Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What I Ate "When I Was Under the Weather" Wednesday

Happy Wednesday!! Only one more workday for us Canadians and then we have a long weekend ~ thank goodness for long weekends eh ;-) !!


Unfortunately, I am still sporting a very sore throat. Being sick in the summer really stinks :-(

So, in the spirit of feeling under the weather, here's a glimpse into my eats when I'm trying to get back to my super healthy self.

Of course, no sick day would be complete without a cold, delicious green smoothie. This one has frozen bananas, fresh local strawberries, organic baby spinach and water.

Feels AMAZING on my throat.

My other bevies of choice are vitamin waters and diet Gingerale. Normally, I'm not a big fan of pop, but I crave Gingerale when I'm sick!

For a snack, I've been having cut up apple slices with Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter.

You know what they apple a day, keeps the doctor away!!

Lunch has been a super healthy kale salad posted by Angela at Oh She Glows. This salad is Dee-eelicious!! It has lots of great textures and is jam packed with so many healthy veggies. If you're looking for some new salad ideas, definitely check this recipe out.

And for dinner, I've caved and had my all-time childhood fave.
Grilled cheese sandwich and a baked sweet potato. What can I say? I have no energy to put alot of effort into my dinner and this is still one of my favourites!!

So there you have it. Great eats for a sick chickie poo. If you're looking for more ideas, jump on over to Jenn's site, Peas and Crayons. Last week she had over 100 bloggers post about their awesome eats!!

What do you like to eat/drink when you're feeling under the weather?

Have a great Wednesday,


Monday, June 27, 2011

Protein Packed Pasta Salad

How are you on this beautiful Monday night?!!

I've been sporting a seriously sore throat the past couple of days. I think the warm weather paired with the freezing cold air conditioning temps of my office is wreaking havoc on my bod. All I can say is thank goodness for green smoothies ~ they feel like heaven in my throat ;-)

Other than my throat, I'm feeling pretty excited. It's a short work week here in Canada because we're all off on Friday to celebrate Canada Day! With Canada Day (& Independence Day for all you Americans) comes some of my favourite things: outdoor get togethers with friends, bonfires, a few mouthwatering bevies and lots of delicious food!! Picnic and barbecue season has officially begun my friends ~ woot woot!!!

Derek & I are having my grandparents over for brunch on Friday and then we're heading to our friend, Jeff's, to chill around the pool and have a potluck barbecue with all of our buds on Saturday. Being the token vegetarian in the group, I have been put in charge of "vegetables".   I'm not sure if that means everyone else is bringing meat, but being the sole vegetarian of the group, I tend to get the same responsibility at every get together! As always, I'm up for the challenge and I'm planning to bring some veggie kabobs, the best bruschetta known to man (recipe coming) and a protein packed pasta salad.

I like to add some beans to my pasta salad to add a healthy dose of fiber and protein. This salad is super easy to whip together and can be customized to use your fave beans and veggies. This is the type of recipe I like to make when I have some veggies that need to get used up at the end of the week because I HATE letting any produce go bad!

Protein Packed Pasta Salad
Makes a large salad to satisfy a crowd

This is a great salad for a family dinner or potluck with friends. It also keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days and is a great salad to take to work for lunch!

3 1/2 c. small shell pasta (I used brown rice pasta)
3 c. chopped veggies (I used green beans, tomatoes, yellow pepper, zucchini, carrots and baby spinach)
14 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 c. Amazing Dressing

Cook your pasta according to the package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water.

Combine the pasta, veggies and kidney beans in a large mixing bowl.

Add your dressing and mix well to coat.

Refrigerate the pasta salad for at least one hour before serving.


I don't know about you, but I am loving how easy my recipes have been lately?! I haven't been intentionally trying to keep my recipes so simple, but I absolutely love making a delicious dinner while still being able to get outside and enjoy some of this beautiful summer weather. Quick and easy seem to be my ongoing themes!

What is your favourite dish to take to a potluck?

Have a great evening ~ I hope the sun is still shining in your neck of the woods :-)


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Baked Kale Chips

Happy Sunday! It's looking like an absolutely gorgeous day in Southwestern Ontario and I'm so happy that I have absolutely no commitents today. For now, it's just Dora & I chillin' at home and then Derek should be back for a barbecue later this afternoon.

Isn't she a"DORA"able? She's already getting in the spirit of Canada Day!!

The only problem I have with days like today is that I want to graze and munch constantly. I typically don't keep chips and sweets in the house, but my darling hubby has a very bad habit of bringing unhealthy snacks into the homestead and then he leaves them there, untouched, to taunt and tease me all day long.

Instead of sitting and obsessing all day about the chips in the pantry that are calling my name, I have been trying to load my house full of healthy and satisfying snacks.

Remember that kale I was talking about last week? Well, I had great intentions to make a salad with it, but that just never happened, so of course my next choice was to whip up a batch of kale chips. Have you ever had kale chips before? Have you ever had kale before for that matter!? 

Dark leafy greens are SOOO good for our bods!

I like to add kale in my diet once in a while when I get all 'spinached out'. I like variety and eating the same veggies day in and day out just doesn't work for me. Kale is definitely one of those 'super foods' that we all should add to our diets. Kale is a chart topper when it comes to the most nutritious vegetables you can eat. It is very high in antioxidants and is loaded with calcium, B vitamins, fiber and anti-cancer phytochemicals. Now who doesn't want all that in their diet?! 

It's especially easy to add this to your diet when you can transform this leafy green into tasty chips. I was skeptical the first time that I made kale chips, but now I can eat a whole batch in one sitting. They are super tasty and definitely satisfy my craving for a salty snack.

Baked Kale Chips

These chips are super easy to make and they are full of healthy goodness. They will amaze even your biggest skeptics because they are as delish as chips!!

1 bunch of kale
1 - 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
sea salt to taste

Preheat your oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

Remove the kale leaves from the stems (the stems are edible, but I find them too bitter) and cut the leaves into bite-size pieces.

Place kale leaves into a large mixing bowl.

Drizzle with olive oil followed by a sprinkling of sea salt.

Lay the leaves out onto your cookie sheet.

Bake for 10 - 15 minutes until they are crisp and starting to brown around the edges. I give mine a stir about 5 minutes into the baking time.

Note: Keep an eye on your chips. They can go from browning to burnt really quickly and burnt kale chips are not good!!

Serve your kale chips as a side to your favourite dinner (grilled cheese for me please :-) or on their own as a tasty snack.


Now how easy is that?! I think you should run out to the local grocery store or farmer's market right now and pick yourself up a bunch of kale. These chips would make a great afternoon snack for you & your family ;-) and they won't go to your waistline like a normal bag of chips will! We are coming up to bathing suit season after all!

Have you ever eaten kale before? If you have a fave recipe, link me up to it! I feel compelled to add more of this nutritious veggie to my diet!!

What are you up to on this gorgeous sunny day?

Enjoy the rest of your weekend,


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Salsa Bean Burgers


I have been a vegetarian for almost a year and a half now and while I am so happy with my choices and could write a series on all the wonderful benefits I have experienced since becoming a vegetarian, there is one thing I really, really miss from my meat eating days. BURGERS.

Back in my old life, I could eat a burger everyday. I loved cheeseburgers, barbecued burgers, burgers topped with mushrooms & swiss, chicken burgers, turkey burgers and my all-time favourite (after a night of indulgence :-) the BK Whopper with cheese.

As I type this, my mouth waters.

Andrea {hearts} Burgers

Thankfully, a ton of veggie burgers have come out on the market that actually taste a lot like the real thing! I like to bring these along to a get together or a barbecue, so I don't have to feel deprived while everyone's chowing down and I'm sitting there with my plate of salad and veggies. While I love the faux meat burgers, I have also developed a love for homemade bean burgers. I've had a recipe tucked away for a while now and finally I found some time this week to dig it up and give it a try.

While these don't imitate meat burgers, they taste awesome! Pairing them with a bun and your fave toppings definitely satisfies like eating the real thing. And the best part of this recipe??? It has two of my most favourite qualities: it's quick & it's oh so easy!!

Salsa Bean Burgers
Recipe from simply vegetarian
Makes 5 burgers

1 19oz can of red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
1 egg, beaten
1 c. crushed corn tortilla chips
1/2 c. salsa (I used medium)
2 tsp cooking oil (I used avocado/garlic oil, but any oil would be fine)

Pour the beans into a medium sized mixing bowl and mash them with a fork.

Add the egg, tortilla chips and salsa. Mix well.

the final product

Divide into 5 equal portions and form into patties. 

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the patties. Cook for 5 minutes per side until they are golden brown and heated through. 

Remove from heat and serve. 

I served mine on a whole grain thin bun. I added baby spinach, mashed avocado mixed with salsa and some melted shredded cheese. I was pleasantly surprised by how well the patties stayed together. Sometimes the flavour of a bean burger can be spot on, but most of it ends up on your plate instead of in your tummy!

I served my burger with a side of broccoli stirfried with avocado & garlic oil, minced garlic and balsamic vinegar. It was GOO-OOOD!!! 

For lunch the next day, I took some leftover broccoli and one of the bean patties sprinkled with Daiya cheese. The patty was great with salsa on the side. This lunch was by far my favourite of the week!

This is a great recipe that your entire family will love! I never know what to do with kidney beans other than the standard chili recipe, so I am really happy that I spied this! It is definitely going to be a staple for me this summer.

What is your favourite veggie burger ~ it could be a fave brand or your most awesome recipe!

Have a great night ~ I'm off to start watching season 2 of Dexter (I am officially addicted ;-)


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What I Ate "When I Was Home Alone" Wednesday

Yay it's Wednesday! My most favourite weekday of all!

And this is no ordinary Wednesday ~ this is the day when I divulge all the treats I indulge in when my hubby is away. You know what they say, "when Derek's away, his wifey will play"....with food that is! :-) In the old days, all I would have been able to post here is pot after pot of Kraft Dinner with weiners, but thankfully I've evolved and become a little more creative in my eats!

I like to pick and munch all day long when I have no one's schedule but my own to worry about. This weekend was no different. I thoroughly enjoyed my down time, but I was really glad when Derek got home, so I could get back into a routine.

Check out all the good things I indulged in over the weekend.

Veggie Pizza. I wasn't kidding when I said I'd have this for breakfast, lunch & dinner!

Other breakies included iced coffee and fresh strawberries.

When I wasn't eating pizza for lunch, I was having a tomato pesto sandwich.
If you haven't tried this, go and make it right now! It is one of my all-time favourite sandwiches!

For dinner, when I wasn't eating pizza ;-)  hehe, I was having a salsa bean burger on a thin
bun, with a side of stirfried broccoli with garlic and balsamic.
Stay tuned, bean burger recipe to come tomorrow and I promise you that it is dee-eelish!
Can you tell I'm lovin' these whole grain thin buns?

And of course, I can't forget all my snacks. They are an absolute must for a home alone weekend!

Strawberries dipped in dark chocolate

Brown rice chips - sweet chili flavour

Red Wine ~ of course!

...and last, but not least, my lonely little peanut butter blondie.

Whew! Thank goodness I'm not home alone every night or I'd be in some serious trouble! I love to indulge and enjoy my down time, but it always feels great to get back to my healthy oats and salads full of greens.

If you're looking for some more inspiration, pop on over to Jenn's site at Peas & Crayons to explore the amazing eats of so many other awesome bloggers.

What is your favourite thing to snack on when you just want to pick and munch all day?

Happy Hump Day,


Monday, June 20, 2011

He's Baa-aack.

Yayy! I was so happy that Derek was coming home today. Sadly, he had to work tonight at his bartending job, so he got home to unload his stuff and was back out the door before I got home from work. I stopped by his work for just a minute to see how his weekend was and to get a little lovin'.

He forgot to tell me about how he left the house.

No kitchen floor is complete without a bag full of dirty clothes and a 60oz of whiskey.

He left his bedding on the loveseat. Maybe he wanted to sleep on the couch tonight?! :-)

I joke, I joke :-)


I swear that I cleaned up the kitchen and did all the dishes yesterday!

Oh. My.

All the healthy food is being suffocated ;-)

Um, is that sauerkraut in my vegetable crisper? ..and yes, there was a jar of sauerkraut on one of the shelves as well --- seriously, how many jars does one person need?!


How can one man do so much damage in such a short amount of time?!

He's lucky I love him and that I really, really missed him!

I swear I was going to have an amazing recipe for you today, but I'm a little busy cleaning up!!
I promise to have something fabulous for you later this week.

Have a great night!

Who's the messy one in your family? The funny thing is that Derek would say ME! 


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Tomato Pesto Sandwich

Happy Sunday and Happy Father's Day to all those dear daddies out there! Sadly, I can't be with my dad today, but I was able to spend some quality time with him over Memorial Day and hopefully we'll get down for another visit later this summer. 

Can you believe yet another weekend is on its way out? I swear the weekends get shorter in the summer :-) I've had a pretty great weekend considering I've been on my own since Friday. Yesterday was super busy with an early morning spin class, a vet appointment and a 1st birthday party and today was a lazy day; which was just what I needed.

I have so many things that I want/need to do, but I've been pooped and I decided that this afternoon was going to be a put my feet up and relax kinda day. I find it hard to do that because even though I'll have the intention to relax and enjoy the day, I often feel guilt about nothing being accomplished on that never-ending list of "to-dos". Do you ever have that problem?

Well today I managed to push my guilt aside and I pretty much planted my butt on the couch all afternoon, so that I could get in a whole bunch of Dexter (season 1) episodes in. The first couple of episodes didn't thrill me, but I'm on about episode 8 and I'm  hooked! I am so looking forward to renting the next season and then the next after that!!

To go along with my lazy day theme, I kept my meals quick and simple, but I certainly didn't sacrifice deliciousness!! Check out my tomato pesto sammie.

Tomato Pesto Sandwich
Makes 1 sandwich

This sandwich is really delicious and I can't wait until I have my own fresh tomatoes to use with it! I also used Daiya cheese, which is a wheat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free vegan cheese substitute. It my first time using it and I was really happy with it. It gets all gooey and melty like cheese and it tastes great!! This sandwich will satisfy vegetarians and meat lovers alike.

1 whole wheat thin bun
3 slices of tomato
2 tbsp your fave pesto (I used a traditional basil pesto)
3 - 4 tbsp shredded mozzarella cheese (or your fave cheese substitute - I used Daiya mozza shreds)
4 - 6 baby spinach leaves

Turn your oven on to broil.

On a baking sheet, lay out your bun. On one side, spread the pesto and on the other place your tomatoes.

I love these buns! They have just the right amount of bread, so you still get a yummy sandwich, but the bread doesn't end up over-powering your sandwich filling!

Sprinkle cheese on each side.

Throw the sandwich under the broiler until it's all ooey gooey ;-)

Remove from the oven, top the tomatoes with the baby spinach leaves and top with the pesto side of the sandwich.

Yum! A perfect lunch for a summer day.

Do you have a hard time setting aside all the things you want to do, so you can take a day for yourself??

What's your favourite kind of pesto? I'm pretty traditional :-)

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday evening,