LOOK GOOD AND FEEL EVEN BETTER WITH LOVE ARCTIC

If you follow my Instagram @melinamagnatta_; You would know that I am a bit obsessed with making smoothie bowls. I love trying out new powders, supplements, and toppings for my bowls and Love Arctic had everything I needed.  Love Arctic carries healthy products with a taste of the arctic and their goal is to share peaceful moments when enjoying the products. All of their products are Vegan, Non- GMO and Gluten-Free which makes me feel a bit better about what I am consuming. I was lucky enough to try 4 different products from the company and they were all unique and tasted really healthy!

“It could be the moment you sprinkle our lingonberry powder on your breakfast oatmeal, snack dried bilberries in between a hectic day of meetings at work or sit on your couch in the evening with a cup of arctic herbal tea in your hands. That moment you forget the rush of your life and just enjoy your arctic moment”- Saara, Founder of Love Arctic.

CRISP – ORGANIC LINGONBERRY POWDER

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The lingonberries are handpicked from the woods in Northern Finland and are then ground into a powder form. By adding 1 tablespoon of lingonberry powder, it is equivalent to 90 g of fresh berries. The colour of this powder is really fluorescent pink, which is an easy way to make your smoothie look pretty. Lingonberry powder is also an excellent way to add a bit more fibre to your diet. 

 

DAWN – GROUND FLAXSEED AND BILBERRY

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This product is harvested at the most northern part of Finland, close to the Arctic Circle. The flax is ground and mixed with handpicked bilberries, this is good to add to yogurt with some granola. Dawn is high in omega-3 fatty acid and is a great source of magnesium. Magnesium helps to reduce tiredness and fatigue throughout the day. Dawn is also an easy way to add protein to your meal. The recommended serving size is 19g of protein!

 
SWEET BLUE – ORGANIC DRIED BILBERRIES, SWEETENED

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This is perfect to add to your oatmeal or smoothie bowl! Also excellent for baking, I could imagine would be good in some berry bran muffins. What I love most, is that these berries are infused with pear juice concentrate to sweeten them. NO SUGAR!

 

FRESH – ORGANIC BLACKCURRANT POWDER 

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Blackcurrant powder is high in Vitamin C. Vitamin C helps to maintain the healthy function of the immune system during and after physical exercise. Also high in Vitamin K. Vitamin K contributes to the maintenance of strong bones. The powder also adds a beautiful dark blue colour to smoothies and a great taste. 


THANK YOU LOVE ARCTIC FOR THIS AMAZING COLLABORATION AND EXPERIENCE. ALTHOUGH THESE PRODUCTS WERE COMPLIMENTARY, MY OPINION AND CONTENT REMAIN UNBIASED.
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The best Gluten-free products.

Let me begin by saying, I LOVE GLUTEN. But my boyfriend and some family members of mine are allergic. Thanks to Udi’s and Glutino, eating Gluten-Free has never tasted so good. Just because you are breaking up with Gluten, doesn’t mean you need to suffer. Over the years, I have learned how to cook Gluten free meals and make some pretty awesome recipes. Mastering a great GF recipe is not always easy and can sometimes take a few try’s, that’s why I rely on Udi’s and Glutino! They are both certified Gluten-free company’s that create delicious and affordable products.
The variety is endless, they carry everything from baking mixes, boxed cookies, bread, pretzels, breadcrumbs, crackers and more where that came from. Udi’s and Glutino create high-quality foods that I have never been disappointed with. They have an amazing reputation and I know that they are both companies I can trust. The last think I want is the ones I care most about feeling sick, hurting and feeling uncomfortable because of something they ate.

Down below are my all time favorite products made by Glutino and Udi’s. I have tried all of these and would highly recommend them to someone suffering from a Gluten intolerance/allergy. These products have really changed my life in the kitchen and make eating Gluten-free exciting.

 

Gluten Free Chocolate Vanilla Crème Cookies

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These cookies are so freaking good! Just like Oreo’s, but gluten-free.

 

Gluten Free Chocolate Covered Pretzels
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How can you ever go wrong with chocolate covered pretzels, let alone chocolate covered anything?

 

Gluten Free Lemon Wafers

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These Lemon Wafers taste exactly like Froot Loops to me, which I love! They are super sweet but so addictive.

 

Classic Hamburger Buns

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This is a product that I have really been thankful for. We do a lot of BBQ at my house, so I always make sure to pick some of these up if I know we are having GF guests over.

 

Salted Caramel Cashew Cookies

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I have tried all three flavors of the Soft-baked Cookies and the Salted Caramel Cashew are by far my favorite. There so addictive and literally melt in your mouth. The perfect cookie to pair with a cold glass of milk. Step up your cookie jar game and go get yourself some of these, I highly recommend.

 

Gluten Free Au Naturel Granola

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Love adding this granola to my yogurt and smoothie bowls. I like that is simple and does not have too much going on, yet still is crunchy and flavorful. The ingredients are straightforward; CERTIFIED GLUTEN FREE OATS, WILDFLOWER HONEY, CANOLA OIL.

 


Thank you Glutino and Udi’s for this amazing collaboration and experience. Although these products were complimentary, my opinion and content remain unbiased.

Winterlicious @ Hawthorne

This past weekend I was invited to a Winterlicious menu tasting at Hawthorne Food and Drink. The restaurant is located on Richmond Street East with easy parking and is 100% wheelchair accessible. They are open Monday-Friday for breakfast and lunch and Tuesday-Friday for dinner. They open Saturday and Sunday for Winterlicious only.

Hawthorne Food & Drink’s sole purpose is to give back to the community and deliver farm to table meals. The restaurant serves delicious dishes made from local and seasonal ingredients. They also provide careers for people in need of skills and employment. I love that the staff were passionate about their jobs and carried a friendly attitude. Hawthorne’s menu changes often and takes inspiration from the farms of Ontario and the neighborhoods of Toronto. The presentation of the food was always creative and artistic which I enjoyed the most. This restaurant was a bit out of my element when it came to certain textures and concepts. The flavors were incredibly bold and pungent at times which I also wasn’t expecting for some dishes. 

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Pickled Platter

It was very sweet that the Chefs at Hawthorne wanted us to taste their famous pickled platter but most of the pickling just was not for me. There are not a lot of things that I WON’T eat but unfortunately, blue cheese is one of them and that was a part of this massive spread of pickled foods. The platter also included two different types of boiled eggs. Tumeric and Beet, both which were bold and tangy. This is a great option for someone who appreciates pickled foods!

 

 

Appetisers

Wontons+Tartare * (Can be made GF), (Local)

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The servers and Chefs were all wonderful and accommodating when it came to choosing a gluten free dish. Instead of the Tartare being served with wontons we substituted with watermelon radish slices. The tartare was served a huge portion size and was big enough to share. The taste was good but this ain’t no beef carpaccio.

 

Daily Croquette Poutine * (Local)

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This was a creative spin on the “poutine” I thought I was ordering. Really crispy, which I loved and the gravy was perfect. Was tasty, although I did not really taste the cheese in the dish.

 

 

Entrées

Jerk Pork * (Can be made GF), (Local)

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Pork belly on top of a rice and edamame cake. The flavors in this dish were bold, especially in the jerk sauce. This dish was awesome but I would personally like it better if the pork was jerk seasoned, not just the thick paste globbed on top. It was a bit difficult to evenly disperse the jerk “sauce” evenly. Some bites getting too much jerk and others not getting any at all. Overall this dish was good and glad it was gluten free. Also really enjoyed the presentation and look of the candied decor.

 

Whole Roasted Carrot Ginataan * (Vegan), (Local), (GF)

dsc_0732Just by looking at this dish, I was impressed. It was a fair portion size and felt like I was eating clean and healthy. The red and puffed quinoa were light yet filling and the roasted carrots were well done. Topped with coconut-ginger velouté, which kind of tasted like green curry to me…This was AWESOME.

 

 

 

Desserts

Pasteis de Nata – Portuguese Egg Tart * (Local)

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I was expecting a bit more from this, probably because I work in a bakery and love egg tarts. The taste was really nice and light but I found that it wasn’t cooked enough. It was a bit rubbery and jello like, which I’m not familiar with or fond of.  The crust on top was delicious and I kind of wanted more of it.

 

Winter Vegetable Cheesecake* (Vegetarian), (Local)

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This was a nice choice for a Gluten-free dessert, minus the cake crumbles on top. The taste was very healthy and did not really feel like I was eating dessert. Not typically a “sweet” I would crave because I am more of a chocolate dessert kind of girl but, it was well done for what they were trying to achieve.

 

 

 

 

Thank you Hawthorne Food and Drink for having me it was an awesome experience!

Maggie Oakes – Montreal

A quick visit to Montreal calls for some amazing food at Maggie Oakes. I had heard great things about this beautiful restaurant and had been wanting to try it myself. The restaurant was unique and was like nothing I had seen before. The decor was simple and elegant and so was the food ( simple in a good way ). We enjoyed a few drinks to go along with our feast and really did enjoy ourselves.

I loved the way that the ingriedients they use in the dishes were incorporated into decorative statement pieces. On one side of the restaurant they had a wall covered in a display of fresh growing greens, spices, and plants. All edible, all used in creating the perfect menu options. On the opposite end of that, was the meat. Aged meat, sealed up in glass showcases. I had never seen anything like this and thought it was so different and awesome.

 

The drinks were amazing and fairly priced. They were not your average cocktails which I liked! Light and not overly sweet, great for a huge dinner.

 

Everything we ordered, we shared. I love going with a larger group that enjoys the same type of food as you. We tried the sweet potato and leek soup, which had nutmeg sour cream. It was  fresh and was a great start to the evening. We also tried the beetroot duo, which was a dish with arugula, roasted walnuts, toasted goat cheese. This was incredible, so rich and decadent!

 

 

The main that I ordered was the linguini with butternut squash. It was hard to decide because, I kid you not…everything on the menu sounded amazing but this definitely caught my eye. I am a fan of pretty much anything butternut squash. The pasta was very filling but the pecorino shavings, toasted pecans and sage all came together to create an unforgettable dish. I also got to try the sweet potato ”manicotti” with homemade ricotta, roasted red pepper sauce. I thought this was very unique and had a modern twist on the classic manicotti recipe. I loved this and I am going to try and make this at home!

 

 

We also ordered the grilled bavette to share amongst the group. This was served with green tomato chime-churri, french fries and a homemade ketchup. It was all great but the bavette was honestly nothing that special. It was good, but nothing to rave about.
The burger on the other hand, was great! Topped with La Savaging cheese, Kumato tomatoes, bourbon glazed onions, and homemade ketchup. As if that burger wasn’t enough it also came with fries.

Overall an amazing dinner at Maggie Oakes and would love to come back and try the brunch. Next time I visit Montreal, I know exactly where to go.

Hungry Amoo – Toronto

The most recent restaurant that I have visited, Hungry Amoo. This is a great spot for snacks and drinks on Ossington, you have to check out! All the dishes that I tried were creative and so flavourful. Hungry Amoo offers dishes from different international cuisines, some of which I had never tried before. Something that I really love about this restaurant is that the menu is seasonal and changes based on which ingredients are most fresh.

All the employees here were very friendly and helpful, especially our server Yasmine. She was passionate about the menu and explained how it worked, so we could get a better understanding of the type of cuisine. Yasmine also recommended a few dishes, which I found really nice. Needless to say, we were definitely taken care of @ Hungry Amoo.

But my favorite thing about eating @ Hungry Amoo, is that we left with belly’s full of wonderful food! And all of it was gluten-free.

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Cool bar setup! Delicious cocktails too, most of which I had never heard of before. I tried the pomegranate spritz and I found it had such a unique flavour. This is definitely a great place to go for drinks with friends!

 

 

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Tamarind Beef (GF) $12

Crispy Pulled Brisket, Cashew, Date sauce, Brussel Sprout. This dish was by far, the favorite dish of the evening. The beef was so tender and cooked beautifully. I had never tried Tamarind Beef before, and I was really impressed.

 

Overall, I had a great experience dining at Hungry Amoo. I would recommend trying it out here because the menu is so diverse and unique. They master all different cuisines, theres a bit of everything.

 

Thank you to the Hungry Amoo Team and to Yasmine for being such a great help! I will be back to try the Pistachio Soup.

 

 

Upper Deck by Fran’s

Upper Deck by Fran’sis a spot I had been wanting to check out for a while now and finally got to see what I was missing. The minute that I walked through the door, it was exactly what I was hoping for. An all-season rooftop restaurant with a lively, fun and friendly atmosphere. The deck was heated and covered by a retractable ceiling but still that rooftop feel. I thought this was such a great idea because even when it is snowing this winter, dining on the roof should not be a problem. I would choose the Upper Deck for a gathering with a large group of friends because it has everything you really need. TV’s surround the bar area, the food is amazing, the service is spectacular, there is a projector screen (perfect for a sports game or award show) and large seating areas (great for big parties).

Another sweet thing about Upper Deck by Frans is that they offer a $5.00 section on the menu. I tried two things on this menu, both which were super tasty.

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Tenderloin Skewers, $5 (from Upper Deck by Fran’s $5 menu) – Beef tenderloin skewers served with a cheese dipping sauce.
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Fried Green Beans, $5 (from Upper Deck by Fran’s $5 menu) – Green beans, battered and deep-fried.

These are both amazing options from the $5.00 menu, but what really had my heart was the burger that I indulged in (not from the $5 menu).

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Legendary Banquet Burger, $13.99 (also available at all Fran’s locations)
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Fran’s founder Francis “Fran” Deck invented this classic – otherwise known as the Bacon Cheeseburger – in 1940 (it was originally called the “Forest Hill Burger”). They recently updated the classic: a half-pound house-made patty topped with Bourbon Maple Bacon and melted Canadian cheddar. All Upper Deck by Fran’s burger patties are freshly-made, in-house, everyday.

Of course, with every great burger there has to be crispy, golden fries!

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While dining here on the Upper Deck @ Frans, we were treated to some mouthwatering milkshakes.

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Chocolate Milkshake and Strawberry Milkshake, $7 (each) – Milkshakes also available at Fran’s

Last but never forgotten, the greatest sweet treat …

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Pecan Pie

Loaded with pecans, baked in a crisp and buttery pie shell.

I really enjoyed my time on the Upper Deck and cannot wait to go back and try the Famous Red Velvet Cheesecake. 

Thank you Gillian and the Team at Fran’s. This was a great evening, I will deffinately be back soon!

Peace Treats – Ossington, Toronto

This weekend, I went to the cutest treat shop @ The Peace Collective store on Ossington. I had seen Peace Treats on Instagram and was attracted to their colourful and fun feed. They specialize in gourmet milkshakes and every month they will be adding a new treat!

Without a doubt, Peace Treats will become the “I have to go here” spot, especially for an Instagram post of these creative milkshake masterpieces. It was visually and tastefully satisfying, I can’t wait to go back and try the other items on the menu. The prices are reasonable for something so heavenly and delicious. I got the Go Shawty It’s Your Birthday and the D.R.E.A.M shakes.

Check out Peace Treats on 131 Ossington Ave.

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Té – Toronto

This Monday, I ate at Té; a tapas style restaurant. Té demonstrates its Asian and American influences, when it comes to the food and drinks.  I tried a number of things on the menu, which were all amazing and super fresh. The owners of the restaurant, Grace and Tina were both very nice and helpful when it came to choosing the most popular dishes. Té has only been open for a few months and are off to a great start.They are open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late nights and have a wide variety of menu options.


I absolutely loved the style and white layout that the restaurant had, the look of the marble table makes everything look so clean. Our beautiful table was located at the front and was big enough for about six people. There is also an outdoor area out back and more tables at the end of the restaurant.

 

We tried a few of the cocktails, which were all so unique and delicious. My favorite was the Green Té Mojito, I thought it was so refreshing and just the perfect summer drink. The Chai Milk Té was amazing too, but I feel would go better with desert. We also tried The Spicy Chai, which I loved because anything with ginger is awesome! The drinks are priced fairly, around $10 a cocktail. I would for sure go back just for the drinks alone.

I fell involve with Kimchi Ravioli! I have never heard of Kimchi Ravioli in my life, it was so perfectly done… I was very impressed. Just the right about of crispness on the outside, spice from the kimchi and creaminess from the ricotta. I could have eaten the entire plate of these, one of my top menu picks @ Té. Also, tried the Braised Pork Crostini which was really flavourful and filling.

 


These were both really good, The Braised Beef Poutine was another favorite of mine that evening. This is a must have and great to share with others, as it is pretty heavy. The gravy on it has a flavour that I can’t quite put my finger on, but leaves you wanting more.


This was another one of my faves, everything about it was so good! The dough balls are made out of asian steamed rice, which I haven’t seen done before. This had a spicy tomato sauce with mozzarella cheese. This reminded me of Gnocchi pasta, with an asian twist to it. I loved this dish and next time I go back, this will be the first thing I re-order.

 

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Bulgogi Sliders

The Bulgogi sliders were the perfect combination of Asian and American inspired ingredients. The meat on the slider was juicy and seasoned just right! This was topped with a quail egg and a savory wasabi mayo.
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Overall, Té is an awesome choice for a night out with friends and family. They have such a creative menu and have not seen anything like it before. I would highly recommend ordering the “pizza” that they make, it was one of a kind. I can’t wait to go back with a group of friends for brunch , would love to try The Huevos Mash-up ( SOUNDS SO GOOD).

Thank you Grace and Tina for an amazing evening Té Toronto. Keep up the excellent work!

Thompson Diner – Toronto

A few days ago @ an extremely late hour of the evening, I wanted to go out and eat somewhere. But of course at 1:30am on a Tuesday, everywhere in Toronto is closed. As I researched where we could possibly go that was 24 hours, I came across The Thompson Diner. This was about a 20 min drive because it is downtown, although there was no traffic considering the time we went. 
 When we got to the Thompson, I knew exactly what I was ordering. TRUFFLE MAC AND CHEESE WITH BACON! I had seen this on Instagram several times and knew I needed to have it. This is something I would normally never order but I am so glad that I did. This was so rich and creamy I was actually in heaven. The food came pretty quick and at this time it wasn’t very busy, which was nice.  
I recomend going to the Thompson Diner for a late night bite to eat, it was awesome! 
  
    
 

Basil Box – Toronto

This past Monday, I visited Basil Box @ Ryerson University . I had been eyeing this place for a while now and everything looked so yummy on their Instagram account. Going out for Asian inspired dishes is my favourite. The style of the restaurant is build your own meal style, which I love! Customizing my options is great because sometimes I can get a little picky sometimes. You begin with a base for your bowl. The options are noodles, rice or greens. Next you add in your veggie options, proteins and last sauces and toppings.

What I really love most about Basil Box, is that there options for any type of diet. Every option on the menu is Gluten Free (Sauces and all). I love this because most places only have one or two options for those who are Gluten free. There are also options for those dairy free or vegan as well.

All the employees are super friendly and helpful. One worker, Phoebe was assisting us was awesome and very polite! Everything is super clean and organized at the Basil Box and is a pretty big space. You can get your food to go if you are in a hurry or are pressed for time. This is a great place to grab lunch quick while at school and honestly have enough to eat later on in the day also.  The bowls are filling and  affordable. If I went to Ryerson, I would probably be here everyday.

I have honestly found my new obsession, I am so glad that I tried Basil Box and wish I had tried it sooner.

Thank you BASIL BOX for the delicious food!
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