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Sesame Kohlrabi Slaw with Miso Apricot Dressing

It’s been a while since I turned my oven on. Not to seem ungrateful for all of this sunshine (and vitamin D), but it has been really hot with humidity that Vancouver doesn’t generally see. So maybe I am complaining a little bit, but chin sweat you guys! All of the time.

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So I have been making recipes that require very little heating up, both for me, and the recipients of the meals. It makes it hard to complain about chin sweat when I think about how un-amazing it must feel to add a rough post chemo week into the mix with all of this heat. No ovens no cry.

This recipe requires the very bare minimum of cooking. It is mostly a raw dish in all of its enzyme-rich glory, but not just for the sake of being raw, more because the dish itself feels so right for this time of year. It is made with seasonal produce, but not necessarily the sweet and juicy stuff that you dream about during the winter months. Is anyone familiar with kohlrabi?

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I think it would be sad to be a vegetable that only reminds people of the parts of vegetables that they normally discard (or save for juicing), but it is true, kohlrabi’s taste and texture are very similar to broccoli stems and cabbage cores. But don’t worry, kohlrabi doesn’t wallow in self-pity, it knows that it is unique and beautiful, with lush, edible greens growing out of each of its many strange little arms. And like all self-respecting vegetables, it also comes in purple.

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Carrot Hummus (with superpowers)

In the land of eating a little bit healthier every day, hummus is considered a comfort food. Chickpeas and tahini, fresh garlic and some extra virgin olive oil, perhaps a squeeze of lemon juice, it’s hard to go wrong.

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Never mind the fact that the chickpeas and sesame seeds in the tahini create a complete protein for us to dip our antioxidant-rich veggies into. Or the fact that the fat in the tahini and olive oil help us to absorb the vitamins in the dip-able veggies. Hummus is already pretty awesome, it doesn’t need a makeover.

But everyone needs a night out on the town, right?

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There is an abundance of amazing seasonal produce available this time of year, but one of my favourites is always the local carrot. Not boring. The humble carrot, recently pulled from the ground has a sweet, extra carrot-y taste that reminds me of why I wanted a veggie garden to begin with. Remember that carrot soup that you make in the middle of winter? Try making it now with farmers’ market carrots; it will blow your mind. Of course these local carrots are the perfect pair to some hummus, but what if instead of serving carrots with the hummus, we put carrots in the hummus?

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Green Beans with Millet and Garlic Scape Pesto

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As we age, I find it becomes easier let go of things that we may not be very good at. For instance, there is no reason for me ever to take another stab at doing my own accounting. I glaze over just thinking about it. And gardening. I always thought I would be a natural at growing my own vegetables, but as it turns out, I’m a lot better at cooking them. It takes a lot of time and attention to grow your own veggies and if you don’t have it, thank goodness for farmers, and the happiest place on earth: the farmers market.

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Eating locally is very en trend, and it feels like a trend that is here to stay. The less time between the produce’s garden-living time and your plate, the more nutrients they will still contain and the better they will taste. A stroll through the market can also be very culinarily inspiring and often enlightening too. Amongst the expected and anticipated favourites, there are always a couple of surprises. The part of the plant you never knew existed, that, yes, of course you would love to try. (more…)

Beet Salad with Herbed (Macadamia Nut) Ricotta

I remember a time when beets were scary. They were vac-packed and soggy in the produce section of the grocery store, or sliced up in a can, which rarely equals delicious. Despite their endearing colour (purple, you guys!), they fell flat and tasted like dirt.

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Luckily, sooo much has changed. It is now much easier to get beets that recently grew in the ground, often with their greens still intact, meaning their dirt-living life wasn’t too long ago. It’s natural that their earthy flavour still lingers, but that natural sweetness that comes from a freshly dug-up beet is undeniable, and their texture, both when raw or cooked, is something to celebrate too. Oh yeah, and they’re good for you.

They are full of phytonutrients that vary based on the colour of your beets, so by eating a variety of colours (just like all foods) you will get a broader range. They also boast anti-inflammatory super powers, are full of anti-oxidants and aid in detoxification.

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Buying beets with their greens intact is usually the freshest option. The leafy beet greens and stems deserve a blog post all to themselves, so I’m not going to get too into it here, but keep them and juice them or sauté them with some garlic. They are packed with anti-cancer and they taste good too. For this recipe, for me, it was a little bit too beet on beet to use them as well as the roots, but this way you get two meals out of one veg. Bonus.

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