Monday, October 20, 2014

Spooky Spice {Recipe ReDux}

No, this isn't a post about the spice girls! It's October 21, so that means time for a ReDux challenge. I didn't contribute a recipe last month as we were traveling and it just didn't work out. This month I am also away from home, but this time it's due to renovations, so I still have access to a kitchen (my parent's), but am anxious to get back into my own.

Our challenge:
Spooky Spices: You know they are lurking there: Way in the back of your spice drawer. There lie the herbs, spices, or rubs that are getting dusty because you’re afraid to use them… you simply don’t know what to do with them! Well, pull them out and show us a recipe you created to deliciously conquer that fearful spice. (Or maybe the recipe was a flop – and the spice still give you nightmares?!)

Since I'm not at home, I raided my mom's spices and chose marjoram. I know I have it at home, but it's a spice I often overlook; one I'm not really sure what to do with. Marjoram is from the mint family and related to oregano. It is suggested for use in meat dishes, tomato sauces, with eggs, or in dressings/dips. My first thought was to put it in a play on shakshuka since I've been meaning to make it for awhile and it contains both tomatoes and eggs. Then I thought about the weather and cool temperatures, so I decided to make a cracker for all the homemade soups I plan to make this winter. I think I've only tried to make crackers once before, so they are also sort of a 'scary' thing to me too.

Soup Snaps
3/4 cup whole oats
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup old cheddar cheese, shredded
2 Tbsp fresh dill
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 tsp marjoram
2 Tbsp olive oil
3-5 Tbsp water (as needed)
1 1/2 tsp whole flax seed

Makes 2 dozen snaps/crackers (1 1/2" x 2")

1. Put oats in food processor and pulse for 1-2 minutes. Add flour and half of cheese, then pulse. Add remainder of cheese, dill, garlic, marjoram, and olive oil. Pulse to combine until crumbly texture.
2. Place processed ingredients into a medium size bowl and gradually add water and flax seed.
3. Refrigerate for 30 minutes and pre-heat oven to 375F
4. Form mixture into a ball and roll out on a lightly floured surface (to about 1/8" thickness). Use a knife or cookie cutters to create desired shape and place on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper.
5. Bake for 10-15 minutes until desired crispness.Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.
What spice have you been avoiding or are unsure how to use?

Happy Halloween!
Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Blog Action Day 2014: Inequality

I've participated in blog action day in the past, with themes such as water, food, and human rights. This year's theme is inequality - which I feel I could easily relate to access to the past topics. When I think of inequality, many topics come to mind. I think of disease and health crises that occur around the world, war torn countries, wealth distribution and poverty. I also think of gender differences, because when I hear inequality, it makes me think fairness, equality, and differences.

We are all different, have grown up in different circumstances, have had different opportunities, but that doesn't mean that some of us have rights and others do not. Inequality is defined as "an unfair situation in which some people have more rights or better opportunities than other people" (by merriam-webster dictionary). I don't have the answers or solutions, but there are definitely things we can do to reduce disparity and the unevenness.

I think a great place to start is how we view males versus females. I grew up as a very athletic female, perhaps not the 'norm', but it instilled confidence and a love of health and wellness in me. I still get caught up in media hype regarding how women 'should' look or act, and it frustrates me, because I see body image issues in so many of the people I work with. I have no idea what it's like to be a man, I only know what it's like to be me, but isn't that the point, can't we treat each other as human?! I know men are often faster and stronger, to which I may have once said "it's not fair", but what is 'fair' anyway. Fair should be avoiding judgment, stereotypes, labels, etc. and letting people be who they are. I've shared an ad campaign video from always below, because I like the message - when did "like a girl" become an insult?

We've just celebrated Thanksgiving in Canada, and it was a time to remind me to be grateful of all that I have - something I continue to work on each year. There will always be people with more money, possessions, and skills, so I will focus on my treatment of other human beings and gratitude for all that I have - because life isn't fair, and if this is my life, then I'm going to live it the best way I can, and hopefully help reduce some inequality along the way.

What does inequality mean to you?

Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching