Summer Things (Quinoa Overload)

Good Saturday morning, everyone! This semester is a challenging one. It’s called my “2B” semester, and it’s known by all as the semester “2B or not 2B” because it’s kind of that make-it-or-break-it time.

A delicious creamy pumpkin quinoa casserole was made, topped with loads of fontina (new favourite cheese!) and broiled. I loved every bite of this 8×8 pan that I made!

Long lab reports were written… (this isn’t even all of it!). Glad it’s done.

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Memes were made for my sister, Seline 🙂

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I had plenty of great toast. This was a multigrain thick-sliced loaf baked in-store at Vincenzo’s, and it had great crunch and wonderful flavour from all the seeds. I topped half with smashed avocado, and the other half with almond butter and chopped prunes.

I’m really excited for next week, because I made a full food schedule. I’m looking forward to trying a dark chocolate breakfast quinoa recipe, and revisit some old favourites like broccoli casserole and sweet potato spinach stew. A shopping list was also made!

These peanut butter chocolate banana snacking squares are some of my favourite desserts of all time. All-time, I tell you!

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These chocolate muffins were chock-full of ricotta and surprisingly egg-free! The ricotta lent a great, springy texture.

Mom eats so much fruit back home in BC. I miss having fruit bowls all the time, because it’s pretty unfeasible for a university student to eat say, 1/4 an apple with 1/2 a kiwi, 1/2 a banana, and 1/2 a pear. 😦

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Canada Day happened! No, I didn’t go to see the fireworks… but I stayed at home and listened to got annoyed by them all night. Is that close enough?

Another serving of that amazing pumpkin quinoa casserole, with some brownie! I made a massive pan of spectacular brownies, using pureed prunes (soaked in boiling water). They turned out very rich and decadent… and I have two squares left before I’ve eaten an entire 8×8 pan. By myself.

Oats – I mean quinoa! – in a jar with banana slices.

As you can see, I have a lot of quinoa to use up before I move out in mid-August. This was  another quinoa dish, this time mixed with sautéed mushrooms and yellow squash, mixed with a ricotta-plum tomato sauce, and topped with fontina. It tasted great! On the side, some garlicky green beans sautéed with tons of butter. Butter makes everything better 😉

Another day, I whipped up these glorious pancakes! Two eggs and half a sweet potato were whisked with a bit of flour, some baking powder, vanilla, and cinnamon. They always turn out super tender, and a perfect base for nut butter, yogurt, and granola. This was my favourite breakfast of the week.

Here is that quinoa-ricotta-plum tomato casserole again! I have one serving left, which I’ll be having for dinner tonight. The fontina is my favourite part 🙂

Some other things: I have to sell everything on my desk (actually, everything in my room for that matter). Also, my favourite calculator broke, and it was the saddest moment of my life. Friends and I are loving the summer semester, and we live in the same direction so we often walk home from classes together. Also, FaceTime-ing with Seline! She is the best.

Baked oatmeal (my favourite recipe) was made and enjoyed with blueberries, granola, and coconut chips. Almond butter on top of the baked oats. I have another serving of baked oats that I’ll be savouring tomorrow morning with some peanut butter!

Mom and Dad look so cute.

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Another afternoon, I walked to Sobeys to grocery-shop and saw the nicest sunset over Columbia Lake.

Revisiting old photographs – I took this when I visited the Ripley’s Aquarium last year with my dad. It’s o-fish-ially the best non-food photo I’ve ever taken. <– I’m also good at stealing puns and reusing them multiple times.

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One more thing that I found on the internet and completely agree with:

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Hope you all have a wonderful, wonderful rest of the weekend!

5 Birthday-Brightening Gestures

Last Tuesday, the 13th, was my birthday! I’m now 19 years old 🙂 It was a pretty bad time to have a birthday, with important final exams happening on the 14th, 16th, and 17th! Thankfully, those exams are all over now.

5 Birthday-Brightening Gestures

  1. My beautiful, talented friend from aerial silks gave me a ride home on Tuesday night. It was 10:00 PM, dark, snowy, and -15 degrees. Even though she lived in the opposite direction (Kitchener), she offered to drive me HOME, instead of the nearby mall. Thank you, Leah!
  2. My friend Lily from school gave me a high-quality, warm, and classic pair of leg warmers from Roots. I love them! I put them on shortly after and couldn’t stop thinking about how comfy they were. Looks like I will be having a warm winter 🙂 If you check out my aerial silks page, you’ll see that I’ve been really loving the leg warmers!
  3. My friend Jasmine made a MEME of me. If you guys know me, you’ll know that I am a meme lover. My life probably revolves around memes. Anyways, she found a hideous picture of me and made a meme out of it. Had me laughing for a good five minutes.
  4. Roommates Madhulika and Arsalan bought me a white chocolate vanilla bean cheesecake from Vincenzo’s, the local Italian grocery store. They knew it’s my favourite cheesecake, and they plated it, put candles in it, and surprised me when I got home. It was so sweet of them (literally) to buy that for me. Look how surprised and happy I was in the picture below. I got home at around 10:00 PM on the Tuesday, and they surprised me the minute I walked in – hence the big winter jacket, messy hair, and sweat on my face 🙂
  5. My 16 year-old sister Seline, in BC, wrote a little poem for me! You can read it here. It’s called Rotations and is quite a unique piece of writing. Seline’s poetry-writing skills are much better than mine. Definitely check out her corner of the internetfor some thought-provoking poetry, incredible images, and muses from a mature high-schooler.

Needless to say, it was a much birthday than my 18th, when I lost my ID AND KEYS the day before my biology final exam. 😉 To be fair, it makes a pretty funny story now that I think about it.

Next up – a hot chocolate recipe! Friends, you need to make this. I’ve done it before with almond milk and Enjoy Life chocolate chips for a vegan version and it is equally delicious.

Favourite Easy Hot Chocolate from Scratch
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1.5 Tbsp semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp vanilla sugar, or regular sugar
  • pinch cinnamon, optional
Instructions
  1. Alternatively, add milk to a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Once milk is warm, add cocoa powder, chocolate, sugar, and cinnamon and whisk to combine.
  3. Continue cooking on stove top until completely combined and has reached your preferred temperature.
  4. Serve with a blanket, a movie, a group of friends, and in front of a fireplace. Just kidding. If you’re suffering through #finalexams (you know, #studentlife), enjoy the hot cocoa with a side of notebooks, stress, and calculators. 😉

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When I’m studying:
  • Where is my white-out?
  • Let me check my email.
  • How many more days until Christmas?
  • My foot is falling asleep.
  • What time is it?
  • I’m thirsty.
  • Where’s that sheet? I swear it was important.
  • I need to pee.
  • Why can’t I focus?
  • I’m thirsty again.
  • I wonder what Mom is doing.
  • What is that sound?
  • I’m cold.
  • Should I do my laundry?
  • I really want to look at memes.
  • What should I make for dinner?
  • Let me check my email again.
  • What is the minimum mark I need to get on this final to do well in the course?
  • I want to do yoga.
  • I don’t understand this.
  • Can I go another day without washing my hair?
  • It’s kinda cold in the house!
  • Where is my eraser?

My math final exam was on Friday. We are allowed a double-sided “cheat sheet” with ANYTHING we want on it, and this was mine:

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Looking at math makes me shudder now. Linear algebra is the worst because it doesn’t exist in the BC curriculum – so coming to Ontario was a shock because my friends had tons of linear algebra experience.


Creamy Vegetable Quinoa Casserole

Makes 3 Servings
Ingredients
  • as much quinoa as you like, around enough for 3 servings (cooked – rice works as well)
  • as many veggies as you like (I used broccoli, zucchini, frozen peas, and mushrooms)
  • 215 mL milk
  • 1.5 tbsp flour
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • salt, to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • pinch cayenne, to taste
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, plus a little more to top
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast or parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to broil setting.
  2. Stir-fry veggies in butter or oil. I use medium heat.
  3. When soft, add most of the milk.
  4. Whisk flour, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, cayenne, nutritional yeast, and Dijon mustard with the remaining milk.
  5. When the milk bubbles, add the milk/flour mixture.
  6. Stir well.
  7. When the mixture thickens, add cheddar. Stir to melt.
  8. Add quinoa. Mix and season.
  9. Pour into a casserole dish. Top with cheese. Broil until the cheese is melted.
For one out of three servings, the SAUCE has 140 calories, 9 grams of protein, and is high in calcium, phosphorus, riboflavin, and vitamin B6.

I put crushed crackers on top and broiled it for a super crispy top. It was dreamy.


My birthday cake was this mug cake after lunch! It’s my new favourite recipe, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it too 🙂 It’s super fluffy and spongy thanks to the egg.

1-Minute Chocolate Peanut Butter Sponge Cake

Makes: 1 serving

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons powdered peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water or almond milk

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Whisk together all ingredients in a small mixing bowl until well combined. Transfer to a microwave-safe ramekin, mug or bowl.
  2. Microwave for 55 seconds. Remember, microwave power levels very dramatically. The first time making a microwave cake, keep a close eye as to not over-cook the cake.
  3. Serve with extra chocolate chips and a big scoop of peanut butter.

I filled mine with a generous scoop of chocolate chips. It’s the size of a muffin and quite filling! Amazing quick dessert 🙂

Eggs, veggies, and avocado toast are my favourite quickie meal.

Can you tell I have a lot of whole wheat bread at home? PB and banana sandwiches never fail me, especially toasted. Mmmmm.

Yummy cheese and broccoli quesadilla made with a kamut tortilla from the St. Jacob’s Farmers Market…

… and my new hair crush – the fictional Daenerys from Game of Thrones. Being cursed blessed born with straight, flat, plain black hair, I’ve always been super envious of those who have perfect curls and waves. I’m also huge fan of braids. So, I don’t really know why I’m posting these, except for the fact that I. LOVE. Her. Hair.

It’s cold outside! Last Thursday, we had -25 degrees with the wind chill. The snow is also getting higher and higher – check out how it goes over my boots! Uh oh.

My doggie Arnie, a funny pic, and the special poster in my room 🙂

That’s it for today, guys! I have lots of fun stuff planned now that my final exams are over. Can’t wait to get going on finishing that end-of-2016 list of things to do!

My Favourite Tofu Hash, Zucchini Bread, and Overnight Carrot Cake Oats

Sweet.

Spicy.

Savoury.

Salty.

Basically, you guys need to make this ASAP.

Sweet Potato Tofu Hash

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • large COOKED sweet potato or butternut squash, diced
  • 8 oz firm tofu
  • 5 sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cooked sweet onion or scallions
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp fine black pepper

Directions:

  1. Turn your stove on med-high. Place your olive oil into a soup pan and wait until it starts to steam and sizzle.
  2. Add your mushrooms and onions. Saute for a few minutes, until mushrooms have shrunken in size.
  3. Add tofu to the pan. Use a spatula to break the tofu block into ‘hash’ while it’s sauteing in the pan.
  4. Add the salt, pepper, cumin and paprika.
  5. Saute tofu and veggies for about 3-5 minutes. You want all the seasonings and spices to penetrate the hashed tofu scramble.
  6. Midway through your tofu saute, add in half the maple syrup. Keep hashing and sauteing. The edges of the tofu should start to firm up.
  7. Add sweet potato to your hash on the stove. Also add your last half of the maple syrup. Do a gentle fold of the ingredients. Keep the heat at low-medium and allow the hash to cook for about 2 minutes. Serve and enjoy.

Came to the realization that if I lived in ancient Greece, I could be an acrobat model for one of their vases! Important realizations, you know?

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I also made these and froze a bunch. They are an incredible snack! In fact, I want one right now.

Low-fat Zucchini Squares

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups flour: I used a mixture of spelt flour and whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 containers of applesauce (about 1/2 to 2/3 cup)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated zucchini (do not drain)
  • OPTIONAL: 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • OPTIONAL: 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Directions:
Mix wet ingredients. Add brown sugar, then dry ingredients. Add flour at the end. Do not overmix, and carefully fold in nuts or chocolate chips. Bake in an 8×8 pan for 30 mins at 350 degrees, or until done! Enjoy.

I had a carrot to make black bean burgers, but the burgers never happened. Instead, this DID happen, and it was heavenly.

Carrot Cake Oatmeal

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 carrot, shredded finely
  • 2 scoops of Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup almond milk OR coconut milk, or more/less depending on how thick you like your oatmeal
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch nutmeg
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp ground flax seeds
  • Optional-but-recommended topping: toasted walnuts, pecans, or granola for crunch
  • Optional-but-recommended topping: raisins for chewiness
  • Optional-but-recommended topping: unsweetened shredded coconut for flakiness
  • Optional-but-recommended topping: almond butter, peanut butter, or cashew butter for rich creaminess

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients and store in fridge overnight, or for around 4 hours.
  2. Enjoy cold, room temperature, or heated up with desired toppings.

Rain is icky. But hey, at least it’s not -30 degrees. And it’s a good excuse to wear my rain boots. 🙂 With sweatpants.

Seline’s room is so beautiful! She made all of these out of straws, spray paint, necklace chains, and fake plants.

I miss Montreal! My roommate was planning to go to Montreal, so I was digging around my blog to search for some of the best places to visit. It was fun to look back on all the fun memories and great food I had while living in Quebec two summers ago. Some memorable places I’ve been in Montreal were…

  1. Olive and Gourmando: MY #1 FAVE. Think fancy-ish Princess Cafe with a vintage European twist. I went 3 times.
  2. Maison Christian Faure: pastry school with lots of amazing and modern baked goodies
  3. Cafe Vasco da Gama – fig and duck sandwich
  4. Jean Talon Marché (Market) – great crepes, fresh produce
  5. Creperie Chez Suzette
  6. La Banquise
  7. Cafe Muru
  8. Presse Cafe is the Montreal version of Tims/Starbucks – they have the best carrot cake I’ve ever eaten

Halloween was a while back, but I wish I had made some of these! How cute are they?!

Bye for now! Two midterms in the next five days, and lots of labs to write. Have an awesome rest of the week!

Lately: Favourite Ways to Add Protein

Hey friends! Good Thursday morning. I hope you’re all having a wonderful week so far. I’ve got a couple of cool new (to me) recipes to share with you while I devour this morning’s bowl of chocolate pear oatmeal.

I baked this almond raspberry cake yesterday, and I’m actually eating a big square of this right now crumbled over my oats. Unlike normal cakes made with dense white flour and refined white sugar, this recipe uses almond meal (ground almonds) and maple syrup/honey.

Can you believe that 1 cup of almond meal has 24 grams of protein? I just googled it and was pretty shocked. I used 1 egg + 1 flax egg because my carton was nearly empty, but if you do use 2 eggs, that pumps up the protein even more.

This cake is super delicious and reminds me of a sturdy, not-overwhelmingly-sweet almond croissant.

Gluten-Free Paleo Almond Cake with Raspberries
Serves: 4
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup almond meal, firmly packed into measuring cups
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp ground flax + 2.5 tbsp water
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Make flax egg by combining flax with water. Set aside for 5 minutes.
  2. In the same bowl, beat egg, maple, coconut oil, and vanilla extract.
  3. Add baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt. Whisk well.
  4. Finally, add almond meal. Mix until just combined. Decorate with raspberries if desired.
  5. Bake at 325 degrees for 45-50 minutes.
  6. I like mine served with a scoop of yogurt. Store in the refrigerator.

Another snack I’ve been having is tea! I usually steep English breakfast tea or Earl Grey tea in boiling water and then add half a cup of milk. The milk adds creaminess, a little sweetness, and 4 grams of satisfying protein. This snack warms me up and fills my belly in the best possible way.

If you’re a tea addict, I highly recommend purchasing a milk frother! It’s a life changer.

Of all the ways to add protein to my diet, nuts would have to be my all-time favourite way. They are epitome of a healthy snack! I always sprinkle toasted walnuts and pecans on my yogurt and oatmeal. They add sweetness, crunch, and, um… nuttiness.

Doesn’t this brownie look amazing? It tasted pretty dang amazing too. Plus… it’s vegan! You would never guess that it’s free of butter and eggs. I encourage you to give this recipe a try, especially if you’re a little fearful of black bean brownies.

Vegan Brownies
Serves: 9 brownies
Ingredients
  • flax eggs (2 Tbsp (14 g) flaxseed meal + 5 Tbsp (75 ml) water)
  • 1/2 cup (112 g) melted vegan butter (or coconut oil)
  • 1/2 cup (96 g) coconut sugar (or organic cane sugar)
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) maple syrup (or agave nectar)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup 48 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup (120 g) spelt flour
  • 1/4 cup (27.5 g) almond meal
  • optional: 1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and lightly grease an 8×8-inch (or similar size) baking dish with coconut oil, then line with parchment paper (the oil helps the parchment paper stick to the sides).
  2. Prepare flax eggs in a small mixing bowl. Set aside.
  3. To a large mixing bowl add melted vegan butter or coconut oil, coconut sugar, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Whisk thoroughly to combine and start dissolving the coconut sugar.
  4. Add flax eggs and whisk once more until combined. Then add baking powder, sea salt, and cocoa powder and whisk.
  5. Add gluten free flour blend and almond meal and fold with a spatula until just mixed. Then add desired add-ins (optional), such as vegan chocolate chips or nuts.
  6. Add the batter to the prepared baking dish and spread into an even layer with a rubber spatula. Add a few additional toppings if desired, such as chocolate chips and nuts (optional).
  7. Bake for 22 minutes, or until the edges appear dry and slightly fluffy and the center is no longer wet or sticky.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes, preferably 45 minutes – 1 hour (the longer they cool, the less tender they will be). Then gently lift out of pan and use a sharp knife to cut into desired number of squares (I went for 9).
  9. Store completely cooled leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature up to a few days. Will keep in the freezer up to 1 month.

Sometimes I like topping my yogurt with almond butter and crumbled cookie. 1/2 tbsp of almond butter not only tastes amazing but adds a bit more protein to the plate. Also, Greek yogurt is a protein God when it comes to vegetarian snacking. I always go for 2% plain Greek yogurt and sweeten it myself with a little maple syrup and cinnamon.

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What is this odd concoction? I actually had this for breakfast, but it would totally work as a snack as well. I mixed 2 eggs with some applesauce and tried to make pancakes, but they turned into a scramble that I topped with 1/4 cup of Greek yogurt, hemp hearts, and way too much nut butter. This kept me full for HOURS.

Yum! Sliced apple with brie cheese. Brie is probably not the highest protein cheese, but it sure tastes good with gala apple slices. I wish I had some white cheddar for this – yum.

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Last but not least for high-protein snacks – a tasty oatmeal pancake made with egg and topped with nut butter. This recipe was inspired by Kate! https://thedomestikatedlife.com

So for a couple more tips on nuts and stuff like that, check out Nuts.com. You can also take a look at this like to see some nutritious high-protein snacks. It was fun to look at those snack ideas and then put this post together because a) I eat and photograph nuts all the time anyways, and b) they shared this cool graphic with me!

Check it out:

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So, why all the hype about protein? You might already know it as the macronutrient that helps you build muscle, but what else? Here are some of my favourite reasons.

  1. Protein is satisfying and can help to reduce appetite.
  2. It is great for bones.
  3. It promotes heart health.
  4. Protein stabilizes blood sugar levels.
  5. It can also help to improve your mood!
  6. It reduces cravings and the temptation to engage in late-night snacking.
  7. It can boost metabolism and help burn fat.
  8. Protein can help your body repair itself after a tricky workout.
  9. You don’t need too much of it (definitely not as much as the media hypes it up to be)
  10. It can be found in most foods (some are nonintuitive – like peas!)

Now, onto something that is completely unrelated, my crow pose!

And a little flow that I like to do. One of my favourite yoga instructors suggested trying chaturangas on one foot!

It’s been rainy the past couple of days, so I’m really missing this sunny day when I could do yoga in the parking lot in the morning. Still working on that headstand, though. 😛

Check out this recipe for coconut flour banana bread. I made it a couple weeks ago and really like it! Coconut flour is loaded with fibre, and the almond butter adds extra protein (yup). Plus, who doesn’t like banana bread – especially with chocolate chips?

Coconut Flour Chocolate Chip Banana Squares (gluten-free, paleo)

INGREDIENTS
  • 3 medium ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 8×4 inch or 9×5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine bananas, vanilla and almond butter; mix until well combined, smooth and creamy. Add in eggs, one at a time and mix on medium speed until combined. With the mixer on medium-low speed, add in coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; mix again until just combined. Gently fold in chocolate chips.
  3. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until tester inserted into center comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool for 20 minutes, then carefully invert, remove bread from pan and place back on wire rack to cool completely. Cut into 12 slices.

Perfect on oatmeal! With peanut butter, of course.

Changing the topic again…

Yay for school being over!

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That means more time to go out to cafes and enjoy sandwiches,

more time for yummy dessert like this coconut cream puff,

and more time to cook veggie pasta with goat cheese, pesto, and parmesan.

It also means more time in the morning to bake… brownies for breakfast? For real.

Brownie Batter Breakfast Bake
Yields: 1 serving
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup quick oats
  • 2 Tbsp. almond meal
  • 1 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp. baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup milk or almond milk
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup, to taste
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp mini chocolate chips, divided
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F, and lightly coat an individual sized ramekin or oven-safe bowl with coconut oil.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together all ingredients (use 1 tsp chocolate chips). Fold in chocolate chips, reserving a few to sprinkle on the top.
  3. Transfer batter to your greased ramekin, topping with reserved 1 tsp chocolate chips. Bake for 20-25 minutes, depending on desired consistency.
  4. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes before adding any additional toppings and digging in!
  5. Serve with yogurt, crushed nuts, and nut butter. Enjoy hot or warm!

More time to decorate my oatmeal…

And maybe not if I’m feeling lazy.

It’s kind of ridiculous how many eggs I’ve devoured in the past week. Eggs + spinach + cheese and whole wheat pita/bread is my favourite quick and easy lunch of all time.

More oats with a side of Physics, taken before the exam. 😛

Quinoa topped with cheddar and a poached egg.

Granola oatmeal, because why not top oats with oats?

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This was roasted sweet potato with quinoa and a delicious salmon in red curry with peas and spinach. Mmmmm dinner dreams.

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I’m so boring with breakfast, I know.

Come to think of it, I’m pretty boring for all my meals.

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Amen.

And again. Wow, I really don’t get sick of the same stuff!

Okay, finally something different! Mashed ripe banana in cocoa oatmeal with almond butter swirl.

Okay, back to boring.

One day I bought a couple desserts to split with the roomies! Our favourite was the vanilla bean cheesecake.

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When you run out of toppings you can improvise with… chocolate.

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C’est tout for today! Hope you all have a wonderful rest of the week.

Baked Banana Oatmeal 2.0

What’s cake-like, infused with the warm flavours of cinnamon and vanilla, tastes like a decadent dessert, keeps well in the fridge for a quick meal, looks beautiful, AND has the nutritional profile of a well-balanced breakfast?

Baked oatmeal. Not just any baked oatmeal, though – baked banana oatmeal is where it’s at. While many baked oatmeal recipes call for quite a bit of oil and sugar, This wonderful recipe swaps it all out in favour of a moisture-inducing and naturally sweet banana.

In my opinion, the best part about baked oatmeal is that you can dress it up any way you like. I like topping mine with nut butter (ALWAYS), and sometimes yogurt, berries, or seeds. It is so versatile, and you can essentially plop anything from your fridge on top of a hearty oatmeal square.

Blackberries, almond butter, and yogurt with a cinnamon sprinkle make a killer combination, but I’ve also topped it with chocolate sunflower butter, which you can make by microwaving sunflower butter, coconut oil, maple syrup, a pinch of salt, vanilla extract, and cocoa powder. To. Die. For.

You could even decorate it with extra banana pre-bake to make it look like this, and I think it’s cute. 🙂

You must give this easy, delicious, and economical recipe a try! I always make it on Monday afternoons and reheat it on Tuesday and Thursday mornings when I have 8 AM classes. Simply the best!


Banana Bread Baked Oatmeal

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • Coconut oil (or other neutral oil, like canola, butter, or grapeseed) for greasing
  • 1 cup rolled oats (use gluten-free if needed)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch nutmeg (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt (I like using a big pinch of sea salt)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk (I like unsweetened vanilla almond milk, but you can use regular dairy milk)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Serving Ideas

  • Sliced bananas
  • Other fruit, like blueberries or raspberries
  • Yogurt
  • Flax
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Coconut oil
  • Peanut or almond butter
  • Maple syrup drizzle
  • Honey drizzle
  • Chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil a big ramekin.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients and stir.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, mash the banana. Add the egg and whisk them together.
  4. Add the remaining “wet” ingredients and stir.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients in with the dry and stir to combine.
  6. Pour this mixture into the oiled baking pan.
  7. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes or until the center tests clean.
  8. Scoop into bowls and serve with suggested toppings!

I just finished my lunch but could honestly eat another square of this right now. 🙂 If you’ve never had baked oatmeal, it tastes like a cross between a muffin, a granola bar, and custard. In other words, it tastes absolutely amazing.

Make some for tomorrow?

Yes!

Have a happy rest of the week, everyone!

 

Oatmeal Extravaganza

Let’s look at oats today!

My Valentine’s Day started with this creative bowl: 1/2 a mashed banana cooked with three pureed beets, sunflower butter, chocolate chips (A LOT), shredded coconut, and cashews. I love decorating my oatmeal to be extra special on holidays. Do you remember my Halloween oatmeal?

Chocolate oatmeal made with mashed banana and topped with coconut, yogurt, cashews, and sunflower butter. There were some frozen cherries in here, too. This was meant to be just like a black forest cake. 🙂

I’m not quite sure if this was a failure or a success! I meant to make a bruleed banana oatmeal bake, but there were some technical problems. In other words, Stupid Cindy thought it would be a good idea to use the kettle AND the toaster oven… simultaneously. The power went out and my bake was only half-done, so I just broiled it until the sides were golden brown. Then, Stupid Cindy decided that she didn’t want to eat it inside the glass baking dish, and inverted it onto the plate instead. Being only half-done, half of the oats were still stuck to the dish! Oh well, smothered in crunchy peanut butter and hemp hearts, this was still 100% delicious.

This batch was so good that I made it two days in a row! Banana oatmeal with raspberries, cashews, hemp hearts, and a big blob of sunflower butter. That stuff is addictive and life-changing!

Get your hands on some sunflower butter, my friends! 🙂

More dark chocolate oatmeal with chopped cherries. Do you like adding frozen fruit to your oatmeal?

Plain oatmeal with almond butter and a bunch of fruit on top – raspberries and banana, with some hemp hearts. 🙂

Truly the best breakfast of all time.

Whew, that was a quick post! I’m going to quickly do my dishes and then try to get some work done – though we all know that means look at Buzzfeed, message my friends, FaceTime my mom and sister, and nibble on dessert. Hey, at least my textbook is open? 😉

Thank goodness for reading week!

Tell me in the comments below because I need want to know:

  1. What is a CRAZY oatmeal combination that you’ve done? I’ve done carrot (totally normal in the foodie world but elicits the weirdest expressions from most people, IMO), zucchini, spinach, cheese (all kinds!) and now, beets! How about you?
  2. Would you be interested in reading about what I’m doing in my classes? I am taking 6 courses + a lab, and was wondering if my friends on the blogosphere would be curious  about some of the things I’m learning and doing academically. 🙂
  3. Do you have reading week at school? What did/do/are you doing during reading week?