Low-Carb Recipe Ideas

Hey, everyone! Recently I’ve been experimenting with eating less carbs.

Little summary of my normal diet: oatmeal, bread, pancakes, sandwiches, more bread, grilled cheese, potatoes, granola, fancy little desserts, sweet potatoes, couscous, pizza, muffins, garlic bread, more pretty little desserts, rice, rice, rice, rice, more rice.

It’s a lot of carbs.

I mean, it’s great! Who doesn’t love grilled cheese and rice? Since coming to Australia, though, I’ve been trying to change it up a little bit. Rather than purely eliminating rice from my diet, which would be tragic, I’ve been making small changes.

Changes like using 1/2 cauliflower rice and 1/2 regular rice in stir-fries. Or having omelettes with salad on the side, instead of toast. Eating eggs and veggies instead of my typical morning oatmeal. So far, it’s been wonderful. This is absolutely NOT to say that I don’t eat granola or desserts or grilled cheese anymore – I absolutely still do – but making tiny swaps and healthier additions have made me feel more refreshed.

Here’s a little list that I compiled a while ago to kick-start a series of healthier changes! I’ll be honest, some of them would definitely make me feel deprived (eg. only hard-boiled eggs with berries for breakfast?!), so I haven’t tried them all. The bolded ones are my favourites. 🙂

Breakfast

  • breakfast wrap using egg as “tortilla”
  • breakfast enchiladas
  • pepper egg in a hole
  • egg-applesauce pancakes
  • chocolate banana smoothie
  • poached eggs with tomatoes
  • jalapeno popper egg cups
  • Greek yogurt with LOTS of mixed berries
  • vegetable frittata
  • vegetable omelet
  • egg quiche
  • cottage cheese with berries
  • hard-boiled eggs with berries
  • scrambled eggs with vegetables
  • green smoothie
  • cauliflower breakfast hash
  • cauliflower breakfast bake
  • fluffy cauliflower breakfast bake
  • cauliflower hash browns

Lunch and Snack Ideas

  • cucumber salad with shrimp
  • turkey roll ups (fill with cream cheese, peppers, cucumbers, avocado, hummus, and cheese)
  • grilled chicken spinach salad with nuts
  • tuna salad with avocado
  • mixed berries fruit salad
  • broccoli with quinoa and halloumi
  • Greek yogurt
  • taco salad
  • chia pudding
  • cauliflower cheddar mash
  • pizza soup
  • egg salad in a lettuce wrap
  • chocolate mousse
  • trail mix with seeds and dried fruit
  • hard boiled eggs
  • cottage cheese with berries
  • stuffed mushrooms
  • cheese slices with grapes
  • Greek salad
  • vegetarian minestrone soup
  • vegetables with hummus

Dinner Sides (mix and match with mains below)

  • mashed cauliflower
  • cauliflower breadsticks
  • roasted vegetables
  • makeover spinach gratin
  • brussels sprouts gratin

Dinner Protein Mains

  • cheesy meatballs
  • crustless pizza
  • burger with no bun, topped with mushrooms and onions and cheese
  • turkey lettuce wraps
  • turkey spinach meatballs
  • california spicy crab stuffed avocado
  • salmon patties
  • crustless spinach quiche
  • marinated grilled shrimp
  • shrimp stir-fry with vegetables
  • shredded harissa chicken
  • broiled tilapia parmesan
  • Dijon garlic, lemon dill salmon, maple-soy salmon

Dinner Cauliflower Mains

  • cauliflower fried rice
  • cheesy cauliflower bake
  • loaded grilled cauliflower steak
  • cauliflower baked ziti
  • cauliflower shepherd’s pie
  • cauliflower tamale pie
  • pizza cauliflower bake

Dinner Zucchini Mains

  • zucchini enchiladas
  • chicken parmesan stuffed zucchini
  • loaded zucchini skins
  • lasagna stuffed zucchini boats
  • scalloped zucchini
  • zucchini cheesy bread
  • stuffed zucchini
  • zucchini manicotti

Dinner Spaghetti Squash Mains

  • tomato basil spaghetti squash
  • pizza spaghetti squash
  • 4-cheese spaghetti squash
  • spaghetti squash feta egg bake

Dinner Other Veggies

  • broccoli chicken divan
  • tuna melt on a tomato
  • egg roll in a bowl
  • eggplant lasagna
  • taco lettuce cups
  • cheesy butternut squash skillet
  • bell pepper nachos
  • stuffed peppers
  • taco-filled tomatoes

Finally, a list of low-carb veggies that happen to be delicious…

… with cheese, of course.

Low-Carb Vegetables

  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • spinach
  • kale
  • brussels sprouts
  • cabbage
  • swiss chard
  • lettuce
  • cucumber
  • sprouts
  • eggplant
  • green beans
  • lemon
  • peppers
  • spaghetti squash
  • tomatoes
  • celery
  • parsley
  • avocado
  • radish
  • bok choy
  • mushrooms
  • garlic
  • asparagus
  • yellow squash

Top 24 Favourite Recipes on The Flying Foodie

I’ve been wanting to do a post like this for a while!

I scoured my Recipes page and browsed through so many old posts to compile this listicle (you know, list + article).

Most of my favourite recipes are easy to make, require minimal ingredients, and are super flavourful and filling.

What do you think? They are in no particular order. 🙂

Personal Favourite Recipes My Blog

  1. Chocolate Banana Almond Flour Cake: rich, banana-y, with a great texture, it’s easy to see why this is one of my all-time favourites.
  2. Chickpea Blondies: I make this all the time, swapping peanut butter for almond or cashew, and the honey for maple. It always, always, turns out wonderfully.
  3. Vegan Banana Bread Buckwheat Bake: like a cake made a baby with a muffin, this breakfast cake reminds me of a modern baked oatmeal.
  4. African Peanut Stew: this recipe is why I love cumin.
  5. Peanut Butter Cookie Baked Oats: do I need to explain?
  6. Almond Flour Berry Cake: I make this all the time, changing up the fruit to match what’s in season. I’ve done it with blueberries (frozen), and even peaches and blackberries. Most of the time, I double or even triple the recipe!
  7. Baked Banana Oatmeal: it’s a classic. I often always pair this with Greek yogurt and nut butter.
  8. Paleo Coconut Flour Cake: I had a deep, dark hatred for coconut flour… until I attempted this recipe. Sweet, rich with coconut flavour, and with a spongy texture, this recipe is coconut flour perfection.
  9. Loaded Mexican Sweet Potatoes: believe me when I say that this recipe is so good, you might not even need the cheese! I’m a huge cheese lover, so that says something…
  10. 100-Calorie Chocolate Banana Cake Squares: YES. This one is in the Top 3 for sure. You would never guess that it’s made completely oil-free by swapping the butter for applesauce, and with a rich, deep chocolatey flavour, this satisfies all my dessert cravings with minimal oil and sugar. I buy extra bananas to make this. Heck, my roommates “preserve” their bananas so these cake squares can be made.
  11. Sweet Potato Tofu Hash: I am not a savoury breakfast person, but if I had to choose, this would 100% be the one.
  12. Black Bean Brownies: try it.
  13. Maple-Soy Salmon: I make this at least twice a month.
  14. Homemade Cinnamon Vanilla Almond Milk: okay, so I’ve only made this once. But it was so tasty that I don’t think I ever want to buy store-bought almond milk again.
  15. Sweet Potato Spice Muffins: I made a whole batch of these to bring to Toronto when I moved here a couple months ago. They vanished in less than a week.
  16. Spicy Butter Salmon: when my salmon isn’t marinated in maple syrup and soy sauce, this is the one. It pairs beautifully with any grain or veggie.
  17. The Best Banana Muffins: from raisins to pistachios to chocolate chips, my mom and I have done it all. It always turns out well, and is incredibly popular with friends and family.
  18. Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Snack Bread: this recipe does require more ingredients than most, but it’s chewy, oat-y, and flavoured with just the right amount of peanut butter and cocoa powder. I love it for a quick pick-me-up snack in between during classes.
  19. Spicy Spinach Coconut Noodles: noodle lovers, this one is for you! Just save me a plate.
  20. Healthy “Costco” Blueberry Muffins: so close to the real thing, minus the diglycerides, sulphites, and all that…. whatever it is.
  21. Decadent 2-Minute Microwave Chocolate Mug Cake for One: last summer, my roommates and I made this recipe every night. The same recipe for weeks. It’s THAT good. I like mine with peanut butter… but then again, is there anything I won’t add nut butter to?
  22. Creamy Vegetable Quinoa Casserole: this is made on a weekly rotation. It’s the best meal prep!
  23. Peanut Sauce: from drizzling on tofu to a dip for fresh summer rolls, this recipe is versatile and balances all the right flavours of spice, sourness, and sweetness. I always find myself licking plates and bowls when peanut sauce is involved.
  24. Quinoa and Almond Flour Carrot Cake: this cake is truly amazing. It uses nutritious quinoa flour and a good dose of almond flour for a carrot cake with excellent flavour and health benefits. It’s one of my #1 favourite toppers for yogurt or oatmeal!

I love revisiting old posts and thinking about how my recipe preferences change over time, though the old favourites stay the same.

What are the top recipes on your blog?

Serendipitous Snippets of Summer

Confession: I had to Google how to spell ‘Serendipitous’ and how to use it properly in a sentence. Hopefully I used it correctly?

On a different note, check out this chocolate cake! I made this heavenly recipe. It’s my family’s favourite. My dad loves how sweet, moist, and decadent it tastes, as well as the creamy and super-chocolatey buttercream frosting. Definitely a once-in-a-while treat, but lots of fun to bake… and eat.

PS: decoration done with a ziploc bag (tiny hole cut out of one corner) and a toothpick used to drag the white chocolate through the buttercream frosting.

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One dinner we enjoyed recently involved salmon steaks, corn, and boiled broccoli + carrots. Seline had mashed potatoes and gravy with hers. This was my first time having a salmon steak – normally we buy the filets from Costco. I made these with butter, lemon, garlic, S+P, and cayenne. Simple and so flavourful!

Yummy flourless almond meal cake that I topped with sliced peach. This cake was devoured (98% by me) in two days. :O

Do you like red bean soup? My mom makes the absolute BEST out of coconut milk and brown sugar. It’s my favourite Chinese dessert.

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A couple days ago, we stopped at Whole Foods after visiting Grandma in Burnaby. There is a new Whole Foods near Brentwood Town Centre. Seline and I each grabbed a takeout box and filled them up with pasta, salad toppings, vegetables, mac and cheese (probably the best thing in the WF hot bar!), potatoes, and more. The tikka masala chickpeas were my favourite part, as was the smoked mozzarella pasta salad and the creamy mashed potatoes. Delicious field greens underneath mixed with house dressing!

Beta5 Chocolates is a place in Vancouver that sells some pretty incredible pastries. I loved every single one of these. Up top, we have an earl grey raspberry cream puff. Going clockwise, there is a dulce de leech cream puff, a chocolate peanut butter eclair with white chocolate garnish, and a creamy vanilla-chocolate-strawberry eclair. Mmmmm.

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This spinach egg bake with smoked cheddar turned out like more of a savoury bread than a frittata, which was what I was going for. It was a bit too dense and flour-y for my liking, so next time I’ll add some more spinach and extra eggs. Roasted delicata squash on the side!

Portuguese kale and white bean soup from Superstore, served with sprouted whole wheat toast topped with grated honey gouda. I bought the packaged soup a couple weeks ago, in preparation for meals sans a wisdom tooth.

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Delicious dessert: the creamiest Greek yogurt with coconut chips (10 points for Costco), crunchy chia nut butter, and fresh strawberries.

Mom made some tasty noodles one day…

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Here they are!

More Mom Meals – tomato scrambled eggs with shrimp is my favourite simple Chinese dish. Mom’s tofu and winter melon stew is also amazing. I’ll miss these tasty Asian meals!

Creamy banana oatmeal topped with my new favourite nut butter and served in the cutest bowl that was handmade in Nepal.

Colourful and tasty lunch comprised of strawberries, kiwi, white peach, peanut butter dip, a spinach egg bread square bake thing, and a slice of sprouted whole wheat bread topped with blue brie cheese, pepper, and honey. The peanut butter dip was made of PB2 (powdered peanut butter), plain yogurt, maple syrup, and cinnamon.

This perfect dinner involved quinoa, maple-soy salmon, and fresh zucchini + summer squash sautéed with garlic. I had seconds thirds on the quinoa!

One evening, we invited some of Seline’s friends over and had a BBQ with another family. Mom cooked up some delicious sesame cold noodles, roasted garlic cauliflower, and we brought out the tiny broccoli egg bites that I made the day before. We also enjoyed some creamy quinoa casserole with sweet potato, corn, and vegetables made with smoked cheddar. I used my favourite mac and cheese “sauce” to mix with the quinoa and veggies.

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Vanilla cake made with real vanilla bean! New obsession. Five vanilla beans for $10 – pretty good deal at our local bakery.

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Stuffed tofu is one of my favourite dinner treats! My sister has a new addiction to bean sprouts. I think they taste really… earthy. Grassy? How do you feel about them?

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B-R-I-O-C-H-E!

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After my dad revealed his deep, true love for toasted brioche bread while we were on a weeklong vacation on Vancouver Island, I decided to tackle the challenge. This buttery, doughy challenge.

After mixing, waiting, rolling, waiting, rising, waiting, brushing, waiting, re-brushing, waiting, and finally baking – there was more waiting to do before we could finally slice in. I made two batches in a week, using two different recipes.

The first batch had an intense buttery flavour and great texture. It also looked better, but took a total of THREE days to complete. The second batch took just a couple hours and made two loaves, but lacked in flavour, had fewer air pockets, and was a bit denser.

Last but not least, here is a sneak peek at a poster that I made out of a sheet of handmade paper (actually, wrapping paper!) from Nepal. It’s a project for my Yoga Teacher Training, called a freedom manifesto. I covered it with cutouts of things that are special to me, like Disney movies, bakeries, my family, places that I grew up in and places I’ve travelled to, and, of course, places that I’m dying to visit.

I also used a metallic gold Sharpie to doodle words and phrases onto foam board to decorate the poster. This will go on my wall in Waterloo! It isn’t 100% done yet 🙂

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Good night, 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! 😀

Taking Time to Save Time: 10 Meal-Prep Tips

Hey everyone!

I had one final exam yesterday morning and have two today, and one tomorrow and one on Monday before a four-day break – and then two more! One down, six to go 🙂

Messages with Seline + goose that symbolizes how we all feel during finals season…

Spent yesterday in the anatomy lab with my friends Athena, Eddy, Alyssa, Shatrice, and our lab demonstrator Jeremy. We’ve been spending many, many hours in the lab recently – I think I’ve been in there for an average of three hours a day over the past week.

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I can’t wait till this whole finals thing is over so I can REALLY catch up on sleep! 6-7 hours just isn’t enough, apparently.

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And onto the foodie tips! Let’s take a look at how to make cooking a fast + easy process regardless of how much is going on in your life. 🙂

Cook a big batch of grains to store in the fridge: quinoa, pasta, brown rice, couscous, etc. I especially like cooking grains in chicken broth or water + a bit of butter + a pinch of salt. This keeps for a week. Or try some healthy muffin recipes!

Chop, wash, and pat dry veggies, then store them in a plastic container in the fridge. Here are some veggies that store well washed and chopped. Make sure to dry them well!

  • asparagus: boiled is awesome!
  • mushrooms
  • brussels sprouts
  • cabbage
  • zucchini
  • fennel
  • sweet potato: roasted or raw, both work well
  • green onions, sliced or chopped
  • peppers
  • broccoli: I usually boil broccoli and put it into airtight containers
  • squash, especially spaghetti squash
  • beets
  • green beans
  • kale
  • radicchio
  • cauliflower

Lots of veggie ideas on this post 🙂 Plus an awesome coconut-almond sauce for noodles.

Make sauce! Tomato sauce is so versatile, as is pesto or peanut sauce. Keep it in an airtight jar for maximum freshness.

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Cook protein, let it cool, and store it in the fridge. You can top salads with them, stir them into soup, or microwave and eat with a grain and a veggie for a well-balanced meal.

  • chicken breast
  • fish (tuna, salmon, tilapia, etc.)
  • lentils
  • tofu
  • beans (black beans, chickpeas, etc.)

Cook a hearty stew that includes a protein and a veggie. Grains can be stirred in before serving or served on the side. I like squash soup with shredded chicken stirred in, or tomato soup with beans. I always stir some cooked quinoa into the soup to make it even more substantial.

Prepare healthy snack options to grab-and-go throughout the week. You can wash and dry grapes and put them into individual containers or slice up raw veggies like cucumbers, carrots, or celery.

Prepare a big dinner with multiple “parts” on Sunday. The leftovers can be incorporated into lunches throughout the week. Roasted vegetables, casseroles, taco meat… the list goes on!

Make chicken salad, tuna salad, or egg salad. Simply mix up a protein with some mayonnaise and herbs/spices to give it a kick. I love grapes with chicken salad, celery with tuna salad, and paprika and black pepper with egg salad. For all three options, you could also add some Dijon mustard and lemon juice for freshness.

Breakfasts can also be made ahead of time. Try overnight oatmeal (yogurt + milk + oats) with any other fillers you like, including chia and flax seeds, coconut, mashed banana, etc. Overnight oatmeal is my other huge secret! 🙂 Try out this baked banana oatmeal, which is my all-time favourite. Not a banana fan? Pumpkin pie baked oatmeal and apple-cherry baked oats are gonna be favourites. If you’re lucky enough to have fresh berries, try this recipe for berry baked oatmeal. 🙂

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Prepare single-serving “pancake packs”, or homemade pancake mix! Mix all of your pancake’s dry ingredients together. For me, I use 1/4 cup spelt flour with 1/4 tsp baking powder and 1/8 tsp baking soda, as well as a pinch of salt and 1/4 tsp cinnamon. Toss these dry ingredients together and store in a Ziploc baggie. On busy mornings, simply mix with an egg + mashed banana, a drizzle of milk if needed, and cook on the stovetop for delicious and fluffy pancakes.

Make smoothie packs for the freezer! Freeze up the ingredients you would normally put into a smoothie. This saves lots of washing and chopping time in the morning. Try banana with blueberries and strawberries, or add pineapple or mango for a tropical twist.

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Do you do meal prep? What are some of your favourite tips?