Tropical Nostaligia

Lately someone’s been going a little overboard with coconut milk— otherwise known as the epitome of tropical flavours. I love the exotic taste of coconut and the tropical kind of nostalgia that comes with the package.

Piña colada is a rum-based cocktail that consists of pineapple juice and cream of coconut. As Google shows, the drink was made famous in Puerto Rico by the release of Rupert Holmes’s “The Piña Colada Song”. Who doesn’t love that catchy song. I don’t go out enough so I have no idea what the real alcoholic version tastes like….but I once had a smoothie at a Malaysian restaurant that surely beats the never-tasted cocktail. This Tropical Piña Colada Smoothie recipe was inspired by the tangy mix of orange, coconut and pineapple flavours. 

When buying canned coconut milk, look out for preservatives like potassium metabisulfite and additives such as guar gum. I generally stick to brands that consist of none other than coconut milk and water. There’s also the talk about BPA in canned foods, but canned coconut milk is probably not something to have daily. Frozen grated coconut is an alternative that I would love to try another time.

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Berry Beet Juice

Beets are humble and often an underrated vegetable.  I was afraid of it for a long time and really had no idea how to eat it (they have always been extinct in our house).  Last year in a school course, we were learning about the science of things along the lines of fermentation, pickling, canning and jarring processes.  In the lab we prepared and tasted pickled beets among other vegetables. Surprisingly they have a neutral taste. The bright red colour always gave an impression of bitterness. Raw beets are a personal preference, such as in salads and juices.

If you like healthy cupcakes and chocolate, you will like the Vegan Chocolate Beet Cupcake recipe.

My dad was the one who suggested it for juice so we put this combination together. It’s so refreshing. Yesterday morning I had 3 cups to myself for breakfast. It’s loaded with antioxidants and natural sweetness.  I recommend freezing cut pineapple when they are best in season. I used my stash of frozen pineapples and omitted ice cubes.

Berry Beet Juice

Servings: 2-3

1 to 1 1/2 cup water
1 beet, peeled and chopped
1/2 medium apple
1 ripe medium banana
1/2 cup frozen mixed berries
1 cup pineapple (I used frozen ones)
4 tbsp lemon juice

Put everything in the blender and mix until smooth.
* I find it sweet enough and the lemon juice covers up any bitterness left. You can also add some honey or agave for more sweetness too.

Today I am heading to Waterloo, a city about 2 hours from Toronto to visit  friends for the weekend. I am bringing with me a batch of Kristen’s Almond Vegan Brownies. They are totally addicting! I will post a picture of them soon.

Bean, Spinach and Tomato “Compote”

Green juices are my go-to study snacks. When I am sitting on my butt for most of the day and on the verge of losing my mind, a healthy refresher is just the thing I need. The smoothie included:

2 nuggets of frozen spinach
1/2 apple
1/2 orange
1 frozen banana
3 medjool dates
fresh lemon juice
enough water to blend everything

Recently I cooked a bunch of lentils and white haricot beans. Having cooked beans on hand makes it convenient to incorporate more healthy protein and fibre in the diet. There are so many ways to cook with legumes/beans and I am finding all kinds of uses for them in meals.

Cooking the beans and spinach in the tomato sauce reminds of a tomato-based stew. The recipe is simple enough to whip up in under 10 minute and you can easily add in other ingredients like onions, garlic, mushrooms, squash, sliced carrots, and more!

Bean, Spinach and Tomato “Compote
Serves 1
-6 to 8 cherry tomatoes
-2 cups spinach, fresh
-1/2 cup tomato sauce
-1/2 cup cooked beans or legumes (I used 1/4 cup of lentils and 1/4 cup of haricot beans)
-seasoning to taste (black pepper, dried basil…)

1.On medium high heat, saute cherry tomatoes with a 1-2 tbsp of oil until they become tender.
2. Add in spinach and cook until wilted. Add in some water if it gets starts to become too dry.
3. Add tomato sauce and the cooked beans/legumes. Cook until the sauce thickens.
4. Season to taste and serve.

It is snowing again! I couldn’t miss out on capturing the beautiful plants I saw around the neighbourhood. Squirrel on the dashAnd more to come!

Paw-Paw Fact

This morning I needed a fix for my early waking by Meatball. I was trampled in my sleep by a furry four-legged friend until I finally gave in and followed a very happy dog downstairs. Breakfast was a OneBun sandwich filled with peanut butter, jam and half an avocado. Cucumbers on the side as well. After breakfast we went out for a walk and enjoyed some fresh air.  Before lunch I had a green fruit smoothie. Since breakfast I have been flipping through the glorious pages of enticing combinations from a smoothie book I borrowed at the library this week. I didn’t exactly follow a recipe but it was enough to get me started. An interesting fact I learned is that “paw paw” is the word for papaya in Australia, how adorable! Continue reading

Green Tea and Yellow Plum Quencher

There is a large bag full of organic yellow plums sitting in the fridge. These little fruits are so juicy and sweet. I’ve been eating at least 4 every day since an auntie gave it to us last week.   They’ve got a backyard farm I tell ya. Continue reading