Zucchini Pasta Salad

Zucchini Pasta Salad

zucchini pasta salad (6)

zucchini pasta salad (10)

One of the foods I was always jealous of my friends for buying at lunch in high school was pasta salad. There was something about its simplicity that was so delicious to me. I never had money to buy my lunch so I tried to steal bites where I could. Unfortunately these days i guess I still couldn’t eat it…because pasta. BUT I am clever enough to recreate it and in doing so have made it a very refreshing salad indeed.

This recipe uses a spiralizer*. I’m trying to use mine more to ensure I didn’t waste my money on it! It’s perfect for turning zucchini into fresh noodles for this great salad. I’m sure I’ll be making this tons this summer with the zucchini I buy from the farmers market.

Which, oh my goodness, I am SO excited for the farmers market to be back! I am really looking forward to my weekend walks down there in the sun, loading myself up with fresh food, and trekking back under the weight of my backpack. Come on weather, please stop sending us snow! It is really not cool. At all. one bit. Also, while I have your ear weather, if you could unflood the river that’d be greeeat.

zucchini pasta salad (8)

Anyways, this recipe is full of garlicky flavour and I know it will be perfect on a hot summer day! It’s simple to make and requires zero oven action. I love it with some leftover baked chicken and a tall glass of iced tea! That whole meal would be #21DSD friendly!

zucchini Pasta salad

Total Time: 15 minutes

Number of servings: 4

See Detailed Nutrition Info on

zucchini Pasta salad

Ingredients

  • 2 zucchinis, spiralized
  • 1 carrots, diced
  • 1 c cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 c green onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon (about 1 – 2 tbsp)
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Spiralize the zucchini and place it in a large bowl.
  2. Add the remaining prepared ingredients and mix very thoroughly. Serve cold as a side salad!

 

*In the spirit of full disclosure, any link marked with a * indicates an affiliate link, which I will get a small commission from if you choose to buy it. It does not cost any more for you and it helps me to keep this site running! I only link to products I truly love and would never endorse something that I don’t think my readers would appreciate. Thank you for the support.*

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Homemade Date Syrup & No-Nut Butter Easter Eggs

Homemade Date Syrup & No-Nut Butter Easter Eggs

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What a title, right? But I needed to make sure you saw EVERYTHING that this post is going to entail. Because it’s pretty awesome if I do say so myself.

First, the date syrup. I have a thing with sweeteners. If there is maple syrup in my house, I will find a way to eat it. If there’s dates, it’s less likely. Don’t ask me why, it’s just the way I work. So I can keep dates in my house indefinitely and be perfectly fine…which is the beauty of this first recipe.

Date syrup can be used in place of other liquid sweeteners. It’s PERFECT for the second recipe of this post too. Can you believe it… I made these yummy eggs with ONLY dates as a sweetener? Yep. Pretty cool.

datesyrup
pre & post blending

So the date syrup. Here’s how you make it:

1 c water
1/2 c dried dates, pitted
1 mason jar

1. Dump everything in the jar and let it soak in the fridge 12 hours.
2. Use an immersion blender on it until it’s totally smooth. Store in the fridge and use as you desire!

Simple, right?

Now onto the eggs. Make sure you have a batch of this ready to go for this next one. No more reese’s eggs for you guys…you can do so much better! These eggs are delicious and have NO NUTS in them. So if your kid has to be peanut free? No problemo. They keep their shape in the fridge so as long as they go in the lunchbox they should be fine! you can also store them in the freezer, and then they will thaw out in time for a treat at lunch!

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I think these would please a lot of folks. Check out the simple recipe:

Homemade Date Syrup & No-Nut Butter Easter Eggs
 
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 

Ingredients
  • ½ c tahini (sesame seed butter)
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 4 tbsp date syrup
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp cacao powder
  • 3 tbsp date syrup

Instructions
  1. Mix the first 3 ingredients together in a bowl. Form into egg shapes and lay on parchment paper in rows. Sprinkle with the pinch of salt. Place in freezer for 1 hour.
  2. After one hour, melt the coconut oil and mix thoroughly with the remaining ingredients. Dip each egg and roll around in the melted chocolate, and replace back onto the parchment. When all 20 are done, return to freezer for at least 5 minutes. Can be stored in fridge or freezer, freezer for more crunchy, fridge if you want them softer.
  3. *note: pour any leftover chocolate on the tray and let it freeze too, and you have an instant hunk of chocolate!

 

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That is it! This recipe makes 20 eggs.  Share them with your friends! And share this post with them too, will ya? ;)

I hope you and your loved ones enjoy this simple recipe this Easter! i know I will be!

 

Sam

Listen to me on guinea Pigging Green

Listen to me on guinea Pigging Green

ggg

Hey guys! Just a quick post today to let you know I was on a podcast this week! The lovely Steph and Laura of Guinea Pigging Green had me on to talk paleo and my diet! It was really fun and not too serious. THIS is the link to the post. If you’re a member of the paleo police I suggest you skip this one ;) I tried to get across the point of eating REAL food instead of focusing on the specific do’s and don’ts. I knew we wouldn’t have time to get into it, and you know what? There are other people more science minded than me who’ve done a great job of laying it all out already.

If you’ve landed here from the podcast, welcome! If you need more info on what the paleo diet truly entails this is a great article, and I would recommend these books:

1. Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo
2. Eat the yolks by Liz Wolfe
3. Digestive Health with Real Food by Aglaee Jacobs

If you’re a regular reader and just want to hear my voice for once, check it out! And please don’t judge me for all of the ‘likes’ at the beginning…can you tell I was nervous? Because I was! Did I mention my interviewers are vegetarian/vegans? Hehe. I was worried they would attack me but they are of course the sweetest girls, which I should have known since I listen to their podcast! Duh!

That’s it, and I will be back ASAP with a new recipe! Sorry for my absence this past week but it’s been crazy in my world. I’m learning how to drive. YIKES!

Have a great rest of your week,

Sam

Calcium Rich Chia Pudding

Calcium Rich Chia Pudding

healthy chia seed pudding (4)

Good morning!

Happy April! I hope your first day of April went well, and you didn’t get tricked by anyone! I also hope those of you who chose to participate enjoyed day one of our yoga challenge yesterday. Today is day 2, go get it! I’ll be doing hot yoga with my friend, and then the day 2 video after, simply because I want to do everything with you guys. That is my commitment.

Anyway, let’s talk about calcium for a minute, shall we? Everyone says that its simple to get all the calcium you need while eating paleo, but sometimes I do have to disagree. I find that there are a lot of sources out there, but maybe I’m not eating them all of the time. I don’t eat fish with the bones that often (read: ever) and I’ve personally found that on those rare days where I decide to track my intake, my calcium is not adding up.

healthy chia seed pudding

So, what do we do about this? What I did is find a list of calcium sources, here, and then combine as many as would taste good together to make an awesome calcium rich dessert! The ingredients I chose for their higher calcium content were chia seeds, molasses, coconut milk, and an orange. Together that equals 177mg + 172mg + 38.4mg + 58mg = over 400mg of calcium per HALF of this recipe. And I ate both servings when I made it, so that’s over 800mg in one shot, which is just 200mg short of my daily requirement. Not bad, huh?

Blackstrap molasses is quickly becoming one of my favourite ingredients to use because of its vitamins and minerals that come along with its sweetness. Not to mention I love the taste.I use this brand. (*disclosure: affiliate link) These are the chia seeds I use, too.

healthy chia seed pudding (5)

Calcium Rich Chia Pudding
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Paleo
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp blackstrap molasses (organic)
  • 1 c coconut milk, plus 1 tbsp on the side
  • 3 drops vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 orange
  • sprinkle of cinnamon

Instructions
  1. in a mason jar, combine 1 c coconut milk, the molasses, vanilla, and chia seeds. Mix thoroughly by shaking the jar (with lid closed). Set aside, and in 5 – 10 minutes shake it again. Do this one more time. Let set in fridge for at least one hour.
  2. Remove from fridge, and stir in the last tbsp of coconut milk. Serve with sliced oranges and a sprinkle of cinnamon on top.

 

So that’s it! A simple and yummy dessert literally packed full of calcium. I hope this helps those of you who may not be getting enough, like me!

Enjoy! And don’t forget to do your yoga!

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Do a month of Yoga with me!

Do a month of Yoga with me!

If you follow me on instagram, you may be aware that I am trying to do at least 5 minutes of yoga everyday. I’ve been doing this as a challenge for myself, not thinking that anyone would be crazy enough to join me.

Well, it turns out, some of you are also crazy.

The photo below shows my progress of roughly 3 months of incorporating yoga into my daily routine.

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Except taking 5 minutes to stretch and relax your body each day is NOT crazy! Not at all. People have wanted to join and have asked me which videos I am doing. I like to switch it up and do long routines from yogadownload, short ones from youtube, sometimes take a hot yoga or yoga tune up class, and lead myself through stretches too. It all depends on the mood.

But for April, I’ve decided I’m going to make it easy for you to follow along! You don’t need to do a year with me, just one month.

For each day of the month, below is a free youtube video that you can follow along with. Feel free to leave me a comment each day letting me know you’ve done the video and how you are feeling! I am hoping this will be a good way for yogis new and old to connect or reconnect with a daily practice. I chose videos from some of my favourite youtube instructors that I have come to love over the past 3 months.

Keep in mind I am not a professional yoga instructor, which is why none of these videos are done by me. They are just a compilation. Please speak with a professional before starting anything new in your physical regime, and understand your own limits.

Please also be gentle on yourself and do the best you can. If you skip a day, it’s fine, just come back tomorrow!

So if you want to join, let me know in the comments. Bookmark this page and come back on April 1st, Tuesday. Hashtag #canadagirlyoga on social media. And have fun! I’m going to giveaway a 3 month premier yogadownload membership to a random participant. This way you can keep up with your new practice! ENTER HERE:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here we go, this is already a long post so I will put the videos behind the cut. They range in length from 5 – 10 minutes. [Read more...]

Roasted onion and raisin Butternut Squash

Roasted onion and raisin Butternut Squash

butternut squash recipe

Do you ever try a dish and you LOVE it but you can’t make out what the flavours actually are? Then you try to google it and still can’t find ONE recipe that seems like what you are looking for?

Isn’t that the most frustrating thing!?

That’s like me with this butternut. They make something similar at farmboy which i LOVE, but I couldn’t find a recipe let alone an ingredient list ANYWHERE. So. I did what I had to do and winged it. And I have to say I am 100% pleased with the results!

It’s sweet and savoury all in one. It’s a side dish to rival all other side dishes. It even tastes good with pulled pork which I was really not expecting!

Give it a try and I hope you like it! Make sure you peel the butternut squash well as sometimes the peel can leave a bitter flavor. Also, use gloves if you are prone to getting weiiiird painful butternut squash hands. If it happens to you, you know what I’m talking about.

butternut squash recipe (3)

Roasted onion and raisin Butternut Squash
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Paleo
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Ingredients
  • 1 butternut, peeled and cubed
  • 1 onion, diced
  • ⅓ c raisins
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • .5-1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp herbes de provence
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix together in a 9×9 baking dish the butternut squash, onion, coco oil, herbs, and salt, and bake for 25 mins, stirring once
  2. Remove from the oven and add in raisins, stir again, bake another 15 min
  3. Drizzle on balsamic and stir one last time, bake 5 mins, done!

 

butternut squash recipe (2) butternut squash recipe (4)

PS. Sorry this is a bit late to those of you who were waiting! I had these grandiose ideas that I could work until 6, come home, cook dinner, do my workout, do my homework, and still have time to post this. That didn’t happen and I do apologize!

Sam

3 ingredient Vanilla Bean Pear Sauce

3 ingredient Vanilla Bean Pear Sauce

Vanilla Bean Pear Sauce Paleo (3)

EVERYONE knows apple sauce, right?

Applesauce is like the back of your hand. You’ve known it since childhood, and you like it alright, but it’s nothing special.

Pear sauce, on the other hand?

It’s like the new kid at school. Shiny, new, and full of potential. You want to be friends with pear sauce, you really do.

Personally, I thought this was just a good, basic recipe that most people could figure out. However, I posted a photo on instagram and facebook and got a few requests for the recipe ASAP. It must be the vanilla bean. It’s throwing you guys off. Don’t worry, it could not be more simple!

**Note: You don’t need to peel, but you can if you want. If you have a blender that works, or an immersion blender that’s not busted like mine, you should be fine. If, like me, your immersion blender is broken (seriously? the horror) you might want to peel them to avoid skin chunks. Just maybe. Luckily pear skin is pretty thin, unlike apple skin, so you should be fine either way.

Chunks or no chunks, this is going to be good.

It’s really simple too, so that’s a plus.

Vanilla Bean Pear Sauce Paleo (4)

3 ingredient Vanilla Bean Pear Sauce
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Paleo
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Ingredients
  • 6 ripe anjou pears
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • ½ a vanilla bean

Instructions
  1. If you want to, peel the pears (see **note above). Chop them into roughly 1 inch chunks and discard the cores.
  2. Heat a medium sized saucepan over medium heat, and melt the coconut oil. When melted, throw in the pears and toss them to coat. Add the vanilla bean at this point:
  3. Chop the vanilla bean in half and scrape the insides, putting them into the pot. Discard the outside.
  4. Turn the heat to medium low and cover. cook for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so. When the pears are soft, turn off the burner.
  5. Allow the pears to cool slightly and then blend with either an immersion blender or a regular blender.

 

Enjoy!

Vanilla Bean Pear Sauce Paleo

Someone asked me on facebook what I would eat this with. Well….probably a handful of nuts sprinkled on top as a quick snack! Or you know…just by itself because it’s delicious? Although I like a bit of protein and fat in my snacks to make them worth my while!

Hope you like it and eat it however you please!

Sam

Sundried Tomato VEG & GF ‘PASTA!’

Sundried Tomato VEG & GF ‘PASTA!’

vegan paleo pasta sundried tomato (2)

A) This is a delicious dish. I must get that out up front. If you want, feel free to scroll down straight to it.

B) Let me rant for just one moment.

You guys, I have been loving my new job. It’s stressful and crazy but I feel like I am learning so much! I wish I were learning more though, so I could stop making stupid errors. Do you know how frustrating it is to mess up? Especially when there are patients involved. I’m learning more and more to NOT trust my gut at work, because clearly I know nothing (jon snow). I’m learning I HATE MAKING MISTAKES!!!! UGHHHHH. That is all. I hope to update in one month saying I am doing better! Don’t get me wrong, I am doing pretty well, but I can’t help but have a piece of me that wants to be doing perfect. Or close to it. /endrant.

Luckily, this pasta dish was not a mistake. In fact it was something I can be proud of. I mean maybe it’s silly to be proud of food, but when it tastes this good I just can’t help it. I’m excited to make this dish over and over again, with different add ins, too! At it’s base it is actually a vegan dish, but it is simple to add some sliced chicken or diced crispy pork belly on top. It’s fast, so you can justify using leftover meat as a topping.

Now that I think about it, this would be awesome if you were entertaining vegetarian friends. You could make the base pasta and then add meat to only the ones who wanted it. Hmm. You could also make the sauce and put in on different noodles, if you aren’t a fan of spaghetti squash. However, I feel that the slight sweetness in spaghetti squash perfectly complements the sauce in this case.

I adapted this recipe from tablefortwo’s recipe that can be found here. Her recipe involves yogurt, sour cream, sugar, and less tomatoes. It still looks really good though and I thank her for it! You should probably check it out too.

vegan paleo pasta sundried tomato (5) vegan paleo pasta sundried tomato pin

Sundried Tomato VEG & GF ‘PASTA!’
 
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Ingredients
  • 1 prebaked spaghetti squash, deseeded and scraped from the skin
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ cup loosely packed sundried tomatoes
  • well drained 28 oz can of diced tomatoes(use bpa free if possible and check the ingredients!)
  • ¾ cup coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups mixed leafy greens
  • sprinkle of cayenne pepper

Instructions
  1. Sauté the olive oil with garlic and sundried tomatoes on medium-low until they are fragrant but not burning, about two minutes.
  2. Grab your strained tomatoes, coconut milk, and tomato paste, and mix them into the pan. Make sure you really get the liquid out of the tomatoes. Now salt and pepper it and taste it. Start slow and build up. Let it all cook together for 5 – 10 minutes, thickening up slightly.
  3. Add in the sprinkle of cayenne and the green leafy vegetables, and allow them to wilt and then incorporate into the sauce. At this point, you are done! You can now stir in all of the spaghetti squash at once, or you can serve it on different pastas individually. Feel free to add a protein as well, of course!

 

***If you need to know how to bake a spaghetti squash, it’s easy. Just preheat the oven to 400, slice it in half (probably the hardest part), and bake it with the open edges down on a baking sheet until it’s tender to the touch. It should be easy to scrape the noodles out afterwards. Also – I find it way easier to take out the seeds pre-cooking, so I would recommend that.

This is also a great way to use up some old leafy greens that are looking a bit…wilty. They’re supposed to wilt here so it is all good!

Hope you enjoy it if you give it a try!

vegan paleo pasta sundried tomato

Sam

New fitness journey

New fitness journey

This blog is almost entirely recipes, but there is actually more to health than just food. Your lifestyle and exercise are also extremely important! I make fitness a huge priority in my life so I want to talk about it more.

I’m starting a new fitness challenge TODAY so I wanted to write about it, People ask me on instagram what I do for a fitness program pretty often, so I thought I would share here.

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Up until recently I was working a normal 7-3 job and I would go to the gym after work everyday. I would lift weights and maybe do a touch of cardio if i felt like it. I would finish off with my daily yoga or stretching at home and call it a day. My gym is at my work so it was convenient, which is a HUGE priority for me!

Then, I got my new job. I love this job but it is a weird schedule, and it’s not close to my house anymore. I work a lot of 4-10 or 8-8, or 10-6 shifts, and it varies all the time. I don’t like taking tons of extra time out of my day (which I don’t have) to go to the gym and shower there and bus everywhere. So I’ve been lazy (ish). Lazy to not go to the gym, but not so lazy to not work out at all.

Enter: Fitnessblender.

My friend told me about them a while ago and I was always sort of like ‘yeaaah okay whatever’. But then, when I needed to workout from home, I knew where to turn. I love fitnessblender now! The hosts are actually COOL and NICE, and the videos are a crazy variety of things. Lots of HIIT, which you know is awesome, but lots of other options too. They have something like FIVE HUNDRED videos for FREE so I knew this was a good option!

My gym membership expires in april and I am not renewing it. Instead, I spent 10 dollars for a 2 month program designed by fitness blender. I did this so that I don’t need to waste time trying to plan my own workouts. Yep, I said it. I’m lazy beyond recognition when it comes to this stuff. I get so overwhelmed and indecisive, it’s not good.

I’m not expecting huge body changes, but I am expecting a cheap alternative to the gym that will satisfy me. I am expecting better consistency knowing all of my workouts have been planned in an intelligent way, instead of my way which is “eenie meenie minee mo!” Fitness blenders videos are all FREE and the plan was 10 dollars. And no I am not affiliated with them in any way. I’m just sharing an awesome workout resource

I’m also actually training for a 6k mud-race at the end of may, so I should probably incorporate a bit of running in there too somewhere. I’ll get back to you on that one. There’s 16 obstacles over 6k so it’s not like i need to be able to run it straight without stopping. Haha I wonder how much running conditioning I have lost since the zombie race in october! I literally have not run since then. Until today.

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I did my fitness test this morning and it involved timing your 1 mile pace. I did it in 8:15. As you can see above, it was GREAT practice for the mud race!! I got dirty and my feet were soaked. All in the name of fitness. I made it up to myself by eating paleo banana bread. Here are my results:

1 mile time: 8:15
Consecutive knee push ups: 11
Consecutive Squats w/ 20lb: 40
plank time: 1:05
sit and reach (flexibility): 3”

You can do this test yourself if you want, it’s free on their website. Now I’ll post an update in a month regarding how it’s going and my next fitness test! How fun. I really hope to see some improvement! Me vs. Me is my favorite way to be. (put that on a t-shirt).

What do you do for workouts? Are you a gym person or an at home person? I’ve been trying to tell myself I’m a gym person but the truth is, I’m not. Not where I am at in my life right now at least!

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Hemp Heart of Gold Bark

Hemp Heart of Gold Bark

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Isn’t this recipe cute?

I know it’s my recipe but I still feel like I can say that. If it has little hearts on it…it’s cute. end of story.

I made this recipe for valentines but you know what? You should show your people you love them all year round. So this is your 2 week post VDAY reminder that you still love your partner, your family, your hamster. You do. Hopefully.

So you should make them some cute bark to prove it! Right? It’s easier than it looks and I guarantee you it has wow factor. Look at this stuff.

I love this recipe but you know what is REALLY sad? I’ll never be able to eat it again. Not like this anyways. I found out, partially through this recipe, that I am in fact allergic to hemp hearts. Ugh it sucks. I hate having food allergies!!! SO ANNOYING! Thats what led me to paleo in the first place, did you know that? Being tired of reacting to random foods all the damn time. Cutting out most processed foods has been a huge help, as it’s a lot easier to figure out what you are allergic to when there are only a few ingredients.

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