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 😉

Holy Cannoli

Mattachioni is an Italian restaurant in the Junction. I ordered this tasty pizza for one, which had the crispiest, doughiest, freshest-tasting crust I’ve had. It was topped with fresh mozzarella, stracciatella (like burrata), basil, arugula, and marinated tomato. It was a “pizza bianca”, which means that instead of tomato sauce, it was dressed with a mild white sauce.

Dessert was two pieces of this cannoli. It was my first time trying cannoli, and I’m in love. Crisp, cookie-like, with a citrusy sweet ricotta filling, these were hearty and the perfect way to end my meal.

Is this true or what?

I found these charts quite helpful, especially the one about marinating times. How about you? Do you like infographics like this one?

My class schedule is out! Yay! These are my courses for the spring/summer term, which goes from May 1 to mid-August. I really like my schedule, especially the Friday 😉

I’m so excited about this roti that I can’t type anymore. Creamy, spinach-y, and loaded with flavour. Saag paneer (spinach and paneer cheese) is my all-time favourite indian dish. This was so filling and I was dying halfway through but powered through the whole thing. Worth it!

My grandma is the most thoughtful, content, candid, and funny person I know. I was lucky to FaceTime with her on Saturday afternoon.

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Some recent meals cooked by Mom back home in BC.

And two quinoa flour recipes! Again, I don’t have any pictures (Best Food Blogger of 2017… I know) because I love baking after dinner. And sadly, there’s never any natural light by then!

Quinoa Flour Banana Bread

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 2/3 cups quinoa flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large overripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips, optional but recommended

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a loaf pan.
  2. Place all ingredients except quinoa flour in blender. Blend well.
  3. Add quinoa flour and mix to combine. Add chocolate chips. Stir.
  4. Spread batter into pan.
  5. Bake 55 minutes, or until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Cool and enjoy!

Healthy Quinoa Flour Carrot Cake

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1 cup quinoa flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup grated carrots

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and/or line pan with coconut oil.
  2. Whisk together dry ingredients in a mixing bowl (almond flour to sea salt)
  3. Mix wet ingredients together (melted coconut oil to grated carrots). Mix until smooth.
  4. Add dry to wet, whisking after each addition.
  5. Pour batter in prepared pan, tapping on the counter to release air bubbles.
  6. Bake 35 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Cool 20 mins. Flip over and release when cool. Cool completely before slicing.

That’s it! I have an 8-page report due TOMORROW and I’ve only written one, so I should go now!

Around the World

Good afternoon everyone! How are you all? Hope you’re having a great, great day so far…

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What are your favourite non-American cuisines? Most people say sushi or Italian, but one of my favourites is Malaysian. My family and I had a fantastic meal at Tamarind Hill, a quiet hidden gem of a restaurant.

The photo on the left is mussels in a coconut broth with tomatoes. I didn’t care for the mussels (I can’t get over their rubbery texture), but the coconut broth is to die for. It had tomatoes and scallions inside. I wish I could recreate this soup but it was too good! I think the salty, seafood-y mussel taste permeated the whole coconut soup. Mmmm! This was an appetizer… and I had all of the soup. Sorry, family! I dunked my roti (pan-fried golden bready thing) in it. Roti tastes like green onion pancakes, if you’ve ever had one. They’re flaky and chewy but also slightly sweet. Loved it – especially dipped in peanut satay sauce. Oh, yum.

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The deep-fried pepper squid wasn’t my thing. I just don’t like deep fried food! But my family raved. On the right was my dish – coconut curried chicken with green beans, stewed vegetables, and turmeric rice!

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I. FREAKING. LOVE. THIS. I know, I love basically everything edible. But this was super good. Like, addictive good. I-need-rehab-good. The chicken was perfectly cooked, the vegetables super tender, and the rice extra flavourful with all those healthy Malaysian spices. My favourite bite? Steamed eggplant + chicken + rice. Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE eggplant? Especially when it’s cooked until melt-in-your-mouth soft and becomes a pillow of coconut milk. OMG. I just had dinner and I kind of want a bowl of this right now.

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Then we all shared a deep-fried banana split. Deep-fried bananas are uber popular in southeast Asia and this dessert knocked it out of the park. Especially good with the vanilla ice cream (this ice cream is still king, though) and salty crushed peanuts. Are you drooling yet? Anyways, Tamarind Hill and Thomas Haas are my two new favourite foodie places!  Is it a coincidence that both have the initials T.H.? :O

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Whole Foods! I swear this place is my life. I wish I could live there… well, I kind of already do.

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As usual, Mom and I shared a huge bowl from the hot bar. Here we had sesame kale, mac and cheese, roasted veggies, Argentina pork, and way more. My favourites here were the curried cauliflower, tender stewed beef, and the Indian sweet potato. Holy crumpets. The sweet potatoes were INCREDIBLE and I seriously regret taking just one. It was so, so good. Love it when it’s creamy and sweet on the inside but have lotsa spicy flavour outside.

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J’aime beaucoup la nourriture italienne, aussi! 🙂 This was at The Old Spaghetti Factory in New West, after an aerial silks lesson.

Seline and Dad both had creamy clam chowder soup with bacon and potatoes. I had a spinach salad with Granny Smith apples and almonds for my appetizer.

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Mom had the minestrone soup, with lots of yummy beans, and Grandma had the French onion soup. She didn’t really like the cheese (#asianproblems) and claimed it was too rubbery. 😦

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Seline’s fried chicken breast with linguine and parmesan, plus Mom’s lasagna! I had a lot of her lasagna. Do you guys find that the tomato sauce in lasagna is slightly sweet? Yes? No? Just me? Okay.

Oh, and my favourite part of dishes like this? The burned outside rim of the plate. The scorched tomatoey, cheesy bits are seriously delicious.

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My dish was the manicotti! Y’all know that I adore manicotti. My motto? If it’s on the menu… I’m ordering it! This one was perfectly creamy and ricotta-y with flecks of spinach and a great tomato sauce. Plus cheese. Never enough cheese. :mrgreen:

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Ended the meal with spumoni ice cream. Seriously, what is the green stuff? I mean, the brown is chocolate and the white is vanilla. What on EARTH is the green stuff? I expected pistachio or mint but tasted bubblegum, but not quite. Strange! It’s called spumoni ice cream, and I looked it up – but I still have no idea what this stuff is. If you know, comment below because I’m dying of curiosity.

That’s it for now!

BTW, WordPress has changed! It’s now SO much easier for me to post because I don’t have to keep switching from Visual to Text to see the bolded words, the inserted links and photos, etc. Plus, love this new font. 🙂 Go WordPress!