Category Archives: Main

The Pleasure of Picnic Planning

It’s Labour Day weekend and we are celebrating by labouring on a picnic extravaganza. It gives me great pleasure to plan out a picnic – from the menu to the logistics. Thinking about the menu and making sure everything fits together harmoniously, the cooking order, storage, timing, how to transport and serve, appeals to my inner organization-obsessed nerd. In the lead-up to Home-Made Month in October, we’ll cover some of our new recipes developed over the past few months, and feature some new guest writers. Maybe, I’ll even update the vegmap for Ottawa!

Our menu for the picnic potluck:

Others will bring:

  • Mango Slaw
  • Porcetta

We’ll post photos on our next update, with some new recipes!

Happy September, everyone!

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Homemade Nutella

Does one need an excuse to make homemade nutella?

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Slapdash winner

You know those hellish winter Mondays, when you get home after a long day at work and it’s too cold to go out again to get groceries, and you’re really craving an elaborate comfort meal but it’s already way past dinner time?

Today was one of those days, but thanks to quick thinking and Rochon Garden’s CSA vegetable box, we were able to throw together a slapdash winner for dinner.

South meets Mid-East at delicious

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Veggie Chili Meets Pumpkin

It’s that time of year again! It’s the time when we dust off our slow cookers and start looking for new recipes. The days are shorter, and I find it so easy to throw everything in a pot and hope for the best 4-6 hours later. And so I found myself making my veggie chili twice in the last two weeks.

Recipe update: I just throw everything into the pot and turn it on, instead of cooking the onions and spices first.

The second time around I didn’t have as many veggies as my recipe called for. I was unfortunately missing the butternut squash (my hands thanked me) and zucchini (who knew I would actually start liking you one day).

Since I had already started dumping ingredients into my slow cooker, I went looking through my fridge and cupboards to see what I could add to the recipe instead.

The only thing I could find was a can of pureed pumpkin. I had an extra can from the Thanksgiving Pumpkin Dip (Yum!) I had made.

I have tried pumpkin in tomato sauce once or twice, but it wasn’t AS good as just plain old tomato sauce. But I gave it a go thinking that maybe because the chili has so many spices, and HEAT it might work. AND it worked! I can’t taste the pumpkin at all in the recipe, and it gives it a smoother/velvety texture, while at the same time thickening everything up!

Be sure to add some tomato paste to the mix so that your chili is red and not orange, but I would DEFINITELY try it the next time you make chili.

Original Recipe: Crock Pot Veggie Chili on a cold night

Crock Pot Veggie Chili on a cold night

With the cold weather coming, my partner and I wanted to make something to warm our toes. I remember when my mother used to make chili as a child. It was the standard – ground beef, onions, red kidney beans and tomatoes – but always delicious, regardless of my aversion towards ground beef even as a kid. As an adult I wanted to make something with LOTS more veggies in it. It was my first ever attempt at cooking butternut squash, and I’m SUPER happy I did. It is delicious in this recipe – even if you’re not a squash lover (mother). One issue I had with the hard, oddly (funny) shaped squash, is that it left a thin film on my hands that took quite a very scrubs to get off. Has anyone else ever experienced this? Or have any idea why this happens? Next time I may just have to wear gloves!

This recipe serves 6-8 people:

3 tblsp. olive oil
1 spanish onion
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tblsp cumin
1 tblsp coriander
1 tsp chili powder

Cook the onion in the olive oil in a pan until translucent. Add the garlic. Cook for a minute. Add the spices cook for another 2-3. You may want to use a bit of water to lift up all the spices from the pan, but after I let them cook for a minute they came up fine.

Add the onion and spices to a crock pot with the rest of the ingredients:

1 medium zuchinni, sliced thin into quarters
1 large pepper, chopped
1 can of diced tomatoes with juice – 28 ounce can
1 can of black pinto beans (drained and rinsed) – about a 15 ounce can
1 can of red kidney beans (drained and rinsed) – about a 15 ounce can
2/3 cup tomato paste (6 ounce can)
3 cups butternut squash, peeled and chopped into cubes – HOW TO
3 cups of veggie stock
1 tsp salt – or to taste
pepper

Stir everything together and then cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours, or on LOW for 6-8 hours. Serve with some yogurt and shredded cheddar if you’re so inclined… I know I was!

Recipe Update: Veggie Chili Meets Pumpkin

Hiatus Haiku

oh dark November
where has the inspiration gone
to the south, to warmth
———————————————-

Dear readers, it is with a heavy heart that I have to admit that it would be a good idea to take a short hiatus from the weekly schedule that I have loosely followed. November is going to be a busy month with work travel and loads of overtime, so for my own sanity, Mighty Good Eats will take a break this month, to return in December.

Ta ta for now!

Citrus Cilantro Glaze

Growing up in a Chinese household with a mother who is a kitchen goddess, I ate very well.  Since moving out, I still eat very well but I rarely cook Chinese.  That’s because whenever I tried to learn something my mother could make blindfolded, it turns out the level of effort was astronomically higher than anything I had mastered.  Authentic home-style Chinese food was something that I look forward to enjoying when I go home to visit my parents, not something I could make every day.

At home, a proper meal, which my mother made (and still makes) every day, would include soup, a vegetable dish, a protein dish, and rice.  To round it out she would peel and cut up some fruit for dessert.  She also works full time.  And dinner is usually served at seven sharp.  It’s a miracle I turned out being able to survive on my own.

Despite being a dunce when it comes to Chinese cooking, I did pick up a few tricks from watching my mother and assisting in the kitchen.  And that is, the all purpose “glass glaze”.  According to my mom, anything you cook can be improved by a clear glaze that picks up the flavour of whatever is in the pan so that it looks great and you end up with a sauce that will go well with rice.  It’s ridiculously simple.  Are you ready for it?  Cold water and corn starch.

And then I learned that the “glass glaze” can be customized with other things to make a sauce.  Tonight for supper I made a stir fry with broccoli and pan fried Textured Vegetable Protein, and covered the whole thing with a citrus cilantro glaze.

Shiny!

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