Winter is the Real Spring: Make the Life You Want

Pomegranate ©2014 LaDomestique.com

 

Happy first day of December to you! I can’t believe 2014 is almost over, can you? It seems like only yesterday I welcomed the New Year declaring the theme in the La Domestique kitchen,

 

“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” 

Hippocrates

 

My passion for helping you cook deliciously healthy meals has only grown since then. It’s fed by everyday conversations when you tell me over and over again, “I really want to eat healthy food at home but I just can’t seem to make a habit of it. I just don’t have enough time.”

I want you to know I’m listening and I really want to help. 

It’s been a bit quiet around here because I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. I’m working on something big. Something that could really help you make a fresh start in 2015.  

As the cold, dark winter days draw in I feel a great sense of energy, like a seedling sprouting under the frozen ground. It made me think of the words of Irish author Edna O’Brien,

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Easy Everyday Vegetable Stir-Fry

Easy Stir Fry Ingredients ©2014 LaDomestique

We had a couple days of unbelievable sunshine and warmth here in Dublin this week (though today it has turned cloudy and cool). In true la belle vie style my husband made the last minute decision to take a vacation day and we skedaddled off to Portmarnock beach. It felt so good to put my feet in the warm sand, breathe the salty air and listen to the ocean waves. When the weather is warm and the days are spent outdoors having fun all I really want is to come home and throw together something quick and easy for supper.

Taking a break from meat and carbohydrates for one meal can leave you feeling a bit lighter and healthier. That being said, you’ll be surprised at how filling a bowl of stir-fried vegetables can be. My Easy Everyday Vegetable Stir-Fry is packed with ingredients that promote the health of your skin– which really needs that extra support during summer battling the sun’s rays. Carrots, broccoli and Bok Choi are all known for their skin-boosting vitamins and minerals. Both broccoli and carrots are high in the anti-oxidant beta-carotene, while carrots contain silicon for strengthening nails and skin. No need to peel organic carrots– just wash and scrub off the dirt. Also, don’t discard those broccoli leaves– they’ve got higher levels of beta-carotene than the florets and stalks. Toss the broccoli leaves into your stir-fry at the end with the Bok Choi leaves.

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Chicken Soup Noodle For What Ails You

Chicken Soup Noodle ©2014 La Domestique

It’s that time of year. As winter draws to an end and spring threatens to break through, everyone seems to be suffering from a cough or a sniffle. I made it all winter without getting sick, and then BAM! It hit me like a freight train: a full blown head cold. Miserable. You know how it goes– the first day I felt a bit off, a bit tired, and just couldn’t seem to get warm. Day 2 began with a scratchy throat and ended with the chills. After a fitful sleep I awoke on day 3 unable to breathe, my head completely blocked up and my nose running like a faucet. It was over, I surrendered, waving a white tissue to let the enemy know I had no fight left in me. The husband kindly banished me to the couch and built a roaring fire in the hearth, declaring me officially out of commission until further notice.

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Easy Flourless Chocolate Cake for Valentine’s Day

Flourless Chocolate Cake ©2014 LaDomestique

I love chocolate– the darker the better. I might even say I need chocolate. Every day around 4:00pm I start rifling through kitchen drawers looking for my hidden dark chocolate bar. One little bite is all I need. A good quality chocolate bar is a beautiful thing, but every once and a while I like to treat myself to a decadent piece of chocolate cake. For me it’s all about the chocolate– no need for whipped cream or berries or even frosting– just a moist, fudgey cake with rich, dark chocolate flavor. I remember one of the restaurants I worked at had a popular recipe for Flourless Chocolate Cake. It was baked from scratch when an order came in, filling the dining room with the most wonderful chocolate aroma. As the name says, this classic cake is made with chocolate, eggs, butter and sugar– no flour and therefore gluten free. It’s a simple cake, but I wanted to make it even simpler.

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Brussels Sprout Salad with Hazelnuts, Thyme and a Pink Lady

Brussels Sprouts Salad ©2014 La Domestique

Happy New Year! I have a good feeling about 2014. The last year was one of change and transition as my husband and I moved from America to a small town in Ireland. This year holds so much promise! I’m eager to discover everything Ireland has to offer– the artisanal food producers, the natural wonders of Irish landscapes, the culture of the Irish people. I look forward to savoring each season fully and have plans to plant a garden. The theme in my kitchen for 2014 is:

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

Hippocrates

I’m not a nutritionist, but more and more I’m beginning to understand that the food I eat has a direct effect on my health. In the beginning, food was only for pleasure. Now I believe food may have the power not just to promote health, but to heal. I’ll explore this idea here on La Domestique throughout the year with delicious recipes that celebrate the seasons and nourish the body.

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