Do you have a happy place? Somewhere you can go to relax, recharge, and be at peace? A place where you feel present in the moment and good in your own skin?
My happy place is the farmer’s market. I’m filled with such an authentic feeling of pleasure whenever I visit, like I’m catering to the wishes of my true and natural self, and I feel so content being surrounded by like-minded individuals, knowing I’m contributing to an ethical, sustainable, and natural mode of food production. I become part of a community, connecting with the people whose hard work and passion helps to put food on my table. I love being able to get in touch with the rhythm of the seasons, buying food at the peak of its freshness and nutritional vitality. It’s just so exciting!
Am I a little bit geeky about vegetables? Absolutely.
This recipe marks a pretty monumental achievement. I have a new favourite smoothie. This might sound fairly humdrum to those of you living outside of my head (which I guess would be all of you, with the exception of Conor, on occasion), but I can assure you, a new smoothie entering my breakfast rotation is not a frequent occurrence. I alternate between a couple favourites during the week and enjoy my Chocolate Almond Java Shake on the weekends when I know I have the time to hit the gym extra hard and need a little boost, but that’s about as adventurous as I get on a busy morning. But this smoothie… it’s like a cool burst of spring air. Not only is it completely satisfying, it’s absolutely invigorating. Designed to help aid digestion using a few key ingredients, I can guarantee this will wake you up at least as well as coffee and stimulate your digestive system to start producing all those gut-friendly enzymes in the process. If I could sum up the taste in one word, it would be vibrant. Between the tartness of the lemon, the kick of the ginger, and the freshness of the parsley, it really tastes like a happy garden in a glass. Scroll down for a full breakdown of the health benefits of this smoothie! Let’s show our tummies some love, shall we? Continue reading
I feel like all squash are just astonishingly beautiful. I love their strange shapes and vibrant hues, and I adore their creamy texture and sweet flavour. Every squash has something unique to offer and they somehow seem confident in that knowledge, if a fruit can be said to be confident.
Butternut squash knows it makes your soup crazy good. It just has to! Some squash are great for salads, others for stews, but butternut – she can do it all.
Besides featuring this beautiful plant, this soup is literally the easiest dish to pull together. If you decide to make it on a weeknight, you won’t be having dinner at 9pm (unless that’s your thing, of course), and if you’re not in and out of the kitchen in 40 minutes or less, something’s gone wrong! And since everything is going to be pureed anyway, you don’t need to worry about chopping your veggies into uniform pieces. They should be similar in size so that they cook evenly, but the rest doesn’t really matter.
To make things even easier, peel and chop your squash ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to use, so the rest is just a quick dice job and you’re done.
People ask me all the time where I get inspiration for my recipes, and of course, that ends up requiring a bit of a lengthy reply. Cookbooks and food blogs of course inspire me, as do my own taste buds and whatever happens to be in the fridge when I decide to cook, but more often than not it’s a simple trip to the farmer’s market or grocery store. I sometimes ignore what’s in season to feed a craving, but it’s always much more rewarding to work in tandem with what nature has to offer. It forces you to get those creative juices flowing and perhaps cook with unfamiliar ingredients – I made a lasagna with celeriac noodles the other day and… mind blown! Plus, seasonal produce tastes WAY better and lets you feel good (and just a little smug) about doing your part to support local farmers.