The Morning Sunrise

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The morning sunrise sings love today.

The warmth of the summer sun on my back as I walk to work reminds me of all there is to be thankful for. It sings to me a song of love and anticipation for the day to come.

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Great North Road – Book Review

It has been awhile since I have posted anything and the only reason I can come up with is that I have been enjoying the summer weather. I’ve been wanting to share a book review for a while now, and I figured there is no other day like today. So here it goes:

thegreatnorthroad

Book: Great North Road (Peter F. Hamilton)

Grade: 6.5/10

When I first started reading Great North Road I was excited to be delving into another science fiction. It has been a while since I have read a book in that falls in this genre so I wasn’t sure what to expect. All I was hoping for was to be transported to another world where my mind would be challenged to imagine impossible things being possible. This book definitely satisfied those cravings and it even went further as I got a taste of suspense with the main story line of this novel focusing on the tracking down of a serial killer.

For me most suspense or murder mystery novels are page-turners that I get through rather quickly. This book was not one of those. In fact, it was the complete opposite. Whether it was the repetitive events or the jumping back and forth between characters/planets each time I began reading I had to persuade myself not to give up. By the time I was 2/3rds through the novel I began speed reading past some chunks. As if I had hopped on my own futuristic jet speeding to another galaxy. Although this type of flight often only gives you a bird’s eye view of the book I found it was the only way to accomplish what I set out to do: finish it.

What comes with long novels is plenty of content to draw take-aways and reflections (at least one should hope). While reading about the world of St. Libra it wasn’t only my imagination that was challenged, but my morals and beliefs were also challenged with some of the decisions that the characters had to make. On top of that it is always nice when one of the main characters is a admirable strong female. Essentially, this book provided everything I asked for from the start (once I actually finished it). Some of the commendable character traits and take-aways include:

  • Angela going back to rescue people who didn’t deserve to be rescued: She imaged them with a warm meal and was able to feel the joy that this would bring them.
  • Elston’s faith at the face of death that he was going to a better place
  • Disagreement about the justice in deploying a weapon on a monster between two people of the same faith.

edibles - reviews

All enjoyed over several delicious meals and snacks.

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Basic Protein Bread – with rising talk

The rise and the fall of high protein breads can cause me recipe repeats, headaches, and excited success. If you’ve ever experimented with baking high protein breads you will undoubtedly know that more often then not the size of the batter going in the oven is the size that comes out.

I’ve enjoyed a variety of different homemade protein breads from the tangy sourdough to the plain Jane loafs. The recipe I am about to share is one of my new staples that has been added to my weekend baking rotations.

One of the reasons I enjoy a basic plain “no decorations” added recipe is that I have much more flexibility. If I’m looking for a pizza base…check. If I’m looking for the perfect vehicle to peanut butter…I have that too.

basic protein bread

Ingredients: Instructions
•1 cup unsweetened whey protein powder

•1/2 cup oat fiber

•1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
•3 tbsp pumpkin purree
•2 tbsp sour cream
•1 cup egg whites
•2 tsp baking soda
•2 tsp baking powder
•1/2 tsp cream of tar tar
•1/2 tsp salt
•1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1)Mix dry ingredients.

2)Add sour cream,  pumpkin, egg whites. Mix on high for 2 minutes until egg whites fluff.

3)Add ACV last, mix for at least 2 minutes.

4)Bake 20 min in 425 deg F oven

Category Mark Comments Overall Grade
Convenience

A-

This recipe doesn’t have a lot of ingredients, and the mini loafs cook up in just 20 minutes!

B-

Health

A-

The stats per slice (half mini loaf) ~90 cal (2 g carbs/0 g fat/ 19 g protein). If you want to make it balanced top it with some peanut butter.
Taste

C+

The name says it all my friends: BASIC protein bread. Since it is rather plain I am marking the taste lower than some of my more elaborate protein breads like the marmite brown bread.
Texture

C+

Some may find the texture of this protein bread too dry. Others will enjoy it’s fluffy airy texture. It makes a great toasting bread.
General Comments: Recipe Makes 8 servings. I use for 4 silicone mini loaf pans and cut each in half.

A word of warning: in my experience there is a direct trade off between rising power and dryness in protein breads. The more rise means the more dry. As long as I know what to expect then dryness isn’t a turn off for me. It does however normally mean more toppings! Some of my favorite toppings for this bread include cream cheese, peanut butter, hummus, and melted chocolate. No, not all together (but you got to try cream cheese and hummus together). Another great option is slicing, topping and baking to create pizza bites

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What type of texture do you like in a bread? What is the strangest combined toppings you have tried on bread?

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A Summer Hello

It has been a while since I have posted. What can I say: when the sun is shining you can’t lure me to a computer screen. With a winter like we had I’ve been taking advantage of every sunny moment and I bribing me with baked goods wouldn’t even work. Ice cream outside…

Icecream

…while that is another story. I recently posted the above photo to my NEW instagram account. I jumped on the bandwagon a little late. If you have an account (which I am sure you do), then follow me (fine. only if you want to).

I did want to check in and I figured Wednesday was the perfect day to quickly post a few recent edibles.

Top left: breakfast bowl of cold cereal, frozen fruit, protein powder, and yogurt

Top right: lunch time picnic in the park of tuna pita and spinach salad

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Bottom left: afternoon snack at work of apple, crunchy corn cakes, bread, and yogurt

 Bottom right: evening snack of apple, strawberries, and a baking experiment.

Don’t worry I didn’t forget about dinner. That is the star of the show:


Pizza bites made on a homemade basic protein bread. I’ll be posting the recipe later this week.

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What trend were you late on the bandwagon for?  What are some of your recent favorite edibles? Do you like eating outside?

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The Power of Peach Protein Fluff – with magic

Finding a protein fluff method that actually produced firm fluffy peaks took me quite a bit of experimenting, but once I found one that worked there was no turning back.

peach fluff

I’m still always surprised when I the ingredients start off so simple yet they quickly get transformed to something so bouncy, fluffy, firm  and filling. It’s the magic of protein fluff.

peach fluff

By the way, this is the recipe that I entered in the ProteinPow contest last month.

the power of peach protein fluff

Ingredients: Instructions

•2 tbsp whey protein powder (must be fat free. I use an unsweetened whey with no other additives)

•1 tbsp any protein powder (I use a vanilla vegetarian protein mix with rice protein and and hemp protein)

•1/2 cup cartoned egg whites

•1/4 tsp cream of tar tar

•1 tsp Xanthan Gum

•1 tsp powdered sweetener (I use stevia)

•1/2 cup crushed frozen peaches slightly thawed (about 5 minutes outside of the freezer should do the trick)

• Saffron threads (for decorating)

1) Add egg whites and cream of tar tar to a CHILLED mixing bowl and mix on high until stiff peaks form (around 2 min)2) Add all remaining ingredients EXCEPT for the crushed berries. Mix on high for 2 minutes. The peaks will slightly collapse, but don’t worry they will come back after the next step.3) Add the crushed frozen peaches. Mix on high for 3-4 more minutes or until firm peaks are reformed.

4) Spoon out into a massive bowl and sprinkle with saffron threads for decoration and extra flavour. 

Category Mark Comments Overall Grade
Convenience

A+

If you have a stand mixer this recipe is as easy as 1-2-3 (okay fine there are four steps so it is as easy as 1-2-3-4. You get the point.

A-

Health

A-

This is an extremely high protein recipe, low in carbs and fat free. The stats are approx 160 cal (7 g carbs/0 g fat/ 29 g protein). Not very balanced but you can always add some toppings like chopped nuts or peanut butter.
Taste

A

The peach flavor of this fluff was perfect paired with the saffron topping. Peaches always remind me of the summer.

Texture

B

If you have had a very airy protein fluff before you will know what kind of texture to expect. If you haven’t, you are in for a surprise.

General Comments:
Recipes makes a single serving, hope your stomach can handle the whole thing!

I use cartoned egg whites and have never got sick from eating them raw. Knock on wood. No, I’m not superstitious (that was sarcasm, I must admit I am).

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Now that’s a beater that I want to lick (and you can place your bets that I did).

peach fluff

This protein fluff is very thick and the peaks are very firm. So much so that you can even pick it up on your finger!

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Have you ever had protein fluff? What fruit reminds you the most about summer? Are you superstitious? Raw egg whites…Yay

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Creamy Bean Salad – with vinegar talk

I’m a vinegar girl. No, I’m not speaking about my personality  (although others may care to object), I’m speaking about my taste buds. I have always loved vinegar. Some tastes come and go in phases faster than you can say chia seeds, but I’ve been vinegar lover as long as I can remember. When I was a kid my Mom used to joke “Would you like some fries with that vinegar?”. That is how much I love it.

That whole introduction on vinegar was just to lead you up to a recipe NOT using vinegar. Despite the fact that it is a dish that is typically doused in a vinegar based dressing.

This recipe is not at all creamy, in fact there isn’t much dairy in it at all. The reason I’m calling it a “creamy bean salad” is because I’m used to the regular more vinegar based bean salads like this one. It’s kind of like a “cooler” day after a heat wave. It’s not actually cold, but it feels like it compared to before. Well this dish isn’t actually creamy, but it fells like it compared to vinegar bean salads.

creamy bean salad

Ingredients: Instructions
•3/4 cup pinto beans
•1/2 cup diced cucumber
•1/4 ricotta cheese
•1/4 cup pumpkin puree
•dill
•rosemary
•salt
•garlic
•squeeze of lemon

0)If you don’t have pinto beans cooked, shame on you (kidding). Cook them using something like this.

1)Mix ricotta cheese, pumpkin, and spices (amounts to taste) in a bowl.

2)Add pinto beans and diced cucumber

3)Eat.

Category Mark Comments Overall Grade
Convenience

A+

If you have a stash of pre-cooked pinto beans on hand than this recipe couldn’t get much more convenient. If you don’t then cook them up in bulk, because they are useful to have!

B+

Health

A

This is a great side dish and well balanced if paired with a meat (especially something like salmon)
Taste

B+

The pumpkin puree adds a hidden hearty flavour that reminds me of winter stews or soups.

Texture

B

I loved having a bean salad that didn’t have juices running all over my plate and that had a crunchy texture.

General Comments:
Single serving recipe

True story: I had this with breakfast. Have I ever told you I crave weird things in the morning?

Don’t worry I don’t crave weird things at all times of the day. To prove it I figured I would participate in WIAW:

Top left: lunch of black bean salad with cottage cheese sided with a plain jane fiber loaf
Top right: afternoon snack of german bread, overnight oat bran and apple. Followed by water enhanced with some awesome stevia enhanced water flavors I found at a Loblaws. Gotta love President’s Choice products.

bean salad, apple, corn on the cob, snack

Bottom left: dinner of corn on the cob, veggies and a tomato tempeh scramble that I absolutely loved and will hopefully share soon
Bottom right: evening snack of apple with a  pumpkin almond butter dip

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Do you like vinegar? If so, what is your favorite type?  How do you usually dress your bean salads?

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Greek Pita Pizza – with ethnic cuisine

I have been trying to figure out my favourite “cuisine” for a while now.  I have narrowed it down to a few that I love, some that I don’t like much at all and some that I’m just not sure about. I’m seriously not a huge fan of pasta, so I think that eliminated Italian, and I’m not a huge fan of sticky white rice so there goes most Asian cuisines.

This recipe is just right for me, because it is an amalgamation of several different stereotypical cuisine choices. The base is a tortilla (Mexican), the toppings are feta and olives (Greek), yet the overall finished product is a pizza (Italian).

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I am by no means suggesting that this recipe is any cuisine in particular. I am however suggesting you should try it!

greek tortilla pizza

Ingredients: Instructions
•2 tbsp pizza sauce
•oregano
•mushrooms
•green peppers
•basil
•3 tbsp crumbled feta cheese
•olives
•squeeze of lemon

1)Preheat oven to 375 F

2)Prepare tortilla with pizza sauce and toppings

3)Bake around 12-15 min or until firm

4)Cool, squeeze with lemon and dig in

Category Mark Comments Overall Grade
Convenience

A+

This recipe couldn’t get much easier, especially since I was using pre-crumbled feta cheese.

A-

Health

A

This meal is great for being rather balanced: The stats are approx: 190cal (16g carbs/10g fat/15g protein)
Taste

A-

You wouldn’t normally have a hint of lemon flavor on a pizza, but I really loved the taste the lemon squeeze added. It reminded me of greek cuisine.

Texture

B

Obviously if you are using a tortilla as a crust a certain texture is expected. As long as you aren’t anticipating something fluffy or soft you shall be satisfied.

General Comments:
I had my oven on convection bake

A good garden salad makes a great side to almost anything. I seriously can’t think of anything that a salad can’t be sided with.

My ultimate pizza test: is it firm enough to pick up? Yes! (Which I would like to point out: my cauliflower pizza crust also passed.
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What is your favourite ethnic cuisines? Can you think of anything that you can’t side with a salad?

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Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pancakes – with timing talk

Last summer I would fit my workout in the morning before going to work. Due to schedule changes I now save my WORKouts for after WORK, which means I have a little extra time in the morning. I’ve got to admit I miss running into the sunrise (dodging commuters on busy sidewalks just doesn’t compete), but one of the advantages in enough morning time to make…

berry mochi pancakes

…pancakes for breakfast. The thing I love about pancakes is that they are so versatile. One day you can throw in teff flour, another day you can throw in spelt. It means lots of options and variations to always keep me on my toes (see I even get a little calf workout in the morning).

I know the strawberries aren’t technically chocolate covered, but they are still layered in chocolate. When you get a bite of chocolate pancake with the strawberry it taste just like a chocolate covered strawberry.

chocolate covered strawberry pancakes

Ingredients: Instructions
•2 tbsp chocolate casein protein powder
•2 tbsp black bean flour
•2 tbsp coconut flour
•1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
•3/4 cup canned pumpkin (or mashed banana)
•1/2 cup cold Strawberry Cream  tea
•1/4 cup egg whites
•1/4 tsp stevia (or sweetener of choice)
•1/4 tsp baking powder
•1/4 tsp baking soda
•1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
•1/4 tsp vanilla extract
•strawberries

1)Mix all dry ingredients

2)Add pumpkin mix well

3)Add egg whites, mix. Add other liquids (except ACV) mix. 

4)Turn heat on frying pan while it warms up add apple cider vinegar and mix. Begin making your pancakes once the frying pan is warm enough.

Category Mark Comments Overall Grade
Convenience

A-

These pancakes aren’t super thick so cook up rather quickly.

B+

Health

A

The stats are approx: 200cal (25g carbs/3g fat/20g protein)
Taste

B

Strawberries and chocolate is such an exquisite combination. The Teavana Strawberry cream adds a great strawberry taste.

Texture

B

The picture above showcases the texture better then I can describe it but I will still attempt: dense but not overly moist.

General Comments:
Makes 14 small pancakes

The other great thing about having more time in the morning is that I find breakfast to be less rushed and more thoroughly enjoyed. This leaves me more satisfied throughout the day so I never have to get to that state where you want to chew off your arm.


Since today is Wednesday I figured I would share some of the other daily eats in a WIAW collage:

2014-06-24 19.39.29

Top left: evening snack of chocolate cookies.
Top right: afternoon snack of almonds and pumpkin seeds in melted chocolate and coconut
Bottom left: dinner stir fry with cabbage, canned tomatoes, coconut oil, an egg, mashed avocado and topped with feta (one of those weird but good combinations).
Bottom right: lunch salad (spinach, ground chicken, cottage cheese, and nutritional yeast) with a basic protein bread

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Do you work out in the morning or evening? What is your favorite chocolate flavor combination?

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Chocolate Mini Cakes – with something about

Every once in a while I like to participate in WIAW because it gives me a chance to reflect on a days daily edibles, however I prefer to showcase something along side my WIAW posts. Today is no different. So although my day didn’t start with …

…it sure did end with them, so check out the recipe at the end of the post. This WIAW post is going to be themed “there is something about…” because lately I have been finding myself delighted in small things.

There is just something about deconstructed muffins:

I love tearing my muffins to bits and pieces and crumbling them on top of fruit (apple, grapefruit, and cranberries). Breakfast wouldn’t be complete with adding my favourite toppings: Greek yoghurt, peanut flour, pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut, and a sprinkling of rudy red cocoa powder!

There is something about recreating meals you were served while travelling:

A Nicoise Salad with mini French boules bought from a local french bakery. The salad contains:  spinach, tomatoes, cucumber, ham, cheese, and a hard boiled egg. I topped mine with a Dijon vinaigrette

There is something about a home made meal:

Although I enjoyed some delicious meals while travelling, it was nice to get back to cooking some of my favourites. The above meal is bean sprout stir fry with coconut oil, peanut flour, and an egg all fried into it. Then I topped it with cottage cheese and paired it with a side of turnip mash (with added pumpkin, hence the colour).

There is something about ending your day with chocolate:

I love ending my day with these mini cakes. Not only are they beyond delicious but they keep me full and satisfied until the morning.

chocolate mini cakes

Ingredients: Instructions

•1 tbsp vanilla whey protein powder

•1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

•2 tbsp cartoned egg whites (or the whites of one egg)

•5-6 drops of Capella Chocolate Glazed Doughnut flavour drops

•1/4 tsp baking powder

•1/4 tsp package of stevia (optional)

•1 tbsp coconut flour

•1 tbsp cold vanilla rooibos tea•1/3 cup pumpkin puree

Topping:

•2 squares of dark chocolate melted in 1 tbsp liquid

•1/2 tbsp protein powder

•1 tbsp liquid

1) Mix all dry ingredients in bowl

2) Add pumpkin and egg whites. Stir well.

3) Spoon onto large plate and microwave for 4 minutes

4) Flip and microwave for 2 more minutes.

5) Cool while mixing up icing ingredients.

6) Top and enjoy.

Category Mark Comments Overall Grade
Convenience

B

Very fast because it is done in the microwave, but only one serving.

A-

Health

A

The stats for all 4 mini cakes (entire recipe) with toppings are approx: 170cal (17g carbs, 7g fat, 16g protein)
Taste

A-

The glazed chocolate doughnut drops and vanilla rooibos add a nice touch this recipe. If you don’t have them they are still really tasty with vanilla extract!
Texture

B+

See the picture below for details on the texture. In short: I love it.
General Comments:
The entire recipe makes 4 chocolate mini cakes

What is there something about for you? What is your favorite meal you have enjoyed while away?

By the way:

Voting has almost ended for the Protein Pow competition. Be sure to vote for your favourite one, and don’t forget to check out my Protein Fluff entry!

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Marmite Brown Bread – with travel inspiration

I apologize for my hiatus from blogging. I was away vacationing and it has taken me longer then expected to get back into the swing of things. Don’t run away just yet: I’m not planning to bore you with meticulous details about my experiences or bury you in photo after photo.

I am however going to share with you a recipe inspired from being in the land of marmite: the UK.

marmite brown bread

Ingredients: Instructions
•1/2 cup unsweetened whey protein powder

•1/2 cup teff flour

•1/4 cup hemp protein powder
•1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
•1/2 cup pea fiber
•1 grated zucchini
•1 cup warm water
•1 tsp yeast
•1/2 cup egg whites
•1 tsp baking soda
•1 tsp baking powder
•1 tsp xanthan gum
•1 tsp rosemary, garlic, italian, and basil (each)
•1/2 tsp salt
•1-3 tsp marmite (depending on how much you like it)
•2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1)Mix dry ingredients.

2)Add in warm water. Mix.

3)Grate zucchini and add in with egg whites. Mix well.

4)Beat on high for at least 3 minutes

5)Add ACV last, mix for at least 2 minutes.

6)Bake 35 min in 375 deg F oven

Category Mark Comments Overall Grade
Convenience

C+

I didn’t realize how many ingredients were in this recipe until I wrote it all out. It means a little more time to get everything out, but I think it was totally worth it.

A

Health

A

The stats per slice (half mini loaf) ~100 cal (9 g carbs/1 g fat/ 12 g protein).
Taste

A+

Don’t worry if you don’t like marmite. It is not over powering in these loaves, it just gives a fantastic savoury note.
Texture

A+

The interior of this loaf is dense and moist, yet the outside is still satisfyingly firm.
General Comments:
Recipe Makes 8 servings. I use for 4 silicone mini loaf pans and cut each in half.

This recipe is incredible high protein for being a bread. Plus, the carbs are coming from Teff, which according to my good friend Bob is a nutritional powerhouse:

It is the smallest grain in the world (about 100 grains are the size of a kernel of wheat!). The germ and bran, where the nutrients are concentrated, account for a larger volume of the seed compared to more familiar grains. (Source)

I’ve talked about marmite a few times on the blog, one of those times being my recipe for marmite dip. Although I often enjoy marmite dip, this marmite brown bread is by far my personal favorite recipe using marmite.

One of my favourite ways to enjoy this load was toasted with cottage cheese.

I’ve been catching up on reading all my favorite blogs, and miss the blogging community. I always enjoy reading your comments and getting to know readers more.

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Do you ever get inspired to make a certain dish, or bake something after travelling?

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