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Curried Baked Sweet Potatoes


The nights are getting a bit cooler here in Vancouver which means the rainy weather is starting to settling in for the Winter. Despite the fact that so many of us do not live according to the seasons, our bodies still do.

As the seasons change it’s only natural for us to start craving warmer comfort food. Of course, if you’re like me you’ll want to keep it healthy and satisfying so these Curried Baked Sweet Potatoes are a great option.

Curried Baked Sweet Potatoes
Serves: Serves 8
  • 4 sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp. grape seed oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 red pepper diced
  • handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • ½ cup toasted slivered almonds
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 cups cauliflower florets, washed
  • 1⁄4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Poke a few holes in the sweet potatoes with a sharp knife to allow steam to escape. While they cook you can start on your filling.
  2. Pour vegetable broth and quinoa to a medium sized sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Once boiling reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy. In the meantime sauté the onion and garlic in the grape seed oil with a pinch of salt until soft. Next add in the red pepper, spinach, cherry tomatoes and almonds and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. From there you can add the finished quinoa and cinnamon to the frying pan and mix together.
  3. For the Cauliflower:
  4. Mix the olive oil, curry powder, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a small mixing bowl.
  5. Place the washed and well drained cauliflower florets in a 13 x 9 inch baking dish; pour the oil mixture over the florets and toss gently.
  6. Cover with foil and bake 15 minutes; remove from oven and stir in almonds mixing lightly.
  7. Return to oven and bake uncovered for an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until cauliflower is browned.
  8. Once sweet potatoes are cooked, Remove from oven and let stand until cool enough to handle. Slice sweet potatoes lengthwise down the center to expose cooked insides, top with the quinoa and curried cauliflower and enjoy!




Vegan Borscht Soup

fullsizerender-6This past week I had a long over due lunch with a girlfriend whom I hadn’t seen for ages at Pazzo Chow. For those of you who haven’t been, it’s definitely a local gem in Chinatown that I often frequent for lunch. The menu changes everyday so you’re always in for a surprise.

The special for the day ended up being this life-changing Vegetarian Borscht Soup which instantly brought back many memories of the good ol’ days at my Bubbie’s chalet in Quebec’s Eastern townships. It’s pretty incredible how certain flavours can take you right back to a place or a moment in time. For me while eating this soup all I could think about is coming home after a long day of skiing in -43 degrees, cozying up by the fire and indulging in comfort food prepared by my very talent Bubbie.


This Sunday I made the point of calling her and asking her for the recipe which I wanted to share with all of you.

Vegan Borscht Soup
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 3 medium-size beets, peeled and grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 medium onions, sliced into half-moons
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 1 pound white cabbage, cut thinly into shreds
  • 2 tablespoons grape seed oil
  • 7 cups vegetable stock
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • Salt & ground black pepper to taste
  • Finely chopped chives & dill for garnish
  1. Peel and cut the onions, carrots, and grate the beets once peeled.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of grape seed oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add crushed garlic and onion; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent.
  3. Continue to add carrots, grated beets and a pinch of salt. Cook until they have soften.
  4. In the meantime, bring the vegetable stock to a boil. Once boiled, add the soften veggies along with the shredded cabbage. Let simmer 15-25 minutes.
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then squeeze in the lemon juice.


Chicken Soup

Nothing feeds the soul like homemade chicken soup, especially as cooler weather starts to settle in. The version I’m sharing with you today is tested, tried and true. It’s a cherished staple amongst the Steiman side of my family, passed down from generation to generation.

Chicken Soup
The stock freezes quite nicely and can be used as a great base in all sorts of other dishes, some of my all-time favourites include homemade mushroom risotto.

Chicken Soup
Serves: 8
  • Chicken Stock:
  • 4 lbs chicken, cut in pieces
  • 8 cups cold water
  • 3 large yellow onions
  • 4-5 carrots, cut into ½ pieces
  • 3 stalks celery, cut into ½ pieces
  • Chopped fresh dill leaves
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  1. Wash whole Chicken and cut into quarters. Place into sauce pot and cover with cold water about 8 cups.
  2. Bring to a boil, over medium heat, skim until clear then add the carrots, whole onions and one rounded teaspoon of kosher salt. Cover and let simmer until almost done about 2 hours then add the celery and dill for an additional hour. Strain broth into a large bowl and separate chicken from bone.
  3. Reheat and ladle the soup into individual bowls and serve.
  4. *Tip: Refrigerate broth after separation to remove fat.


Challah Bread

I have yet to meet a single person who doesn’t enjoy the taste of freshly baked challah bread. This recipe is sweet, tender and undeniably the best bread ever. It’s always a treat to have this toasted with an avocado spread on top. Personally, I love making French toast or grilled cheese challah… If you haven’t already tried making some, I suggest you do! Happy bread baking everyone.

Happy Rosh Hashanah! @carstei and I decided to cook up a delicious meal tonight for a few friends. I can't wait to dig into this challah bread

Challah Bread
  • 1½ tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon plus ½ cup sugar
  • 1¾ cups lukewarm water
  • ½ cup olive or vegetable oil, plus more for greasing the bowl
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon table salt
  • 8 to 8½ cups all-purpose flour
  • Poppy or sesame seeds for sprinkling.
  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in water; set aside for 5 minutes until a bit foamy.
  2. Whisk oil into yeast, then beat in 4 eggs, one at a time, with remaining sugar and salt. Gradually add flour. When dough holds together, it is ready for kneading.
  3. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth. Clean out bowl and grease it, then return dough to bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until almost doubled in size. Dough may also rise in an oven that has been warmed to 150 degrees then turned off. Punch down dough, cover and let rise again in a warm place for another half-hour.
  4. To make a 6-braid challah, either straight or circular, take half the dough and form it into 6 balls. With your hands, roll each ball into a strand about 12 inches long and 1½ inches wide. Place the 6 in a row, parallel to one another. Pinch the tops of the strands together. Move the outside right strand over 2 strands. Then take the second strand from the left and move it to the far right. Take the outside left strand and move it over 2. Move second strand from the right over to the far left. Start over with the outside right strand. Continue this until all strands are braided. For a straight loaf, tuck ends underneath. For a circular loaf, twist into a circle, pinching ends together. Make a second loaf the same way. Place braided loaves on a greased cookie sheet with at least 2 inches in between.
  5. Beat remaining egg and brush it on loaves. Either freeze breads or let rise another hour.
  6. If baking immediately, preheat oven to 375 degrees and brush loaves again. Sprinkle bread with seeds, if using. If freezing, remove from freezer 5 hours before baking.
  7. Bake in middle of oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden. (If you have an instant read thermometer, you can take it out when it hits an internal temperature of 190 degrees.) Cool loaves on a rack.


Our Road Trip Through Northern Italy


From the windy hike along the shores of La Spezia to the breathtaking views of the Dolomite mountains, nine-days in Italy was not nearly enough time to explore everything; but we sure made the most of it. September 2nd, 2016 marked my first trip to Europe. It sure has open my eyes to a wonderful way of life, culture & expansion of my food palette. Some notable highlights were obviously the beautiful countryside, wine and brightly colorful houses along the waterfront.

Get lost and then get found.

Traveling has a way of transforming you, as soon as I stepped off the plane I felt as though the stress in my shoulders was lifted. I flew into Milan–Malpensa Airport then made my way to the other airport in Milan to meet my girlfriend Miranda. From there we rented a car and drove up to Val di Sole where both our boyfriends were racing in World Master’s for Downhill. Little did we know the drive from Milan to Trentino was going to be an adventure. The roads in Italy are very narrow compared to the spacious ones we have here in Canada. It definitly made for a very interesting drive up the windy mountain roads. After about 3 hours we finally made it to Trentino and settled in for the night at this cozy but modern chalet called the Hotel Palace Ravelli.

The next day Miranda and I took the gondola up to the top of the mountain and hiked around for a few hours while the boys did their practice runs. I was truly amazed at how mountainous the northern region was. While up touring the top we constantly heard cow bells in the distance. After some time we ended up stumbling across them grazing. In Europe they call this Alpine transhumance which is a traditional practice of grazing livestock between the valleys in winter and the high mountain pastures in summer. It has helped shaped much of the landscape in the Alps, as without it, most areas below 6,600 ft would be forests.

Trentino, Italy



The next day we rented some bikes and road along a valley trail between five of the little mountain towns. We searched for a little cafe before making our way back to see the boys race in the afternoon.img_0317

With the tough conditions and rough track the race was definitely quite interesting to watch. Unfortunately, Dan crashed at the top section and was set back with his time. It was hard to see all the hard work gone into training and to have one lap to determine your standing…but that’s downhill. Despite the not so great run we all enjoyed a lovely dinner in town with crunchy thin crust pizza and chocolate desserts. The next morning we grabbed a quick espresso in town before heading down to Verona.


The Dolomites are simple incredible, for those of you living in British Columbia picture driving through cliff faces like “The Chief”. I’ve done a fair bit of road trips in my time and I will say this was the kind of drive where you want to stop every 10 minutes to take a photo. Dan being the patient guy he is obliged.


The drive from Trentino to Verona took around 2.5 hours which included a quick pitstop at a small hotel on the side of the highway. There we grabbed lunch, had a glass of white wine and took in the view. img_0598

img_0670For a couple weeks I had been looking forward to our stay just outside of Verona at beautiful little Airbnb I found (here). Our host was wonderful, and was able to recommend a traditional Italian restaurant in the area.  We had a few hours to spare before dinner so Dan and I decided to go into the city to check out the arena.  The next morning we got up at the crack of dawn and made our way to the beautiful little town of Modena. By the time we made it there we had both built up an appetite and while walking around the city we stumbled across this vegetarian spot called Loma, where we ate some tasty panini’s.img_0752

After lunch we continued walking along the narrow side streets in town before making our way to the Ferrari exhibit.  After the exhibit we made our way to the Balsamic tasting at Acetaia Di Giorgio.

img_0870  img_0890

I could have easily spent the night in Modena, but we already rented an Airbnb in Florence. So after our balsamic tasting we were on the road yet again. The weather had decided to take a turn so by the time we made it to Florence it had started to rain. Despite the down pour there was something awfully beautiful about staying in the Florence countryside. From the rolling hills, endless amount of vineyards and beautiful estates we were soaking the whole experience up. That evening our host at the bed and breakfast recommended yet another great restaurant right down the road called Tres Pini. We couldn’t have asked for a better atmosphere and the the food and the live music was the cherry on top. The next morning we woke up and headed into the city for a early breakfast. We quickly realized we didn’t have enough time to fully explore Florence so we made a decision to continue heading towards Lucca, a small town where my grandmother’s family was from to spend most of the afternoon.  img_1159

I instantly fell in love with the little town. We rented bikes for the day and got lost down the narrow windy streets. It was a small enough town that you could do that. Around lunch we found a little restaurant where I indulged in some burrata cheese and prosecco, what more could a girl want?

img_1131My grandmother wanted to visit Lucca before she passed, but wasn’t able to make the trip due to health concerns. Before we left town, I made a point to go to the cathedral and light a candle for her and my poppa. I’m so grateful I was able to spend the afternoon there with Dan, exploring and seeing that part of Italy.


Our next stop was La Spezia where we planned to root ourselves for more then just one night. Dan and I stayed at Le Ville Relais a stunning hotel sitting on the very top of the hill overlooking the Port and the West of the Gulf of La Spezia.img_1259

Between the elaborate breakfast spreads to the four course dinner menus,  the food there was simply incredible. I will never forget the delicious molten lava raspberry chocolate cake I had two nights in a row, it was that tasty. The following day we spent exploring the beautiful Cinque Terre coast. We travelled by train to the furthest town then made part of our way back by foot.

All you need is a little bit of this.


Like I said, nine days in Italy wasn’t nearly enough. I will definitely spend some more time there. Especially to check out the southern regions.

My Love for Pottery Begins

I start off every New Year by setting a yearly goal list, and like most people’s lists some of the items on it are easily checked off, while others don’t exactly make the cut.


Since moving out to the cove, I’ve been obsessed with a small shop called the Sunnyside. For those of you who have yet to venture in there yet; it’s a get place to check out filled with cute succulents, delicious teas, my favourite cookbooks and most of all beautiful hand made ceramics.

source: heather dahl

For the longest time I’ve wanted to get back into sculpting, it feels like ages ago but I studied Sculpture and Installation at OCAD. Even though my time there was shortly lived, the skills I learnt had a profound impact on my journey in life. After admiring the works of Heather Dahl, a very talented local Vancouver pottery artist. I decided to reach out to her and figure out where she would recommend taking classes. Turns out, it was just up the road at the Northshore Community Centre. Fast forward a couple months, I finally ended up enrolling in a 13-week Intro to Wheel Work and Hand Building class. The pottery teacher is named Liz DeBeer, a wonderful woman originally from South Africa and now a practicing pottery artist on the Sunshine Coast.


Now before I dive into it the wonderful world of Pottery, let me begin by saying it isn’t for everyone. In fact, you truly need to have outmost attention to detail and patience if you want to succeed. The more classes I take, the more I realize that the foundational work is key.


I have a tendency to rush through work, as I’m eager to see the end result. With pottery much of the reward is in the process as there are many steps from the building of the clay, the trimming and decorating, to the glazing. I’m learning to love the slow progression of each stage.


I’m currently experimenting with all sorts of shapes and sizes to get a feeling for the clay. Nothing noteworthy yet, but you have to begin somewhere. Now that I’ve shared a yearly goal of mine I hope that I inspired you to get out there and cross something off your list.


Sunshine Coast

IMG_6420Last weekend a few of us headed over to the beautiful Sunshine coast…. It was my first time ever going to this special place and I now know why everyone talks so highly about it. For the third weekend in a row Dan and I were up at the crack of dawn (on a Saturday) getting the bikes and gear ready to be on the road for 7AM. It’s a short and sweet ferry ride but on a beautiful clear day you’re able to see all the breathtaking mountains that surround you as far as the eye can see. IMG_6428-2
Mountain biking for me is one of those things that makes me excited but nervous all at the same time. Don’t get me wrong I love the fact that I’m learning something new and challenging but the getting injured part doesn’t really do it for me. Nonetheless, I’m looking forward to going more often as the weather gets warmer.  After a long day of riding in the snow and frost we all went to Persephone Brewing Company to enjoy a couple brews and to eat some well deserved food at the Farm to Feast Food Truck.IMG_6492 I can’t wait to go back and check this place out again in the summer time. Such a great hang out spot and I can only imagine how good the atmosphere is with the outdoor patio all lite up in the summer time. They even have a stone fire place out back where they cooked us up some A+ vegetarian pizzas, what more could a girl ask for?IMG_6501

Mt. Baker

3This weekend marked my first riding day of the season. Instead up heading up to Whistler for opening weekend like I would normally do; a few of us went down to check out Mt. Baker. By 630 AM on Saturday morning we were already on the road eager to get down to make it there for first chair. Despite not being able to enjoy my regular weekend sleep in– it was most certainly worth the early morning rise. We couldn’t have asked for more beautiful weather on Saturday, bluebird and -3.  What surprised me the most, was the lack of lift line ups and the completely affordable apres drinks post riding. I’m so excited for this winter season. Next weekend we’ll be looking to head up to Whistler or Big White. My fingers are crossed that there’s some snow in the forecast.

1Having snacks to fuel the body while riding all day is essential. That’s why these delicious little Raw Energy Bites are the perfect healthy snack option! A little sweet something to keep you going. They’re quick, easy to make and can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.


Raw Energy Bites
Recipe type: Raw, Vegan, Gluten Free Snack
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 20-25
A little sweet something to keep you going. They’re quick, easy to make and can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.
  • 1 cup (dry) oatmeal (I used old-fashioned oats)
  • ⅔ cup toasted coconut flakes
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • ½ cup ground flaxseed or wheat germ
  • ½ cup chocolate chips (optional)
  • ⅓ cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour. Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you would like. (the smaller the better). Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.
  2. Makes about 20-25 balls.



Mt. Hood & Portland

I’ve been dreaming about a trip down to Oregon for quite a few years now. So when my boyfriend asked me to join him down to his Mt.Hood downhill race for a weekend in his old camper van “Colleen the American dream” I was over the moon excited. Seeing as Mt.Hood is fairly close to Portland we both decided it would be smart to tag on a couple extra days so that we could also explore the unique city. We packed up the van and were on the road on the Thursday after work, it was about a 7 hour drive down and the plan was to  make it half way down that evening… a pretty big commitment if you ask me. Dan convinced me to sleep in a car park over night which made for an interesting experience, definitely some good people watching. We also made some pit stops along the way including a mandatory food stock up at Trader Joe’s and a stand along coffee shop were the lady served us some brew in a bikini.campervan

20 hours later and we finally made it to Mt. Hood and set up camp in the car park for the next two days. I walked the track with Dan and then left so that he could focus on his practice runs. By that time I was itching to go for a hike and I decided to check out a local 2 hour hike down the highway that afternoon which brought me up to this beautiful secluded lake. I was tempted to stay up there a take a dip in the water but it was starting to get dark and thought it would be best to head back to camp aka the “car parking lot”. The next morning we checked out the  small town and ate some breakfast from there I hiked up to the top of Mt.Hood and along the backside while Dan had practice, After practice his parents (who also came down for the weekend) Dan and I  went to check out another watering hole down the highway which made for a beautiful view of the mountain and swim. We came back to camp and made a delicious meal and got to bed early. FullSizeRender_2

The morning of the race I had to work so I only made it up for the last half of the race. There was lots of excitement in the air as the crowds gathered in the steep technical tree section at the bottom section. After the race was finished we started to make our way to Portland driving through the beautiful country side of Mt. Hood and along the Georgia River. I wish we had a bit more time in the area to do some more exploring and camping but we wanted to make it to Portland that night to grad some great eats in town.IMG_0927

That night we ate at Pok Pok an amazing thai restaurant that is a must while in Portland. We also walked down the strip and stumbled across this beautifully designed space called Bollywood Theater, which had an amazing outdoor patio.FullSizeRender_1I definitely wish we planned to stay in Portland an extra couple of days. There was so many areas of town I wanted to explore and I think three days in Portland would have been the perfect amount of time.

Strawberry & Rhubarb Galettes

This summer in BC is going to be one to remember, I can already feel it. This past weekend I got together with some friends and went camping at Levette Lake which is located just past Squamish. The scenery there was absolutely incredible. There’s something about sitting around the bonfire looking up at the night sky and snow capped mountains all while enjoying some vino that really does it for me. The more time I spend exploring the more I realize I need that constant adventure in my life. Before leaving for our camping trip I had some time to make some Raspberry, Rhubarb and Strawberry Galettes. I had quite a bit of extra filling left over so I also made some crumble as well. You can find the recipe for the dough here.


The following day we woke up and made a big breakfast on the campfire.  We had planned to go and do a local hike but the water looked more inviting. I was actually surprised of how warm the lake temperature was. A half hour later we were swimming to this island in the middle of the lake to jump off a rock and a giant log. We were all tempted to stay another night but the weather wasn’t looking too great so we started to head back to the city, stopping off in Squamish at Howe Sound Brewery for some eats. The sunday I had a long overdue lady dinner date were I made some delicious Homemade Lentil Soup and Fresh Spring Salad. All-in-all a great weekend.1

Rhubarb, Raspberry and Strawberry Galettes
  • Pie dough
  • 1½ pounds trimmed rhubarb, cut into ¼-inch pieces (about 5 cups)
  • 1½ cups fresh raspberries
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • Coarse sanding sugar, for sprinkling
  1. In a large bowl, toss to combine rhubarb, raspberries, strawberries, cornstarch, and granulated sugar.
  2. Roll out dough rounds and cover with a heaping ½ cup rhubarb mixture, leaving a 1-inch border. Fold edges over rhubarb filling, leaving an opening in center; gently brush water between folds, and press gently so that folds adhere. Refrigerate or freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush edges of dough with water, and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake until crusts are golden brown, about 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees, and bake until juices bubble and start to run out from center of each galette, 15 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely before serving.