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Friday, July 31, 2015

Rekindling the Romance With Salad

I got sick of salads long before I ever went vegan. We had salad most days with dinner growing up but it was the same everyday and I am one who lives for variety. So I rarely eat salad unless someone makes it for me. I am trying to change that as the salad is simply a medium through which one can unleash culinary creativity. When properly assembled, the salad can be a game changer when it comes to keeping one healthy.

I learned a while back just how fantastic bitter green vegetables are for the digestive system and I need to eat leafy greens to keep my iron up anyway. Dandelions have become my all time favorite since I found them in the budget grocery stores. They are bitter, very bitter. I always hated bitter foods so I weaned myself on to them slowly, starting with slightly bitter greens like escarole, working up to off season dandelions then the more bitter in season ones. I typically just much on them without any dressing but putting them in a salad makes dandelions far more palatable. Dressing and raw cashews really cut down on the bitterness. 

Dandelions need to be washed well then I chop them up with kitchen scissors because it is easy. French dressing went nicely with this salad in the end. 

This salad is pretty simple.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Super Easy, Healthy and Nutrient Dense Breakfast

Step 1: Throw a bunch of nuts and seeds in a bowl. I like pralines and raw cashews in the morning.
Step 2: Add fruit. This could be berries, sliced banana, apple, anything you have handy that is easy to chop up.
Step 3: Top with ground flax seed and soy or other milk.
Voila! Crazy healthy breakfast that tastes great and is quick to make.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Fantastically Refreshing Strawberry Water

This is so easy I don't think I can count it as a recipe. You blend a handful of strawberries in some water. That's it. It makes a quick flavoured water which is great if you are like me and cannot stand the taste of city water but also can't afford (and are morally opposed) to buying bottled water. And you get some bonus nutrients from the strawberries. This is way better than drinking those chemically flavoured waters you can buy in the store.

The Difference a Little Sun Can Make

We moved to a townhouse a year ago. We found it difficult to be happy in an apartment in Toronto, especially one beside the 401. This is our first full summer at our new place which has an amazing feature none of our previous rentals have had: Sunlight. There is full sun on the deck and yard below in the afternoon and sun in the front yard in the morning. Growing vegetables is just so much more possible here. The two pepper plants we had last summer produced two peppers in total. There are at least 3 per plant here and we have room for more plants.

We are trying to be as cheap as possible so our planters are a mix of small garbage bins that I think my husband got at ValueVillage and dresser drawers that someone left loose to be hauled away as garbage. We added a few hollow recyclables to the bins as a reservoir for water. 

There are beans climbing along the fence and up the walls which add to ambiance a bit. Despite all the plants there is still room for us to enjoy the space. 

We fit a few planters on the ground below the deck for some extra tomatoes. Over 20 of our seedlings survived so we had to put them somewhere. You can't have too many tomatoes. 

Since the sun makes it into the house, I am starting so beans in hangers inside. Just 2 up now but I am working on 2 more bean plant hangers and one onion hanger to avoid buying as many onions.

This is a bit experimental but why not grow a pineapple. 

There was an empty patch of dirt in the front yard for all our lettuce and rainbow chard, which just turned out to be all yellow but still neat. 

We were blessed with some nice wide window sills in the kitchen for our kitchen herbs to grow on. 

The stinging nettle is really not a house plant I suppose but I love nettle and I found this little guy growing randomly in my seedling tray with the tomatoes. Not sure how it got there but its a pretty awesome weed to have around. I'll have to plant it somewhere a kid is not likely to get stung by it. It has outgrown its living space.