06 December 2009

Salade Niçoise

Ingredients for Dressing: Balsamic Vinegar, Olive Oil, Dijon Mustard, Salt and Pepper.

2 parts oil, 1 part vinegar, 1/2 part mustard, salt and pepper to taste - whisk together.

Ingredients: Butter lettuce (not shown,) fresh tofu (cubed,) avocado (sliced,) grape or cherry tomatoes (halved,) hard boiled egg (peeled and halved,) green beans (blanched,) red onion (thinly sliced,) new potatoes (boiled and cut into wedges,) green and black olives (sliced,) capers.

Choose an attractive platter and create a bed of salad leaves. Carefully arrange ingredients symmetrically on top of leaves. I tried to keep the colors balanced on each side. How much of each is up to you. Sparingly drizzle a small amount of dressing over top. Other ingredients could include bell peppers and artichokes. Traditionally this salad contains tuna, but that's just gross.

22 November 2009

Roasted Stuffed Pumpkin

recipe somewhat stolen from gourmet.com

I've made this 5 times for various fall parties this month. It's been a hit at every one of them. I didn't have Gruyere or Emmental cheese, so I used Parmesan and fontina. And a couple of times I didn't have cream, so I used milk and it was fine. I left out the nutmeg and added parsley for a more savoury flavour. The only problem is how to serve it. It's an appetizer, but it's not really finger food. You need a plate and a fork to eat it. And a big spoon to serve it.

Butternut Squash Frittata

Then I made the same thing with leftover butternut squash. I really like making these because I am so bad at making omelettes. I don't know how short order cooks make them so thin and perfectly folded. Anyhow, If it's closer to lunchtime when I have breakfast on a Sunday, I usually serve it with salad instead of more traditional breakfast accompaniments.

Corn Mash Frittata

The hot sauce is from my friend Bridget. It's yummy, hot, flavorful, and goes well with eggs.

I had leftover corn mush from when I strained the bisque. It was pretty tasty, so I made up a use for it. Whisk 3 eggs, 1 cup corn mush, 1/2 cup natural yogurt, a little cream, salt, pepper. Saute 1 small diced onion with 1/2 of one diced jalepeno in a cast-iron skillet with a generous amount of olive oil. Once onions are soft, pour in egg mixture and bake at 350 until set. Top with cheese and hot sauce if desired.

15 November 2009

Corn Bisque

Ingredients: 4 ears corn, kernels cut off with knife
3 T butter
1 Sweet onion, diced
4-6 cups vegetable stock
2 T honey
Heavy cream (optional)
salt and pepper

Saute onion in butter 2mins. Add honey, salt and pepper to taste, and corn and saute until soft. Add 4 cups stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat and cook for 20 mins. Allow to cool. Blend in batches in food processor. Strain through a mesh sieve. Add a teaspoon of paprika. Add 1/2 cup or more cream if desired. Serve hot or cold!

14 November 2009

Tofu Bánh Mì

The sandwich is a product of French colonialism in Vietnam, and combines both French and Vietnamese ingredients.
Bánh mì is a Vietnamese baguette (I buy mine at Jay International) made with both wheat and rice flour, but more popularly known as a type of sandwich traditionally made with this type of bread.

If tofu isn't your thing, fried eggs also make a delicious banh mi. I get weird looks from most local banh mi joints when I ask for one made with tofu, so I make my own most of the time. This place makes the tastiest tofu banh mi, and the most delicious fried mung bean spring rolls.
Ingredients: Clockwise from upper left: Cilantro, soy sauce, mayonnaise, pickled turnips (any kind of pickle will do,) tofu, diced carrot and onion, daikon, jalapeno, baguette

Cut baguette in half lengthwise. Mix together one part soy sauce with two parts mayo. Spread that on both sides of baguette. Sprinkle on the diced carrots and onions. Add a layer of thinly sliced jalapenos. Add a layer of thinly sliced tofu, followed by a generous bunch of cilantro, and finally with daikon and pickled turnips.

Bourbon Pumpkin Ice Cream

I'm no expert on sweet foods. And experimenting with ice cream can be dodgey. So I used this recipe, and pumped up the cinnamon a little bit. I also served some bissinger dark chocolate almonds, which were amazing.

10 November 2009

Cannelloni Duo

Ingredients for the red one: 1 cup French green lentils, 1 big onion, thyme, cannelloni shells, watery tomato sauce

Ingredients for the white one: Butternut squash, 1 onion, goat cheese, sage, cannelloni shells and Béchamel sauce
Soak lentils and then cook them for 30 mins. Saute onion until soft, add thyme and saute one more minute. Transfer the onion thyme mix and half the lentils and puree until smooth. Mix remaining whole lentils with puree mixture and stuff into shells.

Finely dice one half of one butternut squash. Saute squash with diced onion and sage for 5 mins. Remove from heat and mix with 4oz. goat cheese. Stuff into shells.

In two separate lasagna pans, cover bottoms with one sauce each. Lay the lentil stuffed shells about an inch apart in the red sauce pan and cover with more red sauce. Lay the squash stuffed shells in the white sauce pan and cover with more sauce. Cover both pans tightly with aluminum foil and bake 30-45mins until shells are fully cooked. Serve side by side adding extra sauce on top just prior to serving. Garnish white one with a fried sage leaf and red one with parmesan sprinkle.

Check out how pretty this kale is!

My friend Brian's dad has a farm. He grew it and Brian gave me some. Gorgeous.

Stuffed Delicata Squash

Ingredients: Delicata squash (1 squash serves 2)
Olive and truffle oil
Canned white beans
Panko breadcrumbs

Carefully cut squash in half lengthwise. Bake at 350 cut-side up for 30 mins. Scoop out seeds etc and set aside. Sautee 1-2 cups finely chopped kale with 2 minced cloves garlic and 1/2 a minced onion. Mix in 3/4 can drained and rinsed white beans and mush them just a little bit. Mix in some grated parmesan and maybe 1 tsp. of truffle oil. Top with panko bread crumbs and drizzle a little olive oil on top. Bake at 425 for 30 mins and serve with a complimentary salad. Beets, sungolds and arugula shown here. Thanks to Lisa for the inspiration for this one.

16 October 2009

Random Fall Dinner

pretty simple dinner, but delicious variety of flavours and textures. in one big pan roast discs of polenta, halved red bell pepper, and halved delicata squash maybe 450 or so. sautee garlic and shitake mushrooms and sprinkle with a little thyme. then add enough cream to make a very thick "mushroom sauce." finally, roughly chop one whole head of russian kale and sautee until slightly soft with a little bit of olive oil.

Pumpkin Mulligatawny

Translated, mulligatawny means "pepper water," which is a pretty accurate description of this soup. But this time I wanted more body, so I threw in a can of pumpkin. The base recipe is: 1 yellow onion finely minced, 1 tsp each of ginger and galangal, 4 minced cloves garlic sauteed until soft in some olive oil and some butter. Add 1/4 cup of flour and continue cooking for a minute. Then add 1 tsp each of cumin, cayenne, and tumeric and sautee another minute. Add at least 4 cups of vegetable stock or water to desired thickness. Add 1 can of pumpkin puree and stir over medium heat until homogeneous.

15 October 2009

Sweet Potatoes

I planted 3 seedlings, they completely took over the whole yard and some of the alley, but somehow did not kill the tomato plants. Sweet potato vines are attractive with cute little purple flowers. Harvesting reveals a crazy looking nerve center of roots and tentacles. It is difficult to tell where the root ends and the potato begins. After harvest, you have to let the spuds sit on top of the ground for several days so they can "cure," meaning they need to develop a tougher skin and sweetness, neither of which they have right after you dig them up.

Half Dried Tomatoes

I had an overabundance of super-ripe tomatoes, so I decided to try the "half-dried" preparation that I had in Spain. I'm pretty sure that's a loose translation, but it works. Halve tomatoes and place cut side up in a baking pan. Sprinkle with lots of garlic, herbs, olive oil and salt. Bake for 2 hours at 300 degrees F. Yummy to toss into stuff at the last minute, instead of sauce on pizza, a sandwich with fresh mozzerella. Intense tomato flavour.

24 September 2009

Nut Loaf - Ala "Delicious Cafe" in Tullamore

mix together brown bread crumbs, carrots, pistachios, walnuts, 2 eggs, a cup of yogurt, some tomato paste, salt and pepper and bake at 350 for 45 mins. Slice as you would meatloaf and serve with several salads. Beet and broccoli salads shown here. Also a fruity chutney makes the ideal sauce for nutloaf!

16 September 2009


turns out you need more than one okra plant to grow enough okra for a meal.

Amazing meal in Barcelona at Sesamo

from top: malay curry with corn fritters, sticky rice and spicy mango salad; cacao noodles in almond rucala pesto; burrata with rucala and 1/2 dried tomatoes; spicy udon noodles with smoked tofu and cherry sorbet; watermelon gazpacho

14 June 2009


Pre-ripened photos of my blackberry and blueberry bush.  I do not have photos of the ripe berries because animals ate all of them.  But at least I got berries this year.  I have had that blueberry bush for 5 years and thought it was never going to bear fruit. 

11 June 2009

Carmelized Onion and Kalamata Flatbread

I carmelized one whole onion very thinly sliced in a skillet with red wine and honey.  Spread those over a whole wheat naan, top with sliced kalamata olives and a sprinkle of parmesan.

Mushroom and Provel on Cornmeal Crust Pizza

27 May 2009

Eggplant Rollups

1 large eggplant, 1/2 bag baby spinach finely chopped, 3 large button mushrooms diced, 1/2 onion minced, 2 cloves garlic minced, 1 cup mozzerella shreds, 1 cup breadcrumbs, olive oil, salt............
Slice one eggplant lengthwise as thinly as possible.  Salt eggplant and set on paper towels to drain.  In a pan, sautee spinach, mushrooms, garlic, onion until soft.  Transfer vegetables to a bowl and mix with cheese and breadcrumbs.  Rinse eggplant and pat dry.  Place 2 tablespoons in the center of each eggplant strip and fold over on itself.  Place rolls folded side down on a lightly oiled pan and bake for 15 min at 425.  Turn rolls over and continue baking for an additional 15 mins.  Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve!  Makes around 6 rolls.

Vegetable and Ricotta-Stuffed Collard Rolls with Tomato Sauce

12 large collard leaves, washed well, an 8 ounce container of whole-milk ricotta, 1/4 pound whole-milk mozzarella, cut into 1/4-inch dice, 1 large egg beaten lightly, 1 red bell pepper chopped, 1 can or equivalent white beans rinsed and drained, tomato sauce..............Boil whole collards for 10 mins and then plunge into ice water until filling is ready.  Mix all remaining ingredients together to form a consistent mixture.  Trim collard stem 1/3 of the way up from the bottom, thereby getting rid of the thickest part.  Place two heaping tablespoons of filling at the top of the leaf and roll up tucking in sides as you go.  Place collard parcels in a bed of tomato sauce in a baking dish, and bake for 45 mins at 375 degrees.  Serve with tomato sauce scooped on top, on a bed of whatever you want.  Brown rice shown here.

25 May 2009

Shaved Asparagus Salad

1 bunch asparagus, 1 handful of  chopped almonds or walnuts, 2 T vinegar, 3 T olive oil, 1 shallot minced, orange zest, salt, pepper.  The asparagus in this dish is completely raw, but make sure you wash it!  

Snap off the ends of each spear and discard.  Then, holding the flowery tip, with a vegetable peeler, shave off thin tendrils of the asparagus, stopping once you reach the tip.  Reserve tips for another dish, or steam and eat as an appetizer.  Toss with vinagrette and chopped nuts and serve! Can't beat two kinds of crunchy in one dish I always say.

09 May 2009

Cannellini Cannelloni

Lightly oil the bottom and sides of baking dish.  Next, lay down a thin layer of tomato sauce.  Place uncooked cannelloni shells (that have been stuffed with: 1 can rinsed cannellini beans, 1 egg beaten, sauteed onions and garlic, lots of chopped herbs)  in tight rows until you have filled the entire dish.  Pour enough tomato sauce to completely cover canneloni over the top and bake covered at 350 for one hour, adding parmesan cheese at the half hour mark.

28 April 2009

Charred Tomato Gazpacho

2 big tomatoes, 1 cucumber, 1 green chile, 1 jalapeno, 1/2 vidalia onion, 1 red bell pepper, 2 cloves garlic, 1/4 cup fresh pineapple juice, lime.

completely blacken tomatoes in cast iron skillet.  you can do the same with the other ingredients, or keep them raw.  puree the lot in a blender to desired consistency.  garnish with green olives and cilantro (shown) or avocado (not shown.)

Spring Vegetable Risotto

One bulb fennel cubed, one head green onions diced, one leek minced, 2 cloves garlic minced, one cup arborio rice (or barley if you forget to buy rice like I did,) vegetable stock, olive oil, 2 oz. goat cheese, fresh herbs, 1 cup frozen or fresh peas.

sautee fennel, onion, leek and garlic until softened.  add rice and toast lightly until covered in oil.  add vegetable stock and simmer until absorbed, stirring frequently.  mix in goat cheese, herbs and peas and serve.

14 March 2009

tuscan bean stew

cannellini beans, kale, canned tomatoes, celery, carrots, onion, garlic, vegetable broth, water, bay leaves, rosemary, salt, serve over toasted thick cut bread.  

macaroni and cheese croquettes

make whatever kind of macaroni and cheese and then stir in 2 egg yolks.  shape into balls.  dip first in flour, then in egg white, and finally in bread crumbs.  you can deep or shallow fry these depending on their shape (the flatter they are, the less oil you need.)  i was feeling decadent, so i went for full-on-spheres.  

26 February 2009

vegetable stir fry with crispy tofu

coat the tofu in corn starch and fry in a little oil on both sides.  keep in the oven until ready to serve.  saute vegetables all at once or reserve the ones you want to stay crunchy until last.  above you see tomatoes, carrots, jicama, broccoli, shitake and crimini mushrooms, onions, red bell pepper and garlic., but you can use whatever you want!  i made a sauce of soy sauce, sesame oil, chili oil, rice vinegar and honey.

tempeh in mushroom lager sauce

brown the tempeh on all sides in a little oil.  saute mushrooms until carmelized, and sprinkle with a few tablespoons of flour.  add a bottle of beer and some dijon mustard and stir continually over medium heat until thickened.  serve over mashed sweet potatoes.

grated yellow beet salad with jicama, avocado and orange

dressing made of orange juice, lime juice, cumin, cilantro and olive oil

18 February 2009


ingredients: 3 cloves garlic, 1 onion, 1T chili powder, 1 can black beans, 1 can black-eyed peas, 2 cans dark kidney beans, 2 cans diced tomatoes with green chiles.  

in a food processor, puree garlic, 1/2 the onion, chili powder, 1 can kidney beans,1 can tomatoes.  reserve the other half of the onion for garnish.  put all ingredients in a big pot and cook until you are ready to eat.  salt to taste and top with diced remaining onion.  this will make tons of low fat food for less than $5.

options:  you can add morningstar crumbles if you're into that kind of thing.  
top with freshly shredded white cheddar.
top with sliced jalapenos for color and spice.
add a dollop of lebanese "labna" which is yummier and better than sour cream.
serve over brown rice (seen here) or whole grain small noodles.

08 February 2009

eggplant parmesan

used the cook's illustrated recipe for this one too.  first you salt the eggplant so it releases it's water.  then you shake it in a bag of flour, then dip it in beaten egg, and coat it in breadcrumbs.  then bake on an oiled cookie sheet for 15 min each side.  then randomly layer eggplant and mozzarella cheese on a bed of tomato sauce and bake for another 10 or until cheese bubbles.  sprinkle with parmesan and basil and serve!  delicious!  and no need to deep fry!

13 January 2009

Tofu Cutlets with Cilantro Pesto

tofu pressed and marinated in soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar and baked.  pesto made from cilantro, cashews, and ginger.  white rice and acorn squash.

11 January 2009

Braised Seitan in Mushroom Red Wine Sauce

This was inspired by a Vegetarian Times recipe.  The title pretty much lists the ingredients, except for the brown rice.  It took no time to make, and was very delicious.