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chia pudding

Vegan Chia Pudding: The Ultimate Fast Food

When we think of fast food, we often think of popular restaurant chains that crank out relatively unhealthy (yet delicious—damn all that addictive crap in there!) meals that are convenient for on the go.

But what if you could make your own fast foods that not only tasted great, but also fueled your body and brain? That would be a no-brainer, right? (Pun intended.)

Introducing Chia Pudding

Ok, so not exactly introducing, because you’ve probably already heard of it. But re-introducing. Chia pudding is a fabulous food for those on the run. (So, everyone.) Besides the fact that it’s insanely easy to make, it’s also teeming with heart and brain healthy omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, fibre, and protein.

So here’s a very basic recipe for chocolate chia pudding. You can add fruit, NutraCleanse (my very fave digestive health supplement), honey, or whatever. You can swap the chocolate soy milk for coconut milk.

But start here.

This recipe is from Vegetarian Comfort Foods (just released in August of 2015), but there’s another in Baby Nosh (released in March of 2016). They’re both vegan, gluten-free, and super yummy.

Babies to elders; everyone can eat chia pudding—you don’t need teeth. (OMG, that should’ve been the title of this blog post! Ha. You Don’t Need Teeth. Love it.)

Here ya go:

Chocolate Chia Pudding

Ingredients

  • 1 cup organic chocolate soy milk
  • 3 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp. raw coconut

Method

  • Stir chia seeds into milk and set aside for five minutes.
  • Stir again well, then cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • In morning, sprinkle coconut on top and eat right away.

If you want a visual, watch me make Riaz from Breakfast Television make it below:

Vegetarian Cooking at Lepp Farm Market

Happy Sunday, everyone! On Tuesday March 8, I’ll be demonstrating 4 recipes at Lepp Farm Market in Abbotsford, BC. The event will run from 7-9ish, and will include a signed copy of Vegetarian Comfort Foods.

So sign up today HERE!

I’ve decided to post the recipes we’ll be making here instead of handing out recipe cards, because it’s more eco-friendly, and easier to find than a lost piece of paper.

Right?!

It’s also noteworthy to mention that while 3 of the 4 recipes are from Vegetarian Comfort Foods, the smoothie is from my latest book, Baby Nosh.

So here are the 4 recipes we’ll be going through, and I hope you love them! Xo

Recipe #1: Green Goodness Smoothie (From Baby Nosh)

(Serves 2)

Ingredients

  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup green grapes
  • 1 kale leaf
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple
  • 6 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp. hemp hearts (optional)
  • 1 tsp. chia seeds (optional)

Method

  • Combine first 6 ingredients into a blender, and blend until smooth.
  • Sprinkle with hemp hearts and chia seeds for extra awesomeness.

Recipe #2: Mediterranean Sprouted Endive Boats (from Vegetarian Comfort Foods)

(Serves 6)

Ingredients

  • 2 mushrooms
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • ½ zucchini
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 1 cup sprouted beans
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tbsp. Greek salad dressing (Rendezvous is perfect!)
  • 2 endive spears

Method

  • Clean the veggies, and throw the mushrooms, pepper, and zucchini in a food processor.
  • Process until piece are small, but not quite minced. Set aside.
  • Peel the carrot and set aside.
  • Peel layers off endive spears, and arrange on platter so the cavity is face-up, resembling boats. Set aside.
  • Place ¼ cup of water in skillet and heat to medium.
  • Once simmering, add processed veggies (not the carrots) and sprouted beans, and sauté for 2 minutes to soften, slightly.
  • Remove from heat and drain any remaining water. Add tamari to the heated mixture, toss to coat, and scoop into endive cavities.
  • Garnish with 2-3 strips of carrot, and serve.

Recipe #3: Squashed Puttanesca (From Vegetarian Comfort Foods)

(Serves 2)

Ingredients

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small white onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 small fennel bulb
  • 3 cooked artichoke hearts
  • 1 16 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp. capers
  • ½ cup sliced black olives
  • ½ cup fresh, chopped parsley

Method

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Cut squash lengthwise into two halves.
  • Grease cookie sheet with half the oil, and place squash flat-side down on sheet. Bake for 40 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, dice the onion, mince the garlic, slice fennel into “v” shapes, and quarter your artichokes.
  • Place pot on stove, and heat on medium. Once hot, add remaining oil, and throw in onion and garlic.
  • Let them brown while pushing around with spatula for about 2 minutes.
  • Turn heat down to medium and add tomatoes and fennel. Cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  • Remove cover and add artichokes, capers, and olives, and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  • Remove squash from oven, and flip over. Set two plates close to stove.
  • Remove the middle stringy, seedy part of the squash using a large spoon.
  • Using a fork, scrape the cavity of the squash so that it comes out in strips, like spaghetti.
  • Once squash is plated, it should resemble spaghetti noodles. Top with sauce and then garnish with chopped parsley.
  • Enjoy!

Recipe #4: Coconut Bliss Balls (From Vegetarian Comfort Foods)

(Makes approximately 36 balls)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups pitted dates
  • ½ cup warm water
  • ¾ cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup salted pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup chopped almonds
  • ¼ cup cranberries
  • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Method

  • Mix all ingredients except for coconut together in food processor, until well combined.
  • Form into balls, roll in coconut, and place on parchment paper or in mini-muffin cups as you go.
  • Store in mini-muffin cups in an air-tight container, in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

I hope to see you at Lepp Farm Market in a couple of days! For more vegetarian recipe ideas, check out Vegetarian Comfort Foods. xo

Vegetarian Comfort Foods

The 24th Annual Wellness Show Vancouver

This weekend (February 12-14) marks the 24th annual Wellness Show Vancouver, taking place at the Vancouver Convention Centre. I’ve been before, but it’s either been as an attendee or a media representative. This year, I’m much more involved! Check it out:

Fresh + Fit Vancouver

The best place to catch me will be at my booth for Fresh + Fit Vancouver. This boutique white label firm specializes in assisting small wellness businesses promote themselves on social media, and build better online visibility through original content creation in the form of website content and unique and relevant blog posts.

If you’re wondering why small businesses need a service like this, click HERE or watch the video at the end of this post.

The Fresh + Fit booth is located in space 817B—come say hi!

Healthy Families Cooking Stage

I’m not totally sure how this happened, but I’ll be conducting two live demos of healthy snacks for the new Healthy Families Cooking Stage. On Saturday the 13th, I’ll be making Bliss Balls at 3pm, and on Sunday the 14th (Happy Valentine’s Day!), I’ll be making Sprouted Endive Boats (sponsored by Eat More Sprouts) at 3pm.

Come watch my demo(s) and I’ll be happy to make sure you get a signed copy of Vegetarian Comfort Foods after!

Book Sales + Signing

At the Fresh + Fit booth, I’ll also be selling and signing books. They include:

So if you’re at The Wellness Show this weekend, come pop by and introduce yourself! I’d love to meet you. xo


 

Why Your Business Needs to Utilize Social Media

Featured Recipe: Coconut Bliss Balls

You know how sometimes you just lose it? I’m not necessarily talking about it, but I am talking about losing your routine. Forgetting what you like to do. What drives you and feeds your soul.

This has been my life lately.

I’ve been unprecedentedly (Is that a word? I kinda feel like it’s not.) insane. And my temporary (let’s hope) insanity has resulted in my forgetting to do stuff that I love. Like cook. And write. And clean my house. (I actually do like to do this usually; it clears my head.)

But as my poor husband can attest to, this activity, along with others, has fallen by the wayside. But you know what? Enough is enough! I need my life to get all semi-normal again, and quickly.

SO…here is my recipe for Coconut Bliss Balls, which began their (very minor) legacy as ‘Nut Balls’, but whose original name was quickly nixed by concerned family members, and my teen-aged son.

I made these a few days ago, and it reminded me how much I love great, homemade snacks. (And coconut. And my food processor.) Sometimes we just need a little nudge in the right direction to remember to breathe and stretch and be patient and slow down. Right? Because if you can’t remember you like to whip up your favourite snack once in a while, then life has become too busy.

So take my advice, and slow down. If roses were in season, I’d recommend smelling them.

Here you go:

Bliss Balls

Coconut Bliss Balls

Ingredients

2 cups pitted dates

½ cup warm water

¾ cup gluten-free rolled oats

¼ cup sesame seeds

¼ cup sunflower seeds

¼ cup salted pumpkin seeds

¼ cup chopped almonds

¼ cup cranberries

½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Method

  1. Mix all ingredients except for coconut together in food processor, until well combined.
  2. Form into balls, roll in coconut, and place on parchment paper or in mini-muffin cups as you go.
  3. Store in mini-muffin cups in an air-tight container, in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

I should also mention that a kid-friendly, nut-free version on these babies will be made on stage at Vancouver’s 24th annual Wellness Show in February, so mark your calendars for that!

For more recipes, check out Vegetarian Comfort Foods HERE. xo

*Images by Tanya R. Loewen of Wild Honey Art House.

City TV Vancouver

The Fun

5 days ago I crossed an item off my bucket list, while simultaneously jumping WAY outside of my comfort zone: a very nice producer let me do live television to promote Vegetarian Comfort Foods.

I don’t know what she was thinking, either, but now she’s my favourite. Anyway, I lived to brag tell about it.

While I was stressing and trying not to throw up or pee my pants, my husband had a great time meeting the faces of Breakfast Television and playing Sports Centre by himself. (He loved it.)

The Drama

If you watch the video closely, I run out of breath towards the end because I forgot to breathe, but it’s cool, because no one noticed, except now I’m telling everyone, so you WILL notice, but I’m okay with that because…….(*passes out).

See how that happens?!

Anyway, I loved it, I’m super grateful that people let me promote stuff in situations like this, and hopefully I’ll have a chance to try not to throw up or pee my pants again.

I’ll keep you posted.

The important thing is that no expletives left my lips. This was my number one, genuine fear, because when I get nervous, I tend to let loose. But I didn’t, so that’s one giant point for Jen.

#Winning.

The Result

The Launch of Vegetarian Comfort Foods + More

This week’s been crazy. Actually, honestly, this whole month’s been crazy. Or the summer. I don’t know…but the madness is both exhausting and exhilarating.

On August 4th, my second book was let into the world: Vegetarian Comfort Foods.

This seemed amazing to me. I was at my family’s cabin last year when I was negotiating the deal with my editor, and I was at the same cabin on August 4th when it was released just a couple of weeks ago. Wow. And because I personally love an excuse to throw a party, we conducted a formal launch at a cute little shop that also is brand new, called Wildflower Artisan Collective in Abbotsford, BC.

Fresita wine

Wine was kindly sponsored for the event by Fresita Sparking Summer Wine (this was the very first time I’ve dealt with obtaining a special occasion liquor license, so that was a special project in of itself), and tons of amazing friends and family came to get their copies signed by Yours Truly, and Tanya R. Loewen of Wild Honey Art House. (She took incredible photographs of all the recipes, and I am eternally grateful.)

Wildflower Artisan Collective

More

Aside from the cookbook launch, I handed in a fourth book this summer, (Baby Nosh), my husband and I went to San Diego for our 10th wedding anniversary, my kids grew about two feet each (something about lots of water and sunshine?!), and I began working on my most fave contract of the year: the Surrey International Writers’ Conference. To wrap it up, I will be doing a short segment for Breakfast Television Vancouver on the very last day of the month.

This is live TV people, and I’m me. Go grab yourself some popcorn and nestle in for a slip or fall or some accidental profanity.

Seriously.

Having whizzed by at warp speed, this summer has been one of my best EVER, and although I don’t want it to end yet, I’m looking forward to what autumn brings. (Probably more craziness.) I hope you all have had your own summertime adventures to commit to memory, and thanks so much for reading my blog!

PS- If you want a signed copy of Vegetarian Comfort Foods, I’ll be at Costco in Abbotsford from 12-4 on August 29th, and at various Bed, Bath, and Beyond locations throughout the fall. Stay tuned! xo

Book Launch + Foodie Stuff

Events and book launch

Excuses + Announcements + Events 

Hey, friends! I’ve been a busy girl. Actually, if it’s possible to be both lazy and busy at the same time, then that’s what I’ve been. Because I don’t feel particularly productive, lately…but I’ll think about that, later.

Anyway, I’m SUPER excited to announce the book launch for Vegetarian Comfort Foods! The book is being released on August 4th, but the launch will take place on August 20th at (drumroll, please!)…Wildflower Artisan Collective, in Abbotsford, BC!

The super cool part of this announcement is that this venue isn’t even open yet. It’s brand-spankin’ new–just like the book!

If you’re in the Vancouver/Fraser Valley area and feel the need to show off the fact that you spend your Thursday nights attending literary events (hehehe), then show your face, ladies and gents! There will be vino from a very generous yet-to-be-named wine sponsor, and goodies, and general awesomeness.

A bit about Wildflower: this very new business will be housing ONLY hand-crafted, locally-produced goods made by the citizens surrounding Abbotsford, BC. How cool is that?! The amazing ladies who are running the show are no joke–their first baby (aside from their actual babies) is Twine Abode, which is an eco-friendly skincare line.

I’m just so excited to be part of this whole thing, and I hope you can make it, so you feel the same way. Stay tuned for more details and the launch grows nearer, and in the meantime, I might try and post more than I have been lately. Admittedly, Fresh + Fit and the Surrey International Writers’ Conference (SiWC) and Baby Nosh are taking up all my time.

I’m lovin’ me a few great projects right now.

Enjoy the rest of May, and let me leave you with a recipe for a kick-ass smoothie. xo

Banana oatmeal smoothie

Deliciously Date-able Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 8 frozen strawberries
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 3 pitted dates

Method

Blend until seemingly smooth. (You’ll probably still get a few tiny date chunks, which are delicious.) Drink up and smile! xo

Nutritional Benefits of #Kale You May Not Know

kale recipes

Morning, folks! (Or good afternoon if you’re on the east coast…?) I’ve come across an excellent article on kale, and since it’s still a topic that seems to be going strong (kale’s had a good run), I’ve decided to post the related infographic, which is being shared with us by Health Ambition.
Kale is one of those incredible leafy greens that has so many health benefits (I use it weekly, in conjunction with other anti-IBS foods), that it’s beyond worth incorporating into your weekly diet. In the original article, written by Akil Wingate, it states that “One cup of kale is only 36 calories and 0 grams of fat. It also provides 20% of the RDA of dietary fiber which in all its digestive glory promotes regular digestion, prevents constipation and lowers blood sugar levels. The glucosinolates also prevent the bacteria H. pylori from forming on the stomach lining and leading to gastric cancer.​”
(See original article HERE.)
As someone who has openly struggled with digestive issues in the past, this info was extremely helpful to me, and I know that others would benefit from it, as well.
I hope you enjoy this as much as I did! xo

For more gut-friendly ideas, check out my book, Happy Healthy Gut. Available on Amazon HERE.

or

Pre-Order Vegetarian Comfort Foods, available on Amazon HERE.

Vegan Foodie Pics of the Week

Happy Meatless Monday, friends! Here are this week’s most delicious-looking vegan foodie pics, courtesy of the incredible filters on Instagram and my iPhone! Some of these recipes will be available in Vegetarian Comfort Foods, which will be released August 4, 2015. (Pre-order HERE.)

Enjoy…xo

Pomegranate Salad

Pomegranate Salad

Banana-Mango Smoothie

Banana-Mango Smoothie

Avocado Toast

Avocado Toast

Sweet Potato and Corn Quesadilla

Sweet Potato Quesadilla

Granny Smith Apple-Ginger Juice

Apple Juice

Earthy Glow Bar

Earthy Glow Bar

Strawberry Protein Smoothie

Strawberry Protein Smoothie