Monday, April 30, 2012

May Is National Salad Month!

I was delighted to hear that May was National Salad Month (U.S.) because as most of you know, I have 3 favourite ways to eat food: in sandwich form, soup form, and you guessed it - in salad form!!!!

Salads are just so versatile, allowing you to pair any flavour combination that your taste buds could possibly desire, and in a (genuinely) timely fashion.  I think I've thrown just about everything in a salad at one point or another, most usually with great success. In fact, its very difficult to go wrong with a salad.

Staples in my salads are:
  • Kale
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Dried fruit (usually goji berries or mulberries)
  • In season fresh fruit
  • Avocados
  • Beets
  • Spirulina  
  • Nori
  • Sprouts
  • Hot peppers
  • Mushrooms (raw or sautéed)

I tend to stay away from dressing and usually opt for a naked salad, or one of the following:

The rest is usually a combo of whatever I'm craving, and whatever I have in the fridge/pantry! ;)

Below is an example of a quick, weekday salad that I often pull together. If you double the portion you'll have your lunch for the next day as well!

The I Want It All Salad

When I was creating this, adding ingredients
left, right and centre, all I could think of was
I Want It All by Queen


Green Leaf Lettuce
Sautéed portobellos
Red peppers
Baby corn
Heirloom cherry tomatoes
Black beans
Goji berries
Flax seeds
Sesame seeds
Fresh Ontario Peaches


1/2 cup salsa
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 grape seed oil

MIX together dressing ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

ADD the remaining ingredients in various amounts.

DRIZZLE salad with dressing.


So there you go.  Why not whip up a salad tonight and enjoy it as a meal, side, or filling for a wrap.

What are your favourite salad ingredients?

Don't forget to checkout Niagara VegFest on June 2 in St. Catharines, ON!!!!

Peace and Love,


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Product Review: RawFoodz Salad Dressing

I am no stranger to people's "strange looks" when it comes to food.  Whether  I'm sipping on a green smoothie, munching on a plate full of spouts, or preparing a "raw"burger,  I'm always ready for the inevitable, "You're eating what?!".  I must say, however that I'm still always caught off guard whenever I'm enjoying a fresh salad and someone sitting beside me leans over, staring in shock at my plate once they've discovered my dark secret: I don't eat my salads with any dressing!  People are literally sad for me that I have to eat a plate of vegetables without any "flavour", offering me condolences and pity for whatever strange diet I might be on. The truth is that I just prefer my veg naked. If you ask me, there is nothing appealing about bottled salad dressings and I think people tend to use their salad purely as a vessel for a helping of dressing! 

That's why when a few of my local health food stores (Bamboo and Health Wise) started carrying the Rawfoodz salad dressing line, I thought I'd give them a try. 

Rawfoodz is a Toronto based company specializing in spreads and salad dressings. Their products are: 
  • Nut-free 
  • Gluten-free
  • Dairy-free
  • Soy-free
  • 100% raw
  • GMO free
  • Organic
  • Vegan
And contain no:
  • Fillers
  • Refined oils
  • Anything artificial
Their website states that their goal is "To infuse health with superior taste"and that their priority is "to give each salad a boost of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, finer and protein." Don't you just LOVE that?  I sure do! 

Choosing which flavour posed a problem for me, so I let Madison pick.  She chose a sea-zar serenity.

The ingredient list was impressive and didn't include anything I wasn't familiar with, or couldn't pronounce.

Extra virgin olive oil, Apple cider vinegar, 
Filtered water, Coconut sugar, Dulse, 
Unhulled sesame seeds, Hemp seeds, Garlic Powder, 
Chai Seeds, Nutritional yeast, 
Onion powder, Sea salt, Black pepper

We debated what kind of veg we wanted to add to our "test" salad, and then after careful consideration and numerous proposed combinations, we settled on only two components. Spinach (Madison's favourite leafy green) and arugula (my current go-to green).  Seeing as it was our first encounter with the product, the idea was to strip down the salad and let the dressing be the star.

This dressing was fabulous!  It was light, perfectly seasoned, tart, with just a hint of sweetness. It's a vinaigrette (reminiscent of a "golden caesar") which I appreciated because I loath a goopy salad. It was 100% kid friendly and all around approved by the household!

Of Note:
The label recommends letting it sit on the counter for a couple of minutes to allow the oil to return to its natural state, and I would not recommend skipping this step. Madison dressed her salad before the dressing had a chance to reach room temperature and as it became a liquid, she found she had inadvertently used too much dressing.  

So as I'm sure you can gather, I will absolutely be buying Rawfoodz products again!  Choosing which flavour to try next might seriously be a problem though ;)

Check out Rawfoodz on their website  or Facebook page.

As a side note, over the next couple of weeks I'm going to be working on adding all my recipes from Facebook into the recipe tab at the top of the page. Stay tuned for some yummy dishes :)

Peace and Love,


Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Children of the Revolution : Earth Day 2012

Happy Earth Day!

Collecting garbage in Algonquin Provincial Park during a 2009 visit

Earth Day is a pretty big deal around this house.  My girls number one goal on Earth Day is to fill as many bags of garbage as possible. They collect litter quite often throughout the year, but Earth Day seems to fill them with an intense motivation. They begin on our street and make their way to a local park, collecting garbage as they go. 

Though it may seem like a small effort in the grand scheme of things, these little efforts they make and the time spent considering why the garbage is even there in the first place will hopefully stick with them and help them be to be better adults. Like looking back on witch trials, segregated schools and the draft, the idea of trash being strewn across our streets, towns, lakes and countries will hopefully seem so antiquated and strange as to barely be believed at all by the time my little girls have children of their own.

It makes me so happy that they still want to and that they genuinely enjoy doing these kind of things. As they grow, I hope it will evolve into a deep understanding of how fragile Mother Earth is, and help them to take pride in their planet. It gives me hope for their future.

What do you and your family do for Earth Day?

Peace and Love,


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Big Pink

Levon Helm's website read the following today:

"Dear Friends,
Levon is in the final stages of his battle with cancer. Please send your prayers and love to him as he makes his way through this part of his journey.

Thank you fans and music lovers who have made his life so filled with joy and celebration... he has loved nothing more than to play, to fill the room up with music, lay down the back beat, and make the people dance! He did it every time he took the stage...

We appreciate all the love and support and concern.
From his daughter Amy, and wife Sandy"

I was so sad to hear of this news because I truly adore him, and his music.  He once said:
"Lord, when the song wants to pick up and go a little faster towards the end, it's hard for me to resist." How can you not love that kind of passion and dedication in a performer?

Awhile back I created the "Big Pink" smoothie, which was indeed an homage to The Band. For those of you who aren't familiar, Big Pink was a house that the members of The Band shared, and where they composed most of the music from "Music from Big Pink".  I realized that I never shared my recipe with you, and today feels like the perfect day.

Big Pink

1 cup frozen (ontario!!) strawberries
1-2 frozen bananas ( 1 = kind of thick. 2 = really thick.) 
1.5-2 cups of fresh pink grapefruit juice
2 ice cubes
1-2 cm fresh ginger, peeled

ADD all items to blender
BLEND until smooth
TOP with superfood (bee pollen, goji berries, raw cacao nibs, pepitos, etc)

I'll leave you with my personal favourite, Ophelia.

If you've never checked out Levon Helm or The Band , PLEASE do so!  I promise you won't be disappointed.

Peace and Love,


Monday, April 16, 2012

Stormy Monday Sundae

I never buy the container of Coconut Bliss that I lovingly hold at the store, despite my best efforts to convince myself that there will be a time when I "need" a pint of happiness. Upon putting it back on the shelf I always tell myself that I'll "thank" myself later.

Well today I did the complete opposite! I cursed and screamed, while jumping up and down like a two year old, as I looked into my freezer this evening.  I had a wicked day at the office, which was about to be compounded by another stack of work at home, and all I wanted was a nice mug of frozen joy to help me feel sorry for myself. Too bad I killed that dream on the weekend while strolling the aisles of Bamboo Natural Food Market and once again after a great inner struggle, I left the pint waiting to tease the next unsuspecting saturday shopper.   Enter the "Stormy Monday" Sundae. I feel it did a fantastic job of doing the trick and saved me a mountain of calories in the process.

"Stormy Monday" Sundae

A quick and easy dessert, breakfast, or snack, that is packed 
with yummy superfoods.
Guaranteed to help beat any bad day!

1 personal sized serving of peach Amande Yogurt
1 handful raw sunflower seeds
1 handful of raw almonds
1 handful of goji berries
1 handful of dried mulberries


The Allman Brothers included a live version of T-Bone Walker's "Call It Stormy Monday" on their 1971 album , entitled "Stormy Monday".  I use to swear up and down that I wasn't an Allman Brothers fan - that was until I heard this record.  And actually, as I sit cross legged on my bed, with a solid warm spring breeze blowing through my window, this sundae in my belly, and this song playing in my ear, I'm starting to feel my day melt away.  The blues always have a way of making me feel better.  I suppose I relate to all that passion.

I hope your Monday was better than mine, and that your Tuesday isn't bad either ;)

Peace and Love,