Sunday, December 6, 2009

merry xmas kids!

ok so lc just brought me back a disney advent calendar so i wouldnt feel so unloved and tempted to steal chocolate from her fancy Lindt calendar. very sweet. except...why do all the princesses look cracked out? and why is DAY 1 chocolate in Belle's crotch? disturbing. quite. 

Friday, October 2, 2009


this blog is in a sad sad state. i hope yall aren't starving. anyways, just thought i'd share this gem.... its a piece of cake to bake a pretty cake!

Sunday, August 9, 2009


Fwwuuuufff!! (that's the sound of me blowing the dust off of this blog)

As per popular request, we'll get things going again with a refreshing approach to getting drunk!

This drink brings together the wonders of Mexico and Thailand. It is also conveniently a vaccine for both Swine and Avian flu! (apologies to Rodrigo and Eric).

Je present the Blue Thai Mojito!! While it doesn't look like the classic mojito, the lime and mint flavours are still very strong while the cilantro and curacao give it very refreshing twist.

This recipe comes from the book Sipps & Apps.

1.5 oz of white rum or bacardi limon rum
0.25 oz of blue curacao
1.5 oz of coco-mint simple syrup (recipe to follow)
1 oz of lime juice (approx 1 large lime)
2 oz of club soda

Pour into a tall glass filled with ice (like 5 cubes) blue curacao, then rum, then simple syrup, lime and club soda to finish.
Drink that bitch!

Coco-mint simple syrup: (enough to make 1.5 cups or 8 drinks)
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
0.5 cup shredded sweetened coconut
0.5 bunch fresh mint, torn
6 large sprigs of cilantro
1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes (i couldn't taste them but whatever)

Place all ingredients into a small pot and bring to a boil for 2-3 mins.
Take pot of heat and let all the ingredients stew for about 1 hour.
Strain all the big stuff to give you a slightly pale white syrup and place in fridge for a a couple of hours (or just serve right away if you want to get drunk much faster, the ice will cool it down).

So, enjoy and let this be the first of many more blogs to come!!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

do the chickens have large talons?

last post i swear! but this was an extra-special request from my extra-special long lost roommate and friend lyndsey 'legs' cox, better known to you as liinsay. on second thought, probably not since she's never added a recipe to the blog..looks sternly.. 
for those of you who've been to our apartment, sharing this recipe for breaded chicken will only confirm your notion that we have some weird poultry fetish (we don't). but let me just state that legs started it!!! she's the one who brought the rubber chicken into our lives and it sorta just escalated from there.. anyhoo, this recipe involves handling raw chicken so she must be trying to impress someone. but yeah its pretty tasty and fun for the whole family if you feel like chicken tonite. 

you'll need:
chicken breasts 
some flour 
1-2 eggs 
grated parmesan 
dried herbs 

1. wash your chicken breasts and pat dry. then cut into strips (or not..) 
2. prepare three plates/shallow bowls: one with just the flour, one with just the (whisked) eggs, and the third with the remaining dry ingredients. i didn't give measurements because it depends on the amount of chicken used, but its equal parts breadcrumbs and parm (maybe a little less parm) you can use any dried herb you like but i usually go for 'herbes de provence' or this Greek seasoning made by clubhouse.  
3. working with a couple chicken strips at a time, dip the strips first in flour (lightly), then in the eggs (shake off excess), then in your breadcrumb mixture. if you like a thicker breading (fatty) you can double dip them (back in the eggs, then the b-mix)  
4. when all your strips are good and breaded, you have two choices: either bake them for 20-25 mins @400 degrees turning once, or fry em up in your skillet with a little olive oil until done (NO pink) enjoy with your fav dipping sauce, or sliced lemons work nicely too..

youre welcome, come home soon :)

coucou coocoo cukoo

too many desserts on the dancefloor! k seriously needed to get some savory back in here. sorry for pulling a james and posting five thousand recipes at once but im on a train and im bored. so deal.  

ok but this is a persian dish (unsure on spelling) my dad makes and it really hits the spot. it tastes supremely healthy because it is! besides the dozen eggs...ALSO its the closest thing to vegan ive posted ever! again, except for all the eggs...but it needs something to bind it together. i guess you could try it with whatever egg supplement you crazy veegs are using these days? ok i take it back vegans are not crazay. just protein deficient... just kidding again, relax! so you can eat this as a side, as a main, sandwiched between bread as a sandwich. best served with sliced tomatoes... its super versatile and keeps well in le frigo.  oh yeah and apparently kookoo means 'where is it?' in farsi... sooo its that good. 

- 1 bunch curly parsley 

- 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley (k dont ask me why both varieties are needed...) 

- 1 bunch green onions 

- 6 leaves of romaine lettuce 

- spinach leaves (optional, for some reason..i dont know..) 

- 6 eggs (or more...) 

- coarsely chopped walnuts about 85-100g ( depending on how much do you like walnuts slash hate that guy with the nut allergy?) 

- 80g  barberries (they are these kickass delicious tarty berries.. if you cannot find these cranberries work too but your dish will suffer for it)  

- s+p to taste 

top it all off with sliced tomatoes dressed with olive oil, balsamic and DILL! dried or fresh. once i sprinkled some dried mint on it by accidento and it was kinda narst. also if you wanna use leftovers to do the coocoo on a bun option, use tomatoes + some feta yum! 


1. chop all the greens really finely. a food processor works best (just dont overdo it otherwise the veg gets bitter) 

2. Stir in your walnuts and berries 

3. Add the 6 eggs carefully do not overmix. depending on the amount of veggies that came in your bunches etc. you may need extra eggs. use your judgment you fool, foolish sucka! 

4. Now pour the mixture into a well-oiled frying pan and cook on medium heat for 20-25 minutes. At this point youll need to flip it over to cook it on the other side.  XXX-Large spatula works or the plate flip method or cutting the coocoo into more manageable pieces before flipping. you want the eggs to set and both sides to brown nicely.  Alternatively, if you have an oven-proof pan you can cook it in the oven for 30-40 mins. ok so confession times ive never made this i just scribbled down the recipe as my dad was making it today but if youre willing to be my guinea pigs i will make it for you? dinner party at my house? bring your fancy pants!

easy peasy lemon squeezy

this recette for lemony shortbread is basically the opposite of the frangipane tart cos its so quick and easy. there are only 3 ingredients to your typical shortbread: butter flour sugar, this recipe called for lemon zest..although the cookies had a fun shape (like those math kits in grade school!) they were kinda lacking in flava flav, next time ill add more zest! although i smeared some raspberry jam on it and it was absolutely glorious. like a fat man's morning toast. whaaat.  lake ontario is so pretty - highlight of this 20 hour train ride. 

1 cup butter

1/2 cup sugar 

1 tbs lemon zest (ok i used some orange zest too..) 

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 

Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add zest and blend. Stir in flour a little at a time. Your dough will be crumbly, so pour it out onto a board and werk it out by hand until the dough is smooth. Roll it out into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle. Cut it into any shape you desire. Arrange the cookies on a baking sheet and bake in a 325 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.  see? SO easy.

your mom ate the tarts..

so geojamie challenged me to outfruit (ha.) his tarts, whilst searching google images to find a way to fit the most fruit onto a tart i happened upon this recipe for a similar tart made with fraangipaane but it had lemon in every layer. they call it raspberry lemon & frangipane tart. mother's day was a good enough reason as any to try my hand at this labourious tarte. it kinda took all day since you need to let the parts chill out. still, it turned out delicious. but i think i failed the challenge. i shouldve just dumped the raspberries on top instead of spending hours (1 minute) laying them all cos when i added teh 'glaze' it got all fuglay on me. (hence no foto of the final product) im writing this on the train and i can see the reflection in the mirror, the chick in front of me has just started on her third movie.. green mile and that guy is humongous. ok i stop spying now. i wonder if the guy behind me is reading all my recipes? stop being creepy guy behind me! or go read my blog its called clever title right ? ha k i saw 2 shirts i want #1 says 'no one reads my blog' #2 says 'i look better online' 1000000 points for whoever finds them for moi :D ok ok ok here's the recipe. oh no! now theyre runing around in denim overalls (so hot) and theyre beating up on the huge guy who is crying? with dead bloody girls in his arms? explain! i guess i should see this movie. speaking of bloody, my flipping murderous cat caught a baby rabbit this morning and ate her brains out. no joke. k i stop for reals. happy mother's day! (via bbc foods) 


200g plain flour 

140g  butter (cut in small pieces) 

100g sugar 

zest of 1 lemon 

1 egg yolk 

a few drops of vanilla extract 


3 egg yolks 

100g sugar 

1 tbsp plain flour 

1 tbsp cornflour 

250ml milk 

zest + juice of 1 limón 

50g butter 


85g butter, room temp. 

85g sugar 

85g ground almonds 

zest of 1 lemon 

1 egg 


100ml whipping cream 


5 tbsp raspberry jam (seedless) 

2 tbsp kirsch or cointreau


1. To make the pastry, put the flour and butter in a large bowl and rub them together with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Tip in the sugar, lemon zest and a pinch of salt and mix slightly. Now work in the egg yolk and vanilla extract until you have a smooth dough. Roll the dough into a ball, wrap in saranwrap and chill for au moins une heure (and up to 2 days). 

2. While your pastry is chillin, make the lemon crème pâtissière (snobby way of saying lemon custard). Put the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and whisk together for 1-2 minutes until the mixture turns pale. Tip in the flour + cornflour and mix well. Put the milk and lemon zest in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour the boiling milk over the mixture in the bowl, whisking continuously until everything is smooth. 

3. Pour the custard into the pan, place over med-heat and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring continuously until it has thickened. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and butter. Pour the custard into a clean bowl and cover the surface with plastic wrap. Leave to cool, then put in the fridge until completely cold. 

4. To make the frangipaaaannne: in a large bowl, mix all ingredients until well combined. 

5. on a floured surface, roll out the pastry dough into a thin layer, and then place in a 25cm loose-bottomed tart tin. Leave a lip hanging over the edge.  Chill the tart for at least an hour (in the freezer is best). 

6. Put a baking tray in the over and preheat it to 180C. Using a spatula stir the crème pâtissière until smooth, then spread 3/4 of it over the base of the tart. 

7. Spoon the frangipane into a piping bag with a small nozzle..... or who the hell has a pipping bag? for a makeshift version: spoon the mixture into a strong plastic baggie, squeeze it into the end, and cut off the tip of the bag. Pipe lines of frangipane over the custard. there will be gaps, but the frangy will spread in the oven. 

8. Put the tart on the hot baking tray and bake for 30-40 minutes until the frangipane is golden brown. You can trim off the overhanging pastry after baking to make it look profesh. Lift the tart and base from the tin and leave on a wire rack to cool complètement.

9. To make the topping, put the cream in a bowl and "whip until billowy". Using a spatula, fold the remaining custard into the cream, then spread the mixture over the frangipane. 

10. Arrange the raspberries on top of the tarte. Put the jam and liqueur in a small pan and bring to a simmer, stirring, until it coats the back of your spoon. Use a pastry brush to cover the raspberries with the glaze. Cool slightly, then move the tart from the base to a serving plate, divvy it up, enjoy! love your mother! 

ps. sorry this post is so gaddamn long.. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tarte crème d'amande et fruits exotiques

I stole this recipe from a cooking podcast I subscribed to when I was in France (Casse-croute). I first made the tarte when my cousin came to visit me after becoming engaged (to her then fiancé, now husband) while traveling in Italy. Mon colocotaire, mon cousin et moi ate the tarte on a balmy evening on our little balcony while drinking champagne and listening to stories of their engagement and their plans for their life and love to come...

It's a little difficult to make as the sweet pastry is a bit of challenge to get it rolled out properly. However, the most difficult part is easily avoided if you want to buy a pre-made shell at a grocery store. But it's fun to do it from scratch.
Bon Chance!

Quantity: makes one 9" circular tarte or about 14-16 cupcake sized tartes
Time: 75mins prep time, 3hrs wait time, 20mins bake time

Sweet pastry crust
(stolen from

1 1/2 cups (200 grams) all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten

First, mix flour and salt in a bowl and set aside. Then beat together butter (make sure it's been sitting out for a while so its soft) and sugar until light and fluffy. Then beat in the egg just until its incorporated, no more. Add in flour and mix until it forms a ball, but do not overwork or the dough will become tough and difficult to roll. Place in the fridge for about an hour before using.

La creme d'amande (the frangipane)
200g unsalted butter (just less than 1 cup)
200g ground almonds (store bought)
1.5 C icing sugar
3 eggs
50ml white rum (1 airplane bottle)

Second, Mix together the frangipane ingredients starting with the icing sugar and butter. You'll probably have to use your hands as it will just stick to a whisk. Once mixed, add the rum, eggs and almond powder. Mix very well et le mettre dans le frigo pendant 1 hour.

Take the pastry out of the fridge and roll it out flat (about 1/8 of an inch thick) and place it into a mold (I used a miniature loaf mold and muffin trays cuz that's what I had). Poke holes at the bottom of your pastry cups once in the mold to allow some air flow to bake evenly. Place your frangipane mix into the pastry mold only about 1/2 full as the mix expands. Place into a preheated oven at 350F for about 20mins.

Remove from oven and let rest for 5mins.

The third step is completely up to you. Select your favorite fruits and dice them up into aesthetically pleasing shapes. Arrange as you please. It's a little difficult to get very pretty designs but its more fun to design it yourself then to use a prettier store bought one I think. You can also glaze your tarts by purchasing store bought glaze packages or make your own by mixing equal parts (1 cup) sugar and water and a tablespoon of pectic or corn starch boiling for a minute in a small pot. Cover the fruit with the glaze and let sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Before serving remove from the fridge about 20 mins before serving.

Good luck and Enjoy!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

banana Banana Cake

Apparently my creative-genius is activated when I'm mired in essays and assignments. Hence with all grad course work done (!), I present a vegan "banana" Banana Cake.

This was my first crack at an artistically built cake, but it turned out pretty well. I had originally intended to make my mom's delectable banana cake recipe, but I was out of eggs and didn't have any shortening. So, I was able to scrape together enough things for a vegan cake. I think it's just as good as my mom's but don't tell her I said that.

(Hi mom! You're on the internet now!)

Ingredients (stolen from:
# 2 cups unbleached all-purpose or whole wheat pastry flour
# 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
# 1/2 teaspoon salt
# 1 1/8 cups sugar (if your banana's are very ripe just do 1 cup sugar)
# 1/3 cup oil
# 4 ripe bananas
# 1/4 cup water
# 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In one bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat sugar and oil together. Beat in bananas then add vanilla and water. Take the dry ingredients and incorporate them in sections into the wet ingredients mixing them well. Place mix into a 9"x9" pan that has either been greased and floured (see Chocolate Zucchini Loaf recipe for instructions on flouring a pan) or that has a piece of wax paper cover the bottom.
Place into a preheated 350F oven for about 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out cleanly. Let cool for 15mins.

Now, the fun part!
1. Create a detailed diagram of your desired banana shape

Ensure all equations are true providing proper proofs at all stages.

But, you do actually have to think out the best way to cut the cake so as to ensure minimal cake-loss.

I trimmed the edges to give it the actual shape of a banana. Also, I took some of the excess trimming to make sure the cake was smooth and flat where I had to hold the banana sections together.

Vanilla Butter Frosting
1/3 C soft margarine
1 1/2 t vanilla
3 cups icing sugar
About 2 T milk

Blend marg & sugar, stir in vanilla and milk. Beat til smooth and spreading consistency (that’s where the about comes in for the quantity of milk).

Fills and frosts 2 – 8” or 9” cake rounds or a 13” x 9” cake

This made extra icing so it should be reduced for this cake recipe.

So, ice the cake as you please, but if all things go to plan, it should turn out as close to a banana as possible!

Good luck and enjoy!

Healthy Cookies

These are a classic at my family gatherings and we call them 'healthy cookies' because the whole wheat flour and molasses makes them slightly healthier than others. I think they are also known as Kitchen Spice or Molasses Cookies. Regardless, they be delish. Great study snack too!

Quantity: 20-25
Time: 25mins prep time 10 mins bake time

1/2 C butter/margarine
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C dark molasses
1 egg yolk
1/2 T lemon juice
2 c whole wheat flour
1/4 C skim or soy milk powder
1 T Brewers yeast*
1/2 T baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 t ginger
1/4 t cloves
1/4 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg

*Brewers yeast can be found at the bulk food store along with all these other ingredients

Cream margarine and sugar - beat til smooth and well blended.
Beat in molasses, egg yolk & lemon juice. Mix flour and other dry ingredients (you can sift them if want to). Work dry ingredients into first mixture, blending well. This last step takes some arm strength and beater strength as well, however, my grandma made these in her 80s, soooo....suck it up.

(That's her on the chair and the rest of us are usually the ones who eat these cookies).

THEN, take small chunks of the mix and roll them with your hands into balls about 2 inches in diameter. This should make somewhere between 20-25 cookies. Place these onto a greased cookie sheet pressing them with a fork to flatten them out to about 3/4 inches thick. Place them into a preheated 350F oven in the middle rack for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack for 5 minutes and then place them directly into an air-tight container to keep them soft OR let them rest longer if you prefer crunchy cookies (I don't).

Serve with a glass of milk and enjoy!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Truffles

Since I was unable to make it home for Easter this year, I decided I would make my own Easter chocolates. Although the Easter Bunny has long come and gone, I've been too "busy" to get this recipe up by easter. Better late than never. (P.S. longest post yet!)

Despite the perceived difficulty of truffles, I found them to be relatively easy, though fairly time consuming. So, if you have some spare time one day, don't feel discouraged to give it a shot. Plus, it's lots of fun! I made the truffles before I went to bed one night and then coated them the next day working the various steps in as study breaks.

These truffles are actually slightly healthier than normal ones as they do not contain butter and have coconut milk instead of heavy cream. That being said, if you are a true truffle aficionado, these may be slightly different from more traditional truffles. Nonetheless, they are delicious and very chocolatey!

Quantity: 11-12
Time: about 60-70mins of actual work and 3hrs of wait time

- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
- 1/2 cup heavy* coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* you can get heavy coconut cream from placing a regular can in the fridge an hour or so before opening trying to take only the thicker top layer.

- 4 oz bittersweet chocolate
- Dutch coco powder
- salted peanuts and pistachios

The first step is the ganache. Put the cup of semi-sweet choc. chips into a bowl while heating the coconut milk and the peanut butter on the stove. Once the milk and p.b. start to boil, pour them into the bowl of choc. chips stirring the mix well. Add the vanilla extract and continue mixing. The best weapon of choice is a wooden spoon. Mix the chocolate well but do not incorporate too much air by mixing it too vigorously. Cover this bowl with plastic wrap and then place it in the fridge for 10-15mins cooling it to the consistency of peanut butter.

The second step is to take this mixture and create the individual truffles. This can be done two different ways. If you have a pastry bag, you would scoop all the ganache into the bag to then squeeze out balls about the size of a strawberry. However, I didn't have a pastry bag so I used the spoons method.

Taking two spoons, scoop out one spoonful and use the second spoon to then scoop the mix off of the first spoon. This will be repeated (continuously scooping the chocolate off of the other spoon) until a ball begins to form. Do this for all the ganache (should make about 11 or 12). Place these onto wax paper on a baking sheet and into the fridge for about an hour.

Once the truffles have hardened, remove them from the fridge and roll them in your palms to smooth them out. This is a little messy with your palms getting covered in chocolate, so be prepared. Place them back into the fridge for another hour.

The third step is to create the choc. coating for the truffles. Take the remaining 4 oz of bittersweet chocolate and using a strong and sharp knife, dice the chocolate into very small pieces. At the same time, place a glass or metal bowl over a simmering pot of water (the water should not be boiling). Take your diced bittersweet chocolate and place it into the glass bowl. Begin mixing the chocolate with a wooden spoon until it is completely melted. This will be the crunchy coating for your soft truffles.
Remove the truffles from the fridge and prepare an assembly line starting with your frozen truffles, then the bowl of melted chocolate, then your "toppings" (coco powder, crushed peanuts, crushed pistachios or whatever you wish) and then another plate covered in wax paper or tin foil.

The fourth step is the coating of the truffles. Take two forks and take a frozen truffle and place it into the melted chocolate. Cover it completely and then remove with the two forks, pausing to let all excess chocolate drip off. Place it into a bowl/plate of your awaiting coating shaking it around assuring it is completely covered. Place all your finished truffles onto the awaiting plate and place into the fridge for another 30 mins. After the 30mins, remove and place them into an air-tight Tupperware container.

When you do decide to eat your truffle or share it with your sweetie, remove the truffles from the fridge and allow them to warm to room temperature (20-30mins).

The final step: proceed to stuff your face.

Good luck and enjoy!

Friday, April 17, 2009

this time last week.

Edit:  Today I was asked to provide a little explanation for this photo...apparently pictures are not worth 1,000 words. 

This time last week I was home for the easter long weekend.  My family sent me around the house looking for an egg they hid for me and it turned out to be baked into this loaf from the local bakery. very. funny.  im pretty sure they were mocking me cuz my friends and i had an easter egg hunt and technically we're not six years old anymore.  It tasted ok, as you'd expect (had to refrain from writing eggspect - didnt work).  i mostly just posted it because i found it pretty.  cheerio! nas

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Asian Persuasion

I'm not sure if it was because I have been drowning in literature about economic reforms in Laos during their transition from communism to a market-based economy, but when I saw a recipe for an Asian inspired Salmon Udon Soup in the Globe this weekend I immediately decided to make it...with a few modifications of course ;)

Word of warning: You will have to make an extra trip to the store for the stuff in this recipe. But it's cheap, delicious, and worth it!

Alas, I give you Tofu Soba Soup!

It is quite delicious. If you are a meat eater, follow the recipe exactly as directed, but replace the tofu with salmon (this is how it was originally written).

Marinade --
3 tbs low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 tsp sugar
2 tsp grated ginger

Tofu (or Salmon) --
1/2 block extra firm tofu, thinly sliced
6 cups vegetable stock
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 cups baby bok choy, end trimmed and broken into leaves
4 shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
4oz soba noodles (the original recipe called for udon noodles, so feel free to use those instead - I just used soba because I had some)
handful coriander sprigs
Chili flakes to taste

Combine 2 tbs soy sauce, sugar and 1 tbs ginger in bowl. Brush (or pour) over tofu slices. Set aside.
Heat vegetable stock (or if you are like me, boil your water and add in your veggie boullion cube). Add in remaining 1tbs soy sauce and 1 tbs ginger. Simmer over medium heat.
Add onions and simmer for 1 minute. Add baby bok choy and muchrooms, and cook another minute. Reduce heat to medium, add tofu and cook 30 seconds longer...or whatever.
Garnish with coriander sprigs and a sprinkling of chili flakes.

Oh, and before I forget, this recipe for Maple Sponge Toffee was in the paper the other day, and it looks uber yum.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

legume consciousness

hey peeps!  if you're looking for a warm earthy soup for the rainy season, try this soup from the home country... i did and twas delicious.  
warning: it makes like 5 thousand servings 
bonus: no fancy blender required! 

modified from Ina Garten's recipe... 


1 cup dry green lentils 
1 onion 
1 leek 
2-3 garlic cloves
3 carrots
5 celery stalks
1/4 can tomato paste
6 cups broth 
1 glass white wine
olive oil, soy sauce, vinegar, lemon juice 
cumin, thyme, red pepper flakes, s+p 
*chop all the veg into bite size pieces..

1. In a large bowl, cover the lentils with boiling water and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Drain. 
2. In a large pot, sauté onion, leek and garlic in olive oil. add spices and cook until the veggies are translucent and tender. approx 20 mins. Add the celery and carrots and cook for another 10 mins.  oh yeah i didnt have cumin, thyme or red pepper flakes so i added tumeric, terragon and cayenne pepper... makes it nice and spicy. 
3. Stir in tomato paste....i also didn't have this so i subbed in a few sundried tomatoes and half a diced fresh tomato, worked for me! 
4. Add a tablespoon each of vinegar and soy sauce. Add the white wine and let it boil down. Then add the broth and LENTILS. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour, until the lentils are cooked through. 
5. Stir in lemon juice and serve hot and sprinkled with some cheese...preferably parmesan, but any hard cheese will do..  Enjoy! 

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Chocolate Zucchini Loaf

Some people like to rub chocolate on themselves. Personally, while I'm not against rubbing it on myself or others, I prefer eating it. I especially prefer it in loaf form accompanied by fruits and veggies. Recently, I'm enjoying my chocolate with zucchini, and I think you might too! Thus, I present a recipe.

P.S. I have no pretension of presenting this as a healthy recipe. Though, for those concerned:
based on slicing this mo-fo into 10 tranches there are this many nutrient-thingys per serving: 262 calories, 11g fat, 5g protein, 38g carbohydrate, 2 g dietary fiber, 0 cholesterol, 266mg sodium. This will be different if you don't use eggs or the nuts.

You will need:
- ingredients (duh!)
- an oven
- some bowls
- a loaf pan

* 1.5 eggs (for those who prefer sans-oeuf thats about 1 small or 3/4 regular
sized mushy banana)
* 1/4 cup canola or sunflower oil
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
* 1/3 cup milk (vanilla flavoured soymilk works great too)
* 1 cups sugar
* 1.25 cups flour
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
* 1 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1/4 cup cocoa
* 1 cups grated zucchini (about 1 medium sized zucc)
* 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
* 1/4 chocolate chips (optional, but I highly recommend it though)

Here's the scoop:
1. Grate the zucchini with a cheese grater (regular grated cheese size) and pat dry with paper towel or dish cloth and set aside.
2. Mix together "eggs", oil, vanilla, milk and sugar
3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and cocoa.
4. Slowly incorporate the wet ingredients into the dry ones and mix together (can be done by hand with a wooden spoon or a mixer).
5. Stir in the zucc and walnuts.
6. Spray loaf pans with Pam or use a little vegetable oil into the pan and be sure to cover the entire pan in a thin layer. Then drop a bit of flour into the pan and shake it around until the whole pan is covered with light dusting of flour.
7. Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top.
8. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Cool for about 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Let cool on racks for a couple minutes.
9. Devour immediately. Best served with a cold glass of milk.

why vegetables are cool pt. 2

Monday, March 16, 2009


Why vegetables are cool....

This recipe is dedicated to Chef James, who inspired me last weekend to to use my zucchini in a whole new way. This week: zucchini "noodles". Perfect "green" dish for our happy "green" day tomorrow.

Super easy...and SO. DAMN. GOOD. I even made my roommate taste it and she agreed and immediately demanded that my recipe be posted on our fridge. I'm too cheap to buy ink for my ridiculously expensive printer so I promised I'd put it up here and send her the link. So now you all get to enjoy.
Alright, so in this recipe we are making "noodles" out of shredded zucchini. A healthier twist on pasta. The best thing is it's super easy, and super quick, and requires no "special" equipment - except a carrot peeler, which is not even remotely complicated. So no complaints (eric!).

You need:
1 large zucchini
2 tbs olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, sliced (I used leftover roasted garlic from last night's pizza)
5-10 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup chickpeas
lemon juice

  1. Clean zucchini well. Use carrot peeler to make long, thin, fettucine-sized shreds of the zucchini. Keep shredding it out, until you hit the core with the seeds. If you want to make it prettier try and get a little bit of the green on each shred. They obviously don't have to be perfect, but it is fun to see how much you can get it to resemble pasta. I went about half-way around my zucchini. For a large appetite, or for 2 peoples, use the whole zucchini (just toss the core and seeds).
  2. Add olive oil to a small saucepan, and heat to medium-low. Add in sliced garlic, and sautee a few minutes until the oil has soaked up some of the garlic flavour and you can smell the delicious garlicky aroma in the air :) Add in your zucchini "pasta", season with the herbs (rosemary, thyme, basil, oregano - as much or as little as you want) and sautee a few more minutes, until it starts to heat up, soften, and the white part turns ever so subtly translucent. Try not to overcook the "noodles" as you don't want them to get mushy. Transfer all to your plate/bowl.
  3. In the same saucepan, add chickpeas and halved cherry tomatoes. Add enough lemon juice to cover the bottom of the pan (probably a couple tablespoons worth). Sautee the chickpeas and tomato for a few minutes, until all of the lemon juice is absorbed.
  4. Top your zucchini "pasta" with the sauteed chickpeas and tomato. Season with extra oregano, and S&P. If you are not vegan (that would be...lets see, all of you), a sprinkling of parmesan would also be enjoyable with this.

Stay tuned to see how I use my zucchini in a whole new way next week.

Nomnomnom. :)

Peace 'a' Pizza

El Delicioso "Rustic Roasted Vegetable Pizza"!

I never thought vegan pizza could be remotely tasty..... blah blah blah, I was surprised how good it ACTUALLY is.

Here's your recipe. As far as the toppings go, you can basically improvise and put on whatever sounds good to you. But here's what I did, and it was delicious!

Option A: Buy One
Option B: Make it yourself (this is what I did, with a recipe very similar to this one, except I used 1/2 whole wheat flour)

Now the fun part...

Roasted Veggies:
5 or 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 green pepper, sliced into smaller pieces
1/4 red pepper, sliced into smaller pieces
3 cremini mushrooms, sliced
1/4 to 1/3 garlic bulb (depending on how much you like garlic)
handful of pine nuts
rosemary, oregano (or italian herb mix) for seasoning

pizza/pasta sauce (homemade, storebought, whatever)
pesto (homemade, storebought, whatever)

  1. Crust: Make/buy your crust. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees.
  2. Roast the vegetables: First, place your sliced veggies into a medium-sized bowl. Brush or drizzle them with olive oil, and sprinkle on some rosemary and oregano to season. Next, toss them, or spin them around in the bowl so that they are coated with a then layer of the oil and herbs. Put them onto an oven-friendly dish or tray, and bake them on the *top* rack in your HOT oven for 10-15 minutes (maybe more), checking every few minutes, until they begin to brown and soften up. Feel free to get in there with a spatula or a spoon to move them around a bit to cook them more evenly. The peppers may even get a couple dark, burnt spots - this is okay. After you feel they are sufficiently roasted, remove the tray and transfer the veggies to a new plate or bowl.
  3. Make your pizza: First, the preliminary pizza sauce slathering - you know how that goes. Next, put a few large dollops of pesto sauce randomly onto the pizza. Layer on your roasted veggies. Top with pine nuts, and season with rosemary and oregano, and S&P if desired. Bake all this in your 500 degrees oven for about 10 minutes, until the crust begins to brown.
  4. Remove from oven, cool for a few minutes on a cutting board, slice away...and enjoy!!! If you have a small-normal appetite this will last you 2 meals :)

Friday, March 13, 2009

health foods is overrated.

This week I learned there are some asshats in this world who are blind to the beauty of a simple salad.  Instead, they will belittle you in public and insist on complicating their meals with expensive foreign cheeses (really.. in this economy!)  but friends, these snobs are dead wrong. because all the most attractive chefs agree: delicious food doesn't always have to be mad complicated, as long as it's tasty.  so, i will continue to post simple recipes (see below) just to spite you. 

The other day i was searching around for snackies and i found half a bag of Natural Raw Almonds (NRA?) in my cupboards.  i guess i was on a 2 second health kick when i bought them - le pivik does that to me sometimes... anyways, these plain almonds were kinda boring me so i got the idea to candify them! like candied almonds you get at fairs? i was slightly unsure how to go about this and kinda burnt them on the 1st attempt :/ but i'll take that as proof that im not a carnie?  the 2nd try was much more successful. or at least they were eaten up by the roomie and guest. and me. 

1 1/2 cups natural raw almonds  
1 1/2 cups sugar 
1/2 cup water 
1 tsp vanilla 
wooden spoon 

1. Mix your water, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon in a pot and bring to a boil. 
2. Once the mixture is boiling, pour in the almonds, lower the heat to medium, and stir stir stir! if you don't stir constantly it will probably burn the almonds and/or ruin your pot . . . 
3.  Its kinda fun to watch the sugar in action (like chem class!) as it caramelizes then dries out again. At this point you want to stir your concoction just a while longer so the sugar slightly melts again. 
4. Spread the almonds out onto a baking sheet to cool for a few minutos.  if the almonds aren't roasted to your liking - just pop them in the oven (@350) for a bit, just watch that they don't burn...   

chomp! chomp!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Spinach Pasta

This is one of the better meals I have made in the past little while. So I thought I would share the love. It is uber simple and needs NO BLENDER or any other ‘fancy’ gadget.

What you will need:

• 2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes.
• 1 (19 ounce) can cannellini beans (still have no clue what this is, so I used chickpeas), drained and rinsed
• 10 ounces fresh spinach, washed and chopped
• 8 ounces penne pasta
• 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese


1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water.
2. Meanwhile, combine tomatoes and beans in a large non-stick skillet. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.
3. At this point add your favourite herbs and spices.
4. Add spinach to the sauce; cook for 2 minutes or until spinach wilts, stirring constantly.
5. Serve sauce over pasta, and sprinkle with feta.

Enjoy every mouthful!

Killer Salad Recipe

Although some may see salad as a ubiquitous staple, not worthy of a post on this blog, I for one would strongly disagree. I have therefore decided to post this salad recipe in the hope that all will begin to appreciate this culinary marvel.


- 1 carrot, chopped (I have found Owen’s technique absolutely essential:
- 1 (ripe) Tomato, diced
- 5 (green, clean) leaves of large lettuce
- olive oil (un petit soupçon!)
- balsamic vinegar
- a pinch of Dijon mustard

N.B. No black olives!


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Macadamia Chocolate Chip Cookies

Macadamia Chocolate Chip Cookies

You will need:

2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 c butter or hard margarine softened at room temperature
3/4 c brown sugar
3/4 c white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 c white chocolate chips
1/2 c macadamia nuts coarsely chopped


  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter or margarine, sugars,and egg until the mixture is light.
  2. Stir in the vanilla, then add the flour that has been mixed with the baking soda and salt. Add the chocolate chips and nuts and mix well.
  3. If the mixture looks dry, add water, one tablespoon at a time until the batter is no longer crumbly.
  4. Drop by tablespoons on an ungreased baking sheet about one inch apart. Bake at 375F for 8 minutes until lightly browned. Cool the cookies for a few minutes on the baking sheet and remove them to a rack to cool completely.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Liquid Lunch

So I went to the gym and did a lot of running around this morning, and came home around lunchtime feeling very hungry and craving some vitamin c!

I have been experimenting lately with smoothies (mostly just with putting greens in them), and thus, liquid lunch seemed like a great idea.

Here's what I did:

2 cups chopped, rinsed kale
1/2 cup frozen mixed berries
1 banana
1 small-to-medium orange, separated
1 scoop protein powder, if you have it (I use Heartland Gold Brown Rice Protein)
Water (or milk, soymilk, etc if you don't have protein powder)

Put it all together in a blender (kale at the bottom, followed by protein powder, berries, orange, banana, and just a bit of water - you can always add more later) and whiz away! (I can't believe I just said 'whiz away'). You might find that you have to stop blending and push the fruit down a bit. Just don't do this while the blender is running (TRUST ME.) and you, and your smoothie, will be fine.

Now the great part - I get to tell you about all the fantastic things in this smoothie!

First off, I want to point out that this smoothie packs 2 servings of vegetables (kale) and 3 servings of fruit (orange, banana, berries). That's almost all your recommended fruit and veggies in one meal! Best of all, you get your leafy greens in a highly digestive format (blended) and you can't even taste them with all the other yummy stuff in the smoothie.

Second, I discovered this website that calculates the nutritional info of recipes. I plugged in this smoothie's contents (minus the protein powder, because they don't have it on their list). Here's what came out:

Nutrition Facts
Calories 280.8
Total Fat 1.7 g
Saturated Fat 0.4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.6 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 69.9 mg
Potassium 1,309.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 67.1 g
Dietary Fiber 12.9 g
Sugars 8.8 g
Protein 7.6 g a whole whack of other vitamins, including
Vitamin A 7 16.3 %
Vitamin B-6 56.9 %
Vitamin C 339.3 %
Vitamin E 12.6 %
Calcium 28.0 %
Folate 26.0 %
Iron 18.0 %

My protein powder adds 80 calories, 2g fiber, and 16g protein. So my smoothie had roughly 360 cal, 15g fiber, and almost 24g protein. Not bad!