All posts filed under: Small Bites and Sides

vegan holiday platter dips and crackers

holiday veg platter and three dips

So obviously now that Halloween has passed and many of us have seen snow (or at least sub zero temps), that means it’s time to start thinking about the holidays! American Thanksgiving is here and Hanukkah and Christmas are not far behind. We are planning a Chrismukkah dinner this year, or rather TWO.. one for friends, and one for family. I’m getting all Seth Cohen about this and planning for the best Chrismukkah ever so that our house becomes an intermingling of candy canes and challah, stockings and sufganiyot, gelt and gingerbread, lights and latkes! Luke’s family isn’t religious so we are approaching the Hanukkah portion as more of a cultural celebration, and encouraging his relatives to bring items and stories to share about Hanukkahs gone-by. I’m excited to make foods that evoke memories for his older relatives, and perhaps start a new tradition of Chrismukkah dinner celebrating a mix of holiday rituals with family! Even though Christmas itself it still over a month away (barely), the holiday parties will soon start to happen, and …

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 …

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 …

vegetarian socca

socca with scallions, honeycomb and pine nuts

Much like everyone else in the world, I am hooked on the American presidential campaign. I have this page bookmarked and check it pretty much every day to see what’s happening with our neighbours to the south. Most of my recommended videos on Youtube right now consist of election-related stuff (…and bread baking). This speech by Seth Meyers (side note: man, I miss him on the Weekend Update) at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner back in 2011 gave me a few good laughs! It seems making fun of Donald Trump is a tradition that will span the ages. On a more grim note, the reality of him clinching the Republican nomination seems almost inevitable at this point, with twice as many delegates as Ted Cruz and John Kasich combined. Speaking of delegates, if the American voting process baffles you slightly (I took an entire seminar on it and still find it confusing at times), this article breaks it down to the basics. While catching up on the latest primary results, I came across this article from the Washington Post back in September, …

maple braised fennel

maple braised fennel + maple madness

March is all about maple, at least in Canada and the northern United States, since it is the season to start tapping the maple trees! We went to the sugar bush a couple weeks ago for Maple Madness; we lucked out with really nice weather to witness the old and new ways of transforming sap into the beautiful golden syrup we know and love. I wanted to make a savoury recipe featuring maple syrup since I feel like I’ve drifted toward a lot of dessert/snack recipes. Not that I don’t love those things, but I lately I’ve been eating a lot of chocolate and candy (thanks Easter bunny)! With spring on our doorstep, I want to get into a savoury recipe mindset since we’ll soon be surrounded by lots of local fresh produce 🙂   This has all the requirements of a great side dish: it’s fast, easy, and has few ingredients. maple braised fennel (vegetarian, vegan, gluten free) serves 2-3 1 large fennel bulb, large stalks removed (leave base in tact) 2 tablespoons olive oil freshly ground black pepper …

vegan and gluten free moroccan hummus

moroccan style hummus

Hummus seems like one of those straightforward things that doesn’t require a recipe. And I agree… for the most part. I like to think of this as less of a recipe and more of a guide, with a couple tips and tricks to lead you to your best hummus yet. So you want to serve a hummus that doesn’t get neglected with the crudites? The first step is ridding it of the skins: they are the biggest obstacle in achieving that super smooth texture. The trick? Cooking the chickpeas from scratch with a bit of baking soda makes the skins separate really easily from the pea. I learned this method from Yotam Ottolenghi, whose cookbook Jerusalem is frequently in use in our house. Besides the spectacular food, the book is full of interesting stories about food and culture in Israel. It makes me want to visit the country, even if just to eat at a hummuseria or two (yeah, a restaurant dedicated to making hummus, FREAKING SIGN ME UP). The second step to your best hummus …