Tag Archives: simple

{DIY bath soak – with himalayan pink salt!}

4 Dec

i love a good soak in the tub!

… it’s so relaxing and comforting. i especially love to enjoy a hot bath when i have sore muscles or if i want to fight off icky feelings possibly related to a cold or germs, or LIFE, etc. i make time to enjoy a hot bath at least once a week, but i prefer to do it twice a week. it’s a crucial part of my self-care routine, and one i look forward to enjoying as frequently as possible.

i’ve been making my own bath soak for a while now. i choose to use himalayan pink salt because it is extremely mineral-rich. sometimes i add in epsom salts or magnesium salts for additional benefits.

soaking for about 20 minutes in a rich salt bath has many rewards. of course, it’s very relaxing but it’s also detoxifying and soothing to both the nerves and the skin.

i like to play around with different ingredient mixtures depending on the season or how i am feeling. sometimes i will make an oatmeal bath for extra moisturizing.

it’s very simple and easy to make your own bath soak, and you can get creative with the ingredients. there are a lot of different recipes out there, but this is my favourite go-to that i’ve been making for quite some time now.

——

  • 2 cups himalayan pink salt
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 8-10 drops lavender essential oil
  • 2-3 drops vetiver essential oil

optional ingredients :

  • ginger powder (for detoxification)
  • dried lavender (for relaxation)
  • dried flowers
  • dried sage

Continue reading

{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!

————————————

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!

 

{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!

{dehydrated baby bananas}

2 Mar

bananas-web

whenever i notice any kind of produce is starting to lose its freshness, such as these adorable baby bananas, i know it’s time to bust out the dehydrator.

bananafaces

banana faces 🙂

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banana chips make for some great snacks!!

i also love to throw them in smoothies, as an alternative to frozen or fresh ones.


do you use a dehydrator? what are some of your favourite things to dehydrate? 

 

 

{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! 

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

8 Feb

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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!

{mmm… mushrooms!}

8 Dec

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for risotto… nom nom!

{mmm… mirepoix}

8 Dec

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with a twist… leeks!

{soon-to-be sauce…}

5 Dec

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{colourful pasta salad w/italian sausage}

28 Oct

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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!}

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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.

homemadesauerkraut-3

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

{healthy homefries}

18 Aug

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my grandpa used to say, “a potato will cure what ails ya…” and i’ve held on to his words over the years. i can hear him in the back of my head when i’m making mashed potatoes, or any variation of potatoes. i just happen to love them. probably in part due to my irish and german roots and also due to my grandma always teaching me how to stretch a dollar. the potato is an inexpensive food that is loaded with vitamins and minerals. when i was a kid, i used to chop them up into small bits, sprinkle them with salt, and eat them raw!

today, i eat them any way i can get them. lately, i’ve been making a potato hash, or potato homefries. it keeps well in the fridge, and you can make a huge batch and heat them up for breakfast or a side dish with dinner. top with a fresh egg, or dip in a little ranch dressing or ketchup… and nom nom!

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i’ve been keeping it pretty simple with mine :

  • russet potatoes {they are simply heartier and healthier}
  • bell peppers {i choose red for the colour and vitamin c}
  • garlic {does wonders for immunity and the body!}
  • onion {red, again, because – eat the rainbow!}
  • S&P {i mean, can’t have potatoes without it}

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simply heat up some oil or butter on medium to high heat and add in garlic, onions, bell peppers, and potatoes… then cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occaisonally. you want the potatoes to crisp up a little bit… but keep in mind, if you are batch-cooking them, you can reheat them later and crisp them up at that time.

homefries-1

super easy and simple. and you could even freeze these if you wanted to! but i doubt you will want to or have any left over, because they are just so yummy! 🙂

{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.

burgerlettucewraps-1

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

{before & after}

24 Jul

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simple pasta w/ chix & veg

fusilli, roasted chicken, caramelized onions, green peppers, olives, and fresh tomatoes…

{“drink the rainbow” : berry-cream vitamix smoothie!}

16 Jul

it’s been a while since i’ve done a post about a vitamix smoothie!  however, it’s that time of year when i find myself wanting to eat a little less and drink a little more. the heat of the summer causes us to sweat out toxins and i find that my body craves the freshness of a cold fruit smoothie to help replenish vital minerals.

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berry-cream vitamix smoothie : frozen blueberries, blackberries, cherries, and peaches, with fresh dates and coconut milk

do you sometimes do what i do?

…catch myself feeling guilty for not drinking more smoothies, so i’ll run out and buy a bunch of stuff to make them with, but then i don’t make nearly as many smoothies as i said i would, and those yummy ingredients go bad in the fridge. and nothing upsets me more than wasting food! {and money, for that matter!}

well, may i suggest something i do in order to avoid wasting precious resources?!  just keep canned or boxed coconut milk in the house and/or fridge! you can purchase coconut milk in aseptic {shelf-stable} containers. why coconut milk? well, i personally prefer coconut milk for the healthy fat content as well as the the fact that the coconut is pretty much one of the most amazing things on the planet! not only is coconut milk loaded with vitamins and minerals, it’s also great for your heart, your hair, your skin, your nails… shall i go on?! furthermore, i’ve created the habit of freezing any overripe fruits that i buy, and that way i always have the two main ingredients i need to make a smoothie!

of course, you can also add in spinach or kale to get a little extra vitamins and nutrients. for this concoction, i kept it pure and simple. just frozen blueberries, blackberries, cherries, and peaches blended with fresh dates and coconut milk. it’s light and fresh and only gently sweet. dates are nature’s candy! they are loaded with potassium and create a little sweetness without adding in unnecessary calories or sugar. and this smoothie is perfectly refreshing on a hot summer afternoon!

drink the rainbow!

{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

{i think i heard a turkey sammy calling…}

29 Jun

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with havarti cheese, fresh tomato slices, romaine lettuce leaves, crunchy pea sprouts, and deli mustard…     neatly wedged between two artisan whole wheat slices…

ring ring…

nom nom…

 

{light & simple fusilli pasta salad with roasted chicken and fresh veggies}

17 Apr

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i love to make this dish… and quite often, too! it’s simple, healthy, colourful, and great as a make-ahead meal to have on-hand for lunches. furthermore, it is an easy to dish to batch-cook… a great choice to take to potlucks or BBQs. it has a lot of fun “crunch” and texture, which we all know i love and enjoy, and as always, you can control the ingredients. i simply buy a roasted chicken from the market whenever they are on sale… then i eat some, shred the rest, and save it for a dish like this or to throw on salads.

i always try to eat something raw with every meal i have – whether it’s a large salad with some warm soup and bread, a ripe banana in my oatmeal, or fresh avocado slices on top of my scrambled eggs – i always try to incorporate raw ingredients. i believe it’s important to balance out a dish with raw components that only fresh vegetables or fruits can offer. what i also love about this dish, is that it can be served hot or cold – it’s great both ways! i love it when my food is versatile 😉

and you can add in whatever veggies you want, really. mix it up with cooked and raw veggies… i would like to try this dish with some fresh spring peas, roasted garlic, and blanched asparagus – to celebrate the season!

———

fusilli with roasted chicken and fresh veggies:

– 16 oz cooked fusilli pasta, drained and set aside {reserve 1/4 cup starchy water}

– shredded roasted chicken {about 1 cup}

– veggies {about a quarter cup for each} :

   ~black olives

   ~cucumbers

   ~red onion

   ~mushrooms

   ~tomatoes

   ~corn

   ~purple cabbage

———

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combine all ingredients and mix together. drizzle in reserved starchy water {this will help “marry” the pasta to the veggies}. add in dressing of choice {i opted for a french vinaigrette} and some S&P to taste. sprinkle in some dried herbs, if you wish…

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and… “eat the rainbow” 🙂

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make a big ol’ batch and take some to work for lunch!

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nom nom… 

{homemade nutrient-dense beef bone broth}

7 Dec

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it seems like bone broth is all the rage these days. everyone is talking about it, bloggers are writing about it, and i see articles in random magazines about it, too. i also find it funny that food has like, fads. i mean – i figure diets have fads because that is essentially what “dieting” is… but it just tickles me when i notice certain “food trends”… you know what i mean?! nevertheless, i’d be lying if i didn’t say i recently jumped on the bandwagon regarding bone broth. 😛

———

WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL WITH BONE BROTH, ANYWAY?!

– bone broth is ancestral food – our grandma’s grandmas probably made it all the time!

bone broth contains many nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus.

– bone broth is also high in beauty-supporting collagen and amino acids.

bone broth is comforting, and great for those days we feel “under the weather.”

bone broth supports a healthy gut and intestinal-lining.

– bone broth contains joint-supporting gelatin, glucosamine, and chondroitin.

bone broth is very cost-effective and you can control the ingredients when you make it yourself!

———

anyway, my cute little store sells beef bones with the marrow included, which is what you want for making broth.  i’ve read several articles and books about the benefits of ancient cooking and bone broth is something that always seems to be at the top of the list for overall health-boosting properties. i usually opt for a veggie broth when i am stocking the pantry.  however, i couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make something new from scratch.  i just love to create things. plus, understanding the health benefits of bone broth make it extra appealing to me.

after perusing several recipes and suggestions, i did what audrey typically does and i created my own version of bone broth.  this entire batch {which made about a gallon} cost me around $4.00. try comparing that to the stocks or broths you find in the store… it simply doesn’t.  nor does the nutritional value.

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ingredient guidelines for bone broth :

– 2 lbs grass-fed beef bones

– 2 large carrots, chopped

– 2 celery stalks, chopped

– 1 yellow onion, chopped 

– 3 cloves garlic, chopped

– 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

3 or 4 sprigs fresh parsley {optional}

– 1 bay leaf {optional}

Continue reading

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