Better With Sprinkles

The Colourful Side to Healthy Living.


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Why I Love Nigella.

Good morning! I hope your week has been treating you well. And if it hasn’t…well…at least it’s almost Friday?

I don’t have cable, so I don’t get the chance to watch a lot of TV/hear about a lot of new shows. But checking out Katie’s blog last week, she mentioned a new show I hadn’t heard about – The Taste.

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When I heard that Anthony Bourdain was on it, I knew I had to check it out – he is one of my favourite people ever. But as I watched the premiere, I found my attention and thoughts continuously going back to the lone female and the judge representing the home cook – Nigella Lawson.

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Back when I had access to the Food Network, I used to watch her show whenever I got the chance. And now, I’ve remembered why I’ve always had a slight girl-crush on her.

Her attitude and her relationship with food is one of the most admirable things I’ve ever seen. Watching her describe food serves as one of the biggest reminders ever that food is meant to be enjoyed. Everything she makes looks homey and comforting, and you can tell that she truly enjoys everything that she puts together.

Really, it reminded me that we tend to overthink our food. We tend to be so concerned over calories, over macros, over the guilt that we feel for eating something that we ‘shouldn’t’ that we completely lose the joy that dining is supposed to bring.

Tell me, what’s more enjoyable – eating a delicious homemade chocolate cake, savouring every bite, or eating that same cake while you’re wondering what the calorie content is, or how much extra time you’ll need at the gym the next day to burn it off? Somehow, I think it’s an easy answer.

Yes, once in a while, we’re forced to grab something out of the fridge and eat it in the car because we’re running late, but whenever I see Nigella describe her cooking or describe the flavours in the dish she’s eating, it reminds me that I need to make sure as many meals as possible are enjoyed to the fullest. Yes, food is necessary for survival, but I also think that GOOD food is necessary for sanity and for happiness.

And really – look at that woman. If that isn’t an argument that eating butter, red meat and chocolate can be good for you, I don’t know what is. Woman is 53! While she’s obviously very blessed, genetically, she’s also a fabulous example of why you don’t need to be a size two or have flat abs. Yes, she is absolutely beautiful, but she also comes across as a very warm, comforting, intimate human being.

So basically, what I’m saying here – food is meant to bring you health and energy, but it is also meant to bring you comfort, warmth and happiness. It is meant to draw people together and is a huge part of bonding experiences. So remember that next time you sit down to a meal – make sure it’s something you enjoy, and if you can, take the time to savour it. If it brought you happiness, never, ever regret it.

Hopefully, my dinner last night would have made Nigella proud:

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Salmon with a cilantro-dill sauce, brown rice, and steamed broccoli. All flavours that I loved and made sure to savour.

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I’m sure she would have been cool with the chocolate that followed, too. Smile with tongue out

Have a good day!

<— Is there anyone whose relationship with food you particularly admire? someone you know or a famous chef/food personality?

<— Do you ‘eat on the run’ a lot? It happens once in a while, but I do my best to avoid it.

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WIAW: Saturday Snacking.

And, just like that, we’re halfway through the week.

I ended up with a surprise class cancellation yesterday (my prof was sick – there’s one hell of a nasty virus going around campus right now. I’ve been using hand sanitizer like it’s my job) and I don’t have any of my classes on Mondays so…this is definitely one hell of a short week for me. Definitely no complaints here!

But, because it’s Wednesday:

That means it’s WIAW time. Thanks to Jenn for her fabulous hosting duties!

I feel like I usually end up showing you eats from the day before, or from a special occasion that I had during the week. So for a change, I’m going to show you last Saturday’s eats. I don’t think my meals change up too much on weekends, but I’m more likely to to take a snacking-throughout-the-afternoon approach than I am during the week.

So, here we go:

Breakfast:

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Once in a while I’ll take the time to make myself a fancy breakfast on the weekend, but most of the time…oatmeal. Oats made with egg whites, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, vanilla stevia and cinnamon, topped with peanut butter (deliciously crunchy), blueberry jam and an egg. Never fails me.

Market Nibbles

The bakery at the market I go to always has samples – BIG ones. You know how most places hand out little nibbles of cheese or about 1/8 of a slice of quick bread for a sample? This bakery gives out cookies by the half. Seriously awesome – I take advantage often (and I have yet to be disappointed with anything I’ve sampled or bought).

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Or, in the case of tarts – 1/4 of a tart. Coconut-raspberry was the choice on Saturday – delicious.

Lunch

After I got home and got all my groceries away, it was lunchtime.

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A chicken burger with buffalo sauce and guacamole with a side salad.

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I’m pretty sure I could eat guacamole everyday. It is amazing.

Baking

In the afternoon, I put together a batch of Jamie Eason’s pumpkin protein bars (as I mentioned on Monday’s post).

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I hadn’t made them before, but they’re not bad. They’re not really sweet (I didn’t really except them to be though), so I prefer them with peanut butter or something on top (more specifically, chocolate peanut butter).

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I would make them again, but I would throw chocolate chips or something in the batter. Because really, chocolate improves everything.

So throughout the afternoon I nibbled a bit on the bars – you know how when you cut bars or squares, you get one side that’s a little jagged? Whenever I notice that, it needs to be corrected immediately. Cut off and eaten Smile with tongue out

Dinner

Eric was at a conference all day and neither of us felt like cooking when he got home, so we took a walk down to Subway.

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My go-to sub: chicken breast and swiss cheese with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, green pepper, pickles, black olives, and banana peppers with honey mustard. Basically, every veggie except for onions and green olives. Delicious.

We ate there, but I opened a Zevia upon returning.

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Ginger Root Beer = Favourite.

Nighttime Snack

I hadn’t really eaten a lot in the afternoon, so my appetite caught up with me later.

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Greek yogurt, a deep chocolate vitatop, and chocolate peanut butter. I went back for at least another two giant spoonfuls of chocolate peanut butter…I’m slightly depressed that I’m almost out (but looking forward to the inevitable oats in a jar).

So – there’s my eats for a Saturday. Now, I hope your Wednesday is fabulous!

<— Do your eating habits tend to change on weekends?

<— What’s your go-to at Subway?


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Thai Sweet Potato and Shrimp Soup.

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So…I’m a little obsessed with the dinner I made Friday night.

As in, calling-dibs-on-all-the-leftovers-and-eating-it-everyday-since obsessed.

I saw a soup recipe in The LooneySpoons Collection that combined sweet potatoes, coconut milk and shrimp. I thought was an unusual combination, but I was instantly intrigued. So I made my own version.

Enjoy!

Thai Sweet Potato and Shrimp Soup

(inspired by ‘Thai One On’ by  Janet and Greta Podleski. Serves 4-6)

Ingredients:

  • one onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon each ground cumin, curry powder and cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (reduce if you’re not a fan)
  • 2 cups unsalted or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 can (348 mL) light coconut milk (of course, if you want super-creamy, use full-fat)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (I used chunky natural for the texture, but smooth is fine too. Non-peanut eaters, almond butter or sunflower seed butter would work)
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 lb shrimp, cooked and detailed

Directions

1. Heat olive oil in large soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, pepper and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened – about 5 minutes.

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2. Add sweet potatoes, ginger, cumin, curry powder, cinnamon and cilantro. Stir to combine.

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3. Add chicken broth, coconut milk, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer over low heat until sweet potatoes are tender, 10-15 minutes.
4. Either by using an immersion blender or transferring to a blender, puree soup (or, if you’re me, puree in small batches in a Magic Bullet). Return soup to pot.

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5. Stir in peanut butter, basil and lime juice. Add shrimp.

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Again – this is so freakin’ delicious.

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I’m a fan of added heat, so I ‘ve been adding a few drops of chipotle hot sauce to mine.

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And it’s been the best decision ever.

There’s one serving left in the fridge (and this is one of those recipes that only improves as leftovers, btw) so I think I know what I’m going to be having for lunch today. Open-mouthed smile

<— Are you a fan of Thai food? I love it – you cannot beat a good Pad Thai.

<— Have you been making a lot of soups this season? My staple salads in the spring and summer become soups and chilis in the fall and winter – absolutely necessary and comforting.