So, I bought an ice cream maker.
We have many great independent ice cream shops around the city, and we’ve been known to buy a pint or two from time to time. But at over $10 per pint it’s an expensive habit. So, when I found an ice cream maker on sale, I knew I had to buy it—to save money of course! (Anyone who knows me, or has ever been shopping with me before, knows that I can rationalize just about anything.)
My adventures in homemade ice cream making have been fantastic so far, and I’ve been experimenting with a few recipes for Greek yogurt ice creams and fruit-based sorbets. You may be asking yourself, “what’s ice cream got to do with salad?”” Well, I had some very ripe mangos left over after making a batch of coconut mango sorbet and a fridge full of fresh herbs after a recent trip to the farmer’s market!
I’m dreaming of warm California weather today. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we’re on day number ‘I’ve lost count’ of clouds & rain while my friends to the East are getting the snow storm of a lifetime. Back in November, my husband and I spent an amazing week touring around southern California, which of course included a day at Disneyland. Walking around the park there were a lot of great food choices but I took note of all the people eating hot chili in what we would consider summer weather. Everyone else was bundled in warm jackets and pants while we were sweating in t-shirts and shorts! We may also have been sweating from the 30,000 steps we took while running around the park trying to avoid the line-ups, but either way our definition of cold is clearly very different.
I’m sitting here wearing my new fleece onesie (thanks hubby for the early xmas present), binge watching Netflix, with a box of kleenex at my side. Yup, I’m home sick today. Luckily, I made this soup this past weekend while I still had energy. Everything cooks together in one pot and blends the flavours of chicken stew with the earthiness of mushrooms and wild rice. You can easily make this soup vegetarian by omitting the chicken, which I accidentally did once and only realized when I sat down to dinner and there was no chicken! It was still delicious. I’ve also made this soup using cooked chicken or turkey, so a great recipe to keep on hand for using up leftovers post thanksgiving or christmas dinner.
A few years ago, on our way back from Mexico, we decided to bring back a rather large bottle of tequila. I don’t know why we did this, maybe it was too much sun (or maybe too many drinks at the beach?), but at the time we thought it was a good idea. Fast forward 4 years and we still have a huge bottle of tequila sitting on our shelf. In my attempt to slowly make our way through the bottle, without actually drinking it, I came up with this marinade for chicken. It’s now my go-to whenever I need super flavourful chicken for a Mexican inspired meal. It’s delicious on tacos, quesadillas, or as a topping for a nice salad. I recommend getting the marinade started first, because you want to let the chicken soak up all the flavours for at least 30 minutes before you cook it. While you are waiting, you can prep the rest of the ingredients for the warm corn salsa.
Having just returned from our honeymoon I wasn’t quite ready to let go of the bright tropical flavours we enjoyed while we were away. Luckily, I found a sale on perfectly ripe mangos the other day, and I knew I wanted to use them in a veggie-packed quinoa salad.
It’s reached that time of year again. It’s officially too hot to use any appliance in our small, one-bedroom apartment. Dinner-sized salads have edged out comforting soups and stews on my dinner rotation. I came home from work needing something quick to eat. Since I didn’t have any leftover protein in the fridge, I went to my trusty cupboard and grabbed a can of chickpeas. These little beans pack a punch of protein, vitamins and minerals, as well as heart healthy fibre. You’ve heard me talk about fibre before and for good reason. Most of us simply don’t get enough! By adding more fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and these versatile legumes into your diet, you can easily boost the amount of fibre you eat.
This salad has all the key ingredients of a delicious and satisfying meal-sized salad; crunchy vegetables, tangy dressing, protein-packed chickpeas and a burst of flavour from the lemon and fresh herbs. I can already picture this salad going perfectly alongside grilled meat or fish, or even wrapped in a tortilla for a quick lunch.
Having many green thumbs in your family means occasionally having to come up with creative ways to use fresh produce. This was the case this past summer with a seemingly endless supply of eggplants from my parent’s garden. I used this opportunity to make baba ghanoush, a roasted eggplant dip, which just so happens to be one of my favourite dips. As I was browsing through recipes I realized how the ingredients in baba ghanoush were almost identical to those in hummus, so combining the two just made perfect sense!
With the weather getting colder, soups and stews are starting to make their way back onto my weekly dinner rotation. There are so many different combinations of flavours and ingredients that you could make a different soup each night of the week and never get bored. Whether you call it a soup or a stew, this rich tomato broth with tender chucks of fish and vegetables comes together quickly and makes a perfect weeknight meal.
I love walking around a farmer’s market and seeing what’s fresh and in season. I always end up buying more produce than I can realistically use, but having too many vegetables is a challenge I am willing to accept! This simple salad was inspired by one of these occasions.