All the leaves have finally started to really come down and I cannot believe that Halloween is around the corner. This year has gone by so much faster than I remember experiencing in previous years. If I can be honest, it’s been a bit of a white knuckle ride up to this point. I’m hoping for a bit more quiet and peace, in my home and of course all over the world, as the year starts to close. A few of the reads and links this week speak to those themes of reflection, winding down, and peace within.
I’ll be spending a lot of this weekend in the garden cleaning up, just being present to the changes and enjoying the last temperate days. I’m having my family for dinner on Sunday too, which I’m looking forward to. We’re also gearing up for a SIdes-Giving recipe fest on here starting next week. I’ve shared so many vegan holiday mains over the years, and thought that I was due to offer some classic sides. They’re also just my favourite part of the meal! For your early planning pleasure, all of my holiday recipes are here.
Be well and take care this weekend. Sending love and goodness your way.
5 Things I’m Reading:
- “If you don’t have enough peace and understanding and loving-kindness within yourself, your actions will not truly be for peace.”
- Finding Joy Amid The Pain
- In a hotter world, Indigenous food sovereignty is key to resilient farms, gardens and communities
- You Probably Aren’t Getting Enough Fiber
- On my nightstand: Gaviotas
5 Things I’m Enjoying:
- Truly so excited to try sweet garleek. This is a hybrid veg that combines leeks and all the sweet aspects of garlic created by Row 7 Seed Company, which is co-founded by chef Dan Barber (who worked with a plant breeder to popularize one of my faves: honey nut squash).
- Mindful Activism: From Anxiety to Agency (I know I link to this podcast all the time, but it really does add so much to my life)
- Maëlys Chae’s illustrations on Instagram
- The beauty of noticing
- Loved watching Mary-Louise make a classic shallot vinaigrette-dressed salad, and love her lettuce drying technique.
- How did you get into cooking?
When I decided to initially go vegan in my early twenties, that’s when I got into cooking a bit more. Prior to that, when we first got Food Network on cable at home, I remember watching Ina Garten quite a bit, getting her books, and having a passive interest. But I definitely got more involved and interested when I first tried doing the 100% plant-based thing. I was largely motivated by a desire to recreate my fave sweets and baked goods at first haha.
- What are your top 5 staple ingredients?
Tamari soy sauce, garlic, fresh herbs, vinegar, and maple syrup. If you subscribe to my email newsletter, you receive a beautiful 50-page pantry and kitchen equipment guide where I break down all of my essentials :)
- How do your daily rituals shift as we head into winter?
With the shorter days, cold temperatures, and just quieter nature of the season, I take cues from the surrounding natural world with my daily routines. We have a wood stove and love to get a fire going in the morning. I enjoy it so much because you have to give it your full attention initially. I sip hot herbal tea all day. I light candles. I still love my cold showers/plunges and find it even more important to incorporate them when the temperatures dip. I love to bundle up and get outside for exercise whenever I can. I bake bread and yeasted treats a lot more often. Overall, it’s a calmer season and I relish the inward focus that it cultivates!
- What does a realistic week of low key dinners look like for you?
When we map out our dinners for the week, my partner and I look at our schedules and roughly go from there. A few categories of weeknight dinners that we’ll generally plan and shop for: grain bowls, tacos, grilling a bunch of things, pizza and salad, veggie risotto, veggie curry, noodle and veg stir fry, soup or stew with bread, and sheet pan meals. Based on the season, what we’re craving, time constraints etc, we’ll roughly plan what we’re having each night, with one night reserved for takeout. It does not always go according to plan and that’s okay!
- What is the chili oil that you like? Any hot sauce recommendations for gifting?
It’s Momofuku’s Chili Crunch! I also love Fly By Jing’s Chili Crisp, which would make an excellent gift with Jing’s new cookbook! For hot sauces, I love Brooklyn Delhi’s Guntur Sannam hot sauce, Secret Aardvark’s habanero hot sauce, and every Marshall’s Haute Sauce I’ve tried has been delicious.