Sunday, June 12, 2011

look-out, cookout!

summa-time...and the livin' is easy....
i don't know about the height of cotton, or the state of airborne fish, but my rich daddy and my good-lookin' mama came over for dinner tonight, and we had ourselves what is known down south as a "cookout", but what we canadians like to call a good ol' fashioned bbq.
my ma and da are great people and really fabulous parents to me and my brother, so, every once in a while it's nice to show them my appreciation with some grilled meats.
mom wanted to go out for burgers, but i would have none of it!
instead, i boiled a rack of ribs in water with onion and peppercorns. after i removed it from said boiling water, i slathered with bbq sauce, smokey maple mustard, and minced garlic. ready to grill!
the slaw is: cabbage, carrot, green onion, red pepper, mayo, olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
the potater salad is: new potatoes, green beans, peas, carrots, corn (the frozen's so damn easy), fried bacon, green onion, mayo, white balsamic vinegar, chopped mint, salt and pepper. my favourite potato salad ingredient, pickle, was missing, but it tasted really good without.
the grilled tomato and portabello brainer.

contrary to skills-improvement methodology, and simple logic, the more photos i take of food, the worse i get at it.

father's day is approaching. get on it kids!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

tempeh. tempted?

first, let me apologize (only a little) for maybe coming off a bit preachy in my last post. i want to inform, not preach, but sometimes being a little righteous is just so in my nature.
right, now let me spread the gospel.

if you've had a day/week of poor eating or your diet is generally lacking in vegetables, this is a meal that'll turn your frown (the one in your stomach, because it's sad...), upside down! this meal is vegan friendly. happy tummy!

1! (yes, i'm planning on exclaiming each point). pierce a whole spaghetti squash and place in the oven for around 45 minutes at 350C! *i like to do this while i'm baking something else in efficient, yes?
2! let the squash cool, then cut in half, remove seeds and scrape out "spaghetti" with a large spoon! *spaghetti squash is called so because of its noodle-like insides. cool!
3! make pesto! or buy it..i make mine pretty healthy, with no cheese and very little oil. *wash basil leaves and flat leaf parsley, peel a few cloves of garlic, and roast pine nuts. place in a food processor with some olive oil, raw walnuts, and sea salt, i added a chili pepper too (jeez, when do i not!?) and blend the life out of it.
4! finely chop a portabello mushroom, red pepper, and sun-dried tomato (also good would be zucchini, olives, artichoke, asparagus..veggies, basically) and throw them in a hot pan with a little cooking oil!
5! cube tempeh (a fermented soy product you can find at most grocery and health food stores) and throw it in the pan too!
*if you want to keep it clean and looking good, once those veggies and tempeh are cooked to your liking, remove them and move to the next step. if you're a little pressed for time, or lazy, then throw the squash in there with everything else, and proceed.
6! cook spaghetti squash with a couple of tablespoons of pesto until it's amalgamated and good looking. *not a long time.
7! plate and eat!

like i mentioned, i cooked it all together, so unfortunately the photo representation of this dinner will not be so appealing, nor its ingredients easily deciphered. but with a little faith, you will try this at home, taste it for yourselves, and agree that it's a pretty yummy meal even if not so easy on the eyes.

use your imagination, okay?

Friday, June 3, 2011

play along!

when it comes to farmers markets, i'm a total groupie.
in my star-struck eyes, if you live in rural bumpkin land, wake up at 5am every day, and have hard-earned dirt under your fingernails, you may as well be madonna.
during the summers (YESSSS!!! it's finally here!!!) i try to frequent farmers markets as much as possible to get local, organic fare and close encounters with my idols. 
if you live in a big city, farmers markets are probably happening in places you didn't even know. if you don't live in a big city, you might very well live near a farm. lucky you! here's a list of toronto farmers markets, but check out similar sites for other cities, you may be surprised by how easy and accessible they are. 
cheap, they are not. but having said that...this is the real price of good food people, and while you may not do your entire week of groceries at the farmers market, it's really awesome to support local farmers and to eat food that hasn't been shipped a million miles, or fed a diet that makes it sick, or pumped up with hormones and slathered with pesticides. we all make these BIG choices with our little dollas. plus, they're rock stars. just sayin'.

i was fawning over a couple of un-stylishly dressed, overly sunned dudes at a farmers market just yesterday. they were selling beautiful asparagus and lamb. what a pairing, right!? one of them even gave me pointers about cooking the lamb. 
farmers! they are sooo down to earth! 
here's the resulting dinner.

just look at them asparagus!!
there's that beautiful market fresh lamb chop, marinated for about an hour in some lemon juice, olive oil, and chopped fresh mint, then seared in a pan on both sides for a few minutes and placed in the oven to cook for another few minutes. local asparagus the length of my arm which i simply blanched in boiling water alongside non-local carrot and then drizzled with lemon juice.
non-farmers market red new potatoes were tossed in olive oil sea salt and fresh rosemary, then roasted in the oven at 350C for an hour. 
so you see, the whole food debate is really a compromise that considers convenience, taste, ethics, environment, local economy, home economics, and possibly a great number of other factors. easy peasy! 
(basically, do whatever helps you sleep at night, but just try to stay aware that there is a before and after to your food and food choices.)

and on another note, i've never walked into a grocery store with my bare feet in the grass, the sun shining overhead, and a drum circle totally killing it with their supple wrists.

rock n' roll.