I look forward to this time of year not only because I’m a Christmas-a-holic but I also LOVE Chestnuts! I grew up eating them and they bring back so many great memories. Memories that mostly contain my wonderful grandfather who was like a second father to me. He passed away 11 years ago and I still miss him terribly. I do however have these awesome memories and I truly cherish them.
As per Portuguese custom my grandmother would boil the chestnuts and my grandfather would peel them for me. Yep I had the life eh? 🙂 YUM! I now prefer to roast my chestnuts these days. They are so easy to peel once roasted too which my kids really appreciate! Chestnuts are super fast to cook up and they are a fantastic snack to have this time of year. They are low in calories, have protein, minerals, vitamins, are gluten-free and contain less fat than other types of nuts. They are rich in vitamin C and 100 g provide 43 mg of vitamin C!
Here is how to make this tasty & healthy snack …
- Preheat your oven to 400 F
- Line a baking pan/cookie sheet with a piece of parchment paper
- Cut a slit into each chestnut so that the steam can escape when your roasting them. Use a small sharp knife or a chestnut cutter. Don’t skip this step or else your chestnuts will explode in your oven!
- Pop them into your oven for 20 minutes.
* Below is a picture of the chestnut cutter if you’re not sure what it looks like. I’ve wanted one for years but never bought one. This year I finally treated myself to one! The one I’ve pictured is the one I bought but many different types are available to choose from. *
Blueberry Protein Smoothie!
Blueberry Protein Smoothie
- 2 cups blueberries (I use frozen most of the time)
- 1 cup chopped cantaloupe
- 1 scoop vegan vanilla protein powder
- 1 cup lettuce of choice
- 2 large peaches, chopped up
- 2 cups cold filtered water
- 1/3 cup chopped parsley (optional)
- Ice (optional)
Add the lettuce, blueberries, peach, parsley (if you’re using it), protein powder, cantaloupe and water to a blender. Blend well to desired consistency. Adjust water if you think you need to add a bit more. Add in some ice if you want your smoothie colder & blend well.
*Below are some of the reasons why I use parsley in my cooking but also in some of my smoothies as well!*
Health Benefits Of Parsley!
My daughter holding a perfect yummy organic peach!
This is one of my favourite smoothies to whip up for breakfast! Fast to make, it has simple ingredients and then it’s topped with some healthy chia!!! I use a super huge mug for this baby when I make it! 🙂
- 1 large handful of spinach
- 1 1/2 frozen bananas
- 1 cup frozen mixed berries
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 1-2 tbsp. chia seeds (for topping)
- a few frozen blueberries (for topping, optional)
- a few large ice cubes if you want your smoothie to be colder (optional)
- 1 tsp. Spirulina
Toss spinach, almond milk, mixed berries, spirulina and ice cubes if you’re using them into a blender. Once it’s at the consistency your happy with pour into your large glass or huge mug like I do. Top with 1-2 tbsp. of chia seeds and frozen blueberries.
Enjoy your energy booster breakfast smoothie! 🙂
Ok these are seriously delicious!!! Mushrooms and garlic go together insanely well as we all know so I thought they would be great for this recipe. I’ve wanted to try working with phyllo for a long time but was too intimidated to. I finally tried yesterday for the 1st time and it actually went pretty darn well! I’ll be making these very often now! I’m also going to try cutting down on the amount of butter used next time I make them. Although I didn’t use an excessive amount of butter in my recipe I think I could probably cut it down even further without jeopardizing the taste.
I bet these would be great with other filling options as well. I plan on creating some other options soon. My youngest daughter is super picky with her veggies but does enjoy broccoli. I will be making a broccoli filling along with this wonderful mushroom mixture next time. There are so many possibilities and I plan on creating many different options!
This recipe would be fantastic served as an appetizer during this holiday season for those of you who are entertaining your friends & family. This will definitely be on our Christmas menu at our house. 🙂
Garlicky Mushroom Phyllo Triangles
You will need:
- 1 package of phyllo dough
- About 2 tbsp’s. melted vegan butter
- large sharp knife
- parchment paper
- 1 baking pan/cookie sheet
- 1 package of mushrooms, chopped into small pieces
- 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
- Himalayan pink salt and black pepper, to taste
- small frying pan
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- small plate
- Small pastry brush
- Add the 1 tbsp. of olive oil to your pan and toss in the minced garlic into it. Sauté it for a minute on a medium/low heat setting.
- Next add in your mushrooms and salt and pepper. Sauté them for about 5 minutes until softened at a medium heat. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 F and line the cookie/baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
- Unroll your phyllo dough and using a sharp knife cut 2, approximately 10cm strips. Then you are going to cut each strip in half.
- On the small plate your going to add 3-4 pieces of your phyllo squares and lightly brush a little bit of vegan butter on top. You only need a tiny bit of butter! Don’t over do it!
- With a spoon scoop a bit of your mushroom mixture onto your phyllo piece. Then shape it into a triangle and seal it shut.
- Transfer to your cookie sheet/baking pan. Continue to make more triangles using your phyllo and mushroom mixture.
- Once your baking pan is full then lightly brush a tiny bit of the butter on top of each one.
- Bake for approximately 18 minutes. Keep an eye on them as ovens vary in temperature.
These went very fast in my house! Next time I will be doubling the recipe! I hope you enjoy them as much as we did. 🙂
* These made approximately 15 triangles*
Baked Mushroom Triangles
My baked Garlicky Mushroom Phyllo Triangles!
Snacking in between meals doesn’t have to be unhealthy and if you choose wisely you don’t have to feel guilty either! This is one of my favourite simple snacks to have. Mary’s crackers, blueberries and homemade guacamole. I make my guacamole using just avocado, spices and lemon. So simple and delicious!
I always enjoy a yummy breakfast smoothie daily. It’s the perfect way to add extra greens into our diets! I love creating new smoothies and trying different combinations of fruits and veggies. This recipe is very easy and fast to whip up so it’s perfect for hectic mornings!
Breakfast Green Smoothie
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 tightly packed in cup of spinach or mixed greens of choice
- 2 1/2 cups filtered water
- 1/2 cup chopped cucumber
- 1 large peach, sliced
- 1 scoop of vegan protein powder
- 1 tsp. Spirulina
Toss everything into your blender and liquefy. Check consistency and add a bit more water if needed as some protein powders thicken smoothies up more than others.
I’m finally posting the recipe for my Raw Vegan Pumpkin Pie !!! Many people have asked me for this recipe so here it is! It’s super easy to make and so far everyone who has tried it has loved it! When I cook and bake I pretty much always just eyeball the quantities of my ingredients. Not good when your being asked for your recipes often! I’ve now forced myself to pay attention to the quantities and write down my recipes as I go. This recipe is easily adapted so adjust the spice amounts as desired. Everyone is different. Some people like their pie mild in flavor and others like it strong. I’m kinda of a mid range person and that’s what my recipe reflects. As far as nuts go I prefer to use raw cashew halves in my pie filling as well as the crust. I’ve done it with walnuts and it turns out good in flavor but I find the texture of the pie is much better when I use cashews. So although Thanksgiving has already passed for us in Canada I still made another raw pumpkin pie this week. Hey it’s still fall so I think it’s still appropriate! For my lovely American friends & family this recipe is coming to you in perfect timing! Your welcome! 🙂
RAW VEGAN PUMPKIN PIE
Ingredients for the crust:
- 1 cup raw cashew halves (no need to soak the nuts for the crust)
- 1 tbsp. unsweetened shredded coconut
- 2 medjool dates, pitted
Ingredients For the pie filling:
- 1 1/2 cup raw soaked and drained cashew halves
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup or agave
- 1 1/2 cups pure pumpkin puree (Not pumpkin pie filling!)
- 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 heaping tbsp.’s cinnamon, or to taste
- 2 tsp. pumpkin spice, or to taste
- 3 heaping tbsp.’s coconut oil
- 10 medjool dates, pitted
You will also need:
- 1 pie plate or desired dish
- food processor
- large bowl
- medium-sized bowl
* For best results soak your cashews over night!!! Add the 1 1/2 cups raw cashew halves into a large bowl and cover with water. Give it a quick mix and leave them overnight on your countertop. *
- Place the dates in a medium-sized bowl and add boiled water to them from your kettle. Let them sit there 10-20 minutes to soften up.
- After your dates have softened you can remove 2 from the bowl and after pitting it add it to the food processor. Your now going to make your pie crust. Add in the 1 cup of raw cashews and the 1 tbsp. of shredded coconut. Use the pulse option in order to just combine the ingredients slightly. I then use the low setting on my food processor to combine the ingredients well.
- Remove the crust ingredients and add them to your pie plate. Use your fingers to press down the mixture and spread it out evenly. Set aside.
- Remove the other 10 dates from the water and remove the pits. Add them to the food processor.
- Strain the water out of your 1 1/2 cups cashews and add them to your food processor as well.
- Add in the 1 1/2 cups pure pumpkin puree, 1 heaping tbsp. cinnamon, 2 tsp. pumpkin spice and the 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract.
- Next add the 3 heaping tbsp.’s of coconut oil
- Pulse to just chop everything slightly and then use the high-powered option and blend well. I stop mine and use a spoon to scrape down the sides of the processor a couple of times in order to make sure that the nuts puree well.
- It should be a beautiful smooth consistency. Taste and adjust the spice as needed at this point.
- Transfer the pie filling into your pie plate. Smooth it out evenly and cover it up with clear cling wrap.
- Pop it into the freezer for at least 4- 6 hours until it’s set and firm. Once it’s set really well you can place it into the fridge. Take the pie out a few minutes before your going to slice and serve it so that it comes to room temperature.
* I’ve also been known just kept my pies in the freezer and only cut the slices I need. I let them come to room temperature and serve them. My kids enjoy adding whipped cream on top of their pie slice but I eat mine plain. I think it’s perfect just like that! 🙂
Healthy Quinoa Berry Bake!
My quinoa berry bake is so incredibly easy to make! You can put this berry bake together in about 5 minutes! Yes that fast I swear! I use frozen or fresh berries for this bake. It’s not a fussy recipe so use whatever you prefer. I sometimes buy a frozen berry variety that also has cherries in it and it turned out really yummy too. I only add 2 tbsp. of pure maple syrup to my berry bake but most people will not find it sweet enough so I suggested 3 – 4 tbsp. You might have noticed that I make a lot of fruit bakes or crumbles. I like how by making them I can enjoy a sweet treat without feeling guilty about eating it! I have a sweet tooth so I’m always trying to create healthy yet satisfying treats. My sweet tooth is happy with this simple berry bake!!! 😀 I’ve had some people ask me for the recipe so here it is ….
QUINOA BERRY BAKE
You will need:
- 1 1/4 cup Organic Quinoa Flakes
- 1 tsp. Cinnamon
- 3 tbsp. Flaxmeal
- 1-2 tbsp. Hemp Hearts
- 3-4 tbsp. pure maple syrup, agave or other sweetener of choice
- 1 baking or pie dish
- 2 cups mixed berries (I used blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and I also threw in cherries)
- 1 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
- Preheat oven to 350 F
- Grab your baking or pie dish and add the 1 1/4 cup quinoa flakes, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1-2 tbsp. hemp hearts and 3 tbsp. of flaxmeal.
- Next throw in your mixed berries of choice and also add the maple syrup. Give it a good mix.
- Even it out in your baking dish and then pour in your 1 1/3 cup milk. You don’t even need to mix it because your quinoa flakes will start to absorb the milk.
- Pop it into the oven and bake for approximately 35 minutes.
- Allow to cool off a bit once baked in order to cut neat slices.
Quinoa Berry Bake Slice!
Banana Chocolate Chip Cake!
Almost every week I make banana chocolate chip muffins because they are my kids favourite type of muffin. It get’s kinda boring sometimes so I sometimes make a banana chocolate chip cake instead. Hey why not switch it up a little? Right? We go through a lot of bananas at my house! That’s ok though because these energy powerhouses have many health benefits such as containing potassium, fiber, vitamin C, B Vitamins, iron, they are a mood enhancer, and are good for the heart and nerves. I incorporate bananas in a variety of ways from my morning smoothies, muffins, and in hot breakfast cereals and oatmeal. 🙂
Here is my super easy recipe for Banana Chocolate Chip cake …
Banana Chocolate Chip Cake
You will need:
- 3 medium-sized bananas
- 1/4 cup coconut or sucanat sugar
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/3 cup mini vegan chocolate chips, or regular sized vegan chips
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup brown rice flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- Preheat your oven to 400 F
- Mash your bananas in a medium-sized bowl.
- Add the coconut oil and sugar to the mashed bananas.
- Next add the vanilla extract and give it a good mix.
- In a large bowl add the brown rice flour and baking powder and mix well. I use a fork to make sure my baking powder is incorporated well.
- Add the wet ingredients into the dry and also add in the almond milk into the bowl.
- Combine well and add the vegan chocolate chips to the mixture.
- Grease a baking pan with coconut oil and add the mixture into the dish. Even it out and pop it into the oven.
- Bake for about 30-35 minutes, ovens vary.
- Once baked allow the cake to cool completely before slicing it!
That’s it! Very easy and fast to make!
Making fresh spring rolls is super easy and boy are they tasty!!! They are a great way of using up those veggies in your fridge! Bust them out, chop them up and let’s make some spring rolls!!! I like adding veggies like carrots, bell peppers, cucumber, sprouts, lettuce, spinach, parsley and cabbage to my spring rolls. The options are endless so add whatever you enjoy and that you have on hand! I always have a package of rice paper rolls in my fridge just in case I need to whip up a fast meal. I prefer using the small-sized rice paper but I sometimes buy the large size and then chop them in half once they are stuffed. Staples like this are what save me from resorting to picking up fast food on the run! 🙂
Fresh Spring Rolls
You will need:
- 1 package of rice paper rolls, I prefer the small size
- Chopped/Julienne veggies of choice
- 3 tbsp. light soy sauce or alternative
- 1 tbsp. Vegan/Vegetarian Hoisin sauce
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp. chopped peanuts, optional
- baking dish with water
- small bowl
- serving dish or plate
- Make you dipping sauce by mixing the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, optional peanuts and garlic together in a small bowl. The longer this sits the better garlic flavor you will have … so yummy!
- Chop/Julienne veggies of choice.
- Add a rice paper into the baking dish with water and allow the paper to soften. Be careful not to over soak it because then the paper will break and become soggy!
- Transfer the rice paper to a large plate or cutting board so you can assemble the spring roll. Add a little of each veggie and some herbs if you’re using them to the rice paper roll. Remember not to over stuff it or else it wont roll up properly!
- Roll it up and place it on your serving plate or dish.
- Keep assembling as many as you like. Place the dipping sauce bowl in the middle of your serving plate or right beside it when your ready to serve them.
- If your making them ahead of time then just cover them with plastic wrap and place them into the fridge. Sometimes I make them the night before. They are a fantastic & very healthy lunch to pack up for the next day!