Tag Archives: homemade

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

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

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

The first scarf I knitted 

I read on Reddit that a good beginner site was Row House and for me it was perfect. 

I chose my first project ever, following a simple pattern. I chose to do the stockinette stitch scarf. 

I chose a cheap acrylic yarn because I was still learning. As I work through this scarf, which took a couple weeks, I learned a little about wools and yarns from a friend of mine who is an experienced knitter. 

Then I did my own research but this exercise for me wasn’t about the quality of the piece. It was purely a learning experience. An opportunity for growth. 


I used what I learned to make this cute little scarf. It has a border.


I made a few mistakes along the way. And I learned a lot during this project. I learned how to correct my mistakes.

And the scarf kept getting longer and longer. The yard is the type that changes from color to color so it became interesting to knit. I was looking forward to seeing what the next color would be and what the finished product would look like. It kept me going.


The yarn was called Bernat pop! In color Ebony and Ivory.


And so after a couple of weeks I completed my very first project. A scarf! I think a scarf is a perfect project for a beginner. Because it helps you to learn the stitches over and over again. And it seals in that knowledge!


xxSerena

My new hobby is knitting! 

I have been a knitter since March 14, 2017!

I started by learning how to knit with two pens by my work neighbor and coworker and dear friend Kathie:


She taught me the knit stitch, which is the basic stitch in knitting. It was not easy for me to learn this! I did still stumble quite a bit. 

But she gave me homework. So I practiced and practiced after I finally got it with just some cheap medium sized yarn and medium sized needles from Walmart:


And I taught myself how to find off, or cast off, make a slipknot, purl, and then began learning how to correct my mistakes.


And this was the beginning of my knitting adventure!

Stay tuned for more posts! 

xxSerena

Marinated chicken with potatoes 

In accordance with my marination series I will now announce my second marinade! 

It is garlic herb seasoning and extra virgin olive oil. 


It wasn’t bad. I could definitely taste the marinade because I left it on overnight and it was very garlicky.

This time I decided to boil some diced red potatoes to eat with the chicken.


I decided to cook some diced onions, add the chicken and then eat over the boiled potatoes. I did need to add some mustard and sweet chili sauce for chicken. 

I diced the chicken too: 


Turned out pretty good. In the middle of my cooking, I got a very exciting package from FedEx, delivered priority overnight:


But that’s a tale for another day. Let’s get back to that chicken, shall we?!?


So filling. Totally boring compared with all the yummy stuff out there but it’s lean, helps muscle growth and aids fat loss! 

xxSerena 

Marinating organic chicken breasts meal prep

I finally found a pack of organic chicken breasts at Costco. 


I decided to divide the pack into three. Two chicken breasts per freezer ziplock bags. 

I washed them, dried them and marinated the first two in freshly dried basil, extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. 


Chicken breasts are versatile since you can eat them or cook them so many different ways. I will share with you the other two marinades in future blog posts.

For the basil, extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar marinade I decided to pan fry the breasts after marinating for eight hours.

Then I served over chopped greens and a quinoa kale mixture.


I made an extra serving for lunch at work the next day.


It was good. Next time I will add half an avocado and a extra drizzle of balsamic for more healthy fat and flavour. 

What’s your favourite marinade for chicken breasts? Look for future blogs to see how I marinated the other two servings! 

xxSerena 

Easy classic chili recipe 

Everyone loves chili.

If you’re vegetarian or just want a break, just omit the meat and add chopped fresh peppers, portobello mushrooms, or … What else would go well in a steaming hot bowl of delicious and healthy chili? Leave a comment and let me know!

Note please, this recipe has beans in it so if you are a purist than stay away from this recipe. Don’t look!

Ingredients:

1-1.5 lbs ground beef
1 large chopped onion
1 pack chili seasoning mix
1 can passata or diced tomatoes
1 jar tomato sauce
2 cups of water
1 can white kidney beans
1 can red kidney beans
1 cup fresh mushrooms, quartered
1 can corn

Directions:

  1. Brown beef and onions together. Medium high heat.
  2. Add can and jar of tomato sauce, drained beans, seasoning pack, mushrooms, corn and water.
  3. Simmer for one hour, stirring every 10 to 15 minutes. Low heat. Covered.

And voila! This chilli can last the week in the fridge but it probably won’t last that long because it is so delicious. It will get better with time because the flavours will begin to combine and the chili will thicken. Great toppings for this is plain Greek yogurt, sour cream, cheese, chopped green onion or hot sauce.

Calories? This chili has about 250 calories per cup, loads of fibre from the beans and corn, about 22 grams of protein, about 9 grams of fat and about 23 grams of carbohydrate.

Brown beef and onions over medium/high heat for about 10-15 minutes until all beef is cooked. If you wish drain some fat after this step. All photography in this blog by @serenapeace (Instagram)
I used this seasoning packet but you don’t have to! Use a mixture of 1 teaspoon cumin powder, one teaspoon red chili powder, one teaspoon minced garlic and one teaspoon ginger if you like instead! If you want a smoky taste, you can also add liquid smoke or Worcestershire sauce (a teaspoon of each or more to taste!)
Love the simple directions to make chili on the back! Even though this packet said hot and spicy it wasn’t especially hot or spicy but added a great flavor to the chili!
I use one can of diced tomatoes and one jar of spaghetti sauce in my pot of chili. I add water to the jar/can and swish it around to get the last bits of tomato into the chili! Add more beans or different beans if you wish here! I also add one can of canned corn. Notice the face of a murderer in the background since I love to watch Dateline with Keith Morrison as I cook!!
MMMMmmm mushrooms. If you don’t like, add peppers. I like mushrooms!
Canned diced tomatoes work the best in chili for some reason.
First time using a flavor packet; I’m glad I did! Taste was awesome.
After half an hour of cooking. Still not ready but I couldn’t resist a taste at this point.

I topped mine with Greek yogurt but try sour cream or cheese if you wish!

 

 


The chili will thicken as it stands so it would also be delicious over rice or pasta.


Let me know how you like it!

xxSerena

Fat-burning cabbage vegetable kombu soup 

After a week of eating out, shovelling in the delicious savoury cooked delights that my city has to offer…

 

I decided I need a break.
When I’m serious about it, losing a few pounds and getting back to normal, I make either a mung bean lentil soup or a cabbage-based soup.

I decided to make a cabbage soup with a crown of broccoli, a chopped red onion, two strips of kombu, celery, carrots and some vegetable bouillon. 


I bought the seaweed in dried squares, added it into the soup like an herb bouquet, and then threw it out after it had been in the soup for a few hours.

Are used to to make my batch but I realize now that you only need one because it swells up and expands. The reason for the seaweed is that it adds great benefits to the broth.

The recipe is easy. I started with only a teaspoon of olive oil, chopped small red onion, 10 black peppercorns, about 10 fennel seeds and they cooked that for about 5 to 10 minutes. Then I added the chopped celery and carrot.


Then came the cabbage, broccoli and the water, of which I added enough to fill the pot, probably 8 to 10 cups.


Then I added the combo seaweed and one vegetable flavouring pack, in the form of a gel. 


I simmered the soup for 20 to 25 minutes and then added fresh herbs. I used thyme, sage, Italian parsley and some rosemary.


Drink as much soup as you can, exercise, sleep well, drink lots of water, go for massage and feel better!

xxSerena