Ginger Veggie Stirfry + Oscar’s 9th Birthday!

Happy Thursday lovely people!

I hope you’ve been having a marvelous week thus far. As some of you might know, earlier this week I celebrated my pup Oscar’s 9th Birthday! We celebrate every year and it’s so much fun. I think I get more excited about the dog birthday parties than I do about my own birthday haha. It was a wonderful occasion and this year I made a healthy veggie stirfry for my mom and I, while the dogs enjoyed some all natural “duck stew” for Oscy’s birthday dinner, followed by Timbits for dessert.

Oscy birthday 2016
Blowing out the candle on Oscy’s Birthday Timbit!

Oscy is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and one of the sweetest pups out there. His interests include sleeping (and snoring excessively loudly haha), eating, and walking around the back yard sniffing stuff. Oh, he also likes to eat dead birds that he comes across which mighty hunter Calvy has left behind (gross, I know), watching TV (not even kidding he actually watches it especially if it’s an animal show) and enjoys playing with plush toys.

All in all he’s a wonderful dog and one of the kindest souls out there! It’s tough to believe he’s already 9 years old! Where has the time gone? We came into each others lives when he was just a pup and I can’t imagine my life without that big fluff ball.

From visiting Santa at Christmas…

babies at Christmas 2015
Oscy and Calvin Visit Santa (2015)

To dressing up at Halloween…

oscy halloween 2015
In the Halloween spirit – Oscy the Pumpkin (2015)

And of course celebrating Birthdays…

Oscy Birthday 2016 3
Eve helping Oscy open his Birthday gifts (2016)

 

Oscy loves to join in on the fun and have a great time. I think it’s safe to say that he thoroughly enjoyed his birthday celebration, as did we!

As I mentioned, I’d prepared a healthy veggie stirfry for my mom and I to enjoy for Oscy’s “Birthday Dinner”. It was loaded with fresh veggies, ginger, and I prepared a simple and slightly sweet soy based sauce to accompany it.

This recipe is a quick and easy one that only takes about 30 to 35 minutes to make (including veggie prep, which takes the most time), so it’s perfect for a busy week night dinner. To make things easier try cutting up the veggies in advance so they’re ready to go and you’ll have a healthy and nutritious dinner ready in 15 minutes!

Simple veggies stirfry 1
Ginger Veggie Stirfry with Vermicelli Rice Noodles

Here’s what I did (makes about 4 serving) for my Ginger Veggie Stirfry:

Ingredients:

  • 2 bell pepper, cut into 1″ chunks
  • 1 medium onion, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup broccoli, cut into bite size pieces
  • 3 – 4 garlic cloves, diced
  • 2″ pieced ginger, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup cashews or peanuts, unsalted
  • 2 Tbsp olive or coconut oil
  • 3 cups cooked rice noodles (I use vermicelli), whole wheat spaghettini, or brown rice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup green onion, diced (to garnish, optional)

Sauce:

  • 2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 6 Tbsp warm water
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp turbinado (raw) sugar or honey
  • 1/2 tsp fresh grated (or dry powdered) ginger

Method:

  • For sauce: in a glass bowl, melt coconut oil. Then add in soy sauce, water, sugar or honey, and ginger. Whisk gently to combine. Set aside.
  • For stirfry: Heat oil over medium-high heat; add in peppers, onion, mushrooms, and broccoli. Saute for about 5 to 8 minutes or until beginning to soften.
  • Meanwhile, cook noodles or rice according to package directions, then set aside.
  • Reduce heat to medium and add in garlic and ginger. Saute about 5 minutes more, then add in nuts. Stir to combine, saute about more minutes.
  • Reduce heat to low, add in sauce stirring to coat and combine, then add noodles or rice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Garnish with fresh green onion (if desired), serve hot and enjoy!
simple veggie stirfy 2
Healthy Ginger Veggie Stirfry with Vermicelli Rice Noodles

And here you have it folks: a tasty, nutritious veggie packed stirfry dinner ready to go. It tastes great as “left-overs” as well, though I do recommend reheating in a pan if possible rather than a microwave to maintain the delicious flavours. This meal can easily be made gluten-free by using a GF soy sauce and rice noodles. As always, when possible do try to use local, fresh, organic ingredients.

If you give this a try I’d love to know your thoughts and see photos! (#genuinelyjulie) Please like and share if you’re a fan of this recipe 🙂

ps. I will soon have the Pinterest “Pin It” function available on here for sharing my recipes too!

Wishing you great health and much happiness!

xo Julie

 

 

Advertisements

Compassion, Emotional Well-being… and Calvy!

Hello wonderful people!

I hope that this week has been treating you well! This post will be about something a little different from the usual recipes and health focused posts, yet in some ways is entirely relevant with respect to emotional well-being. This post will be about my three-legged “wonder kitty”, Calvy!

Handsome Calvy
Looking as handsome as ever!

I adopted Calvin in June 2015 after he was brought into Imperial Road Animal Hospital. He had been found on the side of the road in a ditch and appeared to have a paralyzed front right leg. It was unclear as to what had caused the injury, but evidently he had suffered some sort of trauma that resulted in the loss of sensation and function in his limb. After a few days and no improvement the decision was made to amputate his leg.

baby calvy
Calvin as a kitten after his amputation surgery. Seriously, Look at the face! So adorable!

I brought Calvy home on June 20th and quickly discovered what a treasure he is! I can say with absolute certainty that adopting him was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. He brings me so much joy and happiness. As those who have met him can confirm, he has quite the personality!

From playing guard cat on duty…

guard cat on duty
Keeping watch over the neighborhood

To celebrating my birthday…

My Birthday 2015
Checking out this weird thing some humans do… lighting the candles on my owl birthday cake!

Helping me in the kitchen…

helper calvy
Helping out in the Kitchen

Participating in Halloween festivities…

Halloween Calvy
He did not find this unicorn costume funny… but I did

And visiting Santa at Christmas…

babies at Christmas 2015
Calvy and Oscy visit Santa – 2015

Calvin has been a wonderful influence in my life while positively impacting my emotional well-being. Indeed studies have found evidence supporting the claim that companion animals can and do contribute positively to the emotional well-being of people. Moreover, there is also evidence that these interactions can similarly have positive benefits for the animals themselves. However, this appears to differ from one species to another and can depend on the context. A great article published in Psychology Today which summarizes some of these interesting findings can be found here.

Anyhow, back to Calvy. I’ll be honest, mostly I just wanted to write this post so that I could talk about my amazing cat that I love and adore. And because he’s so ridiculously awesome I think that he’s earned his very own blog post. Don’t worry… I’m sure this will not be the only Calvy post I write and that there will be many more stories about him to tell. There’s never a dull moment with that little fur ball around!

Calvin has an incredible spirit and resilience that is in itself an inspiration. Many people ask me if he “gets around okay”, well let me tell you he gets around perfectly well! In fact he can often be found out in the back yard chasing the dogs around, stalking the squirrels, leaves, and anything else that moves. And most recently (and hilariously) dashing, quite literally, through the snow! He has not let his “disability” negatively impact his capacity to enjoy life. As I’m sure you can tell from the many photos here, Calvy doesn’t let anything slow him down or stop him from having fun!

baby calvy 2
Chillin’ with his pals after a solid play session

On a final note I want to emphasize the importance of being a responsible pet owner. This is an issue that is important to me having grown up around the vet clinic, as my mom has worked there for many years, I’ve seen a lot of abandoned and neglected animals come through. It is completely heart breaking and frustratingly also avoidable. Too often people seem to forget that puppies, kittens, and other pets grow up into adults and that owning a pet is a commitment. Ensuring one has adequate resources (ie. time, finances, environment, etc.) to provide a loving and safe home for a pet is critical. Finally, to help control over population which is a huge issue in many places, spaying and neutering ones pets can have tremendous positive impacts. Please, be mindful of the fact that others, including non-human animals such as pets (that’s right, humans are also technically animals), deserve kindness, compassion, and empathy.

I will end with this inspiring quote on the value of compassion, which states: “Only the development of compassion and understanding for others can bring us the tranquility and happiness we all seek. If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” (Dalai Lama XIV, The Art of Happiness)

Oh, and one more Calvy picture of course… 🙂

Calvy outside
Enjoying the outdoors… we both love nature!