Whether I made them or just ate them, here are a few bites that have fed my heart and soul this past year. I can’t wait to sink my teeth into 2013! Happy New Year!
When days turn snowy we seem to reach for the foods that have comforted us in winters past. I’ve been making clam linguine from my grandmother’s recipe for the last couple of decades and it’s a favourite of my son and my best friend, two of the most important people in my life. While I want to feed and comfort them, I also feel the need to nourish them and keep them healthy. Over the years, I’ve tweaked frequently cooked dishes to be a bit healthier while still maintaining the textures and flavours that made them staples at our table.
I’m always trying to work more green vegetables into meals and one day when I was picking up supplies for Clam Linguine, I thought about how it’s the only time I like to use lots of parsley in a dish. Realizing that it was because the parsley absorbed all the other flavours, I wondered if kale wouldn’t just do the same thing. By quickly blanching the kale in the pasta water before adding it to the pan and reducing the amount of pasta, it added lots of vitamins and nutrients without taking anything away from a beloved dish.
When I tested the altered pasta dish on my son, he approved and ate about half of a bunch of kale! When I made a lunch date with my best gal where she wanted to make Clam Linguine together at her place, I figured it was a great chance to test out the changes on a “mature” palate. With a splash of Wayne Gretzky wine, I dished up the greener version of the recipe we’d been cooking together since high school and got our daily greens with a side of witty banter.
Recipe for Clam Linguine with Greenery
makes 2 very generous servings
150 ml (5 oz) canned whole baby clams
2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
5 Tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
1 bunch fresh kale
120ml (4 oz) dry white wine or broth
1 Tablespoon butter
5 Tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Bring salted water to a boil. Wash and tear up kale into bite size pieces, discarding the spines.
2. Melt butter and olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium. Add sliced garlic and sauté until golden.
3. Blanch kale in boiling salted water for 1 minute. Add parsley, wine or broth, clam nectar (from the can) to the garlic pan and transfer kale with a slotted spoon from pot to pan
. Simmer for 5 minutes.
4. Add pasta to same pot of boiling water. Add clams to sauté pan and salt and pepper to taste then simmer for another 5 minutes.
5. Add pasta to saute pan with sauce and allow to sit with burner off until most of the sauce is absorbed.
6. Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Do you have a treasured recipe that you’ve ‘greened’?
- Tuesday Pasta Night: Take One (relentlesswandering.wordpress.com)
- Linguine and Clam Sauce (herbsinthewindow.wordpress.com)
- Sausage and Kale Pasta (homeintimefordinner.wordpress.com)
- Marinara Linguine Recipe by Antonio Ruggerino (thecalabrian.net)
- bon appétit : kale, sausage, and tomato pasta (jacquelinecote.com)
- Go Ahead, Make it a Pasta Night (affinityacupuncture.wordpress.com)
- Cooking Clams (ideasinfood.com)
- Shrimp Linguine with Fresh Gluten Free Pasta (thepreparedtable73.wordpress.com)
- Week 9: Linguine with Sardines, Anchovies and Parsley (newrecipenight.wordpress.com)
I just had to share this recipe that I found on Gluten Free on a Shoestring, a really wonderful blog by Gluten Free cookbook author Nicole Hunn. The cornbread disappeared in under 24 hours, which is a new record in our house!
The only change I made was to use Greek Yogurt instead of plain yogurt. It was super simple and easy to throw together and went very well with Black Bean Chili we had for dinner, and with a smear of honey for dessert and topped with butter next to scrambled eggs for breakfast the next morning.
Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes Yield: 1 cornbread
2 cups (264 g) coarsely ground yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg (60 g, out of shell) at room temperature, beaten
4 tablespoons (56 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups (340 g) plain yogurt, at room temperature (can substitute an equal amount of sour cream or buttermilk)
4 tablespoons (84 g) honey
For the complete recipe please click through to Old Fashioned Gluten Free Cornbread on Gluten Free on a Shoestring.
What is your favourite thing to put on or eat with cornbread? Chili? Honey? Cheese? Butter?
- Ridiculously Easy Gluten-Free Cornbread (thegfbff.com)
- Not So Sweet Cornmeal-Only Cornbread (remedialgirllessons.wordpress.com)
- ‘Gluten-Free on a Shoestring’ wins wheat-free wars: Cranberry Bread recipe (examiner.com)
- Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Cornbread Muffins (callieleighcoker.wordpress.com)
- Cheesy Jalapeño Cornbread (Gluten-Free & Vegan) (silkandspiceblog.wordpress.com)
- Gluten Free Cornbread Stuffing Recipe (eathikelove.wordpress.com)
- Cornbread Stuffing Recipe (featsoftaste.wordpress.com)
- REVIEW: Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Cornbread Mix (thebefuddledstepmonster.com)
- Skillet Cornbread (glutenfreeamericana.com)
Trying a brand new restaurant is just about our family’s favourite thing to do and when the chef/owner happens to be Andrea Carlson (Sooke Harbour House, Raincity Grill, Bishop’s, etc), who is not only an a fantastic cook but a long time friend, we get downright excited! So, we made sure the three of us were at the corner of Main and E 11th Ave for the very first public service of Burdock & Co.
After admiring the space (the former home of Cafeteria), we sat down and ordered some drinks. I had one of the two non-alcoholic cocktails, from a list designed by Lauren Mote of Kale and Nori Culinary Designs, the Cascadian Cooler.
The menu featured dishes showcasing local and seasonal ingredients in imaginative combinations that made it difficult to narrow down our selections, so we ordered almost the whole menu to share family style!
We started with the scallops and oysters (both requested by our 10-year-old son, Young Fresh Chef) which were delicate and delicious like a cool spring morning on the West Coast. We even nibbled on the cherry blossoms as instructed by our charmer of a server.
The flavour and textural combination of the poached egg and the savoury granola was my favourite of the night and I may have Mmmmmmmed out loud more than once! The peppery wild cress presented a nice contrast to the luxuriousness of the rest of the plate.
The vegan farro dish was my meat-loving husband’s top pick of the meal and the plate was scraped down to the ceramic glaze. The depth of flavour from the black garlic was earthy and sweet adding a soulful umami element to the farro.
Our son most enjoyed the fried chicken and he said that he could taste the love that was put into the preparation. The crispy skin was like chicken bacon and the accompanying pickled vegetables helped cut the richness of this dish.
My husband and I were slowing down at this point, but the boy went full boar (pun intended) into the bowl of ramen.
The risotto was delicious and since the smoked crema would be good with almost anything, it just made the dish that much better. While this was a vegetarian dish, the dairy components gave it a rich taste and mouth feel.
While we should have been getting full after so much deliciousness, my fellas had their forks into the halibut before I could take a single photo! Like everything we tried, the dish was a tantalizing combination of ingredients with an excellent balance of flavours and was seasoned to perfection.
We still had a bit of room for dessert and we really enjoyed the gluten-free cookie selection by the soft glow of candlelight.
We left with full bellies and hearts already plotting our return.
Burdock & Co
Open 7 days a week
from 5pm for dinner
2702 Main Street
Vancouver, BC V5T 3E8
Which dish pictured appeals most to your taste buds?
There is a certain fast food chain that celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with a suspicious green sludge dubbed the “Shamrock Shake”, while I admit to having consumed one or two in my reckless youth, I’m no longer foolish enough to put the 54 ingredients that add up to 820 calories of no-goodness into my body. Especially not when I’ve created a delicous and very healthy drink I’m calling the Shamrock Smoothie.
I came up with this smoothie when my 10 year old, Young Fresh Chef, was getting bored with all my fruity smoothie combinations. I was looking through my baking cupboard trying to come up with something fresh when I spied raw cacao powder and mint extract. I am a big fan of mint and chocolate together so I knew I could make something wonderful.
I’ve been adding frozen baby spinach (the kind you buy fresh in the plastic tub) for over a year with my son’s knowledge and approval and when I recently tried frozen kale it got a thumbs up as well. I used frozen bananas as the only source of sweetness and almond milk to help it blend better, but the chocolate and mint are the real stars!
When I tested this on the Young Fresh Chef he finished it down to the last drop and declared it his favourite smoothie ever. So it’s definitely a winner. He couldn’t taste the kale at all, when it’s frozen it pretty much disintegrates when blended. By using bananas that were left to ripen until they were super sweet and then broken into chunks and frozen it could satisfy any sugary craving. I use raw cacao powder to get all the antioxidants and minerals that are usually lost when cocoa beans are roasted. Cocoa powder would still work in a pinch for the flavour.
After sucking back this smoothie I always have a smile on my face and a spring in my step. It’s a much better feeling than what you would get after a visit to your local heart attack shack and your body will thank you for years to come.
Recipe for Shamrock Smoothie
makes 1 serving
1 frozen banana (very ripe)
1/2 cup almond milk (or milk of your preference)
2 handfuls of frozen kale (or frozen baby spinach or a combo)
2 drops of pure peppermint extract (or to taste, it’s powerful stuff!)
2 TBS chia gel (optional, I use 1 part chia to 6 parts water and keep the extra in the fridge for up to a week)
1. Blend all ingredients in a glass or mason jar with an immersion blender (or in a blender)
- Shamrock Shake (chasingcake.com)
- Shamrock Shake *Healthy Version (teacher-chef.com)
- Shamrock Smoothies (todaysmama.com)
- Try This Instead of The Shamrock Shake (snack-girl.com)
- Healthy “Shamrock Shake” for St. Patty’s! (thestripedstrawberry.com)
- Shamrock Shake Facts & Trivia (3quarterstoday.com)
- Signature Shamrock Shake (thelittlegreenplaypen.wordpress.com)
- Green Monster Smoothie or Shamrock Smoothie (inspiredbyfamilymag.com)
- Vegan Homemade Shamrock Shake (Dairy-free) (sprinklesandallergies.com)
What’s your favourite pie flavour?
- Pi Day Mini Pies (caitlinliz.com)
- National Pi Day: Math lovers celebrate illustrious ratio (Video) (wjla.com)
- Happy Pi(e) Day: Cranberry Pie (pieinthewoods.wordpress.com)
- pies for pi day (stuffstephdoes.com)
- A Tasty Twist on “Pi Day” (wsaw.com)
While pieces of my kitchen have appeared in the background of pictures of food, I thought it was time to put the work space front and centre. We redid the kitchen JUST in time to host our families for Christmas 2011. I wouldn’t recommend cutting it as close as we did, wee bit stressful. We replaced the stove and fridge, added a dishwasher, recovered the existing cabinets and added more counter space and open shelves.
We kept the sink and counters, as we were trying to keep the budget down. The faucet is new can be pulled out to fill large pots. By leaving the counter we saved a bundle and figured it would be easy to do later if we changed our minds.
We were going to get a glass top stove, but the sales rep basically talked us out of it. Our dream stove would be gas, but this isn’t our forever house so we kept it electric.
The fridge was the fanciest upgrade in the kitchen, with side by side compartments, ice machine and filtered water. It was larger than our previous refrigerator, but just by removing a bit of moulding and a dusty shelf it fit like it was custom-made.
The light fixture with fan is the priciest light fixture in our house, with all the rest coming from Home Depot, but it’s also the prettiest! Combined with the new hood any smells and smoke are whisked away in a quiet gust.
We added some butcher block counter top to the right of the stove to give us a larger work space. It was really a one person kitchen before, now it’s a 2 adult and a growing chef space.
The butcher block is in an L shape and covers the dishwasher and some open shelves for small appliances and bakeware. The Pacojet has since found a new home, where it will be used more than once a month.
My husband, Exec Chef designed these floating shelves that hold my spice jars, grains, beans and other dry goods. We always have a fruit bowl on the counter for quick snacks and garlic and onions out for easy access since we use them daily.
We also added two small floating shelves, of the same design, to the right of the stove. The lower shelf holds our kosher salt-cellar, pepper grinder and butter bell. On the upper shelf, I displayed some orange themed implements.
To the left of the sink, we have our knife block (away from little visiting hands) and my beautiful KitchenAid mixer, which I may not use everyday but it does make me smile.
To the right of the sink, we have our DJ station, bread box, toaster and blender. Which covers breakfast in our house on many mornings! The bottle matches my spice jars and is full of fantastic olive oil.
Thanks for taking a virtual tour of my shiny kitchen, it will never look this tidy again!
What is the one thing you wish you could most change about your kitchen?
- Get It Together: Kitchenette with Green Details (thejunkdrunk.wordpress.com)
- 3 SImple Kitchen Organization Tips (ifyoucanread.com)
- :: 3 More Ways To Make Your Kitchen Look Vintage :: (tuvaluhome.wordpress.com)
- Today’s larger kitchen has work zones, rather than a work space (dailyherald.com)
- 7 Ultra Modern Kitchen Designs (flycandydc.com)