Archive | February, 2015

{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… ❤

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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. 😛

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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!

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