Seven Shores Urban Market & Cafe

Good morning everyone! I hope you’re all having a delicious day so far. I have a great meal that I wanted to tell you about – I enjoyed lunch at Seven Shores Urban Market and Cafe in Uptown Waterloo last Thursday. 🙂 I normally always hate sharing iPhone photos because my iPhone 4 takes pictures no better than, say, a calculator. No, I’m not kidding. Take a look!

Regardless of the fact that these photos are crummy and that I’m forgetful enough to leave my camera at home (probably a good thing, considering the chances of me losing it are 50/50 here). I started off with their organic, house-made chocolate milk, which came in a cute jar. Things in jars make me happy. 🙂

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I think the chocolate milk was made in skim milk and the lady making it didn’t use quite enough cocoa powder, because this was a little bland and tasted like plain ‘ole milk. That might just be my taste buds, though, because I like things REALLY chocolatey, whether that’s chocolate cake squares, oatmeal, or a pot of straight up melted chocolate in Paris.

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My entree was the crepe, filled with spinach, goat cheese mousse, red peppers, and caramelized onions. The soup of the day was tomato-garlic. The caramelized onions in the crepe really made it special! This was a nice and light entree, but I was still so full afterwards.

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So full –> still need dessert, because who doesn’t have a second stomach for sweets? This square was their special carrot cake with cream cheese icing.

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It was such a big square, and I should’ve asked for it to be cut in half, but OOPS! It was amazing, though, and I savoured each and every bite. The creamy cheesy frosting was to die for.

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Yeah, don’t be fooled by my notes out here. I was “studying”, but not really studying – I mean, HOW can you focus on social stratification and the Thorstein-Veblen thesis (I was studying for my Sociology exam) when there’s a square of carrot cake in front of you?

That is it for today! I’m going to wash some dishes, clean my room a little bit, and in Jack’s wise words: do anything that’s not studying! 😉

One more thing – ONE WEEK until Christmas?! What is this? I’m not complaining – the holiday season always cheers me up, even if the weather doesn’t. I feel like just yesterday, I was scouring the shores of the Sunshine Coast for seashells and seals. Time really does fly. Anyways, enjoy the rest of your week and I will see you in my next post! 🙂

An Interesting Start to my 18th Year

This post was thisclose to being titled a bunch of other things: A Series of Unfortunate Events, A Surprise Birthday, The Best Birthday Present of All, Twists and Turns, or All’s Well That Ends Well.

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The Best Birthday Present of All would’ve been a pretty good title, actually. No, it wasn’t a new laptop or a new jar of nut butter. It wasn’t from a friend or a family member, or even my roommate…

The best birthday present I received was actually given to me by Customer Service at the Charles Street Bus Terminal in Kitchener. Long story – let’s start from the beginning.

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I had a lovely Friday night and Saturday leading up to my birthday on Sunday, December 13. I have three more exams (three down, woo!) and a little over a week until I can see my parents again. In the meantime, I’ve been studying by myself and with friends.

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On Friday night I made a massive tray of roasted cauliflower – that’s the entire HEAD of cauliflower – and ate over a third of the tray. Freshly-roasted cauliflower with salt and pepper is addictive, guys! Caramelizing veggies in the oven always takes them up a notch.

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I had more oatmeal. This bowl is one of my favourite combinations – chocolate banana base, with nut butter and pumpkin muffin on top! And chocolate chips. Can’t forget those 🙂

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On Saturday I made a plate of super-veggie quinoa topped with goat cheese and lots more roasted cauliflower with garlic, peas, and sweet potato aioli.

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We still haven’t gotten to the crazy birthday present story, by the way.

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Dessert was enjoyed – pumpkin ricotta muffin slice (I froze a whole bunch last time), microwaved with a square of chocolate on top and enjoyed with some peanut butter. Delicious.

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Butternut squash tomato pasta with asparagus, zucchini, red peppers, mushrooms, and spinach, topped with pine nuts and parmesan. This pasta wasn’t bad, but could’ve used a little more zing.

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Sunday morning – my birthday morning – started with a big bowl of pumpkin oatmeal with all of my favourite toppings: cashews, hemp hearts, nut butter, chocolate chips, yogurt, and berries. It was so good! While I enjoyed this bowl, I typed out a new post and shared it with you guys before going to the hospital. Then things started going wrong – I missed my bus and had to walk 20 minutes, wait 15 before taking the next one. Once I got to the hospital, I had about 600 sheets of paperwork to clip and file and organize. Don’t ask me how I managed to do this, but I dropped the entire stack. Twice.

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Lunch was definitely on the simple side. I usually go to Princess Cafe after hospital shifts on Sunday, but I had a meeting with my study group so I thought I’d come home and have some eggs in a pita instead. These cheddar-spinach green onion eggs tasted so good in a whole wheat pita with avocado and pepper. Yum! Before I headed out to meet my friends on campus, I clipped my mailbox key onto my lanyard so I could check my mail. Grandpa emailed me earlier and told me that he’d sent a handwritten card, and I couldn’t wait to see it.

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So after studying with my study group and having leftovers for dinner, I found out that my cycling class was cancelled. Boooooo. 😦 I thought that was the worst part of the night, until another disastrous event happened.

So we studied a little longer, and then I decided to get on the bus and go home to study by myself. By now, it was 10:00 PM and my back was aching from carrying my laptop, textbooks, binder, and dinner containers. As soon as I got off the bus (a two-stop ride that takes only 10 minutes!) and walked into the unit, I reached into my pocket to grab my keys to the apartment – and realized they weren’t there. I left my keys, identification card, and shoe tag all on the lanyard, which was now on a bus going to downtown Kitchener. I was so frustrated because I ALWAYS zip my pocket, no matter what – except this one time.

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What do I do?! I paced around the “lobby” of my apartment for a minute (not even a lobby – it’s just a room with a mailbox and a heater). I didn’t have the keys to get into my apartment, and obviously couldn’t get into my unit or room either. My mailbox key was on the lanyard too, as well as my identification card which I needed to write final exams. Normally, I don’t panic in situations like this, but I think I was so overwhelmed by finals, and the anxiety my friends radiated was rubbing off on me subconsciously. Stress is contagious!

Anyways, I called GRT (Grand River Transit) and told them what happened, but the lost and found was closed. Then, I gave a quick call to my housing manager, who told me to wait 50 minutes while he drove over from Kitchener to unlock my doors. I waited, and waited, and waited – he didn’t arrive until 11:00 PM, and meanwhile I was so grateful that I didn’t lose my phone! Thankfully, his keys worked and he let me into my unit. I’d never been so happy to see my room! He charged me $50 for that, though. 😦

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The next morning (Monday morning, or yesterday), I called GRT several times with no luck. No one turned in my lanyard. I decided to call my housing manager again to see if I could get replacement keys, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to lock my doors – or unlock them!

Get this:

  • Replacement keys: $200
  • Replacement mailbox key (this was the only time I’ve EVER had my mailbox key on me): $60
  • Replacing my roommate’s key: ?? I didn’t want to know!
  • Replacing my University of Waterloo identification: $20
  • My shoe tag: $25
  • Grand total: over $300

My mom was NOT satisfied to hear that. While stressing over the $300 I might have to pay, as well as the missing identification card that I needed to write my final exam, I tried to study but kept getting distracted. 😦 At around 10:30, I gave GRT one final call – someone turned in my lanyard! It was safe and sound in the Charles Street Terminal, in downtown Kitchener. I cried happy tears a little bit a lot when I spoke to the man on the phone and he sounded super confused, so I explained that I had finals coming up and didn’t want to pay $300 for replacement keys, etc. He wished me luck on my final exams and told me to come pick them up anytime. 🙂

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I hopped on the next bus right away and had to pay the $3.00 fare that I usually don’t need to (students can just show bus drivers their ID for a free ride in Waterloo!) and settled down in the bus to read my notes for the fiftieth time during the half-hour ride downtown. Sure enough, my lanyard was there, with my keys, mailbox key, shoe tag, and ID on it. Since my room and unit door were unlocked, with all my belongings at home, I had to rush home to lock the door.

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My mailbox key was used immediately to check out what was in the Unit 11 box – cards! Grandpa did send me a card, and so did Mom, Dad, and Seline. The adorable Starbucks baggie had an iced snowman shortbread cookie inside. That was a kind gift from my friend Maddy last night. It was so kind of her to think of me and to buy me a dessert 🙂 Stephanie, it was the SAME shortbread snowman you shared in a previous post of yours!

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The new cards were taped onto the wall above my bed so I can be constantly reminded that my family won’t forget me! I love my room. 🙂

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It was starting to rain, and by now it was way past noon so I decided to celebrate by going to Princess Cafe for a belated lunch 🙂

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Their sweet potato and dill soup was fantastic – a little bit on the dilly side, but delicious nonetheless. As for the sandwich, I ordered the curried tuna with seasoned tomato and cheddar, on a multigrain bun. As usual, this baby did not disappoint! I enjoyed my meal with a side of cellular respiration.

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I asked for the sandwich to be pressed extra long, so it would be crispy and the cheese fully melted. Amazing! I can’t wait to try recreating this curried tuna sandwich at home.

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After the lunch, I tried to study but started getting sleepy. I didn’t get much sleep the night before with the missing lanyard on my mind. Anyways, I was getting sleepier and sleepier and wasn’t able to focus on boring cycles anymore – so I went up to the front counter to order some desserts. Sweets always wake me up! This coconut cream puff was a new addition to their menu, from a brand-new bakery. It was a massive round dessert, so I asked for it to be cut into thirds and have some packed up to go. I enjoyed a big third of this dessert along with some whipped cream and cinnamon. This coconut cream puff was one of the best desserts I’ve had – the shortbread base was buttery and fresh, the coconut cream layer rich and decadent. Coconut desserts are either delicious or disgusting in my book, but this was a solid 9/10 in the world of desserts! What a pleasant surprise 🙂

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Zumba, flow yoga, and studying were done after that, and I came home late – after 8:00! – and made a super-quick dinner of curried coconut tofu with spinach, asparagus, peas, and mushrooms, topped with cashews. Couscous cooked in veggie broth made a tasty base.

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I really enjoyed this dinner 🙂 It took just 10 minutes to make because I’d prepared the veggies, chopped the tofu, and had the sauce defrosting in the fridge.

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Madhulika and her boyfriend came back from Mississauga with a plant for me! And a beautiful card that she drew herself. And she brought some black bananas so chocolate banana cake squares will be made soon! 😉

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They are such lovely people.

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My weekend, and the Monday, sure were eventful – it’s Tuesday morning now and I’m going to wash my dishes, study a little bit, and then clean up around the house before heading off to write my Biology final exam. I can’t wait till that’s over – then there will only be two left 🙂

All’s well really does end well!

Have a lovely week, everyone, and make sure you zip those pockets.

Holiday Cooking + Baking Bucket List

Good morning everyone! I’m writing this quickie post as I eat a big bowl of oatmeal, before I hop on the bus to go to the hospital for another volunteer shift. The weather is so miserable right now and I’m so happy in my fuzzy penguin pyjamas with a big mug of Earl Grey… but I’m still excited to see what’s in store for me at the Grand River Hospital today. No two shifts are ever the same! After the hospital, I’m going to either have a curried tuna sandwich at Princess Cafe, or come home to make easy cheesy scrambled eggs and pita bread. Then I have plans to study in the afternoon before a cycling class at 8 pm. Sounds like a busy day 🙂

By the way… I’m 18 as of today! 😀


Anyways, here are some of the recipes that I am dying to make in 22-13 days! 🙂 I can’t believe exams will be over and I’ll be home in just nine days.

Vegan peanut butter cup pie – this recipe uses tofu, maple, coconut oil, and PB of course – with chocolate and graham crackers. Is this perfection or what? The idea of using tofu in a sweet dessert has always intimidated me, but this looks too creamy to resist. 🙂

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Creamy, No-Cream Tomato Basil Pasta would make a lovely, hearty, but not overly-rich dinner. This is one of several Oh She Glows’ recipes that I’m going to feature today. I checked out her cookbook in the mall one time and fell head over heels in love with her work.

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Flourless Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blondies were a family favourite last year and I want to make them for all the family gatherings this year. People are always stunned to find out that this recipe is not only flourless, but involves chickpeas!

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One blogger friend – shoutout to Jack! – recommended this recipe for lentil loaf with maple glaze. I’ve been thinking about it for the longest time and can’t wait to try it.

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Vegan Chocolate Silk Pie by Minimalist Baker: This recipe has only six ingredients and I’ve always wanted to try baking with tofu. Plus, that chocolate-date crust looks amazing!

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I’ve made cookie dough bites a couple times before, but I am sure none of them will compare to this one, which features almond meal, maple, coconut oil, and chocolate. Oh She Glows is a recipe genius – these peanut butter cookie dough bites will be my holiday addiction for sure.

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Coconut Butternut Squash Soup looks creamy, spicy, and so hearty. I had something similar at Princess Cafe and wanted to recreate it! 🙂

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With all the holiday indulgences I’m planning to go for, this banana-peanut butter milkshake green smoothie will help me get that iron, calcium, and countless nutrients into the body.

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Vegan, Gluten-free Meatballs are so intriguing, and these photographs are making me drool. Planning to give this a try ASAP!

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Gooey Pumpkin Spice Latte Chocolate Pudding Cake… how amazing does that sound? The only problem with this recipe is that I might accidentally inhale the entire tray of melted chocolate-pumpkin goodness.

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You guys know that I love tuna salad a lot (at home, or in cafes!), but this chickpea salad looks equally delicious. I am stoked to try this out with chopped bell peppers.

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Caramelized Sweet Potato, Garlic, and Rosemary Macaroni and Cheese: I have no words for this, except maybe O-M-G.

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This list wouldn’t be complete without cheesecake! This vegan peanut butter cup cheesecake caught my eye and I cannot get it off my mind. Another one to make as soon as I can!

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Nutella-Stuffed Brown Butter and Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies. Can I repeat that? Nutella-Stuffed Brown Butter and Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies. Holy moly.

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They’re Rolos – but they’re NOT! I am super excited to make these 5-ingredient vegan “Yolos” by Oh She Glows.

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Cauliflower Crust Pizza has been on my mind for the longest time and I think it’s time to give it a try! This recipe has a special trick to it, and involves goat cheese – my favourite.

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I’m also itching to make an apple rose to top my morning oatmeal with!

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These Caramel Peanut Butter Truffles remind me of Larabars, which I love, in ball form! Even better – plus they are made with only 5 ingredients. Thank you again, Minimalist Baker!

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December Updates

Happy Friday everyone! Thank you, Kate, for this template. Had lots of fun filling it out with a bunch of random ideas and thoughts.

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Current excitement: 11 more days until I’ll be home in good, boring old Coquitlam. 🙂 There truly is no place like home home.

Current need: A big hug. Virtual ones are cool too 😉 And maybe some nut butter.

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Current procrastination: Aside from schoolwork, baking! There are so many recipes I want to make, including banana chocolate espresso muffins by Jack, cornbread, and pumpkin cream cheese bars. Yum!

Current Book: My biology textbook. Finals are too close! My Sociology final exam is in three hours. I love this class and think it should be a good exam 🙂

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Current music: I’m starting to like Celtic music! It helps me focus when I read and do practice questions and equations. Adrian von Ziegler makes some incredible music and I love anything autumn-inspired or sounds like the sea.

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Current drink: Earl grey tea and hot water – just the usual. I have some pumpkin hot chocolate mix lingering in the cupboards but haven’t opened it yet! I’ll have to buy some milk from the grocery store next time just so I can enjoy some hot hot chocolate as a post-dinner treat.

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Current food: Applesauce! I’d always been iffy about applesauce. If you talked to me about applesauce last month, I would’ve told you it’s weird baby food. I was totally skeptical about what it could do for baked goods. Wouldn’t you taste the apple? Doesn’t it take away from the richness? Isn’t it… weird? It’s baby food! After making this healthy chocolate banana cake, however, my preconceived notions on applesauce were blown out of the water. I’m now a total convert – I can’t wait to start subbing butter and coconut oil with this brilliant, budget-friendly, fat-free, moisture-inducing substance!

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Current obsession: Chocolate… but we all know that’s not a current thing. I recently bought a butterscotch milk chocolate and it’s like a dream – melty, rich chocolate with chunks of crunchy, toffee-like crispy bits. I love it!

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Okay, and cheese would probably be my current obsession #2. Cheese is one of my top comfort foods. The gooier, the meltier, the more flavourful – the better. Ah, there’s truly nothing better than a crispy grilled cheese sandwich and a big bowl of soup. This sammie was filled with harvarti, goat cheese, caramelized onions, walnuts, rosemary butter, and honey, served with curried butternut squash soup.

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Current bane of my existence: Construction! They say there are two seasons in Waterloo – WINTER and CONSTRUCTION. It doesn’t seem to end, and all the buses are taking detours, skipping stops, and being 20 minutes late or 10 minutes early. Grrrrr.

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Current blessing: Free fitness classes at my school. I don’t know what I’d do without them. Since I’m on campus anyways, it’s so convenient to stop by and do a 50-minute yoga class or some cardio in the form of Zumba. The instructors are always so enthusiastic, but I think the best thing is how short the classes are. They fit right into my schedule 🙂 Thank goodness for cycling, yoga, and all the other classes my school offers – they’re really keeping me sane during this hectic exam season!

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100-Calorie Chocolate Banana Cake Squares {Vegan}

Hi guys! I have a final exam the day after tomorrow and reeaaalllly should be studying right now!
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But first, let me introduce you to these crazy good brownies cake squares. I gushed about them in my last post and couldn’t wait to share the recipe with you all!
By the way, if you are related to Madhulika and reading this because she likes this recipe – please know that she is one of the most fantastic human beings I’ve ever met! We had a great time freaking out over the fizzy, YELLOW sink water today. Another story… 😉
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Don’t they just look heavenly? I’ll try to describe how they taste:
  • Similar to my favourite microwave chocolate mug cake for one, but with more moisture and slight banana flavour
  • Super tender and moist, but not at all “wet”
  • Rich, decadent chocolatey flavour
  • Naturally sweet from ripe bananas
  • Gooey, warm melty chocolate chips when fresh out of the oven (or microwaved)
  • Chewy, cake-like, but melt-in-your mouth
  • Amazing flavour from vanilla, cinnamon, cocoa powder, and of course, banana
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My roommate and I loved these SO much that we made them TWICE – in four days. We finished the first batch in three days and couldn’t wait to make another! Leftovers kept beautifully in sealed containers at room temperature but didn’t last that long 😦 Since we ate them, of course.
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I enjoyed mine with blobs of Greek yogurt + peanut butter to make a peanut butter cream that complemented the rich chocolate. So, so, freaking amazing. If you’re skeptical about Greek yogurt with nut butter and chocolate, I promise you won’t be disappointed. The cool creaminess goes so well with the decadent cocoa flavour, and it’s just to die for. Seriously… I could eat six of these squares.
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This was the second batch – Madhulika made this one! She used bigger chocolate chips. We established that we’ll probably buy 12 bananas a week and let them go completely black to make this recipe until we get sick of it! Next time I will bake my favourite black bean brownies for her to try – or maybe peanut butter chickpea blondies. 🙂
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This was equally delicious. We couldn’t wait to dig in as soon as they emerged from the oven, steaming hot. My square was blobbed with peanut butter – no surprise there!
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You would never, ever guess that these are completely oil-free, butter-less, and don’t involve eggs. Plus, if you use spelt flour, it’s a completely wheat-free recipe too! 🙂 Enjoy.

Chocolate Banana Cake Squares {Vegan}
Serves: 16 squares
Ingredients
  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar (next time, I will decrease this to 1/4 cup)
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon juice OR white vinegar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Sprinkle cinnamon (optional)
  • ¼ heaping cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1¼ cups spelt flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided into 1/4 and 1/4 cup (I used mini chocolate chips) – you could also use 1/3 and 1/3 cup
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray 8×8 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Mash bananas in a medium size bowl.
  4. Stir in sugars, applesauce, water, and vinegar until thoroughly combined.
  5. Stir in flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt just until combined.
  6. Fold in 1/4 cup of chocolate chips.
  7. Pour batter into prepared dish.
  8. Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips on top.
  9. Bake for 35-37 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean.
  10. Let cool, slice in 16 squares, and serve.

This recipe is egg-free, rendering it free of cholesterol. Naturally-ripe bananas make this low sugar, and it’s also very low in fat because there’s no oil or butter. Each square, if cut in 16, is only 100 calories, high in potassium, manganese, and selenium, and has a whopping 2.5g of fiber. Sweet!
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You are going to adore this recipe! I know I posted a vegan banana blondie recipe just a couple weeks (or was that days?) ago, but this one blows it out of the water with twice the moisture, flavour, and okay, it’s got cocoa in it. What’s not to love? I BEG you to try it and tell me that vegan food is restrictive 😉
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I just had one and a half, topped with PB and sunbutter (no, autocorrect, not sunbather) and now I am super full and satisfied. Full stomach… empty brain.
Time to study – Chemistry’s done and Sociology is the next hurdle! Have a great week everyone 🙂

‘Twas the Night before Finals

‘Twas the night before finals, and all through college,

The students were praying for last-minute knowledge.

They were quite sleepy, but none touched their beds,

While visions of questions danced in their heads.”

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I didn’t write that, by the way – it’s from something I found by googling “night before finals”. 😛

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Today I’m going to be sharing meals with you guys (of course), but also some thoughts and ideas that I’ve been having recently.

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It’s going to be a random, random post, starting with something maybe not so happy.

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This month, I’ve been feeling a whole bunch of emotions with finals looming and 16 days until I’ll be home in BC. I feel so conflicted!

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Two main emotions I’ve felt, though, are loneliness and guilt.

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Lonely when my friends are busy, when my mom is cooking and can’t FaceTime me, when my roommate and her boyfriend aren’t home. I love talking to people and didn’t realize how much we all crave social contact until I started living on my own. It’s really different to live in a completely new place with few people to talk to.

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Guilty when I feel like I’m not living up to my full potential. I’m sure all students know what I mean here – scoring less than perfect on something you could easily do flawlessly. It’s happened to me a couple times recently and sometimes I feel like I’m not learning from my mistakes.

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Guilty when I get home a little too late and have dinner at the far-from-glamourous 8:30.

Guilty when I miss Zumba and have to do a simple, relaxing yoga class instead. Or, even guiltier when I miss both because a tutorial goes overtime.

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I also feel guilty when I let my room become a mess. The ground gets dusty, my blankets unwashed for a couple weeks, and a mound of clothing builds up on my vanity. That’s not supposed to happen – I’m always supposed to keep my house clean, keep my grades sky-high, keep exercising, and keep eating balanced meals.

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I’m trying to take it easy on myself now, and that’s going right into the new year as one of my main goals in 2016.

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My last month in university has been stressful in non-academic ways, too. My light broke and my roommate’s boyfriend lent me his – but that bulb burned out, too. I couldn’t find replacement bulbs anywhere. My printer broke and I ran out of paper. I lost a few kitchen utensils and have been having problems with my phone and laptop.

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Some busy evenings meant simple dinners of toast and eggs.

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But on weekends, I like to renew myself and make something a little more elaborate: here, I have tilapia with lemon and dill, roasted sweet potatoes, and sautéed garlic asparagus with mushrooms.

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Another time, I was inspired by Timeless Cafe and Bakery to make stuffed acorn squash with brie and cranberries. These recipes gave me the idea of adding pumpkin seeds and rice.

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My version turned out awesome and I was so delighted – the roasted brussels sprouts with sweet potato aioli took this over the top.

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I miss my sister a lot. She recently got a job and has been too busy to talk to me on FaceTime. I feel really disappointed sometimes, when she reads my messages and doesn’t respond on Messenger. Thinking about our happy moments, though, always makes me sad and happy simultaneously – Sunshine Coast and Paris were some of the brightest times in my life.

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Supportive and similar-minded bloggers keep me sane, too. Cassie and Stephanie are food goddesses who are both so wise, beautiful, and talented. Check out their pages – you won’t regret it!

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My friend Lily made my day a couple weeks ago with such a kind message. But look at how amazing her cooking is. Looking at her Chinese-style scrambled eggs made me miss Mom’s chive scrambled eggs more than anything.

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The other day, I met my Altitude mentor. Rezi has travelled to Japan, studied in BC, and worked in Africa and Montreal. Now she’s training  and working night shifts at the hospital. We have plans to meet up before I go back to BC, and we’ll be talking about everything from MCATs to volunteer placements.

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I found this on Facebook a while ago and thought it was insanely creative. What a talented writer!

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Mom’s been cooking up a storm back home. Her favourite recipe is my all-time favourite banana muffin recipe, and she makes it all the time for friendly coffee dates. She adds nuts and dried cranberries for a pop of fall flavour.

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Last week, I went to a bookbinding event hosted by Crafts for Charity.

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We had fun making personalized books.

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They look easy and simple, but all the knotting and looping only made my brain knotted and loopy. I did go home with a nicely-binded book though – thanks to Jennifer for doing the last 20% of it when I gave up.

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I asked for polymer clay for Christmas so I can make some of these. I’m thinking of donating them to hospital patients this year, along with some baked goods. That is always so rewarding for me. 🙂

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My class schedule for next semester is out! I like it quite a lot. 🙂 What do you think?

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On Thursday, my group and I did our presentation on the health benefits of milk. Meet Mansi, Yasitha, Kritika, Lily, Armina, Yuchen, and Dennis (from left to right). We had a good time rehearsing, dressing up, and giving our presentation, although the practices were pretty stressful and hard to coordinate. I think I learned so much by going through this, though.

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I’ve been looking at different ways to prepare eggs – I’m going to try stepping away from the usual scramble, frittata, or pancake. Hard-boiled eggs are awesome, and I forgot how easy they are to make. Poached eggs are another story – I’m still not brave enough to try.

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I found this on a vegan website a while ago and it got my brain cogs churning. What do you think?

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These pictures inspired me to pick up a bag of goji berries and pumpkin seeds at the store! This banana “nice cream” looks incredible. I’m going to take full advantage of my blender when I get home so I can whip up this beautiful bowl.

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I have beets in the fridge and can’t wait to make some beet-goat cheese grilled sandwiches. Mmmm. And a random not-so-funny joke that I discovered on Facebook. Science jokes are my favourite, especially chemistry ones, and I swear I’ve heard them all! Do you like chemistry puns?

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I was thinking about what I defined as a healthy eater the other day, and quickly put together this list. What are your thoughts on truly healthy eating? Is it all physical – or is there a mental component?

What Makes a Healthy Eater?

  • To me, a healthy eater is so much more than someone who simply eats a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
  • A healthy eater tries to find ways to replace salt with flavourful herbs and spices.
  • A healthy eater makes swaps – maple or honey for sugar, avocado or hummus for mayo.
  • A healthy eater understands that she needs to eat when she is hungry or needs a boost of energy (whether that’s for her brain or her body).
  • A healthy eater tries to sit down and enjoy every meal rather than hurrying from one place to another.
  • A healthy eater aims to eat her meals at relatively similar times each day, but doesn’t fret if life doesn’t allow that to happen.
  • A healthy eater eats cake and savours every single bite.
  • A healthy eater doesn’t punish herself with workouts or restrictions.
  • A healthy eater doesn’t follow health fads religiously – she thinks about them and makes her own informed decisions.
  • A healthy eater cooks as much as she can when she has the chance, but loves every bite of food that doesn’t come out of her kitchen.
  • A healthy eater encourages others to eat to feel their best without shaming them or seeming arrogant.
  • A healthy eater remembers to eat during finals weeks.
  • A healthy eater is also someone who honours her meals and respects her hunger.
  • A healthy eater puts friends and family before food.

I think that’s it for today. Today I had an excellent day – a productive meeting with a professor, a two-hour chemistry tutorial, a delicious lunch (below), an English exam, followed by a Zumba class and an hour of flow yoga – then a delicious dinner of fried rice with soup. I am now full and happy and off to grab some chocolate-banana bread (100 calories for a thick, fat, gooey chocolate square!) for dessert. Recipe coming soon 🙂

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Here was today’s lunch: sweet potato hummus, a multigrain pita, yogurt tzatziki sauce, and an incredible filling of frozen –> thawed falafel, chopped beets, cucumbers, roasted red peppers, and quinoa. So super freaking delicious and I could’ve eaten way more! I had an entire pita by the way, which is two servings. 🙂

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That is seriously it for now. I have a final exam tomorrow, and I should really go…

to the cupboard to get my dessert.

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Phone pictures because I just can’t wait to upload my camera photos onto the computer before I show you 🙂