Best damn burger in the Valley

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Harvest Pie of Shepards Lentil

Sundays are always a cooking day for me in some form or another. Whether it is about coordinating food for the week or if it means 'company's coming', I spend 4 to 5 hours of a Sunday cooking!

This crisp and cloudy Sunday afternoon, I decided to make a Lentil Shepards Pie. Mashed potatoes and savory lentils absolutely deserve a place in heaven together. All the vegetables in my garden right now are begging to be sauteed in lentils, then topped with pillowy tators!

Here's how to make it:

10-12 yellow skinned tators (chopped & covered in water to boil)
1/4c of butter milk
1tbsp of butter
A sprig of fresh rosemary

1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 small head of cauliflower
1 small head of broccoli
4 small carrots
1/4 braggs (soy sauce is fine, just use A LOT less & supplement with water)
2 tbsp of nutritional yeast
1 tsp of chili powder
1 cup of brown lentils
1 med zucchini
Some kale or chard
2 cups cooked brown rice
2 eggs (beaten)
Salt & Pepper to taste

Boil tators until they are soft for the squishing. Drain your tator water, but save 2 cups and set it aside. Add buttermilk and most of the butter (save a bit) to the tators and start mashing. Add a bit of the tator water in till you get a nice smooth texture. Chop up your rosemary as fine as you can and stir that into the mashed potatoes . Add salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a dutch oven or a large pot, saute your onions and garlic lightly in your left over butter on medium heat. Add your chopped carrots, broccoli and caulflower. Add braggs, nutritional yeast, chili powder, tator water and lentils, then cover and simmer until the lentils are cooked.

Remove from heat and stir in brown rice and beaten eggs. Transfer veggie mixture to a greased casserole dish with a lid. Then smear your velvety smashy tators all over the top. Bake covered in the oven for 10 minutes or so. Then remove the lid and let brown up. Approximately 20 minutes.

Serve hot hot hot!

P.s. This recipe loves hot sauce ~ Don't be shy now!

Tip: If you have a dutch oven, then you get to cook it all on the stove then transfer it all to the oven! Every foodie must have Le Creuset!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Clean Demon

Cleaning is so subjective. Everyone has their own view of what 'clean' is!

Some days, clean to me is nothing but outta site outta mind...stuff tucked in unused closets and under beds. Other times... clean is every surface scrubbed with mixed emotions of love and hate...almost rage.

Sterile has never really been in my conscious cleaning practices. For the most part I'm a fan of borox and tea tree oil. But there comes a point where I no longer can contain my urge to completely rip apart my house and put it back together with a whole lot less stuff and every surface scrubbed with the most astringent thing I can find!

Is this some process of neurotic catharsis? Or a generational, seasonal 'dung out? I seem to remember this phenomena with my Mother growing up. Every change of season, some kind of crazy, neurotic episode forced my mother to frantically clean every nook and cranny in our house. It was almost like some sort of 'Clean Demon' had possessed her for the duration of time it took to clean her entire house, stem to stern!

I have inherited that 'Demon! Possession has truly taken hold of me!

But when it is all done and I climb into bed with clean sheets, freshly showered, I feel like a new woman.

Thanks Mom...

For anyone else going through your 'Clean Demon Possession'


Here's to fall!

May it bring a bounty harvest, a nutty revolution and a Clean House!

Friday, August 27, 2010

How Come Toronto has all the cool VEg FolKs??

I'm Jealous!! I am soooo jealous. The Toronto Vegetarian Fair is happening Sept. 10-12th and I want to go!! I have wanted to go for a couple years now!! All my fave bloggers are gonna be there.. tons of amazing speakers and demonstrations and...of course...FOOD!!!!!!!! But alas *sigh* Toronto is...hmmmm... like 4000 kms away and I can't go!

I love the path that food is going. I have read many books about food security and how we treat the food we eat. But social media and general education of the world around us at our finger tips has really really enlightened many of us in the micro-managing of what we put in our bodies. Now, don't get me wrong... I have SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much to learn about food! Infact, the recent candy attack I have had lately has taught me a lot about how my body reacts to what it is fed!!! But I continue to be fascinated by what wild imaginations people have with their food and how innovative we can become with raw vegetables, seeds and nuts!

If you are a ridiculously obsessed Foodie Freak, like myself, here are a few of my all time favorite blogs to check out: MakingLoveInTheKitchen StraightFromTheFarm TorontoVEG

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Fresh Mint... How I love thee

Food For Thought

This ‘salad’ can be breakfast, lunch, snack or dinner! High in protein, low in fat and just plain easy to make!

Orange & Date Quinoa w/ fresh mint and walnuts

You will need:
1 c quinoa (dry)
4 large dates (soak in water for 1 hour)
1 small orange
1 hand full of walnuts (toasted)
As much or a little fresh mint as you would like.
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook your quinoa to the desired texture and set aside to cool. Take your soaked dates, slice the pits out and cut into small chunks. Toss with your quinoa. Toast your walnuts in a dry skillet over medium heat until they are browned slightly. They burn quickly so don’t take your eyes off ‘em! With your orange, zest some of it into your salad, then segment your orange. Finally, chop up your mint really fine and toss everything in your salad together. Done!! This salad keeps well and can be enjoyed up to 3 days after making it.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tomatillo Enchilada Action

Food For Thought

These precious little green gems that have sprouted beautifully in our garden, make me oh so very happy and a sauce that I can’t get enough of. Oh and just as an extra bonus, this bad boy is *gluten free*

Quinoa Enchiladas w/ Tomatillo Sauce

You will need:

  • 10 small to medium fresh tomatillos
  • 4 cloves of garlic (less is fine if you don’t want it too garlicky)
  • 6-8 fresh tomatoes (or a big can of canned ones)
  • 3 limes (zest and juice)
  • 2-3 hot peppers (jalapenos, cayenne, pasilla, banana peppers... all are good!)
  • 1 large red onion
  • Some fresh cilantro
  • 2 sweet peppers (either red, yellow or orange)
  • 1 tbsp of smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp of chili powder
  • Fresh pepper to taste.
  • 2 cups uncooked quinoa
  • 4 cups refried or mashed pinto beans (black beans work well too)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup white cheddar cheese
  • 60g of Feta cheese
  • 3 limes (zest and juice)
  • 1/2c toasted sunflower seeds
  • 12 medium to large corn tortillas

Cook your quinoa according to packaged instructions and set aside. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Chop your tomatillos in half and toss them in a big bowl along with the roughly chopped sweet peppers and 2 of the hot peppers. Throw in 2 cloves of garlic, the olive oil, half the paprika and chili powder, a dash of salt and some lime zest. Toss this all together until the olive oil is mixed in well. Lay this out on a baking sheet and place in the oven.

Let this bake until the edges of the peppers turn brown. In the meantime, take your tomatoes and dice them. Chop the rest of your garlic and toss it in with your tomatoes. Chop up your hot peppers, red onion, your cilantro and add them to your tomatoes also. Squeeze in your lime juice and add all your zest.
Mix well with the remaining paprika and chili powder. A touch of salt may be needed and some fresh pepper. Now you have made some fresh salsa.
Half of your fresh salsa you are going to want to heat up on the stove with your bean mixture. The other half you will want to put in the food processor with your roasted tomatillo concoction. Once you have pulsed your tomatillos with your salsa, you have the sauce. Once you have simmered your beans with the other half of your salsa, you have you filling.

Pour a bit of your sauce in the bottom of your casserole dish (9x11 pyrex is what I use). Take your tortillas and dollop a bit of quinoa in the centre and a dollop of bean mixture in each one. Loosely roll them up and place them neatly in your casserole dish. Once they are all placed, pour your sauce evenly over the whole thing, cover with your white cheddar, a sprinkle of feta and your sunflower seeds for some crunch. Bake for 45 minutes or until the edges of the tortillas are browned.

Don’t be surprised if you have filling or sauce left over. You can freeze both or make another casserole dish of enchilada’s. These are easy to freeze once they are prepared also.