Hello Autumn

It’s been an awesome summer but now we welcome the change of season that Canada brings us.  After a summer of vacations, camps, R&R and dining al fresco, it’s time to savour the last of earth’s local offerings. Why not have a harvest dinner to celebrate the bounty of the summer harvest?

If you haven’t already done it, plan for spontaneity, get in the car, Google the closest farmers market, purchase an abundance of fresh produce and cook up your market finds, like the TV show ‘Chopped’.  You never know what you’ll come up with! I like to serve a bottle of Moscato this time of year, its sweet flavor and aroma of peaches, oranges and nectarines helps reminisce and cheer out the season.

When I think Autumn, I think homegrown produce, such as zucchini, fresh tomatoes, beets and carrots. The barbeque is my main squeeze when it comes to grilling; fresh veggies topped with slices of Bocconcini and herbs. Fall is also a time to begin anew as I break-up with my grill and create some raw vegetable dishes. Abundant cherry tomatoes sprinkled with flaked sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Grated fresh beets with a mustard vinaigrette and some crumbled Feta. Or, I take advantage of my new bff the ‘spiralizer’ and make a raw zucchini pasta drenched in a basil pesto sauce!  Okay, now I’m getting hungry…

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Call me romantic, but one of life’s special pleasures is dining al fresco. Whether it be on your balcony, backyard patio or on a patch of grass at a park. Take in the aroma of the crisp Autumn air, mingle with nature, say goodbye to your seasonal friend and foods … until next year.

 

 

Back to School

Quick and easy meals are essential for staying on a tight schedule. With the kids back in school and weeknights filled with homework and other activities, we all need a few quick, healthy recipes in our repertoire.

I find it helpful to keep my pantry stocked with a few non-perishable staples that can be used to create a variety of quick and healthy meals. At any given moment, you will find canned and dried chickpeas and lentils, canned beans, corn and tomatoes in my pantry. These ingredients are amazingly versatile and are my saving grace on busy weeknights. If you forget to thaw meat, chickpeas and lentils work great as a protein replacement. I often find myself making a quick lentil Bolognese with pasta, or curried chickpeas with rice. In addition to non-perishables, I also keep a variety of cheeses on hand. Feta, Parmesan, Mozzarella and Cheddar are all star players in my cheese arsenal as they go with just about anything.

When it comes to meals in a hurry, tacos are one of my go-to recipes. They are a hit with kids and adults alike, but don’t feel limited to those pre-packed kits you get at the grocery store. When it comes to tacos, anything goes – turkey, shrimp, fish, even ice cream! To keep things quick and healthy, use a few of my favourite pantry staples, and you can whip up a kid-friendly meal and have supper on the table in less than an hour.

In this recipe, I use corn and black beans in place of beef, and instead of grated cheddar cheese, I drizzle a whipped Feta crema on top. It’s cheesy, zesty, and full of good-for-you ingredients that you and your kids love.

 

Tacos headerCorn and Black Bean Tacos with Whipped Feta Crema
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings 4-6 tacos

Whipped Feta Crema
1 tub (150 g) crumbled Tre Stelle Feta
1/2 cup sour cream
1 clove garlic
1 green onion
1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
salt and pepper to taste

Corn and Black Bean Tacos
2 tbsp canola oil
1 cup corn kernels
1 cup diced yellow onion
1/2 jalapeno, deseeded and minced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups black beans
salt and pepper to taste
roasted red pepper slices
Tre Stelle Feta for garnish
tortillas

Whipped Feta Crema
Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender until its smooth. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Place in the fridge until ready to serve.

Corn and Black Bean Tacos
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add corn and cook until it starts to caramelize, for about 10 minutes.

Add onion and jalapeño while continuing to cook until onions are soft and translucent. Add garlic and black beans and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

Assemble tacos by filling tortillas with the corn and black beans, roasted red peppers, whipped Feta crema and extra Tre Stelle Feta.