PB Mug Cakes, Yoga, and a Disappointing Cafe Experience

Happy new week, everyone!

I’m starting to fall in love with yoga the more and more I do it! I’ve been going to hot yoga every day since final exams ended and doing a teeny bit of practice by myself in the kitchen. Do you like yoga? What are some of your favourite poses? To you, is yoga more emotional, spiritual, or physical?

One afternoon I took a nice walk around Victoria Park in Kitchener. It’s been a while since I’ve seen rippling lakes and green grass!

Tea latte at Café 22, one of my favourite places in Uptown Waterloo. This was their small London Fog latte, which I highly recommend. So good. And I actually want one right now.

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We recently moved our dining table next to the window, so I get to look out the window and at my laptop while I eat. 🙂 Also, Arsalan (roomie’s BF) came home from Japan recently! He was so kind to give me two beautiful handmade ceramic teacups. Aren’t they pretty? Do you like handmade utensils or kitchenware?

I’ve also been volunteering at the Research Institute of Aging, where Professor Heather Keller, my nutrition professor, leads a team of students to create healthy recipes for seniors. Turns out a MASSIVE percentage of seniors in long-term care homes are malnourished, whether it’s because they don’t like the food, they don’t have an appetite, or they aren’t enjoying the mealtime experience.

Bloggers, I could use your help! Let’s brainstorm some ideas for recipes that are…

  1. Not labour-intensive: it needs to be easy for cooks to prepare
  2. Can be made in bulk
  3. Can be refrigerated or frozen
  4. Not expensive: we have nearly $8 PER DAY, PER PERSON, so that rules out coconut flour, quinoa, etc.
  5. “Traditional”: sorry, no hipster things like green juice, kombucha, kale, etc.
  6. Nut-free, because of allergies
  7. High in nutrients! For example, sweet potatoes instead of regular white potatoes
  8. Easy to chew and swallow: this rules out things like sticky date balls, crunchy nut clusters, etc.

Tricky, right? What are some of your ideas?

PS: our first idea was avocado pudding, but turns out one serving is 3 avocados, which is $9 in total. :O That idea had to be trashed, unfortunately.

Salmon fishcakes! They were simple: 2 eggs, 1 can salmon, and a bunch of spices.

When I didn’t have any baked goods for dessert, I just melted some chocolate and ate it with strawberries for a makeshift fondue.

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Vegan butternut squash pasta with a nutritional yeast sauce and spinach. I actually quite liked this, despite my LOVE for real, creamy cheese.

I bought some [expensive!] strawberries and they didn’t taste that good. 😦

More pasta, this time with brown butter and sage! Idea from a special commenter 🙂

Baked oatmeal…

… enjoyed two days in a row.

Went to My Thai, a restaurant in Uptown Waterloo, with the roomies one day! Arsalan enjoyed vegan pad thai.

Madhulika and I enjoyed the amazing emerald curry with coconut sticky rice.

We shared banana spring rolls for dessert with vanilla ice cream! What a great end to the meal.

Leftover curry sauce turned into a delicious vegetable stir-fry the next day.

And then there was STILL leftover curry sauce, which became vegetable noodles! I was uncomfortably full after this. It doesn’t look like much, but I was stuffed!

Yeah, yeah… more pasta.

I don’t even have the effort to explain how good this was. Please make this.

Best-Ever Peanut Butter Mug Cake

  • 2 tbsp. spelt flour (or all-purpose)
  • 2 tbsp. peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp. almond milk
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • sprinkle cinnamon (optional)
Whisk together and microwave for 60 to 80 seconds.

This was one of my favourite meals of the week: quinoa with sweet potato, carrots, zucchini, spinach, roasted red peppers, and avocado on top with cayenne pepper and lemon juice. It was surprisingly filling!

More baked oats. Attractive, I know.

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Thoughts on warm salads? I used the last of my goat cheese here. So yummy!

Coconut and pineapple Thai-style fried rice was devoured another day. Seared tofu makes it really satiating, while pineapple provides a punch of flavour.

Roasted and shredded salmon on top of baked broccoli and yukon gold potatoes. They were all tossed with couscous and served with avocado and goat cheese. YUM!

And a simple oatmeal topped with a makeshift “crumble”, which was almond and coconut flour with nut butter, maple syrup, and some coconut oil.

More of the same 🙂

Spicy coconut-peanut noodles with tofu and shredded carrots and zucchini, and seared tofu.

I usually make two servings of whatever I have, so that a) it’s easier to make b) I’ll have another meal the next day.

These are some recent Mom meals: banana muffins, shrimp and chicken pasta, and some Chinese dishes. She also went on a cookie-baking rampage the other day and whipped up a whole table’s worth of COOKIES! What are your favourite dishes cooked by Mom? You know, the ones that simply cannot be replicated?!

This morning I took the bus to Pure Kitchen and Juice Bar after volunteering at the Grand River Hospital. I do patient registration, which is fun until there are 20 people in line, with two “Pats”, a “Jon” and a “Ron” and a “Don”, and a “Kryzhchevish”. My job is to take everyone’s name, record some health information, and call them up when their appointments are ready.

Anyways!

Pure Kitchen is located in the heart of downtown Kitchener. I had REALLY been looking forward to it for a long time, and when I got there, I was even more excited!

For my lunch, I decided on the small grain bowl, which came with brown rice, oven-roasted chicken, roasted sweet potato, chickpeas, spinach, sprouts (literally THREE sprouts, not satisfied), raw seeds, roasted mushrooms, and a spiced cranberry vinaigrette. Am I the only person who doesn’t like cold chicken? How do you guys feel about it?

Disappointment #1: For around the same price, you can have all of the ingredients placed into a whole wheat wrap. I asked for that option, grilled, but they were out of wraps. Um, you are a sandwich + soup cafe. You serve wraps. It’s 12:00, noon – how can you be out of wraps?

Disappointment #2: I asked for the meal to be served in a bowl, but they told me that they only provide these wasteful cardboard-paper box things.

Disappointment #3: Three sprouts in here.

Disappointment #4: Why was this cold? In fact, it was almost freezing. If the menu states “roasted chicken” and “roasted mushrooms” as well as “roasted sweet potato”, customers would assume that they are hot, or at least warm, right?!

Disappointment #5: Four massive leaves of spinach. Massive.

On the bright side, the rice was really good.

These were on the table for samplers, and they weren’t terrible. The green juice was a little bitter, and the granola was sticky, too chewy, and topped with a brown pineapple sorbet thing that never melted. I wouldn’t buy any of these.

I also ordered the Feel Good smoothie, which was made with maca, cacao, banana, almond butter, and almond milk. Sounds amazing, right?

WRONG. The $8 smoothie tasted “burned”. I have no other way of describing it. I couldn’t detect a hint of banana, almond butter, creamy almond milk, or even chocolate. The only flavour I could describe was a BURNED flavour.

Disappointment #where are we… oh #6: The smoothie tasted like a scorched tree branch or piece of firewood that had been blended with a scoop of ice.

I asked for the smoothie to be re-made after having half of it, and the lady did re-make it for me, this time it was so icy and not fully blended.

Disappointment #7: Smoothie #2 was 90% unblended ice.

The best part of the meal was the almond croissant that I enjoyed for dessert. It was truly amazing and almost redeeming. Have you ever had a croissant for dessert? Slightly heated up?! Oh my goodness, it’s gold.

On a totally different note…

How do you guys feel about running? If you’re a runner, what motivates you (ie. what do you THINK about when running?) If you aren’t a runner, what are some of your favourite ways to squeeze in some cardio?

Also, do you have to race to be a runner?

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Alright, that’s it for today! It’s 9:17 PM and I feel like I just ate dinner. Which, I kind of did. I always feel a little guilty for eating dinner after 8:00 PM, but unfortunately, I have commitments, I have things to do, and sometimes, it just isn’t realistic to have a beautifully-made dinner fresh on the table at 6.

Today, it was a lasagna that went from freezer to microwave at 8:30 PM because I got stranded at Goodlife Fitness because it started pouring (and thunderstorm-ing). 😦

Do you feel guilty when you end up eating later? Is there a certain time that you don’t “allow” yourself to eat? Back at home in BC, my mom was ADAMANT that after 6:30, no food allowed. For 18 years of my life, as soon as the clock ticked 6:31, it was “too late to eat”. This mentality really stuck with me and caused eating problems in my life. Thoughts?

PS: I just found out that I can click on all the tags that I want to add to this – I just added about 999 tags to this post, haha! 😀

20 thoughts on “PB Mug Cakes, Yoga, and a Disappointing Cafe Experience

  1. i feel like pastas and casseroles would be really good! i would like layer sweet potato slices, beans, and a sauce. curries/stews too, i like channa masala. the work you guys are doing is AWESOME.
    that cafe experience sounds SO disappointing D: i’ve had experiences like that. if they had an awesome menu maybe give them another chance? at least the croissant redeemed them in the end! haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Chana masala is a brilliant idea! I will definitely bring that suggestion up at our next meeting. Flavourful, affordable, and easy to make in bulk – amazing! Thank you 🙂
      Pasta and casseroles are also wonderful ideas. You are amazing!

      Hahaha yeah definitely. My dad always says that we need some disappointing experiences to remind us how awesome our non-disappointing experiences are!

      Like

  2. Yoga is so fun ^^ I mostly do it to keep active especially on rest days or I just feel under the weather (like when mother nature visits for the month, yuck!). So I guess it can also be emotional and physical for me ^^. I always feel much better afterwards. My favorite is the sun salutation routine. It’s the easiest for me to remember 😄 but it also is the most fun for me. I hope to do more intensive poses eventually though. You’re awesome at yoga!

    Those teacups are gorgeous!! I can’t believe they’re handmade! I love anything with kitchenware, handmade or not ^^. A friend of mine made a cute mug for me from her ceramics class and I use it to hold candies.

    A lot of my simple recipes usually are one-pots and tend to be pastas 😡 or something that can be paired with rice, Veggies are a great way to pack in nutrition within a budget too ^^. I wish you luck with your recipes! You always make such delicious-looking meals!

    I always feel guilty when I eat at a late time also 😦 I try to stick with something light like cereal or fruit, but I get the days where I just want a sandwich ^^; so I compromise and make a half, and it keeps the tummy happy. Yikes, 6:30??? My folks would cut off at 9pm. 6:30 is much too early; these days even my folks and I get home at 7 or even 9 pm from work 😡

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow! I always love receiving long, detailed, and thought-provoking comments like yours. Thank you for sharing! I agree about yoga making you feel refreshed. Sun salutations are fun and definitely one of the easier “routines” to go with! Have you tried moon salutations before?
      Kitchenware is basically the best gift ever. Casserole dishes, forks, potholders – all awesome presents to receive, right? That is so sweet of your friend to actually make you a mug by hand. It sounds so lovely! You should share photos on the blog.
      I always feel guilty too. But I have been questioning recently – how late is too late? And what is the difference between eating at 8 and at 5, if I eat the same thing? Yeah, I know what you mean about food working around our schedule of other things to do.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aww thanks! I hope it wasn’t too long! I miss when everyone’s comments weren’t always 100 characters or less without it involving a complaint or name-calling. Kind of was a reason I returned to regular blogging like WordPress.

        Ooh I have not heard of moon salutations! I’ll have to check them out! Kitchenware is always a good gift in my book; even people who don’t normally cook can always use cups or utensils. I’ll see if I can show a photo of my cup next time; it’s cute!

        My honest foodie answer is similar to Gremlins -no feeding after midnight xD. But I usually stick to 9 pm at most. If I want a snack after that point I usually have water and crackers, or a small cup of cereal with almond milk.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh I understand completely, it’s so disappointing when you look forward to something and then it turns out to be not good at all. Food is expensive as it is, so I always hope to get my money’s worth. I mean I am not a greedy person, but isn’t it disheartening to eat something not so good and then think: I can’t believe I paid so much for this when I could have gotten something better?

    I want to pick up yoga again, I miss it a lot even though I didn’t ever get very far with it. To me it was a fantastic slow exercise that boosted my digestion and slowly improved my balance. It’s actually one of the few “sports” that I liked, the other being BodyArt (which is occasionally like yoga I guess). Sadly I’ve been somewhat depressed and de-motivated to do anything lately, well have been for about half a year now, and not sure how to climb out that hole again to start exercising again… stars know, I really should 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You seriously spoke my mind about that food! What is BodyArt? That sounds absolutely amazing and I wish we had classes like that here – what kinds of activities would you engage in for a BodyArt class? Awesome!
      I know what you mean about the de-motivation. The first step is always the hardest, but once you find something that you like and improve, the great results will lead to more motivation!

      Like

      1. Well BodyArt is a training method using exercise from yoga, stretching and pilates combined with breathing techniques and relaxation to put it short. There might have been some other styles combined into it, but I forget right now. It’s a wonderful exercise that doesn’t wear you out too much, but instead has a slow build on developing your balance and endurance.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That sounds like such a wonderful way to do some cool body movement and get some exercise while blending all the different types of exercise. Love it! 🙂

        Like

  4. I HATE WHEN I SPEND WAY TOOOO MUCH MONEY on a lunch that I am kind of excited about, only to see how stingy of a portion it is and how I know i am going to be hungry within an hour! This tends to be why I go to the same places every so often, because I KNOW what I will get and I will be full and happy! haha!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The food here looks SO attractive, especially the curries, salmon cakes and stir-fries! I pinned your PB cake recipe–I can’t wait to try it! 🙂

    Anyways, what a ripoff from that cafe! I would have totally dumped my complaints on Yelp if I was you 😄 as for eating too late, I feel guilty if it’s after 9:00 PM even though a lot of the times I still eat after that because my parents come home late and they cook dinner! 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If I ever go to Cali, or if you ever visit Canada, we MUST meet up at a trendy cafe or something – that would be the coolest experience ever!
      I should make a Yelp account… just for the complaints 😉
      I don’t think my mom understands the busy lifestyle because she works at home! Your parents are really troopers to come home late from work and still prepare those lovely meals.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Absolutely!! We have to make that reunion happen soon!! 😀 My dad actually works from home and my mother doesn’t need a job–it’s just that my mother is generally the one who cooks, but she’s always driving everybody to their activities so she’s SUPER busy. Thank you so much!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ve actually always wanted to do my co-op (work experience) in California because I’ve been there once at around 10 years old and LOVE. EVERYTHING. about Cali! Maybe it will actually be a reality…

        Liked by 1 person

  6. All the food you posted looks super yummy! I used to say I couldn’t eat after 6:30 but some nights I get home from work later then don’t start dinner later and like tonight it might be 7 before i start making dinner. I decided it was better to eat a light dinner than to skip a meal because I was worried about eating too late in the day.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wowowowowowowowo ! Amazing photos again! All the food you make are wonderful. They look just so delicious and make me hungry. We can make smoothie at home, so that you won’t taste burning smell! Can’t wait to see you !

    Liked by 1 person

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