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Happy Meal to Write Home About: Grilled Portobello Burger and Sweet Potato Fries

In Mains (Vegetarian), Salads on January 17, 2010 at 11:29 AM


I’ve been missing in action but not in eating. ūüėÄ ¬†Please accept my apologies with this triple post: the best veggie burger, fries and salad combo you will ever eat!! I served this combo to a visiting meateater who said it was the best burger he’d ever had!

I tried this burger for the first time when visiting L in Yellowknife, NWT.  L and I were roommates for a few years and I know that she is a fan of hearty meals.  She pulled the burger recipe from the Crazy Plates Looneyspoons cookbook by Janet and Greta Podleski, but you can find a copy of it here.  The best part is the delicious chickpea spread topping that you see on the bun in the photo above! YUM!

The sweet potato fries were made by thinly cutting the SPs, then microwaving with a bit of water until tender but not cooked. ¬†Toss with olive oil, then black pepper, chili powder, and garlic. ¬†Heat canola oil in non-stick pan, and pan fry til crispy. ¬†Sprinkle with salt. ¬†Replace with red potatoes for the best breakfast taters..mmm…

For the Everything-But-Your-Sink Salad, cook up your fav kind of pasta. ¬†Stop just before it’s al dente as it will soften with dressing. ¬†To this add everything but your sink (i.e. bell peppers, purple onion, 2 cups of cooked black beans, hot peppers, fresh baby spinach, olives, and feta cheese). ¬†Dress with your favourite dressing and enjoy! It’s a great lunch for work if you have a teeny container to carry the dressing.


PS –¬†Interesting! I just learned that a portobello mushroom is merely a mature brown cremini mushroom!


Chocolate Orange Stars – Worth the trouble? You decide!

In Desserts on December 6, 2009 at 10:49 PM

Looking for the perfect year-end potluck offering? Nothing says “I need a holiday” more than more than these star-shaped cookies! I admit, these cookies took a bit more Martha Stewart than I had to give. ¬†I made them over two days, refrigerating the dough after the first, and rolling out and baking on the second. ¬†An extra set of hands went a long way as the rolling and baking happened on a Monday evening after work (i.e. prevented tears upon my realizing just how much dough the recipe actually produced). ¬†Despite the fuss, these cuties were as tasty as they are pretty and well worth the trouble.

Tip: Keep unrolled dough in fridge between rolling, and keep cut out shapes in freezer before cutting out smaller shapes.  This recipe makes LOTS of cookies!

This recipe for Chocolate Orange Hearts came from the Complete Cookie Book by Elizabeth Wolf Cohen.
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Niagara Wine Grapes

In Desserts on November 11, 2009 at 1:28 PM


Tart, pulpy, sweet — what a treat! These Niagara Cabernet Franc grapes were on sale for an unbelievable $0.99 a pound. ¬†The recipe? Wash, pluck, enjoy!

(Or make the perfect pie filling by squeezing the pulpy insides of 2lb of grapes into a saucepan, setting the blue skins aside.  Bring to a boil until pulp is soft.  Strain to remove seeds.  Cool, then add 3/4 cup sugar, 1 tbsp lemon juice, and 2 tbsp tapioca.  Stir in skins and bake in pie shell as directed. Delicious!)

Mushroom and Leek Tart

In Breakfasts, Mains (Vegetarian) on November 8, 2009 at 12:48 PM

whole wheat pastry shell

This savoury tart or quiche was inspired by the contents of the fridge crisper — a bunch of leeks and a handful of mushrooms — and proved delicious enough to please even a quiche-cynic!

Pastry making is always a learning experience for me.  To appease an irritable tummy, I use whole grains where possible and often have to experiment for success.  A 100% whole wheat crust does not always roll properly for me, and I have been known to piece together a crust using little bits.

The pastry shell recipe, adapted from Jeanne Lemlin’s¬†¬†Vegetable Quiche with Smoked Cheese in the Vegetarian Pleasures cookbook, uses about 60% whole wheat and works very well. ¬†The dough was easy to roll and turned out flaky and delicious. ¬†My secret: add extra butter and refold dough while rolling.

And because two crusts are as easy to make as one, I doubled the recipe and froze a Broccoli and Sundried Tomato Tart for a rainy day.


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Green Mango Salad Rolls

In Appetizers, Mains (Vegetarian) on October 21, 2009 at 2:32 PM


When, for an early birthday gift, the lovely D drove an hour and a half to pick me up and drive another hour and a half to the Stratford Festival, I wanted a fresh and gluten-free lunch recipe.   As quick and easy-to-make as they are tangy and sweet, these mango salad rolls were the perfect treat.


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Apple Cheddar Waffles

In Breakfasts on October 9, 2009 at 7:17 PM

apple cheddar waffles

These Apple Cheddar Waffles were a special breakfast-for-dinner treat, made for me and amuse-bouche on Wednesday night by a special someone! The waffle recipe comes from the Pocket Cook Book by Elizabeth Woody and members of the Food Staff of McCall’s Magazine — first printed in 1942. My garage-sale version is a reprint from 1946.

To make our breakfast more dinner-like, we added grated cheese, melted by the delicious apple topping…with a fried egg for protein.

The waffle iron entered my life for $5.00 courtesy of a friend’s moving sale, making this dish as much an ode to second chances as to breakfast for dinner.

Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry »