Gooood morning!

Happy humpday! How are you doing on this fine Wednesday? This week’s Try Something New Tuesday, although slightly less adventurous as last week’s calamari and Irish moss trials, was a great success. I’ve got two lovely new things to tell you about, but first, it’s recipe time!

1. Recipe of the Week: Scallops are not a purchase I make often, mainly because they’re pretty expensive. They just happened to be (reasonably) on sale this weekend so I picked some up and got to work on some Peanut Lime Scallops, a recipe I’ve been planning in my head since Thursday.

Scallops have a very delicate flavour and texture, so I didn’t want to overwhelm the dish with strong sauces. These ones have a light marinade of peanut butter, lime juice and a few spices, and to flavour the final goods, I just squeezed some fresh lime juice over the rice and cooked scallops. The crushed peanuts added a nice contrasting crunch, and if scallops didn’t cost as much, this dinner would be on my table all week!

2. A new tea purchase. You guys know I’m in love with David’s Tea, and on my visit there this weekend, I spotted a new-to-me oolong tea that I just couldn’t resist. Quite a while ago, I tried a bottle of Kombucha for the first time, and couldn’t get myself to guzzle the whole thing. I’m not sure if it was the brand, the flavour, or just kombucha in general, but I just didn’t enjoy it. Enter Happy Kombucha tea:

Upon first whiff of this, I was hooked. It is so deliciously fruity, with strong mango and pineapple notes. Not surprisingly, those are 2 of the ingredients, in addition to oolong tea, Kombucha powder, and safflower petals.

Fancy geeking out a little with me about oolong tea? It’s somewhere in between a green and black tea, and grows high up in the mountains of Taiwan and China. The dark, mature leaves go through a long process of bruising and drying, and some very traditional oolongs are still rolled by hand. Others are produced by tea makers in Asia that have jumped on the faster-is-better industrial bandwagon and have developed faster mechanical ways to speed up the process. No matter what method, oolong leaves are wound very tightly and expand a LOT in the infuser when steeped. A final very cool fact: The same leaves can be steeped repeatedly, each time opening the leaves a little more and releasing a slightly different flavour from the last steep. Kinda nifty don’t you think?

I popped about 1 1/2 tsp of leaves into my Timolino yesterday before work and started sipping away on my drive. Although the dry leaves smell very strong and sweet, the tea was a little more mild in taste. Still, it didn’t require any added sweetening and was very delicious on its own. Unlike my trial of actual Kombucha many Tuesdays ago, I slurped this down no problem! I let the leaves steep 2 more times yesterday morning and although I didn’t detect much of a taste difference, the flavour and lovely smell were still there. I don’t think this bag will last very long!

3. The newly-reformulated Vega Sport Performance Protein. As you may already be aware, Vega has recently undergone a brand refresh with a new look for its packaging and new formulation of its products. I’m a huge fan of the Whole Food Health Optimizer (now replaced by Vega One) and the brand’s protein powders, although I don’t use them on a regular basis because they’re a little pricey. Once in a while though, I pick up a sample at my health food store and this weekend I spotted a packet of the new vanilla Performance Protein. Vega has categorized its Vega Sport products into 3 stages: Prepare, Sustain, and Recover. To learn about the entire system, click here.

The Recover step in the system includes Performance Protein powder, a bar, and a Recovery Accelerator beverage. According to the Vega website, Vega Sport Performance Protein is formulated to:

  • Improve strength and exercise performance
  • Repair and build muscles
  • Reduce recovery time between training

All of the above sounded like a good plan after my workout yesterday! This protein powder is an entirely plant-based blend, contains 120 calories and 26g protein, and less than 1 gram of sugar. You might be wondering what’s different about the new formulation, and based on what I’ve read, it’s is the addition of high-protein SaviSeed (Vega’s sacha inchi seed product). These seeds contains the key amino acid tryptophan, a precursor to serotonin, which is the hormone that makes you feel fab and ready to train hard again.

So how did my trial go? Well, in the mix was the following ingredients:

  • 1 packet Vega Sport Performance Protein in Vanilla
  • 3/4 cup frozen pineapple
  • 5 frozen strawberries
  • 1 tsp maca root powder
  • 1 tsp hemp seeds
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup water
  • ice

Blend, blend, blend, and a few minutes later I had this:

The vanilla flavour was definitely more prominent than I remember the previous formulation of this protein to be, and surprisingly, I tasted more vanilla than fruit. My usual protein powder is made of whey, but if you’re vegan or are just looking to find a non-whey, easy-on-the-digestive-system, non-chalky protein powder, I’d suggest this one. Based on my trial of this flavour, there is a very low chalk factor! Although I don’t yet have a tub in regular rotation in my kitchen, I may eventually cave and buy myself one.

So tell me:

  • Have you tried any of the newly reformulated Vega products yet? What did you think?
  • If you’re a morning tea drinker, what’s your favourite kind to wake up with? I’ve become a biased tea snob and have only been buying teas at David’s for the past 6 months or so, and my favourite teas to have at breakfast are the Lime Gelato (a super limey, energizing green) or Organic Detox (a cleansing green/rooibos mix)