Hitman’s Healthy Breakfast Smoothie

I’m a firm believer in the old adage that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and I’d like to share my recipe for a healthy, added-sugar-free breakfast smoothie.  This quick and delicious smoothie recipe makes enough for one tall glass, but can easily be doubled for two people.  I like to have it along with a classic big breakfast of eggs, toast, and hash browns but it may be filling enough on its own for some folks.

Healthy Breakfast Smoothie ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 small handful fresh or frozen berries (blueberries used here)
  • 1/2 cup fat-free plain yogurt
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (chocolate is best!)
  • 1 small handful baby kale or baby spinach (kale used here)
  • 1 tablespoon Ra Energy Naturally Sweet or Plain (or substitute flax seeds, chia seeds, or wheat germ)
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Nuba (Kitsilano) & the Ra Energy 7 day challenge

A couple of weeks ago Wendy and I attended the Ra Energy product launch at Nuba in Kitsilano.  Ra Energy is a local company that produces seed mixtures to top your favourite foods with to add texture, flavour, and nutritional value.  Ra comes in garlic, plain, and naturally sweet varieties.  They teamed up with Nuba for their launch party to allow attendees to sample all three versions of their product in a variety of the restaurant’s dishes.  We took on Ra Energy’s 7 day challenge, but here’s the Nuba portion first:

Nuba and Ra Energy: Red Lentil Soup

To get us started as soon as we walked in we had Red Lentil Soup ($4).  The soup was blended and creamy in texture, and we both found the garlic flavour Ra was a great addition.  They don’t use sodium in any of their products, so they add a lot of garlic powder to ensure flavour in this blend.  It also has a nutty flavour and a crunchy texture that worked well in the soup.

Nuba and Ra Energy: Adam Hart

Once everybody had arrived the founder of Ra Energy (and author of healthy eating book The Power of Food), Adam Hart, gave us a pep talk about his product.  All I can say is this guy is living proof that Ra Energy works; he was so animated and full of energy that I had to snap quite a few pics before I finally got one of him standing still!  The enthusiasm was contagious and everybody was in a great mood when we sat down to partake.

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Victoria Weekend Trip Part 1 – The Mint

Howdy, it’s Hitman here to start off this post where we’re going to review several restaurants we dined at during a recent trip to Victoria for my sister’s wedding.  Victoria is notoriously hit and miss for the food scene, and I’ve had my share of misses there but thankfully this trip we lucked out and would highly recommend any of the following eateries.

The Mint Dining Lounge in Victoria

While we were deciding whether to have Thai or Indian food for our first meal in the city, which was a Friday night dinner, I rang up a local friend to see what they recommended.  He was eating at a place called The Mint dining lounge which was just a short walk from our hotel and after a quick google search (I’ve been steered wrong by the locals before….seems in Victoria sometimes places get popular just by virtue of being “hip” regardless of the food so we weren’t taking any chances), we decided to join them for some crazy Indian/Thai/Greek/Italian/Tibetan/Japanese/whatever fusion.

We could hear music playing as we descended the dimly lit, glitter covered concrete steps which was a sign of the funky, cool atmosphere to come.  Once inside we could see the place was packed, but thankfully no lineup–everywhere we went in the downtown core we saw some pretty crazy lineups for clubs, pubs, restaurants etc.  Even a lineup for a pho place!!  We will be hitting that one up next time as we could smell the broth half a block away and it was intoxicating, even though we had just ate!  Back to Mint, the lighting was quite impressive in the opening dining area, with small Xmas-style light bulbs strung along the ceilings which cast the perfect illumination to set a romantic mood, even though the place was batshit noisy.  Part of this noise was coming from a live DJ spinning on a converted stovetop setup complete with kettle!  Some nice electro beats on this particular night, nothing too overwhelming but a nice compliment to the hipster ambiance.  The decor was quite a mixed bag, dropping hints of the eclectic menu: Thai and Indian masks, elephant statues, modern wildlife artwork including some with the wildlife engaged in sex acts…daily specials written on a giant circular saw hanging on the wall behind the bar.

The Mint Dining Lounge in Victoria: Water Buffalo Momos

There wasn’t room at the table the friend was at as they had a big party going on so we didn’t join them until some guests left later, so we settled in to our own table and ordered Water Buffalo Momos to start which were a special for $8.95.  They were practically thumbnail size so we didn’t feel like we got anywhere near our money’s worth.  They appeared to be deep fried instead of the steamed style we were used to…not as good in our opinion.  It came with an achar that tasted like a salsa with a slight pickled flavour.  Maybe they can find a better use for it than the momos because it was kind of interesting.

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Home-cooking: Apple Chips

A while ago I bought a bag of Spartan apples because they were so cheap…around $2 a bag. Now I know they’re not the best apples for eating (very thick and tough peel) but peeled and made into a Curried Chicken salad they were great.

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Home-cooking Recipe: Moist Quinoa Chocolate Cake for Hitman’s Birthday

By now you must’ve heard of quinoa by now…the “superfood”?  “Ancient grain”??  Well superfood or not, it is a great substitute for a rice and…..flour!!

I wanted to bake a homemade cake for Hitman’s birthday, so as part of our new healthier diet, I decided to make him a delicious chocolate cake made with quinoa.

I first had this when a coworker made it and brought it to work.  It tasted divine.  It was dense like a fudge brownie and you can feel sorta good about it as it packs a whole lotta protein.  Hey if you’re gonna indulge might as well try to health it up a little right??

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