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.
One of the great things about this time of year is the fantastic selection of vegetables. Although it isn’t tomato season quite yet on the coast, everything else on this tray came from our garden: red onions, pattypan squash, and turnip. Diced with our own oregano and a splash of olive oil and vinegar, we roasted this tray for 30 minutes at 400F, then let them rest in the oven 30 minutes or so while we boiled water and made pasta. Half the batch formed our pasta topping, so then today…what to do with the leftovers?
We diced a potato and cooked it in 2c water until tender (about 6 minutes). To this we added the 2c roasted veg, and an equal amount of 1% milk (plant milk would work just as well). Heat until piping hot and serve with a sprinkle of smoked paprika and basil on top.
Buns? Or rolls? Growing up we called them hamburger rolls. But now that we are more selective about what we eat, our favourites are these whole wheat sun dried tomato rolls.
They’re great on their own, or filled with cheese, hummus, or a burger. This morning we filled them with home grown greens (lettuce, mustard, romaine, beet, kale) and a couple of slices of tomato. Then we added a soft cooked egg, some sharp cheddar, and a smear of Dijon. Magic!
We have been travelling for more than a week now, so it was lovely to wake up and pick these beauties for breakfast. They are marvelously juicy, which reminds me just how much water, nutrients and freshness are lost in berries that are transported to the store. More than anything, that’s why local is important. Local = life.
These are the things for which we are grateful. It could only be better if our boys and girls were here to share.
These sun dried tomato olive herb buns are adapted from an old favourite, the Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook. I love that there is no added sugar or and very little oil. We switched up the flour to 100% whole wheat and added olives when I ran out of tomato pieces. I also shaped them like burger buns so they would be great for sandwiches of all kinds. All the fresh herbs are from our garden, and we skipped the salt. For a vegan version, simply omit the egg white glaze. Makes 12.
2c/500 ml boiling water
6 sun dried tomato halves, not oil packed, cut in slivers
6 stuffed olives, chopped
875ml/3.5c whole wheat flour
1/4 c chopped herbs (I used rosemary, oregano and thyme)
1 beaten egg white
In a 2 c glass measure, pour boiling water over tomatoes and let stand about 5 minutes. Then scoop them out with a slotted spoon into another dish and set aside for later. Pour off enough liquid from the measuring cup so you have 310ml/1-1/4c and let it cool to lukewarm.
Sprinkle the yeast over the lukewarm tomato water and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
Measure flour into a large bowl. Stir yeast mixture with a fork, then with a wooden or silicone spoon, mix it all at once into the flour, stirring until it mostly cleans away from the sides of the bowl.
Scrape onto a lightly floured surface and knead about 30 times until smooth. Shape into a ball.
Spray your mostly-clean bowl with cooking spray or coat with a very light coating of olive oil. Put your ball of dough in it and cover with a clean tea towel. Let rise in a warm place about an hour, until doubled. (Honestly it was quite chilly in the kitchen today but it worked fine).
Punch down the dough then knead in the herbs, tomatoes, and olives until well distributed.
Divide into 12 pieces and on a lightly floured surface, pat each into a circle about the size of a burger bun. Place on cookie sheets on parchment or Silpats, about 3 fingers apart, and cover again. Let rise for another hour. Notice how if you are working on something at your desk in the home office, the buns summon you to take a regular break to move around.
Preheat the oven to 400F /200C/ Gas mark 6. Brush tops with egg white if you are using it, and bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown and they sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Remove from the pan and cool on a rack.
With Canada Day just a few days away, local foods are on my mind. Also, I expect this will be the last year for this country-sized veg garden, so we are making the most of the harvest. Today’s special: Rhubarb Maple Crisp.
Fill your dish with sliced rhubarb, and drizzle lightly with maple syrup.
For the topping, mix melted butter and syrup (about 1/3c of each) with 1/3c sliced almonds and enough rolled oats (large flake) to cover your dish – around 3c.
Bake in a 375 oven for 45-50 minutes, until the rhubarb is bubbling and cooked through, and the top is golden.
“Eat your colours” is a great description to get kids to tuck in to a variety of fruits and vegetables. Eye appeal works just as well for us, the “grown-ups”. That’s the whole idea behind today’s Super Sesame Salmon Bowl. (A vegan version could just as easily feature sautéed mushrooms, chickpeas, or seitan).
2 c /500ml broccoli florets and stems cut in coins
1 c /250 ml sliced red cabbage
2 small avocados, diced
1 apricot, sliced
1 ripe tomato, sliced
2 t / 10 ml sesame oil
1t / 5 ml honey
15 ml sesame seeds
1 can salmon
For two, we steamed the broccoli for a minute or so in the microwave in a large bowl with the juice of a lemon. Put veggies (except avocado) in a bowl w the steamed broccoli. Drizzle with sesame oil, honey, and sprinkle in the seeds. Toss lightly.
Add the salmon and avocado and mix gently. Eat and enjoy.
English friends, full disclosure…not chips, or what you might call crisps. Fruit crisps are a summer dessert and breakfast staple. This one started with a layer of stewed rhubarb, although simply chopping with a little maple syrup would work well. Any summer fruit (or mixture) will do.
Put the fruit in a square pan. In a large bowl mix 1/4c melted butter, 1/4c maple syrup or brown sugar, 2c large flake rolled oats, and 1/3 c each of unsweetened coconut and walnuts. Change it up with nuts and seeds as you like. Add more oats until you have a consistency that’s not too wet and sprinkle over the fruit.
Bake in a 350F oven for 30 minutes for pre-cooked fruit or up to an hour for fresh fruit, until topping is nicely browned and fruit is soft and bubbling. A glass pan lets you see what’s going on underneath.
We served ours with a tasty yogurt topping but whipped cream, ice cream or nothing at all and it would still be divine. (1/2 c fat free plain yogurt mixed w 1t maple syrup and 1/2t vanilla is plenty for two).
One of our good health mantras is, “Eat Less. Move more.” In truth, it might be closer to “Eat more fresh, plant-based foods and less animal-based and processed foods. Move more.” Somehow that’s just more complicated for folks to understand, accept, and stick with. One thing is for certain, we’ve looked at all sorts of diets and eating styles, and we know that making vegetables the main course of any meal is vital to getting the fibre and nutrients a body needs. So instead of a salmon sandwich, we knew our Friday fish was calling out for a salad.
Today’s lunch includes greens, tomato, carrot, cucumber, and mushrooms. It could just as easily be a combo of the veg you like best. The rules are, strive for colour, things that can be eaten raw, and be sure to get the leafy stuff in there. We split a 7.5 oz can of water-packed wild caught salmon between two of us, and topped the salad with (for two) 2t/10ml each of Dijon, fat free plain yogurt, and pesto whisked together with 3T/45ml lemon juice.
How will you get more veg in your diet today?