Oatmeal Bliss & Instagram

So I spent some time on the weekend helping my aunt and cousin design a website for their new business, and I started feeling incredibly disappointed in myself for abandoning my blog for so long. It was something I had been so excited about, yet I somehow just let it fizzle.


So I’m back :) and hope to stay back for good!


I have, however, started an Instagram blog, under the same name, and have been posting (somewhat) regularly there. (That’s where the photos are coming from).

I’ve been really lovin’ oatmeal lately (as usual I guess…) so here are two pretty awesome combos I’ve enjoyed recently. They correspond and match with the photos I’ve posted above.

Strawberry Banana Coconut Almond Crunch

-1 tsp almond extract

Top with:
-Sliced banana
-Roasted coconut chips
-Cacao nibs
-Sliced strawberries
-Dried Cranberries

Lemon Lover

-1 tsp lemon extract
-lemon zest (as much as you like)
-1/2 mashed ripe banana

Top with:
-Sliced banana
-Sliced kiwi
-Buckwheat groats
-Dried cranberries
-Chia seeds
-Buckwheat groats
-Slivered almonds


Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables are one of my absolute favourite dishes in the fall and winter, or anytime really. It’s warm and comforting (which I’ve certainly needed a lot this winter!), and it’s so quick and easy to prepare, with almost no extra work needed for spicing or flavouring because roasting the vegetables brings out all their wonderful natural flavours, that are really just delicious on their own. This is one of my favourite roasted vegetable dish, but there are so many others out there. Root vegetables work great for roasting, (potatoes, carrots, beets, parsnips, turnips, sweet potatoes, red onion, etc.) but I like to use other vegetables  (peppers, brussels sprouts, broccoli, spinach, squash, zucchini, cauliflower etc.) as well to mix it up.

roasted vegetables

Roasted vegetables work great as a side dish, but I also love experimenting with the addition of different beans and nuts to add protein to make more of a complete meal (possibly paired with a salad), and to add some variety in taste and texture within the dish. Lentils and walnuts are excellent in roasted vegetable dishes, but chickpeas, white beans, pine nuts, slivered almonds, pecans all go great too! This recipe is debatably even better with 1/2 a can of lentils, so don’t be afraid to try!!

roasted vegetables 2

Warm Roasted Vegetables for Cold Winter Days


  • 5 golden beets
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2 large carrots, or about 10 miniature
  • 1/4 large red onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, mixed with 1/4 cup water
  • 1 medium-large turnip
  • Handful of fresh herbs (I used basil and thyme)
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 can of lentils (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Thickly slice onion. Chop beets, potatoes, and carrots into about 2cm cubes.
3. Toss chopped veggies with garlic and water mixture, and pour into baking pan. (The water should sit about 1/2 inch at the bottom of the pan, so adjust accordingly)
4. Top veggies with fresh herbs, and roast in oven for 30-35 minutes, or until soft and cooked through (I use the fork test). For best results, turn vegetables after 15 minutes, and place back in oven.
5. Season with ground pepper to serve.

5 Salad Recipes in Under 5 Minutes

Salads are a go-to when it comes to dinner for me. Often, I rely on a powerhouse salad for the bulk of the meal, but sometimes I just want a light salad to accompany and compliment whatever else I’m choosing to make, just as a side. Yes I am a vegetarian, but no I do not only eat salad. ;-) 


Whether it be a tofu stir fry, or spaghetti squash casserole, I don’t think an extra salad on the side could ever go wrong. These are some of my favourite “easy to whip up in a hurry just before dinner is set on the table” salads, that have never failed to disappoint! You can add as much as you want, or keep it plain and simple, but either way I love using this simple formula as a base for nights I’m in a rush or craving a salad as a side to my meal. The formula can be used to create countless other combinations, but I’ve listed my favourites that I think work best together below. Enjoy, and be creative! 


Basic Formula: (slightly modified for a couple, but this is where to start) Bed of greens + thinly sliced red onion + sliced fruit + roasted nut + dressing + dried fruit (optional)

1. Spinach-Orange Zinger

Spinach + thinly sliced red onion + sliced orange or mandarin + roasted slivered almonds + balsamic vinegar dressing

2. Berry Bliss

Arugula + thinly sliced red onion + strawberries + roasted walnuts + raspberry vinaigrette dressing

3. All Peared Up

Mixed greens + thinly sliced red onion + sliced pear + dried cranberries + roasted pecans + balsamic vinegar or raspberry vinaigrette dressing

4. Pistachio Dream

 Kale + + thinly sliced red onion + avocado + blueberries + pistachios + lemon avocado tahini dressing or balsamic vinaigrette dressing 

5. Classic Apple Walnut

Spinach + thinly sliced red onion + sliced apple + roasted walnuts + raisins + apple cider vinegar dressing

**Note: The pictures are courtesy to the amazingly talented photographer Michael East (AKA Dad). You can visit his own personal site to see more of his awesome work here michaeleast.zenfolio.com. The recipe for the pictured salad will be posted soon!**



Pumpkin Spice Steel Cut Oats

Much like most of my creations in the kitchen, the inspiration for this recipe came from a half-full can of pumpkin puree sitting in my fridge, leftover from making some granola. For me, what I have available is my biggest inspiration when creating new recipes. I will almost always have something in my fridge to work with to use as a starting point if I am lacking creativity–whether it be an opened can of beans, a pre-cooked batch of quinoa or barley, vegetables or fruit that are about to go bad, or even leftover meals from the day before. These are the things I use to both create and challenge my creativity in the kitchen to see what I can invent out of them, while also, of course, limiting unnecessary waste. :-)

pumpkin spice steel cut oats

This recipe will work with any kind of oats, but if you have steel cut oats I do recommend using them as they have a nuttier flavour, which I thought complemented the other flavours in the dish quite well. This recipe is quite dense and filled with lots of protein and fibre, so it’s the perfect breakfast after a morning workout, or even just for those mornings you wake up a hungry beast, ready to eat the whole kitchen. (which is me, quite often…)

pumpkin spice steel cut oats 2

Pumpkin Spice Steel Cut Oats

Serves One


  • 1/4 cup steel cut oats
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons lowfat vanilla yogurt (or vanilla almond milk)
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 5 pecans, chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

1. In a large microwave bowl, combine steel cut oats and water and microwave on medium-high for 15 minutes.

2. Once oats are cooked, remove from microwave and stir in pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, vanilla yogurt, and vanilla extract.

3. Transfer oat mixture to a serving bowl and top with chia seeds, pecans, dried cranberries, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon to serve.

Curry Amaranth and Vegetable Stuffed Carnival Squash

T’is the season of the squash! It seems everywhere I look I’m finding all sorts of stuffed squash recipes, so I thought it was about time I posted my own. Stuffed squash is incredibly easy and simple to make, and there are endless ways to mix and match through spicing, vegetable combinations, and different grains and nuts. It’s a great meal to make when you don’t have a meal already planned, as its super easy to adjust based on what ingredients are available to you. (The amaranth could easily be swapped for cous cous or quinoa, and the veggies could be adjusted accordingly). Pair it with a salad, or even just eat is as a complete meal, and you are good to go!

stuffed squash 2

This was my first time trying  carnival squash (fresh from the farm!), and I was very pleased. I originally bought it for it’s prettily striped rind for decoration on my counter, but I knew I should eat it eventually. It does taste quite similar to butternut squash, but with a little less sweet, nuttier flavour. Although I’m no squash expert, I’ve read that choosing a squash that’s heavy for its size is the way to go, and it worked out great for me! So I’d definitely recommend keeping that in mind when choosing your own.

stuffed squash 1

A lot of recipes ask for vegetable broth for cooking the grain in, but even the low sodium varieties are often still very high in sodium. For added flavour without the use of vegetable broth or bouillon, I  like to saute my veggies in the pot I plan on using to cook my grain in, and add my water and grain right in once they are cooked. This way the grain can really absorb the flavours of the veggies. The walnuts were originally added as a garnish and weren’t going to be a main ingredient, but I ended up adding more once I took a bite because they added so much to the dish. So don’t skip out on them! Also, don’t feel the need to follow the recipe strictly, I just used vegetables I had in my fridge. It will work well with most vegetables (as long as you like the kinds you use!), so just use this as a guideline. :-) Happy squashing!

Curry Amaranth and Vegetable Stuffed Carnival Squash

Serves 3-4


  • 1 medium sized carnival squash
  • 1 cup dry amaranth
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup broccoli
  • 1 leek
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut off top of squash, remove seeds, and scrape clean. Place face down on pan with 1/4 inch of water. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until soft.

2. Chop up broccoli, leek, red pepper, and red onion. Saute chopped vegetables with minced garlic and olive oil in a medium sized pot over medium-high heat. Once cooked, add curry powder, water, and amaranth, cover, and let simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed.

3. Once the squash is cooked, remove from the oven. Spoon amaranth mixture inside squash, packing it down with the back of a spoon. Cut squash into desired amount of servings (the amaranth mixture should stick if packed tightly). Note: There may be extra amaranth. I just packed the extras away in the fridge to use the next day.

4. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts to serve and enjoy.