Vegandale Festival – Toronto Edition

Foodie

 

Very very very excited to indulge and treat myself to some amazing vegan eats. Toronto’s Vegandale Festival is taking over Fort York. Go hungry because… yummmm. Although I’m not vegan myself, strictly, I support the ethos, love the movement and mostly eat vegetarian food, interspersed with moderate amounts of animal-based products. I’m a flexatarian… especially during this pregnancy. However, whenever I can, I support and cook with ingredients that are kinder and gentler to our animal friends. No judgement, just love and tastebuds.

 

All pics courtesy of Vegandale check it out

Mamas and Spring Fresh Interiors

Foodie, Home Sweet

We recently painted the whole main floor of our house a fresh coat of gallery white. I can’t tell you what a difference it makes – with everything all tidy, with this beautiful clean palette. The windows are open, brunch has been served and here is a whole afternoon with a house that feels calm and bellies that are full.

We served up some French lentils ( care of Oh She Glows cookbook), bagels, smoked salmon, simple salad, quiche, mango and peach punch… and peanut butter chocolate ice cream cake for dessert.

I love my mom. And can’t wait to be one.

Taste Toronto: Momofuku

Foodie

Set behind a spectacular sculpture of curling metalwork and birds, Toronto’s Momofuku Noodle Bar was the perfect place to visit with a visiting Chef.

Montreal’s Jae-Anthony, owner and chef behind Seasoned Dream, was keen to try Momofuku (and you would be too if you had tasted what we did!)

I tried the carbonara noodles and fried chicken bao, kimchi and a local brew, Oast House x Momofuku peach lager.

It’s cozy, communal seating and reservations are a must. If you’re feeling fancy, get yourself on he list for their chilli chicken and caviar… starting at $500.

Check out their website for more

photo credits: #momofuku c/o Instagram

Not as posh as you’d expect, but super tasty and surprisingly affordable (if you aren’t getting the caviar) – it was a great start to our evening out and is perfect for rubbing elbows with foodies (who might just so happen to be some big-time influencers like the Chef from Epic Meal Time.

If you are in Toronto – Momofuku won’t disappoint.

Looney Spoons – Nutcrocker Chicken

Foodie

Nutty name… delicious taste. The combo of ginger, peanut and curry was so delicious. I grabbed this image from a Google search, but it looked almost as good and tasted better. 

I loved this with brown rice, but the way it was served the first time I had it was with a bed of kale and a few bow tie pastas. 

This was easy and delicious. All tossed in the crockpot and smelling amazing by the time I got home. 

Meal Apps … the new way I’m going to spice up this month 

Foodie

A friend at work was munching on some seriously delicious looking a Thai food.  “Homemade,” he smiled. He’d been trying a new app. 

So, one download later (free I might add)- I’m falling in love with this super easy, customizeable app. This is the fruit of one days’ labour. 

I went to the store and picked up $100 worth of groceries. I selected four meals per week to feed four (2 meals for dinner and two for leftovers to take for lunch). If anyone has any doubts, the delicious meal I just enjoyed should motivate you to check it out. I will keep tabs on the progress and give these new recipes a whirl. 

Tonight’s was a garlicky feast and it was so yummy; GREEN BEAN, FETA, TOMATO AND CHICKPEA SALAD was a 5/5 stars. Great texture and so much flavour!

Try it for yourself. 


There was enough for two big dinners and two lunches, with none of my usual feeling of being ‘hard done by’ when I usually try a salad. Thumbs way up. 

Kombucha? Why don’t ya?

DIY, Foodie
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photo credit: mountainroseblog.com

 

My friend, Lindsay, is always ahead of the curve. In middle school, she was channeling Drew Barrymore in “Mad Love,” with sunflowers in her hair. By grade eleven, she was  driving an olive green VW camper van. At the end of high school she left a semester early to work on a sailing ship docked in Cadiz, Spain. She was the coolest best friend a wholesome gal like me could ask for.

Now, as a Sommelier and world traveler, she is always making sure that our trips are full of excitement, especially in the wine department, with great tips and recommendations. She even phoned ahead for us to arrange a tour and tastings at Quinta Nova winery in the Douro Valley, to make sure we got the VIP treatment. Check out the Portugal trip log in the ‘Indulge’ section of the blog for more pics and details o that. Here.

Lindsay is always game to try something before others catch on, in grade school it was tahini and bread making, now it’s homemade Kombucha. If you can get over the repugnant appearance of this stuff, and have a friend who will set you up with a pre-made jar to start you off, it’s pretty easy; I’m actually thrilled by how satisfying it is to see my little science project magically (seemingly) reproducing – in the dark of my pantry.

A few basics:

-it brews in the dark, left alone for a few weeks

-brewing occurs by some scientific fermentation process (magic) through interaction between the liquid (black tea, distilled water and sugar) and the scoby

-the scoby is a booger-y-looking, yeasty layer of good bacteria that multiples and grows in the container, to produce the kombucha tea

-kombucha is getting more and more popular (read: trendy) and is being sold for a pretty penny, but you can make it at home at minimal cost (8 tea bags, some water, a cup of sugar and some glass jars)

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photo credit: mygutsy.com

I enjoy the low-maintenance aspect of this fizzy, tangy drink; plus it tastes pretty great …and I picture it transforming my guts into the hip-shaking, happy-dancing lady from the Activia Yogurt Commercials, while bringing me untold, mysterious health benefits. I haven’t noticed huge changes in my health, but my stomach is looking pretty flat (despite my unchanged carb intake) and I look forward to my daily dose of Kombucha flavour.

Though you can buy it in an array of flavours…

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I bought two of these so that I could get a sense of the ideal ‘flavour’ and have a bar to compare the normalcy of my own batches; plus I’ve reused the containers, after cleaning with boiling water, because the ones I bought have plastic tops (the scoby shouldn’t come into contact with metal), and they are a perfect size to store my finished brew.

As explained by the author of the site Cheeseslave, there are many health benefits; to read the full article, click here. She does an awesome job explaining these perks in detail, so I recommend checking her site out. In short:

  • Kombucha Health Benefits #1: Boosts the Immune System
  • Kombucha Health Benefits #2: Natural Detoxifier
    • Kombucha has probiotics and enzymes that promote detoxification. One of the main jobs of the good bacteria in your gut is to detoxify. By adding more beneficial bacteria to your gut, you’re getting the job done faster. Kombucha promotes detoxification. Regular consumption of kombucha tea also supports liver function.
  • Kombucha Health Benefits #3: Rich in Vitamins and Enzymes
    • B vitamins can reduce stress, anxiety and depression, boost memory, and relieve PMS.
  • Kombucha Health Benefit #4: Energy Boost
  • Kombucha Health Benefits #5: Increased Metabolism
  • Kombucha Health Benefits #6: PMS Relief
  • Kombucha Health Benefits #7: Relief from Arthritis and Joint Pain

It has been around a very long time… really long, and a renewed interest in healthier living, and taking the care of our bodies into our own hands, has seen a resurgence of home-brewing and greater availability of commercially prepared Kombucha.

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If you’re even a little intrigued (like I was), check out the link above. If you’re game to start your own brewing at home, here is a helpful site with video how-to’s:

http://www.culturesforhealth.com/learn/kombucha/how-to-make-kombucha/