April 28, 2009


I made a watermelon salad today. I am eating it right now. It's rocking the pants off my tastebuds. My glutton for sweet-and-salty-but-healthy combos has reached its climax. Sex or watermelon salad? I don't know...tough choice. Seriously.

Rock-The-Pants-Off-Your-Tastebuds Watermelon Salad:
- cubed watermelon (I bought some pre-cut watermelon but like...1/4 of a watermelon should do)
- dried pineapple slices (I bought some pre-packaged, boo, but they're all-natural so I couldn't resist)
- 4 large leaves basil, finely sliced
- couple of glugs of olive oil
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- a little bit of feta cheese (optional)

Mix all that goodness together and you've got the best salad ever!

April 27, 2009


I've been dying for the fresh veggies and fruits to make their way to my grocery store. It's been a long wait and while the up-and-down weather hasn't really been helping the situation, I've been craving some kind of freshness for too long. Early last week a recipe for barley soup with beans ended up in a Martha Stewart e-newsletter and into my inbox. Being in love with barley I eagerly clicked on the link and it brought me to this website, where I quickly scanned the recipe for ingredients. I didn't have the chickpeas, mint, parsley or dill on hand so I skipped the herb yogurt pesto part entirely but made the rest of the recipe. I also added a whole bunch of chopped spinach and used organic vegetable broth instead of the water. Here's the soup in all its "packed for lunch" glory:
I finished that batch of soup in about three days and went ahead and made another batch, this time following the recipe but still omitting the herb pesto part. I have to admit that I didn't really like it as much as the first batch. My first bowl of the soup was rather bland despite substituting water for veggie broth again. I ended up adding in some sliced mushrooms and some leftover sauteed ground pork and onions. It wasn't bad after the additions but I think I'll stick with just the canellini beans and barley. I think there's still something about chickpeas that I don't like or doesn't sit well with my stomach. Anyway, here's the second batch:
The following breakfast was made with all store-bought ingredients. Boo, I know, but it was mega tasty and I'm lucky I have all these ingredients at work. Otherwise my stomach would have been mega hungry come lunchtime.

Bowl of Surprising Goodness:
- 1 packet of Nativa Organics maple spice instant oatmeal
- several dollops of Liberte Mediterranee moka yogurt
- couple spoonfuls of Barbara's Bakery Cinnamon Puffins

So as bad as that all looks to you, it was surprisingly tasty! It's definitely a breakfast that must be eaten right away because otherwise, the Puffins get all soggy and I hate soggy cereal. Of course, being that I eat super slow, it's almost impossible for cereal to stay crispy when it's being eaten by me.

April 19, 2009


Bentos of the week:

This bento was half-eaten by the time I remembered to take a pic of it, oops! I have a mix of greens, macaroni and my dad's tomato beef sauce (it's my absolute fave tomato sauce), dad's Creole cucumber salad, mini carrots, a Babybel Light and some strawberries:

This bento is a mix of yummy Easter dinner leftovers. It includes slices of leg of lamb, roasted onions slices, mini carrots and a couple slices of whole wheat baguette. In the bottom container and to the side there is roasted potatoes, corn, Creole salad, a pear and a Babybel Light:
I usually make my bentos the night before and sometimes when I'm out with Sean, I come home late and then put something together really quick so I don't have to buy lunch the next day. The meal below wasn't one of those nights. I had just finished dinner and was feeling lazy and decided to make a bento full of frozen goods. What resulted is organic chicken fingers, mini carrots, pea ravioli and romaine lettuce.
This is a total leftover bento. Within the bento is leftover steak slices, rice, brussel sprouts and broccoli. To the right is a mix of greens and a Babybel Light.
And that's it! More to come later...


And I have asthma! It took Sean and I 40 minutes and 36 seconds and 40 minutes and 38 seconds respectively to complete the 1776-step climb to the top. And when they say it's 144 flights of stairs, they actually kind of lie because once you reach that 143 flight, you take a series of more flights of stairs (labels S1, S2, S3 and so on) until you actually reach the top.

Below is me and my t-shirt front and back. It wasn't taken the day of the race because Sean and I were too hungry to care about taking photos. That's so not like me, I know, but nowadays my stomach kind of rules my life.That time seems really slow and it probably is considering there was a total of approximately 4100 climbers and Sean and I were in the 3900s, but whatever, I have asthma and I used my puffer more than I should have and hey, I finished the climb without passing out! Yay for me!!

Words of advice for those thinking about taking on the CN Tower next year:
- do NOT go pee before the climb. You will need whatever liquid you have stored in you, trust me. You do get water once you get to the top but it's the Dasani brand and it contains salt. Yuck!
- EAT! I didn't eat the sunnyside-up eggs and toast that my Dad made for me that morning and I REALLY regretted it later on. I normally eat every 2-3 so waiting about five hours for my next meal was pretty much torture.

That's all I've got for now. I'm pretty darn proud of myself. I'm glad I was able to raise $410 for the WWF Canada. It was certainly a lot more than I had thought I'd raise and considering that I raised all that in three days, I know that next year I'll be able to raise a lot more.

April 17, 2009


Here are the frosted cupcakes I made a couple of days ago:
Apologies for the terribly-lit second photo but it was nighttime and I was too tired to take a nice photo. The first photo is a shot of the mini cupcakes and the second is of the regular-size cupcakes. I decided to go with the strawberry buttercream mainly because I only had enough room temperature butter for one buttercream and had already started with the strawberry jam as an add-in. I love the chocolate flavour of these cupcakes. This time around I used Lindt's Madagascar 65% dark chocolate and the usual unsweetened cocoa powder.

That's all. Short post today.

April 12, 2009


I haven't been eating a lot of oatmeal lately. I ran out of my Liberte Mediterranee moka yogurt and haven't had the chance to pick anymore up, so the most awesome breakfast oatmeal has been put on the back-burner. I also have a container of Liberte coconut yogurt to go through and I was seriously disappointed with the taste of that yogurt during my first tasting, that I'm not really looking forward to my next tasting. Right now it's sitting in the fridge at work and suspect will be there until I decide that I can no longer take it and throw it out.

Anyhoo, a couple of weeks back I had a hankering for a can of Pepsi. I was at work and a few of us had ordered some pizza (from a place I will never order from again) and well, nothing goes better with pizza than a fizzy drink, right? WRONG! The one can of Pepsi, which I don't remember finishing, gave me a migraine for more than 36 hours after drinking. I conclude that it was the pop that gave me a migraine and nothing else because nothing else I ate that day veered from the norm. Well...maybe the pizza did but it didn't contain any ingredients I've previous never eaten nor was it from a restaurant I had never eaten at before.

As a result I am now avoiding all fructose and glucose, in any and all forms. It hasn't been too difficult seeing as how I rarely drink pop anyway but who knew I couldn't eat specific types of yogurt, Girl Guide cookies or anything from a box of assorted chocolates. It's been rough when my sweet tooth starts yelling at me for some kind of sugary treat because it requires me to scrounge around the house or workplace for anything made with real sugar or sugar substitutes (ie: maple syrup, agave nectar, brown rice syrup, etc). There aren't a whole lot of options at work (unless I really want some $7 granola bars) and just a few at home (Clif Bars being the most abundant at home). To remedy the situation I made some chocolate cupcakes earlier tonight, mainly because if I'm going to eat a sweet treat, I'd rather make it myself so I know what's in them. Right now they're unfrosted. Tomorrow I'm getting up early to frost them before I had off to work. I'm thinking half will be strawberry buttercream and the other half will be rosewater buttercream. Here are they naked:
And later I'll post pictures of them fully dressed in all their glory. Oh, before I go I should talk about the recipe a bit. First off, I have no clue where the recipe came from. I read so many various food blogs now that the only way I remember the source to a recipe is if I bookmarked the website and unfortunately I didn't do that with this recipe. I'm sure that if you just typed all the ingredients into Google, you'd come up with the source or at least a close cousin. Anyway, I wanted to discuss the recipe because I absolutely love it. Knowing that I hate chocolate I'm always a little bit leery of making chocolate cupcakes because I'm afraid I'll have so many leftover because a) no one else in my family will eat them because they don't like chocolate and b) I don't like chocolate so I don't want to be forced to eat them either. These cupcakes, though, they're like fluffy and moist pieces of chocolate heaven. I don't even know what the heck that's supposed to mean but they're just damn good! I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I ate two standard size cupcakes and two mini cupcakes and I waited for them to cool down just enough so that I could peel away the cupcake liner. I need more self-control, ugh.


These are this week's past bentos:

First up is a whole wheat bagel with organic elk deli meat with mustard, baby spinach and sliced cucumbers; for extra protein there's an omelette with onions and more chopped spinach and an apple.
The next day was kind of a sad lunch by the looks of it but I really enjoyed it. It contained a large caesar salad with two hard-boiled eggs and a bunch of baby carrots:

This next meal was kind of a mish-mash of various things I had around the house. Mains are homemade mac 'n cheese (courtesy of Pappie) with two leftover pork dumplings. For veg and fruit (and some much-needed colour), we've got grapes, baby carrots and 3 kiwis, peeled and cubed. Yummy!
Lastly I've got some more leftover mac 'n cheese with some baked salmon (which I topped with salt, pepper and lemon slices). Along for the lunch ride are more grapes, baby carrots and a Babybel Light:
Overall it was a good week of bento'ing but I think those pork dumplings left me with a bit of migraine which lasted until this morning. Thanks to my friends who created Zomig to help with that issue.

April 9, 2009


My boyfriend and I decided to make garlic bread while watching Commando the other night. Yes, that Commando with Senator Arnie and Alyssa Milano. Anyhoo, a little about my thoughts on garlic bread. There are some people who love garlic bread so much that they'll eat those slices of bread slathered with butter, green flecks of who-knows-what and a tinge of something that is similar to garlic. Yknow...the types you get in those chain restaurants on the side of your platter of from-frozen pasta. Then there are those who know what roasted garlic smells and tastes like when the tops have been cut off and drizzled in olive oil and when you smush it all over a piece of toasted baguette....oh man, that is good.

So anyway, I can't remember the last time I made homemade garlic bread. It probably a baguette, a drizzle of olive oil and copious amounts of fresh garlic. It was probably in the kitchen of our current house and I was probably being helped by my mother who, back in the day when we were little, loved to cook with me and my two brothers.

Being that I couldn't remember the last time I made garlic bread, I couldn't really remember how I made it and so Sean and I concocted a recipe that we thought would be suitable: half a whole wheat baguette, copious amounts of fresh garlic and a bunch of margarine. I say a bunch only because I can't really remember how much he used. The boyfriend peeled and chopped the garlic and then mixed it up with some margarine in a bowl. We slathered it onto our baguette that had been sliced in half horizontally and put that sucker in the oven at 350C for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes barely anything had happened so I figured it wouldn't hurt to leave it in for another 3 minutes and this time at 375C so the garlic isn't totally raw. Well...I was SUPER wrong because this is what resulted:
Words cannot begin to express the amount of epic fail that occurred in the above photo. Not being one to waste food, I told the boyfriend, Sean, that it would still be good if we just sliced off the edges and so he did and so garlic fingers were born. Yum!

But since we did have another half of our whole wheat baguette left, we decided to try again. This time I mashed the garlic with a little bit of salt in a mortar and pestle and then mixed it into the margarine, though this time not as much. We slathered it onto the last half of the baguette and stuck it into the oven for 15 minutes at 350C. What resulted was this:
It was good but there was still something missing, I just can't put my finger on what it was. Anyway, that was the epic tale of garlic bread and it also taught me about just how finicky each oven is. You see, I know my oven. I know it's 25 degrees over what it actually says. I know that when I bake something I have to lower the temperature 25 degrees despite whatever it says in the recipe I'm using or not. I also know that there's a hot spot in the back to the left so I have to rotate the pans or whatever it is I've got inside the oven. Sean's oven though...I have no clue how it functions. That was a lesson I had just learned.

April 4, 2009


After having tasted two of three flavours of Clif Bars that I had access to (Chocolate Almond Fudge and Black Cherry Almond), I went out and bought 10 bars of my favourite flavour. Care to venture a guess as to which flavour it was? If you guessed Chocolate Almond Fudge, you're right, however, I have no prizes for you. Black Cherry Almond had an almost vomit-inducing aftertaste. I don't know exactly what it was but I could not finish it--until it was late at night and I was out and had nothing else to eat. Anyhoo, Clif Bars were on sale a couple of weeks ago (10 for $10) and of course I had to stock up. What's better than great savings? Nothing! So I grabbed 10 bars of the Chocolate Almond Fudge and 5 Maple Nut bars and 5 Chocolate Chip bars. I hope the latter two are good because I haven't tasted them yet. I could be in for a big surprise! Hopefully one that is full of goodness on my tastebuds rather than feelings of vomit.

Here is my new stash of Clif Bars:

And here are the stars of the show (Chocolate Almond Fudge, Chocolate Chip and Maple Nut):

And no, I am not getting paid to advertise for their company. Boo to that!

April 3, 2009


It has been ages since I exercised regularly. It has also been ages since I've weighed anything under 120lbs. Sigh. My weight gain was in part due to new medication and then because of an under active thyroid but alas, I'm still on the meds but no longer have the thyroid issue. So the real reason for my lack of exercise just comes down to laziness.

I remember when I was exercising regularly without feeling mega ill (stomach ulcer, heartburn and acid reflux aren't a good combo for a university student) and I felt pretty good. For one thing, I wasn't tired all the time like I am now. And I also really enjoyed seeing all those changes in my body shape, which were for the better. I mean, who doesn't like some arm tone and muscle? Back then I could give my boyfriend a run for his money in the wrestling department but nowadays, it's more common for my asthma to kick in, forcing me to quit.

Here's a recap of some of the bentos I've had for lunch this past week. There are only two photos because all the other days I was too hungry to stop to take a photo. Oh well, there's always next week.

Lemon pepper sole with sauteed mix greens, mini carrots, leftover roasted potatoes; Anjou pear, strawberries, Ace Bakery rosemary and sea salt crips with Babybel cheese:

Mixed greens with button mushrooms; Ace Bakery rosemary and sea salt crisps, Anjou pear; mini carrots and organic pastrami sandwich on whole wheat with baby spinach and mayo.

I tend to forget that mayonaise and I don't get along. It must be the mega fat and dairy factor but every single time I eat something with mayo, about 30 minutes later I've got pains in my chest and stomach. I couldn't blame my sandwich for the pain as it was my fault since I was the one who made it. In that case, it was well worth it.

That's all I have for now. I just drank way too much of my mom's vegetable barley soup and I think my stomach is going to explode. Seriously.