I won’t lie, I love everything about food. I love to buy it, I love to cook it, I love to eat it, and I love to talk about it. I could lose and entire evening looking at recipes online. Nothing makes me happier than spending a few hours in the kitchen making something new to eat. Late one night a few weeks ago, while googling new recipes, a seed was planted in my mind to write a blog about my food adventures. Of course in my dreams I have a million followers reading and commenting on my posts…but even if I only have a few, it will still be fun to chronicle my kitchen woes and wonders and have something to look back at many years from now.
I lost my inspiration for awhile last year. I got busy with school, then busy with a new job, then busy with a different new job. I struggled to plan meals and make decisions on what to buy for groceries. Most of the time, I waited until I was too hungry to cook and ended up eating something from Tim Horton’s or Subway or worse–eating chips for supper! When you’re single and live on your own, you can eat whatever you want and call it a meal! In January, I decided it was time to get back on track and signed up for a CSA. A CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture, gives people access to fresh seasonal produce grown locally. I signed up for a fruit share and a vegetable share. Each week the farm delivers to a pickup location only five minutes from my house! I get a box of fruit and a box of veggies, which is often more than I can even eat in a week. Since they determine what will be in the shares each week, I don’t have to struggle with deciding what to get for groceries! It’s always an adventure-I’ve never tried so many new foods and ways of cooking things in my life, but I love it! All I have to do is find a recipe or cooking instructions online, pick a protein to make with it, and I’m done! I think it’s safe to say, I’ve found my inspiration back!
This one was a pretty simple, quick one, but still worth mentioning. The other night, I whipped up a batch of homemade pasta sauce! I had frozen tomatoes from my CSA box and I wanted to make something quick for supper one night, so I figured pasta sauce was a good idea. I looked at a few recipes online, and used this recipe as a basic idea on how to put it together. I started off by cooking the garlic and onion in a big pot on the stove. Then I dumped in the cut up tomatoes and some diced celery and spinach that needed to be used up, salt, oregano, and basil. Then I just let it simmer on the stove for maybe half and hour and that’s it-fresh homemade pasta sauce! I don’t know why but things always seem to taste better when made from scratch…
Homemade granola! Wow! Who knew it was so easy and required so few ingredients to make homemade granola? I had no idea. I love it when I can make things at home instead of buying processed foods that are full of sugar and mystery ingredients. I buy Kashi cereal sometimes and eat it on top of yogurt, but the other week, I discovered this recipe online for Blueberry Flax Granola and I knew I had to try it. The best part? I already had all of the ingredients on hand! I had a package of dried blueberries in the cupboard that had come in my CSA box a few weeks ago, so I was pretty excited to finally have a use for them.
Making it was quick-it took just a few minutes to mix the dry ingredients in a bowl, then I just added maple syrup until it looked like it was all coated. The only maple syrup I had on hand was ED Smith Sugar Free Syrup, so I was a little concerned with how this would work out in the recipe, but I figured it was worth a shot. I also decided to make a half batch instead of a full batch, just in case it was a complete failure. Spread the granola mixture on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, bake, voila-granola! I tasted it a few minutes after it came out of the oven and it was amazing. The blueberries actually got crunchy, which I really liked! I’ll definitely be making this again. I’ve already been thinking of a few other things I’d like to add to it-maybe some shredded coconut, almonds, any other dried fruit I have on hand, maybe even a few chocolate chips once it’s cooled!
So I whipped this one up yesterday and inhaled a bowl before heading to work. What deliciousness! I have a bunch of potatoes that have been growing in my cupboard from the past couple of CSA deliveries. I can’t seem to eat them fast enough! I figured it was time to try and use some of them, so I found a recipe for Potato Salad with Dill and Mustard. I love potato salad and I love dill, so I figured this would be a winner.
First off, let me tell you a secret: if you’re making potato salad, it’s way easier to steam the potatoes than it is to boil them! They don’t end up nearly as watery and it’s easier to tell when they’re just cooked enough. This will probably be the only way I cook potatoes from now on.
I did make a few modifications to the recipe. I wanted it to be a little healthier, so I only added half a cup of mayo and substituted plain yogurt for the other half cup. You might even get away with a whole cup of yogurt(maybe greek would be best) and no mayo. Also, I don’t eat relish, so I omitted that. The only mustard I had on hand was French’s Spicy mustard(which I love!) so I used that for the mustard.
The results: spectacular! It was creamy, slightly spicy, dilly, crunchy from the celery and onions…I want another bowl right now. It would go great with a big juicy burger! Another recipe to save for later!
Ok this one was a quick and easy one but I still wanted to write a short post about it so I can keep track of all the things I’ve made. When in doubt of what to do with something that may go bad soon, pickle it! My latest experiment….Pickled turnips! I don’t know if I’ve ever actually had a pickled turnip, but I love turnip and I love pickles, so it seems promising! I found the recipe for pickled turnips here.
Preparation was fairly simple- cut the turnip into matchsticks, slice garlic, beet, and put in a jar. Boil the remaining ingredients and pour over turnip, filling jar to the top. Done! It says they need to sit in the fridge for a week, so I won’t be able to taste test until next week. I can’t wait!
Yes, such a thing exists! Mexican street corn salad to be exact. Until last week, I had never even heard of such a thing, but let me tell you, it is AMAZING!
I received a bag of frozen corn in my CSA box the other week, so it was time to start looking at some frozen corn recipes. I could have easily just boiled it and put some butter on it, but where’s the fun in that? I needed a recipe…something with some real flavour! I started googling and this recipe for Mexican street corn salad caught my eye. Time to try something new!
On Monday night, I decided to make it. I was rushing around trying to get stuff ready for work and still had to go out to pick up my CSA box, but the recipe said it only took 15 minutes to make, so I figured I had enough time. The recipe said to cook the corn until it started to char. I didn’t think frozen watery corn would ever be able to char in a frying pan, but after about 10 minutes, it did start to get a nice brown colour to it. While the corn cooks, you mix together the rest of the ingredients, then dump the corn in, mix it all together, and you have Mexican street corn salad!
The verdict: two thumbs up! I used feta cheese in mine because I was too lazy to look for Cotija cheese at the store. It still turned out great! I also used pickled jalapenos, not fresh ones, and skipped the cilantro. The jalapenos and chili powder gave it just the right amount of heat and the feta added just enough flavour to make this corn salad delicious. If you’ve never tried Mexican street corn salad, I highly recommend it!
Ok so it’s not a disease haha! It just sounds like celiac, which makes me think of it. Celeriac, also known as celery root, came in my CSA box today and I was eager to try something new with it. I have already tried mashed celeriac and celeriac fries…it was time to try something different. Enter this recipe for Celery Root and Leek soup I found online. I’ve had two leeks in my fridge for probably two weeks now and was beginning to think I would end up throwing them out but then I found this recipe! I love when I can make use of everything that comes in my CSA box! I also like that the recipe only makes 2-4 servings, so I won’t have to eat soup for the next week.
The recipe was quick and easy(although apparently it required close supervision from my dog, who lay just outside the kitchen watching my every move!). For anyone that has never had celeriac, it’s texture is kind of like potato, but it has a subtle celery-like flavour. If you didn’t know any better, you’d probably assume it was potato leek soup I had made. Celeriac is also one of the ugliest vegetables I have ever seen! It’s not something you’d spot in the grocery store and think ooooh….what deliciousness could I make with that!? Still, if you’re looking for something with a little more flavour than potatoes, I suggest you try it some time.
In the end, I would call this recipe a success, definitely worth making again. It required minimal prep work and minimal attention once the leeks were cooked and the remaining ingredients were added and left to boil on the stove, all while I enjoyed a lovely phone call with my folks. Another night of fine dining for one!
Last week I made Turkey and Napa Cabbage Soup. As if I didn’t have enough cabbage already…this week I got a Napa cabbage in my CSA box. Every time I make something with a cabbage, I get another one! Thank goodness this only happens for a few months in the winter-I should be well-stocked for sauerkraut until next winter at this rate! For those of you that have never seen a Napa cabbage, it’s not like your typical green or purple cabbage. This cabbage kind of looks like a romaine/cabbage hybrid. The leaves are long and narrow. I have seen recipes for Kimchi, which is some kind of Korean fermented napa cabbage, but I didn’t have the spices available to make it, so I found a recipe online for Pork and Napa Cabbage Soup. I don’t care much for ground pork, so I made mine with ground turkey. I also skipped the mushrooms. Luckily I already had everything on hand except for the ground turkey, which I picked up at the store a few days earlier.
Of course, the day I was planning to cook it, I had a lingering headache from the previous day. I decided I would just prep the veggies that night and then cook it the following day. I also decided I should open a bottle of wine. Next thing I know, BAM!! I’m cooking the soup lol! Sometimes you just need a little push to get things started and then you get into your groove.
The soup was delicious…I’ll be eating soup for days! At least that means I don’t have to cook for a few days…