Monday, September 5, 2016
Backpacks are bursting with pencils and notebooks as the kids head back to school this week. The excitement of a fresh start is in the air, and with this fresh start comes a shift in focus on how we eat. Meals need to be simple and quick, yet nutritious and tasty. We want snacks to be healthy, and yet we don't want to find them lingering in the bottom of the lunch bag at the end of the day. That's where pulses come in handy. 2016 in International Year of Pulses (lentils, chickpeas, dried peas and beans), and if you have yet to take the Pulse Pledge, I urge you to do so and peruse the website for all kinds of fantastic ways to incorporate pulses into your back-to-school menu plans. You basically sign up to eat 1/2 cup of pulses a week, which is so easy to do. Bursting with protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals, pulses are essentially superfoods. They are good for the heart, manage blood sugar levels and help in weight management. Gluten free and vegetarian, pulses are tremendously versatile. I love adding them to just about everything: main dishes, breakfast, as a side dish and even dessert. One of their many positive attributes is they take on the flavour of whatever you cook them with. Plus, they are a super affordable source of protein. One pound of lentils is a fraction of what 1 pound of ground beef costs. These things matter when it comes to feeding a family. Pulses are also super good for the environment. They fix their own nitrogen in the soil, making them a sustainable crop. Highly water-efficient, they enrich the soil where they grow. Canada is the world's largest producer and exporter of pulses, and if you took a road trip across Saskatchewan this summer, I bet you drove by a lentil field and didn't even know it.
Saturday, September 3, 2016
Every time I look at the calendar I have to blink a few times. Is it really September already? Summer certainly gets a speeding ticket. It seems like yesterday when I was putting the finishing touches on the cookbook edits and summer was waiting in the wings. Today I'm wearing socks and on my third cup of tea. Fall is in the air, but I'm not too keen to rush into the sweaters and scarves and pumpkin pie just yet. There are 6 months of that to come. For me, it's still ice cream and all of the seasonal fruit that I love so much. Peaches, nectarines, Concord grapes, strawberries. I can't even look at a pumpkin as long as these are still around! I wait all winter for summer to come, so you better believe I'll hold on as long as I can. But, I'm no fool. The smell of fall is wafting around, and the first golden leaves are falling. I do like these end of summer days, and can certainly feel a transition happening. Most of our lives are spent in transition. The sweet passing moments between the moments; the rhythmic flows between the words. Let's love the transitions like they're destinations. Let's put all the worries and stress aside and just appreciate how nicely the sun goes down. And how tasty that ice cream is. And how good it feels to have the hand of someone you love holding your own.