Monthly Archives: January 2012

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Very productive vegetable stock

I’ve been procrastinating this week as you can tell. I haven’t posted anything for a while and I feel like no matter how much I clean my house it always feels messy. Why do we procrastinate? It just feels good I guess, knowing that you can put off whatever it is until tomorrow. Eventually though, you realize this isn’t going anywhere and it comes to the point where you take a good look at yourself and say, “Really? You’ve been on Youtube watching useless crap for the last 3 hours, you don’t have anything more important to do?”The worst part is, you’ve probably waited so long that it’s now crunch time and you can’t help but hate yourself for not doing it right away.

 

That’s why I made vegetable stock today. No matter how lethargic or crummy I’m feeling, cooking my own stock somehow makes me feel so productive. Not to mention, it makes the whole house smell so good….. It’s really quite satisfying when you make basic things like stock, in your own kitchen. It’s almost like slowing down and going back to a time when we had to make things from scratch, because you couldn’t just go and buy it from the store. Sometimes I wish we could slow down other parts of our lives….

 

Just throw in any vegetables you have: carrots, celery, onion, leeks, mushrooms, bell peppers etc.

 

You can also add some other seasonings: parsley, cilantro, bay leaves, rosemary, garlic cloves…etc.

Boil the vegetables in water for a few hours, then strain the broth. I poured mine into several containers and popped them into the freezer for future use.

 

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A Quickie Breakfast

I used to eat breakfast at home in the morning before work, but now that I get up at the crack of dawn I would rather get an extra 20 minutes of sleep, so I eat my breakfast at work. I’m lucky enough that we have a pretty decent lunchroom at my work, equipped with a toaster, microwave and fridge, but toast can get a little boring which is why I like to change it up once in a while.

This morning I had the ultimate quickie breakfast.

Chocolate Almond milk and 1 packet of instant quaker oats. Instant oatmeal is great but I don’t really like the artificially flavoured ones and it tastes quite bland all on its own, so what I like to do is pour some chocolate almond milk over the oats and pop them in the microwave for 45 seconds.

It’s not too sweet  and overwhelming with chocolate which I love and the warmth of the oats in my belly are so comforting and filling. This is a great start to any day and so easy and quick to make!

Now you have no excuse not to eat breakfast in the morning! another great thing about this is, you don’t have to worry about it getting all mushy and cold because the longer it sits the better it tastes, I often end up eating it between calls.

Spicy Shrimp and Asparagus over Rice

had this Spicy Red Thai Curry Paste in my pantry for a while now and I thought it was about time that I used it. I was in the mood for something with a bit of heat.

Ingredients: 1 bunch of asparagus (chopped), 1 green pepper (sliced), 1/2 large onion (sliced), 1 tsp chopped ginger, 3 cloves of garlic (chopped), 1/2 cup vegetable stock, 1/4 cup red curry paste, 2 cups of shrimp, splash of soya sauce.

PRINTABLE RECIPE BELOW:

http://www.box.com/embed/4gxe0ak8e3oak4k.swf

 

Lentils – A New Year’s Day Lunch

It’s been a slow day so far, as I’m still recovering from last night’s festivities, but I wanted to cook something somewhat superstitious as well as something gentle on my tummy.

Lentils are great for days like today when you feel like you’re on the verge of falling asleep every time you sit down, and as I was sauteing the onions I noticed the smell was quite comforting. Something about the smell of onions sizzling away that reminds me of those hearty meals my mom used to cook up on cold days.

What’s so superstitious about lentils? Well, they are often eaten at this time of year because they resemble little coins which symbolize prosperity and wealth for the new year. This stew would be great for eating on the 31st as well because the lentils help soak up any alcohol you may be drinking later on that evening, and if you make it on the 1st than you can use up any left-over wine you might have kicking around from the party.

You will need: 1 medium carrot (diced), 2 celery sticks (diced), half of a large onion (diced), 4 cloves of garlic (minced), 2 cups of pureed tomato, 1 tsp of paprika, 1 tsp of red pepper flakes, 1/2 cup of red wine, 1 1/2 cups of vegetable broth, 2 cups of green lentils, salt & pepper to taste.

Start by sauteing the celery, onion, and carrot  on medium-high heat until softened, then add the garlic and continue sauteing for 1 minute. Add the paprika, red pepper flakes, black pepper, and salt.

Add the lentils and continue stirring for 1 minute.

Pour in the red wine, tomato puree, and vegetable broth, and cover. Simmer on low heat for 45 minutes until the lentils are tender and the sauce has thickened, add more salt & pepper if needed (this stew tastes best with lots of black pepper).

Check on the lentils every once in a while, you may need to add more liquid.

I added some baby spinach for a bit of color, you could also add some chopped parsley. Serve alongside some crusty bread and top with a bit of grated Parmesan cheese.

PRINTABLE RECIPE BELOW:

http://www.box.com/embed/0erlr7lhfm377fj.swf

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!