A Spicy, Boosted Nut Butter

Sep. 19th, 2017 07:01 am
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Around here we call this fire butter, but that's probably being overly dramatic. It's an invigorating mix of ground ginger, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper blended with walnuts and vanilla extract into a homemade walnut butter. If I have maca powder or mesquite flour on hand, I add those too. This became a fast and feisty house favorite, and a way to boost an everyday favorite nutritionally with a host of spices. When you blend your own nut butters, it's hard to resist adding things! This version is perfect spread on toast, dabbed on banana coins or apple wedges, or thinned out into a spring roll dipping sauce.

A Spicy Boosted Nut Butter Recipe

I like to use walnuts here, but feel free to use almonds, or a blend of walnuts with another favorite nut. The texture is nice, and I haven't had a problem with separation.

A Spicy Boosted Nut Butter Recipe

One last note, I don't salt this, although it definitely needs a bit of salt. I wait until I spread it across something, and then sprinkle a bit of salt at that point, and it seems to be plenty.

A Spicy Boosted Nut Butter Recipe

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Beef & Carraway Kofta

Sep. 19th, 2017 04:22 am
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Posted by jules

Beef & Carraway Meatballs with Tahini Yoghurt

Beef & Carraway Kofta (Meatballs)

One of my favourite things to eat are meatballs. And while I love a traditional Italian-style meatball, I like to mix it up with meatballs from different parts of the world like these Moroccan meatballs, these Green ones or this giant meatball / meatloaf.

My latest obsession are these Lebanese-ish ‘kofta’ (middle eastern meatballs) which were inspired by a recipe in the book ‘Honey & Co. – Food from the Middle East’ from the London based restaurant. This is my simplified version.

Carraway seeds are a really underrated spice. I’ve been using them in my sauerkraut for ages and loved their fresh flavour but hadn’t really experimented with other cooking. Until these kofta. They go really well with beef but if you’re looking for more places to use your carraway seeds they’re also lovely with cabbage in any form.

enough for: 2
takes: 30 minutes
500g (1lb) minced (ground) beef
2 teaspoons carraway seeds
100g (3.5oz) tahini
100g (3.5oz) Greek yoghurt
1 clove garlic (optional)
1 bunch coriander (cilantro), leaves picked

1. Preheat your oven to 200C (400F). Combine beef and carraway seeds in a medium bowl and season generously with salt and pepper. Scoop tablespoons of the beef mixture and roll into meatballs. Place meatballs in an oven proof dish large enough to hold them in a single layer.

2. Roast meatballs for about 20 minutes or until well browned and cooked through.

3. While the meatballs are cooking combine tahini and yoghurt in a medium bowl. Smash garlic (if using) and chop as finely as you can and add to the tahini yoghurt sauce.

4. To serve, spread yoghurt tahini sauce over two plates. Top with meatballs and coriander leaves.

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Variations

5-ingredients – skip the garlic.

vegetarian – add carraway seeds to these lentil balls.

no carraway seeds – just skip it or use 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and 1 teaspoon ground coriander instead.

more substantial / carb-lovers – serve with warm pita or other flat bread or tortillas. Or serve meatballs on a bed of creamy mashed potatoes.

no tahini – either replace with mayo to make a yoghurt mayo sauce or just use extra yoghurt. Or use hummus instead of both the yoghurt and tahini. For more ideas to use tahini see here.

more veg – the guys from Honey & Co serve their kofta on a bed of roast veg including onion, eggplant and capsicum (bell peppers). They toss in some cooked white beans as well.

no coriander / cilantro – flat leaf parsley or mint will work. Or use baby spinach or other salad leaves. A shaved cabbage salad would also be a lovely accompaniment.

short on time – skip rolling the beef into meatballs and just brown in a pan with the carraway seeds and serve the spiced beef on top of the tahini yoghurt sauce.

Enjoy!

With love,
Jules x

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The Biggest Meal Planning Mistake

Sep. 16th, 2017 04:20 am
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Posted by jules

Beef & Carraway Meatballs with Tahini Yoghurt-2

Beef & Carraway Kofta recipe here

Today I have a little confession for you…

Even though I write cook books, have two food blogs and have an online cooking school, I didn’t start out being a confident cook.

And I certainly wasn’t good at meal planning…

When I first got into cooking I was in my early 20s, living in Sydney, working in my first job as a Food Scientist developing new snack products for Kellogg.

I used to spend hours pouring over magazines and cookbooks deciding what to make and compiling lengthy shopping lists.

Then I’d head off all over town. To my favourite veggie shop or the farmers market. To my butcher, the deli, sometimes to Chinatown and a stop at the supermarket for staples.

It took hours.

While I enjoyed these excursions, they weren’t without their frustrations.

There would often be one or two ingredients that were sold out or I just couldn’t find. Since I didn’t have a clue about ingredient substitution, I’d have to go to multiple stores trying to find what I was missing.

It took a lot of time.

It also cost a lot of money.

Slowly, over the years, I got better at the whole process. As my cooking confidence grew, I started knowing which ingredients I could skip or substitute. My food bills came down and my ingredient waste decreased.

The biggest game changer came when I was living in the beautiful Barossa Valley, Australia’s equivalent of Napa.

As a young wine maker, most of my waking hours were spent in the winery. I no longer had time to plan my meals in advance or much time for cooking.

The highlight of my week was the Saturday morning Barossa farmers market.

I’d grab a coffee. Then I’d wander around tasting, chatting to the farmers and buying whatever took my fancy. I wouldn’t have had time to make a list so I’d just buy what looked good.

When I got home, I’d figure out what to cook based on my market bounty.

Sometimes I’d consult my cookbooks. But often I’d just make things up. I started really cooking from the heart and cooking with the seasons.

It was incredibly liberating.

And better yet, I was able to feed myself really delicious, healthy meals that took a fraction of the time.

I came to realize that just as we can all learn to cook with a recipe, we can also learn to cook without them.

It’s easier than you think, if you have the right guidance. I’ll be going into much more detail on how you to can become someone who cooks without recipes the week after next.

But now it’s time to talk about the biggest mistake most people make when it comes to meal planning…

What is the most common meal planning mistake?

Basically, it’s following the traditional meal planning method.

You know, deciding what to cook in advance and then building your shopping list around that plan.

This approach causes problems for many reasons:

1. Time
First, it takes a lot of time to plan in advance. Trawling through recipes and writing detailed shopping lists.

2. Lack of Freedom
Having a set list means you aren’t free to choose what looks best (or cheapest!) when you’re shopping.

3. Lack of Flexibility
They also lack the flexibility to cope with the changes that naturally come up with modern life.

How do you avoid this mistake?

You just need to learn how to ‘reverse’ the process.

It may sound scary, but in practice it’s a liberating approach to meal planning. And it’s actually much quicker and easier than traditional meal plans.

I’ll be sharing you my Easy 3-Step Framework for avoiding this meal planning mistake next week. It’s all about how you can learn to shop first and then cook based on the ingredients you have in the house.

What it would be like if you didn’t have to plan ahead?

How would it impact your time? Your health? Your waistline? Your energy levels?

Imagine coming home after a long day and cooking dinners you truly enjoy without repeating the same dishes over and over.

Imagine not buying a bunch of ingredients that ultimately go to waste because your schedule changed.

Imagine revolutionizing how you cook and growing your kitchen confidence!

If you’re an experienced cook, imagine avoiding the trap of taking on weeknight meals which are too complicated for your schedule and energy levels at the end of a long day.

Imagine being able to listen to what your body needs, rather than what your meal plan says.

Imagine not following recipes to a ‘T’ anymore – being able to substitute ingredients based on what you have.

Imagine wasting far less food.

Imagine being able to look in fridge and pull together a healthy meal with ease.

Sound too good to be true?

This isn’t a crazy dream.

Next week I’ll show you how to turn these dreams into reality. I’m going to give you a clear, 3-step framework to help you stop making the biggest meal planning mistake and reverse your meal plan.

Stay tuned!

Before I go I’d like to share my vision with you…

I want to live in a world where eating healthy, home made food is the norm. Where most people are able to just walk into the kitchen and throw something delicious together.

Where cooking dinner is seen as a joy and a privilege not another chore at the end of a stressful day.

With love,
Jules x

ps. I’d love to hear from you!

How would your life change if you were able to reverse YOUR meal plan? Let me know in the comments below.

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Posted by The Wild Hunt

The United Religions Initiative (URI) held its global summit leadership meeting in Sarajevo, beginning Sept 11. The weeklong meeting brought together URI representatives from around the world and from many different religious backgrounds. The organization’s goal is to “promote enduring, daily interfaith cooperation, to end religiously motivated violence and to create cultures of peace, justice and healing for the Earth and all living beings.”

Rev. Donald Frew was at the Sarajevo meeting as a representative of Covenant of the Goddess. Frew has been working in interfaith circles for decades, sometimes even as the lone Pagan voice at the table. He wrote, “I truly believe that interfaith is our last, best hope for peace.” He called URI’s efforts one of “the largest grassroots interfaith effort on Earth, involving several million committed, engaged individuals all around the world.”

In terms of grass roots, URI has cooperation circles operating locally throughout the world, working toward a common goal of peace.  As such, Frew is not the only Pagan, Heathen or polytheist involved with URI both internationally or locally.

Photos and reports will be coming in from attendees at the leadership meeting and will appear on the organization’s Facebook page. Frew said, “No matter what is going on the world, it’s impossible not to have hope when [URI leaders] get together.” He added that the “presence of so many young people — a next generation eager to take what we have to give and go further than we can imagine — inspires us to work all the harder to live up to their expectations.”

*   *   *

[courtesy]

Erin Lale, a Heathen writer and blogger at PaganSquare, has launched something called the Heathen Visibility Project. Lale explains, “When it comes to written material, Heathens are pretty loud. We have lots of books (like mine) and blogs (like mine) and articles and so on. We don’t have nearly the number of images of contemporary Heathens doing Heathen things, or people publicly identified as Heathens doing regular life things.” Searches for Heathen imagery, she explains, often turn up “Nazis waving the runic letter O” or stills from a Thor movie.

Lale wants to see more creative commons imagery of modern Heathens “doing Heathen things.”  In a second blog post, she explains how to make this happen and how anyone can participate in increasing the number of searchable photos on the internet. She encourages people to upload and make available modern Heathens doing everyday things and participating in community. However, she also notes, “Many people attending rituals and other Pagan events don’t want to be photographed, because they are worried about being identified as non-Christians. For that reason, if we want to increase Heathen visibility, instead of trying to photograph real rituals and events we will probably have to stage them.”

*   *   *

Fans of Dirge online magazine have learned that the site is no longer in operation as of Sept 15.  Editor-in-Chief Jinx Strange wrote:

“The factors leading up to this decision are far more numerous than I want to get into in this space, but suffice it to say, it’s a confluence of conditions, many of which are far bigger than me. The bottom line is that after three years, I don’t believe this to be a financially viable outlet for the content we’ve been producing, and I simply have no interest in publishing click-bait here, or articles that aren’t of the highest possible quality simply for the sake of online publishing.”

The publishers of Dirge will continue the lifestyle site Dear Darkling, and Dirge will remain publicly available as an archive for readers into the foreseeable future. In the last post, Strange said, “Dirge has changed me, and changed my life and I am so grateful to everyone who participated in that in any capacity. I’m ready to move on. A dirge is just a transition, after all.”

In other news:

  • The Pagan Federation International hosts a global forum for its members to share political actions and other similar activities. PFI’s international coordinator Morgana Sythgove writes, “As an activist organisation (not a religious organisation as some people think) PF and PFI members are often seen at rallies, demonstrations, signing petitions etc for environmental issues, human and indigenous rights issues, and other issues concerning the Earth – our home. Please feel free to promote a cause here which you feel is in much need of support.” The forum is located on the PFI site and is publicly available to anyone interested in actions being taken by members of the global Pagan community.
  • If you are in Tennessee next week, Tuatha Dea will be holding its first local drum circle in three years.The band travels the country performing and holding workshops at various Pagan and non-Pagan events. It is not often they do so in their home town of Gatlinburg.
  • The latest issue of  Druid Magazine has been published. This edition includes an interview with TWH editor Heather Greene. It also includes an interview with Damh the Bard, a tribute to the newest American Druid camp MAGUS, and a number of articles that explore in detail the American Druid experience.
  • Thursday is the UN’s International Day of Peace. Will you be honoring this day? If so, how?
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I believe in the power of a tidy, happy refrigerator - even if I don't always succeed. And those of you who follow me on Instagram know I like to take a few minutes to freshen up my refrigerator each weekend. I'm working on a more detailed post about my favorite fridge storage strategies, best containers, produce preservation tips, and the like, but in the meantime, I thought I'd share some of the refrigerators I've come across and taken note of. These are refrigerators on their #fridgegoals A-game. Masters of refrigerator organization (or simply deploying a super clever tactic or two).

Before we start, there are a few best practices I've come to embrace. The aforementioned weekly tidy is key. I typically do mine on Saturday after getting home from the farmers' market. Wash and prep as many of your ingredients as possible at this time, and you'll thank yourself later. It might sound strange, but I think of this exercise as merchandising my refrigerator. And when you do it, far less goes to waste, and you'll feel more energized about cooking throughout the rest of the week.

I also want to note, this post is focused on refrigerators. Freezers are another thing altogether. I'm still trying to get a handle on mine, and haven't quite been able to nail down a great system, it always turns into a dumping ground. More to come on that front, in the meantime, hopefully there is something here that will inspire!


1. My Refrigerator

This is where I'm at - a work in progress, but I have a few set-in-stone strategies. First, like I mentioned up above, try to tidy it once a week. Second, store things in clear containers, preferably glass. That way you can see everything you have at a glance. I love our counter depth refrigerator, because it doesn't allow things to hide in the far back corners. Everything is up front and in your face. I want to get a wine bottle insert (mentioned below), and love anything stackable, like the Weck jars, which come in a range of sizes. These containers have been great, these (w/ compartments) are great for lunches on the go, and keeping things separate. I post refrigerators shots here now & then.

Ten Refrigerators that Inspire Healthy Eating

2. Kristen's Eat to Live Fridge - (Hello Nutritarian)
Woah. I'm not sure I've seen a stronger fridge game. Look at all the color here! And the prep! And when you get past that, look at the storage strategy. A lot of super smart suggestions on all fronts here. More shots from Kristen.

Ten Refrigerators that Inspire Healthy Eating

3. The Home Edit's Updatable Labeling
Labelling is key, especially in the freezer, or for anything that isn't going to get used in a few days. Until now, I've always used washi paper tape to label jars and baggies, but I'm loving Clea and Joanna's chalk marker strategy as well. Super clever, and easily helps your family put things where they're supposed to go. More details here.

Ten Refrigerators that Inspire Healthy Eating

4. How to Stock Your Fridge (& Cook) Like an Adult - (Refinery 29)
A nice snapshot of three culinary pros - Karen Mordechai, Lauren Godfrey, and Barrett Prendergrast. You can see some clever strategies in the photos - bowls for produce, wrapping greens, the catch-all nut drawer, etc. See the profiles here.

Ten Refrigerators that Inspire Healthy Eating

5. Beyond Meal-prep & CIY meals - (Coveteur)
I thought this portrait of Samantha Wasser's refrigerator was interesting because it shows how things might come together if you're more likely to buy your meals vs. cook them. There are a lot of people who don't cook much, and I thought this seemed like a better option than ordering lots of take-out. Lunch, dinner, breakfasts, and lots of drinks for a few days at least.
More photos of Samantha's kitchen here, and check out Sarah Britton's kitchen / fridge while you're there.

Ten Refrigerators that Inspire Healthy Eating

6. Jen's Counter Depth Fridge & Freezer Strategy - (I Heart Organizing)
I love Jen's use of those little mini-bins, and the can holder. Super clever. And her detailed freezer drawer write-up makes me feel like there might be hope for mine. Some great ideas, aprticularly for anyone with a counter depth, French door, and freezer drawer configuration. Mini-bins on order ;) More details here.

Ten Refrigerators that Inspire Healthy Eating

7. Lots of Jars & Baskets - (The Intentional Minimalist)
This is one of the few examples I could find with clever use of natural fiber baskets. I like how Kristin has used them here, and look at her smart use of large jars for greens. More tips from Kristin here.

Ten Refrigerators that Inspire Healthy Eating

8. Merchandise Your Healthy Drinks - (Brit + Co)
I'm a big fan of this strategy (as you can see in the opening photo). Storing hydrating, healthy beverages in glass containers and carafes is a sleek, beautiful way to showcase drinks. I also like the vote for clear containers here. There are a lot of fridge organization articles that highlight opaque containers, making the contents hard to see, and easy to forget about. Get the recipe here.

Ten Refrigerators that Inspire Healthy Eatings

9. Wine & Tall Bottle Inserts - (The Container Store) I find myself short on space for tall items like wine bottles and sparkling water. Not sure why it didn't occur to me to add some bottle inserts, but this post got me thinking. More photos here.

Ten Refrigerators that Inspire Healthy Eating

10. Wide Open - What European Chef's Keep in their Refrigerators - (Bon Appétit) In case you weren't sure how a chef can differ from a home cook, their refrigerators lend some fascinating insights. Bon Appétit highlights Inside Chefs' Fridges, Europe, a book by Adrian Moore and Carrie Solomon. Read the article & browse the pics.

Ten Refrigerators that Inspire Healthy Eating

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