I’m dreaming of warm California weather today. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we’re on day number ‘I’ve lost count’ of clouds & rain while my friends to the East are getting the snow storm of a lifetime. Back in November, my husband and I spent an amazing week touring around southern California, which of course included a day at Disneyland. Walking around the park there were a lot of great food choices but I took note of all the people eating hot chili in what we would consider summer weather. Everyone else was bundled in warm jackets and pants while we were sweating in t-shirts and shorts! We may also have been sweating from the 30,000 steps we took while running around the park trying to avoid the line-ups, but either way our definition of cold is clearly very different.
They say moderation is the key to healthy eating. Well, I seem to lack moderation when it comes to fresh fruits and vegetables in the summer months. To say that I bought too much fruit on our road trip this past weekend would be an understatement. But how could I pass up 20 pounds of BC peaches for $12, or fresh sunrise apples, tree ripened prune plums, or field tomatoes? Plus, with all the local garden produce available right now I’ve been up to my ears (literally) with fresh fruit and produce lately. But that’s a problem I don’t mind having, but I may have to invest in a second fridge…
Having just returned from our honeymoon I wasn’t quite ready to let go of the bright tropical flavours we enjoyed while we were away. Luckily, I found a sale on perfectly ripe mangos the other day, and I knew I wanted to use them in a veggie-packed quinoa salad.
It’s reached that time of year again. It’s officially too hot to use any appliance in our small, one-bedroom apartment. Dinner-sized salads have edged out comforting soups and stews on my dinner rotation. I came home from work needing something quick to eat. Since I didn’t have any leftover protein in the fridge, I went to my trusty cupboard and grabbed a can of chickpeas. These little beans pack a punch of protein, vitamins and minerals, as well as heart healthy fibre. You’ve heard me talk about fibre before and for good reason. Most of us simply don’t get enough! By adding more fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and these versatile legumes into your diet, you can easily boost the amount of fibre you eat.
This salad has all the key ingredients of a delicious and satisfying meal-sized salad; crunchy vegetables, tangy dressing, protein-packed chickpeas and a burst of flavour from the lemon and fresh herbs. I can already picture this salad going perfectly alongside grilled meat or fish, or even wrapped in a tortilla for a quick lunch.
Growing up I disliked 4 things: peppers, pineapple, pork, and prawns. Maybe I just had a thing against foods that started with ‘P’??
Up until a few years ago, I had only been exposed to those frozen prawn rings, you know the ones with the cocktail sauce? They seemed to make an appearance every Christmas and I just assumed that all prawns tasted like that. Boy was I wrong. Spot prawns are in a completely different league and are nothing like the watery prawns of my childhood. They have a wonderful firm texture and a delicate sweetness. It’s safe to say that I have been converted.
With the weather getting colder, soups and stews are starting to make their way back onto my weekly dinner rotation. There are so many different combinations of flavours and ingredients that you could make a different soup each night of the week and never get bored. Whether you call it a soup or a stew, this rich tomato broth with tender chucks of fish and vegetables comes together quickly and makes a perfect weeknight meal.