I’ve been battling dandelions. Last summer it seemed so fun to have a yard full of wishes.
We raced each other to them, spreading them to the sky with laughter while warm sun held us.
This year our yard is so full of wishes from those carelessly blown seeds that they are taking over everything.
I have fought and fought and dug and pulled and finally realized there must be some middle ground. I must let the wishes stay. So I pulled them out of deeply loved flower beds and pruned them back from newly planted wants, and then I told them they can have the rest. When I woke up this morning, in our last wheelbarrow from the battle, one wish stood tall. I believe it’s saying, thank you.
I grew up in the South where many dinners were some sort of stuffed potato. Usually it included sour cream and cheese. I wanted to make a healthy version of this comfort meal.
Sweet potatoes (one for each serving, medium to large)
Cooked chicken (I usually roast a chicken the night before and use the leftovers for this)
Salt and Pepper
Preheat oven to 425 F. Scrub sweet potatoes leaving skin on. Place them on a baking sheet or oven dish, use a fork to make some holes in them, drizzle with olive oil and place in oven. These will take about an hour depending on size.
While potatoes are cooking, wash and rinse kale and cabbage. In one fry pan put the kale with some olive oil and in another place chopped up cabbage with olive oil. Sauté them both in their separate pans, turning off kale once it’s reached your liking (I cook mine a bit longer to get it a bit crunchy.) Once cabbage is wilted, add cooked chicken and salt and pepper and stir until heated.
How was your weekend? I had the loveliest Mother’s Day doing what I do every day, mothering.
I also took the big leap and headed into town for the first time in 2 months.
It was so wonderful to see so many people.
It was a bit disconcerting to see so many people.
So many people, with no social distancing and no masks.
Might not be going back into town.
But I did get to our island nursery to get flowers to plant and hang.
Our garden has been my refuge and we have so many new plants to plant now. But…
..we’ve been fighting the good fight against invasive dandelions and I must say, I am feeling overwhelmed. They are one tenacious weed! I think they might be winning.
Our sprouts have started and are going strong and the garlic we planted last fall is so close to being ready to harvest.
I think of the garlic during this time, this time of waiting, wondering when or if life will return to normal. Garlic takes a long time to grow. It overwinters and hibernates until slowly sprouting, and then bursting.
I guess right now, even though BC is in full glorious bloom, our lives are still deep in that winter, or waiting. Except for all the people I just saw in town?
Here’s my favorite salad recipe that I eat most every night.
For the salad:
nuts (I alternate between macadamia, brazil, and hazelnut)
For the dressing:
apple cider vinegar
mustard ( I like dijon)
salt and pepper
What makes this salad special is the combination of salty and sweet
Clean and rinse your salad.
In a pan, heat the olive oil and add asparagus tips. Sauté on medium until they start to brown. Add chopped up nuts and salt and be generous with the salt! You really want this to be your salty part. Nuts will burn quickly so just stir for a minute or so. Put aside to cool while you make your dressing.
I don’t measure for this. I put about 1/4 cup olive oil in a bowl. I add a splash of balsamic and a splash of apple cider. Mix in a large spoonful of mustard and a large spoonful of honey (here is your sweetness.) Add a dash of salt and pepper.
Here in British Columbia the lockdown is about to be eased. Small steps towards a different normal.
I don’t know about you, but I am scared.
It looks like this virus is not going away. We can only hide for so long and then we have to take steps out. We have to be brave.
The one thing we can do is try and keep our bodies strong.
I am lucky that my son keeps me moving. While my daughter and I could be happy curled up on the sofa surrounded by books and paint, he has to run. And then ride his bike. Then run some more and more and more, so that I am on my feet almost all day long chasing him. It’s not always fun, but I know it’s so good for me. Remember to move your body!
The other small change you can do, if you don’t already, is add fresh herbs to your meals. I never make eggs without adding fresh parsley or dill. I never make chicken without rosemary and thyme. I make all of my potatoes with a combination of them.
Fresh herbs add so much nutrition to a meal.
Throw parsley into your meatballs. Add thyme to your sweet potatoes. Cover your beans with cilantro.
If you can, even on a windowsill, grow your own. Grab a handful for every meal.
Send some fresh potted herbs to your mom for Mother’s Day.
Send your friends some seeds.
Let us give to each other the gift of health.
Hope you have a great weekend! I will be enjoying our first very warm weather of the season, and hopefully finishing up The Goldfinch which I have finally gotten around to reading.
What day is it? I was going to write Wednesday, but I see it’s Thursday. There are no boundaries anymore. Days are overlapping, underneath one another, the same over and over and over again. If we are lucky.
We are the lucky ones.
More recipes to come but wanted to come in and share a couple of things.
I am featured on the blog Design Mom this week. I love this blog and even more love the series so it’s so nice to be a part of it. Here is the link.
I am also doing a live chat to help raise funds for people struggling to eat from lost wages, lost jobs. My friend, the author Jen Pastiloff started the fundraiser and she’s helping so many people. I hope you can join us. We’ll be live Tuesday, 10:00 am PST.
As I mentioned in another post, I bought 50 pounds of dried beans before lockdown. That’s A LOT of beans. I’ve become quite the expert at finding different flavors to accompany them. This week I want to share some simple ways I’ve been preparing my stash of chickpeas. Always easy, Always healthy.
Yes, that’s it. I always cook up a big pot of chickpeas as they take a good 2 hours to become tender, even after an all night soak. I keep them in the refrigerator and use over a few days. You can also use canned.
I simply heat some chopped up ginger in olive oil in one pan and add chick peas with a little bit of their water so they don’t dry out.
I then sauté the cabbage in another pan with lots of salt until wilted.
This one is about easy as you can get. Take that bone broth out of the refrigerator (or turn your slow cooker off.) You can pretty much use any veggies you have but here’s what I do:
Chicken bone broth
salt and pepper
Heat your oil over medium heat. Add carrots and celery and onion and sauté until soft and almost browned. Add bone broth and potatoes , season with s&p and simmer for about 20 min. Add spinach and cook 5 min longer. I like to take a hand blender and blend up just enough to thicken it. That’s it. You are done! Top with parsley.
I serve it with an almond meal tortilla or gluten free seed bread.
Today you will take the bones and make bone broth. I like to throw all of mine into a slow cooker and let it cook until I am ready to use it. Sometimes that’s a good 24/30 hours. The longer it cooks, the tastier it will be. Throw in some onions, carrots, celery and a bit of parsley. If you are using stovetop just let it simmer all day. This is for tomorrow.
For tonight, pull out the little bits you managed to save from the full chicken.
You will need:
salt and pepper
rice (for this I use white basmati)
Boil your rice with some salt.
While that’s cooking heat some oil over medium-to-low heat and add shredded cabbage. Once the cabbage starts to wilt, add the ginger and chicken pieces. Season with salt and pepper.
After 15 min, if you are using white rice, it should be done.
I always serve mine with a dollop of sauerkraut on top for the health benefits.
Very fast, very easy, very healthy.
If you are not cooking the bones in a slow cooker, make sure you cool it down and refrigerate it for tomorrow’s meal.