Archive for January, 2013 | Monthly archive page

Life is a Cabaret!

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Cabaret-showgirls

 

Speaking of things I find frightening…I’m taking the plunge tonight and auditioning for the musical Cabaret in my little town.  I did a lot of theatre when I was a teenager and although I loved it and usually got a part, I always got the non-singing roles.  The reason why is my complete fear of singing in front of people.  Well after almost a year of vocal training and a lot of putting myself out there with musician friends and such, I am finally taking the plunge and facing my fears.  I don’t really even care if I get  the part;  the process of auditioning is what I care about at this time.  If I can stand in front of a director and casting persons and sing then I know I have accomplished something.  If I choke, I know I’ll be disappointed but I will be proud of myself for trying.

Wish me luck.

Honey and Cinnamon

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

cin-honey

 

Honey and cinnamon seems to be the latest health craze floating around.  This is one of those possible fads that I’m totally willing to give a try.   As I am not allergic to honey or cinnamon, it really can’t hurt to give it a go and quite simply I don’t care if it works or not.   I love this combination of flavours so why not incorporate a glass of cinnamon honey water as my first thing in the morning drink.

Unpasteurized honey has been known for centuries to work as an anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and regenerative agent.  It is full of phytonutrients including B vitamins (no pun intended), iron and manganese.  Pure unadulterated honey has been known to have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory affects.  I really could go on and on about why you should always have honey in the house.  Another interesting fact is that honey is the only food that never goes bad.

True cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum aka Ceylon Cinnamon) as opposed to Cassia which is sometimes sold as cinnamon is apparently what really works.  As  an anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory and is said to help lower blood sugars and cholesterol.

The combination of honey and cinnamon is claimed to help a host of ailments including heart disease, arthritis, infertility, pimples,  fatigue, bad breath…you get the idea I’m sure.

So why is it supposed to help in weight loss?  Not entirely sure.  I guess it’s because honey is a said to speed up your metabolism, curb your appetite (certainly for sugary things), and boost your energy. Cinnamon lowers cholesterol and aids in digestion (therefore helping your body process foods more efficiently).  The combination sounds useful.

In a jar, combine:

  • 1 part natural unpasteurized honey
  • 1 part ground Ceylon cinnamon

Dilute a tablespoon in a cup of room temperature water and drink first thing in the morning.

Note: some people recommend boiling water but the kills the effectiveness of the honey.

Vegetarian Enchiladas

Saturday, January 5th, 2013

veggie enchilada

 

This dish is not only FULL of flavour, it is very healthy and of course contains my favourite…beans.  An easy meal that you can load up with veggies that can be made ahead and heated when you need it? Yes please.  Aaand…Yay Fiber, these enchiladas are full of that good stuff.

You’ll note that one of the vegetables I put in here is Swiss Chard.  As with most leafy greens it’s full of Thiamin, Folate, Phosphorus and Zinc, and is a very good source of Dietary Fiber.  This is why every nutritionist will heavily encourage the consumption of any and all green leaf veggies.  A little tip; the darker green the leaf the more packed with nutrients.  I also like chard because it’s less bitter than kale.

Remember that any of the vegetables you see in this recipe can be substituted for something you prefer.  You could substitute the chard for broccoli, red pepper for green or yellow, skip the mushrooms.  Basically, use your imagination.

Enchilada sauce

  • 398ml (14 oz) can of  crushed tomato
  • .5 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 finely diced small onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • .25 ground celery seed
  • 30ml (1 oz) lime juice

Start by sauteing the onion in a sauce pan on medium heat with the cumin and chili powder until you can really smell the spices.  Then just dump the remaining ingredients in and let it simmer on low heat while you prepare the rest of the dish.  If it tastes a bit bitter I will add a tiny amount of honey until it tastes smoother.

Enchilada Filling

  • 2 med. diced onion
  • 2 diced red pepper
  • 1 med. diced zucchini
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 150g (5 oz) crimini or button mushrooms (really you can use any kind you want)
  • 454 g (1 lb) diced swiss chard
  • 1 pkg. yves veggie ground round (optional)
  • 454 g (1 lb) cooked or canned black beans
  • 1 tbsp basil
  • .5 tsp celery seed
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 1tsp thyme

In a large skillet, saute the vegetables on medium high heat in the order they are presented above.  Leave each enough time to soften a little before you add the next.  The herbs can go in at anytime after the onions have been done.   Lastly add the veggie ground and the beans,mixing it all together until warmed through. Set this aside off the heat and check on your sauce to make sure it tastes right.

Other Ingredients

  • 225 g (.5 lb) grated old cheddar (or the melty cheese of your choice)
  • 6 tortilla  (I like Ezekiel 4:9 sprouted grain, but you can use plain old flour or rice flour ones)

You are also going to want a medium large Pyrex casserole dish and the oven heated to 350°.  A tip,  the enchiladas should be able to fit closely in the pan.

To assemble, start with a tortilla sprinkle a bit of cheese on (~2 tbsp), then scoop on 1/6th of the veggie mix.  Roll up the bundle and put it in the Pyrex dish so that all the bundles will fit in the dish.  Repeat for all the tortillas.  Cover in the enchilada sauce and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.  Spread the remaining cheese on top and carefully brown it under the broiler. Enjoy.