There's something so refreshing about spending time outside. It's also the cheapest form of therapy you'll ever find, also known as "ecotherapy". Studies have also shown that spending time in nature has all sorts of benefits linked to improved mental health, such as less anxiety, fewer depression symptoms, lowering stress levels, and improved focus.
I once came across this quote from an unknown author: "Whatever your mood, you always feel calm and nice near nature." Honestly, it has always resonated with me, and it's what I try to keep in the back of my mind when life gets busy and stressful.
My two dogs definitely help me get outside more often. They need their daily walks and I use that time as a way to decompress from a long day at work. I'd be lying if I said I enjoy getting out in the pouring rain and cold days, but the four-leggeds don't give me much of a choice. Thankfully there's a forest next door to my place that provides us with a little bit of shelter on those dreary days. Weekends certainly give me more time to play in the outdoors, but even those two days get busy and are over in the blink of an eye.
Now that winter solstice has come and gone, I'm looking forward to the days getting longer and Spring is not that far down the road. Until then, I will continue to be the Happy Warrior I am and make the most of what Mother Nature has blessed us with. Hey, at least we don't have hurricanes or alligators!
Tips for getting outside
Most importantly, make it fun and don't complicate things. Start small and work your way up to longer adventures outside. Nature is your playground!
Saturdays have long become a favourite of mine, and not just because it's the weekend. I'd say that part is obvious.
So why Saturdays? It's the day my team and I get to cook and share our passion for Thermomix with others, hoping to inspire more people to create delicious, healthy, sometime indulgent, foods from the comforts of home. Our menus vary from week-to-week. Sometimes we travel around the world virtually to share International cuisines, other times we show off our favourite dishes, and sometimes we even make our menus thematic. The best part about Thermomix and Cookidoo (our digital recipe platform) is that the possibilities and recipes really seem to be endless - they never get boring, repetitive, or tasteless. Did you know we have access to over 75,000 recipes from around the globe? Mind-boggling, isn't' it!
This weekend we featured one of my favourite Pork recipes, using both my Thermomix and Joule Sousvide circulator. The results are out of this universe, seriously!
I fired up the grill to sear the outside of my pork tenderloins, before putting both into a BPA-free Vacuum sealing bag. My Thermomix then chopped up the garlic, shallot, parsley, and cilantro in 2 seconds, before adding some oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and chilli flakes. One half of this mixture would make up the marinade for the pork (I added this into the bag, then vacuum sealed it), and the other half went into a bowl as the salad dressing for the warm rice salad.
I like my tenderloin to be pink and juicy, so I set my circulator to heat up to 58 ℃ (137℉). Once it reaches optimal temperature, the pork takes 1 ½ hours to cook. Alternatively, this can also be done in the Thermomix TM6, which has the capabilities of cooking sousvide as well. All you need is the blade cover!
About 30 minutes before the pork would come out of its lovely bath, I started making the rice salad. The display and integrated recipe guided me every step of the way. It prompted me to cut up my zucchini, carrots, and red pepper, all of which would be placed into the Varoma dish and tray. I also weighed out my rice into the simmering basket, which I was also able to use as a strainer to rinse the rice. The integrated scale in the TM6 let me know exactly how much of which ingredient I was adding to the dish/tray/basket and bowl. All that was left to do was add 1000g of water to the mixing bowl, add my simmering basket with the rice, place the lid onto of the bowl, and stack the Varoma dish and tray on top of the lid. Again, the display prompted me every step of the way and even let me know that the rice and veggies would now steam for 25 minutes.
The timing was perfect! As the rice and veggies finished, so did my pork tenderloins. The beauty of sousvide is that the food will never overcook, so I was safe to leave it immersed in the hot circulating water a little longer while I plated my meal. I put the rice and veggies into the bowl with the dressing and tossed to mix. I removed the pork from the bag and sliced it up. All that was left to do was plate my food.
Well, check this out! I plated some of the salad and a few slices of the pork, and drizzled it with some extra chimichurri sauce. All that was left was to dive into my food. It was pretty spectacular, to say the least.
** Want the recipe? Click on the recipe title to be taken to the recipe on Cookidoo. **
This is me
Just a simple gal living on the West Coast of Canada, sharing her love and passion for food and fitness... and her puppy dogs.