Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Puffed Quinoa and Goji Berries

Do you ever make NewYear's resolutions and wonder why you ever thought you could keep them going strong throughout the year? I think that around April every single year.

In January, I decided to try one new food per month for all of 2014. I'm still keeping my promise, in fact this month I actually tried two new foods, but it's much harder than I expected because there are only so many foods in the world to try!

In January I finally tried chia seeds and made a yummy chia seed pudding. In February I tried something I had never heard of, amaranth, and made a note worthy amaranth porridge with strawberries. And in March I tried raw cashews and made a truly delicious pasta dish with a vegan raw cashew sauce.

This month I was walking around the Bulk Barn, because that's where I've been finding all my new foods to try so far, and was worried that I might run before December. Then I decided to throw caution to the wind and made a yummy salad topper using two new foods for April. I realized that if I run out of new foods to try at the Bulk Barn, I can just head over to China Town or my Farmer's Market, it might get a little harder in December but if I keep trying I can fulfill this set of resolutions.

Read on for my recipe for Roasted Cauliflower and Sausage with Puffed Quinoa Salad Topper. It might sound a few bit familiar if you read a recipe I shared a few days ago for Puffed Quinoa and Peeps Tarts with Lemon Curd and that's because I used my Puffed Quinoa Salad Topper for the tarts! It turns out that a salad topper makes a pretty awesome tart!

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Peep Show

This month Dawn from Spatulas on Parade challenged us to use Peeps and lemon to make something delicious in the Crazy Ingredient Challenge. I love lemon and use it in almost everything, but I had never even tried a Peep before this challenge.

Since I knew that Peeps were sugar dusted marshmallows, I knew I would be making a dessert. I couldn't even fathom the thought of trying to stuff those little guys into a dinner. And what do I think of when making a marshmallow dessert, rice crispie squares!

I decided to "fancy up" my idea a little and used puffed quinoa in place of rice crispies and I added a few additional treats in place of Easter sprinkles too. I think this recipe is worth keeping, crazy ingredients or not!

Friday, 18 April 2014

Bunny Love

Who doesn't love cookies? To me cookies symbolize a holiday because I always have some delicious little buttery morsels at Christmas, Easter, and other celebrations. While I might make a batch of chocolate chip cookies now and then throughout the year, I tend to choose to bake an easy cake rather than individual little cookies more often.

But considering how much I love cookies, I think that should change. And I think you might tend to agree with me when you see how perfect these Linzer Cookies came out. They're so much easier than you would ever guess!

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

The Spice is Right

I love eating Indian food, but I seem to shy away from making it often because the flavours are so big and I just don't give my dishes as much punch as the restaurants do. Today, all that changes. Today, I vow to add "the punch".

To me "the punch" is spice. I don't mean hot peppers and that mouth burning feeling. I mean cumin, turmeric, and coriander. Indian food just isn't complete with enough spicy flavour to knock your socks off and today's dish has that spicy flavour. I adapted a great recipe from Vegan Richa and pumped up the flavours a bit to get exactly what I was looking for.

I think the spice is right in these Aloo Gobi Wraps, do you?

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Berry Delicious Pudding

Easter is one of most "egg"-citing times of the year and a time I "carrot" very much about. I love spending time figuring out what will "turnip" on my table for Easter dinner. And I am always the first one awake calling out to everyone to "lettuce" see what the bunny left for us.

This year I think I've found the perfect quick treat for my Easter dessert. It's almost as much fun as my puns and takes mere minutes to make, especially if you choose to skip the step of making your own edible dirt and substitute a cup or so of Chocolate Cheerios pulsed in a food processor.

I can't wait to dig into a bowl of this "Dirty" Chocolate Pudding with Chocolate Covered "Carrot" Strawberries so I know I'll need to make another batch for Easter. Chocolate anything doesn't even last a day in my house! 

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Carrot Cupcakes for Easter

I love baking up a storm for Easter but usually choose a carrot cake because it's seems fitting to serve carrots on a day filled with bunny love. This year I wanted to do something different and decided to make something cute for Easter that resembles a carrot cake, but tastes more like what the bunny might hide instead of what he want to nibble on after hiding all of the Easter eggs.

I headed off to my local candy store, came back with a few bags full of fun, and got really excited about my idea. These Chocolate Carrot Cupcakes are inspired by a photo I saw on Pinterest, but I made them my own by using decorations that were easier to find and a tried and true chocolate cake recipe from my recipe box!

Monday, 7 April 2014

Say Cheese!

I love going to Farmer's Markets and seeing what amazing vegetables could be featured on my plate in the summer, but right now Farmer's Markets are filled with mostly cheese, eggs, preserves, and baked goods. While I am a little less excited about baked goods and preserves because I love to make my own, choosing a special piece of local artisan cheese is worth the trip to a Farmer's Market in a colder weather. 

This month's Canadian Food Experience Project challenge is to write about a Canadian farmer or producer and I can't think of any local producer better that Salt Spring Island Cheese Company. They make handmade goat and sheep's cheeses and each bite is worth every calorie. Their chèvre is particularly delicious, but I love putting out a cheese board filled with a few of their cheeses so I can sample a taste of everything.

I love to enjoy a bite of Salt Spring Island Cheese with nothing more than a cracker, but I think even just a few small pieces enhance a dish and makes it even more special. Why not try some with my Carrot Gnocchi recipe? It would make a great Easter treat this year!