It’s been almost a week since my last post!!!! I can’t believe it. This is not something I want to happen. To be fair, it has been a pretty busy and slightly stressful few days. The most frustrating thing has been that I have wanted to write, here. My blog is becoming my safe haven. A place of comfort and solace, where I can just be me, my truth, and I feel really safe. It’s pretty strange how this has happened- considering anyone in the world can read all my inner thoughts and feelings. I wanted so badly to turn here yesterday, as I was nose deep in text books and course notes on pathology. Unfortunately, my test wasn’t on “how Chloe has been feeling lately”. Not this time at least.
Food is becoming more and more prevalent in my life. I find I am spending more time at home (and in the grocery store) and way less time eating out. It’s such a liberating feeling when you have the option of going out to eat, and you decide to stay home and create in your kitchen- because you feel confident that you are happy to attempt on making it just as good (and sometimes- even better!) A lot of recipes are starting to become regulars, and I suppose this is something that happens when you cook at home all the time. Recently, my favorites and regulars are chili, curry and lentil pilaf.
Eggs! On the subject of eggs- there is a lot of talk. It seems that everyone has a pretty particular opinion on eggs. You have the naysayers, the vegans, the raw foodies, the vegetarians, the carnivores, the eggs-every-day individuals, the cholesterol fighters, the allergists. This list could really go on forever. Eggs are a touchy topic. I think one thing about eggs- that make them so vulnerable to scrutiny and discussion is that they are so changeable. There are so many ways to prepare eggs: scrambled, poached (soft, hard, very soft, medium), fried, sunny-side-up, raw (for the gym junkies and the traditional sukiyaki enthusiasts), hard-boiled, omelette, frittata, Spanish, Mexican, deviled- I am SURE that this list could go on, but I am working off the top of my head and am without internet currently, so my intelligence and memory are going to have to do.
Not only can you do so many things with them, but people (when I say people, I am also lightly referring to myself in some cases) can get pretty emotionally reactive if their eggs are not prepared in the way that they desire them to be. It’s a bit of a stressful situation, having people over for breakfast (or eggs in particular really) because you’ll probably need a few pans, a few stove tops and a good memory to remember what everyone wants. This is true, too, in restaurants. Every time I get poached eggs (Eggs Benedict) out, and forget to ask for them to be soft/runny, I immediately cringe as I picture the chef in the kitchen poaching them till the yolks are cooked! The only other time I’ve witnessed this type of stress with cooking for groups of people is with potatoes at thanksgiving or Christmas. It’s a similar situation. Everyone seems to have their “favorite” types of potatoes that their family have every year. This brings flash backs of an episode of Friends, where Monica tirelessly freaks herself out as she tries to re-create everyone’s idea of a perfect family thanksgiving (or was it Christmas?!).
All preferences aside- eggs are a wonderful way to start your day (or in this case, end your day). Eggs have gotten a bed rep in the past. The most alarming claim which really stands out in the media is that eggs are a culprit in heart disease and are believed to cause coronary heart disease. This is simply not true. I wrote a previous post on the subject of cholesterol and breaking down the different types of cholesterol in your body and from external sources- so please refer back to that if you would like more information on cholesterol OR even more, do you own research! The best way to become well informed and confident in what you know is to go out and find out on your own, do you own work, find your own answers! Be resourceful:) Eggs have an abundance of vitamins, minerals and nutritional value. When prepared in the right way (i.e., not cooked at high temperatures, not cooked with bad fats like margarine, over-processed vegetable oils) eggs are a great way to obtain a large nutrient profile from a meal. Most especially eggs are a great source of vitamins A and D as well as the special long-chain fatty acids called EPA and DHA (these guys are important for many things in our bodies most especially development of the nervous system & anti-inflammatory properties and unfortunately, modern day diets are really lacking in these fats).
The other underlying issue of eggs is where is the best place to buy them? What are the best types of eggs to buy? Large, medium, brown, white, omega 3’s, organic, free-range, vegetarian diet, grass-fed. This all relates to something that Sherry Strong refers to as “nutritional confusion”, one of the fundamental focuses of her instructional, nutritional education and cooking course. There is such a plethora of information out there in regards to food, what to eat, what not to eat and diets – that it’s really quite ridiculous and difficult to truly know what is good for you and what you should eat. The key to finding your way in this confusion is to go back to the basics. Back to your ancestors traditions. Get away from all this marketing and advertising that is constantly changing what we want and what we think. We are so controlled by these industries, that we are guinea pigs in their experiment of how cheap they can make their products and what outlandish materials they can get us to eat (Exhibit A: McDonald’s ‘Real Fruit smoothies’, I dare you to research what is in them and what is so ‘real’ about them).
From what I have learnt and found out through speaking with vendors, most especially at the farmers markets- is that your best bet is to know your farmer, and find out what it is that they are feeding their chickens and how they are raised. If you know your farmer, you can be that much more confident in your trust of your products integrity. Of course, this isn’t always as easy for everyone (for a variety of reasons). I understand that. So, if you can’t know your farmer, go for the products on the store shelves that say ‘pasture-fed’ or ‘organic’. A great book that I recently picked up and haven’t really been able to put down since, is Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. It truly is a wonderful read, with so much vital information on all types of ‘nutritional confusion’ you may have, while also having some great, traditional recipes. Sally Fallon does a prefect job at exploring some of the notions and messages in the world, and eliminating a lot of fear that we have towards food now a days. This book is quickly becoming my favorite. I do hope to see more resources like this in the future. I think it’s where we should put our focus to, rekindling the traditions of our ancestors. Nourishing our roots and connecting back to the way we were.
One of the things that really blows my mind and I have to admit I did partake in back in my gym, weight loss, weight obsession days- is powdered egg. Not just powdered egg though. There are so many products out there that are basically screaming “DON’T EAT ME” and our bodies are trying to run away from. Some of which, that stand out in my mind, are packaged egg whites, powdered milk, powdered eggs and powdered egg whites. I haven’t done much research on these products, simply because I just know, instinctively that they are not good for you nor are they even tasty, in comparison to the real, whole food. So, my advice- stay away. Stick with the whole food. When it’s in a package and you do not understand at least 5 of the names on the ingredients list, don’t buy it. Chances are- it won’t be doing you very good. That’s my nutritional rant of the week, I think.
Fresh, beautiful, colour ingredients are the star of this dish. Winter squash takes the spotlight, and there are so many different shapes and colours that you can acquire to change the colour palate of the dish.
Winter Squash & Leek Frittata
- 3 organic free range eggs
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 cups organic almond mylk
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons organic grass fed butter or olive oil
- 1 leek, washed and sliced
- 1 jalapeno, chopped
- 2 winter squash, washed and cubes (leave skins on)
- 2 tomatoes on the vine, chopped
- 1/2 bunch of fresh basil, chopped
- 1/2 bunch italian parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- ground black pepper to taste
- 1 lemon, juiced + zested
- *optional: 3 tablespoons organic goat cheese
- 1/2 cup walnuts (soaked overnight)
- 1 cup arugula
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup fresh basil
- 1 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons sea salt
- 1/2 cup sun dried tomato, soaked
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Combine the celery, onion, jalapeno & leek to the butter in a large pan on medium-high heat and cook until the onions are translucent
- Add the squash and cook for 10 minutes, mixing the ingredients
- Add the chopped parsley and cook for another 5 minutes
- In a glass, oven-safe dish combine the chopped tomatoes, basil and olive oil. Place in the oven, allow to cook for 15 minutes, mixing the ingredients around every 5 minutes
- In a separate large bowl, crack all your eggs and mix together. Add the almond milk and some dried chili flakes and chili powder (I use the organic lives Chili spice mix)
- Add the roasted tomatoes & basil to your vegetable mixture in a large glass oven-safe dish
- Depending on how you are going to cook the frittata the next step can be variable. I didn’t have a cast-iron pan or oven-safe pan handy, so I didn’t pre-cook the eggs on the stove top. The more traditional method of cooking frittata is to add the egg mixture onto the vegetables that have been cooked in the cast-iron pan, to quickly heat up the whole mixture (vegetables & eggs) on the stove top and then place the cast-iron pan in the oven to finish off the job for around 20 minutes
- Instead, I placed my cooked vegetables in a large baking dish and poured the egg mixture on top of them
- I then placed the baking dish in the oven, where I allowed it to cook for around 30-35 minutes (until the eggs begin to slightly brown/dark yellow)
- To make the pesto, add all of the ingredients together in a blender and blend together until it reaches a smooth consistency
- Optional: 5 minutes before you remove the frittata from the oven, sprinkle your choice of goat’s cheese on the top so that it slightly melts and forms a top layer
- Remove the frittata from the oven, allow it to cool for 5 minutes
- Serve with pesto on the side, and sliced avocado if you would like. Garnish with your choice of green onion, cilantro or parsley
On another note: Instagram has built a new feature that allows you to access Instagram profiles online. So, please visit my Instagram profile to check out current photos of what I’m doing and making via: