The Best Hot Drinks to Warm Your Soul

How are those resolutions going?

January can be such a hard month.  Post-holiday depression, going back to work or school (or both, perhaps), dreary winter weather, and the added pressure of trying to stick with your resolutions.  Amidst all of that, it’s important to find time for yourself and remember what is most important – making sure your soul is rested and nourished. An easy way to make this happen? Grab a warm cup of something blissful and do whatever makes you smile, whether it be watching a movie, reading a book, or just enjoying a bit of quiet time.

5 hot drinks (1)

Find some time to relax and soothe your soul (and beat the winter blues) with one of these amazing hot drinks.

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Vegetarian Black Bean Soup

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Feeling cold? Try this easy soup recipe! It’s a full meal – carbs, protein, veggies, and it packs a kick in the flavour arena.

And hey, haven’t you heard? Beans are the future.

Seriously.  Vegetarian, high protein, and delicious.  Enjoyed by people of all ages and all ethnicities.  A poor man’s food? Bah. Beans are for everyone, rich or poor!

One of my favourite beans is the black bean – thrown into a salad, chilli, tacos, wraps, or this delicious black bean soup.  Continue reading

Nutty Almond Shortbread

There is nothing like a good cup of tea.  It can soothe your worries, warm you up, or heal you if you’re feeling sick.  Coffee is great for waking up or working all night long, but tea begs you to relax and renew.  Think of it like yoga in a mug.  Plus, with a bajillion varieties of tea out there, there’s always some variety of tea you’ll enjoy.  From green tea to chamomile, vanilla to licorice, the sky is the limit with tea!

That being said, sometimes too much choice can be overwhelming.  Especially when it means to try out new varieties you end up whole packages, when really what you want to do is sample and try out new flavours.  I often stay within a “tea comfort zone” because I don’t want to get a tea that I don’t like and be stuck with a whole pack of it.  Tea shops are great places to try out new teas, but when I recently heard about a tea subscription service, I was immediately interested.  I realized later that I have a close friend who had subscribed to this service and loved it, so I was excited when I had a chance to try out a tea box from Tea Sparrow. Continue reading

Chocolate Magic Shell & the Hunt for the Perfect Ice Cream

2 ingredient magic shell

Warning: this post is totally out of season. Come back next week for a great soup recipe, because if you’re looking for a way to keep warm, this post isn’t going to help you one bit!

This year had way less ice cream in it than most years. Usually ice cream is a dependency in the summer months. I love cool weather, and I use ice cream as a survival tactic through the hot months. But not this year.  The reason? Despite always reading the labels on the food we eat, I stopped to really examine my favourite flavour of vanilla ice cream. Here’s what I found:

Cream, Modified Milk Ingredients, Sugar, Glucose, Mono and Diglycerides, Locust Bean Gum, Cellulose Gum, Guar Gum, Carrageenan, Dextrose, Natural Flavour. Continue reading

Vegetarian Pho

 

Vegetarian Pho

You know how in Friends the gang has Central Perk? Well in university, my friends and I had Golden Train Express II. We would gather there for pho at all hours of the day and enjoy delicious Vietnamese food while creating amazing memories and developing a special friendship.  We had our regular order and waitress (oh Helen!) and loved the tacky mix of Vietnam meets Greece meets a bit of everything else with a few TVs and a fish tank thrown in for good measure.

We would usually all order some variety and size of pho. Delicious, hot, comforting bowls of noodle soup would be slurped up as we chatted our way through some memorable meals.  Pho is still one of my favourite foods. If you have never tried pho before, let’s start with the pronunciation.  While we spent most of our time at Golden Train Express II pronouncing the dish “faux,” the correct pronunciation is actually “feu” (as in French for “fire,” from the French dish “pot au feu”).  It is commonly served in a beef or chicken broth with noodles, meat, and garnished with your choice of bean sprouts, mint, basil, chili peppers, cilantro, and lime. Continue reading

How to become a blueberry: 101

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Brought home a few blueberries today.  A few as in…50 lbs.  That’s a lot of blueberries, but who can resist them? When it was just Arun and I eating them, we could make our way through 30-35 lbs of blueberries in the off season, no problem.  Little Bear has no problem eating his way through bowls and bowls and bowls of blueberries, so this year we decided to up the amount that we buy.

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The Easiest Recipe Ever (aka Corn Mango Salsa)

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If you can handle making ice or peeling bananas, I promise you, you can make this corn salsa! This recipe highlights some of my favourite ingredients: corn (cue the sisters breaking out into a chorus of the unfortunate childhood nickname, “Mrs. Corn!”), cilantro, and anything citrus (in this case, lime). This recipe takes no time to prepare, lends itself easily to variations, and can be made well in advance and refrigerated until ready to use. Not a super spicy recipe, but if you want more of a kick, replace the banana peppers with jalapeños…or if you’re just plain crazy for spice, then throw in a scotch bonnet. This salsa goes beautifully with avocado, and looks adorable served up within the avocado!
I love this alongside seared Ahi tuna, but it would go equally well with a tofu steak! Or just grab some chips and call it a day!

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Hornby Island Energy Bars: Healthy, Local and Delicious

So I have to start with a confession.  I’ve lived in the Vancouver area pretty much my whole life, but I’ve never been to Hornby Island.  For those who don’t know, Hornby Island is a small island off of Denman Island (a slightly larger island off of Vancouver Island).  To get there from the mainland, you have to get on a ferry to Vancouver Island, then take a ferry to Denman Island, and then a third and final ferry to Hornby Island.  It’s quite the trip, but from what I’ve heard, is extremely rewarding once you get to Hornby Island.  Quiet and beautiful, Hornby Island is home to only 1000 full-time residents.

Hornby Island is definitely on my bucket list of places to go.

But until then, I luckily have a much faster way to get my hands on these:

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Healthy and indulgent? Could it be true? These delicious bars come from Hornby Island Energy Balls & Bars, a company that has been around on Hornby Island since 1993 and have now (thankfully) expanded into the Lower Mainland. Their bars come in 4 varieties: Carob, Sesame, Gourmet Sesame, and Tahini.

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