Sunday, September 21, 2014

Moisture Removal {Recipe ReDux}

It's been a busy week here with presentations, renovations, and travel. Unfortunately, being out of my kitchen for renovationss means that I don't have a new recipe to share for this month's theme. I still wanted to share the links so you can see what my fellow dietitians are up to and figured I would mention some of my favourite ways to use dehydrated or dried foods. I must admit, because I often work with athletes, I think about fluid needs when I hear the word 'dehydration'.

This month's theme is:
Get Your Dehydrator On
Whether it’s extra garden bounty or a sale at the supermarket – dehydrating food is a budget-friendly way to stock up for later. You can use a food dehydrator, a low slow oven, or natural sunshine to preserve natural healthfulness. Show us how you like to dehydrate, or a healthy recipe for how you enjoy using dehydrated fruits, veggies or other bounty.

A food dehydrator is a kitchen appliance that I don't have, but I have used a low slow oven (for my dried ginger and orange slices) for past ReDux posts and often have dried fruit around for use in energy bites, muffins, bars, granola, etc. Food preservation (ie. canning) is something I haven't really ventured into (yet); so perhaps that will be a goal for next year! Summer is also coming to an end here in Saskatchewan, so I will have to get myself organized and try using sunshine to preserve veggies and fruit next July/August. I do like the idea of being able to enjoy summer's bounty all year round though!

I haven't fully explored the world of dehydrated food, or spent a lot of time in nature requiring compact, long lasting food. However, I have purchased sundried tomatoes a few times for use in egg dishes, pasta, etc. and the flavour is great. Last summer, our foodie group had a night themed "Everything Rolled" and one member made veggie roll ups/jerky - it was very tasty and packed with flavour. My husband also likes to occasionally treat himself to some beef jerky and I have athletes that need shelf stable items to leave in their gym bag or locker. Thus, whether it's a taste or texture you're looking for, an alternative to store-bought fruit snacks, or an emergency stash, there are many times when dehydrated foods can help you out. Since the water is removed, the sugar and calories are concentrated, so remember to practice portion control with dehydrated/dried food. You can read more about the nutritional value, storing, and uses for dried fruit on EatRight Ontario.

One kitchen tool I've been waiting for cool weather to use is the tagine I received for my birthday. Many of the recipes call for dried fruit, so this will be a new way for me to try using these sweet ingredients - I'll keep you posted on my tagine experiments!

Have you dehydrated fruit or veggies? What do you like to do with them?

Check out the great ideas below.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Nurture Yourself

We eat to feel good in a variety of ways. Feeling good may mean getting rid of hunger, feeling energized, providing our body with nutrients, or in some cases providing comfort. Food is a part of many situations and we are often surrounded by choices and opportunities to nibble on something. Many emotions are also tied to food, whether it is a happy memory, a celebratory event, or a way to console ourselves. When we seek food for more than nourishment and sustenance, we may never feel satisfied/fulfilled.

With mindfulness, moderation, and minimalism in mind, it's good to create awareness and start to consider why you're eating. I feel it's good to reflect before and after as I know many clients feel "bad" or guilty after eating a large portion or a less healthy item. This can then lead to more problems as we try to deal with these negative emotions after the fact.

I also think it's important to reflect on how we treat ourselves. We're often our own worst critic and would be more compassionate to someone else in the same situation. For mindfulness, think about how you fuel your body, how you treat yourself. For moderation, don't expect perfection - change takes time, but each step or each pause helps us create new habits. Try to minimize your negative self talk and find new ways (non-food ways) to nurture yourself.

There are many ways to eat healthy, but adherence, lifestyle change, and behaviour modification are the ways to long term success, not drastic fad diets (huffington post).  Start doing something today that you're willing to keep doing and to challenge yourself with.
Here's to a healthier tomorrow!

How do you nurture yourself?

Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Using Your Garden Goods

I enjoy situations that cause me to be creative and find new ways to use ingredients. This year that inspiration has come from our CSA PayDirt farms. We have received 4 deliveries of locally grown, organic produce so far this year and I have whipped up a variety of new dishes in the kitchen to enjoy the fresh ingredients. We split a share with my brother-in-law and his fiance since we both only have 2 mouths to feed and want to make sure we're able to use everything up. These situations challenge me, because like most people I have my go to items from the grocery store. I do try to combine them in different ways, but this year I've had more chard and mustard greens than I knew what to do with!

As summer sadly comes to an end and gardens are emptied I also like to enjoy the flavours of the changing seasons. Seeing different items at the market or store can also serve as an inspiration; I know I've been enjoying as many peaches and nectarines as I can before they're gone. Earlier this summer that also included cherries and berries, and now corn on the cob is out in abundance.

I also use social settings to test out new recipes and will cook in big batches to get us through a busy work week. Needless to say, there are lots of outside influences when it comes to what is created in my kitchen. We do have our standard favourites, but I like to think that we get a good amount of variety as well.

A few recipes that I've used lately and wanted to share include breaded green beans and a new take on potato salad.

The green beans were adapted from for the love of cooking as they were baked and most recipes involved frying.  I brought them to a potluck and they disappeared; I will definitely make them again. I posted the picture below on my instagram feed and someone asked for the recipe, so here it is...

Baked Breaded Green Beans
1-2 lbs of green beans, washed and ends trimmed
1 egg
2 Tbsp milk
1 cup bread crumbs
spices (I used a smoked paprika, garlic, chili, and chives blend that I had)
2-3 Tbsp vegetable oil
salt and pepper
4 Tbsp mayo
2 tsp soya sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1-2 Tbsp sriracha sauce

1. Combine  2 Tbsp mayo with soya sauce and garlic - set aside. Combine remaining 2 Tbsp mayo with sriracha - set aside.
2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and brush with 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil. Preheat oven to 425F.
3. In a small bowl make a milk bath with your egg and milk. In a separate bowl combine bread crumbs, spices, and salt and pepper.
4. Dip beans in egg bath and crumb mixture; place in a single layer on baking sheet.
5. Drizzle remaining oil over beans and bake for 13-15 minutes.
6. Serve immediately with dipping sauces.


The Creamy Cucumber and Grilled Potato Salad recipe comes from Food & Wine and was the dish I took to my August foodie group evening. Our theme was grilled food and I picked up my ingredients from our local farmer's market. It was a hit and is also a recipe I will make again.

What have you been inspired to try or create this summer?

Enjoy your garden goods while they last!
Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching