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.

Crispy Sweet Potato Chips

Hello Lovely,

Nothing beats a good chip! Especially if they’re light, crunchy and flavorful with little grease or calories.  While the commercial variety with high sodium is often seen on the store shelves, I prefer the more homemade and healthier variety.  Sweet potatoes are high in vitamin A, vitamin B6 and carotenoids and although it’s usually a side dish to an extreme, it makes a great crispy chip.  So do your heart and skin a favour, with this potato chips recipe:


1 – 2 medium sweet potatoes (orange in color and sliced thinly)
1 drizzle Olive Oil
Dash of salt


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place the sliced potatoes into a bowl and drizzle with olive oil with a dash of salt.  Mix gently and place on a baking sheet, with space between each slice. Let bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool for 5 – 10 minutes.  Sprinkle with salt to taste (can add cinnamon or cayenne for more flavor). Enjoy!

What’s your favourite type of chip? Are you a fan of sweet potatoes?


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


·                  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)


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!


Vegan Spinach & Mushroom Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Asian-Inspired CousCous Nugggets

Crab Rangoons

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!