Kale & Caramel: Recipes for Body, Heart, and Table by Lily Diamond

Kale and Caramel by Lily Diamond feature image

No rain, no flowers. •  In her first book, Kale & Caramel: Recipes for Body, Heart, and Table, thirty-something writer, photographer, and natural wellness blogger Lily Diamond shares recipes for 80 nourishing vegetarian and vegan dishes and DIY beauty products made all the more magical for the moving stories of heartbreak, healing and joy she serves alongside. Chapters are organized by the aromatic herbs and flowers discussed within — in the first section it’s basil, cilantro, fennel, mint, oregano, rosemary, sage, and thyme; in the second section, lavender, jasmine, rose and orange blossom. Tips for sourcing, storing, pairing, and infusing into oils, honey, sugar and salt make for a comprehensive and approachable guide that encourages readers to play. Lily is as down-to-earth as they come, and her voice, her brand of wildness “that tends to manifest in quiet river skinny-dipping, or playing fast and loose in the kitchen, or not wearing pants all day, or singing to Beyoncé at the top of my lungs” charmed me as much as her recipes.  Continue reading “Kale & Caramel: Recipes for Body, Heart, and Table by Lily Diamond”

Behind the brand: Mellow Bath and Body + A giveaway

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“When you know better, you do better.”– Maya Angelou • The more we learn about the harmful effects of the ingredients in many of the mainstream products we use every day, the more we look for healthier, greener alternatives. And when it comes to bath and body products, the choices available seem to be growing exponentially. New to the market is Newmarket, Ontario’s Mellow Bath and Body. The company recently sent me two of its all-natural products to try, including this wonderful handmade body scrub (oh if you could smell it!) made with freshly ground, organic and fair trade coffee, organic raw cane sugar and shea butter, and a pepperminty soap made with activated charcoal, and I was curious to learn more about the maker behind it. Here’s my chat with Melody Rattanavong, Mellow Bath and Body’s creator and maker.  Continue reading “Behind the brand: Mellow Bath and Body + A giveaway”

The Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz + Win a copy!

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I know I’m not alone in feeling overwhelmed this time of year, but if it’s your holiday menu you’re worried about, worry no more! I’ve got your back. The Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz is a fantastic resource not only for vegans (and for those with vegan guests coming to the table), but it has plenty of plant-tastic, comforting recipes to satisfy meat-eaters too. It’s Isa’s largest book (she’s published several other vegan bestsellers) and very likely one you’ll turn to the most, both for celebrations year-round and everyday meals. Continue reading “The Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz + Win a copy!”

Little Life Box + A giveaway!

Little Life Box deluxe subscription box

Chatelaine has a great article in the latest issue about the importance of self-care, including several smart and do-able ways to show yourself some love on a daily, monthly and yearly basis. I’m going to make another suggestion for the monthly column: treating yourself to a health-based subscription box that’ll introduce you to all kinds of better-for-you food, beauty and lifestyle products, many of them Canadian, and delivered right to your door. Montreal’s Little Life Box is just that. The company sent me their classic box to try. Continue reading “Little Life Box + A giveaway!”

Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking by Dana Shultz + Win a copy!

Minimalist Baker's Everyday Cooking cover

What is “everyday cooking” to you? Quick, fuss-free meals using ingredients you have on hand? Me too. Hands up if that means making the same six or seven dishes again and again. (Hand up here!) This week I found fresh inspiration in Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking: 101 Entirely Plant-Based, Mostly Gluten-Free, Easy and Delicious Recipes by Dana Shultz of the wildly popular blog, Minimalist Baker. And I think you will too. Each recipe takes 30 minutes or less to prepare, has 10 ingredients or less, or uses one bowl or one pot (that last bit I really like). These are breakfasts, appetizers, mains, desserts and drinks simple and practical to make on the regular and full of flavour and nutritious goodness.  Continue reading “Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking by Dana Shultz + Win a copy!”

Made with Love by Kelly Childs and Erinn Weatherbie + Win 1 of 5 copies!

Made with Love by Kelly Childs and Erin Weatherbie feature image

I don’t know any magic tricks and I can’t tell a joke to save my life, but I can make a chocolate chip cookie that will dazzle and delight. It’s the cover star of Made with Love: More than 100 Sweet and Savory Plant-Based Recipes for Every Moment in Life by mother-daughter duo Kelly Childs and Erinn Weatherbie of Kelly’s Bake Shoppe and Love Lettuce Café, and it’s worth the price of the book alone. You want to bake someone happy? Bake these.  Continue reading “Made with Love by Kelly Childs and Erinn Weatherbie + Win 1 of 5 copies!”

Whole Bowls by Allison Day + Win a copy!

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It’s a fantastic year for plant-tastic cookbooks, and last week saw the debut of another: Whole Bowls: Complete Gluten-Free and Vegetarian Meals to Power Your Day by Allison Day, nutritionist, food stylist, photographer and creator of the award-winning blog Yummy Beet. These are wholesome, satisfying meals and desserts you can assemble as quickly or leisurely as time allows, preparing components in advance to have at the ready or building all at once like I did (and maybe nibbling as you go). Use Allison’s whole bowls formula to adapt the recipes to your taste and/or what you have on hand and discover the plant-iful pleasures to be had in a bowl brimming with flavour, colour and texture.  Continue reading “Whole Bowls by Allison Day + Win a copy!”

Healthy snacks at the ready with SnackBreak + Win!

SnackBreak Prana machu pichu Simply Protein chips Blue Monkey coconut chips

I don’t know about you, but I can’t get through the day without my snacks. Especially between lunch and dinner. You know how the kids come home from school so ravenous it’s like they haven’t eaten in a week? That’s me at 3 o’clock. And I don’t always reach for the healthiest thing either. Really if it isn’t nailed down, it’s going in my mouth. Easter chocolate (I’m doing a fine job getting through the leftovers), pretzels, cookies I’m making that day for a book review. All things that satisfy in the moment, but make me feel like curling up for a snooze soon after. (You too?) But if I have a bunch of well-balanced snacks at the ready — snacks that will satisfy my cravings and (bonus!) keep my energy up, well it’s another thing altogether. So when I learned about a new Canadian snack subscription box company that would deliver all kinds of delicious goodness to my door, I jumped at the chance to try it. And since something tells me you’d like try it too (we’re all about trying small things here, right?), well I might have a little sumthin’ sumthin’ to offer you as well.  Continue reading “Healthy snacks at the ready with SnackBreak + Win!”

The Help Yourself Cookbook for Kids by Ruby Roth

The Help Yourself Cookbook For Kids cover

Remember that episode of Family Ties where Mrs. and Mrs. Keaton come home early from a weekend without the kids to a houseful of strangers and a kangaroo? It was homecoming weekend in Leland and Alex had turned the house into a hotel to pay for repairs after Mallory drove the car into a telephone pole pulling out of the driveway. Next thing you know, there’s a kid demanding French toast with his stay and a marsupial team mascot hopping around the living room. Chaos! Chaos! It’s what came to my mind last week when my eight-year-old dragged a stool across the kitchen floor to reach the cupboard with the dates and said, “You just read me the instructions mom — I’ll make the recipe all by myself.”  Continue reading “The Help Yourself Cookbook for Kids by Ruby Roth”

Superfoods 24/7 by Jessica Nadel

Superfoods 247 by Jessica Nadel

If two vegans have an argument, is it still called “a beef”? What do vegan zombies say? “Graaaaaains! Graaaaains!” How many vegans does it take to change a light bulb? Two: one to change it, and one to check for animal ingredients. Vegans may be the subject of many a punchline, but for anyone who’s avoided vegan food, well the joke’s on them. I tested a few of the recipes in Jessica Nadel’s vegan Superfoods 24/7 and I’m here to tell you, they’re plant-tastic! So go for the goji berries, stock up on the spinach and make no beans about beans! Let Jessica show you how to make them go-to’s in dishes you’ll love.  Continue reading “Superfoods 24/7 by Jessica Nadel”