Salads

Contrary to what some of you may believe, I do eat more than just cheesecake — I swear! The other day I decided to make salad.

My sister Shauna just came back from a trip to Europe with her bf. She loves quinoa almost more than anyone I know, so I decided to make a quinoa salad for her. But then I was sort of in the mood for brussel sprouts (a personal fave) and I thought making them would be a good way to lure the bf over (he loves brussel sprouts too!).

So anyways, I made a quinoa salad with roasted tomatoes and kale, and a not-so-simple green salad with brussel sprouts, asparagus, and spinach.

Here is the recipe I made for the quinoa salad.

Roasted Tomato & Kale Quinoa Salad

Ingredients

  • 6 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 5 cloves garlic, pureed
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1.5 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • salt & pepper
  • 8 kale leaves, chopped to bite-size pieces
  • 2 cups quinoa

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Place halved tomatoes in large glass baking dish (like a pyrex).
  2. Add garlic, oil, vinegar, crushed  red pepper flakes, basil, salt, and pepper to tomatoes and mix well.
  3. Roast in oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, mix in kale with tomato mixture making sure kale is nicely covered by dressing, and roast an additional 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile rinse 2 cups of quinoa in sifter to remove bitter coating. Place quinoa in pot with 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil then down to a simmer and remove from heat once water is absorbed.
  5. Pour tomato and kale mixture over quinoa while both are still warm. Mix well and serve!

The end result should look something like this…

Now for my not-so-simple green salad. The only reason why this isn’t so simple is because of the crazy veggies I have in it — brussel sprouts and asparagus are totally crazy. Otherwise, the method is so simple!

This is the recipe I made:

Green Salad

Ingredients

  • 4 cups brussel sprouts, quartered
  • 1 bunch asparagus, with ends broken off
  • 3 cups spinach, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, pureed
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • a little salt and pepper

Method

  1. Heat a large braising pan or skillet with high edges to medium-high heat. Spray with a little Pam or add a tiny bit of oil.
  2. Once pan is hot add brussel sprouts and cover. Flip and turn brussel sprouts often, heat about 8 minutes before adding asparagus. Add asparagus to bottom of pan and heat about 5 minutes then add spinach. Cover pan and once spinach is wilted, brussel sprouts are slightly browned, and asparagus is tender, remove from heat.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare dressing by whisking together garlic, mustard, vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper.
  4. Drizzle dressing over green vegetables and serve.

My sisters are definitely my toughest critics. I can usually tell immediately from their facial expressions if they like what I’ve made or not.

Sharona was very happy to see kale and all the other dark green vegetables at dinner — typical of someone who has spent most of their academic career studying Canada’s Food Guide.

Shauna was surprised that she enjoyed the quinoa because she usually doesn’t like tomatoes — score!

Michala wasn’t so happy about the brussel sprouts — whatever, you can’t please them all.

Ariella is in Dublin — one less critic to worry about.

Enjoy!

Yours edibly,

Elana

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Savoury Bread Pudding

If you’re getting sick of the usual potatoes or rice side dish, try this please.

This recipe is one of my favourites from school, but I decided to change it around a bit at home to make it lighter and healthier.

The original used tons of butter – I’m talking Barefoot Contessa style – and I knew my family wouldn’t be happy if I served them bread and butter pudding for dinner.

I started by heating the onions in a small bit of oil until they were translucent.

Then I deglazed the pan with chicken stock and added some herbs – chopped thyme and rosemary.

I brought this mixture to a boil and removed it from the heat.

I gradually added 6 eggs, whisking rapidly – this made the custard.

I drizzled a little olive oil on the cubed bread and mixed it into the custard.

Let this mixture sit for about 10 minutes until the bread absorbs all the liquid – there should be no excess liquid.

Then pour mixture into a medium-large sized baking dish.

Place the dish into an even larger baking dish or roasting pan and fill the larger pan with warm water until it reaches about halfway up the bread pudding dish…

The picture explains this step a lot more easily – this is called a bain marie!

Keep an eye on the pudding – it should be done after about 45 minutes – make sure that when you insert a toothpick it comes out clean.

I cut you a slice…

Savoury Bread Pudding (Adapted from GB Recipe)

Ingredients

  • 3 medium onions, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 6 eggs, whisked
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 12 slices whole wheat bread, cut in 1cm cubes
  • Salt and pepper

Method

Preheat oven to 325°F and grease medium-large baking dish with Pam spray or oil.

Heat the onions thoroughly in a lightly oiled pan until translucent – do not brown. Add the chicken stock and herbs and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and place in large bowl.

Slowly add the eggs into the onion mixture, whisking rapidly. Season with salt and pepper – this is the custard.

Drizzle the cubed bread with olive oil and add to custard.

Allow bread to absorb custard for about 10 minutes.

Pour mixture into baking dish and place into large roasting pan. Fill roasting pan with warm water until it reaches halfway up baking dish with bread pudding mixture. This is called a bain marie.

Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Enjoy!

Yours edibly,

Elana