recipes

apple cider vinaigrette

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Okay this is one of those dressings that can go on anything – it’s so tasty that you’ll love whatever is coated with it. Tangy, but slightly sweet, this addictive dressing keeps you going in bite after bite. I have a friend who buys it at Farm Boy all the time – all she did at a playdate was toss it with mixed greens and a few chopped peppers, and it was such a delicious salad!  You can definitely find different kinds of apple cider vinaigrette at the store but if you are like me and have a giant jug of apple cider vinegar from Costco, making it yourself is way more economical! And also – the ingredients are super simple and non-perishable! It will keep in a mason jar in your fridge for weeks.

Summer time is here! What a great season to enjoy all the fresh veggies and leafy greens (currently our favourite at home is a mix of baby arugula and baby kale). Be sure to make extra dressing so that you always have a dressing on hand, whenever you need it.

what you need:

  • 6 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 8 tbsp grape seed oil (or similar oil – something very mild in flavour)
  • 4 tbsp raw local honey (try to find local honey, as it has the best benefits for your health)
  • a few twists of freshly ground black pepper
  • two pinches of salt

what to do:

  1. Put all your ingredients in a mason jar and shake really well. Use immediately or store in fridge for later use. Enjoy!
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Left over grilled steak finds a new home in this simple salad of greens, avocado and tomatoes. The dressing pulls it all together!
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One of piepie’s favourites is this vinaigrette on bean salad – it holds up well for school lunch!

 

yoga

25 min Yoga for Happy Hips

Hips – they don’t lie! Do you feel tight in your hips? Ask yourself:

  • Can I sit comfortably cross legged on the floor?
  • Can I sit in a chair and cross one ankle over the opposite thigh, keeping my back straight?

The hip joint is a ball and socket joint, and should be able to move in all directions.  Most of us who have tight hips find sitting cross legged uncomfortable or impossible.  Many chalk it up to old age but this isn’t true! Just like strength, flexibility comes with practice and is an ongoing journey. It is incredibly important for injury prevention. I really like to use the slip and fall example – if you suddenly slip and fall you’re more likely to recover quickly or reduce/prevent injury because your body has been stretched that way before. One of the many many reason why YOGA is so good for us!

This 25 min hip flow targets all muscles layers of the hip (there are several!!). It may feel difficult the first few times, especially if you are particularly tight in the hips. Repeat it daily for a week and stick with it, you will be surprised at how your body responds and how good it feels to open up those hips.

recipes

rice bowl – Indian inspired

Rice bowls and Buddha bowls are widely popular right now, and it’s no wonder why – they are usually loaded with delicious ingredients and really hit the spot when you’re hungry.

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load up on fresh ingredients!

Be sure to make extra if you want leftovers for lunches the next day!

Start with a cuisine you’re craving and create your toppings around that. For example, this bowl was Indian inspired so we used lentils (think daal) and spices such as cumin and turmeric. If you were going with an Asian flare, you could use soy, garlic, ginger, and green onions. Mediterranean could look like olives, oregano, dill, honey, lemon, and feta. You get the drift!

Indian Inspired Rice Bowl; garlicky lemon green beans, quick lentil daal, saucey black beans, shredded raw carrots, cilantro & lemon wedges

*If you like heat, you can add a pinch of cayenne or fresh red chilies. I did not include it because of my little ones.

makes about 4 servings

garlicky lemon green beans

  • ~500g green beans
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil (I use grape seed oil)
  1. Wash and clean green beans. Roughly slice them on a diagonal angle.
  2. Finely chop garlic.
  3. In a pan over medium heat, add oil and garlic. Once it is fragrant, add chopped beans and sauté, about 2-3 minutes, just until tender but still has a bite (not soggy).
  4. Remove from heat and sprinkle with salt and toss with lemon juice.

quick lentil daal

  • 1 1/2 cup dry red lentils
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • water
  • a pinch of salt
  1. Rinse lentils.
  2. Put lentils in a pot and fill with just enough water that it covers the lentils by 1″. Put the lid on.
  3. Bring lentils to a boil then reduce heat to low, cooking until semi-tender (about 3-5 min).
  4. Add spices and salt, stir well then put the lid back on and simmer another 3 minutes. If it seems too watery, you can simmer with the lid off for a little longer – just keep an eye on it so the bottom doesn’t burn.

saucey black beans

  • ~1 1/2 cup cooked black beans
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 small onion (either red or yellow is fine)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil (I use grape-seed oil)
  1. Dice the onion. Roughly chop the tomato (keeping the juicy seeds).
  2. In a large non-stick pan, heat oil on medium – high.
  3. Add ginger, onion, and cumin. Sauté until fragrant.
  4. Add black beans and tomato and cook until everything comes together, about 3-5 minutes.

Rice 

  1. Cook up your favourite rice (we used a mix of short and long grain white rice, and red rice). Follow instructions on the rice package, but in general it’s 1:1 for rice to water ratio. In a covered pot, bring it to boil then turn down to simmer until water is all absorbed.

shredded carrots: wash and peel 2 carrots, then use a grater to shred them.

cilantro & lemon wedges: for final garnish

How to serve:

Place every item in a different bowl or serving dish. Place rice at the bottom of your bowl and top it with desired toppings, mix it all up and enjoy! Or, if you like things separate (like my kids sometimes do) – enjoy each one separately. ENJOY!

recipes

lemon curd

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Doesn’t this gorgeous lemon colour just say Spring?! It’s like the sunshine! With Easter coming up this weekend, make ahead dessert is a great way to prep. Lemon curd is super easy and keeps in the fridge for several days. Spoon it onto anything like mixed fruit, plain yogurt, or a slice of sponge cake. It makes an every day thing just a little more special.
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what you need:

  • 2 or 3 large lemons
    • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    • 1 1/2 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs

what to do:

  1. Thoroughly wash lemons.
  2. Using a microplane, zest the lemon (avoid white pith) until you have about 1 1/2 tbsp zest. Set aside.
  3. Cut lemon in half and juice until you get 3/4 cup.
  4. In a heavy saucepan, whisk sugar, lemon juice and eggs over medium heat. Whisk until thickened (when it coats the whisk) – about 8-10 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and add zest and butter and salt. Whisk until butter is melted.
  6. Pour through a fine strainer to remove random egg bits and zest.
  7. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.
  8. Serve cold with fruit, cake, yogurt, or even dip cookies in it…ENJOY!
recipes

caesar kale

I love a good tangy caesar salad dressing – and yesterday I discovered so does my 6-year old! Piepie even took some leftovers in her school lunch today, and we threw in some chickpeas and cucumbers to make it a little heartier. Definitely a win!DSC_0353

Kale is a great substitute to romaine lettuce because it holds up to the dressing, you can enjoy it a few hours later or even the next day.  It also has a lot more nutrients, such as Vitamin K (in general, the darker green the leaf, the better).

caesar kale:

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  • juice of 2 lemons, zest of 1 lemon
  • equal amount of light tasting oil (e.g. grape seed oil) to your lemon juice
    • you can always add more oil if you feel it’s too tangy / sour
  • 1 small clove of garlic, grated
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup finely grated fresh parmesan
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • a pinch of salt and pepper
  • shaved parmesan for garnish

Combine dressing ingredients in a mason jar and shake vigourously. Taste and adjust if needed! I recommend taking a kale leaf to dip and taste – sometimes the dressing on the spoon on it’s own is intense but it’s different with the vegetables.

  • Remove kale leaves from stem and wash thoroughly. Tear into small bite size pieces.
  • Toss in a large bowl with dressing, allow to sit for at least 10 minutes before serving. Overnight works too!
  • When you are ready to serve, top with crusty croutons and shaved parmesan. ENJOY!