matcha coconut energy bites

 

happy monday!!! as promised here is the recipe for my matcha coconut energy bites. they are vegan, gluten free & so delicious. energy bites are like a little ball of healthy goodness. i make them on the weekend & pack them in justin's lunch throughout the week instead of store bought granola bars. it is the perfect afternoon snack to keep your stomach full until dinner! this version features a hint of aiya's matcha powder. it adds an unexpected flavour & is loaded with antioxidants. while i used raw cocoa nibs, feel free to subtitute dark chocolate chips.

p.s. don't they look like fancy truffles?

ingredients

  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup pitted dates, soaked
  • 1 tablespoon aiya's matcha powder
  • 3 tablespoons raw cocoa nibs
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

directions

  • using a food processor, pulse together the oats, almonds & coconut until ground.
  • add the dates (side note: soak the dates in hot water to soften), matcha powder, cocoa nibs, salt, maple syrup & vanilla. blend on low until a paste is formed.
  • shape into evenly sized balls. roll in additional coconut or matcha if desired.
  • refrigerate & enjoy!

shepherds pie

 

happy first post of 2018!!!! i couldn't be more excited to share this sheppard's pie with you, because my god it is gooood. with the weather being insanely cold & snowy here, ain't nobody got time for salad! give me ALL the comfort food winter has to offer. this dish has always been a favourite in my family, but i gave it a little upscale twist by adding in wintery fresh herbs & cambria wines. you have two options when it comes to the wine & meat choice. if you want to keep things on the lighter side & use ground chicken or turkey i reccomend using cambria wine's benchbreak chardonnay. it adds so much flavour to the filling, you will never want to make sheppard's pie without a wine based filling again. if you want to keep things on the classic side & use ground lamb or beef, use cambria wine's benchbreak pinot noir. both combinations are equally fantastic, so i can't possibly pick a favourite. may this dish keep you warm from the inside out this season!

ingredients

for the topping

  • 2 pounds yellow potatoes, cubed
  • 2 garlic cloves, whole
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • salt & pepper, to taste

for the filling

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled & diced small
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 pound ground meat (beef, lamb or chicken)
  • 1/3 cup low sodium chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup cambria wine's benchbreak chardonnay or pinot noir
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • salt & pepper, to taste

directions

for the topping

  • fill a large pot with water & season heavily with salt.
  • add the potatoes & garlic. bring to a boil over medium high heat & cook until the potatoes are fork tender.
  • strain the water & immediately mash in the butter, cream, thyme, salt & pepper.
  • set aside while you prepare the filling.

for the filling

  • in a large skillet over medium heat melt together the butter, olive oil & garlic.
  • add the onions, carrots, rosemary & thyme. cook until the onions begins to turn translucent & the carrots soften.
  • add the ground meat. season generously with salt & pepper.
  • once the meat has fully cooked, add the stock, wine, peas & corn to the skillet.
  • sprinkle flour over the filling & toss to coat. sauce should begin to thicken slightly.
  • remove from heat. season with salt & pepper.
  • transfer filling to a large baking dish & top with mashed potato mixture.
  • bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until the potatoes are golden brown.

champagne ginger beer cocktail

 

i know we are in the midst of chaos with christmas a few sleeps away but we can't forget about new years eve next week too! so today, i am leaving you with my last cocktail recipe of 2017. what is a better way to ring in the new year then to have a champagne cocktail in hand? this drink is very similar to a moscow mule, but combines both champagne & ginger beer. i used zevia's ginger beer cocktail mixer, which has the bold taste of ginger beer without the sugar & calories. until recently, i didn't know ginger beer was one of justin's favourite mixes. so this drink is for him & all the other ginger beer lovers out there.

cheers to 2018!!!

ingredients

  • 1 ounce vodka
  • 1 ounce zevia's ginger beer
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1 to 2 ounces champagne
  • ice, for serving
  • fresh mint, for garnish
  • lime slice, for garnish

directions

  • in a cocktail shaker add the vodka, ginger beer & lime juice. shake well.
  • fill glass with ice & pour mixture over.
  • top with desired amount of champagne.
  • garnish with fresh mint & a slice of lime.