Study Motivation: Finding Joy in Little Things

10 Ways to Find Happiness While Studying

  1. Great-smelling candles or lotions
  2. Notebooks (I just typed nootbokes?) that are cute, colourful, sleek, modern, or whatever YOUR aesthetic is.
  3. An open window
  4. Simple snacks like fruit, nut butter, and yogurt
  5. Finding the right time of day to study. I love mornings, but I might be in the minority with that one!
  6. An energetic study buddy
  7. Big, beautiful study tables or calendars
  8. Essential oils like peppermint or citrus for energy
  9. Plants or some kind of greenery
  10. Relaxing music in the background. I always turn to Celtic music.

Speaking of academics, my sister recently received a $750 award for writing a great essay. She attended a brunch and conference to receive the award.

Meanwhile, I made an enchilada casserole! This was made with green chili sauce, lots of onion and garlic, roasted sweet potato (the best part) and delicious yellow corn tortillas. Broccoli and salsa on the side.

Another day I made a random dinner with couscous, a fried egg, salad with honey mustard dressing and nutritional yeast, and fried garlic broccoli. So good.

Friday afternoon is my Princess Cafe day. On Friday, I had the most delicious panini filled with roasted sweet potato, Sriracha mayo, spinach, black bean salsa, and lots of gooey cheddar cheese. The multigrain bun was perfectly crispy and tasted incredible next to broccoli-potato soup.

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Busy week ahead – happy Monday, everyone!

PB Mug Cakes, Yoga, and a Disappointing Cafe Experience

Happy new week, everyone!

I’m starting to fall in love with yoga the more and more I do it! I’ve been going to hot yoga every day since final exams ended and doing a teeny bit of practice by myself in the kitchen. Do you like yoga? What are some of your favourite poses? To you, is yoga more emotional, spiritual, or physical?

One afternoon I took a nice walk around Victoria Park in Kitchener. It’s been a while since I’ve seen rippling lakes and green grass!

Tea latte at Café 22, one of my favourite places in Uptown Waterloo. This was their small London Fog latte, which I highly recommend. So good. And I actually want one right now.

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We recently moved our dining table next to the window, so I get to look out the window and at my laptop while I eat. 🙂 Also, Arsalan (roomie’s BF) came home from Japan recently! He was so kind to give me two beautiful handmade ceramic teacups. Aren’t they pretty? Do you like handmade utensils or kitchenware?

I’ve also been volunteering at the Research Institute of Aging, where Professor Heather Keller, my nutrition professor, leads a team of students to create healthy recipes for seniors. Turns out a MASSIVE percentage of seniors in long-term care homes are malnourished, whether it’s because they don’t like the food, they don’t have an appetite, or they aren’t enjoying the mealtime experience.

Bloggers, I could use your help! Let’s brainstorm some ideas for recipes that are…

  1. Not labour-intensive: it needs to be easy for cooks to prepare
  2. Can be made in bulk
  3. Can be refrigerated or frozen
  4. Not expensive: we have nearly $8 PER DAY, PER PERSON, so that rules out coconut flour, quinoa, etc.
  5. “Traditional”: sorry, no hipster things like green juice, kombucha, kale, etc.
  6. Nut-free, because of allergies
  7. High in nutrients! For example, sweet potatoes instead of regular white potatoes
  8. Easy to chew and swallow: this rules out things like sticky date balls, crunchy nut clusters, etc.

Tricky, right? What are some of your ideas?

PS: our first idea was avocado pudding, but turns out one serving is 3 avocados, which is $9 in total. :O That idea had to be trashed, unfortunately.

Salmon fishcakes! They were simple: 2 eggs, 1 can salmon, and a bunch of spices.

When I didn’t have any baked goods for dessert, I just melted some chocolate and ate it with strawberries for a makeshift fondue.

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Vegan butternut squash pasta with a nutritional yeast sauce and spinach. I actually quite liked this, despite my LOVE for real, creamy cheese.

I bought some [expensive!] strawberries and they didn’t taste that good. 😦

More pasta, this time with brown butter and sage! Idea from a special commenter 🙂

Baked oatmeal…

… enjoyed two days in a row.

Went to My Thai, a restaurant in Uptown Waterloo, with the roomies one day! Arsalan enjoyed vegan pad thai.

Madhulika and I enjoyed the amazing emerald curry with coconut sticky rice.

We shared banana spring rolls for dessert with vanilla ice cream! What a great end to the meal.

Leftover curry sauce turned into a delicious vegetable stir-fry the next day.

And then there was STILL leftover curry sauce, which became vegetable noodles! I was uncomfortably full after this. It doesn’t look like much, but I was stuffed!

Yeah, yeah… more pasta.

I don’t even have the effort to explain how good this was. Please make this.

Best-Ever Peanut Butter Mug Cake

  • 2 tbsp. spelt flour (or all-purpose)
  • 2 tbsp. peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp. almond milk
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • sprinkle cinnamon (optional)
Whisk together and microwave for 60 to 80 seconds.

This was one of my favourite meals of the week: quinoa with sweet potato, carrots, zucchini, spinach, roasted red peppers, and avocado on top with cayenne pepper and lemon juice. It was surprisingly filling!

More baked oats. Attractive, I know.

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Thoughts on warm salads? I used the last of my goat cheese here. So yummy!

Coconut and pineapple Thai-style fried rice was devoured another day. Seared tofu makes it really satiating, while pineapple provides a punch of flavour.

Roasted and shredded salmon on top of baked broccoli and yukon gold potatoes. They were all tossed with couscous and served with avocado and goat cheese. YUM!

And a simple oatmeal topped with a makeshift “crumble”, which was almond and coconut flour with nut butter, maple syrup, and some coconut oil.

More of the same 🙂

Spicy coconut-peanut noodles with tofu and shredded carrots and zucchini, and seared tofu.

I usually make two servings of whatever I have, so that a) it’s easier to make b) I’ll have another meal the next day.

These are some recent Mom meals: banana muffins, shrimp and chicken pasta, and some Chinese dishes. She also went on a cookie-baking rampage the other day and whipped up a whole table’s worth of COOKIES! What are your favourite dishes cooked by Mom? You know, the ones that simply cannot be replicated?!

This morning I took the bus to Pure Kitchen and Juice Bar after volunteering at the Grand River Hospital. I do patient registration, which is fun until there are 20 people in line, with two “Pats”, a “Jon” and a “Ron” and a “Don”, and a “Kryzhchevish”. My job is to take everyone’s name, record some health information, and call them up when their appointments are ready.

Anyways!

Pure Kitchen is located in the heart of downtown Kitchener. I had REALLY been looking forward to it for a long time, and when I got there, I was even more excited!

For my lunch, I decided on the small grain bowl, which came with brown rice, oven-roasted chicken, roasted sweet potato, chickpeas, spinach, sprouts (literally THREE sprouts, not satisfied), raw seeds, roasted mushrooms, and a spiced cranberry vinaigrette. Am I the only person who doesn’t like cold chicken? How do you guys feel about it?

Disappointment #1: For around the same price, you can have all of the ingredients placed into a whole wheat wrap. I asked for that option, grilled, but they were out of wraps. Um, you are a sandwich + soup cafe. You serve wraps. It’s 12:00, noon – how can you be out of wraps?

Disappointment #2: I asked for the meal to be served in a bowl, but they told me that they only provide these wasteful cardboard-paper box things.

Disappointment #3: Three sprouts in here.

Disappointment #4: Why was this cold? In fact, it was almost freezing. If the menu states “roasted chicken” and “roasted mushrooms” as well as “roasted sweet potato”, customers would assume that they are hot, or at least warm, right?!

Disappointment #5: Four massive leaves of spinach. Massive.

On the bright side, the rice was really good.

These were on the table for samplers, and they weren’t terrible. The green juice was a little bitter, and the granola was sticky, too chewy, and topped with a brown pineapple sorbet thing that never melted. I wouldn’t buy any of these.

I also ordered the Feel Good smoothie, which was made with maca, cacao, banana, almond butter, and almond milk. Sounds amazing, right?

WRONG. The $8 smoothie tasted “burned”. I have no other way of describing it. I couldn’t detect a hint of banana, almond butter, creamy almond milk, or even chocolate. The only flavour I could describe was a BURNED flavour.

Disappointment #where are we… oh #6: The smoothie tasted like a scorched tree branch or piece of firewood that had been blended with a scoop of ice.

I asked for the smoothie to be re-made after having half of it, and the lady did re-make it for me, this time it was so icy and not fully blended.

Disappointment #7: Smoothie #2 was 90% unblended ice.

The best part of the meal was the almond croissant that I enjoyed for dessert. It was truly amazing and almost redeeming. Have you ever had a croissant for dessert? Slightly heated up?! Oh my goodness, it’s gold.

On a totally different note…

How do you guys feel about running? If you’re a runner, what motivates you (ie. what do you THINK about when running?) If you aren’t a runner, what are some of your favourite ways to squeeze in some cardio?

Also, do you have to race to be a runner?

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Alright, that’s it for today! It’s 9:17 PM and I feel like I just ate dinner. Which, I kind of did. I always feel a little guilty for eating dinner after 8:00 PM, but unfortunately, I have commitments, I have things to do, and sometimes, it just isn’t realistic to have a beautifully-made dinner fresh on the table at 6.

Today, it was a lasagna that went from freezer to microwave at 8:30 PM because I got stranded at Goodlife Fitness because it started pouring (and thunderstorm-ing). 😦

Do you feel guilty when you end up eating later? Is there a certain time that you don’t “allow” yourself to eat? Back at home in BC, my mom was ADAMANT that after 6:30, no food allowed. For 18 years of my life, as soon as the clock ticked 6:31, it was “too late to eat”. This mentality really stuck with me and caused eating problems in my life. Thoughts?

PS: I just found out that I can click on all the tags that I want to add to this – I just added about 999 tags to this post, haha! 😀

Sweet Potato Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

Am I the only person who’s never had a real, authentic shepherd’s pie?

Last week, I figured that had to change, so I gave Pure Ella’s recipe a shot, but tweaked the amounts to serve three. My friend Mary saw me devouring sweet potatoes at lunch one day when she told me about this recipe that she made for her family at home (they strive for a mostly plant-based, whole foods diet).

Once she gave me the link, I knew I had to try this recipe ASAP!

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Some sweet potatoes were boiled and mashed, and the “stew” part cooked up in a snap. I baked it in my roommate’s casserole dish and had enough for three meals! This was surprisingly filling, comforting, and oh-so-good. I topped it with scallions one day, black pepper another, and parmesan cheese on the last day.

Now, what should I do with the rest of the celery stalk? What are your favourite recipes that involve celery? I’m desperate to use it all up! 🙂

Sweet Potato Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

{HEALTHY, VEGAN AND GLUTEN FREE RECIPE}

Serves 3

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 medium-large sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/2 cup sweet peas (frozen are fine)
  • 1/2 cup frozen organic corn
  • 1 large can of lentils (or 1 cup dried lentils, cooked: I cooked and drained 1 cup of red lentils)
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce (mine was low-sodium)
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • grapeseed oil for cooking
  • 2-3 sprigs of green onions for serving
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Peel and cut the potatoes into chunks (so they cook faster). Heat water in a large pot, and cook the potatoes in salted water.
  2. In a large pan, saute the chopped onions and carrots and cook until golden. Add the frozen peas and corn and cooked lentils and cover to cook for a few minutes. Add a bit of water if these veggies start to stick to the bottom of the pan. Add in the soy sauce, and season with salt and pepper. Keep covered, turn down the heat to low.
  3. Your potatoes should be boiled by now, drain and mash them with a potato masher. Taste and season with salt and pepper. You can add some milk for mashing.
  4. Scoop the lentil veggies mixture on the bottom of an oven-safe dish or ramekins (for individual sizes) and top with the mashed potatoes. Cover and bake in a preheated oven at 350F for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Washing and chopping the veggies was the only time-consuming part – after popping the dish into the oven, you’re good to go!

Yum.

PS: Jack at Jack’s Balancing Act has a wonderful lentil sweet potato shepherd’s pie recipe as well! She also suggests freezing a couple portions, which is a brilliant idea. 🙂

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Enjoy!

Meals from… February?

Yep, these meals are from over half a year ago! I’ve just never had the chance to share them with you all. Here they are now… better late than never, right? 🙂

In other news, today I had an awesome day that started with berry cheesecake oatmeal! It was made with homemade coconut sugar, almond milk, chia seeds, with quark stirred in. I topped it with fresh blueberries, blackberries, and crumbled lemon-ginger blueberry scone from the farmer’s market. It was DELICIOUS! I will definitely write up the recipe for you guys soon. Brekkie was followed by a circuit class, spin class, then a Zumba class with my good friends Jia and Faye. Lunch was scrambled vegetable eggs with more scone nibbles and some banana + PB. After some errands, I had a 1.5 hour driving class, then cooked a divine dinner – Greek quinoa salad with spinach and beets, topped with grilled salmon, avocado, and feta cheese. With a scoop of tzatziki, it was a dreamy dish. 🙂

Then I had dessert. Of course. A 100-calorie frozen –> thawed mini banana spelt muffin. Smeared with peanut butter. YUM! After I finish this post, Mom and I are going to go for a walk around the lake, and then I’ll do some scrapbooking before going to bed.


Quinoa topped with stir-fried vegetables and sesame seeds, pumpkin soup with spinach and chicken thighs/drumsticks

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Plain banana pancakes topped with maple syrup and peanut butter // cocoa-banana oatmeal with peanut butter blob

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Bok choy fried rice with winter melon and krill stew, shrimp scrambled eggs with tomato and scallions

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Quinoa, corn, and spinach stir-fry topped with feta, roasted brussels sprouts and cauliflower, roasted sweet potato

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Elbow macaroni with fried garlic, spinach, zucchini, onions, mushrooms, and parmesan cheese

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Triple the oatmeal, triple the yumminess: cocoa topped with chocolate banana muffin, pumpkin peanut butter with chocolate muffin, pumpkin with chocolate chips and sunflower butter with maple syrup

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Bow-tie pasta with creamy cheddar sauce, spinach, mushrooms, onions, and parmesan cheese, Caesar salad with croutons and homemade dressing

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Scrambled eggs with zucchini, spinach, mushrooms, and onions, sharp white cheddar

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Crackers with egg salad and kiwi // guacamole, multigrain crackers, cheddar chunks

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Angel hair pasta with spicy tomato sauce, spinach, mushrooms, zucchini, roasted peppers, onions, mushrooms, and grilled shrimp with parmesan cheese

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Creamy banana chia oatmeal with banana muffin and chocolate chips

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Spinach scrambled eggs, cheddar

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Pumpkin pancakes, chocolate chips, and maple syrup // leftovers

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Pumpkin oatmeal pancakes with peanut butter and chocolate chips // cocoa-banana oatmeal with black bean brownie crumbled on top, peanut butter

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More pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes with peanut butter // leftover batter cooked as a big omelet with maple syrup

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Green smoothie!

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My favourite-ever fried rice: Thai style! With egg, frozen peas, onions and scallions, ginger and garlic, shrimp, soy sauce, coconut milk. and sesame seeds on top

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Toasted cranberry breakfast pita, scrambled eggs with organic ketchup

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Bok choy fried rice with strips of beef, steamed broccoli with scallion oil, roasted sweet potatoes

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Mushrooms in fried rice are SO good. Have you tried adding mushrooms to fried rice?

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Looks like a well-balanced meal to me 🙂

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Naan bread with egg, spinach, and cheese

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French toast topped with raspberries, hemp hearts, and maple syrup

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My beautiful Mom 🙂

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Sprout and scallion stir-fry, jasmine rice, onion, carrot and beef stir-fry, steamed fish topped with scallions and canola oil ( 😦 )

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Delicious chocolate-banana oatmeal topped with pumpkin muffin, almond butter, shredded coconut

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More addictive naan bread + egg “grilled cheese” sandwiches. With a side of homework!

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That’s all I have to share with you all today!

Today was awesome and tomorrow’s going to be pretty great as well. Yoga at 6:00 AM, breakfast, then a doctor’s appointment at 9:30. I have a really itchy red patch on my neck, and I think it’s mild eczema. It’s not painful or anything, just irritating and not the prettiest! Mom and I are going to shop a bit at the Pomme, an organic food store beside the doctor’s. In the afternoon, my sister and I are doing a gym fitness orientation so we can use the facility for free. 🙂

Hope you all had an excellent start to the week as well, and all the best for the lovely summer days to come!

Tuesday Coast Post: Muffins Galore and Mushroom Ice Cream

I’m writing this as I eat peanut butter blondies – just had my SIXTH one of the day! Yes, they are THAT good. And now I’m feeling a little guilty, as they are quite rich in calories… at least I did a spin class today? I can just never control myself around healthy, homemade baked goods, especially if they contain my two favourite ingredients: peanut butter and chocolate. Darn!

So here’s my second post in my Sunshine Coast vacation series – you can read the first post (Monday) here. Moving on! On Tuesday morning, I woke up at about 7:30. After cleaning, washing, and changing, I quickly published my prom blog post. Then, at around 8:10, Dad drove me into Sechelt to buy muffins from the famous The Bakery, a coffee shop and bakery known for their incredible muffins and scones.

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On the way, we passed a health food store, Bayview Szechuan Restaurant, and the Golden City Chinese Restaurant. Here’s the Bakery! It was a half hour drive into Sechelt. We also went to the gas station and McDonalds to buy breakfast sandwiches for Dad and Seline. Can you believe they don’t like sweet baked goods in the morning?!

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Here is the Bakery! We didn’t get here until after 9:00. I was starting to get hungry!

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The bakery smelled so yummy, and I was just DYING to try everything – but Dad let me settle on five muffins. Yes, five! But in my defence, I shared with Mom and had some the next day. I was disappointed with the service – the woman at the counter, who was in her late teens or early twenties, was very impatient. Despite the fact that there was no one in line after me, she had such a bored and irritated expression and tone of voice. 😦 For such a sweet coffee shop, you’d expect kind and enthusiastic servers!

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Back to the muffins! We didn’t get home until 9:40, and by then, I was very hungry!

Clockwise from top: Lemon poppyseed muffin, raspberry mango oatmeal muffin, gluten-free apple cinnamon muffin, savoury scone with cheese and sun-dried tomatoes, blueberry scone

Smile, Mom! We dined outside, in our little table on the patio/balcony. I loved eating al fresco because of the lovely bird chirping, warm and gentle wind, and sunshine. We also had quite the view from the resort! I could see the entire marina and most of Madeira Park. It was incredible.

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The muffins were incredible, too! Mom really enjoyed both of the scones. Out of the five, the two scones were her top two favourites. In contrast, I didn’t like the scones as much as the muffins – I rated these as my two least favourite of the five. I wish the savoury scone had some bigger, cheesier chunks, and the blueberry scone had more blueberries. But both had crumbly, buttery textures that are ideal for scones.

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The lemon poppyseed muffin and the raspberry mango oatmeal muffin were my personal favourites – 1st and 2nd place in my book! While Mom enjoyed the lemon poppyseed muffin (she gave it 3rd place), the raspberry mango oatmeal muffin was her least favourite. She said it had too much “filler”, being the raspberries, mango, and oats, but that’s what I enjoyed about it. This muffin would be perfect on a bowl of creamy oatmeal. The lemon poppyseed muffin had great flavour and was much more buttery. It crumbled easily and had the yummiest muffin top!

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The gluten-free apple cinnamon muffin was very unique as well. It didn’t seem gluten-free, but once I knew, I could tell. I’m guessing it contained rice flour and some sort of gum to hold it together. Mom and I both found this muffin okay, but nothing special. I was hoping for some big, tender chunks of apple and a stronger cinnamon flavour. This muffin top was delicious, though, sprinkled with some sort of raw sugar that caramelized when baking.

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The results of our baked goods taste test?

MOM

  1. Blueberry scone
  2. Savoury scone
  3. Lemon Poppyseed muffin
  4. GF Apple Cinnamon muffin
  5. Raspberry Mango Oatmeal muffin

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ME

  1. Raspberry Mango Oatmeal muffin
  2. Lemon Poppyseed muffin
  3. GF Apple Cinnamon muffin
  4. Blueberry scone
  5. Savoury scone

The two muffins below were my favourites! I deem these even better than Whole Foods’ muffins. 🙂 They were even better than just as good as homemade muffins.

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After an hour of kayaking, getting soaked, and taking a quick shower, we headed back down to the marina for lunch. Our resort, the Painted Boat Resort, had it’s own restaurant downstairs.

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Again, we had a beautiful view of Pender Bay, and on the other side, Madeira Park. Being about 1:00, there were surprisingly few people at the Restaurant.

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To start, we had the crispy chicken wings. They were gluten-free and made with a rice flour and cornmeal crust, with a red pepper dip. Dad and Seline thought this appetizer was very unique, and I couldn’t agree more! Chef Steve Boudreau told us that it took him two months to create and perfect. I believe him! Even though I’m not a chicken wings girl, I’m sure they were scrumptious from the way my family raved about these guys.

The calamari, which was served with tzatziki sauce, had a light crust and minimal oil. Mom liked how fresh the seafood was.

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Funny story! I checked the Restaurant’s menu online the day before coming and was SO excited to order their flatbread with arugula, herb pesto, smoked ricotta, and mushrooms. However, it wasn’t on the menu the next day. I asked the waitress, and she invited the chef out onto the patio to speak with us! I told him about how I’d been looking forward to trying the flatbread, and he insisted on making a custom flatbread for us – with any toppings we desired! While they didn’t have smoked ricotta cheese, he made this wonderful flatbread for us – starring regular ricotta, sprouts, and sweet grilled corn. This was delicious – I especially loved the handmade crust.

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Flatbread with roasted wild mushrooms, roasted garlic, sliced beets, sprouts, roasted corn, ricotta cheese

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Mom and I ordered seafood dishes – pasta for her, salad for me. Both were very, very yummy and featured house-smoked salmon. I love how the salmon came in chunks, rather than slices. My salad was very fresh, and the creme fraiche went well with the smoky fish. Mom’s linguini was rich and creamy, contrasting the sharp flavour of the fresh seafood. Both were plated beautifully, and I thought the portions were just right. I devoured my salad and ate lots of Mom’s noodles. Yum!

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SEAFOOD LINGUINI
Local seafood in white wine & fennel cream sauce, fresh herbs & lemon

HOUSE-SMOKED BC SALMON
Roasted beets, frisee salad, crème fraiche, chives, toasted almonds

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Dad and Seline ordered the beef burger and the fish tacos, respectively. Seline thought her tacos were just okay. It was kind of out of character for her to order fish tacos (she’s more of a burger // fish and chips gal). Seline wouldn’t order the tacos again, but ate most of her entree. Dad’s burger was enormous! He asked for bacon to be added and had a hard time devouring this sandwich because it was so, so thick. Both Dad and Seline enjoyed the crispy fries, though they thought the fries were quite normal. Dad was stuffed after his burger. It really was huge!

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FISH TACO
Ocean Wise cod, herb vinaigrette, fennel & onion slaw, avocado

PENDER BEEF BURGER
Tomato, lettuce, red wine onions, served with salad or cut fries

Time for dessert! I really, really, really wanted to order one, or even both, of these. I found them in the online menu and had been looking forward to trying them for ages! Don’t they sound delicious? Brown butter pecan crumble on blueberry cheesecake? Vanilla + strawberries with nutty praline on sweet chocolate mousse? YES! Unfortunately, both of them were temporarily off the menu.

  • CHEESECAKE MASON JAR – Blueberry compote, brown butter pecan crumble
  • WHITE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE – Toasted almond praline, vanilla macerated strawberry

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Chef came out again after we finished our entrees, and recommended the chocolate terrine and mushroom ice cream. The chocolate terrine, he described, was like a mix between a fudge and a dense cake, with the texture and flavour of a brownie – all topped with fresh maple sugar from Quebec. That sounded good, but… mushroom ice cream? We were a little bit skeptical – until he confidently told us, “if you don’t like it, you won’t pay for it.” SOLD!

GLUTEN FREE CHOCOLATE TERRINE – Fresh berries, maple sugar

CANDY CAP MUSHROOM ICE CREAM – “A mushroom festival favourite”

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The verdict? The chocolate terrine was super yummy. Creamy, chocolatey, but not overly sweet. It reminded me of a flourless brownie, with a smoother texture and less “crusty”. It was similar to a rich, dense cake, but not mousse-like at all. The maple sugar went well with the cake, and I loved the sour contrast of the berries and compote. There were also little blobs of cream (I’m guessing it was Greek yogurt, as it was quite sour) that I liked dipping the bites of chocolate into.

As for the mushroom ice cream – WHOA. It was GOOD! I took the first bite, with my family goggling at me, trying to read my expression. The ice cream was so yummy! It had a unique flavour, though not mushroom-like at all. It reminded me somewhat of butterscotch, vanilla, and caramel, with notes of caramelized maple syrup. If you didn’t tell me that it was made of mushrooms, I would have never, EVER guessed. The ice cream, along with the terrine, berries, and cream, were devoured in seconds. What a delicious lunch and dessert!

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After hobbling back to our resort (we were STUFFED!), we rested and did some research. Though our appetites didn’t fully come back by dinnertime, we couldn’t resist sushi takeout!

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Sushi Bar 5517 in Sechelt has great reviews. People claim it is one of the best sushi restaurants in the Sunshine Coast.

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I called in the car right after leaving the resort, so they’d have half an hour to prepare everything by the time we arrived. I was shocked, when we got there, to find that they were STILL working on it! We waited for another ten minutes before finally paying and bringing our sushi back into the car. They made this so slowly and carefully! But in their defence, there were only two sushi chefs and quite a few customers.

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The restaurant itself was loud, a bit crowded (just a narrow space) and surprisingly warm. You’d expect a sushi place to be cool, maybe even breezy, but Sushi 5517 was almost humid! Yeah, it was about 35 degrees outside, but still. Dad said the fish might go bad because it was so warm inside. They did have some fans, though. Why not any air conditioning?

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Going from left to right in the photo above:

Cast Away Roll: avocado, cucumber, radish, carrot with spicy mayo inside, topped with real crab, popcorn shrimp, crunch, tobacco, sweet spicy mayo, BBQ sauce, House sauce

Mango Roll: prawn tempura, scallop, salmon, avocado, mango with soy sheet inside, topped with sweet spicy mayo, mango sauce

California Roll

Lobster Roll: lobster, tempura, avocado, cucumber, crab, with BBQ sauce

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The mango roll was my favourite, followed by the Cast Away roll and the lobster roll. I saved the California rolls for Seline. To be honest, the rolls were nothing special. I’d say they were definitely better than Sushi Garden, Nao Sushi remains my favourite sushi place (I haven’t been to many, obviously!), and I think this is partly because we had to wait half an hour before digging in. By then, the tempura wasn’t as crispy as it should’ve been, and everything became slightly room-temp/warm after sitting in the car. Aw man!

That’s it for today, everyone!


Totally irrelevant but today I totally overate. Mom and I made stuffed sole with dungeness crab and roasted garlic + white cheddar mashed potatoes, with a béchamel sauce on top. Served with quinoa and garlicky sautéed Chinese greens, I loved every bite of my dinner and went back for seconds, thirds, and then FOURTHS. After that, I had FOUR, yep, FOUR squares of chickpea blondies made with peanut butter and chocolate chips. I should’ve had one plate of dinner and then one or two blondies, but I couldn’t control myself. I am now super, super full. 😦 So much for intuitive eating tonight!

On another note, my sister and I will be selling homemade goodies at the farmer’s market next week. Here are some of the ideas we have!

  • labels
  • cards
  • coasters
  • baked goods
  • frames
  • quote cards
  • quilling
  • zipper pouch
  • envelopes
  • folders
  • bookmarks (flowers? quotes?)
  • mobile
  • organizer
  • plant placards
  • pincushion
  • oatmeal recipe cards
  • salad topping cards

I don’t really have much else to say, but I’m glad it’s Sunday night. I love Mondays and how they are a new start to the day.

A new start, a new beginning, a new perspective, and new opportunities – I love new weeks! 🙂

Meals of May and June

BREAKFASTS

Pumpkin pancakes topped with berries, hemp hearts, and maple syrup

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Leftovers before yoga class, topped with more of the same 🙂

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Oatmeal with crumbled date-nut muffin, berries, and hemp hearts

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French toast (light before yoga class), topped with nectarine and hemp hearts. Plus a drizzle of maple 🙂

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Egg + banana pancake with berries and banana, and a handful of chocolate chips, hemp hearts, and maple syrup

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More oatmeal with berries, crumbled date-nut muffin, hemp hearts

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And more pumpkin pancakes. This time with just blueberries, blackberries, maple and hemp hearts

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Pumpkin oatmeal topped with crumbled banana muffin, sliced banana, berries and hemp hearts

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Buttermilk (lemon juice + almond milk) pancakes with hemp hearts, raspberries, maple syrup

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LUNCHES

Pesto souffle omelet with spinach and brie, whole wheat toast

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This brie, from the farmer’s market, melts like a dream!

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More omelet – this time with cheddar!

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Mexican quinoa bowl with black beans and corn, avocado, salsa, and white cheddar

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Omelet with spinach, smoked salmon, and avocado with whole wheat toast

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Whole wheat toast topped with mashed avocado, scrambled egg, smoked salmon, with lemon juice and S+P

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Scrambled spinach eggs on toast smeared with mashed avocado

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Vegetable sticks, cherries, multigrain crackers topped with Laughing Cow cream cheese and smoked salmon with black pepper // Asiago Pepper scone from the farmer’s market

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Spinach and cheddar omelet with Asiago Pepper scone!

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Very oddly creamy scrambled eggs on whole wheat toast, black pepper

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Souffle omelet with cheddar and chopped leftover roasted broccoli

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Mexican stir-fry with chopped peppers, scallions, white cheddar and chopped avocado, salsa stirred in // grapes

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Spinach and brie omelet with sliced avocado on top

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DINNERS

Steamed edamame, taro + chicken breast stir-fry, mixed vegetables, tofu in Thai green coconut curry sauce

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Seconds! This time with brown rice.

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Dinner at Whole Foods: pasta salad, quinoa salad, veggies with dressing, beans, rice, cheese, etc. // Mom’s container of oranges, kiwi, and chopped apple

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Coconut curry with chickpeas, chicken breast, spinach, cauliflower on brown rice

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Quinoa with curried vegetables (above), maple-soy salmon, cabbage stir-fry, onion and carrot stir-fry

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Roasted whole carrots // quinoa mixed with curried eggplant, edamame, spinach, chickpeas, and chicken breast {leftovers}

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Party dinner: braised carrots with noodles, roasted vegetables, quinoa salad, pasta with smoked salmon and scallions

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Baby quinoa frittatas (made in muffin tin) with smoked salmon, cheddar, shredded zucchini // steamed broccoli with yam and chipotle hummus

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Salmon and egg fried rice with bok choy and frozen mixed vegetables

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Quinoa mixed with stewed tomatoes, fried egg, chopped pearl meatballs, roasted vegetables

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Pan-fried mackerel, quinoa, cabbage stew, corn and scallion sauté

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Roasted broccoli topped with a fried egg, parmesan cheese

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Roasted vegetables on quinoa with guacamole

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Leftover salmon fried rice with roasted vegetables

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Curried chickpeas with spinach, brown rice, winter melon stew with krill, cauliflower

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Curried chickpeas, zucchini, broccoli

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Quinoa with tomatoes and eggs, roasted carrots

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Turkey bolognese sauce mixed with quinoa, sliced kale, and peppers, topped with aged gouda

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SNACKS and STUFF

Multigrain crackers, brie, peach

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Farmer’s market haul: gouda, strawberries, yam and chipotle hummus

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Frozen banana “ice cream” with cocoa powder, topped with hemp hearts

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Chopped cucumbers, roasted red pepper hummus topped with black pepper, multigrain crackers

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