Monthly Archives

June 2011

breakfast, cooking tips

The Perfect Poach

Nothing says vacation breakfast quite like a couple of perfectly poached eggs…

Poached Eggs on Toast with Tomato, Arugula & Dijon. Paired with Nature's Path Waffles, Fruit & Yogurt.

Now I know poached eggs are intimidating. More so if you’ve tried once and failed. In fact you probably shudder at the very thought of the frankenstein-like creature you created in your pan, with its creepy egg white tendrils & gloopy bursted yolk. But I swear to you the perfect poach is in your future…And with it, a limitless array of potential brunch options.

The Healthy Hipster’s Perfect Poached Egg Method:

  1. Break your eggs into small cups, bowls or mugs & set aside.
  2. Bring about 1-2 inches of water to a boil in a pan (use one with a tight fitting lid) along with about 2-3 tbsp white vinegar.
  3. Once boiled, add a pinch of salt to the water.
  4. Carefully place your eggs into the water directly from the cup or bowl. Don’t dump it, just immerse the lip of cup in the water and let the egg flow out on its own.
  5. TURN THE HEAT OFF.
  6. Cover your pan and set a timer for your desired amount of doneness. This may vary based on your stove but in my experience 3 minutes for soft, 4 minutes for medium & 5 minutes for hard. I always set mine for 4 minutes, and the result is perfect every time. Play with the timing to suit your taste.
  7. Scoop out with a slotted spoon. If desired, give the egg a slight rinse under warm running water to remove any hint of vinegar. I often skip this step – i like the tartness!

ENJOY! I’m off to enjoy my first cuppa coffee, check out the beach & another beauty day on the Island…

 

 

dinner, recipes, travel

A Simple Island Supper

 Days of driving and one entire audiobook later (The Hunger Games if you’re wondering…my literary tastes on the road are way sophisticated) we have finally arrived on the island. Did I forget to mention it’s paradise?  

The First Supper

Chili Lime Trout with Arugala, Goat's Cheese & Blackberry Salad

 Baked Chili Lime Trout

This meal can be swank or simple depending on your tastes & time constraints. We chose the latter for our first night, since we didn’t have much time and were craving fresh seafood immediately upon our arrival at the shore.

Ingredients

  • 1 large trout fillet
  • salt and pepper
  • chili powder, cumin & red pepper flakes
  • good quality salsa
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 lime
  • olive oil/butter/earth balance

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Rinse and dry 1 large filet of trout. Lay trout out on a piece of tin foil (about double the size of the fish) skin side down. Cover in salt & pepper.
  3. Cover fish in chili powder, cumin & red pepper flakes. Then cover with 1/4 cup salsa, massaging evenly over the fish.
  4. Top with 1 small yellow onion & 1 lime, sliced into rings.
  5. Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil or a few pats of butter/earth balance.
  6. Wrap the trout completely in the foil, leaving no gaps for steam to escape. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until fish is fragrant & the centre flakes easily.

Serve with a side of brown rice, freshly steamed asparagus & a side salad.

Do you get inspired by local food when you travel? What’s yer favourite simple supper?  

cooking tips, travel

Road Trippin’ Volume I: Car Snacks!

As promised I’m revealing the location of my ROAD TRIP today…and I wasn’t kidding when I said it was gonna be epic. This lil hipster is hopping in the car for a solid 18 hour journey to none other than PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND.

Now if you’ve never been to PEI I have created a little mathematical equation to help you understand why this journey is so incredibly worth it to me.

Small Town Hospitality x Pastoral Landscapes + Fresh Local Produce – City Smog
Red Cliffs + Starry Nights x OCEANFRONT CABIN….SQUARED

Now that you understand better why I’m going on this East Coast Pilgrimage, allow me to explain how it is I plan on getting through the trip. The answer is simple: Food.

THE HAUL

Top 6 Tips for Snacking on the Open Road!

  1. Plan ahead! The only way to have the snacks you heart & the fuel you need is to think about it and buy em beforehand. So get to it mmkay.
  2. Invest in a cooler. Nothing says hip like food safety, right? But seriously food poisoning on an 18 hour drive? H-E-Double-Hockeysticks ON EARTH.
  3. Bring FUN snacks that also happen to be wholesome. You definitely don’t need to abandon your munchie impulse altogether in favour of celery sticks & rice cakes (how sad that would be!) By planning ahead you can achieve MAXIMUM SNACK SATISFACTION without caving to the overpriced nutritional wasteland of gas station grub.
  4. Drink water. Sitting in a dry car for hours on end is suprisingly exhausting. And whether you’re on your own or with a car full of folks, forgetting to hydrate is dangerous bizness.
  5. Aim for diversity. When it comes to food groups  this means covering all your bases (carb, protein, fat & fibre) and when we’re talking fruit & veg this means colours! This will ensure your nutritional needs are getting met (plus it keeps things interesting and purdy!)
  6. Snack often. You may not find you get hungry in the same way as you normally would since you are stuck in a chair all day hardly moving. Your metabolism may slow down a little. Keep it rockin by eating a little mini-meal every 2-3 hours rather than aiming for 3 squares.
Here’s a breakdown of what’s in my cooler!

Carbz

  • Whole Wheat Lavash Crackers
  • 2 bags of BBQ Baked Kettle Chips (Zomg these are AMAZZZING…So much better than any baked chip ever. Plus a serving is something like 35 chips. NOMMM)
  • Instant Oatmeal Packets (these aren’t pictured but I just use Plain Quaker Instant Oats then sweeten it up myself with fruit, honey, stevia, whatevz)
Protein
  • Plain Fat Free Greek Yogurt. 18 grams of protein/serving plus good for ya probiotics & loads of calcium. My bod tends to get grouchy when I go overboard with dairy but I’m willing to make an exception for this deliciousness now & again.
  • Roasted, salted edamame. Also comes in Wasabi flavour. These are THE JAM.
  • Sliced preservative free low sodium turkey breast
  • Cottage cheese w/berries (for my mummmz).
  • HUMMUS! (wait…hummus is a food group right?)
Fats
  • Whole Almonds
  • Dark Chocolate (a late addition so its not in the pic, but dark chocolate is a great energy booster for those long boring stretches of highway. I’m a big fan of Green and Blacks)
  • Light Laughing Cow Cheese
Fruit & Veg 
  • Bananas (the browner the better…mmm)
  • Apples
  • Strawburriez
  • Carrot sticks
  • Sliced Cucumbers & Peppers
  • Mixed berry FRUIT SNACKS by Fruit Source! (I loooove these things….so sweet and chewy, with no added sugar!)
  • PICKLES! (hardly a veg…but GREEN!)
Extras
  • Stevia packets. I usually use a little honey or agave to sweeten up my oats, yogurt, etc. but I also use this natural sweetener now and then as a totally sugar-free option. These packs are super portable for use on the road and they pack up really tiny outside the box.
Of course this is just an outline of my own personal snack list.  Its been tailored to meet the tastes and needs of myself and my travel pals. Feel free to use it as a jumping off point for your own personal tastes & adventures!
Wish me luck on the road! I’ll do my best to update as often as I can when I arrive on Saturday!
Stay tuned for Volume 2 of my Road Trippin’ Series: The Healthy Hipster Vs. The Dial Up Internet Connection! 
healthy treats, recipes

Guest Post: Meet THE BESTIE

ZOMG I am swamped. I spent all day running around the city workin up some seeeerious blisters getting organized for my graduation tomorrow. Thats right….as of 10am I will have yet another degree (4 if you’re counting…long story…I’ll tell you someday).

And if that weren’t enough I’m also preparing for an EPIC ROAD TRIP. I’ll be heading out this Friday (stay tuned for LOADS of fun details on that plus tips for what to pack for the open road….tomorrow!)

So since I am currently staring down an empty fridge and but few hours left in the day I am turning the reigns of The Healthy Hipster over to Meg (aka. The Bestie)

MEGGINZ! The Gluten-Free Sugar-Free Goddess of Baking (my lips approve!)

Simple & Delish Peanut Butter Cookies!

This recipe is simple, using only 5 ingredients (in easy to remember quantities no less!). And, as always, gluten free, dairy free and sugar free (mostly)! **HH Note: Meg is lactose intolerant & type 1 diabetic…plus she hearts a fella who can’t tolerate da gluten. So when I say she’s a GF SF DF baking goddess…I mean it. There’s magic in her oven mitts.
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup chunky or smooth all natural P.B.
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup ground flax meal
  • 1 egg** 
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • a pinch of sea salt (optional, I am obsessed with salty sweet combos so this was a must for me)
**HH: Vegans could exclude the egg and add in an extra splash of nutmilk or water due to all the flax in the recipe – but please comment to let me know if you try this method out!

Directions
  1. Whisk egg, honey and PB together until well combined, then add in the remainder of the dry ingredients. Mix until well combined.
  2. Roll dough into 1 inch balls using a TBSP measure and arrange on a baking sheet lined with tin-foil.
  3. Press a small spoon into the center of each cookie to make a nest. Fill with 4 semi sweet choc. chips or good quality dark chocolate broken into bits.
  4. Bake at 325-350 (depending on your oven) until the bottoms have turned a golden brown. Allow to cool and store in an airtight container.
VARIATION: If you like a fruitier/sweeter cookie try filling the nest with a touch of jam/jelly/compote once the cookies have cooled. Its like bite sized PB & J!
Additional Note: if your P.B. is a little on the dry side (which, lets be honest, happens at the bottom of an all natural P.B. jar) you can mix in a tbls of light vegetable oil in with the wet mix to smooth things out.
YUM!
xo
–m
cities, inspiration, restaurants, snacks

City Staycation

Last week I had planned a trip to DC but it fell through due to worky/lifey obligations. Themzthebreakz. I decided to roll with the punches and treat this week as my very own Toronto STAYCATION. Which basically means I’ve been doing my best to go on as many walks as possible and to treat my own city as if I were a tourist: with fresh eyes & my camera on the ready.

staycation lunch @ cafe bernate, queen west.

Grainy bread, baguette, dark coffee with almond milk and the dreamiest salad bowl full of:

  • lettuce, red cabbage, shredded carrot & zucchini
  • nectarines
  • blackberries
  • tomatoes
  • dried fruits 
  • roasted chicken
  • avocado
  • pepitas & peanuts
The Junction has the prettiest nooks & crannies.
Summer blooms
Anyone up for some old timey CROQUET?

All this wandering has left me feeling absolutely MISERABLE… 😉

Do you ever take staycations? Is there a part of the city you’d love to explore?  
cities, culture

A Healthy Dose of Schmooze

This weekend I was lucky enough to attend the opening party of the Luminato Festival of Arts and Creativity.

Photo Credit: Trevor Haldenby

And while my bestie/date for the evening prohibited me from taking pictures of my munchies due to it being entirely inappropriate & uncouth (not to mention super lame), I couldn’t help but share some of the foodz from the evening with you. The menu items included such bougy* ridiculousness as:

  • duck liver pate
  • stuffed grape leaves in endive
  • seared scallops with pork belly
  • soft shell crab tempura sandwiches
  • lamb shank
  • salmon tartare
  • bruschetta on edible spoons &
  • teeny tiny fruit shaped sorbets!

It was all tasty as heck of course (I tucked into the seafood & veg-friendly foods in a serious way) but it was also the kind of over-the-top fussy food that makes me crave cold cereal and PB&Js for the next week just to balance out the universe. Oh and maybe throw some greens in there to make up for that vegetable wasteland. A healthy hipster cannot survive on eggplant & lettuce leaves alone, puh-leez!

Either way, if you ask me, the tastiest looking treats at the Yves Saint Laurent hosted event were all the YSL makeup and fashion displays spread out around the space…

Droooooool.

*HH Slang Watch: Bougy = Swanky, Upper-Class, Bourgeois

breakfast, healthy treats, recipes

Double Dipping, In a Good Way

Maybe it was because today was the first day in over a week that I wasn’t awoken by a stream of sunshine. Or maybe it was because I’ve been out of these scones for days now and I’m going through withdrawl. But for one reason or another I woke up this morning with an insatiable hankering for a sweet & tropical saturday stay-at-home brunch. Prepare yourself for the AWESOMENESS that IS….

Coconut “Double Dipped” French Toast
with Grilled Mango Compote

Ingredients

  • 1 whole wheat English muffin or 2 pieces whole wheat bread
  • Coconut oil (or earth balance/butter) for frying
  • 1 egg + 1/4 cup egg white, beaten OR 1 very ripe mashed banana**
  • ¼ cup milk of choice (½ cup if using banana)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp honey or agave
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour (can sub for another type of flour or you can make it yourself by finely grinding shredded coconut in a coffee grinder!)
  • 1 tbsp shredded coconut
  • 1 tbsp raw sugar/brown sugar/sucanat
  • Extra cinnamon (if desired)

Directions:

In a medium sized bowl, beat together eggs (or mashed banana), milk, vanilla, cinnamon & sweetener. Dredge your bread in the wet mixture until coated and soaked through. Sear soaked bread in a little coconut oil, earth balance or butter on a griddle or pan at medium heat until just browned. (DIP NUMBER 1)

Place grilled bread back into the wet mixture (DIP NUMBER 2) and set aside. Stir together flour, coconut, sugar and extra cinnamon. Spread out on a shallow dish. Remove bread from egg mix and transfer into the flour and coconut batter, turning until lightly coated. Return to pan (adding an extra tsp of oil if necessary) and cook a second time on medium heat until browned and crispy on both sides.

Top with a sprinkle of coconut and Mango Compote (Recipe Below).

**Banana works nicely as an egg replacer in this recipe – whether you’re vegan or just like the flavour! You could even mix it up by using 1/2 banana + 1 egg.

Grilled Mango Compote

Dice about a 1/2 cup of mango (thawed or fresh) into small pieces. On a medium-hot pan, cook the fruit in a little butter or coconut oil until browned, being careful not to burn. After about 2 minutes, or once fruit starts to brown, sprinkle on a little raw or brown sugar and cook an extra minute or so. Remove mango and mash slightly with a fork, adding in a little ginger and a small splash of citrus juice (orange or lemon).

gettin critical, reviews, snacks

Gettin’ Critical: Granola Bar Review!

At first I wanted to call my review section “UGGHH You Actually BOUGHT That?” Cause hipsters are judgey and hate everything, obvz. But since I figured its really easy to find awful products out there and much more difficult to find good ones, I might as well use this opportunity to share stuff I actually like with you. That’s funner anyhow, m i right?

HECK, LETS GET STARTED. I’ve already discussed my obsession with eating kid-food at the snack time. So it probably comes as no suprise to you that I’m a big fan of granola bars…well…kinda…

I do not love high fructose corn syrup or impossible to pronounce ingredients. I also do not love snacks that leave me famished 15 minutes after eating them.

So which grocery store granola bar is your best bet? 

In my opinion the Kashi TLC  Almond Flax Granola Bar is head and shoulders above the competition. Kashi products use a mix of  whole grains including wheat, rye, brown rice, barley, oats and (my fave) buckwheat.  But more than that the nutritionals on these bars are IMPRESSIVE. They are low in sugar, contain heart-healthy fats and omega 3s, are full of fibre and contain a decent amount of protein. In practical terms this means they are a very energizing & satisfying snack! Which is what you want in your food…Ahem…Duh.

For me there is no comparison between this bar and the classic Quaker chewy bar. Quaker bars are actually lower in calories but much higher in sugar (all of it refined), they also only have 1 gram of protein and 1.5 grams of fat (coming from oils, saturated fats, etc.) as well as a zillion types of preservatives. Quaker bars essentially give you all the carbs (energy!) with none of the protein or fat (staying power!!!) In other words, they will leave you feeling wicked hungry.

MY TAKE:

When it comes to mid-day on-the-go snacks, staying power is key and that means a balance of carbohydrates, protein, healthy fat and fiber. So while I’d always prefer homemade unprocessed food over the grocery store aisle kind…Kashi TLC Almond Flax bars are definitely a snack in the right direction.

**Special Note: the healthy hipster is in no way associated with kashi, quaker or any other companies mentioned in this post. all of my reviews are purely based on my own tastes and opinions, to be read, deeply contemplated or ignored at your discretion.

budgeting, cities, fitness

Why I Love the Y (Free YMCA Trial Membership!)

It is no secret that we are inundated with flippin’ loads of information about what “fitness” means and how to achieve it.  But in my opinion the main message behind so many of these articles, tv shows, movies, books and yes…even blogs…can be summarized in four words: YOUR BODY, YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.

Think about it. Almost everything you ever watch or read about fitness asks: what are your goals? how will you achieve them? how can you change your life?

(+) I think this message can be empowering for certain people, encouraging them to take ownership over their own lives and make better choices.

(-) When we focus too much on our own individual progress we can start to feel isolated and even obsessive. We spend more and more money on personalized nutrition plans and one-on-one training to help us compete against ourselves. And in the end I think this can leave us feeling unsatisfied with our own accomplishments and success.

Which brings me to WHY I LOVE THE Y. 

Photo Credit: Jennifer Baron Date. Allegheny YMCA, Pittsburgh.

The YMCA manages to strike a balance between helping individuals and whole communties. They do a lot of work surrounding health and fitness but with an emphasis on group classes and shared, open spaces. They also recognize that health is defined broadly so they assist mothers with childcare, youth with leadership opportunities and unemployed workers with access to job information to name just a few of their projects.

Building community through health and wellness? THAT is what I call meaningful motivation. Which brings me to the BEST THING EVER….

Click here to print off your FREE two week membership to any YMCA facility in Ontario!
Offer valid until June 30.

budgeting, restaurants, snacks

al fresco

My undying love for hibiscus restaurant in kensington market intensified yesterday when i left my usual corner table in the sun & grabbed my lunch to-go so that I could dine under a tall shady tree in the park.

what’s in this glorious takeout container of bliss?

Get this:

  • marinated tofu
  • sunflower seeds
  • shitake cashew cheese
  • green beens
  • broccoli
  • roasted sweet potatoes
  • shredded carrots and beets
  • quinoa
  • sesame marinated lentils, garbanzo and kidney beans
  • dried cranberries
plus….
  • 1 raw sunflower seed cracker
  • 1 small bowl of beet & squash soup

DID I MENTION THIS FEAST COST $8.83?? 

if you live in toronto: go today.
if you don’t: i’ll take you there next time you visit.