Garlic Parmesan Baked Carrot Fries


Hello lovely,

We've survived January! How are those diets looking? You know everyone (including myself) starts off doing so well; meal prepping, buying vegetables and seasonings, even vowing to make things from scratch. But by mid-January, we fall off and start stopping to McDonald's a little too frequently. Then the processed pre-made foods find their way back into our freezers and soon we start making excuses for why it's acceptable. One morning I had no time or energy to cook both breakfast and lunch, so I resolved to have a veggie burger and fries for lunch. I’m not fond of the school cafeteria fries but that's how much I did not want to be bothered. Then I stopped and asked myself, “What am I doing? I'm down 9 lbs, do I really want to erase all my hard work?” I decided. The veggie burger can stay but instead of carb-ridden, starchy potato fries, I'll opt for something healthier: These Garlic Parmesan Baked Fries!

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When I say these took no time at all to make, I mean it. The hardest part was cutting up the carrots. I didn’t even have to peel them. After that it was just a matter of tossing it in some EVOO and some seasonings then baking it for a few minutes. These were crispy and the perfect addition to my bunless veggie burger! I wish I remembered to make the sauce, but there’s always next time, right? Trust me. You’ll want these fries again and again. A thumbs up to Tasty for the recipe!

Garlic Parmesan Baked Carrot Fries

Ingredients

for 2 servings

  • 2 carrots

  • 1 tablespoon oil

  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese(25 g)

  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon pepper

  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped (10 g)

  • ½ teaspoon salt

DIPPING SAUCE

  • 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt

  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200˚C).

  2. Slice the top and bottom off of carrots then slice them in half, slice each half into thirds lengthwise.

  3. In a large bowl, mix ingredients with carrot sticks.

  4. Spread on a baking sheet.

  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes (depending on how crispy you want them).

  6. Mix together ingredients for dipping sauce in a small bowl.

  7. Serve warm carrots with dipping sauce. Topped with Parmesan and parsley.

  8. Enjoy!

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BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND SPINACH LASAGNA

BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND SPINACH LASAGNA

Looking for the best vegetarian lasagna recipe? You’re in the right place. This Butternut Squash and Spinach lasagna will become one of your favorites! Perfect as a veggie main dish for every day. A healthier version of lasagna, it’s also, a great holiday recipe for Thanksgiving or Christmas! 

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Banana Nut Pancakes

Hello Lovely,

Did you know that this year National Pancake Day is on February 13, 2018? I never really share pancake recipes here. I'll admit I've become very fond of waffles lately, but this weekend I was particularly inspired to make pancakes. I didn't want plain pancakes of course. So I grabbed a banana and got busy! And what better way to celebrate than with banana nut pancakes? These pancakes are the perfect way to use up those lingering bananas on your counter, and with pumpkin flax granola, they are incredibly healthy, light and moist in every bite. If only we could have this for breakfast every single morning!

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Banana Nut Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour (or vegan alternative)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 heaping handful pumpkin flax granola
  • 1/2 cup lactose free milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large ripe banana, mashed
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Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients starting with the dry ingredients then add the wet ingredients one at a time.
  2. Heat a skillet on medium low heat and coat with a non-stick spray.
  3. Pour or scoop the batter onto the skillet, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake.
  4. Brown on both sides and serve hot.
  5. Serve with fresh banana slices, powdered sugar or even vanilla frosting for added sweetness!
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3 Healthy Winter Soup Recipes

In the wintertime, there’s a big fight going on in my appetite. Part of me wants something light to balance out recent holiday indulgences and start the year out right… but part of me wants to curl up on the couch in my sweats and eat only comfort food. Thankfully, Waitrose provides the perfect soup base for you to build and add whatever you have in your pantry or fridge.

Here are three of my all-time favourite quick and easy vegetable soup recipes that will keep you feeling full and satisfied:

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1. Chicken Carrot & Coriander Soup

A soup that takes inspiration from the not-at-all vegetarian, this recipe produces a bowl full of healthy heartiness. The depth of flavour comes from a lot of sautéed aromatics, and the chunky texture is due to big portions of chopped chicken breasts, carrots, and corn. Though it’s low in fat, this soup will keep you full all winter long. 

Ingredients

  • Waitrose Carrot & Coriander Soup Mix
  • 1 cup cooked chicken
  • 1/2 cup loose whole kernel corn
  • 1/2 cup sliced cooked carrts
  • 2 cups water, boiled

Instructions

  1. Boil water and empty packet in a soup bowl. Pour water over contents and stir to dissolve. 
  2. Add chicken, corn and carrots.
  3. Stir and enjoy!
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2. One Pot Lasagna Soup

This recipe is clean vegetarian cooking with a hint of decadence. It’s an all-veggie soup made a tiny bit indulgent and oh-so-dreamy by the addition of mozzarella cheese.  If you’d like to add a little crunch, whip up a batch of these paprika toasts to eat alongside. 

Ingredients

  • 1 white onion
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 24 ounce jar pasta or marinara sauce
  • 1 can fire roasted tomatoes
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon basil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika - optional to taste
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 7 cups vegetable stock/broth
  • 13 lasagna noodles
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • 12 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1½ cups mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 medium mozzarella ball, sliced

Instructions

  1. In a large dutch oven or pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Toss in diced onion and sautee for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in minced garlic and cook for another minute or two.
  2. Stir in tomato paste and flour then cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add pasta sauce, diced tomatoes, red pepper flakes, parsley, basil, oregano, paprika, sugar, salt and pepper to pot then stir in vegetable broth.
  4. Bring to boil then add lasagna noodles (broken into 4ths) to pot and reduce heat back to medium then cook, stirring occasionally (about 20 minutes).
  5. Once noodles are tender, stir in fresh spinach, heavy cream, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese. Cut mozzarella ball into small slices and place on top. Garnish with shredded basil. Serve with crusty bread.
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3. Classic Tomato Soup

If you have a constant craving for tomato soups, you’ll love this recipe for a thick vegetable soup that channels the zing and richness from those tomatoes.  The result is a soup that tastes like it’s been on the stove for hours when actually, it was never there in the first place! Nice. 

Ingredients

  • Waitrose Tomato & Basil Soup Mix

Instructions

  1. Boil water and empty packet in a soup bowl. Pour water over contents and stir to dissolve. 
  2. This is where you can have fun by added whatever vegetable you want. Mixed veg, spinach or onions. Don't forget the grilled cheese!

Which one of these healthy soups will you make first?

Let me know in the comments below!

Salmon Pasta Salad

Hello Lovely,

Eating well is so important. Lately I just do not have the energy to cook or bake. Time isn't a factor but the creative energy and the physical energy are just....not...there! I had a week of meal prepping and while it helped me tremendously to cut down on time spent getting ready in the morning, it left me feeling drained. One of the things I was able to create before throwing in the towel was a delicious Salmon Pasta Salad!

I love easy pasta dishes and I had a salmon fillet in the freezer for weeks that I didn't want to go bad. So I thought, what about a pasta salad with Salmon? It was really easy to put together. If you thaw and marinate the salmon overnight, all you have to do in the morning, is grill it and boil the pasta. You could even save some of the marinade as a dressing for the pasta. So before I hop on a plane today for the annual VIVA conference tomorrow night, I thought I'd share this quick and easy lunch dish that anyone can make!

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Salmon Pasta Salad

Serves 1 (simply double ingredients to serve more)

Ingredients

  • Salmon fillet thawed
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes 
  • 2 cups pasta of your choice (I used Rotini in lieu of Bow Tie pasta)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/8 cup Kraft Raspberry vinaigrette
  • 1/8 cup Kraft Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  • pinch of salt
  • grated cheese for topping

Directions

  1. Thaw salmon then mix the vinaigrette, seasoning, salt and olive oil in the salmon pouch. Allow to marinate overnight.
  2. Boil pasta according to directions on box, then drain.
  3. Saute the salmon in a skillet while the pasta cooks.
  4. Once pasta is complete, combine the noodles with the salmon, marinade and tomatoes in a dish. Feel free to add other items like corn, bacon or spinach. I just used what I had on hand because I was in a mad rush.
  5. Top with grated cheese and serve!
  6. Enjoy!
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If you try this and any of my other recipes, don't forget to shout me out on Instagram by tagging @life_by_olivia or #lifebyolivia; or on Twitter at @lifebyolivia!

 

 

Mixed Berry Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Hello Lovely,

I hate chocolate. There I said it. Don't hate me! I'm sorry. I've never enjoyed the taste of chocolate. I can tolerate chocolate cake and I love chocolate milk (it doesn't love me back though) but chocolate chips, candy.....I HATE IT! So why make this recipe you ask? Because there are people in my life who do enjoy chocolate and I wanted to do something nice for them. I wish I had taken a photo of my friend literally picking at the crumbs in the pan. If he didn't have to give it back to me, I'm sure he would've actually licked it. I'm sure that's a compliment 😊 

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I found this recipe on Baker by Nature. It's listed under breakfast. I think it would be a bit much as a breakfast item because we're very traditional here on what to eat for breakfast (grits, souse, eggs, cereal, pancakes, those sort of things). I would recommend this as a dessert that you don't have to feel guilty about! I personally swapped out the coconut oil and Greek yogurt for applesauce because it's what I had on hand.  I also used mixed berries instead of just raspberries because it's much cheaper in the store to buy a tub of berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries) than to buy just strawberries or raspberries. I'm going to include the original recipe for you to follow along. Feel free to make whatever changes you want. I guarantee this dish will be a crowd pleaser wherever you take it.

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Healthy Raspberry Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used full-fat, but reduced fat should work)
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 VERY ripe bananas, peeled and mashed (will yield about 1 and 1/4 cups of mashed banana)
  • 1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen (if using frozen, do not thaw first)
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F). Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and lightly spray with non-stick spray; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl combine the sugar, oil, Greek yogurt, eggs and vanilla; beat until combined. Stir in the mashed bananas. Add in the dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Fold in the raspberries and chocolate chips (if using).
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. Bake for 1 hour, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Allow bread to cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing the loaf from the pan and transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool, slice and serve.
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Notes

Banana bread will keep, stored in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in saran wrap, for 3 days.

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Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1 slice

Amount Per Serving

Calories 180

% Daily Value

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.