Archive for the ‘Healthy Living’ Category

Looneyspoons is hands down the best cookbook ever.  You know how you buy a cookbook with the best intentions and end up making like one recipe and the book ends up on the shelf never to be used again?  I’m that girl- the one with great intentions but no follow through, especially when it comes to recipes.  But, this book excites me.  I’ve cooked many recipes out of it, for friends, for myself- and they always turn out great.  It’s my new go- to wedding shower gift.

There are a lot of ingredients, and sometimes a lot of prep- so I often make 2-3 things at once and have leftovers for the next day or so.  Even though it has some obscure ingredients, they use the same ingredients a lot- so when you’re thinking- really?  Do I really need a whole thing of marjoram? You know there will be other recipes that utilize it- so you did not by that fish sauce in vain! The book is divided into sections, and has a great vegetarian section with lots of bean/lentil recipes- which I’m trying to get more of!

And the names of the recipes are hilarious: Lord of the Wings, Shanks for the Memories, Britney’s Spears, and The Greatful Bread, just to name a few.

And did I mention it’s all low fat?  The two sisters are a chef and a dietitian/nutritionist and their TV show “Eat, Shrink, and Be Merry” has them create a healthy version of a popular item at a restaurant.  Then they go head to head with the chef and often their “skinny” version wins.  That’s because they don’t just substitute ingredients, they think, “if I lower the fat content here, we need more flavor here.”  It’s amazing.

So here are my favourite recipes from their cookbook.  I’m just sharing a bit about each recipe- you can be a good citizen and pick up your own copy- Costco has it on for like $19.  I had a hard time coming up with only 7.

  1. Mr. Bowjangles, pg. 125- this dish my sister and discovered back when Meggo ate meat-it’s stuck that long! It’s pasta, chicken, and broccoli- in this soya/Dijon mustard sauce. I have friends who ask for it when they come over to my mom’s house.  My mom usually makes it when she knows I’m coming home!
  2. The Right Stuff- pg. 108- Stuffed peppers with quinoa, mint, spinach, peas and feta?  Yes, please! This has a few Indian spices and it’s bursting with flavor!
  3. Jerry Springerolls- pg. 12- these are your Thai cold spring rolls- a little bit of prep and figuring out of the rice paper, but the mint and green onions paired with the homemade Thai sauce, is worth it!
  4. Rockin’ Moroccan Stew- pg. 102- Thanks to my friend Jen for introducing this one.  This is amazing in the fall/winter- make a big pot and then you have lunches for the week!  It’s not too spicy, and is nice and hearty. And with the chickpeas, has lots of protein and is an awesome veggie option.  Honestly, when I pull one of these containers from the freezer, I actually do a little dance!
  5. The Roastess with the Mostest- pg. 165- I call this “engagement chicken” (this is a term from Cityline I think- referring to a roast chicken so good, he’ll propose after- something about seeing you as a good wife or something?) because it’s that good.  I first made this for my friend Tiffany, and almost made it for a boy once- I bought the ingredients and everything, but we ended up doing something else for dinner- lol, dodged a bullet on that one!  This is a simple roast chicken and it has turned out just perfect at least twice for me. Add some potatoes and carrots to the roasting pan and you are in business.  I’ll pull it out again when I find the right guy…
  6. A Little Pizza Heaven- pg.  86- This pizza is RIDICULOUS!  It’s maybe my favourite thing on earth (well, not true- chocolate and peanut butter wins out on that one, but this is a close second).  This is a veggie pizza extraordinaire with grilled pestoed veggies on tomato sauce with both feta and mozzarella cheese (which can be done goats or sheeps milk- yay for me!)  This is rockin’ with the fancy pizza sauce you can buy (I keep a squeeze tube in my fridge).  This is one that I make and then eat for leftovers.  I actually get excited on my way home knowing this is waiting for me.
  7. Marsha Marsha Marshmallow Squares- pg. 312- So I don’t know about you, but I love S’mores and this is like a s’more in square form.  You use that Vanilla Almond cereal and make it pretty much Rice Krispie style, but then you add chocolate chips at the last minute… I’ve learned to hide them in the freezer, because I could eat the whole pan in one sitting.  The best part is licking the pot/spoon after.  Just remember to “butter” your hands to put it in the glass dish- I promise that’s the secret to not have them stick to your hands.

So there you have it.  If you own one cookbook this is the one.

Check out their website: http://janetandgreta.com/cookbook/looneyspoons/ and sign up for their emails!  

And buy it here:  http://www.amazon.ca/Looneyspoons-Collection-Gretas-Greatest-Recipe/dp/0968063152/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1376947959&sr=8-1&keywords=looneyspoons+collection+cookbook or http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/the-looneyspoons-collection-janet-gretas/9780968063156-item.html?ikwid=looneyspoons&ikwsec=Home&gcs_requestid=0CMjE7v-6irkCFVCk5wod1gMAAA

I am soooo hungry and inspired right now.  I think I shall make all of these this week.

Hey Looneyspooners- what you’re favourite recipe?  CLICK the SPEECH BUBBLE at the top and share with the page number!

Reflecting

It’s funny how summer, when I have way more time, is more difficult to keep up with my weekly blog!  I have two weeks to catch up on- so I’ll do my best to get these done asap!

I was so blessed to have been able to go away to a cottage last week with some of my favourite people.  I had forgotten how amazing being outside, away from civilization, hanging out, and playing in the water is.  Honestly, if I can swing it, I need to get myself a cottage- imagine how relaxed and ready for school you could be if you were enjoying cottage life for all of July and August?  So, here are my seven favourite things about the cottage and I’ve put in a few pics from my trip as well!

 1. Reading- Life is full of distractions and because of that reading seems to be a lost art.  Gone are the days when people will sit and read for fun- it’s much more important you read facebook updates, and try your hand at the latest level of Candy Crush.   Netflix and PVR allow you to watch your favourite shows whenever you want, and the options available to watch are greater than ever!  Why would you read a book? But at the cottage, distractions are gone- and you can pull out those unfamiliar things called books!

 

Relaxing

2. Sleeping- Ultimately the best thing about cottage life.  As an almost narcoleptic, I can appreciate anywhere where you can fall asleep and people don’t judge you.

3. Bonding- There is something about being at a cottage that brings people together.  Maybe it’s the fact that there’s nothing really to do, no one else you can text, or that you are in such close proximity of each other, but you can’t help but bond with those around you.  Good conversation seems to flow and the level of comfort you feel is unlike anything in the city.  You get the person’s undivided attention.  No texting or checking twitter feeds here!  I think my most meaningful and real conversations have happened either at a cottage or at camp.

Yogaing

4. a) Relaxing- Within seconds of arriving at the cottage, stress seems to melt away.  It probably has something to do with the sound of birds in the distance, the water lapping, and the air so fresh you can’t help but breathe deeply. The peace and calm you feel with no set schedule and no pressure is amazing.  Why go back to reality?

b) Reflecting- In the stillness and quietness of it all, you can’t help but think and reflect on your life, your relationships, and your purpose.  You have the time to think about things without pressure of time and people around you.  Something about being in nature makes you feel closer to God and brings about clarity and peace in a way that is impossible in the busy city.  Things and priorities just become clear at the cottage.

5. Eating- Cottage food rocks.  Hamburgers, candy, freezies- what more can you ask for?  And, you’re on vacation and doing lots of active things- it’s okay to have a few more calories, right?

6. Laughing- Your guard is down, you’re relaxing, and you are with some of your favourite people.  You can’t help but laugh and smile. Ya, that’s my favourite thing about the cottage.

Playing

 

7. Playing- kayaking, hiking, doing yoga on the dock, splashing in the lake, skiing on the lake, exploring, and playing in the trees are all awesome things to do at the cottage.  People don’t play enough anymore.  I’m a fan.

Forget reality.  I want to go back.

Reflecting...

I’m sure we’d all agree that eating healthy is so important to making your skin glow, your energy to be up, and for you to live a longer, healthier life.  But, sometimes it’s hard to always make healthy choices because there a lot of things that gets in the way of eating healthily.

I’m always on the go and my job can be crazy and all consuming at times.  Sometimes getting anything into me is a feat.  But, I feel better when I eat well.

Over the years I’ve found ways to stretch my budget, not waste food and buy/make really healthy things.  Yes, there have been some sad moments in the A & W parking lot- but I’m human!

Eating on the Go- Such a Challenge!

Eating on the Go- Such a Challenge!

So, here are my Top Seven Tips for Eating Healthy on the Go:

  1. Schedule a time for grocery shopping every week.  When life gets busy, it’s easy to get caught up in the craziness.  If you have built a time into your schedule for groceries and make sure you observe that time every week, you’ll always have food available.  I used to go Sunday’s, but they were hit or miss depending on what I was doing.  So now, all I do now on Monday nights is blog, cook, and grocery shop.  That way I’m ready for the week ahead!
  2. Plan your grocery list.  It’s important to not only plan out your grocery list to make sure you have healthy options for the week, but also to maximize your food spending.  If you plan things out, you won’t waste food.  For example, if you get excited and buy that green salad mix, and lunch meat- those are two things that need to be eaten up ASAP.  No one likes soggy spinach (especially not me and my texture thing- ick!) and lunch meat is only good for 3 days or so.  So, choose one of the other.  Also, with weird things, plan how you can use something more than once, whether it’s chicken for dinner and then chicken salad the next day.  This is especially helpful with weird ingredients.  I buy green onions for my tabboluleh recipe, but I only use like 2 strands.  So, when I get my ingredients for my favourite potluck contribution, I either make my fresh spring rolls or my walnut, goat cheese sandwich, because I can use up those scallions.   Do this and you’ll rarely waste food- I’m weird with texture (lol, ask my mom) so this helps avoid having to force yourself to eat a soggy cucumber (which as an adult paying for your on things may be a low point you may reach).
  3. Plan/Track your Meals.  Download a great app- mynetdiary.com for $4 and you’re able to keep track of your food and goals so easily- it even syncs to your computer.  It also keeps you keeping track of what you are eating- it’s amazing!  Also, if you put in your meals the day before and pack your lunch bag accordingly you’ll start to only eat what you are suppose to.  Or, if a notebook works better for you,  try that.
  4. Buy in Bulk…but  only if it’s your Fav!  At the grocery store it is so tempting to by something just because it’s on sale, but, if you don’t love it, you end up stuck with with weird, no name cans in your cupboards that you will only end up in a moment of desperation.  But, if you see something you use a lot of- buy out the store, girl!  I always do the rounds of the store and when I see frozen veggies on sale, I buy like 4 bags.  Same with the tuna that I love.   Or my dill crunchem  pickles. My vegan protein powder was on sale and I picked up 2 tubs (and would have gotten more if they had more left!)- dropped $100 there along, but ended up saving $25 per tub- worth it, because I use it regularly.
  5. Always have a back up plan- Whether that’s having Lean Cuisines on hand, granola bars stashed at work, or knowing which fast food item you are going to pick up on the go- have a plan ready!  Life gets busy, sometimes you don’t have a cooler to wheel behind you 24/7.  Sometimes you have to eat out, sometimes you are too tired to get a meal ready- eating healthy is suppose to help your body- and I’m sure the added stress of trying to do it every split second could be quite stressful!
  6. Cook Ahead!  As I mentioned, Mondays are my cooking days.  I have the Looneyspoons cookbook- which, if you have not tried, you must!  I usually make a soup for the week, something like pizza or fresh rolls, and a bean salad or something.  That way I have something to grab when things are busy.  Instead of pulling out a recipe and having to spend the time prepping and cooking it- there is a stuffed pepper in the fridge with your name on it!  I also freeze as much as I can- that way you have something for later- and a variety of somethings.  I had a roommate in university who’d make a casserole- and she’s make enough that she had it for dinner than night, lunch and then dinner the next day… etc… etc…  I couldn’t do that!  My life can be boring/mundane enough- Freeze for variety!
  7. Frozen can be your friend- So, not only should you freeze your meals- you can use frozen food as a healthy and quick option for dinner.  Frozen vegetables have come a long way, and since they are flash frozen, they have way more nutrients than some of the “fresh” produce.   Steam them for a few minutes and you are done!  Also, I started buying frozen fish.  Not the cheapy kind, but the PC kind in a box with 2 fillets for about $8.  And these are the plain fish fillets- no funny business and marinades on them!  And they are quick!  I get home from work about 4:30-5 and when I get home I put the fish in a cold bath.  Then after 30 minsof dethawing, I drop the fish in the pan, the frozen veg in the pop and with in 9-10 mins an awesome feast!  Quick and tasty- and no time to munch around!

Hopefully this helps and you are inspired to eat healthy no matter how crazy things get!

CLICK THE SPEECH BUBBLE and ANSWER- What do you think is the biggest challenge in eating healthy when things get busy?