Camping at Levette LakeThis summer in BC is going to be one to remember, I can already feel it. This past weekend I got together with some friends and went camping at Levette Lake which is located just past Squamish. The scenery there was absolutely incredible. There’s something about sitting around the bonfire looking up at the night sky and snow capped mountains all while enjoying some vino that really does it for me. The more time I spend exploring the more I realize I need that constant adventure in my life. Before leaving for our camping trip I had some time to make some Raspberry, Rhubarb and Strawberry Galettes. I had quite a bit of extra filling left over so I also made some crumble as well. You can find the recipe for the dough here.

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The following day we woke up and made a big breakfast on the campfire.  We had planned to go and do a local hike but the water looked more inviting. I was actually surprised of how warm the lake temperature was. A half hour later we were swimming to this island in the middle of the lake to jump off a rock and a giant log. We were all tempted to stay another night but the weather wasn’t looking too great so we started to head back to the city, stopping off in Squamish at Howe Sound Brewery for some eats. The sunday I had a long overdue lady dinner date were I made some delicious Homemade Lentil Soup and Fresh Spring Salad. All-in-all a great weekend.1

Rhubarb, Raspberry and Strawberry Galettes
 
Ingredients
  • Pie dough
  • 1½ pounds trimmed rhubarb, cut into ¼-inch pieces (about 5 cups)
  • 1½ cups fresh raspberries
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • Coarse sanding sugar, for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, toss to combine rhubarb, raspberries, strawberries, cornstarch, and granulated sugar.
  2. Roll out dough rounds and cover with a heaping ½ cup rhubarb mixture, leaving a 1-inch border. Fold edges over rhubarb filling, leaving an opening in center; gently brush water between folds, and press gently so that folds adhere. Refrigerate or freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush edges of dough with water, and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake until crusts are golden brown, about 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees, and bake until juices bubble and start to run out from center of each galette, 15 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely before serving.

 

 

Salmon Sliders with Yogurt-Dill Sauce

A low-key weekend was welcomed after a good stretch of holiday mode with the family. It was definitely time to get reacquainted with the beautiful city of Vancouver. I ended up doing some yoga, went for a beautiful hike to check out Lighthouse Park, ran the Lynn Valley Loop up to Rice lake and tested out Strange Fellows Brewery and Bandidas Taqueria a vegetarian and vegan Mexican joint with killer cocktails. IMG_0147No matter how long I’ve been here, I still feel like a newbie in the city and the fact that were so close to summer makes me pretty excited to spend even more time outside doing the fun activities I love!dan This sunday I was craving my favourite burger from Mile One Restaurant in Pemberton. Not having wheels or time I decided to attempt my own version of the Salmon Slider. I ended up making a Yogurt-Dill Sauce, but next time I may switch it up with some spicy mayo to give it more kick.IMG_0162

Salmon Slider with Yogurt-Dill Sauce
 
Ingredients
  • For the Salmon:
  • 1½ pounds salmon fillets
  • lemon pepper to taste
  • garlic powder to taste
  • salt to taste
  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup water
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • For the Yogurt-Dill Sauce:
  • 1 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup diced seedless cucumber
  • 1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1½ tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Feel free to add any other toppings you like! I used avocados, tomatoes, red onion, spinach and gluten free buns.
Instructions
  1. For the Salmon:
  2. Season salmon fillets with lemon pepper, garlic powder, and salt.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together soy sauce, brown sugar, water, and vegetable oil until sugar is dissolved. Place fish in a large resealable plastic bag with the soy sauce mixture, seal, and turn to coat. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Preheat grill for medium heat. Lightly oil grill grate. Place salmon on the preheated grill, and discard marinade. Cook salmon for 6 to 8 minutes per side, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.
  4. For the Yogurt-Dill Sauce:
  5. In a medium bowl, combine Greek yogurt, cucumber, lemon juice, garlic, and dill. Stir until well combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper. If you have time, chill before serving.

 

Mexican Chocolate Brownies

The past two weeks have absolutely flown by for me. On April 8th, I welcomed my twin sister Carly, and my mom to the west coast for our first ever ladies only trip. I can’t count on one hand the amount of times I belly laughed so hard it hurt through out the trip.

IMG_9855I guess you know you really had a good trip when you can look back and only dream of reliving each moment we had again and again.  From the amateur tours of Vancouver, the spa day on the island to Whistler Telus Fest I would do it all over again in a heart beat. FullSizeRenderI ended up making these brownies as a little pick me up on Friday signifying my first week back at work, which felt like a long while. If you’re looking for a little spicy time in your life in the form of a chocolate fix, I would make these Mexican Chocolate Brownies.IMG_0121

Mexican Chocolate Brownies
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a square pan.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt ½ cup butter. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar, eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in ⅓ cup cocoa, ½ cup flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes.

 

Blackened Cod Tacos

Spending the weekends exploring new places and fun outdoor activities is quickly becoming the norm since moving to the west coast. This long weekend I went up to Pemberton for the Friday-Saturday to check out two delicious local restaurants Solfeggio Foods and Mile One Eating House, I also successfully managed to cross the Joffre Lake hike off the bucket list!

1 Just when I thought spring was finally here to stay, we ended up having a small snow fall the friday night. It definitely made for a snowy/ slippery adventure up to the lake. Note to self …It’s time to invest in some decent trail hiking shoes.

2While up in Pemberton I met Evan, one of the owners of Pemberton Taco Co. I spent a great deal of time sifting through his cookbook collection and talking about tacos.  All of which inspired this new blog post. 3

Blackened Cod Tacos
Serves: 3
 
Ingredients
  • For the cod fish:
  • 1 lb cod fish (cut into 2 inch long fillets)
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¾ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp salt & ½ tsp black pepper
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp grapeseed oil
  • Cabbage slaw:
  • ½ cup shredded green cabbage
  • 1 cups shredded red cabbage
  • ½ matchstick carrots
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • Other toppings:
  • 1 ripe avocados sliced
  • ½ cup grape tomatoes
  • ½ jalapeño pepper chopped into small pieces (optional)
  • lime wedges (halves) and cilantro for serving
  • 6 flour tortillas
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl combine smoked paprika, garlic powder, oregano, cumin, salt, pepper and cayenne. Mix and then sprinkle over fish fillets, rub to evenly coat .
  2. Heat grape seed oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook fish until browned and firm or for around 4 minutes per side.
  3. In a large bowl combine salt, olive oil and apple cider vinegar and stir. Add cabbage and toss, so it is evenly coated with dressing.
  4. To assemble tacos: Warm tortillas in a skillet. Break cod fish into pieces. Distribute fish evenly between 6 tortillas, add cabbage slaw, avocado, and tomatoes
  5. Optional: you can top with some chopped cilantro, jalapeño pepper and any other toppings you prefer.

 

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.