Disclaimer: This post is not intended to berate anyone, I just want to introduce you to a new way of thinking.
This weekend was spent in the Fort Worth area of Texas. We met up with a dozen and a half friends and painted the town red. We witnessed the marriage of our friends Paul and Heather, and experienced probably everything Fort Worth has to offer (at least the best stuff!). Throughout the trip I noticed multiple people remarking how one of our friends “couldn’t drink because she is pregnant” and this type of speech irks me considerably but I was never before able to put my finger on exactly why.
When you say that somebody cannot do something, it takes the personal responsibility off of their shoulders, which I think belittles them. If I were pregnant and somebody told me I “couldn’t drink” I would lash out and say (respectfully, of course) “I have the capability to drink. If I bring this glass to my lips, would not the spirits easily pass down my throat? I am choosing not to drink for the health of my baby.” Something along those lines. And I feel that our friend deserves the same respect for her commendable decision.
Here is a photo of all of us at Torchy’s Tacos! Photo credit: Amanda O’Brien
When it comes to eating out in restaurants, how many times have you heard “I will get the salad, because I am on a diet”. Or “no dessert for me, I am on a diet.” It must be that people are ashamed to refuse dessert or eat healthy just because they want to! I have broken this habit a long time ago. It is just as easy to say “I’ll have the salad because that sounds delicious”, or “no dessert for me please” (you don’t need an excuse).
Next time you find yourselves belittling your or others’ decisions with excuses, try and think of another way to word it that praises people for their healthy decisions. If we keep feeling ashamed in this way, it will only hurt us as a society.
Here is a photo of me in our Airbnb backyard located in the historic neighborhood of Fairmount in Fort Worth.
Kayla’s Kobb Salad
- romaine leaves, chopped
- kale leaves, torn
- cherry tomatoes, halved
- green onions, sliced
- turkey breast from a local farm, sliced
- 1/2 avocado, sliced
- hardboiled pastured egg, sliced into wedges
- sunflower seeds
Serve with a homemade honey mustard dressing.
Know what is silly about popcorn?
Butter-flavoured microwave popcorn is consistently on Top 10 Worst Foods To Eat lists, but not a lot of people know that homemade popcorn can be one of the tastiest and healthiest snacks you can eat! Following is a simple recipe that produces the best popcorn you’ve ever made at home!
Coconut Oil Popcorn
- 2 T coconut oil
- 1/2 cup organic popping corn
- sea salt to taste
- (optional) additional melted coconut oil or grass-fed butter for drizzling
- Melt coconut oil over medium heat in a large pot with tight fitting lid.
- Add 2 corn kernels to the oil in the uncovered pot and wait for them to pop. Then, the oil is ready!
- Add the rest of the kernels, put the lid on, and shake every 10 seconds or so.
- When the popping slows down considerably, remove the pot from the heat and shake everything around for another 10 seconds.
- If you are drizzling with extra oil or butter do so now, otherwise just add your desired amount of salt and shake to coat.
Now it’s time to curl up and watch a movie! Last night we watched Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance).
I love keeping my extra popcorn in an air-tight container and snacking on it throughout the week. If you’re lucky enough to have any extra! I know we didn’t.
Sweet potatoes are such a staple in my life; they can be prepared so many ways, and are appropriate for every occasion. I always like to have 1 or 2 on hand so I can whip up a meal at a moment’s notice without having to go to the grocery store. Today I felt like brunch, so I came up with this dish.
Smoky Thyme Sweet Potato Hash
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and grated
- 2 large shallots, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 t sea salt
- 1/2 t black pepper
- 1/2 t smoked paprika
- 1 T fresh thyme, chopped
- 1-2 T extra virgin olive oil
- grated fontina cheese (optional)
- 3 pastured eggs, over easy
- Mix the first batch of ingredients together in a bowl.
- Heat EVOO in a large pan or skillet with lid over medium heat.
- Add hash mixture, and alternate between frying and steaming with the lid on, stirring intermittently. (If you want to attempt to make them super crispy, more power to you, but I’ve never been able to master the technique.)
- Prepare your over-easy eggs.
- When your hash is done cooking, put a scoop on your plate, a few pinches of cheese (if desired), and the egg on top.
Grant likes his with sri racha. I have a feeling I am going to be making this a lot for dinner this winter. I hate going to the grocery store after work in sub zero temperatures! “Iiiiiiiiit’s SMOKY THYME” is surely going to become my new catch phrase.
“Not Your Mama’s Pasta Salad”
- 1 cup uncooked Delallo organic whole wheat orzo
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 t dijon mustard
- juice of 1 small lemon
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil, divided
- big handful of kale, torn and stems removed
- 1 can of garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/3 cup feta cheese
- 1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
- 1/4 cup chopped marinated artichoke hearts
- sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Cook your pasta according to package directions.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine all other ingredients except kale and 1 T olive oil.
- When the pasta is done cooking, strain it and add it to the bowl.
- Heat remaining olive oil in a large skillet with lid. Fry/steam your kale until it both wilts and becomes slightly charred.
- Add the kale to the bowl and season to taste!
This is a great combination of textures and flavours. You can subsitute rice, quinoa, farro or israeli couscous for the pasta if you’d like. I like Delallo organic whole wheat pastas because they have only one ingredient.
Snow day! I just walked to the local Organic Market and bought ingredients for my black bean brownie recipe I’ve been working on.
- 1 – 15 oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 of a large extra ripe avocado
- 2 large pastured eggs
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 2/3 cup organic raw cacao powder (or unsweetened cocoa powder if unavailable)
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup organic turbinado sugar (or light brown sugar if unavailable)
- 1 t molasses
- 1/2 t cinnamon
- 1/4 cup mini dark chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350º F and grease an 8×8 baking pan with coconut oil.
- Put everything except chocolate chips into a food processor and pulse until well combined.
- Stir in chocolate chips.
- Pour batter into pan and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and the top begins to crack open.
- Cool pan on a wire rack, and then cut into 16 even squares.
- Refrigerate and enjoy throughout the week as a delicious and healthier chocolately dessert!!
I made these to bring to work for my dad’s birthday tomorrow. I am debating whether or not to disclose the ingredients, or just to present them as “brownies”. We’ll see! 😉
This amazing creation was invented by the wonderful Ali at her inspirational Inspiralized blog. I made a few changes, and have come up with one of the most perfect quick after-work dinners! Most of the time I can make this without even going to the grocery store.
Sweet Potato Noodle Bowl with Quinoa and Roasted Onions
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and spiralized
- 1 large carrot, spiralized
- 1 large yellow onion, cut into large chunks
- 3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1 1/3 cups free range chicken broth (buy this one from Trader Joe’s) plus extra, so get a 32 oz carton
For the sauce:
- 3 T apple cider vinegar
- 2 T tahini
- 1 T extra virgin olive oil
- 1 T maple syrup, grade b
- 1 T chicken broth
- 1 t garlic powder
- 1/2 t turmeric
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat your oven to 425º.
- Spread onion chunks on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Cook for about 20 minutes, until pleasantly roasted.
- Put quinoa and chicken broth in a medium sized pot with lid, bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat, cooking for 20 minutes. (I time this so the onions and quinoa cook at the same time with the same timer).
- Use this time to mix your sauce ingredients.
- In a large skillet with lid on medium heat, pour in about a 1/4 cup of chicken broth and then add your spiralized veggies, seasoning with salt and pepper. Alternate between stirring and steaming with the lid on, adding more chicken broth if necessary.
- When the noodles reach your desired tenderness, put a scoop of them in a bowl with a scoop of quinoa and a scoop of onions.
- Top with your delicious sauce and enjoy!’
Vegan Option: Use vegetable broth
It’s been too cold lately & all I want is chili! Dirty Bastard Chipotle Chili to be exact.
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 bell pepper (any colour), seeded, and diced
- 3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 lb ground beef or turkey from a local farm
- 2 1/2 T chili powder
- 1 1/2 t sea salt
- 3 t ground cumin
- 1 t freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 t dried basil
- 1 bottle of Founders’ Dirty Bastard Ale (or other dark beer if not available)
- 1/4 cup worcestershire sauce
- 28 oz diced tomatoes (fresh or canned)
- 2 T tomato paste
- 28 oz free range chicken broth
- 2 cans of beans, rinsed and drained (pinto, kidney, black, navy, cannellini, great northern)
- First, brown your meat and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat.
- Add your onion, reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.
- Add diced bell pepper and cook 5 more minutes.
- Add chipotle pepper and garlic, cook 1 minute.
- Add browned beef or turkey, your spices, and then the beer, and simmer about 2 minutes.
- Stir in Worcestershire sauce and next three ingredients.
- Bring to a low boil, and reduce heat to low.
- Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
- Crack open another Dirty Bastard and sip thoughtfully.
- Add beans, stir, and continue to simmer for 10 minutes.
- Garnish with shredded cheese if desired, and serve with a slice of Everyday Crusty Bread.
This recipe makes quite a large batch, so feel free to have some friends over for some snowed-in crafts or board games. Warning: do not go to sleep or take a nap immediately after eating this chili! You will get heartburn. 😉 Give this chili recipe a try and let me know how you like it!
Once upon a time, baking bread at home was as much a part of every day life as doing the laundry or taking a bath. Now, we settle for preservative-laden Sara Lee to save us time on preparing school lunches and breakfast toast. Every once in a while we treat ourselves to some Avalon Bread, when we are in the area, but what if I told you you could make the best bread ever with just a few simple ingredients!? The only thing you might not have is a cast iron dutch oven, which you should go ahead and use one of your Christmas gift cards to purchase today. So here goes the recipe:
Everyday Crusty Bread with Jalapeño Cheddar Variation
- cast iron dutch oven with lid
- 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 t active dry yeast
- 1 t salt
- 1 1/2 cups warm water (105-110º F)
- 1-2 jalapeño peppers, chopped (optional)
- 1 cup of cubed cheddar cheese (optional)
- Whisk together flour, yeast and salt.
- Add in the water. I do not have a thermometer so I use my body temperature as a gauge of 98.6º, and make the water slightly warmer than my hand. You do not want the water to be too hot or it can kill the yeast.
- Stir everything together. At this time, add in the jalapeño pepper pieces and cheese cubes, if using, or any other add-ins you wish!
- When everything comes together, cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let it sit for 12-24 hours, until risen.
- Once risen, pre-heat the oven to 450º and place your dutch oven inside to heat up for about 15 minutes.
- Remove your dough from its bowl and place it on a floured surface, shaping it into a ball.
- Carefully remove the pot from the oven, place your dough inside, put the lid back on, and return to the oven to bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove your bread from the oven and take off the lid. Sprinkle with additional shredded cheese and jalapeño slices (if desired) and return to the oven, uncovered, to bake for 15 more minutes.
- By this time, your house will smell heavenly and your roommates will be drawn to the kitchen.
- Your bread should slide out of the pot with ease, and by golly, do not wait any longer to cut into your fabulous creation.
Warm freshly baked bread is the BEST! Serve with grass-fed butter, or plain if you have chosen the cheddar/jalapeño variation.