Healthy Kale Salad

8 Apr

KALESALAD

I enjoy eating kale and experimenting with different recipes. The below is a favorite recipe for a marinated kale salad. It’s full of healthy and beautiful ingredients such as avocados, tomatoes, purple cabbage and purple onion. The salad if finished with hemp seeds and a delicious lemon-garlic, flax seed oil dressing. It compliments any dish and is quick and easy to make.

Marinade:

1 clove garlic, finely diced
1 lemon, juice from (about 3 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon agave nectar (you can substitute your favorite sweetener)
pinch Himalayan salt
pinch pepper
1/4 cup flax seed oil

1.Whisk together the garlic, lemon juice, agave, salt and pepper.
2. Slowly pour oil into the mixture while still whisking. Set aside.

Salad:

1 bunch kale (I used dinosaur kale for this recipe)
1 cup cherry tomatoes
2 avocados, chopped
1/4 head purple cabbage, chopped
1/4 purple onion, diced
1/4 cup hemp seeds

1. Remove stems from kale leaves and tear into bite sized pieces.
2. Combine kale with marinade. Massage for a few minutes to well coat, set aside.
3. Prepare tomato, avocado, cabbage and onion.
4. Stir into kale mixture and mix well.
5. Top with 1/4 cup hemp seeds and mix in.

For this recipe and more raw food recipes check out Rawmazing.

Earth to Table, Bread Bar

8 Apr

TOP_BREADBAR

The Bread Bar is one of my favorite pizza places! I first tried it last year with a girlfriend and now it’s our go to lunch or dinner date place. I love the trendy style of the restaurant and the vibe… and it’s always very busy, which is not good when you have to wait for a table but, it’s worth every bite when that pizza comes! The restaurant is located on trendy Locke Street South in Hamilton, ON. The restaurant is part of the Landmark Group which consists of the Ancaster Old Mill, Spencer’s at the Waterfront, Cambridge Mill, Whistle Bear and Elora Mill.

The Bread Bar also follows the “Earth to Table” philosophy, thus believing that the gap between food producers and consumers should be shortened. They source quality, fresh and local ingredients, when possible, and handcraft all of their menu items in house.

I always order the bacon, scallion, and goat cheese pizza and it’s superb. If you love goat cheese and bacon you must try this! My girlfriend always orders the classic pepperoni pizza… it’s a classic and tastes great! All of the pizza’s are also stone baked. The prices are very reasonable. A pizza will cost anywhere from $13-$15. I also enjoy their arugula and fennel salad. Its a perfect combination of arugula and fennel combined with sunflower seeds, fontina and lemon. Very fresh and a perfect light starter. I have not yet tried their loaded french fries but, I have seen them and they look super delicious.

MIDDLE_BREAD

I have also previously indulged in their bread pudding and it is to die for. Honestly, I try and eat healthy whenever possible, but, this dessert is heavenly and worth every calorie. They have an amazing selection of desserts and treats to satisfy every sweet tooth! They also make a killer cappuccino which perfectly compliments any dessert. And when the bill comes it beautifully served under a stone on a silver platter!

I really enjoy the Bread Bar and highly recommend it! Come early if you are coming for dinner as they are quite busy usually.

Enjoy!
Irena

Raw Cashew Dreamcake

8 Apr

cheesecake1

This is one of my favorite raw dessert recipe’s. I have made it a few times and its a favorite in my house! The ingredients and instructions are below. The image is from My New Roots, where I got the recipe. My cake still tasted amazing but, not as visually appealing!

Ingredients:
Crust:
1/2 cup raw almonds (pecan or walnuts will also work)
1/2 cup soft Medjool dates
¼ tsp. sea salt

Filling:
1 ½ cups raw cashews, soaked for at least 5 hours, overnight is best
juice of 2 lemons
the seeds of 1 whole vanilla bean (or 1 tsp. alcohol-free vanilla extract)
1/3 cup raw coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup raw honey (solid or liquid.)(Vegans use agave nectar.)
1 cup raspberries (thaw completely if using frozen)

Directions:
1. Place nuts and dates in a food processor with sea salt and pulse to chop until they are to your desired fineness (process a finer crust longer than a chunky one). Test the crust by spooning out a small amount of mixture and rolling it in your hands. If the ingredients hold together, your crust is perfect. Scoop out crust mixture in a 7” spring-form pan (if you don’t have a spring-form pan, use a pie plate lined with saran wrap), and press firmly, making sure that the edges are well packed and that the base is relatively even throughout. Rinse food processor well.

2. Warm coconut oil and honey in a small saucepan on low heat until liquid. Whisk to combine.

3. In the most powerful food processor / blender you own (you decide which one has the most torque) place all filling ingredients (except raspberries) and blend on high until very smooth (this make take a couple minutes so be patient). If you have a Vita-Mix, absolutely use it.

4. Pour about 2/3 (just eyeball it, you can’t make a mistake!) of the mixture out onto the crust and smooth with a spatula. Add the raspberries to the remaining filling and blend on high until smooth. Pour onto the first layer of filling. Place in freezer until solid.

5. To serve, remove from freezer 30 minutes prior to eating. Run a smooth, sharp knife under hot water and cut into slices. Serve on its own, or with fresh fruit. Store leftovers in the freezer (what leftovers?).

I highly recommend this recipe and hope you try it!

Enjoy!
Irena xo

Top Picks for Summer Sandals

8 Apr

As Spring has arrived, I’ve been anticipating purchasing some new sandals. I have done some browsing and have come up with my top 6 must have’s for this summer! I love them all for different reasons and hope you enjoy my picks!

#1: Sam Edelman, Ginger, $125.00 USD and up
This is a great pair of gladiator sandals. Delicate studded details and back zip. They are gorgeous and edgy. They come in many colors so there is lots to chose from! They are available online or you can find them at various retail stores. Go to http://www.samedelman.com/store/ for details on where to buy.

small_ginger-pewter

#2: ZARA, Chain Sandal, $99.00 CAD
This is one of my favorites as well! Zara had these stunning sandals last season and they are worth every penny. They are statement piece and conversation starter! I had them last year and got many compliments on them. They are perfectly paired with short summer skirt or a maxi skirt. Great buy and a must have!

zara chain

#3: Michael Kors, Logo-Plate Leather Thong Sandal, $98.00 USD
I love this sandal as it’s versatile and beautiful and stylish. You can dress it up or dress it down. Would look amazing with a beautiful maxi dress. The sandal is made from white saffiano leather with gold accents. The buckled strap is adjustable and the heel is stacked.

michael-by-michael-kors-optic-white-logoplate-leather-thong-sandal-optic-white-product-1-3330744-237541633_large_flex

4: Michael Kors, Josephine Flat Leather Sandal, $165.00 USD
This is another favorite of mine. I love the high ankle straps and this flat would accompany a pair of sexy shorts perfectly. The straps are made from leather and are adjustable. There is also a zipper at the heel which makes them easier to put on and take off. Available in brown and black.

MC-camelblack

5: Browns/B2, Item# 0535725, $98.00 CAD
This simple and stylish sandal goes with almost anything! It comes in 4 colors; silver, black, light blue and yellow. Great summer shoe that’s trendy and comfortable.

brownsyelo

6: Browns, Chie Mihara Sandal, $348.00 CAD
These flats are absolutely stunning! If you have some extra cash to burn these are a must! They are beautifully designed and I love the turquoise color which perfectly complements the accent color. They are made from soft leather with a rubber sole. Love these!

turq

Happy shopping!
Irena xo

Magnificent Michael Kors

7 Apr

michael-kors-black-large-hamilton-tote-product-1-5109182-576178674_large_flexLately I have been slightly obsessed with Michael Kors handbags. My favorite handbag is the Hamilton Large Tote. I love it because it’s practical as it’s large and I can fit all of my “stuff” into it and also because it’s classic and timeless. I had to indulge and purchase the black one and I absolutely love it as its versatile and looks beautiful.

The Hamilton Tote comes in different variations and colors. Even though I purchased the black tote, I am also in love with the Large Hamilton Pyramid-Stud Saffiano Tote in Citrus and White. They are beautifully detailed and crafted and would an awesome accessory in the summer.

Michael-Kors-Accessoires-635x725

Michael Kors has done a really great job with his handbag collection as it caters to all needs. He has designed beautiful large totes, shoulder bags, satchels, clutches and wallets. The collections vary in colors, shapes and sizes.

Another slight obsession of mine is clutches. I have too many but, can’t ever stop myself from purchasing more. What I love about Michael Kors it that he gets females and always design with practicality and style in mind. His clutch collections are absolutely stunning. There are so many unique and different styles that capture my attention as the styles range from modern to vintage.

Michael Kors, who’s an American designer, has always showcased beautiful accessories. For more information on Michael Kors you can check out his website at http://www.michaelkors.com/

Geek Talk – Hamilton’s First Ever Geek Breakfast

7 Apr

geekOn March 2, 2013, Hamilton, Ontario hosted the first ever Geek Breakfast. The Geek Breakfast was established in 2007 by podcaster and blogger Dave Delaney in Nashville, TN. It has since then been hosted in 44 cities around the world. John Piercy, a Hamilton firefighter, organized this great networking event, which I had the pleasure of attending at the William’s Fresh Café on Hamilton’s waterfront.

I thoroughly enjoyed the event as it was great to meet the people who I have been communicating with and following on various social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. It was also interesting to meet new people from in and around the #HamOnt community who are involved in social media in some form. I met some really interesting people and it was neat to hear everyone’s perspective on different issues and topics.

At first, it was a little intimidating as there were over 30 people at the event, and I was a little shy to strike up conversations with people that I didn’t know. However, after some coffee and the help of my #BSMRCCE teacher Jared Lenover, I was well on my way. Jared introduced some of my fellow students and I to people from the community who do great work in the community and it was extremely interesting to listen to them and also ask them questions. It was also interesting to tweet live during the event using the #HamOnt hashtag and once again connect with people through social media that I may not have had a chance to connect with at the event.

I thought the event was well organized. The only comment I have is that at the beginning some of the students and I who came together were unsure where in the café the event was as the café is quite large. Next time around it would be helpful to have a Geek Breakfast sign posted as it would point attendee’s in the right direction. Other than that, it was a great experience and I would definitely attend another Geek Breakfast in #HamOnt and am looking forward to the next one!

GEEKBREKKIE

For more info on Geek Breakfast’s you can visit the general website at http://geekbreakfast.org/. You can also get more information on the #HamOnt Geek Breakfast’s on their Facebook page called Geek Breakfast Hamilton.

Randy’s Hamburgers Rock

7 Apr

RANDYSOne of my favorite “fast-good” joints is Randy’s Hamburgers in Hamilton, ON. It’s a small shop located on King Street East close to Ivor Wynne Stadium. It’s mostly take out but there a few spots where you could sit and eat. I love this little place as it serves hamburgers that are made from grass-fed beef. The beef comes from a farm called Rosedene Acres in St. Ann’s, Ontario. Rosedenes is a family owned farm and they raise their cows on pasture and they only eat grass, hay and silage. In addition, the cows are not injected with any growth hormones.

Not only does Randy’s use grass fed beef, they also make their condiments from scratch! They make everything in house and it all tastes delicious! Their condiment menu consists of ketchup, mustard, relish and mayonnaise. I love the fact that the mayo is made with cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil and free-run egg yolks. At first I was a little disappointed with the condiment selection as I was expecting a wider selection however, after I had the burger I was pleasantly satisfied. I enjoyed tasting the actual beef, which tasted like beef should taste, and the condiments perfectly added to it. It wasn’t over loaded or so full of stuff that you missed the taste of the beef in the burger. They use egg buns which are soft and fluffy and a great pairing for burgers.

They also sell french fries and onion rings which are deep fried in beef fat. Yes, I know deep frying is not healthy but if you are going to do it, beef fat is a great option… way better than canola oil or any other unhealthy vegetable oil which most restaurants use. The fries taste homemade, old fashioned with a perfect seasoning of salt.

On top of the great food, they also have a pinball machine! How awesome is that! Super old school!

I would definitely recommend Randy’s Hamburgers! It is worth every bite! I suggest you get there early on in the day as they do run out of beef at times and you will be disappointed!

verawnika

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