5 products I always have on hand as a working mom

Don’t let the headline mislead you… I know, I know they often do that. These products are great for everyone but, I have particularly  found them useful since heading back to work in February after a year of being off with my first child.

All mom’s lives are busy! Literally trying to pick-up after and keep a house clean with a toddler is the definition of insanity. It never ends. Add all the other stuff us moms have to do whether it be go to work, take care of our children at home, or do both, there are never enough hours in a day.  For all of these reasons and more, moms need a little bit of comfort, pampering and simplicity to relax and take care of themselves.

Here are some items that I am rarely without:

Beautycounter Lip Sheers

Okay, so, I talk about this product ALL.THE.TIME. and for good reason. It’s a great little lipstick made without all the crap ingredients, smells amazing and adds a pop of colour with all of the glorious shades. I love this product and I haven’t met anyone who has tried it and doesn’t love it! My favourite colours are petal and coral!

Beautycounter Cleansing Balm + Brightening Line

This combination of products has been a game changer for me. Helping give me a quick face wash before bed without much effort and a citrus-spritz to perk me up throughout the day, I highly recommend indulging in this combination!

DoTerra Essential Oils 

I always have at least one in my purse and one at the office. I have roller-balls and spray bottles made up as well and a diffuser at my desk. These are awesome pick-me-ups and the different oils are all great for various needs.

Lava Stone Mala Bracelet from Lotus Effect Designs 

Following the essential oils, I am rarely without this bracelet as I can actually add the essential oils to the lava stones, it’s awesome because you can wear the essential oils wherever you go throughout the day on a fashionable piece of jewelry.

Nutritional Yeast 

This may be a weird one but, I seriously use this a lot. It’s super helpful for quick vegetarian dinners (like a nice cashew cheese sauce) or to add extra nutrients to a snack. Nutritional yeast packs a nutrition punch and is actually grown from funghi and is a great source of B-Complex vitamins. I put this on everything!

 

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|| My favourite blogs for plant-based recipes ||

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

Michael Pollan

I am always on the hunt for new and exciting plant-based recipes. I find cooking with plants fun and exciting because there are so many ways you can prepare them and you have a ton of opportunities to get creative!

Here are some of my go-to blogs for plant-based cooking!

To Die For

Managed and edited by Erin Ireland, this blog is EVERYTHING! So many inspiring vegan recipes and creative ideas on how to use plant-based foods in new and exciting ways. Also, if you aren’t already following Erin Ireland on Instagram, do it now!

Minimalist Baker

This blog turned cookbook has endless vegan recipes many of which are super simple to create and require less than 10 ingredients!

Oh She Glows

The one stop shop for everything vegan! So many amazing and simple recipes to get you started and they all turn out amazing! Both cookbooks are also a must have in a plant based kitchen!

I’m having a love affair with crunchy tofu

If you haven’t tried crunchy fried tofu, you are seriously missing out. Perhaps not the healthiest thing out there when all dressed up, as a vegetarian protein option it’s top of my list and it’s sooo easy!

There are countless blogs out there that explain how to get perfect crunchy tofu and different ways to dress it up. Most days, I simply dip mine in some corn starch and fry in a frying pan with some coconut oil until golden adding a little bit of seasoning. I find this great to add to stir-fry’s or wraps. You can also dip the corn starch powdered tofu in some nut milk and then into some panko to take it up a notch. Here are some of my other favorite ways to dress it up:

Hot for Food: Crispy Sweet and Sour Tofu 

Budget Bytes: Pan Fried Sesame Tofu with Broccoli

Omnivores Cookbook: General Tso Tofu

Olives for Dinner: Super- Versatile Crispy Tofu Cutlets

Soy and tofu tend to get a bad rap because it comes highly processed and most of it is genetically modified unless labelled otherwise. There are so many amazing benefits to soy though and the reality is the processed soy is in everything. I personally choose to eat soy in moderation and only select non-gmo and organic tofu. There are many health benefits to eating tofu including it’s protein content for vegans and vegetarians.

This article does a great job of breaking it down.

Fresh spinach salad with pomegranate, squash and goat cheese

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This salad was super simple to put together and so amazing! I have been getting back into my salad eating ways but I am trying a variety of new flavour combos. I love taking salads to work for lunch, especially salads that hold up well and don’t get soggy. I also like my salads to be heartier and more filling! This one is sure to please whether it is just a salad for lunch or an appetizer when you have company over! Pair with a nice foccacia and a pinot noir and you are golden!!


Ingredients

Makes 2 larger portions or 4 smaller portions

1 acorn squash

2 cups cherry tomatos

Half of a pomegranate

1.5 cups of quinoa

2 cups of spinach

Goat cheese crumbles

Olive oil

Balsamic vinegar


Start by roasting the sliced acorn squash and cherry tomatoes in the oven at about 375 degrees. Roast in coconut oil for 20 min or until the squash is soft, golden and slightly caramelized and crisp, and the tomatoes are rupturing.

Cook the quinoa as per package directions.

To put the salad together, lay a bed of spinach out on the plates. Layer with the squash and tomatoes, then add the spoonfuls of quinoa. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and crumbles of goat cheese. Drizzle with equal parts olive oil and balsamic.

Enjoy!

My picks for a vegetarian Christmas

Ah Christmas, the time of year where we gather and eat, and eat, and eat, and eat. It’s glorious! But, I am not nor have I ever been a turkey fan, and pork is out of the question. As a family we don’t eat meat with the exception of some fish and we have also recently decided to go dairy free (with the exception of a cheesy treat here and there – still looking for a great nut cheese). I know, what a great time of year to have a relatively limiting diet but, I have learned a few awesome recipes that work well for the vegetarians this time of year!

My extended family is all meat eaters so, I typically bring a vegetarian main dish for my family. This year I am going to bring Eating Bird Food’s Lentil Loaf – I will cook them in muffin tins and add a mushroom gravy to suit our tastes! This meal will be paired with whatever salads and vegetables appear at Christmas dinner! Typically I would do a roast vegetable.

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Also, as an appie, I will be making this sweet pea hemp dip by Joyous Health!

For brunch on Christmas morning – we will be doing these  pancakes by Minimalist Baker, much to the dismay of my younger brother. They are so delicious he won’t be able to refuse with some fruit and maybe peanut butter and maple syrup – seriously so delicious! Of course, we can’t forget the mimosas!

Greek-Style Lentil “Tacos”+ Leftover Meal Idea

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Okay, so this recipe is basically an amalgamation of all of my favourite recipes – done tastefully, don’t worry.

This recipe can be turned into a variety of meals including, obviously tacos, but also a lentil bowl, or even a pasta dish. It is so versatile!

I use french lentils or sprouted lentils for this particular dish.

I cook the lentils based on the provided cooking directions and then I add them to a pan to season and sauté with other ingredients.

I personally like to add one onion, one red pepper, cherry tomatoes (vitamin c helps to absorb iron), and some greens (kale, chard, spinach). I cook down until the ingredients are soft but not overcooked.

The sauce is super simple and is my go-to for so many dishes, especially when I am in a pinch!

Sauce (all measurements approximate):

1 tbsp EVOO

1 tbsp nut & seed butter

1 tbsp tamari sauce

1 small garlic glove, grated or minced

1 tsp lemon juice

pinch of salt and pepper

It really is that simple.

To finish the tacos and what gives it the greek flare, in my opinion is the Greek Feta Cheese. While the sauce isn’t really a Greek-style adding the feta in addition to the tomatoes, peppers and onions + the lemon brings out those flavours.

I call it a taco but I really wrap it up like a burrito!

But, I also like to make it into a bowl! Adding a few simple ingredients can really change up the flavours! I like to add steamed broccolini, avocado, squash or sweet potato, and fresh pomegranate seeds to add a nice refreshing punch! I have also topped this dish with coho or sockeye salmon and the dressing paired so nicely!

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Thanksgiving Recipes for the Vegetarian

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It’s Thanksgiving weekend and I am not a turkey fan. I am also not a full-fledged vegetarian but as I have spoken about on Thoughts in a moment before, we do eat a mostly plant-based diet – plus cheese because, obviously.

Thankgiving is definitely one of my most favourite times of the year! I LOVE food! I am often asked to bring a vegetarian alternative to family dinner so, I thought I would compile a list of a few of my favourites and some recipes that I am dying to try!

Sweet Potato Pasta

Vegan Ceasar Salad

Stew with Dumplings

Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Sweet Potato Casserole Sweet Potato Casserole 

Vegan Sweet Potato Chili

Lentil and Goat Cheese Stuffed Sweet Potato 

Roasted Eggplant

Hasselback Yams

Vegducken

Two-potato Lasagne

Vegan Mac N Cheese

Vegan Zucchini Gratin

Pumpkin Risotto

Vegan Pumpkin Pie

Salted Caramel Apple Tart

I also highly recommend checking out this guide to holiday cooking for Vegans!