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Monthly Archives: March 2013

Simple Sunday: Smoothie

Today is Simple Smoothie Sunday! (Say that ten times fast!)

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We have had more than one request for a smoothie recipe, and today we are finally honoring our multiple promises to put one on the blog- and with the weather finally starting to warm up, now is the perfect time for it! 🙂

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Because while cold weather makes you want to tuck into a nice, warm bowl of oatmeal, warmer temperatures call for a nice cold, thick and creamy smoothie!

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So let’s go over why smoothies are so awesome:

1. They’re so customize-able!  You can use any variety of fruit or yogurt, milk or juice, you can even throw some veggies in there!  The sky is the limit!
2. They’re delicious.  Honestly, if Orange Julius can base their entire (successful!) business of of them, they must be good, right?  Because who doesn’t love a thick, creamy drink that’s actually good for them?  Which leads us to our third point…
3. They’re healthy! (Well, most of the time…) And they make great post-workout snacks, and of course, amazing breakfasts, too!
4. If you do it right, they taste almost as good as milk shakes 😉
5. Oh, and we already mentioned it, but they’re so easy!

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So in celebration of the the much-anticipated and long-awaited arrival of spring, dust off that blender and pour yourself a nutrient-packed smoothie!

Basic Smoothie

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Prep Time: 5 min
Serves: 2 medium smoothies (or one very large one!)

Ingredients:

1 banana
1 c. frozen fruit (any kind!)
2/3 c. yogurt (plain, vanilla, fruit-flavoured, etc.)
1 c. milk (or juice, or half-juice half-milk)

Directions:

Throw everything into the blender and blend until it’s nice and smooth!

Optional Add-ins:

-spinach (yes, you can add up to a cup of spinach to this recipe without even tasting it!  Try it, you’ll suprise yourself!)
– protein powder (this makes for a great post-workout shake.  You may have to add a little extra liquid, depending on the protein powder you use)
– spices (try cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, etc.)
– avocado (half an avocado makes this smoothie super creamy, and adds some healthy fats)
-Oats (for some whole grains to make this a meal- you’ll just have to add some extra liquid!)
– Fresh Fruit if you don’t have frozen- you just might want to add some ice so your smoothie will still be cold

~twosaucysisters

What is your favourite, go-to smoothie recipe?

Easter Cake

Happy Easter everyone!

Regardless of whether or not you celebrate Easter, we wish you a happy day and long weekend anyways. 🙂

Now, for most people, Easter is synonymous with chocolate. Don’t take this the wrong way: it definitely is for us, too! A holiday that encourages excessive chocolate consumption? We are so there, 100%!

But there’s something else that comes to mind when we think of Easter: Carrot Cake, of course!

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No Easter would be quite the same in our house without carrot cake.

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In fact, if we had to make a decision as to what would qualify as our top 3 favourite cakes (a horrible decision to have to make, we know!), carrot cake would definitely make the cut. We’ve looked forward to our mother making carrot cake every year since we were little!

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This year, we decided to take the reigns and add a little Two Saucy Sister flair to it! 😉

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Of course, that means we’ve made it healthy. But who really cares if it’s healthy, as long as it tastes delicious, right? And we guarantee you – this is delicious!

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So this Easter, make sure you eat lots and lots of chocolate – but make sure you save some room for carrot cake. 😉

Carrot Bundt Cake

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Prep time: 15min
Bake time: 45-50min + 20min
Makes: 1 bundt pan, ~16slices

Ingredients:

2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. white flour
1/4 c. white sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1/3 c. unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)
1/2 tsp salt

2 eggs
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 c. honey
1/2 c. plain, low-fat yogurt
1/4 c. milk of choice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. grated carrot
1 c. diced pineapple (optional)
1/2 c. walnut pieces (optional)
1/2 c. raisins (optional)

For the Icing:

1/2 c. 1% cottage cheese
1/2 c. low-fat cream cheese
1/4 c. honey
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp butter extract (optional)

For the carrot topping:

1/2 c. grated carrots
3 tsp honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375F.
In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients. In a medium sized bowl, combine the eggs, oil, honey, yogurt, milk, vanilla and carrots. Pour the wet into the dry and mix just until moistened. Now add the pineapple, walnuts and raisins, if using.
Pour into a greased bundt pan and bake for 45-50 min, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Allow to cool for 10min then invert it onto a wire wrack and allow to cool.

For the Icing:

Blend the cottage cheese until smooth. In a medium bowl, cream the honey and cream cheese together. Stir in the cottage cheese, vanilla and butter extract (if using), mix until smooth. Pour over top of cake once cooled.

For the Carrot topping:

Turn the oven up to 400F. (after removing the cake).
Place grated carrot on a paper towel and squeeze out excess moisture.
Toss with honey and cinnamon and spread out onto a baking sheet.
Bake for 15-20min. or until some of the carrots are crispy. Allow to cool, they will become a little crispier as they cool.
Once cooled, sprinkle over the top of your cake.

~twosaucysisters

What’s your favourite kind of cake? Do you have any special Easter traditions? As we mentioned in yesterday’s post, our family started a new Easter tradition last year of a soup and sandwich potluck last year instead of the traditional Easter feast. So easy and so delicious!

Oranges, Strawberries, Bananas and Good Friday

It looks like our springtime and sunshine recipes worked – it is absolutely GORGEOUS out today! A Good Friday Miracle perhaps?

There is a lot good about this Friday, too! It’s Easter weekend, so we don’t have class today and are home putting in some serious fam-jam time, there’s chocolate EVERYWHERE, it’s potentially the most beautiful day we’ve had since the fall, and we’re sticking to our promise and giving you more of our pancake-in-a-jar recipes!

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Orange Strawberry Banana.
This has been on of our favourite flavour combinations ever since our dad first brought home a carton of Orange Strawberry Banana Juice. Delicious!

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This pancake kind of fits in really well with the weather, it’s just so bright and colourful!

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Beautiful!

You know, though, there are a lot of other good things about today. Like our family members’ health, as well as the second year of our new Easter tradition. You see, last year, shortly before Easter weekend, our aunt fell down the stairs early in the morning and broke several bones, it was quite a mess! Seeing as she is the one who usually spear-heads our family meals, but was clearly going to be in no condition to cook, we had to change the plan. My Grandma suggested we just do soup and sandwich – everyone brings a soup and then my other aunt, who agreed to host, would provide sandwich fixings, and the two of us would make bread.  It turned out so well, that we decided why not do it again this year? Our aunt has fully healed from her accident, and out of her accident came a brand-new family tradition! 🙂

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Needless to say, we are spending partially outside enjoying the day, and partially inside baking several loaves of bread! What’s better than that?

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Of course, don’t worry –  we have something else in the oven too, just in time for Easter. 😉 But for now, we hope you enjoy your day off and that you make this pancake-in-a-jar! We promise you won’t be disappointed. 🙂

Happy Good Friday!

Orange Strawberry Banana Pancake in a Jar

Prep time: 10min
Cook time: 5 min
Serves: 2

Ingredients:

1 c. whole wheat flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 c. orange juice
1/2 c. milk of choice
zest of 1 orange
1 tbsp orange pulp
1 tbsp nut butter (almond or coconut would work well)

1 banana, chopped
1/2 c. chopped strawberries
2 tbsp orange pulp

Orange Syrup:

1/4 c. orange pulp
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp honey

Directions:

Chop up strawberries and banana and divide evenly into two medium sized mason jars.
Zest the orange, squeeze out the juice, and remove the pulp from the rind.
Divide 2 tbsp of the pulp evenly between the two mason jars, mixing with the strawberries and bananas.
In a medium sized bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Mix in orange juice, milk, zest and 1 tbsp of orange pulp.
Divide this mixture evenly between the two mason jars and then cook in the microwave for 5 minutes, or until firm to the touch.
For the syrup, combine the 1/4 c. of orange pulp and honey in a food processor or blender (we used our spice grinder), then add 1 tbsp of water at a time until you reach your desired consistency. Pour over the top of your pancake and enjoy!

~twosaucysisters

What’s good about your good friday?

Pillows of Sunshine

We love lemon, as is evident here, here, here and here.

We also love muffins.

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So why not make lemon muffins?

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And of course, we love to put poppy seeds in whenever we bake with lemon!

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We also love the lemon + coconut pairing, so naturally we made these muffins with part coconut flour.

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The coconut flour just makes them so pillow-y soft with a hint of sweetness, yet the lemon gives them a sunshine-like brightness, they really couldn’t have turned out any better!

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We hope these muffins bring some sunshine to your day like they did to ours!

Lemon-Coconut Muffins

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Prep time: 10min
Bake time: 15-20min
Makes: 12 muffins

Ingredients:

1 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. white flour
2 tbsp coconut flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp poppy seeds
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp white sugar

1 egg
juice of 1 lemon (~1/4 c.)
zest of 1 lemon
1 c. milk of choice
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 tbsp honey
1/3 c. plain yogurt
1/2 tsp coconut extract (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F.
In a medium sized bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients. Pour the wet into the dry and stir until just combined.
Divide batter evenly between 12 greased muffin cups.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly browned and firm to the touch.

~twosaucysisters

A Spring Wish

This weather is crazy! For instance, yesterday: Blizzarding in the morning, sunny and warm enough to run in half-tights in the afternoon. What the heck?!? We are actually going batty over here- Mother Nature needs to get her act together and get spring going. We mean really, it’s March 27th people! Why is it still snowy and struggling to reach temperatures above freezing? There should be little flower buds and a slightly warmer sun by now!

In an effort to gently  encourage spring to come out of it’s shell, we made an early-summer inspired meal for dinner a few nights ago:

DSCN5228Baked Salmon with a Stawberry-Basil Rice Pilaf and Strawberry-Avocado Salsa!

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What’s more summer-y than fresh strawberries? They scream early late-June early-July.
Don’t mind the dying asparagus in the background. Asparagus is another veggie that is so reminiscent of the spring time, however we got a little excited about preparing the rest of the meal and sort of forgot that it was in the oven. Woops!

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Other than the forsaken asparagus, this meal was like a burst of spring even though there’s still snow on the ground. Strawberry+avocado is an unreal combination (have you ever tried strawberry and avocado grilled cheese? If you haven’t, you definitely should!) and so is strawberry+basil, and they all just go so well with the salmon!

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Maybe, if we just boycott winter all together spring will get here faster. Run in shorts and tank-tops, wear strappy sandals…. hmm, maybe we’ll just stick to eating spring/summer-inspired meals!

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Here’s to hoping spring comes out of hiding soon!

Baked Salmon with Strawberry Basil Rice Pilaf and Strawberry Avocado Salsa

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Prep time: 10min
Cook time: 20min
Serves: 2

Ingredients:

2 filet of salmon
1/2 tsp lemon juice
ground black pepper, to taste

1/2 c. rice + water (amount of water depends on the type of rice you’re using. We used a short-grain brown rice/wild rice mix)
3/4 c. strawberries, chopped
1/2 c. basil, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp lemon juice, divided
1 tbsp dijon mustard, divided
ground black pepper

1/2 c. strawberries, chopped
1/2 avocado, chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice
pinch of sea salt
ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350F.
Sprinkle salmon with lemon juice and pepper and bake for 10min, or until light pink and flakes easily with a fork.

Meanwhile, cook rice according to package directions.
Put chopped strawberries and garlic onto a frying pan and mix with half of the lemon juice and dijon mustard. Cook over medium heat for 3 min, then add the basil. Cook for another 2 minutes or until strawberries have softened. Once the rice is finished cooking, stir the strawberry-basil mixture into the rice, along with the rest of the lemon juice and dijon mustard, and the black pepper.

For the salsa, toss chopped strawberries and avocado with lemon juice, salt and pepper.

To serve, put the rice pilaf on the plate first and place salmon over top. Top with the salsa and serve along side your favourite spring veggies!

~twosaucysisters

What ways are you using to escape this prolonged winter weather?

Our Favourite Combo

Before we get into today’s post, have you read yesterday’s post yet? No?!? Well, you probably should! It’s about an exercise and nutrition symposium that we attended on the weekend, and we talked about some of the points that a couple of the speakers made regarding the paleo diet, healthy living and weight loss. You should check it out! Now, to today’s post! 🙂

We have made it no secret in the past that our favourite flavour combinations are peanut butter chocolate, peanut butter banana, chocolate and banana, and peanut butter chocolate banana. There really isn’t anything better! We also have a friend who shares this opinion (the reason we’re friends, obviously :P), so back when he came to visit us for St. Patrick’s Day, we knew just what to make for post Sunday-Funday shenanigans – Pancakes!

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Peanut Butter pancakes…

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with vanilla-flavoured “ice cream” (aka banana soft-serve)….

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and a little bit of healthy chocolate sauce…

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try a lot of chocolate sauce! 🙂

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And a few peanuts on top for the crunch-factor!
Seriously, do we need to even finish this post?

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You see, we had a deal with said friend: He buys us a couple of drinks throughout the day, and we make him breakfast in the morning (though should the fact that we allowed him to tag along with us throughout the day and crash on our futon not be enough? Just kidding, Trev! 😉 ).

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Since he held up his end of the deal (perhaps too much) we obviously had to keep ours. But here at the Two Saucy Sisters house, when we promise someone breakfast, we don’t just make sure we have their favourite cereal and hand them a bowl and some milk, no sir! We came out firing on all cylinders – Peanut Butter Pancakes with Vanilla Banana Soft Serve and a healthy Chocolate Sauce.

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We think we did a pretty good job holding up our end of the deal, don’t you?

Peanut Butter Pancakes a La Mode

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Prep time: 10min
Cook time: 10min
Serves: 3

Ingredients:

For the Banana Soft Serve:

2 frozen bananas
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For the Pancakes:

2/3 c. whole wheat flour
1/3 c. peanut flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
dash salt
2 tbsp peanut butter
1 whole egg
1 egg white
2 tbsp honey
1 c. milk of choice
1/2 tsp vanilla

For the Chocolate Sauce: (based off of Heather at Kiss My Broccoli)

3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla
4-5 tbsp water

Directions:

Slice your frozen bananas (if not already sliced) and add to food processor or high powered blender. Add vanilla and blend until smooth. Place in the freezer until everything else is ready to serve.

Pre-heat pancake griddle or frying pan.
In a medium sized bowl, combine all dry ingredients. In a smaller bowl, combine the wet. (Optional: separate egg whites and beat until they form a stiff peak and fold into batter after wet and dry have been mixed for a fluffier end result).
Pour wet into dry and mix until just combined.
Spoon batter onto griddle and flip once bubbles form on the surface and bottom of pancake is lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes per side.

Combine cocoa powder, maple syrup and vanilla. Add water a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the consistency that you desire!

Scoop banana soft serve and place over each person’s pancake stack. Top with chocolate sauce and peanuts, if desired.

~twosaucysisters

What food (breakfast or otherwise) do you make when you have a house guest?

Exercise and Nutrition Symposium: The Paleo Diet and Finding your Motivation

We have a different kind of post for you today, one that doesn’t actually involve a recipe. (Gasp!) Shocking, we know- but don’t worry, there will be another recipe up very soon 🙂

Today, we want to share with you some details about an exercise and nutrition symposium that we attended this past weekend.  There were some very interesting speakers that brought up several good points, and we thought it would be nice to recap it to the best of our ability for you, since we believe that this is stuff that everyone can benefit from learning.

There were many speakers there, but we are going to focus on two of them, because we don’t want to make this so long that you have to read for hours, and since they were our two favourites, we want to be able to give you at least a little more detail instead of just the general topic of what they were presenting.

So first off, a speaker by the name of Graeme Thomas gave a talk called “Why Didn’t Cave Men Use Dish Soap? Understanding the Paleo Diet for the 21 Century”.  We were interested in this topic, since the Paleo Diet has been receiving a lot of publicity as of late and so we wanted to here what he had to say.  He didn’t end up talking solely about the paleo diet, though, which we really liked, because he provided a lot of great insight into how people should choose the diet that’s right for them.

First off: A few interesting points on the paleo diet.  For those of you who may not know, the basic idea of the paleo diet is to mimic the diets of our ancestors from paleolithic times.  Followers of this diet believe that this is a more genetically-correct way of eating.  Essentially, the diet cuts out all grains, legumes, and dairy, and mainly consists of vegetables, meats, and nuts.  What Graeme pointed out, though, is that many so-called “Paleo” foods, are actually not what our ancient ancestors would have eaten!  He explained that humans are “opportunistic omnivores”, which means that we will eat what is available to us.  If there are lots of fruits and vegetables around, we will eat them, but if there aren’t we won’t!  Same goes for other foods like meats, grains, etc.  He also explained that humans are lazy.  What he meant was that it took a lot of effort to go out and kill a buffalo (for example) to eat, so if there was something easier (like pulling a plant out of the ground) humans were more likely to eat that.  They would also wait until they were hungry enough before they would go hunting, so they went long periods of time where they didn’t eat much.  This is what has allowed the human race to survive, because it was a way of conserving energy!

So what does this mean for the paleo diet?  Well, for one thing, the paleo diet does not allow for grains, but there is actually lots of evidence that humans have refined grains (such as wild rice) for consumption for hundreds of thousands of years!  On a similar note, foods such as broccoli (which is acceptable in the paleo diet) are actually much more recent “inventions”, and did not exist during paleolithic times.  Like we said- if it was there, we ate it, if it wasn’t, we didn’t!

But before anyone gets upset, we are not saying that the paleo diet is bad, or dumb, or that you shouldn’t follow it.  And that’s what his main message was that he was trying to get across- you have to follow the diet that’s right for you.  Of course, not too many of you are going to be running out and getting your genes tested to find out what foods you should avoid.  Unfortunately, finding the best way of eating for yourself is a trial-and-error process, but there are some things you can consider to get you on the right track.  For example, if you have a family history of diabetes or high blood sugar, consuming a diet lower in carbohydrates may be something you should try, or if you have a family history of high blood pressure heart disease, a very high-fat diet may not be the best option for you.

Essentially, you need to do what works for you.  If you’ve found success with the paleo diet and you enjoy eating that way (key word there!!) then more power to you!  If you love eating grains, dairy and legumes, and you have no problems with it, then that’s fine too 🙂  There is no “perfect diet”.  And we think that’s pretty great 😀

The other speaker was Melissa Maloney, who works for Goodlife Fitness, and her topic was “Diet and Excercise- How Bad do you Want it?”

She was very inspiring, and had some great tips for people who are finding it difficult fitting exercise and healthy eating into their daily lives.  Her main message was that no matter how busy you are, there is time for exercise and time for planning healthy meals.  It’s just a matter of making it priority.  She offered several steps on how to make these things priority, but there were two that really stuck with us.  The first one was find your why.

Why do you want to start working out?  At first you may think I want to lose twenty pounds, that’s why!, but this is not a good why.  She explained by giving us this scenario:  You want to lose twenty pounds, so you start exercising and eating right.  You don’t lose a single pound, but you feel better, you look better, and you’re happier.  Are you upset that you didn’t lose twenty pounds? Of course not!

So you have to find your real why.  A better “why” could be that you want to be fit so you can play with your kids, and so that you can be around longer to watch them grow up.  Or that you want to feel more confident about yourself and have more energy.  The idea is that your reason for getting healthier needs to move past being just a number on the scale, a size you want to fit, or a way you want to look for your upcoming vacation.  It needs to be something that’ll get you up in the morning, something that has meaning for you.

The second point was to find your how.  Many people find it difficult to motivate themselves to exercise.  She explained that to overcome this, you have to pinpoint your “critical moments”.  These are the times when you’re at your weakest.  For example, if you know that if you go home before going to the gym you won’t end up going at all, you need to recognize that and plan for it.  Have your gym stuff packed and bring it with you so that you don’t need to go home first.  That is just one example, but the most important thing to remember is to find those moments and plan for them.  If you have strategies in place to help you overcome them, you will be on your way!

So we’re going to end it there, because this post is already a million years long, but as always we’d appreciate any comments and feedback to let us know what you think!

~twosaucysisters