STIR celebrates….Cinco de Mayo!

The 5th of May marks the date of the annual celebration of the Mexican Army’s victory over the French Empire at the battle of Puebla, May 5, 1862. In the USA, Cinco de Mayo has become associated with a celebration of Mexican –American culture.

This fun fiesta day includes fireworks, parades and of course the enjoyment of delicious Mexican dishes.

Mexican specialties prepared for Cinco de Mayo include:

Green pozole Chicken, Horchata, Gaucamole, Cemita Poblana, Heuvos rancheros, Barbacoa, Enchilades Verdes, Tostadas, Chili Verde Tamales, Tacos and Flautas!

Fun facts about Cinco de Mayo:

-Americans eat 81million pounds of avocadoes on this 1 day!

-Americans spend 2.9 million on Margaritas per year, the official drink of the fiesta

-enchiladas are the most popular food

-more people celebrate in USA than Mexico

-the biggest celebration is Fiesta Broadway in LA, attracting over 300,000 people

We at STIR cooking have decided to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Taco and Tequila classes during the month of May.

If you have attended our Tapas, Taco and Tequila class before, don’t worry our Taco and Tequila Classes 2.0 feature all new tacos and their accompaniments. (Yes there will be a fish taco for those that have been asking!)

See below for class dates and times. Remember classes fill up quickly so sign up as soon as possible to avoid disappointment!


http://stircookingschool.ca/?post_type=tribe_events

Is the best diet for 2019 no diet at all?

The new year is classically a time when after a few too many sugar plums…

we start dieting.  Unfortunately diets imply going on a diet and going off a diet, which usually means weight loss or positive changes to healthier eating are temporary and often forgotten in a few weeks.

In steps the Intuitive Diet. In a world of keto, low carbs, calorie counting and fasting diets, this may seem to be a radical approach to eating. However, Intuitive Eating is simply listening to your body, and when you are full you stop eating

It seems that we eat for so many other reasons than our body being satisfied that intuitive eating actually helps us get back to the set point (our body’s natural weight) when we actually listen to our bodies vs all the moral dilemmas and emotion around food.

Somehow the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on the diet industry has not translated into us actually losing weight and eating healthier. Obesity is at an all time high with diabetes and heart disease on the rise.

So, maybe we should try removing food from the good/bad equation, kale is good, fries are bad…thin people are good/overweight people are bad…

and simply honour your hunger as a need for nutrition, respect when you are full, respect the health of your body and eat to support that, move your body everyday,

savour food and really taste it, respect your body and treat it well, honour your feelings without food, make peace with food and don’t ban foods as they will become your cravings and most of all…

Reject the diet mentality.

 

Live a healthy mindful life and include food as part of your body’s daily health and well being!

 

 

Keeping it Healthy for the Holidays!

Enjoy the holidays season even more with these Holiday Survival Suggestions:

 

1) Give yourself some wiggle room

Eat healthy 80-90% of the time and give yourself permission to enjoy your favourite things once in awhile

 

2) Keep the Stress at Bay

If you let up on your healthy eating and exercise routine you will feel even more stressed, Schedule in your workouts and food plan ahead for those super busy weeks.

 

3) Don’t starve yourself and then overdo it!

Eat a little lighter but eat normally on a day when you are going to have a big night out.Focus on the people and conversation rather than the food.

 

4) Overboard at a Party?

Don’t beat yourself up just try and eat healthy the whole next day and you’ll feel better!

 

5) Bring your own!

When you are invited to a potluck or appetizer party you can bring a delicious healthier option and you’ll know that you’ll have at least one healthy dish to enjoy!

 

6) Practice Saying NO

it’s okay to say no thanks when you are offered a dish you don’t want to eat,be polite but assertive!

 

7) Drink lots of water

If you are having alcohol, alternate with a glass of water. Skip the higher sugar punches and cocktails and have a light beer, a glass of wine or alcohol with soda.

 

8) Move more

Use parking lots, staircases and malls as an opportunity to put in the steps. Suggest a family walk after a big meal or plan your gathering around an activity like a hike, skate, or X-country ski followed by a steaming bowl of chili or hearty soup.

 

 

 

Sheet Pan Meals

A simple, fast way to feed a crowd!  Discover fun ways to prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner on a sheet pan.  Includes Wine Pairings.
Featuring:
  • Sheet Pan Shakshuka
  • Buddha Bowl
  • Jambalaya

Vegetarian (not vegan) option available.

Sheet Pan Meals

Sheet Pans and Bowls… Leading edge Cooking Styles

These new styles of dining make Feeding your Family and Entertaining a Breeze…

STIR is excited to share these 2 leading edge methods of cooking with you, low on prep and clean-up and high on flavor and nutrition!

Sheet pans have been around forever, classically great for cookies, maybe some roasted veggies  now and then.Sheet pans now play a significant role in simplified cooking. Imagine cooking your veggies, protein and herbs all on one pan, no fuss, no muss.

In our November class we will be teaching a breakfast, lunch and dinner sheet pan meal focusing on some less traditional recipes that will wow your family and guests and keep you out of the kitchen! There are a few tricks to these delicious pan meals that we are excited to share with you.

Think Shakshuka, Budda Bowls and Jambalaya all done on sheet pans…delicious!

November 6/18, 6-9pm

Remember when entertaining meant a salad, main course, a side and dessert?

Not anymore…when the colder temperatures roll around it’s time for soups, stews and daube’s(thick soup).

At STIR we have always said that we love going to the Bar. Yes we love our cold beer and glass of wine but the Bar we mean is the one featuring a DIY buffet filled with individual topping options.The February class will feature 3 exciting bowl options to serve Bar style, with pairings of course.

The fun twist is the DIY part of these tasty one dish wonders!

We will explore crunchy, spicy, creamy, and other interesting toppings that will allow guests and family to personalize their bowls. Whether you are feeding a vegan, vegetarian or dealing with allergies and food intolerances, Bowl style dining is a must to de-stressing your planning.

 

Beyond BBQ Basics – Creative Ideas for the Grill

A number of years ago, my oven went up in flames – literally.  We ended up without an oven for a few months and this created the necessity of finding different cooking methods.  Necessity sparked creativity.  It was my daughter’s birthday soon after the oven incident – I ended up making (very successfully) a chocolate cake in the crock pot, mac and cheese and nachos on the BBQ, and more.  I didn’t miss my oven as much as I thought I might.

This summer, as the hot weather sets in even more I find myself more inspired to cook on my BBQ and avoid heating up the house by using my stove or oven.  My taste buds, stimulated by the smokiness of the grill, prompt me to experiment with new recipes and foods to cook on my BBQ.  The BBQ is a great way to introduce flavour into your food and it can give us so much more than burgers.

Here are some of my favourite ways to be creative with the BBQ:

Grilled Tofu Steaks– Marinate a firm tofu in your favourite marinade or a simple combination of soy sauce, olive oil, honey and fresh minced garlic. Grill each side until golden brown.

Polenta – Make a batch of polenta, chill in the refrigerator until set, cut into squares or fun shapes, brush with oil and grill. Top with grilled veggies, as well as a pesto or marinara sauce.

BBQ Stir Fry – Use a combination of vegetables such as onions, peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, or asparagus. Use a simple sauce of soy sauce, oil, ginger, garlic and honey. Cook in a grill wok, stirring often. Toss in spinach when vegetables are tender and cook just until wilted. Serve over rice.

Grilled Veggie Focaccia Sandwich – Grill some peppers, onions, zucchini and eggplant and use as a sandwich filling. Split the Focaccia bread in half and warm on the grill. Brush with a basil pesto mayonnaise, top with grilled veggies and cheese (optional). This is one of my daughter’s favourites; she says she knows summer is near when I make this for the first time – if summer had a flavour, this would be it!

Quesadillas – Too hot to cook in the house? Take your quesadillas outdoors to cook them on the grill. The BBQ gives the tortillas a smoky crunchiness. Cook on a lower heat so as not to burn the tortilla and to give the cheese time to melt.

Grilled Haloumi – Take thick slices of this Greek goat and sheep milk cheese, brush with olive oil and grill until lightly browned on the outside. Serve immediately while still crunchy on the outside and soft and gooey on the inside.

Babaganoush – poke some eggplants with a fork, then grill them up until charred and wilted.  Whip up a batch of smoky baba ganoush – our favourite way to enjoy eggplant.

Grilled Fruit – Don’t forget dessert! Take some fruit (fruits high in sugar work best) such as peach halves, pineapple slices or bananas (cut in half lengthwise), brush with a neutral oil such as canola and grill until their sugars begin to caramelize and turn golden on the outside. Alternatively, baste with a mixture of dark rum and demerara sugar while cooking. Serve over a bowl of vanilla ice cream or top with whipped cream.

 

See recipe for grilled avocado

 

Healthy FAT is where it’s at..

Cruising the grocery store aisles I have noticed that there are still some low fat products out there…throwbacks to when we thought all fat was bad and we could replace it with refined carbohydrates and sodium-laced products instead. What grew out of that low fat notion was a crazy ride. Fat became the demon and carbohydrates, of every ilk, became the stars.
Our food industry was bursting with packaged, processed foods claiming to be fat-free. Some were already naturally fat free i.e. frozen peas…fat free!?

We have since gained wisdom and knowledge through research to help us realize that not all fat is bad. Yes there are the really bad fats, trans-fats to avoid at all cost and no one is saying that a diet of solid saturated fats is healthy.

The fats we are talking about are the mono and poly unsaturated fats that play a vital role in a healthy diet.

If everyone exchanged their morning muffin or boxed cereal for a handful of walnuts and a piece of fruit, a serving of full fat yogurt and berries, or some nut butter on multi grain toast… maybe we could decrease the need to keep snacking creating a huge surplus of calories being converted to fat.

The interesting thing with dietary fat is that is creates satiety. Carbohydrates, especially the refined ones found in most breakfast cereal, processed snacks and convenience foods are not satisfying resulting in us craving another refined carbohydrate snack. Quite the rollercoaster ride for our insulin as it desperately attempts to keep that blood sugar in balance.

Try adding healthy fat to your diet…you will notice fewer cravings, have more success at portion control, and experience skin, digestion and overall health benefits.

Here is a quick cheat sheet of healthy fats; pick and choose your favourites!

  • nuts and seeds
  • nut and seed butters
  • chia, flax and hemp seeds
  • full fat dairy (cheese, yogurt, milk, cream)
  • coconut oil
  • nut oils
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • olives
  • dark chocolate
  • wild salmon, other oily fish
  • free range eggs
  • grass fed organic beef

Join our Big FAT surprise class where Kelli and I will wow you with delicious healthy fat recipes. Taste, Learn and Experience.

 

The BIG Fat Surprise

Join Stir Cooking School for this interactive workshop and learn why good fats should play a major role in your diet! De-mystify the world of fats, including the misconception that all fats make you fat. Learn how to choose fats that offer health benefits to you and your family.

Take away recipes, knowledge and a goodie bag which includes a bottle of Kazousi Raw Olive Oil!

Tickets are $25.00 and are available in-store or online here: https://pom.me/bigFATSurprise