Blueberry Banana Muffins

Who else loves banana muffins?

Studded with blueberries, these simple, healthy, and super cute muffins are sure to be devoured. Loaded with banana flavour from three large bananas, the cinnamon-vanilla batter tastes fantastic with fresh (or frozen!) blueberries.

I also love the use of applesauce in this recipe to keep the muffins tender. Enjoy!

Blueberry Banana Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 large ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1.5 cups flour (180 g)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Grease 12 muffin cups.
  3. Toss one scoop of flour (from the 1.5 cups) with the 1 cup of blueberries. If you wish, you may reserve some for the topping.
  4. Place all ingredients, except flour and blueberries, in the blender. When fully combined, stir in flour. Do not over-mix.
  5. Fold in the flour-coated blueberries.
  6. Pour into muffin cups and bake for 20+ minutes.

Yum. Let’s get baking!

PS: you need to slather these with almond butter. Please.

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Have a beautiful rest of the week, everyone ❤

Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

A couple of weeks ago, I realized that I had a massive can of pumpkin puree, an hour of free time, and a craving for a warm, squash-y baked treat.

Yes – I know it’s the middle of summer and August is on the horizon, but it’s never too late (or early?) for some pumpkin quick bread! Especially when chocolate chips are involved.

Yum! This recipe uses spelt flour, but you can easily substitute any of your favourite flours (AP, whole wheat, or a combination). I loved the addition of oats in here, and find it amazing that this recipe goes easy on the oil.

It’s worth buying some super high-quality chocolate chips for this one – you won’t regret it!

Also, I put mine in the freezer and they are as good as fresh after you microwave ’em.

Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cups flour (I used spelt)
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • scant 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large, separate bowl, beat together the eggs, honey, and oil on medium speed until combined. Add the milk and pumpkin and beat again until evenly combined. Add the dry ingredients, then gently stir them in by hand, just until combined. Do not over mix. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth the top, then sprinkle with oats and chocolate chips. Bake the loaf for 45 to 50 minutes. Place the pan on a cooling rack, then let the bread cool in the pan. Gently turn the loaf out onto the rack to cool completely.
  5. Store leftover pumpkin bread in an airtight container lined with paper towels for up to 4 days at room temperature or 7 days in the refrigerator. It can be frozen, wrapped tightly and placed in a ziptop bag, for up to 3 months.

 

Also, check out how cute and funny my mom is…

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I love making shopping lists.

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This meal was nice – roasted broccoli, baked salmon, couscous.

 

At aerials I learned how to do a meat hook!

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And that’s it for today. Only 10 days until I am back home in BC!

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 🙂

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 ¼ 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…

Satisfying Summer Stuff

Long time no talk blog! I feel bad because I haven’t even been busy – just kind of lazy. 🙂 But still productive… kind of.

Summer funnies: TAN lines, summer expectations vs. reality, more tan stuff, and relatable minions.

And… back to the food. A quesadilla that wouldn’t fold, topped with egg, broccoli, cheese, and salsa.

Cinnamon bun muffins were made and enjoyed. These paleo muffins were made with a whole cup of almond flour, maple syrup instead of sugar, and other goodies.

Any guesses what this is? Hmm…

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Fried eggs have been SO “in” recently. I love them with avocado toast and veggies.

Baked oatmeal with berries, yogurt, and nut butter. Chocolate baked oatmeal is so good.

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Pancakes that failed to flip, made with ricotta and oats, topped with smashed banana and nut butter.

My roomie took this photo, and all I can say is that this chocolate mug cake looks SEDUCTIVE. Is there another way to describe this photo?

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Pear baked oatmeal, using my normal banana baked oatmeal recipe but swapping mashed banana for a cubed pear. Yummy.

Roomie made tuna melts in her special tuna-melt panini press. These look so crispy and perfect!

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Pear pancakes were enjoyed another morning.

I also made fried rice one day! Egg on top, this time, rather than scrambled in.

And I baked chocolate banana brownie cake squares! They were freaking delicious, as usual. A little too yummy, because the three of us finished 16 servings in 2 days.

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Broccoli-cheddar frittata with buttered flax buns.

Baked garlic-herb salmon, potatoes, and veggies! I had seconds and thirds of this meal and ended up so full that I could barely stand. :O

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Baked banana oatmeal, which you’ve seen about 12093 times already.

Pear oats made on the stovetop with a side of yogurt, granola, and banana bread.

More pancakes, this time topped with banana and served with yummy yogurt and granola.

Lebanese food at Arabesque Cafe was enjoyed last night! I had the vegetarian plate which came with deep-fried zucchini, cauliflower, eggplant, and lots of hummus. The fried veggies were quite tasty, but too greasy. 😦

For dessert, the roomies and I enjoyed Menchie’s! I haven’t had Menchie’s before, but was so happy to see that they had crushed Reese’s PB cups and cubed cheesecake. OMG. I think I like frozen yogurt even MORE than ice cream because of the toppings.

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Mom’s cooking looks lovely, too… and she got a haircut! 🙂 I can’t wait to be back in BC next month.

Also, it’s been so nice outside recently so the UW Acro Yoga club has been meeting at Waterloo Park. These are some of the new poses that we tried, with the help of Google and these squishy blue mats that we couldn’t live without. Have you tried acro yoga before?

Above: counter balance and flying high bird

Acro is my favourite form of yoga and I think next year, I’d love to attend some acro workshops in Toronto and possibly get a certification in acro.

Above: floating paschi and flag pose

Check out these new pages on the blog:

ACRO YOGA

AERIAL SILKS

YOGA PHOTO JOURNAL


That’s it for today, everyone! Hope your weekend is AWESOME!

Trying New Things

Today’s post is gonna be short and sweet with minimal words and lots of pictures, because it’s 9:50 and I kind of want to leap into my bed and doze off. 🙂 You know those days… right?

Photos from Waterloo Park – a hike that I did with a nice friend who is PRO at spotting frogs and things.

Spent Monday morning at the hospital, where I realized too late that it was Victoria Day and Patient Registration (where I normally volunteer) was closed. It turned out well, though, because I ventured back to the paediatric unit where I used to visit patients – and found the SANDLOT (Seline’s first crush LOL) and played with a cute baby.

I also spent an hour on the aerial silks after a whole YEAR! It came back fairly quickly, and I learned this new move called the cross back straddle. It looks simple but is so. Freaking. Painful. In the waist/hip area!

Acro yoga has been a success so far! We practiced a couple times in Waterloo Park. These beginner poses are so much fun to explore, and quite safe because the flier is usually just a meter above the ground. 🙂

Mom’s cooking and baking. Looks delicious! Check out those super thick and fluffy cookies.

Sunrise –> sunset.

Tuna salad made with Greek yogurt and freshly-grated cheddar and steamed broccoli. Yummy lunch!

A totally new breakfast to me because I’m so addicted to oatmeal and pancakes – these eggy avocado quesadillas were also stuffed with cheese and salsa, then served with two kiwis, yogurt, and granola.

A mug cake that I made with applesauce and cane sugar.

Chocolate Chip Mug Cake

  • 1/4 cup spelt flour or white or Bob’s gf
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tbsp sugar of choice
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp milk of choice
  • 1/2 tbsp oil or more milk of choice
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp chocolate chips

If using an oven, preheat to 350F. In a small bowl, mix all dry ingredients. Now pour wet into dry, and stir until just evenly combined. Pour into a greased dish or mug. Or two 1/2-cup ramekins. If using the microwave, cook for 1 minute 20 seconds (Microwave times will vary depending on wattage). Or cook in the oven for around 14-15 minutes. Let cool before trying to pop out.

The most random dinner I’ve ever made – a can of tuna, boiled baby potatoes, sautéed mushrooms, and spinach with cheddar and a creamy sauce. So tasty, though!

Another mug cake:

Fat-free chocolate mug cake
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup (will increase to 2 tbsp next time)
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp almond meal
  • 2 tbsp almond milk
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened apple sauce

Microwave 2 minutes.

Roomie said that this was “not the thing to make if you’re craving chocolate cake. But good for people with grain allergies.” He claimed it wasn’t very sweet and needed chocolate chips mixed in, which I totally agree with.

Perfect avocados make perfect sandwiches. Looks like a breakfast, but it was actually a tasty and messy lunch.

Peanut butter baked oatmeal was one of my favourite breakfasts of the week. This was SO good! Tastes like a cookie, I promise.

Peanut Butter Cookie Baked Oatmeal
Serves 1
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tbsp. peanut butter
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup or honey

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a small ramekin.
  2. Whisk all ingredients together well. If you’d like to add any extra ingredients (coconut oil, dried fruit, nuts, sunflower seeds), do so now.
  3. Pour into the prepared ramekin. Bake for 18-22 minutes.
  4. Immediately after taking it out of the oven, make the signature crisscross pattern on top using a knife.

Mishmash of grains and veggies and mashed squash to make “risotto”, topped with pine nuts and nutritional yeast.

I told you, it was so good! I had to repeat.

Dinner at Cafe 22 after aerial silks one evening. This one-woman-night-out really hit the spot. It was nice to have a tasty lunch-like dinner, a milky hazelnut steamer, and some time with my yoga readings.

Yes, avocados were cheap this week.

And I had kabocha, which you’ve seen in lots of pictures already.

Hey foodies, have you ever tried making kabocha pancakes? I mashed it up with the skin and whisked it up with two eggs to make these p-cakes.

More grains, more fish, more kabocha.

An interesting mix of things for breakfast one day 🙂

More fish, more grains. Oh my, I am predictable.

Tried to make a banana swirly rose thing, which didn’t turn out as planned. Still super tasty, though. Sometimes the simplest foods are the most delicious.

Thank you, Past Cindy, for making this lasagna. Thank you, freezer, for keeping this yummy square fresh.

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Baked oats… my love.

An interesting coconut flour chocolate cake. Anyone want the recipe? 😀 It was a little mousse-like and had that black forest cake flavour.

Peanut noodles! Delicious.

Oatmeal. Delicious x2.

Salmon fishcakes! Yum, yum. Also a plum clafoutis that I made out of coconut milk and coconut flour. It was insanely vanilla-y and had the right amount of sweetness. Plus, I freaking love these fishcakes.

Simple Salmon Patties

Makes 6 patties, serves 3
Ingredients
  • 1 can salmon, drained
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • salt
  • freshly-ground black pepper
  • cayenne pepper
  • paprika
  • garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup flour, or as needed to hold patties together
  • 2 tbsp. oil (I used avocado oil)
Instructions
  1. Mash salmon and whisk in eggs. Add green onions, seasonings, Dijon mustard, and lemon juice.
  2. Stir in flour, until batter is thick enough to roughly shape.
  3. Heat oil over medium heat. Plop patties into oil and fry each side for around 5 minutes, until crispy and golden brown.
  4. Serve and enjoy.

Plum Clafoutis

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • Coconut oil for greasing
  • 1/2 ripe plum, sliced
  • 2/3 oz ground almonds
  • 1 tsp coconut flour
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 3 oz coconut milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
  2. Grease a round dish with coconut oil.
  3. Whisk all ingredients by hand in a bowl.
  4. Pour batter into prepared dish. Arrange plums, cut side up, on top.
  5. Bake 15 minutes until risen and golden brown. Serve hot, warm, or cold.

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And a mess in the kitchen.

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More oats! Yay.

Gelato one afternoon – peanut butter chocolate and maple cookie. Best flavours in the world. Repeat after me: I love gelato. I love gelato. I love gelato.

Beautiful afternoon at the park with friends! Victoria Park is gorgeous. Emily and Mary live in Kitchener, so they don’t technically go “home” for the summer. Well, they are home. Lucky! We spent an afternoon together before Mary got her wisdom teeth out. 😀

That’s it! Have a great rest of the week 🙂