First post in my Sunshine Coast vacation series – WOO! Before I show you some of the eats I enjoyed last week, I wanted to show you what I’ve been doing recently. 🙂 Most of the time, I’m not incredibly motivated to exercise, but this week I’ve been determined to move around a bit more every day. Here is what I’ve been participating in at my local gym for the past several days.
- Beginner Circuit (45 mins)
- Spin class (45 mins)
- Yin Yoga (1 hour)
- Hot yoga (1 hour)
- Spin class (45 mins)
- Express BootCamp (45 mins)
- Spin class (1 hour)
- Hatha yoga (1 hour and 15 mins)
- Hot Fit Yoga Sweat (1 hour)
- Spin class (45 mins)
- Hatha yoga (1 hour)
- Hot Power Yoga (1 hour)
- Spin class (45 mins)
Alright, let’s move on to the food! This was dinner before we left for the Sunshine Coast on Monday morning. So this was dinner on Sunday night – a perfectly-cooked Mom Meal.
Chive scrambled eggs, black cloud ear fungus stir-fry with leeks, sautéed zucchini, winter melon stew with krill, roasted vegetables (broccoli, carrots, zucchini, brussels sprouts), and pan-fried tofu with scallions. Yummy! Check out the char on that brussels sprout.
Monday morning’s breakfast: creamy banana oatmeal (made with almond milk), topped with halved cherries from the farmer’s market, hemp hearts, and coconut chips.
We had two super extremely overripe bananas (yep, they were completely black!) on the counter, and I didn’t want to throw them away since we were leaving on vacation. So, on Monday morning, I woke up a little earlier than usual to whip up a batch of yummy muffins before we left. I had to halve the recipe because we had only two bananas, and the batter worked perfectly to make 12 adorable mini muffins. I had one after my oatmeal, with some peanut butter. The recipe is below, and you can find more of my muffin recipes here.
We were almost out of brown sugar, and since we had some crushed coconut chips from the bottom of the bag, I threw the last of those into the blender to make coconut sugar. This worked very well and gave the banana muffins just enough sweetness. The original recipe called for a cup, which is about 200 grams – 100 grams if halved – but I found that 60g of coconut sugar was perfect. These muffins are naturally sweet from the bananas (if using overripe ones!) and don’t need much sugar.
Even better – each mini muffin is around 100 calories and features 2 grams each of fibre and protein for satiety. They are also high in potassium and include healthy fats. These muffins are also rich in selenium and magnesium. With some peanut butter for maximum deliciousness, these muffins are the perfect on-the-go snack! You can also freeze them in ziplock bags and microwave (or let thaw) before enjoying. 🙂
Half-Batch Banana Muffins
- 1 cup flour (120g) – I used spelt flour
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 overripe bananas
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (100g) – I used 60g coconut sugar made with coconut chips in the blender
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips – I omitted because we ran out
- 1/4 cup chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, etc.) – OPTIONAL, I omitted
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Butter a muffin tin (makes 12 mini muffins, or 6 regular-sized muffins).
- Whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
- Mash bananas in another bowl. Stir sugar into bananas, and add coconut oil, eggs, and vanilla.
- Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix carefully until just combined. Do not overmix. Streaks or lumps of flour are perfectly fine.
- Fold in chocolate chips or nuts into the batter with a rubber spatula.
- Spoon batter into muffin tins. They should be 90% full.
- Tap the muffins on the counter to remove air bubbles.
- Bake until a knife or toothpick comes out clean – about 20 minutes, more if needed. Cool for 10 minutes before removing muffins.
- Serve warm, or at room temperature. I like mine crumbled on yogurt or with peanut butter.
And our road trip began! Well, right after I dropped off my hair donation at the post office – I love shoulder-length hair because it doesn’t get in my face when jumping, running, or doing yoga! After getting lost by going through the wrong exit, we found the ferry terminal. My sister and I had a great time searching the gift shop, the sundeck, and okay, pretending we were on the Titanic. 🙂
The ferry arrived in Langdale at 12:50, and we drove into Gibsons for lunch. Before we visited the Gumboot Cafe, our lunch destination, I asked if we could stop at Wheatberries Bakery to take a look at their fresh and organic baked goodies.
There were lots of cookies and bags of granola, all made in-house. They also serve hot and cold drinks, as well as light meals, like sandwiches.
There was quite a selection of muffins and scones, but since we arrived at around 1:00, most of them had already been taken. That raspberry dark chocolate scone looks really tasty. I think I’m going to healthify this recipe
and use fresh raspberries + chopped chocolate sometime this week! They also had coconut carrot muffins, which sound delicious as well. Actually, all of the baked goods at Wheatberries looked absolutely incredible!
A large selection of cookies, breakfast sandwiches and wraps, croissants, buns, and brownies were arranged neatly in the display case. I wanted to nibble on every single bar and brownie. 🙂
Here are their menus! I wish I had bought a muffin or scone, but unfortunately, Seline was in a rush to leave because she hates bakeries. Whenever we visit places I like, she whines and whines and complains about how boring it is and how much she wants to leave. 😦 Rachel
, this is why I wish I could go on vacation with you guys! We’d stand in front of the counter for a long time together, deciding which muffins to purchase.
Then, we headed to the Gumboot Cafe
for lunch. I wrote on this post
, before leaving for the Sunshine Coast, that I really wanted to visit the Gumboot Cafe. The reason for that? Their INCREDIBLE menu. Take a look
! From the tofu Buddha bowl to their roasted mushroom and kale pinwheel, I knew I wanted almost everything on the menu. I was also super excited to try the truffled kale pesto penne and Thai green curry prawns – and how could I forget their famous chocolate quinoa cake? Gumboot also claims that local food is used whenever possible, and they grow produce and herbs in their own greenhouse. As you can see, I was really, really looking forward to our lunch at Gumboot (and also the first meal of our vacay!).
The first to catch my eye? The glass display case of baked goods. Some of these house-baked goodies include peanut butter balls, chocolate truffle bars, gluten-free chocolate cherry bars, and even black bean brownies
. I know… almost $4.00 for a square? Made of economical black beans?! Maybe I should charge people to view my recipe
Then, I took a look at their menu – and did a double take. Wait, what? Where was the super salad? The gluten-free carrot cake? Baked brie?
This was their menu. That’s it. I was majorly disappointed, especially because it was past noon – so I couldn’t order a breakfast dish. With literally TWO choices for sandwiches and salads, I was completely astonished. How could the real-life menu be so different from the online menu?
Seline and Dad both opted for the pizza. There was ONE type of pizza – cheese with pepperoni on traditional, housemate crust. Seline claimed that her pizza was satisfying, but she wouldn’t return to Gumboot. She rated the cafe 2.5 out of 5. Dad, who enjoyed the pizza as well, said the cafe itself had quite a unique atmosphere. He deemed his pizza “ordinary” and rated Gumboot 3.5/5.
Mom ordered the baguette sandwich, which was stuffed with pesto and sliced tomato. For an additional $3.75, you could add soup or salad. Mom wasn’t too hungry and decided to stick with just the baguette. I
tried some ate half of her lunch and thought the bread was very airy and had a flavourful crust. It was toasted nicely, and I loved the generous slices of brie. There was nothing special about the pesto in here, and I wish they’d added some shredded chicken. I just thought it was missing a little something! Mom agreed that her sandwich was yummy, overall.
For myself, I ordered the spanakopita with tzatziki and the Tom Yum (Thai) soup with chickpeas. I was originally debating between this, the quinoa cake with miso tahini sauce, and the spinach pakoras, but the lady behind the counter insisted that this was her favourite.
My verdict? I thought both were just okay. My Tom Yum soup tasted very, very similar to Costco’s Thai curry soup
, but with more “filler” – namely, carrots, tomatoes, and onions. It had pretty good flavour, but I was disappointed with the TWO chickpeas I found in here. I love chickpeas and was a sad camper when I found only two little guys in there. As for my spanakopita, it tasted like a Chinese shao-bing from T&T! That was my first impression. Okay, it was better, obviously because it contains feta (feta makes everything beta!) – but the phyllo crust and slightly bitter spinach were reminiscent of the savoury Asian pastry. I wasn’t a huge fan of my spanakopita, which was also disappointing, but Mom liked it a lot. We swapped dishes halfway through, which is why I had most of her baguette sammie. 🙂
For dessert, we decided to order the tiramisu cheesecake. The man who plated this told me that their baked goods are made every couple of days, so this was only one or two days old at the max. Although I’d much rather have it be baked this morning, I guess a day or two (covered up and refrigerated) are acceptable. Dad thought this was GREAT tiramisu, but it took him a while to get over the fact that it wasn’t a tiramisu cake, nor was it a cheesecake – but rather, a hybrid. Mom liked it because there was quite an intense coffee flavour. I thought this was tasty, and a good palate cleanser after the garlicky tzatziki and spanakopita, but not very memorable. In fact, I wouldn’t order this again.
After checking into hour resort at 4:00 (it was an hour drive from Gibsons to Madeira Park. We passed Sechelt and several other major towns). After arriving at the Painted Boat Resort, I found out some bad news – we visited the WRONG PLACE for lunch! The menu I’d seen was for the Gumboot Restaurant – not the Gumboot Cafe, which explains the lack of burgers, sandwiches, and salads. I was so devastated! The worst part? The right place, the Gumboot Restaurant, was only a couple blocks down – on the same street! After I got over the tragedy of the day, Mom and I visited the local IGA, as we were planning to buy breakfast – but I did a bit of research and suddenly got an idea. 😉 That put me into a good mood! You’ll see tomorrow in my Tuesday post.
For dinner, we headed to the Old Boot Eatery, an Italian restaurant in Sechelt. It took a good 30 minutes to drive here, and it was up a winding, curvy, twisted coastline road.
The inside of the restaurant was old-fashioned but clean. Our waitress was very enthusiastic and attentive – we enjoyed talking to her about our plans for the vacation, and of course, about the food! It was about 7:00, but fairly quiet in the restaurant considering it was a Monday evening.
Mom and I started with hot water with lime, and we ordered the Red Hot Chicken Wings for an appetizer. They were served with carrot and celery sticks, as well as a house-made blue cheese dip. I didn’t have any because I wanted to save my stomach for the entree, but Seline liked them. Mom enjoyed nibbling on the bones, and Dad claimed this was too spicy and NOT what he was expecting. He doesn’t like Franks-style drummettes or sour blue cheese.
Red Hot Chicken Wings with house-made blue cheese dip
Seline ordered the daily special: The Seafood Feature.
Jumbo prawns, shrimp, bacon, peppers, zucchini, onions, spinach in a cream sauce, topped with cheddar and tomato
Seline thought her meal was great. She finished all the pasta and prawns, but left most of the veggies in her plate. She rated her meal, and the restaurant, a solid 3.5 out of 5. You’ll see in the upcoming posts – she is PICKY!
I chose the Meat Feature and asked for the sausage to be replaced with jumbo prawns. 🙂
Sausage jumbo prawns, onions, mushrooms, artichokes, sun-dried tomato in a spicy rose sauce topped with feta
Mom and Dad shared a creamy pasta dish from the regular menu. Theirs was named the Shrimp and Cream. Both my parents loved their dish, saying it was “very good” and “much better than Italian food in Vancouver”. Though he was a little disappointed with the tiny shrimp (he was expecting jumbo prawns!), Dad pointed out that the Old Boot was very generous with the sauce, which he enjoyed. He likes a higher sauce-to-pasta/veggie/protein ratio. Mom liked how flavourful everything was. Mom deemed the Old Boot a 4.5, while Dad gave his meal a 4.2 out of 5.
Fettuccini with hand peeled shrimp, sun-dried tomatoes, sweet bell peppers, garlic and cream sauce
I found my dish to be too salty. The chefs didn’t add a pinch too much salt to the sauce, nor was the pasta water over salted – the ingredients that comprised my meal were simply saltier than most. With artichokes. sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese, and prawns, which are all naturally briny, I found my pasta dish too salty for my taste. The sauce, a “spicy” rose, was not spicy, which is good because I’m a spice wimp! Everything was quite rich.
I added a big sprinkle of parmesan cheese before digging in, which was probably not the best idea – parm is quite a salty cheese! On vacation, I’m not one to be super picky about what I’m eating. After all, vacation is time to relax and spend time with those you love! But at home, I try my best to decrease the sodium
in my diet. 🙂 It’s all about balance!
We devoured our meals (minus a couple chicken wings that we packed up).
Now, on a totally unrelated note, here are some of the things I’m dying to cook/bake this summer. These recipes, which have been floating around on the Internet for just about forever, have been bookmarked for the longest time. Most of them have been stuffed away in my Favourites folder, and I recently dug them up. I am SO determined to try all of these before I leave for Paris
SUMMER FOODIE BUCKET LIST
- Chocolate PB Banana Shake (1 banana, 1/2 cup almond milk, 2 tbsp peanut butter, 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/4 tsp vanilla) – I made this for a snack yesterday and added flax + chia, Greek yogurt, 4 leaves of kale, two handfuls of spinach, and two tablespoons of cocoa powder instead of one. Yummy!
- Cheesy tuna vegetable pasta bake
- Blueberry cobbler oatmeal: oats, almond milk, yogurt, light brown sugar and honey drizzle, cinnamon, blueberries, pecans – had this breakfast this morning, minus the yogurt (didn’t have any) and skipped the honey. Blueberries, pecans, coconut chips, and crumbled homemade blueberry spelt muffin were DELICIOUS on creamy banana oatmeal!
- Caramelized onion and spinach EVOO quick bread with feta: http://www.cookincanuck.com/2010/05/caramelized-onion-spinach-olive-oil/
- Parmesan-crusted salmon
- Skillet shrimp with orzo, feta, asparagus (with garlic, red chili flakes, S+P, chopped fresh basil, lemon juice, EVOO)
- Kale salad with sweet potato, chickpeas, avocado and miso tahini dressing: http://www.shelikesfood.com/1/post/2015/05/kale-salad-with-sweet-potato-chickpeas-avocado-with-a-tahini-miso-dressing.html
- Mexican chicken and black bean quinoa bake with roasted peppers, salsa, avocado, and sour cream
- Roasted shrimp pasta with lemon cream sauce
- Quinoa stuffed zucchini boats
- IGE artichoke pasta
- Quinoa-stuffed peppers
- Salmon Quinoa Cakes: http://aggieskitchen.com/2014/03/31/20-minute-meal-salmon-quinoa-cakes/
- Roasted zucchini tuna melts
- Raspberry cheesecake brownie bars
- Savoury scones – pesto spinach
- Chocolate quinoa cake
- Nutella-stuffed brown butter and sea salt chocolate chip cookies (ambitious kitchen)
- Sweet potato oatmeal / pancakes
- Bean and sweet potato burrito / hash
- Pear oatmeal
- Hot chocolate cookies (chocolate covered Katie)
- Pumpkin scones
- One pot chicken, rice, veggie fajita bowl: http://www.chelseasmessyapron.com/one-pot-chicken-rice-veggie-fajita-bowls/
That’s it for now, everyone! Mom and I just had a MASSIVE baking session. We are having a party tomorrow, and I whipped up blueberry scones, pecan-raisin cookies, flourless peanut butter chickpea blondies, and red velvet beet cupcakes with beet frosting. 🙂 Can’t wait to try them tomorrow!
Nah, just kidding. I already had two of everything. 😉 Have a yummy weekend everyone and stay tuned for tomorrow’s Sunshine Coast post!