Sunday, February 26, 2012

Ooohh... I'm So Fancy!

    First of all, sorry for the silence this week.  It's been a pretty hectic week packed with work and meetings.  Next week looks more of the same but before I get caught up in all of that, I want to share something super exciting with you guys.
RAW Pizza with Sprouts, Spinach and "Cheese"
   My Holistic Health Coaching website is up and running, and I wanted you to be the first to know!  I mentioned a while back (here) about my nutrition schooling and after a lot of work I'm finally ready to share my site.  Check it out: and let me know what you think.  I’d love any feedback and if any of you are interested in chatting about your health, diet, or lifestyle, you can contact me via the links provided on the website. 
Happy Oscar Night!
Ves xx

Monday, February 20, 2012

It's a Lean, Mean, Clean, Green Kind of Day!

   The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, my cat's napping and I'm feeling kinda green today.  Huh?? Okay, maybe I'm not feeling green, I'm just seeing it!  As in, every time I open the fridge.  So, I've decided to make it a theme... Today is GREEN FOOD DAY!!  Man, I probably should have saved this one for St. Patty's Day! Ha.  Oh well.
   I should start off by saying that my body is going to be sooo happy with me today!  Green foods are one of the best foods to feed our bodies as they are the most nutrient-rich foods on the planet.  I know I sang chlorophyll's praises here but it doesn't get old. Chlorophyll is known to help cleanse the body, help heal wounds, fight infection, and promote the health of the circulatory, digestive, immune, and detoxification systems. And where can we find chlorophyll?  Green foods, of course!  
   I hope I don't shock my body with the abundance of healthy meals it's going to receive today.  I'll probably have a slice of chocolate cake later (vegan, of course) just to balance things out! Ha.  Just kidding.  Or am I? 
   On to the Green Goodness!
Green Juice!
Ooohhh... doesn't that look pretty? 

Lean Green Juice
2 bunches Broccoli
4 Stalks Celery
4-5 Romaine Leaves
1/2 Lemon
2 Wheat grass Cubes

Juice, drink, and be prepared for the abundance of energy that you're about to have!

**I don't like my green juice to be sweet but if you're wanting a bit of sweetness add an apple or pear to the juice.
Green Smoothie!
My green smoothie today was so yummy and easy to make.  You probably already have all of the ingredients (even if you don't have some of the powders) so go ahead and make this for your snack today!

Mean Green Smoothie
1 - 1 1/2 cups of Almond Milk (or water)
1 frozen banana
1 apple
2 large handfuls of Spinach
1 tbsp Almond Butter (you can use natural peanut butter too)
1 tbsp Goji Berries (optional)
1 tbsp Hemp Seeds (optional)
1 tsp Spirulina (optional)
1 tsp Chlorella (optional)
1 tbsp Maca (optional)
Add all of the ingredients to a high speed blender and process until smooth.  Pour into a glass add a straw and enjoy! OR do as I sometimes do and add a straw to your blender!  Why dirty a glass?? :)

* I know there are a lot of "optional" ingredients listed above but they will not change the flavor of the smoothie so if you don't have them go ahead and make this anyway.  I'm a little obsessed with adding "extras" to my smoothies. 

Green Soup!

   I made this soup last night because I wanted to use up some of the produce that was in my fridge before it spoiled.  I have leftovers for today which is perfect for my GREEN FOOD DAY!  Oh and just so you know, this is a RAW soup recipe.  Which really just means that I didn't cook it, I made it in my blender. (Man I love raw food!)  If you want a warmer soup you can definitely warm this on the stove until it's just "finger warm" - not hot, that way it's still technically raw (not heated above 108-115 degrees).

Clean Green Soup
1 1/2 cups water
2 (really) large handfuls Romaine/Spinach
1 small handful Parsley
1 large head Broccoli
3 Basil leaves
2 tomatoes, chopped
juice of half a lemon plus rind
3-4 Radishes, diced
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon celtic sea salt
Pinch Cumin
Pinch turmeric
Pinch cayenne pepper
Place all the ingredients into a high speed blender and process until smooth.  For a smoother soup consistency add a half or whole avocado.  I would have done that except that I never have avocado's lying around - I eat them immediately!  
Pour into a bowl, grab a spoon and enjoy!  If you want it warmer add a pinch more cayenne or see my note above.

If you try any of these recipes let me know by posting in the comments below!

(Oh, and it seems that I have been on a roll with "S" titles in the last 4 posts.  See here, here, here and here.  How weird.  Anyway, this post broke that strange little kick I was on... thankfully.)
Happy GREEN FOOD DAY... AKA Family Day here in Ontario!
Ves xx

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Stuffed Shells!

  I just had to share this recipe that I made yesterday for a family dinner at my parents house.  My mom was making baked Mac and Cheese, Pear Salad, and a meat dish.  I decided to help her out by bringing a dish instead of having her make a separate dish just for me (even though she would be happy to do it!).  I made a stuffed shell recipe that I've been dying to try and I'm so glad I did.  It was really good and so easy to make! 
   I got the recipe from the Little House of Veggies blog.  I stumbled upon it a while ago and never got around to making it.  You seriously have to make this!  I had it for dinner again tonight and layered it on a bed of spinach with a splash of olive oil and brown rice vinegar.  So yum!  Oh, and the non-vegans that tried this liked it as well... so go ahead and make it!
Sun-Dried Tomato Tofu Ricotta
Stuffed Shells with Spinach

   Read on for the recipe or click here: 

Stuffed Shells  
with Sun-dried Tomato Tofu Ricotta, Spinach, and Garlic and  Herb Tomato Sauce

Step 1: Sun-dried Tomato Tofu Ricotta with Spinach:
1 Pkg. Organic Extra Firm Tofu, drained and crumbled
Juice of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
3 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
3 Tbsp. fresh basil
3 Tbsp. Italian parsley
2 Tbsp. Nutritional yeast flakes
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp  dried oregano
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ume plum vinegar, or red wine vinegar
fresh cracked pepper
1 Tbsp. olive oil
8 ounces organic frozen spinach, thawed. Squeeze as much water out of the spinach as possible.

In a large bowl, crumble the tofu up. Add all other ingredients and mix well to incorporate. Set aside.

Step 2: Garlic and Herb Tomato sauce
1 29-ounce can Organic Tomato puree
3/4/ cup vegetable broth (look for no salt added)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves of garlic
2 tsp. ume plum vinegar or red wine vinegar
2 tsp. dried oregano
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
1/8 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp. dried red pepper flakes (add 1/2 tsp if you like more heat)
fresh cracked pepper

In a Vitamix or regular blender add all ingredients. Blend for just a minute until incorporated and mixed well. Set aside.

Step 3: Cook the jumbo shells
Using a very large soup pot,  cook the shells until they are very Al Dente. Think of it as under cooking them slightly. You don''t want the noodles to get too soft or it will be really hard to work with them and stuff them. Once they are cooked to very Al Dente, drain the noodles. Rinse briefly with cold water to prevent them from sticking together.

Step 4: Stuff the Shells
This is the perfect task to ask your kids to help you with!  First get a large Pyrex  or any large dish that you have that is oven safe. Cover the bottom of the dish with some of the sauce to cover it completely, reserving plenty of sauce to pour over the top of the shells. Fill each shell using a spoon and place in the dish. After you have stuffed all of the shells, pour the remaining sauce all over the top. Then drizzle an extra 2-3 Tbsp. of olive oil over the top.
Step 5: Baking the shells
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Loosely cover the shells with some foil and bake for about 15 minutes. Remove the foil completely and continue to cook an additional 20-25 minutes, until all the shells are warmed and cooked and warmed entirely. 

Step 6: ENJOY
Serve the shells garnished with some extra parsley and enjoy!

 I followed this recipe almost exactly except that I substituted the dried herbs for fresh ones (except for the Oregano).

By the way, if you haven't noticed, I finally have the cables to the camera!  So check back here to see a photo for the last recipe I posted. 
Ves xx

Friday, February 17, 2012

Salad, Salad, Salad!

   So I'm pretty much settled at the new pad, aka apartment, aka house.  I know it's not a house, but for some reason I can't stop saying house when referring to my apartment.  Weird, I know, but everyone else seems to accept it, so I think it's time you should too.  Ha.  Okay, moving on.
  This week, and last week I've been pretty much living off of salads, which is fine by me as I LOVE salad!  I get really creative and put all kinds of things in my salads.  I also get creative with the dressings that I make.  My mom makes a mean vinaigrette and I love when she makes extra for me.  This week I got a little crazy (and lazy) and was dressing my salad with a mixture of Salsa and Dijon mustard- my two favorite condiments in the world.  And can I just say that they have been the yummiest salads?  Don't knock that combo until you've tried it.  So good!
   Anyway, this brings me to tonight's dinner.  Originally, I was planning on grabbing a vegan pizza and making a side salad. (Hey don't judge me, it's Friday!) But when I got to the store I saw some gorgeous baby bok choy staring at me so I snatched those up instead.  I was feeling like something 'cooked' so this was the perfect start.
image courtesy of (the name is unfortunate)
    Back at home, after rummaging through my fridge, I pulled out a sweet potato and a red pepper (the rest in my fridge is greens - seriously) and got to work.  I washed the sweet potato and red pepper and then cut them up into 1 inch pieces.  After tossing them in olive oil I put the sweet potato in a baking dish with garlic (I used a microplane), oregano, turmeric, (cause it's good for you - and makes everything yellow!) salt and pepper.  I set the red pepper aside and baked the sweet potatoes for about 20min.  I added the red peppers back at this point and baked for an additional 30min.
   Meanwhile, I washed the Bok Choy and separated the stems from the leafy greens - you don't have to do this, but I prefer it this way.  I heated up a saute pan on medium heat and added olive oil (1 tbs) and garlic (finely chopped, or microplaned <-- if that's not a word, it is now!).  After about a minute I added the stems to the pan and a splash of Tamari.  I steamed it for a few minutes with the lid on until the stems became a bit soft.  Then I added the greens and another tiny splash of Tamari, stirred it and replaced the lid.  After a minute or two the greens were done.  I took it off the heat, added the juice of half a lemon and a sprinkling of Gomasio (toasted sesame seeds and sea salt).  Perfect... and time to plate!
   I always like to have something raw at every meal and even though I was craving a cooked dinner, this meal was no different.  So, in the fridge I went pulling out some baby spinach and broccoli sprouts.  I layered my plate with spinach, sprouts, bok choy, sweet potatoes, and red peppers.  I topped it off with some of the juice from the bok choy and (as always) some hemp seeds and nutritional yeast.  And, if I do say so myself, this was the BEST dinner I've had in a week (or two)! Ha.  Even though it was still just another SALAD! Ha. 
   Anyway, if you're wondering where the pictures are, well, they're on the camera.  My camera broke about a month ago so I've been using my old one, which now belongs to my mom, who's kindly letting me borrow it.  However, all the hardware is at her house so I have no means of uploading any pictures to my laptop. *sigh*  I did take pictures and will add them to this post as soon as I get my hands on the proper cables.  For now, you will have to take my word that the meal looked as delicious as it sounds (at least I hope it sounds delicious, cause it totally was!).

***Update - Feb. 19, 2012***
I finally got the cables to the camera! Woohoo!  Here's a picture of the yummy dinner I had.  And yes, if you're wondering, I do like to glob on nutritional yeast whenever I get the chance!

Happy cooking!
Ves xx

Ps:  I'm so sorry it's been so long between posts!  I'm constantly hoping that I'll miraculously have enough time in the day to accomplish all the things that I want to.  Of course, that never happens!  It turns out that when you live on your own you actually have more responsibilities (duh) and more things to do (not less).  I think I've been living in la-la land for too long.  I'll get it together soon (I hope).
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