Tortilla is ubiquitous in Spain and was at the top of my bucket list but it took me until last week to finally make it all on my own. (I think it was the flipping part that scared me away.) The bilingual coordinator at the school I work at showed me how to make tortilla my first weekend here in her beautiful country kitchen. Since then I’ve had it for breakfast, in sandwiches, in the woods for a picnic, as a fancy tapita, and recently we went out to try the best tortilla in Huelva. It’s versatile, and totally adaptable to your taste so whether you keep it traditional or spice things up a bit it is sure to please (and give you a taste of Spain!).And if you choose to smother it in mayonnaise, that seems to be very Spanish, too.
I stuck my nose up at my Dad’s lentils for a long time. When we were traveling through France, the smell of lentils cooking (along with his fishy bouillabaisse) would send us little kiddies running upstairs. But of course, now that I’m grown up (at least a little bit), it’s one of my favourite dishes. So healthy, so easy to make, so fresh, and the perfect simple dish to eat on your sunny balcony when things just seem so crazy in this world. Maybe it sounds silly, but making this salad made me feel close to home, and in the wake of the tragic news in America this week, it was comforting. Dad’s Du Puy Lentil Salad
I have my wonderful roommate to thank for this gem: “This salad is perfect for Valentine’s Day! It’s pink, but it’s light and healthy so you’re able to have a great time in bed after.” (Thanks, Shamora!)
So, if you were worried about a too heavy meal when you celebrate this day of love, Shamora and I give you this quinoa dish. Bright pink with a crunch from the beets, creamy goat cheese, a touch of nuttiness, and a kick from the Dijon vinaigrette, I hope you fall in love with this salad, too!
(Sexy) Pink Quinoa Salad
We spent the night rotating through the different pools, saunas and steam baths — venturing a couple times into the colder baths and under the frigid waterfall. We even got to experience the Aufguss ritual; which I almost giggled through since our “Sauna Meister” was working in time with some dramatic music, but it was definitely refreshing and relaxing. While I wish I could incorporate a visit to le Nordik into my life regularly, that probably won’t be happening on my student budget (someday, someday!).
With that student budget in mind, we didn’t eat anything at the yummy looking spa restaurant so I was getting hungry by the time I was home. A Facebook friend had posted this really tasty sounding snack (thanks, Robin!) earlier in the day, and there happened to be ripe avocados at home — fate!
My love for avocados seems to be pretty well documented on this blog — there are now four avocado focussed recipes posted, out of 61 total. That means that just over 6% of all my posted recipes star avocados. I guess it doesn’t really mean anything exciting statistically, but I do love avocado.
Goat Cheese Guacamole
This title may be a bit misleading, since I haven’t been on any medication. And although Mary Poppins is very wise, a spoonful of rice pudding must be smoother than a spoonful of sugar, so I’m sure it’s actually even better in that regard.
Anyway, at least I feel like my whining earlier was semi-justified — turns out I’ve been sick with mono and an inflamed liver (no booze for me, yay!). I’m feeling a lot better, but my days have been reduced mostly to going to work and coming home to flop down on the couch; so not much excitement. Luckily for me, I’ve been entertained/taken care of by lovely friends and family who don’t seem to mind hanging out with a sloth, so it’s all good.
My appetite took a serious nose dive during the last couple of weeks, and since keeping food down was a challenge in itself, I definitely didn’t feel like cooking much. This rice pudding totally fit my sicky requirements of comfort food, good simple flavours, and yummy at any time of day (since I really wasn’t following any kind of structured meal times!). I’d made this rice pudding a few times before, and now that I know I can make it happily while home sick, I think I can declare this recipe a definite winner. The caramelized bananas give it a special little extra touch, and for the extra five minutes it will take you, are worth it.
(Whine alert!) It’s been a week of being sick, and I am not amused! In the winter time, I expect to get a cold at some point — it always happens, so I’m ready to bundle up and slog through school and enjoy my tea. But this summertime sickness is weird and just won’t go away. It started with a headache which led to a fever, which came back for a night or two, then seemingly disappeared only to make a brief encore appearance and leave me in peace with this lingering headache and stuffy nose. I know it’s really nothing serious, so I’ll stop whining. But you guyyyyys, I don’t like it!
I’ve missed out on my tennis, volleyball, yoga, and painting the town red; I might actually be turning into a sloth. In fact, Dunlop has taken over my yoga mat while I’ve been out of commission…
So hopefully my lack of activity/gain of nap time is kicking this little bug out of my body! There are some things that I crave when I’m not feeling well (tea, pho, smoothies, Say Yes To The Dress…) and although my appetite seems to take a dive when I’m sick, I like to try and make sure I still have some light, healthy meals. This is how this salad was born, but it is definitely something I’m going to keep making even in times of 110% health (which will be most of the time for all of us, I hope!). “That’s just a bowl of green.”, you might say, “Nothing exciting!”… BUT IT IS! And so easy to make! I was tired after chopping this minor amount of food, but that is not normal so don’t you fret.
I’ll include the “recipe” of course, but this is one of those dishes where you don’t need one. Simply make it to your taste. Just make sure you have the avocados (I called it an avocado salad after all!) because they create the lovely creaminess for the rest of the veg. Then add your favourite green vegetables (or fruits! and they don’t HAVE to be green, we’re not discriminatory), some cilantro or basil, some lime juice, a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch each of salt and pepper and you’re done. That’s it! Delicious and easy, my favourite combination. (OK, please don’t take that one out of context…)
I used to really dislike tomatoes. As a kid, unless they were in spaghetti sauce, I picked them out of pretty much everything. The only reason I liked tomatoes back in the day was because my dad says “to-mah-to” so this would lead into sing-alongs (“You say tomato, I say tomahto…“).
I think I became a tomato convert once my parents started growing them in our backyard. I loved going out to pick our little cherry tomatoes, the sweet millions, and I guess one day I decided I should probably try what I was harvesting. And that was it — ta da! A tomato lover was born. Luckily I think I only missed out on eight years of tomato goodness, so I’ve had plenty of time to make up for those missed fruits.
This tart from Cooking Light will beautifully showcase your tomato summer harvest — not only is the classic pairing of tomato and basil delicious, the brightly coloured tomatoes practically scream summer. Along with your rainbow of tomatoes, the crust gets it’s golden hue from corn and cornmeal — and is surprisingly easy to make! So you see, it’s pretty enough to impress but easy enough for a lazy summer dinner…perfect, right?It’s a long weekend over here and I’m getting ready for some time at the beach, kicking around town and sleeping in as much as I can! Can’t believe it’s August already — got to make the most of these summer days. Have a great weekend!
Bollywood movies are amazing. Often filled with over the top musical numbers with choreography I love to try and copy crazily around my house (don’t judge!), I was introduced to Bollywood in high school. I find the charm of these movies irresistible. Sure, they might be a bit corny, and you might have to suspend disbelief to enjoy the plot, but they’re filled with so much fun and heart. Who cares if the movie seems outrageously long; just means more time to giggle with my ridiculous pals. (My twin brother shares this love, and is actually fairly knowledgeable about the industry. Who knows, maybe one day you’ll see his blond haired, blue eyed self starring in a BWood flick.) Any film suggestions out there? I think my favourite of what I’ve seen so far is Kal Ho Naa Ho…probably because I’m a huge sap….
So earlier this summer we hosted a little Bollywood potluck and movie night. With good friends, buttered chicken, spiiiicy veggie tikka massala, spiced corn, (some very necessary and cooling) raita, I think we did alright! Everything was delicious. After a pretty spicy dinner, we all enjoyed my friend Priya’s cool Indian-spiced gelato and especially her mango lassi.
It smelled enticingly of pumpkin pie in a glass but the mango is unmistakeable once you taste it. I’d never had a lassi before, and this one definitely made a good impression! I haven’t yet tried Priya’s recipe myself (I haven’t got around to buying the kesar mango pulp), but I made another version the other day that I thought was worth sharing — a pretty pink pastel drink with coconut milk, strawberries, mango and can be whipped up in just a few minutes.
Whether you just want to cool off in this heat or give your taste buds a refreshing break after a spicy meal, these delicious (and healthy!) drinks will do the trick.
Since it’s Father’s Day I thought it would be fun to share a recipe with you that is a delicious creation of my Dad’s. As a physician, my Dad definitely practices what he preaches; exercise every day and healthy eating. His discipline is quite impressive.
When my parents bought a bread machine several years ago, my Dad started making his own recipe for a bread that would meet both his health requirements and taste good. Years later, he’s finalized a recipe for his favourite bread and he makes it all the time, he’ll often make a few loaves in one go to slice and keep in the freezer.
A typical lunch for my Dad combines his bread with hummus and sliced tomatoes; no fuss, and of course, it’s fresh and healthy goodness. So, I told my Dad I wanted to make his bread for the blog, and he was very enthusiastic (he even came up with calling it “Dr. Tom’s Oatmeal Bread”). We made it together and when I took it out of the bread machine I was pretty disappointed to see that the loaf and risen too high and collapsed in on itself. Ever the supportive father, Dad assured me that since you can really play around with the quantities of each ingredient without it making a huge difference it would still taste great, it just looked bad. Excellent. Oh well, he was right! It was still delicious. I guess he just has the magic touch for his bread…I’ll have to keep practicing. Thanks, Dad!
Dr. Tom’s Oatmeal Bread
Polenta is enjoying a sort of resurgence in my household. I remember eating it when I was young, but until last year I feel like we had sort of forgotten about it. I’m so glad it’s back in action in our kitchen.
I feel like I often talk about how much I love a certain ingredient featured in a recipe because of it’s versatility and polenta fits in exceptionally well in the versatile-club. (Polenta vegetable pie is a favourite at home, and I’ve been wanting to try this cake for a while…see how versatile? Yay polenta!) Seriously, I think I like these better than potato fries (but then, I don’t really like potatoes). Either way, they were a big hit.
These “fries” are so easy to adapt to different preferences in taste and texture; I’ve made them three times already but I’m excited to experiment some more. Also — cut these up into smaller pieces before you bake them, and you can have polenta croutons!! Perfect on soups, salads… I get way too excited about food…
I found the recipe on Kitchen Vignettes by Aube, and not only did I love the sound of the recipe and the beautiful photographs, but the way she fit a little bit of activism into her post about Monsanto and GMOs made my heart beat a little faster. At the time I had read the post, I was actually working on a group project for a class at school about the environmental impacts of genetically modified organisms, so it really struck a chord. If you have a couple minutes, head over to her post and watch the clip from the documentary called “The World According to Monsanto” – hopefully it gives you some food for thought.