Don't Waste the Taste!

As part of our “use it up” series, today’s lunch is the remainder of last night’s fish pie.   
It started with leftover celeriac gratin, to which we added some steamed carrots and sliced mushrooms. Any leftover veg would do, though. We also had part of a container of whipping cream, and of course, the last of our amazing roast haddock from Hooked. Again, if you have other leftover fish, or even a tin of wild-caught salmon, this will work nicely. No whipping cream? Try regular milk with a tablespoon of cornstarch stirred in. 

Heat all of this to bubbling over gentle heat in an ovenproof dish, while you heat your oven to 400F

Meanwhile, make the biscuit topping like so:

In a medium bowl, combine 1 c each white flour and whole wheat flour. This makes a thick topping for four, otherwise feel free to halve it! Stir in 1/2 T brown sugar, 2 t baking powder and 1/2 t baking soda. Give a grind of salt and pepper. Quickly stir in 1 c fat free yogurt, just until blended. You may need to knead a couple of times by hand. Turn out onto a floured surface and pat to the size of your casserole. Place on top of the fish filling.

After 15 minutes drop the heat to 350 and bake another 15 minutes. At this point you can turn the heat off and it will stay warm in the oven for another 15-20 if someone is running late. 

Leftovers? Reheat from refrigerator cold by placing in a cold oven. Turn heat to 350. When your oven comes up to 350, time for 15 minutes and you’re set.

Also, the same topping can be rolled into biscuits – skip the pepper and follow the method as given. Roll 1″ thick and cut into circles. Bake on a cookie sheet w parchment at 400 for 20 minutes.)

Saturday, and the Living is Easy

Weekends are a great time for a relaxing breakfast – but this easy oatmeal recipe takes so little effort, we often have it on weekdays, too.

For two:

Put in a microwaveable glass  or ceramic casserole:

1 diced Apple

3/4 c large flake or steel cut oats 

A sprinkle of cinnamon 

1/2 c chopped nuts or seeds (we used hazelnuts and black sesame seeds for this version)

1-1/2 c water

No need to stir!

Microwave uncovered on high for 3 minutes, and on 50% power for 5 more minutes.

Stir and serve with maple syrup and some milk or nut milk.


Inspired DIY for Breakfast

You might look at this bowl and see fruit, or delicious walnuts, or cinnamon. I, however, see yogurt. It’s yogurt I made myself. 

I’ve been contemplating making my own yogurt for ages. The time was never right. I wasn’t organized, or finished off the yogurt, or didn’t have enough milk when the urge struck. But finally, I found my moment. Inspired by my friend from the Interwebs, The Zero Waste Chef, I decided to give it a go. I read lots of different recipes and methodologies. Most involved some convoluted method for keeping the yogurt warm without using a yogurt-maker. The beginning part was similar for most, but here’s what I did:

Heat milk to 180 degrees, stirring all the while. (I used about 3/4 of a 1L jar that I planned to used to store it in). Each expert differed on milk. Some wanted whole milk only. We drink 1% when we drink milk. I used that.

Now, cool it down to 110.

As I understand it, this helps break down the casein and makes the milk more “fermentation friendly”.

I poured it into an overnight-rated Thermos – the kind that is supposed to keep your food hot for a very long time. To this I added about 1/3 cup or 75ml of yogurt with active cultures – the kind we usually buy. Plain. No additives or preservatives. Then I called it, gave it a shake, and let it sit all day. 

At dinner time I peeked in, with some trepidation. It looked yogurt-y. It was thick enough that it was hard to pour from the Thermos. It wasn’t as smooth as a commercial variety, but it definitely tasted like yogurt. This morning, some of it was breakfast. No sugar added, just fruit that was frozen in season, a sprinkling of cinnamon, and some chopped walnuts. Probably this was the most chemistry fun I’ve had since learning the orange juice volcano.

Using it Up, with Flavour!

We had some roasted tofu in the fridge (for you vega phobics it almost tastes like chicken). The roasted root vegetable and red lentil soup was in the freezer from last week. (Abridged version: cook red lentils, add leftover cooked veg and a little water or broth, purée with a hand blender and a tablespoon of curry powder).

I diced the roasted tofu leftovers, in my fridge for a couple of days, and stirred into the soup. Excellent for a partner or roomie with a cold!


Here’s how to roast the tofu: Press unwrapped firm tofu on a plate by weighting another plate on top with a can for 20 minutes, drain and cut into 1″/2.5cm cubes. Drizzle w soy sauce, sesame oil and grate over some fresh ginger. Bake at 400F for about 20 minutes, turning occasionally until golden brown.


Like this, but with a local twist…

One of the most important ways to contain your food costs is to never waste. This week, we bought local produce. Yes, the cheese is imported, but we could just have easily used a local variety, if we hadn’t had to use this kind up.

Here’s a link to the original recipe – although practically every ingredient is changed. For the turnip, we used its larger purple and yellow cousin, the rutabaga. We also swapped out the beans for kidney beans we had on hand – in our case cooked without salt and a little chili powder. Red cabbage was swapped for green, and pecorino for Manchego. Even the vinegar was subbed with our homemade wine vinegar.

The result? Every bit as delicious. Vegans can easily use soy cheese,  and although the recipe suggested this as a side, it’s so good, full of fibre and colour that the two of us split it as a main.

Stay tuned as we find more ways to make our limited supply of local produce look fresh and exciting!

Healthy Made Simple

Healthy choices are made out by some to be complicated. They are all about giving up things we love. Instead, let’s think about how we can simplify what we eat.

We have half a leftover roast chicken in the fridge. (Learn to roast it yourself to avoid the excessive salt of the store’s rotisserie version). More on that another day. We also have some beef ragu, some chickpeas, and a selection of seasonal, local veg. This week I’ll post as we work through healthy easy ways to use it all up, and save money, too.

Although we aren’t vegetarians or vegans, I might add that a plant based diet is definitely healthier, IF WE MAKE GOOD CHOICES. So you’ll also see lots of meatless options.

Let’s start with lunch. Frozen whole wheat roti are warmed in the  oven for 5 minutes, and stuffed with this mixture (for two):

1 diced tomato

1 chicken breast, diced, skin removed

1 T/15ml light mayo (not salad dressing, avoid added sugar)

1 T/15ml Dijon mustard

Serve with a glass of milk or nut milk.

Speedy Sunday Pancakes

It’s Sunday morning and we are rushing around to get out the door (again). No excuse not to have a delicious breakfast in our bellies! 

For two:

In a blender, whirr 

2T / 30ml flaxseed to grind (always keeps better if you grind as needed)


3/4 c  180ml buckwheat flour 

2 t / 10ml baking powder

1T / 15 ml brown sugar

Pulse to mix

Then add

1 c / 250 ml almond milk 

1 large egg or egg substitute 

1 T / 15 ml butter or oil or coconut oil

Mix just to combine (you might need a spatula to help).

If needed just enough milk to make a thick but pourable batter.

Pour pancakes into  a nonstick pan buttered or sprayed with cooking oil on medium high heat, about the size of your palm. They will spread and puff a little.

When bubbles appear and the edges start to look dry, time to flip. My frypan does four at a time. 

They can be kept warm in a 150F oven as additional batches are made. Recipe can be doubled. Finished pancakes can be frozen with parchment in between for reheating in the toaster.

Serve with fruit and maple syrup.

Fresh Winter Flavours

It’s easy to get on a soup kick in the wintertime, but there are still lots of seasonal salad options, even as the cold weather has taken hold. We are fortunate to be able to get local, greenhouse-grown lettuce until spring returns, but cabbage or kale or other winter-hardy greens would work just as well.

Fill your plate with…

2c / 500ml lettuce, washed and torn

Top with

1 pear, sliced

Drizzle with a mixture of 1/2 T or 7ml each 

Dijon mustard 

Crunchy mustard

Olive oil

Cider vinegar

Then grate or crumble 1 oz aged cheddar or other cheese you need to use up since the holidays

And sprinkle with 1T / 15ml chopped walnuts or spiced nuts – (thanks for these @dickiedanger @icfplanetweird) and 1T / 15ml raisins.

Switch out the greens, the pears for apples or citrus, different nuts (or even cooked pulses) and cheese – and your winter salad repertoire will be infinite.



Eat Veggies Any Way You Can!

We’re well into the first week of 2016 and always looking for ways to get a few more plants into the diet, and to waste less.

Today’s feature? An open-face, use-it-up omelette. It features leftover salad and some unfinished quark, but cottage cheese and any leftover veg would work. For two:

2c/500 ml leftover veg, sautéed in a lightly oiled pan

Lightly beat 3 large eggs and pour over.

Start some rye or whole wheat toast if desired.

Top omelette with 1/3 – 1/2 c quark or low fat cottage cheese and cook over low heat until golden on the bottom.

Fold and serve with toast, comme ça: