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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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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Bibimbap

My husband and I taught English in South Korea for a year, starting in 2003. While we were there we fell head over heels for kimchi, and a lovely rice dish called Bibimbap. My favourite version was called Dolsot Bibimbap and involved having all the ingredients served in a hot stone bowl. The rice at the bottom would crisp up and the ingredients would cook together a bit more at the table, allowing the flavours to come together in a really lovely way. I have not yet invested in a stone pot, however, the recipe below is delicious just as it is. I came up with a raw version of this recipe, using cauliflower rice as the base for a raw black box assignment when I was doing the Rouxbe plant-based certification a few years ago. I loved the combination of flavours but I don't do well with a whole…

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Chana Masala

I adore Chana Masala, and I have been playing around with this recipe for a long time, in order to find both the taste and texture I was looking for. My original test recipe had curry powder instead of garam masala and ground coriander, this flavour combination ended up being a happy accident when I was preparing the curry one night and I had run out of curry powder. I have an excellent curry recipe from The Undiet Cookbook that I could have pulled together quickly, however, I decided to experiment instead, and I am so happy I did! The second key element in this curry is removing the skins from your chickpeas. Yes, it is time-intensive, but the creamy softness you get from the beans when you do is well worth the time invested. The same goes for hummus. I like to buy and prepare dried chickpeas, however, I…

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Hazelnut & Orange Pilaf

I created this recipe on a leftover night. Every week I try to factor in at least one leftover night, where we take whatever odds and ends are left in the fridge and put together a meal. In this case, I had some Get Grounded Fall Root Vegetable Soup in a container in the fridge, along with a head of kale that I intended to use in the stovetop method of this Cheesy Roasted Broccoli dish. I had a single orange left in our fruit basket, along with some fresh parsley and a jar of hazelnuts in the fridge. I consulted the Vegetarian Flavor Bible to see what other flavors might compliment what I had on hand, and added some garlic and ginger to the mix. Turmeric wasn't on the list, but I love to add it in wherever I can, as it is an anti-inflammatory powerhouse. I also love…

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Kale and White Bean Curry

When we lived in Victoria BC we enjoyed eating at Sutra, a small cafe associated with Vij's restaurant in Vancouver. We frequently ordered samosas and kale and navy bean curry, which was rich, creamy and very satisfying. As much as I loved eating at Sutra, eating out adds up quickly and so I decided to try my hand at making the curry at home. I am so happy with how this curry turned out, and we find it is equally delicious with both navy and cannellini beans. Eating it brings me right back to our time on the west coast, food is really magical that way! Kale and White Bean Curry Ingredients ¼ cup coconut oil 2 medium onions, diced 4 garlic cloves, crushed 1 Tbsp curry leaves (optional) 1 Tbsp cumin 1½ tsp mustard seeds 1 tsp turmeric ½ tsp cayenne (or to taste) 2 tsp sea salt ½…

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Stuffed Squash

I wanted to create a stuffed squash recipe as part of my holiday dish series leading up to Thanksgiving, which for us here in Canada falls on the second Monday in October. I knew I wanted to incorporate wild rice and make the rice filling appealing for my middle daughter, who doesn't particularly care for squash. When it comes to our kids we don't force them to eat anything, but we do ask them to at least try a bite or two before they decide that they don't like something. We also try to present more than one food option for each meal, so that they have a choice. I stopped by Hutten Family Farm at the Halifax Brewery Market and immediately gravitated towards their Long Island Cheese Squash. I asked if this squash would be a good pick for a stuffed recipe, and was told that it would be…

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Herb & Mushroom Polenta topped with Garlic Chanterelles and Fresh Herbs

Chanterelle season is here and I couldn't be more thrilled! These gorgeous mushrooms are typically in season here in Nova Scotia mid-August – mid-September, according to the lovely folks at Maritime Gourmet Mushrooms. They grow their mushrooms year-round, but also bring in freshly harvested chanterelles in the late summer/early fall. I am not a mushroom harvester, and would strongly advise against harvesting your own unless you are well versed in mushroom identification, or go with someone who is very well trained in this area. There is a saying that goes "There are old mushroom hunters and bold mushroom hunters, but no old, bold mushroom hunters" and I have read too many accounts of accidental poisoning to feel comfortable foraging on my own at this point in time. Which is why sourcing mushrooms from trusted local growers and harvesters is such a wonderful option. I can't say enough good things about…

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Cheesy Risotto with Basil and Garlic Scape Pesto

I adore garlic. If I had to pick one food I couldn't live without, garlic would be it. It is delicious pickled, sauteed, roasted, I even tried it raw once, although I am not sure that was such a fun experience for everyone around me afterwards! In addition to being crazy delicious, garlic also contains some very powerful health benefits. According to the World's Healthiest Foods, garlic is full of antioxidants, is anti-inflammatory and contains sulfur compounds that assist with detoxification. In addition to being antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal, garlic also contains blood-thinning properties and can be beneficial for cardiovascular health. When garlic is chopped or crushed it releases an enzyme called alliinase, which is then able to mix with a compound called alliin, resulting in the anti-cancer phytonutrient called allicin. Eaten raw, the benefits of allicin are readily available to the body. While I am a fan of raw…

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