Roadtriptoseattle

It’s interesting how life unfolds and when the person you’ve always dreamed of becoming slowly starts coming to fruition. If I look back at only a year ago, I would have never imagined I would be taking a solo road trip down to Seattle. I mean, of course it‘s always something I’ve wanted to do but making it happen was another story. The urge to explore the outdoors, new cities and meet new people continue to build. Before leaving to head down the coast, I ended up picking up this girl named Miia, a backpacker, from Finland who had been travelling the world for the last year or so. It made the drive super interesting, especially when I figured out she was actual chef. Needless to say we spoke a lot about food and her unique travel experiences. She even ended up sharing with me some great traditional Finnish recipes that I hope to test out soon on the blog. After our three hour drive down I dropped her off in Fremont; a part of Seattle which is known for it’s quirky art community. While there I stumbled across this tasty vegan bakery called Flying Apron Bakery, where I grabbed a hot beverage and a small chocolate chip muffin. After that I continued to walk around and ended up finding this great Vintage shop and ended up picking up this small beautiful necklace and a couple vintage postcards.
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From Fremont, I headed straight to the iconic Pike Place Market. Parking was a bit tricky, but I managed to find some and ended up walking around for a good hour and a half. IMG_9158The weather was on point, so despite being a friday afternoon the market was packed. I made the most of my time and wandered around soaking up the beautiful view of the ocean, fresh market fish, flowers, and of course baked treats. IMG_9154Looking back, I definitely wish I had planned more time at the market, so that I was able to pick up some fresh goods to bring back for dinner. Next trip will have to be at least two nights.
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From the market, I drove to check into the Airbnb place I had booked. The last time I had used the service was while I was in Israel and the experience was equally as great. I checked into this beautiful bedroom, and met Caitlin and Chais who are a wonderful couple who made me feel right at home. Caitlin and I sat down and chatted for and she got me to try some of her homemade kombucha.  She also provided some awesome recommendations on restaurants and spots to check out while in town. That evening I went to go check out Ballard, a neighbourhood in northwest Seattle. I had a couple places in mind that I wanted to check out so I started the night out first at Walrus and the Carpenter where I ended up finding a seat up at the bar and enjoyed a few oysters and a small salad. From there I went to Ocho a spanish inspired tapas bar where I ordered a few different platers and topped it off with a deadly sweet dessert at Hot Cakes, a molton chocolate cakery.  That morning I woke up and went to a great brunch spot called Talluah’s in the Capitol Hill area. I absolutely fell in love with the decor of this spot. My tummy rather enjoyed the avocado toasts & mimosa combo too before hitting the road. Once again, it was an absolute beautiful day outside, and I wasn’t exactly jumping for joy at the thought of having to drive back to Vancouver already. But before reaching the border, I decided to stop in Bellingham to visit a friend.  While there he suggested we hike Oyster Dome, a classic trail that takes you from sea level to a stunning lookout 2,075 feet above with a 180 degree view of the Puget Sound, San Juan Islands, and Olympic Mountains. FullSizeRenderIt was one of those hikes that I will most certainly be doing again. I could have easily just stayed up there the rest of the day basking in the sun, highs of 17 degrees while enjoying a cold beverage.
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Before I finish the post about my trip, I wanted to mention that this adventure wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for my good friend Tyler, who not only lent me his truck but also his GPS. Without both, this trip wouldn’t have ever happened. Cheers to the PNW as it continues to amazes me. I can’t wait to discover more of the beautiful coast. 

SuperbowlSnacks

No football party is complete without a solid spread of touchdown-worthy snacks. These clean, whole food recipes will give you the energy you need to root for your team. Read the full post on the lululemon blog.

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CoconutBananaWaffles

I’ve had some serious cravings for some waffles all week long and figured it was a sign that I should whip some up when I found my girlfriends old waffle maker while moving into my new place..With only a few simple ingredients, there I was friday night making some Coconut Banana Waffles for the morning. I ended up having a few left over so I wrapped them straight up and put them in the fridge to eat on another special occasion.

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Coconut Banana Waffles
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ cup white whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¾ cup chopped walnuts ⅓ cup melted coconut oil
  • ¾ cup coconut milk
  • ¾ cup overripe mashed bananas (2 small bananas), plus more for topping
  • 2/ 3 apple sauce
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Heat waffle iron on high heat, about one notch down from the highest setting.
  2. In a medium bowl mix together the flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, sea salt and nutmeg. Stir in the chopped walnuts.
  3. In a double-broiler, combine the melted coconut oil and coconut milk. Microwave for 30 seconds, or until the mixture is lukewarm. Whisk in mashed banana, egg, and vanilla extract.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Be careful not to over mix. Pour batter onto the heated waffle iron, enough to cover the center and most of the central surface area. Once the iron has stopped steaming and the waffle is deeply golden, transfer it to a cooling rack or baking sheet. Don't stack your waffles on top of each other, or they'll lose crispness. Place in oven to keep warm. Repeat.
  5. Top with sliced bananas and pure maple syrup, and serve.

 

Salmon Bowls

One of my favourite things about living on the west coast is the access I have to fresh seafood. These Salmon Bowls are easily my go-to when I’m looking for a quick and hearty meal to cook up. I usually tend to serve the salmon with some sweet potatoes, avocado and sautéed kale and tomato. The flavour combination is always top-notch.FullSizeRender-3

 

Salmon Bowls
 
Ingredients
  • Salmon
  • 1 Whole Salmon Filet (2 lbs)
  • 1 Tbl Montreal steak spice
  • 1 Tbl Extra Virgin Oil
  • Kale & Tomato
  • 1 bunch kale (removed from stem, torn into small pieces, washed and dried)
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic (finely grated with a microplane grater or finely chopped)
  • 1 tbsp extral virgin olive oil
  • sprinkle of sea salt
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Ripe avocado
Instructions
  1. For Salmon:
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F. Cut the salmon into 4 smaller filets.
  3. Dust with Montreal steak spice mixture. Over medium/high heat, melt the olive oil. Lay the seasoned filets face-down in the frying pan. Cook them over medium/high heat for 4 minutes.
  4. Flip the filets then immediately transfer them to the oven. Bake 4-5 minutes for a more rare finish or 6-7 minutes for well done.
  5. For Sauteed Kale and Tomatoes
  6. In a large frying pan, heat the oil
  7. When oil is hot, but not burning, add the garlic and tomatoes.
  8. Sautee until the garlic is fragrant and tomatoes are soft, about 2 min.
  9. Add the kale and using a pair of tongs, rotate the bottom leaves to the top. Continue to do this as the kale cooks down, about 5 - 7 minutes.
  10. For Sweet potatoes
  11. Preheat oven to 400°F. In a small saucepan, melt coconut oil over medium heat. Toss potatoes with oil, salt and pepper together in a large bowl until evenly coated. Spread potatoes in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 40 minutes
  12. Layer salmon, sautéed kale and tomatoes, sweet potatoes and avocado in a bowl and enjoy!

 

detox brunch n’ burn

IMG_0808“If you’ve been as merry as we have, you might be feeling in need of a fresh start. The last glass of eggnog has been drank and our bellies are full of mulled wine, turkey, stuffing and pies—it’s the perfect time of year to cleanse our systems and get a head start on those healthy resolutions.” Check out the rest of this post up on the lululemon blog

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

Everyone should attempt to make this amazingly tasty Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai. This type of meal brings me back to the time I was living in good ol’ Montreal. While working at American Apparel, I used to pop on over across the street to grab this deliciously authentic Pad Thai from a strange indoor mall restaurant that I wish I could recall the name. What I love most about this dish is that its completely gluten-free and filled with tons of fresh veggies to kick start you into the new year.

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Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai
 
Ingredients
  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • ½ medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 carrots, coursely shredded
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 and ½ cup bean sprouts, divided
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1½ cups kale
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • ½ cup roasted salted peanuts, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, divided
  • 1 lime
  • Sauce
  • 2½ cloves garlic, minced
  • ½-inch piece ginger root, peeled, minced
  • ¾ cups natural smooth peanut butter
  • ¼ cup plus 2 Tablespoons lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 2½ tbsp tamari
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 cups water, preferably filtered + more if needed
  • Cayenne pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 F.
  2. Cut the squash in half, and scoop out all the seeds. Season with salt and pepper, and place face-down on a baking sheet. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until fork-tender.
  3. Remove from the oven and let cool until you can handle it. Once you can handle it, use a fork to scrape innards out into a colander. Let the "noodles" drain while you make the rest of the recipe.
  4. In the meantime, make the sauce. Put all of the ingredients for the sauce into a small saucepan and whisk to combine. Put over medium-low heat to warm. Don't let it come to a boil, just keep it warm while you are cooking the rest of the meal.
  5. In a large saucepan, heat the toasted sesame oil over medium-low heat. Add red onion and all of the garlic to the pan. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the red cabbage, carrots, red pepper, and 1 cup of bean sprouts. Cook until vegetables are warm but not soft about 5-7 minutes. From there add the steamed kale, and stir in the spaghetti squash and prepared sauce. Mix well.
  6. Serve garnished with cilantro, crushed peanuts, remaining green onion, and lime.

 

 

Banana Oat Ginger Pancakes

These Banana Oat Ginger Pancakes are one of the best meals to wake up too– especially, after an evening of fun! Not only are they quick to whip up.. they’re also light on the ingredient side, so you won’t have to go running out to the grocery store. The original recipe was posted on the Cookie and Kate website, I just added about a tablespoon of freshly grated ginger. FullSizeRender

Roasted Apple Butternut Squash Soup

Ive been meaning to get this Roasted Apple Butternut Squash Soup recipe up for awhile now. It’s one of my all-time favourite flavour combinations, that truly gets me through these cold and rainy winter months. This time around I decided to top it fresh parmesan, toasted sunflower seeds and pomegranate jewels.

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Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 (3 pound) butternut squash - peeled, seeded, and cubed
  • 2 Granny Smith apple - peeled, cored, and cubed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup apple cider
  • 1 cup veggie stock
Instructions
  1. Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F. Place squash and apples in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil; mix to coat; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place squash and apples on a baking pan. Roast the squash in the preheated oven until fork-tender and caramelized about 30 to 40 minutes depending on your oven.
  2. Meanwhile drizzle a bit more olive oil on pan sauté the garlic and onions with a bit of salt and pepper; about 5 minutes. Pour the apple cider over the mixture; reduce heat to medium-low and bring to a simmer; allow to reduce to about half its original volume. Stir in the veggie stock; simmer over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes.
  3. Puree the roasted squash and apples and veggie stock mixture in small batches using a blender, Garnish each bowl with whatever your heart desires.

 

BakedQuinoaFalafelburgers

Can you tell I’ve been having some major cravings for middle eastern food as of late? These Baked Quinoa Falafel Burgers absolutely hit the spot for me. I contemplated making homemade pitas, but I decided to opt in for the Collard greens instead- a healthier alternative and quite tasty at that.

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Quinoa Falafel Burgers
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup Cooked Quinoa
  • ½ Cup Cooked Garbanzo Beans
  • 1-2 Cloves Garlic
  • ¼ Grated Carrot
  • 2 Tbsp. Chopped Parsley
  • 1 Tbsp. Chopped Mint
  • 1 tsp. Lemon Zest
  • 1 tsp. Ground Cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. Chopped Onion
  • 1 tsp. Tahini
  • ¼ tsp. Smoked Paprika
  • sea salt & black pepper to taste
  • 4 large Collard wraps
  • Handful Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 Avocado
  • ¼ Cucumber, sliced
  • Handful of Mung Beans
Instructions
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and mix until the it forms a ball in the machine. Be careful not to over-mix it, as that will make it too sticky. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  2. Measure out dough into approximately 1 Tbsp. sized balls. Heat coconut oil in a large, oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Place the patties in the skillet; cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side.
  3. Transfer skillet to the preheated oven and bake until heated through, about 10 minutes.
  4. Serve wrapped in collards greens with all the other fixings you’d like.

 

Beet&GoatCheeseDip

With the holidays fast approaching I’ve decided to stick around the city this weekend and do a little prep work. I’m pretty much 85% done my Christmas shopping which I’m quite excited about.. seeing as most of my gifts will have to be shipped this year! Since I’m not going back to Ontario, I’ll be heading over to the island this week to spend some time with my cousins and then back up to Whistler to do some snowboarding! This Beet & Goat Cheese Dip has been on my mind for a while now. I first tried this combination while in Israel, and I thought it was about time I recreated it.FullSizeRender

Beet & Goat Cheese Dip
 
Ingredients
  • 1 small bunch beets
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ¼ cup goat cheese
  • freshly ground pepper
  • salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place the beets on a sheet of foil. Drizzle oil over top, and fold up into a packet. Roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  3. Once the packet is cool enough to handle, slip the beet skins off.
  4. Place the beets and peeled garlic clove in the bowl of a food processor. Add the goat cheese Process until combined. Add ¼ teaspoon of freshly ground pepper to start, and a pinch of salt. Pulse a few times to incorporate the seasonings, taste, and add more salt and pepper if you like.