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 volunteered as a kitchen helper for a Rooted Nutrition cooking class a few days ago. The topic was fermentation, which was super fascinating. I came out of the class with a mason jar of saurkraut that’s doin’ its thang on my counter (will report back about its success…I’m a little wary at the moment…)
Andrea whipped up a soup similar to this one for lunch and topped it with her homemade ‘kraut and kimchi. I didn’t have either of those on hand for dinner tonight so instead just added a squeeze of lime juice right before eating. This is a new fav for sure. Super quick and satisfying. Yum!
Miso Soup with Ginger & Garlic
1 L/4 cups water
1″ fresh ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Red pepper flakes, to taste (I used shandong pepper threads)
1 cooked chicken sausage or plain tofu, cubed
Noodles (I used buckwheat but you can use rice noodles too)
Kale, carrots, cucumber, celery, beet, shredded (really any other vegetable you can think of)
1/2 lime, juiced
1/4 cup miso paste
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!
I made this soup last week after a trip to the dentist – I’ll spare you the details – left me only able to eat soft foods for a few days. I had one small pie pumpkin left, an abundance of carrots and some fresh sweet potatoes (or yams, depending on who you ask).
What resulted is a rich and creamy soup (without cream!) that’s perfect for fall days and sore mouths.
Pumpkin Carrot Sweet Potato Soup
2 medium sized yams, cut into 1″ cubes
1 small pie pumpkin, cut in quarters, seeds removed
3 medium sized carrots, cut in 4
1 onion, small dice
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp fresh thyme
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable stock
1 cup orange juice
1 lemon, zested and juiced
salt and pepper to taste
Roast yams, pumpkin and carrots on a parchment lined baking sheet at 350 F for 30 minutes, until just starting to brown.
Meanwhile, in a large soup pot, saute onions in olive oil until translucent. Add thyme and garlic and saute until just fragrant.
When roasted mixture is done, add it to the pot along with stock and orange juice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. When cooled slightly, partially or fully puree mixture and pour back into a clean pot. Add lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with a sprinkle of fresh thyme leaves. Can be frozen or kept in fridge for up to 5 days.
One of the things I miss about living in Toronto is getting the quarterly LCBO magazine, Food & Drink. The recipes are some of the best I’ve ever tried, including this Butter Chicken.
Seriously, this is a dish that you’ll want to break out when you really want to impress. It looks like it’s complicated, but really it’s just the same ingredients added repeatedly at different stages of the process. Especially a garlic-ginger purée that’s super easy to make and can be frozen for other uses.
- Chicken marinating in a spiced yogurt mixture.
Tomatoes and spices boiling down.
Sieving the tomato mixture after it has reduced.
I made this for the latest Monday Night Supper Club potluck, which happened to be on Halloween. I dressed up in a beautiful sari I received as a gift and went East Indian style! Lori Andrews over at The 10 Cent Designer made this Cucumber Dill Salad that went perfectly.
Butter Chicken – Slightly adapted from LCBO Food & Drink Holiday 2008 Amaya Restaurant Toronto
Combine and let marinate for 20 minutes:
lb./454 g chicken or 1 block/454 g extra firm tofu
1 tsp ginger puree (recipe below)
1 tsp garlic puree (recipe below)
1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 tsp garam masala
If using chicken, bake at 425 F for 10-12 mins.
In a large pan combine and let simmer (med-low heat) until tomatoes are breaking down (about 25 mins):
1 can (2 cups/16 oz.) diced tomatoes, juices reserved
2 tsp ginger puree
2 tsp garlic puree
2 cardamom pods
1 bay leaf
1 cup reserved tomato juice Continue reading
Lentils are a great alternative to using ground meat for Shepherd’s Pie. Green lentils keep their shape, while orange lentils melt into mush; using both gives a similar texture to meat.
This is definitely a dish for potlucks (even meat-lovers like it) and to make when you’re on a budget – each serving works about to approximately $1.50 (depending on how much butter, cream, and cheese you use)!
I like to make a double or triple recipe of this, portion it out into 7″x5″ 3-cup Pyrex bakeware, then freeze for easy weeknight meals. Continue reading
This soup became an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink kind of recipe and is probably that tastiest soup I’ve ever made. It will be great now that the weather has cooled down. Serve it with Garden Salad with Edible Flowers, any salad or roasted vegetables.
Black Bean and Corn Soup:
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 large onion, finely diced
2 med red bell pepper, finely diced
1/2 tsp. jalapeno pepper finely diced, seeds removed
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
500ml shredded cabbage
500ml shredded carrots
500ml chopped mushrooms
1 shredded zucchini
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
3 tbsp. tomato paste (or1/4 cup ketchup)
2 can diced tomatoes, drained
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups frozen corn, thawed and rinsed (4 cobs)
9 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste Continue reading
I’ve ventured into the world of canning this year and for my first endeavor I chose pickles. Armed with lots of research from my mom’s preserving books from the 70’s and several websites, including Well Preserved. I had the pleasure of meeting Joel and Dana when I had a pie stand at the Dufferin Grove Farmers’ Market in Toronto a few years ago. They have a plethora of preserving tips and recipes on the website and their Facebook page has cultivated a preserving community rich with advice and ideas. I settled on their Quick Dill Pickle recipe with a few modifications. Continue reading