Category Archives: Simple and Easy

Chocolate Coconut Mug Cake

Ever have those cravings for a good chocolate cake…you know the ones ladies, the ones that strike at around 9pm, after dinner, after you’ve already changed into your PJ’s and taken off your bra, the ones that strike a couple of days before your monthly ‘gift’ (screw you tampax) arrives, the ones that strike when you don’t feel like going to the store to get a cake, but you must have cake…I get those ones a lot.  I don’t normally cave in, but when I am allowed to have a cheat ‘meal’ I can’t help but use it on one of these.

You are basically three minutes away from a moist (if done right) chocolatey cake

Chocolate Coconut Mug Cake

4 Tbsp flour
4 Tbsp sugar or Splenda
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
3 Tbsp oil
3 Tbsp milk
1 egg
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp baking power
A couple of drops of vanilla extract
2 Tbsp coconut flakes (optional)

*you can take out the oil, use only one Tbsp of sweetener and use just 1 Tbsp of milk (I use coconut or almond – whatever is on hand at the time, or take out both and use apple sauce)

  1. Grab a large mug, with a fork beat the egg, add in the oil, milk and vanilla, mix until combined.
  2. Add in the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and coconut flakes, mix it all together until combined
  3. Pop it in your microwave and start with 50 seconds, if it needs more (which it may) nuke it for ten seconds a time, take it out when the top is just set
  4. Now, this is the part that most people mess up on…you need to get the cake OUT OF THE MUG as soon as it’s done cooking, otherwise it will continue to cook inside of the mug and you’ll be left with a disgusting spongy sponge-tasting cake. Blarg.
  5. Top it with some buttercream, some whipped cream, a berry compote, caramel, nutella, or have it plain; up to you.

*I needed a chocolate fix so bad when I made this the other day that I didn’t have a chance to snap a photo, on my next cheat, I’ll be sure to take one 🙂


Long Live Breakfast

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned in previous posts how much I love having breakfast for dinner; actually, I could have a variation of breakfast for every meal of everyday for the rest of my life: think non training breakfast; egg whites and oats don’t really grind my gears as much as bacon pancakes or waffles with nutella.

I had an uncontrollable urge to have a greasy breakfast for breakfast today….although I woke up SUPER late (1:30 pm…oops) and so it turned into a greasy lunchfast , even better! I dragged the Mr. with me to Cora’s and had a giant non paleo plate of heaven, mmmm, I can still taste it *burp*. Gross, just kidding. So, when we got home and started cleaning, my mind automatically went to food (obviously. If you know me you know how often I think of food. All the time, all day long.) There was that urge again. My mind kept screaming “BREAKFAST! BREAKFAST! BRRREAKFASSSTTTTT!!!!” my stomach followed suit, and then my whole body was screaming for breakfast. I did the only thing I could do; give in.

Enter Crepes.

There is a place in BC called Cafe Crepe, and it is so very good. They have other things on their menu besides crepes, but really…why would you go to a place called Cafe Crepe and order a burger?? Anytime I was downtown with my two awesome foodie friends S and N we’d end up there. The first occasion was filled with rain, a K’naan concert in said rain and a lot of beer, crepes and an unfortunate event involving Spanx. Note to everyone, Spanx are evil, avoid them at all costs, especially if you want to breathe…or eat and drink beer for that matter. Annnnyway, another time we went just to hang out and decided to grab a coffee and a crepe while we were downtown I decided to have something ‘simple’ you know, an Spanish coffee and stack of butter and sugar crepes. HOLY SHMOLY.

That was the food memory that came flooding back to me today, I had to whip up a batch. I am lucky enough to have a husband that understands my need for all things food, with the promise of ribs, he went to the store for me to pick up some much needed vitals:

Shrimp and Brie Cheee

My local CSA pack provided the rest; farm fresh eggs, candy-sweet tomatoes and the freshest kale I’ve ever had in my entire life. You can fill the crepe with whatever your heart desires; I just sautéed the shrimp in salt, maple pepper and butter, and, when they were done, pulled them out and sautéed up some tomatoes and kale; added some brie cheese and topped it with the kale, tomatoes and shrimp. Get creative! Roasted red pepper, prosciutto and an over easy egg is also one of our favourites. Nutella, banana and coconut; sugar and butter, PB and Jam…and so on and so fourth. Go wild!

Basic Crepes

1 ½ cup flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
2 cups milk (I used unsweetened almond milk as we didn’t have cow’s milk on hand)
½ tsp vanilla
2 eggs, beaten
2 Tbsp butter, melted

Mix together all dry ingredients. In a separate bowl combine all wet ingredients and add to dry mix, beat until smooth.

Heat a pan as you would for pancakes. For each crepe pour a ¼ cup of batter onto the hot pan, and immediately rotate the pan until a thin film covers the bottom, cook for about a minute, then flip and cook the other side for the same amount of time. Spread with favourite filling and enjoy!

*Unfortunately*, we ate them so fast this is the only shot I got of the crepes I made today, I have a couple of crepes left so I’ll try to get some better shots tomorrow!


Paleo Friendly Granola

I haven’t posted in a while, I know, I suck. I’ve been so super busy with training, and studying, and home and going to the beach (heh), and just life in general that the food blog just fell to the wayside. I also started up a small Indian Catering biz ,what what! So that has been keeping me pretty darn busy as well.

Training wise, I’m right on track, things are going so well. SO WELL! I’ve recently started to phase into the Paleo lifestyle slowly, so far so good. I’ve never had so much energy in my entire life; my body feels so amazing, everything is tighter, my skin looks amazing, I cannot say enough positive things about this change. If you are on the fence about whether or not to try it out, DO IT, you won’t look back.
Ok, enough of that. Since switching over, I’ve been scouring the internet for Paleo blogs, recipes, articles, anything I can get my hands on, there is tons of information out there. The Mr. loves granola, and recently I’ve taken a liking to it as well, I usually steered clear of it because it’s so high in sugar, carbs and all things good, but I found a great paleo friendly one that is seriously like crack.

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Crack Granola

Recipe is Here.

I made some changes, I used seeds I could find and afford; pumpkin, sunflower, sliced almonds(in original), walnuts. I left out the maple syrup, and added in chopped dried figs, apricots and raisins. BOOM


Mom’s Easy Flour Tortillas

When I was younger, I had the most vile experience at a Mexican restaurant for a friend’s birthday; I was violently ill for a few days afterwards, and I swore I would NEVER have Mexican food again.

I should know better than to make food related promises before I even hit 20; rest assured that I’ve learned my lesson since then.  My motto for life now is “If I didn’t like it the first time I ate it, I’ll eat it again just in case I was having a bad day.”  I’m glad I changed my attitude towards food since that experience, a big part of that shift is my mom, and grandma; those two women are the best cooks that I have ever encountered; their passion for food shows in absolutely everything that they cook.  That being said…I’m really the only one in the family that will venture outside of my comfort zone with food.  This recipe however,  should please any of the fussy eaters in your household, you can fill it with anything!  This is my mom’s recipe, and it is divine, the tortillas are soft off the pan and they crisp up beautifully in the oven; they will keep for a couple of days wrapped tightly in the fridge.

Fajitas!

Mom’s Easy Flour Tortillas
Makes approximately 9 tortillas

2 cups All Purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
¼ cup vegetable shortening
½ cup warm water

  1. Place flour into a medium sized mixing bowl, cut in shortening with a pastry blender or two knives until it resembles small peas.
  2. Add enough water to the point where the dough just starts to come together, you may not need all of the water.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times until it is nice and smooth.
  4. Make about 8-9 balls and brush with melted shortening, let sit for at least 20 minutes.
  5. Roll out the balls and cook on a flat cast iron pan.
  6. Fill with your favourite ingredients!

prepared dough

Cooking

Finished Tortillas

Chicken Fajitas


Brown Rice and Chicken Muffins

I got this recipe from a dear friend ages ago after I just finished competing in my first ever figure show, I think she got it from Oxygen Magazine, but I have yet to track the recipe down.  They are amazingly delicious and healthy, great for a post workout meal, just pair a couple with a great big spinach salad and you’re good to go! You could probably also bake this up in a casserole dish as well, and serve as a healthy family dinner with steamed veggies and salad.

 

Brown Rice and Chicken Muffins

2 Cups cooked brown rice
1 Cup finely chopped cooked chicken ( I always add extra chicken, I use about 2.5 chicken breasts, so about 2.5 cups)
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 ½ tsp curry powder
8 heaping Tbsp plain low fat yogurt (I used greek yogurt)
2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
3 egg whites

 

Pre Oven

1)      Preheat oven to 375  coat a muffin tin with olive oil ( I used coconut oil)
2)      Combine all ingredients except the egg whites, into a large bowl
3)      Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into batter
4)      Fill muffin tin with mixture
5)      Bake 35-40 minutes or until muffins are golden brown on top

Post Oven


Slow Cooker Pulled Beef Sandwiches

I am so fortunate to have been blessed with some amazing friends, seriously, I consider myself to be a very lucky lady. I’m even more lucky to have friends who can cook, or in this case, a friend’s awesome boyfriend that can cook! I’ll refer to them as Mr. D and Ms. N, they had me over before I moved out East, and Mr. D made these amazing Pulled Beef sandwiches and Ms. N made this intensely seductive chocolate cake (which I’ll post soon), ever since then, me and mine have been making these at least once a month. The best part? You put the meat in the slow cooker and pull it out (literally and figuratively) in the evening when you’re ready for dinner! You MUST try this; it will blow your mind.

Slow Cooker Pulled Beef

1 Tbsp Canola oil or olive oil for searing
1 eye of round or top round beef roast
2 onions, halved and thinly sliced
1 ½ cups beef stock
1 ½ cups Barbecue sauce
2 Tbsp Brown sugar
2 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp Grainy mustard
A few cloves of garlic, crushed
Hot pepper flakes to taste
1 tsp pepper

  1. Heat oil in frying pan over medium-high heat, sear both sides of beef
  2. Add all remaining ingredients into the slow cooker
  3. Add beef
  4. Cook for 8-10 hours on low

That’s it! We serve it on hamburger buns with mixed greens, mayo, cheese and Dijon mustard (yes, in the photo above I jammed some plain ruffled potato chips in there as well, heh). Sometimes I just put it on top of a salad or in my eggs in the morning. Delish.


Baby It’s Cold Outside

There is a thick, dense fog outside, it’s been raining for a couple of days, and it’s still cold out here in Nova Scotia; at least it has stopped snowing. I do love this province, it is absolutely gorgeous; the only thing that really makes me miss home though, is the lack of authentic, flavourful and good ethnic food. The Chinese food scene is dismal, but I think we’ve finally found a place that gets close to the flavours that we’re used to; Indian food we make ourselves at home, Thai food; good luck, same goes for Vietnamese dishes.

My husband should thank his lucky stars that he’s married to a foodie; I would if I were him. I know most people like to curl up with a nice hot bowl of chili, or soup, or something equally as amazing on a cold, rainy evening, but not me; give me a bowl of ice cream, chilled soup, or my absolute favourite Vietnamese salad wraps. Mmmm, I’m drooling now. They are so easy to make, and you can get as creative as you’d like with them. I usually do plain salad wraps when I’m training, where I just take a bunch of different greens and wrap them in the rice paper and pack enough for each meal on the go, they’re portable, and yummy. If I want to make them into a simple and light meal however, I’ll pack them full of veggies (whatever I have on hand), chicken, and vermicelli noodles, and serve them up with a spicy peanut sauce; they also go over great at potlucks! I don’t really have a definite recipe for this, I just gather all of the ingredients that I need and make them until I run out of something vital, like the noodles.

Vietnamese Salad Wraps

Protein of your choice. Traditionally you get these at restaurants made with prawns, we always have chicken at home, so I just use that.

Chicken breast, cooked, sliced and quickly sautéed with soy sauce, hoison sauce, chili pepper flakes, fish sauce and some pepper.

2-3 bundles of vermicelli noodles (you can do more or less depending on how many people you’re feeding, when I use

3 bundles we can get about 12 decent sized wraps)

Rice paper wraps

Carrots, julienned ( I had some amazing purple carrots from the farmers market that looked beautiful in these, and were so sweet!)

Spinach, chopped

Cucumbers, julienned

Zucchini, julienned

I also had some broccoli that was in danger of going bad soon, so I chopped that up, sautéed it and used it as well

Warm water in a pan large enough to hold a sheet of rice paper

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Cook the vermicelli noodles according to the directions on the package, drain, rinse with cold water, and then let sit in a small amount of cold water so that they don’t stick together when you’re working.

Place one sheet of rice paper in the pan with warm water and let soak until it becomes soft and pliable (about a minute or so)

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Pull the sheet out gently, grasping by either end of the top and lay on a clean, dry plate.

Start layering your ingredients into the middle of the sheet, like you would with a burrito.

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Fold up the bottom half of the sheet, and then the top. Then roll the rest into a tight package. I found this site as well that you may find useful.

Voila! You have a delicious salad wrap ready to go. Continue the steps until you’ve made as many as you need, or have run out the ingredients at hand.

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Peanut Sauce

1 cup natural low sodium peanut butter *you can use regular pb as well, I just like using the natural stuff*

1 tsp sesame oil (optional. I used to use this all the time, but I haven’t found it in Superstore or Sobey’s out here in NS, and I haven’t made it to the Asian supermarket yet, so I’ve just been omitting it altogether, and it tastes fine!)

1 Tbsp Hoison sauce

2-3 Cloves of garlic, depending on your taste, finely diced

1 ½ Tbsp low sodium soy sauce

Chili pepper flakes (as many as you’d like!)

Approx ½ cup of warm water.

Directions
mix all ingredients, except water, together in a bowl, mix until incorporated. Slowly start adding the warm water until you get the consistency that you like. We like it a bit on the medium thick side, so I usually end up using ½ cup of water plus a bit more, it’s really up to you. Mix well, and adjust to taste. Serve with your salad wraps

Also, before you see the next photo, I want to let you know that it’s absolutely impossible to make peanut sauce not look like…well, what it looks like.

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