Creamy Garlic Sage Pasta

Picture this: It’s the end of a long week. You come home, and jump right into your pajamas. You have a great movie picked out, and you’re ready to have the cozy-night-in of your dreams.

But wait? What’s that rumbling? Oh no! You forgot about dinner! This isn’t like you – you love food. How could you have let this slip??

Don’t worry – I got you.

This Creamy Garlic Sage Pasta comes across as elevated and laborious, but it’s really not. Taking the extra few steps to make this, as opposed to your regular pasta with sauce from a jar will make you feel like you are really treating yourself – without the extra cost that comes with!

This recipe can be gluten-free, depending on the pasta chosen, and is also vegan!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups pasta of choice (I used brown rice pasta shells!)
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 Yellow Onion, Diced
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 2 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 TBSP Brown Rice Flour
  • 1 Cup Broth (or water)
  • 1 TBSP Nutritional Yeast
  • Lemon Juice, 1/2 lemon
  • 4 Fresh Sage Leaves, chopped
  • 1 TSP Salt
  • 1 TSP Pepper

Directions

Begin by boiling water in a pot for your pasta. I love brown rice pasta – but you can use whichever kind suits you! Cook according to the instructions for whichever kind you are using.

Heat 2 TBSP of the olive oil on medium in a large saucepan. Once heated, add in onion and garlic. Cook onion and garlic for about two minutes – the onion should be starting to become translucent. Add in chopped sage leaves, stir. Then, add your flour, 1 tbsp at a time.

Let’s get this roux going – go ahead and mix in your broth, adding it slowly. Once incorporated, add in the coconut milk in as well. Once that is also incorporated, mix in salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast. Squeeze in lemon juice. Lower the temperature, continue stirring and allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes.

While that’s simmering, check on your pasta! It might be done by now. You can strain it, and I love adding it right to the sauce in my saucepan from there. That way, you can ensure that all the pasta gets evenly coated.

I topped mine with a few leaves of sage – extra crispy. You can easily make these by frying them up with some olive oil in a pan. Feeling cheezey? Why not add on some of your favourite cheezey shreds on top? Go on and take this to a whole ‘notha level!

If you’ve seen any other my other recipes, you’ll notice I use brown rice flour in well… just about everything that calls for flour! I like it as a sub not just because it’s gluten-free, but also because it’s cost-effective.

I’ve really been digging pasta shells lately, but I imagine this would be equally as good with linguine. I added some crispy sage on top too – and don’t think that was just for show. If you’ve never fried up some sage leaves before, you’re missing out! It’s way good.

I imagine making this for a girls night in, or a solo-movie marathon night. If I do the latter, I don’t have to share! *laughs evily

Whether you share it with a friend or enjoy it all to yourself, I hope you enjoy this recipe! It really is a treat.

While you’re here, why not share your favourite pasta dish with me in the comments? Perhaps I will branch out, and try something new!

Date & Honey Sweetened Banana Muffins 

Banana muffins really need no introduction – I mean, who doesn’t love a good banana muffin? They’re warm, delicious treats that make a home smell amazing. And I would probably eat them a lot more often if I could find some that fit my particular needs: gluten and dairy free.

Oh yeah, and while we’re at it – refined sugar-free.

I’m so over sugar. I find so many baked goods to be so overly and unnecessarily sweet. Too much sugar, especially refined sugar, in your diet is a risk factor for so many diseases. That’s why when baking I’ve decided to keep the sweeteners as natural as possible. I know I sound picky – like, how dare I want to take out three of the ingredients (dairy, gluten, sugar) that make banana bread what it is – gooey and sweet. Well, I dare to. And guess what? These still foot the bill.

Not only that, but by utilizing a food processor, these are super quick to put together. Sometimes I wonder how I ever lived without one! I use it almost daily, so making these muffins in one was a no-brainer for me.

Supplies Needed - food processor, muffin tray

Ingredients 

  • 2 large ripe bananas
  • 4 pitted Medjool dates
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup nut mylk (I used cashew)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Handful of pumpkin seeds

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 F. Combine bananas, dates, olive oil, and honey in a food processor. Once the dates are in small and fine pieces and consistency is achieved, add remaining ingredients, except for the handful of pumpkin seeds. Mix on medium until a uniform consistency is achieved.

In a non-stick or lined muffin tray, distribute muffin batter evenly. Top each muffin with a few pumpkin seeds. Bake in the oven for 30 mins.

When you take them out, allow them to cool. If they don’t release from the pan with ease, give them a little assistance by running a utensil between the outside of the muffin and the pan.

 

 

It is really important for me to find balance in being able to treat myself, without consuming anything that might aggravate my digestive system. Once it’s aggravated and inflamed, I usually have to deal with the consequences – which for me is typically mental fog and anxiety. I don’t want that. But I do want to be able to eat a baked treat every once in a while, ya feel?

 

I hope you guys like this recipe! If you try it, don’t forget to tag me in your Instagram photos ( @standingstrongwellness ). I love seeing you all inspired in the kitchen!

 

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Pink Chocolate Coconut Bark 

You know how some people say “I have a sweet tooth”? Well I have sweet TEETH. That’s right – a whole mouthful. But as I have gotten older, the 5 cent candy aisle at the nearest convenience store just won’t cut it anymore. I want sweet, but I always want beneficial. I want “treat yourself”, but I also want “it’s kind of good for you!”. I want it all.

 


For that very reason, I’ve gotten into the habit of making my own chocolate. I know what’s in there, I can control the amount and type of sweetener used, and I can create it particularly to my…. particularities.

This Pink Chocolate Coconut Bark is not only a sight to behold, but it’s also delicious. With eight super simple ingredients and the only sweetener being maple syrup, this is a treat I feel good about making for myself. And you can do! Just keep reading and follow the simple steps below.


Ingredients

  • 3/4 a cup cacao butter, melted (I used Organic Traditions)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1.5 cups of shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened to your taste)
  • 1/2 TBSP vanilla extract
  • 3 TBSP organic pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 TSP beet powder
  • 1/2 TSP Himalayan salt
  • A handful of sliced almonds for topping

Directions: Mix melted cacao, melted coconut oil, and shredded coconut in a food processor – just pulse a few times to get it mixed relatively well. Add vanilla extract, maple syrup, beet powder, and Himalayan salt. Blend the ingredients together in the food processor on low. Once all ingredients are equally incorporated, transfer the mix to a parchment lined brownie pan ( I actually just make mine on a parchment lined plate that has a lower base than it’s edges – I mean whatever works). Sprinkle sliced almonds on top and set in the freezer for one hour at least.

Once the bark has firmed up, you can break it up into as many pieces as you like – I like mine generous.

I love that these are only sweetened with maple syrup – yes, to your body it is still sugar – but it’s one that your body can recognize and easily process. It is also paired in this bark with tons of fat, which helps to slow the absorption of sugar and promotes stabilization of blood sugar.

That’s what I’m talkin’ about.

 

Treat yourself. Be human. Eat that dessert. Just look for simple, organic, and quality!

Until next time babes!

Plant Powered Pizzas – “Just Thai It”

Guys – it’s gonna be a good day. Know how I know?

Because Chef’s Table is back on Netflix!

When I began this venture of falling in love with food, I also started watching season 1 of this show. To say that these Chefs are an inspiration is an understatement. They are incredible – and I can feel their passion through the clips of each episode. For those of you who haven’t seen it, each episode is a profile of a different chef – showcasing their journey from start to finish.

Whether you are into playing with food or not – watch it! You never know what just might happen.

So before we get to the main course, one more quick little story: I went to the grocery store to pick up a few items for this pizza the other day – I had it all planned in my head. But when I got to the section for the crust I planned to buy, they were ALL GONE. 

I was momentarily devastated. But I told myself, don’t you worry miss, when there’s a will there’s a way!

On a hunch I popped by the gluten free section and noticed that the freezer had more crusts to choose from – great, I needed gluten free anyways!

I took notice of one made by a local bakery called Care Bakery – their crust is nut, egg, and gluten free. I’ve never tried their products but I’ve definitely heard of them before – and one thing that came to mind what that I know that they were gluten free before it was cool. Given that, I felt assured that they had tons of time to perfect the recipe.

I bought the pizza crust frozen, and I couldn’t get the pizza crust home right away, so it began to soften. As it unfroze, the most amazing smell began to come from this crust. A real enticing, bready smell. I have to say, it was impressive.

This pizza is dairy free and gluten free. However, this pizza is a little bit different, as I have decided to dedicate this one to my meat-loving boyfriend, for whom I put chicken on the pizza this week. Vegan/vegetarian friends, feel free to substitute tofu, or chickpeas – as I often do in my regular curry dishes.

Ingredients 

Thai Sauce

  • 1 can organic coconut milk
  • 1 /2 tsp red curry paste
  • 1/2 tsp miso paste
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp corn starch

Pizza

  • 1 pizza crust – I used a thawed one from Care Bakery (gluten free, dairy free)
  • 1 cup chopped chicken breast
  • 1/4 a thinly sliced onion
  • 1/4 red pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 grated carrot
  • handful of cilantro, chopped
  • handful of chopped peanuts, toasted

Directions

Preheat the oven following directions on your pizza crust packaging.

In a small saucepan, add coconut milk, red curry paste, miso paste, and two garlic cloves. Mix well and bring to a simmer. Then, add a bit of water to one tablespoon of cornstarch, and add to the saucepan to thicken the sauce up. Once it is thickened up, let it cool.

Once the sauce is cool, add it to the pizza crust. Top with chicken, onion, and pepper. Bake in the oven following the directions on your pizza crust packaging. Once the pizza is done, take out of the oven and top with chopped cilantro, grated carrot, and chopped peanuts.

Now you know… I like big pizza slices as you can see!

This pizza is warm and comforting, yet fresh, with just the right amount of spicy. Benefits of this yummy-ness include selenium in the chicken, which supports the body in making thyroid hormones. There is phosphorus in the onion, which the body needs to make healthy bones. The Thai curry sauce has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, and the carrot supports eyesight in low to no-light conditions.

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So, how do you feel about a pizza topped with carrot instead of cheese?

Until next time!

Farmer’s Market Scallops 

Inspiration for a beautiful meal is everywhere. It’s online, it’s at the grocery store, it’s in a magazine. But nowhere is it ever more prevalent than at the farmer’s market; well, at least not for me.

The farmer’s market on a Saturday is buzzing with energy. The people are happy and they show up hungry. Usually they leave stuffed and ready for a mid-afternoon snooze. I managed to hold out this Saturday, because instead of spending my money on lunch I decided to pick up a few things to make for dinner.


Brussel sprouts were the first thing to catch my eye – I don’t cook them often but this bunch was so fresh and so green, I had to snatch some. So that’s how this recipe came to be; I let the inspiration of the farmer’s market influence me. Whatever spoke to me was gathered. What was created… simply a masterpiece. You’ll see.

Here’s my recipe for what I’ve named  “Farmer’s Market Scallops”.

Ingredients:

  • Roughly four cups brussel sprouts, halved
  • One large sweet potato, diced
  • Half a yellow onion, diced
  • 1 package of small scallops, rinsed and dried
  • 5 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • Slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Olive oil & dairy free pesto

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375. Coat brussel sprouts with balsamic vinegar and cover half of a large baking pan. Mix sweet potato and onion and cover the other half of the baking pan with them. Bake vegetables for 35-40 minutes or until desired texture is achieved – I like to wait until the tops are just a bit crispy. When they are almost done, heat coconut oil in a pan on medium to high heat. Add scallops and cook until lightly browned.

Plate vegetables and add slivered almonds, bacon crumbles, and scallops. Top with olive oil and dairy free pesto.

The depth, the flavor – the textures. This dish is completely complete. I wouldn’t classify this recipe as particularly easy, but never has something been so worth the effort.


We ate every last bit of this meal – not a scrap was left. As the cook, that is such a great feeling. My boyfriend says that is the best thing I have ever made. Woah.

From a health perspective, bacon isn’t always the best choice. But I believe in balance – so a little bit now and then won’t hurt you.

I poured my heart and soul into this dish. I really hope that you guys enjoy this recipe, I give it a total 10/10!

Easy Quinoa Salad 

Carbs are a big part of the food story in our household; we go through rice like it’s going out of style. I mean, my boyfriend eats mounds of it with almost every meal!

And um, confession time, we even feed it to the dogs when we accidentally run out of their food!

The other day Matthew said “I’m sick of rice. What’s that other stuff you used to make?”

“The quinoa?” I asked, and he confirmed.

It has been so long since I cooked up some quinoa. Remember when quinoa became such a popular super food? It was such a fad for a time! Just another trend that has come and gone in cooking.

I still love it though. Easy to cook, so versatile, and contains a complete protein!

This quinoa salad is a dish I always used to fall back on in my early days of food prep. It’s awesome because it’s almost better after it sits for a day or two!


Ingredients: 

  • 4 cups cooked quinoa (cooled)
  • 1 pepper, diced
  • 1/2 purple onion, diced
  • 1 small can of corn
  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • Bunch of cilantro
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • Himalayan salt and pepper (to taste)

Instructions: 

Add quinoa, pepper, onion, corn, and chickpeas together in a bowl. Finely chop cilantro and add with cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper. Squeeze each half of the lemon over the salad. Top with avocado when you are ready to enjoy it!

Before I was allergic to dairy I used to add in feta cheese! So if it fits your eating habits I highly recommend it, although it is just as good without!

Try out this salad and let me know how you like it!

10 Amazing Summer Popsicle Ideas!

What I love so much about summer is that it brings out my “inner kid”. Playing in playgrounds, running in the sunshine, and exercising myself into an afternoon flop on the couch!

Another thing that brings out my inner summer child: popsicles. They are easy to make and so versatile! But I’ve been able to appreciate even more just how versatile they are by scouring the internet to bring you my TOP TEN Amazing Summer Popsicle Ideas!

Prepare to feast your eyes because these photos and recipes are seriously astounding! And just as an FYI – all recipes are dairy free!

Black Forest Popsicles from Artful Desperado 

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Blackforest Cake was the cake that my sisters and I always wanted for our birthdays as kids! Turning it into a popsicle is absolutely brilliant. My mouth is watering!

Tart Rhubarb Ice Pops from Vega 

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I’m such a big fan of rhubarb and the tart flavor it brings to any creation. I love with recipe and would probably play around with the added orange and ginger ratios just to see what suited me best… you know… at least 7 or 8 times!

Dairy Free Fudge Pops from Against All Grain 

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You can never go wrong with chocolate in my books, but these popsicles have the added benefit of gelatin! Against All Grain also posts a link on their own page about the benefits, so you can get the recipe and get caught up on the greatness of gelatin all in one!

Coffee Popsicles from Wonky Wonderful 

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I am a coffee junkie, and these popsicles are an absolute dream. Sometimes when I get home from a long day I debate putting a put of coffee on, but during the summer I would much rather just grab one of these out of the freezer!

Key Lime Popsicles from Whole New Mom

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Look at these beauties! These popsicles are stunning yet simple enough to please a crowd. These popsicles also contain gelatin to give them a creamier texture, but Whole New Mom offers a vegan variation if that’s more your thing.

Mango and Dragon Fruit Pops from Young and Raw

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I have been so into Dragon Fruit lately; I love the grainy texture. Just looking at this Pop makes me feel like I’m on vacation! And I love the flavor separation – it gives you something to look forward to halfway through!

Blueberry Coconut Ice Pops from The Little Epicurian 

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The aesthetic appeal here is blowing me away. The ingredients are so simple that you might even have all ingredients on hand!

Tropical Ice Pops from Simply Beautiful Eating

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This presentation is EVERYTHING. I am so blown away! Simply Beautiful Eating has taken tropical Popsicles to a whole new level. I love the purple contrast inside the yellow popsicle!

Chai Spiced Coconut Fig Popsicles from Tasty Yummies 

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Chai is one of my favourite things ever, I love creamy textures mixed with spice! This is officially on my lift of “must make” popsicles!

Blueberry Basil Matcha Pops from The Girl Who Knows

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A few months ago I bought a bunch of matcha, and it’s been awesome in my smoothies- but I would love a different way to enjoy it! Blueberry suits perfectly, don’t you think?

Okay – officially obsessed with popsicles! I hope you guys enjoyed this post! It has been one of my favorite to date. And now that I’m feeling inspired… It’s time to get to my own creation! That will be up next, so stay tuned!