If you’ve been following me for awhile, you know I am a great promoter of buying local. However it’s often darkest before the dawn, and at this time of year, when fresh local produce is just barely trickling into our stores, I have been known to give in to a moment of weakness. I had just such a moment yesterday, when I bought kale that had been trucked in, all the way from Texas. This entire smoothie is as un-local as it gets, with the kale, avocado, almond milk, frozen peach-mango-strawberry mix, cinnamon, and turmeric.
Despite all this, and the perhaps unappealing colour, it’s delicious. In fact, it has already transformed my day. I could have been grumpy at the freezing temperature, but instead, I’m starting with a spring in my step and a smile in my tummy.
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!
Not wanting to heat up the kitchen to make bread, potatoes were just the ticket for today’s breakfast. We’re keeping an eye on the Open Championship while we catch up on our reading.
To make this:
We grated two potatoes and chopped some greens, green onions, and herbs from our garden. In a well seasoned or nonstick pan with just a touch of olive oil, we cooked them until they were getting golden. A flip (messy is okay) and we added an egg for each. Once more over easy, we served them with some avocado and tomato, and a sprinkle of smoked paprika. They were, in a word, the breakfast of Champions.
A sure sign of the spring food garden is an abundance of rhubarb. In fact we had so much last year, that a whole bag went undiscovered in the back of the freezer and we found it when tidying up to prepare for this year’s harvest. This delicious tart is one of the results.
Stew at least 4 cups (1l) of chopped rhubarb with sugar to taste (we like ours tart, no pun intended) and cool. Eat as is, or to make this tasty tart, preheat oven to 375F . On a sheet of parchment, roll out one sheet of puff pastry to about 12″/30cm. Place on cookie sheet. Put rhubarb in the centre and turn in edges to lap over filling and contain it, leaving top open. Brush pastry with a beaten egg and bake for about 30 minutes or until golden. We served ours with a spoonful of plain fat free yogurt, sprinkled with a little cinnamon.
Love the coffee mug? It’s from Krysta Oland’s Morning Sun Pottery.
As the weather cools and many of our garden crops have been harvested, it can be easy to turn our thoughts to root vegetables. Well we should! But it isn’t too late for salad yet, even without cold frames. Yesterday we harvested delicious beets and Swiss chard, an we still have a healthy crop of mizuna. All of this was turned into today’s lunch salad, along with some chopped apple, walnuts, and feta cheese, held together with this vinaigrette (for two):
15ml/1T each of red wine vinegar, tarragon Dijon, and olive oil, whisked together. If you don’t have tarragon Dijon, use regular, and add some chopped herbs of your choice.
Tasty – although we admit if the chill stays in the air, we will turn our thoughts to soup!
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.
Wow! We are surrounded by a bountiful harvest.
The consequence, of course, is that we have to find ways to use it all…and preserve what’s left for future use. So tonight’s adventure included a zucchini-orzo-pepper-goat cheese dish…after we finished putting two batches of roasted beets (golden and red), two batches of beet greens, and a couple of jars of pesto away for chillier days. Fortunately the orzo was quite a reward – reminding us why all our hard work has been worth it!