Mushroom & Oat Stew

As many of you already know (if you follow me on YouTube), I decided to do a 10 day Oat Mini! I ate yummy oats at every meal and created some interesting recipes during these ten days.

For those of you who don’t know what a “Mini” is I will explain. Mary McDougall who is Dr. John McDougall’s wife created this diet. It’s basically a short ten day diet where you eat very simply. You give your digestion a break and food is only used for fuel. It’s a time where there is very little variety. During this 10 days you pick one starch that will be the star of the show. You will eat this starch at every single meal and pair it with non starchy veggies. As far as the starch goes you can choose whatever you prefer. You can try foods like rice, potato, sweet potato or oat as the starch of choice. Just keep in mind that you will need to eat this starch for ten days. Make sure it’s a starch you really enjoy eating!

I’ve written a blog post about my experience with the Mary’s Mini so be sure to check that out. In that post I go into detail about this simple diet and the benefits of it. See February 24, 2020 for this post.

https://veganmommydee.com/2020/02/24/my-experience-with-the-marys-mini-diet/

In a nut shell though it basically gives your body a much needed rest! We constantly eat such a wide range of foods and many of us over indulge constantly. This is a time for the body to relax and repair. Most people will also shed weight during this short diet. This can be for a variety of reasons but I think it’s mostly from only consuming what your body actually needs. You really get a good grip of hunger cues and eat only the amount of food you require.

I typically lose between 6-9 lbs in 10 days when I’m on the Mary’s Mini Diet. As far as weight loss goes I’ve been the most successful on rice mini’s. I don’t focus on how much weight I lose but instead I focus on how I’m feeling. I notice that any bloating that I had goes away and I’m just feeling fantastic over all.

I made quite a few interesting recipes during the 10 day Mary’s Mini. One of those recipes was my Mushroom & Oat Stew. It was a little weird at first because I always ate sweet breakfast type oats in the past. I’m so glad I stepped outside my comfort zone though because this recipe turned out delicious! I had a lot of requests for the recipe so I promised I would post it here. It’s easy to find for future reference here on the blog.

I love how easy the recipe was to make and it was loaded with flavour. It’s also super packed with nutrition which is a major plus! I love using mushrooms in this meal because as we approach the colder months immune boosting foods are really important for me to incorporate in my meals. You can add any additional veggies in the recipe if desired. I also like to place a bed of spinach down first in my bowl or plate. This is a great way of incorporating more fresh veggies into our diet. I think the spinach is a wonderful addition to this meal and it also makes it a nice presentation if serving it to others. I then top the spinach with this delicious stew. I like the additional option of hot sauce on top too for extra flavour. You can add oil free condiments to meals on the Mary’s Mini.

I’ve done many rice mini’s, a couple potato mini’s and those all went very well. I decided to try the oat mini since I hadn’t yet tried it out. It was actually super easy to do. The 10 days didn’t drag on at all. I felt satisfied and content. I ate a lot of traditional oatmeal with blueberries or mango and I added cinnamon for extra flavour. It was nice adding in some savoury dishes during the oat mini. Oat’s s can be used in so many different ways and it always tastes great. I also get that cozy feeling after enjoy warm sweet oats. I usually paired it with whatever extra veggies I needed to use up. It was sometimes bell peppers or a yummy side salad with a sprinkle of lemon on top.

I also really like the simplicity of this short diet. It really makes life quite fuss free. You always know what starch you will be eating so all you have to do is make sure you have a good mix of non starchy veggies on hand. I found it very helpful for my work lunch too. It was very easy to pack up my food. Not much prepping required at all. This was such a time saver for me!

Here is the super easy recipe for you to enjoy! Let me know if you try it out in the comments below. I will also add the video version of this easy recipe in this post in case you prefer to watch me cook it up! If you can also take a moment to Subscribe to my YouTube channel I would truly appreciate the support and love! Giving the YouTube video a Like also helps my channel tremendously. Thank you!

Mushroom & Oat Stew


⁃ 4- 5 cups chopped Mushrooms

⁃ 4 cups Oats

⁃ 2-3 minced cloves of garlic

⁃ Dry Thyme, Dry Oregano, Paprika and Onion powder

⁃ 5-6 cups of filtered water

⁃ Fresh parsley (optional)

Method:

1. Water sauté the garlic in a large pot or Dutch oven.

2. Add the seasonings & herbs

3. Add the oats and water. Combine well.

4. Keep an eye on it and mix it up to make sure it doesn’t stick to your pot and burn. Add extra water as necessary.

5. Cook for 20-30 minutes on a medium heat.

6. Serve by adding fresh parsley on top and optional hot sauce or any sauce that is oil free.

Enjoy!💚

Health, Joy & Positive Vibes,

Debbie

~VeganMommyDee~



Tomato & Chickpea Soup

Today I’m sharing literally the easiest recipe ever with you all! This is my go to meal when I have no time at all and still want to eat healthy. This keeps me on track with my health and wellness goals. My yummy Tomato & Chickpea Soup is so delicious and filling.

I also love how easy it is to whip up for work. If I’m unsure as to what to bring with me, this recipe is great. It takes very little time to make and it’s packed with nutritious ingredients to fuel me for a long shift ahead. It’s also great as a meal prep option for go to dinners after work. It’s easy to store in a container and reheated for a quick dinner option.

I like adding chickpeas to my tomato soup to bulk it up a little and make the meal more filling and satisfying. Chickpeas are a powder house of protein too! They pack in at 14.5 g of protein and 12.5 g of fiber in just one cup of chickpeas! They also contain magnesium, iron, calcium and potassium. I feel so good about adding them to my meals for all the added health benefits.

I don’t add any oil to my meals in order to reduce the over all calories content. Just one tablespoon of oil is an added 120 calories. I don’t feel good about adding empty calories into my meals. Most people will add way more than one tablespoon of oil to meals. That’s a lot of extra unnecessary calories! It won’t add any added flavour to the meal. I feel like people put in their heads that they need it for flavour. In reality you really won’t miss it! You can add extra flavour with oil free broth, bouillon, herbs and other seasonings. Skip the oil to save on calories!

I hope you enjoy my easy recipe. Please tag me on IG @ VeganMommyDee if you decide to make it. I hope it helps you on busy days when you don’t have time to cook a complicated recipe. This recipe takes very little time and it’s absolutely delicious. I will also add the recipe video below for those of you who enjoy watching me make my easy recipes. If you haven’t already Subscribed to my YouTube channel, then please consider doing so now. I have loads of easy to make recipe videos on my channel. Thanks for the support and love! I appreciate each and every one of you!


Tomato & Chickpea Soup

Ingredients:

⁃ 796 ml can of fire roasted tomorrow

⁃ 796 ml can of whole peeled tomatoes

⁃ 398 ml can of chickpeas, rinsed

⁃ 398 ml of water or oil free veggie broth

Seasonings:

⁃ 1 Tbsp. Garlic Powder

⁃ 1 tsp. Onion Powder

⁃ 1 Tbsp. Dry Oregano

⁃ Sprinkle of Black pepper

⁃ Sprinkle of Umami mushroom seasoning

⁃ 1 Tbsp. of Basil, fresh or dry

⁃ 1 tsp. Oil free Veggie Bouillon (Optional)

Method:

1. Add the tomatoes, water and seasonings to a soup pot.

2. Use a potato masher to chop the whole tomatoes a little. You can also just buy chopped tomatoes in a can and skip this step all together.

3. Allow to cook on a medium heat for 15-20 minutes with the lid on.

4. Add the chickpeas to the soup and mix well. Cook for another 5 minutes with the lid off.

5. I add a little Himalayan pink salt when serving the soup.

Enjoy! 💚

Healthy Guilt Free Banana Loaf that Actually Tastes Great!

Hi everyone! Hope all is well with you all. It’s still quite cold and damp in my neck of the woods. The rain and dampness has made me crave comforting baked goods so I’ve been revamping my banana bread. It’s just a cold, cold Spring!

I’ve enjoyed baking and creating lots of cozy meals lately. It’s all about the comfort meals this time of year. I have so many recipes to share with you all this year and I’m hoping to get them posted soon. I’ve been recipe testing and trying my best to create healthy versions of my favourite meals. Many of them have been a huge success but a few still need to be tweaked a tad.

I’ve recreated my original banana bread and made it as healthy as possible without sacrificing the taste of this epic treat. I’m so very happy with the result! This is the most often made treat at my house. It’s easy to make, includes staple ingredients that pretty much everyone has on hand and it’s guilt free. It’s healthy and delicious! No need to have any guilt about indulging in this banana bread. You’re fueling your body with nutritious ingredients instead of the typical store bought version that’s full of sugar and fat.

I also love using this recipe for mini muffins and mini loafs. Just bake them for a shorter period of time. I love how versatile this recipe is.

I really tried to break this recipe down to minimal ingredients so that everyone can feel like they can make it easily. It doesn’t matter what your skill level is in the kitchen either. This recipe is so easy that anyone can make it, and end up with a perfect snack. I also like to create meals that children can make as well. My son is usually my assistant in the kitchen. I want him to learn the importance of making home cooked meals and desserts. My recipes are easy enough for him to help me with and learn some skills. If you have little ones too, then you can definitely make this recipe with them!

My recipe is less calorie rich than my original version. I decided to eliminate the nuts and oil to save on calories. I realized that they were honestly unnecessary ingredients in the recipe. Any type of oil is still refined and not healthy by any means. It provides no nutritional benefits and makes baked goods very calorie rich. I know the hype right now is eat all the fat you can because it’s said to be healthy for us in our diet. The reality is, it’s not. Yes we need some fat in our diet but it really should be from the whole food source such a yummy avocado.

I will add my video version of this recipe below. I know a lot of you enjoy watching the recipe video on my YouTube channel. Thank you for the continued support on my channel. I really appreciate it. If you haven’t already Subscribed to my channel then please consider doing so if you enjoy health and wellness videos. I make healthy yet satisfying meals on my channel and provide wellness tips as well.

Ok so let’s get to the good part …

Here is probably one of my most favourite recipes that I’ve ever created! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!


Healthy Guilt Free Banana Bread


Dry Ingredients:

2 cups of oat flour

1 cup of oats

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1/4 cup hemp hearts (optional)

2 Tbsp. Ground Flax


Optional : 1/4 – 1/3 cup Vegan Chocolate chips/chocolate chunks or cacao nibs

Wet Ingredients:

6 Tbsp. Warm Water

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 of a cup of plant-based milk

3 regular sized spotty bananas, mashed

1/3 of a cup of sugar. I use coconut sugar, brown sugar, or maple sugar.

* Preheat oven to 350 F *

Method:

1. In a large bowl place 2 cups of oat flour and 1 cup of oats. Next add in 1 teaspoon of baking powder and 1/3 cup sugar of choice. Combine well. Toss in the 1/4 cup of hemp hearts if you are using them in your banana loaf.

2. Add 2 tablespoons of flax meal to a small bowl with 6 tablespoons of warm water. Mix well and allow to thicken up

3. In another large bowl mash three spotty bananas well. Add in 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract and the 1/2 cup of plant-based milk. Mix well.

4. Add the flax egg into the wet ingredients. I use a fork to mix it well.

5. Next add the wet ingredients into the dry and combine everything very well.

6. Transfer your batter into your baking dishes or loaf pans. Bake at 350° for approximately 40 to 50 minutes.

ENJOY! 💛

Let me know if you try my recipe out in the comments below! Have a wonderful week everyone!

Health, Joy & Positive Vibes,

Easy Butternut Squash Soup


We are definitely in the heart of the fall season and cozy recipes are required! It’s the time of year where we feel the need for those comfort meals as the days get darker, quieter and colder. We crave the cozy warm recipes that just make us feel good inside. This is my favourite season to create recipes. I get so inspired by all the foods in season during this time. Everything looks absolutely delicious and I start to think of all the recipes I want to try making. It’s just simply a wonderful time of year!

Many people will say that during this time of year they typically put on weight because they eat more decadent meals. Some say they crave “bad” foods. I feel like anything that’s a favourite cozy fall meal can be made into a healthier version. You can enjoy the wonderful much loved meal and still stay on track with wellness goals. I love to create meals that are guilt free and healthy but still taste fabulous. I know I’ve said this before but you CAN have it all! No more beating yourself up about eating naughty meals! You just have to get in the mindset of adjusting the recipe to meet your health and wellness goals. Also I’d like to add that if you do enjoy indulgent meals here and there, that’s also totally ok. It’s all about balance in life. I say just clean up your act and eat as clean as possible after that meal. It will be just fine.

I created this very simple butternut squash soup recipe using wholesome ingredients and it tastes fantastic. This recipe is a crowd pleaser and it’s perfect for entertaining during the holiday season as well. Now that covid restrictions have lightened up and families can get together we can finally start having guests over! Wow this is exciting! Everyone will enjoy this soup! My feedback after posting this recipe on my YouTube channel was excellent. I feel so good knowing that people are enjoying this hearty yet healthy soup!

Squash is abundant in every grocery store or farmer’s market this time of year. It’s definitely easy to find because they seem to be the star of the show in October and on into the colder months. Squash can be inexpensive as well and it’s quite hearty. You can make this whole recipe using just one butternut squash. A little goes a long way. My recipe will serve 4 people, so if you want to make it for a larger gathering then just make sure you pick up extra squash. I bought mine from Costco and they actually came in a two pack which is great. They worked out to 3.5 lbs each.

What if you don’t have fresh produce available to you? Depending on where you live or your budget you might not be able to get fresh squash. That’s totally ok! You can definitely use canned squash of any variety to make this recipe if needed. They do sell butternut squash in cans so this might be a good solution for you. You can also use frozen squash if that’s all you can find as well. Find whatever works for you because my recipe is very adaptable. Creating these healthier options doesn’t have to be complicated. I find sometimes we get into these rigid rules when cooking and that is just way too stressful. We tend to over complicate things and it doesn’t have to be this way.

Butternut Squash is full of Vitamins, Fiber and Antioxidants. It’s loaded with vitamin C, vitamin A, and B Vitamin’s as well. It’s rich with magnesium and potassium which plays an important role for us in our bone health. It’s so nice to know that something so delicious is actually really beneficial to our health.

I decided to add some apples to this recipe because we had picked a whole bunch from our tree in the backyard. They needed to be used up and they taste so incredibly good! I’m not sure what the variety is but they grow perfect and I love how sweet they are. I don’t put any pesticides on my tree and they still turn out perfect. No bugs either! The only battle I have is the Toronto raccoons eating them on the tree and then throwing half away onto the ground. They basically eat half of the apple and throw away the rest! Ugh! Why can’t they just eat the whole thing?

Fresh Apples from my Backyard!

I hope you enjoy my easy Butternut Squash Soup recipe. Let me know if you make it and if you make an adjustments to the recipe. I will post the video version of this recipe below if you would like to watch me cook this lovely soup. Enjoy this amazing time of year and the gorgeous fall season!


Easy Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients:

⁃ 1 Butternut Squash, peeled & chopped Look for one around 3.5 lbs.

⁃ 1 tbsp. Bouillon

⁃ 4 1/4 cups water

⁃ 1/2 onion, chopped

⁃ 3 medium sized apples, chopped

⁃ 3 cloves of garlic

Herbs & Spices:

⁃ Paprika

⁃ Curry powder

⁃ Onion powder

⁃ Cumin powder

⁃ Dry Oregano

⁃ Black pepper

⁃ Himalayan pink salt


Method:

1. Preheat oven to 400F

3. Peel & chop the butternut squash. Add it to a lined baking pan.

4. Peel and chop apples and add them to the baking pan.

5. Chop up onion and peel garlic cloves. Toss into the pan. Add the spices to the mixture as well.

6. Pop the baking pan into the oven at 400F for 30 minutes. I gave it a mix at the half way mark.

7. Add the butternut squash mixture to a large pot. Add the bouillon, and water as well.

8. Use a hand blender to purée the soup or add it in batches to a blender.

9. Add more spices if necessary according to you taste.

10. Add the soup to bowls and enjoy!

Note: garnish with some pumpkin or squash seeds on top if desired.

Enjoy!!!

Health, Joy & Positive Vibes,

Debbie

~VeganMommyDee~

2 Ingredient Veggie Pasta!

The last couple weeks have been difficult. I’m still on the mend after feeling super ill. I had to get tested for COVID-19 and thankfully it came back negative. It’s just a regular flu that needs to run its course.

I’ve been focusing on getting lots of vegetables into my diet. I need those extra nutrients more than ever right now! Packing a variety of fresh and frozen vegetables and fruits will help my body fight illness and provide me with extra energy.

I decided to create a healthy veggie sauce using frozen vegetables to add to my meals. I used this sauce on my pasta and it worked out fabulously. It’s a completely guilt free sauce using only two ingredients. I used a frozen mix of broccoli, cauliflower and carrots to make my veggie sauce. You can use whatever vegetables you have on hand to make this delicious veggie sauce. I’m sure the possibilities are endless and many combinations would be fantastic.

I used beetroot noodles for my pasta dish because that’s what I had on hand. They ended up being absolutely delicious. I actually found them at my local Dollar Store. They only cost my $1.50 and provided meals for two days. I ate large portions along with my partner and we still had lots left over for lunch the next day. I love saving money! I will definitely buy those again if I see them at the store. You can use whatever type of pasta you have or prefer for this recipe. I suggest using something like a whole grain pasta for added nutrition.

This is also a great way of cleaning out your fridge and making sure all the veggies you bought get used up. I hate food waste so I try creating recipes like this one in order to use everything up. We tend to buy a lot and don’t plan out our meals very well. Creating recipes like this is great to use it all up and not waste hard earned money. Nobody wants to throw away spoiled food.

Many people are also cutting back on food spending and trying to create cheaper meals. Grocery store spending can be quite high for all of us no matter what our diet is these days. If you live in a place where you can’t grow anything yourself due to the climate then these costs can be even higher unfortunately. I’m in that boat myself because it’s too cold most if the year where I live sadly. I can only grow my veggies for a short time every summer.

I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as I do! I need quick and easy recipes because life is just too busy! I also need to keep my diet as clean as possible so I can feel at my absolute optimal. This is why I create simple and healthy recipes like this one. If you enjoy these fuss free recipes then consider Subscribing to my YouTube Channel where I have loads of quick and healthy video recipes.

2 Ingredient Veggie Pasta

Ingredients

– 300-400g  of Pasta
– 5-6 cups of veggies (I used frozen broccoli, Cauliflower and carrots).


– Save 2 cups of the pasta water for the sauce. This will add great consistency and flavor.

Optional:
– Seasonings and spices of choice (optional)
– 1 tsp. nutritional yeast (optional)

Method

1. Boil a large pot of water for the pasta.

2. Add the veggies to a pan and cook them up. Just use water or veggie broth to cook them up. Don’t use oil because that will increase the calories significantly.

3. Add the cooked veggies to a blender. Add spices, seasonings and nutritional yeast if you are using them.

4. Add the pasta water to the blender. Start with 1 cup and decide how thick you want your sauce.

5. Drain and plate your pasta. Add the sauce. Combine well.

ENJOY!

I will add my video of how to make my easy veggie pasta below in this blog post for those of you who enjoy watching recipe videos.

I will make my best effort to get more recipes up on this blog this year. I’ve had a lot of people asking me to post more often here. I will do my best my friends! Thanks for the support, encouragement and love.

Health, Joy & Positive Vibes,

Debbie

~VeganMommyDee~

2 ingredient Potato & Veggie Patties

Who needs a recipe that can be made super fast but will still help you stick to your wellness goals? Fast food can definitely be made with a healthy twist if you put some thought behind it.

I love making Potato and Veggie patties because they taste super delicious and keep me on track with my health and wellness goals. I also love how I can use the same mixture to make a variety of things too. I make patties and veggie bites using the same simple mixture. I love easy recipes like this that can provide us with many different meal options. Let’s face it if we don’t have a variety of quick recipes then we will seek unhealthy alternatives.

Easy Potato & Veggie Patties with Hot Sauce
Super simple & delicious Potato & Veggie Patties

The number one excuse people make for not eating healthy is that they don’t have time to cook.

I just don’t agree with that because I can cook up a healthy meal using just a few ingredients on a normal basis. In the time it takes you to order food and get it picked up or delivered you can make a healthy meal at home. It doesn’t take much effort to cook up potatoes, rice, open a can of beans or legumes and whatever veggies you have on hand. Frozen or canned veggies are wonderful to have at home because they cook up really fast. I feel like these types of convience foods are extremely helpful in order to keep us on a track with our wellness goals.

I use my instant pot to cook up most of my meals because I’m short on time. You can make pretty much anything in this amazing small appliance quickly. I love to fill up my instant pot with healthy starches like potatoes or rice. Having it pre-made gives me the opportunity to make a meal super fast. I also love having precooked potatoes in the fridge so you just have to grab them and reheat them when you get hungry. Rice can also be frozen which I find very helpful when I know it’s going to be a super busy day.

Having time saving hacks will prevent you from going out and buying terrible junky foods. Being prepared will help you stay successful and on the right track.

POTATO & VEGGIE PATTIES

Ingredients:
– 4-5 lbs of potatoes
– 4-5 cups of veggies (I used frozen veggies, my favorite is brocolli and green beans)
– seasonings of choice (optional)

1. I cook my potatoes in my 6 quart Instant Pot (about 4-5 lbs of potatoes) for 20 minutes and allow it to naturally release. You can also cook potatoes in a regular pot on the stove if you don’t have an Instant Pot.

2. Cook up 5-6 cups of frozen mixed veggies on a frying pan using water or broth to saute them.

3. Add the potatoes into a large mixing bowl and mash them up. Depending on the size of the bowl, you may need to do this in batches.

4. Add in the cooked veggies and mix well.

5. Add in any optional seasonings or spices of choice.

6. Shape into patties and pop them into the air-fryer to cook up. You can also use the oven if you don’t have a air-fryer available to you.

I cook mine at 350 F for 14 minutes, flipping them half way. Adjust the timing according to the size of patty you make.

I dip mine in sugar free ketchup most of the time. I also like to make veggie burgers using this recipe too.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. I’d love it if you could tag me on IG @VeganMommyDee if you make the recipe.

Health, Joy & Positive Vibes,

Debbie

~VeganMommyDee~

No Waste Quick & Easy Meals

I love making No Waste Quick & Easy Meals. I absolutely hate wasting food! Anyone else buy loads of food and a week or two later you start tossing it in the trash or organic bin? It’s just so wasteful.

This hurts our wallet, health and our planet.

I vowed to start changing this bad habit. I didn’t want to continue throwing out perfectly good food because I didn’t plan my meals well enough. It was also starting to get too costly which is not ok when you really want to buckle down and save money for a rainy day. Saving money is on my top priority list this year.

I do use an organic compost bin so at least the food waste isn’t going in the trash can. It is however still horribly wrong and wasteful. I can’t justify buying food to just toss into my compost bin. Why is it so hard to use up everything we buy? I work long 12 hours shifts. A stretch of days go by where I can’t cook anything. I batch cook staple foods like rice and potatoes before I start all my shifts because thats super easy. I just add a veggie to it for my work lunches. I typically make frozen veggies on those days. I definitely don’t have the energy or will power to cook much more than that on those days!

My simple healthy work lunch.

Late last year I decided that I had to make a big change. I made the commitment to be more mindful of what I’m buying at the grocery store. No I don’t need every veggie on every single shopping trip! This was a hard thing to change because I really embrace the eat the rainbow lifestyle. Now I limit myself to what I truly need to make a meal or two with.

Roasted Sweet Potato and Mixed Greens Salad

Making these changes was difficult at first and even now I sometimes find goodies in the fridge that I’ve missed. I just make a meal out of these sad overripe veggies and it always turns out great! I feel like almost always something can be done with them. It might not be the best meal but it will be healthy and taste good. Of course there will always be times where the odd thing is too far gone to use. I just try my best to avoid it as much as possible.

I create meals using only a few ingredients these days that I quickly grab in the fridge. I use up whatever needs to be eaten first and go from there. I love this way of cooking. No waste meals are my absolute favorite now. It forces me to think outside the box and get creative. I’m actually really enjoying cooking this way!

No waste cooking has also made me get back to basics and eat more simply. I’m able to save a lot of time by eating this way. I’m not spending endless hours in the kitchen. Great cooking doesn’t have to be fussy and complicated.

My Empty the Fridge Veggie Bowl!

I hope that this inspired you to reduce food waste. Join me this year as I change myself to continue my no waste meals and reduce food waste in our homes!

Catch me on VeganMommyDee’s Life on YouTube. Consider subscribing if you enjoy health, wellness content and easy to cook recipes.

Health, Joy & Positive Vibes,

Save money with Dollar Store Meals

Do you think you can pull together real meals with Dollar Store items? I was pretty skeptical myself. I didn’t think they had much to offer. I also worried that I wouldn’t find oil free items there as well.

Where I live in Canada our Dollar Stores don’t have freezer sections sadly. Pre COVID-19 days, we crossed the border to shop I was amazed to find out that the Dollar Stores in the USA have freezer sections. They keep them stocked with some pretty amazing choices too! If your Dollar Store has a freezer then this challenge will be much easier for you. It will provide you much more to work with.

Here in Canada it’s not uncommon to find $3.00 and $4.00 items at the Dollar Store. I’m not sure why we even call it the Dollar Store anymore. It’s actually pretty hard to find $1.00 items these days.

I challenged myself to find $1-$2 items that I could pull a meal off with. I wanted to make sure each meal I made was between three and four servings as well. I wanted these meals to be something a family could enjoy or to have leftovers for lunches. Meal prepping is always such a great time saver! I’m not going to say I had tons of choices but honestly it wasn’t that bad at all. I was surprised at what I was able to find. I had to think outside the box and try creating family meals out of just a few ingredients. It’s definitely possible with a little thought and effort.

Many of us are trying to cut food costs and save some money. Shopping at the Dollar Store can help you save money and still put together some healthy meals. I plan on continuing to tinker in the kitchen and create more yummy inexpensive meals. It’s become a challenge that I’m now quite enjoying. I wonder what else I can come up with?

I don’t consume any added oil in my diet so I also had to make sure that foods were compliant. I originally wanted to make a pasta using traditional tomato sauce but every brand had canola oil in it. I had to pass on that idea and think of something else. I wanted to make a comfort meal using pasta. I decided to make my own healthy sauce. I threw only a few ingredients together and came up with a yummy pea sauce. This idea was actually way better and this sauce has become a staple in our house now!

I’ll add my video where I made this yummy recipe in this post so you can see how I made it. I made a Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner in the video below. If you haven’t already Subscribed to my YouTube Channel please consider doing so now. That way you don’t miss any upcoming recipes videos!

Spinach Pasta with a Garlicky Pea Sauce

I hope this inspired you to visit your local dollar store. Grab some staple ingredients and I bet you can create some great meals too! Let me know what you come up with in the comments. If you recreate my recipes please tag me on IG. I love seeing you guys make my recipes. It brings me so much joy!

Health, Joy & Positive Vibes,

Debbie

Healthy Arugula & Spinach Pesto

Calling all Pesto sauce lovers!!! I have a recipe that you will not only love but it’s actually healthy too.





Do you love Pesto but hate all the calories associated with it? Traditional pesto is loaded with oil which is just empty calories. Did you know that each tablespoon you use will add on 120 calories to your meal? I don’t know about you but I’m not interested in adding on all these extra unneccessary calories. I also don’t know any person that just adds one tablespoon of oil to their food when they cook. Think about how much oil is called for in traditional pesto recipes. Add up all those extra calories. It’s actually pretty horrifying. If those extra calories came from wholesome unrefined foods then I wouldn’t worry about it. Oil of any kind has been refined and adds no benefits to our health contrary to popular belief however.

If you want to read more about the hazards of including oil in your diet I recommend you check out Dr. Mcdougall’s website and pick up some of his amazing books. The Starch Solution will open your eyes to a weath of information and practical tips.

My recipe for pesto is oil free, nut free and dairy free. I eliminated a ton of calories and I only use real whole foods. I believe that the food we eat should be full of nutrients and vitamins. This is the food of vitality and wellness. This is the food I want to fuel my body with and I hope you do too.

So what if pasta isn’t your thing? Yes some people just aren’t big pasta fans. It’s true but hard to believe I know! Don’t fret because you can also use this fresh oil free pesto sauce on baked or boiled potatoes which is amazing. It will take your plain potatoes to a whole new level trust me! It’s also a great alternative to adding unhealthy butter or sour cream to your potatoes. I also like to top my rice with a little of this pesto sauce too. It gives your rice a bit of extra flavour and colour which is really nice.

Here is my healthy and super easy to make recipe for Pesto. This recipe is made using Arugula and Spinach which is probably very easy to find for everyone. I do like to use Fresh Basil when I have it but it doesn’t have to be the staple ingredient in pesto. I love how you can play around with different healthy greens to create new and wonderful pesto recipes. You can never get sick of pesto sauce when you try new greens and create new ways of making this fabulous sauce.

Healthy Arugula & Spinach Pesto Pasta

Ingredients:

• 3 cups Arugula & Spinach Mix
• Juice of 1 large lemon
• 5 cloves of garlic
• 1/2 cup Pumpkin Seeds or Sunflower seeds
• Salt & Pepper
• 1 cup chopped Tomatoes
• 1-2 Tbsp. Nutritional Yeast
• 5 cups pasta of choice. I used Quinoa Pasta.

Method:

1. Boil large pot of water and add in the pasta. Cook according to directions on pasta packaging.


2. Add all ingredients to a food processor. Combine well.


3. In a large bowl add the pasta and mix in the pesto sauce.

* Serves 4 people *

Enjoy!

If you want to see how I made my recipe then just take a peek at my video below. It’s my latest recipe video on my YouTube channel.

Much Love & Gratitude,

Debbie

~VeganMommyDee~

My Epic Immune Boosting Soup

Happy Sunday to you all! I hope everyone is doing well and staying healthy. It’s pretty crazy how quickly things have changed in the world and it’s definitely a scary time.

With all the extra time on most people’s hands I’ve noticed a lot more people cooking up a storm. People are trying new recipes and getting inspiration from each other. I think this is fantastic because we can now get back to basics and learn how to prepare healthier homemade meals.

Many people are worried about weight gain because of all the inactivity during isolation. This is definitely valid but It’s pretty easy to keep our diet clean. By eating whole foods, drinking plenty of water, and making those homemade meals this is easily controlled. Yes we will snack a little more but if we choose wholesome foods then we shouldn’t worry to much about weight gain. When weather permits then get outside and take a walk or go for a run. It’s not only good for our waistline but also for our mental health.

I’ve had many people ask me for my simple instapot immune boosting veggie soup. I decided to make a little video making it so you can see how easy it is to make. It’s filled with amazing immune boosting veggies and you can use fresh or frozen veggies. It will all work for this easy soup. At this point in time it’s sometimes difficult to get certain foods because of the COVID-19 situation. We are also limited to how many items we can buy so this can be difficult at times. I’ve been making this soup a lot because it’s easy to make, fast, I can use whatever veggies I have and I feel like my family could benefit from the immune boosting properties in the soup. It’s a win in every way! Let me know what your go to meal is these days in the comments.

Enjoy my recipe and please tag/mention me here or Instagram if you make it. If you haven’t already followed me on YouTube I would truly appreciate your support.  Please Like and Subscribe to my channel. Don’t forget to stay connected with me across social media as well. Stay Healthy my friends!

Light & Love,

Debbie

~VeganMommyDee~