Thursday, May 24, 2012

Asian Inspiration

For weeks now there has been a brand-new bag of frozen shelled edamame in my freezer.  I bought them on a whim thinking I would add them to a stir-fry.  Except I’ve now made at least two stir-fries since then and have yet to remember this poor bag of soy beans in the freezer!


Since being away for the long weekend I have not been inspired to go to the grocery store at all.  Instead I’ve been rummaging through the cupboards, fridge and freezer looking for on-hand ingredients with which to make something delicious.  I unearthed that bag of edamame and set to work creating a fast and delicious recipe for dinner last night.

I’m happy to say I came up with a winner on the first attempt and now have a new go-to meal for those days when the fridge is feeling a wee bit bare! 


Edamame & Brown Rice Salad with Tangy Asian Vinaigrette

Yields 4 servings x 1 cup-ish


  • 2 cups cooked brown rice, still warm
  • 1 cup shelled edamame, slightly thawed
  • 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed
  • 1 carrot, peeled and julienned
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup canned water chestnuts, sliced or julienned

Tangy Asian Dressing:

  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4-6 drops sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • salt & pepper


  1. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil.  Add edamame and carrots, boil 2 minutes.  Add black beans, boil 1 more minute.  Drain.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together warm rice, warm beans and carrots, green onions and water chestnuts.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together honey, soy sauce, sesame oil, lime juice, rice vinegar, pinch of salt and pinch of pepper.  While whisking, slowly drizzle in canola oil.
  4. Drizzle dressing over rice and bean mixture.  Add cilantro and toss carefully, just enough to coat with dressing.  Taste and re-season with salt and/or pepper if desired.
  5. Serve warm or cold.


I inhaled two servings of this, still warm, for dinner.  Had I had any frozen shrimp on hand I might have grilled up a few to complete the meal.  Maybe next time it won’t be a Mother Hubbard situation and I’ll find a chicken breast to glaze with honey and soy to go alongside instead.


For lunch today I opted to serve it up cold straight out of the fridge with slices of avocado and extra lime and salt.  It was all I could do to keep myself from serving up a second heaping helping.  Is there anything avocado can’t do?


According to MyFitnessPal a serving comes in at 360 calories, which is a little high for a side dish but perfect for building a small meal.  The nice thing about beans and rice is that they also provide lots of good fibre and protein so I found I was nice and full for a good, long time.


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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

West Coast Getaway

Where the heck have I been?  Sorry!  I didn’t mean to abandon you!  It was a long weekend here in Canada and Michael and I took the opportunity to take a weeeee vacay! 

A few months ago we bought a great group buy for Black Rock Resort up island in Ucluelet, so we booked a room for this weekend, loaded the puppers and some fancy cheese into the car, and hit the road.  The weather didn’t cooperate fully but we didn’t let that stop us from a walk in the forest, a stroll along the beach, and a super delicious romantic dinner at the resort restaurant.  The soaker tub, king sized bed, bigass TV and cozy couch in our room didn’t hurt either.

The trail and beach around the resort…

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The Lighthouse Loop…

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Chesterman Beach…

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Even in the rain the West Coast of the Island is truly one of my favourite places on Earth and it was a real joy to share it with Michael and our doggie brood.  If only we could stay longer.

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Thursday, May 17, 2012


Well colour me trendy but I just had to hop on the latest craze in healthy eating blogville.  Avocados in our egg salad! 


Just last week I was perusing the last couple of issues of Self magazine when I came across a list of superfoods which included eggs and avocados.  Since I’m always looking for something super to include in my day to day meal planning I was happy to see these two ingredients side by side.


Turns out there are lots of recipes out there for this but I kept it simple and went along [mostly] with mix included in Self magazine.  I thought for sure that I would really miss my beloved mayonnaise in there but I was proven wrong.  Who knew?!!  Avocado Egg Salad Sandwich.


By removing a couple of yolks and the mayo there’s lots of calorie room for the half an avocado.  The addition of Dijon (I used grainy) keeps the flavours familiar to what I’m used to in my egg salad, and the fresh cilantro really works here.  (I think basil would be nice too).  I opted to stick with green onion instead of adding jalapeƱo to the mix but might try the pepper next time.  You know, living on the wild side!


I like to stretch my lunch out like a 20 minute snackfest so instead of a sandwich I piled the eggvocado salad high on pita crackers with tomato wedges.  A little extra sprinkle of salt brought it all home.

Later I may have cleaned the bowl with my finger.  Another delicious perk of working from home where no one can see me.


Two mucky thumbs up.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Playfair Park

The little Miss Chibi and I get bored walking down the street to our same old park all of the time.  Michael suggested I try walking over to another nearby park to check out their amazing Rhododendrons instead!

Playfair Park is a little far for us to walk on a work day so we drove over but did enjoy a quick stroll through the absolutely amazing Rhodos and then a heart pumping walk up the hills of the residential area around the park.


Probably a better place for a picnic rather than a workout walk but still one of the most beautiful hidden gems in all of Victoria.  Lovely!


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Monday, May 14, 2012

At Home With Mom


This weekend was all about my Mama!  Being that it was not only Mother’s Day yesterday, but also her birthday!  Happy Birthday, Mama!

Hilariously I only took a picture of her giant card and the traditional annual hanging basket I brought her.  One year we might actually take pictures of US! 


While I let her sleep in yesterday morning I decided to take Chibi on another stroll around my childhood neighbourhood.  We have already walked around my old high school in the snow and last month we took a wander to the nearby mall so this time I decided to head for some nature and took in the Colliery Dam Park in Nanaimo. 


When I was a kid we used to have to climb over a huge, scary fence and run through a field (we were sure there was a mean bull in there!) to get to the park from my house, but now the field is gone and houses have been built, and along with those houses came a proper pathway right to the entrance of the park.


So much development has gone on in the area that I was not entirely sure what to expect at the park.  I’m happy to report that it’s still just as lush and beautiful as ever!  In fact, I don’t remember it being this nice when I was a kid! 


In high school phys ed we occasionally had to run from the school to this park, through the trails and back down the other side.  We HATED the ‘Dam Run’.  After walking through it yesterday I now realize we had no idea what we were talking about!  It’s gorgeous.


No trip down memory lane is complete without a trek through the school field.  The Dogwood trees are in bloom right now and I’m in love.


Not a bad way to spend a gloriously sunny morning at home!

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Friday, May 11, 2012

Cookies for Breakfast

Did you guys know it was Friday today?  I think I missed that memo.  My week has completely disappeared!  Not that I’m complaining…I’m just realizing that my blog sat empty of posts all week and I didn’t even notice.  Awful I tell you.  Just awful!

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Mainly it’s because I’ve been a busy girl, I’ve barely eaten at home let alone create anything delicious to share with you, and the majority of my ‘workouts’ this week have been walking the dog around the block in between work projects.

But not to worry!  Last night after I got through work and a visit with my bestie I rummaged around the kitchen and came up with enough yummy ingredients to invent a quick little breakfast cookie to share.

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Of course, you could eat these any time but since I munched down three with my coffee this morning I must refer to them as breakfast cookies!


Blueberry-Apricot Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

Yields 20 cookies, give or take a few

approximately 110 calories each as per MyFitnessPal


  • 1 cup whole oats
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup dried blueberries
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped small
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted but not boiling or hot
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tbsp orange zest, finely minced
  • 1/4 - 1/3 cup milk (I used vanilla coconut milk)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet or two with parchment paper, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl mix together all dry ingredients, including coconut and dried fruit.
  3. In a separate bowl mix together all wet ingredients, except the milk.
  4. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture, then mix all together using a fork to ensure all dry ingredients are moistened.  Stir in the first 1/4 cup of milk.  Add more milk if necessary to reach a ‘mucky’ consistency.  (You are looking for the dough to be moist but still holding together to form the cookies).
  5. Scoop dough by spoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, just until bottoms become golden.  Cool on baking rack.

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I didn’t use quite enough butter in mine and then cooked my first batch about a minute too long so they are a wee bit dry.  But I’ve altered the recipe for you all so you shouldn’t have any issues.  These are not a sweet cookie which is what makes them nice for breakfast time, but I’d gobble these up with a cup of tea in the evening too.


There’s just something about fresh and chewy dried blueberries!  Love.

What’s your favourite dried fruit?  I love dried cherries but they are seemingly impossible to find around here!

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