Stuffed Sweet Potato

IMG_8766.JPGI 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.

You need:

  • Sweet potatoes (one for each serving, medium to large)
  • Cabbage
  • Cooked chicken (I usually roast a chicken the night before and use the leftovers for this)
  • Kale
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Sauerkraut (optional)

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.

Once potatoes are done, layer and enjoy.


Salad, and The World Out There

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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:

  • salad mix
  • asparagus
  • nuts (I alternate between macadamia, brazil, and hazelnut)

For the dressing:

  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • apple cider vinegar
  • honey
  • 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.

You are all set. Mix and enjoy.

 


Make it green

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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.

 

 

 


Lemon Chickpeas with Rice and Ginger

IMG_8390.JPGThe secret to this one is the red onion. It sweetens the chickpea sauce so much that you might end up licking the pan. My kids love it.

You need:

  • 1 can/ cup chickpeas
  • 2 small red onion
  • 1 tablespoon ginger
  • 1 lemon
  • olive oil
  • 1 cup white basmati rice
  • salt

Get your rice rinsed and started, one part rice, 2 parts water.

While the rice is cooking, heat some olive oil (be generous) in a large heavy bottom pot.

Add red onion and sauté for about 7 min over medium heat, stirring often.

Add ginger and keep stirring for another 2 minutes.

Add chickpeas, and here’s the trick, add just enough of the chickpea water to make a small gravy. Season with salt.  Let simmer while rice finishes.

Combine and squeeze lemon all over.

Top with sauerkraut or kimchi (or not.)

This is so good! Something about that red onion and ginger that makes the chickpeas very sweet.

Hope you enjoy.

 

 


Chickpeas with Cabbage

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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.

You need:

  • cabbage
  • ginger
  • chickpeas
  • olive oil
  • salt

 

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.

I combine and top with sauerkraut.

Easy. Healthy. Inexpensive.


Chicken with Rice and Cabbage

IMG_7962.jpgDay 2.

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:

  • chicken pieces
  • cabbage
  • ginger
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • rice (for this I use white basmati)

That’s it.

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.

Enjoy.

 

 


One chicken, 3 dinners

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Deep into the second month of social distancing, I am becoming an expert at making food last. I have one shop a week and I need to make it work for us. I decided to make it work for my budget as well and it’s become quite a game for me to see how well we can eat for how little.

Good, healthy food should be available to all. No one should have to buy something in a box because it’s cheaper. I’ve been saying this for years. No matter how much or how little you have, healthy eating should be a basic right. So, I am challenging myself to see how far I can go with everything I buy.

I hope I can encourage veering away from the middle isles in a grocery store and mostly staying at the edges, with the fresh veggies and (hopefully ethically raised) meat.

(Even more, when I can, I visit any local farm near me hardly needing to go to a store at all.)

You’ve all seen it. There are a million chicken recipes. But here’s mine, at its most simple:

I make a lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper rub and rub it all over, dripping some into the cavity. I then place half the cut lemon inside the chicken with rosemary and thyme. I place into an preheated oven at 400 degrees and cook for 2 hours.

Comes out perfect every single time.

Dinner 1, done. Now….

No matter how hungry you are, save a tiny bit of meat! Doesn’t have to be much, even the little scraps still hanging and save the bones as well. I’ll be back tomorrow with the second meal.

Enjoy!