Five Things Friday #4

Another week has gone by and it’s that time again! Thanks to Clare for hosting Five Things Friday!

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Five Things Making Me Happy!

1. I participated and volunteered at Relay For Life at my university and it was such a wonderful event! This relay lasted from 7:00 pm until 7:00 am and was one of the most inspiring events I have ever been to. One of the most touching moments was when the luminaries were lit and we were walking around the track. I had chills come over me as we walked and looked at the many luminaries each representing someone who has lost their battle with cancer, who is fighting their battle with this disease or who has survived cancer. It seemed that everyone has been touched by cancer in some way or another and that we were all there for each other at that moment. I am so thankful I got to be apart of this event and would encourage anyone to participate or volunteer at the Relay For Life event held in their city. It truly was a wonderful experience!

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2. This was my crazy week at school due to the fact that I had 3 essays due within 6 days. I have finished two (yippee!!) and only have one left to do which I have already started. It is so nice not leaving work until the last minute and finishing before the due date!

3. It is starting to get lighter at night! One of my favourite parts of summer is the fact that it stays light out quite late! Last night I finished volunteering and was waiting for the bus at around 8:00 pm and there was still a bit of light left in the sky. This made me think that the days are getting longer and everyday we are that much closer to summer and warmer weather!

4. My boyfriend and I got to dress up fancy on Wednesday night. He had an athletic banquet and I was able to attend the after party. It is so fun changing out of my usual lulu’s every now and then and getting all dolled up!

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5. I went and saw an advisor this week and she said as long as I pass my classes, I will graduate in August! This was such a relief to hear because I was scared I did not have enough credits. Turns out I have way more than I need! I am really looking forward to officially being done!

Five Things I Ate This Week

1. Poached egg on toast with avocado and tomatoes – This has been my “go to” breakfast all week! I probably ate it 5 this week and I cannot get enough! The combination in delicious!

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2. Homemade Meringues – I wanted to make meringues because I love their texture and like how they are a light dessert. I followed a 2 ingredient recipe and let me tell you they did not turn out! It may have been due to the fact that I beated the eggs by hand and they weren’t “peaky” enough. They were good for the first hour and then became super soft and sticky (almost like a marshmallow). I will definitely need to find a new recipe and invest in some beaters!

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3. Salmon Lox – I have been searching for lox for a few weeks and have finally found it at my local grocery store. I love, love, love it! It tastes especially good on whole wheat english muffins with some cream cheese and a little S & P!

4. Mug Cakes – I have been experimenting with the many recipes I have found online and they are all super delicious! I love that they are so quick and easy to make!

5. Homemade Popcorn – Such an easy snack! It is filling and delicious and I don’t feel the guilt after stuffing my face!

 

What are your plans this weekend? I am finishing my last paper of the semester!

What have you been eating a lot of lately? For me it has been, poached eggs, avocados, salmon lox!

I hope everyone enjoys their weekend!

❤ Mikaela

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Black Bean Brownies

Now I know what you are thinking, black beans and brownies should not be in the same sentence but trust me, these brownies are amazing! They are super moist and you cannot even tell they are made with black beans.

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This recipe has been adapted and the original recipe can be found here.

Black Bean Brownies

Ingredients
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup honey
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
½ cup carob chips

Method
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease an 8×8 pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
Place the black beans in a blender (a food processor would work better but mine is too small) and blend until smooth and creamy.
Add the eggs, oil, honey, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, baking powder, and salt. Blend until smooth.
Add ¼ cup of the carob chips into the blender and mix around with a wooden spoon until they are incorporated into the batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle with the rest of the carob chips.

Bake for around 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the brownies.
Cool in pan, slice, and store in a sealed container.

**I do not recommend eating these until they have completely cooled. When I tried a brownie that was still a bit warm, it had a little bit of a bean-y texture. This texture does go away once the brownies are cool!

I hope you enjoy this recipe!

❤ Mikaela

Five Things Friday #3

Wow it is Friday again! This week went by super quickly! I am linking up with Clare again for another Five Things Friday!

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Five things making me happy!

1. I got to see my parents yesterday! They were supposed to come visit Monday but the ferry ended up being delayed until that afternoon. They decided it wasn’t worth it to come over for two hours, so they came over yesterday for the day to visit! It was so nice seeing them. I am so blessed to have them as parents. They have supported me so much over the past few years and I couldn’t be more grateful. I love them!

2. It is now officially spring! Enough said.

3. The colour of my nails. I usually only have enough patience to do one coat of nail polish on my nails but this week I decided to be girly and painted them coral. The perfect colour to welcome the warmer weather (hopefully).

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4. One of my classes finished on Tuesday! It is such a relief to think that I only have to focus on three classes for the remainder of the semester!

5. Pinterest! I am obsessed with it right now! I especially love trying out new recipes. If I find some super good recipes I will post them on here!

Five Things I Ate This Week

1. Veggie Quinoa Salad – Recipe can be found here. It is such a great salad!

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2. Fish Tacos & Pico de Gallo – We had some frozen tilapia in the freezer which I baked with Mrs. Dash for seasoning. I made homemade pico de gallo (SO GOOD) and we added the tilapia, pico de gallo, avocado and  iceberg lettuce into small corn tortillas. I will definitely be making this again!

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3. Fresh strawberries – We bought a 2 lb. tub from Costco because they were fairly reasonably priced and they were so good. These strawberries made me excited for all the summer fruit that will soon be in season!

4. Green Smoothie – Every morning this week I have been having a green smoothie. I use spinach and do not think you can taste it at all. I have been experimenting with different recipes all week but I still think my favourite is this green smoothie I made a few weeks back. I feel like these smoothies give me a ton of energy in the morning and they taste great!

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5. Poached Eggs – I love eggs! Poached eggs are probably my favourite and right now I love spreading avocado on toast, like butter, and placing the poached egg on top of the toast. Such a tasty breakfast!

What are your plans this weekend? I am participating and volunteering at Relay for Life at my university!

What have you been eating a lot of lately?  I cannot seem to get enough of avocados this week!

I hope everyone enjoys their weekend!

❤ Mikaela

Veggie Quinoa Salad

 This salad is many things … tasty, colourful, healthy and filling! It can be eaten as a side or jazzed up to be eaten as a main course. The original recipe comes from a newspaper clipping my mom gave to me; however, I am not sure which newspaper since the title was cut off. I did make some changes to this recipe to better suit my tastebuds, so here is my version of this delicious quinoa salad!

To start, combine the quinoa and low-sodium chicken broth in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer and cook until the quinoa is cooked (~10-15 minutes). At the same time, cook the edamame according to the directions.  If possible purchase the edamame beans that are already out of the shells to save yourself some time. Both of these need to be cooked beforehand so that they can cool off a bit before you add them into the salad.

While the quinoa and edamame are cooking, chop up all the veggies (peppers, onions, tomatoes, zucchini) into bite sized pieces and place into a large bowl.

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Add the edamame once it has cooled and the bocconcini cheese. Mix this around.

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Once the quinoa has cooled, add this to the bowl of veggies and mix.

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In a separate small bowl combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, dried oregano, garlic, salt and pepper. Pour this over the quinoa and veggies and mix thoroughly.

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Cover up the salad and let it sit in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.

This salad can last up to a week in the fridge but it does not last that long in this house! My boyfriend loves it and so do I. You can easily add chicken or other vegetables into this salad if you like but it is quite filling on its own. Here is the recipe!

Quinoa Veggie Salad

3/4 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups low – sodium chicken broth
1 small diced zucchini
1/3 red onion
1/2 orange pepper
1/2 yellow pepper
~20 grape tomatoes cut in half
1/2 cup edamame beans (out of shell)
~20 mini bocconcini cheeses cut in half

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp mustard (any kind)
2 cloves fresh minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Hope you enjoy this recipe!

xo Mikaela

Five Things Friday #2

Hello and Happy Friday! I am linking up with Clare again for my second Five Things Friday!

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Five things making me happy!

1. I got to see one of my best friends last weekend! For the past two months, Emily was travelling SE Asia and she had a layover in Vancouver on her way home, so I was able to catch up with her for a few hours before she headed back to Alberta! I have known Emily since we were about 6 years old but since she lives in a different province than I do, we only get to see each other about once a year. It’s amazing to me that we have still remained so close after 5 years of not living in the same province and I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful friend!

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(Excuse my paleness!)

2. Today is my Dad’s Birthday! Happy Birthday Dad! Also, my parents are coming to visit me next week and I am super excited to see them! It’s funny because I went home around a month ago, but it feels like I haven’t seen my family in months!

3. The sunshine! This past week Vancouver has received so much sunshine and it has started to feel like spring! However, today it is raining but that’s ok. I love that feeling during spring when you can actually start to feel the warm suns rays on your back!

4. My Garmin 220 heart rate monitor. I LOVE it! My parents got this for me for my birthday last month and I was super happy about it! I find myself way more motivated to work out when I wear it. I am sure it is psychological but I like being able to track my progress and physically see how I am doing on paper and on charts!

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5. Tea. I just love it. Plain and simple. #teawithmeg

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Five Things I Ate This Week

1. Black Bean Brownies – I have mastered a recipe that it delicious and you cannot even tell the brownies are made with black beans! I will post the recipe on the blog sometime this coming week!

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2. Stuffed Peppers – Found this lovely recipe On McKinli Hatch’s blog. It is so easy but super yummy at the same time!

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3. Homemade popcorn – I got a microwave popcorn maker for my birthday this year and I love experimenting and trying new flavours for this healthy snack!

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(This was parmesan cheese popcorn!)

4. My Omi’s Homemade Tomato Soup – SO GOOD. I am a big soup lover and this soup reminds me of home.

5. Roasted chicken with vegetables. We followed this recipe but made some modifications because I thought there was too much oil in it and we had different vegetables in the fridge (broccoli and cauliflower). We also only had skinless chicken breasts so we cut those in half horizontally (so they were thinner) and they worked really well for this recipe. I was super pleased with how this meal tuned out! We will definitely be making this again!

What are your plans this weekend? Mine involves a lot of studying!

What is your favourite type of tea? Mine right now is still the Lime Gelato from Davids Tea!

What have you been eating a lot of lately?  Right now I am loving eggs, dark chocolate and natural peanut butter! I can’t get enough!

We are halfway through March already! Wow!  Enjoy your weekend!

❤ Mikaela

Almond Milk Chai Tea Latte

Chai tea lattes are one of my all time favourite drinks! After searching the internet for a recipe using almond milk and not having much luck, I have come up with one that I absolutely love and I hope you do too!

Almond Milk Chai Tea Latte

1 cup – Almond Milk

1/2 cup – Water

1- Chai Tea Bag

1/2 tsp – Cinnamon

1 tsp – Vanilla Extract

1 packet – Vanilla Krisda

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Combine the almond milk and water and allow it to simmer in a small pot.

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Cut open the tea bag (or use loose tea) and pour it into the almond milk/water mixture. Allow this to simmer for 3- 5 minutes.

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Remove the pot from the element and add the cinnamon, vanilla extract and krisda. I have also substituted honey in this drink before (~1 tbsp) and it was a much sweeter flavour! Both ways are really yummy! Let all the ingredients sit for about 5 minutes.

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Pour the liquid through a tea strainer after the 5 minutes are up.

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Enjoy your almond milk chai tea latte!

Ps. I have made variations of this using earl grey tea, vanilla rooibos tea and vanilla chai tea and they were all equally as good as this recipe!

Five Things Friday #1

Yahoo! It’s Friday!!! Let the weekend begin! Today I will be linking up with Clare for the first time for #FiveThingsFriday.

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Five things making me happy!

1. Davids Tea! I am a tea lover but have not found a tea I absolutely adore. Usually I just drink whatever I have at home but recently I have found two teas from Davids Tea that are to die for!! The first is Lime Gelato! IT IS SO GOOD! I got it as a gift for my birthday  and it is probably the best tasting green tea I have ever had. The second is Forever Nuts. My mom bought me a bag of it before Christmas and I am sad to say that I finished it off this morning. It is the perfect light tasting tea to have before bed. Also it is hot pink, always a plus, and the longer you steep it the better it tastes!

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2. I am done my midterms!

3. My new workout playlist! My iPhone decided to restore itself the other day so I lost everything. Needless to say is that it gave me a chance to create a whole new workout playlist that I absolutely love!

4. I hit 2 PR’s this week! One of them was on bench press, the other was on the squat rack. In January I started lifting heavy and frequently (about 4 days a week) with my boyfriend. My goal is to be more toned and have curves made of muscle. It is amazing how much your body can transform after only 2 months! My boyfriend set some goals for him and myself and we aimed to complete them by March 17, which was 2 months from when we set them. But this week he said we were ready to smash them and we did! It is amazing how accomplished you feel when you make a goal and achieve it!

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5. Sleep! This week I got 8 hours each night!

Have a wonderful weekend!!

xo – Mikaela