Super Simple Anytime Quinoa

For those of you who may have read the previous post, I was at a farm a couple of weeks ago and picked fresh asparagus, yummmm. I had a little bit left over (It was still good, surprisingly.My mom gave me an asparagus holder type thingy so I`ve stored it in that, water in the bottom) and I knew it needed to be added to the quinoa dish, whatever it was going to be. I also had a block of feta, some cherry tomatoes and some pea shoots in the fridge. Yep, let`s have a party kids

I have to admit that I haven`t bought any groceries this week. It`s been a bit of a weird week and super busy so we have eaten out a few times. Yesterday I was getting desperate and needed something for lunch. Here`s my recipe (below pics) for a super simple quinoa.  We enjoyed it before softball last night and I transformed it into breakfast this morning just by adding an egg!

It`s super simple, very quick to throw together, and easy to transform into another dish, like breakfast 🙂

Super Simple Anytime Quinoa

Quinoa

Quinoa

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 7-8 spears of blanched asparagus
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2c Steamed or boiled edemame
  • feta cheese, chopped into mini squares (use your discretion as to how much, I like A LOT)
  • handful of pea shoots, roughly chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp EVOO
  • a couple of shakes of garlic powder
  • 1-2 tbsp maple dijon mustard (I used President`s Choice)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Roughly chop the blanched asparagus. Add it to the cooked quinoa. Add the cherry tomatoes, pea shoots, and feta cheese. Toss to combine.
  2. Mix lemon juice, EVOO, apple cider vinegar, mustard, garlic powder and salt and pepper together in a bowl. Whisk until combined.
  3. Pour `dressing` over quinoa mixture. Combine well. Season to taste.

Add an egg or some meat to change it up. Things like cooked shredded chicken, sausage or bacon would make this great too. To keep it vegetarian, throw in some more of your favourite veggies or make a lettuce wrap out of it!

Enjoy friends.

Picking fresh asparagus and rhubarb! (…and a crumble recipe included)

Hey friends!

It’s been a VERY busy few weeks. I’ve had two weddings back to back and have been working my tail off.  Not to mention all the stuff going on in our backyard (landscaping, finally!).

I’ve been dying to share this post with you, and all the awesome pics that go along with it.  A few weeks back I visited a local farm with my friend Ness, to pick asparagus and rhubarb! What a treat!

Fresh Ruhbarb

This farm is far from little. Read more about it here.  They have a variety of crops that are all pick-your-own, all growing season.  Next for picking are strawberries and black and purple raspberries.  I better learn how to do preserving, quick. I know I’m going to want to pick and jar this goodness.

If you have never picked fresh anything, then you are in for a treat. We ate the asparagus that evening and ohhhh man, it was incredibly sweet and delicious. Way better than anything store bought.

Asparagus Field of Asparagus! So cool! 

My asparagus

How to pickThere’s a little trick to picking asparagus, it’s not hard… thankfully they had instructions.  The lady working was super nice and gave us verbal instructions. She then handed us a paring knife and sent us on our way into the fields!

This farm also has an on-site winery! YAHOOOO! They make their own fruit wine, which is delicious. Perfect for a hot summer day. They boast a lovely store with a bunch of goodies, too!

How could I forget about the amazingly tasty butter tarts. I could smell them the second I walked in. Unfortunately I can’t What's leftshow you the whole picture of the one I bought, I ate it too quickly so I only got this shot 🙂

They sell like a hundred kinds.. it’s dangerous. Really, really dangerous. I dare you to go and not eat five. Seriously. Triple dog dare you!

Heaven

So for dessert I of course had to make strawberry-rhubarb crumble. I also forgot to take a pic of it. It didn’t last long. The recipe for the crumble is at the end of the post… read on! P.S. It was THE best crumble I’ve ever eaten.

Here’s a few more shots of the farm and store, hope you enjoy… if you are ever out this way, you MUST go. It’s truly a lovely experience. Great for the whole family, or a fun date :).

Yummy seasonings!~

The store

Store

Already picked, ready to go!

 IMG_1053

Um, yes.

Wine list

Poster

Front of the store

Awesomeness

Animals

(Sorry about the randomness of the pictures, I haven’t figured out WordPress and how to post them properly, help welcome! :))

Here’s that lovely recipe! Enjoy friends!

Ingredients:

  • 1 unbaked single pie crust*
Filling:
  • 2 3/4 cups sliced rhubarb, about 5-6 medium stalks
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
Streusel Topping:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, cold

Directions:

  1. In a medium-large bowl, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar and cornstarch. Mix well. The mixture should be thick and syrupy after being stirred well.
  2. Roll out pie crust according to recipe instructions (see recipe below) and place in a 9- or 9.5-inch pie plate. Pour the strawberry/rhubarb mixture in the crust, using a large spoon to fill evenly.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the flour and brown sugar. Cut the butter into pieces and using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut in the butter to the flour/sugar mixture until it has the consistency of coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the top of the pie.
  4. Place the pie on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 50-55 minutes, covering the pie crust edges halfway with foil to prevent over-browning.
  5. Let the pie cool completely before cutting into pieces. Serve with a dollop of freshly whipped cream, if desired.

Snack Alert! Roasted Broccoli

Need a REALLY tasty snack? Roast up some broccoli my friends! Make sure it gets a little charred. That’s the best part…. here’s the trick: Sugar!  This snack is ultra addictive, so be prepared to finish the whole head (or two!)

Recipe:

  • Take a head or two of broccoli, cut it into length-wise florets.
  • Add 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • pepper to taste
  • garlic powder (optional)

roasting it baby!

  1. Cover a baking sheet with foil and pop it in the oven. You want the baking sheet to get super-hot so the broccoli gets the nice char on one side.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. I use a toaster oven b/c it uses less energy.
  3. Cut florets as mentioned above, and toss with all the other ingredients. I like to add a little garlic powder, ’cause, well I’m addicted to garlic. So what.
  4. Throw those puppies on the hot baking sheet and bake for 11 mins, or until they start to char on one side.  Don’t worry if they look burnt. That adds to the flavour.
  5. Pull ’em out of the (toaster) oven and squeeze a little fresh lemon juice on ’em.
  6. DEVOUR.

broccoli2

broccoli1

I literally just ate two heads of broccoli. I couldn’t help it. I meant to save some for the drive later but I couldn’t. They were THAT good.  The sugar is not too much that you taste it, but it aids in the charring. For those of you who are thinking that the sugar reduces the ‘healthy-ness’ of it, sure I guess. But you’re missing the point. It’s not enough sugar to make it candy, it’s to help bring out the sugar that’s already in it.  It will convert you non-broccoli lovers. Promise, mmkay? 🙂

Freshly Roasted Garlic

Garlic is one of my favorite things to roast. I thought I’d share some of my top ways to use it!

Ingredients 

  • 2-4 garlic heads
  • 2T olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions
1) Cut the tops of each garlic head so that the cloves are exposed.
2) Place garlic in a small baking dish and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
3) Roast in a 400F oven for 30 – 40 minutes or until garlic is soft.

Garlic2

What do I do with it?

  1. Spread freshly roasted garlic on crackers or crusty bread for an easy appetizer.
  2. Add roasted garlic to scrambled eggs or pasta with parmesan.
  3. Smear on top of baked brie. Drizzle honey on top, and fresh cracked pepper on top. It’s DIVINE.
  4. Add a whole head to mashed potatoes with some Dijon mustard.
  5. Add to a saucepan of 1c of olive oil. Add chili peppers and allow oil to warm, not boil. You now have your own roasted garlic and chili oil!
  6. Add to hummus instead of fresh for a lighter/sweeter taste of garlic.

Garlic and Cheese Omelet

Good Morning Lover Faces!

I have been away for a while, and for that I’m sorry. Life in the burbs has been keeping me ultra-busy! This month alone there has been Mother’s Day, dinner parties, BBQ’s and friends coming over to see the new house.  This past weekend I had a bachelorette DAY for my cousin Marisa, and coming up two weddings, back to back weekends.  Needless to say between dinner parties with friends, cleaning the house and keeping on top of laundry I just haven’t had an opportunity to sit down and write.

I DO have the time now and really want to share this delicious omelet with you!

I often shy away from ordering omelets in restaurants because they are usually really skimpy with the cheese (even when I ask for extra because I’m forecasting that they will be skimpy).  They also never fill it to the edge so you end up getting a whack of dried out crispy egg edge without any of the goodness in the middle (or the skimpy cheese they threw in).

This morning I thought I would reignite my love of omelets.  But first, I need to tell you about frozen garlic.  Yep, you read it right, let me explain.

For those of you who know me, I am a bit of a garlic snob.  I usually buy my garlic from a local garlic farmer, and can only get my order once a year. I usually spend $60 on a bag of different types, all grown locally by this wonderful farmer named Daniel Hoffman.  He and his wife own two farms and he started off as a garlic farmer. I have volunteered on the farm before and learned so much about farming, garlic and local, sustainable produce.  Check out his site The Cutting Veg, if you’re interested in learning about REAL garlic.  Trust me, you will be blown away.

A few weeks ago my mom picked up some fresh local garlic for me from the local Foodland since I haven’t ordered from Daniel (not my fault, he actually wasn’t selling his last harvest in order to double it for next year).  Whenever I go visit her or she comes to see me, I put in an order. It’s grown by local Mennonites and it’s really awesome.  I don’t know the variety, but it’s fresh and lovely and NOT shipped in from China. I have nothing against China, but I absolutely HATE any garlic that is grown there. It pains me to buy from the grocery store. It really does. I whine a lot when I have to buy from NoFrills, Loblaws, or FreshCo.

Anyway.

So because I didn’t see my mom right away and the garlic was super pungent smelling, she froze it. Four heads of it. She gave it to me this past weekend and since it had defrosted, and the cloves felt a little soft I thought I’d roast it.  Roasted garlic is amazing in almost EVERYTHING. It stores well too, and you can take the roasted cloves, drop them in some good-quality EVOO and use it while cooking or add to salad dressings.

While I was thinking about what I wanted in my omelet (beside cheese, obviously), I thought why the hell not add some freshly defrosted garlic! Ha!

So it looked kind of green but the smell was just as fresh. Here are a few pics of the garlic. You can see I popped one clove out from one of the heads.

Garlic

Garlic

The tops of the garlic chopped off, ready for roasting!

I chopped up fresh crimini mushrooms and a bit of left over red onion. I sautéed the garlic, mushrooms and onion in some butter and olive oil, until softened.  Mmmm the smell of garlic makes me crazy. I absolutely love it. I removed it from the pan, re-added a tsp of olive oil and a nob of butter for the omelet.

They key to a good omelet is not over cooking it (and adding enough cheese, of course!)

Ingredients:

–          3 eggs

–          Pinch of salt

–          Pinch of pepper

–          Chopped filling of your choice: mushrooms, tomatoes, asparagus, peppers, onions.. the list goes on.

–          CHEESE

Directions:

  1. Whisk the eggs together.  I don’t add cream or milk or anything, just a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Lightly cook your filling ingredients until softened and set aside.
  3. Add a tsp of oil and butter to a really good non-stick pan that’s on medium heat (non-stick is essential as it won’t give you any grief and your omelet will slide right out). You don’t want to cook the eggs too fast, so medium heat only. Don’t rush!
  4. Add the whisked eggs. You can move them around in the pan with a fork, and swishing around the liquid egg into the empty spaces of the pan. Kind of like you’re about to scramble, but don’t. Keep moving it around in the pan for another 20 seconds.
  5. Add the fillings and cheese when you see that the egg is still a little bit wet on top. Just a little wet, not totally raw. That moisture will help melt the cheese and give you a velvety, soft, creamy inside to your omelet. Make sure you go to the edge with the filling!
  6. Pick up the pan by the handle and lightly move the open faced omelet to one side, allowing your spatula or flipper to get underneath. It should move really easily.
  7. Fold over one edge, and voila. You should see a lightly browned top flipped over. Allow it to sit there, folded for another 20-40 seconds. Slide off onto your plate and ENJOY.

Omelet with cheese and mushrooms Perfect inside

Perfect edge

Oh wow, the garlic is sweet but garlicky. The aroma is amazing. I wish this was a smell-a-blog.  Freezing it must change the taste of the garlic, because I’ve never tasted cooked garlic like this. It’s really lovely with the onion and mushrooms, which also taste earthy and sweet. I used Dubliner cheese for the cheesy part. It was perfect and nutty and melty. A great choice.

Dubliner Cheese
This is a fantastic hard ripened cheese, perfect for the omelet!