Summer Rotini Salad

Pasta salad is a summer classic. It’s refreshing, filling, and can be healthy as long as you choose the right dressing.

One of my favourite things about making pasta salad is that you can usually enjoy it warm as well as cold. In this salad, all of the vegetables are raw, which means that when you combine them with the freshly cooked pasta, they stay juicy and cold. This creates a nice contrast of textures and temperatures if you’re digging in right away, but this salad is equally tasty once the pasta has cooled completely.

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Peppered Strawberry Quinoa Muffins

My mother has a wonderful recipe to dress up fresh strawberries that never fails to wow friends and family: strawberries, sugar, and black pepper.

It is seriously — and surprisingly — amazing. The sugar breaks down the fruit and creates a syrupy juice and the black pepper’s spice brings out the flavours of the fruit. These strawberries can be eaten on their own or atop some yoghurt, ice cream, and all sorts of cakes.

So I thought: why not put them in muffins?

Read on if you want to see more of this… I promise it is worth it!

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Mocha Chia Oatmeal Breakfast… Pudding?

I have been coming across so many blog entries about chia pudding and cold oatmeal lately, my curiosity got the best of me and I combined both concepts into one recipe this weekend.

The basic premise of chia pudding is that chia seeds, a very healthy and nutrient-packed superfood, take on a tapioca-like texture when they’re soaked in any liquid. This quality makes these seeds the perfect candidate for a healthy dessert option. They are an easily digestible plant-based protein, easy to integrate into various recipes (they’re often used as egg replacements in vegan baking, since they bind ingredients together effectively), and neutral in flavour. And yes — chia seeds are used to grow the “hair” on Chia pets!

Cold oatmeal, on the other hand, is made by combining oatmeal and milk — either dairy or non-dairy — and letting it sit in the fridge for a few hours. The idea is that you can enjoy a healthy filling oatmeal breakfast in the summer without having to have it hot, which can feel a bit heavy when it’s warm and humid out. Oats are an excellent source of fibre and protein, low on the glycemic index, and may help reduce risks of heart disease (according to the FDA). What’s not to like?

Naturally, I can’t just follow a recipe, so when I decided to try my own cold oats/chia pudding, I had to make up my own… no recipe escapes unaltered when I get my hands on it!

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Fresh Vegetable and Quinoa Salad

I have been eating lots of quinoa lately! It is a delicious, healthy whole grain, and apparently I can’t get enough of it.

I made this crunchy and colourful salad about 10 days ago and ate it every day for an entire week. There was so much of it! However, it did ensure that I was getting lots of veggies in every day. As a rule, I try to have a lot of variety in my diet. So, even though I ate the salad daily, I was still getting 6-7 different types of vegetables into my body in one sitting. That’s the kind of recipe I like!

I ate it for a week straight and looking at this picture, I'd eat it again now!

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Foodie Friend Friday #2: Garrett’s Cilantro Lime Couscous Salad with Shrimp

This is the second installment of my March series, Foodie Friend Friday, in which I’m asking my fabulous cooking friends to write up their favourite recipe to share. For the first recipe, as well as a bit more background, click here.

This week, I am featuring my friend Garrett’s cooking skills! Garrett is a total whiz in the kitchen, and I was so stoked when he agreed to cook for this series. I have known him for about two years now; we met while we were both working at our university’s student government, and we’re now working together again at David’s Tea. Garrett is hilarious and I love his dry wit and every single article of clothing he owns. He is also really really good at his job and we have a lot of fun when we work together.

I first realized Garrett was an amazing cook when I found some pictures he had posted to Facebook of all these amaaaaaazing dishes he was making. The descriptions of his meals were seriously mouthwatering, and I’m sure you’ll agree with me by the time you’ve read through his recipe below.

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Foodie Friend Friday #1: Annie Makes NOMZ (A.K.A. Risotto)

I am very excited to introduce a new column of sorts to my blog: Foodie Friend Friday!

I asked five wonderful friends of mine to each contribute a recipe to my blog. I’m going to post one on each Friday this March, starting this evening (better late than never). I thought it would be a nice way to showcase some of my kitchen-savviest friends’ delicious recipes, as well as diversifying what’s on this blog of mine a bit. I hope you enjoy what they have cooking for us!

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Quinoa with Smoked Salmon, Vegetables, and Sundried Tomato Pesto

Some of my favourite culinary adventures have come from throwing everything I have in my fridge into one dish and seeing what happens.

This is how this recipe came into the world! I had smoked salmon (left over from a very British Columbian care package, courtesy of my mom), roasted asparagus, a leek, walnuts (left over from this pesto recipe), some sundried tomato pesto, and fresh parmesan. What could be better than tossing all of that in some freshly cooked quinoa?

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