Marché With Rae

Not too long ago, I spent some time with Vancouver blogger friend Rachel. Rachel has been super busy lately, finishing her first year of university, returning from a monthlong trip to Europe, and getting ready for the new school year.

We met up at Le Marché St. Georges, a quaint, homey cafe and market with a fairly extensive coffee bar, patisserie, and brunch/lunch food options.

Side note: for stunning photography and snippets of life, you’ll have to take a look at her Instagram. Otherwise, for mouthwatering food photos (especially ice cream!), visit her foodie Instagram.

Rachel ordered the Crepe of the Day, which featured marinated mushrooms, goat cheese, and arugula, all enveloped by a toasty buckwheat crepe. I had a London Fog, which looked adorable in a 12 oz bowl, followed by the most delicious asparagus and asiago quiche (chard salad on the side).

Despite sitting outside on this hot, hot day, I was completely infatuated by my hot, creamy, crispy quiche. The asparagus was tender, the eggs sharp and flavourful, thanks to the asiago. My favourite part of the quiche was the crust, which tasted fresh, buttery, and flaky – an easy 10/10.

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Of course, no get-together would be complete without dessert!

At Earnest Ice Cream, a Vancouver staple just a few blocks away, we sampled some of their flavours and enjoyed one scoop of espresso flake (Rachel) and cookies and cream (me).

It was hard to decide between cookies and cream, London Fog, oatmeal brown sugar, and some other unique and flavourful options.

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Rich, creamy, just-sweet enough, studded with texture – I’m in love. The quality is absolutely stellar.

My “Winter in BC To-Do List” is already growing. I need this sesame shaved ice in my life!

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Then we parted ways!

Previous meet-ups with Rachel:

  1. The first time we met, we had croissants, coffee, and hummus toast at Matchstick Coffee Roasters (alongside our mothers)
  2. Salad for lunch at Railtown Cafe, followed by incredible Soft Peaks ice cream and shopping at Daiso
  3. Brunch at the trendy Cafe Medina, where we had super unique lattes and shared Mediterannean brunch specials
  4. Incredible vegan brunch and special brownies at Heirloom Vegetarian
  5. Lebanese dinner at Nuba
  6. And now, brunch/lunch at Le Marché St. Georges with ice cream from Earnest 🙂

I miss you already, Rachel! Here’s to many more delicious meals and great conversations. ❤

Toronto’s Best Ice Cream?

How is it MAY already?

Let’s talk food!

I tried Venezuelan food, from El Arepazo in the Kensington Market, for the first time and loved these arepas stuffed with fried plantains, queso, black beans, avocado, and fresh tomato. Next time, I will add hot sauce!

The London Fog tea latte from Moonbean Cafe in Kensington Market is the #1 tea latte I’ve ever had, hands down. I’m drooling for this mug right now.

Sunset on Sterling road, the magical little street that takes me to Cirque-ability where I practice aerials.

Mmmmm, desserts! I bought these from Thobors. This was:

  • almond paste tart with peach slices
  • chocolate hazelnut mousse cake that tasted like ferrero rocher in a cake form

I went to Pomegranate Restaurant to try Iranian food for my first time on Friday night. This was their famous fish, which involved boneless chicken breast in a stew made of crushed walnuts and pomegranate syrup. I’ve never had anything like this before, and loved it. Though, I wish I had more of the yellow saffron rice.

Dessert was this saffron ice cream, which, sadly, tasted like frozen rose shampoo.

I had the BEST Indian dinner at Banjara! Cassie – look! I had Indian food! This was delicious and featured:

  • vegetable pakora (fried)
  • yellow lentil dahl
  • palak paneer (spinach and cottage cheese curry) –> my #1 favourite Indian dish of all time
  • aloo gobi (potato and cauliflower curry)
  • rice pudding with cardamom, carrots, and cinnamon
  • curry basmati rice

All this… for around $13?!

For dessert, I went crazy for this caramelized peanut butter cookie with two scoops of ice cream: totarn (ube, or purple yam) and one scoop of cinnamon toast. Cinnamon toast ice cream? Purple yam ice cream? If you’ve never had them, you need to try. And also, this peanut butter cookie was mind-blowingly delicious. One of my dessert highlights of my Toronto life.

Life back home in BC… oh, and I finally got new shoes! My toes were starting to peep out of my old ones. These black shoes were on discount from Nordstrom, and are ridiculously comfortable.

A breakfast to remember: banana oats in a cashew butter jar, yogurt, blackberries, and a slice of oat banana bread. YUM!

For the last two/three weeks in Toronto, the only things in my fridge were cheddar cheese and vegetables – and the one thing in my pantry was quinoa. With that, I made vegetable quinoa casseroles about 3-4 times during my last month in Toronto, but I never grow sick of it. This square featured wilted spinach, little carrots and corn, peas, quinoa, and creamy, sharp cheddar.

One bucket list item checked off – I finally went to Maha’s, an Egpytian restaurant, for brunch! It was a Sunday afternoon, so I should have expected a long wait. Ended up waiting from 1:00 to 2:30 before getting into the restaurant, which only seats 24 people. This plate features some Egyptian balady bread, Turkish cheese, a spinach falafel, sliced hard-boiled egg, and creamy beans. The little cup on the right was full of spices and raw cucumber, peppers, and tomato. It was a superb meal that I thoroughly enjoyed, but I wouldn’t wait 1.5 hours for it again.

I followed up that meal with some desserts. Two, to be exact…

  • one chestnut mousse cake with walnut sponge, wrapped in milk chocolate
  • one earl grey tea latte
  • one pistachio and chocolate croissant

After the Egyptian brunch, and the desserts, AND the mug of tea, it was hard to walk because I was so full!

 

Now that summer is on the horizon, I can’t wait to make tasty salads like this one. I have pesto – I just need to buy some arugula, peppers, penne, and cheese/tofu!

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I will miss Toronto’s massive selection of restaurants.

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But I am glad to be back in school!

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Have a delicious week, friends 🙂

Looks Gross, Tastes GREAT

Hello, friends! I hope you all had the most fantastic Easter weekend. I did, especially when you consider the number of almond croissants that I devoured. You’ll see. 😉

This was my long weekend plan, most of which didn’t play out because the weather was gorgeous and I didn’t want to be cooped up in a yoga studio.

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Almond croissant numero un was at Delysees, where I nibbled on a warm croissant with a dark hot chocolate.

On Sunday, I tried Russian food for the first time. This was a trout coulibiac from The Tempered Room. It was a puff pastry (similar to a wellington) filled with flaked trout, roasted kale, lentils, slices of hard-boiled egg, and quinoa. Definitely not the most authentic, but a delicious, protein-filled healthy twist to a Russian classic.

Let’s be honest, this doesn’t look the greatest. But it tasted AWESOME.

That was devoured alongside a buttery kale and sweet potato scone.

London Fog tea lattes are my favourite, and this was my first time trying the famous Sloane brand of tea. I loved this mug of tea, but thought it was similar to any old supermarket Earl Grey.

Croissant number two. Did I mention this was all in the same day? This chocolate almond croissant was flatter, denser, less flaky, and more buttery.

Another day, I enjoyed a phenomenal brunch at Barque Smokehouse, where I enjoyed cornbread topped with citrus smoked salmon, two poached eggs, and BBQ hollandaise, the crispiest roasted potatoes, and a kale salad with carrots, cabbage, and pear.

Healthy dinner at home involved cauliflower rice and zucchini/yellow zucchini shreds with gruyere cheese.

I can never make the 2 egg + 1 ripe banana pancakes successfully. They always seem to rip or break on me! Even this time, when I added a bit of rolled oats and almond meal to create sturdiness, they tore as I flipped them. Any tips?

Regardless, they tasted fantastic smeared with almond and peanut butter.

Round Two turned out better! I added a bit of quinoa flour this time. I think that contributed to the sturdiness.

Another day, I whisked up four eggs, lots of wilted spinach, and feta cheese. I made it omelette-style, then tossed it into the oven to broil and melt the cheese. This created a filling, delicious, and easy meal that I paired with yogurt and a crumbled date bar.

Saag paneer (spinach + cottage cheese) roti is probably my favourite thing about Toronto so far. This roti from Mother India on Queen West was stuffed with pureed spinach, tender potatoes, and some chunks of paneer cheese. I had a big craving for Indian food after a patient told me about Mother India, and it needed to be satisfied! I loved this roti as much as the one from Gandhi Indian Cuisine. Though Mother India’s roti itself tasted better and was less spicy, Gandhi’s saag paneer roti had bigger chunks of paneer and the spinach looked greener.

It looks gross. I know. But it tasted absolutely incredible.

Can you believe that I have EIGHT more days of work before I’m going back to Waterloo and saying goodbye to Toronto (possibly forever!)?

My sister, Seline, published a book! Her novel is called ‘Journey to Avalon‘ and details the adventures of an awkward, self-proclaimed loser who finds herself with strange powers in the Elemental Academy for the Supernaturally Gifted – and will do anything to go back to her mundane life at home.

I think that’s it for today! I have lots more stuff to show you in the next few days, so stay tuned 😉

Cheesy Waffles, Coconut Flour Brownies, and Makeup (ʘ_ʘ)

Quickie post this morning because I have to go to TD Bank and deposit my first cheque! Yay for PAYDAY 🙂
On a completely different note, you should run to the store ASAP and pick up some chocolate chips and coconut flour, because these amazing paleo brownies need to be made. I was totally skeptical about coconut flour in brownies (haven’t had much luck with coco flour in the past), but these were spectacular.
Not only were they easy to make, but they also tasted SUPERB. Fudgy yet a bit cakey, and 100% chocolate deliciousness.
Coconut Flour Brownies
Serves: 9 servings
Ingredients
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • ½ heaping cup honey (you can also use 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar)
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease an 8×8 nonstick pan or place parchment paper on it.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the coconut flour, baking soda and salt.
  3. Heat the coconut oil in a small saucepan over low heat until melted. Add the chocolate chips, cocoa powder and honey. Stir the mixture until the chocolate chips start to melt, then remove the pan from the heat and stir until the chips are completely melted and the mixture is very smooth. Set aside to cool.
  4. Whisk together the almond milk, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in the cooled chocolate mixture.
  5. Sift the dry ingredients into the chocolate mixture and whisk vigorously until no lumps remain. Allow the batter to rest for 5 minutes so that the coconut flour can absorb some of the liquid.
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean. Remove the dish from the oven and allow to cool completely before cutting into squares.

Not really a recipe: 2 eggs + 1 ripe banana in the blender with a pinch of cardamom, cinnamon, 1/4 tsp baking powder, and some salt, then enough coconut flour and almond milk to make pancake-batter texture. Cooked in coconut oil and topped with almond butter and yogurt, these were filling, SO delicious, and hearty.

I made a massive batch of granola to take with me to Toronto. Not sure why I’m posting it now. This granola recipe is the one I always use, but this time I tripled the recipe!

First time making gnocchi was a success! I used fresh gnocchi from Vincenzo’s, the Italian grocery store, and added leftover pumpkin pasta sauce, mushrooms, and zucchini. Cheese on top is pecorino romano!

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Broccoli-cheddar soup was also made and enjoyed alongside avocado toast.

A couple weeks ago, I went from Waterloo to Toronto for my first training session at work. Since my work starts at 10:00, and I left Waterloo at 6:00 AM, I had plenty of time to stop at Lady Marmalade, a brunch restaurant in Toronto. There, I enjoyed these super cheesy spinach waffles with two poached eggs and a tomato-orange sauce. Avocado on top instead of bacon – the perfect touch 🙂

Oh! And a London Fog latte was also chugged. This was amazing!

Toronto is such a bright, diverse, colourful city. The Christmas-ized mall was lovely.

Have you make shakshuka before? This certainly wasn’t the most authentic, but I followed Minimalist Baker’s recipe, made a couple changes, and enjoyed this chickpea rendition. It was especially yummy on top of quinoa with a smattering of nutritional yeast.

1-Pot Chickpea Shakshuka
Serves: 2 cups (3 servings)
Ingredients
  • 1/2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tsp garlic
  • 1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1.5 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut sugar or maple syrup
  • sea salt to taste (depends on whether your diced tomatoes are salted/unsalted)
  • 1 tsp smoked or sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • pinch cardamom
  • 1 can cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
FOR SERVING optional
  • Lemon wedges
  • Bread
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Quinoa
Instructions
  1. Heat large metal skillet over medium heat. When hot, add oil, pepper, and garlic.
  2. Saute for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until soft and fragrant.
  3. Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, coconut sugar, sea salt, paprika, cumin, chili powder, cinnamon, cayenne pepper (optional), and cardamom (optional). Stir to combine.
  4. Simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Scoop 3/4 of the sauce into a blender and blend for a creamier result.
  6. Add chickpeas. Stir to combine. Simmer for 15-20 mins to allow the flavours to develop.
  7. Taste. Adjust seasonings.
  8. Serve with bread, pasta, rice, quinoa, etc. Garnish with lemon juice or spices.
  9. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 4 days, or in the freezer up to 1 month. Reheat on the stovetop until completely warmed through.

Waterloo was SO snowy! Good thing there isn’t a speck of snow in Toronto now.

On my last day in Waterloo, I went to Alexa Baker‘s lovely studio for a photoshoot. She has a great studio in Kitchener, where model Victoria did my makeup and helped me get used to the lights.

Here are some of the photos that emerged! We took the yoga shots today, and the silks photos are from a couple months ago 🙂

In honour of the two weeks that I lived completely alone in Waterloo ( 😥 ), here are some tips for things to do!

Things To Do When Home Alone

  1. Play music really loud
  2. Take a nap
  3. Read a good book
  4. Do a home spa treatment (I made homemade oil + brown sugar + baking soda exfoliator for my legs and feet, which get so dry in the winter!)
  5. Watch a movie
  6. Clean up (sad but I actually did this)
  7. Call a friend
  8. Talk to yourself
  9. Buy food
  10. Make food
  11. Eat the food
  12. Draw something pretty
 Bye for now!

My First Week in Toronto

Good morning friends!

As some of you might know, I moved to Toronto (downtown, eek!) from Waterloo last week. It was a 2-hour drive in the snow, and now I’m all unpacked and settled. I’ve been working at the Toronto Health Centre as a clinical assistant for about a week now, and I’ve been loving the big city 🙂

A couple days ago I went to Whole Foods out of boredom and couldn’t resist the hot bar. Holy moly, y’all need to go to WF and get the mashed sweet potatoes from their hot bar. Irresistible. I was tempted to go back for more of that sweet potato mash! I also tried cauliflower rice for the first time. It’s yummy. What do you guys think?

An expensive (but oh-so-good) London Fog latte from Dineen, which is around 20 minutes from my house. Beautiful cafe with lovely breakfast baked goods and incredible drinks. This was one of the richest, tastiest tea lattes I’ve ever had. Too bad the SMALL cost me over $4. Whoa.

I also joined a new gym! This is Cirque-Ability in west Toronto. I can’t wait to start practicing here.

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I stopped by Butter Avenue while walking from dance class at the City Dance Corps and accidentally (ok intentionally) bought this creamy white chocolate cheesecake mousse. The bottom layer was filled with crunchy oat bits and raspberries. I died with every bite. AH-mazing. Worth $9? Probably. Would I get this again? Probably.

Another day I had brunch at Le Petit Dejeuner! It’s a Belgian-Canadian brunch spot that’s a hit with the locals. I nommed on these Belgian waffles that came with a poached egg and smoked salmon, as well as some sour-spicy apple slaw. Not a bad breakfast! I loved the mix of savoury, sweet, and salty flavours. That’s maple syrup in the little tin. 🙂

And you know I can’t go anywhere without trying an almond croissant! This is Milano Espresso Bar, where I was lucky to snab an almond croissant straight out of the oven. This London Fog was the biggest I’ve ever had, and every sip was scrumptious. I’m addicted to tea lattes. And croissants.

The St. Lawrence Market is another famous Toronto spot! I browsed the aisles and spoke with some vendors, and had to try one of these famous Portuguese custard tarts. It was creamy, sweet, rich, and really good. I wish I had it heated up, but it was delicious nonetheless.

I actually cooked at home?! Apparently, yes. This was a simple bowl of oats enjoyed with a smashed up sweet potato muffin and tons of peanut butter. I loved it!

Toronto’s big mall is called the Eaton Centre, and it’s massive! Their Christmas decorations are gone now, but it’s still as busy.

Yesterday, went to T&T. Asian markets are a lot of fun to browse.

Lastly, a random salad from Maman, a bakery in Toronto’s financial district. This salad was just okay, but the financier that followed?! One of the best ever. Wish I had a pic!

And that’s it for today! Have a spectacular Tuesday ❤

 

New Favourite Recipes: You MUST Try!

Alright! I’ve got a super long post today, but I promise it’s worth reading because I’m going to share some of my new recipe obsessions 🙂 Keep scrollin’ on!

You have probably already seen the recipe for my healthy tuna pasta bake. I swear this recipe is irresistible and such a go-to! I added lots more veggies this time, including celery, mushrooms, and carrots.

This dinner took longer than expected: chicken broth quinoa with TONS of sautéed vegetables and baked spicy salmon. I made the salmon with garlic, cayenne and paprika, with some butter on top of maximum deliciousness.

Scrambled eggs are a go-to. This meal was dairy-free because I ditched the cheese for nutritional yeast. Some nutritional yeast whisked into eggs adds a nice parmesan-like flavor, and, well, lots of nutrition. 🙂 Roasted red pepper hummus on my toast. Delicious! This was a lunch because I’m always cooking oats for breakfast.

Tuna salad made with a mashed avocado and cheddar cheese, grilled until toasty. I enjoyed this lunch while waiting for my granola to bake, and while talking to Mom on FaceTime.

Cottage cheese pancakes that failed miserably in terms of appearance. Thankfully they did not taste bad! Cottage cheese makes pancakes heavy and hard to flip, in my opinion.

Falafel, spinach, hummus, and couscous with kabocha squash that was roasted… and burned.

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Better pancakes made with coconut flour and egg. these were a little too eggy for my taste, which from my experience is quite normal for coconut flour recipes. They were good nonetheless, topped with nut butter, coconut, maple, and chocolate yogurt blobs.

This was the kabocha that I made after a day at Niagara Falls. I baked it for 40 minutes instead of 20 (smart Cindy) and they were definitely overbaked. Still delicious, though, with couscous, spinach, and shrimp.

Then I needed cheese the next day! 1 egg + 1 egg yolk (you’ll see why in just a second!) scrambled with spinach, and two pieces of toast with avocado. One with harvarti and the other topped with brie, these toasts were a simple dinner.

The egg white went into this amazing coconut flour cocoa mug cake. This was one of the BEST things I’ve ever made in a microwave. Here’s how I made it:

Coconut Flour Mug Cake
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp. unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tbsp. coconut flour
  • 1 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  1. Grease coffee mug with coconut oil.
  2. Mix all wet ingredients and whisk well.
  3. Add baking soda and baking powder. Whisk well again.
  4. Add cocoa powder and coconut flour. Mix until combined.
  5. Pour batter (it is liquidy!) into the mug and microwave for 2 minutes. Serve and enjoy with Greek yogurt and peanut butter for HEAVEN!

Try making pear oatmeal with coconut milk. No recipe needed – just make basic oats, throw in a chopped pear, and add a big splash of creamy coconut milk. This bowl is so filling, so delicious, and tastes like a decadent dessert. Topped with granola and muffin for me 🙂

Here’s that salmon I was talking about earlier. Just top with cayenne, paprika, garlic, and some butter. Don’t skimp on the butter here, guys. Salmon is naturally buttery, but a little extra doesn’t hurt anyone 😉 Plus it adds a richness that offsets the fishiness of the fish. Salt and pepper, too!

  • Garlic, minced or crushed
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cayenne
  • Paprika
  • Butter
  • Easy as that! Bake at 400 degrees for 13-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of your filet. This took 13 minutes.

I don’t think I need to give you a recipe for toast! Plain whole wheat bread topped with my new kale pesto and some brie. Bake until crisp, then broil to melt the cheese. Heavenly.

Here it is, along with some sautéed vegetables. The best comforting dinner.

Why not grill some avocado and throw it in a sandwich with harvarti, roasted red pepper, and avocado with hummus? This sandwich was phenomenal.

I made a lasagna one afternoon using cottage cheese and a bunch of chopped vegetables, with butternut squash sauce and cubed butternut squash. Sounds pretty gourmet (actually, not really) but it was really just the leftover veggies I had in the fridge, along with leftover cheese and some frozen butternut squash. It turned out dang delicious, though. I ate this square but could’ve easily downed another.

Thai green coconut curried tofu with vegetables, brown rice, and crushed cashews made an easy lunch.

More of that pasta bake!

This plate of food isn’t the most photogenic, but I can’t get over how good the veggie + tuna + cheddar combination is.

And, more curry. This time with frozen edamame because all my tofu was gone. 😛 Don’t you guys feel like edamame is “the forgotten protein”? Everyone refers to nuts, beans and lentils, tofu, and eggs for vegetarian proteins – but edamame is delicious and rich in protein as well. Eat up!

Leftover cottage cheese from my lasagna went into stuffed French toast, with a sliced pear, almond butter, and cinnamon. I would highly recommend making French toast with cottage cheese! It’s delectable.

A ton of veggies: 1/2 a head of cauliflower roasted and chopped, sautéed with spinach and served with a poached egg and avocado toast.

Avocado on a multigrain pita with an omelet.

Brie cheese on a burned pita with pesto, sweet potato, and cauliflower. What do you do when you burn an entire plate of food because you forget that you hit the “broil” button? Well, if you’re me, you plate it all, photograph it, and eat it all because charred food is actually kinda good.

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This looks like a ton of pancakes (well, it is. 8 of ’em!), but it is just one recipe. Super simple: two eggs, almond flour, and 1/4 cup of applesauce make up the base. Toppings are yours to choose from, but I made a simple sunflower butter chocolate sauce out of maple syrup, sunflower butter, cocoa powder, coconut oil, and salt. Microwave and spread to your heart’s content!

I always have my breakfast with some Earl Grey tea, or if I’m feeling a little fancy, I make myself some London Fog latte. This is the recipe I use every time 🙂 I don’t have a milk frother so it isn’t super cafe-like, but tastes absolutely amazing and always warms me up.


 Cindy’s Favourite Homemade London Fog Latte

Serves one lucky person

Ingredients

  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 Earl Grey tea bag
  • 1/2 cup milk or almond milk (I use unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
  • 1-3 tsp sugar (I use one heaping tsp of coconut sugar)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

Instructions

  1. Place tea bag in water for 3 minutes.
  2. Remove tea bag.
  3. Stir in the sugar until dissolved.
  4. Microwave milk or almond milk for 50 seconds to a minute until warm-hot and nearly simmering. You can whisk it here if you would like it to be foamy, but I personally don’t like foam.
  5. Stir the milk into the latte.
  6. Add the optional vanilla extract.
  7. Enjoy!

 

Broccoli, parmesan, and a little soup before class.

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Are you getting sick of my Thai curry yet? This batch had sweet potato in it. My favourite curry addition!

This was a multigrain pita with banana and chocolate sunflower butter, pan-fried until crispy and absolutely glorious.

I really liked this dinner of couscous with broccoli, shrimp, goat cheese, and butternut squash. It is my go-to dinner because it takes 10 minutes to whip up when everything is chopped up in the fridge.

Tomato scrambled eggs that because a big plate of mush.

Pear oatmeal is a whole new world of delicious. I love these photos!

And… pasta!

I love the combination of pasta with squash, garlic, and cheese. Once, I made a super yummy butternut squash and ricotta bake, but for some reason, I can’t seem to find the photos! They must be hidden somewhere in my computer. 😦 Does that ever happen to you? Oh well, maybe this is a fitting place to share the recipe!


Butternut Squash Ricotta Pasta Bake

Serves 3-4

Ingredients

  • 1 bowl chopped butternut squash (flexible – to your taste)
  • canola oil
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • Dried basil
  • 200g diced tomatoes
  • sea salt
  • 250g dried penne (I used whole wheat)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 250 mL chicken broth
  • 100g mozzarella ball
  • Fresh sage, leaves picked
  • Butter for cooking sage

Instructions

  1. My squash was frozen so I popped it in the microwave for a minute with some water. Otherwise, roast it, or use leftover squash.
  2. Pour a couple of lugs of olive oil into a large frying pan, add the garlic and fry for a couple of minutes. Add your tomatoes to the pan, breaking them up with a wooden spoon and bring to the boil. Drop in the squash, bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, add the penne and cook for a couple of minutes less than it says on the packet. Drain, then toss with the sauce.
  4. Sprinkle sauce with dried basil and sprinkle into the pan with some salt and pepper. Stir in the ricotta and the stock, then bring back to the boil.
  5. Rub a large baking tray, ovenproof pan with olive oil and spoon in all the pasta and sauce. Tear over the ball of mozzarella.
  6. Pop it into the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes or until golden and bubbling. I broiled it for about 10 minutes on low. Lightly fry sage in butter and sprinkle on top.

Dang, I really wish I had pictures for you! Just believe me that it was super yummy, okay? 😉

Icicles!

 Yesssss to randomnessssssss. Okay, that was weird. I swear I’m not usually that annoying.

I want this taped on my wall! Or printed on my phone case! Or tattooed on my back! Or on a shower curtain! Or – oh my goodness – as a yoga mat! What are some of your favourite ways to take a break?!

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Whew! Was that a long post or what?!

Happy Friday (tomorrow) guys!