Monday, December 31, 2012

Hi Friends,

I'm sure by now you've noticed that I've taken a little bit of a break from the blog. Life went a little topsy turvy mid-December, so I made the decision to go offline to spend some much-needed time with my family and friends over the holiday season.

I missed you!!!!

The good news is that I'm home, I'm re-charged and I have some serious(ly fun) plans for 2013.

So, for now, I want to wish you the happiest of New Year's.  Party safe, have fun and savour the memories made with your loved ones.

See you in 2013!!!!



Monday, December 10, 2012

Make-Ahead Breakfast Strata

Hi! Sorry things have been quiet around these parts. The closer Christmas gets, the busier I seem to be.....I'm sure you can all relate, right?!

One of the things I've been busy at is menu planning. We're hosting our annual Christmas party on Saturday and our theme is the '80s, so I've been trying to come up with some '80s-themed food to serve. I'm thinking fondues, black forest cake, cake rolls and whatever other fun things I come up with this week!

Are you hosting any meals this holiday season? For me, it's all about planning ahead. I write my menu out, re-write and amend it as the date gets closer and then work away dish by dish when the big day finally arrives. Things that can be made ahead are always favourites because it helps to alleviate all the things that must be done at the last minute.

This breakfast strata is something that I often make when we're hosting a breakfast or brunch. My mom used to make something similar to this for Christmas morning, so I have a sentimental attachment to this dish, plus it's easy to throw together, can be customized with any veggies/meats that you like and can be made the night before ---- {WIN!}

Now you don't need a special occasion to make this; I made it this past weekend and now we have leftovers for breakfasts and/or lunches for the first part of this week.....and who's kidding who, Derek will be lucky to get even a bite. :-D

Make-Ahead Breakfast Strata
Serves 6

8 slices whole wheat bread, cubed
1 1/2 c baby spinach
1 c sliced mushrooms
1/2 large tomato, thinly sliced
2 c cheese
7 eggs
1 1/3 c milk
salt & pepper to taste

Choose a medium-sized casserole dish and spray with non-stick spray.

Layer your ingredients starting with half of the bread cubes, followed by all of the spinach, the mushrooms, tomato, 3/4 c of the shredded cheese and the remaining bread.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt & pepper. Pour your egg mixture over the entire casserole making sure to soak all of the bread. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the entire casserole. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

About an hour and half before you are planning to eat, pre-heat your oven to 375. Bake the casserole, uncovered, for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes prior to serving.

The assembly looks something like this:

Make sure you let the casserole 'rest' before serving.

I usually give it 5 - 10 minutes before diving in.

I'm sure that you can cut it into lovely little wedges when you're serving it to guests, but we don't get too fancy and just scoop out big ol' portions at our house.


Will you help me with my '80s menu? If you have any great dishes that were popular in that decade, give me some inspiration!!!

What's your favourite dish to serve for brunch?

Have a great day,


Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Powerful Kale Salad that Eats Like a Meal

Good morning! Have you been wondering where I've been?! I've missed you lots and it's because I've been in 'CrazyTown' since Friday. Think Christmas shopping, forcing a crazy dog to rest her sore leg, working, watching Christmas movies I've never heard of that seem to be playing every single night, training new employees, more shopping, doing piles and piles of dishes (seriously where do all the dirty dishes come from?!), trying to squeeze in after-work workouts, planning our annual Christmas party.....

Whew! I'm stressed and exhausted just typing all of that; luckily most of it's fun stuff --- I just seem to have overloaded myself all at once!

One thing that is seriously lacking in that busy list above is meal planning and eating. I have had zero energy and desire for recipe creation, so I've been relying on some old faves to fuel us during the crazy that is our life presently. One new fave that you absolutely must try: the Fitnessista's Cranberry Quinoa Stuffing. Oh. My. Goodness. SOOOOOO GOOOOODDDDDD! I've made it twice now and it makes big batches that I'm able to use in a few different meals.

Not only has it been tricky to keep on track with my clean eating goal at home, but the holiday sweets have started circulating around the office this week too. Not being the type of person to turn down a shortbread cookie stuffed with chunks of Skor Bar, I'm having to offset my indulgences with some veggie-packed healthy meals like this amazing kale salad I've been eating for lunch day after day after day.

This salad creation just kinda happened. I had a ginormous amount of kale to use up and I needed something healthy to pack for lunch, so I just started throwing in whatever I could find that I thought would work together. After making the salad  4 days in a row, I decided that was definitely one of those "must share" recipes. The best thing about this salad, besides the amazing flavour and the fact that it is packed full of all things healthy, is that it eats like a meal. It is so filling and doesn't need any companions to satisfy your belly! Everyday that I brought it to work for lunch, I also included some fruit or a soup and I never had room for them once my salad was inhaled enjoyed.

Power Packed Kale Salad for One
Serves 1

3 c kale, torn into bite-sized pieces
1/2 c chickpeas
1 c chopped veggies
1/4 avocado, chopped
2 tbsp dried cranberries
2 tbsp pepitas (or your fave seeds/nuts)
2 tbsp crumbled feta cheese

For the dressing:
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
salt & pepper, to taste

To make your dressing, add all of the ingredients into a small bowl and whisk together.

Place the torn kale into a separate bowl and add the dressing. Massage the dressing into the kale. Top with the rest of the ingredients. Refrigerate until you are ready to eat.

*Note: I make the salad up in the morning and then take it with me to work for lunch. It is best to let the kale marinate in the salad dressing for at least a few hours before eating.*

So Freakin' Delicious!!!!!

Do you brown bag it to work/school or buy something when it's time to eat?

Enjoy your Thursday,


Friday, November 30, 2012

2012 Holiday Gift Inspiration: for Her

Hi! Happy Friday. Have you had a great week?

December is just around the corner and my mind has definitely turned to the holidays. My days have started flying by and I frequently find my thoughts wandering to gifts and party menus and our trip to visit my family over the holidays. Eeeee!!! I am SO excited!

We have a huge gift list every year. There's those cute little neices and nephews, our parents, grandparents, co-workers, etc. etc.....and there are always those last few people who stump me. An example? My dad. What do you get a guy who just goes out and buys what he wants?! It's not easy to surprise him with something fabulous.

I think everyone can relate, so I thought I'd help you out with some gift ideas each Friday leading up to Christmas....and hopefully you can leave me some gift inspiration in return.

I started with the easy one today. Gifts for "her" ---- I just so happen to be an expert in this department ;-) ....oh, and if you're reading this family o' mine, I'd like one of everything below. Mmmmkay?!

For the 'Traveller' in your life

Passport Cover / Holder / Case - Natural Owls

Pleated Pocket Carry-all Gym Bag in Mauve Dazzle

For the 'Fitness Guru' in your life

Extreme Illuminate Jacket

Reflective Running Jacket

Current Issue
Women's Health

Magazine Subscription to Oxygen or Women's Health

For the 'Foodie' in your life

Cuisine Couture Apron


KitchenAid Deluxe Edition 5QT Tilt-Head Stand Mixer with Glass Bowl and Bonus - CONTOUR SILVER
KitchenAid Deluxe Mixer - Come.To.Momma.

Cookbook Holder

 Sea Salt Caramel Collection

Gourmet Chocolates like this Sea Salt Caramel Collection

Multi Color Mustache Coffee Mugs - set of 6 stackable mugs and chrome holder

Fun Mugs like these Multi-Coloured Mustache Mugs

For the 'Girlie Girl' in your life

Tarte - Carried Away Collector's Set
Make-up Set - I love this Carried Away Collectors Set by Tarte (at Sephora)

Infinity Scarf - Cozy Warm Infinity Scarf, Color Block Scarf, Chunky Circle Scarf in Hot Pink, Black or Orange

So hopefully I've given you some gift inspiration!

Now all I want to do is GO SHOPPING!!!

Do you have any great gift ideas for the women in your life?
If you do, please share in the comments below!

Have a great day,


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What I Ate Wednesday

Good morning guys! How's your week been so far?! This week has been so busy for me. My lunch bag has come home with food still in it because I've been too busy to stop for a snack....missed snacks never happen to me!! 

Even though I've missed a couple of snacks over the past few days, I've still managed to eat some pretty awesome meals. Here's a peek at yesterday's eats:

I ate these pumpkin spice pancakes for breakie on Sunday, Monday & Tuesday. I hated to eat the last bite; these are that good!!

My lunch yesterday was delicious! If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you would have seen this HUGE bunch of kale that my grandpa dropped off to me on Sunday.

I ended up making a massaged kale salad that included avocado, dried cranberries, walnut pieces, cucumbers, celery and feta. The dressing was an apple cider vinegar/dijon combo.

As snacks, I took some clementines, a pear and some Tazo green tea k-cups.

Last Friday, my grandma and I went out for lunch to a restaurant across the street from my office. I ordered the cheese & onion tart and it was ah-maze-ing!!! I really want to recreate this amazing tart at home and last night was my first attempt.

I caramelized some onions in butter & red wine, added some aged cheddar, and then folded them into my grandma's famous pie crust. It was good, but the crust wasn't quite right. I promise that I'll keep working on it and hopefully perfect a recipe to share with you in the very near future!!

So that's my eats in a nutshell. What was your favourite meal from yesterday?? If you're looking for more meal inspiration, check out Jenn's What I Ate Wednesday page and I promise you that you'll find a ton of awesome eats!!

I hope you have a wonderful day!


Monday, November 26, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Protein Pancakes


They're becoming a Sunday morning tradition at our house. I often make a big batch and then toast up the leftovers for breakfast during the week.

....but a travesty occurred yesterday my friends. I'd already decided on Saturday night that I wanted to try making a pumpkin version of my protein pancakes. On Sunday morning, the batter was made and the griddle was hot....and then I realized the worst; I was out of maple syrup! Pancakes without syrup?! Oy, I wasn't sure if I could do it, but I did and it.was.good.

I hope you're not too sick of pumpkin recipes yet because these turned out to be fantastic. In keeping with my clean eats plan, I topped mine with a wee bit of Earth Balance and that was it, but you could definitely fancy them up with some maple syrup, walnuts or some white chocolate chips...or of course you could add a little of everything to make these the absolute ultimate!!!

Pumpkin Spice Protein Pancakes
Makes 8 pancakes

1 c old fashioned oats
3/4 c 1% cottage cheese
3/4 c egg whites
1/2 c pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp stevia
1 tsp chia (optiona)

Heat your griddle to a medium high heat.

Add all of the ingredients into your blender and blend until smooth.

Pour onto griddle into 4" rounds. Cook until the edges start to look dry and then flip. Continue cooking until the pancakes are cooked through.

Serve immediately and top with your fave pancake toppings.

Store your leftover pancakes in the fridge and toast the next morning for an awesome weekday breakfast!

What's your favourite Sunday morning breakfast?

Have a great day!!


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What I Ate Wednesday

Good morning! Happy Wednesday ---- I know for all you lucky Americans, today is a GOOD day because tomorrow is your Thanksgiving! We, Canadians celebrated Thanksgiving weeks ago, so it's just another Wednesday for us, but it won't stop the drooling that's been happening over all the Thanksgiving recipes and posts that have been popping up!

My eats haven't been too exciting and my Canon Rebel was sent back to the manufacturer for repair, so I want to apologize now for the pictures you are about to see. My food yesterday was simple and delish, but the pictures aren't so stellar.

Here's a peek into what I've been eating:

The Ultimate Vegan Grilled Cheese Sandwich

What you need:

2 slices Silver Hills bread
Earth Balance spread
1/4 avocado, smashed
sliced tomato
4 slices of tempeh bacon
Daiya mozza shreds

Best. Sandwich. Ever.

Another problem with my camera is that I can't get the pics to rotate when I download them. They look like they are, but as soon as I download them to the blog, they flip back to their original image. Oops!

Yesterday, I had some leftover veggie noodle soup in a totally retro Tupperware container, some clementines and a pear for my snacks and a couple of Tazo Zen green teas during the afternoon lull.

Pre-Workout Snack

I went straight from work to the gym, so I need a little somethin' somethin' to tide me over until I got home. I managed to grab a handful of goldfish crackers, which did the trick!


I wasn't too hungry by the time I got home from the gym {which never happens to me LOL}, so all I needed was a grilled veggie wrap. I basically used a little bit of every veggie in my fridge, stirfried them up, added spinach, chopped tomato and Daiya mozza shreds to my whole grain spinach wrap and then grilled it for a few minutes until everything was warm and melt-y.

It was really, really good!

If you're still in the midst of planning your Thanksgiving feast, head on over to visit Jenn at Peas & Crayons to see what some other fabulous bloggers are planning for their holiday meal.....

OR you could always head on over to my feature on to get some side dish inspiration! I did a piece for them that was published on Monday that shared 4 vegan festive sides. They're all delish, but the festive sweet potato salad is too die for....not that I'm bias or anything!

Enjoy your day and if you're celebrating tomorrow, I wish you a wonderful day full of good food, great company and lots of love from your family & friends.


Monday, November 19, 2012


Happy Monday! Today is a special day.....

I've been published you guys! I wrote a feature piece for that was published today!!!

I put myself out there and reached out to an online publication that I enjoy and I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to share my passion for healthy food in a feature on Festive Sides.

I would love it if you took a minute to head on over and check out my piece and the side dishes that I've created. Perhaps some of my American friends will spy something that deserves a place on their Thanksgiving table?!?!?

Have you ever put yourself out there and ended up with an exciting opportunity?

Something to think about....

Pinned Image

Have a great day,


Friday, November 16, 2012

Taking the Workouts Indoors

Hi! The weather around these parts has done a quick 360 and it has been cold, gray and wet. I'm a big wimp and don't go out when it's crappy weather, so that means my workouts have been moved inside. I get really bored with the same workouts day after day, so I know that I need to keep things interesting and I need to have a PLAN once I'm 100% moved indoors. Creativity is key to keep this gal motivated and in the gym during the winter months!! 
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Here's some of the workouts I've been enjoying lately:

  • I am in love with yoga right now. On Saturdays, I often go to a kundalini yoga class, which I love! The Fitnessista is hosting a Namaste November challenge right now too, which challenges the participants to spend at least 10 minutes per day doing yoga. I'ved joined the challenge and I've done it almost every day. It's quite amazing what a difference 10 minutes of mediation and stretching can make in your day. When I spend a few minutes in the morning in peace and quiet where I can stretch and just focus on the day, I feel so centred and on track. I am loving this new ritual of mine!!
  • When I need a routine to do at home, I've been relying on the Internet. My favourite yoga sites are and - there are some free classes or your can pay a fee for some more intense classes.
  • I don't know about you, but I can't just hop on a treadmill/spin bike/elliptical machine and go full tilt for 30 - 60 minutes. Can you say boring?! I'm constantly on the lookout for some fun workouts  that keep it interesting. I often check out Julie's workout page and Courtney's workout page when I'm looking for a new cardio workout. If you are looking for some fun workout ideas, check out my Workouts/Runs Pinterest page because I'm always updating it with new workouts that I find.  
  • If I find a cardio routine to do on the treadmill or elliptical machine, then I like to pair it with a weights workout. You might recall that I tried out some of Jamie Easson's LiveFit workouts back in early July and I still like to reference them when I'm looking for a weights workout.
  • Group classes at the gym are another one of my fave ways to be active in the winter. My favourite classes are Zumba, Spin and Circuit training.
  • DVD Workouts - I don't own too many yet, but I do love Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred and I'd love to get a couple of the dance cardio DVDs that Gina recommends here.
Everytime I think about skipping a workout, I think about this:

Pinned Image

How do you keep yourself motivated at the gym?

Do you have a fave workout DVD or site? I'd love to hear from ya!!

Have a GREAT Friday!


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What I Ate Wednesday

Howdy! How has your week been treating you so far??

I've been extremely busy with a little project over the past few days. Some exciting things have been happening around here and I can't wait to week ;-) !!!!!!

No matter how busy I am, I always have time for a What I Ate Wednesday post. It makes me take time to stop and reflect on my eats for the week and to keep me in check as I work towards my goal of maintaining a healthy, CLEAN diet.

I couldn't resist Julie's Honey Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes any longer! I finally caved and made them. My advice: make a big batch on Sunday and toast up the leftovers for weekday breakies.

Just call me the  brown baggin' lady. After going out day after day last week for birthday lunches, I'm committed to making lunches for both Derek and I every day this week. Now, if only I could plan ahead and make them the night before, so I could leave for work on time for once!

Yesterday, I took 2 clementines and an egg white/goat cheese/veggie scramble that I stuffed into a multigrain flatbread.

I made this on Sunday and have eaten it twice since. I used to LOVE pad thai, but it's difficult to find a vegetarian version that doesn't contain fish sauce. Mama Pea's Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai is sooooo yummy!! I wasn't sure I'd love the spaghetti squash 'noodles', but they soaked the sauce right up and tasted fabulous! The only thing I need to figure out is what I can substitute for the hoisin sauce because it does have some sugar and I'm trying to avoid 'the white stuff' right now.

Do you have any suggestions???

I am addicted to Lindsay's Baked Apple Packets. I've been baking up a few pockets at a time, so I have something to satisfy my sweet tooth when it comes a knockin'. Yesterday, I made them with pears instead of apples and they were just as delicious! Topping them with honey-flavoured Greek Yogourt puts them over the edge!!

As you can see, I've still been eating well despite the chaos that is my life. My attitude has really shifted over the past couple of years. I cannot sacrifice quality for convenience anymore and my body thanks me for it :-)

If you'd like to see what other  bloggers have been munching on, head on over to Peas & Crayons and check it out.

Have you ever health-i-fied one of your favourite dishes?

What's the best thing you've eaten in the last 24 hours?

Have a great day,