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Sometimes when I get home from work or yoga, I am ravenous for a healthy snack.  Who am I kidding...I am ALWAYS hungry.  I usually find myself opening the pantry door, grabbing  some kind of nut and then dried fruit and carrying on with my day.

So, for this recipe, I decided that it was time to devise an all in one, protein bar that would keep in the fridge or freezer for my so called ravenous moments; and this is what I came up with.  Feel free to play around with the flavour combinations and leave a comment on your creations.

 
 
You've got to love the versatility and the "on-the-go" ease of granola.  It is the perfect breakfast food and it also doubles as a great snack (on numerous occasions I have seen Kasey eat this stuff out of the pantry by the handfuls, so it must be good).  This granola is loaded with protein, good fats, fiber and happy minerals and it goes great with greek yogurt and a few sliced bananas:)

 
 
Where do I even begin?  

My last post happened just before I got into my volleyball coaching frenzy.    Days, weeks, and the past few months were a blur to say the least.  We had a great season; lots of fun but I am happy to have a little spare time in my hands.  My house needs some love and so does the kitchen, the dog and the husband...not necessarily in that order.

With that being said, I am excited to share this recipe with you.  I have been meaning to post it for some time.  It is my ULTIMATE lunch and sometimes even supper choice...it is so, so good!  

The original recipe came from the Whitewater Cookbook that was given to me as a gift from some good friends and fellow foodies.  I instantly started cooking my way through the cookbook and fell in love with this recipe.  Through the years I have made some personal changes to the recipe, which is the one I am going to share with you.
To make this recipe you will need a bit of time to prepare everything.  Cooking the grains, chopping the veggies and sautéing your protein choice will take up the bulk of your time, but trust me, it is worth every minute.

What I usually do at home is I place all of the prepped ingredients into small containers and then each night I put together my lunch for the next day.  This allows everything to remain fresh for the week.

In this recipe I have shared my favorite ingredients, however play around with the ingredients you have on hand.  Use your favorite greens, veggies, protein and grains to turn the salad into your families "go to" meal.

For the addictive dressing you will find the nutritional yeast at any health food store.  If you are unable to find it you can omit the water and the nutritional yeast and it will still taste great.  The nutritional yeast adds a bit of a cheesy flavour to the dressing...& also helps those making this recipe vegan absorb B12 and protein (just in case you were wondering).  

The dressing will keep for about 2 weeks if you have extra.
This bowl is definitely the Happy Hippie not to mention the healthy hippie.  The ingredients in this bowl are the perfect multi-vitamin.  

It contains all the loving fats and proteins your body needs, loads of quercitin to ward off allergies, sprouts for the active enzymes and if you put in shiitake mushrooms you will surely give the old immune system a boost.

Here are some ingredient ideas if you are looking for a change:
  • shiitake mushrooms
  • pumpkin seeds
  • kale
  • sweet peppers
  • apples (if you are looking for something a little sweet)


Recipe:  Happy Hippie Bowl

Love from the ove,

Sara
 
 
I am a HUGE fan of mornings!  The smell of a perfectly crafted cappuccino, the peaceful bliss of the morning sunrise, our quiet home and last but certainly not least...breakfast.  I love it all.

Our mornings can sometimes be busy and there is nothing worse than starting my day "sans" breakfast, so I started thinking of a way to save myself...from myself (what can I say, the bed is way too comfy and waaaay to warm), so I decided to hit the kitchen and play around with my favorite breakfast food:  steel cut oats.  I am obsessed with their texture, their taste and above all else, their versatility.
This recipe is one that I make on Sunday night and then I reheat it for breakfast the rest of the week.  I love it because I feel full until lunch and I know that I am filling by body with tonnes of great things.  Some of the nutritional perks for this recipe are:
  • A wicked source of protein from the steel cut oats, nuts and eggs
  • The great fats!  This will keep your tummy happy and "growl free" until lunch time
  • A whole bunch of fibre to slow down digestion.  You will find this in the fruit, oats and nuts!
For the fruit, what better choice than the seasonal favorite:  apples!  I bought a huge bag of organic apples and they needed to be turned into something delish; which is great news because they are crazy nutritious.  In case you didn't know, apples are a: 
  • Great source of quercitin: A flavonoid that is a natural antihistamine, potent anti-inflammatory and important for heart health.
  • Cancer-fighting antioxidants: Catechin, phloridzin and chlorogenic acid. Make sure you eat the skins for these free radical scavenging antioxidants to do their work. Make sure you buy “low-spray” apples or certified organic.
  • Source of vitamin C and fibre: One medium-sized apple has approximately, 4 grams of fibre per serving. Both insoluble fibre (like cellulose) and soluble fibre (like liver-loving pectin). Studies have shown that both types of fibre can lower your LDL cholesterol. Most of the fibre is found in the skin.
  • Lung health: Apples stand out out amongst other fruits when it comes to lung function. Several studies have shown apples reduce the risk of asthma
This recipe is one that can be easily transformed into your favorite flavours of the week.  I have included some options for you that I have tried at home and have turned out to be a thumbs up from the hubbie.  Try them out and tell me what you think.  I would love to hear from you.

Recipe:  Apple Almond Breakfast Bake

Love from the ov,

Sara
 
 
Fall.  My favorite season hands down!  I love the leaves, the chilly mornings and the plethora of fruits and veggies available at the farmers market.  The only noticeable dislike of the season is the reality of being back to work.  I love my job, through and through, but the "hit the ground running" feeling that I get every year, no matter how many years I have taught still hits me on hard.

This weekend was my first weekend to take a deep breath...and bake!  I had bought some beautiful, organic plums from Lou and they were begging me to turn them into something amazing.  I had a stocked pantry now I just had to decide what direction to go with it.

 
 
Okay, I'll admit it:  I really like chocolate.  Dark, slightly bitter, rich, melt in your mouth goodness!  It is my "go to" sweet treat after dinner that prevents me from snacking throughout the evening...no joke!  I even have my husband, who is a self-proclaimed "I'm not a sweets kinda-guy" eating the stuff.  Secretly he has heard my health rants about dark chocolate for years and has jumped on the anti-oxidant band wagon.

This recipe is perfect for those of you looking for a little treat during the day or a boost of energy before your workout.  It is full of heart healthy flavanoids (found in the chocolate), monounsaturated fats (found in the almonds) and so many other great things...but I will stop here about the health benefits and get to this super delicious recipe that I hope you will love.

 
 
Who knew we could grow cherries?  I thought this was solely for the sunny province of BC; none the less I have cherries in my kitchen and could not let these beauties go to waste (thanks to my awesome neighbors for the gift).  The BIG question of the day (...oh how I love summer holidays) was what am I going to make with these tart little things?

 
 
I love a good, tart fruit crumble.  When I was growing up, it was solid favorite of my dad's and would often hit our family table once a week, but not without a hefty scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. Yum!

This recipe straddles the line between nutritious summer dessert and a dangerously rich pie.  I must admit, this morning, after my workout, I was eating the odd spoonful out of the fridge (it was way too good to walk by).  This recipe has gone through a bit of tailoring over the years and can be easily modified to what ever is at the farmers market or in your freezer or pantry.

Here are some of the details.  For the topping I used pecans, large flaked old fashioned oats (because I love the texture in baking), ground flax seeds, organic brown sugar, spelt flour (you could always use all purpose), coconut butter (regular butter is just perfect too) and cinnamon (love the flavour).  For the filling I used instant tapioca to thicken the fruit and then spiced it up with nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon.  I also used fresh fruit, so if you are going to use frozen you may have to add a bit fruit and more tapioca since frozen fruit usually has a lot more water in it (I would thaw and drain it a bit too).
In any case, I made this dessert for my little brother's birthday yesterday.  I wanted something sweet, but let's be honest, I didn't have the time to put together a beauty of a birthday cake so this was the next best option.  Quick, delicious & pretty!  The whole recipe will take you all of 15 minutes to put together if you know your way around the kitchen and then you can walk away for 45 and voila!  Everyone's tummies are happy.

Recipe:  Oatmeal Crumble with Rhubarb & Raspberries

Love from the ov,

Sara
 
 
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This recipe was a staple of my mom's when we were growing up.  We would devour the cake in a matter of hours as teenagers; sneaking back into the kitchen for 2nd and 3rd helpings when she wasn't looking.  Today in our house I find my husband doing the sneaking as it is one of his favorites too! 

The original recipe had more sugar and used all purpose flour and sour cream instead of yogurt, but regardless of the calorie count it was amazing!  Sticking with true Sara cooking fashion, I have made a few small, mindful changes but still keeping the taste that "mom" had in her recipe.

Recipe:  Banana Crater Cake

Love from the ov,

Sara

 
 
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There is nothing better than a fruit filled muffin.  It is the perfect "to go" food that makes you feel like you are having dessert but without all the guilt ;)

So the purpose for this recipe was to make a muffin that didn't have a wack of extra sugar so I added a banana to the mix and made a little crumble on top and it makes them taste sweet without being full of added sugar.  The feedback was good, Kasey took some of them on a work road trip and the boys liked them so let me know what you think. 

The photo shown has nectarines subbed in for plums ;)

Recipe:  Oatmeal Muffins with Blueberry and Plums

Love from the ov,
Sara