Monday, October 28, 2013


Blackfish played on CNN recently so I set the PVR to see what everyone is talking about. Essentially, it explores how SeaWorld has exploited orcas for entertainment. Some reviews I've read expressed concern that it portrays orcas as frightening and that this takes away from the point of the documentary.

However, I feel that this was balanced well and it was clear that orcas should not be used as entertainment. They should not be forced to live their lives in aquariums.

After watching Blackfish, I'm left with an understanding of the bigger picture of animal exploitation and that I don't want any part of it. If you are 'into' documentaries, I highly recommend you check this out.

The official site: Blackfish and facebook page.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (vegan)


It looks like the weather jumped from summer to winter and missed fall completely. But while mother nature may not respect tradition, my kitchen does.

I got this recipe from my sister, who got it from someone else. After taste testing, I adapted the original recipe for round two and am satisfied with the results.

It should make about 18-24 muffins depending on your preferred muffin size.



  • 1 medium banana
  • 1/3 cup of unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 cups of flour
  • 1 1/2 cups of semi sweet chocolate chips (check labels if you want the vegan stuff)



  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Peel and mash banana. Stir in applesauce, pumpkin, vegetable oil, and sugar.
  3. Combine baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and flour.
  4. Stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Divide mixture into muffin tin and bake at 400 degrees F for 16 to 20 minutes.
  6. Enjoy!

Monday, October 21, 2013


You know how we are born just knowing certain things about life? Like how to breathe? Well, one of my lessons was to stay away from fuzzy food, especially if it was green or white. Some of this instinct has been confirmed over the years.

So naturally, kiwi was on my 'potentially poisonous' list. But did you know that kiwi is actually edible? With the encouragement of my maybe-future sister-in-law, I bought a kiwi. I figured if she eats kiwi, then it can't be that bad. I mean, she is the pickiest person ever. Anyway, all of that to say that I tried a kiwi.

And I'm not entirely won over. However, I am willing to move it from the 'potentially poisonous' list to the 'maybe just once in a while' list.

Also, I have learned that it is not a good idea to dance while:
  • using a knife
  • pouring water
  • eating trail mix

No injuries will be reported, but you may want to tuck that little tidbit away in case you are tempted to bust a move in less than ideal conditions.

(in my defense I'm trying to get my 10 000 fitbit steps in).

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Squash & Veggie Soup

I love fall. I love the weather, the scenery, and the food. It's such a comforting time of year. Be warned, after this post, there will be an onslaught of pumpkin posts (soup, muffins, cookies, oh my!)

But for today, the focus is on Squash & Veggie Soup. I found the original recipes on one of my favourite sites, There it is titled Luxurious 7-Vegetable and "Cheese" Soup. It's kind of a mouthful and definitely scary if you aren't a vegetable fan. I mean, seven vegetables? Let's not get excessive and point that out. For you non veggie fans, you will notice fewer veggies in my version...mainly because I realized I didn't have sweet potato once I had started. Oh well.

Anyway, I made a few changes and thought I would share the changes with you. First things first, I divided the recipe in half and then I went from there.


  • oil (for sautéing)
  • 2 cups of onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup of celery
  • 1/2 cup of carrots
  • 3 1/2 cups of broccoli florets
  • 2 cups of butternut squash
  • 3 cups of vegetable broth
  • 2 tbs of soy parmesan
  • dash of chili pepper, crushed chili pepper flakes, cinnamon


  1. Chop and sauté the onion and garlic in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add celery, carrots, broccoli, and squash as you chop them. Sauté for a few minutes.
  3. Add veggie broth and squash. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until the squash softens slightly.
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool significantly.
  5. Add the soy parmesan and other spices. Stir gently.
  6. Using a blender, blend the mixture in small batches.
  7. Return all smoothly blended batches into the pot to stir together (and reheat).
  8. Serve and enjoy.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Cookie Dough Won Tons

I have totally dragged my heals on posting this recipe because I don't want to contribute to the obesity problem. And if you make these, you will eat them.

Do you know what is better than cookie dough? Cookie dough fried in won tons. If I had to pick one thing to eat for the rest of my life (and not gain weight) this would be it. I struggled with the title of this recipe, wavering between:
Baked vs. fried

    1. The road to world peace
2. This is all I ever need

3. and back off jerk, I'm not sharing

I found the recipe Seeded at the Table. They called theirs Cookie Dough Eggrolls. I made a few changes beyond replacing the egg rolls to lighten it up slightly. I also tried a baked version that just cannot compare.

Anway, here you go. My version resulted in 18 of the finished product but it could vary depending on how full you stuff the won tons


  • 1/2 cup of Earth Balance or other dairy-free butter replacement
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of chocolate chips
  • 36 won ton wrappers (approx.)
  • vegetable oil (for frying)
  • chocolate sauce (optional)



  1. Cream together the Earth Balance and brown sugar.
  2. Add the flour and vanilla. When combined, stir in the chocolate chips. Set aside.
  3. On a clean surface, join two won ton wrappers by wetting one edge with water. Press together. This will give you a rectangle shape. (see pictures below)
  4. Wet the outer edges of this rectangle.
  5. Spoon your cookie dough mixture into a line in the centre of the rectangle. Fold up the top and bottom, and then roll the rest, pressing it together gently.
  6. Heat slightly less than 1/2 an inch of vegetable oil in a deep but small skillet. (I heated mine on medium-high).
  7. Fry each piece ten seconds per side. They should brown and crisp. Place fried pieces on paper towel to drain off some of the oil.
  8. Continue until all the pieces are done.
  9. Serve warm and with chocolate sauce if you so desire.
  10. Try to share with others in your household. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Vegetarian Inside-out Shepherd's Pie (a non-recipe)

This is no ordinary Shepherd's Pie. In fact, it may not be traditional enough for the average person, but it is yummy. It's also really easy to adapt. My version makes enough to fill one bread pan, which I divided into three servings.

I used the veggie ground round, but I would much prefer beans, so that is what I will use next time.

Feel free to play with quantities of things. This was quickly put together and will likely be modified each time I make it.


Bottom Layer
  • either 1/2 cup of veggie ground round or red kidney beans
  • garlic clove, divided
  • 1/4 cup onion
  • 1/2 a can of Campbell's condensed tomato soup (set aside 1tbs)

Middle Layer
  • cup of veggies (you could use corn but we use peas & carrots)

Top Layer
  • 1.5 cups of potatoes for mashing
  • some earth balance
  • almond milk
  • pepper
  • the remaining garlic
  • ground pepper

  • 1/2 cup of mixed beans
  • a sprinkle of veggies (corn, peas, green onion, whatever - just something to add colour)
  • a drizzle of BBQ sauce & remaining soup mixture



It seems pretty self explanatory, but here you go...
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare your potatoes, boil water, and throw them into the pot.
  3. In a skillet, heat your onion, garlic, and protein base (beans or veggie ground round). Once heated through, put it in your bread dish.
  4. Add 1/2 cup (minus a tbs) of the condensed soup. Mix up.
  5. Add your veggies.
  6. When your potatoes are ready, mash them (don't forget to add the garlic you set aside) and put them on top of the veggies.
  7. Add your toppings and drizzle your sauce.
  8. Bake in oven for 15 minutes or until heated through.
  9. Serve and enjoy.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

A conversation with my husband

My husband just finished eating chips and peanut butter cups. I mostly behaved myself. I was hungry though, so I asked him for some snack suggestions.

Him:  twigs and berries?
Me:   oooh. I thought you were going to suggest Twix. That would be good. If only....
Him:  why are you so obsessed with food you can't have? You must like migraines.
Me:  um, how about you try a day being dairy-free?

(He wouldn't even last ten minutes without milk in his coffee)

Him:  I don't want to.
Me:  Come on, I challenge you. Just one day.

Him (trying to change the subject and being completely serious with the following snack suggestion):  why don't you go have a banana, or a pumpkin, or something?

Me: A pumpkin?

Yep. That's right. He is so helpful.

Instead of his pumpkin suggestion, I opted for toast with hazelnut butter. Yummy. And nothing like a pumpkin.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Wrap up

It seems like I am constantly challenging myself. This weeks focus is to get 10 000 steps daily. It hasn't been easy, but so far I have been successful. Unfortunately, I struggle with balance and while my exercise has increased, my food choices have not been stellar. I have been eating some healthy and yummy things though.

(Some) Stuff I Ate

Inside-out Shepherd's Pie

Curried Coconut Tofu
on a bed of couscous and kale





Potato Leek Soup
(I will not be blogging this recipe fail)
'Mexican' Casserole (not really worthy
of it's own blog post)

Stuff I want to Eat

I haven't done our meal planning for the upcoming week so I'm not sure what will be on it, other than spaghetti squash (we have one sitting on the counter).

In the Rest of My Life

  • I've finished reading Lullabies for Little Criminals. It was pretty good. It hooks you in, but it is a sad read. I'm not yet finished We Bought a Zoo. This one is harder to get through.
  • Bunny Zayne will likely need to go back to the vet. Boo.
  • Despite asking for requests in February for knit gift ideas for my family members, I have just finished one of the adult gifts. I was hoping not to procrastinate this year.
  • On my radar:  Pumpkin Nut Butter Cups, and Broccoli Cheese Soup
  • Coming up:  Cookie Dough Won Tons (oh the deliciousness!), Inside-out Shepherd's Pie, and Curried Coconut Tofu

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Fitbit One

I have had my Fitbit One for two weeks now and I continue to be satisfied with my purchase. When I first got it, I opted to have a 'lazy day' to see the number of steps on what used to be a typical day and I found that I only had 1628 steps. Talk about lazy and embarrassing!

Fortunately, seeing this number was a bit of a reality check. The predetermined daily goal is 10 000. That's a lot of steps. You can change this goal if you would like. For myself, I'm satisfied with 7000 steps on a day that I've done an intense workout. I opted not to change the number officially though because I figured that would make it too easy to slack off.

In these two weeks, I have averaged 8198 steps per day. That is a significant improvement over the 1628.

Other general features that I enjoy include the silent/vibrating alarm and the ability to link my Fitbit to My Fitness Pal. And the fact that it can track your sleep is pretty cool, although not that accurate or useful.

In terms of the actual device, I opted for the One over the Flex (which is a bracelet) because I wanted to be able to quickly see my numbers without having to check my phone or computer. (The Flex just has lights that show your progress). I do still use the website so I can get added details and see how I'm doing over time.

I can understand the appeal of the Flex. It would be much harder to forget to put it on and you are less likely to throw it into the wash, but these aren't issues that I have encountered with the One. You can compare some of the features here.

Anyway, I realize that my review isn't super in depth or earth shattering, but I did promise you a review - so that's what you get.