For the month of June, I am eating a strictly vegan diet. I’m doing it as a sort of trial run, to see how challenging it is and how I feel along the way. So far, it seems as though the emphasis has been on things I have to avoid – my sister’s graduation cake and the ice cream truck to name a few. But I’ve realized that with just a few alterations, many of the meals I love can be made vegan friendly. For Sunday dinner I wanted to make something that would be satisfying and indulgent; something that wouldn’t make me feel like I was missing out. These crostini brighten an otherwise unexciting time of the week, with Monday morning looming. A flavourful and recognizable appetizer, they’ll appeal to vegans and meat eaters alike; an environmentally, ethically and health conscious start to your meal.
Serves 4 as an appetizer
1 ripe mango
2 tbsp chopped red onion
1 green onion
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1 mini baguette or 1/2 a full baguette
1 ripe avocado
Juice of 1 lime
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
- Peel and cut the mango into small pieces. Place in a medium sized bowl.
2. Wash and finely chop the red onion, green onion and parsley, then add to the bowl as well. 3. Stir in the lemon juice, salt, pepper and honey and mix well to combine. 4. Meanwhile, slice the baguette and place onto a parchment paper-lined baking tray. Drizzle with oil and bake for 5-10 minutes or until the bread is golden and crunchy. Keep your eye on these! 5. In a small bowl, mash the avocado with the juice of 1 lime and a pinch of salt.
6. Assemble your crostini by generously spreading each toast with avocado and topping with the salsa. Enjoy!!
A routine Saturday at our cottage – and a perfect day in my mind – consists of a slow start, a morning outing to town or a farmer’s market, a homemade lunch and a lazy afternoon consisting of napping and reading our books on the deck. Putting a little more effort into weekend lunches somehow justifies an afternoon of doing not much at all for me. This warm salad isn’t hard to prepare though and is a welcome change from a ziploc container of cold leftovers that’s in front of me most days for lunch. It’s the perfect lazy summer day recipe; easy but interesting. And as the saying goes, “after lunch rest a while, after dinner walk a mile” – good words to live by, I think.
1 1/2 cups farro
2 1/2 cups water
1 medium bulb of fennel
1 white onion
4 tbsp olive oil + 2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp + 2 tsp kosher salt
2 cups salad greens
1/4 cup fresh basil
Handful of fresh oregano
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 ripe avocado
1. Bring water to a boil in a small pot. Add the farro and cover, turning the heat down to low. Let simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 – 30 minutes or until tender and chewy.
2. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
3. Thinly slice zucchini, fennel bulb and onion into a mixing bowl. Add the 4 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp salt and sprinkle with paprika and cumin. Mix together and spread out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 15 minutes or until vegetables are golden and softened.
4. Roughly chop salad greens, basil and oregano and place in a large bowl.5. De-seed your pomegranate. The best way I’ve found to do this is by submerging it in water and squeezing out the seeds – this way the juice won’t splash up on you.6. Once farro is cooked, pour on top of salad greens. Drizzle with the 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tsp kosher salt and juice of half a lemon. 7. Top with the veggies, slices of avocado and pomegranates. Enjoy! Follow me on instagram to see more pictures! “thecountertop”