April’s Guest Blogger Vincci Tsui is not only a Food-Lover (not using the word Foodie), and Food Blogger, but also a well known Registered Dietitian about town. More often than not while enjoying my morning cup of Java and prepping for my day, I will see Vincci pop up on the BT Calgary’s (Breakfast Television) Morning Show sharing her knowledge of healthier food choices & recipes with the hosts and viewing audience.
In addition, she is a Cooking Instructor at Start From Scratch, a program that teaches post-secondary students the benefits of preparing a quality, home-cooked meal. I love her philosophy of having a relationship with all foods. I’ve always believed everything in moderation. Vincci is a very busy lady these days, and I am honoured to call her a friend. So excited to try out Vincci’s 2 Minute Chocolate Quinoa Cake!
Hi, my name is Vincci. I love delicious food that nourishes.
I started Ceci n’est pas un food blog over seven (!) years ago when I was still a student at McGill. I had kept personal blogs since before blogging was even called blogging (Hellooooo, Teen Open Diary!), and moving to Montreal (well, technically, a suburb called Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, which is home to McGill’s agricultural and environmental campus), I learned to cook for myself alongside my classmates. I remember in first year my dorm room was across from the communal kitchen and every week a bus would take us from the campus to a nearby grocery store. All the French exchange students would make stacks and stacks of late night crêpes. I found my personal blog posts started veering more and more towards the food that I was making, and having discovered food blogs like Amateur Gourmet and Smitten Kitchen, I decided to start one of my own.
Since then, my blog has evolved from horrible photos of the recipes I made in residence, to moving back home from university and blogging more about restaurants as I enjoyed mom’s cooking, to its current state of slightly better photos (thanks partly to my brother, who taught me the rule of thirds), a mix of reviews and recipes, PLUS a monthly check-up of my new year’s resolutions.
Four years ago, inspired by the National Food Blogger Bake Sale in the states, I started the Calgary Food Blogger Bake Sale. I remember how nerve-racking it was to email “famous” Calgary food bloggers like Dinner with Julie’s Julie van Rosendaal, but everyone was very open and friendly. In the end, there were about 20 of us who baked, and we raised $1,200 for Calgary Meals on Wheels. More importantly, I met so many great people in Calgary’s food blogging community and many of us have become great friends. (That’s how I met Wanda!) I’m also so lucky that this community has brought me a lot of opportunities professionally as well. (I always joke I’m riding on the coattails of my friend Dan.) It’s crazy to me how the community continues to grow. For the most recent bake sale, I contacted nearly 60 bloggers!
Aside from being a food blogger (I hate the term “foodie”), I get to talk about food all day in my job as a registered dietitian. Recently I realized that my profession gives me the opportunity to do almost all the things I wanted to be at some point in time as a kid – teacher, journalist, therapist, on TV… I did want to be an interior designer or makeup artist too at one point, but I can’t draw or put colours together to save my life! My earlier posts did have a bit of a nutrition slant, but now I leave that for my professional site, VincciTsui.com.
While I LOVE and am proud of being a registered dietitian, sometimes I can’t help but be a little hesitant when people ask what I do. Because I’m a bit on the smaller side (thank you, genes… and Muay Thai four days a week!), there is always someone that says something along the lines of, “Oh, you must eat so healthy! That’s why you’re so thin!” or “Teach me how to eat so I can look like you!” If you follow my blog, or even my Instagram, you can see that I am certainly not the face of “clean eating”, but now that I think of it, nor do I want to be. To me, having a positive relationship with all foods, whether they’re nutrient-dense or poor, is more important than having a “perfect” diet, whatever that means. Food should never make you feel guilty… unless you obtained it unlawfully!
When it comes to not-so-nutritious foods, I’m more of a salty/crunchy snack lover (yummm chips and popcorn) as opposed to having a sweet tooth, but when I do get dessert, I almost always choose the richest, most decadent and chocolatey one. This chocolate cake in a mug is perfect for a quick chocolate fix when a square of dark chocolate just doesn’t cut it. It only takes two minutes in the microwave, and it comes out warm and decadent, but with a touch of airiness. I have a bag of quinoa flour of unknown origin, so I can make it gluten-free (but then I add instant coffee, which, depending on the brand, makes it not.) I use coconut oil for the flavour, not because it’s “better for you” (the evidence is pretty weak). If you’re into the spicy Mexican chocolate thing, cinnamon and some sort of chili (cayenne, ancho or chipotle) is delicious too.
This recipe is adapted from my friend Mallory at TotalNoms.com. She has a cute video for it!
- 2 tbsp cocoa
- 2 tbsp quinoa flour or any flour
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp instant coffee
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 2 tbsp milk
- 2 tbsp coconut oil or melted butter or vegetable oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- In an 8-oz coffee mug, stir together cocoa, quinoa flour, sugar, instant coffee, salt and baking soda with a fork until well-blended.
- Stir in milk, coconut oil and vanilla until all ingredients are moistened. Don't worry if the mixture is a bit gloppy and not smooth on top.
- Microwave, uncovered, on HIGH for 2 minutes. Serve warm with a sprinkle of fleur de sel, a dusting of icing sugar or a spoonful of whipped cream or ice cream. A glass of milk doesn't hurt either.