April 20, 2015

Month in Review - March 2015

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll remember that I used to do monthly "recaps" of memorable meals and occasionally other activities and photos worth sharing from the month. I haven't done one in a while, but I'm trying to start them again as they're a great way to share food and recipes I've tried and loved from other blogs, cookbooks, or restaurants. Of course I'm late as usual by posting March's recap late into April, but I'm still trying to get used to fitting blogging back in my life!

I also post most of these photos regularly on Instagram if you'd rather follow along there instead of reading these summary posts!

banana peanut butter overnight oats

Starting off with breakfasts, I've only just started making overnight oats, which I've seen a million times but have been hesitant to try because of the idea of cold oats. Turns out they're delicious, and make breakfast so easy - just a few minutes of prep the night before means breakfast is ready and waiting in the fridge!  I've made this peanut butter and banana overnight oats recipe (pictured above) a few times now but hope to try other flavours in the future!

mocha smoothie bowl

I'm also late to the smoothie bowl trend but have hopped on board lately!  I make smoothies all the time and haven't seen the need to eat mine with a spoon before, but topping them with granola, fruit, seeds, nuts, goji berries, etc. makes them even better!  Pictured above was a chocolate coffee protein version that was a bit on the thin side, but I'm getting the hang of it now!


Of course regular smoothies still make a regular appearance in my life.  This was a "Super Boost Smoothie" from Pure Juice Bar which was delicious.

healthy banana bread attempt

I've been working on a healthy (oil-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, except for a few chocolate chips ;)) banana bread recipe but haven't gotten it quite right yet.  If I ever do, I'll be sharing it on here!

peanut butter pancakes

In not-so-healthy breakfasts, I made these peanut butter chocolate chip pancakes for my fiance as a birthday treat.  Melted peanut butter is one of my favourite pancake toppings!

March dinners included...

baked whole wheat pasta with turkey, kale, mozzarella

This baked whole wheat pasta with ground turkey, mozzarella, mushrooms, and kale (I used spinach this time) is one of my go-to easy and healthy meals that makes great leftovers!

lemon lentil soup

I tried this lifting lemon garlic rice & lentil soup from Happy Healthy Life when I felt a cold coming on.  I ended up using too much lemon so it was a bit overpowering, but otherwise this was a fun twist on soup!

southwestern quinoa bowl

I often make some version of southwestern quinoa and it's always delicious.  Just cook quinoa in vegetable broth, sautee some corn, black beans, onions, garlic, and mushrooms if you have them, and toss it all together with some cheese, salsa, or hot sauce!

This was the veggie burger at one of my fave new restarants, Raw Juice Co - it was delicious!  I need to keep going back here to try everything on their menu!

salad with chicken, tomatoes, feta

When out of dinner ideas, a grilled chicken salad is always a good choice, and feta is a must in my opinion.

Finally, I tried out a couple new desserts last month...

dulce de leche thumbprint cookies

We got a delicious jar of chocolate dulce de leche at Christmas so I decided to use some of it up in cookies. I used the same recipe from my raspberry shortbread thumbprint cookies but filled the middle with the dulce de leche and topped them with melted dark chocolate chips.  Easy and tasty!

chocolate peanut butter brownies

I also tried these cocoa brownies with peanut butter frosting, which are from Not Without Salt and also appear on Love & Olive Oil, though I followed The Wednesday Chef's method which involves browning the butter first.  At first taste I wasn't blown away by these but everyone I shared them with loved them, and when I had one the next day I liked it a lot better.  The brownie layer is dense and fudgey which is nice for a cocoa brownie and the peanut butter frosting wasn't too sweet, though I did think it was a little too thick so I didn't use all of mine.

That's about it for March, and I guess an April recap isn't too far away now!  Hope you enjoy these posts!

April 02, 2015

Roasted Carrot Crostini with Dill Pesto & Feta

Roasted Carrot Crostini with Lemon Dill Pesto and Feta - an appetizer with bright Spring flavors that's perfect for Easter or anytime!

I'm happy I decided to try to start posting recipes again just in time for Easter.  I love all food-related holidays but Easter is especially nice because after the heavier meals at Thanksgiving and Christmas, we now get to celebrate bright and fresh flavours that go along with the start of springtime.

Roasted Carrot Crostini with Lemon Dill Pesto and Feta - an appetizer with bright Spring flavors that's perfect for Easter or anytime!

Whenever I try to think of Easter recipes my mind always goes straight to carrots.  As part of our Easter dinner last year, my sister made roasted carrots and radishes with a lemon dill pesto (inspired by With Food + Love) and the flavours worked really well together.  So I decided to turn that concept into an appetizer, with the addition of feta because feta makes everything better!

Roasted Carrot Crostini with Lemon Dill Pesto and Feta - an appetizer with bright Spring flavors that's perfect for Easter or anytime!

This dish looks a little fancy but is really easy to prepare. I just chopped and roasted some carrots in the oven, then whipped together a lemony dill pesto in the food processor.  I toasted some whole wheat baguette slices, spread some of the pesto on top, then topped them with the carrots and feta. I loved how the bright flavours of the pesto balanced out the earthy carrots and salty feta.

I'm in charge of apps for our family's Easter dinner this year so I think I'll be making these again!  I hope you all enjoy the long weekend and have a happy Easter if you're celebrating it!

Roasted Carrot Crostini with Lemon Dill Pesto and Feta - an appetizer with bright Spring flavors that's perfect for Easter or anytime!

Roasted Carrot Crostini with Lemon Dill Pesto & Feta

Serves 10-15


For the carrots:
1-1/2 lbs carrots, peeled and chopped into small, about ¼-½” pieces
1-2 teaspoons olive oil
Salt and pepper

For the lemon dill pesto:
1-1/2 cups packed fresh dill
1/2 cup packed fresh parsley leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper

1/4 to 1/3 cup crumbled feta
1 large baguette, sliced diagonally into thin slices (I used a whole wheat ciabatta loaf)


Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss carrots with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and spread on a foil-lined baking sheet.  Roast in preheated oven for about 30 minutes, tossing halfway through.

Meanwhile, prepare dill pesto.  Place all ingredients (dill, parsley, garlic, walnuts, lemon juice, oil, salt, and pepper) in the bowl of a food processor (I used the smaller bowl) and process until the pesto is as smooth as you can get it.  Taste and adjust any seasoning or amounts to your liking if necessary.

When carrots are done, leave oven on, and spray baguette slices with cooking spray.  Set on baking sheet and let toast in oven for about 3-5 minutes, until toasted.

Prepare crostini by spreading pesto on baguette slices, top with crumbled feta and roasted carrots, and garnish with chopped parsley if desired.  Serve while carrots are still warm.

Ingredient Index

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