Pesto Potato Salad 

This ain’t your mama’s potato salad!

No really, it’s not – it’s my mama’s.

Well, that’s where this idea came from anyways. My mom stopped by to give me a hug the other day (she’s amazing and always stops by for hugs) and she shared this idea about a potato salad that was a little bit … different.

Yes, it’s unconventional. Most of the best things are. Bake the potatoes?! No! I thought. But oh yes. Add some dairy free pesto? It’s a winner.

This recipe is dairy free, nut free, and delicious.

Ingredients 

  • 1 bag of small potatoes ( 3lbs )
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup of loosely packed basil
  • 2 TBSP sunflower seeds
  • 2 TBSP nutritional yeast
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan sea salt

Directions 

Preheat the oven to 375 and line a pan with parchment paper. Cut the baby potatoes in half, toss with Himalayan salt and 1 TBSP of olive oil, and put potatoes on baking pan. Cook in the oven for approximately 45 minutes, or until golden brown.

Add 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 TBSP nutritional yeast, 2 TBSP sunflower seeds, 2 garlic cloves, and one cup of loosely packed basil to a food processor. Blend on low setting for about 60 seconds. I do this about 15 minutes before the potatoes are done, to allow the flavours to hang out for a while.

Once the potatoes are done, allow them to cool. Once cooled, toss with the dairy free pesto mix. This will keep in the fridge for about two days, but don’t worry: it never lasts that long.


This could be a winning dish for your next outdoor rendezvous! Tell everyone your bringing a potato salad – they’ll be expecting a mouthful of mayo, and you can surprise them with this.

Enjoy this recipe!

Netflix Review: “What’s with Wheat”

 

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I find food trends fascinating, and I would be interested in getting a show of hands as to how many people have or have tried – heck even considered giving up wheat or gluten this year.

It’s everywhere. I mean, you can’t walk around the grocery store without seeing gluten free labels slapped on almost anything. After all, it’s what consumers these days are looking for. Wheat has gotten a bad rap, and for that reason many people want to give it up.

What I enjoyed about this documentary is that it digs deeper to answer some of the questions as to WHY anyone should give up wheat, beyond just the general sense of it being ‘better for your health’. It starts at the very root of it – literally.

So does wheat get the bad rap it deserves? Watch the documentary and you decide. As the movie expresses, since the way wheat has been manufactured has changed so profoundly, allergies and sensitivities related to wheat seem to have sky-rocketed.

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Should you take wheat out of your diet? Without knowing you well enough, I can’t answer that. Perhaps watching this film could help you figure it out?

What I do know for sure is that education is key – and what we need to do as consumers is be educating ourselves on what we are putting in our bodies. For instance, many of us have no idea how wheat is grown, or how many different products wheat can be found in.

At only just over an hour long, this documentary will provide you with a little extra knowledge that may help you improve your health so I say: give it a watch – Standing Strong Wellness approved.

Grounding Cauliflower Apple Soup 

My instructor was talking just the other day about how she defines foods in two separate categories: “noisy” (inflammatory, irritating, disruptive) and “quiet” (peaceful, nourishing, easy to digest). I love that concept. When life is crazy (often) , I am drawn to the quiet foods. The foods that nourish and give, and hardly ask for anything back. The foods that are easy on my gut, and make my soul feel good.

If that’s what you need today, then this recipe is for you. This Cauliflower Apple Soup is earthy, smooth, and mellow. It also requires very little work to throw together, perfect for those low-energy days.


Ingredients: 

  • 1 Large Head of Cauliflower, cut into like-size pieces
  • 1 Apple, diced (I leave the skin on)
  • 1 Yellow Onion, diced
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 TBSP organic coconut oil
  • 1/4 TSP turmeric
  • 1 container organic chicken broth
  • 1/2 TSP himilayan salt

Optional toppings

  • Chives
  • Sour Coconut Cream – plain coconut yogurt mixed with a squeeze of lemon

Directions:

Warm a large pot on medium-low heat and melt coconut oil. Add onion and stir occasionally as they soften. Once they begin to turn translucent, add garlic and stir for about two minutes. Then add the apple, cauliflower, coconut milk, and chicken broth. Mix in the 1/4 tsp of turmeric and 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt. Allow all the ingredients to slowly simmer as long as you can, ideally an hour or more. When you just cant wait any longer, blend all the ingredients using a hand blender. Top with an easy sour coconut cream (see above) or chives. Green onion or chickpea croutons would also work well.

 

This recipe is great for a couple reasons – one being that your stomach doesn’t have to work too hard to mechanically break it down. The coconut milk supports increased mucus lining in the stomach, and given the stars of the show (cauliflower and apple) there is a generous serving of fiber here as well. From a more mind-body-soul aspect, a hot soup has a way of forcing you to slow down and eat more mindfully. Warm, soft food is especially comforting when you feel the need to be nurtured, or vulnerable.

I hope you guys enjoyed this recipe! If you just can’t get enough of me you can always find me on Instagram (standingstrongwellness) or Youtube (Standing Strong Wellness)

Have a great weekend everyone.

 

March Update

Hey Strong Babes!

My oh my it seems like just yesterday I wrote the last update. But that wouldn’t be accurate now would it? They say time flies when you’re having fun – it must have been a fun past couple of weeks for me!

…..or something!

Actually, it has been a great past couple weeks. It has been on my mind more and more that soon I will be certified in holistic nutrition and ready to change lives with food. Even my partner points out the subtle ways in which our eating habits have changed. I’ve learned so much and I’m ready to move forward but – there are still a few more months left to go!

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I’m also making subtle changes elsewhere – namely my wardrobe – in light of something that happened earlier this week! I went to a jumping class with my mom; it’s a fitness class where you jump on a personal-sized trampoline during the workout… way harder than it sounds, trust me. Anyways, the instructor told me I couldn’t witness my mom signing her waiver because I was under 18… I looked at her astounded. My mom could not stop laughing! “I’m 28!” I told her. She definitely looked surprised.

I get it – in my sweat pants and messy bun I don’t look my age. The problem is, I’m always in sweat pants and a messy bun!

I never shop, like… ever. But I went to the mall and got a couple of things that made me look a little more age appropriate. Don’t get me wrong I am so lucky I get to wear sweaters and sweat pants every day! But those days won’t last, and I want to be ready!

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I wanted to include another photo as a part of my fitness update, but I couldn’t find a good one for you guys – so if you want to check in on my physique in the coming weeks you will just have to follow me on Instagram! (I’m so sneaky!)

Here’s what’s up: I’ve been cutting for the past couple of weeks. It’s just the beginning of a long stretch of cutting, so I’m not doing anything too drastic. Comicon is coming up here in Calgary at the end of April, so Matthew and I are preparing ourselves mentally and physically! I am so excited for Comicon and it’s a great goal for me to look forward to when cardio gets tough!

My lifts have been awesome. I’m feeling strong and motivated. It’s kind of cool but the more progress you see, the more motivated you continue to be! I may have actually grown tiny quads this winter, which is exciting for me! If you ever read my previous updates I have gone on and on about growing my legs, ha!

The question is: how ripped will I get this summer? The answer is: only as much as I can maintain my health. I know many people think that it’s impossible, but I think slow and steady can win the race! And I wouldn’t sacrifice my health for any number on the scale. I’m eating carbs strategically and doing extra cardio – that’s it!

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Before I go: Psst – guess what’s in my cup there? Tea, that I poured my own cashew creamer into! I did up a video on how to make it, it’ll be up on Youtube and WordPress tomorrow!

Thanks for stopping by, you guys are the best!

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Check out my Youtube 

 

Plant Powered Pizzas – “Backyard BBQ”

Gorgeous people, left, right, and centre! Welcome to another Plant Powered Pizza Friday.

Who likes BBQ? Wait let me rephrase that: who doesn’t like BBQ? That rich smoky flavour is the bomb dot com.

But- have you ever noticed that the store bought stuff contains way too many sugars and preservatives? I can’t hack it. So for this pizza, I made my own. It’s super easy and I had most of the stuff on hand.

Please also note I did not make this dough from scratch- I used Judy G’s gluten free crust, which I have had before, and it really hits the spot. If any of my dairy free peeps are ever interested in their other full pizzas, they make a cheese-free artichoke one that is amazing.


This recipe is sweet, smoky, slightly tangy. It’s also gluten free && vegan if you also use dairy free ranch. PS – this recipe makes two pizzas.

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 Ingredients 

BBQ sauce 

  • 11 oz tomato paste (I used 2 x 5.5 oz cans)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • Couple dashes of worcestershire sauce

Pizza toppings 

  • 1/2 cup corn*
  • 1/4 purple onion, sliced
  • 1/2 green pepper, sliced
  • 1/4 cauliflower
  • Ranch – I used Daiya dairy free ranch

* I cooked my corn first in a grill pan to give it that brown barbecued look and bring out some extra flavour 

Directions

Mix all ingredients for the BBQ sauce in a large bowl. I usually set it aside while I prep my other ingredients. Once you are ready to assemble, take the pizza crusts out of the package and add the bbq sauce. Top with pepper, onion, cauliflower, and corn.

Bake in the oven at 350 for about 15-18 minutes, or until the crust sides begin to brown. Remove from the oven and drizzle ranch over top.

This was my first time trying Daiya Ranch, and I will give then kudos because it was even better than I thought it would be! I should be too surprised though, as I have loved all of the other products I have tried by them (seriously guys – their yogurt – OMG.)

The Judy G’s crusts come two in a package, so I made one for myself and one for Matthew. Matthew wanted chicken on his, so I subbed out his cauliflower for chicken. So let it be known, this recipe is adaptable for your meat lovin’ partners!

I am not a vegan but I love plant forward food, and the ranch gave this pizza the “creamy” factor so I didn’t miss the cheese – fake or otherwise!

Cauliflower is back again because despite it’s lack of pigment, it’s got tons of good stuff going on – it’s a good source of B6 which works to stabilize hormones. The corn has some B5, which helps with metabolism and energy production. Purple onion contains sulfur, which is antimicrobial, and green onion has lots of vitamin C – both of which can help combat illnesses.

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Thanks for joining us here for another Pizza Friday!

I’m especially excited for next week – I’ve got Mexico on my mind….

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!