Roasted Sunchoke Risotto

I absolutely love sunchokes (aka Jerusalem artichokes). If I had to pick a favourite vegetable, they would definitely top the list. They have a rich and creamy texture and a unique flavour that is earthy and delicious. They have a variety of different health benefits also, including being rich in vitamins & minerals and prebiotics for healthy digestion. I was chatting about my love of this vegetable with someone recently, and it got me thinking about how best I might use this lovely root veg in order to maximize its flavour in a dish. I arrived at risotto, roasting the sunchokes ahead of pureeing them in order to pull out lots of flavours and maximize on their creamy texture after roasting. I used to peel the sunchokes prior to cooking them, but in this case, I simply gave them a really good scrub and left the skins on. Roasted Sunchoke…

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Collards with Tempeh Bacon & Navy Beans

We received a bunch of collards in a surplus organic food box from Abundant Acres a couple of weeks ago. I usually finely slice collards and add them to a variety of different dishes, but I was looking for an option that would bring the collards front and centre. This recipe resulted from a chat I had with a chef whose work I admire on Instagram. I admire their work, creativity and general approach to cooking and life, and it was pretty awesome to be able to connect and chat about food. They had suggested a combo of bacon, ham navy beans, and collards, and I adjusted that suggestion to make the dish veg-friendly.  I have included liquid smoke, smoked paprika and smoked sea salt to bring some extra flavour to the dish. Collards have a host of different health benefits, including high levels of antioxidants, assistance with lowering blood…

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Spanish Garlic Soup

I first tried Sopa de Ajo (Garlic Soup) at a Spanish restaurant in Calgary, many years ago. As a self-professed garlic addict, I couldn't help but love that this soup is chock-full of it. Garlic is beneficial in so many ways, it is antioxidant-rich, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and contains sulphuric allium compounds (as do onions) which have been touted for their benefits when it comes to cancer prevention. I have mentioned this before on my blog, but I chop my onions and garlic 10 minutes before I use them, as that helps maintain the allium compounds I mentioned above even when cooking this delicious vegetable. This works with crushing garlic also, you are basically trying to break down the vegetable to help release the allium compounds that are so beneficial for health and wellness. Spanish Garlic Soup (Sopa de Ajo) Ingredients 2 Tbsp avocado oil 1 large onion, diced 8 cloves…

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Quick and Easy Mediterranean Pasta

This pasta came together when we had a friend over for dinner this weekend and I wanted to make something special, that also wasn't too labour intensive. I had stored a batch of Slow-Roasted Tomatoes in the freezer and paired them with canned artichokes, roasted red peppers (from a jar) and organic baby kale. The dish comes together very quickly and is both satisfying and delicious. If you don't have a batch of slow-roasted tomatoes prepared you are welcome to swap them for sundried tomatoes. I love the feta cheese from Fresh Start Fauxmage, out of Charlottetown, PEI and available locally here in Halifax, but you are welcome to swap this for another cheese of your choice or leave it out entirely. Quick and Easy Mediterranean Pasta Ingredients 1/3 cup olive oil 2 cloves garlic, crushed large pinch sea salt 1 cup roasted red pepper, diced 1 can artichoke hearts,…

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Herbes de Provence Warm Olives

When we lived in Victoria one of our favourite places to eat was Be Love Restaurant. One of our favourite items on the menu was their warm olives, whose flavour changes with each seasonal menu. I have been missing the island of late and was inspired to make these olives, as a way to bring that west coast experience to the east coast. I have included a link for a simple Herbes de Provence recipe if you are unable to source it at your local grocery store. There are varieties with and without lavender, however, I find a bit of lavender really makes the blend. The leftover oil and seasoning can be mixed with some balsamic vinegar and used again as a bread dip. Enjoy! Herbes de Provence Warm Olives Ingredients 1/4 cup Olive oil 2 cloves garlic, crushed Zest from 1 Lemon 1/2 tsp Tarragon 1/2 tsp Herbes de…

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Cinnamon Apple Ginger Granola

I adore granola for breakfast, especially paired with homemade nut or seed milk. If you make a big batch over the weekend it leads to a quick and easy breakfast option throughout the week. I would recommend doubling (or even tripling the recipe) if you want to have leftovers, especially if you are feeding multiple people. If nuts are not an option for you, feel free to swap the walnuts for pumpkin or sunflower seeds. Enjoy! Cinnamon Apple Ginger Granola Ingredients 2½ cups rolled oats 3/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped ¼ cup maple syrup ¼ cup coconut sugar 3 tbsp avocado oil 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger ½ tsp cinnamon ¼ tsp sea salt ¼ cup dried cranberries ¼ cup dried apples Directions Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, stir together the rolled oats and walnuts. In a second bowl, whisk together maple…

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Cinnamon Sugar Walnut Milk

I love making my own nut and seed milk, I have found it cuts down on the amount of waste we are producing in a very big way, and by doing so I can avoid some of the added ingredients I am not fond of in pre-packaged milk (carrageenan, I am looking at you!) I have tried a variety of different nuts and seeds, including a recent foray into homemade oat milk. I have been curious about walnuts, it's not a variety of nuts I would think of immediately for milk, but the neutral flavour lends itself nicely to a latte. I have added some cinnamon and sugar to this recipe, it adds a hint of sweetness and flavour but you are welcome to add a bit more of each if you want to bump the flavour and sweetness up a bit. This recipe is delicious paired with my Cinnamon…

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Split Pea Stew

I created this recipe after we visited a Persian restaurant in Fredericton several years ago. My son fell in love with one of the dishes we had there called Gheymeh, which combined a delicious blend of split peas, eggplant, tomatoes, and potatoes. When we had it at the restaurant it was served with roasted eggplant on top, along with thinly sliced crispy potato fries. I decided to try my hand at doing something similar, in a one-pot format. I love that this recipe can be prepared in a slow cooker. When we have a busy afternoon I set the slow cooker (well in my case, Instant Pot) earlier in the day and dinner will be waiting for us when we get home. This dish (and a lot of Persian dishes) traditionally use dried limes, but I was unable to find any locally so I have substituted lime zest and juice…

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Spinach and Artichoke Dip

I absolutely love artichokes, fresh steamed with aromatic herbs and dipped in a sauce is my favourite, followed by artichoke hearts from a jar or can. The taste and texture are unique and add a special element to any dish. Spinach and Artichoke dip is a long-time favourite dip of mine, however, I find lots of the recipes available are heavily reliant on mayonnaise, vegan or otherwise. While I love vegenaise as much as the next person, I wanted to see if it would be possible to make something equally delicious minus the mayo. I decided to sub white beans instead, in this case, I used cannellini beans but navy beans would work equally well. I typically soak and pressure cook dried beans, but canned works too. This dip comes together relatively quickly and can be prepared ahead of time, up until the point of baking in the recipe instructions…

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Chai Spiced Squash Soup

I picked up a large Hubbard Squash at the Halifax Brewery Market and was inspired to put together this Chai Spiced Squash Soup Recipe, reminiscent of a recipe I tried years ago when we were living in St John's. Chai spices and squash work so well together, especially topped with some Sweet & Smoky Pumpkin Seeds (ok, technically squash seeds in this case) and a small drizzle of maple syrup. The smoked sea salt adds a lovely flavour note to this dish, however plain sea salt also works well in this recipe. Chai Spiced Squash Soup Ingredients 8 cups diced squash (I used a Hubbard Squash) 6 shallots, peeled and halved 9 cloves garlic, peeled ¼ cup olive oil 1 tsp smoked sea salt Fresh cracked pepper 1 cup cashews 1 cup filtered water 4 cups basic vegetable broth or water 1" piece ginger, grated 2 pieces star anise 1…

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