2B or not 2B

My phone lock screen was my school schedule, but it’s been ten weeks so I don’t think I should be using the schedule anymore. My memory isn’t that bad… I hope. This semester, my 2B semester, is pretty insane.

New wallpaper = Mom’s buttered toast.

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A new ice cream truck opened in Uptown Waterloo (ice cream in uptown FINALLY!), so I had to stop by to try some! I had a scoop of Grammy’s Cupboard (vanilla with cookie dough, peanut butter cups, and brownie chunks – OMFG I know), and one scoop of chocolate caramel swirl with cashews. This tasted amazing, was a bit on the sweeter side, but I don’t think I would buy it again, considering the 2 half-scoops (= 1 full) was $5.00.

 

Here’s what it looks like! The person who served me was very gracious and kind.

 

Before the hearty ice cream, I had a glorious meal at Princess Cafe. The sandwich was my all-time favourite: grilled cheese with harvarti, goat cheese, walnuts, rosemary butter, and honey. The soup of the day was vegan tomato ale, which I was extremely skeptical about, but it tasted incredible. I am officially a fan of tomato soup! I enjoyed every drop of the soup and savoured every bite of the rich, crispy, cheesy, crusty sandwich.

 

For breakfast (don’t ask me why I am moving in reverse chronological order) – I enjoyed a bowl of plain oatmeal topped with a banana and tons of peanut butter. Yes, there is more underneath the massive scoop. Hemp hearts and cinnamon also made an appearance.

 

Then, the oats became granola, the bowl became a jar, and my nice messy desk at home became the bus stop bench on a sunny day. That sounded kind of poetic… or maybe I just have very low standards for poetry. This was so yummy – PB on anything!

 

Jars, because they save my lazy butt from washing dishes 😉

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So colourful! The natural lighting at the window makes for some lovely photos of my lunch and snacks. I wish I could say that I made those falafel, but I didn’t – everything else is homemade!

 

This frittata was also homemade, and I can’t wait to make another one. Eggs, spinach, roasted red peppers, mushrooms, and garlic goat cheese came together to make a tasty breakfast that I enjoyed with a nectarine and some yogurt with granola.

 

I’m cleaning out my room and found these pictures that I drew two years ago! Drawing is so much fun. I used to love drawing so much, but now have no time to draw waste all my time doing other things.

 

Have an incredible week, friends!

Pow Wow!

Over the weekend, I discovered this super simple recipe for creamy black bean soup. Thanks, Allrecipes! Spicy, rich, and full of black beans, this recipe is a keeper. I served mine with a simple buttery, cheesy grilled cheese.

Black Bean Soup

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 can black beans (15 oz), rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth or water with salt
  • 1/2 cup chunky salsa
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • lime juice, as much as you’d like
  • cayenne pepper, as much as you’d like

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Combine half the beans, broth, salsa, garlic, and cumin. Blend until fairly smooth. Add the rest of the beans.
  2. Heat in saucepan over medium heat until thoroughly reheated. Stir in lime and cayenne pepper.
  3. Ladle into bowls and top with desired toppings.

I’ve been into quinoa porridge recently, blending up a whole overripe banana with some milk and cocoa powder, then cooking it up with cooked quinoa and topping it with peanut butter. The PB becomes gloriously melty, and tastes awesome with yogurt and granola.

I also created the BEST banana chocolate almond cake! Pictures to come, but here’s the recipe. This will be made again soon!

Banana Chocolate Almond Cake

Makes an 8×8 pan. I cut mine into 16.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • sea salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 overripe bananas
  • 1/3 cup avocado oil
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup or honey

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Place all ingredients except flour in a blender.
  3. Mash bananas. Whisk in eggs. Beat well, then add oil and syrup or honey.
  4. Add dry ingredients and use a whisk to stir until fully combined.
  5. Grease baking pan with oil or line with parchment.
  6. Bake 40 minutes. Remove and cool completely before tilting out of the pan.

Toronto is such a lovely city. I walked around the touristy Nathan Philips square on Sunday, when there was lots of sunshine.

On the same day, I had a tasty brunch at the Pow Wow Cafe in Kensington Market. The Pow Wow Cafe serves indigenous food. I had a fry bread (literally deep-fried dough) topped with two poached eggs, smoked salmon, goat cheese, and dill sauce. Potatoes, fruit, and a fresh beet salad on the side.

After that, I stuffed my face with frozen greek yogurt from Grk Ygrt, also in the Kensington Market. While this concoction with Callebaut white chocolate, toasted coconut, and peach preserve was tasty, this was the “mini” size which cost over $5. It was called the Maui Wowie!

Finally, I made a simple pasta with leftover sliced carrots, mushrooms, and spinach, with a creamy tomato vodka sauce and topped with feta cheese. Cleaning the fridge and the pantry!

That is really all I have to say for this foggy Tuesday morning. Have a lovely 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…

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! 😀

Oomycota + Memorial Banquet

*Seline (sister) and I are talking on FaceTime*

Me: Seline, there was white, cottony mold all over the banana bread that I baked last week.

Seline: Zygomycota? No, no, it’s gotta be oomycota.

*She is studying fungus in Biology 11*

Me: Oomycota? That’s cool. I should call my new blog post that.

Seline: K.

*I name blog post “oomycota“*

You’ll see the moldy banana bread in just a bit…

(actually it’s at the very end. You know, for a grand finale)


Last Friday, I spoke at a memorial banquet for the families of the donors who gave their bodies to science. It was a little really intimidating to speak in front of ~80 crying family members who were close with the people I knew as cadavers. Overall, it was so rewarding and beautiful to be able to thank them for supporting the decisions of their loved ones.

Some friends sang; others played musical instruments. I had no idea my classmates were so incredibly talented!

At the reception, I had a Nanaimo bar and a very sweet marble-chocolate cake bar square thing, along with some kiwi, cantaloupe, and grapes.

Since we were all dressed up, lots of photos were taken in the beautiful garden that the students at Renison University College get to enjoy every day!

Madhulika made granola, and Mom did as well! Mom liked it 🙂 Speaking of the granola, I need to buy some more oats to make this!

Ever since exams ended, I’ve been going to hot yoga every day! After classes, the room is always empty to I get to play some more.

On Saturday morning, I went to downtown Kitchener’s cute little bakery, called the Golden Hearth Bakery. The 40-minute bus ride was soooooooo worth this crispy, gooey, sweet, nutty almond croissant. It was, dare I say, as good as the ones I enjoyed in Paris?!

The Kitchener Market is a lovely place, and so busy on Saturday mornings. I found myself wishing I hadn’t gone grocery shopping the day before!

One morning I had ZERO produce in the house so I had plain ricotta pancakes. Seriously plain. Sadly plain. Plain plain plain. But still quite filling!

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Are you guys drooling at this?! Baked rigatoni with gruyere, butternut squash, and crispy sage. Mmmm, and yes I had seconds, thirds, and then fourths. I think I ate 3/4 of the whole dish in one sitting. Fresh herbs make everything look more gourmet, in my opinion.

Do you like cooking with sage? What do you pair it with?

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This was probably my favourite meal of the week: warm couscous with shrimp, black beans and corn, shredded carrot, goat cheese, asparagus, and scallions. Warm salads = bomb.

This weird-looking thing was a French-toastified pita bread topped with the last of my cottage cheese and cinnamon. Simple, simple.

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The rest of my cottage cheese had gone into a lasagna that I made the night before, which had tons of mozzarella and gruyere on top. This vegetarian lasagna was made with zucchini and mushrooms.

Served with crunchy garlic asparagus.

Brie, zucchini, and pesto on toast was devoured after I tried to stop the fire alarm (silly oven).

And I had a tasty frittata made with all the veggies in the fridge + goat cheese.

Quesadillas another day, made with an awesome tortilla (okay, two) and black beans with corn and cheddar.

More frittata, this time enjoyed with too-toasted-toast and a side of FaceTime.

This oatmeal was gross. Yeah, I just called oatmeal disgusting. I made this out of an overly overripe pear, and it was so mushy and had a fermented alcohol taste. I picked out all the pear chunks and ate all the oats and yogurt though, then added more granola 🙂

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More pesto toasties! These were also topped with caramelized onion, brie, and butternut.

A simple banana oatmeal bake for breakfast one morning. Quick and easy.

More quesadillas…

And amazing banana-chocolate oatmeal.

Toasties again.

Two-ingredient sweet potato pancakes from the post that I reblogged a while ago – they turned out so well and I can’t wait to make them again.

Scrambled cheesy eggs with avocado toast. You’ve seen it before 😉

Ricotta chocolate oatmeal with pear and granola.

And another pasta bake, this time with sweet potato, green onion, broccoli, and cubed eggplant.

YUM!

This was yum, too.

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Fresh garlic-herb salmon on a bed of couscous with carrot and mushrooms. So simple, but super satisfying. I love simply-spiced salmon.

This oatmeal bowl was so photogenic! I miss fresh berries, but it’s hard for me to justify buying them because a little box is around $7 here. 😦

Oh yeah. That quiche.

Gooey brownies and a mess that I made. I’m good at making those. Messes.

And a banana bread. Yep, THAT banana bread. Before it got moldy, it was actually quite good with brown sugar, FOUR whole bananas, and cinnamon and vanilla.

Voila… gross.

This conversation made me laugh out loud!

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And… that is it for today! I’m going to do a little meal prep, clean my messy room, and maybe take a nap. Post-exam life is the absolute best! Take care, everyone 🙂

Flourless Black Bean Chocolate Cake Recipe + Lately

Aaah, yum.

Did the title gross you out a little bit? I mean, it is a chocolate cake made without flour and refined sugar, with a whole can of black beans. The icing, completely dairy-free, is made of whipped coconut cream with a touch of maple and vanilla. There are two kinds of people in the world: ones that will eagerly give this a try and declare that the black beans are completely concealed, and those who refuse to take a bite because of the whole flourless/sugarfree fact.

I’m assuming you are the former. 😉

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Blender recipe alert! I love those. Isn’t it 10x more awesome when a recipe can be made in one container, than, say, three or four? I think the best part of the recipe is that you can decorate it any way you like – I went the simple route and used fresh berries with milk chocolate shavings. I’m thinking some banana slices, and a drizzle of peanut butter, would be incredible too. Or maybe poached pears? Really, the options are endless.

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For the coconut whipped cream, I simply refrigerated a can of coconut milk overnight and beat the CREAM ONLY for a minute or so, until creamy, then added a little maple syrup and vanilla extract. The coconut whipped cream can be refrigerated in a separate container until ready to spread.

Decorated with fresh raspberries and milk chocolate shavings, this was the perfect way to celebrate 2016. You guys are going to love this easy, delicious, and oh-so-nutritious cake. Watch slices just FLY off the table at your next family gathering and think of all the vitamins, minerals, and protein in each cakey, chocolatey bite.


Black Bean Chocolate Cake

INGREDIENTS
  • 15 oz unseasoned black beans
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 6 tbsp coconut oil (1/4 cup + 2 tbsp)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 6 tbsp cocoa powder (1/4 cup + 2 tbsp)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Grease a cake pan or springform pan. We used a 9” pan.
  3. Drain and rinse beans. Shake off the water.
  4. Put all ingredients in the food processor or blender. Beat on high until the beans are completely mashed and the batter is very smooth.
  5. Scrape batter into pan.
  6. Tap on counter to pop the bubbles.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes. Cake is done when the top is round, cracked, and firm. Check to see if a knife comes out clean.
  8. Cool, then cover and refrigerate.
  9. Let the cake sit overnight in the fridge, or at least 8 hours for the best flavour.
  10. Serve the next day with coconut whipped cream, raspberries, and additional coconut, cocoa powder, or chocolate flakes!

Please, take a bite!
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You must be wondering how this guy tastes! I’ll try to describe it:
  • Rich and chocolatey, like the outside of a molten chocolate lava cake
  • Soft and tender, but not fall-apart soft
  • Just sweet enough
  • Great contrast between the rich chocolate and light flavor of the coconut cream
  • Slightly chewy, but melts in your mouth

Just make this ASAP 🙂 We brought this whole cake to a party with three families, and cut it into the tiniest slivers. Everyone finished their slice, and many had seconds. This is a recipe that I will be making again and again!

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What else has been up recently? On Saturday, Dad and I went to Toronto where we (okay, I) indulged on the most beautiful pastries. We also visited the Ripley Aquarium in Toronto’s downtown core. You can check out the post here, which I promise isn’t filled with iPhone photos like this one!
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I was so happy when I received a message from Mom, who recently made my almond cake recipe. Hers looks just like mine!
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And she sent me this. My mom is too cute. 🙂
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At the aforementioned family party where we enjoyed the black bean chocolate cake, there was a kitty called Mitten! Mitten is from Montreal, and he is just like a dog. 🙂
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Before Dad and I came to Ontario, and before we did all the grocery shopping/buying essentials/eating in Waterloo, we had dim sum in Richmond with Aunt Mimi and Uncle Charles. The milk and egg cream buns were my favourite. The yellow goop inside is unexplainably good – like a melted bo lo bao! Liquid gold, I swear. Do you like dim sum?
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I’m not quite sure how to describe these, other than mashed taro surrounding chopped duck meat, rolled in crispy “shreds” and deep-fried. I had a couple of these too, sans the meat inside which I found too chewy. But the crispy exterior was light and had great texture that contrasted with the tender taro. Mmmm.
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Toronto’s Pearson airport is so hard to navigate!
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I mentioned in a previous post that Dad and I had brunch together on our first day in Waterloo. Here’s what I had – a London fog latte (it was overwhelmingly sweet and definitely the creamiest I’ve had – in a not-very-good way) with the smoked salmon scramble. The toast was homemade and so good with wilted spinach, goat cheese, shallots, and egg. I liked their jam, too!
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I bought a scone to enjoy at home, but accidentally ate it all on the car ride to Costco. Oops.
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Breakfast the next day involved toast, almond and peanut butter, sliced banana, and lots of cinnamon.
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Dad and I also had a Mexican dinner – his in the form of unpictured tacos, but I had mine in a quinoa bake topped with avocado, salsa, and plain yogurt as a sub for sour cream. I used ground chicken instead of ground beef, and it was my first time cooking meat by myself! 😀
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I’m trying to remember what I put in here, but I’m pretty sure it was just a mishmash of veggies with goat cheese and cheddar.
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I made a chocolate mug cake another day, which we shared. Such an indulgent dessert that takes just a minute to make and another minute in the microwave.
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We split it 50/50 but Dad doesn’t like warm desserts. 😦 I topped mine with more chocolate (can never have enough, am I right?) and lots of creamy peanut butter. Best. Dessert. Ever.
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Omelet with asparagus, brie (oh, this was so good) and avocado toast topped with truffle salt. A super filling breakfast for a very busy day.
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Another Princess Café knockoff panini sandwich with butternut squash soup. This sammie was filled with sliced apple, brie, mustard, spinach, and some garlic and herb goat cheese.
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It doesn’t get much better than a hot, crispy sandwich filled with creamy, melty cheese.
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Tofu sautéed with veggies and peanut sauce on a bed of quinoa. This plate was inhaled! I would probably even eat uncooked pasta or rotten berries if they were smothered in this peanut sauce. It’s just so good.
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Lastly, a sweet note: yogurt with microwaved apple (chopped apple in the micro for a minute with some water and cinnamon), almond butter, and coconut cashews. Ah, the perfect end to my day.
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I know it was a super quick post today but I am off to a Power Yoga class this morning before a lab (a human CADAVER lab – I’m SO excited! We’re looking at shoulders today. More later!) and another couple of classes in the afternoon.
Happy Wednesday, everyone!