This orzo is really great on it’s own and would be a nice vegan entree, but these sweet little meatballs make the perfect addition to this dish. I have marked this recipe as Vegan, Gluten free and vegetarian, although all together it is none of these things. The orzo is veg friendly and NOT gluten free, but the meatballs are the exact opposite. Just to clarify.
Simple spring salad. Roast 1 HUGE parsnip quartered (or 2 regular sized ones halved) in a hot oven until tender and brown. I roast these with no oil, just S+P. Set aside cool and chop. Segment and chop 2 oranges, (save juice for dressing) toss 2 handfuls or arugula (fresh from Hotchiss farms) with the parsnips and the orange in a large boil. Then add the remaining orange juice along with a splash of walnut or olive oil and S+P, sprinkle with toasted organic soy nuts, and enjoy.
* Can you tell I am on a crazy quinoa kick? I can’t get enough of it! Did you know that quinoa is really high in protein, fiber, phosphorus, and balanced amino acids. Also it is one of the most ancient grains on the planet, of course it is also Gluten free and even if you don’t have gluten sensitivity, the grain itself is really easy on the digestive system. It is the perfect grain, and I keep replacing pasta, and rice with it in lots of my favorite dishes.
If you know me, likely you know I don’t / can’t / won’t eat anything that resembles mayo, sour cream, yogurt, and the like. After avoiding cheesecake for some 18 years of my life, I realized that not all white stuff is bad, but I still have never tasted artichoke or spinach dip, although It seems to be at every bridal shower / pot luck I have ever attended. I guess the idea of never indulging in said dips inspired me to create this dish… that and the HUGE bag of baby spinach I took home from the market the other day. I also stopped by the Italian market for some divine homemade tortellini stuffed with a cheese blend, thus the no dip artichoke spinach dish.
I started this sauce with a simple roux equal parts whole wheat flour and butter (about 2 tbsp each) in a sauce pan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a metal whisk this roux should start to brown, then add about 1 cup of milk or cream, along with 1 tsp grainy mustard, and fresh grated nutmeg, 1 minced garlic clove, S+P, and some dried organic lemon peel. Stir until the sauce is nice and thick, and then add ribbons of artichokes (from 1 small jar or the other half of a large can after making the below tofu dish) and a handful of a grated firm earthy cheese, parm would be fine, but I have just discovered Nostrala made in the Kootenys and aged in caves, it is FABULOUS this is what I used for this dish.
Cook fresh pasta for 5 minutes or so. In a large strainer place 4 handfuls of baby spinach, and strain your pasta water right over the fresh spinach, and quickly add the cheese and artichoke sauce, toss and serve! This has got to be better than some mayo dip at a pot luck!
On a recent trip out to the Kootenays I was served Organic Silverking Tofu made in Nelson, BC, Hands down this is THE BEST tofu I have ever had in my life! It has real substance and rich flavor. I can’t express enough how much better than anything I have tried it is! This dish is one of many I am sure will come from this new inspirational discovery.
This is a really satisfying soul warming meal that takes only minutes to assemble.
You’ll need 1 cup of Quinoa (or rice, or bulgar, or barley) cooked with a splash of olive oil and sea salt. In a cast Iron skillet bring a good amount of olive oil up to temp, and sear both sides of 4x 1 cm thick slices of medium or firm tofu, simply seasoned with S+P. Once the tofu is nicely browned set aside and slice into 1/2” ribbons. Add 2 heaping tbsp of pesto to the quinoa along with chopped artichoke hearts (2 of them) and about 2 tbsp of toasted pumpkin seeds. Toss in tofu and serve warm, with a garnish of cracked black pepper. enjoy!
Likely if you have made lentils recently you have a whack left over. I always soak and cook way too many, and this is exactly what my boyfriends mom did the other night when she made us a lovely dinner, So I was sent home with a jar of cooked lentils just dying for some tasty companions.
Mmm I am eating this salad while I type the recipe and I can’t stop myself from thinking of all the other great veggie combos that would be perfect in this dish. I think just about any veggies would work just fine, as the real stars here are the grains, lentils, seeds and the sauce! (I just diced up a little of everything sitting around the fridge) Also I love eating this salad while the grain is still warm and all the veggies are cool, but it is just as lovely cooled thoroughly.
In a large bowl mix up your dressing while cooking 1 cup of quinoa (or use left over rice) The dressing starts with a big squeeze of mustard (about 1 tbsp) Sea Salt, Pepper, lemon zest, 1 tbsp sesame oil, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp garlic honey, 3 tbsp (ish) of extra virgin olive oil, and a dash of red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar. mix well and add 1 cup cooked lentils, and the following veggies I diced into tiny cubes: about 6 baby carrots, 1/4 red onion, 1 clove garlic, 1 tiny zucchini, 2 celery stocks, 1 handful of baby spinach. Then add 1 big pinch (like 1-2 tbsp) of each flax seed, hemp seed, sunflower seed, and pumpkin seed. Toss with the cooked quinoa (about 1 cup) mix and enjoy!
* I will finally start catching up on posting all the recipes I have accumulated over the last 3 weeks, of little activity. stay tuned.
What an amazing night!
I am so thrilled to have hosted a sold out group of 340 food lovers, who enjoyed fabulous food and a great amount of valuable information!
I just want to THANK again all of our amazing farmers, chefs, bakers, community activists, entrepreneurs and my fabulous tiny crew of volunteers who participated in making last night such a huge success!
Here is a summary of participants so you can track them down and support their endeavours.
Our Farmers & Producers: Winters Turkeys, Poplar Bluff Farm, Spragg Meats, Chinook Honey, Saskatoon Farm, Second to None Meats, Broek Acres Pork, Wild Rose Brewery, Alberta Greens, Verde Tea, Our Chefs and Bakers: A Lady Bug Cafe, Holy Grill, Light Cellar, Tasty Life, Route 40 Soup Company, Rouge, Fresh Kitchen, the District, Our Community Groups: SPUD, CLUCK, City Chicks, Calgary Food Policy Council, A.B.C., Big Sky Permaculture, Permaculture Calgary, Slow Food Calgary, Leaf & Lyre, Jade Ecology, Our sponsors: Bullfrog Power, Community Natural Foods, The Calgary Herald, The Calgary Public Library, Our Entertainment: Food Fight the movie, Chris Velan the musician, and Us: REAP and Earth Day Canada!
* And now that that is behind me I’ll start wading through my back load of recipes and get posting… Also we are starting to get active on our building blog again this week, as we begin making regular trips out the Koot’s to get that big ‘ol garden going, our workshops will be posted soon, for those of you who want to sling cob, mud and straw and help build our chicken heated greenhouse. Our farming adventure starts here! stay tuned.
All of the below photos were taken at amazing Alberta farms this week. I was thrilled to participate in the Galimax Trading: Chef’s Tour where I ate my way across southern Alberta one farm at a time! Thanks to Rudy for arranging such a wonderful day out, and thanks to all the farmers who welcomed, educated and fed 300 Calgary chefs! * more about this tour in a later post (likely after Food 4 Thought wraps up)
FOOD 4 THOUGHT: The big event is only days away and I am happy to announce the exciting line up of participating Farmers, Producers and Chefs who will be providing us with a “taste” of sustainable farming and eating!
Rouge Poplar Bluff Farms & Wild Rose Brewery
Fresh Kitchen Broek Pork Acres & Poplar Bluff Farms
Route 40 Soup Co. Wild Rose Brewery & Winters Turkeys
The District Spragg Meats
Holy Grill Canadian Celtic Cattle Co & Second to None Meats
And for all you gasping vegetarians just wait…
Tasty Life Saskatoon Berry Farm
The Light Cellar Chinook Honey
SPUD * offering abundant veggies and fruits
Lady Bug Cafe
* Community Natural Foods has sponsored the Uptown Concession, so we will be serving Non GMO, Organic Popcorn + all organic fixins’
There will also be multiple Community Groups present who are working in all areas of food security and backyard sustainability, Including:
Calgary Permaculture Group, CLUCK, A.B.C Backyard Bees, & Slow Food Calgary.
Food 4 Thought tickets are now one sale at both Community Natural Foods Locations and at the REAP Calgary site