Tag Archives: food

Breakfast Bowl Recipe

Anndd I’m back with the summer blogging! Yes, I am calling it summer even though it does not look or feel like it right now with this cloudy, chilly weather (and the fact that it isn’t really officially summer until June..). So what better way to beat Toronto’s strange weather and also feel energized at the start of your day than to eat a delicious, nutrient-dense breakfast bowl that’s quick and easy to make? Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , ,

New Year’s & Maple Banana Bread Recipe

With 2015 gone and 2016 here to stay for a year comes one of the most common new year resolutions that are usually long forgotten by February: eat healthier. Let’s face it, even if you’re not a new year’s resolutions kind of person, you’ve thought about it at least once in the first few days of 2016. And like all of us, the determination to consume healthier foods slowly fades as the days go past, our lives get busier, the $3 slice of pizza looks a lot more wallet-friendly than shelling out big bucks for fresh fruits/vegetables at the grocery store, or when all the holiday chocolates go on sale after Christmas.

I think the key to maintaining the determination of eating healthier is to be realistic and honest with yourself. For example, salads are the bane of my existence and I know that. So it doesn’t make sense to try and plan out kale salads for lunch every day of the week for me. To put it simply, I easily stay determined to eat foods I enjoy and contrary to belief, there are foods out there that taste good and are healthy at the same time. I found this amazing Maple Banana Bread recipe from The Heart and Stroke Foundation (http://www.heartandstroke.com/site/c.ikIQLcMWJtE/b.9277763/k.8449/Recipes__Maple_banana_bread.htm) when I was baking for a bake sale and was surprised by how delicious it was, considering the super healthy and nutritious ingredients. I will definitely be making this recipe throughout the year! Without further ado, let’s get baking:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (250 mL) whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup (250 mL) large flake oats
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) wheat bran
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp (4 mL) baking soda
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed well
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) plain 0% Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) canola oil
  • 1 egg

Also: feel free to add extra ingredients into the recipe to customize your own banana bread. Some great add-ons would be nuts, seeds, cranberries, raisins, etc. For mine, I added in about 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts.

DSC01129

Directions:

1.Mix together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl: flour, oats, bran, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda.

DSC01140DSC01144

2. Blend the bananas until they have an even consistency and pour into a bowl.

DSC01149

3. Add the yogurt, maple syrup, canola oil, and egg and mix well.

DSC01150DSC01161

DSC01157

I got a little carried away and tried to make a heart barista-style, kind of an epic fail 😀

DSC01173

4. Once the wet ingredients are whisked well, pour into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix together.

DSC01162

It doesn’t look the most appealing pre-bake, you know you did the recipe right if it looks like lumpy oatmeal!

DSC01165

5. Pour mixture into a parchment paper lined and sprayed 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches (1.5 L) loaf pan and bake in a preheated 350° F oven for 40 minutes. You can also insert a toothpick in and if it comes out clean, the banana bread is done.

DSC01169

DSC01170

6. Let the banana bread cool for 10 minutes before turning it out of the pan and serving it.

DSC01178[1]

I hope you enjoy this recipe and let’s all stay inspired and motivated this year to eat clean and think consciously about what we put into our bodies, but also equally important -to treat yourself every now and then! 

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Dairy-Free Pistachio Ice Cream Recipe

Hello again fellow readers! Today, I wanted to share a fantastic summer recipe that I was excited to try -Pistachio Ice Cream. What makes this recipe pretty awesome is not only is the star player one of my favourite nuts, but it also happens to be dairy-free and includes no added sugars, making this a pretty guilt-free dessert! It all started when I recently acquired a Yonanas machine. For those who are wondering what in the world a Yonanas machine is, it essentially converts frozen fruits into a soft-serve ice cream consistency without the need for any cream or sugar (aka the best invention to ever be gifted unto society!!). I was first confused on how a machine could simply turn frozen fruits into something that looked and tasted exactly like ice cream without any cream OR sugar, and the answer to both questions is: bananas. The key is to freeze over-ripe bananas (over-ripe bananas with some black spots on the skin are a lot sweeter than plain yellow ones), and add it to the mixture to provide a natural sweet, creamy flavour. Genius! I could ramble on and on about how wonderful this recipe is, but instead, I’ll let you guys try it and see for yourselves! So without further ado, here’s the Yonanas Pistachio Ice Cream recipe!

Ingredients:

-2 frozen over-ripe bananas

-12 oz shelled pistachios (make sure they are plain pistachios without any added salt)

-1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk

-1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Peel 2 over-ripe bananas, separate each into 1/4 pieces and let them freeze in the freezer for at least 24 hrs.
  2. Grind the pistachios in a food processor until they reach a grainy-sand-like texture (you can use a blender instead if you’d like; I used a Vitamix).

DSC00957[1]DSC00979[1]

3. In a medium saucepan, combine the almond milk and vanilla extract, and slowly incorporate the ground pistachios. Let this mixture come to a simmer and take it off the heat. If you feel like the texture is still a little thick, you can pour it back into the blender until the texture becomes more consistent and smooth.

DSC00982[1]DSC00984[1]

DSC00986[1]DSC00993[1]

4. Let the mixture cool down, then fill an ice cube tray and freeze to make frozen pistachio cubes.

DSC00999[1]

5. When ready to make your pistachio ice cream, take out your frozen banana pieces and pistachio cubes and let them thaw for around 5 minutes.

DSC01010[1]

6. Start by first adding in a banana piece into the Yonanas machine, then add 2 pistachio cubes. Alternate until you’ve added in the full 2 bananas and 8 pistachio cubes total. If you would like more pistachio or banana flavour, feel free to add more of either ingredient to your preference. After, mix the 2 ice creams together well until you achieve a consistent, light green colour.

DSC01021[1]DSC01025[1]

DSC01032[1]

DSC01035[1]

I finished it off with some fresh ground pistachios as a garnish, and it’s ready to eat! This recipe has easily become one of my favourites -pistachio ice cream without any dairy or added sugars, yet tastes equally delicious! Hope you guys enjoy this recipe and happy ice-cream making! 🙂

DSC01046[1]

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Homemade Pizza Recipe

New food recipe alert! It really has been so long since I’ve tried a new recipe this summer, and I wanted to make something I’ve never made before. Yesterday, I thought it’d be fun to take on the task of making pizza from scratch, not only for the challenge, but because I was really craving it too! The great thing I’ve learned about making pizza is that it’s so easily customizable to your own preferences. Once you’ve made the base with the dough and tomato sauce, your creativity and own imagination can take reign over every and any topping you decide to include in your pizza. I’ve based this recipe from Jamie Oliver’s with some of my own modifications:

http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/bread-recipes/spicy-salami-courgette-basil-tomato-and-mozzarella-pizza-topping/#YKPE8rB8OPtMXQvf.97

INGREDIENTS:

For the pizza base

  • 800 g strong white flour
  • 200 g semolina flour (can substitute with strong white flour)
  • 1 tbsp fine sea salt
  • 2×7 g dried yeast
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 650 ml lukewarm water

For the tomato sauce

  • 400 g canned plum tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 small bunch fresh basil
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

For the toppings

  • your favourite toppings!
  • some suggestions: cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, feta, etc.), salami/pepperoni, peppers, onions, mushrooms, olives, etc.

DIRECTIONS:

Find a clean surface and mix together the white flour, semolina flour, and sea salt.

pizza

Mix in the yeast packets to the lukewarm water, and allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes.

IMG_2120 IMG_2121

Create approximately a 18cm well from the dough and fill it with the yeast-water mixture.

IMG_2122 IMG_2123

Take a fork and slowly mix the flour into the yeast mixture until you reach a thick porridge-like consistency.

IMG_2125

Add some more flour until the dough starts coming together. Knead the dough for around 10 minutes until the dough becomes smoother.

IMG_2128

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to sit for 45 minutes and double in size.

IMG_2130IMG_2134

While you’re waiting for the dough to rise, you can make the tomato sauce. Start by chopping the garlic and heating it up in a saucepan with some olive oil. Once the garlic turns golden brown, add the canned tomatoes, fresh basil, and season with salt and pepper. Let the sauce reduce down a bit until the consistency runs thicker.

IMG_2133

As you wait for the tomato sauce to cool down, take the risen dough and separate it into two halves. Store one half in the freezer for future use. Take the other half and separate it into 4 pieces. This will make 4 separate pizzas. Lightly flour each piece, wrap them individually with plastic wrap, and let them rest for 15 minutes. This will allow you to easily roll each piece thinly.

IMG_2135

When you’re ready to make your pizza, roll out the dough to around 0.5cm thick.

IMG_2137

Place your rolled out pizza dough onto a lightly greased pan and preset your oven to 500°F. Evenly spread the tomato sauce on the pizza base up to the edges.

IMG_2141

Once your pizza base and tomato sauce has been made, the possible toppings you can add are endless! I decided to buy a few ingredients, and then switch up the different ingredients on each pizza I made from the dough: mozzarella cheese, spicy salami, prosciutto, orange peppers, basil, zucchini, onions, and cherry tomatoes. Use whatever toppings you love! Finish off your pizza with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper on top before putting it in the oven.

IMG_2138 IMG_2150

Allow your pizza to bake until golden and crispy (approx. 10-15 minutes).

IMG_2152

IMG_2169

Usually after cooking, my appetite greatly decreases (does anyone else ever experience that?!), but this recipe was an absolute exception!! It looked too good that I immediately cut out a slice for me to eat! After trying out this pizza recipe, I can conclude that it is delicious and relatively easy to tackle for pizza amateurs like me. The most time-consuming part of the process is making the dough – having to let it rise and rest, and kneading it well. However, an advantage of this recipe is that it makes a lot of dough! I made around 6 pizzas from it, so if you have any leftover dough, you can just pop it in the freezer until you want to make more pizza in the future. And since the most time-consuming part is over, you can make delicious pizzas in significantly less time in the future! Hope you all try this recipe out and happy pizza making! (Confession: guilty of attempting to swirl the pizza dough in mid-air, pretending I worked at an Italian pizzeria) 🙂

Tagged , , ,

Vancouver, BC Part 1: Food Diary

I recently returned from Vancouver, BC as I was visiting my brother and I had the best time! I feel like I spent at least half of the time I spent there eating, and I’m not even ashamed of it! The food was that good! This is not an extensive food diary as I was too busy eating and before I knew it, the food was all gone before I remembered to take a picture. So you’re just going to have to trust me when I say that all the food I ate in Vancouver was quite phenomenal.

When you’re in Vancouver, you’re pretty much obligated to go eat sushi:

Volcano Roll- spicy salmon sushi with sriracha sauce, need I say more?

IMG_9999[1]

BC Blazer- pros: spicy Japanese mayo, Bonito flakes cons: didn’t like the imitation crab inside the roll

IMG_0013

Saba Inferno: looved this roll! The part that they torch tastes like melted marshmallow when you put it in your mouth! So unique!

IMG_0005[1]IMG_0008[1]

Out of all the restaurants we tried in Vancouver (including the ones that I didn’t take pictures for), Takis’ Taverna was my absolute favourite! We ordered the Takis Greek Platter and Seafood Platter. The moussaka and chicken souvlaki were the standouts in my opinion! My mouth is watering just from writing about it! I definitely recommend this restaurant if you enjoy Greek food!

IMG_0228 IMG_0229   IMG_0232 IMG_0233

My family and I passed by Santouka Ramen almost every day of our trip and every single time, there was a lineup. The only way for us to get a spot without lining up was to have an early 5pm dinner; I ordered the Shio Ramen. Just a mini review of the ramen: a nice creamy broth, you can really taste the rich flavour of the pork belly Santouka is apparently known for. The texture and consistency of the ramen noodles were on point. However, the Shio Ramen is quite salty. I asked them to half the saltiness and I still found myself reaching for water several times while eating it. Overall, I give the Shio Ramen a 4/5.

IMG_0302  IMG_0304

Be sure to check back in as I will be posting Vancouver, BC Part 2: City Adventures soon! Until next time!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Blueberry New York Cheesecake

I absolutely adore cheesecakes! I love the pairing between the rich cream cheese and crumbly graham crust. So it’s no surprise that the first recipe I post on my blog is a Blueberry New York Cheesecake from http://www.blueberry-recipe.com/

After my fair share of cheesecakes, I have found the recipe for the ultimate blueberry cheesecake. The cream cheese portion isn’t too dense or dry like many recipes, the graham crust is firm but not too hard, and the topping isn’t overly sweet. Perfection!! Plus, I just think it looks so pretty with the contrast of the light cream cheese and the really rich colour of the blueberries!

Image

INGREDIENTS

1/3 c. butter, melted
1 1/4 c. graham cracker crumbs
1/4 c. sugar
4 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
4 eggs
1/3 c. unsifted flour
1 tbsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Combine butter, crumbs and sugar; press firmly on bottom of 9 inch spring-form pan. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Add eggs, flour and vanilla. Mix well. Pour into a prepared pan. Bake 1 hour or until lightly browned. Cool. Chill thoroughly. Refrigerate leftovers.

BLUEBERRY TOPPING
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. cornstarch
1/4 c. water
1 c. blueberries & 1/2 c. raspberries
1 tbsp. lemon juice

In a small saucepan, mix sugar, cornstarch, water, and lemon juice. Cook and stir until thickened. Add blueberries; cook until bubbly. Chill. Spread on top of cheesecake and garnish with raspberries. Refrigerate.

If you want a healthier option, just switch it up to light cream cheese and reduce the amount of sugar used. Also, in my opinion, the cheesecake actually tastes better the longer you refrigerate it. I’ve made this cheesecake lots of times and it’s always a crowd-pleaser! Enjoy 🙂

Tagged , ,