Browsing Tag

Carrot

Soup, Vegan

Roasted Butternut Squash Carrot Apple Soup

October 1, 2013

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So, today was fun.

On my drive to work today as I was merging from the left lane to the right lane just before the entrance to the highway I saw a large piece of metal in the middle of the lane. It looked like a hunk of some machine, or car part that had fallen off a heavy duty truck perhaps. 

I saw it only for a split second as the car in front of me switched lanes. I don’t remember if I had time to move out of the way or not, but I was thinking I had better not put my brakes on as I merged onto the highway because I’m sure I would have been rear ended. So I kept driving and sure enough just as I changed lanes the object met my front right tire.

It was quite the bump – it felt hard and solid as I drove over it with a clank. Unluckily I was merging right onto the highway with no where else to turn off, so I had to keep driving. The next exit was mine, but it was down a large hill. I could feel my tired slowly giving out. There was a sad little noise coming from the front right. It began to clunk louder, so I turned on my hazards, and coasted along the shoulder until the bottom of the highway to my exit. 

Oh crap.

I pulled over for a minute so I could call Adam – panicked of course. I began crying, because well that’s what you do when you’ve just ran over a large metal object, your tire is punctured, clanking and slowly deflating and your stranded on the side of a  highway and need to be at work in 5 minutes. 

I managed to let some traffic by me while I was on the shoulder of the exit, and then proceed to limp my way around the exit with my hazard lights to the nearest parking lot for a park & ride bus area. 

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I parked, got out and looked at the damage. Yup – it was definitely torn up. I called Adam back, then called a cab to get me to work. I was really only about 5 minutes from the school I was working at today, and luckily it was the school I had been at for both my practicums so I knew it well. I think if I had been TOCing at an unknown school I may have been a little more panicked. 

a $20 cab ride later, I was at school – and on time! TOC of the year? I think so. 

A big thanks to Adam who was a super boyfriend today – he left work, went to my abandoned car to put on the spare tire, which turned out to be flat and had to go to the store to get a compressor, came back and changed the spare in the pouring rain, brought it to his uncle who works at a tire store (thankfully!) and put on a new set of tires (because to be honest they needed to be changed before this winter came anyways), drove my car to my school with the new wheels and dropped off my keys, then his dad dropped him off back at his car. 

All I can say is thank goodness for boyfriends who know how to change a tire. Amen.

Needless to say I baked him two treats tonight – both with Apple because he requests apple pie daily. 

Today, he definitely deserved two desserts. I’ll be sharing them soon because they were both major hits. 

Now we’re both lying curled up on the couch watching some PVRd shows including the Black List, Agents of Shield and How I Met Your Mother. There’s lots of new shows for the season, some good some not so good. 

We had some salad for dinner with a chicken breast and a mug of this soup. 

Soup in a mug – it’s the best, and it’s happening all season long. It’s handy dandy.

I’ve began making a Sunday Soup – each sunday I’ll make a large pot of soup to eat through the week for lunches or quick dinners. I’ll share them on here each week. 

Do you have any favourite soups??

butternuts

Roasted Butternut Squash Carrot Apple Soup
Serves 10
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Ingredients
  1. 2 medium butternut squash, peeled seeds removed and chopped into chunks
  2. Olive Oil
  3. 1 yellow onion
  4. 5-6 medium carrots
  5. 2-3 granny smith apples
  6. 3 Tbs. Pumpkin
  7. 4 Cups (1 carton) low-sodium vegetable stock
  8. 1 cup water
  9. nutmeg
  10. cinnamon
  11. dried garlic salt
  12. curry powder
  13. pepper
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place sliced butternut squash chunks onto baking pan, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a little nutmeg, cinnamon, garlic and curry powder just slightly. Mix together and spread in single layer on sheet.
  3. Place in oven for 30-40 minutes, until squash is tender, caramelized and nicely roasted.
  4. About 10 minutes before the squash is finished, dice the onion and add it to a large pot with 2-3 Tbs of olive oil. Heat over medium heat 4-5 minutes until translucent.
  5. Peel and cut carrots into small chunks, add to pot. Cook another 5 minutes.
  6. Peel and cut apple into chunks, add to pot.
  7. Remove butternut squash from the oven, and add about 2 cups of the squash to the pot along with the pumpkin. I reserve the rest of the squash to have with salads - it's delicious.
  8. Add the vegetable broth and water, bring to a boil.
  9. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  10. Remove from heat.
  11. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup, or you can transfer to a blender (be sure to allow the heat to escape through the top or it will burst!), or add small amounts at a time to a food processor and return to the pot. It will turn into a gloriously thick velvety smooth orange soup.
  12. I topped mine with a drizzle of coconut milk.
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/
Muffins

Morning Glory

August 27, 2013

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For the first time, in a very long time, I will not be going ‘back to school’ next week. Well, as a student that is.

My mom and I were talking the other day and she said that now she has no children in school, of all of her ‘children’ (now there’s 5 of us! including step-children). I said “yea, I guess so.” It must be funny thinking no one in our family is a student anymore. I was the last one to finish school, being the youngest, with two degrees and a teaching certificate. I’ll have another graduation ceremony in October, my first was last June. While I’m not going back to school as a student, I will be going back to school as the teacher. Talk about a complete 180. 

I’ve actually had a nightmare about teaching. I dreamt it was my first day as a TOC (teacher on call, aka substitute teacher) and I missed certain classes or subjects and then I left the school without leaving behind a note for the teacher when they return and tried to go back to the school later but it was closed. I know my first day will be nerve-racking, however I hope I don’t forget anything!

There’s a new H&M and Sephora opening at a mall near my mom’s house and she asked me if I wanted to go shopping on Friday to buy a ‘back to school outfit’ haha – I guess it’s more of a ‘back to school-teaching-outfit.” I remember when we were younger and we would go back to school shopping. I always loved getting new pencils, notebooks, binders and lunch boxes. I supposed as a teacher you never really have to give up that excitement of beginning a new school year, though I’ve only just begun I’m sure if you ask me 10 years from now I may not be quite as excited about ‘back to school’…. haha. 

One thing I am not too excited about is the 5:30 am wake up call… every..morning. When you’re a TOC you can get called twice a day, either the night before or the morning of. They begin calling at 5:30 am and then you find out where you are working that day. Then, you go back to sleep for an hour or so then wake up again to get ready for work. I am not a morning person – ask anyone. Adam wakes up at 5:45 each morning for work, and I lie happily in bed until 8 am. I’ll have to get used to the early mornings, or just hope I get the call the night before!

So, in hopes to make my mornings ‘glorious’ while waking up at 5:30 am, these muffins can make for a quick on the go breakfast or mid-morning snack during recess. Carrot cake is one of my favourite cakes, I really just love carrot anything. One of my recent favourites was this Vegan Carrot Cake (that I made for mother’s day). Morning glory muffins are full of coconut, raisins and nuts – they’ll keep you full for a busy morning. 

Thankfully my morning routine is quite quick, I’m not one to spend an hour doing makeup (also the fact that I really don’t know how to do makeup other than mascara! but i’m ok with that). The other morning I woke up at 8:14 when my alarm didn’t go off and had to leave by 8:35 to go to work. I was up, showered, hair and makeup done and out the door in 15 minutes.

Are you a morning person?? I’ll have to work on my love of early mornings. For now, I’ll just love my morning muffins.

 

morningglorymuffins

Morning Glory Muffins
Serves 12
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups Whole Wheat Flour (gluten/wheat free use 1 cup quinoa flour and 1 cup brown rice flour) 3/4 cup brown sugar
  2. 2 teaspoons baking soda
  3. 1 Tbs. ground flax seed
  4. 2 cups peeled and grated carrots
  5. 1 large apple, peeled and grated
  6. 1/3 cup shredded coconut
  7. 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  8. 3 large eggs
  9. 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  10. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  11. 1/2 cup orange juice
  12. 2/3 cup raisins
  13. 2 Tbs. cinnamon
  14. handful of trail mix/seeds (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin - make sure to grease the entire pan including the top for when the batter spills over.
  2. In a small bowl, cover the raisins with 1/4 cup of the orange juice. Microwave for one minute. Set them aside to soak while you assemble the rest of the recipe.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and cinnamon.
  4. Stir in the carrots, apple, coconut, and walnuts.
  5. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and other 1/4 cup of orange juice. Add to the flour mixture, and stir until evenly moistened.
  6. Add the raisins and leftover orange juice.
  7. Divide the batter among the prepared pan. They will be very full. Sprinkle top with trail mix/seed mixture.
  8. Bake the muffins for 25 to 28 minutes, until they're nicely domed (this is why you want to grease the entire pan). You can test it with a toothpick to make sure it is cooked throughout.
  9. Remove the muffins from the oven and let cool in the pan on a rack for about 5 minutes.
  10. Cover and store at room temperature for several days, or freeze for quick breakfasts.
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/
Vegan

Vegan Carrot Cake

May 23, 2013

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Last night I came home from baseball to find this!

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I walked in and saw a shiny new bike with a big bow on it – an early birthday present from Adam =) My birthday is two weeks away. We had been wanting to buy bikes since we moved to our new house, since there is so much around us that we can bike to! The beach, the stores/mall, parks, gym etc. We had been looking around and trying to decide what type we wanted, and settled on wanting a hybrid bike because we aren’t exactly going to be off-roaing and in the mountains so there was no need for a mountain bike. A hybrid was perfect because it’s lightweight, with skinny tires that make for a great road bike with easy transitions.

I was reminded of when I was probably 10 or 11, and my parents bought me a new bike for my birthday. I was out in our front yard, and my dad brought the pink bike – with a basket and tassels around from the side of the house to surprise me. I remember being so excited to have a new bike – and then trying to ride it around on the driveway.

This year is a milestone birthday (in our family at least) – apparently the age 25 does not warrant a number birthday card, it goes from 21 to 30 with greeting cards. 25 isn’t important enough to have its own card. My mom said 25 was the last ‘big’ birthday celebration she would throw for us – because once we were 30 it would be up to our spouse to plan and throw us a party {although with Adam I’m still not sure that would happen ;) } — Although she also said she would forgo the birthday party and send me to Vegas this summer if I wanted (which, yes, I do want.) I plan on having a birthday party at our house with my friends as well, and then probably cake with the family (which I’ll make for myself of course.)

I feel as though 25 is a big birthday – a 1/4 of your life has passed, you now enter your ‘mid to late’ 20s. Eeek! Thankfully Adam is 4 years older than me, so I can always feel much younger ;) hehe. I think a shiny new bike for my 25th is a great present! And I’m so excited to use it all summer long.

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I actually made this cake for our mother’s day brunch a couple weekends ago because one of my mom’s favourite desserts is carrot cake. However, I came across this amazing vegan carrot cake recipe from one of my favourite sites Healthy Happy Life. I made the Kale salad from her site last week as well.

It’s amazing – dense and refreshing due to carrots and orange juice, as well as satisfyingly sweet with little sugar added. I’m a huge carrot cake fan too – and this is 100 times better than the sugar loaded, flour filled versions I used to make. Everyone loved it and I would definitely make this again.

 

I used coconut milk and added coconut to the mix, because my traditional carrot cake usually has it, and it gives it a subtle coconut flavour. This would be a great cake to bring to a picnic or pot luck this summer – because you don’t need a fork and knife to eat it. Cut into squares and serve!

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Vegan Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Wheat/Gluten Free
Recipe adapted from here

Carrot Cake:
Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups homemade oat flour (made from GF/WheatFree rolled oats)
  • 3-4 Tbsp ground flax seed
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
  • 2 1/2 cups non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened coconut milk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Zest of one orange
  • 3 Tbsp fresh orange juice (from orange you zested)
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup raw walnuts, chopped
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped shredded carrots (5-6 carrots)

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees – prepare 9×13 pan with cooking spray.

2. Place oats into food processor and process until fine oat flour – about 1 minute. Shred carrots – I used my food processor grater attachment, then switched to my blade attachment to create smaller shredded carrots.

3. In stand mixer with paddle attachment, add oat flour, flax seed, cinnamon, and baking powder and mix slightly.

4. On low, add speed add the coconut milk, vanilla, orange juice, and orange zest. Mix until combined.

5. Melt coconut oil and add in the sugar, mix slightly. Add to mixer / wet ingredients.

6. Fold in the carrots, nuts, coconut, and raisins on low speed.

The batter at this point will be thick and textured, think ‘chunky’ – not smooth like  a regular cake batter. This is fine.

7. Pour the batter into cake pan and smooth down with a spatula. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes – or until the edges brown and start to pull away from the pan.

Once baked, allow to cool completely and come to room temperature on counter.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 8 ounces vegan cream cheese
  • 4 ounces Earth Balance, vegan butter
  • 1 1/4 cups pitted dates


While the cake is baking, you can add all your frosting ingredients to a food processor. Process until smooth. Using a spatula, scoop the frosting into a small bowl and place in the fridge to chill.

* I didn’t have vegan cream cheese, so I just used my regular cream cheese frosting *

Allow cake to fully cool before spreading frosting. Frost with cream cheese – sprinkle top with walnuts.

I placed this in the fridge overnight before we ate it, tightly sealed with aluminum foil. Serve Chilled.

This cake will stay good for up to one week, covered. 

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