Hello, it’s me. I was wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet? Forgive me for using Adelle lyrics to get your attention. I’m, quite honestly, trying to mask my embarrassment about being away for so long. It’s been a long time, hasn’t it? If I’m being honest, it feels weird to write this with an assumption that anyone is even here and reading it like, “Hey! I’ve not talked to you in a really long time, but listen to what I have to say!” It’s totally cool; I get that it’s weird and I have no assumptions that anyone is here at all. Or that you care about what I have to say. I’m just hoping you’ll give me a chance to give you a reason to come back.
Despite the weirdness of it all, it’s incredibly refreshing and invigorating to be here again. So thank you for that. Truth be told, I wasn’t sure if I was ever going to be able come back. A lot has happened in my life over the past few years and it all culminated in an avalanche of challenge–the death of my mother, being laid-off from my job, and myself becoming a mama to an incredible girl. Under the circumstances, I think it’s a fair use of the term “a lot.” I’m not trying to make excuses, but blogging about food just didn’t seem important when my family was heartbroken or just trying to get through the early, magical-but-rough days of newborn life. I have genuinely missed this space, though. And throughout my time away, I’ve often thought about coming back. I’ve talked endlessly about it with family and friends, but knew that my return would have to take on a different perspective. To give you an example, in one of the last posts I wrote, I commented that the dish “packs well for lunch the next day, so if you’re a single lady you have dinner and lunch.” Feeding my family of three now, this note feels foreign to me. For this space to feel like mine again there’s going to be some different, added content that I hope will reflect an authenticity in my current life as well as some work that honours what my mom chose to bring into the world–coziness, community togetherness, sharing, hosting, food, and family. Stay tuned.
Speaking of family, I’m travelling right now with mine. We’re taking 2 months of parental leave together and spending quality time hanging out with our girl, who is an absolute ray of sunshine. I’ll write more about Basia-Graye (named after my mom and pronounced Basha-Grey) as this space unfolds again because she’s how I spend all of my days now. Until then, I’ll leave you with these bites. They’re from the new Greenhouse Cookbook–a vibrant, plant-centric cookbook born out of local Toronto juicery and all around innovative/cool-as-heck food shop, Greenhouse Juice Co. I made them to take on the plane with us to help tame the belly rumblings on flights and in between meals. (I also packed our meals because I’m weird like that.) Since Basia-Graye isn’t able to be around nuts right now, I subbed in sunflower seed butter for the almond butter. I also used them as a fridge/pantry clean-out before our trip, subbing in fresh blood orange juice for the lemon juice as well as golden berries for the dried blueberries. They yielded a chewy, subtly sweet ball with a robustness that made them an excellent pop-in-your-mouth snack for when your meal isn’t quite ready yet–or as the name suggests, when you’re getting hangry. I recommend not forgoing the coconut coating; it really tied everything together. If you’re interested in greener living, I’d recommend checking out this book. There are 100 plant-based recipes, “50 to eat with a fork, spoon or your fingers, and 50 to serve in a glass” and they’ll make you feel like you’re doing your body good, plane ride or not.
Hangry Bites (Vegan + Gluten-Free)
Print recipe here.
Makes: 12-14 bites
Time: 15 minutes
1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, plus extra for rolling
½ cup hemp seeds
½ cup dried blueberries (I subbed golden berries)
½ cup natural almond butter (I subbed sunflower seed butter)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
¼ teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons lemon zest (I subbed blood orange zest)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (I subbed blood orange juice)
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
In a food processor, pulse all ingredients until well combined. Form into 1- to 2-inch balls and roll them in coconut flakes. Store in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for about a month.
Excerpted from The Greenhouse Cookbook: Plant Based Eating and DIY Juicing by Emma Knight with Hana James, Deeva Green and Lee Reitelman. Photography by Elena Mari and Nathan Legiehn. Copyright © 2017 by Greenhouse Juice Company. Published by Penguin, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.