Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Recessionista Pudding

May 3, 2009

When it comes to dessert, especially a chocolate dessert, I’m all about going real. No “100 calorie packs” or sugar-free chocolate here- a little taste of the real thing is just so much better, in my humble opinion. So after saying that, I am now going to eat my words and confess my love for packaged chocolate soy pudding, Zen Soy brand, to be exact- I even used this chocolate soy crack in overnight oats once when I ran out of yogurt. Homemade, whole milk -based this is not, and yet, Zen Soy will always have a special place in my heart.

Unfortunately though, a 4-pack of pudding love will set me back about $4.50 and this girl is all about reducing expenses these days. So when I found a recipe for a tofu-based pudding on Diet, Dessert and Dogs Β that looked impressively similar to my beloved Zen Soy, I knew I had to try it.

I followed the original recipe very closely, using a box of shelf-stable silken low-fat firm tofu (325g), and giving that a whirl in the food processor until it was completely smooth. I only had about 1/3 cup agave nectar, so I used up that plus 1/3 cup organic sugar and 1/3 cup Valhrona cocoa powder. I combined these ingredients on the stovetop for a few minutes to “prevent the cocoa from having a starchy, powdery taste” as Ricki suggests, however due to my lack of liquidΒ sweetener the cocoa powder and sugar congealed into this dangerous looking, grainy cocoa mass. Um, at that point, I thought oh what the heck and threw it into the food processor with the tofu and 2 tsp of pure vanilla extract and hoped for the best. After a few minutes of intense pulverizing, I took off the lid, stuck in a spoon and tasted- and- could it be? Chocolate soy pudding heaven? I am happy to report that, even before chilling, the pudding tasted just like my favourite packaged kind. And after a night in the fridge, it has perfect pudding consistancy and a nice rich chocolate taste (I’m sure I can thank my Valhrona cocoa powder for that).

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I’m kind of lying to myself again though by saying that I’m trying to save money on food- well, ok I am trying, just not all that hard, because when I saw this new Liberte cafe latte organic yogurt I don’t even remember looking at the price, it was all “must, want, need now” and into the cart it went. It was coffee flavoured. I couldn’t help myself.

Liberte Organic Cafe Latte Yogurt

Liberte Organic Cafe Latte Yogurt

Plus with all the money I saved on making my own pudding, it all evens out, right?? Right??? Anyone…?

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Decadence for Breakfast

January 30, 2009

Finally! A way to have icing for breakfast that doesn’t involve sugar coma inducing cinnamon rolls or leftover birthday cake (not that that’s ever been done before…..)

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Carrot Cake Oatmeal
1/3 cup rolled oats
pinch of salt
1/3 cup milk plus 1/3 cup water
cinnamon and nutmeg, to taste
small carrot, peeled and grated
small banana, mashed
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp pecans, toasted

Preheat oven to 300Β°. Spread pecans on a baking sheet and toast for 5 minutes or so, until nuts are hot and fragrant. Place oats, milk, water, salt, and carrot in a pot on the stovetop and bring to a boil. Simmer, adding in spices. Stir in mashed banana and cook for a few more minutes before stirring in vanilla and taking pot off the heat. Top with a couple teaspoons of cream cheese icing and toasted pecans.

Small Batch Cream Cheese Icing
2 tbsp cream cheese
2 tsp butter (room temperture works best for blending)
3 tbsp icing sugar
couple drops of vanilla extract

Spoon cream cheese and butter into a bowl; mix vigorously (a fork works just fine) until smooth. Whisk in icing sugar in several additions, using more or less to achieve desired sweetness. Stir in vanilla extract.

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This will make more icing than you need for one bowl of oatmeal, but really now who has a problem finding things to do with leftover icing? One of my sugar-coated childhood favourites was icing spread over graham crackers. mmmm… Don’t think I’d be able to get away with that now quite as easily πŸ˜‰

Housewarming Party

January 22, 2009

WordPress is everything I want it to be and more right now, the blog and I love our new home πŸ™‚ I have a lot of sorting through past posts and improvements I want to do, but hopefully I will have the blog up and running the way I want it to within the next week or so. I’d love it if you would stop by my virtual housewarming party here (I am so corny) and leave the link back to your blogs so that I can get this blogroll up and moving.

I am excited to be blogging again and I feel that I have new ideas for the focus of the blog, in addition to some much needed renewed energy. Thanks again for the sweet comments on my last post, I have missed my blogworld friends.

Greetings! haha

January 21, 2009

Hello friends πŸ™‚
I’m not sure if there’s anyone still out there… I know I’ve been gone for a while. A LOT has happened in the past few months. When I last left you I was living in Montreal with my boyfriend, however now I’ve moved home to live with my parents in Nova Scotia (I don’t blame you if you don’t know where that is, there’s not much to see haha) and the boy is attending nursing school at UMass Amherst, so we’re doing the long distance thing for now. Not fun. I’ve thought about taking up blogging again but changing the focus of the blog.. I’m not sure what will happen yet though. I just wanted to give a little shoutout to let you know I am still reading your blogs and lurking in blogland πŸ™‚
xox linds

Happy Birthday to Meeee

November 13, 2008

I’ve always loved birthdays for the simple fact that they are your day. You get to choose what you do, where you go, who comes to your party (lol my inner 8 year old coming out there) annnd you get to choose the food. Of course. The food. Though I love going out to dinner, staying in and cooking is often just as fun- and with birthdays just 5 days apart, the boyfriend and I decided to save some cash and just go all out with two days of awesome home birthday menus πŸ™‚

For my day, I chose pizza. It’s such a fast and easy dish using my new fave dough recipe. I doubled it to get 2 pizzas, topping one with buffalo sauce, tomato sauce, chicken and mozzarella like the first time I made this, and for the second one I just coated the dough with olive oil and spread caramelized onions, walnuts, and Swiss cheese on top. In retrospect, I wish I had used some figs on this one too, but they weren’t totally necessary and both pizzas tasted fantastic.

What’s a birthday without cake?! For myself I chose to make this yellow cake with chocolate fudge frosting. So yum, a nice light crumb texture and nothing was cloyingly sweet. And there’s my sweetie placing candles on the cake in the shape of a ’23’. Awww πŸ™‚

For his day, the birthday boy decided he didn’t want cake and challenged me to find a lower-fat sweet. Which really isn’t a challenge at all when you have Happy Herbivore recipes at your fingertips. I made her Pecan Cinnamon Buns and I was absolutely blown away by how good they were. I mean, of course having used her recipes before I expected perfection, but this…. These sticky buns were out of this world good. And so easy. They were definitely my favourite item on the birthday menu roundup and will be making many future Sunday morning appearances.

Naked buns, frosted buns! Hahaha


Then for dinner, we had Smitten Kitchen peanut sesame noodles, except that we had them hot, and had vegetables on the side so that each noodle bite could be as peanut buttery noodley as possible (birthday boy request).

Birthdays should also involve lots of wine- I think there’s a bottle visible in every picture except with the cinnamon buns. We had those at 10am so we held off on the wine. But just until noon.

Kitchen Wars

October 7, 2008

The cabinet doors are closed but I can still almost feel an air of jealousy and rivalry in the kitchen… Peanut Butter, a longtime favourite, is feeling threatened (and rightfully so) for look who I brought home:

There’s a new nut butter in town, and boy is this one good! Macadamia nuts are my absolute fave (how awesome would it be if Larabar made a Macadamia Nut Cookie bar?!?!), and in this spread they provide a perfect sweetness. The creamy texture and taste made this hands-down the best nut butter I have ever tried. I had seen this brand (Nuts to You Nut Butter Inc.) in stores before but shied away from the $8/jar price tag. Tonight, however, I found it in a tiny Arabic grocery store for only $3.29- that’s cheaper than the pb is at my favourite health food store! And at that price, peanut butter is fighting a losing battle for shelf space in my kitchen.

In other news, the boyfriend and I are embarking on an adventure this week- we are renting a car and driving from Montreal to my hometown in Nova Scotia to celebrate (Canadian) Thanksgiving with my family. Sounds lovely and all, except that this glorious trip is going to take us 14 hours to complete. Yep, that’s one way. Needless to say, 28 hours on the road within a 4 day span means LOTS of car snacks- what are your favourites?? I have a lot of stocking up to do!! Hopefully we don’t get lost in rural Quebec or run into moose in New Brunswick (they have moose crossing signs all over there). I’ll be sure to fill you all in on whether I make it through the drive with my sanity intact, and of course post some pics of the fresh seafood and turkey dinner waiting for us in NS!

Have a great week all! πŸ™‚

Cheers For Fuses And Working Stoves!

September 10, 2008

SO I’m gonna try out this posting every two days thing but the result may just be one long post that is no fun to read, but anyway I’ll try it out and see how I like it πŸ™‚ I also think I might post a rough calorie estimate for my days as well- my aim is always on eating for pleasure but when it comes to dropping a few pounds it doesn’t hurt to keep an eye on the numbers. If there’s anything you guys don’t like about these changes please let me know πŸ™‚

TUESDAY

It was all about the stove-top oats this morning!!!! It’s been months since my last bowl of real oats, and I thoroughly enjoyed every last bite of this breakfast. In the mix was the standard 40g of oats with 1/3 cup skim milk, 1/3 cup water, a pinch of salt, one whole and very ripe banana, cinnamon, brown sugar, and of course a spoonful of crunchy peanut butter. Coffee with skim milk also made an unphotographed appearance.

I worked the 7-3 shift this morning (so the above oats were eaten at 5:30, sooo earlyyy) and I brought a lunch that I made the night before: two ounces of whole wheat linguine with tomato basil sauce, plain yogurt, and a banana.

I got home around 4 and then had to switch gears since class started at 6, so I snacked on a plate of carrots and hummus while I figured out what to make for dinner.

I went with a mixed greens salad with rotisserie chicken, olives, jalapenos (which I wound up taking off since the flavours just did not compliment each other), rosemary and garlic croutons, rice vinegar, and olive oil. For dessert I had the most decadent banana yogurt with a small handful of Kashi Go-Lean Crunch. It’s a grocery store brand yogurt and it’s flavoured but the sugar content isn’t that crazy and it’s so thick and delicious, I think I’ll have to buy this one again.

After class I baked up a batch of Kath’s VeggieGirl Inspired Pumpkin Bread (in muffin form) for the boyfriend since he is so good to me πŸ™‚ He’s already devoured 3, I had half of one. So doughy, so good, and a perfect treat to celebrate the coming of fall!

Today’s (rough) total: 1355

MONDAY

Breakfast this morning was 40g of oats that I soaked overnight in 1/2 cup water, then in the morning added in a few big spoonfuls of plain yogurt, cinnamon, and a banana.


I packed a lunch but wound up getting to eat it at home because I was left off work early πŸ™‚ I had carrots and cucumber slices with 2 tablespoons of roasted garlic hummus, rotisserie chicken with honey mustard on a whole wheat English muffin, and a plain yogurt that I jazzed up with a little fresh cut mango. I definitely gnawed on the pit after cutting up that mango…. Can’t waste any of that deliciousness!! πŸ™‚


Dinner was kind of in stages- I had class from 6-9 so I started eating around 4 and just kind of ate constantly until it was time to leave. I started with a bowl of whole wheat linguine with tomato basil sauce (about 2 ounces of pasta). This was the first meal I cooked on my (now working) stove in my new apartment!!! I think it was extra tasty just because I was so happy to have cooked food lol.

Next up I had about 1/2 cup of microwaved egg whites with salt and pepper and a generous pile of ketchup. On the side was half of a whole wheat English muffin and some mango slices.

Today’s (rough) total: 1200

Lately I’ve been absolutely hooked on The Biggest Loser Australia (full seasons on YouTube!!!!) And I’m a little embarassed to admit that I’m nearly done season one. It’s kind of where all my free time is going.

I’m Still Here!

August 22, 2008

My laptop died!!!!!!!!!!! I have been soo busy working that today is the first I’ve had time to come use the computers on campus to post and catch up on emails and other blogs. I’ve missed everyone! My boyfriend, who is much better with technology than I am, is going to try to fix it when he gets here next Friday, but until then it’s picture-less campus posts for me 😦 Sorry guys 😦
At least it’s sunny, which has me in a great mood πŸ™‚ AND I have PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE LARABARS to look forward to when the bf comes!!!!!! I bought one when I was in Boston and tried it the other day, and ohhh my god I am in love! He promised to bring me some πŸ™‚ What a good boy haha. Now if only he would bring up a small cooler stocked with Fage, he’d be perfect. (Just kidding!) Ok I am off to enjoy the sun a bit before heading off to work but hopefully I’ll get my computer issues resolved soon!

Boston!

August 14, 2008

I’m back! But I really wish I was still there, I had such an amazing time! I don’t have a ton of food pics to share but I do have some scenic ones and lots of stories πŸ™‚ We spent a lot of time at Cape Cod and a day in Provincetown, which is where most of the pics here were taken:

Beach at sunset.

Rainbows EVERYWHERE in P-town!


I also got to vist two other popular tourist attractions (ok for me at least) Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods!!!! Ahhhh!!! I had a field day inside both stores. It was honestly so exciting for me to browse the aisles, and find all the foods I see on my favourite blogs πŸ™‚ At Whole Foods I had to pick up a vegan chocolate chip scone after seeing all of Erica’s posts on them, and wow this baked good did not disappoint! (Like you can’t already tell, the picture is of my scone after I had a few bites haha I couldn’t resist!).

And then there was the yogurt. Oh my god, the yogurt. I picked up a coconut milk-based So Delicious in Passionate Mango and was immediately in dairy-free heaven. It was so thick and rich and delicious, definitely better than most sweetened yogurts I’ve tried. I was impressed by this one for sure. The only downfall was the lower protein amount, versus dairy yogurts. I was also introduced to Stonyfield Farms on my trip, but I feel that I can’t give a fair review on their yogurt because I tried it after I tried Fage and Fage is the GREATEST YOGURT EVER!!!!!!! I only tried the 2% but it absolutely blew me away. There is nothing like this in Canada. I felt like every spoonful was an indulgence and am still contemplating a way to have Fage delivered to me daily via a personal refrigerated Fage truck. Yeah, that’s how in love I am πŸ™‚ Another thing I am in love with is the cost of groceries at the stores I visited- Canadian prices are consistently higher than the US ones I saw. Larabars at TJ’s were $1.29- at my local store it’s $3.00 for one.

I did more than grocery shop though, I swear! I went to my boyfriend’s house on Cape Cod on Friday and for dinner we had fresh scallops, steamed summer squash, salad, and mashed potatoes. Oh how I miss fresh seafood, the quality where I am now just doesn’t measure up to the Nova Scotian standards I was raised on. These were perfect though and definitely satisfied a craving! On Saturday I went to the beach with the bf and his sister and her three kids, and after a long day in the sun we went back to the house and had lobster, steamers, corn on the cob, salad and wine for dinner. They definitely spoiled me there πŸ™‚ We went out for ice cream after dinner (there was a lot of ice cream during this trip) and watched some of the Olympics. Go Michael Phelps!!!!!!!!

Provincetown was our next destination, where we did a lot of walking and browsing in shops along the waterfront. We stopped for lunch at a cafe that served very fresh, light tasting fare. I ordered a turkey, bacon, avocado and tomato sandwich on ciabatta with a side salad and the bf got a falafel pita (which I of course stole my fair share of bites from!). And what’s a meal without some ice cream?! We shared (and by shared I mean I ate most of it) a Half-Baked frozen yogurt cone from Ben & Jerry’s. I also had about 3 iced coffees haha I just love the way it’s made here! Just coffee and maybe some milk over ice. Sounds simple, but few of the affordable coffee shops back home will make you something like this.

And of course there was Boston! We went shopping on Newbury street and to some other fancy centers that I can’t remember the name of right now. I got to see Fenway park and do a lot of walking- Boston is such a beautiful city. We stopped for dinner at PF Chang’s one night (I remember reading about the lettuce wrap appetizer on someone’s blog…) and I am sooo happy we did, dinner there was great! The bf and I started with the vegetarian lettuce wraps and they were the highlight of the dinner, I am going to have to find a way to recreate these. We also shared the Kung Pao chicken and the Dan Dan noodles, both were fantastic! The noodles were chewy egg noodles with a ground chicken sauce served with sliced cucumber and bean sprouts to cut the heat a little. This is another one that I am definitely going to be recreating πŸ™‚ And then guess what came after dinner- surprise! Ice cream! Cold Stone’s was right around the corner and I was dying to try the legendary cake batter flavour. I ordered a little too much and had to enlist my boyfriend’s services in finishing it off, but wow did it ever taste good. So creamy!

I took the overnight bus last night to get home this morning and I’m a little beat by now but I wanted to get this post up before morning so I may be adding in a few more details as they come to me πŸ™‚ I did save the best for last though- here is my loot from the TJ’s and Whole Foods shopping trips! The Chocolate Coconut Chew Larabar is available in Canada but none of the other ones are.

Pictured here is a Coconut Cream Pie Larabar, a Chocolate Coconut Chew Larabar, a Peanut Butter Cookie Larabar, a Clif PB Pretzel Mojo Bar, a Kashi GoLean Chewy Chocolate Almond Toffee bar, a Blueberry Crisp Clif Bar, a PB&J Dipped Clif Mojo Bar, and two z-bars- Apple Cinnamon and Blueberry. Annnnnd a jar of PB&Co’s Mighty Maple PB! I was a happy girl after finding this πŸ™‚ I’ll be sure to let you guys know how everything is!


I really want some sleep so I will be seeing you in the morning for breakfast and I’m hoping on getting in some gym time too! This vacation was awesome and I loved every treat that I had, but I’m feeling a little sluggish now and know that I need to eat more veggies and get in some movement tomorrow. Goodnight!

Meet Oz!

August 5, 2008

I’ll be back tomorrow, posting my meals, but until then I want to tide you over with some adorable-ness πŸ™‚ I give you Ozzie, my family’s new sheltie puppy!!

Awwwww makes me wish I was home right now! At least there’s BOSTON on Thursday!!! I’ve already informed my boyfriend several times that I will need to spend a few quality hours with TJ’s and Whole Foods….And my desire has only increased after seeing Em’s hot bar spread…Ohhhh deliciousness, here I come…..