Category Archives: Reviews

A Royal Treat

Are you ready for some food pictures?? As promised, here’s what I’ve been munching on this week!

The folks at Red Prince Apple sent me this really, really cool promotional package this week.

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They’ve got a campaign going for the upcoming Royal Wedding. They are a royally named fruit after all ;)

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The package came in the shape of a three tiered wedding cake. Each tier containing a special treat to nosh on while watching the Royal Wedding. I will be one of those people who gets up to watch it. My family are monarchists, I can’t help it. Although, I’ve totally been munching on a few of these treats in preparation for the festivities. I needed to try them out!

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The apples came with a timer to wake me up early on the 29th.

Apples are my favourite fruit EVER. One of the few foods I get really intense cravings for. Something about the sugary, watery, crunch that my body and tastebuds sometimes just need.

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The red prince has a shiny skin, kind of like a McIntosh but not quite as thick. The inside however was nothing like a McIntosh.

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Sweet and crunchy. I always refrigerate my apples so they don’t get mealy, but this one at room temp was still super crisp. A little tang to perk my senses, but enough sweet to satisfy that sweet apple craving I get.

The middle tier contained another one of my favourite treats – scones!

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You can find the recipe for the scones here. I love how they used apple cider vinegar instead of buttermilk. It’s a cute touch ;)

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There’s no other way of describing it – this scone was so moist! So much so that I put them in the fridge because I was scared they’d mold quickly. Very soft, surprisingly sweet, and just the perfect size for a snack.

Finally, we have the top tier. The best for last. Chocolate!

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I had no idea what to expect when I bit into this chocolate. I don’t usually mix apples and chocolate!

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Turned out to be a thick apple puree, much like apple butter. It was so intriguing! Definitely not anything I’ve had before, but I did really like it.

Apart from the treats the Red Prince people sent me, I made my own goodies with the apples.

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Thursday morning I found myself awake 30 minutes before my alarm. What better way to use that time than make pancakes?

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Here’s what I used for my batter (makes 4 small-medium pancakes):

  • 6 tbsp President’s Choice Whole Grain Pancake mix (as far as mixes go, this stuff is awesome. So long as you’re into the whole grain taste)
  • 2 tbsp unflavoured soy protein powder (can replace with more pancake mix)
  • several shakes cinnamon
  • dash vanilla extract (1 tsp)
  • 1 whole egg
  • 6 tbsp unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 red prince apple, chopped into small chunks

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I mixed the apples right into the batter and fried them up like that! They got warm and mushy that way. Basically the best way to start off a Thursday.

Other eats from this week:

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A “yogurt mess.” One of my go-to meals when I need to keep my belly satisfied for a solid 5 hours.

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I believe this giant mug contained raspberry yogurt, protein powder, cantaloupe, sunflower seed butter, dry oatmeal, cinnamon, flaked coconut and a drizzle of sugar-free syrup. Did the trick!

All breakfasts are always accompanied by a ginormous mug of coffee.

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Around one french press of coffee a day. That’s only like two cups worth. That’s not excessive…right? Right??

Tuesday’s breakfast was a little strange…

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I’d bought a chicken breast sub the day before and didn’t get around to eating it. So I kept it in the fridge to have for a quick breakfast before my slew of early morning appointments on Tuesday. Day-old subs are not recommended, but this also got the job done. I like them with all the toppings minus the jalapeño, yellow mustard, and no cheese :)

Lunches all this week were mostly eaten at my Nana’s. None of which were photographed because I’ve been going after the gym and I don’t bring my camera to the gym.

When I am home for lunch, I usually go for a simple pita.

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On Monday, I sautéed a  leftover honey garlic sausage from the Dieppe Market with red pepper and onion.

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Even though I am kind of obsessed with slathering my sausage in ketchup, I went a different route using hummus as my “sauce.”

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All stuffed in a pita with greens! I usually have a piece of fruit or raw veggies with this too. One of these days I need to do another pita tutorial to show you how to make these without having them fall apart…

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I had roast beef, potatoes and carrots for supper three times this week. Mostly because I could stick it in the microwave and have it be ready in three minutes when my tummy was growling. Why do I always wait until the last minute to make food?

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Finally, snacks! One of my favourites is half a cantaloupe that I can sit down and scoop out with a spoon. A little on the larger side for my snacks, it takes a while to eat and tricks me into feeling a lot more satisfied.

So there you have it! The eats of a gal trying to lose 10 lbs the old fashioned way. Like I said before, these days I’m all about having larger meals that can hold me over for 4-5 hours with only small snacks (like an apple or piece of chocolate) in between. So far so good!

Question of the Day: What’s your favourite in-between-meals snack? Mine is a piece of light Wasa bread with a smear of peanut butter and a drizzle of honey!

Red Satay Grill – Vietnamese in the Hub City

I have to say, it is one of my new goals to show on this blog that New Brunswick does indeed have good food.

I mean sure, there’s no arepa cafe or bison straight from the farm. But we’re not completely void of taste and culture. And we are more than just blueberries and donair sauce.

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Case and point: Red Satay Grill. Or, “Satay Grill Rouge” for the Francophone folk. Moncton is an English-French bilingual city after all!

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This is one of the many new places that popped up in my absence. Especially along St. George Rd. An area previously barren of anything interesting, more sketchy than anything else. It’s slowly becoming home to decent bars, cafes, and restaurants.

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I came here for lunch on Saturday with my mom, sister and aunt. We were lucky to snag a seat in the near-full dining area. The lunch menu consists of mostly stir-fries and soups.

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You see that? Pho! Pho (pronounced “f-uh” not “f-oh”) was on my list of things to try before leaving Ontario. Who knew I could get it right here at home!?

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Not to mention, they’ve got a whole menu of vegan selections. I’m impressed. So very impressed.

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We decided to start with the vegetable spring rolls from the vegan menu. Served piping hot straight from the deep-fryer with a bowl of a watery sweet dipping sauce. The filling was like that of any ole’ cabbage egg roll. Which to me, is a good thing.

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Sara and I both ordered the Red Satay Vegetable Noodle “Pho” Soup with Tofu.

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Look at all those veggies! Pho is usually just broth, green onion, rice noodles and meat (traditionally beef). The addition of broccoli, mushrooms and onions were very welcome.

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It’s also served with bean sprouts on the side that you add yourself, along with a squirt of lime juice. The soup is served very hot to cook any slivers of meat you may have in there. It also softens the sprouts.

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The waitress suggested we get the Red Satay sauce on the side so we could adjust the temperature ourselves. I added maybe two teaspoons of it and it was just enough. Any more and it would have been too spicy for me.

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Overall, I really liked my Moncton pho. You can never go wrong with a big bowl o’ soup larger than your head. Plus, as far as eating out goes, pho is a relatively healthy restaurant choice.

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But how did it shape up to the famous pho of Ottawa’s Chinatown? I will say the broth was not as flavourful. The Ottawa pho had very light and flavourful notes to it like citrus and mint. The Moncton pho was a little more bland and watery. With that said, I really loved the red satay sauce. It was the kind of sweet and flavourful spicy that adds to a dish rather than have you chug a litre of water to get it down.

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My mom and aunt both ordered curry on vermicelli noodles and both gave reviews of approval. My mom said it was a little too mild for her tastes with too many noodles. I had a bite and would certainly agree!

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The best part was the Werther’s Original that came at the end. Nothing Vietnamese about it, but a fun way to finish the meal nonetheless!

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So yes my friends, there is indeed culinary hope for Moncton. I’ve already enlisted the help of my mom to try out all the new places I’ve been missing.

Except we’ve decided to eat out every other week for the sake of our expanding waistlines. I don’t think I can still get away with the “Toronto Ten” seeing as I’m no longer in Toronto ;)

My Favourite Restaurant

Of all the things people ask me about moving home from “the big city,” two questions come up over and over:

1) Aren’t you going to get bored?
2) How will you eat??

The answers are actually quite simple.

First, a girl can make her own fun wherever she is. Trust me. It’s pretty darn simple to be in a big city with a million things to do and still feel bored and lonely. Sometimes you just have to be a little more creative in smaller towns ;)

Secondly, one word: Calactus.

Actually, one of my best friends told me that I won’t miss any of those Toronto restaurants because Moncton’s Calactus is all I really need.

Exaggerated, yes. But still not that far from the truth.

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I’ve been blogging about this place for years now. It’s my favourite restaurant. Ever. And all right here in my hometown.

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I first started going to Calactus over a decade ago when it was in a small old house on Mountain Road. It was around the time my family first started eating vegetarian, and this vegetarian/vegan restaurant helped introduce a whole new style of eating to me.

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Calactus is also home to the world’s best veggie burger. Seriously. This coming from a girl who spent eight years as a vegetarian and has choked down a lot of veggie burgers in her day…

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But the even better thing about this restaurant, is that they are more than just one standout dish. Everything is good. All house made, fresh, flavourful. The kind of meal that doesn’t weigh you down, but leaves you feeling healthily satisfied.

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Like with they’re Burrito Bandito.

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Or their extravaganza pizza with tomato sauce, veggie pepperoni, falafel, red onion, green pepper and cheese. Along with a beet and goat cheese salad.

I have yet to try their pakoras, but their munchables are amazing.

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The Thousand and One Nights with chapati bread, feta cheese and olives, falafels, hummus, tofu cream and veggie sticks.

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Their falafels are the bestest. Perfectly seasoned, crunchy on the outside, soft in the middle, without being greasy. Their tofu cream still alludes me. They put it on a lot of their dishes. Like a garlicky tofu hummus or tzatziki of sorts.

My latest visit to Calactus was on Saturday for lunch and my midday cravings wanted something rolled up in bread.

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I went with a “Flute” which is essentially a wrap. Falafel flavour, because as I said, their falafel is out of this world.

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With sprouts, lettuce, red onion, tomato, and a drizzle of that savoury tofu cream. My oh my it was good! Their house made chapati bread never ceases to amaze me. Always so soft and fluffy. A million times better than the usual flour tortilla.

The tabbouleh is something to write home about as well. Rather than being pre-mixed, it’s couscous with the dressed parsley and tomatoes dolloped on top. Tastes almost like a bruschetta on couscous.

Then of course there’s Christie and Tiffany.

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My Calactus lunch-mates on Saturday. We’ve lunched manymany times together over the ooohhh 20 years (?) we’ve known each other.

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They’re both living back at home now too. So the three of us live just down the street from each other like we did growing up!

Except you know, with a few extra stories to tell from along the way.

Told ya, a girl can find some good fun and good food just about anywhere ;)

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