My Cooking Staples

ALWAYS IN MY FRIDGE: yogurt, eggs, cheese

STAPLE ALWAYS ON HAND: oats, quinoa, cocoa powder, nut butter

MUST-HAVE MUNCHIES: homemade granola or some other quickbread/brownie

GO-TO PROTEINS: eggs, tofu, beans, nuts and nut butter

FAVE CONDIMENTS: salsa, pesto, garlic aioli, Dijon mustard

DAIRY FAVOURITE: old cheddar, fontina

MUST-HAVE PANTRY STAPLES: oats, dry pasta, nut butter

SWEETS AND OTHER INDULGENCES: chocolate, coconut cookies

FAVE VEGGIES AND WHAT YOU MAKE WITH IT: spinach in spinach scrambled eggs, any kind of vegetable in a creamy coconut Thai curry, and broccoli in broccoli-cheddar quinoa casserole

SIMPLE GO-TO RECIPE: smashed avocado on toast with 2 scrambled eggs, spinach, and cheddar

ALWAYS IN MY FRIDGE: nut butter and yogurt

INGREDIENT THAT MAKES EVERYTHING TASTE BETTER: butter, salt (even in sweet recipes), cinnamon, freshly-ground black pepper, GARLIC

LAST-MINUTE ENTERTAINING: crackers and brie

BEST SHOPPING TIPS: create a meal map before grocery shopping, listing the meals you’d like to try and ingredients you’ll need.

FAVOURITE PLACES TO SHOP: farmer’s markets and specialty grocery stores

BEST BARGAIN: frozen peas, shrimp (okay, anything frozen) in bulk from Costco

CRAZIEST THING TO BUY: I occasionally buy real vanilla beans, which are luxurious and so amazing. Truffle salt, maybe!

IN MY SHOPPING BAG: Today? Maybe some pretzels because I’m craving those!

The Flying Foodie Kitchen

Welcome to the Flying Foodie Kitchen!

Pantry

  • Avocado oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Low-sodium chicken broth
  • Canned chickpeas
  • Canned black beans
  • Canned pineapple tidbits
  • Canned tuna and/or salmon
  • High-quality bottled pasta sauce

Fridge

  • Peanut, almond, and/or sunflower seed butter
  • Eggs
  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • Cheddar
  • Parmesan
  • Goat cheese
  • Milk
  • Almond milk
  • Ground flaxseeds
  • Hemp hearts
  • Maple syrup
  • Roasted red peppers
  • Firm tofu
  • Shrimp
  • Salmon or trout
  • Garlic puree

Fruits

  • Lemons or limes
  • Kiwis
  • Bananas
  • Pears
  • Apples
  • Avocadoes
  • Raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, or blueberries (can be frozen)

Vegetables

  • Broccoli
  • Baby spinach
  • Bell peppers
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Regular boiling or baking potatoes
  • Butternut squash (can be frozen), kabocha squash, spaghetti squash
  • Frozen corn, peas, and edamame

Spices

  • Sea salt
  • Freshly-ground black pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • Dried basil
  • Garlic powder
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Paprika

Grains

  • Quick-cooking oats and/or regular old-fashioned rolled oats
  • Whole wheat bread, pitas, tortillas, and/or flatbreads
  • Spelt flour or whole-wheat flour
  • Brown rice
  • Couscous
  • Whole-grain pasta
  • Quinoa
  • Almond flour
  • Coconut flour
  • Buckwheat (Japanese soba) noodles

Baking

  • Brown sugar
  • Cane sugar
  • Semisweet chocolate chips
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Honey
  • Unsweetened applesauce
  • Pine nuts, sesame seeds, walnuts, pecans
  • Unsweetened shredded coconut
  • Dates, raisins, dried cranberries
  • Chia seeds

Condiments

  • Sesame oil
  • Chili garlic sauce
  • Rice vinegar
  • Fish sauce
  • Ketchup
  • Soy sauce
  • Dijon mustard
  • Coconut milk
  • Enchilada sauce
  • Curry paste: red or green

Taking Time to Save Time: 10 Meal-Prep Tips

Hey everyone!

I had one final exam yesterday morning and have two today, and one tomorrow and one on Monday before a four-day break – and then two more! One down, six to go 🙂

Messages with Seline + goose that symbolizes how we all feel during finals season…

Spent yesterday in the anatomy lab with my friends Athena, Eddy, Alyssa, Shatrice, and our lab demonstrator Jeremy. We’ve been spending many, many hours in the lab recently – I think I’ve been in there for an average of three hours a day over the past week.

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I can’t wait till this whole finals thing is over so I can REALLY catch up on sleep! 6-7 hours just isn’t enough, apparently.

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And onto the foodie tips! Let’s take a look at how to make cooking a fast + easy process regardless of how much is going on in your life. 🙂

Cook a big batch of grains to store in the fridge: quinoa, pasta, brown rice, couscous, etc. I especially like cooking grains in chicken broth or water + a bit of butter + a pinch of salt. This keeps for a week. Or try some healthy muffin recipes!

Chop, wash, and pat dry veggies, then store them in a plastic container in the fridge. Here are some veggies that store well washed and chopped. Make sure to dry them well!

  • asparagus: boiled is awesome!
  • mushrooms
  • brussels sprouts
  • cabbage
  • zucchini
  • fennel
  • sweet potato: roasted or raw, both work well
  • green onions, sliced or chopped
  • peppers
  • broccoli: I usually boil broccoli and put it into airtight containers
  • squash, especially spaghetti squash
  • beets
  • green beans
  • kale
  • radicchio
  • cauliflower

Lots of veggie ideas on this post 🙂 Plus an awesome coconut-almond sauce for noodles.

Make sauce! Tomato sauce is so versatile, as is pesto or peanut sauce. Keep it in an airtight jar for maximum freshness.

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Cook protein, let it cool, and store it in the fridge. You can top salads with them, stir them into soup, or microwave and eat with a grain and a veggie for a well-balanced meal.

  • chicken breast
  • fish (tuna, salmon, tilapia, etc.)
  • lentils
  • tofu
  • beans (black beans, chickpeas, etc.)

Cook a hearty stew that includes a protein and a veggie. Grains can be stirred in before serving or served on the side. I like squash soup with shredded chicken stirred in, or tomato soup with beans. I always stir some cooked quinoa into the soup to make it even more substantial.

Prepare healthy snack options to grab-and-go throughout the week. You can wash and dry grapes and put them into individual containers or slice up raw veggies like cucumbers, carrots, or celery.

Prepare a big dinner with multiple “parts” on Sunday. The leftovers can be incorporated into lunches throughout the week. Roasted vegetables, casseroles, taco meat… the list goes on!

Make chicken salad, tuna salad, or egg salad. Simply mix up a protein with some mayonnaise and herbs/spices to give it a kick. I love grapes with chicken salad, celery with tuna salad, and paprika and black pepper with egg salad. For all three options, you could also add some Dijon mustard and lemon juice for freshness.

Breakfasts can also be made ahead of time. Try overnight oatmeal (yogurt + milk + oats) with any other fillers you like, including chia and flax seeds, coconut, mashed banana, etc. Overnight oatmeal is my other huge secret! 🙂 Try out this baked banana oatmeal, which is my all-time favourite. Not a banana fan? Pumpkin pie baked oatmeal and apple-cherry baked oats are gonna be favourites. If you’re lucky enough to have fresh berries, try this recipe for berry baked oatmeal. 🙂

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Prepare single-serving “pancake packs”, or homemade pancake mix! Mix all of your pancake’s dry ingredients together. For me, I use 1/4 cup spelt flour with 1/4 tsp baking powder and 1/8 tsp baking soda, as well as a pinch of salt and 1/4 tsp cinnamon. Toss these dry ingredients together and store in a Ziploc baggie. On busy mornings, simply mix with an egg + mashed banana, a drizzle of milk if needed, and cook on the stovetop for delicious and fluffy pancakes.

Make smoothie packs for the freezer! Freeze up the ingredients you would normally put into a smoothie. This saves lots of washing and chopping time in the morning. Try banana with blueberries and strawberries, or add pineapple or mango for a tropical twist.

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Do you do meal prep? What are some of your favourite tips?

Kitchen Staples + Oatmeal Galore

Aloha everyone! How has your week been? Mine has been super busy, as usual, but relaxing at times. 🙂 Today I had a lovely lunch (and dessert!) with a good friend to celebrate a semester of rewarding agony, then went to work for three hours (new kids in my skating classes – yay!) and now I’m having a quick dinner of scrambled eggs with vegetables and cheese. Seems like eggs + veg + cheese is my go-to supper nowadays. Which is fine by me! 🙂

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Started one blustery morning with a great bowl of oatmeal. Plumped up with a mashed banana, filled with bursting (frozen) blueberries, and peanut butter. Plus maple syrup, of course.

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Check out how melty this bowl was. Seriously!

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Fabulous pseudo-Mom Dinner of fried salmon, roasted vegetables, scrambled eggs with feta (?!) and quinoa.

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My mom makes the best roasted vegetables. I’m not joking when I say that they’re better than fries! In my world, at least. But maybe not truffle fries. Those are #1!

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Anyways, this strange-ish dinner really hit the spot. Fried salmon is my favourite dinner protein, maybe next to eggs. Prawns are good too… okay, now I’m getting sidetracked.

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Seconds! Now with Israeli couscous from Trader Joe’s. That stuff is GOOD topped with parmesan cheese!

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Now a sneak peek into our refrigerator!

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We need peanut butter. Period. If I don’t have it, I will go into alcoholic-like withdrawl mode. Which happened last week when I finished this bottle and convinced my mom not to buy more. I nearly died of headaches!

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Flax and almond milk are mandatory in my favourite oatmeal recipes. I think any brand of unsweetened almond milk is great – bonus marks if it’s vanilla-flavoured.

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Quinoa and white cheddar cheese from Costco. Love these individual packets so I can grab and go, or shred up a couple for a bigger recipe.

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And salsaaaa.

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I like using cocoa powder in some recipes. Last week we bought an even bigger container of this. Can’t wait to use it more! Chia seeds and hot chocolate powder (this is my favourite: Silly Cow from Whole Foods).

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Coconut oil is a must-have if you’re a pancake aficionado like me, and my mom is obsessed with roasted pecans. Who can blame her? They’re great on everything – I like them best on salads.

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‘Nother delicious bowl of oatmeal. Whoa, that’s a LOT of peanut butter!

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Not that I’m complaining. 🙂

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A sliced banana goes on oatmeal SO well, especially with peanut butter and cinnamon… and blueberries and flax. The list goes on…

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I could just faceplant into that melty nut butter puddle! Who’s with me?!

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Pasta dinner after volunteering at the hospital one afternoon.

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This bowl starred zucchini, mushrooms, toasted garlic oil, and spinach.

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Had some pan-fried chicken breast on the side. It was a little drab and dry. I’m looking for new ways to make chicken breasts more exciting – do you have any ideas?

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What an awesome group of meals. 🙂 See you in my next post!