Citrus Scented Kale

It looks like summer is officially here, and to top off the gorgeous weather we’ve been having, I got my first vegetable share today! Lots of kale, swiss chard, garlic scapes and green onions, a zucchini, dill, and salad greens. Holy smokes, am I ever stoked!

My first recipe using my CSA veggies is a simple kale dish, inspired by one of my coworkers. While she uses a combination of sesame and olive oil to sauté her kale, I wanted something a bit lighter for this hot day. I opted to stick with olive oil but used the same base ingredients she recommended — garlic, green onions, and kale — with a squeeze of fresh orange juice and pulp to finish it off.

This is definitely a summery recipe! The garlic’s toasty flavour complements the brighter flavours of the greens and orange. Plus, it’s a great dish to serve hot, cold, or at room temperature.

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Roasted Asparagus

Springtime is asparagus season, so I’ve been on a big kick lately! There’s nothing like fresh asparagus — I especially love the thin, crunchy kind you can get at farmer’s market. They definitely beat the big, meaty, mass-produced stuff any time!

This is one of my absolute favourite ways to prepare asparagus. Generally speaking, roasting any vegetable tends to make its natural flavour even richer and deeper, and requires minimal effort. I find that this technique works especially well for asparagus, as it gives it a wonderful texture as well as enhancing its flavour. I also like that it is super quick and easy, so I can enjoy these on short notice or when I’m in a hurry.

In other news, I’ve signed up for a CSA share again this summer, this time with a friend, and I am so excited to start getting fresh local produce delivered to my home! If you’re not familiar with how Community Supported Agriculture works, read up on it here.

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Foodie Friend Friday #3: Becca’s St. Patrick’s Day Salad

Happy Friday, everyone!

This week, I am so excited to feature a recipe from my friend Becca. Becca is one of my oldest and dearest friends. We met when we were 15 and we are kind of like soul sisters… the type of friends who lose sight of one another every once in a while, but pick up wherever we left off when we reconnect. We had a wonderful reunion back in February and I’m glad we’re keeping in touch more these days. I absolutely love this girl, and I wish I could be in her kitchen at all times because the type of food she makes is just my style! Perhaps someday the stars will align and we will live in the same city…

Becca also started her very own food blog recently, so you should check her out at The Cozy Kitchen and spread the food blogging love — especially if you’re on a gluten free diet. She’s got you covered, and then some!

In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, she has created a detoxifying salad for you… so if you’re planning on having a few drinks tomorrow, keep this recipe in mind as a pre- or post-celebration meal. You may want to use it to nurse your body back to health later.

If you’d like to see the last two installments of Foodie Friend Friday, click here (#1) and here (#2).

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White Bean Dip with Rosemary and Sage

I love delicious fresh recipes that literally take 5 minutes to make. This is one of them! White kidney beans (otherwise known as cannelloni beans) are naturally soft, so you don’t even need to get out the food processor to make this chunky and creamy dip; a fork and some elbow grease will do.

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Maple Dijon Salmon

When I feel like a treat, I make salmon. As a student, I don’t have the biggest budget when it comes to groceries, and fresh meat and seafood doesn’t come cheap — especially when you’re picky about quality (which you should be!). So, salmon is a real luxury!

One of my all-time favourite ways of preparing a salmon fillet is with real Canadian maple syrup and my old friend, grainy dijon mustard. This recipe reminds me of the type of dish you can find at high end restaurants… although usually there, the salmon is baked on a slat of maple wood and the dijon is imported from France on the day of, or something like that. I think my recipe measures up though, and you can’t beat it in terms of ease! If I’m feeling extra festive, I use butter as the base to pan fry my fish. If not, my trusty olive oil does a dandy job too.

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(Slow Cooker) Winter Squash and Kale Soup

If you don’t love a good hearty bowl of soup in the winter… then I am at a loss for words. Soup is hands down my favourite meal when it’s cold outside, and this one is no exception — especially when you come home from a long day at work and the soup is sitting there, a smile on its face, its odour wafting through your home to welcome you back. But you can make this soup with or without a slow cooker! Hearty and chock-full of healthy veggies, I’ll be damned if you don’t go for seconds.

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Moroccan Chickpeas with Mint

One of my absolute favourite restaurants in Kingston is a café-bakery called Pan Chancho. Everything they serve is impossibly fresh and absolutely bursting with flavour. Whenever my parents come for a visit, we try to make a stop there, and last time they were down, they bought the Pan Chancho cookbook. This recipe is adapted from their own Moroccan chickpea salad.

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Pickle Juice Stir Fry

I know this sounds really weird and potentially gross, but bear with me on this one. I promise it is far from whatever you’re imagining right now. Unless you are imagining something totally delicious. In which case… right on.

When I was living with my housemates in between our second and fourth years of university, we had upwards of six jars of pickles in our fridge at any given time. It was just one of those things we had way too much of, and to top it off, one of my housemates couldn’t bring herself to throw out the pickle juice when the jars were empty. So, she had the brilliant idea of using the liquid to cook her vegetables in, and a legendary, inexpensive, and flavourful dish was born.

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