All posts filed under: Recipes

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.

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. 

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.

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.

vegan artichoke penne with leeks and ricotta

artichoke and leek penne with ricotta

Seems the April showers are a bit delayed this year, but I really don’t mind. I love the gloomy grey skies, getting to wear big boots and my bright yellow rain jacket, and how fresh all the rain makes the air feel. Plus it definitely helped our garden along: I came back from a week-long family vacation in the Dominican Republic only to discover some giant rhubarb, loads of mint and lemon balm, and some asparagus and garlic sprouting out of the earth!

spring-y filo quiche

Well, it seems that spring is finally upon us. The days are slowly getting warmer and longer, and more people are spending time outside. Downtown has been filled with people the past couple weekends, and I’ve noticed a number of people in my neighbourhood outside getting their yards and gardens ready to plant once more. People are so eager to reacquaint themselves with the outdoors, buzzing with the sight of flowers at the market, the promise of BBQ season on the horizon, and to see friends they may have seen infrequently due to extreme hibernation (that would be me).

vegan pistachio olive oil loaf

pistachio date olive oil loaf

We have recently been getting into a good stride with meal planning. It’s something we’ve tried off and on for a while but it never really picked up momentum until now. It’s such a game changer, seriously. Even if we don’t follow the plan to a T (cause you know, life happens), it’s still made our lives a heck of a lot easier. I’ve started batch cooking a grain and a pulse/legume/bean/whatever at the beginning of the week, as well as making granola, yogurt, and date energy bites on an as-needed basis. This planning has also streamlined our grocery list and helped to trim our grocery bills and food waste –> double happy dance. It also means my cooking is slowly but steadily improving, and that we are covering a lot of territory in our cookbook collection. Often times we will each grab a couple cookbooks, sit down at the kitchen table, and bookmark a few things we each want that week. This totally prevents a cooking rut: a wide array of spices and a couple different …

spelt collard roll with roasted red pepper sauce

spelt collard rolls with roasted red pepper sauce

Lately I’ve been getting my dose of world news from an unexpected place: the gym. I’ve been trying to get into running, so a couple days a week I find myself running in place staring at a TV (best case: watching the CBC, worse case: watching one of apparently a million poker tours). Throughout the process of piecing together the headlines, sublines, and closed captioning, I’ve become increasingly aware of my minor outbursts while watching the news. And by outbursts, I mean the occasional gasp or very audible “UGH” in disbelief at whatever asinine views or proposals the Trump administration is presenting that day. His plan to better fund the Department of National Defence (aka build the border wall) in his just-released budget means drastic cuts across the board, most significantly to the Environmental Protection Agency. His budget chief said that climate change efforts are a waste of time. A WASTE OF TIME YOU GUYS. The whole thing is so infuriating, and yet I keep moving. I guess the anger pumps my blood faster and propels …

vegan chickpea walnut pomegranate stew

chickpea walnut and pomegranate stew

A favourite past time of mine is reading my favourite food blogs and flipping through our ever-expanding library of cookbooks. I love the glossy photos, learning the story of how a recipe came to be, just completely immersing myself in someone else’s kitchen. I love the insight into other people’s everyday lives, even the seemingly mundane details of what’s in their pantry. I imagine how perfect their lives are, how the light falls perfectly into their kitchens; how they just uncorked some spectacular vintage while an incredible meal is simmering away on the stove; and it’s all captured in an effortless yet perfectly styled Instagram photo. At which point I proceed to curse the lack of light in our kitchen and living room, the continuous clutter despite the constant organizing and cleaning, and my inability to take a proper freaking picture (ie my major frustration with photographing this stew). Thankfully I have a partner who knows how to be encouraging, but is also able to calmly tell me to get a grip. I’m teaching myself new skills. Some …

mushroom pot pie with olive oil biscuits

mushroom and lentil stew with olive oil biscuits

I’m finding it a bit startling that it’s already mid-February. It seems like my winter hibernation is flying by. On the one hand, I can’t wait to step outside one morning and remember what it’s like to feel the sun’s warmth, not wear quite so many layers, and stop feeling this constant chill in my bones. I keep thinking about how beautiful our yard looks when everything is in bloom. We are taking turns flipping through the seed catalog, deciding on how to improve on last year’s garden, and we just signed up for our CSA.  But truthfully I’m also really savouring this time of year. I know it’s fairly dark and gloomy, and we’re all tired of trudging through the snow and biting winds. I do however love staying inside and watching the snow fall (like the crazy amount we got last Sunday), having hot chocolate and marshmallows, and catching up on reading the ever-growing stack of books beside my bed. Winter for us also means a trip home for the annual family sleigh …