Kale, Kale, the superfood! When you find yourself with a bunch of kale and in need of a recipe, look no further! These kale cups are a perfect option for a vegetarian breakfast/brunch/lunch! I have adapted this recipe from Muffin Tin Mania.
- 4 cups kale, ribs removed and roughly chopped
- 4 cups baby spinach, chopped
- 1/2 cup cottage cheese
- 1/2 cup Havarti cheese, grated
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon dried red chili flakes (optional)
- 1/3 cup hemp hearts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Chop kale and spinach finely. Add kale/spinach to a large bowl along with cottage cheese, havarti cheese, eggs, garlic, lemon zest, chili flakes and hemp hearts. Mix well until all the cottage cheese has blended in with the kale and spinach. Divide among 8-10 medium-sized muffin cups or ramekins and bake 20 minutes. Let cool several minutes.
- Replace cottage cheese with ricotta cheese
- Use any combination of spinach, Swiss chard and kale
I’ve always thought that rice paper rolls were hard to make and time-consuming but fortunately I realized they are quite simple to make and delicious! I’ve made rice paper rolls several times now because I love them so much! What I like about them is that they are fresh and can be made with whatever vegetables/herbs you have on hand.
Ingredients for the rolls:
- rice paper wraps (I bought mine from the Asian aisle of my regular grocery store, Loblaws)
- Rice Noodles
- Firm Tofu
- Zucchini, sliced lengthwise
- Bell Pepper, sliced lengthwise
Ingredients for the spicy peanut sauce:
- 1/2 cup organic peanut butter
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon siracha
- 2 clove garlic
- Ginger (to taste)
One at a time, submerge the rice paper wraps in a bowl of hot water until softened (approximately 1 minute). Lay wrapper on flat surface and start adding ingredients to centre of wrap. Once all ingredients have been added to the wrap, you can begin the delicate folding process (i’m still mastering that part!).
For the sauce, mix all ingredients together in a food processor or blender until smooth. Serve with rice paper roll.
Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends and family celebrating!
If you are looking for a delicious, simple, and healthy last-minute recipe, look no further! This recipe is also friendly to most diets including vegan and dairy-free and works well with any fruit you have on hand. I used apples this time because the apple tree in my backyard did really well this season and I have more apples than I know what to do with!! This recipe is based on one from the book “Vegan Pie in the Sky” by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero.
- 4 pounds of apples ( I used Golden Delicious), sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 3 tablespoons almond milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 Farenheit. Pour Filling ingredients into an ungreased 11 X 13 inch baking dish and ensure apples are coated well.
- In another bowl, combine the topping ingredients and mix well.
- Pour crisp topping over the apples.
- Bake for approximately 45 minutes.
Mixing the filling
Dessert is served!
After visiting Victoria BC, the girls reunion trip moved to Hawaii for some well-deserved sun, beach, and relaxation. Before I get into the details of the trip there are a few notes I want to make about Hawaii for all the geography enthusiasts out there. Before going to Hawaii I didn’t realize how many islands the state was composed of (5!!). Contrary to what I first thought, the island called Hawaii (also referred to as the big island) and namesake of the state is not where Honolulu is located. Oahu is the island upon which Honolulu is situated and the Hawaii island is where the active volcano lies. Here is a map of the Hawaiian islands:
My two girlfriends and I stayed in the Waikiki Beach area for a week at the Aqua Waikiki Wave. As first timers in Hawaii we fell in love at first sight. The south pacific sun, the infamous Waikiki beach, the interesting landscapes and attractions. Oh and of course the good shopping and delicious restaurants! Waikiki Beach is the place to be in Oahu and a great starting place to any Hawaiian holiday. With everything in walking distance there is no need for a car! Here are some of the highlights from our week in Waikiki:
Waikiki Beach – Best part of the beach is near the Westin Hotel
One of the most popular things to do in Waikiki is to hike up Diamond Head Monument. It takes approximately 30 minutes to walk up to the top. Note: path is not all paved so proper shoes are recommended (we learned this the hard way as we hiked up in our flip flops and at the hottest part of the day – noon!!!)
Breathtaking views from Diamond Head – Looking over Waikiki Beach
Look at the colour of the water!!
Main street -Waikiki
Out and about in Waikiki
Check out all these surfboards!!
When in Hawaii…see a luau! We went to Germaine’s Luau one night (approximately $70) and includes a buffet and show. Pictured above is the pig roast ceremony.
Germaine’s Luau – dancers!
This recipe is a family favourite that my Granny used to make. She never had the recipe written out and followed it strictly from memory. With some persistance my Dad was able to figure out the list of ingredients to these perfect Irish scones. Luckily for you I am going to share it! This recipe yields approx. 14 scones so you will probably want to double or triple it!
- Mix the dry ingredients together while sifting the flour.
- Mix butter into dry ingredients.
- Add egg to buttermilk and beat together.
- Make a hole in centre of dry ingredients and gradually add liquid ingredients.
- Roll out dough on floured surface. (Note: Dough should not too be too wet or too dry. Don’t overwork the dough.)
- Cut dough with circular cutter or form desired round or triangle shapes.
- Place on floured baking sheet and put in pre-heated oven at 350F.
- Bake until golden on bottom.
Who doesn’t love General Tso? Typically, you see general tso’s as a chicken dish listed on menus and in cookbooks; however, for those who are vegetarian the Tofu General Tso is a great alternative. I found this easy and scrumptious recipe for Tofu General Tso adapted from That’s So Vegan (thanks for the recipe!).
1 package firm tofu
1 tbsp cornstarch
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp siracha (or to taste)
1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp water
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1. Preheat oven to 400º and grease baking sheet. Press the tofu between paper towels to get rid of excess water and cut into small cubes. Toss the cubes with a tablespoon of cornstarch and place them on the sheet to bake for about 20-25 minutes.
2. Heat the garlic over low heat in a saucepan. After a minute, add in the other ingredients (except for the cornstarch mixture) and stir for about 3 minutes. Mix in the cornstarch and whisk until thickened. Remove from heat.
3. Once tofu is cooked, place cubes in bowl and mix in the sauce. Serve with brown rice and broccoli.
When in Victoria we quickly realized that British traditions are still quite alive in the city. What could be more British than fish and chips for lunch and high tea in the afternoon? So we decided to check it out for ourselves. For lunch we went to the locally recommended Red Fish Blue Fish located on the waterfront. This place it just a shack on the dock with only outdoor seating. It’s very popular so expect to wait in line (it’s well worth it though!).
I had 1 piece of halibut, fries and it came with a side of coleslaw.
High Tea at Venus Sophia
For a little afternoon pick-me-up we decided to partake in a very British activity – high tea! The most famous place to have high tea in Victoria is at the Empress Hotel and costs $50 per person. Since we were on more of a budget we decided to try a more cost-effective, yet equally impressive option at the Venus Sophia Tea House and Vegetarian Eatery. Venus Sophia has several comfortable couches and chairs and feels very cozy. For $25 per person we got more goodies than we needed (and delicious ones at that!). I would highly recommend this tea house if you want to experience high tea in Victoria.
Other Notable Mentions:
While in Victoria there are a few other treasures not to miss including:
- Rogers Chocolates – gourmet chocolate shop on Government St.
- Cook Street Village – cute neighbourhood with little shops and restaurants including The Beagle Pub.
- Boutique browsing on Government Street near Yates/ Pandora ( my favourite store was definitely Emporia which had cute home and lifestyle apparel).
- There are countless independent cafes/coffee shops which offer small meals and a good afternoon pick-me-up. You can find one on almost every corner.
This past winter, I went to go visit one of my BFFs in Victoria, British Columbia. Victoria is located in western Canada on Vancouver island and has a population of about 300 000 (with a large population of retirees!). The city of Victoria was named after Queen Victoria and still maintains its charmed British history (via historical buildings, cuisine, and culture). We spent three days exploring (very easy to navigate on foot) which gave us plenty of time to see the main sights. Here are some of the photo highlights:
Me and my bestie strolling around Beacon Hill Park.
Provincial Parliament Buildings. Victoria is the capital of the province of British Columbia.
One of the many nice walking paths in Victoria (Dallas Rd)
Empress Hotel. Luxurious hotel in downtown Victoria.
Downtown Victoria (check out the flowers in February!)
For Thanksgiving dinner I decided to make a sweet potato dish and give it a twist by adding cilantro and lemon. It really turned out well I think. Hope you enjoy it too!
Sweet Potatoes with Cilantro (serves 6):
- 3 large sweet potatoes
- 1/2 cup of Cilantro / coriander
- Olive Oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 cup minced garlic
Peel sweet potatoes, chop into small cubes and lay out on a baking sheet. Generously pour olive oil over potatoes and mix in minced garlic making sure each piece is coated with oil and garlic. Bake for 30 minutes ar 425 Fahrenheit. Mix in cilantro and lemon juice.