Thursday, July 30, 2015

Summer Sunshine Grilling Time

It's warm, sunny and the family is together! What better thing to do than grill something delicious for lunch ;) 

I had a go at grilling King Prawns, which I've never done before as well as some Asparagus (When it was asparagus season a two or three months ago :P ) 

So I had some simple asparagus plain grilled, some salmon, zucchini and king prawns. 

I added lemon to the salmon and a garlic, ginger, lemon sauce to the king prawns.

It was delicious and highly recommendable as a light lunch for when one has time to grill :) 





Wednesday, July 29, 2015

COCONUT AND SEA BUCKTHORN RAW CHOCOLATE

So a couple of months ago a friend of mine A. came to visit me in Austria from London. I had just read up on these Arctic Power Berries and asked her to bring me one of each.

Of course I automatically wanted to make something with the powders and as you may or may not know my family loves chocolate, so what better thing to make than some yummy chocolate.

In the end I didn't spread out the liquid equally so some bits of my chocolate bar were very bitter whilst the other bits were nice and sweet :D

Here the recipe and some photos:


1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cacao powder
3 tbsp honey or maple syrup
banana/coconut chips
 1 tbsp sea buckthorn powder (or cranberry or blueberry!)
add sea salt if you wish!

1. Melt the coconut oil in low heat and remove from the heat as soon as it is melted
2. Add the cacao powder and whisk until they are completely combined
3. Add honey/maple syrup, crushed banana/coconut chips, sea buckthorn powder (and sea salt if you wish!)
4. Pour the chocolate into moulds or on a baking sheet and let it set in the fridge for about 15 minutes

This recipe is fully vegan, gluten feee, raw and refined sugar free! (Yuhuu nice and healthy)

I ended chopping the chocolate up and adding bits to my müsli or yoghurts :) 

Here are the ingredients I used


This is what the melted chocolate looked like


This is what it looked like before I put it in the fridge, as I said not spread equally :/


All in all I was quite happy with the result, it's something I've never tried before but enjoyed making as it goes super quickly and is super easy to make :) I'll definitely try making this again in the near future! 

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Pure Kitchen Restaurant Review

I finally went to Pure Kitchen yesterday with Stu and Anto and it was delicious. If you have not been there yet, I highly recommend it. Pure Kitchen is a vegetarian/vegan restaurant located in Westboro. It is located across from MEC, with a beautiful rooftop patio ( you may have known this spot as Mexican restaurant that was there previously).

Anto is a vegetarian and so I was excited to go with her. As a former vegetarian myself, I appreciate the rarity of good vegetarian restaurants. What really stood out to me was the sheer number and variety of dishes. I also appreciated that it is a sit down restaurant, rather than a buffet ( such as, The Table and the Green Door, which are both yummy but buffet style eateries).

We were starving when we arrived and shared two starters, the onion rings (GF using chickpea batter and puffed quinoa) and tacos (black bean and squash)

Onion Rings with sriracha vegan mayo
and chipotle avocado sauce

Tacos
For the main course, Anto and Stu both had the kale Caesar salad with added tempeh and for Stu, grilled avocado.
These goofs and their 'Transformed' salads

I had the "Happy" burger- a mushroom walnut patty with goat cheese, coconut bacon,  chipotle avocado sauce, and a homemade tomato-jalapeno jam. It did make me happy. For sides, you can have, fries, salad or a bit of both. I went for the latter option and had the kale Caesar. The fries were skinny and crisp and came with a spicy ketchup. YUM!



The prices were very reasonable.  I will be back there soon. Tomorrow actually.. !
I can't wait to try more of their dishes.

For drinks, we mostly drank water ( we're healthy like that! Sometimes anyway) although they do offer wines and beer. Stu did try a ginger beer that was quite tasty.  They also offer these cleansing shots and juices and smoothies.  I am intrigued by their juices after reading about juice cleanses, both 1 day and 3 day on In a Nutshell.  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Bazille Restaurant Review

My mom and I met up for a wonderful girls' day a few weeks ago. We did some shopping at the Rideau Centre and then went out for lunch. We used to always eat at Marchelino's  but since it has closed we decided to check out the new restaurant above Nordstrom- Bazille. This is a restaurant on the top level, not to be confused with the little cafe on the main floor.  You take the escalator up all the way through the store and there it is.

Although we ate inside, there is a beautiful terrace.

The food was delicious. We shared two dishes, a salad with shrimp and an open faced taco with steak. They were both good.

The service was amazing.  We asked our server about the salad dressing, as it was so tasty and she quickly went and printed off the recipe for us. Have you ever..? They really went above and beyond.

The restaurant is a bit on the pricier side but nothing crazy. The dishes we ordered cost about $18 and $11.

My mom felt it was really a ladies' restaurant..she couldn't picture my dad going there, although they do serve steak frites so who knows.

Steak Taco

Shrimp Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette

I definitely recommend Bazille. I am looking forward to going back soon.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Mason Jar Salad

As usual, I am way behind the trend. I have been wanting to make Mason Jar Salads for a while and had been saving recipes for them on my Pinterest boards. Finally, I got a big box of mason jars at a garage sale ( at the sweet price of $1 for the lot), put them through the dishwasher and decided to give it a go. You can also buy jars at your local hardware store or just save and re-use jars you have. 

You can pretty much use whatever ingredients you want and layer them. This is a variation on a Caprese pasta salad. Start with a dressing on the bottom, then put tomatoes or some veggies, then a grain or pasta and keep layering up, ensuring that leafy greens are the top layer, and trying not to leave too much empty space in the jar. 

The great thing about using these jars is that you can make a few in advance and they keep the ingredients nice and fresh. Very handy for lunches. 

Pesto- I just blended basil, oil and pine nuts
( I think traditional pesto also has a  garlic)

Diced tomatoes

Pasta, cooked and tossed lightly in oil with salt and pepper

Peas, cooked

Fresh Mozzarella 

Fresh Spinach

My mom had bought me these lids a while ago and they work perfectly for mason jars.  I was so happy that I remembered where I was storing them and that they fit! Ahh...when the stars align like that.. :) They are great because they don't leak so you can really shake up the jar to mix up the salad before eating it  Apparently the metal ones that come on the jars can be a bit of a pain and can sometimes leak.


These are from a Hardware store in Boston, although they should sell something similar in Canada.

I mixed up my salad and poured it out onto a plate for lunch.  If you are on-the-go, eating it out of the jar would work fine too.  It was so delicious! I can't wait to eat and make more of these!

Stay tuned for more mason jar salad ideas!


Monday, June 08, 2015

Product Review: Barking Barista Coffee


This weekend, I went the Ottawa Veg Fest. I had been a few times before, minus last year since for some reason they didn’t have it. In the past, it was held at the Glebe (usually the Glebe community centre, I believe). This year, they hosted it at the RA centre. It was a lot larger at this new location than I remembered in the past with a lot more vendors.

Usually, you see the same vendors every year. This year, there was something new that caught my eye that I wanted to tell you all about: Barking Barista Coffee


First of all, their coffee is amazing. Initially, I had bought a coffee from the canteen at the RA centre, not knowing that this was around. Upon trying a sample, I tossed the other one out and got one from them. Life is too short for bad coffee.

I also sampled their cold brew and bought a bottle to take back home. I’ve only had cold brew coffee three times before, but this one was really good. The cold brews I’ve had before either tasted like pure cold expresso, or just iced coffee, and neither was carbonated. This was carbonated, and had a rich, yet not overbearing flavour.

Another very important thing is that they are passionate about helping dogs, and a portion of their sales goes to dogs in need. I think it’s a great cause, and we don’t come across enough of people doing these. It’s another added bonus on top of the already great coffee they make J Now  I am on the lookout for a coffee roaster that helps cats in need! XD

Restaurant Review: Hareg Ethiopian Restaurant


As the summer time is here, I’m guessing that most of us would want to spend less and less time inside cooking over a hot stove. Eleanore decided that it would be a good idea to review restaurants around Ottawa instead.

I want to tell you about this great new find that I discovered last weekend. It’s called Hareg Café and Veggie, located in the Glebe. It’s very tiny and hidden, and given the name, you would probably not realize it’s a restaurant, but it is one of the best restaurant experiences I had in a while in Ottawa.

My foodie friend actually found out about it online and recommended that we try it. We had both only tried Ethiopian food once and both didn’t like it, so we were skeptical. Nonetheless, we decided to give it another shot. We were glad we did because the experience was fantastic!

First of all, the atmosphere was really nice. They had a great ambiance immediately when walk in. Nice décor, but not overbearingly so. There was an area at that back that’s sort of a sitting area, which we initially didn’t know what it was for (more on that in a minute).

The restaurant itself was not that big, and it was pretty quiet. We went at around 7:45pm on a Saturday night and we were a table of 4. We stuck around until about 9:30pm or so and there was only one other small table of three beside us the entire time. It’s a shame that no one else knows about this place yet. I guess right now it’s a secret gem!

The sign for the restaurant says veggie restaurant and café, so initially we were worried because there were others there for dinner that would be really unhappy if there was no meat. But have no fear! They do have meat!

You can either get a la carte, or on Fridays Saturdays, and Sundays, they have buffet for dinner. The buffet is $8.99 for vegetarian section only, and $13.99 for meat section, as well. Naturally, we went for the all you can eat with meat. Everything was amazing.
 

This was my plate. I thought I would be getting more, and this was just my “starter” plate, but that was all I could have. It’s amazing how filling lentils can be. Everything tasted great, really flavourful and I could say I can do without meat, because you hardly realize that it wasn’t meat at all. The only thing I thought they could have done was label the food items, because we weren’t really sure what exactly type of yummy food we were eating.

The injera was really good as well. Injera is sourdough flat bread with sort of spongy texture that you eat the lentils, sauces, veggies, etc. I never liked it that one other time I tried Ethiopian food, and neither did my friend, but we both agreed that it was delicious this time around.

The buffet comes with coffee, which the lady prepares fresh. She does a full on coffee ceremony for you. After dinner, you can go to the back and sit around her to watch her prepare the coffee (which is what that area at the back is for!). She shows you the raw green beans that she makes the coffee with, lets you smell the freshly roasted beans, grinds it, and serves it to you. It was cool watching the whole process.


She apologized for not having popcorn that day, to which my friend and I looked at each other and was like, did we hear wrong? Popcorn? We googled it afterwards, but apparently the coffee is normally accompanied by popcorn.

It was a great experience overall. The lady there was very nice, the service was excellent, the food was great, and the price was great.  Hareg was actually doing a demonstration on lentils the past weekend at the Ottawa Veg Fest! Unfortunately, we had just missed the demonstration when we went, but it's nice to see that the restaurant is getting out there. I highly recommend checking it out for food or coffee. I will definitely be going there again.

Red Juicie



I wasn't sure whether to call this a smoothie or a juice.. I don't have a juicer, so it isn't a pure juice, but it doesn't have milk or much added liquid to it and is thinner than what I'd consider a traditional smoothie. So voila- a juicie.

I make it in the Nutribullet, but it can be made in any blender or juicer.

This is definitely my favourite these days. Especially after a week (..fine several weeks) of over indulging.

Super easy:
- 2 cooked beets (I use love beets from Costco-so conveniant!!) + beet juice from the package
- carrots or baby carrots
- 1 apple
- fresh ginger
- lime juice to taste
- water (if needed to blend)

blend up, enjoy!

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