Ultimate DIY Vegan Cookie Board

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This may have been the most epic blog post and photoshoot I’ve ever tackled. It’s my last post before Christmas, and I think it’s safe to say we’re going out with a bang this year! I hope my roundup inspires you to create your own vegan cookie board—big or small—this holiday season. If you make one and share it online, I’d love to see. Be sure to use the hashtags #ohsheglows, #osgcookies, #GETINMABELLY, and #SantaGoesVegan…okay, I suppose the last two are optional.

Yesterday morning, in the throes of a nasty cold, all I could think was: “WHAT DID I GET MYSELF INTO!?” Here I was, buzzing around the kitchen, decorating cookies at light speed while Arlo played quietly with his educational toys (just kidding, he screamed at my legs..bahaha). I wish you could’ve seen me running between my kitchen and photography studio during naptime, pleading with the Nap Gods for five more minutes of photoshoot time. Luckily it all came together with some major hustling.

Check out these two behind the scenes photos! Organized chaos. 😉

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Can you spot the gingerbread escapee below? LOL. It’s like a scene straight out of Shrek.

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As you’ll see in the graphic below, we’re playing around with a new photo feature. Please humour me by hovering over the red dots near each cookie grouping to display a fun pop-up box. I actually find all that clicking around quite satisfying…almost like popping bubble wrap! I’d love to hear whether you like this sort of thing. If so, we’ll do more in the future. (Note: the image is being cut-off on mobile devices. We’re looking into it!)

 

1. Gluten-free Snickerdoodles

A festive favourite. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and a dash of turbinado after baking. Recipe is online here. Or find the non-gluten-free version here.

2. Almond Butter Rice Crisp Treats

Riffing on the classic Rice Krispie Square, these treats can be iced and sprinkled in advance for a pop of colour. I like to cut them into triangles for “tree” shapes around the holidays. Recipe available on the Oh She Glows Recipe App and on the blog.

3. Eggnog Crunch Biscotti 

A great companion to coffee or a latte, these crispy eggnog biscotti have a wonderful nutty flavour too. If you don’t have vegan eggnog on hand any plant-based milk works in a pinch. Recipe on Oh She Glows.

4. Gingerbread People

What’s a holiday spread without gingerbread buddies? These are fun for kids to help make too. Recipe from the Oh She Glows Recipe App (inside the Cookie Lover’s bundle).

5. Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bites

With a quick prep and 10-minute chill, these bites are perfect for whipping up just before guests arrive. Recipe from The Oh She Glows Cookbook, page 235.

6. Triple Almond Thumbprint Cookies

Kid- and freezer-friendly for easy prep, any leftover cookies are perfect for breakfast the next morning, not that you’ll have any to speak of! Arlo LOVES these cookies. Recipe from Oh She Glows Every Day, page 205.

7. Ultimate Flourless Brownies

Rich and decadent, these gluten-free brownies with an almond butter base will make your kitchen smell amazing before guests arrive. Recipe from Oh She Glows Every Day, page 199.

8. Pillowy Pumpkin Snacking Cookies

Nut-free and kid-friendly, these cookie are a lighter complement to the the board’s richer desserts. Recipe from Oh She Glows Every Day, page 217.

9. Lightened Up Magical Coconut Bars

Lightened up without butter and using unsweetened coconut, these bars still feel totally indulgent. Recipe on Oh She Glows.

10. Chewy Molasses Spelt Cookies

A holiday classic. I like to dip half in white chocolate and decorate with chopped candied ginger to punch up colour on the plate. Recipe is on the blog and in Oh She Glows Every Day, page 219.

11. Chocolate Macaroon Truffles

Rolled in matcha, these truffles add a sweet festive look to the board. For a more traditional macaroon flavour, you can stir shredded coconut into the truffle mixture. Extras make a lovely host gift too! Recipe on the blog.

12. Chocolate-Almond Espresso Cookies

Rich and perfect for dunking in after-dinner coffee or tea. Dip cooled cookies in melted vegan white chocolate for the ultimate treat. From Oh She Glows Every Day, page 207.

13. Peanut Better Balls

Peanut Butter Balls were a Christmas treat in my house growing up, and this lightened-up freezer-friendly version is perfect for making ahead before putting together your board. Recipe on the blog and in Oh She Glows Every Day, page 231.

14. Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

My twist on the classic peanut butter cookie. They’re gluten-free and freezer-friendly, too. From Oh She Glows Every Day, page 213.

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Cookie board styling ideas:

If you’re looking for some festive styling ideas for your cookie board, feel free to play around with some of the following: fresh cranberries, clementines (bonus points if they have green leaves attached!), greenery (such as lacy cedar), or hand-written labels.

This post wouldn’t be complete without a shout-out to Nicole, OSG’s recipe tester extraordinaire, for all of the baking help. You should’ve seen the truckload of cookies she delivered this week! #cookiemotherlode

Well friends, I won’t be posting again until the new year as I’m working away on the blog redesign and also preparing for a couple TV segments next week (one of which is live on Your Morning on December 19th!). Be sure to follow me on Twitter and Insta Stories for all of my riveting day-to-day updates…heh. And if you have any recipe questions for me, I’ll be on stand-by to help troubleshoot, as always!

Last but not least, I want to wish you all a fantastic holiday season! I’m so grateful for your continued support, friendship, and enthusiasm for what I do. With love and immense gratitude,

Angela xoxo 

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Vegan Peppermint Patty Slice

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Who’s ready for an easy vegan holiday dessert? I know I am! I’ve had this one in my holiday recipe holster since first creating it this past summer, and have been dying for the right time to share it.

A quick note about this recipe: The pictures make it look HUGE, but it’s actually a small dessert with fairly dainty portions. I use a small 4×8-inch loaf pan. If you use a standard-size (9×5-inch) loaf pan, the dessert will have less height (but no less delicious flavour!). Hey—I’ve never complained about dessert in any shape or form, but I wanted to mention it so you don’t find yourself puzzled over a smaller-than-expected finished product.

Be sure to read my tips in the headnote and at the bottom of the recipe. You know I love to give you flexibility in your own kitchens, so this recipe is bursting with my testing notes and modifications. I actually had to cut myself off from writing more!! #nerdalert

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5 from 4 reviews

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Vegan Peppermint Patty Slice

Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, no bake/raw

This peppermint patty is a showstopping dessert that’s coloured naturally with spinach—though only you and I will know its nutritious secret! As an added bonus it’ll only set you back 15 minutes of prep. The filling calls for at least 4 hours of freezing time, so I like to whip it up before bed to pop in the freezer overnight. This way, all I have to do the next day is add the ganache on top and freeze it for another 10 minutes. If you’re making this dessert around the holidays, it’s delightful served with a crushed candy cane topping. My standby, year-round topping is raw cacao nibs, which also add a lovely (and nutritious!) crunch. The crunchy topping really completes the dessert, so I don’t recommend skimping on it, and be sure to serve additional cacao nibs or crushed candy cane on top of each slice before serving. Lastly, it’s important to use a very small loaf pan so the dessert has height. I use a 4×8-inch loaf pan by Baker’s Secret. You could also try making individual servings by filling a silicone cupcake mold.

Yield
10 small slices
Prep time
15 Minutes
Cook time
0 Minutes
Chill time
4 to 5 hours

Ingredients:

For the filling:
  • 3/4 cup (225 g) raw cashew butter*
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) pure maple syrup, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 6 tablespoons (90 mL) almond milk, room temperature
  • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons (5 to 7.5 mL) pure peppermint extract, or to taste**
  • 1 cup (30 g) packed baby spinach***
  • Pinch fine sea salt
For the chocolate ganache:
  • 1/2 cup (90 g) non-dairy chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) full-fat coconut cream****
  • Dash fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons raw cacao nibs or crushed candy cane, plus more for serving
  • Fresh mint leaves, for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. Line a small (approximately 4×8-inch) loaf pan or 6-inch cake pan with plastic wrap so the slab will be easy to lift out after freezing.
  2. Add all of the filling ingredients (cashew butter, maple syrup, melted oil, almond milk, 1 teaspoon peppermint extract, spinach, and salt) into a high-speed blender. Blend on high until smooth. Make sure no chunks of spinach leaves remain. Taste and add more peppermint extract if desired.
  3. Pour the filling into the prepared pan. Place the pan on a flat spot in the freezer and freeze for 4 to 5 hours, until the filling is solid. There’s no need to cover it unless you plan on keeping it in the freezer longer than 8 hours.
  4. When the filling is solid, prepare the ganache topping. In a medium pot, combine the chocolate chips, coconut cream (make sure water is drained before adding), and salt. Melt the chips over the lowest heat setting, stirring frequently, until smooth. 
  5. Remove the filling from the freezer and, gripping the plastic wrap as a handle, lift it out of the pan. Flip the filling onto a large plate and peel off the plastic wrap.
  6. Pour the ganache over top of the solid filling, starting in the centre, and allow it to cascade down the sides a bit. Immediately scatter the crushed candy cane or cacao nibs all over the ganache. Return it to the freezer, uncovered, and freeze for about 10 minutes, until the ganache is firm.
  7. Slice and garnish with fresh mint, if you’re fancy! Sprinkle additional cacao nibs or crushed candy cane on top of each slice and enjoy immediately. Return leftovers to the freezer right away as the dessert does soften as it sits.

Tips:

* Instead of cashew butter, you can use 1 1/4 cups (180 g) of soaked raw cashews. Soak them in boiled water for 1 hour, rinse, drain, and add them into a high-speed blender (such as a Vitamix) along with the rest of the ingredients. If your blender has a hard time blending nuts smooth, I suggest that you use the raw cashew butter version instead. You can also use homemade raw cashew butter. To make your own, simply process raw cashews in a heavy-duty food processor until smooth. I don’t recommend using roasted cashew butter as it gives the slice a strong nutty flavour.

** The intensity of peppermint extracts vary by brand, so 1 1/2 teaspoons is intended as a guide—please add it slowly to taste.

*** I only recommend using spinach if your blender is good at blending leafy greens smooth. If your blender tends to leave spinach chunks in smoothies, I would suggest omitting the spinach in this recipe just to make sure you aren’t going to find spinach chunks in the slice. Or see my tip about using a food processor below.

**** Coconut cream is the solid white cream in a can of full-fat coconut milk. Chill the can overnight before using to ensure the coconut cream is solid. I like to open a mini can (160 mL) of full-fat coconut milk for this recipe; this way, there isn’t a lot left over to use up. The remaining amount is just perfect for throwing into your next smoothie!

 

No blender? No problem! If you have a heavy-duty food processor you can make the filling in the processor, just be warned that the spinach doesn’t break down fully (my version had some very fine green speckling resembling mint sugar), and you’ll want to run the processor for a good while to help the spinach break down as much as possible.

 

If you don’t have cacao nibs or crushed candy cane on hand, feel free to top the ganache with finely chopped dark chocolate.

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My make-ahead vegan holiday recipes plus handy tips!

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Before we dig into today’s juicy post, I want to share that, starting tomorrow (Nov. 23), the new Oh She Glows Boxed Set is 50% OFF! Whoa baby. The sale will continue until Tuesday, November 28th, so plenty of time to take advantage. Mine arrived last week, and I gotta say they’re b-e-a-utiful. A “glam shoot” soon followed, lol.

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Every morning while sipping my coffee, I respond to your questions and comments that have come in since the previous day. It’s one of my favourite relaxing morning rituals…right up until the kids realize “Mommy’s in the office!” and BUST THROUGH THE DOOR UNLEASHING TOTAL CHAOS. How do they always know? And how do I clean baby fingerprints off my camera lens? Anyway, I’ve been receiving a lot of holiday meal prep questions, and while I always try to troubleshoot your questions immediately, I’m often left needing some time to try out my ideas. So, this month my recipe tester Nicole and I have been busy tackling make-ahead versions of my most popular holiday recipes!

Last year, Eric and I hosted two big holiday meals while juggling a newborn and toddler (we didn’t want to travel so everyone came to us which was so nice), and looking back I REALLY could’ve used these tricks and tips then. I felt pretty frazzled. Oh well, I’m here today to help take some of the guesswork out of your preparations—from mains and sides to breakfast and dessert recipes too. Even if you walk away today with one new idea or trick up your sleeve I’ll consider it a holiday WIN. I realize this post is probably too late for American Thanksgiving tomorrow, but for those of you who cook holiday spreads in December like we do, I hope it’ll be helpful.

Oh and please feel free to share your tips and tricks because the more the merrier when it comes to simplifying this time of the year. Do you have a game plan? Are you being treated to a meal or are you hosting this year? Be sure to let me know if you have any lingering questions. I’ll try my best to help.

I’d like to wish my American readers a fun, safe, and delicious Thanksgiving! If you make any OSG recipes, please tag your photos with #ohsheglows and @ohsheglows. I’d love to see them! Cheers, friends.

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Make Ahead Mains & Sides

1. Butternut Squash Casserole
Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, nut-free option
Prepare up to 2 days in advance
Prepare entire casserole (do not bake it yet). Wrap the unbaked casserole and place in the fridge for up to 2 days. Remove casserole from fridge and unwrap, setting it aside while the oven preheats. Bake as directed.

2. Thanksgiving Panzanella
Vegan, nut-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free
Prepare up to 2 days in advance
Follow recipe directions which include detailed make-ahead instructions.

3. Shepherd’s Pie
Vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free option, grain-free option
Prepare 1 day in advance
Recipe found in Oh She Glows Every Day, p. 167
Prepare entire casserole as directed, but do not bake. Wrap the unbaked casserole and place in the fridge one day before you intend to serve it. Day-of, remove wrap, sit casserole on the counter while the oven preheats, and bake as directed.

4. Sweet Potato Casserole with a Crunchy Nut Crumble
Vegan, gluten-free, soy-free
Prepare up to 3 days in advance
Prepare entire casserole (do not bake it yet). Wrap up the unbaked casserole and place in the fridge for up to three days. Remove wrap, sit casserole on the counter while the oven preheats, and bake as directed.

5. On The Mend Spiced Lentil and Kale Soup
Vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, grain-free
Cook up to a month in advance
Also found in The Oh She Glows Cookbook, p. 131
Cook the soup as directed. Pour into freezer-safe containers leaving an inch for expansion. Cool the soup, secure lid, and freeze up to one month before serving. Thaw in the fridge or at room temperature and transfer to a pot. Reheat on the stovetop over medium heat.

6. Lentil Mushroom Walnut Balls with Cranberry-Pear Sauce (updated recipe!)
Vegan, gluten-free, soy-free
Prepare cranberry sauce 1 to 2 weeks in advance; lentil balls 1 to 2 days before serving
Cranberry-Pear Sauce: Cook the cranberry sauce as directed. Cool and transfer to a freezer-safe container. Freeze one to two 1 to 2 weeks before. Thaw overnight in the fridge.
Lentil Mushroom Walnut Balls: Prepare the lentil balls (do not bake yet), and place the unbaked balls on a plate. Wrap the plate and refrigerate for 1 to 2 days. Remove wrap and place on a lined baking sheet. Bake as directed.

7. Ultimate Lentil-Walnut Loaf
Vegan, soy-free
Prepare 2 to 3 days in advance
Prepare the loaf as directed (do not bake yet). Cover the loaf pan with wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 3 days. Uncover, sit pan on the counter while the oven preheats, and bake as directed (you’ll likely need closer to 60 minutes since it’s baking straight from the fridge).

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Make-Ahead Brunch Recipes

1. Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
Vegan
Prepare Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting 3 to 5 days in advance; cinnamon rolls up to 18 hours before serving
For the frosting: Prepare frosting as directed and place in an airtight container before refrigerating 3 to 5 days in advance.
For the rolls: Simply follow the recipe until you complete the second rise. Place the wrapped dish in the fridge overnight. In the morning, remove the dish from the fridge, flick on your oven light, and let the rolls sit in the unheated oven with the light on for about 20 minutes. After that, remove the dish from the oven and preheat to 350°F (180°C). Remove the plastic wrap and bake as directed.

2. Vegan Banana Bread
Vegan, nut-free option, refined sugar-free, soy-free
1 to 2 weeks in advance
Prepare and bake the loaf as directed. Cool it on a cooling rack, and then wrap it tightly with plastic wrap, followed by a layer of tinfoil. Alternatively, place the cooled loaf into a large freezer bag with the air sucked out. Freeze. Thaw in the fridge overnight.

3. Heavenly Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal
Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, soy-free
Up to 24 hours in advance
Prepare the oatmeal (do not bake yet), wrap up the dish, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. In the morning, unwrap, sit casserole on the counter while the oven preheats, and bake as directed. Serve with Coconut Whipped Cream (make-ahead option below).

4. Maple-Cinnamon Apple & Pear Baked Oatmeal
Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, soy-free
Up to 24 hours in advance
Found in The Oh She Glows Cookbook, p. 39
Prepare the oatmeal (do not bake yet), wrap the dish, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. In the morning, unwrap and set dish on the counter while the oven preheats. Bake as directed. Serve with Coconut Whipped Cream (make-ahead option below).

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Make-Ahead Dessert Recipes

1. Chilled Chocolate-Espresso Torte with Toasted Hazelnut Crust
Vegan, gluten-free
1 to 2 weeks in advance
Found in The Oh She Glows Cookbook, p. 241
Prepare the torte as directed (hold off on the Coconut Whipped Cream until serving). Freeze as directed, 1 to 2 weeks in advance. Let it sit at room temperature for 10 to 20 minutes before slicing. Serve with Coconut Whipped Cream.

2. Raw Pumpkin Pie with Baked Oat Crust
Vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free option
1 to 2 weeks in advance
Found in The Oh She Glows Cookbook, p. 247
Prepare the entire pie as directed. Freeze as directed, 1 to 2 weeks in advance. Let it sit at room temperature for 10 to 20 minutes before slicing. Serve with Coconut Whipped Cream.
Tip: for a nut-free version, make my Mini Pumpkin Pie Tarts with a Sunflower Cookie Crust.

3. Coconut Whipped Cream
Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, no bake/raw, nut-free, oil-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free
Prepare 1 to 2 weeks (if freezing) or 2 days (if refrigerating) in advance
Freezing: Prepare the coconut whipped cream as directed. Transfer to a freezer-safe bag and press out the air. Seal the bag and freeze for 1 to 2 weeks. Thaw overnight in the fridge, and whip with a whisk before using, if needed.
Refrigerating: Prepare the coconut whipped cream as directed. Transfer to a dish and cover. Refrigerate for up to a couple days before using. Whip with a whisk before using, if needed.

4. Chewy Molasses Spelt Cookies
Vegan, nut-free, soy-free option
Prepare 1 week in advance
Found in Oh She Glows Every Day, p. 219, similar here
Make the dough. Shape balls of dough and roll in turbinado sugar. Place unbaked balls into a freezer-safe bag, seal, and freeze. If baking balls from frozen, add an extra 3 to 4 minutes to baking time. Or you can thaw the balls at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes day-of and bake as directed.

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Cheesy Lentil Bolognese Casserole + Celebrating 9 years!!

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Oh She Glows just celebrated her 9th birthday! Can you believe it? (I know, I know, where is the cake? I didn’t plan this very well, did I? I promise you today’s recipe is a keeper even if it’s not covered in frosting. Do you think cheese-covered will do the trick?!)

Many moons ago, in October 2008, Eric looked at me and said, “Ange, you need a hobby!” I was hunched in front of my computer poring over research. We’d just returned from our honeymoon, and I was already stressed out over all the catch-up work that was waiting for me at home.

At the time, I was a master’s student wrapping up my thesis, and also working full-time as a researcher. To say I was feeling burned out is an understatement. I definitely hadn’t been making time for fun. When Eric asked me what hobbies I had, I honestly couldn’t think of anything outside my daily gym sessions. “I’m not sure if working out counts….” he’d say. My only downtime was a weekly night out at a local bar—hardly restorative, though it did feel that way briefly! So I took Eric’s advice (a rare occurrence, he says), and that same week hit publish on my very first Oh She Glows blog post!

This blog became a place for me to have fun, explore, write my heart out, try new things, and just get out of “research mode” for a bit. Still, I expected that I would blog for a couple weeks and grow tired of it, but I tapped into something that had been hiding deep below the surface for many, many years…my creativity! OH, HELLO. I couldn’t recall the last time I had really allowed my creative self to flourish. Once I’d awoken the creative beast inside, there was no stopping me. (Eric, did you have any idea what you’d be getting yourself into?!)

Soon it became clear that this unsuspecting hobby had grown into a full-fledged passion. I found the courage to write about my journey with disordered eating and how I was working on a positive relationship with food. By practicing every day, I taught myself how to cook and photograph my food (so I could inspire you to make it too!), and eventually became confident enough to experiment with my own recipes. Nine years later, one of my favourite things to do is cook and try new things in the kitchen. I always joke that I rarely follow my own recipes because I have too much fun playing around with them, and so they’ll often turn out differently each time. To me, that’s when it gets really fun! That said, there are some recipes I like to follow to a T…like my favourite cookies. I take my treats very seriously. Bahaha.

So, thanks Eric, for seeing all those years ago that I needed to give myself some time for creativity. I can’t imagine my life without this space, and all of you. The connections and friendships I’ve made through Oh She Glows have been the happiest surprise of all.

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending Taste Canada’s annual Awards Gala, where I was honoured to receive two gold awards for food writing (one for Health and Special Diets Cookbook of the year for my latest cookbook, Oh She Glows Every Day, and a second recognizing Oh She Glows as best Health and Special Diets Food Blog 2017). Thinking back over the past 9 years, it all feels surreal. I had so many inspiring conversations and left that evening even more grateful for this community and what I do.

Thank you for coming on this journey with me. Here’s to discovering new hobbies, chasing dreams, and, hopefully, another 9 years!!

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4.7 from 10 reviews

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Cheesy Lentil Bolognese Casserole

Vegan, soy-free

Our family is in love with this cheesy, creamy, and hearty casserole! Traditional bolognese is made with a meat-based sauce, but my version uses lentils and mushrooms for a high fibre, immune-boosting twist. It’s great served with a simple salad of marinated greens (for a quick homemade dressing, try my Shake-and-Go Balsamic Vinaigrette from Oh She Glows Every Day), sautéed kale, or my Crowd-Pleasing Vegan Caesar Salad and some crusty fresh bread. Divine! Here are some time-saving tips: if you’re looking for a head-start on meal prep, the cheese sauce can be made a couple days in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container. You can also prepare the entire casserole in advance: simply follow the recipe through step #9 (stop before baking!), wrap it up, refrigerate, and then cook as-is one to two days later as directed in step #10. Imagine coming home to this casserole ready to bake at the end of a long day! Nothing is better. This recipe is adapted from my Fusilli Lentil-Mushroom Bolognese in Oh She Glows Every Day.

Yield
8 servings
Prep time
35 Minutes
Cook time
20 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 batch All-Purpose Cheese Sauce
  • 14 ounces (400 g) fusilli or rotini pasta (about 4 1/2 cups dry pasta)
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced (about 2 cups/280 g)
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (8-ounce/255 g) package sliced cremini mushrooms*
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano**
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil**
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme**
  • 3 cups (750 mL) chunky marinara sauce***
  • One (14-ounce/398 mL) can lentils, drained and rinsed (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) runny tahini
  • 1/4 to 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 to 2 cups (40 to 80 g) stemmed and finely chopped kale (optional)
  • Paprika, for garnish
  • Cashew-Garlic Parmesan, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Oil a very large casserole dish (approx. 10″ x 14″) and set aside. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Prepare the cheese sauce. While the potatoes and carrots simmer for the cheese sauce, start on steps 3 and 4.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package instructions. Be sure not to overcook it. Drain and set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large dutch oven or pot (about 5 quarts), add the oil, onion, and garlic. Stir and add a pinch of salt. Sauté over medium heat for about 3 to 5 minutes, until the onion is softened and translucent.
  5. Stir in the mushrooms, oregano, basil, and thyme, and cook for another 7 to 9 minutes over medium-high heat until the water cooks off.
  6. Add the marinara sauce, drained lentils, and tahini. Stir until combined. Now add the cooked pasta and continue stirring until it’s coated in the lentil-veggie mixture.
  7. Taste and season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes (if using). Stir in the kale, if desired. Turn off the heat.
  8. Spoon all of the pasta mixture into the prepared casserole dish and spread it out evenly.
  9. Pour the cheese sauce over top and spread it out with the back of a spoon until it covers the entire surface. Garnish with paprika (it adds a beautiful pop of red), more herbs, and black pepper, if desired.
  10. Bake the casserole uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes, until heated through. (If you’re baking the casserole straight from the fridge, bake it for 25 to 30 minutes as it’ll take longer to heat up). Serve immediately with a generous sprinkle of Cashew-Garlic Parmesan on top of each portion. Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days. The leftovers are just as delicious chilled!

Tips:

* If your sliced mushrooms are on the thicker side, dice them up before adding to the pot—they’ll cook faster. The same is true if you’re using whole mushrooms: the smaller you slice them the quicker they’ll cook. If you are a big mushroom fan like I am, you may want to consider doubling the amount listed above.

 

** If using fresh herbs, measure 2 teaspoons (10 g) of each.

 

*** If the casserole is going to sit in the fridge for a couple days before you cook it, feel free to stir in an extra 1/2 (125 mL) to 3/4 cup (180 mL) of marinara sauce. This isn’t absolutely necessary, but helps counteract any moisture loss while sitting in the fridge.

 

Make it gluten-free: use gluten-free pasta and cook as directed.

 

Make it kid-friendly: process the mushrooms in a food processor until minced. The mushrooms will be virtually undetectable, but your meal will still retain their immune boosting benefits!

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You can also find this casserole recipe (including the cheese sauce and vegan parmesan) in The Oh She Glows Recipe App (iOS and Android). Happy cooking!

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Make-Ahead Roasted Butternut Squash Casserole

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I posted this story and make-ahead technique to my Instagram account recently, only to be cut off part-way through when I exceeded the word limit. As Stephanie Tanner would say: How rude, lol. Did you even know that Instagram has a word limit? I guess it wasn’t designed for Chatty Cathy’s like me. That’s when it hit me: I should post this on the blog so I can go a bit more in-depth! So read on, my friends….

The other weekend I decided it had been way too long since I had made my beloved roasted butternut squash dish, complete with vegan parmesan…kale…and lots of garlic. Have you made it? Oh my, it’s a show-stealing side I tell ya. (This dish makes all its other dinner companions give the side-eye, heh. #BUTTERNUTPLEASE!)

Here’s a little summary of comments I received when I served it to the fam:

Eric: *Burns mouth.* “Holy sh*t, that’s hot!!!” (He never learns.) Then: “Butternut squash is so much better than pumpkin.” (Lol…so random…I die.)

Adriana, three years old: “NO THANK YOUUUUUUU” (as she skips away with Arlo’s favourite toy in her grasp). Spotted 10 minutes earlier: downing a box of “circle crackers” (sigh).

Arlo, one year old: *Screams and beats his hands in protest because he has to wait for the squash to cool* then proceeds to inhale it. He was nice enough to smash the leftover squash into his hair, and even tossed some over his shoulder for good luck.

Me: *Scream and beat my hands in protest because I have to wait for it to cool* then enjoys two big servings.

You know the saying…as far as anyone knows, we’re a nice, normal family. Bahaha.

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MAKE IT AHEAD!

You may have noticed lately that I’ve been on a crusade to create as many time-saving recipes and make-ahead tips as I can. In recent posts, I shared Adriana’s Favourite 10-Minute Pasta, 8-Minute Pantry Dal, and Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Panzanella, to name a few. Last week, I came up with a make-ahead version for one of my favourite side dishes: Roasted Butternut Squash with Pecan Parmesan and Kale! I’m so excited to share how I tweaked the original recipe to minimize day-of prep time. Now that we’re getting into all kinds of holiday celebration meals, my goal is to share as many time-saving tricks with you as I can. It’s making life much less hectic in the Liddon household.

I discovered that this dish can be prepped and stored in the fridge two to three days in advance—and no one will be the wiser! This is a fun trick for holiday meal prep when sanity reaches an all-time low (or is that just me?).

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Here’s what you do:

1) Combine the chopped squash, minced garlic, parsley (not shown in the photo!), oil, and salt in an extra-large casserole dish. Pro tip: if I’m really short on time, I’ll occasionally buy fresh pre-chopped squash to save the hassle of peeling and dicing a large one! Sometimes you just gotta live your best life, ya know?

2) Stem and chop the kale, then place it into a zip bag or container.

3) Make the vegan parmesan, and place that into a separate fridge-friendly container.

PREP WORK DONEZO.

When you’re ready to roast this beauty either later that day or as many as two to three days later, proceed with the recipe as usual…maybe while giving an evil cackle about how you outsmarted the original instructions. I won’t mind.

One thing’s for sure, I’ll be using this trick for all of my future holiday meals, and even busy weeknights! It’s so handy to have everything prepped and ready to go. I hope this tip helps streamline your own holiday meal planning as well. If you’re looking for more crunch-time holiday inspiration, don’t forget to check out my Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Panzanella recipe—it has had some great feedback so far. Oh, and let me know in the comments if you have any make-ahead recipe requests! I’d love to hear them.

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5 from 9 reviews

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Make-Ahead Roasted Butternut Squash Casserole

Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free

This is a handy make-ahead version of one of my all-time favourite fall and winter side dishes showcasing the best of cold weather produce. See my tips below on how you can prep the casserole ingredients a couple days beforehand, so they’re ready to come together effortlessly at meal-time (just be sure to leave yourself about an hour to cook it, though). Sometimes, when I’m feeling wild, I like to double the vegan parmesan because it’s just so good! This recipe is adapted from the original in 2012—back when I had a little more time in the kitchen, pre-kiddos!

Yield
6 side servings
Prep time
20 Minutes
Cook time
55 Minutes

Ingredients:

For the roasted squash:
  • 1 medium/large (2 to 2 1/2 pounds) butternut squash
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 cups (75 g) stemmed and finely chopped kale*
For the Almond-Pepita Parmesan:
  • 1/4 cup (40 g) whole almonds**
  • 1/4 cup (40 g) roasted pepita seeds**
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) nutritional yeast
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

  1. Grease an extra-large casserole dish with oil and set aside.
  2. Peel the squash. Thinly slice off the bottom and top and then slice through the middle lengthwise to make two halves. Remove seeds with a spoon. Chop the two halves into 1-inch chunks and place into the oiled casserole dish. (Time-saving tip: buy a couple pounds of pre-chopped fresh butternut squash from the produce section of the grocery store. This was a major game-changer in the Liddon household, let me tell ya!.)
  3. Add the minced garlic, parsley, oil, and salt into the casserole dish and toss with squash until combined (hands or a spoon both work well for this step!). Do not add the kale yet.
  4. Cover the casserole dish with tinfoil and pop it into the fridge.
  5. Place the chopped kale into a tightly sealed zip bag (being sure to squeeze any air out beforehand) or a small airtight container and refrigerate.
  6. For the parmesan: Place all of the Almond-Pepita Parmesan ingredients into a mini food processor and pulse together until coarsely ground. Transfer the mixture into a zip bag or small container before placing it in the fridge. All three casserole components can be stored in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.
  7. When ready to cook the casserole, remove all prepped ingredients from the fridge. Poke a few air holes into the tinfoil covering the casserole dish.
  8. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
  9. Place the covered casserole dish in the oven and bake for about 45 to 50 minutes, until the squash is fork tender.
  10. Carefully remove the squash from the oven and reduce heat to 350°F (180°C). Remove the tinfoil (be careful as some steam might escape from the dish as you do). Stir the chopped kale into the squash until combined. Sprinkle all of the parmesan over top of the squash. Bake for another 6 to 10 minutes, uncovered, until the nuts are lightly toasted and the kale has wilted. Watch closely so you don’t burn either the nuts or kale. Serve warm, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Leftovers will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for about 5 days. To reheat, simply scoop the squash into an oiled skillet and heat over medium, stirring frequently, until heated through. Season to taste, and enjoy!

Tips:

* I doubled the original amount of kale for extra green power!

** Feel free to swap in any nuts or seeds you prefer! There are endless possibilities. Pecans (which are used in the original version) are lovely, too.

MAKE IT NUT-FREE: Swap the almonds for more pepitas.

The total bake time your squash requires will depend on how fresh it is, how small you chop the squash, and how hot your oven runs, so you can start checking it after 35 to 40 minutes.

 

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Farewell to Copenhagen Carrot Cake

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Boil the kettle and make a cup of tea folks, this is going to be a big one!

First of all, I have to begin this post by saying THANK YOU. My New Roots is officially 10 years old and I couldn’t have done it without your support, enthusiasm, and full-on LOVE for this little blog. And especially after the last couple of posts when I really opened up about my recent struggles, I felt so supported, and saw that so many of you did as well. It reminded me of the strong community that this has become, and the power of people when they come together with a common goal of true wellness.

If you had told me an entire decade ago that my deeply passionate, unabashedly nerdy, and nearly ignored internet musings would end up turning into a full-on career, brand, cookbooks, online classes, app, poster shop and retreat company I never, ever would have believed you. But reading my first post again, it’s just as relevant today as ever, eerily almost as if I had written it last week. I guess I had a strong vision in mind and just kept trucking, kept trusting, that it would resonate with someone. But here we are, a third of my life later, and it’s not just someone, but so many of you. And all of my dreams continue to be born and manifest because of you. That offhanded suggestion from an old boyfriend who thought I could use an outlet for all that “health talk” I kept spewing, was really onto something. Thanks, dude.

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Secondly…and this is really big news…I am moving back to Canada! Yes, after nine years of delicious life in Copenhagen, my old roots are pulling me home and I am so very ready. This whole thing has been in the works for a few months now, but I didn’t really feel like putting it out there until it was real. Well lemme tell ya, when putting my family’s life in 50 boxes and shoving them into a shipping container, shiz got real, real fast. What a crazy feeling it is, and totally overwhelming with all the emotions that relocating your entire life is. So, if things have been (and continue to be) quiet around here, it’s because I’ve been sorting through all the details that an international move entails. I send my gratitude for your patience.

The next chapter of my life will be completely different from the last, that is for sure. To change things up dramatically, my family and I will be living out of the city in fact, near-ish to Toronto, where I am originally from. I knew that I would end up living in the country at some point, but not so soon! It was more a “when I retire” kind of thing. But funny what happens when you have kids and they need s-p-a-c-e, your priorities seem to shift to accommodate the little ones. Plus, I feel the need to be on the ground again (I’ve been living in a fourth-floor apartment for nine years now!), so we bought a house to get closer to earth in every sense, plant a garden, lay in the grass – our own grass – and enjoy the quiet and safety of a little community. I’m really excited for everything that is to come, and feeling so grateful for the divine unfolding.

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But will I miss Copenhagen? Obvi. This city, and my home here, is where I have spent my entire adult life. The walls of my beloved kitchen that my husband and I built ourselves, have held space for two cookbooks, online classes, countless dinner parties, bleary-eyed breakfasts, and even the birth of our son for crying out loud! And although My New Roots began in Toronto, it flourished here and truly became something on Danish ground. The Scandinavian culture has had a profound influence on me, my aesthetic, and how I see the world now. Having Europe at my doorstep with all its history, architecture, fine arts, culture, and attitude has been an enormous privilege and deeply inspiring. And can we talk about the light? Oh the light! How my camera and I will miss the very special way the sun slants here. It’s unlike anything I’ve seen before.

Anyway, I promise to keep you all posted as we leave one fabulous country for the next. I won’t have a working kitchen for some months, but I’ll stay as active as I can on Instagram so you can keep up with my kitchen renovations…I know you’ll want to see all that house porn. Tee hee.

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Okay, now for the main event. I MADE A CARROT CAKE. Successfully. It is delicious. I feel like I have finally achieved one of my biggest culinary goals ever, and it’s so appropriate that we celebrate ten years of this blog with a recipe that has challenged me for nearly as long. If you remember back to when I used to post giant layer cakes for my birthday, I ran into trouble in 2013, when I attempted three different versions, which all failed, and ended up making nut butter sandwiches instead. Since then, the headcount has continued to rise, yet some ridiculously stubborn part of me won’t give up.

In the past I’ve almost always used spelt flour for baking, and if any of you have tried one of my famous layer cakes, you’ll know this has worked well. I was after the same crumb that you can achieve with wholegrain spelt, but wanted the cake to be gluten-free, so I started by using an all-purpose gluten-free flour. It was a total disaster. The cake turned out gummy and inedible, and the frosting, which I tried to make with cooked quinoa (don’t ask) was just weird. The next route I tried was with almond flour, since I’ve been eating a more low-grain diet for the past few months and I wanted the cake to reflect that. Before testing it out, I assumed that almond flour would make things really dense and heavy, but lo and behold it creates a crumb that is so fluffy, and really gives this feeling of deep satisfaction. I’m obsessed. The only thing that I don’t like about almond flour is the high price, and the fact that almonds are a very water-intensive crop to grow. But, this is a cake after all, therefore a special treat, therefore not something you have all the time.

The initial carrot cake experiments with almond flour were good, but borderline too rich. Plus, since I’d ditched the quinoa frosting idea and knew I’d be taking the cashew road, I felt like a nut frosting on top of a nut cake was just, well, too nutty. To reconcile my relationship with coconut flour, I cut the dry ingredients with a tad to see what would happen. Not only was the cake just as good, but the texture was better and I liked the flavor the coconut flour provided. We are friends again.

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The Cashew Coconut frosting for this cake is what Canadians would affectionately call a “twofer”. Bahahaha! (I really do amuse myself). For everyone else out there, in long form, this refers to a “two-for-one” deal. You can make this recipe once, but have the frosting come out two ways depending on its temperature. Pretty groovy, eh? If you use the frosting right after making it, it will be loose and glossy, almost glaze-like. If you prefer a traditional-style frosting that is thicker and stiffer, all you need to do is put the mixture in the fridge overnight to achieve this consistency. I chose to go with the room temperature version since I hadn’t really worked with it like that before. It provided a more even layer, but it’s also a little harder to control. Either way it’s delicious, so don’t worry about making the wrong choice…there isn’t one! The flavour is major: I’m talking soooo cream cheese-like that even I was confused.

If you’re not feeling the chunky carrot cake vibes, please look away now, because the cake of my dreams is loaded with pineapple, walnuts, and bursting with warm spice and citrus zest. I went to town! Instead of using questionably-edible canned pineapple, I used the dried, unsweetened version from the health food store. This stuff ain’t cheap, but again, cake splurge. If you can’t find pineapple like this, dates, raisins, dried figs or apricots would also be good, but I’d skip the soaking step. Instead of walnuts you could use pecans, macadamias, or even pumpkin seeds.

Altogether this carrot cake is moist, decadent, and satisfying with so many layers of flavour and texture that just won’t quit. I’ve learned a lot in the past decade, and this cake is an expression of that. It’s something to be proud of, and something to share. Thanks for sticking by me while I worked out the kinks…now it’s time to celebrate all the things!

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Who knows what the future holds – the world seems so crazy these days – but I do know that I still have steam in me to keep going with this heart project, if you’re all still up for reading and cooking from it. Words cannot describe my gratitude for you, allowing me to pursue my biggest dreams and expose my shadowy bits as well. I hope you know how much I love you. I truly do. Here’s to another ten years…

xo, Sarah B

*   *   *   *   *   *GCR_logo

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Okay friends, there are still a couple spaces left for the next Wild Heart High Spirit retreat in Portugal! It’s this November 5-11, hosted at the ridiculously beautiful Sublime Comporta hotel (guys, I’ve been there and this place is NEXT LEVEL). I will be teaching cooking classes outside in the organic garden (pictured above!) and giving nutrition seminars daily, with yoga and movement classes twice a day with my dear friend and deeply talented friend, Mikkala Marilyn Kissi of Living Yolates. The kitchen is exclusively making My New Roots recipes for the week, so we can all enjoy these meals without having to lift a finger. Enjoy your private pool, open spa, horseback riding on the beach, bonfire nights and dancing under the stars. Come and get inspired to live your best life! We’ll show you how. Click here for more info, and see you in magical Portugal!

The post Farewell to Copenhagen Carrot Cake appeared first on My New Roots.

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Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Panzanella

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We now have a three- and a one-year-old in the house as of a week ago. Two toddlers…OMG, save me. It’s loud, and crazy, and some nights cereal or smoothies for dinner feels like a major culinary accomplishment.

But, oh, do I adore my little monsters and this crazy family.

Lately, these are some of the questions I ask when I attempt to cook:

Can I cut out an ingredient (or four) while still enjoying the dish? Is this step absolutely necessary to the overall dish? Why is there so much screaming going on? If I do something the night before, will it save time the next day? Adriana, can you please stop tackling your brother like a football!? Lol. 

And probably one of the questions I ask the most: Why is there no OSG delivery service yet, damnit!?

Goals 😉

I’m learning more often than not that the answer to my “can I save time” question is a resounding YES. I’m learning tricks along the way. I’m cutting corners. And you know what? Almost always, the food still tastes great. (And if it doesn’t, Arlo will eat anything.)

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If you follow me on Insta Stories, you may have seen how excited I was to dig into Laura’s beautiful plant-based cookbook, The First Mess Cookbook, this past spring. I’ve been following Laura for years (#TFMfangurrrrrl); she’s a seriously talented writer, photographer, and cook. I’m constantly amazed by the beauty she captures in her food, and the warmth and passion with which she shares it. Laura is one of those cooks who seems to truly adore the process of cooking. I personally don’t always enjoy the process (real talk: sometimes I loathe cooking), and often don’t slow down enough to find it uber-relaxing, but Laura has a way of inspiring a certain intention and gratitude for the process. I love that. Her plant-based recipes and photographs are truly works of art, and I’m so glad she shares them with us all. Her cookbook would be a delicious addition to your collection if you don’t have it already!

Months ago, I made a mental note to make the Thanksgiving Panzanella, and I couldn’t wait to make it once the cooler temperatures had set in. Because the recipe has quite a few steps, I started it the day before, and ended up creating a fun, make-ahead version. As you can tell, I’m all about make-ahead situations these days! By doing most of the prep work in advance, it became a practical option for our Thanksgiving meal. The prep work the day before is a half hour (and it’s a bit kitchen-destroying, tbh), but the next day, the effortless prep will only set you back a mere 10 minutes. Pretty sweet, huh?!

Oh, and it’s a looker. And tasty…duh. As my hilarious recipe tester, Nicole, wrote, “Yield: 6 side servings or one big serving for me ha ha ha!” LOL! Love her.

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5 from 1 reviews

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Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Panzanella

Vegan, nut-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free

Since this is quite an involved recipe, I like to prepare a few aspects of this panzanella the day before to save time and mess on the day of a special event, such as Thanksgiving. By doing a bit of advance prep (about 30 minutes the day before), all you have to do on the day is bake the squash and bread, then toss it all together just before serving. I like to serve this recipe warm, so I time the cooking so that the squash and bread come out of the oven just before our planned mealtime. This recipe is adapted from The First Mess Cookbook (2017) by Laura Wright. Reprinted by permission of Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited.

Yield
6 side servings
Prep Time
40 Minutes
Cook time
35 Minutes

Ingredients:

For the dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) balsamic vinegar
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
  • Generous pinch of fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the salad:
  • 4 cups (175 grams) cubed sourdough bread (about 1/2 a loaf)
  • 2 medium (800 g) delicata squash
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 cups (40 g) stemmed and sliced lacinato kale
  • 2 medium/large celery stalks (210 g), thinly sliced (1 1/4 cups)
  • 1/3 cup (80 mL) pomegranate seeds
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons (25 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Handful of celery leaves or fresh parsley leaves, for garnish

Directions:

  1. The day before (steps 1-4): Make the dressing: In a small jar, place the balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Screw on the lid and shake to combine. Chill in the fridge.
  2. Slice the sourdough bread into 1-inch cubes until you have 4 cups. Place into a large bag or container and leave it on the counter.
  3. Slice each squash down the middle, lengthwise. With a spoon, scrape out all of the seeds and discard them. Slice the squash into 1/4-inch “half-moon” slices, and place them into a large zip bag, bowl, or container. Mince the rosemary and thyme and add it to the squash. Chill the squash and herbs in the fridge (covering, if necessary).
  4. In a separate zip bag or container, place the sliced kale, chopped celery, and pomegranate seeds. Chill in the fridge (covering, if necessary).
  5. The next day (steps 5-8): About 15 minutes before you begin, remove the dressing and squash from the fridge and place them on the counter so that they can come to room temperature. Position two racks near the centre of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C), and line two extra-large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Spoon the squash and herbs onto one of the baking sheets. Add a tablespoon of oil and toss until the squash is thoroughly coated. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast the squash for about 30 to 38 minutes, until nicely brown on the bottoms. (There’s no need to flip halfway through baking unless you want them evenly browned.)
  7. While the squash is roasting, spread the cubed sourdough onto the remaining baking sheet and toss it in a couple teaspoons of oil. When you have 10 to 15 minutes left of the squash’s roasting time, place the sourdough in the oven with the squash and continue roasting for 10 to 15 minutes. The bread should feel lightly toasted when it’s ready, but it shouldn’t look brown.
  8. While the squash and sourdough are roasting, place the kale, celery, pomegranate seeds, and dressing into a large serving bowl. When the squash and bread are finished cooking, add them into the bowl, and toss well, until combined. Season the panzanella with more salt, to taste, if desired. Serve warm with a garnish of celery or parsley leaves scattered on top. This recipe is best enjoyed immediately, or within a couple of hours of preparing.

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Below is a photo of what the prep looks like the day before! On day 2, all you do is roast the squash and bread, and then mix it all together. *slow clap*

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On the cusp of our Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, THANK YOU for your amazing love and support, even when this blog is a virtual ghost town. I’ve been chipping away at some big behind-the-scenes blog changes and can’t wait to share more. Also, Eric recently started a new career venture, which has been wild. I’m thrilled for him, and grateful to be able to return the support and encouragement that he’s given me all these years. But, holy hell have we been struggling to stay afloat. The juggle of parenthood and “careerhood” is no easy feat. I’ve been trying to make it work with a lot more on my plate. Some days I feel like I’m doing a crappy job at everything, and other days, I feel like I’m killing it. We’ll get into a groove…it just takes some trial and error. Just know that I love and appreciate your support more than you know.

I hope my fellow Canadians have a relaxing and delicious Thanksgiving weekend with loved ones, and if you try out this recipe, I hope you enjoy it—and my make-ahead tricks—as much as we do. I’ve also added this recipe to The Oh She Glows Recipe App, so keep your eyes peeled for it on there.

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Last but not least, I’d like to pass along Arlo’s nursery tour over on HGTV! It was so much fun (and such an honour) to be featured. (Just know that the nursery never looks this put together in real life….it actually looks like a tornado blew through it most days.) A special thanks to the lovely Brittany Devenyi for the feature!

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How to Burn the Most Fat

The Information That Follows Is Medical Advice For Education Purposes Only

Burning fat is a very important topic but pretty much all the mainstream recommendations are completely outdated. According to statistics in America, only 2% of the population is ever successful at burning fat or achieving their weight loss goals and an average female spends 17 years of her life dieting.

What does that tell you? They are operating on incorrect information. What I am going to tell you is based on fact, physiology and the way your body works. In this article I will show you how to burn fat, the right way.

Two Sources of Fuel

Your body has two main fuel sources – stored sugar and fat.

Sugar stored in your liver and muscles is called glycogen. It’s released when your body needs it. When there’s no sugar available, your body can burn fat.

Fat burning hormones are triggered based on what you eat and do. The hormone-sensitive fat enzymes, called lipase enzymes, dissolve the fat and break it down into ketones.

Ketones are the by-product of fat metabolism and your body can run on them very efficiently. In fact, they are a longer lasting and cleaner fuel source than sugar and even your brain can use them.

Fat Making Hormones

Fat making hormones, however, trigger the storage of sugar and the conversion of the sugar into fat. The great majority of people are only burning sugar, which is glucose, and are not burning fat. They may diet and lose some weight but it’s not fat they are losing but temporary water weight and then they hit a weight-loss plateau.

What Determines if you Burn Sugar or Fat?

The single biggest controlling factor that determines whether you are burning fat or sugar is the hormone insulin. Even in small amounts, insulin has the strength and power to prevent you from tapping into your fat reserves.

When I say insulin, I might as well say sugar because sugar triggers insulin. I could easily just say that the number one controller of fat burning is sugar or hidden sugars.

If your sugar/insulin is high, you are not going to be able to burn fat because your body is running on sugar.

But what about everything in moderation? Well, let’s say you halve your sugar intake. Will you burn fat? No, because your sugar/insulin has to be zero for you to tap into ketones, which are the by-product of fat burning. Fat burning = ketosis.

Ketosis is what you are after. You may hear some negative things about ketosis in relation to diabetes, but we are talking about doing ketosis in a very healthy way.

Ketosis is the best thing you can do for your blood sugar, your heart and brain and conditions like polycystic ovarian syndrome. Here the person is almost always insulin resistant and if they get into ketosis, they see great improvement.

Now ketosis does not happen overnight. It’s really easy to tap into sugar reserves – just eat sugar, but getting into ketosis is more complicated. It takes way more than a couple of days and could take a week or a month. In some situations, it could take five or even six weeks before you are really into hardcore fat burning.

Why is that?

If you have been living on sugar your entire life, your system is very inefficient. You are so used to burning sugar that it’s going to take a bit of time to become keto-adapted and switch over to burning fat.

Within a few days, there will be ketones in your urine but you have to stick with it a little longer to become truly adapted. People get discouraged when they expect to burn fat in the first day or two and when it doesn’t happen, they give up.

Hang in there because it will happen and your body will start burning fat. A lot of other problems will go away too.

What to eat to get into Ketosis – the Formula for fat burning

No. 1. 5-10 % of your calorie intake should be vegetable carbs only.

Vegetables have a small amount of carbohydrate but also a lot of vitamins and minerals that you’re not going to get with protein or fat. Additionally, the net sugars are very low to none at all.

No. 2. 25% of your diet should come from protein, about four to six oz. at each meal. This is not the high protein Atkin’s diet. Skip the lean protein so you get some fat with it. Your body is not made of carbohydrate but of protein and a lot of fat.

No. 3. 65-80% of your calories should be in the form of good fats (no deep fried anything). Before you freak out, remember that an Eskimo diet of blubber means almost zero heart problems. Ketosis is healthy and makes you feel good.

Don’t fret about increasing your cholesterol. Your body makes 3000mg of cholesterol (equivalent to about 14 eggs, 333 strips of bacon or 1 pound of butter) every single day.

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It uses it to build cell walls and the lens of the eye, it’s the raw material for hormones, especially stress hormones, and is essential for neuronal activity in your brain.

When you consume more cholesterol or fat, your body adapts and just makes less. If you eat less, it makes more.

In high school I tried to gain weight by eating fatty foods. The more fat I ate, the more weight I lost. This was confusing until I discovered that consuming fat is insulin neutral. Eating fat does not trigger insulin.

Insulin is the Key

It only takes a little bit of sugar to totally throw you out of ketosis once you are adapted.  Insulin must be nil to get your body into fat burning mode but you’ll feel so much better with more energy, more endurance and better cardiovascular health. Add exercise on top of this and watch what happens. A lot of professional athletes use ketosis for better performance. Many credible medical doctors even recommend it.

It’s new and you know it’s the real deal because it’s the exact opposite of what mainstream is telling you. They say have 60 % of your diet as carbs, 5 or 10 % fat and the same amount of protein. Just reverse this and you’ll come out ahead. If you want some specifics of what fats to eat, click here.

By: siem previva

Best Seafood Restaurants in Barcelona | Siem Previva Restaurante
“http://siemprevivarestaurante.com/”
Best Seafood restaurants in Barcelona is Siempreviva Restaurante who providing the royal taste of Mediterranean food in whole Spain

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