DIARY OF A CHEF AT HOME
a collection of holistic nutrition tips & tricks, plus many of Food on the Table's favourite recipes
Here's a quick and easy dinner that includes one of my favourite first foods of Spring, Asparagus! Around this time we start eating them by the handful. My 4 year old especially loves them. Something about a spear of food that you can eat with your hands is AOK with him and I know if I give him a plate full of them, they'll be eaten in no time.
I don't eat a lot of rice but when I do this is one of my go-to dishes. Rice is a staple food for many people around the world, especially countries in Asia. It is believed that Chinese fried rice started as a way to not waste food and use up un-eaten rice with the high heat from the wok killing off any unwanted bacteria.
If you’re trying to reduce or eliminate grains from your diet or just simply want new dishes to add to your repertoire, cauliflower rice is one of my absolute favourites! It’s pretty much become a staple dish in our household. Don’t get me wrong, I still love the occasional bowl of rice but cauliflower “rice” is much easier on my digestive system, it packs more of a nutritional punch and is nice and light which leaves me feeling good after a meal.
My 4 year old son LOVES peas! I recently made this dish and he went crazy for it. Peas have a natural sweetness to them, coupled with a bit of tang from lemon, a touch of spicy freshness from the mint and a hit of umami from the parmesan cheese, this simple and quick side dish is a winner!
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!
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.
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.
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 ;)
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!
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.
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.
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.
Veggies, veggies, veggies! In our house vegetables are a big part of our daily food intake. We try to eat a little or a lot at each meal. Veggies are the TRUE comfort food. They're loaded with a plethora of plant nutrients that provide the body with vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and water. Veggies (especially green) are alkalizing and help to keep the blood healthy and the lymphatic system moving, maintaining a constant natural detox.
Sometime last winter my good friend (and neighbor) Robin was feeling under the weather so as a caring friend (and neighbor) does, I brought her a batch of chicken & vegetable soup. Why is it that when we're sick, many of us automatically crave that ubiquitous bowl of "chicken soup"...or some other form of it?
Broccoli is hands down one of my favourite veggies. There are many ways to prepare this delicious and hearty cruciferous veg and this one is up there.
I love eating sautéed greens, especially when cooked with butter. This dish came about because I had exactly all of these ingredients in my fridge and wanted to use them up.
This dish has become a staple at our thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. Roasting the yam and cauliflower brings out the natural sweetness of the vegetables imparting a lovely sweet flavour in this light and fluffy mash.
It wasn't until about 5 years ago that I started to make my own cranberry sauce. Growing up we'd always use the canned stuff, even though my mom made everything else from scratch..
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!