Sizzling Vegetable Fried Rice: A Fresh Take on an Asian Classic

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When I think of fried rice, images of browned rice with a smattering of peas and scrambled egg flash in my head. But this vegetable fried rice is produce heavy, for a healthier dish that has the appealing look of confetti rice. Feel free to mix up the vegetables with whatever you have on hand. […]

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Triple Almond Energy Balls (vegan, grain-free, naturally sweetened)

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One of my biggest challenges when photographing beige- or blah-coloured recipes is making them look as appealing as they taste…the struggle is real! Dishes like curries, brownies, oatmeal, energy balls, etc. tend to look a bit sad through the camera’s lens. If you want a giggle, check out one of the very first beige/brown recipe photos I ever took on the blog. I posted this Pumpkin Banana Bran & Oatmeal Muffin recipe way back in 2008 (holy cow, I’m a blogging DINOSAUR! lol). 

A good trick I’ve learned through countless trial and error (mostly error…and a few curse words) is that I need to add a lot of colour to photos even if the food itself isn’t colourful. It probably seems obvious, but with so many other things going on for a photo shoot (cooking, food styling, camera settings, lighting, etc.) it can be easy to forget the importance of planning for colour. If I’m shooting oatmeal or plain Jane muffins, I try to add some enticing fruit on top and more pops of colour on the table itself—a bright green Matcha tea, fresh flowers, a glass of OJ, or a colourful cloth napkin (without being too busy) can all create a gorgeous photo when the food itself looks pretty blah. This approach helped me photograph these flourless breakfast muffins (recipe to come!) and I’m pleased with how the app photo turned out!

I wasn’t quite as happy with the photo shoot of these energy balls because I had to rush (when naptime’s over, it’s OVA), but they’ll just have to do! I love how the colourful garnishes I added made the energy balls go from blah and beige to vibrant and enticing. I rolled them in fun pops of colour and a variety of textures: beet-coloured shredded coconut, ground pistachios (so pretty and chewy!), hemp hearts, and cocoa powder. I loved them all. I also tried rolling some in Matcha green tea powder, but they were soooo bitter. That one was a big NOPE! Cutting the Matcha with powdered icing sugar might’ve worked better, but I wanted to keep these bad boys naturally sweetened, so I opted to skip the Matcha altogether. To make the pink-hued shredded coconut, I added some beet juice (prepared the same way as my Vegan Sugar Cookies’ Pink Frosting) to the shredded coconut in a bowl. I put a plastic bag over my hand so it wouldn’t get stained in the process (#fancy) and then I “massaged” the beet juice into the shredded coconut until it was dispersed. It worked wonderfully and the result was so pretty! I sprinkled my leftover coconut on oatmeal.

Rest assured though, these nutty energy bites are just as good eaten as-is!  I love keeping a stash in the freezer for quick snacking, and find the texture gets even better when they’ve been frozen too.

Also a quick note that I won’t be posting this Friday’s Ask Angela as I’ve come down with the flu (luckily today’s blog post was created last week so I could still share it). It was bound to happen as I’ve been taking care of two sick little ones, while up a lot at night and nursing to boot. I hope everyone has a very happy weekend and that you’re feeling well. I know where I’ll be…curled up with a big bowl of soup (hopefully my Golden Spiced Lentil Soup!) and warm lemon water. I’ll be a bit delayed replying to your reviews, questions, and comments this week, but please know that I will reply as soon as I’m feeling better!



Triple Almond Energy Balls
Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, no bake/raw, oil-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free

I love energy balls because they’re infinitely customizable and so easy to take on the go. I like to grab a couple straight from the freezer and pop them into a small glass jar to throw in my purse on busy days. They’re perfect for for tiding you over until mealtime, and this Triple Almond Energy Ball recipe is toddler-approved, too—just be sure to cut them up into small pieces as ball shapes are a choking hazard. Their rich, nutty  flavour comes from using whole almonds, roasted almond butter, and almond extract. A true triple threat!! You may recognize the flavour from my Triple Almond Thumbprint Cookies in Oh She Glows Every Day. I just can’t get enough of almond extract—I find it really heightens the flavour in almond-based recipes!

11 to 12 balls

Prep time
15 Minutes

Cook time
0 Minutes

Chill time
60 Minutes (optional)

Total time
15 Minutes

1 cup (155 g) raw almonds1/2 cup (75 g) raw cashews1/2 cup (115 g) tightly packed pitted Medjool dates*2 tablespoons (30 mL) roasted almond butter or raw cashew butter1/2 teaspoon cinnamon1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste1/4 teaspoon almond extract, or to taste5 teaspoons (25 mL) water, or as needed**Shredded coconut, hemp hearts, ground shelled pistachios, or cocoa powder, for rolling

Add the almonds and cashews to a food processor and process into a coarse crumb. Be sure not to overprocess the nuts into butter. To the nut mixture, add the pitted dates. Process again until the dates are finely chopped. Next, add the roasted almond butter (or raw cashew butter, if using), cinnamon, salt, almond extract, and water (starting with a couple teaspoons) to the processor bowl and process again until the mixture comes together into a dough. You should be able to easily roll the dough into balls without them feeling dry or crumbly. If the dough is too dry, add more water one teaspoon at a time and continue processing until the mixture moistens to desired consistency. Roll the dough into 11 to 12 golf ball-sized balls. If using, roll each ball in your garnish of choice: shredded coconut, hemp hearts, ground shelled pistachios (or other nuts), or cocoa powder. Chill the balls in the freezer for about an hour to firm up, or feel free to eat them at room temperature if you can’t wait that long! Leftover balls will keep in an airtight container in the freezer for a few weeks. You can also store them in the fridge in an airtight container for several days if you prefer.


* You’ll want to make sure the dates are very well packed into the measuring cup. If your dates are very firm and dry, I also recommend soaking them in hot water for about half an hour, and then draining well before using as directed.

** The amount of water you will need will depend on how fresh and sticky your Medjool dates are.


These energy balls have a soft texture. If you prefer a crunchier consistency, you can roll the balls in ground nuts or stir some chopped nuts or chocolate into the dough itself.


To make the pink shredded coconut, I mixed unsweetened shredded coconut with a bit of beet juice.

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Gluten Free Chocolate Banana Breakfast Bars Recipe

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In my world, breakfast often consists of coffee and nothing else. Is that the same for you? Or are you a dedicated breakfast-eater? Either way, I think we all can get on board with ready-made breakfast bars to either

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Prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in newborns is much higher in comparison to their mothers

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A recent study discovered that vitamin D deficiency was highly prevalent in Nigerian newborns.

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Dairy-Free Yogurt Cheese: The Easy Recipe with Key Tips

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A few years ago, I gave up my pursuit of dairy-free yogurt cheese. Most dairy-free yogurt brands contain gums and other binders that prevent them from draining and setting up like dairy-based yogurt usually does. But when I saw the simple ingredient list in Silk AlmondMilk Yogurt Alternative, I knew that I had to give it […]

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Adapt Nutrition – Pre-Train Product Review

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Adapt Nutrition’s Pre- Train is advertised to increase performance and strength and additionally support energy and focus due to the inclusion of caffeine and vitamins B6 and B12. Several of the Ingredients included in Pre-Train have seen considerable scientific scrutiny in their effect on improved performance in terms of strength and aerobic ability. It must however be known that the inclusion of vitamin supplementation is not considered to aid performance unless individuals are deficient through their daily dietary intake and so the inclusion of vitamin B6 and B12 may have little to no effect in health individuals in terms of performance.


The inclusion of substances such as caffeine has been repeatedly proven to significantly increase the amount of reps participants have been able to achieve as opposed to a placebo group and caffeine has been highlighted to improve focus and alertness during bouts of extended exhaustive exercise. However there is little evidence that caffeine has any additional benefit to strength such as during a one rep max but rather improved the ability to carry out sustained exercise during longer workouts. In this way caffeine may be more beneficial to a hypertrophy style of training where workouts require a higher rep range and higher intensity with potentially less rest time.

Pre-Train could be a useful tool for endurance athletes as caffeine has also been shown to improve performance of sustained maximal endurance exercise. Additionally with the inclusion of taurine and beta alanine a reduction of intramuscular acidosis (lactic acid), improved anaerobic threshold, increased time to exhaustion and an improvement in VO2 max could be attained with the inclusion of Pre-Train into an athlete’s regimen.

Coenzyme Q10

The addition of Coenzyme Q10 (CQ10) in Pre-Train is suggested to improve available energy levels due to the involvement of CQ10 in ATP production as it is a coenzyme for at least three mitochondrial enzymes. However a second benefit of its inclusion would be its antioxidant properties. CQ10 has the ability to reduce oxidative stress which results formation of free radicals from energy production during exercise this would reduce the damage to muscle cells and improve overall recovery time for athletes.

Citrulline Malate

A worthy ingredient employed by Pre-Train is Citrulline Malate which has been accredited with impressive improvements in performance with studies finding 52.92% average increase in reps of 80% of one rep max in both males and females, 40% reduction in muscle soreness seen in 90% of subjects, 34% increase in rate of oxidative ATP and a 20% increase in rate of phosphocreatine recovery post exercise. These improvements would have positive effects on both anaerobic and aerobic activity performed by an individual. It should be noted, however that the dosage for one serving of Pre-Train is 1500mg of Citrulline Malate whereas the studies that reported the above benefits used between 6 and 8 grams of Citrulline Malate and so the benefits may be somewhat reduced in those utilising Pre-Train without adding further Citrulline Malate themselves.


In conclusion Adapt Nutrition’s Pre-Train is an overall holistic supplement which boasts ingredients associated with improved performance but in some cases dosages may be too low or the ingredients may only be beneficial if the user is already deficient. However the use of this product should facilitate some improvement for most users with the ingredients included and will also ensure there is a reduced chance of a dietary deficiency that could hamper performance giving increased energy, focus and the ability to tolerate prolonged training. Additionally ingredients included hold benefits for recovery post exercise which is rarely seen in pre-workout supplements potentially placing Pre-Train above its rivals. Furthermore Pre-Train is accredited with no crash sensation after ingestion which can be a negative experience of using a pre-workout supplement making it an ideal choice for those new to pre-workouts.

No Udder Protein Bars are a Powerful Dairy-Free Snack

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My love of bars coupled with their cute name and logo made No Udder Protein Bars a must try. These energizing bars beckon to the olden days of Power Bars, but with a much cleaner ingredient list. Tasting Notes for No Udder Protein Bars No Udder Protein Bars are smooth, with just a smattering of nut […]

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Gluten Free Quinoa and Kale Cakes with Red Pepper Aioli Recipe

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Quinoa and kale have a natural affinity for each other. The nuttiness of quinoa offsets the slight bitterness in kale and together they create a powerhouse of nutrition. That’s why these

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Vegan Hashbrown Waffles from Real Food, Really Fast

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Perhaps I’m a little biased, but I think Real Food, Really Fast: Delicious Plant-Based Recipes Ready in 10 Minutes or Less is going to be one of the best new vegan cookbooks of the year. I’ve worked with the author, Hannah Kaminsky, for over ten years now, because her recipes are always really darn good. […]

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