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Frankly Eatery, Frankly Delicious

Happy Waffle Wednesday!

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Did you know I’ve been celebrating Waffle Wednesday for almost a year and a half now? Traditions like this one are just too good to give up.

Today’s waffle isn’t your typical sweet and fruity one. These days, I wake up wanted savoury. Eggs. Cheese. Bacon.

  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup unflavoured soy protein powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 stevia packet
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 2 slices bacon, chopped (I use chicken bacon because it’s cheaper, not necessarily because healthier)

Cook your bacon in a frying pan while whisking together the other ingredients. Add the cooked bacon bits to the batter and waffle away!

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I topped mine with low-fat Philadelphia spinach cream cheese. Again, not because it’s necessarily “healthier.” It was on sale. I like it!

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Forget cupcakes, this is one manly waffle ;)

While we’re on the the topic of brunch foods, I have something I need to say.

Listen, I know I am biased, but I truly believe I live in the best brunch neighbourhood in Toronto.

Those of you living outside the tee-dot may not understand what a bold statement this really is.

I live in a city obsessed with brunch. Every single restaurant touts a special brunch menu. Line-ups spill into the streets on weekends between 10 and 2. In Toronto, a restaurant is only has good as its brunch.

In Leslieville, my ‘hood, you can throw a rock in any direction and hit a place that specializes in this holy meal. And me? I am a girl on a mission to try brunch at every one of them.

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Which brings us to Frankly Eatery. A newer addition to the Queen East line-up, offering brunch classics with an Indian twist. Brunch is so overdone around here, I love the idea of fusing the traditional dishes with some cultural spice!

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My roommie and I popped over after a Pilates class. Our abs were in pain, but our bellies hungry.

Our Pilates instructor (hi Sandra!) recommended their rice bowls. Megan went for the one on special: chicken in a tomato coconut sauce over rice.

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I had a bite and it was gooooood. The sauce rich thanks to the coconut, but still light because of the tomato. Only mildly spicy so the flavours still stood out.

I however had eggs on the mind so I went with the Egg Bhuri.

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Spicy Indian style scramble with onions, peas and tomatoes served w/ green salad and sliced baguette.

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They asked me if I wanted it mild, medium or hot. After going back and forth, I opted for the mild, and happy I did! It was still spicy but without making me break into a sweat. Loved the peas and the amount of eggs I got. The greens were nicely dressed and I piled everything on top of the baguette slices.

The best part though?

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My roommate, who doesn’t blog, but still takes pictures of her food. Everyone’s a closet food blogger ;)

Another one to cross off the Toronto restaurant list! And unlike last time, this local spot gets two thumbs up. One thumb for the awesome food, a second thumb for our waiter, who was wearing a Vandelay Industries t-shirt ;)

 

Question of the Day: What’s your favourite brunch item? Mine is the “Peggy’s Poached” from Cora’s. One egg on toast with cottage cheese and a plethora of fresh fruit. Oh yes, and multiple coffee refills. 

Health Food, Fun Food and Food of a Questionable Nature

The great thing about being a personal trainer is that people don’t like to train on weekends or holidays.

As a result, I typically get Saturdays off work.

Why then, would my alarm go off at 5:30 this morning?

And why was on I on the streetcar eating a yogurty mess for breakfast at 6am?

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For a race of course!!

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No no no, I was not running. All my race goals for the season went out the window when I decided to be a vagabond then move halfway across the country this summer.

Instead, I was up early to hand out healthy protein bars to the hungry runners at the Toronto Women’s 5k & 10k :)

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That would be me and Cathy, creator of The Simply Bar, handing out the goods.

Cathy and I e-mailed a little bit before I moved to Toronto about how much I love the bars. I told her I wanted to get involved somehow when I got to the city and she introduced me to their ambassador program. Today was my first official event with them!

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For those of you that don’t know, The Simply Bar is a high-protein, low-calorie bar similar to a flavoured rice krispie square. No, I am not getting paid to be an ambassador. But I do get a lot of free deliciousness for my time ;) I genuinely love the bars and just hope I can get more people loving them too. It’s all about spreading the foodie love, ain’t it?

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I had a lot of fun hanging out and chatting with Cathy, fellow ambassador Lauren, and all the people at the race! Running events are so much more relaxed when you’re not one of the participants.

After handing out healthy treats to people all morning, my day took a very sharp turn in the other direction.

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First, I fuelled with carnival-inspired eats – veggie dogs on an english muffin (the only bread in the house), carrots, smoked cheese and pickles. Admittedly, there was a little too much ketchup on there, but it did get me ready for the Canadian National Exhibition! Basically like the exhibitions we have in New Brunswick, but a million times larger :P

Usually I’m not into big crowd-fests such as these, but there were two things I really wanted to experience at the CNE.

1) Canada’s favourite TV chef making chocolate chip cookies

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My roommie and I got stuck in some kind of streetcar hell on our way to The Ex, so we arrived 20 minutes late for the demonstration. Thankfully he was still into it when we got there.

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Chef Michael Smith hosts a Food Network show in Canada called Chef At Home based out of his house on Prince Edward Island (yay Maritimes!). He’s one of those chefs whose recipes line up exactly with “my kind of foods.” He uses all simple ingredients, putting them together easily. Not to mention, I am totally jealous of his pantry.

We missed part of the cookie demonstration, but he did stress that it’s okay to be laid back when making cookies. Nothing needs to be that precise. Also, he said baking the cookies on top of two stacked cookie sheets will help keep them from burning on the bottom!

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The place was packed!! Callie and Sarah’s heads are in there somewhere. I briefly got to say hi… but you should check out their recaps since they saw the whole thing!

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No. Thank you Mr. Smith. I’m available for breakfast at your P.E.I. home any time.

Sarah also tipped my roommie and I off to a Vitamix demonstration at the back of the giant building we were in.

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Megan and I then proceeded to get sucked into four demonstrations including two fruit smoothies, a hot broccoli and cheese soup, and ice cream. We were lucky we made it out while we did, or else we would have been there watching those things pulverize ice all night. Amazing.

Instead, we stumbled outdoors, for we had a second mission in mind.

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First, we needed a refreshment.

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M-m-megan! She’s my roommie. And loves foodie adventures as much as I do :)

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The sign didn’t lie. This stuff really is freshly squeezed, shaken, and loaded with half a cup of sugar. Approximately.

Next, we needed something of substance for our final mission.

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I have never heard of mini donuts as a popular fair food before. But then again, I haven’t been to many fairs.

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Action shot of the teeny rings of dough being plopped into a vat of hot oil by a giant machine. And a reflection of my pasty legs.

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I am such a sucker for powdered sugar. Especially when fried dough is involved. I had two and they were crispy and delightful!

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Then we were off in search of the item we really came all this way for.

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At last, we found the building that housed it.

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I always thought this kind of stuff was a myth up until now.

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Apparently, we were not the only ones on such a quest.

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We waited in line for almost an hour, during which I watched them take cubes of butter, cover it in a doughy batter, then bathe it in bubbly hot oil.

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That, my friends, is deep fried butter. I had heart palpitations just looking at it.

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Finally, it was our turn at the window…

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Megan and I ordered what we waited almost an hour for…

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What?? You think I care about doughy butter or a twinkie on a stick?? No way!! I want me some of the bacon covered in chocolate!!! (not to be mistaken with chocolate covered bacon, which does not sound nearly as extreme).

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People around us were going nuts over this food. They were either extremely excited or moderately horrified. There is a lot to be said for novelty.

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Thoughts?? My bacon peanut butter is better. The bacon was too thick while the chocolate too thin and runny. Definitely more of a bacon flavour here.  Megan and I are opening our own stand at the CNE next year. One that sells thin crispy bacon covered in a hard chocolate shell, and deep-fried marshmallows in a crispy cornflake-like shell. Our tent will be plaid instead of pink. Or in the colour of jeggings ;)

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Just when I thought things at The Ex couldn’t get any crazier, we watched a man in a bear suit go down a zipline. It was in this moment that I finally understood why all the Toronto locals told me I had to come experience this event. I feel like there are some things about this city I really get now :)

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Including this majestic looking arch which I never knew existed until today!!! I swear I discover new places here every single day.

The rest of my day was very simple. Cuddled up watching MTV reality shows. Ate a dinner consisting of tuna salad and a sweet potato covered in Trader Joe’s Corn Salsa.

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Dessert was simple as well – a Simply Bar ;)
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The newest flavour – Caramel. In a 100-calorie (10g protein!) snack-sized bar.

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Cinnamon may have a new contender as my favourite flavour. Wow. This one is a winner! At first it tastes very peanut buttery, but then I got tastes of burnt caramel, then buttery caramel. Mmmmm…

I think I’ll take that over bacon covered in chocolate any day ;)

 

Looking forward to what Sunday has in store! Have a great one! xoxo

Markets and Bars

Hellohello! Hope everyone had a fantabulous weekend! I sure did…

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Thank gawd this cellphone photo is the only evidence of my busting out Moondance at karaoke last night. Also very happy that Billy chose not to take a picture of me awkwardly dancing during the musical interlude. Don’t ever let me do this again, mmmkay? :P

Anyways, I am not here to talk about how much whiskey it took me to do that, or the fact that I woke up at noon today. Ohno, today it’s about the food.

First things first, I’ve been eating a lot of bars. My cupboard is overflowing with all the bars I acquired in the U.S. last weekend!

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I was really excited to try my second Clif Mojo flavour after declaring Peanut Butter Pretzel my favourite bar ever.

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Mountain Mix had the same sweet & salty theme with almonds, peanuts, raisins and chocolate, among many other goodies. I did not dig the dried fruit in the mix. PB Pretzel still has a hold on my tastebuds!

Saturday morning I was up early (read: 8am and not noon) to attend what could be my last ever Les Mills step class. A very sad occasion, but I can’t afford to keep up my gym membership when I already have access at another gym for free!

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I fuelled up for step with this Clif Z Bar in Chocolate Chip as I’ve heard they make for a good snack before running as well.

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Not a big fan of this one. In general, I don’t really care for baked bars unless crumbled over top of something. It did at least sit well in my tummy while I jumped over a step for 60 minutes :)

Lastly, I reached for another Clif bar while working on the blog today. This time for one of the new Luna Protein bars in Chocolate Cherry Almond that came in my Healthy Living Summit swag bag.

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For 180 calories, it was small….

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And only 12g protein (compared to a regular Luna, which has 10g anyways)

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Taste was just okay, I’m picky with my fruit-chocolate flavour combos. The texture however was great. Similar to certain flavours of Atkins or ISO Femme protein bars.

When not drinking whiskey and eating protein bars (killer combo, no?) I was eating some of the best food Toronto has to offer!!

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I finally made my way down to Toronto’s historic St. Lawrence Market on Saturday. It’s a combination indoor-outdoor market district.

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I explored mostly the indoor markets as it was raining outside. They looked like your typical market set-up…

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In all honesty, I’m not the biggest fan of farmer’s markets. I know it’s a great way to support local farmers, but the crowds aren’t that great for my anxiety, and I find the food is often too expensive for my tight purse strings. 

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However, I am never one to turn down free food ;) LOVE the free samples at markets. The above photo is a table with a gazillion different flavours of mustard – my favourite being the maple mustard. 

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I asked Kristin for some market recommendations as I now consider her my expert resource on all things related to the St. Lawrence Market ;) Her first suggestion was to get a peameal bacon sandwich from the Carousel Bakery.

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A quick Google search led me to discover the sandwich is world famous, touted by celebrities such as Emeril Lagasse and Bobby Flay.

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I showed up starving after Saturday’s step class and this sandwich hit. the. spot. Wowza.

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I ordered the regular peameal sandwich, with just the meat, cheese, on a amazingly soft and flaky bun. The bun is totally what made the sandwich, but I was impressed by how much meat they put on it too!!

After much wandering around, I decided it was time for some of the Freshly Squeezed juice Kristin also said I had to try.

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I went for a carrot + apple + ginger juice made right in front of me!

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Loved it. I’m always a little weary of vegetable juices, but carrots are so sweet and the ginger gave it a wonderful kick.

While sipping on my juice, I stumbled across this place…

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I was actually in search of dessert when I saw this, but remembered that Kristin also said the perogies were a must-try. I LOVE well-made perogies. So I ditched dessert for something more savoury.

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I ordered three potato and cheese perogies and three veal. Only cost $2.50 and they threw in an extra one! Even better, I had my camera around my neck when they handed me the perogies. The guy at the counter opened the container and asked if I wanted to snap a photo of them. How did he know?? :P

A lot of wonderful looking produce at the market, but again, much of it I passed up. Except for these little babies…

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Those would be fresh dates. I’ve never seen fresh dates before!! The girl selling them said to keep them out for 3-4 weeks until they get wrinkly like the one in the top of the picture. That’s when they get good enough to eat. Can’t wait!

Finally, I had one more stop.

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Just the other day I was reading about the best place to get a bagel in Toronto (because that’s apparently how I spend my free time) and St. Urbain Bagel was listed among them.

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I picked up a couple whole wheat sesame bagels and brought them home for later.

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And by “later” I mean it was the first thing I ate when I jumped rolled out of bed this morning afternoon.

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Toasted and topped with laughing cow cheese, eggs and chicken bacon. Damn, this bagel was good. The perfect mix of soft, chewy and puffy. I may have to go back for these!

I also passed several meat stalls at the market. I so badly wanted to stop and pick something up, but I kept reminding myself that I actually live close to one of the best sausage shops in the city!

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I picked up a strawberry spinach chicken sausage on my way home Saturday. Ate it for supper that night on top of lettuce, tomato and onions with ketchup, mustard, sauerkraut and Trader Joe’s corn salsa. No doubt the sausage was fresh, however I don’t think the fruitier flavours are for me. I guess my inner German prefers a more savoury sausage ;)

 

Ahhhh, another weekend, another three days of wonderful foodie adventures :) I’m kinda lovin’ this city!!

Also, if you’re taking it easy tonight like me, feel free to check out my updated pages: The Girl Behind The Blog, and Links I Love. I read so many blogs, I know I forgot to add some to my new blogroll. Don’t be shy, let me know if you think you belong on that list! Blog updates are still a work in progress, more to come in the following days!

 

Question of the Day: What would be your karaoke song??

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