Always Look Forward to Weekend Lunches.

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This was lunch today- baked lemon ginger salmon with balsamic vinegar salad and a side of guacamole. It was freaking fantastic; just thinking about it now makes me smile, haha.

Monday to Friday lunches usually consist of a salad and sweet potato, which I enjoy very much, but I do like to switch it up on the weekends to make sure my tastebuds don’t get bored.

Salmon is packed full of Omega-3 fatty acids, which has been proven to reduce risk of coronary heart disease, and tastes great, so I try to add it into my meals on the weekends! It’s also super simple to prepare- I just marinate the salmon with the juice of a lemon, 1tbsp of grated ginger, cilantro, 3 cloves of garlic, 2tbsp of olive oil, and some salt & pepper in a Ziplock bag for an hour in the fridge then bake it in the oven at 350°F for 30 minutes and voila! Your perfectly cooked, flakey, moist, flavourful salmon is ready to eat.

If you’re in a diet rut and are looking to add something new to your meals, give salmon a try. Many people shy away from fish because they think it’s difficult to prepare and whatnot, but I promise you, it’s easier than you think! There are plenty of amazing salmon recipes out there and I urge you to try them out! Incorporating this healthy fish into your diet will  provide you with a plethora of nutrition without sacrificing taste/flavour.

To anyone who actually reads this, I hope you’re having a lovely Saturday and enjoy the rest of your weekend! And go eat some salmon!!!

Love,

Amy

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The Beginning

So this is it, everybody- this is it! This is going to be the blog that I don’t abandon when I get too bored or busy and come back months later and have it stare at me asking, “Why Amy? Why did you leave me all alone? I thought this time was going to be different!”

Okay, so I don’t seriously imagine all my abandoned blogs scolding me, but in a way that’s kinda what it feels like when I look back at my blogging history. Every couple of years (Usually during the summer when I’m bored out of my mind), I like to create a new blog and tell myself how I’m going to dedicate so much time into make it pretty and rich with content blah blah blah… and they usually last for about 2-3 weeks before I move onto what seems to be more interesting hobbies or life just gets busy.

I use to have this blog when I was in grade school that talked about absolutely nothing and it had cheesy instrumental anime music in the background and the cursor animation was cute bubbles. The majority of it was photos of my friends with little comments below about how awesome they were. Every couple of weeks, I would update their photo and change the friend-blurb slightly, haha. It was actually so lame now that I think back to it, but at the time, I thought I was the shiiiiiz. Though my 7th grade friend-tracking blog was horrendously tacky, I think that was when I realized I actually really enjoy blogging. The concept of having an online diary to track my thoughts, daily activities, and inspirations really appealed to me, even at the age of 12. And so, for the past 10 years (oh my goodness I still can’t believe I’m turning 22 this year), I’ve been blogging here and there on various different platforms. I guess none of them ever stuck because I was preoccupied with so many other things throughout my teenage years that blogging just fell to the bottom of my priority list. BUT THAT’S ALL GOING TO CHANGE AS OF….. NOW.

This is the start of something freaking fantastic- I can just feel it! I promise you, blog, that I will keep you updated as frequently as I can and spoil you with all the juicy things that happen in my life (Sadly, I’m secretly an 80 year old grandma trapped in the body of a 21 year old, so sorry if my stories are sometimes a bit dry). So… here it goes! Cheers to the birth of ‘People, Places, & Things Beyond Me’!

Love,

Amy

Lazy Saturday Guacamole

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I find that on the weekends when I have nothing pressing to do and nowhere important to be, I eat more than the average person should. Seriously, I can’t stop eating! Every hour or so I find myself stalking my fridge and pantry and rummaging for something to eat. It’s not even that I’m hungry… I think I’m just bored. I’m not the only one, right? Please tell me I’m not alone when I say eating is one of my favourite recreational activities!

But even though I’m eating often, I try to nourish my body with clean, healthy, nutritious foods that won’t make me feel sluggish throughout the day. Today, I had a sudden craving for guacamole. Actually I’ve been craving it all week and I finally had the time to make it today. It’s really strange- I really don’t like eating avocados in any form except for in guacamole. On its own, eating avocados, to me, tastes like eating a slab of butter (yuck). But in guacamole, the tang of the lime and crunch of the onion really make avocado something I really enjoy.

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Guacamole is simple, quick, and so versatile. You can use it as a dip for your crackers/chips/carrots/celery, put it in your burritos/tacos, or even just eat it on its own as a side to your meal. Yes, avocados are high in fat, but it’s the healthy unsaturated kind that is proven to help lower cholesterol levels. Also, the buttery green fruit is high in fibre and has more potassium than a banana, so all the more reason to make guacamole!

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Look at that beautiful colour- Isn’t it pretty? 

There isn’t anything special about my recipe- it’s just a combination of simple, fresh ingredients that blend perfectly together, and I really wanted to share it! Everyone should be allowed to indulge in this healthy, delicious snack! So here it is:

Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe avocados
  • 1 roma tomato
  • 1/4 of a red onion
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 a jalapeño pepper
  • 10 springs of cilantro
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Remove the avocado flesh from the skin and mash together in a bowl using a fork. Keep mashing until no large chunks are longer visible.
  2. Squeeze the juice of the lime into the avocado and mix well. The lime gives a great tang to the dish and prevents the avocado from browning as quickly.
  3. Dice the tomato into small cubes and add it to the mixture.
  4. Finely dice the onion and add it to the mixture. Make sure the chunks aren’t too big, or else you will be experiencing some serious onion breath after eating this!
  5. Remove the stem of the  jalapeño pepper and vertically slice it in half. Be sure to remove all the seeds inside. Dice the pepper into tiny tiny cubes and add it to the mixture. You can add as much or as little as you like (Personally I think half a pepper gives you the perfect amount of kick).
  6. Roughly chop the cilantro and add it to the mixture.
  7. Mix everything up well, making sure each ingredient is evenly distributed, and add salt and pepper to taste.

And that’s it! It’s pretty much just cutting everything up and mixing it in a big bowl, haha. Regardless of its simplicity, the end result is still spectacular. I enjoyed my guacamole today with celery sticks, baby carrots and a few rosemary olive oil Triscuits- It was such a spectacular afternoon snack!

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So, next time you’re bored on a lazy Saturday and want to snack on something great, give guacamole a try. I promise you, you won’t regret it!

Love,

Amy

A Jurassic Snack, Perhaps?

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Slight resemblance of a stegosaurus? I think so. (Though totally unintended!)

Today’s late afternoon snack. The beauty of fresh, sweet, succulent fruit will always make me smile. They finally have a greater variety of fruits available at Extra Foods. The last few months I spent eating mediocre, dull apples are finally over! Spring is slowly (Very, very, VERY slowly) on its way, so hopefully more fresh produce will be appearing in the grocery store! You know you’re slightly strange when you get really, really excited about fresh produce at the supermarket… sigh.

Anyways, happy Friday!

Love,

Amy

Gluten-Free Vegan Banana Bread

Though the weather has been completely awful here in the frigid north, I really enjoy days like today where I can stay toasty indoors in my worn-out sweater, catch up on Grey’s Anatomy and The Vampire Diaries, and conjure up something spectacular in the kitchen!

I found a recipe for gluten-free banana bread on Tumblr and thought I’d take a shot at it!

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The original recipe called for brown sugar and since I refuse to buy processed sugar, I substituted with dates! I also didn’t have a loaf pan available, so I made do with a muffin tray.

I’m not a gluten-free advocate of any sort, but I do really enjoy trying recipes that mimic kitchen classics without the unnecessary fat and sugar. The bread is very moist with the perfect amount of sweetness and banana flavour peaking through.

I’ve worked with rolled oats many times before, but usually in it’s raw form in granola clusters, granola bars, oatmeal etc. Grinding it into a fine powder and using it in place of wheat flour is genius! The larger pieces of oatmeal also add great texture to the bread.

As mentioned above, I used dates instead of brown sugar. Dates are one of the best natural sweeteners out there and have 98 less calories than brown sugar per 100 grams! It’s also a great source of dietary fibre, so using dates in place of refined sugars is a great way to make any recipe better!

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To make the bread even better, I decided to add some chia seeds and milled flax seed. These two powerhouse seeds are essential in my pantry! I always put them in my granola bars and morning smoothies to add texture and extra nutrition. Both seeds are high in Omega-3, which is important for neurological and cardiovascular health, and dietary fibre, which we all know helps make going numero 2 a much more pleasant experience.

Okay so without any further ado, here’s the recipe! It’s simple, nutritious, and freaking delicious so I definitely recommend giving it a try! Also, next time I venture on a baking escapade, I will try to take photos during the process. Anyway, enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium-sized ripe bananas
  • 2 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup all natural peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup dates
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon flax seeds

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Take some olive oil on a paper towel, run it over the surface of your loaf pan/muffin tray, and set aside
  3. Place oats in a blender/food processor for ~30 seconds until it turns into a powder texture. It’s perfectly fine if not all the oats are finely milled- larger pieces will add great texture to the bread. Set oats aside.
  4. Chop dates into smaller pieces and place into a blender/food processor with 2-3 teaspoons of warm water if the dates are dry. The water will help the dates come together, forming a paste. Set date paste aside.
  5. Peel the two bananas, cut them into coins, and mash them using a fork until there are no longer any chunks.
  6. Combine the banana, oats, dates, peanut butter baking powder, chia seeds, and flax seeds together in a large bowl. Fold the mixture with a spatula until everything is well mixed.
  7. Add the almond milk to the mixture and mix well. The texture of the ‘dough’ should be similar to that of regular banana bread, but slightly drier/less liquidy.
  8. Pour mixture into loaf pan/muffin tray and bake in the oven for 25-27 minutes. Check on it at the 25 minute mark and if the top is firm and golden, you’re done!

Now you can enjoy this delicious bread in the mornings for breakfast or whenever you need something quick to fill up up! Store them in the fridge using saran wrap and whenever you want to devour one, heat it in the microwave for 30-45 seconds so its nice and warm.

Okay, so I guess that’s all for now. I hope you all enjoy!

Love,

Amy

Click here for the original recipe.