Saturday, 6 October 2012


“Some people are susceptible to "beeturia," the passing of red colored urine and stools after eating beets. Beeturia is harmless but is often mistaken for the dangerous conditions of blood in the urine or stool.” (Source:

Maria likes to pop in at "convenient" times :)
I, for one, can support this claim. Not only have I been a victim of beeturia, but I too suffered from its detrimental hypochondriac symptom. Last fall, I made a delicious maple-roasted beet soup. Since then, it has been competing with seafood chowder for number 1 on my mental list of favourite soups.

About 4 hours after my first bowl of said soup, I became subject to beeturia. My immediate thought: kidney disease. I quickly became nauseated, started getting abdominal cramps, and wondering how I was going to spend the little time I had left on earth. Before dashing out to buy a lottery ticket and dying my hair blue, I did a quick google search. Result 1 of 68 000 000 hits, 0.21 seconds later, I adjusted my diagnosis to beeturia. Coincidentally, as my browser disappeared, so did my abdominal cramps and the nausea.

I’ve done a bit of research, namely a quick scan of Wikipedia and a brief youtube search. The results? First, it appears beeturia does not, contrary to popular belief, say anything about my genotype. Great. Second, according to Michael Scott, nobody likes beets.  

Dwight: People live beets
Michael: Nobody likes beets
Dwight: Everybody loves beets
Michael: Nobody likes beets, Dwight. Why don’t you grow something that everybody does like? You should grow candy. I’d love a piece of candy right now. Not a beet

And of course, a funny video: “Those are the money beets”

I could go on to spell out the reasons why I am going to have to side with Dwight. Instead, I’ll let the waffles do the talking. 

Rosemary Beet Waffles

2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup quinoa flour
1/3 cup white flour
3 tsp dried rosemary
2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
½ cup milk
½ cup beet juice
2 tbsp sugar
1 cup minced beets
2 tbsp butter, melted

Skin beets, saving the stalks and the skins. Quarter beets. In a small saucepan, bring beets, skins and stalks to a boil. Boil until beets are tender. Remove beets from water and finely chop. Reserve ½ cup beet  broth for waffles, and store the rest to make yummy soups or risottos!

Mix dry ingredients. Whisk together wet ingredients. Combine and stir in beets. Stir in melted butter. Make in waffle grid. Keep in oven (200) until ready to serve. Serve with a spoonful of apple sauce and a good drizzle of maple syrup.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Wild Rice Waffles with Salmon and Beet Greens

Obviously school and studying have swallowed both me and my time. I have nothing interesting to say in today's post. In worse news, something is wrong with my camera so the waffle photos today are scarce. In better news, I have filled the visual space with diagrams from my study notes! Adding study notes in your blog posts guarantees an A on the midterm...right? 

Did you know, "Turtles can walk around for hours with no oxygen supply to their brains. In contrast, our brains are absolutely dependant on a continuous supply of well-oxygenated blood. After just 10 seconds of brain ischemia, we lose consciousness. After 20 second, electrical activity ceases, and just after a few minutes, irreversible damage usually begins" (Nolte — The Human Brain: An Introduction to its Functional Anatomy".  

That was an excerpt from the textbook which acted as my nemesis, my date, and the subject of my gaze (both present and out to lunch) all weekend. I have a midterm today. It is in 4 hours and 56 minutes, and I still don't feel I have a complete grasp on the blood supply to the brain. And the cranial nerves? Forget about them. How am I supposed to remember all 12!

Oh yah, I promised waffles in my blog. Here they are!

Wild Rice Waffles with Salmon and Beet Greens
Inspired by Dorie Greenspan's Wild Rice Waffles with Wild Mushroom Sauce 

Olive oil
½ onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
pinch salt, pepper
Assorted spices (thyme, basic, turmeric, rosemary, cayenne)
2 cups cooked wild rice
1 ¼ cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
1 cup veg broth
¼ cup milk + 2 tbsp vinegar
2 eggs

Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions. Cook until translucent. Add garlic, spices and cook another minute. Add wild rice and stir until combined. Turn off heat. Reserve.

Mix dry ingredients. Combine wet, whisking together. Mix all together. Stir in rice.

Honey-Ginger Salmon

3 tbsp honey
fresh grated ginger
¼ cup hoisin
1 tbsp brown sugar

Mix together sauce. Spread over salmon filet. Broil 4 minutes on either side. Baste once throughout.

For beet greens: in a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add roughly chopped beet greens with their stalks. Wilt with a bit of soy sauce or balsamic. 

Sunday, 16 September 2012


Quick Pumpkin Update: This week, I made 3 pumpkin dishes. On Wednesday, I ate all three for each meal: pumpkin rice porridge for breakfast, pumpkin hummus for lunch, and pumpkin lasagne for dinner.

Fawafels (f/əwa:fəl/: a Lebanese inspired dish consisting of waffels and falafels)

Downtown Ottawa is sprinkled with Shawarma shops. Being inducted into the shawarma lifestyle is an important part of high school initiation. A seasoned high school student should be competent with the following unwritten rules:

1. One should always be able to find the nearest shawarma shop… even blindfolded.   

2. When handed a foil-wrapped shawarma, one should know the top from the bottom. Furthermore, one should know how to unwrap the foil. 

3. Upon completion of eating the shawarma, there should be a limited garlicky mess residing in the foil.

4. One should know the owner’s first name of their favourite shawarma shop.

5. One should never discriminate against those with shawarma breath. 

A real shawarma is not vegetarian friendly. Fortunately for me, there’s a close alternative: falafel wraps. The first time I was served falafels, my mother was ecstatic to watch me gobble down a foreign meal complaint free. 

“Kerry, you must love falafels!” my mother remarked as she replaced my crumb-inhabited plate with my dessert.

“No Mom, they’re disgusting. I just want my dessert”, eight-year old me replied.

Naomi, the witty creator of the word "fawafel". 

The next time she served falafels, fourteen-year-old-me ate them complaint free and with enjoyment.  

Although I had remembered that moment years before, I had not remembered falafels being the culprit of my disgust. I had a hard time believing my mother when she told me it was these chickpea-balls-of-delicious I regarded with such distaste.

Nevertheless, I now love falafels. And today’s waffles take a spin on the popular Lebanese cuisine, that has monopolized downtown Ottawa. I’m calling them, “Fawafels” — a term first coined in 2012, by my brilliant roommate.

Garlic-Tahini Waffles with Quinoa Flour
½ cup quinoa flour
1 cup all purpose
1 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
1 ¼ cups milk
1 egg
2 tbsp tahini
3 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp olive oil

Have your roommate mince the garlic. Combine the dry ingredients (including the garlic). Blend the wet ingredients until frothy and tahini is completely combined. Add wet over dry and combine. Stir in olive oil.

Serve with falafels, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions and any yogurt or sour cream based sauce (I did sour cream, lemon juice, and tahini).

Notes on recipe: The consistency of these waffles were perfect: completely crisp! The quinoa flour makes these extra savoury for sandwich wraps.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Back to School Waffles

There was once a time when the first day of school was poignant. A new outfit was chosen, an elaborate lunch was made (perhaps with note tucked into the Tupperware), pencil cases were filled and binders were labelled with the utmost organization. I can remember my past first days of school like a flashbulb memory.

In grade three, I spent the walk to school convincing my dad I was entering grade four. In grade four, I had him believing I was entering grade five. I was elated on my first day of grade 6 to wear my new uniform. And by grade seven, realizing I looked like a broccoli, I was not.

Once you’ve hit university, the first day of classes is more or less anticlimactic. Your parents are no longer waiting, camera in hand, to take a picture of you and your siblings fully equipped with backpacks and nervous smiles. Nevertheless, the first day back feels more like a new year than does January 1st.  As such, I always try to accomplish certain resolutions: make my bed with hospital corners, wear matching socks, and eat a hearty breakfast. 

A back to school breakfast should be more exciting than cereal, but less time consuming than breakfast flambé a la mode. The preparation should not interfere with hospital-corner making, or matching sock finding time. It should be nutritious with an element of guiltless je-ne-sais-quoi. The final product? — banana-oatmeal waffles with a dash of choco chips!

Banana-Oatmeal Waffles

1.5 tbsp butter, melted
1 cup oats
1 cup flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
cinnamon, nutmeg
1.5 tbsp brown sugar
1 cup milk
½ cup sour cream
2 eggs, separated
2 bananas, finely chopped
¼ cup chocolate chips

Combine dry ingredients. Whisk together milk, sour cream, and yolk. Pour wet over dry. Stir in bananas and chocolate chips. Stir in melted butter. Fold in egg whites. 

Recipe note: Although quite tasty, in consistency, these waffles were not the epitome of perfection. They were, for lack of a better word, saggy. They were not soggy (an issue I’ve faced before); but they were not crisp. Solution: after removing from iron, place directly on a cooling rack, then, in a 250 degree oven while making the rest.