This pumpkin-spiced warming nut daal will quickly slip into your weekday regulars.Read More
The classic recipe to make egg pasta dough. This is a shiny egg pasta recipe that works great with spaghetti or ravioli. Rolls out super thin if you need it to. Just be sure to allow at least 20 minutes in the fridge for the gluten strains to bond and knead it enough so the dough looks shiny.
2 cups 00 flour
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
4 eggs plus 2 egg yolks
Put 00 flour onto a cold surface and use a fork to form a well in center. Season the center of the well with salt and add olive oil.
Crack eggs into bowl and gently whisk together. Add a third of whisked eggs into well.
Use the fork to gradually incorporate flour into the eggs. Once mostly soaked in, add another third, continuing to mix into the flour, careful not to let eggs slide out.
Create another well in the middle of the flour and egg mixture and add the remaining egg, combining until the dough looks like crumbs.
Once all the egg is incorporated, flour your hands and begin forming a ball.
Continue to flour your hands and knead the ball of dough until firm and elastic, turning and twisting the ball for about 10 minutes.
Wrap in plastic and rest for at least 20 minutes before rolling.
*image credit: bon appetit
Celebrate early summer with these seasonal fresh flavours of asparagus and peas. This is my adopted version of Donna Hay's Thai Green Curry with chicken. Here I use red lentils instead of chicken and miso instead of fish sauce to make it vegan.
The result is hearty yet still very fresh. Serve with black rice for a beautiful contrast on the plate and added anti-oxidants.
Lentil Loaves.....swoon. I may be an omnivore, but when it comes to a lentil loaf I can't get enough. My first introduction to it was when I was shopping in Portabello market in London on a Sunday. Being a Sunday, we slipped into a nice pub and ordered a Sunday roast. Being very out of character for me, I was struck by the nutty, almost thanksgiving stuffing like flavours of the vegetarian lentil loaf option. Since that experience I've been trying to recreate it in my own kitchen because it was so fabulous.
This recipe is a modified version of the 'Oh She Glows - Ultimate Lentil Loaf'. It just so happens to be vegan, but if you wanted I'm sure you could throw in an egg to help with binding (although it really doesn't need it if you allow it to rest). This one is perfectly savoury with garlic, rosemary and celery, has just enough texture with walnuts, creamy due to the chestnuts and just a little hint of sweetness from a handful of cranberries. Follow this recipe very carefully to avoid it being crumbly. I highly recommend letting it sit for the directed amount of time before slicing. Serve with a herby garlic aioli and blow the socks of vegetarians and carnivores alike.
Weeknight meals need not be from a box. If Jamie Oliver has taught me anything, it's that a healthy home-made meal can be made in 30 minutes or less. You just need to utilize the right ingredients and cooking methods.
For example: fish is a healthy and quick cooking dinner that can be thrown together quickly. Cutting a sweet potato with a mandolin very thinly cuts its cooking time down and increases its crispiness. Having flavour bombs on hand like dry rosemary can go a long way. This recipe comes together in about 30 minutes, quicker than it takes to order and receive delivery pizza.
If you've never cooked a whole body fish before, fear not, it actually takes very little preparation.
Benefits of cooking a whole fish:
- Much more moist! The skin protects the flesh from drying out in the oven and keeps all the juices inside.
- It's a pocket of flavour. You can stuff it with lemon. When the lemon heats in the oven, it keeps it moist while flavouring the meat.
- The skin is the most nutritious! It contains the majority of Omega 3 fatty acids (anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, brain and heart healthy super nutrient). As long as you're getting your fish from a clean source (look for the OCEAN WISE symbol) You can be sure that the toxins are way low compared to the added nutritional benefit.
- More Flavour! The bones from the fish let off a lot of flavour into the meat. Think how a soup attains added richness and depth when you add bones. Same thing here.
- Identify the freshness. The best way to tell how fresh a fish is, is by checking out the eyes. A fillet of fish is harder to identify its freshness.
Tips for cooking a whole fish:
- Make sure the eyes look glossy and clear. Cloudy eyes means the fish isn't fresh, so don't buy it.
- For crispy skin, pat dry the outside. If you like to eat crispy skin make sure to pat down with a paper towel, then season with a little olive oil and flake salt.
- Stuff the cavity with aromatics such as herbs, lemons slices or garlic.
- It's a lot easier to remove the head and tail once it's cooked, and these parts add flavour to the meat.
- Cook about 10 minutes for every inch of thickness (measured at the thickest part of the fish).
Recipe: Sheet-Pan Fish Dinner
- 1 white potato, medium
- 1 sweet potato , medium
- 1 whole body fresh fish (1 lbs more or less)
- Dry rosemary
- Fresh herbs (try thyme, rosemary, tarragon, anything on hand)
- 1/2 lemon, sliced
- olive oil
- Half-full pint of cherry tomatoes
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
- Using a mandolin or very sharp knife, cut the potatoes into 1/4 slices.
- Place a sheet of parchment paper onto a sheet pan
- Drizzle potatoes with olive oil and arrange on the pan in alternating colours
- Sprinkle with dry rosemary and salt
- Add the cherry tomatoes to the pan whole, salt and drizzle with olive oil.
- Pat the fish skin dry with a paper towel on both sides.
- Salt the fish inside and out, then drizzle the skin with olive oil and place in the middle of the sheet pan.
- Add fresh herbs and lemon slices inside the cavity of the fish. Place pan in preheated oven and cook for about 20-30 minutes depending on the size of the fish.
- To test, take a thermometer and place inside the thickest part of the fish. A minumum reading of 145°F is done. To avoid overcooking, try to get it closest to this number as possible.
This is my favourite 5 minute pasta inspired by the mighty 'spaghetti al limone' from @terronito. Here's today's version (changes based on fridge supply).
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 3 anchovies
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 tsp butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp capers (less or more to preference)
- 2 inches of leek, sliced in thin rounds
- 2 cups uncooked babe spinach
- 1 portion of gluten free pasta
- sprinkle of chilli flakes
- 1 slice of gorgonzola
- 4-5 slices of aged cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a medium saucepan on medium heat, sauté leeks, garlic, capers, chilli flakes and 3 anchovies in butter and olive oil (don't be shy on oil, it's your 'sauce')
- Cook pasta in the meantime to 'al dente'
- Add spinach to pan to wilt at the last minute.
- Toss with cooked pasta and slice of Gorgonzola
- Toss with juice of 1/2 lemon
- Generously sprinkle black pepper
- Stir over heat to combine all the flavours
- Plate, topped with aged cheese
So eating hot things in the summer sucks, right? The humidity, the sweat dripping down, it's not a pretty sight. But you can't eat salad everyday! If you still want something healthy, fresh AND substantial, try this recipe. This recipe was 100% inspired by the lovely Eva Cabaca in her live food cooking class. She's also my herbal medicine teacher, and really opened my eyes to plant based meals. Well, not completely, there is most definitely delicious local monteforte cheese in there, I haven't forgotten my roots completely!
- 2 large firm zucchini, it's nice to mix yellow and green
- 3 stalks of fresh basil, leaves picked
- 2 day lilies from a spray free garden or the wild
- 10 mint leaves
- 2 shallot cloves
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Juice from 1/2 lemon
- 1 tbsp Apple cost vinegar
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp chilli flakes
- 2 hunks of firm cheese ( I used the hob knob from monteforte. It's cow, sheep and goat)
- Handful of pinenuts (or almonds or pepita)
- 1/4 tbsp flax seeds
- Bit of water to loosen
- Rinse all the herbs
- In a blender add nuts, cheese, garlic and shallots, pulse a few times
- Add the herbs, lemon, ACV, flax, oil and salt and blend until smooth. Add water to loosen if needed but a little at a time. Set aside
- Spirilize 2 large zucchini
- Mix pesto with noodles, toss to coat
- Pull apart flower peddles and garnish ontop
Bone marrow is the beautifully fatty, nutrient dense insides of a bone. Contrary to popular belief, bones are anything but hollow. They are filled with fat, nutrients and a significant blood supply. This is also the site of immune cell production.
Many cultures such as Canadian Natives treat marrow as the most nutritious and best part of the animal. The Chinese value its many healing properties such as a digestive health support. The level of healthy fat and collagen is important in regenerating the cells in the lining of the gut and is important for wound healing too! Marrow is also key for healing a leaky gut, which can lead to digestive issues, allergies, asthma, eczema and more.
Eating bone marrow can increase your white blood cell count, which is basically our immune system army.
Always remember to buy grass-fed, clean and happy bones from your local butcher. Ask questions like:
- Was the animal fed on non-GMO feed?
- Was it grass fed or at least finished (Canadian winters make pasteur raised cattle a lot harder to come by)
- Is the meat free of growth hormones?
- Was the animal given antibiotics?
Basically you want to decipher whether it was factory farmed or produced on a small, health-conscious farm.
This is especially important because although the marrow stores nutrients, it may also store fat-soluble toxins such as pesticides and other environmental toxins.
For me, Bone marrow has always been translated into the epic fit-for-a-queen meal....OSSO BUCO. This is a traditional Milanese dish that's slowly cooked with tomatoes and soffritto (carrot, celery and onion) . The slow extraction process breaks down the collagen inside the marrow and turns the sauce into a creamy, rich, deeply flavoured meal. In fact, its so rich that it's often the meal recommended for that big Barolo or Brunello wine you've been storing away for a special occasion. Serve on top a bowl of creamy polenta and you will not be disappointed!
This recipe is for a slow cooker set on the lowest setting, allowed to cook for 9 hours.
- 2 nice sized Veal shanks (about 4-5 lbs each)
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 carrots, sliced
- 3 celery stalks plus leaves, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 can of San Marzano tomatoes, whole, peeled (use fresh when in season)
- 3 juniper berries
- 3 cloves
- 5 bay leaves
- Aromatics may also include fresh rosemary or thyme
- flour for dusting
- salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil
- 2 glugs of white wine
- Salt and pepper each shank on both sides. Dust in flour and sear on med-high heat in a sauce pan with olive oil. Cook for a couple minutes per side until a crust is formed. Add to the slow cooker.
- Deglaze the pan with white wine, scrapping off the golden bits with a plastic utensil, add to slow cooker.
- Add vegetables, canned tomato, herbs and spices as well as 1/2 cup of water.
- Let cook for 9 hours or until the marrow becomes soft and easily extruded. My slower only had 2 settings, so I left it on the lower of the two settings.
Bone broth is on everyone's (oily) lips right now as it appears to be the hottest food trend. It's the beverage of choice for supermodels at this years Paris Fashion Week. But if bone broth is a fad then its gotta be the longest food-fad running. Ancient cultures have been making it for thousands of years. From Chinese medicine, Japanese Ramen, Vietnamese pho, French bouillon and Italian brodo.
4 Reasons to Drink Bone Broth
1) Loaded with Nutrients and Minerals
Bone Broth is a significant natural source of all the big ones: Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium. These nutrients are essential to bone building, metabolism and the uptake of other nutrients. Phosphorus is also a critical mineral used to maintain acid-base balance in the body. It also contains some Amino Acids: Glycline and Proline. Cheaper than the average multivitamin and contains a lot of what we need on a daily basis.
2) Immune Boosting Power
Studies have proven that bone broth can actually increase the number of white blood cells (infection fighter cells) in the body. So THATS what your mom made you chicken soup when you were sick. Mom's and Nonna's always know whats up. When you're sick, Bone broth will:
Increase White Blood Cells
Act as an anti-inflammatory to reduce swelling and sinus infection
Increase your nutrients to help fight the illness
Clear up mucous from upper respiratory tract infection
Incredibly hydrating to help flush out infection and cell waste
3) Digestive Aid
Bone Broth will help cure leaky gut, which can lead to all kinds of scary conditions from food allergies to auto-immune diseases. It does so by mending the gaps in the intestinal lining with collagen and gelatin. These intestinal cells should be strong tight junctions, but many of us have damage to the intestinal cell wall lining which loosens those gaps and releases food particles into the blood stream. SO TIGHTEN UP THOSE GAPS!
Heals Leaky Gut
Increases Mineral Absorption
4) It's Cheap and Easy to Make
The gentle and slow extraction of nutrients makes Bone Broth an incredibly nutrient dense food. And its low in calories.
One 8oz serving contains only 66 calories
You can feed a whole family with the bones that you would normally throw away. Now that is cucina povera!
This recipe is an amalgamation of my friend's Vietnamese father giving a verbal "a bit of this a bit of that" recipe, and othersources. Remember to only use healthy bones! Organic, mennonite, hormone free, all that goodness.
3-4 lbs of mixed healthy bones: beef, chicken, cross-cut veal shank with marrow and oxtails
1 tbsp Olive oil
2 medium carrots
3 stalks celery
1 cup parsley
2 cups daikon radish, peeled and sliced 3 inch rounds
1 medium yellow onion
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp fish sauce
3 bay leaf
1/2 cup dried mushrooms
2 tbsp rock salt (more to taste at the end)
SPICE BAG: 2 star anise, 2 cinnamon sticks, 1 tsp fennels seeds, 1 tsp cardamom pods, 1 tsp whole cloves
Roast the Bones (Optional) Preheat oven to 400 F. Drizzle bones with olive oil and arrange in single layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 1 hour or until evenly browned.
Char Onions and Ginger : Cut the onion in half. Peel the ginger, cut in rounds and smash with the back of a knife. Roast on high broil until dark and charred, just before burning.
Cut the Vegetables into large chunks. Cut the carrots, garlic, celery and parsley.
Toast the Spices in a saucepan on medium heat until aromatic. Put into a cheesecloth bag or strain out after
Combine the Bones and Vegetables in a large stock pot. I use an 8 quart pot.
Add Flavour: add Apple Cider Vinegar, fish sauce, rock salt, garlic cloves (whole) dry mushrooms, bay leaves and spice bag
Cover with Water. Make sure everything is well submerged.
Parboil: Heat on high until it reaches a rapid boil. Let boil for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Make sure there is still a small bubbling action, but very minimal. Cover and cook for 24hrs
Skim the Skum: Check occasionally and remove and scum, bubbles, gray matter that appears on the surface. These are the impurities and released toxins from the bones.
Finished when dark and flavourful. Taste the broth, it should have a deep rich meaty flavour with sweet vegetable flavours. If the bones have begun to disintegrate, you know you've broken down all the minerals.
Strain the broth into a fine mesh colander. I fill mason jars 3/4 full (to prevent bursting) and place in the freezer, leaving a few jars in the fridge to drink within the week.
Broth. Brodo. The perfect harmony of warming, nourishing ingredients. Gently simmered to infuse the liquid with delicate vitamins, minerals and life-giving nutrition from a simple mix of basic vegetables and bones. Its always been my favourite food, as I child I would ask for my birthday dinner to be a big steaming bowl of "brodo" with rice. Being a June baby, this heated meal would dismay my family members, but nothing else would suffice...I wanted soup! When cooked with enough love, patience and know how, it can be the perfect thing to resurrect you from a cold, flu or even a bad day. So grab a glass of wine, put on some Etta James, and make a big pot of chicken broth.
The following recipe is for my basic chicken broth, which I make on a frequent basis in the colder months and have stored in my freezer at any given time. This recipe is a mix of my mother's, a classic clear french consume, as well as some personal added flavour enhancers and immune-boosters.
Please feel free to play around and add different spices and herbs, there's really no wrong way to go about it. Just remember the basics: at least add the holy trinity (onion carrot celery) and if adding bones, let cook for a minimum of 1.5 hrs. Also, remember to continually skin the surface for impurities coming from the bones. This stuff is all the toxins that you don't want in your body. This recipe can be used as a base for anything ! Roast some squash and make a purée soup. Use as the base for a tasty risotto. Add some pastina and beaten eggs with Parm for stracciatella soup. Sip in a mug when you have a cold. It is a life saver.
Ingredients: • 1 whole free range chicken
• 2 carrots, roughly chopped
• 3 ribs celery, roughly chopped
• Bunch of celery leaves
• 1/2 bunch of Italians parsley
• 1 large onion quartered
• 10 whole peppercorns
• 2 garlic cloves, smashed
• 1 1/2 tbsp sea/Himalayan salt
• 3 dry bay leaves
• 3 sprigs of thyme
• 2 small/ medium tomatoes, chopped Add for super health:
• Ginger root, roughly chopped
• 1 tbsp turmeric
• 2-3 more garlic cloves
• pinch of nutmeg ** for vegetarians substitute chicken for 1.5 cups dried mushrooms. Cook for 1 hr Method:
1) In a large stock pot add all the ingredients
2) fill the pot with water until everything is covered by about 3 inches of water.
3) on high, bring to a boil. Let boil for 10min then reduce heat to simmer. There should be small and steady bubbles.
4) using a large spoon, skim off the surface all the dark bubbles that accumulate around the edges. Know as the scum.
5) about 40-50min into cooking, take a large tong and try to lift the chicken carcass. If it feels that it might fall apart easily, remove from the liquid and set to cool
6) pick all the tender meat from the chicken bones, discard the skin, and throw ALL the bones back into the broth
7) continue cooking for a minimum total of 2 hours.
8) put liquid through a large strainer and discard the rest. Your broth should be richly coloured and taste delicious. Add salt to taste.
9) can be stored in the freezer in small batches or used right away Depending on the size of your pot this recipe should give you at least 3.5 litres of broth.
Patty pan squash. A beautiful summer vegetable relative to the cucumber and melon, with a soft inner texture that, like most squash, turns sweet when roasted. Tonight my cousin Karissa and I rummaged through a packed fridge to find tasty flavours to stuff our squash with. Its quick to prepare, and only takes 30min to bake.
- 1Large patty pan squash (about the size of two open hands
- 1 fair trade pork sausage (hot or mild)
- 1/2 medium onion
- 5 stalks of swiss chard
- 1 clove of garlic
- dash of smoked Spanish paprika
- pinch of nutmeg and cinnamon
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- splash of whiskey
- 1 tsp butter
- 1 tbsp of pinenuts
- 1/4 cup of cubed pecorino and white aged cheddar
- fresh black pepper and salt to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Cut the Patty Pan squash diagonally about 1/4 of the way down from the top. Remove lid and place aside. With a large spoon, scrape out the seeds from the center and the lid. Discard.
- Carefully continue to scrap out the flesh of the squash, until only a thin shell remains. Dice the remaining squash flesh and put aside.
- Dice and sauté onion on medium heat in a large saucepan.
- Add uncased sausage and continue to cook until onion is translucent
- Add the diced squash and cook until soft.
- Roughly chop the swiss chard, separate the stalks from the leaves. Add the stalks to the saute pan.
- Add finely diced garlic to saucepan
- Turn up heat to high, add splash of whiskey. Cook until all the liquid is evaporate.
- Add the swiss chard greens and cook until wilted and liquid is evaporated.
- Finely dice the cheese and mix with the filling in a bowl.
- Fill the hollowed out squash with filling, add pine nuts to the top and cover with lid. Wrap in tin foil and place in the oven
- Cook for 30min
- Remove from oven, shred cheese on top and place back in the oven.
- Cook for 5min on broil with squash on the bottom wrung.
- Remove from oven and let cool for 10min. Enjoy
Fettuccine Con Fiori di Zucca RecipeNothing excites me more than making a quick pasta at the height of the summer season. When the famers market tables are gorging with the earths bounty, every colour in the rainbow is on display, and vegetables are plump and ripe from the warm summer sun. You know the flavour will be bursting and every dish you make will be spectacular. This dish was inspired by the many squash blossoms growing in my garden. After a small battle with the bees, I was able to harvest the blossoms, carefully rinse them and prepare them for the dish. The idea was to stay light and simple since squash blossoms have such a delicate flavour. I gave a bit of depth to the dish with toasted pine nuts and Ontario cheddar cheese. Here is the recipe!
- 10 squash blossoms, rinsed and roughly chopped
- 3 plump vine tomatoes, diced
- 2 small sweet onions or shallots, sliced
- 1/2 clove of garlic, finely shredded
- 2 small summer squash (yellow zucchini), thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted
- 10 basil leaves, chiffon
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup Ontario cheddar, shredded
- 250g fettuccine
- In a medium pot of salted boiling water, add fettuccine.
- In a large saucepan on medium heat, using half the amount of coconut oil, sauté the onions until soft and translucent. Set aside.
- Using the remaining coconut oil, on medium high heat, sauté the squash until slightly brown, sprinkle with salt to encourage browning. Set aside with onions.
- Add tomatoes and reduce heat to med-low. Cook for 5 minutes
- Add shaved garlic and continue cooking.
- While this is cooking, lightly toast pine nuts in a small non-stick pan for 2 min.
- When pasta is ready, add to pan along with squash blossoms, onions and squash, pine nuts and basil chiffonade. Drizzle with olive oil and mix to combine.
- Finish with freshly shaved cheddar cheese.