Zutacos may just be the next zoodles. Just maybe. Zucchini Taco Shells are delightful and such a tasty way to enjoy summers abundance of zucchini. I cannot take the credit for this marvellous invention at all. Those gardening and food photography geniuses consisting of Todd and Diane invented them, I just made them gluten free.
You can pile whatever your favourite taco adornments are, I made some spicy smoked paprika ground pork topped with kimchi and fresh veggies, YUM.
This is my first post in a long while. It’s not that I haven’t been cooking up a storm and enjoying the hell out of summers abundance. It’s just a matter of taking an extended break to focus on other projects and make sense of life, all that jazz. Not that I’ve made sense of anything at all, aside from loving food, and the inevitable company it brings.
My sister got me hooked on this useless facts website. A dragon fly has a lifespan of 24 hours. I’m really not sure they are all accurate. There’s an entire section devoted to Chuck Norris, I mean reeeeeeeally. 7 Up pop used to contain lithium, too bad it still doesn’t, we could call it crazy pop. They say nutritious food costs 10 times as much as junk food. I don’t think this is true either. But it’s definitely double the cost, even though you’d think less chemicals would equal less expensive. This website makes bold statements, like if you eat lemons you’ll live longer and the older the father of your child is the uglier the child will be. I’d really like to see some evidence beyond the anecdotal here.
A few wise words of warning… don’t put grapes in the microwave, don’t intravenously inject nutmeg, don’t put your pearls in vinegar and when eating peanuts be sure not to combine them with other components of dynamite.
Well I feel good that I learned something today, know any weird ass random facts?
Okay I’ll just let the cat right out of the bag…these pancakes were supposed to be waffles. Never buy a waffle iron at a second hand store, there is a reason its there. After one very sticky pile of nothing I thought it would be best to turn them into pancakes which luckily was a massive success.
I’ve never been a huge fan of sweet breakfasts, so savoury pancakes are right up my alley. If you’re into cheese, you can throw some aged raw cheddar in these for an extra special treat. I like to smother them in butter with a bit of maple syrup.
Nettles, the stinging sisters as Susun Weed calls them, these magical stinging weeds turn into luscious nourishment once the heat touches them.
Nettles make me so giddy, they are such a treat and they don’t last long. When they arrive in early spring I stalk them and try to get them at their most prime, before they go to seed and get too rough and woody to enjoy. They are one of the first fresh local greens to come on the scene.
They like to grow in marshy wet places, alongside fields and swamps, near creeks and moist woodlands. When harvesting nettles, wear gloves and long pants, bring scissors to snip off the tender top shoots and if you’re lucky you can go around for a second harvest.
Many people see stinging nettles as an invasive weed, but they are actually a delicious food. All wild foods are far more nutrient dense than the domesticated plants we eat most often. Stinging nettles when lightly steamed to remove their sting, are reminiscent of spinach. They make a delicious earthy tasting tea and when infused for 4 hours or more offer an amazing source of key minerals that many of us are lacking.
We eat a lot of nettles this time of year, basically you can enjoy them in any dish you would use spinach for. So far we’ve really been digging stinging nettle omelettes, hummus, palak paneer, teas and other delightful nettle experiments.
This pesto is ah-ma-zing, it’s really a classic pesto just nettles instead of basil, which gives it a more demure taste but equally satisfying. We ate it with zoodles (zucchini noodles) and roast chicken which was divine, the next days leftovers were spread on crusty sourdough bread from the french bakery in town.
Henry David Thoreau once said ” All good things are wild and free.” I would have to agree, and nettles definitely fall into that category. Food is meant to be free and the Earth provides plentifully, we just have to know where to look.
Those perfect fatty salty sheets notorious for wrapping whatever they touch in pure goodness. A tear through the fridge unveiled a bunch of caramelized onions, some kale, feta cheese and almond flour. Sounds like a pretty luscious filling to me.
But wait, its just not right- there’s a certain smoothness lacking and the consistency just isn’t there.
Tear through the pantries, which are looking quite barren lately. Behold, the humble lentil gleaming orange and begging to be used. Sure lentil, I’ll give you a chance, you might just fit the bill.
Cooked lentils, pureed until smooth and creamy, the perfect binder, a vehicle to backpack big flavours on. Oh humble lentil, maybe your the next up and comer in this crazy world.
Reinventing the wheel is fun, I really enjoy creating new versions of an old classic in my kitchen laboratory. Has it been done before? Maybe. But for me, it’s new, it came out of my imagination and this is how all great things were born!
Oh my, I’m getting a little carried away. Most new creations occur for me because of this- I hate when food goes to waste, it gets under my skin and I feel horribly guilty and terrible every single time I have to throw food in the compost (hey, at least its going back to the earth). This repugnance to wastefulness all started when I travelled to India and saw just how little people live off, and oh how those living in poverty cherish even the smallest morsel. Arriving back to Canada, broke ass and needing a job asap I worked in a high end restaurant as a server (though my heart is in the kitchen). The amount of food left on plates destined for a fate in the trash can (of course, no compost) it was really gut wrenching. Though probably illegal, I would have my own little doggy back which I would take home,ahem, for my dog. I didn’t last very long and after this embraced cooking over serving, with my trusty compost bucket always at my side.
The moral of the story.
The kale in the fridge was getting past its prime and my brain wanted to make curry for dinner. Don’t get me wrong I love kale…sometimes…but I didn’t want any leafyness in the curry, I wanted smooth and creamy luxuriousness sans leaf. Palak Paneer is one of my favourite indian dishes, if you aren’t familiar, paneer is a type of indian cottage cheese and its cooked with curried creamed spinach, the texture and satisfaction this dish brings makes it a beloved classic. This creamy kale and chicken curry basically emulates the texture of palak paneer but instead of paneer chunks I’ve used chicken. If you’re fully paleo you can omit the heavy cream and cream cheese and opt for coconut cream, the result isn’t quite as rich but deliciousness nonetheless.
The ultimate in comfort food, these crispy on the outside, soft and pillowy on the inside little sweet potato cakes are the latkes great cousin. Super simple and consisting of about 5 ingredients, you just can’t go wrong. Top them with anything from lox to caviar, guacamole to a fried egg- the possibilities are endless.
Inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi‘s recipe, I have simply made a gluten free version with a zippy lemon-chile yogurt sauce. I’ve been cooking with sweet potatoes a lot lately as baby Mav just loves them, he’s my kinda guy. Ottolenghi is a huge inspiration, his cookbooks make vegetables look as exciting as skydiving off Mount Corcovado.
It’s sunny and beautiful out and the massive pile of snow is swiftly melting down, the igloo J built has caved in on itself and winter seems to be dissipating for the time being. So I’m going to keep this short and sweet, just like these little cakes, and go for a jaunt in Vitamin D land out there.
Hey I'm Chantelle, my alter ego would be a mermaid if I wasn't such a terrible swimmer. I love writing authentically and cooking in my pyjamas. My favourite pastimes include eating avocados, travelling the world and hanging out with a toddler.