Tag Archives: recipes

{homemade gummy bears}

9 Oct

i have been making my own homemade gummy bears for a while now, and i have been meaning to write a post about it…

i have always loved fruit snacks, gummy bears, et al. however, the ingredient list always detoured me – even the natural ones are full of mostly sugar.

so, i did some research and realized that i could be making my own gummy fruit snacks! and not only that, but i could make them GOOD for me!

my curiosity was piqued when i started looking for a clean source of gelatin to help with collagen production and joint support.

…which i don’t have pictured here because i typically transfer everything i buy into a glass jar… {no shame in my game}…

anyway, i wanted to incorporate gelatin into my diet and that’s when i got super stoked about the idea of making my own gummies! so i found these silicon molds on amazon {along with the gelatin} and looked up a few recipes to get me started.

as usual, i like to keep things as simple as possible. some recipes call for honey or a sweetener, but i like to avoid added sugar where i can {so i can guiltlessly enjoy a candy bar from time-to-time}.

so – here is my very simple {2-ingredient!} homemade gummy fruit snack recipe – which yields about 200 gummies and the ratio can be adjusted accordingly :

  • 1 cup fruit juice {i usually opt for concord grape}
  • 3 tablespoons gelatin powder

you could add in some honey or agave for sweetness, but i find the concord grape juice to be sweet enough on its own.

sometimes i’ll add in some elderberry syrup for additional health benefits during the cold-season months. Continue reading

{simple (rainbow) pasta salad}

22 Sep

as you probably know by now, i like to eat with the seasons as much as i possibly can. i enjoy it for lots of reasons. i always look forward to eating whatever vegetables or fruit are best during that particular time of year… and it makes me appreciate them more.

that said, i often struggle with “transitional” times of year – such as the month of september. i find myself unsure about what to wear, what to eat, when to go to sleep. it’s kind of funny but it’s true. {this also applies in the month of may.}

anyway, because i find september to be a transitional month, i also find myself eating transitional foods. i made that term up, but my point is that i’m not ready to start eating soups and squash, but i’m also done with light foods like salads and such. during this transitional time, i usually prepare foods that can be enjoyed hot or cold. and pasta salad is one of those dishes i could enjoy every day during transitional months.

i also really love orzo and i don’t use it often enough.

i whipped up this simple {rainbow} pasta salad and made a huge batch to take to work for lunches.

it’s so easy and so i thought i’d share the recipe… even though i didn’t measure anything, as per usual… but it’s so simple – just chop and toss!

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simple pasta salad : 

  • cooked orzo
  • diced summer sausage
  • chopped tomatoes
  • sliced olives {black & green}
  • diced red onion
  • diced banana pepper
  • diced green pepper
  • diced cucumber
  • roasted garlic
  • crumbled parmigiano reggiano

homemade dressing :

  • olive oil
  • apple cider vinegar
  • spices :
    • oregano
    • sage
    • parsley
    • comfrey
    • basil
    • dill
    • tarragon
    • garlic
    • onion
    • salt
    • pepper
    • bit o’ parm reg

 

i like to serve mine at room temperature and i sprinkle crumbled italian breadsticks on top…

SO GOOD!

 

{meatless monday : a flavourful riced cauliflower dish}

9 Jul

i made this delicious riced cauliflower one-pot make-ahead meal for lunch last week and it was so yummy, i just had to share the recipe! i love experimenting with random things in the fridge!

i’ve been really into using riced cauliflower as a replacement for grains and it does a wonderful job as an understudy. 😉

riced cauliflower has a great texture and maintains it well during the cooking process. i’ve purchased it both fresh and frozen and they both seem to hold up just fine.

i made this dish as i was trying to use up some leftover ingredients such as frozen asparagus from another recipe. i also had some frozen jalapeños that i grew last year and wanted to use.


so this is what i came up with {amounts are “ish”} :

  • 16 oz. fresh riced cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1/2 cup sweet corn
  • 1/2 cup diced asparagus {mine was frozen}
  • 1 medium size jalapeño, diced {ribs and seeds removed}
  • 2 tbsp hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • salt & pepper to taste

heat some butter or oil of choice on medium heat and toss in riced cauiflower. cook slowly until al dente. add in asparagus and jalapeño, cook until slightly tender then throw in black beans and corn and cook for another minute or so. sprinkle in hot sauce and spices and toss together. keeps well in the fridge for a few days. can be frozen for future consumption.

organic chicken or grass-fed ground beef makes a nice addition to this recipe. i made this one vegan because i like to eat vegan at least once a week… not for any particular reason other than keeping things in balance 😉


and i just-so-happen to love cumin! it’s one of my favourite spices… do you like cumin?

 

 

{foodie/foto/flashback friday – spring/garden fever}

9 Mar

seriously, though… is it time to garden, yet?! i am so eager to get out and play in the dirt!

i definitely want to grow some {organic} cabbage again this year!

here’s a little flashback friday for ya : to that ONE i grew last year and turned into delicious sauerkraut!


hope you have a great weekend!

{foodie friday : vegetarian buffalo cauliflower bites}

2 Feb

i kind of made these by accident… as in, i-got-super-hungry-and-didn’t-have-much-in-the-fridge-to-eat-but-got-creative-and made-these-buffalo-cauliflower-bites-which-accidentally-turned-out-to-be-ahhhmazing!

…and so i just had to share the recipe. these {veggie} buffalo cauliflower bites would make a great game-day snack for superbowl sunday! and they are a great vegetarian alternative to the classic buffalo wing. {i would devour both!}

i was inspired to make this dish because i was scrolling through instagram and spotted a recipe for cauliflower florets that were battered & fried, and served with buffalo sauce and ranch – like a chicken wing! and i was thinking, “that’s probably sooooo delicious!” 

then i remembered that i had frozen riced cauliflower, and i created my own version based on what i had in the fridge…

very simple ingredients : 

  • frozen riced cauliflower
  • chopped celery hearts
  • buffalo sauce {i opt for franks!}
  • ranch dressing {i use brianna’s!}

i began by chopping the celery into approximately 1-inch pieces…

next, i sautéed the cauliflower with a little butter over medium to high heat, adding a little water as i went along to soften the cauliflower a bit more…

then, i added in some buffalo sauce to taste, and cooked until almost al dente…

finally, i scooped some of the cauliflower mixture into the celery bites and drizzled a little ranch dressing on top. it can be a little messy, but that’s what buffalo sauce is all about, right?! 😉

these little buffalo cauliflower bites are soooooo yummy and i will definitely be making them on game-day! it’s always funny to me when i cook something on the fly and it turns out to be my new favourite thing ever.

this was one of those recipes. 🙂


by the way, i didn’t watch one single football game this season, and i could care less about the patriots or the eagles… but it should still be a fun day full of snacks and silliness!

{what’s in my refrigerator}

28 Jan

on sundays i like to do my meal-prepping for the week. i have lots of containers and jars for storing my dry goods as well as my make-ahead meals.

here’s what i created to eat last week :

  • raw spinach salad
  • hard-boiled eggs
  • sautéed veggies for an asian-inspired dish
  • blanched broccoli
  • citrus baked salmon
  • roasted garlic israeli cous-cous
  • my famous mashed potatoes
  • raw celery sticks
  • curried lentils with ham and veggies
  • sauerkraut (not homemade)
  • garlic dill pickles (homegrown and homemade)
  • roasted tomato soup
  • homemade beef bone broth 
  • potstickers (to go with asian dish)
  • turmeric tea w/ coconut milk

do you like to make your meals ahead of time? batch-cooking has been something i’ve adopted into my lifestyle over the last few years and it’s really helped me save money and keep my diet in check.

{homemade relish with my homegrown cucumbers!}

11 Jul

so, as i mentioned in my last blog – i have harvested well over 200 cucumbers this year from my garden! i wish i would’ve been weighing my harvests, to get more of an idea of yields. however, looking back through the fotos i snapped every time i harvest – it’s safe to say that number is pretty accurate. crazy, right?

anyway, on top of sharing my harvests with neighbors, and consuming a cucumber a day, i also enjoy making pickles and relish with my cucumbers! that’s why i specifically grow the pickling cucumbers. that, and i just think they taste better.

i will share my pickle recipe soon, but for now i want to share this super yummy relish recipe that a good friend of mine passed along to me last year. i love it because it’s very simple and does not have added sugar. the only sweetener is honey and i think it is so well-balanced in flavour. i love add my relish to egg salad or tuna salad. it’s also just good right out of the jar!

homemade pickle relish recipe : 

  • 1.5 pounds {pickling} cucumbers, finely diced {mine was homegrown}
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1.5 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 6 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill {mine was homegrown! 🙂}
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp kosher salt {i used himalayan pink salt}
  • 1 tsp celery ceeds
  • 1.5 cornstarch

directions : 

  • in large saucepan, combine all ingredients except cornstarch. simmer over medium-high head until vegetables are tender – about 8-10 minutes.
  • in small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and 2-3 tbsp of the cooking liquid until smooth. add to pan and let cook another 3-5 minutes. cool.
  • use canning method to preserve, or store in airtight container, chilled, up to 1 month. also freezes well.

i made a lot more than what is pictured – this jar i gave to my neighbours. 🙂

i also tasted mine before adding the cornstarch. if i needed to increase any of the ingredients, i did. i think i added a little extra honey and vinegar to mine because i had a little more than 1.5 pounds of cucumbers. the key is to start with small amounts… you can always add more. i love the colour it turns out – that’s largely due to the turmeric.

i hope you enjoy this recipe and please do let me know if you ever try it out!

thanks for reading! 🙂

 

{st. paddy’s day dinner!}

17 Mar

i tried my hand at making my own corned beef and cabbage dinner for saint patrick’s day this year. i chose to just kept it simple with some pickling spices and brown sugar for my brine. i purchased the {grass-fed} brisket at the farmers market; it was close to 6 pounds.

perfect for plenty of leftovers.

there are so many methods and recipes out there, and after tons of research, i decided to do a simple 3-day brine {it was all the time i had anyway} and boil the meat on the stovetop, which is apparently how a traditional new england dinner is prepared.

i brought my brine to a simmer for about a half hour, then let it cool and refrigerated it for a couple of hours, until it was nice and chilled.

when ready, i poured the mixture into a brining bag with the brisket and immediately stuck it in the fridge to begin soaking up the flavour. i wish i would’ve prepared for more time, but as it was, i brined this for just under 72-hours.

to cook, i emptied the brine, rinsed off the meat, and stuck in a huge stock pot of water {enough to cover plus 1 inch} to simmer for about 30 minutes. then i drained, refilled the pot with water and brought to a simmer again, cooking for about 3 hours until tender. i added in my potatoes and carrots about an hour before finishing, and then tossed in some cabbage near the end.

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it came out pretty yummy, overall. i served it with some irish soda bread… that i did NOT make, since i’m a lousy baker. my family seemed to really enjoy this method. i liked it because it was simple and i only had to use the one stock pot. it got me thinking about the history of the dish and how “back in the day” most families probably only owned one stock pot, anyway. so it makes sense that they would cook everything as simple as possible.

i will say, i think a longer brining process would’ve added more flavour, but i as i said, i only had a little under 3 days. the meat was still nice and tender and moist, but in my opinion, it could’ve had more of the “corned beef” flavour. i also chose not to add in the preservatives that make it create that pink colour.

overall i was very pleased with this st. patrick’s day meal. it was fun to make, and next year i’ll experiment with more time.

i hope you all had a nice day.

slainte!

{pan-seared wild-caught salmon}

13 Feb

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i love salmon! and although it’s not in season just yet, i try to eat it at least twice a month, but ideally i would like to get back to consuming it once a week or more. it’s full of omega 3 fatty acids and healthy lean protein. this particular wild-caught salmon filet was hand-delivered to me by an alaskan fisherman! 🙂

my favourite way to prepare salmon is to pan-sear it. don’t be intimidated, it’s a very easy method.

i simply sprinkle my salmon filet{s} with a little S&P and squeeze a little lemon juice over it, as well.

then, start with a medium-high heat skillet coated with a little olive oil, and place salmon filet in skin-side up. cook for 4-5 minutes, then flip over and finish with skin-side down, another 4-5 minutes. cooking it this way usually allows for the filet to come up easily off the skin when serving. i like to serve mine over a bed of greens or a simple couscous recipe.

bon appetite! 

{farmers market turmeric root}

6 Jan

 

turmeric-2turmeric

have you ever seen turmeric root like this before?

i was fascinated when i spotted this at my local farmer’s market. when i go to visit, there is one stand in particular that i like to frequent. the lady who owns it is so sweet and always has a ton of good information on her products and she is always willing to answer my and all of my questions. it seems that the prices for produce at farmers’ markets are sometimes half the price of grocery stores or health food markets, which is just another reason why i love to support the farmers!!!

a few other reasons i choose to put my money into farmers markets are as follows : accessibility, freshness, availability, integrity, seasonality, friendliness, knowledge, willingness, and as i mentioned, affordability.

i had never seen turmeric root in this form, and i couldn’t wait to pick some up to take fotos of. sometimes i’ve seen parts of it broken off into larger and smaller pieces, but not in a huge chunk like this. i have been wanting to incorporate turmeric into my diet more frequently, particularly because i have been experiencing some pain in my elbow lately. and as you may know, turmeric is known for having anti-inflammatory properties. i am hoping that by consuming turmeric regularly, the pain in my elbow will substantially subside.

i thought it would be fun to share these fotos of turmeric, since it is so intriguing to look at! check out all the ‘knobs’ and ‘nodules’ and the funny/fascinating shapes it takes on and how it forms that way. i love all root vegetables, and when i find something in its natural state, i get even more excited about it. did you catch that cool post about ginger-root? i just love going to the farmer’s market and i one day hope to have a nice big garden in my backyard, as to grow lots of wonderful food. i basically want to be a farmer.

one of the things i’ve been doing with turmeric lately is making tea, which i am just loving! have you ever tried turmeric tea? i have been wanting to try it for so long now, but as with anything “new,” i tend to get intimidated until i actually just go for it! and i’m so glad i finally did! i made some tea with this beautiful chunk of turmeric, and i loved it so much that i wanted to share the recipe.

you can usually find fresh turmeric at health food stores. or if you have access to one, check at your local farmers market, as well. some of my research has discovered that you can also use the ground spice to make turmeric tea, however i prefer the fresh stuff. it’s definitely more time-consuming, but for me, it’s so worth it. plus, i just love the creative process. having said that, to be even more economical, you could make it with a mix of fresh and dried root.


super simple health-boosting turmeric tea :

turmerictea Continue reading

{meatless monday : whole grain couscous with fresno and mini bell peppers}

8 Feb

redpeppercouscous-1

i haven’t written a meatless monday recipe in a while. i came up with this one by accident.

i love love LOVE fresno peppers. they are so full of flavour and yet mild enough in heat to not overpower most dishes. i also love couscous; it’s simple and easy to make and reheats well, so i will often batch-cook it.

i shared this dish some with a friend this weekend over brunch and she commented on how much she liked it, so i thought i would share the recipe. as i said, i sort of came up with this on accident… but i’m glad i did, as i’ll be sure to make it again in the future!

simple ingredients :

  • 1 cup couscous, 1 cup water
  • 3 fresno peppers, chopped
  • 5-6 mini bell peppers, chopped
  • olive oil
  • S&P

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this is a very easy recipe to make. simply saute peppers in olive oil until tender then pour in water. bring to a boil and add in couscous. remove from heat, cover and let sit for at least 5 minutes. fluff couscous with a fork and sprinkle in salt and pepper.

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i also added in some cumin because i’ve been experimenting with spices… and i really liked it in this dish!

{radical red kuri squash}

15 Dec

redkurisquash-1

i’m kind of obsessed with this stuff. and it makes an AMAZING risotto!

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{mmm… mushrooms!}

8 Dec

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for risotto… nom nom!

{soon-to-be sauce…}

5 Dec

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{a halloween thirsty thursday : “creepy” but delicious — finger lime soda water}

29 Oct

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finger-lime soda water…

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a friend of mine gave me a sample of these delicious and interesting FINGER LIMES! yes, that is their name. and one can see why, eh?! they look like little nubby fingers…

perfect for halloween, i say!

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after cutting one open, i remembered that i had tried them before! here’s part of the description i read :

“The globular juice vesicles inside these citrus fruits have been likened to a “lime caviar”, which can be used as a garnish or added to various recipes. The fresh vesicles have the effect of a burst of effervescent tangy flavour as they are chewed. The fruit juice is acidic and similar to that of a lime.”

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those little vesicles are so fun to eat! they “pop” in your mouth and they flavour is intense!

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the fruit itself is so interesting-looking! some of them are pink inside!

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i made a little bubbly water with my sodastream and squeezed in some of the finger limes and their juices, along with these halloween-themed ice cubes.

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it was super yummy!

of course, the adults could add in a little vodka or libation of choice… 😉

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when i was a kid and i would be lucky enough to have a glass of soda as a treat, i used to sit there with my mom and be like, “check it out ma, the bubbles are taking the elevator to the top!” and she would giggle… and to this day i remember that and thought of it when these little vesicles floated to the top of this glass. 😉

ohhhh, that childhood imagination.

wishing you all a safe and happy halloween!

are you dressing up? and if so, as what?!

 

{colourful pasta salad w/italian sausage}

28 Oct

colourfulbeefypasta-3

happy wednesday, gang!

it seems like italian food, festivals, wine, and celebrations are everywhere i look this time of year… did i miss a memo!? anyway, i’m all for it. i love me some good pasta, and i used to be so intimated by cooking it… but not anymore!

i just wanted to share this pretty pasta dish i made recently… as the temps cool down, i will transition into more hearty foods like squash, soups, potatoes, root veggies, and the like… but for now, i am still holding on to lighter fare with dishes like this – a simple pasta salad with italian sausage.

  • red peppers
  • scallions
  • red onion
  • fresh tomatoes
  • black olives
  • parmigiano reggiano {the real stuff!}

beefypasta-1

cook and drain pasta of choice… these little orechiette {which means “little ear”} are so fun, so i chose them!

then simply chop up all your ingredients, and drizzle in your favourite vinaigrette like italian or french dressing… something with a little punch. toss all the ingredients together, sprinkle with tons of freshly-grated parmigiano reggiano… and admire the rainbow of food you’re about to eat!

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this keeps well in the fridge and is a great option for batch-cooking for lunches, etc.

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nom nom!

 

{what goes great with oktoberfest beer?? — homemade sauerkraut!!}

23 Oct

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ownin’ my german roots! 😉

i love love looooove making my own food. i especially love making things that are expensive to buy, but cheap to make. case and point : sauerkraut.

sauerkraut is one of my favourite things ever. it’s so good for you, and it’s been around for centuries… it’s one of those ancestral foods like homemade bone broth that has proven to be a staple for health in many ancient cultures for ages.

sauerkraut is FULL of healthy probiotics, which are essential for maintaining a healthy gut.

and it’s so super easy to make.

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start by chopping up your cabbage, as thin as you want/can get it… i find it helps to quarter the cabbage first, then cut into strips. you want about 1.5 pounds per 1 tablespoon of salt. once that is complete, add it to a large bowl and begin “squishing” the cabbage and salt together using your hands.

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this is another reason i love making sauerkraut – you get to play with your food! 😉 Continue reading

{100-mile diet : taco lettuce wraps w/ local grass-fed beef}

24 Sep

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i’m kind of obsessed with lettuce-wraps, as of late…

they are so easy to make and they are fulfilling without the guilt – gluten-free {if you want them to be}, quick and simple to prepare, and full of colour!

i also like to eat lettuce wraps during my “transition” months… like september, when the weather begins to change and my body begins to prepare for the heartier foods, but i’m not quite ready to let go of lighter fare. lettuce wraps meld the changing seasons together nicely.

i also LOVE grass-fed beef… for the nutrition, the health of the animal, the health of the planet… and the sense of pride i take when purchasing sustainable, farm-fresh food.

furthermore, i love to eat locally and support a “100-mile diet” as often as i can in my life. the 100-mile diet simply means you only eat food that is raised or grown within 100 miles of where you currently live. for me, choosing this lifestyle is the best way i can “vote with my dollars” in supporting a food-system that is sustainable, healthy, and good for our planet earth. i pair that choice with seasonal and organic eating, and it has proven to be the best lifestyle for me.

almost everything in these lettuce wraps was locally grown/made :

  • grass-fed beef
  • mexican spices
  • red leaf lettuce
  • cherry tomatoes
  • red onion
  • black olives
  • manchego cheese
  • homemade salsa
  • guacamole
  • yellow corn tortilla chips

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once you brown your meat {try really hard not to overcook grass-fed beef!} and add in any spices you wish, simply pile it all up on a clean lettuce leaf and wrap it up and eat it!

i created my wrap in this order : lettuce leaf, beef, cheese, tomatoes, onions, olives, salsa, guacamole, tortilla chips..

and then…

nom nom… nomcrunch.. NOM NOM!!!

{burger lettuce wraps}

7 Aug

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i love finger food. therefore, i love lettuce wraps.

i’m all about lettuce wraps these days. i feel like it’s my favourite new way to eat things – especially in the summertime!  i find that during the warmer months, i tend to want to eat “lighter” foods, and lettuce wraps fit the bill perfectly!

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also, sometimes i just don’t care for the heaviness of bread or sandwiches. i mean, don’t get me wrong… i’m an east-coast girl at heart and i love my sub sandwiches from the local deli! however, as i said – when it’s hot like it’s been here {in the upper 90’s}, i feel like my body simply wants lighter fare… and so i willingly oblige.

PLUS – the waistline seems to appreciate it when i skip the bread 😉

i made these “burger wraps” the other day when i was craving a burger but didn’t have time, energy, or the grill to make a burger with. so, i improvised. what i love about lettuce wraps is they can be utilized for just about anything. the lettuce leaves themselves are the perfect vehicle to transport yumminess from plate to mouth to tummy.

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in this recipe, i started with red lettuce leaves. i chose red because {especially} when it comes to food, in my book – the more colour, the better.

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my method is simple : chop up some fresh tomatoes, red onion, dill pickles, and any other toppings you may want on a burger. then, simply brown some grass-fed ground beef on medium-to-high heat and add in a little S&P. finally, pile your toppings one-by-one onto your yummy lettuce wrap and then finish with some mustard and/or ketchup. i personally love both on my burgers. Continue reading

{meatless mondays : red quinoa with grape tomatoes, fresh corn, and black beans}

6 Jul

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this {vegan} dish is totally protein-packed and nutrient-rich. i just love quinoa, don’t you?!

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and did you know that quinoa is considered a complete protein… which means it contains all 9 essential amino acids. this makes it a wonderful protein-source for vegans. the black beans in this recipe add in healthy fiber, which is a great combination with the quinoa!

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i can eat these grape tomatoes like candy!

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and believe it or not, colorado boasts growing some of the best sweet corn in the US!

summer is for corn!!!! Continue reading

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