Cooking up Something Good

Monday again, and it’s about time to we talk about cooking and meal planning. I think I have a “My Strange Addiction” to eating out. Seriously. Send Help. It’s not because I can’t cook, or don’t have the time to cook, I just seriously love going out to restaurants and cafes and spending all of my time (and money) there.

My favourite meal is brunch, I love getting up late and still being able to eat breakfast food at noon. Unfortunately I work every weekend, so I don’t get to have cool hip brunch dates very often. Maybe that’s why I jump at the chance to eat out? (or at least that’s what I’m telling myself- pretty weak excuse if you ask me)

I’m on a pretty tight budget (I can get my weekly shops to under $40), so unfortunately a lot of my income is spent feeding my addiction. Do you ever have those day where you think “Wow if I hadn’t spent all that money on ____ I’d have so much extra money”? That’s me every pay period with my restaurant recipes. But oddly at the same time I don’t regret it. Eating out provides the opportunity to spend time with friends (where one friend is burdened with all the cooking), you don’t have to clean up, and it’s not time sensitive (aka you can come late and I won’t be angry that dinner was ready on the table).

But in all seriousness I’ve been trying to save up some money (exciting things to come), so I am trying to narrow down my eating out to once or twice a week- and no booze!

I actually really love cooking and so if I just saved all that money and cooked I would not only be able to achieve my goals, but also destress and listen to some great podcasts, but also eat a little healthier!

That’s all for now! Happy cooking!

K

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Italian Cusine

Hey Lovely Readers!

So, today is Wednesday! Happy Hump Day! For Wednesdays we always do a “What I Ate Wednesday” which is obviously my favourite day, because I jam pack it with delicious and awesome food! Last night my “prepping” for the blog was basically eating out at a super amazing Italian restaurant so I could nip the craving in the bud. In previous posts I’ve mentioned that Kathleen and I lived in Italy for a month, so now being home, every now and then I really crave some good Italian food, which can be hard to come by. Well I found a great place, its called Buco! I’m sure most of you have heard about it because it is a chain, but if you haven’t tried it, it is amazing!

Now it’s time to make your mouth water! Before I get into it, I will say that if you are looking for vegan or need gluten free options, they’ve got you covered. Also, I did not order a drink last night, but they have a large selection of wines, desert wines, and different beers and cocktails. The whole backside of their menu is dedicated to drinks if you’re looking for that. They, also, have different nights too, such as bring your own wine, or $10 pizza, etc.

Everything I ordered I shared with a friend, so the first thing we got was a precetta bruschetta, because if you’re eating Italian, you need to start with bruschetta. This was amazing. It was just one piece of bread loaded with tomato, cilantro, garlic, topped with bacon and a little bit of cheese. We split it in half and it was sufficient for us, it was very much loaded .

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Next, we ordered a Margarita pizza- which is a classic Italian pizza. In Italy, Kathleen and I ordered this pretty much everyday for a month and never grew sick of it. If you want to compare it to a place, I would say it’s a pizza directly from Rome. It was thin crust with tomato sauce and topped with basil and bits of cheese. This took me right back to my home in Italy. It was delicious.

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Last, we had desert and coffee. I ordered a cappuccino and we shared a trio of gelato and sorbetto. The cappuccino was very good, and had a tiny spoon and biscuit which was insanely cute and made me feel fancy. For the gelato and sorbetto it is chef’s choice, but they do give you an option. Of course we tried all three flavours- strawberry sorbetto, vanilla and coconut gelato. It looked so tasty, that my friend took a bite of it before I even got a picture done! It was very tasty as well.

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Overall, I was super impressed. It was exactly what I wanted for Italian food, and fixed up that craving I tend to get. It was also super affordable. Pizza was $10 that day, and with everything we got, we didn’t spend over $20. In addition, we were very full after, but it was a very light meal. The restaurant is super clean, and nicely decorated inside. The food tasted great. Our server was lovely, and the owners daughter was playing and hanging out with some of waitresses, which just finished off that big Italian family feel that I loved in Italy. Definitely a 5/5 from me!

To Veg or Not Veg

Good Morning guys! It’s Monday and today I’d like to talk to you about motivation and diet. Diet, not in the sense of “weight loss”, but how you eat day to day; I’m a vegetarian, have been for ten years, and I have no problem identifying with that label. For the past two years I have been playing with being a vegan. I cook all of my meals vegan, I only drink non-dairy milks in my coffee, but I am hesitant to say I’m a vegan in front of my friends and family. When my boyfriend or family cooks dinner for me, I tell them vegetarian is enough of an accommodation, they don’t have to cook vegan; when I’m working (I work at a patisserie) and there are leftover pastries I eat them.

I can’t seem to figure out where this lack of commitment to veganism comes from so I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about the connotations of vegan, and veganism. Aside from the obviously (hippies who only eat hemp etc etc we’ve all seen the movies), I think there is an inherent assumption that vegans are going to waste away in front of you. As a vegetarian I’ve had to deal with my fair share of “you’re never going to get enough iron”, “how do you get enough protein”, and back when I ate a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet (eggs and dairy people), my answer was always “Well I eat eggs”, “I eat cheese and dairy”. But actually when I started to think about the treatment of chickens who produce eggs, or cows on dairy farms, they were being treated as terrible as those used for meat. Now when veganism comes up and they ask “But how do you get enough protein?” and I say lentils, I get a blank stare followed by the typical “well that’s not enough protein”. At this point my argument falls apart, I don’t have numbers to crunch in front of these people – I can’t say how much protein is in a steak versus a cup of lentils, all I know is that I’m getting enough protein. I’m not calcium deficient because green leafy vegetable contain calcium, so do almonds (and many other vegan foods), but I don’t have a number to tell you so you can compare it to dairy products.

At work I eat these pastries because I don’t want to miss out. But really miss out on what? Sure they’re super tasty but at the end of the day I would feel so much better if, when I go to bed, I had just left them.

Does anyone else struggle with this type of motivation? I’m so motivated to be a vegan I feel so good in my body and my heart when I eat vegan. But people sure don’t hold back on their opinions when they talk about veganism. I have started telling strangers “oh sorry I’m a vegan”, just to test it out and see what it feels like. News flash, it feels good and no one has challenged me to a “muscle-off” yet. Well it’s the start of a new week so I’ll just keep this vegan train rolling. Whatever goals you have this week, it’s Monday! Start fresh and keep that motivation going!

Good Luck!

K