Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What I Ate (My Faves) Wednesday

By now I'm sure I don't even need to tell you what day it is because What I Ate Wednesdays are starting to become quite a tradition here on Vegvacious! I love Wednesdays because I get to share my eats, but mostly I love being inspired by all my fellow bloggers. There are so many meal ideas I never would have created on my own! Make sure you check out the WIAW page on Jenn's site, Peas & Crayons to get lots of mealtime inspiration!

Instead of recapping a day of meals this week, I decided I would show you my fave eats from last week.

First up, check out my breakie.

Banana Split Overnight Oats

Why the pink boa you might be wondering?
Well I got the boa at a bridal shower this weekend and it just seemed to fit.
Cute pink bowl + amazing oats = breakfast fit for a special kinda gal :-)

Normally I don't love cold oats, but this combo is awesome. It was so good that I had to fight the urge to lick the bowl clean ~ seriously, I think the heat's going to my head!!  

They are super simple to make too! Add together 1/2 c oats, 1 1/4 c. almond milk, 1 1/2 tbsp chia seeds, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tbsp cocoa powder, a mashed banana and 1/4 c. diced fresh strawberries. Mix until well combined and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, you just pull them out of the fridge and chow down! I topped mine with a blob of White Chocolate Wonderful peanut butter and some homemade strawberry jam. Yummy!!!!

For lunch, I have been loving Kris's Warm Artichoke Bean Salad ~ soooo tasty!!!!

She served hers with rice, but I didn't add anything to mine. The lemony freshness of this salad tastes like sunshine!

For dinner, it was all about the cleaning out the fridge.

Check out my Frittata.

We are going away for the upcoming long weekend, so I wanted to use up all the veggies that were in the fridge. Leanne's recipe for an Everything Awesome Frittata inspired me. Keep an eye out for my recipe, but in the meantime check out hers. It was delicious and filling and only 193 calories!!

And of course we can't forget my fave snacks. I've been eating blueberries out the wahzoo. Keep an eye out for me in the upcoming Smurfs movie because there's a very good chance I might fit right in :-)!!!

My grandma went blueberry picking and sent home a 3lb container yesterday.'s already half gone and Derek's doesn't like blueberries so I think you can tell who the guilty culprit is!

My other fave snack has been graham crackers smeared with a little sunflower seed butter and homemade strawberry jam. SO. GOOD. If you have a craving for some sweets, this will totally satisfy.

So there you have it. My eats were superb this week and I hope you're inspired to make something delicious! With all the fresh produce popping up how can you not?! There's just so much good food out there waiting for you!!

What's your favourite fruit? Do you eat it by the bushel when it's in season?
Fave snack of the week?

Have a great day and enjoy being inspired by all the great foodies out there!


Monday, July 25, 2011

Random Acts of Kindness

Happy Monday! how are your affirmations going? Are they easier to tell yourself as the week progresses? Do you find yourself believing them? I definitely find them easier to say and I feel good as I repeat them!

Today I wanted to talk about spreading our love to others through Random Acts of Kindness. Clearly I'm not the only person out there who struggles with self love and acceptance and I am amazed that there are so many others out there like me who struggle to be happy with themselves and the lives they find themselves living.

There are so many things we can do for the people we pass in our everyday life to give them a boost and make them feel great about themselves and about the people in their community.

Think back to the last time someone did something nice for you without expecting anything in return. I'm talking about something as simple as giving you a smile as they pass you on the street. It feels great doesn't it!?

It's so easy to spread love to others and let them know that they worthy, special and important. Unfortunately, we often get so caught up in our hectic lives that we don't take the time to do it; I admit that I'm as guilty as the next person of passing by completely wrapped up in my own thoughts and too distracted to notice those around me. What we need to realize is a little goes a long way!

One of my favourite random acts is when I am in the drive thru of our local Tim Hortons (best coffee & donut shop EVER!). If there is someone behind me and I have a few extra dollars in my pocket, I will pay for their coffee as well as my own. I hope that my small gesture helps to get their day started on the right foot. I know it certainly brightens my mood! It takes just a couple of dollars and no time at all and the reward for myself and for the person I've affected is just awesome!  I think the drive thru employee also gets the warm and fuzzies because I always get big toothy grins as I drive away! 

While we work on finding our inner peace, I think it's also really important to let others know that they are special and worthy of love; whether it's your best friend or spouse or a total stranger you're passing on the street.

If you're looking for ways to spread love and kindness to others, check out this awesome site I stumbled across while I was thinking about this post. It's dedicated to spreading kindness and has more ideas that we could ever dream up!

So, this week try to do at least one random act of kindness everyday. I promise you that you are going to touch alot of people and you're going to feel so rewarded as well!

Have you ever been the giver or recipient of a random act of kindness? Tell me about it!

Have a great evening and remember that you are a beautiful person on the inside and out.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Greek Style Bruschetta Sammies

Can you believe that we are still in the middle of this loooooonnnnggg heat wave? Right now as I type this our temperature is 35C, feels like 46C. For you Americans that's 97F, feels like 107F. The radio DJs this morning said that we are hotter than Havana, Cuba, Jamaica or Kandahar. What the heck?! That is way too hot for this Canadian gal! I don't mind the heat, but I really wish the humidity would take a hike!

Tonight I came straight home from work to let the dogs out. They're nice and cool in their crates while we're away, but I want to make sure that they're getting lots and lots of water to avoid any issues with dehydration. This weather can be deadly for pets, so please make sure that they have lots of cold fresh water and somewhere they can go that is out of the sun!

I had plans to hit the gym ~ because I am just dying to sweat a little more ~ so I whipped up my favourite pre-workout snack: a brown rice cake smeared with my new love, sunflower seed butter. I could  have eaten this stuff with a spoon. Hands down this is my fave nut butter of all time.

After the gym I had a repeat dinner from my WIAW post. It was something I made on the fly when I was feeling extrememly lazy and it turned out to be delicious, so I  knew I had to share. I prepped the veggies before I left for the gym and then I put it all together and had a delicious dinner within about 15 minutes after getting home.

Greek Style Bruschetta Sammies
Makes 2 open-faced toasts (which for me feeds 1 ;-)

2 pieces of bread (I used Weight Watcher bread to keep my portions small)
1 tsp Earth Balance or butter
1 - 1 1/4 c chopped veggies (I used grape tomatoes, sweet onion, zucchini & black olives - marinated artichokes would be an amazing addition too!)
1 clove of garlic minced
1/3 c shredded cheese (I used a mix of feta & mozza)
1 small fresh basil leaf, minced

Turn your oven to broil.

Heat a small frying pan on medium heat. Add the Earth Balance.

Once melted, add your veggies and garlic. Stirfry until the onions and the zucchini begin to soften.

While the veggies are cooking, toast your bread either in the toaster or by putting it under the broiler for just a few short minutes.

Place toast in a shallow oven safe dish. Top with the veggie mixture followed by the cheese. Sprinkle the basil on top.

I like to load my toasts up!!
Fresh basil straight from my herb garden --- so fresh and delicious!

Place the toasts under the broiler for 4 - 5 minutes. I like the cheese to be melty and for me it's done when the tops start to turn a gorgeous golden brown :-)

Remove from the oven and let sit for 2 or 3 minutes. Watch those tomatoes they are tongue burnin' hot when they first come out of the oven.

Serve & enjoy!

I like to have this as a lonely girl dinner when Derek's left me to my own devices. This could easily be turned into a fun appetizer by topping slices of a baguette instead of the toasts.

What's your favourite lonely girl/boy meal?

Have a great night. Stay cool...and if you live somewhere cool, please send a little my way!!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What I Ate Wednesday

Woot! Woot! Woot! It's Wednesday once again and we all know what that's time for WHAT I ATE WEDNESDAY!

This week my eats are super easy and do not require much kitchen or cooking time. It is WAAYYY to hot in Southern Ontario and using the oven or stove for more than just a few minutes at a time is a big no-no these days! Even standing out at the barbecue in the blazing sunshine is almost unbearable. Derek's managed to grill one steak over the past few days, but lately our meals have been all about sandwiches, fruit and ice cold refreshing bevies.

Check out some of my fave meals from the past week.
One of the best veggie burgers I have made to date. Check out Angela's recipe here. I made 8 burgers and have been enjoying them every day at work for lunch. They are delish with a huge smear of Dad's Amazing Barbecue Sauce and some melted Daiya mozza shreds. On the side, I had a fresh, LOCAL peach. Mmmm.....

Another one of my fave sandwiches have been a TLT (tempeh bacon, lettuce and tomato). Thanks Miss Jenn @ Peas & Crayons for this idea last week. I am loving this tempeh bacon. I have to tell you I never thought I'd enjoy a slice of bacon again after turning vegetarian but this stuff is the bomb!  On the side, I had some Bush's Vegetarian beans. These are the best canned beans I've ever had ~ I've been loving them chilled and served on the side of just about any meal!

And finally this was what I  had last night. I hummed and hawed because I had no desire to make anything to eat and finally by about 8 p.m. I decided to just open the fridge and pull the first things I saw out. What I got was grape tomatoes, sweet onion and zucchini. I ended up with greek-style brushetta open-faced sandwich (whew! that's a mouthful!). Yes, it did require the broiler, but just for a few short minutes. A recipe for this will be coming in the very near future. Promise!!!

And of course, I have to give a shout out to the best snack ever.

Fresh local cherries. HEAVEN!!! So juicy and sweet; I almost shed a tear as I ate the last one.

And last, but certainly not least, I tried a brand new bevie this week that I loved it! It was a nice change from the usual water and smoothies. Steaz zero calorie raspberry iced green tea. It's made from 100% pure green tea and sweetened by stevia. It has zero calories, fat, carbs and sugar. It's light and refreshing with just the right amount of sweetness. I will definitely be picking up more of these bad boys on my next grocery run.

So here is yet another recap of my fave eats this week. For more inspiration head on over to Peas & Crayons to check out what many more bloggers have been enjoying!

What is your favourite summertime sandwich? Fave bevie?

Have a great day,


Monday, July 18, 2011

I Am Fabulous

I've been keeping an eye on my stats to see what you all are checking out when you come to visit my teeny little space on this world wide web and I've been really surprised to see that my second most viewed page of all time was a post I wrote when I was really struggling with accepting myself ~ flaws and all.

Obviously I'm not the only one out there that has hard time loving myself unconditionally. That post was just a rambling of my thoughts and feelings at the time and I've been feeling compelled to write another post about this topic, but truthfully I've been really stumped as to what I should say.

I've decided to write a series of posts on loving and accepting yourself and hopefully you will find something to motivate you or make you feel great or maybe realize something absolutely fabulous about yourself. This is coming from a normal, average chickie poo (moi!) who struggles on a daily basis with self love and acceptance. Hopefully we'll both get a little fulfillment and meet some great and supportive people along the way.

I'm going to start the series off talking about being positive.

I think this is so important in changing our way of thinking from negative to positive.

What are the first thoughts that come to your mind when I ask you to describe yourself. At first I drew a blank. Wha.....! I was shocked and angry with myself because I know that I have lots of great qualities, but every time I would think of something, I would knock it down with a negative thought. I don't understand why it is so much easier to have a negative thought than a positive one. Is it looked down upon to think highly of oneself? Do we look arrogant or conceited when we lift ourselves up instead of knocking ourselves down?

I am worthy of love.

YOU are worthy of love.

Last week I made the conscious decision to change my negative thoughts into positive ones. It's okay to give yourself a little hug every morning knowing that you are a unique and wonderful person. It starts with you. You've got to believe you're special, wonderful and worthy of love before anyone else is going to believe it.

Positive affirmations can be a great way to change your way of thinking. It seems a little uncomfortable and weird at first to make positive statements about yourself, but step out of the box and give it a try. All you have to do is say them in your mind. It's amazing how powerful words can be in changing our perception.

I've written down three positive affirmations about myself. Currently my biggest struggle is with my body image, so mine are focused primarily there.
  • I am healthy and happy.
  • I love my curves.
  • My body is strong and full of energy. 

Put your affirmations somewhere you will see them several times per day. Repeat, repeat, repeat. AND MEAN EVERY WORD YOU SAY. If we tell ourselves these things over and over, then we just might start believing them. This will result in more and more positive thoughts. Once you get into the habit of saying these affirmations to yourself, tell yourself another one and then another one.

If a negative thought nibbles at your mind, push it out and replace it with something positive! We need to re-train our brain and create new habits where positive thoughts are the first things to pop into our mind. Imagine how wonderful life will be when we think positively about ourselves and about everything that surrounds us!

So, do you think that we can do it?! I know we can. It's going to be a challenge, but when you are courageous and determined there is nothing that can stand in your way.

Are you with me?!

Make sure you check back every Monday to see what I have to say about my journey to self love. If there's something you'd like me to touch upon or you want to discuss, let me know because I want us to work together on this journey. Email me anytime.

Share one of your positive affirmations with me. I would love to get some motivation and positive energy from each and every one of you!!

Remember that you are a special person who deserves to be loved,


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Cool as a Cucumber

Whoowee! It is HOT in Southwestern Ontario. We are in the middle of a serious heat wave with no relief in sight.

When it's hot like this, I have absolutely no desire to cook and all I crave is lots and lots of water, fruits,  veggies and barbecue! There's nothing like a cold juicy slice of watermelon or some fresh tomatoes and cukes to make my day!

Yesterday I came across a vegetable stand that was selling English cucumbers at 3 for $1. That's a steal and I couldn't pass it up! I only bought 3, but I was tempted to buy 6 or 9 because I've  had a serious craving for a cucumber salad. This salad is so easy to whip together and it's the perfect side to any barbecued meal.

Cool as a Cuke Salad
Serves 6 as a side salad

Cool, refreshing and super tasty!! The cukes and onion soak up the flavour of the vinegar to make a tangy and fabulous salad.

3 English cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
2/3 c white wine vinegar (regular white vinegar would also work)
1 tbsp fresh dill
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
pepper to taste

Place your cucumbers and red onion in a bowl.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the vinegar, dill, olive oil, salt and pepper. Whisk together.

Pour the dressing over the cucumbers and onion and mix until well coated.

I love how the dill fancies this salad up!

Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Remove from the refrigerator just before you're ready to eat. Serve and enjoy!

Cool, refreshing and delicious! This is a perfect summertime salad.

What do you crave when the temperatures are super hot?

Enjoy your Sunday evening,


Saturday, July 16, 2011

There's Somethin' About a Cowboy......

....that makes me go WEAK in the knees!!

Last night my friend Lisa and I headed off to Sarnia Rogers Bayfest. On the bill, one of my all-time favourite Canadian artists, George Canyon, followed by Montgomery Gentry and Trace Adkins.

What a show! There's nothing better than an outdoor concert in the summertime and add some hunky cowboys and you've got yourself a night to remember!

We danced and we sang and we drank a few cold ones and it was a FABULOUS night!

First up was one of my all-time favourite Canadian artists.

Meet George.

George Canyon was an awesome first act. My husband has a huge "man crush" on him and we've seen him a dozen times. We've also had the opportunity to meet him and not only is he an amazing country artist, but he has a huge heart and a very kind spirit. When he talks about his family or visiting the Canadian military in Afghanistan it often gives me goose bumps.

Me and George....we're tight ;-)

Check out how close we are to the stage!! VIP is the way we roll!

Next up was Montgomery Gentry.

I saw them once on Independence Day at Murray State University in Kentucky. That was years ago and they are still put on the same high energy entertaining show! They've got tons of great hits and we sang our little hearts out.

And Troy Gentry??? I have one word for you: Yummy.

sadly my photos weren't the greatest for Montgomery Gentry and they just don't do them justice

It was really, really hot out and these guys still gave us an awesome show!
They had to be sooo hot up there!

Trace Adkins closed the night. I was super excited to see him live, but I  have to say he wasn't quite what I expected. He didn't engage the crowd like the first two acts and while he was good, I think I liked the first two better.

However, normally I'm not into middle-aged men with long hair, but this man is SEXY. I don't know what it was about him, but he oozed sex appeal. Or maybe it was the 6 or 7 Coors Light we'd had by then. I can't say for sure, but I do know that every woman in the place was picking her jaw up off the ground.

He has the deepest, sexiest twang you've ever heard!

All in all we had an absolutely amazing time. This was Lisa's first time out since having her baby boy, Logan, and it was so nice to spend a night together!

If you've never been to an outdoor concert event, you really need to go!! Give a country concert a chance, the thing I love is that these artists have amazing voices and genuine talent. They don't need all the glitz and effects to have a good show because they rock all on their own.

What are you up to this weekend?
What was the best concert you've ever been to? I have been to lots and it's hard to narrow it down, but I think my faves would be George Canyon, Brad Paisley and the Elton John/Billy Joel tour.

Enjoy your night,


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Blonde or No?!

For 95% of my life I have been a blondie and I have to admit blondes DO have fun.

In the Winter, I decided I needed to make a change and much against my hubby's preference, I went to a dark brunette. Some days I'm feelin' it and some days I'm not; especially on the days when some ALOT of grays start peeping out at my roots. Eeek!!

I have a hair appointment on Saturday and I'm thinking that I need to go back to my tried and true blonde.

Whaddya think?! I need opinions because I change my mind about ten times a day!!

I know, I know....some of you are shaking your heads at me right now because if this is my biggest dilemma in life I'm pretty darn lucky.........

Do you like to make drastic changes to your hairstyles? Do you do it on a whim?

Have a great night loves!


What I Ate Wednesday

Yahoo! I'm very happy to be celebrating Wednesday this week because I only have one and a half days of work left and then I'm off to see George Canyon, Montgomery Gentry and Trace Adkins with one my good friends at a huge outdoor concert event. There is nothing like a fine lookin' cowboy to make me a very happy girl ~ well in my case 4 very fine lookin' cowboys!! We have VIP tickets and will be very close to the action and I am so super duper excited!

Ok, ok enough of my bragging! It's Wednesday and we all know what that get to see a day in the life of my good eats! As I was thinking about this post and what I was going to share, I quickly came to realize that I haven't snapped pics of anything fabulous to share with you today. So, you really are going to get a day in the life view of what I eat on a normal, boring ol' day.

If you like what you see, make sure you pop on over and visit Jenn at Peas & Crayons where you can find over a hundred more amazing meal ideas!

Lots and lots of fruit salad. Ever since our brunch I can't get enough fresh fruit!

My fridge was full of stuff, so I decided to use up some leftovers. I heated up a mixture of quinoa, grape tomatoes, black olives, mozza cheese and some balsamic vinagrette. It looks messy, but it was goo-ood! In fact, I had this for lunch 2 days in a row.

One of my go-to dinners lately have been a tortilla pizza. This pizza was on a 6" whole wheat tortilla and it's topped with barbecue sauce, mushrooms, red onion, grape tomatoes and cheddar cheese. Yum!

I need to send a big shout out to Cait at Beyond Bananas for introducing me to the wonderful world of chocolate covered sunflower seeds! Hey girl, these rock!

Well you`ve already heard about our beer consumption this weekend. I don`t know what it is about the summer, but the ice cold ones just go down so well :-) I`ve also been enjoying a nice cold glass of pinot grigio on the patio with dinner. Usually I`m a red wine kinda gal, but these hot temperatures have made me jump ship and join the white wine bandwagon for now.

So there you have it. Another Wednesday, another great day of eats. I must admit I eat well all the time whether it`s an exciting event or just another day in the life......

What`s your favourite summertime bevie?

Have a happy Wednesday!


Monday, July 11, 2011

Wrapped in Greens

Happy Monday!!

This is what I just found in my kitchen......

I know it was Hank who ripped open the new bag of dog food and then proceeded to run through it and spread it all around and Dora is trying her darndest to get it all eaten up to cover up the evidence ;-) She never even lifted her head when I caught her ~ she just started eating faster and faster to try and get as much into her belly as possible!! Honestly, there is never a dull moment at our house!!

So how was your weekend? Mine was superb. Derek has family visiting from Alberta and we tried to fit in as much family time as possible. They rarely come to Ontario and we have yet to go visit them out west, so we've been soaking up as much time with them as possible!! We've already started planning a trip to go visit them next October ~ I CAN'T wait!!!

If you're like our family, you'll know that visitors mean lots of food...& beer! I engaged in some over-indulgence this weekend, but today I'm definitely back on track. I came across a recipe this morning that I received from a friend quite a while ago. It involved Greek salad (my fave!!) and chicken wrapped in swiss chard leaves and I knew it'd be the perfect light and summery dinner to keep me on the straight and narrow.

Obviously I wouldn't use the chicken for myself, but I did decide to try chick'n strips.

They are surprisingly similar to real chicken, but I've got to admit it totally weirded me out eating something that had a similar taste and texture to meat. These wraps are great with or without the chicken.

Greek Salad Wrapped in Chard
Again, this is one of those recipes where I didn't use any measurements. You just use a little of this and a little of that :-) Just make sure that you use the large swiss chard leaves because they work the best for this.

large swiss chard leaves
chicken (or chick'n strips)
grape tomatoes, sliced lengthwise
2 inch piece of cucumber, peeled and sliced lengthwise
black olives, sliced
feta cheese
lemon wedges 

The bottom part of the swiss chard stem can be very difficult to wrap, so using scissors, I cut out the bottom 3rd of the stem.

Lay out your swiss chard leaves on a flat surface.

Spread some hummus onto the leaves.

Add the chick'n, tomatoes, cukes, olives and feta.

Squeeze a little fresh lemon over the filling.

Fold the cut part of the leaf over the filling and then continue to roll the leaf until it is wrapped up nice and tight.

Serve and enjoy!

These are really, really tasty, although they are really, really sloppy too! They are also surprisingly filling. I had two and that was the perfect amount for my dinner.

..... and speaking of greens, check out my garden's progress. I'm going to be enjoying fresh tomatoes and jalapenos very soon!

"baby" beefsteak tomatoes


grape tomatoes

Have you ever made a wrap using some sort of a green leafy veg in place of a tortilla? If you have, what did you use?

Have you ever tried faux meat before? What'd ya think of it?

Have a great night,