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.
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.
“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?
Let’s keep things short and sweet today, shall we? This sauce is good. You will like it. Nom. Nom.
Okay, I’ll give you a little more than that! I wasn’t lying though, this sauce is pretty fantastic. Hearty, flavourful, and decidedly meaty (in the best possible veggie way), it’s great for a casual dinner any night of the week and sure to please even the most ardent meat lovers in your life. The directions look a little long, but it really is fairly simple and quick to pull together.
The fruit of rebellion often bears the sweetest yield. There is something tangibly more enjoyable and exciting about engaging in an illicit behaviour – even if it’s something you’ve done a million times before. I just never imagined that rebellion could take the form of a salad, or that it would taste like some ambrosial gift from the gods. One never knows what the future holds in store is the lesson I’m going to take away from this experience.
People ask me all the time where I get inspiration for my recipes, and of course, that ends up requiring a bit of a lengthy reply. Cookbooks and food blogs of course inspire me, as do my own taste buds and whatever happens to be in the fridge when I decide to cook, but more often than not it’s a simple trip to the farmer’s market or grocery store. I sometimes ignore what’s in season to feed a craving, but it’s always much more rewarding to work in tandem with what nature has to offer. It forces you to get those creative juices flowing and perhaps cook with unfamiliar ingredients – I made a lasagna with celeriac noodles the other day and… mind blown! Plus, seasonal produce tastes WAY better and lets you feel good (and just a little smug) about doing your part to support local farmers.