It’s Not Too Late for Salad!

As the weather cools and many of our garden crops have been harvested, it can be easy to turn our thoughts to root vegetables. Well we should! But it isn’t too late for salad yet, even without cold frames. Yesterday we harvested delicious beets and Swiss chard, an we still have a healthy crop of mizuna. All of this was turned into today’s lunch salad, along with some chopped apple, walnuts, and feta cheese, held together with this vinaigrette (for two):

15ml/1T each of red wine vinegar, tarragon Dijon, and olive oil, whisked together. If you don’t have tarragon Dijon, use regular, and add some chopped herbs of your choice.

Tasty – although we admit if the chill stays in the air, we will turn our thoughts to soup!

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Necessity is the Mother of the…Bulgurito?

Number one child arrived home yesterday, and we had great plans to make bean burritos for dinner. Somehow in the midst of all the harvesting, pickling, canning, and freezing, though, our food inventory-keeping went awry. We were okay with substituting chickpeas and Jacob’s cattle beans for the black beans. But no tortillas, either? That was problematic. So we hit on a plan. Bulgur would play the part of the tortilla, in a manner of speaking. For three:

Boil 1 cup (250ml) water. Add 1/2 cup (125ml) bulgur and 1 tsp (5ml) olive oil, and simmer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook 3 cloves of garlic and 1 tsp (5ml) chipotle powder in 1 Tbsp (15ml) olive oil. Add a drained can of beans or about 2 cups (500ml) beans and 1/2 cup (125ml) broth. (Go crazy – black beans, chickpeas, whatever strikes your fancy…we are improvising now). Simmer until bulgur is cooked.

Line 3 bowls with greens – we still have mizuna in the garden, so that’s what we used. Stir the bulgur into the bean mix and spoon over the greens. Top with chopped tomato, diced avocado, fat free yogurt, salsa, and grated cheese. (Did I mention we were also out of salsa?) Spicy chioggia relish to the rescue!

All this is to say, in a cost-conscious kitchen, it isn’t always necessary to run to the store when you’re short on ingredients for a recipe. Use a little imagination and you might invent a whole new kind of delicious.

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Climbing into the Decompression Chamber

What a couple of weeks! Our part of the world seems to still be very much driven by the seasons, even in the urban parts. We’ve just wrapped up one of our big projects and turned our attention to another. I’ve started a new business…and of course it’s harvest time! Much roasting, canning and preserving has ensued.

But last night I realized it was time for a little decompression today. Sure, I have new customers coming to visit this afternoon, and a batch of sourdough bread in my future, but we are starting the morning with a leisurely, local breakfast. We could have gone to our friend Denis’ for the Full Monty breakfast, but we opted for the complete pj experience here at home. Martock Glen applewood smoked bacon, a large sunny side up egg, and whole grain toast. Delicious.

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Gardens Gone Wild: Harvest Niçoise

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We’ve been traveling, attending a couple of family weddings and doing a little business along the way. It didn’t seem realistic to ask them to postpone their special events on account of our vegetable patch, so the consequences when we got home were, well, interesting…

First, beans were just nicely coming into bloom when we left. Which means Jack’s beanstalk had nothing on us when we arrived back. Beets are still growing, and we’ve already harvested potatoes. A few tomatoes were spared the post tropical storm blight that has attacked local crops.

All in all, we had the makings of a lovely salad (and roasted veg are in our future). The eggs, olives, and tuna are not our own, but the rest is absolutely home grown.

For two:

Cook 2 small red potatoes and 1 large golden beet (reserve the greens for the salad). Throw the beans in to blanch, just at the end of cooking.
Hard boil 2 eggs.
Chill all of this (we cooked ours at breakfast time).

Arrange the chopped greens on a plate. Top with the cooked, cooled veggies, some sliced tomato, olives, and good quality water packed tuna.

For the dressing, mix 1T/15ml each of Dijon, olive oil, and vinegar (your choice).

Enjoy!

Berr(y) this in mind…

Thanks to the amazing team of women and men at St. Anthony’s, who put together a delicious roast beef dinner last night. This was our first visit to this annual fundraiser, but it definitely won’t be our last. We hardly need more food after such a feast, and yet, here we are…time for breakfast!

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Ever-bearing local strawberries were in stores and stands this week, and we’re of two minds. When we were young, everything had a season, especially strawberries. When it was the right window, we ate strawberries in every conceivable form and fashion. Then we put up, jammed, froze, or canned as many as we could, for the other seasons.

This year we missed the traditional strawberry window, on account of the happy event of gaining a son-in-law. So we were sort of relieved to see another crop appearing in our local shop. They look delicious on this almond-y French toast, we think you might agree. But we must say, it seems a little of the magic is lost. The nip of fall is in the air. We’re turning our attention to beans, root vegetables and kale. True, they might not be as tasty on our morning toast…but we think it is a better idea not to press the seasons too far. With so much bounty to enjoy, we’re fans of the ever-unfolding mysteries of what we will find in the garden that needs to be eaten next.

We do eat more than breakfast. Really!

Looking over recent posts was very revealing. So much breakfast! Perhaps it is because that is when there is time to write. Who knows? So today, once again, a report on the start of the day.

The chill is in the air, a harbinger of fall. Heather and thistles bloom in the garden. I don’t want to face autumn, but it will come, regardless. So we might as well do it with a full tummy. This morning’s egg features mushrooms, some chopped chard and tarragon from our garden, and a little cheddar cheese. The jam on the toast is local, too…made here at home.

This isn’t our only meal of the day, though. Tonight we’ll be joining our friends at Ratinaud for Les Saucisses en Folie. Real local charcuterie…you can’t get much better. Perhaps a reason to love the end of summer, after all. Unfortunately tickets are sold out. But you can taste their delicious wares at the Kitchen Table on some Friday or Saturday soon, and we are sure they will be worth the wait.

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We’ve got avocado’s number…

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This morning we were out for a walk in the early morning, keeping our commitment to be fitter, not fatter, in 2014. This is especially important if you’ve had far too much fun with friends or family on the weekend. Don’t give up, just get on track.

Breakfast was a healthy affair – a piece of plain wheat toast, topped with 1/3 of an avocado mashed with lemon juice, 1/3 of a medium tomato, diced, a poached egg and a sprinkle of lemon pepper for me, and two servings for the big guy.

We’re so grateful that the good weather continues and we can get outside and keep fit without ending up drenched or freezing! Hope you’re having a healthy, happy day as well.