Tomato gazpacho

Nothing shouts SUMMER like a fabulous chilled bowl (or cup) of gazpacho. Gazpacho is a chilled raw tomato-based soup that hails from Spain and Portugal – although some say that before that, it likely had Arabic roots. In any case, it’s a delicious, refreshing soup that fares well as a mid-afternoon snack, cocktail hors d’oeuvres, or appetizer. Even better, it’s incredibly simple to make. That said, note that this soup does need to chill for at least 2 hours, so if you’re crunched for time to serve something right away, it may not be the best soup to make.

Ingredients:

  • 14 large tomatoes
  • 1 green capsicum pepper
  • 1 red capsicum pepper
  • 1 red chili pepper, deseeded (unless you want your soup quite spicy)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 large basil leaves, fresh
  • 1 lime, fully squeezed
  • 2 slices of bread (wheat-based is best, but really, you can use any kind), toasted
  • 2 tablespoons of oliver oil
  • 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of honey
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Sprouted buckwheat spinach salad

Ah, sprouted buckwheat, the Hercules of healthy green food – perhaps rivaled only by kale. The great part about sprouted buckwheat is that it is one of the most complete sources of protein you can find (containing all eight amino acids), which is particularly fantastic for our vegetarian and vegan friends, but also for meat-eaters too. It’s also gluten-free and jam packed with enzymes and important nutrients. So imagine how thrilled I was to found a beautiful fresh stash of sprouted buckwheat as part of our foodshare bag recently.

Sprouted buckwheat

It felt like a waste to blend it down into a protein shake, which is what it’s often used in, so I decided to integrate it into a fresh spring salad. Sprouted buckwheat tastes a lot like a grain food, while not being a grain, so the flavour is rather neutral. This makes it a great complement for just about anything. I went with spinach – another green superfood. My recipe below makes enough for two people, so if you have a larger family, you may want to increase the portions.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of sprouted buckwheat (coarsely chopped)
  • 2 cups of spinach (coarsely chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons of dried cranberries
  • 1-2 ripe vine tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon of balsamic fig vinegar (or regular balsamic vinegar)
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh basil
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh mint
  • fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • salt, to taste

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Fa’alifu Ulu: Coconut Breadfruit

Image credit: Vivian Chan

I fell in love with breadfruit in Jamaica a few years back, so when I came across breadfruit in one of my local grocery stores recently, I was elated. I decided to make my version of Fa’alifu Ulu, a simple Samoan breadfruit dish. “Fa’alifu” is a savoury coconut sauce and “Ulu” is breadfruit. You can use this sauce with any starchy vegetables or fruit like sweet potatoes, yams, Chinese taro root, and even bananas. If you use bananas, use green bananas that aren’t ripened yet. The cooking process is the same no matter what you use.

Ingredients:

  • 1 breadfruit (peeled, decored, and chopped)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/2 medium sized white onion (or a Spanish onion if you prefer the sweetness)
  • 1-2 teaspoons of salt, or to taste
  • water

Optional:

  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup coconut flakes (according to preference)
  • 1/4 cup chives, finely chopped

First, fill a large bowl 3/4 of the way with water. As you peel and cut the breadfruit, you will need to put the pieces into the bowl of water to keep the fruit from going brown. If you don’t care too much about the fruit browning a little you can skip the water bowl.

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V for Vegan chocolate cake

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, what better time for a delicious, yet simple, chocolate cake that anyone can enjoy? Apart from being incredibly simple to make, what’s best about this cake is that the ingredients are probably things you already have in your pantry.

  • 3 cups flour (regular all-purpose flour is fine)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil (or canola oil)
  • 2 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 2 cup water

Optional

  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup of chocolate chips or chocolate chunks

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