Friday, March 21, 2014

Petite Personal Patties {Recipe Redux}

It's March 21, so that means time for the monthly Recipe Redux challenge! This month's theme was A Play on Patties: While St. Patty’s Day will be over by the time The Recipe ReDux rolls around this month, we’re celebrating the ‘patty’ all month long. Think healthy tuna burgers, potato patties, or veggie stacks. 

As usual, I wanted to create a dish using quite a few vegetables and I also like playing around with legumes since I know many people are unsure what to do with them in the kitchen. I also decided to try a new take on the traditional burger in a bun accompanied by fries. So, I made the "bun" out of potato instead! Also, knowing that people have different taste preferences (or picky eaters) I made sliders with a variety of toppings so everyone can personalize their own. Any leftover toppings can be used for a fritatta or salad tomorrow. I feel that they're sort of like a falafel texture, and I had fun with all the toppings!
Makes 10-12 sliders

2 medium white potatoes, scrubbed, skins still on
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 can (540ml or 19oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 egg
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch fresh parsley (or cilantro), rinsed and roughly chopped
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup bread crumbs
8-10 white mushrooms, sliced
1/2 medium onion, sliced
5-6 handfuls of arugula
1 avocado, sliced
1/2-1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
Salt and pepper
*optional: mayo, cheese

1. "Buns": Preheat oven to 450F and slice potatoes into 1/3" rounds. Microwave for about 3 minutes (or more) to speed up the roasting time. Lightly brush with olive oil and season with pepper; place on baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes total (turning once) until golden brown. Set aside to cool until ready to use.
2. Meanwhile prepare your patties: Place rinsed beans, garlic, parsley, egg, cayenne, and a dash of pepper in a food processor. Mix until smooth consistency, remove and add breadcrumbs. Heat a saucepan over medium with 1/2 Tbsp of oil. Form 10-12 slightly flattened patties and cook in two batches to allow room to flip. Cook for about 5 minutes per side and remove from heat.
3. Prepare toppings: wash and slice mushrooms and onion. Heat a saucepan with 1/2 Tbsp oil over medium heat and cook each (I did them separately) for about 5 minutes or until brown. Prepare tomatoes and avocado and place arugula on plates. 
Note: patties can be formed ahead of time and refrigerated covered; topping vegetables can also be sliced ahead of time.

Create your masterpiece with a potato, patty, toppings, and another potato. Enjoy!
What kind of patties are you making these days? Fish cakes? A unique dessert? Check out the Reduxers below for more ideas.

Here's to enjoying food :)
Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Simply Cook and Enjoy!

We're almost half way through Nutrition Month, so I figured I should do a quick post. I've been keeping busy helping with our Saskatchewan Nutrition Month Committee's social media this year, so please check out our facebook page (and like us as we aim for 1000 likes this year!) or follow on twitter to get tips, recipes, videos, etc. until March 31, 2014.

Dietitians of Canada (DC) also has resources and videos, as well as a page dedicated to this year's theme which focuses on food skills and preparation. A new tool that came out in time for Nutrition Month, but will be available all year, is DC's new app Cookspiration. I've heard great feedback from people that have tried it, and I love that it asks you what time of day you're looking for a recipe for, as well as the type of dish, mood, speed, etc. that you're focused on (ie. On-The-Fly or Fill Me Up).

Cooking at home can be challenge for many reasons, and I know that we all feel to busy for it! I for one love to be in the kitchen and it's a chance for my husband and I to catch up on our day. If you have an 'excuse' as to why you're not cooking at home more often, such as:
  • too busy
  • don't know what to make
  • don't have time
  • don't have necessary ingredients
  • picky eaters to feed...
Then it's time to start thinking about solutions. Find time one evening or afternoon on the weekend to:
  • make a list and stock your fridge/freezer/pantry
  • cook a big batch that can be reheated throughout the week
  • take advantage of healthy convenience items (frozen stirfry vegetables, canned beans, etc.)
  • check out cookbooks or apps for recipe ideas
  • get together with family or friends to make multiple recipes to share
  • create meals with options (make your own pizza, tortilla, yogurt parfait, etc.)
More people tend to eat out these days because it's easy and doesn't require prep time and clean up, but that can be minimized with a prep day (chopping veggies, making leftovers), extra hands in the kitchen and a plan for your week so that you don't have to decide what's for supper when you walk in the door after work - make  it easier to make healthy choices and challenge yourself to cook at home more often!

Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Monday, March 10, 2014

Courage & Change - A Reflection

Last week I attended a local screening of LUNAFest - short films by, for, about Women.  Our local theatre was full of women of all shapes, sizes, and ages - it was so great to see! Since Saturday was international women's day, it was fabulous to be in a room full of women celebrating women. 

The event consisted of 9 short films, all of which had great messaging and emotion coming through. A few of them stood out a bit more or spoke to me on a deeper level.

Granny's Got Game - having been an athlete most of my life and knowing senior/master level athletes, this one hit home because I loved seeing how competitive these women still were in their 70's and the camaraderie that they enjoyed with their teammates. It was also great to see that they were still quite active and loving the game; the all had their own challenges, but spoke of the time together as some of the best in their life.    

Flying Anne - a young girl with Tourette's syndrome and her struggle to manage tics, fit in, and explain herself to her classmates. It was quite touching when she said she wouldn't give up her Tourette's if she could, because it's part of who she is - to be so young and so courageous is amazing to me.

First Match - another sport filmed, but this time focused on a female wrestler in her first co-ed match. She was a great athlete and had to deal with her peers and her father's opinion about wrestling with the boys; that definitely took a lot of courage, but she stayed true to who she was.

I enjoyed all of the films, and the writers/directors each had a very unique approach to share their message. I just kept thinking of how women worry so much about what other's think, spend many hours (and their money) caring for other people (even strangers), and how we all have our own struggle, but it's only a struggle if we see it that way.

This year the theme for international women's day also fits with my interests: Inspiring Change.  The focus was on advancement of women, equality, and challenging the status quo. I work with clients on small changes they can make for their health and wellness, but on a large scale there is still so much to do around the globe to ensure that women get the opportunities they deserve. A change I would like to see is a change in how women view themselves - whether it be their skills, their looks, or their self-worth. I see so many women that are hard on themselves or trying to live up to someone else's ideals.

I continue to work at not comparing myself to others (that athlete competitiveness is always there!), and work daily to be the best me that I can be. I hope you can find inspiration to be courageous, be authentic, and be the best you!

Celebrate the women in your life everyday!
See quotes that inspire me on my Pinterest page.

Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching