All posts tagged: dinner

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. We’ve been picking up asparagus the past few weeks at the Memorial Centre Farmers’ Market because I really can’t get enough of it, plus it’s such a short season that we might as well eat it while it’s at its peak. The last time we were there, I noticed that the first stall we passed on our way was selling nettles. I’ve seen and heard of them before, but had never used them. I struck up a conversation with the woman running the stall, who gave me very clear instructions on how to safely handle and prepare …

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. This recipe came about as an attempt to use up a few things that have been lingering in the fridge a little bit too long. Even though I had used them for a few recipes, I still had leftover turnip, radishes, and half a pomegranate counting down the days til their demise. Rounded out by the sourdough bagels I had stashed in the freezer and the ever abundant mint and lemon balm …

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! There still isn’t much in the way of local produce yet, but the few ingredients for this meal feel fresh and bright like a spring meal should. The bright pops of colour from asparagus and arugula mimic our surroundings, the greenery slowly emerging from its winter hibernation. We are definitely looking forward to more abundant farmers’ markets and the (small) bounty that awaits us in our very own backyard. Happy spring time friends! artichoke and leek penne with ricotta (vegetarian, vegan) serves 2 380 g whole grain penne salt 6 asparagus stalks, trimmed …

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 …

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 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, …