Raw, Vegan

Frozen Strawberry-Banana Smoothie Sherbet

March 23, 2012

Two weeks.

That’s how long I have left as an Undergrad, before I walk out of my last class of University ever.

Ok, well not ever. If I’m going to be a teacher, I’m going to have to go back after I graduate to complete the Professional Development Program, thus another year of classes. But, I will however have five glorious months off from homework, essay writing and deadlines. Finally.

In these five months I plan on working, hopefully, and travelling to Europe with a friend for a month. I guess once that is all finished I’ll be alright with going back to class. Even though I would like to think this will be my last class ever.

Spring seems to have arrived here in Vancouver, though we were seeing snowfall up until last week. My allergies don’t seem to care if there is snow on the ground or not, regardless of the weather allergy season has definitely made an appearance.

I appreciate the warmer temperatures and sunny afternoons, the sun shining way past its usual curfew of 5:00 pm, and the happier moods that overall nice weather seems to put you in. I really do. Even if I curse the fact that I begin allergy attacks by 9 am each morning. Nasal strips are now my friend if I ever want to be able to sleep through the night. Oh, and breath.

After seeing a recipe from Eat – Drink – Love earlier this week I knew I wanted to make it. It just screams spring is on the way. I’ve never really had Sherbet, though I probably have and just called it ice cream. Due to dairy allergies I rarely if ever eat ice cream or frozen yogurt anymore. Poor Adam ;) After looking at the recipe I thought I could make that dairy free, and still enjoy it. It’s like a smoothie, only creamier with the addition of coconut milk.

It’s Vegan, Raw, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Sugar Free and still totally satisfying. If you’re into those kinds of things. You can eat an entire bowl and not feel guilty. Have it for a snack in the afternoon, or  top it with fresh fruit and you’ve got dessert after dinner.

It’s easy.

Ta-Da.

 

Hope everyone has a sunny weekend! Adam is firing up the grill for our Homemade Turkey Burgers (this recipe is definitely a winner) first BBQ of the season!

Frozen Strawberry-Banana Smoothie Sherbet

Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg. Strawberries, thoroughly washed & stems removed
  • 1 can Coconut Milk (reduced fat or regular)
  • 1-2 very ripe Bananas

Directions:

  1. Slice strawberries and bananas and place in food processor (I use my KitchenAid 7 cup) or blender and puree until smooth.
  2. Add the can of Coconut milk and puree once again.

Alternatively, if you do not want to have seeds in the finished product, puree the strawberries and push through a mesh sieve, and then add that back to the processor and add banana and coconut milk.

3.  Place smoothie mixture into a bowl and chill in the fridge overnight. I made this the night before and let the flavours   marinate in the fridge. The ripe bananas will sweeten the strawberries naturally and the coconut milk adds a hint of tropical flavour. If you don’t wish to wait overnight, chill at least an hour or two to let flavours release.

4.  After chilling place smoothie mixture into Ice Cream Maker (I use my KitchenAid Ice Cream Attachment) and freeze according to the manufacture’s instructions. About 20 minutes.

You can eat is soft serve once it’s done, or freeze until hardened.

This freezes quite solid, so allow to sit at room temperature for a few minutes before serving.

Storing in cute mason jar optional. Looks like a jar of strawberry jam!

WIAW

WIAW: Randomness

March 21, 2012

Allergy season has officially begun. I have tried to stay on my food elimination diet for my food allergies, kinda, however, while on this diet I am not able to take any allergy medication that would mask the allergic reactions I may get from the foods. Thus, I either suffer through the allergies or take the medicine and try to stick to the diet best I can.

Well, even when I take the allergy medicine there is still no relief. After about 20 years of allergies I think my body has built up an immunity to all allergy medicines. They never seem to do anything for me anymore. It’s like taking a placebo, I’ll try and trick my mind into thinking the allergy pill I just took will work immediately and I will begin to feel better, but just a little while later I’ll still be sniffling and sneezing away. I really hope I don’t pass on these allergies to my future children. It sucks. Spring and Summer sucks. I also read on my allergy food information page that because my grass allergies are the highest they can be, and I believe it!, that this time of year is when Alder and Birch are really bad, and this can be affected even more so by other food allergies that counter-react with them. Awesome.

Bottom line, allergies suck and I would like to be able to breath out of both of my nostrils sometime soon.

I really didn’t take very good photos yesterday for WIAW this week.

Breakfast was cereal, as usual right now for the allergy diet that I’m sorta-kinda on still. (recycled photo)

Lunch was leftover chicken and roasted broccoli from the night before. No picture evidence because it was eaten so quickly.

For dinner we had Adam’s mom over as his dad is on a business trip this week, and my mom came by for coffee after dinner too. I decided to make a pork tenderloin I had in the fridge, Italian style with rosemary and basil with olive oil, along with roasted veggies, potato and sweet potato, and baby broccoli. I didn’t take a picture, but had leftovers today so it was basically the same thing. It was good.

Tonight Adam and I took Lainey to the urban nature park near our house. It’s a really large park with trails through the forest and a man made lake in the middle. I always read about the Fitnessista’s walks in their canyons in Phoenix, however here in British Columbia we don’t have many giant canyons full of cacti. We do, however, have vast forests and mountains.

It’s a really nice walk through the trails and Lainey was looking a little cabin-feverish tonight. She’s getting groomed in the morning so I thought it would be nice to take her out for a long walk tonight before the torture tomorrow. She shakes like a leaf whenever I bring her in, and when I pick her up she shakes in excitement screaming “take me home!!” She looks very pretty though all short and sassy. When her hair gets long we start calling her scruffy.

Lainey and I both needed to get out of the house for a little walk. (note Pinterest in the background..) We went for a nice half hour walk.

The urban park has some eerie looking trails that wind through it.

It kind of reminds me of Twilight. Ya, I went there. I wouldn’t mind running into a vampire in these woods if you know what I mean.. ;)

Once you’re out of the forest though the sun was shining through the clouds.

It’s also really pretty when the sun is setting just over the park. The reflections on the lake are gorgeous. Some boys were even fishing for trout.

Now that we’re back home, the allergies have begun again. It’s a lose-lose situation.

Tonight I prepped a recipe I’m trying out tomorrow. Stay tuned to see what I did with this ingredient!

For now we’re going to re-watch inception to try and see if we can figure out what the heck that movie was about. Again.

Have a good night!

 

Weekly Meals

Weekly Menu Planning

March 19, 2012

How was everyone’s weekend? Did you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? I usually don’t go all out with this holiday, however we were invited over for dinner that night and I decided to get creative and bring a green dish. I made deviled eggs, tinted green, along with some green veggies and my new favourite brownie recipe, with some drizzled white chocolate, also tinted green on top. It was really good, and the Canucks won that night. Win-win.

A green smoothie also made an appearance. My current fav. Almond milk, ice, spinach, banana. Blend well.

So here we are again, another Monday. I’m counting down the minutes until class is over, and I’m starving. I had some overnight oats for breakfast, first time trying them. I can’t decide if I love them yet, but they aren’t bad. I’ll try them again with different flavour combos.

I had to have an early lunch because I was heading up to the university early to get work done on a presentation, so I had a small bowl of leftover Turkey, Black Bean & Sweet potato Chili.

I had seen this recipe quite a few times and never thought about adding sweet potatoes/yam to chili ( still not sure which term is correct for that vegetable! ). It was really quite simple, I went with my usual throw together recipe, I just browned some ground turkey with onion, added my regular veggies (mushrooms, red peppers, celery etc) a can of rinsed & drained black beans, and chopped up a medium sized yam/sweet potato along with two cans of pureed plum tomatoes. I let it sit for about an hour simmering until the potatoes were cooked and the veggies tender. Adam and I both really liked this! The sweet potato/yam with the chli spices was really delicious and it was really hearty. Packed with veggies and nutrients. We both had leftovers for lunch today.

Now, it’s 5 pm and I’m starving. I only brought a couple peach cups with me for a snack and regret not bringing a small bag of granola I made last night (supposed to be granola bars..but turned out more like granola. Still tastes good!) My class is four hours long so I get a little hungry in the middle.

Lately I’ve been trying to plan ahead meals for the week. I’ve seen many other blogs create templates or give tips on meal planning and grocery shopping. When it comes to grocery shopping I usually get the same things every time, aside from special/specific ingredients for a meal I know I’ll want to make. Sometime’s I’ll make whatever we feel like, but this way is much more structured.

(source)

Every time we shop its mostly veggies, fruit, lunch meat for Adam’s sandwiches, cereal and milk (for Adam) and other staples we might need like Almond milk for me. I think we’ve (read: I ) have only ever bought one package of frozen pizzas since I moved in. I do 90% of the grocery shopping, since I do 100% of the cooking. I never buy frozen meals mainly because I love to cook and its easy to buy fresh. We really never venture into the frozen foods aisle, I can’t eat ice cream due to an allergy so the dessert section is also out, and we don’t buy many chips or packaged snacks aside from crackers for Adam (he loves Cheeze-its). Neither of us drink Pop, aside from carbonated water.   I mentioned before that we’ve never ordered in. Ever. No take out menus here. The only thing we will pick up is Sushi, as I can’t make it, and it’s cheaper to buy it than all the ingredients you need to make it yourself. And it tastes better! We also never get fast food, no drive-thrus (aside from a burger in a food court for Adam occasionally, and Tim Horton’s snack wraps in the summer on a long drive). We hardly ever eat out, both because I like to cook and also we don’t have lots of money to spend eating out as we are both students right now. If we want pizza for dinner, I’ll make the dough and we’ll make our own pizzas. Cheaper than ordering in, and healthier. Also, it’s delicious ;)

On night’s that I don’t feel like cooking, which is rare but it happens, Adam will open up a can of soup, make a grilled cheese sandwich, a salad or something else that doesn’t really require much ‘cooking.’ He’s the dishwasher of our relationship, I’m the cook. It works for us and I think we’re both pretty happy. Adam gets delicious food, I don’t have to worry about the usually large mess that I leave behind me once dinner is ready. (I’m a messy cook!) I don’t love doing the dishes, and Adam really doesn’t like to cook, aside from grilling.

(Plus, he’s a cute helper!)

I’m not saying buying pre-made food is bad, and if you really don’t have the time or love of cooking I completely understand. I however really do love cooking and looking up recipes and meal planning so I choose to make most of our meals from scratch.

(source)

I’m trying to plan each week’s meals so that for one, we don’t have to figure it out last minute, and two we can plan ahead and change it up a bit instead of having the same three or four options every week. Some days, like Monday’s, Adam is home before me and can take out ingredients we need if they need to thaw or cook for a little while before I get home. With both of us in school, most nights and weekends are filled with homework, studying and writing essays. It’s nice to plan out meals one day each week, leaving the rest of the time free instead of answering the old question of..

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It’s also a good way to make sure you’re getting a variety of veggies, meats and seafood each week.

So here is the potential meal plan for this week including links to the recipes I’ll be making:

Monday:

One-pan roasted chicken breasts with veggies and potatoes along with salad

Tuesday:

Spinach pesto pasta 
(this is actually a recipe for spinach pesto pizza, but I used the pesto sauce for pasta after seeing other spinach pesto pasta recipes, and this one was really good!)

Wednesday:

Ribollita Soup
(as per Adam’s request!)

Thursday:

Shrimp stir fry with rice noodles

Friday:

Homemade Turkey Burgers
(
these are so good!! Moist and super easy to make)

 

So, do you meal plan? Do you use an online program or template? 

If you don’t meal plan, do you think you might start?