A food and wellness site by Ashley Gilday http://ashleygilday.com wellness site dedicated to living a balanced, conscious, plant-based life Mon, 24 Jul 2017 19:49:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://ashleygilday.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/AshleyGildayLogo-300px-50x50.png A food and wellness site by Ashley Gilday http://ashleygilday.com 32 32 68463288 The one about following your dreams http://ashleygilday.com/2017/07/24/one-following-dreams/ http://ashleygilday.com/2017/07/24/one-following-dreams/#respond Mon, 24 Jul 2017 19:49:18 +0000 http://ashleygilday.com/?p=9951 I started a business last month. It has been a lifelong dream of mine. When I was in fourth grade I started a stamp and sticker business. I made a brochure of all of our designs that you could order – then I would make it custom for you. Needless ...

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I started a business last month. It has been a lifelong dream of mine. When I was in fourth grade I started a stamp and sticker business. I made a brochure of all of our designs that you could order – then I would make it custom for you. Needless to say, this wasn’t THE IDEA, but it taught me a lot about myself. 1.) I am creative. 2.) I like business 3.) I like a good challenge.

Over the years I’ve had dozens of ideas (just ask my family!). I executed one about 7 years ago, but the timing wasn’t right.  Today I can confidently say that I have followed my childhood dream, and am a legit business owner.

Starting a living, breathing, organization is one of the most challenging, yet fulfilling, things I have ever done.  My business is still very new, and sales aren’t growing fast enough for my liking (patience was never a strong suit). My resources are currently limited & bandwidth is tight. Each day I learn something new and am challenged in a different way. 

I am a wife and mother to a beautiful 2-year-old. He is a little tornado. His energy level is unsurpassed & he his need for his mommy is blatant. Mom guilt is a real thing.  There is typically one event per weekend for the business, but the rest of the time is spent with my family & my sweet little boy. Honestly, we could probably do an event every day if time allowed, but I cannot do that to my family.  It’s a tough juggling act and it’s exhausting, but I know it will all be worth it – perseverance has always been a strong suit.

One thing that keeps me going is this….

When the time comes for my son to share his dreams with my husband and I, I can look him straight in the eyes and say, “Honey, you can do that. Follow your dreams. I did.” That’s what I call living my truth.

Now please check out my business! Email me if you have any questions or ideas!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sometimes you just want to scream! http://ashleygilday.com/2017/03/19/sometimes-you-just-want-to-scream/ http://ashleygilday.com/2017/03/19/sometimes-you-just-want-to-scream/#respond Sun, 19 Mar 2017 19:13:37 +0000 http://ashleygilday.com/?p=9945 So I left my full-time job in December to start a membership-based meal delivery company for babies and tots. It’s something I’ve been dreaming up since last June. I’m a one-woman show right now and it’s definitely not an easy task. Hmm, no wonder why it took me this long ...

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So I left my full-time job in December to start a membership-based meal delivery company for babies and tots. It’s something I’ve been dreaming up since last June. I’m a one-woman show right now and it’s definitely not an easy task. Hmm, no wonder why it took me this long to make the leap!

There are days when I’m on top of the world and there are days where I am drowning in to-do lists and overcome by fear. I guess it’s normal when you are on your own. The thing is, I haven’t even launched yet! Once I launch, the to-do list is going to be THAT much bigger! Anyhow, the best thing that gets me out of my rut is to just take action. I’m what they call “an activator” by nature. When I have an idea or am motivated or inspired by something, I act. It definitely annoys some people because I expect them to be on the same page as me, and not everyone is like that (you should ask my husband!). It is a great quality for me as an entrepreneur, because I get a lot done. But, on the other hand, I also have A LOT of ideas so my brain is constantly running. 

One day at a time. One day at a time. It’s a mantra I have been trying to incorporate into my daily routine. I’m the only one pushing me. I’ve always been my biggest critic, the hardest judge, the most demanding boss, it’s me. I do it to myself. It’s what got me here. I’m grateful for those traits, but they come with a lot of expectations. 

Anyone feel me!??

We all need a little pick-me-up now and again. You see the featured image? That is what I feel like doing today. But instead, I write. It’s a healthy outlet for me. A way to unwind, relax and check-in with myself. We all need to do a little bit of self-lovin’ every now and again. 

At the end of the day, it’s good to remind ourselves that we are ultimately not in control and that things are going to work out just fine, the way they were planned to. Each of us needs to keep following the right path; keep doing the next right thing and remember what you choose to spend your time doing is up to you. Do what makes you happy.

Feel free to drop me some encouraging words every now and again if the spirit moves you! I’ll write some right back at you!

-Ashley 

 

 

 

 

 

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Finally taking the leap away from comfort http://ashleygilday.com/2017/01/28/finally-taking-leap-away-comfort/ http://ashleygilday.com/2017/01/28/finally-taking-leap-away-comfort/#respond Sat, 28 Jan 2017 22:32:30 +0000 http://ashleygilday.com/?p=9913 My entire life I considered myself an entrepreneur at heart. I remember in college they had a whole class on entrepreneurship and the students wrote a business plan and if it was that good, well they would get funding from some outside investors. This type of talk always got my ...

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My entire life I considered myself an entrepreneur at heart. I remember in college they had a whole class on entrepreneurship and the students wrote a business plan and if it was that good, well they would get funding from some outside investors. This type of talk always got my blood flowing. Unfortunately, I wasn’t a part of the school of Management at Purdue, so that class wasn’t an option for me. 

After I graduated I waited tables for about 6 months then found a job as a food broker, aka the bottom of the totem pole, as far as the professional food sales world is concerned. This job was actually perfect for me. I was able to make my own schedule, I got basically zero on the job training and I ran my own little business with the support of a larger (at the time there were about 5 of us) company. 

I’ve always gravitated towards small to medium size companies for this exact reason; no process. No process can be a catch 22, but for the entrepreneur that lives deep inside of me, this was ideal; I would create my own process that worked for the little business I ran.

After four years of selling various food ingredients to hotel Chefs across Chicagoland, I decided it was time for a change; time for more challenge and quite frankly, more money. I had learned a lot about the industry (and myself) and was ready for more. I got a job at a specialty ingredient company and managed a whole different side of the business. I actually wasn’t overly qualified for the job, but somehow I talked my way into it and excelled. But it was not easy.

There was a big learning curve and my peers were at minimum 15-20 years my senior. However, the same rules applied as last time. Go out and make it happen. No formal training, no hand-holding. Make it you own and the more you make us, the more you will make. Sounds like a good deal. It was. It was a great deal. I had so much fun. I started to travel across the country, ate at amazing restaurants, met a lot of great people, learned about how they do business on the West Coast, Pac NW and other parts of the Midwest and East, all while running my own little business with the support and comfort of the corporation. But the time came. My soul ached and I knew I needed to branch off on my own. So I started to write a business plan for a foodservice and ingredient consulting role I would fill in the industry. I met with different brands that I believed in and pitched my services to them. One of those companies became my place of employment for the next 3.5 years. So much for those entrepreneurial dreams, eh?

Not so fast.

Timing is everything and I do believe things happen for a reason. The 3.5 years I spent at my last full-time job were filled with a lot of fun memories and many rich learning experiences. Some were severely uncomfortable, but all were beneficial, and looking back, necessary. Work still needed to be done. My confidence grew. I met amazing like-minded people in the plant-based food industry and was fortunate enough to have made life-long friends. A year and a half ago I became a mom and as they say, a baby changes everything.

And it did.

I was traveling a lot for my job and the next year the travel demands were going to be even greater. Don’t get me wrong, I love to travel. I love staying in hotels where they make your bed and clean up after you. I love eating out, and meeting up with friends or family in different parts of the country when I’d be traveling on business, but it started to sting a little bit more than it used to. I was leaving behind my precious little boy who was only four months old when it was time to get back on the plane.

When I took this past role, I made a commitment to myself that I would stay three years then it was time to finally do my own thing. No matter what. I didn’t know what that would look like, but that was the promise I made. And I always make good on my promises.

Three years arrived with the blink of an eye and I had my inspiration. My son had just turned a year and I was wrapping up the introduction of solid foods to him for the previous 7 months. Turns out this was exhausting! I was adamant about making everything from scratch, organic and of course, plant-based. Everything had to be dynamic, flavorful, fresh and each meal needed to be perfectly paired so he was getting optimal nutrition.

Well, my son went to daycare full-time and so this meant that I was writing meal plans for them daily and cooking literally all day each Saturday or Sunday. I was spent. Working full-time and making all of this food, writing the meal plans, packaging, labeling, shopping, etc. etc. WAS exhausting! All I wanted to be doing was spending time with my baby boy before the new work week arrived, all to quick at that.  I thought, boy wouldn’t it be nice if someone could just check all of the boxes that mattered to me and deliver his food, fresh, each week to my door?

That was my inspiration.

I was going to do that for all of the moms (and dads) like me. I am going to check all of the boxes that matter to us, and get our babies the freshest, healthiest and most dynamic foods in one box, conveniently dropped at our front door.

That was it.

The time came where it was time to crap or get off the pot so… I crapped. It was one of the scariest things I’ve done in my entire life.  A friend of mine, who started and sold a healthy restaurant chain, and is now on to his second venture, said, point-blank to my face, “Ashley are you a Wantrepreneur or an Entrepreneur?”. That stung a bit. He was right. So here I am building my Little Harvest empire. Yeah, that’s the name of the baby & tot meal delivery company I’m starting.

Walking away from a steady paycheck with incredible benefits and starting from zero is scary, but I’m the happiest I’ve been in many years. I’m able to be as creative as I’d like to be. I’m making a difference in the lives of others, I’m finding myself being more generous (financially) then I’ve ever been in my life and I am making no money presently. Isn’t that funny? Turns out money does not equate to happiness.

Here’s to an exciting ride ahead. I don’t know what the future stores, but I know it will be great. Follow your dreams. We only get one chance at this thing called life.

-Ashley

 

 

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A Mediterranean dinner for four made easy with Wild Garden heat and serve pilafs http://ashleygilday.com/2016/12/07/mediterranean-dinner-with-wild-garden-heat-serve-pilafs/ http://ashleygilday.com/2016/12/07/mediterranean-dinner-with-wild-garden-heat-serve-pilafs/#respond Wed, 07 Dec 2016 19:53:59 +0000 http://ashleygilday.com/?p=9832 One of my favorite dishes in the world happens to be Mujadra. The first time I had Mujadra was at Al-Ameer restaurant in Dearborn Michigan. The restaurant’s interior looked like it came straight out of the 80’s; with pale pink and teal hues. My co-worker, who took me there, ordered ...

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One of my favorite dishes in the world happens to be Mujadra. The first time I had Mujadra was at Al-Ameer restaurant in Dearborn Michigan. The restaurant’s interior looked like it came straight out of the 80’s; with pale pink and teal hues. My co-worker, who took me there, ordered about 10 different dishes and Mujadra and Fattoush were the two that stood out.  I still make them on occasion today. However, Mujadra can be a little time-consuming since you have to cook the rice, boil the lentils and fry the onions, a step that cannot be overlooked.

dinner for fourWild Garden just introduced a line of Mediterranean heat and serve pilafs and Mujadra (rice and lentils) happened to be one of them. It’s already cooked and stored in an air-tight bag. The only step I needed to do was fry the onions and microwave the bag’s contents. Being a full-time, working, mom, the convenience was appreciated.

Wild Garden has a couple other heat and serve sides that come packaged for convenience: Bulgar and Couscous with chickpeas. You can literally just dump them in a bowl and microwave and eat. I like to add my own spin on things, so I added a few simple ingredients to customize the meal to my preferences. wild garden couscous

If you are having people for dinner, these heat and serve sides are perfect! Below I have prepared a complete menu that is perfect for entertaining, using the Wild Garden Mediterranean heat and serve pilafs. Follow my tips to put a crave-worthy spin on each dish and your guests will fall in love. The entire meal is broken down by each dish, will take just 30 minutes to prepare and will feed 3-4 people.

 

Mediterranean inspired meal for 4 with Wild Garden heat & serve pilafs

wild garden products

*Chef’s Tip – prep the veggies, herbs, fried onion and pita for each dish below and heat the Wild Garden pilafs all at the same time, prior to garnishing, for 5 minutes in the microwave.

Recipe #1

Mujadra with Fried Onions

1/2 sweet, white onion

1 cup canola or vegetable oilwild garden rice and lentil pilaf

1 package Wild Garden Rice & Lentil Pilaf

Side of Tahini (store bought)

Directions

Thinly slice white onion

Heat oil in medium saucepan (about 1 inch in depth) until almost boiling

Carefully add in onions and remove once they start turning golden brown with slotted, heat-resistant, spoon or mesh fry basket

*Note this will happen quickly so be prepared and safe!

Let cool then add to the Wild Garden Rice & Lentils (Mujadra)

Reserve the pan with oil to deep fry the pitas for your Fattoush salad (recipe below)!

Recipe #2 Chickpea Couscous with Herbs

1/4 cup chickpeas

wild garden couscous2 T sliced sweet, white onion

2 tsp. chopped cilantro

2 T EVOO

2 tsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 package Wild Garden Couscous Pilaf

Directions

Prepare herbs and onions

Heat Wild Garden Couscous according to directions (about 3 minutes)

Add chickpeas, cilantro, EVOO, lemon juice, onion and mix

Serve with the rest of the meal

Bulgar with Diced tomatoes

1 package Wild Garden BulgarWild Garden bulgar pilaf

1 small tomato, diced

Directions

Heat Wild Garden Bulgar Pilaf according to directions and top with diced tomatoes and cilantro

Serve with the rest of the meal

Fattoush Salad

Serves 4

3-4 cups of chopped romaine or green leaf lettuce

1 small tomato, dicedfattoush salad

1/2 cucumber sliced

1/2 green pepper, thinly sliced

1/4 sweet white onion, thinly sliced

1/2 tsp. ground sumac + a dash reserved

1/2 tsp. Mediterranean Oregano

Fried pita crisps * (2 pitas)

Directions

Make the pita crisps {Take 2 pitas, cut them into 1-2 inch strips and wedges, deep fried in remaining oil from fried onions above. Bring oil to slight boil and place pitas in for just a few seconds, until golden and remove with slotted spoon or fry basket}

Make the Lemon Vinaigrette (recipe below)

Add all salad ingredients to a medium bowl, aside from vinaigrette & pita, and toss

Add 1/2 of the lemon vinaigrette and toss until coated

Top with fried pita and a light dusting of sumac

Lemon Vinaigrette

Yields: 1/2 cup (enough for 2 medium salads for 3-4 people each)

1 lemon juiced

1 large garlic clove, pressed

1/4 cup + 1 T. EVOO

1/8 tsp. pepper

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. of sugar

Directions

Add all ingredients to small mixing bowl and whisk until blended

Serve your Mediterranean feast and cheers to a healthy and delicious dinner made easy, thanks to the help of Wild Garden pilafs.

wild garden pilafs

This piece is sponsored by Wild Garden, but all of the recipes are original and opinions are authentic. 

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Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts Recipe http://ashleygilday.com/2016/11/19/oven-roasted-brussels-sprouts-recipe/ http://ashleygilday.com/2016/11/19/oven-roasted-brussels-sprouts-recipe/#respond Sat, 19 Nov 2016 16:57:19 +0000 http://ashleygilday.com/?p=9783 Oven roasted Brussels sprout recipe just in time for the holidays! I’ve been meaning to add this to the blog for sometime now, so here it is. This recipe is easy as pie. Actually it’s a lot easier to make than pie, but if you wanted a tasty pie recipe ...

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Oven roasted Brussels sprout recipe just in time for the holidays! I’ve been meaning to add this to the blog for sometime now, so here it is. This recipe is easy as pie. Actually it’s a lot easier to make than pie, but if you wanted a tasty pie recipe I have that too.. chocolate cream pie to be exact.

I remember growing up and eating the Green Giant Brussels sprouts slathered in a chemical looking butter sauce. They weren’t awful, but they weren’t great either. Let’s just say, I never looked forward to eating them. Today, things are different when it comes to Brussels sprouts. The restaurant industry has definetly made them cool again and thanks to different breeding practices (for lack of a better word), Brussels sprouts have actually became less bitter over the years!

With this easy oven roasted Brussels sprout recipe you don’t have to wait to go to a restaurant, you can make them at home just as good or even better than they do. The best thing is you can make a TON of them and just go to town.

THEY ARE THAT GOOD. DANG!

So, try these out over the holidays… or any old day, but my family suddenly saw the light and became raving fans of Brussels sprouts a few years ago when I made these at Thanksgiving.

Enjoy!
oven roasted brussels sprouts recipe

Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts Recipe

Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Serves 6
Perfectly roasted Brussels sprouts that are crispy on the outside.
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Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. Yields about 6-7 servings
  2. 45 - 50 Brussels spouts (7 cups)
  3. 3 garlic cloves, pressed
  4. 5 T EVOO
  5. Sea Salt
  6. Fresh squeezed lemon juice
  7. Cracked black pepper
  8. Marash or Red chili flake
  9. 3 T organic sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Slice off stem and half brussels sprouts
  3. Place in large bowl
  4. Add in rest of ingredients and toss until coated
  5. Place in flat row on baking sheet
  6. Bake on top rack until browned and crisp - about 40 minutes then turn up heat to 430 degrees and cook for another 10 minutes until crisp
  7. Remove and enjoy!
A food and wellness site by Ashley Gilday http://ashleygilday.com/

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Finding balance as a working mom while living my values http://ashleygilday.com/2016/10/14/finding-balance-as-a-working-mom/ http://ashleygilday.com/2016/10/14/finding-balance-as-a-working-mom/#respond Fri, 14 Oct 2016 17:55:59 +0000 http://ashleygilday.com/?p=9791 I’m a working mom and wife, who travels, cooks, cleans, loves, enjoys exercise and is a social butterfly. I was recently asked what my personal values are. Family, passion, integrity, work ethic, efficiency, enjoying the pleasures in life and balance; these values are pretty high on my list. Lately I’ve ...

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I’m a working mom and wife, who travels, cooks, cleans, loves, enjoys exercise and is a social butterfly. I was recently asked what my personal values are. Family, passion, integrity, work ethic, efficiency, enjoying the pleasures in life and balance; these values are pretty high on my list. Lately I’ve been feeling a little imbalanced, so I’m inspired to write.

Writing is something I enjoy and lately I haven’t made the time to do it. The time is now, as I head home from our bi-annual sales meeting in British Columbia to see my son. I’m thrilled. I get to spend an entire 3 weeks with him before my next trip, which brings great joy to my soul. As I go about my ever-changing daily routine, I’ve caught myself thinking about what balance means to me.

My son is just over 1 year old and is full of energy; he doesn’t sit still; ever. It’s amazing to me how active and curious he is; and let me tell you, it’s exhausting! I wake up early, start my pot of coffee and anxiously wait to hear my son babbling in his crib. By the time 9pm rolls around, I finally have a moment to myself. At this point I’m usually exhausted and want to zone out in front of the television with my husband; romantic, I know. My exercise routine has been slipping, along with other self-care activities, such as journaling each morning, blogging and doing yoga on occasion.

I consider myself a highly productive person. I’ve always been this way; never one to sit still. I’m efficient and have a lot of energy, which makes life as a working mom more bearable! However, as of a year ago, the demands of my daily responsibilities and ambitions have, at times, been just too much; it’s time to give myself a break.

So I’m retiring.

Totally kidding! Our VP of HR subscribes to my newsletter, so this would be quite a shock! No, I just choose to change; to get up earlier, light a candle in the morning, brew my coffee and journal, even if its just for 15 minutes before I hear the cooing sounds of my little boy in the room down the hall. This is my time to relax. I’m also learning to delegate more both at home and at work because let’s face it, I can’t do everything.

I’m blessed with a loving, committed, husband who is more than willing to pitch in. At least one night a week he is now on dinner duty; which allows me more time to spend with my son in the evenings after daycare. When on the road for work, I go to bed early and I don’t over-indulge so I can wake up refreshed and ready for a workout. At home, I schedule time in between meetings or after work for a long run with my son in the BOB (he loves the fresh air and ride!) or I fit in a quick strength-training workout. Every little bit helps maintain balance.

One of the best pieces of advice I have received as a new, working, mom was from our CEO. I asked him how he balances it all and he said he chooses to be present wherever he is, whether at work or at home with his family. That really resonated with me and though I have not perfectly achieved this ideal, I’m working on it daily.

Being a mom is the greatest privilege I have ever embraced, and working with reckless abandon is a value that energizes me each and every day. I’m humbled and grateful for being able to work full-time in an industry I love and raise my son with a stand-up man in a city that we adore. Family, passion, integrity, work-ethic, efficiency, enjoying the pleasures in life and balance are all virtues and values that serve as a compass for each decision I make, and the time has come, once again, to balance them all.

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Coconut chia pudding recipe with banana and mango http://ashleygilday.com/2016/09/03/coconut-chia-pudding-recipe/ http://ashleygilday.com/2016/09/03/coconut-chia-pudding-recipe/#respond Sat, 03 Sep 2016 13:03:08 +0000 http://ashleygilday.com/?p=9733 I’ve had chia pudding a handful of times, but nothing quite like this before. My motivation for creating this coconut chia pudding recipe was to make a healthier (no refined sugar) “smash cake” for my son’s first birthday party. I was going to make a traditional cake for him, but ...

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I’ve had chia pudding a handful of times, but nothing quite like this before. My motivation for creating this coconut chia pudding recipe was to make a healthier (no refined sugar) “smash cake” for my son’s first birthday party. I was going to make a traditional cake for him, but then got to thinking….”what does Oskar REALLY like?” – BANANAS! He is obsessed with those things! Oh, and mangos too…

coconut chia pudding recipe

So, the end result ended up being a decadent spin on a traditional coconut chia pudding with some of Oskar’s favorite ingredients. And in my opinion, no dessert is complete without fluffy coconut whipped cream, so of course, that was added on top.

coconut chia pudding recipe coconut chia pudding recipe Coconut chia pudding recipe

All of the babies at his party loved this creamy dish and Oskar and I enjoyed the leftovers for breakfast for the following few days. It may be creamy and decadent (and topped with whipped cream), but it also makes for a deliciously healthy breakfast, packed with loads of fiber, Omega 3’s, protein, potassium and vitamin C. 

When it came time to bring a cake to daycare to celebrate “O’s” first birthday, I scooped the chia pudding into a cupcake pan, sprinkled just a tad of rainbow sprinkles on top and boom, a beautiful birthday treat that the babies can enjoy together (and mom’s can feel good about them eating).

coconut chia pudding cup

coconut chia pudding recipe

coconut chia pudding recipe

coconut chia pudding recipe

Coconut Chia Pudding Recipe
Serves 10
A delicious and creamy coconut chia pudding recipe that duos as a great breakfast, dessert and first birthday "smash cake"!
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 ripe bananas + 2 more quartered and reserved
  2. 1 ripe mango - chopped into little squares
  3. 7 T chia seed
  4. 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
  5. 5 ripe Medjool dates
  6. 1 can light coconut milk - or 1.5 cups
  7. 1 tsp vanilla
  8. Coconut whipped cream
  9. Optional - sprinkles
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to blender, aside from reserved banana, mango, sprinkles and coco whipped cream, and blend until smooth and creamy.
  2. Transfer to individual bowls or one large pan such as a pyrex.
  3. Let chill 8 hours or overnight and add quartered banana, mango, coco whip cream and a dash of cinnamon and sprinkles (for fun)!
  4. **Store in fridge, covered or in Tupperware for up to 5 days.
Notes
  1. Great for breakfast or dessert for all ages. Baby will love it too!
A food and wellness site by Ashley Gilday http://ashleygilday.com/

Oskar enjoying his “smash cake”!

coconut chia pudding recipe

What other creative first birthday recipes do you have that you can share?

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Easy Baba Ghanoush recipe http://ashleygilday.com/2016/08/08/easy-baba-ganoush-recipe/ http://ashleygilday.com/2016/08/08/easy-baba-ganoush-recipe/#respond Mon, 08 Aug 2016 14:32:53 +0000 http://ashleygilday.com/?p=9707 Baba Ghanoush is one of those dishes that I have always bought and never taken the time to explore just how easy it actually is to make at home. Turns out is it simple as can be and it tastes like a thousand times better than it does when purchased ...

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Baba Ghanoush is one of those dishes that I have always bought and never taken the time to explore just how easy it actually is to make at home. Turns out is it simple as can be and it tastes like a thousand times better than it does when purchased at the store. This easy Baba Ghanoush recipe is just that, easy. You start with a whole eggplant, slice it, put it on a pan with some oil and salt, throw it in the oven and puree it with some more oil and lemon juice and BAM you have yourself a super fresh, homemade, Baba Ghanoush that you can brag to your friends about.

easy Baba Ganoush Recipe

You’ll notice (or maybe you won’t) that I have omitted the tahini. This is because I didn’t have sesame seeds at home, but had an eggplant getting sad. It’s still just as delicious, and even easier, because of omitting the tahini! Turns out that babies also really like this tasty, nutrient-dense, recipe as well. Since this recipe suggests that you leave the skin on, it is packed with antioxidants and is also great for brain health.

Easy Baba Ganoush Recipe

Easy Baba Ganoush Recipe

Easy Baba Ganoush Recipe

Easy Baba Ghanoush Recipe
A creamy roasted eggplant spread common in Middle Eastern cuisine.
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 medium eggplant
  2. Coarse sea salt
  3. 1.5 tsp Lemon or Lime Juice
  4. 1 T plus 1 tsp EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
  5. 1 tsp smoked paprika or marash chili flake (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 525 - or broil setting
  2. Slice eggplant into thin strips
  3. Lay flat on 2 sheet pans and drizzle EVOO on top and sprinkle lightly with coarse sea salt
  4. Bake for 10 minutes then flip
  5. Bake for another 8 minutes and remove from oven
  6. Place in a stack in foil and let sit for 5 minutes to absorb moisture
  7. Place in small blender or food processor with EVOO, lemon or lime juice, smoked paprika/marash and blend until smooth and creamy
  8. Sprinkle marash on top and serve with sliced cucumbers, pita bread and tomatoes
Notes
  1. Omit the skin if you'd like it creamier!
Adapted from The Minimalist Baker
A food and wellness site by Ashley Gilday http://ashleygilday.com/

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5 Ingredient dark chocolate dairy-free “Gelato” recipe http://ashleygilday.com/2016/07/23/5-ingredient-dark-chocolate-dairy-free-gelato-recipe/ http://ashleygilday.com/2016/07/23/5-ingredient-dark-chocolate-dairy-free-gelato-recipe/#respond Sat, 23 Jul 2016 10:00:12 +0000 http://ashleygilday.com/?p=9682 Guys! I’m so excited about this dairy-free “Gelato” recipe!! I’m lactose intolerant (sorry if that is TMI 🙄 ), but I love Gelato, ice cream, soft-serve, you name it. It’s difficult sometimes to pony-up for the expensive dairy-free offerings in the store that are clean labeled as well, so I ...

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Guys! I’m so excited about this dairy-free “Gelato” recipe!! I’m lactose intolerant (sorry if that is TMI 🙄 ), but I love Gelato, ice cream, soft-serve, you name it. It’s difficult sometimes to pony-up for the expensive dairy-free offerings in the store that are clean labeled as well, so I got to thinking, “Why not make it myself?”.

What really inspired me to create this recipe was my son, Oskar. Oskar has a bit of a sweet tooth. As a matter of fact, he just has a few teeth, and this dairy-free Gelato recipe is a great way to pack some antioxidants into his little body, cure his sweet tooth (literally), all while soothing his aching “teething” gums.

dairy-free gelato recipe

I just love preparing quick and easy blender recipes for the baby before we start our busy day. This dark chocolate dairy-free Gelato recipe happens to be great for breakfast and for a decadent dessert, post dinner. We’ve even added dairy-free coconut whipped cream and fresh berries to the top and it’s a real treat!

dairy-free gelato recipe

Now, head to the store, freeze some bananas and take 3 minutes to prepare this tasty take on Gelato! Let me know what you think of it 🙂

5 Ingredient Dark Chocolate Dairy-Free "Gelato"
Serves 2
A chocolatey cool treat to enjoy any time of the day!
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Total Time
3 min
Total Time
3 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 peeled frozen bananas
  2. 3 soft Medjool dates
  3. 5 T coco powder
  4. 3 T non-dairy milk (I use coconut)
  5. 1.5 tsp vanilla
  6. Optional Garnishes: coco nibs, crushed nuts, berries, coconut whipped cream
  7. -serve right away or put in fridge for 2-3 hours for gelato like texture
Instructions
  1. Pit Medjool dates, then add all ingredients to the blender and blend until the consistency of Gelato. Serve immediately or store in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
Notes
  1. Great for baby too!
A food and wellness site by Ashley Gilday http://ashleygilday.com/

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My vegetarian baby doesn’t eat no stinkin’ meat http://ashleygilday.com/2016/07/06/my-kid-doesnt-need-no-stinking-meat/ http://ashleygilday.com/2016/07/06/my-kid-doesnt-need-no-stinking-meat/#respond Wed, 06 Jul 2016 22:48:00 +0000 http://ashleygilday.com/?p=9538 That’s right, I said it. My son does NOT need meat in his diet. In fact he is thriving on a balanced predominantly plant-based diet, in tandem with his breast milk/formula. We make nutrient dense homemade vegetarian baby food for Oskar and he loves it. It’s also getting mom and ...

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That’s right, I said it. My son does NOT need meat in his diet. In fact he is thriving on a balanced predominantly plant-based diet, in tandem with his breast milk/formula. We make nutrient dense homemade vegetarian baby food for Oskar and he loves it. It’s also getting mom and dad to eat a little more fruits and veggies too!

Here are some of his favorite meals: white ivory lentils with roasted garlic, herbs and olive oil, avocado mixed with couscous and spices, tumeric hummus with sautéed spinach and garlic, black beluga lentils with avocado and garlic, mango with just about anything, spinach mixed into just about anything; including fruits and berries, oatmeal with chia and seasonal fruit, and so on and so forth. Oskar (my son) gets all of the protein he needs and more fiber than the average kid. Needless to say, he is quite regular!

green bib gourmet

Green bib gourmet

Let’s take a look at the mighty black lentil nutritional profile

Protein – 36%

Dietary Fiber – 63% (yes, we change a lot of diapers!)

Carbohydrates – 13% (low glycemic index since so much fiber!)

Iron – 37%

Folate – 90% (great for brain development)

Rich in Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids

*source self nutrition data

green bib gourmet

My son is learning what real food tastes like, day in and out. As his mom I feel so good about what I feed him and I know that everything that he puts into his little mouth comes straight from the Earth, and was not raised with hormones, antibiotics and free of toxic pesticides (for the most part – we try our best).

I eat predominately plant-based myself, and since having Oskar, have severely reduced my sugar and salt intake as well, which is fantastic. I am learning how to enjoy foods in their simple state again – it is glorious! Eating this way has other perks too – it’s inexpensive for one. I stock up on bulk produce, grains and legumes about twice a month and make his meals, often at the same time as I’m making them for my husband and I.

Ashley Gilday

It’s better for the planet to eat your greens. The meat and dairy industry are the largest culprits for greenhouse gas emissions which are destroying our Earth. Animal-based ingredients also suck up tons more water than plant-based ingredients do, and unfortunately we do not have an infinite amount of water available to us – you can read more on that here.

If you have any questions about feeding your baby a balanced, plant-based diet feel free to shoot me an email. I can share my experiences with you, but am not a doctor, nurse or dietician. However, our family pediatrician says Oskar is doing more than okay and is off the charts! I have so much fun feeding Oskar a variety of whole foods and I hope you do too!

Here is a simple recipe to jump-start you and your baby’s day!

Sweet black cherry and banana icee
Serves 2
A cool treat for mom and baby to enjoy together!
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Total Time
1 min
Total Time
1 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 frozen banana
  2. 1/2 cup frozen, pitted, sweet cherries
  3. 1/8 cup water
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until the consistency of soft serve ice cream
Notes
  1. Great for teething babies since the cold feels great on their gums!
A food and wellness site by Ashley Gilday http://ashleygilday.com/

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