30 Recipes I Can’t Wait to Make!

My schedule for the spring/summer semester is quite packed! With courses going from as early as 8:30 to as late as 6:20, and aerials classes 5-6 days a week, I could use lots of meal prepping help (or maybe a personal chef – that’d be nice too).

That being said, life gets a lot easier when…

a) it’s summer, so there’s less reason to turn on the stove and truly “cook”

b) meal-prepping is an option, simply by cooking 3-4 servings of one dish and enjoying leftovers for lunches/dinners for days to come

Check out my list of 30 quick, easy, healthy, and colourful summer meals!

Healthy Summer Eats

  1. grilled shrimp with tomatoes and romaine lettuce on whole grain flatbread with feta cheese and tzatziki
  2. rice and beans (this recipe looks simple and delicious) with broccoli on the side
  3. over-easy eggs, half of a nut-buttered bagel, avocado, fresh fruit
  4. pizza topped with BBQ sauce, black beans, corn, cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella
  5. shrimp pasta with black beans, zucchini, bell peppers, and baby spinach, topped with breadcrumbs and parmesan
  6. healthy corn cakes: this recipe and this one look healthy and delicious.
  7. quinoa tabbouleh, served with pita wedges and hummus: this recipe looks awesome!
  8. gnocchi with corn, zucchini, onion, basil, half-and-half, parmesan
  9. seafood-salad stuffed avocado (canned wild salmon mixed with celery, peppers, Greek yogurt, mustard)
  10. egg salad made with Greek yogurt
  11. super berry summer salad with raspberries, blueberries, candied nuts, avocado, goat cheese
  12. zucchini bread
  13. blueberry smoothie with 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup yogurt, 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, 1/2 frozen banana, 1/4 cup oats, lemon zest, and vanilla extract
  14. quinoa breakfast porridge with bananas and nut butter
  15. healthy grain bowl with quinoa, fried black beans, wilted spinach, avocado, lemon wedge
  16. lots of veggies and fresh fruit with yummy dip
  17. avocado caprese salad with romaine, cherry tomatoes, avocado, fresh mozzarella, basil, balsamic reduction
  18. grilled salmon on couscous with spinach and corn
  19. caprese lasagna – this recipe is the one!
  20. summer rolls with cucumber, cabbage, peppers, carrots, wrapped in rice wraps and dipped in peanut sauce
  21. chia pudding with blackberries, coconut, pistachios
  22. lots of overnight oatmeal
  23. vegetable feta quinoa with honey lemon vinaigrette (1 tbsp lemon zest, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1.5 tbsp honey, minced garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper to serve 3)
  24. caprese pesto tortellini skewers with fresh mozzarella pearls, cherry tomatoes, basil, and pesto-covered tortellini
  25. black bean quesadillas with pepper jack cheese, salsa, whole wheat tortillas, and smashed avocado
  26. green smoothies!
  27. skillet gnocchi with dark leafy chard, onions, garlic, diced tomatoes, white beans, and mozzarella and parmesan cheese
  28. fresh sliced mozzarella, yellow peach, tomato, basil, EVOO, balsamic vinegar
  29. pinwheel sandwiches
  30. this cookie dough dip made with chickpeas and blended up:
  • 1 can drained and rinsed chickpeas
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup nut butter
  • up to 1/4 cup milk, if needed
  • 2 tbsp oats

Are there any delicious summer dishes that you’re dying to make?

It’s Oak-y

Aren’t these oak tree leaf-shaped sticky notes the cutest? I found them at Hanji, a Korean stationery/card/gift store on Queen Street West in Toronto. I love them!

My life recently has consisted of lots of oatmeal and bananas. I think my body is 20% oatmeal. I love adding a side of yogurt to my oatmeal to add a boost of protein and some chilled creaminess to the warm, sticky oats.

With overripe bananas I made this recipe! It came out of the oven beautifully puffed, and then sank down. Fortunately, the taste is still on point.

Simple Oat Banana Bread

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 medium overripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup cashew butter (or any other nut/seed butter)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup quick oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 heaping tsp vanilla extract
  • splash water or milk (dairy milk or nut milk)
  • chocolate chips, coconut, nuts/seeds, or any other filler or toppings you like

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a bread pan with parchment paper, so there is some overhang for easy removal.
  2. Place all ingredients in blender and blend at medium-high speed, until everything is broken down. Fold in chocolate chips or any other filler you’d like. I left mine plain this time.
  3. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Spread out, and top with more toppings if desired.
  4. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until top is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely.
  5. Remove when the loaf is completely cool. Store in an airtight container for 5 days, or freeze.

NOTE: I can’t wait to try this recipe soon using peanut butter and swirling in some jam! This recipe is sweetened using only the two bananas. If you like, add 1/4 cup honey, brown sugar, maple syrup, or coconut sugar to the blender for additional sweetness. If you do not have a blender or food processor, you can also whisk this by hand, using 1/2 cup of packed oat flour.


Another day, I enjoyed leftovers of the trout coulibiac from the Tempered Room.

Check out my spring/summer schedule, friends! I can’t wait to be headed back to school, even though I love working.

Schedule 2

On Saturday night, I went to Fresh on Spadina for a healthy salad bowl dinner. This bowl was a baby size, but was still massive and incredibly filling. I also had this purple smoothie made with banana, coconut milk, blueberries, and apple. The tempeh on this salad was super soft, and I loved the sweet potato and “3*6*9” dressing made with tahini, maple syrup, and lemon juice.

I wish I had more to show/tell you today, but that’s it!

Have a glorious rest of the week 🙂

BOOKS… and a $16 smoothie!?

Recently: lots of helping Seline with her biochemistry, lots of maps, lots of grocery shopping

I’ve been on a reading kick recently. Every weekend, I go to the public library or Chapters/Indigo (sometimes both!), where I spend up to four hours reading and reading. Someone please shoot me an email or comment if you’ve read (or want to read!) one of these books. I need someone to discuss ’em with ASAP!

  • WHEN THEY FADE by Jeyn Roberts (PS she retweeted and commented on my tweet so my life is now complete)
  • HURT by Tabitha Suzuma
  • UNNATURAL DEEDS by Cyn Balog
  • WITH MALICE by Eileen Cook
  • WHAT HAPPENED TO IVY by Kathy Stinson
  • A MOTHER’S RECKONING by Sue Klebold
  • RED RAIN by R.L. Stine
  • BURNING by Danielle Rollins

Also, food is coming. I promise.

Dad got a new backdrop for the fish tank back home in BC, and my doggie Arnie had some fur shaved off so he could have his [fortunately benign] tumour removed.

I’ve been loving lentils recently. The Pulses Canada website has some phenomenal recipes. I want to try chickpea flour soon. Have you tried chickpea flour? What are your thoughts?

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A vegan cafe in my Toronto neighbourhood has this $16 smoothie on their menu. Would you pay $16 for a smoothie? Cassie, I’m looking at you 😉

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Scrambled spinach eggs with cheese and avocado toast are my go-to meal, no matter where in Ontario I am!

Super pink oatmeal (pureed raspberries stirred into the oats) to make a hearty Valentine’s Day treat. Strawberry hearts and chocolate almond butter completed this tasty breakfast.

Gloria Cafe never disappoints. I love their tomato cheese toast and get it every time. That’s an orange-ginger scone at the bottom! Devoured.

Strawberry-topped oats with sweet potato muffin and a drizzle of almond butter. Simple and tasty.

To be honest, it’s dangerous that Tsujiri, a Japanese matcha soft serve store, is directly across the street from where I work. Each sundae is $8 and I had TWO last week because it’s just too convenient to stop by the shop after work. With chiffon cake, crunchy cornflakes, and sweetened red bean, I can’t resist. Consider me a new matcha fan! Rachel from Moments With Rae would be proud. 😛

Almond butter toast, cinnamon, and yogurt with crunchy granola.

On Saturday I went to a rundown shack in the Kensington Market. Called the Latin American Emporium, this little place was full of Spanish-speaking locals.

I enjoyed a freshly-made pupusa with cabbage and a mildly spicy sauce, horchata (rice milk drink blended with sesame, cinnamon, vanilla, and cocoa powder) and a fried plantain with creamy cheese. It was my first time trying Salvadorian food, and I LOVED it, despite the plantain being a tad oily. This incredible, filling meal cost less than $5! Have you ever had horchata?

I also went on a SPREE at Delysees, a French bakery, where I bought…

  • Chocolate praline croissant
  • Coconut eclair
  • Pistachio eclair
  • Pistachio croissant
  • Almond chocolate croissant
  • Chocolate hazelnut toffee cake
  • Tiramisu white chocolate cake

Some frozen, others devoured, others chopped up to enjoy throughout the week. It looks like a lot, and it actually was a lot… but a good a lot. You know what I mean?

#neverenoughfrenchdesserts

And yes, I know I overdid it with the pictures.

I headed back to Millie Creamerie the other day for a crepe. This was the Japanese special, which had strawberries, matcha sauce (more matcha!), red bean paste, coconut gelato, all piled into a slightly-sweet, crispy crepe.

Yay for FaceTime. Technology is cool because I like to see Mom and Dad, and Seline, even though they live in another province and we have a 3-hour time difference. They look so cute. My family is the best. 🙂

Seline painted this a few weeks ago. She is so talented! I wish I was as good as her when it comes to art. Can you believe that she freehanded this with oil paints? 

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Applied Health Sciences Fun Run pics! Why didn’t I post these earlier? Good question, Cindy, good question. I have no idea why I just wrote that in third-person.

A meal at Famoso Pizzeria (yup in the Waterloo days) on December 31, a day before I left for Toronto! I miss personal pizzas. When am I gonna find a place in Toronto that does this?

House pics!

Neat graphic of the muscles of the human body! Did you know that there are 680 skeletal muscles in the human body? Nevertheless, the exact number is difficult to define because different sources group muscles differently, e.g. regarding what is defined as different parts of a single muscle or as several muscles. Examples actually range from 640 to 850.

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Guys… is it really already February 24?! Where on EARTH is the time going?

Anyways, pop me a message below about BOOKS! Tell me – do you like to read? What is your favourite recent read? I’m always craving a good book, and psychological thrillers are my favourite. I’m all about the paranormal-romance-suspense-mystery fusion (bonus points if it’s got a powerful heroine à la Katniss Everdeen!).

Foodie February

Let’s get started!

Spinach, banana, peanut butter smoothie topped with homemade cashew granola.

Another smoothie made with the same ingredients and topped with the same yummy granola. This turned out a little too green for me.

Frozen banana with cocoa powder and a splash of milk to make a creamy chocolate banana pudding. Topped with more granola (I’m addicted) and a drizzle of hazelnut-almond butter.

A tasty apple-caramel danish from Gloria Cafe, along with an unpictured tomato and cheese sandwich that I adored.

Coconut bo lo bro from Lucullus Bakery with Thai green curried eggplant, mushrooms, cauliflower, and tofu

Baked vegetable eggs topped with four Italian cheeses, with roasted carrots, sweet potatoes, and parsnips. The thyme added excellent flavour!

Winterlicious/Summerlicious retweeted by Canoe post on Twitter! This made my day.

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Chocolate beet brownies (recipe coming soon) with yogurt, granola, and almond butter for a quick and delicious dessert.

Mashed banana and cocoa powder made this oatmeal bowl extra-yummy. Crumbled sweet potato spice muffin on top, with a big ‘ol scoop of almond butter.

Sweet potato oatmeal topped with peanut butter, and a side of yogurt with granola. YUM!

I’m such a granola and yogurt addict. I want this with every meal!

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Roasted sweet potatoes with salt and pepper, maple-soy salmon with garlic, and the tastiest sautéed broccoli with lemon.

Baked broccoli eggs topped with a mix of pecorino romano and grana padano, on top of toasted multigrain buns for a yummy, nutritious dinner.

Cartwheel! It was my first time learning to cartwheel. Even as I child, I NEVER cartwheeled. Fun!

That’s it for today, y’all. I can’t wait for the weekend – it’s about time to add to my Toronto Eats page!

Sweet Recipes x3, Sushi x2, and Monday with Rae

Banana-nut butter toast as I write this 🙂

Alternative Title: This Should Be 3 Separate Posts But It’s Not

  • Miso soup with tofu
  • Green tea

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Sushi is my love.

  • Alaska Roll with avocado and sesame sauce
  • Rainbow roll with avocado, tuna, and salmon, crabmeat and avocado

Mmmm, look at all of that avocado! I learned that I LOVE inari, which is stuffed bean curd.

  • Mango frozen yogurt
  • Frozen yogurt parfait with homemade cookie crumbs, cream puff, sliced almonds, cereal, organic pumpkin flax granola

My parfait on the right was filling, tangy, crunchy, and absolutely delicious. A great way to end the outing!

Mom made lasagna and caesar salad that night, as well as beef noodles inspired by something we saw at a Japanese festival.

At the Japanese festival that we went to a couple weeks ago, there were lots of performers who sang and danced, as well as tons of vendors.

I made quiche one of those days and served it on a bed of quinoa with spinach and cheddar.

Desserts! Check out these three beauties, from top to bottom or right to left:

  • London Fog vanilla cake
  • Blueberry-almond cake
  • White chocolate cheesecake

Earl Grey Cake

Lightly adapted from: http://siftandwhisk.com/blog/earl-grey-cake-with-chocolate-lavender-frosting/

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 4 bags Earl Grey tea
  • 3 cups (360 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp finely-ground Earl Grey tea leaves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (225 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Add milk to saucepan. Split vanilla beans and scrape seeds into milk. Add pod to saucepan and simmer over medium heat. Remove pan from heat. Add tea bags and steep, covered, for 20 minutes. Remove tea bags and squeeze to get as much liquid as possible into the milk. Remove vanilla bean pod. Re-measure milk, and if it has reduced, add enough milk to make a full 1 cup. Cool to room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cake pan and add parchment paper.
  3. Whisk dry ingredients together (flour to salt).
  4. Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, or around 6 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until fully-incorporated after each addition. Scrape sides of bowl if needed.
  5. Pour in flour in three additions, alternating with tea milk. Mix until flour is just combined.
  6. Pour batter into cake pan and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool in pan for 15 minutes, then place on wire rack. Enjoy!

This white chocolate cheesecake was from a massive ‘Baking Masters’ book from Grandma. These were so popular!

Almond cake was my usual recipe, using almond meal and maple syrup, with extra blueberries and almond slices.

Smoked salmon quiche with Laughing Cow cheese and mozzarella

Seline busted out the deep fryer and whipped up this plate of fried chicken wings and shoestring fries – all by herself. Go Seline!

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Healthy veggie dishes prepared by Mom include bok choy, yuca, and kabocha.

Here’s that quiche again! We used a whole-wheat crust from the store. Next challenge: making my own pie crust 🙂

(We all know that’s probably never going to actually happen)

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Do you like flourless chocolate cake desserts? This was probably one of the easiest I’ve ever made.

Delicious blueberry-banana smoothie and more of the zucchini-brie quiche. So many fresh market ingredients in this meal!

Favourite Blueberry “Ice Cream”

Lightly adapted from Oh She Glows’ new cookbook!

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 large frozen banana, chopped
  • 1 tbsp cashew butter
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • sprinkle sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon, or to taste

TOPPINGS

  • berries
  • hemp hearts
  • sliced banana
  • almond butter
  • coconut shreds or flakes
  • granola

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Combine ingredients in blender.
  2. Blend on high until creamy.
  3. Pour into bowl and serve with toppings.

I had sushi at Hanamori Sushi with Dad and Grandma another day. I ordered way too much for the three of us, and really stuffed myself to the maximum. I felt really uncomfortable for the rest of the day.

Lynh Cafe brunch involved bone marrow soup, mussels with garlic bread, delicious crispy French fries that I devoured, and a wonderful fish velouté for my entree. It came topped with scrambled eggs and was served with a fresh salad. You can see it in both of the right-hand side corners. I ate so much bread this day – it was irresistible with the creamy garlic mussels sauce.

A couple things made by Mom 🙂

And a random yoga picture that I found on my computer. For some reason, I never posted this?! I’m the second one from the left, wearing the blue tank top and capris. We did this way back in April and the photo’s been sitting on my desktop since. Does that ever happen to you?

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Textbooks that I’m now in the process of selling. Since taking this photo, the bottom three books are all gone! Yay!

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Bye, guys!

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?