Top 24 Favourite Recipes on The Flying Foodie

I’ve been wanting to do a post like this for a while!

I scoured my Recipes page and browsed through so many old posts to compile this listicle (you know, list + article).

Most of my favourite recipes are easy to make, require minimal ingredients, and are super flavourful and filling.

What do you think? They are in no particular order. 🙂

Personal Favourite Recipes My Blog

  1. Chocolate Banana Almond Flour Cake: rich, banana-y, with a great texture, it’s easy to see why this is one of my all-time favourites.
  2. Chickpea Blondies: I make this all the time, swapping peanut butter for almond or cashew, and the honey for maple. It always, always, turns out wonderfully.
  3. Vegan Banana Bread Buckwheat Bake: like a cake made a baby with a muffin, this breakfast cake reminds me of a modern baked oatmeal.
  4. African Peanut Stew: this recipe is why I love cumin.
  5. Peanut Butter Cookie Baked Oats: do I need to explain?
  6. Almond Flour Berry Cake: I make this all the time, changing up the fruit to match what’s in season. I’ve done it with blueberries (frozen), and even peaches and blackberries. Most of the time, I double or even triple the recipe!
  7. Baked Banana Oatmeal: it’s a classic. I often always pair this with Greek yogurt and nut butter.
  8. Paleo Coconut Flour Cake: I had a deep, dark hatred for coconut flour… until I attempted this recipe. Sweet, rich with coconut flavour, and with a spongy texture, this recipe is coconut flour perfection.
  9. Loaded Mexican Sweet Potatoes: believe me when I say that this recipe is so good, you might not even need the cheese! I’m a huge cheese lover, so that says something…
  10. 100-Calorie Chocolate Banana Cake Squares: YES. This one is in the Top 3 for sure. You would never guess that it’s made completely oil-free by swapping the butter for applesauce, and with a rich, deep chocolatey flavour, this satisfies all my dessert cravings with minimal oil and sugar. I buy extra bananas to make this. Heck, my roommates “preserve” their bananas so these cake squares can be made.
  11. Sweet Potato Tofu Hash: I am not a savoury breakfast person, but if I had to choose, this would 100% be the one.
  12. Black Bean Brownies: try it.
  13. Maple-Soy Salmon: I make this at least twice a month.
  14. Homemade Cinnamon Vanilla Almond Milk: okay, so I’ve only made this once. But it was so tasty that I don’t think I ever want to buy store-bought almond milk again.
  15. Sweet Potato Spice Muffins: I made a whole batch of these to bring to Toronto when I moved here a couple months ago. They vanished in less than a week.
  16. Spicy Butter Salmon: when my salmon isn’t marinated in maple syrup and soy sauce, this is the one. It pairs beautifully with any grain or veggie.
  17. The Best Banana Muffins: from raisins to pistachios to chocolate chips, my mom and I have done it all. It always turns out well, and is incredibly popular with friends and family.
  18. Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Snack Bread: this recipe does require more ingredients than most, but it’s chewy, oat-y, and flavoured with just the right amount of peanut butter and cocoa powder. I love it for a quick pick-me-up snack in between during classes.
  19. Spicy Spinach Coconut Noodles: noodle lovers, this one is for you! Just save me a plate.
  20. Healthy “Costco” Blueberry Muffins: so close to the real thing, minus the diglycerides, sulphites, and all that…. whatever it is.
  21. Decadent 2-Minute Microwave Chocolate Mug Cake for One: last summer, my roommates and I made this recipe every night. The same recipe for weeks. It’s THAT good. I like mine with peanut butter… but then again, is there anything I won’t add nut butter to?
  22. Creamy Vegetable Quinoa Casserole: this is made on a weekly rotation. It’s the best meal prep!
  23. Peanut Sauce: from drizzling on tofu to a dip for fresh summer rolls, this recipe is versatile and balances all the right flavours of spice, sourness, and sweetness. I always find myself licking plates and bowls when peanut sauce is involved.
  24. Quinoa and Almond Flour Carrot Cake: this cake is truly amazing. It uses nutritious quinoa flour and a good dose of almond flour for a carrot cake with excellent flavour and health benefits. It’s one of my #1 favourite toppers for yogurt or oatmeal!

I love revisiting old posts and thinking about how my recipe preferences change over time, though the old favourites stay the same.

What are the top recipes on your blog?

Toronto’s Best Ice Cream?

How is it MAY already?

Let’s talk food!

I tried Venezuelan food, from El Arepazo in the Kensington Market, for the first time and loved these arepas stuffed with fried plantains, queso, black beans, avocado, and fresh tomato. Next time, I will add hot sauce!

The London Fog tea latte from Moonbean Cafe in Kensington Market is the #1 tea latte I’ve ever had, hands down. I’m drooling for this mug right now.

Sunset on Sterling road, the magical little street that takes me to Cirque-ability where I practice aerials.

Mmmmm, desserts! I bought these from Thobors. This was:

  • almond paste tart with peach slices
  • chocolate hazelnut mousse cake that tasted like ferrero rocher in a cake form

I went to Pomegranate Restaurant to try Iranian food for my first time on Friday night. This was their famous fish, which involved boneless chicken breast in a stew made of crushed walnuts and pomegranate syrup. I’ve never had anything like this before, and loved it. Though, I wish I had more of the yellow saffron rice.

Dessert was this saffron ice cream, which, sadly, tasted like frozen rose shampoo.

I had the BEST Indian dinner at Banjara! Cassie – look! I had Indian food! This was delicious and featured:

  • vegetable pakora (fried)
  • yellow lentil dahl
  • palak paneer (spinach and cottage cheese curry) –> my #1 favourite Indian dish of all time
  • aloo gobi (potato and cauliflower curry)
  • rice pudding with cardamom, carrots, and cinnamon
  • curry basmati rice

All this… for around $13?!

For dessert, I went crazy for this caramelized peanut butter cookie with two scoops of ice cream: totarn (ube, or purple yam) and one scoop of cinnamon toast. Cinnamon toast ice cream? Purple yam ice cream? If you’ve never had them, you need to try. And also, this peanut butter cookie was mind-blowingly delicious. One of my dessert highlights of my Toronto life.

Life back home in BC… oh, and I finally got new shoes! My toes were starting to peep out of my old ones. These black shoes were on discount from Nordstrom, and are ridiculously comfortable.

A breakfast to remember: banana oats in a cashew butter jar, yogurt, blackberries, and a slice of oat banana bread. YUM!

For the last two/three weeks in Toronto, the only things in my fridge were cheddar cheese and vegetables – and the one thing in my pantry was quinoa. With that, I made vegetable quinoa casseroles about 3-4 times during my last month in Toronto, but I never grow sick of it. This square featured wilted spinach, little carrots and corn, peas, quinoa, and creamy, sharp cheddar.

One bucket list item checked off – I finally went to Maha’s, an Egpytian restaurant, for brunch! It was a Sunday afternoon, so I should have expected a long wait. Ended up waiting from 1:00 to 2:30 before getting into the restaurant, which only seats 24 people. This plate features some Egyptian balady bread, Turkish cheese, a spinach falafel, sliced hard-boiled egg, and creamy beans. The little cup on the right was full of spices and raw cucumber, peppers, and tomato. It was a superb meal that I thoroughly enjoyed, but I wouldn’t wait 1.5 hours for it again.

I followed up that meal with some desserts. Two, to be exact…

  • one chestnut mousse cake with walnut sponge, wrapped in milk chocolate
  • one earl grey tea latte
  • one pistachio and chocolate croissant

After the Egyptian brunch, and the desserts, AND the mug of tea, it was hard to walk because I was so full!

 

Now that summer is on the horizon, I can’t wait to make tasty salads like this one. I have pesto – I just need to buy some arugula, peppers, penne, and cheese/tofu!

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I will miss Toronto’s massive selection of restaurants.

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But I am glad to be back in school!

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Have a delicious week, friends 🙂

Creating a Restaurant-Worthy Salad

Happy Thursday, friends!

Wordy post to share with you all today…

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Let’s get to it!

5 Ways to Amp Up Your Salad (and topping ideas!)

  1. Try different types of lettuce greens to mix up the texture and flavour of your salad. Arugula is my favourite, but I want to experiment with other tender mild leaves with crisp ones.
  2. Arugula and watercress are peppery. Endive, radicchio, treviso, and dandelion greens are bitter. Purslane and sorrel have bright, lemony flavours. Kale, mustard greens, and cabbage? These are sturdy, work well shredded, and add body to your salad.
  3. That being said, buy greens from the farmer’s market! Clamshells tend to go bad faster. Greens from the market are so fresh!
  4. Remove excess water after purchasing. Wrap in a paper towel and then in a plastic bag in the crisper.
  5. Before serving, make sure leaves are completely dry. Spin them in the salad spinner in batches, without spinning overly hard to prevent the leaves from getting crushed. You can pat them with a paper towel, or roll them up in another towel.
  6. Smaller greens like spinach should be stemmed, but leaves left whole.
  7. Use a dressing with fat (oil). Try making your own vinaigrette using olive oil.
  8. The most basic vinaigrette dressing follows one rule – 1 part vinegar to 3 parts oil. For example, whisk 1 tsp of vinegar with 3 tsp (1 tbsp) oil.
  9. Sweetness is essential in a salad. I like some honey, or maybe maple syrup. Dijon mustard complements the sweetness perfectly!
  10. Careful not to overdress the salad.
  11. Make your salad in a massive bowl to ensure that every leaf is fully coated and seasoned.
  12. Season the salad with more salt than you’d expect. This is a restaurant secret that makes salads at places like Cactus Club so amazing. Sprinkle in a little flaky sea salt – your salad is guaranteed to be much more flavourful.
  13. Vegetables on top add brunch and colour. Try radishes or eggplant! Some other ideas – carrot, cucumbers, radishes, sprouts, fennel, roasted vegetables, tomatoes, beets, or more.
  14. Squash add awesome colour and texture. Try butternut, acorn, zucchini, or any other member of the squash family you can think of.
  15. For protein, experiment with chicken, turkey, fish, beans, or tofu. I want to try tempeh!
  16. Speaking of protein, try grilling, searing, broiling, steaming, or blackening any of the above (maybe not the beans).
  17. Dried fruit add a bit of sweetness and chew. I like cranberries!
  18. Seeds and nuts are a salad must-have, in my opinion. I think walnuts, sunflower seeds, and pistachios work beautifully with goat cheese and fruit. Sesame seeds, cashews, and peanuts are awesome in Asian-style salads. Make sure the nuts are toasted! They not only add flavour and texture, but also extra nutrition.
  19. Eggs are phenomenal salad toppers. Try them hard-boiled, poached, fried, or mashed into egg salad!
  20. For a starch, potatoes, corn, brown rice, whole wheat bread (on the salad as croutons, or even on the side!), whole wheat pasta, or quinoa/couscous are all fantastic.
  21. One word – avocado. Creamy, flavourful, beautiful. Can you ask for more? Okay, maybe for them to have smaller pits. And to not go from ripe to rotten so quickly!
  22. Garlic, shallots, and onion add beautiful flavour to the salad, or even the dressing itself.
  23. Herbs, like basil, add wonderful flavour.
  24. Any kind of cheese would work beautifully in a salad.
  25. Dress your salad lightly – literally. Be very gentle with the salad tongs. Even better? Use your hands!

Salad Ideas

Amazing Arugula

  • arugula
  • beets
  • cucumber
  • radish
  • chickpeas
  • feta
  • sunflower seeds
  • lemon + EVOO

Chop Chop

  • romaine and iceberg
  • beets
  • egg
  • tomato
  • cheddar

Kale It

  • baby kale
  • artichoke hearts
  • asparagus
  • quinoa
  • goat cheese
  • toasted almonds
  • tomato vinaigrette

Slammin’ Salmon

  • field greens
  • tomato
  • fennel
  • asparagus
  • oranges
  • olives
  • citrus vinaigrette

Spinach

  • baby spinach
  • mushrooms
  • bacon
  • egg
  • tomato
  • goat cheese
  • crispy onions
  • dijon vinaigrette

Build your own (choose a protein, too – see #16!)

Lettuce

  • Romaine
  • Chopped Iceberg
  • Wild Arugula
  • Farmers Market Field Greens
  • Baby Spinach
  • Baby Kale

Crunch

  • Crispy Kabocha Squash
  • Sliced Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Crispy Bacon Bits
  • Olive Oil Croutons
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Dried Blueberries
  • Pecans

Cheese

  • Feta
  • Parmesan
  • Aged Cheddar
  • Crumbled Blue
  • Pesto Bocconcini
  • Goat’s Cheese

Toppings

  • Honey Crisp Apple
  • Grape Tomatoes
  • Quinoa
  • Asparagus
  • Sliced Farm Eggs
  • Edamame Beans
  • Pickled Red Beets
  • Kalamata Olives
  • Roasted Beets
  • Breakfast Radishes
  • Shaved Fennel
  • Cucumber
  • Oranges
  • Fresh Chickpeas
  • Pesto Marinated Chickpeas
  • Roasted Peppers
  • Button Mushrooms
  • Pickled Cauliflower
  • Shaved JalapeĂąo
  • Artichoke Hearts
  • Avocado

Hope everyone has a fantastic Friday and weekend ahead of them!

  1. What are your favourite salad toppings?
  2. Do you have any plans for the weekend?

The Cheapest Thing I’ve Ever Made

Good evening, friends! I’m not feeling the best right now. You know the post-dinner end-of-the-week slump where you just want to eat ten scoops of peanut butter and then lie down and sleep for 12 hours?

That’s me right now.

Pancakes one morning! Pics coming up.

Thick and Hearty Paleo Banana Pancakes

Serves 1: makes 2 pancakes

Ingredients
  • 1 small overripe banana, or half large
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • 3 tbsp. almond flour
  • 1 tbsp. coconut flour
  • coconut oil for frying
  • desired toppings
Instructions
  1. Mash banana. Add egg, cinnamon, baking powder, vanilla, and salt. Whisk well.
  2. Add almond flour and coconut flour, whisking until combined.
  3. Heat coconut oil over medium-low heat and fry two pancakes. When golden brown, flip and cook the other side. If the pancakes get too brown, lower the heat.
  4. Serve immediately with toppings, and enjoy!

Brown sugar and soy sauce salmon with a rice vinegar marinade. Turned out quite tasty over leftover fried rice.

This breakfast was SO filling! Oats topped with two chopped kiwis, a square of banana bread, yogurt, and granola. Whew.

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PEANUT STEW! This was the cheapest thing EVER. Spinach, sweet potatoes, peanut butter, rice. Does it get any more inexpensive than that?! Also, it was freaking delicious. It was so good that I made two batches in a week, each batch serving three.

In other words, I ate this exact same peanut stew six times in seven days. The toasted peanuts on top are perfection.

Peanut Stew with Sweet Potatoes and Spinach
SERVES: 3
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ginger, minced
  • freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • scant 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 large sweet potato, cut into 1/4″ cubes
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or chicken broth (I used chicken)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 3 cups spinach, roughly chopped
  • Brown Rice to serve
  • Peanuts, lightly toasted
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a pot. Add onions and saute for 4 to 6 minutes, or until onions are fragrant. Stir in garlic and ginger, continuing to cook for two more minutes.
  2. Stir in pepper, salt, cayenne, and cumin. Start on the low end of the cayenne pepper and add more only if you want it spicier. Cook for 1 to 2 more minutes until spices are fragrant.
  3. Next add in sweet potatoes, carrots, veggie broth, and honey. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce to a simmer over low heat. Stir in peanut butter and let stew cook for 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Once the sweet potatoes are soft, stir in spinach and continue to cook until spinach has wilted. Serve with over brown rice if desired and top with toasted peanuts.

Mac and cheese was devoured. This vegan mac and cheese (which I topped with real dairy cheddar… I know) was made with kabocha squash! Ahhhh-mazing.

Last week I shared some cinnamon bun muffins with you guys! Here is the recipe, copied and pasted from a paleo recipe site. Hence the links to all the ingredients below.

Cinnamon Bun Muffins
Serves: 9 muffins
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. To make the muffins, combine almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl
  2. In a large bowl blend together oil, agave, eggs, and vanilla
  3. Blend dry ingredients into wet and scoop a scant Âź cup at a time into lined muffin cups
  4. To make cinnamon topping, combine agave, cinnamon, and oil in a small bowl
  5. Spoon topping onto muffins
  6. Bake muffins for 8-12 minutes at 350°.

Another day, another dessert…

Strawberry Banana Crumble

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 1 banana
  • handful berries
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 110 mL quick oats (7.5 tbsp)
  • 3 tbsp almond meal
  • 1/4 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Slice bananas into a bowl. Toss with berries.
  3. Place fruit in baking dish. Drizzle with 1 tsp maple syrup. Bake for 10 minutes.
  4. Make crumble layer by mixing remaining ingredients (including remaining 2 tsp maple syrup), except coconut oil and cinnamon.
  5. Melt coconut oil in the microwave, then add cinnamon and pour into bowl. Mix all ingredients together.
  6. Once fruit has cooked for 10 minutes, remove baking dish from oven. Spread crumble layer on top. Return to oven and bake for 20 minutes, until top is golden brown.

And mac and cheese, of course.

Vegan squash sauce is irresistible, but you can take it up a notch with extra veggies, caramelized onions, and yup, broiled cheddar on top.

So good.

Quesadilla with avocado, egg, salsa, and cheddar. Classic and so delicious.

This sweet potato and ricotta tart filled with chopped spinach turned out okay.

It looked beautiful, but I think something was missing in terms of flavour. I might add goat cheese, scallions, and mushrooms next time.

Sometimes, messy food can be the most delicious. I probably had egg yolk on every single finger after devouring this tasty sandwich!

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Pancakes were also enjoyed a second time. New recipe!

Oatmeal Ricotta Pancakes

Makes 3 pancakes

Ingredients
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (or regular milk)
  • 1/4 cup quick oats
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp cinnamon, to taste
  • 2 tsp ground flax
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp. ricotta cheese
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients together. Cover, let batter rest overnight in the fridge to soften oats.
  2. Heat nonstick pan over medium-low heat and cook 3 pancakes. Flip when golden-brown and cook opposite side.
  3. Enjoy with Greek yogurt and other desired toppings. I like berries and maple syrup!

That’s it for today, everyone! Make sure you check out some of my brand-new PAGES: Acro Yoga, Aerial Silks, and Yoga Photo Journal. 🙂 I will update them regularly!

Have an awesome weekend.

PS: did you know that if you click furiously on the words under the TAG section, you can add as many tags as you want?! Now I have 239408 tags for this post…

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 CafĂŠ 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! 😀

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!