Sunday, May 28, 2017

Set the Table 2017 | Week 21

Here is the difference between a hand chopped and a food processed chimichurri (last week's post)! This untraditional recipe was a huge hit on last night's salmon, steaks and vege. I tweaked the recipe with lemons (instead of limes), fresh spring onions and dried red pepper flakes (instead of jalapeños).

Speaking of Summer chimichurri's and slaws... Today I'm linking you UP to be inspired by Alexandra Stafford of Alexandra Cooks! I cannot wait to try her cabbage slaw with miso-carrot dressing. I hope you are inspired as much as I am to cook up something special this weekend!

Happy Memorial Day!!! Summer 2017 here we COME!!!
  • Each #SettheTable2017 post begins with a featured recipe(s) + upcoming week's game plan followed by a picture diary of last week's chaos. I sign off every post with a handy reference list of my favorite foodie articles (some new, some repeated). 
  • #CatchmyGrit on my Instagram throughout the week to capture the fun, the food and the family table reactions (good and bad). C'est la vie, I selfy-ishly light it UP in pics and videos to keep truckin! 
  • New to this series? Here's the STORY behind my #SettheTable2017 food adventures with Pure Barre Kildeer.
  • My two go to's for meal planning organization (the grocery list app features are rad): 1. Jamie's Ultimate Recipes App 2. Sarah's My New Roots Recipe App 

Week 21's Game plan:

  • Taco Tuesday

Wrap it UP with last week's family table action:

My Prairie Wind Family Farm CSA bounty!

Find my big ass Italian Roast Chicken Salad inspiration here.

Find my Mushroom Fennel and Bacon inspo here.

I cooked the antibiotic free bacon on a cookie sheet over parchment paper in the oven (400 degrees for 20 min = So much easier than batch frying it). So good.

This was a rad salad lunch after stand up paddle boarding on the Diamond! Thanks Krissy!!

My chimichurri slaw ingredients that I made yesterday. I only used about 1/3 of the leaves from the chard. 

Silly Sailor boys. Summer on the Diamond has BEGUN!

Sunburned, super full and super happy Chris did the dishes!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Set the Table 2017 | Week 20


Blasting in from the past! This recipe was inspired from a wonderful trip with friends to the Dominican Republic years ago (reposted from my blog here - There are a TON of recipes here!).
My favorite way to enjoy some Chimi is spooned on top of a gorgeously grilled steak.
Hummina hummina.

1 small red or white onion
5-6 radishes
2-3 green onions
1/2 c sliced raw almonds (soak them over night if you can)
3 cloves garlic 
1 jalapeño finely minced
1 bunch garden cilantro (stalks and leaves)
1 bunch garden parsley (stalks and leaves)
1 bunch garden oregano (leaves picked)
1/3 c extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c red wine vinegar
2 T freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 tsp sea salt

Place all ingredients into a food processor and whiz. Or of course you can hand chop everything to some sweet music (my preferred slow food love option).

Chimichurri goes with everything as far as I'm concerned. Steak, fish, pasta, bread, soup... it's balls out. 

Week 20's Game plan:

  • Taco Tuesday 
  • A Better Butter Tart (S - Online + Recipe App) - To keep up the Canadian spirit I miss so much!!!!

Wrap it UP with last week's community & family table action:

So simple... grilled cheese, chips and salad. The first dinner I could muster up after coming home from Canada.

Taco Wednesday is just as good as Taco Tuesday.

This is a seriously amazing lemon poppy seed scone recipe. I am trying to recreate the delicious one-bite scones from Whole Foods that don't cost $6 a pop. I swapped in gluten free flour and it worked like a charm.

On Friday, I spoke to 8 "innings" of classes at Stevenson High School as a Super Food Revolution Ambassador. Inspiring myself and others to live a "More Guts More Glory" lifestyle - on and off the field + in and out of the kitchen - is an incredible passion of mine!! Big thanks to the Family and Consumer and Science Department teachers - Especially Ambassadors Sara Lohrmann and Christina Erickson; Your high school's food education curriculum is INCREDIBLE!!

The breading just did not want to stick on these salmon fish sticks. I may have been a bit slap happy after speaking all day... Ha! But, much to my surprise, the kids and Chris could have cared less they loved them so much! 

Easy Salmon Fish Fingers
Inspired by this recipe

1. Thaw the salmon & cut into fingers.
2. Toast up 4 "Everthing" Bagels nice and crispy. Then blitz them in a food processor until you get a nice crumb. Spread the bread crumbs onto a cookie sheet. They will be a little moist (this is a good thing).
3. Crack two eggs in a shallow bowl and mix in a tablespoon of flour and a pinch of sea salt.
4. Dredge salmon fingers well in egg then cover in the bread crumbs. Place breaded fingers on another pan until you are finished. 
5. Heat Ghee or coconut oil on medium/high heat and cook up the fingers in batches. (Remove the bits of breading from the pan in between batches).
6. Don't worry if the breading comes off a little... If your eaters are like mine, they won't care in the slightest. 

My Epic Ranch

Juice from one lemon (sometimes I add some zest too)
1/2 c vegan mayo (it just tastes better)
1 c plain yogurt
1 T 21 spice blend
1 T chives
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp basil
1 tsp dill
1/2 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Mix it all up. I like to thin it out with a tablespoon or two of organic rice milk if it gets too thick after sitting in the fridge. Experiment and find your own special mix!

To the Mullies we go...

My Top 8 #SettheTable2017 Topics:
  1. Come to the table - Join Slow Food USA!
  2. Join us in the global Food Revolution!
  3. How to Cook With Oils.
  4. Buy Antibiotic Free and Know the Source of Your Family's Meat.
  5. The EWG "Clean Fifteen + Dirty Dozen produce guidelines helps you save money + reduce the pesticides and herbicides (Antibiotics harmful to our gut microbiome + mycobiome) at home. 
  6. Avoid artificial colors and preservatives to keep your gut-brain happy + healthy.
  7. Why, When and How to Eat Wheat.
  8. 50 Years Ago, the Sugar Industry Quietly Paid Scientists to Point Blame at Fat.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Set the Table 2017 | Week 19

Happy Mother's Day Sunday from CANADA! 

I am sorry to be so far away from you today... I LOVE YOU MOM!! Thanks for watching the kids while I have been away!! Boy did we enjoy this salad together at the Condell Cooks for Life Event last Monday night! 

I just had to share it today as I hope it makes it your family table this week, especially now that asparagus is in season!

Chef Alek's Simple Asparagus Salad
Prairie Farm Corps, Grayslake - Kitchen Lead
Aleks’ spin on Jamie’s Boiled Eggs and Aspargus Soilders recipe

1 lb Asparagus
4 oz Parmesan cheese (block)
2 shallots
¼ c Balsamic vinegar
½ c extra virgin olive oil
2 oz Kalamata olives (3-4 per plate)
Sea salt & pepper to taste

  1. Prepare a pot with boiling water. Add a generous amount of sea salt to the water. You can also grill or roast your asparagus.
  2. Trim the asparagus and peel if needed.
  3. Make the dressing by mixing the balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add the finely chopped shallots.
  4. Boil the asparagus for 2-3 minutes, until tender but still crisp. Remove the asparagus from the water and transfer them to serving plates.
  5. Cut the olives into halves and arrange on the plates.
  6. Spoon over some of the dressing. Use a vegetable peeler to cut thin strips of the cheese and lay them on top each plate.


Week 19's Game plan:

  • Taco Day (I'm coming back Tuesday night... so Gonna have to move that badboy...)
  • Chef Alek's Simple Asparagus Salad

Wrap it UP with last week's community & family table action (in the USA + CANADA!):

Here are the fresh Prairie Wind Family Farms Spring Produce baskets we raffled off!

And Prairie Wind Family Farm's also debuted their new local meal kits!

It's was a sold out, PACKED (200+) hospital house!

 Chef Rob of Youthage Culinary School with Wauconda High School Health Club student volunteers.

Jackeline of Reprise Coffee Roasters discussing sustainable and fair trade coffee + brewing tips.

Chef Aleks of Prairie Farm Corps.

Chef Lee of Milwalky Trace + Taco.

Chef Shulames from Pilot Light Chefs Organization in Chicago.

Chef John of Pizzaria Deville.

And the next morning at 4:30am... We were off to Canada for the Eating Heritage Festival in Moncton, New Bruswick (just a stone's throw from Nova Scotia!).

Thanks for the pick up Max! Meet the President of Slow Food Cocagne Acadie which hosted the Eating Heritage Festival, Slow Food Canada National Summit.

The seafood chowder is epic at Tide & Boar Brewing.

I had the honor of moderating a multi-generational School Food Panel of heroes who are changing school food game and increasing food security in New Brunswick.

Those are fiddleheads! SO SO GOOD! If you see them at your local farmer's market, you MUST try them:)

A preserved skin of Sturgeon. WOAH.

Now this was FUN! We all marched through town in a Tintamarre which "is an Acadian tradition of marching through one's community making noise with improvised instruments and other noisemakers, usually in celebration of National Acadian Day. The term originates from the Acadian French word meaning "clangour" or "din"."

For opening night, we feasted on roasted and grilled sturgeon!

By far, the most exciting activity I participated in was Disco Soup. Get ready Lake County... We are going to have so much fun together doing this!

Crazy ridiculously good = Macaroon + Mayo + Lobster.

I conquered the 55 ton Shediac Lobster!

Prepping for the FREE Kids' Tasting Event.

We went through a journey of bitter, sour and sweet! Broccoli cress, snow peas, pea shoots, brussel sprouts, sorrel, rainbow carrots, Gage Town apples, dried apples, apple cider (sparkling & regular), chocolate coconut macaroons, tarts, sauerkraut (juice too!), and 4 flavors of hummus (garlic, dill pickle, cilantro & jalapeño, curry) with from scratch pita chips. It was INCREDIBLE!!

And then it was time to sample some tiny bubbles:) I will now be buying Canadian sparkling wines thank you very much!

This is what over 500 pounds of fresh, local seafood looks like.

Amazing work chefs!!

Meet Alison Bell, the first delegate I met off the plane (She is a member of the Columbia Valley Chapter which hosted the Summit last year).  I just low your slow food snail dress - Thank you for inspiring me this week! 

Heather Pritchard, Slow Food Canada President says thank you to this years organizing team, Sarah Short and Maxime Gouvine.

My Slow Food hat and dancing shoes are off to YOU!

And for one last lovely shoutout, it was lovely to meet you Dennis the Prescott - I LOVE your message and your delicious food stories.

It's not about perfection.
It's about the journey.
It's about gathering, cooking and eating.
Nice and slow.

Canada I will never be the same. 
Thank you for your grit. 
It's in my mitt. 
Now let's keep eating and dancing till the sun don't shine.

To the Mullies we go...


My Top 7 #SettheTable2017 Topics:
  1. "Why We Need To Be Weirdos To Be Healthy" (My goal: 80% weird. Daily reality = 20-100%)
  2. How to Cook With Oils
  3. Buy Antibiotic Free and Know the Source of Your Family's Meat
  4. The EWG "Clean Fifteen + Dirty Dozen produce guidelines helps you save money + reduce the pesticides and herbicides (Antibiotics harmful to our gut microbiome + mycobiome) at home. 
  5. Avoid artificial colors and preservatives to keep your gut-brain happy + healthy
  6. Why, When and How to Eat Wheat
  7. 50 Years Ago, the Sugar Industry Quietly Paid Scientists to Point Blame at Fat