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Posts Tagged ‘tomatoes’

Hi everyone!

My name is Caroline and I’m super excited to share this post with you all. Like the Hungry Birdie herself, I am also a law student – studying across the pond in a town called Canterbury (yes from the tales!). As a self-professed cheese aficionado, I have to admit I wasn’t always so thrilled with the idea of vegan cooking. I expected the ingredients to be completely foreign and inaccessible, but reading Robin’s blog inspired me to try a few new recipes (Winter potato salad, Penne with sun dried tomatoes and walnuts… Mmmmm!). And while you probably won’t catch me with a forkful of tofu any day soon, I’m getting a little closer… Enjoy!

Vegetable curry

Serves: 4

1 onion
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp curry paste
4 plum tomatoes, or similar
2 red bell peppers
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
½  can coconut milk
4 cups of spinach or other dark green

Halve and peel one onion and slice into very thin half-moons. In deep pan, sauté onions in olive oil and a pinch of salt until golden and translucent (bonus points if you have the patience to caramelize them slightly). When golden, add two finely chopped cloves of garlic and two tablespoons of your favourite curry paste.

Add a few chopped tomatoes, sliced bell pepper and one can of chickpeas. Shake and pour in half a can of coconut milk. (I freeze the other half in an ice cube tray, pop them out and keep them in the freezer for next time!) Add about a cup of recently boiled water until you are happy with the consistency. Simmer away for a few minutes, add salt if needed.

At the end, wilt in a few handfuls of dark greens – I used organic spinach here. Serve alongside rice, quinoa, or nan bread, and a cold ale if you so fancy it. Enjoy!

If you’re in the mood for a nice light dessert to go with your spicy curry, try…

Baked Plums with Golden Sugar and Allspice

Serves: 4

4 plums, halved and pitted
2 tbsp golden brown sugar
1 ½ tsp allspice

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Coat the exposed side of each plum in the allspice and sugar. Bake cut-side up for 20-25 minutes, until slightly scorched and soft in the middle. (This works better with firm plums.)

Serve warm or room temperature, with chopped nuts or a nice soymilk ice cream!

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photos by pwisenberg

Hello everyone and happy Thanksgiving! Since I finally have time to breathe and relax a bit this weekend, I thought I’d share a recent recipe. I made this mish-mash of a dish on a chilly Tuesday night and it wound up being so flavourful that I felt it deserved to be shared! The star ingredient were the baked sweet potatoes that I seasoned with oregano and paprika. These hearty tots are perfect when cut into thick wedges and served on a bed of bright quinoa salad.

Baked sweet potato wedges and quinoa salad
Serves 4

Baked Potatoes

2 large sweet potatoes
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp paprika
Salt and pepper to taste

Begin by preheating your oven to 450 degrees. Place 2 large sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and prick with a fork. Bake for about 45 minutes or until soft. Remove from oven and slice into thick wedges. Sprinkle generously with oregano, paprika, sea salt and coarse black pepper.

Quinoa Salad

1 cup quinoa
1/2 red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup baby spinach

While the potatoes are cooking, add quinoa and 1 1/2 cups water to a small pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for around 15 minutes, or until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a pan over medium heat and add the onion, garlic and bell pepper. Sautee until soft and slightly golden. In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, dijon and remaining olive oil. Add in the warm quinoa, cooked veggies, walnuts and tomatoes and toss it all together. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve the potato wedges over a bed of  warm quinoa and baby spinach for a healthy meal that I guarantee will leave you with a very happy belly!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone xo

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photo by pwisenberg

Hi lil’ birdies!

My name is Danni and I write a style/design blog, denj. Robin and I met a few years ago in university and we’ve been cooking yummy dinners together ever since (although I confess, Robin almost always wears the chef hat during these dinners, I’m… the sous-chef?) Anywho, Robin is a busy girl these days at law school, so she asked me to post this yummy vegan pizza I made for a get-together we had a few weeks ago (the very same get-together that we had Robin’s Mac n’ Cheese from her last post! We were full beyond belief by the end, so much yummy food!) I’ve never met a soul who didn’t love a good pizza, this recipe is a fun spin on a classic. I made this particular one completely cheese-less (vegan or otherwise) but you could always throw a bit on top if you so desire!

Sweet Potato Pizza
Serves 8 as an appetizer 

To buy:

1 flatbread
1 large sweet potato
2 medium tomatoes
5 mushrooms
1/4 red onion
1 red pepper
1/4 cup tomato sauce
fresh basil
1 tsp. olive oil
salt n’ pepper

To prepare:

Preheat the oven to 400. Chop up your veggies lengthwise, and your sweet potato into wide flat pieces (chip shaped). Saute your veggies (excluding tomatoes) on the stove to soften. Next, spread your tomato sauce evenly over the flatbread and arrange the veggies on top, drizzle with olive oil, and finish off with fresh basil, salt, and pepper. Pop it in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the crust is golden. Let cool for a few minutes, slice, and serve!

xo danni

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photo by me

Isn’t this trio of crostini just the prettiest thing you ever did see? We had this for dinner recently and enjoyed it outside with a glass of wine. The toppings were actually very simple to prepare and they were all distinct in their flavours- a fresh bruschetta, ginger soy mushrooms and lemon maple asparagus all topped on grilled slices of bread, mmm mmm!

Trio of crostini
Serves 2 as a meal

12 slices whole grain baguette, lightly brushed with oil

Bruschetta 

2 tomatoes, diced
1 bunch basil, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Ginger soy mushrooms

1 cup button mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp chilli garlic sauce
1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger

Lemon maple asparagus

1/2 bunch of asparagus, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp dijon mustard
juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Begin by turning on your grill (or stove) to medium-high heat. While the grill heats up, combine all of the mushroom ingredients in one bowl and the asparagus ingredients in another. Spread them out on a grill pan but keep the two toppings separate (or add them to 2 pans on the stove if you don’t have a grill). Cook for about 10 minutes, until golden and slightly charred. Meanwhile, prepare the bruschetta mixture by simply combining all of the ingredients in a bowl then set it aside until ready to eat. Lastly, grill the baguette slices (or toast them in the oven) until golden and crispy. Top the bread with the delicious toppings and dig in!

Side note: I hate to choose favourites but if you can only make one of these little beauties, I implore you to make the ginger soy mushrooms. They are rich and savoury with just the right amount of kick from the chilli sauce, a winner if I do say so myself!

Happy summer eating my friends! xo

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photos by pwisenberg

Despite our proximity to summer, we’ve still been getting steady doses of gloomy weather here in Toronto. Friday evening was chilly and grey so a warm pasta seemed like the perfect dinner. I knew I wanted to include asparagus and mushrooms and Paul couldn’t resist the urge to grill them. The charred veggies wound up being the perfect compliment to the smooth spaghetti which I tossed in a light cream sauce (onions, garlic, white wine and Tofutti cream cheese did the trick). I added cherry tomatoes at the last minute for some colour and acidity. And voila! A simple pasta perfect for a cool summer night.

Creamy spaghetti with grilled vegetables
Serves 4

1 package whole wheat spaghetti
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into thirds
1 cup sliced button mushrooms
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 tsp chopped rosemary
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
salt and pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 onion, diced
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup Tofutti vegan cream cheese
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
starchy pasta water

Begin by coating the asparagus and mushrooms in the veg oil, chilli flakes, rosemary and salt and pepper. Grill over medium heat until slightly charred, about 6-8 minutes. Back in the kitchen, bring a large pot of water to a boil, season with salt and add the spaghetti.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a skillet and add the onion and garlic. Season with S & P and cook until soft. Add the white wine and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated. Using a wooden spoon, slowly stir in the cream cheese until it has melted to form a smooth sauce. Thin with starchy pasta water if desired, one or two ladle-fulls should do. Stir in the grilled mushrooms and asparagus along with the cherry tomatoes and toss so that all the veggies are coated in the sauce. Lastly, drain the spaghetti and toss in with the vegetables and the sauce.

Enjoy piping hot with a glass of wine and some good company.

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photos by me

This kind of food makes me so happy- colourful, healthy, fresh and straight from the farm to my bowl! After picking up a beautiful assortment of veggies from a local farmer’s market earlier in the week I couldn’t wait to enjoy them in their purest form. This salad could not be easier to make. I simply chopped up the vegetables and added diced avocado for richness, walnuts for texture and a splash of olive oil and lemon juice to tie it all together. I loved it on its own, but Paul threw the mixture on some bread for a hearty sandwich and tonight I’m tossing it with quinoa for a yummy dinner. Ahh veggies, so versatile!

Fresh farmer’s market salad
Serves 4 

1 orange bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
4 mini cucumbers, chopped
2 tomatoes, seeds removed and chopped
4 green onions, sliced
1 avocado, diced
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
juice of 1/2 lemon
drizzle of olive oil
sea salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste

In a large bowl, toss all of the ingredients together and add the olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt and pepper. Couldn’t be easier, right?

xo Robin

P.S. Tomorrow I’m off to Toronto Island for a picnic with friends, do you have any must-try recipe suggestions?

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photos by pwsisenberg

A trip to my neighbourhood organic grocery store inspired me to make this recipe. The ingredients looked so gorgeous, they practically begged me to take them home- thick green spears of asparagus, hearty portobello mushrooms and beautifully-hued bite-sized grape tomatoes. This warm salad was easy to make and satisfying enough to eat for dinner. Plus, it just feels so spring-like with the seasonal asparagus and charred taste from the grill. The veggies were marinated in olive oil, herbs, garlic, dijon mustard and balsamic vinegar, a flavourful bunch if I do say so. The thick slices of portobello are so savoury and filling and the grape tomatoes add a much-needed burst of freshness. I garnished the salad with toasted pumpkin seeds for some extra crunch and served it with grilled crusty bread, perfect for sopping up that delicious marinade.

Warm asparagus and portobello salad
Serves 4

3 large portobello mushrooms, stems removed and thickly sliced
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
1/2 red onion, thickly sliced
1/2 package grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
8 small slices whole grain bread, brushed with olive oil

Marinade

1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
salt and pepper to taste

To make the marinade, whisk together all of the ingredient in a bowl until well combined. Taste and rectify the seasoning if necessary. To assemble the salad, begin by coating the mushrooms, asparagus and onions in the marinade and brushing the bread with olive oil (a little sprinkling of sea salt doesn’t hurt either). Grill the veggies over high heat (we used a grill pan for the mushrooms and onions, but it isn’t necessary), until the asparagus spears are just fork-tender and the mushrooms begin to get a golden brown crust, about 10 minutes or so. Meanwhile, grill the bread on the periphery of the grill where the heat is not so high, about 3 minutes per side. Top warm vegetables with the grape tomatoes and pumpkin seeds and serve with the grilled bread. Couldn’t be more simple, couldn’t be more yummy!

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