Work With What You’ve Got

Farmer’s market fresh! One thing about summertime trips to the market is that (in the words of my grandfather), your eyes can be bigger than your belly. That’s sort of what happened with the basket of fresh peaches we picked up on Tuesday. To be more specific, it was our capacity to consume them before they hit their tipping point. We’re surrounded by overripe fruit, and so there are peaches in every meal. To top it off, we had a surfeit of cheese, left with us by some departing guests. What to do?

When I have a host of items that need to be used, one of my first thoughts is always salad. It’s a go-to when vegetables are in season. This one started with a vinaigrette of homemade red wine vinegar, canola oil, and Kozlik’s Balsamic Fig and Date mustard – in equal proportions. I mixed this in a large bowl, and then began adding veg – greens from the balcony garden, cucumbers, radish, and celery – but use whatever you have, like in this Kitchen Sink Salad. Then I topped it off with some walnuts, sliced peaches, and crumbled Stilton. If you’re a vegan, omit the cheese or use some chopped smoked tofu instead.

Even though I bought too many, I never get tired of too many peaches. We love them, and all the other seasonal bounty, so I’m grateful to be able to have many delicious ideas to use them up.

It's Crunch Time! 

As the cold weather dissipates and we don’t just move to a different choice set of produce, but preparation tends to change, as well. If you’re inspired to move away from creamy soups and hearty stews, but there’s still a mix of winter and spring produce available, this may fit the bill.

Layer a handful of arugula, a handful of sliced cabbage, 1/4 of an English cucumber, and 1/2 an apple, sliced, on a plate. Drizzle with a mix of 10ml grainy Mustard, 10ml vinegar, and 10ml olive oil (Or use half Dijon/half Kozlik’s Triple Crunch, for the mustard as we did).

Crumble an ounce of Gorgonzola or smoked tofu on top. Enjoy!

Tangy and Tasty…For Two!

This weekend we were treated to above-normal temperatures, and found an abundance of locally-grown greenhouse greens at the market. It put us in a salad sort of mood.

While some ingredients aren’t local, we have tried to strike a balance.

For two: 

In a large salad bowl, combine:

Zest and juice of one lemon

15ml/1T oil

10ml/2t Dijon mustard

(Did you know Canada was a world-leading producer of mustard seeds?)


1l/4c washed mini greens and herbs (parsley in our case)

1 diced avocado

1 diced zucchini 

2 cherry tomatoes

90g/3oz diced goat cheese 

Toss lightly and enjoy!


Call them what you will, one of the best ways to stretch your grocery bill is to incorporate leftovers or things that need using up into your lunch. 

We’re off to run a couple of errands before the Super Bowl and we were smart enough not to eat the two extra lamb chops in the grocery store package (on sale last week and held in the freezer). We broiled the lot last night and sliced the leftovers for lunch. They’re served on a bed of local baby greens and cukes, both hothouse-grown.

For the dressing:

1/4 c / 60ml homemade wine vinegar

2T / 30ml olive oil

1oz / 30g crumbled feta

1T / 15ml Dijon

1T / 15ml dried oregano or basil 

6 dry-cured olives, chopped

Sprinkle on top:

1T / 15ml chopped sundried tomatoes 

Start the Day with an Experiment

One of the most fun things about eating healthily is trying new and unusual fruits and vegetables. Yesterday we were shopping and spotted a granadilla, a semi-tropical, round, orange, shiny fruit. But what to do with it?

We made a use-it-up fruit salad that included a banana, chopped pear, chopped apple, a few walnuts (cleaning up the pantry) and a cup of fat-free plain yogurt. The fruit provided the sweetness. Spooning this mixture into bowls after stirring so the yogurt coated everything, we cut into the mystery fruit and scooped its seedy interior on top. The insides are reminiscent of passion fruit or pomegranate, with crunchy, gel-encased seeds. It makes a berry-ish, crunchy-sweet topping and a delicious way to start the day. Was it worth a buck-ninety-nine? As an everyday addition to the grocery budget, perhaps not, but layering that with the fun factor of discovering a new taste, I’d say it was great value.


Hail Caesar!


This morning we were just getting back from our walk when our neighbour, Nick, came around the corner. Nick is a lovely Italian man who likes to garden. His little city plot is a veritable Garden of Eden, and even those of us with urban farms of our own look forward to his gifts throughout the season.

On today’s menu, three or four heads of delicious Romaine. So what else but Caesar salad? For our lighter version we dressed a whole head with this recipe:

Whisk together a tablespoon each of wine vinegar and olive oil, a teaspoon of anchovy paste, and a crushed clove of garlic. On top, a sprinkling of Grana Padano and some oven-baked pumpernickel and multigrain croutons.


What ELSE Can I do with Leftover Turkey?


Even though we’ve been featuring all sorts of gorgeous treats around our house for the last few days, sooner or later calmer heads must prevail. So for lunch, we made this delicious Turkey Avocado Salad. Next on the agenda, a long, calorie-burning walk, before heading to another holiday open house…

Spread a Little Sunshine!

20111220-085450.jpg Happy anniversary! Today we’re giving thanks and celebrating as we enter another year of marriage (31!). Breakfast is Grammy Hergett’s Sunshine Salad…to make it for two, cut the rind off a pink grapefruit and a couple of oranges, and dice the, bite-size. Sprinkle with a teaspoon of sugar or honey and some happy memories. Let stand for a few minutes so the flavours can marry. We added a few frozen strawberries from our summer’s effort, but usually we serve it simply. If you’re also celebrating a December anniversary, congratulations, and blessed be your union.

Veggies Bursting with Colour

20111214-202416.jpg. Don’t you love a meal that looks fussy, but isn’t? Tonight we made Beet Wellingtons (check our recipe page!) and a tasty salad with hothouse greens, tomatoes and mushrooms.

For the dressing, we used some of the red pepper and rosemary pesto we made in the summer, thinned with some wine vinegar.

Tasty, fast and packed with colours. Mmm.

I'm Hot and Cold on this Lunch!

On Wednesday we had a very interesting lunch. It started as a recipe from Cooking Light, except we didn’t use any of the same ingredients. Theirs called for Serrano Ham, Manchego, sourdough bread and arugula. Instead, our quick trip in the rain and wind to Plank Road yielded multigrain bread, prosciutto, and Crotonese cheese. All good, nonetheless. On the bottom, a piece of toasted multigrain was spread with grainy mustard and just a little mayo. On top of this, the ham, and a grating of cheese. All that was heated under the broiler, then topped with some mizuna picked from our garden, a sliced apple, and a little grainy mustard vinaigrette (using Triple C from Kozlik’s).