Potato mozzarella spinach bake

It’s a healthy casserole! Of course I still did use extra-virgin olive oil and mozzarella cheese so it’s not vegan but it’s vegetarian and it’s totally delicious.

Ingredients:

8 potatoes diced and boiled
1/2 frozen block chopped spinach (or one bag if using fresh)
5 cloves roasted garlic
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2/3 ball mozzarella
14 organic baby tomatoes
One handful basil
Oregano, salt, pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Roast garlic and keep aside
  2. Boil potatoes for 15 minutes, add frozen spinach last five minutes of cooking, drain, add a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and stir
  3. Greased casserole dish, are used olive oil, add half the potatoes and spinach mixture, add roasted garlic, half of mozzarella slices and half of fresh basil
  4. Top with remaining potato mixture, top with sliced baby tomatoes, salt, pepper, basil and oregano. Top with the rest of mozzarella and a drizzle of olive oil
  5. Bake, covered, in a 400° oven for 25 minutes, then another five minutes uncovered

Damn homie. In high school you was the maaaaann homie. If you got the rap throwback let me know in the comments!

So how do you roast garlic, you may ask? Well keep the skin on the garlic cloves and put them in a pan with olive oil and swirl it around for about 5 to 8 minutes under medium low heat. Then fish out the garlic and let it cool. The olive oil in the pan will be scented with garlic. After the cloves are cool they will pop out of their skins like butter. I chopped the soft garlic and added it to a layer of the bake.


I love having a fresh basil plant in the house! I bought one a few weeks ago and love having fresh basil on hand whenever I need.


The mozzarella ball I bought looked like this:

The assembly before the oven:

And of course I added hot sauce. Sometimes I wonder if the reason I make these types of dishes are so that I can add Tabasco. Tabasco is hands down my favorite hot sauce ever :)))))) I should own shares in the company.

With starchy foods like pasta or potatoes a few drops of Tabasco highlights the food and takes it up a notch. And it was so good with this casserole.


This dish was delicious and I will definitely make it again or a version of it again. Highly recommend! It can be used as a side dish, or just a delicious dinner on it’s own!

xxSerena

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3 types of Oatmeal breakfast prep 

Oatmeal is one of those super foods when you want to slim down the belly fat. 


So on Sunday I made three servings of organic slow rolled oats, which I cooked in water with half a teaspoon of turmeric and salt. 


Why Tumeric?


I added a psyllium husk and flax seed mixture to this, about 1 tablespoon. I also added 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and one ripe banana while it cooked. 


No sugar. No milk. I cooked about a cup of oats in 2 cups of water for about 10 minutes under medium heat.

Why cinnamon?


I have to say it tasted pretty great. To the first warm bowl I added 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter.


I used the rest of the cooked oatmeal to prepare breakfast for work in advance. 

Added one nectarine:


Added pear:


Preparing the rolled oats this way allowed me to keep my breakfast clean with no added sugar.

I’ll warm these batches up in the microwave and the natural sugars from the fruit will be good enough for me!

xxSerena

Zesty oil free vegan delicious dressing 

I finally made a dressing that I wanted to try for a while, it’s featured on http://www.theveganroad.com and it’s called is their zesty tahini oil free dressing.

Here’s the recipe:


I added more green onions then called for and I also added more garlic, but I think it’s best to stick to the recipe! Even though I had a lot of garlic onion flavor this dressing was awesome. 

My plan is to go buy a big bag of super greens and just enjoy this dressing with it. Also, this dressing goes along way. Use a little and it’ll coat your food well.

It blended well in my Nutri bullet:


 


Today I added it to three diced boiled red potatoes, one can of colorful chickpeas and one diced pan fried (no oil) zucchini:


It was so good. This week my goal is to cut out added sugar.

xxSerena 

My delicious adventures in homemade vegan sushi

I’ve been making sushi. No bamboo roll mat needed, no fish, just fresh rice, avocado, sesame seeds, wasabi, seaweed sheets and a lot of love!


These maki rolls are delicious, healthy, affordable, cruelty free and fun to make.

I bought a package of 10 roasted sushi sheets at my supermarket for about two bucks. I bought a bag of my favorite rice, some rice wine vinegar, wasabi, some sesame seeds and the rest is just your fillings.


Don’t put hot rice on your seaweed sheets, wait for it to be room temperature and then spread it on the seaweed sheet with a plastic spoon.


I added some rice wine vinegar to my rice and stirred it in. You leave the top inch with no rice so you can spread some water on it with fingers as you roll up.


You put your fillings in the middle and roll. I got it on my first try but they say it takes practice. So easy, delicious and super healthy!


I discovered how to do this by watching YouTube videos by High Carb Hannah and Cheap Lazy Vegan. Love both those channels!

It’s a great vegan lunch or dinner, and so fun to make! I’ve made these sushi rolls twice now and they were delicious until the last piece! I drink a cold homemade elderflower Italian soda with my vegan sushi.


xxSerena

Are mini salads the start to significant weight loss? 

It’s happened to all of us I think, whether work gets too busy so you decrease your workouts, maybe the birth of his child leads you to sleep less so work out less, or you put on those “I’m in love” pounds. 

However we get there, all of a sudden we realize we’re suddenly five or 10 pounds overweight!

I think the real success is the realization that you did gain five or 10 pounds. Because at that point, it’s doable.  It can be caught and tended to. 

One thing I did was start eating one small salad, extra, a day. And what I did was a few things: regulated my taste buds, made me crave less sugar fat or salt, added fiber to my diet so I felt more full, and reminded me that I needed to watch what I was eating. The salad looked a little something like this:


I think the trick is to make it small, very easy to make, very minimal ingredients, so that you can make it fast and it’s not a huge thing. 

All I did was chop up half a head of romaine and a quarter of a pepper.


And then I made the dressing: Half a teaspoon of olive oil, a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, dried Greek seasoning, a teaspoon of fresh salsa, and a quarter teaspoon of turmeric/salt.

That’s it! 

I found a little container that keeps the dressing separate from the salad and keeps the salad cool. It’s good I like it for a small salad, but any container will do.


Would you add a small salad to your diet every day for a week? Have you before? Do you think it’s a good idea or not?

xxSerena

How I felt after my morning goji berry tea

I had a great morning, visiting and staying with my brother in Montreal this week.

He’s got loads of healthy food so I tried Goji berry tea for the very first time.

It was so easy to make, just took an ounce or two of goji berries put them in a mug and put some warm to hot water on top.


The tea was good, the goji berries became softer as they sat in the hot water, and I have to say I really do feel different! I feel good, energized! My skin is tingling, and I feel like I got some energy. I drank this in the morning, fasted, and soon we will go out to brunch. 

Here are some benefits:


xxSerena

The joys of running

I’ve been running lately, thanks to that group of dear friends you know who you are, who are challenging me to Fitbit challenges. I’ve got a love/hate relationship with running, I hate it in every which way but loves the happiness it gives me, how it makes me feel about myself and I love how my body responds to the work.


Here are 5 joys running has given me this month:

  1. It makes my sleep AMAZZZINGGG… I dream well, I sleep soundly and I fall asleep fast! Sometimes, as soon as my head hits the pillow, I’m out. A massage therapist once told me once about the pineal gland, and how if you clean it out with a short juice fast you begin to dream better.. which leads me to my next point …
  2. My dreams are as interesting and vivid as good movies. Perhaps the fact that I’m running and pushing my body to metabolize quickly; push blood through my body faster, process oxygen quicker, make my heart step out of its box, etc. is in a way cleansing my body, battling against dull/slow/groggy movement of blood? Maybe my pineal gland, some say responsible for vivid dreams, is getting cleaned out in the process? I don’t know, but I like it.
  3. It reminds me I’m strong. The strength the body feels when it’s pushing to the limits reminds me of my inner strength. It reminds me I can do anything I put my mind to.
  4. It makes me very sharp. My brain, my eyesight, my speed .. all is quicker, it’s “revving” like an engine of a sports car or something. I feel as though I can do something quickly, with a good quality, I’m “all there” .. as opposed to groggy or slow … which brings me to my last point …
  5. It keeps me in the moment. Running forces me to stay in the present moment. I’m focused on the step of that very second, so even though thoughts can come into my mind during my run, I practice, successfully, how to stay in the moment, and enjoy the health I have today.


Do you run? What’s been your experiences with running?

 

xxSerena

Big Loop blanket by Loopy Mango

100% merino wool from upstate New York, this big loop blanket is absolutely gorgeous.

The skiens are large; you can hold them in two hands, and each one is handspun & hand dyed.


I needed this big blanket at one of the yarn stores here in Calgary, Stash Lounge. The class cost of $250 and came with the skien of yarn, which cost $245 CAN. Our instructor, Chantal, was amazing.

I chose the color heather grey. I won’t be making another for myself because I realized only after I made it I”m allergic to wool! With direct contact my skin gets really itchy!

In class we got to learn about the wool and how to take care of the blanket, and got started. It took about 5 hours to make and today I’m giving it to my mum for mother’s day!

xxS

 

Making dryer balls

I heard so many good things about dryer balls. The first time I heard about them was on a blog. I thought dryer balls would be perfect for me because I wanted to get away from using Bounce sheets.

I read about the benefits of using a wool felted dryer ball in your wash instead of a chemical fabric softener: left irritants for your skin, dries your clothes faster so no waste of energy, remove static cling and makes your clothes softer.

So to make dryer balls, first I learned how to roll wool into a ball from watching YouTube. 

Then I bought the 100% wool. It has to be 100%.

I put small folded old socks in the middle of the ball to make the balls bigger. 


Then I got some old pantyhose so the balls would stay round as they felted in the first three washes. 


So now I am happy to say I won’t be buying Bounce sheets anymore but will be using wool dryer balls! 

Have you heard of dryer balls? If you have any questions leave them in the comment section!

xxSerena 

The first hat I knitted

I made a hat! I made a hat using circular needles, my first time! My first project using circular needles was easier than I thought. 

To prepare I watched a bunch of YouTube videos a few times. I was excited to start and I knitted the hat in an afternoon.


Excuse the lighting, it was an extremely sunny spring day.

Despite the sun, however, it was chilly outside and my newly acquired allergies were in full bloom.


My only mistake was I meant to make it bigger for someone else’s head. But it turned out too small. So instead it was a hat for me.


xxSerena

Health, eating for abs, fitness, natural beauty secrets

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