Today marks my 12th day as a Vancouverite and I’m happy to announce that the madness of moving has finally begun to wind down. My first week of work was a whirlwind for sure, full of meeting a whole bunch of really fun and interesting people, newbie orientations, a team potluck, and lots of training sessions with my teammates. I have zero complaints, and am totally loving the fact that the office is about a 10 minute walk from home. It doesn’t get much easier than that, and when it’s nice and sunny outside, I secretly kinda wish it was longer.
Week 1 also included a lot of really great food. Although I haven’t had a chance to get over to Granville Market yet for my precious maple smoked salmon nuggets, I’ve had the pleasure of visiting some fantastic restaurants and juice bars including Nuba, Acorn, and Heirloom Juice Co. Remember how last summer when I was here to run the Lululemon SeaWheeze half marathon, we visited Heirloom (the vegetarian restaurant) almost every single day? Well they’ve had a juice bar open just up the street for a few months now, and the juices and smoothies are amazing. They’ve also got this really seedy granola bar with chocolate topping, but I could wax poetic about that for hours. For now let’s just say it’s a must-visit if you ever come to Vancouver.
As far as other settling in things go, as of last night I officially have wi-fi in my condo (YAY!) This was a bit of an inconvenience in my first week. It meant having to go across the street to a coffee shop every time I needed to get online, and buying an obligatory tea (despite having oodles of tea at home) because I didn’t feel like I could just go in and steal wi-fi. With that said though, it’s amazing how much you can get done when you know the Internet isn’t an option. Sure, I could get on my iPhone and get lost in the dark hole that is social media, but I think I’ll always prefer my Macbook when it comes to that sort of thing.
Not having wi-fi was a bit of a blessing because it made me get my condo looking nice and tidy way faster than would have been the case had I had the usual online distractions. My furniture purchases at IKEA consisted of a kitchen table (the same model I just sold back in Waterloo, so I knew exactly how to put it together), two chairs, a bedside table and a wardrobe. If you could hear me speak those words, you’d notice a very obvious heavy sigh on the word ‘wardrobe’.
Guys, this thing was a beast. I truly thought I’d be putting it together for an entire week. Part of me even contemplated baking cookies or something tasty for one of my unassuming neighbours, then bribing them to come over “for a few minutes” to assist. After opening 3 of the 4 boxes and wrestling with cardboard for a good 20 minutes, then hauling said cardboard down to my condo’s recycling room, I decided I’d had enough. I Googled “Ikea assembly services in Vancouver”, and guess what?! They exist! I found a guy (seriously, such a lifesaver) who came over on Monday night and put the whole thing together for me. Sanity saved + time spent doing more enjoyable things + no injuries? #winning!
Want to know what else I’ve really, really fallen in love with? My massive condo windows. As I said before, I’ll take a bunch of photos and perhaps even a video once things are looking the way I want them to, but natural light is SUCH a game changer as far as my mood and energy levels go. In fact, I’ve actually been forgetting to take my vitamin D supplement (a must for me in Ontario winters) and haven’t noticed a single thing. In fact, I think all the fresh air and sun I’ve been getting while walking to and from work is eliminating the need for it.
So have any delicious creations come out of my kitchen yet? Well, yes, but I’d be lying if I told you this one did because I knew I needed to get a few recipes in the vault for this awkward moving transition time. My box of carefully-selected blog props, my Vitamix, food processor and spiralizer are all still en route, sitting in the back of my car which is being shipped on the back of a truck across the country. I got a notice on Friday saying that it’s currently in Calgary, and that means (fingers crossed) it just might arrive by this weekend. Yippeeee!
I’ve got a long list of new recipes to create in the new kitchen but for now, let me leave you with this one. It’s got so many awesome colours, flavours, textures and nutrition packed into one bowl, making it ideal for those meals that follow a few days of less-than-ideal eating. (Let’s be honest – they happen to the best of us!)
Sweet n Savoury Asian Bowl
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 4 mins
Ingredients (1 serving)
For the marinade/dressing:
- 3 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp low sodium tamari or soy sauce
- 1 tbsp minced or grated fresh ginger
- 1 clove minced garlic
For the rest:
- 2 cups very thinly sliced mixed green and purple cabbage
- ½ cup cooked quinoa
- 1 small scallion, sliced, white and light green parts only
- 1 carrot, grated
- ½ cup mandarin orange segments
- ½ small avocado, diced
- 3-4 slices tempeh, chopped diagonally into pieces
- cilantro, to garnish
Whisk dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
In a larger bowl, toss together the cabbage, quinoa, and about 2/3 of the dressing. Set aside and let the flavours develop.
Meanwhile, prepare all remaining ingredients as indicated above.
Pour the cabbage and quinoa mixture into the bottom of a bowl. Arrange the scallions, carrot, orange segments and avocado in rows over top, leaving a small space for the tempeh.
Heat a frying pan over medium heat and stir-fry the tempeh pieces in the remaining dressing until no liquid remains, about 4 minutes. Transfer the tempeh to the space left next to the other ingredients.
Garnish with cilantro if desired and serve.
Oh, and if you’re wondering about how much tempeh to use, err on the high side. You can never have too much tempeh. 😉
So tell me…
- What’s the best thing you’ve eaten so far this week?
- Tempeh/tofu marinades: Any favourites to share?