More Ottawa and Montreal

We’re finally home from our little trip! It’s true that it’s nice to get away but it’s even better to come home. Fortunately for us, we ate like kings while we were away…

The brunch at Café My House was calling our names and I’m so glad we decided to give it a try.

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THOSE SMOOTHIES!  The green one was mine and it was mango-cilantro.  It tasted a bit like a fresh roll in the best way possible.  I’m growing cilantro on the balcony this year and I’ll definitely be throwing some into smoothies.  Jenn’s was a typical cocoa-banana concoction which was super tasty as well, though not as interesting or refreshing as mine.

Jenn and Trevor both had the waffle BLTs with coconut bacon.  I had the tempeh benedict, which was fresh baguette, kale, eggplant, smoky tempeh and a really amazing hollandaise sauce.

And my favourite restaurant ever, Aux Vivres in Montreal.  I don’t know what it is about that place, but the food is just incredible and fresh, and I just love Montreal, so it all comes together to create such a lovely experience for me every time.

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Jenn got the Bouddha Bol, I got the coconut bacon BLT (they were one of the first places around doing coconut bacon!), Trevor got the tempeh burger.  I also got le creamsicle smoothie, which is coconut milk, orange juice, carrot juice, dates and vanilla and tastes exactly like its namesake.  Also, the chana paratha appetizer is INCREDIBLE.  I have to master paratha at home.

Another day, Trevor and I went back and we got more of the paratha, this time with their house veggie butter.  SO GOOD.
I also got their famed Dragon Bol which has an incredible Dragon sauce, and the Coconut Cashew Pie was my birthday cake, since this meal took place on my 30th birthday.

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Soooo much amazing food to be eaten.  More to come!

 

 

"Holy Pie!" Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

This morning, as we were eating this, I meant to exclaim, “Holy crap, this really tastes like pumpkin pie!” but I accidentally said, “Holy pie!  Pumpkin pie!”.  True story.  It’s just that pie-y.
So let’s all rejoice and eat pumpkin with every meal for as long as autumn lasts.

Serves 3-4

2 cups soy milk (or water, but it’ll be less creamy)
3/4 cup pumpkin purée
2 cups rolled oats
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves

In a medium saucepan, heat the soy milk and pumpkin over medium-high heat.  Stir the pumpkin to dissolve. Once bubbles are just forming on the surface, add the oats, lower the heat and cook for 5 minutes, or until liquid is mostly absorbed.  Remove from heat and add the sugar, salt and spices.  Serve with a drizzle of maple syrup or a few walnut pieces if desired.

– Crystal

Blueberry Breakfast Crumble

This time of year brings giant baskets of local blueberries at such a good price.  So, like, duh, I obviously need to buy some.  And as much as I can eat handfuls of blueberries and sprinkle them on everything, I often have even more than I know what to do with.  This is where the idea of a breakfast crumble comes in.  So, it’s a crumble, but like, a little healthier?

It’s a giant layer of bloobs that cook down into a yummy jam, topped with a modified version of the crumble topping I normally do.

The topping:
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup all purpose flour (or whole wheat, if you want to swing that way)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup virgin coconut oil
1 tsp cinnamon
a dash of salt

Preheat the oven to 350°.
Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl.  Add the coconut oil and mix with a fork until the mixture is crumbly.
Spray a 8″ x 12″ glass baking dish with a bit of oil, load in your berries (however many you want; the more, the better!), and spread the topping on.  Pat everything down with your fork.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the top if golden and the blueberries are bubbling up.  Enjoy starting your day with something that resembles dessert.

– Crystal

Overnight Oats

My new “thing” for breakfast is this overnight oat recipe.  I had tried a few different recipes which had different ratios, no yogurt, less yogurt, no chia, etc., and not loved them.  This one to me is perfect and keeps me going until lunchtime and beyond.

The recipe:

  • Equal parts old-fashioned oats, non-dairy milk, and non-dairy yogurt (I quite like Amande vanilla in this context) — I generally go for 1/3 cup each
  • ~1/2 tbsp chia seeds (optional, but it adds nutrition and a really nice texture)
  • A dash of cinnamon and a tiny dash of salt

At night before bed, get your bowl ready.  Mix it all up, pop it in the fridge, and in the morning you’ve got creamy, fluffy oatmeal that’s nice and cool, which is so nice in the summer.

It does well topped with some granola or a bit of crunchy cereal for a contrast of textures, and I always put a scoop of peanut butter (or any nut butter!  Healthy fats!) and usually a 1/2 a banana or some strawberries.  Local strawberries are amazing right now, like little juicy pieces of candy, so I’ve been loading up on those.

After a breakfast like that, you’ll be able to go forth and conquer pretty much anything.  Paired with the beet/apple/cucumber/grapefruit juice here, I am practically able to leap tall buildings and save babies from burning houses.

– Crystal

Gingerbread Oatmeal

I love the flavour of gingerbread cookies; so warming and comforting.  It translates nicely to a big, warm bowl of oats.  I use my typical method for cooking oats quickly here; what I typically do on a workday morning.  Stovetop method would work as well if you’ve got more time.  I add chia seeds to my oats because I love the texture it provides, plus it’s high in a bunch of good stuff.

Gingerbread Oatmeal

1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
2 tsp chia seeds
Enough water or non-dairy milk to cover oats
1 tsp molasses
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
Pinch of ground cloves
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of salt

Place oats and chia seeds in a bowl and add enough liquid to saturate and cover.  Let stand for 5 minutes.  Pop in microwave on high for 2 minutes or until oats are tender and have absorbed most of the liquid.  Add molasses, brown sugar and salt and mix.  Add spices and mix some more.  Eat and feel comforted and warm.

– Crystal

Veg Out Brunch

We are so fortunate to live within walking distance of the amazing Veg Out, which is an all-vegan restaurant, so last Sunday morning we decided we wanted to treat ourselves to their scrumptious brunch.

I had the french toast, which was so delicious and cooked to perfection – with a side of tempeh bacon, of course.

And I had the cocobanana smoothie, too….coconut, banana and I think dates?
Trevor had the pancakes, which were really delicious and unlike any other pancake we’ve had (I tried a bite because he was marvelling at how good they were).  They were sort of crispy on the outside and really spongy so they soaked up the maple syrup nicely.
Mmm.  We love Veg Out.
– Crystal

Red Breakfast

This was breakfast one lazy Saturday morning – my strawberry freezer jam and Earth Balance on toast and a small bowl of raspberries and strawberries for me to graze on.  So good; I’ll be making that jam each year from now on.

Another strawberry-full concoction – a smoothie using up some of the frozen strawberries I had from when we went strawberry picking earlier in the season, with some banana, orange juice, soy milk, and a drizzle of coconut milk for creaminess.  Yum.

– Crystal