Tag Archives: vegan

Black Tomato Fennel Cucumber Medley

10 Aug

As a child I wasn’t a big fan of fennel. With a sensitive child’s palette, the taste of fennel was strong and reminded me too much of black licorice. However with the added years I have also acquired a more adventurous and mature palette. Fennel is fun and fresh great for a summer salad or as a bed to your favorite meat of choice. I like to have this Black Tomato Fennel Cucumber Medley with some white wine garlic shrimp!
Yummy all around!

Ingredients
8 black tomatoes
5 medium sized cucumbers
2 small fennel bulbs
1 celery stalk
1/2 cup of flat leaf parsley
3 small purple pearl onion
a pinch of rock salt and pepper to taste

Directions
1.Peel and seed the cucumber
2. Remove stalks from fennel, keep the bulb and the tender parts
3. Cut both fennel, cucumber, black tomatoes and celery into similar bite size pieces
4. Mince parsley and onion
5.Toss vegetables with salt and pepper
6. Guess what your done!

I like to mix some olive oil separately with some apple cider vinegar and add that to the medley. It keeps the fresh taste of the vegetables present and strong to the taste but adds a nice sweet taste. The medley is good on its own for a nice vegan treat, especially with the special taste of the black tomatoes! Optionally for the meat lover you can cook some shrimp in coconut oil with tons of garlic, as things heat up add some white wine and watch it all sizzle. Take those shrimp and toss them over the medley and voilà. That is my personal favorite, though I think a nice piece of steak would be tasty as well! Until then you can use this as a main course or a bed for your savory meats and main dishes….Enjoy!

If you have any questions drop me a line!

Vegan Style Medley

Yummy Shrimp Medley

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Sweet Basil Zucchini Soup: The Fresh Taste of Summer

21 Jul

I recently started receiving an organic vegetable basket every two weeks. This forces me to prepare my vegetables ahead of time so I can just dive into my fridge and find a yummy snack waiting. Last week’s basket came with about 6 zucchini and a whole lot of other fresh organic goodies. I had no idea what to do with some many vegetables and with so little time to eat them all. Until I thought of soup! Soup is such a great way to use vegetable that may otherwise go to waste! Not to mention I just love eating soup and with this cooler weather, a nice little bowl in the evening sounds just about right…

Sweet Basil Zucchini Soup

For this recipe you will need
Ingredients
4 cups of water
2 cups of chicken stalk/ or vegetable stock
12 basil leaves
6 green zucchini (peeled)
2 carrot (peeled)
2 cloves of garlic
1 onion
1 celery stalk
1 TBS of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
1. Cut all the vegetables (zucchini’s, carrots, celery, onion, garlic)
2. In a pot combine the vegetables, broth and water.
3. Add 8 of the basil leaves
4. Let the vegetable and liquid heat up to a boil on meduim heat.
5. This should take about 40-45 minutes ( or till you can fork through the carrots easily)
6. After letting the contents of the pot cool put everything into the blender!
7. Add remaining basil leaves, oil and salt and pepper.
8. Blend it all, till it is a smooth consistency ( this is always my favorite part)
9. I sometimes like to add an extra raw garlic clove for a kick.

I find this soup tastes better after its had time for the flavors to take. I leave it in the fridge for about a day, and then take it out at night for a great delicate tasting soup! Optionally, I like to add some strong goat cheese or feta into my soup with a drizzle of olive oil and chili peppers flakes to counter the subtle sweet taste of the basil. If you like the sweet fresh taste of basil and want to add more shred some on top of heated bowl of soup! So until then, enjoy the soup as much as I do…

If you have any questions drop me a line!

Teo’s Terrific Tuesday’s- Beets two ways….

29 Jun

Some more great food ideas from Teo!

____________________________________________________________________

If you’re anything like me, beets are far from your mind in the
spring/early summer. Beets belong in the fall with all the other root
vegetables: boiled, roasted, pickled…served up with gherkins and
cocktail onions alongside your grand maman’s tourtière. But I can’t
stop seeing them these days. Tiny, bright beets at the tips of
ginormous veiny leaves, alongside decidedly summer fare like
cucumbers, tomatoes, and new potatoes. And after all, why the hell
not? Tiny, little, succulent, tender-as-they’ll ever be beets. Sign
me up.

Now, many people are not beet fans. It’s alright. I must admit that
I wouldn’t touch them myself until my late teens. And then, I
suffered through them for a while, convinced that–given their colour
and weird-ass taste–they had to be good for me. But now I love them.
And you should too.

These are two of my favourite beet recipes. If you are a tentative
beet-er, you may want to start with the cooked salad. If not, go
ahead and try the raw beet one. Either way, you’ll get lots of iron,
potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, and vitamins A and B. Beets are an
excellent detox-booster, as they tone blood and feed red blood cells.
Enjoy!

Beet slaw

For this recipe you will need
ingredients
5-9 beets, depending on the size
2-3 limes, depending on how many beets
1 carrots (optional, for colour)
1 clove of garlic
3-4 tbsp sunflower oil
Salt and pepper
1-2 avocadoes, ripe

Directions
1. Do not peel the beets if you can help it–the skin has most of the
fibre. Scrub them well, and maybe peel them a bit towards the top
(where the root meets the stem) and the skin is thicker. Peel around
any bumps and rought spots, but otherwise leave the skin on.
2. Grate the beets using the bigger setting on a cheese grater (I
have a flat handheld grater and it is a god send). Watch your
fingers. Try to grate directly into the bowl or you will have a
purple kitchen.
3. Grate the garlic into the beets. Raw garlic is an excellent
antimicrobial (ie, a yeast killer, it rids the intestines of bad
bacteria to leave room for the good ones to grow) and this is an easy
way to get some in. But if you are not a raw garlic fan you can skip
it here to no great harm.
4. Grate your carrot in for colour. I mean, the whole thing will be
purple, but some people like shades.
5. Squeeze your limes and toss the juice in with the beets.
6. Drizzle in the sunflower oil and toss well. Season to taste.
Place salad in serving bowls.
7. Cube your avocado and serve on top. Try to get a chunk of avocado
with each bite. Awesome…

Beet and corn salad

For this recipe you will need
ingredients
5-9 beets, depending on the size
1 red onion (or half if very big)
2-3 handfuls of frozen corn (ie, 1/2 to 1 cup), thawed
1 bunch of parsley, I prefer flat leaf (ie, Italian) in this recipe
but there is absolutely no reason why
3-4 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper
Sunflower oil

Directions

1. Cook your beets. It takes a long-ass time. Be patient. When a
fork can make some headway in but they feel like they would still
crunch a bit, they’re ready.
2. Rinse your beets and soak in cold water. Peel them (the skins
should just rub off, but sometimes a little help from a knife is
welcome).
3. Cube them. You are going for bite sized pieces. Don’t chop too small.
4. Slice your red onion THINLY. You are going for quasi-Goodfellas
slivers. Toss them in with your beets.
5. Wash and coarsely chop your parsley, toss it in.
6. Drain your corn and toss it in.
7. Salt and pepper to taste.
8. Add vinegar. Drizzle with sunflower oil. Toss. Toss again. Eat!

PS. Beet greens are a whole other level of adventurous. Try
sauteeing them or steaming them. The trick is to cut the bitterness,
so add a little bit of orange juice or, oddly enough, balsamic…and
lots of salt and olive oil.

Popeye loved Olive Oil

3 Jun

and so should you. During the summer there is nothing that compliments freshly cut veggies or a salad quite like olive oil. The kind of olive oil you use makes a difference and I challenge you to go out hunting and tasting. Now for those of you that don’t believe me the type of olive used can enhance the flavors of the vegetables you are using. I recently had the chance to walk into one of my favorite stores in the Atwater Market, called Les Douceurs Du Marché to find an olive oil sampling going on. This store is great, the staff know their ABC’s regarding the multitude of spices, oils and sauces lining the store walls.

Two of my favorite oils are Nunez de Prado , a great olive oil that really compliments fresh vegetables very well. Its has a fresh light taste yet one can distinctly taste those fresh Spanish olives without it overwhelming the overall flavor. I love to use Nunez on freshly steamed asparagus, green beans or a Kale salad! The other incredibly amazing choice was Château d’Estoublon. It’s hard not to be attracted to this french Provencal olive oil when it is bottled in an old Channel no.5 bottles. This olive oil has a distinct taste and the lightness of extra virgin oil. It’s seems buttery and smooth yet it is not as sweet as Nunez. The flavor of Château d’Estoublon would compliment meats and mushrooms in marinades.

The best thing to do is go visit Les Douceurs Du Marché! The couple that owns it is charming, helpful and knowledgeable. They can maybe let you know when the next oil tasting will be! Tasting these different oils at once can help you distinguish the difference between them. Sometimes the difference is negligible and sometimes it is so different that it helps you hone in on what taste you actually do like. Like biting into a black olive versus a fresh green olive, taste is really everything. So try something different! The oil used makes all the difference. Out you go, an adventure awaits! Enjoy the olive oil quest!

If you have any questions drop me a line!

A Lovely Montreal Lady & A Singing Spring Asparagus Salad, what a duo.

29 May

This lovely Montreal lady is a good friend of mine and the one who introduced to me many recipes. This lady and I love going to the Jean Talon market to buy some market fresh seasonal ingredients. We make it into an adventure whenever we go, ask her about the time we bought some pepper plants! Her name is Teo, she is a fearless cook, who can throw herself into any recipe with a sense of enthusiasm and adventure that is almost enviable. I have invited her to share some of her recipes and she so graciously agreed! Here is Teo’s Singing Spring Asparagus Salad.
⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯

Wild rice is actually a seed, not a grain, so it’s a great go-to for
those of you eating paleo or staying away from refined carbs. [So is
quinoa, actually, but more on that later if Helen wants to invite me
back.] Asparagus is synonymous with spring, and whenever I see it in
big bunches at the market I get a little giddy. It’s everywhere now,
so try to get your fill before it’s gone. If you go to the Jean-Talon
market
, there’s a man selling bunches of wild Québec asparagus, for
pennies (South side, next to the fresh eggs and where, later, the
awesome garlic will be). Mental. If you get wispy thin stalks
(smaller than a pencil) then you should chop them in
two-centimeter-ish long pieces. Anything little-finger sized and
bigger should be chopped very thin. You might want to do them on the
thickest setting of your mandolin, if you have one…ie, about the
thickness of an earlobe would be good. Enjoy!

For this recipe you will need
Ingredients
4-6 leaves of fresh sage, slivered (tarragon would be good too)
1 french shallot (or a few tablespoons of onion), diced very very finely
1 bunch of asparagus, sliced as per headnote
1 handful and a half of hazelnuts
1 to 1 1/2 cups of wild rice
1-2 lemons, juiced (depending on how juicy your lemons are and how
tart you like your dressing)
1 small dollop of dijon mustard (3/4 of a teaspoon-ish)
Salt and pepper
Touch of maple syrup, agave, or raw honey
4-5 tablespoons of sunflower oil (or olive, if that’s what you’ve got)

Directions
1. Cook the wild rice, with a ratio of 1:3 rice:water. You might
want to do this the night before, it takes a while. Let it cool.
2. Roast your hazelnuts for a few minutes under the broiler or in a
pan. Once they darken, you can remove them and roll them around in
your hands if you want and the skins will rub right off. Not
necessary, but its up to you. This is especially good if you are a
notorious forgetter of nuts under the broiler, like I am. If you’ve
all about the raw, you can skip this step…but you’re missing out on
a little flavour.
3. Crush the nuts. If you’ve got a mortar, bust it out. If not, put
the nuts in a sandwich (or vegetable) bag, place it on a cutting
board, and hit it with a knife handle until you get the right
consistency. You are going for pumpkin-seed sized pieces. Stop or
you’ll get to flour.
4. Toss the salad ingredients together. Enjoy the colour combo.
5. Whisk your lemon juice with the mustard until frothy. Add your
sweetener. Your goal is to take the edge off, here, so be careful and
just use a touch. You don’t want to taste it in the final product.
6. Season to taste. Add the oil and whisk some more. Sunflower is
preferable because it is lighter and has a more muted flavour. Since
the flavours in this are subtle, you want to let them shine as much as
possible. But olive works, so don’t worry about it if that’s what’s
on hand.
7. Toss it all up! It’s a good idea to let this sit for a few
minutes before you eat it. The time to pour yourself a drink or get a
good book to read in the sun while you eat…

Enjoy! And thanks for having me.

Variations: if you’ve been to the market and have found some fresh
sweet green peas, you might try tossing them in here. If you do, I
recommend skipping the sage and opting for fresh mint instead. Fresh
mint and fresh peas is a marriage made in heaven…

You better eat those green beans!

25 May

a phrase I would hear a lot from my mother when I was younger. Lucky for me, I love green beans now. My trick as a child was thinking of them as green french fries my trick now is knowing how to prepare them. My favorite way is by making a green bean salad. I like going to ‘the PA’ as most Montrealers refer to it, to get some of the cheapest produce in the city. They lists their specials online and even have recipes to look at, a reason why its worth the trek. Anyways back to the easiest green bean salad ever… and here we go….


For this recipe you will need

Ingredients
1 pound of green beans ( really as much as you want)
1 small garlic clove finely chopped
1/2 a cup of sliced almonds
olive oil
apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper

Directions
1. Steam the green beans once you have removed the ends
2. While steaming check to see if they are bright green
3. take a bite and see if they are crispy ( don’t burn yourselves)
4. Once they are ready throw the green beans into a bowl of ice cold water
5.Let them cool!
6. In the meantime, toast your almonds set oven at 250 c.
7. wait till the almonds begin to faintly smell, at this point they are done.
8. take the green beans and cut them into slices about 2 inches in length.
9. Add almonds, green beans, garlic, a generous shake of olive oil, about 1 TBS of apple cider ( cider can be added to your liking), salt and pepper to taste.
10. Finally, TOSS TOSS TOSS.

This salad is easy and versatile you can add other ingredients such as walnuts or even raisins to make it a bitter sweeter. What I think makes a huge difference with this salad is the type of ingredients used. The type of olive used can really enhance the taste of your salads as well as do nothing for it. This however deserves a whole post onto itself! So until then, enjoy the salad!

If you have any questions drop me a line!

It’s BBQ season, keep it fresh.

20 May

Everything tastes great on the BBQ. Meats, tofu, portobellos and vegetables, anything goes! We have an old charcoal Weber that works wonderfully and gets a lot of attention over the summer months. As any avid meat eater, vegan or vegetarian knows… marinating is the key to spicing up an old favorite and the BBQ is the tool that renders it delectable. An another option is homemade pesto. Unlike the original homemade pesto can be anything you want them to be. After reading a recipe from Mark’s Daily Apple, I was inspired to try this cilantro pesto but I didn’t have many of the required ingredients. Keeping with my mantra, I went ahead and substituted and omitted more then half of the ingredients. I have to say I think my cilantro almond pesto turned out pretty good!

For this recipe you will need
Ingredients
1 handful of cilantro/coriander leaves
1 small handful of baby spinach
1 heaping TBS of Almond butter
1 TBS of olive oil
1 tsp of sesame oil ( to taste)
1 lemon juiced
2 green onion chopped
1 tsp of tumeric
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
1. gather all your ingredients
2. measure and prepare them
3. BLEND THEM ALL ( that is my favorite part)
4. refrigerate and wait for the flavors to set

If you like a creamier pesto, then add more almond butter as you please… if you like a more textured pesto I would add some coconut flakes.

This cilantro almond pesto is great on pretty much any meat and tastes really fresh and is perfect for a BBQ instead of your usual go-to condiment. I would venture to say that it would taste great on some BBQ Tofu or even on a giant portobello.

If you have any questions drop me a line!

Happy BBQing!

The Convenience of Green

14 May

I really don’t like shakes. There is something about crunching down and chewing on food that makes the whole process all the more satisfying and psychologically more filling. Yet there is something to be said about a homemade shake. It easy to transport and you know exactly what is in it. In the mean time I have come up with this Green Banana Shake, super filling and dense due to the kale.

For this Recipe you will need

Ingredients
2 medium size kale leaves
1 large handful of spinach
3/4 cups of coconut flakes
1 medium size ripe banana
1/2 cup of mango cubed
1 lime juiced
1 tablespoon/TBS of maple syrup
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 cup of cold water/some ice
Cinnamon to taste.

If the banana is very ripe I forgo the maple syrup.

Directions

1. Add all the ingredients to blender
2. BLEND BLEND BLEND

You should end up with a smooth green concoction. Now this recipe is flexible and you can add coconut milk instead of flakes and diminish the water.The only important thing to keep in mind is; what makes it taste fresh and tangy is the lime and the coconut. Really its all about experimentation and having fun. Keep the ” if i made it I have to eat it” mantra in mind. It is a good way to improve your taste buds and cooking skills. I like to have these shakes after a workout.

If you have any questions drop me a line!

Happy Blending.

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