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’m so impressed with the way this last-minute, one-pan-meal came together. I’d spent the afternoon working up an appetite while volunteering for Growing Chefs at Whole Foods and did a quick run around the store to get a piece of tilapia before leaving. My first thought had been to throw together a stir-fry, but after perusing my fridge and finding leftover roasted squash and a bit of coconut milk, I decided to do a simple curry. SO glad I did.
I don’t actually own curry powder or paste. All it is is a mix of spices anyways, so I generally just put my own mix together. Use whole spices and grind them in a spice (read: coffee) grinder! You can use any vegetables you like in this recipe. I just used what was quick and easy.
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
I’ve been craving rice pudding ever since I got a sample at Silvestre Gusto Latino after last Saturday’s Social Bites dinner (my friend Todd and I were hobby-cheffing and had a blast. Will summarize in a later post).
There are a variety of rices in my house after I went a little crazy at Whole Foods’ 25% bulk day back in November. Forbidden rice is by far the most intriguing because of its super black colour. I thought I’d see what would happen if I substituted it in this rice pudding recipe. It turned out delicious. So delicious that I’m trying not to eat the entire pot of it now…
I had a hankering for a good burger the other day. I find I’ve been cooking vegetarian and/or vegan mostly at home — though I do indulge in burgers of the meat variety every so often — and I just happened to have some red kidney beans soaking without a plan for them. Legumes are a staple in my diet recently because of a) being a student and b) being a student of holistic nutrition. I needed a dish for a potluck as part of a class I’m taking and thought veggie burgers would not only satisfy my burger craving but also the variety of eating styles that exist in most nutrition-related classes.
These burgers turned out so great! Perfect chewy consistency with lots of flavour. I served them on top of raw shredded squash and cabbage with the dressing from my Edamame, Arame and Sweet Potato Salad. I also garnished with a little arame, cilantro and a drizzle of extra dressing. Make a double batch and freeze them before (or after) baking for easy lunches and dinners.
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!
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
Green drinks/smoothies are one of my favourite breakfast meals or snacks. There are so many combinations of fruits and vegetables to use, usually whatever you have in your fridge! I add protein powder in to make them a full meal that will keep me satiated for around 3 hours. The trick is to use a very good blender. Otherwise, you’ll end up with pulpy slush that isn’t very appetizing. In this version, I added a beet, which not only lends its beautiful colour to the drink, but also its vitamins and nutrients!
Red Green Smoothie
1 small beet, peeled and cut into wedges
3 cups greens (kale, swiss chard, lettuce, mesclun)
1 stalk celery
1 small carrot, peeled
1/2″ fresh ginger
1 apple (or pear, nectarine, peach, whatever’s in season)
1 tbsp fresh parsley
1/4 cup fresh juice (cranberry is my fav)
1 serving’s worth of protein powder
Place everything in a blender and add enough water to almost cover. Blend until super smooth. You can stop and start the blender to let the larger pieces settle to the bottom. Pour into your favourite smoothie glass and enjoy! Keeps in the fridge for about 2 days.