Wild Rice Restaurant Review + An Uninvited Guest?!

Good morning everyone! How are you all doing? I just enjoyed a bowl of oatmeal (updated my oatmeal page, by the way!) topped with cherries, caramelized banana, hemp hearts, cashews and an incredible sour cherry buckwheat scone from Purebread Bakery in Vancouver. In less than half an hour, I’ll be doing a Circuit class, followed by 45 minutes of indoor cycling, AKA spin class, and then an hour or so of hatha yoga. In the afternoon, I have a driving lesson and will be making summer rolls for dinner! So excited. :mrgreen:

Anyways, my sister and I had lunch together – just the two of us, after an hour of aerial silks – at Wild Rice Restaurant in New West. It’s by the River Market in the Quay, near the river. We had quite the view!

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The restaurant itself is:

  • modern and clean
  • decorated with balloons, lights, and paintings
  • sunny with plenty of windows
  • has plenty of seating, including a spacious patio
  • COOKING: fresh, local, organic (no heat lamps, no hormones, no microwaves)
  • Gluten-free, vegan options on regular menu

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We chose to sit indoors because it was a bit windy. After much deliberation (coconut shrimp? Vegan butter “chicken” with tofu?), I decided I was in the mood for something light and fresh, and ordered their house salad.

House Salad with chicken: mixed greens, slow roasted cherry tomatoes, cucumber, radish and candied pecans, mirin soy vinaigrette

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This salad was pretty yummy! There was a massive pile of greens, which I am 99% sure came from Costco, and every leaf was coated in a slightly sour, salty dressing made with soy sauce and ginger. There was a pile of cherry tomato compote, sliced radishes, and candied pecans scattered on top. I found the pecans absolutely delicious with the greens and dressing, but unfortunately, I had only five pieces or so on my salad. 😦 The chicken, which was hormone-free, was sautéed perfectly with a nice, seared crust on the outside. I like how Wild Rice uses both chicken breast and chicken thigh pieces to top salads.

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Seline had chicken tenders with fries. She loved the slightly-spicy aioli dip. We enjoyed a couple pieces of flatbread as well. Seline said they were like “Americanized green onion pancakes from Taiwan”. I liked the garlicky oil on top, and the bread was so tender! I dipped some in her aioli. 🙂 Yum!

Panko Chicken Tenders & Fries: hand filleted boneless breast, smoked paprika, parsley
Flatbread: grilled, brushed with garlic oil

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Our meal was humungous! I barely finished my salad (there was a HEAP of greens here!) and really enjoyed the chicken and pecans. Still, we had room for dessert!

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Chocolate Cake: cocoa sauce and vanilla ice cream
Oh my goodness. This dessert was like heaven on a plate. It was like a big square of black bean brownie (though a tad sweeter and more cake-like) topped with cold ice cream. There was also a chocolate sauce on top, and a raspberry coulis. This was similar to the molten chocolate lava cake from Cactus Club, but to be honest, I much prefer this one! You get sweetness and rich flavour from the cake, cut by the sour raspberry puree. The cake was warm, and with the cool ice cream, was just divine.

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Seline and I devoured this in less than a minute, and we fought over who got the last bite. 🙂

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Chocolate Cake: cocoa sauce and vanilla ice cream
Sticky Toffee Pudding: served traditionally with butterscotch sauce and vanilla ice cream
The following week, we came with our parents! Seline and I raved about Wild Rice for the longest time, and finally convinced Mom and Dad to come eat with us at this lovely, delicious, yet underrated restaurant. This time, I DEVOURED the coconut shrimp (truly the best coconut shrimp dish I’ve ever had – including curry!), which came with rice. Unfortunately, I didn’t bring my camera so I can’t show you the plate of HEAVEN that I ate.
Anyways! For dessert, we HAD to order the chocolate cake again! This time, I also wanted to try the sticky toffee pudding. Unlike Earls, this toffee pudding was chocolate-less. Instead, there was a wonderful butterscotch sauce (like the one I had on the galette at Coastal Cookery in the Sunshine Coast). The cake itself was soft, moist, and sweetened with tender chopped dates. Date desserts are one of my favourite sweets, and I really enjoyed this warm cake with the chilled vanilla ice cream. The perfect end to a yummy lunch!

After a trip to Costco a couple weeks ago, I enjoyed a rotisserie chicken drumstick with a spinach, apricot, and blackberry salad with crispy chickpeas and poppyseed dressing. This lunch was just okay – not my favourite.

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Roasted vegetables with Israeli couscous. Not my favourite grain – quinoa still holds the crown for that category.

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Quinoa stir-fry with leftover roasted vegetables, topped with feta cheese and crispy chickpeas

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Roasted potato wedges // chicken and onion stir-fry with asparagus // roasted vegetables

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My plate, with a little chicken, veggies, and ginger-turmeric rice

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Mixed green salad with strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, roasted pecans, feta cheese, and poppyseed dressing

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EW! Guess what I found in my spinach? This little guy was quite the uninvited guest. But I guess he wanted some yummy salad, too?

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Oh yeah! There was some quinoa in here, too. I love Brianna’s salad dressing (this one was from Whole Foods).

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The bites with a little berry, a little feta, and a big candied pecan were the best. 🙂

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Do you like salad? Normally, I’m not the biggest salad person because I prefer veggies to be warm and tender, preferably with some sauce or flavouring. Salads, which are cold and, well, raw, aren’t typically part of my weekly meal rotation. Yummy meal salads, like this one or this one, however, are so much fun to eat at restaurants because you get to try new ingredients. 🙂

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That’s it for now! Have a great day, guys. Stay tuned for my next Coast Post – it’s going to feature THE most delicious cheesecake I’ve ever eaten. 😉

Matchstick Coffee with Rae

Hi everyone! How are you all doing?

To all Vancouverites out there – check out the sunshine we’ve had the past week! It’s incredible. I’m loving Vancity more and more every single day (when the sun is out, of course). I was so sick of the rain, and the recent weather has just been PERFECT for spring walks, gardening, and biking.

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Monday morning was Victoria Day, so there was no school. Unfortunately, hot yoga was also cancelled. 😥 This time, I called to make sure – last time I showed up and there was no one there! It’s okay, though… more time to cook a delish bowl of banana oats. This one featured banana, berries, fresh pumpkin muffin, and hemp hearts. I also stirred in an egg white during the last minute of cooking. It bulked up the oats a bit, added valuable protein, and didn’t change the flavour one bit (thanks, banana!).

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Dad drove Mom and I to Matchstick Coffee on Kingsway so we could meet up with the lovely Rachel of Moments with Rae and her mother. We were there a couple minutes earlier and spent some time admiring the super hip decor. I love Vancouver and it’s hipster places – Bandidas Taqueria is another favourite.

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Their menu isn’t bad (my photo IS bad, though – sorry!) and features food for every appetite. From granola to hummus toast to salad, everything is fresh and healthy. Plus, their menu uses mostly organic and local produce. It makes me very happy to know that such influential restaurants care about nutrition and their environmental footprint 🙂

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First, I ordered a pretty little cappuccino for Mom. The barista put it into a to-go cup with a pretty design on it, but I asked her to pour it into a mug, so the nice foamy swirl disappeared. But it still tasted very fresh. I added some cane sugar to sweeten it up a bit. This was very high-quality coffee, but since I’m not a huge coffee person, it wasn’t my favourite food of the day. More on that almond croissant in just a bit!

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I was debating between the Harvest Salad and the hummus toast, but the lady I spoke with at the counter recommended the hummus toast, hands down. It was definitely the right choice! Thick slices of bread were smothered with creamy white bean hummus and topped with thinly-sliced beets, purple carrots, cucumbers, mixed greens, dill sprigs (I think), freshly-ground black pepper, sunflower seeds, and a drizzle of honey. The sunflower seeds were excellent – they added such a nice flavour and contrasting texture. The drizzle of honey was perfect on the greens, and I felt like it complemented the whole wheat bread. Yummy!

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Matchstick Coffee, along with Thomas Haas and several other bakeries (Thierry and Chez Christophe’s, to name a few) are known for their incredible almond croissants. I ordered one of these famous croissants, and coincidentally, so did Rachel! It’s funny because Rachel and I ordered the EXACT same foods – white bean hummus toast + almond croissant. Only difference was that she ordered lattes and I chose the cappuccino for mom. 🙂

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I thought this croissant was super yummy, though not as light and tender as the one from Thomas Haas. It was still a top-notch baked good, though. Too bad their chocolate almond croissants were sold out. When I eat these little big guys, I go for the centres first! Their creamy, fragrant insides are my favourite thing. Ever. I absolutely loved this croissant. Wish I had some right now! Look how buttery and flaky it is!

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That photo on the left inspired by Rachel – her top-view photos are stunning. 🙂

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Demolished!

That’s it for now – I’ve got a yummy recipe post that I can’t wait to share with you all. Have a wonderful weekend!

Lazy Lately

Hi guys!

How’s it going? I just had an amazing week in terms of food – lots of nutritious and delicious meals. 🙂 I love it when all my meals just work out, meaning I’m full and satisfied. Sorry for the lack of posts recently – I just feel like there isn’t much to show you!

This is what I ate this week, plus a little analysis of the meal in blue. That includes what I was thinking after the meal, and how I liked it, and also how filling it was.

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And… OMG. Montreal in ONE WEEK! Like I mentioned on this post, I will be leaving for Montreal next Saturday. The flight is five hours, and we will get a free meal on the plane. I think I will bring a Larabar and a homemade banana muffin for the flight, as I would rather not eat plane food.

In other news, this was a great dinner cooked by Mom. Roasted baby potatoes in salt and pepper, steamed broccoli, and sauteed corn and scallions. Plus one filet of super tender trout. I love baby potatoes! I sure will miss Mom’s cooking. Only seven more dinners left to enjoy before I’m off to Quebec.

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Oatmeal for breakfast! Here, simple oats are topped with crumbled triple berry muffin and sliced banana. Aaannnd a big blob of my favourite almond buttah.

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I sure hope I can have muffin at Montreal. I wonder if they are as nice as the muffins here – most muffins I find here are dense, rich, and made with minimal ingredients. There are usually no funky preservatives – just flour, butter, leaveners, fruit, oats, and other simple mix-ins. Who needs a muffin with soybean oil and diglycerides?!

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Mom and I went to Whole Foods earlier this week. We started with a wonderful sandwich – one of my favourites, the big chicken + arugula sandwich. The salty proscuitto with tangy chevre is SO good. Plus, that sundried tomato aioli on herby focaccia?! OMG.

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Then we had some a lot of goodies from the hot bar!

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Roasted veggies, amazing marinated feta cheese, and incredible hummus + baba ghanoush (eggplant dip) on pakoras and falafel. The white beans are really good, too. Oh! The broccoli salad! With sweet and tangy mayonnaise, chewy raisins, and crunchy seeds, the WF broccoli salad is seriously to die for. And that macaroni and cheese. OMG.

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Can I please live at Whole Foods?! 😉

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Oatmeal for breakfast the next day – plain oats topped with almond butter, berries, and a sliced banana. Yum! Oatmeal is really the most filling breakfast I can think of.

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Dessert – crumbled muffin over yogurt with honey-roasted pecans and chia seeds. 🙂

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These photos look almost identical to these, but I had this lunch on two different days. Toasted focaccia topped with creamy smushed avocado and tangy goat cheese eggs, plus some mixed greens. The perfect healthy + easy + quick + delicious lunch!

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Okay, I have this for dessert a lot. More yogurt, this time topped with mixed berries, a little scoop of almond butter, and honey-roasted pecans + walnuts.

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Obviously I cannot get enough! Here, yogurt crowns a bowl of strawberries and crumbled honey almond pear muffin. YUMMO.

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… help guys I think I am addicted. Yog, again, topped with sliced banana and crumbled muffin, plus a big sprinkle of ch-ch-ch-chia.

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I think that is it for now… I know, it’s lame… but I’m busy writing a STORY with my sister! I’m working on most of the written novel part, and she’s doing all of the illustrations. We’ve actually published a book already (I wrote it when I was nine), but this one will hopefully be better. 🙂 I’ll give more deets next time because I have to go help Mom with dinner now.

Happy longest day of the year and see you on my next post!

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!

A Streak of Sunshine

Happy Saturday, guys!

Let me start this post by telling you how AWESOME this week has been (for the most part – I was freakin’ out at one point!). I started the week with a math test, which, okay, wasn’t awesome – but I scored 100%. Looks like all of the studying paid off! I was thrilled… until I found out that a couple others also got perfect. Aww! I also earned a 6/6 on a tricky novel analysis essay, AND my teacher asked if she could keep it as a future example, err, a precedent. 😉

I also started a new set at work, which basically means we start a new group of lessons. So I have three classes (one was cancelled) of four kids aged 3-5. I’ve only taught them twice, but of course I LOVE them already. My favourite thing about my job is watching them scream in delight when I pull them around with hula hoops “belly rides”. :mrgreen:

Anyways, what’s a good week without some good food? Here are some of the fantastic meals I’ve had! In no particular order, please welcome the Top Meals of May!

Starting with… baked banana oatmeal topped with honey Greek yogurt and fresh berries. Oatgurt is great in the warmer spring mornings.

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Spaghetti bolognese, bulked up with vegetables. This was Simply Organic tomato sauce and lean ground beef. We also added chopped tomato, roasted peppers, fresh green bell peppers, mushrooms, and onions. Sprinkled with a little parmesan!

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This classic Mom Meal was not my favourite. I can hardly tell what it is, especially under all of this sesame! I see vermicelli, carrots, turnips, and a beef + broccoli stir-fry. We sure eat that often!

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Dinner after a fantastic PARTY! Our party was a lunch party because Grandma doesn’t eat dinner – she prefers a large meal in the middle of the day. I will post about the party on my next post. Roasted butternut squash, Chinese chicken and sesame dressing salad, quinoa salad with feta and mixed greens. A little “slice” of leftover cheesecake for dessert. Such a satisfying dinner. I love eating a variety of food – it makes me feel mentally full because of all the different tastes, textures, and temperatures.

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I guess you could call this a twist on a Mom Dinner. We had macaroni and cheese with vegetables another day. This meal was pretty good! We bulked up some Catelli Smart elbows with chopped broccoli, frozen corn, roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, zucchini, onions, mushrooms, all the works. They were quickly sauteed in a pan and then mixed with the cooked pasta.

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The sauce was simple: butter + flour to make a roux, and then milk and chicken broth to make it liquidy. Then, we threw in some shredded sharp white cheddar and seasoned it with lots of pepper and some salt. After stirring it all together, we stuffed it into a casserole dish, topped it with cheese and toasty breadcrumbs, then baked it to perfection.

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I had three servings of this (it’s a salad plate, BTW!). It could have been more flavourful, probably because the veggies diluted it. I think we’ll use more cheese and another pinch of salt.

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Breakfast! Berries with granola on oatmeal.

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Salad for lunch!

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Topped with nuts, berries, shredded chicken drumstick from a Costco rotisserie chicken. Plus a sprinkle of feta cheese and a big drizzle of homemade maple-blueberry vinaigrette. I didn’t really like the vinaigrette. I put a bit too much balsamic in there! Very sour. 😦

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So… um… yeah. I guess that’s it for now. Stay tuned for the next post, which will be coming out tomorrow evening (hopefully). I’ll be sharing a SUPER awesome lunch with the family. My mom and I hosted a fantastic lunch and made lots of goodies that I can’t wait to post about. See you soon!

 

BTW… FARMER’S MARKET TOMORROW! Woot! 🙂

Strazzled! ☹

So strazzled – that’s stressed + frazzled – right now!

I just came back from the dentist, so a quarter of my face is numb. It’s 6:40 and I won’t be “unfrozen” (anaesthetic wears off) for another three hours. My mom had a great meal planned – tomato scrambled eggs with edamame, cabbage with krill, and corn and scallion saute – but I won’t be eating it tonight. Or tomorrow night! I’m volunteering for the school talent show, and apparently I have to be there from 3:00 to 10:00, or whenever it’s over! The show ends at 9:30. How do my classmates LIVE without eating home-cooked Mom Meals? I can’t even think about it.

I also have emails to respond to, homework to finish, tests to study for, and summer things to organize…

GAH.

So I opened up my blog, and here I am… typing this up. This is gonna be a quickie post because I will be getting math help at 7:00!

Anyways, here are some of the meals I’ve had lately, in no particular order. I hope you enjoy. 🙂

 

Raisin bread French toast (egg + cinnamon + milk) with almond buttah on top. No maple syrup at home – the horror. This was eaten dry!

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Banana oatmeal topped with granola.

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Mom Dinner – fried rice, chicken + onion saute, wintermelon, and mushrooms + scallions.

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Fried rice (this was with shrimp and scallops) is SO good!

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More oatmeal: this time with banana on top, and maple syrup. This was a fantastic bowl!

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Lunchtime! Quinoa salad with feta cheese, mixed greens, sundried tomatoes, and leftover butternut squash. Also had an orange and some peanut butter pretzels from Trader Joe’s. I always eat my peanut butter pretzels for a snack in English class.
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Curry for dinner. This was a rushed dinner because I had to go to a hospital orientation – eaten at 4:30, natch! I love curry, and of course I had seconds.

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More French toast…?!

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Curry leftovers – this was gross. We put leftovers in the steamer (one from Taiwan), with some quinoa on the side. This looked and tasted like hospital food. Bleh! I think I’ll be scared of coconut curry for a while…

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That’s it for now. I’m still not in a good mood. Did you know that the teachers will be going on strike AGAIN next week? We had Wednesday (yesterday) off, but I was volunteering all day at a local art school. I can’t believe that school will be closed again next Thursday. This is ridiculous! Apparently the bargaining isn’t getting anywhere either. It sucks that students + parents are caught in the middle, or “held hostage by the government” according to this morning’s news anchor.

Two bad days, coming up… 😦