Welcome to the Sweet Life!

Welcome to the Sweet Life!

• Adventures in a Vegan Kitchen
• Eating out in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal
• Organic, Natural & Vegan products

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Chocolate, Dates & Sweet Potato

Good Morning!
I was up earlier than usual today (7am!) and laced up my runners to go for a jog. It was nice and cool out and I should have taken a sweater but figured running would keep me warm. I didn't have as much energy as I thought and ended up walking more than running but I figured it was better than still being in bed so at least that was something.

When I got home I made a chocolate smoothie milkshake. 

In a blender I put:
1 cup almond milk + 1/3 cup soy milk
1/2 banana
2 heaping tbsp of raw cacao
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp tahini
1 tsp almond butter
1 tsp agave syrup

It tasted just like a milkshake, and wasn't too thick and perfectly sweet.

With it I had one two of Angela's no bake date squares, the only thing I added to this killer recipe (to make it 6 ingredients) is chia seeds to the crust. BAM amazing!

Yesterday I was in the mood for sweet potatoes, which isn't odd because I love them but I couldn't shake the craving so I was inspired by Jess's simple panini (I left out the cheese, yogurt and a few other things).  

Sweet Potatoes were sliced and seasoned with sea salt, black pepper & curry spices then went on the grill.

I loaded a pita bread with a dijon mustard & maple syrup sauce, lettuce, spinach, tomato, poppy seeds and sweet potatoes.

I folded it and put it back on the grill for a minute, then got ready to eat.

It hit the spot. Savoury and spicy, this recipe is a keeper!

Have a sweet day.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Lemonade Ice Cream with Blueberry Sauce

In honour of sweet Tooth tuesday I put a little something special together today...LEMONS and BLUEBERRIES!! This combo is delightful and refreshing and since I spent most of the day outside in the garden it was just what I craved!

I made the lemonade ice cream on the weekend but it turned out very soft so I had to throw it in the freezer for a few hours and I forgot about it until this morning. It is still more like sorbet which is fine by me :)

Here's how I made the icc cream:
1 cup of non-dairy milk (I used almond)
2 tbsp arrowroot powder
1 1/2 cups lemonade
2 cups soy creamer
1/3 cup organic cane sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Combine 1/4 cup of the non-dairy milk with the arrowroot powder in a bowl to thicken.
In a saucepan on low heat stir together the lemonade, soy creamer, remaining 3/4 of the non-dairy milk and sugar, stir until it boils then remove from heat and immediately add the arrowroot mixture. Stir and the liquid will thicken. Then add vanilla and stir, Place bowl in the fridge until completely cooled (2-3 hours). Freeze according to your ice cream maker instructions. Or if you don't have an ice cream maker put the liquid in the freezer and remove every 30-45 mins to fluff up with a fork, repeat for a couple hours until reaching a desired consistency.

And the blueberry sauce
2 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries
1 tbsp water + 1 tsp cold water
2 tbsp sugar
A dash of salt
1/2 tsp carnstarch
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Combine blueberries, 1 tbsp of water, sugar and salt in a saucepan on low heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer without a lid for 5-8 minutes until the blueberry skin breaks.
In a bowl mix the cornstarch and 1 tsp cold water together and stir until smooth. Add to the blueberry sauce then bring to a boil and stir until thick (approx. 2 mins). Remove pan from heat and add lemon juice and vanilla. Allow sauce to cool then top ice cream of choice!

Have a sweet day!

Monday, 13 June 2011

A New Beginning

I started this blog about a month and a half ago while I was going through a life change, transitioning out of my 6 year marketing career into something else. At the time I wasn't sure what was next for me but I quickly figured it out when I took the time to listen to my heart and my body. What I needed was a healthier, less stressful, more balanced life. The month of May was great for me to try yoga, get back into biking, start my veggie garden, and bake some goodies. I did, however, feel like something was missing and although I was keeping active I felt unproductive without a job, and set out to find one that fit my balanced lifestyle criteria.

I am happy to report, this week I started a new full-time job in a company that shares many of my beliefs and values, and in a position that utilizes my passion and aligns with my experience. It's been a very busy week in training, but a lot of fun and I am excited for the coming weeks and months in my new role.

In September I also plan on going to school for Holistic Nutrition, so with work and school I am headed in a much better direction!

I will have to determine a schedule for blogging as writing this blog is a way for me to share things I love, gives me a reason to experiment in the kitchen (I love baking and cooking/uncooking new recipes), set goals for myself and connect with readers (if there are any out there!)

I really enjoy reading blogs, they inspire me when it comes to food, motivate me when it comes to exercise and allows me to bond with others in the blogging community regardless of location.

I also have started running again so I will soon be posting my times so I can track them as I train for a 5k or 10k this fall.

This weekend I checked out the 1st Annual Vegan/Raw Festival that took place in Toronto on Saturday.

I bought some Sacred Chocolate (Raw)

  and Tonica Kombucha (Mango Passion)

Then had dinner at Fresh. This was the special - All Star Salad
Packed with: kale, sprouted beans & seeds, quinoa & adzuki beans, edamame, flax oil & tamari, cilantro & parsley, goji berries, pumpkin seeds, tofu steaks, grilled sweet potato and the peanut lime dressing!!! It was loaded with flavour and was very filling. 

My friends got the always amazing BBQ Burger. I love that quinoa battered onion ring!!

Sunday night we went down the road to Raw Aura, they had a live music night. 
They had a set menu (different from their normal one) so we got the Thai Wrap (Spicy!):

and the Falafel Wrap:

and Blueberry Cheesecake:

and Almond Bar which was like a brownie but better!!!

Good music + great food = a fabulous night :)

I got home and after a short rest, I went for a walk which turned into a run because I had so much energy from the raw food! Walked for 10 mins, then ran for 25, than walked for 5 more to cool down. It felt great, I can't wait to run again tomorrow.

Cheers to new beginnings :)
Have a sweet week everyone!

Anyone else going through changes/new beginnings? 

Sunday, 5 June 2011

A Day to Thrive

Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting Ironman triathlete, best selling-author on performance nutrition  and founder of Vega products - Brendan Brazier.

He was in Waterloo, ON for his new book launch "Whole Foods to Thrive" for a 5km run in support of cancer research) and spoke about boosting athletic performance, Vega products and answered guest questions for anyone attending the seminar held at Thrive Juice Bar.

Brendan was sweet enough to pose for a photo with me!

As I sipped on smoothie samples (a chocolate avocado and a kale mojito- both yum in their own way) and listened to Brendan talk, I came to realize how my lifestyle has changed in the last few years and he summed it up perfectly when saying that as you progress with a vegan diet your palate changes, and becomes more delicate and the things you used  to crave, are no longer desirable to you. He used potato chips as an example and I couldn't agree more, I would rather opt for kale chips any day and even take the time to wash, tear, massage and heat as opposed to tearing open a bag of what now seem like oil laden and over salted potato chips and devouring without enjoying.

Someone asked him the difference between Agave and Stevia and although I have and use both regularly I found out I didn't know just how different they were and what each should be used for.

Brendan schooled us.
Agave nectar is extracted from the plant and consists primarily of fructose, (hello sugar)! This sweetener is best used before physical activity because the carbohydrates can be burned instead of stored. This makes agave a better ingredient for a power bar or smoothie in advance of needing the energy boost.

On the opposite side is stevia, which is a herbal sweetener in which you get a sweet taste but contains 0 calories (no fructose or carbs in here!) This will not give you a boost of energy so it is not suggested to be used prior to activity. Stevia can be added to drinks (coffee, tea, juice) and any baked goods (cakes, cookies and brownies) but measurements for substituting stevia for sugar are not equal. Approx 1 tsp of raw stevia = 2 tsp of sugar.

I really enjoyed the seminar and will be using my new (and signed) book for recipes in the near future.

If you find yourself in the city of Waterloo, visit Thrive Juice Bar they have a great selection of smoothies, juice blends, and teas, in addition to salads, sandwiches, pizzas and desserts!

On Sunday I celebrated my Grandpa's 95th Birthday with him and the family.
I took vegan gluten free cupcakes from Organic Oven (received many compliments on them).

Sweets From the Earth Cashew Cookies

For lunch I ate: Vegan Mac & Cheese, a lentil cake, sweet potato salad and "hail to the kale" salad (I totally would have given it that name if it hadn't already been named when I bought it, it rocked).

Also going back to Saturday, a pretty crazy storm hit the Southern Ontario region and made driving conditions quite difficult. This was 10:30AM. Within a matter of minutes...

Have a sweet night!

Friday, 3 June 2011


Good Day Everyone!

I am so happy that it's friday! Why? Because it's sunny and I plan on heading outside this afternoon to bike and garden a bit. And well those things make me happy.

I had a good start to my day and wanted to share what I made.

I went out to the garden and picked this...

And turned it into this...

Then scooped it into a big ole bowl and put cheery on top!

RHUBARB & CHERRY are a nice pairing. Sweet & Sour = 
Then I grabbed a bottle of Kombucha to enjoy in the backyard

Rosehips & Hibiscus

I gently shook it and carefully opened it (as per the instructions), and still ended up wearing it, but the part I got in my glass I did enjoy :)

I then sorted out my bars for the week - Larabars look at em all. Nom nom nom. Now I don't have to spend time deciding what flavour to take, I just grab one from the pile because they are all deelish in their own way.

OK heading back outside.
Have a sweet day.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Garlic Sesame Stir-fry

I opened the fridge today and found very little edible content inside. some random pieces of bell peppers, 1 mini zucchini and a couple sprigs of parsley that were still green.
Upon considering running to the store to completely restock I figured by the time I actually arrived back it would be dinner time and i just wanted a light lunch so I would make due with what I had.

That being said I love stir-fry because you can add virtually anything you want and each time will taste different.

Here's everything I could gather and prepared it like so: (served one)
1/2of each red and green bell pepper - sliced
1 mini zucchini - wedged
2 cauliflower florets - halved ( I used a multicoloured variety)
2 slices of a medium red onion - separated rings
2 cloves of garlic - diced
2 cherry tomatoes - halved
parsley - chopped finely
sesame seeds
2 tbsp coconut oil, sesame oil, or olive oil

Angel hair capellini - 3 bunches or "nests"

I steamed the cauliflower in one pot, while heating oil in a pan, added garlic, onions and parsley. Then added bell peppers, zucchini and tomatoes, added cauliflower to pan, keep boiling water, add the angel hair pasta and boil for 2-3 minutes, then drain. 

Plate pasta, cover with stir fry and garnish with more parsley if you feel so inclined. Sprinkle with sesame or other seed/spice and enjoy!

Have a sweet day!

Chocolate Madness

Happy Sweet Tooth Tuesday!
Today was such a treat!
 I met up with Stephanie from Lunges and Lunch because I had won her giveaway for some chocolate chips and granola from Enjoy Life.

The Enjoy Life products were really good, I had a handful of the granola and envisioned myself having it with almond milk tomorrow morning. A 1/2 cup portion has 50% of your daily value of iron and is gluten-free, dairy-free and free of many other allergens/contaminants.
The chocolate chunks were hard to put down, I am looking forward to baking with those soon!

And you may ask, what is in the foil package above? Well Steph was so sweet she gave me a piece of her Chocolate Zucchini Bread, see the recipe here. Then gather all ingredients and make this.
It was so good I almost didn't want to put it down to take a pic but I did want to show you so you could see just how chocolatey and divine this was! Then I proceeded to eat it up. All of it. It was delicious!

After dinner I split a chocolate cupcake with the bf, falling further into my chocolate coma.

Once it cooled down outside (10PMish) I went for an hour + walk/jog so I can wake up tomorrow and repeat the chocolate craze.

Have a sweet one!