Sunday, March 30, 2014

21 Day Fix–Dairy Free Betty Style!

Hi….

It’s been awhile! 

Hope there are a few of you out there still?

Life is crazy around these parts!  I now have a 13+ month old and he’s BUSY!!!!!  Started a business,we are selling out house – I think we are at 25+ showings so far? (and I’m selling my pre-hubby condo) & I’ve been doing a 90 day fitness challenge (Bikini Body Mommy – I highly recommend)! Life is good – but it’s busy!

I’m trying to find a way to get myself back to blogging because I really miss you all!

I knew at the end of my 90 day fitness challenge – I was going to need something to stay motivated – and I saw the 21 day fix and it sounded pretty awesome!  I’ve been LOVING the HIIT sessions with Bikini Body Mommy – >30 mins and can do at home – yes please! So I decided to do the 21 day fix to try to get my food portions in check also!  (PLEASE NOTE – I am not a beach body coach and I paid for this program 100% on my own!)

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So – I start tomorrow! (EEK)

I’m thinking it will be great – I’m worried because I love carbs and I’m not sure how I will survive on the carb portions I get – BUT we shall see!   I was thinking of keeping you all updated on the progress – maybe throwing in a recipe here or there?

Another thought I had was blogging about toddler snacks – as I’m having a hard time finding wholesome healthy foods for my little guy!

Curious to hear what you guys would like to see on Dairy Free Betty? I’m hoping to dedicate some more time – start writing out recipes again etc?

(I made AMAZING turkey burgers yesterday – wishing that I wrote down what I put it – would have been a great start!)

 

So tell me your thoughts? What dairy free goodness would you like to see?

Looking forward to hearing from you all!

Jessica

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Meal Plan January 13-19

Glad everyone enjoyed the meal plan so much!  It was one of my top posts of all times!

Anyways – here’s what’s on schedule for this coming week! 

dairy free meal plan week 2

Monday – Burger, Homemade Fries & Salad (I’m making myself these Lentil Walnut Burgers)

Tuesday – Chicken Soup with Homemade Bread ( Vegan Irish Soda Bread)

Wednesday – Family Dinner

Thursday -  Chicken & Brown Rice Casserole with asparagus and probably salad  - in the recipe – will sub unsweetened almond milk for milk & use the non condensed milk version.  

Friday – BBQ Pork and Veggies (peppers, onions and zucchini), roasted sweet potatoe (served with sweet chili sauce) – I will likely skip the pork and have BBQ tofu (marinated in hoisin sauce)

Weekend sometime – Turkey with all the Fixins – probably everything here – we went for dinner at people’s houses for Christmas and missed out on Turkey Leftovers!

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Other things I’m making for a successful week – So a bunch of girlfriends and I are doing the 90 day Bikini Body Mommy Challenge – it’s a free online workout challenge and we are officially done week #1!  It’s hard work – but I’ve seen results in the first week – WOOO!

To keep myself eating ok – I need to do prep on the weekend – so I will me making;

Kale Chips (sorry the recipe is a little wacky on here – but hopefully you can read it)

Quinoa Coconut Granola Bars

Some kind of hummus – (likely will be making the curry/raisin one which I love to eat with carrots)

My friend Tasha’s low fat Granola to go in cultured coconut milk yougert!

PS – if you are ever looking for Dairy Free Snack ideas – check out this post – huge list (with links!)

Hope you are enjoying these meal plans!!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Meal Plan January 5-10

Hey guys!

So I posted on facebook last night to see if anyone was interested in seeing our weekly meal plan – even if it didn’t include recipes and there was lots of interest!  So here is the first one!

Meal Plan week 1

So a few words about my eating – I have a husband that loves to eat meat – so I always include meat in our dinner meals – I really enjoy chicken and seafood but red meat and pork I could always pass on (and often do!) I typically eat pretty plant based for my breakfast/lunch and snacks.  We don’t often plan for dinner on Saturday or Sunday – we usually either throw something (think soup/stews) together or go out for dinner either at friends houses or restaurants or we plan last minute and make a big dinner like Newfoundland Jiggs Dinner or my husband cooks!! (which I love!)  

Breakfasts – for breakfast I often have toast with avocado, nooch and sea salt; sugar free cereal with fresh fruit and sees/nuts and almond milk; eggs and toast; coconut yogurt with berries and seeds; scrambled eggs with veggies; leftovers from dinner; green smoothies; rice or wasa crackers with nut butters and dates – you get the idea…  Mom’s muffins are one of my favorites!

Lunch – lunch is often the veggie left overs from dinner;  or a snack plate that’s full of veggies, hummus, crackers, fruit; salad rolls are another favorite with peanut butter sauce; stir-fried veggies; quinoa salad etc. 

Snacks – dates stuffed with nut/seed butter; kale chips; tortillas chips with salsa/guac, energy balls; apples or celery with nut butter; fruit & nut trail mix; banana with peanut butter and sunflower seeds; larabars; smoothies.

Are you interested in seeing more posts like this? 

Jessica

Friday, December 20, 2013

Happy Herbivore Light & Leans Q&A, recipe & giveaway

 

I’ve been lucky enough to review all of Lindsey (Happy Herbivore) cookbooks now and Light & Lean is my new favorite!

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Each of her cookbooks are filled with quick & easy low fat vegan recipes! And bonus – the recipes all have ingredients you most likely already have in your cupboard!

This awesome book is loaded with tasty recipes (I’ve made about 10 already) and it also has a section on workouts you can do anywhere!  There is a fantastic section all about 100 calories too – which was very enlightening for me – and something I now think about on a daily basis (can’t share though  - you must get the book!)

 

I am lucky to be apart of this virtual book tour and got to ask Lindsey a few questions, share a recipe AND host a giveaway! So here ya go!

Interview with the Happy Herbivore herself!

DFB Question #1 If you had to “wow” someone with an appetizer, entre, side and desert from this book which would you choose? 

HH Answer #1 – Any dish.

DFB Question #2 – Many of my readers have kids with dairy allergies – can you give me a few of your recipes from this book that have been a hit with younger kids? 

HH Answer #2  - All of ‘em—my testers all have kids or grandkids. I don’t put recipes in my books they don’t eat. :)

DFB Question #3  - What’s the best tip you can give someone that is needing to go dairy-free (vegan) for health reasons? 

HH Answer #3 - Keep your motivations in focus when times feel tough.

DFB Question #4 – A personal one, I’m sure many can relate too.   I have tried adopting a plant based diet – and loved it.  I also dropped quite a few pounds easily, and really enjoyed the food – however – I found it hard to stick to living with a meat eating husband (who has no interested in giving up meat) and a busy little guy (so making separate meals isn’t an option).  Do you have any tips for someone who wants to try to eat this way, but has time constraints, or opposition from family members? 

HH Answer #4 - You’ve got to be a little bit selfish. You’re no good to anyone if you’re sick or not feeling your best. Make plant based meals and charge hubby with cooking his own meat if he wants to add it to the meal.

 

Caribbean Bowl

Caribbean BowlSingle serving

Soy-free, Gluten-free, Quick, Budget, Single Serving

I love the pairing of black beans and pineapple! Inspired by the Caribbean Chili (in full cookbook), now you have a Caribbean Bowl too! Avocado and guacamole also make a nice addition.

2 c kale, chopped

½ c cooked quinoa

½ c black beans

½ c pineapple salsa

½ c diced or crushed pineapple

2 green onions, sliced

Line a pot with a thin layer of water, bring to a boil, add kale, and cover for about a minute (the kale will

turn bright green). Give it a stir so all of the kale is bright green and softer, then drain. Mix in quinoa

and/or beans to warm it up a bit, if desired. (I like to serve this with everything warm except the salsa,

pineapple, and green onion, which are chilled.) Transfer to a bowl and toss with salsa, pineapple,

and green onions, leaving a few onion pieces for garnish. You can also drizzle hot sauce on top if desired.

Variation

Make it a Wrap: Divide ingredients (skipping quinoa and using spinach instead of kale) into two wraps, for approximately 196 calories each.

Per bowl

Calories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 347

Fat. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.9g

Carbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .65.6g

Fiber. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12.6g

Sugars. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8.3g

Protein. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16.7g

WW Points. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

 

And giveaway time!  All you have to do is answer 1 question on here or on my facebook page (which I will transfer over to my blog)  Open to anyone in Canada or US (excluding PO boxes!) Contest closes Dec 27th at 8pm – winner will be announced on my facebook page & will have 48 hours to respond!

Since I got inspiration from the “100 Calorie” part of this cookbook;

What’s one healthy tip that’s stuck with you overtime?

 

**Thanks to BenBella for hosting this giveaway!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Apple Butter

Well hello!

So I won’t go on about my lack of posting – I’ll just say HI!  Miss you guys & lets get down to business!

 

Apple butter by Dairy Free Betty

Apple butter… have you tried it?   It has to be one of the easiest and tastiest things out there!

What you need -

Crockpot

Blender

Apples (I used about 6) cut the core and seeds out and quarter (leave skins on) – I used an assortment of what was in the fridge – Fuji, gala, Ambrosia.

Cinnamon

Sprinkle of ground ginger (optional)

1/2 Lemon

Process

Put apples in crockpot – turn crockpot on high for about 3 hours.  Once apples have broken down to an apple sauce consistency – blend all apples in a blender until smooth!  If you are lucky enough to have a high powered blender – it should take about 30 seconds!  You shouldn’t have to add any liquid – if you do have to remember the more liquid you add – the longer you will have to cook it for!

Once it is smooth add the apples back into the crockpot and add cinnamon (to taste) and juice from 1/2 lemon.   Cook with the lid off for another 3-4 hours or until you can’t handle the smell anymore and you need to eat it and/or it becomes a caramel color!

Yup – that’s all folks!

This stuff is amazing!  It’s smooooth like butter (probably where it got it’s name) and caramelly sweet!  SO GOOD!  I love it smothered on my favorite muffins!  And is great eaten off the spoon!   My little guy is a huge fan too!

This stuff is TOTALLY giftable!

NOTE – I’ve also added pears – it does make the butter a bit more gritty – but still good!

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Hey! It’s almost Christmas! I feel SO uninspired to do any baking this year – but here’s a post from a few years ago when Christmas baking was my thing!  (now chasing around an almost walking 9.5 month old entertains my days!)  I HIGHLY recommend the peanut butter cups!

PS. I did decorate though – and my hubby and I have been doing Elf on a Shelf for each other every night (so fun) our Elf’s name is Starsky Waffleplums – awesome no?

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Just to keep you coming back for more! December 20th – I am hosting another giveaway for the new Happy Herbavoire Cookbook – which is EASILY in my top 3 favorite books right now!  I also got the chance to do a Happy Herbavoire Interview AND will be posting a recipe or two from the book!

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PSS…  I really love and appreciate you guys!  I know I don’t post often, but I’m always just an email or message away! And I try to have a presence on Facebook so join the fun there! 

Ciao,

Jessica xo

Friday, November 15, 2013

Jazzy Vegetarian {Recipes and Giveaway}

 

So apparently I live in a hole! I have never heard of the Jazzy Vegetarian until Ben Bella books offered to send me a review copy of her new cookbook!  Apparently she’s kind of a big deal!!  Who knew!?  I guess that’s what I get for not having cable! 

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Anyways – moving on!   I LOVE COOKBOOKS  - so I get pretty excited every time Lindsey from Ben Bella books sends me an email offering me a cookbook to review (and giveaway!!)

I am fairly picky about cookbooks though – I love them to have dairy free recipes, bright colors, thick paper, lots of crisp clear photos and bonus points if they include savoury breakfast recipes!    This cookbook covered all the basis – in fact – when I opened the package I had a moment of oooohing and aweing at it because of how beautiful it was! (yes I’m a cookbook nerd…)

Ok moving on – I made 2 of the recipes from the book for dinner one night and they were just great!  Thankfully I was sent photos to include from the cookbook, because trying to stuff a potatoes was messy process for me, and they did not turn out blog worthy whatsoever!  (update – I am currently having troubles getting the photos attached in this post!)

Steamed Green Beans and Carrots with Orange Sauce

Makes 4 servings | Nut free, no oil

The refreshing citrus notes of the orange juice enhance this colorful green beans and carrots combo. A finishing sprinkle of gomasio adds a subtle crunch, but if you cannot find gomasio in your market, plain toasted (or raw) hulled sesame seeds substitute perfectly.

4 carrots, scrubbed and sliced into sticks

3 cups green beans, cleaned and trimmed

2 tablespoons orange juice (freshly squeezed or store-bought)

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 teaspoon maple syrup

2 teaspoons gomasio (optional)

Fit a medium sauce pan with a steamer basket, and bring two inches of water to a boil. Add the carrots, cover, and steam for 5 minutes. Add the green beans, cover, and steam for 6 to 7 minutes more, or until the carrots and beans are crisp-tender.

Meanwhile, put the orange juice, lemon juice, and maple syrup in a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Transfer the cooked carrots and beans to a medium bowl. Add the sauce and toss to coat. Sprinkle with the gomasio (if using), toss lightly, and serve.

 

*Dairy Free Betty note – I served these to my little guy without the sesame seeds) and he loved it!! 

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Twice-Baked Potatoes

[Makes 6 servings] [Nut free, no oil]

Both my grandma and my mom often made twice-baked potatoes, and I just loved them! Because it was one of my favorite dishes as a child, I set out to create an equally delectable spud, stuffed with a smooth and savory filling that is reminiscent of childhood culinary bliss!

3 very large russet potatoes, scrubbed, baked, and cooled (see note)

1 cup cooked white beans (drained and rinsed if canned)

¼ cup nondairy milk, plus more as needed

⅛ teaspoon garlic powder

⅛ teaspoon sea salt or Himalayan pink salt, plus more as needed

2 tablespoons minced onion

2 tablespoons diced sweet red pepper

¼ teaspoon paprika

¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Chef's Note

The russet potatoes may be baked up to 24 hours in advance of preparing this recipe. After they have cooled, wrap them tightly in foil and store them in the refrigerator until use.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a small, rimmed baking pan with unbleached parchment paper.

Slice each potato in half lengthwise. Carefully scoop out the pulp, using a teaspoon or grapefruit spoon, leaving about ¼ inch of the potato skin and pulp intact. Put the potato pulp, white beans, nondairy milk, garlic powder, and ⅛ teaspoon salt in a high-performance blending appliance and process until smooth. If the mixture is still lumpy, add more nondairy milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, to achieve a smooth consistency. Put the potato mixture in a medium bowl. Gently stir in the onion and pepper. Using a large spoon or piping bag, spoon or pipe one-sixth of the potato mixture into each potato skin. Place the potato on the prepared baking pan. Repeat until all of the potato skins are filled. Sprinkle the tops of each potato with paprika, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper to taste.

Tent the baking pan with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the tops are crispy and slightly golden. Cool for 5 to 7 minutes and serve.

 

*** Dairy Free Betty note – I’ve never had twice baked potatoes before, so not how to compare them but they were good!  I highly recommend baking the potatoes a night ahead as otherwise it becomes a 2+ hour process!

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GIVEAWAY TIME!!!

{Open to anyone in Canada or the US – you do not need to be a blogger to enter!}

~TO ENTER  -  Leave a comment here or on facebook - telling me what things you look for in a good cookbook and/or your favourite cook book!

Giveaway open until Friday Nov 22nd at 8pm!   The winner will have 48 hours to contact me with their address – I will post the winner’s name on facebook and contact them if they provide an email address!!

Good luck!!!

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PS – Book available for purchase here.  Please note I have started up an amazon store which will include my favourite products. I will receive a small commission should you purchase items from my store. I promise to only include items that I love and have personally tried!

 

I received the Jazzy Vegetarian Cookbook as a free review copy from Ben Bella Books – but as always my opinion is 100% my own!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Dairy Free Snack Ideas

Well hello,

I know one thing I’m always on the hunt for is great snack ideas.  I have a few guidelines for them too, now that I’m a busy mom of a crawling little monster – they have to be quick & healthy! 

 

Here is my current list;

Ants on a log (can sub almond butter, sunflower seed butter, hummus?)

Raw Pies

          - my favorite – banana lemon pie

banana lemon pie - dairy free betty

Hummus with crackers and veggies;

              - Artichoke Hummus

              - Curried Hummus w/raisins

              - Dessert Hummus 

Great cracker recipes

            - Endurance Crackers (Oh She Glows) I LOVE these!

Energy Balls

             -2 Minute protein balls

              -Step by step energy balls

             -Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

             -Peanut Butter Chocolate Balls (guest post)

Trail mix (my favorite is chocolate chips, dry roasted soy beans, craisins and matcha pumpkin seeds)

Apples or other fruit with dip

           -Caramel Apple

           - Cashew Cream

Muffins or Loaves

             -Healthy Banana Bread

             - MY FAVORITE Mom’s Muffins (they take some time to make but makes 45 muffins which freeze awesome!)

             - Smitten Kitchen’s AMAZING zucchini bread – I’ve made this recipe many times, it’s a keeper (and it makes two glorious loaves!) I have subbed apple sauce for oil before and it worked out great!

Kale Chips

          - with a cheesy coating

          - another cheesy coating

Smoothies

           - Creamsicle Smoothie

           - Smoothie Madness (includes funky monkey, Cake Batter, Green Monster, Pina Colada and Hot (Pink) Date)

            - Oatmeal Cookie Smoothie (from Happy Herbavoire) 

Frozen banana

          -Slice banana in 1 inch rounds sandwich with peanut/almond butter and dip in chocolate – freeze!  (YES!)

          - Banana Soft Serve (with bonus recipes for dairy free chocolate and caramel sauce!)

dairy free betty snack ideas

Hard Boiled Eggs

Dairy Free Nuts and Bolts

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Pita, English Muffin or Tortilla Pizzas

Fruit and Brownie Kebabs

Pudding & Yougerts

     -chia pudding (step by step guide from choosing raw!)

    -chocolate avocado pudding

    - How to make your own dairy free yougert – super easy!   (Oh She Glow’s link)

A little more sinful – Peanut butter cups, fruit and nut bark, marshmallow snowflakes and chai tea candied nuts! 

From Facebook 

Holly from My Plant Based Family (one of my new fav blogs!) says “I love hummus, Parfait's with non-dairy yogurt, avocado mousse, potatoes, frozen no bites, dry roasted edamame, fruit and nut butter...”

 

Do you have any other suggestions?  Feel free to leave a comment here or on facebook! And as always – feel free to PIN AWAY – there is a new PIN IT button just above the title of each post!

Jessica

Monday, October 7, 2013

Guest Post <Saffron Chicken Tagine on Honey Raisin Couscous>

 

Hiya guys!  Today I’m excited to have a post from my bestest friend Tasha from her new blog Imperfect Girl Trying to Live a  Healthier Life!  Her blog isn’t 100% dairy free, however, she strives to eat dairy free as much as possible and almost always suggest dairy free alternatives if she does use dairy!  Her blog is fantastic for meal idea as she’s always posting mouth watering ideas and recipes!  Also check out her facebook page here!  Thanks Tasha for doing this post – this recipe is mouth watering!

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Hello DFB followers! I feel very honoured that Dairy Free Betty asked me to do a guest post.  My name is Tasha, and I am an Imperfect Girl Trying to Live a Healthier Life.  I started my blog in May as a way to document and share my journey toward living a holistically healthier life.  I hope you enjoy this recipe, it is one of my favourites...

Saffron Chicken Tagine on Honey Raisin Couscous

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Ingredients

Chicken

2 tsp cinnamon, ground coriander, ground cumin, paprika and turmeric

3 chicken breasts

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup sliced mushrooms

1/2 diced onion

1 TBSP grated fresh ginger

1 clove of garlic minced

2 cups chicken broth

1 cup pitted dates or raisins

1 tsp lemon juice

pinch of saffron

14oz jar artichokes drained and quartered

1 cup frozen peas

Cornstarch

Couscous

1/2 cup juice (orange or apple)

1/2 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup golden raisins

2 tsp lemon zest

2 tsp olive oil

2 tsp honey

1 tsp sat

3/4 cup dry couscous

Directions

Mix together 2 teaspoons of each cinnamon, ground coriander, ground cumin, paprika, & turmeric, in a large resealable bag.  Cut up 3 chicken breasts into bite sized pieces.  Get the chunk wet & toss them in the resealable bag coating them with the spices.

Heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a large deep skillet, over medium heat. Add the chicken breast, and sauté until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes.

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Add 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms and 1/2 a small diced onion to the pan, cook 2 minutes.  Stir in 1 tablespoon of fresh grated ginger, and a clove of chopped garlic, sauté 30 seconds, stirring constantly.  Add 2 cups of chicken broth, 1 cup of pitted dates (I also use raisins when I don't have dates on hand), 1 tsp lemon juice, and a pinch of saffron threads.  Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

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At the 15 minute point of simmering prepare couscous.  In a medium sized saucepan add 1/2 cup of juice,  (the original recipe calls for apple juice, but I often use orange juice.  This time I used Happy Planet Mango Peach.) 1/2 cup of chicken broth, 1/4 cup golden raisins, 2 teaspoons lemon zest, 2 teaspoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons raw honey, 1 teaspoon sea salt, and bring to a boil.  Add 3/4 cups dry couscous of choice ( I used whole wheat), stir in, cover with lid, and remove from heat.  Let stand for 5 mins, and then fluff with a fork.

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Increase heat and add a mixture of cornstarch and water and stir in to pan.  When sauce begins to thicken, add 14oz of artichoke hearts, drained and quartered, as well as 1 cup of frozen peas.  Lower heat and cook for 5 more minutes.

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Serve over Honey Raisin Couscous.

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I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. Enjoy!

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Yum hey?

Tasha has a long list of meal ideas for when I come to visit, this is officially being added to the list! 

Have a great day – and my next post (hopefully) will be full of a TON of dairy free snack ideas!

PS – I changed my commenting section back to how it used to be – so now everyone should be able to comment!!

Jessica

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Maple Rooibos London Fog

 

You know those days when you just want to curl up with a good book, in comfy PJs and drink something rich and soothing?  This has become my go-to drink for days like this!

Dairy Free Betty Maple Roobis London Fog (4)

I’ve had London Fogs many times in coffee houses – I love flowery taste of Earl Grey, but I’m not a fan of black tea.  Just recently Rooibos tea has made an appearance in my life. It has become increasingly popular!   Rooibos also has many benefits and is great for having before bedtime because of it’s calming and relaxing properties (yay for more restful sleep)and now you can find this caffeine free tea in many different flavours – so I was incredible excited to find Earl Grey Rooibos and I knew I had to make a London Fog STAT!

Dairy Free Betty Maple Roobis London Fog (1)

Maple Rooibos London Fog

1 tsp (or to taste) Maple sugar* or syrup (or sweetener of choice)

1 cup unsweetened milk of choice – I used natural organic So Nice Soy Milk (may need to use more depending on cup size)

1 teabag Earl Grey Rooibos Tea (or 1 tsp loose leave in a tea filter*)

Pretty mug – because you deserve to drink your tea in a pretty mug!

I am lucky enough to have a cappuccino maker so I can steam my milk and I get a lovely foam…

Dairy Free Betty Maple Roobis London Fog (2)

You can also heat milk on the stove top or in the microwave and whisk or use one of these - having the foam really makes it extra luxurious!

After milk is heated and frothed – pour milk only into cup (using a spoon to hold back the foam), add tea bag and let it sit. (one awesome thing about rooibos is you cannot over-steep – because it doesn’t contain tannins, it will not get bitter) - Cover if possible. 

Once tea has steeped, take out tea bag (or leave in!!) and quickly steam up your foam again if desired – scoop foam into cup and sprinkle (or drizzle) with maple sugar or syrup!

Dairy Free Betty Maple Roobis London Fog (4)

Grab yourself a good book, turn on some tunes and sip away! This drink is a perfect companion for “one of those days”!

*Notes

-can use any sweetener – but the maple sugar/syrup adds that hug factor.  I got my maple sugar at Costco!

-Rooibos tea is fairly fine and you might find it doesn’t fit well in tea strainers – I like to buy the disposable filters – like these guys!  (I bought my Earl Grey Rooibos tea here – you can also order online!

-You can also experiment with any tea you like! I also love this with Vanilla Rooibos or Chocolate Mint Rooibos!

Hope you enjoyed this! 

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You may have also noticed some changes to my blog!  I’m trying to refresh and renew it & make it easier for you!  Please take a look around and feel free to let me know if you’d like to see anything added!  I plan on doing a quick little video describing the changes once I am all finished!

Also if you have a dairy free (or vegan) blog – please send me a facebook message, email or leave a comment and I will add you to my blog list on the right!

Take care,

Jessica xo

Monday, September 30, 2013

What I’m Loving Monday!

 

Well hello there!

Hard to believe another Monday is here!?  I thought it might be fun to show some pictures of some of my recent “loves, likes and leave it” items!   Please note – I pay for all these products* and always give my honest opinion.

*I will note if I received products as review items – however my opinion of them is always honest!

 

LOVES;

 

This hummus from Costco!  So creamy with amazing flavor!  This is my favorite base for pizza!

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Another Costco find (thanks to my BFF) These are awesome for individual pizza’s or Panini! (More on my favorite Panini coming soon!)

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If you follow me on facebook you already know this – while it’s not a product – it’s too amazing not to share!  Spabettie’s Pumpkin Caramel – it’s so incredibly easy to make and seriously amazing!  As you can see – it didn’t last long – and yes I used a spatula after this photo and ate every single bit!

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Baby Products I’m loving!

This stuff is fantastic – it’s smell is incredible and if your baby has any dairy sensitivies (even skin) it’s a vegan product!

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While I’m still having fun making baby food – I have been buying these also for backup! They taste great (Some baby food tastes SO bad, I make sure to taste it before feeding it to my little man!) I love that it’s organic and cheap – because sometimes life doesn’t allow me to buy organic veggies and fruit.

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And a few products I haven’t LOVED but that I’ve liked…

DSC_3039I’ve really enjoyed this in my potato salad – I didn’t enjoy it so much on my beloved toast with mayo, cucumbers and tomatoes.  I will however likely buy it again, but it won’t be a staple in my fridge!

Leave It? (but maybe I’m missing something)

 

DSC_3038   I think maybe I am missing something with this stuff? Has anyone else tried it out? I was expecting yogurt constancy and instead it’s fairly thick – not a Greek yogurt kind of thick but thicker.  I could only eat a few tablespoons at a time – the taste was ok, but it was more the texture I didn't love.

I will try this again, because I’m honestly thinking I maybe got a bad batch of it?  I’m curious to know if anyone else has tried?

 

Curious to know what products you are loving, liking or leaving?   Leave a comment or a facebook comment!

Much love,

Jessica

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

4 Ingredient Potato Salad (VEGAN)

 

I am trying to blog more – I really am!  I’ve been updating sections of my blog, and am thinking of doing a total blog overhaul in the next little bit to clean it up, add things like PIN IT buttons and just to give it new life!   Please let me know if you have any suggestions!  If anyone has any tips on moving from blogger – wordpress please contact me!!!

 

Ok moving on!

We were so lucky this summer to head out on our friend’s boat.  We spent the day out on the water enjoying the sunshine and the company – we even got to see some Orca whales towards the end of the evening – even though I’ve lived on the coast my whole life, I have never seen Orca’s up close and personal – check out a few of the photos I took!  Amazing!

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DSC_2734Plus there was an incredible sunset that night…

DSC_2751Amazing. 

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Anyways onto the food!  We had a BBQ on the boat and our friends made this awesome potato salad that I had to share!  With only 4 ingredients – it’s easy as can be!

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4 Ingredient Vegan Pesto Potato Salad

2lbs potatoes of choice – cut into cubes

3/4 cup Veganise Pesto Mayonnaise

Juice from 1/2 lemon

1 cup frozen peas

Optional – daiya cheddar shreds.

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Directions

Boil potatoes until soft about 10 minutes

Put frozen peas into a strainer

Pour the potatoes and the hot water over the peas

Let potatoes and peas cool.

Once cooled – add veganise and lemon juice (and any extras you choose – I added 1/4 red pepper and chives for added color and crunch – but it’s great as is also!)  Mix together.

Add salt and pepper to taste (optional)

Our friends also added daiya cheddar shreds which added even more creaminess to this – but totally optional!

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There you have it – super simple and perfect for a BBQ or potluck – or a quick easy addition to dinner!

Lucky us – we got to enjoy this while gazing at this beautiful view.

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Hope you enjoyed this quick and easy recipe!  Coming up in the next few days – a post about a few of my new favorite (and not so favorite) things!

Much love,

Jessica

Friday, September 13, 2013

No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars & a GIVEAWAY

 

One of my favorite things about blogging (other than being able to hopefully help people out) is that publishing companies often offer me up free review copies of their new cookbooks that have just or are about to be published!  When BenBella Books, Inc contacted me this time to check out the China Study Cookbook by T. Colin Campbell, PHD, I was super excited!

I read the China Study a few years ago – if you have not read this book please do.  It’s very eye opening.  From the website;

“In The China Study, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Professor Emeritus at Cornell University, details the connection between nutrition and heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Recognized as the most comprehensive nutritional study ever conducted on the relationship between diet and the risk of developing disease, The China Study cuts through the haze of misinformation and examines the source of nutritional confusion produced by government entities, lobbies, and opportunistic scientists.”

After reading the book, I felt inspired to follow the ideas laid out in the book, I remember wishing that there were recipes at the end – so I could take steps towards living a more whole food, plant based life.

Fast forward a few years and they now have published a book that is the “Official Companion to the China Study” and I’m lucky enough to be able to share one of the yummy recipes with you & offer a giveaway for the cookbook for anyone in the US or Canada!

It was a natural choice for me to choose a peanut butter/chocolate recipe – because let’s face it – that combo cannot be beat!   Check out the recipe and see below for the giveaway!

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No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars

Preparation time: 15 minutes | Chilling time: 1 hour

Makes 9 servings

These bars are rich, creamy, sweet, and satisfying—everything a dessert should be!

1 cup low-fat graham crackers, crushed

1/4 cup crushed walnuts

1/2 cup reduced-fat, unsweetened coconut

1/3 cup natural peanut butter

1/4 cup nondairy milk

1 cup nondairy chocolate chips

5 tablespoons rice or almond milk

1 | Crush graham crackers in food processor. In separate bowl, add walnuts, coconut, and peanut butter. Stir in crushed graham crackers.

2 | Slowly add milk and mix. If mixture does not hold together, continue adding additional milk until all ingredients stick together. However, don't make it too soft, and, if necessary, use your hands.

3 | Spread mixture evenly into a 9 × 9 nonstick baking dish.

4 | In a saucepan, melt chocolate chips together with rice or almond milk over medium heat. Stir until smooth.

5 | Spread chocolate mixture on top of peanut butter mixture. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until hardened. Cut into squares and enjoy!

 

To Enter the Giveaway

Leave a comment telling me about your favourite plant based recipe OR why you would want to win this book!   That’s it!  One Entry per person*****

Contest Closes Wednesday September 18th at 8pm! Winner will be announced on facebook and have 2 days to provide me with their address!

 

  *****YOU DO NOT NEED TO HAVE A BLOG TO ENTER!!  Just use the NAME/URL option and type in your name and your email address (which will never be shared!)

 

*Permission to publish recipe and use photo were given by BenBella Books, Inc

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Dairy Free Pizza Ideas

 

Hey guys!

So I don’t know about you but I love pizza!  We probably eat pizza a few times a month, sometimes take out but often I make it at home – I like to get creative, and don’t often use the regular “pizza sauce & toppings” So I thought I’d come up with a dairy free pizza guide!  How do you like your pizza pie?

While simple is usually best – let’s have some fun!

DSC_0662_thumb my most drool worthy pizza to date – hummus and roasted veggie.

CRUST IDEAS

~ make your own pizza dough – this is what I use – it’s simple and easy and you likely have the ingredients in your cupboards all ready -  Jazz it up with some spices, nutritional yeast  or onion/garlic powder in the dough.  Make a big batch and freeze some too!

~Pitas – perfect for a quick dinner

~ Naan Bread (Char’s idea)

~ Flat bread (Tasha gets a great one at Costco)

~English Muffins

~Portabella Mushrooms

~Polenta

~Tortillas

 

SAUCE IDEAS

Forgo your ideas that pizza has to be topped with tomato just for a second and get creative

~Hummus (awesome sub if you aren’t adding cheese)

~Pesto (watch for dairy ingredients but you can find some out there without dairy)

~BBQ Sauce

~Peanut sauce (think Thai pizza) I mix equal parts peanut butter to sweet chilli sauce

~Thick curry sauce

~Chutney

~Simple olive oil, garlic, salt and spices

~Salsa

 

“CHEESE” IDEAS

~If you use hummus as your base – you don’t even need cheese

~Daiya – the trick is to only use a bit, don’t go overboard!

~If you can tolerate it – goat cheese *thanks Cami

~Nutritional Yeast

~Sparkle Rae from facebook loves “Sheese Mozerella:

~Grated nuts – use a lemon zester (and watch your fingers) try grinding hazelnuts or brasil nuts – they brown up nicely on top.

 

TOPPINGS YOU MAY NOT HAVE THOUGHT OF…

Of course there are the regular toppings – veggies, meats etc… but what about these “outside the box ideas…”

Salad – a long time ago Noelle from Singer in the Kitchen posted that she put salad ON TOP of her pizza after it was baked – check it out…  I’ve been a huge fan every since.  Use whatever greens you have and even a simple balsamic vinegar dressing does wonders to a “dry, cheeseless pizza”

Herbs – think outside the basil box and think cilantro, parsley maybe even mint?  Some are great cooked right into the crust like rosemary and sage.  Some are better sprinkled on after…

Nuts – chop them up and add them in… think apple, fennel and hazelnut.

Fruit – besides pineapple.  Try fresh figs with salted meats.

Eggs – why not do a bacon and egg pizza.  The oozyness (is that a word) of the egg will take the place of cheese – sprinkle with fresh herbs after cooking

Don’t forget you can add ingredients after it’s cooked also – they add a great texture and sometimes can balance.  Avocado, fresh tomatoes, lettuce, salsa

 

PUT IT ALL TOGETHER NOW…

Thai pizza (one of my favs) Choose your crust, add peanut sauce, chicken or prawns, grated or julienned carrots, bean sprouts and small sprinkling of daiya mozza – serve with a lime wedge & crushed peanuts.

Hummus & Roasted Veg -  pre-roast your favorite veggies (think peppers, zuchinni, onion, mushrooms)  top crust with a generous amount of hummus, sprinkle on italian spice and nutritional yeast – top with roasted veggies & cook – make sure to broil for the last few seconds to get the hummus bubbling!   *sundried tomatoes would be awesome too!

BBQ Chicken – BBQ Sauce, chicken, corn, black beans, cilantro

From Jess on facebookCranberry Chicken  -  Cranberry sauce (she makes her own), smoked chicken and pinenuts…

My BFF did a blog post  (on her new blog – make sure to check it out) about Pizza – check it out – she has links to great suggestions such as – Chicken Tandoori, Roasted Beet & Cashew “Goat Cheese”, BBQ Black Bean Pita Pizza etc… *DROOOOL*

Or a fun idea is to go to a pizza places website and see what fun ideas they use and try to recreate them using dairy free ingredients. Check out my favourite pizza place’s menu – fun ideas like taco, chicken club, butter chicken, jambalya. fajita…  basically think of your favorite thing – dissect it, and put in on a pizza!

So fun…  now tell me what great ideas you have?

 

______________________SIDE NOTE_____________________________

Thanks for sticking around and for many many wonderful emails – I always want to be here to help and I try to always answer facebook messages and emails within a few days! So send away…  I do spend a lot of time chatting it up on facebook so if you want more day to day banter – join me there!

Hard to believe but my baby boy is 6 months old today and keeping me busy busy!  Being a mom is so wonderful but doesn’t leave me with much time to sit down and write! I hope you forgive me!!  Here’s a little picture of him since it’s been forever since I posted about him!  Having carrots for the first time – hahaha I think he enjoyed them!!

1146558_10153162582655354_1644929994_nLove him!

Thanks again guys – I truly appreciate your support.

 

Jessica 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Fiesta Quinoa Salad

Well hello…

It’s been SO long since I posted an actual – made by me recipe – I actually don’t know where to start!

Ever since having baby boy (3.5 months ago now) I’ve been struggling with finding inspiration to eat healthier – as many moms/busy people know – sometimes, you have to grab and eat whatever you can just to fill the void.  On top of that, I just had 0 inspiration to create or play around with recipes! (or even cook if I’m being honest) 

The other day during nap time, I was flipping through documentaries on Netflix and found “Forks Over Knives” watched it and proceeded to watch the Engine 2 Diet documentary afterwards and felt totally inspired by Rip.  I felt so inspired.  Plant strong… ok I can do this!  Not saying that I’ll follow it 100% but I will try to make “plant base”choices as much as possible. 

So guess what – I’ve been making recipes like crazy (kale, lemon and cilantro sandwhich – YUM).  And I even created one of mine own – check out this beauty.

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Fiesta Quinoa Salad

  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2 cups water or broth
  • 1 can corn drained
  • 1 can rinsed and drained black beans
  • 1/2 purple onion diced
  • 5 tomatoes diced (seeded if you want it less runny)
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro (or more if you are a cilantro loving fool) – washed, de-stemmed and chopped
  • 1 TBSP chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • Lime and zest from 2 limes
  • Salt to taste

Directions – cook quinoa in water (broth) as per package instructions.

Toss together all ingredients and let sit for a few hours for the flavours to mix!

Done and done!  This makes a large portion perfect for a BBQ or pot luck!

Would be awesome;

  • stuffed into a pepper and baked
  • Served with lettuce for lettuce wrapped
  • with avocado added
  • with nacho chips

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There you have it – a recipe from yours truly!

Hope you are all well!!  Loving the facebook interaction as always! Thank you for your support and I hope to start creating a bit more!  Summer and sunshine is always a good inspiration too!!

And a baby picture just for fun! Isn’t he the cutest!?

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Ohhh I could just kiss those lil cheeks ! Smile

Friday, May 17, 2013

Dairy Free in Victoria Part II

Victoria, BC is one of my very favourite places to visit!   Not only is it a gorgeous, city with a funky hippy vibe but it also has the small town feel to it! (which this small town girl loves)!!

I’ve posted before about my dairy free adventures in Victoria and this time was no different. This city has OODLES of great dairy free (and vegan) options!

One tip about travelling dairy free is to check out places that are vegan or vegan friendly.  This usually means they will have options for you!  A few different things I use is the URBAN SPOON APP and the HAPPY COW app (or www.happycow.net)!  Also for Victoria – you can check out Sarah’s Vegan Guide to the City here.  This is a fantastic resource for anyone dairy free, vegan or even gluten free!

So first up – Green Cuisine!  Located in Market Square on Johnson Street this place is 100% Vegan (aka everything is dairy free)…

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I first went in because I was told they have awesome cookies and desserts.  I grabbed 5 cookies (that were the size of my hand) for under $10!  Now we all know that being dairy free has it challenges, and over priced treats is one of them!  These were SO reasonable!  Take a look at how good they look… and they tasted amazing (I recommend the Maui Wowie soooooo good)!

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I went back the next day for lunch – and let me tell you it was SO good!  Even my very meat and dairy eating husband said he would eat there next time!   It’s pay by weight $1.99 per 100 grams.   I had this huge plate of goodies and a cookie for $14.00. 

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(mmmm the focaccia bread on the left was SO good)

I loved the buffet style service, because you could choose as much or as little as you wanted!  Plus everything had all the ingredients listed – so you could really cater to any allergy!

I am looking forward to heading back to Victoria JUST so I can eat here! MMMMMmmmmm

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I feel bad for my hubby – whenever we travel, I do choose the restaurants most of the time! (happy wife = happy life) Winking smile

Most of the time he doesn’t mind – but sometimes he just wants to choose – so he did… and much to my surprise it turned out to be awesome!

We were walking down the street and found a pizza place with a stone oven and thin crust authentic Italian style pizzas. Famoso’s.

We decided to try it, and I figured I’d just get a pizza with no cheese!  MUCH to my surprise – they offer daiya cheese for their pizzas! (YES!)  (not sure if this is true for all locations)

The menu was dripping with pizza goodness from margarita pizzas, to the Sicilian to a Thai pizza – this place was drool worthy.  I had a hard time deciding between a mushroom pizza with truffle oil and the Thai… I asked the waitress to surprise me and choose between the two!

Thai it was!  (this is just my left overs)

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SOOOOOO good – peanut sauce, chicken, bean sprouts, cilantro, carrots, crushed peanuts , white daiya cheese and a lime wedge!

Not only did they have dairy free cheese, but also dairy free dessert! I was too fully to have any – but it sounded delicious!

What I didn’t realize is it’s actually a chain – so check out the other British Columbia locations here.

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It’s so much fun to go to a restaurant and actually be able to eat (AND ENJOY) a meal!   Victoria is such a great place to go for this and if I could be teleported down there for every meal I’d do it in a heart beat!

Do you have a favourite Victoria restaurant?

Someone also mentioned on facebook that if you order ahead of time, you can do high tea at the Empress Hotel and they will make it vegan (or gluten free) for you!  We plan to do that in the future for sure.

From their website  -

DIETARY NEEDS
The Fairmont Empress is pleased to accommodate dietary needs including vegan, gluten free and diabetic. Please advise of all food allergies and dietary needs at the time of reservation.”

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I LOVE that being dairy free is starting to be less challenging and much more fun!

I hope you enjoyed these reviews!!

 

Much love,

Jessica

Please note I received nothing for any of these reviews and paid for everything 100% myself. As always this opinion is completely mine!

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