As someone of Chinese descent, I never understood the idea of someone saying they were making a ‘stir-fry’ for dinner. I suppose it’s the same as saying you’re going to barbeque or grill, because 90% of the meals cooked in my home growing up were stir-fried. So to me, it’s just a way of cooking – boiling, poaching, baking – just a way that ingredients get turned into dinner. Stir-frying food is a great way to cook things quickly, and really, the bottleneck in making a meal this way isn’t the cooking so much as it is the prep work required in washing, peeling and chopping your vegetables. However, if you do this ahead of time (I highly recommend doing food prep or batch cooking as part of your weekly meal planning), then when it comes time to whip up dinner after work, it’s a breeze.
Learn More About Wellness through Real Food
One of the hardest things about eating more real food and less processed food is actually the nitty-gritty, day-to-day cooking! After all, it’s easy enough to tell someone that they should stop eating the boxed and ready-made foods, or that they’d save money and eat more nutritious foods if they prepared dinner themselves. The hard part is finding an easy dinner recipe that can be made on a busy weeknight with enough leftovers for lunches the next day. This is one of my family’s weeknight dinner solutions: baked chicken leg quarters, with plenty of meat as leftovers or to make chicken salad for the next day. So make sure you work this easy recipe into your weekly meal planning.
Let’s face it: stress happens. Major life stressors like a relationship break-up, a death in the family, or even ‘good’ stressors like a preparing for a big party, having a newborn or a scoring that new job, can throw you for a loop. But then, if your health is less than optimal you might find that even the little stressors of everyday life when you can’t find your keys, you’re running late, and your kids are bickering, are really taking their toll. Everyone has heard of lifestyle ways to help with stress – seeking counseling, doing yoga or meditation and deep breathing exercises, but did you know that there are nutritional ways that you can help your body cope with anxiety and stress? It’s true – feeling anxious, moody, depressed or irritable can actually be signs and symptoms of nutritional deficiencies.
Here are a list of 6 nutrients and foods that help you cope with anxiety and stress:
Chinese New Year is coming! January 31st marks the Year of The Horse and one of my favorite Chinese desserts has always been almond jelly. Now honestly, it might be my favorite Chinese dessert only because in a ‘real’ Chinese meal (one that doesn’t include sweet & sour red sauce and fortune cookies), dessert is often just oranges, or if it’s a special meal, maybe you’ll get a red bean soup – so you can see why a kid might prefer the white jell-o over the hot red bean soup.
Almond gelatin is a staple you’ll find on dim sum carts, though typically it’s served with a syrup and the contents of a can of fruit cocktail with the near-fluorescent red maraschino cherries. I’ve never been a fan of fruit cocktail because the fruit all tastes like syrup. I just wanted the jelly. Lucky for me, almond jelly is an easy dessert recipe with few ingredients, that takes very little time to make, save for the time it takes to set, so there’s no reason not to make it yourself.
Got a dehydrator and not sure what to do with it? Or maybe you don’t have a dehydrator, but you’d consider getting one if you could see all the wonderful things you can make with it. (If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can try making banana chips in your oven and see if maybe a dehydrator is for you). The great thing is, you can often find dehydrators used on Craigslist or Kijiji for a song. Or, if you’re having no luck with scoring a used one, check out the table at the end of this post for a comparison of six popular dehydrator models.
In any case, there are a few things you can do with a dehydrator. I know I’ve personally found it useful as a way to preserve a windfall of less-than-pretty apples for later. (Though, the trick with apple chips is to make them, and then hide them away for later, otherwise, they get eaten within minutes of pulling them out of the dehydrator!) Having a dehydrator means that you can make a lot of homemade versions of commercial foods that are normally laden with too many preservatives, colorants and artificial flavors. Got a favorite dehydrator recipe that’s not on this list? Please let me know and I’ll make sure to add it to this round-up!