Monthly Archives: January 2015

Protein Packed Vegan Chili (slow cooker)

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-VEGAN-

-SLOW COOKER-

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! ūüôā

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Servings

6

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

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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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-VEGAN-

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

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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

ramennoodles redcabbage

celery onion

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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)

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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!!! ūüôā 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 ūüôā (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.

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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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