Friendly Dinner

Yesterday night one of our friends came over for dinner. As it was really hot, I didn’t want to prepare anything that needed lots of cooking. After going through our fridge, this is what we made, and it was delicious! I love the kind of meals where you can pick from and variety of dishes, mixing and matching flavours and textures. They are also perfect for when it’s super hot outside because you can make different types of salads. Everyone was happy and well nourished!

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Last night, we made some forest mushrooms, a tomato salad, a lazy guacamole, a simple coleslaw and a yummy hummus. We served everything with some freshly made bagels and olives. It was great!

forest-mushrooms

Forest Mushrooms

This is the only cooked dish of the lot. Some mixed mushrooms sautéed with some pumpkin seeds and rosemary: it reminded me of fall and a walk in the forest. This would be perfect with mashed potatoes or in a sandwich. It was great with the hummus.

Here is what you need:

  • 1 tsp oil
  • 4 cups mushrooms, use the variety you like or a combination of different types
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste

Here is what you do:

  1. In a large sauce pan set on medium-high heat, warm up the oil.
  2. Add the pumpkin seeds and stir until they have a nice golden color.
  3. Add the mushrooms and stir until most of the water is evaporated.
  4. Add the herbs and season to your liking.
  5. Mix well and cook until all the water is gone.

quick-tomato-salad

Tomato Salad

This was fresh and so summery. The walnuts added a bit of crunch to the soft tomatoes, while the sesame seeds added a subtle flavour.

Here is what you need:

  • 5 ripe tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds: you can toast them if you want a more intense flavour
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tbs soy or tamari sauce
  • 1 tbs maple syrup
  • pepper to taste

Here is what you do:

  1. Dice the tomatoes and place them in a a large salad bowl with the walnuts and sesame seeds.
  2. Mix together the lemon juice, tamari, maple syrup and pepper. Pour the sauce on the tomatoes and give a nice stir.

cabbage-salad

Simple Coleslaw

This is my current favourite salad. I love red cabbage, but it’s even better once is has been tenderized in some lemon juice. Add some grated jicama, and you have the freshest salad in town!

Here is what you need:

  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 2 cups grated jicama
  • juice on 1 lemon
  • 2 tbs sesame seed oil
  • 1 tbs soy or tamari sauce
  • pepper to taste

Here is what you do:

  1. Mix all the ingredient together and let sit for 30 minutes before eating.

 

I hope these recipes will inspire you for your next dinner with friends. We had a lot of fun mixing and matching everything! It was fresh, simple to prepare and amazing to eat! Let me know if you try any of these out! Oh, and, if you love movies and read French, check out our friend’s blog, Hallu-ciné! It’s amazing!

 

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Okonomiyaki Night!

I love okonomiyaki! Well, actually, I love the idea of them. I never ate any in restaurants because they are usually garnished with bonito flakes. Tonight however, I really wanted to cook something special and this came to my mind! An okonomiyaki is a Japanese cabbage pancake that is traditionally garnished with ponzu sauce, mayo, bonito flakes and lavish leaves.

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For tonight, I made an easy version of ponzu sauce and a cashew mayo to top off my red cabbage pancake. Delicious! Simple, yet very impressive!

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Here is what you need for 10-12 pancakes:

For the pancakes:

  • 1 potato
  • 3 carrots
  • 1/2 cabbage (red or green)
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 1/4 cup seaweed flakes
  • 3/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 3/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 2 pinch red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • oil for pan-frying.

For the ponzu sauce:

  • 2 tbs ketchup
  • 2 tbs tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tsp maple syrup

For the mayo:

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup of water
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 pinch of salt

Here is what you do:

For the ponzu sauce: Mix all the ingredients with a spoon.

For the mayo: Process all the ingredients in your food processor or blender until smooth.

For the pancakes:

  1. Wash and peel the potato. Pass it under water to remove some of the starch and then grate it. Place in a bowl and sprinkle with some salt. Mix well and let sit.
  2. Wash and peel the carrots. Grate and add to the potato.
  3. Wash the cabbage and cut finely or grate. Mix in with the carrots and potato.
  4. Grate the ginger piece and add it to the mix along with the seaweed flakes.
  5. In a bowl, mix the rice flour, chia seeds, and corn starch with the water. Add to the vegetables and mix until well combined. Season and add the red chilli flakes.
  6. In a skillet on medium heat, place some oil. Add 1/2 cup of the mix at a time and press it down with a spatula. Cover with a lid and let cook for 3 minutes. Uncover, flip over and let cook again for 3 minutes with the lid on.
  7. Place on a cookie sheet in the oven until you are done cooking the other pancakes.
  8. To serve: garnish each pancake with some ponzu sauce and mayo. Serve hot! Itadakimasu!

These are so delicious! Crispy on the outside, tender in the inside, slightly sour because of the ponzu and creamy with the mayo: it’s like a party in your mouth!

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I will definitively make these again. Let me know if you try them out!

 

 

 

Pink Sauerkraut Recipe

This week, I went to a Japanese Fermentation workshop which was very interesting (more to come on this soon). So this afternoon, I decided to tackle a favourite fermented of mine: sauerkraut.

I love making sauerkraut at home because 1) it is really easy and fun; 2) it is way less acidic then the store bought versions; 3) it’s pink!

Here is what you’ll need:

  • 1 small head of green cabbage
  • 1 small head of purple cabbage (this will make your sauerkraut pink, but if you can only find green cabbage, it’s fine too)
  • 2 tbsp coarse sea salt
  • some glass sterilized glass jars and some weight.

Here is what you do: 

  1. Gently rub the two cabbages under water to wash them.
  2. Cut them in quarters and remove the central stem.
  3. Grate them or thinly slice them. Put the shredded cabbage in a salad spinner and gently separate the leaves from one another(especially useful for the purple cabbage). Cover with water and give it a rub to clean everything up. Drain and place the cabbage in a large bowl.
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    Purple cabbage is so pretty!

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  4. Add the salt and rub it in so that everything is well combined. Let sit. IMG_0666
  5. Sterilize your glass jars and let them cool (I usually place my glass jars in the sink and pour boiling water in them, but the “real” method usually requires you to boil the jars).
  6. Place the cabbage in the jars, pressing it down tightly. You want to remove as much air as possible. Pour the remaining water on top of your cabbage. You want it to be completely submerged with liquid. IMG_0667
  7. I use a smaller mason jar to press the cabbage down and some almond milk cartons to put pressure on everything: the idea is that you want the cabbage to always be covered in liquid to avoid rotting or nasty bacteria to develop. I also cover everything with some plastic wrap to keep it clean.

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    A very professional set up! 🙂

  8. Let this sit for a few days, tasting it after two or three days. If the acidity level it to your taste, place the lidded jar in the fridge. This will stop the fermentation process. You will be able to use this sauerkraut in salads or as a side dish for a few weeks.

This sauerkraut will have a lovely shade of pink and can be used in a variety of ways: in salads (it can easily replace the dressing as it provides with acidity and saltiness), in sandwiches, as soup topping or as a side dish. It’s also very easy to make and customize: why not add your favourite seeds to the mix: mustard, fennel or coriander? You can easily adapt it to match your own taste.

As all lacto-fermented food, this sauerkraut is also the home of gut-healing bacteria which will you digest food better and feel better too!

Let me know if you try this out, or if you have any other lacto-fermented food reciped that I should try out. I’m working on fermented beets, and will let you know how it turn out!