Friendly Food Snobs

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kale potato soup

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Sometimes you just need a reset. A little virtue after too many indulgences. This veggie soup hits the spot for me and beats any diet. Feel free to improvise with whatever you have in the fridge. Like most soups, it freezes well and tastes even better a day or two later. Makes eight servings.

kale potato soup

Ingredients:
1 small head of kale or 1/2 of a large head of kale chopped
1 head of broccoli chopped
2 onions chopped
3 cloves garlic chopped
1 carrot chopped
3 small potatoes peeled and chopped
juice of 1/2 a lemon
handful fresh parsley, basil, chives, thyme (any fresh herbs on hand)
olive oil to coat the bottom of a pan
6 cups water or chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon herb de provence

Don’t worry about perfect slices, as the soup will be pureed near the end. Heat olive oil in big pot and saute onion, carrot, garlic and herb de provence until fragrant. Add the kale and cook until wilted. Add water/stock, potatoes and broccoli. Adding more liquid if you want the soup thinner, I like 6 cups just fine. Simmer covered for 40 mins. Let cool slightly, add the fresh herbs and puree using a hand blender. Stir in the lemon juice and taste for seasoning.

goat cheese eggplant dip + sea salt pita chips



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IMG_2459Sweet eggplant and roasted garlic mixed with goat cheese, scooped with homemade sea salt pita chips. Think baba ganoush but with an improved texture. The pita chips are better than store bought and I’ve taken to keeping a bag of them in the freezer for this exact recipe. Serves six with leftovers.

goat cheese eggplant dip + sea salt pita chips

Ingredients:
2 small or 1 large eggplant
4 peeled garlic cloves
1 tablespoon tahini
1 teaspoon cumin
150 gram packet goat cheese
4 tablespoons olive oil (divided into 1 each)
salt and pepper to taste
garnish with chopped Italian parsley or toasted sesame seeds

Using a fork, generously poke holes in eggplant and salt. Bake in 400 degree oven for 30 minutes or until soft and dark on both sides. Flip once. Add the garlic cloves to the pan in a foil pouch drizzled with one tablespoon olive oil and pinch salt in the last 10 minutes.

Remove roasted eggplant to stainless steel strainer. Set in sink, sprinkle salt and press down to remove as much liquid as possible. Cool and drain for 20 minutes. Use the stem to pick up the eggplant, scraping as much flesh as possible into a clean bowl. Some pieces of skin are okay and add a smoky flavour. Add remaining ingredients and combine by hand or using a hand blender. Reserve one tablespoon of olive oil to pour on at serving. Let “set” in fridge for an hour. Garnish with chopped parsley or toasted sesame seeds.

sea salt pita chips

Ingredients:
3-4 pitas
salt and black pepper to taste
coarse sea salt to garnish
50 ml olive oil

Using kitchen scissors cut the pita into wedges and place on a cookie sheet. Combine olive oil and salt and pepper in small bowl and brush onto the pita. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes or until crisp. Flip once. These burn easily so keep an eye out. Taste and top with additional sea salt if desired. Chips stay crisp in an air tight container for three days.

herb corn salad

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herb corn salad

Ingredients:
1/2 cup packed chopped herbs like basil, parsley and chives
kernels from 3 cooked corn cobs
1/4 cup olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Combine. Best eaten outside with meat from the BBQ. Serves four.

rosé sangria

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I know I don’t need to educate anyone on the benefits of pitcher cocktails. Too many to count really! More time with friends, less time prepping and making drinks is my rationale. The longer this sits, the better it gets. Perfect for late summer afternoons and dining al fresco. The sangria is close to the colour of rosé wine and so pretty in a glass pitcher. Enjoy!

rosé sangria

Ingredients:
1 bottle dry white wine
3/4 cup unsweetened pomegranate or cranberry juice
1 1/2 cups sparkling water/club soda
6 shakes angostura bitters
3 tablespoons grand marnier
1 tablespoon sugar
1 orange, lime and lemon

Slice orange into half moons. Drop into pitcher followed by grand mariner and sugar. Leave covered in refrigerator for two hours. Add remaining ingredients and juice of half a lemon. Serve in ice filled glasses garnished with lime wedges.

frittata with greens

041 057This recipe reminds me of my Polish grandmother. I find so many people in love with food attribute it to a grandparent who got them hooked. Lucky I say. I make the frittata using beet greens but you can easily use baby spinach, which is quicker and easier. 

frittata with beet greens

Serves four to six
Ingredients:
2 cups peeled potatoes sliced 1/2 inch thick 
greens of one bunch beets washed and chopped (or boxed baby spinach)
1 onion chopped 
1/3 cup olive oil
half of a zucchini sliced (red pepper/mushrooms also work well)
6 eggs beaten with a dash of milk
salt and pepper to taste
mozzarella cheese torn onto chunks (or feta) to taste

Boil the potatoes in salted water for five minutes. Drain well.  In a frying pan waute onion on low-medium heat in half of the measured olive oil, with salt and pepper for 15 minutes until caramelized. Use a pan that is oven safe.

Add zucchini to pan when the onion is almost done. Cook for an additional two minutes and then remove veg and onion from pan.

Add remaining olive oil back to the now empty pan and fry potatoes, adding salt and pepper for 5 minutes until starting to brown. Preheat your oven’s broiler to high. Fold in the greens to the pan with the potatoes to wilt. Add the onion and vegetable back in.

Pour the egg over top, allowing it to cover the entire bottom of the pan. Let egg “set” on stove for 2 minutes. Place the cheese on top, then transfer to oven to broil for 5 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when the frittata poofs up a bit and cheese begins to melt. Remove from oven and slide a spatula around edge of pan to loosen. Shimmy onto a waiting large plate.

Wonderful served with a light green salad. Slice into four large or six smaller servings.  Leftovers often fought over enjoyed in our house the next day for lunch with a little hot sauce.

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