Can’t remember which week that recipe was from?!

fresh carrot bunch on grungy wooden background

I know a few have mentioned that you see a recipe on the blog that you REALLY want to try, but then you forget which week it was from!

I am currently working on an archival system, but it is moving at a snails pace and will take me a bit of time to get it up and running. When I do finally get around to launching my new archival system you will experience more emails from me than normal, I promise it won’t last for too long.

However, in the mean time for individual recipes that you wish to save, you can follow Fitless Flavor on Pinterest. I post all recipes separately, with individual caloric intake, and a link to the week that the recipe is from.  

Month 5 – Week 4

Month 5 – Week 4 


 

Kcal

Total

Breakfast

Snack 1

Lunch

Snack 2

Dinner

Day 1

2360

434

0

308

0

1619

Day 2

1659

333

140

272

231

683

Day 3

1370

482

0

230

247

411

Day 4

1665

225

0

579*

0

861

*I could not find any online nutritional information for Joey’s Urban so I had to predict to the best of my ability 

 

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Proteins (g)

85.36

95.72

99.61

98.71

Carbohydrates (g)

165.91

249.28

128.86

184.2

Fats (g)

120.51

41.38

90.46

62.8

Omega 6 (g)

3.61

3.69

9.25

17.18

Omega 3 (g)

0.95

0.6

1.2

1.84

Dietary Fiber (g)

22.54

38.58

25.6

24.82

Water (ounces)

60

60

92

80

Steps

5,500

3,000

4,700

3,300

Dietary Lows (anything less than 50% of DIV) Not accurate due to dinner. Nutritional information for micronutritents were not provided. Vitamin D 11% 1.59 µg, Thiamin 38% 0.41 mg, vitmain B12 49% 1.19 µg, Vitamin E 48% 7.22 mg, zinc 48% 3.86 mg Vitamin D 21% 3.08 µg, Vitamin E 47% 7.08 mg, Potassium 44% 2061.93 mg Sodium was alerted as too high. I did not use any added salt, even when the recipes called for it. Vitamin D 18% 2.67 µg, Vitamin E 35% 5.21 mg, potassium 46% 21.61.46 mg 

These values are approximations. They are accurate but not precise. Many factors can change the accuracy of these numbers. Such as measurement and products purchased. 

My recommended intake based of my sedentary lifestyle 

Total daily Kilocalories: 1733 

Protein (g): 72.57 

Carbohydrate (g): 191.0 – 276.0 

Fat, total (g): 37.0 – 66.0 

Omega-6 fatty acid (g): 12

Omega-3 fatty acid (g): 1.1

Dietary Fiber, total (g): 25 

Water (g): 2700 that is 10.8 cups per day or 86.4 fl oz

  • If you are following along and adopting my meal plans please be aware that everyone’s nutritional needs are very individual. For those who are quite active you may require more calories, along with a varied macronutrient and micronutrient composition in your diet. But please feel free to use and be inspired by my meal plans.

Day 1


 Breakfast 

Omelette in a mug 

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Thoughts: I would definitely make this dish again. It was a hearty breakfast with next to no prep. It probably took me 5 minutes to make everything. This is great if you are in a rush in the morning. 5/5 

Inspired by: Land O’Lakes

Ingredients (My portion)

  • 2 large eggs 
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 2 slices blackforest ham
  • 5 g parmesan 
  • 1 green onion 
  • 1 slice whole grain whole wheat bread, toasted
  • 1/2 tsp butter/margarine 
  • 1/2 tbsp peanut butter 
  • 1 cup cantaloupe 

Instructions  

  1. Spray a microwave safe mug with nonstick cooking spray. 
  2. In the mug whisk together the eggs and the milk until well blended. 
  3. Place in microwave and cook for 1 minute. 
  4. Top egg mixture with ham, parmesan, and onion. Place back in the microwave for an additional minute, or until the eggs have fully cooked. 
  5. Serve omelette with toast and fruit. 

Lunch 

Lemony cucumber cream cheese sandwiches 

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Thoughts: This is the perfect summer lunch! Very quick to prepare, light, and refreshing. The fresh dill and lemon are perfect additions to this traditional sandwich. I would even consider adding bean sprouts next time for further flavour and increased nutrition. 5/5

Original recipe: Chew Out Loud

Ingredients (My portion)

  • 2 slices whole grain bread (140 kcal for both slices)
  • 2 tbsp cream cheese 
  • 1 sprig fresh dill weed, leaves removed from stem and chopped 
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice 
  • dash of salt and pepper 
  • 20g cucumber, about 5 thin slices 
  • 1/2 cup honeydew
  • 1/2 cup raspberries 

Instructions 

  1. In a small bowl mix together cream cheese, dill, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper. 
  2. Lightly toast the whole grain bread. 
  3. Spread cream cheese mixture on both pieces of bread. 
  4. Top with cucumber, slice and serve with fruit. 

Dinner 

Joey’s Herb Crush Salmon, Japanese Gyoza & Bellini 

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Thoughts: I had something planned for dinner, but at the last minute my cousin was going to be in town, so of course I cancelled my dinner plan. We ended up going to Joey restaurants It was a gorgeous evening so we sat on the patio and had a wonderful visit. I only planned on having the salmon and a Bellini, but Charley barely touch her gyoza and I felt bad leaving them, so naturally I had to eat them all! The salmon was delicious! It is definitely not the healthiest option, but I love a good beurre blanc sauce! The herb topping was also amazing! I would love to be able to replicate this dish at home! 5/5 


Day 2 


 Breakfast 

Cinnamon bun pancakes 

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Thoughts: These were okay, but in all honestly I probably would not make them again. The coconut flour gives a very different texture, which was fine, I just did not love them enough to make them again. Charlotte LOVED them! It was the best I have seen her eat in a while. I think that I have just made so many amazing pancake/waffle recipes since starting this blog that there  are other recipes I would prefer to make again over this one. 3.5/5

Original recipe: The Big Man’s World 

Ingredients 

Pancakes (this was my portion)

  • 3 T coconut flour, sifted 
  • 1 T oat flour (I used whole wheat whole grain) 
  • 1 standard scoop vanilla or cinnamon protein powder (I did not add this, I get more than enough protein in my diet, I do not require supplements) 
  • 2 tsp cinnamon (recipe recommends Saigon cinnamon)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder 
  • 1 T granulated sweetener of choice (I used coconut sugar) 
  • 3 large egg whites 
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence 
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (I used original) 
  • Coconut cooking spray 

Cream cheese frosting (I halved this amount for my portion)

  • 2 T cream cheese, softened (I used 1T)
  • 1 T sweetener of choice (I used 1/2 T honey) 
  • pinch of cinnamon 

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl mix together all of the dry ingredients: coconut flour, oat flour, protein powder (if adding), cinnamon, baking powder, and sweetener. 
  2. In a separate medium bowl combine together mix together the egg whites and vanilla. 
  3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until combined. 
  4. Add almond milk to mixture and stir everything together until smooth. 
  5. Pour batter evenly onto greased frying pan, on medium-low heat. When batter has bubbles coming through and the sides look dry flip the pancake. Cook for another 1-2 minutes on the other side. Remove from heat and keep warm. Repeat this step until all of the batter has been used up. 
  6. For the cream cheese frosting mix together the cream cheese, sweetener and cinnamon and spread on top of pancakes. Serve warm and enjoy! 

Lunch 

Strawberry Balsamic Pizza 

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This is the balsamic reduction I used. You can make your own, but I felt like saving some time and dishes!

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Thoughts: This was super fast and very satisfying. I would definitely make it again, but I had planned on putting shallots on top of the pizza and I totally forgot. Charley was needed some attention (two year molars), so I was not 100% focused on this dish. If I was, I would have totally also considered the recommendation that my genius friends made on Facebook and put goat cheese!!! Seriously, genius! What was I thinking! So shallots and goat cheese for the next time that I prepare this dish, but I would still give this version a 4.5/5! Almost perfect, but goat cheese and shallots would give it just that bit extra! 

Ingredients (This was my portion)

  • 1 whole grain whole wheat pita 
  • 3 medium strawberries, hulled and sliced 
  • 1 tbsp basil, chopped + a few fresh leaves to top pizza after cooking 
  • 1 tbsp balsamic reduction (I just used a pre made reduction) 
  • 30 g fresh mozzarella 

Instructions 

  1. Preheat broiler to high.
  2. Spread 2/3 Tbsp balsamic reduction on pita. 
  3. Top with sliced strawberries, basil and then shredded mozzarella. 
  4. Place in oven on lowest rack. Allow to cook for 5-7 minutes; until cheese has melted and gone golden brown. Keep a VERY close eye that pizza does not burn. 
  5. Top pizza with fresh basil leaves and serve. 

Snack 1 

  • 100g raspberry and pomegranate greek yogurt 
  • 1/2 cup cantaloupe 
  • 1/2 cup honeydew 

Dinner 

Cauliflower Pizza with Greek Yogurt Pesto & Chinese Chicken Pasta Salad

Thoughts: Yes I realize it seems like this is the first time I have ever tried this whole meal planning thing! As I started to prepare dinner I realized what a terrible combination this is for a meal. It was like serving leftovers that were not leftovers. Charley’s two year old molars are coming through and one finally cut today. So we will use that as my excuse for the most random meal combination ever. I could not even bring myself to take a picture of the meal all together, it just looked unappetizing! However, each individual dish on its own I would definitely make again. I would just never serve these two together again for dinner! 

My portion 

  • 1 1/2 cup pasta salad
  • 3 slices cauliflower pizza 

Chinese Chicken Pasta Salad 

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Thoughts: I loved the combination of vegetables in this dish. The dressing was nice a light and the salad as a whole makes the perfect summer meal. I get so excited to try a classic recipe, like pasta salad, that someone has put such a unique and creative spin on! I will definitely make this again. 5/5

Original recipe: Averie Cooks – Recipes for sweet teeth

Ingredients 

  • 8 ounces rotini pasta, cooked according to package directions (I used a whole grain pasta) 
  • 1/3 cup honey 
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar 
  • 3 tbsp sesame oil for sauce + 1 tbsp for cooking chicken 
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce 
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice 
  • 1 tsp ground ginger (I used 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced) 
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces 
  • 1 cup purple cabbage, thinly sliced 
  • 1 cup sugar peas, chopped 
  • 1/2 cup edamame, cooked and shelled 
  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced small 
  • 1/2 cup bell pepper, diced small (I used a yellow bell pepper) 
  • 1/2 cup chow mein noodles (dry, do not cook) 
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds (I did not add this, not included in diet analysis) 
  • 1/4 cup peanuts (I thought I had peanuts, but I didn’t. I used sunflower seeds instead) 
  • 1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced 
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds 

Instructions

  1. Prepare pasta according package directions. Drain and set aside. 
  2. In a medium bowl combine together honey, vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, ginger, salt, and pepper. Set aside. 
  3. In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, add 1 tbsp sesame oil and chicken. Cook until chicken is pretty much cooked all the way through. 
  4. Add the sauce; being careful that sauce will likely bubble up and spit in the first few seconds. 
  5. Allow sauce to bubble at a medium-fast boil for about 5 minutes, or until sauce has reduced slightly and chicken is completely cooked through. 
  6. Add chicken and sauce from the pan to a large bowl and combine with pasta. 
  7. Add all the vegetables along with the chow mein noodles, nuts, and sesame seeds. Stir well and serve warm or cold. 

*Note – Original recipe says not too worry that there will be a lot of sauce still left in the pan because you have a lot of noodles and vegetables to coat. I also found that the sauce did not really thicken that much, but it was totally fine. 

The original recipe also says that recipe will be good in fridge, in an airtight container for up to 3 days. 

Cauliflower Pizza with Greek Yogurt Pesto & Grilled Veggies 

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Thoughts: I LOVED THIS!!! The greek yogurt pesto was one of the most delicious items that I have made so far! The cauliflower crust actually worked out, and the feta provided the perfect level of salt to the dish! I would definitely make this dish again! However, it would unfortunately only be for myself, Jordan did not really enjoy it. But he has never really liked feta. I give this dish a 6/5

Original recipe: Food Faith Fitness 

Ingredients 

Cauliflower crust

  • 1 large head of cauliflower, or two medium 
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp Garlic, minced (I used garlic paste) 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning 
  • Pepper 
  • 1 1/3 cup + 4 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated (I only used 2/3 cup) 
  • 2 large egg whites 

Greek yogurt basil sauce

  • 1/2 cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt 
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed fresh basil, roughly chopped (I used a combination of basil paste and fresh basil) 
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced (again I used garlic paste, leftover from shepherds pie last week) 
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
  • salt/pepper to taste 

Toppings

  • 1 small zucchini, sliced 
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, sliced 1/2 inch thick 
  • 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled 

Instructions 

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  2. In a food processor, grate cauliflower into a rice texture. 
  3. Place cauliflower into a large bowl and microwave for 7 minutes. Stir, and microwave for an additional 7 minutes. Let the cauliflower cool long enough to handle, approximately 10-15 minutes. 
  4. Place cauliflower into a thin kitchen towel and ring out ALL of the water. Get out as much excess moisture as possible to avoid a soggy crust. 
  5. Place cauliflower back into the large bowl and combine with garlic, salt, italian season, a pinch of pepper, and parmesan. 
  6. Add egg whites and mix until well combined. 
  7. Spread out cauliflower into two crusts, leaving a ridge for the crust. 
  8. Bake in oven until golden brown, approximately 30 minutes. 
  9. While pizza bakes, combine greek yogurt, basil, and garlic in a food processor until smooth and creamy. While food processor is on stream olive oil until well mixed. Set aside. 
  10. Preheat grill or square skillet on medium-high heat. 
  11. Brush zucchini and tomatoes with olive oil and place on grill cook for about 2-3 minutes per side. (I used a square skillet and the tomatoes came off with no troubles at all, but original recipe said to keep tomatoes pretty thick so they do not stick on the BBQ. If they do stick then use a fork to remove them),
  12. Top cauliflower crust with greek yogurt pesto, grilled vegetables and feta. 
  13. Place back in the oven under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, just until the cheese melts. Keep a very close eye on it. My crust slightly burnt.   

Snack 2

Red Cabbage Smoothie 

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Thoughts: Red cabbage works great in smoothies because it is naturally sweet. I would definitely put cabbage in a smoothie again. I don’t often make berry smoothies because I do not like all the seeds, that is what my smoothies are often pineapple, mango, and peach based. There were a lot of seeds in this smoothie, but the red cabbage was really good! 4/5 

Original recipe: The Pioneer Woman 

Ingredients (This was my portion) 

  • 1/3 cup frozen blueberries 
  • 1/4 cup frozen raspberries 
  • 1 banana 
  • 1/4 cup red cabbage 
  • 1/4 cup vanilla greek yogurt 
  • 1/3 cup coconut water 

Instructions 

1. Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. 


 Day 3 


 Breakfast 

Basil and goat cheese omelette

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Thoughts: I really enjoyed this dish! It has a been a week of slightly overcooking things, so I did slightly over cook my omelette, which I would try to avoid for next time. Charley had her first two year molar cut through in the last 24 hours so it has been a tough 24 hours for both of us! Hence why my head is out of the cooking game! But I really enjoyed the goat cheese in the omelette. It was fast to prepare and delicious so I would definitely make this again. 4/5

Ingredients (This was my portion) 

  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 tsp basil paste or 1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped 
  • 10 g goat cheese
  • cooking spray 
  • 2 slices of bread, toasted 
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter 
  • 1/2 cup honeydew melon, sliced 
  • 1/2 cup strawberries, whole 

Instructions 

  1. Warm skillet on medium-low heat. 
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and basil. 
  3. Spray skillet with nonstick spray. 
  4. Pour egg mixture into skillet and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes. 
  5. Flip and cook other side for 1-2 minutes. 
  6. Add goat cheese and fold omelette into quarters. 
  7. Top with fresh basil and serve with toast and peanut butter, along with fruit. 

Lunch 

Leftover Cauliflower pizza 

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Thoughts: It was just as good, if not better the next day! 5/5! 

My Portion: 3 slices of pizza 

Snack 1

100g Yogurt & 1/4 cup mixed nuts

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Dinner 

Slow Cooker Asian Beef with Cauliflower Fried Rice 

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Thoughts: I will definitely make this again!!! Jordan and Charley both loved this dish. Charley has not been eating very well lately, and she scarfed this down! She ate two servings of the beef and loved the cauliflower rice! 

Even though this was a slow cooker dish, there is still some work before dinner can be served. 10/5! 

Original Recipe:  The Housewife in Training Files  

My Portion 

  • 1 1/2 cups cauliflower rice 
  • 1 cup vegetables 
  • 115 g beef 
  • 2 tbsp sauce 

Ingredients 

  • 2 lbs boneless sirloin roast 
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce 
  • 1/4 cup honey 
  • 2 tsp sesame oil 
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1 tsp ground ginger (I used 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced) 
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes 

Cauliflower rice 

  • 1 large head cauliflower 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced thinly 
  • 1 16 oz package sliced mushrooms 
  • 3 small heads broccoli florets, cut small 
  • 1 medium white onion, sliced thin 
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced 
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce 
  • 3 T rice wine vinegar 
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes 
  • pinch ground pepper (I used 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced)
  • Garnish with sliced green onions & Sesame seeds 

Instructions 

  1. In a small bowl combine together soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, minced garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Add roast and sauce to slow cooker. Ensure that roast is completely covered with the sauce. Turn on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours (I cooked mine on low for 8 hours).
  2. When beef is finished cooking, shred and add back to the crockpot to absorb the sauce. 
  3. While roast is cooking in sauce, prepare cauliflower rice. Grate the cauliflower in food processor or by hand. Add shredded cauliflower to a cheese cloth, or thin kitchen towel, and wring out the excess moisture. 
  4. In a  large saute pan over medium high heat, heat 2 tbsp sesame oil. Add garlic and cauliflower. Saute until cauliflower is tender and slightly crisp. Remove from pan and set aside and keep warm. 
  5. Add 1 tbsp sesame oil to skillet and add bell peppers, mushrooms, white onion, and broccoli. Saute for 7-10 minutes or until vegetables are al dente. 
  6. In a bowl place cauliflower rice, top with vegetables, followed by pulled beef, green onions and sesame seeds and enjoy! 

Snack – 2

Popcorn and dark chocolate

  • 2 cups kettle corn
  • 20 g dark chocolate (best chocolate I have ever had!) 

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 Day 4 


Breakfast

The Classic 

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Thoughts: This was not the original plan! I had the most exciting dish plan for this morning and it was a total flop! It was my fault that it was a total flop, I tried to play around with the recipe and I should have just left it. The recipe also called for a blended, but my fell victim to a tragic homemade cereal  catastrophe! I still really want to try the recipe so it will be in the plan for next week. I would have started over again, but I did not have time. I had to see my cardiologist today. She still has some concerns so I have to go for some tests. I definitely have to be grateful that she is keeping such a good eye on me! So anyways long story short, after a disastrous breakfast attempt I went for cereal! 

My Portion 

  • 3/4 cup cereal (Kashi Chia Cearal) 
  • 1/2 cup 3% milk 
  • 1 cup cantaloupe 

Lunch 

Joey’s Urban 

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Thoughts: It seems to be the tradition that after every cardiology appointment my mom takes me out for lunch. I think it is our time to digest all the information we have received. Today we went to Joey’s Urban . I discovered their amazing fish tacos at the Stampede last year! They are AMAZING!!! I always get the Joey’s Fish Taco! If I had to pick only 5 things I was allowed to eat for the rest of my life, these taco’s would make the cut! I had two Joey’s fish tacos and no fries. 

Mom and I ended up going to the Joey’s Urban in Braeside. I am not sure about other locations, because I know it is a franchise, but the Braeside location has unlimited tacos and fries on thursdays!!! I realize this FANTASTIC deal does not at all fit in my portion controlled approach to healthy eating, but I was still impressed! The Braeside location also sells Rita’s Italian Ice. All I am going to say is LIFE CHANGING! I just tried a bit of Charley’s and it was spectacular!!! Again, while this does not really fit into my meal plan, this is the perfect ‘every once and a while’ treat! 

I give Joey’s fish tacos a 10/5! and the Italian ice 10/5!  

Dinner 

Leftover Chinese Chicken Pasta Salad with Leftover Honey Soy Asian Beef on a bun and Crunchy Cabbage Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing (Now that is a mouth full!) 

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Thoughts: This week I really tried to have one meal work into another so that I was cutting down on my work load. You can expect a lot more of this type of meal planning, especially for over the summer. It is getting too hot to be inside, cooking in the kitchen all day. It is honestly to hot to even feel like eating let alone cooking! (My family in Florida is probably making fun of me as I discuss how overbearing the 24 degrees C [75 F] was today, I know that is probably your winter temperature!) With this type of format I am able to spend a lot less time in the kitchen, but still enjoy a completely different meal than the one before. When I got home from the cardiologist I was so glad that dinner was already half done, and that the rest could be prepared relatively fast. It gave me the chance to put Charley in her swim suit and spend some time outside! 

For the most part I really enjoyed this dish. The only down side was that as I was taking photos Charley was so over tired and done; needing her mommy’s attention! Poor girl, I do not blame her, her molars have been so tough on her. By the time I got around to eating my dinner it had gone cold. With the salad I couldn’t stick it in the microwave so I ate it cold. It was tasty, but I think it would have been a thousand times better if the bun and the meat were still warm! In its cold state I give this recipe a 4/5. 

Original recipe: Scaling Back Blog 

My Portion 

  • 1 whole grain whole wheat but (130 kcal) 
  • 1/2 tsp margarine 
  • 105 g beef 
  • 1 cup spicy peanut slaw 
  • 1 1/2 cup Chinese Chicken pasta salad 

Ingredients 

Salad

  • 1 head Napa Cabbage, thinly shredded (I only used half a head) 
  • 1/4 small head Red Cabbage, thinly shredded 
  • 1 carrot, peeled and julienned 
  • 1 cup snow peas, thinly sliced 
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves 
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, (I didn’t add this) 
  • 1 avocado, diced 
  • 1/4 cup chopped roasted cashews, (I thought I had cashews, but didn’t so I used sunflower seeds instead) 
  • 2 tbsp black sesame seeds (I used 1 tbsp roasted white sesame seeds) 
  • 2 tbsp smooth peanut butter 
  • 2 tbsp rice-wine vinegar 
  • 1 tsp sesame oil 
  • 1 tsp soy sauce 
  • 1 tsp honey or brown sugar 
  • 1/2 tsp sriracha 
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced 
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger 
  • 2 tbsp water 

Other 

  • Leftover honey soy beef from the night before, warmed up 
  • Whole grain whole wheat buns, enough for each person 
  • butter/margarine 
  • Leftover Chinese Chicken Pasta Salad 

Instructions 

  1. In a large bowl combine cabbages, carrots, snow peas, avocado and herbs. 
  2. In a small bowl whisk together peanut butter, vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, honey, sriracha, garlic, ginger and water. 
  3. Toss vegetables with peanut sauce and top with a garnish of cilantro and basil and sprinkle with sunflower seeds or cashews and sesame seeds. 
  4. Lightly toast bun. Spread 1/4 tsp of butter/margarine on each half. Top with warm beef followed by a heaping mound of spicy peanut slaw. Serve with leftover Chinese Chicken pasta salad and enjoy.  

Calgary Food Tours

Inglewood’s Edible Enticements


 

As promised, here are the wonderful details of my lunch on Wednesday. I should clarify that the nutritional analysis that I provided for this day was a very rough estimate. I tried to estimate on the higher side. It is difficult to be accurate when I do not know all of the ingredients in each recipe. 

As I mentioned on my blog, during week 16 breakfast day 3, I went on a food tour with Calgary Food Tours last month and it was AMAZING! I went with my husband and our close friends. The first tour that I experienced with Calgary Food Tours was Savouring 17th Ave SW. If you are looking for something fun and different to do around Calgary I would highly recommend participating in one of these tours! 

When my friend told me that she wanted to go on one of these tours, I felt it was geared more towards tourists, not residents. I have lived in Calgary most of my life, so I thought I already knew everything that there was to know about Calgary’s history, all the wonderful places to eat, and all the cute boutique food shops. I quickly realized that there are so many hidden gems in Calgary that I had no idea existed!!! For the places that I already knew about, I left with such a new appreciation and insight for the individuals that have poured so much love and hard work into establishing these wonderful restaurants and stores. 

Each tour that I have been on was run by a very lovely woman named Karen. She is one of those individuals that you meet once and feel like you have known your entire life. You do not feel like you are on a tour, but just out for the day with a great friend. I could listen to Karen talk about stories of Calgary and food all day! She has such wonderful insight. After each tour I leave with so many new favourite places, and a strong desire to support local business! 

Let me tell you all about the places that I visited in Inglewood on Wednesday.

Spolumbo’s

We first started the day at Spolumbo’s Fine Foods & Deli. If you are a Calgarian and have never heard of Spolumbo’s please rectify this immediately. You cannot help but to feel such pride when you hear the inspiring story behind this community centred business. You can read all about the three childhood friends who are the drivers behind this family run establishment on their website. We had a delicious italian picnic, which included spicy meatballs, chicken apple sausage in tomato sauce, pesto pasta salad, and a tomato salad along with a few other delicious treats. I strongly encourage you to go visit Spolumbo’s and grab a delicious lunch. 

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Knifeware

Following our lovely Spolumbo’s picnic lunch we strolled over to Knifeware precision Japanese cutlery. It seemed like an odd stop. However, once you hear the story behind this shop and how it came to be you are instantly captivated. I also realized how terrible all my kitchen knives are. I desperately need to invest in some new ones! These will definitely be the knives that I go with. They are expensive, but totally worth the investment. 

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I also learned that my technique is way off! I have always used the tip of the knife down on the cutting board and push the food through technique, so the knife actually never moves. This shop teaches that the safest approach is to not hold the handle of the knife but the blade, just after the handle. It gives you better control over the knife. They also teach that you should move the knife and not the food! I am doing it all wrong in this picture! 

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Silk Road Spice Merchant

THIS IS MY NEW FAVOURITE STORE!!!!!!! I had no idea this place existed! You can get any spice imaginable here. I had no idea there were so many different types of cinnamon! I thought cinnamon was cinnamon! There is a whole world of spices that I need to learn about! All the employees have such a genuine passion for working with spices.  Before starting this blog I would have thought that statement was exceptionally nerdy, but now that I have developed such a love for cooking I can totally relate! Spices are fundamental to a delicious dish.

At this stop we went into the back and blended together a Turkish Baharat mix. It is probably for the best that I do not live close to this shop. I learned that I need to replace all of my kitchen knives and my entire spice cabinet! I found the prices were really reasonable. The Silk road spice merchant does not capitalize on their adorable boutique facade. They just care about sharing their love of spices!

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Turkish Baharat – so pretty, there is no question that it would have to taste good!

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Savour Fine Foods & Kitchenware

This was a super adorable shop, with the most amazing kitchen gadgets! Everything for sale in the store the owners have tested themselves, and have put their stamp of approval on. I got the best dish cloth EVER from this store!!! I will never use another dish cloth again! Sorry I didn’t take a single photo, you will have to go and see it for yourself! 

Choklat

Again this was another shop that I had no idea existed in the city that I have lived in most of my life! I wish there was a way to capture and share smell through social media! You walk in and are instantly greeted by the most heavenly chocolate aroma ever!!! Cost did not even cross my mind, I wanted to buy one of everything!!! The story behind this shop is incredible! I encourage you to go on the tour just to hear Karen share the history of this unique store. The recipe to their chocolate is beautifully perfected, their 70% dark chocolate tastes like milk chocolate. All of their truffles are made custom! GO to CHOKLAT!!!! Again my pictures from Choklat are lacking because I was distracted by all the chocolate!!! 

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Tea Trader

Following our scrumptious chocolate tasting we went for a very needed cup of tea at The Tea Trader. It was an adorable little shop at the top of a skinny flight of stairs. It seemed a bit suspect if you were going there for the first time on your own, but trust me it is there! We sampled a delicious Rooibos. Sorry I do not know what was wrong me, but my pictures during the middle of the tour during are lacking! 

Rouge Restaurant

The best way to end the tour! Dessert and wine at Rouge. I do not have to sell you on how amazing Rouge is! I hope you already know that! We had the most amazing beef tartare and chocolate cake to finish off the lunch! We were also lucky enough to have had the pleasure to meet and talk with one of the partners of Rouge. Such a wonderful and down-to-earth person! It was another wonderful tour! 

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Note

* I am not paid by Calgary Food Tours and I did pay to go on the tour. I truly enjoyed each tour. There is definitely more eating involved during the savouring 17th ave tour. There is also a lot of food during the Inglewood tour, you leave feeling full, but there is definitely more of a focus on the cooking side of things (which I loved). To summarize: savouring 17th ave is eating focused and Inglewood is cooking focused, but you leave both tours with happy and full tummies! 

 

 

Leftovers, Maximized Living Diet & Calgary Food Tours

Month 5 – Week 3 


Diet Analysis

Kcal

Total

Breakfast

Snack 1

Lunch

Snack 2

Dinner

Day 1

1309

412

0

469

193

235

Day 2

1249

245

194

254

183

373

Day 3

1872

0

0

1229

130

513

Day 4

1261

416

0

565

0

280

 

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Proteins (g)

44.42

54.14

89.97

62.85

Carbohydrates (g)

153.87

143.25

204.6

98.8

Fats (g)

62.26

56.45

78.8

69.37

Omega 6 (g)

6.16

2.7

3.59

3.83

Omega 3 (g)

1.11

2.14

1.02

0.69

Dietary Fiber (g)

17.89

22.48

20.06

16.05

Water (ounces)

30

60

50

30

Steps

3,300

6,600

4,500

I forgot to check

Dietary Lows (anything less than 50% of DIV) Vitamin D 18% 2.66 µg, Calcium 43% 432.42 mg, Iron 39% 7.09 mg, potassium 31% 1478,74 mg Vitamin D 43% 6.43 µg, potassium  45% 2098.15 mg Vitamin D 3% 0.43 µg, Vitamin A (RAE) 151.27, calcium 31% 309.88 mg, Potassium 38% 1780.63 mg  Vitamin D 3% 0.41 µg, vitamin E 6.58 mg, calcium 32% 322.85 mg, potassium 37% 1732.5 mg

These values are approximations. They are accurate but not precise. Many factors can change the accuracy of these numbers. Such as measurement and products purchased. 

My recommended intake based of my sedentary lifestyle 

Total daily Kilocalories: 1733 

Protein (g): 72.57 

Carbohydrate (g): 191.0 – 276.0 

Fat, total (g): 37.0 – 66.0 

Omega-6 fatty acid (g): 12

Omega-3 fatty acid (g): 1.1

Dietary Fiber, total (g): 25 

Water (g): 2700 that is 10.8 cups per day or 86.4 fl oz

  • If you are following along and adopting my meal plans please be aware that everyone’s nutritional needs are very individual. For those who are quite active you may require more calories, along with a varied macronutrient and micronutrient composition in your diet. But please feel free to use and be inspired by my meal plans.

Day 1 


Breakfast 

Carrot cake waffles 

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I learned the hard way that coconut flour is not a 1:1 substitution!
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That is better!

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Thoughts: If diet was not the only way I can control my weight then I definitely would have gone back for seconds of this dish!!! I would have also made the cream cheese whipped cream the recipe recommended to pair with it! I will definitely make this again. 5/5! 

Original recipe: http://numstheword.com/carrot-cake-waffles/ 

My portion 

  • 1 waffle
  • 1 tbsp pecans 
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup 

Ingredients 

(*Note: I cut the recipe in half and it still made 4 waffles, however I ended up still using a the full 3/4 cup of milk, the batter was too dry without the full amount of milk)  

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 2 tbsp sugar (I used coconut sugar) 
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda 
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg 
  • 1/2 tsp allspice 
  • 1 cup vanilla greek yogurt 
  • 3/4 cup milk 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 4 tbsp butter, melted 
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1 1/2 cups finely grated carrots 

Instructions 

  1. Preheat your waffle iron. 
  2. In a medium bowl combine flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda. 
  3. In a separate medium bowl combine together yogurt, milk and eggs. 
  4. Stir in melted butter and vanilla. 
  5. Add wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. 
  6. Gently fold the carrots into the batter.
  7. Spray waffle iron with nonstick spray (I used coconut oil). 
  8. Top with pure maple syrup and pecans. 

Lunch 

Banana roll 

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Thoughts: I was not in the mood to make anything elaborate and I had leftover chia jam from the week before, so this tasty concoction was born. How can you go wrong with all of these comfort classics 5/5

Ingredients (this was my portion) 

  • 1 whole grain tortilla 
  • 1 banana 
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter 
  • 1 tsp Nutella 
  • 2 tbsp chia seed jam 
  • 1/2 tbsp cacao nibs 

Instructions 

  1. On tortilla layer peanut butter, Nutella, chia jam, cacao nibs and banana. 
  2. Enjoy! 

Snack 

  • 2 cups kettle corn popcorn 
  • 1 square dark chocolate 

Dinner 

Poppy seed chicken fruit salad lettuce wraps 

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Thoughts: This is the perfect summer dinner dish when it is super hot out and you have no desire to cook. This is refreshing and light. Lettuce wraps are definitely better with butter lettuce than romaine, so I wouldn’t use romaine again. I also found that the dressing was overly sweet, I think a 1/4 cup sugar is way too much. My instinct was to sub for 1 tbsp honey, but after my massive fail with breakfast I was too nervous to make any changes. With all of these changes I would probably consider making this dish again 4/5.  

Original recipe: Carls bad craving

My portion

  • 3 lettuce wraps
  • 1 cup filling 
  • 1 tbsp macadamia nuts 
  • 1 tsp unsweetened shredded coconut 

Ingredients 

Filling

  • 1 1/2 lb chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces 
  • 1 large head butter lettuce (I had romaine that I had to use up) 
  • 1/2 pint strawberries, chopped 
  • 1 mango, chopped 
  • 1 cucumber, sliced and quartered 
  • 1 avocado, chopped 
  • 2 tbsp shallots, diced 

Dressing 

  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar 
  • 1/4 cup canola oil 
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice 
  • 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce 
  • 1/4 cup sugar 
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds 
  • 1/2 tbsp poppy seeds 
  • 1 tsp minced shallots 
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • dash sriracha 

Toppings

  • 1 tbsp macadamia nuts 
  • 1 tsp unsweetened shredded coconut 

Instructions 

  1. Combine together all the ingredients for the dressing. 
  2. Add 3 tbsps of dressing to a large freezer bag along with chicken to marinade. 
  3. Marinade for at least 1 hour or overnight. 
  4. Heat a dash of olive in a large skilled and add chicken. Cook until no longer pink.
  5. Mix together chicken, strawberries, mango, cucumber, avocado, shallots, and 1/4 cup poppy seed dressing. 
  6. Chill for 1 hour up to overnight. 
  7. Prepare lettuce wraps by spooning 1/3 cup filling onto each lettuce leaf. Allow excess dressing to drip off. 
  8. Garnish with macadamia nuts and toasted coconut flakes. 

*Notes: I did not marinate my chicken. I just cooked the chicken with 2 tbsp dressing. I also did not marinate the fruit and chicken mixture. I thought everything tasted fine without spending all the time marinating. 


Day 2 


Breakfast 

The classic 

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Thoughts: I am so boring. Cereal is one of my favourite breakfast options! I went with a whole grain honey oat cereal. 

Ingredients (this was my portion) 

  • 1 cup whole grain honey oat cereal 
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk (I started using 2% because Charley is off of Homo milk and I don’t want to buy two separate types of milk anymore, I normally go with 1%). 
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup strawberries

Lunch 

Cucumber & Strawberry poppyseed salad 

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Thoughts: This was good. Again I found the dressing a bit sweet, so I would make adjustments for the next time I prepare this dish. I also found that there was way too much cucumber. I would consider serving this on spinach instead. I love cucumber, but there was way too much in this recipe even with my additions. I would also consider adding toasted almond slivers next time. 3.5/5 

Inspired by: The Housewife in Training Files  along with Carls bad craving

Ingredients (this was my portion) 

  • 115 g cucumber, spiralized 
  • 5 medium strawberries, sliced 
  • 25 g feta, crumbled 
  • 1 tbsp poppyseed dressing (from the recipe the night before) 
  • 60 g chicken breast (from night before)
  • 1/3 cup fruit salsa from night before

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, combine cucumbers and strawberries together. 
  2. Toss with poppyseed dressing. 
  3. Top with chicken and fruit salsa. 
  4. Finally, add crumbled feta and serve. 

Snack 1 

Chocolate frosty from week 13 

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Thoughts: The first time I attempted this recipe during week 13 I gave a low score of 2.5/5. I had mentioned that I made the smoothie with a fresh banana and not a frozen one, but I did not think that it would really make that big of a difference. My friend Rachael told me that it does make a huge difference. So I finally got around to attempting this recipe again with a frozen banana and YES IT DOES MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE!!! Who knew?!!! This was a totally different experience. I was sad when my drink was finished; I wanted more. Last time I could barely finish it; I thought it was disgusting. The frozen banana makes the drink a lot creamier for some reason and it seems to stabilize it better. With the fresh banana all the ingredients seemed to separate. Anyways I give this a new score of 5/5 and I look forward to making it again! Thanks for the advice Rachael! 

Original Recipe: http://rabbitfoodformybunnyteeth.com/frosty-light/

Ingredients (This was my portion) 

•1 cup unsweetened almond milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)

•1 frozen banana

•1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

•1/2 tsp chia seeds

•1 tsp pure vanilla extract

•8-10 ice cubes

Instructions 

1Place all ingredients into blender and combine until smooth.

Dinner 

Mac & Cheese Spaghetti Squash

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You know sauce is thick enough when you can draw a line on the back of your spoon and the sauce does not drip.

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Thoughts: Do I really need to try and sell you on this one? Just look at the pictures! This is an obvious 10/5!  

Recipe inspired by:  B.Britnell Life. One Meal At A Time

My Portion 

  • 1/2 a medium spaghetti squash 
  • 2/3 cup cheese sauce 
  • 1/2 tbsp bread crumbs 
  • 1 cup caesar salad 
  • 2 tsp caesar vinaigrette 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash 
  • 1/2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil per squash half
  • 2 cups milk (I used 2%, recipe says unflavoured milk) 
  • 2 cups cheese (I used 1 3/4 cup cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese)
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup flour 
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast 
  • 1/2 tsp yellow mustard 
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder 
  • 1/4 tsp ancho chilli powder 
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp bread crumbs 
  • Pinch of parsley fresh or dried 

Instructions: 

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. 
  2. Prepare squash by cutting in half length wise and removing all the seeds and stringy bits in the centre of the squash. 
  3. Brush the inside of each squash with oil and season. (I seasoned with a sprinkle of Mr.Dash’s original).
  4. Place squash on a baking sheet and cook in oven for an hour to an hour and a half. Baking depends on the size of the squash. Mine took about an hour and a half to cook. 
  5. While squash is cooking prepare the sauce. 
  6. Melt butter in a sauce pan, on medium-low heat, and add flour to make a paste. 
  7. Add about half a cup of milk and stir with flour paste until you get a thick liquid. 
  8. Add the rest of the milk and continue to stir until sauce thickens. It will take about 5-7 minutes. (Sauce starts pretty runny, but give it some time it WILL thicken!) 
  9. Once sauce has thickened, add cheese and stir until cheese has completely melted. 
  10. Add nutritional yeast, mustard, onion powder, chilli powder and cayenne. Reduce heat and keep sauce warm and watch it very closely, stirring often, so it does not burn on the bottom.  
  11. Once squash is cooked shred squash out and place into a large bowl (I just shredded my squash in the shell, but you can do whatever you prefer). 
  12. Combine cheese sauce with squash and mix throughly. 
  13. Fill squash shells, top with 1/2 tbsp of bread crumbs and parsley and place back in the oven for another 10 minutes, or until bread crumbs turn golden brown. (I found after 10 minutes I had to turn the broiler on to brown the bread crumbs). 
  14. This dish will be piping hot out of the oven so you may want to let is cool for a little bit before diving in. Serve with a light vinaigrette caesar salad. 

Snack 2 

  • 1 Aussie bite 
  • 1 square dark chocolate 

Day 3 


Breakfast 

Lemon Raspberry Chia Pudding

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I was so sad this did not turn out!

Thoughts: I obviously wanted this to turn out and be amazing. It sounded incredible! However, this was my first massive fail and the first 0/5 that I have ever given! 

I should have listened to my gut. I was concerned that the lemon juice would curdle the milk and sure enough it did. I was so excited to wake up to breakfast already prepared. I was devastated when I opened the fridge to find runny goop with clumpy white bits. I tried a bite and it was inedible. So clearly I will not make this again. 

I am also human, so it quite possible that this is really good and I screwed something up.

Original recipe: http://www.thehealthymaven.com/2014/04/lemon-raspberry-chia-pudding.html 

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk) 
  • 4 1/2 T chia seeds 
  • zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon 
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 T honey 

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients together in a medium bowl. 
  2. Place in sealable container to set overnight; for at least 8 hours. 

Lunch 

Calgary Food Tours

You can read all about my lovely lunch here

Dinner 

Steak Fajitas

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Thoughts: The only reason that I altered from the original recipe is because I ran out of the house in the morning and forgot to marinate the steak. So I just improvised. This was yummy! A classic comfort meal! I really enjoyed how the recipe by apples and sparkle was all cooked on the grill! I will definitely use that method again. 4/5 

Inspired by: http://www.applesandsparkle.com/2014/03/skirt-steak-fajitas.html 

My Portion

  • 1 whole grain tortilla 
  • 4 tbsp refried beans 
  • 1 tbsp sour cream 
  • 1/2 tbsp cheddar cheese 
  • 1/2 cup bell pepper 
  • 1/4 cup white onion 
  • 60 g steak

Ingredients 

  • Whole grain whole wheat tortilla 
  • 1 top sirloin steak 
  • Juice of 1/2 lime 
  • 1/2 tsp ancho chilli powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder 
  • 1 tsp garlic powder 
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt 
  • 2 bell peppers, cut into thick slices 
  • 1 large white onion, cut into thick slice 
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil  
  • 1 can refried beans 
  • sour cream 
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded  

Instructions 

  1. Warm BBQ to medium-high heat.
  2. In a small bowl mix together chilli powder, onion power, garlic powder, and sea salt. 
  3. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 lime on steak and then rub with spice blend. Let sit for an hour. 
  4. Brush peppers and onions with extra virgin olive oil. 
  5. Place steak and vegetables on the grill and cook until peppers and onions are tender, and steak is cooked to your preference. 
  6. Let steak sit for a few minutes and then slice. 
  7. Prepare fajita by spreading refried beans on a warmed tortilla, followed by cheddar cheese, sour cream, bell peppers, onions and finally steak. Wrap and enjoy! 

 Day 4 


Breakfast 

Vanilla Greek yogurt chocolate berry cheesecake parfait 

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Thoughts: This recipe is genius! You could easily serve this dish as a dessert. The next time that I prepare this I would only use 1/4 cup pudding mix. I had a panic moment and thought it was not setting with a strong enough cheesecake flavour so I added another 1/4 cup. It did set and was super rich. So I would definitely only use a 1/4 cup next time. But there will definitely be a next time!!! I loved this dish! I added the cacao nibs to add another nutrient dense element to the recipe. 

I could not find cheesecake pudding mix on its own. I ended up buying the no bake Jello cheesecake box. It still worked fine, but it would be nice to not have to buy the full kit. Let me know if you find the cheesecake pudding mix on its own. I am not sure if it is just an American product. 5/5

Original recipe: Belle of the Kitchen 

My portion: 

  • 1/2 cup cheesecake mixture 
  • 1/2 cup berries (mix of blueberries and strawberries) 
  • 1/4 cup granola 
  • 3 tsp cacao nibs 

Ingredients (I altered the portions for the recipe, if you want to follow the original recipe check out Belle of the Kitchen)

  • 1 cup vanilla greek yogurt 
  • 1/2 cup cheesecake flavoured instant pudding mix (Next time I would only use a 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese, softened 
  • 1 cup fresh berries, any kind 
  • 1/4 cup granola 
  • 3 tsp cacao nibs 

Instructions 

  1. In a  medium bowl, combine together yogurt, cream cheese and pudding mix until smooth, using a hand held mixer. Place yogurt mix in the fridge to set while you prepare the rest of the ingredients for the parfait. 
  2. Prepare parfait by layering 2 tbsp berries, 1 tsp cacao nibs, 2 tbsp granola, 1/4 cup yogurt mix, and repeat this order once more. Garnish the top with 1 tsp cacao nibs, a pinch of granola and a couple of berries.  Enjoy! 

Lunch 

Steak salad 

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Thoughts: I worked at Moxie’s for 2 years as a hostess when I was in high school. I was the first one out of all of my friends to get a job. The funny thing is I NEVER applied for the job. Mom and dad came home and told me that I started work on monday! High school was busy! I worked 4 days a week, cut back on swimming to 7 days a week, I was on the honour roll, and I was a youth leader at our church! 

Anyways the reason I brought up the time that I worked at Moxie’s is because one of my favourite dishes was their steak salad. This dish is my take on Moxie’s steak salad, using my leftovers from the steak fajita’s the night before. 

In my very non-humble and extremely biased opinion this was AMAZING!!!! The dressing is definitely the key to this dish. I just went into my pantry and started grabbing bottles that looked interesting, and this amazing dressing and salad was born! I would definitely make this again! I could eat this everyday for lunch! 6/5

Ingredients (This was my portion)

Salad

  • 50 g steak, leftover from the night before 
  • 115 g rice noodles 
  • 1 cup romaine lettuce, chopped 
  • 1 cup spinach 
  • 1 roma tomato 
  • 1/3 cup roasted peppers, left over from the night before 
  • 25 g goat cheese, crumbled 

Dressing (I had 2 tbsp dressing)

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar 
  • 1 tsp ponzu 
  • 1 tbsp honey 
  • 1/4 tsp sriracha 
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt 
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder 

Instructions 

  1. In a medium bowl mix together all the ingredients for the dressing. 
  2. Prepare rice noodles according to package. 
  3. Place rice noodles on plate and mix well with 1 tbsp dressing. 
  4. Top noodles with lettuce and spinach. 
  5. On top of the lettuce mixture top with tomatoes, roasted peppers, and goat cheese. 
  6. I warmed my steak for about 30 seconds in the microwave and then placed on top of my salad, but this step is not necessary. 
  7. Drizzle another tbsp of dressing on top of salad and enjoy! 

Dinner 

Dairy and potato free shepherd’s pie 

Thoughts

The why:

I was speaking to a close friend of mine who was preparing a week worth of meals for a dear friend of hers who is walking through an extremely difficult time. I encourage you to read about the journey this amazing family is unfortunately facing. Karen started an incredible blog to easily and quickly share updates with friends and family, her blog is call A Tongue That Rejoices

Karen and her husband Rob, along with their son, were given the life changing news back in 2014 that an ulcer removed from Rob’s tongue was cancerous. In January Rob and Karen were given the exciting news that Rob’s scans were clear! On May 7th this precious family received the heart breaking news that Rob’s cancer had returned and was now incurable. My very brief summary of their past year really does not do justice in sharing their emotional heaviness, but also their inspiring faith in facing this diagnosis. 

With the news that Rob’s cancer is now incurable the family was encouraged to adopt the Maximized living diet. I offered to help my friend out by preparing one of the meals for her. The restrictions with this diet are overwhelming! This is not a diet I would agree with for the average person, but for this family obviously I will prepare for them whatever they need, at whatever cost, so that they may have one less thing to worry about. 

I would love to ask any of my friends who have any experience with the Maximized Living Diet what your thoughts are on it? I only made one meal, it took me FOREVER, and cost a weeks worth of our usual groceries! I really do not mind the time or cost that was involved, but I could not help feeling so broken for this family. They are already dealing with the burden of their current reality, but this diet seems to add additional financial hardships and anxiety with the tedious nature of every meal involved. I know when you have a loved one grappling with sickness you are willing to do WHATEVER it takes to sustain them. But what I want to know from those of you who may have experience with this diet, IS IT WORTH IT? Or is there a better option, that is not as strict? 

To me I feel like some of the principles of this diet are completely counterintuitive. You are instructed to eat only organic, which I have no qualms with. My issue is the encouragement of raw and unpasteurized foods whenever possible. When your immune system is compromised from chemotherapy does this recommendation not seem reckless and potentially harmful? The other issue I have with this diet is the use of Stevia for everything! You are not allowed to have any sugar in this diet, which I can understand the theory behind, but is Stevia really that healthy? By no means am I an expert, which is why I am putting this question out there. I would love some insight only because this diet is very overwhelming finically and is very time expensive. Life needs to be as simple as possible for this family right now so they can focus on each other and not feel confined to the kitchen. 

The meal:

When I offered to make one of the meals for my friend. She said that she could not ask me to do that because they are very expensive and time consuming. When I said I did not mind she did not argue with me a second time and said “YES PLEASE!” She asked if I could make a shepherd’s pie. I could not use potatoes, dairy, or sugar. If I did use any dairy it had to be raw and unpasteurized. All veggies had to be organic and the meat had to be organic grass fed and grass finished. Needless to say I was intimidated by this challenge, but I was willing to do whatever I could to help my friend and make Karen and Rob’s life slightly easier.   

I was faced with the challenge of adding all flavour in the dish with herbs and vegetables. I had enough to make a shepherd’s pie for our family as well. My concoction was a hit. Jordan, loved it. He had no idea that I did not use any dairy, and he was shocked when I told him that the topping was not potatoes. To get the cheese and creamy flavour in the mashed cauliflower I added nutritional yeast! It was the perfect addition! I am not sure if I would make this again because of the time commitment, but it was definitely delicious! 5/5

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*Notes: I had to make enough to feed 6 adults and 4 kids 

My portion 

1 cup shepherd’s pie 

Ingredients (Some ingredients are on the list more than once, they are just in order of when you need to add them) 

  • 1 tbsp organic coconut oil 
  • 2 lb organic ground beef, grass fed and grass finished 
  • 3 organic onions, finely diced  
  • 1/2 tsp real salt (you cannot use just any salt on this diet) 
  • 1/2 tbsp organic garlic paste 
  • 4 small heads of organic cauliflower, leaves removed and washed 
  • 1 cup nutritional yeast 
  • 1 tsp real salt 
  • 1 large organic leek, only the white and light green part of the leek, washed throughly and cut into quarters or half moons 
  • 6 medium organic carrots, peeled and cut in halves 
  • 2 tbsp organic garlic paste 
  • 12 organic vine tomatoes, diced  
  • 3 tbsp organic basil paste 
  • 1 tbsp organic garlic paste 
  • 2 tsp real salt 

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a dutch oven melt coconut oil over medium heat. Do not allow to burn or brown according to the diet. Add onions and cook slowly over medium-low heat until translucent. 
  3. Add ground beef to onion mixture and cook until meat is no longer pink. Set aside.
  4. While beef is cooking, add about 2 inches of water to the bottom of a large stock pot. Bring to a boil, add cauliflower heads and cover. Allow cauliflower to cook until tender and you can pierce with a fork, but watch that you do not over cook; slightly al dente.  This should take about 10-15 minutes. 
  5. Give the cauliflower some time to air dry. Start preparing your other ingredients in the mean time. 
  6. In a braiser, or just another pan, melt another tbsp of coconut oil not allowing it to brown or burn. Add carrots, leeks, and 2 tbsp garlic paste. Allow to cook until carrots are al dente (soft but still slightly firm). I covered and allowed to steam for about 5-7 minutes. Just keep a closet eye that the veggies do not burn to the bottom of the pan. 
  7. Once carrots are cooked add tomatoes to the pan along with basil paste, 1 tbsp garlic paste and 2 tsp real salt. Stir and cover. Allow to simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes or until tomatoes have reduced down. 
  8. Add tomato ‘sauce’ to cooked ground beef mixture. Stir well. 
  9. Roughly cut the cauliflower and add to your food processor. Blend until smooth. 
  10. In a large bowl combine together mashed cauliflower, nutritional yeast and 1 tsp real salt. 
  11. In a casserole dish spread a layer of the beef mixture and top with a thick layer of cauliflower mash. 
  12. Place in oven and cook all the ingredients together for 15-20 minutes and serve. 

Television taught me how to cook

Rustic Table Setting

Television taught me how to cook; thank you Food Network

Ever since my family doctor gave me the advice that I needed to “learn to enjoy the cooking process” my life has been set on an entirely new path that I never could have imagined. If you had told me 6 months ago that I would have a food blog, I would have laughed out loud! Who could have foreseen that a girl who honestly thought that the only way to prepare scallop potatoes was from a box, would end up publishing a weekly food blog! So how did I get to this point?

I shared with you at the beginning of this journey that it all started with acquiring the right tools. After obtaining the right tools the next step was to learn how to use them, or in other words, there was the small task of learning how to cook.

I have always been a fan of the Food Network, but before my diagnosis, my favourite shows were all the competition ones. I always love a good episode of Chopped, Food Network Star, Cutthroat Kitchen, or The Kids Baking Championship.

However, after my new reality was abruptly imposed on me, I started to enjoy the culinary educational shows more and more. Most, if not all of the cooking skills that I have acquired, are from watching the Food Network. Sorry Mom, I know I should say it was from you, but we both know, along with anyone who knows you that is not the case (I love you, and I know that you are laughing reading this right now because you also know it is the truth!).

I have learned such invaluable skills from watch an embarrassing number of hours of the Food Network. My favourite shows right now are The Pioneer Woman, which I believe I have mentioned a million times before; Love her!  My other top pick right now is Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Home Cooking. I actually record this show because I have learned so many useful cooking tips. If you are serious about improving your cooking skills I would highly recommend watching Chef Ramsay’s show. You can watch episodes online if you do not have the Food Network as a part of your cable package.

Bake with Anna Olson is another great show, especially if you interested in developing your baking skills. I also enjoy Chef Michael’s Kitchen and French Food at Home.

Another series that I really love is Pitchin’ In. The show does not necessarily teach you how to cook, but it provides tremendous insight into where your food comes from, the dedication of the individuals and families involved, and the work it takes to get the ingredient to your plate.

I would not consider myself a professional by any means, but I feel much more competent in the kitchen, thanks to The Food Network and shows like The Pioneer Woman and Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate home cooking.

Before the Food Network I honestly do not know how I would have learned to cook! What are some of your favourite cooking shows? I would love to hear about them. Not that I need to add additional hours of television to my day, but really is it television or education? I argue that it is just a digital classroom!

For my meal plan for month 5, week 2, all of the recipes are from, or inspired by The Food Network. Check it out!