Black Garlic Dessert Bread?!

Good morning, everyone! Today’s a crazy rainy day, and the next few days in Brisbane aren’t looking much better. It’s 24 degrees, and just pouring. We have thunderstorms planned for the next few days – until next Thursday. What a disappointment!

Anyways, this week was my first week of school, and I loved it. Here you can see the schedule that I had for the first week. I had to dip out of a lot of yoga/fitness classes because I didn’t feel like going. Getting there is always half the battle! And, unfortunately, I sometimes lose that battle.Schedule (13)In light of all the events that have happened over the last couple of weeks over in the US, this tweet really stood out to me. What powerful words. I’ve been following the incredibly articulate, thoughtful, patriotic, and compassionate students of Stoneman Douglas High School since the event, and every day I am impressed by the momentum they’ve gained. What an incredible group of young leaders.

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Here are some of my class notes! I am taking four courses this semester, and they are:

  1. BIOL3009: Arthropods and Human Health
  2. SOCY2179: Sex, Drugs, and Disease
  3. SWSP2211: Individual Development and Health Care
  4. PSYC3132: Health Psychology

I don’t know if I have a favourite yet, because they all differ from each other quite a bit. I am trying to link the courses together as I work through the material. For instance, in Individual Development (a Sociology course), we discuss marginalized populations and how people in third-world countries are susceptible to diseases such as malaria. Then, in my Arthropods course, we discuss the mechanisms behind malaria, and how exactly it is transmitted.

I am getting a personal trainer! I felt that it was more “worth it” to get a 10-class personal training class rather than a fitness pass. Starting Tuesday, I’ll be working with a lovely woman called Amy to meet some fitness goals. On the right side, you’ll see my academic to-do list. I’ve only been in school for a week and there’s already plenty to be done! I love it.

I don’t have much stuff in my room, so it isn’t too hard to keep it tidy.

L: Here is one of my lecture classrooms. I really like it because it isn’t extraordinarily big. The entire classroom will seat about forty students, so I think that’s just right.

R: Toowong Village is the local mall. I love this place!

Some eats:

  • broccoli, cauliflower rice, squash, tomatoes, red pepper, cheddar and gruyere, 1 fried egg, 4 pieces fried halloumi

And again:

  • cauliflower rice, squash, 6 pieces fried halloumi

Some things that I really want to make include crepes with brie, apple, and turkey (or flatbreads, using the same ingredients), stuffed peppers, or spaghetti squash with veggies and cheese.

I did end up making something like that, using a hearty whole grain bun from Baker’s Delight, creamy brie, and some sliced turkey.

  • 1 medium cucumber, truffle dip, smoked salmon dip
  • 1 whole wheat grain bun, 4 medium slices turkey, 1/2 triangle of brie

Deliciousness – one for dessert, and one for breakfast. I recently discovered how tasty it is to crumble up a LARABAR and serve it on yogurt. Love this!

  • plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 peanut butter LARABAR, 2 squares nougat chocolate
  • plain Greek yogurt, 2 peaches, 1/2 peanut butter LARABAR

One afternoon, I visited a restaurant called Gauge. When I looked at the menu previously, I was 99% sure that I wanted the cavatelli, cashew cream, zucchini, black garlic dish. However, upon speaking to one of the kind waitresses, who recommended the pan-fried mahi-mahi with caramelized cream, tomato, and dill, I changed my mind. This was good, but not worth $32. I was also surprised by the very long wait (surprising, because I normally dine alone so food comes to me quite quickly) of approximately 40 minutes and the little serving size. Was expecting… a little more for $32 – at least some bread or greens on the side.

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For dessert, I had a very unique dish: the black garlic bread with brown butter, burnt vanilla. It sounds weird. It was weird. I’ll try my best to describe this:

  • First of all, I’ve never tasted ANYTHING quite like this. It was like the time that I tried mushroom ice cream at the Sunshine Coast – I didn’t have any expectations, but was full of curiosity.
  • This had the texture of banana bread, but a little less ‘crumbly’. As if it were a banana bread crossed with a yeast bread. I feel like I wouldn’t be able to crumble this between my fingers – I’d have to tear it. Perhaps the texture was like a banana bread made with oil rather than butter.
  • The flavour was sweet, but not overwhelmingly sweet. Of course, I had the rich brown butter on the side. The cake itself was a bit like a toffee or date cake in flavour, with rich notes of garlic.
  • The garlic flavour didn’t really shine through until after each bite, when you get a garlicky aftertaste. Black garlic, to me, tastes just like regular garlic.
  • Definitely an interesting experience. Do I regret ordering it? Not at all. I finished every crumb on the plate, and kind of wanted more. But would I order it next time? No.

I had the opportunity to attend a cool convention called the Mind Body Spirit convention, where there were hundreds of vendors selling things like essential oils, yoga mats, yoga attire, turmeric, vegan treats, and so much more. I saw lots of unique things like pumpkin seed meal, and vegan coconut-cashew ice cream (which I got a delicious sample of). It was a lovely experience, though most of the products were too expensive. Yoga mat for $150? No… I’ll stick to my $5 mat, thank you.

Brisbane is so lovely. Every time I come to the South Bank and West End area, I am bewildered by the beautiful buildings and sunshine. It’s so nice to live near a river.

Another day, another yogurt snack. I love these! This time, it was a chopped pear on Greek yogurt with a crumbled peanut butter LARABAR.

Also, I just realized later this week we’ll be in March. WHAT!?

For dinner one day, I went to A Night in India (they do takeout as well, but I’m so glad I didn’t do takeout because I wouldn’t have had the DESSERT), where I devoured a bowl of palak paneer. Palak paneer is hands-down my favourite Indian dish, ever. I love it. The spices, the creamy-but-firm cheese, the rich sauce and the spinach. I could eat this every day for the rest of my life! Alongside – some saffron rice and a big garlic and cheese naan. This dinner was one of the highlights of my week.

Dessert, of course, was just as stunning. Get this, my friends: a chocolate haven cake on a sizzling pan (literally, the chocolate was sizzling). Oozing with milk chocolate from TWO layers, which became warm and gooey on the sizzling pan, and topped with dark chocolate ganache. Vanilla bean ice cream on the side. As I was eating this, I was so mindful to savour every bite, and I’m pretty sure I went to heaven?! This was unbelievable. Easily one of the top three desserts I have ever eaten. It was amazing, and words just don’t do it justice.

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Finally, a huge spider web I saw (!) and my new, updated class schedule. This is the one I’ll be sticking to, from now on, because it includes lectures and tutorials.

That is… pretty much it for today, friends ❤ I hope you all have a lovely, lovely rest of the week.

BC, I’ve Missed You ❤

I’ve missed having big, fluffy blueberry-studded pancakes topped with the creamiest nut butter and a smattering of more fresh blueberries.

So much, in fact, that I had this breakfast three days in a row. Half a mashed banana in the batter makes quite the difference for texture and subtle sweetness, in my opinion.

I made banana pancakes another morning, bunny-style. Pretty proud of how these turned out, in terms of taste and presentation!

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Seline is a fabulous artist, and she persuaded me to do some doodling with her. We drew the same picture of a goddess character from her favourite anime, Seven Deadly Sins. My rendition is on the left, and hers is on the right.

My mom cooked Hainanese chicken rice another day, which we enjoyed with braised broccoli and carrots.

We played with the aerial silks at the Vancouver Circus School, went to the Kaleidoscope Arts Festival in Coquitlam, and looked over LaFarge Lake.

More delicious Hainanese chicken rice was devoured. This is one of my favourite versions of chicken + rice. I love Chinese bok choy, stir-fried with garlic.

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There is always a plethora of cookies and baked goods in the Wei family home. Here, I have dessert: yogurt with a blueberry-banana muffin top, lemon poppyseed muffin, cream cheese pound cake, and a coconut cookie.

Mom is looking so cute here as she cooks. Seline put a removable tattoo on my wrist, and I think it’s fun to look at.

Mom makes a great winter melon stew with krill, as well as braised chicken drumsticks with taro chunks. I adore taro. Do you like taro? Have you tried it in sweet and savoury dishes?

More dessert: I made an Earl Grey cake on my second day home, and that was super flavourful and crumbly. On the right: cream cheese pound cake turned into French toast for one breakfast, topped with a generous smear of Nutella.

This morning, my breakfast consisted of a large mug of unpictured English Breakfast tea latte, and a big plate of two scrambled eggs, baked treats, a chopped peach, and creamy honey-flavoured yogurt with flaxseeds and blueberries. Breakfast was followed by a little too much nibbling on shortbread cookies.

The family doggie turned nine a few weeks ago, but he is still full of energy. He loves the park!

Yesterday, met up with the grandparents in Burnaby, where we ordered lots of great sushi. My favourite rolls are the Aburi flame-seared ones.

This is completely out of place, as it’s from back in Waterloo – Famoso Pizzeria, where I savoured this great Cavoletti pizza with (get this!) toasted walnuts, chopped dates, honey, crispy prosciutto, brussels sprouts, and gorgonzola. For my side, I chose a salad topped with Caprese ingredients – mozzarella, tomato, and pistachio pesto.

With tiramisu and a scoop of salted caramel gelato. Yummmm. Tiramisu is amongst (among?) my top five favourite desserts.

Rouzao rice is a Taiwanese specialty that my mom cooks once in a while. It’s essentially a stew of ground pork and pork belly, spiced with soy sauce, star anise, onions, and garlic.

A couple nights ago, my family and I went to the Richmond Night Market, where Seline and I shared a carton of takoyaki (deep-fried octopus balls), and I had a bag of sesame bubble waffles and a taiyaki (Korean fish-shaped waffle filled with red bean).

Recently, I’ve been spending a lot of time working on our vacation plans. My family is going to Salt Spring Island in two weeks, so I am very excited about all the activities we’ll be doing.

With a mug of tea, I spend some mornings designing the activities of each day. It’s such a short vacation (~3 days total), but so much to do there.

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I can’t wait to go to a public skating session. Skating is great in the summer, in my opinion.

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Yesterday, I feasted on the most delicious homemade crepe I’ve made. Here’s the super simple recipe:

Easy Nutella Banana Crepes

Serves 1

Crepe INGREDIENTS

  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Topping INGREDIENTS

  • 1 banana, sliced thinly
  • 3 tbsp Nutella

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Whisk together all crepe ingredients.
  2. Grease pan with butter or coconut oil. Pour batter into large pan and rotate pan in circular motion so batter coats the surface evenly.
  3. Cook over medium-high heat. Cook for 2 minutes, until bottom is cooked. Flip and cook the other side.
  4. Place crepe on a cutting board and generously spread Nutella on the entire crepe. Top with sliced banana, fold, and place on a plate. Decorate with more banana slices.

NOTE: You can place banana slices on the center third of the crepe and then fold the two sides over, or place bananas on 1/4 of the crepe and do two half-folds.

I also baked up a storm!

These lopsided round-ish treats are muffin tops that I found via Evangeline on Nutrition with a Mission, who discovered them on Athletic Avocado. I made a couple small changes here and there:

Blueberry Banana Muffin Tops

Makes 6 large, 12 small

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 packed cup almond flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup nut butter (I used a mix of brazil nut and cashew nut butter)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/3 cup crushed nuts (I used a mix of roasted nuts from Costco, like cashews, almonds, brazil nuts, peanuts, etc.)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Combine almond butter, egg, maple syrup, vanilla, and banana in a bowl. Whisk until well-combined. Add a splash of water or milk if needed.
  4. Add almond flour, cinnamon, and baking soda. Mix in blueberries, and combine.
  5. Mix all topping ingredients together.
  6. Spoon batter into 6 large or 12 smaller muffin tops.
  7. Bake muffin tops for 20 minutes, or until done.

I also made these tasty lemon poppyseed muffins.

Vegan Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp flaxseed meal + 5 tbsp water)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil or grape seed oil
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1 cup flour

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Grease or line a standard muffin tin.
  2. Prepare flax eggs. Allow to rest.
  3. Add applesauce, lemon juice and zest, oil, almond milk, maple syrup, sugar, baking soda, salt, and whisk for one minute. Foaming will occur as the lemon juice reacts with the baking soda.
  4. Add flour, almond meal, and oats. Stir with a spoon until combined. Do not over-mix. If batter appears too thick, add more almond milk. It should be thick and not pourable. Stir in poppy seeds and whisk again.
  5. Divide batter evenly between 12 muffin tins.
  6. Bake for 17-22 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Cool for several minutes in the pan. Remove from tins, and let cool on a cooling rack. Will keep, covered, for several days.

The muffins, and the muffin tops, were both incredible. If you have a day in the kitchen, I highly recommend giving them a shot!

Another recipe I tried, adopted heavily from Allrecipes to reduce sugar (original was 2 cups), and swap 75% of the oil for unsweetened applesauce.

German Apple Cake

Serves one 9×13, can cut into 12 medium-sized pieces

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 4 heaping cups apples, peeled, cored, and diced (I used 4 gala apples)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour one 9×13 inch cake pan.
  2. Toss diced apples with a scoop of flour to coat (prevents sinking).
  3. Beat oil and eggs until creamy. Add sugar and vanilla.
  4. Add cinnamon, baking soda, then salt.
  5. Add flour, and mix until combined. Fold in the apples.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 45 minutes, until cake tests clean.

Have a beautiful week, everyone ❤

5 Birthday-Brightening Gestures

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

5 Birthday-Brightening Gestures

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Creamy Vegetable Quinoa Casserole

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

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


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

1-Minute Chocolate Peanut Butter Sponge Cake

Makes: 1 serving

INGREDIENTS

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

INSTRUCTIONS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Great Food + The Best Holiday Pun

This is honestly the greatest joke I’ve ever seen.

A couple is walking in St. Petersburg Square on Christmas Eve. They feel a slight precipitation.

“I think it’s raining,” says the man.

“No, it’s snowing,” replies the woman.

“How about we ask this Communist officer here? He is always right!” exclaims the man. “Officer Rudolph, is it raining or snowing?”

“Definitely raining,” Officer Rudolph replies before walking off.

The man turns to his wife with a smile. “See? Rudolph the Red knows rain, dear.”

And this is one of the best breakfasts of the week!

Vegan Banana Bread Buckwheat Bake

Serves 2
  • scant 2/3 cup buckwheat flour
  • 2 tbsp almond meal
  • 2 tbsp ground flax
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1 medium banana, ripe
  • half of 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 6 muffin tins with liners or grease a baking dish with coconut oil.
  2. Mash banana until egg-like. Whisk in milk and vanilla.
  3. Add all dry ingredients to the wet bowl. Whisk until just combined. Mixture will be thick.
  4. Bake for 34-38 minutes, until centre is golden brown.
  5. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Slide a knife around the edge to release.
  6. Top with nut butter and maple syrup.
The nutrition stats for this tasty breakfast are also quite impressive. Each serving has 270 calories, with 20% of your daily required potassium. The buckwheat also provides 9.5 grams of fibre (40% of daily required intake). There are only 9 grams of natural sugar involved. Plus, this vegan brekkie boasts over 8 grams of protein.
Some other good points? I copied and pasted this from a nutrition-analysis website:

It’s so dark and dreary outside nowadays. 😦

You can see that I’ve been loving buckwheat recently!

Vegan Buckwheat Pancakes

Serves 1

INGREDIENTS
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • scant 1 tsp ground flax
  • scant 1 tsp melted coconut oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp buckwheat flour
  • 2 tbsp spelt flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • sprinkle salt
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Stir together milk, flax, oil, vanilla. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Whisk flours, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together in a medium bowl.
  3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Stir until well-blended.
  4. Oil nonstick skillet over medium heat. Pour 1/4 cup batter into skillet. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until bubbly. Flip and cook for 2 more minutes on opposite side. Repeat until all batter is used. Add oil to skillet as needed.
  5. Serve with maple syrup, cinnamon, and desired toppings.
If served with 1/2 banana, 2 tbsp peanut butter, and 1 tsp honey, then this recipe is only 420 calories, with 8 grams of fiber and 13 grams of protein.
 How impressive is that? Not to mention, it’s low in sodium and 100% free of trans fat (thanks to no butter) and free of cholesterol (thanks to the lack of eggs). It’s also very high in manganese and vitamin B6 from the buckwheat. Amazing!
These muffins turned out great. The original recipe called for 1/4 cup coconut oil, but I replaced that with applesauce.
Cherry Chocolate Chip Muffins {vegan}
Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup quick oats
  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 heaping cup frozen cherries, pitted and lightly chopped
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Mix all wet ingredients.
  3. Add dry ingredients, adding flour last. Do not overmix.
  4. Fold in cherries and chocolate chips.
  5. Spoon into 9 greased muffin tins. Top with remaining chocolate and cherries, if desired.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes, until golden. Let rest for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  7. Serve warm and enjoy!
  8. Store in airtight container to keep fresh. Transfer to freezer if needed.
Per 1 delicious muffin: 112 calories, 2 grams fat, 2 grams fiber, 8 grams sugar, 3 grams protein
Low cholesterol and high in manganese, phosphorus, and selenium
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Friends and I rented the “Boiler Room” at the local burger store and had an awesome dinner there. This was their veggie burger with brie, tomato, and mushrooms, and a side of great sweet potato fries.

I made a great veggie quinoa casserole, and I can’t wait to share the recipe!

Lasagna was also made, devoured, and frozen. And then devoured again the next day.

Almond butter and banana sandwiches are an old favourite. This time, I smashed the banana instead of slicing it.

Leftover trout was tossed onto avocado toast and served with muffin and yogurt for breakfast.

Mexican-style sweet potatoes were also devoured.

Here was some of that trout! I seasoned it super simply, with cayenne, paprika, garlic, butter, and lemon. It tasted great!

I try my best to do some meal prep when I have a couple hours at home. I made muffins, overnight oats, and chopped some peppers and mushrooms.

I also baked some sweet potatoes and made a mess in the kitchen.

Any thoughts on this infographic? Because I entirely disagree. Uh, if I want a donut, I want a good old donut. Not a mossy green bubbly drink. Whoever made this – did you really think a craving for cheddar would be curbed by kale and flax?! You’ve got to be kidding…

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My blog is snowing!

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I also found this recipe and can’t wait to replicate. Love peanut butter oats!

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Made a new friend at a Zumba class because she was wearing a Nicolas Cage t-shirt. This made my day. Rational Treasure? YES!

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Lily and I made a Princess Cafe date…

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And I attended some free fitness classes at my school.

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What have you been up to lately?

Whole Foods & A Yoga Rave?!

Last Wednesday night involved going to the yoga studio for yoga teacher training after dinner, where we had a Groove dance party with flashing finger lights. It was very different to explore freestyle movement in this way. I felt a little self-conscious when dancing and wished that there was more instruction (like Zumba) or more structure (like traditional yoga).

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I mentioned that I had an interview at the Toronto Health Centre! For this interview, I had to go to downtown Toronto. After my interview, I did a short 20-minute walk to the nearest Whole Foods, because, let’s be real, I had serious WF withdrawal. Oh, and I got to visit Uncle Tetsu’s, a famous Japanese cheesecake shop where I purchased a cheesecake and a honey madeleine.

I enjoyed my dinner at the Whole Foods hot bar. I wish they had the nice blue bowls that the WF in Vancouver uses. Mac and cheese was as good as usual. I noticed that the Toronto WF has more meat-based options, like pulled pork, chili, and other meaty dishes.

Then I dug into this incredible cheesecake. YES. It tasted like a cloud. <– best description for Japanese cheesecake.

Have you ever tried Jap cheesecake? Do you like it?

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Another day, I asked Mom to draw a picture of me, and this was the result!

She’s not wrong.

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Hot oats in a peanut butter jar with crumbled chocolate cake on top. Because it was the day of my biochemistry midterm. You gotta do what you gotta do?!

Check out this recipe!

Mexican Sweet Potatoes

Serves 2 as a main course
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • fine sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • fresh lime juice
  • green onion, or additional toppings if desired
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line baking sheet.
  3. Poke holes in each potato using a fork. Place on baking sheet and roast for 45-75 minutes, depending on the size of each. When flesh is tender and you can easily slide a knife through, you’re done. Let cool for 10 minutes.
  4. Heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, until soft. Add chili powder, cumin, and black beans. Cook for another minute. Add salt, pepper, and lime.
  5. Slice each potato in half. Score flesh in a crisscross pattern. Gently mash flesh with a fork to fluff. Sprinkle on sea salt and pepper to season. Layer on black beans. Garnish with green onion, pinch each of chili powder and cumin, salt, and pepper. Serve immediately.

Raspberries are no longer in season, but still ah-mazing with yogurt, chocolate cake, and nut butter. This is my favourite dessert!

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You must try this! Better than a pumpkin spice latte, I promise.

Actually, I don’t promise because I’ve never tried a PSL!

Dreamy Cinnamon Pumpkin Nut Butter

  • Coconut oil
  • Peanut or almond butter
  • Maple syrup
  • Pumpkin puree
  • Optional: ground cinnamon (I 100% recommend this! Okay, maybe it’s not optional.)
  • Optional: ground ginger
  • Optional: pumpkin pie spice
Microwave to melt. Stir together. Enjoy with apple slices, on toast, in oatmeal, on a spoon, or straight up on a finger. Not that I would know how that tastes or anything. 😉

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More of those baked sweet potatoes. They are delicious!

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Starbucks English breakfast tea latte that was so hot it killed 90% of my tongue cells. Took two days to recover!

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Lunch at Princess cafe involved a turkey sandwich with pesto, goat cheese, garlic mayo, and roasted red pepper. The soup was roasted beet and rosemary. I loved it!

Of course, I had to get the usual coconut cream pie 🙂 It’s my favourite thing at Princess Cafe! Although I do have a lot of favourites.

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Dear Past Cindy, thank you for making lasagna and freezing a bunch of pieces for future dinners.

Dear Past Cindy, thanks for making overnight oatmeal as a quick and tasty lunch that fills you up. Also, thanks SELINE for pointing out that cinnamon apparently looks like mold?

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Terrible lighting, delicious food. You can never go wrong with black beans, rice, and avocado!

Frozen and microwaved berries were dolled up with some yogurt and crumbled muffin, and avocado toast.

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Quiet night of studying at Princess Cafe. This soup was creamy curried cauliflower, and the sandwich involved eggplant and cabbage.

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I love, love, love these chocolate peanut butter banana squares. It’s a vegan recipe, too. This makes an awesome snack (if you have buddies who will let you know if you’ve got chocolate on your teeth). 🙂

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Let’s play Decode My Sister’s Teacher’s Writing! What on earth does this say? I think I have it figured out, but it took Seline and I a couple days. What do you think it says?

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That’s it for today! I’ve got a couple sweet posts in the making, including a bucket list and a super yummy (I just typed super sexy…) tofu hash.

Peace. ✌

A Day in Photos (◡‿◡✿)

Here’s a typical school day!

7:00: wake up, hit snooze, wake up again, get out of bed. Wash my face, brush teeth, and wash dishes left over from last night.

Make lunch – peanut butter and raspberry jam sandwich, almond butter with banana, and water.

Eat my morning oatmeal: pumpkin oats this time, with a crumbled almond blueberry cake and tons of almond butter.

It’s not too cold by the time I walk to school. My classes start at either 8:30 or 9:30, so I typically leave the house at around 8:00 or 9:00. Campus looks so nice when it’s all frosty!

Labs, notes, and worksheets to practice.

After class, my friends and I often get together to study. This board in an empty classroom quickly became covered in our Biochemistry notes. We had our midterm a couple days ago, and all of the glycolysis (making energy) and gluconeogenesis (making sugar) pathways were difficult to memorize.

Dinner around 7:00 was leftover sweet potato chili that I burned in my pot, brown rice, and some grated cheddar cheese. Plus a side of more glycolysis.

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Dessert came soon after: peanut butter on a chocolate-banana brownie cake square. I shared the recipe last time! It’s a vegan recipe and absolutely amazing.

Sometimes I have to prepare for upcoming interviews. I had one on Thursday for a senior home with several locations across Ontario. The job search is going pretty well, and I’ll have more details on that in a future post! For this interview, I prepared by printing out some of the posters that I created for a senior home volunteer position that I held over the summer.

And then I check out some more recipes and make some modifications (blue). You’ll see these recipes soon – I can’t wait!

And that’s it! Normally I’m off to bed at around 11:30, depending on whether or not I have to wake up early the next day.