Communal Table, Thanksgiving and Recent Eats

A new program has been established at the University of Calgary called The Communal Table. Every month, a group of us takes a crop from a local farmer, prepares it and eats it together. For the first event, we used locally grown potatoes, hand harvested by some of the participants in the program and made gnocchi from scratch.

The objective of the program is to bring back a sence of community and connection in terms of food. It’s rare that in the hustle-bustle of our lifestyles that anyone stops to harvest, cook, share and eat a meal together.

We baked, peeled, mashed, mixed, kneaded, rolled and sliced our way to beautiful little pillows of poatoey dumplings, enjoyed with a fresh salad with local beets and carrots (that tasted like candy) and a dessert of organic berries with honey and cinnamon.

We were also fortunate enough to be addressed by Rod from Leaf & Lyre — a family business using SPIN (small plot intensive) farming to cultivate backyard gardens in the city.

It was a real pleasure to see Rod’s clear passion for local and sustainable practises in an urban environment as well as embracing traditional practices that bring food and people together.

*Insert awkward transition here*

HI! Here’s some brand new information: It’s been busy. I keep trying to remind myself that blogging is much like cleaning my room. Take a little time to do it daily, or wait for it to pile up into a big mess that my mom eventually cleans up out of frustration. 

But some days, when you have every minute stuffed from 5:30 to 11:00, taking pictures of, editing pictures of, and posting pictures of your food just doesn’t happen. Here’s a quick update though!

A few weeks ago I had an incredible green Thai curry with yams, coconut milk and chicken. I recreated it at home with tofu, sweet potato, mushrooms, and broccoli.

Perfect protein pancakes with almond butter and grilled bananas

French toast with cinnamon spiked pumpkin, almond butter, and grilled bananas

One of my favorite combinations —  grilled carrot/ cinnamon/ almond butter wrap

We had our usual Thanksgiving dinner with the family this past weekend. It’s always a great evening of food and family, but the days leading up are nothing less than blood, sweat, tears, screaming babies and shattered glass. I love the holidays.

We are 100% incapable of taking a decent picture together.

On my plate was a heap of salad {my uncle has a secret/ AMAZING dressing recipe. There are rarely any salad left overs}, green beans, mashed potatoes n’ gravy, mac & cheese, and perfect turkey with home-made cranberry sauce. After a full day of cooking and very little eating this plate disappeared in a flash.

After a bit of digestion we dug into dessert which is always my project during the holidays. I joked that I woke up a few weeks ago in a cold sweat after dreaming up this dessert.

1st layer: Browned butter pumpkin blondie
2nd layer: Salted pecan praline
3rd layer: Village Ice cream Salted Caramel Ice cream
4th layer: Cinnamon whipped cream.

Just ridiculous and thoroughly enjoyed, but this week was back to the usual, starting with a neon green beverage.

Romaine, spinach, lemon, apple, ginger. Good news, it’s almost the weekend — aaaand I’m working every day of it. Sad Trombone.

Favorite Flavours

So ends this fantastic weekend! I’m going to go ahead and take all the positive vibes with me into the week. Nothing extraordinary happened, I just ended up doing most of the things that I really enjoy!

This morning I made another weekend kind of meal:

French toast with baked (nuked) apple slices, cinnamon, peanut butter and granola sprinkles.

Digestion -> Kickboxing! !

I sweat out all my sodium durring todays class because after a shower and 100 bottles of water, all I wanted was NaCl + CHO <- salty carbs. Sometimes I miss my nutrition classes!

Quinoa with veggies and chickpeas, topped with olives, hummus and feta.

After I snapped a picture the entire plate was drowned in hot sauce. The hummus/ feta/ hot sauce flavour combo is one of my favorites! Try it as a salad dressing, on a sweet potato, or in a grain dish like this one.

I meant to tidy up my room, but when ever I try, I end up playing dress up with all of my clothes and making a bigger mess than there was before! D’oh.

My mom guilt tripped me into watching Breaking Dawn with her when she got back from yoga and I had a pb + j smoothie as a movie snack

1/2 frozen banana, 2 strawberries, 2 tbsp. peanut flour, 1/2 c. almond milk. I am officially obsessed with peanut flour!

Freedom Run

It is so freakin’ hot here in the city of Calgary.

Monday, FUNDAY: School->work->physical activity.  It is one of those days that you have one of two choices of how you want to go about it. You can bitch and moan about how you`re going to be sitting in a desk from 8:00 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. and then somehow muster up the energy to go for a run, OR you can wake up, tell yourself it`s going to be the best day that you`ve had in a while and get it done. Guess which one I chose #crazyladymumblingpositivemantrasbeforethesuncomesup

on the schedule for tonight was a freedom run

“whats a freedom run?”

So glad you asked!

It’s a run with no consideration in regards to pace, distance, where the hell I’m going whether I walk, run, cartwheel, whether my legs are shaved (they weren’t) whether I stop for several downward dogs along the way (I did) and whether I lose restraint over my middle finger and it ascends to the heavens when the true charmers of this city decide to honk and bark (seriously) out their windows. bravo gentlemen, bravo.

I ran from work down the river in the opposite direction that I usually go until I began to feel lost and started getting anxious. At that point all I could think was “this is just like a scene from that episode of Criminal Minds” I high tailed it back to work where I left my stuff, and scurried on home.

Freedom runs are the best! Because I’m not training for any kind of race right now I don’t feel the need to put any pressure on myself in terms of consistency in pace and running to walking ratios, or even running in general! I only get a running craving once or twice a week so I deal with them as they come. No garmin, just my cheesy running music (the only situation when Ke$sha is appropriate is when you need a liiiittle extra push during a run) and my sneaks.

My smoothie addiction is still going strong, but let me show you Sunday morning brunch

It is crucial that you let your bread go stale for French Toast! STALE Multigrain baguette slices, dipped in egg/milk/vanilla/cinnamon French toasted and dipped in an almond butter and maple syrup mixture. Burries on the side. So good for soaking up the giggle water from the night before

I went out on Saturday night for a friend’s birthday and was out until 4 am (I am too much of a grandmother to be doing this!) and slept until 11-freaking-30 my productive Sunday was shot, I basically stared hopelessly at my Chemistry textbook for two hours -it’s like the words bounce off of my eyeballs!- went to yoga, karma cleaning, made a smoothie and went to bed.

My brother got back today from a month and a half backpacking trip across India, I’m off to go hear about his adventures!

Home Alone

Last night, I got home at 10:30 p.m. from my evening classes.

The house was dark, my brother was out and the front door was un-locked.

I watch WAY too much Criminal Minds to not be freaked out by this situation.

I grabbed a steak knife and checked all the upstairs rooms.

I also left a shoe next to the basement door so that if I heard THAT move, I’d be out of there.

I also jumped when my bread popped out of the toaster.

I also hung out with the steak knife next to me all night.

Clearly, I didn’t sleep very well last night and slept in until 9 this morning. Before he left last night, my brother left two peices of bread out that became completely stale by the time I found them. I was in the middle of writing him an angry note, because that’s how we communicate in this house, but instead I made french toast with them for breakfast and didn’t share. Take that!

High School Flashback

Last night, I made dinner to bring over to my friend Brittany‘s house for a sleep over. (The one laughing like an idiot encouraging Britt in the video on her second last post is yours truly)

When I finished cooking I realized that this dish was vegan, not intentionally I swear! It turned out okay, but needs tweaking. It was basically whole-wheat pasta, broccoli, asparagus and chickpeas tossed in a mix of tomato-basil sauce and hummus. I topped it with a crust of crushed Melba toast, nutritional yeast and Earth Balance vegan margarine.

I ended up getting to hang out with my three best friends from high school last night, completely spontaneously. We watched Keeping Up With the Kardashians (sorry brain cells…) in our pajamas and it felt like no time passed since high school. It made me happy.

Brittany and I woke up at 10 (!!) to get ready for yoga, breakfast first though! I shamelessly rummaged through Britt’s kitchen and we made French toast.

-simple egg, milk and vanilla custard, flax bread, cooked in a little bit of butter, sprinkled with brown sugar and cinnamon and broiled-

We walked to yoga, it’s a beaaaautiful day.

I’m finally home, and since I didn’t get my usual breakfast this morning…

Yeah.