Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

A couple of weeks ago, I realized that I had a massive can of pumpkin puree, an hour of free time, and a craving for a warm, squash-y baked treat.

Yes – I know it’s the middle of summer and August is on the horizon, but it’s never too late (or early?) for some pumpkin quick bread! Especially when chocolate chips are involved.

Yum! This recipe uses spelt flour, but you can easily substitute any of your favourite flours (AP, whole wheat, or a combination). I loved the addition of oats in here, and find it amazing that this recipe goes easy on the oil.

It’s worth buying some super high-quality chocolate chips for this one – you won’t regret it!

Also, I put mine in the freezer and they are as good as fresh after you microwave ’em.

Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cups flour (I used spelt)
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • scant 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large, separate bowl, beat together the eggs, honey, and oil on medium speed until combined. Add the milk and pumpkin and beat again until evenly combined. Add the dry ingredients, then gently stir them in by hand, just until combined. Do not over mix. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth the top, then sprinkle with oats and chocolate chips. Bake the loaf for 45 to 50 minutes. Place the pan on a cooling rack, then let the bread cool in the pan. Gently turn the loaf out onto the rack to cool completely.
  5. Store leftover pumpkin bread in an airtight container lined with paper towels for up to 4 days at room temperature or 7 days in the refrigerator. It can be frozen, wrapped tightly and placed in a ziptop bag, for up to 3 months.

 

Also, check out how cute and funny my mom is…

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I love making shopping lists.

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This meal was nice – roasted broccoli, baked salmon, couscous.

 

At aerials I learned how to do a meat hook!

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And that’s it for today. Only 10 days until I am back home in BC!

Purple Waffle

Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 2.30.28 PMSeline, my lovely little 17 year-old sister, will be going into Grade 12 in September. These are the courses she chose. Seline wanted to focus on courses in the world of arts, potentially going to law school in the future. Her Grade 12 schedule looks dramatically different from mine. While she is taking courses like economics, law, and Japanese, I studied biology, chemistry, and physics. Good job, Seline!

 

On Tuesday night, I did two yoga classes and went to Platito Filipino Soul Food, a restaurant in Baldwin village. I savoured this dish of fried shrimp, crispy squash, coconut milk sauce, and green beans with a side of steamed rice. The best part of the dish was the creamy, crispy squash – and the worst part was when I fully bit into a massive chunk of raw ginger. I nearly died.

The dessert that followed was absolutely spectacular: an ube (purple yam) waffle topped with ube ice cream, two sticks of a Filipino snack, and shredded macerated coconut. The waiter initially hesitated when I ordered this and asked if I wanted to switch it for the smaller ube cheesecake, meant for one person. He told me that this waffle was meant to serve 2-3 people, but I had to try it!

And of course I demolished the entire thing. Crispy, rich, with the slightest hint of saltiness (just perfect), I loved the combination of textures, flavours, and temperatures in this glorious dish.

Another day, I used leftover spaghetti sauce to make shakshuka. Simply heated up the sauce in a nonstick pan, cracked in two eggs, and covered it up for five minutes while I toasted some bread for avocado toast. I topped the eggs with some parmigiana regiano cheese and it was lovely.

Yesterday, I left work early and went to deKEFIR, a frozen kefir shop in the Bay-Adelaide Centre in the Financial District of Toronto. It was my first time trying frozen kefir (you all know how obsessed I am with good old froyo), and I was pleasantly surprised. A little tart, sweet (though not as smooth and creamy as gelato), with a rich dairy flavour, the kefir itself was fantastic. I had four toppings:

  • Quinoa Qrunch (like puffed rice, but made with quinoa)
  • candied walnuts
  • chopped pineapple
  • crunchy pie crust

The quinoa was my favourite part. This was the regular size and cost $5.30.

A few days ago, I made a Thai yellow curry! I had a package of mix that I whisked into a can of coconut milk, and added chopped butternut squash, broccoli, and mushrooms. This tasted fantastic over a mixture of quinoa and chopped, steamed cauliflower. Thai yellow curry is meant to be made with white potatoes and beef to stand up to the hefty, gingery flavour of the curry, but I really liked how the broccoli soaked up the flavour.

Last time, I shared a recipe for banana chocolate almond flour squares. I’ve been loving these little squares so much! I use them to top my oatmeal, my yogurt, and everything in between. It’s creamy, rich and chocolatey, and has the lovely texture of almond flour. It tastes incredible with peanut butter.

Yum! What could make a better breakfast?

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Aerials season is over! I am going to miss this place.

Mom finally opened the package of masala that I bought in Nepal, 10 months ago. She used the fried rice masala to make rice with eggs and peas. While the flavour was fantastic, she wished she had some chopped beef or chicken to add into the rice. Nice cooking, Mom!

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I think that’s it for today! Not much has been happening recently, except for the sad fact that I have only 15 more days of work left before I go back to Waterloo for school! I am going to miss Toronto, but trying to make the best of it while I’m here.

 

Cozy Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Stew

Absolutely delicious recipe for you guys today!

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This brilliant recipe was created by Angela at Oh She Glows, with some modifications made to suit what I had in the fridge. Doesn’t this look amazing?

It tasted equally yummy.

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Angela served hers with rice, but I loved mine with quinoa, then some brown rice after I ran out of quinoa. I subbed baby spinach for the kale and omitted the turmeric. You guys are going to love this recipe!

Cozy Butternut, Sweet Potato, and Red Lentil Stew

Adopted from Oh She Glows

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

For the stew:

  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced (about 2 cups/280 g)
  • 3 to 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups (400 g) peeled, seeded, and diced butternut squash
  • 1 large sweet potato (450 g), peeled and diced (2 1/2 cups/340 g)
  • 3 cups (750 mL) low-sodium chicken broth: veggie broth works too
  • 1 (14-ounce/398 mL) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14-ounce/398 mL) can light coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) dried red lentils, rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Fine sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Baby spinach

Optional accompaniments:

  • Cooked rice
  • Garlic powder and chili powder

Directions:

  1. To a large pot, add the oil, onion, and garlic. Stir to combine. Increase the heat to medium and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, until the onion is softened.
  2. Add the squash and sweet potato and stir to combine. Add a pinch of salt and continue sautéing for a few minutes longer.
  3. Add the broth, diced tomatoes (with juices), coconut milk, lentils, tomato paste, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine.
  4. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, stir again, and simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the squash and potato are fork-tender. Reduce the heat if necessary. Adjust the other seasonings if desired.
  5. Stir in the spinach, and cook for another couple minutes until the greens are wilted.
  6. Scoop some cooked rice onto the bottom of a bowl and then ladle the stew overtop. Garnish with minced cilantro or parsley and a good dusting of garlic and chili powder, if desired.
  7. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days, and they freeze beautifully too.

Who says you need grains with stew? This creamy, smoky stew made a lovely accompaniment to avocado toast for a light lunch (which was most certainly followed by a big dessert). 🙂

I can’t think of a better holiday meal to make before we spring into a weekend of festive holiday feasts. Try this!

I hope you enjoy 🙂

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…

Trying New Things

Today’s post is gonna be short and sweet with minimal words and lots of pictures, because it’s 9:50 and I kind of want to leap into my bed and doze off. 🙂 You know those days… right?

Photos from Waterloo Park – a hike that I did with a nice friend who is PRO at spotting frogs and things.

Spent Monday morning at the hospital, where I realized too late that it was Victoria Day and Patient Registration (where I normally volunteer) was closed. It turned out well, though, because I ventured back to the paediatric unit where I used to visit patients – and found the SANDLOT (Seline’s first crush LOL) and played with a cute baby.

I also spent an hour on the aerial silks after a whole YEAR! It came back fairly quickly, and I learned this new move called the cross back straddle. It looks simple but is so. Freaking. Painful. In the waist/hip area!

Acro yoga has been a success so far! We practiced a couple times in Waterloo Park. These beginner poses are so much fun to explore, and quite safe because the flier is usually just a meter above the ground. 🙂

Mom’s cooking and baking. Looks delicious! Check out those super thick and fluffy cookies.

Sunrise –> sunset.

Tuna salad made with Greek yogurt and freshly-grated cheddar and steamed broccoli. Yummy lunch!

A totally new breakfast to me because I’m so addicted to oatmeal and pancakes – these eggy avocado quesadillas were also stuffed with cheese and salsa, then served with two kiwis, yogurt, and granola.

A mug cake that I made with applesauce and cane sugar.

Chocolate Chip Mug Cake

  • 1/4 cup spelt flour or white or Bob’s gf
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tbsp sugar of choice
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp milk of choice
  • 1/2 tbsp oil or more milk of choice
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp chocolate chips

If using an oven, preheat to 350F. In a small bowl, mix all dry ingredients. Now pour wet into dry, and stir until just evenly combined. Pour into a greased dish or mug. Or two 1/2-cup ramekins. If using the microwave, cook for 1 minute 20 seconds (Microwave times will vary depending on wattage). Or cook in the oven for around 14-15 minutes. Let cool before trying to pop out.

The most random dinner I’ve ever made – a can of tuna, boiled baby potatoes, sautéed mushrooms, and spinach with cheddar and a creamy sauce. So tasty, though!

Another mug cake:

Fat-free chocolate mug cake
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup (will increase to 2 tbsp next time)
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp almond meal
  • 2 tbsp almond milk
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened apple sauce

Microwave 2 minutes.

Roomie said that this was “not the thing to make if you’re craving chocolate cake. But good for people with grain allergies.” He claimed it wasn’t very sweet and needed chocolate chips mixed in, which I totally agree with.

Perfect avocados make perfect sandwiches. Looks like a breakfast, but it was actually a tasty and messy lunch.

Peanut butter baked oatmeal was one of my favourite breakfasts of the week. This was SO good! Tastes like a cookie, I promise.

Peanut Butter Cookie Baked Oatmeal
Serves 1
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tbsp. peanut butter
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup or honey

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a small ramekin.
  2. Whisk all ingredients together well. If you’d like to add any extra ingredients (coconut oil, dried fruit, nuts, sunflower seeds), do so now.
  3. Pour into the prepared ramekin. Bake for 18-22 minutes.
  4. Immediately after taking it out of the oven, make the signature crisscross pattern on top using a knife.

Mishmash of grains and veggies and mashed squash to make “risotto”, topped with pine nuts and nutritional yeast.

I told you, it was so good! I had to repeat.

Dinner at Cafe 22 after aerial silks one evening. This one-woman-night-out really hit the spot. It was nice to have a tasty lunch-like dinner, a milky hazelnut steamer, and some time with my yoga readings.

Yes, avocados were cheap this week.

And I had kabocha, which you’ve seen in lots of pictures already.

Hey foodies, have you ever tried making kabocha pancakes? I mashed it up with the skin and whisked it up with two eggs to make these p-cakes.

More grains, more fish, more kabocha.

An interesting mix of things for breakfast one day 🙂

More fish, more grains. Oh my, I am predictable.

Tried to make a banana swirly rose thing, which didn’t turn out as planned. Still super tasty, though. Sometimes the simplest foods are the most delicious.

Thank you, Past Cindy, for making this lasagna. Thank you, freezer, for keeping this yummy square fresh.

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Baked oats… my love.

An interesting coconut flour chocolate cake. Anyone want the recipe? 😀 It was a little mousse-like and had that black forest cake flavour.

Peanut noodles! Delicious.

Oatmeal. Delicious x2.

Salmon fishcakes! Yum, yum. Also a plum clafoutis that I made out of coconut milk and coconut flour. It was insanely vanilla-y and had the right amount of sweetness. Plus, I freaking love these fishcakes.

Simple Salmon Patties

Makes 6 patties, serves 3
Ingredients
  • 1 can salmon, drained
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • salt
  • freshly-ground black pepper
  • cayenne pepper
  • paprika
  • garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup flour, or as needed to hold patties together
  • 2 tbsp. oil (I used avocado oil)
Instructions
  1. Mash salmon and whisk in eggs. Add green onions, seasonings, Dijon mustard, and lemon juice.
  2. Stir in flour, until batter is thick enough to roughly shape.
  3. Heat oil over medium heat. Plop patties into oil and fry each side for around 5 minutes, until crispy and golden brown.
  4. Serve and enjoy.

Plum Clafoutis

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • Coconut oil for greasing
  • 1/2 ripe plum, sliced
  • 2/3 oz ground almonds
  • 1 tsp coconut flour
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 3 oz coconut milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
  2. Grease a round dish with coconut oil.
  3. Whisk all ingredients by hand in a bowl.
  4. Pour batter into prepared dish. Arrange plums, cut side up, on top.
  5. Bake 15 minutes until risen and golden brown. Serve hot, warm, or cold.

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And a mess in the kitchen.

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More oats! Yay.

Gelato one afternoon – peanut butter chocolate and maple cookie. Best flavours in the world. Repeat after me: I love gelato. I love gelato. I love gelato.

Beautiful afternoon at the park with friends! Victoria Park is gorgeous. Emily and Mary live in Kitchener, so they don’t technically go “home” for the summer. Well, they are home. Lucky! We spent an afternoon together before Mary got her wisdom teeth out. 😀

That’s it! Have a great rest of the week 🙂

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! 😀