Category Archives: Salads and Main Courses

Kale Salad with Chick Peas, Feta, Artichoke Hearts & Tomatoes From Shiny Tomato

I got this recipe from my friend Bonnie over at Shiny Tomato and it was fantastic. I love kale but I usually cook it and have never considered using it as a salad. Well, surprise surprise, this sturdy green veg stands up to the artichokes, feta and other goodies in this salad. The only change I made was to add avocado and a little sliced red onion.

Here are the ingredients:

Kale Salad with Chickpeas and Artichokes
1 bunch of kale, torn into bite size pieces
Marinated artichokes, chopped roughly
1 cup of rinsed canned chickpeas
Chopped cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup of crumbled feta cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix and serve. Yum.

For other great recipes visit Shiny Tomato.

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Garlic Roasted Tomatoes with Quinoa Pasta – Arugula Salad and a Glass of Zinfatuation

The longer I live the simpler my dinners are becoming. Unfortunately for me, I’m enough of a food snob that almost everything I eat has to be fresh and this recipe meets both requirements. Thanks to my sister I’ve also discovered a great new pasta – quinoa pasta. It’s expensive but it definitely gives Tinkyada rice noodles a good run for its money. So this is what I do.

I heat the oven to 425 degrees.

Slice  8 campari tomatoes in half. Drizzle with olive oil, place a thin slice of fresh garlic on each piece, salt and pepper to taste and then roast for 45 minutes.  Boil the pasta and rinse. Serve pasta with fresh roasted tomatoes, add grated parmesan or asiago and enjoy. Serve with salad. I actually made an arugula salad with fresh avocado, and goat cheese.  Serve with a nice glass of Zinfatuation and you’re done. It’s so good and so easy!

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How to Make a Cheese Plate: Advice From the Globe and Mail

As anyone who knows me, knows, I love my cheese. My digestive system doesn’t love cheese, but I sure do. We had a little gathering a while back where I put out large hunks of too many kinds of cheese. I knew it was wrong and yet, I let it happen. Well, no more!

Sue Riedl, food writer for The Globe and Mail has thankfully come to my rescue and wrote a step-by-step guide on how to tastefully put this together. So for all of you wondering, here is the Globe article.

Or you can read the whole article by Sue right here:

How much cheese?

No matter how many guests you have, stick to three to five cheeses

If your cheese board is your main appetizer or acting as a course in your meal, you can assume about 1 to 1-1/2 ounces per cheese per person.

If you are leaving the cheese board out for a larger group or people are dropping in over a long period of time, have your cheese monger cut each cheese into two wedges (or buy two wheels of a smaller cheese like Camembert). This way you can easily refresh your cheese tray half way through the night to keep it looking inviting. Continue reading

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Hardcore French Fry Lovers, There is an Oven Fry That Will Rock Your World

Who doesn’t love French Fries? One year for Dave’s birthday I bought a ten lb bag of Russet potatoes and set upon the task of perfecting the deep-fried French Fry.  Dave,  on the other hand, in the interests of longevity,  set himself the equal task of perfecting the oven-baked French Fry. Admittedly, I was sceptical. What self-respecting French Fry lover wouldn’t be?

And yet, the other night, my sweetie came up with a break-through recipe that gives any self-respecting deep-fried potato a run for its money. “What’s your secret?” I asked? “Pre-cooking, my little love biscuit.”  he answered.  “And for how long?” I ventured, still sceptical.

“Until they’re soft on the outside but still hard on the inside, approximately 10 minutes of boiling.”

So forthwith my French Fry loving friends, is an oven-baked French Fry  recipe that will give the ordinary deep-fried street fry a run for its money.

Oven-Fries for two people with mayonnaise, lemon, garlic sauce. Continue reading

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Lebanese Hummus – gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, vegetarian

Those of you who know me, understand my passion for hummus. I have searched high and low for the perfect home-made and commercial recipes. My friend at the Mediterranean deli on Commercial Drive takes the prize for the best fresh made hummus available in a store and Fontaine Sante takes the second prize for mass produced commercially made hummus. But how about the hummus you make at home?

I finally came across this recipe right here at food.com which I love. I also came across this awesome blog called , yes, The Hummus blog. It might be possible that there are people out there who love hummus almost as much as I do. Based out of Israel, The Hummus blog, brings the full cultural weight of hummus’ cultural history to the fore and with it you’ll read some wonderful comments on the history and origins of hummus.

But for now, here is the recipe for Lebanese Hummus.

Directions:

Prep Time: 5 mins 

Total Time: 5 mins

  1. Using a blender, blend the first six ingredients.
  2. Serve in a large flat bowl.
  3. Sprinkle paprika over the finished product and serve with bread.
  4. If needed, add more lemon and salt to increase a tartier tastes.
  5. For softer texture, add more oil.

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Israeli Salad

For Christmas dinner Dave and I each chose different dishes to prepare. I chose paella as a main and he chose Israeli Salad and Gluten-free ginger cake for dessert. The Israeli Salad seems so basic that I was surprised that we hadn’t run into it somewhere before along our culinary travels but we hadn’t. The best way of describing it is ‘fresh’. It’s fresh and wonderful. He got the recipe from allrecipes.com where they have the handy portion calculator.

This recipe serves two:

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 2-1/2 cucumbers, diced
  • 1-1/2 roma (plum) tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 3/8 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 tablespoons and 1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1/3 cup and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons and 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh mint leaves
  • 3 tablespoons and 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons ground black pepper

Directions:

Toss the cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, bell pepper, garlic, parsley, and mint together in a bowl. Drizzle the olive oil and lemon juice over the salad and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to serve. Dave chopped all the vegetables in quite small pieces which I really liked. That way each bite you get a little taste of everything.

Check out some more great recipes on allrecipes.com. We’ll be having this with Easy Pasta and Scallops tonight!


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Easy Pasta and Scallops

You can whip this dish up in about 35 minutes total and it’s amazingly flavourful. This can be also converted very easily into a gluten-free and dairy-free entrée which is the version that I made.

The recipe comes from allrecipes.com which provides all the nutritional specs on the meal and which also has a very handy calculator that adjusts the recipe for however many people you are cooking for. Thanks allrecipes, this one is a keeper.

I based my ingredients on dinner for 2. Make sure to adapt the recipe using the ingredient calculator. The instructions are based on the original recipe which serves 8 (don’t worry, you do all the same things!).

Ingredients

1/4 (16 ounce) package farfalle (bow tie) pasta (I used Tinkyada brown rice spirals pasta)
6 scallops, rinsed and drained
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon dried minced garlic (I used 2 cloves fresh garlic)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons dried basil (I used 2 tbsp freshly minced basil)
2 tablespoons and 3/4 teaspoon whipped butter (non-butter eaters can use Earth Balance Margarine….trust me it still tastes great!)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente. Drain, rinse, and transfer to a large serving bowl.

Place scallops in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix together 1/4 cup olive oil, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the black pepper. Pour mixture over scallops. Arrange scallops in a single layer in a large baking dish or plate. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon basil over scallops so that only one side is sparsely coated with basil.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high, and melt one tablespoon of butter/Earth Balance in the pan. Place scallops basil-side down, and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes until dark golden brown. Turn scallops, and cook the other side.
In a small saucepan, melt remaining butter with 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon basil, 1/2 teaspoon garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Toss pasta with butter and olive oil mixture. Divide pasta onto plates, and top with scallops.

Serve with a green salad and warm, fresh baguette! Now relax and enjoy:)

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