real food. real life.
Being snowed in, at first, is fun. No need to go anywhere. No need to change out of your pj's. (win!) Excuses to eat chips (although, I'm on a chip-free resolution right now, so been replacing that craving with popcorn) But then, after a while, it gets boring. Sooooo booooooring! I get so restless being home with nothing really to do. I am definitely not one to sit around watching tv all day. I clean, tidy, organize, re-organize, take up new hobbies... whatever to keep myself busy.
Today I was planning to get out of this house! It was going to be a clear day. I had errands to do and grandparents to visit. Hannah and I were going to get out for a swim (it's been almost 3 weeks now since we've been out... ) but, here I am, at home again! This darn winter! The roads are still terrible from the last storm and at the last minute, I decided it was best to not try driving around town with an 8 month old.... argh....
So, insert a new post! And a sweet one at that! This one is brought to you by needing something to do, needing something sweet to pick up the afternoon lull, and a lack of honey that I wanted to use for another treat.
These turned out really yummy. Sweet, peanut buttery, crunchy. I added the cocoa at the last minute, you could totally omit it. It tasted good without it, as well! I added some options below to better suit it to your preference!
Total time: 5 minutes
1 cup oats
2/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup peanut butter (natural)
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon flaxseeds
1 tablespoon cocoa
What to do:
1) Combine all ingredients in a bowl or food processor.
2) Roll into balls. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve!
***Lots of options for this one:
-replace maple syrup with honey or agave
-use whatever seeds or nuts you want to add
-use almond or sunflower seed butter in place (to help make it school-friendly)
-omit coconut or oats and add more of the other
-omit cocoa if not a chocolate fan
I am not a huge fan of winter. It looks pretty around the holidays to have a dusting of snow on everything and I like wearing scarves and hats, but that's about it. I don't like feeling cold. I don't like slipping on ice. I am a horrible winter driver (well, horrible regular driver as well... eek!) Anyway, back to my point. Winter - not my favourite season. Sorry snow lovers!
However, I live in Nova Scotia, Canada, and so it goes... Yesterday we had a massive snowstorm blow through. A few days before that, we had another one. And another one. And another one! It has been nothing but freezing cold, snowy, slushy, and windy for the past while. AND (major complainer alert) I still don't have a working oven! Oh... dreaming of slow roasted root veggies sizzling away while also warming up the house with smells of garlic and onion... mmmm.... yeah... nooooo. :(
So soup. Soup it is! Everyday of the week! Okay, not literally every day, but actually pretty close to it! I've been just in soup land here lately. Last night, I was planning to vegetarian chilli, but mid-chopping decided I didn't feel like chilli. I wanted something that used some up the fresh veggies we purchased at the market on the weekend - some not-so-typical winter veggies! Kind of made it feel like spring... a little bit... until you looked out the window! I chose to focus on the soup :)
Here's the recipe for last night's delicious vegetarian-version of chicken noodle soup. No chicken. Just extra veg. :)
Total Time: 30 minutes
drizzle of oil for the pot (I used coconut oil)
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Veggies for soup: We used 2 carrots, 1 head broccoli, 1/2 zucchini, a couple handfuls of spinach, 1/2 red pepper, 1/2 cup or so of frozen corn and peas, handful of brussel sprouts)
2-4 cups of vegetable broth (depending on how soupy and how much chopped vegetables you used)
Spices: summer savoury, basil, oregano, sea salt, pepper (a few shakes of each!)
A few handfuls of noodles of choice
What to do:
1) Heat oil in pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Stir and cook until starting to smell delicious.
2) Then add the firmest veggies, like the carrots, broccoli, and brussel sprouts. Stir and cook until starting to brighten in colour, a couple minutes.
3) Then add softer veggies, like peppers, zucchini, corn, peas, and spinach. Stir and cook for a minute, until sizzling is creating a little brown on the bottom of the pot.
4) Then add broth and spices. Turn heat to high to bring to a boil. Stir and scape bottom of pot to release yummy sears from the veggies. Bring to a boil and stir. Cook for about 7-10 minutes or until veggies are just turning soft. For the noodles, I used large egg noodles so I added them at this point so they cooked while the veggies cooked. If you are using a noodle that cooks in shorter time, put in when you have about that much time left.
*You want to remove from high heat when noodles and veggies are just starting to turn soft. They will continue to cook a bit once you take off the heat, so keep in mind you don't want mushy mush!
So, I credit my mother-in-law, Laura, for finding these gems! They are a perfect sweet treat! With a secret healthy ingredient to boot! I knew I was getting the hang of this whole food, vegan-style cooking when I could name off the short list of ingredients in these beauties with just a look and taste! Vegan treats are so easy to make, have a very short list of ingredients, and are usually packed with nutrients (as well as sugars & fats - the good kind - but still there, just be aware!)
These squares are often called "grasshoppers". Here's a link to the recipe. I used this recipe, but doubled the ingredients to make bigger squares. :) Here's what I did!
Total Time: 20 minutes? If even that!
Mint Layer -
2 whole avocados, skin & seed removed
1/2 cup honey (could try maple syrup or stevia)
3/4 cup coconut oil
3 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
6/8 teaspoons of mint/peppermint extract or food-grade essential oil
dash of sea salt
Chocolate Layer -
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup honey (could try maple syrup or stevia)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
dash of sea salt
Mint Layer Instructions
Chocolate Layer Instructions
We really cooked these things. From scratch. On weeknights. And we even had time to do the dishes.
They have real, simple ingredients that you'll find in your cupboards. They're healthy and delicious. No lies.
Thanks for reading. Leave a comment below!
Here's a pic of me and my babies. Just because.
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