I have found the holy grail of gluten free baked goods. AND it’s within walking distance of my house.
How perfect is that?
From the website:
Sweet Lemon Bakery Provides classic and unique desserts from cookies, cakes, cupcakes and squares without the use of animal products, refined sugar or gluten. Instead we choose the best organic cane sugars, agave, rice and bean flours to make one heck of a dessert!
Sounds too good to be true, right? London already provided me with the best gluten free bread I’ve ever tried; could they also find a way to accommodate my love affair with sweets while still keeping it gluten free and dairy free?
I’d heard about the Sweet Lemon Bakery opening up a few months ago, but with the business of school, I never had a chance to check it out. Until yesterday.
As yesterday was our last day of classes, my friend and I decided that some delicious baked goods would be the perfect treat. We strolled into the bakery around 4:30 pm. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a huge selection left; mostly it was squares and cookies. Fortunately, what was left looked and sounded amazing.
I really couldn’t decide on what I wanted! Everything looked soooo good. The bakery offers a discount when you buy 3 items, so I decided to take advantage of that. I eventually chose (From left to right): Peanut butter square (I think it was called: I Don’t Need A Man Peanut Butter Square), Brownie, and Mint Nanaimo bar.
Somehow I managed to keep from trying these until I got home (though my friend Melissa couldn’t… I think the peanut butter square may have changed her life). From there, Bartek and I split the treats.
Each one tasted better than the last. And they had none of the gluten free taste that often accompanies gluten free goods. These, my friends, tasted better than most regular desserts I’ve tried in my life. I know Bartek agrees, as there quite possibly were tears in his eyes as he ate the Nanaimo bar.
Which one was the best? It’s really hard to say. They all tasted quite perfect.
The bakery is a bit expensive, likely a result of the premium ingredients. But the portions are very big! You could easily split one with a friend and still have your fill. And, you could always get three and save $ that way
I would definitely recommend this bakery to anyone! Not just gf or vegans! Definitely a treasure of London.
It’s that time of the month again….
FOODIE PENPALS REVEAL DAY!
To head on over to Lindsay’s blog or to become a Foodie penpal, click the pic above!
This month I was paired with Kendall over at The Green Cat
. I’m so happy to have been matched with her because I kind of feel like we’re kindred spirits. Or to put it less Anne Shirley and more 21 century: she may be my sista from a different mista! We’ve definitely bonded over our love for our cats and our literary geekiness (I’ve named my cat after the Weasley family in Harry Potter, she’s named her cat after Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird). Plus, she threw together a really amazing package for me this month!
Weasley couldn’t wait to open the package.
“Hurry up, Mama! I want to see what’s inside!!”
Along with this great package, Kendall sent me a note explaining everything!
- Coconut sugar (which I’ve been meaning to try!)
- Denman Island Chocolate (which has since been eaten… tasty!)
- Simply Bar: cocoa coffee flavor (new to me flavour!)
- Lara Bar (necessary!)
- Cliff Crunch (Haven’t tried yet, but looking forward to it! I love crunchy food!)
- Vega Protein (i’ll probably use this in baking because it’s chocolate flavored. Chocolate protein pancakes, anyone?)
- HOMEMADE COOKIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Out of everything I’ve tried so far, the cookies were the most amazing! These babies barely lasted 3 days. But it wasn’t just me; Bartek confessed that he had sampled a few one night! We both thought they were so tasty. Kendall included a recipe… I’m sure she won’t mind if I share it
Kendall’s Oatmeal Cookies
These are vegan, gluten free, and delicious! Kendall says this recipe is a blending of our lifestyles: veganism + gluten free. I’m totally down with that
- 1/4 cup Earth Balance margarine (or 3 tbsp coconut oil)
- 1/2 cup + 1tbsp brown sugar
- 1 flax egg (1 tbsp flax whisked with 3 tbsp hot water)
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup coconut, shredded
- 1 cup oats
- Vegan chocolate chips
- Combine ingredients and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 mins
I’m excited to make these!
Thanks so much Kendall for an incredibly thoughtful package!
I’ll be taking August off from foodie penpals because I’m going to be back to Edmonton for half the month! Can’t wait until I’m home
Time for lunch and then to school for my night class! 2 weeks until classes are done! (And 5 more assignments to hand in WOOT!)
Are you sick of me complaining about missing the mountains yet? If not, check out this post. 5 years of mountain trips (but only a few select pics :p)
This picture is from the very first mountain trip B and I made together! It’s from February 2008. Can you believe how little snow there is? Jasper National Park.
What do I love about the mountains? It’s hard to put my finger on it.
This is 2008 as well, though I guess it’s July (if you couldn’t tell by the time stamp!). Instead, B and I are in Banff National Park, in front of Mt. Rundle (?)
My parents used to take my siblings and I to the mountains every year when we were kids…
… and from the same trip. This may be in BC.
But as an adult, I have a whole new level of appreciation for them.
April 2009, in Jasper National Park, Moberly Homestead. We got engaged minutes later!
I think it’s because the mountains are fabulous. Pure and simple.
Same trip. Maligne Lake! No tourists (except for us!)
They’re gorgeous. Amazing animals inhabit the area. Plus, there are so many wonderful plants to check out.
Old Fort Point, Jasper National Park, April 2010.
And they’re fuuuuuunnnn. If you’re in to outdoor activities, there’s so much to do! Hiking, climbing, hot spring (-ing), etc.! No time to be bored!
Aug 2011, Abraham Lake, AB
Oh, and the towns of Banff and Jasper are tres fun. The food, shopping, and culture are amazing!
My Sister-in-law Andrea and I in front of Pyramid Mountain, Jasper National Park. April 2012.
But ultimately, I think it’s the way the mountains take my breath away every. single. time. Although they feel like old friends to me, I’m still overwhelmed to be in their presence.
Looking forward to August.
PS If you’d like to see more, check out my Mountains page!
Ok, ok. I know the phrase is usually “One step forward, and two steps back,” but I prefer my phrasing. Somehow it’s more optimistic, no?
Anyways, I had a step back on Monday.
I have been pretty good with my eats in recent months. I don’t feel I am too restricting on my food (because frankly, when you already restrict dairy and gluten from your diet, you have to ease up a bit on everything else), and definitely have the occasional indulgence.
And with this new and improved diet, my cravings have changed. Instead of craving things like pierogi (ethnic hazard), I’ve been craving things like sweet potatoes. Instead of craving heavy meals made up of meat, gravy, etc., I’ve been really desiring light meals like my ‘Ol Reliable Quinoa Salad (a fact which I’m sure is helped with the obnoxious heat). And for the most part, my new cravings have worked well with my lifestyle; it’s beneficial to crave food that doesn’t hurt my stomach.
But, I easily fell into my old bad habits on Monday.
Bartek and I went to Relish Burgers, an upscale burger bar located near our apartment. We’d heard some good things about it (and read some mixed reviews via urbanspoon), but we decided to give it a shot.
The menu is overwhelming; they offer so many choices, including the type of patty you’d like. I wanted to choose a portobello patty, I wanted to choose a burger with the toppings that sounded delicious to me (I think there was a burger called the healthy hippie: it was covered in all these amazing fresh ingredients that I normally would have loved), but no; my old habits had taken over.
I ended up choosing a burger that wasn’t what I wanted but instead fit what I thought I should have as an indulgence. And then when I started eating it, I was disappointed; furthermore, it was disgusting to me.
Weasley’s Indulgence. Better?
I ate half and gave the rest to Bartek (it was a good burger to him- he said it was the best he ever had); I nibbled on my deep-fried fries. Then we went home and I settled down for the inevitable stomachache. Later, when I was lying in bed, suffering, I had a thought:
Why is it that the type of food I count as indulgence-worthy is actually unhealthy and makes me suffer?
(NOTE: I’m all for people indulging in greasy burgers! This is just an observation on my particular behaviour!)
I’m not sure. Is it something from my childhood? Is it something from our society? Or is it just me? I have no idea. But I’d like it to change. I love the taste of fresh, light food; I don’t want to crave grease!
I’d like to try to reprogram myself. I don’t know if it’s possible, but I’d like to try. From now on how about a new indulgence for me: Borshch, with fresh veggies. Or a fruit parfait, with beautiful blackberries. These sound beyond good to me now and of course, this type of food is usually much harder to come by (as opposed to greasy food which is available everywhere, all year round).
But I guess the title is appropriate. I mean, I made a mistake which cost me a night, but I learned a something new about myself which, after reflection, could improve my life in the long run. That doesn’t so bad, does it?
It was a mistake, but I’m not going to let it get me down. Instead, let’s see if I can make the change stick.
And with that, it’s time to hit the books! I think after this week I’m going to reward myself… with some sushi! I’m done with hamburgers for awhile
Do you find that you crave unhealthy food over healthy food? What are your thought on this?
I’d like to know!
Despite the crazy rush to get assignments done and to finish the term, there has still been time for some fun…
despite the obscenely high temperatures, we have resisted the urge to be antisocial (regardless of how we become the definition of ‘hot mess’)…
we can still come together and enjoy good food in an apartment that feels like it’s 100 degrees (which may not be too far off)
And if all else fails, cook good chicken.
Orange Baked Chicken
Adapted from this recipe. I followed the original recipe pretty closely, but used breasts instead of drumsticks. The chicken was still delightfully tender. Certainly not a recipe for those who dislike orange flavour! Serves 4.
- 1/3 cup unsweetened frozen concentrated orange juice
- ½ cup white wine
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- 2 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
- 4 skinless chicken breasts
- Paprika to taste
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 tsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, sliced
1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
2. For orange-ginger sauce: In a bowl whisk together the frozen orange juice, wine, brown sugar, fish sauce, ground ginger and cilantro. Set aside.
3. Rinse and dry the chicken breasts. I chose to butterfly filet the breasts so as to reduce cooking time. Sprinkle all over with the paprika and salt.
4. In a large pot (oven-safe if possible), add 1-2 tsp of olive oil (to cover the bottom). Heat on the stove at medium-high. When the oil is hot, sear the chicken until they are nicely browned all over. Remove from heat.
5. If the pot you used isn’t oven safe, transfer chicken (and juices) into a roaster that is . Cover with the sliced onion. Pour the orange-ginger sauce over the chicken and onion.
6. Cover and put into the oven to 350°F for 30 minutes.
7. Uncover and cook a further 15 minutes till exterior of chicken is crispy, the interior is no longer pink and the juices run clear.
Going into the oven
Finished! Time to eat
Life is wonderful.
Thanks for your great responses to my post the other day about being healthy with a partner. If there’s one thing that came out of it, I know I’m not alone with my frustration!
Anyways, I have been crazy busy with school! Sometimes it seems to me that if you have a group project divided between people, it takes longer than if it were just divide by 1! While that’s been keeping me busy, I needed to throw together a quick meal for dinner and upon browsing my seemingly endless recipe bookmarks, I rediscovered this gem of a recipe. I used the recipe for the basis, but I definitely Miranda-fied it!
Aloo Matar (potato-peas-chickpeas curry!)
Adapted from here.
This recipe is super quick and easy to make. Aside from the spices, it uses items you likely have in your house anyways! It only takes about 20 mins to cook, just about the maximum amount of time you can keep the hunger monster at bay! This recipe makes 2 large portions, but you could probably stretch it to 3 if you added naan or some other bread to the side. Vegan and Gluten Free!
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp red chilli powder
- 2 tsp turmeric powder (I didn’t have this but subbed it for an Indian Masala spice I had)
- 1 tsp coriander powder (I omitted this)
- 2 tsp cumin powder
- 1/3 can crushed tomatoes (about 3/4 cup)
- 2 potatoes, cubed (I used one sweet potato and one white potato)
- Approx. 1 cup water
- 1/4 of large red onion, chopped into large pieces
- 1/2 can chickpeas, drained (about 3/4 cup)
- 3/4 cup frozen peas
- In a medium saucepan, heat oil in a pan until hot.
- Add spices and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes. Stir gently to incorporate spices and tomatoes together.
- Next, add the potatoes and enough water so that the potatoes are covered.
- Cover and allow to cook for 5 mins.
- Add onions and chickpeans; continue cooking for 12 more mins or until potatoes are nearly ready.
- Add the peas and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Have a great day!
The topic of today’s post is something I’ve been struggling with for awhile. It was an issue before I moved to London and continues to be even now that I’m settled here. Specifically, I have a real problem maintaining a healthy lifestyle when I’m with Bartek!
When I’m alone, I have no problem getting my daily fitness in, eating plenty of veggies, staying gluten-free, getting up early, and just generally living well. And it seems that when Bartek is here, all of that goes out the window!
For example, whereas before I was getting up at 7am to go for my jog before it got too hot for my tender Albertan constitution (though apparently, it’s hot there now too), Now I rarely get out of bed before 9am! Or, in another case, Bartek and I have been opting for easy, not-so-awesome-for-you food over other delicious, healthier options. And I know once in a while it’s okay to indulge, but this happened too frequently in the past week. And, as I have stomach issues that act up when I’m not careful what I eat, I don’t want to lose all the progress I made with my health over some less-than-tasty pizza.
It’s frustrating because I feel like it’s my fault for being so weak-willed. And it’s twice as difficult as we both have such flexible schedules and as he works from home, there are many opportunities to throw caution to the wind and ignore the things I ought to do for things I want to do. Hello, late night Trueblood over sleep? Yes, please!
And of course, it’s not Bartek’s fault. He’s not exactly in to the healthy lifestyle to the same degree that I am (which is fine) and he’s more of a “if I’m not mountain climbing I don’t need to work out as much” kinda guy. I mean, he does regular work outs, but mostly they’re pushups, etc. done at 2am or so. But we do have entirely different schedules/routines. And likewise for food, he enjoys indulging more so than I do, but never pressures me to follow suit. He is very supportive of my choices and understands my health issues.
So I keep feeling like it comes back to me. The shortcoming must be mine. But I have nothing to say further than that. I suppose I have no choice but to keep trying to get myself back on track. I mean, I want to wake up and feel good, and if that can only happen by getting up at 7am, going for the morning jog, and eating well, then it seems like that’s what it has to be.
But it’s still hard. Thoughts?
July 5: Mantra (Not exactly my photo!)
July 6: Nails
July 7: Heels (Classic black with a side of cat)
July 8: Breakfast (well part of it!)
BONUS: Today Bartek and I drove across the border. We stopped at the beach of Lake Huron and I couldn’t wait to get my feet wet! I wish I would have brought my bathing suit! The water was so beautiful and blue; it was gorgeous. I really hope I can find the time to go again
First Glimpse from the bridge
It’s been a busy day! I’m off to bed
Have a fab Monday; I’ll be spending it with homework!
July 3: Glitter
July 4: Red, White, & Blue
Have a fab Wednesday!
The year is officially half way over! Can you believe it?
I had a nice Canada Day with Bartek. We sat on the balcony, which gave us a great view of southern London. We could see several different firework sites, though none of them were super close. That’s not a bad thing, because I wouldn’t want Weasley to get scared (scaredy-cat haha I’m a mean mama).
Yes, so Bartek’s here and well settled! The past few days have been so wonderful, though we’re still figuring out parameters for space and sound, etc. (we both have earphones on ‘cuz I need to listen to my music while I work, and he needs to check out some videos for his work).
Yesterday, the ever-so-fabulous Meg posted that she was going to be participating in Healthy Diva Eats’ Photo-a-day! I checked over the topics and they are too cute to pass up. So I’m jumping on board.
My iphone camera is bad (as you will see in yesterday’s pic), so I’m not doing this on Instagram. Instead, I’ll just share it with all my fabulous blog readers.
July 1: PINK
July 2: SMILE
Now, I want to share this amazing recipe with you! I wanted to make a super delicious recipe for Bartek when he arrived on Wednesday. He loves seafood, so I picked up some scallops from the store and proceeded to recipe-search. This recipe is the product of the search. And it fits the bill perfectly!
Scallops in a Parsley, Garlic, and Light Tomato Sauce
Adapted from this recipe. Serves 2.
- dried pasta of choice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb large scallops
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup white wine (extra points if it’s grocery-store wine like mine!)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 cup tomato sauce
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tbsp cold butter, cut into cubes
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- salt and black pepper to taste
- Prepare pasta. The scallops take only a couple of minutes to cook, so pasta should be nearly ready before beginning to cook the scallops.
- Heat olive oil in pan so that it is very hot. You’ll want to sear the scallops, so hot oil is the key.
- Add scallops and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add garlic and stir, cooking for another 30 seconds.
- Add wine, lemon juice, and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil and cook for another 30 seconds.
- Remove from heat. Stir in butter and parsley. Add seasonings to taste.
- Serve on top of pasta when butter has melted.
I hope you’ll give this recipe a try. It’s really tasty!
Back to work! Have a great day!