Archive | February, 2013

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

27 Feb


This post has been long overdue!  Over the last 2 months I have been nominated for 6 different awards.

The 1st Award came from a dear friend Arlen from Arlen Shahverdyan. Author’s Blog to whom I would like to express my appreciation.

The Rules:

1. Link back to the person who nominated you
2. Post the award image to your page.
3. Tell 7 facts about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 other blogs and inform them about that they have been nominated.

7 Facts About Me:

1. I am fluent in 4 languages.
2. I am blessed to be surrounded by kind people in my life. 
3. I am working now at once on two very complex routines (Salsa and Cha-Cha)
4. I am very punctual.
5. I love sunsets.
6. I have a “green thumb”
7. Fall is my favourite season.  

I am passing this award to:

  1. Stylesalvation
  2. Job Cafe Inc.
  3. Daily Echo
  4. Aleksandraoheda
  5. Everything under the sun and more
  6. Consonancias y Disonancias o el Eco del Murcielago de Abril
  7. The Eye-Dancers
  8. Compass & Quill
  9. Ghettos Corner
  10. HarsH ReaLiTy
  11. Cookingwithsapana
  12. The Real Facts
  13. Looking for reasoning to a complicated world
  14. Advocatemmmohan
  15. The Melody of Cooking


Lemon-Ricotta Pancakes

20 Feb

Ricotta Cheese Pancakes

I once ate lemon-ricotta pancakes at Hotel Gelato, and from then on was hooked.

They are easy to make and you can show off.  These citrusy pancakes are very light, rich in flavour and come out perfect every time.  You’ll earn the title of Domestic Goddess after you serve them to your family and friends 🙂

Don’t skip the lemon zest – that’s what makes it!


  • 1 c light ricotta cheese
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest


  1. Combine ingredients and blend until smooth
  2. Heat a large pan over medium heat; light coat the pan with butter or oil.
  3. Spoon batter into pan in batches using a 1/4-cup batter for each pancake; cook until lightly browned, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
  4. Serve hot, topped with maple syrup and berries

A Pizza Tradition

17 Feb

My boyfriend and I celebrated Valentine’s Day the day after as on Thursday our Team was performing at the Toronto Bachata Festival pre-party.

This is the third year I’m lucky enough to spend Valentines Day with the same guy, and we’ve got a tradition now: we make His and Hers pizza.  I cook, he cleans 🙂

To drink?  How about a bottle local Sparkling White Wine. It’s bubbly so it feels celebratory, and goes well with a light meal.

We went the easy route and made pizza with store-bought dough (whole wheat, of course).  We selected our own toppings:

His: mozzarella, arugula, prosciutto, salami, tomatoes, peppers, pesto,  Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Hers: arugula, minced garlic, tomatoes, prosciutto, Parmigiano-Reggiano.

And we both had chocolate cupcakes for dessert too!

Back stage – getting ready to perform

15 Feb

For those who practice Bikram Yoga – excellent article!

Compass & Quill

When I first started doing Bikram yoga a couple of years ago, I was amazed at how much I could sweat. I remember the first time I noticed that my shins were sweating, and being simultaneously scared and amused. Before that moment, I thought sweat was pretty much confined to armpits, backs, and foreheads. What a surprise for me to see it coming from everywhere, soaking through my clothes and towel. Walking home from class, sweat dripping with every step, I don’t think I had ever appreciated the lovely Chicago late summer breeze so much.

As time went by, I got used to sweating, and grew to love it. I went to a pretty strict studio, and wasn’t allowed to wipe or scratch if sweat was tickling me somewhere. Part of practice is the stillness, and true stillness means learning to breathe through small discomforts, just let them go. I…

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Love Is In The Air! Happy Valentine’s Day

14 Feb

Photo Credit: Unknown

Healthy Dessert – Chocolate Cake With Protein Powder

13 Feb

This recipe is quick, easy and produces delicious results with minimum effort.  This is what I’ll be making for desert tomorrow!

When I saw this recipe from The Melody of Cooking last week I just had to try it.  Every ingredient is very healthy and this is something I can eat without feeling guilty.

This is what I used to make this cake:

  • 1 tbsp chocolate protein powder
  • 1 tbsp wholewheat flour
  • 1 tbsp dark cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tbsp raw organic honey
  • 1/2 tsp orange extract
  • 1 tbsp almond milk
  • 1 egg


  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Place it in a larger pan with water in it, just halfway up the outside of the bowl. This will allow the cake to cook more slowly and evenly.
  4. Bake it for 20 min.


  1. 2 tbsp peanut butter 
  2. 1 tbsp plain organic yoghurt

Top it with some sliced strawberries and other berries you like and serve it to your significant other.

Mad for Peanut Butter? Try this soup!

11 Feb

Peanut Butter Soup

As you may have noticed in my previous posts, we eat a lot of soup through the cold late Fall and Winter months (Click here and  here).  Some soups served as a first course, while others, more substantial versions, are the meal itself (click here and here).  This delicious soup is one of those soups that is hearty enough to stand alone.  The soup has a bisque-like consistency without the cream – the peanut butter melts into the broth!

This robust and creamy vegetarian soup is very satisfying. You may think you’re cheating by eating such an indulgent dish, but fear not– it’s full of good-for-you mono-saturated fatty acids.  Another reason to love this soup is that it comes together in a snap and cooks up in little time. I’ve tried this wonderful soup three years ago and it has become one of our favorites.

Adapted from the Flat Belly Diet Cookbook:

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs of selery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup natural unsalted peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • fresh cilantro, chopped (I used dill)


  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add the onion, celery, and carrots; cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and 2 cups of water.  
  3. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes over low heat until vegetable are very tender.
  4. Transfer the vegetable to a food processor or a blender and process until smooth.
  5. Return to the pot and stir in the peanut butter, lime juice and remaining 1 cup of water.
  6. Cook for another 5 minutes until the peanut butter melts.
  7. Garnish with chopped cilantro or any other fresh herb and serve.

Roasted Bell Pepper and Avocado Sandwich with Dijon and Buckwheat Honey

8 Feb

Roasted Red Pepper Sandwich

Adapted from the Flat Belly Diet Cookbook

These days I am dancing up to 12 hours a week.  I get plenty of exercise and I want to make sure that I eat as healthy as possible and keep up my energy for dance.  Each meal I eat is balanced containing fruits/vegetables, carbs, proteins and healthy fats.

This vegetarian sandwich is very filling and the best part that it’s slightly over 300 calories.  This makes a light lunch which takes less than 10 minutes to prepare.

I shared this recipe with the girls in our Team and they all like it 🙂

Have got to stay in shape to fit into this sexy Salsa costume!


  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp buckwheat honey (pure natural unpasteurized)
  • 2 tbsp light ricotta cheese
  • 1 small (6-inch) chipotle whole grain tortilla 
  • 1 red bell pepper, roasted (I used a jarred variety this time)
  • 1/4 avocado, sliced


  1. Combine the mustard and honey and spread it on the tortilla.
  2. Top it with the ricotta cheese, pepper and avocado.

Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Garlic and Balsamic

6 Feb

Oven roasted brussel sprouts2 weeks ago I started our 2013 Salsa training season.   During this time I take my healthy eating to another level… everybody wants to look good in their Salsa costume 🙂  None of our dancers go on crush diets! We need to properly nourish our bodies in order to endure 3-5 hours exhausting practices.  We all eat a well-balanced diet consisting of complex carbs, lean proteins and healthy fats; salt and sugar are eliminated.  10 weeks on this plan will give anyone that enviable dancer’s body: long, lean and svelte.

Flower Routine

So let’s talk about Brussel sprouts.  Many people can’t stand them.  I think people hate them because they haven’t had a chance to try them prepared right.  I have high hopes this recipe may convert Brussel sprouts-haters 🙂


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 lb Brussel sprouts
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt & pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 450F.
  2. Cut the ends off each brussel sprout and cut them in half length
  3. Toss with garlic  and oil; add salt and pepper.
  4. Spread it out on a baking sheet lined with foil (to minimize cleanup)
  5. Roast for 20 minutes, or until tender and started to get charred.
  6. While they’re still warm, toss the Brussels sprouts in balsamic vinegar.
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