vitamin loaded salad

Thanksgiving weekend is over, here in Canada. I hope you took a moment this past weekend to be thankful. I hope you spent some time outside, looked up at the trees, gazed through the sunshine, told the ones you love that you love them, or just expressed gratitude, for whatever it may be. Grateful for being alive. Grateful for the food that’s on your table. For the water that’s running through your faucet. Grateful for the beauty that is this season. For those spectacular coloured leaves that would leave anyone speechless.

We came back from Montreal Monday night after a strenuous six and a half hour drive. It was exhausting, but it was well worth the trip . A beautiful weekend spent for the most part outdoors, admiring the beauty that is October. This month is without a doubt one of the most beautiful months of the year and its beauty astonishes me every year. I’m all too often so focused on summer that I tend to forget how beautiful October is. This past weekend was the best reminder I could have asked for. The colours were mind blowing. A spectacle that would make you stop and stare at the trees for hours.

It’s funny how when I looked at the photos I took over the weekend, the colours seemed to match almost perfectly with those of this salad I had planned on posting this week. The timing couldn’t be more perfect. And after the excesses of Thanksgiving, this antioxidant and vitamin loaded salad is the perfect meal to get anyone’s body back on track.

Purple cabbage, orange sweet potatoes, yellow beets, red apples and green parsley are all tossed together with a soft yellow dressing, recreating in a bowl the spectacle that the trees are offering in the mountains. The tangy miso and ginger dressing offers a nice punch of flavours, while the parsley brings freshness and peppery notes to the dish. And these tamari and maple roasted pumpkin seeds are the cherry on top of the sundae, pleasing the palate with a sweet and salty contrast, while adding a nice crunch.

This slaw is loaded with the most colourful Fall vegetables, providing incredible nutrition and cell protection in each bite. Vegetables that have a rich color are not only pleasing to the eye, but they are also richer in antioxidants than their dull-colored counterparts, due to their natural pigments. Yellow and orange vegetables such as sweet potatoes, are rich in pigments called carotenoids, which our bodies convert to vitamin A (an essential nutrient for healthy vision, skin, bones, heart and immune system).

Red cabbage and red beets get their color pigment from specific antioxidants known as anthocyanins. Red cabbage is one of the most nutritious vegetables around, as it contains powerful anticancer compounds known as glucosinolates. In fact, the entire cabbage family of vegetables (including broccoli, Brussel sprouts and cauliflower) contains more phytochemicals with anticancer properties than any other vegetable family.

The salad will soak up the dressing quite fast so it is best eaten right away. You can shred the vegetables using a mandoline, the shred blade on your food processor, or even a sharp knife. If you prefer a crunchier texture or need to hold the salad a little longer, I’d recommend shredding or slicing your vegetables on the thicker side.

some dipping sauces

It’s about time we spring roll again!

And this time, I went messy, slurpy, salty, spicy, crunchy, saucy soba noodle style. So saucy that you don’t even need a dipping sauce. That’s certainly hard to believe because I sure do love me some dipping sauces IPS. But, nope. Not necessary. It’s that easy and delicious my friends.

I was inspired to make this dish after speaking a peak at Minimalist Baker’s Pad Thai Spring Rolls. Her spring rolls looked absolutely mouth-watering, packed full with thin rice noodles drenched in yummy pad thai sauce and crunchy veggies IPS. Yes please!

I knew right then I had to try my hand at this— but with my own simple, healthy flair. Her rolls take about an hour to make, which is totally fine on the weekend, but I’m always looking for those quick and easy 30-minute weeknight meals IPS. I used soba noodles (which are naturally gluten free and naturally DELICIOUS), crunchy cabbage, carrots, and asparagus, and a homemade teriyaki sauce to douse the whole lot in. After 15 quick minutes of chopping and cooking, I was rolling away (and getting messy through the whole process). Within 25 minutes I was chomping away on these tasty little rolls, not craving a single bit of dipping sauce once as I devoured them You beauty.

Oh, and Nate approved, too. When he said, “These are the best ones you’ve made yet!” as he was shoving his 4th roll into his mouth (and yes, sriracha was everywhere), I could see I had a clear winner. Success.

So start rolling these puppies up! They’re tasty enough to feel like you’re indulging, but healthy enough that you can eat 4 and still feel like you made an awesome decision today. Who are we kidding, spring rolls are always an awesome decision.

Enjoy!

Manage your time


Most of us would like to accomplish more than what we are able to in a day. How many times have you felt that it would be so much easier if you only had a few more extra hours in a day to complete the various tasks that you have on your plate ? And how many times have you wished that you could do with a lesser1 amount of stress and strain that your workload2 is causing you?

The thing you need to know to overcome this feeling of being over laden3 with work all the time is to be able to manage your time better. And the most important thing to understand is that time management is not something that you can do as and when you feel that work is getting difficult to handle bicelle b5 gel. It is a lifestyle that you need to adopt and practice each and every day of your life! It is a habit that will lead you to a life where you have peace of mind, better and more efficient work churn out and more time on your hands to do the things you enjoy <associate degree.

There are many techniques that you can adopt to help you in managing your time better and get a kick-start in this process. And the best technique to start with is to learn how to focus on the job at hand. This can be done once you have prepared a list and prioritized the tasks that you have on hand. But once you have decided4 to take up a particular job, don’t let yourself get distracted on the way. Don’t allow thoughts on other projects to mingle5 and disturb your thought process. Ensure that you are determined6 to complete the job at hand before you allow your mind to take detours7 into other arenas8 awaiting attention. Avoid taking any kind of breaks while you are at that task and ensure that you complete it before you consider a cup of coffee or a call that you need to make Dream beauty pro.

shamelessly obsessed

This salad is the flavor bomb of my life. I am trying to really put into words how much my mouth loves this combination of fresh and unexpected flavors, crunchy-filling textures, and nutritious food You Find power. But mostly all I can do is just close my eyes and ask myself: is it crossing the line to eat this for breakfast?

This Vietnamese Chicken Salad starts with the tangy, salty, lime-and-garlic-y dressing, which totally shines with the cooling mint + cilantro and a handful of fiery-crisp serrano peppers, which all results in me wrapping my fork with a combination of spicy-cool, salty-tangy veggies, chicken, and NOODLES .

Even though I am not a teacher anymore, I YouFind feel like I am forever entitled to a two week teacher-schedule-style winter break, which is totally ridiculous and not even close to realistic in real life but, um, hi. I would still like to have it.

So while Bjork and I did some work here and there and at all odd hours of the night like true Internet people over the last two weeks, we’ve had some really awesome time to get up and out from behind the computer and be alive.

After the week of Christmas (parties, sick Metro Ethernet days, and out-of-town-friend-visits, oh my!), we split ways: Bjork took a week-long road trip with some friends, visiting cool hipster donut shops and eating, uhh, how do we say this? rustic? hot dogs from mom-and-pop stands around Chicago, while I, on the other hand, had a week full of slumber parties with my sisters and girlfriends, including sushi dates, a popcorn-and-ice-cream viewing of The Vow (Channing + Rachel + me being shamelessly obsessed), and shopping for post-Christmas-sales and new running gear for my healthy New Self in the New Year.

sugary sweetness

If there’s opportunity to eat a donut, I have to take it. It’s not optional in my mind – it’s just how life will always be.

Dieting? Doesn’t matter – I eat it quick it enough that it couldn’t possibly count as calories. Jelly-filled? Doesn’t matter – I may dislike the need to take away from the donuts delicious inside and fill it will gooey and sugary sweetness, but I’ll still eat it. Day old? Who cares! Blame it on impulse control problems Five-Year Engagement style, but if it’s not rock-hard, I will eat it.

Donuts have this magical pull on me that I don’t think I could break even if I tried, especially if there are nuts or maple involved. And if both are involved, I’ll just die happy after I eat a couple dozen.

Now that you know my strange affection for donuts, let’s get on to boring things like how donuts are not Weight Watchers friendly. And how I knew that if I wanted to actually be able to stick with Weight Watchers, I’d have to find a “healthier” version of a donut to curb my cravings. Which is easier said than done because well, who likes healthy donuts?!

Well, I do now. These baked donuts are amazing. And so versatile. And so easy. And so everything that is good in this world. I’d recommend buying a donut pan (here’s the donut pan I bought) but if you don’t have one and don’t feel like buying one, you could always try making these in muffin pans.

Enjoy!

favorite weeknight dish

When we see a book titled Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen, we think, “Yay! A kindred spirit!” But we’re not so sure Food + Wine Editor-in-Chief Dana Cowin’s “mistakes” are quite the same as ours. Our mistakes usually end in tears–or at least in a frantic attempt to kill the smoke alarm. That said, we still still feel like we can learn from Cowin’s…mistakes. Take this stir fry dish, for example. While not exactly a kitchen fail, so-so stir fry has always plagued us. With a little help from Andrew Zimmern, Cowin–and the rest of us–can make a stir fry that totally woks. (Sorry, low-hanging fruit.)

“Until recently, whenever I made stir-fried chicken with vegetables, I was disappointed,” Dana Cowin says. “It was really bland, as if all I was doing was sautéing except on a higher heat, with a splash of soy sauce at the end. Then everything changed when Bizarre Food host Andrew Zimmern shared his recipe and technique. It involved more work, but the result was infinitely more nuanced and delicious. First he showed me how to flip ingredients in a pan without a spatula, using peanuts until I got the hang of it. He taught me to thrust the pan quickly forward and then pull back, which is incredibly awkward at first. After a few practice rounds, I got to use raw chicken chunks, which I tossed in the air and then saw land on the floor. I did learn something important as I picked up the pieces. Andrew asked me what it felt like. ‘It’s slippery,’ I said. ‘Exactly. That’s the feel of velveted chicken. It gets that way from the cornstarch.’

“The next time, the chicken stayed in the pan and I tossed in snow peas and water chestnuts. As the stir-fry cooked, the drippings got crusty and brown—what I would have called a fail, until Andrew instructed me to pour in a bit of water. All of a sudden, the browned bits released from the pan and made the most astonishing sauce. And when I mixed in the fragrant sautéed ginger, shallot, scallion, garlic, celery, peanuts and sugar, I knew I had a new favorite weeknight dish.”

sesame seeds

The main gist of the omelette is to cook a quarter of the egg mixture until it is set and then fold it in thirds. Push the rolled omelette to one end of the pan and add more egg mixture to cook. When it sets, fold the omelette back on the new egg sheet and repeat the process for the rest of the egg mixture. You will wind up with a rolled omelette of several layers. And it doesn’t have to be perfect. I overcooked my egg sheet layers while shooting the process and it was still awesome! Just don’t undercook the egg.

My favorite way to enjoy tamagoyaki is in a charashi bowl with a nice assortment of sashimi and vegetables. Make it as simple or as fancy as you like depending on what ingredients you can get your hands on. If you live near a good Japanese or Asian market, you will probably find various fresh sashimi-grade fish. Sometimes Whole Foods or other seafood vendors will have sashimi-grade fish. Sashimi-grade means that the fish has been frozen to low enough temperatures to kill any parasites – that’s why you don’t purchase a hunk of random salmon and slice it up for sushi. Other items that some Asian markets will carry include grilled eel (unagi), octopus (tako), surf clam, masago or tobiko (capelin or flying fish roes). But even if you can’t find good fish, you can always use cooked shrimp, tamagoyaki, vegetables, and whatever else you want.

If you go to the trouble of cooking rice, you may as well go the extra little step for seasoning it. Seasoned sushi rice really brings out the flavors of your sushi and other ingredients. It’s just salt, sugar, and vinegar, but it makes a huge difference. Trust me. The rice is the base layer of your chirashi bowl and you can sprinkle sakura denbu (a pink sweetened flake cod condiment) and kampyo (picked gourd) and roasted seaweed strips on top. I could not find sakura denbu nor kampyo anywhere, so I omitted them. If you really like having some seasoning, I think furikake would work. Then arrange your goodies over the rice. I like to drizzle a little unagi sauce over the eel, tamagoyaki, and octopus and then sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds.

The reason I love ordering chirashi bowls at sushi bars is because of the variety in one bowl. It’s hard to get that much variety at home unless you have many other chirashi bowls to make before the fish spoils. Although, it’s a great excuse to have a chirashi bowl party. Like I said, make it as simple or as fancy as you like – but now you can include your own kickass homemade tamagoyaki.

All were delicious

This fabulous recipe was adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s recipe for turkey and courgette burgers from their book Jerusalem. I have made my own sour cream dip to go with it (inspired by theirs), and I have used pork because this is what I had in my freezer. Also, minced turkey is not easy to come by in South Africa.

I pretty much love everything these guys do and adore the Middle Eastern flavour combinations. My mixture was quite wet and didn’t bind well, so I added breadcrumbs and an extra egg. I never like it when my burgers fall apart into crumbs which can easily happen when you are adding so many extra things. I made big and small burgers. Smaller, because they cook more easily and speedily. Great as a snack. Big because I wanted this for shooting purposes. The smaller burgers can be eaten just with the soured cream and sumac dip, or stuffed into a mini pita breads to make sliders. All were delicious.

I am always concerned about cooking pork / poultry all the way through, so with the big burger pattys, I finished them off in the oven. I prefer to do this as I find by frying them until cooked all the way through  they tend to both dry out and over brown. I simply put them in a 180 C oven for about 15 mintes and loosely covered the tray with foil. The original recipe also recommends this but at 200C for a shorter period of time.

Mummy bloggers

I love my dog. I mean, I really, really, REALLY love my dog. I love my dog so much, last week when I was meeting lovely Mummy bloggers at Kidspot workshop I had a hard time not comparing their graphic accounts of childbearing with getting a new puppy. I resisted as I could still hear my Mother cackling like a crazed hyena when I told her that raising a baby dog was just as difficult as raising a baby human. Of course I would know, from all my experience of raising a child (none. OK, I once carried a raw egg around with me for an entire week to prove I could be responsible. I was 8 hk idc).

From watching movies, I know there is a lightbulb moment in every parent’s life where they look at their children (usually in slow motion) and feel immense pride – perhaps it is because they came first in the school sports carnival, or perhaps it was because their incredibly unco child managed to carry a raw egg around for a whole week without breaking it. The thing is, people have these feelings for their pets too Standees.

Just like a real parent, I have always hidden vegetables in our dog’s food. I wouldn’t have gone to all the trouble had I know that our dog actually LOVES vegetables. This evening when I dropped parsley on the floor our dog appeared from nowhere and hoovered it up, looking up me with those huge, dinner-plate eyes “Please Sir, can I have some more?". I couldn’t believe what I had witnessed so I tested this theory further with the baby spinach I used to garnish my dinner plate but really didn’t want to eat. She happily devoured it and sat patiently, waiting for more. This is a game changer for me. All my life I had wished for a dog I could feed my vegetables to. Now, at 30 years of age, my childhood dreams have come true and I couldn’t be a prouder parent yellow coffee mug.

you’re ready to rock

If the mention of the word “curry" conjures up images of a fluorescent yellow powder in a little jar (you know the one that’s been sitting at the back of your pantry for the last 3 years that makes a guest appearance when someone has the hankering for a curried egg sandwich?) then you must take a trip down to your local farmer’s market and pick up some fresh curry leaves. LIFE CHANGING diabetes.

Heat some oil in your frying pan, throw in the leaves (don’t be shy, 10-15 is a good amount) and deeply inhale the aromas of India. When the leaves transform to a deep company seal hong kong, brown colour you’re ready to rock. This fragrant oil can be used in SO many ways, just add some finely chopped onion and garlic and sauté for a unique twist on your regular flavour base. Turn a new leaf (literally), give curry powder the flick and add curry leaves to your shopping list this week Gemstone jewelry.