Category Archives: recipe round up

Late Summer Vegetable Recipes I’m Loving

I go crazy for this time of year. Maybe literally. Almost every Saturday this summer I’ve been in my car by 6:45 am to head to the St. Jacob’s Farmers Market – is that crazy? I’ll let you decide.

late summer vegetables

But the excitement of picking out new fruits and vegetables for the week is enough to drag me out of bed at that hour (and it helps that I’m naturally an early riser anways). Especially now that it’s the peak time for some of my late summer favourites like tomatoes and zucchini! Truth be told I rarely even bat an eye at some of these vegetables the other 9-10 months of the year, but the second they hit farmers markets, I’m all over them. You can’t beat that fresh local flavour!

Tomatoes have been finding their way into simple salads, always with some form of cheese (I’m having a bit of a love affair with fior de latte at the moment). Zucchini grated into patties and pan fried so that they become deliciously crispy. Peppers and eggplant roasted until they become soft and slightly charred. And corn – well I keep meaning to make corn patties or something, but it’s just so good eaten plain right off the cob!

roasted red peppers

If you’re in need of some more inspiration, here’s what I’ve been cooking with summer’s bounty lately:

tomatoes and peppers 

Caprese Salad with Grilled Peppers via Jamie Oliver
Grilled Vegetable Salad with Smoky Cumin Dressing via Yummy Beet
Tomato Eggplant Stew over Parmesan Polenta via Snixy Kitchen
Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup
Sun Dried Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Pasta (recipe coming soon!)

summer squash 

Summer Squash Gratin with Gruyere and Salsa Verde via Smitten Kitchen
Shaved Summer Squash Salad via Bon Appetit
Zucchini Fritters via Clean Eats, Fast Feets
Arugula Pesto and Zucchini Pizza with Chevre

beets 

Farro Salad with Beet Greens and Sun Dried Tomatoes via Brooklyn Supper
Golden Beet Salad with Orange Miso Dressing via Oh She Glows
Balsamic Glazed Beets via The Washington Post

miscellaneous late summer vegetables 

Sweet Potato, Corn, and Feta Salad via What’s Gabby Cooking
Smoked Trout and Summer Bean Salad via Fine Cooking

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Boyfriend approved vegetable side dishes

Disclaimer: This post was written as a part of the GoodLife Fitness Ambassador program. All opinions expressed are my own.

The transition to living with JZ after we moved in together a few months ago has been surprisingly easy.

Without too much difficulty, we’ve managed to merge our lifestyles into a new routine that we’re both happy with. We start our days with a 6:30 am workout at GoodLife Fitness, he makes coffee while I shower, I make breakfast while he showers, and then we sit down to breakfast together before running off to our respective jobs. When I get home around 6 pm I start on whichever dinner is on the meal plan that I created on the weekend.

Okay, I lied, this is where things can get a bit tricky. The food, that is. Because I like vegetables in just about every form, whereas he is a little bit more… selective (aka. picky). Onions, mushrooms, raw tomatoes, and bell peppers are totally out of the question, as is anything that tastes too “green”… whatever that means.

So over our past year and a half together, I’ve tried out tons of vegetable recipes on him – some being hits and some being total misses. But I’ve accumulated a few boyfriend approved vegetable side dishes that I make over and over again. And if he’ll eat it, you can pretty much bet that anyone you are cooking for will eat it, be it a picky 6 year old kid or college aged guy who lives off of Kraft Dinner.

Healthy vegetable recipes that your boyfriend will actually like!

Broccoli with Cheese Sauce and Toasted Pine Nuts (from Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen): Broccoli has a bad reputation amongst vegetable haters, but my parents got me to love it as a kid by serving it with a homemade cheese sauce. I swapped out the cheddar for Gruyère in my version and added some chopped toasted pine nuts for a salty crunch.

Broccoli with cheese sauce and crushed toasted pine nuts

Maple Pan Roasted Baby Carrots (from Fine Cooking): Roasting the carrots and adding a touch of maple syrup brings out the natural sweetness of the carrots. Everyone I make these for loves them!

Boyfriend approved vegetable side dishes - maple carrotsPhoto by Scott Phillips, courtesy of Fine Cooking Magazine, (c) 2007 by The Taunton Press Inc. www.finecooking.com

Zucchini Fritters: Crispy and salty, these almost taste like potato latkes if you close your eyes. They’re the only way I’ve been successful in getting JZ to eat zucchini!

Zucchini Fritters by Smitten KitchenPhoto credit: Smitten Kitchen

Cheesy Baked Cauliflower (from Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen): This recipe is guaranteed to convert any cauliflower skeptics out there. The crispy baked cheese that coats each floret makes you forget you’re even eating vegetables!

Boyfriend approved vegetable side dishes - Cheesy baked cauliflower

Balsamic-Glazed Roasted Beets (from Once Upon a Chef): I’m not going to lie, I didn’t think these would go over well. I know a lot of people just aren’t beet lovers. But surprisingly he really enjoyed them! The balsamic glaze adds an extra touch of sweetness that makes them irresistible.

Balsamic glazed roasted beetsPhoto credit: Once Upon a Chef

Garlic Lemon and Parmesan Roasted Brussels Sprouts (from Cooking Classy): Brussels sprouts get a bad rap, but roasting them brings out the most delicious flavours. The addition of garlic and Parmesan make this recipe even better – and boyfriend approved!

Garlic lemon parmesan roasted brussels sproutsPhoto credit: Cooking Classy

Maple Chipotle Sweet Potato Wedges (from The Healthy Maven): they’re sweet, they’re spicy, and they’re crispy. What’s not to love?

Maple-Chipotle-Sweet-Potato-WedgesPhoto credit: The Healthy Maven

Grilled Corn with Herbed Butter (from Diethood): this one is kind of a no brainer because, well, who doesn’t like corn? But the herbed butter takes it up another notch!

Grilled Corn with Herbed ButterPhoto credit: Diethood

What are your go to vegetable dishes for picky eaters?

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20 Healthy Nut Free Snacks

A round up of healthy nut free snacks that taste delicious and are safe for nut allergies!

A round up of healthy nut free snacks that taste delicious and are safe for nut allergies! Photo credit: Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen, The Honour System, Yummy Beet, and Kiwi & Bean

I don’t really mind having a nut allergy (well, except for the fact that I can’t eat at any ice cream shops and most bakeries) – but one thing that really drives me crazy is how little attention nut allergies get from food companies.

It seems like there are hoards of vegan and gluten free products being added to the market each year – yet nut free products have barely progressed since my childhood. And when it comes to healthy nut free snacks, the pickings are even slimmer.

So a few years ago I started making my own. Inspired by blogs like Oh She Glows and Edible Perspective, I realized that making homemade snacks could be easy and rewarding! And a whole lot tastier than those Quaker chewy bars, which at the time were one of the only granola bars on the market I could eat (calling them a “granola bar” is probably a long shot, as they’re really more like candy bars).

I found that at first I had to adapt a lot of the recipes, since most called for nuts or nut butters. But now there seem to be a lot more snack recipes online using healthy nut free ingredients like soy and seed butters, and seeds like sunflower, pumpkin, hemp, chia, flax, and sesame. These ingredients contain a lot of the same nutrients as nuts, like protein, healthy fats, iron, and zinc, making them equally as healthy as nuts. I’m glad their finally getting their moment in the spotlight!

I’ve rounded up some ideas for nut free snacks from some of my favourite blogs in this post. Nut allergies or not, these healthy nut free snacks are sure to satisfy!

A round up of healthy nut free snacks that taste delicious and are safe for nut allergies!Photo credit: The Honour System

Sunbutter  Cups with Dark Chocolate and Hemp Seeds via The Honour System

Raw Gooey Brownie Fantasy Bars via Oatmeal With a Fork

Cacao Mesquite Energy Balls via Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen

Super Seed Chocolate Protein Bites via Oh She Glows

A round up of healthy nut free snacks that taste delicious and are safe for nut allergies!Photo credit: Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen

Healthy Oat and Flax Date Squares via Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen

Cranberry Coconut Chocolate Chip Granola Bars via Eating Bird Food

Superfood Chocolate Sesame Snack Squares via Faring Well

Banana Bread Granola Bars via Running With Spoons

A round up of healthy nut free snacks that taste delicious and are safe for nut allergies!Photo credit: Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen

Nut Free Banana Chocolate Chip Date Bars via Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen

No Bake Chocolate Sunflower Seed Butter Granola Bars via Running with Spoons

Nut Free Power Bites via Lexi’s Clean Kitchen

Chocolate Chip Soy Nut Butter Date Bars via Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen

A round up of healthy nut free snacks that taste delicious and are safe for nut allergies!Photo Credit: Yummy Beet

Vegan Gluten Free Banana Bread via Yummy Beet

Honey Oat Squares via The Honour System

Superfood Chocolate Protein Bars via Pure Ella

Sunflower Seed Brittle via Sprouted Kitchen

A round up of healthy nut free snacks that taste delicious and are safe for nut allergies!Photo credit: Kiwi & Bean

Crispy Baked Homemade Granola Bars via Kiwi and Bean

Banana Bread Muffin Tops via Oh She Glows

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffin Tops via Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen

Raw Hemp Protein Bars via Green Kitchen Stories

What are your favourite nut substitutes to use in baking?

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