Pink Power Smoothie

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We all know that there is only one thing that gets a smoothie this pink right - beets! Now, love them or hate them, they are might pretty.

Growing up beets were a staple in our house, though they were mainly used in borsch - which I hated. So needless to say it wasn’t one of those ingredients that I was drawn to when I first started doing my own grocery shopping, that is until I had roasted beets. They are so sweet yet full of earthy flavour, I was instantly hooked.

Now speaking of borsch - have you guys tried it? I am disappointed in myself to admit that I haven't had it since I was a kid, soooo, perhaps the time has come and that needs to be my next beet adventure. I mean it does have everything in it that I love, so in theory, it should be the perfect meal for me.

But getting back to this show-stopping smoothie. I mean can you imagine giving this to your significant-other first thing in the morning? It sure beats the classic unfortunate green colour that so many smoothies end up being. But the one thing you need to know with this smoothie - it tastes like beets. So if you are expecting a smoothie that just looks like beets and doesn’t taste like them, this one isn’t for you. I also highly recommend prepping your beets in advance so your not waiting 30 minutes before you can blend up your smoothie.

So if you are looking for a way to make your morning's more beautiful blend this up - because how can you not smile when you drinking something that looks like this!

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prep time 10 minutes

cook time 30 minutes

total time 40 minutes

servings 2

Ingredients

1 large beet

1 frozen banana

1 cup fresh or frozen pineapple

splash of vanilla

1 tbsp honey

1/2 cup coconut milk

Ice - optional

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400. Cut and peel your beet then wrap in tinfoil. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until fork tender. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

In a high powdered blender place frozen banana, pineapple, vanilla, honey coconut milk and cooled beet. Blend on high speed for 1-2 minutes or until smooth (ice can be added in at this step as well if desired).

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Crispy Gnocchi Green Bean Salad

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Happy Monday Everyone! If you're in Canada on this beautiful Monday you are enjoying the last long weekend of summer! It’s the last holiday of the summer and usually comes when you really feel like you need it!

But if you’re not lucky enough to have a long weekend at least it’s a beautiful Monday right! Plus, you can always whip up this salad, because this salad embraces all the things that I love about summer, yet it really more than just a salad. I mean seriously, how often do you have a salad that is topped off with crispy gnocchi!

So I’m not going to lie - this salad is a bit involved - but it is totally worth it. The dressing is out of this world with lemon, pesto and shallots - and if you can find fresh peas to top this whole thing you will be in for an even bigger treat!

So what are you guys doing to take in every last minute of summer? Beach days, bonfires, picnics in the park? No matter what you have planned it should probably involve a beautiful summer salad, and even if it’s not a holiday for you, it’s totally ok to plan for the weekend of Mondays right?

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prep time 15 minutes

cook time 1 hour

total time 1 hour 15 minutes

servings 6

Ingredients

1 lb green beans

1/2 lb broccolini

2 cobs of corn

2 radishes

3 carrots thinly sliced

1 cup fresh peas (shelled)

1 lb gnocchi

olive oil

salt + pepper

1/2 shallot

2 cloves of garlic

1/2 lemon

1 tbsp pesto

1/4 cup olive oil

Instructions

In a small bowl place finely chopped shallots, garlic, juice of 1/2 lemon, pesto, olive oil and salt + pepper - whisk to combine then set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil then add in corn and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the water then place in a very hot pan to char. Once the corn is blackened carefully cut the corn off of the cobs then set aside.

Coat the bottom of a large skillet with olive oil then add in green beans and sauté for 5-6 minutes or until for tender - but still have a bit of crunch. Remove from the pan and set aside.

To the same pan add in broccolini that has been cut into bit sized pieces. Sauté until the broccolini is cooked similar to the green beans then set aside separate from the beans.

To the pan add in gnocchi and fry until gnocchi is crispy and tender.

While the gnocchi is cooking prep your salad. In a large bowl place cooked beans and half the dressing. Toss then layer the beans into a bowl or serving tray. Put broccolini in the bowl and add remaining dressing and toss. Put on top of the green beans then finish with thinly sliced radishes, corn, sliced carrots and fresh peas. Top with crispy gnocchi and serve immediately.

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Mediterranean Pasta with Shrimp + Feta

Quick and Easy Pasta that is full of all the mediterranean flavours that we all love!

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So sometimes you just need dinner to be ready super quickly right! Now, while you can always open a jar of pasta sauce and toss it over some noodles why would you do that when you can make this Mediterranean Pasta in no time at all!

So here’s the thing - the most time-consuming part of this dish is waiting for things to marinade! So literally you can be sitting on the patio with a glass of wine while this is happening, or of course, running around like a crazy person getting all of the millions of things done that are always on that darn to-do list. But either way - when your ready to start cooking, this meal will be on your plate in less than 30 minutes - how great is that!

Now, this isn’t your traditional saucy pasta, but it does pack a lot of punch when it comes to flavour, so I promise you, you won’t miss the sauce one bit. Plus, it feels lighter and “healthier” which is what we're all looking for in the summer right?

The other thing to talk about - pasta water. Have you guys been keeping a cup of your starchy water to help bring your pasta sauce together? If you haven't, you are seriously missing out. It is the perfect way to add extra seasoning (because you're salting your water right) as well as to thicken it all up and brings it all together. Honestly, if you're not doing this start, I promise you will never go back!

So next time you're in a big hurry or you are just feeling like you need something super simple yet flavourful whip this up - it’s fancy enough to serve guests yet simple enough for any night of the week!

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prep time 20 minutes + 2 hours to marinade

cook time 20 minutes

total time 40 minutes + 2 hours to marinade

servings 4 - 6

Ingredients

1 lb shrimp - peeled + deveined with the tail off

4 cloves of garlic

1/2 cup white wine

1 lemon

1 - 8oz jar of sun-dried tomatoes

1 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1 lb cherry tomatoes

1/2 cup fresh parsley

4 oz feta

1/2 lb gigli pasta (or any pasta you like)

1/2 cup black olives

Olive oil

salt + pepper to taste

Instructions

In a ziplock bag place shrimp, thinly sliced garlic and white wine. Marinade for 1-2 hours in the refrigerator.

In a medium bowl combine sun-dried tomatoes that have been thinly sliced, the zest of the lemon, oregano, red pepper flakes and cherry tomatoes that have been halved or quarter depending on the size. Place in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook your pasta according to the package.

Place a small amount of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Place each shrimp into the pan and cook on each side until they just turn pink. Once both sides are pink squeeze in the juice of the lemon, add in the wine marinade and simmer for 1-2 minutes - being sure not to overcook the shrimp. Remove the shrimp from the pan leaving the wine behind. Bring the wine back to a simmer and allow to reduce by half then set aside.

Once your pasta is cooked reserve 1 cup of the cooking water before draining the noddles. Place drained pasta back into the large pot then add in shrimp, sun-dried tomatoes, reduced wine, parsley, black olives and half of the reserved pasta water. Stir well then season with salt + pepper, adding remaining pasta water if needed. Top with crumbled feta and serve immediately.

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Cherry Vanilla Scones

Cherry + Vanilla Scones = Breakfast Love!!!

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I really love scones. It probably all stems back to my Starbucks days and eating way way too many Pumpkin Scones, but what else is a girl to do when you start work at 4:45 - I mean seriously, a scone was a necessity. Plus, suprisingly Starbucks has really good pastries, so resisiting was useless.

So since then, I have been on a mission to make the best possible scones ever! So far the winning scone is my raspberry almond - but this recipe is giving that one a run for my money. The recipes are close, yet this one has extra vanilla and fresh, sweet cherries instead of raspberries and almonds.

Now if you are like me cherry season is very exciting, probably because it’s so short-lived. Plus, unlike so many other fruits that are around all year (even though they are coming from way too far away), cherries don’t tend to be available, at least where I live. So I figure if you only get them for a short time - eat as many as you can right!

So if you love cherries as much as I do you absolutely must make these scones. The addition of vanilla makes these scones perfect and a wonderful breakfast or mid-day snack.

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prep time 20 minutes

cook time 22 minutes

total time 42 minutes

servings 8

Ingredients

2 cups flour

1 tbsp baking powder

3 tbsp white sugar

1/2 tsp salt

6 tbsp cold butter

1 cup milk

1 tbsp vanilla

1 cup halved cherries

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. To the flour add in butter that has been grated using a cheese grater. Toss to combine being sure that all of the butter is coated in flour and the mixture is crumbly.

Add in milk and vanilla and stir until just combined. Turn your dough onto a floured surface and gently knead to form a ball - adding additional flour if needed. To the ball add in the halved cherries and then knead one last time then flatten into 1 1/2 inch round. Cut out the scones into your desired shape then place on a baking sheet and bake 18-22 minutes or until scones are lightly browned.

Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before icing.

Vanilla Icing

5 cherries

1 tbsp sugar

1 cup icing sugar

1 tbsp white vanilla

2 - 4 tsp milk

In a small bowl combine finely chopped cherries and white sugar. Mash together then allow to sit for 5 minute to let the juices release from the cherries.

In a second bowl combine icing sugar, vanilla and milk - whisking until no lumps remain. Use a mesh strainer to press cherry juice into the icing. Stir then drizzle over cooled scones.

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Dairy Free Roasted Mushroom Soup

Creamy, hearty mushroom soup that can you would never even know is dairy free. Substitute vegetable or mushroom stock for chicken and easily make it a vegetarian option!

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Ok, let’s talk about mushroom soup. It’s one of those things that certainly conjures up many childhood memories, but most of those come from that little can of soup.

Now while canned soup is pretty convenient it does contain an awful lot of unnecessary ingredients, plus if you can make it in no time, why not whip up your own. I mean seriously, it's so easy and doesn’t require you picking up a whole bunch of random ingredients.

So you can always make a basic standard mushroom soup but why not roast up those mushrooms with some garlic and thyme and really help bring this recipe to life. We all know that roasting basically anything really enhances the flavours and make any dish a little bit more special.

So while I called this dish dairy-free if your house is like mine butter isn’t an issue, so I did use real butter in the soup. But if you want to be entirely dairy-free go for vegan butter, or go all the way, whip this up with mushroom broth and make the entire dish vegan.

Any way you serve this up it’s a winner - it’s hearty, creamy, and what you should make for dinner tonight!

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prep time 10 minutes

cook time 55 minutes

total time 1 hour 5 minutes

servings 4

Ingredients

2 cups white mushrooms

4 cups cremini mushrooms

8 sprigs thyme

2 tbsp olive oil

6 cloves of garlic

salt + pepper

2 shallots

3 tbsp butter (or vegan butter for completely dairy free)

1/4 cup flour

1/3 cup white wine

4 cups chicken stock

1/3 cup barley

2 bay leaves

3 tbsp soya sauce

1 can unsweetened coconut milk

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400. On a large baking sheet place mushrooms that have been sliced in 1/4 inch slices, 4 sprigs of thyme, 4 cloves of finely chopped garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper. Toss to combine then bake for 20 minutes or until mushrooms are golden brown.

In a large stock pot sauté finely chopped shallots and butter until shallots are soft and translucent. Add in 2 remaining garlic cloves that have been finely chopped and cook another 1 minute or until garlic is fragment.

To the shallots add in flour and whisk until fully combined. Add in the white wine whisking constantly so that you avoid lumps then slowly add in chicken stock while continuing to whisk. Add in barley, remaining sprigs of thyme and bay leaves then allow to simmer for 15 minutes or until soup is slightly thickened and barley is tender.

To the soup add in roasted mushrooms and soya sauce and season with salt + pepper. Simmer another 10 minutes then add in coconut milk, allow to heat through then serve immediately.

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