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.
Quick and delicious chocolate mousse made with 3 ingredients you probably already have on hand.
Eggs! Eggs! Eggs!
It may seem that all I post about are eggs. Here’s why:
1. They are a clean form of protein.
When purchased from a respectable farm they aren’t filled with growth hormones or gmo sprayed feed. Also, you want the chickies to have a social life. Also also, this recipe has 24grams of protein, not bad at all.
2. Quick easy meals .
You can add anything to a frittata. Go on and empty the fridge, it’s a blank canvas.
3. Nutrient Density.
Eggs are one of the most complete, nutrient dense foods available. Full spectrum of amino acids, gots your choline for premium brain food. Amongst many other nutrient they have a good amount of vitamin d (tough to get in food form). In this lady’s opinion, Eggs are a superfood in the truest sense of the word.
4. Long lasting energy .
Because it is full of protein it will keep you full and satiated longer. This helps to stave off cravings as opposed to eating refined carbs which has you searching for your next snack 20 minutes after eating.
This recipe takes 10 minutes and makes a great breakfast or packed lunch. look at it as a vehicle to shove has Many greens in it as you can. That’s the secret !
- 1/4 red onion, slices thinly
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
- 2 inches of hot salami (optional)
- 1 tsp butter or ghee
- Handful of parsley, roughly chopped
- handful of arugula
- 2 handfuls of baby spinach
- black pepper
- Good salt
- turmeric, sprinkle
- On medium low heat, melt half the butter in a non stick sauce pan, swirl to coat the pan.
- Saute the onion and salami for 2-3 minutes until onions turn clear, stirring often.
- Add sliced garlic and stir frequently for 1 minute, do not brown.
- Add parsley spinach and arugula, sauté for 1 minute until slightly wilted.
- Add whisked eggs. Using a spatula be sure to cover all sides with egg.
- place lid ontop and cook covered for about 4 minutes.
- Using a spatula, release the egg from the pan. Carefully slide onto a plate.
- Add remaining butter to pan, swirl to coat the pan. Holding the plate from the bottom, flip the egg back into the saucepan, now cooking The top side. (if this freaks you out, just pop into the oven on broil for 1 minute to cook the top)
- sprinkle the salt, pepper and turmeric. Enjoy.
Omelette's are the perfect way to start the day. First thing they are made of eggs, which in my opinion is a perfect whole food with a wide spectrum of nutrients, including choline (brain health, metabolism, energy...). Also, you can stuff it full of yummy vegetables and you don't really need to eat it with refined flours or bread which may throw off your blood sugar balance in the morning.
When I say omelette, I'm not talking about that super greasy, brown bottomed, rubbery Western Omelette from your local truck stop diner. I rarely eat omelettes when I go out because I'm almost always disappointed and have found a way to perfect it at home, and so can you.
So how do you make the perfect omelette you ask? Like anything, it starts with the best ingredients. Since the recipe is so simple, the eggs especially should be top drawer because the flavour really shines through rather than being smothered in salt, strong spices or overpowering cheeses. The fresher the better. If you don't have access to farm fresh eggs, choose organic which will ensure they are antibiotic free, cage-free and not fed animal by-products.
Rules For the Perfect Omelette
- Slow and Low Baby: Be kind to your eggs. Heat them gently on medium-low heat and take your time with it. This will result in fluffier eggs that are not rubbery.
- Use Butter, But Not Too Much: 1 tsp of butter is enough for two whisked eggs. Any more will weigh down the texture and become greasy. If the butter sizzles, the heat is too high.
- Whisk with Love: Gently but thoroughly. Avoid brisk whisking which can add too much air to the omelette. You want to take your time making sure it's fully incorporated and uniform in colour.
- One at a Time: No more than three eggs per omelette and one at a time. Sorry if you have big families that want to eat all at the same time, but it's simply not going to happen. Each one needs the right size pan to receive all of your attention as timing is everything.
- Tilt the Pan: A few minutes after you add the egg to the pan and the bottom begins to solidify, with a spatula start lifting the sides and tilting the pan so the runny egg sneaks underneath. This will ensure you don't burn the bottom and the top cooks as quick as the bottom.
- Keep the Pan Moving: Jiggle the pan so the bottom doesn't burn .
- 2 eggs (organic)
- Maldon salt (or pink salt)
- 2 tsp butter (the best you can find)
- 4 slices of aged English cheddar
- 1 small chilli pepper
- leek, sliced thinly (about 2 cm)
- baby spinach, handful
- herb de provence , pinch
- Heat a non-stick skillet to medium heat.
- Slice the leeks, chilli pepper and cheese.
- Place butter in the pan and swirl until it covers the surface but doesn't bubble. Add the leek and chilli to the pan and gently saute for about 3 minutes until slightly coloured, stirring often.
- Gently whisk the eggs in a bowl with a fork for 3 minutes until well combined. Add a pinch of salt and herb de provence.
- Remove the vegetables from the pan and set aside. Lower heat to medium-low and remove pan from the heat. Add 1 tsp butter and swirl until coats the pan evenly with out sizzling.
- Poor the whisked egg into the pan and return to the heat. As the egg begins to coagulate, start to jiggle the pan to prevent it from sticking.
- Using a rubber spatula, run it along the edges. Lift the edge and tilt the pan to allow any runny egg to sneak underneath. Continue this process until the top is no longer runny. At this point you can place a large lid on top for a minute or two to cook the top a bit more.
- Add the sauted vegetables to one half of the omelette in the shape of a half moon, spread out.
- Add the cheese in the same way, avoiding getting too close to the edge.
- At this point you want to fold it in half. Using the spatula run it along the sides and jiggle the pan to make sure it's not sticking in any place. Slip the spatula underneath the omelette as far to the other side as you can get. With confidence fold the omelette in half, aiming for one edge to meet the other like a little pocket of cheesy amazing.
- Continue to cook on medium-low for another minute or two. You can lift the flap to check if the cheese has melted. As soon as it's melted, transfer to a hot plate and serve.
Yield: 1 omelette
Time: 15 minutes
Lentils are a brilliant way to add fibre to your diet. Of all the legumes out there, they appear to be the most tolerable where gas and bloating is concerned. Since it is such a nutrient dense little legume boasting a high source of calcium, phosphorus, iron and B vitamins, we often see it in many cuisines world over. It can be paired with rice to create a complete protein in vegetarian diets, or as my mom used to serve it, paired with pasta in a 'Cucina Povera' peasant dish from Sicily called "pasta con lenticche'. Due to its rich iron content, it was often served a couple times a month to correct iron deficiency in times of menstruation.
To make lentils more tolerable on the digestive system, plan ahead and soak these guys on the counter top for 1-2 days. IF you have the foresight, it will pay off and your tummy will thank you.
This recipe is warming, earthy, hearty, rich and delicious. A perfect grounding dish for the cold winter months. The good thing is it's quick and easy. No need to fry , just pop everything in the crockpot and let it do its thing.
- 4 cups of soaked lentils
- 2 cans of San Marzano tomatoes
- 2 carrots, diced
- 3 ribs celery, diced
- 2 medium yukon gold potatoes, diced
- 2 onions, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 cups of beef broth / chicken, preferably homemade
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp dry chilli flakes (optional)
- pink salt and pepper to taste
- * optional* add 1 piece of beef shank with the marrow. This will add more nutrients and depth
- Add everything to a crock pot and set to high.
- Cook for 5 hours, or until the lentils are soft. If using bone marrow, make sure it has softened and can be pushed out with a knife.
- Serve with fresh basil, enjoy!
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
Here is the breakfast version to my stuffed patty pan squash. Remove the top half and scrape out the inside of your squash. Bake at 400f. Meanwhile, boil and sauté diced potatoes. Cook with Swiss chard, and onions. Then the layering begins:
- Layer of cooked tomato sauce
- Add your veggie mixture
- Gently crack an egg ontop
- Sprinkle with fresh parsley or coriander
- Top with cubed cheese
Bake for 5min until yolk is set. Then enjoy !
As soon as I saw these Candy-Striped Beets at the farmer's market, I had to have them. Preparing them in a raw salad maintains their flavour and crunch! Matchstick raw veg is one of my favourite things to prepare. This salad is so refreshing and the perfect side dish to grilled meats and fish, or as a light lunch with a side of soft boiled eggs and quinoa. Simple fresh herbs, lemon and apple cider vinegar dressing means that you can whip this up any time with what you have in the fridge. Ingredients:
- 6 small candy-striped beets
- two small yellow zucchini
- 1/2 green zucchini
- 1 shallot
- handful of fresh parsley
- 5 basil leave
- juice from 1/2 a lemon
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- a couple lugs of good olive oil
- salt and fresh pepper to taste
- Using a peeler, peel the skin off the beets. Using a mandolin or very sharp knife, shave the beets into very thin little rounds. Then slice diagonally to make matchsticks.
- Slice the zucchini lengthwise very thin. Then slice diagonally to make longs strips, and cut into half or thirds depending on length. Try to keep the same length as the beet matchsticks. If the green zucchini are too large, cut around the soft seedy middle part and discard this bit.
- Finely chop parsley and basil and add to bowl with matchsticks
- Finely slice shallots and add to a small bowl. Cover in vinegar and lemon juice, and let macerate for several minutes.
- Add olive oil, salt and pepper, and whip to emulsify the dressing. Pour over veggies, mix well and serve.
Classic Panzanella Salad
This salad is only to made in the summer, when the tomatoes are real, preferably from the farmers market. Not genetically modified, uniform, seedless, small hard tasteless tennis balls.
This salad originating in Tuscany is a classic example of "Cucina Povera" aka cuisine of the poor. It takes a few simple yet delicious ingredients and revives old stale bread, highlighting the integrity of each ingredient. Juicy plump tomatoes give stale bread a second life and saves it from the bin. If you have fresh bread, you can lightly toast it with olive oil and salt.
- 5 small/medium mixed heirloom tomatoes
- 1/2 small onion/ shallot
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- Two slices stale bread
- 8 leaves basil
- Drizzle of olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Roughly slice tomatoes into different sizes.
- Tear the stale bread, or add your homemade 'croutons'
- Add your chiffonade basil
- finely slice onions, let macerate in a bowl of vinegar for a few minutes, then add the salt and olive oil
- Using your hands, add everything in a bowl, and mix up, lightly squeezing the tomatoes to release their juices and coat the bread.
- sprinkle with salt. 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.