March Digest

This post was originally going to be posted on the Friday, but it’s been pretty crazy with finals at school so I’ve had to postpone. I also turned 26 this past Monday, and I’ve been birthday prepping all weekend! Turning 26 feels great! I’ve learned so much last year, and entering my late 20’s I feel so much more secure and happier than ever! This month I’ve also decided to go gluten free. This is a personal choice as I think gluten has been a cause of some of the health problems I have been dealing with in the last couple of years. I went gluten free for a short period last year but didn’t associate it to my health until I started eating it again. It felt so awful! Since I turned 26, I figure it’s as good time as any to change my diet. 

So here are some of the things that I’ve obsessed over during the month of March! It’s a mix of all things food and health, and a few of my hobbies.

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For my birthday my wonderful friends gifted me this awesome attachment for my KitchenAid stand mixer, because I wouldn’t shut up about making fresh pasta in class, and how EASY and DELICIOUS it was! Now of course, I’ve gone gluten free so I won’t be able to make pasta with regular flour for myself, but that doesn’t mean I can’t make it for anyone else! Everyone is excited about this. I kinda feel like the gift was more than just for myself (pasta party requests happened immediately). I also purchased that cool pasta book a few months back, and it has great recipes and techniques for the fresh pasta connoisseur.

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Another project I wanted to do this year (when I was writing out my list of 2014 goals) was to learn about fermented foods. So the first thing I did was purchase this wicked book, True Brews. It has everything from making beer, kefir, soda, and KOMBUCHA. For those of you who don’t know what kombucha is, it’s tea that’s been fermented. People say that it has health benefits, specifically for your digestive system, but I just like the way it tastes. Since I work at a loose leaf tea store this is totally up my ally. Kombucha has a tangy, sweet, sour-ish taste, and you can create the level of fizziness to your liking (healthy soda!). Not to mention flavour it with various fruits! I will write an entire post of my month of kombucha making since it’s pretty extensive.

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Confession: I kept reading the title as The Food Truck Cookbook instead of The Truck Food Cookbook. Tell me I wasn’t the only one…

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So Toronto doesn’t have that big of a food truck scene, which forces people like me to recreate these dishes at home. It’s not all entirely a bad thing…

This book has so many fun and creative recipes from all types of chefs and foodies who just wanted to share their delicious creations on something that is mobile (there is a woman who delivers pies off her bicycle in San Francisco, Calfornia). If you ask me, food trucks (or bikes) are the way to go! You can move from place to place (or in my head, from festival to festival, country to country, province to state) and not have to worry about hiring an entire kitchen staff or wait team. All you need is a great product, a nice day, and hungry people.

The Grapefruit Fizz was one of my favourite recipes since I’m a huge grapefruit fan and they were in season. If you’re into waffles of falafel’s, or fries, or pies…then buy this book, then eat it.

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Aaaahhh, The Forbidden City. I live in Toronto, and when I found out that the Forbidden City was touring at the ROM (The Royal Ontario Museum) starting this month I had to visit. Of course I was obsessing over everything tea. The exhibit was very well put together, and so lavish and extravagant! Such beautiful craftsmanship and detail. If you live in the city, definitely check it out!

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People who know me, know that I’m a magazine junkie. Think of any magazine, and at some point I’ve probably subscribed to it (or still do). Bon Appetit and Whole Living are great for food ideas (obviously). However, Whole Living no longer exists. The magazine ended publication the middle of last year, but they still have a website that is worth checking out for health and food related articles. Both of these issues are actually older issues from last year (WH: Nov 2012, BA: Mar 2013). As you can see from all the post it notes, I’ve done a lot of cooking. I didn’t actually get to go through all the recipes that I wanted to (for shame!), but here are some of the hits: 

BA’s Google’s Braised Chicken and Kale

A super easy, almost one pot meal, and nutritious! I kicked up the dish a bit and added a little cayenne pepper, and it was ssssoooo yummy! Great on a bed of rice, or as is.

BA’s Spicy Oven-Roasted Potatoes

Another really easy recipe that packs lots of flavour. I really like garlic powder (I actually just love garlic anything with potatoes), so I added a little more when I seasoned the potatoes and they turned out delicious. Try to cut the potatoes evenly to avoid undercooking some wedges and over cooking others.

WH’s Baked Sweet Potato with Maple-Oat Crumble

So easy to make, and just enough sweetness. This a hearty breakfast, so if you have a jam packed day it’s a great energy packed breakfast. You can add any dried fruit or even seeds. The recipe uses almonds, but I’ve also tried it with pecans or walnuts. Yum!

The Misses:

BA’s Warm Cauliflower and Herbed Barley Salad

Well it makes sense why I didn’t enjoy this dish, despite the fact that I loved all the herbs and cauliflower (one of my fave veggies), it has barley in it, which made me feel bloated and tired (barely has gluten). I wanted to try it anyways because like I said I enjoy all the ingredients in this dish, but for some reason it didn’t do it for me. I felt that the dressing wasn’t enough, and the dish lacked flavour. I may try it again and adjust the seasonings a bit, maybe use quinoa instead gluten.

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Speaking of a high energy packed day, I’ve also started working out again! I’ve had a harder time getting back into it, I think it’s an age thing. My mind hasn’t connected with my body in a while, and it still thinks it lives in an athletic 18 year old who can start sprinting and doing burpees…yah.. no. In March I did a lot of yoga, and LOVED it. I practiced at home every morning I could and did 15 to 30 minutes of yoga followed by some light cardio or pilates. I also did a few exercises out of my Women’s Health magazines which were both challenging and rewarding. Nothing like the morning after soreness to affirm you did a good job yesterday. Too help with my yoga practice I started using these yoga apps: Yoga Studio, and All-in Yoga. You can download classes for free or create your own routines. They also cater to all fitness levels, so grab a mat, some water and namaste!

I’ve also been reading The Tipping Point this month and enjoyed it. So interesting how one thing can evolve into something larger than when it started. If you’re interested in knowing how to have your next idea catch on and become a trend, definitely give it a read. The history on Sesame Street doesn’t hurt either.

So there it is! My March Digest. Everything I’ve devoured in a month.

thecardioqueen:

beautifulpicturesofhealthyfood:

Cauliflower ‘Bread’ Sticks - To-die-for mock bread-sticks made with cauliflower that are low in calories, carbs and fat….RECIPE

INGREDIENTS:

1 head cauliflower, large (7” - 8” wide)

1/4 cup egg whites

1/2 cup + 3/4 cup (for topping, optional) Mozzarella/Tex Mex cheese, shredded

1 tsp Italian herb seasoning or any dried herbs like rosemary, basil, parsley

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Pinch of salt

Marinara sauce for dipping

I can verify this tastes amazing

(via gluten-free-yogi)

glutenfree-sowhat:

hey look what I found!!

Ramen was one of those foods that I sort of figured I’d never properly enjoy again.  I’ve tried a couple of GF substitutes and they’ve been fairly dismal.  King Soba ramen is okay, but it never wowed me.

well, the other day I was browsing my local Whole Foods, as one does, and I found these guys in the Asian foods section!  first I should tell you that Lotus Foods' forbidden rice is probably my absolute favorite rice - it's a deep deep deep almost-black purple, and it's super nutty and delicious.  so I was THRILLED to see these guys.

there are three varieties, although I only picked up 2.  They come in single packs or four-packs, naturally I got the singles.  they’re labeled by what the noodles are made out of, but the flavor packets are subtly different as well - the forbidden rice is a mushroom-y flavor, and the rice and millet variety has chili in it.

anyway, it cooked up quickly.  as I tried the forbidden rice, it immediately turned the water a deep purple!  the noodles were AMAZING, they actually tasted a bit like real ramen.  the flavoring was very subtle and because it’s very low sodium, it could use a pinch of extra salt.  but that’s an easy enough fix.

anyway, I highly recommend these if you’re looking for a quick ramen treat.  even if you aren’t GF, these are way healthier than the cheap sodium-filled stuff!!

veganfoody:

20 cool and useful kitchen tools! 

Some of my personal favorites are: veggie spiralizer, high powered blender, garlic press, veggie peeler and sharp knives!

Do you have a favorite kitchen tool or appliance?

food blogging

I wrote my first entry on thestayathomecook.tumblr.com

I feel ecstatic!

wetheurban:

SPOTLIGHT: Tiny Tattoos by Austin Tott 

This awesome photo series titled ‘Tiny Tattoos’ by Austin Tott, a photographer based in Seattle, Washington, revolves around just that. More after the jump:

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