Vegan Lettuce Wraps

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Vegan Lettuce Wraps Recipe Paired with Red Wine #ShareWineandBites

The sun and the warm temperatures are making it feel like summer is still here – and I’m not complaining! I love to spend these last warm evenings on our patio, watching the sun go down across the ocean, listening to some jazz or chill house, and having a light meal with a delicious bottle of red.

Vegan Lettuce Wraps Recipe Paired with Red Wine #ShareWineandBitesVegan Lettuce Wraps Recipe Paired with Red Wine #ShareWineandBites

I made these vegan lettuce wraps for a little get together we had with friends, and they pair perfectly with these red wines from The Dreaming Tree. I love this wine – seriously, it’s not only affordable, it also pairs well with so many things, and everyone enjoys this wine when we crack it open.

Dreaming Tree Winery has a social conscious demonstrated by its commitment to sustainable winemaking practices, and is celebrating donating over $1M to environmental programs that protect tree and forestry programs across the country. I love that we can find this wine wherever we go shopping at the local grocery, drug or supercenter stores!

Vegan Lettuce Wraps Recipe Paired with Red Wine #ShareWineandBitesVegan Lettuce Wraps Recipe Paired with Red Wine #ShareWineandBitesThe Dreaming Tree Crush has been a favourite of ours, but we’ve recently introduced The Dreaming Tree Cabernet Sauvignon onto our wine shelf (yes, we have a shelf for wine!) and have been pleasantly intrigued by how well it pairs with fresh, light foods – like vegan cooking!

These Vegan Lettuce Wraps are a refreshing snack and a perfect appetizer, or you can create a larger wrap and make it into a meal. The lettuce wraps are filled with an almond sauce, rice noodles, tofu, carrot strips, and avocado, and topped with spicy pickled peppers and Sriracha – it’s just spicy enough, and goes so well with a glass of red wine.

Follow The Dreaming Tree on Facebook and Instagram, and in stores near you.

Vegan Lettuce Wraps Recipe Paired with Red Wine #ShareWineandBites

Vegan Lettuce Wraps
 
Vegan Lettuce Wraps adapted from Love & Lemons Cookbook
Ingredients
Lettuce Wraps
  • 7 ounces (200 g) extra-firm tofu
  • Coconut oil, for drizzling
  • Tamari, for drizzling
  • 4 ounces (125 g) pad thai or vermicelli rice noodles
  • Lettuce leaves (butter, boston, romaine, etc)
  • 1 carrot, peeled into ribbons
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) sliced almonds
  • Avocado
  • Lime slices
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Pickled jalapeno
  • Sriracha (optional)
Almond Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) natural almond butter (creamy or crunchy)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) toasted sesame oil
  • 1½ teaspoons (7 mL) soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) freshly grated ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) sriracha
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) water (less for a dipping sauce, more if using as a dressing over noodles or salad)
Instructions
Directions for Almond Sauce
  1. To make the almond sauce, stir all ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
Directions for Lettuce Wraps
  1. Slice the tofu into 1-inch (2.5-cm)-thick planks. Pat dry, then drizzle with coconut oil, tamari, and pinches of salt and pepper.
  2. Add a drizzle of coconut oil to a small skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Sear each side of the tofu until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. Remove and slice into thin strips.
  3. Prepare the rice noodles according to the instructions on the package.
  4. Assemble the wraps on the brussels sprout leaves with the tofu, noodles, carrots, and almonds. Serve with the sauce, lime slices, and serrano slices and sriracha, if using.

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How to Go Vegan as a Family – The Easy Way! #90DaystoHealth

How to go Vegan as a Family the Easy Way

42 days ago I said good bye to animal products and said hello to plant-based living. It’s been an adventure in vegan cooking, attempting to meal plan and balancing going out. You see, I realized that as a family, we LOVE to go out – not just for the food, but for the fun experience. It’s different than staying home… and there’s no dishes!

There was a bit of an adjustment period for me to start cooking almost each and every night. Not being able to “just pick something up”, order pizza, or go to the kid’s favourite hamburger joint. There is NO back up plan. If we get home late, there better be something to make and FAST, just to fill up the rumbling tummies at our table.

It’s been 42 days and here are some tips for going vegan as a family, that I’ve learned this past month.

How to go Vegan as a Family the Easy Way

Always have vegan snacks on hand – in case it takes longer than you thought to make dinner!

I have to admit, sometimes I don’t fully read a recipe. Oops. Sometimes a recipe that I thought would take me 20 minutes to make turns into 45 minutes – and the kids are starving and my husband starts looking for snacks.

To subside their hunger, we’ll put out veggie sticks with hummus, or corn chips with a homemade salsa or dip. Sometimes it will be fruit, which I find weird because it’s something sweet before dinner, but the kids don’t seem to mind. The point is to have something nourishing and simple to snack on in case of emergencies!

 

How to go Vegan as a Family the Easy Way

Learn to cook vegan.

Sounds simple, right? Spend some time on Pinterest and you’re ready to cook vegan. Well, after a few recipes that didn’t get my approval, I ordered about 6 cookbooks on amazon, and have fallen in love.

I’ve been cooking my way through The Love and Lemons Cookbook, and I can’t sing its’ praises enough. The kids will eat 90% of what I make without whining, the recipes are all super delicious and relatively easy to make. The cookbook isn’t purely vegan, it’s based on eating vegetables so there are recipes with cheese and eggs, but I simply omit the cheese or don’t make those recipes.

But honestly, I’ve cooked about 15 recipes out of the book so far, and keep going back for more. It’s my go-to – and I feel kinda bad because it’s getting wrecked from spills and food crumbs, but the food I make is delicious!

I encourage you to find your favourite cookbook (it will happen!!) and really learn to cook a few recipes so you feel like you can do it with your eyes closed! It will make you feel so much more confident in the kitchen and providing a delicious and filling meal at dinner.

 

How to go Vegan as a Family the Easy Way

Meal Planning & Prepping

These two go hand in hand…

To meal plan, I flip through my favourite cookbook and put a post-it note on the cover of it. I choose items I will make, write the title on the post-it with the page number beside it. I usually pick up to 5 meals. And then I create a grocery list from the recipes, checking to see what I already have at home.

And then, I prep.

I prep what I can in an hour or so – which essentially means washing, peeling, and chopping things for recipes so that you can just throw a meal together, effortlessly. Now, that doesn’t always work for all food items (hello, avocado!) but it definitely helps bring a meal together faster – and that totally counts.

 

How to go Vegan as a Family the Easy Way

When choosing vegan recipes, start with meals that you like.

I know this sounds obvious, but I feel that as women, we create these expectations and goals for ourselves that are overwhelming at times.

Like heading over to Pinterest, creating a vegan recipe board, and pinning 100 extraordinary recipes and shouting “This is me now!” And then not cooking 90% on that board because you have no idea where to find bulgur or everyone hate eggplants.

SO… start with what you know and like. Our family loves tacos, pizza, pasta, burgers, and burritos. So that’s where I started – making vegan tacos, vegan pizza, vegan pasta, vegan burgers, and vegan burritos. It made the switch to plant-based eating a lot easier and less stressful.

Somehow, in our minds, we are eating the same foods we’ve always loved, just enjoying them with new flavours, spices, and ingredients. It honestly made going vegan a lot more approachable to us as a family.

 

How to go Vegan as a Family the Easy Way

Sometimes we cheat, and that’s okay.

Hold on, what? Cheating on veganism? Let me explain.

There are times when our schedules don’t align or meal prep didn’t happen, and we’re left an hour away from home at dinner time. We go out to a restaurant to eat, and we will eat mostly vegan, unfortunately it can be difficult when most menus have veganish food items or one or two options for vegans.

Sometimes we cheat with cheese. But we have noticed that our tummies don’t love it so much, so if we have to go out, we’ll order veggie pizzas with NO cheese or cream-based sauces.

Sometimes we go to sushi restaurants. We love sushi, and have learnt that many dishes, although completely vegetarian, will be made with katsobushi or fish sauce – which is not technically vegetarian or vegan, but presented as so. (Not at all places, but we inquire when we go.)

The thing is, these situations have become rare, because we’ve learnt that a) I can make vegan food at home that tastes amazing and better than at the restaurants, and b) we don’t go out for dinner as often. So when we’re in a situation where we have to go out to eat, and the kids eat cheese or I have miso soup – I’m not giving myself a guilt trip over it!

I would go insane if I worried about every last thing – the kid’s school snacks are not 100% certified vegan, but based on ingredients and googling, they’re vegan, but made in a facility that processes milk products. And that’s OKAY.

At the end of the day, I my diet over the last 42 days has been 90% plant-based, other than some cheese and sushi seasonings. It’s OKAY. Tomorrow’s a new day.

 

Do you have any tips for going plant-based with your family?

 

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Sabich: How to Make the Ultimate Israeli Street Food

Sabich Recipe

On my trip to Israel, I discovered a ton of delicious food! But it wasn’t until my last day in Tel Aviv that I discovered the ultimate Israeli street food: the Sabich. A Sabich is a pita stuffed with delicious goodies – eggplant, potatoes, eggs, herbs, veggies, mango sauce – and while it’s meant to be eaten on the go, it is one of the messiest thing I’ve ever eaten. And I absolutely LOVE messy food.

I’ve been dreaming of Israel and wanted to make this Sabich recipe so my husband could know what I’ve been raving about – and he agrees, it’s absolutely amazing. The warm pita stuffed with fried eggplant, hearty potatoes, hard-boiled eggs that give it a creamy texture, and the freshness of a cucumber-tomato salad, with a spiciness throughout! This Sabich Recipe is just what I needed to curb my wanderlust… well, maybe just for now!

Eating Sabich in Israel

Photo: Shani Sadicario

That classy picture right there is me taking my first ever bite of Sabich in Israel – and it was love at first bite! See the mess? That means it’s good! This recipe is pretty easy to throw together once you prep everything, and it’s perfect for any time of year.

How to Make Sabich

A Sabich is a pita stuffed with a variety of elements: a base of hummus, tahini, fried eggplant, potato, hardboiled egg, a cucumber-tomato salad, and Amba sauce – which may be the only item that will be tricky to find.

How to Make Sabich Recipe

First things first, prep your ingredients! Bake the potato and boil the eggs – this can be done even the day before to speed up the process. The day of, make the cucumber-tomato salad which contains a mixture of tomatoes, cucumber, jalapeño, garlic, cilantro, parsley, lemon juice, and olive oil. Then fry the eggplant and get ready to throw it all together!

Use a good quality hummus because you’re going to use a LOT of it! We always have a fridge full of hummus, and Sabra hummus is a favourite of ours. There are numerous flavours to choose from and it’s always super delicious. We use hummus as a dip, as a sandwich spread, and as a buddha bowl topper – we love our hummus! In the Sabich recipe, I chose to use the Sabra Supremely Spicy Hummus, because I wanted that extra kick of heat! Get your $1 off coupon for Sabra Hummus here!

How to Make Sabich with Sabra Spicy Hummus

Now, a true Israeli-style Sabich is drizzled with loads of Amba sauce, which is made of pickled mangos. While I couldn’t find any Amba sauce locally OR online, I did find a recipe for Sweet & Tart Mango Sauce. However, I did find Indian-style mango pickles, which isn’t the same thing, but I went for it anyway! I chopped up some intensely flavoured mango pickles and mixed it with some tahini to make my own amba sauce…. it was not the same thing but it added a delicious flavour to the Sabich! (Hint to Israel: Send me Amba sauce!!)

How to Make Sabich RecipeHow to Make Sabich

And did I mention that the Sabich is perfect for vegetarians? But meat eaters shouldn’t be scared because this recipe is super filling and very comforting in a way that I can’t even describe! A great way to serve the Sabich at a party is to make smaller, appetizer size pita bites stuffed with the filling – my husband went crazy for this recipe, and my daughter is becoming more obsessed with Israeli food – I think it’s time for a trip to Tel Aviv!

How to Make Sabich Recipe

Just looking at these pictures is making me hungry! Try Sabra Hummus with this $1 OFF coupon – trust me, you’ll love the range of flavours! Sabra Hummus can be found at a variety of retailers including Loblaws, Walmart, Sobey’s, and Metro. Enter to win the #DipInWithSabra Content for a Feast for you and 14 friends by sharing your own Sabra experience on social media with the hashtag #dipinwithsabra!

To enter the contest, post your Dip In moment to Sabra’s Facebook timeline using the hashtag #DipInWithSabra or tag @SabraCanada on Instagram or Twitter and post your Dip in moment using the hashtag #DipInWithSabra.

Will you try making this Sabich recipe?

How to Make Sabich Recipe

5.0 from 1 reviews
Sabich - Israeli Street Food
Author: 
Cuisine: Israeli
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
A delicious pita stuffed with eggplant, potatoes, eggs, and fresh ingredients make for the ultimate street food!
Ingredients
  • 1 large baking potato
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 medium eggplant, sliced ½ inch thick
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1 cucumber—peeled, halved, seeded and cut into ½-inch dice
  • 1 large tomato, cut into ½-inch dice
  • 1 large jalapeño, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 4 thick, sturdy pita breads, warmed
  • 1 cup hummus
  • ¼ cup tahini, at room temperature
  • 4 large hard-cooked eggs, sliced
  • Amba sauce or Mango Pickles mixed with Tahini
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Scrub your baking potato, pierce the skin with a fork, and microwave for 5 minutes. Carefully remove from microwave, drizzle with olive oil to coat, and sprinkle with salt. Bake in oven for about 30 minutes or until done.
  2. To make the cucumber-tomato salad: in a large bowl, add the cucumber, tomato, jalapeño, garlic, cilantro and parsley. Toss with the lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Brush eggplant slices on both sides with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Grill on a pre-heating grill or frying pan for about 10 minutes on each side, until golden brown and tender.
  4. Cut off 2 inches from the side of the warm pitas to make openings in the pockets. Gently open the pitas. Spread a generous amount of hummus on the bottoms and 1 tablespoon of tahini over it. Layer the potato slices, eggplant, egg and cucumber-tomato salad in the pitas, along with some of the salad juices. Top with the Amba Sauce or Mango Pickles.
Disclosure: This blog post was sponsored by Sabra but the opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

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Satisfying Dark Chocolate Cravings

Satisfying Dark Chocolate Cravings with barkTHINS #snackingelevated

I have a secret love for dark chocolate. Well, maybe it’s not so secret, but dark chocolate is definitely my favourite snack and it’s something I indulge in almost everyday! Dark chocolate is luxurious, it’s full of complex flavours, and it satisfies my cravings every single time.

I was happy to discover barkTHINS because they satisfy my cravings for dark chocolate with quality Fair Trade and real non-GMO ingredients! barkTHINS are thin pieces of Fair Trade dark chocolate mixed with simple ingredients like toasted coconut, pumpkin seeds, pretzels, and almonds.

 

BarkTHINS snacking elevated

barkTHINS #snackingelevated

I typically work from home, and I often find myself searching for inspiration mid-afternoon. You know that feeling? I indulge in a little afternoon pick-me-up with my favourite dark chocolate combination: toasted coconut and sea salt. A little piece (or two!) is the perfect antidote to that afternoon slump feeling, and keeps me going!

I love that barkTHINS made with high quality Fair Trade dark chocolate (with no bitter aftertaste) and simple and real ingredients! There is nothing artificial in a bag of barkTHINS, which makes it a snack that I reach for each and every time! It fits in my purse, too, so it’s perfect for road trips and long drives!

There are those work days that seem to drag on, and when there’s a ton of data entry going on, I have to admit, I have trouble focusing! Taking a break with tea and dark chocolate definitely helps motivate me to get back to work! It’s a little treat for working hard! By the way, that’s an actual picture of my desk, not staged, not prettied up – it’s full of paperwork and notes and dark chocolate!

All four flavours of barkTHINS are available in Canada for the first time as of this past February! My favourite flavours are the coconut & almond, and the pumpkin seed with sea salt, while my husband digs into the pretzel with sea salt and almonds with sea salt! barkTHINS are available at stores like Costco, Sobeys, Shoppers Drug Mart, London Drugs, Walmart, and more!

barktHINS #snackingelevated

Pick up a bag or two of these delicious snacks, and add to the #betterwithbarkTHINS and #snackingelevated hashtags on social media! Visit barkTHINS on their website and Facebook page to find out more!

Satisfying Dark Chocolate Cravings with barkTHINS #snackingelevated

Do you love dark chocolate?

Have you tried barkTHINS? What do you think?

I receive product from barkTHINS and wanted to share it with you. This post is sponsored by barkTHINS, however, all opinions are completely my own and are based on my experience.

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Easy School Lunch Ideas #DempstersHoneyWheat

Making Lunch Fun with Dempster's Honey Wheat Bread

School lunches have always been a struggle with me and my kids. ALWAYS. There are times when I put a LOT of effort into school lunches, and I’ll make pasta and rice dishes and really good meals! And there are other times where I go for a “tapas” style lunch – meaning an assortment of finger foods that I found in my fridge and pantry (think crackers, hummus, veggies, fruits, cheese…).

Either way, my kids prefer variety – too many days of the same thing and they revolt and will. not. eat. lunch. I try to alternate between a warm dish, some sushi, a wrap, or a sandwich – but a plain sandwich will NOT do. For some reason, my children believe that a plain sandwich is no where near as yummy as a “cute” sandwich.

Making Lunch Fun with Dempster's Honey Wheat Bread

Making Lunch Fun with Dempster's Honey Wheat Bread

Easy School Lunches

Quick School Lunch Ideas:

  • Sandwiches made with Dempster’s Honey Wheat Bread (think peabutter and jelly, nutella, turkey, ham, cheese, cucumber…)
  • Sliced veggies and fruits (bonus points for dips like ranch, hummus, yogurt, etc)
  • Crackers and cheese
  • Pepperoni sticks
  • Yogurt (drinks, tubes, squeeze pouches)
  • Squeeze pouches of any sort!
  • Sushi “to-go”
  • Rice & Chicken (minute rice with shredded roast chicken & soy sauce)
  • Pasta (cook in morning and put in thermos container)
  • Salad (if they’ll let you!)
  • Wraps of any kind
  • Granola bars
  • Homemade Trail Mix (no nuts!)
  • Apple sauce
  • Fruit cups
  • …and water bottles!

We never use juice boxes here, it’s always a reusable water bottle so they can refill as they need to! The trick is to fill you kid’s lunchbox with variety, nutritious sources of protein and carbs, and things they actually like! My kid’s love Dempster’s Honey Wheat bread because it’s light tasting and I love it because it’s full of nutritious goodness!

Things to avoid: anything with added sugar, dessert disguised as healthy snacks, juice boxes, overly large portions, meals that have to be put together at lunch, food that falls apart or doesn’t keep well in a lunch box for a few hours, and food that smells bad. (Because honestly, no one wants to be the kid with the stinky lunch!)

Making Lunch Fun with Dempster's Honey Wheat Bread

Making Lunch Fun with Dempster's Honey Wheat Bread

Making Lunch Fun with Dempster's Honey Wheat Bread

Even half way through the school year, sticking to these tips helps me make easy school lunches that the kids will actually eat! Making your kids lunch cute, approachable, and nutritious can be easier than we think! Because there’s enough pressure on us moms, amiright?!

This post was sponsored by Dempster’s Honey Wheat Bread, a brand that I use and love to include in our family’s meals! Visit their website, and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

How do you make your kid’s school lunch?

Easy School Lunch Ideas

This post was sponsored by Dempster’s. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

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