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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

‘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.

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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.

Video Version of the Recipe.

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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{ 23 comments… add one }
  • Sue/theviewfromgreatisland 12 January, 2016, 2:21 pm

    Gotta try that tabbouleh!

  • Linda 12 January, 2016, 4:14 pm

    I always make a few resolutions and funnily enough, I have them listed in dot points in my blog drafts. I should really finish that one off!
    I think you have made totally achievable resolutions. I love the idea of the IG one, but I doubt I would meet the commitment… I’ve never even been able to complete one of those month long challenges!
    Have you read Simplicity Parenting? If not (and if you’re interested) I’ll lend it to you next time we catch up. Whilst not about simplifying every aspect of your life, I think you’ll find it interesting from a parental perspective… especially with a second baby coming along. Kids make simplicity difficult at times (one reason Konmari doesn’t sit well with me) but the book is great outline for making life easier. As you know, we don’t have much in the way of toys around here, craft and outside is where it’s at. ;)

    See you soon!!! x

  • birgit 13 January, 2016, 6:17 am

    oh yes
    everyday yoga
    everyday cooking healthy food
    and simplicity is on the list too
    and so today evening i stumbled over this tabbouleh
    i had no parsley but asia salad leaves looking sad in the fridge
    and so i chopped them and woooow
    i never would have tried almond meal for salad
    and it’s sososo great – i will buy arms full of parsley on saturday
    wish you all my very best and happy new year
    have a good time
    lg birgit

  • Carrie @ Season It Already 13 January, 2016, 7:23 am

    My mantra this year is “Simplify”, too!

  • Barb 13 January, 2016, 7:37 am

    First off, I enjoy your emails, recipes, everything. Old habits are so hard to break, but after suffering terribly with digestive issues (maybe wheat intolerance?) for years now, I’m starting my new year off without any wheat or grain whatsoever. So far, I feel much better. I would like to have a natural, plant based diet, with little or no processed food. Maybe then my system will heal.
    I’m so happy for you and your little bundle of joy who’s about to make an appearance. All the best wishes for you with your growing family! I’ll be pleased to hear your exciting news!

    • jules 29 January, 2016, 10:55 am

      Thanks Barb!
      And good luck with your wheat-free path… it’s something that makes a huge difference for me :)

  • Tracy Gordon 13 January, 2016, 7:54 am

    My most successful resolution was “drink better wine”. Not more, just better quality.

    I like the your “simplicity theme” idea. My husband and I have been travelling and renovating and have had all of our belongings in storage for about one year out of the last two years. We edited before we moved. We’re contemplating living in a small space when we settle down again.

    • jules 29 January, 2016, 10:54 am

      OMG Tracy… love your wine resolution! I can’t wait until I’m no longer pregnant and can try it out myself :)

  • Jessica 13 January, 2016, 9:48 am

    I really like your idea of having a theme every year, and creating interesting projects to fulfil. It’s not a resolution as such, but this year I decided I wanted to a little bit more about other cultures whilst remaining in the UK (time and money restrictions prevent me from gallivanting around the world!). So I have a list of 12 countries/islands/states – one for each month – and I’ve pledged to read one book, cook one recipe, listen to some music and learn a little bit about the local arts and crafts of that region. It should be interesting! At the moment I’m on ‘Java’, and I’ll be blogging about the project throughout the year :)
    http://www.thebeautifulhomecompany.com

  • Larae Jensen 13 January, 2016, 11:51 am

    This is my first year of retirement and although I don’t usually make resolutions per say, I do like to make goals and plans (uh? is that the same thing?). I just finished reading Gretchen Rubin’s newest book “Better then Before ; Masteing the habits of our everyday Lives” and there are a couple of things I hope to work on including not eating after dinner!! I have also started meditating again and also hope to simplify my life now that work is no longer part of my everyday. I started by getting rid of my work clothes…took 50 (!!!!) items to the charity store where I hope someone will find them useful…I feel much lighter!

    • jules 29 January, 2016, 10:53 am

      I’ve just purchased Better than Before… thanks Larae!
      And great to hear you’re getting lighter :)

  • Heghineh 15 January, 2016, 7:50 am

    Beautiful Blog
    Good Luck in 2016 !

  • Mark 15 January, 2016, 11:36 am

    I hope everyone’s resolutions are still going well! I’m still killing mine, except for my meditation one… I just can’t get myself to do it.

    • jules 29 January, 2016, 10:51 am

      Have you tried doing a guided meditaion Mark? Can help ease into the whole thing

  • Paolo U 17 January, 2016, 12:29 am

    I don’t think that I would make a New Years resolution this year since I tend to forget about it as the months gone by. I guess that I would just try to do what I can do this year and I won’t be expecting much.

  • Beth 19 January, 2016, 11:31 pm

    Dood! I have parsley! And cilantro! Totally trying the tabouleh. I love using fresh spices in recipes but am always left with a bag of it sitting in the fridge going bad. This is going to be amazing in that respect. Thank you.
    Also, I’m doing the Simple Year program myself. The first batch (6 bags total) of clothes, household items, etc. is leaving my house this morning. Feels awesome.

  • Lauren Deegan 5 February, 2016, 2:21 am

    Love your healthy recipes, my friend showed me this and I loved it. Thanks for sharing.

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