Celeriac Purée with Mixed Mushroom Gravy

We are five weeks away from Canadian Thanksgiving, which often brings family together to celebrate over shared food. Over the next few weeks I will be focussing on a series of plantiful and seasonal dishes that help support healthy eating during the holidays. As a kid one of my favourite elements of holiday dinners was mashed potatoes and gravy. My intention was to recreate this childhood favourite with a more extensive flavour profile, making use of jerusalem artichoke, celeriac and cauliflower. I love the unique flavour of celeriac, and find it pairs beautifully with jerusalem artichokes. If you are unable to find jerusalem artichokes you could substitute white potatoes, however the latter is much better for regulating blood sugar. Jerusalem artichokes (also known as Sunchokes) are one of my favourite root vegetables. They are rich in potassium and prebiotic, blood sugar balancing inulin, which makes them a very health supportive…

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Homemade Chili Oil

I adore chili oil, but I don't love many of the oils and preservatives used in conventional versions. I was determined to come up with my own chili oil recipe, as it is cost effective and I feel much better about the ingredients used. I enjoy playing around with the chilies I include, both dried and fresh, as this results in a variety of different flavours. My favourite is the combination of Korean red chili flakes and thai chili below. I use avocado oil for this recipe, specifically because it stands up well to high heat. If you don't mind a bit of coconut flavour you could use coconut oil, however I wouldn't go with olive oil or any other oil that works best at lower temperatures. I have tried this recipe a few different ways, my first attempt included a long simmer over lower heat. I was chatting with…

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Peach Parfait

This peach parfait is very simple to put together and makes an excellent breakfast or snack option. I prefer to buy (or make) plain yogurt myself, rather than buying pre-sweetened options. Silk Unsweetened Cultured Coconut is my favourite in-store option, although I love how easy it is to make your own coconut & probiotic version. Flavour wise the jury was out, one of my daughters loved the taste of the homemade version, my other daughter preferred store bought. I would like to play around with the coconut and probiotics I am using, to see if that makes a difference as I would love to create something that works for everyone. Store bought options are fine, but it doesn't get any better than a recipe that contains all of two ingredients. Fermented foods are excellent for digestive health, and peaches contain a host of different benefits, including Vitamin C and Vitamin…

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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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Rosemary and Garlic Roasted Chickpeas

I'm always on the lookout for protein-rich snacks that we can take with us on the go. These Rosemary Garlic Roasted Chickpeas fit the bill, and I love that they are quick and easy to prepare. My love affair with rosemary is fairly recent, a friend gave me some beautiful stalks from her garden a couple of years ago, and I ended up finely dicing them and making a herbal salt (recipe below). I found it was the perfect finishing ingredient in so many different dishes, and my love affair with rosemary began. Rosemary has a strong, very distinct flavour that pairs well with roasted veggies and mashed potatoes. It's especially nice paired with a celeriac and jerusalem artichoke (aka sunchoke) puree, as I find the stronger flavour profile of these two delicious root vegetables stands up well to the hearty flavour of the rosemary. In addition to being delicious…

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Fresh Herb & Nut Pulp Crackers

I created these crackers because I was trying to make use of leftover nut pulp and kale stems. We eat kale frequently and while I often thinly slice the stems and add them to various dishes, this week I found myself with an abundance of leftover stems. I also wanted to make use of leftover fresh basil we purchased at the market over the weekend. I am dating myself perhaps when I suggest these crackers would work well as a choose your own adventure (anyone else remember the books back in the 80's?) but I would suggest that this recipe works well with several different variations. The almond and basil I've included below is a lovely combo, but walnut and tarragon, pecan and chives and perhaps hazelnut and arugula would be lovely alternatives. If nuts are not a possibility, ground sunflower seeds would be an excellent substitute, paired with basil…

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Seasonal Superfood: Harukei Turnip

I get really excited about heading to my local farmer's market pretty much all the time, however the experience is all the more exciting in the midst of summer, when local produce is varied and extremely plentiful. Some crops are also very fleeting – I spent time this week planning out a delicious asparagus and tarragon risotto recipe, only to show up at the market and discover that I had missed this delicious crop by a week. So perhaps the moral is, get when the getting is good, as you never know when your last asparagus crop will be available? This is a bit of a scarcity mindset, but it does make you appreciate what you have, when you have it. Our family has made many shifts and changes over the past 10 years, in an attempt to reduce our footprint on the planet. One of those shifts has been…

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