Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sweet potato salad dressing

I am in love!!! With a new dressing. See below...

On Sunday night I went to my sisters house for dinner. I was cursing myself for not brining my camera; she had a beautiful spread for building our own salads. Although the nephews weren't too fond of it us adults loved it. In an attempt to recreate it, on a smaller scale, I made my own salad bar spread. The new addition to salad bar you ask? The most amazing vegetable based dressing! Although it may not look that special in photographs I promise you it is amazing! ... and healthy!

Making the dressing
Super easy, super quick in the food processor
salad options
fresh veggies
Sweet potato dressing
                                                 the finished product topped with pumpkin seeds

You can find the recipe here. I made the following changes: all sweet potato, no butternut squash, 1 Tbs of EVOO instead of 3, added 2 extra Tbs of water. 

I would also consider decreasing the amount of balsamic vinaigrette next time I make it, which will be very soon. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What I am reading Wednesday

Why didn't anyone tell me that The Hunger Games is seriously addicting. I am now on book 2 and should finish it today. I am sooooooo looking forward to the movie coming out. Have you watched the trailer yet?

I am still reading the book on emotional eating. This book is very insightful. Although it is told from the author's perspective, she manages to capture alternative viewpoints by telling other people's stories alongside her own. 

One chapter I found interesting and probably very applicable to many was a chapter about when to stop eating. When is enough, enough? Can you be satisfied without stuffing yourself?

When to stop eating: 
1.) You need to ask yourself if you are truly hungry before you start eating.
2.) Pay close attention to what you feel is "enough". The author suggests that you test yourself by changing the amount you eat at each meal over a couple of weeks. Let yourself feel what "full" feels like, what "stuffed" feels like, and what just enough feels like. We don't often take the time to know what these sensations are. The author also suggests that the difference between being hungry and having "enough" can be the difference of a bite or two.

Personally, I think it will take time to learn what enough is. Many of us grew up in homes where we were told "enough" was when we cleaned our plates; or were told enough was when we ate 5 more bites before we could leave the table. We weren't taught to listen to our bodies. I wonder if we slowly forget that our bodies do tell us when enough is enough.

3.)Once you have decided to stop eating push your plate away, have a waiter come and take it, or take it to the kitchen. Don't let your good decision be ruined by unconscious picking at the end of the meal.

These are all helpful little tidbits that everyone should use. The fact of the matter is we all over eat from time to time.

Alright now back to my addicting book....

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Big Green

Yesterday was a dull and dreary day in Ontario. This morning I say WELCOME SNOW! Snow you are pretty, powdery and make for a better backdrop than mud, therefore you can stay. With the turn of the new year and trying to improve my health I have my eyes set on all things green! Earlier this week I visited my favourite health food store in Waterloo to load up on some produce.

The result... BIG GREEN SALADS! yum.

This salad is packed with nutrients and really easy to make.

The big green: 
Cut up any green veggies you want I went for cucumbers, broccoli, and snap peas.
1 bowl of rinsed greens (spinach, mixed greens or both)
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 cup of edamame prepared as per packaging
1 tbs chia seeds (optional)

1 Avocado
1/4 lemon juiced
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 clove of garlic

Add avocado, lemon juice, evoo, and garlic to blender. Blend on medium until it is nice and creamy. In a small bowl mix together quinoa, edamame, chia seeds and dressing. Top your big bowl of green goodness with your quinoa dressing mixture and enjoy!

I also tried to make another dish which photographed nicely but the taste just wasn't what I wanted. I will keep working on it!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What I am reading Wednesday

Although I didn't really make any New Years resolutions, I am hoping to read more this year. For the first time in a long time I have time to read what I want, when I want. Of course, I also have goals for what I am trying to read; I am Jen after all.  To get me going, I wanted to find a quick, fun read; hence the pick below:

I am about halfway through this. It's fast paced, inventive and easy to follow.

The second book I am reading right now is more on the health/nutrition topic. As seen below:

So why did I chose this one? Do I think that I am an emotional eater? Well, I think we all are emotional eaters from time to time. In fact, I am even more convinced of this after reading the first couple of chapters. I also believe that as women, with our monthly hormonal changes, we are more susceptible to emotional eating.

So what are the BIG IDEAS:
1.) Eat when you are hungry. This is easier said than done. Sometimes we forget what it feels like to be hungry. Is our brain telling us we are hungry because we are walking by our favourite bakery or are we actually physically hungry. This chapter describes peoples' fears when it comes to "finding" their hunger. People fear testing and waiting until they get hungry because they fear they will never feel hungry. They also fear they will miss out on some great food, they may get the sensation of feeling empty when hungry, they wont know what physical hunger feels like and may confuse it with emotional hunger. If you are really struggling with this, the author suggests delaying a normal meal time to find what hunger really feels like. You will eventually feel hungry, science promises this.

2.) Distracted eating: 
We live in a fast paced environment these days and often eat while in the car, walking or standing in front of the fridge. Eating like this can cause you to be unsatisfied with your "meal" and cause you to continue to graze afterwards. The author outlines some simple and not so simple guidelines to follow to help your meals be more satisfying.
1.) Eat in full view of spouse, roommate, friends, kids, etc
2.) Eat when you are sitting down
3.) Eat without distractions: tv, reading, computer etc.
4.) When you eat do so in a comfortable environment
5.) Avoid emotional conversations when eating.

That is as far as I have gotten so far, however, I am sure I will finish this book by weeks end. If you feel you have a problem with emotional eating this is a great read.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Farewell Christmas...

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me...



The first Raptors game of the season!

A surprise visit from my sister!



Photography books. Thanks Santa!

... and one tired puppy: