Hard to Imagine…My Dream Came True!!

This post is completely not food related. But I have to share my elation.
I got to cross off an item from the proverbial bucket list. I attended my first ever Pearl Jam concert last night!! Oh, it just dawned on me that there is a slight food connection there, considering the bands name and all. LOL.

Anyway. I know I am a bit late to the party here, having met several super fans yesterday whose concert attendance numbered in the double digits, but hey better late than never!
It was magical. It was amazing. It was unforgettable.

I listened to their hits on the radio as they came up over the years but I truly fell madly, deeply into the music about a year and a half ago. And immediately became entirely immersed and encompassed. This serendipitous encounter came at a time in my life when I very much needed the soul soothing salve that is their song catalogue.

Last night’s show included many defining anthems as well as lesser known, to the average folk anyway, tunes. I savoured every single morsel but was particularly elated when they belted out one of my faves, Unthough Known. Goosebump-inducing moment for sure. That song has carried me through many tough moments and I find myself turning to it time and time again whenever I need to brighten my mood and lift my spirit.

I will continue to ride this post-concert afterglow for a few more days yet. Wow.

Fill the air up with love,
ilona

Blissful Summer Day

Kelso 1

Want my recipe for a mind, body, spirit detox? A hike. Pure and simple.
Whether a journey of solitude or a frolic with friends, nothing restores, cleanses and recharges like a day on the trails surrounded by endless foliage, a blue sky and the warmth of the sun on your face.

It never ceases to amaze me how amazing I feel after hours, yes hours, out in nature. It’s perplexing to me that more people don’t go outside to enjoy the spoils of Mother Earth that surround us. I guess I happen to be super lucky to be living literally at the foot of the escarpment. And am I ever so glad that I do.

Now, initially I had much different plans for today. I had scheduled myself in for a quick morning run, then shopping at a mall. This all changed after a night of awful sleep and being greeted by dazzling sunshine that finally forced my eyelids open. Original plans went out the window pretty darn fast. I happened to be dog sitting a lovely canine by the name of Jersey, so I packed a backpack with water and snacks for us both (doggie delights for her and a trail mix of pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, dried cranberries and cacao nibs for me).

Off we went into the wild.

The sounds, smells, and sights of the forest, fields and rocky ledges were just delicious. I love how you can observe every detail of your body when you’re out there with no distractions to fuzz your perceptions – the building heat of your skin, the pounding of your heart with every incline and ascend, the delight your brain registers as you turn a corner to discover an amazing view, the feeling of the ground beneath your feet. And yes, even the sting and immediate itch following a mosquito’s feast (and boy did they feast today!).

Ahhhh. Heaven.

After nearly 3 hours at Kelso Conservation Area, we headed home. Content and spent. The pooch and I pooched. We re-hydrated and I was happy to have leftovers from yesterday’s meal to feed my growling belly.

I leave you with some pics from our adventure.

Kelso 2

IMG_00000157

IMG_00000145

IMG_00000149

Oh, and here’s my post-hike nourishment. Perfect, no?

Millet with Veg and Beans

Happy hijinks on the hiking trail,
ilona

Quick and Delish Summer Dish

Hello dear readers. It’s been a while. Too long. But here I am again, for better or worse!

I spent this beautiful, perfect summer day waiting around for the internet guy to finally reconnect me to civilization. He showed up 15 minutes before the 4 hour window they gave me as my appointment time was up. Anyone else think this practice is ludicrous?? Hey, I’m coming over for dinner. When? Oh, I don’t know, sometime between 4 and 8. Anyway. I’m almost over it.

So I did what any other food lover would do with spare time. I cooked. Now, I’m not the type of person that is particularly averse to cooking in any sorts of weather, but it does occur to me that most people don’t want to spend oodles of time in the kitchen when the sun is blazing outside. And so here is a quick little number I pulled together in about 20min or so with ingredients I had on hand. When I execute these spontaneous acts of cookery, I like to think in groups. Nutrient groups, food groups, deliciousness groups, whatever you want to call it. Here is what I aim to include in a nourishing dish I concot on the fly:

Veg – anything goes! the possibilities are essentially limitless
Whole grain – my faves are quinoa, millet, rice, gluten-free pasta, sweet or white potato (while not technically a grain I throw the potato in this category for it’s starchy nature)
Protein – beans, lentils, chickpeas, tempeh, nuts, seeds

Pick something from each group, add the magic of flavour (spices, herbs, tamari, miso, citrus juice and zest, oils, vinegars, broth, condiments…I could go on). And there you have it.

Millet, Greens and Legumes in Miso Sauce

1/2-1 cup dry millet (see cooking instructions here)

a whole whack of kale, washed, large stems removed, chopped in bite-sizeish pieces (the more the better, this green cooks down A LOT)

1 cup frozen peas

1-2 cups beans of your choosing (I used leftover chickpeas and broad beans that I had in freezer, you can use canned or store-bought frozen)

For sauce: whisk together 2 Tbsp of miso paste (I used the white variety), 2 Tbsp rice vinegar, 2 tsp sesame oil, 2 tsp maple syrup, a dash or two of hot pepper sauce of you choose, and about 2-3 Tbsp of water

Heat a teaspoon or two of sesame oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat, add kale and a few splashes of water and let it hang out until wilted and getting tender (a few minutes). Use tongs to move it about. Add frozen peas and beans, cook until defrosted. Add sauce and let it all come together for a minute or two. Add millet (I used 1/2-2/3 of the amount that 1 cup of dry millet cooked up…will use leftovers in salads, soups or breakfast porridge). Stir it all together, the millet will absorb the delicious sauce.

Enjoy! Preferably with a cold beer.

Happy lazy summer days,
ilona

PS No picture. The beer made me sleepy.