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!?
Gnocchi is such a comfort food. Those soft on the inside, crispy on the outside little pillows are a really nice treat. These butternut squash gnocchi are gluten free and paleo so a far stretch from your traditional rendition. I cooked these for a group of 9 and got majorly scolded for not making enough. This is a common complaint around my dinner table. The butternut gnocchi is lovely drizzled in a simple garlic brown butter but I opted to sauté it with some Italian sausage and spinach. The whole30 is officially over today, congrats to anyone who joined in on the detox challenge!
Roast the butternut squash with a bit of olive oil and salt for about 45 minutes until very tender.
Let the squash cool and transfer to a large bowl, mash with a fork or in a food processor.
Combine the squash, eggs, flours, salt and pepper with a stand mixer or by hand. The dough will be very sticky.
Put the dough in a ziplock bag and cut one of the corners off or use a piping bag. Pipe out long strands of dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Cut into 1 inch pieces, if the dough sticks to the knife dip it in some tapioca flour.
Get a large pot of water boiling and roll each inch piece into an oval.
Drop gnocchi in the water, they're ready when they float to the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
In a separate skillet heat some olive oil and drop the gnocchi in making sure not to overcrowd the pan if you want them nice and crispy. Cook for 2 minutes each side and repeat.
Serve gnocchi with sautéed spinach, Italian sausage, tomato sauce, brown butter and parmesan cheese or whatever else you'd like and enjoy!
I made these after work one day. I got home dying of heat and starving for a combination of comfort food and healthy raw veggies. My foray into the new Asian market that just opened up didn’t last long as my son took to throwing his first public temper tantrum (milestones!). But I did manage to sneak out with some rice noodles and a jar of tamarind. I didn’t plan on posting this recipe, but the end result was so beautiful and vibrant and it just oozed with the taste of summer times bounty so I had to share it. The beauty of these Summer Harvest Noodle Bowls is that you can just use whatever fruits and veggies are in season. Every bite is different and the fruitiness of the fresh strawberries goes amazingly well with the umami Thai inspired sunshine sauce.
For the month of August I’m doing this 30 day writing challenge with Andrea Balt and Tyler Greg Knotson called Write Yourself Alive. It’s super fun and engaging so far, the whole community is so supportive and encouraging. I thought I would share some of my writing on here too, just for kicks.
Write a letter to the person you thought you would be by now and explain why you’re better off where you are…
Hey you wild souled creature, hungry for adventure, thirsty for knowledge, lusting for true love and hungry for a different kind of life. I love you so much. Because you are a part of me, a part that I often revert to, dying to escape the mundane and run with the wolves. We’ve been on quite the journey. Just when you were planning your next escape to Africa, where you would’ve studied dance and eaten with your hands on dirt floors whatever was offered, an unthinkable thing happened. A choice erupted, you faced the stark reality that now you could be responsible for another being. Either that or you could prod through jungles, jump off cliffs, eat fried crickets and make love in the street.
That furious drive to go all places, to be wild and completely free will always be with you. Your heart yearns to understand the poor men pulling rickshaws without shoes on, why entire tribes worship a stalk of magical corn and how those with the simplest of lives often seem the most fulfilled.
You never fit in, you weren’t willing to give your life over to debt and the 9-5. You fought that confinement with all your might. With an unsavoury and selfish might at times. In your quest to be this nomadic gypsy queen, you realized something. In trying so hard to always be on the move, you were getting lost. Fear of settling, fear of stillness, a mind so fraught with questions and concern. Go go go, more more more. At times when stillness did come, you found a smothered sadness and a gaping unfillable hole. Maybe at first you tried to fill it with what you thought was love. You pretended for awhile that someone else could light your fire. But it didn’t go away, it lingered until stillness showed itself and that old familiar feeling crept up. Did it matter if you were in Thailand or Australia? No. You got quiet, you started to get to know yourself a little better, to sit with it, to find solace that you weren’t the only one with holes. One day it just clicked. An earth shattering understanding that you my dear, could only find what you were looking for within yourself.
That selflessness that you so admired in others, in the mamas lifting rocks to build castles for false kings just to feed their babies, the kind stranger on the train offering food and shelter only to find that he himself barely has such things. Your heart broke open deeper each time you witnessed these acts requiring no payment in return. And then you were given a choice. To give life, to nourish another, to give over your body, your space, your quiet, your freedom- to care for another.
It’s not like you didn’t have options. No one would’ve shamed you had you made the choice to keep your freedom. You didn’t have to do it. Its not like you had any money or even a spare bedroom in your tent. But you had courage, you had love enough to give and you chose. You chose selflessness, you chose undying unhindered boundless love, you chose to overcome obstacles. Now you see that your freedom doesn’t dwell on aircrafts and cheap hostels, it is within you. You’ve really surprised yourself. Did you know you would be a good mother? Never in a million years did you see yourself here. And hell, your no typical mom either.
Being present to marvel at the amazing discoveries of this new being. Learning how to be a mom is a lot like travelling. You don’t know what to expect. You can read every book and blog on the topic and you still won’t know much. We learn through the richness of experience and motherhood is no different.
Here you are little girl, a woman now, a mother, a lover, a giver, with no regrets and weepy eyes that over flow every time you think about the moment you met that wrinkly little star seed for the first time. You relive it over and over again, so that no matter what happens you never forget. I can’t say that for any waterfalls or meals eaten with my hands on dirt floors. I can say that motherhood has made me better than the person I thought I would be by now.
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.
Zutacos may just be the next zoodles. Just maybe. Zucchini Taco Shells are delightful and such a tasty way to enjoy summers abundance of zucchini. I cannot take the credit for this marvellous invention at all. Those gardening and food photography geniuses consisting of Todd and Diane invented them, I just made them gluten free.
You can pile whatever your favourite taco adornments are, I made some spicy smoked paprika ground pork topped with kimchi and fresh veggies, YUM.
This is my first post in a long while. It’s not that I haven’t been cooking up a storm and enjoying the hell out of summers abundance. It’s just a matter of taking an extended break to focus on other projects and make sense of life, all that jazz. Not that I’ve made sense of anything at all, aside from loving food, and the inevitable company it brings.
My sister got me hooked on this useless facts website. A dragon fly has a lifespan of 24 hours. I’m really not sure they are all accurate. There’s an entire section devoted to Chuck Norris, I mean reeeeeeeally. 7 Up pop used to contain lithium, too bad it still doesn’t, we could call it crazy pop. They say nutritious food costs 10 times as much as junk food. I don’t think this is true either. But it’s definitely double the cost, even though you’d think less chemicals would equal less expensive. This website makes bold statements, like if you eat lemons you’ll live longer and the older the father of your child is the uglier the child will be. I’d really like to see some evidence beyond the anecdotal here.
A few wise words of warning… don’t put grapes in the microwave, don’t intravenously inject nutmeg, don’t put your pearls in vinegar and when eating peanuts be sure not to combine them with other components of dynamite.
Well I feel good that I learned something today, know any weird ass random facts?
So I kind of missed my blogs first anniversary. It came and went so quickly, and so much has been happening in my life lately. My baby boy was 1 month old when I started this website, and now he is on the run, stealing dog treats,giving kisses and throwing limp noodle temper tantrums. The last year has been filled with learning experiences, and they continue on stronger than ever. Am I actually supposed to be an adult by now? The longer I’m on this planet, the less I think I know about anything. I sure hope this trend doesn’t last forever, though I have a feeling it does. As we get older, those strong resilient egos start to lighten up and if we’re lucky we become humbled by this precious human experience.
Though I forgot my blogiversary, it certainly doesn’t mean that this space, the opportunity to create and share what I love isn’t monumentally appreciated. Looking back, it wasn’t until a year ago that I even knew anyone could start a website (or even profit of it for that matter). If you know me at all, you know that I don’t have a cell phone and I don’t own a television. I’m probably the most real deal cave-woman millennial out there. But seriously, I somehow managed to pull the resources together and start this site which for me is a big thing. I poured so much time into learning the ins and outs of having a successful blog. Its so surreal when a big site features my photos. It’s the same feeling that lingered behind me like a shadow on mothers day. I’m a mother? Say what?! Every happy mothers day made me feel like some fraud. A fraud with a beautiful robust baby sucking at her breast, but a fraud none the less. Things like motherhood and websites were reserved for other people in my mind. People who have it all together, who’ve gone to school and have stable homes and relationships. Funny right? I’m grateful that barrier is crossed and I can live my life regardless of societal expectations.
I’ve been very absent lately, a major life shift has occurred, one that I didn’t see coming. It’s so difficult to do the things you love when life is beating you down, when your heart is aching. Fact is, that’s when its most important, but you can never force inspiration. It comes when it comes. As always, my head and heart are constantly competing for the spotlight. Does anyone else have that problem? The logical voice says to get a real job or go to school but my heart screams that I should keep doing what makes me happy. Which is writing and creating nourishing recipes, inspiring others to be better and in turn inspiring myself.
I’d like to turn this space into a more all encompassing health arena. Somewhere we can talk about all things to do with wellness, even the stuff that’s taboo. But I’m wondering how to go about doing that, a name change, a redesign? I just don’t know at this point. I think I’ll let the head and heart have it out on this one for awhile, until we can all come to a consensus.
In late honour of the birth of my little corner of the web, cookies are in order. These Maple Pecan Paleo Protein Cookies are decadent,chewy and loaded with protein. I love me some maple pecan, but I had to give them a little extra sustenance. Truth be told, I can’t stop eating lately, I am a hungry wolf mama constantly scrounging for more. Little man is fast approaching the 15 month mark and still can’t get enough of the liquid gold. He’s so sweet, I can’t cut him off just yet, it’s no biggie considering how much I love food. Things like cookies though, lord help me to eat just one nowadays, if these didn’t have the extra protein I could easily eat 6 in a sitting. With some almond milk…mmmmm….
Blessings friends, here’s to another year filled with learning and fun.
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.