Baklava Bites

FullSizeRender(4)I love making healthy homemade post-workout snacks. They are the pefect thing to eat in the morning after an intense sweat session. There are so many varieties of bites you can easily make at home with ingredients from you pantry.

I was excited to make Baklava Bites with fermented Greek yogurt proteins+ for the very first time this week. I love Greece and love their food. I’m a big fan of baklava so I figured I would give this recipe a shot.

What I like about the recipe is that in includes a scoop of the fermented proteins from Genuine Health. Not only are the bites yummy, but they are also healthy and contain a lot of protein (25 grams of fully fermented protein to be exact), which is key for someone that leads an active lifestyle.

Since I don’t use many milk products, it is important to me that the milk used in the new fermented Greek yogurt proteins+ is sourced from clean, grass-fed California dairy farms that are committed to ethical and sustainable practices. Moreover, the product is Non-GMO, gluten-free, soy-free as well as hormone and antibiotic-free.

FullSizeRenderHere’s what you’ll need to make this recipe:

1 scoop of fermented Greek yogurt proteins+
3 cups of organic walnuts, ground
2 tsp of cinnamon
2 tbsp of ground flax seed
2 tbsp of vegan or grass-fed organic butter (melted)
2 tbsp of organic honey
2 tbsp of water
1/2 cup of organic lemon, juiced

For the “phyllo” almond coating:

1 cup of ground organic almonds
1 tbsp of vegan or grass-fed organic butter (melted)
 A dash of cinnamon

FullSizeRender(1)1. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl and combine thoroughly.

2. Add in softened butter and remaining wet ingredients. Mix well until a sticky dough consistency is reached.

3. Roll into bite-size balls.

FullSizeRender(2)4. Create “phyllo” almond coating by roasting ground almonds with butter in a frying pan until golden brown. Make sure you stir often to avoid burning. Add a dash of cinnamon.

5. Roll each bite into the “phyllo” almond coating.

6. Refrigerate for 10 minutes before serving.

FullSizeRender(3)For more info on this product and retail locations, visit www.genuinehealth.com.

This post was written in collaboration with Genuine Health but all opinions are my own.

Riviera Petit Pot Recipe

FullSizeRender(2)I recently discovered these lovely Petit Pot yogourts from Riviera. Being a fan of goat cheese and goat feta, I was curious to try goat yogourt for the very first time.

I love having a yogourt as a snack, for breakfast with fruit and granola or as a post-workout treat. What I like about these yogourts is that they come in reusable glass containers, they are made from all-natural ingredients, they are produced artisanally and are made locally in Canada. I also like the fact that Riviera draws influence from France and the French culture for their products.

In addition to these goat yogourts, Riviera also recently came out with a line of organic regular milk yogourts and offer a variety of cheddar cheeses, rustic butters, milks, creams and so on.

FullSizeRender(7)I love making recipes when trying out a new product so I used these yogourts to make my favorite chocolate chip banana bread recipe. Did you know that putting yogourt in your breads or muffins can add a lot of moisture?

What you’ll need:

3 very ripe frozen organic bananas
1/4 cup of honey
1 1/4 cup of Riviera’s Petit Pot Goat Yogourt Vanilla
2 tsp of coconut oil
1 1/2 cups of flour (I used organic spelt flour)
2 tsp of baking soda
3/4 cup of organic chocolate chips
1/2 tsp of salt

FullSizeRender(3)Pre-heat the oven at 350 F. Lightly grease a 4-inch x 8-inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, mash the bananas. Add the honey, yogourt and coconut oil. Mix with a spoon to combine. Gently fold the flour, baking soda, salt and chocolate chips into the banana mixture until combined. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 40-50 minutes until golden brown.

FullSizeRender(4)FullSizeRender(5)FullSizeRender(6)For more information on Riviera’s Petit Pot, go here.

Greens + EXTRA ENERGY Smoothie

FullSizeRenderI recently discovered Genuine Health‘s product called Greens + EXTRA ENERGY. In a very short period of time, it has become an important part of my daily nutrition routine.

For a while, I had been looking for an extra source of energy but had never found a product that would not only be good for my energy and vitality but that would also be clean. In addition to giving me that extra kick, the Greens + EXTRA ENERGY also contains superfoods and helps with digestion, balancing pH levels, etc. Another reason why I like this green food powder is because it is cafeine and sugar-free plus it is Non-GMO. Being a no-coffee kind of gal, this powder has provided me with that extra boost of energy I need pre/post-workout and after a short night of sleep.

Some of the amazing things you can find in the Greens + EXTRA ENERGY are: Spirulina (most nutrient-rich of any blue-green algae, a superfood and great source of beta-carotene), Royal jelly (supports immune functions and increase energy), Siberian ginseng root extract (anti-fatigue and anti-stress herb), Japanese green tea leaf extract (assists digestion and the proliferation of “friendly bacteria” in the intestine), Chlorella (source of protein, vitamins and minerals, helps detoxify the body), just to name a few.

I have been taking Greens + EXTRA ENERGY for two months now and have felt a huge difference in my energy levels. I feel a lot more focused and also feel a lot more awake in the morning and throughout the day.

The product comes in 2 flavours: orange and mocha. Every morning, I either make a cold-pressed juice (orange, grapefruit and ginger is my favorite combination) and add a scoop of orange Greens + in it or put a scoop of mocha Greens + in some organic almond milk. I’ve also started making smoothies after my runs and workouts using the green powder and wanted to share with today you my go-to recipe.

1What you’ll need:

2 frozen organic bananas
1-2 spoonfuls of all-natural organic peanut butter
4 organic pitted dates
1 spoonful of ground chia seeds
1 scoop of Greens + EXTRA ENERGY
1 cup of organic almond milk

Throw all of the ingredients in a blender for a few minutes and top the drink off with some organic coconut chips (if you like!). It’s my favorite healthy and energizing post-workout treat!

FullSizeRender(1)There are lot’s of other ways you can incorporate the product in recipes, juices and smoothies. For more information on Genuine Health’s Greens+ EXTRA ENERGY, go here.

Adams 100% Natural Peanut Butter – Granola Recipe

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Peanut Butter is a lifelong love of mine. As a child, it was my go-to breakfast: 2 peanut butter toasts accompanied by either jam, brown sugar (yes, I went through a pb & melted brown sugar phase as a teen), homemade caramel or banana and honey. It was also my go-to snack after dancing, karate class or the swim team. I would sneak into my mom’s cupboard and grab a spoonful (or two!).

Today, peanut butter is STILL one of my go-to breakfast favorites and spoonfuls of pb have remained a favorite of mine before or after running or working out. Having been a vegetarian for close to 13 years now, peanut butter has been an important source of protein and energy for me.

When I turned 30 this year, I made a conscious decision to adopt the healthiest and cleanest lifestyle possible. I’m therefore a lot more careful with what I put on and in my body and eating as clean, natural and organic as possible. I also cook as much as possible, making most meals from scratch and also adopting a regular fitness regimen (running, NTC classes, biking, surfing, etc.).

I recently discovered Adams 100% Natural Peanut Butter, on one of my trips and immediately added the brand to my cupboard. I love this peanut butter because it has no trans fats, no preservatives, no hydrogenated fats, no stabilizers and no added sugar! They offer a creamy and also crunchy variety so you can switch it up depending on your mood. Plus it’s all natural, which is AWESOME!

These days, some of the favorite things I love to make with peanut butter are stacked rice cakes for breakfast, peanut butter banana smoothies, sauteed tofu, muffins, etc. I’m excited to share with you on the blog today, my favorite recipe to make with Adams Natural Peanut Butter – it’s Homemade Peanut Butter Granola! It’s a super simple recipe that you can make with just a few ingredients in only a couple of minutes. It goes perfectly with fruit and yogurt or even just plain milk in the morning or as a snack.

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What you’ll need:

2 tbsp. of Adams 100% Natural Peanut Butter
2 tbsp. of honey
1/4 tsp. of cinnamon
1/4 tsp. of maple syrup
1 cup of oats

How to make it:

Preheat oven at 325F degrees. Grease cookie sheet with coconut oil. Combine Adams 100% Natural Peanut Butter and honey in a bowl and heat up (either stovetop or microwave) until the peanut butter melts. Stir. 

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Stir in the cinnamon and vanilla into peanut butter and honey mixture. Add oats and stir until the oats are entirely covered by the mixture. Spread the mixture onto the cookie sheet and bake for 7-8 minutes or until the granola is slightly browned. Let it cool until the granola is crunchy.

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Enjoy!

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What are some of your favorite peanut butter recipes? #AdamsPB #NaturalUpside

If you’re in Toronto next weekend, make sure you stop by the Adams 100% Natural Peanut Butter booth at the Green Living Show on Saturday March 28th between 1-3pm. I’ll be there to talk fitness, balanced eating, etc. We can even exchange peanut butter recipes in person if you’d like! 😀 Come say hi!

ICI Bistro

A few weeks ago, Offner and I finally got a table at ICI Bistro. We had wanted to go check out the place but it was always booked every time we had tried to make a reservation. So if after reading this blog, you’re dying to try it out, make sure you plan your visit in advance!

The Bistro is located on Harbord St.  just at the corner of Manning St.. There aren’t that many restaurants in the area but I think that when a restaurant is good, it doesn’t really matter where it’s located, people will go to it. And ICI Bistro was sure worth the trek!

The first thing that appealed to me about this place was their slogan: “Food, Wines & Happy People Is What We Are Most Passionate About At ICI“. Sounds perfect!

We received a warm welcome when we arrived at the restaurant. The host took our coats, made sure we had everything we needed. Because there aren’t too many tables in the place (there are like 6 or 7) we opted to sit at the small bar, which gave us a really nice view of the room. The decor was simple but really nice. The restaurant felt extremely cozy. I loved their slightly elevated open kitchen concept.

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We started off with a nice bottle of wine from their extensive wine list. We opted for a French wine since we were in a French inspired bistro. We noticed that a lot of the staff were also either from France or from Quebec and as a result spoke both French and English. As we were picking out our meals, the waiter brought us a really yummy appetizer on the house, a sort of fine rice and cheese ball.

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We started off our meal with a plate of cheese. It was $18 for a selection of 3. We opted for double that just so that we could get as many different cheeses as possible. The cheese portion was great for the price and the cheese were all different and extremely tasty. The chef even came over to personally bring us a plate of fruit, nuts and jams to accompany the cheese we had ordered.

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While we were waiting for our mains, the server came over and offered us some homemade gnocchi on the house in order to tie us over before the mains arrived. I must say I was REALLY impressed by the quality of the service. Little things like that go a long way in my opinion. Plus the gnocchi melted in my mouth!

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By the time our mains arrived, I was almost full! Though they don’t have a big vegetarian selection (1 out of 11 dinner choices), I was told that the chef could always prepare something special for me if ever I didn’t like what they had on the menu. I opted for their homemade patties with cheese, fresh salad, pesto and homemade sauce and my boyfriend the duck magret. His said his was pure bliss! Mine was also very delicate and flavored perfectly. The chef even came by again during our meal to make sure everything was ok and asked us if we had liked everything. A very nice gesture!

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All in all, our experience at ICI Bistro was delightful. There aren’t too many restaurants in the city that have served us that well and that are so in tune with what their clients want. The staff at ICI made sure that we were fully satisfied with our meal.

Looking forward to returning very soon!

 

New England Cranberry Duff

Yesterday we did our first ever Thanksgiving (yes, we Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving a month earlier than our neighbours down south, never really understood why…) dinner at home. Offner and I spent tons of time in the kitchen preparing enough food for an entire army (we were only 6!). We had three services: the appetizers (cheese, sausage, cold cuts, vegetables, foie gras, salads, etc.), the mains (chicken, roasted vegetables, Quenelles, quiche, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, etc.) and the desserts (fresh fruit, homemade apple pie and homemade New England Cranberry Duff). It was heavenly!

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I spent lot’s of time in the kitchen as a kid helping my mom make desserts for any kind of celebration or party she’d throw. Since I moved out almost eight years ago, I haven’t made too much dessert. Yesterday’s dinner was the perfect occasion to whip out my old dessert making skills and make a perfect fall creation. I usually always either invent recipes or add my own personal twist on recipes I already know but this time, I tried an all new recipe that I found on Martha Stewart’s website.

Last week I received cranberries with my Fresh City Farms basket so I wanted to make something with them. I found this New England Cranberry Duff cake that looked amazing on her site. It was an absolute hit! Not only does it not require many ingredients, it’s also super easy and quick to make. I decided to double to recipe to make the cake thicker. Not only is it great as a dessert but it’s also perfect for a snack or even breakfast!

Here’s the recipe taken directly from Martha’s website:

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, (1 stick), softened
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/3 cup pecans, toasted, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup plus 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. STEP 1

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter bottom and halfway up sides of an 8-inch square glass baking dish using 2 tablespoons butter. Spread cranberries evenly over bottom of dish. Sprinkle pecans on top, then sprinkle with 1/3 cup sugar; set aside.

  2. STEP 2

    Melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat; set aside. Put egg and the remaining 1/2 cup sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until pale and thick, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to medium-low; gradually beat in flour, and then salt. Pour in melted butter in a slow, steady stream, beating until smooth.

  3. STEP 3

    Slowly pour batter into pan to cover cranberries. Bake until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack 10 minutes. Run a knife around edge to loosen, and invert to unmold onto a serving platter. Serve warm or at room temperature.

So happy with how it turned out! Yummy!! 🙂

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This Week’s Pottage

A new week means a new pottage… at least that’s what it’s meant since we’ve been getting our Fresh City Farms baskets. This week’s pottage is my best one yet (that’s a good thing I guess since I’ve only ever made two 😛 Improvement is good!).

For this week’s pottage I used cabbage, green onions, cauliflower and beets. I never really measure anything when making pottage, I just eyeball it.

I let all the veggies boil in water for 20mins or so. I also added a cube of organic vegetable broth to add a bit of flavor as well as salt and pepper.

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Once everything has boiled, I blend everything up using my hand mixer. I also add a bit of almond milk, dijon mustard and my secret ingredient: maple syrup! Yup! Plus it’s from my family’s sugar shack, so there’s nothing better 🙂 I find that the maple syrup cuts the bitterness and the milk and dijon make the pottage more of a velvety texture.

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Et voilà! Bon appétit!

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Fall Pumpkin

Last week, two small pumpkins came in our Fresh City Farms bag and just like the concord grapes, I had never cooked anything with pumpkins before. Growing up, I saw my mom make pumpkin pie but had never really been interested in making anything with pumpkin because it always looked so complicated.

After looking at a few different recipes (thank god for Martha Stewart sometimes!), I got inspired to make my own pumpkin dishes.

The first recipe I made was a pumpkin, roasted garlic, beemster cheese, concord grape, tomato, avocado and cantaloupe salad. It really took no time to make. The only kind of preparation it took, was cutting up the pumpkin in small cubes and placing them on a cookie sheet. I drizzled a bit of cumin, maple syrup, olive oil and salt and pepper on them. I also added a few fresh garlic cloves on the cookie sheet to bake with the pumpkin. I cooked the pumpkin in the oven for 40mins at 350F, I kept adding water throughout so that the pumpkin didn’t dry up. When it got nice and mushy, I took it out of the oven and peeled off the skin.

For the dressing, I just mixed freshly squeezed lemon juice, olive oil and dijon mustard. Contrary to what I was expecting, the pumpkin tasted really soft and sweet. It was delish!

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For the second pumpkin recipe, I made a pumpkin and tofu stir-fry with the left over pumpkin I cooked for the salad. I pan fried cubes of tofu, added pineapple pieces, garlic, pumpkin cubes as well as sweet and sour sauce. I cooked everything in the pan until nicely roasted and then placed it on a bed of fresh kale. I was also surprised by how amazing it tasted!

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With the leftover seeds I had from the pumpkin, I put them on a cookie sheet, drizzled a bit of olive oil on them and spices and baked them in the oven at 350F for 15-20mins. They were the perfect lunch snack for the next day!!

There you have it! Some quick and easy pumpkin recipes. What have you made with pumpkin this fall?

 

Concord Grape Spread

Last week we received our first Fresh City Farms local fruit and veggie bag. I challenged myself to use every single item they gave us, even if the bag contained some items I had never cooked with before.

One of these items was Concorde Grapes. I opted to try a grape spread to serve with cheese as an appetizer on the weekend. It’s super easy to make!

All you need is a big handful of grapes, rosemary, olive oil, sugar and salt.

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Rinse the grapes and then place them on a baking sheet. Drizzle 2 teaspoon of olive oil over the grapes. Add a pinch of sea salt and 1 teaspoon of rosemary on the grapes. Also add 1/2 a teaspoon of sugar over the grapes to cut the bitterness.

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Place grapes in the oven and cook at 400F for 15-20 minutes or until grapes burst. Once they’ve cooled off you can place them in a bowl.

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I opted to serve the grape spread with blue cheese on whole wheat toast but they can be served with burrata cheese, compté or any type of cheese you like. The strong taste of blue cheese fit perfectly with the sweetness of the grapes! It was a succulant appetizer to kick off a Saturday night meal. Hope you’ll enjoy 🙂

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Asian Squash Recipe

The other night Offner came home with what he thought was pumpkin but turns out it was Asian Squash. I had never made anything with Asian squash or squash in general so I took it upon myself to find a way to make it.

I looked up a few recipes but ended up mixing a bunch of them together to create my own. Surprisingly, it turned out great!

Here’s what I did:

I pre-heated the oven at 350 degrees.

I cut up the squash in small 2 inch slices and put them on a baking sheet. I lightly drizzled 0live oil over them, added a bunch of different spices (salt, pepper, basil, oregano, thym) and also drizzle a bit of natural maple syrup (I put maple syrup in pretty much everything I make ;)) on top.

I then baked the squash for roughly 40mins, basically until they were soft.

Another super healthy snack idea or good vegetable to accompany any meal.

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