Author: Courtney

vegan chocolate coffee cardamom scones

chocolate scones with coffee + cardamom

Here is my little tip on how to survive the winter: bake. All the time. Everything. Savour that rush of heat leaving the oven when you pull out a tray of cookies. Revel in the aroma of freshly baked bread filling your kitchen. Not only will you be rewarded with the heat generated by your baking venture, but also the warm (hehe) gratitude of your friends/family/coworkers when you start showing up with a buffet of baked goods. Another method for tackling the trials of winter is the pursuit of hygge (pronounced hoo-guh), of which the entire internet seems to be obsessed. Simply put, it’s the Danish lifestyle notion of coziness or well-being. And no wonder there’s such a frenzy: who isn’t looking for the silver lining in the bitter cold days of February? Danish winters are known for being especially dark and long, so if anybody knows how to endure this time of year, it’s the Danes (also pretty sure they’re ranked the happiest nation in the world, so…). So what’s the secret to capturing the elusive hygge? …

gluten free miso waffle

savoury miso waffles

I think as a general rule of life, breakfast on a weekday morning is always rushed. Even if I try to get up a few minutes earlier (a real struggle when it’s so cold and dark) there isn’t time to slowly savour and enjoy the beginning of my day. Winter weekends are a great opportunity to ease into the day gradually, and lately I’ve been really digging the slow pace of it all. I love being able to sit quietly on the couch with my tea, and think about all the possibilities of the day ahead. I’m trying to prioritize a ‘taking it easy’ mindset, since my usual tendency is to schedule large chunks of my weekend (ie meal prepping, cleaning, making bread, working on the blog) so I don’t feel like I’ve ‘wasted’ my free days. The downside to having accomplished so much is that when my weekend is over, I feel as if I’ve worked the whole time. My focus now is on having weekends with more balance so that I feel rested …

warm winter salad with apple cider dressing

warm winter salad with apple cider dressing

Happy Thursday! This hearty winter salad is a pretty great compromise to any healthy resolutions you might have made a couple weeks ago. It’s got your servings of veg covered as well as a bit of bread and cheese (#balance) so you can feel virtuous about starting the new year off right, while not feeling entirely limited to green juices (but if you thrive on those, more power to ya). Particularly in the dark days of winter, I think we could all benefit from a little more colour in our meals on occasion: not only from the wide array of vitamins and minerals, but also to brighten our spirits because we still have a lot of winter ahead of us. Fortunately even winter produce provides an enticing colour spectrum, from red and yellow beets, orange-hued squashes, vividly purple cabbages, deep green brussels sprouts and kale. I think it’s good to find a balance between the bright, energizing foods as well as the simple home-y staples like oatmeal, rice bowls, and good bread. I’ve ramped up …

vegan gluten free spicy coconut soup

spicy coconut and pineapple soup

It’s raining pretty hard right now while I’m sitting here writing this, and just looking outside is giving me chills. So as I make myself another cup of tea and look at the pictures of this soup, I imagine it like a big warm blanket, warming my head to my toes, eliminating the word ‘cold’ from body’s vocabulary (even if only temporarily). At this time of year when people are often doing cleanses to start their year off right,  I try not to think about resolutions based on the calendar year and just do right by my body with a hot bowl of food accompanied by something starchy (usually in the form of bread or some cooked grains).  The new year brings people to not only make goals for the year ahead, but reflect on the year previous. Currently the internet is full of thank-god-2016-is-over type stuff. And on the one hand, I can totally agree: a lot of celebrities and influential musicians passed, an overtly sexist and racist man convinced people that he could successfully …

vegan holiday eggnog

holiday nog 2 ways

I think I love the time leading up to Christmas even more than Christmas itself. The feelings of barely being sleeping the night before and the surge of excitement the next morning have faded as I’ve grown further away from childhood. But I have only grown more fond of all the traditions that precede Christmas: baking cookies, picking out + decorating a tree, looking at neighbours’ outdoor lights and shouting “GRISWOLDS!” when an elaborate set up is spotted, or planning a theme for the Christmas Eve party at my grandma’s house. The idea for this post started out as the holiday nog featured below, and a dairy free eggnog made with actual eggs. When I went to make the recipes on Tuesday morning, I realized that we only had 3 eggs left in the carton and was confronted with the dilemma: breakfast or eggnog? Since the weather outside was frightful(ly cold) and the notion of eggs for breakfast was so delightful, I decided to forgo the eggs in my nog for now. But there are …

vegan gluten free whole roasted cauliflower

whole roasted cauliflower with tomato and chickpea stew

There is something so magical about pulling this cauliflower out of the oven. It looks so impressive in its whole form, coated in a golden crust of warming Moroccan spices, sitting atop a fragrant tomato stew studded with chickpeas, capers, and preserved lemon. I had April Bloomfield’s version of roasted cauliflower a while back (minus the anchovies), and I loved that it achieved something that many other vegetarian main dishes do not: it is a beautiful centre piece. While many holiday meals usually leave vegetarians with just a handful of side dishes to choose from, this colourful and bold flavoured cauliflower can become the focal point of your meal. This is a great dish to make for your Christmas gathering because the prep time is minimal, so you can spend more time with your family (who might otherwise be freaked out by the faux turkey/ham that you brought 😉 ). whole roasted cauliflower with tomato chickpea stew (vegan, gluten free) serves 3-4  olive oil 1 onion, sliced (about 1 cup) 4 cloves garlic, sliced 1 tablespoon ginger, minced 2 tablespoons preserved lemon, …

butternut squash soup with zhoug

I T ‘ S  S O U P   S E A S O N ! It hasn’t even been terribly cold yet and I am already in the routine of having my teapot/mug within arm’s reach. I know I will regret saying this later (like mid-January when I have to walk to work in a blizzard), but I love when the weather gets cooler. Sliding around the kitchen in my slippers. Baking cookies and treats, because you need something to go with all those cups of tea. Feeling inspired to cook again, as during the summer I am usually too hot to feel like going anywhere near the stove, and I get way more creative with fall/winter produce and the assorted beans/grains in our cupboards. I love soups, stews, casseroles, trays of roasted veg, hearty meals that leave you feeling warm and snuggly so you can lay on the couch wrapped in blankets, read a book, and listen to Miles Davis.  Right now all my body wants is hot bowls of food and baked goods, …

whole wheat no knead bread with chestnut jam

no knead whole wheat bread + vanilla chestnut jam

This has been my go to bread while I have been without a sourdough starter (somehow mine ended up in the cupboard instead of the fridge, RIP). It’s almost entirely whole wheat, but it tastes surprisingly sweet due to a recent addition to my pantry: white whole wheat flour. White whole wheat flour IS 100% whole wheat, so don’t let the name fool you. The whole wheat you’re probably used to seeing in the grocery store is made from red wheat, which has a darker colour and stronger flavour. White whole wheat flour is made from white wheat, which is lighter and much milder. I tried chestnut jam for the first time when I was in France WWOOFing on an organic farm last month. Since they grew their own chestnuts, their confiture de marron was homemade and a staple on the breakfast table each day. I slathered it onto my bread and stirred it into my porridge, so taken by the earthiness and subtle sweetness of this spread. I knew I needed to make it when I got home. …

vegetarian vegan pan bagnat

turkish inspired pan bagnat

I know, a sandwich. What a terribly mundane idea for a blog post. BUT. This sandwich is different, I swear. I wrestle with myself over recipe ideas all the time, thinking “it’s been done” or “it’s boring” or “who needs a recipe for that?” or “how interesting could a vegetarian sandwich be without cheese?!”. This blog is supposed to represent foods that I like to eat regularly; sandwiches definitely fall into that category, so I unashamedly present to you my take on a pan bagnat. People have this idea in mind that vegetarian/vegan food is supremely bland or uninteresting; while that may be true of some stuff, I hope this sandwich proves otherwise. When I think about food options that I wish existed in Kingston, this type of food comes to mind. I want something fairly wholesome, inexpensive, with a lot of flavour. I was flipping through Sarah B‘s cookbook and saw the pan bagnat, which is basically a Nicoise salad on a bun. The name translates to ‘bathed bread’, because all the flavours soak into the …

no bake goat cheese cheesecake

no bake goat cheesecake

I am real excited about this cheesecake. I can’t remember the last time I had ‘real’ cheesecake, though I DO remember eating a lot of the frozen cheesecake bites at Dairy Queen in the time that I worked there. I had a terrible stomachache pretty much every night that I worked, but I never really put it together that I might be lactose intolerant.. Until I stopped eating dairy a few years after I stopped working there, and the daily excruciating stomach aches finally went away. I associated eating dairy with a whole world of pain, so I really didn’t miss it when I cut it out of my diet. But within the past year or so I missed the extra dimensions that cheese can add to a meal, and the vegan cheese replacements weren’t always cutting it. I did a little research and discovered some anecdotal stories of people with lactose intolerance having an easier time digesting sheep and goat’s milk products. After some digging, I found out that this is because the fat and …