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A Reminder for the Holidays

With the holidays just around the corner, I wanted to throw back to an old post to remind you to ignore all those fun-sucking messages in the media about “surviving” holiday food. Let’s focus on what the holidays are really about.

Read my old post here: Don’t just “survive” the holidays – enjoy them!

Nana's shortbread cookies

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2016 in Review

Happy 2017!

I’m not ready for one of those motivational, here’s-some-advice-from-an-RD-on-achieving-your-New-Years-resolutions type posts because honestly? I spent my first day of the New Year hungover on the couch without even a thought about goals for 2017 crossing my mind. Instead I watched 9 hours of movies with my family and ate Swiss Chalet.

Maybe I’ll get onto some health talk in another post, but today I’m going to keep it simple and take a look back at the last year:

Top 3 Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen Posts of 2016

mango-coconut-energy-balls-4

  1. Mediterranean Halloumi Toast
  2. Tropical Mango Coconut Energy Balls
  3. Tempeh Quinoa Power Bowl

3 Favourite Food and Nutrition Trends of 2016

avocado-egg-toast

  1. Avocado toast – I don’t care who says they’re sick of this trend, I will never get tired of the combination of perfectly ripe avocado with a thick slab of crusty bread and a dusting of salt. And I usually top it with an egg for some staying power too.
  2. Smoothie bowls – I never liked smoothies until I learned you can eat them out of a bowl with toppings!
  3. Beans – with 2016 being the Year of the Pulses, it was awesome to see beans step into the limelight. This year I especially loved roasted chickpeas, beans in enchiladas, and homemade hummus.

3 Least Favourite Food and Nutrition Trends of 2016

  1. Turmeric – with the evidence being shaky on the nutrition benefits of turmeric, I haven’t jumped on board with adding it to everything from oatmeal to lattes. I’ll stick to just using it for its flavour in cooking.
  2. Cashews – purely because of my allergies to nuts, otherwise I’m sure I’d love this trend!
  3. Allergy testing – it’s so trendy to get tested for allergies these days, but some of the tests used actually aren’t accurate! Read my post about allergy testing if you want to learn more.

Top 3 Restaurant Meals of 2016

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  1. Duck bolognese pasta at Lafayette in NYC
  2. Mushroom pizza at 7 Enoteca in Oakville
  3. Avocado toast from St. James Espresso Bar & Eatery in Hamilton

Top 3 Life Highlights of 2016

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  1. My first trip to NYC
  2. My sister moving back from England
  3. Cooking so many great meals with friends

And that’s wrap on 2016. Here’s to a happy, healthy, and delicious 2017!

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5 Reasons You Should Cook With Friends

It kind of feels strange to not be posting a recipe for once… but inspiration hit me, so I’m running with it. But it’s still about cooking because I’m not really much of an expert on anything else. Except for salamanders… let’s just say I was a dorky child.

Anyways today I want to chat about cooking with friends. A few years ago my default for hanging out with friends was to go out for a meal. But that gets expensive real fast. Also, sushi stops being healthy when you start going out for all-you-can-eat three times a week. True story.

So then I started to cook with friends at home instead. And while we sometimes had flops (one particular porridgey amaranth pilaf comes to mind), those times are now some of my most cherished memories.

So if you tend to be more of a solo cook like I used to be, take a peak at these 5 reasons you should cook with friends too:

In a cooking rut? Check out my 5 reasons you should cook with friends!

1. Cooking is more fun with another person

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying cooking alone can’t be a good time. But while cooking alone is more relaxing, cooking with a friend can be fun! Break out your favourite bottle of wine, crank up those tunes, and bust out your best Spice Girls impression while singing into a spoon. It’s a lot less weird when you’re doing it with someone.

Enchiladas

Chicken and bean enchiladas made with Andrea from Dietetic Directions

2. Cooking with friends can save money

Have you ever spent $3 on a bunch of herbs only to to fish it out of your vegetable bin 2 weeks later and throw it in the trash? Or bought a special kind of vinegar for one single recipe and never used it again? Cooking with friends means you can divvy up the ingredients and split the cost of them.

Also, cooking in is usually much cheaper than eating out, especially when you factor in point #5!

3. It can make you a better cook

It can be hard to find the motivation to spend a lot of time preparing meals when you’re just cooking for yourself and/or your family. Cooking sessions with friends are a great time to bust out a more complicated dish that you’ve maybe been intimidated by, like pasta from scratch. In this way, cooking sessions with friends can definitely help you become a better cook over time!

Tofu sofritas

Tofu sofritas bowls made with two of my other dietitian friends

4. It splits up the work

Who here hates prep work like chopping vegetables for a recipe? *raises hand* Cooking with a friend means you can split that tedious part of cooking so that you can get to the good stuff (ie. eating) faster!

5. You can make enough food for leftovers

Since there’s two (or more) of you cooking, it’s way easier to make meals in bulk so that you can each go home with some ready made lunches or dinners for the week. Double or triple the recipe, and make sure everyone brings their own containers to take some of the meal home!

Freekeh pancake with egg

Freekeh pancakes with Swiss chard and crispy eggs made with Andrea again!

Convinced to start cooking with friends? Check out my past post about 5 tips for starting a supper club with friends!

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