June 2015 Archive

Pina Colada Overnight Oats
Pina Colada Overnight Oats1

Summer is right around the corner WOOHOO!!!

It’s about time.

Where I live, winters are long.

I swear my neighbourhood is like the North Pole.

I’m pretty sure Santa could be my neighbour.

We just get sooo much snow. It could be snowing nowhere else in the world, but up on the hill where we live, it always seems to be a blizzard. And it takes FOREVER to melt.

So. When I start to see any remote signs of summer, I instantly start dreaming of warmth and sunshine and beaches.

I also instantly start craving summery food.

You know, like BBQ’s, fresh salads, and pina colada’s.

Several weeks ago, I was preparing for a class making my famous vanilla berry overnight oats, (which I will eventually get around to posting), and I started day dreaming about summer vacations and pina coladas.

Then BAM.

It hit me.

I should make Pina Colada Overnight Oats!

Pina Colada Overnight Oats 7

And boy, am I glad I did.

What’s awesome about this recipe is that you can basically just plop all of the ingredients into a blender in advance, give it a quick whiz, pour the mixture into four different jars and place in the fridge to allow it to thicken up.

Instant cool and refreshing summer breakfast.

AND it also contains the protein, whole grains and fruit, which I’m always recommending at breakfast time for proper balance.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my oatmeal hot, but sometimes on a super humid, sweat-dripping-off-my-forehead summer morning, all that steaminess gives me a hot flash.

And I’m not even at that stage of life yet!

Yikes.

That’s where overnight oats come into play because they cool you down rather than heat you up.

Now that I’m thinking about hot flashes, it would actually be a perfect breakfast for those women who are going through “the stage.”

Plus, who doesn’t feel like a pina colada for breakfast?!

Pina Colada Overnight Oats4

It quickly became a very popular breakfast in my house.

Hope it becomes a favourite of yours too!

ALSO, don’t forget to enter the amazing giveaway for the Williams Sonoma $280 gift card! There are only 11 days left!!!

Pina Colada Overnight Oats

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups crushed pineapple (fresh or canned)
  • 1 medium banana, sliced
  • 1 cup plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 cup milk (or milk alternative)
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup chia seeds
  • Top with sprinkle of unsweetened coconut, diced pineapple and a drizzle of honey (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a blender, add pineapple, banana, Greek yogurt, milk and protein powder (optional) and process until smooth.
  2. Add coconut flakes, oats, chia seeds and give a few pulses, just enough to combine. Divide between 4 glass jars with a lid, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight. Stir before serving and adjust thickness with milk if desired. Enjoy chilled or warm (place jar in a bowl with warm water for 10 minutes).
  3. Top with diced pineapple and a sprinkle of unsweetened coconut, if desired.
  4. Storage Instructions: Refrigerate for up to 5 days.

Nutrients per serving:

  • Calories: 402 • Fat: 15 g • Carbohydrates: 51g • Fibre: 17g • Protein: 19g • Sugar: 16g • Sodium: 157mg • Cholesterol: 1mg
Elysia, XOXO
Spicy Nuts + A Giveaway
Spicynuts1 copy

With Father’s Day quickly approaching, I’m always trying to come up with gift ideas for my dad.

My dad is not materialistic at all, so trying to get him any type of material gift is HARD.

One thing that I do know about my dad though is that he LOVES nuts.

Sometimes I think he’s part squirrel.

I think he would snack on nuts all day if you let him.

So of course, knowing that nuts are his preferred source of fuel, I started wracking up some creative and tasty nut ideas.

You might be thinking, “why would my dad want a bunch of nuts, when I could give him a cool tie or tools?”

Now let me clear something up.

These aren’t just any ol’ nuts.

These are Spicy Nuts.

Spicynuts4

After all, the way to any guy’s heart is through his stomach, right?

Now here’s the problem.

Oftentimes, when you buy the pre-packaged flavoured nuts, they tend to be loaded with sodium and saturated fat.

Yes, they’re tasty. But generally not the healthiest choice.

We’re not looking to send Dad’s blood pressure through the roof or clog up his arteries.

That would not be a good gift option.

What we are looking to do, however, is to provide him with a tasty and flavourful snack that will actually be good for his heart!

But he doesn’t have to actually know that it’s healthy.

It will be a secret between you and I.

SHHHHH!!!

These nuts are not overly spicy, but you can definitely adapt how spicy they are by adding more hot sauce or cayenne. You can also switch up the type of nuts that you use, just to keep things interesting.

The amazing thing is, you can make a big batch of these nuts and package them up into mason jars and store them as a quick snack.

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It makes a great last minute gift idea (hint, hint)!

Speaking of gifts, today is the FIRST DAY of an amazing giveaway that you don’t want to miss! This giveaway is sponsored by a group of 13 amazing bloggers…and the prize is a good one!!!

I have never participated in a group giveaway, or any giveaway for that matter, so I am SUPER excited!!!

Perhaps a $280 William Sonoma gift card might make a good late Father’s Day gift, or you could just keep it for yourself ;)

williams-sonoma-giveaway-graphic

Awesome, right?!!

To enter, all you have to do is complete one of the actions below, such as commenting on a blog, liking a contributing blogger’s page on Facebook or following them on Twitter! But here’s the kicker, the MORE actions you complete, the MORE entries you get! Which meannnnns….. the MORE likely you are to win this exciting giveaway! YAYYY!!!

So enter, like and follow away by clicking on the following image!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TERMS and CONDITIONS: Contest runs from June 17, 2015 – July 1, 2015. Winner will be chosen randomly using Rafflecopter as the deciding force. Rafflecopter partners with Random.org to choose the winning entrant. No purchase necessary to enter or win. A purchase does not improve your chance of winning. Void where prohibited by law. Giveaway is open to legal residents of the United States of America, Canada and the United Kingdom.

**FYI, fake accounts & spammers will be disqualified and not eligible to win. 

Good luck everyone!!!

Spicy Nuts + A Giveaway

Yield: 24 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups unsalted pistachios
  • 2 cups unsalted cashews
  • 2 cups unsalted almonds
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce, or to taste
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. ground mustard
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper, or to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees
  2. Place the nuts in a large mixing bowl. In another bowl whisk together the olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, salt, garlic powder, ground mustard, and cayenne. Pour the mixture over the nuts and stir until well combined.
  3. Arrange the nuts on a large baking sheet and bake for 20 to 22 minutes until toasted and lightly browned, stirring halfway during cooking time to prevent burning. Remove from the oven and cool completely, tossing occasionally, before transferring to an airtight container.

Nutrients per serving (based on a 1/4 cup portion size):

• Calories: 152 • Fat: 13.2 g • Carbohydrates: 6.2 g • Fibre: 2 g • Protein: 4.6 g • Sugar: 1 g • Sodium: 102 mg • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Elysia, XOXO
Top 5 Spring Makeup Picks
5 Spring Makeup Picks

I love experimenting with new make-up products.

I just get so much joy out of trying on a new colour lipstick or a different shade of eyeshadow.

Probably almost too much joy.

But I’m a strong believer in doing what makes you happy.

And makeup is what makes me happy!

As much as I love trying out new makeup though, there are some products that just don’t budge from my makeup bag.

Just like I have my dietary staples, I also have some makeup staples that I just can’t seem to part with.

Let me give you an example.

Mascara.

I’ve tried SO many different brands of mascara.

They are either too clumpy.

The wand is too long and I poke my eye out.

They don’t wash off well leaving the whole raccoon eye effect.

Or for no reason in particular, I just don’t like them.

Back to L’oreal Voluminous Mascara I go.

I have yet to find a mascara that lives up to that one.

We just work so well together.

Below are some of my other makeup bag must-haves!

Top 5 Spring Makeup Picks

1. Jane Iredale – Rose Dawn Blush. This blush offers a beautiful healthy pink glow with a subtle shimmer. I love how it’s a quad so there are a variety of shades to choose from, which makes it super easy to layer. Plus, Jane Iredale makeup is great for sensitive or breakout-prone skin (like mine!)

2. L’oreal Paris Colour Riche Lipcolour – Crystal Praline. I like the Colour Riche Line in general, but this shade is a nice light pink with a glossy shimmer finish. It’s almost like wearing lip balm because it’s light and moisturizing, but also has a touch of shimmer. It doesn’t get all over your teeth either, which is a huge bonus and is definitely subtle enough for everyday wear.

3. L’oreal Paris True Match Super Blendable Concealer – L’orealparis.ca. I’ve been using this concealer for years! I just can’t seem to find any other concealers that blend as nicely or match my skin colour so perfectly. This one isn’t going anywhere!

4. Tarte Lights Camera Lashes Precision Longwear Eyeliner – TarteCosmetics.com. This eyeliner is more of a recent find. I’ve always loved using liquid eyeliner to draw a thin line around my eyes for definition, but other ones that I’ve tried either bled into my eye (not pretty) or were hard to control. With this eyeliner, I can draw a very thin line and maintain lots of control. It’s almost like a marker!

5. L’oreal Paris Voluminous Original Mascara – Carbon Black. I’ve already mentioned this mascara above. It just provides the right amount of length and volume to my eyelashes without the extra clumping. Plus, it’s long lasting and has survived many emotional days. It’s been there for me through the ups and downs. That’s why I’m keeping it around for good.

What are some of your make-up bag staples?

Elysia, XOXO
Lentil Pesto Pasta Salad
Lentil Pasta Salad1

I’ve had lentils on my mind a lot lately.

There are so many other things that I could think about, but this month in particular, my mind keeps drifting back to lentils.

I even had a dream about lentils.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is when you know that you love what you do.

I tend to go through phases of thinking about different foods depending on my mood or what’s going on at work.

Last week it was beef.

The week before it was walnuts.

And now it just happens to be lentils.

Probably because this month at work, our focus has been on teaching customers about the benefits of lentils.

In the process though, I’ve learned quite a bit myself!

First of all, I’ve learned through A LOT of recipe research that lentils can be pretty much incorporated into anything.

Fudge.

Pesto.

Pancakes.

You name the food.

It can be done.

Lentil Pasta Salad 2

Also, I’ve always known that lentils are super healthy, but 25 grams of protein and 29 grams of fibre per half cup serving??

C’mon.

That’s absolutely insane.

With that nutritional profile, why are we all not eating lentils on a daily or weekly basis?!

Finally, lentils are super easy to cook and don’t even need to be soaked. Just rinse and boil in water for around 30 minutes. That’s it! You can even cook them in broth or with a bay leaf to give them extra flavour.

I was doing a cooking class one day teaching the group about how to up their fibre and protein intake and decided to make this delicious Lentil Pesto Pasta Salad.

Lentil Pasta Salad 3

It was SO good.

I love the addition of lentils to the pasta because it ups the fibre and protein content.

This recipe also feeds a TON of people.

I had enough leftovers to last a week!

So if you’re heading out to any summer BBQs, this would make a great dish to bring along!

Lentil Pesto Pasta Salad

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

    Pesto
  • 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • ½ cup cooked or canned green lentils, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese (reserve some for garnish)
  • Salt & ground pepper, to taste
  • Pasta
  • 3 ½ cups dry whole-wheat farfalle (bowtie) or your favourite pasta
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup cooked green lentils
  • Salt & ground pepper, to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Cook lentils according to packaging directions.
  2. In a food processor or magic bullet, add basil, garlic, pine nuts, lentils, and lemon juice. Pulse, then add oil and puree. Add parmesan cheese and process once more. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until “al dente” or until desired texture has been reached. Drain and toss with 1 tbsp. olive oil to prevent pasta from sticking.
  4. Toss pasta, tomatoes, and pesto in a large bowl.
  5. Garnish with Parmesan cheese, basil, and a drizzle of olive oil as desired. Serve immediately.

Nutrition per serving (for a one cup serving):

  • Calories: 450   • Fat: 24g • Carbohydrates: 45g • Fibre: 5g • Protein: 14g • Sugar: 2g • Sodium: 280mg • Cholesterol: 5mg
Elysia, XOXO