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I Eat Vegetables Too

According to my recent blog posts, I seem to subsist on a diet of cupcakes, waffles and marshmallows

Okay, so the last two may not be so far from the truth.

But I am here to tell you that I also eat a lot of fruits and veggies. Usually paired with a lean meat and complex carb. Y’all know how the combo goes.

But what with my increasing frugality and decreasing spare time, I seem to be branching out less and less with my veggies. I mean, I can only eat carrot sticks so many ways.

Enter Kraft, who recently approached me about trying out their new Sizzling Salads kits. My knee jerk reaction is to usually decline these things. But let’s face it, my salads could definitely use the sizzle.

First up is the Chicken Caesar kit. Each one came with a recipe, as well as a few alternatives with things like shrimp or beef. One bottle is a cooking sauce for the meat, the other a salad dressing.

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I haven’t had a caesar salad in so long. It’s one of those items I frequently ate before I lost weight. Now it’s always being outshone by healthier salads.

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I began with cooking my chicken in a frying pan. Organic free-range chicken I might add, from my awesome local butcher. Once cooked, I added one tablespoon of the cracked black pepper cooking sauce to coat.

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While that was going on, I made my own croutons. I will never ever understand why people buy these things. I just spritzed whole grain bread with oil and sprinkled Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute on top before crisping in the oven.

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No simulated bacon bits here either. I fried up a big slice to make my own bits with.

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Of course, I couldn’t just add romaine lettuce like the recipe suggests. I know it’s been a while, but I wanted more to my caesar salad! So I also added spinach, bell pepper, carrots and zucchini. A wonderful combo.

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Of course, who could forget the shaved parmesan in there as well. I tossed the salad with just one tablespoon of the Kraft caesar dressing and it was the perfect amount. No need to have it coated and dripping with sauce!

Overall, I really liked the sauces provided in this particular kit. The caesar was creamy and flavourful and I loved the black pepper cooking sauce. That may become a regular ingredient for me. The salad was absolutely delicious and the perfect way to re-introduce caesar back into my life.

Next up is the Greek Chicken sizzling salad kit. This one came with a lemon oregano cooking sauce + Mediterranean feta dressing.

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I went for the chicken version again, because Greek chicken salad is probably my favourite salad of all time. True story.

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Started by assembling the usual suspects – romaine, green pepper, cucumber, tomato, red onion.

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Cooked up the chicken pieces, adding a tablespoon of cooking sauce at the end. 

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Then all assembled with black olives and feta. I admittedly also buy Kraft feta cheese in the bag. Cheese purists will gasp, but I like it!

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Unfortunately, the Greek kit didn’t “wow” me quite as much as the Caesar kit. The flavour of the lemon cooking sauce didn’t pop out as much. The dressing was okay, but nothing compared to the homemade oil dressings you get at Greek restaurants.

Overall, the sizzling kits were a fun way to change up my salads. They’re not something I would see in the grocery store and feel inclined to buy. I typically make my own dressings and cook my meat plain. The bottles I received also didn’t have any nutritional info, so I’m not sure about the calories, sodium or ingredients in these. Regardless, I see many more Caesar and Greek salads creations in my future. You know, to balance out with all those cookies ;)

Even better, these count toward Kacy and Lisa’s 20 Salads in December!

 

Question of the Day: What’s your favourite kind of salad? I’m a Greek girl! Except I typically like to add a ridiculous amount of pickled beets to all salads.

 

Pssst! Head on over to Deb’s blog to see my pictures that didn’t make the Blogger Babe calendar!

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. 

Toronto’s “Best”: Sushi Marché

Seeing as I’m a foodie living in a city with 10,000 restaurants, I try to make a point of eating at one new place every week. I budget for one restaurant outing a week, but depending on the calibre of the restaurant even that can get expensive!

I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by top-notch restaurants here in the East end of Toronto. Some of the city’s best are just a hop, skip and perhaps a roll away.

Including Sushi Marché.

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Sushi Marche is a take-out sushi spot located on Queen St E. It consistently gets stellar revues across the board. The head chef having even worked under Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto.

You’d think I’d have been all over this place as soon as I landed here. I love sushi. But Sushi Marché is expensive. Especially for a take-out joint. Despite the rave revues and famous chef, I could just never bring myself to pay 30 bucks for a teeny serving of fish and rice, no matter how good. Y’all know I’m a cheapskate!

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Thankfully, the whole online “group coupon” thing is big in Toronto right now. Everyday, I get a dozen e-mails to my inbox offering half price for haircuts, manicures, exercise classes and of course restaurants. So when $15 for $30 worth of Sushi Marché popped up, I jumped on the chance!

I waited until Sunday evening to order my sushi feast. After a long weekend of working at the running store and an empty fridge at home, it was the perfect opportunity. I had to call an hour ahead because it usually takes 40-60 minutes to prepare. You can tell they put special care and attention into their food!

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I started with red tuna + salmon sashimi. I loooove sashimi for its rich taste and thick texture. But both kind fell a little flat to me. The tuna tasted bland.

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Next up was the eel/avocado inside-out roll with eel, avocado, cucumber, fish roe and spicy sauce. I ordered this because I am always getting recommendations to try the eel. Unfortunately the pieces of eel were a little too small to get the full flavour.

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Finally, the roll that gets the most rave reviews, kamikaze roll with tuna, tempura flakes, cucumber, fish roe and spicy sauce. Now this was amazing. The tempura flakes and spicy sauce had me salivating as I ate it. That is, until I got that inevitable citrus bite. Sushi Marché is known for using citrus in their rice, something that isn’t very traditional. I thought this meant “citrus scented.” Apparently it means “random hunks of citrus that make you pucker.” Totally ruined what could have been a stellar roll for me.

Verdict? Happy I finally got to try the famed Sushi Marché. Even happier I didn’t pay the full thirty bucks for this. Especially since I was still hungry enough to eat an apple after.

For me, sushi will always be something that is about the dining experience. Not about taking it home in a plastic bag to eat off my coffee table. The best sushi I’ve ever had was actually in Moncton, New Brunswick. Sharing a boat on my birthday with my mother as we bonded over magnificent food together.

I guess it’s not so much the chef, hype or jacked up prices. But rather the company you keep.

Mom, we are totally hitting up Pink Sushi again when I’m home :)

 

Question of the Day: What has been your biggest dining disappointment?

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