early fall [tomato & sourdough soup]

Without the back-to-school rush in September, there was less of a definite seasonal shift in my head. A little less excitement, less novelty, less homework, less sense of impending doom. A freeing feeling for the most part, but occasionally one that I let stress me out when thoughts of future plans (or lack thereof) get the best of me.

Of course, classes or not, the learning never ends. Working Continue reading

Snow Pea Slaw

There is a jungle of tomatoes in our backyard. Raspberries are ripening at a rate that is hard to keep up with (though we are happy to try!). Herbs are running wild and the apples seem promising enough to look forward to. But the snow peas are done. Their tendrils climbed quickly for a short little while. I’ll be filing this recipe away for next summer’s crop. Continue reading

home again, home again

hometown glorybackyard peonyThe more I see of this world, the more connected I feel to it, and yet the bigger it seems. The more I jump around, the more I appreciate the comfort of having a place and a city and people that feel like home, and the more I yearn to leave it to see other places. It’s thrilling to be far away from everything familiar and realize that we share things in common with people half way across the world. But, eventually I’m thrilled at the thought of coming back to the stillness of what I know. Travel is full of paradoxes. …not an original thought, I’m sure.mum&dadmusical ride Just as I was starting to feel a little bit weary of living out of my bag, we landed back home in Ottawa. Admitedly it’s totally premature Continue reading

Mondaze [Ottolenghi’s Eggplant]

ottolenghi eggplanteggplant blahg (1)There’s one day a week that my boyfriend and I both have off from jobs and school, so it’s become our de facto weekend. We have a long list of fun things to do and places to go on Mondays, and there’s just one rule: no alarm clocks. Despite our to-do lists, by the time this one day to sleep in rolls around sometimes our ambitious plans get discarded. That’s okay though; for most of January I was busy studying for an exam and we sort of fell into a lovely, lazy routine of waking up late, walks at the dog park, some Ottawa-exploring and kitchen fun. These eggplants were one such Monday kitchen adventure. It’s a super easy recipe, and they’re described in the cookbook (one of my favourites) as “rustically elegant”…I think that about sums it up.eggplant blahg (7)eggplant blahg (6)Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preseteggplant blahg (2) Click to continue reading…

Sexy Pink Quinoa Salad

beet4I have my wonderful roommate to thank for this gem of an endorsement: “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!)beet2I’ve always liked quinoa salads; they are so versatile and easy to throw together. My enthusiasm for cooking the grain here in Huelva has given me a bit of a reputation amongst my friends — I’ve been called the quinoa queen (a crown I’ll accept!), and they’ve joked that my first born will be named Quinoa (definitely not.). But despite their teasing, my pals have jumped on the quinoa bandwagon too, and some kind of quinoa dish is almost a guarantee at any of our dinner parties.beet1beet3 So, if you were worried about a too heavy meal when you celebrate this day of love, or just something a little healthier to add to a celebratory spread, 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

Brussels Sprout Pesto

Even people who cringe at the thought of the little green veggie can like this pesto — you can’t tell the brussels sprouts are there, but the end result is a simple, delicious pesto (in an awesome shade of bright green!).

I like things full of garlic, so if you’d rather keep your pesto on the lower end of the garlic-breath scale, cut back on the amount of cloves you throw in… Brussels Sprout Pesto Recipe

Sunday Dinner [Red Lentil Soups]

After making a sufficient mess in the kitchen this weekend, some lovely gals came over for Sunday dinner. I love playing hostess, and am super lucky to have friends who act as my cooking guinea pigs! The menu was a little bit haphazard, but the outcome was a warm, hearty and healthy meal with good friends, which is the most important part!

This red lentil soup is very simple to prepare, but with a drizzle of the spiced oil on top and garnished with a sprig of coriander, it will look like you slaved over the stove.
Serve up some soup! And see the rest of the random dinner menu…

I Ate Quinoa Before It Was Cool [Cheesy Quinoa Cakes]

I had a lot of fun visiting friends in Toronto this past weekend – maybe too much fun right before getting back into the school grind…oops!

These cool people introduced me to what might be the tastiest burger ever. There’s a place in Toronto called The Burger’s Priest, where their mission is to “redeem the burger one at a time”. I was initially leaning towards a veggie burger, but then I saw the “Vatican City”; instead of a bun, the burger is between two grilled cheese sandwiches…I couldn’t resist! (Their whole “secret” menu can be found here. Soooo good.) But, you can’t eat like that all the time…

So. After the first day back at school I had a craving for something cheesy, but didn’t feel like going into a large-burger-induced-food-coma afterward…cue cheesy quinoa cakes.

I ate quinoa before it was cool. I feel like the superfood (pronounce keen-wah) has enjoyed a surge of popularity within the past decade as more and more people realize how awesome and versatile it is, but my wonderful mama has been serving it up in various ways for as long as I can remember. If you haven’t tried quinoa before, you really should. It boasts some crazy nutritional value and is a snap to make. If you have tried quinoa before, I’m glad! Either way, you should make these as soon as possible…

Cheesy Quinoa Cakes served with Garlic and Lemon Aioli and Sauteed Collard Greens

Make them now!

Never Too Late for Latkes!

Hanukkah has come and gone and I almost missed out on latkes! In the end though, I was able to make time to fit in these bad boys, and oh MAN am I glad I did! Crisp and golden on the outside with a fluffy potato center; this recipe for the Hanukkah specialty was a winner.

Latkes crisping in olive oil on the skillet.

Never having made latkes on my own before, I chose a pretty simple recipe. We happened to have parsnips in our fridge, so this variation was a pleasant surprise. Another great thing about this recipe? You can make it healthier! Simply sub in whole wheat flour instead of white flour and there you go! You won’t taste the difference, but you’ll have heart smart latkes.

The eggs, the potatoes, parsnips and scallions, and whole wheat flour -- all together make delicious (and healthy) latkes!

These were so tasty and so easy to make, I can’t imagine I’ll wait til next Hanukkah to try them again…. Check out the recipe!