Roasted Summer Salad

Good afternoon! Today's post is all about my Roasted Summer Salad. Right now there are so many vegetables that are in season and this means that they taste their most delicious and they're also more affordable. You can make this as a lunch for two, a dinner for one, or as a side dish without the lettuce. It is also vegan & gluten free. 

For this recipe you will need: (serves 1-2)

1 zucchini, sliced in rounds

A dozen cherry tomatoes (these were from my own balcony garden!)

2 medium-sized potatoes, half moon slices 

2 green onions, sliced 

A handful of fresh herbs (whatever you have on hand works; I used parsley, basil & rosemary)

2 tbsp of olive oil

Pinch of sea salt

Pinch of garlic powder

Butter lettuce leaves (or any other greens you have on hand)

Seeds, nuts, anything crunchy & nutritious 

To start, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper all throw everything together except for the green onions, lettuce, and nuts. Toss everything together so the veggies are well coated. Bake in the oven for around 30 minutes or until everything is golden brown and delicious. 

To assemble your salad, place your butter lettuce leaves or greens as the base in your bowl. Put all the roasted goodness within the lettuce cup/base, and sprinkle the green onions and nuts as a garnish. For a dressing, balsamic vinegar works well. You can keep this plain as well as it is quite flavourful. Enjoy! 

Follow me on instagram, twitter, and youtube! Please subscribe to my blog to keep in the loop! 


Brain Food: Healthy Gluten Free Banana Bread

Along comes the Winter semester and crunch time for university students everywhere. Brain food is very important to sustain yourself in the times of exams and essays. When I think of brain food, I automatically think of bananas! Bananas are high in fibre, potassium, and many other things. This banana bread is gluten free, low in sugar, and has lots of add-ins that creates a super banana bread! banana bread

You will need:

2-3 very ripe bananas, mashed

1/3 cup of butter, melted (I used vegan butter)

1/3 cup of sugar (I used coconut sugar)

1 egg

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 teaspoon of baking soda

Pinch of salt

1/3 cup of flax seeds

1/3 cup of oats

2 tablespoons of unsweetened shredded coconut

2 tablespoons of chia seeds

1/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum

1 1/2 cups of gluten free flour

*You can make this with regular all purpose flour and without the xanthan gum if gluten free isn't necessary.

To start, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl mash your bananas, and add in your melted butter. Add in the egg, vanilla extract, baking soda, and salt, and mix thoroughly. Add in the flax seeds, oats, chia seeds, coconut, and mix together. Lastly add in the xanthan gum and gf flour. Mix thoroughly and pour batter into a greased loaf pan. Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until the centre is no longer wet. banana bread2banana bread 1banana bread 3

This banana bread is super easy to make, takes no time at all, and is a healthy sweet treat! It's great for snacking on, or you can use it    as a breakfast or lunch with peanut butter or cream cheese on top. You can substitute any of "healthy" extras for chocolate chips, nuts, or dried fruit. I personally make this banana bread all the time, and especially when it is crunch time and I need a little healthy yet comforting boost in the snack department.

Follow me on instagram @melodyannep and bloglovin!

Vegan French Toast

Today was a stay-at-home-get-away-from-the-cold-and-work-on-1000000-essays-you-have-to-do kinda day. It's exhausting working on so many papers and trying to keep warm. Today in my humble town above Toronto it feels like -18 degrees. With that said, I wanted something warm at lunch and a little bit different than I usually would have, and something very quick! I went with French Toast, of the vegan kind. IMG_3323

This recipe is super easy, warm, and cozy. Slather it up with some maple syrup, fruit, and some whip cream (I opted for coconut whip cream). It'll take you no time at all, and makes you feel so comforting.

You will need:

Bread. I used a whole grain bread, but anything hearty should be fine.

1 cup of almond milk

1 tablespoon of chia seeds (ground or left whole)

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg

To start, get your pan heating up, and place all of the ingredients (aside from the bread) into a bowl. Mix until its all combined. Let it sit for a few minutes so the chia seeds can thicken up (and mimic eggs.) Dunk each slice of bread into the milk mixture and let it sit for 20-30 seconds per side. Place it into your pan, and let each side become crispy and golden brown. Top your french toast with whatever you have on hand or would like to indulge with.

Follow me on instagram @melodyannep and bloglovin!

Vegan & Gluten Free Falafels

I absolutely love chickpeas. They're high in protein and fibre, and absolutely delicious. I'm always trying to find news way to enjoy them so I thought I'd venture out into the falafel world. I made these falafels for lunch today and they're easy, very quick, and very yummy! You'll also have everything on hand which means less money for you to spend. IMG_3280

You will need:

A can of chickpeas

A pinch or so of salt

Cilantro

Hot peppers

A teaspoon and a half of gluten free flour (If you don't need it to be gluten free, use AP flour!)

A teaspoon of oil (I used vegetable)

A food processor

(I used Gourmet Garden's Cilantro and Chili Pepper paste. I always keep it on hand, and it makes flavouring a lot easier.)

IMG_3251

IMG_3258

Put your pan on the heat at medium and add in your oil. Add all of your ingredients into your food processor. Put the lid on and whiz it up! (Its that easy really!) Make your little falafels with about a spoon or so of your mixture. If you wet your hands lightly it makes it the mixture stick less to your hands and easier to work with. Place your falafels into the hot pan, and let each side brown and crisp up. This should take about 1-2 minutes per side.

IMG_3262 IMG_3264 IMG_3268 IMG_3272  IMG_3285

Enjoy them with a salad, pitas, tortillas, yogurt, or any other chutney that you like! You could easily put them in the oven to bake as well. Next time I'm going to try adding sweet potato into the mix, and use them as a veggie burger! Bon appetit!

Follow me on instagram @melodyannep and bloglovin!

How to Make a Salad

I am called the "Salad Queen", not that I'm bragging. Salads are wonderful for you, taste delicious, and really can fill you up! They are also a way for you to use anything you already have on hand, and will cost you nothing by the end of it. For a fantastic salad, you need: A light dressing. Just a little bit. Make your own or buy one. (and remember, a lot of dressing doesn't always mean a lot of flavour!)

A leafy green. I personally love kale or baby spinach. Feel free to mix them both, buy a spring mix, or just do a simple romaine! I think that salads are all about maximizing flavour and healthy essentials.

Fruits and veggies. I am a BIG believer in putting fruit in my salad. It adds such a great dimension. Try adding sliced apple, pear, or even berries!

Nuts, seeds, dried fruits. Any type of nuts, seeds, or dried fruits like cranberries, raisins, or apricots. I like walnuts, almonds, flax seeds, and pepitas. Experiment and put what you like. Try to get raw nuts for greater benefits!

Anything else. I personally love cheese so I always add it to my salad. Just a little bit goes a long way. Goat cheese, brie, mozzarella, you name it, it's been in there. Also, if you need a carb, add croutons, or a slice of bread.

Image

This salad I made today had baby kale, sliced pear, almonds, soya nuts, flax seeds, pepitas, golden raisins, brie, and a lemon poppyseed dressing! So satisfying and delicious! Get creative with your salad, and enjoy! What are your thoughts on salad?

Earls does lunch right!

Yesterday I went out for lunch with my dad. We decided to go to Earls, and I certainly was not disappointed. The food there is sooo delicious, and the portions are really filling (I took half my sandwich home!). I think its important that when you do go out, and this is especially for dining out, make sure to have or do something you normally wouldn't. For instance, I normally wouldn't make as luxe a meal as I had today, so it really was a great treat! Here's the rundown of our lunch. We started with the Warm Three Cheese + Spinach Dip (great way to start lunch especially with the warm ciabatta toasts, ohh and it had three cheeses!). My dad followed with the Bronx Burger. This burger was amazing from the beer battered onion rings, garlic aioli, red pepper relish, white cheddar, and it was on a brioche bun! I opted for the Chicken, Brie + Fig Sandwich. This was soooo (I wish I could add a 1000 "o"s because it was that good) yummy! It had roasted apples, spinach, a wonderful fig jam, garlic aioli all on a ciabatta bun! Ohh and their fries are to die for! I'm kinda a potato connoisseur.

Going out doesn't mean you need to empty your entire bank account. Choose wisely on what you want to do or where you want to eat, and make it count!

Image

Image

Image