Thursday, December 09, 2010

poplette di melanzane-eggplant balls

Cara, you probably already know this recipe or a similar one. Hope I'm not making a mockery of italian cooking but I made these last night and they were delish. Also pure veggie!

2 large eggplants
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp chopped basil (optional
3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1 egg
2 garlic cloves crushed
1 onion finely diced
olive oil
1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350.
Cut the eggplants in disks, salt them and let them drain for about 30 minutes. Then roast them with a bit of olive oil until brown and tender. When the eggplant has cooled, put it in a food processor and pulse. Add 1/2 cup of the breadcrumbs and the rest of the ingredients. Shape the eggplant into balls, roll them in the remaining breadcrumbs and put them on a foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle them with olive oil and bake for about 30 minutes, turning them halfway through until they are golden and crispy. Serve with tzatiki sauce (recipe to follow)

Tzatziki sauce

1 cup balkan style or greek plain yogurt
1/2 cucumber, seeds removed
salt and pepper
squeeze of lemon
chopped fresh mint

Grate the cucumber, salt it and let it drain in a colander for 20 minutes. Squeeze out the excess water then add it to the rest of the ingredients. Delish!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Tom Kha-Thai Coconut Milk Soup with Shrimp

When I was in Thailand many many years ago I took a cooking class in Chang Mai. This is one of my favorite recipes that I learned from that class. I used to eat this all the time in Thailand and by the end of my trip I was so used to chiles that I would tell the waitress-"I want it very spicy, as spicy as you would serve to a thai person". One night, that soup was served to me and it was bubbling red with all the chiles they had added to it. I enjoyed it thoroughly sitting on a pillow by the ocean, and the soup was chock full with wonderfully fresh seafood. Unfortunately, my stomach did not share my enthusiasm and it punished me with a vengeance later on that night.

Anyway, you don't need to add that many chiles to this soup, when it's almost done you can adjust for spiciness, sourness, sweetness, and saltiness with the different ingredients. If you follow this recipe with the right ingredients (found in every asian grocery store) it will taste just like you've been transported to Thailand.

2 cans coconut milk
2 cups veggie stock
1 piece of galangal cut into 5 thick slices (substitute ginger if you want)
5 kaffir lime leaves (tear out the stem)
2-3 stalks fresh lemon grass (remove the outer shell and cut off the tough stems, then cut the stalks in half and bruise them-yeah baby!)
raw shrimp (about 20 to 30 shrimp)
Juice of one and a half limes (to taste for sour)
2 tbsp fish sauce (to taste for salty)
2 tbsp brown sugar (to taste)
A bunch of mushrooms chopped (button or oyster)
a bunch of coriander, chopped
a handful of baby tomatoes, halved
1 tsp or more if you like it hot of sambal oelek (a thai chili sauce)

Simmer 1 cup of the coconut milk on medium high heat, wait till it's bubbling, then add the lime leaves, galangal, and lemongrass. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes, this will make the stock. Add the shrimp and cook until the shrimp is pink. Add the veggie stock, the coconut milk, the mushrooms, and the sugar and let simmer for another 10 minutes. Then add the fish sauce, lime juice, and chili sauce tasting as you add and adjust the flavors if necessary. Then, just before serving, add the chopped coriander and tomatoes. Serve with jasmine rice and a mango salad.

My sister always asks me to make this for her.


I posted this recipe four years ago but I wanted to repost it because it is SO good and is such comfort food for me. My dad has been making it for us since we were kids and its so warm and protein rich from the lentils. I love making it on a cold winter night such as this one. You can find the hing in indian grocery stores but it is an acquired taste so you can omit it if you want. Another name for hing is asafoetida or "devil's dung" and it adds a nutty burnt sort of flavor to the dhal which I love.

1 & 1/2 cup red lentils
5 cloves of garlic
1 onion
2 zucchinis
1 can of tomatoes
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
8-10 peppercorns
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp dried red chilies
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
Few shakes of Hing (Asafoetida), found in indian grocery stores

Remove any stones from the lentils and rinse them. Put the lentils in a pot and cover them with water, about 2 inches above it. Add the cumin, salt, peppercorns, 3 cloves of mashed garlic, chopped zucchini, onion, and the tomato. Simmer until lentils are fully cooked and you can't see the individual lentils.
When this happens, heat oil in a pan on high and add the mustard seeds. Fry them and shake them around until they start popping then add two cloves of finely chopped garlic. When garlic is brownish, add two shakes of "hing". Then add this mixture to the pot. It will sizzle in a wonderful sort of way. You can even add some of the soupy mixture to the pan to make sure you got it all. Then simmer for a few more minutes, and eat with rice and lemon pickle.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

chickpea and pumpkin curry

1 large onion
2-3 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons of olive oil
ginger (one knob chopped)
1.5 cups of pumpkin (i baked mine first, and cut into cubes/small pieces)
2 cups of chickpeas (cooked or canned)
1 cup of water
1 can of coconut milk
curry powder
black pepper
fresh cilantro
fresh lime juice-

1. sautee onion and ginger until onion is transparent, then add garlic and curry, cinnamon (not too much) and black pepper (I'm sure a good quality curry paste would be better, but this is what I had in my cupboard). Fry up for about 5 minutes.
2. Add pumpkin, chickpeas and water-turn up the heat to medium high and let it simmer.
3. Add coconut milk-let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
4. Add chopped cilantro and juice of half a lime (or more)
5. Turn heat down to low for 10 minutes or so.

I served this over quinoa and added tempeh to it in the last 10 minutes.

Monday, November 08, 2010

zucchini soup

Olivia calls this "Shrek Soup" because it's green.

5-6 small zucchini or 3 or 4 bigger ones.
1 white onion
Olive oil
fresh rosemary (1 sprig)

Chop up the onion and zucchini. Sautee on medium heat in olive oil and salt, until onions are transparent. Add a sprig of fresh rosemary (I added it whole and fished it out before I puree the soup) Bring it all to a boil and let it cook on medium heat for about 20 minutes. Let it cool a bit and blend with a hand blender.

Garnish with fresh rosemary.

Serves 4-5 people

Sunday, November 07, 2010

potato leek and mushroom soup

This is a really easy soup for the cold days ahead.

3 or 4 medium size potatoes-peeled and cubed.
3-4 leeks chopped (use the white part until it turns green, discard of the dark green)
2 cups of mushrooms chopped (I used white button and shitake but you could use whatever you like/have)
1/2 white onion
3 tablespoons miso (or more depending on your taste)
soya sauce

Sautee the mushrooms and onion in olive oil for about 5 minutes, then add leeks and potatoes and sautee for about 10 minutes. Add miso, soya sauce, salt and pepper.
Stir until miso melts and then add enough water or veggie/chicken stock to cover the ingredients by an inch of liquid.

Bring it to a boil and then turn down to medium heat for 20 minutes.

Give it a chance to cool and then puree either with a hand blender or in a blender.

garnish with fresh rosemary or lemon juice.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Kale, Carrot and Beet Salad

One or Two large carrots
One small Beet
A bunch of kale

olive oil
apple cider vinegar
(put all ingredients into a small bowl and whisk together)

Grate carrots and beet, and put in a bowl
Wash and remove stems from kale leaves, and rip into bite size pieces.
Sprinkle veggies with a dash of salt

Pour dressing over the top and toss.

Super simple and delicious, really colourful.

I served Southern Fried Tofu over the top (I purchased a container of "shake and bake coating" from Mondragon)

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

salmon cakes

These are a kid friendly way of encouring fish consumption.
(you can also use tuna if you like)

1 can of salmon packaged in water (drain water)
2 to 3 eggs
1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
1/4 cup of parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon of grated lemon peel
1 squeeze of lemon juice
chopped herb (parsely, cilantro or dill work)
2 cloves of crushed garlic

combine all ingredients in a bowl.
make small patties with your hands.
dip patties in breadcrumbs (both sides)
fry in sunflower or olive oil until golden brown on each side.
serve with lemon wedges or Aoili

Olivia love these.

Make this soup for someone you love

When I made this soup I thought, oh wow this is so healthy, exotic and delicately flavorful that it's perfect to serve to someone you love.

2 firm white fish filets (i used basa)
3 table spoons of twoeng jang (a korean miso, but japanese miso will do)
bunch of oyster mushrooms
one or two baked yams (peeled and cubed)
big bunch of spinach (washed, of course)
3 cups veggie broth
!/3 block of silken tofu, cubed
1 tsp sambal oelek (or any chili paste)

Heat veggie broth in a soup-pan until simmering, add mushrooms and tofu and cook a few minutes, add your fish until its white and firm, then add your yams. Cook until hot, then add your diced green onions and spinach until its wilted. Serve with brown rice.

Simple right? So delicious.

Fish curry (a recipe my dad emailed to me)

This is so yummy, and so simple as far as Indian food goes. The whole spices are just fried in the oil for one minute, which flavors the oil and consequently the whole dish. When I made it a few weeks ago I added slightly different spices to it. My dad says its just as delicious without any spices, so you can omit them if you'd like but my dad's a damn fine cook so if I were you I would just try it his way. He emailed me this recipe.

Fish Curry – Andhra Style – as learnt from my Mom

900 Grams of Fish (I used a package of Basa fillets. Salmon steaks also work well)
4 to 6 cloves of garlic – crushed
3 or 4 medium onions – Chopped fine
Knob of Ginger – about 2.5 cm long – grated
6 to 12 Curry Leaves
1 dry red chili – seeded
1⁄2 tsp fenugreek Seeds – Ground
A pinch of Hing (Asafetida)
1 Tomato – Chopped
Small Stick of Cinnamon
3 or 4 pods of Cardamom – Bruised
1⁄2 can of Thick Coconut Milk
2 Green Chilies – I used Serrano Chilies – seeded and sliced fine
1⁄4 cup of Chopped Cilantro


Rub fish pieces with salt and turmeric (a little turmeric goes a long way). Prepare the Onion, Garlic and Ginger. Heat the oil in a large fry-pan and fry the fish till it is a light golden brown. Set aside. In the same pan add the dry red chili an fry till slightly blackened. Add the powdered fenugreek seeds, Hing and curry leaves and fry for a little while longer till the aromas are released. Be careful not to burn the Fenugreek. Add the onion, ginger and garlic and fry over a medium heat till the onions are a golden brown. This takes patience but you will be rewarded with sweet caramelized onions. Do not burn the mixture or your sauce will be bitter. Add the tomato and cook till most of the water evaporates. Add the whole spices, coconut milk and cook till the mixture thickens. Add salt to taste. Reduce the heat. Add the fish and stir very gently to coat the fish with the mixture. Cook for a few minutes. Add the green chilies and cilantro and cook for a minute longer and serve with hot rice.

By K.S. Sharma

When I made it, I omitted the curry leaves and fenugreek and added 5 cloves and about 8 peppercorns. I also fried all the spices in the oil at once. It was very delicious.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Cara and Chantal's Shrimp Burgers

we were going to make salmon burgers but that proved to be too expensive so we opted for a bag of shrimp instead. They turned into a beautiful crustacean incarnation.

1 bag (1 pound or so) of shrimp (devined and all the dirty work done is best)
1/4 red onion
4 cloves of garlic
bunch of french cilantro
1/2 inch of fresh ginger (peeled and chopped)
1 teaspoon of grated lime peel
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1/3 cup of flour
1/2 cup of bread crumbs
3 eggs
salt 1 teaspoon
pepper (dash)
sugar (1 teaspoon)
(could add some heat with chilli pepper etc.)

rough chop the shrimp and all other ingredients
mix in eggs, flour and bread crumbs

heat olive oil or other oil in a frying pan. (not to hot)
drop in heaping tablespoon of shrimp mixture.
brown on both sides (about 4 minutes per side)

lay out on paper towel to soak up extra oil.

serve with chopped cilantro, lime wedges, red onion slices and mayo.
on whole wheat buns.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Vegetarian thanksgiving stew

I know it's nowhere near Thanksgiving time, and the last thing on our minds is fall, but I had to share this recipe that I altered slightly from Vegetarian Times because it is soo good! I would make this anytime! I put savory dumplings in mine, but you could also do a puff pastry or biscuit crust for a more festive fall occasion.

2 medium potatoes, diced (2 cups)
2 large carrots, sliced (1 cup)
2 celery stalks, diced
3 leeks, cleaned and diced
3 Tbs. olive oil, divided
1 16-oz. pkg. firm tofu, drained and cut into cubes
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. Soy Sauce, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, divided
2 cups sliced button mushrooms
1 cup chopped broccoli florets
1 squash, baked and cubed
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1/2 cup milk (whisked with 1 tbsp flour)
1/2 cup white wine
1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
1 Tbs. chopped fresh sage
1 tsp. hoisin sauce
dash Worcestershire sauce

To make Filling:

2. Heat 1 Tbs. oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu, and cook 5 minutes, or until tofu begins to brown. Stir in 2 Tbs. tamari, 1/4 tsp. minced garlic, and 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper, the hoisin and cook until all liquid has evaporated. Set aside.

3. Heat 1 Tbs. oil in skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add mushrooms, carrots potatoes, and cook 2 minutes. Add leeks and rest of garlic, and saute 6 to 7 minutes, or until onions begin to soften. Add wine and reduce by 1/2.

4. Push veggies to side of Dutch oven. Add remaining 1 Tbs. oil or butter to bottom of pot. add four and milk mixture, stir until smooth. Stir roux into vegetables.

5. Stir broth into vegetables. Once gravy is smooth, add tofu, broccoli, and squash. Stir gently, then add thyme, sage, Worcestershire sauce, remaining 1/4 tsp.garlic, and remaining 1/8 tsp. cayenne. Let simmer for about 1/2 an hour. (If you want your broccoli to be firm, add it in the last ten minutes).

2 cups white flour
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter
3/4 cup milk, (approximately)

Cut butter into flour and bakking soda with fork until the consistency resembles cornmeal. Add parsely. Add milk, a little at a time until the dough sticks together easily. Drop about 1 tbsp size balls of dough on the surface of the bubbling stew covered for ten minutes.

No picture for this one, sorry.

Monday, April 12, 2010


How I love making pizza! The fun of kneading the dough and letting it rise, the creativity involved in choosing your toppings, the smell of it baking in your kitchen, and the cheese! Oh cheese, how I adore thee.

Pizza dough:

1 cup warm H20
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 package dry active yeast
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cups of flour
1 tsp salt

Stir together the warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let this sit for about five minutes. Get your dry ingredients together. When the yeast mixture gets foamy and your apartment smells like a brewery, add the olive oil and then dump this mixture into your dry ingredients. Knead the dough for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Then pack it into a ball, put it into a glass bowl coated with a bit of olive oil and cover with a damp tea towel. Let it rise for an hour. Punch the dough down and knead it for about 2 more minutes. Let this sit for another ten minutes. Separate the dough into two portions (it will make two thin crust pizzas). You can even freeze one ball and thaw it when you need it again.

I can of diced tomatoes
two cloves garlic.

Fry the garlic lightly in oil for a few minutes. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 10-15 minutes, breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon.


Preheat the oven to 450 or 500. Pull apart your dough slowly to make a thin disk. Add your toppings, then your cheese, and bake for about 15 minutes until the dough is browned and the cheese is bubbly. I like to add spinach or arugula in the last 5 minutes of cooking time.

The pizza in the picture has prosciutto, mushrooms, mozzarella, parmesan, blue cheese (very small amount). Spinach is on top. One of my favorite combos for pizza.

Monday, April 05, 2010

mango salsa/salad

I made this yesterday. Mangos are on sale in little India here in Toronto.
I bought a case, so more mango recipes to follow I think

5 mangoes chopped into cubes
1/2 red onion
fresh cilantro (at least two handfuls)
1/4 sweet red pepper
fresh lime juice (I used about 3 limes)
1 tablespoon olive oil

Chop up all the veggies and herbs. add lime juice, salt and olive oil to taste.

serve with tortilla chips or alone.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Easter weekend quinoa salad

This salad materialized last night at the first barbecue I've been to this year. It is really delicious, if I do say so myself, and really great for making a big tub of it so you can bring the leftovers for lunch. Some people asked me to post the recipe on this blog, and this is my best attempt at remembering what I actually threw in.

1 cup quinoa, cooked and drained in salted water
1/2 cup or so chopped dried cranberries
handful of chopped chives
handful of chopped toasted almonds
one avocado, sliced
2 carrots, coarsely grated
1/2-3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (goat cheese would be good too)

juice of two lemons
olive oil (about 1/4 cup)
couple tablespoons of honey
one tablespoon whole grain mustard
a glug of rice wine vinegar
s & p

Of course, you could add lots of different combinations of veggies. The salty and sweet really do it for me in this combo.

Saturday, April 03, 2010


My sister-in-law sent me this recipe this week, and let's just say I'm very, very glad she did. These are alot like those balls of sweetness you can get at vegan/vegetarian counters, or like Lara bars, if you've had those. She got this recipe from the Kind Diet, Alica Silverstone's vegan cookbook.

1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup carob powder
1/2 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 to 1 cup coconut

Blend walnuts until coarsely ground. Add dates and blend until well mixed. Add maple syrup, carob powder, almond butter, vanilla, salt and process until thick and smooth. Chop almonds and mix into it. Form into golf-ball sized balls and roll balls in coconut. Freeze in container.

I've always wanted to make these kinds of snacks at home with my food processor. Now that I've tried it, i can easily see how you can get really creative, trying different combination of nuts, butters, fruits, seeds, and so on, and pressing them into bars or squares.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Kale, kale, everything kale

if you wanna talk about kale, I'd be more than happy to join you. Lately I just can't get enough of the stuff. Though I did buy some chard today to mix it up a little. Anybody got some favourite recipes to share? I like it raw, steamed, roasted, stir-fried, pretty much never met a leaf of kale I didn't like. KALE!

My favourite way of eating raw kale is in a salad similar to the way Mondragon prepares its dragon bowl. A friend of mine used to work there, and he gave me the recipe for the dressing, which is basically what makes the salad amazing.

1/4 c miso
1/4 c water
1/4 c lemon juice
2 Tbsp tahini
1 Tbsp honey or brown rice vinegar

you can also add 2 Tbsp fresh dill or 1/2 tsp turmeric as optional ingredients, though I've personally never ventured into this territory.

For those of you unfamiliar with the dragon bowl, basically you toss your kale and/or chard in this dressing, add other tasty veggies that you like (I like red cabbage, shaved beets, grated carrots, pretty much whatever I have in my fridge) and put your veggies over hot short grain brown rice. Add a couple slices of tofu, toss in some nuts and seeds, and you're good to go. So delicious.