What's For Dinner | Healthy Vegan Taco Bowl

If I could only eat one thing for the rest of my life, it would be tacos. Matthew and I have been on a “bowl” kick lately, because they’re so easy to customize and they’re ridiculously healthy. I typically make this version vegan for myself, but I’ll pan fry some shrimp with olive oil, half a lime’s worth of juice, and some taco spice (keep reading for the best taco spice on the Earth!) for Matt.

ATP Recipes Healthy Taco Bowl

Like I said, these bowls can be customizable to anything you really want it to be, but lately I’ve really been loving them filled with sautéed veggies and quinoa served over some crisp romaine lettuce.

ATP Recipes Healthy Taco Bowl

I’ve never been a big spicy food fan, but Matt loves it. Lately I’ve been putting jalapeños in most of our food, and I’ve gotta say… even I’m coming around to them! I sauté the onions first, since I prefer them to be more cooked. Once they start to get translucent, I throw in the green peppers and jalapeños.

ATP Recipes Healthy Taco Bowl

Now the most important part… the spices. If you’ve never heard of Calicutts Spice Co., it’s a small batch spice company based out of Pennsylvania run by the sweetest mother/son-in-law team. They’re out of this world. This combination is my absolute favourite go to for tacos. I could BATHE in this stuff. And I put their cumin in almost literally everything I cook (I even put it in my “famous” ginger cookies once… by accident… but that’s another story. Matt still ate them…). Lucky for you (and me) if you’re not in PA, you can order online!

Calicutts Spices

Once the peppers are just starting to soften, add your spices and a can of black beans. I let that sit for a few moments, and then add in some chopped red cabbage. I really don’t like cooked cabbage, so I literally only let that stay on for a few moments- long enough to get warm!

ATP Recipes Healthy Taco Bowl

Recipe:

2 cloves garlic
1 cup dry quinoa
1 head romaine lettuce
1 medium onion
2 green onions
1 bell pepper
2 jalapeños
1 can black beans (rinsed)
1 tomato
1 small head red cabbage
1 tbsp olive oil
2-3 tbsp taco spice
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp fire salt
1/2 lime
1 avocado, sliced (or mashed)
fresh cilantro
favourite salsa to top

  1. Dice garlic, onions, green peppers, tomato, and jalapeños. Slice green onions.

  2. Cook quinoa according to package

  3. Heat olive oil over medium heat and sauté onions until they begin to soften

  4. Add garlic, peppers, and jalapeños

  5. Once the peppers begin to soften, add in the can of rinsed beans, tomato, spices, and the juice from 1/2 a lime and continue to cook over medium low heat

  6. Add in sliced red cabbage until cooked to your preference

  7. Serve cooked veggies and quinoa over the chopped romaine lettuce. Top with avocado, cilantro, and salsa.

ATP Recipes Healthy Taco Bowl

So. Good. Also note, in full disclosure, I don’t use the cilantro on mine (but my husband does)… I think it tastes like a bar of soap… are you team cilantro? Or are you with me and think it belongs in the trash? ;)

Essential Oil Guide | Spring Perfume

I get a lot of questions about essential oils - where to get them, how to use them, are they worth the hype? So I figured I’d start adding more oily information into this. First of all, they’re 100% worth the hype. In a couple of months, I’ll have been a “user” for five years. FIVE years! I can’t even imagine my life without them anymore. (Okay, that sounds a little dramatic, but I’ve replaced so many every day products with oils, I don’t even know what I’d do!)

Just laying it out in the open, I’m an Independent Wellness Advocate with DoTERRA. I have been since I started my oil journey back in 2014. All of the oils I reference, you can purchase here, through DoTERRA. Nowadays, there are SO many alternatives out there; I only ask that, should you use a different brand, you do your research. Not all oils are created equal!! If you’re going to use them internally, make sure the brand you’re using is truly safe and that you’re spending your money on real, pure, 100% natural essential oils. (Remember kids, “you get what you pay for.”) Now, with that out of the way…

One of the first things I replaced with oils is my daily perfumes. There’s a ton of research out there on the dangers of using synthetic fragrances… they’re full of hormone disrupters, carcinogens, the list goes on and on. It’s not pretty.

Bergamot is my go-to for an every day scent. It’s got this amazing clean, citrusy, woodsy smell, and I can’t get enough of it. But every once in a while, I switch it up and create my own blends. My favourite lately is:

7 drops Grapefruit
5 drops Elevation
11 drops Balance
11 drops Bergamot

Add all of the above to a 5 ML roller bottle from Amazon, top it off with some fractionated coconut oil and roll it on. So. Good.

You can buy any or all of the oils above here: https://www.doterra.com/US/en/site/andreatrobertson
If you have any questions on oils, or are interested in a wholesale account with DoTERRA (you’ll get 25% off EVERY purchase) leave a comment below, or send me a message!

Happy oiling (:

What's For Dinner | Healthy One Pan Chicken + Quinoa Recipe

The older I get, the more I really enjoy cooking. Years ago, when I was training in the Air Force, I went through culinary school (don’t laugh - we learned a lot!). Now I love the creativity that can go into cooking a good meal and being able to put healthy food on the table for my family.
Weather plays a big role in how we eat in my household, and yesterday was such a randomly cold and blustery day (it’s been so warm lately), I really wanted something hearty and cozy for dinner. I found this recipe from the Cookin’ Canuck and modified it a bit to match our tastes. My husband loved it, and even asked why I had made something with cream (I’m dairy free - spoiler alert: there’s no cream!). I don’t typically like mushrooms or cooked spinach, and I even enjoyed it. Everything in it is good for you, and it’s the perfect one pot (queue the angels singing) meal for a cold night!

Healthy Chicken Recipe

You’ll need:
Salt
Pepper
Paprika
Garlic Powder
Italian Seasoning
2 tablespoons (ish) olive oil
2 cups of chicken broth
1 cup quinoa
5 cloves of garlic (chopped finely)
6 bone in chicken thighs
1 yellow onion (Diced)
8 oz chestnut mushrooms (sliced)
2 huge handfuls of fresh spinach

  1. Season chicken thighs with salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. I don’t measure spices, but best I can guess, I used approximately 1-3 teaspoons of each, depending on how you prefer things to taste.

  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan and brown the chicken thighs - approximately 5-7 minutes on each side. Remove thighs and set them aside on a plate. Tent the plate with aluminum foil. *Some of the best cooking advice I can give you is to find a good olive oil you love (note: this does NOT always mean “an expensive one”!). It makes such a huge difference! My favourite is a brand called “La Española” - Matt brought it back from Spain once, and I’ve been able to find it in the local Edeka on ocassion!

  3. Add the second tablespoon of olive oil to the pain and sauté the onions, garlic, and mushrooms until soft (about 5 minutes).

  4. Stir in the quinoa and chicken broth. Bring to a boil.

  5. Cover pan and simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes.

  6. Place the chicken thighs back into the pan, cover, and cook for 15-20 minutes - until the chicken is cooked the whole way through and all of the chicken broth has been soaked up.

  7. Remove chicken and add in the fresh spinach. Stir until spinach is cooked to your liking.

  8. Serve chicken over the quinoa and vegetable mixture. Bon appétit!

Would all the REAL Dads, please stand up?

As a wedding photographer, one of my favourite parts of the day is documenting the father-daughter dynamic. The first look. The first dance. There is something just so special about seeing a daddy react to his baby girl getting married. It makes my heart happy.
Lately, I've been noticing that society puts so much focus on the dead-beat dad. The dad who walked away, who refuses to be in the picture, and even making light of the "dumb" dad who just doesn't seem to quite get it. Who doesn't care to know about his childrens' lives. About their dreams. Who goes to work, comes home, and plants himself on the couch in front of the TV. The dad who just couldn't care less. It's everywhere. It's in our Facebook news feeds, on our sitcoms, in commercials. We're surrounded by this negative image of fathers.
I think it's about time for that to change.
Here's the thing, people, dads are important. (And not all dads are biological. Some are friends, spiritual, step-dads, or adoptive fathers- it's the mindset that's important here) Sure it's your mom who carries you, who physically shapes you, who gives birth to you, and we will always have a special connection to them for that. But it's the dads who are willing to step up, to take over, and to emotionally and psychologically shape their children that we should be putting our attention on.
I could go on and on into statistics from studies on how a child's relationship with their father impacts a person's life, but you guys can find that on your own. So I'll just tell you what I know.

Photo: Rebekah Viola Photography

Photo: Rebekah Viola Photography

This is my father. My daddy. My rock. I've never really viewed myself as a "Daddy's Girl," because that's just not quite our dynamic. Seriously. As a kid (even now) he did not let me get away with ANYTHING. No amount of eye lash batting, "but daaaaaddy" whines, or little girl grins could get me out of trouble. And I swear it felt like I was ALWAYS in trouble. But you know what? I see more and more how that tough love has made me who I am today. As much as I rag on him for "giving" me his insomnia, TMJ, temper, these absurdly long legs that make it almost impossible to find jeans that fit, and an allergy to cats that just about broke my heart when I was 7 and ALL I WANTED IN LIFE WAS A STINKIN' KITTEN. He has given me so so many good things.
One of my first memories is of me as a little girl (maybe three)... I remember my dad hoisting me up into his lap and him telling me that I was strong. That I was beautiful. That I could do anything I set my little mind to in this world, because that's just who I was. He's always been in my corner, even those times when I was in the wrong corner. He's never been afraid to share his "I learned the hard way" stories, even if I turn around, just to learn it the hard way myself. As much as it kills me to say it: he was always right. Yet even after 25 years of being my father, he's never rubbed it in my face. Not once. He taught me how to live life. To never be afraid to express how you're feeling. That no matter what man comes into my life, he will never be good enough for me, because he's my dad, he said so, and he loved me first. He bought me my first camera, laughed with me as I ran with it. And most importantly, he taught me to always chase after my dreams, no matter how terrifying that felt.
Everyone always says I'm a carbon copy of my mom, but if you really get to know the three of us, you'd know that just isn't quite true. And I wouldn't want it any other way. 
So how 'bout it? Let's stop highlighting the negativity. Let's stop giving the spotlight to the wrong guys. Here's to the men who have carried us. Who have loved us, cheered for us, and shaped us into the people we are today. I'd say that it's time we let the light shine on them.
Happy Father's Day.