Last week we talked about A Simple Bath. Did you make time to care for yourself this week? It's okay if you didn't. Guess what? You get another shot this week! 

This week I want to chat about walking. Again a simple self care most of us can do. Almost every day I wake before my family. I'm an early riser. A few days a week I meet my friends and we do workouts at 6am, but one day this week I woke up and went for a walk in my neighborhood. I felt the rising sunshine on my face, the still crisp cool morning air on my skin and since I was walking without a "purpose" or "place to go", I was able to slow down and take in the smell of the trees, lawns being watered and notice details of my neighbors houses I've never noticed before. 

I finally walked far enough to this space that open up and overlooks the river valley. I've been here before, but never really paid attention to the view or noticed the trail that leads down the side! I've always been so busy as I pass by. I took a moment to sit on the ground and have a few big beautiful breaths and stretches. I got home feeling refreshed and rejuvenated as much as a sweat dripping, muscle burning workout. 

Walking is a simple task, it feels good and gives you the time to reflect. Daydream a little, sort out problems in your head, listen to your favorite music, plan your week ahead, reconfirm mantras and positive affirmations. You can also check out this wonderful post 17 Health Benefits of Walking.

A few tips for getting in your walk:

  • Schedule a day (or more) and the time that you will take this walk. Put it in your calendar and note it's as important and someone asking you to do something else. Note if you are a morning or evening person and possible go with the sunrise or sunset.
  • Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. This isn't a fashion show.
  • Download some calming music or an inspiring podcast if your neighborhood or time of day is a noisy one.
  • Talk a water if you will be gone a while or it's hot out.
  • Get help with children. Ask your partner for this time alone, ask another friend to watch your kids and then when you are done you watch hers and she can go for a walk. If you have to bring the kids, there is no shame in giving them toys or distractions in the stroller to occupy them a little. Remember this is about you, not them.  
  • Put your phone on airplane or don't bring it. No Facebook or tweets or emails or phone calls. This is your time to be with yourself. 

 

Share with me where your walking journey takes you.

Love,

Jen 

Quinoa Kale Cakes

Quinoa Kale Cakes, say that three times fast! Growing up my best friend was Polish. Her mom was thick accent, moved from the motherland only a few yeas ago Polish. She was a stern but wonderful woman that was always trying to feed me. Always. She made these delicious morsels called potato pancakes I adore. She made them for me sometimes when I wasn't getting her daughter into trouble. Hehe. I have never been able to perfect the potato pancake quite like her, but I like to think these quinoa cakes are a healthier version that do hers a tiny bit of justice. 

These cakes are not very stable or hold together until they are cooking ( a lot like potato pancakes), but once the cheese crisps up and the eggs cook they firm up a bit. So do not fret!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of cooked quinoa (I like to precook more then this and additional quinoa can be used in salads for lunch throughout the week.)
  • 1 cup egg whites OR 3 large eggs. 
  • 1 cup fine chopped kale. Removing the hard stem first.
  • 1.5 cups cheese. I used Mozzarella, but I've also used Parmesan or Cheddar.  
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
Remove the hard stems from the kale. 

Remove the hard stems from the kale. 

How to:

  1. Preheat eh pan to a medium high heat.
  2. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl really well. 
  3. Scoop up about 2 tbsp of mixture and place in the pan, spreading it out a bit. 
  4. Flip when the edges start to brown a bit.
  5. Press down to cook the other side flattening and remove from heat when done. 
  6. Enjoy alone or I like Thai chili sauce or any condiment to you hearts desire!

 

Serve as a side dish or eat on their own!

Serve as a side dish or eat on their own!

Summer Spinach Salad

It's been unusually hot here in Alberta for this time of year. So much so we've had raging forest fires, even enough to evacuate a city of 90,000 people. Today is the first time the temperatures are a little cooler and it looks like the possibility of rain.

Yesterday it was hot and sunny and we were doing a potluck at my sisters house for Mother's Day dinner. Since her and I are both vegetarians, it's always the joke about which one of us is bringing the salad. And since it was Mother's Day (read as my day off of cooking) I was putting the least amount of effort in for this one. 

So here is my super easy and health summer spinach salad. I pair this salad with catalina or balsamic dressing. I wrote the balsamic dressing below!

What you need:

  • Bag of spinach
  • 2 cups strawberries, sliced and cut in half
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup red onion
  • salad dressing of choice. (See below for recipe)
  1. Mix spinach, strawberries, almonds and onions in a bowl. Set aside until it is being served.
  2. Before serving pour dressing, toss and enjoy!
  3. Say "Wow that was easy and it taste delicious!"

Okay step 3 is optional, but its really that easy! I really like simplicity, especially when it comes to summer food. Nobody likes standing in the kitchen forever when its sunny and hot out!

 

Balsamic Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 tbsp red onion
  • 1 tsp honey
  • salt and pepper to taste

Mix together in a container with a lid and pour on the salad as much as you'd like. 

What's your go to salad?

 

Love, 

Jen

10 Tips To Celebrate Earth Day

Happy Earth Day! Here is a guide on a few ways to celebrate Earth Day with a little impact for either the environment or your connection to the Earth :

  1.  Get outside and feel the earth underneath you. Walk to the store rather then driving. 
  2. Bring a reusable bag with you for shopping, even at a clothing or other non grocery stores. 
  3. Take a reusable cup to get your coffee from your favourite coffee shop.
  4. Grab your water bottle and fill it up instead of buying a bottled water.
  5. Try for one day to not use paper towel. Use a rag to clean up. 
  6. Open a window for fresh air in your home.
  7. Turn off some lights. Have dinner by candlelight maybe?
  8. Pick up garbage in your neighbourhood.
  9. Thrift store shop, before making your way to a box store. Not just clothes but even appliances, sporting goods and furniture can be found!
  10. Find a new purpose for one thing in your home. Thinking about putting that glass pasta sauce jar in the recycle bin? Turn it into a pen holder, change collector or make your own batch of Kvass with it!

Love, 

Jen

Coconut Rice

This is a super simple recipe meant to give a little extra something to boring old every day rice. My family gobbles it up without hesitation, even the kids! I like to make it along side chicken I've put some curry or spices on and voila a jazzed up regular old family dinner meal.

What you need:

  • 1 cup of uncooked white rice.
  • 1 can of coconut milk (equal to 2 cups), additional liquid will need to be added if using brown rice
  • Optional: 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut, teaspoon of lime juice.
  • Salt to taste

Directions (you know in case you're new to rice cooking):

  1. Put rice, coconut milk and optional coconut into a pot.
  2. Bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until liquid is all absorbed. (10-15 minutes)
  3. Don't stir it, seriously just leave it until the liquid is gone. 
  4. Add salt and/or lime.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

It's that simple! Do you have a special way of spicing up otherwise boring foods?

Love, 

Jen