Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Quick Raspberry Coconut Oatmeal

Raspberry Coconut Oatmeal

I don't think I've ever talked about my obsession for raspberries but now that I posted my second recipe with them in a week I feel like it's out in the open. Yes. I love raspberries. If I had to pick only one food to bring with me on a deserted island it would it. I remember growing up, we had some raspberry trees in our backyard and I would make sure to go check on them every day to snag all the good ones before my mom had time to pick them. It wasn't long before I became a primarly suspect in the raspberries mysterious disappearance. Since then, I also discovered organic raspberries which in my opinion are the best ever!! I probably go through 1 or 2 bags of frozen ones per week and when I buy fresh ones, I make it my mission to shove them all in my mouth as soon as possible. It's definitely one thing I am not good at sharing so Bella is always happy when she can get a couple of big ones.

Here is an easy recipe that works just as well for busy mornings than for lazy rainy ones.

Raspberry Coconut Oatmeal


1/2 cup Steel Cut Oatmeal (Don't use quick Oatmeal it's too processed)
1 1/2 Water
1/4 cup Fresh or Frozen Organic Raspberries
Handfull of Chopped Pecans
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds (Optional, but they are a great source of fiber)
1 Tbsp Agave
2 Tbsp Shredded Coconut (Organic is definitely best)

Add the Oatmeal and water in a pot and bring to boil. Reduce heat and cook for about 12 minutes or until it gets thick and creamy. Remove from heat and add the reminding ingredients. Stir well to mix it all up. And... you ready to eat!

How easy was that?

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Good Mood Salad with Sweet Raspberry Dressing

Very simple lesson this week. Sometimes, all you need is a big giant bowl of sweet and simple salad. Literally. I feel like this week was a bit of a battle and as always, I was determined to win it. I went to the store and bought everything to make me feel better and rushed home to mix the magic. Tomato Soup, Fresh Pesto, Quinoa Burgers and (my new addiction) Chocolate covered Ginger. After making everything, I had a huge feast of it all and waited for some sort of contentment that never came.

The next day, I had almost given up so I put together a very simple and quick salad that ended up making me feel way better than I was hoping for. Vegetables. I should have known. As soon as all this fresh goodness hit the spot, I figured I had to share the recipe with you, so you can feel better right away without going through the extra 3 hours in the kitchen, preparing the all your extra pretend feel good food.

Oh and if there is any other lesson to learn this week here it is. You can never go wrong with Raspberries.

Good Mood Salad with Sweet Raspberry Dressing


1 cup Spinach
Half cucumber
Half Bell Pepper (I chose an orange one here to make it pop)
1/2 cup Cherry Tomatoes


1/4 Raspberries
1Tbsp Flax oil
1Tbsp Hemp oil
Sea salt & Pepper to taste
3 fresh Basil Leaves
1Tsp Agave
1Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
1Tbsp Black Sesame seeds (They make everything look fancy!)

Cut up the veggies and toss everything in a bowl. Cover with a lid or a plastic wrap and shake it until everything is well mixed! Yep, it's that easy!

Sunday, 13 January 2013

French Traditions - Galette des Rois (King’s Tart)

Wow! It’s been forever since I posted anything I know! I somehow spent the last two months in LaLa land between work, a bunch of Christmas projects, way too much volunteering and… a new boyfriend! I don’t know why but every holiday season, I have the urge to take on as much as I can more than I can handle and end up having to pay the price. I feel like I’ve outdone myself in that department this past year so I decided that 2013 would have to be about me taking back control of my time including focusing on what is really important for me and learning to say NO! Well, I can say that I already failed and it’s only January 7 so I’m obviously going to need some practice.
Last Sunday was a traditional one for my family. We celebrate La Fête des Rois every year for a reason I can’t remember but I know it’s a French tradition that marks the end of Christmas. We bake an awesome cake, we hide a pea and a bean in it and whoever gets the bean is the Queen for the day and the pea is for the King. When I was a kid, my mom made those really fun crowns and we were so excited to know who would get to wear them for the day! However, after my hectic last two months I was thinking about skipping the tradition and since I didn’t have a vegan recipe of the cake I had an easy way out. I’m sure you’ve already figured out that I did make the cake of course! Lol But, this is a really important but, this recipe is not from me… It’s from my mom! Yes, that’s right. A few days after hearing that I was skipping the tradition, my mom texted me saying she had been trying some recipes since 6 am that day, trying to come up with a vegan cake that would taste just as good as the original (I guess the apple didn’t fall far from the tree!) and it turned out to be even better! I have to say I’m really proud of my mom for trying to learn more about veganism and healthy foods in general even if it sometimes hurt to learn the truth. I love it when she talks to me about a new ingredient that I don’t already know, or when she finds a new recipe book that I have to have. I figured if I can only help 3 or 4 people making a change then I’m already making a difference.
Ok so about the cake, I have to specify that it’s not a regular kind of cake. We call it a Galette. It’s pretty much just bread with icing on it, and that’s all we need. I have to say I’ve had 5 slices of it already (some would argue that each slice I cut for myself already counts for 2) so I think I’m just about ready to leave for the CAI (Cake Abuse Institution).

This cake seems like it’s a lot of work but it’s mostly just a lot of waiting around (which I always love!). You’ll need a bread machine and a little bit of patience for this recipe but not that much work at all.

Since it’s not my recipe, I feel like sharing with you the original version in French and the English version will follow.

                                                                                                           Galette des Rois (King’s Tart)

1 tasse de lait d'amande à 120*F/50C.

(Faire chauffer la moitié 40 secondes au four à micro-ondes et ajouter l'autre moitié froide dans la tasse)
2c. à table de beurre végétalien Earth Balance
1 1/2c. à table sucre
3/4c. à thé de sel
2 1/4 tasses de farine
1 1/2c. à thé de levure pour machine à pain

Une fève et un pois
Une couronne de Reine et de Roi

Glaçage :
1/2 tasse d’huile de noix de coco Biologique
4c. à Table de lait d’amandes
4 tasses de sucre en poudre
Colorant alimentaire au choix
1.  Ajoutez tous les ingrédients dans l'ordre dans la marmite du four à pain. Choisissez la programmation pour pâte et commencer à pétrir.

2. Couvrez un grand bol d’une mince couche d’huile d’olive. Lorsque la pâte est terminée, placez- la dans le bol et tournez-la pour couvrir uniformément et former une boule.  Couvrez le bol d'un emballage de plastique et laissez reposer 20 minutes.
4.  Après 20 minutes, frappez la pâte d'un coup de poing au milieu et transférez la sur une surface enfarinée pour lui donner la forme d'une galette et placez la dans un moule à gâteau graissé.  Couvrez d’une pellicule de plastique et d'un linge de coton et laissez la pâte lever dans un endroit chaud pendant 40 minutes.
Préchauffez le four à 375*F et cuisez la galette de 20 minutes à 25 minutes, ou jusqu’à ce qu’elle soit dorée.  Sortez la du four et laissez-la reposer 10 minutes avant de la démouler et de la laissez refroidir sur une grille.

Pendant ce temps, préparez le glaçage.

Battez l’huile de noix de coco au mélangeur pendant 2 à 3 minutes ou jusqu’à ce qu’elle devienne crémeuse. Ajoutez graduellement le sucre en poudre tamisé et le lait d’amandes. Continuez de battre jusqu’à consistance d’un glaçage épais. Pour avoir de différentes couleurs divisez le glaçage avant d’ajouter le colorant alimentaire.
Une fois la galette refroidie, renversez-la et insérez la fève et e pois. Étendez le glaçage et décorez à votre goût! Mioum!


1 cup Almond Milk at 120*F/50C.
(Heat up ½ cup in the microwave and mix with ½ cup of cold milk to get to the right temperature)
2Tbsp Earth Balance
1 ½ Tbsp Brown Sugar
¾ Tsp Sea Salt
2 ¼ cup Organic all-purpose Flour
1 ½ Tsp Yeast (Buy the one for the bread machine)

A Bean and a Pea
King and Queen Crowns

1/2 cup Organic Coconut Oil
4 Tbsp Almond Milk
4 cup Icing Sugar
Food Colorants

1.  Add all the ingredients to the bread machine in the order above, except the bean and pea (and the crowns). Select dough mode for the kneading process.

2. Coat the bowl with olive oil. When the dough is ready, transfer in the bowl and rub it against the sides to coat it and form a big ball. Cover with a plastic wrap and let it sit for 20 minutes.

3. Punch the dough in the center and transfer into a cake mold. Cover with a plastic wrap and cloth and leave it to rise in a warm place for 40 minutes.

4. Pre-heat the oven a 375F and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the top is golden. Let it sit for about 10 minutes and cool off on a rack.

While the cake is cooling down get the icing ready!

With a hand mixer, mix de coconut oil for 2 to 3 minutes or until you get a creamy consistency. Gradually add the icing sugar and almond milk. Continue mixing until you get a thick icing. If you want different colors, divide the icing and add food colorants of choice.

Once the cake is cooled, turn over and add the bean and the pea. Ice it and decorate it!

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Wednesday Wonders #4 Chaga - King of the medicinal mushrooms

As daylight saving ends and fall really starts to kick in, it seems like the perfect time to introduce you to Chaga, king of the medicinal mushrooms!

Weeks ago, I mentioned my crazy trip to Edmonton for the blender workshop with David Wolfe. The main focus of this event was to introduce us to Cacao and Chaga and how to mix the two in completely mind blowing drinks! Since then, I have been having lots of fun with Chaga and I can definitely feel the benefits. It has one of the best sources of antioxidants, a ton of important vitamins and minerals and a full assortment of healing nutrients. Research has found a lot of health benefits from Chaga being an anticancer, antiviral, blood sugar balancer, intestinal protector, liver protector, immune system booster, antiallergenic and antibacterial, just to name a few. It’s so amazing you can even use it to start a fire! Talk about multitasking. lol

Right about now you are probably thinking… WHAT? This is weird, it’s probably expensive, and the usual, I’m sure it tastes gross!

Well, it’s not that weird, it’s incredibly cheap, taste pretty amazing and is totally versatile. Yep, I just shut down all your negative thoughts. The truth is you are not actually eating the mushroom, although some do and you can buy a mushroom powder and put it in everything, so yeah sorry I guess you are totally eating it! That being said, the most common way to take in all the benefits of it is to make a tea. That leads me to write about a bit of history.

The Chaga mushroom mostly grows on yellow and white birch trees. It’s usually black and brown on the outside while the inside has rich earthy tones. The ideal mushroom ready for consumption is about 25 years old. Its growth is rare (will only grow in 0.025% of trees) which makes it very precious. Some say the Chaga is a parasite to the tree, some say it grows in a symbiotic relationship with it. We all need each other in a way, so I like to believe this is true.
Chaga has been consumed as a tea in Siberia for more than 4600 years. They also used it on their skin and inhaled the smoke of it because it’s so special you have to use it all! There are so many stories on Chaga and they're all really interesting and mysterious! There's even a theory claiming that Chaga mushrooms were transported into space by meteorites and other debris falling on earth where they attach themselves to trees and sprout to establish an ecosystem of multicellular organisms. That’s a pretty crazy incredibly interesting idea.
There's so much to learn about Chaga but I wanted to pick your curiosity while keeping some mystery for you to shape you own journey with it!

All this information to finally say, yeah just make a tea out of it. I find the best way to make tea is to just buy dry chunks of it and boil it. The great thing about this is that you can reuse the mushrooms so many times (about 30 times) unlike regular tea. Just strain the chunks and let them dry until the next day and you are good to go again. I have read different ways to make it but being extremely time conscious, I don’t boil it for as long and I skip a few steps. Here is how I like it:
6 cups of water
4 Tbsp of dry Chaga Chunks

Bring the water to a boil with the Chaga in it and let it simmer for 45 minutes (or until you can’t wait any longer). Pour the tea out of the pot using a fine mesh strainer to catch all the chunks. I like to just boil it in a regular pot as I find it too long to get all the chaga out of a tea pot. I like it on its own, or with vanilla and sugar. I also like to keep some in the fridge and make some ice tea out of it. It’s very versatile and fun to experiment with. Here is my favorite recipe which is also a great electrolyte for workouts or post-workouts.

           Orange Chaga Electrolyte Drink

2 Cups cold Chaga tea
Juice of 1 orange
1 Tsp Agave Nectar
¼ Tsp Vanilla extract
½ Cup water
¼ Tsp Sea Salt
1 slice of Orange zest.
Mix everything in a food processor or blender except orange zest. Add the zest and let it sit for about 5 minutes before drinking it. It’s so refreshing I just want to go for run so I can drink one. Oh wait, I can’t run for 6 weeks because I’m injured! Major downer.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Raw Peanut Butter Rolls

Forget learning today because it’s Halloween! I hope you have an awesome party planned out or mad candy to give out! I was trying to decide if I would dress up at work or not and it got me thinking about all the crazy costumes I had over the years, including a big alarm clock in which I couldn’t walk and a two-person camel costume, in which I couldn’t walk either (for some reason I liked very complicated costumes!) Surprised much? Getting older, Halloween has lost a bit of its appeal, especially on the candy side. I am such a sucker for holidays that I thought I had to bring some Halloween excitement back into my life.

In my search for new awesome Halloween traditions, I remembered that my mom use to make some tasty potato & peanut butter candy and I thought those might pass the test of “healthy home-made candy”. Well, they didn’t! First ingredient on the list was 2lbs of icing sugar. 2lbs!!! For a recipe that only yields 20 candies. No wonder I was such a hyper kid! After laughing so much with my mom about our diverging point of view on sugar, I decided I was going to revamp that recipe, gangnam style.

So here is it, the recipe that is healthy and sweet, according to the sugar police.

Raw Peanut Butter Rolls

Prep time:  30 minutes   Cooling time: 1hr    Servings:  About 20 rolls


1/3 cup yams puree room temperature
2 cup Raw Almonds (Not roasted)
3/4 cup Organic Sucanat (Fair trade is always better)
Half Vanilla Bean
1/2 cup Natural Peanut butter

 Boil the yams in hot water for about 15 minutes. Drain and let cool before processing it in a blender until you get a very smooth texture. In the meantime, blend the almonds to a powder, using a food processor. Mix yam puree, sugar, grounded almonds and vanilla bean (The vanilla bean has to be sliced lengthwise to extract the vanilla seeds). Keep mixing until the dough is really smooth and sticky (you can use a hand mixer on low if you have one). On parchment paper, stretch the dough to a 10x16 rectangle using a rolling pin. Evenly spread the almond butter on top and roll the whole thing. Place in the fridge for one hour. Cut the roll in slices of about ½ inch each. You’re done!

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Wednesday Wonders #3: Spirulina “Protein Queen”

Winter is here! We got about 10cm of snow this weekend, how exciting! The mountains are beautifully covered in snow and the air is fresh and crisp. I LOVE IT! Is it too early for Christmas movies? I’m not going to lie, I watched one already! I have to get in the Holiday spirit to start working on all the prezzies I am planning on making…

Today I want to talk about Spirulina. I actually don’t like it at all! I mean, it tastes really bad. Ouch, I don’t know how I’m going to persuade you to start taking it now. Haha! Ok let’s start over…

Spirulina is one of the greatest Superfoods! It’s a microscopic blue green algae that can be found in many lakes and waterways around the world. It’s also one of the oldest forms of life on earth and has been contributing to the food chain development for thousands of years. It provides the nutrients requirements for all life on earth. Pretty cool right? But that’s not it…

The content of Spirulina is 65-75% protein and it contains all essential amino acids which makes it a complete protein source. It's easily digestible so your body can utilized the nutrients much faster and need a lot less energy to do so. You know when it’s 2:00 in the afternoon and you just got back from lunch? You dream about being in front of the TV wrapped in a blanket, or in bed for a nice afternoon nap. I’ve been there, so often! Well, Spirulina will help you skip that step and stay productive and focused all day! I can really tell that I have way more energy the days I take Spirulina and when I skip it,  I can definitely tell that I am not on my game as much.

On top of being a great protein source, it also contains a lot of other awesome nutrients like Vitamin A, B1, B2, B6, E, K, as much Iron as meat, Chlorophyll, Beta-Carotene and many more. It’s a great immune system booster and will do your hair and skin justice!
Some say that Spirulina might be the protein of the future, starting from an industrial production of 100 tons/year in the 1970 to an expected 220 000 tons/year by 2020. Other than its health benefits, its production is sustainable. It produces two hundred times more protein per acre than beef! It also uses only 2% of the water required for Beef production. Is this stuff too good to be true?

Well, here is the thing… It tastes really bad! But that’s not stopping me from taking it every day! So I want to share with you my tips to make this a better experience and make sure you get that awesome Superfood in your body without even noticing the taste of it!

My friend takes it straight with water. I tried it one day and I thought I was going to die! Lol So, don’t try that! The taste is just really bitter so I found the best way to cancel it out is to mix it with lemon juice. For a while I just took it like that every morning and it was great! Here is the formula.

 Spirulina magic potion

-Juice of ½ Lemon
-1 tsp. Lemon Zest
-1/8 cup Water
-1tsp. Spirulina

Just stir it all up together in a glass until the powder is diluted. I like to use a dark cup so I don’t know what is coming at me. If you see it you might not like it! Lol. When it’s ready, just take a deep breath and try to shove it down your throat as fast as you can without moving too much to make sure you don’t taste anything. :) (As I am proofreading it sounds worse than it actually is!)

That being said, some people actually like the taste of it. I have books that have all sorts of Spirulina recipes that I can’t even bring myself to look at but if you like it, good for you! I got my friend to try it and the stories she had about her first experience where hilarious! As long as you don’t decide to mix it in a huge water bottle like she did, you should survive.

After a while I got tired of doing this in the morning (It takes to much time for me) so I decided I would just blend it in my smoothies and find a mix that would kill the taste. So here it is, the breakfast smoothie that will make your coworkers chuckle, because it’s green. I am not going to show you a picture of a nice pink sweet smoothie pretending it will look that way because it won’t. You know who else is green? The Hulk, and that’s how you’ll feel like. Talk about a superhero potion…

Mango Goji Smoothie with Spirulina
Prep time: 2 minutes (I get it ready with my jacket on)    Waiting time: 45 sec    Serving: 1 (Or 2 if your boyfriend is out of Froot Loops)
1 Banana
1/2 cup Frozen Mangos
2 Tbsp. Goji Berries
1 Scoop Vega One Protein Powder (French Vanilla is the best flavour ever)
1 Tsp. Spirulina
1 Tsp. Agave Nectar
1 cup Mixed Greens (Could be replaced by Spinach or Kale)
2 cups Almond Milk (Or enough to give a nice texture)
Dash of Cinnamon

Add all the ingredients in your blender (I use a Magic Bullet. It’s great to do single portions and a lot less dishes!). Blend for 45 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer in your favorite glass or to go mug and get ready for an awesome day!

Friday, 19 October 2012

Fancy Mac 'n' No Cheese - Pumpkin Style

Today was one of those days when you wish you would have just stayed in bed and skipped the whole thing all together. I don’t have a lot of those but somehow today the stars were aligned.  Woke up with the worst ankle pain ever and could barely walk to the car (let alone all day at work), lost my work key and of course, when I thought I had it all figured out, my car wouldn’t start! Lol
The good news is, I decided there was no way it was going to end like this so I got to work in the kitchen to cook something that would help me forget that I might have to walk to work tomorrow.

Last weekend I pureed my first pumpkin and had some in my morning smoothies all week. It’s so yummy and filling! I also roasted the seeds and have been munching on them quite a bit as well. I was really surprised on how much food you get with just one inexpensive pumpkin. So, tonight I needed to make something quick but awesome which is always a rough task. I feel like the perfect meal would be as good as it can be, with the least amount of time taken to prepare it, because time is everything! Anyways, I decided on a Mac n no Cheese again (which is the first recipe I posted) but an awesomized version of it! Hoping to use the rest of that pumpkin puree, I thought I would try it to make a sauce. I have seen some recipes online with pumpkin sauce so I thought I would just figure something out with it. I really liked my first Mac 'n' no Cheese and I ate a lot of it for some time but this… THIS is definitely and upgrade. It was really quick to make too! Definitely a mood enhancer! Lol

Enjoy your weekend! With all the snow in the forecast, I know I will! :)

Fancy Mac 'n' No Cheese - Pumpkin Style


Prep time: 2 minutes  Crying time: 5 minutes   Cooking time: 15 minutes
Servings: 1(A big one. I deserved it!)

1 1/2 cup Brown Rice Pasta
3/4 cup Pumpkin Puree
1/2 cup Almond Milk (Maybe more to achieve preferred consistency)
1/4 cup Quinoa Flakes
1 Tbsp. Coconut Oil
1 Chopped Onion (If you don’t like onions in mac n cheese omit them. I like a lot of it. Half an onion might be enough for most people, depending on how dangerous you feel.)
2 Garlic cloves
3 Tbsp. Nutritional Yeast
Pinch of Nutmeg
Sea salt and Pepper
1 Tbsp. Coconut oil
1 1/4 cup Organic Spinach

Cook the pasta for 7 minutes. Place in a colander to drain and rinse. Take the same pot you used for the pasta (less dishes wouhou!) and heat the Coconut Oil over medium heat. Add the Onions and Garlic and cook them for about 5 minutes or until translucent. Add Pumpkin Puree, Almond Milk, Nutritional Yeast and Quinoa Flakes. Stir and add more Almond Milk until desired consistency. Add Pasta, Nutmeg, Sea salt and pepper and mix well. Add spinach and cook for one more minute. That’s it! You’re done.
If you aren’t feeling great after this meal then you might want to try this super funny video…Just to make sure that you laugh today (I’m totally addicted to it!).