Monday, September 28, 2015

WE feasted at a wonderful U-FEAST event!

I feast. We feast. 


What is this I speak of? Well U-Feast is a great new Toronto membership opportunity (and FREE!) that binds community, food lovers, wine admirers and local restaurants in a pop-up dinner format.   

Members than have access to an exclusive series of one-of-a-kind dining experiences ranging from adventurous outdoor BBQs to black tie seven course meals and everything in between. You’ll also be the first to experience new menu ideas or experimental dishes served up by some of your city’s top chefs. When you join - you get a $10 voucher towards your first event.

Very excited to begin dinner!

Team U-Feast was kind enough to invite me as RBNmedia to test out MADE IN A BRAZIL at Mata (Great restaurant in West Queen West that offers amazing South American fusion that is majority gluen-free!)..

Here's a sneak peak into what an event with this community is like (be prepared - images will cause you to salivate!)

Mata co-owner Steve Fernandes making our opening cocktail Caipirinha - made with pitu cachaça & lime!

Pretty little things....

We were so fortunate to have an opening cocktail, 6 amazing courses & all the wine courtesy of Sibling Rivalry Wine - here's what we had...

Feijoada Shooters (Brazilian Stew): Smoked Meats & Black Bean Broth

Swordfish Ceviche: Pickled Pineapple Salsa & Housemade Cassava Chips.

Linguiça: House Smoked Pork Sausage, Chimichurri & Potato Sticks.

Encondidinho de Camarão: Mashed Cassava (potato like), Shrimp Cream & Prawns. *FAV!

Cassava Gnocchi: Jamón Crudo, Brussel Sprouts & Reggianito.

MMM.. Caramilized Banana Panna Cotta! (I'm not a sweets person yet this stole my heart).

Thanks Sibling Rivalry for making Joey S. of Articulate Eat's even more entertaining...

Everything was so delicious and well thought out, I would easily recommend this for a great date night, family outing (check for kid friendly options) or a fun group night out.  I cannot wait to join the U-Feast team again (hint hint Yvonne) for another evening filled with great conversation, impeccable food & the ease of just being able to enjoy it all one course at a time...

Thanks again to Steve, Mata, U-Feast & my dining companions for all the laughs...


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Paprika & Lemon BLUE GOOSE PURE FOODS Chicken & Chicken Sausage and White Bean Stuffing!

Happy Tuesday friends!

For those of you who DO NOT follow me on Instagram or Twitter may not now that I've partnered up with Blue Goose Pure Foods (website is being updated) as their newest BA - Brand Ambassador!  This means you can follow us and them for weekly (or more) recipes, tips & ideas using their great products and line of organic and ethically raised proteins. 


 Fortunate for RBN their brand policies are inline with ours - they support local & community brands and ideas, they use only the best and ethical local farmers & it shows in the food!  My goal is use my Nutrition background for healthy and nutritious elements and then sprinkle my Culinary Expertise with fun techniques and methods to learn and implement into YOUR home kitchen!  

Bonus: Fall in Ontario is such a rich and season with a great line up of local & seasonal ingredients at our finger tips!

RBN Smoked Paprika & Lemon Roasted Chicken 


What you'll need:

1 Blue Goose whole chicken (Breast or thighs could work too)
2 lemons
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp Smoked or Spanish paprika 
3 tbsp EVOO
Sea salt & cracked pepper

What to do:

Preheat oven to 400.  Wash your chicken and dry thoroughly - may sound odd but I always do it!  May need to remove giblets or trim any excess fat.  Mix together 2 tbsp of EVOO, paprika, 1/2 lemon and S&P into a wet rub.   Rub all over chicken and try to save half of the marinade.  Stuff chicken with cooled down stuffing (recipe below).  Season with extra salt and pepper.  Cap stuffing with half a lemon (shown here) and add remaining stuffing into a small casserole dish and put aside.  Roast chicken for 20-25 minutes at 400.  Afterwards lower to 375 and bake an addition 40-55 minutes - this is a great time to re-marinade.  Using a thermometer - internal temp should be 180f (82c).   ***When there is roughly 20 minutes left add in extra stuffing to reheat.  Let rest for 10/12 minutes to allow juices to redistribute.  I served our chicken with roasted tomatoes and acorn squash, for a lighter meal add a spinach salad and some sautéed greens.



What you'll need:

2 cups cooked white kidney beans (soaked method or org can)
3 Blue Goose paprika chicken sausages, diced
1 sweet onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
Small handful fresh parsley
1/2 lemon juiced
1/2 tsp poultry spice
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp bourbon
1 tbsp raisins

What to do: 

Sauté onions and garlic until translucent.  Add in sausages and try to render and crisp up.  Add in beans and remaining ingredients EXCEPT parsley & bourbon.  Cook stuffing for 3-5 minutes, then finish with last ingredients.  Allow to cool before stuffing to prevent any burns.  Once chicken is done, remove stuffing into a bowl to serve.  Finish with fried sage leaves or more parsley & lemon!


Roasted Tomato side dish: Tomatoes, garlic & EVOO. Roast for 20.

Again follow us on Instagram & Twitter to get your WEEKLY BLUE GOOSE recipes (link in top of blog)..

For where to shop, questions or recipe ideas email me!

Also relaunching RBN 30-day White OUT challenge: 30 days no white foods, no processed foods & NO sugar!  Email me for your copy ~ $75.00
*Includes support through email.
*4 Food journal walk through & critique.
*Recipes & Lifestyle tips
and MORE!!!

xox rbn.

UP on the blog/website this wknd:  

Surf & Turf Taco's: BLUE GOOSE sausage & giant prawns!



Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Happiness Challenge & How-to: Insert #healthy habits into YOUR life!

For those of you that follow me @rachelbies on Twitter - know that we proposed a gratitude journal #challenge in which you write down your thoughts of gratitude every morning - THE REASON: Studies have shown people who are grateful & mindful show less signs of depression, anxiety, anger and overall it becomes a mood enhancer.  For an extra 2 minutes a day - We believe the benefits outweigh the "work" - this is also #10 (no value) on our list of HEALTHY & HAPPY HABITS!  Take a look at our list...these are in no particular order!

RBN Healthy & Happy Habits

1. Mornings: Wake up and try to go without looking at your phone or computer for the first 30-60 minutes after waking.  Connect with your loved ones, pets, go for a walk, drink lemon water.  You'll notice that you start your day more settled - its tough at first but you can do it.  Make it a priority to decide that YOUR day is going to kick A$$!
2. Lemon Water: YOU know how strongly I feel, past blogs and social media highlight this.  It will start your body as alkaline, wake up digestion and great for skin!  DO IT!

3. To do lists:  I'm a list maker.  Obsessed with them.  The downfall is that they can leave you feeling incomplete or disappointed in your day.  New version: make a list of 3 things; 1 small, med & large.  Anything else is a bonus.  For tasks you don't complete - add to next day and give yourself a break!

4. EAT: This is crazy important, no excuses!  Eat a bar, a smoothie, an RBN bfast bowl or toast!  Something!  We burn our food when we sleep and we need FUEL for our long days of work, movement and stress.   Get up 15 minutes earlier to prevent rushing in the mornings or prep the night before - EMAIL ME for a top 10 breakfast list!

5. Afternoons: Take a 15 minute walkabout after your lunch, preferably outdoors but if unable then stretch your legs in your office.  Make it even more enjoyable with a nice tea...ahhh almost like a spa.

6. Après Work: When you get home or have finished work, take some space - outdoors, yoga, bike ride, meditation - something that isn't a chore, work or for someone else! JUST YOU. Maybe its looking up a new recipe or writing in your gratitude journal!

7. Dinner: Try making dinners a thing.  Not an inhale and eat standing at the counter but eat at a table, with friends or loved one.  Plan, shop, decompress from work.  Clean up together.  Be mindful and thankful for where your food is coming from!  Trust me - its the best and fall is the season of dinner parties! Yumms.

RBN has ton of DINNER PARTY ideas - just ask us!
8. Electronic Detox: Josh and I have to adhere to this.  Make a cut-off time for phones/social media.  Take your IG pics and then phone gone.  No phones after 9pm, etc.  Make ones that work for you.  Incorporate a conversation or a board game - something that doesn't involve your head down in a screen! Upside: Tomorrow you'll feel so satisfied after ignoring your phone for hours.

9. Gratitude is a mood lifter: Buy yourself a little old journal!  We're on day 23 I believe and it works. Less stress, anxiety and more mindfulness.  Not sure where to start? I'm grateful for... the food on your table - the fact that you have a job to go to - your family (even though they are crazy lol) - fresh air!  It can be as little or as big as you want!

10.  Meditate:  There's this great app called Headspace that I've been using and loving!  It's 10 minutes a day (or when you have time) & is narrated by a nice british lad (dreamy) and teaches you how to relax, be mindful and be aware of your thoughts - NOT to run from them.  I suggest looking into it!

 ***Results may include: Constant smiles, annoying your co-workers & constant humming.  LOL.




for more details!!  Whooooo!