Archive | Grains RSS feed for this section

Banana Bread with Dried Plums

image

When we become more conscious of what food does to our body, especially when we are in search of wellness, we tend to cut out a lot of old favourites. Choosing a long and healthy life over your famous mac ’n’ cheese or coffee and muffin routine is an easy choice, right? For many, it is at first, but food also brings us comfort and conjures up fond memories, and it is hard to let this all go, long term. And then if we temporarily fall off the wagon, the guilt and visualization of the delicious buffet that you have just set up for your cancer cells, really doesn’t help anybody.

image

For this reason, from time to time, I am going to include a healthier alternative to something we might be missing from our lives, to keep us from feeling the guilt, and to help us to create new, fond food memories. New soul food, if you will.

(more…)

Perfectly Cooked (soaked) Quinoa

image
(Raw and dry)

I feel like quinoa is new enough (to most of us) that it is still a bit misunderstood. At this point, the majority of us know how to cook pasta and rock a rice cooker, but what about the rest of the grains, especially the whole ones? And do the rules change when we soak them first? I don’t have all of the answers for you today, but I do have one: how to cook soaked quinoa perfectly.

image
(Raw and soaked for 12 hours)

I don’t throw this word around recklessly. As much as I find plenty of charm in nature’s imperfections and messy but delicious food, poorly cooked quinoa is not one of them. When prepared properly, quinoa is neutral tasting compared to many whole grains, and has a less fiber-obvious texture. It is so full of protein, and such an easy (ahem, once you learn the rules) and convenient food to make, that it is only fair that you enjoy it at its best, instead of suffering through it because it is ‘good for you’.

(more…)

Stuffed Grapevine Leaves

image

This tail-end of the summer business really appeals to me. It’s this in-between summer and fall time when we seem to get the best of both worlds. Sweaters with shorts, jeans with t-shirts, less squinting while on the computer, fewer terrible runs, going to bed at 10pm without feeling nerdy (because it’s actually dark outside), I love it all. Equally great, the subtle shifts in food; soup is back, the tomatoes are still here, apples are crisp and juicy, warm breakfasts, and it’s no longer a sweat-based decision whether or not to turn your oven on.

image

Cozying right into ‘pre-fall’, my oven is back in action and I’m making one of my favourite things. Just like this special time of year, this dish reminds me of my Mom, and embraces both really good tomatoes and the (slightly) cooler weather.

(more…)

Green Beans with Millet and Garlic Scape Pesto

image

As we age, I find it becomes easier let go of things that we may not be very good at. For instance, there is no reason for me ever to take another stab at doing my own accounting. I glaze over just thinking about it. And gardening. I always thought I would be a natural at growing my own vegetables, but as it turns out, I’m a lot better at cooking them. It takes a lot of time and attention to grow your own veggies and if you don’t have it, thank goodness for farmers, and the happiest place on earth: the farmers market.

image

Eating locally is very en trend, and it feels like a trend that is here to stay. The less time between the produce’s garden-living time and your plate, the more nutrients they will still contain and the better they will taste. A stroll through the market can also be very culinarily inspiring and often enlightening too. Amongst the expected and anticipated favourites, there are always a couple of surprises. The part of the plant you never knew existed, that, yes, of course you would love to try. (more…)