Monthly Archives: October 2010

It’s Not All Sushi Boats

Psssssst!

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Happy Waffle Wednesday :)

Rather than bombard you with photos of yet another sweet breakfast concoction this week, I’ve got a savoury waffle combination for you. I had it for lunch and my oh my – it was good!

 

Spinach & Feta Waffles with Hummus

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  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup unflavoured soy protein powder (I like mine protein-y, but this can be subbed out with more whole wheat flour)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup cooked spinach
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Batter makes two full-sized Belgian waffles because of the added volume of spinach and feta.

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I ate both. Because that’s how I roll. Along with hummus, carrots and pickled beets.

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I love how the cheese got crispy on the edges. It smelled divine when cooking.

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Hummus made the perfect dipper for the waffles. Definitely adding this new recipe to my regular waffle rotation!!

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I would like to thank everyone for their sweet comments on my gaining what I’ve dubbed the “Toronto Ten.” 

However, I feel as if I should have left a bit of a disclaimer on that post.

You see, I don’t weigh myself. I’m one of those hippies that never steps on a scale. So I actually have no idea if I’ve gained 10 lbs, the title just sounded catchy ;) It’s more like I can fit into most of my pants, except those two pairs of capris I wore while triathlon training last summer. My mom said I was too skinny to start with. And Mother Nature has given me some of my old boobs back. So this is why a girl can’t complain too much ;)

Also, while I do eat out 1-2 times a week. I also put a lot of work and care into making fresh food at home.

Most days I need to have breakfast, lunch and dinner ready to transport with me to work in the mornings. Some days I’m gone from the house from 6am to 10pm.

When I was able to find time this week, I made sure to whip up a few simple dishes that would leave leftovers to grab the next day.

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The above is a very un-photogenic spaghetti squash pesto. Essentially a cooked spaghetti squash with sautéed veggies (any and all I had in my fridge) and canned tuna for the protein (all I had on hand).

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Monday night after work I stopped by the grocery store and picked up a few things for a big ole’ pot of Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili. No recipe here, just a pound of ground turkey, chopped sweet potato, can each of kidney beans and black beans, some veggies and spices!

On Sunday, I boiled a huge pot of eggs. Instead of having to prep a breakfast the night before, I’ve been able to just grab a couple eggs and toast. We won’t mention the looks I get when I eat them on the streetcar…

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Another stinky food! Instead of buying expensive, overly processed protein bars, I’ve taken to snacking on little cans of tuna. Not every day of course. But when eaten alone, they make for a great protein-packed snack!

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I work by some amazing fruit stands. Produce is both local and cheap, so I’m always stocking up and have lots to munch on.

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Including persimmons for 99 cents a pound. That is a steal my friends.

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This is a “sweet” persimmon, as not all of them are. The texture is similar to a plum, but the taste is a lot milder. The outer skin is a lot thicker.

I chopped it up on my late morning this week and added it to a bowl of yogurt.

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Over the summer, yogurt messes became one of my favourite breakfasts. They fill my belly soooo much! This particular one also had some protein powder, oats, coconut, cinnamon, chia seeds, raisins, maple syrup and sunflower seed butter.

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So there ya go, it hasn’t aaallll been boats of sushi and ooey gooey pizzas around here. As my blog name would suggest, it’s about a little balance sometimes ;)

 

I’ve got two new killer workouts to share. Will post them tomorrow – see ya then!

 

Question of the Day: What is your favourite dish for leftovers? Mine is chili, duh. It’s best on salads with tortilla chips!

The Toronto Ten

I’m sure all of you have heard of the “Freshman Fifteen.”

Or the “Sophomore Twenty.”

How about the “Newlywed Thirty?”

Then how come no one ever warned me of the “Toronto Ten?”

Okay, honestly, I kind of suspected it might happen. In fact, I actually feared the idea of gaining weight once I moved here almost four months ago. But I thought anything noticeable would be unlikely. I exercise. I eat healthy.

I was wrong.

I did not expect exactly how bombarded I would be by delicious food in Toronto. Nor did I know that I was still lacking in many foodie experiences. New Brunswick is a fabulous place. Its culinary culture however, is severely lacking.

Toronto has Thai.

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The spiciest Indian food I’ve ever had.

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Boats and boats of sushi.

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Cute and colourful French desserts.

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An area of town devoted to my favourite food ethnicity – Greek.

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A Dim Sum place on every other corner where white girls such as myself say they want the chicken feet and end up spitting it out.

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It’s a city that takes its brunch very seriously, offering never ending choices of morning themed dishes on weekends.

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Including a traditional Jewish brunch. Blintzes, challah French toast, beets, hummus and smoked fish.

 

In New Brunswick, I had to get in the car if I wanted to go to a grocery store or restaurant. In Toronto, I am just a hop away from homemade sausage.

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A skip from a gelato place.

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And a mere jump from the city’s best cinnamon buns.

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And no matter where you are, there is a  street meat stand ready and at your disposal.

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Including at the entrance of the park I run in. You have no idea how tempting hot dogs smell after running 6 miles.

Toronto is also known for some signature dishes. Ones I can’t help but try out.

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When Bobby Flay says it’s the best peameal sandwich he’s ever had, you eat it.

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I can’t say if we actually have the best Italian food outside of Italy as some claim. However, it saved me from a pricey trip to Naples just to try the pizza.

Toronto is home to food I could have never even imagined.

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A lot of bacon has been consumed in the name of foodie curiosity and adventure. Things that I know won’t be any good… but have to try just to make sure ;)

I know what you are thinking. In such a big city, it must be at least easier to find healthy food. You are correct. Produce is cheap and bountiful. There are a gazillion types of seedy breads and organic meats in grocery stores. But be careful. Not all “health” food is healthy for your waistband.

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I was initially easily lured into the never ending options for juices here in the city. Every place specializes in some immunity boosting concoction. Fine. But not when paired with a full-sized meal.

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Toronto loves its raw vegetables.

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As well as its nut and calorie-dense raw desserts.

It’s not just restaurants to blame. The food markets and grocery stores carry so many foods I was never exposed to in New Brunswick. And so many foods I now want to try!

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Including every flavour in the Whole Foods nut butter aisle.

I am of course forgetting a main contributing factor here. The beer.

My goodness. The beer.

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As I’ve confessed before, I am a GWLHB. “Girl Who Loves Her Beer.”

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Being a more populated province, Ontario has way more microbreweries. Also pulls in way more kinds of imported beer I’ve never been exposed to.

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We can’t just blame the beer though. There’s been the odd jagerbomb as well ;)

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Yesyes. It seems the change in location and lifestyle has taught me all about the Toronto Ten. Something no longer feared. Definitely not loved. But perhaps embraced.

It’s recently been decided that my time in this great city is limited. So I am open to experiencing it for all it is worth. Bacon adventures and all. I thank my lucky stars I work in a gym and running store. Otherwise, we may have to invent the Toronto Twenty.

Susan’s Day Off

Not only has another weekend come and gone, but it seems another month is close to passing us as well! How the heck is it already October 24th?? Ahh… I try so hard to make the best of my days, which seems to make me forget that time is passing at all.

Even though I had many days off work last week, they were all jam-packed with activities with my visiting family. This past Saturday was my first day off all to myself in a while. So I made sure to make the best of it!

My weekend really started with a Friday night in bed watching Mad Men. Just what the doctor ordered. A very long slumber ensued leaving me refreshed and ready for my Saturday off!

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It began as any day off should – with French toast. Nothing fancy here folks. Dipping mix included two eggs with almond milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon and flaked coconut.

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The only bread I had on hand was a very light and thin flax bread. If only I had some challah! In my humble opinion, challah bread makes the best french toast.

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Dipped in E.D. Smith brand sugar-free syrup. Love those extra eggy bits ;)

The French toast sufficiently fuelled me for a mat pilates class at Chang’e Studio!

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Chang’e is a Leslieville studio that I bought one of those “deal of the day” coupons for. I haven’t done pilates in foreveerrr, so I thought it would be a fun new activity!

I used to love doing pilates back when I first starting getting into healthy living. For some reason my brain only remembered the easy parts of it, so I’m pleasantly surprised by how sore I am today! Pilates is great for the abs, but also works muscles in a way I don’t get when heavy lifting. My body was definitely confused as to what I was putting it through ;)

Saturday is traditionally also my “long” run day (ie, anything that takes me longer than 45 minutes). I had my heart set on running 6 miles. The Weather Network told me it was 15C so I threw on shorts and a t-shirt and hit the trail.

Whoooaaa. Did not factor in wind chill to that temperature. Rookie mistake. I’m most likely to overheat while running, and this time I was freezing! I lost feeling in my left arm. I shaved a solid three minutes off my time running back because I was trying to get home as soon as possible. Lesson learned. Even when it’s “warm” this time of year, the wind still has a harsh, cold bite to it.

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My apartment wasn’t only warm when I returned, but smelled of baked goods! My roommie whipped up a batch of chocolate chocolate chip cream cheese muffins.

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I inhaled it, melty chocolate chips and all. YUM. I love having foodies for roommies :)

I tried not to spoil my appetite though. I was off on a special date!

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A food blogger date ;)

For some reason Toronto’s Little Italy has been on my mind. I blame my sister Sara, who was raving about it last week. Then a client told me our Little Italy has the best Italian food outside of Italy!

To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of Italian food. I actually find it a little too plain for my tastebuds. And I like meat more than carbs (gasp!). However, I’ve been dreaming of a traditional Naples-style pizza ever since reading about it in the book Eat Pray Love.

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I’ve read of a few places in Toronto that serve Neapolitan pizza, but Pizzeria Libretto on Dundas/Ossington consistently gets the best reviews. Thus, the location of our next blogger date suddenly became obvious ;)

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Because we were two, we only had to wait 30 minutes to get a table. Larger parties had to wait at least an hour! We were immediately brought bread and oil.

Kristin and I decided to split an appetizer and pizza rather than try to conquer a whole pizza ourselves. We were feeling a little adventurous with our first pick. The appetizer featured three things:

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Octopus in an orange dressing. I’ve never had octopus before and really enjoyed it!! I get the feeling it was cooked really well, as the texture was just like that of any other seafood.

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Grilled polenta. Which I’ve also never had (we don’t each much cornmeal in Atlantic Canada, I think it’s a U.S. thing). It was divine. Mostly because of the cheese that was also baked in there.

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Finally, sardine! Topped with pickled onions + pine nuts. This was a new one for Kristin, I’m a long time lover of sardines. The pickled onions were the perfect match and the quality was much better than the canned variety I’m used to.

Now, the star of the show…

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The pizza! Based on the recommendations of the waiter, we went for the Ontario Prosciutto with tomato sauce, basil and mozzarella. Apparently, they use a 900F oven and cook the pizza for only 90 seconds. Creates a crust that is crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside.

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Loved the impossibly thin-sliced prosciutto, mozzarella and basil on the pizza. The crust was just right. However, I didn’t care for the tomato sauce. Too plain. I like a little extra kick!

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Kristin actually lived in Italy and has eaten pizza in Naples!

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I on the other hand grew up eating the corner pieces of Greco party pizzas dipped in donair sauce. Maritimers, you know what I’m sayin.

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It may be a while before I get the opportunity to eat the real thing in the real place. But I think I can say it has sufficiently curbed the craving until I get there ;)

I ended my Saturday off honing my bass skills on Rock Band and being reminded why I quit drinking vodka coolers when I was 17. In all, a Saturday off spent in the best ways possible.

 

Question of the Day: Favourite pizza? Go! Mine is the Greek pizza from Pizza Delight. Regular crust, creamy feta cheese with chunky vegetables and spinach. Ohmy.

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