vegetable bok choy soup!

i started a neighbourhood soup exchange with some friends back in the fall. it started because i find wednesday’s to be the hardest day of the week, and then to plan a dinner just makes it that much more torturous! so, every wednesday at after-school pick-up, there we are, the soup club mama’s with our large mason jars exchanging yummy soups. we’re the only vegetarian family and we rotate who exchanges with who, and it all works out so well! this veggie bok choy recipe has become a fave!

bok choy soup, vegetarian soup, soup recipe

this is a soup that has received lots of compliments and recipe requests:

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 large onion

2 medium carrots

4-5  parsnips

4-6 heads of baby bok choy

1-2 cups green lentils

1/2 package of rooster brand longkou vermicelli noodles

8 cups water

3 tbls safflower oil

2-3 cloves garlic

2 tsp fresh ginger

1 tsp tsp cinnamon

1 tsp cumin

2 vegetable bouillon cubes

fresh parsley

sea salt to taste

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. heat oil in your soup pot. add onions, sautee until lightly browned, then add carrots, parsnips, finely chopped garlic and finely chopped ginger. sprinkle lightly with sea salt. stir regularly to avoid burning. once the carrots and parsnips are bright in colour add the water.

2. add lentils, bouillon cubes, cinnamon, cumin and let the soup simmer at a low heat.

3. add noodles and bok choy once carrots and parsnips are soft. once they are cooked, which only takes a few minutes, add fresh parsley and serve.

* i find many soup recipes allow for some flexibility in the recipe, depending on what ingredients you have in your fridge or what your family’s tastes are. this particular recipe can easily be customized and changed to fit your personal tastes.

 

bok choy soup, recipe, vegetarian soup, healthy dinner

my kids love this soup, although the bok choy can be tricky for them to navigate. i love the cinnamon in it, especially in the winter, as it adds a warmth to the flavour which is lovely.

let me know what you think!

xo, mama lola

dinosaur cake! ROAR!

for bear’s 6th birthday he had requested a dinosaur cake. we went on the internet and looked at ideas, but everything looked super complicated and out of our cake-making league. so, DH and i decided to make a scenery cake, instead of an actual dinosaur. we used carrot cake for the land and volcano, everything was heavily slathered with icing from a container and we added weird rock looking candies, raisins and cinnamon sticks all over for interest. for lava, we used strawberry jam and we made a dino’s nest with cadbury’s mini eggs! the dinosaurs themselves are plastic toys.

the kids were amazed and i have heard back from many parents about this awesome cake! haha!

dinosaur cake 1B

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. bake 2 cakes of your choice. any type of cake is fine, as it’ll be covered with icing anyway. our fave is carrot cake and the kids all loved it! find the recipe HERE! we baked one 9″ X 13″ for the land, and one 9″ X 9″ for the volcano.

2. cut up the smaller cake into triangular pieces and build your volcano. it doesn’t have to perfect, as it’ll be covered with icing, jam and dinosaurs!

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3. slather a thick layer of icing all over the volcano and land. i left it very imperfect, hoping it looked more realistic!

4. we added candy, raisins and cinnamon sticks for various landscape features. we also made a nest with dino eggs!

5. add the strawberry jam last. i just spooned it on top of the icing trying to make it look like spewing lava. kids thought it was pretty cool!

6. i made a simple tree out of two pipe cleaners; one green one and one brown one. i couldn’t find and plastic trees, so my pipe cleaner had to do!

dino cake 3

dino cake 4

here’s the birthday boy blowing out his candles! so cute!

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check-out the adorable name tags i made for this birthday party HERE.

and, coming soon are details on the other dinosaur crafts we got to for the party!

xo, mama lola

how to make fruit sushi!

fruit sushi collage 1B

my kids LOVE sushi! their favourite is the raw salmon. but, a lot of kids don’t share their enthusiasm for this japanese cuisine, so that’s why for bear’s 6th birthday i decided to make his class at school some yummy fruit sushi! i prefer these treats to cupcakes and cookies, as there are less concerns with allergens, these sushi bites are healthier and hey, they’re totally memorable too!!!

INGREDIENTS!

sticky rice (read instructions on package as they vary depending on brand)

mango, kiwi or any desired fruit

seaweed sheets

a bowl of water

* plus you will need a rolling mat

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fruit sushi 4

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. cook sticky rice as directed on package. let it completely cool down before using. cut fruit into strips, about the same thickness as an average adult finger.

2. place your rolling mat down on a flat surface, put a seaweed sheet on top, and then place your sticky rice on. try to  ensure it is spread out fairly evenly.

3. place desired fruit onto the rice and using your mat, roll the ingredients making sure they  are held together tightly. i found i had some excess seaweed at the end, so i cut it off and “glued” the edge of the seaweed sheet to the roll, by dabbing them in some water.

4. cut the roll into bite sized pieces. if they are lose and fall a part (this happened a couple of times for me) i just used more water to re-seal the seaweed ends. and, voila!

5. i served these to the kids in bear’s class as is, and some of them devoured lots. other’s were a little apprehensive about the seaweed, but i would say majority of the adorable kindergartner’s tried at least one!

HOW YUMMY DO THESE LOOK???

fruit sushi 2

 

xo, mama lola

valentine’s day treats!

valentine’s day is all about sweets and treats! to get inspired for valentine’s day i looked for fun baking and treat making ideas i could get the kids to help with. some of these goodies are more time intensive than others, and some will definitely require adult super vision. i can’t wait  to show my after school girls these delights and they too will love making these treats with us!

valentine's day, treats,

valentine’s day also happens to be my bear’s birthday, so i think i’ll make some of these for his party. i especially like the arrows! which one is making your mouth water?

valentine's day, treats, heart treats

heart shaped rice krispy treat from the magazine

valentine's day, treats, arrows, heart arrows

cupids arrows from organize your stuff now

valentine's day, treats, marshmallows, hearts

marshmallow valentine’s day treats from the sweet life

valentine's day, treats, donuts, hearts

valentine’s day donuts from love from the oven

valentine's day treats. treats,

valentine’s day cookie from haniela’s

valentine's day treats, XO's, cookies, red and white

hugs n’ kisses treats from delish.com

valentine's day, treats, wafers

chocolate dipped wafers from flour on my face

valentine's day cookies, treats, chocolate heart cookies

chocolate cake mix cookies from sally’s baking addiction

 

so, which valentine’s day yummy-goody-treat will you make for your loved ones?

or maybe you’ll make all of them! haha! either way, ENJOY!

valentine's day, treats

 

 

xo, mama lola

almond cranberry biscotti recipe.

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this is a fantastic recipe from the joy of cooking. my dear hubby is the one who bakes this holiday goodie at our house! the word biscotti is italian and means twice baked biscuits. the name perfectly describes how you ultimately bake these yummy treats, TWICE (or so)! biscotti is a wonderful holiday gift, as it is easy to make and lasts a long time. it is a bit time consuming, but well worth it in the end, in my opinion. so, let’s get to it.

INGREDIENTS:

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup canola oil
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 teaspoon anise or almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup finely chopped almonds
1 cup dried cranberries
(* although we typically bake and cook without eggs, this recipe was made with eggs. at our house biscotti is more of  an adult treat, so our egg sensitive bear will not be nibbling on these)

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. combine oil, sugar, eggs, zest and extracts together. then stir in flour, baking powder and salt.

2. add chopped almonds and dried cranberries. mix well.

3. shape two loaves out of the dough on parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake at 375F for 25 minutes.  allow loaves to cool then cut on a diagonal into 1/2 inch slices.  then, bake slices on sides for 10 minutes and turn over and bake for another 10 minutes.

4.cool on a rack. serve with a cuppa tea or coffee and dip biscotti in the drink.

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enjoy!

xo, mama lola

cranberry blueberry bars.

cranberry blueberry bars, fruit bars, baking

i found this delicious recipe from smitten kitchen, but tweaked it to fit the flavours i had in my cupboards.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cold unsalted butter
1 egg or egg substitute
1/4 teaspoon salt
orange zest
4 cups cranberries and blueberries combined
1/2 cup white sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch

INSTRUCTION:

1. preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and grease a 9×13 inch pan.

2. in a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup sugar, 3 cups flour, and baking powder. mix in salt and orange zest using a fork to blend in the butter and egg or egg substitute. the dough will be crumbly, but that’s what we want! pat half of dough into the greased pan.

3. in another bowl, stir together the sugar and cornstarch. with a potato masher, crush the cranberries in a bowl, mix in the blueberries. then, pour the cranberry blueberry mixture evenly over the crust and spread remaining dough over the berry layer.

4. bake in oven for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

fruit bars, baking, treats, fruit squares

this is an easy recipe to complete. the cranberries are tart, so some may prefer more sugar in the recipe, but i decided not to add sugar. instead, i will add a scoop of ice cream or make a big mug of hot chocolate to go with my yummy bar.

enjoy!

xo, mama lola

candy cane treats! YUM!

candy cane treats, christmas treats

tis the season for candy canes! my kids are a bit little for just sitting and eating a cane; it tuns into a huge sticky mess, which i hate! so, instead i love to incorporate candy canes into all sorts of treats we like to eat. here is a round-up of super yummy candy cane treats of all sorts… from cookies to fudge to bark!

ENJOY!

candy cane bark, candy cane, christmas treatschocolate peppermint bark cookies from recipe girls

candy cane cookies, candy cane treats, christmas cookies, recipes

candy cane cookies from foodless

candy cane treats, candy cane recipes, christmas treats

candy cane hearts from glorious treats

candy cane cookies, candy cane treats, candy cane, christmas treats

candy cane joe joe’s from cake or death

candy cane marshmellows, candy cane treats, candy cane, xmas treats

candy cane marshmallow pops from liv life

 

which one is your favourite? which recipe will you be trying this season? 

the marshmallow treats look perfect for a cuppa hot chocolate, so i think i will make some when we head up north to the cottage for the new year!

xo, mama lola

christmas cookie round-up!

xmas cookies B

the christmas season is full of yummy cookies. we love to bake all sorts of cookies this time of year. here is a round-up of decoration ideas from snowflakes to snow globes to hurt gingerbread men.

christmas cookies, cookie recipe, snowman cookie recipe

melting snowman cookies from simply stitched together

xmas cookie recipe, christmas cookie, cookie recipes

christmas ornament cookies from fresh cut flours

christmas cookie recipes, snowglobe cookies,

snow globe’s from hello naomi

xmas cookies, christmas cookies, festive cookies,

christmas cookies from sweetopia

snow flake cookies, christmas cookies, x-mas cookies, holiday cookies

christmas cookie snowflakes from pasta princess & more

xmas cookies, gingerbread cookies, snow flake cookies,

gingerbread cookie recipe from glorious treats

xmascookies, funny gingerbread cookies, hurt gingerbread cookies guys, holiday humour,

gingerbread men cookies from the national geographic

 

i am so inspired to roll up my sleeves and get baking! i love, LOVE decorating cookies!

what kind of cookies are you baking this holiday season?

do you prefer gingerbread cookies or sugar cookies, or do you bake both?

xo, mama lola

vegetarian thanksgiving menu!


don’t be fooled that thanksgiving is just for meat eaters, because there are lots of wonderful, interesting and delicious vegetarian menu options out there!

 

 
below i have compiled recipes that look appetizing and will get your mouth watering!
i love all the textures and colours; you can almost smell the scent of the yummy foods wafting in the air.


:: COMPLETE VEGGIE THANKSGIVING MENU ::

 
thanksgiving menu from oh veggies
 
 
:: POTATOES ::
 
 
from gourmande in the kitchen
 
roasted garlic mashed potatoes from steamy kitchen
 
 
:: STUFFING ::
 
 
vegan stuffing from novel eats
 

 

:: INSTEAD OF TURKEY ::

 

 
 
 
 
:: GRAVY ::
 
 
vegetarian gravy from two lazy gourmets

 

YUMMY!!!!

i deliberately did not include salads, cranberry sauce, roasted veggies or beans, or any squash recipes as they kinda speak for themselves as being veggie! i did make a squash round-up at the beginning of the season, which you can check-out HERE.

which recipe will you try?
i have pinned a few of these with christmas in mind!

happy cooking!

xo, mama lola

vegetarian crock pot recipe round-up!


this time of year, my crock pot is in full action. i use it a couple of times a week, for chili or soup or even for a hot breakfast! here are some delicious and healthy vegetarian crock pot recipes ranging from breakfast, soup to entree. YUM!

 

 
 

loaded baked potatoes from martha stewart

 
vegetarian chiliveggie chili from bear & lion
 

indian chole from while chasing kids
 

vegetarian soupafrican inspired soup from kalyn’s kitchen

 
overnight cinnamon apple oatmeal from chocolate broccoli
 
 
rice puddingrice pudding from bear & lion
 
greek yoghurt
greek yoghurt from the little red house

oh, my mouth is watering just thinking about these recipes!
let me know which one you’re going to try first!

xo, mama lola
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