Happy 2016! The Year of….

Best Ever Tabbouleh-2

Are you over new years resolutions? I’m not the biggest fan either.

But there is one approach I’ve found super helpful…

Rather than set specific resolutions, I choose a theme or major goal for the coming year.

Last year it was the ‘Year of Fertility’.

And given I’m sitting here with a huge basketball-like growth attached to my stomach, I think we can say it panned out well.

My favourite example was from 2008, the ‘Year of Love & Happiness’. The year I met my Irishman.

I know. Be careful what you wish for.

So for 2016 I’ve decided to have the…

Year of Simplicity!

Although I’ve been a follower of minimalism and simplicity for years now. I’ve found that over the last few years my old habits of taking on too much (and buying too much) have been creeping up on me.

With a new family member coming into the house in Feb, it’s a great opportunity to reset. To be more mindful around my choices.

AND this year my Irishman has volunteered to join me. So we’re going to be taking the Simple Year Program together to help keep us on track.

Another ‘new yearish’ habit I started last year was identifying a handful of ‘quests’ or experiences to tick off my bucket list. I’ve found public accountability really helps me stick to my plans. So here’s how I fared in 2015 and what I’m planning for the year ahead…

My Quests for 2015

1. Cook every meal from David Tanis’ ‘Platter of Figs and Other Recipes’.
I made it through the first half of the year (and book) but after getting pregnant I found I lost all enthusiasm and energy for the project and decided to ‘can’ it.

2. Post one photo on Instagram every day for a year.
BIG fail here! I only averaged a few posts a week. More to me feeling like it was ‘wasting time’ than for any other reason.

3. Eat at every restaurant in Canberra on the Good Food Top 20 list. One more to go! Having lunch at the last one next Tuesday with my assistant Caroline as a belated Stonesoup Christmas party.

4. Have a conversation in French in Paris.
Tick! Although it was with waiter in a restaurant and only got as deep as had my husband already arrived. I had hoped I would wow the lovely Clotilde from Chocolate & Zucchini with my French when we caught up for coffee in Montmartre but I chickened out. Still a conversation is a conversation.

My Quests for 2016

1. Post one photo on Instagram every day for a year.
And although I missed January 1, I’ve posted every day since.

2. Eat at every restaurant in Canberra on the Good Food Top 20 list.
The thing I loved about this last year was it gave me a reason to explore places I wouldn’t otherwise go to with a 2 year old. So am continuing this year. Fortunately there a quite a few new comers to the list to keep it interesting.

3. Meditate Every Day.
After learning transcendental meditation last year, I’ve found it super helpful for calming my mind and living more in the present moment. It also helps with having more patience with a 2 year old. Which can be trying to say the least!

So with a new baby on the way I want to make the commitment to continue my daily practice so it’s not something that ‘falls off’ the radar.

What about you?

Got any big plans, dreams or quests for the year ahead? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!

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‘Best Ever’ Tabbouleh

Just so you know, I don’t use the term ‘best ever’ lightly. But in this case I really feel it’s well deserved. The first time I made this I thought we were going to have loads of leftovers for breakfast / lunch but my Irishman loved it so much he polished off the whole bowl in one sitting… An accolade usually reserved for dishes involving potatoes… The highest praise!

The other brillant thing is that it’s grain and gluten-free thanks to the addition of almond meal instead of bulghur wheat. Which has the added bonus of giving a richer, creamier salad.

Unlike most salads, this one is fine in the fridge for a few days before serving if you do need to make ahead.

enough for 2-4 as a side
takes 15 minutes
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 bunches flat leaf parsley
1 large red bell pepper (capsicum), diced
handful almond meal

1. Combine lemon juice, 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and some salt and pepper in a medium salad bowl.

2. Chop parsley leaves and stems as finely as you can be bothered with. Toss in the dressing.

3. Add bell pepper and almond meal. Toss again.

4. Taste, season with extra salt or lemon juice, if needed.

Variations

more herby – replace some of the parsley with mint, coriander (cilantro) or basil.

nut-free – replace almond meal with a few handfuls cooked couscous or quinoa.

more traditional – replace bell pepper with chopped fresh tomatoes.

more substantial – wrap in pita bread or tortillas to eat as a sandwich. Or toss torn pita bread in the salad (with a little more olive oil and lemon to prevent it becoming too dry). Or serve with shredded roast or cooked chicken.

Big love,
Jules x

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PS. Could you benefit from simplifying YOUR life?

Then I encourage you to checkout a special program I’m proud to be a part of. This year as a presenter AND a student!

It’s called ‘A Simple Year‘ and basically it’s a year long program of guided simplicity that focuses on simplifying a different area of your life each month.

Including cooking and eating. Which is where I come in.

For more details go to:
www.simpleyear.co/course

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NOTE: Registration ENDS 31st January.

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