September 29, 2009


A big bowl of green goodness. It's my last attempt at preserving the great flavours of summer. A bowl of tagliatelle, spinach and asparagus puree, lemon zest and parmesan. It was also my first attempt at a recipe from Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Cooking, which I have been a fan of for ages but have only recently acquired, thanks to Sean.
It was just what I needed to say goodbye to summer and usher in the fall. The great thing is that this recipe made a lot of puree and I was only cooking for one (as I usually do), I have a whole jar of leftover puree to use in the future.So perhaps I can prolong the freshness of summer into the fall season. And for those of you with an extremely keen eye, you may remember this lid as the top of the jar of Goober, a peanut-butter-and-jelly-in-one sort of creation found only in the States. (I picked up a couple of jars at a grocery store while vacationing in Cape Cod with Sean.)

Tonight's dinner was this...Brown rice with a stir-fry of pork, mushrooms, cucumber, red peppers and celery.

And for dessert, would I dare to throw out a couple of overripe bananas? Heck no! I pop those yellow and brown things into the freezer and an hour later, ta-da...
Banana soft serve.

And that's all for today's eats! ('s actually kind of early!)


It's been a long time since I've done a bento post. Here's a really long one...

My first pizza on whole wheat pita bread. Half is spinach, mushrooms and feta. The other half is Anjou pear and feta. Both halves were totally yummy!
Close up of the pear and feta:Lunch the following day was leftover pizza with a homemade blueberry jello and a side salad (chopped Iceberg with corn and cucumbers).
As many of you may know I am not a big fan of eating the same thing everyday. I kind of blame this on my dad who will probably blame that on his dad who ate something different Quite an accomplishment for my grandfather who was a father of 13.

As a result I've been mixing up my breakfasts and this is the latest creation: It's an organic whole grain rice cake with chocolate PB and cacao nibs. To say I'm fond of cacao nibs is quite the understatement. I would probably top them with everything if they weren't so darn expensive.

Another day's lunch consists of more whole wheat pita pizza with spinach, mushrooms and feta, yet again. Ju
Dessert that night was a small glass of grape sorbet. So freakin' good! And in the background is my bag of cacao nibs and chocolate PB, yum! Afternoon snack:Double-chocolate biscotti and a mug of juice which contains apples, cucumber, carrots, lemon and ginger.

Trying to incorporate more whole grains into my diet, here's a variation of Donna Hay's mint and avocado couscous:
My version includes feta cheese, black olives, spinach and green onions. Super fresh and tasty!

Breakfast on a Sunday before work includes organic instant maple syrup oatmeal with chocolate PB and cacao nibs.Oh look, more pizza! On the left is spinach, mushrooms and goat cheese. On the right is green peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms and parmesan cheese. Last-minute BBQ at Sean's on one of the last days of so-called summer (Sept. 23) included my first Corona with lime.
As well as some incredibly tasty pork back ribs...
And veggie kebabs (with pineapple!) and grilled pineapple with a super yummy brown sugar and rum sauce.
This is the last pizza photo, I swear! Actually, I can't promise that because these pita pizzas are darn tasty. Here's the last one for this post though:One side is tomatoes, mushrooms and brie; the other side is Anjou pear and tasty!

And one last photo...Mixed greens, spinach, black olives, cucumber and goat cheese with a side of black grapes.

September 16, 2009


Do you ever just crave a salad? And is that craving so strong that you'll eat any salad, even one from Subway when it probably costs a ridiculous amount of money for some chopped lettuce and "toppings?" Well that was me yesterday and it pretty much sucked because even though that salad hit the spot, I knew I could have made the exact same thing for less than what I paid for it.

So today I had a chopped lettuce with cucumbers and corn. It looked similar to this:
except that mine was in a giant plastic container and contained more of everything.

Along with that I brought a separate container that housed my dad's beet salad, another mini pasta casserole, homemade blueberry jello and some mini carrots. Yes, that's right...homemade blueberry jello. I combined gelatin powder with blueberry juice and it all came together extremely quickly! Here it is setting in the fridge:Yeah, that's right...they're setting in ice cube molds in the shape of pineapples! I also used some silicone baking cups. They weren't really easy to remove from the molds (I didn't spray any of them with Pam, which I probably should have), so I just brought the whole thing along. They're actually quite tasty though next time I'll probably add some agave nectar or honey or maybe some chopped up fruit.

September 15, 2009


Today's bento featured mini pasta casseroles that I made last night. They contained elbow macaroni, mushrooms, spinach, organic pork maple sausage (that I squeezed out of the casing) and milk, eggs and cheese to hold everything together. I cooked everything and mixed it all together and then poured the mixture into individually greased muffin tins. I then baked the tray at 350F for 20 minutes and everything was golden brown. Under the pasta casseroles are stir-fried pea shoots that look like this:They remind me of little trees.

Today I made the Coconut Chai Shake from Soap & Chocolate. Voila...Unfortunately I had no cardamom on hand and I don't think I really like cinnamon so the glass it's sitting in is only 3/4 empty. My dad ended up helping me to open the coconut because I felt too weak. I had to get a bunch of blood drawn earlier in the day and because of the fasting from the night before, I went too long without food and ended up feeling really sick. The drink was a good pick-me-up after coming home early from work but I think next time I'll use my coconut water and meat for something else.

And here was my breakfast and lunch from about a week ago. Breakfast started off with peaches and Liberte Six Grains strawberry yogurt.
Along with that we have scrambled eggs and a two CheeseHeads (like CheeseStrings).Lunch that day consisted of the following:
Bulgur wheat salad (bulgur, celery, green onions, chopped pecans), more scrambled eggs (protein!), plums from the garden and a peach. Very tasty!

September 9, 2009


With food, that is. What started out as an apple slaw (which was a major food failure, but more on that later), became a lunch of green.

Peas + ricotta + dumpling wrappers = Mushy pea ravioli
Two eggs + celery + green food colouring = Green scrambled eggs!
One green apple + 3/4 of a cabbage + honey/mayo/vinegar dressing = Apple Slaw
Awesome, isn't it?

And if that wasn't enough, here's my green juice for tomorrow:Green apples, cucumber, celery, parsley, spinach, lime and ginger. I added some mint leaves and am going to leave them in overnight. They were not put through the Breville.

And since maybe variety is the spice of life, I'm bringing along some grape sorbet, garnished with some green mint leaves:It's my last day of work tomorrow before I get two days off and possibly even a third for a long weekend and I cannot wait!

September 8, 2009


I have an off-and-on love with my Magic Bullet. Ever since getting the Breville, the MB has taken a backseat to juicing and blending and sits on the kitchen counter, overshadowed by the Breville.

After hearing so much about this banana soft serve I decided to try it out for myself today. Verdict: pretty damn good. I added some chocolate syrup (agave nectar and cocoa powder) and raw cacao nibs for crunch. The nibs were a hit...obviously since I love anything crunchy but next time, I'll pass on the syrup. It made everything a little too crazy-sweet. Here's one bowl of delicious:I'm not even a fan of bananas but this was great. I'd say right on par with frozen grapes which taste just like sorbet to me. right back...


Holy-freaking-wow! That's all I have to say. That and grapes will be stocked in my freezer from now on.Look at the colour on that thing! It's amazing!!And delicious. Whoever decided to freeze grapes was a genius.


Well, after a couple of weeks of self-indulging (Purdy's chocolates, organic popcorn, a trip to McDonalds and take-out), I find myself heavier than I'd like to be for an upcoming wedding. It's not my wedding or even a wedding of my best friend, so I shouldn't really care except that I bought a dress about a month ago and back then, it was a good fit. It wasn't a perfect fit. I knew I'd have to lose a few pounds in order to fit into it perfectly but instead of losing the weight, I seemed to have packed it on. Now the wedding is this Saturday and I'm going to try my darndest to fit into that damn dress.

This week is going to involve exercise and foods from home. Whole grains and veggies and fruits and hopefully, no salads. No boring salads anyway. I'm actually really excited about today's lunch which is loosely based on a recipe from Donna Hay's No Time To Cook. I'm making a mint and avocado couscous salad but because I have none of those ingredients on hand, I substituted with bulgur wheat, celery, green onion and pecans. So pretty much the only thing I stuck to was the dressing. Actually, I even subbed the honey for agave nectar so pretty much my recipe is nothing like Donna Hay's. Oh well, I tried. I'll call it inspiration instead.
And next to my bulgur wheat salad I've got peaches and blackberries. Blackberries from the garden! This is actually my second picking and I ate a few of those. I completely forgot about our blackberry bush. I even forgot we had two! My mom had to remind me to check the second bush just a couple of feet away from the first, hahaha. I wish we had taken better care of our blackberry bushes this season. I'm sure that if we had, both bushes would be brimming with ripe, juicy blackberries. Thank goodness I've stopped myself from buying a pint for $4 at the store though.

Anyhoo, moving along...And lo and behold, what is this?? Six Grains strawberry yogurt from Liberte? What the F?! Well, what the F indeed as I myself, had no clue what I was in store for. I mean, who makes yogurt with buckwheat, rice, barley, wheat, rye and oats? Well, Liberte of course. I decided to give this Six Grains yogurt a try, beginning with the strawberry flavour. The other only option was peach and we all know how adamantly against peach I am when it's not in its fresh, with-the-pit-inside state.

I had a quick lick of the yogurt and's...different. There really are grains in there. I'm not a huge fan of mush (hence my initial aversion to oatmeal) but it's all right. It'll definitely take some getting used to. That's the reason I brought along the blackberries and peaches; in hopes that it'll divert my attention from the grain-y mush.

Anyhoo, I'll report back with how the weight loss goes. I honestly don't think it'll end well. Right now I'm just lifting weights in hopes of turning some of the flab into muscle but we'll see. I don't really know how much muscle you can gain in like...five days.

September 6, 2009


I made macarons for Sean today. They were vanilla bean macarons with mixed berry filling. Mmm, mmm, good. I just finished making them and stuck them in the fridge as I find cold is the best way to taste them. He doesn't know about them yet so I'm going to surprise him later. And by that I mean I am going to tell him I baked him something over the phone. Hahaha. This is the reality when you don't live together.

For this round of macarons I used the ingredients from the Martha Stewart "Parisian Macaroons" recipe. I had to find ingredients using the US system since I couldn't find my scale and can't figure out how much 100g would be. I suppose I could have looked it up but I was having a rather frustrating day already and just wanted to bake something.

Baking makes me calm. Whenever I'm stressed out it's nice to come home to an empty kitchen and whip something up in the oven. Sometimes I have to wait for an empty kitchen though. With four other people living in this house, all of whom are older than me, I don't often find the kitchen empty so when I do, I relish in all the space and time I have to bake.

Anyway, here are my macarons that I am VERY proud of.Aren't they pretty? I made macarons with swirly tops!They didn't all turn out pretty. In fact, I ended up burning the second batch (which ended up having prettier swirls and hearts) because the kitchen ended up being too crowded with my mom puttering about. I tried to make an even number of pink and blue ones but ended up cracking a few while transferring them to a rack to cool. Ah well. At least I have a bunch in a box for Sean to enjoy.The burned ones aren't a complete waste. They are crunchier than they should be and a little brown around the edges but almonds that are a little burned actually taste pretty good! And nothing could possibly taste bad with wildberry buttercream, right?

Oh and then I decided to take them outside for a photoshoot:
I wish I hadn't burned the second batch because the hearts turned out better than I had expected. J'aime les macarons.


I try to make juice on a daily basis; usually about 1L or enough for three smallish glasses. Yesterday's juice contained 4 granny smith apples, 2 oranges, one lime, a 1.5-inch piece of ginger, one carrot, one cucumber, half a stalk of celery and I think that's it. It's okay. It's not as good as ones I've made in the past, I think because I ran out of kale.

Today's juice is strawberry, watermelon and lemon. I was going for a lemonade-type juice but there was too many strawberries so it just tasted like strawberry juice.Here's some photos of past juices:Well I could've sworn there were more juice photos than this but evidently I'd rather drink my juice than photograph it.

September 3, 2009


You must bake a pie and make French macarons.

Huh? You ask...

Well I have this crazy idea in my head that in order to be a good baker I must learn to master two things: apple pie and macarons. The first seems to be a no-brainer since making a good pie crust seems to be a hard thing to do. The latter is just craziness on my part.

Ah, the French macaron. I had heard about these things for ages but never had the opportunity to eat one until yesterday. There is a little patisserie that opened up on a Queen St. west not too long ago and with two hours to kill, Sean and I decided to venture from Bloor Cinema to Nadege Patisserie. We hopped into a subway and onto a streetcar and not too long after, we were walking into a stark, white pastry shop. It was nothing like how I had imagined. Oh well. Maybe it's the pastries that people come here for.

I kind of expected to see rows upon rows of delicate French macarons but instead was greeting by four rows of macarons in four different flavours: chocolate, cappuccino, chocolate raspberry and poppy. The macarons were $20 for a dozen so I decided to get 3 of each. Even the decor was drab, the packaging was pretty enough--everyone knows I'm a sucker for pretty packaging.

Here's the unveiling: the logo... the box...the inside...the lovelies...Uh, so yeah...there's a few missing. Sean and I had a little nibble while on the streetcar. My favourite was the poppy as was Sean's. The chocolate raspberry (the lilac-coloured one) was also very delicious but extremely sweet and the chocolate filling was quite rich. I haven't tasted the cappuccino one yet. I think the coffee-flavour would counteract the intense sweetness quite nicely. I hope so anyway.

Moving along, here's my first attempt at the French macaron:So yeah, a bit of a failure despite the fact that I tried my best to follow the recipe directions as closely as possible. I had looked up a bunch of different recipes and most of them had the same ingredients. A couple of them called for sifting the ground almonds and powdered sugar while others didn't. I wasn't really sure which one to follow. I then found a recipe and decided not to sift the ground almonds and powdered sugar. I also had run out of pastry bags and ended up piping them through a ziploc bag. Note to self: not a good idea.

I wasn't terribly upset when my first-run macarons didn't turn out as they should have. I had prepared myself for a long battle with the macaron. I was prepared for batches and batches of ground almonds, sugar and egg whites but was a little disappointed that I had not mastered them on the first try. What a feat that would have been!

In the end I called Sean and we decided to give the macarons another shot, but this time at his house. We sifted the ground almonds and powdered sugar separately and then whisked them together and then slowly added them to the soft peaked-egg whites and white sugar. We baked them at 350F for 15 minutes and this was our result:French macarons with vanilla bean filling.

Sean and I completely forgot about the flavouring of the filling and about flavouring the shells with vanilla bean like I had done in the first batch so instead we improved and used the vanilla bean for the filling.

It was good. Ridiculously sweet, but good. I think next time I'd cut down on the amount of sugar or use a bittersweet chocolate ganache to offset the sweetness.

YES! *air punch* French macarons on my second try! (And on Sean's first try!) I guess it really does pay to sift your ingredients.

Oh and just for kicks...