I think I inherited my love of curry from my Dad, who enjoys cooking and shares the cooking duties with my mom. As far back as I can remember, we had some form of curry and chicken at least every week, sometimes twice a week. I’m not sure where my Dad got his love of curry from, his parents were both born in Holland and ate meat and potatoes at almost every meal.
I’ve been cooking with chicken thighs these days – I like that they’re moister and cheaper than chicken breasts. I usually use a kitchen scissors to cut them up in bite sized pieces. They work well for this recipes, and a pack of eight makes enough for our family of 5, plus leftovers for lunch the day after.
Thankfully, it seems as if my kids have also inherited my love of curry! It’s one of those meals that all of them will eat without any complaints, in fact they almost always ask for seconds. I usually serve this meal with brown rice or cooked quinoa and a healthy helping of fresh chopped veggies on the side.
Chilis are easy to put together. Throw a few ingredients in a big pot, let simmer for a while and you’ll fill the house with the aroma of comfort food. Plus, if you double the recipe, you’ll have plenty for company, or to freeze for a meal for next week. You probably already have all the ingredients in this chili on hand.
The best thing about chili is that you can add more veggies if your kids will let you, or you can puree veggies and add them, or even puree the kidney beans if your kids don’t care for them! That way your kids will still get their fibre along with their protein, and lots of vitamins as well. Win – win! This mild chili will hit the spot in these last few weeks (or months!) of winter.
My kids like to top chili with grated cheese and scoop it up with tortilla chips, but I prefer it just the way it is. Hearty, meaty, filling, and warming. You can serve with a side of salad, or chopped up raw vegetables to really fill up your family with a healthy meal.
I’ve stopped eating anything with gluten in it 99% of the time since last Christmas, and have never felt better. But quitting my love affair with baked goods and cereals makes breakfast a little more challenging (goodbye bagels and strudels!). Usually I’ll have eggs and bacon with avocado on top, but on days when I need to be out the door quickly, this easy recipe featuring chia seeds is definitely a win.
Chia seeds have been labeled a “superfood”, so I thought I’d do a little research into why these little guys earned that title. It turns out that there are numerous health benefits in chia seeds! They contain calcium, manganese and phosphorus, and are high in healthy omega-3 fats. They’re also high in fibre and protein, and help stabilize your blood sugars, regulate your appetite, and make you feel full longer.
This easy recipe is prepared the night before for a simple breakfast in the morning, or for a snack anytime of the day. It’s gluten and dairy free, so perfect if you have celiac’s disease, are avoiding gluten, or have a dairy/milk allergy. It’s also a great alternative to store bought puddings and could be served as a dessert, it’s so delicious!
Ginger is one of my favourite spices. Usually I like to pair it with cinnamon to make sweet treats, but it’s also really great in savoury dishes too. This recipe combines chicken and ginger for an Asian inspired dish that is perfect for a quick-to-prepare weeknight dinner.
Besides tasting amazing, ginger also has many health benefits. Ginger has anti-nausea qualities, aids in digestion, is an anti-inflamatorant, and boosts your immune system. Pretty amazing what a little spice will do!
You can serve this chicken over rice, on it’s own with steamed vegetables, or with quinoa. It also tastes great cold and cut up on your salad the next day!
I’ve been attempting to cut out dairy for a while now, or at least reduce it in my diet. It seems to cause my face to break out (or at least drinking milk did, which is a bit scary if you think about the hormones that must be in there). I’ve embraced coconut milk for a lot of my cooking, and have tried to get into almond milk, but the taste from a tetra pack always seemed a little off to me. Not sure why, but I haven’t jumped completely on the almond milk wagon, even though I know it’s so good for you.
Over the last little while I’ve heard of a lot of people making their own almond milk. Sounded a bit scary to me… what if my blender wasn’t good enough? I’d probably end up with a watery chunky mess on my hand. I kept hearing that it was easy, but didn’t quite believe it.
Well, guess what. It IS easy. And tastes amazing, and so fresh. I think I’m in love! So creamy, yet light. I could go on, and on. Bottom line: go and make this yourself! You will thank me :)
I’m especially looking forward to trying this with iced coffee… but can think of many different uses for it! I’ve added honey to this recipe, but feel free to omit it. I find the honey adds just a touch of sweetness, while still keeping it light and smooth.
Soak Almonds in a bowl of water to cover for 4-8 hours. Drain and discard water, rinse almonds.
Place almonds in blender with water, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt, and honey. Blend on high for about 1 minute, until creamy and frothy.
Pour through a jelly bag, strainer, panty hose, or cheese cloth into a bowl. It helps to squeeze the nut mixture to get all the creamy milk out. Discard almond meal, or save for pancakes, muffins, or other recipes that require almond meal.
Growing up in the country on an acreage meant growing up with lots of animals around. We always had a dog and a cat, pigeons (yes, I am one of the only people I know that don’t find pigeons disgusting…), bunnies, the odd abandoned baby bird that we found and nurtured, and of course, chickens. Having chicken meant lots of farm fresh eggs, which meant that we ate eggs a lot. Eggs for breakfast, eggs for dinner, and sometimes eggs for lunch (my mom makes the best egg salad!) Luckily I never got sick of them (unlike cinnamon spread which I still won’t eat).
One of my earliest memories of having chickens involves an ordinary white chicken named Flory. Flory was the sweetest chicken, she would follow me and my sister around like a dog, and didn’t mind us petting her or picking her up. To us, this was great! Another pet that didn’t mind us mothering it! The greatest thing about Flory was how she came to live with us. My dad was headed to the dump one day, and on the side of a highway, quite alone, was Flory. He took her home and we always said that my dad rescued her from a night with the coyotes, sure that she would have never made it until morning. Ever after I have loved chickens, and now own eight beautiful brown chickens who provide us with eggs for my kids to gather every morning. Thankfully all my kids like to eat the eggs too!
Sometimes it’s fun to make something other than the standard scrambled eggs that we like around here, and these baked eggs are just the thing. They would make a great addition to brunch, or even a delicious dinner! Feel free to add any vegetables you’d like; an easy way to use up produce in your fridge. Eggs, especially free range, are a great source of protein, minerals, vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Line 2 small baking dishes or remekins with ham slices.
Saute spinach in a pan on your stove with the coconut oil, just 5 minutes or until slightly wilted. Divide spinach and spread on top of ham. Crack eggs on top of spinach and sprinkle with thyme, salt, and pepper.
Bake for 15 mins, until whites are set, and yolks are partially set.
Sometimes for the sake of tradition and heritage, we have to eat things that aren’t all that healthy. Okay, maybe we don’t have to, but I would have a hard time giving up the Dutch treat “Boter koek” (pronounced “Bow-ter-kook”). Unfortunately, translating it into the English language makes it “Butter Biscuit”, or “Butter Cake”, which sounds really bad for you. And guess what, there is quite a lot of butter… and sugar… and some other things that aren’t healthy for you. But the taste of almond, the chew-i-ness, the way it pairs so perfectly with a cup of coffee, it’s hard for anyone with a Dutch background to pass over when handed a plate of baking.
So, maybe for a treat once in a while, it’s okay? We’ll leave it at that. :) I’ll share my favourite simple recipe so you can enjoy this treat too!
+++ RECIPE +++
(Makes enough for 2 – 8″ pie plates)
1 1/3 cups of butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs, beaten, 2 Tbsp reserved
4 tsp. pure almond extract
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 325 F.
Cream butter and sugar and beaten eggs, reserving 2 Tbsp of the beaten eggs.Mix in the remaining ingredients.
Pat in 2 greased 8″ round pie plates. Brush tops with remaining eggs.
Bake at 325 F for about 45 minutes, or until tops are nicely browned. Cool, and cut into wedges.
I’m starting a series called “In the Head of a Food Photographer”. I’ll be writing posts periodically about why I do the things I do when shooting, sharing bits and pieces of what’s in my head when creating and styling a shoot.
One of the best things about food is the way it can bring people together. Sharing a plate and a glass of wine at your favourite restaurant. Chatting with an old friend over coffee. Charcuterie at a small intimate gathering. Saturday morning breakfast with the family. Food has a powerful way of opening senses, helping to build relationships, and making people content and happy.
In my photos there is almost always room for two or more to come and dig into the food I’m featuring, to share an hour of time together and build their relationship with food as a catalyst. I either have more than one plate or bowl, or often more than one spoon or fork. It’s an invitation for you, the viewer, to grab your spouse, your friend, your entire family, and come and celebrate your relationship while eating and drinking the amazing food in front of you.
Because I have a sweet tooth, I find one of the best ways to share food is with dessert. This recipe I’m sharing today is just two ingredients… you can hardly call it a recipe, but it dresses up yogurt to be a fancier dessert, and kids and adults both love this light and not-too-bad-for-you dessert. You can serve it at a party ready-made in little glass bowls, or as a quick after dinner dessert when your kids keep asking you “What’s for dessert?” again.
+++ RECIPE +++
Vanilla Yogurt with Apricot Topping
1 Container of Greek Vanilla Yogurt
1 Jar of Apricot Jam
Spoon a few scoops of the yogurt into little bowls or jars. Top with a little apricot jam and serve. This can be made ahead and refrigerated for a gathering.