Last Saturday, my friend Deborah invited me to come with her to a Nia class. It was a special class with live music. I danced free style and felt free. After class we had lunch at my house and I put together this salad with fresh Ontario asparagus, strawberries, quinoa and some seeds on top for crunch. Kind of like dancing, but in a bowl!
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 leek, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bunch asparagus, chopped into 1-inch pieces (cut off the tough ends)
- 1 cup strawberries sliced in half or quarters depending on size
- 3/4 cup fresh or frozen peas
- 1 cup fresh parsley, or fresh mint, or a combination, chopped
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds for garnish (optional)
For the dressing:
- 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, you may need more
- 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup or honey
- 1/4 tsp sea salt & lots of pepper, to taste
1. Rinse quinoa in a strainer and place into a medium pot. Add 1.5 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover with lid, and cook for 15-17 minutes, or until fluffy and all the water is absorbed. Remove from heat, and let sit covered for 5 minutes.
2. In a large skillet sauté the leeks and garlic in the oil for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Season with lots of salt and pepper. Add in the asparagus and sauté for another 5-10 minutes or until the asparagus is just tender, but still a bit crisp. Stir in the peas and heat for a few minutes and then remove from heat. Let cool slightly before adding the dressing.
3. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and adjust to taste. Pour dressing into the cooked quinoa and veggies. Add the sliced strawberries, parsley and mint. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Just before serving sprinkle with pumpkin seeds or any seed or nut you like.
Deborah and I just before the class.
We are almost done our house renovation and have been living at my mother-in-law Florence Hertzman’s apartment. We have a stellar view of the city, beautiful watercolour paintings by Flo on the walls and lots of family photos of grand-kids and our great grand-parents to look at over and over. But what I like best is opening up the cabinets and looking at the fine assortment of china, cutlery, serving pieces and delicate dessert plates. There is also the prettiest collection of tea cups, I find them a bit too small to drink my morning tea but I thought the would make the perfect holders for these raw crackers and guacamole. Thank you Grandma Flo for sharing your home with us. xo
The Mango Pomegranate Guacamole
The Buckwheat, Sunflower & Almond raw crackers.
This raw cracker recipe was inspired from the cookbook Eat Raw, Eat Well by Douglas McNish.
You will need an electric food dehydrator for these crackers.
- 2 cups whole raw almonds, soaked for one hour
- 4 cups buckwheat groats, soaked for one hour
- 2 1/2 cups raw sesame seeds, soaked for 30 minutes
- 1 1/2 cups sunflower seeds, soaked for 3o minutes
- 1 cup whole flax seeds, soak for 30 minutes
- 1/2 cup chia sees, soaked for 30 minutes
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds, soaked for 30 minutes
- 3 cups red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 7 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 cup ground golden flax seed
- To soak the nuts and seeds place in bowl and cover with water. Drain when ready to use.
- In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process red peppers, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and spices until smooth.
- Add soaked almonds and buckwheat and process until smooth.
- Transfer to a large bowl. Add soaked sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds and the ground flax seeds, mix well with a wooden spoon.
- Divide batter in your nonstick dehydrator sheets.
- Dehydrate at 105 degrees for 18 to 20 hours or until completely dry and crispy.
- Cool and store in an airtight container.
- Store at room temperature.
Mango Pomegranate Guacamole
- 4 ripe avocados (2 pounds total)
- 1 cup finely chopped white onion
- 2 fresh Serrano chiles, finely chopped (2 tablespoons), including seeds
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, or to taste
- 3/4 cup pomegranate seeds (from 1 pomegranate)
- 3/4 cup diced peeled mango
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- Halve, pit, and peel avocados.
- Coarsely mash in a bowl.
- Stir in onion, chiles, 1/4 cup lime juice, and 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, then fold in pomegranate seeds, mango, and cilantro.
Season with salt and additional lime juice.
- Garnish with lime wedges.
I know this is really good because right now Gordy is eating this on his gluten-free waffle!
Have a Happy Passover.
1 1/2 cups unsalted natural pistachios
1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
1/2 cup chopped dried cherries or dried cranberries
1.2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup sweet passover wine
1/4 cup pure pomegranate juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated orange peel
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Stir pistachios in heavy medium skillet over medium heat until lightly toasted and fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Combine dates, cherries or cranberries, raisins, apricots, wine, and juice in medium bowl. Let stand 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Mix in honey, lemon juice, orange peel, and spices.
- Chop pistachios; mix into haroset.
- Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chil
When Gordy found out I was making this lentil loaf for dinner he went to the Stockyards for lunch, he said he had to keep his life in balance. Burger for lunch, lentils for dinner!
Yale and I loved the lentil loaf. The burger looks really good too!
- 2 1/2 pounds (about 4 large) russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 6 parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 cup almond, soy, rice, or other non-dairy milk
- Sea salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided into 2 tbsp and 2 tbsp
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 large carrots, diced evenly
- 2 ribs celery, diced evenly
- 6 ounces baby bella, cremini, or button mushrooms, sliced
- 1 1/2 cup brown or green lentils, dry
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- Place potatoes and parsnips in a large pot and submerge in cold water (there should be at least 1 inch of water over the vegetables). Salt water well. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and allow potatoes and parsnips to cook for approximately 25-35 minutes, or until both vegetables are very fork tender. Drain, return the vegetables to the pot, and add 2/3 cup milk, 2 tbsp olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Mash well with a potato masher. If you need more milk, add the remaining 1/3 cup. Set the mashed potatoes and parsnips aside.
- While potatoes are cooking, bring 1 1/2 cup lentils and 3 cups water to a boil. Reduce and simmer until lentils have absorbed all liquid, and are soft (about 30 or 35 minutes). Set lentils aside.
- Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large saute pan over medium. Add onions and garlic and cook until onions are translucent and golden (10 minutes or so). Add the carrots and celery and cook till both vegetables are tender (another 8 minutes). Add the cremini mushrooms and cook for another 3 minutes before adding the lentils, the rosemary, the thyme, and 1/2 cup vegetable broth. Simmer the mixture, stirring well to incorporate flavors. Add more liquid as needed: you don’t want there to be too much broth or liquid in the bottom of the pan, because you’ll get a runny shepherd’s pie, but you do want it to be quite moist. When everything is warm and well mixed, season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Preheat oven to 350. In a large casserole dish, layer the lentil and veggie mixture. Spread the mashed potatoes delicately and evenly over. Bake for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are browning. Sprinkle with extra rosemary, if desired, and serve.
I have been recovering from surgery and many of my friends and family brought me lots of good food to eat, especially soup. Over the past month I have eaten butternut squash soup, celery soup, leek and potato soup, lentil soup, peas soup and many different variations of chicken soups. Just writing about soup makes me feel better! So I thought I would share with you my favourite chicken soup recipe. Thank you to everyone who brought me soup, muffins, treats, healthy food, books, flowers and good wishes! This recipe is for you. xo
I have been buying my chicken from Sanagan’s Meat Locker in Kensington Market.
- 1 whole chicken, 3-4 lbs- I like organic or naturally raised
- 2 large yellow onions, unpeeled and quartered
- 6 carrots, cut into large chunks
- 4 stalks celery with leaves, cut into thirds
- 2 parsnips, cut into large chunks
- 1/4 of a head of cabbage cut in big chunks
- 2 inches of fresh pealed ginger
- big handful of fresh parsley
- big handful of fresh dill
- 6 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
- Place the chickens in a large stockpot. Cover with lots of water and bring to a boil over medium high heat.
Let the chicken boil for 10-15 minutes, skimming the foam and particles that rise to the surface of the water, till most of the foam is gone.
Add the onions, carrots, celery, parsnips, cabbage, parsley, dill, garlic, and seasonings to the pot. Add 1 tbsp kosher salt to the water. Bring back to a boil.
Simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour
When the chicken is tender, turn off the heat. Use a pair of tongs to carefully pull the chicken from the broth. Put it on a plate. Taste the chicken broth and season with additional salt, if desired. Allow the chicken and the broth to cool.
Carefully strain the broth into another pot through a mesh strainer. Reserve the carrots to add back to the soup; discard the spices, herbs, garlic, cabbage and onions.
When the soup is completely cool, skim the fat from the top of the broth, it will come off in a gel-like layer.
Add the chicken in small pieces back into the soup broth with the carrots.