Tag: sponsored

Foodie Swellness: Delicious Olives from Spain

Olives from Spain 1

Although I did not grow up eating olives from Spain (I actually was probably an adult before I tried them for the very first time), but they’re now something I can’t live without. I’ll regularly crave them (coincidentally, one of my cats loves tapenade, she is so much my spirit animal!).

I don’t see how one can’t love olives from Spain. They’re so versatile, for one. A simple bowl of them with your cheese and charcuterie boards. Or add olives from Spain for a brine-y bite to your salads or pasta dishes (pasta puttanesca is a classic favourite!). Baked into a focaccia so that each doughy bite has a bit of olives from Spain. And what about chicken? On it’s own, a pretty bland protein. Incorporate lemon and whichever variety of olives from Spain you can find at your local supermarket into your sauce, though, and you’ve got one mouthwatering, flavourful main course.

The different ways you can enjoy olives are practically endless when you also consider that there are so many wonderful varieties from Spain. I’m not an olive connoisseur but I try to pick up a variety I’m unfamiliar with when I’m shopping at the market.

And did know they’re loaded with antioxidants that research has shown to be anti-cancerous, and they also contain iron and inflammation-reducing oleic acid? So many good reasons to incorporate them into your snacking and cooking repertoire  if you don’t already.

Next time you’re adding olives from Spain to your shopping list, some you might want to try out: hojiblanca, gordal and manzanilla. I feel like most people I know are partial to black olives, and while I do gravitate to them, I do love gordal, too; These large, fleshy green olives from Spain have a great bitter-salty balance, making them great for snacking. The same goes for manzanilla olives when it comes to snacking; they’re nice and round and plump and since its pit is easy to remove, you’ll often find them stuffed (think anchovies, peppers or cheese)—delicious! And hojiblanca? These olives from Spain have a slight fruity and nuttiness to them, which works well for stews and marinades.

Olives from Spain 2

With the versatility of olives from Spain, I started dreaming of Canadian dishes where I could incorporate them, and bannock came to mind. Let’s face it, I dream of carbs so it’s not shocking I thought of bread. I’ve never made bannock before, a bread that comes to us from our First Nations. I did a little research about it and discovered that bannock can be baked or fried, and although traditionally prepared and enjoyed quite simply, modern versions include cinnamon bannock rolls and bannock breakfast sandwiches  Light and fluffy bannock with some chopped olives from Spain warm from the frying pan sounded like it’d be the ultimate savoury treat…and it was! Here’s the recipe:

Fried Bannock with Olives from Spain

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • chopped olives from Spain to taste (I used about a ¼ cup of Hojiblancas)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¾ cup water
  • vegetable oil for frying
  1. Whisk together dry ingredients.
  2. Mix in olives (I used Hojiblancas) and olive oil, and add water, until almost combined.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, knead a handful of times but do not overwork.
  4. Divide into 6 balls and flatten with your hands. Fry at medium heat in a frying pan generously oiled on the bottom of the pan until both sides of the bread are golden brown.
  5. Drain on a paper-towel lined plate.
  6. Enjoy warm!

Given the simple ingredients and method, I’m thinking this could be a great bread to make the next time I go camping or for brunch. Although, it’s not camping I’ve got on the brain now, it’s escaping to Spain I’m dreaming of!

For more recipe ideas for olives from Spain, be sure to check out olivesfromspain.ca

(sponsored)

Leave a Comment December 14, 2017

Foodie Swellness: 3 reasons to celebrate the holidays at The Keg (+ GIVEAWAY!)

The Keg cheers

The holidays are all about getting together with friends and family, right? Even though we have all year to get together, somehow we’re all compelled to make the extra effort to reunite this month. I guess we all feel a little more festive this time of year.

If you’re anything like me, you have high standards about where to get together. Throw in just about everyone having some sort of diet restriction, and this can make choosing a place to eat and drink that pleases everyone stressful. And extra stress is not what any of us have on our holiday wish list. Which is why The Keg is a great spot to to celebrate the holiday season–there is something for everyone there.

The Keg bar

I’ve got three reasons The Keg is an ideal spot to get together for your holiday merriment–I even went there for dinner this week with friends to research this (I am thorough, people!):

The Keg crispy cauliflower

1. The menu has so many choices. Yes, the Keg is known for steaks, but there are plenty of other choices, too, such as the pistachio-crusted salmon a few of my friends considered. A few of us wanted escargots to start, but we compromised and got the lobster au gratin special instead, along with the crispy cauliflower, calamari and baked brie (yes, my friends and I have healthy appetites!).

The Keg lobster tails with filet mignon

When it came time to decide, for our mains, we did all end up going with steak (the New York strip loin I ordered was heavenly and cooked perfectly medium-rare). And because two of us were indecisive between beef or seafood, we each added some surf to our steak entrees: I went with king crab (so meaty and delectable) while my friend got the Atlantic lobster tails, which I wanted to grab from her plate, they looked so incredible. You know it’s a good dinner when the conversation lulls because you’re all devouring your food.

The Keg striploin with crab

People with restricted diets can easily find dishes to enjoy, too. The items that are gluten-free are clearly marked (the heirloom tomato and burrata sounds like heaven on a plate); so you don’t have to grill the server about what gluten-free options you have (although they, of course, will gladly answer your questions — we had many about the different cuts of steak and sauce choices). For vegetarians, you’ve got some options, too, but I think the one that sounds most delicious is the cauliflower “steak'; with chickpea and sundried tomato relish and asparagus.

And by the way, if you’re counting calories, those, too, are clearly indicated on the menu.

We also ordered several dessert to share. I was very into the Billy Miner pie (I love mocha ice cream!) whereas my friends really liked the creme brulee, which was incredibly smooth and creamy and which had a slightest hint of salt to balance the flavours.

The Keg desserts

2. Let’s talk about the affordable wine and cocktails at the Keg. No word of a lie, the cost of the wine and cocktails at The Keg had all four of us (1) very surprised, and (2) planning on making it a regular place to meet for drinks. In fact, we ordered a bottle of prosecco to start (which I believe was $26), and then a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon to enjoy with our meal. I usually only order a bottle if I’m feeling like splashing out but with the prices being so reasonable, it just made sense to order bottles.

The Keg dining room

3. The cozy atmosphere. While I’ve been to other locations of The Keg, this was my first visit to the location on King St. West in Toronto. It’s modern and dimly lit and it just feels cozy inside. There’s the sleek bar closer to the entrance; we sat in the dining room in a comfortable booth. The design aesthetic manages to be both refined and comfortable. I’d also say it’s a touch more masculine in design (the dark wood tones, for example), but it’s definitely a place a group of girlfriends would feel at home in as well. It’s a spot that is entirely appropriate for a client dinner and yet also somewhere you can go with a date or out for a fun evening catching up with friends.

Sold on The Keg yet? Guess I’ll see you there. You’ll find me trying the escargots dish we didn’t end up ordering and sipping on some of that delicious, affordable wine!

(And by the way,  if you’ve got a secret Santa exchange you need to shop for, a giftcard to The Keg is something everyone can make use of — with several locations, and all of the reasons above, it’s a stocking stuffer that I think most everyone would enjoy).

UPDATE: I’ve got a $100 giftcard to The Keg to give away! How to enter to win? Comment on this blog post about what you’d order at The Keg! The giveaway ends at noon E.S.T. on Thursday, December 14th. For additional ways to enter, visit my Instagram! The winner will be chosen at random.

Disclosure: I have partnered with YMC and The Keg and have received compensation for this post. All opinions in the post are my own.

 

 

59 Comments December 5, 2017

Beauty Swellness: 5 lessons in looking and feeling beautiful as you age

me at dinner pop up

Getting older makes me nervous. Plain and simple. I’m going to assume I’m not alone in this. Ladies, are you a bit stressed about aging, too?

But a recent roundtable I attended with a group of very successful women helped to ease some of that anxiety about aging. Assembled by Procter & Gamble Canada, the group of inspiring women included fashion expert Jeanne Beker, lifestyle expert Lynn Spence, dermatologist Kucy Pon, dentist Janet Tamo, and wellness expert Tosca Reno. Jeanne, who’s just turned 65, shared that she’s finding this time of her life exhilarating. “So many years, it was all about pushing forward and having to survive and going out there and getting it, we all need that drive, but this stage of our lives where we can sit back and see the forest for the trees, it’s a sweet time,” she says.

That sounds pretty incredible, doesn’t it? A little bit of a waiting-to-exhale moment when it comes to life…Here are the other useful nuggets of inspo I gathered from this powerhouse of women when it comes to taking care of one’s health and beauty.

1. Look to your meals as a way to nourish your body. “Each meal, I see as an opportunity to load myself with nutrients. Not “is it going to be chicken or steak tonight?” I look at food differently, as a way to flood my cells with nutrients.” says Tosca. She added that according to the World Health Organization, wellness is the presence of three lifestyle practices. “Eating clean, whole. nutrient-dense, minimally processed foods, exercise and emotional wellness,” she says. And while she noted that keeping moving physically is important, so is keeping your digestive system moving things along is key, too. And her tip for making sure you’ve got that down pat? Adding Metamucil and a shelf-stable probiotic (just open the capsule and add the powder right in!) to your smoothie is a simple way to make your smoothie instantly better for you.

Olay Regenerist

2. Feed your skin vitamins, too. Eighty percent of premature aging is due to sun damage, says Kucy. And while you can’t undo all the sun damage to your skin, you can make sure your skincare has vitamins that’ll benefit it. Such as vitamin B3 (niacinamide) — it moisturizes, it’s anti-inflammatory, helps pigmentation, and prevents irregular skin tone; vitamin A, which you should use in the evenings, which will help repair some sun damage; and vitamin C, as this antioxidant will help neutralizing damaging free radicals. Where to get these vitamins? Well, Olay Regenerist is, as Lynn points out, affordable and accessible to most women.

IMG_2395

3. Give your hair some TLC. Have you ever watched Lynn on TV and admired her shiny, voluminous hair? I know I have. Lynn swears by Pantene 2-in-1 products and its Smart Technology, which targets the areas it needs to treat and then washes out, but still leaves the hair nice and hydrated. She also makes sure to limit her use of heat tools by using a hair dryer that works efficiently so she can minimize the time it’s blow dried, and she finishes off with velcro rollers to build volume.

4. Create a budget and regimen for your dental health. Discoloured teeth are seen as a sign of aging and your teeth will darken with years of smoking and drinking coffee and red wine. The strategies to maintain a healthy mouth, though, are simple. Start with planning a budget for your dental health. “People budget for their hair, but hair grows back, teeth don’t,” says Janet. That’s so true, and good oral health over your lifetime is so essential, it should have its own budget. As for how to use that budget? Crest Whitestrips will immediately make your teeth look healthier and more beautiful. Invest in an Oral-B electric toothbrush, as it has been proven to better remove plaque. And lastly, floss daily as it helps to remove bacteria from your mouth. Did you know  most dental conditions are preventable?

Crest Whitestrips

5. Exercise can fit into even the busiest of schedules. People often ask Tosca if she spends hours at the gym and she tells them she doesn’t have hours to spend. Thirty minutes performed at 65 percent maximum heart rate is far more effective than spending hours at the gym, she says. Women in the baby boomer demo need to hit metabolic catalysts and target large muscle groups, that is the glutes, core and and quads, so that your burning fat at a faster rate all the time. Her fave? Rebounding. Fifteen minutes on this mini trampoline is the same as running 30 minutes on land, she says.

And when it comes to all of these lessons, it’s important to remember that taking care of yourself inside and out doesn’t have to be an all-consuming, overwhelming task. “Do the doable thing,” says Tosca. “Once you’ve done that thing, the next thing becomes easier. Do it 10 times in a row, and now that’s a new habit, and you can move onto the next one and commit to the next doable thing.”

(sponsored)

Leave a Comment November 21, 2017

Previous page


Recent Posts

Categories

Recent Comments