Campanelle with Shrimp & Mushrooms in White Wine Cream Sauce

Campanelle with Shrimp & Mushrooms in White Wine Cream Sauce

Earthy, delightful mushrooms are front and center in this seafood dish.  It’s hearty and deliciously interesting and affirms once again that mushrooms, seafood and pasta are great companions. The addition of a dry white wine to the sauce makes this indulgent dish too good to stick to one serving!

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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


  • 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


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.



Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole makes the most delicious side dish or meatless main dish! Full of flavor with cauliflower, sautéed mushrooms & leeks, and an easy cheesy sauce that won’t pack on the calories. This is incredible! 

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Mushroom and Potato Soup

Hello Lovely,

I know it's been forever since I've shared a recipe with you guys, do I was super excited to get back into the kitchen and share my newest obsession. I'm really loving soups right now. Today I bring you the third soup I experimented with. This is actually my favourite out of the three and I ate it the night I made it. It tastes like potato soup, nothing extravagant but not so plain that it's boring. You can use this as a base soup and add anything you want to it, like broccoli, turkey, chicken, carrots, etc. Have fun with it! Just remember that because of the potatoes, this soup is already high in starch, so be careful what you choose to add if you're trying to keep this recipe healthy. It is actually enough for 2-4 servings depending on how you eat it.



  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 large mushroom, rinsed and finely chopped,
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1⁄4 cup cream
  • 1 cup part skim mozzarella cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat.

  2. Add leeks and celery and sauté until they begin to soften.

  3. Add garlic and sauté for another minute.

  4. Add potatoes and vegetable broth and bring to a boil.

  5. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes.

  6. Add cream (I used fat free lactose free milk) and cheese.

  7. Puree soup with an immersion blender or in batches in a traditional blender.

If using a traditional blender, remember:
• Only fill your blender 1/3 full.
• Remove the centre insert in the lid of your blender to allow hot air to escape.
• Cover 3⁄4 of the hole with a kitchen towel to avoid splashes.
Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months.
Garnish with fresh black pepper.


Vegan Stir Fry Noodles

Hey everyone,


It's been a rollercoaster of emotions since we last spoke. But I talked it out and went shopping yesterday for new sweaters to wear to work. I got three new sweaters, in khaki, coral and turqouise (or maybe it was mint green, I can't remember). I also got a new pencil skirt in baby blue, for a grand total of $82.67 for all four items. I think that was a good deal. I also bought some fabric in a beautiful mint green for only $1.87 (while the sales lady did a horrible job of convincing me that the $8.99 per yard was the better choice. 


I actually made a pencil skirt out of the fabric. I use the term actually, because I haven't touched my sewing machine or had much desire to do so in weeks. I'm trying to get back into sewing again, but it's gonna have to happen gradually. The skirt looks great, because pencil skirts have to be the easiest clothing item in the world to make. I'll share the photos with you when I wear it.

But wait, that's not all! (Don't you feel like you're in a commercial for the latest trendy item)? As I was leaving the fabric store, I got a craving for stir fry noodles. Considering I had just bought sweaters and fabric, I decided it was best to make this dish myself and save some money. I did a budget friendly version using regular spaghetti because let's face it, who actually has soba noodles just sitting around this house? I didn't have all of the ingredients needed to make a true, authentic stir fry, but this satisfied my craving. There's even leftovers for lunch today. Forgive me if I'm a little off with the measurements. So if you're craving stir fry, but want to do your wallet a favour, try this recipe. It takes about the same amount of time as if you were waiting inside a Chinese restaurant and is better for you. So leave the MSG and let's wok n roll! (I can't believe I just said that).



  • 4 oz Thin Spaghetti (it cooks faster, but use whatever you have)

  • ½ cup frozen mixed vegetables

  • ¼ cup chopped mushrooms

  • ¼ cup chopped extra firm tofu

  • ¼ cup soy sauce

  • ¼ cup honey

  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg

  • 2 tablespoons diced green onions

  • a pinch of ginger


  1. Bring a pot of water to boil, then add spaghetti and mixed vegetables and let boil until spaghetti is tender.

  2. Meanwhile, in your greased skillet, combine mushrooms, green onions,  tofu, soy sauce, honey, nutmeg and ginger, and sautee on low heat, about ten minutes. Turn off the heat once the mushrooms and tofu have fully marinated before it starts to burn.

  3. Once the spaghetti and vegetables are done, add to the skillet, and mix until well combined.

  4. Serve in your favourite dish and enjoy!

Vegan Spinach & Mushroom Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Hi friends!

Today marks the beginning of an exercise journey that I can't guarantee will last, but I will definitely try my best, given my television schedule. I mean Bates Motel is now back on Mondays, Pretty Little Liars and Switched at Birth are almost done on Tuesdays, Empire is almost done on Wednesdays and Amazing Race returned on Fridays. Let's not forget the blazing heat that has already returned and spring hasn't officially sprung yet!

So as a light snack, I decided to make one of my personal favourites, a grilled cheese sandwich. I guess you can say I'm getting a head start on National Grilled Cheese Month, which is next month. Can you believe that grilled cheese is so awesome, it gets its own month?! But even better, than a traditional girlled cheese, I added a cool, filling twist. Trust me, this is not your mama's grilled cheese! It's fresh, fun and cheesy! It's a great combination of flavours. Imagine a spinach dip between two buttery slices of bread. Absolute bliss!

So I'm celebrating the start of my workout regimen with a sandwich. Grilled. With cheese. A lot of cheese.



  • 2 slices whole wheat bread

  • 2 slices veggie mozzarella cheese

  • 2 medium mushrooms, diced

  • 1 tbsp margarine

  • 1 tbsp hollandaise sauce

  • 1 tsp garlic and pepper seasoning

  • 1 handful fresh spinach


  1. Spray skillet with non-stick spray. Sautee mushrooms in non-stick skillet with garlic and pepper seasoning.

  2. Assemble sandwich (bottom layer cheese, then spinach, then the other slice of cheese, topped with mushrooms and drizzle hollandaise sauce over the inside of the sandwich).

  3. Cut the amount of margarine in half and coat the pan with half.

  4. Place the sandwich in the pan over the last bit of margarine before it completely melts.

  5. With the fire on medium, cover the pan and allow the cheese to melt.

  6. Cook and flip the sandwich until golden.

  7. Remove from heat and serve immediately.  

Grilled Mushroom Eggplant and Tilapia Pressed Picnic Sandwich with Seasoned Squash Fries

Okay people. I've had a revelation. 

I love myself. And because I love myself, I should treat myself. So I did. With this recipe. As you know, my family isn't as health concious as I am. This is both good and bad. It's good because when I make super cool recipes like this, I only have to make enough servings for myself. The bad part is, the groceries required for the recipes lands completely on me and I don't really have anyone to share it with. Except you guys! I know you can't taste it, but at least you get to look at the pretty pictures right?

On Sunday, while both Skyping with a college friend and strolling through Tumblr, I was inspired to try three new recipes, of which I hope to conquer this week! So I hit up the grocery store yesterday, and when I got home last night I got busy!

This weather is perfect for cooking and baking. 

*Little secret* I sometimes get flustered when in the kitchen* So now that the weather is cool, I'm not "losing my cool" so to speak, when cooking. And that's great for everyone within throwing distance! (I'm kidding, I don't throw anything).

Oh right, back to the recipe!

So today, I present to you a super easy, healthy and delicious new recipe! This sandwich is filled with nutrition and lots of hidden flavour. Because the secret ingredient, is Pesto! Feel free to play around with the other seasonings, and if you can, swap out some items to make this recipe completely vegan! The best part about this recipe is that it's also a make ahead recipe. You can make this the night before to avoid the rush in the morning. Store it in a zip tight freezer bag in your fridge until morning, and just heat up when it's time for lunch!


Grilled Mushroom Eggplant and Tilapia Pressed Picnic Sandwich with Seasoned Squash Fries


(Serves 1)


1 Hoagie pre-sliced bread bun

2 Tilapia fillets (defrosted)

1 slice vegan mozarella cheese

2 slices tomato

2 slices grilled eggplant

1/3 cup grilled mushrooms

1 small yellow squash (sliced into thin strips)

1/2 cup mixed greens

2 tablespoons pesto

1 tablespoon lime juice



  1. Season the Tilapia. This is where you can get creative. I used fine herbs seasoning. What that is a mixture of, is beyond me, but it's pretty useful when you don't want to search for the perfect blend.

  2. Coat the skillet in an even layer of non-stick spray.

  3. On medium heat, grill the fish (one at a time), cooking evenly on both sides. When cooking the last fillet, throw in the mushrooms and let them cook at the same time. Toss the mushrooms regualrly to avoid burning. Pour the lime juice over the fish when it's almost done cooking.

  4. To season your "fries", again you can get creative. I used parmesan bread crumbs mixed with Italian Seasoning. Once your fries are seasoned, lightly fry them just as you did the fish and mushrooms.

  5. Assemble your sandwich with the fries on the side. Lightly drizzle the pesto on top and serve!