Hi friends! My lovely friend Lydia is an occupational therapist and she and her friend and partner Laura have a consultancy firm specializing in corporate mental health, which is such an important topic. In honour of their Healthy Workplaces Week, I shared a post about some of my favourite tips and recipes for easy and delicious lunches to bring to work, and I would love for you to check it out! They also have great posts on all sorts of work-related subjects, like this one on working smarter, not harder (I think we could all bear to be reminded of that on occasion); and this one on workplace happiness.
So temperatures are rapidly dropping around here. On Sunday Pieter and I went for a Thanksgiving-y ‘hike’ (stroll) through the forest-y area in the municipality of Baarn (just outside of Utrecht). It was a gorgeous, crisp sort of day with blue skies and brightly coloured crunchy leaves – very reminiscent of Ontario fall. We were totally fine in light jackets and were outside for the entire afternoon. Then today, after spending most of the day inside working, I stepped out of the apartment and was practically blown away by an icy gust of wind! (Not at all an exaggeration.)
I wasn’t ready for this! I’ve been putting off buying new boots for months, and same goes for a winter jacket. (I love my sleeping bag of a parka, but after six years it’s really starting to look the worse for wear…) I’m the absolute worst at shopping. I don’t know what I want, I don’t trust my own judgement, and even when I really need something I find ways of convincing myself that I don’t, so I essentially end up wearing my clothes until they’re fit for the cast in the opening Work Song from Les Misérables. Not to mention my emphasis on comfort and practicality before anything else. Every year I tell myself I’ll try to class it up – get a pair of slight heels or a sleeker coat so I can alternate – and every year I end up snuggled up in my snow boots and parka, too comfortable to consider the terrible inconvenience and chill of undressing in a store to try on anything new.
If there’s one thing I’m ready for, though, it’s the food of chiller months. Like these autumnal noodle bowls.
What makes a noodle bowl autumnal, you ask? Pumpkin. Ginger. Turmeric. Coconut milk. Mushrooms. Slurpable noodles. Oh baby. Comfort and magical healing properties*, rolled into one!
*Or at least deliciousness.
The only things that really matter here are the noodles, the broth, and the mushrooms. The rest is delicious but open to interpretation (or even omission) – I just happen to love the combination of crunchy fried tofu, fresh bean sprouts, and sharp green onion. (Coriander also works great here, but for some reason I wasn’t in the mood when I took these shots!)
Has my enthusiasm for fall dwindled since this manic post? Maybe a tad. But I’m quickly powering through Gilmore Girls and I have two friends coming from out of the country for Halloween weekend, so even torrential downpour and grey skies can’t hold me down too long! I’ve never been too keen on Halloween, but I always seem to forget that while ‘abroad’ – where they don’t really celebrate it at all. So I’ve got a whole Pinterest Halloween board going and everything… we’ll see how much of the crafts and snacks I get around to making. (Prediction: maybe one.)
On the other hand, I am all about pumpkin everything right now (my Gourds board is alive and well!), and that’s got to count for something!
I never bother to press my tofu to get rid of excess liquid - which is probably why it always splatters a bit. As long as I buy firm tofu though I have no problem getting it golden and a crispy, which is why I skip the step in this recipe.