1. Roasted Carrot Dip

    October 29, 2014 by Sarah

    This is probably one of the easiest things I make, and also one of the most requested ‘recipes’- if you can even call it that. It’s only got two ingredients- carrots and greek yogurt. But apparently, after hearing about the disappointing results of friends who have tried to make it, easy to screw up.

    Roasted Carrot DipI usually make it with old carrots found at the back of the fridge- dried out and unfit for enjoyable raw consumption. However this time, there happened to be multiple bags of mini carrots in the fridge, so I used one of those instead. Just lightly coat the carrots with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and then roast them in the oven till they’re soft and shrivelled and a bit brown.

    Roasted Carrot Dip

    After that, just let the carrots cool a bit, then blend them up in a food processor. Transfer the carrot mash to a bowl, and add in as much greek yogurt as you’d like. For reference, this time for my one bag of mini carrots I used a 1/2 cup greek yogurt. Add in a little more salt and pepper to taste, and you’re done. This is also one of those things that taste better the longer you leave them (pre-mold, that is).

    Roasted Carrot Dip


  2. Sweet Potato and Black Bean Wraps

    October 22, 2014 by Sarah

    ….plus roasted peppers, avocado, goat cheese, cilantro and just about anything else in the fridge that sounds good.

    Sweet Potato and Black Bean Wraps

    Just chop up a sweet potato, and roast in the oven with a little olive oil and salt and pepper, till they soften and start to brown. (Or don’t and leave it raw. Just brace yourself for some broken teeth. Come to think of it- does a recipe with raw potatoes even exist? Google? Results- not really. At least not the top 5 search results I looked at [all of which were some version of 'raw mashed potatoes' but did not include any actual potatoes....]. However this did come up, which looks promising. Anyways.. )

    Sauté a little diced onion and garlic in a pan with some olive oil, and then add in a can of drained black beans to heat through. Flavour with whatever spices you like- I added some cumin, chilli powder, cinnamon, pepper and garlic salt. I also added in a small dab of cream cheese to the bean mix which I’d say was nice but not essential.

    Add in the rest of the toppings listed above, and wrap it up in a tortilla, mix it into some rice or go crazy and eat it by itself. Just don’t call it a burrito (…one of my top annoying words….just me?).

    Sweet Potato and Black Bean Wraps

    …don’t forget the goat cheese.


  3. What To Do With A Turkey Carcass

    October 15, 2014 by Sarah

    Thanksgiving’s over, (at least if you celebrate it on the proper date..) and you’re left with a big old dead bird carcass. What to do? Vegetarians, please avert your eyes…

    How to make turkey stock

    Don’t throw that carcass away!  (Your garbage would probably just be attacked by other animals anyway). Just pick off all the meat, break up the bones a little bit and embrace your inner cave man.

    How to make turkey stock

    Fill a pot with bits of your broken up caracas (bones and skin and all..), and add in a few chopped onions, garlic cloves, carrots and stalks of celery. Flavour it further with some pepper corns, bay leaves, parsley and sage. Then fill it up with cold water, bring everything to a boil, then turn it down and let it simmer slowly. After about 4 hours (and some straining) you are left with this:

    How to make turkey stock

    A gross brown oily looking bowl of liquid….aka turkey stock better then any grocery store near you- for all your turkey soup needs.


  4. Summertime Reads

    October 8, 2014 by Sarah

    This summer I rediscovered my library card, lost my library card, and stacked up some library late fees. In the midst I read some pretty good books, which may or may not fit into the cliche of summer beach reads. While it may be quickly turning to fall, here are a few of my favourite books from the past few months:

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    Necessary Lies
    By Diane Chamberlain

    necessary lies

    Necessary Lies takes place in racially tense North Carolina in the 1960s, during a time of state-mandated sterilizations. It follows two intertwining stories- that of a young social worker, and the impoverished rural women she is assigned to help. It was a very interesting look at a part of history I knew little about- and very representative of why I enjoy historical fiction so much. It was a fascinating story with memorable characters, and a book I felt I learned a lot from.

    The Help
    By Kathryn Stockett

    Thehelpbookcover

    The Help is a novel about black maids working in white households in the 1960s in Jackson, Mississippi. It is told from the perspective of three women- 2 maids, and a young white woman who aspires to write a book about the reality of their lives. I saw the movie a few years ago, and remember enjoying it- then read the book, and enjoyed it even more. I felt every single character was really well developed, and the whole history of the story very interesting. This book definitely came close to making it on this list.

    Gone Girl
    By Gillian Flynn

    Gone_Girl_(Flynn_novel)

    Gone Girl tells the story of an unhappily married couple, and the husband’s uncertain intentions that arise when the wife mysteriously disappears. I certainly wouldn’t call this a light beach read- in fact almost the opposite. Gone Girl was intense, slightly disturbing and totally different from the style of book I normally gravitate too. That said, I got really hooked, was genuinely surprised by the various twists, and couldn’t guess the ending till just about the very last page.  Looking forward to seeing the movie!

    Other runner-up books include: Paper Towns (by John Green), The Lowland (by Jhumpa Lahiri), and A House in the Sky (by Amanda Lindhout [...actually one of my favourites, but separate review to come] )


  5. Sandwiches Are Beautiful..

    October 1, 2014 by Sarah

    ….etc, etc, etc. Except for the fact that I do not, as the song goes, eat them all the time. Beautiful as they may sometimes be, they are not something I would every typically make myself on an average day (especially considering a somewhat recent aversion to cold sandwiches..?). However ever since I’ve been working on a particular project, that involves a (free) sandwich wagon (literally) coming around every day precisely 3 hours after morning call time, I’ve been a little more interested. So when the day comes in a few weeks when the jobs done and I become deprived of the usual falafel veggie wrap or crusty roll with turkey, cranberries and melty brie, I’ll have a look at these pictures, and remember, that I myself am still capable of putting various food in between 2 pieces of bread.

    Sandwich1: Egg salad. Usually my last choice when it comes to sandwiches, however I don’t mind it once in a while. When I know it has been made very recently and not sitting out in the sun for 10 hours. It’s always a concern.

    Egg salad sandwich

    Sandwich 2: Hummus, grilled zucchini, artichokes, sun dried tomatoes and basil. AKA just about vegetarian (/vegan) perfection..

    Roasted vegetable sandwich DSC_0400-rApologies for getting this stuck in your head….

     


  6. Sweet Date and Nut Bites

    September 24, 2014 by Sarah

    While I am quite into my kitchen experiments, going without sugar is not something that tempts me. (until I wrote this. am now potentially interested in the challenge. as long as it was short term [obviously] and did not fall over a holiday or other sugar involved festivity). That said, should this ever be something one were to undertake, this is a recipe I would most certainly recommend. Chocolatey yet sugar free. Equivalent in size to a cookie or other easily portable sweet snack. And easy to alter according to whatever you’ve got on hand.

    Sweet Date and Nut Bites

    Here’s what I pulled out of the baking drawer and blended together (in a food processor for a few minutes, then rolled into balls and put in the fridge) this time:

    • 1 cup dates (soaked in hot water a few min to soften)
    • 1/2 cup pecans (toasted)
    • 1/2 cup hazelnuts (toasted)
    • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
    • 1 tbls cocoa nibs (also soaked in hot water a few min)
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1/2 tsp almond extract
    • 1 tbls coconut oil (liquid)
    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    • small pinch of sea salt

     

    These also happen to be unintentionally vegan and raw, as well as sugar, dairy, egg and gluten free- should you be so inclined. And also, despite all these things, pretty tasty too.


  7. Preserving Your Food

    September 17, 2014 by Sarah

    Considering the substantial amount of food waste in the Western world, there’s a good chance you’ve found yourself with an abundance of food about to go bad at one point or another. So instead of adding to the landfill or gorging until you have to undo your belt buckle more then one notch, try a few of these ideas instead.

    Drying

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    Drying your food can take a long time, but if you happen to be puttering around the house all day, worth it. And if you’re anything like me and avoid anything over ‘mild’ on the spice meter, one batch of dried chili peppers could last you a whole year (or longer). And yes, you can dry things other then chilis. You’ll just have to ask google about that.

    Jam

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    Once I conquered my fear of poisoning all of my loved ones with botulism, the idea of canning became a lot more enjoyable. I was able to preserve an enormous amount of fruit this summer with jam- that of course, we couldn’t all eat fresh. You can also try and make jelly, but I would highly recommend not following my instructions.

    Blanching

    DSC_0304-rBlanching is as easy as boiling something for 30 seconds, throwing it in cold water, straining and freezing. This works well with almost any leafy green (expect lettuce. thats gross), and was a great way to tame this once it overtook the whole garden.

    Pureeing

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    Just cook up your item of choice, throw it in the blender, and freeze. Works best with root vegetables and squashes, less so with roast dinners.

    Freezing

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    I may or may not do an upcoming post with tips on freezing different types of fruit, so I don’t want to give any spoilers. But I will say it involves throwing berries or chopped fruit in a bag and putting it into the freezer.

    If all else fails, just combine all your pre-mold remains into one of your favourite fridge cleaning recipes- soups and pasta sauces are my go-tos, with both also freezing well if you’re not going to eat right away.