Vegetarian

Spinach & Sprout Salad with Honey Dressing


Spinach & Sprout Salad with Honey Dressing
Spinach & Sprout Salad with Honey Dressing
Spinach & Sprout Salad with Honey Dressing
Spinach & Sprout Salad with Honey Dressing
Spinach & Sprout Salad with Honey Dressing

Spinach & Sprout Salad

4-6 big handfuls spinach

1 cup alfalfa sprouts

1 cup sliced mushrooms

½ feta cheese chunks

2 Tbsp poppy seeds

Honey Dressing

½ cup liquid honey

¼ cup hot water

¼ cup lemon juice

¼ cup oil

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp ground ginger

dash ground cloves

For Honey Dressing, blend ingredients well in a shaker or hand mixer.

Wash and spin spinach leaves and tear into a large bowl. Add alfalfa sprouts, sliced mushrooms and chunks of feta cheese to taste.

Toss with ½ cup Honey dressing and sprinkle with poppy seeds just before serving.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Note: I spread hummus on pita and used the salad to make wraps - very yummy!

Spinach & Sprout Salad with Honey Dressing
Spinach & Sprout Salad with Honey Dressing
Spinach & Sprout Salad with Honey Dressing

Raw Beet & Carrot Salad


Raw Beet & Carrot Salad Recipe

When I was five or six, we lived in a house with the scariest of all basements - and I have 4 brothers who will second, third, fourth and fifth that. It was tiny, cold, and damp. It was dark but there was a little window to the outside that let some light in through the aged glass. I remember accompanying my mum down there while she changed the laundry over. On the opposite side, there was a shelf full of canned goods and just above, the entrance to the crawl space - still freaks me out just thinking about it! My mum would can salsa, jam, red pepper jelly, peaches, pickles, tomatoes, and of course, beets! All of the canned goods were organized and labelled accordingly, "salsa, 1994" or "strawberry rhubarb, '93" in my mum's hand.

Raw Beet & Carrot Salad Recipe
Raw Beet & Carrot Salad Recipe

Aside: I got a mandolin for my birthday. All I want to do is slice things really thin now!

Raw Beet & Carrot Salad Recipe
Raw Beet & Carrot Salad Recipe

My mum loved beets so by default, so did I! I think they were my favourite vegetable, along with asparagus. We always ate our vegetables boiled with a bit of butter, but I love, love, love raw veggies as a snack. Baby carrots are my "go-to" out of convenience, but I honestly love every vegetable I have ever come across. That is a bold statement, but nothing comes to mind (other than tomatoes but we all know tomatoes are fruit!).

Citrus is extra yummy in February, when winter has almost done us in. It brings summer that much closer. The vibrant colours, vitamins, and bright tastes can also be found in locally grown vegetables, such as beets and carrots. Beets and carrots offer that same reassurance that warmer weather is right around the corner! Beets are full of vitamins A and C. This salad is a nice starter for dinner and tastes great the next day too.

Raw Beet & Carrot Salad Recipe

Raw Beet & Carrot Salad

2 beets, peeled

2 carrots, peeled

2 Tbsp olive oil

4 tsp balsamic vinegar

salt & pepper

pumpkin seeds (optional)

Grate carrots and beets on fine side of grater or use a food processor.

Add oil and vinegar and toss gently. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top with pumpkin seeds.

Makes 4 servings.

Note: I used a mandolin to slice the vegetables but the original recipe suggests to grate them. You could also julienne the veggies, I'm sure that would be tasty too! I chose to add pumpkin seeds the this recipe, but I think sunflower seeds or shaved almonds would be a nice addition.

Raw Beet & Carrot Salad Recipe
Raw Beet & Carrot Salad Recipe

*Recipe modified from The Farm and City Cookbook

Carob Peanut Butter Balls


Carob Peanut Butter Ball Recipe

It was only a few years ago that I first tried an "energy ball". I made "goji berry bliss balls" from the Confidence Kitchen's blog and loved them! Since then I've realized there are hundreds of energy ball recipes with unique flavours and ingredients. I enjoy them because they are a great between-meal snack, easy to make, and they satisfy my sweet tooth! Other reasons to enjoy them include the fact that most recipes are free from refined sugars and you can control the ingredients for gluten or nut allergies. Also, there are no preservatives that you would normally find in a granola or energy bar from the grocery store.

When I was flipping through The Farm and City Cookbook, I saw the recipe for Carob Balls and thought that was so interesting! What I thought was a recent fad in "energy balls" has been around since before 1994. I guess this was me being a little bit ignorant, thinking that all of these energy ball recipes were a result of the organic/gluten-free/vegan/green food movement. And also being ignorant to think this movement just started, when in reality my Grandmother's cookbook revolves around ideas like shopping at your local fruit stand or market, eating what's in season, baking from scratch, and canning food when it is plentiful and the cost is low. All very practical and conscientious.

If you have never tried energy balls, or you already know why they are so nice to have as a snack in the fridge, you should definitely try this recipe! These energy balls fall more on the "dessert" side of the sweet-savory spectrum. They are so yummy! Enjoy :)

Carob Peanut Butter Ball Recipe
Carob Peanut Butter Ball Recipe

Carob

Carob powder is made from drying and grinding the pods of a Tamarind-like tree, that grows in the Mediterranean. It is often used as a substitute for chocolate which comes in handy if you are allergic or are monitoring your caffeine intake, as carob is naturally caffeine free. You can also mix 1/4 carob with 3/4 cup flour to replace 1 cup of flour in recipes. Carob is readily found in grocery and health food stores (the brand Red Mill makes small packages of carob powder).

Carob Peanut Butter Ball Recipe
Carob Peanut Butter Ball Recipe
Carob Peanut Butter Ball Recipe
Carob Peanut Butter Ball Recipe

Carob Peanut Butter Balls

¾ cup peanut butter

¼ cup maple syrup or honey

1 Tbsp coconut or sunflower oil

½ tsp vanilla

½ cup carob

1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats

2-4 Tbsp water or almond milk

Mix the ingredients together, one at a time, in the order listed. Add water, one tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together. Shape into balls and roll to coat in sesame seeds or coconut.

Notes: You can chill the dough if you add too much water, or to make it easier to roll into balls. If you want to make sure the balls are gluten free, make sure to use “gluten free oats” because most oats are contaminated with wheat unless otherwise stated.

Makes 10-12 balls. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Carob Peanut Butter Ball Recipe

*Recipe adapted from The Farm and City Cookbook

Kitchen Table Granola


Kitchen Table Granola
Granola Recipe

When I was five my favourite TV show to watch was "the cooker man". It was on CBC - channel 9 (one of the few channels we got!). I loved how he had all the ingredients ready, bowls and spoons on hand; everything in place. Mise en place, is what my French pastry cookbook says. I'm not sure which one of my brothers came up with that nickname for him, but that's how I always referred to the show. I asked my mum who the chef was, or what the name of the show was, but she couldn't remember (she knew it as the cooker man too!). She did recall it was on CBC and that we watched it after Under the Umbrella Tree. I did a quick google search and discovered the chef's name is James Barber from The Urban Peasant (no wonder we had a nickname for the show!). There are episodes on Youtube, I highly suggest watching "Chicken and Cherry Tomatoes." I had a good laugh. It is not as refined as I thought it was.

Kitchen Table Granola
Kitchen Table Granola Recipe
Kitchen Table Granola Recipe
Kitchen Table Granola Recipe

Thinking about watching that show in our little house makes me flip through memories I have there. I remember the white and green checker floor in the kitchen. There was a buffet filled with my mum's china dishes. There was a little furnace in there too and I would practice jumping and landing gracefully so that I didn't make it rattle (for ballet practice!). I remember eating cucumbers cut up and soaked in vinegar, and salami sandwiches, and BBQ ribs. When we ate ribs we set up four damp wash cloths on each corner of the table so that we could wipe our faces and fingers throughout dinner.

In the summers my mum would take my brothers and I up to visit my Grandma and Grandpa for vacation. They had a hobby farm near Kingston, which my Grandmother often refers to in the Farm and City Cookbook. I remember the place mats on the kitchen table. And of course, granola :). We would make orange juice in her pottery pitcher and toast up some English muffins with berry jam. I felt like every meal in their kitchen was special because we always set the table (even for breakfast), used fabric napkins, and often had dessert after dinner.

As I pre-measured the ingredients for granola and set them out on the table, I thought of my memories watching the cooker man and eating breakfast in my Grandma's farmhouse kitchen. I made substitutions with what I had on hand and created my own kitchen table granola. I have included my modified recipe as well as the one found in the Farm and City Cookbook. This recipe is resilient to substitutions. If you prefer cranberries over raisins, or have large flake oats rather than quick cooking, feel free to make your own modifications! Enjoy!

Kitchen Table Granola Recipe
Kitchen Table Granola /recipe
Kitchen Table Granola

Kitchen Table Granola

Farm and City Cookbook Recipe

1 ¼ cups vegetable oil

1 ¼ cups honey

10 cups rolled oats

1 cup wheat germ

1 cup bran

1 cup sesame seeds

1 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup coconut

1 cup chopped nuts

¼ cup brewer’s yeast

1 cup raisins

 

Modified Recipe

1 ¼ cups vegetable oil

1 ¼ cups honey

6 cups rolled oats

6 cups puffed quinoa

½ cup black sesame seeds

½ cup flax seeds

1 cup pumpkin seeds

1 cup coconut chips

½ cup slivered almonds

1 cup hemp hearts

¼ cup nutritional yeast

1 cup mixed dried prunes & cranberries

 

Heat oil and honey in a small saucepan over medium heat.

Stir into the remaining ingredients but leave out the raisins. Bake in a large roasting pan at 250°F (180°C) for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes.

Cool. Stir in raisins. Store in glass jars or pottery containers.

Kitchen Table Granola
Kitchen Table Granola Recipe

*recipe from the Farm and City Cookbook

Corn & Potato Chowder


Corn & Potato Chowder

It's been a long, rainy January. It isn't particularly cold, but the thought alone of homemade soup provides comfort to the short winter days. My family often ate homemade soup when I was young. My mum made ham and pea, beef barley, chicken noodle, cream of asparagus/cauliflower/broccoli, and clam chowder. All very delicious. And all required vegetable prep - which I remember being my first "job" in the kitchen (my mum's saying was, "help or get out", which was of course not directed at me but rather at my brothers!).

Corn & Potato Chowder
Corn & Potato Chowder

I loved being in the kitchen as a child, probably because that's where my mum was most of the time and I was (still am) attached to her at the hip. My first kitchen utensil to master (other than a wooden spoon I guess) was a potato peeler. We had a step ladder in the kitchen, which I would pull up to the sink to help prep. So, it wasn't surprising to me when just a few days ago I looked into the sink with a colander full of potato skins and felt like I was 7 years old. And like my 7-year-old self I still need a stool in the kitchen! Even the smell of raw peeled potatoes reminds me of my childhood (we ate a lot of potatoes). I feel like we ate them with every meal, but my mum will have to chime in on that one!! 

Corn & Potato Chowder
Corn & Potato Chowder

I flipped through the Farm and City Cookbook and decided to make chowder. I have only ever made my mum's clam chowder, which you start off by making a roux with butter, flour, and slowly add milk. This chowder is different - no milk. It is gluten free and dairy free, with a vegetarian stock base. The broth is very tasty and flavourful - but I still couldn't resist adding some shaved pieces of old cheddar on top, which for me made it next level! Enjoy :) and enjoy it as leftovers too!

Corn & Potato Chowder

Corn & Potato Chowder

6 cups water

6 potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 stalk celery, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 vegetable bouillon cubes

dash dried sage

½ tsp dried thyme

½ tsp dried oregano

½ tsp seasoned salt

freshly grated pepper

1 tsp cumin seeds

¼ tsp nutmeg

4 cups corn

1 Tbsp butter

¼ cup sweet green pepper, diced

½ cup green onions or scallions, sliced

1 Tbsp fresh dill, minced

Bring water to boil in large pot. Add potatoes, onion, celery, and garlic.

Return to boil; add bouillon cubes and seasonings. Cover and simmer over medium heat until potatoes are tender (15 to 20 minutes).

Remove 2 cups of potatoes and set aside.

Reduce heat to low and add corn. Simmer, stirring to make sure chowder doesn't stick, for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a small skillet. Saute green pepper and green onion for 3 minutes. Stir into chowder.

Mash reserved potatoes and return to chowder. Stir in dill. Adjust seasonings.

*I used 3 cups of corn (frozen) and I did not have any dill - still tasty :)

Corn & Potato Chowder
Corn & Potato Chowder
Corn & Potato Chowder

*Recipe from the Farm and City Cookbook

mexican refried beans with fresh salsa & ricotta on corn tortillas


Refried Beans Recipe
Mexican Night

I was really excited to make my own corn tortillas, despite not having the necessary tool (a tortilla press). However, I realized you don't need one at all for this corn tortilla recipe. All you need is a rolling pin and a zip lock bag or two sheets of waxed paper. My Grandmother's instructions were to form a small ball with the dough (~1.5 Tbsp). Then press it down between waxed paper and roll flat using a rolling pin. After the third one or so I had a pretty good one-woman assembly line going so that by the time the first tortilla was done cooking, I had the next one ready to go. I opted to use a ziploc bag to roll between - I cut open the side edges but kept the bottom together. To get the tortilla off the plastic, I peeled the bag off one side, flipped it over onto my hand and then peeled the back layer off.

The tortillas are a little bit wonky-shaped but beautiful nonetheless! I was also excited because I got to use my new cast iron pan that TS got for his birthday (I've already taken it over!). A few days before I seasoned the new pan along with my older mini cast iron pan that needed a refresh by following these instructions. In my Grandmother's cookbook I also found a recipe for Mexican Refried Beans and Salsa. It quickly turned into Mexican night! I first made the salsa so that the flavours would have time to blend.

Next, I made the tortillas and kept them in a tea towel. When you take them off the heat they are a bit dry, but they get soft as they steam under the towel. Then, I made the refried beans. As they cooked I prepared the fixings (cilantro, jalepeno, lime, avocado). When I was at the grocery store I tried to find Queso Fresco (a fresh Mexican cheese that 1. is amazing and 2. goes well with refried beans). No luck. I decided to make homemade ricotta, which did the trick! These recipes make ~20 small tacos. I adapted both the Fresh Salsa and the Mexican Refried Bean recipes by cutting them in half which was perfect for two people plus left overs (nachos!) the following night. Enjoy!

Fresh Salsa Recipe
Fresh Salsa Recipe

Fresh Salsa

2 large ripe tomatoes

2 green onions, thinly slices

1 clove garlic, minced

1.5 Tbsp chopped cilantro (optional)

1 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1/2 Tbsp jalapeno peppers, finely chopped

1/2 tsp sugar

salt, to taste

Cover tomatoes in a deep bowl with bowling water for 2 minutes to make them easy to peel.

Peel, seed, and finely chop tomatoes. Place in a bowl and stir in remaining ingredients.

Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes for flavours to blend.

Store in refrigerator. Keeps for one week.

Makes 2 cups. This recipe has been halved from the original recipe, so feel free to double it!

Mexican Refried Beans Recipe
Refried Beans Recipe
Corn Tortilla Recipe

Corn Tortillas

2 cups masa harina

1 1/8 cups water

salt

Stir masa harina, salt, and water together in bowl, first with a fork and then with your hands.

Knead for a few minutes, until the dough holds together.

Roll dough into ~16 equal balls. Place ball between waxed paper and flatten with your hand. Using a rolling pin, roll out to form 15 cm circles.

Heat ungreased cast iron skillet (get it nice and hot). Alternatively you can use a lightly greased frying pan.

Cook tortilla for 1 minute on each side. Wrap in a clean tea towel to steam and keep warm.

*Recipe from the Farm and City Cookbook

Corn Tortilla Recipe
Mexican Refried Beans Recipe

Mexican Refried Beans

1 Tbsp oil

1 small onion, chopped

1/3 cup sweet green pepper, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

2 cups of cooked kidney, pinto, or black beans

1/3 cup water

1/2 tsp salt

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat; saute onion, green pepper, and garlic until soft.

Stir in beans and water and mash roughly in skillet. Add salt.

Cook uncovered to dry out the beans, about 15 minutes.

Makes 3 to 4 servings. I halved the original recipe, so feel free to double.

I chose to use canned black beans, rinsed and drained.

Fresh Salsa Recipe
Fresh Salsa Recipe

*Recipes (salsa, tortillas, and refried beans) adapted from the Farm and City Cookbook