Awesome Guac! And Crusty Naan Bread

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Ahhh Guacamole, my old arch-nemesis. As a non-fan of cilantro, Guac is generally not to my taste, but yesterday I came up with this delicious guac recipe, made it, then ate it. Yum.

Ingredients For Guac

3 avocados, pitted and peeled

1/2 red onion, diced

1/2 tomato, diced

1 jalapeno pepper, diced

Juice from 1/2 a lime

Salt and Pepper

3 tablespoons of Sour Cream

Cheese to top

 

Ingredients for Crusty Naan Bread

Naan bread

salt and pepper

olive oil

(Pretty difficult stuff, eh?)

 

Instructions!

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Tear Naan bread into pieces, spread out on a baking sheet, cover with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Cook to desired crunchiness (Mine were about ten minutes). If you want them softer, be wary of how much olive oil you use so that the bread isn’t all mushy-mushy when you take it out.

2. Take all your Guac ingredients (excepting sour cream and cheese) and mash ’em together to desired chunkiness. Top with sour cream and cheese. Eat with Naan bread.

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Re-Examining Girl Power – Dispelling Misconceptions of Strength

This it the low down. I’ve been involved, in some way or another, in self defence since I was ten years old. I started teaching in my teens, mostly to women and girls. 

There are a million frustrations I could talk about as far as the misconceptions of keeping yourself safe.

BUT today I’m focussing on the common ways many women and girls see themselves, especially pertaining to their strengths in comparison to men.

DISCLAIMER: these are common views that I’ve come across, based off of concerns I frequently address. I don’t mean to villainize men, because that’s ridiculous, and I don’t mean to say that all women have these perceptions. 

Alright let’s get started.

1. I’m smaller than he is, I can’t do anything.

This is straight up ridiculous. Are you bigger than a spider? Yes. Are spiders, while fascinating, creepy and scary? Yes. SIZE ISSUE RESOLVED.

2. Wait, I’m not creepy like a spider. How dare you!

Alright fine, spiders have lots of legs and eyes and you’re adorable. But cats are adorable. And I don’t mess with angry cats. 

3. But cats have claws! 

Yeah, and you’ve got jewelry. A pen. Teeth. Fists. Knees. Shoes (high heels wooo!). 

4. Alright fine. But I don’t want to hurt anybody!

Here’s the deal. Go out and slap somebody in the face for not lending you a pen = unreasonable. Kick someone in the groin because they looked at you funny = unreasonable. Remaining still and quiet while someone puts you in the back of their car to drive you away from everyone you know and love = unreasonable. See what I did there?

It’s important to recognize that violence isn’t the answer, but complacency isn’t either. Even if you want to be a completely non-violent pacifist, there’s still the option of non-cooperation (think civil disobedience). While most people wouldn’t be so extreme, the idea is that HURTING PEOPLE IS WRONG, KEEPING YOURSELF SAFE ISN’T. 

At the end of the day, nobody checks what gender a shark is before screaming their head off. Nobody looks between the legs of a snarling dog to determine how dangerous it really is, and nobody messes with a mama bear. 

Women and girls are as strong and scary as we are awesome and brilliant. Don’t be fooled into thinking anything different.

Body Image – What You Can Do

I saw this interesting video on Facebook:

http://www.upworthy.com/see-why-we-have-an-absolutely-ridiculous-standard-of-beauty-in-just-37-seconds

This is a great video. It reinforces what we all know about the media industry: that it promotes unrealistic body image standards by working miracles with makeup and then further manipulating pictures with Photoshop.

The problem is: we all know this already. We know that we are bombarded by unrealistic standards of beauty, women as well as men. We know the industry has its tricks for creating these images, and we know that it’s unhealthy.

Yet we all still wander around perpetually unsatisfied with the way we look (and even if we’re satisfied now, we’re worried about maintaining what we have).

So here’s something you can do about it:

STOP BROWSING MEDIUMS THAT PROMOTE UNREALISTIC BODIES

Some of these messages we can’t avoid – like what we see in ads, for example – but some we can. And it’s oh so important that we do. Outside of the “You’re supporting an industry that shows these images, so you’re contributing to the continuation of these images” argument, you need to do it for yourself. Constantly bombarding yourself with images and articles about unrealistic bodies is cruel. Give yourself a break and stop. 

Does that mean no more magazines? No more makeup? No more clothes? No more fitness articles?

Of course not. You don’t have to be self-denying hermit to build a better body image. You just have to critically engage with what you encounter, and evaluate how it makes you feel. If it makes you feel excited and empowered, you’re probably browsing a good medium. If it makes you feel insecure, needy, ugly, or like you need a certain product to avoid spiralling down a vortex of hideous, close whatever you’re looking at. 

 

At the end of the day, it’s important that the things you are reading, looking at, perusing – are things that make you feel good, that support your goals, and that fit with your values. 

 

 

Sexy Pad Thai

I love Pad Thai. It’s spicy, it’s flavourful, it has a wonderful array of colours and textures. Plus, it keeps well. Woo!

For a vegetarian option, omit the chicken, and make sure the pad thai sauce you use is veggie-friendly. Pad thai is also wonderful with tofu.

Ingredients:

400 g of vermicelli rice noodles

2 chicken breasts

2 eggs

5 green onions – chopped into small piece, including green parts.

1 cup of shredded carrots

1 small jamaican pepper, or other spicy pepper. Cut into small pieces.

1 cup fresh bean sprouts

1/2 cup of chopped, unsalted peanuts

1 jar of pad thai sauce

red pepper flakes, salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Cook vermicelli according to package directions.

2. Brown chicken in a large pan or wok. Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste.

3. Add eggs and scramble with chicken until cooked.

4. Add carrots, pepper and green onions, stir fry until soft.

5. Add vermicelli and sauce. Stir. Top with bean sprouts and peanuts.

Mom’s Ground Beef Casserole

This casserole was a favourite with the family when I was growing up. It’s simple, it’s cheap, it’s fast to make and has an easy clean up. Kids love it, too.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups basmati rice

1 lb lean ground beef

1 can cream of mushroom soup

2 tsp yellow curry

Salt and Pepper

Directions:

1. Cook rice in 3 cups of water.

2. Brown ground beef in a pan. Drain excess fat.

3. Add cooked rice, soup, curry and salt and pepper to ground beef. Stir.

Sore Stomach Soup

I engineered this one specifically to be easy on an upset stomach. It works wonders. On another note, if you aren’t feeling under the weather and want to add some real flavour, adding half a spoonful of chili-garlic sauce does the trick.

Ingredients

2 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces.

2 leeks, sliced.

1 carrot, cut into small pieces

Salt and Pepper

1 small tsp of red pepper flakes

4 cups of chicken broth

200 g of vermicelli rice noodles

1 cup of shredded romaine lettuce

 

Instructions

Cook rice noodles according to package instructions.

Meanwhile, cook the chicken pieces until browned all the way through in a frying pan or wok. Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Add carrot and leeks, stir fry. 

Once veggies have softened, add the whole mixture to the cooked rice noodles and add the chicken broth. Serve into bowls and top with shredded lettuce.

Cheater Greek Salad

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A gigantic, stuffed-to-the-brim-with-veggies Greek salad is always delicious, but if you’re tired, have a picky eater, or just don’t have the ingredients lying around, this cheater Greek salad is pretty effective too.

Ingredients

1 romaine lettuce heart, finely chopped

1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

1 handful of cherry tomatoes

1 cup (or A LOT) of feta cheese (pro tip – shredded feta cheese is distributed more evenly and doesn’t retain as much moisture, crumbling in a nicer way)

Balsamic vinegar and olive oil

 

Instructions

Throw all the veggies in a bowl in the order listed, top with the feta, and drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Toss it and eat!