Tuesday, July 31, 2012

It's Reveal Day! Foodie Pen Pals - July!

   Hey guys!  Sorry it's been so quiet around here but I've been taking advantage of this gorgeous weather and avoiding my computer like the plague as much as possible.  I made myself a promise that I would actually slow down a bit and enjoy the rest of the summer and I'm sticking to it!  But there was no way I was going to miss sharing with you my goodies from this months Foodie Pen Pals. 
   This month I was paired up with Kimberly who blogs about fitness and her journey into the world of figure competitions.  You can check out her blog here.  Scroll down to check out the lovely package that she sent me.  And if your interested in checking out the goodies that I sent to my pen pal Danielle, click here to visit her blog.  She's currently training for a half marathon so I thought it appropriate to send her junk food... or did I?  Ha.

Onto the goodies...
Look how beautifully decorated my box came! :)

Kimberly's 5 year old daughter "hand-crafted" this card.  How sweet!
A lovely note from Kimberly.
PB2 - I've never had this and I think it's pretty genius!  It's powdered peanut butter that you can add a bit of water to if you want to get the consistency of PB.  I threw a tablespoon of it (dry) into a blueberry banana smoothie and loved it!
Vega Shake and Go Smoothie - I've never tried this before so I was looking forward to making it for breakfast. 
This is what it looked like mixed up on it's own.  I wasn't a huge fan of the taste so I threw the rest of it into a blender with some frozen berries, a banana and some spinach.  Much better!
Ginger Chews - I'm not sure what I expected these to taste like but I was definitely not expecting the spicy kick I got when I bit into one.  Love these!  The rest of this bag is tucked safely away in my cookie jar.  Ha.
I haven't had a chance to try either of these yet.  I'm looking forward to the RAW bar and am saving it for my next marathon study session!
This book was an unexpected find in my box.  It's actually pretty cool in that it's a novel with a recipe thrown in every couple of chapters.  I haven't read it yet but I did manage to scan most of the recipes.  One recipe in particular stood out so I'll definitely be making that soon and posting about it here.
Thanks again to Kimberly for sending such a great package! 

   Do you like what you see and wish you could be a part of this foodie swap?  Lindsay over at The Lean Green Bean started this fabulous program.  Read on for the details:

The Lean Green Bean

 -On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal! 
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month. 
-Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We've determined things might get too slow and backed up if we're trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. 

Happy Foodie Pen Pals Day!
Ves xx

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

WIAW #8 - The Totally Raw Edition

   Hello all!  I hope you enjoyed yesterday's Raw Lasagne recipe.  Today's episode of WIAW will feature more of my raw eats.  It's too hot to cook around here, plus I love the way I feel when I eat all raw all day. 
So here is a break down of my eats (from last Thursday - ha!)...

{Water with a squirt of lemon (always!)}
{Green Juice! Cucumber, celery, kale, lemon}
{Coffee - Black please!  I always have at least a cup of coffee unless I am on a juice cleanse.  I love my coffee!}
{"Green Smoothie" with blueberries and banana!}
{Veggies and raw hummus.  This is a recycled photo - I have a recipe for Raw Hummus here}
{Salad - romaine, tomatoes, onions and cucumber}
{Another smoothie- I needed a little extra fuel while studying!}
{Dinner - my raw lasagne}
   So there you have it, my raw eats last week!  Who said eating vegetables has to be boring? Mmm!  I hope you guys are able to stay cool in this insane heat we're having here in lovely Hamilton.  Stay hydrated!

Happy What I ate Wednesday!  And thanks to Jenn for hosting!

Ves xx

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Quickie Recipe: Tomato and Spinach Lasagne

   Have a craving for lasagne but don't feel like boiling a bunch of noodles and turning on the oven?  Don't worry, I've got you covered.  Enjoy this raw and totally delicious recipe without breaking a sweat!

Tomato and Spinach Lasagne

Tomato Sauce
2 tomatoes, diced
5 sun-dried tomatoes, soaked for 2 hours
1/2 small red onion 
1 tbl lemon juice
2 tbl olive oil
1 tsp sea salt

Place all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender and process until smooth.

*Spinach Pesto
1 cup tightly packed spinach
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1 clove garlic
1 tbl lemon juice
1 tbl olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt

*I'm not a fan of traditional pesto so I like to have more spinach than basil in mine.  I also leave out the pine nuts.  ** Parsley would be really nice in this as well.

Place all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender and process until smooth.

Lasagne Ingredients
1 zucchini
1 large tomato
Tomato Sauce
Spinach Pesto

1. Cut the ends off of the zucchini and peel (optional).  Using a mandoline slice the zucchini lengthwise into long thin strips. Cut them in half horizontally to make shorter strips.
2. For the bottom layer - place 3 zucchini strips lengthwise on a plate slightly overlapping each other. Place another layer of zucchini over this going in the opposite direction. Spread a layer of sliced tomato over the zucchini and cover with a layer of tomato sauce and spinach pesto sauce.
3. Repeat once more with zucchini (this time only the 3 strips), tomato sauce, tomato slices, and pesto and garnish with some basil or a sprinkle of Italian seasoning, hemp seeds or nutritional yeast.

If you peel the zucchini the 'noodles' will look a bit more real.
But I think it looks delicious either way!
By the way, my sister -who is a total carnivore- absolutely loved this dish!
Ves xx

Monday, July 23, 2012

Give me Five, On the Side, Down Low...

   Too slow?  Nah, too cute is more like it!  These photos made me smile today.  I hope they brighten your Monday morning, too!

Happy Monday everyone!  Have a great day.
Ves xx

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

WIAW #7 and An Unlikely Dessert

  I can't believe we are more than halfway into July already and half way into this week!  Is it just me or do the days just fly by when it's summer?  Not only that, but I'm super busy with studying, and errands, and LIFE that I haven't really been enjoying the summer like I usually do.  I'm making a mental note to change that ASAP!  Plus, with all of this crazy heat/humidity we've been having lately I haven't felt like cooking (or uncooking for that matter).  I did however manage to put together some recent eats for this episode of WIAW. 

Check it out...

{Breakfast:}  Water with lemon, a green smoothie and coffee. {Lunch:}  Large green salad and fruit OR large green smoothie (sorry, I haven't been remembering to take pictures at lunch!) {Snack:}  Veggies and my favorite dip - dijon mustard!  And since my sister has been staying with me I find that my pantry is well stocked with chips.  Thanks Sis! {Dinner:}  Lately it's been a salad of sorts but tonight I made a quick stir fry with veggies, leftover rice (I keep mine in the freezer 'cause I never eat it), and pan-fried tofu drizzled with some coconut aminos.  So yummy!  {Dessert:}  I baked some chocolate chip cookies the other day because we had a craving for them.  I've also been making Chocolate and Banana Oatmeal a lot lately because my sister keeps requesting it!  It's so simple yet so tasty and satisfying.

Chocolate and Banana Oatmeal
Makes 2 small servings
1 cup water
1/3 cup Oats (your choice)
1-2 tbsp Raw Cacao Powder (you can use cocoa powder)
1 Banana (frozen)
Agave Nectar/Pure Maple Syrup to taste (optional)
pinch salt
pinch cinnamon

In a small sauce pan bring the water and salt to a boil.  Whisk in the oats and turn the heat down to low.  Cook the oats until they've reached the desired consistency - I like my oatmeal a little chewy, not super soft.  Add the cacao powder and cinnamon and stir it up.  Split the banana in half, chop it up into bite sized pieces and add it to the bottom of two ramekins.  Pour the oatmeal evenly over top of the bananas and stir.  Add a splash of Agave or pure maple syrup to sweeten if necessary and enjoy!

 Happy WIAW!  Thanks, as always, to Jenn for hosting this link up party.

Special shout out to my pops Jer-Dad!  Happy Birthday 'Da'! xoxo
Ves xx

Monday, July 16, 2012

Massage Therapy

  Here's a little something to lighten the mood this Monday morning.  Check it out:

Enjoy your day!
Ves xx

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


   It's time for another episode of What I Ate Wednesday!  I really enjoy doing these posts because I actually get to see what I eat in a day.  I mean, obviously I know what I eat.  But when you take pictures and then go over them at the end of the day, you really know what you eat.  Or, in today's case, what I didn't eat.
   Today's eats are so pathetic that I am apologizing in advance.  I did not realize how little I ate until I sat down to write this post.  I also did not realize how much coffee I drank today until just now.  Whoops, I guess I needed it!

Onto the eats...

First things first, water!
{This is a recycled photo...}

I didn't realize until 20 minutes after I sat outside drinking coffee that I hadn't had any breakfast yet.  So I ran back in and scarfed down one of these mini buns with a bit of jam on the side.
{Jam not pictured}

Then it was off to work with a to-go cup of coffee.

For lunch I had some watermelon with hemp seeds sprinkled on top.  When I was packing my lunch this was the only thing that appealed to me in my fridge.  However, a couple of hours later I was hungry so I had a handful of triscuits.
{Triscuits not pictured}

On my lunch break I went out and bought another coffee because it was "one of those days".
{I swear I'm not trying to plug Timmies!}
I rushed home after work to get ready to go out to eat with a few of my friends and realized that I was kind of starving!  I had a handful of grape tomatoes to satisfy my hunger until it was time to eat.

At the resataurant I ordered a side salad to go along with...
Doesn't that look delish?
... a Veggie Burger!  I was so excited to order a veggie burger at a restaurant.  Usually they aren't vegan so this was a treat.  A super yummy treat!

Shameless plug of me and my cat right before I left for dinner!  xo
    Well there you have it, my eats for the day.  I'm sorry that they weren't very inspiring but, my brain is sort of on exams right now.  Cooking has been put to a halt and I've really just been 'preparing' food - like salads and things.  I promise that next weeks will be better!

Have a great Wednesday, and eat something why don't ya?! 
Ves xx

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

   I know I live in Canada and I just finished celebrating Canada Day a few days ago, but I'm actually American.  As in born and bred.  By way of California.  Like, in the valley.  Ever wonder why I use the word like so much?  Now you know.

   I like to think I celebrate both holidays equally but I know that's not quite true.  Since I don't actually get this holiday off, I'll be throwing a teeny tiny party on the weekend.  And by teeny tiny, I mean it... my apartment can only fit so many people! Ha.

Enjoy the holiday if your American and enjoy the heat wave if you're not!
Ves xx

WIAW #5 OR What I Drank While Cleansing

  Hi guys and welcome to another episode of WIAW!  Thanks, as always, to Jenn for hosting this fun foodie link up party.
  This past weekend I decided to do a 3 day juice cleanse.  I figured since it was a long weekend it would be the perfect time to do one.  You know, just in case I became a raving B-I-T-C-H while detoxing, I thought it would be best to not be around children.  I happen to like my job and would like to keep it a bit longer.  Ha!  I'm just kidding.  I was definitely NOT a monster during my cleanse. 
   I love taking small breaks to do juice fasts.  What I don't love is doing them in the summer when everybody and their cousin is outside barbequing!  Ugh.  I swear my neighbors were firing up their grill at like 9am.  It's like they were trying to torture me with the smells of grilled veggie burgers.   Mmm...  Okay, I'm lying, they were probably not grilling veggie burgers, but a girl can dream, right?  I know it sounds like I was tortured the entire weekend, but you have to remember that I'm dramatic.  Plus, I happen to make some very tasty juices so I was definitely not bored or deprived.  So let's get to it, shall we?  By the way, I really do drink out of fancy glasses.  I don't believe in saving the "good china" for company. ;)

I started my mornings off with some hot water and lemon followed by a tall glass of water.
Each morning I made a different variation of my favorite green juice.  This one had:
 {cucumber, celery, kale, lemon and ginger.}
{Sweet potato, carrots, pepper, beets, apples}
All of these veggies...
...made the yummiest juice!  This one is a keeper.  (so is the cat!)
{Beets, celery, carrots, radishes, tomatoes, parsley}
Another green juice...

...with a dash of turmeric on top!
This was a "kitchen sink" juice on the last day.  It turned out to be a winner!
I had about 100 glasses of water throughout the day.
As a treat I would make this simple lemonade when I was feeling like having something sweet.  It's so sweet and delicious, you wouldn't believe it's good for you! {apples, lemon}
  And since this month is also focusing on fitness, I'll share how I stayed active while cleansing.

   I mentioned last week that I finally dusted off Jillian's (we're on a first name basis) DVD.  Well, I've been doing it all week and I must say, the soreness in my muscles has definitely improved.  During my cleanse though, I really wanted to focus on being kind to my body.  For the first two days I went for walks, did some stretching in the morning and a bit of yoga in the afternoon.  I also took a bath every single day.  (I know, I'm so decadent!)  But on the third day I didn't feel like doing anything and allowed myself the luxury of vegging out (while studying, of course).
   So there you have it; what I drank and how I moved while cleansing!

Happy Hump Day!
Ves xx
What's your favorite juice combo?
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