Friday, August 27, 2010

I ♥ Toronto's Kensington Market

One pedestrian Sunday I took my two good friends out for a walk in Kensington market.  I didn't take nearly enough photos of all the really, really cool stuff you can see and find there but I did stop in one shop that had some really funky kitchen stuff that I wanted to share with you!


First up, Gaby Green, the Cheese Grater.  She's so cute!  I love how there's a message bubble saying her name, almost like she would be talking to you.  'Hi, I'm Gabby, I'm Grate!'


This ice cube tray by Fred & Friends would be a perfect addition for any music themed party or summer jazz festival. I was almost tempted to go back and buy it, it just looks really cool.

More from Fred & Friends: Mix Stix!  I can totally see my brother and law rocking out with these in the kitchen! Other cool products I'd recommend checking out on their site, the Cakewich and Batterfinger.  Trust me, go look! LOL

Now these I love and would fill my whole kitchen with them if I could even though they are tools for kids but hey, aren't we all kids at heart? Besides having some very cool products, they also have a fun website.

More from the greens family: Josie Green Ice Cream Scoop, Joyce Green Citrus Reamer and Marshall Green Potato Masher.  To see more visit this website.

What I like about the greens products, their kitchen tools are made from recycled wood and plastic blend that can be recycled.

I once bought these Hug Salt and Pepper shakers for a friend so I definitely had to include them on the list of cute things.

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Feast, Mozambique Style

Inspired by my trip to Africa I prepared a traditional 3 course Mozambique dinner last weekend for myself and Mike.  It was actually quit simple, a little spicy (or way too hot spicy depending on who you ask) but overall very good.  It was a perfect night for a perfect romantic dinner.

I'm so excited to try these meals in their native country, especially since they will be prepared a. lot better there too.

Sopa de Feijao Verde (String Bean Soup)

1 cup instant mashed potatoes
1 tbsp onion powder
1½ quarts boiling water
1 can (6-ounce) tomato sauce
1 pkg frozen green beans, thawed and cut into thin slices

1. Combine the instant potatoes, onion powder, water, and tomato sauce in a saucepan over medium heat; stir well and bring to a boil.
2. Add the sliced green beans to the potato mixture in the saucepan.
3. Simmer until the beans are cooked.
4. Serve in bowls or large soup plates.

Makes 8 cups.

PIRI-PIRI (Hot Pepper)

4 Tbsp lemon juice
4 Tbsp Olive oil
4 Tbsp Coarse red pepper (I chopped actual hot red chili peppers)
1/2 Tbsp salt
1 tsp. garlic powder

Place in a small bowl. Serve with a tiny spoon. Use sparingly.

Matata (Seafood and Peanut Stew)
I adapted this recipe to make it vegan! 

1/2 cup onions, finely chopped
Olive oil
2 cups canned clams, chopped (substituted with Firm Tofu, chopped)
1/2 cup peanuts, finely chopped
1 tomatoes, cut into small pieces
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp crushed red pepper, to taste
1 lb fresh, young spinach leaves, finely chopped
1 cups cooked white rice

1. Sauté onion pieces in a small amount of olive oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook until onions are softened, but do not brown them.
2. Add the chopped clams, peanuts, tomatoes, salt, black pepper, and a pinch amount of red pepper (it is spicy).
3. Over low heat, simmer for 30 minutes.
4. Add spinach leaves.
5. Cover tightly; as soon as leaves are withered, matata is ready to be served.
6. Serve over cooked white rice.

Makes 4 servings.
Salada Pera de Abacate (Tomato & Avocado Salad)

1/2 head iceberg lettuce, chopped
1 tomato, sliced
1 avocado, pitted and sliced
1-2 tbsp lemon and herb dressing
1. Distribute and arrange the chopped lettuce, tomato, and avocado slices on 8 salad plates.
2. Top with lemon and herb dressing (other salad dressing may be substituted).

Serves 4

Lemon and Herb Salad Dressing
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed

1. Beat all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl and serve over salada pera de abacate (see recipe).

Ananas con Vinho do Porto (Fresh Pineapple in Port Wine)

1. Peel 1 large ripe sweet pineapple
2. Cut in 1/2 inch slices and remove the core.
3. Sugar each slice lightly on both sides.
4. Place in a 2-quart glass or china bowl.
5. Cover with 1/2 cup Red Port Wine.
6. Allow to stand for several hours (I marinated over night).
7. Turn the pineapple in the wine from time to time.
8. Turn again just before serving on dessert dishes.
9. Serve with spoons and forks.

Makes 8 servings.

As many of my good friends and family know I will be away from August 20th to September 2nd volunteering in Africa and sooooooooooo excited to have this experience again. This will be my second Habitat trip. In 2008 I traveled to Honduras to build with a team and it was just amazing. I highly recommend an experience like this for anyone who can do it, do it!

If you would like to learn more please visit: (USA) or (Canada)

If you would like to help, please visit my donation page if you would like to help!


Friday, August 13, 2010

BIG Zucchini Many Ways

A couple of weeks ago a dragon boat teammate of mine, who grows and sells his own produce to fundraise for his many causes, sold me a massive and beautiful 15-inch zucchini! Yes, 15-inches ladies, I measured it.

It lasted me the two weeks and it tasted amazing in every meal.  Here are a few things I made ...

Zucchini Slaw
Original recipe from Taste of Home

2 medium zucchini, coarsely shredded and squeezed dry (in my case I cut about a 1/4 off the massive zucchini I had)
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 cup coarsely shredded carrots
3 Tbsp reduced-fat or vegan mayonnaise
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
Dash cayenne pepper (to add some spicy)

In a bowl, combine all ingredients; mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
Yield: 4 servings.

Chocolate Zucchini Banana loaf
Original recipe from Taste of Home

2 eggs
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup canola oil
1 medium ripe banana, mashed (about 1/2 cup)
1 cup gluten-free flour mix
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3/4- 1/2 cup shredded unpeeled zucchini

In a bowl, beat eggs. Blend in sugar and oil. Add banana and mix well. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; stir into egg mixture. Stir in zucchini just until combined.

Pour into a greased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pan. Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes. Remove from pan to wire rack to cool completely.

Yield: 1 loaf

Other meals I managed to squeeze out of the 15-inch zucchini ...

Vegan Lunch: Zucchini Pizzas (ingredients include: zucchini, salsa, mushrooms, cheddar rice cheese and spices)

Zucchini Mushroom stir fry (ingredients include: zucchini, mushrooms, red onion, whole wheat pasta, BBQ sauce and cayenne pepper)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Sisterly ♥ Weekend

I had a fantastic long weekend, which was spent with my big sister and it was fun for me because I got to play host again, which I love!  I made many meals for us that weekend but here are just a couple of our favourite:

Quick Spicy Thai Noodles Stir-Fry

1 cup rice noodles, cooked
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
2-3 medium carrots, sliced and chopped
5-6 mushrooms, chopped
1/4 firm tofu, cubbed
1/8 cup chopped cashews
1 can of coconut milk
1 tbsp of red curry paste
Lemon slices for garnish

1. In a frying pan, on medium-high, heat a bit of olive oil for about a minute.  Add onions, cook for about a minute.  Then add mushrooms and cook for another minute.
2. Add the rest of the vegetables and tofu and satay for about 2-3 minutes.
3. Meanwhile having brought a can of coconut milk to a boil, add the red curry paste to the milk and stir very well.  Remove from heat and allow to sit a few minutes to thicken.
4. Turn the stove off and pour the red curry sauce over the vegetables.  Can add a bit of salt and pepper to taste, optional.
5. Top off a bowl of cooked rice noodles with a good serving of vegetables and some sauce.
6. Sprinkle cashews on top and add a lemon slice.


Protein Berry Pancakes

3/4 cup rolled oats, ground
1 tbsp ground flaxseeds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup egg whites
1-2 tbsp agave nectar
1/2 cup raspberries (or any berry of your choice)

1. Mix the ground oatmeal, cinnamon, flaxseed and salt together in a medium bowl.
2. Add the egg whites and agave nectar and mix together well.
3. Add the berries of your choice, mix well.
4. Add a teaspoon or so of vegan butter to a frying pan, on med-high heat to melt.
5. Add a scoop of batter, enough to make one pancake at a time. Cook at med-high just enough to flip once without burning.  Best to cook one pancake at a time, unless you're a superstar pancake maker - I'm not! :)

Best served with fresh berries and 100% real maple syrup!
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