I don’t like winter one little bit. I’ve tried the Wim Hoff method, I’ve tried to embrace cocoa and warm fires and snow angels. The only time I’ve ever really felt an attraction to winter is when I took mushrooms and couldn’t feel the cold and when engaged in snowboarding. Aside from that it would be really cool to just work from my computer and live in Ecuador. Hear that internet Gods!!! Make it happen. Please? Until then I embrace eating summer foods on dreary grey winter days which otherwise would be more akin to potato chowder and a glass of bourbon. Enter: Raw Zucchini Noodle Pad Thai
Subsequently I scarfed down half this salad before work and it moosted my bood x100. My lovely clients at primal paleo sent me a spiralizer to create some exciting new recipes for their blog. I’ve missed having one around, they are so useful and by george is it just me or does food taste better spiralized!?
Curry leaves are so underrated. Those little leaves have so much flavour, and to me they just take like authentic Indian cuisine. I buy a whole bunch and then freeze most for later use. Quinoa is like a sponge and when cooked in a coconut milk curry leaf and mustard seed laden sauce like this one it’s just packed with flavour. This is a lovely side dish or addition to a salad, I topped it with a few sesame salmon balls and it was total perfection.
Indian Style Quinoa and Peas is one of those really simple dishes that you can count on to amplify any meal, especially Indian influenced curries or tandoori meats. In food and in life the best things are the simple things. This morning my love gave me a sweet hug when I was making my coffee and all groggy and disheveled. It woke me right up and took me from morning ogre to morning mermaid.
I have a quinoa salad for every season. But summer is my favourite, when there’s so much abundance all you really need is a simple dressing and whatever local vegetables you have on hand.
In my car I only have the radio, I wish this wasn’t the case but #firstworldproblem. Anyhow, I don’t normally listen to top 40 and I never even had it on the radio until moving back to the city recently. It’s weird, popular music isn’t necessarily any good for the most part but it is fucking catchy.
One song that I can’t get out of my head, and I don’t even know what it’s called is, I can’t feel my face when I’m with you, but I love it, but I love it.
What does this mean? Does anyone know? I love singing it, and its one top 40 song that doesn’t immediately make me switch the station, but I really don’t get it.
Maybe I just need to crank it, nosh some of this super summer quinoa salad and let my imagination dream of numb faced star crossed lovers whacking each other without sensation.
My friend Amanda says I’m 3 years behind on everything to do with pop culture. This is pretty accurate. I didn’t know who Nicki Minaj was until like, a week ago. I like her new song too, even though it probably isn’t all that new and is rather sexist, it’s catchy as hell.
Another pop culture phenomenon I didn’t know about was Game of Thrones. Dear God. I am so glad I never knew about this show until now. There is no way I would be able to have survived the pending mystery of whether or not Theon really killed Bram and his brother in Season 2. I know you guys are way beyond that now since it’s onto Season 6 but still, I would have died not being able to watch the very next episode right away.
One thing I am up on is this whole Cecil the lion thing. Okay, it’s absurd that people still kill animals for fun. Any animal. There’s a similar situation in BC where our premier is allowing permits to be doled out for up to 500 grizzly bears to be hunted per year. It’s the insanity of our culture at its best. In the midst of public outcry though, some very important points have been brought to light. My favourite being that if people cared half as much about GMO’s and bills being passed making Monsanto nearly unstoppable in their quest to not tell us what we’re eating, we’d have a lot more control over our food system. Or the fact that 90% of the animals we eat every single day are raised in inhumane, unnatural conditions. It’s speciesism at its finest, is it not?
What other poppy happenings have I missed?
What I do miss the most is living near a clean pristine river and swimming in the lake on a whim. City life is a huge adjustment, but I’m trying to embrace it. The benefits of pad thai at the drop of a hat and amazing markets are pretty sweet. But hey, who knows what’s next.
I’m a lover of freshly ground unique spices, the type that transport you to faraway lands. The ancient combinations of herbs, roots and seeds that grow together and have been used together for thousands of years. Raw Spice Bar specializes in these special blends that pair ancestral combinations with the modern twist of being delivered to your door step every month.
Delivery subscriptions are all the rage, from a new pair of panties every month to craft charcuterie, the options are endless. For foodies and anyone looking to try new recipes, raw spice bar provides 3 different spice blends freshly ground, high quality and 3 different recipes. This month the theme was Persian New Year, though I made this recipe up with their Mast-0-Khiar spice blend, I tried the one for braised lamb shanks with advieh, a spice blend of green cardamom, angelica and a few others. They were to die for and so easy to throw together.
Mast-O-Khiar is a spice blend made from dried mint, dill, rose petals and black peppercorns. Paired with tahini, lemon juice, olive oil and sea salt, it makes a unique Iranian inspired salad dressing that goes really well with earthy beets.
I recently got a spiralizer and have officially fallen in love. Almost every vegetable is spiralizable (new word) and beets are no exception. This time I roasted them (after spiralling) to bring out their natural sweetness. You could also eat them raw for a fresher, juicier variation. If you don’t have a spiralizer, fear not, you can cut the beets into chunks, roast them until tender and slice them thinly before dressing. Served alongside fresh greens, with a bit of plain yogurt or goat cheese this is a truly uniquely delightful flavour combo. I hope you love it as much as I do.
3 Beets, peeled and spiralized Or cut into chunks and roasted
4 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs raw tahini
1 Tbs mast-o-khiar spice blend (dry mint, dill, rose petals and black peppercorn)
1/4 tsp sea salt
fresh greens (optional)
plain yogurt or goat cheese (optional)
To roast the spiralled beets, set oven to 400 and spread on baking sheet, roast for 15-20 minutes until soft. For chunks of beets roasting time will be a bit longer, just until tender and then thinly slice.
Let the beets cool.
Combine olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, spices and salt until smooth and pour over the cooled beets, toss and serve alongside fresh greens with a drizzle of plain yogurt or a few chunks of goat cheese.
This salad is perfect for a spring detox, I don’t know about you but I always feel like cleansing come this time of year.
And not just the body, but everything- the cobwebs and dust bunnies nesting in all corners of the house. The more intensely tangled cobwebs of the mind are trickier to clean out.
This week I opted out of social media, yep, a whole week without crackbook, I wish that wasn’t such a grand accomplishment. It was necessary, the reset, the relenquishment of my attachment to distraction. Multitasking is the absolute best way to accomplish nothing. I always learn this the hard way, for some reason the drive to multitask is hard wired in my brain. Along with the rise of childhood ADD/ADHD there’s also been a significant increase in adult ADD. I blame the endless distractions, the little red notifications that release happy hormones in our brains, the glorification of busy, the emphasis on multitasking supposedly being the key to efficiency. But I also blame myself, because I know better, yet sometimes I still ignore that little voice.
Lesson of the week: just let it go and focus. Focus is the path to success, all those distractions, all the wayward worrisome thoughts, they’re useless.
A note on this recipe, it’s incredibly simple and fresh. The ginger gives a spicy warming feel to the fresh lingering taste of anise from the fennel. Fennel haters aka J actually greatly enjoyed this pairing. The burst of sweet citrus really goes a long way in bringing everything together. Don’t skip the red onion either, it really adds a necessary intensity.
Cleaning out the fridge to make space for fresh stuff is a dreaded task in my books. I avoid it at all costs, but then again, if there’s fried rice at the end of the rainbow its not so bad.
This post is a loose recipe as what you have in your fridge is likely different from what I have in mine.
But I wanted to outline some essential basics when it comes to making the perfect friend rice every time.
The common assumption with fried rice is that you want to use really high heat. This isn’t the case. If we do this, everything turns into a sticky sad mess. Cleaning burnt rice from our pans is something to avoid at all costs. Instead, starting with a generous amount of oil or fat and going slow and steady will win the race.
Rice is a sponge so we want to make sure there’s plenty of tasty yummies for it to soak up before adding it to the mix. The basic flavour base that I like to use is a hearty amount of flavourful fat, some chopped bacon and sausage or coconut oil, an onion finely chopped, 3-4 garlic cloves finely chopped, an inch piece of ginger, finely chopped,carrots,celery and some sort of hot pepper. For this version I had a chipotle, very non traditional but still utterly delicious. You could try adding other things too, green onions, cumin seeds, masala, lemongrass…To deglaze the pan I like to use rice wine vinegar, infused vinegar or tamari but water works in a pinch. Just a few Tbs and then we can add the rice.
3. Rice to Vegetable ratio
Make a big pot of jasmine rice. For the best rice, cook it in chicken or vegetable stock with plenty of sea salt, this small step makes for big flavour. The amount of rice will be at your discretion, don’t put too much or it’ll be bland. Next is the addition of leafy fast cooking vegetables like swiss chard and kale, added last minute they cook a bit but still maintain their vibrance.
There are two types of people- those who mix the egg into the rice and those who like a fried egg on top of their rice. I happen to be of the latter category, but J is a mixer. For mixing the egg with the rice I crack however many (usually one per person) into a bowl and whip it with a bit of oil. On medium-low heat pour the egg over the rice, tilt the pan around and cover for a few minutes. This just give the egg a chance to get nice and golden crispy on the bottom of the pan without sticking. After a few minutes, mix it all around, sometimes I like to add some raw cheddar (I know, I’m such a traditionalist) cover again and let it get even more crispy.
The fun part of fried rice are the extra goodies, we love to eat it with some fermented homemade sauerkraut or kimchi. Toasting some seeds or nuts for a topping is a great textural addition. Sesame seeds, a drizzle of hoisin, sunshine sauce , miso, toasted seaweed, fresh mango…endless possibilities.
There you have it, the perfect clean out the fridge fried rice, different every single time but always delicious. Take your time, I know it’s supposed to be a fast meal but slowing down just a bit makes it extra good and filled with crispy crackly bits of egg, rice, flavour and good veggies!
Hey I'm Chantelle, my alter ego would be a mermaid if I wasn't such a terrible swimmer. I love writing authentically and cooking in my pyjamas. My favourite pastimes include eating avocados, travelling the world and hanging out with a toddler.