It’s definitely here. As winter creeps upon us and chills our insides, it is important to stay warm from the inside out. This is the time of year that I reach for thick leggings versus pants, as I need extra layers of warmth like I need extra heat in my belly. This borscht recipe is one of my all time favorite ways to seek comfort, and I’ve been making it for the family ever since I’ve been lucky enough to have one (it’s been a few years). Continue reading
Tag Archives: recipes
I recall a recent convo I had with a girlfriend who was looking forward to making this raw Brussels sprout salad I posted a while back after our Canadian Thanksgiving last month. The salad was to be enjoyed by the whole family, just not her dad, who prefers his sprouts on the ‘plain’ side. Read: just steamed or boiled, as is, & with no flavoring at all. And while I love these little beauties all ways (steamed they are delicious), I think the best part about them is how well they go with so many other foods.
So if you aren’t my girlfriend’s dad (who also happens to be my boss), you might just
like love this take on sprouts. Here, they are roasted to sweetness and tossed warm with a few of my favorite ingredients for a sophisticated, somewhat Mediterranean style side dish.
Roasting Brussels sprouts is certainly not new to the food world, and I recall my first experience with them 15 years ago at an old job. I worked in a gourmet deli where I passed the kitchen at least 20 times a day. Which meant at least as many roasted sprouts that were destined for the deli case ended up in my mouth as I went by.
For this dish, I soaked and cooked my own Cannellini beans, but you can find these babies canned in any grocery store and make throwing this dish together that much easier.
Less boring, boiled Brussels sprouts means folks might actually learn to love them. Less buttery, starchy side dishes means more fiber, and easy roughage. Less traditional takes on our old favorites means more exciting flavors at the table, so dinner together gets a whole lot more appealing for all.
More cabbage family veggies means more easy on the tummy digesting. More plant-based proteins means less tax on the tummy. More tasty takes on veggies means more ways to get folks excited, so meal time is always a cause to celebrate.
Thyme Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Cannellini Beans:
- (15) medium – large Brussels sprouts
- (3) tbsp olive oil for roasting sprouts
- (1/2) tsp salt for roasting sprouts
- (1-1.5) cups cooked Cannellini beans (white kidney beans)
- (1/2) cup soft sun-dried tomatoes (either oil-packed or soft as is)
- (1/2) cup feta cheese, cubed (vegans: sub 1/4 cup capers for a salty finish)
- (1/2) tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped (2-3 sprigs)
- (2-3) tbsp olive oil for finish
- black pepper to taste
Start by rinsing the fresh sprouts under cold water and draining well in a colander. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Oil a flat rimmed cookie sheet with (1) tbsp of the olive oil for roasting and begin to prepare the sprouts. Using a large bowl, trim the butt end of each sprout off and cut them in halves. Peel any rough outer leaves off and discard, along with the butt ends.
Once the sprouts are all halved, toss them with other 2 tablespoons of oil and the salt. You can either add the thyme now to the sprouts or add it after roasting for a slightly different flavor, I have tried them both ways and they are both fantastic. Lay the oil tossed sprouts onto the oiled flat pan and put into the oven once it reaches temperature.
Allow the sprouts to cook for 15-20 minutes before opening the oven to toss them gently and make sure they aren’t sticking to the pan. Once tossed, leave them to cook further for 10-15 more minutes, until soft and showing some brown/blackish spots. Remove from the oven to cool.
While the sprouts cook, prepare the beans, feta (or capers), and tomatoes in a mixing bowl. Slice the tomatoes lengthwise vs. chopping as they look (just a little) prettier (of course totally your call!). Throw in your chopped thyme.
When ready to serve, toss the warm, hot, or room temperature sprouts gently with the rest of the ingredients (I use my hands to make sure I don’t break the feta pieces) and finish with olive oil and freshly ground black pepper.
Serve as is with a feast, or as a feast unto itself. I enjoyed this delicious & satisfying combo many times this week and ate it cold, warm, and all things in between.
Re-heated quickly on the stove this combo made a wonderful lunch accompanied by a bit of roasted squash (my next post) and a splash of good balsamic vinegar.
Last week we cooked with a bunch of kids in need (who isn’t a kid in need though, right?), and I said I’d post some more info on that. There will be more to come, and if you are interested in more photos & info, visit us on Facebook here.
For those of you who so generously donated, I salute you, and thank you sincerely! My heart is giant as a result of your generosity and knowing there are kind-hearted supporters (and true friends – xx) out there from all parts of this beautiful world is nothing short of incredible & immensely encouraging. We go back to do it all over again in less than two weeks!
- What is your favorite way to enjoy Brussels sprouts?
- Are you preparing for Thanksgiving? If so, how?
Wishing everyone a super-charged, super-fantastic week!
Yours in Less,
So it happened again (so many high fives)!
A group of folks got together to spend just under two hours with a group of kids from our fair city’s toughest neighborhood to cook together. To cook real food ~ food that needs no more than a few basic skills to make, skills like peeling, chopping, stirring, boiling, cutting, slicing, and best of all, caring. Continue reading
Life really is a funny thing. As we move forward (which we inevitably have to), it is certainly impossible to know what might inspire us from day-to-day, week to week, and so on. It could be a conversation over lunch, or a person you haven’t seen for years that suddenly pops into your life. It could be a season, or the way you feel after spending quality time outdoors in the fresh air.
I know that for me, I am happiest and most inspired when I’ve got a full, balanced plate in front of me. Pardon the corny food metaphor, but it’s just so apt! Not too much, and not too little. Just the right amount. Having too much (of anything) can certainly cause a feeling of being bogged down. The goal (for me anyways) is always to find some sort of precarious balance and this week, I am finding much strength in looking at ways to further embrace the philosophy and idea behind this blog.
Less is always more (except when it isn’t). Simple & easy might rule around here for a while, as we kick off our next set of NSF cooking classes (pumped!) which are just around the corner. Stay tuned for an update on what we are doing next week as we finalize the recipes, write the ingredient lists, and round-up the best volunteers in the whole entire world (love you guys!).
Of course, we’ll also get to some really great recipes too. Lots of them, in fact! Starting with this amazing version of a popular favorite. Yes, broccoli pesto it is, and it is wonderful, especially when you see what it goes with!
Less oil-heavy sauces means fewer calories and fragmented foods. Less traditional pesto ingredients means more variety and fun ways to eat different things. Less calorie & dairy rich appetizers means lighter eats to snack on anytime, so good taste and light feelings come together.
More fiber filled broccoli means more chlorophyll and vitamins. More lemony, zesty flavor means more punchy bright taste. More pumpkin seeds & fresh herbs means more plant-based nutrition, so eating adventurously is just this good for you & healthy.
Broccoli & Lemon Zest Pesto:
- (1) broccoli floret, washed and chopped (about 2 – 2.5 cups chopped)
- (1/3) cup pumpkin seeds
- (1) clove garlic (optional)
- (1) tsp salt
- (4) tbsp lemon juice
- (1) tsp lemon zest
- (2) tbsp olive oil
- (3/4) cup fresh parsley
- (1/4) cup fresh basil leaves
Start by putting up some water to boil in a small saucepan and steam the broccoli for 2-3 minutes until bright green and tender, but not mushy. Once cooked, remove the broccoli from the heat and set aside.
Roast the pumpkin seeds in a 350 degree oven for 2-3 minutes until turning brown and fragrant. Prepare the lemon juice, lemon zest, & fresh herbs and set aside.
Once the seeds are toasted, remove from the oven and add them directly to the blender warm with all of the prepared ingredients. The mixture might need some agitation with a spatula to get going, but should get going to a nice bit of pureeing in little time. Blend on high until well mixed and bright green.
Serve within a day or two to ensure the best color from the broccoli and the best nutritional value. Broccoli pesto will keep in the fridge for several days and is delicious served with chickpea flat bread, or as a dip for crunchy crackers.
In my next post, I’ll share with you the latest version of chickpea flat bread that has won my heart for good.
Since our return from France in August (and the recipes I brought home from Provence), I’ve had the pleasure to try a many of these, and this one is so far my favorite! So stay tuned for an easy, filling, and nutritious version of what is fast becoming a popular food here at home (and for very good reason).
Stay tuned, you’ll want to make this one, I promise! Also do let me know if you’ve got any streamlining to do as a result of a (rather) full plate, and what is your first thing to let go!
- What do you do when you feel bogged down by details?
- Have you tried a broccoli pesto or chickpea flat bread yet?
Have a wonderful remainder to the week my friends and thank you as always for reading, for your kind comments, and your wonderful feedback on the recipes
Yours in (just a little) Less,
Hey everyone! I hope everyone had a great weekend!
I am sure many of you are enjoyed a nice rest and took some time to enjoy the rest of the delicious posts from Vegan Blogger’s Potluck that went down last week (with great success I might add). Great work and a giant fist bump to all involved!
Today’s recipe is another fave of ours, and it’s one that should make itself super comfy in anyone’s meal repertoire. Chock full of spicy delicious flavors, this classic straight out of Vikram Vij’s first cookbook won my heart straight away. I think you will soon see why!
I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.
~ Thomas Edison
Ginger, tomato, jalapeno, cumin, and coconut…I mean what could be better?
Whipped up in just a few minutes, I challenge you to not want to curl right up into a warm bowl of this curry with a soft blanket and your favorite company…right away
Less complicated meals means easy & healthy are at your fingertips any day. Less heavy, dairy-based curry means more light plant-based goodness. Less heavy meat-based dinners means more satisfied tummies without digestive difficulty, so dinner time leaves you feeling spiced just right.
More high fiber chickpeas means more filling, hearty proteins. More spicy foods in winter means more warming for your insides. More warm bowls of nutrition means less clean up & complicated prep work, so one pot does the trick every time
Easy Coconut Kale Chickpea Curry:
- (1/2) cup canola oil
- (1) tbsp cumin seeds
- (1.5) cups finely chopped onions (1 large yellow should do)
- (2-3) medium tomatoes, chopped
- (1.5) tsp salt
- (4-5) tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
- (2) finely chopped fresh jalapeno peppers
- (4) cups cooked chickpeas
- (1) can coconut milk
- (1) bunch green onions, chopped
- (3-4) cups curly green kale, chopped very finely
Heat the oil in a medium to large pot on medium high for one minute. Add the cumin seeds and cook, stirring frequently, for about 30 seconds (the seeds will start to sizzle and become fragrant). Add the chopped onions and continue to cook on medium high for about 8-10 minutes, until the onions are soft and brown.
Stir in the tomatoes, pepper, ginger and salt, and cook for a further 8-10 minutes, stirring well. THe oil should start to glisten on the top.
Add the chickpeas and coconut milk and stir well. Cover and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat to medium low, keep the pot covered and cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring here and there.
At the last minute, add the chopped green onions and kale and stir in well. Cook the mixture for one to two minutes further until the kale turns bright green.
Serve this curry right away to retain the color in the kale and enjoy it freshly cooked.
Slightly spicy (or quite spicy depending on your idea of spicy), the fresh jalapeno add a kick of warmth to jump-start digestion and the coconut milk and tomatoes make a comforting & delicious sauce to match it.
Serve this dish on its own, or with this delicious homemade Naan Bread…this fabulous and creative (vegan) recipe was originally brought to us by Vegan Richa and has recently been beautifully celebrated again over at Kristy’s wonderful blog. I’ve been looking for a homemade naan recipe to try, so I am excited for this one!
I’m looking forward to trying this at home soon and love the great inspiration that is coming in these days.
Stored in the fridge, leftovers will keep for up to a week and all this needs is a gentle re-heating for an easy and satisfying weekday lunch or dinner. Perfect for these cool (and dark) winter days (over here in North America anyways)!
The greatest wealth is to live content with little.
On another note..this is one busy month for me and the crew at Not So Fast!
We’ve got (2) cooking classes coming up this month, the first being on the horizon in precisely a week from today – November 13th marks the first class!
We’ll be cooking the basics of a healthy day of delicious food on a limited budget with 8 youth here in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. For those of you interested in supporting our efforts…feel free to send a donation our way..every little bit helps, and as little as $5 goes an awful long way towards filling little tummies!
I’ll be sharing all of the details for this as we go along….but for now wish us luck! (THANKS!)
- What’s your favorite warm & spicy winter meal?
- What would a ‘basic day’ of food necessities be to you?
We all have those things we can’t live without, I’d love to know what your ideal healthy food day would look like from a necessity stand point. I’ve a feeling a few of those things might be included in today’s recipe…
Wishing you all the very finest of weeks as always! Love all of your guts….
Yours in Less,