This Post Has Been HIDDEN for 3 Years

This post has been hiding.

Bloggers – you know what I mean… it’s that post that you’ve buried deep in the Drafts folder, where you promise yourself that you’ll come back to it.

DSC05093 DSC05095

I didn’t come back to this until now. But whoa. Three years.

DSC05112 DSC05119

In three years time, however, omelettes haven’t gotten out of style. I still love them 🙂

DSC05198 DSC05204

Here, I used two eggs, zucchini, roasted red pepper, sharp white cheddar cheese, and kale (fresh from our garden – yay!). Separate the egg yolks from the whites. We’ll be coming back to this later!

DSC05322 DSC05327

Heat some oil over medium heat, and cook the kale until slightly wilted. It won’t wilt nearly as much as spinach, but you just want to tenderize it. Remove to a plate when the kale looks cooked 🙂

DSC05328 DSC05331

Zucchini is up next! In the same skillet, cook it just until it obtains a nice, slightly brown colour.

DSC05332 DSC05333

Chop up the kale and the pepper. These can be whisked right into the egg white.

DSC05336 DSC05337

Awesome! Pour the egg yolks (or just one, if you’d like) back into the egg whites and give it another good beating. 😉

DSC05334 DSC05338

Spread the zucchini out and carefully pour the egg-vegetable mixture into the zucchini. Spread it out with a rubber spatula and let it cook for a bit less than a minute.

DSC05339 DSC05340 DSC05342

Looks good! Sprinkle the cheese on top and cook until the eggs have mostly set.

DSC05343 DSC05344 DSC05345

Use your rubber spatula to give the eggs a big flip!

DSC05346 DSC05347

Misfolded ones are equally tasty. At least this one didn’t turn into a scramble!

DSC05348 DSC05350

I miss Mom’s pretty flowers on the kitchen table. Those were the days!

DSC05356

The combination of fresh veggies, rich egg, and creamy cheese is so divine.

DSC05354 DSC05360

Have a wonderful Friday!

Taking Time to Save Time: 10 Meal-Prep Tips

Hey everyone!

I had one final exam yesterday morning and have two today, and one tomorrow and one on Monday before a four-day break – and then two more! One down, six to go 🙂

Messages with Seline + goose that symbolizes how we all feel during finals season…

Spent yesterday in the anatomy lab with my friends Athena, Eddy, Alyssa, Shatrice, and our lab demonstrator Jeremy. We’ve been spending many, many hours in the lab recently – I think I’ve been in there for an average of three hours a day over the past week.

IMG_7590

I can’t wait till this whole finals thing is over so I can REALLY catch up on sleep! 6-7 hours just isn’t enough, apparently.

IMG_7573


And onto the foodie tips! Let’s take a look at how to make cooking a fast + easy process regardless of how much is going on in your life. 🙂

Cook a big batch of grains to store in the fridge: quinoa, pasta, brown rice, couscous, etc. I especially like cooking grains in chicken broth or water + a bit of butter + a pinch of salt. This keeps for a week. Or try some healthy muffin recipes!

Chop, wash, and pat dry veggies, then store them in a plastic container in the fridge. Here are some veggies that store well washed and chopped. Make sure to dry them well!

  • asparagus: boiled is awesome!
  • mushrooms
  • brussels sprouts
  • cabbage
  • zucchini
  • fennel
  • sweet potato: roasted or raw, both work well
  • green onions, sliced or chopped
  • peppers
  • broccoli: I usually boil broccoli and put it into airtight containers
  • squash, especially spaghetti squash
  • beets
  • green beans
  • kale
  • radicchio
  • cauliflower

Lots of veggie ideas on this post 🙂 Plus an awesome coconut-almond sauce for noodles.

Make sauce! Tomato sauce is so versatile, as is pesto or peanut sauce. Keep it in an airtight jar for maximum freshness.

DSC03237

Cook protein, let it cool, and store it in the fridge. You can top salads with them, stir them into soup, or microwave and eat with a grain and a veggie for a well-balanced meal.

  • chicken breast
  • fish (tuna, salmon, tilapia, etc.)
  • lentils
  • tofu
  • beans (black beans, chickpeas, etc.)

Cook a hearty stew that includes a protein and a veggie. Grains can be stirred in before serving or served on the side. I like squash soup with shredded chicken stirred in, or tomato soup with beans. I always stir some cooked quinoa into the soup to make it even more substantial.

Prepare healthy snack options to grab-and-go throughout the week. You can wash and dry grapes and put them into individual containers or slice up raw veggies like cucumbers, carrots, or celery.

Prepare a big dinner with multiple “parts” on Sunday. The leftovers can be incorporated into lunches throughout the week. Roasted vegetables, casseroles, taco meat… the list goes on!

Make chicken salad, tuna salad, or egg salad. Simply mix up a protein with some mayonnaise and herbs/spices to give it a kick. I love grapes with chicken salad, celery with tuna salad, and paprika and black pepper with egg salad. For all three options, you could also add some Dijon mustard and lemon juice for freshness.

Breakfasts can also be made ahead of time. Try overnight oatmeal (yogurt + milk + oats) with any other fillers you like, including chia and flax seeds, coconut, mashed banana, etc. Overnight oatmeal is my other huge secret! 🙂 Try out this baked banana oatmeal, which is my all-time favourite. Not a banana fan? Pumpkin pie baked oatmeal and apple-cherry baked oats are gonna be favourites. If you’re lucky enough to have fresh berries, try this recipe for berry baked oatmeal. 🙂

DSC02961

Prepare single-serving “pancake packs”, or homemade pancake mix! Mix all of your pancake’s dry ingredients together. For me, I use 1/4 cup spelt flour with 1/4 tsp baking powder and 1/8 tsp baking soda, as well as a pinch of salt and 1/4 tsp cinnamon. Toss these dry ingredients together and store in a Ziploc baggie. On busy mornings, simply mix with an egg + mashed banana, a drizzle of milk if needed, and cook on the stovetop for delicious and fluffy pancakes.

Make smoothie packs for the freezer! Freeze up the ingredients you would normally put into a smoothie. This saves lots of washing and chopping time in the morning. Try banana with blueberries and strawberries, or add pineapple or mango for a tropical twist.

DSC03880
Do you do meal prep? What are some of your favourite tips?

Cafe Medina: Mediterranean Brunch with a Twist

This is kind of embarrassing. Okay, it’s really embarrassing.

Rachel and I had brunch at Cafe Medina together… eight months ago. Yup, and I didn’t finish writing the post until now. Procrastination at it’s finest. 😉

DSC08964

I had a square of chocolate-banana cake and some banana smeared with peanut butter. Delicious! I like my bananas topped with cinnamon too.

DSC08957

Anyways, Medina is a fairly well-known place in downtown Vancouver, and they are famous for their waffles (not made in store) and creative twists on brunch classics.

DSC08959 DSC08961

  • 604-879-3114
  • 780 Richards St. (between Robson & Georgia) Library District, Vancouver BC V6B 3A4
  • Weekdays (M-F):
    • Regular service from 8am-3pm
  • Weekends and Holidays:
    • Regular service from 9am-3pm
  • Café Medina is operated on a first-come, first-served basis — reservations are not taken and the entire party must be on site before being seated

DSC08966 DSC08967

We arrived early and waited in line outside before the store opened, and it filled up almost right away.

DSC08969 DSC08973

We started with hot drinks!

DSC08976

1Not good 2Okay/Decent 3: Good 4Very good 5Excellent 6Incredible! Must-try and would order again

White Chocolate Pistachio Rosewater Hot Chocolate: 5.5/6

  • Very thin layer of foam/froth on top
  • Served on the hotter side of warm. Not lukewarm, but definitely not steaming, or even hot
  • Prominent white chocolate flavour, but not overly sweet
  • Made with whole milk, very creamy
  • Rose flavour was noticeable and quite fragrant
  • I could not taste the pistachios, but I detected some crushed pistachios as I was finishing my drink. They did not add any flavour to the drink

DSC08981 DSC08984

Lavender Latte: 5/6

  • Latte very well done
  • Fragrant from the lavender
  • Aromatic

DSC09002

The colours were so vibrant and insanely beautiful. I love the presentation!

DSC08990

Fricassée Champignon: 2/6
2 Fried Eggs, Sherry Roasted Mushroom Ragout, Spice Roasted Potatoes, Caramelized Onions, Applewood Smoked Cheddar, Seasonal Greens with Grilled Focaccia

  • Topped with julienned radish and green apple

DSC08988 DSC09004

Runny eggs, spicy rice, mellow and creamy avocado… this dish would be a savoury-breakfast lover’s dream.

DSC08995 DSC08997

Paella: 2/6
1 Fried Egg, Orzo, Spicy Chorizo, Seasonal Vegetables, Grana Padano, Avocado & Spicy Charred Tomato Salsa

  • Rachel and I wanted to substitute the chorizo for something else (maybe beans?), but this wasn’t possible so we asked for it to be omitted
  • Slightly too spicy for my taste
  • Some more avocado and radishes would be appreciated
  • Grana Padano was hidden and simply broiled on top, the layer could be peeled off
  • I wish the herbs were more flavourful, because all I could taste was spice, salt, and slightly-salty tomato sauce
  • I’m not a big fan of orzo, and pasta in general
  • I was disappointed with the lack of “seasonal vegetables” in this dish – there were only some quartered zucchini chunks and a couple bell peppers thrown in for colour
  • Caramelized onions would be a great addition

DSC09005

I said goodbye to the waffle bar…

DSC09012

And then headed home!

Man, I miss my Vancouver friends! 😥 Hope you all had a great Valentine’s Day! I have some recipes sitting in the Drafts box that I can’t wait to share with you guys soon!

Homemade Pancake Mix + Banana Ricotta Oatmeal Pancakes

PANCAKES. Why are they so delicious and perfect for breakfast? Let’s count the ways:

  • Can be topped with virtually anything
  • Loaded with protein and healthy fats
  • Enjoyed with maple syrup… yes.
  • Taste great with berries
  • Involve lots of tastes and textures
  • You can eat CAKE for breakfast. Healthy, sin-free CAKE!
  • So freaking easy that you don’t even need a recipe

Okay, I think I’ve justified this enough 😉

DSC06300 DSC06311

Let’s get cracking! No, literally.

And whisk it up! One egg is perfect.

DSC06283 DSC06284

Add some ricotta cheese: mine was left over from making a vegetable lasagna. Man, lasagnas with ricotta cheese are so good! I need to pick up the ingredients to make another one during reading week and freeze portions of it for those busy evenings. 🙂

Back to the pancakes! Whisk up the eggs (I think I already said that…) and add a big scoop of ricotta. Just do it to taste because you absolutely cannot go wrong with ricotta.

DSC06285 DSC06286

A little texture is fine. Add some vanilla extract (about 1/8 tsp) and a little splash of milk or almond milk.

DSC06287 DSC06288 DSC06289

Throw a banana in there, and mash mash mash! I like my banana slightly chunky.

DSC06291 DSC06292

You’ll want to add some homemade pancake mix now.

Here’s what you’ll need for the mix:

  • 1 tbsp. baking soda
  • 2 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1-2 tbsp. cinnamon (to taste)
  • sprinkle of nutmeg (optional)
  • 5 cups spelt flour

You can sift it all if you’d like, but there is really no need. Just whisk all the dry ingredients together and throw ’em all into a jar like this one.

DSC06293 DSC06296

Add enough of the mix to make a batter-like consistency, then fry the pancakes over medium heat with coconut oil. Flip when you see bubbles. Add toppings…

DSC06298 DSC06304

PS: nut butter, berries, and hemp hearts/chia seeds and yogurt are my toppings of choice! With maple syrup, of course, but these banana-sweetened pancakes are glorious on their own.

And devour!

DSC06319

Tell me:

  • Do you like pancakes?
  • Do you usually follow a recipe when you make food, or is it all by intuition? You know, a pinch of this and a dash of that?

Healthified PureBread Chocolate Banana Bottom Recipe

This recipe was from a loooooonnnng time ago. Like, a year ago. And by that, I don’t mean December 2015… I’m talking February 2015.

But it’s better late than never, right?

DSC08877 DSC08853

Especially if it involves bananas and chocolate.

DSC08880

This recipe was inspired by a dessert that I enjoyed from PureBread Bakery in downtown Vancouver. After my first bite, I knew the dessert was delicious but could be made 10x better at home with more bananas, less sugar, and some sour cream for moistness. This is what I came up with, and I found it even better than their famous chocolate banana bottom!

DSC08855 DSC08857


Healthified PureBread Chocolate Banana Bottom

INGREDIENTS
  • 160g coconut sugar, light brown sugar, or sweetened coconut chips
  • 115g melted coconut oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 115g sour cream
  • 2 medium overripe bananas
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 170g spelt flour, divided into 95g and 75g
  • 20g cocoa powder
  • 35g semisweet chocolate chips for topping

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8×8 square baking pan.
  2. If you are using coconut chips, place them into the blender to grind into sugar. Add melted coconut oil, eggs, vanilla, and sour cream. Blend until thick and creamy.
  3. Mash bananas until slightly chunky (mostly smooth!) and stir into wet mixture.
  4. Add baking soda, cinnamon, and sea salt into wet ingredients.
  5. Pour half of the wet ingredients into a separate bowl. Now you have two bowls with equal amounts of the banana-sour cream mixture.
  6. Add 95g spelt flour into one bowl. Stir to just combine. Do not overmix.
  7. Add 75g spelt flour and 20g cocoa powder into the other bowl. Stir to just combine. Do not overmix.
  8. Pour chocolate batter into the bottom of the square pan. Spread, shake, and tap on the counter to allow the batter to cover the bottom. Pour the plain banana batter on top. Spread carefully. Do not mix the two layers!
  9. Sprinkle with chocolate chips.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool the chocolate-banana bottom for 15 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Cut into 16 squares and serve!

9 servings (106 g each) = 332 calories, 18g fat, 23g sugar, 5g protein
16 servings (60 g each) = 187 calories, 10g fat, 13g sugar, 3g protein
20g serving = 62 calories, 3g fat, 4g sugar, 1g protein
 DSC08864 DSC08852
These babies are rich, moist, and fluffy all at the same time. I enjoyed slices with peanut butter, and others au naturel.
DSC08858 DSC08861
Definitely on the fussier side for a recipe, but so worth it. 🙂 This is my mom’s favourite banana bread recipe!
DSC08859 DSC08878
Let me know if you give this a try!

Eat with Your Eyes

Kishimoto Japanese Kitchen: 2054 Commercial Dr, Vancouver, BC

If you haven’t been here, you need to come ASAP. It’s been a while since I enjoyed lunch at Kishimoto with my family, and that seriously needs to change because this place is incredible. The food is just purely amazing, and everything is insanely beautiful. I’m not even going to write too much about each dish – I don’t have to! You’ll see 🙂

DSC09079 DSC09080

We arrived at around 11:30. This place gets very busy during peak hours, as I read from Yelp reviews. Luckily we scored a great seat near the window.

DSC09081

The chefs are, as always, focused and careful while our server was kind and helpful when it came to explaining.

DSC09082 DSC09085

Beet salad

DSC09087

Fried eggplant with miso sauce

DSC09092 DSC09095

Caterpillar roll and oishi-sushi.

DSC09097 DSC09098

Look how elaborate everything is!

DSC09104

Seline’s teriyaki chicken with rice

DSC09106 DSC09107

Rice-paper pinwheels and candles on our plates 🙂

DSC09109

The Caterpillar roll was designed to look like a real caterpillar!

DSC09115 DSC09110

Sashimi on rice

DSC09118 DSC09119

Seared black cod, which is something I always order at Japanese restaurants. This was perfectly flaky, so tender, and melted in my mouth. The glaze was incredible.

DSC09122 DSC09123

A Japanese-style seafood pancake slash omelet

DSC09127

With bonito flakes and a tangy soy sauce, I found this to be a little bit salty.

DSC09129 DSC09131

What an incredible meal! I think Kishimoto beats Ajisai sushi in my Vancouver-sushi rankings. Will definitely be back!