We all love delicious, scrumptious food. Ok, all accept some folks (including my husband, although he is getting better in it!). We always expect that food satisfies our taste needs and wants. Of course that makes sense, we eat food to sustain our bodies and we eat it too for our satisfaction and enjoyment. Yet, this should not only be the unique reason why you chew on a spoonful of yum. Maybe if the food was lovingly cooked from scratch in its own time and if on top of that the dish was well thought through, hence cooked in a healthy and nutritious manner, then why wouldn’t we not eat this food?
These are my thoughts when I jump around, surf and stumble through the web. I will be looking out for food blogs that carry the same message. That is how I got to know Inspired Edibles, a nutritious food blog penned by the knowledgeable and humble Kelly Mulcair.
Kelly’s life story with health and food reflects in her written words and tasty meal choices. She is a professional nutritionist, something which I never pursued any further because I preferred to run away to India. Maybe if my life would have turned the way hers did then most probably I would have chosen voluntarily the path of a nutritionist.
Kelly has actually a background in corporate and media law. She explains that when you are in a demanding profession like that, it can take a toll on you and your health, and causes you to re-evaluate things. Following a particularly difficult sequence of events that culminated in Kelly losing consciousness in the middle of a corporate closing, the alarm bells sounded and she knew that change was necessary.
To the bewilderment of many, Kelly decided to trade in her life as a lawyer for that of a health educator, returning to school to obtain her designation as a holistic nutritionist. Today, she lives without regrets, educating others on the benefits of whole foods, proper rest and a balanced lifestyle and she feels more integrated in mind and body than ever before.
Whole foods, that’s exactly the food style I am striving for every single day. Kelly’s dishes, such as her brilliant Roasted Salmon in a Strawberry Balsamic reduction or her infamous Chocolate Avocado Pudding with Coconut Milk, are whole food meals that are simple to recreate at home. Also, you might want to check out her Vanilla Blueberry Almond Smoothie Cups and her Blueberry Bliss Breakfast Bars for your inspiration!
Her primary concern is on using whole ingredients that have been minimally processed and refined.
I focus on natural foods because they deliver the greatest concentration of nutrients for our bodies – vitamins, minerals, fiber, enzymes and antioxidants. These same foods also tend to be easier for our bodies to break down, digest and metabolize. For me, it’s about keeping things as close to nature as possible while still delivering amazing flavors.
Kelly respects personal choice and believes that each of us has the ability to adopt the dietary regime that works best for one, but she doesn’t follow a dietary plan or strategy. She will always prefer an inclusive, balanced approach that focuses on eating whole foods! Kelly further explains that in the nutrition world it is called the 80-20 rule.
If you’re eating well 80% of the time, you’re on the right track. Eating a big plate of fries isn’t going to kill you but eating an occasional salad isn’t going to heal you either. It’s what you do most of the time that counts.
Her biggest challenge as a nutritionist has been to show people that healthy eating doesn’t need to be time consuming, complicated or boring. Therefore Kelly created her blog Inspired Edibles, so that her readers could easily follow and learn her amazing approach towards food. She understands that we all have busy lives and that is why you will always find easy to understand and quick recipes on her space.
When we overly complicate things, we risk becoming overwhelmed and discouraged, which can often mean going back to bad habits. This is the opposite experience I intend for my readers.
Kelly doesn’t believe that healthy eating is about excluding any particular food or ingredients. (Now you know why I love her approach!) She explained that it is about creating the conditions for lifelong habits, so that we are open to slow and steady change that will plant the seeds of progressive transformation. In other words, changes in our food habits should be tackled in their own time, and then only will you succeed over the long run.
Cooking the healthy whole way can be a challenge for some of us! I have to confess I took some time to rid myself of the everyday-meat-day tag or my legendary year long everyday pizza and nan days, before I finally gave in and left my cooking and vegetable hate behind. You know a teenager doesn’t care that much about health and nutrition. I personally trapped myself again and suddenly followed another extreme by eating only rice, veggies and cookies (yes cookies!) for a while. Back then I slowly understood what I wanted and needed, a balanced food life style, just the way Kelly describes it today.
Variation is the solution and that is what Kelly keeps in mind when coming up with new recipes. For example a good amount of her followers have celiac disease, so she makes an effort to incorporate a number of gluten free options. Similarly she likes to include a variety of vegetarian and Vegan options – all with a view to accommodating as many dietary and lifestyle preferences as possible.
Of all the recipes Kelly has been posting at Inspired Edibles, I found the Oven Baked Crispy Coconut-Masala Chicken Thighs with a Curried Yogurt Dipping Sauce the most intriguing! And here we go with the recipe…
- 1 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut shavings
- ½ cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
- 2 Tbsp garam masala
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- Pinch red pepper flakes or cayenne, if desired (they are hot)
- 8 - 10 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
- 2 eggs, beaten
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tsp curry powder
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp honey
- Heat oven to 400 F.
- Combine coconut, panko, garam masala, onion powder, garlic powder, coriander and cayenne (if using) in a flat based dish, stirring to combine.
- In a separate flat based dish, place beaten eggs.
- Dip each chicken thigh into the egg mixture, being sure to fully saturate them and then dredge each thigh through the coconut/masala mixture making sure to fully coat the chicken with the mixture.
- Arrange coated chicken on a foiled lined baking sheet that has been sprayed with some olive oil or brushed with melted coconut oil (that's what I used). If you don't use oil, the chicken pieces will stick and half of the crispy-delicious coating will stay on the foil (you won't like that).
- Cook the chicken thighs for 12 minutes on one side and then flip them over and return them to the oven for another 10-12 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. (I added a few pieces of uncooked coconut shavings to the top of the cooked chicken just for fun - I thought it looked pretty).
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine curried yogurt dipping sauce ingredients and stir to combine. Adjust seasoning as desired.
Otherwise, what’s next at Inspired Edibles?
I am in the process of completing my first nutrition book so stay tuned to Inspired Edibles for more information!