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
(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!
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.
Is it crazy that I already feel the summer flying by? Between a summer job and trying to have as much fun as possible, I’m finding (as usual!) that there just aren’t enough hours in the day. I just want to gallivant around town, read through the stack of novels that gets totally neglected during the school year, and play in the kitchen… meanwhile, my parents are quite concerned about my messy room (this may be a con to living at home when you’re twenty, but I love my parents.).
Ottawa has been getting some glorious weather lately, and to take advantage of this beautiful, fleeting sprummer (calendar says spring, feels like summer = sprummer. I didn’t invent this word, but I love it!) I’m a big fan of throwing together easy, fresh salads with seasonal produce.
With the farmers markets that are popping up around the city, fresh produce is one of the best ways to celebrate the season. The Locavore Artisan Food Fair that I talked about a couple weeks ago was a big hit!
With The Great Glebe Garage Sale, a potluck dinner, karaoke, more tennis, and sunshine on the horizon it looks like this weekend is shaping up to be another fun one. I’m such a lucky gal. Maybe I’ll even get to cleaning that messy room…
What are you up to this weekend?? Have fun!
Spinach and Strawberry Salad
Before you balk at bran being thrown at you once again as a great way to get your fiber, let me say that these muffins are truly delicious. My mum has been making these for a long time, and even as a kid they kind of seemed like a dessert to me (this might be partly because we didn’t eat dessert a lot…). Now that I’m sure I’ve convinced you of these muffins’ yummyness (I’m just inventing words this morning), I should tell you that they are also healthy (and yes, a great way to eat your fiber). Go make them!
This recipe is a great base, too, for whatever dried fruit/nuts/berries/all of the above you want to throw in. One of my favourite add-ins are blueberries, but I went for something a little different this time with dried cherries and walnuts. Delicious. These babies also make very satisfying travel snacks — a good thing, since I’m taking a couple to the airport with me. Have a great weekend! Mum’s muffin recipe
A few weeks ago some family friends of ours came over for dinner and we went with a Greek menu. It was lovely to catch up with them and as you can imagine I always enjoy getting ready for a little feast. I was asked for the recipe for the tzatziki and promised to send it over right away, but of course with my great organization skills during exams that didn’t happen. So here it is, only three weeks late!
Until today I had never actually measured what I was throwing into the tzatziki, so it’s quite easy to just make it to your own taste. If you like Greek food, you really can’t leave out the tzatziki! Tzatziki Recipe
When my (amazing) Auntie C visited over Christmas, she brought with her a big bag of homemade granola. We meant to save it for breakfast, but someone opened the bag to start munching and before we knew it the whole thing was gone! I’d been meaning to make her recipe since then, and it did not disappoint.
After a weekend with friends in rainy Montreal, I woke up to a slushy wonderland in Ottawa this morning.
Cozy in my PJs, this granola was beyond perfect with some Greek yogurt and my morning coffee.
Having never made my own granola before I was happy with how easy it was! I love the “artisan” organic type of granola you can get at the store, but this is so much cheaper and you can use whatever ingredients you like and have on hand.
It tastes great with fruit and yogurt or milk, on its own as a healthy snack and if you packaged it nicely it would even make a nice treat for someone else (a friend who skips breakfast?!). There’s a lot to like about this easy and delicious granola. Auntie C’s recipe
Have you tried quinoa for breakfast? For all the times I’ve had quinoa I don’t think I had it for breakfast until yesterday morning. After a late night out, I was craving healthy food. I’m going to call this Quinoa Apple Pie Parfait, but it’s super-duper healthy. Try quinoa to start off your day!