Wednesday, April 8, 2015

New Beginnings

If only the days were longer...
It would probably not make much difference: we'd fill up the extra hours very quickly.

I've been meaning to post here for a while now. I have SO much to say.
Just finished my Detox with my friend. Yes - detox. I am fully aware of what I said about it in the past. I feel very strongly about how "Detox" and "Cleansing" were turned into a buzzword.
A lot of those are no more than good profit in someone's pocket...
Why would I choose to detox?
First of all, the plan we have followed is not one that deprives us of nourishment. No juice cleanse for me...  I admire those who can stick with it for any length of time. I, however, have no energy on a liquid only diet.
 We eat very well.  The annual detox serves as a reminder of what "clean eating" should be.
(I need that reminder after the Holiday season and the long winter :) )
This is the plan we follow

We tend to wait till near the end of February to start.   It kind of "resets the system".
We are getting closer to the season when at least hot house local produce becomes available...
Now, we are not perfect.  I still drink coffee during my detox. Why?  I enjoy my coffee.  I  managed to quit coffee for 10 days when I did a previous detox. I survived :)  I don't feel the need to prove to myself that I can do it.  I'm sure life would be more pure without caffeine:)

Each year, I make new discoveries as we go through the stages of detox. We have a week for each stage, which gives plenty of time to observe one's responses to different foods.
Since we are limited in some ways, it forces us to think and also gives an opportunity to search for foods, recipes we normally don't include in our diet.
This year,  chia was central to my detox.  Oh, I was familiar with it for a long time. I have included it in many dishes. Made chia puddings, too. However, this time, I discovered a couple of new chia recipes and made those diligently after adding my own touch.

In addition to chia, Mung beans served me well.   I made a large amount of Kitchari and enjoyed it as my main meal often. (It freezes well, too)

I found that not eating bread and other baked goods  made the greatest difference. My digestion improved, I felt lighter.  Since then, I have added bread to my diet but am less reliant on it. Gone are the days when I would reach for a sandwich as my first choice to satisfy my hunger.

All these changes happened over time. I learned something each time we did the detox. The first one was in 2012. Prior to that I did a different one for 10 days, under the guidance of a Naturopath.
I found that one a bit short. 21 - 28 days gives you a chance to get into some good habits.

In my next post, I will tell you all how a powerful blender changed my life in the kitchen.

Friday, June 13, 2014

More Market

It may not sound as exciting as it tastes amazing...

We have not had spinach at the market yet, but I picked some up at the health food store. Then, today,
I got my fresh, market strawberries...  could not resist: turned it into a lovely salad, along with the baby spinach, some roasted almonds, and cashews. A little goat cheese and a drizzle of Balsamic....
So good!
We had Asparagus soup  with it and fresh raspberries for dessert.

Tomorrow I'll be making Garlic Scapes Pesto. (Yes, the scapes are back!)

I know, I'm overdue with some photos... I'll make up for it:)

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Sunday Night Improv

As long as there are fresh veggies in the Fridge, dinner is not far ...

Tonight - a quick improv with whatever we had on hand:

Spelt tortillas in the fridge
Asparagus of the thick kind
Green Garlic
Poblano peppers
Grated Gruyere in the freezer
and some Garlic Spice mix

So I put those together:

Sauteed Shallots and Green Garlic
Added some Poblano
Added the Asparagus in pieces
Sprinkled it with some Garlic Spice,
Covered it and let it cook on low for a while

Spread Vegannaise on the Tortillas
Sprinkled them with more Garlic Spice
Added a just a touch of cheese (for those who don't believe it's good without cheese)
Filled them with the Asparagus mix/Folded them and Cooked them briefly on each side in the frying pan.

Friday, May 30, 2014

To Market, To Market... Again:)

Oh, the anticipation all winter long...
The countdown to starting date.
The excitement of the first morning...
What am I talking about? The local Farmer's Market, of course:).

What  a delight.  A few stalls with fresh, local produce. They look like veggies and fruits. They smell like vegetables and fruits. They are picked the night before. Can you beat that?

Even this early in the season, there is a thrill.
I kind of cheated this time and went to another market on Saturday. It was a thrill to acquire things like organic amber turnips, wild leeks (also known as ramps)...
Then, today, was the first day of our local market.
I did not really know what to expect as our growing season was a bit delayed by the long cold winter and unseasonable temperatures in the spring.
However, there were gorgeous, huge bunches of asparagus, green garlic, hot house peppers, tomatoes,
fresh kale,  lots of beautiful potted herbs... So I shopped. Then I came home and inspired by the freshness, I cooked. I felt like a painter must feel every time he stands in front of a blank canvas...

I cooked a  White bean soup with the kale, using Fire Roasted tomatoes, a potato, a couple of Heirloom Carrots (from Saturday's market)  and the gorgeous fresh green garlic. (one whole piece!)  I added some Tuscan Seasoning. Lovely:)

I cooked a giant pot of Asparagus Soup.  I froze it for those days when we can no longer get fresh (local) Asparagus.

Can't wait till next Thursday!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Amazing Detox-friendly Ice Cream

This is not a recipe. I can't really give quantities. I use a Magic Bullet for smoothies and have discovered that when I add too little liquid (usually non-dairy milk) to my fruits, I get a nice creamy consistency. Sometimes I have Mango Ice cream, other times Banana Ice cream.

Later, I found out on the internet that you can turn your Banana Ice cream into a lovely Chocolate Ice cream by adding Cacao to it. Delicious!

Then,  just because I have to have the "last word" :),  I added Shredded Coconuts to the above.  Very good.
Still feeling creative, I topped the Ice Cream with frozen Sour Cherry pieces. Now you're talking!
What a dessert! Who needs sugar?

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year

It is time, once more, to get in shape for the summer.
It is not a weight-issue. It is simply a predictable pattern:
fall/early winter translate into comfort foods. Make that too many comfort foods.
Holidays mean LOTS of treats, desserts, etc.
January brings a desire to do better, to improve, etc.

It's that time again. I am actually looking forward to a detox. (Starting on the 12th)

Why I rushed here to post after a prolonged absence was the discovery of delicious greens.
(This is the time I start craving greens like crazy)

Swiss Chard

1 bunch chard chopped small (leaves and stems)
1 onion sliced thin
a few garlic cloves
(cheese - optional)

Preheat oven @350

Mix veggies with oil, S&P - bake for 15 min.
Add another TBSP oil - bake for anothe 15 min. (until chards are done, onions and garlic have attractive colour) Serve with or without cheese. Very delicious.:)