Summer Series: Pool Snacks

Watermelon!

Summer is here! With its hot long days and kids filled with bouncing energy. What a better day to spend a summer day but by the swimming pool. Not only is a very good activity for both little ones and adults alike but it provides a chance to soak in those precious sun rays (always wear sun screen tho) and to have some easy and refreshing food.

We like to keep it simple and fresh at the pool with things like Lemonade, Limeade, Pineapple juice or simply with water. My son doesn’t particularly like plain water so I “spicy up” for him adding lemon wedges, fresh cut strawberries and mint. We do indulge in some salted chips (I try to use the baked variety) or chips and pico de gallo for a crunchy and tasty snack. Fresh fruit such as pineapple chunks or watermelon are perfect to the pool side too! Freeze seedless grapes for a healthy alternative to popsicles, or make your own popsicles at home without the added sugar and nasty additives.

Let me share some simple ideas!

Summer drinks. 

Summer Fruity Snacks

Homemade Ice-creams and popsicles

Summer food is easy and uncomplicated. Keep it fresh, full of color and just play with it!

Make Vegetable pizzas on the grill using a Pizza Stone (see bellow) or re-vamp a classic grilled cheese sandwich by filling it with fresh cherry tomatoes and avocado! yum!

Any questions or ideas? Use the comments area and ill be happy to answer!

Xoxo

OnixJ

Summer Series: Delicious Avocado Lime Pesto

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Oh Summer! finally here… time for freshness, swimming, sun bathing and fun! also time for the kids to be off school (oh dear!) So ill be working on a few family friendly recipes for summer days starting with this one.

I love avocado, but some people consider it too bland. Regardless we have discussed before why Avocado is the King of vegetables. If you are one of those not convinced yet I think you should give this recipe a try before you quit on avocado.

Avocado Lime and Coriander Pesto sauce for your pasta. You can use whole grain pasta or for an extra kick of vegetables I recommend a Vegetable based pasta. Yes veggie pasta! vegetables in disguised for those who aren’t too fond of them. We absolutely love vegetables so no need to disguised but its nice to have a healthy pasta alternative.

Recipe for two portions. You need:

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1 medium avocado (room temperature so that your sauce isn’t too cold)

1 handful of cilantro (and a few extra why not! be generous)

1/4 of an onion

2 table spoons of virgin olive oil

1/4 cup of water

salt and pepper and garlic powder to taste

1 small tomato

2 limes (juiced)

You simply add everything on a high speed blender or food processor and mix until a smooth paste. And thats it! sauce is done, no cooking required.

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Make your pasta according to package instructions. Drain. Mix with sauce. Serve with an extra portion of tomatoes and cilantro on top if desired. Super fresh, easy, creamy and healthy way to enjoy pasta this summer.

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Gardein Beefless Ground “Meat”

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*Disclaimer: This is not an sponsor post, opinions are my own* 

Oh joy! I recently came across Gardein. According to their site they Gardein’s ” food tastes good, is good for you, and is good for the planet. Why is gardein (garden + protein = gardein) so good? Because Yves, our founder, made it that way!  A delicious, convenient, and versatile protein option for everyone. 

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I have tried many other “fake” meats and they don’t deliver. Texture is never right and flavour is just off so I was pleasantly surprised when I tried Gardein’s Beetles Ground. The texture is just right neither too soft nor too hard and it absorbs the flavors of the sauce, leaving you with a fantastic, taste and meat free Spaghetti Bolognese. I haven’t tried any of their other products but I am definitely making this one a staple in my kitchen.

I made a basic tomato sauce, if you are in a hurry you can either make your own and freeze to use later or buy a ready made one. There are some excellent organic options out there that taste great and will get you out of trouble if you are in a hurry. After my sauce was made, I added Gardein’s Beefless Ground, not before. Usually if cooking real meat I would cook the meat in a shallow frying pan with a little bit of olive oil and garlic, so my first thought was to cook the Beetles Ground the same way, but as per instructions say you should cook in the sauce for better results.

IMG_1153After I added the Beefless Ground I took less than 10 mins for the sauce to be ready. It looked just like regular beef and the flavour was awesome. Not as meaty (well cos its made of soy) but not as veggie as other ones I have tried, which is great because it means I can fool my meat eaters lol (my dad and my boyfriend would never eat a soy based “meat” they are true carnivores) which is good but then Im presented with another problem… my extremely “NO BEEF” veggie kid (my son) won’t eat anything that resembles beef lol! I am going to have him read the bag before hand.

Either way it is worth a try for both meat and non meat lovers. Easy dinner done!

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Spinach & Pesto Quiche

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Wait, what? It is February already? time is flying! and I haven’t been so good keeping up with my writing. My bad.

I have however cooked some super yummy vegetarian friendly dishes lately so I promise I will do my best to keep up and share share share!

Last weekend I made a Spinach and Pesto Quiche, so delicious. I had never made quiche before and I know, I know its egg based but we haven’t given up eggs yet.

IMG_1270Spinach and Pesto Quiche is super easy to make. I did cheat tho, I used a 9inch pie crust which was already made all I had to do was to pop in the oven. But hey if you are in a hurry you have to compromise sometimes.

You will need:
2 cups of chopped spinach

half an onion

1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

6 eggs

9′ inch pie crust.

IMG_1262First cut the onion into little pieces and cook in some butter (or olive oil) add the spinach after about 4 mins and cook both adding salt and pepper to taste (you can also add other spices at this point)

Set aside.

Mix the 6 eggs in a bowl, and add 2 table spoons of pesto sauce*

Add cooked spinach and onions to the egg and pesto mix.

IMG_1263Fill the pie crust with the mix, and place in the oven for about 50mins or until you notice that the center of the quiche is no longer runny.

and there you have it! simple and delicious meal ready! you can pair with a salad or a soup.

*for the pesto, if you want to make your own all you need is: Fresh basil, garlic and olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Blend everything in a food processor and you get your very own pesto.

What have you been cooking lately?

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Xoxo

OnixJ

Healthy Eating isn’t that Hard

Hello!! so I have been debating wether to post just pictures or recipes, but the truth is many of these dishes are so simple to make that there isn’t much or a “recipe” to it. I love eating healthy, and it doesn’t have to be boring! many people think eating healthy or being on a vegetarian menu translates into munching on salads all day, and guess what? it isn’t! if more people had access to easy healthy food I am sure Junk Food restaurant sales will go down in a matter of weeks!

So anyway here some food I have made over the last week

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Another power toast with Ricotta Cheese, Hemp Seeds and Spinach
Another power toast with Ricotta Cheese, Hemp Seeds and Spinach
Vegetable Quesadillas with Hemp Seed and Avocado on the side
Vegetable Quesadillas with Hemp Seed and Avocado on the side
Flaxseed Pancakes with Banana and Pure Maple Syrup
Flaxseed Pancakes with Banana and Pure Maple Syrup
Healthy Fish n Chips with Panfried Salmon
Healthy Fish n Chips with Panfried Salmon
Chia Limeade
Chia Limeade
Grilled Butternut Squash with Israeli Couscous, Spinach and Mushrooms
Grilled Butternut Squash with Israeli Couscous, Spinach and Mushrooms

Guasacaca & Yuca… Vegan bites

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Ok so today I had literally no time for lunch prep, so I had a quick look in the fridge and I found some cooked yuca, also known as cassava.

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Yuca or Cassava
” A tropical root vegetable, grown as a shrub in temperate zones of Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and South America, that is harvested for its root and leaves. High in starch, it is a plant that contains low levels of protein in the root and high levels in the green leaves. This plant is a key crop in many areas where other crops cannot grow as easily, making it valued as a food and a crop to market to local food markets, or ethnic food markets worldwide as a fresh or frozen vegetable.”

And it’s delicious! You can simply boiled it and serve, or you can boil and then fry, you can also use leftover boiled yuca and make little buñuelos which are like little fried pastries.

So anyway I ha some leftover boiled yuca. I decided to cut lengthwise like fries (or chips in the UK) and fry in butter and oil (just a little bit of oil so that the butter doesn’t burn)
These little fingers are super yummy, similar to steak cut fries in size.

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I dressed with Guasacaca. Now you are like guasa who? Isn’t it guacamole? Well no, guacamole is Mexican in origen and guasacaca is Venezuelan. The main difference is in the preparation, guasacaca is blended (instead of mashed) and so the flavours are combined.

How to Make Guasacaca
Ingredients
Makes 8-10 servings

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup chopped yellow onions
1/2 cup chopped green bell peppers
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
2 tablespoons chopped serrano peppers
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tablespoon sugar
3 to 4 small ripe Hass avocados, pitted (do not discard the pits)

Combine ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. You can leave small chunks if desired.
And there is done! Serve with yuca, arepas, or traditionally served on top of grilled meat.

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Buen provecho!
Xoxo
OnixJ

Veggies are fun!

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There was a time in which people used to think of vegetarians a boring people who only ate salads and nuts. There was a time when being a vegetarian as considered even quite disrespectful to one’s culture.
Times have changed. More people are now concerned about the effects on the environment and on our bodies, and more have embraced the greener side of eating.
I am not fully vegetarian. But I have made significant changes in my lifestyle and eating habits and I have never felt better! So alive, so much clean energy :)
Here a few fast and kid friendly veg lunch/snack ideas for you.
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Puffed quinoa, fresh banana and grilled berries! So delicious and easy to make.
To puff the quinoa you’ll need a hot pan, no oil. Place the quinoa uniformly and toast gently. Make sure you stir or it will burn very quickly. Once it has puffed and it’s golden brown set aside and let cool.
For the grilled berries just add a little bit of coconut oil in a hot pan with the berries and let them cook in their own juices. If needed add a little bit of honey or coconut sugar, it the berries are ripe and fresh you won’t really need to add any sweeteners.
Then place banana, add berries and sprinkle puffed quinoa. Breakfast is served! My kid loved it!

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Boost your grilled cheese sandwich with some avocado and fresh tomatoes. Add fresh basil for an extra kick! Honestly… Takes the old classic to another dimension of deliciousness.

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Cauliflower “nuggets” are a super fun way to eat cauli. Simply blanch the cauli in hot water for a few mins, drain and set aside.
Prepare a batter; you can use regular flour, and water or you can use another type of flour for gluttenFree versions. Add salt, pepper and any other herb of your preference in the batter, I used creole seasoning.
Dip the cauliflower nuggets in the batter and fry until golden brown.
Serve with veg of your preference. Another favorite in my house… You can also glaze with a sauce if wanted.

There you have it. Have fun with veg, be creative and you will never get bored of the flavours!
Buen provecho! Enjoy!
Share your ideas with me by commenting on this post, I love to try new recipes!

Eggplant Meatless Balls

Yuum!! yes yuum indeed! Some people are quite fast on making a point on how “humans HAVE/SHOULD eat animals” – Ok! fine it that “tickles your fancy”, I won’t preach if you leave me alone! LOL…  I rather not eat MEATballs and have Meatless balls instead that is my prerogative.

So putting that aside, let me tell you about this meatless balls… These meatless balls are so delicious and satisfying I dare any one (vegetarian, vegan or not) to try.

Here is how I made them!

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One big eggplant

5 table spoons of cooked quinoa

1 small onion, diced

1 small red sweet pepper or half a red bell pepper.

Himalayan Pink Salt (crushed)

Panko bread crumbs

Pepper and Garlic Powder

1. First cut the eggplant and set aside with some Himalayan pink salt. This allows the eggplant to release some of its juices which we don’t need. Leave to rest for 10 mins.

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2. Combine onion and pepper in a frying pan with a little bit of olive oil. Add eggplant cut into small chunks. Try for them to be the same size (not like measure it with a ruler) but a uniform size will allow them to cook evenly. Add more salt if needed (but taste first) garlic powder and pepper.

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3. Once cooked set aside to cool. Then pulse the mix in a food processor until you get a thick paste. Don’t over process or i’ll get too watery.

4. Then add the panko bread crumbs and quinoa. Mix well.

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5. Make balls with your hands. You will have to squeeze excess water from them (egg-plant can hold a lot of moisture) then put the formed balls on a baking tray. I added a little bit more of crumbs to the try to prevent sticking.

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6. Set the oven to 400 degrees and bake until golden brown.

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And there you have it. Easy, healthy eggplant and quinoa meatless balls that you can enjoy on their own or with any other dish.

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Let me know what you think if you make them!

xoxo
OnixJ

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

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It’s Pizza Time !

So I didn’t do much meal planning this week with the whole back to school back to work chaos. And I was improvising last night with whatever I had in my fridge. The kid suggested Pizza! Sure why not! I remembered I had seen a cauliflower crust pizza on Pinterest a few days before, and since I had a good healthy cauliflower in the fridge I took it upon me to make my Paleo Friendly Pizza.

Here is what I used:

Crust:

1 medium cauliflower

2 table spoons of flaxseed meal

2 table spoons of flour (it can be coconut flour)

Egg whites (about 2 eggs or 4-5 table spoons of egg bitters)

Salt, Oregano (for seasoning)

First grate or process your cauliflower in a food processor. It will look similar to couscous once it has been grated. Then cook this as you would cook couscous, add salt. Steam in a pan for a few minutes until tender; careful not to overcook you don’t want it to be too mushy. Set aside to cool.

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Once cooled add flaxseed meal, egg whites, flour, oregano and check to see if It needs more salt.

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Line some parchment paper on a pizza pan or cookie sheet and place the mixture. Distribute evenly. You can make one big pizza or a few small ones, I went for the small ones just because it is easier to eat and kid friendly.

Put in the oven (preheated at 400F) until crust is golden.

For the topping:

You need some tomato basil sauce or marinara sauce.

Cheese (if you are vegetarian/vegan and don’t consume cheese you can always use a substitute)

And I Used spinach but really you can add whatever you want to your pizza.

Take the golden crust, add your toppings and put back in the oven for a few minutes until the cheese melts and it starts looking like a pizza.

TA-DA!

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Pizza time!