Mar 29 2014

Easy Tomato Soup

Category: RecipesClevergirl @ 10:30 am

No, it’s not Campbell’s… in fact, it has come to this because while I don’t often eat Campbell’s tomato soup, I do sometimes and awhile ago I was eating it and thinking that while it is really easy, so too would a tomato soup made from a can of tomatoes!

Ingredients:
1 onion chopped
1 large garlic clove crushed
Olive oil
1 28oz can of diced tomatoes
2 cups water
1 T tomato paste
1 t peccorcino
1 snack bag of frozen basil leaves from your garden.
balsamic vinegar to taste
salt and pepper

How to:

1) heat the olive oil in a soup pot. Add the onions and garlic.

2) When translucent, add the can of tomatoes, water (I use boiling water to speed up the process), tomato paste and peccorcino. Bring to a simmer and simmer, covered, for 20 min.

3) Half way through the simmering, get out the bag of basil from your freezer, crush between your hands, and add to the pot.

4) Hand blender the pot of soup, add salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar.


Nov 18 2013

Soft Polenta with Gruyère and Tomato Sauce

Category: UncategorizedClevergirl @ 6:04 pm

I like to eat this when the weather gets cold.

Ingredients:

8oz quick-cook polenta
3 garlic cloves, chopped
4tbsp olive oil (I use less)
1 large onion, chopped
13 oz. can chopped tomatoes
3 tbsp. sun-dried tomato paste (I have never been able to find this in a store so I use regular tomato paste)
2 tsp. light brown sugar
3 oz. Gruyère cheese, grated
salt and pepper to taste

1) Bring 3.5 cups water to boil in a large saucepan with 1 tsp. salt. Add the polenta in a steady stream, then the garlic, and cook, stirring for 5 minutes or until the polenta is very thick and pulpy. Turn into a lightly greased, shallow, ovenproof dish. (I use an 8×8 glass pyrex)

2) Heat the oil in the saucepan. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, sun-dried tomato paste, and sugar to the onion and season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture over the polenta.

3) scatter with the grated cheese and bake in a preheated 400ºF oven for 10 min or until golden.

From: Farrow, Joanna (2000) 30 Minute Vegetarian San Diego: Laurel Glen Publishing, pp. 84.

Clevergirl’s Notes:

*I sometimes add some chopped fresh herbs from my garden to the polenta. Oregano, basil, parsley… a mix.

*I sometimes add about 1/2 tsp of either peccorcino of cayenne to the tomato sauce for some zip.

*I add a handful of grated parmesan to the polenta.


Oct 06 2013

(Yellow) Cauliflower Spinach Soup

Category: Recipes,UncategorizedClevergirl @ 5:12 pm

I was using up some veggies in my fridge — a big yellow cauliflower from the Parkdale Market and some baby spinach. I found a soup recipe online and basically made it leaving out the garlic and adding garam masala (2t) and 1/4t cayenne at the end. Whirred with the handblender. Yum.


Sep 01 2013

Pesto

Category: Recipes,UncategorizedClevergirl @ 3:08 pm

My mother got this recipe years ago in a magazine (maybe a medical journal of my Dad’s or a wellness letter). I am not sure where. Anyway, I had been away somewhere (University? Cairo? …) and I came back and she was into making pesto using this recipe. Although I have tried a few others, this one is still my favourite.

You can make this in large quantities and store it in the refrigerator (covered with a 1/4 inch of olive oil) for up to six months. So it will, literally, get you through the winter.

2 cups fresh basil leaves

1/4 cup pine nuts

3 cloves garlic (or one giant one)

1/2 cup freshly grated parmesean cheese

1/2 cup olive oil (extra virgin).

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Place all of the ingredients in the workbowl of a food processor and process until smooth, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Toss with hot cooked pasted and serve immediately or store refrigerated in a tightly sealed jar with a layer of olive oil on the top. Yield: about 1.5 cups.


Jul 25 2013

Roast Baby Potato Zucchini Pesto Salad

Category: RecipesClevergirl @ 6:10 pm

For a few days now I have been imagining making a roast baby potato pesto salad. Why? Well, because it is summer and I like potato salad and well, I had lots of little potatoes left over from making cold borscht last weekend. There are a lot of summer ingredients in my fridge right now, too. So away we go, but I couldn’t find a recipe online that appealed to me, so I just made this up as I went along.

Ingredients:

1 bag of PC yukon gold baby potatoes (or most of one bag!)

1 yellow zucchini

Mustard micro-greens

sun-dried tomato pesto

salt/pepper

extra virgin olive oil.

———-

1) Preheat the oven to 425º Wash the potatoes, put them in a baking pan (I used a pyrex) toss in some olive oil (not much), salt and black pepper. Mix it up well. You might also want to cut some of the potatoes in half if they are not quite bite-size. Bake in the over for 20-25 min until done.

2) Grate the yellow zucchini and set aside.

3) When the potatoes are done, pull out of the oven and immediately put the grated zucchini into the pan and stir. The heat of the pan & potatoes will wilt/cook the zucchini.

4) Add the pesto (just enough to coat). Let cool completely.

5) Cut the mustard microgreens, wash, and set aside.

6) sprinkle the microgreens on top just before serving.


Jul 07 2013

Ed Burtynsky Exhibition — OIL

Category: Cool,On Being GreenClevergirl @ 6:27 pm

I went to see the Ed Burtynsky exhibition OIL, being held at the Canadian Museum of Nature. It was fabulous. The exhibit shows the progression from drilling to post-use and really makes one think about how much oil you are responsible for using. I’m trying, but I wish it were less.

It included photos of drilling sites in the US (some of the oldest in the world), the Alberta Oil Sands, refineries, new cars, high ways and Bangladesh’s ship decommissioning yards. Beautiful colour. And all done in a way that makes you think about the impact this finite resource has on our lives. The good, the bad, the ugly… and an unease about the unsustainability of it all!

It is also particularly poignant given the tragic events in Quebec this weekend with a runaway train of crude oil and the revelation that shipments of crude oil by train in Canada are up 28,000% since 2009.


May 27 2013

Maple Ginger Rhubarb Crumble (with a bit of strawberry)

Category: RecipesClevergirl @ 7:11 pm

Spring means Rhubarb. And for some reason everyone in my Lithuanian family loves the stuff. When I first moved to Ottawa my mother’s cousin Victor and his wife Irene would let me take the rhubarb from their garden as they were no longer really cooking. Nowadays I have to go searching for it in the markets (or the Produce Depot). One of the reasons I want a garden again is so I can plant myself some rhubarb and grow my own. I had some of the ingredients that would make a good crumble, but did not find a recipe online that I really liked. So nothing says clever girl like adapting and making something your own. My cousin Loretta asked for the recipe, but as I’ve made it up, it may require some experimenting to get it right.

Ingredients:
fresh Rhubarb (about 5 stalks) sliced small.
fresh ginger (a nice big piece c. enough to make at least 1 tablespoon of it chopped/crushed/etc.)
some maple syrup (medium grade… the real stuff — about half a cup — am not sure of exact amount as I just poured it on. There should be a thin layer of it on the bottom but not more than 1-2mm deep)
about 7 strawberries sliced small chunks.
1-2 teaspoon(s) corn starch
a few pieces of butter or margarine (the cooking kind) — optional.

Put all of the above in a glass or ceramic baking dish. An 8×8 preferably. Adjust amounts for a bigger dish. You should have considerably fewer strawberries. It is really mostly about the Rhubarb. Stir to make sure mixed.

The crumble:
1/2 cup whole wheat flower
1 cup oatmeal (quick cook)
1/2 cup sugar (white)
1/4-1/2 cup walnut pieces (also known as a big handfull)
c. 2 T butter or margarine (or if you want to make it vegan and don’t have a vegan margarine on hand, try canola oil)

Put it all in a bowl and rub the butter/marg in by hand. Sprinkle on top of the rhubarb mixture.

Place the dish in a pre-heated 350ºF oven until hot and bubbly and the crumble is brown. Takes longer than other crumbles because rhubarb takes longer to cook. About 40-50 min. Keep checking. It will depend on your oven.

Can be eaten plain or with greek yoghurt or vanilla ice cream.


May 20 2013

Newish ‘Vogs…

Category: 'vogsClevergirl @ 6:21 pm

I have been remiss at posting about my growing ‘vog collection for some time it seems.

At Easter I got a fabulous pair of Adrian Amandas in black, grey and purple, click here for photo, my second pair in the Adrian series. I previously got the Agnes in fire engine red. I love both of my Adrian family pairs of shoe/boots. Fantabulous. I have got sooo many comments on my Amandas. And they look great with most of my clothes!

During that same trip I really wanted to buy some Prepares, because I love their lock and had tried on a pair last year that I loved, but they no longer had my size in them. The ones I tried on rubbed on one toe, so I didn’t get them in the end.

Instead I bought the Rule Low Jonis in black (with pink lace). click here for photo I’ve recently started wearing them at work and they are nice, but although low-heeled, I prefer to wear flats at work so that I can run from a to b.


May 20 2013

Anne Lindsay’s Chunky Vegetable-Bean Soup (Clevergirl version)

Category: Good Eats,RecipesClevergirl @ 4:49 pm

I posted a photo of a bowl of my version of Anne Lindsay’s Chunky Vegetable-Bean Soup from her “The Lighthearted Cookbook” on my FB and a friend asked for the recipe. So as is my practice, I am blogging it here. But because I’m getting smart with age, I decided to Google first and see if anyone else has done it before me. and they have so click here for the authentic recipe.

At the top of original recipe, Anne Lindsay has written, “You can add 1/4 cup/50ml uncooked noodles, or rice or barley, along with the potato”

Well, today I didn’t have a potato at all, so I threw in 1/2 cup of organic brown rice. It worked out just fine. I like to add the rice or barley anyway, because of the value of those two items to one’s health.

And also, generally, I’ve given up the green beans for spinach, largely because I’m more likely to have spinach on hand and also it is full of iron and folate.

I add at least 1 teaspoon of cayenne, which is why I call it spicy. I like it that way. But you should try it out for yourself your way.

I always use either homemade veggie stock or water to make it. And I also use dry kidney beans which I make in my pressure cooker to save time. If my pressure cooker were bigger, I’d make the whole soup in it!

I make it up in big batches and freeze it with a bit of parmesan right in it, so that I can take it to work.

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May 20 2013

World Baking Day

Category: Good Eats,RecipesClevergirl @ 8:34 am

Yesterday was World Baking Day, so I was inpsired. I don’t remember how I stumbled across this recipe online the other day, but as I had all of the ingredients at home, I made them up using all nautrual chunky peanut butter and unpasturised honey from a farmer in Québec. I forgot to put the sugar/cinnamon sprinkle on the top, but they are still really yummy if not a little bit less sweet. They will make a good work snack.

IMG_1953

Earlier a friend had invited himself over for dinner, so I ran out to the field house in Parkdale Market and got some Bekings Eggs (fresh from local farm, best thing for a Soufflé) and yes, made up a yummy looking soufflé using my favourite adapted Alton Brown recipe.

IMG_1951

So there we have it… World Baking Day.


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