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
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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

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
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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

delicious fish tacos!


fish tacos, tex mex

 fish tacos are pretty popular these days. I LOVE THEM!

i decided to try and make my own and they turned out AWESOME! there was a lot of cutting, slicing and chopping involved for the mango salsa and the guacamole i also made.

but, it was so worth it!

cutting mango, mango salsa mango salsa, fish tacos, mango

i love the look of my simple spices in the bowl!

i was pretty nervous about making these, because we love them so much the pressure was on, but now they have become family favourite for sure! and, depending on how hot you want the flavours to be you can definitely add more chili or whatever! 


pan fried fish tacos, skillet fish tacos, tilapia

fish tacos, tilapia fish tacos, taco tuesday

fish tacos, mango salsa, guacamole, recipes


delicious fish tacos!
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
15 min
fish tacos
  1. 1 lb white fish (tilapia is the best choice)
  2. 2 tblsp olive oil
  3. 2 tsp paprika
  4. 1 tsp chili powder
  5. 2 tsp oregano
  6. sprinkle of coarse sea salt
  7. 2 fresh limes
mango salsa
  1. 1 mango
  2. finely chopped cilantro
  3. 1/2 finely chopped red onion
fish tacos
  1. in a frying pan (preferably cast iron) heat olive oil.
  2. mix paprika, chili powder, salt and oregano in a bowl. take a filet of fish and cover it with your spice mixture. feel free to use your fingers to really rub it in!
  3. fry in hot pan adding more spice mixture if desired. fish fillets may break apart which is desirable, as they cook. cook about 5 mins on each side.
  4. squeeze fresh lime juice all over cooked fish.
mango salsa
  1. cutting mango can be tricky. the pit inside is flat:ish so imagine your fruit in thirds. once you have your fruit cut slice in the palm of your hand, cut it horizontally and then vertically, so you can get nice cubes. (see photos for reference)
  2. in a bowl add mango, chopped cilantro, red onion and the juice of one lime. add a titch of sea salt. stir well.
  1. *serve in warm tortillas.
bear & lion

 serve with fresh lime juice, grated cheese, fresh cilantro all in a warm tortilla! 


fish tacos, mango salsa, fresh lime, tex mex, taco tuesday

 is your mouth not watering from looking at the pictures?!?!

for the guacamole recipe, go HERE!

oh, and finally… i installed a new recipe plug-in hoping to make it easier for you guys to save, print the recipes. i’d love some feedback…was it a good choice?


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

mouth watering cranberry recipes!

cranberry recipes 1

i love cranberries!

they are such a wonderful tart flavour and can be used in so many different kinds of foods.  during the holiday season cranberries are especially popular in all sorts of goodies. here is a wonderful round-up of cranberry recipe ideas, ranging from butters to bars to salads!

cranberry butter

 cranberry recipes, christmas recipes, cranberry

the view from great island

this cake looks so scrumptious and like the perfect breakfast treat to kick off christmas day!

cranberry buttermilk breakfast cake

cranberry recipes, holiday treats, cranberry baked goods

alexandra’s kitchen

i love bark! this chocolate bark looks beautiful, but i bet is tastes way better than it looks!

cranberry and pistachio chocolate bark

cranberry bark, christmas bark, cranberry recipes

love and lemons

salsa from cranberry’s? AWESOME! gotta give this recipe a try this holiday season! great for a party!

cranberry salsa

cranberry recipes, cranberry salsa

kate’s healthy cupboard

cranberry salads are pften paired with walnuts, which is a no-no in our family as DH has a walnut allergy. this salad recipe is intense, but i bet so worth it. don’t those candied almonds sound lovely?!

cranberry and avocado salad with candied spiced almonds and sweet white balsamic vinegrette

cranberry recipes

honest cooking

i want to share my bar recipe. these cranberry blueberry bars are perfect as hostess or teacher gifts!

cranberry blueberry bars

cranberry blueberry bars, cranberry recipes, christmas treats

bear & lion


let me know if you have a favourite cranberry recipe and share it in the comments section!

xo, mama lola

quick veggie stir fry.

quick veggie stir fry 1

with our kitchen under renovations making dinner has become tricky. we have eaten out a few times, but that gets old and expensive quickly.


this how things look at out house these days… there aren’t tools all over the floors all the time, but our walls are all open, there are no counters and everything is pretty chaotic.



our stove and oven work, but there is no running water in our kitchen. so, while grocery shopping i was looking at some packaged, convinience foods trying to decide what my family would eat.


i found this bag of ready to go stir fry veggies. i cooked it up with left over rice and combined tofu, threw in a mango, seasoned it  and it turned into YUM!


Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset



1 package of stir fry veggies ( i used the presidents choice brand)

1 block firm tofu (scrambled)

1 mango

2-3 tblsp tamari sauce (or soy sauce)

2 cups rice ( i used left over)

1/2 tsp cumin

lime juice



1. throw all ingredients onto a wok or pan, season, stir, serve.




i like to squeeze extra lime juice before eating and possiblyadd tamari sauce. depends on the day and my mood!


happy (quick n’ convenient) eating!


xo, mama lola

fave soup round up!


we here in southern ontario we have enjoyed a lovely fall with warm temperatures making things feel more like summer! but, it seems as though things are taking turn now as cooler temperatures are settling in, grey skies are taking over. this kind of weather makes me want to pull out my crock-pot and dig up all my belly warming recipes.


fall soup round-up 2

about a year ago i started a soup exchange with some neighbourhood friends. once a week everyone cooks up a batch of yummy soup and then we exchange a big mason jar of soup with one other person. it’s such a life saver, because i often freeze the extra soups for busy weeks when there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to get dinner done!


here are a few of my favourite soups that i made for my friends…



i went to the library and found a bunch of soup recipe books for inspiration. this week i made a super delicious minestrone soup that i adjusted slightly from the original recipe to accommodate my ingredients and taste! i’ll be sharing that recipe here on the blog soon!

happy soup-ing!

xo, mama lola
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