Today’s lunch is a new twist on an old favourite: rice and beans. Veggie bowls like these are a cheap and cheerful way to get your five to ten servings of fruit and vegetables, too. We started with reheated leftover brown rice and cooked beans. Then we topped this with grilled pattypan and orange bell pepper, and some diced avocado. Finally, a dressing (for two) with 1 T (15ml) each lemon juice, soy sauce, maple syrup, sesame oil and 1 t (5ml) wasabi paste for just the right fusion of flavour.
These veggies are as fresh as can be – harvested in our own garden and roasted within minutes of being picked.
Choose your own mix of veg and herbs. Chop into bite-sized pieces, toss with a little olive oil and wrap in a double layer of foil. Put this on your grill while it’s heating, turning occasionally. It’ll be done when your steak or pork chop is cooked. Not grilling meat? About 10 minutes (plus the preheating time) should do the trick.
So many good things are coming out of the garden this time of year…it makes all the cold, wet planting in spring worth it. Today we had a small grilled steak with a little chipotle spice and the remains of our crunchy potato salad from the weekend. Paired with a lovely mix of greens (mizuna, Simpson lettuce, romaine, and red leaf lettuce) topped with green onion and mushrooms, dressed in a balsamic Dijon vinaigrette, it truly was the taste of summer at its best.
It’s the rainy Monday of a long weekend and we’ll be working to prep for the coming week. Something with a multitude of flavours should inspire us. We started with four slices of homemade whole wheat bread – nutty and tasty. We dipped these in a mixture of egg and milk (2 medium eggs and about half a cup or 125ml of 1% milk in our case). Our electric grill/griddle has both smooth and rippled plates so we heated it up with one of each in place. French toast on the flat side, and tasty local plums on the ridgy one. They might stick a little, but the flavour is fantastic.
Topped with a little maple syrup from our friends down the road at Acadian Maple Products, this was a sweet start to the day.
To our Nova Scotian friends, happy Natal Day. Happy Simcoe Day, Ontario….and for all of you celebrating some sort of holiday Monday, have a safe, fun holiday, however you spend it.
Yesterday we planned for a barbecue party…which is always a risk on a long weekend. Either the guest list will be feast, or famine. The low turnout means leftovers – a great opportunity for creativity. Couple that with an over abundant vegetable garden and our cooking imaginations are getting a fantastic workout.
On the menu this rainy Sunday morning: mushrooms and Swiss chard, sautéed in just a little butter. Then we tipped in a couple of medium eggs, beaten lightly. When the omelette could be folded, we topped it with a couple of cheddar slices (which also went down a treat on yesterday’s homemade burgers), covering the pan, just until they melted.
We served this delicious omelette on hamburger buns, spread with Kozlik’s Triple Crunch (secured on our last visit to Toronto) and topped with baby tomato slices. With a mug of hot Just Us! coffee on the side, we’re feeling pretty grateful about the whole start to today.
We have lived in other jurisdictions where the middle of June seems like an unlikely start to summer. It’s already been hot for ages. But here in Atlantic Canada, even when the temperature is in the 20s (70s or 80s, my Fahrenheit friends), the wind is sufficient that it rarely feels hot.
But today we had an awesome, sunny, warmish day. And so we barbecued. This is the result. Veg from our garden, except local tomatoes and spuds.
We were in town yesterday for some errands, a visit to Fred, lunch, and a stop at Highland Drive. We were planning a nice mushroom risotto, but once we bought these delicious-looking pork chops we were tempted to rearrange the meal plan. The threat of rain in the forecast sealed the deal. On the side: local veg salad. Sometimes simple is simply the best.
It all started with a trip to the market yesterday, where we bought some delicious-looking bacon from Sweet Williams…
The great thing about really nice bacon (instead of cheap, mass-produced bacon) is that there is a lot of flavour in a single, beautiful slice. Paired with some hot mustard, tomato, and egg…you have the makings of a tasty breakfast.
Make the egg runny, or not, as is your taste. Assemble and enjoy.
The cold, damp weather made for an uninspiring grilling day yesterday, so instead, we thought we would make some Salisbury steak from our ground beef. A check of the larder revealed sufficient missing ingredients that we needed to improvise.
We started by putting 2 diced potatoes to boil – peel on, as they are great that way for a rustic mash.
We made two patties with lean ground beef (8 oz for two), a minced clove of garlic and a few tablespoons of minced onion (shallot if you’ve got it!) We cooked these in a tiny amount of olive oil in a nonstick pan, medium high heat for 3 minutes per side. Then they went on a plate in a 250F oven while we finished the sauce…
In the pan, sauté about 1/3 of an onion (diced) with a diced sweet pepper, until the onion is translucent. Add 1/2 c (125ml) marinara and red wine, and bring to a simmer. Slip the patties into the sauce, cover, and simmer long enough to steam some peas as a side dish. Turn the patties, mash the potatoes, and serve.
Comforting food on a chilly day.
We kept them warm
We spent part of Good Friday in our usual way, praying and contemplating with friends, the darkest point of the Easter story. After driving home from Mass along the seaside, watching the sun glinting off the ocean, we spent most of the afternoon doing yard work. It truly feels like Easter – small signs of life are revealing themselves all over the garden. After an incredibly fierce winter, this rebirth will really be welcome.
Most Fridays we feature fish on the menu, as much out of habit as custom, but on Good Friday we do make a special effort. The combination of sun and fresh outdoor air begged for the grill, and we had just the fish for it – halibut. We served it perfectly cooked alongside a medley of potato, carrot, and some baby leeks we found hiding under a cover of leaves in the garden.