Monday, October 31, 2011

Intuitive eating

I've definitely learned to listen to my body these days, it drives me nuts to hear about crazy diets, magic pills, formulas and packaged low fat foods that are on the market. Finding a balance is different for everybody but for me it starts with what I eat. Intuitive eating; eat when you're hungry, eat what you crave, stop when you're satisfied. But make sure most of the time (scroll to my post on Portland and lunch at Save on Meats if you're sick of this already!) it's clean, whole foods and includes greens galore, healthy fats and protein. Exercise, strength train, sweat, find something you love. My faves are running, crossfit, yoga and snowboarding. That's definitely not for everyone but don't stop searching until you find something that makes you want to get that adrenaline goin and that heart rate up! Portion control, which leads back to intuitive eating and eating just until you feel satisfied. We're not kids anymore, you don't have to finish your plate, save it for later!

Random shots of eating what I crave:

After a hot flow yoga class: Light lunch of toasted Persian flatbread, tomatoes, roasted balsamic asparagus, poached egg w/ truffle salt, Italian olive oil tuna, 6 yr aged cheddar, Nicoise olives. (Not shown, coconut water; hydrate hydrate hydrate, nature's natural source of electrolytes).

After Crossfit: MEAT.

Vegetables, perfectly cooked and loaded with flavor (shown here, brussels sprouts and swiss chard with leeks, garlic, white wine and bacon). When I cook with bacon I use an organic, nitrate free kind.

I try and prep things ahead of time so I can grab something quick or throw together a salad (shown here, steamed broccoli, swiss chard, roasted butternut squash, caramelized onion and garlic hummus)

On a cold wet, rainy Vancouver day:
Comfort food stews like Coq au Vin (Chicken stewed with carrots, onions, celery, red wine, chicken stock, bacon and mushrooms)

When I'm fighting off a cold:
When I'm sick and can't smell or taste food I get super sad, so I'll eat for texture and to fuel and nourish the body: Chili with spinach, fried egg, pickled red onion, avocado, tomato. My cure all sick concoction: Fresh juiced apple and a TON of fresh ginger, mixed with orange juice, 1 packet of orange emergenC, side of coldfx and sleep sleep sleep!

Often, very often: (Who am I kidding, ALWAYS.)
Cookies, chocolate, DESSERT. Life is not worth living for without this. But make it the best cookie, best chocolate, best dessert you can get your hands on, cheap stuff aint worth it!

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Challenge

Most challenging dinner party menu planning everr! 8 friends, all with various food restrictions. Ready for this?

-No Dairy -No Fruit
-No Sugar -No Grains -No Starch -No Shellfish
-No Nuts -No Chicken -No Beef -No Pork

I know. I thought about putting a huge bowl of spinach in the middle and passing out forks but of course that's not me. Truth be told, I love a challenge. Two of our friends were visiting from out of town, our mutual friend had introduced us as, Mary is YOU but in San Francisco! This girl loves food. I've always wanted to cook for her.

So the menu I designed had options for everyone.

-Brined Roasted Free Range Organic Local Chicken
-Local Provencal Style Chicken Sausage
-Roasted BC Sockeye Salmon

-Local Greens, Crispy Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus, Soft Boiled Eggs, Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Vincotto (Balsamic Roasted Asparagus for no pork friend)

-Ratatouille (1/2 with Whole Wheat Panko Bread Crumbs and Feta, 1/2 without)

-Aged Cheddar, Butternut Squash and Kale Bread Pudding

-Truffled Mashed Potatoes

-Double Chocolate Lavender Sea Salt Ice Cream Sandwiches (No sugar, no fruit friends really can't be helped)

My awesome friend Son's helped me tie these. "You have to work fast before they melt, also I like the thicker pieces of rafia, not the scraggly ones!". "Yes Laura!". When a couple of our other friends showed up they were actually talking about ice cream sandwiches, ohh really I said, you like ice cream sandwiches? I'll keep that in mind...

Cheese factor, get ready.
Love, Heart and Soul. I truly believe these have to go into your cooking and I really do think you can taste it. 3am the night before I'm roasting off butternut squash, dicing shallots, sauteing kale and I'm happy. Tired! But happy. Why? Because I know who I'm feeding and I know how appreciative they are.

Ever wonder why the host waits till everyone gets their food? Of course to be polite, but we're also probably not that hungry after tasting and smelling it, while cooking it all day. Another reason is to sit back and watch your guests (hopefully!) enjoy themselves.

Last night? Silence (because food was being shoveled into mouths), the friend who says the bf neverr takes seconds and the friend who described my ice cream sandwich as this exquisite texture of crispy, soft and chewy and the perfect contrast of sweet and salty. I tried really hard not to smile. First time I ever met him, he knew nothing about me and said if it were possible, he would rather take a pill instead of eat real food. Knew I could change that.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend

Calgary for Thanksgiving because really, how could I miss out on Ma's turkey and croissant bacon stuffing? Yea that's right croissants. In my suitcase I brought back farmers market potatoes, tomatoes, grapes, local sausage, fresh shucked corn, cranberries as well Stumptown coffee.
I was in charge of the sides so I did fresh cranberry sauce with aged balsamic, brussels sprouts with bacon and shallots, garlic butter corn and green beans, beet salad with feta, dill and pickled onions and mashed potatoes with truffle salt.
See my mom's cookbook collection in the corner? Whole lot of awesome right there. I've been known to sit myself in that corner pulling books out for inspiration.

I was feeling slightly under the weather when I flew in and my very thoughtful Ma had a pot of homemade chicken soup ready to go. Yup this was my favorite bowl when I was little, look how happy the Campbell's soup girl is!

My brother, sister-in-law and I did the Grotto Canyon hike near Canmore, incredible! We came to the conclusion that what would be the point of a hike unless you have the goal to stop for lunch? We are so Asian. We also like to take A LOT of pictures.

Dessert! Ma made Pumpkin and Lemon Meringue Pie, her pies are serious perfection.