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Posts Tagged ‘snacks’

Snacktastic.

Action shot. It's such an exciting snack.

I’ve recently rediscovered the awesomeness of popcorn.  When I was a kid, my family had an air-popper and we’d have popcorn as a treat with movies on family movie nights.  However, the invention of microwave popcorn kind of stole the air-popper’s thunder, and the much-loved appliance was put to the back of the kitchen cupboard in place of those handy little microwaveable bags. 

Recently, a good friend of mine left the Rock and offered me her air-popper when she left.  I was ecstatic.  First of all, it’s identical to the one my family had when I was a kid (though, would they really have changed much?), and second of all, she even threw in some kernels.  Awesome. 

I put a scoop of Earth Balance in the little melting tray, plugged it in and let ‘er rip.  A minute or so later, I was popping up a storm and two minutes after that, I was on the couch with the perfectly seasoned bowl of popcorn, watching Lost in Austen.  I am not sure that it gets much better than that, unless chocolate had been thrown into the mix.

Snackeriffic.

My toppings of the day?

  • Earth Balance
  • Dulse flakes
  • Herbamare Bombay Seasoning
  • nutritional yeast flakes

Want a close-up?

Awesome...no?

While the popcorn is going to have to stay unpopped while we attempt the South Beach Diet’s first few weeks, rest-assured that the air-popper has made a comeback in our house.

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Blue Monday.

Did you know that the third Monday in January is apparently “Blue Monday”, the most depressing day of the year?  I didn’t, but that would explain why I woke up yesterday morning feeling less than stellar.  The reason it’s named that way is because this is where New Year’s resolutions start to fail, holiday visa bill has arrived, and there’s not a long weekend in sight until April.  Who can put on a happy face in the face of that?  Anyways, I made the most of my Blue Monday, being (somewhat) productive at work, meeting some girlfriends for (an unpictured) sushi at lunch, and putting together a gigantic pot of soup after work that will last us through the rest of the week for quick dinners after work.

I love having soup on-hand.  Coming home and not having to think about making dinner is so nice sometimes.

Yesterday I ate:

Delicious soy latte - my first of 2010!

1L of water...I drank 2 of these.

An apple stolen from the lunch room. I couldn't resist and I'm *pretty* sure it was up for grabs...

A few bites of a cookie from my co-worker. Peanut butter and chocolate are my nemeses. Epic fail on the "avoid white sugar/flour" goals...

As I mentioned above, lunch was unpictured.  The sushi restaurant we went to was very dark, so photographs would have been a) tricky and b) VERY obvious if I’d used my flash.  Oh well.  I had spicy tuna salad, salmon sashimi and miso soup.  Deeelicious.

And dinner?  African Yam & Peanut Soup from my beloved Rebar cookbook.  If you don’t have this cookbook, I would recommend that you drop whatever you are doing (after you finish reading my blog) and go buy it.  Now.  It is fabulous.  Vegetarian, creative, amazing.  I wasn’t going to post the recipe but I just googled it and found it on RecipeZaar, so I guess it’s “out there”.  It takes a bit of time (lots of chopping/mincing) but the results are so worth it.  I made a slightly larger batch than average because Carlos is a double-serving type of soup eater.  Serve with lime wedges and hot sauce. 

I normally make this on the weekend so making it on a weekday night felt a bit rushed and I was staaaarving by the time I finished it up, so a photo was the last thing on my mind.  But, guess what I’m eating for dinner tonight?  Photo to come.

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Nori Rolls!

The last time I was in Canada, I picked up a 100-pack of raw nori sheets. Why raw? Because toasting nori kills the enzymes which make it so good for you. You can tell if your nori is toasted because it will be green in colour, where the raw nori is a much darker, almost purple-ish-black colour.

Some people don’t like nori because they think it tastes fishy. I’ve never tasted ‘fish’ so much as ‘ocean’, which doesn’t bother me one bit. I love the salty bite nori has and it has become one of my favorite go-to ingredients when I need to throw together something quick, healthy and fun to eat. Because who doesn’t love that?

I rarely if ever use nori to make sushi. Instead, I wrap it around all sorts of random stuff, slice it up like temaki and serve it with some kind of dipper. So, what can you wrap up in nori? For the most part, you want to make sure that the combo includes something to smear across the nori to give it a little bit of moisture and some flavor, and something to “bulk it up”, like greens. My favorite combinations:

– tomato, avocado, a smear of hummus, capers and leftover greens
– shredded carrot, hummus, green onion and sprouts
– leftover brown rice, avocado, homemade salsa and greens (a Japanese burrito?)

I’m constantly tossing together new combinations and haven’t found a bad one yet. Nori wraps are great for work lunches, though it’s best if you “assemble” at the office to avoid soggy nori (this is especially true if tomatoes are involved).

Last week, I was feeling like a light dinner, so I went through the fridge and made two nori rolls with leftover homemade eggplant dip, black olive tapenade, tomatoes, greens, avocado and slivers of red onion. It was an odd combo with the nori, but it worked! Served with a dipper of hot sauce and some oddly shaped grape tomatoes, it filled me up and hit the spot.

Yum.

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