La Dolce Vita

Hello friends!! How were our weekends? This my last free weekend before I start my part-time job at the running store so I tried to make the most of it!

This morning started off with one of the goodies I scored for helping out The Simply Bar at Toronto’s Vegetarian Food Fair yesterday (recap here).


Simply Bar is known for their protein bars made with soy crisps. Now they have a new Simply Protein Oatmeal made with the same crisps!



I mixed 3/4 cup with an equal amount almond milk and nuked it for 2 minutes. It’s strawberry flavoured and I wanted to get a good taste of it plain, so I only added almond butter to the top at first.


But then I spotted the strawberry yogurt in my fridge and knew it was meant to be!


I like my yogurt on top of hot oatmeal like a frosting, but my mom prefers it on the bottom with the hot oatmeal on top. To each her own ;)


Ooohhhh yeah. Honestly, I reallyreally enjoyed the oatmeal!!! It was nice to make oatmeal without having to add extra protein in the form of eggs or powder. I need protein in my oatmeal, as just carbs in the morning leave me hungry and lethargic for the rest of the day. The strawberry flavour is just sweet enough, and the soy crisps didn’t get lost in the mix. Can’t wait till this stuff hits the stores!

The oatmeal was also incredibly filling. It got me through a free hour-long hatha yoga class at Lululemon, and then a loooong wait for brunch.


My roommie and I have been wanting to try Lady Marmalade here in Leslieville forrevverrr. It’s gotten several good reviews, but more so, we just wanted to see what this line-up is about!!


Every Saturday & Sunday there is a line-up at this place going out the door. We figured the food had to be good if so many people are willing to wait for it.


After an hour our third new roommie (!!) showed up and we were finally seated.

By that point we all knew what we wanted after staring at the menu for so long ;)

Both of my roommies (soon-to-be and current) got the organic buckwheat fresh fruit crepe w/ lemony yogurt, house-made cranberry-almond granola, berry coulis & honey.


Ummm yeah. That thing was a beast!

I went for something a little more savoury: organic tofu scramble w/ shitakes, bokchoy, spinach, scallions, sesame & a bit of a kick, served w/ basmati brown rice or potatoes, toast & a salad.


I asked for the potatoes and my toast dry. Didn’t really make a difference though because the scramble was still sopping with oil :(


I was expecting a smaller tofu scramble, similar to scrambled eggs. This was just okay. The potatoes and bread were great though, so that’s something. It’s our goal to visit all the brunch places in Leslieville, so now we can officially cross this one off the list!

Current roommie and I then bid adieu to soon-to-be roomie and we wandered the ‘hood for a little bit.



We decided that Leslieville (East Toronto) consists of three things: brunch places, stores for dogs or babies, and specialty antique shops. I don’t want to break out the “Y” word, but some may describe it as a little yuppie ;)

With Sunday morning yoga and brunch out of the way, there were just two things left to do: grocery shop and cook!

This week I’m trying out some light meal planning. Since I’m only one tummy, it doesn’t get that complicated. Essentially just a couple dishes I can have for lunch & supper leftovers this week.

First up, something cold I can bring to work:

Tofu & Quinoa Salad


I knew exactly what I wanted for this, so instead of following a recipe, I created my own! (Chef Michael Smith anyone?)

  • 1 cup dry quinoa, cooked with 2 cups water
  • 1 block extra-firm tofu, cubed and browned in a pan
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup chickpea broth (from the can, or the water you cook it in)
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped (around 2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • pepper to taste
  • optional: 2-3 tbsp olive oil

All mixed up and chilled for several hours.


I’ve been reading about how wonderful parsley is in my nutrition textbook, so I threw it in with reckless abandon. Fun fact: it has twice the iron of spinach! The taste turned out just as I’d hoped. I’ve now got some waiting for me on top of spinach for lunch tomorrow :)

Now, onto a hot dinner!

Not Your Average Shepherd’s Pie


This one comes from a recipe over at Foods of April and can be found here.


  • 1 lb of lean ground turkey breast
  • 1 cup low sodium broth (I used organic beef broth)
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 2 cups green beans (I defrosted some)
  • 1 cup of corn (I defrosted some)
  • 1 1/4 cup cauliflower “mashed potatoes”
  • Pepper
  • Garlic seasoning


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook ground turkey with onion, pepper, and garlic seasoning until well done.
  3. Place turkey in a casserole dish or oven safe deep dish container.
  4. Cut up the green beans (optional) and layer on top of the turkey.
  5. Add the corn.
  6. Pour the broth over the veggies to coat.
  7. Spread the “mashed potatoes” on top of the veggies.
  8. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the “mashed potatoes” start to brown and look like a crust.
  9. Cut into 4 servings and eat!


I made it just as the recipe suggests, however my cauliflower is a little different. First, I was too impatient to let it cook all the way, so it didn’t quite “mash.” I have made it several times before though, so rest assured it will get creamy like potatoes if you have an ounce more patience than I.


I added chili powder to both the turkey and cauliflower for an extra bit of kick. Instead of cream cheese, I added cottage cheese to the cauliflower. My only complaint is that the broth made it soupy, I would definitely omit that next time!


Of course, what is shepherd’s pie without a healthy dose of ketchup??


April is so cute. Her recipe says it makes four servings – I got three. And a very satisfied belly afterward ;) Comfort food at it’s finest. Can’t wait to have it again for dinner tomorrow!


Yup, yoga, brunch, grocery shopping and cooking. Can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday. Well, maybe. Next week I’ll be talking running all day and getting paid for it! Life is sweet my friends :)


Question of the Day: What is your favourite dish to eat for leftovers? Okay, when I was a kid my mom used to make giant pots of spaghetti. I would always eat the leftovers for breakfast reheated in the microwave with half a pound of melted cheddar cheese. It was awesome.

Posted on September 12, 2010, in Restaurants and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 27 Comments.

  1. I am learning how to turn leftovers into a new, awesome meal. It’s a slow learning process. Tonight: make a big salad with leftover chicken. Yum!

  2. Haha why am I cute?? I totally forgot about that recipe LOL and thanks for the shoutout :)

  3. Spaghetti is top-notch leftovers! So is a whole roasted chicken, just because it can be made into so many things!

  4. Thanks for the sweet comment on my latest post. :)

    That oatmeal looks so good! I am going to have to order some when it hits the online store. Do they have just regular flavors, or not strawberry flavor? =P It would be a nice change to putting protein powder in oats. I have found myself steering away from my powders. I think it has helped my digestion and bloating. However, I can’t let them all go to waste, so once I am out I think I will stick to some more natural ones, like Jay Robb or Sun Warrior.

    Love your fun weekends!

  5. That simply oatmeal looks awesome, I hope they’ll sell it around here so I can snag a bag :)

    Hmmm… I think my favourite thing to eat for leftovers is thanksgiving/christmas food. Hot turkey –> turkey + cream cheese/cranberry sandwiches –> turkey soup is the best leftover progression EVER.

  6. Haha, I love the name of the restaurant. Sorry it was just eh. I’m loving the idea of your quinoa salad – it almost looks like a tabbouleh but with many other ingredients. Sounds yummy!

  7. That protein oatmeal looks delish and the stats are great! Do they sell Simply Bar products in the US? Otherwise, I might have to give in and make my first online food purchase for that when it goes on sale.

    Best leftover food? I used to love eating pot roast leftovers. WIth a little salt on a roll, make a nice cold sandwich. Mmm, I’m making myself hungry, I better get to bed already!

    Nicole G

  8. I love the idea of that protein oatmeal! Yuppie or not, living in a place with tons of brunch options is never a bad thing

  9. i always re-use leftovers & create a new meal.
    i love changing meals around, awesome times!

    oh my god, Tofu & Quinoa Salad!
    I will be making this!

  10. oh that quinoa & tofu salad looks awesome!!!!

    i love lil april too, such a great girl!

    have a super week hon!!

  11. Ooh now I totally need to try that oatmeal! Aack let me know when their next event is :P

    Those are two great looking recipes! I never liked Shepard’s pie growing up, I thought it was too heavy. But this one I can see myself liking a lot!!

    I love lasagna/casserole leftovers. Always best the next day. My fave was always my mom’s tuna casserole, with tons of parmesan sprinkled on top :P


    • You should definitely try it with the mashed cauliflower then! It’s a lot lighter and doesn’t sit as heavy in your stomach. And yes, adding cheese will make any leftovers ten times more delicious ;)

  12. OMG I just made Shepherd’s Pie last night and it was absolutely FOODGASMIC! It’s going to be my recipe of the week this week so I’ll post it on Wednesday. For sure my new favourite leftover! :)

  13. chili and soup by far is the best leftovers!! omg that looks so good! and its comp friendly rightnow! I have never mastered the cauliflower mashing technique or “ricing’ as they say! I think I should give it a shot!

  14. Brunch, yoga and cooking does indeed sound perfect! Shepherd’s Pie with cauliflower mash, eh?! Sounds delicious but I might be too married to the traditional version!

    That tofu quinoa salad looks AWESOME. Love making giant batches like that for lunch :)

  15. Thanks for sharing this recipe, Susan! I’m trying to get back to cooking more regularly (been eating out WAY too much!), and this inspires me :) Can’t wait to try it! Oh, and I’m sure I’ll only get three servings at best, too ;) Great bellies think alike.

  16. I really need to try that oatmeal. I don’t eat oatmeal or cereal very often because it leaves me hungry not too long after I finish eating too, so the extra protein definitely sounds like a plus.

  17. wow, i HAVE to try that oatmeal! do you know if they are selling it in the states? sorry the brunch dish was not up to par. at least you got to try a new place! it is all about experience, right? love that big dog. i bet you miss your pups :( that shephards pie looks great. fave leftovers=pasta of any kind, cold pizza, and asian cuisine.


  18. I want to eat everything on this post! WOW YUM! x x

  19. Delightful!!! That oatmeal looks simply awesome!!!


  20. isn’t it funny how different people prefer their oatmeal! i’m the same way, i neeeeed protein at breakfast or else i’ll be a hungry beast 5 seconds later. my mom just does it up with oatmeal and peanut butter and shes good to go, haha i’m always like ma aren’t you gonna be hungry, and she can barely finish it.

    hope your new jobbie goes awesome :)

  21. ahhhh that vegetarian fair looked like so much fun! and i love that you ate chicken when you got home – to each his own fo real. amen sister. glad i finally got to catch-up with you – miss you and let’s chat soon!

  22. Lady Marmelade looks like a fabulous place! I love the name. And I just wrote nap instead of name…maybe thats a sign!

  23. Your quinoa and tofu salad sounds fantastic. I love all the ingredients here.

  1. Pingback: Reader’s Request: Easy Lunch Ideas | The Healthy Everythingtarian

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