More Quebec Throwbacks!

Bonjour!

You’ve seen my other Quebec posts – but I haven’t even posted it all. Recently I’ve been looking back at these photos (can’t believe it was four months ago!) and I wanted to share some of these other ones that didn’t make the first cut. Here they are!

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A pita wrap stuffed with marinated cucumbers, sour cream, lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms and onions, avocado, salsa, and shredded chicken. This was one of my favourite dinners and I want to have it again!

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Omelet made with 3 eggs, lots of little sauteed vegetables, microwaved steamed broccoli, and salsa. Such a filling dinner and I loved how flavourful it was! And… it got burned on the skillet but I scraped off the black parts – that’s why it looks so naked. 😛

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I really loved this whole wheat muffin that I enjoyed at Presse Cafe with the rest of my humongous breakfast. This was grainy, flax-y, and berry-ish in the best way. It was fresh out of the oven when I wanted to pay for the rest of my things so I HAD to buy this guy, too! Eaten with a sundried tomato wrap stuffed with ham, eggs, and cheese. Need to recreate this as well!

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This vegetable sandwich was also from Presse Cafe. I bought it to eat at work. It’s stuffed with roasted vegetables and goat cheese. I wrapped it in foil and heated it up at work. Yummy!

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I don’t think people know how much I love sweet things. Anything sweet = I’ll love it.

Here I had passionfruit tart at Maison Christian Faure along with a huge cup of hot cocoa. On the left is all of the other desserts that I bought at MCF – strawberry shortcake cake, a hazelnut profiterole, and a madeleine. I bought them all the same day and divided them up between my four family members. 🙂 I love having little tastes of all kinds of desserts.

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Fondue! You can see the whole spread here. This dinner was seriously so much fun to eat! Those pan-fried potatoes with creamy ketchup + mayo dip were seriously amazing.

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You saw earlier that I went to the Brulerie du Vieux-St-Eustache quite a bit. I enjoyed these incredible muffins – basically sweet pound cake – about four times a week! Chocolate and caramel pear here. Yummm. Did I mention they were the best muffins I’ve ever had?

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Yes, that’s MORE dessert! From the same bakery – carrot cake, apple puff pastry, and brownie chocolate cake with a glass of milk. Again, split four ways with my lovely family so we could all get a taste of each. 🙂

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On top of Mount Tremblant! Check out the scenery. It was like looking at a calendar! My parents and I enjoyed veggies with dip, cherries, and these super-stuffed egg salad sandwiches. What a memorable afternoon. 🙂

I guess that’s it for now. Chemistry test coming up (Solubility) on Tuesday, enzymes test for Biology on Thursday, and a Calculus test on related rates on Monday. I’m also organizing the school’s Clubs Carnival, so on Friday we’re getting either a sumo thingy or an inflatable wipe out thing. So much to do! Big week coming up. See you in my next post – another Quebec TBT!

A++ Meals

Hi there!
How are you doing? I feel like I haven’t posted in a loooong time, but really it was just two days ago. :mrgreen:
So A LOT has been going on for me right now. Finals are coming, my first SATs are in three days (eeek), and I will be going to Montreal this summer.
Okay, it’s not 100% decided yet, because the YMCA Student Exchange Program still has to look at my references and do a criminal record check. But there is a 99% chance that I will be flying across the country in only three weeks. Talk about short notice! The interviewer came to our house on Sunday, interviewed my family and me, and then toured our house. He even asked me three questions in French!
The program is offered to 16-17 year-old students in Vancouver and Montreal. We’ll switch lives for a summer (6 weeks), and I’ll be working there while living in the house of a teenage French-Canadian girl. She’ll live in my house (homestay) and work here. I’m excited, but super nervous. My mind is swirling with those classic what-ifs.
What if I feel sick on the plane?
What if I get lost?
What if I miss my family and want to come home?
What if I suddenly forget all of the French I’ve learned at school?
What if my homestay parents offer only roast beef burgers and poutines for dinner?
What if…

AHH!
I’ll update you on this later, as I have to make a portfolio and a resume (en francais!).

Back to ze food!

Fantastic trip to Whole Foods with ma mere. I was starving, so I went a little crazy at the hot bar. This is a little bit of everything! I especially loved the tomato-ey brown rice with tofu chili, and of course the mac and cheese. Go Whole Foods! Too bad Montreal doesn’t have a Whole Foods OR a Trader Joe’s. 😥

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But then again, that might be a good thing… I’d probably go broke on my second day. 😉 Oh, and we had a big sandwich! Turkey-apple-brie. I had 2/3 of this beauty. So yummy – the melty brie was the best part!

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Sweet petites, as usual. Chocolate Turtle ganache on the left, and coconut cream pie on the right. I loved both. The chocolate ganache was rich and deep, but the coconut tart was sweet and coconutty. Again, I loved both! Bonus marks to the coconut cream pie for having shredded coconut in the crust. Yum…

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Top notch oatmeal! Topped with berries (blueberries + blackberries), sliced banana, and a big blob of my favourite almond butter. This was so, so, so good. My favourite summery, light oatmeal for sure!

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Tuna melt for lunch. I made this up on the spot. 😛 I just mashed up a can of tuna with some sundried tomatoes for flavour, plus a little mayo, lemon juice, and mustard. Then I toasted some focaccia bread and spread the mixture on top. Lastly, I shredded up some sharp white cheddar on top and broiled it. This was really good! Crispy focaccia bread can make shoe leather taste food. Black pepper on top, of course!

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I liked this a lot. I think next time I’ll use a bit more cheddar. This kept me full for hours!

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O-M-G. This oatmeal.

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These oats are the equivalent of loaded nachos or an everything pizza. Seriously – ALL possible oatmeal toppings are on here! Crumbled lemon-poppyseed muffin, berries, toasted nuts, almond butter, and banana (cooked into the oatmeal). I added some yogurt after taking these photos, too! This kept me full for HOURS. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – oatmeal is boring; toppings are not. Toppings will make oatmeal exciting + delicious AND keep you full. Plus, you’ll never run out of possible combinations.

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Like I mentioned on this post, Mom bought dungeness crab ravioli. Here, I topped it with crumbled goat cheese and black pepper. Served on a bed of baby spinach. This was a fun alternative to having a side salad! The ravioli were okay. They weren’t my faves – I prefer the spinach-ricotta ravioli from Costco, or even the portobello mushroom ravioli.

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My weakness = pancakes. My favourite breakfast (well, for today at least. Oatmeal and pancakes are always battling for top spot.) 😉

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These babies were made according to my healthy pancake substitutions, then topped with honey Greek yogurt and chia. There’s a mashed banana in here, plus a tablespoon of ground flax. A couple of blackberries for decor. 😉 Oh! And nut butter, of course. Barney Butter, sunflower, peanut, and almond.

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Here they are posing with my math homework… and half-eaten with maple syrup for dipping. I rotate my plate every few bites, by the way!

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Mom Meal: early dinner because I had to go to a hospital orientation. Steamed eggs, beef + broccoli, lentil stir-fry with frozen corn/peas/carrots, and a spicy onion + pork stir-fry. Not my favourite Mom Meal, but I really liked the beef + broccoli.

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Lunch! Whole Foods sandwich with grapes. I love grapes… until the skins get stuck in my braces and take half an hour to pick ’em out.

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Same ‘ole oatmeal topped with blueberries, crumbled lemon poppyseed muffin, and almond buttah. This is one of my #1 oatmeals EVER! Obviously anything with AB, muffins + berries I love.

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Same thing, sorta! This was for dessert – there’s honey Greek yogurt under there.

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Okie, I guess that’s it for now. I have to do some homework, study for my math test on permutations (Friday), and work on a resume in French. Luckily there’s no school on Thursday, thanks to the teacher strike. Random, but my teeth hurt. 😥 Just got my braces tightened, and now I have to wear elastics. Boo! Also random, but OMG – it’s already June! Where did the spring go?

Oh – one more thing! Check out my updated Mom Meals page and my revised Oatmeal page. I added all of the new ones from the past three posts. Thanks for reading, and I hope you have an AWESOME Wednesday, everyone. 🙂

Green Peanut Butter Milkshake + Lately

Hi!

It’s 9:00AM now, and my mom and I should be getting ready to go to the Farmer’s Market, as we do every Sunday – but it’s POURING outside. The market is starting up now, and I hope the vendors brought their tents! Sadly, Silverhill Orchards, one of my favourite vendors (BEST peaches and apples, ever) isn’t here this season! I sure hope he’s going to be back in the summer. His cherries and strawberries were amazing.

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^That’s my doggie, Arnie. This is my first time sharing photos of him, but I think I will do this more often! I love taking pictures of him. 🙂 Arnie is four now, turning five in August. Have we really had him for over four years?! Crazy! He’s still a puppy to me.

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This weekend went by really quickly, but I got a lot of tasks done – including math practice for my test tomorrow. Solving logarithmic equations aren’t that bad. I actually like math! I do need to do a bit more math tonight, though.
I also finished my Leadership project. It’s a HUGE tri-fold poster, filled with write-ups about all of my volunteer work. It’s also studded with photos and souvenirs, like little art projects. I’m so proud of it. Both sides of the tri-fold are stuffed to the max with bordered paragraphs and pictures. It’s great! I can’t wait to show people at the Leadership gallery next week.

And check this out! It’s a meal plan for this week, but it’s so general.
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My mom and I know that we want to include lots of egg dishes for dinner, so we’re planning to have chive eggs, tomato eggs, and even shrimp eggs. I love any Chinese dish that has eggs in it. 🙂 Yesterday, Mom and Dad went to Costco without me (waaa! 😥 ) and they bought goat cheese. I tried some yesterday, with dungeness crab ravioli. More on that in a sec! They also purchased 3 cartons of Silk Unsweetened Almond Milk. I cooked my oatmeal in it this morning, and it was really good. Sweet and a little nutty, but without the vanilla taste of Blue Diamond almond milk. Unfortunately, it also contains guar gum and some other thickeners, which I’m not crazy about. But methinks that the awesome taste + lower calories + being organic can make up for that.
I sort of got off-topic. Anyways, we’re also planning to cook coconut curry with a NEW curry spice mix that was made locally. I’m really excited for that! I also want to have chickpeas at the end of this week, because I haven’t had them for a while. Easy to cook, creamy yet firm texture, super yummy, versatile, and loaded with fat-free protein… go chickpeas!

By the way, Ms. Boddez, if you’re reading this, keep reading! That green monster smoothie is coming, I promise! 😛

So… here are the meals I’ve been enjoying lately.

 

Breakfasts

I had cereal one morning after our Whole Foods trip. These were on discount, and they weren’t that bad. The Whole O’s were gluten-free, and they were a bit too crunchy. I think Cheerios are better, especially when you consider the price! The Panda Puffs, which I’d stupidly expected to taste like Reese’s, were really crunchy, too.

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The ingredients and nutrition facts if you’re interested:

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My bowl – topped with strawbs and sliced banana.

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Grilled almond butter and banana sandwich, pan-fried in coconut oil. These sandwiches are too good, and they’re gone way too quickly!

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Oatmeal topped with yogurt and sliced peach (yes, there’s oatmeal under there!). The first peach of 2014 for me! It was not a good one. 😥 Sprinkled with chia seeds and eaten with a big scoop of almond butter.

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Oatmeal in a jar is one of my favourite breakfasts. Basically, when you have an almost-empty jar, you dump your hot oats inside. Watch the nut butter meeeeeeeeelt and get all yummy. Then top it with sliced banana, granola, and whatevah else. It’s delicious, and… it’s fun to eat breakfast out of an almond butter jar.

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Pancakes for me! Remember the pancake pile-up I posted? Here are more p-cakes! These were made with a mashed banana and flax. See that pancake pile-up post for more deets on exactly how I make my pancakes!

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Lunches

Whole Foods big chicken + arugula sandwich with mixed green salad + strawberries and poppy seed dressing, and a nice orange for dessert.

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Pretty much the same thing, but with some Trader Joe’s peanut butter pretzels and a chopped kiwi.

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No sandwich this time! Same salad, this time with sliced toasted almonds. More pretzels. 🙂

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Quinoa, corn, and spinach stir-fry topped with Costco rotisserie chicken drumstick and thigh (no skin).

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I put lots of lemon and black pepper on this. So yum! Rotisserie chicken is so convenient, and the dark meat parts are incredibly juicy. Mmmm!

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Dinners

This dinner was incredible! Steamed eggs with krill, braised ginger mahi mahi with scallions, and tofu stir-fry with chives from our backyard. Sprinkled with sesame seeds and served on white rice. See this post for another great Mom Meal that involves one of my favourite herbs: Chinese garlic chives.

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Really, really good. My mom’s cooking is seriously the best. Be jealous!

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Same tofu + chive stir-fry, this time with noodles and spinach, plus a fried egg.

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This was a pretty disappointing dinner: egg fried rice with chopped broccolette and steamed broccoli. One Mom Meal I didn’t like!

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This meal was made by me… which is why it sucked.

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Lemon and brown sugar chicken, which was supposed to taste like sesame chicken. It didn’t. And there’s also some Israeli couscous from Trader Joe’s, which I cooked in WAY too much lemon juice. It was SO sour – my mom took one bite and gagged! Then she composted the rest. Roasted garlic broccoli was a little too oily. Bad dinner!

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Good dinner by Mom! This was beef + broccoli, tomato scrambled eggs, and some tofu with ground pork. I only ate the tofu.

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Seconds, of course!

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I had leftovers the next night. Microwaved for a minute and a half, this tasted like it was just-cooked.

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Tomato scrambled eggs are SO good on white rice… the tomato-ey mush makes a creamy sauce that seeps into every crevice in the rice. It’s amazing!

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Spicy tofu is yummers, too. Hmmm, which picture is better? I used both because I couldn’t decide. I think the tablecloth makes this meal so photogenic. :mrgreen:

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Whole Foods Trip #1:

^my next WF trip will be on my next post – this one has too many photos already!

We started with soup: Indian curry soup. A little hot for me, but I loved it! I think I had 1/4 of this?

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Then we had a sandwich. Chicken, pesto, arugula, and brie on ciabatta. Really good, but not my favourite. I still like the turkey apple brie and the big chicken + arugula.

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Hot bar time! Me at Whole Foods = Piggie. Yes, I ate this bowl (minus a couple bites from Mom). After half of the sandwich. And the soup. :O

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The best part was the blueberry French toast, which I got just for fun. It was topped with little marinated berries, yogurt, and some granola. It was like dessert! I loved ending my meal with it.

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Whole Foods Trip #2:

If you’ve been scrolling all this way just to see my all-time favourite smoothie, then… you rock. 😛

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I’ll just make it short: green smoothies are practically liquid green gold. Loaded with nutrients and packed with protein, this is practically a multivitamin. It’s also super easy to make and takes mere minutes to whip up. Plus, it keeps me full for HOURS. Try it for breakfast with a slice of toast or some fruit. I guarantee you’ll be full until lunch! Best of all, this green smoothie tastes like a straight up peanut butter milkshake. Any spinach taste is 100% GONE, totally hidden by the creamy, sweet banana and rich, slightly salty PB. So don’t let the green-ness scare you – I promise this will NOT taste like grass! …ew.

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If you like bananas and peanut butter, you’ll die for this!

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The night before you plan on eating this, peel and slice a banana, then freeze it. Did you know that bananas contain tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin – and can help battle depression? They also regulate blood sugar (ie. your mood!) and prevent cramps. Because they’re also loaded with fiber, they’ll keep you full and soothe your digestive tract. Oh yeah, and they’re super sweet without any fake sugar. I like ripe bananas because they’re so sweet – the ones with brown spots are the best for smoothies/oatmeal.

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Start by rinsing your spinach. You’ll need about two handfuls. I usually use two large handfuls – if you use too much, you might taste it. I’d stick to three handfuls max! I like Earthbound Farms and Organic Girl baby spinach. I buy them from Wal-Mart and Superstore. Dry ’em up.

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Put frozen banana and a tablespoon of peanut butter in the blender. You can also use almond butter or sunflower butter (any nut butter would be great). Nut butters are high in protein and healthy monounsaturated fat, which is heart-healthy.

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Now, add a big blob of yogurt (I like Greek Gods honey yogurt), a big pinch of cinnamon, and about a teaspoon of flax. I go crazy for cinnamon – I usually add 1/4 of a teaspoon, but I like things super cinnamon-y. You can also add a drizzle of honey here, especially if your yogurt is unsweetened. Why not try coconut yogurt for a coconut-banana-peanut butter smoothie?! OH, and there’s no Greek yogurt in these pics simply because I ate it all the night before… oops. :mrgreen:

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Greek yogurt is much higher in protein than regular yogurt, and flax is packed with omega-3 (AKA healthy fat). I’ve tried this without the yogurt, too, and it still works perfectly. Cinnamon is also a natural antioxidant, plus it’s also said to lower blood sugar. Some people claim it revs up your metabolism, too – therefore burning more fat – but I just like the taste!

Plop the spinach on top, pour in some milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk – USVAB, but any milk would work), and get blending! Blend until there are no more flecks of spinach. Then you’re done! Pour this heavenly liquid into a tall glass, add a straw, and drink up.

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It tastes oh-so-decadent, but it’s loaded with good-for-you, wholesome ingredients. A green smoothie is also one of my favourite ways to energize after school. It’s a great pre/post-workout snack. If you can’t finish a full serving (I often can’t), cut the ingredients in half! Simply freeze half a banana, use one handful of spinach, etc. Easy peasy. The only hard part is washing the blender… thanks Mom. 😉

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Whew! That was a really long post. Did I mention I have a logarithms test tomorrow? Thanks for reading, and bye for now!

 

QUESTION OF THE DAY!
Have you tried green smoothies? Do you like them?

Pancake Pileup + Good News!

Hi! 🙂

I hope you’re having a great week. I can’t believe it’s Thursday already – one more day until the weekend. This week just flew by for me! I think it’s because we had Monday off (Victoria Day). Can we have that every week?

As you know from this post, all of my blog’s photos have disappeared. Fortunately, I’ve been digging around my computer’s recycle bin to find them, and I’ve fixed a couple posts! It took me an hour last night to upload and match each photo to the right post, but it was so worth it. I can’t stand reading blogs without pictures.

Unfortunately, there are some posts that I just can NOT find the photos for. 😥
Here I’ve linked you up to the re-done posts, with re-uploaded photos! (in no particular order)

Pancakes, beef stir-fry, noodles, homemade cranberry orange cake, baked banana oatmeal, salad, awesome ravioli

My number-one, all-time favourite, best ever blueberry muffin oatmeal

Lots of inspirational food photos from around the ‘net (okay, this post was AFTER the pics disappeared, but still!)

Pancakes, cheesy egg + avocado toast (Mmmm, this looks really good right now!), muffin on yogurt with berries (so does this! Wish I had a muffin.), and a Mom Meal with fried basa and veggies. Plus a sweet Chinese brownie cake for dessert!

Overnight oatmeal + Trip to America: Trader Joe’s and Olive Garden pasta lunch!

Pancakes, sushi, TJs brownie, salmon + squash, salad, Chinese noodle soup, more salad, and curry!

Food court food: stir-fry and Qoola (yogurt bar – check out my toppings overload!)

Lemon yogurt cake, amazing Mom Meal with braised chicken and stir-fry, berry oatmeal, goat cheese + berry + pecan salad, and more oatmeal

Mother’s Day: homemade pizza and yogurt-muffin-berry dessert

So there you have ’em! For the even earlier posts, I’m still working on reuploading the pictures. You’ll see them soon – when I’m done, I’ll link you up again.

Now… are you ready to drool over some pancakes?!

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Yes, I know I post pancakes on pretty much EVERY post, but that’s because I have them every week. Since I have so many pancake photos in my Blog folder on my desktop, I thought I would share them with you all at once.

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Why do I like pancakes so much? Easy-peasy – they look irresistable, they’re so quick to make (they take me about 20 minutes, decorating and all), taste HEAVENLY, and I don’t feel like I’m committing a “health crime” either. These are hearty, whole-grain, and bulked up with yogurt and fruit. Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with an egg + yogurt + whole wheat flour + baking soda. I don’t know why some people think pancakes have to be a failure in the health department. As long as you don’t drown them in butter and syrup, they should be fine! Oh, and I cook my pancakes in coconut oil. It doesn’t add much flavour, but I feel a lot better about using it, as opposed to butter. Plus, it doesn’t burn as quickly as butter – coconut oil has a very high smoke point.

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I also like to add mashed banana to the batter. It really bulks up the pancakes, and makes them so sweet without added sugar. Bananas also make the texture really, really tender. But watch out – you have to use a really ripe banana! Without those beautiful black spots, your pancakes won’t be as sweet. I hate green-tipped bananas! I also throw in some flax, chia, shredded coconut, and Greek yogurt blobs that taste AMAZING on the doughy p-cakes.

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Oh, and we can’t forget about nut butter! I think the reason I like pancakes so much is because four/five pancakes = four/five blobs of nut butter. Peanut, almond, sunflower, and Barney Butter – ALL for breakfast? On the same plate? Yes – SOLD!

By the way, that photo above is one of my favourite pancake photos of all time. Check out how round those p-cakes are! 🙂 And yes, that’s FIVE different nut butters: Barney Butter (almond), natural almond butter, salted caramel peanut butter (OMG YES), regular peanut butter, and sunflower seed butter. I have no favourites – love ’em all equally.

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And I have no idea why I have two photos of scrambled eggs. On this day, I had them simply scrambled with cubed cheddar and topped with black pepper.

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Here, they’re scrambled with shredded spinach (warning: it waters down the eggs, even if you add cheese) and pepper. Banana-berry smoothie on the side.

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Anyways, back to pancakes. Strangely, I don’t like my pancakes in a stack. It seems like they’re gone way too quickly! Say it takes one minute to eat one pancake (believe me, it takes WAY longer than that!). That means it takes four minutes for me to devour all four. But when they’re all piled up, they’re demolished in a minute. I like to enjoy my food over as much time as possible!

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Plus, when you spread the pancakes out, you get more surface area for NUT BUTTER! 🙂

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By the way, chia seeds used to freak me out. I thought they looked like gross little bugs (I’m terrified of fruit flies!). Now, I think they look gorgeous on the yogurt blobs and pancakes. I love how they pop out in pictures, not to mention their “bubbly” taste and ridiculously impressive health benefits. Go chia!

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Another thing about pancakes: they keep me full for HOURS. There’s carbs and fiber from the whole wheat flour, plus an egg for protein, and flax/chia for healthy fat. On top, I put nut butters and yogurt, which are essentially protein, more satiating fat, and dairy (yogurt). And I’ll ALWAYS have either a banana or some berries (both = even better!), for a serving of fruit.

Let’s just ignore the fact that I also need a big squirt of maple syrup.

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Here’s to the best breakfast ever?! Pancakes are probably #1 in my book, but they BAREEEEEEELY beat oatmeal.

It’s 2:30 now – we had an early dismissal today, woohoo! – and I’m going to be baking something after I’m done my math homework tonight! I’m so excited to make lemon poppyseed muffins. Mom bought a new muffin tray and I’m really looking forward to making big, fluffy, lemony muffins. Bye for now, and stay tuned for another great post. Hint: it involves a blender and lots of green. 😉

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^ love that picture. Okay, so… bye… again…

Unusual Dinner w/ Chinese Salad + TJs Shopping List

Hi! How are you all doing? It’s Thursday, but it’s totally the weekend because of Easter. Woohoo! No school tomorrow and no school on Monday – yippee yah yah! Too bad it’s raining like crazy outside now, because I would really like some fresh air. Oh, well… maybe I’ll actually have a productive evening today. I feel like there is so much to do now – how about you?!

These photos are from a delicious dinner we had last week. Not a likely combination, but these three ingredients (prepared separately!) work so well together.

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Maple-soy salmon was the star. Simply mix soy sauce and maple syrup in a big container and plop the trout (yeah, yeah, I call it salmon) inside to marinate. You could also add garlic and black pepper to the marinade, but we usually go the simple lazy route. We usually marinate it for a whole afternoon, but my mom’s friend, who gave us the recipe, marinates hers for TWO DAYS. I find that marinating it for too long makes it lose that delicate fishy flavour that I love so much. As you know, simple salt and pepper trout with lemon is perfectly delicious on its own. Even in a wrap with veggies!

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We also had steamed edamame. Boil some water with salt + star anise (my mom swears it adds flavour, but I don’t taste it). Remove when done and sprinkle with whatevah!

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We always seem to have butternut squash with salmon. Here it is! Tossed with butter, salt, and pepper, then placed in the oven for about 25 minutes. Yum! Funny how I started to like butternut squash in the spring! Just like how I only started eating berries in the fall. I’m a season behind. 😦

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Fluffy white rice under it all. How do some people have a meal without rice? I mean, Cooking Light shows meals that are basically protein + vegetable. Could you eat only a salmon filet with some green beans? I totally can’t! A meal isn’t a meal without rice, right? Thoughts?

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On the side we have a Chinese chicken salad. These are rice noodles – handmade by my mom! I was so impressed. They were chewy and tasted even better than store-bought – plus they had only two ingredients (water is one of them). It’s tossed with strips of cucumber, shredded rotisserie chicken, and strips of pan-fried egg (cooked like an omelet). The mouthwatering sesame dressing was made of sesame paste *AKA tahini*, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, a little sugar, a little salt, soy sauce, minced garlic, homemade chili oil (canola infused with red pepper flakes), and some water to get it to the right consistency. Incredible! We always go heavy on the sauce – it is SO good.

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I really want to try to make this salad for lunch next week. It looks SO good! There’s a reason why Iowa Girl Eats is my all-time favourite blogger. This salad looks incredible. I’ll update you if I try it out, but there are a lot of things we’ll need to buy (goat cheese, wild rice, etc.)

Anyways… did I tell you guys yet? Next week, we’re going to TRADER JOE’S! OMG. I am beyond excited! Here’s my shopping list! I based it on the TJ’s lists of Kath Eats and Iowa Girl Eats. If I lived in the US, I would be at TJ’s every few days for the yummy food! ❤ Can’t wait until Monday!
• Peanut butter pretzels
• Pumpkin butter
• Cookie butter
• Coconut milk
• Pancake/waffle mix
• Salad dressing
• Inner Peas snack
• TJ’s Salted Peanut Butter
• TJ’s Salted Almond Butter
• Salad packs
• Hummus, salsa and CRACKERS
• Paneer curry tikka masala something
• Hot cereal
• Harvest Grains blend (Israeli couscous, orzo, baby garbanzo beans, red quinoa)
• Orzo and rice mix
• Goat cheese medallions

I’ll definitely update you all after the TJ’s trip. Lots of homework and emails to reply to. Bye for now!

Light and Healthy Lunch Ideas

Hi everyone!

I’ve got a special post for you today. Usually I eat lunch at school, and 100% of the time, it’s leftovers from last night. I microwave it at school for about a minute and thirty seconds, so that it’s hot but not too hot, but not warm either… you know? There is always some rice on the bottom, either fat sushi rice or fragrant jasmine rice. On top, I’ll have a couple dinner “side dishes”, like fried trout, sauteed vegetables, squash, stir-fries, braised meat, wintermelon, steamed eggs, whatevah. See this post for a wonderful Mom meal. 🙂

It’s rare that I ever have lunch at home!

On Sundays, as you’ve seen on my weekend posts here and here, I go out for lunch with my family. Like for my favourite pizza! Or sushi, like we have here. I LOVE sushi.

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That leaves Saturday – but on Saturdays, I’ll usually have a small lunch because it’s before aerial silks (I don’t want to feel weighed down). Saturdays I’ll often eat an apple with some kind of dip and scrambled eggs. Scrambled eggs work any time of day! If I have spinach at home though, I’ll always have a spinach omelet, which I make with two eggs, white cheddar, and a big handful of baby spinach. Oh yeah, and a ton of black pepper. So good!

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During the spring break – yes, I know, I’m so behind! – I often had rice cakes and tasting platters. Let’s start with rice cakes! Rice cakes are practically calorie-free. THREE of these big, palm-sized (and my palms are huge!) rice cakes are under 50 calories. That’s comparable to raw veggies and flavoured water. Wow! The one that I buy is made without rice (ha!). Instead, it’s filled with other goodies like millet, quinoa, and flax. I really like this one.

Here, I top it with hummus + black pepper, peanut butter + banana slices + cinnamon sprinkle + honey, and almond butter + ground flax seeds + Craisins (dried cranberries) + shredded coconut + maple syrup drizzle. That’s three different toppings. 😛

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Rice cakes might taste a leetle like cardboard, but the toppings really do make up for that. Try some of these topping ideas and let me know what you think!

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Light salads are a great lunch idea. This is just romaine mixed with store-bought Kraft Caesar dressing. I made the croutons myself, out of fresh focaccia bread from the local bakery. Cut into cubes and bake until toasty. I don’t even add olive oil – I don’t think you need it. It still gets crunchy.

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Here I add a pan-fried chicken breast for protein. If salads don’t fill you up, just add a chicken breast! It’s filling and delicious. Simply season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder, then cook until done over medium-high heat. You might have to cover it. Easy peasy.

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Another light lunch idea is a tasting platter. Inspired by The Vegan Platter from Rumpus Room, I made my own little tasting plate. Here I have grapes, cucumber sticks, carrot sticks, and two types of crackers, all to be dipped in creamy hummus. The grapes were the best part. I got them at Whole Foods, and they’re SO crunchy and sweet! I love the ones that just burst open when you bite down. These crackers are amazing, too. Some of the best I’ve ever had! They do have a grainy/wheat-y/seed-y taste, which I love.

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Crackers are also excellent with egg salad! I make my egg salad with two hard-boiled eggs, a tiny scoop of mayonnaise, some plain/Greek yogurt if I have it, lots of Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and lots of black pepper. I really recommend letting it rest in the fridge for an hour or two for the flavours to develop. After it’s done “marinating”, smear it on crackers, rice cakes (!), bread, or use it to top a salad. Eaten with grapes on another day! The crackers without egg salad have hummus on them.

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There’s a reason why sandwiches are the #1 most popular lunch food. They’re great! When my mom bought a loaf of French bread from the local bakery, I turned it into grilled cheese (made with sharp white cheddar).

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Another variation, shown here, is made with peanut butter, banana slices, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a drizzle of honey. Delicious! Sweet or savoury – I can’t decide. Both of these sandwiches were scrumptious. Crispy on the outside and super flavourful inside. Cooked on a skillet in olive oil (grilled cheese) or coconut oil (PB + B sammie). Yum! I want one right now. 🙂

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This is half of a sandwich from Whole Foods, as I mention here. It’s made with turkey, apple, and brie cheese. There are also some mixed greens and tomatoes inside, as well as a smear of canola-mayonnaise. I grilled it for maximum crunch! This sandwich was delicious. I had the other half for dinner, along with some yogurt and berries for dessert.

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I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I liked writing it. 🙂 Have a great weekend, and let me know if you try any of these!

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