Thursday, 27 September 2012

Seedy Carrot & Beet Slaw

I was out for dinner with a group of women the other night at a local restaurant.  The focus of the menu is local, fresh and healthy so I was not surprised to see beets incorporated in an appetizer.  One of the people with me said “what is a beet? is it a root plant? how is it grown?”  I was so surprised to hear someone unfamiliar with such a classic Ontario vegetable.  Discussion ensued among all the guests about favourite recipes and how to best prepare.  When I mentioned how much I like raw beets the entire table stated they had never heard of such a thing.  We often enjoy raw beets in different salads but this is one of my favourites.  It’s a simple one, but very satisfying with few ingredients and few calories.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Chana Masala with Curried Spinach

In the summer of 2011 Josilin was able to participate in a global village program for a month in Denmark.  When she was preparing to go we were worried about many things.  Would she be safe? Homesick? Lonely?  I never once considered: would she be hungry?  In recent years there have been multiple stories of what a food revolution is happening in Denmark, including the best restaurant in 2012 and 2011. The night before she left I offered to make any meal she wanted or take her out to any restaurant.  She chose to eat at home and the meal she wanted was this one.  Chana Masala has been a favourite of hers for years, so I was not that surprised she wanted this.  Leftovers pack nicely in her thermos for lunch and it can be made days in advance.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Tomato Jam

There are lots of tomatoes in our house right now.  Between the CSA, our garden and the kind neighbours' garden, we are overflowing.  This recipe is a clever one because it can be put together very quickly and with little effort.  No peeling of tomato skins or removal of seeds and you can literally use whatever variety you have on hand.  Seconds at a market would be perfect for this.  We enjoyed it slathered on baguettes and with crackers and cheese.  I'm planning to enjoy it with some vegetable curry and meatloaf as well.  It's quite versatile and incredibly tasty.  Sweet and savoury with a nice bit of heat it's the perfect condiment to have in your fridge.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Polenta with Delicata and Arugula

Luke had a friend over the other day to play some board games and badminton.  At lunch time I called the boys in and presented them with this dish.  The young boy looked at his plate, looked at me and said "what is this?"  I explained it was polenta and while he wasn't obligated to eat it, I hoped he would at least try it.  He said, "well it's better than the green pancakes you served me last time!"  Now to be fair, the pancakes in question were in fact these broccoli fritters, which are mighty tasty, but you can't blame him for being a little nervous about coming to the lunch table.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Popcorn Chocolate Chip Cookies

When I was 17, I left home and moved away to attend university.  I moved into a dorm eager to leave home and small town living behind me.  My roommate was a friend from high school who I didn't know very well, but hoped would be a good match.  We all know how this story ends.  She of course become my best friend, was maid of honour at my wedding and remains a faithful friend some twenty years later.  Dorm life was fun, classes were interesting but the food was terrible. 

Friday, 7 September 2012

Buttercup Squash Tostadas

Pity the poor buttercup squash.  Always the ugly step sister to the ever popular butternut squash, it is often overlooked and used far less in recipes.  I happen to love the buttercup variety for its dense, creamy like texture.  It's usually priced less than the butternut variety and stores much longer into fall.  I know, I just said fall.  Guess what?  Fall is just around the corner and some of these cooler days have me starting to crave those fall flavours.  These tostadas are not quite full on cold weather fare.  In fact, they have enough fresh ingredients to make for a late summertime patio meal.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Speculoos Granola Bar

Today is the first day of school for Jos and Luke.  Last Friday we were able to learn the class assignments for the kids.  Each school posts the class lists, which provides a full long weekend to either celebrate your placement or come to terms with disappointment.  For Luke, it was almost all celebration.  He is with the majority of his friends, but didn't get the teacher he had hoped for.  For Josilin, there was pure disappointment.  She is separated from her best friend and many of the other girls she had hoped to be with.  We talked a lot about making new friends and the opportunities this presented.  Well, rather I talked about these things while I was met with a lot of eye rolling and door slamming. 

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Millet and Beet Fritters

We have been trying a lot new recipes and each one seems to be better than the next. Funny how that goes with recipe sampling.  I seem to have a string of hits and then, inevitably, a string of misses.   I had a feeling this one might be enjoyed at our home because it included beets (one of Jos and Don's most requested veg) and was in a little patty shape which has become a new favourite.  See these white bean beauties and our recent Swiss chard cakes for other examples of our veggie cake love.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Fairy Tale Eggplants with Yogurt Sauce

Our CSA had these cute little eggplants this week.  Called "fairytale eggplants" they are only four inches long at their biggest, with a skin much thinner than traditional eggplant.  My usual go-to with eggplant is to grill or roast, but I was curious if these little guys could be steamed instead.