Tag Archives | rosemary

Traditional Hummus with Toppings

Hummus topped with Roast Peppers, Shallots, Basil & Olives

I rarely make plain, classic, delicious hummus. I am easily excited and wind up putting extra veggies, herbs and spices into it, making it more interesting and more powerful in the health department (case in point).

Hummus Topped with Roast Peppers, Shallots, Basil and Olives

So much so that now, when I am at a party or somewhere where there is classic hummus served, I get mildly obsessive about the delicious simplicity of it. I then promise myself that I will only make it that way from now on.

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Smokey Split Pea Soup

Vegan Smokey Split Pea Soup

Quite a few years ago I took a contract job cooking for a self-proclaimed ‘meat, potatoes and sometimes ice cream guy’ who wanted to try a vegan, raw food diet. He admitted that he didn’t love most vegetables but was interested in improving his overall health (he didn’t have cancer). I love a challenge, but this was really challenging. I only had one frustrated (and colourful) juice pulp-throwing incident (thrown by me) before I started thinking with my meat brain. What would my Dad eat? I figured out ways to tickle that umami part of the brain, using different spices and veggies.

Vegan Smokey Split Pea Soup

Smoked paprika helped a lot. In general, smoked foods aren’t great for our health; they can contain toxins that come from the burning matter creating the smoke. We’re not talking about eating smoked meat here, or smoked fish, you will only be getting a small amount of the paprika, but the flavour will remind you (or your meat and potatoes buddy) of that chorizo-filled trip to Spain.

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Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Chanterelles and Parsnip Purée

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From a young age, once I realized that they had very little to do with Cabbage Patch Kids, I paid no attention to Brussels sprouts. Did anyone when they were kids? They popped up at Christmas and Thanksgiving but were pretty easy to ignore. Once I finished cooking school and was working in fine dining, the challenge was to make them delicious (hello bacon, cream, blue cheese, char-grill and sometimes deep fry), and even then it was only for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

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The general consensus seemed to be that it took all of the most intense/aggressive flavours and techniques to make them edible. You could have subbed just about any veg into one of those recipes back then and it would have tasted close to the same. It wasn’t about celebrating the Brussels sprouts, it was about making them taste like the other stuff. Secret ingredient fail.

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