Ginger is the new garlic …

date chew plate

I remember when you couldn’t read any health-related media without being bombarded with the incredible benefits of a diet rich in garlic. If you believed everything you read at that time, it was good for anything up to and including spontaneous decapitation.  Time – and the media frenzy – moves on … these days (apparently) you will die sickly and poor and alone if you are not munching on ginger-root every single day.

I am being sarcastic about the media … not about the health benefits!  Ginger can improve circulation, absorption of nutrients and digestion in general.  It fights inflammation (which can raise all sorts of ruckus in the body), it fights nausea, it fights colds, flus and respiratory problems.  Ginger does all this at the same time as being one of the most versatile ingredients in the entire kitchen.  I use ginger in beverages (smoothies, teas, punches, mulled drinks…), soups, stirfrys, meat marinades, salads, ice cream and baking … oooh, all sorts of baking!  I have to be physically restrained from adding ginger to every single thing I bake!  Here is one of our most popular desserts … that features a healthy dose of (you guessed it) ginger.

GINGER DATE CHEWS

Mix well …

3 c brown sugar

2 c chopped dates

1 c chopped candied ginger

finely grated zest of 1 orange

1 T baking powder – sifted

½ t each of nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon

½ t salt

2 c all purpose flour

 

Add and stir until well moistened …

8 eggs – beaten until light and strained

 

Bake in one 9 x 9 AND one 9 x 13 pan. Spray and line the bottom with parchment.

Bake about 25 minutes until just firm in the centre. Cool 10 minutes, loosen the sides with a knife and turn out onto a cooling rack.  Let cool until almost room temperature then cut into bars and roll in icing sugar.  Hide them well, from yourself as well as from others, in between serving times.

date chews closeup2

Easter brunch is now behind us.  Thanks to everyone who helped and to everyone who came out.  That was a splendid time!  Let’s do it again next year!

Thanks to Roger M.  who wrote on his Easter Retreat evaluation form that the Loyola House kitchen “puts the ‘treat’ in ‘retreat'”.   <kitchen staff collectively blushes>

Welcome to Emily and Todd who have arrived to step into the steel-toed shoes left vacant by Ryan and Michele.  We look forward to what they have to bring!

I predict that the next big health essential will be ashwagandha.  It has not quite gotten into the mainstream media yet, but when it does … you read it here first!

Take care of yourself first … so you can take care of each other.  ❤

 

 

Heavenly eggs (no devils here!)

deviled eggs2

I like deviled eggs … everyone likes deviled eggs!  They’re fun to make, they’re fun to eat. They’re fun to arrange on a platter and to garnish whimsically.  They are just the right size and they are even good for you!  These days, I am not so sure about the mayo.  Even really good mayo is not something I want to eat on a regular basis.  There are always additives and I am becoming very picky about the oils that I eat.

So I came up with an alternative that I like, that is just as much fun and that avoids the whole mayo issue.  Try it and see what you think.

HEAVENLY EGGS

Cut in half and pop the yolks into a small bowl …

6 hard boiled eggs – peeled, rinsed and dried

Mash yolks with a fork until fine and then add …

1/4 c finely diced canned tomatoes

1 T mashed avocado mixed with

1 t lime juice

1 T diced basil leaves

2 pinches of salt and a dash of hot sauce

Mix well, and mound back into the half eggs.  Arrange nicely and garnish with glee (or basil or olives or scallion brushes … )

eggs on a plate

Serve to your favourite people!

Thanks to my trainer Chelsey for the tip about the avocado … if you want ideas about nutrition – talk to a power-lifter!

We’ve had a couple of busy months at Loyola House.  Now it is time to draw a deep breath and head into the Easter season.  We are expecting some personnel changes in the kitchen; both Ryan and Michele will be pursuing exciting new paths in the near future.  Both have contributed much hard work, loyalty and interesting recipes.  While they may move on, their legacies remain and we thank you both!

Enjoy the last blustering of winter and take care of each other!