Sleep Training and Sesame Avocado Boats

Another day of Mom and Baby Bootcamp and it was HOT out! Burpees and bunny hops in 30C weather. Fun times.

I was at my parents’ for the weekend, as the husband was in BC for work. It helps to have extra hands to help out during the day with Baby Boy. Every time I go to my parents’, I seem to learn a new way to soothe him. My mom just seems to have the magic touch. So this weekend was no different. I learned a new way to hold him when he needs soothing, looking outwards and on his side. We walked around my parents’ garden and looked at plants and trees, and he loved it. Sleep time was pretty good as well, and I’m currently following the gentle method of sleep training from the Sleep Lady. I know that every baby is different, and not all methods work for all babies, but Baby Boy seems to be responding really well to this method. There were a few instructions that I avoided because I thought would be too tough to do, like not letting him sleep in the swing, or putting him down drowsy but awake. Once I tried it though, it wasn’t that bad, and the results have been really great. He slept all night a couple of nights ago, and last night he slept from 9:30pm to 4am, fed him, then back to bed until 7:30am. Not bad. And finally in his crib! I was getting worried, as he was outgrowing his bassinet fast. We’ll see how he does tonight.

On to dinner. I stopped by the fishmonger on my way home from bootcamp and grabbed some wild sockeye salmon for dinner. I made a cumin and spicy mango chutney crust, alongside asparagus with a honey lime vinaigrette. I subbed basil in for the mint. Yum. We started off with sesame avocado boats as appetizers–so tasty! The boston lettuce leaves are so delicate and buttery you have to try it. This recipe was an adaptation of Kimberly Snyder’s lettuce wraps.

Sesame Avocado Boats

Serves 2

  • 8 boston lettuce leaves
  • 1 avocado
  • 8 green olives
  • 1 tbsp tamari sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds

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Cut the avocado into cubes, place in a bowl and drizzle the tamari sauce and sesame oil over it. Fill the leaves with the avocado mixture, add an olive to each lettuce, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. That’s it! Hope you enjoy them.

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Sleepless Nights and Coconut Bliss Smoothie

Today we started off our day with a Mom & Baby Bootcamp. We’ve had some pretty good nights lately, even a full night sleep once (yay!), but of course, last night was a bit tougher. Baby Boy woke up at midnight for a feeding but had some trouble falling back asleep. I’m convinced this happens on the days I have coffee. So I’ll be avoiding caffeine again. So waking up this morning was a bit tough, but I had to push and get us out the door for bootcamp. It was a tough workout, but I feel so amazing once it’s done! An after workout smoothie topped it all off. This smoothie is delish and is an adaptation of Kimberly Snyder’s summer smoothie. Enjoy!

Coconut Bliss Smoothie

Serves 1 9605_1405526027

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup green grapes
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 tbsp shredded dried coconut
  • 1 tsp bee pollen granules

Combine all ingredients in your blender and blend away!

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Breakfast and a Sweet Potato Salad

Last night was a toughie–Baby Boy woke up at 3:30am for a feeding, which was great because that gave us a 6hr stretch of sleep, but he wouldn’t go back to sleep for hours! By the time we got him to sleep, we were wide awake and it took us another hour or so to fall back asleep. Sigh. Tis life with a 3 month old! So of course, I woke up tired and didn’t go to my Mom & Baby bootcamp. But I’m hoping I can catch a nap today and do Day 2 of the DailyHIIT 30-day challenge. I did Day 1 yesterday and it was definitely tough, but you keep going knowing that it’s only for 12min. Gotta get that body back!

Once I changed and dressed Baby Boy, I put him in his little reclining chair and made a quick breakfast–egg in a hole! It’s a super quick breakfast, easy to make, and the toast actually makes it easier to flip the egg. Start with a slice of toast and use a wide glass to cut out a hole.

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Heat some coconut oil in a small frying pan, place the toast in the pan, and crack an egg in the hole.

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Easy peasy! I ate my toast with some pickled hot pepper slices and honey mustard. And can’t forget about my nursing tea either.

IMG_2900Next up: Kimberly Snyder’s recipe challenge–making my own version of her sweet potato salad.

Sweet Potato Salad with Cashew Sauce

Serves 4

  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1-inch chunks 9484_1404853083
  • 1/4 red onion, diced into small pieces
  • 1 small yellow pepper, diced into small pieces
  • 1/2 batch of my cashew sauce

Steam the sweet potato chunks until soft. I usually cook the potatoes in about 1-inch of water in a pot, boil, then simmer for about 15min. Place the potatoes in a bowl, add onion and yellow pepper, and mix in the cashew sauce. Serve at room temperature.

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Enjoy!

Kale, Quinoa, & Sweet Potato Salad

Another week, another adaptation of a Kimberly Snyder recipe. One of my favourite combos is kale and garlic. They are delicious sautéed together as a side, or mixed in with other ingredients, like I did below.

Kale, Quinoa, & Sweet Potato Salad

Serves 2-4

  • 1 cup dried quinoa
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and diced into 1-inch pieces 9264_1403711070
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups water
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tbsp pure sesame oil
  • 2 tsp tamari
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Pinch hot pepper flakes
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 small bunch kale, stems removed, leaves torn into small pieces

Combine quinoa, sweet potato, salt, pepper, and water to a small pot. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and let simmer for 20min.

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Meanwhile, combine lemon juice, sesame oil, honey, tamari, and hot pepper flakes in a small jar and shake vigorously. Set aside. Smash the garlic cloves into a puree.

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In a large frying pan, melt the coconut oil over medium heat and add the garlic. Stir for 30sec and add kale. Sauté over low heat for about 4min, until the kale turns a bright green.

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Comine the quinoa mixture, dressing, and kale into a bowl. Serve as a side for 4 people or as a main meal for 2. This salad is delicious served warm or at room temperature.

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Cucumber, Corn, & Radish Salad

We had some crazy weather last night–torrential downpour, thunderstorm, and no power for 5 hours. Of course this happens on the night friends were coming over for a BBQ. In the end, it all worked out and a BBQ in the dark was actually pretty fun! I prepared some steaks, shrimps marinated in a chili-garlic-orange sauce, Kimberly Snyder’s quinoa, avocado, and corn salad, grilled asparagus and peppers, homemade lemonade, and vanilla ice cream with sprinkled Skor bits. Deelish!

I snacked on this cucumber salad while preparing the food for the BBQ, which was part of Kimberly Snyder’s blog assignment. I hope you like it!

Cucumber, Corn, & Radish Salad8161_1402713396

Serves 1-2

  • 2 middle eastern cucumbers, sliced
  • 1/2 cup frozen organic corn, thawed
  • 4 radishes, sliced
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • Pink Himalayan salt, to taste
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds

Combine the cucumbers, corn, and radish in a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients to the vegetables.

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Mix, and enjoy!

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Salmon Skewers

It’s BBQ season! That means less dishes and enjoying our patio more! Our first patio dinner consisted of salmon skewers and grilled veggies. Baby hung out in his chair and let the hubby and I eat, just like the good old days! This is a super easy and quick recipe, perfect for a weeknight.

Salmon Skewers

  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dried dill
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1 lb wild salmon, skin removed and cut into 1-inch pieces

Combine the lemon juice, olive oil, dill, garlic, and pepper in a bowl and stir in salmon. Marinate in the fridge for 15 minutes.

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Remove salmon from the marinade and thread the pieces on thick wooden skewers. Grill for about 10 minutes, or until the salmon flakes easily. You can baste the salmon throughout with the remaining marinade. The hubby likes his fish well cooked, so we leave it on the BBQ for a little bit longer. Depends on how you like it. Serve with a side of grilled vegetables.

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Spicy Roasted Vegetables

There’s nothing better than walking around a farmer’s market in your hood, on a warm sunny day. That’s just what the hubby, baby, and I did. I get so inspired by all the fresh produce!

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This week I adapted a Kimberly Snyder recipe using some market produce.

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Spicy Roasted Vegetables

  • 2 small onions, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 3 small sunchokes, scraped and cut into small chunks
  • 2 small purple potatoes, cut into small chunks
  • 2 beets, peeled and cut into small chunks (I used rainbow beets!)
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp Jaffna hot curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 3 tbsp basil, sliced

Preheat the oven to 350F. Place all the ingredients in a roasting pan, except the last 3 ingredients.

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Roast in the oven for 2hrs, or until desired doneness. Take the vegetables out of the oven and sprinkle to the last 3 ingredients; mix well.

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You can play around with the vegetables–use what you have. You can also decrease the amount of curry powder, as it is SPICY!

Enjoy!

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Soup on a rainy day

I recently tried a breakfast ‘cookie’ from a blog my friend sent me. They were super simple to make and so good that I have to share. I used dairy-free, dark chocolate chips. My friend makes them without the chocolate chips and feeds them to her 1-year old son–apparently easier than feeding him oatmeal with a spoon.

On to the weekly recipe. There’s really nothing better to make on a cloudy and rainy day than soup. This warming soup has a light spicy kick to it. Feel free to omit or increase the cayenne pepper.

What to do with the rest of the tomato paste if you open a can? Spoon the rest on plastic wrap and roll it up like a log, folding the ends over. Freeze. Whenever you need some tomato paste, let it sit out of the freezer for just a few minutes and chop off as much as you need before placing it back in the freezer. So convenient!

Spicy red lentil soup Makes 8 servings

  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 7 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1.5 cups dry red lentils, rinsed
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 400 mL almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and cook stirring for 5 minutes, or until softened. Stir in cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper and stir for another minute. Mix in the flour.

Stir in broth, lentils, tomato paste, and bay leaf. Cover and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes. Remove the bay leaf.

With an immersion blender, blend the soup a bit, but not completely. Leave a bit of chunkiness for texture. Stir in the milk and simmer for another 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. If you’re using store-bought broth, you may not need to add additional salt.

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Enjoy!

Pineapple cherry smoothie

It’s still freezing in Toronto, but I’m ready for some tropical flavour.

Pineapple cherry smoothie (serves 1 generously!)

  • 1.5 cups unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 cup frozen pitted cherries
  • 1/3 cup dried coconut flakes
  • 3 small pitted dried dates

Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Yum!!

Tropical flavour

I’ve been MIA

So I’ve been away a while. I’ve been working hard on my dissertation and I can see the end. Which is AMAZING! I’ll be taking some time off the blog to focus on completing my PhD, and will be back with a vengeance! Stay tuned for delicious plant-based recipes!