I’ve been talking about my need for crunchy things left, right and centre, to the point that I cave and head for the chip aisle. This is where scenes like this one, with my friend Kendra, usually play out:
(Standing side by side, staring at the chips…)
Me: I just really want something crunchy. I mean, I could have celery.
Kendra: There’s celery.
Me: Oooor not…(as I grab ALL the chips and put them in the basket…)
My friend Tami calls it the “crunch factor” — all meals must include it or you’ll feel like something is missing; for me, this has definitely been the case recently. Obviously celery is the
responsible HEALTHY choice when it comes to crunch factor. When I mentioned this to my friend Matt, he sent me this fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants salad recipe. It’s got celery for crunch, avocado for creaminess, mango for sweetness and I added red cabbage for colour, which all combine to make it quite satisfying and full of good-for-you vitamins, minerals and fibre. You can make enough for one or two days, just keep the mango and avocado separate to prevent sogginess.
I’ve been craving rice pudding ever since I got a sample at Silvestre Gusto Latino after last Saturday’s Social Bites dinner (my friend Todd and I were hobby-cheffing and had a blast. Will summarize in a later post).
There are a variety of rices in my house after I went a little crazy at Whole Foods’ 25% bulk day back in November. Forbidden rice is by far the most intriguing because of its super black colour. I thought I’d see what would happen if I substituted it in this rice pudding recipe. It turned out delicious. So delicious that I’m trying not to eat the entire pot of it now…
I had a hankering for a good burger the other day. I find I’ve been cooking vegetarian and/or vegan mostly at home — though I do indulge in burgers of the meat variety every so often — and I just happened to have some red kidney beans soaking without a plan for them. Legumes are a staple in my diet recently because of a) being a student and b) being a student of holistic nutrition. I needed a dish for a potluck as part of a class I’m taking and thought veggie burgers would not only satisfy my burger craving but also the variety of eating styles that exist in most nutrition-related classes.
These burgers turned out so great! Perfect chewy consistency with lots of flavour. I served them on top of raw shredded squash and cabbage with the dressing from my Edamame, Arame and Sweet Potato Salad. I also garnished with a little arame, cilantro and a drizzle of extra dressing. Make a double batch and freeze them before (or after) baking for easy lunches and dinners.
One of the great things about being back in school is that there are many other people who are going through the same what-am-I-going-to-do-after-this-is-all-said-and-done phase as me. It was a big decision to up and move and almost as soon as I got here people were asking me what I was planning to do after school and if I wanted to stay in Vancouver or head back to Calgary. The answer is: I don’t know. All I do know is that I want to help people get back in touch with the kitchen and their food: I love sharing recipes, showing people how easy it is to make delicious and good-for-you meals, and giving nutrition/life/friendly advice when asked. But for now, I’m just along for the ride!
I made this Mulligatawny Soup for a potluck with some classmates on the weekend (yes, potlucks go hand-in-hand with nutrition school) and reminded myself how much I love it! This version is vegan-friendly, but traditionally it has chicken, beef or lamb in it. Either way, it’s one for keeps!
If I could eat all the caramelized onions in the world, I would. The slow cooking process draws out the water and sugars from the onions making the final product naturally sweet and satisfying.
I whipped this dip up the other day for a Young Agrarians potluck. Sara Dent organized the event and what an excellent gathering of people with farmers, foodies and new friends to meet. Can’t wait for the next one!
Bean Medley Dip w/ Caramelized Onions & Cilantro
2 cups mixed beans (1 cup dried beans, soaked and cooked — I used Black Garbanzo, Zuni and Navy)
3 onions, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
2 limes, juiced and zested
1 tbsp grapeseed oil
2 tsp honey
Ever since I left Calgary I’ve been craving a gathering just like #yycMNSC that my friend Dan started. So after meeting Annie, a longtime Twitter friend, in-real-life, we decided to start it up here!
Ready for their close-ups.
Monday Night Supper Club is about trying new recipes and restaurants, going on excursions, connecting with food and the food industry in our city, and, of course, making new friends. The inaugural potluck was yesterday (yes, I know it was a Tuesday) at my tiny studio apartment and what a blast we had! Breanne brought a Pumpkin Cashew Dip that I swear you could use as a body mask; Celia brought Quinoa Falafel Cakes; Carissa brought Savoury Sausage & Cheese Muffins and Chocolate Avocado Pudding; Annie brought Homemade Bread & Garlic Bruschetta; and Erin brought Raw Chocolate Nut Clusters. A very delicious evening indeed!
Coffee Grinder + Spices = Spice Grinder
I modified this Lentil & Barley soup recipe from a favourite healthy-eats cookbook called Enlightened Eating (written by a fellow Canadian Holistic Nutritionist!) and it was a total hit with the group. I like to use whole spices wherever possible and grind them as I need them. Instead of using a mortar and pestel, I just use a coffee bean grinder (that’s never met a coffee bean!) As a general rule, I always double recipes when I’m making soup so I’ve got lots leftover to freeze. Yum!
With colder weather taking hold I find, as you might too, that I’m craving warmer meals. With the change to a colder season the body goes into — in my totally UN-scientific opinion — human-hibernation-mode(!) where it needs to conserve energy to keep itself warm and moving. In my mind, this also explains why we tend to hold a little more weight in the winter months (fat/adipose tissue = insulation). Cold foods take more energy for the body to digest, thus leaving less energy for keeping us warm.
This oatmeal recipe is my staple for cold-weather breakfasts and it’s hearty enough to keep the body going until lunch time. You may be thinking, how am I supposed to find time to COOK before work/school/insert-activity-here, but believe me, oatmeal is super quick to prep AND pretty fool-proof (besides forgetting about it while getting ready in the morning and coming back to a burning pan. Believe me. I know :S)
I like to make two to four servings at a time, portion it out, then reheat it on the stove for the next few mornings with a little almond milk. Add the seeds, nuts and other toppings after it’s heated; they’ll stay nice and crunchy and anything containing omega fats will be less likely to go off.
Wowza, how time flies! Since my last post (June 29th!) a lot has happened. On somewhat of a whim I relocated to Vancouver, BC, in early August to complete a certificate in Ayurvedic Studies and in September I began the Diploma of Holistic Nutrition at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition.
Au revoir, Calgary!
Summer in Vancouver was beautiful and I got to spend a lot of time exploring the city and surrounding areas. The rain started a few weeks ago — as everyone warned me it would — so I’m staying on top of my vitamin D supplements and keeping myself busy with school and socializing (who doesn’t like making new friends!?)
Kitchari with seasoned chicken breast, mesclun, beet and cilantro.
The August Ayurveda intensive was perfectly suited to the information I’ve been searching for. Ayurveda has a very simple, logical (and ancient) approach to medicine where nutrition is one of the key elements. People are treated as individuals with lifestyle programs tailored to each person’s specific constitution or dosha. I learned so much about myself and have been putting all my knowledge to work, especially in the kitchen!