Lentil spinach pasta sauce

 

Good morning beautiful people,

What a week this has been so far. I won’t lie, I’m happy we are Thursday morning and there is only one day left before the weekend. This week has been quite the roller coaster ride. I’m still figuring out the “blogging” thing, while trying to be more active on social media to get my blog more traffic and exposure, while creating awesome recipes (some of epic failure! loll) for you guys to enjoy. All that, while working my regular job, getting my workouts and yoga practice in, being a mom to a 13 month baby and a wife. Need I say that my plate is full! Lol

But I find comfort in the fact that I am not alone in this. So many other parents out there work there tails off to provide for their family while still creating a life for themselves they are proud of. And it’s with you in mind that I create my recipes. They are family friendly, easy, nutritious and naughty enough for you to enjoy without feeling guilty. They will even satisfy picky eaters!

For those of you that follow me on Instagram, you know that this week has been all about people that have inspired me along my journey. Be it as a mom, a food blogger, a recipe creator, a fitness enthusiast or a vegan. All the people I mention in my posts this week are inspirational in what they share with the world. Tonight’s dinner is a salute to those in the fitness/bodybuilding community that live a vegan and plant based lifestyle.

If you read the About me page, you know I’ve been involved in the fitness/bodybuilding community for a long time. Unfortunately, one of the most prevalent misconception in that industry is that you need to eat very animal heavy meals and supplements, 5-6 times a day, to keep your metabolism at high speed and your physique lean, hard and muscular. These vegan athletes put themselves out there and show the world you can look smokin hot on beans, broccoli and brown rice! For those of you still skeptical about being an athlete and maintaining that hard earned physique on a plant based diet, there are plenty of science based articles written about the benefits of a plant based diet as an athlete. Matt Frazier over at No Meat Athlete runs an amazing blog for endurance athlete. Torre Washington, Jordan David and Crissi Carvalho are all vegan physique athletes that can show you the ropes of building an amazing body on plant foods.

(BTW, none of these links are affiliated. These are all people I simply admire, that have the necessary knowledge on how to structure a proper vegan diet and have the physiques to prove it.)

For me personally, as a former competitive athlete and one that still keeps very fit and active, adopting a plant based lifestyle has brought amazing benefits. Amongst all the benefits, recovery time has to be the one with the biggest impact and the greatest benefits. I recover a lot faster from heavy workouts and my body feels a lot less heavy so I’m able to move more freely and with greater ease during my yoga practice. And because my food is so nutrition dense and easily absorbed by my body, my sleep is so much better, which boils back down to my recovery being so much better. And by my recovery being so much better, I’m able to push harder in my workouts and my practice. And by pushing harder, I get greater results. And by getting greater results… well you know where this all circles back to.

And so for all my plant based and wanna-be plant based followers that make fitness an integral part of their lives and want to make sure their bodies get all the nutrients it needs, I created this protein packed pasta sauce. You can enjoy it over spaghetti like we did for dinner or over any other type of coarse grain you like or over vegetable noodles like zucchinis, for a gluten-free meal. It’s a pretty thick sauce so if you like your sauces a little thinner, just add more passata (italien tomato sauce). You can also substitute the spinach for kale or other leafy green vegetable you happen to have on hand. You can also swab lentils for other high protein beans like white kidney beans or edamame beans if you eat soy.

I hope you and your family enjoy this recipe. Let me know how you’ve eaten the sauce!

xx

Lentil spinach pasta sauce
Prep time:
Cook time:
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Serves: 4 portions
This lentil pasta sauce is hearty and super nutritious. It packs a great protein punch that will help your body recover from those hard workouts.
Ingredients
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. palm oil
  • 2 Cups frozen spinach (if using fresh, use 4 cups)
  • 2 Cups passata (Italian tomato sauce)
  • 1 cup lentils, cooked
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dired rosemary
  • 1/4 dried nutmeg
  • 1 tsp chili flakes (optional – we like heat in our family but adjust according to taste or omit)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh basil leaves for garnish
Instructions
  1. On medium high heat, melt the palm oil in a pan.
  2. Add the onions and garlic. Stir and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the spices and coat the onion and garlic mixture. Cook for about 2 minutes. Stir frequently so the spices don’t burn.
  4. Add the frozen spinach and coat with the spicy mixture. Reduce the heat to medium and cover the pan. Cook for 3 minutes. Stir. The spinach should have wilted down. If not, add a little water. Do not cover the pan again. Simply stir until the spinach is wilted down and the water has evaporated.
  5. Set aside.
  6. If using canned lentils, rinse them.
  7. In a blender or food processor, add the lentils, spinach mixture and passata. Blend or process until you get a creamy textured sauce.
  8. Serve warm over pasta or zucchini noodles.

 

Decadent Granola

Good morning beautiful people,

Today is a big day for me. My son is now in daycare full-time (he’s 13 months) which means that I’m officially back at work full-time also. Although I never really stopped working, today feels different. Very different. Probably because today is the first day that my husband dropped off our son at daycare so I could map out the walk to the train station that’s not too far from our house. Probably because I had to pack all my food, coffee and water to prepare for my 1:30 hour commute to work. Probably because it just dawned on me that I’ll now be doing this every morning and every night. See, up until a few months ago, we lived rather close to my work. But our offices moved…1:30 hour away from where we live. It’s gonna be an adjustment. But because I truly believe there is a positive side to everything, here’s the good that I see coming out of this:

  1. My husband gets to spend time quality alone with our son in the morning. Necessary male bonding!
  2. I have all this time to write posts and think about creative and fun recipes for you guys.
  3. I have time to think, period! Loll

So come to think of it, this is gonna be great! And frankly, there really is no other way to look at it because I’ve got a long road ahead of me.

Needless to say, I needed a really good and hearty breakfast to bring with me this morning.

I wanted something that would be easy to carry, didn’t need assembly, was satisfying and filling and would make me smile because yes, good food does make me smile. So as I was going through different ideas last night, I finally settled on my decadent granola. That would definitely make me smile in the morning!

This delicious mix of rolled oats, mixed nuts, shredded coconut, dark chocolate and maple syrup pairs well with anything. Whether you want to devour it by the handful, sprinkle it on top of some coconut yogurt or drench it with your favourite mylk, this granola is absolutely divine. I personally love to enjoy it with my new mylk obsession: Ripple’s unsweetened pea mylk. It is just so smooth and creamy. It’s the only mylk my son will drink and we buy it by the case.

I hope this granola makes you smile this morning and let me know how you’ve enjoyed it!

 

xx

Decadent Granola
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
This decadent chocolaty granola recipe can easily be played around with to suit you and your family’s taste. I used walnuts and pecans in this recipe but you can easily add almonds and pistachios instead if you prefer, or pumpkin and sunflower seeds. You can also sub the chocolate for dried fruits if you want to make it a little less decadent. I also used coconut butter to help bind everything together. I find coconut butter adds a greater creaminess and flavour then just coconut oil. But feel free to play around with that too. Once cooled, you can store this granola in a glass jar in the refrigerator for at least 10 days.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups GF rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded dried coconut, unsweetened
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips, 70% cacao
  • 2 Tbs maple syrup
  • 2 Tbs coconut butter
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • a pinch of Himalayan pink salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, melt the coconut butter in the microwave for a few seconds.
  3. Add the maple syrup and vanilla extract.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients together and toss with your hands. It’s messy but so much fun!
  5. Spread the mixture on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  6. Bake in the oven for 8 minutes then flip the mixture around with a spatula.
  7. Return to the oven for an extra 2 minutes or until the oats and nuts are toasted.
  8. Take out of the oven and let cool for at least 10 mins.

 

Tangy Cilantro Dressing

 

Hello beautiful people,

I’m so excited about this post! You may be wondering why I’m so excited about posting a salad dressing recipe but the thing is, this is not just some random dressing recipe, this is a cilantro dressing  recipe. And that my friends, is the best type of dressing there is!

One thing you’ll notice from the recipes on my blog is the recurrence of cilantro. I LOVE CILANTRO. There is just something about the tangy, sweet, fresh and cooling taste it brings to any dish. If you follow on me on Instagram, you’ll know that the reason I love cilantro so much, could be linked to my Pitta Dosha. We are getting technical here, but bear with me, this is fun.

According to Ayurveda, the traditional Hindu medicine system, we are all made of three doshas: Vita (air), Pitta (fire) and Kapha (water), one or two of which are our dominant doshas (you can learn more about doshas here and take a test to find out your dominant dosha, here). In my case, it’s Pitta or Fire.  The aim is to balance all your doshas in order to avoid disease in the body and/or to allow your body to be in a state of well being. In order to do so, certain foods need to be eaten and others, avoided. For me, a Pitta, I need to emphasize sweet, bitter and astringent foods like cilantro, watermelon, kale, oatmeal, mung beans, coconut, maple syrup and vanilla . So you can say that the sweet and bitter nature of cilantro chills out my fire!

The technical stuff being said, from a culinary perspective, I personally find it’s one of those herbs that simply marries well with everything and anything. And when I say anything, I really mean anything!… Yes, I have made cilantro nice cream in the past and it was delicious! Hahaha. But this is not that recipe as I’m not sure it would please very palate. This is my cilantro dressing recipe.

This dressing goes particularly well with a pasta or potato salad, as it binds with the starch but it also makes a great addition to a romaine lettuce salad, loaded with crunchy raw vegetables.

I hope you guys enjoy it and let me know what you think!

 

xx

Tangy Cilantro Dressing
Recipe Type: Dressing
Prep time:
Total time:
This cilantro dressing will go with just about anything, but if cilantro isn’t your thing, don’t be afraid to experiment. Add more parsley instead of the cilantro or more mint. You can even replace the cilantro all together for some other fresh herb you fancy like basil, flat parsley or even dill. I genuinely like my dressings more tangy than oily so this recipe does not respect the traditional 1:3 ratio of vinegar to oil. I like my ratio to be 1:2. If that’s too pungent for you, add more olive oil.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup cilantro, loose leafs
  • 1/2 cup Italian parsley, loose leafs
  • 1/4 cup mint, loose leafs
  • 1 glove of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed if possible
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 2-3 drops of liquid Stevia (optional, if you like your dressing a little sweeter)
Instructions
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or a blender and pulse until you have a creamy smooth dressing.
  2. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Enjoy!