Love it or hate it, the cold weather is upon us! Warming up during dinner has never felt so important, so best do it in a delicious way. This dish is easy to put together and when plated has a nice colour contrast (dare I say almost a Christmas colour palate?) making it look pretty damn nice too.
Toss any leftover cassoulet the next day with some extra chicken or vegetable stock you have lying around into a big pot with some chopped up root vegetables and you’ll have a nice, rich batch of soup to feed the masses for the rest of the week. Repurposing dinner is always a great thing!
These little berries are definitely getting more and more traction lately and I am loving it. So, what exactly are they? The tart little guys – comparable in taste to a gooseberry – are defined as a ‘superfruit’ being high in a variety of vitamins and antioxidants making an orange seem, well, kind of lame. What’s that orange? Vitamin C is all you’ve got?
The trees these berries grow on can strive in cold weather and poor soil conditions, so you’ll find them all over the Canadian Prairies. The roots of this particular type of tree are also very strong, which made them ideal for creating shelterbelts on farmland across Saskatchewan. Growing up in Saskatoon, I would often see these trees and had I known back then how interesting the berries were, I might have fallen in love with them a little sooner.
I’ve decided to take part in a monthly series with an array of food bloggers across Canada called The Canadian Food Experience Project, led by the lovely Valerie Lugonja of A Canadian Foodie. The whole idea behind this monthly series is to highlight the fantastic things that make our country’s culinary scene what it is. Something to be proud of.
As I mentioned last week, I figured it was time to make some salads this season that skip the greens. I decided to look no further than the always under utilized and arguably unloved parsnip. The carrot’s paler, sadder looking cousin rarely gets any love on my stove and has never found its way into one of my salads before. Time for a change.
When the parsnips are thinly sliced, their earthy flavour is quite mild. If you don’t have a mandolin at home to thinly slice the vegetables in this recipe, you can always use a good quality vegetable peeler to get paper thin slices on parsnip and zucchini. That, ladies and gentlemen, is my tip of the month!
1 yellow onion (finely chopped)
2 cloves garlic
1 TBSP red curry paste
5 cups diced tomatoes
2 1/2 cups chicken stock (use veggie stock to stay vegan)
1 can white beans (drained)
1 1/2 cup zucchini squash (1/2″ cubed)
1 TBSP lapsang sougchung tea (finely ground)
2 TSP lemon juice
1 TSP white wine vinegar
salt and pepper
sour cream (for garnish, optional)
Where the hell did all of this snow come from? The first few snowy days of the year are crappy to drive in, painstaking to walk in and, last but not least, mildly depressing. It’s that reminder that warm weather and sunshine is gone for the next five months. Yes, here in Calgary we do get a decent amount of Chinooks, but it’s going to be quite awhile before I dust off my shorts to wear again.
3 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen, Calgary Co-op is loaded with fresh ones right now!)
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup cane sugar
1/4 cup water
1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
2 TSP soy sauce (or tamari to stay gluten free)
2 TSP yellow curry powder
1/2 TSP cayenne pepper
1 TBSP fresh rosemary
2 TSP lemon zest
salt and pepper
Thanksgiving is just about here. How the hell did that happen? I know turduckens are what all the cool kids are making this year, but I’m not really a super cool kid, so I’m going to stick with a traditional turkey. For me, Thanksgiving always ends up being more about the side dishes and desserts than the actual turkey itself.
If you don’t make your own cranberry sauce, you should. It takes fifteen minutes, most good quality grocery stores will have fresh cranberries right now, AND you can play around with some flavours to give the standard cranberry sauce a twist. Naturally, I am biased, but this version with a bit of curry and fresh rosemary is the best damn cranberry sauce this side of awesome! Happy Thanksgiving!
1 acorn squash (halved, seeds removed, approximately 2 1/2 cups)
1 jalapeño pepper (seeds removed, finely chopped)
1 roma tomato (approximately 2/3 cup, diced)
2 tomatillos (approximately 1/2 cup, diced)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1/2 red onion (finely diced)
1 TBSP lemon zest
1 TBSP lemon juice
2 TSP white wine vinegar
1 TSP chili powder
salt and pepper
sour cream (optional)
I learned something this week. Sometimes you can bastardize things and they still taste delicious. I’m sure Mexican cuisine purists would cry foul at this twist on guacamole, but I can guarantee its tastiness nonetheless. So, stop making that boring squash soup (although, it does always hit the spot on a fall day) and think outside of the box a bit.
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