Dishing up the details

Sometimes a picture truly says more than a thousand words. At other times, however, there’s more to a picture than it could possibly tell. Because I know you came for the food I’ll stop talking in riddles and get to the point: For today’s What I ate Wednesday I’ll not only show you recent meals and snacks but some more about the stories behind them. Here’s to the what I ate  [the dish] and its whereabouts or little itty bits hidden in the photos [the details].


The dish: A typical workday lunch of quick vegetable chili.


The details:  This one had both chickpeas and kidney beans, corn, zucchini, broccoli and my favourite spices [cumin seeds and cayenne pepper among others]. Did I ever mention I kind of liked chili? Yes, I guessed so. However, this chili didn’t quite like me back. No we’re not looking at the beans here. Rather, it’s an unsuspecting ingredient that’s making rare appearances in my diet: bell pepper. Ironically, it’s at the same time what took this chili from average to awesome for me. Because of this I’ve decided that half a pepper distributed in between two servings won’t cause me any pain. Did I mention I’m stubborn? My stomach should know better than to rebel.

The dish: Pumpkin Spinach Tortilla Lasagna.

Pumpkin tortilla lasagna

The details: Never let its unassuming appearance fool you.  Now I could probably talk about how tortillas had become the new polenta in my life. But what you actually need to know is that the vegan cheese sauce in this dish is unreal. If the lasagna itself wasn’t delicious, too, I’d probably just keep making huge batches of the sauce and eat it all day. By the spoonful.

Pumpkin tortilla lasagna 2

And you will want to, too. But I feel I can’t share two tortilla bake recipe in consecutive weeks and maybe I’ll decide the next dish is worthy sharing, too. Decisions, decisions.

The dish: Pistachio Vanilla granola.

Pistachio Granola

The details: not just any but my first homemade granola without following a recipe. I’ve tried other bloggers’ recipes before but never my own. Actually, what I went for was not granola but exclusively granola clusters. I don’t know about you but I’m all about the big clusters in granola. The reason why my mum threatened me she wouldn’t buy granola again when I was younger. Do you think it might have had anyhing at all to do with the fact she had to eat the leftover crumbles…??!


But I digress. Back to this granola. It’s not overly sweet, has a buttery taste from coconut oil and crunch from added crispy grains. Simple but delicious. On top of that the process of making it held a life lesson for me. Just so much: Learn from my mistakes and don’t try to simultaneously bake granola, get some laundry done and pack your bag when you need to leave for a work appointment in 35 minutes. At least I scented of freshly baked granola when I arrived there just in time…?!

Speaking of work: I’m writing this post on Tuesday night so I’d better call it quits now and get some beauty sleep in to look fresh and relaxed for Jenn’s mid-week party tomorrow/ today.

Happiness inducing today: An new magazine my boss handed me assuming it might be of interest – and it was.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living


Your turn: Tell me about one dish you at this week so far and the details a picture wouldn’t tell!

Have you ever made your own granola? Let me know any favourite recipes!


Pin Perfect [Pin It Party]

Can we talk about addictions for a minute? No, not the ones that could be stopped by ‘simply’ [or not so?] banning yourself from buying a certain something [like chocolate or cute dresses …]. No, we’re talking the serious can’t-be-avoided-anymore kind – more specifically: Pinterest addiction. Ever since I installed the Pin it-button in my browser it’s gotten all too easy to get click-happy whenever I see a great post, bit of advice – or, obviously – intriguing recipe. Needless to say I was all up when I heard of Lindsay’s Pin It Party.

Pin It Party_the Lean Green Bean

The Pin It Party means picking five of your own posts you’d like to see featured on Pinterest. The only rule is to visit at least three other posts in the link-up and pin some of their content – which I’m sure everybody will happily do. An allowance to pin even more? Yes, please 🙂 .

Choosing posts of mine I’d like to see make their way to some Pinterest boards I went with a mix of recipes and posts that meant a lot to me in general.

Chocolate Almond Caramel Bars

A peanutty base topped with date caramel and covered in chocolate – in other words: heaven in a bar. Did I mention they’re healthy, too?  If it wasn’t for my current lack of peanut flour I’d get into the kitchen to prepare a batch right now.

Bar I

Thoughts on blogger guilt

No matter how much fun it is blogging takes up a lot of time. Time we might not always have – and it’s easy to feel guilty for not keeping up with other blogs and commenting then. But in the end we can’t do more than try and keep in mind others won’t blame us.  There was a lot of great feedback and advice in the comments so if you’ve ever felt bad about being unable to interact as much in the blog world definitely read them.

Don't stress.

When a binge turned into a blessing

Seeing the upsides and lessons learned from a binge instead of letting it get you down. There’s no need to feel ashamed but a way of viewing these happenings in a positive way.

Fudgy Dark Chocolate Black Bean Truffles

Seeing how obsessed I was with making batch after batch of these after first coming up with the recipes these are an obvious favourite. Easy to prepare, healthy and delicious.

Banana truffles

Balsamic Butternut & Kale Pastry for one

My phyllo dough addiction is serious and while it’s hard to pick a favourite this has been making multiple appearances ever since I posted the recipe. Flaky and crispy pastry, creamy squash and balsamic onions – I can’t get enough.

Phyllo pastry

Happiness inducing today: Watching ‘The Butler’ at the cinema with my parents.

Do you know how many boards you have on Pinterest? I wish I could say but have to admit I’ve lost count ;).

What’s the last thing you pinned?

How did you keep organized before using Pinterest? Dozens of Word documents that started out organized but ended all mixed up are still in my memory …

Good good links #8

Hi and happy Sunday! Did your weekends go well so far? For me there was lots of cozy candlelight and reading action to combat the dreary weather. But now isn’t the time and place to rant about rain – and really, how awful is rain when it’s the perfect excuse for an afternoon spent with a good book? And speaking of good reads here are some of my favourites from the week.


Good good [food for thought]

Skewed Perceptions via Better with Sprinkles

Great post on how media influences the way we define fitness and see ourselves. Living up to our own words can be hard.

Five lies about nutrition via the Real Life RD

Low carb? No eating after 7 PM? Ridiculous diet myths debunked.

The Social Media Fast: Why I’m Going 30 Days Without Checking In via Greatist

Could you go a month without social media? I’m curious to see how it goes for her.

Good good [advice]

5 ways to deal with fat days via Running with Spoons

Great tips for those days when all you want to do is hide from the world – don’t!

It’s Simple, Easy And Free – And It Will Improve Your Health – via Huffington Post

Lace up the shoes and walk out your problems.

7 Ways to Stop Fearing What Everyone Thinks About You via Marc and Angel Hack Life

Don’t miss out on the beauty of simply being yourself trying to please others.

5 Questions That Will Help You Find Your True Self via Mind Body Green

Creating your roadmap to personal happiness.

The Ultimate Guide to Unplugging via Greatist

Going right along with the social media fast. Still need to work on this one.

Good good [laughter]

Alternatives to dieting via Snack Therapy

Best way: just jump to #8 right away.

14 Profound Quotes From The Harry Potter Books via Buzzfeed

Didn’t we always know there was so much more [wisdom] to these books?!

Can Twerking Help You Loose Weight? via Women’s Health Mag

A “killer cardio”? Maybe I should jump on the twerking train 😀 … Arman?

Unbelievably Creative Furniture via Likes

Bread fiends: here’s your dream [baguette] table.

33 Untold Truths That Writers Know Too Well via Buzzfeed

Sorry, yes, definitely guilty of #12. And #16? Bane of my existence sleep.

Good good [food]

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cashew Butter via Healthy Food For Living

This looks too good for words. Time to finally buy a Vitamix, I guess.

11 Delicious Apple Treats via Women’s Health Mag

More fuel to my constant apple addiction and the best for the season.

25 Creative Homemade Popcorn Recipes via Babble

Right in time to celebrate National Popcorn Month. Samoa or Cinnamon Chili Popcorn, anybody?

Savoury Chickpea Pancakes with smoky roasted carrots via The Year In Food

A fancy mini version of socca – looks so good!

Vegan Cream of Broccoli Soup via Healthful Pursuit

A hearty warming bowl of deliciousness for these colder days.

Enjoy your day!

Happiness inducing today: Cozy hours in bed reading a good book.


What were some of your favourite posts from the week?

If you’ve ever made your own nut butter: which food processor do you use? I’m seriously considering the purchase of a Vitamix and need some advice.

Good good links #7

Chilly, rainy, foggy. That’s true October weather for me – and just what we got yesterday. Perfect for a cozy tea date with a friend …


and some kitchen time successfully creating a new [pumpkin] recipe I’ll share with you next week. Here are some of my favourite posts from this week. As always I’m curious to hear which ones you liked, too.

Good good [food for thought]

He Thinks/She Thinks – the clean plate club via The Big Man’s World

Why it can be so hard to leave food on your plate even when you’re full – thoughts from a male and female perspective.

It’s MY Body, So Don’t Tell Me What To Feed It via Mind Body Green

Similar to my WIAW post this is yet more affirmation that we’re best off doing what works for each of us individually. Do what feels right for you.

Food Shame via Snack Therapy

“Go enjoy your delicious food in peace” – yes! Another reminder that we shouldn’t feel ashamed about what and how we eat.

What I’ve learned from a period of not running via My Neon Running Shoes

Great post on the benefits of taking a break from exercising.

Good good [advice]

Blogging With A Full-Time Job via Olive to run

Great tips on how to juggle a busy life and blogging.

8 Chances Unhappy People Never Take via Marc and Angel

Fantastic reminder of making the best of every situation.

10 Fun Ways To Increase Your Confidence Today by Jamie Mendell via Mind Body Green

No need to get out of your way to feel more confident – it’s the little things.

Why You Should Unplug From the Internet via fitness Magazine

Some of these are quite scary – time to really unplug more often …

Good good [laughter]

Top 8 Ways To Stay Fit This Fall Without Even Trying via Commitness to Fitness

Who did ever say you needed a gym membership to get your sweat on?

21 Solutions To Life’s Awkward Problems via Buzzfeed

Definitely giving #10 a try next time I struggle with those annoying jars.

19 Everyday Situations That Are Impossibly Difficult For The Socially Awkward via Buzzfeed

So there’s actually another way to handle #1?! Tell me more :).

15 Harry Potter Characters … Portrayed By Cats via Babble

Cute? Scary? …

Good good [food]

Healthy Snickers Bars (Vegan) via The Detoxinista

Tempting, so tempting … and these sound even better than ‘real’ Snickers.

Healthy Breakfast Ideas: 17 Healthy, Autumn-Inspired Recipes (Pumpkin, Pomegranates, Pecans & More) via Huffington Post

Delicious reasons to get up on Fall mornings and that sweet potato noodle pancake? Intruiging.

Pumpkin Ice Cream and Brownie Parfait via The Healthy Family and Home

The perfect Fall dessert for any ice cream fiend – and it’s even healthy.

The Ultimate Roasted Vegetables via The Greatist

Perfect comfort food for a cold day.

Happiness inducing today: A surprise call by a friend.

Happy Sunday!

What were some of your favourite posts this week?

How are you spending your Sunday?

Would you like some kabocha with your kabocha?

Alternative title: Trying to eat all the kabocha around while it’s in season and working on that pumpkin glow.

Okay, okay, I can’t deny that Fall’s offically taking over with leaves changing, the need to wear scarves again … and – to see the upsides as usual – the most amazing of Fall produce. Let’s celebrate What I ate Wednesday with the best vegetable of the season [and some really good sidekicks]. Thanks for hosting despite having your little one to care for, Jenn!

wiaw fall_Kabocha

Not to bug you too much with them but haven’t been able to get enough of my truffles lately. So if I’m supposed to show you what I’ve been eating the past week I have to include them. Sorry. Pre-breakfast chocolate? Can’t say I didn’t like it.


Truffles aside, though, I’ve been having a lot of fun finally not only saving recipes to Pinterest  countless documents on my laptop but actually making them. And as you might guess from the post title there has been a lot of kabocha.

It's all about finding the perfect one  - and this one didn't disappoint.

It’s all about finding the perfect one – and this one didn’t disappoint.

First off was the Banana Kabocha Stew from my link post on Sunday.  Playing around with the recipe as usual I subbed my favourite legume for the black beans. Because I had a can to use up and to make up for last week’s chickpea-less WIAW – sorry I forgot to celebrate the birth of your little chickpea in style, Jenn! The pictures don’t do Carolyn’s delicious recipe any justice. If you had a look at the recipe you’ll notice that, yes, there’s something missing. I decided to do you a favour and take the picture before adding the cocoa – don’t leave it out. So back to the pot it was after the quick photoshoot because if the dish was great before the cocoa powder took it to the next level. Rich, flavourful and satisfying.

Kabocha Banana Stew

Keeping up with my goal of trying new recipes I opted against a repeat the next day [which actually happened to be yesterday] and spontaneously decided to have these Kabocha Squash Rancheros I’d been eyeing for a while. Or better yet: a modified version suiting the ingredients I had on hand and fulfilling my “I’m ready to chew my arm off” need. That’s why I steamed the kabocha [I know – roasting would have been ten times more flavourful and I’ll keep it in mind for non-hangry days] and used kidney beans instead of black ones once again. To be fair, though, black beans aren’t as readily available around here so I didn’t have any more on hand after my truffle-making.

Kabocha Rancheros

Inspired by this girl I also bought the first figs in a long time. Previously I couldn’t warm up to this fruit considering it – sorry! – watery, tasteless and a waste of money. However, while there might be some bad ones it’s really about how you prepare them. And Amy’s idea of using them as a pizza topping was absolutely amazing. Neither eating eggs nor having almond flour on hand I used my go-to pizza recipe changing up the toppings.

Fig Pizza

To end on a sweet note here’s my second batch of Jenn’s Banana Bread. Once more my pictures can’t hold a candle to hers but I’ll just repeat my mantra: it’s the taste that counts in then end – and that got a thumbs up once again.

Banana Bread

Happy Wednesday!

Happiness inducing today: The best run in a while after listening to my intuition and taking several rest days in a row.

Which were some of the last blogger-inspired recipes or foods you tried?

Are you good at sticking with recipe or put your own spin on them? However good my intentions might be: I can’t help but play around with just about every recipe I try.

Fellow kabocha fans: How do you pick the best kabocha at the store?  Any advice on what to look for? I’ve found there to be immense differences in taste and consistency – it’s a bummer whenever I get a ‘bad’ one.