Thursday, September 24, 2015

Red Breakfast and Early Mornings

Quick post tonight. It's past my bedtime.

This is an on-the-go breakfast that I grabbed last week.

I'm lucky enough to work near a place that sells fresh food, so I'm always able to grab juices, fruit, salads, hummus and pita, etc.

I decided to try a red juice because I hadn't really had one before. It was beet, carrot, lemon and something. Sweet but not too sweet and it was such a bright pinkish red, the picture doesn't really due it justice.

I also grabbed some watermelon, going with a red theme :)

It was light and satisfying, especially at 6:30 in the morning.

Tomorrow is another early one but I'm so happy it's going to be Friday!

Wishing you an awesome end of week,

Xo Elyse

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Spaghetti Squash and The First Day of Autumn

The abundance of different varieties of squash it one of the things that I love best about fall. Squash just feels so comforting to eat and I always feel like I'm getting a vitamin boost.

Spaghetti squash is one of my favourites.

Here I baked it, stuffed with lightly fried onion and red potato, mixed with a little olive oil, maple syrup and sea salt.

 Garnished with fresh chives right out of the oven.

Sitting down with a bowl of stuffed squash is one of my favourite ways to nourish myself as the weather gets cooler.

Hope your Wednesday has been full of nourishing food and positive thoughts,

Xo Elyse

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Seasonal Produce and Quick Supper

Today is the first morning I could feel the fall in the air. It felt refreshing.

The sun was still shining in the afternoon so I decided to go for a walk on my favourite trail.

When I got back though I was really hungry and I didn't feel like making anything for supper.

Except it's Day 22 and it's Vegan MoFo! 

I thought I would make stuffed peppers but, alas, my peppers had gone bad before I got a chance to use them.

I had already made quinoa for the stuffing though.

After rummaging through the fridge I discovered a couple of zucchinis way in the back.

So, I chopped them up, plus a couple of onions, tossed everything with a bit of olive oil, sea salt, garlic and oregano and put it in the oven (at 400 for 15 minutes, stir and then another 15min.)

It was a pretty quick meal to throw together, about 35min from idea to bowl.

Hope your day/night is full of sweet dreams and awesome veggies!

Xo Elyse

Monday, September 21, 2015

Island Life and Endless Fresh Bowls

If I was stranded on an island I would want an endless supply of the All-Star salad from Fresh. It's one of my favourite things.

I don't know how this would be delivered to me on an island. Maybe dropped out of the sky. Like those planes on LOST that randomly dropped food rations and were never really explained.

But this is a fantasy so the logistics don't really matter!

Anyway, they pack so much goodness into one bowl:

Sunflower sprouts, the freshest, sweetest, coloured baby tomatoes, grilled sweet potato, delicious crispy tofu cubes,

Goji berries, cashews, cilantro, adzuki beans,

Quinoa salad, shredded purple kale and I'm sure a few things that I'm forgetting.

I always get it with the house dressing -- a vinaigrette with flax oil and apple cider vinegar that's slightly garlic-y and mustard-y.

I'm excited to read what everyone else would take to an island!

Hope your week is off to a great start,

Xo Elyse

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Vegetable, Love & Barley Soup

The first recipe that popped into my mind with today's prompt "Veganize an Old Family Recipe" was my Dad's Vegetable and Barley Soup. It's actually Beef and Barley soup but when I first went vegetarian in university he made it as "Nothing and Barley Soup" -- all the veggies and none of the meat.

Left ot right: parsnips, adzuki beans, butternut squash, turnip, carrots, cabbage, canned tomatoes, onions, pot barley, celery (missing from photo)

I found out today it's actually a recipe that started with my Grandma Elsie (my Dad's Mom.) She made this soup with beef, tomatoes, cabbage, celery, onion and maybe carrot. My Dad added the other amazing veggies and grain that really make the soup -- parsnip, butternut squash, turnip and pot barley.

This is such an awesome, comforting soup. A complete meal in a pot with the addition of beans instead of meat. In my college years my Dad used kidney beans. Today I used adzuki beans because that's what I had but really, any bean would do.
That's the beauty of this soup.

Use what you've got.

Plus lots of love.

It keeps for awhile in the fridge and freezes really well.

It smells like sweet, vegetable heaven while it's simmering on the stove.

This soup reminds me of my family and the deep healing energy of these cooler autmun and winter months.

Sending you lots of love and comforting good vibes,

Xo Elyse

Love & Barley Soup

- 2 cups diced onion
- 2 cup diced celery

3 cups grated: (I used a food processor)
- butternut squash
- carrots
- turnip
- parsnips
- green cabbage

- 1tbsp olive oil
- 2 cans diced tomatoes (I used whole tomatoes and smooshed them with my hand when adding)
-1 cup pot barley
-1-3 cans of beans, depending on your preference, coloured beans look prettier

Sautee the onion and celery in the olive oil for a few minutes. Add the canned tomatoes. Simmer for about 10min.
Add the remaining veggies and enough water to fill the stock pot
Simmer until veg is cooked
Add pot barley and beans
Simmer until soup/potage is thick enough

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Za Pizzeria and Dinner on the Go

Today's official prompt is lunch on the go, but it was more of a dinner on the go day for me. I had a late afternoon hair cut and was walking around the Annex neighbourhood, slightly stunned by the loss of 8 inches of hair, when I found myself staring at the sign for Za Pizzeria.

I remembered reading a post on Blog TO about the 10 best vegan pizzas in Toronto, with Za Pizzeria as number one. So I decided to give it a try.

They were right! The crust is crispy and fluffy in just the right places.

Topped with delicious, marinated zucchini, mushrooms, peppers and a creamy, macadamia nut/cauliflower sauce that added the right mount of richness.

They sell it by the slice, half or full pizza. I will definitely stop by again on a Friday night to pick something up for home. The souped up BBQ/oven that they use cooks the pizzas in 5min! Also my first experience there (today) was one of the best customer service experiences that I've had in the city. Definitely worth seeking out if you find yourself in the area.

This was my actual lunch today. An easy salad bowl at home.

Romaine with my usual vinaigrette, cauliflower roasted with turmeric and curry powder, lentils, red radish and sauerkraut.

Hope your day has been magical and uplifting,

Xo Elyse

Friday, September 18, 2015

Inspiration and Jaspercat

One non-human who inspires me to eat a kinder diet is Jasper, aka Jaspercat, aka The Grey One, aka The Cuddler, aka Munchkin, aka Little Bean, aka Kiddo, aka Sweetpea.

He's more my guide, my guardian, my brother from another mother.

He protects me when I'm vulnerable, cheers me up when I'm sad, and is always ready with a contented purr and a cuddle.

Jasper even knew when I broke my knee just where I was hurt and didn't leave me 24/7 in the first few months of healing.

He has taught me many life lessons and continues to teach me more.

Like the importance of stretching, eating when I'm hungry, napping when I need it, how it's necessary to make time to play and how to offer love freely.

He is such a calm, cool, grounded little guy, and I feel very lucky that he came into my life.

I love you, Jasper!

Hope your day has been full of cute animal pictures and happy thoughts,

Xo Elyse

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Harvest Hodgepodge and Colourful Food

There are so many great fresh ingredients at this time of year. This dinner is a hodgepodge of them, using up some ingredients from my fridge.

Right to left: Beet Salad, Quinoa Tabbouleh with lots of Parsley, Roasted Cauliflower with curry powder and turmeric, Roasted Squash, grated Zucchini with Garlic.

Topped with a few sunflower seeds.

I couldn't think of anything to make that would use a lot of the veggies at once so prepared them individually. I cooked the quinoa and prepared the other salads while the cauliflower and squash were roasting.

I love ending up with a vibrant, rainbow plate.

Hope your Thursday has been full of colour and good food,

Xo Elyse

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Late Summer Strawberries and Fall Transitions

Berries are one of the things I love best about summer and about living in this part of the world. Last year I discovered some late summer strawberries at the Farmer's market so this year I knew to look for them.

They're just as sweet and delicious are the ones you'd find in June. Almost more so. I think the variety is called Everbearing.

It's nice to have a taste of early summer as we transition into fall and remember all of the sweet sunshine-y memories that happened over the last few warmer months.

I like them best with homemade granola, on top of oatmeal or just eaten as a snack.

The end of summer always feels a bit bittersweet but I look forward to all of the beautiful colours and comfort food of fall.

Bring on the squash!

Hope your day has been full of ease and peace,

Xo Elyse

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Simple Salad and Sweet Dreams

Sometimes a simple salad just hits the spot.

As the weather starts to get a bit cooler I like to add more roasted veggies to my salad. They're comforting and filling and I like trying out different spice combinations.

This is a mixed field greens salad dressed with olive oil, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, sea salt and pepper.

Topped with with a mix of new potatoes, onion and orange bell pepper gently roasted with thyme, sea salt and a little bit of chipotle.

Garnished with a few raw pumpkin seeds.

It felt satisfying and grounding and I loved eating so many fresh veggies at a meal.

I'm winding down my day with a cup of tea and wishing you all sweet dreams on this Tuesday eve,

Xo Elyse

Monday, September 14, 2015

Macro Mix and Cucumber Snacks

I'm feeling kind of tired today so this is just a short post!

Here are some of my favourite snacks:

Shoyu toasted sunflower seeds and raisins.

I love the salty & sweet combo. I affectionately call this Macro Mix. I've taken several macrobiotic healing cooking classes and this snack stuck with me.

Simply toast the sunflower seeds on low heat, stirring gently, until they become fragrant and start to crack. Remove from heat, stir in 1tsp of shoyu/tamari or more to taste. Let cool, mix with dried raisins or apricots. I like to toast pumpkin seeds this way too.

I love cucumber! Sliced cucumber is one of my quick go to snacks when I come home starving. I usually have cucumber in the fridge so I just slice it and sprinkle with apple cider vinegar, sea salt, cayenne and black pepper.

It's quick and fresh and delicious.

Sweet bell peppers have been growing on me lately. I especially like them with this spicy curry dip from Fresh restaurants in Toronto that I can't quite figure out how to make for myself.

Hope your Monday has been full of love and possibilities,

Xo Elyse