Mulligatawny Soup & The Million Dollar Question

29 Nov

One of the great things about being back in school is that there are many other people who are going through the same what-am-I-going-to-do-after-this-is-all-said-and-done phase as me. It was a big decision to up and move and almost as soon as I got here people were asking me what I was planning to do after school and if I wanted to stay in Vancouver or head back to Calgary. The answer is: I don’t know. All I do know is that I want to help people get back in touch with the kitchen and their food: I love sharing recipes, showing people how easy it is to make delicious and good-for-you meals, and giving nutrition/life/friendly advice when asked. But for now, I’m just along for the ride!

I made this Mulligatawny Soup for a potluck with some classmates on the weekend (yes, potlucks go hand-in-hand with nutrition school) and reminded myself how much I love it! This version is vegan-friendly, but traditionally it has chicken, beef or lamb in it. Either way, it’s one for keeps!

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Bean Medley Dip w/ Caramelized Onions & Cilantro

25 Nov

If I could eat all the caramelized onions in the world, I would. The slow cooking process draws out the water and sugars from the onions making the final product naturally sweet and satisfying.

I whipped this dip up the other day for a Young Agrarians potluck. Sara Dent organized the event and what an excellent gathering of people with farmers, foodies and new friends to meet. Can’t wait for the next one!

Bean Medley Dip w/ Caramelized Onions & Cilantro

2 cups mixed beans (1 cup dried beans, soaked and cooked — I used Black Garbanzo, Zuni and Navy)
3 onions, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
2 limes, juiced and zested
1 tbsp grapeseed oil
2 tsp honey
salt/pepper

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Berry Breakfast Pudding

20 Nov

I’m generally more of an Eggs-Benny type than a Sweet-French-Toast type for breakfast, but the other day I was craving something sweet, light and berry-ful. I’d seen a berry strata dish awhile back and decided to give a version of it a go, keeping things simple using what I had available in the fridge. This pudding (as I’ll hereby determine it was) turned out kind of like a cross between strata, bread pudding and soufflé; a little bit eggy, just a little sweet and puffed up nicely. These babies dropped quickly, so serve immediately.

Berry Breakfast Pudding

4 eggs
1/3 cup almond milk (I’d like to try this with coconut milk to see what a higher fat content would do to the texture)
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup frozen berries
3 slices bread, cut into 1/2″ cubes
1/4 cup maple syrup
pinch of nutmeg

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Red Lentil & Black Barley Soup + Inaugural MNSC

14 Nov

Ever since I left Calgary I’ve been craving a gathering just like #yycMNSC that my friend Dan started. So after meeting Annie, a longtime Twitter friend, in-real-life, we decided to start it up here!

Ready for their close-ups.

Monday Night Supper Club is about trying new recipes and restaurants, going on excursions, connecting with food and the food industry in our city, and, of course, making new friends. The inaugural potluck was yesterday (yes, I know it was a Tuesday) at my tiny studio apartment and what a blast we had! Breanne brought a Pumpkin Cashew Dip that I swear you could use as a body mask; Celia brought Quinoa Falafel Cakes; Carissa brought Savoury Sausage & Cheese Muffins and Chocolate Avocado Pudding; Annie brought Homemade Bread & Garlic Bruschetta; and Erin brought Raw Chocolate Nut Clusters. A very delicious evening indeed!

Coffee Grinder + Spices = Spice Grinder

I modified this Lentil & Barley soup recipe from a favourite healthy-eats cookbook called Enlightened Eating (written by a fellow Canadian Holistic Nutritionist!) and it was a total hit with the group. I like to use whole spices wherever possible and grind them as I need them. Instead of using a mortar and pestel, I just use a coffee bean grinder (that’s never met a coffee bean!) As a general rule, I always double recipes when I’m making soup so I’ve got lots leftover to freeze. Yum!

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Hearty Homemade Oatmeal

9 Nov

With colder weather taking hold I find, as you might too, that I’m craving warmer meals. With the change to a colder season the body goes into — in my totally UN-scientific opinion — human-hibernation-mode(!) where it needs to conserve energy to keep itself warm and moving. In my mind, this also explains why we tend to hold a little more weight in the winter months (fat/adipose tissue = insulation). Cold foods take more energy for the body to digest, thus leaving less energy for keeping us warm.

This oatmeal recipe is my staple for cold-weather breakfasts and it’s hearty enough to keep the body going until lunch time. You may be thinking, how am I supposed to find time to COOK before work/school/insert-activity-here, but believe me, oatmeal is super quick to prep AND pretty fool-proof (besides forgetting about it while getting ready in the morning and coming back to a burning pan. Believe me. I know :S)

I like to make two to four servings at a time, portion it out, then reheat it on the stove for the next few mornings with a little almond milk. Add the seeds, nuts and other toppings after it’s heated; they’ll stay nice and crunchy and anything containing omega fats will be less likely to go off.

Hello, deliciousness!

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Kitchari & Lessons from nutrition school

1 Nov

Wowza, how time flies! Since my last post (June 29th!) a lot has happened. On somewhat of a whim I relocated to Vancouver, BC, in early August to complete a certificate in Ayurvedic Studies and in September I began the Diploma of Holistic Nutrition at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition.

Au revoir, Calgary!

Summer in Vancouver was beautiful and I got to spend a lot of time exploring the city and surrounding areas. The rain started a few weeks ago — as everyone warned me it would — so I’m staying on top of my vitamin D supplements and keeping myself busy with school and socializing (who doesn’t like making new friends!?)

Kitchari with seasoned chicken breast, mesclun, beet and cilantro.

The August Ayurveda intensive was perfectly suited to the information I’ve been searching for. Ayurveda has a very simple, logical (and ancient) approach to medicine where nutrition is one of the key elements. People are treated as individuals with lifestyle programs tailored to each person’s specific constitution or dosha. I learned so much about myself and have been putting all my knowledge to work, especially in the kitchen!

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Homemade Chai Concentrate

29 Jun

Here’s the latest from the Bodhi Tree’s Breathing Room Newsletter.

—-

It seems this Summer is off to a much wetter and cooler start than usual in Calgary. It seems a bit odd to be thinking of ways to keep warm, but alas, that’s what I’m doing! If you are too, here’s a little something (besides hot yoga!) to do just that. It also aids digestion (fennel and ginger) and maintains balance of the doshas.

Happy Cooking!
Jacinthe
Yoga teacher & kitchen advocate


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It’s a Party — Start From Scratch Summer Social!

24 May

As I’m sure you all know, I’ve been working with Start From Scratch, a Calgary-based cooking initiative, for just over a year. We are dedicated to teaching university students get back to basics in the kitchen and learn how to cook. In just over a year and a half we’ve educated over 70 students with our free 10-week program. We’re able to do so with the generous support of many local suppliers and restaurants, including some of the talent that will be cooking for you on the evening of June 21, 2012.

My SFS partner-in-crime, Dan Clapson, and I have been planning this event for months and are super stoked to now be able to share details with you of what is sure to be an amazing evening of great friends, delicious food, and superb wine pairings.

When: Thursday, June 21, 2012 – 8pm
Where: Casel Marche, J. Webb Wine Merchant, Market 17
What: Five local chefs and five local food bloggers teaming up to create five delectable, easy-to-recreate dishes for your enjoyment, along with wine pairings. As well there will be lots of awesome silent auction items to bid on.
Cost: $50

Full details can be found here.

A little update!

4 May

I’ve taken a little hiatus it seems! April got a bit hectic with my daytime job, the wrap-up of Start From Scratch classes, the passing of my grandmother on April 10, 2012 and a spontaneous trip to Vancouver (first time I’ve ever been there!) where I met two longtime Twitter friends, Ethan Adeland and Melissa Hartfiel, in real life.

My grandma was 95.5 years old and was a constant part of my life. I remember so many things about my grandma, particularly cooking with her while she babysat me (she lived two blocks away for most of my life). I remember her friends coming over and all of us forming an assembly line for perogies (Russian-style they’re small, stuffed bread), cabbage rolls, homemade cottage cheese, borscht, and so many other things. She was of the ilk that if your plate was empty you needed more food (even if you were stuffed to the brim).

Over the next few weeks I’m going to post some of my favourite recipes from her. So stay tuned! I’m still here. :)

Testing a Gluten-Free Pie Shell and Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe

4 Apr

I was given a Piccola Cucina gluten-free pie shell to test out and decided to make one of my favourite pies – Lemon Meringue! I particularly like to make this pie when it’s cold out, to remind me of warmer times to come. It’s also perfect for the upcoming Easter weekend if you’re having company over for dinner. Give it a try with any type of pie shell.

Lemon Meringue Pie (modified from the Joy of Cooking)

Lemon Curd
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 cup Sugar
1 1/2 cup Boiling Water (1/2 cup cold, 1 cup boiling)
1/2 teaspoon Salt
4 eggs
3 tablespoon Butter
1/2 cup/~2-6 Lemons, juiced and zested

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