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Mineral-rich Vegetable Broth (and Miso Soup)

The recipe I am sharing with you this week is almost always in my freezer, my clients’ freezers and simmering in my slow cooker. It is not always exactly the same, depending on what I have on hand and what I am using it for, but it is always filled with vitamins and minerals, easy to consume and very diverse.

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It is a vegetable stock, but even better. It’s made with lots of mineral-rich sea vegetables, the aromatic and powerful members of the allium family (onions, leek, garlic), the anti-inflammatory rhizome dream team (ginger and turmeric), immune-boosting shitake mushroom stems (you know, the part we sometimes throw out…), and of course, lots of clean, hydrating water.

I might be making this up, but I feel like ‘stock’ is a base to be made into something else (soup, sauce, stew) whereas ‘broth’ can be enjoyed as it is. This recipe can be both. On its own, with the help of a pinch of salt (and some turmeric –activating black pepper), it is a clean, flavourful, hydrating way to sip your nutrients. Especially when you might be going through a time when eating food and drinking water is not your favourite thing to do.

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Lentil Salad with Roast Squash and Babaganoush

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At first things started really simply, I was going to do a post on roasted squash. It is the right time of year, and I personally can’t get enough right now (what tomatoes?). But then, pomegranates are suddenly here too. They have joined the morning cereal, and I have rogue red splatter all over the kitchen. And what about all of those warming spices as it gets chillier outside? Roast squash quickly became a part of a recipe instead of the recipe itself because apparently it’s been an inspiring week for my food brain.

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We are in the Eastern Mediterranean this week, mostly because I was cleaning out my cookbooks last week and my Ottolenghi book, Plenty is now in my line of vision every day. You know the one with the eggplant and pomegranate seeds on the cover? This book is so full of some of the best food porn, I rarely get past the pictures. So, a bit of Ottolenghi/Vancouver fusion is the result. Don’t worry, it tastes good.

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Indian-Spiced Creamy Kale with Rutabaga

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This week’s recipe stems from putting my foot down last week. Has anyone seen the Planet of the Apes 1? Pretty creepy, right? Did anyone’s spouse try to talk them into seeing the second one (in theatre, no less!)? Well, mine did. He will see any movie marketed towards males, which means that I wind up seeing a lot of them too. Growing up in a house full of girls, I hadn’t seen most shoot’em ups until I was more than old enough to know it was all pretend. Don’t worry though, thanks to my husband, I have been making up for lost time, and have now seen almost every worthwhile (and not so worthwhile) gun-infused/sci-fi weirdness movie spanning the last several decades, and am so much smarter for it ☺

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I read the book The Hundred-Foot Journey a few years ago and was excited when I heard they were going to turn it into a movie (it is all about cooking and food and is sooo visual!). After somehow manipulating my husband into seeing this instead of the talking, giant apes taking over the world part 2, we sat through 122 minutes of mouth watering French and Indian food, coming alive on screen. I’m still drooling just thinking about it. Somehow, we both enjoyed it immensely and were inspired to throw our previous dinner plans out the window and go to our favourite casual Indian restaurant for dinner. And cook Indian-style food for the rest of the week…

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Stuffed Grapevine Leaves

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This tail-end of the summer business really appeals to me. It’s this in-between summer and fall time when we seem to get the best of both worlds. Sweaters with shorts, jeans with t-shirts, less squinting while on the computer, fewer terrible runs, going to bed at 10pm without feeling nerdy (because it’s actually dark outside), I love it all. Equally great, the subtle shifts in food; soup is back, the tomatoes are still here, apples are crisp and juicy, warm breakfasts, and it’s no longer a sweat-based decision whether or not to turn your oven on.

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Cozying right into ‘pre-fall’, my oven is back in action and I’m making one of my favourite things. Just like this special time of year, this dish reminds me of my Mom, and embraces both really good tomatoes and the (slightly) cooler weather.

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