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Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Cajun Roasted Cauliflower Salad

I was inspired to make this salad after seeing a recipe for BBQ Cauliflower Salad this weekend. I made a few changes, like keeping the corn raw and changing up the BBQ sauce for coconut oil and cajun seasoning, and it turned out great! The perfect summer salad to enjoy outside on the patio. 
For the original recipe click here -->

Cajun Roasted Cauliflower Salad
Vegan & gluten-free
Serves 2

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 ear of raw organic corn, sliced
  • 1/4 of a red onion, diced
  • shredded carrots
  • 3 c. lettuce
  • 1 medium tomato, cut into cubes
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbsps coconut oil melted
  • Optional: 1/2 cup black beans
Cajun Seasoning 

  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp (or up to 1 tbsp) cayenne - depending on how spicy you like it
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt (optional) 

    1. Preheat over to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with foil.
    2. Toss the cauliflower florets in coconut oil, add spices and toss again.
    3. Place cauliflower florets on the sheet and bake 30 minutes. Remove from oven.
    4. Assemble all of the ingredients together for the salad.
    5. Squeeze fresh lemon on top, toss and enjoy! 
    Looking for a salad dressing?? For a fresh dairy-free ranch dressing click here -->  

    Thanks for stopping by, 
    Keep it fresh and fruity!
    Naturally Ashley

    Check out my other recipes at  -->
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    Sunday, 9 June 2013

    Banana's for: Banana Blueberry Soft Serve Ice Cream

    I've been on a bit of a banana ice cream kick lately! Partly because I had lots of ripe bananas left over from the expo last weekend that went into my freezer, partly because it's so quick and easy to make, and partly because it tastes amazing!!! It has the exact same creamy smoothness as soft serve ice cream. Nikki and I made this yesterday afternoon as a treat - I usually make straight up banana ice cream but I had already had that for breakfast!

    I have three dogs and am babysitting two real sweethearts for the weekend so I thought a puppy play date would be fun!  Nikki came over first with her two dogs Lucy and Rouge. She was hungry and all I have in the house is bananas so the choice was clear - Banana ice cream! I also had some frozen blueberries so we added them to the mixture. It was the perfect afternoon snack and really hit the spot. If you haven't tried banana ice cream yet I suggest you try it! It's super easy and simply delicious! (RECIPE BELOW)

    Chelsea came over shortly after with her dog Ollie. There were 8 dogs in my backyard and they had the time of their lives running and playing together. You can just imagine how tired they were after! 


    Now back to the ice cream! I used both frozen blueberries and frozen bananas to make my ice cream and I added a handful of fresh ones to it after I blended it too! You can do this with almost any sweet fruit. Blended frozen mango is delicious too! 

    Here is the recipe for
     Banana Blueberry Soft Serve Ice Cream

    Slice bananas 1/4-inch thick. Make sure they are ripe with lots of brown spots!!
    Freeze in a single layer on a cookie tray lined with parchment paper — or in one layer in a resealable freezer bag, laid flat — until solid, at least 6 hours. (I usually freeze them overnight)
    Take out 3-5 bananas and measure 1/2 cup frozen blueberries 
    Transfer to food processor OR Vitamix/high powered blender and blend. 

    The Vitamix works wonders for making banana ice cream. But you can use a food processor too! When you use a food processor the bananas will first go sort of granular, then you’ll start to notice it going a bit creamy near the edges. Once this happens, scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue to blend, scrape, blend, scrape, etc. until the whole thing is a smooth, silky, creamy, moussey dream. This whole process should take 3 to 4 minutes in the food processor and 1- 2 minutes in the Vitamix. 
    don’t suggest doing this in a blender unless you have a Vitamix or a Blentec high powered blender. The blade isn’t big enough to properly chop the bananas. That being said: My sister makes hers in her Magic Bullet adding some unfrozen banana or almond milk to get things moving along. 

    Variations: You can switch up the flavour by adding another frozen fruit, just as long as at least half of the mixture is banana. Some great mixtures I have done are: 
    Banana Strawberry
    Banana Mango
    Banana Cherry
    Banana Pineapple and Dates
    Banana Chocolate (carob/cacao powder) and Fresh Mint

    Monday, 3 June 2013

    5 Tips for Great Tasting Green Smoothies

    Thanks again ladies for having me on the Global Regina Morning News show this morning! I had so much fun sharing my healthy tips for making great tasting green smoothies! We didn't get all the way through to tip 5 on the show but I have listed all of the steps below for you follow.
    If you follow these steps you're sure to end up with a great tasting green smoothie!

    Don't be scared of the green color, green smoothies can actually taste great! Green smoothies are a super-nutrient-packed beverage made of raw leafy green vegetables blended with fresh and/or frozen fruit and water. Typical greens used in green smoothies include kale, spinach, swiss chard, cucumber, celery, collard greens, bok choy, parsley, cilantro and more. I drink a green smoothie for breakfast almost every day as a way to get more greens in my diet. 

    Greens are important because they are the most nutrient dense foods, meaning that they contain a high amount of vitamins and minerals, fibre and antioxidants that help strengthen the blood and respiratory system. They are also high-alkaline foods. The alkaline minerals in our bodies are used to neutralize acidic conditions caused by the environment. Nutritionally, greens are very high in calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, zinc and vitamins A, C, E and K. They are loaded with fiber, folic acid, chlorophyll and many other micronutrients and phytochemicals. 

    Blending your greens helps your body with the absorption of all these great vitamins and minerals found in them by busting open the plant's cell walls exposing these nutrients. The amount of greens in a large salad takes me an hour to properly chew them to break open the cell walls. *It's still important to chew your green smoothies for proper digestion! 

    I've played around with different combinations, finding that not all green smoothies are created equal in taste so I've created a list of 5 tips for beginners to achieve great tasting green smoothies!

    5 Tips for Great Tasting Green Smoothies

    1. Start small - a typical green smoothie is 60% fruit and 40% greens, but you don't have to start out using this much. Start with using one small handful of spinach or one big leaf of kale - de-stemmed - and gradually adding more in until you are using 40% greens. De-stemming the kale is important for great tasting green smoothies as the stem makes the smoothie bitter and unpleasant.

    2. Stick to one green - When starting out, it's best to stick to one green at a time for a great tasting green smoothie. I recommend spinach and kale to beginners and you can use baby kale if you like. I find spinach especially blends well and kale has little taste when blended well with sweet fruit.

    3. Use sweet fruits - sweet fruits like banana, mango, cherries, pineapple, grapes, peaches, blueberries and pitted medjool dates taste great in green smoothies. They will make your green smoothie naturally sweet and help mask the taste of the greens. Fruits like strawberries, raspberries, apples, lemons, and grapefruit are not as sweet and are best used in combination with sweeter fruits if you would like to add them. You can also use a combination of fresh and frozen fruits depending on the availability but I always stick to fruits that are in season as they are more nutrient-packed and cheaper to purchase.

    4. Try coconut water - substituting coconut water for water adds so much sweetness and flavor to your green smoothies as well as electrolytes like potassium which are essential for proper hydration. I definitely recommend cracking up a young thai coconut or buying organic coconut water from your local health food store. (Taste Nirvana and Harmless Harvest are my favorite brands!) Coconut water taste especially great with tropical fruits like banana, mango, pineapple and oranges.

    5. Keep it simple - You don't have to throw in ten different things to get a great tasting green smoothie. Some of the recipes on the internet might be intimidating using ingredients like maca powder, spirulina, raw cacao, chlorella and other fancy superfoods that you don't necessarily need. I actually find that the simpler the ingredients- the better my green smoothie tastes! Some examples of great tasting, simple sweet green smoothies are:

    Simple Green Smoothies using kale or spinach:
    -Bananas, coconut water and greens
    -Mango, cherry, coconut water, greens
    -Bananas, blueberries and greens
    -Mango, banana, coconut water and greens
    -Frozen banana, pineapple, dates, coconut water and greens
    -Blueberry, banana, mango and greens
    -Mango, peach, coconut water and greens
    -Mango, blueberry, cherry, coconut water, greens

    More adventurous green smoothies:
    -Mango, coconut water, lime and cilantro
    -Cucumber, mint, pear, spinach and dates
    -Apples, dates, coconut water, spinach and cinnamon
    -Strawberry, pineapple, orange, coconut water, kale
    -Bananas, celery and coconut water
    -Peaches, dates, coconut water, kale, cinnamon, ginger

    * Bonus tip - adding blueberries turns your green smoothie into a purple smoothie - which is great if you have picky eaters in your family and are trying to get them to eat more greens. Also, if you like to add milk to your smoothies, try substituting regular milk for almond milk. Almonds are a natural source of calcium and almond milk tastes great when added to green smoothies.

    Thanks for stopping by, 
    Lots of love and fresh squeezed hugs!
    Naturally Ashley, 
    find me on facebook!