Friendly Food Snobs

arugula pear walnut parmesean salad

arugula pear walnut parmesean salad
This is my go-to salad this summer. So simple and so good. The bitter arugula plays so well off the sweet pear, salty parmesean, walnuts and lemony dressing. I will often toss this all in a big white bowl and it gets nibbled on before a meal and polished off at the end. This is how salads should taste to me, hearty, satisfying with every mouthful leaving you wanting another. Salad pairs well with any grilled meats, or as a standalone lunch with a poached egg on top too. Hope you love it as much as I do.

arugula pear walnut parmesean salad

Ingredients for the lemon dressing:
4 tbsp olive oil
juice of one lemon
1 and 1/2 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for the salad:
2 large handfuls baby arugula
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
parmesean peels (use a potato peeler) to taste (I like A LOT)
1 small ripe pear cut into slivers

Whisk the dressing together. Mix the salad ingredients. Toss and serve. Bonus points! Dressing can be added 30 minutes before serving with no fear of wilting. Recipe serves two as a main, or four as a side.

no yeast pizza crust

  roasted red peppers
no yeast pizza crust no yeast pizza crust

Fresh basil and red peppers scream summer and homemade pizza to me. Crisp and flavourful, this tastes more like a thin crust flatbread pizza than a heavy doughy version. We loved it and devoured it sitting outside eating it right out of the oven. My recipe for roasted red pepper basil pizza is below, but any ingredients you have on hand would be lovely. This pizza takes less than an hour – and on a Friday or Saturday night most take out pizza takes that long. Makes two 12 inch round pizzas to feed four.

no yeast pizza crust topped with roasted red peppers and basil

Ingredients for roasted red peppers:
3 red peppers
Slice peppers in half and remove seeds and stem. Roast cut side down on a parchment paper lined baking sheet at 400 degrees for 25-30 mins. Skins should be slightly blackened. Let cool and remove skins and tear into long strips.

Ingredients for pizza toppings:
2/3 of a ball of good quality mozzarella (half for each pizza)
20 ripe cherry tomatoes sliced in half (half for each pizza)
red peppers from recipe above
salt and pepper
drizzle olive oil
handful of fresh basil leaves to top pizza after cooking

Ingredients for no yeast pizza crust:
2 and 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp white sugar or honey
1 tsp combined of Italian spices (basil, oregano, garlic)
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
3/4 – 1 cup water

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine all ingredients and kneed for one minute. Easier to do if you coat your hands with a little olive oil! If dough feels dry add another drizzle of olive oil. Top dough with a slightly damp kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let rest on the counter for ten minutes while you prep the toppings. After resting divide into two balls and roll out onto parchment paper sprinkled with flour with rolling pin, gently stretching as you go. Top pizza with a light drizzle of olive oil and then the tomatoes, peppers, salt and pepper to taste and cheese. Lift up parchment paper and bake on a cookie sheet 15-18 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and bottom of crust brown. I baked each one individually. Can also use a pizza stone already preheated in the oven. Enjoy!

 

wild blueberry earl grey granola


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earl gray granola earl gray granola It’s spring in Toronto. Days are longer, nights are shorter and the tulips and birds are making their appearance. This time of year has me wanting a refreshing, but satisfying breakfast.

Tea and homemade granola (my mango coconut granola post here) are two of my favourite things. So when Alokozay Tea asked me to create a recipe with their loose leaf earl grey tea, breakfast granola was the first thing that came to mind. I sipped this classic tea as I made the granola and what’s not to love about a food product that’s delicious and can be delivered to your door after easily ordering online? Earl grey tea traditionally has great floral and citrus notes so adding dried wild blueberries and lemon juice to the granola keeps it light tasting and extremely addictive. This recipe made enough for six generous servings over yogurt at home, plus two portions I gifted away to friends. Keeps well once completely cooled in an air tight container for two weeks, or freezes well.

wild blueberry earl grey granola

Ingredients:
5 tbsp brewed Alokozay Earl Grey Loose Leaf tea
1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 and 2/3 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1/2 cup chopped almonds or sunflower seeds
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch salt
juice of half a small lemon
1 cup dried wild blueberries

Brew 1 heaping tablespoon of loose leaf earl grey tea to 2/3 cup of water. Mix wet ingredients and add to dry. (Leave out the blueberries.) Pour into a glass baking dish and bake on the middle rack at 300 degrees for 35-40 minutes. (A dark metal pan can quickly burn granola, so use glass if you can, if all you have on hand is metal then reduce the heat to 250 degrees.) Stir every 10 minutes. Remove from oven and toss in the dried wild blueberries. Let cool before storing. Delicious with plain yogurt or as a breakfast cereal. Enjoy!

Ps. Want a coupon for Alokozay Tea, Friendly Food Snobs? Check out this link. Alokozay Tea is available for purchase at Metro, Bulk Barn and Food Basics and Adonis.

dulce de leche banana cream trifle

 

dulce de leche banana cream trife
dulce de leche banana cream trife

I love a good dessert, but like to savour them once, rather than have a pie hanging around all week calling my name. Enter the individual trifle. Serve in rock glasses, mason jars or whatever you have on hand. A couple weeks ago Bonne Maman asked me to play with one of their products.  Their strawberry jam on toast is my Saturday morning indulgence combined with a coffee and no alarm clock, so I jumped at the chance. Great products with zero additives or preservatives. The dulce de leche caramel spread cried out to me, and this little trifle was born. The crispy cookie crumbs mimic a graham cracker crust and contrast so well with the cream, banana and dulce de leche. Assemble a few hours ahead, store in the fridge and enjoy within 24 hours. I don’t think they will last that much longer without being devoured…oh recipe serves 4 and is best eaten straight from the fridge. Enjoy!

dulce de leche banana cream trifle

Ingredients:
20 Nila crackers smashed into small chunks and crumbs (try a plastic bag and a rolling pin)
3 tablespoons butter melted
Pinch of salt
2 cups whipping cream
2 tablespoons of white sugar (or to taste)
1/4 tsp vanilla
2-3 bananas thinly sliced (depending on size)
1/3 of a jar Bonne Maman dulche de leche spread

Combine the cookies, salt and butter and bake on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Use beaters to whip the cream for 5 minutes or until fluffy, then add the vanilla and sugar.  Once the cookie bits have cooled, layer cookie, banana, dulce de leche, cream and repeat, ending with whipped cream on top and some reserves of the cookie crumbles.

sweet potato red lentil dhal

sweet potato dhal Vegan, nutrient dense and as good as my favourite Indian take out, I serve this sweet potato dhal with a side of whole wheat roti or over basmati rice. I love it near the end of winter as a break from all the meat I crave during the colder months. To fancy it up a bit garnish with toasted sliced almonds, fresh cilantro, a dollop of plain balkan yogurt or a crumble of feta.  Like soup, every dhal is a little different and freezes amazingly well. I plan to stock my freezer with a batch before our little one arrives this spring. Enjoy!

sweet potato red lentil dhal

Ingredients:
olive oil to coat the bottom of a soup pot
1 onion chopped
3 cloves garlic chopped
2 carrots finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
pinch red pepper flakes
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp butter (use coconut oil if vegan)
5 cups water
1 large (or 2 medium) sweet potato peeled and roughly cubed
1 cup dried red lentils rinsed and drained
1 cup packed greens like spinach, swiss chard (optional if you have it handy)

Heat the oil in a heavy soup pot and saute the onion and carrots for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, curry, cumin, salt and pepper, red pepper flakes and butter and stir. Cook spices for a few minutes until fragrant. Pour in the water and sweet potato chunks. Simmer for 10 minutes on medium heat. Stir in the red lentils, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Gently stir all the way to the bottom so the lentils don’t stick every 10 minutes or so. If you’re adding greens (and I only do if I have them hanging out in the fridge and needing to be used) toss them in to wilt in the last 3-5 minutes of cooking.

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