Living Lou http://www.livinglou.com + cooking through my twenties Mon, 13 Apr 2015 09:00:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 Moroccan Roasted Chicken Legs http://www.livinglou.com/2015/04/moroccan-roasted-chicken-legs.html http://www.livinglou.com/2015/04/moroccan-roasted-chicken-legs.html#comments Mon, 13 Apr 2015 09:00:52 +0000 http://www.livinglou.com/?p=6315

Crispy and flavourful Moroccan Roasted Chicken Legs are a quick weeknight dinner | livinglou.com

I know, two Moroccan recipes in a row, but these Moroccan roasted chicken legs pair so beautifully with my Moroccan couscous and chickpea salad that I just had to post the recipe. After all, I promised April would be a month filled with quick dinner recipes and I’m here to deliver on that promise. Sort of, I know April has been quiet around here. Quieter than usual. Let’s just say T-minus two weeks until I’m done my undergrad. It’s a slog. But guess what? It’s a sunny Toronto Sunday and I’m sitting at my white desk surrounded by windows in our sun room listening to Florence + The Machine, sharing a flavourful and simple new dinner recipe, as one does.

Crispy and flavourful Moroccan Roasted Chicken Legs are a quick weeknight dinner | livinglou.com

Is there anything better than a slow morning basking in a sunny and mild 18 degrees, with a coffee in hand? I don’t think so. The past couple of nights were spent celebrating the birthdays of two of my favourite guys, which means they were later and more wine-soaked than usual. A slow morning was just what the doctor ordered. I spent the afternoon slugging away at my paper and I’m at a point where I’ve done so much paper writing that I feel like it’s ok to come and check in here. I feel like I need it for my own sanity. There are so many things I want to talk about right now. I’m turning 22 next week. I’m finishing university in two weeks. And other than the two exams and four assignments looming over my head, I’m feeling content and I think this is a good thing. I’ve talked about my tendency to err on the side of over-achieving so sitting in this feeling of contentment is something that is new for me. I just had to give myself permission to be happy and ok with where I am. Then again, ask me again in a month and we’ll see.

Do you know what the definition of content is? Being in a state of peaceful happiness. And wow, is it ever liberating. It feels like progress, a small step, a work-in-progress, but progress nonetheless.

Moroccan Roasted Chicken Legs

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken legs, excess fat trimmed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Toss chicken legs in olive oil and spices.
  3. Arrange on a rack on a baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes, flip chicken and roast for another 25 minutes or until cooked through.

Notes

Recipe by Louisa Clements

http://www.livinglou.com/2015/04/moroccan-roasted-chicken-legs.html

]]>
http://www.livinglou.com/2015/04/moroccan-roasted-chicken-legs.html/feed 0
The Month in Moments: March 2015 http://www.livinglou.com/2015/04/the-month-in-moments-march-2015.html http://www.livinglou.com/2015/04/the-month-in-moments-march-2015.html#comments Sat, 04 Apr 2015 09:00:06 +0000 http://www.livinglou.com/?p=6277

The Month in Moments: March 2015 a recap of livinglou.com

There are so many things that happen outside of the walls of Living Lou that I thought it would be fun to try a new monthly feature called The Month in Moments. A little behind-the-scenes peek into my life and what it’s like to be a 21 year old, city-dwelling food blogger and film student (well, I’ll only be a student for another month!). March was exciting and filled with thesis writing. I think that snapshot of my desk really shows what the majority of my life is these days.

March 2015 Recipes

Let’s start out with a recap of the recipes I shared in March, I shared five new recipes with you and they are some of my favourites I’ve ever created. Moroccan Couscous and Chickpea Salad, Spicy Ginger Scallion Soup, 5 Ingredient Honey Almond Granola, Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Puttanesca, and Six Vegetable White Bean Pesto Soup.

March Throwbacks 

I’ve been publishing recipes for almost five years, so I thought I would include a little throwback section to highlight some of the recipes I posted two, three and four years ago in March.

March 2014: Moroccan Vegetable Soup

March 2013: Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce

March 2012: Coconut Crusted Chicken Strips

March 2011: Living Lou’s Chicken Wings

Lou Around the Web

I write and publish recipes on a couple of other sites. I’ve started a new Cooking for One series with Carly over at The College Prepster and in March, I shared three new recipes: Egg Drop Soup for One, Rice and Beans for One and Spicy Mushroom Marinara Sauce for One. Be sure to check them out.

As part of my job, I’ve been writing weekly blog posts on Chatelaine.com, here’s what I wrote about in March.

Three keys to successful recipe testing

Five things you didn’t know about beets

5 tips for chopping fruits and vegetables

How recipes are tested in the Chatelaine Kitchen

The Month in Moments: March 2015 a recap of livinglou.com

March Moments 

March started out with an appearance on Jr. EcTV which was so much fun – check out my interview to hear my thoughts on food and food blogging.  I also moderated the food panel at the RCWIB conference. We had such a great audience of students with fantastic questions. My biggest takeaway was that if you’re going to work in in the food industry you need one thing: passion.

Later in the month, I headed to a fascinating talk from National Geographic live with my sister and friend. It was such an inspiring evening! I’ve added the word “adventure” to my bulletin board.

Usually my food blog life is pretty separate from my everyday life, but it’s always fun when I get to combine the two. I headed to the premiere for Super Snack Bros. on Food Network with one of my great friends. We had a blast!

The month ended with a great evening learning to make donuts with Mardi and Bonne Maman jams at Le Dolci in Toronto. After a couple hours of donut making and quite a few laughs, I made a bunch of my film-student friends happy because I may have dropped by with a box of warm homemade donuts.

Screen Shot 2015-04-03 at 2.30.46 PM

What’s coming in April

April is the month of dinner on Living Lou. In my poll you said you were looking for more simple and healthy dinner recipes so that’s exactly what you’re going to get! You can see a little preview of some recipes you’ll be seeing around here over the next few months, but get ready for some simple dinners for April. Let me know in the comments if there are any specific dinner recipes you’d like to see. 

recipe-preview

 

Favourite Reads around the Web

I love reading articles online, here are a few of my favourites I devoured in March.

The Egg Personality Test (Poached are my choice).

Thought provoking piece on C-suite men stepping down for “work-life-balance”.

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love an afternoon nap. 5 easy tricks to maximize your nap thank you very much.

20 career tips from female entrepreneurs.

A great read for any other bloggers: How to blog with focus.

Well, there you have it! My first instalment of The Month in Moments. I’ll be back to regular scheduled programming next week with a couple delicious recipes.

]]>
http://www.livinglou.com/2015/04/the-month-in-moments-march-2015.html/feed 2
Moroccan Couscous and Chickpea Salad http://www.livinglou.com/2015/03/moroccan-couscous-and-chickpea-salad.html http://www.livinglou.com/2015/03/moroccan-couscous-and-chickpea-salad.html#comments Tue, 31 Mar 2015 09:00:38 +0000 http://www.livinglou.com/?p=6247

Moroccan Couscous and Chickpea Salad is simple, fresh and flavourful salad. | livinglou.com

Have you been reading my site for a while, or are you new around here? If you’ve been around these parts before, you’ll remember my love for Moroccan flavours, and if you’re new around here, I think it’s about time you become acquainted with my love for Moroccan flavours. I first dabbled in them all the way back in January 2013 after trying a delicious Moroccan soup at a local restaurant. Ever since, I have been dreaming up different ways to explore these flavours, whether it’s a vegetable soup or a slow cooker chicken stew. Today, I’ve got a killer Moroccan Couscous and Chickpea Salad for you.

Sometimes when I’m writing, I picture you. In my mind, I see you sitting on the other side of the screen. I like to imagine you’re somewhere warm, or at least warmer than Toronto. Or if it is cold like Toronto, at least you’re inside and cozy. For some reason, you’re always wearing stripes. But I’m thinking that that probably has more to do with my own obsession with stripes. I hope you’re sipping on a warm mug of tea or a cup of coffee, depending on what time you’re checking in.

Moroccan Couscous and Chickpea Salad is simple, fresh and flavourful salad. | livinglou.com

Picturing you kind of makes this blogging thing a little less lonely and writing a little easier. Sometimes it can feel like I’m writing to no one, even though I know you’re there.  It’s always nice when I get an email or a Tweet or an Instagram from you, but all that really matters is that my food gives you something. A delicious meal, some inspiration to get into the kitchen or just a touch of happiness. It’s so easy to get distracted by other things in this blogosphere, God knows I have, but what is really the most important thing is you. Every recipe I create is with you in mind. In my poll, you said you wanted more simple dinner recipes, so guess what? For the month of April, I’ll be focused on simple dinners – you have a say in the content I post!

Until next time, here’s a delicious and simple Moroccan couscous and chickpea salad.

Moroccan Couscous and Chickpea Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 red pepper, finely diced
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 19oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Instructions

  1. In a small pot, bring water to a boil Add couscous. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk olive oil with vinegar, cumin, cinnamon and salt.
  3. Fluff couscous with a fork and in a medium bowl, stir in carrot, red pepper, green onions and chickpeas.
  4. Drizzle with dressing and toss to coat.

Notes

Recipe by Louisa Clements

http://www.livinglou.com/2015/03/moroccan-couscous-and-chickpea-salad.html

]]>
http://www.livinglou.com/2015/03/moroccan-couscous-and-chickpea-salad.html/feed 2
Spicy Ginger Scallion Soup http://www.livinglou.com/2015/03/spicy-ginger-scallion-soup.html http://www.livinglou.com/2015/03/spicy-ginger-scallion-soup.html#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 09:00:59 +0000 http://www.livinglou.com/?p=6222

Enjoy a light dinner with this simple vegetarian soup. Spicy Ginger Scallion Soup is ready in just 20 minutes! | livinglou.com

I’ve been craving a light, Asian soup for the past little while, but usually they require hundreds of ingredients and hours of simmering. Of course, I wanted one that I could make after a long day and in about twenty minutes. Something that doesn’t have too many complicated ingredients. Something that’s spicy, and complex. So, as one does when one is a food blogger, I came up with this recipe for spicy ginger scallion soup.

I should really be writing my thesis paper right now, but here I am. Seeking refuge in the “pages” of this space, as I often do, and have done over the past (almost) 5 years. I’m sipping on some too-hot, lemon ginger tea – which tastes just like NeoCitran. I feel like it’s making me drowsy even though I know it really isn’t.

I have a love-hate relationship with a lot of things, but right now, it’s directed at this paper I’m writing. It’s a beast. There are moments where I think “I’ve got this!” and then there are moments where I can’t even imagine writing another word. I’m at the point where I’m just getting started on the complicated middle and can’t quite see the way out yet. It gets worse before it gets better, right?

Enjoy a light dinner with this simple vegetarian soup. Spicy Ginger Scallion Soup is ready in just 20 minutes! | livinglou.com

When I work on my paper, I need to have a block of time to work on it. Four or five hours seems to be the magic number right now. But between class, work and this space, finding those chunks of time is getting harder and harder. I almost wish I could just hide away up north for a week and write this paper. The distractions never end. The goal this weekend is to really get a ton of writing done, and I’m hoping by putting that out there into the ether that I’ll stick to it and be able to report back next week with another 8 or 10 pages written. I’ll be fuelling my days with coffee (as always) and this spicy scallion ginger soup.

Spicy Ginger Scallion Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bunch scallions, white and light green parts halved lengthwise, tops thinly sliced and reserved
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 2 cups sliced button mushrooms
  • 3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sriracha
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 125 g vermicelli rice noodles, cooked according to package directions

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add halved white and light green parts of scallions, garlic and ginger. Saute for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add mushrooms, soy sauce and sriracha. Cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Add vegetable broth, water and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove cinnamon stick. Add lime juice, sesame oil and cooked vermicelli noodles.
  5. Sprinkle with reserved scallions and serve.

Notes

Recipe by Louisa Clements

http://www.livinglou.com/2015/03/spicy-ginger-scallion-soup.html

]]>
http://www.livinglou.com/2015/03/spicy-ginger-scallion-soup.html/feed 5
5 Ingredient Honey Almond Granola http://www.livinglou.com/2015/03/5-ingredient-honey-almond-granola.html http://www.livinglou.com/2015/03/5-ingredient-honey-almond-granola.html#comments Sun, 22 Mar 2015 09:00:29 +0000 http://www.livinglou.com/?p=6192

Start your morning off on the right foot with a simple recipe for 5 -ingredient honey almond granola! | livinglou.com

I find myself making a batch of granola on a weekly basis and because of this, I wanted to create a ridiculously simple five ingredient granola to share with you. I really don’t think there is a better way to start your morning than with a bowl of yogurt, fresh fruit and granola. This honey almond granola is also the ultimate afternoon snack with a touch of sweetness, some crunch and a boost of protein.

It’s not only making granola that I find myself repeating over and over again, these days, I find myself repeating the same sentence over and over again: “We’re so young“. On a muddy walk through the ravine. Over a glass of wine in a dimly lit bar. Over FaceTime to friends who have scattered around the world. To you, here on this blog.

We're so young

Maybe it’s because of the impending graduation and that big, ominous capital-L, Life thing that’s coming, but “We’re so young” is my catchphrase of the moment. It’s reassuring. I was talking with a few friends of mine about this the other night; some are off to grad school, others hope to travel, some of us, like myself, will be working. But we’re all just doing, going with it and seeing where it takes us. While reassuring ourselves that we have time to figure it out.

Over the past year, I’ve been trying to live my life in the moment. And really process and live these moments. I’ve realized that I’m only 21 and that I don’t need to have my whole life figured out right this second. It’s more fun this way. It’s better this way. As my favourite professor said to me: take the pressure off. So I’ve done just that and have been so much happier, following my own wandering, winding path. And filling my life with more of the things I love; cooking, writing, and spending time with the people I love.

Last night that meant making chicken wings and caesars and watching March Madness with my sister and Mum. I wouldn’t have it any other way. (If only my bracket wasn’t already busted…)

Start your morning off on the right foot with a simple recipe for 5 -ingredient honey almond granola! | livinglou.com

5 Ingredient Honey Almond Granola

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 4 1/2 cups

Ingredients

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups almonds, chopped
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Arrange oats on a baking sheet and toast for 13-15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, bring honey, canola oil and cinnamon to a boil. Whisk and boil for 30 seconds.
  4. In a large bowl, pour honey mixture over chopped almonds. Stir in toasted oats.
  5. Dump granola and spread into in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring halfway through.
  7. Allow to cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes to harden.

Notes

Louisa Clements

http://www.livinglou.com/2015/03/5-ingredient-honey-almond-granola.html

I hope you’ll join me in making this five ingredient honey almond granola over and over again. You won’t regret it. Have a great week!

]]>
http://www.livinglou.com/2015/03/5-ingredient-honey-almond-granola.html/feed 2
Slow Cooker Shredded Puttanesca Chicken http://www.livinglou.com/2015/03/slow-cooker-shredded-puttanesca-chicken.html http://www.livinglou.com/2015/03/slow-cooker-shredded-puttanesca-chicken.html#comments Mon, 16 Mar 2015 09:00:54 +0000 http://www.livinglou.com/?p=6159

Slow cooker shredded puttanesca chicken is sure to be a family favourite! | livinglou.com

The results from my poll are in, you guys want to see more simple and healthy dinner recipes, and this recipe for slow cooker shredded puttanesca chicken is just the start! I’m a huge fan of slow cooker recipes that take five minutes in the morning (all that is required is gathering the ingredients and dumping them in the slow cooker). For this recipe I was inspired by the flavours from the always-delicious Puttanesca pasta. You’ll notice there are no anchovies in here, not really sure how well those would work in the slow cooker – ha. But it’s loaded with flavour from kalamata olives, capers and garlic. As delicious as this chicken is, that’s not really what I feel like talking about today.

slow-cooker-shredded-chicken-puttanesca

Do you ever have that moment when you’re reading something and all of a sudden you stumble upon a sentence that stops you in your tracks? Something you just have to write down and save for later. If you’re following me on Instagram, you’ll know that I’ve been doing a lot of reading and research for the thesis paper I’m writing (the countdown is on…5 weeks until it’s due, yikes.) I had one of those moments a couple of days ago when I was reading this great piece in Relevant Magazine called “Why Do We Watch Movies?”.

Food for thought

But cinema is more than just a window. It’s also a magnifying glass. It focuses our attention on everyday reality in a way that makes us see everyday reality for what it really is: magnificence and curiosity.

Wow. On so many levels. First of all, magnificence and curiosity are two of my favourite words. And I think they are such an amazing way to describe life. Don’t you? On another level, I’ve had a love-hate relationship with film for the past four years. I’ve been immersed in film school, and I think studying anything can kind of take a bit of the joy out of it, at least for a little while. But just reading that sentence was an “a-ha” moment for me; it reminded me of why I fell in love with movies in the first place. Do I want to pursue a career in the film industry like I once thought? At this moment, almost one month away from my 22nd birthday, I’m going to have to say no, not really. But ever since learning about the Renaissance Man in my 12th grade world history class with one of my all-time favourite teachers, I’ve said that I want to be a Renaissance Woman. So who knows how film will fit into that picture, but I have an inkling it will pop up somewhere at sometime.

Slow Cooker Shredded Puttanesca Chicken

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 7 hours

Total Time: 7 hours, 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4-5 chicken breasts
  • 1 can whole tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup sliced kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • Parsley, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. 1. Break up whole tomatoes with your hands or a potato masher.
  2. 2. Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker.
  3. 3. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 7 hours.
  4. 4. Remove chicken from slow cooker and shred with two forks. Add back into liquid and serve over rice and garnish with parsley.

Notes

Recipe by Louisa Clements

http://www.livinglou.com/2015/03/slow-cooker-shredded-puttanesca-chicken.html

]]>
http://www.livinglou.com/2015/03/slow-cooker-shredded-puttanesca-chicken.html/feed 0
What a Week! http://www.livinglou.com/2015/03/what-a-week.html http://www.livinglou.com/2015/03/what-a-week.html#comments Thu, 12 Mar 2015 09:00:15 +0000 http://www.livinglou.com/?p=6130

I don’t typically do posts like this, but I thought doing a bit of a “week in life” post was the perfect way to show you all the stuff that has been going on behind-the-scenes here at Living Lou. Last week was particularly crazy, but without further ado, join me with a steaming cup of coffee and let’s get going.

week monday

8am. The first thing I do is check my email and Instagram from my phone in bed (I know, awful habit). I make a cup of coffee and ease into the week with email and social media.

By 9:30, I’m in the kitchen working on the second test of a new muffin recipe. I rush off class which finishes early so I’m home by 3. The rest of the afternoon is spent on blog things: social media and recipe testing (delicious, but ugly, stuffed chicken breast – back to the drawing board).

My day ends with another cup of coffee (I think my body is 75% coffee) followed by hours of reading research reports for my thesis paper.

week-tuesday

7:30am. Coffee and a couple of muffins from yesterday. I get to the office at 9:30 where my day is non-stop action. I rush home by 5:45 and am out the door again by 6pm to head to the menu tasting at NAO Steakhouse. The steak tartar with squid ink chips was my favourite dish!

This is one of my favourite parts of blogging. Over wonderful conversations, I sample the delicious spring menu. I get home around 10 where I finish off my day with some writing.

week-wednesday

7:30am, another day at work. After a jam packed day, I grab a cup of coffee to-go and head to my ballet class. I’ve been off for almost six weeks, so I take things a little easy and am not able to do my usual pointe class. I also receive a copy of the marketing book the Living Lou redesign is a part of!

 

7am. An exciting day as the new Kitchen Apprentice program I’m part of at Chatelaine launches! Be sure to check out my blog, video and a fun rapid-fire Q&A I did with Chatelaine – I’ll be working there for the next year, which has been amazing so far and I’ve learned a ton. It’s a dream come true to pursue my passion for food.

I make my way downstairs to my kitchen to get a recipe going in the slow cooker. I want to photograph it that afternoon, so it needs to be done by 3pm. My class runs at 12pm today so I head to my favourite coffee shop to get a bit of writing done. I’m back from class by 3pm, so I photograph my slow cooker dish and prepare for my meeting at 5.

By 6pm, I’m focused on preparing for my appearance on Jr. ECTV that night. I get to the studio at 7:45 and we tape until 9:30. I have a blast participating in the spirited discussion about food! The episode will be airing in a couple of weeks so be sure to tune in. I’m home by 10 and head to bed early; I’ll be up at 5am to do Breakfast Television and need some sleep.

week-friday

5am. A vat of coffee in hand. We tape Breakfast Television (watch one of the segments here) from 6-9am, and it is so much fun! I am zapped by the time it is over, and I quickly jet off to school to get my photo taken for our end of year screening and then rush back downtown to the Shangri-La hotel where I’m moderating the food panel at the RCWIB Conference. There was lots of great advice shared at the panel, and I think the attendees had lots of takeaways – I know I did. It’s always wonderful to learn from successful, hardworking women.

I’m home by 5:30 where I take a much-needed nap before catching up on a backlog of email and social media. I do a quick check-in with my editorial calendar and plan posts and grocery lists for the weekend and the coming week. I plan my recipes two months in advance, and break them down by week so I always know what I need to get done. I’ll be working on anywhere from 8-20 recipes at any given time depending on what is going on!

My Friday night ends with a night out with some good friends, and it may or may not have included a touch of karaoke.

I’ll be back with a delicious recipe on Sunday so stay tuned, but in the meantime, don’t forget to vote in my poll. I hope you enjoyed that little look behind the scenes.

]]>
http://www.livinglou.com/2015/03/what-a-week.html/feed 0
Six Vegetable White Bean Pesto Soup http://www.livinglou.com/2015/03/six-vegetable-white-bean-pesto-soup.html http://www.livinglou.com/2015/03/six-vegetable-white-bean-pesto-soup.html#comments Sun, 01 Mar 2015 17:29:42 +0000 http://www.livinglou.com/?p=6089

Packed with goodness, this healthy six vegetable white bean soup is elevated with the addition of pesto swirled in at the end! | Livinglou.com

This Six Vegetable White Bean Pesto Soup was created out of necessity. After a few weeks of over-indulgence, not very much sleep and too much stress, my body and mind were just feeling awful. It doesn’t help that I’ve done something to my knee, so I’ve been out of my ballet classes for the past six weeks or so. I usually dance three times a week, so this hasn’t been the most fun. Not only is it how I love to keep my body active, but it is so incredible for the mind. I think everyone should try taking dance classes at least once, whether it’s ballet (my favourite, but I’m biased), hip-hop, jazz or even a zumba class. My knee is starting to feel better so I’ve been doing little workouts here and there, but I’ve decided that for March, I’m going to try and get things back to track by leaning a little more to the healthier side of things around here – don’t worry, nothing crazy, just more of my usual simple food that is good for your body and mind. Make sure to vote in the poll I’ve added at the bottom of the post so you can have a say in what kind of recipes you see more of around here!

Packed with goodness, this healthy six vegetable white bean soup is elevated with the addition of pesto swirled in at the end! | Livinglou.com

I can’t remember where I got the idea of stirring pesto into the soup once it’s cooked, but wow it is so good. Just add a teaspoon or so to the bottom of your bowl and spoon a few ladles of the six vegetable soup over top and stir. It’s magical and really elevates this soup into something magnificent. I know you’re probably thinking that six vegetables is such a random number, but don’t knock it until you try it. The vegetables I went with for this comforting soup are leeks, carrots, potatoes, green beans, broccoli and kale. The rest of the soup is made up of vegetable broth and garlic – it is that easy. This soup really doesn’t need any herbs or spices, the hearty vegetables, white beans and pesto do the trick.

Packed with goodness, this healthy six vegetable white bean soup is elevated with the addition of pesto swirled in at the end! | Livinglou.com

And here’s the poll – what would you like to see more of? (You can choose multiple answers).

Six Vegetable White Bean Pesto Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 cup chopped green beans
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 19oz can white navy beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups packed chopped kale
  • pesto at the end
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat, saute leek and garlic for 2 minutes.
  2. Add potato, carrot, green beans and broccoli florets. Saute for another 2-3 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
  3. Add broth and water, bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  4. Stir in beans and kale. Stirring until kale is wilted, about a minute.
  5. Serve with roughly 1 tsp of pesto in each bowl, ladle soup over pest and stir. Serve immediately.

Notes

Recipe by Louisa Clements

http://www.livinglou.com/2015/03/six-vegetable-white-bean-pesto-soup.html

I tried to use up as much of the vegetables as possible so you won’t have lots of leftover half-used veggies in the fridge. You can buy one leek, a small bunch of green beans, one potato and a carrot, but you will have some leftover broccoli and kale from this soup. Here are 5 recipes you could use these in:

Kale and Sausage Baked Pasta

Sauteed Kale with Sweet Potatoes

Quinoa Bowl

Balsamic Roasted Broccoli

Spicy Broccoli

]]>
http://www.livinglou.com/2015/03/six-vegetable-white-bean-pesto-soup.html/feed 4
Grilling Class at the Weber Grill Academy http://www.livinglou.com/2015/02/grilling-class-at-the-weber-grill-academy.html http://www.livinglou.com/2015/02/grilling-class-at-the-weber-grill-academy.html#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 10:00:59 +0000 http://www.livinglou.com/?p=6066

grilling class at the weber grill academy

I think one of the things that I love the most about cooking (besides actually eating) is that there is always something to learn. And I’m the kind of person who, as lame as it sounds, really loves learning new things. I’m graduating in April, so I’ve been thinking a lot about how in just a couple of months, for the first time, my “most important job” will no longer be going to school. I won’t be in a 24/7 learning environment. But I quickly realized how wrong I was in my thinking, just because I won’t be in a classroom environment anymore, doesn’t mean I won’t be learning all the time. Not only is every single day filled with new lessons, but there are so many other ways to continue learning. A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to try a grilling class at the Weber Grill Academy, which was the perfect opportunity to learn more about grilling.

weber way

This class came at the perfect time as I have started thinking about new summer grilling recipes to post this year. Not only do I have a ton of new, exciting ideas, but I also have more knowledge and tips that I’ll be able to share with you. The class was run by Chef Michael P. Clive, who is just a wealth of knowledge. He made grilling into such an approachable thing (I’ll admit that I have been intimidated by grilling before)! We cooked six different dishes all using the grill, but I think the best part was getting to eat them all at the end. My favourite was definitely the cedar planked salmon – I can’t wait to try this once the weather warms up a bit. I never knew that you had to burn the cedar plank before cooking the salmon, it adds even more flavour to the fish.

Now that we’re in the depths of February, I can’t think of a better pick-me-up than taking a grilling class. It will give you a little taste of summer to tide you over. If you’re in or around the Toronto area, check out their website here for more info on their classes.

If you’re looking for some grilling recipes, here are five of my favourites from the Living Lou archives.

Chili Lime Chicken Skewers

Pasta Salad with Grilled Vegetables

Cocoa and Chili Rubbed Pork

Barbecued Salmon

Baked Sweet Potatoes on the barbecue

Disclosure: I was invited by Weber-Stephen Canada Co. to attend the Weber Grill Academy grilling class and was gifted a Q1200 grill. The decision to write about my experience was completely my own and I was not compensated in any way for this post. All opinions expressed are my own. 

]]>
http://www.livinglou.com/2015/02/grilling-class-at-the-weber-grill-academy.html/feed 0
Cinnamon Chili Roasted Sweet Potatoes http://www.livinglou.com/2015/02/cinnamon-chili-roasted-sweet-potatoes.html http://www.livinglou.com/2015/02/cinnamon-chili-roasted-sweet-potatoes.html#comments Mon, 23 Feb 2015 15:14:10 +0000 http://www.livinglou.com/?p=6038

cinnamon chili roasted sweet potatoes

I’m having a moment with these cinnamon chili roasted sweet potatoes. I’m also having a moment with the show Six Feet Under. I know these things are complete unrelated, but it’s happening. These sweet potatoes check all the “boxes” for me. Perfect side dish? Check. Perfect snack? Check. Healthy? Check. Superfood? Check. Flavourful? Check. Easy? Check. Check. Check.

Cinnamon and Chili Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Can we talk about how good Six Feet Under is? Woah. It aired in 2001, when I was 8, so I missed it during its original run. But I’ve been watching it for the past month or so and am completely addicted. Not only is the show amazing, but it’s also so much fun to see all the old technology. One of the characters has the same cellphone my Dad had, and I had forgotten how big desktop computers once were. The only relation between these roasted sweet potatoes and Six Feet Under is that I will mindlessly eat these while bingeing on a few episodes. It’s better than snacking on chips, right?

With this awful cold weather we’ve had in Toronto recently, I’ve been spending lots of time inside watching shows and working on new recipes which has resulted in these delicious cinnamon and chili roasted sweet potatoes.

Cinnamon Chili Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 cups diced sweet potatoes (4-6 sweet potatoes, depending on size)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. In a large bowl, toss diced sweet potatoes with olive oil. Sprinkle with spices, tossing to coat.
  3. Arrange, in one layer, on a baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, tossing sweet potatoes halfway through.

Notes

Recipe by Louisa Clements

http://www.livinglou.com/2015/02/cinnamon-chili-roasted-sweet-potatoes.html

]]>
http://www.livinglou.com/2015/02/cinnamon-chili-roasted-sweet-potatoes.html/feed 8