Monday, April 28, 2014

Four Seasons Inspired Vegan Lunch

Today I had a delicious, healthy, and colourful vegan lunch that was also super easy to make. There's four parts to it inspired by the different seasons. Here's how to make each of them.

Spring - Cucumber Avocado Rolls
Slice a regular size cucumber lenght wise with a potato peeler to get those thin long layers. On the side, smash one to two avocados and add lime juice, salt, chopped parsley, and pepper to taste. Mix it all together and spread on the long cucumber layers individually. Roll them up and enjoy!

Summer - Tomato and Peppers Salad
This one is the simplest part of the dish but it adds a pop of colour and a lot of freshness to your meal. Simply chop two tomatoes and four sweet peppers of different colours and mix. They're so good by themselves, no dressing is needed!

Fall - Fried Tofu with Sea Salt
Slice tofu in small cubes, about half an inch in height and one inch on the sides.  On a frying pan at medium heat, add some canola oil so it covers the whole surface. Wait until the oil is hot to pour the tofu pieces. Wait between 10 to 15 min on each side or until golden before taking them out to dry on a paper towel. I like pressing them against it to remove the extra oil. Sprinkle with some sea salt to finish!

Winter - Lemony Mushrooms
Pour a bit of vegetable oil on a frying pan and add sliced white mushrooms. Let them cook for about 5 to 7 minutes. Squeeze a medium size lemon on top (or half if its really big), and sprinkle some salt, pepper,  parsley, basil, and onion powder to taste. I also add a little bit of olive oil at this point. Mix and let it continue cooking on low for another 5 to 7 minutes. You can serve them with a lemon wedge on the side.

Bon appétit!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Avocado Blackberry Salad

This was my super delicious vegan and healthy lunch today, which I made in 5 minutes, literally. To make it, just make a baby aurugula base (which you can replace with baby spinach, lettuce, mixed greens, etc), add 1 yummy sliced avocado, 1 sliced mini cucumber, and blackberries, almonds, and toasted sunflower seeds to your taste. Finish with your favourite dressing, I used a raspberry infused vinagre, and you're done. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Exploring Reykjavik

My fiance and I decided to take a short pre-honeymoon to Iceland for a week. Reykjavik is a beautiful city filled with colourful houses, sea side views, and kind people. We found the cutest café with vegan food (yummy chili and carrot cake for dessert), which made our first day even more special.  Below are some Instagram photos from our first day, but there are many more to come!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

DIY Pillow Covers

Another one of my Christmas projects was making these nice pillow covers for my friends. I bought pre-made plain pillow covers from Ikea (around $6 each), but you can make your own with the fabric of your choice.

For the quote I used black fabric paint and my letter hand-made stamps (to learn how to make your own stamps, click here). Using a small brush I applied the paint onto the stamps and then placed them, one by one, on the pillow. Make sure to lightly trace where the letters are going to go with a pencil first, that way your lines will be straight and you won't run out of space in the middle of a word. You can also use letter stencils if you don't have stamps (learn how to apply stencils, here). After you are done applying the paint, let it dry, and then iron with another piece of fabric in between. This will seal the paint onto the fabric.

For the elephant string detail, flip your cover inside out and trace the shape or silhouette of your design with a pencil on the space you want it to go. Using needle and string, simply make your string travel from different intersection points throughout the border of the design. Make sure to keep your fabric stretched at all times, so you'll have a nice flat surface afterwards.

You can choose to do the string design first and then place the quote around the design, or write the text first and then make the design in the space that's left. Either way works.

You can also use the letter stamps in different ways. One of my co-workers liked this project so much, she asked me to stamp the names of her family members interconnecting each other, "Scrabble" style.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Cute Wrapping Using Stamps

This will be a short post, as is more of an inspirational than instructional post. I love using my stamps to decorate cards and gifts, and here are some of the gifts I have given out lately, so you can be inspired. To learn how to make your own stamps, you can visit that post here. Enjoy!

These cute packages actually contained name stamps I made for my little cousins, I used those same stamps to mark the packages!

I also used different stamps to mark the following packages, and I added bows, paper feathers, and washi tape to make them look nicer.

Finally, I also used stamps to mark envelopes, like I did here for my friend Erin on her birthday!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Stamp Collection

I thought I'd share my stamp collection to inspire you to make your own stamps. If you want to learn how to make some, simply follow my tutorial here.

My stamp designs come from different inspirations, from designs I've seen on Pinterest, to paintings in museums, to my own crazy imagination.

I hope you like them and get to create some awesome stamps!

Vegan (Duck) Apple Pie

There's no ducks involved in this recipe, except for the cute ones made of crust covering the top of this delicious vegan apple pie. It is one of my most coveted recipes, and I must say every time I make this pie it disappears within hours. I also make it with whole wheat flour and minimal sugar, so it ends up being healthier than most!

This recipe is good for three small pies (9" diameter pans). You will need:

For the crust,
- 2 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour
- 2 sticks (16 tbsp) of Earth Balance
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- Ice-cold water

For the filling,
- About 9 medium apples, any kind, although I like honeycrisp apples
- Nutmeg
- Cloves
- Cinnamon
- Whole wheat flour

To make the crust,

Mix all the crust ingredients thoroughly except for the water in a large bowl. After you have a nice consistency, slowly pour some of the cold water and mix. This will help the dough become more sticky and less dry. Add more water as necessary until you have a nice doughy consistency. Divide the dough in six equal parts and put them in the fridge for one hour.

To make the filling,

In the meantime, peel and slice your apples in nice thin wedges and put in a bowl. Sprinkle them with a bit of nutmeg, cinnamon, powdered cloves, and the whole wheat flour. Mix lightly until all apples are covered with some of these ingredients.

Now combine,

Preheat your oven to 425 °F. Take one of the pieces of dough and flatten in a circular shape. This will be the bottom of your pie. Place it in one of the 9" circular pans and make sure it covers all its surface, from the centre up to the borders. Place a third of the sliced apples inside in a nice concentric way, starting on the outside and making your way to the center. Then take out another of the pieces of dough, flatten, and using a cookie cutter in any shape (I used ducks -above- and stars -below-) start cutting the dough and placing it on top of the apples. Keep flattening and re-using the dough until you use it all up. Repeat these steps with the other four pieces of dough and extra apple slices to make two more pies. Sprinkle the top with a bit of brown sugar before placing in the oven for 45 minutes or until golden. Once it is done, let cool for about 10 minutes before you dig in. Enjoy!