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.

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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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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