It’s hard not to love a good raw lasagna. It takes all the best elements of a quintessential comfort food and turns them on their head, transforming a typically heavy, calorie-laden dish into something light, summery, and delightfully unexpected.
This recipe probably looks pretty familiar to some of you. If it does, don’t worry – you haven’t gone mad.
I have decided to revamp and reshoot some of my old recipes (in between posting new content) in order to give them the love and attention they truly deserve. After making these many times over the last year I’ve come up with a few little tweaks which I think make them even better, which, to me, is a natural part of the cooking process. It would be unfair not to share those improvements with you. More importantly, my photography skills have improved significantly since I began this blog just over a year ago. A quick peek at some of my earlier recipes will make that abundantly, cringe-worthily clear. It requires a real effort in mindfulness for me not to agonize over some of those earlier photos! At the same time, it is also really rewarding to see how far I’ve come.
This recipe has been a rather long time in the making. It started with a feeling of nostalgia, evoked from photographs of our travels in Austria. I can still recall the sublime beauty of that country as if I had just returned this morning. I remember the overwhelming awe and gratitude I felt in the presence of the vast mountain range that surrounds Salzburg, and the sense of wonder, of having travelled through time, while exploring the ruins of Durnstein castle, once home to an imprisoned Richard the Lionheart.
I’m absolutely in love with this dish. I’ve been making a variation of it for the last year or so, and it always makes for a perfect dinner. Satisfying, wholesome, and flavourful, it can be ready in under 40 minutes but tastes (and looks) like it took two hours. The marriage of classic Italian flavours – parsley, basil, olive oil, and sundried tomatoes – with the rather more Canadian textures of the squash and fiddleheads is really quite exciting. On weeknights it makes for an indulgent-feeling meal, but since there’s no pasta, it’s hardly an indulgence in the usual sense of the word. You’ll be full without feeling overly stuffed, which is something I will always endorse.
Do you have a happy place? Somewhere you can go to relax, recharge, and be at peace? A place where you feel present in the moment and good in your own skin?
My happy place is the farmer’s market. I’m filled with such an authentic feeling of pleasure whenever I visit, like I’m catering to the wishes of my true and natural self, and I feel so content being surrounded by like-minded individuals, knowing I’m contributing to an ethical, sustainable, and natural mode of food production. I become part of a community, connecting with the people whose hard work and passion helps to put food on my table. I love being able to get in touch with the rhythm of the seasons, buying food at the peak of its freshness and nutritional vitality. It’s just so exciting!
Am I a little bit geeky about vegetables? Absolutely.
I can still remember the days when the idea of pairing salty and sweet would have seemed like a real tragedy. Why would you ruin a perfectly good dessert by adding salt to it? I recall my utter bafflement at the idea that dessert + coffee were meant to be enjoyed at the same time, wondering why anyone in their right mind would want to showcase and even enhance the bitterness of coffee by pairing it with such an opposing (and vastly superior) flavour. Then again, my idea of the perfect coffee was nothing more than sugar milk with a faint coffee aftertaste.
My palate was, how shall we say it, rather more delicate in those days. I hated anything spicy, or bitter, or briny. There was sweet and there was not-sweet, and everything else was an offence against my tongue.
This recipe marks a pretty monumental achievement. I have a new favourite smoothie. This might sound fairly humdrum to those of you living outside of my head (which I guess would be all of you, with the exception of Conor, on occasion), but I can assure you, a new smoothie entering my breakfast rotation is not a frequent occurrence. I alternate between a couple favourites during the week and enjoy my Chocolate Almond Java Shake on the weekends when I know I have the time to hit the gym extra hard and need a little boost, but that’s about as adventurous as I get on a busy morning. But this smoothie… it’s like a cool burst of spring air. Not only is it completely satisfying, it’s absolutely invigorating. Designed to help aid digestion using a few key ingredients, I can guarantee this will wake you up at least as well as coffee and stimulate your digestive system to start producing all those gut-friendly enzymes in the process. If I could sum up the taste in one word, it would be vibrant. Between the tartness of the lemon, the kick of the ginger, and the freshness of the parsley, it really tastes like a happy garden in a glass. Scroll down for a full breakdown of the health benefits of this smoothie! Let’s show our tummies some love, shall we? Continue reading
To give you a sense of how hectic life has been lately, I’m going to let you in on a little secret: this was supposed to be an Easter post.
That’s right, you heard me. I wanted to share this beautiful cake with you in time for you to (hopefully? maybe?) make it and impress all your friends and family.
“A box without hinges, key, or lid,
yet golden treasure inside is hid.”
Eggs are pretty amazing. They’re beautiful little nutrition powerhouses, packed with protein, vitamins, and minerals, and with a little ingenuity they can be transformed into an endless variety of dishes. They are a vegetarian and an athlete’s dream! Despite being low in calories (one medium egg only contains around 70 calories), they boast an impressive amount of protein and healthy fats, helping to keep you feeling satiated for longer. Starting your day with some eggs will help prevent you from snacking later on, and will boost your mental performance throughout the day. Evidence also suggests that eggs help regulate your metabolism and, despite containing cholesterol, actually help reduce the absorption of cholesterol in your body. The protein in eggs also helps lower blood pressure.
Quinoa bowls are kind of amazing. Endlessly versatile, packed with nutrients, and incredibly satisfying, they make for an ideal packed lunch, especially on days where you’ve hit the gym before even getting to the office.
They’re also a lot of work.
Okay, let me rephrase that. Making all of the individual elements which make up your bowl is a lot of work, but it’s a labour of expediency. Put in the time to pull everything together on the weekend, and you’re set for lunches for the rest of the week. I would never make a single-serving quinoa bowl – it takes the same amount of time to make a small batch as a large, so why not do future you a favour and avoid having to make a lunch every night?