Mmm…you’d have to be a fool not to be in love with cauliflower lately. I mean, it’s on almost every menu in this country right now so even if you don’t like it, it’s certainly hard to ignore. Heck, I just wrote a piece on the humble vegetable for Food Network Canada a couple of weeks ago. Maybe I have a soft spot for it or something…
While this vegetable is definitely toting the line between being lovingly embraced and being overused, when something becomes this popular I’d like to think it forces everyone to get more and more creative with the ingredient in question. This past Monday, my friend and I cooked Thanksgiving dinner for a big group of people. After the potatoes were mashed and the turkey was resting, we focused on completing this cauliflower only to be distracted by turkey carving and gravy making. So, the cauliflower may have sat by its lonesome in the oven while everyone sat down to eat, only to be remembered around dessert time.
Anyway, neglected or not during our actual dinner, this super simple take on roasted cauliflower is pretty kick ass. Just don’t smother it with cheese sauce, that probably wouldn’t taste so good.
Now that summer is at its peak, you’ll be hard-pressed to walk past a community garden or glance into someone’s backyard (not in a creepy way!) and not see this vegetable growing strong and tall. While the hearty green leaves are great in a variety of ways – steaming, sautéing, left raw and thinly sliced – the stems can throw people for a loop.
I spent the August long weekend in Kelowna with some friends. In exchange for a comfy bed to sleep in, my friend Kerry Bennett and I, cooked our awesome hosts a big dinner on the Friday night. We served up a big platter of barbecued chicken, which I topped off with this fresh-tasting ‘salsa’.
When chard stems are sliced thin they give a nice crunch and add a brightness, not to mention some nice colour if you are lucky enough to have a handful of the rainbow variety. Anyway, enough from me! Try whipping this up some time this week!
Do you like the picture? I am channeling my inner hipster (ok, maybe not so inner) lately apparently…I think I was just getting sick of taking pictures of cute things in bowls, time to switch it up a little bit. Not to worry, I’ll likely be back to pictures of bowled items in a week or so.
Moving on, I have an unusual amount of news to share today! First up, let’s talk about Eat North!
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.
Even on the coldest days, a salad can be perfectly satisfying. I’m in California now, set to head off to Australia this Sunday and I have not quite obtained that amazing beach body I was looking to arrive down under with. Oh well, such is life! In a last ditch effort to get slim and trim for the warm weather, I’m sticking with salads for the rest of the week. Well…maybe not ALL week, but I shall try my best. Hm…maybe this is why my beach body never materialized…
2 cups cauliflower florets (loosely chopped)
1 red potato (1/2″ cubed)
5 cups vegetable broth
2 TBSP tomato paste
2 TSP chili powder
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1 yellow onion (thinly sliced)
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
3 white mushrooms (finely chopped)
1 jalapeño (seeds removed, finely chopped)
2 cups kale (loosely chopped)
salt and pepper
Well, it’s 2013 now. If you’re anything like me and have gained a couple (or more than a couple) pounds from excessive consumption of last month’s festive food and drink, it’s time to dial it back. I always love making risotto because it is, essentially, a blank slate. You start with some rice and hot broth and add whatever flavours you fancy. I kept things healthy with this version, using some hearty vegetables, making for a filling, and surprisingly filling, vegan dish.
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