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 🙂

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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Let Them Eat Cake!

I love eating outside! Last weekend, when the weather was absolutely perfect, Mom cooked a lovely deluxe dinner for us – and a couple friends! My Chemistry AP buddies Yuki and Sally joined us for a great dinner, and so did Seline’s sweet friend Dana. Jadee, our homestay student, also joined us on the little patio table. The five of us had an awesome time outside enjoying our food and chatting.

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Here, we have steamed edamame, quinoa salad with chicken, chopped feta, cucumbers, and roasted red peppers, spicy coconut curry noodles with bok choy, shrimp pasta salad, and fresh crunchy grapes! Plus krill and cabbage stir-fry in the middle.

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I think my favourite part of this dinner was the coconut curry noodles. The sauce, which we bought from Ace Curries at the farmer’s market on Sunday, is amazing with rich coconut milk and tender noodles. On another note, Mom added chopped scallions to our pasta salad. Pretty tasty!

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The snappy grapes were awesome, too. The big plastic containers at Costco are organic – and are at a great price. These grapes were so crunchy! Sally’s plate is on the right. Hers looks a lot prettier than mine – Mom also served a beef + onion stir-fry, zucchini bread {baked yesterday}, baguettes with roasted red pepper hummus, and barbecue chicken wings that were forgotten in the oven.

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Yuki was kind enough to bring an Almond Delitzia cake from Cumpari’s, where she works as the Assistant Manager. This time, the chef coated the whipped cream with chopped hazelnuts, This cake was so delicious and Yuki sure knows how to choose them! We split this into six pieces for everyone to try.

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I loved the candied crushed hazelnuts. I also loved this incredible cake that Sally brought – a sweet potato cake from Good Morning Bakery. This dessert wasn’t an ordinary white cake with white frosting – there was a thick layer of steamed, sliced sweet potato inside!

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Mom and I shared a slice, and we couldn’t stop going back for “just one more” little slice. Mom loves whipped cream, and I was a huge fan of the perfectly-cooked sweet potato layer. This was such a unique cake!

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Thank you, Yuki and Sally, for joining us for dinner – and for bringing such amazing desserts. You know how much I love cake – YAY! 🙂

The Best Pumpkin Pancake Recipe (with Vegan option)

Mmmm, these were seriously so yummy! I think they are my all-time favourite way (maybe next to oatmeal) to start my weekend. 🙂

Well, after some fruit of course! Cara Cara orange from Costco and some grapes.

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Mixing up the batter…

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And frying them up {in coconut oil}.

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This was the second half of the batch, by the way. Usually I cook three or four at once, and then cook the extras as leftovers for the next day. Check out how the pancakes puff up quite a bit. Yum!

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So I let ’em cool down and then placed them in the fridge for the next day. They’re almost as good microwaves as they are fresh, IMO. But I prefer them ‘baked’ in the toaster oven.

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They looked a little plain, so I jazzed them up with some cinnamon-honey spiked Greek yogurt, maple syrup, and more cinnamon.

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That’s better!

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Check out how pumpkin-y they were. I loved the pumpkin flavour in these little guys!

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Round 3 of pumpkin pancakes. With lots of peanut butter.

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I love the square design of the maple syrup here.

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Do you want a bite? 🙂

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The vegan version that I’m going to show you now was easy to make as well. Start with an ugly but effective flax egg (flax + water).

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Add the other wet ingredients and then combine with flour, oats, and spices.

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Cook and serve with vegan toppings like nut butter and maple syrup (not honey or butter, as these are animal products).

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Look at that maple syrup drizzle! I felt so professional after doing that drizzle 🙂

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Here is the regular pumpkin pancake recipe, because I didn’t really feel like the vegan version was worth sharing.


Super Fluffy Pumpkin Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 125 grams any flour (whole wheat, spelt, kamut, AP, etc)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons flax, OPTIONAL
  • 1/2 heaping tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 150 grams pumpkin puree from a can
  • 20 grams brown sugar (can use dates/maple/honey)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Mix the dry ingredients, from flour through nutmeg.
  2. Combine wet ingredients (pumpkin through yogurt) in a blender.
  3. Blend wet ingredients until thick and fully combined.  Add a small splash of almond milk (or regular milk) if needed.
  4. Pour wet ingredient mixture into dry ingredients.
  5. Mix carefully and DO NOT OVERMIX. The pancakes will be tough and dry if you do!
  6. Cook in coconut oil or butter (I prefer coconut oil). Cook carefully on both sides, and check to make sure that cooking is done before removing from heat.

That’s it! They’re really easy and make enough for two hearty breakfasts. 10/10 for these tasty pancakes. 🙂

October Eats

Happy Halloween! I hope you all had a safe and delicious end-of-October. 🙂 Check out some of these fantastic meals I’ve had!

PS: I have a super sore throat. I was coughed on yesterday at the hospital, and I’m clearly sick now. 😦 Even after 10 hours of sleep, I feel weak – too bad I have an aerial silks lesson coming up in half an hour! Hoping that the exercise will make me feel better?

Party lunch with steamed garlic broccoli, rice, maple-soy salmon, and stir-fried vermicelli noodles with shrimp.

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Brunch at Whole Foods! I love, LOVE having brunch there. Their cottage cheese is so creamy, and my favourite item here is the blueberry brioche French toast. Also loved the mushroom and goat cheese strata. And yes, I had mac and cheese and chicken cacciatore in the morning. :mrgreen: What an awesome start to my day!

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And then, like it couldn’t get any better… we had ice cream from Rain or Shine!

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Yes, this is my new favourite place. EVER. Here we have strawberry cheesecake, brown butter pear, coffee, and vanilla caramel. This was so delicious and probably the best ice cream I’ve ever had. 100% made in-house with fresh and local ingredients, these ice creams were INCREDIBLE. I wanted to buy the whole store! They even had a peanut butter flavour… next time!

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Lunch at Kefi, a Greek restaurant. These were the appetizers: spanakopita, garlic lemon shrimp, pita bread, and my special spanakopita 🙂

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Seline’s dish of seafood scampi (yup, at a Greek restaurant), and my spinach and feta-stuffed chicken breast with almond green beans and Greek salad.

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Mom had the BEST mousaka, a lasagna-type dish made with eggplant, ground beef, and a cheesy potato layer. This was SO good! She also had tzatziki, lemon-roasted potatoes, and rice. Grandpa had the salmon kebab with the same sides.

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My plate after sharing! I had a little of everyone’s food. YES! 🙂

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This was SO awesome – a mix and match lunch. Mom and I made a big tasting platter with all kinds of dip (spinach ranch, salsa, hummus, etc.) and a big paprika egg salad with scallions. Served with toasted pitas, crunchy tortilla triangles, raw veggies, and cheese + crackers. My favourite combination was the sharp cheddar with grapes and pepper crackers!

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All together… with some more dippers for dessert. Strawberries and sliced bananas with honey + peanut butter Greek yogurt dip – with cinnamon on top!

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Such awesome eats so far. Stay tuned for the next post and have an awesome November. 🙂

Mes Repas Excellents = My Amazing Meals! ☺

Hi! I hope you’re having an amazing week. The weather’s been GREAT here recently; the sun’s up at 6:30, just in time for a morning run (which I’ve been doing for about a week because of the rainy spell we’ve had). I love sunny weather – it always puts me in a good mood. 🙂

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Doesn’t this look yummy? Since school’s out (BC teacher’s strike) until next year, I’ve got plenty of time to bake before my group leaves for Montreal in 16 days.*** I really want to try this recipe for blueberry coffee cake, especially because our fridge is overflowing with big, juicy blueberries from the farmer’s market. This recipe, from the Whole Foods website, looks exceptionally tasty. I’m also betting it would taste great crumbled over oatmeal, like my blueberry muffin oats!

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***Dear host family, if you’re reading this, HI! Or… bonjour! ♥ I can’t wait to meet you, and I am so excited to see your wonderful city. 🙂 We have only two weeks until the big switch! Je suis tres excitee, et j’espere que vous etes une bonne semaine.

I had this salad one day at school. Mixed greens topped with berries and some goat cheese. On the left are honey-roasted pecans + walnuts and some dried cranberries, plus a bit of poppyseed dressing. I’ve also got half of a lemon-poppyseed muffin top for dessert.

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Whipped banana oatmeal, just like Kath’s version on KERF. Oatmeal is hard to photograph because it doesn’t look very attractive unless you add lots of fruity toppings! Like Kath, I added chia seeds, a whole banana, raisins, regular milk, and a big blob of peanut butter. This bowl was SUPER sweet – I should have left out the raisins. I also added a drizzle of maple syrup, which probably wasn’t a good idea. 😛 Next time, I think I’ll stick to slicing the banana on top. That way, there is more to chew. The texture of this concoction was nice, though – sort of melt-in-your-mouth. This was a pretty tasty bowl of oats. If you prefer something sweet in the morning, this bowl is for you. 🙂

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Sorry for these terrible photos – I was too excited to dig in. :mrgreen: This salad featured mixed greens, blueberries and blackberries, goat cheese, toasted almonds, dried cranberries, and cubed avocado. All of it was tossed in creamy poppyseed dressing. I think my favourite part was the avocado – it’s a great addition to any salad! I really liked this quick and healthy lunch.

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More of my love: oatmeal. This delicious bowl (made with almond milk) was topped with strawberries, sliced banana, almond butter, and crumbled honey-almond pear muffin. Summer fruit on oatmeal is incredible. 😀

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This lunch featured leftovers from this day: chicken fried rice with green peppers, mushrooms, cauliflower, sweet corn, and something else that I can’t remember. Fried rice makes awesome leftovers, and I always bring it when there’s a microwave available. On this day, I volunteered all day as a block leader at Place des Arts, a local art school. They have a lovely kitchen with all sorts of appliances. I also snacked on strawberries and the last of my peanut butter pretzels from Trader Joe’s. Aww! 😥

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The next day, Mom and I made plans to go to Whole Foods (YAY!). Knowing I had to get ready for a big lunch like the past three times , I made myself a light breakfast of banana + crunchy Barney Butter (so good!). Here it is, sprinkled with cinnamon. 🙂

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Then we were at Whole Foods! It’s about a 40-minute skytrain ride from where we live. We have to take the bus for a short while, too. This time, we were there at about 12:30, and I was hungry! We filled a huge bowl with all kinds of goodies from the hot bar. Some highlights were the super-creamy macaroni and cheese, which was covered in buttery breadcrumbs (OMG) and the smoked mozzarella pasta salad. I’m always so happy to see the smoked mozza pasta, because it’s not usually there. Super yum! I also loved the tofu cacciatore and chicken chili verde.

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Hi Mom! 😀 She likes to take photos of her food, too – she posts them on her Weibo. Weibo is like Chinese Twitter, and Mom has quite a few followers. Go Mammaaa!

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We demolished this bowl! I saved a big chunk of the blueberry French toast to eat at the very end, and OMG, it was amazing. The best French toast I’ve ever had – it had an incredible vanilla taste. After all of that, we were SO. FULL. Usually, we have a sandwich after eating a bowl of hot bar food, but we just couldn’t. I didn’t even need dessert!

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We bought this sandwich at WF: my favourite, the turkey apple brie. This one, and the big chicken + arugula, are tied for the position of my favourite sandwich EVER. At the moment, though, this sammie is my #1. I had about a third of it for a light dinner, along with some Mom dishes and dessert (no pics – sorry!).

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Creamy and tangy brie cheese, with savoury turkey breast, crisp greens, a slice of tomato, and sweet/sour grilled apple. The bread is one of the best parts – it’s SO crispy. I think it’s ciabatta?! Love it!

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Lunch at school: quinoa sauteed with butter, scallions, and sweet corn, topped with lemon, black pepper, and goat cheese crumbles. I ate this like a cold salad (ie. no microwave). I love lunches after a trip to Whole Foods or Costco – so much fresh, crisp produce. These cherries and grapes (both organic!) were so, so crunchy good. Mmm! I’ve said it lots of times before, but ORGANIC PRODUCE TASTES BETTER! It really does. I think it’s sweeter, and the texture is so much more pleasant. If you can afford it, I highly recommend you spring for organic fruit. You won’t regret it! Most of the fruit that we buy here is organic or local. I am so lucky. :mrgreen:

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Next up – a PB + B sandwich for breakfast. We bought a nice loaf of organic whole wheat bread from Whole Foods. It was really soft, and I loved the crust. Here it is with lots of natural peanut butter, cinnamon, a drizzle of honey, and a sliced banana. I put it on the skillet with a bit of coconut oil to crisp it up. Nice ‘n toasty. 🙂 This was a really filling breakfast, too.

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And agaaaaaain, that turkey apple brie sandwich. This is the other 2/3 of the sandwich. We have a panini press, and it’s perfect for warming up the middles and making the outsides toasty. I don’t even brush oil on the “plates” – they still get crispy on the outside without added oil. Check out those grill marks! 😀

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I think the melty brie is the best part. Or maybe the apples. Or the crispy bread… never mind.

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That’s it! Thanks for reading today’s post. I’ve got to go now – I will be attending my school’s awards night. Last year, I totally lucked out and won the Top Student Grade 10 award, and I hope I’ll be winning the same award this year (for Grade 11). I’m wearing a dress right now, and I think it looks pretty dopey… and then there’s the pom-pom flats that I have to wear. Oh gosh.

Bye for now – I hope all of your school years end well and have a wonderful weekend!