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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Arugula + White Cheddar Quiche

Hello Lovely,

Sunday brunch is, quite simply, the best meal of the week. Whether heading out to a bottomless mimosa-soaked continental spread, or baking buttery pastries to serve with seasonal jams, the vast amount of food options makes me very happy. When my parents were together my dad would make quiches as a treat for us (mostly because it took so many eggs). I loved quiches and always could eat a whole one by myself. But as an adult I never made a quiche. I made a frittata when I lived in Tampa and a few times since moving back home, but never a quiche. So I had to fix that! Use a ready made pie crust to speed up the process!

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Today's recipe comes from Genuis Kitchen but I made a lot of changes. I wanted something that could be simply reproduced for Sunday dinner because if I don't like spending a lot of time in the kitchen, I'm sure you're the same way. Also this version costs significantly less money! I served this for Sunday dinner to my friends and they absolutely loved it! The sweetness of the crust perfectly complimented the savoury flavours within the quiche. I was lucky to even have any leftovers. Making a quiche doesn't have to be difficult. So get the recipe after the jump and serve this at your next family dinner!

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Arugula + White Cheddar Quiche

INGREDIENTS

  • 1⁄2 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 12 ounces shredded white cheddar cheese 
  • 1 (4 ounce) jar sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 1 graham cracker crust

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 375°F.
  2. In large skillet, saute onion and garlic in butter, app. 5 minuets or until just soft. Remove from heat.
  3. Stir in 6 oz. cheddar, mushrooms, and arugula. Mix well; place into pie crust.
  4. In medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Pour over arugula mixture, poking holes to allow the egg mixture to seep inches.
  5. Bake 15 minutes. Top with remaining 6 oz. cheddar, continue baking 40 minutes, or until knife inserted in centre comes out clean.
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Chickpea and Vegetable Curry with Quinoa

Hello Lovely,

While preparing to return to work, I've been looking for recipes to try that will be filling, healthy and easy to make if I'm short on time in the morning. I don't always have the time or energy to meal prep but that's something I'm trying to get better at this school year. So when I found this recipe, I was actually excited to give it a try. I've been considering trying more vegan recipes. After this one, I honestly don't know how they feel full afterwards. But after eating healthy (not vegan, just healthy) for a week, I actually started to crave healthy snacks and meals.

I would suggest trying it anyway. You may be full afterwards, you may still be hungry. But one thing I can't deny, is this dish is absolutely delicious!  Cooking quinoa in chicken/vegetable broth with a little bit of butter really enhances the flavour and makes eating healthy a lot easier.

Chickpea and Vegetable Curry with Quinoa

Ingredients

  • 1 can coconut milk (13.5 fl oz or 400 mL)
  • 1 can chickpeas (15 oz)
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon or more brown sugar
  • 1 quarter lemon squeezed or more
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1 bunch spinach, cleaned
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • salt to taste
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water

Instructions

Note: If you like your curry a bit runny, add a little bit of water in the end to reach the desired consistency. If reheating the next day, you will likely have to add a touch of water to the curry as it will thicken overnight in the refrigerator (I like my curry thick).

  1. Heat coconut milk in a large pan until it boils and reduce heat to simmer. Add next 7 ingredients to the coconut milk: chickpeas, red curry paste, tomato paste, brown sugar, lemon juice, chili powder, basil. Mix everything together until even consistency.
  2. Add spinach, chopped green onions and sliced mushrooms to the coconut milk mixture, bring to boil, reduce to simmer. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes, until mushrooms are cooked, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. In a separate pan, combine 2 cups of water and 1 cup of quinoa. Bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook until all liquid is absorbed and quinoa is cooked and fluffy.
  4. To serve, place a scoop of quinoa into the middle of each plate. Top with chickpea curry.

Remember if you try any of my recipes, you've got to share! Tag me on Instagram using @life_by_olivia or #lifebyolivia.

Make Healthy Lunches Exciting with These Chickpea Sandwiches

Hello Lovely,

I've never been one to carry sandwiches or brown bag it for lunch. I always carried leftover dinners or something really heavy like pasta with fish or other veggies. This was usually because I never thought a sandwich would fill me (nevermind the occasional run to McDonalds for their McFish). But these easy chickpea salad sandwiches will definitely shake things up a bit and keep you full all day long! This creamy chickpea salad can be made in advance and stored in the fridge, so its ready to go whenever you need to pack a quick lunch. This really came in handy on Saturday because I never seem to have enough time to make something to eat before heading out to Praise and Worship practice at my church.

The salad is also really easy to customise so feel free to use whatever veggies you have in the fridge and add fresh herbs, spices, cheese and whatever else you need to see you through the work week.

Chickpea Salad Sandwiches

Ingredients

·                  1 can chickpeas (I used Progresso gluten-free)

·                  1 tablespoon mayonnaise or vegan alternative

·                  3 tablespoons corn kernels

·        1 tablespoon diced green onions

·                  8 slices bread

·                  Other sandwich fillings (I used garlic and pepper seasoning, white cheddar cheese, tomatoes, and green onions)

Directions

1. Roughly mash the chickpeas (I used my food processor and almost made hummus by accident). Add the mayonnaise and a pinch of your seasoning.

2. Chop the vegetables fairly small and add them to the chickpea mixture. Mix well to combine. I added my tomatoes and green onions at this point.

3. Serve the chickpea salad in between slices of bread with additional sandwich fillings if desired.

And that's all there is to it! A delicious, healthy sandwich filling in just a few minutes. And remember, you can adapt the ingredients however you choose so every batch feels different. No more boring lunches here!

What's your favourite sandwich filing? Share your ideas below and with me on Twitter @lifebyolivia!

IF YOU LIKE THIS, YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS THESE APPETIZERS AND LIGHT MEALS

Vegan Spinach & Mushroom Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Asian-Inspired CousCous Nugggets

Crab Rangoons

Meatless Monday: Spaghetti with Coconut Tomato Sauce

Woo sa!

Hi Friends!

How ironic is it that making a post on what to do when you're having a bad day, here I am having a bad day. Well, morning. Nothing else has sucked so far. Here's what happened:

I was all excited to take a picture of my lunch to share with you guys today. I had everything prepared and was about to go out the back door, to get more sunlight on the back patio. I didn't realise that the alarm was still set so opening the door set off the alarm. I had to rush my put my stuff down, lock the door back (it's the only way it will stay closed) and try to turn the alarm off. In the process of putting my stuff down, I tripped over all of the detergant bottles and plastic bags my mum seems to leave laying in wake, just waiting for an accident. This of course caused all of my stuff to fall down, including my dish....which was porcelain.....and my FAVOURITE dish to eat out of. Nevermind that my cell phone also fell (and I'm still trying to keep a steady signal on it) and the food. But my favourite bowl absolutely shattered! You could ask anyone, I eat EVERYTHING out of this bowl! It was a beatiful square bowl and I can't even remember where I bought it from to replace it.

The fortunate part was that I had already separated what was for my lunch and what was for photo purposes. So after cussing to the moon and back over the loss of my favourite bowl, I threw away the broken pieces, got a new bowl, scooped everything up into the new bowl, re-garnished everything and cautiously proceeded outside to take the photo. (Hey the show must go on right)? It really was too pretty to not share (even if no one was going to be able to eat it). It hurt to have to throw it away when I was done, but at least I can share the recipe so that if I ever decide to make it again, I'll remember what I did (and what not to do when photographing it). And you can stare at food you may not believe is actually unedible.

But before I give you the recipe, here's how I actually got to make this. There were no leftovers from Sunday dinner and I needed something for lunch. I quickly decided to improvise with some spaghetti. I know that spaghetti isn't the most fabulous, high end meal, but when you're fridge is empty and so it your wallet, you've gotta improvise. I saw some leftover coconut milk and even though I despise the taste and smell of coconut (So why did I have it? Good question. Remember that Coconut Milk Leave in Conditioner I made? And the DIY Body Wash? Great. Glad we cleared that up) I immediately searched the internet for ways to use coconut milk as a sauce for spaghetti.

When I found one I liked (I was so lazy I just went with the first one I saw, I began.

It was so simple, and kinda pretty. I wasn't blown away by the flavours, but that could be due to not having any white onions. That may have done more for the flavour. But again, this was a whatever-I-have-left kinda sauce. I was sceptical about the coconut milk, but it really wasn't bad. Probably because I masked it with some almond milk. Still this is a great dairy free recipe (well it was until I sprinkled it with parmesean cheese. You know I like my cheese!) The coconut milk was a light addition to this sauce that kept the dish vegan and healthy! So here's the recipe!

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Prego Marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (+ 1/4 cup almond milk- I only had that much left in the carton so I tossed that in too)
  • 2 Tablespoons margarine
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced (or 1 teaspoon pre-minced garlic)
  • 1/4 medium diced onion (I didn't have this so I use 1 tablespoon diced green onion but I would recommend combining the two)
  • 1 teaspoons white wine vinegar (I didn't have any but feel free to add it)
  • Cooked spaghetti (I have no idea how much)
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

Recipe Steps

  1. Melt margarine in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.

  2. Add in the diced onion and minced garlic and sauté until the onions are translucent.

  3. Add the white wine vinegar and then the marinara sauce. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes.

  4. Pour in the coconut milk stirring frequently.

  5. Once combined stir in the garlic chili sauce, salt, and pepper.

  6. Simmer for 5 minutes and serve over pasta.

I'm glad I finally got back into the kitchen and tried something new. This took about fourty minutes when you consider that I was also making breakfast. I actually still have some tomato sauce on my toes from the aftermath. I thought I scrubbed it all off, but it's not the worst thing to have stuck on your toe. If you're not sure what to do for Meatless Monday, I'd definitely suggest giving this recipe a try!


XoX,

Olivia

Maple Almond Butter

Wow!

It's definitely been awhile since I've posted but I'm back. I still don't have my new lens but I shall be reunited with it shortly (I hope). Until then, I'll try to give you the best quality photos I can with a cell phone. It's not my personal preference, but not trying new things just because I can't photograph it is no way to live. Right? Right!

So to celebrate Meatless Monday, (and the fact that I can now leave work at 3pm because it's summer) I made some almond butter! I'm not crazy over nuts and will only eat peanut butter if it's creamy, but something told me this was a must try and my gut is glad that I  trusted my gut! I got the recipe from Show Me The Yummy. I had to make a few changes as I only had about 1/2 cup of almonds and not 2 cups, so with my barely basic math skills, I made some adjustments. THIS IS DELICIOUS!

Probably more so because I used genuine real Canadian maple syrup (I like saying that!) This recipe is even safe to give to your dogs! Just cut the oil, vanilla, and salt in half and eliminate the maple syrup.

MAPLE ALMOND BUTTER RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups almonds (I used roasted and salted almonds. It allows me to skip the step of having to roast them)

  • ¼ cup real maple syrup (not pancake syrup)

  • 2 teaspoon coconut oil + 1 teaspoon after blending

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

  • Place almonds on a baking sheet and toss with maple syrup and two teaspoons of coconut oil.

  • Roast for about 25-30 minutes, stirring half way through.

  • Let cool for 10 minutes.

  • Place roasted almonds into food processor and process until smooth. You’ll need to stop and scrape down the sides. This should take about 5 minutes.

  • Once creamy, add in vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and another 1 teaspoon of coconut oil and process until well combined.

NOTES

This should be stored in the fridge.