Saturday, March 31, 2012

Chipotle Coconut Quinoa Salad

This week I went to a potluck with a few of the girls from a group I'm a part of on facebook. Great group of women and it was really cool to be able to meet some of them. We don't all live in town but 4 of us were able to make it to the potluck. It was non-stop chatter about nutrition, life, goals and more. So great to talk with some like minded people. We all brought a dish but I will just share my recipe.

Chipotle Coconut Quinoa Salad
2 cups quinoa
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 carrots, diced
2 green onions, chopped

1/2 cup tahini
1/2 cup low fat coconut milk
3 dry chipotle peppers, soaked
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp garlic powder
3 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup water

Optional topping: Hemp seeds

1. Cook quinoa according to package. Spread out in a pan or big bowl to cool. To cool faster, put in fridge.
2. Dressing: Put tahini and chipotle peppers in a food processor and processor for 15 seconds. Add all remaining dressing ingredients and process until smooth.
3. Combine quinoa, veggies and dressing until well mixed. Serve immediately. If not serving right away, don't mix in the dressing until ready to serve. Sprinkle hemp seeds on top for added protein.

I picked up this tahini recently for the first time and LOVED it. Never used this brand before. Love that its raw too.

Chipotle Coconut Dressing
The dressing was delish. Very creamy.

All ready for the potluck!

So in the potluck we had a sweet potato black bean salad, basil quinoa veggie salad and stuffed Belgium endives. So yummy!! Potlucks are so awesome!!! Not everyone was vegan but we all brought vegan dishes. Which worked out great for me and Abigail as we were the vegans. Yah! Love not being the only one. LOL

Well I gotta get out for a big run and workout. Its my last workout in my 20's so I gotta make it count! LOL I'm thinking I'll run a 10km then head over to the Y and bang out a good upper body workout. My legs and bum are pretty freaking sore from the other days workout. And yesterdays 8km run. Then I gotta get ready for tonight! Its my big bday party! Woot woot! Dirty thirties here I come!




Thursday, March 29, 2012

Daily eats

I thought I would share a little bit of what I eat on a daily basis again. My birthday is coming up, I've got a lot of races to train for and I just like to be as healthy and fit as I can. We only have one life to live (LOL) so lets live it the best way possible!

I've been on a bit of a smoothie kick these days. I love smoothies. They are a great way to get a lot of nutrition is the most easily digestible way. The food is already ground up all tiny and smooth so that your body can digest it efficiently. It gives your digestive track a little bit of a break. We all know how important breaks are.

I started my day with this yummy smoothie. Its kinda my go to.

Mixed berries, banana, vega whole health optimizer berry flavour(or vega one or your choice of protein powder), 1 tsp spirulina powder, half a lemon and water.

To mix it up I'll add hemp seeds, chia seeds, carrots, spinach, kale, dulse flakes, fresh juice, almond milk or coconut milk. But this is my usual formula. Great for breakfast and also great after a workout. One of the best ways to recover after a workout. The fruit gives you immediate energy to your tired muscles and the protein and chlorophyll starts repairing and making your muscles strong.

Later for dinner I had this awesome combo of big salad, big smoothie.

The smoothie was the same as the morning but minus the spirulina and I added hemp seeds and dulse flakes. The salad was the BOMB!!! Omg. I had about 2 tbsp's of leftover homemade guacamole so I massaged it into some spinach and kale then topped that with dulse flakes, hemp seeds and sesame flavoured tempeh strips!!! WINNING!!! Seriously, I'm making this again today. Although all my guac is gone so I guess I'll have to make more. Poor me. Lol

If you know me at all you know I couldn't just eat that for dinner alone. I'm kinda a pig. Me loves me food. LOL so later I threw together a little quinoa sprouted bean dish. All I did was make a cup of quinoa and a cup of TruRoots Organic Sprouted Bean Trio with some veggie stock, garlic powder and chili powder then topped it with some hot sauce. Nice and simple. No measurements. Just freestyle.

It was light, nutritious and protein packed. Sprouted beans are awesome as they are extremely digestible and much faster to make. You don't need to do any presoaking. Yah! Ready in 15 minutes! :)

I also had a Simply Bar. lol Did you check out the review I did on them? Check it out here.

Eat clean, train mean, get lean!




Product Review: The Simply Bar

As you may already know, I'm a big fan of the Simply Bar. I have been eating them since October when I got a few samples at the Victoria Half Marathon. And man am I ever glad I did! My go to bar before this was the clif bar. Not that I don't like clif bars, the peanut butter ones are to die for, but there is just a ton of sugar and a ton of ingredients. I don't even know them all. They are darn tasty but not entirely in line with my values as a healthy person.

I love the Simply Bar for many reasons; low in sugar, low in fat, low in calories and high in protein and fiber. Yah! Its also officially vegan, kosher, gluten free and easily digestible. Jeez, speak my language much? lol A bar after my own heart. And its got it!

I'm not sure if you know, but I recently joined twitter. I know I know, I'm late in the game. But I'm totally loving it! Its fun! Lots of fun facts out there and hilarious tweets. But why I'm really loving it is that it is a great way to network. I've connected with some awesome vegans, vegetarians, foodies, health fanatics, fitness freaks and the restaurants and products I love and want to love. Because of this new venture into the twittersphere, I connected with The Simply Bar.

Peanut butter Chocolate
That's a pic of one of my fave ones. This is from about a month ago. I tweeted this pic. :)

I guess my love affair with these bars caught the attention of The Simply Bar. They contacted me a few weeks ago and asked me to try out their new formula. They redesigned the bars to have lower sugar. Say wha? Lower sugar? SIGN ME UP! The company has recently conducted a few studies on current health concerns and sugar is the main concern we have. The trend has gone away from fat being the culprit and sugar is the new villain. I couldn't agree more. Sugar is addictive, hard on the adrenal glands, spikes blood sugar and well, just makes you fat.

By choosing a diet rich in whole foods and making smart snacking choices (like The Simply Bar) you can achieve a healthy, balanced diet. Look at what they sent me:

OMG!!! What a lucky girl I am!! How amazing is that? Super stoked. I actually ripped the box open. LOL What's also great is that I've tried the old formula and now can compare to see if there is much of a difference. Let's get to my review.

The Review:

1. They are still my fave bar.
2. The lower sugar content did not change the overall taste.
3. The bars still taste great. They have always had a lighter taste than other bars. But the flavour is still there.
4. Lemon Coconut is still my fave flavour. LOL

That's my review on the new product but here's a little bit more on the bar itself.

Each bar has about 11 or less ingredients, higher fiber than sugar, 16 grams of protein, 160 or less calories per bar, vegan, kosher, easily digestible, low in fat, good for celiacs or crohns, gluten free, etc etc etc. So many good things. Its also not a typical gluten free product that is usually laden with rice or potato starch, which although not bad does not give much nutritional value and is a little high on the glycemic index. It also doesn't contain any refined carbohydrates or sugars. It uses brown rice syrup which is natural and lower on the GI. It also doesn't have sugar alcohols (sorbitol, maltitol). Sugar alcohols are hard for the body to digest and can create gas and bloating. Ick!

Its great for athletes too. It provides a lot of protein without all the crap that traditional protein bars usually come with. It also has 20% of your daily iron needs. Which is great for people who work out a lot. Iron is used to carry oxygen to your cells and carbon dioxide away. It is really important to get enough iron for everyone and especially for people who work out a lot. Hard training stimulates an increase in red blood cells and increases the need for iron. This is more so for athletes who train with high intensity and endurance. Its ESPECIALLY true for women. Iron is also lost in sweat.....So eat these bars! Have I sold them to you yet?

A bit on texture....they are made from soy rice crisps (non-GMO) so they are more of a crunchy bar. I love that! Check out this comparison chart they sent me:

Click on the pic to make it bigger. Can you see it? Look how great it stacks up to the competition? Yah maybe it doesn't have as much protein as others, its about mid range level, but it has the most protein for the least calories, low fat, low sugar, high fiber. A bar you can feel great about eating. They also have some awesome flavours that make it like eating something naughty but you're not. Lol That's good for me cause I love being bad. HA! JK.

They have 6 flavours. Peanut butter and chocolate, cocoa and raspberry, cocoa and coffee, caramel and peanut, cinnamon and pecan and lemon and coconut. Peanut butter and chocolate and lemon and coconut are my faves fo sho.

So check them out! I know for sure you can get them at Whole Foods, on their website, some Pharmasaves and I heard London Drugs but I'm not sure about that one. If you go to their site, there is a big list or just go to Whole Foods. I love that place.

Hope you enjoyed my review as much as I have!!! I gotta slow down on these things, I'm tearing through this box! lol Its good though, I'm training REALLY hard these days. Got the spartan race in May and Tough Mudder in June. Plus I gotta run a half marathon sometime soon and a few other races. So the extra protein and iron from these bars is doing great things for my training and recovery. I just keep em in my purse and in my pockets for after my workouts. Great for travelling too!

So thank you to The Simply Bar for generously offering me a sample of their new bar! I feel very honoured to be able to take part in this revolution on the traditional protein bar. Vive le resistance!

Eat lean, train mean, get lean!




Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Restaurant Review: 3G Vegetarian Restaurant

Last night I had a little birthday celebration with my aunt and uncle. I have created a little list of things I would like to do now that I'm having a milestone bday. Sigh. I'm cool with not being in my 20's anymore but it just makes you think about your life a lot. I've got so much that I want to achieve and do, but hey, 30 is the new 20 right? That's what everyone keeps telling me anyways.

So in regards to my birthday celebration last night and the list I created. Its got a few big ticket items on it, some fun silly ones, some naughty ones and some baddass ones. Like last night for example, I went to the shooting range! SO cool! Most friends I talked to were in these categories: LOVED it, REALLY wants to do it, or didn't like it at all. Actually the majority of my friends who haven't done it want to so bad. I HIGHLY recommend it. SUPER fun! My heart was pounding the entire time. It was SUCH an adrenaline rush. I got a little lesson from the gun marshal guy. He was great! Taught me a bit on gun safety and how to actually aim it.

I figured that I wouldn't even be able to get close to the bulls eye. That I would be waaaay off. Which I was at first, until he showed me how to line up the sights. Then it was on! I was actually not bad at all. I almost hit the bulls eye. Fo serious. Check it out:

Lookit me! I can't believe I shot a gun. Before this I'd never seen a gun let alone hold one. It was pretty scary. Those things are crazy powerful. I guess that's where the adrenaline rush comes from. If you're not a little nervous before shooting one of these then I think you got issues. And maybe you should just never have guns. LOL I shot a 22 handgun. I was going to shoot a 9M too but my uncle was a little greedy and shot off like 9 rounds (90 bullets)!!! Jeez. I did 5 rounds. Got to load a mag myself, pop it in the gun, all that ish. I can't wait to go again!

So there's one thing off the list! :)

After the shooting range we headed out for dinner. We originally planned to go to Wild Rice but We were running pretty late so we stopped in at 3G Vegetarian Restaurant on Cambie instead. I've only been once but I enjoy it a lot. Its non greasy Vegetarian Chinese food. Here's what we had:

Chicken wings!!!
These chicken wings were so good! I love how they made them to look like little drumettes. Totally did it for me. And the dipping sauce was all sorts of deliciousness. Get some!

Edamame, no salt
I liked how they don't coat the edamame in salt. Love it in fact. There's no need for it. Much better on their own.

Veggies and pork slices
I'd have to say that this dish is my fave one. The pork in it is fantastic. Fake meat can be hit or miss, but this is a def hit. It was every ones fave. The flavour too is amazing. And I love cabbage! The sauce was a little salty sweet. Love that combo.

Thai style rice noodles with mixed veggies
This dish was light but flavourful. I liked the little bit of sweetness to the dish. But it wasn't overpowering at all. I quite enjoyed it.

Tofu and mixed veggies
This was not my fave dish. But it was good. I really liked the style of tofu they used. It was like Japanese Atstuage, like agedashi tofu style. It also had a weird mushroom called Gandoderma. I looked up this mushroom and apparently it has quite a lot of healing properties and is kinda special. It boosts your immune system, neutralizes toxins in your body, reduces free radicals (yah, anti aging!), and helps circulation. Wow! All that from a mushroom? Love it. It was a pretty different mushroom than the other I've tried but I liked it. Its not a meaty one like portobello but yummy.

My birthday cupcake!
My Aunt ventured down to Karmavore and picked me up a vegan, gluten free cupcake! Yum! I totally ate it before dinner. Cuz I'm an ADULT!!! I can eat my dessert when I want to! lol

So my birthday month has started early, which is A-OK in my books. I love spreading it out as long as I can. I'm greedy like that. Lots of drinks, dinners, movies, and attention! Gimme more! Ha. I got just under 1 more week in my 20's and I'm gonna savour it. And then its onto my 30's. It only gets better from here. :)

3G Vegetarian Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Check out 3G Vegetarian Restaurant. Its good! It can be hard to find good Chinese food in Vancouver surprisingly. I hear they have good veggie dim sum too. PS its all VEGAN! Even when the menu says pork or chicken, its fake meat. I love it! I never have a full menu to choose from. :)




Monday, March 26, 2012

Restaurant Review: Chomp Vegan Eatery

Last week I had the pleasure of going to Chomp Vegan Eatery again. I really like this place. It's super cute and the food is awesome. Its also gluten free which as you know I'm really into. This time we decided to take out lunch back to my friend Leanne's place because we had just finished a run with her girls and needed to get them back. Check out my last post on them to see what we ate the first time. We made sure to try some different items, especially made a point of getting the mac and cheese!

Fiery Thai Tofu Bowl
Mac 'n Cheesy
We got those 2 dishes and split them. Both very good. The Thai tofu bowl was not fiery but that's just cuz I'm a lover of spicy food. So sriracha was added. But the peanut sauce was extra yummy. But the Mac 'n Cheesy stole the show. It was cheeserific and gooey. The gluten free noodles were good. And it came with a side of garlic toast. YUM.

So out of the 5 dishes I've tried there, the grilled cheese and the mac 'n cheesy win for sure. Next up as a must try is the nachos and the poutine. There's also a kale salad that sounds phe-nom and a couple of wraps that sound delectable. In all honesty, everything sounds good. It's always that way for me at a vegan joint. Its like Christmas. I'm so thrown off by the fact that I can eat everything that I don't know what to order. LOL

So, if you haven't already checked this place out, I suggest that you do. Its a little out of the way but well worth it. Us vegans and foodies for that matter have to stick together. Will travel for food. :) The only complaint I have is that the serving size is a tad small. But considering that its gluten free and vegan its not bad. I usually don't care about the serving size because I don't eat like McDonalds diners do. Not everything needs to be supersized. I was satisfied, so no real complaint.

PS they also do breakfast!!! I REALLY want to try it. I think its all day too. BONUS

Chomp Vegan Eatery on Urbanspoon




Saturday, March 24, 2012

Gluten free peanut butter cups

I can't get enough nuts! Lol I know how that sounds, and I intended it to sound that way. But it could not be more true. I love nuts! Love em with my whole heart. I especially love nut butters. Almond is da bomb but peanut butter is numba one. Tried and true. I of course get all natural peanut butter. No added salt or sugar or the 100 other ingredients that's in crappy peanut butter. If you live in Vancouver, and particularly in the West End, the Safeway at Denman and Robson has a nut bar. You can make your own nut butters. The freshly made organic, almond butter with no salt is AMAZEBALLS!!! Like woah. I have never tasted almond butter like this before. But its hella expensive. I've only gotten it once because it was pretty pricey. So get a small container if you decide to try it. But its seriously deeeelish!

Back to the task at hand, protein peanut butter cups with coconut. I picked a jar of coconut manna last week and have been dying to try it out in a dessert recipe. I used it to saute my Thai Fried rice leftovers which was yumtastic. I like that the coconut manna is Whole Organic Coconut. Not just the oil. Which I'm sure I'll try sooner or later but this is a cool product.

WARNING!! These are addictive and will give you feelings of euphoria and intense pleasure. Consume at your own risk.

Protein peanut butter cups with coconut
1/2 cup coconut manna
1 cup peanut butter
2 tsp vega (or protein powder of your choice)
1 tsp stevia
1 tsp agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 160ml low fat coconut milk

Melt the coconut manna in a small saucepan on med-low heat. Once melted add the peanut butter, protein powder, stevia, agave nectar, vanilla and hemp seeds. Stir until well combined. Remove from heat. In another saucepan or in the microwave, melt the chocolate chips. Once melted stir in the coconut milk.

Put 2 tbsp's of each in a muffin tin. Peanut butter mixture first, chocolate on top. Put muffin tins in the freezer for 20-30 minutes. Once set use a spoon or butter knife to pop them out. Cut around the edges, but be careful. Keep them store in the freezer. Natural peanut butter is less solid then the crappy stuff.


There could be many ways to alter this cup to your desires. I've made them before with rice crisp cereals and that's really good. But I wanted to keep this grain and gluten free. They are very rich and delish. Maybe graham cracker crumbs would be good. Or ground flax seeds. Yum

Seriously, I'm hungry again just looking at that damn picture. LOL Although these are not low fat, sugar free or whatever. They are jammed packed with nutrition. So indulging in one (lets be honest, 2 or 3) of these puppies once in a while is OK by me! I get protein, vitamins, minerals (iron and calcium) omega's, tons of good stuff.

Coconut Manna
I very much have enjoyed this product. I wonder what else I can do with it. I have also never used any of Nutiva's products before. I'm gonna have to check them out. They must have a coconut oil. Maybe I'll try that when I decide to finally give into the current food fad. lol But try this coconut manna product. SO yummy! Its all hard inside but I just scraped it out. I think some ppl melt it in the jar. Adds such a great flavour to your foods. Maybe it would be good in a smoothie......

Happy gorgeous day in Vancouver folks!




Friday, March 23, 2012

Spicy Thai Lentil Soup

I have a HUGE addiction to Thai food! I just love it. I especially love the flavours of lemongrass and coconut milk. Mmmmmmmm!!! I had a craving for something warm as its been a little chilly these days so I threw a bunch of stuff into the good ole crockpot and went about my day. When I got back home, wow did it ever smell lovely!!

Spicy Thai Lentil Soup
1 cup dry red lentils
1 cup dry yellow split peas
3 carrots, diced
1 onion, diced
3 celery, diced
2 yams, chopped
2 lemongrass stalks
2 inch piece galangal (or ginger, minced)
3 tomatoes, chopped
3 garlic, minced
4 red Thai chili peppers, minced
1 lime, juiced
1 can low fat coconut milk
1/4 bunch cilantro, minced
3 cups veggie stock
5 cups water
1 tsp cardamom
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp agave nectar
1 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp coriander

Put all ingredients except for coconut milk, lime and cilantro into a crockpot or slow cooker and cook all day. For the lemongrass, I just chop it into 3 large pieces so that I can easily remove it once the soup is cooked. Smashing it a bit will make the flavour more accessible. Once the cooking cycle is done then add the coconut milk, cilantro and lime. Serve with brown rice.

What's cooking?

Spicy Thai Lentil Soup

Dinner for 2

The soup was pretty spicy, not enough for me. I like it HOT! But my friend Mikey was sweating. LOL But he still went back for seconds! Look at how full those bowls are....he had another one that was JUST as full. He so cray. Lol

Such a healthy night! We went to the gym for over an hour and half, almost 2 to be exact. We did the tough mudder workout. AWESOME! Then did some abs and then went for a swim. Well I did like 4 laps then headed straight for the hot tub. I never get sore anymore so I've been actively trying to make myself sore. Doing more reps and using heavier weights and this week I did it. SO sore. LOL Thankfully I take chlorella and spirulina so my recovery is much faster than normal. I guess that's also one of the reasons I never get sore.

I tried to do a pull up last night to no avail. BUT I did move just a little. LOL Mikey was laughing, well and so was I. Its embarrassing. Everyone is always staring. I'm not sure that these tiny little arms were meant to do a pull up but I'm gonna keep trying! The spartan race is May 12th, I still have to sign up for the BMO half marathon, then Tough Mudder June 23rd then Seek the Peak (maybe) and 5 Peaks....Victoria Half marathon. Jeez, there's like something every month for the rest of my life. So far I'm just registered for the Spartan race and Tough Mudder. Ugh. Those are going to kill me. Lol

Happy weekend! My cousin turns 19 this weekend!!! Exciting!




Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Chickpea Stew

Last night Kevin was coming over for dinner and I had no groceries and no idea what I was going to make. The only thing I knew was that I wanted chickpeas in it. This awesome chickpea stew was created freestyle and I think it turned out pretty good. :)

Chickpea Stew
2 398ml cans chickpeas
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 inch piece ginger, minced
2 jalapenos, minced
3 carrots, diced
2 yams, diced
2 celery, diced
4 tomatoes, diced
1/2 bag spinach, chopped
1/4 bunch cilantro, minced
2 cups water
2 cups veggie stock
1 lemon, juiced
2 tsp cumin
2 bay leaves
1 tsp agave nectar
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp chili flakes

Saute the onions, garlic, and ginger in 1/4 cup water (or olive oil) until translucent. Add the carrots, yams, and celery and cook for 5 minutes. Add all the remaining ingredients except for the cilantro, spinach, lemon and agave nectar and cook on med-high temperature for 30 minutes or until carrots and yams are soft. Add the last few ingredients. Remove the bay leaves and serve with brown rice, or a side salad.

TIP: the longer it cooks, the better the flavour. I let mine cook for a total of 1 hour but it would probs be pretty amazing if done in the crockpot. Yum!

Big ole pot of stew

Red rice
I served it with red rice. I try to switch it up with my grains. Brown is my go to and I eat a lot of quinoa but red rice is really good and a nice change. Its a longer grain but a little 'stickier' than brown rice.

Dinner for two. Aw
Of course the stew is loaded with goodness to nourish your body. Its got some greens in it as well as some root veggies and such but its not enough green veggies for me so I roasted up a head of broccoli. I usually just roast it with just lemon juice but I only had one lemon left and that was for the stew, so I just stole a few squeezes and then used a tsp of grape seed oil, cayenne, garlic powder and paprika. YUMMM. Paprika on roasted veggies is super good. SUPER. lol

There was ALOT more but I gobbled it up before I snapped a pic. Ooops. But we all know what broccoli looks like. Lol. But if you're looking for an easy way to get in your greens, this is it. Put some tin foil or parchment paper on your cookie sheet and roast away. I put them in for 20-30 minutes. I like em crispy so just take a look at 20 mins. Roasting is awesome because you can just set it and forget it. Less maintenance and you can just go about your biznass while they cook away. DO IT!

This meal will satisfy any meat eater. Its hearty, warm and filling. Its not that spicy either but do a taste test before you add the chili flakes. I like my food spicy so my tolerance is pretty high.




Monday, March 19, 2012

(Un)Fried Rice Thai Styles

Last week I whipped up this gem of a recipe. It was super easy and delish. I am a big lover of Thai food. I adore cooking with coconut milk and do so pretty often. When I was first cooking up this (Un)Fried rice I had no plans to make it with coconut milk, but as soon as I added it, the dish was complete.

(Un)Fried Rice Thai Styles
2 cups brown rice, cooked according to pkg
2 cups red beans, soaked and cooked
2 carrots, diced
2 inch piece ginger, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 red Thai chili peppers, minced
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tsp mirin
3 tsp soy sauce
1/2 cup veggie stock
3 tsp chili flakes
160ml can low fat coconut milk

Saute garlic, ginger, Thai chili peppers, and carrots in 1/4 cup water for 5 minutes covered. Add all remaining ingredients except for coconut milk and cook for 15 minutes stirring often. Pour in coconut milk and stir until well combined. Enjoy with on its own, with steamed veggies with tofu, however you like your rice!

I had a ton of leftovers so I tossed that into a portobello mushrooms and baked it. Served that along with some roasted broccoli and steamed veggies and voila! Perfect meal. Yum.

I love portobello mushrooms!! So full of flavour. It went very well with the (Un)Fried rice. The steamed veggies was celery, collard greens, sui choy and spinach. I just steamed them and tossed them in lemon and a little soy sauce. Nice and light.




Saturday, March 17, 2012

Restaurant Review: Rasoee

Kevin had one last Groupon for Rasoee and it was expiring so we headed over to Rasoee on Robson the other night. I've eaten there before and I liked it. This was no different. As a vegan I only have one option but its totally delicious so I don't care. I usually get it when I'm out for Indian food anyways, and this dish is pretty good at Rasoee.

Apparently the groupon he got was for a meal combo. So we were able to choose a curry, a drink, naan and have a honey dot. Since I'm vegan, the honey dot is out of the question. So I asked if I could have a veggie samosa instead. She asked the manager or whoever else was working but he said no. With the groupon you cannot upgrade or change it at all. I was pretty annoyed. The veggie samosa is cheaper than the honey dot. And I can't eat it. Now I'm all tainted. When I went to Chutney Villa and didn't want the dessert the server happily offered me a second appy instead. I didn't even request it. Every other place I've done a groupon or dine out or something similar where I can't eat a portion of it, has always offered me another option. So on this, I'm VERY disappointed. The honey dots went to waste. Sigh.

But, that aside, the server was very sweet and the food is decent. Kevin chose the chicken curry this time, he usually has the spinach chicken one. He enjoyed it very much.

Chicken Curry

Look at all that sauce!

As I mentioned above, I had the chickpea curry. Yum!

Chickpea Curry
We of course asked for hot sauce. No meal is complete without it. I should have taken a pic. It was very watery, and he warned me saying it was hot, but I'm a hot sauce queen so I dumped it on. He was right. It was pretty hot. LOL But nothing I couldn't handle. Like any lover of hot sauce, you just keep your head down, keep eating and MAN UP! Lol There was def a little moisture on my forehead. Ha.

All in all, Rasoee is a good spot for quick Indian food. They deliver, you can take it home, eat in. Its pretty quick so if you're in a bind its perfect. I hear they are opening one in my hood. Across from the Whole Foods on Robson. Yah!! So even though they were a little lame on the samosa front, I'd probs still eat there. Although, I like to make my own Indian food. :)

Today is St Patty's, how were you celebrating? I went for a gorgeous 10km run around the park, went to a friends gym for a good 1.25 hour workout and now I'm getting ready to have a green beer....or maybe just a vodka water. I'm not down with beer these days.




Friday, March 16, 2012

Vegan Protein Energy Balls

This week my cousin Alex has a dance workshop downtown Vancouver and they live in Coquitlam. So its been a lot of driving back and forth, so Thursday and Friday night I'm having my cousin over for some girl time. I felt like such a mom yesterday. I picked her up at dance class. We went and got groceries, then I made her lunch for the next day and prepared us dinner. LOLballs.

I thought it might be nice to have my balls in her lunch. Good fuel for her 4 hours of dance that she has to do. Plus these are SO easy to make as you DON'T have to bake them! Bonus! My kinda baking. :)

Vegan Protein Energy Balls
1 1/2 cups peanut butter, natural
2 cups rolled oats
1/3 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1/2 cup hemp seed

Grind half the rolled oats in a food processor for 30 seconds. Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl and stir until well combined. Chill dough in the refridgerator for 30 minutes before forming into balls. You can store them in the freezer. They are really good straight from the freezer. :)

I think I made 20 with this recipe. But it really depends on how big you like your balls. I have made a couple extra ball recipes. Check them out here and here and here.  All different variations, some with chocolate and walnuts, some with VEGA powder. All easy, all delish and all good for you BUT all very addictive.


I gotta go pick the kid up at class. LOL




Thursday, March 15, 2012

Restaurant Review: Regional Tasting Lounge

Last Saturday I was given 2 tickets to the home opener of the White Caps. I thought this would be a good opportunity to have a little father/daughter date! I've never been to a soccer game before and haven't checked out the new BC Place roof, so I was pretty excited. I thought it was pretty impressive. And being inside there with the field was pretty cool. I've only really been in there for concerts and after the Sun Run and such.


Dad and I
After the game, which we won FYI, we headed over to, the Regional Tasting Lounge in Yaletown. I have been here once before back when I was a meat-eater. But never as a vegan. My dad bought me one of those Living Social coupons that got us dinner for 2 and a bottle of wine! Bam! He checked out the menu to make sure there was a veggie option, but I called ahead to make sure they could do it vegan for me. Of course they would! In fact, I've got to say, this was one of the best dining experiences I've had in a long time. Fine dining, I mean.

Firstly, I forgot the coupon! Typical Krystle. Lol BUT they were amazing and let us call in with it later. They took our credit card number just in case, but I phoned as soon as I got home. Super accommodating, thoughtful, and just plain nice. Seriously impressed right off the bat. Next, they had a plan for my meal already. Which was really awesome! I felt special but not in that I'm the annoying diner with too many special requests kinda way.

Kale salad with slivered almonds

This salad was amazing! Kale? Um yes please! Kale, orange peppers, slivered almonds with a citrus dressing.

Tomato and Burrata Salad

I didn't try this, only a tomato but it looked lovely and my Dad really enjoyed it. I think that was goat cheese or feta. Can't remember.

Mushroom and Truffle Risotto
You had me at truffle. Omg. I am in love with truffle oil. This risotto was done in a mushroom broth and was simply divine. I could barely talk. I just wanted to enjoy every second of it. The flavours in this dish were just amazing. To make it vegan, they just didn't use the Parmesan cheese.

Green beans and mushrooms
I got the green beans, Dad got the mushrooms and so that we could share, they did the mushrooms in olive oil instead of butter. So thoughtful! I cut my beans up and threw them and some mushrooms into my risotto. YUM!

We got a nice bottle of red wine to go with it. It was a Malbec. Yum. Nice, full bodied but not too over powering. Delish!

So if you're in need of a fancier meal, check out this place! R.TL is awesome! Super knowledgeable and friendly people. If you're vegan like I am, then call ahead or ask for what I had! Remember that their menu changes, they feature world cuisine but check out the website. The link is at the top of the page. This place gets a big high five from this vegan!

R.TL on Urbanspoon




Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Mexican Fiesta: Chipotle burrito bowl, salsa and guacamole

I am addicted to the burrito bar at Whole Foods on Robson Street. I think about it all the time. So I figured it was about high time that I recreate it so that I can satisfy my craving without breaking the bank. It can turn into an expensive habit you know. Lol

I'll start with the salsa and guacamole, the toppings and make my way to the bowl itself.

2 lg tomatoes
1/4 red onion, diced small
1 red pepper
1 jalapeno, minced
1 handful cilantro, minced
1/2 lime, juiced
1/2 tsp sea salt

1. Slice the tomatoes like you would to put on a sandwich or burger. Then dice into small, even cubes.
2. Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly, taste and add any additional seasonings to your tastes.
3. Enjoy. Seriously. :)

1 avocado
1 jalapeno
1/4 red onion
1/2 lime, juiced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp sea salt

Put all ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth. Enjoy.

Salsa and guacamole from scratch. Yum

Chipotle Burrito Bowl
2 cups pinto beans
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
2 small sweet potato, chopped
1/2 red onion
1 carrot, chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro, minced
1 lime, juiced
2 tsp chili pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 cup veggie stock
3 chipotle peppers, minced
brown rice

Add sweet potatoes, carrots and onions to pan and saute in a little water for 3 minutes, covered. Add beans, corn, chipotle peppers and veggie stock, cover and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes. Stirring occasionally. Add remaining ingredients and simmer on low for 10 minutes.

Layer your burrito bowl with brown rice, Chipotle pinto beans, guacamole and salsa and Enjoy!!!

And there you have it! The only thing missing from the bowl that whole foods does is the BBQ tofu. Which I must make next time. I thought I had tofu at home, but I don't even have BBQ sauce anyways. They all have so much sugar. I'll have to be on the hunt for the best one. Any recommendations?

I have been searching for gluten free and/or sugar free chipotle peppers for some time now. They are always canned and filled with sugar and wheat. But I found these puppies at my fave local Asian grocery store, West Valley Produce. If you're a Vancouverite, its on Bute street right about at Davie, across from the liquor store. LOVE this place. Good prices. And they have quite a bit of veggie stuff too and almost all my fave Asian items. I've never heard of Morita Chiles but I love trying new foods so I picked these up too. In fact they had so many different dried peppers I'd never heard of. I'm gonna go get more next time. I have no idea what to do with them but it sure is gonna be fun! lol

Then I picked up a couple cans of black beans. I always like to have them handy for those nights when you've forgotten to soak some beans or just need something quick. What I dislike about canned beans is how much salt is in them. These babies have none! Yup, I said it. NONE.

And they're organic! I actually love this brands coconut milk. They have the tiny little 160ml ones and the 70% less fat versions, which I'm a big fan of.

So get on this burrito bowl folks! Its hot hot hot! Ole! lol




Friday, March 9, 2012

Daily Eats

I went to Costco yesterday to pick up toilet paper and body wash. So I zipped over to T&T to grab a few Asian foods that I can't get anywhere else. I had none in mind, just love eating Asian food so I took a look. I found these cool Soy Sheet Twists. I've never seen them before. And am I glad I saw them! They are so fun and so good!

Here's what I picked up:

King Oyster Mushrooms, shredded seaweed (sea tangle), rice noodles, Shirataki style Konnyaku noodles and Soy sheet twists.

I immediately ran home to make something with my new food. I was also starving after a workout. I just tossed them together and came up with this:

So inside that delish bowl is soy sheet twists, broccoli, king oyster mushrooms, garlic, green onion and the sauce is chili flakes, soy sauce and garlic powder. I didn't use any oil. I used water. Although, sesame oil would have been awesome!

I'm not sure if you know this about me but I'm kinda a chip addict. Well a recovering chip addict. When I do fall off the wagon its usually pretty hard. Lol I'm always on the lookout for low cal, low fat, low crap chips or chip like snacks. Anything to give me that salty, crispy satisfaction that a good greasy chip does. Popchips and Cheecha puffs are my faves. But I am also a lover of chips and salsa. I was at choices the other night and saw these babies! Only 120 cals per serving, gluten free, organic, vegan, nut the list goes on. AND they are delish!

They have other flavours too, but not all vegan. These went quite well with my salsa. YUM. ALSO, just an FYI to any Vancouverites out there, at Choices on Davie, the collard greens are 2 for $3!!! Crazy cheap! Its usually more than that for one. YAH.

This lead to my next little quicky meal I whipped up today.

This is the sauce. I put 2 tsp of tahini, 1 lemon, juiced, 1 tsp tamari, 1 tsp agave nectar, 1 jalapeno, 3 garlic cloves and a splash of water. Blend and YUM!

Then I tossed it with some steamed collard greens, kale, soy bean sprouts and hemp seeds. It was super yummy.

It was seriously yummy. I used 6 collard green leaves, 1/4-1/2 bunch kale and a couple handfuls of bean sprouts. I've been eating WAY too much soy lately. I'm not sure what's up with that. I usually don't. Its about 2 times a week typically. Maybe because I've found all these cool soy products. But I'm also thinking its cuz I haven't been eating a lot of beans and because I was off my VEGA whole health optimizer while on a cleanse. I'm back on VEGA and just prepped some dried adzuki and pinto beans to create something beany. Lol

There you have it, a look inside what I eat on the regular. The next few days will be packed full of kale, collard greens and sui choy. I've got a lot of it. Can't wait. EAT YOUR GREENS PPL!!