Food


Mom Who Runs...runs so she can consume some extra calories. I am passionate about entertaining, trying new recipes, tasting new products, exploring new restaurants and of course...I will be telling you about it RIGHT HERE. So if you are a foodie like I am, keep clicking on this column.

Apr
13

I’ve been busy in the kitchen lately which is code for “I have some recipes to share with you”.

I must admit, I was nervous when I was making this dish as I wasn’t quite sure it would work out but it did! (hip hip hooray).

This recipe only requires a few ingredients and wasn’t hard to make at all. My biggest tip to share with you is to invest in a cheesecloth (available at any dollar store) to ensure that your grated potato is DRY!

Wringing out the grated potato in a dish cloth just isn’t the same. Trust me. So here’s what you need to know to make this fabulous side dish.

Recipe: Spinach Potato Nest (original recipe found here www.MayIHaveThatRecipe.com)

4 large Yukon Gold Potatoes
1 tsp salt
¼ – ½ tsp pepper
2½ tsp garlic powder
2½ tsp onion powder (I went to Bulk Barn to grab this ingredient)
4 tsp vegetable oil
Cooking Spray
4 cups of frozen spinach thawed  (I bought 2 packages and it was more than enough)
4 tbs extra virgin olive oil
4 large eggs

Instructions

Preheat oven at 400F
1. Grate the potatoes, add ½ tsp of salt, mix well and let them sit in a colander with a bowl under it for 20 minutes. Squeeze as much water out of the grated potatoes as you can. (I used a cheesecloth and you should too!!)  Season with ½ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp. onion powder, ½ tsp pepper. Add 4 tsp vegetable oil and mix well.

2. In a large skillet, sauté spinach in olive oil. Season with 2 tsp garlic powder, 2 tsp onion powder and ½ tsp salt. Cook until most of the water had evaporated, 6-8 minutes. Set aside. (Note: I squeezed out the water with my hands just to make sure it was dry)

passover -spinach

3. Generously spray a 12 muffin tin pan with cooking spray.

4. Arrange grated potatoes into each muffin cup, pressing against the bottom and up the sides. (Another Tip: I spent a bit of time, pressing the potatoes down)

passover - nest

5. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until they start to brown slightly . Remove from the oven.

Final Product:

passover - spinach final

Happy Cooking!

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Mar
30

I’ve just returned from the VIP opening of the first Costco Business Centre  in Canada.

costco - outside

This is what you need to know:

  1. Any Costco member can walk in to the Costco Business Centre. (insert applause)
  2. There’s more business products. Especially if you own a restaurant/catering company/cooking school etc.
    costco - not available

For example you aren’t going to see a hot dog stand for sale at a regular Costco.

costco - cart

3. They offer Business -friendly hours

costco - hours

4. Not to mention they deliver!!costco - delivery

I loved walking thru the warehouse and seeing massive quantities of EVERYTHING at super cheap prices. For example a 3.78 L jar of hot pepper rings for $6.89!!

costco - prices

It was also very cool to see the fabulous cheddar cheese I sell (St. -Albert Cheese Co-op)  in the Cheese/Meat Cooler.   So if you need a brick of cheddar at great prices – you now know where to go!!

costco - st albert

Can’t wait to see what the industry thinks of this concept!

ps. you can shop online too.

For more information:

Website: www.costcobusinesscentre.ca

Address: 50 Thermos Rd, Toronto, ON M1L

Phone: +1 866-455-1846

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Mar
29

Passover is soon approaching (April 10th to 18th to be exact) and I have no doubt that many of my facebook friends will be busy this Sunday cleaning and cooking (in that order).

It’s certainly not an easy holiday as it involves a lot of food and entertaining and a list of restrictions.  However I’m going to share a tip with you to make it easier. It’s called PINTEREST.

I actually created a Passover Board on Pinterest (see bottom left) to help me organize the recipes that I’m going to attempt to make for the Seder.  Why didn’t I think of this idea before?

passover - pinterst

Here’s the menu for my Vegetarian Seder that I will be serving on the first night!  (thanks to my Pinterest Passover Board).

Arugula Orange Salad with Lemon Ginger Dressing

Salmon with Creamy Avocado Sauce

Matzo Stuffed Herbed Tomatoes

Garlic Herb Cauli-Rice

Spinach Potato Nests

Dessert: Fruit (not making anything that involves a gazillion eggs or matzo meal)

As for my table – I’m naturally going to use my grandmothers china that I pull out every Passover. But I’m also going to attempt to make a few of these great “table decor ideas” that I found on Pinterest – not with purple but with burgundy to match the china (of course. LOL). I actually made the idea on the bottom right last year and it was a huge hit.

passover - table

 Not sure if the matza vase is going to turn out but we will soon find out. Hoping its’ not going to be a #PinterestFail.

Here’s one more tip to make your Passover Seder easier! I saw this idea on Pinterest a few months ago, and IT WORKS.  Trust me.

passover eggs

Wishing all my friends who celebrate Passover, a very meaningful holiday.

Happy Cooking (and Cleaning).

 

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Mar
16

Please forgive me as I haven’t been blogging as much as I normally do. You can blame the following recipe which is so simple that I’m making a batch every two days. What’s not to love? All you need is a blender and a few ingredients. I’m also loving the fact that there’s NO FLOUR, NO SUGAR and NO BUTTER in this recipe.

blender - ingredients

This recipe is saving me in the morning as I tend to sleep in till the last possible moment. As a result – there’s always a mad dash out the door WITHOUT eating anything. Now I simply grab a zip lock bag and enjoy these muffins in my car. Can anyone else relate?

I’m not going to keep you waiting much longer for the recipe. Here it is!

Recipe: Blender Oatmeal Muffins (original recipe can be found here – www.wellplated.com)

Ingredients

2 cups oats (quick cooking or old fashioned – I used old fashioned)
2 large ripe bananas
2 large eggs
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 to 3 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cups of mix ins – chocolate chips, raisins, nuts, chopped dates – whatever you want!!

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2. Mix all ingredients in the blender. (how easy could this get?).

blender - blender

3. Drop batter into a well greased muffin pan. Fill no more than three-quarters of the way to the top. Sprinkle with additional chocolate chips or nuts as desired. Bake for 15 minutes, until the tops of the muffins are set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place the pan on a wire rack and let the muffins cool in the pan for 10 minutes.

FINAL RESULT!!

blender - finalHappy Baking!!

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Mar
09

I recently worked at the Restaurants Canada  giving out samples of squeaky cheese curds to a variety of people who work in the Restaurant Industry (chefs, caterers, restaurant owners, etc).

rc - vicky

When I took my breaks, I quickly walked thru the show to discover new products and say hello to fellow exhibitors like Lemon Lily, Lorelyns Gourmet Desserts and Walter Craft Caesar.

Here’s a few products that caught my eye. For some reason they are all beverages…which either indicates that I was really thirsty or it’s a growing category!!

  1. Pink Lemonade Beer by Farmery Estate Beer! #interesting
    rc - farmery beer

2. Hatch – Cold Brew Iced Tea. Love the packaging and the combo!

rc - hatch

3. This organic Maple Syrup Soda

rc - organic maple syrup soda

Plus this beverage caught my eye as well. Especially the blood orange flavour!

rc - bull's head

I ate and ate and ate for 3 days solid…a little this and a little of that. When I got home there was no need for dinner just a huge need to lie on the couch!! (can you say Netflix and Chill?).

The best part of the show was knowing that Uber Eats would deliver to my booth. All I did was download the app, order what i wanted from the menu (which would come from other exhibitors) and within 20 minutes it was delivered. Oh how I love technology (and food t00).

RC - uber

Already looking forward to the next trade show which will be SIAL – May 2 to 4th.

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Mar
06

As a sales rep for St. Albert Cheese Co-op,  I often myself walking along the streets of Toronto looking for prospective customers. One day I walked into a very cool hip restaurant only to find out that it was a vegan restaurant. Oops!!

However the menu really intrigued me, as did their cocktail list so I went back as a customer!!

dooomies - cocktail

I went back on a Sunday night at 630 pm and the place was packed. (always a good sign). However we did manage to get a table at the back for our party of four people. I should mention that no one was a vegan but everyone was open minded to check out a new restaurant!

doomies - packed

We immediately ordered the (vegan) nachos and then immediately devoured the nachos!!

doomies - nachos

I ordered the fried chicken and waffles but only managed to eat half of it as it was a massive portion. I happily ate the leftovers for breakfast the next day.

doomies- waffle

It was positively delicious and I want to order it the next time I visit. It was that good.

The rest of the gang ate veggie burgers and everyone seemed pleased.

I love this restaurant as they don’t have one single salad on the menu. As much as I like salads, I love eating creative food that I can’t make at  home i.e. fried vegan chicken.

Next restaurant review: another vegan restaurant called Planta. Stay tuned!!

For more info:

Doomie’s 1263 Queen St W Toronto

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DoomiesToronto/

Twitter/Instagram: @DoomiesToronto

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Mar
01

I hosted a dinner party on Saturday night and the menu looked liked this:

-Ginger Tomato Soup with Roasted Chickpea Croutons

-Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Feta Cheese and Nuts

-Roasted Za’atar Cauliflower with Dates, Pine Nuts and Thyme

-Sweet Potato Noodle Salad with Roasted Corn

-Winter Citrus Butter Salmon

All the recipes were found on Pinterest  (does that surprise you?) plus it was the first time I had attempted to make these recipe. Pretty brave move, non? I also brought out my china that was purchased in 1990 but in storage for the last 5 years. I’m determined to start using it again every Friday night.

china 2

Needless to say, I would make each and every recipe again!

This blog post is going to be dedicated to one of the recipes that I made for the dinner party. PS a trip to Bulk Barn with help with you with most of the ingredients. Hope you appreciate that tip!!

RECIPE; Roasted Za’atar Cauliflower with Dates, Pine Nuts and Thyme (original recipe courtesy of www.downshiftology.com)

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp, za’atar spice *I used a few tablespoons.
salt and pepper, to taste
¼ cup pine nuts
1 tsp olive oil
6 Medjool dates, pitted and diced
1 tsp fresh thyme, plus extra sprigs for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
2. Place the cauliflower florets on a baking sheet and drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with za’atar spice, salt and pepper and toss.

saturday - roasted cauli
Cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown, and stirring halfway through.

3. While the cauliflower is cooking, heat a small pan on medium heat. Toast the pine nuts in a dry pan for 1-2 minutes, then add 1 tsp olive oil, the chopped dates and thyme. Cook for another minute or two.

saturday - pan -dates

 

3. Mix the date/pine nut mixture with the cauliflower florets in a serving bowl.

saturday - cauliflower

Trust me, this dish tastes delicious and wasn’t hard to prepare at all.

PS more recipes from this dinner party will be on its way!!

Happy Cooking.

 

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Feb
26

Weekend Recap: Ottawa


I hadn’t been to Ottawa since August so I was really due for a trip and timed it beautifully to coincide with Winterlude.

I took Via Rail to get there, which is always a great way to travel for two reasons: 1. to avoid weather problems 1. to avoid traffic problems. #smart move

As always, I kept busy. Seeing as I didn’t have a car I was limited to how much I could run around but I still managed to discover a few new spots! (Thanks to my friend who drove me around on Saturday)

  1. Maverick’s Donuts: This cute little spot located at 1500 Bank St. offers an array of fun donut options. I scooped up half a dozen to take back to my moms as I was having a few people over on Saturday night and they were a hit.

ottawa - donuts

Maverick’s Donuts is in the same plaza as Farm Boy so it made sense to pop in and do some grocery shopping. Each and every time I visit this store, I’m impressed. Naturally I picked up some fresh curds from St.- Albert Cheese Co-op.

2. Citizen: This new restaurant (207 Gilmour) is brought to you by the same people at Town. I got there early to grab a seat which was a brilliant move as it quickly filled up. The menu offers a lot of vegetarian options and my friend and I had no problem ordering three  veggie dishes. (Charred Broccoli, Roasted Squash and Radicchio Salad, and the Five Leave Salad). Each and every dish was a winner.

ottawa - citizen

 

4  Somehow I managed to squeeze in a quick visit to La Noodle (179 George St) which is Ottawa’s first hand- pulled noodle restaurant. I will be back for more!

ottawa - la noodle

I also managed to visit the Ottawa Farmers’ Market which is always one of my favourite activities to do in Ottawa.

ottawa - farmers market

Naturally the highlight of my trip was a visit to the Rideau Canal to put on my skates and spend $3 on my childhood treat (maple syrup on a stick). I briefly roamed around to see the beautiful ice sculptures and despite the snow that was falling heavily, I was a happy camper.

ottawa - skatingAs always, I’m looking forward to my next trip to Ottawa which will be to visit the Tulip Festival (May 12 to 22). Please click here to learn more about Ottawa Tourism. 

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Feb
09

I make a batch of banana muffins about twice a month. They are the perfect snack, freeze beautifully and the muffins are a nice addition to a lunch box as well.

Recently I was introduced to the Guiding Stars program which is now available at No Frills, Loblaws and Real Canadian Superstores. Next time you are shopping, look for these signs which indicates a “better choice”.

PC - Guiding Stars

Here are two examples of Star Ingredients:

Egg
★★ White Eggs – Large
★★★ Omega-3 Eggs

Flour
★ White Flour
★★ Whole Wheat Flour
★★★ Whole Spelt Flour

Therefore you could take my amazing banana recipe and make it even healthier just by using an Omega-3 Egg or by adding a high-fibre cereal, flaxseeds, hemp hearts and/or your favourite nut to turn this snack into a healthy breakfast option!

See what I mean? It doesn’t take a lot to make an ordinary recipe a much healthier recipe!! Plus the Guiding Stars program is an easy way for you to accomplish this.

Once again, look out for these blue stars!

pc - two stars

Not to mention, that certain Loblaws stores have In-Store Dieticians to assist you as well!!

Here’s my banana muffin recipe but feel free adapt it with Star Ingredients!

pc - ingredients

Ingredients

2 cups of mashed bananas (about 5) Note: the darker the better
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg (see options below with Star Ingredients)
1/3 cup melted butter
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (see options below with Star Ingredients)

Star Ingredients

Egg
★★ White Eggs – Large
★★★ Omega-3 Eggs

Flour
★ White Flour
★★ Whole Wheat Flour
★★★ Whole Spelt Flour

Note from In-Store Dietitian, Lauren Baker:
Add Ground Flaxseed
Add Hemp Hearts
Add Cinnamon + Vanilla
Add “crunch” with Bran Flakes or Quick Oats

I really do believe that homemade muffins are a convenient snack for on-the-go routines, and can be lower in saturated fat, sugar, and calories than store bought or fast-food alternatives! For improved portion control, try making mini-muffin and enjoying only one or two with your morning coffee. Its a win-win!!

Happy Baking!

Disclosure: I was compensated for this blog post, however all opinions are my own

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Feb
07

There’s a new cracker on my radar and it’s called Sanissimo Salmas. (I dare you to say that fast…four times).

cracker - photo

The reason why it’s now on my radar is that they are an oven-baked cracker made from a simple recipe of ONLY FOUR ingredients. Yes, that’s right FOUR ingredients.

As you know from previous blog posts, I’m a huge fan of anything that involves 3 or 4 ingredients.

These wholesome, gluten-free crackers are made with Non-GMO whole grain corn flour, contain no artificial flavours or colours and are ONLY 70 calories per pack. #verycool

Perfect for those on-the-go, they come in single serve packs (8 individual packs, with three crackers per pack) making them a perfect simple snack on their own or make it a mini meal with your favourite fresh topping or dip.

These crackers will go perfectly with cheese or hummus or egg salad. The options are endless although my personal fav would be cheese/crackers, which is exactly what I brought to a recent afternoon tea hosted by Starving Foodie.

cracker - cheese

So next time you are grocery shopping, please look out for Sanissimo Salmas. They are available nationally in the dips and spreads section at Walmart, Sobeys, Metro, FreshCo, Fortinos, Foodland, Highland Farms, Coppas and Rabba in Ontario.

The box looks like this!

cracker - box

For more information – head over to their facebook page: : https://www.facebook.com/SanissimoCA.

Hashtag: #TrySanissimoSalmas #FeelSanissimoGood

Disclosure: I was compensated or this blog post, however all opinions are my own.

 

 

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