Smashed Summer Potatoes


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Can you tell it was a market day? These days are some of my favourite and I’m still trying to figure out what is the best summer food.
One might guess asparagus, berries, tomatoes or corn… but then there is the humble potato. Nothing screams summer dinner to me more than every including a cob of fresh corn, green beans and early treasures like baby potatoes.

There are about five thousand varieties of potatoes and ALL of them have to start out as babies.
These small, young, thin-skinned delights have just started to be robbed from the ground and sent to market on the same day. They are waiting to be boiled up and melt in your mouth.

Super easy, crazy delicious!

 

SMASHED SUMMER POTATOES

12 – 15 Baby New Potatoes
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil (about)
1 Tablespoon Chives, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon Dill, finely chopped
Zest of 1/2 Lemon
Salt & Pepper to taste.

In a large saucepan, boil the potatoes until fork tender.
Drain and score the bottom of each potato crosswise. Place knicked side down and smash each potato with your thumb or the back of a spoon to flatten.
Heat olive oil on medium high and sauté each side for about 3 – 5 minutes or until equally golden and crisp.
Remove potatoes to serving plate, reserving the remaining oil in the pan.
Sprinkle with salt, cracked pepper, herbs and lemon zest.

Serves 4

Easy Oat Milk


Oat milk is a quick and delicious dairy alternative. If you’ve been in a modern day coffee shop lately, it’s one of the most popular milk alternatives for its versatility, viscosity and ability to froth in a latté. Not to mention it’s about the most sustainable choice. With a few patry staples, you can whip up this milk alternative faster than a run to the store.

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OAT MILK

1 Cup Water
3 Cup Quick Organic Oats
2 Medjool Dates, pitted
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt

 

Combine the ingredients in a blender and combine on high power until smooth.

Transfer through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Do not push or squeeze to force the liquid through. Store refrigerated in a tight lidded jar for 3 days –  or up to one week.
Shake lightly before using.

 

If you’re looking for a cookie to go with your milk, try one of these:

Greatest Grampa Cookies

Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Chip

Molasses Cookie Whoopie Pies

 

Skillet Sautéed Brussels Sprouts


These are almost crazy how easy these are. You almost don’t need a recipe. Just a nice hot pan!

People are often pretty shocked to hear that I ever hated any kind of food. I mean, I flew to Noma just for the chance to eat dinner, yet I still have a childhood story of hating something so much, I had to sit and stare at my plate until the lights were turned off.
The battle of the mighty brussels sprout of 1986. I won.

Fast forward to being an adult and again trying to eat everything. While telling my own kids they have to try things at least three times, I had a revelation…

My friends, when you don’t boil a sprout to death, it doesn’t taste like fart!

In fact, brussels sprouts are bitter-sweet and begging for a little heat and acid. They actually make one of the best and quick side dishes around. brusslesprouts

SKILLET SAUTÉED BRUSSELS SPROUTS

25-30 Brussels Sprouts, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Chilli Flakes
1/2 Lemon, juiced and zested
Sea Salt and Pepper, to taste
Trim the bottoms and thinly slice the brussels sprouts – either a knife is fine, but a mandoline makes it quick.
Heat your cast iron pan over medium-high heat and add the of olive oil.
Add your sprouts and don’t stir them right away.  You want a few well browned bits.
Take this time to grab a lemon and zest it over, along with the chilli flakes, salt and pepper. Now stir. There will be some nice charred brown bits and steamed goodness in there. Add juice of 1/2 of the lemon and stir again. They should be about done now. Taste for seasoning and serve.

Feeds 4-6 people as a side.

Charred Roasted Cabbage


Can I say this is a game changer?

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Sweet, crispy, slightly charred cabbage steaks can be served as a main or a side. This humble, healthy vegetable is about to have it’s 15 minutes of fame.

Honestly, I don’t know why I didn’t think of this earlier. With the rise in brussels sprout popularity, cabbage is the queen mother of the little sprouts, only sweeter! Virtually hands off, this recipe, which is so much quicker and easier to prepare, treats the cabbage steaks in a similar flavour my shredded brussels sprouts recipe, but smoky and crisped! Just a little olive oil and salt to roast, with lemon and chilli flakes to finish.

CHARRED ROASTED CABBAGE

1 head Green Cabbage, sliced into steaks
2-3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 Lemon, zested and juiced
1/2 teaspoon Flaky Finishing Salt, like Maldons
1/4 teaspoon Chilli Flakes, or to taste

Preheat the oven to 450ºF
Remove any loose outer leaves and slice the cabbage in half through the core. Slice each half in half again, creating about 1″ steaks.
Drizzle both sides of the cabbage steaks liberally with olive oil and lay them on a parchment covered baking sheet.
Roast for 8-10 minutes, checking for colour. Reduce heat to 375ºF.
Continue to roast for an additional 40 minutes, or until cabbage is deeply browned, tender and the out most leaves are crispy and blackened.
Remove from the oven and zest the lemon over top and squeeze over the juice.
Sprinkle finishing salt and chilli flakes to serve.

 

Potato Leek Soup


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It’s unseasonably warm but damp today. Crazily enough, once winter takes it’s hold, at least for me, I just wish it would put us into it’s full throws. Cold, crisp, freeze your the inside of your nose, crunchy snow kind of winter. I find it a little easier warming up from the cold rather than the damp which is why today, I needed a little extra help.

Quick, satisfying, revive you to your toes help, like potato leek soup.

Potato leek is virtually the premise for most vegan “cream” soups, which is what makes it so perfect.
The simplicity leaves for the attention to details like the perfect potato, consistency, herb combination and finishing drizzles of infused oils and the like. It’s a free pallet that’s open for individual taste, but no matter what your preference, the satisfaction is all there.

I choose to keep my soup fairly au natural as possible – garnish with what you will: herbs, infused oils, chillies, maybe croutons, then jazzing it up with some little bite sized Walnut Rosemary and Kalamata Madeleines.
Mmmm savoury and delicious.

 

CREAMLESS POTATO LEEK SOUP

2 Large Leeks, light green and white parts only
4 Cups Yukon Gold Potatoes, about 2 large, peeled & diced
2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
3 Tablespoons Dry White Wine
4 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
1/2 Sprig Fresh Rosemary, finely minced, about 1/2 teaspoon
2 Bay Leaves
6 Cups Vegetable Stock
1 teaspoon Salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper or to taste

 

Top and trim the leeks. Halve lengthwise and rinse to remove any dirt between the layers. Thinly slice.
Peel and dice the potatoes.
In a large stockpot, heat the oil to medium-high.
Add the leeks to the oil and sweat until they are softened, about 3-5 minutes.
Pour over the wine and sauté for an additional minute.
Add the potatoes and stir well to prevent sticking.
Strip the leaves from the thyme stems by holding firmly and running your fingers backwards to the tip of the sprig. Remove the rosemary leaves from the stem and roughly chop. Add the leaves along with the stock, salt, and bay leaves. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes.
Add the pepper and remove the bay leaves.
Blend with a hand immersion blender or a food processor until smooth.
Adjust salt and pepper, if necessary.

Garnish with truffle oil, chives, thyme, chilis or roasted garlic.

Barley Risotto


Returning with something super simple but so delicious.
When first sampling plant-based, I found it easier sticking to familiar things that were already in the pantry. While on the search for various grains to keep things interesting,
I remembered barley.

My mom used to use it in many of her soups when I was a kid. This, of course, makes it an easy favourite for me. It’s hearty and slightly chewy. It’s soft, warm and filling, making it a perfect, but overlooked addition to so many dishes in the winter.

Treating it like a risotto, is a great way to flavour the barley. And in this case keeping it open to so many different flavour variations. It’s no secret that I love spinach, so pair that with some sautéed mushrooms and even a pan fried tofu and this becomes a perfectly satisfying, affordable and easy winter weekday dinner.

BARLEY RISOTTO

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
2 Shallots, minced
1 Cup Pearl Barley
3 1/2 Cups Vegetable Broth
Sprig Thyme, stem removed
Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper to Taste

Heat the oil in a large saucepan, adding the minced shallots to sweat.
Add the barley stirring well to coat with oil and lightly toast.
Cover with all of this liquid at once. Once the mixture begins to lightly simmer, stir and reduce the heat to maintain.
Add thyme leaves.
Stir occasionally until broth is mostly absorbed and barley is tender. (If more liquid is needed add 1/2 cup water.)
Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the Spinach & Mushroom Topping

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
2 Cloves Garlic, thinly sliced
1 Cup Crimini Mushrooms, sliced
4 Cups Baby Spinach Leaves, packed
Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat the oil and add the garlic and mushrooms.
Sauté over a medium high heat until mushrooms begin to brown.
Add the spinach, turning regularly to wilt.
Serve hot over top of prepared barley.

Serves 2