Journey Through the Eats

Alright. Because I have an abundance of food photos from the past little while that I have yet to use, and because that’s about all I have to offer right now, here’s a nice little journey through some of the stuff I’ve been eating this month.

And by the way, 99% of what I eat right now is speedy so if you need to know what to eat in a jif, welcome to my appetite. :)

 

Spinach is about the most convenient green I can get. Giant bowls of it with a bit of dressing and you’re good to go. By the way, the big containers of Fontaine Sante Taboulé at Costco = delicioso

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I really like that tabbouli…

 

Spinach steamed in the micro for 30 seconds is equally as convenient. And even better topped with pasta, preferably if your mother makes it if you’re pressed for time but I know we’re not all quite so spoiled.

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Or you could top it with a mixture of pasta sauce and hummus for a pimped out pasta sauce without the pasta.

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You could even side it with some Vegan Red Lentil Dal. I was missing a couple spices so I did a quick Google search to figure out what might work as a substitute:

For the 1 tsp cumin – I used 1 tsp chili powder
For the 1 tbsp coriander – I used 1 tbsp dried parsley

I have no idea if these subs were valid or not but the dish did taste a bit overspiced so I’m thinking the cumin and coriander are pretty key, especially since I think they’re pretty regular players in Indian cuisine? Either way it didn’t turn out too badly but I think I’ll have to give it another go once I have the proper spices on hand.

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I’ve just started topping some of my salads with plain mustard and I LIKE it. That and random freezer leftovers but that’s nothing new.

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Those random Deep Dish Veggie Tart leftovers are the way to go.

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Tuna is a good protein-packed speedster.

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As are egg beaters mixed with laughing cow, salsa and spinach atop toasted a english muffin. I used to eat this like…every day? Not surprisingly I got sick of it and I hardly eat them anymore but when I do… thumbs UP.

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Roasted vegetable salads aren’t quite as quick (I’m impatient so the 20ish minutes it takes to roast the veggies feels like an eternity sometimes!) but they’re easy peasy:
Spinach topped with roasted broccoli, brussel sprouts and carrots coated in dijon mustard and balsamic vinegar before roasting, all topped with roasted red pepper dip and cottage cheese.

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And by the way…sauerkraut? Any fans? I just tried it for the first time this week. It’s okay… I’m not a huge salty food fan (please ignore the cottage cheese above), or I guess more precisely olive fan, and this was kind of reminiscent of shredded olives? I have a lot left though, what do I use it for?

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I’m no food saint though. Despite all these veggies I’ve definitely been consuming even more breads and sugar. Doh. FYI – bread rarely gets photographed but it’s abundant in my everyday eating…usually in the form of a giant hunk ripped off a slice and shoved into my mouth while prepping other foods. No one wants to see that spectacle.

But I guarantee you do want to see the spectacle of the other sweeties of my eaties.

I’m a little miffed about my lack of hot breakfasts lately. The temperatures are dipping but hot oats are still only an occasional breakfast guest.

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I’m still more into the cold breakfast thing right now.

Maybe not this cold though. This smoothie was the first I’ve had probably since summer. I need to bring them back more though, I miss them. Just as long as I have coffee to pair them with. This baddie>spinach, almond milk, water, stevia, vanilla protein powder, frozen banana, ice, the gums.

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I brought back the smoothie once more for dinner. Vanilla protein powder frozen berry smoothie (with mucho gums and ice) in a near empty whipped peanut butter jar with big chunks of chilled roasted squash stirred in. I crave interesting things in the heated midst of intense essay writing.

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So when I said cold breakfasts, I was thinking more along the lines of cold cereal. Or more specifically, in this case, crumbled Granola Plank in almond milk (which, by the way, I wasn’t impressed with. It just tasted like a stale rice krispie square to me).

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I save the real deal cereal bowls for dinner. Sometimes dinner cereal is the way to go, especially when you have a hungry yet queasy stomach. This was perfect – Puffed rice, Shreddies, frozen berries, banana, almond milk and a hefty sprinkling of chocolate Amazing Grass powder.

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And when you’re always looking for quick grab foods, those freezer baking stashes never fail. Avocado Banana Muffin bottom topped with puree of baked sweet potato blended with a splash of almond milk, SF maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg.

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All that baking I did in my last post… mostly gone now. Despite stashing it in the freezer. Gotta love convenience.

 

I have about a million words to write for papers in the next two weeks so I better get cracking. Our prof in one of my classes just gave us a week extension on our final paper though which is a huge help. I love awesome profs.

Usually in the heat of the term I’m really good at isolating myself from humanity and work work working until I get everything done but for some reason this year things just keep cropping up and pulling me out of the house. What is this social life business?! I can’t handle it!

How do you balance a social life with school/work/the like? Tips, tricks, tools and savvy advice?
Google Calendar is one of my sanity tools :) So is quickly jotting down daily schedules/to-do lists. I do one of these every night before bed for the next day, and then check off what I actually accomplished before writing the next one that night. It doesn’t matter if I don’t get everything done, it just helps keep my brain organized.

Books, Beers & Bellies

Wow.

A little MIA much?

Though I could be honest and say the fact that I haven’t bothered to make any kind of appearance around these parts is largely influenced by my lack of motivation, lack of any kind of solid meals and lack of much hoopla to speak about…

…instead I’m going to blame it on the books, the beers and the food-filled belly.

Books:

The dreaded due dates have only just really started to crop up, so I’ve been diving headfirst into the readings and writings lately, which are monopolizing 90% of my computer time. Rude!

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Beers:

Halo and welcome to that time of year again – Oktoberfest! This year was my not first, not second , but THIRD time attending the beer and polka-filled festivities.

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Giant arena packed full with picnic tables, people, and mass amounts of beer? Looks about right.

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(weheartit)

Verdict? Third Time’s a Charm.  This year was much more fun than the previous ones. I totally embraced the chicken dance and the overpriced beer.

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Bringing in the keg. Oh yes I scored a (very small) glass of free keg beer.

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Belly:

That time of year for the polka also happens to fall at the same time as Canadian Thanksgiving. And the time of funky looking squash and gourds.

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All that excitement in one weekend? I can hardly handle it. Needless to say, my belly couldn’t either.

Where’s Joey when you need him?

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Not gonna lie, although my dinner was good I kind of wish it had looked like this:

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(Somebody has got to make these cupcakes. Apparently from this book!)

Instead, it looked a little more something like this:

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Slightly more traditional…
Clockwise from Left: Turkey, baked sweet potato wedges, mashed cauliflower, cranberry sauce, gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, spinach leaves (that I stuffed turkey into. Mini turkey spinach wraps anyone?)

And for dessert, pumpkin pie bars. We just couldn’t get enough of them last year apparently. So we made them again.

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And I’ve eaten them over. And over. And over. Hence the bellies bellies bellies.

 

Aside from all of the celebratory hoopla I’ve been getting in a few greens here and there:

Tuna & Greens

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Roasted Veggies & Goat Cheese & Greens

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Crumbled Tofu & Greens

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Greens in my Oats – savoury style with spinach, falafel balls, salsa and tzaziki

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And then there are the ridic amount of apples because who can resist them at this time of year?!

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Just as ridic amounts of Oatmeal Squares, often paired with above mentioned apples.

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And the occasional grocery store sushi run or salsa and light mozzarella-topped tortilla pizza, microwave-heated for speediest eating.

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So that would be my last week or so in fast-forward  fashion. My October thrills have hit their high so the rest of the month will probably involve a lot more of the books than anything else. Maybe I should start thinking about Halloween, gotta have something to look forward to, right?!

 

Have you ever celebrated Oktoberfest? I’ve done it three times now. Will it happen again next year? We’ll have to wait and see.
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Your Halloween costume ideas for this year? I never preplan this and it never works out in my favour. I need something good!

French Toast, Fast Food, and Full of Granola

Reasons why I should not be allowed to make my own granola:

A. I eat half the batch straight out of the oven. I’m only kind of exaggerating.

B. I burn it. Every. Time. Clearly I need to be sitting right beside the oven and checking it every two minutes. Clearly I didn’t do this. Clearly I am a very poor granola watcher. And clearly it’s Monday morning.

I am now ridiculously full of yogurt, blueberries, and many spoonfuls of Peanut Butter Granola. You bet I ate the burnt stuff.

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My batch had 1/4 cup extra of puffed rice and macadamia nuts instead of peanuts because that is currently the only type of nut in my house. I foresee a Bulk Barn trip in the near future.

 

Now let’s take a swing on back to the beginning of the weekend.

Saturday

Saturdays scream Special Breakfast. Special Breakfast screams french toast.

I happened to be browsing through my saved recipes the other day. Caroline’s Tofu-Banana French Toast recipe happened to be saved on my computer. I read it. I realized I had some silken tofu in the fridge that needed to be used up. I also realized I had half a loaf of Ezekiel Cinnamon Raisin bread in the freezer from … a year ago? and have been meaning to french toast it for a while since it’s got a bit of the frost bite thing going on. No way am I throwing out a $5+ loaf of bread though. The freezer works wonders for long term preservation…

So with that, Tofu-Banana Cinnamon Raisin French Toast was born.

Batter:1/4 cup soft tofu blended with 1/2 small banana, cinnamon, 1/2 pack stevia, splash SF french vanilla syrup

Coated both sides of the bread. Into the pan, cooked to perfection, and topped with a little SF maple syrup and fresh blueberries. AMAZE.

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And just as Caroline suggests, I definitely ate the last bits of remaining batter, guilt free!

I also had a few orange slices (and a second cup of coffee) just for kicks. 048

Then it was off to work. Remember how on Friday I had a fast food meal for the first time in ages? Well I guess I broke the seal because I had another one on Saturday for lunch!

Wendy’s Grilled Chicken Sandwich. No sauce. Just look at that lovely SINGLE piece of iceberg lettuce. They sure go all out.

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My Harvey’s veggie burger from Friday’s was great. How was Saturday’s Wendy’s chicken burger? You be the judge.

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Yep, I ripped that sucker apart. I topped the burger with a packet of hot chili sauce I found in the work fridge for some kind of flavour. Good idea. The chicken itself was decent enough. But the lettuce and tomato? Pathetic. The bun? Horrible. I’m not against all white bread, heck I love a slice (or three) of a fresh white french loaf straight from the oven, but this was just wrong. I kept about 1/3 of the bun intact to hold the sandwich together but in retrospect I should have just trashed the whole bun and eaten the chicken by itself. The bun stuck to my teeth. Like really? Wendy’s, you need to rethink your choice of burger bun. Talk to Harvey’s, they know what they’re doing.

After work I got home to a dinner of roasted vegetables. That’s more like it. Sweet and white potatoes, zucchini, red pepper, broccoli, carrots and cloves of garlic. Mmmm.

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Saturday night was a lazy night in. Workout, bit of homework, bit of TV watching. Nothing too exciting, but it’s still winter so that’s how my weekends go when it’s too cold to get out of my sweats.

 

Sunday

The Coconut Butter made an appearance.

– First thought when I opened the jar – “What the heck are those extra white fuzzy-looking things on top? Is that mold??”

– Second thought – “I just paid almost $15 for this jar. I don’t care if it’s mold, it’s getting eaten.”

– First move – Very cautiously scrape and taste the top.

– First reaction – “Hmm. I don’t know what this is supposed to taste like. Is this it?

– First actual taste test – Spread onto a small piece of banana bread.

– First reaction to this taste test – “Hmm. This isn’t very strong…how exactly did this gain so much hype? Maybe it’s more of an acquired thing… needs more experimenting. I think I could learn to like this…I’ll still give it a chance.”

 

That chance came Sunday morning when I melted a spoonful onto my bowl of scotch oats (cooked with water, almond milk, banana, flax and cinnamon. Blueberries and peanut butter on top).

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Coconut Butter Verdict? Better. A bit. I still don’t think it has that strong of a flavour. And I was still expecting more out of it. But overall it’s pretty good and I think it’s one of those things that I’ll start to like a bit more each time I try it.

Should I always be melting it? Should I mix it with anything specific, pair it with anything specific? I want to maximize the goodness of this stuff.

 

Rest of Sunday was SALAD

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SNACKING

Studying…

And Homemade Turkey Lasagna

Basically followed the recipe exactly except for a few changes which are included here:

  • 1 pound  ground turkey breast
  • 1 1/2  cups  water
  • 1 large can + 1/2 cup garlic and herb pasta sauce
  • 2  cups  shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2  cup 1% cottage cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups light ricotta cheese
  • 1/2  cup light Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2  cup liquid egg whites
  • sprinkling dried parsley
  • sprinkling black pepper
  • 9  uncooked lasagna noodles

 Oven at 350.

Cook the turkey in a large saucepan coated with cooking spray over medium heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Add water and pasta sauce; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Combine the mozzarella, cottage and ricotta cheese, and next 4 ingredients (parm through pepper) in a bowl.

Spread 1 cup turkey mixture in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Arrange 3 noodles over turkey mixture; top with 1 1/2 cups turkey mixture. Spread half of cheese mixture over turkey mixture. Repeat layers, ending with the remaining turkey mixture.

Cover and bake at 350° for 1 hour. 041

The original recipe calls for an extra cup of mozzarella on top but we didn’t add it and it didn’t need it, it was plenty delicious without.

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And we have plenty of leftovers.

Now I should probably get a move on since I have class this afternoon. Hey Monday… does anyone else find it especially hard to go to class when the sun is shining like crazy (especially since it’s been practically completely MIA all winter?!), cause I sure do. Ah well.

 

What have you got going on this week that you’re looking forward to?
I like having something a little fun to look forward to to break up the routine each week, even if it’s something small like dinner with a friend or a post-class shopping trip. I have nothing yet this week though, I really need to change that!

How Un‘fortune’it

Another weekend gone already? My days all seem to be melting together into one big smoosh.

Saturday

I wasn’t super hungry early in the AM but there was some canned pumpkin opened in the fridge and calling my name so I listened and mixed it with flax, strawberry yogurt and PB2. Topped with an Oatie for extra specialness.

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At work a mid-morning snack was necessary. Half of this dandy to be precise:

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All the way from the UK, courtesy of Lara.

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I actually only wanted to have a few bites but not a minute later half the bar was gone. Now how did that happen?!

Lunch for everyone else at work was courtesy of the burger joint next door. Lunch for me was courtesy of my refrigerator.
This grease ring onion ring was courtesy of my brother.

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This thing oozed grease. It was a little nasty. I tried to squeeze it out a bit. When you have to squeeze out your food before eating it maybe you should rethink eating it in the first place.

I didn’t rethink it though, I ate every bite (after taking the picture clearly). I balanced it with a nice big spinach salad (spinach, tomatoes, carrots, onion, Sabra spicy hummus, balsamic vinaigrette) and a camera shy apple.

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I found a random fortune cookie in the cupboard at home so I decided to throw it in my lunch bag too. Want to see the wicked awesome fortune that came along with it?

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… I demand a refund. Someone needs to fire their fortune writers.

 

Dinner was so on-the-fly that I didn’t even bother taking a picture. There was some chicken-on-a-stick action going on though. It was thrilling.

Then I went to a candle party where I sipped on classy drinks out of classier martini glasses and spent $30 on one stinking giraffe spotted tin candle. They’re nice candles but seriously?! Do you know just how many candles I could buy at the dollar store for that price? Almost 30 (I know that was a hard one to figure out). So maybe they don’t burn as cleanly or smell quite as nice (does anyone find dollar store candles kind of smell like hospital or is that just me…?) but once in a while quantity prevails. Sigh. This better be one darn magical candle. I’m talking ‘grant you three wishes when I’m lit’ magical and I expect nothing less.

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Post candles = bar time. We made it there early enough to beat the cover charge time and very soon after found ourselves confronted with multiple jager shots. Shudder. I’m no jager fan that’s for sure.

I managed to end the night spending a grand total of $5.00 (excluding my earlier candle purchase of course). People were all too eager with the drink offerings. Although I didn’t mind accepting the tasty free drink the cute bartender passed my way ;).
I also managed to break the heart of a big 30 year old tattooed Australian bar worker who  “wore his heart on his sleeve” and decided he was into me. This guy has been my bar buddy acquaintance for a while and I thought he was awesome and we were chill but then he had to go all “I like you. Just kiss me! Are you attracted to me?”
And I had to go all “Haha what? Uh.. er.. uh.. what do you mean?! You’re awesome… You’re like my hero?”
”What is THAT supposed to mean? Are you attracted to me or not?!”
And then things were just awkward and I had to be all crap I’m rejecting you and now I’m down a bar buddy. But come on man, seriously? Rejecting people you know/are friends with/chat with etc is so darn awkward.

My night was a little bizarre, a little random, but a lot of fun. I hadn’t been out for a good night in a while. I almost forgot how fun it can be once in a while….

Sunday

Mom Day!

My lovely Mother wanted crepes for breakfast so that’s what she got. I’ve never made a crepe before. One of them turned out well… the rest were kinda uneven, kinda burnt, kinda misfits. They all tasted mighty alrighty though!

I made half of them with frozen raspberries. I made a mini for myself and topped it with PB2 mixed with SF maple syrup.

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I had another unpictured bigger one after that I butchered so badly that I could not possibly allow anyone else to eat. I took one for the team and ate it with banana and more PB2. I didn’t suffer too badly from the ordeal.

The clowns enjoying their eats. Sling boy was hungry.

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Who are these buffoons? This is why I keep the camera aimed at my food. At least it cooperates.
Aw just kidding, I love em buffoonery and all.

Happy belated Mother’s Day!

 

After some groceries and Bulk Barn shopping in the aft I needed refuelling. For some extra special spinach splendor I cracked open a new salad dressing bottle today: Newman’s Own Honey Mustard. I’m a mustard junkie and a honey mustard junkie and this dressing is amazing. Surpassed my expectations. You go Newman!

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Dinner was also amazing as it included my very favourite roasted vegetables.

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I had two big mounds of them along with a side of plain chickpeas. I love chickpeas plain and cold. I could eat them by the can.

I also consumed copious amounts of that itty piece of bread on my plate there. Doughiest bread ever and completely addicting.

I finished my night off with an apple-sized strawberry and some plain yogurt with agave and topped with some candy love.

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Now it is a new day and a new week and I am off to eat up some oats.

Happy Monday!