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.
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.
Happy day-before St. Patrick’s Day!
Whoever first thought to combine chocolate and mint deserves some kind of lifetime achievement award, at least in my books. It’s one of my all-time favourite sweet pairings, so much so that I was rarely found without a box of Junior Mints in my purse during my high school years. These days, I eschew those high-fructose corn syrup droplets of yum in favour of more natural alternatives. I have found some pretty fantastic organic dark chocolate + mint bars over the last few years that satisfy the craving and taste infinitely better, but today I wanted to give a nod to the Irish side of my heritage and celebrate the holiday in a healthful way.
I am so excited about these little cakes! They are SO moist, have great texture, and beautiful flavour – and look how cute! I honestly squealed when they came out of the oven.
And let’s talk for a moment about parsnips, shall we? It might sound strange to put them in dessert, but we’re all comfortable with the idea of carrot cake, and they’re pretty similar as far as root vegetables go. The difference is that parsnips, while similarly sweet, have this amazingly earthy, spicy aroma to them which goes perfectly with cinnamon and cloves. Let’s give parsnips a chance, and make some cake we can feel good about.
I’m pretty sure I owe you a winter salad. My last post was all about eating whatever the heck I want (a sprouts salad, because I’m a badass like that), but this one is all about embracing the chilly season. It is also about simplicity. Fennel, oranges, olives, and an easy-as-sin dressing. Just three seemingly disparate ingredients which, when combined together, produce an insanely flavourful and refreshing salad.
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.