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.

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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Jan
23

I tried this recipe yesterday morning and it was so delicious that I believe I’ve washed my Blendtec  three times in one day! Oh how I hate cleaning up but I do love discovering new recipes.

This is one of those easy recipes that requires ingredients that most likely you have hanging around your kitchen.

OK here’s the recipe for your healthy frosty!

All you need is the following:

2 frozen cut up bananas

frosty - banana

1 cup of milk (almond, regular, soya, rice – whatever you like)

2 tablespoons of real cocoa

2 tablespoons of all natural peanut butter

Instructions:

Put all ingredients into your mixer and mix till smooth.

 

frosty - blendtec

We are totally addicted to this drink. However I would really like a cleaning fairy to help me rinse out my Blendtec.  Not kidding – I really do hate cleaning up.

ENJOY.

frosty - final

PS Next Blog Post will be written from Puerta Vallarta. Totally excited about this upcoming vacation.

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Jan
02

I stumbled upon this new cafe while working last week. Sadly they didn’t require any of the cheese I sell, but that didn’t stop me from returning!! I really liked the space they created and the menu too! #healthy

nut-bar-space

Even the art work is cool.

nutbar-art

I decided to go super healthy and ordered a tumeric latte.

nut-bar-tumeric-latte

I also ordered their savoury toast( housemade cashew spread, watermelon radish, sesame seeds). It was just what I needed. Not only was it pretty but it was super-tasty as well.

nut-bar-toast

There’s a also a range of smoothies, energy balls (supersuperfood, key lime pie, chocolate, and cookie dough) and bars (nut bars, breakfast bar, superseed). Plus there’s salad options (acai, pink acai and a golden noodle – made with kelp).

Naturally they are committed to sourcing organic and local products! In fact, the almond milk that will be offered with your coffee will be houesemade.

So if you are looking for a cute place for a healthy snack – the Nut Bar should be on your radar.

Heres to a healthy 2017!

For more information:

Nut Bar: https://www.facebook.com/nutbar.co/

Address: 1240 Yonge Street. Toronto, Ontario
Phone: (416) 519-2700

Instagram: @nutbar.co

 

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Dec
27

In 1990, I was introduced to the Cheesecake Factory while visiting Washington. Since then, I’ve been to Cheesecake Factory in numerous other cities and I always (I mean ALWAYS) order the same thing: Crispy Avocado Egg Rolls. I just adore the combo of the crispy wrapper and the creamy avocado  inside plus the addictive sauce.

Naturally I was scrolling thru Pinterest and discovered a recipe for these delicious egg rolls. Within no time at all I was making these egg rolls!

Here’s the recipe. (original recipe can be found here – www.savorytooth.com)

Recipe: Avocado Egg Rolls with Sweet Chilli Sauce

Ingredients

10 egg roll wrappers
3 avocados, peeled and pitted
1 roma tomato, diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
canola oil, for frying

For the sweet chili sauce:
4 tablespoons sriracha
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil

INSTRUCTIONS

1 Add avocados, tomato, salt, and pepper to a mixing bowl. Mash the avocados to a chunky consistency. This will become the egg roll filling. Pretty easy so far, right?

avocado-bowl
2. Lay out the egg roll wrappers and a small bowl of water. Distribute the egg roll filling among the wrappers, scooping them onto the bottom third of each wrapper. Once again, pretty easy!

avocado-stuff

3. Taking one wrapper at a time, use a finger to brush water along its four edges. Fold up a corner over the filling, then the sides, and then roll it up. Dab the last fold with more water to seal. Repeat for all other wrappers. (not hard at all)

eggrolls-wrapped-up
4.  Add canola oil to a large pot until the oil is about 2 inches deep. Turn the burner to medium heat. When the oil temperature reaches 350 F, add the egg rolls in batches. Cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel to drain. Slice each egg roll diagonally.

FINAL RESULT:

eggrolls-final

Now don’t forget to make the sauce! I couldn’t believe how easy it was to make this sauce and how freakin’ delicious it was.

eggroll-sauce

I really need to organize a dinner party soon! These egg rolls would be a hit.

By the way – here’s what I did with the rest of the wonton wrappers. I put them in a muffin pan and baked them at 375 degrees till golden brown. They are now in a sealed container in the (stuffed) freezer and will come in handy as an appetizer. Most likely I will fill them with roasted garlic, tomatoes and basil. However you never know what other ideas I might find on Pinterest!!

eggrolls-wonton-wrapper

Happy Cooking!

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Dec
22

Its that time of year where there’s a lot of entertaining going on. So I thought it might be useful to share two recipes for you.

The first recipe is ideal for breakfast or a brunch. I discovered it while flipping through a RICARDO magazine and thought “hmm..this sounds interesting AND easy”.  I tried it and it worked!! In the event you have never heard of Ricardo before, he is a well known media personality in Quebec who launched an English version of his magazine in 2014.

Basically all you need is some cheddar cheese (I used St.-Albert cheddar of course), Wonder Bread and a waffle maker (I used my beloved Breville Waffle Maker)

ricardo-cheese

Place one piece of buttered Wonderbread onto the waffle maker (buttered side facing down), place some cheese on top, place another piece of buttered Wonderbread on top (buttered side facing up)…close the waffle maker for a few minutes and bingo you have these delicious Cheese Waffle Sandwiches (with NO MESS).

ricardo-waffle

The second recipe is ideal for an appetizer for a party.

This Cheesy Spinach Artichoke Bread Dip Ring is once again super easy to make and delicious.

The entire recipe can be found on this video. 

But here’s a recap in case you don’t want to watch the video!!

Basically you take pizza dough and make golf sized balls. Place these balls in a greased, oven-proof dish. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.

Mix in a bowl: sour cream, cream cheese, parmesan cheese, drained artichoke hearts, drained frozen spinach, garlic powder, salt and pepper

Place the spinach mixture into the centre of the oven-proof dish. Brush dough with an egg wash.

appetizer-ballsspinach

Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes. VOILA – delish appetizer

appetizer-final

Happy Holidays!

 

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Dec
20

Chanuka Ideas….


Chanukah is just around the corner and I’m ready. (I think). I found my Chanuka decor thanks to my beloved new Brother Label Maker, and my tummy is ready too.

chanuka-decorations

Of course I spent some time on Pinterest and found a few ideas to get me in the holiday spirit. In particular, I found this recipe for Chanuka Gelt Cookies!  The other day I made them and they were a HUGE hit. I’m sure I will be making another batch soon. It took only one bowl, a few ingredients and about 30 minutes to make (start to finish).

Chanukah Gelt Cookies (original recipe from www.bakingandmistaking.com)

Ingredients:

2/3 cup (150g) butter or margarine, softened (I used butter …of course)
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 3/4 cups (220g) flour
1 teaspoon (5g) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Unwrap the chocolate coins. (not as easy as it looks but easier than unwrapping candy canes!!)

gelt2

Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla and mix until well incorporated. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix until the dough comes together. I then placed the dough into the fridge for an hour. (a tip I learned from Sally’s Baking Addiction)

Roll the dough into a ball and flatten into a disc. Then place the disc, well spaced apart, on an ungreased baking sheet OR  put the dough into a muffin tin sprayed with Pam. This is a new kitchen hack that I learned that will prevent the dough from spreading too thin.muffin4I then pressed the gelt (chocolate coin) into the centre of the cookie and placed it into the oven at 350 F for exactly 9 minutes. The edges were slightly brown but the centre was pale and puffy (and perfect)

Let them cool before removing them from the tin.

chanuka-gelt-2

Other cool chanuka ideas (thanks Pinterest) that I’m going to attempt include these adorable Cheese Dreidels. How cute!! Loved this idea but something tells me I’m not going to be successful. Time will tell.

screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-9-25-03-pm

 

These cute napkin rings.

pinterst-chanuka

Wishing everyone who celebrates, a wonderful Chanuka. May light and peace fill these 8 days.

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Dec
18

I usually blog about recipes or restaurant suggestions, but this blog post will be dedicated to gift suggestions. Seeing as Chanuka and Christmas are both right around the corner, I think it’s a good time to share five great gift ideas for a foodie.

FIVE GREAT GIFT IDEAS FOR A FOODIE:

1. This practical (and pretty) muffin pan from Indigo. Just take your muffins directly out of the oven and place directly on the table. LOVE IT.

muffin-pan

2. A Gift Card to HelloFresh. This is the perfect gift for a) anyone who is busy b)anyone who hates grocery shopping or c) anyone who has entertained a lot over the holidays and is simply tired of thinking about what to make for dinner!!

hello-fresh-outside-fo-box

3. An electric spiralizer from Hamilton Beach. How cool? A growing trend these days is to make zucchini noodles (or sweet potato noodles) and this genius gadget will have you making healthy recipes with no effort at all. Not to mention it will grate and make ribbons too.

 

hamilton

 

4. A  subscription from Try the World. Once you subscribe, you will receive a curated selection of gourmet foods—including ingredients to cook with, drinks, and snacks—from a new country every month, plus a Culture Guide to help you create an authentic culinary experience at home. This is the perfect gift for a foodie!

try-the-world

5. In the event you know a food blogger, this portable studio from Staples would be the ideal gift. You have no idea how tough it is to take photos past sundown. Oh the problems I have when the sun starts to go down in the winter at 4 pm. #bloggerslife

studio

 

Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season. Hope you find the perfect gifts and enjoy the holidays with family and friends.

Disclosure: Some products or services in this blog post were provided to me, however all opinions are my own

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Dec
15

There are time when I have a craving for something really specific. Here’s a list of restaurants where I satisfy certain food cravings.

a) Craving Chicken Wings? Head to The Wingery. TRUST ME..they have the biggest chicken wings you’ve ever seen. Click here to find a location near you.

cravings-wingery

b) Craving Chicken? Head to Jackpot Chicken Rice (318 Spadina Ave). Delicious. Delicious. Delicious.

jackpot-chicken

c) Craving Dim Sum? I’m a fan of Dim Sum King (421 Dundas St. W)….carts, a massive space, and it’s cheap ‘n cheerful.

d) Craving Matcha? Head to Tsjuri. You won’t be disappointed.

e) Craving Poke? Check out Cali Love   (367 Queen St. W) News Flash: They are just about to open a second location.

cravings-calil

f) Craving something sweet? Cant help you. LOL.

g) Craving something totally different? Head to Junked Food Co. (1256 Dundas st. West)

junked-food

h) Craving Soup? Mother’s Dumplings (421 Spadina Ave) has you covered. Best use of $5.15.

i)  Craving Pizza? Za Pizzeria.( 402 Bloor St. W) This place is a gem. Please check it out.

j) Craving deep fried pickles? Just go directly to Leslieville Pumps. (929 Queen St East)  Seriously.

i) Craving a salad? Aroma Espresso Bar has numerous salad options to satisfy any craving.

photo credit; Loren Lieberman

photo credit; Loren Lieberman

 

 

j) Craving something healthy? Yam Chops (705 College St) has no shortage of options.

K) Craving Pierogis? Have you tried The Saucy Pierogi (1282 Dundas St. W) Handmade pierogis. I swear.

craving-pierogi

L) Craving to Cook at Home? Head right over to HelloFresh. I’m loving this service (which is now available throughout Canada) Stay tuned for a dedicated blog post about using this service for two weeks.

cravings-hellofresh

L) Craving Indian? You MUST go to Ji. (760 St. Clair Ave W). This place has won my heart for Indian Gastropub type of food.

cravings-ji

M) Craving Crispy Squid? Head to Jamie’s Italian (Yorkdale Shopping Centre). I loved this dish so much that I ordered another serving.

cravings-jamie

N) Craving Cheesesteak? Check out Philthy Philly’s. (multiple locations). No other word to describe this other than the word: YUM

craving-philthy

I’m sure I missed a lot more categories but I don’t want to bore you. Perhaps one day I will finish off the list (O to Z). LOL

Happy Cravings!!

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