Category Archives: Review

It is a Healthy Ice Cream Type of Day

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!

I love ice cream. I miss ice cream treats or ice cream cakes from Dairy Queen! But you know, it is probably a good thing that we do not have a DQ in the Netherlands or South Africa or I would be fat. Super fat.

In the meantime though I can always make ice cream with my ice cream machine. Just days before my sister and her boyfriend arrived in South Africa for the holidays, I got a small ice cream machine. And pretty much everyone who knows me well knows that I will have an ice cream machine on my wedding registry for when I get married. That and a juicer. I’ll be able to slim down on a juicing diet and regain my fat from ice cream, well the ice cream that is milk-based.

My First Ice Cream Machine

Anyway a few weeks ago I made my first batch of ice cream. A yoghurt ice cream which is normally called frozen yoghurt. I never remember the term “frozen yoghurt” though, so I always end up just calling it yoghurt ice.

But I got the recipe from Justataste via Pinterest. Loved it! Although the recipe was slightly large for my minuscule machine so I did halve it. The recipe is of a healthy strawberry frozen yoghurt but I couldn’t find frozen strawberries so mine was made into a mixed berry frozen yoghurt. I also combined the recipe with a recipe in my instruction manual for my machine (you know, just in case the original recipe broke the machine – WHICH probably wouldn’t have happened). Below you can see the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 cups (338g) frozen berries, thawed
  • 2 Tablespoons agave nectar
  • 3 Tablespoons Greek yoghurt
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Instructions:

  1. In a sieve, mash berries and drain juices into a bowl to set aside. Blend whole berries into food processor with agave, Greek yoghurt, and lemon juice.

  2. Add berry juices to berry yoghurt mixture in food processor. And blend till smooth.

  3. Meanwhile prep ice cream machine and turn on.

  4. Pour berry mixture into ice cream machine and allow to freeze to for as long as machine is to be used (mine said a max of 40 minutes).

  5. Once berry mixture is at desired consistency, stop machine and enjoy! Keep in mind that homemade ice cream does not have the same consistency as store bought ice cream)

Although the original recipe I had followed said it was a 5 minute recipe, this forty minute one came out pretty well.

Fresh Frozen Yoghurt

I then placed the ice cream into a little container and popped it into the freezer so I could eat it much later. This did however change the ice cream to be much harder but with a little pop into the microwave all can be made good again!

I still have some leftover berry frozen yoghurt in the freezer even! Yay me.

Eating my Frozen Yoghurt

Not only do I want to share my ice cream with y’all, but I recently re-vamped a giant T-shirt for workout purposes. I don’t know if any of you know, but I do Pilates biweekly as well as Taiji, a martial arts type thing once a week. And yes, the proper name is Taiji which is derived from Taijiquan.

Anyway, I wanted a new workout shirt that was both inexpensive and cute and I pretty much got that. I bought an extra-large shirt from the men’s section of a store and brought scissors to it to make it into this awesome workout shirt!

I got the original idea from a WordPress blog entry by Dollars, Sense, and More and had to do the same thing! The original link for that entry is found here. Although I was initially somewhat confused by the instructions, I later grasped what was to be done and made this:

Back of ShirtFront of Shirt

I did tweak it ever so slightly. But unintentionally as I did cut a hole in the seam by the shoulders. Oops! I then cut three lines on the shoulder seam and pulled apart the seam. I pulled at the shoulder bits to lengthen the material and then tie them together. The shoulder now looks like so:

Shoulders of Shirt

I can say that my Pilates instructor loved my shirt. I too quite love it. But I learnt that the shirt isn’t practical for Pilates usage as we lay on our backs often. And although we lay in a neutral spine the wrapped racerback middle area does press into the soft spot of my back just below my shoulder blades. Not that comfortable. I’ll have to re-vamp a few other shirts till I find the right one for my Pilates. Who knows, maybe I’ll also make shirts for my good friend and Pilates instructor as she really did like the shirt.

Now if you guys want to workout and get back into the fashion world (at least like I did) but you crave for something sweet, this may be just the entry for you with a re-vamped shirt and ice cream and all!

Happy eating and working out!

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Spicy Shrimp Pasta and some Cleaning Insight

Exhaustion is a horrible feeling. All of last week had me exhausted. So much so that I cooked the most drab of meals. I tried making a tuna casserole and failed and after that I just made simple things with lettuce and rice. This is why I haven’t posted in forever.

Finally though today I made an excellent meal which is worth your while.

I’ve been overloading on pasta these past couple of days, and unfortunately today won’t be any different. Alas, today is a fabulous meal. If you’re a fan of garlic and Parmesan than stick around for the meal of the day.

 Spicy Parmesan Shrimp Pasta

This is a plate of my delicious goodness. It is Spicy Parmesan Shrimp Pasta which I got from here.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ pound (226g) Shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 cup whole wheat fusilli pasta
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 green onion, sliced

Instructions:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, Parmesan, garlic, agave nectar, soy sauce, and red pepper flakes. Add shrimp to oil mixture and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes (mix often)
  2. In a large pot, bring water to boil and cook pasta as instructed on packaging.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and oil mixture and cook until shrimp is pink (approx. 2 minutes). Stir in pasta and gently toss. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Place in serving bowl topped with fresh Parmesan and green onions as garnish. 

Although I made enough food for two, I wanted to eat it all up! Alas, I put the rest into a microwave safe bowl and popped it into the fridge.

Enough for 2

By the way, if any of your clear glass bowls are from Ikea and have cute little colorful lids to cover them… they are most likely far from microwave safe. I was reheating some rice and green peas the other day and heard a pop in the microwave. I thought it was the microwave unit itself until I was half way done my rice when I noticed half of my bowl was cracked. So instead of eating peas, I may have been eating small shards of glass. Delicious!

Actually no, glass is really bad to digest. So now I am sticking to microwaving things in plastic containers that I bought rather than what is from Ikea that was here before my arrival.

Also I had an amazing discovery today. White vinegar is heaven. You know when you go to the grocery store and you need to buy vinegar? They always have an array of cooking oil bottle sizes, but you can only buy the MASSIVE bottle of white vinegar? It is a pain in the rear. But I now found the benefit to having vinegar even if I use it seldomly for salads and such.

Vinegar is the magical way of cleaning. Why use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser when you have vinegar?

While I was prepping my shrimp today I was also boiling water and vinegar in my electric kettle. Over the past while there has been a build up of calcium in my kettle. I have tried removing it but never really got it shining like new. Once boiling vinegar water and rinsing with cold water, the interior of my kettle looks BRAND NEW. It is beautiful.

Here you can find sixty-two uses of vinegar. You really should read this link as I learnt so much. You may too.

So that’s my insight for the day.  I hope you learn as I have!

Happy cleaning… and enjoy your Shrimp Pasta!

L

 

Warm Weather Food and a Restaurant Outing

How do you gear up for summer? Do you buy a bathing suit you know you are going to rock on the beach? Do you go to tanning salons to get that nice bronzed glow or do you buy tanning cream to brown your skin gradually? Or are you like me and make meals which are suitable for those fabulous days when you sit outside in your back patio roasting something on the barbecue?

Well obviously I am all about the last option as I am a food lover. Although I can say that I am guilty for having bought a bathing suit not too long ago. Alas I truly gear up for great weather with even better food.

For this evenings meal I made shish kebobs! Is there not a greater meal to have in the summer?

Tofu Shish-Kabob's with Baked Corn on the Cob and a Side Salad

Although I do not own a barbecue, or have a balcony to actually house a barbecue, I do have a microwave oven which can cook shish kebabs like a barbecue!

Preparing Summer Supper

What can you use to make these delicious things? Well you can use whatever vegetable or meat suits you! I personally made it strictly vegetarian… vegan even!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (150g) button mushrooms, stems removed
  • 1 cup (150g) cherry tomatoes
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 package pre-marinated tofu, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • pinch of salt and paprika powder to taste
  • 1 cob of corn, halved
  • 2 teaspoons margarine

Instructions:

  1. Line cookie sheet with tin foil and preheat oven to 450ᵒF (220ᵒC). Begin to chop vegetables as instructed.

  2. Open package of pre-marinated tofu and cut into appropriate pieces. Insert saté stick (skewer) into tofu and chopped vegetables. Place on cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and paprika powder.

  3. Take cob of corn and cut in half. Smear margarine over each half of the cob and place in sheet of tin foil. Sprinkle you choice of herbs or spices and place on cookie sheet.

  4. Place sheet into oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. When finished remove from oven and prepare side salad of choice.

  5. Enjoy!

Summer Supper

This was the perfect meal for me. Especially with that tofu! If you haven’t tried pre-marinated tofu before, you should! If you don’t need to buy pre-marinated tofu as you have managed to figure out a way to marinate your own tofu, please teach me!

The tofu I used was from a brand called Taifun which seems to be a German company. The taste I went for was basil infused tofu.

Right after I made and had this divine meal I went back to sipping on some green tea and overdosing on vitamin C.

Somewhere between last nights dinner gathering and this morning, I seem to have contracted some sort of virus which itches my throat to the point where I am trying to withhold a bunch of coughing. I hate colds. However the dinner gathering last night was great!

If you are ever in the Netherlands – the Hague to be exact, you should go to this fabulous restaurant where the meals are a flat rate of €17.50. Here is the meal that I had yesterday:

Amuse: Smoked haddock over a slice of quiche with some spicy tomato sauce
Amuse: Smoked haddock over a slice of quiche with some spicy tomato sauce
Starter: Cream of Asparagus soup which was Silver Serviced (waiter poured it into your bowl)
Starter: Cream of Asparagus soup which was Silver Serviced (waiter poured it into your bowl)

 

Dinner: Baked Hake with Broccoli, Tomatoes, and Olives on a bed of Garlic Mash
Dinner: Baked Hake with Broccoli, Tomatoes, and Olives on a bed of Garlic Mash
Dessert: Selection of Assorted Desserts - Flan, Raspberry Mousse, Profiterole with Vanilla Ice Cream, and a Dollop of Chocolate Mousse
Dessert: Selection of Assorted Desserts – Flan, Raspberry Mousse, Profiterole with Vanilla Ice Cream, and a Dollop of Chocolate Mousse

If that meal does not strike you as delicious then you are crazy! The restaurant is called In Den Ooyevaer. Beware that link may be in Dutch so you may need to translate!

Have you noticed a trend? I seem to be trying to get more tourism in the Netherlands with my most recent posts! But these places that I go to seem to be so great. So please come and visit this country!

If you do not do so, at least try and enjoy my recipe of the evening!

Eet smakelijk!

Asian Salad Dressing is the Best Salad Dressing

Last year when I lived in Nova Scotia, I fell in love with something. No it wasn’t poutine, although I can tell you that Nova Scotians love their Poutines! No, what I fell in love with was roasted sesame salad dressing.

One time when I was at our staff cafeteria I was plating up greens of all sorts and decided to try a new salad dressing which just so happened to be dark brown with little white specs in it. Now I know most people would be iffy about such a thing, but why be so cautious when experimenting is that much more fun! So I poured this brown liquid over my salad and sat down at a table. I then took my first bite and my mouth experienced an explosion of flavour and I was officially hooked.

Since returning to the Netherlands, I’ve been trying to make sesame dressing from scratch. The first time it was pretty good, but then the second and third time just didn’t hit my stomach the right way. So I basically gave up.

But then on Monday I decided to go downtown to give in to my need to spend money on cosmetics (could I sound any more like a girl), during this time I popped into my favourite biological supermarket and bought some wonderful things like instant miso soup, pumpkin crackers, and green tea. I also found my favourite salad dressing.

Roasted Sesame Salad Dressing

Since buying this beautiful salad dressing, I’ve been adding it to almost everything! I even found an excuse to eat the salad dressing with oven baked Lays chips! It is fabulous having this in my life again!

Dinner

 Now I know that this plate does not look as attractive as the other ones I’ve posted on here, but my wonderful salad dressing is here!

And if you’re wondering, my meal of choice consists of:

1) a baked potato with margarine, cheddar cheese, Greek yoghurt with lemon juice, and freshly chopped chives.

2) a mixed salad with sliced cucumbers and chopped red pepper with my sesame dressing

3) a breaded soy patty (that makes me think of milanesa)

All quite unattractive but über delicious!

For those of you who live in the States and Canada, Kraft has this salad dressing as well. If you haven’t yet tried it, I suggest you do so immediately!

Happy salad eating!