I love summer. It really is the best time of year. The heat, the humidity, the sun, the fresh vegetables – heaven! The only downside I can think of is that it is usually (hopefully!) too nice to want to spend much time in the kitchen. I want to be at the pool, in the garden or playing bocce with friends. When I do step into the kitchen I want to create meals that are fast, seasonal and adaptable. Like potato salad. Now I’m not talking the mayonnaise loaded salad of our youth but a fresh, zingy, loaded with vegetables one that is a full on meal in a bowl.
I remember as a kid we always seemed to be fundraising for something. Girl Guide cookies, raffle tickets or boxes of citrus for band trips. I was never a massive fan of the fundraising but was a huge fan of the arrival of those big boxes of Florida oranges and grapefruit. Growing up in Ontario, Florida was a pretty common winter vacation spot for most of my friends. Maybe my friends got their fill of citrus on holiday, but the closest I ever got, or have been, to Florida was getting those big boxes of oranges and grapefruit. Makes me, almost, miss high school band…
I was a lot older, when I first saw grapefruit growing on a tree. I could not believe my eyes. Tree after tree so overloaded the fruit was falling on the ground around me. I gourged myself on that first trip. It was divine.
Potlucks. Do you love them or hate them? My feelings are mixed. In some ways they make things easier – you don’t have to cook as much, there is less clean up and there are more options for picky eaters. But, it is also possible to end up with a table full of desserts or five macaroni salads. So what’s a girl to do? How do you decide what to bring?
We’ve all heard of the actor who is an overnight success despite the fact that in reality they have been slaving away in summer stock, movies of the week, and children’s theatre for decades. Kale is kind of like that. Relegated for years as one of those vegetables that the “healthy” types eat, over the last few years it has been making a resurgence and, dare I say it, become rather trendy.
Hmmm….there’s a lesson in there. Just keep doing your thing, work hard, keep your head down, be honest and genuine and it will happen for you. Like the actress. And kale.
I love kale (which is a good thing since it seems to be the one thing I can reliably grow in my garden) and eat it quite frequently. I steam it, make chips and add it to soups and stews. Lately though I’ve been eating it raw. My favourite variation to date is in a simple chopped salad with beans and a spicy peanut dressing. It has shown up so frequently at meal times lately I might even be tempted to call it an overnight success.
How do you eat kale?
For the dressing:
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 4 Tbsp. crunchy peanut butter
- juice of 1 lemon
- 4 tsp. Braggs (or low sodium tamari)
- 4tsp dried ginger (or grated 1″ piece of fresh)
- red pepper flakes to taste
- Optional: splash of fish sauce
Simply mix all ingredients together in a mason jar (or other sealable container). Refrigerate. Remove from fridge at least one hour prior to use to allow peanut butter and coconut milk to liquify. The dressing will keep in the fridge for up to a week.
For the Salad:
- 1 bunch of mixed kale, cored and chopped
- Gado gado dressing
- Sprouted chick peas
- toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds
Wash, rinse and finely chop kale.
Place kale and chickpeas in bowl and lightly toss with dressing.
Sprinkle with seeds. Add salt, pepper and chili’s to taste.
I can’t believe it. One year.
A year ago today over a plate of, obviously, noodles I wrote my first blog post. It’s a blogaversary!
That calls for champagne.
I debated a long time before starting mostlynoodles. I was waiting for all of my ideas to be brilliant, my design to be fabulous, and my recipes to be perfect. I’m still waiting for those things, but here we are a year later. I realized that blogging is a lot like life. It never is perfect and I’m not sure I would want it to be. Continue reading
Spring is here. Well, theoretically.
It is said that what we think, say and do manifests itself in our life. If that is true (and I believe it is), it is warm, the sun is shining, there are fresh vegetables growing in the garden and I can eat pasta twice a day and be the size of a competitor again (without working out!). Hmmm….. didn’t work…. okay time to get proactive, make a plan and take action. Accepting that I can’t control the weather the rest is fairly simple. First on the list? Simple. Plant some cold weather vegetables.
So that’s what I did. I started to plant. Kale, arugula and swiss chard outside, and with optimism on my side, four varieties of tomatoes inside.
We are raised to believe that Mondays aren’t to be trusted. Monday, Monday. Can’t trust that day. Back to work, back to school, the fun of the weekend is over….it’s just another Manic Monday after all. But what happens if you want to play a different tune?
Hmmm…. my positive Monday song lyric search is coming up a blank.
When I awoke, several hours before my alarm, that was all I could think of. I’m self employed and even I was dreading Monday morning. (Rainy days and Mondays…) I make my own schedule and still – Yikes! Tell me why I don’t like Mondays…
So, I did what any normal adult would do (well, normal to me). I read a cookbbook. I made a great list of Meatless Monday ideas and then thought “now what”. Meatloaf.
Okay. SO not meatless….
Now I’m not a vegetarian and I don’t pretend to be. But for many reasons I am trying to eat less meat. Sometimes though comfort food is the way to go. This week it was meatloaf. Meatloaf it a very personal thing with endless possible variations. This is my go to version. Tasty and easy it also has a few hidden ingredients to up the “healthy” quotient a bit (which also makes it a great way to sneak in some vegetables at the dinner table).
Now if only Meatloaf had written a song about Mondays.
- 1lb lean ground beef
- 1lb lean ground turkey breast
- 2 whole eggs or 4 egg whites
- 1c. panko
- 1 c. shredded brussel sprouts or 1 c finely chopped kale
- 1 bunch italian parsley, finely chopped
- 1 small onion or 4-6 scallions, chopped
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
- 1-2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 c milk
- fresh ground pepper
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix all ingredients, except ketchup and maple syrup, in a large bowl.
- Place mixture in a loaf pan. Cover with tin foil and bake for 45 minutes.
- While cooking mix the tomato paste and syrup in a small bowl.
- When meatloaf has been cooking for 45 minutes, remove tin foil, spread the tomato and syrup on the top. Bake another 5-10 minutes until sauce has crisped.