A new year means making resolutions...or does it? My realization from a text along with a good for you recipe for a crunchy, savory & sweet winter slaw after a holiday season of indulgences.
A new year is when resolutions are made for most people. I have never been one for making a list of activities I should and should not do in the upcoming year. My annual motto is, "Be a better person."
The start of 2019 is a little different for me. Now that I am a couple years past 50 years old, I have realized I have spent a inordinate amount of my life rushing around. This discovery of sorts came as an "ah ha" moment after receiving a text from one of my personal chef clients. She informed me that her family would be taking a break from my services.
In years past, I would immediately calculate my lost income from not cooking for a client. I also would run a list of reasons through my mind as to why a client would no longer want me to cook for their family. This time, none of these thoughts came to mind. Instead, I felt a sense of calm and even relief. My life schedule and work schedule have been jam packed, and I just needed a reason (made by myself or in this case someone else) to step back for a while.
After receiving that text, I realized that most of my time over the past half century was spent in a rush to get what ever needed to be done....done. At an early age, my best friend and I would cook up concoctions and inevitably messes in our parents' kitchens and rush to clean up before they got home. In high school, a grade of a B was my target. I had my fair share of As sprinkled throughout my report cards but, I hurried to just get my assignments completed.
As I got older and started to raise a family with my husband, the rushing around continued. I rushed through errands during my days. I rushed to make dinner before picking up my kids from softball or football practice. I even tried to make my kids rush to clean their rooms, get ready for school or finish their homework. I didn't realize it at the time but, I spent a lot of time in a rush.
As my kids are now grown, and our home is now a so called empty nest, many of my days are devoted to my personal chef business. Cooking brings me great joy and has been a major part of my life for as long as I can remember. Being able to cook for families other than my own is the perfect job for me. Cooking gives me a sense of calm and fills a need I can't explain.
But after receiving that text from a client asking to be put on hiatus, I realized I was not putting forth the best me in many aspects of my life. I would rush through my days as I was always trying to fit in another task or activity. I would speed through the aisles of the grocery store as I shopped for clients. I would rush home to ensure my dogs got in enough playtime at the park. But first I would throw in a load of laundry so the washer could do its thing while I was out. I would squeeze in emailing a list of possible menu items to a client who I was cooking for later in the week as I paid the bills online.
As corny as it may sound, I think this is that moment in my life I knew would come one day. I thought this moment was going to be in a more dramatic fashion (like in the movies) as I always felt that there was something more in store for me. Who would have known that that moment would come from a 4 sentence text.
I have realized that whatever I do whether it is taking my dogs for a walk, chatting on the phone with a friend, preparing for a personal chef service with a client, baking a batch of cookies, or even writing a blog post, I'm going to be more mindful and conscious of my life and the activities in it. I know most of my days will be busy, but I'm going to work on not making them so hectic and rushed.
I'm not sure what I was really rushing for all the time. I guess it is just something I thought I should do.
I kicked off my mindful and conscious attitude toward my daily life with what else but some leisurely recipe development. On January 1st, I spent some time developing a recipe to combat the excessive indulgence of food and drink over the last month. This Winter Slaw with Chicken, Pomegranate and Toasted Pine Nuts now sits in my refrigerator for a snack, lunch or light dinner. Hopefully it gets me back on track in the healthy eating department.
This recipe hits on all cylinders for me. I love the sweet and savory combination of foods and flavors. Tender chicken, crunchy toasted pine nuts, crisp shredded cabbage and carrots, assertive red onion, sweet pomegranate arils are tossed in a vinaigrette featuring apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, and avocado oil.
This slaw holds up best (up to 3 days in the refrigerator) if you shred a head of green cabbage as opposed to using the preshredded bag of cabbage and carrots available at the grocery store. If using the preshredded bag, I suggest combining the chicken, pine nuts, red onion and pomegranate arils in one container and keeping them separate from the shredded cabbage and carrots and vinaigrette until you are ready to eat. When hunger strikes, toss a couple cups of the cabbage/carrot mixture with some of the combination of chicken ingredients and a generous drizzle of the vinaigrette. Season to taste with salt and pepper and you are ready to eat.
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A new year means making resolutions or does it? My realization from a text along with a good for you recipe for a crunchy, savory & sweet slaw after a holiday season of indulgences.
- In a large bowl combine the shredded cabbage and carrots, shredded chicken, toasted pine nuts, pomegranate seeds, and diced red onion. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, add the Dijon mustard, honey, salt, pepper, apple cider vinegar, and avocado oil. Whisk until the ingredients are combined and the vinaigrette is emulsified.
- Add about 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette to the slaw ingredients in the large bowl. Toss gently to thoroughly coat the ingredients with the vinaigrette. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Use a 14 ounce bag of preshredded cabbage and carrots or thinly shred 6 cups of green cabbage and 1 cup of carrots.
Extra virgin olive oil can be substituted for the avocado oil.
The recipe for the vinaigrette makes more than is needed for the winter slaw. Use the extra vinaigrette on mixed greens tossed with thinly sliced apple, diced avocado and sprinkle of feta cheese.
Recipe by Amy Casey ~ 2019
© 2019 amycaseycooks
- Category: Main Course, Salad