We are two individuals, sister-in-laws, and friends who are striving to thrive and be our personal best as well as making our surroundings a better place to live! Connected by faith, family, friendship, photos, and writing, we just want to share our journey with you!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A new recipe...my first time cooking with Macadamia!!!

I went to Indigo Bookstore with Ally a few days ago and bought this cute lil' book called 'Easy Vegan' which contains recipes for soups, snacks, salads, main dishes, desserts, and drinks.
I usually gain my inspiration for cooking from the books I've read (most influential to this day is still The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone), and also just browsing website recipes and then creating my own! But I find it so hard NOT to buy anything when I'm in Winnipeg because Dan's parents live so close to Indigo, which has a great children's section for Noah to play & read and I love looking at the vegan recipe books! Anyways, they have a buy 3 books, get the 4th free and that always tempts me...I am going to try and use my library card more and spend less but sometimes you just HAVE to have a good book for keeps!
Dan's parents are so generous and have done so much for our family. To let us stay at their place and to have them cook and take care of Noah so we can have dates has been a really nice treat! So I wanted to give a little back by cooking dinner FOR them! Unfortunately, Dan's dad had to work so he missed my vegan meal but I'll just have to make another meal! I love cooking for my family and for others! It's a great way to experiment and also share my love for food, health and being a vegan with the people I love most! I had a great 'healthy' discussion with Dan's dad about my choice to be a vegan and it was really passionate and made me feel so proud of the decisions I've made and the person I am today! He made a comment that stuck out and I will remember always. He said "When you know that 95% of people out there don't care about what you care about (eg. the treatment of animals, being a vegetarian/vegan, the environment), do you really think that your choice has any effect?" He wasn't feeling that way personally, but rather to put a thought out there and see how I would respond. So what was my response? I said to him, "You know, it would be easy to conform and just go with the majority. I could say, you're right, nothing will change so I'll just eat that too...but I HAVE to believe that change is possible and I feel such a sense of PRIDE for the choices I've made and I know that even my inspiring one person, my decision has been worth everything to me! Having a son, I want to teach him to follow his dreams and stand up for his beliefs and this is what I am doing. I don't feel that animals are being treated fairly or humanely and I can't just eat meat because I don't see what's happening. I know it's out there. We as consumers create the demand for the products we see on the shelves. All the processed crap out there, all the meat pumped full of hormones, all the genetically modified produce and tofu...we are responsible because we BUY it...but if we say, actually this is NOT right....I won't buy that...if a small minority can influence or encourage others to buy local, organic, free-range then we are creating a new demand"! I was also asked if I would go out and kill if I was in the hunter/gatherer era...well I'm not and I'm pretty sure that I would have been a grain/produce farmer if I was!!! haha...in all seriousness, we don't live in a world where we NEED meat/dairy to survive...actually are over-production of animals for the production of dairy and meat is gravely impacting our health and environment! Also, we are not respecting animals by beating them, depriving them of any sort of LIFE...the conditions that most animals endure are horrendous and I am ashamed that it goes on and that we are able to turn a blind eye. When First Nations Peoples hunted animals for food or clothing, they treated them with respect, only took what they needed and buried their remains. They killed their animals with tools they built with their own hands, instead of the long-range guns that are used today (you can't be proud of yourself for stalking an animal that's just got out of hibernation and killing them from 100 meters away...for sport?! That's insanity)!...I feel so passionate about the vegan lifestyle that I lead and I have never felt prouder of my choices! I know that being a vegan isn't for everyone but I encourage everyone to educate themselves more about the conditions that animals are treated, the impact our eating/living has on this environment, and don't be afraid to question things...I wasn't always this way. I used to eat chicken and fish. I was afraid to speak out. I felt self conscious and had a bad body image. I am not perfect (there is no such thing)! I still have moments where I feel BLAH but I am so proud of how I treat my body. With love and respect! I wish for everyone to find a healthy balance and love themselves enough to treasure their bodies! Treat yourself kindly and love YOU for YOU! I have seen too many beautiful people hurt themselves, trying to find happiness in all the wrong places. I don't really know all the answers other than to surround yourself with a good support group, people that support and love you for being YOU and be proud of the skin you're in!

K, did I seriously go on SUCH a rant or what?!!! I have a lot on my mind clearly! Anyways, I love the lifestyle choices I have made...I eat healthy but am not afraid to LIVE and treat myself...I work out hard and feel all the amazing benefits such as, a stronger mind, body and soul....

For those of you that were actually looking for a RECIPE (thanks for putting up with the rant)...here it is! I made this Roasted Sweet Potato and Macadamia Nut Salad from Easy Vegan and it was INCREDIBLE! I will definitely make it again, and again! I served this dish with quinoa, garnished with basil and toasted raw cashews and steamed asparagus. Everyone seemed to love the food so YAY! Here is the recipe and I hope that you enjoy it too!

Roasted Sweet Potato and Macadamia Nut Salad:
3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 tbsp. of olive oil
1 tsp. of sea salt flakes
1/3 cup of raw macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
7 oz./200 grams of baby spinach leaves, washed and patted dry

For the Dressing:
1 tbsp. of cider vinegar
1 tsp. of wholegrain mustard
2 tbsp. of macadamia nut oil or olive oil (I used olive oil)
sea salt and pepper

Serves 4

Preheat the oven to 375'.

Toss the sweet potatoes in a bowl with the olive oil and salt flakes. Tip onto a baking sheet and roast in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.

Put the macadamia nuts in the bowl and toss with any residual oil. Add to the sweet potatoes and roast in the hot oven for 10 minutes, giving the sweet potatoes 20 minutes in total.

To make the dressing, mix together the vinegar, mustard and oil in a small jar/container. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Arrange the spinach leaves in a serving bowl/or on a serving platter and top with the sweet potatoes and macadamia nuts. Drizzle or spoon the dressing over the top and serve immediately!


I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who takes even a minute to skim through this blog! Whether I know you personally or not, it means so much to think that someone might be interested in the words, recipes, or silly things that we have to say!


  1. This was a wonderful rant with many good points made and a fantastic recipe at the end!
    Hope you're having fun visiting with Dan's family. Miss you lots. Hi to Dan and kiss to Noah. I can't believe how big he's getting, it blows my mind, Jay!

  2. Awww HI Delaney!!! I miss you so SO much! We'll be back on the 12th so let's hang out when we get back!!! Also, I'll keep you posted on a lil' picnic I'm trying to plan before we go away...you HAVE to come!!! xoxoxo