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

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Garden Delight

I don't know about you but I am loving this summer. I have been lucky enough to be able to spend so much time outside and I'm savouring every minute of it.
Today I went for a 40km bike ride along the lakeshore (Clarkson to Etobicoke)

Enjoyed this view along the way

Then got back and watered my garden and made myself a sandwich filled with things I picked from my backyard.

Grilled Zucchini Tomato Focaccia

On this was Beetroot hummus I made yesterday with my garden beets, leaf lettuce, cherry tomatoes, grilled zucchini and cucumbers on the side.

Without my garden I would've just been eating bread... this was much tastier and contained nutrients.

I also noted some progress on the garden. Finally I see some watermelons.  They are itty bitty right now but I'm sure with my TLC they will plump up over the next few weeks. Look how adorable.

This was the biggest I saw and about the size of a marble (but there were about 8 others I spotted) so we'll see what happens...

Tomatoes are big and now need to turn red.

Bell Peppers are just about ready too.

What's your favourite summer veggie?
Are you enjoying the summer weather as much as I am?

Have a sweet day!

Monday, 25 July 2011

Beautiful Beets

It's no secret that I love vegetables. Especially when they are fresh from the garden. My garden. This morning. And look like this.

I had a recipe in mind for them... Beetroot Hummus.

• 2 beets (boiled or roasted)
• 11/2 cups of chickpeas (canned and rinsed or I soaked dry ones overnight then boiled and simmered until tender)
• 2 tbsp lemon juice
•2 tbsp olive oil
•1 large garlic clove minced
•1 tbsp tahini
•sea salt and black pepper to taste

I'll be using this hummus as a dip for veggies and corn chips, spread on sandwiches and probably just with a spoon because it's so freakin yummy!

And I also kept the greens from the beets as I'll either use them in a mixed salad or add them to a stir-fry dish.

Now onto another fresh garden veggie...zucchini - these grow unbelievably fast. I'll be back soon with what I did with them :)

Have a sweet day!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Tabbouleh and Cheezey Kale Chips

It's hot in the Southern Ontario region and I for one am loving it. I love working out in this weather, the sweating feels so good when I'm running or biking!! I however do not enjoy walking into work sweaty or stinky but so far I've managed to stay dry and unscented, Phew! We shall see after tomorrow's mid 40° Celsius weather.

Last night I went out for a run. I've ran 8 out of the last 9 days and I'm addicted again.
Before I headed out I powered up with tabbouleh and kale chips. I'd never made tabbouleh before and found it very easy and quick to pull together. The kale chips I did differently than usual. I typically just massage coconut oil on the kale and sprinkle sea salt but not this time. No sirree bob. This time I heated some coconut milk and nutritional yeast, salt and pepper and garlic powder and dipped the kale in it then put the kale on a cookie sheet and popped it in the over for 35 mins at the lowest temp my oven can do. I have my eye on a dehydrator so next time I can do it right!

This is how it turned out.

Very good if I do say so myself!

And then I went for a peaceful run in the park. Erindale Park to be exact.

The view.

6km's later

And then I rewarded myself with this delicious, not to mention nicely packaged cupcake from Sweets From the Earth. Did I mention it was Chocolate Raspberry?!? Major yum!! I love the jam.

The cute cupcake packaging.

I brought leftover tabbouleh to work today for lunch and a garden salad (lettuce and cherry tomatoes) that's it that's all. BUT wait this was from MY garden so it was extra special!! I have so much lettuce to eat I better start eating salad for breakfast.

Have a sweet evening. I'm heading out to go running.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Coconut & Chocolate Chip Cookies

In the last 6 days, 99% of what I've eaten has been raw. And it's been pretty much all veggies. I feel great, I've run 6-7km each day and did a 42km bike ride yesterday.  My energy has been high and I'm loving the adrenaline kick. 

Despite the warm weather today, I felt like a gooey chocolatey cookie so when I got home from work I had 1 thing on my mind - and they just came out of the oven!

This is by far my fav cookie recipe, besides being simple to make (and quick to clean up) they are sweetened by delicious coconut flakes.

Here's how you can make them.

1/2 cup of Earth Balance
1/3 cup sugar or equivalent sweetener
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg replacer
1 1/4 cup of flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp of sea salt
3/4 cup shredded coconut
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Mix the earth balance, sugar, vanilla and egg replacer together until smooth.
In another large bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, sea alt, shredded coconut and chocolate chips.
Stir until combined.

Roll into discs or flattened balls and bake for approx. 10 mins at 300°F.

Make the cookies as small or as big as you'd like :)

Garden update:
Look at those green peppers go! These babies are almost ready to be stuffed. Oh yes - I have plans for them already.

and edamame

and zucchini

Have a sweet day!

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Cabbage Crunch Salad and Kamut Square Treat

I don't know when it happened, but I recently fell in love with red cabbage and I'm sure glad I did!

Not only is this veggie stunning in appearance but it's loaded with nutritional benefits.
A serving contains essential minerals including manganese, potassium, calcium, iron and magnesium in addition to vitamins C, K and B, and is a great source of fibre.

Red cabbage also contains anthocyanin (giving it that vibrant colouring) which is an antioxidant, helping to remove toxins and cancer causing chemicals from the body, and this veggie is shown to balance blood sugar levels too! It's hard not to love it.

With all this in mind I set out to make a red cabbage salad that would satisfy my crunch craving.

1/2 head of red cabbage sliced
4 celery stalks sliced
1/3 red onion sliced
1 medium-large apple cut into chunks
1 tbsp fresh dill
1/3 cup walnuts
parsley for garnish

2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp garlic powder
1tsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

This was a tasty salad and much different than any I've ever attempted before. The longer it marinates in the dressing the better.

I had picked up these Kamut Puffs and wanted to make a snack out of them.

So I subbed them into my usual rice krispie recipe and they held up well, the result  was actually chewy and not at all crispy. Sticky gooey nutty goodness.

and drizzled with chocolate

I made these by heating brown rice syrup over low heat and adding an equal amount of peanut butter, and half as much almond butter and stirring until liquid. Then adding as much cereal as possible without adding too much (or it'll have dry spots) and mixing into a pan lined with parchment paper.
I melted chocolate chips in a double broiler and dripped over. Voila.

I don't have exact measurements because it'll depend on how big of a batch you'd like to make but this is a fool proof treat that anyone can master and can be made with any puff type of cereal you may have on hand.

Do you have any recipes you trust yourself to make without measurements?

Have a sweet day.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

St Jacobs Market

Nestled in Waterloo Ontario you will find St Jacobs County, where Canada's largest year-round farmers market can be found. It is open twice a week and there are hundreds of vendors, selling almost anything you can imagine. We went into the Main Market Building and the Outdoor Market

I headed there with a friend Thursday morning, and it wasn't busy when we got there at 8AM but when we left about an hour later there were quite a lot of people shopping. I'm not much of a fan for crowds so we waddled back to the car (2nd trip to unload) with all this stuff!  (minus the strawberries, we picked those ourselves at a nearby farm!) 

We got: snap peas, cherries, zucchini, garlic hummus, potato & chive bread, peaches, apples, nacho chips and dairy-free & gluten free muffins.

Check out the Crispin apples - we bought and split a half bushel, but they are HUGE, compared to a standard Macintosh I had at home.

And some shots of the Market


On the way back to the highway we stopped at a farm to pick our own strawberries!
I love the smell of strawberry fields, so sweet and summery. 2 people, 4 hands, 30 mins and a red knee stain - mission accomplished!

Have you ever been to St Jacobs Market? 
What's your favourite thing to buy at a farmer's market?

Have a sweet day!