Archive for May, 2010

Portobello mushroom burgers

I know, they look just like “real” burgers. They’re better, actually: they contain all the joy of a tasty burger and no animals have to die! The recipe below makes enough for two people if you are serving salad or side dishes along with the burgers. (more…)

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May 29, 2010 at 5:55 pm Leave a comment

Kale and lentil potato bake

We all need to eat more leafy greens like kale and more lentils. Here is a recipe to help you do that! If you don’t like asiago cheese, try substituting mozzarella. I can’t believe that some people don’t like asiago, but apparently it’s true.

You’ll notice that there is a three-stage baking process with this dish. This is to help minimize the time it takes to bake the potatoes. Also, I like to add the kale right at the end so it doesn’t cook for too long – I think it tastes better this way and I’m sure it helps to retain more vitamins.

1-1/2 pound of potatoes, thinly sliced (about 4 baking potatoes or 8-10 mini potatoes)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 red onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 cup French lentils
2 cups of water
1 cup red wine
1 cup of shredded cabbage or raddicchio
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, minced
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
2 cups shredded kale
1 cup asiago cheese, grated

Layer potatoes in a greased casserole dish. Heat oven to 425F and put potatoes in oven while preparing rest of ingredients (this will help you get a head start on the baking time required to soften the potatoes).

Saute the onions and garlic in oil until softened, about five minutes. Rinse the lentils and add them to the pan with the garlic and onions. Add in mushrooms, half of the thyme, salt and pepper. Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly, and then stir in the wine. Cook until the wine boils down and then add the water. Simmer for five to ten minutes until the lentils are just barely tender. Stir in the cabbage and remove from heat.

Take the half cooked potatoes out of the oven and pour the lentil mixture over top. Stir it around a bit to distribute the mixture with the potatoes and then put the dish back in the oven to bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, bring the dish back out again and stir in the kale and sprinkle with the cheese and remaining thyme. Return to the oven for another five to ten minutes until cheese is lightly browned. Serve with salad and a glass of red wine and bask in your healthy glow.

May 26, 2010 at 12:58 pm 3 comments

Zucchini and tomato strata

Egg stratas are a favourite food of mine. They’re healthy and nourishing and one of those foods that can be made with an endless variations of ingredients and flavours. This weekend it’s ripe tomatoes and small organic zucchini along with fresh herbs from my patio garden. The dill tastes beautiful in this dish with the tomatoes and zucchini. If you make stratas, I’d love to hear about new ideas for flavour combinations.

The recipe below serves two to four people and can easily double or triple if you’ve got a larger group.

Zucchini and tomato strata
4 slices of bread
3 eggs
1 cup of milk
1/4 cup onion, finely minced
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped (or 1 teaspooon dried dill)
1/8 teaspoon paprika
Fresh ground pepper
1 tomato, diced
1 small zucchini, chopped
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup fresh chives, finely minced

Break bread up into small pieces and spread in a greased 9″ round baking pan. Whisk together eggs and milk and add onion, mustard and spices. Pour over bread. Scatter tomatoes and zucchini over top of bread and egg mixture and press down lightly. Top with cheese and bake at 375F for 25 to 30 minutes until egg is set. Sprinkle fresh chives over top.

Serve with muffins and fresh fruit for breakfast or with salad for lunch or dinner.

May 22, 2010 at 1:55 pm Leave a comment

Macaroni and cheese

Great mac and cheese is the holy grail of comfort food. I’ve been making the dish for a couple of years now and it has always been tasty, but never quite right. Until now. I think I’ve finally learned to cook my personal vision of perfect macaroni and cheese: creamy, cheesy, simple and delicate in texture and taste with a bit of heat from paprika.

I made this recently and there are two things I did differently than normal. First, I used tiny little bow-shaped pasta. Second, I added the pasta directly to the creamy sauce and cooked it in that until al dente. I haven’t tried it with a larger pasta like penne yet, but with these tiny little noodles (see photo below of their size next to a fork) it worked beautifully. Also easier and less clean-up.

The recipe below makes enough for a generous serving for two people. Double or triple for a larger crowd. It’s equally good served creamy right from the stovetop or baked with a simple breadcrumb topping. Serve with a green salad on the side.

Macaroni and cheese
1 small onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (thyme, oregano, parsley, chives etc)
1-1/2 cups water
2 cups milk
250g mini-pasta shapes
2 cups of grated cheese (I used cheddar and asiago)
1 chopped tomato
Fresh ground pepper
Pinch of paprika
1/2 cup breadcrumbs

Saute onions and garlic in butter until softened. Stir in flour and herbs. Add in water and stir until smooth. Stir in dried pasta and add remaining milk. Stir continuously over medium heat until the pasta softens, about 10 minutes. Add a splash of water or milk if you find the sauce is boiling down too much. When the pasta is very close to being done, stir in the cheese until it melts and then add chopped tomato. From here you can dish it into bowls with a sprinkle of paprika and fresh ground pepper. Or if you like your mac and cheese baked, pour the pasta into a greased casserole dish, sprinkle with breadcrumbs, paprika and pepper and bake for 10 minutes at 425F. (more…)

May 17, 2010 at 12:10 pm Leave a comment

Rhubarb ginger muffins

What a joy it is to have time to cook again! I’ve been inspired seeing spring season rhubarb in other people’s gardens lately. I don’t think it’s ever something I’ll grow in a container, but managed to find some fresh, organic, BC-grown stalks at the Whole Foods Market we’ve adopted as a our new grocery store. I chopped it up, added some sugar and then set about adapting my coffee cake recipe to create these muffins. They were delicious with a cup of coffee on the patio this morning. (more…)

May 16, 2010 at 4:11 pm 1 comment

A new garden begins

It’s been a very busy month of moving cities. People keep asking, “are you starting to settle in?” and finally I feel that the answer is yes. The ability to plant a little container garden on our new patio has done wonders in that regard. (more…)

May 11, 2010 at 1:07 pm 2 comments


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