Recipe: Zingy Pineapple and Papaya Chia Shake

Pineapple Papaya Shake

I know I keep posting shake recipes but I can't get enough of them! It is such a convenient way to get your fruits and nutrients that I've made it part of my daily routine. Having a shake/smoothie each morning knocks out at least 2 servings of your daily fruit intake, plus a bunch of other good stuff like essential fatty acids, anti-oxidants and protein.

Chia seeds aren't just good as pets (remember ch-ch-ch-chia?), they are an extremely great source of fiber, protein, and omega-3 essential fatty acids. When immersed in liquid, chia seeds release a gel like cover, making it slightly chewy and crunchy at the same time.

Chia is a member of the mint family and pairs great with fresh mint leaves. This recipe calls for 6-10 mint leaves because it all depends on the size of the mint leaves you have on hand. In the summertime, my mint comes fresh from a garden and are slightly smaller than the ones I find at the store. Start with 6 mint leaves and add more if you want.

This refreshing shake is perfect for a weekend brunch.

This recipe yields 1 cup.

Zingy Pineapplea and Papaya Chia Shake
- 1 cup of pineapple
- 1 cup of papaya
- 1 tsp of chia seeds
- 1 Tbsp of flax oil
- 1 1/2 Tbsp of pumpkin seeds
- 6-10 fresh mint leaves
- juice of 1/2 a lemon + rind of 1/8 of a lemon
- honey to sweeten (up to 1 Tbsp)

1. Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour shake into a cup and enjoy.

Sloppy Sandwiches You Can't Refuse at Black Camel, Toronto

Pulled Pork Sandwich
Pulled Pork Sandwich with BBQ Sauce, Horseradish and Caramelized Onions

Black Camel is one of Toronto's most popular sandwich shops. Serving only 5 basic sandwiches, Black Camel keeps it simple and focuses on food quality. Their beef brisket and pulled pork involves a 5-day prep process, and their sauces are fresh with layers and layers of serious flavor.

The five basic sandwiches include: slow roasted beef brisket, pulled pork shoulder, seared steak, roasted pulled chicken and  a vegetarian option with tomato, pepper, arugula & eggplant.

All sandwiches include a choice of 2 sauces/condiments, and extra sauces, condiments and toppings are available at extra charge.

Black Camel, Toronto

The pulled pork and beef brisket sandwiches with BBQ sauce are a must try. The black camel BBQ sauce is smoky and sweet, and goes perfectly with the slow cooked meats. They are extremely generous with the BBQ sauce so be prepared to get dirty. Wet towelettes are provided to help with the clean up afterwards.

In March of this year, they opened up another sandwich joint near Yonge and Eglinton called Boar. With a very similar concept, Boar's 5 basic sandwiches are veal, chicken, meatball, sausage and portobello.

Beef Brisket Sandwich
Beef Brisket Sandwich with BBQ Sauce and Dijon Mustard

4 Crescent Road
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Telephone: 416-929-7518

Black Camel on Urbanspoon

Recipe: Dairy Free Parsley Pesto

Parsley Pesto

Not everyone loves Basil. For those who don't, why deprive them of pesto? It's such a fresh and easy way to enjoy noodles and it requires absolutely no cooking!

I decided to try a parsley pesto to shake things up. Cheese seemed to be too heavy with parsley, so I cut that out entirely and added lemon juice. We've been substituting regular pasta for buckwheat noodles lately, and this pesto goes great with buckwheat. Give it a try if you're looking to do something a little different for your next meal.

This pesto recipe is good for approximately 300-350g of noodles.

Parsley Leaves

Parsley Pesto
- 4 1/2 cups of fresh Italian parsley, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup of pine nuts, toasted
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp of lemon juice

1. Combine all of the ingredients into a food processor and blend until it reaches a smooth consistency. Toss with hot pasta or buckwheat noodles and mix until evenly coated.

This pesto is best when used immediately. If you decide to keep it, store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Parsley Pesto with Buckwheat Noodles

Sunday Brunch at Canvas Resto-Bar-Etc, Ottawa

Canvas Resto-Bar-Etc, Ottawa

I hadn't heard anything about Canvas Resto-Bar-Etc for a longggg time, so we decided to go check it out for Sunday brunch. A good mid-priced place for brunch, Canvas serves food that you would prepare in your own kitchen. The food is not overly greasy and they don't try to overdo it with extra bacon, cheese or sugar. It is just good wholesome food.

In the summertime, the windows are all open in fresco style, which gives the place a nice airy feel.
Instead of bread before your meal, a sharing fruit platter is served.

The huevos rancheros, surprisingly, was a light dish. It was two eggs served on tortilla with bean puree, aged cheddar, queso fresco, chipotle salsa, avocado, cilantro, with a side salad.

Their nicoise salad was served with thick slices of seared sashimi grade albacore tuna, which was a nice change from the canned tuna you normally see.

The special of the day was apple pancakes with cinnamon butter. The apple pancakes were very dense, and the cinnamon butter just slightly sweet.

Huevos Rancheros
Huevos Rancheros

Grilled Albacore Tuna Nicoise
Grilled Albacore Tuna Nicoise Salad

Bistro Tenderloin Burger
Bistro Tenderloin Burger with Caramelized Onion, Ancho Chili BBQ Sauce, Cream Cheese & Aioli

Apple Pancakes
Apple Pancakes with Cinnamon Butter and Home Fries

Fruit Platter
Fruit Platter

65 Holland Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Telephone: 613-729-1991

Canvas Resto-Bar on Urbanspoon

Recipe: The Elvis Shake (Rattle and Roll)

Peanut butter banana Shake

When a friend told me about combining peanut butter with banana in a shake, my body grew weak with excitement. Sweet ripe banana combined with a spoonful of thick creamy peanut butter is a killer combination. I was so excited about the shake idea that I stayed up all night trying to think of the best combination for a breakfast shake.

And, here you have it! I present you with the Elvis Shake. The dash of cayenne pepper in this recipe and playing Elvis' song in the background will surely make you want to get up and dance!

This recipe yields 1 cup.

The Elvis Shake (Rattle and Roll)
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 Tbsp natural peanut butter
- 1/2 cup of almond milk
- 6 Tbsp rolled oats or your favorite muesli
- 1/8 tsp of cinnamon
- 1 large pinch of cayenne pepper

1. Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour shake into a cup and enjoy.

Peanut Butter Banana Shake

One of the Best Burgers in Ottawa West - Vera's Burger Shack, Ottawa

Vera Burger

Without fail, summer always brings on the urge for burgers. I'm not a burger expert but CK certainly is. He is always looking out for the best burger, and has pretty much tried every burger joint in Ottawa.

Vera's Burger Shack has been a consistent favorite, and is our first choice in the West end. The flavorful and juicy burgers are made fresh to order, and slightly pink. They are especially fresh because they come straight from The Butchery that shares the same space. If you feel like making the burgers yourself at home, you can choose to buy raw Vera's burgers from The Butchery.

Vera's Burger shack is a Canadian West Coast chain that originally started as a beach concession, in the late 70's, in West Van. It has since expanded to over 10 locations in the Vancouver area, and 1 in Ottawa (lucky us).

We always go for the Vera beef burger, but other options include turkey burger, chicken breast fillet, hot dog and turkey hot dog.

Vera's Burger Shack, Ottawa
Vera's Burger Shack

The Butchery, Ottawa
Meat & Poultry Section at The Butchery

Vera's Burger Shack
3657 Richmond Road
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Telephone: 613-829-9133

Vera's Burger Shack Express on Urbanspoon