Monday, June 3, 2013

Weekly Roundup - Drinking My Salads, Frying My Eggs, Crisping My Carrots

Green Smoothies - "Alright Danielle, shut up about your damn acidic body already!" That's the little voice I hear in my head each time I begin writing a post referring to the high acidity levels in my body and my attempts at balancing them out and getting healthy. But I can't help it. Finding balance in my diet, or anyones diet for that matter, is an ongoing exploration. You have to keep learning, pushing yourself, and thinking of creative ideas to get yourself to stick with the program! About a month or so ago, I tried increasing my intake of dark leafy greens in order to increase the PH levels in my body and lower the acidity. Experimenting with making all different types of salads worked great and made me feel fantastic for about a week...and then I slipped. It just wasn't realistic for me to keep eating so many salads each and every day. I was sick of them after about day-five, bored of the same general texture and flavours. Let's be honest here, no matter how delicious and creative a salad you've made, it's still a salad. It's like having pasta everyday, as delicious as that sounds, after a few days I would be sick of it, sick of that same general texture over and over again.

I have been curious to try a green smoothie for quite some time now, but was always nervous about the taste. I just didn't believe that a smoothie filled with spinach or kale could ever taste good, but I was proven wrong. After trying a smoothie jam packed with kale, baby spinach, avocado, and cucumber, I was amazed at how one simple ingredient could hide all of those savoury greens. What's this magic ingredient you ask? A good ol' banana! By simply adding one banana into your smoothie, you're not only filling it with even more nutrients like potassium, vitamins, and fiber, a banana also acts as a sort of invisibility cloak for your greens, hiding them from your taste buds. So for over a week now I have been starting close to every single day with a delicious green smoothie, and let me tell you, I feel great! This is what I put in it:
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen berries (Frozen out of convenience, you may use fresh. The texture of the seeds helps to hide the sometimes gritty texture of the greens)
  • 2 large handfuls baby spinach
  • 1/4-1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/4-1/3 cup water (depending on how thick/thin you like your smoothie)
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds 
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
Carrot Chips - Having such a fast metabolism, I can't help but feel inclined to snack between all of my meals. It's easy to reach for starchy foods, wanting that quick and satisfying fix, but with a new healthy lifestyle on the brain I wanted to think of some easy and healthy alternatives to satisfy my cravings. Carrot chips were the way to go! So unbelievably simple to make, carrot chips require only a vegetable peeler, olive oil, salt, and an oven. All you do is peel your carrots lengthwise, trying to get them as wide as possible, and toss them in a bit of olive oil and sea salt. Bake them off in a 300º oven for about 10 min (keep your eyes on them! They burn quickly!), cool, and enjoy! As you can see from my photo, a few of my carrot chips got just a bit too crisp (I have since reduced the oven temperature from the original 350º to 300º), but the ones that remained orange were so delightfully tasty! The natural sugars in the carrots gave the chips a wonderful caramelized flavour that kept me coming back for more!

Hidden Valley Ranch Recipe Challenge - I am so excited to get started on my latest foodie collaboration! I feel so lucky to be working with Hidden Valley Ranch to come up with a new and exciting recipe featuring one of their ranch flavours. Expect lots of photos this month as I play around with their Original, Spicy, and Cheese ranch flavours! I've already got lots of ideas up my sleeve that I can't wait to share with you! What would you make with Hidden Valley Ranch? Share your ideas!

Hawker Bar - As much as I love how much Toronto's food scene is thriving these days, I hate that every time a new and interesting restaurant opens up, I feel like I have to wait forever in order to get in, waiting for the inevitable crazy lines to die down. It's gotten to the point where I just resolve to try the restaurant in a few months, or perhaps even a year, discouraged by the thought of waiting for hours and hours to get a table. Hawker Bar, the new tiny restaurant that recently opened on Ossington, was one of those restaurants that I was dying to try, but figured I wouldn't be able to get in for a few least. Lucky for me, I just happened to be strolling by, looking to grab a bite with my boyfriend, and came across Hawker Bar, just starting their dinner rush, with a few empty tables inside. After being encouraged by a customer waiting for takeout outside to go in (his exact words were a demanding "GO IN! Trust me! Go in! You will not be disappointed!") we quickly grabbed a table and eagerly looked through the menu (which were written on the backs of cardboard beer boxes).

Still full from a late lunch, I chose to order two of their "snacks", their Pork and Shitake Dumplings and their Son In Law Eggs, with my boyfriend ordering their Chicken Laksa. The pork dumplings were very good, with great seasoning, but it was the Son In Law Eggs that really stood out for me. Soft boiled eggs are deep fried and rest in a chili sauce, topped with crispy onions, and resting in a spoon. The server encouraged me to eat the egg all in one bite in order to get the best flavour experience. I did just that, and was not disappointed (as our new friend outside had promised). Savory and unexpected, I loved that burst of the soft yolk inside the egg, contrasted by the crispy outer shell, with a hint of lingering spice thanks to the chili sauce. I also loved the bite of chicken laksa that I snuck out of my boyfriends bowl. The coconut broth was so comforting and delicious, with lots of great heat! Next time I will definitely be ordering a large bowl for myself!

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Listening To:
Daft Punk ft Panda Bear - Doin' It Right

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1 comment:

Velva said...

I never thought about the acidic levels in my body-love salads, and green smoothies. With lean protein and a complex carbs, I would be rocking (smile).

Thanks for sharing.