Sunday, November 20, 2011

DYI Body Products

Hey guys!

Been forever, but I’m still alive!!  I hope you are on facebook because even though I don’t do posts, I try to pop in with tips or quick recipes or just to say HI!!

Pintrest has stole my heart once again – I LOVE it, it’s so inspiring!!  I’ve been on the look out for DYI body products and found some good ones I thought I’d try!

I found a few great ones on there but this was my favorite.

Homemade Baby Wipes/Makeup wipes – Ok… confession.  I HATE (yes mom, I said hate) splashing water on my face – I don’t know why?  And that leads to me not liking to wash my face often – which leads to not taking my make up off at night (I know bad bad bad)…  This “recipe” answered my prayers!   It not only takes off make up and is incredibly cheap but it also leaves your face feeling moisturised!   And' it’s easy peasy!

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The rest of them are some of my favourites!

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Body Scrub

#1) My favourite body scrub is sugar or coarse salt or a mixture of the two with equal parts olive oil.  You can add in your favourite essential oils too! I love lemon grass/lavender mixture!   Rub onto your dry skin before turning on the water in the shower, it exfoliates and moisturizes at the same time!

#2) This one is messy, but your skin will be happy afterwards!   After your morning coffee, take the grounds and add a pinch of cinnamon and then scrub away (not good on your face).  You can thank me later!! Winking smile 

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Bath Salts

1 cup Epsom salts + 1/2 tsp. ginger, + 1/2 tsp. cinnamon + 1/2 tsp. nutmeg = chai bath salts! (delish!)

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DYI face mask.

Honey – yup that’s it!  It’s messy, but your skin will sing afterwards!

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Do you have a favourite natural body treatment?  Please share either here or on facebook! 

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Vegan Moroccan Stew

Another recipe from my Our Big Earth days!!  This one is AWESOME!!

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When it comes to fall cooking, I think pumpkin, butternut squash, warm apple pie and steaming sweet potatoes. Smells like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, curry, chilli powder, cumin and ginger fill the air. Just thinking about these ingredients makes me feel warmer and wanting to curl up with a good book and a comfy blanket!

This cozy dinner recipe!  Just like a good book, this is a meal to warm up with.

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Moroccan Stew

Serves 4 very hungry people or 6 not so hungry!

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 – 2 green peppers – seeded and chopped into 1” chunks
  • 3 cups sweet potato – peel left on
  • 1 cup onion – chopped
  • 1 cup grated carrot*
  • 1 can chickpeas/garbanzo beans – drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic – minced
  • 2 tsp. grated ginger*
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. chilli powder
  • 3 tsp. peanut butter (optional)
  • Raisins (I usually leave this out and serve in a dish, as many people dislike raisins)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish. Or if you are a cilantro fan like we are, feel free to add a whole bunch of cilantro, reserving some for a topping.

Directions:

1. Toast spices at the bottom of your soup pot in a little bit of oil, stirring often to prevent burning. This step will add a richer element to the stew. *Optional, if you are making a quick dinner.

2. Add in garlic, green peppers, ginger and onion. Stir to coat with spices. Sauté for 2 minutes.

3. Up next, add your 3 cups vegetable broth, sweet potato, carrots, tomatoes (including juice) and chickpeas.

4. Cook until sweet potato becomes very soft (about 20 minutes)

5. Just before serving add in peanut butter and raisins, mix until it gets creamy!

6. Top with fresh, chopped cilantro.

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Recipe alternatives:

  • Could be served over rice, couscous, quinoa or just eaten alone
  • Can use pita, poppadum's or roti for dipping
  • To make it more “picky eater friendly”, you could make up the stew, excluding chickpeas (I have to do this at my house), peanut butter, raisins, cilantro. Serve these ingredients in small bowls on the side, so each person can customize their own meal.
  • For the non-spice lovers – exclude chilli powder and be sure your curry powder is of the mild variety.
  • Great recipe for freezing

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*I am lazy with the carrots, and I just pop them into the food processor, and it’s done in about 30 seconds, with no grated fingers anywhere!
*Tip regarding ginger. Buy a large knob of ginger, wash thoroughly and toss in freezer. This makes it much easier to grate, and you will always have ginger on hand. No need to peel, especially if it’s organic, the skin has extra nutrients.

Hope you enjoyed!! I like this with a little extra PB and raisins! Must make again soon!

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Like it, Love it–Dairy Free Treats Vlog Post

Hey guys,

So I made you a “Vlog” post today!!  I have a cold so don’t mind my snuffly sounding voice!!

I rounded up a bunch of new to me treats that I LOVE, LIKE or am not a fan of!!   Hope you enjoy the video!

Here is the link to the Navitas Naturals website too for more info on the yummy products!

Please let me know what products you are LOVING right now (dairy free of course!)

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Mom’s Oat Bran Muffins Revised

First off – DFB is close to hitting a pretty incredible milestone – 750 page views away from 100,000!!!! That is SO crazy – blows my mind and totally humbles me. 

Thank you, thank you!

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Moving on………

Awhile back I posted a recipe for my FAVORITE muffins in the whole wide world!  My mom always made them and they are so tasty, but they weren’t dairy free (and they had shortening in them).  She had made them dairy free a couple of times but now they are off travelling for 6 months, so I had to revise them for myself…

Long story short… this is what I came up with and they are fantastic!

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Mom’s OAT BRAN MUFFINS
(with Dairy Free Betty alterations)

300 DEGREES FOR 20 MINUTES
MAKES 45 MEDIUM MUFFINS

2 CUPS BOILING WATER
2 CUPS BRAN
PUT IN A BOWL 1 AND LET SOAK

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5 CUPS FLOUR

5 TSP BAKING SODA
1 TSP SALT
PUT IN BOWL 2 TOGETHER

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3/4 CUP SMASHED BANANA

1/4 CUP OIL (I used grape seed)

2-3 CUPS SUGAR – BROWN & WHITE MIXED
4 EGGS (Vegan Option – 4 TBSP chia with 8 TBSP water)
4 CUPS ALMOND MILK + 4 TBSP VINGEAR
4 CUPS OATS

1 TBSP PUMPKIN PIE SPICE  (I like them spicy)

4 PEELED AND LARGE GRATED CARROTS + 1/4 CUP MULBERRIES (I ran out of dried fruit)


other options - 2 CUPS RAISINS OR ASSORTED OTHER THINGS
IE: SHREDDED CARROT, BANANA, DRIED APRICOT ETC.
Into bowl # 3

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MIXED ALL INGREDIENTS TOGETHER AND BAKE

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Hope you enjoy!!

They are perfect to toss in the freezer and then pull out for lunches! 

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pumpkin Soup with Balsamic & Rosemary Croutons

Hiya!

Hope you all had a fantastic Halloween!!  I’m sure everyone has had their share of treats!?!  Today I’ll bring you something from the vault.   This is THE BEST pumpkin soup I know of! __________________________________________________________________

It is officially fall, there is no denying it now! The air is crisp, the leaves are turning colors, Christmas commercials are beginning to flooding the airwaves and Starbucks has re-launched their infamous Pumpkin Spice Latte. You can’t get much more fall than that! Fall for me is time for the summer clothes to be packed away, time to send the patio furniture to its winter home, and best of all it’s time to start hunting for the perfect pumpkin at the pumpkin patch!

Pumpkins are so versatile; you can make pumpkin pie, pumpkin smoothies, pumpkin brownies pumpkin curries, and best of all pumpkin soup! Not only are they versatile, pumpkins pack a healthy punch too; 1 cup of pumpkin is around 50 calories, 0 fat and 4 gram of fibre and it has over 100% of your vitamin A.

What’s not to love?

This recipe was graciously given to me from my Mom. She has been making it forever, and anyone that has tried it has fallen in love. It is a definite company pleaser and a great appetizer for a turkey dinner feast. At the bottom of this recipe I also give instructions for using fresh pumpkin, which is a great use for all the creepy jack-o-lanterns leftovers, as well as some gluten and allergy friendly garnishes.

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Pumpkin Carrot Soup with Balsamic and Rosemary Croutons
Makes about 4 cups

• 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
• 3 medium carrots (grated and chopped)
• 3 cloves of garlic (minced)
• 2 green onions (chopped) + 1 extra for garnish (cut on an angle)
• 1 orange or yellow pepper (seeded and chopped into small pieces)
• 1 teaspoons ginger (grated)
• 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock (The chicken makes the soup more buttery tasting)
• 1 398ml can of pure pumpkin *
• Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Sauté green onions, garlic, carrots and peppers in olive oil for about 2 minutes. Add in ginger.

2. Place sautéed mixture in blender – add about 1 cup vegetable stock. Blend until smooth. (This may have to be done in bunches, depending on the size of your blender.

3. Place blender mixture back into pot, and add remaining stock.

4. Add can of pureed pumpkin and stir until mixed together

5. Cook on medium for about 10 minutes or until croutons are complete.

6. Serve with croutons and green onion.

A few options:
- To add sweetness to soup add in _ apple before pureeing
- Add curry powder for an ethnic flare
- Use pumpkin pie spice (all spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger)
- For a protein boost add rinsed and drained canned chickpeas after pureeing
- To make for a complete meal, serve over quinoa
- To use fresh pumpkin – Wash outside of small pumpkin, remove seeds, cut pumpkin into large chunks. Place pumpkin chunks onto a baking pan and roast at 400 degrees until pumpkin is soft and has caramelized. Let pumpkin cool, and scoop flesh out of skin. Add pumpkin flesh to the blender and puree with chicken or vegetable broth until smooth. Add puree to soup.

Balsamic and Rosemary Croutons

• 1/2 French Baguette – or favourite type of bread
• 2 teaspoons olive oil
• 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
• 2 teaspoons dried rosemary.
Preheat over at 350 degrees.
Cut bread up into 1 inch cubes
Drizzle with Olive oil, Balsamic Vinegar and Rosemary*
Stir until all pieces of bread are coated
Put in oven for 10 – 15 minutes, stirring _ way through
Make sure to watch, it will burn quickly
Cook until bread gets crispy

*Alternatives crouton flavours:
- Coconut Oil and curry powder
- Olive oil, cinnamon and sugar (would be fantastic with the apple version of this soup)
- Butter and Garlic

Gluten free garnishes :
- Parsley, chives, dill
- grated cheese
- chopped apple
- cashew cream (soak cashews for 4+ hours and blend with a bit of water or milk of choice until smooth, you can also add fresh herbs or spices for an extra flare)
- crème fresh or sour cream
- toasted pumpkin seeds
- buttered popcorn (yes you heard right, buttered popcorn is awesome on this)

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