Last week I had a homecooked dinner with my friends to celebrate the end of the semester and to welcome spring. I created a spring inspired menu, with fresh flavours. Here is a salad that is easy to pack for lunches and picnics and looks great because of all the colours.
You will need a round/spherical spoon (like a mini ice cream spoon) to make little fruit balls. You could also just cut the fruits but that makes them extra pretty. You can find them at any kitchen store I think!
I only used honeydew and strawberries from last summer (frozen, thawed, and cut in half) but you could use any of these fruits
Fresh fruits in season
A small bunch of mint
Not necessary but 1 tablespoon of organic canadian (quebec) maple syrup.
Use the spoon to cut out melon balls
Slice the strawberries
Thinly slice the mint (chiffonnade)
Mix everything in a big bowl (with the mint and maple syrup)
Put in the fridge at least 1 hour before serving!
Other things on the photo: tomato tart, local brewed cidre, lentil soup, apple/walnut salad, mustard vinaigrette
Here is a winter favourite. Serve with hot thick slices of whole bread. Perfect for those nights in. The recipe has a lot of room for modification, add in whatever vegetable or legumes you have on hand. Recipe adapted from A Cozy Kitchen.
3 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
2 small zucchini, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 cup of vegetable stock
2 tablespoons of cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed
1 15-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed
1 small can of corn
In a large pot, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft. Add the red bell peppers, yellow bell peppers, zucchini, and jalapeño chili peppers. Cook for about 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Add tomatoes and vegetable stock. Add spices: oregano, paprika, cumin and cayenne. Let simmer for 20 minutes.
Add the white beans and kidney beans. Stir in the corn. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Simmer for 5 minutes.
I found some igname noodles at the asian supermarket. They are zero calories!!! Crazy. and it was enough to make a dish for 3 people! This recipes very cheap to make as well. You should be able to find igname noodles in the fresh pasta aisle, near fresh tofu and such. They are packed in liquid. (ps: they are also called yam noodles, miracle noodles or shiratake noodles)
1 packaging of igname noodles
1 small onion
1 clove of garlic
a little bit of oil
soy sauce (2 tbs)
rice vinegar (1 tbs)
sesame oil (2 tsp)
Julienne carrots, finely dice onion and garlic. Take the stem off the peas (not sure of the technical word in english…”parer” in french) and cut them in half.
Heat oil (about 1 tbs) in a stir fry pan on high, and add all vegetables. Stir fry for 3 minutes.
Remove veggies from pan, transfer to a big bowl.
Rinse noodles in a colander. Transfer to heated pan (same as before) and add 1 tbs of soy sauce. Cook for 3 minutes.
Transfer noodles to the bowl with the veggies. Add sesame oil and rice vinegar. Toss.
Serve with some crunchy sesame seeds. This dish can be eaten alone, or as a side with some grilled, marinated tofu for a source of protein.
A nice easy breakfast to do when you have to many ripe bananas and don’t know what to do with them. Delicious with maple syrup. (No matter what people say, no. agave syrup will never replace maple syrup!!!!)
Slices of bread (not fresh) (i used some local organic multigrain)
2 ripe bananas
3/4 cups of soy milk
2 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix all ingredients in a shallow/plate/bowl thing until lump-free. Except bread and margarine.
Heat your pan on medium heat and put a knob of margarine.
Soak the slice of bread in the mixture until well coated (you really want to “inside” to be soaked too because otherwise you’ll just end up with banany-toast)
Lightly scrape excess off bread and fry up in the pan. Let it brown on one side (don’t touch it too much) then turn it until both sides are brown.
Serve two per person. Would taste delicious with maple syrup, some crème anglaise, fresh fruits (I had banana and blueberries), and a sprig of mint.
Pain Doré with fresh blueberries and banana slices
What to do when you are having a successful zucchini season? Make some raw zucchini pasta! I’ve been seeing a lot of these on the internet and they looked pretty so I gave it a try.
one cup of basil
1 clove of garlic
cherry tomatoes or tomatoes
If you have a mandolin, make some long thin ribbons of zucchini. If you don’t, it’s the perfect time to put your knife skills to test! Make just enough for what you’ll eat, don’t waste! 🙂
It’s pesto time. In a blender, blend basil, a teaspoon of lime juice and pine nuts. Gradually add olive oil until desired thickness is obtained. You could also use water instead of oil, or just to make it less thick.
Mix the pesto (just enough, not the whole thing!) with the pretty zucchini pasta.
Quarter the cherry tomatoes or slice the tomatoes.
In a plate, serve a good portion of pasta, some tomatoes on top and a little basil leaf for full-on impressive effect!