November 25, 2012

Healthy Breakfast Cookies

Man oh man has it ever been a busy couple of months! This weekend was one of the only weekends I haven't been planning and marking for the following week and I have to tell has been really nice!  Yesterday Francis and I spent the day together and today I spent my morning and afternoon tidying up, doing laundry, vacuuming, cleaning the bathroom, dusting...and all of that good stuff.  You're jealous, I know.

I also wanted to prepare some breakfast cookies for the week ahead! These incredibly healthy and filling cookies are the perfect grab and go breakfast or afternoon snack.  I actually think they are the BEST healthy cookies I have ever made...and that is saying a lot!

 Breakfast Cookies

1 1/2 cups regular rolled oats
1 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts, or nuts of choice
1/4 cup almond meal
1 cup chopped dried figs, or fruit of choice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp all spice
1 tsp cinnamon

Wet Ingredients
3 medium ripe bananas
1/4 cup mild and light olive oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees celsius
2. Combine oats, coconut flakes, nuts, almond meal and spices in a large bowl or mixer.
3. Add spices and mixed fruit.  Mix well and make sure the fruit isn't stuck together in a clump!
4. Mash bananas, add oil and vanilla in a small bowl.
5. Combine wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until very combined.
6. Bake on a silpat or a sprayed cookie sheet for 20-23 minutes until golden brown!

Unfortunately I am completely out of space for pictures on my blog.  Not sure what to do about that at the moment so I guess you'll just have to make these cookies and see their greatness for yourself :)

Well...I am off to get for a run! The weather is perfect and I need some fresh air.  Hope you all enjoy the rest of of your Sunday!


November 12, 2012

Hello and Goodbye

This weekend was a lot of fun! Francis' cousin Emanuel was in town to visit Francis before he ventured out on his bicycling trip to Chile (crazy, right?).  They haven't seen each other in years so it was nice for them to have a chance to spend some good quality time together!  It was a quick hello and goodbye kind of trip, but wonderful nevertheless.  I got in on some of the action as well!

On Sunday night I decided to whip up a delicious meal for us to enjoy together on Emanuel's last night in Victoria.  Vegan enchiladas! Always a hit.  Emanuel enjoys photography as well so I asked him to take some pictures of the meal for me! They turned out great :-)

All of the delicious innards (this word still weirds me out...)

Ready for the oven!

Time to dig in!

Emanuel left early this morning for Port Angeles and we are wishing him the best of luck on his adventure!

As for Francis and I, we took advantage of our extra day off! I spent the day preparing for the upcoming week of my practicum from my office aka bed (is there anything better?).  After a long day of preparing and doing some household chores, Francis and I went out to run some errands - kitty's gotta have fresh kitty litter to start his week off right ;)  When we got back I put together one of, if not the best, stew I have ever had!

Vegan Shepherds Pie Stew
adapted from Oh She Glows Sumptuous Shepherd's Stew

1 large sweet onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp vegetable broth
2 cups peeled chopped carrots
2 cups chopped potatoes
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp Herbes de Provence
3 tbsp low-sodium tamari
3 cups vegetable broth, plus more as needed
1 14-oz package of extra-firm tofu, drained, rinsed, and pressed
1 tbsp olive oil
2 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp smoked paprika


1. In a large pot over high heat, add onion, garlic, and vegetable broth and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add carrots, potatoes, celery, and mushrooms. Sauté for about 15 additional minutes, adding more broth if necessary.
2. Stir in parsley, flour, Herbes de Provence, and tamari until vegetables are coated in flour. Stir in broth and bring stew to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer on low-medium heat for another 10 to 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender (do not overcook)
3. While stew cooks, preheat a frying pan over medium-high heat. Slice tofu into 1/4-inch cubes. Add olive oil to skillet. Sauté tofu for about 5 minutes on each side, or until crispy. Stir tofu into stew. Add apple cider vinegar and smoked paprika.  Serve hot.

And now for a few lovely pictures from yesterday's trip to Goldstream Park to watch the salmon run! Enjoy :-)

For all of you with sensitive eyes I suggest you stop here.  There are a couple of pictures of decomposing fish.  It really is a beautiful, fascinating part of nature though, I assure you.  These wonderful chum salmon swim to the river each year to spawn.  Because they move from salt water to fresh water and swim against the current for weeks on end they become exhausted and pass away.  Luckily most of them have either laid their eggs or fertilized them before this takes place!

October 20, 2012

Apple Spice Oats

Well hello there! I know, I know I have been MIA for quite some time.  I am not promising that will fact, I don't think I will be posting much until sometime in December.  I want to give my final teaching practicum all of my energy, so my precious blog will have to suffer another couple of months! is something delicious to hold you over until then ;)

Apple Spice Oats

1/2 cup oats of your choice
~1 cup apple spiced juice
1 small apple, cored, halved and sliced
1 tbsp brown sugar
~2 tbsp apple spiced juice


1) Combine oats and juice in a small pot.  Whisk together before the juice warms up (this helps with clumping).
2) Cook over high heat until boiling.  Reduce to medium for about 5-10 mins depending on what oats you use (steel cut take much longer).
3) When your oats are cooking, put 2 tbsp of juice, 1 tbsp brown sugar and apple in a frying pan over medium high heat.
4) Cook apples until they are tender and most of the juice has evaporated.
5) Top oats with apple mixture!

It's a perfectly delicious breakfast to warm up anybody's tummy on a crisp fall morning!  Unfortunately my bluetooth isn't working, so I wasn't able to share a picture with you...guess that means you'll just have to make it to see for yourselves ;) Darn...I know! Haha!

If you don't hear from me for another little while, I wish you all a wonderful couple of months and I look forward to being reunited very soon!


September 26, 2012

Healthy Fridge Muffins

First of all...Let me sum up my life in one picture....

Computers, reading, planning oh my! I have literally been on my lap top SO much lately.  I have been studying, finishing up assignments, lesson planning...and my life has been looking a lot like this pic! 

And now it looks like more this...a little bit worse I'd say! Oh well! I officially finished my last assignments of my post degree and have my last day of classes tomorrow! EXCITED yet sad...I have been with this group of amazing people every day for over a year and I am going to miss them all very much.

But I won't get all mushy on ya! Let's get down to business.  First of all...don't let the name of this post fool ya! These muffins are probably one of the best muffins I have ever made.  Weird, but the best.  You'll see what I mean a bit later!

Healthy Fridge Muffins

adapted from Whitewater Cooks Cookbook, Healthy Fridge Muffins

2 cups spelt flour
3 cups oats
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
2 whole eggs
2 egg whites
2 cups plain greek yogurt
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup grated apples
1/4 cup grated carrot
1/4 cup raisins

For the Drizzle
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp apple or orange juice


1) In a VERY large bowl, combine wet ingredients (except apples and carrots).  

2) In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients and add to the wet mixture.  

3) Cover and refrigerate overnight (this is where I thought it was really weird.  I have never made a recipe like this)

4) In the morning add the grated apples, carrot and raisins.  Note: the mixture will be quite thick and it will be difficult to combine everything together.  Don't be afraid to mix with enthusiasm ;)

5) Fill muffin cups to the top (these don't rise or fluff up much) and bake at 350 for 35 minutes.  

6) Heat the honey and juice and drizzle over the tops of the warm muffins! Mmmm...

Note: These are extremely dense muffins so they have a bit of a doughy texture.  If this isn't for you, I'd recommend baking them for another 5 mins.  Don't take my word for it though, because I haven't do that :-)

I would definitely recommend making these muffins! I am going to try to make a pumpkin spice version, you know, to keep up with my pumpkin spice theme!

Off to plan!



September 10, 2012

Fall Has Arrived

Well, fall seems to have arrived here in Victoria and I am more than okay with that.  I recently got back from my vacation visiting Francis' family in California (was an AMAZING trip, I will post about it soon...trying to gather all of my pics first!) and it feels nice to be home.  There is something about September that I just love.  Everything is fresh.  A new school year has begun (in my case anyways), the air gets cooler, cozy sweaters and scarves come out to play as well as warm and comforting meals, most of which include some of my favourite things: cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, curry, cumin, PUMPKIN, candles, warm drinks! You also don't have to worry about sweating profusely in your sauna of an apartment like you do when the temps are super hot (TMI?).  

I am finishing up my degree in the next three months (I will be a certified teacher, AHH!), which means I am going to be extremely busy but I am super excited about what's to come.  Including...delicious recipes, like this bad boy...

On Sunday morning I decided to try a little something different.  As you all know, I am a TRUE oatmeal lover and could eat it, however, when I was away I was eating more cereal and toast and then when I got home I got a sudden craving for eggs.  I remembered seeing something online about baked eggs so I played around a little bit. 

I sprayed a small onion soup bowl, or other small oven safe dish (I used a brie dish) with oil and cracked in two eggs.  Sprinkled them with salt and pepper.  Topped with some steamed kale, chopped fresh thyme and rosemary and freshly grated cheese.  Baked for 13 minutes at 375 degrees.  Oh man...SO SO SO easy and yummy in the tummy! I may or may not have made this again for Francis and I again this morning...

 For dinner on Saturday night I made this simple Mulligatawny soup with panfried chickpeas.  I actually followed a recipe almost to a tee, so here is the link.  I topped it with some greek yogurt, green onions and a little cayenne pepper! I ate it alone but I think the spices would balance nicely topped over some brown rice, quinoa or any other grain of your choice.  Bulgar or barley are always great, too!

Now onto a pumpkin related recipe...

It started with some freshly brewed french press coffee...

While I waited for it to steep I made...drum roll...PUMPKIN SPICE creamer!!!!!!!!! Crazy, right? Who would have known!

Pumpkin Spice Creamer

1/2 cup 2% milk
1/2 cup half and half
2-3 tbsp canned pumpkin
1/2 - 1 tsp pumpkin spice
1/2 - 1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
sweetener (maple syrup, stevia, brown sugar, sugar, maple flakes, agave etc)


1) Add milk, cream, canned pumpkin, pumpkin spice and cinnamon to a frying pan over medium heat.
2) Whisk all ingredients together (as they warm up they will blend nicely)
3) After it has steamed for a bit and is nice and warm, taste and add sweetener to your liking.  
4) Allow to cool, transfer to a glass jar and refrigerate
5) The next day the pumpkin will be at the bottom on the jar so you can shake it up and then strain the pumpkin out before you add it to your coffee!

Last night, my friend Bri came over for a hang out.  Her and I have been good friends since high school but haven't spent a lot of time together in the past few years so it is great to have her back again :)  We went for a nice hilly walk around Thetis Lake, came home and had some Butternut Squash and Parsnip Soup and salad for dinner.

This is Bri, isn't she a cutie patootie? 

Soup topped with a dollop of greek yogurt and garnished with some chopped green onion! Delish!

Dinner tonight actually turned out extremely well!  Again, another recipe followed to a tee.  This doesn't happen very often because I normally like to change things a bit to suit our taste buds but the last few I have made have worked out perfectly! I also like to experiment with my own recipes most of the time, but when you come across some amazing recipes you can't wait to try, why not, right?

I made a fabulous pasta with sautéed zucchini, cherry tomatoes and a creamy lemon yogurt sauce.  It is a Jillian Michael's recipe, which I found here.  

It turned out pretty tasty if I do say so myself and it took about 20 minutes from start to finish to put together.  Score!

Okay, I am not off to enjoy another cup of tea before settling in for the night.  I am off for a lovely run around Elk Lake in the morning and then a stroll along the water with a pumpkin spice latte in hand, with one of my faves!  I also get to meet my grade 4 class for the first time tomorrow.  Super excited/nervous! Wish me luck :)

Sweet dreams...


Can I please live here?? It's so adorable...

August 25, 2012

Where to begin...

Where to begin...

I have been completely un motivated to blog recently...I have been SO busy finishing up summer classes, which means stressing over and finishing up assignments.  But, I am happy to announce that I am DONE summer classes!! WOO HOO.  After I finished my final exam and handed in my last assignments on Monday I met up with Britta for lunch!  

Britta and I met back in 2009 only once, but have been keeping in touch over our blog and texting almost everyday.  I'll admit I was a little nervous about meeting up, wondering if we would get along or not...but honestly, I knew deep down that we were just meant to be friends and I was RIGHT!  We have SO much in common, it's crazy!

Anyways, after I picked her up and gave her a big squeeze, we headed off to Rebar for lunch :)  She has never been there and out of all of the places in Victoria, I thought she'd love Rebar the most.  They have such wonderful, healthy options.  They use fresh ingredients and everything is just so flavorful!

I started off my meal with a shot of wheat grass, chased with a small apple juice (because I am SUCH a baby).  I then ordered the wild rice, quinoa bowl.

So fresh and delicious.  I definitely took some home and had them for leftovers :)

Britta got the Schezuan Noodle bowl and LOVED it! She also bought the Rebar cookbook, which is AMAZING! She can now recreate this at home whenever her heart desires...

and then this happened, obviously.  Two chocolate lovers and a Chocolate Belgium Brownie? What else were we supposed to do? Just stare at it? We devoured this bad boy and enjoyed it til the very last crumb!

After lunch we wandered around downtown...I showed her a few of my fav. spots like Violette Boutique and Emporia Boutique, Murchies anddd I think that was it for the day!

I was happy to show her around and she was happy to pick up a few goodies to bring home with her :)

And this is me...trying to find my car in the parkeade.  It took us about 5 minutes of non stop laughter to find it. 



I picked up Britta SUPER early (6:30 am) to head out for a run.  

We drove out to Elk Lake and had a fabulous 7 km run.  We walked the last 3 km of the 10 km loop.  We talked the entire time! It was fantastic!

I totally stole this from, Britta :)
We definitely took some pics along the way and after!

After our run I wanted to show Britta one of my favourite markets, Dan's Farm.  That is where the fun began... 

We browsed around...

ate a fresh fig...

very mild, but delish nevertheless...

...paid for our berries and went out to the car.  I went into my purse to look for my key and it wasn't there.  We looked everywhere in and around the market and thought it must be in the car, even though we couldn't see it.  After about 2 hours of looking we called a towing company to open the doors.  The key wasn't there...

We searched for another 2 hours, high and low, every square inch of the car and the market and the key was no where to be seen.  WTF? We ended up calling the Nissan dealership, thanks to the help of one of the market employees, and Britta's friend, Cam (it was their idea) and asked if we could get new keys cut, because this was our only key...  Then we had to find a ride to the dealership, which proved to be quite a problem since all of my friends are away at the moment because we just finished school and they are on vacation!  In comes my friend, Jesse! She came and got us around 2:00 pm (we were there at 9:00 am).  While we were waiting we decided to have breakfast and lunch, since we didn't get a chance to have either (crazy for us since we both NEED food, especially after a run).

All we could find that was reasonably healthy were these Beanito chips, made of pinto beans and flax (they are to die for) seeds, carrots, granola bars and apples.

They were actually really really good! I think we both felt better after we had a little food in our bellies!  After we were picked up we went to my apartment for some much needed tea (Bellocq earl grey and milk) and relaxation.  

We then waied for Britta's brother, Max to pick us up after work and bring us to the dealership to get new keys, which only cost us $10!!! I was SOOO happy about this!

Max and Britta were lovely enough to drive us back to our car (Francis met us after work at the dealership - he was on Saltspring Island all day so he wasn't able to help us). Britta and I were both EXHAUSTED after the day that we had...but I will say that we learned a lot about each other and are really good problem solvers ;) We both agreed that it was awesome that we get along really well otherwise the day would have been even worse!  I don't know what I would have done without her!!

I still can't believe this happened...Last week I spilled coffee on my macbook air, they told me I just had to replace the keyboard and then a few days ago they told me that it is worse than they thought and well, let's just say it is going to be extremely pricey to fix.  Not sure what to do.  And as if that wasn't enough, this silly key situation happened.  Hopefully my bad luck is over! I have a feeling that it is :) 



Britta and I spent yet another day together! What? We have to soak in every last bit of each other we can until I leave and she leaves (going to be so sad).

I picked her up a little bit later, at 8:30 am and we headed out to Mt. Finlayson for a hike! One of my absolute favourite ways to spend my day!


You have to pull yourself up the's a tough hike but so much fun! Britta and I both decided that we are runner fit (we are both runners), because as soon as we started our hike up this flippin' steep mountain you are out of breath and your legs are a burnin'. That's okay though, because we both love the challenge!

When we got to the top we spent about 30 minutes soaking in the gorgeous view, breathing in the fresh air and chit chatting until we made our way down the mountain!

After our hike we made out way to Lifestyle Market for a little browse, picked up a few goodies and then moved onto Discovery Coffee, nestled in the heart of James Bay, for a soy latte (one of my favourite places for a nice warm drink).

We sat outside and sipped on our latte's until we were too jittery to finish them... 

We took the scenic route home, stopping for some beautiful pictures and a few errands! It was such a lovely afternoon spent with great company :)



I started my morning off with an amazing bowl of pumpkin pie oats! Bought a large can of pumpkin and have been eating it like crazy so it won't be wasted.  I guess I'm okay with that.  I mean, I sorta like pumpkin...

Unsweetened almond milk, canned pure pumpkin, rolled oats, drizzle of honey.  Topped off with a little chocolatey goodness aka Enjoy Life Mega Chunks!

After breakfast, I headed out to pick up Britta for a run!  We decided to change things up a bit and run along Beach Drive, which is one of the most beautiful sights in Victoria.

After our lovely 8 km run, we headed over to Discovery Coffee, yet again, for some delicious soy latte's, which we enjoyed outside while chit chatting away and people watching!  

recycled pic, but it looked exactly the same and tasted EVER better!
Later on that evening, Britta, Francis, Max, Tyler and I went to Willow's Beach for a picnic!


We chowed down on some HUGE sandwiches from Red Barn, Beanitos (new fav chips - I think Britta and I ate almost a full bag together, they were THAT good - try the Chipotle BBQ), crackers and hummus! 

It was a great night spent with some great people! Too bad it was absolutely FREEZING OUT! Is that fall I smell? :)


Friday...our last day together :(

Friday morning I had a few AWESOME things happen to me.  I say that in the most sarcastic way possible!  I sliced my thumb on a vegetable slicer and then I destroyed my favourite running hat in the dryer :( the day after I was professing my love for it... Not the best way to start my day that's forsure.  BUT it got much better :)

After a quick breakfast I headed over to Britta's to pick her up to hang out.  We both decided that we were super tired and didn't feel like going for a run so we opted to go to Discovery Coffee for one last soy latte instead! 

I am definitely going to miss this :(

Next, we went on a search for a new running hat, which we had a really hard time finding...after we walked around town for a bit, having no luck on our hat search, we both decided to try for a run because it was such a gorgeous day and it was going to be our last run together for at least a year (I know, I can't believe it)...if we weren't feeling it we were just going to walk.  I think those coffees gave us the jitters so we had to run to get them out.

We started off nice and slow and chatted the ENTIRE way, stopping after about 3 km for a nice stretch by the marina.  Then we headed back...the 6 km flew by...we didn't even feel like we were working out.  It was such a great time! We are both definitely going to be taking the day off of exercise today though (Saturday) which is good because I am busy cleaning up and packing for my vacay!

After our run, we took the scenic route to Peninsula Runners where I found my hat only in a different colour (purpley/pink - not my fav. but it was the only one in the same style).  I bought it right away!  Britta got the same one :) YAY for her very first running hat!

Then I dropped her off at her brother's and we said our goodbyes :( Good thing we have skype, texting and our blogs to keep us connected until we get to see each other next time! We have already discussed baking together over facetime! We are SO cool :) Man, I am going to miss that little lady! We had such a great time together this week! But enough of this sad talk... time to be happy :)

Today I am going to finish up my packing and cleaning before we head out to Cali for our two week vacation! Francis' parents live there so we are going for a nice long visit! I will definitely be posting while I'm there, so get ready for some fun posts! Ah, I can't wait! My parents are coming for the first week, too so it is going to be a great time :)

Enjoy your weekend, and I will be talking at you all very soon!