Deliciously Colorful Root Salad

Beets! Beets! Beets! They are so beautiful, and they are just coming in season in Montreal. They are so wonderfully sweet and crunchy; they are the best addition to any salad! I love that I can find different colors to add some ‘wow’ to simple dishes. Beets are not only beautiful, they are also very nutritious and packed with vitamins and minerals to get you running around. I can’t get over how beautiful they are with their little bull’s eye pattern in the inside. So cute!

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This salad also features carrot ribbons. Now, if you don’t make out ribbons out of your carrots, you are missing out! I love preparing raw carrots this way because they are crunchy without being too hard, and they add an amazing splash of colour. They are also very quick to prepare, so why not?

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Here is what you need:

For the dressing:

  • 2 tbs pumpkin seed oil
  • 1 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbs tamari sauce
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbs hemp seed hearts
  • 1/2 tsp sriracha sauce

For the salad:

  • 1/2 head chicory lettuce
  • 6 small beetroots of various colours
  • 6 carrots of various colours
  • 1/2 cup roasted almonds

Here is what you do:

  1. Mix all the dressing ingredients until well combined. Set aside.
  2. Using you potato peeler, peel the carrots (if you prefer) and continue peeling the entire root to make ribbons. Set aside.
  3. Peel the beetroots (if you like), and cut them into thin slices width-wise. You can use a mandolin or a knife for this. Set aside.
  4. Roughly cut your chicory and toss in a salad bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Mix everything together until well covered in the dressing. Enjoy!

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I ate that salad with some remaining turmeric pancakes, and it was amazing! The perfect balance of sweet, savory and hot while being a feast for your eyes.

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It’s a breeze to prepare, but it’s so beautiful to look at and delicious to eat! It’s the perfect addition to your next picnic or BBQ! Let me know if you try it out!

Lettuce Wedge Salad

Summer is back in Montreal and with the temperatures rising, all I want to eat is salad. At some point though you start getting tired of salads. That’s when I stumbled upon pictures of really cute lettuce wedge salads. I had to try it out!

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This is perfect as you can customize it to add anything you want. The key is to have a nice, fresh iceberg lettuce. Yup, that’s right! This salad makes iceberg lettuce truly shine. Crispy and fresh, it’s perfect for hot days.

Here is what you need:

  • 1 head of iceberg lettuce
  • 1 orange
  • 2 small apples
  • 10 cherries
  • 1 bloc of smoked tofu
  • 1 tsp oil
  • the juice of 1 lemon (minus 3 tbs to add to the dressing)
  • sesame seeds to garnish
  • sriracha sauce to garnish

For the dressing:

  • 3 tbs sesame oil
  • 3 tbs lemon juice
  • 2 tbs tamari sauce
  • 1 tbs maple syrup
  • zest of 1 lemon

Here is what you do:

  1. Remove the damaged outer leaves from the lettuce and wash the whole head under water. Place in a colander and let drain while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Dice the smoked tofu in tiny cubes. In a non-stick pan, heat the oil on medium heat and add the tofu cubes when hot. Stir from time to time, until golden and crunchy. Set aside.
  3. Peel the orange and cut each wedge in 3 or 4 parts. Set aside.
  4. Grate the apples and mix with the lemon juice. Set aside.
  5. Cut each cherry in half to remove the pit and set aside.
  6. Pat dry the lettuce head with paper towels and cut in half. Cut each half in 3 parts and remove the foot.
  7. On each plate, place some grated apples at the bottom. Place the lettuce wedge in the middle. Add some orange pieces, cherries, and tofu bits. Sprinkle on some sesame seeds and add some sriracha.
  8. Mix all the dressing ingredients together and pour over a few tablespoons on top of the lettuce wedge. Serve and enjoy!

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This is so good! The lettuce is so crunchy and goes perfectly with the fresh fruits. The tofu is crispy, and its smoky taste is the perfect alternative to bacon. The dressing adds just the right amount of tartness and saltiness. The flavours really work together, and this is just the perfect summer salad. Let me know if you try it out!

Kitchen Gardening: The Best Lettuce

A few months ago I presented our aquaponics system. We have been growing and trying different kinds of seeds to see what worked best, and we have recently been quite successful with lettuce.

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This was quite exciting because we have a lot of trouble growing lettuce from seeds. They always end up being weaklings and die off before we can even call them lettuces. This time however, we just sprinkled some lettuce seeds in our system, hopelessly waited, and it worked! Beautiful lettuce leaves, fresh and exceptionally local as they come from our own kitchen. How fun!

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I served this with a simple dressing, and it was delicious! The texture was soft, and the leaves melted in our mouths: it was actually quite similar to butter lettuce. It was the best lettuce we ate in a while! Great, great, great! We’re off to sprinkle some more seeds!

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Here is what you need for the simple dressing:

  • 1 tbs pistachio oil
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp tamari sauce
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • salt, pepper to taste

I added some tomato, cucumber, black beans, and served this with rice. It was really good! I can’t wait for the new lettuce to be ready.

Fancy (but easy) Mushroom Nest

This week-end I went to Blanc de Gris which is an urban farm specialized in oyster mushrooms. How fun! I was so excited I actually did a cooking test before cooking the whole batch to make sure I would do it right… Well, I’m glad I did because this looked really nice, and it was delicious!

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Look at all these colors! This dish was fresh, savoury, filling and really let the mushrooms be the stars of the show. The grapefruit and clementine salad was so flavourful and brings a really nice texture to the entire plate. It could really make a meal of its own. As for the purple potato mash, well, I’m completely biased about purple sweet potatoes, so let’s just say it was amazing.

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But really, the mushrooms were incredible! So firm, tender and so not mushy. Unlike any mushrooms I have bought before these have a flavour of their own and are not watery at all.

Here is what you need for the strawberry-grapefruit dressing:

  • 1/2 cup grapefruit flesh
  • 3 strawberries
  • 3 tbs sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sriracha (adjust to taste)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Here is what you do for the dressing:

  1. Just put everything in your blender and blend until the strawberries are completely pureed.
  2. Keep this is an air-tight container in the fridge. This will stay fresh for about a week.

Here is what I put in the salad:

  • romaine and butter lettuce
  • grapefruit flesh
  • clementine chunks
  • capers
  • avocado
  • shredded carrots

Here is what you need for the purple mash:

  • 2 normal white potatoes (I really need to pay more attention to varieties of potatoes…), about 4 cups once diced
  • 2-3 purple sweet potatoes, about 4 cups once diced
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 laurel leaf
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • salt and pepper to taste

Here is what you do for the mash:

  1. Wash and peel the potatoes. Dice them in small chunks.
  2. Boil in water with the laurel leaf until the potatoes are tender and cooked through.
  3. Strain and transfer to a big bowl. With a potato masher or a fork, mash the potatoes. Add the milk a little at a time until you get the consistency you like.
  4. Add the dried herbs, give a good mix and season to your own taste.

Here is what you need for the mushrooms:

  • 350g fresh oyster mushrooms
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • salt to taste

Here is what you do:

  1. Crush and mince the garlic and set aside. Separate and cut the mushrooms if they are not bite-sized.
  2. In a large pan, heat the oil on medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms and sauté until they have a nice golden color.
  3. Add the garlic and salt and stir well until cooked through.

To assemble the plate, add lettuce first then all the other salad ingredients around the plate. Add a few spoonfuls of mash in the center and flatten it with the back of a spoon. Arrange the mushrooms in the center and add some dressing on the salad before serving.

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Be ready to impress anyone you are serving this too, including yourself! This is such a fancy-looking plate, so why not try it out?

Let me know what you think and if you try it out!