Nectarine Salad with Roasted Tomatoes & Zimt Chocolate

Hello, I’m back! I finished a couple of midterms this week and I am enjoying my time so far as I am spending the weekend in Waterloo to I am visiting my dear friends. I brought along a batch of pumpkin loaf. The farmer’s market near school this week was featuring pumpkin loaf and I was smitten after trying a sample.

I left the recipe at home so I will be posting it when I get back. Sadly, tomorrow evening will be the end of this lovely weekend. This morning we had the pumpkin loaf for breakfast and a few surprise (not to mention delicious) vegan treats from Jona and Mavis for my soon to come birthday. For most of the afternoon we visited an Italian grocery store and walked around the uptown district. Hopefully I will be able to post about it another time. We cooked ourselves dinner and for dessert, we had the left over vegan treats (vegan brownie, black bean chocolate cake and date square), and Jona taught me how to make chocolate covered orange peels. They smell fantastic, but we will wait until tomorrow morning to taste them.

As for the chocolate I mentioned previously, they are from Zimt Artisian Chocolates. I had a wonderful time exploring around the Toronto Vegetarian Food Festival. As bummed as I was for not remembering to bring my camera with me, I had so much fun sampling everything and speaking to people.

I stumbled on a few raw chocolate companies but I was most intrigued by Zimt’s, a Vancouver based chocolate company. Their products are also organic, fair-trade, raw and vegan. I enjoyed speaking to the founder, Emma Smith who was very open to answering the many questions I bombarded her with. She assured me that her chocolate would taste different than most raw chocolates, without that sandy grainy-like texture. I was convinced—I love when people have complete confidence in their products. It was true, it definitely had a unique soft taste and nothing was brittle at all. The secret ingredient, although not so secret is coconut nectar. Yummy yummy!

On top of the chocolate bars I took home, I got a smackaroon. It was to die for, and the best part was that it was guilt free! Chocolate makes me happy, so I was in a terrific mood after this macaroon.

source: http://zimtartisanchocolates.blogspot.ca/

My recent go-to salad in September has been something like this concoction. I love the colour appeal and the different textures. The highlight of the salad is the nectarine, I added in roasted tomatoes because I had them on hand. Some people prefer raw tomatoes and that is just as good.

Serving: 1

In the salad was:
-chopped romaine salad
-1 nectarine, sliced
-sliced bell pepper
-1 handful raisins
-1 handful walnuts
-roasted grape tomatoes (as much as prefered, I used about 8 tomatos )

If roasting tomatoes: cut them in half, season with salt, pepper and preferred herbs, and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Put them in the oven for 10-15 minutes. You can add in the juices on top of the salad.
I also added a splash of balsamic vinegar, but any other sauces would be just as good.

It’s about time to go to bed.  Happy Thanksgiving weekend to the Canadian folks and anybody else who will be celebrating it soon!

Wrappin’ Up That Week

Happy Monday! The new “Checklist” page was added and it is a list of personal achievements or random interests I hope to tackle.  And the spinach ricotta lasagna will be upcoming in the next post!

I was very proud of myself for beating the alarm clock by a whole hour this morning.  The course midterm exam was set for 9AM, so I wanted to squeeze in extra time to study after breakfast. I was able to take more time in my morning routine and to eat slower too. Breakfast was rye bread with peanut butter, 1/3 of a large avocado and blueberries. And a drizzle of honey  on the avocado for an extra kick of sweetness.Enjoyed every bite of the breakfast sandwich  🙂 I like to put avocado slices on bread when they are abundant and in season. The tartness of the blueberries went well with the creamy texture of the avocado. Continue reading

Fridge Frenzies and Grocery Shopping Discoveries

Good afternoon, what a sunny today! I have a couple of reasons for not posting recently. One, my fridge broke down this week but thank goodness the freezer compartment still functions normally. Everything else in the cold storage part had been thrown out. Which means no baking/ recipe experimenting for a little longer boo..:(
Two, I have also been hit by allergies and a cold at the same time.  Though the painful sore throat and cracked voice went away, my inconsistent sleeping pattern hasn’t been much help to my sniffles.

Nevertheless, I was so happy to be part of the VVP that happened on Saturday. Thank you to everyone who commented on my cheesecake, I was very happy that many of you liked it 🙂 I met so many other bloggers and was wowed by all the creative, beautiful, healthy and incredible things everybody brought.  As soon as the fridge is fixed, I’m planning to try so many of your recipes!

For a small recap of the week, Sunday was Mother’s Day! We spent the morning at church and hit up Michael Angelo’s for some grocery shopping and lunch at their salad bar. I didn’t get to celebrate much with my family as I spent the evening at work. At the supermarket, I found Mediterranean Snacks Lentil Chips and Barbara’s Fig Bars which of course were brought to shared at work 🙂 Continue reading

Work It Tabata and Pesto Wonderland

I have no idea how Spider Tech strips work but I’m wearing my free samples the day after the 5k anyway. It is said to help prevent pain and cramping…and I need some relief. I believe they are only good for one-time uses.

Yesterday morning I wanted to do some form of exercise but didn’t want to dress up for going out. Planning to start in the morning it held out until late afternoon. Boo…I need to work on implementing into my daily routine while I still can. I found a Tabata cardio video from Amanda Russell’s workouts, it was short and effective. Why didn’t I know about Tabata earlier? Continue reading

Goodies from the Expo

Besides the free samples from the Health Expo on Friday such as…

I was intrigued by the Bakd Bar and the proposed “freshly baked dessert” taste. I tried a bite of it, unmicrowaved. And spat it out… and tossed it. The taste was bland but overly sugary too. Sorry Bakd Bar 😦 not for me.

I’ve never tried Redbull and do not intend to. From what the ingredients show, the KickButt Ballz can probably top the energy drink. It tasted like the flavour Cappuccino( aka caffeine amped )and had a soft chewy interior. From the above, I think I only really enjoyed the Larabar. I’m still waiting for another time to try the Quaker bar. My Larabar recipe to share soon!

Other freebies included a magazine, Dove’s men hair wash and coupons. But these babies, I brought home from the exhibitors…

Nature bar flavours: Niagara Apple Country, Brazilian Nut Fiesta and Mediterranean Pistachio

The bars are a major hit 🙂 The Nature bars were 3 for $5.00 and the Fruit &Fruit were 2 for $3.00.  The amount of care that  Taste of Nature and Fruit&Fruit put into making their products  nutritiously healthy and safe is what I appreciate and look for in food products. For that reason, I didn’t mind spending some money to try them out.

Fruit & Fruit bars

The Fruit&Fruit is chewy and naturally sweet but is less flavourful. There are no preservatives or ingredients other than fruit or juice concentrates. Although I would prefer to eat fresh fruit ,  it is still a good product for  convenience and on-the-go commotions.

Today I participated in the GoodLife 5k run in Toronto. I had a blast and will share soon!