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!
They say moderation is the key to healthy eating. Well, I seem to lack moderation when it comes to fresh fruits and vegetables in the summer months. To say that I bought too much fruit on our road trip this past weekend would be an understatement. But how could I pass up 20 pounds of BC peaches for $12, or fresh sunrise apples, tree ripened prune plums, or field tomatoes? Plus, with all the local garden produce available right now I’ve been up to my ears (literally) with fresh fruit and produce lately. But that’s a problem I don’t mind having, but I may have to invest in a second fridge…
New Potatoes are such a treat in the summertime. They are small, freshly harvested potatoes, that have a natural sweetness, and hold their shape after cooking – making them a perfect potato to use in salads. For this easy side dish, I’ve lightened up a summer favourite, -the classic potato salad. A tangy lemon-dijon vinaigrette loaded with tons of fresh herbs make for a refreshing twist on the traditional mayo-based dressing. Plus, I’ve added some crunch with tons of green and yellow beans, fresh from my father-in-law’s garden!
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.
Happy New Year everyone! We had a busy Christmas this year with lots of family and friend get togethers, which meant I spent a lot of time in the kitchen, but don’t get me wrong I enjoyed ever minute of it. This salad was my contribution to an after Christmas potluck dinner. It was the perfect side dish to offset all the rich food we’d been eating over the holidays. Even my sister-in-law, who doesn’t like fruit in her salad, ate all of the leftovers!
To help kick off the holiday season I thought I’d share this festively coloured beet “risotto”. This isn’t a traditional risotto, since it’s made with barley instead of arborio rice, but the result is a deliciously creamy dish with roasted beets and tangy goat cheese. The barley adds a wonderful nuttiness and it’s almost impossible to overcook, so no need to worry about a mushy risotto!
You may be asking yourself, “What is white borscht?” Well that’s exactly what I asked myself when I walked into a small café and saw the soup of the day. Borscht is something I’ve made many times in the past, but it always has a distinct purple colour thanks to the beets. So what made it a white borscht? The waitress could obviously sense my confusion and she offered to give me a sample. After one sip I knew it was exactly what I was going to order for lunch. As it turns out, white borscht is a lot like beet borscht, just minus the beets!
My aversion to meat as a young child forced my mom to come up with creative ways to transform vegetables, and occasionally chicken or fish, into delicious meals for the whole family. We often ate vegetarian meals and to this day, even though I’m not quite as picky with meat, I still like to make a lot of meatless meals. I always keep dried legumes and canned beans in my pantry so I can whip together nutritious meals even when my fridge isn’t well stocked. Beans and lentils are inexpensive, a good source of protein, and packed full of fibre – which helps to keep you full and satisfied!
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!