The second best thing about St. Patrick’s Day is the day after. Assuming you paced yourself with the boiled dinner, there’s enough left for hash the next day. Cook it all up in a nonstick pan and top with an egg. If you’re worried about the calories, don’t forget: move more. Fortunately with yet another blizzard assaulting the city, we know exactly how we will be doing that.
Around the world, and even around your town, there are people struggling to simply get enough to eat. Their food security is precarious at the best of times. But for most of us, the choice is between good-for-us food, and not-so-much. With all the shovelling and digging out we’ve had this winter, it would be easy to say we could “afford” the calories in some bad, unhealthy food. However we prefer to think of it this way: harsh conditions require the best food possible. This morning, multigrain toast (homemade) and a veggie scramble with local eggs and a judicious grating of PEI’s COWS aged cheddar.
Nutritious food seems expensive if you keep buying junk food. But if you replace the junk and plan wisely, you can eat well and have food left over to help your local food bank. So instead of overdoing, eat healthy, and think of how you can nourish someone else today.
The calendar SAYS it’s spring, but the wild weather we’ve been having here on the east coast sure doesn’t seem like it. Somewhere between “the best defense is a good offense” and “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”, we came up with last night’s dinner idea.
On the table in a couple of hours, while we watched the freezing rain coating the trees outside: Apple braised veal shank with roasted winter vegetables. We started with some delicious veal shank from Halifax’s Seaport Market. Four servings meant we would have leftovers for today’s lunch.
After browning the shanks in olive oil, we put them aside on a plate and added a sliced onion, a sliced clove of garlic, and a stalk of celery to the pan, stirring until translucent. At the same time, we reconstituted a package of wild dried mushrooms in 1-3/4c boiling water and 1/4c or 60ml apple brandy in a heatproof measuring cup. 2c/500ml of apple slices went in next, along with 1c/250ml of sliced fresh mushrooms, and the reconstituted fungi and their broth. A sprinkle of tarragon and nutmeg rounded out the flavour.
We nestled the shanks in the vegetable mix, and covered it in preparation for the next step.
Meanwhile, in a separate casserole dish, we put a carrot, a small turnip, and some sweet potato, roughly chunked. This was tossed with dried rosemary, and 2T/30ml each of olive oil and maple syrup.
Everything went into a 350F oven for the remainder of the 2 hours. The meat was strictly “do not disturb”, but we stirred the veg about 3 times.
Our conclusion? Winter WILL go away eventually, but until then, we will stave off the chill with one last go at some of our favourite winter recipes.
Yesterday we had a typical Canadian spring shock to the system. After days of gloriously mild weather, it turned very chilly, gray, and windy. Since we spent the day running around (Alliance Française for French class, some lunch, then the Canada Blooms show, then errands…whew!) we wanted a warming sort of dinner.
We made this easy chicken and pasta dish, which serves 3 (leftovers for Sunday lunch, with a salad).
Cook 100g (3.5 oz) whole wheat spaghettini.
Meanwhile, in 10ml (2 t) olive oil, sauté a leek that has been sliced and rinsed (white and light green parts only) until it starts to become translucent. Add 125 ml chopped cauliflower (1/2 c) and two spears of asparagus, sliced into bite-size lengths. Put a lid on this and give it a couple of minutes to release a bit of liquid. Then stir in a diced tomato, 30ml (2T) pesto, and 60ml or 1/4 c of pasta water. Lid, turn down the heat, and let it simmer til the pasta is done.
Drain the pasta and mix into the veg. Put the lid back on and let the whole thing sit on very low heat for 3 or 4 minutes for the flavour to develop.
As local grocery stores begin to stock spring vegetables from distant producers, it can be tempting to fill the table with fresh green foods like asparagus. But St. Patrick’s Day or thereabouts is a good time to remind ourselves that there are still delicious ways to serve the carrots, cabbages and potatoes that are the staple of Canadian winter locavores. In our case we heated and puréed the leftovers from Saturday night’s Boiled Dinner. Then we stirred in a little cream we picked up at Better Bulk, and garnished with a few carefully-hidden slices of corned beef.