Since we moved, Whole Foods is the biggest, closest grocery store to us. There was a Whole Foods where we lived in Vancouver but we never shopped there because of the plethora of convenient, high-quality, cheap, small grocery stores. Even though I had been in a number of Whole Foods, walking into the one in New York was a totally different experience. I felt overwhelmed for the first time since moving to the city. There was so much stuff and so many people buying that stuff. However, once I was able to repress how overwhelmed I felt, I was definitely intrigued by the varieties of peppers, apples, pears (etc, etc) that I had never heard of. There were also a lot of fruits and vegetables that were less commonly available in grocery stores back home (I tried sunchokes for the first time!).
During my most recent trip to the store, a small punnet of fresh black figs caught my eye. Even though I have seen fresh figs, this was my first time buying them. The main reason for buying them was to make this fig and granola yogurt bowl. It has taken some time for our blender (smoothies!) and pots (oatmeal!) to arrive so my breakfast routine has changed. Other than cold cereal, I have been eating yogurt bowls. I load up the yogurt with the same delicious seeds, nuts and fruit as I tend to do with my oatmeal or smoothie bowls: figs were a perfect addition.
As always, I bought a couple of giant sweet potatoes and waited a whole week for creativity to strike. Most of the time, I end up baking my sweet potatoes as wedges and while they are delicious, that’s not a complete meal (far from it). I wondered whether I could still get the gorgeously soft, charred, sweet potato without turning on the stove and, on top of that, get a whole meal out of it. It doesn’t hurt to dream big. I ended up thinking of a sweet potato hash. I figured that I could dice up some sweet potato and red onion, cover them in spices, cook them covered, in a super hot pan and that they would steam and brown at the same time. From there, it could become whatever I wanted. That was where this one pan sweet potato hash and eggs was born.
Smoothie bowls have only been in my life since I had my first acai bowl in Hawaii last year. What a breakfast-changing discovery that was! Since then, my freezer has been consistently stocked with a variety of fruit and my pantry is always full of potential crunchy toppings. You don’t need a recipe to make a smoothie bowl. They are endlessly cusotomizable both in terms of the base and the toppings. However, ever since I started making smoothie bowls, I have discovered that some are superior to others. There are even sometimes smoothie bowl flops. That being said, a couple of weeks ago I discovered a combination that I thought was especially delicious. It had the perfect proportions of equal parts strawberries and banana and a little extra mango for a super refreshing, delicious breakfast bowl.
A couple of weeks ago I went back to Montreal to attend a conference. Of course, on top of all of the work, I was busy seeing my friends and family. It’s always a whirlwind when I go back. Part of me feels like Montreal is still home but at the same time, I don’t feel connected to the city. I don’t have places that I always go visit or restaurants that I love. I never really feel like I know what’s going on, the landscape of the city changes so much, so quickly. So, when I go out with my friends, I rely on them to choose where we will eat, drink and relax. One night, my friend pulled together some suggestions for dinner, I chose one that sounded good, and we headed off to have a nice meal. We had both never been to this particular restaurant before. The food looked great but when we sat down and saw the prices we walked straight out. After a couple more interesting choices, which involved hastily drinking a margherita and walking out of a second restaurant, we finally landed on a winner.