Comfort Food

I don’t know if it’s just me, but October seems like the month of comfort food. 

I thinks it’s probably because of the change in temperature. The chilliness makes want to have warm minestrone soup along with garlic bread and pasta– one of my favourite meals growing up.

So, because there was no school day (it’s Thanksgiving holiday), I decided to prepare one of my all time favourite pasta dishes… MAC N CHEESE. 

The amount of buttery and cheesy goodness in this dish just warms up my stomach and places a huge smile on my face.

Unfortunately, I recently found out that my body doesn’t respond well to dairy, which would explain the breakouts I get after eating froyo, desserts, and pizza. So, I’ve decided to try and find a way to prepare my mac n cheese sans cheese. How you may ask? 

With DAIYA CHEESE! I first learned about this alternative cheese product that’s vegan, gluten and soy free from a cooking class I took with Marni Wasserman. What I like most about Daiya is that it melts like cheese! Unlike other non-dairy cheese alternatives, Daiya’s rich and creamy flavour of cheese certainly delivers the bold flavour and the gooeyness flavor of cheese without compromise!

The recipe I used was adapted from Veg Web– but I’m warning you now that it’s not the healthiest meal. After all, the title of this post is “Comfort Food.” However if you are looking for healthier alternatives to dairy-free mac and cheese, I’d suggest you try a few of these websites below

http://veganyumminess.com/cauliflower-macaroni-and-cheese/

http://ohsheglows.com/2011/10/03/butternut-squash-mac-n-cheeze/

http://thekindlife.com/blog/2013/01/vegan-soy-free-sweet-potato-mac-n-cheese-recipe/

Now, the recipe I used to prepare my sinfully delicious mac n cheese: adapted from VegWeb

Ingredients

– 4 tbsp of earth balance 

– 1/4 cup of spelt flour

– 1/3/4 cups vegan milk at room temperature (add more depending on the thickness you want for your sauce)

– 3/4 cup Daiya mozzarella shreds

-1/2 tsp pepper

– 1 tsp onion powder

– 1/2 tsp dijon mustard

– 2 tbsp nutritional yeast

– 3 cooked cups of brown rice spiral pasta from Tinkyada

– 2 cups of baby kale

Topping

– 1/4 cup Daiya mozzarella shreds

– 1/4 – 1/2 cup of spelt bread crumbs

Directions:

– Heat oven to 375 Degrees Fahrenheit 

– Heat a deep skillet over medium heat and add the butter in. Once the butter melts, add the flour in and combine until you get a brownish colour or becomes a roux

– Slowly add the milk and continue to whisk the ingredients and bring the mixture to a bubble (you can decide here if you want to add an extra 1/4 cup of milk)

– Stir in the Daiya cheese and add in the pepper, onion powder, dijon mustard, nutritional yeast, and baby kale (feel free to add in some salt or extra spices if you want at this step)

– Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and coat completely 

– Transfer your pasta into a baking dish and top with extra Daiya cheese and spelt bread crumbs.

– Place the dish into the oven for 20-23 minutes, or until the crumb turn light brown and the cheese on top melts.

** Sorry for such bad quality photos! Turns out that I forgot to charge my camera! You’ll just have to trust me when I tell you that this dish was uber-tasty and creamy. Even my parents, who are not huge fans of sauce-based pasta dishes, loved it!

Lastly, my question to you is: What’s your favourite comfort food recipe to make?

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Moksha

One of my new years resolutions was to take up some sort of new exercise.

I’m not the most active teenage person, but I want to change that. So, I decided to take up hot yoga: Moksha to be exact.

Yesterday was my first class and boy was it rewarding. The day before yesterday, I was busy googling people’s experiences with hot yoga/moksha and I was horrified. I read about many people feeling nauseous, dizzy, and even sick. Upon reading those posts, I was scared for my experience. However, there was nothing to be scared or worried about!

The staff at Moksha were extremely friendly. They offered me some great tips such as placing my mat near the back of the classroom, where it was less hot, as well as letting me know that it was okay if I wanted to take a break in the middle of the class and go into child’s pose.

When I first walked into the classroom, I was blown with a hot breeze of air. I quietly found a place near the back of the room and rolled out my mat and placed my towel over top. I left my water bottle and small face town near my mat as I laid down on my back into Savasana.

Savasana was a great way to start off the class because it allowed to body to adjust to the temperature. My mind stopped racing about all the things I had to do later on in the week as I tried to focus on my breathing. After laying in Savasana, the instructor came into the room and spoke to the class in a soft tone. We rested in Savasana for a little bit, as we got to concentrate on our breathing a bit more and then we stood up and moved into the standing series. Although some of the poses were a bit hard for me, I liked how the instructor offered modified positions for the students in the class who couldn’t. My favourite of the standing series was Eagle pose. After a short while, I could feel the sweat dripping down of my face, as well as places I didn’t even know could sweat!

After the standing series, came the floor series. I wished there were a bit more poses that targeted the abdominal muscles, but I was pleased with the body-toning poses.

The class ended with Savasana. Although it was quite warm in the room, not once did I feel nauseous, dizzy, or sick. I’m very glad that I stuck through the whole class and can’t wait to go back to another class. I also hope that I can try pilates since I would really like to strengthen my body.

Have any of you tried pilates or hot yoga?