15 Day Challenge

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Hello, sexual.

So, I have been slacking on this blog.. I’ve been posting “when I have time” but that has been depleting my excitement of cooking and creativity.

SO.. for the next 15 days I will cook AND post something STARTING TODAY.

I am writing this as a promise more so to myself… because I’ve always had the type of personality that when it is written.. it MUST be done.

I have a busy, busy schedule but if Julie in Julie & Julia can do it… so can I!

So.. shoot me your ideas for what I can do for the next 15 days…

Anonymous Hot Girl.. I’m talking to you.

My life schedule from today to April 22nd

Sunday April 14:

11:30am – 1pm: gym

1:30pm – home: eat and brainstorm next few days of cooking/baking

3:15 pm – 4:30 pm: Train

5pm: grocery shop

6:30pm: Make Mint Oreo Squares…

8pm: blog’r

9pm: prepare tomorrow’s lunch

Sleep

Monday

6 am: Meditate (I accidentally wrote “medicate”.. that’s quite the Freudian slip)

6:30am: breaky

8am: worky

4pm: home

4:15pm: cook/bake

6pm: work

7pm: train

8:30pm: blog

sleep

What an exciting life I live!!

Also, when I say train.. I’m training for a Muay Thai tournament in June… I’m going to be kicking some ass so wish me luck!!

Blog ya in a few hours

Peace in ❤

Cheat Day: M&M cookies!

I love to make everything a bit unique .. it makes this entire process of cooking/baking and blogging all the more exciting!  Although it is gluten-full (sorry!) and non-vegan I still wanted to add something a little bit special – quinoa and oats!

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I was intrigued that when they came out of the oven and cooled the cookies had an apple crisp crust taste to it which was unique for a cookie and delicious nonetheless.

I got the idea for this recipe from the website below:

http://www.poorgirleatswell.com/2013/01/recipe-cranberry-pistachio-oatmeal-quinoa-cookies.html

The recipe calls for pistachios and cranberries but I thought of mixing it up a little with some colours.. you know.. liven things up a little.. oh, wild friday nights.

I think they chocolate gave the cookies more moisture so I’m sceptical on how the pistachios and cranberries would do in terms of dryness in the cookies… but one day I will try it out. The unique texture of the cookies may suit it nicely as a cookie you have with your tea or morning chai ;).

Anyways… on to the recipe..!

1 1/2 cups flour (whole wheat or whole wheat white are okay)
1 t salt
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 cup (1 stick)  butter, softened
1/4 cup raw sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar (packed)
2 T honey
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup cooked quinoa (red or white is fine)
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

1 cup of m&m chocolates

OR

1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped pistachios

In my recipe I also substituted the two eggs (because of Navratri fasting) with 1/2 cup of canola oil (should be vegetable oil but I had none).

I was also planning on using chocolate mini eggs (solid chocolate with the candied shell) but they were sold out at the store.. these worked just amazingly.

Moving forward…

PH oven to 375*F

In a bowl combine alldry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda/powder)

In a larger bowl combine butter, vanilla extract and honey. Beat the crap out of it until it’s creamy. The add eggs (or oil).

Just beat it *guitar riffs*

1 cup at a time, add the dry mix to the wet mix and beat in thoroughly (dananananaaa daanana ..)

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Fold in thequinoa and mixwell

Now add the chocolate or whatever the f*** you’re using.

Too much……?

🙂

Roll into 2″ patties and put onto non grease baking sheet or lay onto parchment paper on pan – each cookie 1″ apart.

Bake!!!!!!

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The website didn’t say how long to bake it for – I baked for about 15 minutes and it turned out bomb diggity .. and that’s all we can ask for 😉

Let cool and enjoy.

If you try it out let me know how you liked it 🙂

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Thanks Prity for your awesome photography… 😀 .. she actually focused more on Jack than the actual cookies :/.

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Jack Bauer is a ladies man.. good thing he’s fixed.

Peace in… ❤

Homemade Banana Ice Cream.. WhaaAAaaAat!?!?!

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I got this idea from a friend of mine from a gym I go to (kind of work at). She’s a dedicated vegan, has been for years and she’s always kicks my ass while we’re sparring. But it’s okay, I get to pick her vegan food brain 😉

She posted a picture on Instagram and I had to try it out right away.

All you do is freeze a couple of bananas, then throw them into a food processor or blender with a tsp of vanilla extract and blend that s***  together.

It’ll become so smooth and creamy and the texture is just like ice cream. It’s a delicious snack that satisfies.

You can do so much with it

  • blend with mint leaves and top with chocolate chips
  • chocolate chips
  • sprinkle with cocoa and/or cinnamon

I made an extra unnecessary attempt because I have a glutoneous sweet tooth that doesn’t relent.

Remeber the quinoa cookies a couple of posts ago?

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I froze the rest of the dough, cut them into cubes and threw those bad boys into my super vegan gluten-free ice cream!

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Shabooby!

Tell me a vegan and gluten-free diet sucks now? You can’t ;).

Till next time

Peace in ❤

Mint Wasabi Avocado Sandwich

I shit you not this was delicious.

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The original recipe is prepared with cucumber. I didn’t have a cucumber oddly enough (you’d think that’s standard in a household) but I tried my luck with avocado and it was BOMB diggity.

Original recipe below:

http://kblog.lunchboxbunch.com/2010/02/cucumber-mint-tea-sandwiches-modern-tea.html

It’s vegan, butnot gluten-free. If you try it with flaxseed-based bread and toast it – it will be awesome regardless.

If you want to try it out, here’s what you need:

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  • Fresh Mint
  • 1 avocado
  • 3 tbsp maple spread
  • 2 slices of whole grain bread
  • Fresh dill (optional.. I didn’t use it.. the mint seemed like enough garnish)
  • ground black pepper
  • small slice of lemon
  • 2 tsp Frank’s Red Hot Sauce.. because I put that shit on everything.

*for maple spread

  • 2 tbsp veganaise (or mayo)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1-2 tspwasabi powder
  • dash of black pepper

Mix that ish together .. trust me.

Moving on..

Cut the avocado in half and set one half aside (de-pit.. obvy)

Spread maple mix onto either sides of bread (either/or, your preference)

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Lay mint/dill on one side of the bread. Cut avocado half into slices and lay overtop minty goodness.

Cover with other slice of bread, and cut in half. Donezo!

Since I found the full avocado to be a little much for the sandwich I sliced the other half up, drizzled some lemon juice over top of slices along with some Franks.

So easy and so yummy! I hope you try it out (whoever is reading…? Anonymous Hot Girl… you there?)

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I want to eat the picture.

Peace in ❤

Cheat Day Vegan Style: Chewy Quinoa Cookies

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This is hardly cheat food at all but it’s so delicious it feels like you’re cheating!

I am completely fascinated with the idea of baking sweets with quinoa. I can’t get enough of it and yesterday I made amazing cookies made from all natural ingredients: vegan and gluten-free

It was so simple to make and here is what you need:

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • *1/4 cup homemade date syrup (or maple/agave syrup) with a pinch of stevia and a little vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter (add punch of salt – I didn’t use it and I didn’t miss it.. low sodium for the win!)
  • 1/4 unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips (or non-vegan, whatevs)
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder (i used without and turned out delish anyway)

PH oven to 320*F

Boil 1/4 cup of quinoa to produce 1 cup of cooked quinoa.

*If you’re curious about how to make date syrup I will tell you how. It’s extremely simple. Dates are awesome!

All you have to do is boil 1 1/2 cups of water and soak 1 heaping cup of dates in a bowl overnight. Next morning: de-pit and put in a blender or food processor along with a little bit of vanilla extract. Throw in a pinch of stevia (organic sweetener). Blend and it’s good to go! Refrigerate what you’re not using – shelf life is about 2 weeks.

Moving forward….

Combine date syrup and peanut butter in a bowl

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Can I just eat the bowl of peanut butter instead?

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Mix it all up until it’s fluffy

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Combine with quinoa and remaining ingredients

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Make sure you get all of it….

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That’s better…

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Scoop mix into tablespoon-sized dollops and lay out on baking sheet. Don’t grease.

Warning… you’re going to want to eat the batter.

Bake for 10 minutes. These cookies are meant to be soft. You can even bake for 20 minutes and they will be soft since it’s made out of quinoa and peanut butter. You’ll get the crispiness on the outside and chewy amazingness on the outside.

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Jack hung out with me the entire time. He got tuckered.

I made a pretty large batch so I was making handouts. I gave some to one of my devoted vegan friends while she was at work and loved them. I love seeing people’s reactions when I’m successful with making things. I gave a batch to Matt’s mom to bake as well. Food is love, for sure! Another batch I froze to use as cookie dough for ice cream.

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But I will save that post for tomorrow 😉

Goodnight!

Peace in ❤

Cheat Day: Pull Apart Bread… as promised ;)

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Good morning peeps!

It’s 10:30 am, woke up from a nap. Yes, a nap. I was up at 7am, fed my cat, snacked on some cookies and wrote my last blog. While these photos uploaded I read a book and fell asleep. It was nice to wake up and have it still be semi-early.

Anyways, Sonali Mami had written me a comment over a week ago to try out Pillsbury pull apart bread. It sound like amazing guilty food but I couldn’t bring myself to make it Pillsbury style.. I’ve been on such a good roll that even my cheat days have become a little more tame. Unless I’m at my boyfriends and mowing down on amazing treats his mom always makes… I can’t live there I WILL get fat.

Pull apart bread is amazing because you can do so much with it in terms of flavour. You can combine whatever flavours you’d like, parmesan and garlic; pizza; feta, olives and rosemary; sky is the limit!

So… I made this gluten-free. Surprisingly enough… it turned out to be pretty good! Although I need to find the right type of flour mixture. This recipe called for 70% whole grain flour and 30% potato starch flour and I couldn’t find any gluten free whole grain at the Bulk Barn. It is available since this recipe was specifically for those with wheat allergies. I used all purpose which contained potato starch, rice flour, tapioca flour, etc and it didn’t rise as much as the recipe suggested. The recipe website is below:

http://glutenfreegobsmacked.com/2012/08/gluten-free-pull-aparts-garlic-parmesan-or-pizza-roll-ups/

Gluten Free Goddess and Gluten Free Gobsmacked are my absolute favourite blogs. I’d like my blog to be as refined and delicious as theirs one day 🙂

http://www.glutenfreegobsmacked.com

http://www.glutenfreegoddess.com

Anyways.. the recipe!

  • 1 cup of warm milk
  • 1 tablespoon of yeast
  • 1 tbsp of honey
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 4 tbsp melted butter + more for dough balls
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 cups of gluten-free flour mix (70% whole grain/30% potato starch)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 granulated garlic
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan
  • 1/2 cup mozzerella
  • 2 stems of fresh rosemary

OR

whatever YOU’D like for flavour. You can do anything 🙂

Commence…!

Cut out parchment paper into size of pie plate.

Butter the inside of pie plate and press parchment paper into plate

PH oven to 375*F

Mix together warm milk (115 – 115 *F) yeast and honey. Set aside to poof

*I made a big mistake here. I misread the tablespoon of yeast for teaspoon of yeast which made a huge difference. The milk did not foam which created a bit of an issue which I think made a huge difference to the density of the bread. (Sue/Bec, if you try this with the correct measurement let me know if it made a difference, please and thank you :))

Set aside.

In a bowl combine all dry ingredients (including garlic… I also put in some parmesan).

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Add in wet ingrediens: egg, melted butter & poofing mix (which should be foamed by now… or at least in my case.. never did) and mix thorough. I added rosemary and some mozzarella at this stage.

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Melt a couple of tablespoons of butter into a small bowl

Divide dough into 12, 2 1/2″ balls… roll each into melted butter and place into your parchment lines pie dish.

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Be careful with this process. I found the mixer to be quite sticky so I used a large spoon to help me roll the dough. First world problems.

Repeat until dough is finished. Sprinkle with parmesan and mozzarella

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Bake for 20 -25 minutes and serve warm. Use some garlic sauce or tomato sauce marinade to dip.

It turned out really delicious but I can’t help but think if I used a different flour mix and added the appropriate yeast measurement it may have come out a bit fluffier.

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Gluten Free gobsmacked’s bread is the picture on the far left. Notice any differences beside picture quality?

Let me know how it goes… seriously… let me know. The past week and a half it feels like I’ve been talking to myself… anyone reading? Anyone?

I’m going to take that as a nnnn.. yes?

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Mmmm…  cheat day.

Peace in ❤

Vegan Day 4: Baked Butternut Squash Alfredo

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Good afternoon,

It’s bloggity time! The weather is beautiful, sun’s out and I am stuck inside of work with the sun just mocking me. So I blog!

This was once again a giant fluke. I wanted to initially cook with brown rice but Matt hid it.. if you’re reading this… WHERE IS IT !? It’s ninja’d out of the kitchen!

Anyways, I used rice pasta. Which is fine.. I guess.

The initial plan was to cook a lemon-based alfredo sauce with vegan butter, almond milk and flour (bob mill all-purpose) with dill and mix it into brown rice with some broccoli and other sorts. But this time I mixed it in with pasta and baked it with butternut squash.

This post is about to get lazy because my draft was DELETED! AGGHH!

It’s actually Saturday now and I had fully intended on posting this on Thursday. I’m sitting in bed eating quinoa cookies which are OUT OF THIS WORLD! I will blog about it shortly 😉

Anyways…

What you need:

  • 2 tbsp butter (vegan/regular)
  • 1 cup soy milk (or regular)
  • 1 tbsp flour (gluten-free/regular)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • fresh dill
  • fresh rosemary
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1/2 butternut squash
  • 1/4 head broccoli
  • 1 cup rice pasta (or regular)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • crushed peppers

optional non-vegan/gluten-free ingredients

  • bacon
  • chicken
  • shrimp
  • bread crumbs
  • fresh parmesan
  • mozerella

PH oven to 375

Cook pasta by boiling for five minutes. It should be slightly undercooked.

For alfredo:

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Heat sauce pan on high. Stir together butter, milk and flour (slowly add flour). Sprinkle a punch of nutritional yeast if it is not thickening. Stir in 1 minced garlic clove and allow mixture to thicken while stirring.

When mixture is thickened add the rest of your seasonings and garnishes (paprika, nutmeg and dill). Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a wok and cook all vegetables with the other minced garlic clove. Cook for five minutes then add pasta and sauce.

Add remaining garnishes (i.e. fresh rosemary)

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I could not stop smelling it!

Cook for two minutes, stirring then transfer to dutch oven/pot. Stir in crushed peppers for a little kick!

Add your optional ingredients (if it’s meat, you’d of course cook before hand)

Bake for 20 minutes and enjoy 🙂

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Mmmm, vegan goodness.

Peace in ❤

“Just A Stir Fry”

It is NOT just a stir fry. It is the best stir fry, ever. TOTALLY blog worthy.

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I don’t photograph well, I’ve accepted that.

Anyways, I’m not allowed to tell the story behind the title but eff it, it’s my blog. It’s Cookiing Monster by Nidhi Arya not Dutch Diaries by Matty J.

Since I came up with the idea of creating this blog my boyfriend has been so supportive of it. He even sends me texts telling me how he loves my dorky humour, and tells me he’s proud of me. We both cooked a stir fry today and he was enthusiastically taking pictures with my iphone and little did he even realize how full my heart was knowing how much of an interest he’s taken in my silliness.

I thanked him by putting my foot in my mouth when he suggested I blog our dinner.

“Naw, it’s just a stir fry.” I said.

Immediately I wanted to take the words back because I sounded like such a douche bag. He teased me by making me feel so bad about it – he would never be genuinely affected by the ‘whatever’ response but he is definitely not letting me live it down.

Baby, it’s not just a stir fry. You have the best ideas for stir fry and it is beyond blog worthy. I have less than 10 followers… yourstir fry surpasses that by at least 3 views.. kidding, like 300 views!

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You want a kick ass gluten-free/vegan (what a nightmare) stir fry Nidhi/Matt style?

See below and have-at-her!

What you need

  • 1 cup brown rice (or basmati or wild, your preference)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (for tofu)
  • Additional 2 tablespoons of olive oil (for veggies)
  • 1 tsp sesame seed oil (for rice)
  •  1 cup diced pineapple
  • 1 package spinach
  • 2 bell peppers (any colour you’d like.. racist)
  • 1 brick of soft tofu (firm is fine too), diced
  • 1 can of mixed beans
  • 1 zuccini (we used cucumber, which was good too)
  • 1 package snow peas
  • whatever other veggies you can stuff in there
  • Your favourite asian sauce
  • Some frank’s red hot.. we put that sh** on everything.
  • 1/2 cup of chopped peanuts (optional)

If you want to add meat or seafood, go for it.

Cook rice (takes about 50 minutes to cook). Once finished, stir in sesame seed oil.

Carefully chop tofu into larger-ish (ok, medium) cubes and fry in a deep dish pan with 1/2 cup of hot olive oil. Fry until outside is crispy – the inside should remain soft. It’s a delicious combination. If you’re too cool for vegan, crack open an egg, mix the white and yolk together as if it’s an omelet and dip each tofu cube in the mixture before frying. Cripsy deliciousness. I mean, you’re a monster.

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In the mean while heat olive oil in a wok and toss in bell peppers, zuccini, beans and  snow peas. Have that going for 5 – 10 minutes then slowly add the rest of the other ingredients one by one (except for pinapple and peanuts)

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Before adding tofu, lay pieces on a paper towel to absorb the oil then throw them in the stir fry.

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Stir in whatever sauce you’re using and then stir in pineapple and peanuts

Serve with rice (or stir it in as well.. it is a stir fry… *hyuck hyuck*)

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I hope you love it with the pineapple. I wasn’t crazy about it at first with the hawaiian pizza’s and all – mixing salt with sweet but Matt got me on the pineapple train. It’s the one of the awesome ingredient that makes it not just a stir fry 😉 Aww!

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And don’t forget to clean up, what are we, barbarians!?!?

Peace in ❤

Vegan Day 1: Sweet Mango Sesame Vermicelli

Yes, you read it right. Vegan.

I am going vegan 6 of 7 days of the week. Why?

Well, it’s the summer and I’m going on vacation in July to the sunny beaches of some all inclusive down south.. I work out like crazy but every time I eat it’s like I’ve never seen food before… besides.. this gives me an even more creative kick for this blog.

For whoever is reading and instantly became wildly uninterested – don’t worry I’m going to make these recipes as awesome as possible; you CAN eat healthy without sacrificing taste – FACT. I’m currently eating a vegan and gluten-free cookie courtesy of my aunt and they’re effing DELICIOUS.

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yum!

So, my first recipe is made with sweet potato squash vermicelli. I LOVE vermicelli and this one in particular is also gluten-free.

I won’t lie to you. I WINGED this.

I got home late last night and I wasn’t about to look up some intricate recipe and wholeheartedly slave to make it amazing. I can do that all on my own ;).

So my very own recipe that I call Sweet Mango Vermicelli

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What you need:

  • Package Vermicelli (however much you’d like)
  • 1 bunch chinese broccoli – ends cut
  • 1 large carrot – in shaves or thinly cut slices
  • 1 green bell pepper (or any you’d like
  • 1 mango, diced
  • cubed firm tofu (optional)
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 2 tbsp sesame seed oil
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar/ or sweet chilli sauce (i used red wine vinegar because I’m watching sugars.. it does the trick with the combination of mango)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 dried chilli or 1 tsp crushed chillis

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And for whoever is not digging this vegan thing… go ahead… throw some chicken in there.. some shrimp.. treat yourself.

Let’s get started!

Boil hot water and cook vermicelli for 10 minutes. When finished; drain and cool off with cold water. Let dry.

Fry onions and garlic with 1 tbsp olive oil. Cook for 3 minutes then add tomatoes and tofu to follow. Cook for another 2 minutes then add carrots and peppers.

Add sesame seed oil and stir. Add chinese broccoli right after (it doesn’t require much time to cook)

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After a few minutes add whatever sauce you’re using, red wine vinegar or chilli and stir. You can now throw in vermicelli but don’t cook for too long.

Add mango pieces and let it simmer for a minute or two.

Throw in whatever finishing touches (chilli, seasonings, i.e basil) and mix in.

The last thing to do is enjoy and tell me what you think 🙂

Peace in ❤

Eggs in a Nest and a Chocolate Smoothie for Breakfast

Sourdough loaves

Sourdough loaves (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A diet rich in soy and whey protein, found in ...

A diet rich in soy and whey protein, found in products such as soy milk and low-fat yogurt, has been shown to reduce breast cancer incidence in rats. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Good evening foodies,

Happy Easter weekend! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend with family and friends. I just came home from my boyfriend’s families house and per usual I am STUFFED with food. My drive home consuming chocolate mini eggs wasn’t all that helpful but I had to stay awake on my post-food fatigue for the long trip!

I am happily sipping on a cup of camomile trying to let it all digest as I’m writing this. This post is MUCH less extravagant than the others because in all honestly – I cannot even think about food right now. I am that full. I am a small girl with big, BIG eyes for food.

Anyways, I don’t know if you guys are familiar with the eggs in a nest concept – when you poke a hole in a piece of bread and fry it on a pan with the egg cooking inside the hole. So simple, so awesome. I made it for the first time yesterday morning and I can’t believe I never did that before given the commonality of it. It was like a sweet, gooey french toast. Can’t go wrong there!

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Top it with some cinnamon, and you’re good to go, simple!

This bread I’m using is whole grain sour dough bread which is began but of course not gluten-free, but this recipe can easily accommodate gluten-free bread.

On to the more exciting aspect of this breakfast – the smoothie!

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Can you guess what is in this?

It is so delicious and healthier than most chocolate smoothies

 

  • 1 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 pitted dates
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • ice cubes
  • 1 tbsp flaxseed
  • 1 tbsp protein (if using)
  • 1/2 cup of yogurt (if not vegan)

 

This has been my favourite all-natural pick-me-up. Blend, and enjoy!

Sweet dreams, blog ya tomorrow!

peace in ❤