Category Archives: Recipes

Lemon Drop (martini, of course)

The Lemon Drop Martini is a thing of beauty. Perfect for breezy summer evenings, a drink on the dock, or backyard BBQ, it’s great anytime, anywhere as long as someone else makes it for you! That’s the key. It needs to be delivered on a tray in an icy, frosted glass.

In an attempt to cheer myself up this last weekend, I cooked like crazy and Dave made Lemon Drops, (several I might add and which turned to Lime Drops when we eventually ran out of lemons). It was nothing less than a perfect collaboration. And guess what? I climbed out of my downward spiral of OH MY GOD the world is going to hell and other self-inflicted sadnesses that seemed determined to take me down. unnamed.jpg

Here’s how to make these lovely little gems.

For one Single Lemon Drop
Ingredients:
11/2ounces vodka
1/2 ounce triple sec
1 teaspoon superfine sugar
3/4 ounce fresh lemon (or lime) juice
4 to 5 ice cubes
lemon twist

Chill martini glass in freezer for ten minutes. Pour vodka, triple sec, sugar and lemon into martini shaker with ice cubes. Use lemon to rim the glass and dunk in sugar. Shake martini shaker, pour, drink, enjoy and repeat!
Cheers!

While Dave made these I prepared an appetizer of avocado, prawns and aioli with a twist of lemon, followed by fresh tomato bisque soup finished with whipped cream, and then the final course, pasta with fresh pesto. The next night I made paella. I’m happy to say that all this food and drink celebration beat back the sads and I had a fantastic weekend enjoying something of a culinary and liquid renaissance!

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Italian Grandma Pesto

101 Cookbooks is my new favourite vegetarian cooking website. I love the context and details provided for each recipe. There  isn’t so much that it’s too much to read but there’s exactly enough to give you everything you need to understand the “why” of cooking something a certain way.

I’m not a lover of commercial pesto and rarely eat it but this pesto is simple and fabulous. The trick is to hand chop everything. You can get the full explanation of why it is so much better here but my own feeling is that the unevenness of hand-chopping makes each bite a little different.

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Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch of basil, leaves only, washed and dried
  • 3 medium cloves of garlic
  • one small handful of raw pine nuts
  • roughly 3/4 cup Parmesan, loosely packed and freshly grated
  • A few tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
INSTRUCTIONS
Chop Ingredients
The official chopping protocol from 101 Cookbooks is below. As I’m incapable of being able to follow any recipe to the letter, we simply chopped the large bunch of basil, the handful of nuts, and garlic and then slowly added in the parmesan and then made sure it was properly mixed. The 101 Cooks method leaves you with something of a pesto cake (yum!). We prepared some elbow pasta, mixed in the pesto added salt and pepper and presto Pesto!
It was delicious.
  1. Chop the garlic along with about 1/3 of the basil leaves. Once this is loosely chopped add more basil, chop some more, add the rest of the basil, chop some more. At this point the basil and garlic should be a very fine mince. Add about half the pine nuts, chop. Add the rest of the pine nuts, chop. Add half of the Parmesan, chop. Add the rest of the Parmesan, and chop. In the end you want a chop so fine that you can press all the ingredients into a basil “cake” – see the photo up above. Transfer the pesto “cake” to a small bowl (not much bigger than the cake).

Form a Paste
  1. Cover the pesto “cake” with a bit of olive oil. It doesn’t take much, just a few tablespoons. At this point, you can set the pesto aside, or place it in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. Just before serving, give the pesto a quick stir to incorporate some of the oil into the basil. Francesca’s mom occasionally thins the pesto with a splash of pasta water for more coverage, but for our gnocchi this wasn’t necessary.

 

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Trinity’s Kitchen Thai Coconut Curry with Kaffir Lime Leaves and Butternut Squash

I was dreaming of kaffir lime leaves the other day and then lo and behold there they were right in front of me at the super market. It was a signal. I came  home and went recipe hunting. As you can tell from the number of curry recipes in my recipe index curry is one of my number one favourite foods right behind French Fries!

This recipe is Thai inspired and has chickpeas, roasted butternut squash and spinach. The kaffir leaves give it a fresh Thai flavour and the bonus is that it’s super easy to make. I found this recipe on trinitykitchen.com. Give it a visit as she has come great recipes on it.

Here it is in all its glory!

 Ingredients
1 large butternut squash (1kg or 2lbs approx)
350ml (1½ cups) water
10 kaffir lime leaves
7 cardamom pods
1 heaped teaspoon grated ginger
4 large garlic cloves
1 teaspoon celtic sea salt
2 heaped teaspoons ground coriander
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
¼ teaspoon black pepper
250ml (1 cup) passata (called sieved tomatoes in the US)
200g (1 cup) cooked chickpeas
100g (3½ oz) creamed coconut (see notes)
40g spinach ( a large handful)
Small handful of fresh basil leaves

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Instructions
Bake the squash
Peel, de-seed and dice the butternut squash into chunks of about 1.5cm (or ½ an inch) cubed. Larger chunks are fine, although you’ll need to add extra baking time.
Place the squash onto a baking tray and pop into an oven heated to gas mark 7 (425F/220C).
Bake until you can pierce a fork through the chunks. This make take 30 – 45 minutes.
Whilst the squash is baking make the rest of the curry.
Place the kaffir lime leaves and 350ml of water into a medium sized pan and bring to the boil. (Note: Count the kaffir lime leaves as you put them in and remember how many you used, because you will have to remove them at the end of the cooking period. They are meant for flavour, rather than eating).
Take the seeds out of the cardamom pods and crush with a pestle and mortar (or alternatively chop repeatedly over and over with a sharp heavy knife until they look ground). Toss them into the pan.
Peel and grate a heaped teaspoon worth of fresh ginger. Toss it into the pan.
Peel and crush 4 large garlic cloves and add to the pan.
Add the sea salt, coriander, turmeric, black pepper, passata, creamed coconut and chickpeas to the pan, stir together and allow all of the flavours to infuse. Let this simmer on the lowest heat for about 20 minutes and turn off the heat.
(Don’t add the spinach leaves right until the end – AFTER you remove the kaffir lime leaves.)
Once the squash has baked, take the kaffir lime leaves out of your other pan. When you are happy that all of the lime leave are out, then roughly chop the spinach and mix in the curry pan along with the roasted squash.
Add a little extra water if the sauce is too thick.
Use the basil to garnish.
Serve with rice, quinoa or millet or on it’s own as a stew.
Enjoy

Thanks Trinity for this awesome recipe.

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Creamy Curry Lime Cauliflower Soup

I found this recipe on 101 Cooks and it is FANTASTIC. Not only that, it’s every bit as easy as it claims to be. I didn’t have yellow curry paste so I used a good heaping tablespoon of curry powder. It gives you the option of coconut milk or cashew milk. I used coconut and squeezed two limes into after it was done with salt to taste. My topping was crushed raw cashews and finely chopped green onions and it was deeeeeeee-licious. There are some great recipes on 101 Cooks so hurry over and check them out. I’m definitely going to be going back for more!

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101 COOKS PHOTO CREDIT

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, smashed
3 tablespoons yellow curry paste, or more to taste
3 small new potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large head of cauliflower florets (~1 1/2 lb)
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
, plus more to taste
1/2 – 1 cup cashew milk or coconut milk
1 lime

to serve: croutons, or (as pictured) toasted pine nuts, fried shallots, hemp seeds, and more of the yellow curry paste whisked with a bit of shallot oil

Pour the olive oil into a large pot over medium-high heat. When hot, stir in the onion, and garlic. Sauté for a couple minutes, just long enough for things to soften up. Stir in the curry paste, potatoes, cauliflower, and salt, and allow to cook for another 5 minutes or so. Add 4 1/2 cups of water, and bring just to a boil. Dial back the heat and simmer just long enough for the cauliflower and potatoes to get tender throughout, another 5-10 minutes. Immediately remove the soup from heat, and transfer to a high-speed blender (in batches, if necessary). Alternately, you can use a hand blender directly in the pot. Stir in the cashew milk. And here’s the make or break step – add more salt if needed, and a good amount of fresh lime juice. Adjust until the seasoning is balanced and just right. It should taste bright and sharp, and delicious. Serve sprinkled with any/all of the suggested toppings.

Serves 8.

PREP TIME: 10 MIN – COOK TIME: 15 MIN

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Glory Bowl

Last summer we visited our friends in Calgary and they made a version of the Glory Bowl for dinner. The beauty of this recipe is that you can add different proteins and veggies as you see fit. The sauce is so darn good that you could put it on a turd (as my lovely mother used to say) and it would taste good.

I often add feta, avocado and green onions. When I had it last summer my friend served it with fish. Either way it’s a great base for a yummy, easy meal.

This recipe comes from the Whitewater Cookbook which you can find here.

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The Bowl

8 cups cooked brown rice – I made enough for the two of us and measure a cup per person.

2 cups beets, grated

2 cups carrots, grated

2 cups almonds, toasted

2 cups spinach leaves

2 cups tofu, cubed – I add tempeh cooked in a little oil and cubed.

Glory Bowl Dressing

1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes*

1/3 cup water

1/3 cup tamari or soy sauce

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil – I just used 1/3 and it was fantastic

2 tbsp tahini paste – I used 1/3 of a cup. I have also used peanut butter.

Prepare your favorite brown rice and set aside.

Saute tofu cubes in a skillet.

Combine nutritional yeast flakes, water, tamari or soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, tahini and crushed garlic in blender to prepare the dressing.

Add oil in a steady stream. You will have leftover dressing to use again.

Assemble the bowls by placing cooked brown rice into 8 bowls, top with beets, carrots, spinach leaves, almonds and sauteed tofu cubes.

Drizzle bowls with dressing.

*Nutritional yeast flakes can be found at the Kootenay Co-op, or most natural food stores.

So good on any kind of salad greens, spinach, rice, or grains.

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Vegetable Korma via The Endless Meal

My sister and niece came for dinner the other day and I wanted something vegan AND delicious. I know they both love curry so this was a great find. I’ve checked out numerous recipes but picked this one mainly because it’s chock-a-block full of veggies, and it was simple. I loved that you could add yogurt to the recipe as well which I did for the vegetarians in the group. I’m not a picture taker but trust me this was fantastic. I’m a fan and would easily make this again. I got this via The Endless Meal which just so happens to based out of Vancouver which is where I’m located.

{Photo Credit: Endless Meal}

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Prep the VEG

2 medium potatoes, cut into small, bite-sized pieces (I didn’t use this)
4 cups mixed chopped vegetables (cauliflower, carrots, beans, bell peppers, corn, and peas all work well) (I left out the corn and bell peppers and added spinach instead)
FOR THE VEGETARIAN KORMA SAUCE:

1 tablespoon oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 – 2″ piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
4 garlic cloves, smashed with the back of a knife
1 – 5.5-ounce can of tomato paste
1 tablespoon each: curry powder and garam masala
1 1/2 teaspoons each: cumin, coriander, turmeric, cardamom
1/2 teaspoon each: ground cloves, fennel, fenugreek and chili flakes
1 – 400ml can of coconut milk
1/2 cup cashews
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup yogurt (omit or use vegan yogurt for vegan)
1 tablespoon brown sugar (sub coconut sugar or honey for paleo)
Top with any or all: cashews, cilantro, lemon, and raisins

INSTRUCTIONS

Add the potatoes to a medium-sized pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Let the potatoes boil for 5 minutes then add the rest of the veggies to the pot. Let them boil for another 5 minutes then drain the pot and set it aside.
While the veggies are cooking, start preparing the vegetarian korma sauce. Heat the oil in a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for 2 minutes more.
Remove the pot from the heat and add the tomato paste and all of the spices. Stir well then return the pot to the heat. When the spices are fragrant and the tomato paste caramelized, after about 1 minute, add the coconut milk, cashews, lemon juice and 1 1/4 cups of water. Let the pot boil for 5 minutes to soften the cashews.
Working in batches, blend the curry until it is smooth then add it back to the pot. Stir through the yogurt and brown sugar and add more sea salt, if needed. Stir the veggies into the curry and serve immediately topped with any or all of the toppings.

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Delicious Vegetarian Pho!

Hey Veg Heads! It seemed very sad to me that I couldn’t eat pho because of its porky broth. Well, guess what? There is a fantastic pho recipe that I made recently. It caught my eye on Vegetarian Times and it’s as good as gold.

Here it is!

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Ingredients:

Broth
6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (I used regular veggie broth)
3 large shallots, sliced (1 cup)
½ cup dried shiitake mushrooms
10 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
3 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce (I used Braggs)
12 ¼-inch-thick coins fresh ginger
1 Tbs. brown sugar
1 Tbs. rice wine vinegar
1 tsp. ground black pepper
2 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise (I doubled this)
5-6 fresh basil stems, leaves reserved for soup
5-6 cilantro stems, leaves reserved for soup
Pho
1 8-oz. pkg. rice noodles
1 8-oz. pkg. Asian-flavor baked tofu, thinly sliced
2 cups soybean sprouts
2 cups watercress
4 green onions, sliced (½ cup)
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 lime, cut into wedges

Instructions:

1. To make Broth: Place all ingredients in large pot with 8 cups water. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, 1 hour. Strain broth, and return to pot. Discard solids.

2. To make Pho: Cook rice noodles according to package directions. Drain, and rinse under cold water. Divide among 6 large soup bowls. Ladle Broth over noodles, and top with tofu, sprouts, watercress, and green onions. Serve cilantro, basil, and lime wedges on the side to be stirred into soup.

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