Thursday, December 17, 2009
After breakfast, I had a little yoga session with Rodney Yee---that man never fails to impress... But really, I am getting a little tired of the same routine. I guess that's what you get when you have oh ONE dvd to choose from. Nevertheless, it still does the job so I am not going to quit now.
While I was sprawled on the floor of my living room, I noticed some dust/crumbs that I would have never noticed if my nose wasn't pressed against the carpet. But with that new knowledge, I felt my living room was due for a cleaning. So after my sesh with Rodney, I whipped out the vacuum so that she could suck up this new discovery! After vacuuming, I got into a little cleaning frenzy and made sure the kitchen and bedroom were spotless as well..
And then suddenly I noticed the time. I had one IMPORTANT chore to do before I was work bound...and that was TP Duty. We were RIGHT out of toilet paper which is definately a necessity in any household. Oh the joy of living on your own...it seems as though we never ran out of toilet paper at home---there was always an endless supply! How does someone learn to be so prepared!? I guess we will learn in due time...in due time.
As soon as I got home from town, I whipped together a lunch/snack to hold me over while I was at work. I had a rice cake topped with chipotle tuna and cucumber---with some salt and pepper of course.
As I entered my room to get ready for work, with rice cake in hand, I noticed a package on my bed that was definately not there ealier that day. It was a Fed-Ex package and for all I knew, I was not expecting a packing from Fed-Ex...but heck, it's Christmas---anything can happen.
Anxious, I wripped the package open---inside there was an envelope entitled confidential with my name on it. Inside THAT envelope was a DVD---with my name and 'confidential' stamped on that too.
I started screaming...it was from AXE (I applied for this summer job with Axe Canada back in November. They pick 10 finalists-- 5 girls and 5 guys---who then compete to represent them next summer. The winners are put up in condos downtown Toronto and then are made to date people/host dinner parties and then write about them. Being in journalism, this gig was right up my alley! I had to answer a bunch of questions, make a video, and get two people of the opposite sex to write a reference letter for me) ANYWAYS, I didn't know IF or when I was going to hear from them.
Freaking out, I put the dvd into my computer. It seemed like it took hours to load because I was so anxious...and then it all happened.
"Congratulations Tatomme Flanagan....you have been chosen as a top 5 finalist for Axe Canada!!!"
I couldn't believe it...I was shaking, crying, ecstatic!
And then I had to get ready for work---I couldn't even breathe, let alone try to put clothing on. But, it had to be done. It was hard to think about anything else all night; however, I managed to pull through.
When I got home from work at around 11, I had a few slices of apple and a bowl of stove-top popcorn. Mmm, I have become quite obsessed with popcorn as of lately...there is really no better snack. Alongside, I had a cup of tea.
(this was a scary photo to take...as the popcorn tends to start popping almost immediately!!)
(I sprinkled some seasoning salt on top for an extra kick!)
Alright, well I am off to study for my last final tommorow---French---and then I am going to sleep!
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Sunday night I was absolutely exhausted so I decided to hit the sack at 8pm. I don't remember the last time I went to bed that early...but boy, did I ever need it! I set my alarm for 8 am the next morning, so that I could get a good 12 hour sleep AND have an entire day ahead of me. But the next morning when my alarm so rudely interrupted my sleep, I was not about to get up.
I ended up sleeping for 2 more hours. When I finally woke up, I could not believe that I had actually slept for 14 hours (and I am embarrassed to say that I didn't even feel rejuvinated...in fact, I felt more exhausted than ever!)
Feeling like a lazy sloth, I decided that I needed to start my day off with a good burst of energy--- it worked out perfectly too because I had to go to the grocery store to restock the oat department. So, I decided to make a run out of it...hit two birds with one stone.
Looking absolutely miserable outside, I made sure to pile on multiple sweaters, mittens, and a hat so that I could tackle the rain and cold.
After a good run and a hearty bowl of banana infused oats, I was ready for the day. However, I didn't do anything too exciting because I had quite a few loads of laundry to do, a bedroom to clean, and some french to study. Needless to say, I finished all of my chores at around 4 pm and felt pretty good about myself.
To reward myself I decided to meet a few of my girlfriends at work for a pint before we ventured into the city for some serious Christmas shopping. I wish I could say that I got some Christmas shopping done...but then I would have to lie. I did get some good ideas though so now when I go back I will be more efficient.
Our shopping trip ended when we all started to hear our stomachs talking. Calling it quits, we made our way to Jack Astors where we shared a couple plates of nachos... Nachos are always a hit or miss; last night's were a bit of both. They weren't awful, but they weren't anything special. (When I make nachos, I LOAD on the toppings...whereas these ones were pretty simple: cheese...and well cheese)
I started my day off with a nice over easy egg, a buttered piece of toast and some sliced tomato. It really hit the spot. I also had a steaming hot cup of green tea...I opened a Costco sized box of it yesterday and noticed that its best before date is January 26/10. So let's just say I have a lottt of tea drinking to do...100 bags to get through! [I did the math...that's about 3/day. I can do it!!!!]
After a few hours of studying, I decided it was time for a bite to eat. For lunch I had a hearty salad consisting of mixed greens, brocolli, orange pepper, red onion, sprouts, corn, tomato, tofu, and a little cold pasta. I dressed it with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar [mixed with garlic, oregano and Dijon mustard.]
It was just what I needed!!
Well, I better get some more studying done before I have to go to work!
Sunday, December 13, 2009
You're either saying she did learn something in Psychology this semester...or you're saying she is going somewhere with this.
And I guess, the answer could be either/or. But, right now, it's the latter.
I realize that even though I am presently without a camera, I do not have to stop posting. A baker doesn't quit baking when he runs out of butter...he finds an alternative: apple sauce or oil.
So a blogger doesn't quit blogging when she breaks her camera...she finds an alternative: a computer.
Who knew that a computer could perform so many tasks...I almost forgot that most lap tops these days come equipped with a little "eye" on top of their screens: a web cam. So instead of just using my computer to stalk people on facebook, I decided that I would also use it to photograph my dinner.
After hours of laying in my bed trying to work off my food baby, I suddenly noticed that I was no longer with-child. In fact, I was hungry...After last night, I didn't think I was ever going to be hungry again [obviously, I was wrong!]
However, with little to no energy, I did not feel like putting together a four course meal with appropriate drink pairings...so I made myself a sangy [that's "sandwhich" in the Flanagan family]
On two slices of toasted whole wheat bread [not the greatest bread I have ever had..but that's what you get when you purchase bread from a grocery store,] I layered on mozzarella cheese, tomato, cucumber, red onion, avocado, sprouts and Yves "turkey flavoured" tofu deli slices. I also spread on some of the chipotle mayo I made the other day, and some Dijon mustard...mmmm. For some greens, I piled a spinach blend onto my plate and dressed it with some balsamic vinegar.
(These pictures are a little lack lustre, to say the least]
Quite frankly, you can never go wrong with a sandwhich. I am SUCH a sandwich person...probably one of my favourite things. Last night I was just talking to a coworker about this in fact, and we decided that there really isn't anywhere to get an amazzzing sandwhich. I find I always make them the best...because I can add EXACTLY what I want in it, rather than saying "extra green pepper...hold the mayo...and ooh, do you have hot sauce!?
However, I am on a mission to find the best sandwhich place in Toronto. http://www.blogto.com/toronto/the_best_sandwiches_in_toronto/
I have already tried Urban Herbivore's sandwhiches (which are UNREAL) but, let's just say I have a busy few months ahead of me.
When I do find the best sandwhich, I'll be sure to give you all the verdict!!
So being unable to capture any of my consumptions, I feel as though I will just bore you with words...I realize photographs are a key component to any blog! And really, how can I make you salivate from a cyber-meal without a picture to justify all of its glory.
However, I guess I can still give you the low down on what I ate yesterday...
Breakfast...yup, you guessed it! I started my day off with a delicious bowl of oats. Not only because I have developed an obvious obsession, but also because I had a final exam at 9 am. What better brain food is there than a wholesome bowl of oats. [Oh! I also swallowed back a couple capsules of salmon oil...I needed all of the omega 3 (brain food)I could get in order to aid me in this exam which I felt ill-prepared for]
When I got home, I had a quick snack before I needed to rush off to work. And let me tell you in advance, it was really not all that special. It started off with an original unsalted rice cake topped with a few slices of havarti cheese (I do love a good havarti!!) To that I added a couple slices of tomato and avocado...S&P'ed that puppy up and I was good to go!
I got off work at around 11pm.
WHEN and WHAT I decided to eat, I am not proud of...at all. I had my very first poutine EVER...I felt like it was fate because "Smoke's Poutinerie" had a vegetarian version. How could I turn that down!? First I ordered the "traditional vegetarian poutine" thinking that it was just going to be loaded with veggies and goodness...but when it came, it looked boring and soggy (I guess that is was poutine is though...no?) However, I am not one for a bland meal...so I asked them if they could add some green peas and mushrooms; probably one of the best decisions I have ever made. To that combination, I looooaded on the Sriacha sauce (so happy to see that they had that as a condiment)...grabbed a nice plastic fork and dug in!! At the time, it was a super sweet experience --- it came in a cute little cardboard box--- but this morning when I woke up, I felt like I was with-child. Hours after the indulgence, I still feel like I have a food baby.
(Wow, this is actually what it looked like...I found this photograph on the internet. I really wish that I didn't remind myself of this.)
But, breakfast being the most important meal of the day [That, and I just feel wrong and off if I don't have it,] I forced myself to have a little something. And I am really sorry that I no longer have a camera (Christmas is coming though...*hint* *hint* pops...)but I had my first cereal salad since starting this blog. I have just become so into oats these days, that I have completely neglected my breakfast salad!! I felt like I owed it a Sunday indulgence.
Being the title of my blog, I really feel like it's necessary that I capture a photograph of these cereal salads...words just won't do it justice. But I will have to give you the content low-down! First, a good bit of Nature's Path Multibran flakes, a little bit of Cheerios (for another texture), and then a good bit of Original All-Bran. On top I had raisins, chopped walnuts, sliced banana, and ground flax seed! Then I poured on some almond milk, and took my first bite. It was a taste that I had almost forgotten...I am ever so glad that I re-introduced her to my palate. I also had a cup of Bengal Spice tea before my breakfast, and then a cup of dark coffee with my breaky!!
(This is obviously not MY breakfast, but I feel like there should be a little visual something--- but now you have to develop this bowl of cereal through imagination!)
Friday, December 11, 2009
After battling the 'cold to the bone' wind to gather my philosophy notes [which were scattered around the city] this evening, I was in dire need of a warm and hearty meal. In order to get some dinner ideas, I decided to browse through the items in my fridge.
Well let's just say I didn't have to look too long or hard, as the "tree" caught my eye before I had a chance to look elsewhere.
(It was also looking a little sad, so I figured that I should probably use it up before it became completely inedible!)
With kale as my main ingrediant this evening, I decided to make a dish that we used to make at home all of the time: Kale and Peanut Sauce. (Obviously with a few alterations as I couldn't remember the recipe entirely.) And for an accompaniment, quinoa!
I went ahead and got my quinoa cooking so that it would be finished by the time the kale was good and saturated! (Quinoa recipe can be found in a past blog called First Snowfall)
For the kale, I started by sautéing red onion and garlic in some olive oil. After a few minutes, I threw in the chopped up kale. Once the kale turned bright green in colour, I added about a tablespoon of natural peanut butter, some tamari sauce, a squirt of lemon juice, and some hot chili flakes. The dish was done when the peanut butter had melted and was nicely distributed throughout!
I fluffed my quinoa with a fork, scooped a good helping of it into a bowl and eventually topped with the oh-so savoury peanut sauce kale!
Eventually, I added some sriacha sauce for a good kick!
After dinner, I was craving a little somethin' sweet...but obviously I had no quick go-to sweets that would suffice so I had to whip something up. I decided on a yogurt parfait which consisted of plain yogurt, blackberries, raspberries, banana, raisins, ground flax seed, frosted flaks, All Bran, AND some maple syrup!
It did the job....I guess!
Oh, and a cup of Bengal Spice Tea!
But then I informed the gentleman that I have a food blog which people rely on each day in order to know what crazy concoctions I have in store for them. So he let me go...and then asked for the link to my blog.
Okay no. But, I still had quite an interesting night at the Red Bull party!
You should have seen the assortment of cheeses and baked goods...let's just say people knew where to find me. Out of courtesy to myself, I refrained from taking photographs of the "snacks" I demolished. For a mental picture, think 'beautifully cubed cheese: everything from aged cheddar to gouda and thinly sliced crusty bread...which I then ingeniously decided to dip into ranch dressing...' Times that by 20, and I think that would accurately describe my starter!
So this morning, my left hand pulled the bag of rolled oats out from the clamping of my right fingers. I did not allow myself to have yet another bowl of oats this week, purely for the sake of you: my followers!
On today's breakfast menu: Banana and Almond Butter French Toast with a Blueberry Maple Sauce.
[This post will be lacking in photographs as my camera broke this morning immediately after filming my roommate change her first light bulb: it was an epic moment...a scene that I was not going to let myself forget. But, I guess it's true when they say 'Karmas a B#@#&' because as soon as I replayed the video...it broke.]
Anyways, my breakfast preparation began with the blueberry sauce. I combined frozen blueberries, water, and maple syrup in a sauce pan...which I then brought to a boil and reduced it for 15 minutes in order to let the sauce simmer and thicken. Oh my, it was like pure candy...(in the future I am going to experiment with actually making this sauce a candy) However, for this meal candy was not what I was in need of so I added a little more water until it was the consistency I was looking for.
For the french toast itself, I used two slices of whole wheat bread; to one slice, I spread on a thick layer of almond butter and then layered sliced bananas on top. Next, I sandwiched the sucker together.
Then I drowned the "sandwich" in a mixture of one egg and two tablespoons of almond milk. With a soggy sandwich in hand, I decided to transfer her to a lightly buttered frying pan. I fryed it until it was golden brown (about 5 minutes each side.)
I had some left over egg mixture, so I fryed that up to so I could have a little side of scrambled eggs.
Next comes the exciting part. With a beautifully golden brown "almond banana sandwich" on the centre of my plate, I put on a good scoop of plain yogurt. To that, I poured on my perfectly runny blueberry maple sauce. Looking at this master piece of mine was mouth watering.
However, for some extra sweetness and a dip all the way through, I poured some maple syrup onto the side of my plate.
(When I was finally done preparing my breakfast I was not going to let myself eat it without a photograph...so in desperation, I tore apart my roommate's room in order to find her camera. And, I did...so you too can enjoy this mouth watering experience I had!)
[Don't mind the slightly burnt scrambled eggs along side...those are not what I am trying to focus on here! But hey, protein's protein.]
Blueberry Maple Syrup
[Recipe comes from my new favourite purchase: Refresh cookbook]
6 cups frozen blueberries (you can use fresh too! or any other type of fruit...take risks people!)
1/2 cup maple syrup, honey, or agave nectar
1/8 cup water
1. Put the ingrediants in the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes.
2. Serve hot!
Thursday, December 10, 2009
After breakfast, I lay around for a bit and then decided to shower so that I could get on with my day. I was meeting a girlfriend of mine from work, Kelly, to do some serious Christmas Party shopping... as we are going to her Red Bull Christmas Party tonight which will potentially be a very entertaining evening with kareoke-ing...
Finally out the door, I hopped onto the streetcar to get to my destination...and well long story [very long story] short, the guy who eventually sat next to me turned out to be from Summerland (which is like 20 minutes away from my hometown Peachland). We found out we knew the same people (which isn't a huge deal being from small towns.) But just thought I should share that encounter as we ended up meeting on the other side of the country...such a small world!
After a very long shopping adventure, I finally returned home...and let me tell you, it was about time! Clearly I wasn't thinking straight this morning/afternoon when I left for my shopping escipade because I didn't even pack a snack.... as a result, I was famished when I got home at 630.
Luckily for me, I found a cookbook today that I just couldn't resist buying! It's made by the owners of my new favourite restaurant in Toronto: Fresh. It's called Refresh...check it out; it has some super neat recipes.
So with a recipe idea from my new purchse, I went to work. But with my grumbling stomach having a major influence on the time it took to make, I needed to pick something quick, easy...but still interesting.
I ended up making a wrap which they have called "the Holiday Wrap:" festive, I know. However, I really adapted mine as I am not very good at following recipes (a skill I got from my mother.) It had marinated tofu [a little concoction I created in a hurry tonight but turned out fantastic], sautéed vegetables, avocado, cucumber, tomato, and sprouts! And for a sauce, I made a delicious chipotle mayo...god, it was good.
After wrapping that loaded baby up [it was definately a struggle,] I gave her a nice grill job...sliced her in half and served!
1. In a blender, purée all of the ingrediants.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
In a separate bowl, combine your wet ingrediants. This is where I really struggled as I didn't realize how difficult it would be to grate a carrot on a hand-grater---- but boy, did I ever learn. Just don't do it. (I ended up resorting to a paring knife where I chopped up that puppy into little pieces!)
Put in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes...or until the top is nicely browned!
Let cool, and then cut into squares... and there you have it; one healthy hearty snack bar! They are delicious...I couldn't wait for the bars to cool down and dug in while they were still pipin' hot.
Well, now that it's well into the next day...I think it's about time I put the baking supplies away and hit the sheets. Good night!
So what better way to start the day than a nice hearty bowl of oatmeal. No one appreciates a grumbling stomach when they're trying to focus on finishing their exam! However, today I switched it up a little...instead of stewing chopped apple into the blend, I used banana! And boy, let me tell you, was it ever a switch up. The taste was incredible...the sliced banana literally melted into the warm oats --- but not entirely; just enough to really saturate each bite with a burst of banana!
With a full stomach, I felt as prepared as I was ever going to be for my final... so off I went.
(But on a side note...I seriously recommend putting countless hours into food blogging rather than studying. It pays off! I killllllled that exam.)
By the time I got home today, I still wasn't absolutely sure about what I was going to whip up. But after perusing my cupboards, I decided on a nice bowl of quinoa [a tasty rice-like staple that is also a complete protein] with an array of roasted vegetables [sweet potato, broccoli, orange pepper, and onion] and steamed spinach!
Mmmm... it was super yummy!!! I ended up adding some tamari sauce too...because well, I like salt. Enjoy!
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
In desperate need of another excuse not to study, I decided to make dinner at around 730 tonight. It was the final meal on my "detox diet," so I did not have much to choose from. However, having done a whole and hearty grocery shop today I was loaded with beautiful vegetables...what to do with those vegetables; that was the question!
I started by sautéing an onion and chopped garlic in some olive oil (a process I tend to begin all of my dishes with even before I know what I am going to make!) With that combo sizzlin', I just started chopping up more vegetables and adding them to the mix: broccoli, orange pepper, and corn.
For some protein tonight, I decided on cubed tofu...so I threw in about a 1/4 cup of it! As you may know, tofu doesn't have a lot of flavour..so I like to douse it with a splash of tamari or soy sauce at the end! I served this veggie/tofu mixture on a bed of spinach leaves (a meal I have become well acquainted with over the past couple of weeks) I put a dollap of my homemade salad dressing (tahini, [ground up sesame seeds] lemon juice, garlic and almond milk), and then sprinkled some hot chili peppers and ground flax seeds on top for some extra zip and flavour!
Lemon Tahini Dressing
adapted from Wild Rose Detox Recipe book
2/3 cup original almond milk
5 tbs. lemon juice
1 garlic clove (I add more!)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup tahini
I used this as a dressing for basically everything during my cleanse because I am a Condiment Queen, and this was essentially the only condiment I was allowed. However, it is realllly good!!
Oh, and I also had a bowl of stove top popcorn tonight...but I did not take a photograph. I am sorry! There really is nothin' like it though...and it makes the whole house smell amazing.
Now, you're probably wondering what sort of "marvelous snack" one can make out of kale. Well, it's quite simple: kale chips.
2 tsp. olive oil
salt & pepper (or any other seasonings you may like)
Not being able to have my usual cereal salad (a concoction that I have become known for! One type of cereal is far too boring in a bowl...so I mix whatever cereals I have on hand together, add some raisins, walnuts, bananas and flax seeds and WA-LA: a cereal salad!) every morning due to the "no flour" rule, I have had to rely on oatmeal...which is never a bad thing! However, it does have a tendency to be "boring," so I had to find a way to giv'er some flavour.
Then, slice up about half an apple and add that to the mixture...this way the apple has time to soften and soak in the oats!