Good morning!! :)

How’s your Wednesday treating you so far? Mine’s been grand – it began with an awesome cardio session (to be posted tomorrow!), some weights, and I’m currently bopping along to this tune from Glee whilst enjoying a little brekkie.

A good start, don’t you think?

Now over to the real purpose of the post, my recap of Try Something New Tuesday 62!

1. Recipe of the Week: How about a no-cook one this week? Sounds good to me! With the temperatures being so warm lately, the last thing I feel like doing is firing up the oven and heating up the house. All you need for this super easy recipe is a food processor. Throw some Greek yogurt, herbs, garlic (because everything tastes better with it) and a few other goodies inside and in about 20 seconds, you’ve got Creamy Chive Dip.

You want versatile? This is definitely versatile! I’ve made it about 4 times since the initial test and have used it as a veggie dip, a chip dip, a pita/sandwich spread, and a marinade for chicken. Seriously, it’s that good.


2. VOSS Water. I know, I know, call me a water snob if you want to. Up until now, I thought VOSS was pretty over-rated myself. I mean, who in their right mind would spend $5.00 on an 800mL bottle of water? However, my mind was soon changed when I happened to be perusing the aisles of HomeSense this weekend. This particular bottle happened to be $3 – which is a bargain in snobby water drinker land. I figured I’d give it a go because 1) it was a bargain, and 2) I’ve heard good things about this water from various people – albeit, water snob people.

In case you’re unfamiliar with VOSS, here’s a little info from the company’s website:

VOSS isn’t your everyday water. It’s pure artesian water from Norway that’s bottled at its source. Though Norway is a small country, its pristine environment produces some of the best spring and artesian water sources on Earth.

VOSS comes from an aquifer in Southern Norway, protected from air and other pollutants for centuries by impermeable layers of rock and sand. The water is generated in an artesian spring within deep bedrock. When tapped into, the aquifer is pressurized enough to allow the water to rise up naturally towards the surface, then bottled at the source without undergoing filtration.

So does it taste different from regular water? Tough call… I suppose it depends what you’re used to. I didn’t notice an enormous taste difference, but what I did notice was the difference between drinking water (and I mean any water, including from the tap or Brita filter) out of the glass VOSS bottle in comparison to a plastic or stainless steel water bottle. I always sleep with a bottle of water next to my bed, and last night I subbed it out for the VOSS bottle which I’d refilled after drinking it all at work. This is going to sound ridiculous and very obvious, but it actually tasted like really nice, crisp, unadulterated water, instead of the way water that’s been sitting in a bottle for a few hours tastes (and if you’ve ever brought a plastic bottle with you to a hot yoga class, you probably know what I’m talking about).

Even though my bottle no longer contains the special snobby water, I don’t mind carrying it around with regular water inside. I’m officially a fan and a glass bottle convert.

3. Sprouting grains. Yep, on my own! According to Brendan Brazier, this is actually really easy. I decided to give it a go on my own after reading why sprouted grains are so great for you.

From the Thrive in 30 Challenge website:

Enzymatically-alive and nutrient-packed, sprouts are one of the most complete and nutritional foods you can findand you can even grow them yourself in your own kitchen! Practically any edible seed can be sprouted: from radishes to flax, buckwheat to almonds, beans to classic alfalfa.

What makes sprouts such a superfood? When a seed sprouts, it’s literally digesting itself, using the protein and starch of the seed to feed the plant it will become—and creating amino acids in the process. This sprouting process gives your body a perfect, pre-digested food that yields high net-gain nutrition for the lowest energy cost possible. Sprouts are the most digestible protein source you’ll find—and they’re rich in the vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and enzymes you need to help you achieve the younger body you seek!

So how does one go about sprouting grains? Well, I got my tutorial from The Sproutpeople, where you can learn how to sprout almost anything from green to beans to pseudograins and your more common grains (think kamut, wheat, spelt, etc.) I decided to roll with quinoa since I read that quinoa sprouts grow very quickly and I’m incredibly impatient. My goal was to get mine to look like the ones on The Sproutpeople website:

I also learned during this process that quinoa is the only sprout that contains every single amino acid that our bodies need, and that each seed grows 2 roots in about 24 hours time. But enough of that – here are the instructions I followed:

  • Measure 1/3 cup of quinoa seeds and rinse them.
  • Transfer the seeds to a bowl and add ¾ cup cool water. Stir the quinoa in the water, then soak for 20-30 minutes.
  • Drain off the soaking water. Rinse the seeds, then drain as thoroughly as possible.  (There’s lots of water going on here!!)
  • Set the bowl in an area that is not in direct sunlight, at room temperature. (The only type of sprouts that need direct sun are the ones that have green leaves, since those are the ones that perform photosynthesis.)
  • In 8-12 hours, rinse and drain them thoroughly again.
  • …then again after another 8 to 12 hours.
  • Wait 8-12 hours after the final rinse to allow moisture to disappear.
  • After they’re dry, transfer them to a sealed bag or container and store them in the fridge.

Apparently, the longer the rinse-and-drain cycle is repeated, the softer the texture of the quinoa gets. Seeds that aren’t soaked as long (for example, only 1 or 2 cycles) can keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, but softer sprouts that have soaked for longer don’t last as long.

Since I like to be prepared by doing my research ahead of time, I started this little sprouting adventure on Sunday night (but don’t worry, I didn’t actually try the sprouts until Tuesday!) When I began, the quinoa seeds looked just like they usually do when you buy them raw. Here are the progress pics:

Soaking the quinoa seeds

Rinsing the quinoa after the first soak

Draining the quinoa after the first rinse

After the first 10 hour cycle - I see some little tails sprouting in there!

After the second 10 hour cycle - bigger tails! I think we're almost done!

8 hours later... and I think we're done!

What did I do with the final goods? Well, in true Angela fashion, I threw them into a salad that I ate for lunch at work yesterday. It consisted of chopped diced chicken breast, cucumbers, red and yellow bell peppers, celery, and fresh basil (from my still-alive-and-well basil plant!) I dressed it up with a simple vinaigrette of 1 part olive oil and 2 parts fig-infused vinegar.

The quinoa was a little bit more chewy than the usual type I make on the stove, but the texture was actually quite nice. It is a little weird to see little tails in my salad (and kind of gross too) but I got over it. I concluded that it was a pretty delicious meal and I’m happy I’ve got more to add to my lunch today!

4. Seabream. Ahh yes another seafood trial – there are plenty of fish in the sea to keep me going for many Tuesdays to come! This week it was sea bream, a new one that I found at the seafood counter at Sobeys. It was sitting on the ice, looking a lot like this…

(Source)

…and I wasn’t going to buy it unless the lady behind the counter removed all the scales and other bits and gave me a fillet (because I wouldn’t have a clue where to start when it comes to all that cutting and bone removal.) Since she was a very nice lady, she did all the knife work for me.

Before I get into the meal I ate, here’s a quick sea bream tutorial:

  • Their meat is white and mild in flavour, and of all the breams (apparently there are many), this is one of the best tasting.
  • They’re part of the Sparidae family of fish, (also known as porgies), and are distinguished by flat bodies and a flattened face.
  • Their colour depends on the type of water they live in.
  • They can be found in all parts of the world.
  • The sea bream grows to about 2 feet in length.

Its looks like this:

To prep my sea bream, I sprinkled it with some garlic powder, black pepper, Herbamare original (although other sea salt would have worked too), and dried dill. Next, I baked it in the oven in some parchment paper while I steamed some broccoli and a few other veggies.

Super simple, but delicious too! The fish had a fairly mild taste, and had the texture of something like cod or sea bass (as in, a little more meaty than tilapia, which is much more mild and easier to flake in my opinion.) Success!

Alright, time for me to get to work! And time for you to answer my questions for today!

  • Do you buy into the whole artesian/high-end water thing? If so, what brand do you buy?
  • Have you ever tried growing sprouted grains, greens, seeds, etc? Were you successful?
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