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A Vegan Recipe + A Very Non-Vegan Favourite

Happy Waffle Wednesday!!

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Like how I make the Waffle Wednesday font match the colour of the waffle toppings? Yeah, I like to make my blog look professional like that ;)

This week’s topping comes to us from a box of local strawberries I bought for a dollar because they were on their way out.

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They barely had a day left and I didn’t feel like doing anything fancy with them. So I chopped up the good ones and mixed them into plain yogurt. After a day of sitting in the container I had naturally sweetened strawberry yogurt with huge chunks of berries! I loved this, will definitely not scoff at a box of overripe berries again.

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For the waffle, I mixed up my usual protein waffle batter as of late. Except this time I doubled it to get two giant waffles from the belgian press.

  • 1/2 cup unflavoured soy protein powder
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • even more cinnamon
  • 2 packets stevia
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 1 cup almond milk

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I sprinkled flaked coconut and mini chocolate chips on top for good luck. The chocolate chips totally made the waffle. Amazing what a little chocolate can do!

I actually ate the above waffle on Tuesday. After working for 15 hours on Monday, I thankfully didn’t have any clients until 6pm on Tuesday. Which meant I stayed in my jammies until 4pm. However, I still have my Wednesday morning client, which means I’m up before dawn at this time every week now. Thinking ahead on Tuesday, I popped the second waffle in the freezer for an early morning treat.

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I woke up a little earlier this morning so I could eat the waffle at home and not on the streetcar. Had just enough time to pop it in the toaster oven, fry up a couple eggs, and guzzle back a mug of coffee.

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Runny egg yolks combined with sugar-free syrup made for an awesome waffle topper. My oh my. Not to mention, all the fat and protein adequately silenced my morning hunger beast!

Fret not though. I am getting my carbs in as well.

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I was been craving a grilled cheese like woah. I usually don’t get intense food cravings, but the thought of greasy melty cheese between two pieces of hot crispy carbs had been floating in my mind for days. On Tuesday, I finally succumbed with a couple pieces of my homemade Irish brown soda bread and old cheddar cheese.

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To really kick this craving, I did nothing at all to healthify it. Used real butter with thick slices of both bread and cheese. Hit. The. Spot. Kept me satisfied for 5 hours.

Polished it off with a local McIntosh apple.

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McIntosh isn’t my favourite snacking apple. But they’re pretty darn good (and HUGE) when local and in season.

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That’s right my friends. It’s my favourite time of year. Apple season!!

My afternoon off on Tuesday also provided ample time to try out a new recipe:

Snobby Joes.

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This is a vegan sloppy joe recipe using lentils instead of meat. I got it here from the Post Punk Kitchen (my favourite vegan site!) but it actually comes from the book Veganomicon.

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Instead of eating it sloppy joe style on a bun, I ate it on my favourite form of carbohydrate: pita bread.

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The reviews of the recipe said it was a little spicy, so instead of 1 tbsp of chili powder I used 2 tsp chili powder + 1 tsp cumin. But I found it more sweet from the maple syrup! Decent recipe though. Super filling from the lentils.

As a random side note, my muscles are adjusting nicely to my new weightlifting split. Except one thing: my hands are killing me! Apparently my grip strength hasn’t increased with the rest of my strength. Even though my back can pull around heavy dumbbells, my hands are buckling under the weight! It hurts to even hold a pen :( Le sigh. Am doing lots of stretches and hope they will toughen up.

Now I’m off to bed. Away working from 6am to 10 pm again tomorrow! Gah!

 

**Thursday is your last day to vote for The Next Food Blog Star on Foodbuzz. Click here to read and vote for my submission if you haven’t gotten around to it yet. Thank you!!**

Question of the Day: Let’s talk carbs. What’s your favourite kind of carbohydrate? Mine are apples and pita bread, obviously ;)

Goal Oriented

Happy Waffle Wednesday!!

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Favourite day of the week? Maybe. Just maybe ;)

Started with this protein pancake recipe. I use pancake recipes for waffles and vice versa – the two are interchangeable!

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For the toppings, I started with almond butter smeared into all the little squares.

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Then slathered on blueberry yogurt and added a few black grapes for fun. Black grapes are my fave kind of grape. I put more thought than necessary into grapes. Including my extreme distaste for wine grapes.

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Speaking of grapes… see the condensation on that one in the front? That’s after being out of the fridge for about one minute. It’s HOT here today!! Well, I think it’s hot all over North-Eastern North America, no? Excruciating.

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So hot that after an hour of being in my apartment, this ($2.50) jar of coconut oil liquefied. Because of its saturated fat content, it’s normally partially solid at room temperature.

It should come as no surprise then, that as my roommie and I were tossing around ideas of things to make in the food processor last night, she jumped at the mention of frozen banana soft serve.

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She immediately grabbed a bundle of bananas out of the freezer and tossed them in the food processor.

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Two minutes later, we had a healthy (albeit, still sugar-filled) frozen dessert to cool us off.

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This dessert has been floating around the foodie blogosphere for a looooong time now, but this was my first time trying it! At first, I thought I would top it with marshmallow fluff. But after tasting a little off my finger, I realized it was already very sweet.

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It really had the consistency of soft serve! It wasn’t nearly as “banana-ey” as I was expecting it to be. If that makes sense. I think because it was frozen, it cut some of that distinct flavour edge off. I topped this with a little dollop of almond butter. But my roommie and I then proceeded to spend the next several minutes discussing all the fun mix-ins we could include next time.

Thanks to the heat, I’ve also been craving very simple meals. Simple is what I do and enjoy best :)

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Like this pita with sliced boiled eggs, baba ganouj and veggies. Eggs + baba ganouj is yet another killer flavour combo!

I’m digging these Pita Gourmet high protein pita pockets.

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140 calories, 20g carbs 10g protein per pocket. Only downside is the sodium – 480mg for one pita?? Whoa. Must be why they’re so tasty :P

Many cold salads have also been had. This is the one I had last night that was so good I replicated it tonight.

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  • lots of baby spinach
  • red pepper
  • tomato
  • red onion
  • mango
  • Trader Joe’s corn salsa (although, I ran out the second time around, so just sprinkled on red pepper flakes for a little spice)
  • 1 pork chop, grilled and cubed

For the dressing, I whisked together 2 tbsp hummus, 1 laughing cow blue cheese wedge, and a little bit of water to thin it out. Tossed all together and it was one of my best salads of the summer! I think the produce and meat were of especially good quality, the flavours and textures were fantastic.

 

Goals for September

It’s that time again! First day of the month, which means a new set of goals to focus on over the next 30 days. I encourage you all to do the same. One month is the perfect time period to complete new goals. Writing them down and checking in on them is a great way to stay motivated! Here are mine…

1. Get organized. I’ve already been working towards this and have made some progress. The time management session at the Healthy Living Summit made me realize that I need to get my butt in gear! I will (hopefully) be working two jobs, volunteering my time, freelancing, and working on many other projects this month. I need to get all that crap out of my head and start putting it on paper!

2. Professional development. I’m taking my course in Nutrition & Wellness this month, but I also want to put more hours into reading studies, fitness literature, shadowing trainers, and basically learning all I can to better my own training.

3. Turn on the oven. I haven’t done it in two months!! If the heat ever ends, I would like to start baking again and making more dishes in the kitchen.

4. Love my workouts. I no longer work out to look a certain way or to keep my weight down. I work out because it’s what I love to do. Exercises will be chosen not by how many calories they burn or what sort of results they will give me. I’m doing activities I love to do and look forward to :)

 

And with that, I leave you with a new workout! Click here to check out one of my many full body circuit workouts. You’ll get your full-body strength training in, while moving quickly and keeping your heart rate up. More to come!

 

Question of the day: What are your goals for September? Write them down and remember them – we’ll be checking in weekly!

A Peek Into The Camera of A Food Blogger

Hellohello friends! Before we even get into today’s topic, I first want to thank you for the kind and supportive comments on my last post. If having a balanced life was easy, then everyone would be living a perfect life! I just do what I can :)

I woke up not a happy camper today. I think it’s a combination of being run-down, fighting off some flu-like symptoms, and the fullness of the moon lately (yes, I believe in the effect of lunar cycles).

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Thank goodness it’s Waffle Wednesday or I may have just resigned to my bed for the rest of the day. Now this is something worth getting out of bed for!!

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Whipped up a batch of protein waffles (recipe found here) and topped with a mixture of plums, raisins, sugar-free syrup, cinnamon and sunflower seed butter.

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Adding the topping just a bit at a time. I do not like soggy waffles!!

Now usually, I would stop here with the enticing waffle photos, but today I’m doing something a little different.

I want to show you the food photos that didn’t make the cut. Here are the ones you would have otherwise missed out on (all taken on my Canon EOS Rebel XS):

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I usually take anywhere from 5-15 photos per dish. I aim to get a view from the top, from the side, and close-up. Most of the time photos are not used because they’re not as crisp as the others. Crispness is key. If it’s the least bit fuzzy, I don’t use it.

Lunch!

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Chicken slices and laughing cow blue cheese on a pita with onions, tomatoes and spinach. I’m back to eating pitas and carrot sticks every day. One meal that I never tire of!

If this were a regular post, I would keep it to that one photo. But here are the other ones I captured…

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I’m not a huge fan of the composition in the top photos. The bottom part of the pita that is closest to the camera is not what’s in focus. For some reason I get really bothered when the foreground is blurry and the background is focused. It’s my “thing” I guess. Also, the loser photos are either too shaded or too blanched out from the light. It’s tricky getting sunlight to hit textures juuuuuust right.

Lunch was polished off with an Adora disk. I got a bag of these for free at the Healthy Living Summit. I reallyreally like them. 30 calories a pop for a little piece of calcium infused chocolate.

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The shots that didn’t make the cut:

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One of my pet peeves is when people review a packaged good and don’t reveal what’s inside of the package. Instead of taking a shot of the chocolate in the wrapper, I decided to capture what the chocolate actually looks like along with the packaging. You get the best of both worlds in one frame :)

Also, I went for the angled shot here so you can see both the width and height of the chocolate. That way you get a better feel for its size. The last loser picture is very similar to the shot I chose. The only difference is that the chosen one has more of the chocolate in focus when enlarged. The area of focus on the loser one was too small.

Finally, there was dinner.

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Stir-fried tofu, grated carrot, zucchini, mushrooms, spinach, onions and garlic with pesto and laughing cow cheese.

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This bowl also got a lot of camera lovin’…

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I really like doing long shots with plates and bowls because you get a feel for just how overflowing they can be. Plus, I kinda liked the packaged Ikea bed slats as the diagonal background ;) The close-up shots in this series unfortunately all turned out blurry, so they were ditched. The bottom two turned out okay, but were too similar in composition to the first photo I chose. If I’m going for more than one photo of a dish, I want them all to come from noticeably different angles.

 

And that my friends is a little peek into my camera!! I always joke that if someone were to steal it on me, they’d think they stole the camera of a crazy person. Which I guess may partially be true ;)

I’m taking the day off from blogging on Thursday, but if there are any requests for what you’d like featured on Fitness Friday this week, let me know!

 

Question of the Day: Food bloggers – do you photograph all your food? How many shots do you take per dish? I obviously don’t photograph everything. But I do admit to sometimes featuring boring food on here just because I think the picture turned out pretty :)

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