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Iced Almond Milk Latte

19 Jul
Iced Almond Milk Latte

Iced Almond Milk Latte

We are under extreme heat alert.  Toronto is sizzling!  At 9:30 am the temperature already reached 30 C and factoring in the humidity if felt close to 40 C.  A tall glass of iced cold coffee in a morning is my remedy for this scorching hot weather. I make my iced coffee with almond milk.  I switched to it over 7 years ago and never looked back Here’s another twist; – any grocery store offers almond milk  in different varieties, regular, vanilla, chocolate, sweetened and unsweetened.  All delicious and you can create different flavours. OR Try your milk over frozen coffee ice cubes!

The version below is kind to your waistline (and your wallet) 🙂

All you need is this!

All you need is this!


  • 1 small espresso
  • 1/2 cup of almond milk, unsweetened
  • ice cubes


  1. Brew a pot of espresso.
  2. Fill the glass with as much ice as will fit and add the cold milk.
  3. Add espresso and stir to combine.
  4. Refrigerate any leftovers for later.


Dinner Made Easy

12 Jul
Oven-Roasted Tomatoes & Mushrooms

Oven-Roasted Tomatoes & Mushrooms

Oven roasting brings out the incredible flavour of tomatoes and is a great method for intensifying the sweetness of just about any vegetable.  Pair some roasted vegetables with either grilled fish, chicken or steak, and some kind of salad (click here and here).  Your family or guests will be impressed!



  • 12 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 16 white mushrooms
  • 3 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper or red-pepper flakes if you like it hot


  1. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and preheat the oven to 325F.
  2. Toss everything in a large bowl and arrange on the prepared baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the tomatoes are very soft but still hold their shape.
  4. Transfer to a serving platter and serve warm or at a room temperature.
Oven-Roasted Tomatoes & Mushrooms

Oven-Roasted Tomatoes & Mushrooms

Millet Salad with Oranges, Fennel and Olives

1 Jul

Millet Salad with Oranges, Fennel and Olives

It’s a long weekend in Canada!  I just came back from a 3-day stay in Mont-Tremblant where I had this wonderful and colorful salad.  The ingredients are simple but full on flavor.  It can be eaten on its own or as a side dish.

Millet has numerous health benefits but feel free can experiment with different grains; barley or quinoa will work equally well.


  • 1 cup uncooked millet, rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups water
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 large or 2 medium fennel bulbs, halved and cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 large orange, washed and unpeeled, halved and cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1/2 cup pitted olives
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Toast millet in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and just golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and carefully add water. Return to heat and bring to a boil over medium high heat then reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer until liquid is absorbed and millet is tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Transfer millet to a large bowl, fluff with a fork and set aside to let cool.
  2. While your millet is cooking preheat the oven to 450 F.
  3. Lay the fennel, olives and orange slices into a pan and pour 2 tbsp olive oil over the top; toss with your hands
  4. Place in the oven to roast for about 35 minutes, or until fennel has softened and browned around the edges.
  5. Transfer the cooled millet into a large salad bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil with white wine vinegar and pour over the millet; stir to combine.
  6. .Fold roasted fennel, olives and orange the millet. Add salt and pepper, stir and serve.
  7. Sprinkle with chopped parsley or coriander (I didn’t have any this time).

Millet Salad with Oranges, Fennel and Olives

What Do Salsa Dancers Eat?

17 Mar

Our Team's Potluck

Team’s Potluck Theme – Healthy.  Great food!

Lately, I haven not been blogging regularly  – our rehearsal schedule is jam-packed.  We are 2 weeks away from debuting our new routine, this is what we are calling the “crunch phase” 🙂

Great Rehearsal!

 Great rehearsal last night! 

Knowing that on Saturday night a 4-hour rehearsal will be followed by the 3-hour costume fitting the girls decided to have a potluck to keep our energy levels up.

On the menu:

  • Quinoa Salad with Kale;
  • Buckwheat with Mushrooms;
  • Chickpeas with Tomatoes, Cucumbers and Feta;
  • Almond Biscotti and Fruits.

I have my favourite biscotti recipe but it’s somewhat time consuming.  Since I was pressed for time yesterday I decided to try a new recipe which promised 45 min (including prep and cooking time).

Almond Biscotti

Almond Biscotti (Yields 16)

Adapted from Healthy Heart Miracle Diet cookbook.

Ingredients :

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 raw organic sugar
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2  cup ground almonds
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds (raw)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.  Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. With an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar in a large bowl until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is light and fluffy.
  3. Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and almonds in a food processor and pulse until the almonds are chopped.  Fold into the eggs to make a stiff batter.
  4. Spoon the batter onto  the baking sheet making 2 logs, leaving about 3 inches between.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 325F.
  5. Use 2 spatulas to slide the logs to a cutting board.  Cut into diagonal slices (1-inch wide).  Place the slices, cut side down, on the baking sheet and return to the oven.  Bake until golden, 10 to 12 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.



Canned fish soup, Soviet-Style

13 Mar

Canned Fish Soup

Canned fish may be considered by some to be a junk food, especially if the supermarkets and stores are full of fresh produce, meat, chicken and fish.

Back in the late 80s – early 90s in the Soviet Union regular people didn’t have an opportunity to purchase desired ingredients for their meals.  It was difficult to buy good canned fish, and if someone was able to purchase it they tried to feed the whole family by using a single can.

Almost all homemade meals then were born “out of nothing”.  Canned fish soup is one of these recipes.  Nonetheless, it’s very tasty and full of flavour.

You can make soup from any canned fish (in oil, in tomato sauce, in brine), except smoked canned fish.  My favourite soup was made with canned saury.


  • 6 to 8 cup water
  • Saury blanched in oil, 1 can
  • 3 -4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut 
  • 3 tbsp rice or barley or any other grain (I used oatmeal)
  • 1 small onion,finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Bring water to a boil and add all ingredients.
  2. Reduce heat to simmer, stirring occasionally, until vegetables and grains are cooked – 25 -30 min if using rice; 40 min if using barley.
  3. I felt it needed some colour and added some chopped kale (about 1/2 cup).

Gluten Free Cake with Almonds and Polenta

10 Mar

Gluten Free CakeI am not much of a baker and don’t have a major sweet tooth.  But once a in while I am craving something sweet and if I come across a recipe that  doesn’t require fancy ingredients it always makes me want to bake.

Couple of weeks ago, Rachel on Rachel Eats wrote about baking this cake.  It looked absolutely perfect!  The process didn’t seem  intimidating which is always a plus in my books 🙂 I’ve substituted some all of the ingredients so I didn’t have to run to the store.

The cake is not cloyingly sweet, very aromatic and goes well with a cup of coffee or tea.

Adapted from Rachel’s recipe:


  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup raw organic sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal (polenta)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cardamom

for the glaze: juice of 1 large grapefruit


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  2. Mix all of the ingredients and transfer to a greased pan.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes, turn down the heat to 325 F and bake for another 25-30 min.
  4. Spike holes into the top of the cake while it still warm and in its pan and pour over freshly squeezed grapefruit juice.
  5. Let it cool, take out of the pan and serve.




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

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.

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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