Warm Potato Salad

My family knows how to cook potatoes well which doesn’t surprise me since this humble vegetable is very versatile. My grandmother is known for her amazing mashed sweet potatoes (which really only shares the same name, since it’s a root vegetable not a nightshade), my nana has a great scalloped potato recipe, my dad can make melt in your mouth twice-baked potatoes and my mom sure knows how to toss a warm potato salad. While I don’t love potatoes in any form, the preceding dishes are far too tasty to pass up. The heavy consistency of potatoes leaves me feeling almost too full which is perfect when I need extra comforting. IMG_6845

It’s been rather chilly (okay, cold for my liking and for it being Summer) this past week which has left me craving warmer foods so I couldn’t have been happier when my mom suggested making her warm potato salad. I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather and an extra helping of carbohydrates was exactly what I needed, or so I’m choosing to believe. Besides, potatoes are technically vegetables it’s just that their high content of starch makes them taste more like rice or pasta, not that there is anything wrong with eating copious amounts of carbohydrates.IMG_6849

I couldn’t let my mom have all of the fun in the kitchen though, so I offered to help which ended up consisting of a lot of picture taking with a tiny bit of chopping. Whoops. Just a forewarning, this salad tastes much better than it presents! Regardless, here’s the recipe we came up with based on a very tattered and torn recipe from Canadian Living back 1992 (the year before I was born). It is an excellent source of fibre and iron and even contains a fair bit of protein. What’s your favourite way to cook potatoes? Do you enjoy fried potatoes in the form of hash, chips or french fries?  ♥ Molly

Fun Fact: The world’s largest potato weighed in at 18 pounds, 4 ounces according to the Guinness Book of World Records. That’s enough for 73 portions of medium fries at McDonalds. Did you know that potatoes have also been grown in outer space and that they did not originate from Ireland despite the popular belief?IMG_6853

Warm Potato Salad

Serves 6 as a Main Course, GenerouslyIMG_6832

Salad 

  • 2 lb red potatoes, quartered
  • ½ lb green beans, halved (3 large handfuls)
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cans tuna packed in water, drained and chunked (368 g)

Dressing 

  • 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 3 tsp olive oil
  • Pinch of ground black pepper, to taste
  1. In a small measuring cup, whisk together white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, water, Dijon mustard, garlic, olive oil and black pepper. Let dressing sit for 10 minutes to allow flavours to intensify and combine.IMG_6814
  2. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Add potatoes and simmer on medium high for 5 minutes or under potatoes are almost tender. Add green beans and continue to boil for 3 minutes or until beans and potatoes are fully cooked. Drain water and transfer potatoes and beans to a serving bowl.IMG_6807
  3. Drizzle dressing and toss in chopped green onions, celery and red pepper. Carefully mix in tuna trying not to break up chunks or mash the potatoes.IMG_6820
  4. Serve on top of a bed of spinach. Enjoy. IMG_6847
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WIAW: The Benefits of Eating Tomatoes

It’s Wednesday, which in the blog world thanks to Jenn, means that I should probably be sharing my weekly eats. Unfortunately my meals haven’t been very exciting lately (lots of smoothies, a few chicken burgers, tons of salads, the inevitable ice cream) and those that are post worthy have been devoured faster than my camera’s shutter speed.WIAWbutton

One recent addition into my diet has been tomatoes. Last week my dad made pasta with a pesto sauce. I wasn’t too excited as pasta isn’t my favourite dish but what intrigued me to try some were the grilled shrimp and tomatoes. Rather than adding in carrots or red peppers, he broiled tomatoes for garnishing. They were so good, which looking back makes total sense given tomatoes are in season here in Ontario. Ever since that meal, I’ve been adding tomatoes into sandwiches and salads. I’m even considering blending them into a fruit or mixing them into my baking. Botanically because of their seeds, they are considered to be fruits and its common to bake with fruit so why not? This being said they belong to the night-shade family along with sweet peppers and potatoes so maybe they are vegetables? I’m not too sure, that debate confuses me.IMG_6360

As a kid, tomatoes were much too gooey and messy for my liking. It wasn’t until I tried chilled gazpacho soup from Prêt-A-Manger during a trip to NYC, that I acquired a love for their flavour. Naturally when I hear the word Tomato I think of the song “You say ‘Tomato’, I say ‘Tomato’…” or, alternatively I wonder why there is an E tacked on to the plural version. Of course the foodie in me thinks about all of the benefits tomatoes have to offer.IMG_6515

  • Tomatoes are good sources of lycopene, an anxtioxidant that protects against some cancers, in particular prostate and cervical.
  • Red tomatoes contain up to four times as much beta carotene as green, but ripe and unripe tomatoes are otherwise nutritionally similar.
  • The beta-carotene helps protect skin against sun damage and the lyocepene makes skin less sensitive to UV light which prevents wrinkles and fine lines.
  • A useful source of vitamins A and C, folate and potassium. They are also low in sodium and one serving provides you with 2 grams of fiber.
  • Tomatoes provide small amounts of thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorus and copper.
  • The vitamin K and calcium in tomatoes help to strengthen and repair bones. Lycopene also has been shown to improve bone mass.
  • Tomatoes are rich in chromium which contributes to keeping your blood sugar in balance.
  • Recent studies show that eating the seeds of tomatoes minimizes your likelihood of developing kidney stones or gallstones.
  • Tomatoes are high in bioflavonoids and carotenoids which are known anti-inflammatory agents and can reduce pain.IMG_2701

The only down side to tomatoes is that raw or cooked, they may cause indigestion and heartburn due to an unidentified substance that can prompt acid reflux. As well, tomatoes contain a toxic substance called solanine, which can trigger a headache in sensitive individuals. They’ve also linked tomatoes to setting off allergies, so even if you can eat ketchup, it is possible that in the raw form, tomatoes may prompt an anaphylactic reaction. This is caused by the lycopene within the seeds. Of course reactions are rarely heard of and chances are if you have been eating tomatoes your entire life without indigestion, headaches or allergies, you’ll be fine. Recently I’ve been enjoying them …IMG_6466

  • Sliced: On turkey and avocado sandwiches
  • Diced: Mixed into quinoa and couscous salads
  • Chopped: Quartered into a Greek salad or cubed into a watermelon salad
  • Tossed: With bocconcini cheese, oregeno, parsley and balsamic vinegar
  • Baked: Coated with Olive Oil (Optional: Salt and Pepper) and baked at 400°F for 10- 15 minutes, (Flip halfway through)
  • Fresh: Picked off of my neighbour’s tomato tree (I’m taking care of it since they are on vacation)IMG_7384

You might also enjoy drinking tomato juice, scrambling tomatoes into eggs, cooking tomatoes into a marinara sauce, eating tomatoes whole like you would do an apple, stewing tomatoes into soup, or making fresh tomatoes into a salsa or bruschetta. What’s your favourite way to eat tomatoes? How do you pronounce the ending of the word? Do you consider tomatoes to be fruits or vegetables? ♥ Molly

Fun Fact: Did you know that Tomatoes were brought to Europe from Central America by the Spanish during the 16th century? They were grown as decorative plants in northern Europe but weren’t eaten because people feared that poisons in the leaves might be present in the seeds as well!

A Healthy Cookie Recipe

Many of you have mentioned that you enjoy reading my nutrition posts but I just want to remind you that I am not a dietitian and my knowledge about vitamins and minerals isn’t as extended as I hope for it to become. While my diet works for me, I would never recommend for someone to copy my lifestyle as there is no scientific calculation behind what I eat or reason why it should or would work for someone else. One day I overindulge in ice cream and the following day my body compensates by craving vegetables. I might not be the best person to quote nutritional benefits but I do enjoy doing it and I am sure to research my facts before publishing posts. These pointers are written in my own words but are based on knowledge I have learned in school and through nutrition textbooks or cookbooks. So I hope nobody is bothered by the fact that I don’t have a title behind my name but am still going to continue blogging about food and it’s nutrition!IMG_6439

A lot of my recipes surmount as a way to use up expiring ingredients, cravings I have been having, or because I am lacking a particular nutrient in my diet. I bought an abundance of dates back when I was making No-Bake Energy Bites and I’d like to try to use them up before they harden. I’ve tried them in Smoothies as they are wonderful sweeteners, but in all honesty I figured I could better utilize their chewy texture. So I figured why not bake them into cookies because they are soft, moist and sweet. I don’t remember eating that many store-bought cookies as a child because my Mom baked often, but when we would have packaged cookies I really liked Fig Newtons. I suppose I had sophisticated taste buds in comparison to Rainbow Chips Ahoy because they are not only pricier, but also not as eye appealing. Sorry, I didn’t come up with a much more aesthetic or kid-friendly looking recipe but I can promise you they have some nutritional benefits. Not only does this recipe contain wheat bran which is a great source of dietary fiber since it is the outer layer husk of the grain, but more importantly it contains dates.IMG_6431

Did you know Dates contain…

  • Vitamin A: While it is a small amount, Dates contain Vitamin A which can help facilitate vision. Vitamin A is also required in maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin.
  • Dietary Fiber: Dates contain both insoluble and soluble fiber which will help to keep the body feeling fuller and satiated longer. Fiber prevents LDL cholesterol absorption in the gut and can aid with constipation since it is a natural laxativs. Dates also contain Tannins which like Fiber, help to rid the colon of harmful toxins which can reduce the risk of developing an intestinal disorder or cancer.
  • Simple Sugars: The simple sugars of dates are easily digested making them a fast source or energy.
  • Antioxidant Flavanoids: Dates have many antixodiant flavonoids such as Beta-catotene, lutein and zea-xanthin that protect the bowel from free radicals and toxins. Eating dates has been linked to increased protection from colon, prostate, breast, lung, and pancreatic cancers amongst others.  Zea-xanthin also protects one’s eyes from age-related macular degeneration since it is a dietary cartenoid that is selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea (yellow spot within the eye).
  • Iron: Dates are rich in iron which is used in the red blood cells and determines the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood.
  • Potassium: Consuming dates helps reduce blood pressure as potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids. For this reason Dates also contribute to controlling a healthy heart rate.
  • Minerals: Dates contain manganese, copper, magnesium and calcium. Copper increases red blood cell production, Manganese is a co-factor in an antioxidant enzymatic processes, Magnesium is essential for healthy bone growth and Calcium is important for bone growth and strengthening. Calcium is also required for blood clotting, nerve impulse conduction and muscle contraction.
  • Vitamin K: Dates are a great source of Vitamin K which serves as a blood coagulant that helps with bone metabolism
  • Vitamin B- Complex: Found within Dates, B-complex vitamins metabolize carbohydrates, proteins and fats.

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When consumed in moderation, Dates definitely make a healthy snack on their own. They’d be perfect for an energy boost mid-day and also contain many cancer-fighting and anti-aging nutrients . These cookies will definitely leave you satisfied because of their fiber content, but don’t lack on flavour because of the filling. I hope you enjoy. ♥ Molly

“To keep the body in good health is a duty, for otherwise we shall not be able to trim the lamp of wisdom, and keep our mind strong and clear. Water surrounds the lotus flower, but does not wet its petals.”  – Buddha

Date Newtons

FillingIMG_6457

  • 1 ½ cups dates, pitted
  • ¼ cup orange juice (½  orange)
  • ½ tsp ginger, grated

Dough

  • 1.5 cups oats, ground in a blender
  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • ¾ cup wheat bran
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp water
  • ½ cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Prepare the filling by blending together dates, orange juice and ginger in a food processor on high until combined and smooth, approximately 2 minutes.
  3. Grind the oats into a fine powder using a blender or food processor. Pour into a mixing bowl adding with it, whole wheat flour, wheat bran, baking powder and cinnamon.IMG_6407 IMG_6410
  4. On low speed, beat together dry ingredients while gradually adding in vanilla extract, water, applesauce and maple syrup. A thick, dough like consistency should form.IMG_6412
  5. On a piece of wax or parchment paper, roll out dough into a rectangle.IMG_6415
  6. Spoon filling into the centre of your rolled out leaving at least 2 inches on the top and bottom, and ½ inch on each end.IMG_6419
  7. Using the parchment, fold the top segment of the dough over the top of the filling. Peel back parchment paper to lay flat on the surface of your workspace.IMG_6422 IMG_6423
  8. Using the parchment fold the bottom segment of the dough so that it overlaps with the top segment of dough. Fold in both ends.IMG_6424
  9. Slice into ½ inch cookies and transfer onto baking pan leave space as the cookies expand slightly.IMG_6425
  10. Bake for 14 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with a chilled glass of milk.IMG_6448

WIAW: Smoothie Edition

If you’ve been following my Twitter feed, or if you read my August Goals, you’ll know that I am participating in Charissa’s “Colourful Smoothie Challenge”.

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Charissa is giving away so many amazing products it’s impossible not to stay motivated to drink a smoothie each day in hope’s of earning points towards that final prize. She’s also been posting some pretty neat recipes so be sure to check them out. This week I’ve decided to dedicate my WIAW to Smoothies because they are so prominent in my diet. They are my go-to snack and have even been replacing ice cream as my dessert! In the morning I blend in my coffee for a caffeine boost! I’ve also been enjoying Green Juice, my favourite recipe being a combination of Spinach, Arugula, Apple, Cucumber, Parsley and Lime Juice. Here are a few of my other creations so far:IMG_6517 IMG_6384 IMG_6387

What I love about Smoothies is that done right, they can pack in a lot of vitamins, and minerals. They make for easy breakfasts as you can take them to go and slurp them through a straw. There’s no excuse for “not having time” since all you have to do is throw ingredients into a blender and pulse on high for less than a minute. Did I mention they make very little mess? I truly believe they are as filling and nutritious as a meal because you can blend in high sources of protein and healthy fats. Smoothies are so adaptable so you can customize them to suit your needs. If you find beverages aren’t for you, try thickening it up and eating it like soup. If you need that crunch to feel satisfied, why not top it with granola, kamut puffs, chia seeds or hemp hearts. Smoothies are a great ways to get in your vegetables if you have trouble getting in all of your servings. They are also an excellent way to use up produce that is almost past it’s prime because the riper the fruit, the better it is suited for a smoothie. If you choose to incorporate milk or yogurt in your smoothie, it will also provide you with some much needed calcium. In the summertime I find smoothies a great way to stay hydrated. While I prefer to drink them as a snack or dessert, I know many choose to have them as a post-workout shake or meal replacement.IMG_6400

It’s unlikely that you’ve never seen a smoothie being made, but in case you are lacking inspiration, here is a go to guide that I created based on tips I’ve gathered from Pinterest.  Just remember, soluble fiber fruits provide a smoother overall finish to your smoothie and vegetables that are poignant make it harder to mask their flavours. Adding in a banana will make your smoothie sweeter and creamier, without overpowering the other flavours. I also don’t think it is necessary to go crazy with “superfoods” like Goji Berries and Bee Pollen since your smoothie should already be dense in flavour and nutrition, plus these “superfoods” can add up in price turning your beverage into an expensive meal. Like Chelsea’s post explained, chia seeds are a nice treat but they aren’t needed to achieve optimal health.

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Molly’s Smoothie Guide (The Asterisks * are my favourite, Measurements are approximate) 

1. Pick a Base: 1 Cup

  • Green Tea *
  • Cow’s Milk *
  • Flax Milk *
  • Coconut Milk
  • Almond Milk
  • Hemp Milk
  • Rice Milk
  • Soy Milk
  • Coconut Water
  • Water

2. Add Your Favourite Fruit: 2 Cups

  • Banana *
  • Strawberries *
  • Raspberries *
  • Blueberries *
  • Mango *
  • Nectarine / Peach *
  • Watermelon *
  • Cantaloupe *
  • Lemon Juice *
  • Lime Juice *
  • Orange Juice
  • Apple
  • Pear
  • Cherries

3. Hide Some Vegetables: 1 Cup

  • Kale *
  • Spinach *
  • Arugula *
  • Beets *
  • Carrots *

4. Thicken It Up

  • Handful of Ice *
  • Frozen Cucumber *
  • Protein Powder *
  • Chickpeas *
  • Oats

5. Add Some Flavour: 1- 2 Tablespoons

  • Fat: Soy Butter *, Peanut Butter, Almond Butter,  ½ Avocado, Coconut Oil, Flax Oil
  • Spice: Cinnamon *, Vanilla Extract *, Maple Extract *, Parsley *, Basil *, Mint *, Cilantro, Lemongrass, Ginger, Nutmeg, Cloves, Spirulina, Chlorella Powder
  • Sweetener: Stevia *, Dates *, Figs, Honey, Agave, Maple Syrup,

6. Blend it together

7. Top and Serve: 1-2 Tablespoons

  • Superfoods: Chia Seeds *, Flax Seeds *, Hemp Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Cacao Beans

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You’ll definitely be seeing a lot more smoothie recipes on my blog since I am trying to switch up my blends so that I don’t get bored with the challenge. Shannon recommended adding in Sweet Potatoes but I am open to other suggestions as well! What do you love about Smoothies? Do you find them thirst quenching and filling? ♥ Molly

Fun Fact: Did you know that smoothie consumption has gone up more than 80% in the last 5 years? It’s the business to be in!

Fresh Rolls

Thai food tends to be cooked with spices and nuts, neither of which I can have. Spices upset my stomach and leave my tongue on fire while nuts are an allergy I grew into in fourth grade.

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Of course the foodie in me doesn’t let Thai-peanut sauce stand in the way of me enjoying this type of cuisine. My dad makes a great homemade Pad Thai sauce and I love preparing Fresh Rolls. I find the crunchiness of the uncooked vegetable rolls much more refreshing than fried Spring Rolls don’t you? Which brings me to today’s post. Don’t hold your breath on a formal recipe because I truly believe Fresh Rolls can be taken in so many directions. While I usually use shrimp as my protein source, my dad prefers chicken and I’ve seen people roll salmon in as well! If I could, I’d probably throw in crushed peanuts or an almond-butter sauce for additional flavour. Since the rice paper never really expires making these rolls is usually a “last minute” decision so I tend to use whichever vegetables I already have on hand. A must-include is definitely Avocado! Regardless of the ingredients you decide to roll up, there is a basic formula for the preparation. I’ve also included an easy sweet and spicy thai-dipping sauce recipe. Sorry the pictures aren’t prettier – These rolls aren’t exactly fast to make (in the volume I needed) and dinner time was fast approaching so I I couldn’t set up a huge photoshoot. I hope you enjoy. Happy Friday! What’s your favourite combination of Fresh Roll? It’s not traditional but lately I’ve been enjoying shrimp, mango, carrots, red pepper and onion! ♥ Molly

“You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients.” – Julia Child

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Fresh RollsIMG_6213

Suggested Ingredients

  • Rice Paper (Circular Wrappers)
  • Fresh Vegetables: Carrots, Red Pepper, Cucumber, Onion, Lettuce
  • Fresh Fruit: Avocado, Mango

Sweet-Thai Dipping Sauce Ingredients

  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp chili sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ tsp fresh ginger, diced
  • 2 tsp honey (Optional)
  1. Prepare all of your fillings to your liking. You can choose to slice, dice, sliver, shred, mash or grate the ingredients for inside of your rolls. I chose to use matchstick carrots and I also sliced avocado, mango, red pepper, cucumber and spinach. For protein I used whole mini shrimp and chicken breast slivers. Mint, basil, cilantro, and pre-made (chilled) rice vermicelli are also great fillers.IMG_6190
  2. Fill a large bowl or flan dish with boiling water. Carefully dip one rice paper into the warm water for about 30 seconds or until softened. Lay rice paper flat onto a clean cloth.IMG_6195
  3. In a row across the centre of the rice paper, leaving an inch at the top and bottom, place a combination of “filler” ingredients. Fold in the top and bottom. Fold one uncovered side (left or right) inward and then tightly roll the rice paper. Repeat with the remaining ingredients and rice wrappers.IMG_6201 IMG_6202 IMG_6203 IMG_6204
  4. Prepare dipping sauce by whisking together soy sauce, rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar,  chili sauce, freshly minced garlic clove and diced  ginger. For sweetness, add in up to 2 tsp of honey.
  5. Serve Fresh Rolls with dipping sauce and chopsticks.IMG_6216

Zucchini Spice Loaf

Many summers back we hired a landscaping company to design our front gardens and cover our porch with flagstone. It was a family based business, and we really got to know the workers, as they were all extremely outgoing. My mom always provides construction workers with coffee, Gatorade, granola bars and muffins and this situation was no different. The father, an older fellow, was so appreciative of the beverages and food that he brought us a ginormous zucchini from his garden along with other home grown vegetables. I was able to make three loaves of bread just from that one zucchini. To this day, no zucchini has compared in taste or size. They always say small to medium sized zucchinis are the most firm and flavourful, so his went against all norms!

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To be honest our gardens look completely different now , as my parents both have quite the green thumbs, but my zucchini recipe has stayed the same. Despite wanting to add in hints of orange or chocolate as complimenting ingredients to the spices, I never want to tamper with the recipe since it is extremely moist and flavourful. I don’t make it that often, but when I do, no crumb goes uneaten. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does. Have you ever tried chocolate zucchini loaf? What about orange spice? Do you prefer zucchini or banana loaf? ♥ Molly

Fun Fact About Zucchini: The world’s largest zucchini on record was 69.5 inches long, and weighed 65 lbs grown by Bernard Lavery of Plymouth Devon, UK.IMG_6121 IMG_6141IMG_6137

Zucchini Spice Loaf

Makes One 8×4 Loaf, 8-10 thick slicesIMG_6140

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups grated, unpeeled, zucchini
  1. Preheat over to 350°F and line a 8×4 pan with parchment paper (or grease).
  2. Sift  flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg into a small bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat together brown sugar and oil until creamed. Beat in vanilla, milk, applesauce and egg. Reduce speed to low and add in sifted dry ingredients beating until smooth. Stir in zucchini just until combined.
  4. Pour mixture into loaf pan and bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. The exterior of the loaf should turn golden brown. If the top is getting very dark, cover with tinfoil for protection and continue baking.
  5. Let cool, remove bread from pan, and serve with a side of fruit, alongside tea or with a coconut oil or butter as a spread.

Happy National Ice Cream Day!

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Happy National Ice Cream Day! You didn’t think I would forget did you? On Thursday I listed 20 fun facts about myself, and let you know that onions are my favourite food. What I failed to mention was that Ice Cream is making its way up the totem pole.You can’t buy happiness but you can buy ice cream… and that’s kind of the same thing. The pictures in today’s post are just some of the cones I consumed this July… I have a slight addiction but it’s calcium right?

In 1984, President Ronal Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day. He recognized ice cream as a fun and nutritious food that is enjoyed by a full 90 percent of the nation’s population. In the proclamation, President Reagan called for all people of the United States to observe these events with “appropriate ceremonies and activities.” (Source)

photo-98Ice cream used to be something I feared and ate only on special occasions. Well that thought went out the window because it is now something I consume on an almost daily basis. I’d like to blame the heat for this recent addiction, but I have a feeling come December, it’ll remain a staple in my diet. There’s no telling when I’ll become sick of it!

photo-101The combinations of flavours are endless, not to mention mix-ins, sauces and toppings. I consider frozen yogurt to be a form of ice cream, so my favourite flavours are cappuccino, tart, mango and lime. When I am having real ice cream, I typically have soft-serve so a “twist” of chocolate and vanilla is my go-to. In terms of “harder” ice cream flavours, I enjoy cookie dough or mint chocolate. When I was little I chose ice cream based on the “colour” so I often left with bubble gum, cotton candy or rainbow sorbet since they were all pink! Of course back then I wasn’t allergic to nuts so I could also have peanut butter chocolate. Yum!photo-100

My usual mix ins are fresh fruit and I prefer strawberry slices or mango chunks. I really like lychee popping balls as well. They are these little balls that have a soft outer shell and upon applying pressure with your tongue, they squirt out flavourful juice into your mouth. On occasion I add in sprinkles,  cookie dough or strawberry sauce.photo-102

I had hoped to create an ice cream recipe to share on the blog but I haven’t yet perfected one. This being said I’ve been pinning recipes on Pinterest all week long, so I’ll leave you with some that caught my eye. Of course,  you can always try my  Banana Soft Serve as well!

Want to know some more facts about ice cream’s history and it is made? Be sure to check out this website! ♥ Molly

“Ice-cream is exquisite – what a pity it isn’t illegal.” – Voltaire

“Life is like ice cream, enjoy it before it melts.” 

No-Bake Energy Bites

Yesterday I posted about the benefits of coconut oil and I taught you how to crack open a coconut. It wouldn’t be fair of me to leave you hanging with a fresh coconut and no recipe now would it?

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Of course I realize that nobody wants to be adding to the heat by turning on his or her oven, so I created a simple no-bake recipe. I call them energy bites. Not only do they include the benefits of coconut mentioned in yesterday’s post, but also they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, lignans and fiber since they contain flaxseed. These bites are quick to whip up and even faster to eat! From start to finish this recipe took me under an hour to make, photograph, taste (by which I mean devour), clean up! I’ve even included a “cookie dough” switch up, but feel free to add mix-ins of your liking such as chia seeds, raisins or dried cherries. They make for a great snack on the go so why not bring them along with you while grocery shopping, hiking, camping or relaxing in the sun because you never know when you might need some extra fuel.

Hope you are having a lovely Saturday! ♥ Molly

“The higher your energy level, the more efficient your body. The more efficient your body, the better you feel and the more you will use your talent to produce outstanding results.” – Anthony Robbins

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No-Bake Energy Bites

Makes 12 small balls, 6 OriginalIMG_6081

Base:

  • 1 cup whole dates, pitted
  • 2 cups fresh coconut, shredded (Alternatively, 2 cups of unsweetened coconut flakes)
  • ¼ cup ground flaxseed (Alternatively, ¼ cup wheat germ)
  • 1.5 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. water

“Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough” Mix ins, For ½ base recipe or 6 bites:IMG_6076

  • 1 tbsp. chocolate chips
  • 3 tbsp. oatmeal, large flakes
  1. Toast the coconut in a skillet on high heat for 2 minutes or until golden brown.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the whole dates into smaller pieces.
  3. Add in toasted coconut flakes, flaxseed, vanilla and water and blend until combined, approximately 2 minutes. If the mixture is not moist enough to stick together, blend in an additional ½ tbsp. of water.
  4. If using, add in mix-ins and re-pulse. (Note: My mix-in measurements are for 1/2 the base recipe. At this point, I took half the mixture out to form original bites.)
  5. Form balls using a heaping tbsp. of mixture. Roll until smooth and let chill for 5 minutes in the refrigerator. Serve and enjoy!IMG_6080

Raspberry Rhubarb Crisp

We’ve never really had a vegetable garden per se. My parents take great care of their floral gardens, and while I do love the tulips, hydrangeas and peonies, it would be sort of neat to pick fresh tomatoes from your backyard. When I was little and still lived in Peterborough, we had great big snowball bushes surrounding our house. Nestled between two big bushes, you also could find a rhubarb perennial. Of course rhubarb is meant for baking, and its flavour was much too tart for my “young” taste buds to eat. Lucky for me, I had a sweet tooth, so I’d dip the end in sugar to counteract the sourness. As I’ve grown older, I’ve learned that dipping rhubarb in sugar isn’t exactly healthy or something that I truly enjoy as a snack. Even though I might not eat it fresh these days, I do like to have it in the form of a sauce, jam or pie. Want to know more about Rhubarb? Continue reading and you’ll be surprised to find some interesting facts, and a yummy dessert. Rhubarb has many nutritional benefits! ♥ Molly

‘Promises and Pie-Crusts are meant to be broken.” – Jonathan Swift

IMG_5885Fun Facts about Rhubarb

  • Rhubarb belongs to the buckwheat family so it is in fact a vegetable, not a fruit. It starts out as green and matures into a deep ruby-red.
  • This perennial plant grows thrives in moist soil.
  • Rhubarb is originally from China and Tibet and has been used in medicine for thousands of years.
  • The stalks of Rhubarb were first grown as edible vegetables in Italy during the seventeenth century.
  • It’s nickname is “pie plant” since it is commonly baked into pies since it’s tart flavour is too strong for most to eat fresh.
  • Wrapped in saran wrap, Rhubarb can keep for a week in the fridge after being cut.
  • When cooked for twenty minutes, the cancer-protecting chemicals that rhubarb contains increase.
  • The leaves of rhubarb are poisonous. Use this to your advantage to ward off flies and insects that attack your gardens. (Try making a spray by soaking the leaves in water for three weeks).

Fun Nutrition Facts about Rhubarb

  • Rhubarb is rich in antioxidant polyphenols, which help prevent the development of cancerous cells.
  • If you have a history of kidney stones or gout, watch out. Rhubarb contains oxalic acid in its stems, which prevents the body from absorbing the calcium and iron rhubarb naturally contains.
  • The leaves of rhubarb are poisonous.
  • Rhubarb is said to alleviate symptoms of acid-reflex.
  • It is an excellent source of Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Manganese, Calcium and Potassium.

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Raspberry Rhubarb Crisp IMG_5926

Filling

  • 2 cups of rhubarb, diced
  • 2 cups raspberries, halved
  • Juice of 1 orange (approximately 3 tbsp)

Topping

  • ½ cup pitted dates (approximately 6 whole)
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup whole oats
  • 2 tbsp. Plain Yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. Maple Syrup (optional)
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. ginger
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a 9inch by 9inch baking dish, layer the rhubarb and raspberries on the bottom of the dish, and drizzle with orange juice . Set aside. (Note: A smaller dish such as the one I used, makes for a deeper crisp which is equally good!)IMG_5902
  3. In a food processor, pulse the dates into small pieces. Add in the remaining “topping” ingredients and process to combine. The mixture should stick together without being too moist or too dry.IMG_5893 IMG_5901
  4. Pour the topping onto the filling and bake in the oven for 40 minutes or until crisp.IMG_5912
  5. Serve warm, alongside a glass of milk or ice cream.

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Fresh Fortifying Summer Salad

I try my best to participate in “Meatless Mondays” and consume plant based protein sources on a weekly basis. While I do enjoy barbecued chicken or baked salmon, you’ll hardly ever find me consuming red meat. Growing up if I didn’t like the way something looked, I wouldn’t try it! Vegetables never turned me off, however pork, ham and red meat never made their way into my diet. Thankfully the blog world (Pinterest!) is full of healthy vegetarian and vegan recipes. Unfortunately for me, common ingredients in these sorts of meals are nuts. “Napa Almond”, “Coconut Cashew”, “Maple Walnut” are all appealing flavour combinations, but are also off limit due to my allergies. Angela, from Oh She Glows, (The first food blog I ever read) recently created a “Rad Rainbow Raw Pad Thai”. The second I saw it, I knew I had to try it, but after looking into the recipe I saw that there were a few small problems. Firstly, I don’t own a spiralizer. Secondly, red cabbage is one of the only vegetables that upsets my stomach. Thirdly, and most importantly, I can’t enjoy the salad dressing as it is a “Peanut Lime” sauce.  Lucky for me, I’m used to modifying recipes, so I decided that I would create my own version. While Angela considers hers to be a pad thai (the zucchini strings really do resemble noodles), I’d call mine a salad. Regardless, the recipe  is nutrient dense, extremely flavourful and very filling. Enjoy!  ♥ Molly

“Food is an important part of a balanced diet.” – Fran Lebowitz

IMG_5836 IMG_5840 IMG_5846Fresh Fortifying Summer Salad

Makes 6 generous cupsIMG_5854

Salad

  • 1 large zucchini
  • 3 cups loose kale leaves, stems removed
  • 2 large carrots, peeled
  • 1.5 cups frozen endamame, thawed
  • 1.5 cups chickpeas
  • 3 green onions, chopped (or 1/4 cup red onion)
  • 1 bell pepper, thinely sliced
  • 4 tbsp. sesame seeds

Dressing

  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup (optional)
  1. In a food processor, pulse kale leaves until coarsely chopped. Change the blade to grate, and grate in carrots. If you do not have a food processor, finely chop and grate the ingredients by hand. Transfer to a large serving bowl and set aside.
  2. Using a mandolin, peeler or spiralizer, prepare the zucchini so that it is julienned. Transfer into the serving bowl, adding with it the endamame, chickpeas, onion and bell pepper.IMG_5831 IMG_5834
  3. In a small bowl, prepare the dressing by whisking all ingredients together. Pour over salad and toss to combine. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.IMG_5858