Hike. Eat. Drink.

What makes you feel on top of the world? For me it’s overlooking stunning views like this..


You’re probably wondering where I was to see a view like this, so let me fill you in. I was at the lookout point of St. Mark’s Summit, a gorgeous hike on Cypress Mountain.

St. Mark’s is a 5.5k trek up the mountain and takes about 4 hours round trip. It’s trail goes through a misty, magical forest and, as a grande finale, ends up overlooking the stunning seascape of Howe Sound.


It’s a hike that will also have you working up an appetite. So, I’ve created a yummy, vegan, apres hike dinner that features one of my all-time favorite dishes, Pan Fried Tofu Cakes. These cakes are smoky, onion-y pieces of foodie heaven and are served with a yummy spicy mayo. They are seriously one of the best things I’ve ever tasted.

Here’s the recipe:

Pan Fried Tofu Cakes

  • 400 grams soft tofu, drained for 3 hours
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 T Worchester sauce
  • 6 drops of sesame oil
  • 3 shakes of chili spice
  • 2 T julienned green onions
  • 1 package Asian seasoning mix
  • 1 cup panko flakes.

Directions

Place tofu in colander and break apart let stand for 3 hours to completely remove water.  If this isn’t done cakes will not form.

Next beat eggs, Worchester and chili oil.

In a separate bowl combine the seasoning mix, green onions and add wet ingredients with 1 cup of panko and mix by hand.   The mix is ready when a ball can be formed and hold its shape like a meatball.  If mix is too wet add more panko until achieved.  Scoop enough to form a 3 inch diameter cake.  Don’t go too big or they will be mushy. Pre-heat cast iron pan and add olive oil. Place patties in pan for a few minutes to make them crisp on each side.  Finish in a 350 oven for 10 minutes.  Serve hot.

Spicy Mayo

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

tofu cakes

Finish the meal with a big bowl of blackberries or cherries and a lovely Okanagan wine and you have all of the ingredients you need for a healthy, delicious (and sugar free) feast.

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Beach Days & Chunky Monkeys

Last Sunday I felt the need to unplug from the city so my pup and I headed to a sweet stretch of beaches a little west of my home and spent the day soaking up West Coast nature.

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We ran through the slippery, slimy (but therapeutic) mud of low tide.

low tideAnd then came home covered in salt and sand with a bit of an appetite.

The answer to that? A yummy Chunky Monkey smoothie..

Chunky Monkey

2 bananas

1 scoop chocolate protein powder of your choice

1 T cacao (organic raw is most delicious)

1.5 cups almond milk

1 scoop ice cubes for a milkshake consistency

For the Love of Volleyball

I lived to play volleyball in high school. For two years it was my full time, happy obsession. I tried out for and made the team in grade 10 and started out as a decent player. But then, a deep, deep love for the sport took hold of me and I started practicing for a couple of hours every evening and as much as I could on weekends. When there was no one around to play with I’d go out behind the house and serve the ball against the wall and dive and lunge to keep it slamming against the wall without touching the ground. So, in a pretty short time I went from a decent player to a really good player. And I practiced for a couple of hours every night not because I thought I  should or I had to but because I wanted to. Desperately wanted to. Playing volleyball was the happiest I felt in life. It gave me structure, a great physical outlet for stress and, last but not least, hope. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I lived for the game for those two years.

Then, in grade 12 I had to stop playing. The story of why I had to stop is too long and too sad to write about here. But I had to give it up. And I buried my love of the game…for almost 40 years. Oh, occasionally I’d try to get friends to play beach volleyball with me and once in a while they’d say yes. But some people are intimidated by the game and other people just don’t love it the way I do (which I can’t quite understand lol) so my games were few and far between.

But, this year, magically and happily, I found a group of friends who want to play. And they want to play every weekend, and, as I play with them, and my moves from high school are slowly but surely coming back to me. Something I had to bury a long, long time ago is un-burying (is that a word?) itself deep within my being and I’m starting to feel the happiness and joy that I used to feel when I was one of the tallest girls on the team spiking the ball mercilessly over the net. And I’m starting to practice my moves with a beach ball in my apartment just like I practiced in the “old days”. My dog gets in on the act to and pounces on the beach ball every chance he gets, so he’s loving the volleyball life too.

volleyball

volleyball

It’s too late to take this love of the game to a professional level like I dreamt of doing as a teenager but it’s not to late to let myself incorporate something that makes me feel such deep happiness and excitement back into my life. It’s funny how some of the things that bring such get buried over time.

The obsession is back and it’s a happy one.

Beaver Lake in Stanley Park

There are so many reasons to love Vancouver and one of my main reasons this city still has my heart is that you can escape to lush, green nature so quickly and easily living here. In fact Stanley Park sits, like an emerald jewel, right in the middle of our city.

So, when I want to get away from the city by getting into the forest in the middle of the city, this is where I go…

beaver lake

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If you’re ever visiting my lovely city, you should go there too.

Stanley Park trails

A raw-licious parfait

My oven’s broken. It suddenly decided that it didn’t feel like heating up past 180 degrees. This happened last week and will probably stay that way for a couple more weeks (or months) before I get around to having it fixed.

As you know from this post and many others, I have a bit of a fascination with raw, vegan food. And what better time to renew my interest than when I have a broken oven?

One of the recipes I experimented with lately was so delicious that it has become my daily breakfast. And what kind of blogger would I be if I didn’t share it with you?

Blueberry Bliss Parfait

Alternate layers of fresh blueberries with layers of puréed banana and coconut milk (two bananas and two T coconut milk blended), then top with lots of flaked coconut.

Be careful though, it’s addictive.