Orange Creamsicle Smoothie

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Few smells evoke my teenage years like the smell of smoky, cheap hotdogs and fried onions. Not, as you might think, because I loved hotdogs, but because I spent a great deal of time at the mall with my friends, and that is what the mall smelled like. The mall in my small, northern Canadian town had approximately 10 stores. Compared to the West Edmonton Mall, which was 5 hours south, which had over 1000 stores, an ice rink, movie theatres, a waterpark and fairground inside, our mall was embarrassing. Despite providing the valuable public service of containing a cesspit of teenage hormones safely away from the rest of society, we all knew it.

But, what it lacked in waterparks and pretzel shops, it made up for in Orange Julius.

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Orange Julius was the source of the onion and hotdog smell. And although that might not have been their best quality, to their credit they did embraced the smoothie well before it was popular. Their signature drink was something akin to a blended orange creamsicle. The special memory of drinking an Orange Julius while shopping with my Mom or friends punctuates my youth.

And while I haven’t had an Orange Julius in well over a decade, I can still remember the taste of it.

Given that my stomach problems are continuing which is putting a wrench in my Eat to Live and Vegan Mofo plans, I’m sticking with the blended drinks for a while until things settle. Despite loving my standard green smoothie, it can get a bit dull.

What better thing to liven it up than a frosty, creamy orange drink to perk things up?

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Orange Greensicle Smoothie
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 oranges, peeled (or 1 cup orange juice)
  • 1 TBSP orange zest
  • 2 TBSP porridge oats
  • 1 cup vanilla soy (or almond) milk
  • 1 cup of frozen banana chunks
  • 2 cups of spinach
Instructions
  1. Blend everything together until you reach your desired consistency.
  2. Best enjoyed with a greasy vegan hotdog and onions cooking in the background.

 

Mayo Free Coleslaw

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I have a personal philosophy about life.

Without getting too spiritual on you, I believe that people are on Earth to collect stories. The most awkward situations, although terrible at the time, make the best stories in the end. I live for stories of “failures”, embarrassing moments and mistakes… the stories of humans just being humans.

My life has been full of them.
Maybe that’s why I love them so much. I feel that I connect more thoroughly to someone who is willing to own their mistakes and even laugh at themselves.

This is why I find it so strange when bloggers choose to portray these perfect, magazine-style lives. It’s like fashion and celebrity magazines for your whole life. It just serves to make people feel bad, feel that they aren’t doing their best, that they aren’t good enough.

But don’t worry. I will never do that to you.

I’ll let you in on all of my mistakes, foibles and awkward situations.

I’ll make you feel good that you can rest assured that there is at least one human being more awkward than you.

Have I got a story for you…

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Mayo Free Coleslaw
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • ½ head of green or savoy cabbage, shredded
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • ⅓ cup of mixed seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, pine nuts)
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons xylitol or sweetener of choice
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon chopped shallots
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 green onion, green part only cut in 1-inch lengths
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Add shredded cabbage, seeds and carrot to a bowl with green onion.
  2. Whisk all vinaigrette ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Pour the vinaigrette over the vegetables, toss and chill until ready to serve.

 

Berry and Bean Smoothie

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I have always had a notoriously bad stomach. I have long suspected that I have an angry old man named Harry who haunts my intestines. I think he’s a bit of a hermit and likes to throw furniture and cats at people. Sure, there are times he can be pleasant… kind even!

But, with the slightest provocation, his mood flips, he starts to rant about the old times and kids these days and then I’m in a world of trouble.

There is one food I can ALWAYS count on to soothe Harry.

Green smoothies.

There are periods in my life when I have lived on several green smoothies a day to help stop the pain and get my system back on track.

This is one of those periods.

I had a bit of slip up on my Eat to Live diet.

Okay, a big slip up last weekend.

Harry is NOT happy with me.

He’s been banging on his ceiling with his cane ever since.

One week of agony.

Thankfully a few days of green smoothies and Harry has finally fallen asleep in his La Z Boy recliner.

I am normally a big fan of spinach in smoothies, lots and lots of spinach. But, without spinach one night, I raided the freezer to see what I could use and cane across a bag of green beans.

I threw them in expecting the worst and to my surprise, it was one of the best smoothies I have had in ages and Harry isn’t complaining either.

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Berry and Bean Smoothie
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 1-2
Ingredients
  • 100 grams frozen summer berries
  • 100 grams frozen green beans
  • 1 small banana
  • 2 TBSP ground flax seed (linseed)
  • 1 cup of water (or soy milk or juice)
Instructions
  1. Mix it all together and blend, adding more water if necessary!!
  2. Sip slowly and enjoy.

 

Newfoundland Potato Salad: Two Ways

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My family is from Newfoundland, Canada. Say what you will about the province, but I have always been quite proud to be a part of a family from Newfoundland. It comes with a lot of very unique traditions- many of which relate to food. Having grown up in another province, we held fast to many of these traditions at holidays and special occasions. This recipe is one of those that I cherish the most. My childhood memories are dotted with this recipe. Its jeweled colours stand definitely stand out on what would otherwise be a completely beige plate of food. Some children might have been excited about dessert, but I would be sneaking around the kitchen trying to get scoops of this potato salad without anyone noticing.

Yes, I did just say potato salad. But, not just any potato salad! Potato salad done two ways! One of them bright yellow and intensely flavoured with mustard, the other electric pink and speckled with pieces of pickled beets (or beetroots if you are in the UK). They were (and still are) one of the only ways I can truly love a potato.

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My dad always has two things ready for when I come back to visit him: 1) As many turnip greens (yes that part that you probably throw away) as he can get his hands on and 2) mustard and beet potato salad. (Dad, have I reminded you that I’m coming back in December?)

When I first told Ben about this recipe, he crinkled his nose up. He wasn’t sure if such an adulteration of a potato was acceptable. But he is a definite convert. He ate almost the entire mustard salad to himself. But, it’s a double-edged sword. While I was happy that he loves it as much as I do, now I have created new competition for one of my favourite foods!

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Newfoundland Potato Salad: Two Ways
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 8-10 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • ¼ cup pickled beets, drained, chopped
  • ¼ cup of the beet pickling liquid from the jar
  • 1 TBSP white sugar
  • ⅓ cup vegan mayonnaise (I used Veganaise)
  • 3 TBSP yellow (American style) mustard
  • 1 TBSP wholegrain mustard
  • 1 TBSP white sugar
  • ⅓ cup vegan mayonnaise (I used Veganaise)
  • 1 green onion, sliced finely
  • 1 handful of chopped flat leaf parsley
Instructions
  1. Start by peeling and slicing about 8-10 medium potatoes. There should be enough to fill a 2-litre (quart) pot.
  2. Boil potatoes in lightly salted water until fork tender.
  3. Drain and let dry off on the warm turned off burner.
  4. Mash potatoes until they are of the consistency you like ( I prefer lots of lumps in my potato salad, but tradition dictates it to be completely smooth)
  5. Divide an equal amount of mashed potatoes into two bowls.
  6. You should have about 3 cups of mashed potatoes in each amount.
  7. For the beet(root) salad: In a medium sized bowl, mash the beets into the potatoes.
  8. Add sugar, beet liquid and mayonnaise and mix well.
  9. Taste and season accordingly.
  10. The mixture should be soft and creamy, slightly sweet with the sharpness from the pickling liquid.
  11. Remember it will thicken as it chills.
  12. Place in serving bowl and chill until ready to eat.
  13. For the mustard salad: In a medium sized bowl, mix the mashed potato, mustard, 1 tablespoon sugar and mayonnaise and mix well.
  14. Taste and season accordingly.
  15. Add the onion and parsley.
  16. The mixture should be soft and creamy.
  17. It will thicken as it chills.
  18. Place in serving dish and chill until ready to use.