I’ve been talking about my need for crunchy things left, right and centre, to the point that I cave and head for the chip aisle. This is where scenes like this one, with my friend Kendra, usually play out:
(Standing side by side, staring at the chips…)
Me: I just really want something crunchy. I mean, I could have celery.
Kendra: There’s celery.
Me: Oooor not…(as I grab ALL the chips and put them in the basket…)
My friend Tami calls it the “crunch factor” — all meals must include it or you’ll feel like something is missing; for me, this has definitely been the case recently. Obviously celery is the
responsible HEALTHY choice when it comes to crunch factor. When I mentioned this to my friend Matt, he sent me this fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants salad recipe. It’s got celery for crunch, avocado for creaminess, mango for sweetness and I added red cabbage for colour, which all combine to make it quite satisfying and full of good-for-you vitamins, minerals and fibre. You can make enough for one or two days, just keep the mango and avocado separate to prevent sogginess.
I’ve been making a version of this salad a lot over the past few weeks because of the abundance of kale at the farmers’ market and thus in my fridge. It’s super quick to make and because kale is so hearty, it lasts for up to 4 days. Experiment with different greens, dried fruits and ingredients in general! I like to make a large mason jar of vinaigrette and have it in the fridge to use at any time.
Autumn Kale Salad
2 cups raw kale, finely chopped
2 small heritage carrots, finely sliced
1/2 small red pepper, finely sliced
1/2 a large parsnip, shredded
1/4 white or red onion, finely sliced
2 dried nectarine halves, finely slice (or any other dried fruit)
1/4 olive oil
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp dried herbs (basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary)
1/4 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp onion granules
1 tsp garlic granules
1 tsp sugar
Toss everything in a bowl with dressing and let sit for about 2 hours. Kale will start to soften. Portion out individually and store for up to 4 days.
Basil is probably the most classic pesto ingredient you can come by. Earlier this Summer, I was planning the menu for my second camping trip of the season and debating whether I should buy prepared pesto or make my own.
You see, on a previous camping trip, my friend and I had discovered that sautéing kale, swiss chard, broccoli, beet greens or any other of our favourite greens was super delicious and quick. Pesto turned out to be an excellent and versatile ingredient to include in the cooler.
I was short on time and thought, “Oh, I’ll just buy some.” Off to the farmers’ market I went, but instead of buying a 125 ml jar for $7, I walked away with $15 worth of basil (about 1/3 of a clear garbage bag full). Needless to say, I made a lot of pesto for much less than I would’ve bought it for! Continue reading
I made this delicious salad for the most recent Monday Night Supper Club – potluck edition. It’s another fast, easy recipe (my favourite kind) that always impresses.
Edamame, Arame and Sweet Potato Salad:
1 cup arame, soaked for 30 minutes and rinsed
2 cups sweet potato, cut into 1/2″ cubes and steamed
1 cup edamame, boiled in salted water for 3 minutes
1 green onion, sliced on the bias
2″ daikon radish, grated
1 Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
2 Tbsps sesame oil
2 Tbsps tamari
5 Tbsps rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsps ginger, freshly grated
3 Tbsps maple syrup
Pinch of cinnamon or five-spice powder
Prepare the dressing in a measuring cup or jar. Mix or shake well.
Drain Arame (seaweed) in a colander and squeeze out extra water. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and let sit for at least 1 hour, for all the flavours to incorporate.
Can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.
A great event takes place every Monday called Monday Night Super Club. Headed up by Dan Clapson and mostly organized via Twitter (#MNSCyyc), it was born after the latest season of Top Chef Canada finished, ending the weekly Monday night viewings a group of foodies had been attending at Charcut (Connie De Sousa, executive chef at Charcut, made it to the top 3).
The club alternates going to a Calgary restaurant one week then having a potluck the next week. Last Monday’s MNSC – my first supper – was held at Anju Restaurant. It was AH-MAZING! Here’s Dan’s recap of the evening. This week being potluck week, everyone brought something and we met up at Sandy Beach. Continue reading
Sometimes I get stuck about what to make for dinner, especially when I’ve waited until I’m starving or I don’t have a lot of time to make and eat something. It’s during these times that this spice mix (that I always have on-hand in the cupboard) comes in totally handy. It quickly turns chicken breasts, pork chops and even firm tofu slices into the star of a meal when paired with rice, roasted veggies or on top of a salad.
Go-To Spice Mix (modified from Emeril’s Essence)
4 tablespoons salt
4 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoon lemon pepper
2 tablespoon onion powder
2 tablespoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoon dried oregano, and/or thyme, and/or rosemary, and/or marjoram
Combine all ingredients in an airtight container. Store for up to 6 months.
To use: Drizzle your protein of choice in a little olive oil, then rub in a generous amount of the spice mix. Grill on both sides and viola – perfectly seasoned dinner! This stuff also works well on any type of roasted vegetable.