Life Back in School

Good afternoon! This week has been a good one, and since I’m back in school, busy. Good thing I like school.

Last night, I made applesauce baked oatmeal that I could bring with me to school as a yummy lunch. I like this recipe because it isn’t too sweet, but has great flavour from the applesauce, cinnamon, and vanilla. I ate this today during lecture, topped with Greek yogurt and PB2.

Applesauce Baked Oatmeal

Makes 4 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups quick oats
  • drizzle honey
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 heaping tsp salt
  • 1.5 cups milk
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips (optional)
  • 15 prunes, chopped (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Grease pan – 8 x 10 up to 10 x 10 are perfect sizes.
  3. Mix all ingredients and pour into pan.
  4. Bake for 35 minutes.

Over the weekend, I went to the MaRS Discovery District in downtown Toronto, where I had fun reuniting with friends from universities across Ontario. I loved the challenges, mini competitions, jobs fair session, and inspiring talks.

 

With all of the University of Waterloo people!

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(Photo credit: Giordano Ciampini)

Few things from recently:

  1. Cute message from Mom
  2. Incredible sunsets from our home on the 18th floor
  3. Seline’s typical dinner: pan-fried chicken breast with Minute Rice
  4. Yoga poses and skating poses that I think are so beautiful

 

Back to skating! I skated a few times last week, early morning. The sessions start at 7:00 and end at 8:30. Afterwards, I like to have a hot tea latte and do schoolwork while eating a snack. This time, I had pumpkin oat bread with yogurt and almond butter. Here is the recipe.

Healthy Pumpkin Oat Bars with Chocolate Chips

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/3 cup quick oats
  • 2/3 cup buckwheat flour
  • 2/3 cup almond meal
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 heaping tsp salt
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree from a can
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix together all ingredients.
  3. Bake 45 mins.
  4. Serve!

 

I love skating so much, even though my jumps aren’t here any more. It just feels nice to be on the ice.

 

More things from recently:

  1. Seline’s academic schedule for this term
  2. Powerful tweets
  3. University of Waterloo Warriors Recreation app menu
  4. frsh, a vegan restaurant that just opened up at our school’s health building

 

More randy stuff.

 

A great recipe I made some changes to – they turned out firmer than I’d expected, still absolutely delicious when heated up and served with nut butter and/or yogurt. I love this recipe so much, and it doesn’t hurt that you only need ONE bowl.

Chocolate Banana Cake Squares {Vegan}

Serves: 1 9×9 pan

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 1/4 CUP HONEY
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • 1/4 CUP WATER
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 TSP LIME JUICE
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • HEAPING ¼ tsp salt
  • Sprinkle cinnamon (optional)
  • ¼ heaping cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 CUP ALL-PURPOSE, 1/2 CUP BUCKWHEAT, 1/4 CUP ALMOND MEAL
  • 1/2 CUP CHOCOLATE CHIPS

INGREDIENTS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. LINE 9X9 PAN WITH PARCHMENT PAPER.
  3. BLEND BANANAS WITH WATER AND APPLESAUCE IN A BLENDER. ADD OTHER WET INGREDIENTS AND MIX UNTIL THOROUGHLY COMBINED.
  4. Stir in flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt just until combined.
  5. MIX IN CHOCOLATE CHIPS.
  6. Pour batter into prepared dish.
  7. Bake for 35-37 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean.
  8. Let cool, slice in 16 squares, and serve.

Another day last week, I made a massive batch of vegetable chili. This made a TON of tasty, healthy, hearty chili. I love serving chili with sweet potato (roasted) or rice cooked in chicken broth, and of course, freshly-grated cheddar. Fresh lime juice on top also makes a big difference.

Cindy’s Ultimate Pumpkin Veggie Chili

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 5 small chopped carrots
  • minced garlic
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 chopped yellow bell pepper
  • 1 carton mushrooms
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes, no salt
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1 can black beans
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • juice of a lime
  • toppings?
  • SPICES AND HERBS
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • black pepper
  • cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 3/4 tsp dried basil

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat oil and saute all vegetables with chili powder. Add salt.
  2. Stir in all other ingredients, except lime. Season with remaining spices. Stir in pumpkin.
  3. Boil, then reduce heat to medium.
  4. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  5. Stir in lime juice and serve.

Every Wednesday, Seline and I have a sister’s dinner out. This time, we went to Bauer Kitchen. The dessert sweet board was the highlight, including warm chocolate cake with chocolate fondue sauce and chocolate gelato, pear cheesecake, creme brûlée with blueberries, and carrot cake with pistachio sauce. I liked all of it and had no problem eating it all by myself because Seline doesn’t like dessert. 🙂

 

Couple of aerials things! I played around on the hoop for the first time in a very long time yesterday.

 

And reviewed a couple of old skills, like this one, on the silks.

 

That’s it for today since I’ve got a busy weekend!

Scholar’s Dinner Banquet

Good morning everyone! I have a couple of meals to share with you guys today. These are actually pretty old photos that were taken in early June! This was a dinner I enjoyed – leftover quinoa mixed with coconut curry sauce, chickpeas, spinach, and chicken breast. This was served on steamed broccoli.

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This Mexican-inspired lunch also involved quinoa – as well as sautéed corn and scallions, canned black beans, half an avocado, freshly-grated white cheddar, and a big scoop of salsa. These are all my favourite Mexican toppings. What a filling and delicious lunch. I love how there’s an emphasis on lean protein and healthy fats here.

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Breakfast one morning was pumpkin oatmeal topped with berries and sliced figs, as well as hemp hearts. According to Seline, this looked “like some biological cell”. She thought it looked bizarre with the rows of fruit! Well, I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder – and I happen to think oatmeal is super pretty. 😉 Do you like figs?

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We had dinner one night at the school. Our chef and his team of culinary students cooked up a yummy dinner. The counsellors, administrators, and leadership student volunteers helped to set up many large tables for families and gold scholars.

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Everyone was dressed up in suits and dresses. This was our first graduation-related event, and it was so exciting!

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Dinner was buffet-style. I scooped up some salad with ranch, potato salad (spicy with paprika), rice and shrimp in a jambalaya-style dish, a lemon-herb chicken drumstick, and some of the best parmesan penne pasta with vegetables.

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My favourite bites here were definitely the spiced rice with shrimp and the pasta with zucchini and broccoli in cream sauce.

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There was also dessert – my sister and I LOVED the crumbly graham chocolate square, and I also enjoyed the mixed chocolate brownie. It tasted like a truffle bar. Both desserts were incredible! I wish I could find the recipe for the graham chocolate.

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Breakfast the next morning was pancakes. I tried a new recipe, using homemade buttermilk (almond milk + lemon juice). This banana-less recipe didn’t get thick and fluffy, but had great flavor from the acidic lemon. I’ll need to make this recipe a couple of times to make it 100% the way I like it – then I’ll update it onto my Recipe page. 🙂

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Topped with fruit, hemp hearts, and maple syrup, pancakes are always my weekend go-to breakfast.

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Oatmeal comes as a close second when it comes to my favourite brekkie. This shell bowl was topped with chopped cherries, toasted coconut chips, and crumbled chocolate espresso muffin. I love cherry oatmeal, especially when it’s made with fragrant vanilla almond milk.

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A similar but different bowl – adorned with halved cherries, coconut chips, and a scattering of hemp hearts. 🙂 Such a filling and energizing breakfast. You can make it even more satiating with a scoop of almond butter. Have you tried cherry oatmeal?

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That’s it for today! We just spent two nights in Madeira Park, near Sechelt. It’s 7:04 AM and I’m typing this on our little patio, with five, yes, FIVE muffins in front of me! I can’t wait to show you guys all the things I’ve been eating and doing here on she Sunshine Coast. I have some awesome photos to share with you guys in a couple weeks – stay tuned 🙂

I ♥ Whole Foods

Dare I say… best lunch ever?

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It’s no secret that I adore Whole Foods. Aren’t I lucky to have an awesome Mama who takes me to Whole Foods almost every Pro-D Day! Yeah! 🙂

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The Whole Foods hot bar is loaded with tons of goodies. There is really something there for everyone! There are lots of tofu selections (YUM!) and I’ve even had tempeh. All the ingredients are uber fresh, local, and *mostly* healthy. There are tons of different flavours and textures, and you can get as little or as much of anything as you want. Oh yeah, and the sandwiches! The sandwiches are seriously incredible. Scroll to the bottom of this post to see a turkey-apple-brie sandwich from Whole Foods. Gooey, melty cheese and a variety of other fillings – all enveloped by crispy bread. Oh-so-yummy. There are only two drawbacks about going for lunch at Whole Foods.
1) It’s insanely expensive. One bowl that {generously} serves one person = $22? Holy cow.
2) Sometimes the food is cold! I don’t know why, but roasted vegetables just aren’t the same when they’re chilled. 😦

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Okay, third reason:
3) It may be Whole Foods, but that doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Sure, the kale salad and quinoa pilaf are totally nutritious, but what about the macaroni and cheese? Obs and gobs of butter, cheese, and pasta might taste delicious, but just because it’s from WF doesn’t mean it’s low-calorie. That doesn’t mean I don’t eat it, though! It is amazing. Just watch your portions!

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Here we have tons of delicious thingies… let’s start with my Mediterranean corner! I have a spinach pakora, which I’m pretty sure is fried. But it’s a little spicy and has great texture. Topped with hummus and baba ghanoush, an eggplant dip. I also have a falafel patty. Two cubes of marinated feta cheese (OMG) and spicy olive-y Mediterranean relish add flavour. I also added a little scoop of white beans.

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Sweet potato, kale salad, beets, and Greek salad. I also see some tomato chickpeas and herby tomato brown rice! There is also swiss chard with creamy cashew dressing (that’s the green veggie with red stems). I also had a delicious piece of tofu, some parsley noodles, and more tofu on the right hand side. It’s curried tofu, with raisins and almonds. Under that is a big piece of stewed zucchini. So tender!

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In the middle, you see some macaroni and cheese. One of the best parts! WF also makes an incredible smoked mozzarella salad. It’s got penne, spinach, roasted red peppers, and of course, creamy and sharp smoked mozza. Another pasta salad {poppyseed penne pasta salad} has penne and creamy poppyseed dressing, with red onions and more spinach. I love it!

I can also see mashed potatoes and some Thai quinoa salad with carrots. Once, I even had mashed cauliflower at Whole Foods… ummmm, #totallynotpotatoes. Not even close.

What I’ve listed above isn’t everything we ate – there was TONS more underneath that we can’t see. 😦

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Mom and I also shared a super yummy big chicken and arugula sandwich. That’s crunchy ciabatta bread stuffed with roasted chicken, proscuitto, goat cheese, and mixed greens. The sundried tomato aioli truly makes the sandwich. Just like last time!

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Dessert was some sweet petites!

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A raspberry white chocolate cheesecake tart – my favourite! I have one of these every time. They are sweet, and so rich. They’re pretty small, but you won’t need any more. Love the crust, too. They are really satisfying. 9.8/10! 😉 Yum!

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A chocolate mousse fruit cup – so good! I’m not really into mousse, and those Kinder eggs aren’t my thing. But the berries in creamy chocolate was amazing. I liked this and I’d say… 6/10? I’m picky about my desserts!

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A Nanaimo bar – these are amazing. The middle layer is literally sweetened coconut + powdered sugar. I had only a quarter of this – didn’t need more! 7/10. I would NOT be able to eat the whole thing – it’s much bigger than it looks.

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Love Whole Foods – can’t wait to go again soon! ❤

Have you been to Whole Foods? Do you like it there?