Category Archives: food

layered vegetable torte

If you pay attention to the initials at the end of each blog, you will notice that mine (HAR) have been mostly absent. CJR has been carrying the load and it’s time for me to step up and get inspired to cook again.

I started by actually reading those emails I receive from cooking.nytimes.com! This one for layered vegetable torte caught my eye. It doesn’t look difficult, but slightly time consuming. You do need to grill the vegetables first and then layer them in a springform pan but it seems like a pleasant Saturday afternoon task to ask my husband to grill while I mix drinks.

I’ll let you read the specific directions in the link above but the general idea is to layer grilled eggplant, zucchini and portobello mushrooms with fresh basil and garlic and top it all off with some bread crumbs, plum tomatoes and Parmesan. It bakes for 30 minutes and can be served hot or at room temperature. Here’s what it’s going to look like when I make it on Saturday!

torte-still-superJumbo

HAR

just chop it

While we’re on the topic of more veggies, summer-style eating after a winter of pastries…I say to you – just chop it.

There is a common theme – depending on the season – about what to do with the veggies in your frig. I’ve just started chopping them.

This week, it was chopped English cucumber, yellow pepper, grated carrot – with some feta, olive oil, lemon juice and a handful of pecans tossed in for extra crunch.

It was what I had on hand. It didn’t take much effort. And tasted pretty refreshing, as the temperature hovered around 30C even after dinner.

I think this will be a warm season regular. And with in-season veggies starting to come on strong, there will be no shortage of stuff to chop.

CJR

faking it til I make the salad

After last week’s “whine” about seasonal transition disorder…I’ve been trying.

It started with a trip to my local farmers’ market on Saturday morning for a bag of fresh lettuce mixture. Made sure I had some veggies around. And have had THREE, yup three, salads this week so far. Washed the lettuce. Cut up cherry tomatoes, an avocado, added a little cooked chicken and some asiago cheese.

It’s happening. I’m making salads and walking and trying to only watch one hour of Netflix at a time!

How are you doing this week?

CJR

 

rhubarb muffins

I love seasonal food that’s only really, truly fresh and local for a few weeks of the year. Probably something to do with the memories of picking and eating fresh-from-the-large-farm-garden we had growing up.

It’s rhubarb’s time. And I just made some whole wheat rhubarb streusel muffins, thanks to a Smitten Kitchen recipe. I used plain yogurt instead of sour cream, and added some ground flax seed to the streusel.

My new non-stick muffin tin is something I should have upgraded to years ago…glad I had it today.

I’ve tried streusel muffins before and the topping always falls off. Learned the trick is less batter and pat down the topping to stick onto the muffin as it rises in the oven.

Perfect recipe for a rainy weekend morning with a coffee and the crossword.

CJR

 

 

finding veggies again

Well, it’s not exactly warm spring weather yet, but seems like it’s time to start to find some vegetables and salads again. I don’t know about you, but winter left a few extra pounds hanging around, so I made my first chopped veggie salad of the season to lighten up.

I found a cool mix of grains and lentils from Floating Leaf food company in Manitoba. I cooked up a cup of them. Roasted some fresh local asparagus. Chopped up grape tomatoes, cucumber, green onion and some salami chunks.

Tossed it all with olive oil and lemon juice, salt/pepper and a mitt full of crumbled feta.

CJR

chunky wild leek and potato soup

I love watching the wildflower emerge every spring in the wooded trails in my area. It’s a game to see if I can remember all their names.

But before the flowers…there are wild leeks or ramps. It’s a ritual to make at least one pot of leek and potato soup each spring with freshly foraged ramps. If you’ve done this before, you’ll know you need to harvest them with a heavy duty trowel. They do not give up the earth easily.

This year I tried a Jamie Oliver recipe for the soup. I sautéed leeks, carrots and onions in a combination of butter and oil. Added in baby potatoes cut in cubes, simmered it all in a mix of veggie and chicken stock. Then finished it off with a rough blend, some cream, salt and pepper, and lemon juice. And feta.

Thank you nature for the great things you grow.

CJR

 

 

 

a small serving of spring soup

My sister gave me a great cookbook a few years ago – The Pleasures of Cooking for One by Judith Jones. Its small size reflects the smaller-serving meals that fill the pages.

I’ve been playing with variations of the basic vegetable soup recipe. I used to try and make soup by just throwing stuff together…and that’s what it often ended up tasting like. This recipe has the basics, and I can build from that and end up with a great, simple soup.

I made one last week, sauteeing the vegetables I could find in the fridge in a little butter. I often buy a small container of cut up veggies because I can get a variety of about six different veggies in a few servings, and these make great additions to the soup.

So I sautéed green onion, celery, carrot, broccoli and cauliflower. Tossed in a few roasted peppers I had baked a few days before. Everything simmers in some chicken stock, and I toss in a few frozen spinach pucks, a little cream and lemon/lime juice or white wine to finish it off.

CJR