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Raw Beet and Kale Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

I am having so much fun with my new spiralizer! I’ve been making curlicues of carrots, parsnips, apples, beets, sweet potatoes, radishes and my favorite, zucchini noodles! This salad has it all –  crunch, colour and WOW.

All tossed.

For the Lemon Vinaigrette:

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup good olive oil

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, garlic, lemon, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
  2. While whisking, slowly add the olive oil until the vinaigrette is emulsified.
  3. Taste and adjust seasonings.

 

For the Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of kale or your favourite salad greens
  • any combination of spirilized veggies
  • handfull of nuts and seeds (optional)

Directions:

  1. Place the salad greens in a medium bowl and add all the sprialized veggies.
  2. Add enough dressing to moisten.
  3. Toss the salad well, (I use my hands to toss this salad)
  4. Sprinkle with nuts and seeds
  5. Sprinkle with a little extra salt and pepper, if desired, and serve immediately.

When tossing the salad massage the kale well with your hands.

grilled whole fish with rosemary, olive oil and lemon

BBQ doesn’t always have to be steak, chicken or ribs–(I will try and explain that to Gordy), because tonight I will be grilling a whole fish.  I am just plain tired of salmon, so I am off to my neighbourhood fish store City Fish to try something different. They always help me choose the freshest fish and will clean your purchases for you. So, if you’re hesitant to cook a whole fish, don’t worry!  They’ll deal with the insides, scales, etc. that way you don’t have to.  Now all I have to do is tell Gordy that he will be BBQing fish tonight and that the promise of a steak is in his future  - because tomorrow night I am testing veggie burgers and the next night tofu. Shhh…

Grilling a whole fish (head and all) delivers a richer, deeper flavor than grilling boneless fillets.  For prepping and how to prepare have a look at this post from Bon Appetite.

Ingredients:

Makes 4 servings
  • 4 whole fish – I used Spigola that I bought from City Fish, you can ask them to gut, remove fins and scales.
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 8 large sprigs rinsed and dried fresh rosemary
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 whole lemons, each cut into thin slices
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 red chili chopped fine

Directions:

  1. Prepare BBQ (we use a Webber Charcole BBQ).  Make sure to oil your BBQ grate.
  2. Chop rosemary, garlic and red chill and zest lemons.
  3. For the marinade, combine the chopped rosemary, 1/2 cup oil, garlic, chili and lemon zest.
  4.  Rinse the fish inside and out and pat dry with paper towels.  Score fish, (see post from Bon Appetite).
  5. Sprinkle some salt and black pepper inside the cavity and over the surface of the fish
  6. Stuff the cavity of each fish with the lemon wedges and the marinade.
  7. Pour the rest of the oil all over the fish and use your hands to make sure the fish is well oiled.
  8. Place fish on the BBQ and grill  until skin no longer sticks, 3-4 minutes. Using a metal spatula, carefully turn fish and grill until cooked through, about 3-4 more minutes.
  9. When cooked place on a platter and garnish with rosemary and lemons.

 

 

Savoury asparagus tart with Gruyere and goat cheese

It’s almost the end of asparagus season here in Toronto and I need to share this recipe with you before it’s too late!  This has become my go to appetizer – so if you happen to come to my house for dinner this savoury tart may just be on the menu otherwise you will have to make it for yourself!

I also love and make a tomato version of this tart.  You can find the recipe in the summer 2013 issue of Edible Toronto, the beautiful food magazine that is all about food and everything that celebrates food.

While other veggies are still growing in the soil and soaking up the sun, asparagus is one of the first vegetables harvested in spring.

Serves:  6 as an appetizer

Ingredients:

  • 1 sheet (from 450 g pkg) frozen butter puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 lb fresh asparagus
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme

Directions:

  1. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. On lightly floured surface, roll out pastry to 10-inch square; transfer to prepared pan. Using fork, prick pastry all over; refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Bake pastry in centre of 400°F (200°C) oven until light golden and puffed, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool slightly.
  4. Brush pastry all over with some of the egg; sprinkle with cheeses, leaving 1-inch border. Arranges the asparagus on top of the cheese. Drizzle with some olive oil. Scatter the fresh basil and thyme over the asparagus.
  5. Return to oven and bake until golden and puffed, 12 to 15 minutes.
  6.  Let cool for 5 minutes; cut into long rectangles or squares. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  7.  (Make-ahead: Let cool completely; cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Reheat in 350°F oven for 5 minutes.)

 

 

 

 

 

Mini black bean burgers

I have made vegetarian burgers before but never thought to make them mini and since Gordy loves anything burger I thought I could pass these mini burger off without questions.  Boy was I wrong.  Before he even tasted one the competition was on. Gordy made his with wagu beef, American cheese, ketchup and pickles. Mine are made with black beans, oatmeal, organic ketchup and a dollop of dijon. Surprise, surprise, Gordy told me he really liked the black bean burgers, but ate all the the wagu burgers! I tried.

Mini anything is fun! You just need to know when to stop eating them!

My mini black bean burgers.

 This is Gordy’s mini made with wagu beef.

Ingredients:

This recipe make about 12 mini burgers.

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 10 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 -1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon organic ketchup
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 8 mini hamburger buns (optional)
  • 8 lettuce leaves (optional)

Directions:

  • In a large saute pan and a bit of oil and saute onions in oil for 2 minutes. Add garlic; cook for 1 minute. Stir in the carrot, chili powder and cumin; cook 2 minutes longer or until carrot is tender. Remove from the heat; set aside.
  • In a food processor add the  black beans, oats, mustard, soy sauce, ketchup, pepper and carrot mixture; process until all ingredients are well blended.
  • Shape into mini patties.
  • Add a bit of oil to your saute pan and add patties and cook of each side until lightly browned.
  • Then place on cookies sheet and heat in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until they are slightly crispy on the outside and soft in the inside.
  •  Serve on buns with lettuce and dijon mustard or whatever topping you enjoy.

Asparagus, strawberry and quinoa salad for the month of May

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!

Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

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.