Veggie Fried Quinoa

I ate the whole pan of this fried quinoa. It’s seriously so good because of all of the flavour and all of the veggies. I don’t know, there’s just something about a big plate of sauteed veggies, beans and quinoa that’s just so comforting and simple and homey. And it’s true that it doesn’t get much simpler than this- basically all you need to do is toss some stuff around in a pan, add a bit of other stuff, and you get delicious stuff.

In the ingredients list, I’m going to put down all the veg as “roughly chopped”, because I didn’t put a whole lot of effort into making it look nice. It’s all about flavour and ease here, people. This dish is also a great fridge cleaner. You know, when you have those week old carrots, that half an onion in a ziploc bag, and some tomatoes that are looking just the teeniest bit questionable. In my case, I also had some black beans in a tupperware container. Usually I have some leftover quinoa lying around, but I didn’t so I made some right before. But yeah, just toss all of these forgotten but beautiful things into a pan with some olive oil, then add your flavour boosters. Namely soy sauce, garlic, pepper, and maple syrup. Yes, I put maple syrup in a take on fried rice. Trust me, it works.

Since, if you’re a speedy chef, you could whip this up in about 7.5 minutes, this Veggie Fried Quinoa could be made in the morning before school, or as a really quick dinner. I would say a more accurate timeline for making this quinoa would be about 10-15 minutes, which is still pretty fast. Just make sure you have your quinoa cooked before hand, cause that’s really a game changer. If you don’t need it to be vegan, you could add some egg or chicken for some extra protein. However or whenever you make it, this Veggie Fried Quinoa is definitely a winner because of it’s quick, easy, and really tasty. Hope you enjoy!!

Veggie Fried Quinoa

Serves: 2 (or 1 really hungry person aka me;)

Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 a tomato, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 a red onion, roughly diced
  • 1 large carrot, roughly chopped
  • about 1/4 cup of sliced mushrooms
  • 2/3 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • Pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add in the tomatoes, onions, carrots, black beans and mushrooms and cook for about 3 minutes, until starting to get soft.
  2. Add the quinoa to the pan and stir, continuing to cook for another 5 minutes, until most of the water from the veggies has evaporated.
  3. Next, add the soy sauce, garlic, pepper, and maple syrup, and stir to combine. Cook for a few more minutes, allowing the carrots to become tender.
  4. Remove from the heat and enjoy!

One of my favourite quick and easy recipes:) I’ll see you guys on Friday!!

Yours Truly,

Olivia:))

10 Healthy Freezer Meals

Lots of places are starting to open up again, which means a gradual return to our busy lives. I found out a few days ago that I’m going back to school in September, and I’m really excited about it! Hopefully sports and activities can begin again soon too. But something I’ve really enjoyed over these past months is all the time that I had to cook. Now that I’ll have a somewhat full schedule again, I might not have the luxury of taking an hour to make an awesome dinner each night! Not to mention I’ll have to make school lunches again. So I thought I’d do a roundup of a bunch of Healthy Freezer Meals that I’ve posted.

I always like having a few things in my freezer that I can take out for my lunch the night before. Having freezer meals on hand is also handy for busy nights when we’re rushing to different things, and don’t have time to cook. I know things aren’t going to be completely back to normal, so maybe I won’t be THAT busy, but sometimes I’m tired and don’t feel like cooking anyways. My point is, it’s not a bad idea to have some delicious food stocked up and ready to go.

On this list, we’ve got everything from soups and stews to curries and falafel. Not all of these recipes have freezing details in them, but you can pretty much throw any of these meals into a resealable bag and freeze them like that. To reheat frozen soups, stews and curries, just run the bags under some cold water for a bit, then pop the frozen meal into a pot with a bit of water to melt. It also helps if you place the bags in the fridge to defrost the night before; that way you just have to heat up your meal. These freezer meals are all super nutritious as well, which is a bonus for when you need fuel before or after sports.

I like to take a day or two to just make big batches of a few recipes on this list, and throw them in the freezer for emergencies. It’s a fun and productive thing to do on a rainy day! I hope this post helps you out;))

10 Healthy Freezer Meals

Lentil and Barley Stew This Stew is so hearty and comforting! It’s packed with protein and complex carbs to fuel you through your day.

Cauliflower Soup This soup is full of flavour and makes for a great light lunch:))

Soul-Warming Chickpea Curry Curry is one of my favourite meals to make and eat, and this one has so much flavour and texture from the chickpeas. Defrost and serve with pre-cooked quinoa for a quick weeknight dinner, or pack it in your thermos for an awesome school lunch.

Vegetable and Coconut Curry A delicious meal that’s packed with veggies and deliciousness. Add some noodles for an easy lunch.

Falafel These falafel are full of protein, and when defrosted make a great addition to salads, bowls, wraps, and sandwiches! They’re so great to have on hand.

Golden Lentil and Coconut Soup Such a velvety, flavourful, and gorgeous soup! This will definitely both warm you and fill you up! It’s so good:)

Stuffed Pepper Stew Another hearty stew that’s super tasty as well:)) It would go great with a piece of toast.

Lentil and Coconut Curry I love this curry SO MUCH because of its creaminess and flavour. Freeze some for when you want a kick-ass meal!

Beans and Broccoli This is a vegan take on beef and broccoli that is great with rice, quinoa, or in salads, wraps and bowls.

Moroccan Style Chickpea Stew This stew is super delicious and has big chunks of hearty veggies with warm middle-eastern spices. Love it!

Definitely stock up your freezer with a bunch of these recipes! Hope you enjoy them:))

Yours Truly,

Olivia:))

10 Bowl and Salad Recipes

Hey there! I am officially making today bowl and salad appreciation day. Salads are so underrated, and for good reason. If done wrong, they can be sad and flavourless. But if done right, they are the BEST THING EVER! Salads and bowls are so fresh and so quick and easy to make.

Over the years I’ve posted a lot of bowl and salad recipes, and these are my favourite ones. Each one is full of veggies, and sometimes grains and beans which makes them both light AND filling. And all of these salads have AWESOME dressings. I feel like the dressing really makes the salad. When there’s a good sauce it just brings everything to the next level.

Even if you don’t have all of the ingredients to make one of the recipes linked down below, you can still make a killer salad or bowl on your own. One of my favourite things to do for lunch is to throw a bunch of delicious things in a bowl and toss them with a yum dressing. Try combining a grain, like wild rice or quinoa, with some veggies, something crunchy like nuts or seeds, and some protein in the form of beans or meat. That’s a winning combo right there!

I hope you like all of the recipes down below! They will definitely convince you that salads are the best.

Thai Ribbon Salad

This salad is so fresh! It has spinach, peppers, any protein you’d like, and the secret weapon- delicious ribbons of zucchini, cucumber and carrot made with a veggie peeler! A peanut dressing tops it all off;))

Loaded Maple Balsamic Salad

This salad is FULL of veggies, with a male balsamic dressing that ROCKS. I love the corn, and the mashed avo is the cherry on top.

Orange Kale Salad

Kale and oranges? Whaaaaaat? But trust me, this combo is amazing! There’s just the right amount of sweetness, and the white beans add a little something extra. This is great as a side salad, or for a light lunch!

Chickpea, Quinoa, and Avocado Salad

This makes an awesome summer side salad! It uses avo as part of the dressing, making it creamy and full of freshness. The peppers give it some necessary crunch;))

Rainbow Bowls

This is one of my favourite bowls!! It has roasted sweet potatoes, peppers and mushrooms cooked with soy sauce, and tons of carrots, kale and avo. So yum!

Tuna and Avocado Poke Bowls

On of my more recent blog additions, this bowl features a delicious combo of tuna, avo and Asian flavours, along with HOMEMADE pickled veg and wild rice. I love this bowl so much!

Beet and Parsley Salad

This salad is SUPER light and fresh, and the beets give it a beautiful colour. It’s a great way to use up parsley, and is perfect for the summertime!

Asian Kale and Quinoa Salad

This salad has a TO DIE FOR peanut dressing, as well as purple cabbage, kale, carrots and cucumbers. It’s a great base for you to add protein to, and also a perfect side salad.

Corn and Bean Salad

I looooove a good bean salad! In this one, you’ve got chickpeas, black beans, corn, tomatoes, cucumber and parsley, all tossed in a perfectly garlicky Dijon dressing. Great for summer barbecues and for my lunch!;))

Greek Pasta Salad

This salad has it all! perfectly cooked pasta, olives, cucs, tomatoes, peppers, and roasted chickpeas. I’m dying to remake this one sometime soon!

Those are all of my fave bowls and salads! Be sure to try them out cause they’re awesome;))) See you tomorrow!!

Yours Truly,

Olivia

The ULTIMATE Guide To Roasting Veggies

Hey guys! Roasted veggies are one of my favourite things to eat, and my go to side dish. They get so caramelized and delicious in the oven and just taste AMAZING! I’ve posted a lot of recipes that feature roasted veggies as well, and I thought that it was high time to post an ULTIMATE guide to making these babies. They’re very simple and straight forward, but this post will help you get the perfect roasting time and know exactly what to look for when your veg comes out of the oven.

I’d have to say that my favourite veggie to roast is sweet potato, but I also love a good roasted cauliflower, onion, beet, carrot, or chickpea. The possibilities are endless! I’ll categorize the veggies that I’m writing about into groups like root vegetables and cruciferous vegetables (your vocab word of the day- veggies like broccoli and cauliflower), so that if there is a veggie I’ve missed you can roast it the same way as the other veggies in its family. Let’s get started!

First of all, I almost always roast my veggies at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s high enough to cook the veggies quickly and get some nice caremelization going, but not so high that you’ll burn them to a crisp. Some kind of oil is also good for roasting, so I usually toss my veg in about a tablespoon or two of olive oil, enough to lightly coat them, and some salt and pepper before throwing them on a parchment lined baking sheet in the oven. You can also get creative with other spice combos! Okay, now that you know the roasting basics, you can scroll on down and I’ll let you know how to prepare each vegetable and how long to roast it for. When reading this next part, keep in mid that soft means easily pierce-able with a fork, but not mushy. No one likes mushy vegetables.

Root Vegetables

Sweet Potatoes (had to start with my fave): Wash your potato well, or peel it. Dice into cubes about an couple centimetres wide. Roast for about 30-35 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are soft and going slightly dark around the edges. (ps I don’t do a lot of normal potato roasting, but I can assume it would be the same procedure).

Carrots: Peel the carrots. Cut into sticks about five centimetres long and a centimetre wide. Roast for about 25-30 minutes, until soft and slightly caremelized.

Beets: Peel the beets. Dice into cubes that are two centimetres wide and roast for 30-35 minutes, until soft.

Onion: Peel the onion. Cut the onion in half, then into think slices, without separating the layers. Roast for about 20 minutes, until they’re soft and slightly brown.

Garlic (great for soups and dips!): Wrap a whole garlic clove in some tinfoil (I don’t use oil for this one) and roast for 15-20 minutes. Let the tinfoil cool slightly, then unwrap the little packet and remove the garlic cloves from their skins.

Cruciferous Vegetables:

Cauliflower: Wash the cauliflower well and cut it into florets a few centimetres high and a couple wide. Roast them for 20-25 minutes, until they’re tender and going brown.

Broccoli: Can be roasted the same way as cauliflower.

Brussels Sprouts: Remove some of the outer leaves and cut the brussels sprouts in half. Roast for 25-30 minutes, until soft and going brown.

Red Cabbage: Wash the cabbage and cut into lengthwise into cross sections about a centimetre thick. Roast for 25-30 minutes, until soft.

Kale: Chop width-wise into two centimetre long pieces and roast for 15-20 minutes, until crisp.

Squashes:

Zucchini: Wash and slice into circles about a centimetre think. Roast for 20 minutes, until soft and browning.

Butternut: Peel and cut into two centimetre wide cubes. Roast for 30-30 minutes, until soft and going golden.

Eggplant: Wash and cut into one centimetre thick cross sections. Roast for 20-25 minutes, until soft and going golden brown.

Other (aka I don’t know where these go)

Cherry Tomatoes: Wash and roast for 10-15 minutes, until very soft and getting slightly charred.

Tomatoes: Wash and cut into quarters. Roast for 15-20 minutes, until slightly charred.

Peppers: Wash, remove the stems and cut into chunks a few centimetres wide. Roast for 20 minutes, until soft.

Asparagus: Wash and cut off the very bottoms of the stems and any mushy parts. Roast for about 20-25 minutes, until fork tender but still a bit firm. The one vegetable that I would most hate to have mushy is asparagus!

Snap Peas: Wash and roast for 15-20 minutes, until soft.

Mushrooms: Apparently washing mushrooms make them absorb water that will come out when cooking them, so wiping your mushrooms with a paper towel might be a better cleaning method. You can slice the mushrooms and roast them for 15-20 minutes, or leave them whole and roast for 20-25 minutes. Either way, the mushrooms should be soft when done.

Chickpeas (from the can): Drain and rinse the chickpeas, then roast for 20 minutes, until crispy.

And there you have it! Talking about these veggies makes me want some:) If you like roasting any other kinds of veggies, let me know so I can try them out!

Yours Truly,

Olivia;)

Loaded Maple Balsamic Salad

How’s it going guys? It’s starting to feel like summer vacation because the weather is finally warming up! I’m starting to establish some rhythm and being more productive, so that’s a plus. These posts are keeping me busy and thinking!

Sooooo I heard that lots of people don’t like salads. What’s up with that? I don’t know what kind of salads that they’re eating, but in my world, salads have hot veggies, cold veggies, protein, mashed avocado, and SICK dressings. Making salads is actually so much fun because you can play around with flavour combos and pretty much add whatever you want. Today I’m sharing the recipe for this Loaded Maple Balsamic Salad. And before you ask, yes, it is VERY loaded. You’ve got sauteed peppers and golden brown butternut squash, corn, carrots, cucs, spinach, avo, hemp hearts, and an awesome maple balsamic dressing. Is it even physically possible not to like that combo? I think not. Go check out the recipe!

Loaded Maple Balsamic Salad

Serves: 1 very hungry person

Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

For the Salad:

  • A handful of baby spinach
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Half a bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup cooked corn (I used frozen)
  • 3/4 cup frozen butternut squash chunks (If you don’t have these you can use roasted squash or sweet potato, and skip the steps related to the frozen squash)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 of a large cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 a large carrot, shredded
  • 1/2 an avocado, mashed
  • A sprinkle of hemp hearts

For the Maple Balsamic Dressing:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp maple syrup
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Whisk the dressing ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a small pan over medium heat, and add in the peppers to saute.
  3. While the peppers are cooking, bring some water to boil in a small pot and add in the frozen butternut squash chunks. Cook them for about 2 minutes, then drain and add them to the pan with the peppers.
  4. Cook the squash and the peppers until they’re soft and have some browning going on on the outside, about 6 minutes. Then remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper.
  5. In a large bowl, arrange the spinach, peppers and squash, carrots, cucumber, and corn. Place the mashed avocado in the centre, and top with the hemp hearts and maple balsamic dressing.
  6. Enjoy!!

I hope this salad changes your mind about salads. It’s the salad to end all salad discrimination!

Yours Truly,

Olivia;))