Mulligatawny

An English soup, based off of an old Indian recipe. The name comes from the Tamil words “Milaku”, meaning pepper, and “Tannir”, meaning water.

This soup often has rice in it, but I personally prefer to use red lentils – they add a nice colour to the soup, and they’re chock full of nutrients!

You can puree this soup if desired, but I personally prefer to leave it as is.

Prep time: ~60 minutes
Gluten-free
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup¬†mild vegetable oil.
  • 1 onion, sliced into thin strips.
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced.
  • 1 zucchini, diced.
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed/minced.
  • 1 thumb-sized piece ginger, peeled and finely diced (or grated).
  • 2 small apples, peeled if desired, cubed.
  • 1 can tomatoes.
  • 2 tsp curry powder.
  • 2 tsp ground cumin.
  • 1 tsp ground coriander.
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika.
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon.
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg.
  • 1 tsp crushed red peppers (or to taste).
  • 1/2 cup red lentils (uncooked).
  • 4 cups vegetable stock (you may want more).
  • 1 can coconut milk.
  • Salt and pepper, to taste.
  • 1 small handful fresh coriander, to garnish.

Cooking Instructions:

 Place a large pot on medium heat, and add in the oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions, garlic, zucchini, and carrots. Cook, stirring often, until the onions become soft and translucent. Next, add the ginger and the apples. Stir well, and cook for a few more minutes.
Dump in the tomatoes, along with all of your spices. Stir well, making sure the spices have been mixed throughout evenly. Now add in the lentils and your vegetable stock.
Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer gently for about 30 minutes. When the lentils are cooked and the vegetables are soft, stir in the coconut milk. Season with salt and pepper, then serve piping hot, with a sprig of fresh coriander on top.
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Super Simple Guac

I have a confession: I don’t usually like avocados. But I really, really like my friend Amani’s guacamole recipe, and she was kind enough to let me put it on this blog!

Serves 12
Gluten-free
Raw
Prep time: ~10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 6 ripe avocados.
  • 1 lemon, juiced.
  • 1 1/2 cups tomatoes, chopped (cherry tomatoes work best, but you can use any kind, as long as they’re nice and ripe).
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced.
  • 1 tsp garlic powder.
  • salt and pepper to taste.

Cooking Instructions:

Remove the stones and the skins from the avocados, and dump them in a large bowl. Add the lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Take a potato masher, and mash thoroughly, until the avocados reach the consistency of mashed potatoes.

Next, add in the tomatoes and red pepper. Stir well, then mash a little bit longer, until everything is nicely combined.

And that’s it! Super simple, but really tasty.

Fasouliah b’zeit

Also called Loubyeh b’zeit, this is a Lebanese dish. It consists of stewed green beans in a deliciously garlicky tomato sauce, served over rice. This is a friend’s recipe, with his little tips and tricks to make it the way he likes.

This also includes a bonus recipe for Adha – garlic toasted in olive oil. Super yummy, and a staple in many Middle-Eastern (particularly Palestinian) dishes.

Prep time: ~40 minutes
Gluten-free
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

For the stew:

  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced.
  • 5 large cloves garlic, minced/crushed.
  • 500 grams green beans (fresh or frozen).
  • 2 cans whole tomatoes, sliced thinly, with the juice reserved.
  • 1 tsp Baharat (see recipe on this blog!)
  • hot sauce or dried chili flakes, if desired, to taste.
  • salt and pepper, to taste.
  • 1 1/2 cups rice.

For the Adha:

  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced fairly thinly.
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil.

 

Cooking Instructions:

Place a large pot on medium heat with the olive oil in the bottom. When the oil is hot, add the onion and garlic. Add a generous pinch of salt – this will help draw the moisture out of the onion and allow it to caramelize slightly.

Cook, stirring often, until the onion has just started to caramelize, then add in the green beans and tomatoes. Stir well to combine, and bring to a bubble.

While the stew is cooking, make some rice, about 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup per person.

Once the stew is bubbling, add in the Baharat and hot sauce/chili flakes, then turn down the heat and allow to simmer gently for as long as you like, but at least 20 minutes. Season well with salt and pepper. Taste just before serving, and adjust the seasoning as desired.

Just before serving, time to make the toasted garlic.

Make sure the garlic isn’t sliced too thinly, or it will burn, but also not too thickly, because then the middle won’t cook properly. Heat a small (very small) frying pan on medium-low heat with the olive oil in it. Add in the garlic slices.

Fry, stirring frequently, until the garlic turns yellow. Take it off the heat, and allow the residual heat to finish cooking the garlic, until it’s a nice golden colour.

Pour it into the stew (or the rice, if you prefer). If you’re feeling fancy, remove the garlic from the oil and use it as a garnish on top instead of mixing it in with the rest.

Scoop a nice amount of rice into the bottom of a bowl, then top with the stew. Enjoy!

 

Stuffed Bell Peppers

A simple dish that lends itself quite well to weeknights – most of the time it takes to cook this dish is in the oven, so there’s minimal time spent hovering around the stove waiting for it to cook!

You can also make the filling a few days in advance, then just hollow out the peppers, fill them, and pop them in the oven.

Prep time: ~60 minutes
Gluten-free
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion, diced.
  • 2 large cloves garlic, crushed/minced.
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2/3 cup rice, rinsed well to remove excess starch.
  • 2/3 cup lentils, rinsed well.
  • 1 can whole tomatoes, sliced, with the juice reserved.
  • 1 handful fresh oregano (or 2 tsp dried).
  • salt and pepper, to taste.
  • 4 large bell peppers.

Cooking Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350F (180C)

Cook your rice and lentils. I like to cook them together in the same pot, but you can cook them separately if you like.

Heat a large frying pan on medium-low heat with the olive oil in it. Once the oil is hot, add the onion along with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until it begins to soften. Add the garlic, and reduce the heat slightly. Continue cooking, stirring every so often, until they begin to caramelize.

While the onions and garlic cook, cut the tops off of your peppers and hollow them out, being careful not to poke holes in them. I like to chop up the excess pepper bits and add them to the filling. Wrap the bottoms of the peppers with tinfoil, and place them in a large roasting dish. Make sure they’re stable and won’t fall over!

Add the leftover pepper bits to the onion and garlic, if you like, and continue cooking. Once the onions are lovely and caramelized, go ahead and dump in the tomatoes and oregano. Stir well to combine, then bring to a gentle boil. Turn the heat down and allow to simmer. Season with salt and pepper.

When the rice and lentils are done, add everything to a large bowl and mix well. Spoon the filling into the peppers, making sure to fill them right to the brim. Drizzle the peppers with a bit of olive oil, then pop them in the oven for approx. 40 minutes, until the peppers are soft.

Serve right away, and enjoy!

 

Tomato, Kale, White Bean Soup

A slightly spicy soup with tons of amazing flavour. Inspired by a soup I had at work!

Prep time: ~45 minutes
Serves 4-6
Gluten-free

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion, peeled and roughly diced.
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed/finely minced.
  • 1-2 tsbp olive oil.
  • 2 tsp chili flakes (add as much or as little as you like, really).
  • 1 bunch kale, washed, stripped from the stem, and cut/torn into bite-sized pieces.
  • 1 can whole tomatoes, roughly chopped, with the juice reserved.
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 can white beans, drained and rinsed.
  • 2 carrots, peeled if desired, sliced into thin half-moons.
  • 2 stalks celery, finely sliced.
  • 6 cups vegetable stock.
  • 1 small handful fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried thyme).
  • salt and pepper, to taste.

Cooking Instructions:

Heat a large pot on medium heat with the olive oil in it. When it’s nice and hot, toss in the onion. Cook until it begins to soften slightly, then add in the garlic.

When the onion is soft and translucent, and the garlic is fragrant, add the carrots and celery. Reduce the heat slightly and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to caramelize. Next, add the kale, and cook until it starts to wilt slightly.

Dump in the tomatoes, their juice, the beans, and the tomato paste. Stir well, until everything is combined. Allow to cook for a minute or two, then add the chili flakes and the thyme. Stir well, allowing everything to combine for a minute, then add the vegetable stock.

Bring the whole pot to a boil, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer gently until all of the vegetables are tender. Season well with salt and pepper, and serve piping hot!

 

 

Cannellini beans in Stewed Tomatoes

A light main course on its own, easily made a little more substantial by serving it on pasta, rice, or any grain of your choosing. I like a piece of bread to soak up what’s left of the sauce when I’m done.

If you don’t drink alcohol, replace the wine with a small cup of vegetable stock with a splash of apple cider or balsamic vinegar mixed in.

Prep time: ~30 minutes
Gluten-free
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed.
  • 2 cans whole tomatoes (if fresh tomatoes aren’t in season), roughly chopped, with the juice reserved.
  • 1 small glass white wine.
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed/minced.
  • 2 shallots, finely diced.
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil.
  • 1 small bunch sage leaves (or 1 tsp dried sage).
  • 2 small sprigs rosemary (or 1 tsp dried rosemary).
  • dash of hot sauce or pinch of dried chili flakes, if desired.
  • salt and pepper, to taste.

Cooking Instructions:

Heat a medium saucepan or deep frying pan on medium-low heat with the olive oil in the bottom. Once the oil is hot, toss in the garlic and shallot. Stir frequently, until the garlic begins to toast slightly. Don’t let the garlic burn – it will make the dish taste bitter, which you don’t want!

Next, add the tomatoes and the herbs. Cook, stirring often, until the mixture starts to bubble. Add your beans, then reduce the heat slightly, and allow to simmer, reducing down to a thick stew-like consistency.

Serve hot. This dish is also nice when eaten cold as leftovers the next day.

Summer Tomato Salad

This is for anyone who misses summer. Since it’s the middle of January, I thought to myself, “Why not share a great summertime recipe?”

Even then, this is hardly a recipe. Super simple, just enough to compliment the natural flavours of the fresh tomatoes, and really easy to throw together. If you’re having guests over, this is a great little salad to make! Use some great Heirloom tomatoes of all different shapes, sizes, and colours, and people will be impressed, even though you didn’t do all that much!

Prep time: ~5 minutes.
Gluten-free
Raw
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • Several Heirloom tomatoes of different varieties.
  • 1-2 tbsp good olive oil.
  • Few leaves basil, sliced or shredded into small pieces.
  • salt and pepper, to taste.

Cooking Instructions (haha)

Slice the tomatoes into roughly the same size and shape, then toss with the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. If you’re feeling really fancy, lay them out in a pretty pattern on a plate.

 

Cauliflower, Potato, and Pea curry.

A family favourite, this vegetable curry is incredibly delicious and filling. One recipe’s worth will leave you with plenty of leftovers, which is great! You might find this dish a bit spicy (I used to, until I got used to spicy food), so if you have a low spice tolerance, you might want to reduce the amount of peppers you use. This dish is also great when eaten cold.

Prep time: ~35 minutes
Gluten-free
Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets.
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled if desired, cut into bite-sized chunks.
  • 1/2 cup light vegetable oil.
  • 5 tsp ground cumin.
  • 4 tbsp ground coriander.
  • 2 tsp turmeric.
  • 2-3 tsp red pepper flakes (don’t overestimate yourself!).
  • 1 1/2 cups green peas (frozen work great).
  • 1/2 can tomatoes (if you’re using whole, puree them before using them).
  • 2 cups boiling water.
  • salt and pepper, to taste.

Cooking Instructions:

In a large pot, heat the oil over-medium high heat. Add the spices and fry for a few seconds, then quickly add the cauliflower and the potatoes.

Fry for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the vegetables begin to brown slightly. Next, add your tomato puree, and stir everything well. Fry for about three minutes, until the sauce begins to thicken slightly.

Add the boiling water along with some salt. Reduce the heat, and allow everything to simmer, covered, until the cauliflower and the potatoes are cooked through, about 15 minutes, stirring often.

Add the frozen peas, and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the sauce is nice and thick. Serve hot, and enjoy.

Curried Eggplant and Chickpeas

Not a traditional curry in the least, but it’s yummy! The chickpeas add a nice amount of protein to this dish. This is also quite a quick meal to make, so it’s good for a weekday!

Prep time: ~25 minutes
Gluten-free
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup basmati rice, rinsed to remove excess starch.
  • 1 tbsp olive oil.
  • 1 onion, finely chopped.
  • 1 can whole tomatoes, sliced, with the juice reserved.
  • 1 Chinese eggplant, cut into half moons.
  • 1 1/2 tsp curry powder.
  • 1 cup vegetable stock or water.
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed.
  • 1 large handful fresh basil, shredded.
  • Hot sauce, to taste.
  • Salt and pepper, to taste.

Cooking Instructions:
Place your rice in a rice cooker with the appropriate amount of water, a little bit of oil, and some salt, and turn it on.
If you don’t have a rice cooker, then place the rice in a pot with 1 1/2 cups water, a little bit of oil, and some salt, and bring to a boil.
Stir the rice once, then cover the pot, and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until the water is absorbed, and then take the pot off the heat. Let it stand, covered, for about 5 minutes.
While the rice is cooking, heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and fragrant.
Then stir in the tomatoes, eggplant, and curry powder. Season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often, for about 2 minutes.
Next, add the stock/water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 15 minutes.
Add the chickpeas and hot sauce (if you’re using it), and cook until they’re warmed through.
Remove the pot from the heat and add the basil. Fluff the rice with a fork, and serve the vegetables on a bed of rice. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup

Yet another great recipe for fall and winter. I’ve got a long, cold season ahead of me, and I thrive off of soups and stews in the winter. This soup uses brown lentils, which can be kind of bland on their own, with a bunch of other vegetables to add plenty of flavour and nutrition! I recommend serving with bread.

Prep time: ~60 minutes
Gluten-free
Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil.
  • 4 leeks (use the white and light green parts, not the dark green parts), cut into thin half-moons.
  • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced.
  • 1 can of whole tomatoes, sliced, with the juice reserved.
  • 6 cups water or vegetable stock.
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small pieces.
  • 1 bunch kale (thick stems removed), sliced into strips.
  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, removed from the woody stems.
  • Salt and pepper, to taste.

Cooking Instructions:

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add the leeks and celery and cook until they begin to soften. Add the tomatoes and stir well. Cook for about 5 minutes, then add the stock/water and bring to a boil. Stir in the sweet potatoes, lentils, kale, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper, and simmer for approx 30 minutes, until the lentils and sweet potatoes are tender.