In This Issue...
Now that I’ve got an access card for the office, I can start bringing microwaveable food to reheat at lunchtime without fear of getting locked out! I really put effort into meal prepping most of my meals this week to save time.
★ My weekly Food Diaries are a way of tracking what I cook, buy, and eat every day. They provide insight into my eating preferences, allow me to analyze patterns in my spending, and help improve my cooking. And I always share my recipes! ★
Savoury Lentil Soup
I technically started this recipe on Sunday, because it’s a slow cooker recipe and I wanted it to be ready for packing into my lunch on Monday morning. It’s my own concoction and it tastes AMAZING! I’m so happy and surprised that throwing vegetables and water in a pot overnight turned out so well, but it makes sense since carrots, celery, and onions are the base of any vegetable stock, and this soup has them all.
As for this avocado melt, it was a snack after work because I was feeling hungry. Clearly that little lunch container of lentil soup wasn’t enough to keep me full for the rest of the day.
There are a lot of avocado toast and avocado sandwiches out there, but can you believe this is the first time I’ve ever put avocado on bread? My family eats them without preparation, like straight up cut one in half and eat with a spoon, and that’s how I’ve always eaten them too. But seeing all the gorgeous Instagram photos of avocado toast finally made me curious enough to try, so I threw this together after browsing a few recipes for inspiration.
Now this was REALLY GOOD for someone who was starving, but I don’t think I would make it again. Heated-up avocado has kind of a weird taste to me, I don’t know if it was something about this method in particular where it was mixing with the melted cheese or what, but I’ve learned I prefer my avocados R A W. Still, all that carby fatty goodness was satisfying and I enjoyed it!
The first time I made polvorones, I accidentally used too much butter and they were the most shapeless, greasiest cookies I’ve ever handled. My boyfriend also said they were the best cookies he’d ever tasted. Encouraged by this, I tried again, with the correct amount of butter but made the mistake of not sifting whole wheat flour…! And the difference in texture was very obvious.
So this time, I was very careful, followed the recipe directions to the letter, and… they still turned out meh. Why? Because I had substituted Crisco for the butter.
My boyfriend gets mad that I always seem to be making substitutions for this and that, usually in an effort to make my baking healthier. But honestly, nutrition wasn’t even on my mind when I made this, I mean, I didn’t have butter on hand, and both Crisco and butter were fats anyway, right? 🙁 I should’ve learned from my mistake last week when I attempted those sugar cookies.
In addition to some of the cookies flattening out rather than retaining their ball shape, these polvorones just had no delicious buttery flavour. They tasted very flat. I guess the aroma of butter is something you can’t easily replace with just any fat.
Savoury Overnight Oats Failure
I’d been eating sweet overnight oats for the past week and wanted to switch things up a bit. So using my usual habit, I scrolled through a few different recipes online and tried the easiest one. Halfway through, I derailed from the recipe and decided to make a few of my own spice decisions, like adding some curry powder because I love curry and parsley because it looked nice.
The result was absolutely inedible. As soon as I took my first taste, after sitting down at my desk, I almost gagged with how bad it was. Figured it could be an acquired taste so I kept forcing down several more mouthfuls, each one was literally so bad. I had to throw it away after somehow finishing a third of it, and I’m surprised I got that far.
NOTE TO SELF: NEVER TRUST YOURSELF TO MAKE EXECUTIVE RECIPE DECISIONS AGAIN
Brownie Batter Chocolate Overnight Oats
I had to get the taste from yesterday’s oats out of my mouth, so I tried a recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie, who has so far never let me down. Notice the present tense, because these were so good!!! You wouldn’t think so to look at it, right? I used honey to sweeten it and tasted as I went until it was just barely sweet enough.
This filled me up for the whole morning and didn’t make me feel bloated or deprived, and somehow it hits the perfect middle ground between tasting healthy and tasting like dessert. I could see myself eating this often in the future!
More Lentil Soup and Oats
I had the lentil soup again for lunch and dinner today, and overnight oats for breakfast. Pretty boring but such is life under meal prep. Should I keep taking photos of my oats? I didn’t today, because it tasted really good (a sugar-free matcha oats combo) but just looks like an unappetizing green soup.
… Come to think of it, all my meals today were some variation of ugly green soup 🤢
Crystal came over for the weekend to celebrate her birthday in Toronto, so we ate out a lot today. I had made a navy bean soup last night, which we had for breakfast, then we stopped at a Thai place called Sabai Sabai and split a massaman curry for lunch since we would be eating dim sum later with other friends. The curry was AMAZING (forgot to take a pic) and I definitely wanna come back again sometime.
Boba from Presotea
For dim sum, we went to an all-day place, Dim Sum King in Chinatown, stopping to get bbt first at Presotea. I’ve never paid much attention to Presotea, since my go-to’s have been CoCo and Kung Fu Tea, but I had a really nice experience here.
Their large size is huge so we got a regular and large size to share between the four of us. I wish I could remember the name of the drink we got, because I think it’s a special edition, but I can’t! All I know is it’s white and has some special sort of white pearl in it too. Oh bubble tea, I don’t think of you often, but when I start drinking I can’t stop.
Dim Sum King
Dim Sum King was a great experience. Since we went at an off time, I think around 4 pm, it wasn’t crowded or noisy, and our server was really nice (pretty unexpected at a Chinese restaurant, lemme tell u). I think he was concerned about how much food we ordered though because he said that the amount we had decided on was good for five to six people. You know what, maybe he just underestimated how much four girls could eat.
I left feeling absolutely stuffed and definitely regretted eating so much, but I hadn’t had dim sum in a while! The price was very good for the portions and you have to get the fried squid when you go there; it’s the best I’ve tasted of any dim sum restaurant.
Chocolate Chip Mini Bundt Cakes
You would think after all that food we ate yesterday we would want something healthier today… nah. It’s Crystal’s birthday today, so in the morning I made her and I mini chocolate chip bundt cakes. I scaled down the recipe by 1/3 and baked two of them in silicon bake-safe jello moulds, which was the closest thing I had to mini bundt pans, then poured the remaining batter, which wasn’t enough to fill a mold, into a ramekin, which cooked it perfectly.
This picture is awful, but trust me, it tasted good. Extremely unhealthy levels of butter, but that made the outside crisp into a golden brown that was so so satisfying to eat. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any candles, but we had a fun time eating them and celebrating her birthday anyway.
Subs and Kimchi Fries from Banh Mi Boys
And since Crystal has wanted to try Banh Mi Boys for a while now, we stopped by the one on Yonge Street on the way to Union Station to catch her bus. For a fast food chain, it ended up taking a while, so she missed the bus, but there was another one coming in an hour, so we were able to enjoy our banh mi in peace.
Crystal’s a kimchi fiend, and I recommended her to try the kimchi fries, so we split a box of tofu kimchi fries. OMG how long’s it been since I ate fries!! I missed their greasy carby goodness.
For some reason, though, I don’t remember it tasting as good as it used to. Maybe that’s just me, hyping it up in my head after being away for so long, but I thought the fries could use a bit more sauce, and the flavour in my tofu banh mi wasn’t quite there. Bao Sandwich Bar has still got my vote for the best banh mi and best kimchi fries!