Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My First Socca

and it was great!

I was in a hurry today, so I just mixed a batch, let it sit, and baked it in the oven. It was not hard to get it out of the cast iron skillet (as some bloggers suggested) - 
I put it on 425F - convection. In 30 minutes  it was done.
I have lots of ideas how to change the seasoning, make it more exciting, etc. 

We had it with my "Simplest Coleslaw"
(a bag of shredded cabbage, 2 heaped TBS yogurt, 2 (not so heaped) TBS Dijon Mustard) and leftover Green Pea Soup.

If you are the one thousandth visitor - please say hi:)

Monday, June 27, 2011


1000 Page Views...
Oh, the little blog that grew:)
Pretty exciting -

My new addition:
A dehydrator...
First experiment:
Kale Chips.
It worked beautifully.

I'm hoping to try Kiwi and Banana chips in the next couple of days.
Stay tuned:)

Friday, June 24, 2011


As I am determined to eat (and serve) more greens, I have been making an effort to include  them in our meals.
Today, Beet greens were added to rice pasta for lunch - very nice.

These greens (and chard, rapini) are very easy to deal with:
-blanch for a couple of minutes
-cool off in cold water,
- in a pan (or wok) saute garlic with hot pepper flakes, add greens, toss for a couple of minutes, add pasta of your choice, heat. You may add a little of the water your pasta was cooked in. (S&P to taste)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Kale - Part 2

Kale chips will get you interested. Then you move onto other dishes with Kale.
I normally put some in my White Bean Soup, Ribollita. 

Tonight, I made an entire meal with it.
Olive Oil, Garlic, Hot Pepper flakes, Kale and Soba noodles. What could be simpler? 
What could be more delicious? 

Discovery: Soba Noodles (Buckwheat,  Buckwheat and Sweet Potatoes) are a great deal more filling than other noodles. I also enjoy their chewiness.:)

A great link for different Kale chips.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Hiking is fun. I gave up my usual Sunday run for hiking today.
It was challenging - see the terrain?

After a picnic lunch by the river we continued on into the forest on steep, narrow trails, over  tree roots. 

I have been tempted to try trail running but might need to think some more about it after today....:)

Friday, June 17, 2011


I started this blog with the intention to get into summer shape.

I have reached my ideal weight - I stopped drinking coffee, have not had dairy,  bread, sugar, corn, white potato, wheat flour for two weeks and I must say, I feel better. I started soy yesterday - have not had a problem with it.
Now I need to figure out which one of the above I should stay off.  I strongly suspect dairy and anything with yeast dough but time will tell. I have no problem staying off sugar:
I use unpasteurized honey, agave syrup, brown rice syrup or maple syrup for sweeteners when necessary. I'm surprised how easy it was to give up sugar. (White sugar has been a rare commodity in my house for the longest time.)
Larabar-style bars and balls have taken care of my sweet tooth.

I've been experimenting with Nori for snacks.
Today, I put together a neat one:
2 pieces of Nori stuck to a piece of Suzie's Whole Grain Rice Cake. I used a mix of olive oil and Brown Rice Syrup to attach the Nori. Brushed the top with more of the mix, sprinkled some black and white sesame seeds on them and baked them in the oven at 350 for 10 min. on each side. A lovely snack.:)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Kale Lovers Unite:)

What is the best thing about Kale?
There are so many answers:

The leaves are oh-so-pretty...
As you wash them water droplets cling to them and look like little gems.
You can study fractals on kale leaves :)
They are wonderful for your body.


How to do  it?

Preheat your oven  350 F- or if you have a dehydrator use that.  (I have no recipe for dehydrator, still contemplating getting one)

- put kale leaves in a bowl of water , swish them around then rinse them well in a colander.
- trim the hard stems, cut the leaves into about 3" pieces
- pat them dry, put them in a large bowl add a spoonful or two of olive oil, make sure they get coated
- spread  them in a single layer on a baking sheet
- bake for about 10 min. then turn them around and bake for another 10.
- sprinkle with (your choice)  - sea salt
  or                                          - dulse (my current favourite
  or                                          - nutritional yeast.


Warning: addictive:)


I just realized that I got into the habit of daily posts thanks to the VT challenge, which is now over.:)

Today, I made  my favourite Rapini Pasta dish, with a difference: I used brown rice fettucine instead of my usual pretty wheat pasta shapes.  Since I have not started dairy yet, I used Nutritional Yeast instead of Parmesan Cheese. Enjoyable!  And, there is the bonus B12:)

Since I'm feeling really well, I'm staying off bread for a while.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Detox - Part 2

Remember my post?

I have not changed my mind about "detox" in general. However, my family and I decided to do a detox under the guidance of an ND.
I checked it carefully and we had met her before so I knew it was not one of  "those" diets .
For a ten day period, we eliminated a number of foods from our diet. Some of them were obvious choices, like processed foods, dairy, sugar, others surprised me: zucchini, melons, mushrooms...
The toughest part (for me) was going without coffee.  I surprised myself: without much fuss, I managed to quit after beginning each morning with a cup (or more)  for the past 36 years....  And I'm fine.
I will have coffee again but will try my best not to return to the morning coffee habit and  I will keep it at one cup limit.
The other challenging item: bread. I LOVE bread with a passion. I suspect it's not reciprocated...
I'm definitely feeling better  without it.  There can be many other foods responsible though and now the next few days should tell.  Dairy is a major suspect, so I'm staying away from it. Cheese is my favourite food... that is hard. Each food item gets re-introduced, one at a time with a couple of days between adding items.
Even though that was not the goal - I lost 2 lbs in 10 days.
Stay tuned:)

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Well, I keep going like the Energizer bunny - this IS the perfect season for veggies...

Working hard to include more leafy greens: Spinach, Swiss Chard and Rapini  are going to be on our plates this week.
I have discovered that Quinoa/Rice Pasta is very enjoyable.

I spent the two days fairly active:
did a photography field trip on Saturday all day,  It's a great deal more strenuous than I had thought: plenty of walking on uneven terrain while carrying a lot of gear, lots of bending etc.

then today we went for a run. We did run  periodically, scaled a steep hill,  took some pictures, tried to teach our mischievous doggy to run with us instead of ahead of us.  It was a workout:)
The pictures aren't the same quality - I carry a point-and-shoot camera for runs.

That hill was a lot tougher than I expected ...

....but the view was all worth it.

By the end we had a tired but obedient dog:)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Thursday - Friday

I am still with it...

Thursday - I made a lot of Dal and some brown rice with some market-fresh wonderful salad.

Friday - we ate mostly leftovers,
made more of the Lemon Tahini Dressing.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


A very hot day - definitely meant for salads:

Spinach Salad with Lemon Tahini dressing
Mixed Bean Salad w. home-made dressing
Quinoa Pilaf
Home made Larabar 
Roasted Cauliflower and Asparagus
Egg white Omelet

I'm doing quite well - dropped a few pounds and reached my summer weight. :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Beltline Revisited

This time with a friend:

It's looking beautiful and green out there thanks to two months of rain:

Monday, June 6, 2011

Monday - Week 4

I can't believe how fast it went by... we are almost done with the VT challenge-

Today :
Indian Dosas (or dosa-wannabes:) - made with oat flour )
Black bean Salad
(and leftovers, of course)
Quinoa Burgers
Larabar -style balls
Strawberries and Blueberries

My family and I have decided to go gluten free/soy free/corn free for the next little while, just in case I did not find my kitchen challenging enough.:)
I also managed to break my caffeine addiction ... or rather, my coffee addiction:)  I still drink many varieties of tea.

 And I'm already thinking of my next challenge:
get back into running shape
(I have a goal in mind but I'm reluctant to share it just yet...)

Saturday and Sunday

Saturday I had a special lunch at Fresh Restaurant.
Wonderful, busy place with a vegetarian menu. Very accommodating.
I had the most wonderful Green Lentil Soup, with Cilantro and Toasted Coriander and Cumin and a Green Goddess Bowl with Soba Noodles.  The Bowl was large enough to be my dinner as well.

On Sunday, since I have their cookbook, I made a fantastic soup: Caribbean Coconut and Red Pepper.
Amazing. I made a huge batch so we'll be enjoying that.
Kale chips are popular around here- this time I flavoured them with Dulse.
Strawberries and Bluberries were the fruits of the day.

Friday, June 3, 2011

VT Challenge

After my upset I was so pleased to see a note of caution in the VT Challenge Newsletter.
It suggested that one would use the processed vegetarian foods as occasional treats rather than build their daily menu around them.
I hope many people read it and take it into consideration. It's way to easy to fall into that trap because it is so convenient.  On the long run we pay a very high price for that convenience.

Thursday - Friday

To market, to market...

Friday I made:

Kale Chips

Chickpea and Brown/Black Rice Salad
Oatmeal Bake (XL)
Coconut/Date Balls
Roasted Rhubarbs
Green Salad
Fruit Salad

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wednesday's Mission

to empty the vegetable drawer.
Tomorrow is a very special day: the first day at the Farmer's Market.
(those, who know me are aware how special that is)

Lunch was leftovers

Roasted cabbage with Caraway
Roasted Turnips with Shallots, Garlic, Thyme
Quinoa Pilaf
Green Salad
(Everyone picks what they like)