Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead: A Documentary

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Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead: A Documentary

Just saw this documentary on Netflix. Although I don’t buy in to fat diets, or radical eating habits, this film is inspiring in terms of making conscious choices about what you put in your body. Kristin does a great job in this blog post relaying this same aspect.

Kristin Rath

*Please do not use the contact form on this website to send a message to Joe.  Use this form to contact him instead.  Thank you!* 

Fat, sick, and nearly dead. That was the condition Joe Cross lived in until he decided to take charge of his health and his life.  Joe, a successful businessman from Australia, vowed to leave behind his junk food diet and only drink fresh fruit and vegetable juice for 60 days as he traveled across the United States with a juicer in the back of his car.  He hired a film crew to document his pilgrimage to health, so he must have known it was going to be quite a journey.  He couldn’t have anticipated, however, the monumental effect it would have on his life or on others.

Six months later, and 90 pounds lighter, Joe was eating cleanly, thinking clearly, enjoying incredible health, and on…

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Easy Chicken Pot Pie – And I Mean Really Easy!

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I had half a tray of boneless, skinless chicken thighs in the fridge and thought…. ‘What will I make with these?” The first half of the tray was used to make Chicken Tortilla Soup (watch for that post later). I decided on chicken pot pie. It’s a great fall dish, but I don’t eat a lot of cream or milk, so I made it with more of a gravy. Here’s my super easy version.

Put about 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs and some good quality olive oil in a frying pan which has a lid. Season with salt and pepper, cook until done which should take about 15 minutes at medium high heat. Turn often, and press down with a fork or spatula. Remember to season both sides.

In a large glass pie plate, layer in mini carrots, one tin of sliced potatoes, one onion sliced. Sprinkle generously with non clumping flour. I love this product for gravies and anything you have to add flour to make a sauce. Chop up the chicken thighs and put on top of the mixture in the pie plate, it should mound quite high. Pour about one cup of chicken stock over the whole thing, enough to pool about 1/2 inch of liquid at the bottom of the pie plate. When it cooks, the flour and stock will make a gravy. I use a frozen deep dish pie shell which has been sitting out if the freezer for about 15 minutes. Turn over the pie shell onto the mixture, cut a few vent holes. And put the whole thing on a cookie sheet and into a 350 oven for about 45 minutes. Voila. Chicken pot pie.

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Rainy Day Peanut Butter Cookies

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It’s a rainy day here in Kingston. With the start of fall, I’m craving peanut butter cookies. My favourite recipe is from the original Fanny Farmer cookbook. It’s a great cookbook with all classic recipes. These ones are thin and crispy rather than dense and chewy.

1/4 lb butter
1/2 cup chunky style peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1egg
1/2tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1cup flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease some cookie sheets or line with a silpat. Cream butter and peanut butter. Add sugars. Add egg and vanilla, beat well. Mix salt, baking soda and flour. Combine butter mixture with flour mixture. Arrange by teaspoons on the cookie sheets about an inch or so apart. Press each with a Flores spoon. Bake about 7 minutes. Eat.

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Montreal Style Bagels. Oh Baby!

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I’m originally from Montreal.  In fact, I lived there until I was nearly 28.  I’ve lived away for awhile (20 years, so now you know how old I am!).  But I really miss Real Bagel and St. Viateur Bagel.  Really any Montreal bagels will do.  Yagel Bagel.  Fairmount  Bagel. Bagel Bagel .  Hansel and Bagel.   Whenever I visit, I buy a few dozen, eat as many as I can, and freeze the rest.  Inevitably, there comes a time when there are no more bagels in the freezer.    I decided this week…NO MORE!  I gave it a go, and made my first batch of Montreal Style Bagels, right here in my kitchen in Ontario.   They are not the same, of course, but they are much better than the store bought bread circles they call bagels here!

This took me about an hour, and I used my Kitchen Aid.  I think it would be the same amount of time if done completely by hand.

I absolutely must give credit where credit is due.   I  followed My Second Breakfast’s blog recipe.  She has beautiful pictures, and easy to follow instructions.   http://mysecondbreakfast.com/montreal-bagels-recipe/

Here are some pictures of my first attempt:

The final product:

 

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Portion Size vs. Serving Size – Canadian Style

Click above to see this very helpful (Ontario) link to understand the difference between portion size (as labelled on your food packaging) and serving size (how much you should put on your plate).   Can you believe that one serving of rice is equal to the size of a computer mouse?    Check out the link to see just how much we regularly overeat!  And in the case of vegetables how much we undereat!  

The Humble Onion

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Onions are so versatile.  If I had to guess, I’d say I use onions in nearly every dish I make.  It is most certainly one of the staples you need in your pantry if you are planning to make quick and tasty meals on the fly.   You can thinly slice them to put on top of a Greek salad, you can finely chop them to put them in an omelet, you can dice them to put in a tuna nicoise salad, you can roughly cut them up to throw in a stew, you can make rings to saute  until caramelized and lovingly spread over a beautiful steak.    

There are so many types of onions to consider.  I always have a bag of yellow cooking onions in my cupboard, and 9 times out of 10 I have green onions in the vegetable drawer in my fridge.  A nice red onion is always welcome and the favorite of my partner J.  Sweet Vidalia’s make great onion rings, and an amazing start to French Onion soup.   Small cipollini’s are fantastic in a chicken and dumpling stew or a Boeuf Bourguignon.

Onions are generally inexpensive.  Onions usually keep quite well.  Suffice is to say I love onions, and would not be caught without some in my kitchen!  

Fast Tacos…or Are They Burritos?

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Tonight we’re having fast and homemade tacos. Actually they are probably burritos. I never know. Lets call them fast soft tacos. Brown a 1/2 lb of ground beef (I always buy lean), in a medium saucepan with a teaspoon of avocado oil. Add a few chili flakes, 1/2tsp of chopped garlic, salt and pepper. Chop 1/2 tomato into a small dice and set aside. Chops two inches of seedless cucumber (keep skin on) into a small dice and set aside. Chop 1 or 2 green onions into small rings and set aside. Now You’ll need a few soft tortillas. I like to use the 6-8 inch size, you can use any type you like. Gather some extras such as salsa, guacamole, chopped lettuce, shredded cheese, plain yogurt or ranch dressing. Now it’s just a matter of assembly. This is one of the quickest and lost popular meals at our house!!! That’s fast!! Manga manga.

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Back Cracking Visit

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I look forward to my bi-weekly visit to the chiropractor. I’m not advocating any particular method of health and wellness, but FOR ME, chiropractic saved my wellness. For years, I had relentless headaches, overall malaise, had hunched shoulders and a numbness in my neck and arm — mostly from constant desk sitting and over mousing!

I’ve been seeing Dr. Barton for three years now, and rarely take a Tylenol. I feel great. And I always look forward to visiting the clinic to see Tina’s smiling face, and have Dr. Barton’s hands on my back and neck! Thank you to Barton Chiropractic for leading me to a path of wellness! I love you guys! http://www.bartonchiropractic.com

Back to School Risotto

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risotto

It’s that time of year — Back To School!   I have one child left at home, in his last year of high school.   Somehow the beginning of the school year has still not changed.  It’s a time of new beginnings, a time to get back to a regular schedule, and I always experience mixed feelings.   On one hand I’m excited for a fresh start. On the other hand, it’s another milestone in my children’s lives which means they are growing older and inevitably away from home. 

Risotto is one of those rice dishes which is much easier to prepare than you think.  It is also a very – read VERY – versatile.   Today I needed a warm, hearty dish which fills us up and lets us enjoy a dinner together. 

Mushroom Risotto:

Some butter for the pan

1/2 chopped red onion. Chop this quite finely, so you don’t notice it in the finished product.

2 cups of mushroom stock. I buy the cubes and dissolve in hot water.  It’s easy to make your own, but even easier to buy it!

2 cups of water

1 package of dried porcini mushrooms

1 cup of good quality risotto rice. I like anything from Italy. 

2 TB butter

Salt and pepper

Chopped green onion.

Before you begin, put about 1/2 cup of dried mushrooms into a bowl and just cover with boiling hot water. Heat a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Drop in the butter and chopped onion, and stir until the onion is soft.  Dump in the dry rice, and stir until everything is coated and hot.  Add about 1/2 cup of stock, followed by 1/2 cup of water, at a time. Each time you pour in the stock, stir the pot until the liquid is dissolved.  Near the end, add your porcini mushrooms with juice. It will take about 20 minutes of stirring and pouring, stirring and pouring until the rice is done.  The mixture will be creamy, not dry.  If it’s dry, pour in some more water until you get a creamy consistency.   Take the rice off the heat.  Add 2 TB of butter, salt and pepper to taste and a small handful of chopped green onion.   That’s it. You just made risotto.  

I made a garden salad with lettuce and veg that I already had in the fridge.  Topped with some lemon juice, olive oil and chopped garlic.   That’s dinner.  Easy peasy, and yummy.