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.

Pumpkins and Pancakes

I am happily settling in to the swing of things. My days are busy but not overwhelming and I’m maintaining a happy balance of work, school and play. Clearly I need to be just the slightest bit more organized, though, so that I can squeeze in a few more blog posts in the week! So much to blog so little time!

I wanted to share a new addition to the breakfast rotation. It’s cooling down in the mornings so I’m not having big green smoothies quite as often – I still do enjoy them, after I’m bundled up in sweats, wool socks, my favourite hoodie and nestled underneath a blanket next to a space heater…

I make pancakes every once in a while using spelt, buckwheat or oat flour. Or if I’m feeling particularly lazy, I simply use Kodiak Mix. All of the outcomes are delicious but pancakes have a funny way of leaving me STUFFED at the scene, then famished an hour later. No bueno.

I’ve heard good things of this recipe for protein pancakes. I never thought I would be one to have protein powder as a dietary staple, but it really does help to power me through busy mornings.

Here’s one variation with bananas (cooked inside) with drippy almond butter and raspberry chia jam

and another with pure pumpkin and dark chocolate mixed into the batter with bananas, almond butter and pure maple syrup.

Besides enjoying these comforting short-stacks for breakfast, I’ve officially crossed over into the dark orange side: PUMPKIN EVERYTHING.

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie — You can find the recipe over at YYsCene Magazine, where I contribute posts weekly

Pumpkin Overnight Oats.

  • 1/3  c. oatmeal
  • 1 tbsp. Sunwarrior protein powder
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1/4 c. pure pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 c. almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger

Leave in the fridge to soak overnight and top with pure maple syrup, chopped pear, almond butter, and trail mix.

 

The best kind of Saturday

I don’t think I’ve experienced ONE negative thought this whole day. I slept until 8:00 and woke up to make a breakfast worthy of the weekend.

Peanut Flour Pancakes. I know I’m a bit behind on the peanut flour trend but I’m glad I finally jumped on the bandwagon. Gluten-free, 16 grams of protein per serving and delicious. It’s not available in any Calgary stores (that I’m aware of) but I ordered it from here and it was on my door step in two days!

I’m excited about this stuff because I have yet to find a protein powder that I like, but this could serve as a good supplement in smoothies or to make bars with. My protein needs aren’t terribly high, but while carbohydrates fill me up at the meal, protein is what keeps me full, and who likes to be hungry? Not to mention, I become terribly unpleasant the moment my blood sugar dips.

Anywho, mix:

  • 1/3 c. peanut flour
  • 1/2 tbsp. ground flax
  • 1 tbsp oat bran
  • 1/4 c. almond milk
  • 2 tbsp egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • pinch of salt

then cook in a lightly greased pan, shower with toppings and enjoy!

Next time, I will add cinnamon and vanilla extract, I don’t know why I skipped those today.

I decided I wanted a tall stack of mini cakes rather than one or two big ones, which is what I usually do.

Topped with seared banana (just half a banana sliced through the middle and fried alongside the cakes!) greek yogurt, maple syrup and extra peanut butter. The peanut flour is de-fatted and fat is what ensures maximum rib-stickage for me!

Good breakfast.

After I cleaned up from breakfast I headed to The Yoga Passage for 11:30 Ashtanga 2 followed by 1:15 Restorative. I can’t even express how happy I am to have this place be a part of my life. I want to do this every day for the rest of my life (and my next life) I found that this past week I was a little bit hard on myself and overly analytical and lo and behold all of those thoughts and feelings magically dissolved after my practise thanks to my teachers’ always powerful words.

almost went right home after yoga, but hanging out at Starbucks for a couple of hours with the book I’m reading for my English class sounded much more inviting. What is it about coffee shops that makes a person infinitely more productive?

Dinner was roasted Cornish game hen with roasted veggies and baguette

I found WINE

Hope you all have had an equally fantastic Saturday. Seeya tomorrow!

SUN day

It’s so increadibly shiney outside I need to finish my chores quickly so I can get out and play today!

Breakin’ Fast.


Apple Spice Pancakes

INGREDIENTS
1 1/4 c. whole-wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/2 c. apple sauce
1 egg
1 c. unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
coconut oil for cooking

DIRECTIONSIn a bowl combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In a seperate bowl, mix apple sauce, egg, almond milk and vanilla. Stir dry ingredients into the wet, cook on medium high heat in a coconut-oil greased pan. Enjoy with your choice of toppings.

GET BUSY

Banana Crunch Pancakes

G’mornin!

Banana Crunch Pancakes

Serves 3-5

INGREDIENTS
1 1/4 c. whole-grain flour
2 tsp. bakin powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 c. almond milk
1 egg
1 ripe banana, mashed
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. butter, for cooking
1/2 c. granola * I used Nature’s Path Ancient Grains

DIRECTIONS
In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. In a seperate bowl, beat the egg, mix in the milk, mashed banana, and vanilla. Add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and mix until just combined

Lightly grease a skillet on medium heat with butter and cook your pancakes until you begin to see bubbles on the uncooked side. Before you flip your pancakes, sprinkle some granola into the batter.

Carefully flip to cook the other side and enjoy with your choice of toppings!

Peanut butter and maple syrup water fall.

Peaches n’ Cream

Helluva good breakfast today

Pancakes pancakes pancakes !!!!

  • 1/2 c. whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp. flax
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 c. almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

I sprinkled the pancakes with sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries before flipping them. Topped with sunflowerseed butter and a mixture of plain greek yogurt and a chopped peach.

I’ve been a bit of a hermit lately and I’m making up for it today! Meeting Preeya and another friend for lunch at Spoon Me – yes I plan on having frozen yogurt for lunch today- and then meeting my friend Nat for dinner! Then Yoga! I like today.

Drizzle Drizzle

The sky is grey and leaking!

But I’m not complaining. My plans for the day are to do laundry, bake and go to a hot yoga class, but that isn’t until 8:00 tonight. For now I’m enjoying this gloomy, lazy day.

 First thing first.

~Whole-wheat blueberry banana pancakes with greek yogurt and a drizzle each of peanut butter and maple syrup~

This was like a grown-up version of the pancakes my best friend and I would make at her house when we had sleep-overs in high school. We would sleep until noon and make banana chocolate chip pancakes with equal parts whipped cream from a can.

The Last Breakfast

It’s the last breakfast of vegan for a week, so I wanted to make it a special one.

Orange Coconut Oatmeal Pancakes

Serves 1

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 3/4 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 tsp agave syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp grated orange zest
  • 1 1/2 tbsp shredded, unsweetened coconut
  •  

    Directions:

    In a food processor, pulverize the oats into a fine powder. Combine oat flour with the remaining dry ingredients. Add the milk, agave, vanilla and orange zest to the dry ingredients and stir. Grease a medium skillet (I used earth balance but coconut oil would be great) and ladle in small spoonfuls on medium heat. Sprinkle equal amounts of coconut onto each pancake before flipping (save some for garnish!). When bubbles start to form around the edges, flip pancakes and cook the other side.

    This recipe makes five baby pancakes. I served mine with a little maple syrup and shredded coconut but the possibilities are really endless! I want to try them with coconut butter or reduced orange juice, and I’m almost positive that dark chocolate chips would take these over the edge. Next time! Because there will most definitely be a next time.