DIARY OF A CHEF AT HOME
a collection of holistic nutrition tips & tricks, plus many of Food on the Table's favourite recipes
Did you know chocolate (real chocolate) is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet?! Did you know that's it's full of magnesium and magnesium just happens to be one of the most used nutrients in our body keeping our muscle and nerve function steady.
You may of noticed blood oranges popping up at your local grocery market. If you haven't eaten one before I highly recommend you stop and place a few in your basket, you won't regret it! Unlike traditional oranges, blood oranges are only in season between December through until May depending on the variety.
Coleslaw is one of my favourite types of salad. There are so many different variations from many different countries that it would be hard for me to pick my favourite. This one is definitely up there!
Beet Kvass is a beverage that I make from time to time. It's flavour is slightly salty, sour and tangy, with earthy notes. This nourishing, grounding and nutrient-rich drink makes my belly nice and warm. You know that feeling when you drink a lacto-fermented beverage (sauerkraut or kefir) and you get that warm fuzzy feeling inside? You can actually feel it doing something good in your body. I like consuming food/beverages that do that :)
Have I told you how much I love fermented foods? And I'm not talking about the Bick's Pickles or Sauerkraut that you'd find on the shelf of a supermarket that's been sitting there for who knows how long. I'm talking about real, traditional, lacto-fermented food and beverages that are teaming with bacteria (the good kind), lactic acids, vitamins, minerals and all the other good stuff.
My son's been asking me to make pickled carrots for about a month. I finally made them and honestly, I don't know why it took me so long. Life I guess. But, these literally take about 10 minutes to prep and 3-7 days to ferment.
What is Inflammation?
Inflammation is a natural process that happens in the body to protect and heal our bodies from infection, damage and irritants. It helps us to eliminate damaged tissues or cells so that they can repair. Inflammation is necessary in many cases but if it sticks around for too long it can lead to serious health concerns.
So...this is my new favourite soup. Have I said that before?
Spicy, warming, rich and creamy while meeting my 3 very important criteria for a dish: Simple to make, extremely Nourishing (not only for the body but the mind & soul too) and, yes you guessed it Delicious! I hope you know by now that I wouldn't share a recipe with you that didn't meet these three expectations. Why not get the best BANG for your BUCK?
Do you like vegetables? I like vegetables. Actually, I LOVE them. I cannot imagine a day without them. We incorporate them into most meals that we eat, whether it's the main star of a meal, a side dish or incorporated into a smoothie. I make a serious point of getting them in there.
I know...another cabbage recipe! I can't help myself, I love the stuff! It's amazing how dense these things are, a little seriously goes a long way. And when I say dense I mean in volume / weight along with vitamins and minerals. Just look at all the colours in this dish! Talk about phyto-nutrients to the rescue. Also, a cabbage will last in your fridge for weeks so if you don't use it all, save some for another dish.
Are you celebrating National Curried Chicken Day by cooking up our very own batch? I am...mainly because it's National Curried Chicken Day, I love Curry and I love Chicken. Done.
The holidays can leave many of us feeling a bit off track when it comes to the foods we eat. With the onslaught of parties, dinners, late nights, excessive sweets and increased alcohol consumption, it might leave us feeling heavier, sluggish, lower energy and feeding into a sugar addiction.
The holidays are over, January is here and it's time for my household to get back on track. Not that we slipped too far off the track or anything but there definitely were a few more glasses of mulled wine, one or two extra cookies, a few more late nights and maybe a couple extra pieces of cheesecake!
Oh the humble and simple cabbage. One of my favourite vegetables on this planet! You will often find one kicking around my kitchen in the form of coleslaw, kimchi, sauerkraut, in soups, stews or in this case a warm salad. This dense and hearty ball of tightly packed leaves comes in a variety of colours (red, green and purple) with smooth or wrinkled leaves.
There's nothing like giving a home-made gift made with your very own hands. Not only are homemade gifts made with TLC, they can also be very economical and an activity that can get one or more sets of hands involved. If we're close, you've likely received something home-made from me. Being a creative and practical person, I often like to give gifts that you can eat.....or slather on your body ;)
I love a good pasta sauce. I love a good tomato based pasta sauce. And bonus to a good pasta sauce that can be made in under 30 minutes. You can cook this sauce longer but it's really not necessary. This simple sauce is full of flavour and is a great base for any dish that requires a red sauce like meatballs, pizza, braising liquid, lasagna, casseroles, or a base sauce for grains or veggies.
Lemon tahini dressing to the rescue! This nutritious and oh so delicious dressing is your answer to any dish that seems blasé to your palette. My absolute fave with this sauce is over steamed broccoli which I have been known to eat bowls at a time. My 4 year old loves the stuff and it's a great way to get kiddos to eat their veggies if they're not big fans...sauces and dressings are magical like that.
Meatballs are a staple dish I often have kicking around in my freezer. They're perfect for those busy nights when I don't have time to prepare a full meal from scratch and as my son gets older those nights seem to be more frequent. I'll often double up on this batch, cook what I need for the evening then freeze the rest for several more meals or snacks. My boys seem to love them and everyone that's tried them has given them 2 thumbs up!
If you know me well then you know that I love bath and body care products. Back in the day I had my own line of products called Omniscents. It was a fun hobby that sparked my creativity and deepened my knowledge of natural skin care products. I sold my products mostly around the holidays in craft markets, to family, friends and co-workers.
Happy National Cookie Day! In honour of this special day and because it's December I decided to make shortbread cookies, which are hands down my all-time favourite cookie. I usually only eat them around this time of year when they seem to be everywhere. At every potluck, every holiday party, at the markets, Everywhere. Maple, chocolate dipped, orange, cranberry, lemon, you name it. Those delicious, buttery, sweet, but not too sweet, rich, yummy morsels of goodness really do make me happy.
One of the few vegetables that are in season during the winter is squash. There are so many varieties, one of my favourites being butternut squash with its rich, sweet, creamy flavour and vibrant orange flesh.
This is one of the most requested dishes among clients that use my Chef at Home private cooking service. It's also one of our favourites at home. My 4 year old gobbles it up, especially if I add prawns to the dish. It's quite versatile; leave it as a veggie / vegan dish with lots of greens and peas, or add some protein.
I'm sad to say that I recently received my last CSA (community supported agriculture)
box of the season. Such a treat it was to pick up my goods every Monday evening at our farmer's house a few minutes away. This season was bountiful due to the hot weather and beautiful, mineral rich soil on their farm along the Fraser river.
With those of you with young children, what do you do on Halloween? I allow my son to have the occasional piece of candy. He does not have any food allergies or sensitivities and he eats a balanced, whole foods diet.
This guacomole dish has an extra special tangy kick from the delicious tomatillo (which by the way are not tomatoes). They're grown on a plant that looks very similar to tomatoes. They have a papery husk on the outside and a sticky residue around the fruit.
One of my great joys in life is cooking! As a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN) & food lover I continue to explore the balance between healthy, traditional food preparation and tasty dishes.
Check out my new COOKBOOK! Planting Seeds of Nourishment with over 40 whole-foods based recipes and tons of nutrition info!