Vegan Avocado Quesadillas

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The other day I bought ripe avocados for 0,25$ a piece.. I used some in smoothies, then I used some to make avocado quesadillas too.

Avocado quesadillas are just super creamy and delicious (and healthy, hehe)… just writing this down makes me wants one, hahahahaha!!!

Servings

2 quesadillas

Ingredients

* 2 small 6 inches wheat tortillas

* 1 ripe avocado

* 1 small tomato, diced

* 2-3 cloves garlic, minced

* 2 green onions, sliced

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Directions

* Smash avocado and mix with the garlic. Spread out on one half of the tortilla. Add the diced tomatoes and green onion. (You can add spices if you want to.. I didnt added anything because It’s not blend at all without any.) Fold the tortillas in two.

* Heat a cast iron griddle.

* Heat the tortilla for around 1 minute on each side.

* Remove from heat, serve and enjoy.

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Whole Wheat Vegan Waffles

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I love waffles… and my kids are waffle fans too! Making your own waffles is so easy, so cheap and it can be healthy (There is no sugar in mine and it’s whole wheat!!) !

So why not making your own!! You can make a lot more and freeze them to use later.

Servings

3-4 persons

Ingredients

* 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

 *1 1/2 cups hemp milk

(you can use any other non-dairy milk)

* 2 cups whole wheat flour

* 2 tablespoons ground flax meal

* 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

* 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

* pinch of salt

* 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract

* 1/4 cup melted coconut oil

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Directions

* In a bowl combine the non-dairy milk with the lemon juice. Set aside for few minutes.

* In a bowl combine flour, baking powder, flax, cinnamon and salt. Mix. Add the coconut oil and vanilla, then the non-dairy milk mixture. Mix well.

* Heat your waffle maker. (I use setting #3)

* Scoop in the batter and cook (every waffle maker is different, my previous one was super slow, this one cooks a perfect waffle in 30 seconds.)

* Remove from the waffle maker and serve (you can add some toppings, fruits, syrup..)

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Vegan Sweet Potato & Peanut Tacos

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Tacos are awesome.. they are so delicious! Mmm! I’m such a fan! these one are sooooo delicious, any meat eater would fall in love with these tacos. It’s the perfect combination of bbq and peanut.. it’s hard to explain because these two are not often seen together, but damn it’s good! I just ate one and I felt good.

They are super easy and quick to make, super healthy and cheap too, hehe!

Servings

4 small tacos

Ingredients

FILLING

* 1 small onion, thinly sliced

* 1 small sweet potato, peeled, cut in strips

* Olive oil

* Water

SAUCE

* 1/4 cup of your favorite vegan BBQ sauce

* 1 tablespoon peanut butter

TOPPINGS

* 1/2 cup thinly sliced red cabbage

* 1 clove garlic, minced

* 1 tablespoon lime juice

* Few roasted unsalted peanuts, chopped

* Olive oil

* Mexican chilies powder

* 4 homemade corn tortillas (see recipe HERE)

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Directions

* In a skillet, heat (medium heat) the olive oil. Add the onions and cook until they start to brown. Add the sweet potatoes and add enough water to cover the potato slices. Cook for 8-10 minutes until the potatoes are soft and there is almost no liquid in the skillet.

* When the potatoes are cooking, combine the bbq sauce and the peanut butter in a bowl, then mix. Once the potatoes are cooked, add the sauce and mix well. Cook for another 4-5 minutes.

* For the cabbage ”slaw”, just combine the cabbage, garlic and lime juice together.

* In another small skillet, heat (over medium heat) olive oil. Add the chopped peanuts and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the mexican chilies powder (to taste), combine well then remove from heat.

* Remove the potato mixture from heat.

* Now you just have to assembly your tacos… so one corn tortilla, then the potato mixture, then the peanuts and finally the cabbage.

* Serve and Enjoy!

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Corn Tortillas

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For Christmas, my dad gave me some awesome Vegan mexican books, a tortilla press and a cast iron griddle… haha, it was a Mexican themed Christmas for me, hahaha! Finally I’m able to do my own tortillas. I’m so happy, it taste a thousand times better than the one from the stores. In fact in the regular grocery store it’s wheat tortillas and not corn tortillas that I can find in my town.. Even corn flour is not easy to find in my small town.

Homemade tortillas are so easy to make!!

To store them before eating them, I found in my kitchen an old glass corningware that my mom gave to me.. it was hers and it was from the times where cooking with a moicrowave was trendy. It’s just the perfect size and it’s keeping the tortillas warm for a long time. Who said you needed the special tortillas container? ;)

Servings

4 small tortillas

(You can double.. triple.. the recipe to make more)

Ingredients

* 1/2 cup corn flour

* 1/3 cup water

* Pinch of salt

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Directions

* Combine the corn flour, the salt and the water.

* Let rest for 2-3 minutes.

* Mix thouroughly until you form a soft dough. If it’s too dry you can add water, but be carefull not to add to much.

* Divide the dough in 4 balls.

* With a tortilla press (or by hand with a rolling pin) with two sheets of wax paper, press the ball of dough. Be carefull when you remove it from the paper to male sure you don’t break it.

* Preheat your ungreased griddle on medium-high heat.

* Cook each tortilla for about 30-40 seconds on each side. Remove from heat and store the warm tortillas in a container or under a warm cloth to keep them soft.

If you make them in advanced you can reheat the tortillas to make them soft again.

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Basic Vegan Pizza

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The other day I bought an awesome cast iron pizza plate so I had no choice than to make a real pizza with it! in my house we love pizza, but usually I make them on homemade naan breads. Wow! I already want to make more and more (healthy) pizza!!! the crust was just PERFECT!!!

Another thing… for those who don’t know, yeast is vegan… it’s not an animal.. it’s a fungus, so kind of a mushroom.. it’s crazy what you can read on internet about that.. people getting angry to save the yeast… damn… people can be intense sometimes.

Making pizza is easy.. the dough is simple, then you just need to add your favorite toppings..

Who doesnt like pizza? :D

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SMILE! Life is awesome.

Servings

1 large pizza

Ingredients

CRUST

* 1 1/2 cups warm water

(not super hot, just warm..)

* 1 teaspoon white sugar

* 1 tablespoon active dry yeast

* 1 tablespoon olive oil

* 1 teaspoon salt

* 2 cups whole wheat flour

* 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

TOPPINGS

* Anything you like!!!

(Mine was.. tomato sauce, red kidney beans, portobellos, baby spinach, onions and red bell peppers)

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Directions

* In a bowl, combine sugar and warm water. Sprinkle yeast on top. Let stand for 10-15 minutes until it’s kind of foamy. If nothing is happening it’s because your yeast is no longer active.

* Add the olive oil and the salt to the yeast mixture.

* In a stand mixer bowl or a regular bowl, combine the whole wheat flour and 1 cup of the all purpose flour. Add the yeast mixture then mix until a dough is formed.

* On your work surface sprinkle the 1/2 cup of flour remaining. Remove the dough from the bowl then knead it until there is no longer flour on your work suface and that the dough is all smooth.

* Place the dough in a large warm oiled bowl (to make the bowl warm I rinsed it under very hot water before using it) Cover the bowl loosely with a towel and let the dough rest for at least an hour in a ”warm” place. (Mine was in front of a very large window and it was super sunny outside). the dough will double in size.

* Remove the towel and punch the dough to remove air. Form again into a tight dough ball and let rise again for 30-45 minutes. It will double again.

* Punch the dough once again. With a rolling pin, roll the dough until it no longer strech. Place on a gently oiled pizza plate (hehe I used my cast iron pizza plate) then strech by hand to make a big circle.

* Preheat oven to 425 ‘F.

* Now it’s the fun part… you can add the topping you like on your pizza.. tomato sauce, pesto, all kinds of veggies, beans, tofu… the possibilities are endless.

* Cook for 12-15 minutes or until the crust is cripsy and golden.

* Remove from the oven, serve and Enjoy!

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Vegan Wonton Soup

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Every meat eater would be fooled by this vegan wonton soup.. (haha I have to try it with my dad!!) Anyway it’s a thousand times better than the ”Real deal”. I’m now a big ginger fan (don’t ask me what happened, I don’t know.. back in the days I used to hate ginger, now I could eat ginger all day long, haha (ginger and cilantro) so in my recipe there is a lot of ginger, not too much to be annoying, but enough to be powerful! yay! Power to the ginger! haha! ;)

Everyone should try making their own wrappers.. it’s super easy. Okkkk it’s more work than buying them but homemade is always better and so rewarding.

Usually I’m making my wontons/dumplings in another way, but today I tried my little press.. and it’s way easier, faster and they don’t open while cooking. No more empty wonton in the soup, that’s awesome!

Is there something better than a hot bowl of soup during a cold Canadian winter? :D

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Awwww I still can’t believe that last week little Axel turned 2 months already… time is going by soooooooo fast!!! Soon enough she’s be running around with her big sis and big bro.

Life is good.

Servings

45 pieces / 4-6 people

Ingredients

FILLING

* 200g extra-firm tofu

* 6 garlic cloves

* 6 mushrooms

* 6 green onions

* A big chuck of peeled ginger

* 2 medium size carrots

* 2 tablespoons soy sauce

(I use the real deal, not the super salty kind that you can find at the grocery store)

WRAPPERS

* 4 cups all purposed flour

* 1 teaspoon salt

* 1 1/3 cups water ( a little more if needed)

BROTH

* 12 cups vegetable broth

* 5 tablespoons soy sauce

* 4 teaspoons sesame oil

* 3 tablespoons grated ginger

* 1-2 green onions, sliced

GARNISH (optional)

* Green onions, sliced

* Cilantro, chopped

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Directions

* In a food processor, combine garlic, ginger and tofu. Pulse until the tofu is all crumbled. Put the mixture in a large bowl.

* In the food processor combine the carrots, green onions and mushrooms. Pulse until everything is all in tiny tiny pieces. Combien this mixture to the tofu mixture in the bowl. Add the soy sauce and set aside.

* With a stand mixer or by hand, mix the flour, salt and water together. Knead the dough until you reach a ”smooth” dough texture. Let rest at least 10-15 minutes (it will become softer).

* For this step I used my pasta maker, but if you don’t have one, there no problem, you can just use a good old rolling pin. divide the dough in few balls, roll them a little bit then press them with the pasta maker (or with the rolling pin). the dough need to be thin, not to thin to break, but thin enough. (who loves a wonton with tons of dough… not me!) Cut squares.

* Now it’s the longest step starting… the one where you have to form all these wontons. Like I said before, I used a little press (filling in the middle, water on the side), but you can form your wonton by hand too. You put some filling in the middle, put a little water on the dough them form a triangle.

* Once all the wontons are done you can start the broth.

* In a large pot, combine the vegetable broth, grated ginger, soy sauce, green onions and sesame oil. Bring to a boil (medium-high heat) . Add the wontons. Boil until they are all floting on top, you’ll see it’s hard to miss when they are cooked because they will also change color.. they will become kind of glossy and translucid.

* Garnish, serve and enjoy! :)

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Protein Packed Vegan Chili (slow cooker)

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I love chili! Every kind of chili! haha! It’s so good and so warm to help deal with the cold Canadian winter. (I would give anything to live in Arizona all year round, haha)

This chili is the perfect match of many things I love a lot… BEANS!!..quinoa.. tofu.. sweet potatoes.. awwww! :)

Servings

6

(With a nutritional info calculator, for each serving, it’s about 15 grams of protein)

Ingredients

* 3 1/2 cups diced tomatoes

* 2 cups vegetable broth

* 2 cups cooked black beans

* 1 cup (around 200g) of shredded extra firm tofu

(I pressed it before to remove the excess of liquid)

* 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa

(mine is organic)

* 2 cups (2 medium) sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

* 1 large onion, diced

* 5-6 cloves garlic, minced

* 1 tablespoon chili powder

* 1 1/2 teaspoons ground mexican chilies

* 1 teaspoon paprika

* salt and pepper (to taste)

firmtofu black beans

sweet potato quinoa

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Directions

* In the slow cooker, combine all the ingredients and mix well.

* Close the lid and cook for about 6 hours on low.

* Serve (here we serve chili over couscous or rice) and Enjoy!

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(hahaha big boy was trying to eat the chili while I was taking a picture, hahaha)

Vegan Red Cabbage Chow Mein

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The other day I found the idea of a cabbage chow mein online.. but my husband and I tried it with few changes and we were not satisfied at all, so I did it all over again, changing everything except the concept of a cabbage chow mein, hahaha! This time it’s delicious, yay!!

It’s a super simple dish, very cheap to make and packed with flavor!!!

I’m such a big fan of red cabbage, it’s so delicious!! (well green cabbage is good too) and packed with vitamins and antioxidants.

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Servings

4

Ingredients

* Olive oil

* 1 large onion, into wedges or slices

* 4 celery stalks, sliced

* 1/2 small red cabbage (around 3 cups), shredded or chopped

* 225g cooked ramen noodles

(make sure the one you buy are vegan, I saw some with eggs in them)

sauce

* 6 garlic cloves, minced

* 3 tablespoons grated ginger (I used fresh ginger)

* 2 tablespoons brown sugar

* 1/2 cup soy sauce (the real deal)

* 1/2 cup japanease teriyaki sauce

* 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

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Directions

* For the sauce, combine all the ingredients (ginger, garlic, black pepper, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce and brown sugar) in a bowl, mix well and set aside. You can ajust the ingredients if you like too, some people don’t like that peppery taste, some love more salt.. it’s like you want.

* In a wok (mine is cast iron), heat oil. Saute onions and celery for 3-4 minutes until they are starting to be tender. (but still crunchy, not all mushy). Add the cabbage and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add the cooked noodles and the sauce.

* Combine well and heat through.

* Serve and Enjoy.

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39 WEEKS + BIRTH

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39 WEEKS

(Tuesday November 25 , 2014 to Monday December 1st, 2014)

Week 40 never had the chance to start that I gave birth to my lovely daughter Axel on November 28, 2014 at 3:17am.

On November 27, 2014, I drank 1L of sage infusion (supposed to help induce labor) at the end of the day there was no signs of anything, so I decided to go outside with my husband (my mom was in my house with my 2 other kids. A minute after being in the car, my water broke (5:45pm)! I called the maternity and they told me to come. I packed my things and arrived at the hospital at 6:45pm. The contractions never started… (weird thing, my two other kids the contractions were terrible!!!!)so they had no choices to put me on strong medication to start labor. It was long.. pfff! Few hours later everything went so fast, the pain was the worst pain of my life, worst than the two previous times. In 4 small pushes she was born!!! :) She was 7lbs13oz, 21 1/4 inches long. (My 1st one was 8 pounds, my 2nd one 6lbs7oz)

We stayed at the hospital for 36 hours. So we left on November 29, 3pm.

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Right after her birth I tried to breastfeed her… but it never work.. the pediatrician came and found out that our precious litle girl have a cleft palate. There is no sucking possible , she cannot be breastfeed, cannot drink from a regular nipple (bottle) and cannot have a pacifier.

What is a cleft palate?

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A cleft palate is a congenital deformity caused by abnormal facial development during the early gestation A cleft is a fissure. It is the non-fusion of the body’s natural structures that form before birth. This happens around 45 days of gestation when our face is forming. Hers never closed correctly so in her mouth she have a pig hole and no uvula at all. They don’t really know the causes.

Few days later we went to a well known children’s hospital in Montreal to meet with a team of specialists (including the special plastic surgeon for kids). she will need a surgery (maybe more than one, we will see for that) to close this big hole. It will be around her 1st birthday. Until then, she have to drink from a special nipple, the flow is super strong, like drinking from a sippy cup. Since I can’t breatfeed her, I’m pumping milk multiple times a day to only give her my milk. It’s a lot of work, but I know it’s the best for her. I’m even able to have a very large stash in my huge vertical freezer for when I will stop pumping :) (thank you medela pump in style advanced electrical (double) breastpump! haha) Soon she will turn 2 months and I’m still giving her only 100% breastmilk. I’m happy about it.

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She will see multiples doctors during her first year and after her surgery and until her 16th birthday. Cleft palates can cause many problems including earing problems, language problems… We will do anything for our little girl (like we are doing everything we can for our big girl who is autistic) It’s not easy everyday dealing with all that. She have tons of gastric reflux, so she need to take a special medication to help her with that, she cannot drink like regular babies, she have to be in a semi-vertical position to drink.. at first she had to sleep in an angle, she drink many many times a day in small quatities (I’m tired, hahaha! thank you baby carrier!) she’s a more difficult baby than my two others were. When she will be old enough to eat, it will be an whole new adventure. Babies with a cleft palate cannot eat anything else than super smooth purees until 1 month after their surgeries. When she will eat half of everything will come out of her nose at the same time (it’s happening all the time with milk too). A special nutritionist for kids will help us to deal with all that. It will not be easy to eat in front of her and only be able to give her super smooth purees… my other kids were eating like us at 1 year old.

It will a long journey, it could be way worst than that, I know, but at the end everything will be fine. For us, she’s perfect the way she was born.

Life is giving us children that lfe knows we can handle… I have a super smart and awesome autistic 4 years old girl, a funny 21 months old son and now a 2 months old girl with a cleft palate. they are all three the most precious blessings ever. I believe that even before being born and conceived, the child decide which person will be their mom.. they choose us, we don’t choose them. They chose me as their mom and I will do anything I can to make them happy.

I saw my doctor the other day for my post-natal checkup and I pinned a picture of Axel on their baby wall… when I left I realized that it was the last time ever I would be entering a maternity pregnant or with a baby… if I go back there once again it will be to see a friend or my sister give birth, it will never be me again. I left in peace with our decision (anyway my husband is getting her vasectomy done tomorrow), I left with a big smile on my face and the heart filled with pure love. I now have what I dreamed of, a beautiful family that I love more than anything.

When I wake up I know why I am alive.. it’s to see see the smiles of my kids and to give them love.

Life is good.

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38 WEEKS

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38 WEEKS

(Tuesday November 18 , 2014 to Monday November 24, 2014)

2 to go..  :)

Baby is :

Baby is the lenght of a leek

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During week 38, Axel is over the lenght of a leek.

She has a firm grasp, which I’ll soon be able to test when I’ll hold her hand for the first time! Her organs have matured and are ready for life outside the womb.

How I’m Feeling:

feeling ok.. can’t wait to see my doctor at my 39 weeks appointement.. for the past 4 days (now we’re sunday) I have very painful lower back contractions and nausea.. but nothing regular, they can be 45 minutes appart or even 45 seconds appart.. and during night everything stops.. if only it was real labor and not that kind of crap. I’m writing this post and I’m in massive pain… but it’s not regular so I guess it’s still false labor once again. Last evening (nov 22) it was so intense, I almost went to the hospital.. but 3 hours later I was feeling fine… damn it’s annoying!!!! -_-

Other than that, I’m so tired of waiting.. I want my baby girl RIGHT NOW! hahaha! :D

How I’m Changing:

I find my belly lower and very hard.. I guess there is not much room left for her in there.

What I’m Eating/What I’m NOT Eating:

Still drinking a lot of water and raspberry leaf tea.

This week I had a weird craving, I’m craving like crazy… soda! It doesnt matter what it is, it just need to be sparkly, haha! So weird!

Still don’t have a lot of appetite this week too.

Total Weight Gained:

+17 pounds in 38 weeks


Workouts: 

Snow shoveling and walking (nov 23), but after 40 minutes of walking (with my son), I had so many cramps, life if my body was about to break in two pieces so I came back home.

Prenatal Care :

Still taking vitamins, calcium supplements and eating healthy too.

At my appointement (38 weeks), my doc was kind of mad because I didnt went to the hospital even if Axel wasnt moving for 3 days.. he did an ukltrasound and a special ukltrasound test to hear the blood in the umbilical cord. Everything is perfect, she’s doing wonderful.  Nothing happened to my cervix (well don’t know for now.. but on Nov 18..) Awwww it’s so long and I’m so disapointed.

My next appointement is on November 25 (39 weeks)

Sleep:

Not sleeping very well… It’s so hard to find a way to sleep.. on the back it’s awful, on the left side I hate that, on the right side I kind of squish Axel.. arghhh!!!

Still waking up EVERY hour during the night to go to the bathroom, hahaha!

See you next week!