recipe for a buddha bowl!

i have really gotten into making buddha bowls, before i even knew their name i was layering healthy, delicious ingredients in my pretty blue bowls and serving them as dinners to my family. they’re a great way to fill your family with lots of vitamins and minerals, while using all sorts of yummy foods and flavours.



basically the idea is that you layer or group your ingredients together in a bowl. typically, a pretty bowl.




typical ingredients for our buddha bowls include (but not all at once) rice, quinoa, hummus, various beans, arugala or other greens, avocado, salmon, tofu steaks, grated carrot, green onions, corn…. well, i’m sure you get the idea! 

buddha bowl layers


i love making buddha bowls for dinner. my kids love them too, and it’s easy to omit things that someone may not love without making a big deal out of it. it’s such a great way to use up odds and ends in your fridge, but it’s also a fun way to present food. i love getting creative with colours and arrangements! 


DSC_0478 DSC_0486


from what i understand there are no set rules on how make a buddha bowl. i prefer to mix warm, cooked ingredients with cold, chopped ones. depending on the season i will change up the elements of my buddha bowls. in the summer i tend to use more cold ingredients using what’s in season and fresh from the garden or market. i also love using items cooked on the bbq. now in the fall i am excited to include roasted veggies, or baked sweet potatoes, squash, beets and other rooty veggies in my bowls.




my mouth is salivating as i prepare this post! holy moly do i love these colourful, super healthy meals!

which ingredients do you love in your buddha bowl?


happy cooking friends! 


xo, mama lola

the best of summer in a watermelon salad!

today is the first monday of summer vacations at home. the boys and i have a few errands to run. we need to go to a few farm markets to buy fresh strawberries and other locally grown yummy produce. we need to buy new waterbottles (again) as lion keeps losing his! the kids both go to camp next week and they’ll need them then. i’m not sure how to get my lion to be more careful of his belongings, as his brother is so meticulous with his things. clearly it’s a personality thing and not a mothering thing!


anyhow, to day i want to share the best summer salad recipe out there… WITH WATERMELON!!!!



summer is here and it’s the season for enjoying all kinds of fresh, juicy and yummy salads. we always have a salad of sorts with our dinners, whether it be a big green leafy salad, a warm quinoa or a filling bean mix. there is a salad for everyone’s tastes in this world!

watermelon salad 4


i’ve seen lots of pictures for watermelon salads so i decided to come up with my own recipe with what i had in my cupboards. and, holy moly was it ever good! especially since we devoured it on a hot n’ muggy summers evening! it’s quick to make and perfect as a side on a busy or super hot evening. 


watermelon salad with feta and fresh basil
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  1. 1 watermelon
  2. 1/2 container of feta
  3. lots of fresh basil leaves
  4. 2 tblsp olive oil
  1. 1. cut up your watermelon into chunks. i tried to leave mine a bit bigger than bite sized because when mixing the finishes salad i thought the pieces would fall apart.
  2. 2. i took the feta and crumbled it with my fingers directly onto the watermelon. added fresh basil leaves, ripping them by hand a little too to release the delicious aroma.
  3. 3. add olive oil and mix gently.
bear & lion
my boys loved the salad and gobbled up lots of it! 

it really is super easy and SO, SO yummy!

xo, mama lola

vegetable puff pastry bites.

i have only recently discovered the fun of butter puff pastry!

i know, i know i admit i have been under a rock of sorts! 


truth be told, i thought they were full of all sorts of yucky ingredients, but it actually isn’t.

butter puff pastry recipe, vegetarian recipe, veggie bites

i found some easy all-ready-to-go frozen puff pastry  at the grocery store and left it out to thaw for a couple of hours. i followed the instructions on the package, and recommend you do the same.

presidents choice puff pastry, recipe, easy recipe

i used a pizza roller to divide the puff pastry sheet into 9 somewhat even squares. they really don’t have to be perfect at all, as the pastry sheets can be pulled to fit your muffin pan if necessary. also, as you’ll see once the pockets are stuffed with the filling and you’ve twisted the tips of the corners together, that having perfect squares is not that important.

preseidents choice butter puff pastry, recipe

i sauteed my veggies in my skillet to bring out the yummy flavours in them before baking them in the oven.


then in a bowl i mixed the sauteed veggies and chunks of feta cheese.

puff pastry filling, mushrooms, feta cheese, vegetables

prepare your muffin pan by greasing it up. i like to use real butter that i spread into each muffin slot with paper towel, other’s may prefer to use cooking spray. then place a puff pastry square into each slot, gently pushing down. fill each pocket with about a tablespoon of filling, take all four corners and twist them together. finally, brush of some whisked egg to add a nice golden shine to the baked vegetable puffs.

puff pastry recipe, vegetable filling, dinner recipe

is your mouth watering right now?

don’t these wee vegetable puff pastry bites look amazing? they really so easy to make and a perfect add on to so many different meals! all of my three guys love to take these to work and school for lunch the next day… that is if we have any left over! haha!

on this day we had tofu steaks and and lovely green salad with them! yum!

vegetable puff pastry recipe, vegetarian snack

vegetable puff pastry bites.
Yields 18
Write a review
Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr
  1. 1 pkg frozen puff pastry (i suggest buying the already rolled out kind, much easier to deal with)
  2. 3 tblsp olive oil
  3. 1 red pepper
  4. 1 onion
  5. 2 cloves garlic
  6. 3-5 mushrooms
  7. 1/4 cup feta cheese
  8. lotsa fresh basil leaves
  9. 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
  10. fresh ground pepper to taste
  11. 1 egg
  1. 1. thaw the puff pastry according to directions on the package.
  2. 2. preheat the oven to 350F. chop onions, garlic, mushrooms and peppers finely into small pieces.
  3. 3. heat a skillet, add olive oil and sautee onion and garlic until tender. add peppers, mushrooms, pepper, salt and finally fresh basil leaves.
  4. 4. once basil leaves have lightly wilted, in a separate bowl add feta to sauteed veggies. mix well, ensuring feta chunks are smallish.
  5. 5. divide thawed puff pastry sheet into approximately 9 squares. grease your muffin pan. place each square into the muffin pan, add approximately a tablespoon of filling, twist the corners of the squares together to ensure the filling stays inside. brush whisked egg on top of each veggie bite.
  6. 6. bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown on top.
  7. 7. serve, enjoy, savour!
bear & lion
butter puff pastry, vegetable bites, recipe

let me know how the recipe works for you!



xo, mama lola

donut round up!



i feel it is my responsibility to add this warning above. you may want to get a cloth or tissue for wiping the drool off of your chin.

just sayin”!

donut round-up 2

donut are making a kind of come back. they can be as easy or as complicated to make as you wish; there are countless recipes out there for them! i have included recipes that make my mouth water!

donuts are a treat and certainly not anything we eat regularly at our house. but, as a treat they are fun to make, kids love ’em and you can get creative with them! a friend of mine made a birthday donut cake by building a pyramid of donuts and topping it off with candles! it was awesome and easy, and you bethca her son LOVED it!


so let’s let the donut fun begin!


baked chocolate hazelnut crunch donuts by the little epicurean



quick and easy baked came mix mini donuts from it’s always autumn



gluten free pumpkin spiced donuts from flippin’ delicious



oreo over load donuts from the first year



baked funfetti donuts from sally’s baking addiction

how about something just as yummy, but perhaps a little healthier? here’s one of our fave recipes, my boys love these blueberry oatmeal muffin donuts. perfect for school lunches, after school, whatevs!


blueberry oatmeal muffin donuts by bear & lion


how are you holding up?

craving some round, delectable treats yet! haha! 

happy monday peeps! 

xo, mama lola

yummy roasted chickpeas.


i made a carrot ginger soup for my weekly soup exchange and i wanted to include something yummy with the soup, other than my usual parsley or cilantro garnish… and then it hit me.. KAPOW… roasted chickpeas!

it’s the easiest, yummiest add-on ever!

roasted chick peas 2

 ok, so here we go.

i was pretty generous with my spices, because i wanted my chickpeas to POP with flavour and i used a large can.

roasted chickpeas
Write a review
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
  1. 1 can chickpeas
  2. 5 tblsp olive oil
  3. 1 tblsp paprika
  4. 1 tsp sea salt
  5. 1 tblsp cumin
  6. 1 tblsp tumeric
  1. 1. preheat oven to 425F. drain and rinse chickpeas.
  2. 2. oil your cookie sheet with olive oil. add chick peas.
  3. 3. in a separate bowl mix dry spices and sprinkle onto chickpeas. ensure chickpeas are evenly spiced. place in oven. let bake for 15 minutes.
  4. 5.add to soups, tacos, chili, salads or nibble on their own!
bear & lion

what do you think? they look pretty yummy, right?

i will be sharing my ginger carrot recipe soon, as well!

worth a try, i think! enjoy! 

xo, mama lola

fancy birthday popcorn!

we celebrated a 7th birthday here on february 14th. yes, our sweet bear is getting bigger by the day!

he wanted to take something yummy to school to share with his classmates and i am not a huge fan of sending cupcakes; they are sweet and junky and full allergens, so not all kids can necessarily have some. last year i made these awesome fruit sushi’s, which were an even bigger hit than i ever could have imagined!

this year i kept things super simple and made some super fancy birthday pop corn!
birthday popcorn, birthday loot bags, treatsi popped a couple of bags of popcorn, let it cool, then added some star & snowflake sprinkles, silver balls and traditional colourful sprinkles.

that was it.


while it wasn’t quite the gourmet popcorn that my husband has treated me to in the past, the kids won’t know that! they will just see sparkles and love it.

dropped it off at school for the classes valentine’s day party where the kids started off the festivities with a heartfelt bonne fête for my bear! i left the bowl and afterwards heard from the kids that they LOVED the super fancy birthday popcorn!

easy. fast. but, AWESOME!

xo, mama lola

minestrone soup recipe

my neighbourhood soup exchange is going strong!

here is another favourite soup recipe that i have added to my repertoire!

minestrone soup, hearty soup, vegetarian soup

a few weeks ago i was on pinterest looking for soup inspiration and i found this amazing 30 minute orzo minestrone soup recipe from julia’s blog, a cedar spoon. i loved the pictures of the hearty soup, as i am totally a visual gal, and immediately pinned and then wrote the list of ingredients for my grocery list. it’s full of beans and veggies, which is just what we love at our house!

i did tweak her recipe a little to what we had in the pantry!

below i am sharing what i used and did for our soup.



3 table spoons of olive oil

1 yellow onion, choppeed

2-3 carrots, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 zucchini, chopped

large handful fresh spinach

2-3 garlic cloves, diced

1 can diced tomatoes

1 can kidney beans

1 can black eyed peas

4 cups vegetable broth

1 cup ditali pasta

1/2 cup fresh basil

1 tsp oregano

2 bay leaves

salt and fresh ground pepper to taste



1. heat olive oil in soup pot sauteeing chopped onions, garlic, carrots and celery, until tender. sprinkle with a titch of sea salt.

2. add zucchini. they cook quickly, in about 5 minutes.

3. add beans and canned tomatoes, veggie broth, oregano, basil, bay leaves and pasta. some cook the pasta separately and add to soup, but i like to do it all on one go. then, add spinach at the end.

5. serve with crusty bread or crackers.

minestrone soup, recipe, hearty soup, vegetarian soup

to swap soup we transfer in mason jars. the soups can sometimes can sit for a few days in the fridge after being swapped, so that’s why i don’t bother cooking the pasta separately. the noodles will soften nicely in the jar.

minestrone soup, vegetarian recipe, soup, hearty soup

hearty, belly warming soups are my favourite during these cold winter months. the kids also love when i send them in their thermos’ to school for lunch. yum!

let me know if this is a recipe you’re going to try!


xo, mama lola

wontons for dinner!



after all the sweet and heavy foods of the christmas holidays, my taste buds have been craving all kinds of other flavours and textures. so, after surviving the the saturday after new years at the grocery store, i decided to spend two hours on the kitchen preparing food for my family. i’m not a great cook, but i do love it!

i was a little apprehensive about how my boys would respond to the wontons as recently my eldest, bear, has become quite.. um, opinionated about his food preferances. but, so my delight and surprise he loved them and both kids asked me to send them in their school lunches. (mama SCORE!)

here i am sharing what i included inside my wontons, but i think really you could stuff them with anything.



1 yellow onion finely chopped

1 block firm tofu crumbled

1 cup frozen peas

1 small carrot finely chopped

3-5 kale leaves finely chopped

sea salt

to taste curry powder

to taste cumin

fresh ground pepper

1 package of wonton wraps

small bowl of water



1. sautee all of the above ingredients until nice caramalized.

2. take a wonton wrap in one hand, fill it with about a table spoonful of your filling. wet your index finger in the water bowl, then follow the edges of your wonton wrap. you may need to wet your finger several times to ensure the all of the edges are wet with water. the water will act as glue.

3. when it is all wet, fold the wonton wrap over creating a triangle. place on a hot frying pan with olive oil. keep flipping and pushing the wontons around in the pan to ensure that they don’t stick or burn. i find a hot pan work best, but i suppose it depends on what kind of pan you are using.

4. i served the wontons with sweet and sour sauce, which the kids loved!




so, what do you think, easy enough to do? totally!

next time i’m going to commit more time and make more so i can freeze them!


xo, mama lola

uuni riisipuuro/ oven baked rice pudding

rice pudding


my family adores rice pudding. during the christmas holidays it’s a treat that we gobble up a lot of. it’s easy to make and for me always reminds of my childhood christmases back home in finland.


rice pudding 2


i got this recipe from a finnish blogger, hellapoliisi. it’s super easy, simple and delicious!

since the recipe and blog are in finnish i will translate… you need sticky rice, milk, salt and a titch of butter. preheat your oven to 350F. butter your oven safe dish, add 2 cups rice, 1 cup milk and a pinch of salt. let it bake for about 1.5 hrs. serve while hot with sugar and cinnamon sprinkled on top and a splash of milk. YUM!

i’ve also made yummy rice pudding in my crock pot. you can find that recipe HERE.

happy puddin’ eatin’!

xo, mama lola

reindeer cookies!

we made these super cute. super yummy, super easy reindeer cookies after school one day. it was great way to get some christmas cheer into dull monday afternoon, as we also had our CHFI holiday music cranked!

reindeer cookies b

the recipe is from pillsbury, CLICK HERE for deatils. there’s no mess, it’s fast, easy and the kids LOVE the whole process so much!


just a few tips :

  • remember to buy the small pretzels as the cookies expand A LOT as they bake, so you need to be generous with the spacing or the “antlers” can fall off when you’re removing from the cookie sheet.
  • get your christmas helpers to decorate fast, because at the cookies set the candy eyes and noses just wont stick!
  • we used swedish berries and M&M’s for the eyes and noses. more colourful!
  • this is the only time i buy cookie dough in a tube, and i just let it go! haha! you should too!

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we actually baked these gems a few christmas’ ago when bear and lion were three years younger than they are today… man, have those kids grown up a lot in that time! so amazing! check out the adorable pictures HERE!


reindeer cookies 4

reindeer cookies 2

xo, mama lola
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