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! 🙂

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Kermit-Colored

September 29, 2008

I beg to differ with Mr. Kermit the Frog- it is VERY easy to be green! Especially with this bright smoothie 🙂 I’ve heard about green smoothies and the even more healthful process of jucicing and drinking your greens, and now that I’ve finally tried it I can’t believe I waited so long.

For this smoothie I started with roughly a cup of frozen mango chunks. Then I added a good handful of spinach (washed and stems removed), some ice cubes, and a little unsweetened soymilk (or you could use water, to make it Raw). I gave it an extra-long run in the blender just to make sure I wouldn’t wind up with spinachy bits. What I finally got to taste was a rich, thick, refreshing smoothie. The spinach gave a great texture and provided a balance to the sweet mango. I loved it this way, but if you’re a little wary of spinach in your smoothies or want a sweeter taste, adding in half a banana would most likely add that extra creamy sweetness.

Greens in general have been on my mind a lot lately since I started reading Kristen’s Raw, both her blog and her raw lifestyle pages. While I don’t think a 100% raw vegan lifestyle is the one for me, I really like her philosophy and her energy. I do feel “better”, more alive, when I eat pure, unprocessed foods in their natural states. I’m going to try to do a raw day- just to see how it makes me feel. And if that’s the only 100% raw day I ever do, that’s fine by me, because no matter what else I’m eating I know my new love for green smoothies will ensure I’m getting in *some* raw all the time 🙂

A Better Banana Bread

September 23, 2008

I’ve quickly come to the realization that I am not an everyday blogger. Or even an every two day blogger. Posting my meals is boring for me and I hate feeling like my entries are uninspired and lacking in creativity! Therefore, I’m going back to why I created this blog in the first place- to share my love for good food and the pleasure involved with it in the form of recipes and other musings 🙂 And I think I’m going to be a lot happier doing it 🙂 I’ll also update a little along the way about how my recasting is going (French Women Don’t Get Fat– for those who missed me mentioning it before).

The recipe that awakened me from my blog slumber and brought about the utter need to post was, fittingly, a breakfast one. I love muffins and quick breads for breakfast but I don’t love their sugar content, so I came up with a banana bread-like pancake recipe that uses only one tablespoon of sweetener (I used agave but I bet honey would be great too!). The recipe is based on my favourite pancake template, from vegan baking queen Hannah Kaminsky.

Banana Bread Pancakes

1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
pinch of salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup vanilla soymilk
1 tbsp agave nectar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp pureed banana

Mix first 4 (dry) ingredients. Mix wet separately. Slice remaining part of banana very thinly and gently fold into dry ingredients at the same time you mix in the wet. Don’t overmix! Let sit for up to 10 minutes. Pour batter onto a greased pan and cook until edges are dry and bubbles start to pop in the middle of your pancake. Then flip and cook until underside is lightly browned. Serve with maple syrup, peanut butter, or both 🙂 The banana slices melt into the batter and give a rich banana bread flavour- definitely worth waking up for!


I did a nutritional facts analysis using calorie-count.com’s recipe feature and came up with this: each serving (one recipe) provides apprx. 430 calories, 1.5g fat, 9.5g fiber, 11.4g protein. Obviously, any substitutions will alter these approximations.

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 🙂 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 🙂

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 🙂 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 🙂 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!! 🙂


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.

Heart to Heart

September 8, 2008

Hi guys 🙂 I’ve missed blogging, I know I’ve been away for a really long time, but I have been super busy and as I’ve yet to fall into a routine, I’m still feeling a little crazy and unsettled. My laptop is ok now and I finally have internet, school (two night classes every week for me) has started, I’m working a full time job and I’ve moved into a fantastic apartment with my even more fantastic boyfriend 🙂 Needless to say, I am much happier now than I was during the lonely summertime! I’m still working out a few kinks with the apartment (a couple fuses are out, including the one that powers the stove- what a tease! I can look at my lovely new oven but can’t use it yet!!) but hopefully everything will get sorted out within this week and I can settle down into something more normal.

I also (still) have a little bit of weight to lose, and some areas to tone. I’m away from the restaurant now so I really have no excuses for eating too much dessert. I haven’t yet decided if I should go back to what I was doing before, blogging my meals every day, because first off it would probably get a little boring (I’m really not that exciting lol) and secondly I don’t know if I have the time for it. But, I also did enjoy doing it and it would be fun to share my recasting and reshaping. The accountability that blogging holds you to, at least until new things become habit, is also a plus. I kind of like how Broccoli Hut posts every two days, so there’s another idea..

Anyway it’s been far too long since I shared any pictures around here, so I simply must show off what my boyfriend (Steve, for future reference) brought me from Boston: 4 jars of PB and Co peanut butter (white chocolate and dark, the best obviously) a WHOLE BOX of peanut butter Larabars (BEST EVER) and a nice big bottle of Moet et Chandon champagne, which we toasted our new apartment with 🙂 Let me tell you, this girl here loves her champagne 🙂

Rest assured, I have been reading, if not commenting on what all of you lovely ladies have been up to 🙂 xox

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 🙂 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 🙂 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!

Lessons Learned

August 17, 2008

I went out for a lovely walk today- I was probably out for an hour before I started to get hungry and decided it was lunchtime. I made 1/2 cup of egg whites in the microwave just like last time, and then made it into a sandwich with a toasted whole wheat English muffin, mustard & ketchup, spinach, and tomato. I wish I had some cheese for this though, that would have made it perfect! On the side I had a sweet potato which I microwaved until soft and then cut into cubes and sauteed on the stovetop until crispy. Ketchup for dipping, of course.

I actually only wound up eating half of the sweet potato, because I decided to get some gelato! My cone was oreo, mint chocolate chip, tiramisu, and chocolate hazelnut.

I finished one shift at job #1 at 7 and my shift at job #2 was actually supposed to start at 7 (obviously I didn’t get there on time, thank goodness everyone who works there is crazy laid back and just happy that I show up), so needless to say dinner was eaten on the run. I had a kamut tortilla with a banana and about 2 tablespoons of PB&Co’s Mighty Maple PB. I LOVE this pb flavour!!!!! The hint of sweetness is perfect. Ughhh I would move to the states just for the food products. Well I actually might be moving to the states, but that’s a different story. Also, my boyfriend tells me that no one who lives in the states, actually calls it the states. It’s America. Or the US. Or, as my grandpa says, the US of A. Well, that was quite the tangent.

I snacked too much at work tonight- I was distracted every time I was eating, which means I didn’t enjoy it enough so I ate more in volume to make up for the lack of satisfaction, and also means that I don’t even know how much I ate. I had a few handfulls of my co-workers fries, which were just a little too heavy for me (as I’m feeling now) and lots more bites of gelato. I just feel kind of bloated now. I need to stop making excuses for myself for eating while at work. If I’m going to be hungry, bring a snack. Or just don’t eat it.

Oooh I was going to end there but I just remembered something I wanted to share 🙂 One of the girls I work with asked me tonight if I was ever a gymnast. I was a little confused (wondered why she would ask?) and replied that I used to figure skate. I still have pretty good tone in my legs (though I’m not sure that it’s leftover from my skating days) and I tend to get complimented on my legs and my bum. Haha I feel silly saying that, but really, I always get told that I have a nice bum. It’s a pretty good bum, I guess. Ok no more bum I have to stop there. Annnnyway wow I am on a roll with tangents today. Back to my story- when I told her I used to skate she was like ‘ohh well I asked if you did gymnastics because you have really toned arms’. I have never been told I had anything close to tone in my arms!!!! Must be all those 20lb boxes I lift for 8 hours a day at job #1 🙂 Anyway her comment made me smile and definitely makes me want to tone up all the rest of me just as nicely 🙂

Have a happy rest-of-weekend! 🙂

Toasty

August 16, 2008

I was slightly more energized when I woke up this morning 🙂 I still think I’m going to hang out in bed and read a bit, but no more sleeping! I’ve got coffee with me right now to prove it haha.

Breakfast this morning was 2% plain yogurt, Nature’s Path Organic Smart Bran Psyllium cereal, 1/2 a banana, blueberries, and a white peach, all topped with toasted almond slivers. Delicious! I loved the crunch of the toasty almonds in there. My bowl was huge and should definitely hold me until lunch.

I want to get a walk in today or maybe some gym time before work…. We’ll see 🙂

Satisfaction

August 16, 2008

Soooo I definitely went back to bed after breakfast today 🙂 It’s honestly one of my favourite things to do… During the school year on weekends I loved waking up super early, enjoying my oats, and then falling back asleep for a few hours before waking up again to coffee. Ok, I’m a little weird 🙂 I only slept for half an hour or so today though, and then I got up and made myself some coffee before heading to the gym. I did 40 minutes on the elliptical today while watching X-Weighted, which is a weight-loss show filmed in Nova Scotia (where I grew up!). Watching kind of made me miss home but it was nice to see all of the familiar places! It was also inspiring to work out while watching it- basically the show follows one or two people an episode and covers about six months of their weight loss journey. This episode focused on two best friends, one woman whose starting weight was 235, the other at 295. Both of them wound up losing quite a bit of weight, which made me feel happy for them 🙂 As with any weight-loss show I watch I always hope the contestants stick to their new habits and see it as a lifestyle change, not just a quick fix to lose some pounds. But anyway enough blabbering, on to the food!!!!

I absolutely loved everything I ate today 🙂 It really is my goal to make every day like this! For lunch I toasted up two fig + flax waffles spread with a little butter, 1/2 cup microwaved egg whites, grapes, and a white peach that was a little bruised but still tasted delicious! I need to take a moment to rave about egg whites- SUPER easy to make in the micro, delicious, and they kept me full forever! I just buttered up a little dessert bowl and poured in about 4 egg whites, then microwaved for roughly a minute, stopping every 20 seconds to stir. They came out fantastic, tasting just like they were poached! The touch of butter I used to grease the cup provided awesome flavour too. Sprinkled with a little salt & pepper, they were perfect. Expect to see a lot more egg whites on this blog!!!! 🙂


Dinner was just as much fun! I had a mixed greens salad with blueberries and balsamic vinegar. Blueberries are definitely my favourite berry and they are perfect in salads, since they are both sweet and tart. I had some 2% plain yogurt anddd one of my Boston finds! The Kashi Go-Lean Chewy protein & fiber bar, in chocolate almond toffee. This. Was. Awesome. It was pretty big so it took me a while to eat, and it tasted like a candy bar, but better. It was pretty sweet (the only downfall, there are 31g of sugar in this bar- yikes!) but with 13g of protein, 6g fat and 6g fiber this guy kept me going at work all night. I only wish Kashi would sell such deliciousness in Canada!!!!!!!!!!!!

Another super busy weekend at work (double shifts both days) but at least I have Monday off so I can catch up on sleep and downtime then! Have a great weekend everyone!!!

Reunited With Oats

August 15, 2008

It’s been sooo long since I last had oats! They tasted especially delicious today 🙂 The mix was standard, with 40g of oats, a pinch of salt, 1/3 cup skim milk, 1/3 cup water, 1/2 banana, raisins, lots of cinnamon, brown sugar, and an almond butter spoonful. The new addition today was a big spoonful of 1% cottage cheese for a little extra protein. It melted into the oats and gave great texture, though it added pretty much nothing to the taste.

Now that I’ve had breakfast though all I really want to do is go back to sleep! I don’t know why I’m so tired… Probably because I haven’t had my coffee yet 😉 I want to fit in a gym trip today and then I’m working at 4 but that’s about it, pretty boring day. At least August is coming to an end and some of my friends (and boyfriend!!!!!!!!!!!) will be coming back soon! I am so excited to move into my new apartment with the boy 🙂 Two more weeks until it happens!!!!!

Happy Friday! 🙂