I travel a lot, but I’ve never away from home for over five weeks before. Traveling is always a fantastic experience, but after awhile, I think most of us start to miss home. The unpacking, repacking and moving around can get a little tiresome. Sometimes, I just want to be able to wear my sweatpants and whip up something in my kitchen.
Luckily, this past week, we spent the last few days of our adventure down under were in Rotorua, an inland town in New Zealand that’s fairly low key. Here, we were lucky enough to stay with a friend and although it was not my house, we did treat her kitchen like it was mine! Ha, ha, ha.
Amoung the different dishes we cooked up, one of them was this tasty riff on a tabouli salad. Since spring is almost here, this salad with grilled vegetables and the tangy chimichurri sauce (which you could also use to put on any grilled meat, so awesome!) is bright and light. Totally appropriate for a warm, sunny day.
I have gained a few pounds while eating traveling too, so this may just become a staple in my diet for the next couple months! Anyway…
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…
I am love with mushrooms lately. Roasted, sauteed, whatever the way, they’re god damn delicious! There are some restaurants around Calgary, like Model Milk and Ox and Angela, who are serving up their tasty takes on mushroom toast. I had a craving for some creamy, mushroom goodness, but wasn’t in the mood to leave my house, so tried to come up with a variation myself.
This recipe is not quite as tastebud-exclaiming as the stellar dishes you’d find at Ox or Model Milk, but my home version hit the spot on a cold, winter day just fine. The egg yolks added at the very end, give it a carbonara-like richness, which is what really brings this one home, I think!
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!
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.
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.
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