Hearty Salad With Sweet Potato

Hearty Sweet Potato Salad

This hearty salad is so easy! 

I love to make it when I am craving my greens but need a meal that will fill me up as well.


The sweet potato is high in Vitamin A, while the pumpkin seeds are packed full of magnesium, zinc and omega-3s, so this salad is very nutritious as well as being very tasty.



Serves 2___Prep Time: 5 minutes___Cooking Time: 10 minutes


1 large sweet potato, chopped into 1cm cubed
¼ cup of pumpkin seeds
salad mix or 2 lettuces (which ever one you like better)
½ teaspoon of ground cumin (optional)


  1. Toss the cubed sweet potato in a medium frypan with some olive oil. Fry until golden on at least one side and soft to touch. This should take about 5 minutes.
  2.  Turn off the heat and add the cumin to the pan, stirring until fragrant (2 minutes), then set aside.
  3. In a clean frypan, on a medium heat, dry roast the pumpkin seeds. *The trick is to swirl them around the pan often and wait until they are “popping” before you take them off the heat. This will take about 5 minutes.
  4. Assemble the salad together, with greens, warm sweet potato and pumpkin seeds on top.
  5. Serve with your choice of dressing and some toast (if you are extra hungry).

How I do everything wrong

How I always do things wrong

Doing something wrong has such a negative connotation.

If it is wrong, then it is bad, ugly, unwanted and therefore my dear friends, something that you wouldn’t want to do. So, what if I tell you that I do wrong things all the time? How would you react?


Even as I am writing this, I am perceiving you of thinking that I have something terrible, unspeakable almost! but don’t worry I’m not doing any of those things, I am just living and learning about the world around me.


You see, for 2016 I wanted to be the best that I could be!


I wanted to be awesome at yoga, write blog posts every day and have a super clean diet where I craved salad each day!

I started off great, I did a juice cleanse for 5 days, ending it on New Year’s Day and I was getting right into my yoga and I couldn’t write because I didn’t have my computer but I had all these great ideas and man-oh-man! I was going to be on fire this year!!


But then I started getting tired all the time, I lost my appetite for all foods and the thought of going to yoga was comparable to someone sticking bamboo under my toenails. (sorry if I made you cringe, I needed to set the mood) I became withdrawn and I honestly hated this blog because it was sitting still, reminding me that I had already failed 2016. “I am useless!” I would constantly think to myself.

And then today, I realised that I had started this year all wrong. I had put so much pressure onto myself (typical Capricorn) that I forgot what mattered most… me! I am actually having a good giggle at myself for thinking that I would eat salad everyday, mainly because I get really cold when I eat lots of salad… not the best idea when in the middle of winter in Canada.


So what is the point of this post?


It’s ok to get things wrong, in fact, you should get it wrong all the time! Because if you didn’t, you  won’t be able to learn and better yourself!

And if I do have a massive f@#K up, here are a few steps that I use to pick myself back up again and dust myself off:

1. Laugh

I swore quite loudly in front of the president of the company that I work for today. He didn’t say anything to me but I am old enough to know that I shouldn’t be dropping f-bombs because the printer ran out of paper. All I could do was laugh with the other co-worker that heard me and take note, that I should probably curb my potty mouth a bit.

2. Take Note

As Einstein famously said “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results.” It’s all well and good to make mistakes but the whole lesson is lost if you do not learn from them. When I screw up, I take a moment to reflect on what has happened and how I could have changed the situation. If I am at work, I will also add a note to the manual for my position, in hope that my predecessor doesn’t have to experience the same mistakes.

3. Ask Questions

I am so lucky to have plenty of people around me that I can ask for guidance. If I am really grappling with an issue, I can talk to them and they shine a new light on the situation. In fact, just talking about it and voicing my thoughts out loud sometimes gives me the greatest clarity.

4. Forgive Yourself

I am still working on this one. I am so prone to feeling guilty and wanting to take the full blame for anything that isn’t 100% perfect. But in five years from now, will any of it matter and the answer is always no. No, it won’t matter in five years! So I give myself a hug (with my mind) and get on with it because life is too short for feeling sad and guilty for something that won’t matter in the future.


I leave you with one of my newest recipes, which is the exact opposite of the clean eating that I had envisioned for myself this year. It is a creamy, cheesy chicken lasagna and it is so delicious that my mouth is watering at the thought of it….


Please let me know how you make mistakes and how you cope with them in the comments section below, I would love to hear your thoughts.

Love Olivia xx 

P.s. The picture for this post is from 2014, when I still owned a camper van. I was merrily driving down the road and suddenly I was in a ditch! Luckily, a passerby with a massive truck pulled me out and I got a smaller car a couple of months later. And yes, I still miss the van that I affectionately named “Cookie.”



Chicken Lasagne

Cheesy Chicken Lasagne

Oh. My. Goodness! This chicken lasagne is amazing!

And it wasn’t just me saying that, we had friends over when I made it and there was nothing left in the end because it was THAT good!

There are a couple more steps to this bad boy, just because of the cheese sauce but it’s worth it!

So don’t be intimidated! You can do it, I believe in you 🙂 



Serves 6___Prep Time: 30 minutes___Cooking Time: 30 minutes


Chicken Mix

3 chicken breast, chopped
3 cups of diced vegetables (I used cabbage, red+yellow peppers and some grated zucchini)
1 can of tomato

Cheese Sauce

1 heaped tbs of butter
1 heaped tbs of flour
2 cups of milk
2 cups of grated cheese
1 tbs of garlic powder


lasagne sheets


Chicken Mix

  1. In a large frypan, heat some oil and cook the chicken until it is cooked on the outside, but still a little bit pink on the inside (5 minutes).
  2. Add your chopped vegetables to the chicken and cook until the vegetables are soft (10 minutes). If you want to speed up the process, put the lid on the saucepan and steam the veggies to get them to cook a bit faster.
  3. Once your veggies and chicken are cooked, stir through the tomato paste and put the mix aside.

Cheese Sauce

  1. In a medium/large saucepan, add the butter and melt it over a medium heat. Once it is completely melted (2 minutes), add the flour and stir until it forms a thick paste (1 minute).
  2. Keep stirring the paste (or a rue, as they call it in the cooking world) for about two minutes, really working out any lumps and being careful not to burn it!
  3. Add a cup of milk and stir again, breaking up any lumps that form (3 minutes). Once the mixture starts to thicken, add the rest of the milk and stir occasionally to prevent it from burning (5 minutes). Make sure that there are no lumps.
  4. After 5 minutes, your sauce should have thickened considerably to be like pouring custard. If it is too thick, add some more milk or water. If it is very runny, turn up the heat and mix it continuously for a minute or 2, that should do the trick! If not, mix a teaspoon of flour with some water in a cup and then mix  it into the sauce.
  5. Add the grated cheese and garlic powder, then stir until all the cheese is well incorporated and the sauce is smooth. Put the sauce aside.

Putting It All Together!

  1. Put the lasagne sheets on the bottom of a baking dish. (I used a 9×13″ dish, which holds 2.8L)
  2. Add a layer of the chicken mix, followed with some cheese sauce on top (enough to cover the chicken).
  3. Repeat this process until the dish is nearly full (about 2 centimetres from the top) and finish with a layer of lasagne sheets, covered with a fair amount of cheese sauce and a little bit of grated cheese.
  4. Bake in an oven at 350ºF/180ºC for 20 minutes, or until the top of the lasagne is nice and golden.
  5. Take it out of the oven and let it sit for about 10 minutes before you serve, as it will be extremely hot!
  6. Serve with a green salad.


I hope that you enjoy this recipe as much as I do and don’t forget to leave a comment!

Otherwise you can always take a picture of your cheesy creation and tag it:  #lifewithlists 




Chicken and Vegetable Alfredo

This Chicken and Vegetable Alfredo is really easy. Just cook some chicken and vegetables, add some sauce and pasta and you have a delicious meal which was quick to make but still packs a nutritional punch with all the vegetables.


You will notice that there are no photos for this post and that’s because all the ones that I took make this meal look like it is not as delicious as it really is! If you really like this meal, you can take a picture for me and post it on instagram @olivialouisetaylor or the Life With Lists facebook page. I would love to see them 🙂



Serves 2___Prep Time: 10 minutes___Cooking Time: 20 minutes


2 chicken Breasts, chopped into small pieces
2 cups of vegetables, chopped
1 jar of alfredo sauce



  1. In a large saucepan, cook your pasta according to the packet instructions.
  2. Meanwhile, in a frypan, cook the chicken until browned.
  3. Add the vegetables and alfredo sauce and cook until the vegetables have softened.
  4. Serve in large bowls with some parmesan cheese.



  • Frozen vegetables are great for this meal, we used broccoli and brussel sprouts.

Roasted Vegetable Pasties

Cheap and Easy Meal

Comfort food that is full of vegetables!?!

That cannot be a thing? But it is!!!

Cheap and Easy Meal

Now that winter has completely set in…

My body is craving warming and grounding foods to get me through my days.  That is what these little pasties are perfect for! Full of earthy root vegetables, they are high in Vitamin A and fibre, while the pastry makes it into a indulgent treat!

Cheap and Easy Meal
Roasted Vegetable Pasties

This recipe was inspired from Donna Hay’s website. When I lived in Australia, I loved getting Donna’s magazine that came out once every 2 months. She always has beautiful, clean pictures and the recipes have been well tested so that you can follow a recipe, bit by bit, and it will come out perfect everytime!


Serves 5___Prep Time: 30 minutes___Cooking Time: 30 minutes


1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
½ cup of caramelised onion relish
1 cup of frozen peas
1½ tablespoons of dried rosemary
1½ cups of grated cheddar cheese
5 sheets store-bought shortcrust pastry, thawed


  1.  Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). Place the carrot, parsnip and sweet potato on a baking tray. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. Roast for 15–17 minutes or until cooked through.
  3. Place the roasted vegetables in a bowl with the onion relish, peas, rosemary and cheddar.
  4. Cut 2 rounds of pastry from each sheet of the puff pastry (I used my hand as the guide).
  5.  Place ¼ cup of the mixture in the centre of each round and brush the edges with egg. Fold the pastry over and pinch to seal. Place on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper and brush with egg. Bake for 20–25 minutes or until golden. Makes 10.




  • Instead of making 10 small pasties, you can make 2 large ones with 2 sheets of puff pastry.
  • With the leftover puff pastry, you can roll it out to make cinnamon swirls, a little apple tart or roll it around some baking paper, wrap well with plastic and put back in the freezer for future use. If you do refreeze it, it will not rise as well but it will still be handy for future recipes.


Meal Plan Four

Looking out to Meares Island in Tofino

I am visiting Tofino as you are reading this!


One of my favourite places in the world!


Surf, forest walks and of course, lots of delicious foods from the amazing restaurants here! Wolf in the Fog, SOBO, Tacofino, Wildside Grill… The list goes on!

The meal plan is a celebration of food!

Last week, I had lost my desire for cooking and food. It happens from time to time, I just don’t have the passion for the kitchen. Luckily, one of my friends suggested that we go for pho….


I had never had pho before, and if you haven’t had it either, it is a delicious beef broth with strips of beef cooked in the hot liquid and you can add fresh bean sprouts, basil and sauces of your choice to it to change the flavours to your preference.


After a week in a funk, this is just what I needed to get back into the groove of meal plans, cooking and getting these recipes out to you.


This will also be my last meal plan in this format. I’m still going to post them, because I love to share them with you but I will be scaling back on the detail just so that I can get them out every week. At the moment, the amount of work that goes into my posts, along with the time that I actually have, means that I cannot get them out at a reasonable time. And I want to get one to you every week! That’s the most important thing!

So, they won’t be as pretty and I will probably outsource some pictures from other websites but this is all a work in progress and one day, I shall be able to deliver all that I dream for this space! (And I dream a lot!!)


Meal Plan Four

Meal 1Meal 2Meal 3
What should I eat for dinner? This! Cheap and Easy Meal Chicken and Vegetable Alfredo
Vegetable Lasagne Roasted Vegetable PastiesChicken and Vegetable Alfredo
Meal 4Meal 5
Cheap and Easy MealCheap and Easy Meal
Savoury PancakesSimple Beef Pho



Cold Section

Cheddar Cheese (1)
Eggs (4)
Mozzarella Cheese (1)
Ricotta Cheese (1)


Freezer Section

Corn (4) **
Peas (2)
Puff Pastry (2)
Spinach (1)
Alfredo Sauce (3)
Beef Stock (5)


Canned and Dry Goods 

Lasagne Sheets (1)
Caramelised Onion Relish (2)
Corn Niblets (4) **
Creamed Corn x2 (4) **
Fish Sauce (5)
Rice Noodles (5)
Spaghetti (3)
Star Anise (5)
Tomato Paste x2 (1)



Chicken Breasts (3)
Steak, 500g (5)


Fresh Produce

Bean Sprouts (5)
Broccoli (3)
Carrot  (1)
Celery  (1)
Cilantro (5)
Fresh Ginger (5)
Mushrooms  (1)
Lime (5)
Red Pepper (4)
Sweet Potato (2)
Zucchini  (1)


Pantry Staples

Cinnamon Sticks (5)
Dried Rosemary (2)
Flour (4)
Olive Oil


**In recipe 4, you have 2 options on how to make the pancakes.


Click here for the printable version of the shopping list.