Tag Archives: vegetables

Spring Appetizer: Crudités with Preserved Lemon Guacamole

Spring is perfect for al fresco dining; the outdoors providing a bright, natural setting for any dishes you’re serving. Next time you are entertaining, rather than spending hours on prep, try a simple yet impressive crudités platter. Typically filled with fresh, seasonal vegetables and a dipping sauce, this stunning appetizer is sure to delight your guests.

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Creamy, crunchy, spicy and tangy, this guacamole has got it all going on. Finely diced preserved lemon brings both a hit of salt and a good dose of acidity to this perfectly balanced dip. A rainbow of spring produce alongside the guacamole makes this vibrant appetizer the star of any spread.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

Guacamole crudite prep-1

Ingredients:
3 firm-ripe Hass avocados
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 of a preserve lemon, rinsed
1/3 cup minced sweet white onion, such as Vidalia
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Assorted spring vegetables, such as baby carrots, snap peas, young asparagus and radishes

Guacamole-mixing-1

Directions:
1. Cut each avocado in 1/2 lengthwise. Remove the pit and discard. Scoop the flesh out of the peel with a soup spoon and place in a medium bowl.
2. Pour the lime juice all over the avocado and then mash them to a pulp. I like to use a pastry cutter for this job; a fork works just fine, too.
3. Finely mince the entire preserved lemon (rind and pulp) and remove any seeds you encounter. Add to the mashed avocado, along with the minced onion, cilantro, salt and pepper. Mash everything together, then taste the guacamole and add additional seasoning if desired. Since we are not serving this dip with salty tortilla chips, I find a little extra salt in the guacamole goes a long way.
4. Scrape preserved lemon guacamole into a serving bowl. Garnish with a fine dice of preserved lemon rind if desired. Serve immediately with a platter of spring vegetable crudités.

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Chuck and Danny’s Guide to Cooking with Sumac

After a long day on the road in Hastings and Prince Edward Country, chefs Chuck Hughes and Danny Smiles set out to create a succulent feast from the bounty of local Ontario ingredients they’ve gathered.

After foraging for wild juniper,  harvesting local beets and squash and securing tender buffalo mozzarella, plus a bone-on tomahawk ribeye roast,  the pressure’s on to create a campfire feast for the local farmers and purveyors.

With the help of a custom-made barbecue grill on loan from Enright Cattle Company, they’ve got the perfect vehicle to cook the 43lb ribeye roast. Sounds impressive, but the menu doesn’t end there. They’re also roasting Golden Nugget Cups, candy-sweet squash from Earth Haven Farms, halved and stuffed with Ontario buffalo mozzarella (a gift from winemaker Norman Hardie.) The squash holds another local secret: sumac foraged from chef and local resident Justin Cournoyer’s back woods.

This citrus-like star ingredient is widely used in Middle Eastern cuisine, which is why the chefs were surprised to find it growing in the wild in Ontario.

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Chuck and Danny’s sumac-spiced golden nugget squash cups. 

Neither Danny or Chuck are strangers to the flowering plant: Danny uses it in his homemade za’atar mix with sesame seeds and thyme, and it’s part of Chuck’s arsenal at his restaurants as a citrus substitute. “It’s like a Canadian lemon,” says Chuck.

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Justin teaches them how to find the best plant by looking for a vibrant red hue in the berries, and to store it by drying it whole in the sun and making a powder, which can be used to braise beef or put on raw bread.

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Chuck and Danny use their collected sumac to sprinkle on the golden nugget squash, tempering its sweetness with a slight pucker. The cups rest just above the coals, collecting the succulent drippings from a 43 lb. bone-in tomahawk style side of beef rubbed and spritzed with juniper, and juniper branches are tossed onto the fire, creating fragrant smoke. The food’s so good, even a slight drizzle can’t dampen the mood, and the feast goes on under the stars for hours.

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Chuck and Danny begin cooking the bone on tomahawk ribeye roast hours before their guests arrive.

Home cooks can take a walk on the wild side with sumac in their own kitchens. In the warmer months, ground sumac gives flavoured butter an extra kick, lending a slight tartness to balance out summer-sweet corn on the cob. Paired with juniper, sumac steeped in tea and poured over wild Canadian blueberries from British Columbia makes for a spread-worthy preserve to liven up breakfast at home or the cottage. And for lazy nights any time of year, a potent sumac infused potion, sweetened with maple syrup, uses whole sumac clusters — combine it with vodka for a Canadiana martini, a true sweet and sour sipper.

Missed the episode? Catch it online at Chuck & Danny’s Road Trip.
Watch video below to learn more about sumac.

a bowl of hummus on a white tile background

5 Tasty Ways to Use Hummus (That Aren’t Dip)

Nutritious, filling and most importantly, tasty, hummus is so easy and inexpensive to make that there’s no excuse not to make it from scratch. We all know that hummus is everyone’s go-to dip for vegetables and pita, but how else can you use this popular Middle Eastern condiment? Here are five delicious ideas to hummus-ify your meals.

Basic Hummus Recipe
Traditional hummus contains tahini, a creamy paste made from ground sesame seeds. However, I tend to skip the tahini since I don’t use it in much else. You can make your own tahini by simply grinding sesame seeds and olive oil together in a food processor—and this version is tasty as is.

Ingredients:
1 591 mL can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1⁄2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced*
Salt, to taste
Lemon juice, to taste

Directions:
1. Combine chickpeas, garlic and olive oil in a blender, food processor, or a bowl if you’re using a hand blender.

2. Purée the ingredients until everything becomes a smooth and velvety texture, with all the lumps gone. If the mix is too thick, thin it out with a bit of water.

3. Add salt and lemon juice to taste. Continue blending until everything is well incorporated. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

*If the taste of raw garlic is too strong, use one clove or opt for roasted garlic, which yields a milder, sweeter taste.

Related: One Humble Can of Chickpeas, Six Different Meals to Remember
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1. Sandwich Spread

Skip the mayonnaise and use hummus to beef up and boost flavour in your sandwiches and wraps. The nutty taste goes especially well with turkey slices, and the creamy texture adds a good contrast to crunchy toppings like cucumber and carrots. In the picture below, I made a vegetarian breakfast sandwich with thinly-sliced mini cucumbers and chunks of leftover, roasted butternut squash from the fridge.

Related: This Healthy Israeli Stuffed Pita is a Sandwich Lover’s Dream
Hummus_PastaSalad

2. Pasta Salad Dressing

Thin out the hummus with olive oil and a bit of water until the consistency is similar to a creamy salad dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss the dressing in a big bowl of fusilli, penne, or any pasta shape that has crevices to hold on to the hummus. Bonus: if you’re using hummus from the fridge, the cold dressing will help cool down the cooked pasta quicker. Here, I added chopped cucumbers, sliced chicken breast, and roasted corn and onions for a summery weekend lunch with the family.

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3. Chicken Topping

Jazz up a piece of grilled chicken breast by smearing hummus and sprinkling crushed raw almonds on top for some added texture. Bake the chicken at 400ºF for 12-15 minutes until it is well done.

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4. Salad Dressing

The strong, garlicky taste of hummus goes especially well with the bitter taste of dark greens. Similar to the pasta salad, dilute the hummus with olive oil and water until it reaches Thousand Island-like consistency. Add a bit more lemon juice and salt, and mix with the greens.

Related: Bright and Beautiful Beet Hummus
Hummus_Soup

5. Hearty Soup

This soup is so thick and creamy (not to mention protein-filled) that this pot can feed four people, especially when you add in the vegetables. Speaking of, you’ll have to sauté the veggies (or better yet, roast for at about 30 minutes at 400ºF) until they’re soft, before you dump them into the pot. If you have any leftover roasted carrots and potatoes in the fridge, use them in this recipe to skip the first step and save time. Save this soup recipe for the cold, winter months when you’ll be craving a hot bowl of soup with a big punch of nutty, garlicky taste.

Ingredients:
2 cups hummus
2 1/2 cups no-salt added chicken broth, plus more for vegetables
2 cups carrots, chopped into small pieces
1/2 cups potatoes, chopped into small pieces
1/2 cup pancetta, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
Chopped green onion, to garnish
Grated Parmesan, to garnish

Directions:
1. Bring a splash of chicken broth to a simmer in a saucepan. Add the carrots and potatoes. Cover and let cook until they begin to soften. Add more broth if the pan starts to dry up.

2. Meanwhile, in a medium-sized pot, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Add the hummus and stir until well incorporated. Reduce to a simmer and stir occasionally.

3. Using the same pan used to cook the vegetables, add a bit of oil and fry up the pancetta until it starts to brown. Add it to the soup pot, along with the cooked vegetables. Stir and bring to a simmer.

4. Pour the soup into individual bowls. Garnish with chopped green onion and parmesan. Serve immediately.

chicken sheet pan dinner

Simple Sheet Pan Chicken and Veggie Dinner in Under an Hour

One tray means little mess for this chop, toss and roast creation. Full of hearty, warming winter vegetables and crowd-pleasing chicken, and generously coated with a maple-mustard sauce, you’ll have dinner ready for your family in under an hour.

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Use any in-season vegetables you have on hand such as squash, potatoes, onions and beets. You can also opt for a different protein, such as pork chops, sausages, meatballs or even fish — the options are truly endless.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4

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Ingredients:
1 whole chicken, cut into 6 to 8 pieces, or chicken pieces of choice (breast, drumsticks, etc.)
1 medium turnip, peeled and sliced into boats
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into medium pieces
1 onion, peeled and thickly sliced
1 medium sweet potato, cut into large pieces
1/2 large bulb or 1 small bulb fennel, cored and sliced into thick strips
1 Tbsp chopped fresh sage, more for garnish
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

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Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Arrange chicken, vegetables and sage on a large rimmed baking sheet.
2. In a small bowl, whisk mustard, maple syrup, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper until combined. Add to chicken and vegetables, and toss to coat. Evenly space chicken and vegetables, ensuring chicken is skin side-up.
3. Roast for 40 to 45 minutes, until vegetables are tender and chicken is cooked through with crispy skin.
4. Serve with additional fresh sage, if desired.

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Check out these 15 simple recipes for tasty sheet pan suppers.

How to Roast Vegetables Like a Pro

Now that we’re halfway through fall (how did that happen?), roasted vegetables of all shapes and sizes are back on the dinner table on a regular basis. Beautiful rainbow carrots, stark white, earthy parsnips, acorn squash, love-it-or-hate-it eggplant …the list goes on and on. To ensure each veg is cooked to perfection, you might want to think twice about chopping them up and tossing them in the same baking dish.

Here are a few simple tips and tricks to help you roast vegetables like a pro, and maybe even find a new appreciation for certain varieties that you weren’t so fond of before. I’m looking at you, Brussels sprouts!

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Tips and Tricks:

1. Roast like vegetables with like vegetables.
Yams and potatoes can be best friends in a baking dish, but something juicier, like zucchini or tomatoes tossed in? Not so much. A juicy vegetable will impose on the crispy, caramelized texture you’re looking for in starchy varieties, so keep ‘em separate.

2. Don’t overcrowd the pan.
Similar to the above, overcrowding vegetables on a roasting pan impedes their ability to caramelize. It’s not that you need to space out chunks of broccoli two inches from each other, but work in batches if needed. This mentality can also be applied when pan-searing mushrooms in butter Try it and taste the difference!

3. Working with large vegetables.
Roasting a halved butternut squash, whole heads of cauliflower or big russet potatoes should not be cooked at the same high temperatures as their chopped counterparts. Lower and slower is a better approach in these cases.

4. Make sure to use enough oil.
Dry vegetables typically result in not-so-great roasted veggies. Depending on what you’re doing with them once they’re cooked, it’s better to stick with a neutral-tasting oil like canola. This variety has a high smoke point than your standard olive oil.

5. A little sweetness goes a long way.
While coating vegetables with oil, I will often add a little something sweet like maple syrup or brown sugar to the mix. Not only does this add extra flavour, but it helps things caramelize nicely. This works especially well with ingredients like carrots, parsnips or Brussels sprouts.

6. The unusual roasters.
There are plenty of vegetables at the grocery store you might walk by time and time again, and never think of taking home to roast. I operate with the mentality that any vegetable can be roasted. Radishes taste completely different when roasted (sweet and juicy), kohlrabi, which is also delicious raw, turns out tasting like a turnip. One of my favourites is taking thick cuts of green cabbage and roasting it at a high temperature. Once charred, it develops an unbelievably delicious umami flavour. Out of this world!

General Roasting Temps and Times for Popular Veggies:

Small/Cubed Potatoes & Squash (1” or smaller): 450°F for 20 to 25 minutes
Whole Russet Potatoes & Large, Halved Squash: 375°F for 45 minutes to 1 hour
Chopped Broccoli, Cauliflower & Brussels Sprouts: 425°F for 30 to 45 minutes
Whole Broccoli Stems & Heads of Cauliflower: 350°F for 1 hour to 1 hour, 15 minutes (turn to high broil near end of roasting for better caramelization)
Whole Beets: 350°F for 50 minutes to 1 hour, depending on size
Carrots & Parsnips: 400°F for 20 to 25 minutes
Eggplant, Zucchini & Kohlrabi: 400°F for 15 to 20 minutes

Cauliflower Pizza

The Best Cauliflower Crust Rainbow Pizza

You can roast it, rice it, steam it or purée it, but our new favourite way to enjoy seasonal cauliflower is pizza. Quicker than making your own pizza dough from scratch, you’ll love this crispy, chewy cauliflower crust that serves as a sneaky way to eat more veggies.

Once you have the base down, you can customize your toppings based on the season. Use up those last few end-of-summer tomatoes with fresh basil, or pair roast squash with creamy Gorgonzola cheese. Try shredded, roast Brussels sprouts with pomegranate seeds for a comforting cool-weather dinner. Get creative with the toppings and turn this recipe into a satisfying, veggie meal for you and your family.

Cauliflower Pizza

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4 (makes 2 pizzas)

Ingredients:

Cauliflower Crust:
1 1/2 lbs (1/2 large) cauliflower, broken into small florets
3 large eggs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup light spelt flour or gluten-free all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp psyllium powder
1 tsp salt

Toppings:
1 cup diced yellow pepper
1 cup shredded radicchio or red cabbage
1/2 cup tomato sauce or 2 fresh tomatoes, sliced
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil or ¼ cup broccoli
1/4 cup red onion
1 large carrot, julienned or shredded
1 Tbsp balsamic reduction (balsamic glaze), for drizzling

Rainbow Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Directions:
1. Arrange oven racks to accommodate 2 trays. Preheat oven to 425ºF. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a food processor, pulse cauliflower until finely chopped. Add eggs and cheese; blend until combined. Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add flour, psyllium and salt; blend until combine. Place dough onto baking sheet and spread into 8-inch circle or rectangle. Bake for 10 minutes.
3. Arrange fresh toppings into any pattern you desire (get creative!). Slice and serve with a drizzle of balsamic reduction.

4 Easy Ways to Preserve the Best of Summer

In the last few weeks of summer, it can be hard to resist a basket of bright, warm peaches at the farmer’s market, or freshly picked roadside corn at $2 a dozen. If you’ve ever found yourself surrounded with more perfectly ripe produce than you could ever possibly enjoy, we hear you.

To help get us out of this pickle, we turned to Dana Harrison and Joel MacCharles, the couple behind the website Well Preserved, for their tips and recommendations on how to preserve the best of summer. The pair recently launched their first book, Batch, a guide to preserving 25 different ingredients, which includes over 200 recipes, tips and techniques.

For most preserving, you don’t need pressure cooker or a smoker to save those summer flavours. “It is way easier than you think, way funner than you think and it can take minutes,” says MacCharles, who notes that the biggest obstacle to preserving is not knowing what’s possible.

If your fridge is overflowing, these four techniques are a great place to start saving the flavours of summer for a cooler day.

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1. Freezing. Your first tool to making produce last longer is already in your kitchen. “The fridge and freezer are the ones that people don’t think about,” says MacCharles. While it can take up space, freezing is a super simple way to preserve food at its peak, so it can be enjoyed later in the year. Try roasting peppers and pureeing them before slipping them into the freezer for a boost of flavour come winter.

2. Fermenting. People are seeking out kimchi and kombucha for the gut-health benefits, but many don’t realize that fermentation is a type of preserving. “I think fermenting is the easiest thing you can do,” says Harrison, who recommends turning that big head of cabbage into sauerkraut. “Massage a bunch of cabbage together with salt and put it in a jar and that’s it, you’re done.”

3. Infusing. Infusing is an easy and super quick way to capture the flavours of fresh ingredients. “You could talk to many people who are infusing and they don’t think that they are preserving food,” says MacCharles, who says the technique is big in the cocktail scene, where bitters and infused alcohol are popular. Home cooks can play with infusing oils, vinegar or alcohol. A simple and easy way to make a gourmet ingredient in a flash is infusing salt. Mixing salt with an ingredient like a wilting pepper or rhubarb is a dead easy way to infuse flavour into your salt and makes for an easy flavour enhancer.

4. Canning. While most people think strawberry jam is a great place to start, MacCharles  disagrees. “It is easy to mess up yet it is totally the gateway,” he says. He recommends thinking about what you like to eat and learning the techniques from there. Harrison and MacCharles learned the hard way by starting with jam, but canned tomato sauce is where they really hit their stride. “It is on the cover of the book because that is family to us,” says MacCharles. Every fall, Harrison and MacCharles head to his parent’s house for one saucy weekend, where they typically make 160 jars in one sitting.

When in doubt, make something you know you like to eat and get the family involved with preserving for the most fun.

Beet Hummus

Bright and Beautiful Beet Hummus

Brighten up your summer nights with this vibrant hummus. The punchy dip gets a natural fuchsia face-lift with the help of a sweet summertime staple: beets!

If you’ve been to the farmer’s market lately, you’ve likely seen the deep garnet beauties piled high, ready for roasting, sauteing and spiralizing. But before you pop those colourful gems into the oven, consider this tasty snack. The beets require no pre-cooking, but can be roasted if you prefer. Enjoyed with pita wedges, on toast, with vegetables and so much more, you’ll keep finding a home for this addictive dip in your kitchen.

Beet Hummus

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 6

Ingredients:

Hummus:
1 raw beet, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 cup cooked black beans, drained and rinsed if using canned
¼ cup tahini
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (preferably aged)
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp salt

Serving:
Whole wheat pita bread
Thinly sliced radishes
Sesame seeds
Fresh herbs of choice

Directions:

Hummus:
1. Pulse beet and garlic in a food processor until finely minced. Add remaining hummus ingredients and puree until smooth.
2. Transfer to a serving bowl.

Assembly:
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Place pitas on a baking tray and warm for approximately 7 minutes, or until desired temperature.
3. Remove from oven and slice into wedges.
4. Serve with hummus, garnished with radishes, sesame seeds and herbs.

11 Tasty Ways to Eat More Broccoli

We’re always on the lookout for quick and easy recipes that pack a punch when it comes to both flavour and nutrients, so it’s no surprise that broccoli landed on our list of must-eats. Here are some of our favourite ways to add more of this vibrant green veggie to your diet.

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1. Broccoli with Bow Ties and Peas

2. Mean Green Broccoli Soup with Cheddar Recipe

3. Broccoli Frittata Recipe

4. Beef with Broccoli

5. Mini Chicken and Broccoli Pot Pies

6. Broccoli Dust Recipe

7. Broccoli Orecchiette, Courgette & Bocconcini Salad, Prosciutto & Melon Salad

8. Fresh Broccoli Salad

9. Chinese Crispy Beef & Broccoli Noodles with Kung Pao Chili Oil

10. Mae’s Broccoli Cheddar Salad Recipe

11. Chinese Broccoli Recipe

BBQ Tempeh Banh Mi with Pickled Carrots and Cabbage

You can enjoy the fresh flavour combination of a traditional Vietnamese-style banh mi — but with no meat at all! This simple sandwich is a great meatless Monday option and you’ll be craving the left overs all week. You’ve probably seen a vegetarian take on the classic banh mi made with tofu, but we like the heartiness and bold flavour of tempeh. Smothered with sweet BBQ sauce, it goes perfectly with a quick-pickled cabbage and carrots, crunchy cucumbers, spicy jalapenos and citrusy cilantro.

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Makes: 4 sandwiches

Ingredients:
1 brick/package tempeh (250 g)
½ cup favourite BBQ sauce
¼ cup water
1 cup shredded cabbage
1 cup carrot ribbons (or shredded)
½ cup white wine vinegar
½ cup water
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp raw sugar
½ tsp ground mustard
½ tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp sea salt
¼ tsp ground pepper
1 long French-style baguette (divided into 4 pieces) OR 4 crusty rolls
½ cup vegan mayonnaise
3 field cucumbers, thinly sliced or shaved
¼ cup pickled jalapenos
1 cup cilantro leaves

Directions:
1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
2. Slice tempeh into approximately ¼” thick slices. Whisk together your favorite BBQ sauce with ¼ cup water and marinate tempeh for 20 minutes in the fridge.
3. In small pot combine white wine vinegar with ½ cup water, minced garlic, raw sugar, ground mustard, cumin seeds, sea salt and ground pepper and bring just to a boil. Remove from heat, and submerge cabbage and carrots in the liquid. Refrigerate until ready to assemble sandwiches.
4. Lay marinated tempeh slices onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, flipping the slices halfway through baking time.
5. Prepare the baguette/buns by spreading 1 Tbsp of vegan mayonnaise on the inside of each side of the bun.
6. Shake excess liquid off pickled cabbage and carrots, and place a small handful on the bottom bun. Place a couple slices of baked tempeh on top and add cucumber, cilantro and pickled jalapenos.

See more from hot for food on their YouTube channel.

Mark McEwan’s Perfect Techniques for Grilling Vegetables

When it comes to healthy and appetizing barbecues, no one brings the heat quite like celebrity chef and Chopped Canada judge Mark McEwan. Known for cooking with fresh vegetables and plant-based foods, we asked the star for his techniques on grilling veggies the right way.

Asparagus is a popular vegetable around the barbecue. Sure, you could steam or roast it, but nothing beats the flavour of asparagus that’s simply grilled.

“Trim the ends off and marinate it with olive oil and salt and pepper,” says Mark. “Lay it at a 90-degree angle on the grill at a low heat. Then, put a warm vinaigrette on the top.”

One must-have item around the grill is tin foil. “I’ll take my beets out of the garden, scrub them, quarter them and place them down on two sheets of foil paper. I like putting on olive oil, thyme, smashed garlic cloves, and salt and pepper. I seal it with another sheet of foil on top and fold the edges in like a Christmas package,” says Mark. It’s best to leave the foiled beets on  the top rack of the grill for about an hour.

If beets don’t whet your appetite, Mark says you can use this easy technique on carrots, sweet onions or peppers. If you prefer your peppers with some grill marks, Mark has the perfect method  for you.

“I take a whole pepper and rub it with a tiny bit of olive oil. I’ll put it over the hottest part on the barbecue, make it completely black and then I’ll peel the skin off. Once I pull the core off and take the seeds off, I can marinate the peppers which is fabulous,” he says.

Mark’s simple marinade includes water, vinegar, chilies, fresh herbs and a small amount of olive oil. Try any one of our 10 Great Marinades for Grilling Season.

Completely charring a pepper makes removing the skin a lot easier. “It actually cooks the pepper to another dimension where it has a different taste. It you use a marinade, you can leave it in the fridge for a week!”

Looking for more grilling tips? Check out: 12 BBQ Hacks to Make You a Grilling Superstar.

Spring Vegetable Panzanella Salad

What’s better than a light, fresh spring salad? A light, fresh spring salad with a ton of toasted bread soaked in dressing, obviously. The panzanella salad originates in Italy and is said to date back to the 16th century. I know nothing of history. But what I do know is that I love a good crouton salad.

This salad is composed of fresh spring veggies that you can find in farmers’ markets this time of year, and really showcases the vegetables. Be sure to buy local and organic when possible, but if you can’t, just be sure to find the best quality veggies near you. It really makes a world of a difference.

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This salad is dressed really lightly with dill-mustard vinaigrette, which brightens and accents the asparagus, favas, grilled scallions and radishes perfectly. I’ve used pumpernickel bread in the recipe to add a deeper flavour to the salad, and pea shoots for a subtle earthy sweetness. You can always substitute those out for whatever bread and tender greens you can find — this dish is super refreshing and versatile.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Makes: 4 side servings or 2 large servings

888_spring-panzanella-ingredients

Ingredients:

For the croutons:
5 thick slices pumpernickel bread, about 1” thick
Olive oil
Salt

For the dressing:
2 Tbsp chopped dill
2 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp grainy mustard
1 tsp honey
1/4 tsp salt
Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
1/4 cup olive oil

For the grilled scallions:
5-6 scallions
Olive oil
Salt

1 bunch asparagus, tough ends snapped off
1 cup shelled fava beans, fresh is preferred
4 radishes, sliced thinly
1 cup pea shoots

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Directions:

For the croutons:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with tin foil for easy clean up.
2. Cut the pumpernickel slices into 1” thick cubes.
3. Place them in a large bowl and drizzle with a very, very generous amount of olive oil. You want it to completely cover the bread.
4. Transfer the bread onto a baking sheet and spread out in one layer.
5. Season with a bit of salt and bake for 12 minutes, tossing the croutons halfway through.

For the dressing:
1. In a small bowl, whisk together the dill, vinegar, mustard, honey, salt and fresh cracked pepper until combined.
2. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking. Set aside.

For the grilled scallions:
1. Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-low heat.
2. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the scallions and season with a bit of salt.
3. Grill for 2-3 minutes on each side until nicely charred and softened.
4. Cut the scallions into 1” long pieces.

For the asparagus:
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and prepare an ice bath in a bowl.
2. Once the water is at a rolling boil, drop in the asparagus.
3. Cook for 1 1/2 – 2 minutes, then immediately transfer them to the ice bath. They should still have some crunch to them.
4. Allow them to cool in the ice bath for 1 minute and then place onto a paper towel. Dab away any extra water. This will prevent the asparagus from getting waterlogged.
5. Cut the asparagus into 1” long pieces.

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Dressing the salad:
1. In a large bowl, toss the croutons with 2 Tbsp of dressing and allow them to soak it up while dressing the remaining components.
2. In a separate bowl, toss the scallions, asparagus, fava beans, radish slices and pea shoots with 1 1/2 – 2 Tbsp of dressing. Don’t drown the delicate veggies.
3. Transfer the veggies into the bowl with the croutons and toss gently to combine.
4. Plate and enjoy with extra dressing on the side.

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Notes and Shortcuts:
– Use whatever vegetables are fresh and in season — get creative!
– The veggies and croutons can be made and prepped ahead of time, then dressed before serving. This is super helpful when you have guests coming or if you would like to take this salad as a work lunch.
– Change it up: grill the asparagus and change out the scallions for thinly sliced red onions. And if you can find ramps, it’s your lucky day. Definitely use them.
– Substitute the pea shoots for pea tendrils, micro greens or even sorrel — whatever you can find!

 

Farmer's Market Sign

Insider Tips on Scoring Deals at the Farmers’ Market

As asparagus, ramps and fiddleheads begin to sprout through freshly thawed soil, Canadians are eager to taste the first delicious harvest of the season.

Soon, farmers’ market season will be in full swing, so we caught up with market insiders Dina Rock and Kim Antonius for their insight on how to score at farmers’ markets this season.

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1. Think in season and within reason.

“First off, I know that when a lot of people go to the farmers market they might be thinking that they’ll find a deal because they’re cutting out the middleman,” says Fairmount Park Farm Market founder Kim Antonius. But she warns that isn’t necessarily the case. “Food isn’t always less expensive at the farmers’ market than it would be at your local grocery store,” she says. Grocery stores buy in massive quantities from distributors who import cash crops from warmer climates, and the local produce you buy at a farmers’ market may end up costing the same — or even a little more — than what you’ll find in big box stores. This year, however, Antonius speculates that the high American dollar may allow local markets to be more competitive.

Dina Rock, owner and chief pickling officer at Mighty Fine Brine, is also a regular farmers’ market vendor. She cautions shoppers against the temptation to bargain with farmers and artisans. “People who work in the local food movement in Canada do it mostly out of a passion for our community, our growing season and our environment,” she says. “We live in a place where we’re subject to the elements and limited in the amount that can be produced. So our incomes are already tremendously challenged. You would never walk into a Starbucks and say, ‘Can I get a discount on that latte?’ So to say, ‘I know you toiled on your farms and were up since 5 a.m. harvesting these beautiful pears…but can I get a discount on them?’ That’s frustrating. This is how people make their living — don’t try to discount that.”

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2. Fresh is best but good things can come to those who wait.

Still, there are opportunities to score at the market, particularly if freshness and nutrition are priorities. “The fresher the produce, the higher the nutrients it has,” says Antonius .“So when you’re buying something that was picked that morning, or the night prior, it has more nutrients in it than something that has been shipped from California…the other thing is that it’s so fresh, it lasts longer.”

Of course fresh, local, seasonal fruits and veggies is what the market is all about, but consider waiting week or two into the season before scooping up the latest crop. “Ramps are finally available,” notes Rock. “They’re going to be at their most expensive because they’re available right now… Wait a week or two, so that that fever pitch has died down a little bit.”

Fresh Strawberries Market

3. Get friendly with your farmers and vendors.

Rock will dole out deals from time to time — when customers buy a lot at once, she’s liable to toss in an extra goodie. But like all good things in life, the best deals are earned. “For me it comes down to building relationships,” she says. If Rock has brought something special to the market or is in the mood to trade, her regular customers — the ones who take the time to get to know her and her business — will hear about it first.

As you get to know farmers and vendors, Antonius suggests asking them to add you to any email lists they might have going. That way you’ll be the first to know about bumpers and seconds, the rare crops that farmers might sell at discount.

“One of my favourite bumper crops are fava beans,” says Antonius. “They’re amazing when they come, but they don’t last very long. If you learn how to preserve or freeze them, then you can buy larger quantities of them for less and have them when they’re out of season, too.”

Preserving is also a great way to deal with seconds; slightly damaged or ugly produce. Most farmers don’t bother bringing their seconds to market, but are often happy to part with imperfect produce at a lower rate if they know you’ll be there to buy it.

At the end of the day, even shoppers who prefer their transactions swift and silent will benefit from choosing from the farmers’ market. “Your dollars are investing in Canada’s farmland,” says Antonius. “It’s really exciting to think of yourself as a purchaser, but also an investor.”

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Cory Vitiello on How to Make Fruits and Veggies Last

By night, you may know Cory Vitiello as an expert on Chef in Your Ear, but by day, he’s a popular Toronto chef and restaurateur. He’s also a serious purchaser of fruits and vegetables. Produce is important at his Toronto restaurant, Flock, which is just as famous for its fresh salads as its antibiotic and hormone-free rotisserie chickens. “We probably go through $20,000 worth of produce in a week,” says Cory.Cory Vitiello

Here, he shares his tips for which fruits and veggies will last the longest, how to store them for optimal longevity, and what to do with them when they’ve started to wilt. These tips are a great starting point for getting the most from your fresh goods, but as always, trust your senses and don’t consume food that looks or smells off.

Apples
Last for: up to 3 months in the fridge.
Store apples in the warmest part of the fridge in a sealed bag, says Cory. Apples tend to absorb flavours, so avoid putting them next to fragrant items like cheese. If they’re starting to overstay their welcome, peel them, cut them into slices and toss them in a Ziploc bag in the freezer. From there, you can “use them for smoothies just like you would bananas,” says Cory.

Tip: A plastic bag helps keep apples (and bananas) well segregated from other produce; apples release ethylene gas, which can cause premature ripening in nearby produce.

beets-raw-wholeBeets
Last for: 2-3 weeks in the fridge.
Although beets last quite a while in the fridge, they tend to lose their sweetness over time. Cory recommends keeping them at room temperature as long as possible to maintain optimal flavour. As long as they’re firm — “I mean very firm, you should not be able to bruise them” — they can be stored in the pantry. “If you’re looking for a nice salad beet, you definitely want to use the firm, fresh ones,” says Cory. When the skins start to get leathery, move them to the refrigerator, or better yet, roast them. “Keep the skins on — you don’t have to peel them. Just give them a good scrub and roast them with your apples that are about to expire.”

Cabbage
Lasts for: up to 2 months in the fridge.
“Cabbage is probably one of the most underrated vegetables,” says Cory. “As long as it’s stored in the fridge, you’re golden.” Peel off wilting outer layers to reveal crisper leaves below, and don’t be afraid to branch beyond coleslaw. Cory likes chopping a cabbage in half, dicing it against the grain, and stir-frying: bonus, cooked cabbage goes nicely with your roasted or sauteed aging beets, apples and carrots.

carrots-orange-yellow-purpleCarrots
Last for: 2-3 weeks in the fridge.
Trim the green tops off carrots and store them in water with their skins intact so they stay fresh and juicy. “I like to leave the skins on, scrub them down and roast them whole,” says Cory. “I love that rustic, natural look on a carrot. What I don’t like is a perfect carrot stick on a plate. I think that looks tacky and 1980s.”

Celery
Lasts for: up to 2 weeks in the fridge.
When the base of celery goes limp, do like “everybody’s mom” and cut the base off, and revive celery sticks in a cup of water in the fridge. Or simply remove the flimsy outer stalks to reveal the heart, “which is the best part anyway.” And don’t forget to use the inner leaves — Cory likes to toss his in fresh salad as he would with other herbs. “It’s really nice, tender and sweet.”

Garlic
Lasts for: 3-6 months.
“All garlic will age to a certain point, but you want to keep it in a dark place, in a paper bag,” says Cory. Keep it away from fruit to avoid flavour transfer, but you’ll know it’s nearing the end when it starts to sprout. To use up a bunch of garlic at once, peel and roast in olive oil on low heat until just browned. Store the roasted cloves submerged in olive oil in a jar in the fridge.  “Use it for pasta, sauces, anything you’d use garlic for — it’ll last for a month after you roast it,” says Cory.

Onion and Shallots
Last for: 2-3 months.
Like garlic, onions and shallots are best stored in paper bags in a dry, cool place, encourages Cory. Sprouting will indicate that they’ve started to turn; as with beets, if they start to wrinkle or can be easily squeezed like an orange, cook them. Whether you roast them for a dip, caramelize them for burgers or at them to soups, “any kind of cooked preparation is fine,” says Cory.

pomegranatePomegranates
Last for: 3 -4 weeks in the fridge.
Pomegranates can last quite awhile as long as they’re intact. Once you remove the seeds from the fruit, however, they need to be eaten within a couple of days. “The seeds have an incredibly short shelf life and will lose their juice, go pale and won’t taste as sweet,” warns Cory. He suggests sprinkling them on your morning yogurt, or trying them in salads. If you crack into your pomegranate and find some of the seeds are brown and slimy, don’t eat them, but do go ahead and pick out the good ones.

Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes
Last for: 2 – 3 months.
These famously long-lived staples are good to eat until they start sprouting, says Cory. Like beets, the starch and sugar levels will fluctuate according to storage methods. “If you store them in a cool, dark place,” says Cory, “that will prevent the sugar levels from building up. Then you’ll get a nice, dark roasted potato, and not a limp one that tends to burn quickly or is flimsy when you fry it — that’s because of too much sugar. When you store them in the fridge, they build up too much sugar.”

Winter Squashes
Last for: up to 3 months.
“This is definitely one of the most versatile and longest lasting ingredients,” says Cory. “It takes a long time for winter squash to break down. I like eating winter squash raw — I’ll peel and shave it really thin on a mandolin or vegetable peeler, and it gives a really nice, unique crunch in a salad. But when in doubt, just roast it whole — cut it in half, smear with butter and some spices.”

watermelonWatermelon
Lasts for: 2-3 weeks in the fridge
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen an expired watermelon,” says Cory. But if you’re looking to use up your watermelon quickly, he suggests scooping out the flesh and tossing it in the blender with your favourite tea. “Watermelon iced tea is the ultimate summer drink,” he says.

Hearty Vegetarian Chili with Butternut Squash

There’s nothing more soul-warming than a big bowl of chili. A unique and tasty alternative to your typical chili, this vegetarian green chili is made with tangy canned tomatillos, poblano chiles and jalapeños for some added heat.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

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Ingredients:
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 poblano chile pepper, seeded and chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cans whole tomatillos, drained and roughly chopped
2 cups vegetable broth
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped
8 ounces Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 Tbsp lime juice
Shredded aged Cheddar
Sour cream
Finely chopped radishes
Lime wedges
Tortilla chips

Directions:
1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large saucepan set over medium heat. 2. Add onions, poblano, carrot, celery, jalapeño, garlic, chili powder, paprika, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for 7 to 10 minutes or until vegetables soften.
3. Add tomatillos, broth and Worcestershire sauce, and bring to a boil. Add butternut squash, potatoes, white beans and pinto beans. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour or until vegetables are tender and chili thickens slightly.
4. Stir in corn, cilantro and lime juice. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until heated through. Serve with Cheddar cheese, sour cream, radishes, lime wedges and tortilla chips.

Notes:
– For those who like their chili to pack a punch, replace chili powder with chipotle chili powder.

Brussels Sprouts Even The Pickiest Eaters Will Love

Brussels sprouts have always been one of the most feared vegetables among kids and it’s usually because they’ve only tried one version at home: boiled to a miserable soggy, mushy mess, with no flavour at all. Thankfully in recent years chefs have been doing this vegetable justice, browning the leaves to give them a crispy crunch, adding accoutrements like nuts and maple syrup, and pairing the otherwise bland vegetable with a bit of fat from umami bombs like bacon and cheese.

Here’s an easy way to serve up this cruciferous vegetable that’s loaded with vitamins K and C. Yes, it uses a bit of pancetta and butter, so it’ll never be as healthy as just steaming them, but then again, would you rather eat them without any flavour?

If you have a bit more time on your hands, you can also roast Brussels sprouts for 30-40 minutes at 400°F after tossing them in a light coat of olive oil. But below is the quicker version perfect for a weeknight dinner.

BrusselsSproutsPlate

Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Parmesan

Ingredients:
(serves 4 as a side dish or 2 as a main)

1 pound (4 cups) Brussels sprouts, washed, trimmed, and halved
1/3 cups pancetta cubes
1 1/2 tsp unsalted butter
2 tsp maple syrup
Salt and pepper, to taste
Parmesan cheese, for garnish

BrusselsSprouts

Directions:
1. In a pot of salted boiling water, blanch the Brussels sprouts for 2-3 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.
2. In a pan over medium heat, melt the butter. When it starts to brown, add the Brussels sprouts and stir occasionally. Continue cooking until the sprouts start to brown, 6-8 minutes.
3. Add the pancetta and cook until they start to brown and crisp up, 3-4 minutes. Pour in the maple syrup and gently toss. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Pour into a serving dish and grate a bit of parmesan cheese on top. Serve immediately.

734863_10151322355189438_2070375187_n Karon Liu is a freelance food writer based in Toronto who is slightly lactose intolerant but will otherwise eat and cook anything.

Easy Lentil and Vegetable Curry

Curries are a meatless-Monday staple. They’re quick to make and filling, plus it’s a great way to use up all those vegetables lying around your fridge — we like to call it the “clean out the fridge” curry! It doesn’t sound too glamorous, but it’s definitely delicious. There really are no rules when it comes to what you can add to the pot, all we suggest is starting with some fragrant spices.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4-6

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Ingredients:
2 cups brown & wild rice mix (or basmati rice)
3 ½ cups water
1 Tbsp vegan butter
3 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp garam masala
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger
½ cup onion, finely chopped
6 cups chopped veggies of your choice (red pepper, carrot, cabbage, broccoli, etc.)
1 cup dried red lentils
2 cups vegetable stock
1 can full fat coconut milk
1 cup frozen shelled edamame or peas
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground pepper

Garnish (optional):
Coconut yogurt
Chives, finely chopped

Directions:
1. In a pot bring rice, water, and vegan butter to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer, cover the pot with a lid and cook for 45 minutes.
2. Meanwhile in a large, deep pan heated to medium, add 2 Tbsp of coconut oil and cumin seeds, coriander seeds, turmeric, chili flakes, and garam masala. Toast the spices for 6 minutes until fragrant.
3. Lower the heat so the spices don’t burn and add minced garlic, ginger and onions, and cook for 2-3 minutes stirring frequently until the onions are translucent and soft.
4. Add another Tbsp of coconut oil and all your veggies and cook for 8-10 minutes until they just start to get soft, but are still bright in colour.
5. Add lentils and stir frequently for another 5-6 minutes, allowing the lentils to toast up and absorb some moisture.
6. Bring the heat back up to medium and gradually stir in vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and cover with a lid for 10 minutes.
7. Add coconut milk, lime juice, sea salt, ground pepper and any frozen vegetables you want to add. Stir well to combine. Cover with a lid and cook for another 20 minutes.
8. Serve over rice and garnish with a dollop of coconut yogurt and finely chopped chives.

See more from hot for food on their YouTube channel.

Asian Noodle Salad with Sweet Ginger Dressing

Think of this beautiful salad as a superfood version of traditional chow mein! It has lots of crunch from bright and colourful veggies, a little comfort food flair with a hearty helping of noodles, and we’re sure the sweet and zesty ginger dressing will soon become a staple in your weekly menu.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 4 salads

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Ingredients:

For the Sweet Ginger Soy Dressing:
¼ cup sunflower oil
3 Tbsp rice vinegar
3 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp miso paste
1 Tbsp agave nectar
1 1/2 tsp grated ginger

For the Asian Noodle Salad:
1 cup frozen shelled edamame
½ tsp sesame oil (for edamame)
½ lbs (225 g) chow mein noodles or rice noodles
2 Tbsp vegetable oil (for noodles)
1 Tbsp + ½ tsp gluten-free tamari or soy sauce (for edamame & noodles)
10 cups lacinato kale, finely chopped into ribbons/shreds
1 cup shredded carrot
1 cup shredded purple cabbage
1 red pepper, julienned
1 cup bean sprouts
1/3 cup finely chopped green onion
¼ cup sesame seeds

Directions:
1. To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a blender until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve the salad.
2. Cook noodles in boiling water for 3 minutes or as per cooking instructions. Drain and set aside.
3. Cook frozen edamame in a pan over medium-high heat in ½ tsp of sesame oil and ½ tsp of soy sauce (or gluten-free tamari) for 4-5 minutes. They should appear toasted but still with some bright green colour to them.
4. Remove edamame from pan and keep it on medium-high heat. Add the cooked noodles and toss in the pan with 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil and 1 Tbsp of soy sauce (or gluten-free tamari), frying for 2-3 minutes.
5. Mix the finely chopped kale with shredded carrot, cabbage and green onion, and toss in 2-3 Tbsp of sweet ginger dressing.
6. Divide this mixture amongst your serving dishes. Top the greens with noodles, edamame, julienned red pepper, bean sprouts and sesame seeds. Drizzle a little more dressing on top, if desired. Serve immediately!

Note: The dressed kale mixture can keep for a day in the fridge without becoming soggy.

See more from hot for food on their YouTube channel.

Vegan Lasagna Roll Ups with Almond Ricotta

To celebrate National Lasagna Day we thought we’d switch things up and roll up our lasagna! These fun and healthy lasagna roll ups are stuffed with spinach and zucchini, and the most velvety almond ricotta (the ricotta can be made the day before) and can be used in so many other delicious recipes. We’re actually kind of obsessed with it right now!

Prep Time: 55 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Makes: 8 rolls

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Ingredients:

Almond Ricotta:
1 cup blanched sliced almonds
1/3 cup water
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp white pepper
1 Tbsp finely chopped basil

Tomato Sauce:
½ cup finely chopped white onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground pepper
2 Tbsp finely chopped basil

Lasagna Rolls:
8 lasagna noodles
4 cups baby spinach
1 large yellow zucchini (or 2 small)
1 tsp olive oil
¼ tsp nutmeg
Sea salt & pepper to taste

Note: The almond ricotta should be prepared one day in advance to give it time to set.

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Directions:
1. In a high-powered blender combine all the almond ricotta ingredients together except the basil. You will fold this in after the mixture is blended.
2. Once the mixture is smooth, fold the finely chopped basil into the almond mixture with a spoon, then place a double layer of cheesecloth over a large mixing bowl and pour the almond mixture into the cheesecloth.
3. Take the excess ends of the cheesecloth and tie it around a wooden spoon or something you can lay on top of the mixing bowl, suspending it in the mixing bowl. It shouldn’t be touching the bottom of the mixing bowl. Refrigerate this allowing the excess water to strain from the almond cheese for 24 hours. After 24 hours, remove it from the cheesecloth and place it in a new clean dish.
4. To make the tomato sauce, heat a pan over medium and sauté white onion for 2 minutes with olive oil.
5. Then add minced garlic and dried oregano, and sauté for another minute.
6. Stir in tomato paste until the garlic and onions are well coated, then add crushed tomatoes, sea salt and ground pepper. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes. Add fresh basil, cover and simmer for another 20 minutes.
7. While the sauce is simmering for the last 20 minutes, preheat oven to 325°F.
8. Boil the noodles in salted water for about 5-6 minutes, until half cooked. Drain and set the noodles aside on a damp towel or damp paper towel to prevent them from sticking until you prepare the lasagna rolls.
9. Thinly slice yellow zucchini with a mandolin.
10. Heat another pan over medium heat with 1 tsp of olive oil, and add spinach and zucchini together with nutmeg, sea salt and ground pepper. Sauté for about 4 minutes. There will be a bit excess water from the vegetables, but just drain it from the pan before adding vegetables to the lasagna rolls.
11. To assemble the rolls take 1 Tbsp of almond ricotta and spread it across each lasagna noodle out to the edges, then layer spinach and zucchini on top. Roll the lasagna noodle snuggly.
12. Pour half the tomato sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 9” glass baking dish. Place lasagna rolls 4 across and pour the remaining sauce over each row of lasagna rolls.
13. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

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11 Foods That Should Never Be Refrigerated

Call me weird, but I really hate putting away the groceries. There’s never any room in the fridge and I now know why. I’ve been putting foods I don’t need to refrigerate in my already-crowded fridge!

Have a look at the list below (I’m going home and taking out #3, #6, #7 and #9 immediately)!

honey-in-jar

1. Honey

No need to put honey in the fridge, it’ll just thicken and crystallize which is really annoying to scoop out but perfectly fine. Honey is all natural so it stays good almost indefinitely in the pantry. In fact, a 1000-year-old jar of honey will be as fresh as the day it was put into that jar.

2. Avocados

Avocados should not be refrigerated until they are ripe. Once ripe, you can put them in the fridge for a week. Best to keep avocados whole, not sliced, to avoid browning that occurs when the flesh is exposed to air. Also if you want them to ripen faster, put them on top of your fridge in a paper bag.

3. Hot sauce

I didn’t know this but you can keep it in the pantry for up to three years!

4. Coffee

The fridge (and the freezer) create condensation which affect the flavour of both ground coffee and coffee beans. It’ll also absorb odours in the fridge. My mom actually uses coffee grounds instead of baking soda for its odour-absorbing powers. Keep coffee in an airtight container in the pantry.

5. Onions

Avoid direct sunlight. Keep them in a cool, dry place but NOT next to your potatoes. When stored together, both deteriorate faster. Moisture in your fridge will turn onions soft and moldy–yuck.

6. Potatoes

Putting them in the fridge affects the flavour and texture (they become gritty) Store in the pantry in paper bags (plastic bags trap moisture and speed decay). Most varieties should last three weeks but not next to the onions (See #5).

7. Bread

Did you know refrigeration will dry your bread out quicker? It’ll also make it tough and less tasty. Unless it’s sliced bread you plan on using in the next few days, keep it in the freezer or the counter.

8. Tomatoes

Tomatoes lose all their flavour in the fridge because the cold stops the ripening process. It also messes with the texture and them mealy and mushy.

9. Melons

You really shouldn’t store any whole melon fruit in the fridge. Once it’s cut though, that’s another story. There’s research that shows refrigerating whole melons decreases the antioxidants – that’s the good stuff you want.

10. Garlic

Store them in a cool, dry and ventilated container to preserve their powerful flavour. Once the head has been broken open, use the cloves within 10 days.

11. Oils

Nut oils (like hazelnut oil or peanut oil) must be refrigerated, but for other types of oil keep them in the pantry. They become cloudy and harden when refrigerated. While this doesn’t do lasting damage, it’s a pain to wait for the oil to warm up before it flows properly again.