This past weekend I spent a solid couple of hours planning, blending, taste testing and photographing fall smoothie recipes for a side-project I’m working on. And yes, this is the same girl who last week ranted how even the mention of a Starbucks PSL was outrageous because it’s AUGUST. Pumpkin is one of my favourite fall foods but it’s just not quite time yet, unless……
…you’re a food blogger. Throughout my 5 years (WHAT?!) of blogging there are a whole bunch of things that have become the norm around here, but normal people would probably find them utterly bizarre. In addition to making recipes a half-season ahead of time, there are several other quirky habits that come to mins like…
1. Taking a ridiculously long time at the grocery store to find the prettiest looking peaches, berries, peppers, or whatever other pieces of produce I need for my “this is me making the recipe” photos.
2. Making 10+ grocery store visits in a week because I 1) read too many cookbooks, magazines and blogs that make me want to cook all the things, 2) keep forgetting to bring my shopping list, and 3) don’t bother to make one in the first place.
3. On the slightly lazy days I’ll disguise ingredients for the ones I either forgot or can’t be bothered to go to out to buy, purely for photographic purposes. Tomatoes dressed as red peppers, carrots as orange peppers, parsley chopped so small it could easily be cilantro – I’m guilty of all three but I won’t reveal the names of the recipes where I did it!
4. Speaking of cookbooks and magazines, despite having dozens of both stuffed in my bedside table and lined up on bookshelves, whenever I’m looking for a recipe, I almost always hit up Google or Pinterest first.
5. I get really excited about blog props, and lust after distressed looking wooden boards, napkins, dishcloths, dishes and other random items. Back when I lived in Ontario I went to Home Depot and bought a package of laminate for no other reason than to put it together on my dining room table so it could be used as a food surface. One thing my current home lacks is a blog prop closet but you can bet it’ll be a must-have feature in my next place.
6. I’m notorious for cooking and photographing dinners in the morning when the light is just sooooooo perfect, then putting the dish away in the fridge for dinner. And of course, by that point I usually want something else entirely. Then we go right back up to quirk #2.
7. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in recipe development and these photography sessions that it’s not until I’m editing pictures in Lightroom when I realize personal hygiene has been neglected. For example, on Sunday I noticed not by feel, but by seeing photos of my hands in Lightroom that they were in serious need of some lotion. This is often also how I notice that my nail polish is chipped. Sad looking manicures are easy to edit, but beet juice-stained hands however, take a little more work to hide.
8. Also on the subject of photography, there’s the tendency to take pictures in exceptionally awkward and sometimes dangerous positions. The photo below was taken with one tripod leg and one toe on the table, one foot on a slightly wobbly chair, the other 2 tripod legs in mid air, and a spoon and a toothpick in my left hand. Is food blogger acrobatics a thing? I’m making it a thing. I’ll train more seriously for it as soon as my triathlon is over.
9. Lastly, and perhaps most talked about by other food bloggers, is the fact that many of the meals I eat are cold. This is all a result of the above photography habits. You can never take too many pictures (at home I mean – restaurants are another story) and it’s much easier to just take a few minutes longer than to snap a few photos, eat, look at the pictures later and realize your white balance was off and you haaaate them all. #speakingfromexperience.
But good news! The whole food-going-cold thing is totally NOT an issue with this week’s featured recipe, because there’s no cooking involved. Can I get a haaaaaaaaaaaallelujah?!
These Veggie Stuffed Tuna Collard Wraps are a refreshing and very satisfying summer lunch, with so much crunch, colour and flavour it’ll blow your mind. For all my veggie friends out there that aren’t into tuna, I’d recommend replacing the tuna with mashed chickpeas or chopped grilled tempeh. And when you’re buying your collard leaves, bigger is better!
Veggie-Stuffed Tuna Collard Wraps
Prep Time: 25 mins
Cook Time: 0 mins
Ingredients (4-6 wraps)
- 8-10 large collard leaves
- 1 can tuna
- 1 tbsp finely minced parsley
- 1 tbsp finely minced fresh dill
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 cup shredded purple cabbage
- 1/2 cup shredded purple beets
- 1/2 cup very thinly sliced cucumber
- 1 carrot, shredded
- 1/4 cup creamy herb dressing or homemade spread/dip of choice
Wash the collard leaves and pat them dry with a towel. Using a sharp knife, remove the thick stems from the middle.
Drain the tuna and mix it with the parsley, dill and lemon juice.
Prepare all of the other fillings as indicated above and set them out on a cutting board in piles, or in small bowls for easy access.
Layer a couple of collard leaves as your wrap, then arrange a little bit of each of the fillings in the middle of the end nearest you.
Fold the bottom of the collard wrap (the end nearest you) up and the edges in towards the middle. Roll it up like a burrito and secure with toothpicks as you repeat for all the remaining leaves and fillings.
So tell me…
- Food blogger friends: Please tell me we share a few of the above crazy habits?
- When you’re making a recipe, do you go to magazines, cookbooks, Pinterest, Google, or blogs first? Or somewhere else entirely?
Lastly, don’t forget that there’s still time to enter my Vega #BestLifeProject giveaway! It closes at 8PM PT on Friday, August 14th so get your entries in ASAP!