Tag Archives: food

{light & simple fusilli pasta salad with roasted chicken and fresh veggies}

17 Apr

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i love to make this dish… and quite often, too! it’s simple, healthy, colourful, and great as a make-ahead meal to have on-hand for lunches. furthermore, it is an easy to dish to batch-cook… a great choice to take to potlucks or BBQs. it has a lot of fun “crunch” and texture, which we all know i love and enjoy, and as always, you can control the ingredients. i simply buy a roasted chicken from the market whenever they are on sale… then i eat some, shred the rest, and save it for a dish like this or to throw on salads.

i always try to eat something raw with every meal i have – whether it’s a large salad with some warm soup and bread, a ripe banana in my oatmeal, or fresh avocado slices on top of my scrambled eggs – i always try to incorporate raw ingredients. i believe it’s important to balance out a dish with raw components that only fresh vegetables or fruits can offer. what i also love about this dish, is that it can be served hot or cold – it’s great both ways! i love it when my food is versatile ;)

and you can add in whatever veggies you want, really. mix it up with cooked and raw veggies… i would like to try this dish with some fresh spring peas, roasted garlic, and blanched asparagus – to celebrate the season!

———

fusilli with roasted chicken and fresh veggies:

– 16 oz cooked fusilli pasta, drained and set aside {reserve 1/4 cup starchy water}

– shredded roasted chicken {about 1 cup}

– veggies {about a quarter cup for each} :

   ~black olives

   ~cucumbers

   ~red onion

   ~mushrooms

   ~tomatoes

   ~corn

   ~purple cabbage

———

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combine all ingredients and mix together. drizzle in reserved starchy water {this will help “marry” the pasta to the veggies}. add in dressing of choice {i opted for a french vinaigrette} and some S&P to taste. sprinkle in some dried herbs, if you wish…

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and… “eat the rainbow” :)

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make a big ol’ batch and take some to work for lunch!

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nom nom… 

{march madness!}

18 Mar

…just kidding… kind of.  it’s mostly a play-on-words… kind of.

hey gang – hope all is well. i don’t know about you, but i am so beyond ready for spring. warmer days, open windows, sandals, tulips, etc… aren’t you?! i know i have readers from all over the world… and i often find myself wondering, “what is the weather like where YOU are?!” ;)

…does anyone else feel all wonky for like a good week or so after the time-change happens?! it doesn’t matter if it’s in the spring or fall, my being just tends to feel it one way or another. however, i so welcome the extra light with open arms!

anyway, here are some snaps from my haps in march –

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the southwest has been sunny and warm during the past week or so… and you better believe i’ve been trying to take advantage of it!

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and i’ve been stopping to smell the cherry blossoms, too! mmmm,mmmmmmmm!

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rosemary chicken w/ fresh english peas, asparagus, & feta cheese over a bed of israeli cous cous

my awesome new boss recently took us out for lunch at a cool local spot, and i was recommended this amazing dish which was absolutely delicious! …and i completely i devoured the whole thing… with little effort!

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i see lots of vines growing along walls where i walk… i find them to be beautiful.

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oh, hey. Continue reading

{healthy batch-cooking}

11 Feb

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it seems like this is the time of year when everyone promises to “eat healthier!” and so with that in mind, i’m going to write about a little something that helped me change my diet by creating better eating habits and healthier decisions.

i’m referring to BATCH COOKING.

working in the food industry all these years has really helped me learn how to be a better at-home cook.  i wasn’t even much of a cook until recently… i’d say within the last 5 years i really discovered my love for cooking.  it actually is relaxing to me… chopping, stirring, mixing, tasting… all of it makes me feel good.

anyway – between wacky work scheduling, random one-day sales on groceries, and not having a vehicle -something I’ve kind of had to learn to do well is batch-cook. i find it’s much easier for me to spend an afternoon preparing a bunch of food for the week than trying to figure out how i’m going to get three daily meals in during my regular work week. i was first introduced to the idea of “batch-cooking” when i was working at whole foods market. i had never really thought about preparing food ahead of time… it just wasn’t something i had considered. but the more i thought about it, the more sense it made… especially at the time, when i was working the night shift. i simply didn’t have enough time in my day to cook at home as much.

that has all changed, though. now it’s become a regular thing for me to batch-cook at least 2-3 things each week. i don’t plan my meals before shopping, i let the food guide me. when i shop, i simply look for what’s fresh – as well as local and organic. sometimes i’m inspired right on the spot and sometimes i wait until i get home and look at what i got and create dishes based on that and what i have in my pantry.

every week is different. i don’t {and due to where i used to live, couldn’t} rely on being able to get anything i want at any time i want… which is a much different mentality then my days living in manhattan. but it keeps my diet much healthier because i know what i am buying didn’t have to travel very far and therefore is much fresher, and it keeps me eating in tune with nature and the seasons.

here are a few pics of some dishes i batch-cooked recently :

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slow-cooked smoked ham hocks w/ green beans and leeks

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herb-stuffed roasted chicken and veggies…

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savory mushroom soup {with homemade beef broth}…

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dehydrated {rainbow} bell peppers…

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bacon and brussels…

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my mom’s recipe : hearty beef vegetable stew… <3

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candied carrots, sautéed cabbage and bacon, garlic and onion kaniwa, and red kuri risotto

i also have been LOVING these purple sweet potatoes! i like to bake 3-4 at a time and just bust them out when i’m ready for one.  they freeze really well, too!

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do you batch-cook? what are some of your favourite make-ahead meals? i love to hear from you, so comment below and let me know what you think!

{my first post in 2015 – an overdue update… with tons of pics!}

6 Feb
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last day in the tiny house…

hey gang – how’s the new year treating you so far?  did you make a bunch of resolutions? are you off to a healthier new you?! seems like many of us make those kind of promises in honour of the new year.

me?! i moved… again. and so i figured it was time to clue you all in.

i’ve missed blogging… but i have literally been living like a gypsy for the past month – and i simply didn’t have time to update as often as i had before.  plus, my camera is still broken so i haven’t been fotographing as much.  i’ve been relying on the trusty iphone to supplement in that regard… but this will all change very soon… it’s just life, i guess.

in my last post of 2014, i mentioned that i had to leave the tiny house… it was something i wanted to do but also something that was hard to do. it wasn’t so much that i wanted to leave the house, it was more that i wanted to leave the area.  it’s a beautiful place, but i am simply not cut out for the cold weather or the culture. if i could have taken that tiny house and put it on wheels to travel with me, i so would have. but alas, it’s a stationed tiny home and that wasn’t an option. c’est le vie. it was an experience i will never forget, and one that changed me and molded me into who i am today.

anyway – i can’t go into the whole story because i could seriously write a book about the circumstances around my final decision to leave the valley. it was just a series of events, some unfortunate, that paved the road to open up new directions in my life. and i have no regrets about it. i feel content in my choices and in the things i’ve learned, and i am excited for a new beginning in my life.

i’ve always been one to change my surroundings if i feel the need… and this move was no exception. home is truly where the heart is… so as long as i have ME, i’m good.

and so without further ado, here are some snaps of the haps in january… enjoy! i look forward to reconnecting with you and hope you all are well!

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this message really helped me as i made the final decision to leave colorado… the best word i can use to describe all the feelings… bittersweet.

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i will miss seeing the deer in my front yard every morning… that’s for sure.

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as i was packing and downsizing even more, i came across all these notebooks i saved from all my years working as a shift leader in NYC. i miss that job and that city so much, but it was an experience like no other and one i will cherish.

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fracking is a big thing in colorado – i would see signs all the time and people in the town where i lived were not at all ashamed of expressing their opinions on it… do you see the hand-painted sign on the bottom? it reads : “fracking gassholes” — haha! i loved it.

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i took myself to breakfast here on moving day… it’s called heidi’s deli. they make one of the best pastrami sammies i’ve had this side of the hudson… i will miss them.

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… and their ham, swiss, egg, and avocado croissants!

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i swear i wear this hat every day, lately…

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i was nervous moving in january… it’s not something i tend to plan out, what with unpredictable weather and all. but i was so thankful that wedged in between all the snowy days, was sunny friday – the day i moved my things out of the tiny home.

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i left this for the new tenants… cuz i’m like that.

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i also “left my mark” under the kitchen sink… ;)

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moving day lunch – cubano tacos. AH-mazing.

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while in gypsy mode, i was staying with some friends out in the sticks… literally. i helped them chop and stack some wood for the winter… okay, mostly i stacked. :P

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i’m learning to incorporate more salads into my diet in winter… my dear friend miss M taught me about the simplicity of putting cooked veggies in with your greens to add more dimension and warmth during the cold months… so simple, so easy.

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gettin’ artsy with a clementine…

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… and some window light!

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who wouldn’t love cooking your oatmeal on a wood stovetop?!

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i was SO thankful to be able to spend plenty of time in the private hot springs near carbondale… it was so healing, so sacred.

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doesn’t this look so bizarre and cool?! it looks like some kind of alien snow crop circle or something… but it’s really just an indentation from a cross-country ski pole…

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the roaring fork…

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this reminded me of new york…

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never grow up…

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moving day dinner… i will miss the local grass-fed burgers!

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ran into a little weather on actual moving day…

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i’m so grateful my chauffeur {kind of a joke – a good friend drove me the entire 8 hours to my destination!} was fully prepared with snow tires!

…and i’ve pretty much been eating a lot since i got here!

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homemade vegan pizza…

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with tons of fresh mushrooms, spinach, garlic, and jalapenos!

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good wine, good friends…

and my goodness, is it warm here! and i love that!

<3

{eat the rainbow : purple sweet potatoes}

11 Dec

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i get super excited when i see a rainbow on my plate. it just makes me happy to eat COLOUR!  and these wonderful bright purple sweet potatoes please both the palate and the eye.

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i love how they grow in weird shapes, too.

have you ever had a purple sweet potato? i was first introduced to them many years ago at whole foods, as they tend to get the “cool” produce a lot. since then i have been seeing them in mainstream supermarkets and grocery stores, as well. unlike purple potatoes, these do not lose colour when you cook them.  in fact, they get BRIGHTER! it’s the coolest thing. Continue reading

{homemade nutrient-dense beef bone broth}

7 Dec

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it seems like bone broth is all the rage these days. everyone is talking about it, bloggers are writing about it, and i see articles in random magazines about it, too. i also find it funny that food has like, fads. i mean – i figure diets have fads because that is essentially what “dieting” is… but it just tickles me when i notice certain “food trends”… you know what i mean?! nevertheless, i’d be lying if i didn’t say i recently jumped on the bandwagon regarding bone broth. :P

———

WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL WITH BONE BROTH, ANYWAY?!

– bone broth is ancestral food – our grandma’s grandmas probably made it all the time!

bone broth contains many nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus.

– bone broth is also high in beauty-supporting collagen and amino acids.

bone broth is comforting, and great for those days we feel “under the weather.”

bone broth supports a healthy gut and intestinal-lining.

– bone broth contains joint-supporting gelatin, glucosamine, and chondroitin.

bone broth is very cost-effective and you can control the ingredients when you make it yourself!

———

anyway, my cute little store sells beef bones with the marrow included, which is what you want for making broth.  i’ve read several articles and books about the benefits of ancient cooking and bone broth is something that always seems to be at the top of the list for overall health-boosting properties. i usually opt for a veggie broth when i am stocking the pantry.  however, i couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make something new from scratch.  i just love to create things. plus, understanding the health benefits of bone broth make it extra appealing to me.

after perusing several recipes and suggestions, i did what audrey typically does and i created my own version of bone broth.  this entire batch {which made about a gallon} cost me around $4.00. try comparing that to the stocks or broths you find in the store… it simply doesn’t.  nor does the nutritional value.

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ingredient guidelines for bone broth :

– 2 lbs grass-fed beef bones

– 2 large carrots, chopped

– 2 celery stalks, chopped

– 1 yellow onion, chopped 

– 3 cloves garlic, chopped

– 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

3 or 4 sprigs fresh parsley {optional}

– 1 bay leaf {optional}

Continue reading

{red kuri squash risotto}

3 Dec

it’s comfort-food season!

i will preface this post by saying that this dish, albeit exquisite, took a little time to make. typically i prefer my meals to be a little more “easy breezy” to prepare… however, this one is oh-so-worth the time and effort!

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and let me reiterate – this dish is absolutely DIVINE! i totally love risotto any way i can get it, really… it’s one of my staple dishes, for sure. when i discovered this new squash, i was inspired to fuse it with some risotto and eventually make it into risotto balls.

risotto is hearty and filling while still being gluten-free, which i kind of love. the red kuri squash is in its prime season right now and it is just beautiful! full of vitamin a {that lovely colour!} and potassium [like most squash}, it added so much flavour to this amazing dish!

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red kuri squash is delicious on its own, too. the flavour is reminiscent of chestnuts, and the flesh has a rich and creamy consistency when cooked.

risotto itself is very simple, it’s just a little time consuming to make. the ratio for making risotto is about 1:4 – one cup rice to 4 cups liquid. you can use a blend of water and broth or just water or just broth.  i tend to mix it up a little, but typically i use broth. the key {and magical} ingredient in making risotto is white wine. you can use any ol’ wine – cooking wine, cheap stuff at the liquor store, whatever.  but it must be dry and it must be included! the wine gives the risotto TONS of flavour and really rounds out the dish. Continue reading

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