Sunday, 29 March 2015

Miami Eats.

A glimpse at what this Canuck munched on while in vacation in Miami ....

Definitely don't have these in Canada ...

Masterfully roasted beans at Panther Coffee

Liquid lunch at punk haven Churchill's

Lounge-like dining area at SuViche

Japanese meets Peruvian ceviche, at SuViche

Café cubano

Bourbon bottle chandeliers at Pride & Joy
Brisket sloppy joe and sides at Pride & Joy

Junk food meets pop art at the Wynwood Walls

Craft beer break at Box Elder

Butcher shop ... literally a bar in front of a butcher shop. Sip and stare at sausage

The best tacos I've ever had. Devoured them before I had a chance to take a picture

Coyo Taco has it's sauce game on lock

View into the Wynwood Brewing Company - Miami's award-winning craft brewery

Beer sampling. Gotta sip 'em all!

The selection of beers tasted, minus the guest tap

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Hemp & Cocoa Protein Pancakes (Sugar Free, Egg free)

Growing-up, I always looked forward to Pancake Tuesday. This day was also know as "Shrove Tuesday" or "Fat Tuesday," but to us it was simply "leave the boring sandwich at home and eat fluffy, syrupy pancakes for lunch" day. 

At work today, I couldn't stop thinking about those delicious, fluffy pancakes. However, since I no longer have the sweet tooth I had as a child, or eggs in my fridge, I improvised and made protein filled post-gym pancakes. They're not the prettiest looking stack, but they're quite tasty and go well with fruit or jam. 

If you haven't tried hemp protein before, I suggest you give it shot. It's not like your standard body-builder powders that you mix with water and chug, so I typically blend it with berries. The key reasons to use this protein is that it's a great source of fiber and Omega fats, as well as protein. 

Hemp & Cocoa Protein Pancakes (makes 6 small pancakes)
Adapted from here

  • 1/4 Cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 Cup hemp protein powder
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 small banana, mashed
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted (+ more for the pan)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  1. Place some oil in a frying pan, and heat on medium.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, hemp protein, cocoa, cinnamon, baking soda)
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredient (banana, coconut oil, almond milk)
  4. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and mix well.
  5. Drop batter into the pan, in 4-inch circles. Cook each side for 3 minutes.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Healthy Pumpkin Spice and Peanut Butter Cookies - Gluten Free & Sugarless!

It just isn't the fall without pumpkin treats, and I was determined to cut my sugar intake and have my pumpkin too! Inspired by this recipe I whipped-up these easy and healthy pumpkin cookies. Without sugar or sweetener, I upped all the spices and added cocoa powder and pure vanilla extract for a little extra sweetness. They are indeed not very sweet, but if you let them sit in the fridge for a day, the spices start to become more pronounced.

Ingredients (makes 15):
  • 1 Cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 Cup All-Natural Peanut Butter
  • 3 tsp Cinnamon
  • 3 tsp Cocoa Powder
  • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin puree and peanut butter, then stir in the rest of the ingredients until well combined.
  3. Cover the mixture, and place in the fridge for 20 minutes so that the batter can firm-up (this will help you to better form the cookies).
  4. After the batter has firmed up, evenly scoop 15 balls onto a wax-paper lined baking sheet, and flatten slightly
  5. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, then once baked, let fully cool on the sheet.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

7 Ingredient Spicy Kale Soup (Healthy & Easy)

Time to dig-out those scarves and sweaters, because it's officially fall! Problem is, while many of my friends and coworkers are high-fiving to no longer having to keep the AC cranked up, I'm grumpily huddled at my desk, wishing it'd be social acceptable to wear a giant blanket at work.

While I'm mostly a proud, typical Canadian, there's one area of Canadiana that I fail miserably at: acceptance of the cold. I'm one of those lucky people who barely sweats, and loves being extra-warm. I'd choose a sun burn over a wind burn any day. So while some people can't wait to take a stroll in the cool, autumn air, I much rather be cozily indoors, huddled over a hot bowl of soup.

So if you're a cold-weather grump like me, you'll real love this super easy to make soup. It's loaded with healthy kale, and has a sriracha kick to remind of the heat you miss so dearly.

Ingredients (makes 5 big servings):
  • 1 Large head of kale
  • 6 Cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • 1 Medium Tomato
  • 1 Medium Potato
  • 2 Tbsp Sriracha 
  • 1 lb (454g) Lean Meat: lean breakfast ham, or lean ground pork or turkey is best
  1. Fully cook the meat, and set aside
  2. Bring broth to a boil, and add the meat and sriracha
  3. Stir in chopped vegetables in the following order:
    • Potato
    • Onion
    • Tomato
    • Kale
      4. Once all ingredient are in the pot, let simmer for 30 to 40 minutes (the kale should turn a darker green, but not turn brownish.


Monday, 11 August 2014

7 Sugar Hacks - Up Your Treat Game!

Even though I'm currently trying to cut-back on sugar, I still appreciate a good dessert hack. For the next event which requires some treats, I'll be sure to use one of these simple tricks:

1) Making marshmallow flowers, by simply cutting marshmallows on a diagonal, and dipping in coloured sugar.

Source: iVillage

2) Dip-dyed marshmallows made by dipping marshmallows in food colouring.

Source: Idlewife

3) Make cupcakes "fluffy" with cotton candy.

Source: Martha Stewart
4) Oreos + smarties = owl faces!

Source: Chocolate for Breakfast

5) Classic rice crispies? Expected. Trix crispies? A colourful surprise!

Source: Cravings of a Lunatic

6) Ditch sprinkles for a colourful cereal topping (then proceed to be naughty, and have cupcakes for breakfast ... )

Source: The Cupcake Daily Blog

7) Get your glitz on - top cupcakes with rock candy!

Source: Dip it in Chocolate


Monday, 28 July 2014

Gluten-Free Almond Muffins

Aside from trying to cut sugar, I've also started to cut my processed carb intake. Although I still keep my whole-grains at breakfast and lunch, I'm working to manage my stress-eating habit of shoveling my face full of empty carbs.

Since ignoring cravings can end in an eventual binge, I thought swapping flour-based muffins with almond-based muffins would be a healthier way to satisfy my cravings. After reading through some recipes online, I came up with a very successful mix of ingredients that led to these tasty and protein-packed morsels.

An added bonus - it's also gluten free! My only caveat is that you need to choose a protein powder you love the taste of because the flavour of the powder will really be pronounced in the muffins.

Ingredients (makes 12 muffins):
  • 1 & 1/3 Cups almond meal (also sold as ground almonds, or almond flour)
  • 5 Scoops white chocolate or vanilla protein powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/3 coconut oil, melted
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Melt coconut oil in the microwave, in 10 second increments until mostly liquid
  3. In a large bowl, stir together all ingredients until mixed well
  4. Line a standard muffin tin with liners, and evenly distribute the batter among 12 liners
  5. Place in the oven, and bake for 12 minutes

Monday, 9 June 2014

Caramel & Cookie Brownies

As you've seen in one of my previous posts, I'm going through a phase in which I love combining desserts. With there being a bake sale at my office last week, I was given the perfect opportunity for some sweet experimentation.

Now, this being a bakesale, I wanted to go with a base that's a known crowd pleaser. Going with the "you can never fail with chocolate" rule, brownie seemed like the way to go. Also, I had some leftover chocolate chip cookie chunks hanging-around in my freezer, that I figured would add a nice bit of texture. My only concern though, was that cookie and brownie alone would get too dry. After a bit of pondering, I figured that a nice homemade caramel would be the perfect glue to bring this all together. 

After combining the brownie batter and cookie chunks, I laid broken chunks of caramel on top, which seeped-in to the brownies while baking.

The final result, as seen up top, were rich and super moist brownies that were indeed a crowd pleaser at the office.

Ingredients (makes 21 bars):

  • 1 Cup white sugar
  • 1/2 Cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 Cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 Cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp instant coffee
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 Cup cookie chunks (store-bought cookies should be fine)
  • 1 serving homemade caramel, from this recipe
  • Make the caramel as per the recipe in the link, and leave to harden in the freezer
  • Once the caramel has hardened, preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and mix all the brownie ingredients together, adding the cookie chunks last
  • Spread batter in a greased 13"x9" pan, and lay broken caramel chunks on to the batter, just like in the picture above
  • Bake for 25 minutes, the let fully cool at room temperature