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It should not be chili and fuzzy socks weather. Alas, it is. I made this chili a few weeks ago for some sci-fi celebs, and pulled some leftovers out of the freezer today. The day also included (not necessarily in this order): errands, editing, glittery blue nail polish, ice cream cones and Brazil. (Did you know Robert Di Niro is in it? Fact.) So back on the day when I made this, the first guy who came into the gold room – who had that famous movie star air about him but I have no idea who he was – surveyed the spread, and when I offered up myriad vegan options, laughed and said “no, I’m going for the chili!” Fast forward twenty minutes and he was walking out as I gave my chili elevator pitch to Michael Dorn, who’s vegan. He overheard the description of the chili and stopped, then turned around. He: “That chili was vegan?” Me: “Yep!” He: “No way. That didContinue reading

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This one’s going to be short and spicy. Pun fully intended. There is no way to make this pretty, but damn, it’s yummy. Like hummus meets refried beans with a kick of sriracha – the perfect car snack when you need something munchy but with some semblance of nutritional value. I’m not against junky nibbles on road trips, but always feel a bit like a movie theatre floor by the time we arrive wherever it is we’re going. No road trips this week, but plenty of eating at my desk. This.

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It was -33 today. I can think of no better argument for bringing out the slow cooker. Wait – there was a better reason. Kelsey and Phoebe and Cara (from Big Girls Small Kitchen – who’s new cookbook I became smitten with in early December when I was bedridden with a wrecked back) asked me to be a part of their slow-cooker love-in. It’s cold, and I love slow cooked food. Why not? They’re giving away some slow cookers too, if you want to get in on the action. They’re also swapping ideas and links and pins and such, if you’re looking for slow cookin’ inspiration, which if my inbox is any indication, a lot of people are. I must keep this short – have a story due today, which technically ends at midnight, right? There are so many possibilities when it comes to slow cookers. So many cool things to make, but I couldn’t see past a bowl of baked beans. These are thickContinue reading

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I’m in the Saskatoon airport. (My favourite airport in the world – small, never any lineups, a Tim Horton’s right beside the security gate, which likewise never has lineups. Cushy seats with plugins beside or under each seat, and fast, free wireless. Shouldn’t this be LA?) I’ve just finished a 3 day tour of pulse farms and production facilities in rural Saskatchewan with Sue and a group of writers and researchers. Lunch today was at Simon’s Fine Foods, where we had a sort of hands-on cooking lesson with various pulses. We were divvied into groups, and I got to cook with Sue and Cynthia Sass (check her out with Martha and Rachel!), but really mostly Cynthia and I chatted and I took photos while Sue did all the work. Wait, you don’t know what a pulse is? Don’t sweat it – most of us outside the UK aren’t familiar with the term. I’m hoping Jamie will start cooking with them a little more often, soContinue reading

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Oh how I wish I was the type to fall in love with working out. I do it, but I do not love it. I never regret it though – and generally regret not. Funny how easily I forget that part. I went to a step class tonight with one of the Eyeopener’s Live Right Now workout groups. It was on the other end of the city, and didn’t start until 7:30. I SO BADLY didn’t want to go. I was tired and headachey. My eyeball hurt. I procrastinated until the minute I should have been walking out the door, then couldn’t find my shoes. (They were buried under a pile of reusable grocery bags.) I grabbed my wallet, trying to pretend that it didn’t occur to me that I’d be alone and Peter’s Drive-In is on the way home. I went. I did it. I kept up. Did I feel great afterwards? Only from stopping all that stepping. Am I glad I went? HellContinue reading

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I double bagged my socks today, and tossed my fleece in the dryer to warm it up before I put it on. It was a hot soup day if ever there was one. So much Egypt in the news made me want to know more about their cuisine, and when I Googled it, up came a yellow lentil soup. Which as you may know, is right up my alley. I had just unearthed a bag of lentils from the depths of my cupboard – you know that one jammed with all manner of grains, beans, nuts, chocolate and dried fruit? Interspersed with some spices and packets of things that really don’t have a home anywhere else? And so I was happy to use it and decrease the surplus population. The interesting thing about this soup is that the lentils and veg are simmered separately from the onions, which are caramelized and then not pureed with the rest of the soup. I’d have started with theContinue reading

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It’s funny, when I get swept up in weeks and months of eating poorly – too much grazing on too much junk (I really am more lowbrow than people think I am) – how quickly I forget how much I love grainy salads like this. Quinoa with black beans and mango, wild rice and lentils, brown rice with barley and chickpeas – all jumbles of good things that make me feel and function so much better (and far wider awake) than a diet of toast, Cheezies, coffee and wine. Funny, that. Funny too how my body never seems to forget how much it adores Cheezies and chocolate. I do need to wean myself off of a few things. I’ve been dancing around the subject of the new year here – I haven’t quite embraced it with as much chutzpah (yet) as I usually do, but I suppose I should go ahead and address the obvious before it turns into February. Apologies in advance for theContinue reading

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It’s getting chilly again here at the computer in our spare bedroom, the apple tree loaded with snow, the sky grey, the furnace raging. I’m wearing a fleece and my thickest woolly socks, the ones that I believe helped facilitate my trip down the stairs the day before Christmas. I just can’t get into a bowl of spring greens. It turns out I also can’t live on toast and coffee, icing and cheese. I bought a couple cookbooks that I totally didn’t need. One is called Casa Moro, and in it is this warm butternut salad with chickpeas and tahini dressing. (You’d think after all that cookbook testing I’d be done with beans – actually I’ve been craving them more and more.) I’m a fan of all things roasted – the tahini dressing is just a bonus. (Remember the potato salad with kale? And the stir fried brown rice with chickpeas and asparagus?) Who woulda thought tahini dressing would wind up being my thing? HereContinue reading

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