Babies, Baking Powder, and Beets

Before we look at FOOD, look at baby Cindy! Mom was doing a big house clean back home in BC, and she stumbled upon this photo of little me. I think I was one or two here.

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The good thing about the summer semester is that there’s barely anyone here, so campus always a quiet place to study.

The bad thing about the summer semester is that there’s barely anyone here, so the cafe is closed for the term, and Starbucks is only open from 9:00 to 3:00.

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Check out this neat infographic on the humble sweet potato.

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I made the strangest mishmash dinner bake the other day, which featured green beans, black beans, red peppers, quinoa, corn tortillas, and red enchilada sauce and smoked cheddar. I can’t believe I forgot the green onions, which were sitting, perfectly chopped up, in the fridge.

Delicious pumpkin noodles were devoured. I loved the addition of peas.

I made a black bean burger and topped it with smoked cheddar to serve with arugula and quinoa, tossed in a honey-mustard dressing. Delicious and simple.

Another day, my almond flour banana bread was a sad failure because I forgot to add baking powder. WHO forgets to add baking powder? Me. They tasted just as good, though  dense like a brownie. Not complaining though, because brownies are always a happy surprise.

Last week was the week of salads! Black bean burger, beets, fig goat cheese and avocado made great toppings for a bed of couscous and arugula.

With my extra beets, I made…

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Makes 9

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 large beets
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1.5 cups almond meal
  • 3-4 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp oil or melted butter
  • 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 320 degrees. Grease a muffin tin VERY well.
  2. Puree beets in a blender.
  3. Mix all ingredients together. Add chocolate chips. Save some to top, if desired.
  4. Spoon into 9 muffin tins. Top with additional chocolate chips, if you’d like.
  5. Bake 45 minutes, or until cooked through.
  6. Cool completely in the muffin tins.
  7. Serve alone or with toppings.

Hope everyone enjoys the rest of this… month? And welcome to JUNE!

Double Chocolate Beet Brownies

No pictures because I was too busy shoving these decadent chocolate squares into my mouth. Sorry – but enjoy!

Just make them. Trust me. 😉

Double Chocolate Beet Brownies {Grain Free, Gluten Free}

Ingredients:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup avocado oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (I omitted since I ran out)
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups beet puree (I used 4-5 large beets)
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven 350 F.

2. Combine first 6 ingredients in the order listed.

3. In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients.

4. Combine wet and dry ingredients and mix well.

5. Grease an 8 X 8 pan and pour batter into the pan.

6. Bake for 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Foodie February

Let’s get started!

Spinach, banana, peanut butter smoothie topped with homemade cashew granola.

Another smoothie made with the same ingredients and topped with the same yummy granola. This turned out a little too green for me.

Frozen banana with cocoa powder and a splash of milk to make a creamy chocolate banana pudding. Topped with more granola (I’m addicted) and a drizzle of hazelnut-almond butter.

A tasty apple-caramel danish from Gloria Cafe, along with an unpictured tomato and cheese sandwich that I adored.

Coconut bo lo bro from Lucullus Bakery with Thai green curried eggplant, mushrooms, cauliflower, and tofu

Baked vegetable eggs topped with four Italian cheeses, with roasted carrots, sweet potatoes, and parsnips. The thyme added excellent flavour!

Winterlicious/Summerlicious retweeted by Canoe post on Twitter! This made my day.

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Chocolate beet brownies (recipe coming soon) with yogurt, granola, and almond butter for a quick and delicious dessert.

Mashed banana and cocoa powder made this oatmeal bowl extra-yummy. Crumbled sweet potato spice muffin on top, with a big ‘ol scoop of almond butter.

Sweet potato oatmeal topped with peanut butter, and a side of yogurt with granola. YUM!

I’m such a granola and yogurt addict. I want this with every meal!

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Roasted sweet potatoes with salt and pepper, maple-soy salmon with garlic, and the tastiest sautéed broccoli with lemon.

Baked broccoli eggs topped with a mix of pecorino romano and grana padano, on top of toasted multigrain buns for a yummy, nutritious dinner.

Cartwheel! It was my first time learning to cartwheel. Even as I child, I NEVER cartwheeled. Fun!

That’s it for today, y’all. I can’t wait for the weekend – it’s about time to add to my Toronto Eats page!

The Beet

A couple of weeks ago, I went to The Beet in the Junction (an area in Toronto) for lunch! The Beet is a vegan/GF restaurant that serves brunch, lunch and plenty of seasonal specialties, many of them local and organic. Kicked off the meal with this incredible vegan Mexican hot chocolate. It was warm, super rich, and spiced perfectly.

I was feeling eggy and ordered the huevos rancheros, which is one of their most popular dishes. So glad I tried it. There were blue corn tortillas, refried beans, fried eggs, and aged Quebec cheddar cheese. The salad was dressed with a slightly sweet balsamic vinaigrette and was topped with plenty of sunflower seeds and shredded carrots and beets.

For dessert, this quinoa chocolate cake called my name. It tasted like a muffin because it was hearty, extremely chocolatey, and went very well with the orange on top. This was an unforgettable dessert, and I’m already planning my next trip to The Beet. They have so many other entrees and desserts that I’m dying to try!

Happy February – let’s have some greens! If I could DIY a salad from this list, it would be made of:

  • arugula and spinach
  • seeds
  • roasted sweet potatoes, avocado, cheese, and rice
  • hummus, herbs, and dried fruit
  • beans
  • vinaigrette

How about you?

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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?

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 🙂

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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.

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

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Beet salad

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Fried eggplant with miso sauce

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Caterpillar roll and oishi-sushi.

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Look how elaborate everything is!

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Seline’s teriyaki chicken with rice

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Rice-paper pinwheels and candles on our plates 🙂

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

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Sashimi on rice

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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.

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A Japanese-style seafood pancake slash omelet

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

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