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The “Sick Soup”

Happy Waffle Wednesday!

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Confession: I did not eat waffles for breakfast this morning. I woke up with a lingering fever and wanted nothing but a bacon and egg sandwich. But it feels wrong to blog about waffles on any other day.

Same recipe as last time for Whole Wheat Protein Waffles:

  • 3 tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 1 scoop (30g) unflavoured vegetarian protein powder (mine’s a mix of soy, pea and hemp)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 packets stevia (equal to 4 tsp sugar)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tbsp egg whites
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

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Mix the dry, add the wet, then waffle it up! Today’s are extra special because they’re topped with this Pear Butter my sister gave me for Christmas.

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My sister lives in Quebec and got it at the market, hence the French label. Not only is the idea of pear butter itself amazing, but this stuff is spiced with cardamom. Sweet Mary, I love Cardamom. Am just too cheap to ever buy it.

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I spruced it up even more by drizzling maple syrup whisked with cashew butter over top.

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Pear + cardamom + cashew + maple. These are the things dreams are made of.

I don’t have much to report today as I am still on the mend. My sister and I had a week of activities planned, but I am instead confined to my bed with a cool compress and bottle of acetometaphin.

We did however make it to the grocery store, where I was able to pick up the ingredients necessary for a “Sick Soup.” Apart from grilled cheese and fried egg sandwiches, I’ve been craving beef stew. Which is odd, because I never liked beef stew growing up.

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Traditional beef stew calls for red wine. I looooove cooking with wine, but I absolutely despise drinking it. So I wasn’t too keen on having the better part of a bottle leftover.

Instead I opted to create a flavourful stew filled with the ingredients I craved. It also had to be easy as I’m sick and can’t stand around for too long without having to take a rest. The result was amazing. Definitely a winner for those of you without a dutch oven or don’t have wine on hand!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb stewing beef (this is the stuff that’s pre-cubed)
  • 1 tbsp oil (I use canola)
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 pint button mushrooms, halved
  • 1 small yellow onion, roughly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups baby carrots
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 large red potatoes, cubed
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 carton Campbell’s reduced sodium beef broth (I specify this as some no name broths have sketchy ingredients in them – read your labels!)
  • 1 tbsp Worcester sauce
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Directions:

Put a large pot over medium heat. Add cooking oil, beef and flour. Cook until all sides are brown. Meanwhile, in a pan, sauté onion, mushrooms and garlic until onions are soft. When beef and veggies are done, add the sautéed veggies to the beef pot along with all the remaining ingredients. Simmer for 30 minutes or until carrots and potatoes are cooked.

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It’s true what they say. Soup really does cure all!!

Thank you for all the well wishes this week! I have to admit, I am very frustrated about the whole thing. I’ve been sick more over these last six months in Toronto than I have been over the last six years. This current sickness began as soon as I landed back in Toronto last Monday. I’ve actually only worked out twice in the last ten days! Perhaps my immune system wasn’t prepared for all this “big city” living.

If I ever do get better, I plan on making another Simply Switch. I want to switch out “sitting on my butt time” for “going out and exploring time.” I’ve already started working on a list of things I still have to do in Toronto. Such as…

Visit Honest Ed’s

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I can’t really explain the attraction apart from it being a ridiculous and giant department store smack in the middle of a city. Flashing lights and all. I must buy one of their Elvis busts to commemorate my time in Toronto.

See Casa Loma

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Speaking of things that stick out in a city… how about a huge castle?

Shop at the Carrot Common

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Home to the organic grocer The Big Carrot and a square filled with other hippy-dippy stores.

Eat this pancake. Again.

My life will not be complete until me and this pancake reunite.

And with that, I rest. I actually have to return to work tomorrow and it would be nice if the cool compress didn’t have to come with.

 

Question of the Day: What’s your favourite kind of soup? Would you believe I never used to like soup until recently? Give me some ideas of kinds I should make!

All Shook Up

Ever have one of those days when you wake up with a lump already in your throat? You know something big is inside of you, and if you don’t tiptoe around it, it’s going to explode out all at once… You can try to keep it locked in all you want, but sometimes bigger forces are at play. Sometimes the ground starts to move, and it literally shakes it out of you.

But let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

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Today started off in a big way – I was reunited with my waffle maker!!

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I’ve been waiting until Waffle Wednesday to bring this bad boy out ;)

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Whipped up my usual protein waffle recipe:

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup egg whites
  • 1/3 cottage cheese
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • cinnamon
  • vanilla extract

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The waffles were a little rough around the edges because I didn’t have spray to grease the iron with. I rubbed a little butter in the creases instead.

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I doubled the recipe for Sara and I, then made a topping for both of us made up of a mashed banana, 1 tbsp almond butter and around 1/4 cup sugar-free syrup.

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Ohyes. This reunion was worth waiting for. SO GOOD.

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The banana topping is what made this batch. Especially with the crunchy almond butter. Ohmy.

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The decadence continued after breakfast with a coffee and a President’s Choice Two-Bite Brownie. Canadians, you know what brownies I’m talking about ;)

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Unfortunately, it was not all I’d hoped for. I can make something better than this!

I was all excited to try out something called a “Gliding” class today at the gym, using those little hand and feet gliders…

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Fuelled up with a High Protein Banana Bar. The nutritionals I provided on these by the way were a little off – they’re actually 170 calories and 11g protein. Score!

Unfortunately, I missed the Gliding class!! Boo :( I went early to get 20 minutes of intervals in on the elliptical. But I got into a groove and did an extra 5 minutes, and by then the class had filled up!! They only do it Wednesdays at noon, so I am determined to get there good and early next week.

I ended up finishing my workout off with 20 minutes of extreme incline walking on the treadmill (trying to stay in hiking shape!! ;) ) and 10 minutes on the rower. Ended up being a pretty good sweatfest without the gliders anyways.

I walked home and immediately got started on lunch to feed my growling belly. I threw some kale chips in the oven and leftover black bean patties on the stovetop. It’s no secret what happened next.

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My sister’s 10th floor apartment started to rumble and shake. At first I thought there was a construction accident nearby, but after a few seconds I could feel the building swaying. The power went out and I immediately got really pissed off. I was hungry and an earthquake just ruined my damn lunch.

It was just a 5.5 magnitude, the epicenter only 33 miles north of Ottawa, where I am now. Thankfully no damage, although my sister said some windows broke in her office building. 

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Even after the ground stopped shaking, I still was! What a nerve-wracking experience!! Umm… can I go back to the Maritimes now? We only ever get hurricanes.

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Because the power went out, I ended up throwing the half-cooked kale chips in a bowl with tuna and hummus. Munched on baby carrots while I wandered around the dark hallways trying to find out what was happening. No internet or cellphones… what’s a girl to do!?

Actually, I then immediately jumped in the shower to get what was left of the hot water and changed out of my sweaty gym clothes. If there was an aftershock, I wanted to be clean and well dressed for the evacuation ;)

Thankfully, the one tremor was it, but it seemed to set off a series of tremors within myself. It literally rattled me enough to turn that lump in my throat into a weeping mess. No explanation really needed here. I have an anxiety disorder and panic attacks come with the territory. It was nice to get it out. I’ve been going through a lot of life changes, too bad it took an earthquake for me face them!!

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Once the power came back on, I soothed myself with a little cooking therapy.

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I really, honest to goodness, love everything about cooking. It’s one of my top favourite ways to pass the time.

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I think my favourite thing about it is just standing in the kitchen and putting things together. The tastes and smells are all great, but the motions of the activity just please and entertain me.

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Remember that elk stew I had in Banff? Well, I’ve had it on my mind ever since. As you may know, once I get it in my head to make something, I can’t shake it.

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When I saw organic stewing beef in my sister’s freezer, I knew it was meant to be.

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I’ve been drooling over Julia Child’s boeuf bourguignon for years now. I love a good meaty stew, and of all her recipes, it seems like the most doable. 

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And the wine, let’s not forget the wine. I hate to drink it, but my gosh I love to eat it.

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Because my sister doesn’t have a dutch oven, I followed this recipe on how to make beef bourguignon solely on the stove-top.

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I changed it around a little because I was only working with one pound of meat, but I essentially followed the directions.

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My sister, the “vegetarian by nature,” suggested we perhaps have a salad with our meat. Pfft.

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I also roasted sweet potatoes instead of the traditional white.

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And the stew??

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It turned out really good!! I got confused by the cooking time because I was working with a smaller pot. I probably could have simmered it a bit longer to get the meat more tender. Otherwise, it was really rich and flavourful. Too bad it’s like a gazillion degrees today – Sara and I were both sweating as we “mm mmm-ed.”

 

Thank you for all your kind thoughts and well wishes for my family, as well as those of you who got in touch after the earthquake!! I hear it was felt all the way down to Ohio, so I hope all my mid-Eastern friends made out okay!! xo

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