17 Apr

Torta Margherita Recipe

While I’m talking about cakes, here’s one that was leaps and bounds more successful than the last.

This recipe comes from Pellegrino Artusi, the author of the veritable bible of recipes from all regions of Italy: La Scienza in Cucina e l’Arte di Mangiare Bene (The Science of Cooking and the Art of Eating Well) which he published in 1891.

Torta Margherita

As an uber-geek interested in both food and history, I get overly excited by historic recipes like that time I found out that the National Archives has a full copy of The New Galt Cookbook on their website(!)

I like to think about how much more work it would have been 100 years ago to prepare food compared to today. I think’s it’s amazing both how little and how much recipes have changed over the years. And I think eating food from historic recipes gives you a real connection to the past.

In my grade 12 Modern European History class, we had a project where we had to prepare a dish typical of revolutionary France. I still recall showing up to school smelling like fried bacon and onions from the roasted squash dish that I made that morning. Best. Project. Ever.

Torta Margherita

Italians love simplicity– seriously, just ask my Nonna. If she calls you “simple” it really is the utmost compliment.– even in their desserts. In this sense, Torta Margherita is classically Italian.

It’s an unintentionally gluten free and dairy free cake that has only 4 ingredients. It is made with potato starch (not potato flour) and leavened with egg whites. It’s cheap to make, it’s easy to make (although it would have arguably been a hell of a lot more labour intensive before the age of electric mixers and beaters), and it is a really great, light cake.

The taste and texture sort of reminds me of ladyfinger cookies which makes me think it would be awesome in a tiramisu. I ate mine with a very hefty drizzling of coconut curd (which is also coincidentally gluten free and dairy free).

Pellegrino Artusi’s Torta Margherita Recipe

This is a very simple cake that can be served in many ways. Simply with a dusting of icing sugar and dunked in a caffe, or served with a berry compote, or as part of a trifle or tiramisu, or you can drizzle it with an Asian coconut curd called Kaya if you want a really cool cross-cultural fusion like I did.

You can also play around with the flavours, swapping orange zest or vanilla or perhaps even a little rum for the lemon zest.

Ingredients

120 grams potato starch, sifted (not potato flour)
120 grams granulated sugar
4 eggs, separated
Zest of 1 lemon

Directions

Butter a round cake pan and line with parchment. I used a 6″ pan for a taller cake but you can also use an 8″ pan for a wider cake and bake it for less time.

Preheat the oven to 350*F

In a large bowl, beat the yolks together with the sugar until very pale and creamy. Add the lemon zest and the potato starch and beat until combined. Note: the potato starch will make the batter very tough and tacky, but don’t worry the egg white will lighten it up so it’s smooth and pourable.

In a separate clean bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form then fold the whites gently through the batter a little at a time. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake at moderate heat for an hour or until the cake is firm and passes the toothpick test.

Remove from the pan to a wire rack and let cool. Serve as desired with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar or with whatever accompaniment that you like (like coconut curd, for example).

Torta Margherita

17 Sep

Bran Flakes Cookies

Branflakes Cookies (1)

Okay, I’m a little bit late to the Baking Partners challenge this month. It was supposed to be posted on Saturday. Woops.

I got caught up doing really important things this weekend like drinking enough wine to get me dancing to a live Bon Jovi cover band, sipping Starbucks as I waited in Canadian Tire for some terrible news about the state of my car’s suspension system, and (sort of, but not really) watching football. You know, important stuff.

Anyway, this month’s theme was cookies. There were three cookie recipes to choose from, or you could make all three. Given that I’m trying to whittle my middle I opted to only make one type, and I opted to try to healthify it.

The recipe in question is for Cornflake Cookies, supposedly (based on my comrades results) it is a crunchy cookie filled with coconut and raisins and crusted with crushed cornflakes. I made a few swaps to the recipe and I got an entirely different result. I think.

Substitution 1: Coconut

First off, the recipe calls for dessicated coconut. Earlier in the week I had cracked open a fresh coconut, shaved the insides into flakes with a vegetable peeler and toasted under the broiler. I figured it would be a shame to use store bought shredded coconut in these cookies, so I used these flakes instead.

Tip: Stick with shredded coconut, but toast it.

The toasted flavour was amazing in the cookies, but the large flakes didn’t really combine well into the dough. Next time around, I’ll used shredded coconut but I will toast it first to bring out the nutty flavour.

Toasted Coconut Flakes

Substitution 2: Sugar

In sticking with the coconut theme, I decided to substitute coconut sugar for granulated. This was among my free swag from Swanson and I wanted to give it a try in baking.

I thought this made a decent sub for regular sugar. It had a nutty taste and though it didn’t cream together with the butter as well as white sugar does, it didn’t affect the texture of the cookie, which is something I worry about when I sub different sweeteners during baking.

Coconut SugarCoconut Sugar

Butter creamed with coconut sugarButter Creamed with Coconut Sugar

Substitution 3: Raisins

This recipe only called for 2 tablespoons of raisins. I found this volume to be absurdly low so I amped it up a bit, to 1/4 cup. Still not enough. In the end I was lucky if I found a raisin in the cookie at all. I would definitely ramp up the raisin count next time.

Tip: Add 1/2 – 3/4 c raisins to the cookies. Even that will be a modest amount.

Substitution 4: Flour

Since I’m trying to steer clear of white carbs I swapped all purpose flour for whole wheat. This also ups the protein and fibre content of the dough which makes the cookies chewy since protein and fibre bind to water.

Tip: The fibre in whole wheat flour makes it absorb moisture more easily than all purpose flour, this could make the cookie dough a bit drier. If the dough is too dry to work with, try adding a tablespoon of milk.

Substitution 4: Cereal

While we’re talking fibre, I figured I’d up the fibre content even more by swapping out regular corn flakes for bran flakes. Now that’s a high fibre cookie.

Branflakes Cookies (9)Rolling the cookie dough in crushed bran flakes

Branflakes Cookies (10)Ready for the oven

Results

I baked the cookie for only 12 minutes instead of the 15-20 recommended and it yielded a very nutty flavoured cookie that was chewy but had a crunchy exterior from the bran flakes. In the end I really liked it.

The only changes I would make would be to add a lot more raisins and to use the shredded coconut called for in the recipe.

Branflakes Cookies (12)

Bran Flakes Cookies

adapted from Baking: Common Sense by Murdoch Books

Ingredients

125 grams softened butter
3/4 c (165grams) sugar coconut sugar
2 eggs (lightly beaten)
1 t vanilla extract
2 T 1/2 c raisins
1-1/2 c (135grams) toasted shredded coconut
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
2 c (250grams) all purpose whole wheat flour
2 c crushed cornflakes bran flakes

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F, line two baking trays with baking paper.Sie ve the flour with baking soda and baking powder.

Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl,using electric beaters until they turns light and fluffy.

Gradually add the egg, beating thoroughly after each addition, add the vanilla and beat until combined.

Now add the raisins,coconut, give a stir. Fold the flour mixture with a metal spoon and stir until the mixture is almost smooth.

Put the crushed cornflakes in a shallow dish, then drop tablespoon of this cookie mixture onto the cornflakes and roll into balls.

Arrange on the trays, bake for 15-20minutes or until they turns golden.

Cool completely and arrange it in an air tightened box.

Branflakes Cookies (11)

Check out some of the other Baking Partners post at the link up here.

16 Feb

Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day was probably my favourite day as a kid. I don’t care what anybody says, nothing beats celebrating Valentine’s Day between the ages of 6 and 12 in the good ol’ grade school days.

You spend an entire weekend afternoon writing out valentines on those little perforated cardboard cards to everyone in your class and sealing them with kisses.

You make sure to scrutinize each pre-written message so that your friends get the “Best Friends” cards, your crushes get the “Be Mine” cards, and those kids that you don’t even talk to get something generic like “You’re A-okay valentine!”.

Or maybe just the girls do this. Yeah, it’s probably just a little girl thing.


This card would definitely have been reserved for the grade school ‘love of my life’

At school you make a little paper bag with a heart and your name on it and you go around spreading the Valentine’s day joy into each person’s bag. Everyone is excited and happy and running high on the sugar from candy hearts.

I’m not gonna lie, I still have most of my valentines cards from grade school. I don’t even keep cards from my family and yet those cards from kids I don’t even see anymore are still hiding in the nightstand at my dad’s house.

That atmosphere of excitement is entirely lost when you reach high school and you’re not friends with everyone anymore. People start dating and it feels like Valentine’s Day is just for couples and you feel left out of the fun. But it’s even more distant when you’re in a relationship and you feel pressured to go over the top for Valentine’s Day with flowers, and fancy dinners, and heart-shaped jewellery.

Luckily, Matt totally gets Valentine’s Day. It’s about small thoughtful gestures, random acts of kindness, and candy. Last night Matt made me coconut chocolate pudding, and we ate it together while watching our favourite show: Top Chef.

Chocolate Pudding for Valentine's

That’s my idea of a great Valentine’s Day.

P.S. I asked Matt for the chocolate pudding recipe, but he lost it 🙁

Update: Here is the recipe he used, but he added shredded coconut and orange blossom water.


Matt also e-mailed this lovely collection of cards to me and I swooned.

If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you’ll understand.

27 Nov

Banana Raita with Toasted Coconut and Mint

This weekend was so loaded that I could hardly believe that it was Sunday when I woke up this morning. I was convinced it was Monday today.

I had one of those awesome weekends where I got to spend time with friends and family that I don’t see on a regular basis. I went up to Woodstock to visit my cousin and her husband who built a beautiful house up there recently. Also I was able to spend time with my sister and brother-in-law and my friend who goes to school in Minnesota who were all home for US thanksgiving.

Today I did a bit of shopping at the mall and after trying on about 8 different black turtlenecks at 4 different stores I finally found one that I liked (you wouldn’t think finding a basic turtleneck would be so difficult). I only have a few more things that I need for my winter wardrobe and I’ll be done with shopping until spring. Thankfully.

And in the kitchen, this recipe for Banana Raita sort of fell off the radar for a while (especially since I can’t eat too much dairy) but I made it again and remembered just how good it was.

I learned this recipe when I went with Matt, my sister, and my brother-in-law to an Indian cooking class in Chicago (you can read about it here). It was my favourite recipe that we made that night and definitely the easiest to make.

DSCF7399

Banana Raita with Toasted Coconut and Mint

Makes 1-1/2 cups

This recipe is savoury and refreshing. It makes a nice side for a spicy Indian dinner but I like it just as much for breakfast.

Ingredients

1/2 c shredded unsweetened coconut
3/4 c plain full fat yoghurt
1 Tbsp milk or soy milk
1/4 tsp sea salt
3 firm, ripe miniature bananas
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh mint

Directions

Heat a small pan over high heat. Add the coconut and dry toast it in the pan until golden brown, tossing often to even the browning. 2-3 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine the yoghurt, milk, and salt.

Peel the bananas, halve them lengthwise, and cut into 1/2” pieces. Add to the yoghurt along with the mint and coconut. Stir gently to combine. Serve cold.


Holiday Health Challenge Update:

This is the third week of my Holiday Health Challenge and I did really shitty. I had so much stuff going on this week, like the concert and travelling up to Woodstock to visit my cousin, that I hardly logged my meals, and I had to miss a few workouts. Not a great week.

1) Keep a food journal – B-

I missed a few days of journalling but I did eat quite a bit more protein this week and tried to plan my meals a little bit better on the days that I was able to journal my food.

2) Eliminate processed sugar – D

Again, I managed to go a couple of days without eating sweets

3) Floss my teeth every day – A-

I only missed a couple of days.

4) Start the day with lemon juice and water – A-

Every day but twice this week.

5) Run 150 miles – A-

I only ran 16 miles though I had planned to do 20. I’m at 78 miles since Nov 6 so I’m more than halfway there and on the right track.

6) Squat 155lbs for 5 reps – B

I missed one of my weightlifting workouts so I didn’t back squat today. On the plus side though, I did 115lb front squats!

7) Make my walks with Bagigis 5 minutes longer – B

I didn’t walk Bagigis as much as I normally do this week. Matt had to cover some of the walking duty because I was really busy this week. That said, she did get a few longer walks from me this week.

8 ) Take all my vitamins – A

I think I missed one day.

30 Oct

Macaroons

coconut macaroons

I love macaroons. They’re coconut, a flavour which I adore, and they have this great chewy texture which I love.

I made these macaroons one night when I wanted to make a cookie but I had no butter or eggs in the house. My options were limited.

These only take about 5 minutes to whip up and 20 minutes to bake. I over-baked mine a bit because they were smaller than normal macaroons and I didn’t adjust the baking time accordingly. Plus, my oven is a notoriously fast baker.

Coconut Macaroon

  • Coconut Macaroons

    Ingredients

  • 2 2/3 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
    2/3 cup granulated sugar
    1/3 cup all-purpose flour
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    3 egg whites
    1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Directions

Preheat oven to 325F.

Combine coconut, sugar, flour, and salt. Stir in egg whites and almond extract.

Drop coconut mixture by the tablespoon 2 inches apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.


This recipe is part of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies.

12 weeks of christmas graphic

Prior Posts:

Week 5: Wildberry Dream Cookies
Week 4: Speculaas: Dutch Spice Cookies
Week 3: Poppy Seed Filling
Week 2: Cinnamon Bun Cookies
Week 1: Soft & Pillowy Coconut Frosted Cookies

28 Sep

Soft & Pillowy Coconut Frosted Cookies

soft pillowy coconut cookies

While you’re decking your porches with mums and pumpkins I’m skipping fall and have my sights set straight on Christmas.

I’m taking apart in the 12 pounds to Samantha’s waistline more widely known as the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies, again this year!

I will have one delightful cookie or candy recipe headed your way everything Thursday from now until December 15th (so that way you’ll have 10 days after it’s over to make all 12 recipes).

How stoked are you? Very. I know.

12 weeks of christmas graphic

These cookies were a bit of a mistake. I wanted to make a flat, chewy cookie with a little bit of crunch to the edges. But instead what I got was a very soft, dome-shaped cookie with little chew and no crunch.

I am not a fan of super soft cookies.

Matt tasted one. “It needs something.” He was right. The cookie just wasn’t complete as it was.

So, I frosted it.

soft pillowy coconut cookies

There was something about the soft texture that I immediately loved once I added the sweet coconut frosting. It reminded me of those really soft store-bought cookies with the crazy-coloured frosting. . . but, you know, way better.

Matt actually loved the resulting cookie (in fact he’s looking over my shoulder at my blog post right now – which is mildly annoying- saying “oh those cookies are so good!”) . I loved them too. Surprisingly, the failure turned into a success and I’m definitely going to be making these again. I love when that shit happens.


soft pillowy coconut cookies

Soft & Pillowy Coconut Frosted Cookies

(makes 18 large cookies)

  • Ingredients
  • Cookie
    ½ lb salted butter
    1½ c dark brown sugar
    2 eggs
    ½ tsp vanilla
    ½ tsp ground cinnamon
    pinch ground cardamom
    ½ tsp baking soda
    ½ tsp baking powder
    2 ½ c AP flour

    Frosting

    ½ c icing sugar
    2 tsp coconut milk
    1 T unsweetened shredded coconut

    Directions

    Melt the butter and allow to cool.

    Cream the butter and sugar together with a whisk. Whisk in the eggs (one at a time), vanilla, and spices. Add the baking soda, baking powder and flour.

    (Note: For the most accurate measurement of the flour, lightly spoon it from the container into the measuring cup and level off the flour even with the top edge of the measuring cup using the back of a knife. Don’t use the measuring cup to scoop the flour out of the container.)

    Mix until just incorporated – the dough will be wet and sticky.

    Scoop cookie dough and using wet hands form into a ball about the size of a golf ball. Place onto a parchment lined baking sheet (don’t press down on the balls, you want the cookies to have that pillowy dome shape).

    Bake at 350*F for 10 minutes or until light golden brown. The cookies should still be very soft and look underbaked. Let them cool on a rack before frosting.

    While the cookies are cooling combine the icing sugar in a small bowl with the coconut. Slowly add coconut milk 1 tsp at a time, making sure that the first tsp is fully incorporated before adding the next. The frosting should be thick and spreadable with a butter knife. If not, add more coconut milk (sparingly!) or icing sugar until the desired consistency is reached.

    Spread the frosting on the cooled cookie and allow it to harden before eating.


    This recipe is being linked up at Meal Planning Magic the lovely host blog of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies.
15 Sep

Raw Vegan Key Lime Pie

I bought a whole bunch of cashews on a Bulk Barn shopping spree a few weeks ago so that I could make a raw dessert. I see cashews used often in raw and vegan desserts because they have a neutral taste and a creamy texture so they can be used to mimic cream.

Cashews as a substitute for cream are not a calorie saver, but if you’re concerned about eating animal products or if you’re tryng to eat more raw foods then they’re a good option.

I completely forgot about my cashews until last night when I was looking for something to top a Chinese stir fry that I had made for dinner and remembered cashews (because aren’t cashews just the best part of stir fry?)

So I decided to whip up a raw pie right after dinner so I wouldn’t forget . . . but then the hydro went out.

I was unimpressed, primarily because there was no entertaining thunderstorm to accompany the power outage. That would have at least made the it all a bit more bearable.

Eventually, the power did come back on and I ended up pulling out the food processor and whipping up this bad boy at 11pm (which is basically my peak baking time anyhow, so no harm done).

It’s actually quite good. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from a raw dessert but this one is pretty tasty. Of course it doesn’t taste exactly like key lime pie, but you can taste the key lime pie influence on this dish. I definitely ate more of it than I should have– a very good sign.

The crust is sweet and a bit chewy and the filling is creamy and tart.

It was even Matt approved! I can tell that he wants me to make it again because his reaction was:
“Let me guess, you didn’t write down the recipe” (because this literally happens all the time)

But this time, I did.

Raw Vegan Key Lime Pie

makes one deep 5″ pie (which I made in a brie baker)

Ingredients

Crust

1 c. oats
1/2 c. dates
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp date molasses (This is my liquid sweetener of choice, you could also use agave or brown rice syrup)

Filling

1 c. raw cashews
1/4 c. raw almonds
2 tsp. coconut oil
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. date molasses (or agave or brown rice syrup)
juice of 2 limes
juice of 1/4 lemon
water as needed (~3 Tbsp)
coconut flakes (optional, for topping)

Directions

Process the oats in a food processor until they become a coarse flour.

Add the remaining crust ingredients and pulse until the mixture comes together. It will be crumbly but you should be able to form it into balls with your hands.

Press the crust into a greased 5″ round baking dish (I used a brie baker for this).

Next, process the cashews and almonds into a flour.

Add the coconut oil, vanilla, date molasses, and citrus juices to the food processor and process until the mixture is smooth. This will take about 8 to 10 minutes. Add water as needed to get the mixture to a consistency of peanut butter.

Spread the filling onto the crust and top with shredded coconut if desired. Refrigerate overnight to allow the pie to set before cutting into it.

(The pie will hold its shape very well. I was able to remove it easily from the brie baker once it had set.)

27 Apr

Trying to Plan Meals

I set out a meal plan for myself yesterday and promised I’d check back and let you know if I stuck to it.

Breakfast: Poached Egg on Ciabatta Toast with Dijon mustard and mixed greens. Check.


Morning Lunch: Strawberry Banana Soy Milk Smoothie. Check.

Afternoon Lunch: Leftover Cabbage and Barley Soup. Check.

Snack: Dates and Almonds. Check.
Dinner: West African Spinach with Groundnuts. Check. (Unfortunately, this recipe didn’t taste as good as it looks)

Dessert: Sliver of Coconut Cake. Definitely! I ate it while watching Top Chef Canada with Matt.

Besides the dishes that I had planned out, I also ate 6 Hershey’s Kisses from my Easter Candy stash and another piece of homemade ciabatta with Gudbrandsdalost (the delicious brown cheese I brought back from Norway)

Ballparking the coconut cake at around 250 calories my intake for the day was:

1825 cal: 39% fat/48% carbs/13% protein

I like the idea of planning my meals a day in advance instead of counting my calories after the day is done. It gives me a good indication of how much I’m going to be eating rather than how much I already ate. I’ve had occasions where I’ve tallied up my calories at the end of the day and thought “WHAT?!?! I ate THAT much?!” No Bueno.

Now I’m toying with the idea of planning out my next day’s meals daily but it’s a big commitment and it doesn’t leave wiggle room in case my cravings change.  So maybe I will plan my meals out in advance and then decide my snacks the next day. Thoughts? Do you plan your meals in advance? How does it work out for you?

Bikini Fitness:

I headed to the Downtown Yoga Studio last night for an awesome Asthanga Yoga class. It was a really powerful class and I was sweating like crazy. I wore my vibrams and they were the talk of the class. I’m glad I wore them since I was sweating so much I would have otherwise just slipped right off my mat.

The serenity that came with the practice was very quickly overshadowed by the parking ticket I found on my car window. I better blogger would, at this point, post a picture of their windshield with the ticket and maybe a ‘selfie’ of them with a posed angry face.  But I was actually angry and had no time for such nonsense so I did the more rational thing: sped home (in the hopes of not getting a speeding ticket on top of the parking ticket), yelled about it to Matt, and then randomly started dusting my filthy (read: not so filthy) bedroom furniture. I’m still pissed about that ticket.

I cooled down a bit in time for an impromptu 5K nature walk with my friend Tina. Okay, so it wasn’t really a nature walk—just a walk along the nearby wooded trails—but we did see a deer and a bat, so that counts for something right?

25 Apr

Rustic Cabbage and Barley Soup with Apple

It’s been a few weeks since I made a soup. With Matt being sick with some type of virus or another he requested soup. I was happy to oblige considering the huge head of cabbage in the fridge and the fact that Matt considers a can of “sirloin burger” chunky soup to provide adequate fluids and nutrition to a sick body. Seriously? Sirloin Burger? Dude, no.

Since I missed out on grocery shopping over the weekend I headed to Freshco after work today and came out with a cart full of produce… a week’s worth of food for only $40. Per-fect.

So I put together this really hearty and delicious cabbage soup for Matt.


Rustic Cabbage and Barley Soup with Apple

(makes ~8 cups)

Ingredients
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup chopped celery hearts and leaves
1 large russett potato, peeled and chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
2 small apples peeled and chopped
2 T oil
1/4 c flour
10 cups water
1 beef bouillon cube
1 T dried parsley
4 c coarsely shredded cabbage
1/4 c uncooked barley
1 T paprika
2 bay leaves
2 T fresh thyme leaves
1/4 c tomato paste
1/4 t fennel seeds
Salt & pepper to taste (~a tablespoon of each)

Directions
In a large pot heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the onion, celery, potato, carrot and apple and sauté until soft.
Stir in flour and cook for 1-2 minutes
Then add the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer covered for at least 30 minutes or up to an hour.
Remove bay leaves.


By the time I was done making this I had eaten 6 Hershey’s Kisses, some brown cheese (I smuggled from Norway) with homemade ciabatta that I baked last night,

ciabatta

and a huge ass carrot that I had intended for the soup. I wasn’t even hungry.

…but leftover soup makes the best lunches so I know what I’ll be having all week!

I did find room for this though:

Best Cake You'll Ever EatBest Cake You'll Ever Eat

Look familiar?

Best Cake You'll Ever Eat

That’s the coconut cake that my sister Victoria made for my birthday

Best Cake You'll Ever Eat

It’s the best cake I’ve ever eaten in my life. Honestly, it’s amazing. It’s some sort of heavenly combination of a million and a half layers of coconut cake separated by some insanely delicious frosting. I really can’t say enough about the amazingness that is this cake.

I gave a slice to Matt and he loved it, of course. His criticism was that it had too many layers. I’ve never heard of too many layers on a cake. That’s blasphemy! Clearly his sickness has made him delusional.

Naturally it wasn’t my plan to eat coconut cake for dinner, so I need to be proactive and prevent myself from falling into that pit again tomorrow, and Wednesday, and Thursday, etc, etc, etc, until the cake is gone. I decided to plan out my meals in advance for tomorrow so that this doesn’t happen again. I’ll check back with you tomorrow to let you know if I actually ate what I list here:

Say it/Eat it

Breakfast: Poached Egg on Ciabatta Toast with Dijon mustard and mixed greens.
Morning Lunch: Strawberry Banana Smoothie
Afternoon Lunch: Leftover Cabbage Soup
Snack: Dates and Almonds
Dinner: West African Spinach with Groundnuts
Dessert: Sliver of Coconut Cake.

Yeah, I eat lunch twice. It’s the highlight of my work day, not gonna lie.

18 Feb

day 23: mussels for my muscles

Matt and I had cravings today that were totally on the same wavelength. Before work today he had suggested that we just had appetizers for dinner because he would be tutoring tonight, but throughout the day I was craving seafood. Knowing I had coconut in the cupboard and shrimp in the freezer, and I had planned on making coconut shrimp.

But when I got home and went into the kitchen look what I saw on the counter:

I was soooo excited! Matt had bought and prepped everything for mussels. And not just ANY mussles, but mussels in coconut broth! Do you see what I mean about sharing cravings?

For those who can’t read chicken scratch it says: “Mussels have been scrubbed! AKA hardest part done”. Thanks Matt 😀

The cookbook that the recipe comes from is Gordon Ramsey’s Fast Food. Matt got it as a Christmas present in ’08 from his mom. Some of the recipes are a bit beyond what I could forsee myself making (Warm Blood Sausage and Quail Egg Salad, anyone? …no?)  but I love that all the recipes really are quick to make. The mussels only took me about 10 to cook. Awesome.

I was starving (as per usual) after my workout, so while I was waiting for Matt to come home I had a little appetizer. We have a [rapidly dwindling] stack of fresh mountain bread that I needed an excuse to eat. Luckily Matt had bought a different kind of hummus today when he was at the store. I’ve never had jalapeno hummus before. I’m usually a bit of a hummus purist (maybe it’s the Lebanese in me) but I actually liked the jalapeno flavour. I’ll be buying it again, for sure!

Oh what a satisfying food day!

Lent update: I nearly forgot about my “no sweets” vow and almost dipped into the candy bowl at work today. But I caught myself 😀