Tag Archives: vegetarian

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!

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

29 Jun

Some more great food ideas from Teo!

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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.

Nicaraguan guacamole vs. the mainstream stuff

9 Jun

When I first arrived in Montreal, I was about 6. There was a lot of adjusting to be done, however it didn’t take long. Children are resilient in that way. One of the hardest things to adjust to was the food available. The change in produce required a change in diet. Needless to say when I discovered that avocados were sold here and so was guacamole, things didn’t seem so grim. However the guacamole that is popular in here by no means resembled my guacamole salad I had growing in Nicaragua. The texture seemed to be totally different and it was. The puree consistency of the North American version contrasts with the chunky Nicaraguan version. For these reasons I wanted to share two traditional Nicaraguan guacamole salad recipes, one that I grew up with Doña Petrona’s, and one found in 50 Años en la Cocina.

Doña Petrona’s Guacamole

For this recipe you will need
ingredients
4 small avocados cubed
2 hard boiled eggs cubed
firm cherry tomatoes (optional)
1/2 cup of onions cubed
1 lime juiced

Directions
1. Toss all the ingredients a bit if you like. The salad is supposed to remain chunky
2. Dry crumbly feta can be added as a garnish!

Traditional Nicaraguan Guacamole

For this recipe you will need
ingredients
3 large ( 6 small) avocados in pieces
2 tomatoes skinned and seeded in pieces
1 small onion cubed
2 tsp of olive oil
2 tsp of chopped cilantro

Directions
1.Delicately toss all the ingredients

Both these salads are a variation on a party classic. Sometimes I like to put these two salads on a bed a baby spinach. My preferred one and childhood favorite is Doña Petrona’s. I grew up with this lady who would help my mother out with some cooking here and there when my mother was at work back in Managua. I am pretty sure my love of cooking is partly due to her! So this is a nod to Doña Petrona! So until then, enjoy the salads as much as I!

If you have any questions drop me a line!

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!

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