Thursday, March 29, 2012

Chocolate mooooooose

So I'll warn you in advance that the pictures in this post aren't exactly beautiful...and that the title is very deceiving because there are no moose in this post. The closest that this post will come to moose is the fact that I am Canadian...and there are moose in my country. Sorry to disappoint all you moose fans.

However, what I will be talking about is a delicious chocolate mousse that I made today. Not only was it delicious, but it had a very secret, special ingredient...


Now before you run away and hurl yourself over a bridge just hear me out. I swear that you can't taste the tofu in this!!! Actually, I promise you can't because tofu itself doesn't have much taste to it and literally takes on the flavour of whatever you add to it.

Like chocolate, for instance ;)

Not only does this dessert taste delicious but it's extreeeeemly easy to make. Just throw the tofu, melted chocolate chips, vanilla, milk, cocoa powder and salt in a blender and blend to your little heart's desire (or until it's super smooth).

Like so (told you the pictures weren't pretty!):

Once you have a taste you won't believe that this chocolate mousse is actually kinda good for you. Both of my roomies were fooled!

But don't take my word for it. Try it yourself ;).

Chocolate Mousse (adapted slightly from ChocolateCoveredKatie)
  • 1/2 package firm or medium-firm tofu (~6oz)
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 Tbsp milk (if you're using firm tofu you may need more)
  • a pinch of salt
Melt chocolate chips in microwave. Put everything in the blender and blend until very smooth. Serve and enjoy!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Granola Love

Yesterday, I came across the most delicious granola on the planet. Well, I can't really confirm that it's the most delicious on the planet but I can say with certainty that it's the best granola I have ever tried in my 20+ years of life.

Say hello to Love Grown Granola.

I've actually heard about it from several blogs that I read but it was (sadly) never carried by my local grocery stores...until now!

I can't even express how excited I was when I saw these packages in the health foods section. My mom was with me at the time and must have thought I was insane as I was pointing at them and jumping up and down for joy.

Food geek? Yes. And proud of it!

I couldn't choose from all of their flavours so I grabbed 3 types: Apple Walnut Coconut Delight, Raisin Almond Coconut Crunch, and Sweet Coconut Cranberry Pecan (pictured below).

And the best part is that it's healthy!! The granola is free of refined sugar, trans fat, artificial flavours, wheat, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, preservatives, and GMOs. You can also tell from the website that the owners are passionate about their products and life itself!

That compleeeeeetely excuses the multiple handfuls I've eaten today...right... :P.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

"Practice what you preach" Fitness Challenge 2012

Speaking as someone who will be a doctor in just over 2 years (ahhh!! how is the time flying by so quickly??) I know that there are a lot of responsibilities put on health care professionals when it comes to patient care. But one of the unspoken responsibilities (at least for me personally) is following the advice that we give. We are the faces of healthcare, after all.

Although I try to do this, there are days where I honestly would rather not go to the gym, or where I give into that second slice of cake (and third...and fourth), or where that strawberry margarita tastes soooo good. 

Luckily for me, I'm in a class filled with keeners...and there's one guy in particular who went above and beyond to organize the first annual...

 Practice What You Preach: Health Professions Fitness Challenge

The challenge was to have as many health care professional students participate in a 5km or 10km walk/run, and the class with the greatest participation would win. Physio ended up taking home the well-deserved trophy :).

It was a beautiful morning for the run. Clear skies, a cool breeze, and very little wind.

Med II/III ready to rock the race!

Although I was tempted to take my phone along to capture the scenery around Point Pleasant Park I eventually accepted the fact that I would probably hate myself after 10 minutes of running with it in my hand. Sadly, this means no pics of the race itself :(.

I wasn't in the best of conditions to run this morning but I still had fun! I tried to ignore everyone else around me and see this as a race against myself. I really wanted to get under an hour and was optimistic of beating my last 10km race time of 56:32. My other goals were to go the whole race without walking (especially up hills) and to sprint to the finish.

Ends up I reached all my goals today! While I'm not positive of my time I think it was somewhere around 52 minutes. I can't wait to see the official results :).

Post-race, proud of our accomplishment

The running man himself - Mike Steeves. Thanks for organizing this awesome event!

After the race a group of us went to Coastal Cafe for lunch. It's one of my favourite places to go for comforting, quality breakfast food.

After several minutes of contemplating the menu, I decided to go with the Forager:

Omelette with fancy mushrooms, herbs, and goats cheese with a warm new potato and micro green salad, Dijon sauce and whole wheat toast.

Besides being absolutely delicious, it was exactly what my body needed to refuel. Well, that and a cup of coffee.

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Sweet Potato Fries

I have a love-hate relationship with sweet potatoes.

See, what I love about them is the final product - the flavour, the texture, and the fact that they're packed full of vitamins.

But the big problem lies in cutting them.

Dear friends, if you have an easy solution of how to cut raw sweet potatoes, please let me know! One that preferably doesn't result in utter frustration and violent outbursts.

I eventually did make my through one though.

And had the strength/patience to cut it into segments that almost looked like fries.

I doused them with some olive oil and sprinkled salt and pepper on them.

Then I decided that they would be amazing with a light drizzle of honey and a dusting of cinnamon.

They baked at 425F for about 30 minutes (flipped halfway through). While they weren't crispy like restaurant-style sweet potato fries they still had a wonderful savoury flavour and texture.


Looks like I'll have to get over my hatred of chopping sweet potatoes. Either that or see this as the perfect opportunity to invest in a Shun Ken Onion Chef's Knife...

...yeah, I'll keep dreaming about the day that will happen.

Sweet Potato Fries
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • ~2 tbsp olive oil
  • tsp salt (1/4 tsp)
  • pepper (1/8 tsp)
  • honey (1 tbsp)
  • cinnamon (1/2 tsp)
Note about ingredients: I literally just eyeballed the spices as I went so these are not accurate measurements. They are close guestimates. But the beauty of this recipe is that you can tailor the ingredients to your liking!

Preheat oven to 425F.

Cut sweet potato into strips. Place in a bowl and drizzle olive oil over the sweet potato. Toss until sweet potato is lightly coated in oil.

Place sweet potato strips on a baking sheet. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and cinnamon evenly them and then drizzle lightly with honey.

Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes, flipping the sweet potato fries after 15 minutes so the other side cooks.

Eat alone or with ketchup for extra flavour!

Friday, March 23, 2012

summer in march & midnight movies (hunger games review)

Yesterday may have been the most perfect day thus far of the year.

The temperature went to a soaring 28 degrees which is VERY was practically summer! I'm a bit of a weather geek and got all giddy when I saw that the average temperature for this time of year is 4.0 degrees and the historical record high for March 22 was 11.8 degrees. Looks like we just blew that one out of the water!

The warm weather didn't deter me and my roomie from going for a run. In fact, it drew us out! Although it probably wasn't the best idea to go at 1:30pm, but fear not...we lathered on the SPF 60 :).

Maybe it's just me but it was a little strange to see the trees so bare with the heat.

After our "intense" run we rewarded ourselves with a little sunbathing on Citadel Hill.

It almost looks like we live in some desert land with the brown grass :P.

I was contemplating going out for sushi with a friend but it was definitely patio weather! Dinner was at the Argyle where a group of us hoped to get a spot on the rooftop. Unfortunately people just weren't leaving, and although we were told it would be a 45 minute wait it ended up that we would have had to wait 2 hours!! lovely as the patio would have been we decided to stay inside.

As always, I wanted to try everything on the menu. I ended up going splits with my roomie and we shared the Artichoke and Roasted Spinach Pizza... well as the portobello mushroom burger with brie cheese and a side of garden salad.

It's possible that my portobello burgers are just as delicious...maybe even more but I'm definitely biased :P. I loved the bun they used and the touch of brie cheese. Looks like I'll have to try that next time I cook them up!


In the evening my classmate Heather and roomie/classmate Helen went to see the midnight showing of The Hunger Games. We were pumped for it! In the pic below I'm supposed to be holding a spear, Helen has a bow and arrow and Heather...uhhh...I think she's showing her brute strength ;).

We thought that arriving at 10:15 would be pleeeeeeeenty early but apparently we were wrong!! The girls at the front had been there since 6pm., really...that's actually INSANE!!

To the back of the line we went :(.

But it's ok because once we got in the theatre we found decent seats anyways. And we found ways to pass the time, mainly by taking a bunch of fun (and blurry) self-pics...

...and crying internally about our most recent exam. But let's not linger on that topic.

As far as the movie is concerned I'm going to be completely honest with what I thought of it. I really did have very high expectations for the movie so I ended up being a bit disappointed at the end of it...maybe I was just setting it up for failure. But it wasn't even about the acting, costumes, or filming, because those were all good for the most part.

I think the problem was that the book was written in the first person and it's difficult to turn that into a movie. An internal dialogue could have been used but I have a feeling that it wouldn't translate well. There were also a lot of details from the book that were briefly alluded to - which is completely fair - but I don't know how much they would make sense to someone who has not read the book.

Don't get me wrong, all-in-all I did enjoy the movie and its interpretation of certain scenes. And I'm definitely curious to know what other people thought of it. I also have no regrets watching it...although I didn't end up going to sleep until 3am and was in panic mode when Helen woke me up 10 minutes before our 8:30 class. I was only 7 minutes late though. If that's not impressive then I don't know what is :P.

Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The best brownies...ever

I'd be lying to you if I said these brownies were average. I'd also be lying if I told you that this wasn't the best brownie recipe I've ever tried...

...because it is.

The other day I was looking for a decadent dessert for a decadent evening and stumbled upon one at Chocolate Mascarpone Brownies.

My heart swooned at the thought.

So off I rushed to buy the lacking ingredients - mascarpone cheese, whipping cream, and semisweet chocolate. It was only when I got back to my apartment that I realized that I was low on butter. I grabbed my can of unsweetened applesauce from the fridge hoping it would make a decent substitute (which it did!). Applesauce means these brownies are healthy, right? Riiiiight.

Here are the ingredients, minus the sugar...somehow it sneaked its way out of this picture! 

All in all it's a simple recipe (posted at the bottom of this page).

Melt some butter and add applesauce.

When it starts to bubble add the chocolate chips. Let it sit for 30 seconds and then stir.

Then add the sugar and cocoa powder. Stir.

Beat in the eggs, vanilla, and softened mascarpone cheese.

And finally, add the flour and salt and stir.

Bake at 325F for 45-50 minutes (it was 45 for me).

Can you tell we're out of toothpicks by the hole in the centre? Hey, a knife works just as well!! :P

While brownies are cooling you get to make the silky ganache topping!

Semisweet chocolate + whipping cream + butter = heaven!!

Look at how it shines!

Pour the topping onto the brownies and smooth it out.

I ended up sticking my brownies in the fridge to speed up the cooling process. I'm lacking in the department of patience, especially when it comes to dessert.

Cut into squares and test one out...then test another out, just to confirm that they're THAT good.

These beauties are being stored in the fridge until tutorial tomorrow. The top one is to tempt my roomie ;).

But remember, these brownies are also amazing served alongside a scoop of vanilla ice cream and fruit of your choice!

The applesauce substitute...the reduced sugar...the strawberry. Pfffft. If these brownies aren't healthy then I don't know what is! :P

The Best Chocolate Brownies...ever (adapted from here)

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, softened
  • 3 large eggs (at room temperature)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (note: oat flour, made from ground oats, is also a good substitute!)
  • 1/8 tsp salt

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 6 tbsp whipping cream
  • 3 tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 325F. Grease an 8" square pan.


Melt butter in a saucepan then add applesauce. Heat until it just starts to boil then add chocolate chips. Let stand 30 seconds then stir until smooth.

Stir in sugar and cocoa. Beat in mascarpone cheese, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Fold in the flour and salt.

Pour batter into greased pan and spread evenly. Bake 45-50 minutes. Let cool 10-15 minutes while making the ganache.


Heat butter and cream on medium heat until it starts to bubble then add chocolate chips. Let stand 30 seconds. Stir until smooth and shiny.

Pour ganache topping over brownies. It should spread fairly easily when it's still hot.

Let cool at least to room temperature (or place brownies in the fridge until firm). Cut when cool.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Hungry Obsession

You'd think that being on March Break would equate to blogging every single day. Well apparently not because I've had a few distractions lately.

It's not shopping. I got most of that out of my system on Tuesday!

Hellooooo coloured jeans (please ignore my battered feet)!

It's not BBC's Planet Earth that I borrowed from my friend Sarah (aka Pastor Sarah...she's doing her Masters of Divinity right now). Although I admit that I can easily get lost in watching footage in the wild while listening to David Attenborough's comforting voice.

Baby panda...I wonder if I could sneak him into my apartment...

And surprisingly, it's not baking!  Apparently I do most of my baking around exam time as a form of procrastination. Although I must say, I baked what are possibly the best brownies of life the other day and am ecstatic to share it in a future post!

The truth is... I'm officially obsessed with Hunger Games. Obsessed. And there's a part of me that hates admitting that because of all the hype right now but the books are just so freakin' well-written!! Yesterday my older sister graciously lent me her copy of Catching Fire (second in the series) before she had even finished it herself. Talk about sacrifice! Ends up that at 3am my light was still on because I literally could not put it down.

But finishing the book wasn't enough this time around. I ended up running out to buy Mockingjay (the final book) with my sister when...

*insert angelic voices*

Why buy one book for $20 when I could just buy all three for $45? I mean...I'm really saving myself $15, right?

Well, if there was any doubt of my obsession this officially removes it. And if I stay up all night reading this book there's really no one to blame but myself...