Monthly Archives: December 2008

looks store bought, tastes homemades, are homemade – Granola Bars

I love granola bars, however, I hate all of the preservatives that you find in all the store bought bars. A few years back, I found a great easy recipe to make your own granola bars. Personally, I think these have way more taste then the ones you would buy in the store. They look exactly like store bought, but tastes way better and does not have all of the “junk” that a store bought bar contains!granola_bars2_web

This recipe allows for a lot of variety in the ingredients that you use. Which is awesome, because you can use the same recipe over and over again! They are also very easy and fast to make!

Granola Bars

3 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats

1 cup chopped nuts – i like to use walnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews – but really any selection works

1 cup sweetened or unsweetened flaked coconut

1/2 sunflower seeds

2 1/2 cups crisp rice cereal – rice krispies works just as well

1/3 cup flax seeds or wheat germ

1 cup raisins or chopped dates – or use any dried fruit you prefer

1 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 cup light corn syrup

1 cup creamy peanut butter

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup milk

1 – combine the first 4 ingredients and place in a 13 x 9 x 2 -in baking pan and bake for 20 minutes at 425 degrees Celsius. take out and stir every 5 -7 minutes.

2 – in a seperate bowl, combine crisp rice cereal, flax seeds and raisins, add the dried baked ingredients to this bowl – set aside

3 – combine brown sugar and corn syrup in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium – high heat, stir frequently. Cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add peanut butter and vanilla extract, and mix well.

4 – pour this syrup mixture over the dried ingredients mixture and stir until well coated. only pour have the syrup mixture and then add the milk and then finish with the rest of the syrup mixture.

5 – quickly spread this mixture into the 13 x 9 x 2-in baking pan, and press down to evenly spread out the mixture. Let the mixture sit and become firm.

this recipe makes about 36 bars

These granola bars are also very chewy, if you want to add some chocolate, add about 1/2 cup of chocolate chips when you are adding the milk. However, I think adding the chocolate takes away from the healthy aspect of these bars!

However, these bars are to be made unique to each persons taste, so have fun and add your favorite ingredients!

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Update: Obamalicious!

Rajdoot is the Obama of Indian food restaurants in Calgary. obamaI don’t know if the newly elected president has even eaten at Rajdoot, but if he ever does I bet he would say that the food is Obamalicious and that the service is Baracktastic!

I Obomapoligize for all the Barackisms, but how can i write a post the day after the first African American President is elected without making some reference to him?

That being said, It’s not that far fetched to imagine Obama visiting Rajdoot because the restaurant is frequently visited by many movie-stars such as, Anthony Hopkins. anthony_hopkins1501

But don’t worry average Joe the Plumbers like you and I can also dine and receive the same great service as Obama or Anthony Hopkins would.

I was first introduced to Rajdoot when my brother treated my family to the best indian food I had ever had. My bro had just got back from India and said that the food at Rajdoot tasted just like the food he had in India.

Well he was right. You know your Indian food is good when you have one bite and you start to sweat! Part of the reason the food tastes so good at this restaurant is because they cook the food in authentic clay ovens. The servers at Rajdoot are friendly and attentive and they don’t hesitate to bring you lots of foreign beer to go along with your meal! beer

Rajdoot is very accommodating for large parties because the restaurant has a separate room which can be booked through their website.

In addition to the menu, customers can order off the large buffet which contains a variety of delicious vegetarian dishes.

All in all I give Rajdoot a strong Obama win over McCain! ( Read as 5/5)

Well I can’t wait to go back to Calgary next week and chow down with my family at Rajdoot! Maybe Obama will be there and i can get his autograph!

Update: So I made it to Rajdoot the other day and no I did not see Obama or Anthony Hoppkins, but I did enjoy a delicious meal with my family. I think next time I go I will try the buffet.

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UPDATE: Vegging Out?*

When I was growing up my family lived in a small farm town in northern Saskatchewan. I was constantly surrounded my animal livestock, in particular, cattle. Because of this I became very disturbed by the ethical concerns with eating the animals that I saw every day. So when I was sixteen I decided to become a vegetarian.

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It was hard at first, even though I felt it was the right thing to do. I had to get used to the taste and texture of tofu, which for anyone who eats tofu knows it can take some getting used to. My family was thoroughly annoyed with having to cook two meals, one with meat and one without. But after awhile I adjusted and enjoyed my new lifestyle.

I had joined PETA when I became a vegetarian, and with PETA’s influence I decided to become a vegan after about four months. But that didn’t last very long. I was very malnourished and began to get really sick. I was tired and fatigued all the time and I started to get migraines and back pain. My doctor told me that I could either eat some meat again or else.

I decided that I would start to eat chicken and fish again, but I still did not want to eat beef. Partly because I still felt bad for the cows and partly because after not eating it for awhile I didn’t really like it anymore. I actually didn’t eat red meat again for 2 years after that.

I understand that there are millions of people who practice vegetarianism and veganism everyday (about 4% of North America via) and do not have the problems that I did. I went into it unprepared and uninformed. So if you are thinking about starting a vegetarian or vegan diet then it’s important to learn for my mistakes and educate yourself before you start.

 

 

1. Start the easy way. Take your favorite dishes that you used to cook before you became a vegetarian and try cooking it in a veggie friendly way. Try using tofu or a soy meat alternative instead of the meat that used to be in it and add in extra veggies for more flavor and texture.

2. Buy a Vegan Recipe CookBook. Most likely being a vegetarian means that you’ll have to cook for yourself more often then not. Look for a cookbook that fits your taste and lifestyle, or search for great recipes online.

3. Don’t Push Yourself. You may feel really tired and hungry when you first start off eating this kind of diet. Remember that a lot of vegan/vegetarian food will have less calories then what you would have eaten before if it had meat in it. So you may have to eat a little extra to feel full or get all the nutrients you’re used to.

4. Get support from your friends. Try to get your friends to understand your choice. It will be harder to keep it up, especially if it’s hard at first, if your friends aren’t going to be willing to try your food too or eat at a veggie friendly restaurant.

5. Do not compare yourself with other vegetarians. If you are looking for inspiration from people who have been vegetarians forever then you may feel like a failure. People who have been eating this way for a long time are used to it so of course it’s easy. If this is something you really want then it will get easy for you too. Take their advice if it fits your lifestyle, and if it doesn’t then find someone else to help you that you mesh with.

6. Timing matters. Your ability to stick to the diet may completely depend on when you start it. Starting in the summer is good because of the variety of fruit and vegetables that are available. However, in the summer people tend to be traveling a lot and so it can make it hard if you are not going to be somewhere where you will have access to veggie friendly food. Winter is good because of this reason, that likely you will be home a lot and could cook for yourself. On the other hand you may not be able to get all the fruits and vegetables that you want. Figure out what will work for your lifestyle before you start. (via)

 

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Being a vegetarian or vegan can be a very rewarding lifestyle with many benefits. There are many celebrities that use the diet as a way to maintain their hot bodies, including Brad Pitt, Carrie Underwood, and Alicia Silverstone. Regardless of what reason you are going veg always consult your doctor or a nutritionist before starting to make sure that they inform you of the right supplements to take. That way you won’t end up sick like me.

 

UPDATE: When I wrote this blog I had to think back on my own personal experiences about being a vegetarian/vegan. Even though it may seem like I didn’t have a very good experience because I got sick, I really loved being a vegan.

Since we’ve been doing this blog I heard about a book called Skinny Bitch, which is actually a book about veganism. It is a really informative book and explained me a lot about how veganism helps the environment and your health. That book combined with reliving my experiences through this blog helped me make the decision to become a vegan again. It hasn’t been very long, but so far I’m loving my new lifestyle and feeling healthier then ever.

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BETTINWICHES! (aka Brie, Chocolate, & Basil Sandwiches)

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I know, it sounds gross – brie, chocolate, and basil? Together? On a sandwich? I was skeptical right up until the first bite. Interestingly, it tastes exactly how you would think, yet somehow this taste translates into tasty (if you don’t believe me read the reviews).  

Giada

Giada

After some Internet searching it appears this recipe is from Giada De Laurentiis, host of several Food Network cooking shows. She even made these sandwiches on Oprah. But it wasn’t Giada or Oprah that taught me the recipe. Truth be told, if I had heard about it from either these ladies I would have passed.

It was my friend Bettina who convinced me this recipe was worth trying. And no one loves sandwiches more than Bettina so if she says somethings good I’m inclined to believe her. They were so delicious we decided to name them after her – from then on BCB sandwiches were known as Bettinwiches.

They key to making these h’orderves delicious is to use the ingredients with moderation. You can brie it up as much as you like, but be spareing with the chocolate and basil. They’re accents to the dish – not the main ingredient.

Other than selective placement of leaves and chips, making Bettinwiches is just like making a grilled cheese sandwich. Cut it into quarters and serve it as an interesting appetizer or make a whole one for yourself. Either way they’re worth a try.

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BETTINWICHES:

Ingredients:

French or sourdough bread, sliced

Brie cheese, sliced

Semi-sweet chocolate chips

Fresh basil leaves, washed

Butter or olive oil

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Directions:

Butter or drizzle olive oil on one side of each slice of bread

On inside of sandwich place brie slices to cover, sprinkle a few chocolate chips evenly, and place 2 – 4 basil leaves spread out. Don’t overdo it on the chocolate & basil – a little goes a long way.

Put sandwich together and grill over medium heat until bread turns golden brown and cheese and chocolate melts.

Serve immediately.  

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