Latest Posts

squash and greens casserole gluten free

spaghetti squash and greens casserole

The notes app on my phone is very organized with a title for each note, which I don’t think is a surprise based on my personality. We recently did a ‘True Colours’ personality test in one of my classes, and the results indicated that I am undoubtedly a ‘gold’ with some ‘blue’ attributes. What this boils down to is that I’m thorough, detail-oriented, punctual, and a good planner, while also being compassionate and empathetic. There’s a lot more to it than that, but it’s a very enlightening test that helps you to see why you interact with people and situations a certain way. It also demonstrates how the strengths and weaknesses of each colour can complement one another, which is something helpful to keep in mind whether you’re at work, doing group projects, or baffled as to how your partner can leave their laundry in such disarray……

Anyway speaking of notes on my phone: one day out of nowhere I felt a sudden compulsion to make some kind of creamy, cheesy casserole, so I scrambled for my phone and made a note so I wouldn’t forget. I had been trying to think about what to do with this massive spaghetti squash from our CSA, besides the usual bake, scrape and plate. I had been looking at this note on my phone when I thought of a hash brown casserole dish that my aunt often makes for family functions (and I just found out recently it’s my Oma’s recipe, which makes it feel extra special). This squash and greens casserole feels very nostalgic to me because it is my ode to that casserole, but altered for my no-fun lactose intolerant needs.

My Oma’s recipe uses cream of celery soup, sour cream and butter to form the creamy sauce that envelops the hash browns. I figured some full fat goat’s milk yogurt would be a good replacement since it would add lots of body and creaminess. I like that it’s not too rich because we are having an incredibly warm September so far, and I don’t need anything too heavy at dinnertime just yet. Definitely a dish to keep in mind for Thanksgiving if you need a little change-up to your casserole game!

It might be more accurate to call this a squash and ‘pinks’ casserole because I used beet greens with the stems. I fully intended to go out to the garden and grab some rainbow chard, and then was so lazy (it’s truly remarkable) that I just grabbed the beet greens from the fridge instead. The consequence is that the casserole has big streaks of pink in it. Really, who cares? It’s still creamy and cheesy and satisfying, and honestly pretty wholesome as far as casseroles go. Anyway feel free to sub in any greens you’d like, but kale and chard would be good seasonal choices right now.

squash and greens casserole gluten free

squash and greens casserole gluten free

squash and greens casserole gluten free

squash and greens casserole gluten free

squash and greens casserole gluten free

squash and greens casserole gluten free

spaghetti squash and greens casserole (vegetarian, gluten free)

serves 4-6 as a side

860 g spaghetti squash (half of a large one)
olive oil
salt and pepper
1/2 large onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
2 cups loosely packed greens, sliced
1 teaspoon minced each fresh thyme, sage, and rosemary
1 cup goat’s milk yogurt
1/2 teaspoon salt
more pepper
65 g goat cheddar, grated (about 1/2 cup)

Preheat the oven to 400F fan. Scrape the seeds out of the squash, drizzle with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until tender all the way through. Meanwhile, saute the onion with a splash of oil in a small pan over medium low heat. Cook until soft, 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic and chili flakes and cook for another two minutes. Add the greens and cook until wilted. Add the herbs then remove from the heat. Scrape the squash with a fork until all of the flesh is in shreds, then scrape it into a small casserole dish. Add the onion-greens mixture, yogurt, salt and pepper, and half of the cheese. Stir until well combined, then top with the remaining cheese. Bake for 20 minutes until cheese is golden and bubbling.

Notes:

Feel free to use reuglar yogurt and cheese instead; I use the goat’s milk versions since they don’t seem to bother me the way cow’s milk does.

appeltaart (dutch apple pie)

appeltaart (dutch apple pie)

Around this time last year, I was frantically planning a last minute trip to Europe. I was WOOFing at a farm in the south of France for about a week, met up with Luke for a couple nights in Belgium, after which we made our way on the high speed rail to the Netherlands. Let me just say that I love it there, and if I wasn’t such a family-oriented homebody I would move there in a HEARTBEAT. I’m not exaggerating, I looked up apartments in Haarlem the other day and it is so incredibly charming.

Also: everyone was so tall in Amsterdam, I felt right at home 😉

I love how there is such a culture of cycling there (though we didn’t actually rent any bikes, Luke thought we’d get run over). They dominate the streets more than the cars do. Instead of parking garages for cars, there are parking garages for bikes. The streets are lined with locked up bikes; they really are a fixture of Dutch living. Despite not renting bikes, we managed to do a lot of sightseeing with a lot of scenic walks and occasional use of the very efficient public transit.

While we definitely had a list of places to see and visit, I also had list of things I wanted to eat. This included a fresh stroopwaffel (pure bliss, I tell you), appelbollen (an apple doughnut), poeffertjes (tiny pancakes), hagelslag (bought the sprinkles, didn’t find a sandwich there), gouda, croquettes.. I didn’t end up getting to try the patatje oorlog (french fries with mayo, raw onions, and Indonesian sate sauce), and as much as I tried to convince him, Luke was not interested in trying raw herring.

Another food I never crossed off the list was an appeltaart, a dessert that is like a pie-cake fusion. There were chalkboard signs outside almost every restaurant offering ‘appeltaart met slagroom’ for dessert (apple pie with whipped cream). Even though I didn’t get to try one, I felt determined to recreate this classic Dutch dessert. The crust, which feels somewhat like a wetter cookie dough, is pressed into a springform pan or pie plate, the filling is piled in just like a pie, and the remaining crust is laid on top (usually in a lattice). The dough is pretty tender and doesn’t handle like typical pie crust, lending itself to a dessert that looks a bit more rustic, which is the name of my game.

I opted for speculaas spices in the crust and filling, though cinnamon is actually the traditional choice for an appeltaart. Speculaas is a blend of warming spices (think: cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, etc) used in Dutch cookies of the same name; these cookies are stamped with fun images, and I love dunking them into my tea or coffee. I like the addition of the other spices in the pie, but if you don’t feel like mixing the blend together you can just stick with cinnamon.

appeltaart (dutch apple pie)

appeltaart (dutch apple pie)

appeltaart (dutch apple pie)

appeltaart (dutch apple pie)

appeltaart (dutch apple pie) (dairy free)

serves 8-10

125 g / 1 cup whole wheat flour (I used a local red fife)
125 g / 1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
102 g / 1/2 cup brown sugar
168 g / 3/4 cup coconut oil, soft but not melted
1 large free range organic egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon speculaas spices

880g apples, cored peeled + sliced (I used a combination of Lobo and Paula Red)
juice of half a lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
1 1/2 teaspoons speculaas spices
70 g / 1/2 cup raisins, soaked in hot water and drained
15 g / 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
67 g / 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
10 g / 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs

coconut whip (optional)

one can coconut milk, chilled 24 hours
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350F fan (375 regular). Cream coconut oil and sugar in a large bowl with a hand mixer, or in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Add egg and vanilla and beat for another minute. Add flour, salt, spices, and baking powder and mix by hand until a dough forms. Divide the dough into two thirds/one third. Take the bigger amount and press evenly across the bottom of the pan and the sides. Roll out the other 1/3 on a floured counter or flatten with your hand. Cut into strips or use a cookie cutter to make shapes.

Combine the apples, lemon juice, spices, raisins, flour, and brown sugar in a bowl. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the bottom crust. Spoon the filling in. Layer the strips of dough across the filling. Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown. The edges will get a bit more brown and crisp than the centre, but you’re looking for the crust to firm up all the way across.

While the tart is baking, you can make the coconut whip. Open the can of coconut milk, and scoop the cream from the top into a medium bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer (you can save the water to drink or blend into a smoothie). Add the icing sugar and vanilla, then whip on high speed with a hand blender or in the mixer for 5-6 minutes. 

Notes:

This really is best the day it is made. It gets pretty soft in the days following (but still delicious), so I recommend placing it back in a 350F oven for 8-10 minutes to crisp up. Truthfully I don’t mind and have been eating it cold from the fridge all week.. 😉

The dough can be hard to work with when it comes to making the top of the pie, but don’t worry too much about it. Try to cover as much of the filling as possible, as apple fillings tend to dry out if exposed directly to the heat of the oven.

I’ve had a lot of coconut whipped cream not work out, so under the recommendation of Ashlae, I tried with the Aroy-D brand and it worked great.

vegan banana oat snack bars

one bowl banana oat bars

I’m really in the back to school spirit this year, and not just figuratively! I am actually a student, once again. I even bought a new backpack, an insulated lunch bag, a new notebook and pens (nerd alert). I was texting my mom throughout my shopping process to which she replied, “You always loved back to school stuff.” And then reminded me about the sweet Sailor Moon lunch bag I used to have. Some things never change!

Even the years I’ve been out of school, I still got an excited feeling every fall. In a way I still think of my year as going September-September. I think I feel about September how most people feel about January 1st: I’m amped to get back into weekly routines after the chaos of summer, I go through my closet and donate/recycle things, I get into a rhythm of baking bread every week and batch cooking. I think especially because there is so much change at this time of year (temps are dropping, different produce at the markets, leaves are slowly changing) September always feels like new to me.

I’ve definitely been feeling nervous after being out of school for a few years. I had a dream the other night that I’d skipped the first week of classes (very unlike me) and was therefore behind, and felt super panicky. I keep waking up before my alarm (which is set for 6:40 by the way!) because I’m afraid of sleeping through it. Hopefully I’ll get into a better sleeping routine soon. My lunch and snack prep routine is smooth however, since I often packed a lunch when I went to work.

I’m guessing these banana oat bars would last about 4-5 days in an airtight container on the counter, but honestly I cut them up as soon as they are cool and freeze them. I take one every day to school with me and thought they’d last me two weeks; however, I’ve been eating them on weekends too because they are a perfect snack to satisfy my hanger, so I’m pretty much making them every week hehe. I don’t even mind because a) I’ve always got ripe bananas kicking around or frozen ones (which also works!), and b) they come together super quickly! By the time the oven is preheated I’m usually pouring it into the pan. I’ve also been relaxed about the banana measurements when I’m in a rush and they always turn out fine, just a bit firmer or softer depending on how much or little you have. Also if you are packing these for your kiddos and you want extra hippie mom points, you could probably leave out the maple syrup and add a few more tablespoons of non dairy milk. 😉

ps I updated my ‘about’ page, which you can read here

vegan banana oat snack bars

vegan banana oat snack bars

vegan banana oat snack bars

one bowl banana oat bars (vegan)
makes 8-10 bars

185 g / 2 ripe bananas, mashed
28 g / 2 tablespoons coconut oil
32 g / 2 tablespoons nut butter
39 g / 3 tablespoons non dairy milk, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
8 g / 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
34 g / 2 tablespoons maple syrup
178 g / 1 1/2 cups oats
37 g / 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
40 g / 1/4 cup hemp hearts
20 g / 1/4 cup shredded coconut
40 g / 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
34 g / 1/4 cup raisins
optional: 1-2 tablespoons (10 – 15 g) carob or cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 325F convection (350 regular). Line an 8″ square pan with parchment, leaving a bit of overhang. Mash the bananas really well in a large bowl, then add the remaining wet ingredients (coconut oil -> maple syrup). If the coconut oil solidifies due to the milk/maple syrup, you can microwave the bowl for 15-20 seconds until it liquefies. Mix until thoroughly combined.

Add the remaining ingredients and stir well until everything is evenly distributed. Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top, then bake on the middle rack for 25-30 minutes, or until evenly golden brown and the top has firmed up. Let it cool for about 20 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling. Cut into 8 bars.

tomato tart with balsamic roasted onions

tomato tart with balsamic roasted onions

This time of year, it take almost no time at all to compose a satisfying snack: a few slices of watermelon on the back deck, a juicy peach dribbling down my chin, a handful of blueberries on some homemade yogurt. On the savoury side of things, I’ve definitely been leaning heavily on thick slices of tomatoes from our CSA, a fat pinch of salt, some olive oil and balsamic, simple on some toasted sourdough. For breakfast or lunch I’ll add a poached egg, greens, avocado, goat cheese, maybe some grilled/sauteed veg if I’m feeling ambitious.

It doesn’t take much to translate this simple late-summer snack into a meal. I think it’s best to not let things get too complicated flavour-wise or by the number of ingredients. Tomatoes, herbs, and cheese are a timeless trio, especially served up on any kind of carb-y vessel. A little seasoning, some roasted onions, and labneh transform these individual ingredients into a greater whole which totally sings of summer.

I know it’s practically September, but there is still lots of summer’s bounty to enjoy before we give in to pumpkin spice everything. I’m not hating on fall; in fact, it’s probably my favourite season. I just feel like as soon as the calendar flips to September, every year people rush to fall flavours. The leaves aren’t even changing yet, so I want everyone to chill out with this tomato tart and a cool glass of wine, enjoyed on your deck/patio/front stoop/outside in any way, shape, or form.

tomato tart with balsamic roasted onions

tomato tart with balsamic roasted onions

tomato tart with balsamic roasted onions

tomato tart with balsamic roasted onions

tomato tart with balsamic roasted onions

tomato tart with balsamic roasted onions

tomato tart with balsamic roasted onions

tomato tart with balsamic roasted onions

tomato tart with balsamic roasted onions (vegetarian)

serves 2-3 as a main, 4-6 as a side

200g puff pastry
100 g /  1/2 cup labneh (see notes for how to make it)
70 g roasted balsamic onions (see below for recipe)
300 g mixed tomatoes, sliced
handful of basil
handful of pea shoots
3-4 tablespoons grated pecorino romano, divided

Preheat the oven to 425F (convection). Roll out the puff pastry into a 8-9″ square, then place on a large baking sheet. Use a knife to cut a 1 inch border all the way around (don’t cut all the way through, you’re just creating a perforated edge that will puff up into the crust). Spread the labneh up to the border. Scatter the balsamic onions around, then layer on the tomatoes. Sprinkle on half of the pecorino romano, then slide the tray into the oven for about 25 minutes, rotating halfway through if your oven heats unevenly.

Scatter the basil, pea shoots, and remaining pecorino on top. Drizzle on the leftover oil and vinegar from your roasted onions, and finish with a pinch of flakey salt.

balsamic roasted onions

1 large red onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
generous pinch of salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350F fan (375 regular). Slice the stem end off of the onion and place in a small oven proof dish. Drizzle the oil and vinegars over the onion, season with salt and pepper, then turn it cut side down in the dish. Cover with a lid or foil, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the lid/foil and bake for another 25-30 minutes until liquid has reduced slightly and the onion has softened.

Notes:

Labneh: place a small strainer over a bowl and line it with a double layer of cheesecloth. Scoop 2/3 cup sheep’s milk yogurt into the cheesecloth, then leave to drain for 24 hours. If you don’t have time to make the labneh, feel free to use some ricotta or thinly sliced fresh mozzarella instead.

If you’re roasting one onion, you might as well do a couple since the oven’s on. Peel apart the extras and keep them around for sandwiches, quiche, to blend in a dip, or freeze for later use.

berry peach galette

berry peach galette with rye crust

I’m having some conflicting feelings right now about blog content. My initial hope was that the blog would be a source for seasonal, accessible, vegetable-heavy recipes that leave you feeling happy and satisfied. I also wanted to emphasize cooking because I want to be a better cook and develop the skills to make meals without recipes. I’m finding it somewhat difficult because I definitely have more recipe ideas with regards to breads and pastries, and tend to have more success with these earlier on than I do with savoury recipes. I would also like to put more of my fermenting adventures on here (think: sourdough, kombucha, lacto-fermented veg, etc), and also maybe my foray into natural homemaking things? Tell me your thoughts!

Speaking of baking… let me introduce you to this easy galette! I love mid-late summer when the berries and stone fruit collide. My attention is usually drawn to strawberries and raspberries, but we’ve been seriously favouring bloobs this summer, if the stack of blue-ish cardboard pint containers on our kitchen counter is any indication.

Side note: Luke is always shocked by how cold my hands are. It is a great source of joy to me to shock him by sneakily putting my hands on his sides and hearing him squeal. I don’t know if it’s some poor circulation or what, but it works in my favour when it comes to pie dough because cool digits are less likely to make the butter melt. I know the instructions seem super long and daunting, but I tried to provide a lot of detail in the making of the pie dough. If you’ve already got a good handle on making pastry, then skip ahead to the assembly/baking of the galette.

Extra side note: why are people talking about pumpkin things already? I love fall as much as the next person, but why can’t we just enjoy the peaches, gardens, and warm evening walks for ice cream cones while they last?

berry peach galette

berry peach galette   berry peach galette

berry peach galette

berry peach galette

berry peach galette

berry peach galette

berry peach galette

berry peach galette

berry peach galette

berry peach galette

berry peach galette

2 cups blueberries
1 cup red currants
1 cup peaches, peeled and halved
5 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons arrowroot starch
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 recipe rye pastry (see below)

rye pastry

3/4 cup whole rye flour
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
pinch of salt
pinch of sugar
1 cup very cold butter, cubed (1/2 inch)
1/3-1/2 cup ice cold water

Start with the dough: I usually like to make it the day before I plan to bake, but if you don’t plan that far ahead, at least give it a couple hours to chill out in the fridge. You can make it either by hand in a bowl, or in a food processor, whichever you’re more comfortable with.

Food processor: add the flours, salt and sugar to the bowl of your food processor and pulse a few times. Add the butter and try to coat in a bit of flour. Pulse 6 or 7 times very quickly, then look at the butter chunks. You want a mix of sizes, some small pebbles and also some larger chunks. If you work the butter into the flour too much at this point, you won’t get a very flakey effect in the end product. With the machine off, add 1/3 cup ice cold water. Pulse a few times, then squeeze a handful of the dough. If it holds together, then stop there. If it’s super crumbly, add a few more teaspoons of water, pulse, then squeeze again. You also want to be wary of over processing the dough at this point since the addition of water begins gluten development (which you don’t want when making pastry dough). If it’s a little bit dry that is totally fine, and in my opinion preferable to being too wet. Dump the mixture onto your counter and quickly try to bring the dough together by squeezing into two piles. Place each pile onto a piece of plastic wrap and use the edges of the wrap and your knuckles to squish it into a flat disk. Refrigerate for 30-40 minutes until the butter is solid again.

By hand: add the flours, salt and sugar to a medium bowl, and whisk together. Add the cubed butter, and toss to coat in flour. Then working quickly, pick up cubes of butter and flatten them between your thumb and forefinger, creating lots of sheets of butter. Toss to coat in flour again. If the butter has softened put the bowl in the freezer for ten minutes, then continue. Add 1/3 cup ice cold water, then stir quickly with a spatula. Continue adding water as needed until you can squeeze the dough and it stays together (a few dry spots are okay). Dump the mixture onto your counter and quickly try to bring the dough together by squeezing into two piles. If it doesn’t want to come together, there are two tricks I use to help it along: one is a spray bottle of water, so you can gently add a very small amount of water over a larger surface area of the dough if there are some stubborn dry spots. The second is to fraisage the dough, which is to take small handfuls and smear them across the counter, then bring them together into a pile. This technique also creates long sheets of butter and usually helps the dough come together without adding more water.

When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400F with a rack in the bottom third. If you have a baking stone, now would be the perfect time to put it in your oven (it will help ensure a crisp bottom crust). Add the fruit to a medium bowl with the sugar (see notes), starch, vanilla, lemon juice, and salt. Roll out your dough to a 13 inch circle and place on a baking sheet (you can put parchment underneath as well). Sprinkle a pinch of flour across the dough (absorbs juice if the fruit is super juicy), then pile the fruit mixture on, leaving a 2 inch border all the way around. Fold the dough up on itself all the way around the circle, then place in the freezer for 10-15 minutes until solid. Whisk the egg with a tiny splash of water in a small bowl. Remove pan from the freezer, then using a pastry brush, brush the eggwash on the crust, then sprinkle generously with turbinado sugar. Place in the oven on the bottom rack and set a timer for 25 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 375F, then continue baking for 20 minutes or until the crust is a deep golden brown, and the filling is bubbling slowly. Remove from the oven and let it cool before cutting into it.

Notes:

I always make a full batch of pie dough, even if I’m making a single crust pie or galette. It takes just as much time to make one as it does two, so why not? The other half can stay wrapped tightly in the fridge for up to two days, or wrapped and then bagged in the freezer for probably a couple months.

If at any point the butter starts to feel soft, put it back in the fridge to hang out for a bit.

After you’ve wrapped the dough and put it in the fridge, it’s ready to go. However, my preference for a flakier crust is to give it a few ‘turns’ like you would for laminated doughs. To do this, all you need to do is take it out of the fridge, lightly flour the counter, and roll the dough out about 15-16 inches, then fold it back on itself, rewrap and refrigerate. Before I perform this step, my dough is usually on the drier side with a couple cracks in it (which you can see in the pictures toward the beginning of the post). After rolling it out and folding it once or twice, it becomes much smoother and easier to work with, without having to add more water.

Taste your fruit before mixing your filling. If it’s under ripe you may need more sugar, or less if very ripe.

fennel spelt salad strawberry vinaigrette

fennel spelt salad with strawberry black pepper vinaigrette

So there’s been a bit of a lapse since my last post.. and as I looked at the published date, I thought, a month? How did that even happen? It doesn’t really feel like we’ve even done much and then I look at my calendar and realize we’re sitting on August’s doorstep. Our summer seems to be flying by with a string of occasional weekends away (day trips to the county, cottaging and camping), dinner and drinks with friends, hanging out with family, and trying to spend time outside while the good weather lasts.

I had a list (somewhere) of all the things I wanted us to do this summer. I always feel this burst of motivation to be more sociable and participate in more stuff in the summer, since we spend so much of the year bundled up inside. As we transition from July to August, I’ve been thinking about how these dreamy summer days are fleeting and that we haven’t checked enough things off of my list. Partially because we live in a pretty incredible region which has so much to offer, especially as this time of year (too many wine/beer/food establishments to count in Prince Edward County, festivals in Kingston, seemingly endless lakes to swim in). But also because I get serious #FOMO when I see pictures on Instagram of some event I missed or some place I have yet to visit (a hike at Rock Dunder, a trip to the Adirondacks, a certain Jimmy Buffett themed party in my parents’ backyard).

As I think about all the things we’ve been up to,  I’m beginning to realize that summer is the time to cast the lists aside and just enjoy what’s in front of us. Tradition is good, but it’s fine to not pick strawberries, raspberries AND blueberries every year. It’s fine to not have something planned for every weekend. It’s a good reminder to focus on the small things: savouring our after dinner walks, picking blackberries from the bramble trailing the fence in our backyard, reveling in the reward of a cold drink after a scorching day at work.

One of my favourite parts of summer is the abundance of vibrant produce in our garden, at the market, and from our CSAThis salad comes together super quickly, and is my ode to the local food economy: radishes, fennel, snow peas, and basil from Roots Down Organic Farm, organic spelt berries from Sonset Farm, and strawberries from Fruition Berry Farm. Cheers friends!

fennel spelt salad strawberry vinaigrette

fennel spelt salad strawberry vinaigrette

fennel spelt salad strawberry vinaigrette

fennel spelt salad strawberry vinaigrette

fennel spelt salad strawberry vinaigrette

fennel spelt salad strawberry vinaigrette

fennel spelt salad strawberry vinaigrette

fennel spelt salad with strawberry black pepper vinaigrette (vegetarian)

serves 5-6 as a side

1/2 fennel bulb, very thinly sliced, about 1 cup
3-4 radishes, thinly sliced, about 1/2 cup
2 cups cooked spelt (see notes)
1/4 cup soft goat cheese, crumbled
1 cup snow peas, strings removed
a small handful of basil, thinly sliced
1/4 cup pistachios, chopped
salt and pepper

strawberry black pepper vinaigrette

1/4 cup strawberries (I used frozen; see notes)
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Bring a small pot of water to a boil, then add a pinch of salt and the snow peas. cook for 1-2 minutes, then drain and run under cold water or place in an ice bath. Slice in half lengthwise. Combine in a medium bowl with the spelt, goat cheese, fennel, radishes, and most of the basil and pistachios (reserve some for garnish).

Combine all the vinaigrette ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth; strain if desired. Add the dressing to the salad and gently stir through (you may not need all of it), adding more salt and pepper to the salad as needed. Top with the remaining basil and pistachios.

Notes:

I had some spelt already cooked in the fridge when I made this recipe as part of my attempt to do weekly batch cooking. I usually soak spelt the night before I plan to cook in cool water, then drain and rinse the next day, and boil in salted water (like you would pasta) until cooked through. You probably need about 1 cup dry to get 2 cups cooked.

After I made jam, we froze the rest of our strawberries so they wouldn’t go bad. I’m sure fresh strawberries could be subbed in with no problem. The measurement (1/4 cup) was after being defrosted, and included the juices.

oolong iced tea green iced tea

iced tea, two ways

Well it’s officially that time of year when it’s already so hot in the mornings that I’m sweating while drinking my morning tea (TMI?). I love the ritual of making a hot drink in the morning, the smell of earl grey tea (or occasionally, coffee) making my ears perk up, blinking away the sleepiness with each additional sip. But based on the temps outside, it’s time to say kudos to my usual morning tea and oatmeal and find a cooler summer routine. Read More

asparagus nettle shiitake pizza

asparagus, nettle, and shiitake pizza

Real talk: this was a spur of the moment post, which is not usually how I roll. I have a few ideas sketched out for this month, but as this week was rolling along I wasn’t feeling motivated to work on any of them. But it just sort of happened organically, one of those situations where what I have in the fridge also happens to be seasonal and also jives with a bookmarked recipe I’ve been meaning to try out.  Read More

vegan raspberry rhubarb buckle cake

raspberry rhubarb buckle

Normally this is the time of year when I’m so ready to bust out of my winter cocoon and flip on the extroverted switch. Usually I’m feeling so prepared to go out and socialize after months of hibernating, to host a BBQ, and plan some fun summery adventures. But I haven’t hit that mode yet. For the past while I’ve been more focused on looking inward rather than outward, trying to figure out how to feel healthier and happier. Read More

vegan bagel fattoush with fava beans

everything bagel fattoush with fava beans

As a result of our continued eagerness to spend time outside, we grilled our dinner on the deck one night last week, each wrapped in a blanket huddled next to the BBQ. The weather here hasn’t been terribly chilly, but after spending so much time soaking up the sun on vacation I became accustomed to walking around in birks and shorts, no sweaters in sight. I can’t wait to sit on the deck with a cold radler, eat dinner straight off the grill, and relax while the warm sun fades to dusk and my new twinkly patio lights blend in with the starry night. Read More