Tag Archives: olive oil

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Very productive vegetable stock

I’ve been procrastinating this week as you can tell. I haven’t posted anything for a while and I feel like no matter how much I clean my house it always feels messy. Why do we procrastinate? It just feels good I guess, knowing that you can put off whatever it is until tomorrow. Eventually though, you realize this isn’t going anywhere and it comes to the point where you take a good look at yourself and say, “Really? You’ve been on Youtube watching useless crap for the last 3 hours, you don’t have anything more important to do?”The worst part is, you’ve probably waited so long that it’s now crunch time and you can’t help but hate yourself for not doing it right away.

 

That’s why I made vegetable stock today. No matter how lethargic or crummy I’m feeling, cooking my own stock somehow makes me feel so productive. Not to mention, it makes the whole house smell so good….. It’s really quite satisfying when you make basic things like stock, in your own kitchen. It’s almost like slowing down and going back to a time when we had to make things from scratch, because you couldn’t just go and buy it from the store. Sometimes I wish we could slow down other parts of our lives….

 

Just throw in any vegetables you have: carrots, celery, onion, leeks, mushrooms, bell peppers etc.

 

You can also add some other seasonings: parsley, cilantro, bay leaves, rosemary, garlic cloves…etc.

Boil the vegetables in water for a few hours, then strain the broth. I poured mine into several containers and popped them into the freezer for future use.

 

Spicy Shrimp and Asparagus over Rice

had this Spicy Red Thai Curry Paste in my pantry for a while now and I thought it was about time that I used it. I was in the mood for something with a bit of heat.

Ingredients: 1 bunch of asparagus (chopped), 1 green pepper (sliced), 1/2 large onion (sliced), 1 tsp chopped ginger, 3 cloves of garlic (chopped), 1/2 cup vegetable stock, 1/4 cup red curry paste, 2 cups of shrimp, splash of soya sauce.

PRINTABLE RECIPE BELOW:

http://www.box.com/embed/4gxe0ak8e3oak4k.swf

 

Lentils – A New Year’s Day Lunch

It’s been a slow day so far, as I’m still recovering from last night’s festivities, but I wanted to cook something somewhat superstitious as well as something gentle on my tummy.

Lentils are great for days like today when you feel like you’re on the verge of falling asleep every time you sit down, and as I was sauteing the onions I noticed the smell was quite comforting. Something about the smell of onions sizzling away that reminds me of those hearty meals my mom used to cook up on cold days.

What’s so superstitious about lentils? Well, they are often eaten at this time of year because they resemble little coins which symbolize prosperity and wealth for the new year. This stew would be great for eating on the 31st as well because the lentils help soak up any alcohol you may be drinking later on that evening, and if you make it on the 1st than you can use up any left-over wine you might have kicking around from the party.

You will need: 1 medium carrot (diced), 2 celery sticks (diced), half of a large onion (diced), 4 cloves of garlic (minced), 2 cups of pureed tomato, 1 tsp of paprika, 1 tsp of red pepper flakes, 1/2 cup of red wine, 1 1/2 cups of vegetable broth, 2 cups of green lentils, salt & pepper to taste.

Start by sauteing the celery, onion, and carrot  on medium-high heat until softened, then add the garlic and continue sauteing for 1 minute. Add the paprika, red pepper flakes, black pepper, and salt.

Add the lentils and continue stirring for 1 minute.

Pour in the red wine, tomato puree, and vegetable broth, and cover. Simmer on low heat for 45 minutes until the lentils are tender and the sauce has thickened, add more salt & pepper if needed (this stew tastes best with lots of black pepper).

Check on the lentils every once in a while, you may need to add more liquid.

I added some baby spinach for a bit of color, you could also add some chopped parsley. Serve alongside some crusty bread and top with a bit of grated Parmesan cheese.

PRINTABLE RECIPE BELOW:

http://www.box.com/embed/0erlr7lhfm377fj.swf

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

For the love of Burritos….

This meal is so easy. It’s easy to make, easy to eat, and easy to take anywhere.

Refried Bean Burritos with Chili Roasted Sweet Potato

What you’ll need:

8 Large Tortillas, 1 can of refried beans or bean dip, 2 sweet potatoes(diced), 1Tbsp of chili powder, 1 Tbsp of olive oil, 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese(optional), salt & pepper to taste.

Toss the diced sweet potato in the olive oil and chili powder. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Once tender, remove from oven and mash roughly with the back of a spoon, set aside.

Spread the beans onto your tortilla.

Add some of the sweet potato.

If you’re feeling really naughty…….add some cheddar cheese.

Roll tightly.

Heat up your pan with a little oil and lightly fry the burritos.

This will make the burritos toasty on the outside and tender on the inside….

Serve along side some guacamole and salsa.

My Guacamole: 2 ripe avocados, 1 clove of garlic, 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, the juice of half a lime mixed with 1 tsp of salt. Mix all the ingredients together.

My Salsa: 2 ripe tomatoes (diced), 1/4 of an onion (diced), 1/2 cup of cilantro (chopped), half of 1 jalapeno (diced), juice of half a lemon mixed with 1 tsp of salt. Mix all the ingredients together!

For the love of Burritos…please makes these. I promise you won’t be dissapointed!

Printable recipe at the link below:

http://www.box.com/embed/lu78kaf27y7c2rt.swf

Smoked Salmon and Zucchini Pasta

Do you ever get home from a huge grocery trip, put everything away, and then stare into your fridge and think to yourself…I bought all this food and yet I have no idea what to cook with it! That’s been me lately. This is what happens when you don’t plan your meals and go shopping when you’re hungry.

The good thing about it though, is that it forces you to come up with something using the items that you have, and sometimes the best meals are the ones where you just throw things together without any precise measuring or recipe to follow.

Smoked Salmon and Zucchini Pasta

What I had on hand: 2 Zucchini (sliced), 1 small red pepper (diced), 1 small onion (sliced thinly),  2 cups of baby spinach, garlic powder, roughly 1/2 cup of crumbled feta cheese, and some smoked salmon (sliced into thin strips), cooked fettucini pasta.

To assemble:

Saute your zucchini, red pepper, and onion with a little bit of olive oil and about a tsp of garlic powder. Meanwhile, cook your pasta (I used fettucini). When your zucchini has softened, throw in the baby spinach. Once the vegetables are cooked, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Toss the cooked vegetables with your pasta and  smoked salmon, and top with crumbled feta.

 

PRINTABLE RECIPE BELOW:

http://www.box.com/embed/vev6egpp8paf0p4.swf

Acorn Squash Salad

This is my first time using acorn squash. I saw it at the farmer’s market the other day and it looked so pretty I decided I had to try it. The taste is pretty similar to butternut squash but I find that acorn squash is not as sweet in flavour. The best part is you can eat the skin, flesh, and seeds so there is no waste.

So for my first Acorn Squash experiment I give you…Acorn Squash Salad.

First, slice up your squash and seperate the seeds. Set the seeds aside.

Toss the slices in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and blackpepper, and arrange them on a baking sheet. Add 5-6 cloves of garlic(with their skins still on) to the squash as well and bake for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Sprinkle the seeds with some salt and put them in the oven with the squash. Bake until they are golden brown.

Seperate about a handful of seeds from a pomegranate and set aside.

Aren’t they pretty? And they’re full of antioxidants.

Once your squash is done cooking, take the garlic cloves and remove their skins. Now you can make your dressing: 5-6 cloves of roasted garlic, juice of 1 lemon, 1 tsp of dried thyme, 1 tsp of dried rosemary, 1/4 cup of canola oil, 1/4 cup of olive oil. Blend in a food processor until smooth and creamy.

Assemble your ingredients over a bed of lettuce, cucumber, and red onion. Drizzle on the dressing and your ready to eat!

While you’re eating your squash, you can feel good knowing that you are getting a ton of fiber, magnesium and a substantial amount of potassium!

Spicy Black Bean Soup

This soup is like a party of flavours in your mouth. My favourite part about this recipe is the smoked paprika. Smoked paprika has a deep flavour which sort of tastes like bbq sauce and it works perfectly with this soup. You can use regular paprika if that’s what you have in your cupboard but I highly reccomend to get a jar of this spice to add to your pantry. You can add it to soups, stews, chili, dips, and it also tastes amazing on fish and steak.

First off, you have to prep a few ingredients…your bell peppers and your garlic.

Cut your peppers into large flat pieces and place them on a baking sheet. Then drizzle on some olive oil, add a sprinkle of salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Now for your garlic. Take a head of garlic and cut in half to expose the cloves. Drizzle with olive oil and wrap in tin foil.

Place in the oven at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes.

Now for the rest of the ingredients…

You’ll need: 1 carrot (diced), 1 red onion (diced), 1 jalepeno (diced), 2 cans of black beans (with their liquid), 3 1/2 cups of vegetable broth, 1 1/2 tsps of smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp of chili powder, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp of oregano, 1 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.

The lime, avocado, and fresh coriander will be added at the end when you serve your soup.

Heat some olive oil over medium heat and saute the onion, carrot, and jalapeno until the onion is translucent.

Add your spices and cook for 1 more minute.

Now add the roasted peppers and black beans (with their liquid). Stir to combine.

Add your vegetable broth and stir. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.

Reserve roughly a cup of soup and puree the rest in a food processor along with your roasted garlic. Then add the puree back into the soup and stir. At this point you can add some salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, top with some chopped avocado and fresh coriander with a squeeze of lime juice!

This soup also tastes great served along side some potato cakes. My friend Irma has a recipe here