After a month of being unable to log into the blog, I’m finally back in again. I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has followed, supported, commented on and cooked from my blog this summer. I’m so grateful for all the encouragement and positive feedback. It was such a fun a rewarding project for me and something I definitely intend to continue in the future. And while I had anticipated being able to continue posting in the school year, work and kitchen logistics (4 roommates and about 2 cm of counter space aren’t the ideal conditions for experimenting with recipes) seemed to get in the way. But this blog has really solidified and spurred on my love of cooking and I look forward to being able to continue on with it in the future! All the best,
When she was born, my sister was known as the “cocktail food baby” – some of the only food she would eat consisted of marinated artichoke hearts, blue cheese and olives. Looking back on it now, I think that was a pretty clever tactic on her part: avoiding baby food and going straight for the quality stuff. Although I was an easier eater as a baby, I love that kind of food now and could make a whole meal out of hors d’oeuvres. I made this salsa to go with a cheese plate on Friday night; juicy and fresh, it was the perfect addition. A fun recipe to start the weekend, I’d pick it over baby food any day.
1 cup of pineapple
3 plum tomatoes
1 tsp honey
2 tbsp basil
1/4 tsp salt
Juice of 1/2 a lime
1/3 cup of pistachios
Bread or crackers of your choosing
1. Preheat your BBQ to medium-high heat
2. Slice peaches and cut pineapple into large chunks. Drizzle with a bit of honey3. Place on grill for 5-7 minutes per side or until charred and softened4. Roughly chop up the fruit into small pieces and place in a medium bowl
We have been on the hunt for a spiralizer for months; ever since the zucchini noodle craze started, I’ve wanted one. After scouring multiple kitchen stores looking for one that wasn’t $300 and didn’t weigh 50 pounds, I didn’t expect to find the perfect fit in a Walmart checkout aisle. But I guess that store really does have everything. And the spiralizer is great; turning vegetables into pasta? Sounds pretty good to me. But even if you don’t have one, another peeler will do just fine. A perfect summer dinner, it’s healthy and fresh but still feels like comfort food.
454g of spaghetti (a standard box)
1/2 red onion
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup edamame or peas
1/2 cup sunflower seeds (shelled)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 1/2 tsp salt
1. Cook pasta according to directions on the box. Drain and pour into a large bowl2. Using a spiralizer (you can also use a julienne peeler or vegetable peeler if you don’t have a spiralizer) spiralize your zucchinis and carrots. Add to the pasta bowl
3. Thinly slice your onion and add to the mix as well. Pour in the sesame oil and olive oil and toss together
4. Add the edamame, sunflower seeds, lemon juice and salt. Mix well and serve. Enjoy!
To me, corn is pretty bittersweet. When it’s ripe, it’s really amazing and I’d have it with every meal. But corn peaks in August and with that comes the reminder that summer is starting to wind down. I remember anticipating the arrival of fresh corn in about May this year; a staple of summer meals, I was excited to start cooking and eating it again. Now that corn is making it’s way onto our dinner plates, I’m reminded by how quickly the summer always goes by. Either way, this recipe will help you take full advantage of fresh corn and the summer. And while this sunny month may fly by and the season for corn will come to a close, there’s always next year’s harvest to look forward to.
4 ears of corn (or as many ears as you’d like to make and adjust the other ingredients accordingly)
2 tbsp butter, softened
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne
2 tbsp basil
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with tin foil2. In a small bowl, mix together the butter, paprika and cayenne. Spread evenly on corn3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then place in the oven and cook for 35-45 minutes or until slightly browned and kernels are tender. Turn the corn every 10 minutes or so4. In the last 10 minutes or so of cooking, roughly chop basil, sprinkle over corn and continue cooking. Enjoy!
This post is for everyone who refuses to eat tofu because of it’s texture. When I first stopped eating meat, I turned to tofu as it seemed like the obvious source of protein. This didn’t last long; with no idea how it cook it, I ended up with mushy chunks that you basically had to force down your throat. Needless to say, I was turned off tofu for a long time until I decided to give it a chance again recently. With the firmest tofu I could find at the store in hand, I was determined to make it taste good, or even edible. With this recipe, I actually enjoy tofu and no longer feel like an outcast vegetarian for shying away from it.
Tofu (I used a 350g package of extra firm tofu)
2 green onions
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp garlic power
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sesame oil
1. Thinly slice your tofu width-wise and spread evenly into a dish. Blot any excess water on the tofu with a paper towel. 2. Mince the garlic and green onions and sprinkle over tofu, along with garlic powder, hoisin, soy sauce and a few dashes of cayenne 3. Using your hands or tongs, make sure that each piece of tofu is evenly coated in the mixture 4. In a large frying pan, heat the sesame oil. Add the tofu in one layer and cook for about 12 minutes, flipping every couple of minutes, until dry and browned. Enjoy!
To me, the perfect summer dinner consists of a bunch of different salads. And not just green salads, interesting ones with different components and textures that you can happily fill your plate with. We’re always looking for new ones to add to the mix, grains, beans, greens, potato, whatever goes. On hot lazy days I’m always content with a smorgasbord of salads for any meal; I’m the kind of person who loves to have a million things on my plate so I have a lot of different tastes. And because it’s summer, no one cares about the dishes or what time it is (or that the cucumber I was supposed to use for the recipe somehow disappeared from our cottage fridge). No, summer dinners are for second helpings, loud conversation and the sense of the evening stretching out ahead of you, with no definite schedule. Oh, and a heaping plate of salads.
1 large cucumber
1/4 red onion
1 tsp salt
1 clove garlic
2 cups of fresh snow peas
1/4 cup feta
4 tbsp pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp lemon juice
1. De-seed your cucumber by scooping them out with a spoon, then thinly slice it and place in a large bowl2. Thinly slice onion and mince garlic and add to the bowl along with vinegar and salt. Let sit for about 15 minutes3. Meanwhile, bring a small pot of water to a boil. Throw the snow peas in and blanch them by letting them cook for about 2-3 minutes before taking off the heat and draining4. Roughly chop the snow peas and add to the cucumber mixture, once 15 minutes is up.5. Crumble the feta and slice the avocado and place both on top of the salad, along with the pumpkin seeds. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil, lemon juice and salt if needed. Enjoy!
Tacos are definitely making their comeback. What used to mean heaps of ground meat, sour cream and lots of cheese is now a popular, cool and tasty menu item. Smaller portions and more interesting ingredients are the new idea and are popping up at tons of restaurants. The best thing is that they’re so versatile; I’ve eaten amazing tacos in a restaurant that has picnic benches instead of tables as well as in trendy, expensive places. You can also fill them with anything so vegetarians and meat lovers alike can enjoy them. Tacos are the best communal meal in my opinion, just lay out a bunch of fresh toppings and you’re set for a delicious and healthy dinner, no Taco Bell required.
1 medium sweet potato
1 19 oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 white onion
2 tbsp oil
1 cup baby spinach, roughly chopped
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Pickled onions (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees
2. Cut the potato into small chunks. Spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and drizzle with olive oil, cumin and paprika. Bake for about 15 minutes or until soft and browned3. Turn the oven off when potatoes are done, then wrap tortillas in tin foil and place them inside. This will help them warm them up slightly while you finish cooking
4. In a large saucepan, heat 2 tbsp oil. Chop the onion into small pieces and add to the pan, letting them soften for a few minutes. Add the beans and continue cooking for about 5 minutes more5. Meanwhile, mash avocado in a bowl and add juice of 1/2 a lemon, a sprinkle of chilli flakes and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.6. Add sweet potato and spinach to the black bean mixture and allow spinach to wilt for a few minutes. Add juice of 1/2 a lemon, a few dashes of tabasco, salt and pepper to taste and more oil if needed. 7. Take tortillas out of the oven and assemble tacos by topping them with the bean mixture, guacamole and salsa and pickled onions if desired. Enjoy!
We always have a bar of good dark chocolate lying around the house. It’s something that’s cracked out with tea before bed, or as soon as you get in the door after a long day. A bar of dark chocolate was always included in my exam-studying-care-packages from home this year as well. Honestly, during exam season, my favourite part of the day was closing my books for the night and having a few squares of chocolate with a book or tv show. A reminder of home and a comforting treat, I consider it health food and will gladly eat some everyday! This recipe couldn’t be easier: 4 ingredients and no oven required, you’ll be eating your worries away in no time.
9 inch square pan (or really any pan or flat dish for that matter)
1 1/2 cups dark chocolate (in any form: chocolate chips, bar or block)
2 tbsp dried cranberries
2 tbsp shelled pistachios
1. Line your pan with parchment paper to easily lift out the bark once it’s set.
2. Measure out the chocolate and place into a microwavable bowl or double boiler. Melt, stirring often, until smooth3. Spread in an even layer into the pan4. Immediately sprinkle with cranberries, nuts and salt so that they stick to the chocolate
6. Let set in the fridge for about an hour, then cut into small pieces. Store in the fridge and enjoy!
No matter what form they come in, potatoes can never be a bad thing. The bland-ness makes them so comforting, but they can also be dressed up and seasoned in any number of ways. Mashed, they too closely resemble a winter meal and fried they seem too unhealthy for a weeknight dinner; but in a salad they’re perfect for a summer night. And while potato salad may evoke expectations of pounds of mayonnaise, this lighter version just uses some yogurt. And potatoes are vegetables, right?
1 1/2 lb small white potatoes
1 medium eggplant
2 cloves garlic
Oil to coat vegetables, about 6 tbsp
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup tahini
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp salt
1. Turn on your BBQ to high heat
2. Wash and cut potatoes and eggplant into medium chunks. Place into a large bowl
3. Mince garlic and add to the bowl, along with the oil, cumin, coriander and a sprinkle of salt. Mix well4. Place on the BBQ in a metal tray, pan or wrapped in foil. Cook, covered for about 25-30 minutes or until vegetables are soft and browned.
5. While vegetables are cooking, whisk together yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, water, salt and 3/4 of the basil.6. Place vegetables in a large bowl and toss with the sauce. Top with the rest of the basil Enjoy!
Growing up, soup was my favourite thing to have for dinner. Not because of the soup itself but because of the flatbread that inevitably went along with it. My mum would always make a rosemary parmesan bread on soup nights, something that filled the house with the most amazing smell and made everyone excited about an otherwise not-so-exciting dinner. While that used to be the highlight of the meal for me, I’ve since realized that soup can be pretty great on it’s own. Especially gazpacho; it’s perfect for dinner on a hot day and is super easy to make. Refreshing and delicious, it makes it easy to get excited about soup!
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 white onion
3 large tomatoes (any colour)
1 cup chopped watermelon
1/2 jalapeno pepper
1 cup basil leaves
2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1. Roughly chop garlic and onion and pulse in a food processor.
2. Roughly chop the tomatoes and add to the processor, along with the watermelon. Pulse until the mixture is still chunky but well mixed.
3. Mince jalapeno and add to the bowl, along with the basil leaves, salt, oil, lemon juice and some black pepper. Again, pulse until the mixture is still chunky but all ingredients are evenly distributed.
4. Pour into bowls and enjoy! This can be served topped with fresh herbs, avocado or anything else you would like.