Month In Review: March 2015

March is one of my favourite and least favourite months. I love it because it means dreadful February is finally over, but I hate it because it can be such a tease. I just want the warmer weather to come for good! But even though the weather was disappointing, I still had a great month on and off the blog. Let’s catch up:

Month In Review - March 2015

// Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen Recipes

I think I got prematurely excited for spring when I posted this broccoli and radicchio salad with apple cider vinaigrette. March was definitely more of a stew and casserole month than a salad month. I’ll definitely be breaking it out when the warmer weather arrives though!

Broccoli and radicchio salad with apple cider vinaigrette

I make the same ol’ plain hummus several times a year, so I decided to switch it up with this miso edamame dip I posted this month. It’s a keeper!

Miso Edamame Dip

St. Patrick’s Day means green foods galore across the Blogosphere. My contribution was this matcha chia pudding with sweet dukkah. You probably wouldn’t want to bust this out at a party or anything (you’d definitely earn a label as the weirdo), but it’s a great anytime snack, St. Patrick’s Day or not!

Matcha chia pudding with nutty sesame crumble

If you’ve been looking for a way to jazz up your tacos and falafels (or alternatively if you’ve been wanting to find a way to scare off your enemies with garlic breath), this garlic yogurt sauce is it!

Garlic yogurt sauce

// Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen Blog Posts

This year’s Nutrition Month theme for March was eating well at work, so I wrote this post about packing a healthy lunch. It has some great tips and ideas to make packing a lunch less tedious!

After reading the book Salt, Sugar, Fat, I shared my reflections on it in this post. If you’ve read the book (or even if you haven’t), I’d love to hear your opinions on the subject of the food industry and nutrition.

To celebrate Dietitians Day on March 18, I shared this post busting the common misconceptions about dietitians. We’re not as old school as you might think!

Perhaps a controversial post, but one that I have had swirling around in my head for a while: Have food blogs lost their passion?

// Blogging

Blogging moved to the back burner a bit this month, so I didn’t have a chance to do as much behind the scenes work on it. I did spend quite a bit of time practicing photography though. You may have noticed this month was full of darker, moodier images (or at least my amateur attempts to create them). These pictures were inspired by some fantastic photography tutorials I read this month: shooting moody images, creating dark backgrounds, how to use backlighting.

// Off the Blog

The biggest thing to happen off the blog this month though was starting my new job and moving to Waterloo! Hello adulthood. Good bye lazy mornings, free time, and sleep. Just kidding, I’m kind of obsessed with my job and wouldn’t trade it for anything!

March was also the month of eating out. Some of my meals were flops, but I did enjoy a few good dishes as well as some fantastic company! At the beginning of the month I met up with some of the girls I did my dietetic internship with at Paradiso for their restaurant week tasting menu (the roasted vegetable spanikopita entrée was delicious!).  I also went to Eatalia with one of my oldest friends for some much needed catching up and girl talk – and wine. My entree (bacon wrapped quail over lentils) was nothing to write home about, but this salad with oven roasted heirloom tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella was great – although entirely out of season.

Eatalia - Tomato Mozzarella Salad

Then after I moved, I wasted no time checking out the restaurant scene in my new city. After a long afternoon of moving we were too tired to grocery shop, so we went to Watami for some decent sushi. And this past weekend we went to Proof Kitchen and Lounge to celebrate my first week at the new job. My antioxidant salad to start was good, but the real highlight was this shrimp pappardelle! The dulce de leche cheesecake was good too, although it was a bit too tart.

Proof Kitchen Waterloo - Pappardelle

// Favourite Links

These waffles were divine!
Love this list! #1 may be my new favourite movie of all time.
Cookies for breakfast!
I’m kind of obsessed with my new Pinterest board.
This guide to baking with white sugar alternatives.
FIGS!

What were the highlights of your month? 

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Have food blogs lost their passion?

The other day when I had a spare hour, I sat down to read the March issue of Bon Appetit that I’ve had sitting around for days. As I flipped through the pages I found so many recipes I was excited to make, like pork ragù over polenta and raspberry ricotta cheesecake. I wanted to try everything! But then I remembered the long list of recipes I want to make for my blog, and I started stressing out about being able to fit everything in, especially now that I’m working full time.

But you know what? This is my food blog. My food blog that I started because of my passion for cooking. And yet, I feel like I’ve neglected a significant part of that on this space. I didn’t write about the fantastic braised short ribs I had at The Combine a few weeks ago or the meatballs I made from Polpo that had my whole family and JZ raving. I didn’t talk about the disappointing banana bread I made last weekend (moral of the story: don’t trust a banana bread recipe without oil or butter) or my first time making polenta.

Instead I’ve been focusing on creating recipes and talking about nutrition. Both of which I love – don’t get me wrong. But I just feel like this blog isn’t a true reflection of my interests in the kitchen. I think I got a bit sucked into the food blog mentality of focusing on content, content, content. And cooking for sake of content rather than just for the love of cooking.

I’m not pointing fingers here, but I get this feeling from a lot of food blogs. I’m not saying food bloggers don’t love cooking – but I think that passion can often get lost when their focus turns to page views and profit. Cooking becomes a detached, systematic process rather than an enjoyable one. Decisions about what to cook become dictated by what holidays are approaching and current food trends rather than cravings. Posts become all about SEO and good photography rather than the food.

I get it though. Seeing improvements in blog traffic and making earnings off something that started as a hobby is exciting! But I think it’s all too easy to get lost in the business side of blogs and forget the reason we started them to begin with. Reasons like passion, nostalgia, a desire to share, storytelling. These are all the things that make a food blog so interesting to read.

So let’s try to remember those reasons and put the passion back in food blogging.

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Garlic Yogurt Sauce

My history with yogurt has been extensive. It started in my childhood when I remember having those single serving Astro fruit-on-the-bottom yogurts in my packed lunches everyday. Truth be told I didn’t love them because they were always slightly warm by the time I ate them. I can only really blame myself though because I packed my own lunch starting at age 7 – I guess the thought of an ice pack never occurred to me.

Garlic yogurt sauce

I don’t remember eating much yogurt in my teen years until I hit university, when I jumped on that fat-free, artificially sweetened yogurt trend. I used to be obsessed with Yoplait Source lemon meringue dessert yogurt until I realized how artificial it was. But that was about the time that Greek yogurt started making its way into the market, and after trying it for the first time I became hooked!I used to buy 0% vanilla, but for the past few years I’ve been loving the plain 2% kind.

Garlic yogurt sauce

I just love its creamy texture and slightly tart flavour! Also, it’s versatility. For breakfast I’ll have it with a sliced banana, whole grain flakey cereal, and a bit of homemade granola – maybe with a teaspoon of honey if I need some more sweetness. I also love using it as a sour cream replacement for tacos and fajitas, or as a topper for pureed soups like butternut squash.

Or this garlic yogurt sauce. It’s so simple, but adds the most amazing flavour and creaminess to a dish! It’s fantastic with Greek flavours (like with pork souvlaki or as a dip for pitas) and Mexican too. I will also fully admit to just eating this by the spoonful, although I wouldn’t recommend it unless you are planning on brushing your teeth right after – talk about garlic breath!

Garlic yogurt sauce

Garlic Yogurt Sauce
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Yield: Scant 1 cup
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup plain 2% Greek yogurt
  • 1 large clove minced garlic*
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp low fat milk
  • Scant ¼ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp pepper or more to taste
Instructions
  1. Combine Greek yogurt, minced garlic, olive oil, milk, salt, and pepper in a blender. Add more milk 1 tbsp at a time to thin if necessary.
Notes
*If your garlic clove is small, you may need to use 2. Add first one and taste, then add second if necessary.

Did you grow up eating yogurt? What’s your favourite kind right now?

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