Thursday, October 6, 2011

GF/SF/Egg Free/Milk and Butter free, Strawberry shortcake (no whip- 0% fat greek yoghurt)

DEEEEEEEEE- licious Strawberry Shortcake, who doesn't love this amazing summer treat.

This is made with no sugar added because I am more of a savoury girl than a sweet one, and I prefer natural tasting flavours. These would be 100% Vegan if you swap out the yoghurt I used for a vegan alternative. I like yoghurt over whip, because I like lower fat, and the tangy flavour combination.

What you will need:

  • Plain Yoghurt - I used 0% fat Presidents Choice Greek Style 
  • Biscuits - I used vegan ones my mom made with spelt flour (note:**these biscuits are vegan gluten free, egg free, milk and butter free** recipe as per Bob's Red Mill GF Biscuit mix, made with Earth Balance Vegan shortening and almond milk, see website for details
  • strawberry jam- I used Presidents Choice No Sugar added
  • Garnish with Chocolate shavings  (note:***scrape heavy straight blade knife over smooth side of the chocolate bar, toss on top, no finger touching- it breaks and melts your shavings***)

I use dark chocolate, I always have some variety in the fridge, waiting. 

use warm biscuits out of the oven or warm up in a toaster oven or microwave so it will slightly heat up your ingredients.

In a bowl or on a plate stack:

half biscuit
strawberry jam
yoghurt or white topping of choice
other biscuit half
top with strawberry jam and chocolate shavings


You can barley see what is under the yoghurt!


Helpful Note: To make restaurant style chocolate shaving scrape a heavy flat blade knife over the bar of chocolate, on the flat side, and then sprinkle over top by tipping chocolate bar or foil. If you handle the shaving with your finger they will break or melt, they are only little babies after all.

Biscuits are made as per Bob's Red Mill GF Biscuit mix directions, my mom used Earth Balance Vegan Shortening, and almond milk, super easy and quick.  see website for details

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Fennel Pea Risotto

Ingredients ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

1 1/2 cups of veg broth

dash of saffron

1tsp olive oil

1 onion diced

1/2 bulb fennel chopped

1 clove garlic minced

1 cup of aborio rice

1/4 cup of white wine
1 cup peas

1/4 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese

2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
Directions :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

In medium size pan..add broth and 1 1/2 cups of water to boil

add saffron and let simmer on low heat

In a separate pan .. add oil, onions and fennel

cook for approx 5 minutes

stir and add rice into mix until well coated

after 2 minutes... slowly stir in wine

add peas, and the broth mixture from the other medium sized pan.. but very slowly and only half cup at a time....

after 20 mins..stir in cheese and parsley

Serve immediatly! TIP: bring a dish of shredded parm to the table for guests to top up their dish

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Delish Summer Dish: Zucchini & Cantaloupe Salad with Feta and Mint


1/2 cup of lemon juice

1/4tsp lemon zest

dash of sugar

dash of Salt and Pepper

Olive Oil

1 Zucchini (trimmed)

1/4 of a cantaloupe (peeled and seeded)

3oz of feta cheese

mint for garnish


In a small mixing bowl add lemon juice, zest, sugar, S&P

combine olive oil for vinaigrette

Separately, slice zucchini and cantaloupe lengthwise with a mandolin

toss in vinaigrette and sprinkle with feta, black pepper

garnish with mint*

Voila! Great summer time dish for those hot hot summer days..

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Soy and Dairy Free Dessert: Pineapple Coconut Bliss

Remember when ice cream alternative were hard to find, and then when you did find them, you didn't exactly jump for joy. Most of the ice cream substitutes I have tried have left me feeling less than satisfied. This however was introduced to me by my cousin Anna who was visiting recently from Toronto. I want to sing her high praise up the hills. Hello new fav dessert !!!!!

Coconut Bliss -available what seems like a kagillion different flavours including cappuccino, pineapple coconut, naked coconut, dark chocolate, vanilla island, chocolate hazelnut fudge in the tubs, and naked coconut and dark chocolate in the bar format. check their website for more, like ingredients or nutritional info and 4 new flavours for 2011.

YAY YAY YAY YAY. Now everyone can have dessert all together all the non-daries, soy-allergic and vegans can all rejoice.

**Notes** Where to buy:  I was perusing their website- and if you can't find it locally, just go to their website print off this form and let the wonderful people of coconut bliss know and they will contact the store to help you get it to where you are. How cool

Vegan: Creamy dreamy balsamic dressing

Ever wanted to lick the plate clean after a salad? I have.....hello creamy dreamy balsamic dressing.

What you will need:

2 Tbs Nayonaise vegan (or regular mayo if you are non-vegan)
6 Tbs olive oil
3 Tbs Balsamic vinegar
1 Tsp Agave
pinch cayenne pepper
Salt and Pepper to taste


Combine ingredients in a jar or a squirt bottle like I used. Shake vigorously for a few minutes until a smooth light mocha coloured dressing is evenly blended. Alternatively you can use a small food processor using the pulse function.


Want different flavours like maple balsamic? - Add maple syrup instead of agave to sweeten. YUM!

Want to use as bread dipper- add more olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Just that easy folks.


What the heck is Nayonaise anyways? website- I bought mine locally at Planet Organic, and you can also get it at AtlanticSuperStore.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Asparagus in white wine


2 pounds of asparagus (thick end removed)

1/4 cup of butter (VO: margarine or alternative)

1/4 cup of white wine

dash of salt of pepper


Boil water, add asparagus

cook asparagus for 4-5 minutes

Drain asparagus and let cool

In a large skillet melt butter, add wine and salt and pepper

Add in asparagus to mixture

Serve immediately

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Oven Baked Sweet Potatoe Fries with Curry Mayo


1 & 1/2 pounds of sweet potatoes - cut and sliced into half inch strips

1/4 olive oil

1/4 tsp of cinnamon

1/2 tsp paprika

salt and pepper to taste


Pre heat oven to 425

Rinse sweet potatoes well....

Place parchment paper on baking sheet
Distribute sweet potatoes evenly on baking sheet

drizzle olive oil & spices over sweet potatoes

Bake for approx 30 minutes

turning potatoes every 10 minutes with spatula

****Serve Warm With Curry Mayo

You will need:

1 cup of mayo (VO: Nayonaise or alternative)

2tsp of curry

1tsp of fresh lime juice

1/8 tsp of cayenne

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Pass the Pesto!


2 cups of fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese (VO: leave off/use vegan cheese/nutritional yeast flakes)

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup of pine nuts
3 garlic cloves (minced)
salt and pepper to taste


Add pine nuts and basil in food processor & grind

Add garlic to food processor & grind

While processing... slowly add olive oil...

Finally add parmesan cheese salt and pepper

Serve in any pasta, as a dip for bread, or with cooked veggies
Tip:add basil pesto to mayonnaise for a nice pesto mayo in your sandwich!(half and half)

Tip: Add a squeeze of lemon to give it a bit of zing

Friday, July 8, 2011

No two greeks alike- Grilled Wrap

Just the thought of greek food gets me salivating.... I love the combination of flavours.  Salty olives and feta, humous and greens, fresh herbs and lemon....ok now I am seriously drooling.

No two greeks alike-grilled wrap.


What you will need:

  • Tortilla or pita bread (I like whole grain PC blue menu)
  • Arugula greens
  • humus (Mine is homemade- I will post recipe later)
  • 1/2 vine ripened tomatoe sliced
  • cucumber peeled and sliced 
  • balsamic marinated tofu (optional)
  • kalamata olives pitted and sliced
  • Goats milk feta cheese
  • fresh or dried oregano
  • salt & peper to taste
  • squeeze of lemon
Note: I go onion free at lunch to avoid bad breath- also my homemade humus is sans-garlic too!


lay out your wrap, spread on hummus layer handful of greens, cucumber, tomatoes, cubed tofu, olives, oregano, salt and pep, crumble your feta over top of all other ingredients, squeeze fresh lemon overtop. Wrap up your wrap, pop it on a hot grill or throw it in a panini grill. after 3 minutes slice it on the diagonal and enjoy.

The arugula gives it a spicy kick, and the protein from the tofu will give you that lasting energy you need on a friday. 


How to Fold your wrap: I like to fold mine like a burrito with two closed ends so I can grill it without loosing ingredients and so it can be sliced in two and eaten in two helpings. Fold right and left sides in and start rolling your wrap towards the top. I stop about half way and pull the ingredient back toward the bottom because as you roll they tend to move up/forward. Finish rolling when you get to the top and press down. Then transfer to hot pan or panini press, heat and light pressure either from the grill or from a scapula will help seal off your wrap and prevent it from opening up.  

Note: cube firm tofu and let it hang out overnight with some sea salt and balsamic in the fridge- I like a big kick of protein at lunch and usually have tofu hanging around in my fridge so if you have it or want it great- if you don't it won't detracted from the taste of the wrap

Thursday, July 7, 2011

When life gives you apples

Oh Brad is right.....summer is here and suddenly its a HOT one in Halifax. With all this blazing sun shinning down upon us, let me help you cool off. Here are some refreshing ways to jazz up your everyday drinking water.

We all know we need H2O to keep us balanced and properly hydrated. But....drinking the same old same old can get a little lack-luster in the dog days of summer.

why not slice up some apple or freeze blueberries in your ice cubes, why not cut half your water with green tea and throw some frozen strawberries in there to hang out. Cucumber and basil are fantastic paired together. Oddly enough basil and mango are a unique and sensory treat for both your nose and mouth. Mint and watermelon is another great and unexpected pair.

Do feels soo good going down.

What you will need:

  • fresh or fav fruit of choice
  • frozen fruit in that freezer
  • basil or mint
  • ice cube tray
  • pitcher, water bottle, glass
  • green tea (fav herbal tea or choice)


Thinly slice apples, kiwi, mango, strawberries, melon or cucumber. Tear up basil or mint.

fill a pitcher or beverage container with ice or go a la cart and let whatever you are infusing 'chill' for at least an hour in filtered water or tap popped in the fridge.

Don't pair to many things together, stick with two things hanging out together and see how they jive, see what your preferences are and then go with it.


Want to know how to make friends with construction workers on a blazing hot day? Tell them you made a seemingly unlimited supply of blueberry green ice tea. I told them it was sweetened with agave and was all natural-but all they seemed to care about was that it was cold. 

Love, Nicole 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Zucchini Fritters


1lb of zucchini grated
dash of salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 egg
2 bunches of green onions finely chopped
1/2 cup of all purpose flour
1/2 cup of olive oil
plain yogurt

Heat olive oil in large skillet
Whisk egg
Add zucchini, salt, pepper, onions, flour in a mixing bowl.
drop tbsp of batter in heated skillet
brown fritters (approx 4 minutes each side) then flip
remove and place on paper towel
Serve with plain yogurt!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Red Pepper and cherry tomatoe bruschetta with Pesto


6 slices of sourdough bread

2 containers of cherry tomatoes

1 diced green onion

4 cloves of garlic

1/4 cup olive oil

freshly ground black pepper

3 tbsp of basil pesto

1 roasted red bell pepper

toast the bread in oven

remove from oven and add garlic to one side of bread

drizzle olive oil over bread

combine diced tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, black pepper, green onions,pesto, diced bell peppers in bowl

Spoon combination onto toasted bread and serve!

* sprinkle with goat cheese or feta if desired.

Tip- you can use kitchen scissors to cut your tomatoes! and if you are a fan of olives... they go well in the mix.. Bon appetit!

Fresh Summertime Guacamole


8 large avacado

2 diced tomatoes

1 small diced white onion
chopped cilantro (1 bunch)

1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped (optional)

fresh lemon juice

mix together ingredients in medium dish

Serve with pita, veggie sticks, or even in a wrap,burger, or salad

Keep in the Fridge and serve Cold :)

Did you know? -> The Aztecs believed Avocado to act as an aphrodisiac& the best avacado to use for guacamole is the Hass avocado!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Roasted Eggplant Dip


1 medium sized eggplant

  • 1 can of full tomatoes

  • 3 or 4 plum tomatoes
    1 medium sized spanish onion

  • sea salt

  • olive oil

  • chick peas

  • Directions

  • Cut up the eggplant, onion, tomatoes and place in an oven friendly dish.

  • Add half of the canned tomatoes (drained)

  • drizzle olive oil on veggies with a dash of sea salt

  • Roast in oven at 375-190 degrees for approximatly 30 mins

  • Stir every ten minutes

  • Blend all roasted veggies

  • add olive oil and sea salt

  • Add chick peas

  • Serve
    *Serve with carrot, celery, and zuchinni sticks!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Grilled Veggie Fusilli salad

Great Summer Patio Party Dish!


2 large roasted red peppers chopped
2 zuchinni
1 diced yellow bell pepper
2 large portobello mushrooms
2 red onions
feta cheese
3 tbsp of olive oil
1 carton of cherry tomatoes sliced in halves
3 1/2 cups of fusilli pasta
1 tsp of freshly chopped basil
1 tsp of fresh oregano
salt and pepper to taste
Black olives (optional)


sautee veggies in non stick pan

cook pasta in boiling water

Drain & let pasta cool for ten minutes

add olive oil, basil, oregano and S&P to pasta

add sauteed veggies to pasta
top with crumbled feta cheese and black olives when ready to serve

MexiCali Spread

Always a crowd-pleaser

This MexiCali taco dip is always a hit at parties. Great for crowds and excellent spread when you're hosting the game!

1 (18 ounce) package of light cream cheese
1 (8 ounce) tub of sour cream
1/2 package of powdered taco seasoning
2 diced hot house tomatoes

1 cup of diced green peppers

2 diced green onions
2 cups of fresh organic salsa

2 cups of finely shredded old cheddar cheese

sliced black olives (optional)

1/2 cup of jalepeno chopped (optional)


Mix cream cheese, sour cream, and taco seasoning in mixing bowl

Place mixture in serving dish
Top with fresh organic salsa
Cover with shredded cheese and veggies

Serve with warm tortilla chips

Monday, June 20, 2011

Rosemary and Artichoke appetizer

Great for entertaining!


1 (14 ounce) can of artichoke hearts drained and diced
1 (8 ounce) package of light cream cheese
2 fresh rosemary sprigs finely chopped
1 clove of garlic minced
salt and pepper to taste
1 dash of tobasco
1 oz of freshly shredded monteray jack cheese

*mix together the above ingredients in medium sized mixing bowl
Place the mixture into a baking dish
Top the baking dish with 2 oz of shredded asiago cheese
place in oven until cheese is melted and browned on surface
Remove from oven and garnish with fresh rosemary sprig
Serve with baked pita chips or thinly sliced baguette drizzled in olive oil


1)Improves memory
2) overcomes bloating
3)Keeps scalp healthy
4) Loosens muscles
5)Prevents cancer

Vibrant Veggie Stir-Fry

Stir-fry ingredients
1 1/2 teaspoons of olive oil
1 cup of broccoli florets
1 cup of cauliflower florets
1 red pepper, cored, seeded and julienned
1 green pepper, cored, seeded and julienned
3 green onions, sliced
100g mushrooms cleaned and diced
1/2 cup of thinly sliced red onion
1/2 cup of snow peas
2 full zuchinnis sliced
1 small can of pineapples

1 clove of garlic minced
1/4 cup of soya sauce
1 tablespoon of honey
1 slice of ginger minced
black pepper to taste

Cooking instructions
Spray non-stick wok or non stick skillet with cooking spray
Heat over medium high heat
Add olive oil, peppers, mushrooms, and onions and cook for approximately 3-4 minutes
Add broccoli, cauliflower, pineapple, zucchini, snow peas, and turn to low heat for 3 minutes

Serve on a bed of basmati rice or glass noodles. Top with toasted cashews or almonds for that protein kick!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Breakfast or Dessert: Mango Parfait

I'm a new vegetarian. How new? Well, it's been about two weeks, so I've been trying new recipes like crazy lately and came across one for mango parfait. Perfect for breakfast or as a dessert, mango parfait is delicious, filling and takes almost no time to make. My brother and sister-in-law had a Father's Day brunch and this was my contribution. My dad loves mangoes. He inhaled this.

Ingredients (serves 4-5)

1 cup of President's Choice Blue Menu Omega-3 Almond Vanilla Granola

1 tub of PC Greek Yogurt-- Vanilla

1 cup of PC Mango Chunks, thawed + chopped.

And from there, all you need to do is layer the ingredients. Start by adding the granola, then add a layer of Greek yogurt, and top with the chopped mango. If you have a sweet tooth like me, you can drizzle some agave nectar on top too... other than that, you're golden.


Drink: Sweet and Spicy novel-tea

Better start licking your lips. This sweet and spicy drink will get your temperature up and best yet-Its VEGAN Yay.

What you will need:

250ml/1 cup-Organic Creme Earl Grey Tea Brewed (or chia or black tea or choice)
250 ml/1 cup mil substitue of choice (I love original unsweetened Almond Breeze)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Agave syrop to taste
few drops organic vanilla extract (optional)
Tool: Milk frother (I just handheld about $15 to buy)
Clear glass (double-walled of with handles is recommended-thin glass gets HOT)
Garnish: Carob/raw sugar **Note** this will cause the fluffy steamed milk sub. to start sinking. So its helpful to put on just as you are about to enjoy.

This is what a hand frother looks like. 

Heat up your milk on the stove or (Shock the horror: in the microwave) and then pour into glass until its just over 1/4 way up the glass. Break out your handy-dandy milk frother and frother that puppy up until its super foamy on top.

Take a large spoon and pour hot brewed tea over the spoon against the side of the glass so the tea by-passes most of the milk froth, you will begin to see the hot tea layering in the middle of the glass between the hot milk and the frothy whipped top section. Continue pouring until froth reaches top of glass.

Then use spoon to spread milk froth to cover your entry hole where you were pouring the tea. Garnish with carob and cinnamon or raw sugar. Enjoy this brilliant little novel-tea.

Carob garnish YUM*

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Dinner or Side: Tofu Almondine

Tofu Almondine

This is a personal favourite of mine as an entree- this time I served it separate over basmati rice, but often I make it with quinoa or CousCous too for a crunchier texture.

What you will need:

2 lb. tofu, drained, pressed and cut into cube size of your choice
**note if you are using quinoa or CousCous you can also incorporate silken tofu into the mix which helps bind everything together and is less tofuish- for the nouveau tofu eaters**
4 tablespoons tamari (sub 2 tablespoons soy sauce if you don't have tamari)
1/2 cup almond butter
2 cups water or veggie broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 large onion finely chopped
1 green pepper chopped
3 medium carrots chopped
3 stalks celery chopped
2 cups chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup tamari or regular almonds sliced (optional:garnish)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, place tofu cubes in baking dish and coat with 4 tablespoons tamari, bake for 20 minutes- middle rack of the oven.

While your tofu is baking, heat a deep frying pan over medium heat and fry your chopped onion in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add celery, carrots (if you have I didn't this time-oops) and green pepper. Sautee for 5-10 minutes and reduce heat.

Prepare basmati, cous-cous or quinoa as per package directions (or rice cooker directions)

Remove tofu from oven and toss in frying pan with veggies. Add mushrooms, veggie broth, almond butter and simmer for 5 minutes. Transfer back into baking dish that tofu was baked in. Let everything settle into the pan and then sprinkle with sliced almonds. bake for 10-15 minutes.

Serve over grain of choice. Enjoy!