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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How I Made The Switch to Safe Beauty Products with BeautyCounter

How I Made The Switch To Safe Beauty Products A few months ago, I made a call out to the world and asked you guys (and everyone I knew!) about SAFE skincare and makeup products. I wanted to do a beauty detox, and that meant going through my bathroom treasure drawer and ridding it of products that were full of harsh chemicals and making the switch to safe beauty products. Why was I doing this?

This whole year has been very reflective, and I’ve struggled with happiness, depression, anxiety, my fitness and my health. Health has been a big change for me this year. I’ve been ignoring my health for years, and it shows. I was overweight, unhappy, and I needed to make a change.

I have an incredible life coach who has helped me on my journey. Our whole family has become healthier and more active, and I’ve even started eating a plant-based diet! I cared so much about what I was putting into my body and how active I was being with my body, and I started to care more and more about what I was putting on my body.

How I Switched to Safe Beauty Products

I am 32 years old with sensitive skin, my cheeks and nose are usually red, and I have dry areas on my skin, but my skin also has the tendency to get oily, especially with the wrong products. Confused? Yeah, me too.

I have always struggled with finding that perfect product. You know THE one that is going to solve all my skin problems AND make me look younger and make my skin feeling like a baby’s squishy butt. I struggled my whole life, and I’ve tried EVERYTHING. In my bathroom stash I had ridiculously overpriced creams from La Mer and drug store brands like Nivea and L’Oreal, and I was still struggling to find the perfect combination of skincare.

Beyond finding products that worked perfectly all the time, I never really took a good look at what was in those products. Have you read the label on a moisturizer or cleanser? Have you researched the ingredients that go into your products? Neither did I.

But I started to do more and more research on the ingredients going into my skincare and beauty products, and I was more than alarmed. There are so many toxic ingredients, so many cancer-causing ingredients, so many ingredients that are banned in Europe but NOT banned in North America. So, why are we using these products? Why aren’t we all making the switch to safe beauty products?

And did you know that many ingredients in beauty and skincare products aren’t even listed on the label? Sometimes when you see “Fragrance” on a beauty product, it means a bunch of toxic ingredients that they don’t want you to know about. The conspiracy theorist in me loved discovering and researching more and more about skincare products and beauty products.

How I Switched to Safe Beauty Products

I discovered skincare and beauty lines that were all natural. I discovered that some of these brands weren’t really all that natural. I discovered some really well known brands that actually were natural (take a look at Safe & Chic and The Detox Market for a large selection), but many of them just weren’t for me. I experimented with so many natural beauty brands to find the right products!

I spent a ton of time and money going through different beauty brands to see what would work. I purchased super expensive natural moisturizers, non-toxic mascaras, and foundations all in the name of green beauty! And for the most part? I was disappointed.

Here I was, making a stand for green beauty and finding safe and non-toxic products for my family, and I was disappointed at the results. Foundation that dried my skin, concealers that didn’t work, mascaras that flaked, eyeshadows that didn’t provide enough colour – I became so frustrated with some products that I actually went back to my favourite toxic products.

I felt super guilty about going back to my favourite mascara and tinted moisturizers, because I was knowingly using products with ingredients that were bad for me, bad for the environment, and just bad all around. But they worked. And so I found myself in a conundrum. I found some safe and non-toxic products that worked great, and many that didn’t. I had spent so much time and money on my green beauty adventure, and in the end I was disappointed with the results.

And then I discovered BeautyCounter.

How I Switched to Safe Beauty Products

I was watching beauty videos on Youtube, and I saw a video for a 5-Minute Face in 6 Easy Steps – and here I am a mother of two, I run multiple businesses, and my life is so hectic, so I’m all for quick and easy makeup. And one night, in a quick impulse purchase before bed, I ordered the customized 5-Minute Face Set. Online shopping is so easy. (Poor credit cards!)

Now, you have to know that I didn’t know really know much about the BeautyCounter brand before I made my purchase, but I was stoked to discover that BeautyCounter is a green beauty brand. BeautyCounter actually bans 1,500 ingredients from their products. The Never List contains 1,500 harmful and questionable ingredients that they never use, here’s a shortened version below:

But the best part of my impulse purchase with BeautyCounter? The products actually worked!

The 5-Minute Face Set includes a foundation, concealer, brow pencil, mascara, blush, and lipgloss. And I loved each and every product that was part of the set! I was amazed at how well these products performed. The foundation is lightweight and hydrating, and the concealer had great coverage but didn’t get crease-ey.

I didn’t have high hopes for the brow pencil or mascara, to be honest, because those are two products that I’m very particular about. I was surprised that I loved the brow pencil and it actually trumped my previous favourite, and the volumizing mascara is AH-MAZING. It thickened my lashes and kept the curl all day long – no flaking or making my sensitive eyes irritated.

When it came to the blush, it stays all day and isn’t streaky or hard to put on – it blends so nicely. It’s become my everyday favourite! But the lipgloss? Hands down my favourite product. It goes on super smooth, it’s moisturizing, and it’s not sticky. And it has a subtle vanilla fragrance that’s actually naturally vanilla.

How I Switched to Safe Beauty Products

So then I dug a little deeper into the BeautyCounter site and started checking out their skincare line. I few days later my order arrived and I started trying out their cleanser, mist, oils, and moisturizers. And BAM, just like that, I fell in love with BeautyCounter.

You see, I’m a true believer in taking care of your skin. While I love makeup, I feel it’s there to accentuate your nature beauty, and if your skin isn’t in great condition and you aren’t taking care of it – well, no makeup will truly help. Unless you wear a mask of makeup. And ain’t nobody got time for that in this house.

It literally felt like this massive A-HA moment. The clouds had parted, the light shone down on me, and the angels sang. Here were products that were SAFE TO USE, with NO toxic chemicals, NO harsh ingredients, AND THEY WORKED. My skin felt incredible – there was no irritation, dryness, or weird reactions on my sensitive skin. And I could feel GOOD about using BeautyCounter.

I love BeautyCounter so much that I decided to join up with them.

How I Switched to Safe Beauty Products

You know that feeling when you LOVE a company so much that you want to help them. You want to join their movement. You believe in it and want to get involved. That’s why I joined BeautyCounter. Because my treasure drawer in the bathroom is full of safe and non-toxic products that WORK. That I can feel good about.

You know when your kids get into your beauty stash? You don’t have to worry about how much lipstick they’ve eaten and how much eyeshadow actually got into their eye – I mean, clean them up and make sure they’re okay! But you don’t have to worry about what cancer-causing ingredients they’ve ingested or applied to themselves.

As a mother, it’s important to me that my daughter is made aware of the dangers of these ‘normal’ products we’ve been using for years. The deodorants that are full of harmful chemicals. The lipsticks that contain gluten. I want her to know that there is a safe alternative to beauty products. And I want to feel that I’m providing my daughter with the right products as she grows up.

If this speaks to you on any level, get involved. Spread the world. It’s important to work together to get safer products into everyone’s hands. Here are three different ways you can join the movement:

  1. SWITCH to SAFE products. Make the changes in your own home, and get rid of products that are full of harmful chemicals and choose ones that are made safe and non-toxic. Safe beauty products are just the beginning!
  2. Shop BeautyCounter and even become a Band of Beauty Member! It costs $29, and you get free shipping on orders over $125, a free gift with purchase, 15% product credit with every order (free money! save the credit cards!), and other exclusive member offers.
  3. Love BeautyCounter’s mission as much as I do? Become a Consultant and create change in the world. Becoming a Consultant can mean growing a full-on business or just a side-hustle, and it’s super rewarding knowing that you’re part of a greater movement.

 

I would love to know what your experience has been when it comes to using products with safer ingredients! Let me know in the comments below!

 

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4 Ways to Get Your Car Road Trip Ready

4 Ways to Get Your Car Ready for a Road Trip

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CanadianTire #QuakerState #CollectiveBias

Hey guys, remember my road trip to Fernie last month? It was an absolute blast and the whole family had a TON of fun. I was so surprised that the kids could make the long multi-day drives without killing each other! We’re so excited to take another road trip, and we’ve been planning out different routes across the country!

Are you and your family planning to take a road trip? There’s a few tips and tricks that we used to get our car ready for a road trip. But first it’s important to get your car road trip ready! I stopped by my local Canadian Tire to prepare for our road trip.

4 Ways to Get Your Car Ready for a Road Trip

  1. Clean out the car

First things first, to get your car ready for a road trip, clean it out! At any given moment there is bike gear, empty water bottles, random toys, books, papers, and granola bar wrappers floating around in my truck. Give it a quick clean, vacuum, and wipe down your vehicle with something made for cars. It will smell great and feel good!

Canadian Tire is made for life in Canada, so head over there for an awesome selection of items to clean your vehicle with and get it road trip ready!

 

  1. Get an Emergency Car Kit

An emergency car kit is essential for any vehicle, but especially when going on a road trip. Being stranded in the middle of nowhere is NO fun, and being able to a change a flat tire, having flashlights and flares, jumper cables, and extra food and water in case of emergencies is important. It will give you peace of mind, trust me! Canadian Tire has a great selection of auto safety kits and first aid kits as well!

 

4 Ways to Get Your Car Ready for a Road Trip

  1. Bring Road Trip Essentials

Everyone’s road trip kit may look different, but you want to be sure to include snacks (fruits, granola, protein bars), water bottles, and books or tablets to preoccupy the kids. We also brought our chargers (for phones, cameras, and tablets), and blankets and pillows for the kids so they could nap if necessary. One more essential – a garbage bin or bag for any trash that accumulates in the car on the trip.

 

4 Ways to Get Your Car Ready for a Road Trip

  1. Change Your Oil with Quaker State® Advanced Durability™ Full Synthetic Motor Oil

The last and most important step to getting your car road trip ready is to change the oil! Your car will perform better and you’ll have peace of mind knowing that the ‘check oil’ light won’t come on in the middle of your road trip!

Check your vehicle’s owner’s manual to use the oil necessary for your car, and head over to your local Canadian Tire to purchase Quaker State Oil.

4 Ways to Get Your Car Ready for a Road Trip

Heading out on a road trip is a ton of fun and an experience that your family won’t forget! Make it a fun experience by being prepared and getting your vehicle ready for a long excursion. I love going to Canadian Tire for all my road trip needs, because I can get my Quaker State Oil and fun travel mugs, cozy blankets, and a first aid kit there as well!

 

How do you get your car ready for a road trip?

 

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Where to Stay in Fernie, BC

Where to Stay in Fernie | Mountain Lodge Accommodation in Fernie, BC

Fernie is a small mountain town in the Rockies of British Columbia, and a beautiful place to go if you want to explore nature, eat delicious food, be active outdoors, and have fun with your friends and family! My family & I took a road trip to Fernie this summer, and fell in love with the historic downtown, the sweeping mountain views, and all the fun experiences Fernie has to offer in the summer.

Are you wondering where you should stay in Fernie? Here are my favourite accommodations in Fernie, BC.

 

Where to Stay in Downtown Fernie

Where to Stay in Downtown Fernie

Where to Stay in Downtown Fernie

Where to Stay in Downtown Fernie

The charming historic downtown of Fernie is a wonderful place to stay! I highly recommend checking out the 901 Schoolhouse from Fernie Central Reservations. This luxurious condo is located in a heritage building conversion, and is perfect a family or a larger group.

The 901 Schoolhouse in Fernie has numerous condos available for short-term rentals through Fernie Central Reservations. The condo we stayed in has two large bedrooms and three bathrooms, with a massive living area and the kitchen had top of the line appliances – and it even had a roof-top patio with views of the mountains. It was heaven!

Fernie Central Reservations has over 40 rental properties in Fernie, BC, everything from a 1-bedroom right on the ski hill to a luxury 8-bedroom chalet that’s big enough for a family reunion! I spent a lot of time browsing (and lusting!) over the properties on Fernie Central Reservations and chose the gorgeous penthouse suite, right in the heart of Fernie.

The location of the 901 Schoolhouse in Fernie was perfect because it was walking distance to the charming historic downtown, so we could enjoy a handmade margarita at a Mexican bar and easily bike to our lovely home away from home!

Downtown Fernie is only a 20 minute drive to the Fernie Alpine Ski Resort, which is great for your ski trip or bike trip in Fernie, BC. To find some amazing short-term vacation rentals, head over to the Fernie Central Reservations website and follow them on Facebook for updates!

 

Where to Stay in Fernie | Mountain Lodge Accommodation in Fernie, BC

Where to Stay in Fernie | Mountain Lodge Accommodation in Fernie, BC

Where to Stay in Fernie | Mountain Lodge Accommodation in Fernie, BC

Stay in a Lodge in Fernie

Looking for something a little different? What about a log cabin hidden away in mountains of Fernie? The Island Lake Lodge is the perfect place to get lost in nature and get away from civilization (but not too far away!).

The Island Lake Lodge is a famous backcountry catskiing and snowboarding destination in the winter, but it’s also a gorgeous retreat in the summer and perfect for those who love to hike and mountain bike. The hotel consists for four log cabins, two restaurants, and a lovely spa for those who like to be pampered while surrounded by the beauty of nature. It’s also a spectacular setting for weddings, and has it’s own “I Dew Point” on the lake.

Where to Stay in Fernie | Mountain Lodge Accommodation in Fernie, BC

There are two dining options to choose from which include the Bear Lodge (open for brunch & lunch) and the Tamarack Lodge, which serves breakfast and dinner. You don’t have to stay at the lodge to indulge at their restaurants, although reservations are recommended, and I definitely encourage you to eat at the Island Lake Lodge, even if you’re not lucky enough to be staying there.

The food is incredible. The chefs are all highly trained and create locally-sourced seasonal menus that pair beautifully with their extensive wine list. There’s also a nice craft beer list available, and they have a great kids menu. We discovered that many people ride their bikes up to the Bear Lodge and enjoy a delicious lunch and a pint before heading back down to town.

For more information on the Island Lake Lodge, head over to their website and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

 

Where to Stay in Fernie | Lizard Creek Lodge Mountain Lodge Accommodation in Fernie, BC

Where to Stay in Fernie | Lizard Creek Lodge Mountain Lodge Accommodation in Fernie, BC

Where to Stay in Fernie | Mountain Lodge Accommodation in Fernie, BC

Where to Stay at the Fernie Alpine Resort

The Lizard Creek Lodge is the perfect ski-in/ski-out resort located at the base of Fernie Alpine Resort. If you want to be right ON the mountain, in the middle of all the action, this is where you want to stay. It’s right at the base of the mountain and close to all recreational activities like biking, hiking, foraging, and yoga in the summer, and of course, skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing in the winter.

For more information, head over to the Lizard Creek Lodge website, and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

 

Have you been to Fernie? What’s your favourite place to stay in Fernie, BC?

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