Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Yoga

Short post tonight - I did 2 yoga classes today and I'm feeling ready for bed lol!!!

I've always enjoyed yoga and tried to fit a class or 2 in a week but about a year ago the place here in town where i was taking classes shut down. I was so sad to see my local yoga classes ending and to see a small independent store go out of business. Hy husband has been encouraging me for awhile now to go back to yoga and i had looked at a few places in the city but the drive was terribly convenient. Then about a month ago I heard that a new yoga place was opening here in town. They are offering a wide variety of classes and lots of different times so today I had the opportunity to do 2 classes - one a 9am and one at 5:30. They were awesome and so different from each other. This mornings class was more of a vinyasa flow classes. It got the heart rate up and I was sweating a bit. This evening class was slower, more intense stretching, long lines, deep slow breathing. It was heavenly. The evening class is more of what I am looking for in a yoga class but the morning class was good to because it pushed me out of my comfort zone a bit.

Feeling very zen right now - life in general is feeling pretty balanced and calm. Even though we've had some real ups and downs this month taking the time out of my day to breath deep and let go has really helped keep things in perspective.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Quick friday night supper

So the first week back to school has been rough. Mostly its been tough getting back into that routine. The super cold temperatures hasn't help either. Getting out of bed in the morning has been challenging to say the least. And Ollie has a 8:30am soccer game tomorrow morning so no sleeping in tomorrow morning. Bummer.

But its friday and we were looking so forward to the end of this long, cold week. But at the end of a long, cold week I didn't feel like over exerting myself in the kitchen. In fact I felt like doing the bare minimum but as always we wanted to eat good healthy food.

Pasta is always a huge hit with the girls. Always! In fact they would eat pasta every day if they could. What can I say - the apples don't fall far from the tree. Pasta is a top 5 favourite food for me too. Pasta is also quick and easy to prepare and tonight quick and easy fit the bill. But with a few pantry items you can have an awesome supper on the table in no time with very little effort.

First up the pasta....



I usually shop at the Italian Centre for my pasta, olive oil, crushed tomatoes, etc.They have a great selection of high quality ingredients at a good price. The kids get super excited over different shaped pastas and this spelt ditali is a crowd pleaser in this house. Cooks in about 10 minutes and taste great.

But of course great pasta needs a great sauce. And I've certainly used a jarred sauce from time to time but our favourite sauce is so simple to make its rare we have to open a jarred sauce.


Behold the ingredients to a simple tomato sauce that tastes fantastic! Tomatoes are of course the main ingredient so you need great tasting tomatoes and really you can't get better than Pomito tomatoes (unless its July/August and you have your own roma tomato plant). These tomatoes taste so fabulous you could eat them out of the box - no joke! Also in my last post I mentioned that BPA is a big deal at this house. We really try to stay away from canned items, especially tomatoes. These tomatoes are in a carton and are BPA free! No salt or sugar either - just 100% italian tomatoes. Add them to a pot with 2 or 3 large cloves of garlic that are cut in half only. You let the large pieces of garlic simmer in the sauce then you pull them out at the end. I let the sauce simmer for about an hour while I was folding/putting away laundry and doing dishes. At the end I fished out the large pieces of garlic and added some salt (depends on how much you like, a few pinches for me) and a swirl of olive oil (the olive oil really adds a lovely mouth feel to the sauce) and a handful of chopped fresh basil and your done! 


And the finished product.....


Doesn't that look good?! I'm telling you it tasted fantastic, the kids were literally cheering when they came to the table. They are excited to eat the leftovers for lunch tomorrow. I served it with a nice big green salad and with really minimal effort we had a really tasty and relaxing supper to end the week.


I had to sneak an extra picture of my salt bowl in - its it pretty! When we were in Langley this summer for a wedding we stopped in the old district near Fort Langley to shop around the little stores and I found this little gem by a local pottery maker. I love the metallic sparkles in the paint. Its perfect for putting my pink himalayan salt in. So easy to reach in a grab a pinch of salt! 

Stay warm everyone and Happy Friday!!!!!!



Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Saving money!

Anyone else have a resolution to save more money this year? I know lots of people are kinda down on making New Years resolutions but I always kinda like the idea of making a list of things to focus on for the year. One area of focus this year is cutting back on expenses. I feel that eating well is very important and that what it cost is what it cost and YET....I feel like our spending on groceries is sometimes (many times) excessive. Yes we are will to pay what it cost to eat well for us and our children but I think that with better planning and a little more work we could cut our cost by quite a bit.

So I have a few ideas that I want to put into play this year that I think are going to bring our cost down somewhat. I actually started working on this in the late summer/fall when I wanted to start making as much as possible from scratch. I started with salad dressings. Now I sometimes make a homemade salad dressing but often we would grab 2,3 or 4 bottles out of the fridge when it was dinner time to go with our salad. Now even though our dressing were always vegan I wasn't terribly happy with the ingredient list. It was ok and usually organic but it always seemed to contain a few things I wasn't crazy about. So I picked up some small mason jars, bought the best olive oil and vinegars I could find and then I found 2 or 3 really great vinaigrette recipes and got shaking. And you know what - everyone loved them! And they take about 2-3 minutes to make - measure out your ingredients (vinegar, oil, dijon, salt, pepper, garlic, etc) and put the lid on a give them a good shake for about 30 secs and your in business! A few months after exclusively making our own vinaigrettes we found a bottled on in the fridge and gave it a taste. And you know what - it tasted awful! It fact it didn't taste like much at all - it had no tang, no nothing! We tossed it in the garbage and haven't looked back. The girls really look forward to deciding which vinaigrette we are going to make for our salad. I love when they say things like, " that new vinaigrette recipe is a little tangy but its really good!". Their taste are so much more adventurous than mine were at that age. They are so will to try things, anything really and even if they don't like it they are willing to give it a second try, prepared a different way. I respect that there are things they just don't like (Gabbie doesn't dig onions at the moment and Ollie is seriously wigged out by mushrooms) but they know that their taste will probably change as they get older and so they are always will to try at least a taste of something with an open mind. And if they never like something - well don't we all have something we don't like. I discovered that I hate parsnips. I know - hate is a strong word but in this particular instant its not nearly strong enough!

So back to the saving money - we are saving money on vinaigrettes for sure ( as well as having a superior salad dressing both in quality and taste!) but another area I wanted to cut back on was beans. Not eating them - buying them. I always buy the Eden Organic brand of beans because they use a bpa free lining in their cans and bpa is an issue that we take pretty seriously. But you guys - a small can of Eden Organic beans at my local grocery store is $4.29 a can! Not for a case - per can! If I make tamari roasted chickpeas my kids can eat a cans worth in about 3 minutes flat. If i make them for supper for all of us (to go along with whatever else we are having) I have to make 3 cans worth. And thats just for supper. If I make a quinoa, mango and black beans salad, a pot of monkey minestrone, some white bean and garlic dip/spread, hummus - thats a lot of cans of beans in a week. We eat a lot of beans and lentils and I love that but at $4.29 a can - its just not affordable anymore.

Enter this.....




Meet my Instant Pot!You guys this machine is awesome and such a money saver! I got it on Amazon.ca for $99 and I'm serious when I say it paid for itself in a month. The other day I bought a huge bag of dried local, organic chickpeas for $5.16. I soaked and cooked half the bag and it made 6 cups worth of chickpeas. 1 can of Eden Organics chickpeas is 1 1/2 cups of beans for $4.29. The homemade chickpeas are so cheap to make and so good! No comparison taste wise - they blow canned beans out of the park! I've also made plenty of black beans and pinto beans in it. It usually takes about 40-45 minutes to get the machine up to pressure and cook the beans. Then you can release the pressure manually or let it de-pressurerise itself automatically. I usually let it do its own thing while I'm busy doing other stuff. The beans come out perfect every time. Oh and I almost forgot to mention that the pot or liner in the instant pot is stainless steel - bpa free!

I do still buy a few cans of Eden organics beans when they go on sale (2/$4) to have on hand for an emergency (sometimes we run out of dried beans or dinner plans change on the fly and we need beans like yesterday) but for the most part we are doing our beans from scratch and are super pleased with the results. I can't recommend this machine enough - its well worth the purchase price and I've heard they customer service is fantastic (I haven't had any reason to call them I did read that on reviews on amazon). 

I haven't made and soups in it yet but I will report back when I do.

What are your New Years Resolutions? Anything your focusing on this year?



Monday, November 24, 2014

So delicious!

Hey there! I'm so excited to be doing this post on my new laptop!  I work so much on my desktop in my office that sometimes it just gets to be too much - I want to break free from that chair! Now that I have my laptop I feel like its a whole new work world! I'm even looking forward to taking this baby out some place like Starbucks or Chapters to work every once in awhile! 

In all seriousness I'm really hoping that by being able to change my work environment and scenery from time to time I'll be more likely to blog. When you just spent all day at the computer that last thing you want to do is crawl back into that office at night to blog. I have so many pictures to share but unfortunately my camera cord seems to by mia. But my husband is stopping to buy a new one tomorrow so we should be back in business!

Anyways, I'm so excited to report that finally, FINALLY, we have the So Delicious Mint Chocolate and Pumpkin Spice coconut milk beverages available here in Canada!!!! I bought 4 cartons of the mint chocolate (for hot chocolate for the girls) and one of the pumpkin spice. We tried the mint chocolate today and it was a HUGE hit (with the girls anyways - I didn't try it). I'll report back with our thoughts on the pumpkin spice once we try it but I really have my fingers crossed that we'll get the Nog one here too. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Lots and lots of food pics.....

I'm finally working my way through my backlog of pictures. Prepare yourself for a lenghty-ish post!

The girls started at a new school this year and the hours are a little different then their last school so its been an adjustment with the morning and afternoon routines. School starts a little earlier for them now and they are done 30 minutes earlier than they used to be. Because they are home so much earlier now I'm trying to eat supper earlier so they have more time for bath/reading/relaxing at night before bed. its taking me a bit to get used to having supper ready earlier but I'm starting to get into the swing of things and it makes for a much more relaxed evening so its well worth it.



Sometimes a simple supper of whatever we have in the fridge is the best I can do! Above is one such supper - roasted chickpeas, garlic quinoa, broccoli, local organic corn on the cob!, and mashed new red potatoes. The kids really seem to like when they get a little bit of lots of different things on their plate. Kinda like a buffet I guess :)


Sometimes you need something to dress up an ordinary meal. We have been spoiled with some much beautiful local organic produce right now. We always like salad but when everything is just so fresh - you can't beat it! All organic - red leaf lettuce, cucumbers, green peppers, red onions (lots & lots because my kids love red onions) and roma tomatoes. With a homemade simple balsamic dressing - so so good!


The other day at the store the kids wanted me to by some crispy seasoned french fries. Nope - but I took a look at the ingredient list for some inspiration and went to work at home with some really lovely organic Red Norland potatoes from our Organic Box. I made a coating mixture of tapioca starch, onion and garlic powder, smoked paprika and salt and pepper. I lined a baking tray with parchment paper, but some coconut oil on the tray and put it in a preheated oven to melt the oil then I pulled the tray out and tossed the potatoe wedges in the oil. I then took the oiled wedges and tossed them in the coating bag and gave them a good shake then dumped them back on the tray. Pupped the tray in the oven till the wedges were nice and crispy. Kids loved them!


Don't they look good?!


I made them to go along with these - the new hand formed field roast burgers. Above is a patty off the bbq all ready to get dressed up.


And here is is all ready to eat - on a sesame silver hills hamburger bun with lettuce tomatoe, red onion, pickles and vegenaise. Gabbie LOVED these - seriously loved them. Ollie had maybe half -  she is not a big veggie burger fan. Me - I thought they were ok. I'm super fond of homemade veggie burgers and I also really like the Amy's california burger so I still put those ones above these but these were good too. 


Making lunches - I try to pack leftover lots for the kids. Here is a random lunch of strawberries and peaches, cucumbers and carrot sticks with dip, quesadillas made with hummus and green onions, a momma chia chia squeeze, a powerball and a cookie.


Whats a powerball - these are powerballs! Date/hemp seed/sunflower seed/cocoa powder mixture courtesy of the lovely Dreena Burton. Recipe is here!


And finally, yesterday was kinda of a weird night for a sunday supper for us. Usually I try to do a big sunday supper since I typically have more time to cook on a sunday but yesterday my husband had to leave right after supper for his football draft. I didn't want a billion dishes to do on a sunday night when the kids need their hair washed and dried and trying to get them ready for the school week. So I thought it would be a great night to try out a new recipe I had my eye on for awhile now - this "tuna" sandwich recipe. I followed the recipe almost to a "T" but I doubled the lemon and i added a very generous sprinkle of dried dill weed. AMAZING!


Here is the mixture in a bowl. I would say make it atleast 4 hours before you want to eat it so the flavours have time to meld togather.


Gabbie's sandwich - I spread some smashed avocado on both pieces of bread, plus she had cucumber slices and spinach on hers. She loved it too and ate ever last bite! Ollie had the same but she also had red onion slices on hers too and a thicker spread of avocado and a little less "tuna".  She only had her crust leftover (no surprise there).


Enjoying their sammies!


They also had some organic apple slices (the galas are so nice and crisp right now!), a b12 and a multi vitamin. Oh and a nice cold glass of almond milk to wash it all down. Ollie has no nut allergies in her class so I could send this sandwich for lunch for her (still checking for Gabbies class) but I'm worried that it might get soggy. Im thinking of sending the "tuna" in a container and giving them crackers to spoon it on and eat. It would make a really nice lunch for sure I think! 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

What we've been eating

A few months back at the store I saw these sprouted quinoa chia burgers calling my name. I try to make all of our veggie burger patties but sometimes you need a quick supper and last spring Ollie was playing outdoor soccer which meant 2 nights a week we needed to eat an pretty early supper to but out the door for soccer practice/games. Paired with the silver hills sprouted hamburger buns they were pretty tasty and decently healthy.



The burgers.


The buns.


The patty.


The verdict - two thumbs up!


A dinner made just for me - sauteed dino kale, roasted tamari chickpeas, sauteed mushrooms with a garlic cashew cream sauce. Sometimes trying to clean out the fridge taste really good!


These also tasted pretty good - nachos! I made a taco "meat" with lentils (cooked in my pressure cooker) and mixed them with taco seasoning, tortilla chips, chopped tomatoes, green onions, daiya cheddar shreds, pico, guac, cashew sour cream and a sprinkle of cilantro. 



Monday, September 1, 2014

What its mofo already?!

Today I'm feeling really behind because tomorrow is back to school and of course I feel totally unprepared for it (even thought I have all their school stuff ready to go).  Then I find out mofo starts today - what?! I thought it started October first. Now I feel double behind :(

No matter - I have a million food pics stored up. But I have none ready to go at this very moment (like i said I thought I had a whole month to get ready!) But I do have a recipe link to share with you! Tonight I made the Crispy Quinoa Cakes from Oh She Glows. These are so good and so easy to make. I highly recommend them. Gabbie said they weren't her favourite but Ollie gave them 2 thumbs up and so do I. Gabbie ate hers with ketchup and said she started to like them more towards the end so we'll see what she says next time I make them. I'm liking them so much I might make them for Thanksgiving this year.

I'm off to finish the last few things for back to school tomorrow.  Good night!