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

Veggie Garden Love

I’m enjoying my veggie garden and it’s abundance this year more than ever. With COVID-19 happening I still only shop when necessary. I love being able to grow my own veggies so I don’t have to buy as much produce at the grocery store. Being able to just walk outside and pick my own veggies is the best feeling ever!

I also love how fresh my home grown produce is. Honestly it even tastes better! Currently I’m obsessed about how my Green peppers taste. I feel so grateful to be able to grow these healthy foods. I feel so energetic and happy during this time of year. It’s probably because of a combination of things I’m sure. I eat even healthier, fresher and more organic food than other times of year for starters. I feel way more active as I’m busy gardening and taking a couple long walks daily. The amount of vitamin D I’m also getting daily makes a huge difference in my wellness.

Continue reading

Easy to make Black Bean & Kale Spread

Do you want to make a spread/dip that taste delicious and is good for you? Yes healthy spreads like this one can actually taste fantastic and be full of flavor!

I love how I can quickly make this recipe using  my food processor and it stores so well in the fridge for up to a week. Part of staying on track is having those healthy snacks and foods handy. You don’t want to get tempted to eat unhealthy options. We don’t make the greatest choices when we’re hungry and in a hurry. We need easy healthy options that are already ready to go in the fridge in order to be successful.

I love making this spread because I can create a meal that’s fiber and protein rich. It keeps me feeling full for a long time and it pairs great with potatoes or rice.

I add kale in this recipe because I have an abundance of it growing in my veggie gardens. If you prefer spinach you can also use that in this recipe. Both healthy greens will work great in my recipe.

This recipe is oil free so this lowers the calories considerably. Added oil would add hundreds of calories to this recipe. In my opinion that totally unnecessary. Why add refined unhealthy oil to such a healthy recipe? I love cooking oil free. It keeps my food lower in calorie density. Less calories and more food is a reality when you eat this way. It’s life changing!

BLACK BEAN & KALE SPREAD

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cans of  black beans
  • 3 large kale leaves
  • Juice of 1 medium lemon
  • Spices: Garlic Powder, Paprika & Chili Powder. Start with 1 tbsp. and adjust flavor according to preference
  • 1 tbsp Hot sauce (optional)

METHOD:

1. Rinse canned beans and add them to a food processor.

2. Add the juice of 1 lemon and spices.

3. Place the kale in the food processor.

4. Pulse until a smooth consistency.

5. Place the bean spread into an airtight container and add the optional hot sauce if desired. Mix well.

6. The spread will stay fresh in the fridge for up to one week. If it lasts that long!

ENJOY!

I will add a video of me making this yummy dip to this post. If you haven’t already Subscribed to my YouTube channel please consider doing so if you enjoy healthy recipes.

Stay Healthy & Happy,

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~

Healthy Holiday Applesauce Muffins!

Hi everyone! I hope the holidays haven’t burnt you out yet and your still thriving. This time of year has many if us feeling depleted. It’s the shopping, events, decorating, cooking, entertaining and it gets so tiresome.

We also tend to over indulge in goodies and other foods this time of year. We all do it no matter how healthy we are. It’s also a very social time of year with all the gatherings. I think we should enjoy dessert and good food with loved ones. After all we don’t see them all the time.

I do find that in order for me to stay on track with my health goals however that I need that back up treat that’s legit healthy though. It’s gotta taste great but still be healthy. I know I’m asking for a lot here but it’s possible. I need that balance so keeping the healthy treat around the house makes me feel better. I’ll reserve my super indulgent holiday eating for when I’m out with family & friends.

The day I came across Dr. Neil Bernard’s recipe was probably one of the best days ever! It was an old recipe from a weightloss book that he wrote long ago. I only picked it up at a thrift shop because it was written by him and he is all about the oil free cooking too. I practically did the happy dance when I came across it. Yes I still modified the original recipe but the bones of the recipe remained the same. For that I’m thankful to him!

It’s such a simple recipe and it uses only a handful of ingredients. Again I can say “thank you Dr. Bernard!” Simple recipes using few ingredients are my way of life! I’m a mom of five and I don’t have extra time! I work 12 hour shifts in a hospital so again this girl has no extra time to spare! Anything that makes my life easier I’m down for.

I’ve tried this Applesauce recipe with and without raisins and it works out great both ways. My 10 year old is obsessed with these muffins and likes the raisins in them. I tend to make them without raisins for myself because I try and limit my dry fruit consumption.

I’m gonna link a video of me making the Muffins below for you. I also added the complete recipe and instructions in the video description box.

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and checking out my video. If your not already Subscribed to my blog and YouTube channel please do so! I have more upcoming quick and healthy recipe videos coming up in the new year! I appreciate your support and love.

Please share this post or video with whoever you feel would enjoy it. If you know anyone who is on a weighloss journey this might be helpful. We all need a treat and this one is made with whole foods and natural ingredients. Simple & nutritious recipes can still taste great!

Happy Holidays everyone!

Health, Joy & Positive Vibes,

Debbie

~VeganMommyDee

What I Eat in a Day!

I put up a new video on my YouTube channel! People are always curious about what I eat so I decided to do a video!

Please Like & Subscribe and help support health and wellness!

I appreciate each and every one of you!

~VeganMommyDee

Healthy Carrot Pulp Loaf

Have you ever thought to yourself “what a waste” after discarding your juicing pulp? I kept thinking that every time I tossed my pulp in the compost bin after juicing. I juice almost everyday so that’s a fair bit of pulp! I wanted to figure out some ways of using up that pulp. I’ve made a few things that worked fantastic and a few that were total flops. Somethings are a work in progress and that’s fine with me. Eventually I’ll get it right and I feel like I’m learning a lot throughout the process.

I wanted to share my healthy carrot pulp loaf with you all in hopes that you find it useful. I tried making this loaf a few times in different ways just to test out what worked better. We love to top a slice of this yummy loaf with some butter and gobble it up! You can totally make muffins with my recipe too if you prefer. I make muffins often and add some vegan mini chocolate chips to them. I use my ceramic muffin tin and that way I done have to use the paper muffin cups! I’m happy because it’s great for the environment, saves me money and saves my muffins from ending up into a crumbly mess. I bake mine for about 18 minutes but as every oven may vary a bit keep an eye on them. You may need to increase or decrease the time depending on your oven.

Now if only I could find a good ceramic loaf pan! I’m on the hunt for one. Let me know if you’ve bought one and what brand it is below in the comments. Thanks!

My followers across my social media showed interest in my recipe but I was still recipe testing. After trying it a few times and adding new ingredients to my loaf I’m finally happy with the outcome. So as promised, here is the recipe below. Enjoy!

For those of you that don’t juice don’t fret because you can totally make this recipe with grated carrots! Now go rock this recipe! Tag me in pictures of your awesome loaf or muffins. 😀

Things you will need

*Large mixing bowls

* 1 wooden spoon (or use your favourite baking spoon)

* 1 loaf pan (use whatever size you prefer for bigger or smaller slices) I prefer a smaller loaf pan myself

* Set of measuring cups and spoons

* Fork

Dry Ingredients

Cups flour of choice (I use brown rice flour a lot)

* 3/4 cup coconut sugar

* 1 1/2 tsp baking soda

* 1 1/2 tsp baking powder

* 1/3 cup hemp hearts

* 1/2 cup GF Oats

* 2 tbsp chia seeds

* 1 tbsp cinnamon

* 4 tbsp flax meal in order to make 4 Flax Eggs

* Pinch of salt

Wet Ingredients

*3/4 cup non dairy milk ( I like using almond or coconut milk)

* 1 large banana (mashed)

* 1 1/2 packed cups of carrot pulp from your juicer

* 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce

* 1/4 cup coconut oil

* 12 tbsp of water to add to the flax meal

  • Walnuts for topping (Optional)
  • To make 1 Flax Egg mix 1 tbsp flax meal with 3 tbsp of water and mix well. Allow to thicken for 3-5 minutes. In order to make this loaf you will need 4 flax eggs.

1. Preheat your oven to 375 F

2. Add your ground flax to a small bowl with water. Mix well and allow to sit for 3-5 minutes. The mixture will thicken up so you can use as an egg replacement.

3. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

4. Add all the wet ingredients to another large bowl and combine well

5. Add the flax eggs into the wet mixture and mix well using a fork

6. Transfer the wet ingredients into the dry and combine well

7. Line loaf pan with parchment paper

8. Add the mixture into the loaf pan and even it all out. Top with walnuts if your using them

9. Pop them into the oven and bake for 60 minutes

10. Check if your loaf is done by inserting a wooden scuwer into it or a tooth pick

11. Remove from oven and allow to completely cool before trying to slice it.

Note:

  • Cooking time may vary depending on the oven. Check your loaf at the 50 minute mark and decide if it needs more time like mine does.
  • If you feel like the top of your loaf is browning up too much then just cover it with foil and continue to bake it. I try avoiding foil and enjoy nicely toasted walnuts on top of my loaf. I’ve also moved my oven rack to a lower position which is a great alternative if I feel I need to.
  • I actually add more cinnamon to my loaf because I absolutely love the way it makes baked goods taste. I also think it helps add great flavour without adding more sugar to recipes.
  • I feel that 3/4 cup of coconut sugar is enough to sweeten this loaf but if your preference is sweeter loafs or desserts then I would say add more sugar to the recipe as desired.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family and I do!<

Baby Food Mania

Now that my vegan son is 7 months old I’m making a lot of homemade baby food. It’s healthy and full of nutrients unlike the store bought stuff sold out there. I feed my son REAL food. In my opinion the store bought jarred stuff isn’t quality food. If its able to sit on a shelf in a store for extended periods of time then its pumped with unpronounceable things I will not let my son ingest.

It’s incredibly easy to make homemade baby food. I just use what I have on hand and make sure I’m offering him a variety of yummy options. I usually bake his veggies like squash and boil or steam things like green beans. Steaming is better than boiling them in order to preserve more nutrients but when I’m in a rush I’ll boil them because its faster. I reserve some of the cooking water in case I need it when I’m blending it all up. When serving my baby his goodies I add some of his milk to his puree because he likes the added creaminess it provides.

So far my little man has tried peas, green beans, pumpkin, acorn squash, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, blueberries, raspberries, pineapple, avocado, beets, mango, cherries, carrots, sweet potato, apples and bananas. I’m sure I missed some but you get the picture. He has eaten quite a variety of fruits and veggies along with his brown rice cereal, oatmeal cereal, hemp hearts, chia seeds and coconut yogurt.

His favouite foods are pumpkin and sweet potato. I swear I can feed him pumpkin everyday and he would happily eat it up! I’ll post some of his favourite dishes below which are super easy to make. Even if your busy running around you can still manage to throw these together. The best part is once you make puree the veggies and fruit you can freeze the mixture in ice cube trays and store them in freezer bags for future use with only a few exceptions like avocado. Eat that right away! I love this idea because when I’m on the go I’ll pop a few cubes of different purees into travel containers and they defrost while I’m out doing errands. That way my vegan baby can eat healthy on the go. I just take them out 1st thing in the morning that way they have plenty of time to defrost. I also bring hemp hearts in a container with me to add to his food for extra nutrition and he loves the added taste from them.

What are some of your babies favourite foods? Let me know if you have a special way of preparing it below in the comment section. 🙂

jan-2017-071

Banana & Avocado puree

Ingredients & Tools

  1. 1 Banana
  2. 1 Avocado
  3. Blender/Food Processer

How simple can this get right? It’s the simple things they will eat up though every time!

Method

  • Just peel a banana and scoop out the flesh of an avocado and toss them into your blender or food presser.
  • Transfer to a bowl and add breast milk or formula to the mixture for added creaminess if desired.
  • Feed this mixture to your little one right away as the avocado in it will start to go brown.

*Note*

Top the mixture with Hemp Hearts if desired.

jan-2017-072

Baked Acorn Squash Puree

Ingredients & Tools

  1. 1 Acorn Squash
  2. 1 Baking dish
  3. Blender/Food Presser
  4. Optional: Cinnamon or Pumpkin Spice

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350 F
  • Prepare a baking dish with about an inch of water in it. Add more later if needed during the baking process
  • Cut you acorn squash in half
  • Sprinkle with a touch of Pumpkin Spice or Pure Cinnamon if desired
  • Place flesh side down into the baking dish
  • Bake for 35 – 45 minutes depending on the size of your squash
  • Allow to cool and then scoop out the squash flesh into the blender or food processer
  • Transfer mixture to an air tight container. I like placing it into glass containers or mason jars.

* Note*

I also like adding hemp hearts to the squash mixture when serving it to my son. He loves the added flavour and texture it adds to his meal. You can also add dash of breast milk or formula to it in order to make it a little creamier.

jan-2017-021

Chia Pineapple, Mango, Beet & Banana Puree

Ingredients

  1. 2 Bananas
  2. 1/3 Cup Pineapple
  3. 1 small to medium sized cooked Beet
  4. 1/3 cup Mango
  5. 1 tbsp. Chia Seeds

Method

  • Add fruit and the beet to the blender and puree
  • Place in an air tight container or mason jar and add the chia seeds. Combine well.
  • Store in the fridge for up to 5 days

*Note*

My son loves to eat this mixture with a spoonful of unsweetened coconut yogurt with this mixture. Give it a try if your baby enjoys yogurt too.

Hope your baby enjoys this healthy grub! Even my 12 year old will ask me if he’s done with his food. She’s the clean up crew who wants to eat up all his yummy leftovers! Ha Ha!

november-2016-183

Crispy Chickpeas!

chickpeas

Here is a super easy snack recipe that you can make anytime. It’s a protein rich snack which will also keep you full and satisfied. I currently have a chickpea obsession and have been adding them to so many dishes. I love them in my green salads as well as my pasta salads.

If you want a yummy snack on the go then these crispy chickpeas are awesome. You can add whever seasonings you like best and play around with the flavours you enjoy best. They can be stored in mason jars which is great for healthy snacking on the go! I even bring these to my childrens swim class. The kids enjoy them which makes me super happy. Let me know what seasoning combinations worked well for you in the comments below. Happy Healthy Snacking!

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans of chickpeas
  • 3-4 tbsp. of olive oil
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp.Himalayan salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black  pepper

 

Things you will need:

  • 2 cookie trays
  • Parchment paper
  • Paper towel or a dry dish cloth
  • 2 medium sized bowls

 

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F
  2. Line your cookie trays with parchment paper and set aside
  3. Open your cans of chickpeas, drain and rinse them
  4. Pat dry the chickpeas well
  5. Transfer chickpeas to a bowl
  6. Add 3-4 tbsp. of olive oil and salt to the chickpeas and toss well
  7. Divide the chickpeas and add them to the cookie trays
  8. Bake for 35 minutes, making sure to give them a mix a few times during the baking process
  9. After removing them from the oven place them into a bowl with all your seasonings and toss well
  10. Transfer to mason jars or containers

 

Note:

  • Baking time may vary so keep an eye on them in the last 10 minutes.
  • As far as seasonings go you can add whatever you prefer or have on hand.
  • You can use less olive oil if you prefer but your chickpeas may not be as crunchy
  • These can store well for a week in your mason jars

Other Seasoning Suggestions:

  • Lemon Pepper seasoning & Himalayan salt
  • Habanero pepper salt & chili powder
  • Cinnamon, cane sugar or coconut sugar and using coconut oil instead of the olive oil

 

chickpea2.png

 

Happy Munching! Enjoy! 🙂