a $450 kitchen makeover and some lemon rosemary hummus

I’ve just moved for the second time in six months. I’m really hoping it will be the last move for a while. At least for a year or two. But I know enough to never say never. I actually like moving. I like shedding possessions. I like the challenge of a new space. I love getting organized – making a place my own. I find houses interesting. I love the chance to reinvent myself. Continue reading “a $450 kitchen makeover and some lemon rosemary hummus”

paleo balls

Not Paleo?

Neither am I.

I am interested in food though – all food – and especially healthy, tasty food.

And I’m interested in food trends even though I sometimes scoff at them. But when I was sitting in the dentist’s office and flipping through a magazine and saw these Paleo Balls – I just really liked the look and sound of them. So I made a quick note of the ingredients.

This is my version of the recipe. You can either make this Paleo or not – the Paleo version should have almond butter – but if you’re not Paleo – go ahead and use peanut butter if that’s easier. (Paleo diet does not allow legumes.) I added dark chocolate chips to my version even though the original recipe didn’t have any. I’m not really clear if the actual chips I used are Paleo or not because that’s not important to me.

What is important is that these balls are really delicious. They’re easy to make – remarkably healthy – and filling. So many great ingredients packed into them. They would be really good for packed lunches. Equally good with tea mid-afternoon. Perfect for travelling. Gluten and dairy-free. And seriously yummy.

Paleo or not – these are well worth trying.

Paleo Balls

  • Servings: 20-24 balls
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 1/2 cup almond butter (can use peanut butter for non-paleo version)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup ground almonds
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/4 sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp liquid honey
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • shredded coconut – amount will vary – see instructions

Mix all the ingredients together. If the batter is not stiff enough to roll into balls – add a tablespoon or two of coconut. Roll into balls about 1 inch (2.5cm)  in diameter. They are better smaller rather than larger so don’t err on the size of being overly generous. Should make between 20 and 24 balls. Roll the balls in coconut. Bake at 350 degrees F for 3 minutes. Yes – 3 minutes. The coconut should be a little toasted. Remove from oven and let cool before serving or storing.



chickpea and sweet potato curry

On the way home from Toronto today, I started thinking about what I wanted for dinner. I was longing for something healthy, homemade, and sensible after a few days of over-indulging in hotel and restaurant food whilst I was away in the big city. Continue reading “chickpea and sweet potato curry”

“I don’t have time to talk” and a favourite dish: lentils with rice

One of my new neighbours recently told me, “I DON’T HAVE TIME TO TALK.”

All I had said to her was a simple hello. The crazy thing is that I should just be happy because I didn’t want to talk either! I was on my way out to walk my dog. I didn’t answer but if I could think faster on my feet I might have told her that a simple HELLO and a smile would take a lot less time than, “I DON’T HAVE TIME TO TALK.”

While I was walking my dog, I was thinking about the general lack of kindness and feeling pretty sad.

But then yesterday, I drove past a neighbourhood park in Kingston and I saw something that reaffirmed my faith in people. There were a couple of dozen community-minded citizens out spending their Sunday morning picking up rubbish and raking the grass and working in the park. These were families with their children and strollers and dogs. They were obviously volunteering and keeping their neighbourhood clean – picking up after those who won’t pick up after themselves. They were making the world a better place. And they made me want to be a better person too. When I walked my dog last night I picked up rubbish along the way and brought it back to the garbage bin.

Then I read this article in the UK Daily Mail quoting a study which says the best way to deal with rudeness is to turn the other cheek and treat it with silence. The study found that people who completely ignore those who are rude and offensive were more mentally healthy than those who engage with them.

Perhaps overcoming bad manners is the real test of good manners. And apparently, it’s good for you too.

Seems like a good time to start talking about lentils. Because like picking up garbage in the park; like overcoming bad manners; and like disarming people with courtesy – lentils are also good for you!

Lentils are really, really healthy. They’re do-gooder food. A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the fact that lentils are just not photogenic.  But they are cheap and tasty and healthy and low impact on the planet. And combined with rice or another whole grain – they make a perfect vegetarian protein. You can make this from scratch with dry lentils and rice but I’m generally throwing it together at the last possible second and find canned lentils pretty handy.

Enjoy. Do good in the world. Smile and say hello. Pick up rubbish. And eat more lentils.

Lentils with Rice

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 2 cups water or vegetarian stock
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 large can of lentils, rinsed thoroughly
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp tamari or soya sauce
  • black pepper

Bring the rice, water or stock, and salt (use only a pinch of salt if you’re using stock instead of water) to the boil. Stir. Turn off the heat, cover and don’t even look a the rice for 20 minutes. You can use brown rice too of course but the cooking time is longer.

Meanwhile, sauté the onion in olive oil until the onion is lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook a further 2-3 minutes. Add the cooked rice and the washed lentils. Stir to combine. Add the tamari and season with black pepper (and if you’re not vegan – go ahead and top it with some grated parmesan cheese). Serve with a  green salad and a hearty loaf of bread.




Unrequited love and homemade (dairy-free) Baileys

“Do you know what it’s like to love someone without it ever being returned?” Continue reading “Unrequited love and homemade (dairy-free) Baileys”

on ego, ideals, and a batch of slow-cooker granola

I’ve been thinking about this brilliant passage on the subject of ego and ideals: Continue reading “on ego, ideals, and a batch of slow-cooker granola”

a well-worn classic – self-saucing baked chocolate pudding


When I was very young, I had a book in which somebody had inscribed the following:  Continue reading “a well-worn classic – self-saucing baked chocolate pudding”

beans, bacon, whisky, lard – and New Year’s resolutions

bean hotpot

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” Continue reading “beans, bacon, whisky, lard – and New Year’s resolutions”

trauma, triumph, and pea pesto

pea pesto2

When I was a little girl – my mother always bought season tickets for the symphony orchestra and took (dragged) me along. I had to get all dressed up in skirts or dresses and stockings and good shoes or boots. I had a little gold hair-band with pearls on it that dug in behind my ears and gave me a headache. And I had to behave which meant sitting absolutely still and listening. And not talking. Or coughing. Or sniffling. Or even yawning. It was painful. Continue reading “trauma, triumph, and pea pesto”

losing your mind is underrated AND so is really good soda bread


I saw this quote on the website True Activist  – and I’ve been thinking about it – trying to work out if it’s really true or not…. Continue reading “losing your mind is underrated AND so is really good soda bread”