The Ugly Food Awards

Gosh, I eat some ugly things.

Therefore, I think it’s only fitting to announce…




My Ugly Food!

So, without further ado, let’s jump right in and announce the winners, shall we?

Drumroll please…


In 3rd place, with a bad hair do and an awkward orange hue…

Not-so-Hunky Chunky Pumpkin Overnight Oats! (with canned pumpkin, cottage cheese and a dollop of mango greek yogurt)



In 2nd Place, a slimy character with a ‘what the funk’ odour…

Last Leg Yellow Squash and Green Peppers sauteed in balsamic vinegar and last leg goat cheese!



And finally, last AND (visually) least, we have the winner of the UGLY FOOD AWARDS.

My #1 Ugliest Food is…

Green with UN-envy Chicken Enchilada!


I swear it’s edible…


Honourable Mentions go out to:

Where’s my middle Fudgy Mess Platter


Pond Scum Smoothie with a side bite of dryer lint oats


Leftover-splattered greens topped with under the stove dirt (couscous) and a side appearance of our #1 winner – un-envy enchiladas! [at least this meal has a touch of colour…]




Thanks to everyone who came out. I hope you still have your appetites :)

Long Weekend Fun and Fuel

What a long weekend.

Not what a long weekend, but rather WHAT a long weekend. One solid track of celebrations, complete with copious amounts of cupcakes, decent amounts of dancing, and devilish amounts of drinks (Slight exaggeration. It was all good times but all decently tame. I’m too old and crotchety for that party animal lifestyle! Har Har). Something about long weekends that just makes everyone want to nonstop celebrate.


Thursday there was a night out reunion with a group of old high school gals. We’ve lived in different cities for school but they’ve all finally trickled back in for the summer and it was time to reconvene. Drinks and singing along to cheesy Glee tunes beforehand; drinks, dresses and dancing at a bar to finish it off.


I rarely actually drink fruity drinks but they sure do look suave.

Friday was a buddy’s birthday, complete with breast-studded cupcakes delivered in a shoebox to his delighted hands. There were several big hungry men at this birthday and they were all more than excited about the brownie-bottomed treats, topped with chocolate womanly bits. The way to a man’s heart…

Said birthday began at the house, then continued on to two different bars. It was a Bud Light and antojitos (Stuffed with MANGO. Absolutely delicious) kind of night.



Saturday was the craziest one yet! Okay…no it wasn’t. Highlights included going to work, running, eating a salad and a lot of bean salad, updating my Ipod and going to bed early. Hey, I needed a break! I told you, old and crotchety.



Sunday was good for some tame tanning time during the day (I got some nice colour and a good dose of the natural Vit D) and some retro moves and grooves at a bar at night. The best thing about going out on a long weekend Sunday is running into faces you rarely see. I love my long-lost acquaintances.


A whole weekend of late nights left me run right down though. I actually half napped today and I NEVER nap. It was lovely.


Aside from cupcakes, non-fruity beverages and low levels of sleep, how else did I fuel this long weekend?

A LOT of greens. Green smoothies are my breakfast of choice these days, now that the weather has really warmed up.






ONE of these was stuffed not with spinach but with collard greens. It needed a bit more sweetener but I kind of liked the slightly earthier taste the collards added.

Considering how darn cool it is to blend your spinach into your smoothie… how about topping your spinach with your smoothie?

Yup, I did it.


Yup, I ate it.


Yup, I ate it all.


Creepy? Weird? Unnecessary? All of the above. But it wasn’t half bad. And I’d do it again.

I also ate a lot of salads. What else is new?

Salad topped buffalo-chicken style (cooked chicken;dressing of light source cream, dijon mustard and balsamic vinegar; Frank’s buffalo sauce)


Salad topped plain style – veg and honey mustard dressing with rye and cottage cheese on the side.


Salad topped taco style – seasoned ground beef, bean salad, tomatoes, salsa, sour cream, cheddar


Salad topped tuna style – tuna mixed with sour cream, dijon mustard, worcheshire sauce and pepper



And some odd balls

Italian "Pizza Cheese” made with cashews


Chicken-stuffed Enchiladas. Hideous but delicious.


Red fiesta with red peppers, red salsa on crackers, red ketchup on egg whites


Collard greens, broccoli, zucchini and mushrooms stir-fried in a curry mayo sauce (light mayo + curry powder + splash of milk) with a side of mashed cauliflower


Strawberries topped with coconut/cocoa powder yogurt and sesame brittle


More berries


And more berries


And even more berries – accompanying leftover carrot cake of course.


And to wash it all down? A nice big glass of Crystal Light blended with water, carbonated lemon water, ice, frozen raspberries and frozen mango chunks.


SO. Refreshing.



And now I just got asked to go out AGAIN. This long weekend is over, how do people do it? And more importantly, why am I actually considering it? Oy vey!

Breaking Up With the Food Rut

Summer tends to throw these food rut things at me. Maybe it’s the more frequent access to the fridge and thus the more incessant snacking that does it. Or it could be the darn hot hot heat making its contribution to wacky appetites. Whatever it is, the past little while has been quite food rutted and I haven’t been enjoying nearly anything I’ve been eating. How unfun is that?

Well, this past week I’ve started to chip away at this silly rut and the fun of food has started to make a comeback.

One tried and true method to kicking the food rut to the curb is digging into the million mile deep pile of blogland recipes and giving them life. I save recipes at a rate 10x(+add about three zeros to that) that at which I actually make them. I put a dust speck-sized dent in the pile though during my still ongoing food rut breakup this week.


It all started with a waffle.


Okay so this isn’t even remotely a recipe (most especially since the waffle was of the boxed variety – Red Berry!) but it was blog-inspired. My waffles are typically topped with banana, yogurt, maple syrup… that kinda jazz. THIS one was topped with laughing cow paired with raspberry jam, a combo that has seen many people’s stomachs, but never my own. Until now. Take that food rut.

Feeling oh-so-inspired already, that same fated day of waffle wonder had me also whipping up a smaller version of raw chocolate cake. (I may have squeezed a ridic amount of walnutty oil out of the ball of chocolate wonder before containering it. It was messy business.)


And this snack plate, although seemingly innocent and a weakling in the battle against the food rut, hides its strength in those sushi rolls, which came from COSTCO. My first try of Costco sushi? Definitely strong enough to dent up the food rut. 037

And speaking of Costco, it continued its role in detrutifying my palate with its Kirkland brand marinated chicken skewers. From grill to stomach, summer meals are looking up.


Come to think of it, new food products are always good to break up the everyday food monotony (thanks Captain Obvious?).

Like the moment when I finally broke into my first bag of Kay’s Naturals White Cheddar Cheese Kruncheeze which I received a little while ago but was saving for the right circumstances (such as the current food rut). OH MY. I am so glad I still have four various bags of this stuff left and yet so sad that I have yet to see it around here. SO addicting.


Or the moment when I discovered my first 100 calorie sandwich thins here in Canada (technically they’re 110 but who’s counting).


Or the moment when I arrived home late evening after a day trip out of town (which was yesterday) and hadn’t had much feeding, so the belly required some instant gratification. The old and nearly expired stash of frozen Lean Cuisines came to the rescue, and I was highly satisfied with a box of chicken and vegetable pasta doused in plenty of Frank’s Hot Sauce.



But I digress. Because the blogland recipes are where it’s really at.

Like Janetha’s all star protein smoothie, the one that almost killed my Bullet. Definitely had to whip this one up in two rounds.


A slight trouble to the Bullet but a super treat to the belly, this was very worth the blending issues. And yeah, it’s sitting on my floor.


Having taken an accidental break from kale for the past long while, I reintroduced it back into my life in the form of a massaged kale salad.

Masseuse partner in crime and massaging oil of choice was Mr. Newman and his light balsamic vinaigrette, followed by plenty of avocado and a good squeeze of lemon.


Carrots, tomatoes and nooch rounded out the bowl. I’ve been slacking on my veggie consumption lately so this packed a mighty punch. Repeats will happen!

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Or there’s always the oldies but goodies (And simultaneously uglies, huge apologies for how completely nasty this looks). But that would be one mad delicious enchilada inspired by an old Jenna recipe.

Mine was stuffed with a mixture of fat free sour cream and salsa, chopped cooked chicken, spinach and diced tomatoes, and topped with green enchilada sauce (The rest of the fam’s also had shredded cheese in and on theirs), then baked at 375 for ~30 minutes. These are always instantly devoured despite their horrific appearance and messy nature.



And then we arrive at today, where the food rut breakup is still going strong.

At breakfast, we have cookie dough.

Julie knows what she’s doing. I do not. I overflowed my bowl of cooking wheat bran and instant oats (all out of OAT BRAN!) many many many times. Next cookie dough round I stovetop it.

But after cleaning up the mess, transferring to a new bowl, freezing for about 20 minutes and mixing all up with plain yogurt, mighty maple and SF jam, breakfast got owned in an epic way.  


At lunch, we have butternut squash lasagnanot so lasagna.

I followed the recipe very basically (but reduced to like 1/5th)

My way:

1. Pour jarred pasta sauce into the bottom of a small dish.
2. Cook chopped onions in pan with balsamic vinaigrette, then wilt some spinach in there.
3. Mix shredded mozzarella cheese, ricotta, cottage cheese, salt+pepper and dried oregano in a bowl.
4. Cook diced butternut squash in the microwave for 5 minutes.
5. Layer cheese mix, then spinach and onion, then squash, then more sauce, and top with feta.
6. Bake at 375 for about 35 minutes.
7. Oh, and measure nothing. Apparently. I just threw bits of what I had together.

Good thing I made a mini version because I may have devoured most of this today. 011



And then, on a similar but slightly different note, if you want to break out of an exercise rut… try a SPIN CLASS. Which is what I did for the first time ever today. I’m not a member of a gym but my friend is and there was some online thing to sign up for a free 3 day pass. I did, but apparently they phone you the next day to set it up. I didn’t know this and hadn’t set mine up yet but I got to do the class free anyway. Sweeeet deal.


It was toughish, but ain’t no thang for my thunder thighs.

But if you’re going to be super smart like me and drink a giant Iced Coffee Smoothie prespin (1 cup cold coffee, 1/2 cup skim and almond milk, stevia, xanthan and guar, 10g chocolate protein powder, 4 frozen strawberries, and mucho ICE) then make sure to empty your bladder at least 3x before hopping on the bike.



And to put an end to it all – watermelon. Because it’s summer and thus a necessity.


Here’s to a Food Rut Free week!

Late Night Chow Down

Last night, for the first time ever, I actually had to get up and out of bed to eat something.

It was one of those nights where you lie there, and lie there, and lie there some more. Every hair tickles your face, every shirt wrinkle feels like a noose. I tossed, I turned. I tried countless times to shut my mind off and concentrate on my breathing. It did nothing. And throughout the entire attempted sleep ordeal my stomach was like this empty gurgling pit that was driving me completely nuts.

Eventually I had to get up and get something to eat before I went mental. I had a Kashi granola bar in my room so I figured that would be just enough to calm my stomach but not kill my breakfast in the morning. I nibbled slowly while reading a few magazine articles to calm my wandering mind and then turned the light back out.

Forty-five minutes later my stomach was still grumbling and I was still very much awake. You’ve got to be kidding. By this point I was twice as tired and actually decently comfortable. I did not want to get out of bed. But once again my stomach just wasn’t going to let me fall asleep. After much humming, hawing and trying very hard to ignore it, I dragged myself out of bed, down the stairs and threw together a decent-sized bowl of cereal with banana, yogurt and almond milk.

My stomach was finally just full enough to allow me to sleep.
Have you ever had to get out of bed to eat something because you could just not fall asleep? This is whole new and unexplainable thing for me! I’m not a fan.

Anyway, yesterday for breakfast I made some pretty ugly (oxymoron!) decked out overnight oats. I soaked em up in water and almond milk overnight, then stirred in plenty of plain yogurt, a couple spoonfuls of berry yogurt, chopped apple, banana, flax and Chocolate PB2. 003 013

Grade A Schlop!

I spent the day “studying”, which meant I found everything else I could possibly do other than study. This included (but was not limited to):

  • Treadmill Sprints
  • Blog Reading
  • Kitchen Experimentation

Which led to the creation of:

Coconut Pecan Date Balls!
A genius combo of… can you guess?
Coconut chunks, pecans and Parnoosh honey pitted dates, Bulleted into mush then rolled into delicious bite-sized balls that are comparable to, if not better than, Coconut Cream Pie Larabars. And these tiny bites of coconut paradise come in at only 40 calories a pop.



I also finally got around to trying a recipe for Caramelized Tofu that I’ve wanted to try forever. I didn’t follow amounts, just ingredients, but this turned out delicious.

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I had a couple pieces along with a veggie hummus platter. My appetite wasn’t too raging after all of the date ball sampling.


Then the “studying” continued, which meant:

  • Grocery and health food store shopping

One of the local health food stores around here seems to have a new owner or something. New name, new sign, some new contents. Some of these new contents included a bigger bar selection (score!). Many of the bars were on sale. I picked up these:


I must voice my excitement in finding a Cool Mint Chocolate Clif Bar! This was my first time seeing this flavour anywhere around here. I snatched it up without a second thought the moment I saw it. I should have bought more. I tried a small piece of it right away and it really does taste like one of those chocolate mint Girl Guide cookies. Amaaaazing.

  • Dinner Making

My mom made this giant meatloaf the other night and there were tons of leftovers so since I hate wasting food I opted to make beef enchiladas for my family. It’s a fav meal in this household and a great way to use up any leftover meats that are hanging around in the fridge.

I made theirs with the mashed up meat loaf, sour cream, salsa and spinach, topped with enchilada sauce and shredded cheese.

I made mine with low fat refried beans, FF sour cream and salsa, extra spinach and enchilada sauce, hold the cheese.


Mm mmm enchilada.

I swear there actually was some studying accomplished at some point in there, even if I did find many ways to put it off…

I guess I should get back to it though as it is now Friday and my exam is tomorrow morning!