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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Foodie Friend Friday #5: Brandon’s Green Tea Extravaganza

This is the fifth and final installment of my March experiment, Foodie Friend Friday, and I can tell you that we are going out with a bang! If you would like to see what my other friends have been cooking this March, check out the following recipes:

This week, I am featuring my friend Brandon’s cuisine. Brandon is one of the best friends I’ve made during my undergraduate degree. We met three years ago, when we both got hired as orientation coordinators for our university’s orientation week, and we’ve been friends ever since!

One of the defining aspects of our friendship is our deep and undying love for good food. Before Brandon selfishly abandoned me to move back to Toronto, we would get together, cook something delicious (like this yummy chicken), and watch mildly offensive television together. When we weren’t busy being weirdos at home, we would go out to restaurants where we would both get carried away with our meals and rant and rave about them like two food-crazed loonies. Essentially, we were made for one another.

All this is to say that Brandon was a natural choice for me to ask to write up a tasty recipe for my blog. But of course, in true Brandon fashion, I opened my inbox today to not one, but three recipes from the guy. Brandon is not the type to do something halfway, and clearly this was no exception. The great news is that he has put together an amazing themed feast that is sure to wow the lucky people you make this for!

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Oven Baked Ratatouille

Ratatouille is a quintessentially French comfort food: roasted veggies and tomato sauce come together in this zesty, comforting dish. Somehow, the French can even make comfort food sophisticated, don’t you think?!

I have loved ratatouille for as long as I can remember. The soft vegetables have loads of flavour and the tomato sauce that brings them all together is sweet and tangy. Ratatouille can be prepared on the stove top or in the oven, but I find the latter method gives the vegetables  a nicer texture and richer flavour.

I dare you to look at this and not want to gobble it all up!

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Fresh Walnut Pesto

I try to keep pesto in my fridge at all times. There is nothing like a spoonful of oily, creamy basil goodness to spice up any dish — from pasta to salad dressings to eggs to soups and broths, I use it a lot. And, while some store-bought brands are pretty good, nothing quite beats the taste of your own fresh pesto.

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Simple Bruschetta

Bruschetta is such a wonderfully fresh dish. It’s a wonderful appetizer, or works well as a light lunch when paired with a bowl of soup or a filling salad. Juicy tomatoes, basil, olive oil, crusty bread, and garlic — I mean really, what more could you want?

Granted, January isn’t the ideal season for fresh tomatoes, especially if you’re under a few feet of snow. But what better way to relive the glorious summer days than to put this on the table? It may just tide you over until June.

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Spanish Eggplant and Red Pepper Dip

My father got into his head over the holidays that it would be totally great and practical to invite friends over for a tapas night.

Now, I really like tapas. The idea of having lots of little fresh dishes to pick and choose from is seriously appealing. But making 10 dishes for as many people is kind of ridiculous.

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Homemade Dumplings (Pot Stickers)

Last summer, my sister and I both experienced a bizarrely sudden and intense craving for Chinese-style dumplings. I had some experience using wonton wrappers, so we concocted our own vegetarian pot stickers and gorged on them.

A few weeks ago, my sister, again struck with dumpling desire, actually went through the trouble of creating a private Facebook event for she and I to make more delicious dumplings. Complete with videos. She wanted them that badly.

Provisions were purchased and we spent the first half of an evening in my kitchen stuffing wontons full of veggies and frying, then steaming them to perfection. The second half we spent rolling around on the couch and floor, stuffed and feeling sorry for ourselves.

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The Best Chicken You Will Ever Make. Ever.

I only started eating meat again recently. Up until five months ago, I had been a pescetarian for five and a half years. Even now, I’d rather eat vegetarian meals.

But this chicken is a game changer. I am not lying when I say this is the best chicken you will ever eat.

The best part? You only need 4 ingredients to make it. That’s right. Four.

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