August Book Done

I’m in serious denial that August is over and school has actually started! I have to say that I’m pretty impressed with myself for how many recipes I was able to do out of Vegetarian Any Day at a cottage on an island, at least 1/2 an hour from a grocery store! It took some serious planning I chose this book for August because it didn’t look like it needed a lot of fancy schmancy kitchen equipment. I was able to get by with a Nutri-Bullet. I would say that most people thoroughly enjoyed all the recipes and I would recommend this book as an intro veggie book. I was not keen on the zucchini wraps but other than that there are a lot of recipes I’d make again. One interesting observation was that there appeared to be a ton of recipes that called for a head of cauliflower! It’s such a versatile veg. I think it’s also becoming a hot ingredient so it was nice to find a few different ideas. There was the standard cauliflower pizza crust that is a bit more popular but I thought that Buffalo “wing” bites were amazing and the halloumi bites, yum!

I think I forgot a few pics but check out the highlights below…

Toasted Baby Arugula and Zucchini Salad P.90

This extremely simple salad was so delicious and refreshing. I already have the lemon dressing memorized.  A simple crowd pleaser for sure! I’ve already been asked for the recipe.

Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower Bites P.40

Hello! This app was so tasty and unique! Faux chicken wings if you will! So simple and tasty. I served it with the suggested Herbed Kefir Ranch Dressing P. 102. It was delightful.

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Black Quinoa and Cauliflower Halloumi Cheese Balls, P.44. We had these twice because after the first time Dad asked me everyday to make them again! I served them with BBQ sauce and Frank’s Red Hot but you easily eat them on their own.

Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Pizza with Brie and Maple P.131

This pizza was incredibly delicious. First of all the Cauliflower crust is amazing. (Use any toppings you want though.) I’m not convinced I tasted the Brie. I think other cheese would  have been fine.

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Horrible  picture! But this is a gorgeous Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Bake that I’m definitely making as a side for Thanksgiving dinner! P. 157

Caramelized Onion with Gruyere and Sauerkraut P.132

This sandwich was so moorish! This was a hilarious meal because we got my mom to eat sauerkraut! My dad and I love it but mom wouldn’t normally eat it; I think my dad was feeling hard done by that I got her to eat it but he couldn’t!

Coconut Chili Lime Collard Green Wraps P.123

These wraps were a pleasant surprise. I’ve been been meaning to use collard greens for wraps for some time now but just haven’t gotten around to it. DO NOT MAKE MY MISTAKE! Simply, they rock. The red lentils in this dish were cooked in coconut milk, stroke of genius. If you buy this book, try this recipe please.

Lentil Cake Salad with Roasted Red Pepper and Feta P.110

This was just ok for me. The cakes needed more seasoning but I liked the idea. The dressing and fixings were nice. The overall appearance was a tad sketchy though!

Chipotle Sweet Potato Tacos with Grilled Pineapple Salsa P.124

For me, this was a book winner! The pineapple salsa was so simple and delish. I love the sweet potato idea as well. Definitely try and find corn tortillas too. I like the Casa Mendosa ones that have shown up Zhers recently.

Zucchini Wraps P. 118

Ok these…too much work for not many wraps and they did not taste that great in my opinion! Mom liked them though. As you can tell I was totally not convinced.

Portobello and Pepper Fajitas P.126

PLEASE DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME WITH THESE! The marinade was sub-par. Please use the Oh She Glows recipe for this same idea. It’s in her first book, Oh She Glows. She has a recipe for the same thing and the marinade for the mushrooms is a zillion times better. Fact, true story!!!

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Ripe Peach and Pistachio Butter Lettuce Wraps P.120

Weird little recipe but with fresh Ontario peaches you got to get going! I made these until the blue cheese ran out. They were fantastic! Such an odd combo of ingredients but somehow they totally worked. I had a honey white balsamic in the cupboard so used that instead of the suggested white balsamic. A hit!

Slow Cooker French Onion Miso Soup

I made this after we got back from the cottage. Funny enough it was the reason I bought the book because I LOVE French Onion soup but it always has a beef broth. Try it!

On to September…

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I knew September was going to be busy with school starting up so I wanted to pick another simple book where I knew I’d have most of the ingredients lying around. Thus, the second Oh She Glows book. I love her first book and recommend it to everyone that asks for a go to Veg book! (She’s also vegan but whatever.) It was the first book that introduced me to cashew cream (a heavenly substance). I have to admit I was extremely disappointed by the second book. Many of the recipes looked recycled from the first book, just changed a bit. I also immediately tried a few smoothie combos and was disheartened. That being said…I loved the first book so much that I feel it is only fair to give the second one a proper go. So here goes…

July’s The Green Kitchen: A book of contrasts

Apologies, this post is a few days late…it’s been a busy start to August with getting ready to cottage for a month. August’s recipes will all be made with these gorgeous views from the kitchen…Georgian Bay – Cognashene…

If you follow my instagram you will see that not all the recipes in Green Kitchen were loved by all! I truly feel that this book has some striking contrasts; when the recipes were good they were amazing but when they fell short they were catastrophic. I am quite good at following a recipe exactly and expect it to turn out. Once I’ve made a recipe once then I think about how to adapt it to my taste but I really feel that I want to honour an author’s/chef’s recipe by following it to a tee the first time. The few recipes that went horribly wrong I do wonder if it was my taste or just an odd combination of ingredients. (Note: North American’s will probably have a hard time finding some of the ingredients in this book. There will be a few recipes you won’t even attempt, e.g. nettles are hard to come by.)

I still love the idea of the Green Kitchen, don’t get me wrong! I think I’ll just be more conscious of reading the ingredients lists more carefully before I start. Overall, I personally think most of the recipes could be seasoned more/better. The photography in Green Kitchen is stellar. If you want to give them a go then you can buy their app for cheap and try some recipes that way first before you commit to their books. They have a new one out now that I will probably still buy because I’m crazy like that! Always love to complete a set lol!

You will have to forgive me with the names of these recipes because the cookbook is at home 3 hrs by car and a 1/2 hr boat ride away!

I didn’t get many recipes done this month because of our annual summer UK trip. It’s no hardship travelling and eating in the UK… we had a blast with mom this year…

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Birthday dinner at NOPI (An Ottolenghi restaurant that I love!)

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NOPI – The roasted peach burrata is one of my favs. Love the classy Eton Mess for dessert too.

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NOPI – best for sharing plates.

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A little Eggs Florentine to start your b-day out right! At the National Portrait Gallery restaurant. The view is amazing. Worth a trip and I always recommend it to visitors to London.

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Pimms anyone! It’s summer in the UK.

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Fav new pic! At a wedding that had fab food. Wadhurst castle, Kent.

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Fruit stand in Royal Tunbridge Wells. Gorgeous!

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Trying the Pear Cafe in Bristol. You will know her online as Elly Pear. Yum Frittata and sammies for lunch.

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Bristol, down by the pier. Funky, revitalised area. How cool is this coffee shop!

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For me, nothing beats a UK flat white!

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Costa soy, flat white for a little Espadrille making course, Bath, The Makery.

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Just 2 of us in the class meant lots of support! Teacher was lovely too.

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Yes, making our own shoes, who knew!

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Gorgeous pub food, outside Bath at Country pub! The Talbot Inn.

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Not your typical country pub food!

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Fancy fish and chips!

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Gorgeous starter of radish and yellow courgette strips. Talbot Inn pub.

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Hello, halloumi fries, Camden Market.

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Yum breakfast spot, Neil’s Yard, Covent Garden.

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Gorgeous 26 grains breaky. Avocado on sourdough.

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26 Grains porridge bowl. Love the gooseberries!

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Missing John for breaky.

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Ahhhhhhh, UK cream how I miss thee.

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First day emotions!

Now for Green Kitchen successes…

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Curried egg salad for sammies. Different combination. I was sceptical but it was delish!

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Can you see the apple in the curried egg salad. Odd maybe but yum!

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Also asparagus tips in the curried egg salad. I’m totally making this again.

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Buckwheat groat porridge on the go. Maybe more of a fall dish but it was lovely. 

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Dress those groats up!

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I used too many cardamom seeds in this groat porridge but it was still yummy!

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Just a simple guac to use up some old avocados. Delish.

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I think it was avocado based pudding. I’ve made a few of these and without the book with me I honestly forget. In any case, yum!

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Roasted root veg with quinoa stuffed tomatoes. Definitely a fall/winter dish but it was so tasty. Definitely get the wrinkly black olives; they give amazing salty flavour.

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Love a good roast up. The lemons were a fab addition.

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Looking yum like the pic I think?!

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This was the first recipe I tried actually. It was a vinaigrette, horseradish baby potato salad. It was simple and sooooo worth finding fresh horseradish. It’s one of my new go-to salads for sure. 

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Moroccan Vegetable Tagine with whole wheat Israeli couscous. 

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Tagine by the pool! Loved the flavours of the tagine; it smelled heavenly. I could have done without the couscous addition.

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The makings of a beetroot chocolate cake.

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Moist and earthy beetroot chocolate cake. It used olive oil that I’m sure I enjoyed. I think it added to the earthy flavour though. If I make this again I will use a lighter oil like safflower.

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Almond crust for a gorgeous tart…see below…

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Coconut and Fennel Tart. It was amazing!!!

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Cannot recommend trying this tart enough. It was unique.

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Served with Caramelized Red Onion Chutney of course. (M&S brand is my fav and we forgot to bring some new bottles home, eek! What to do, lol!)

Now for the epic fails. I really hate giving bad reviews but the following recipes did not sit well with me…they even looked pretty ugh…

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This cold zucchini noodle salad with cashew and sun-dried tomato cream dressing and marinated portobello mushrooms started out so beautiful. Love me some courgette noodles!  

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Gorgeous right…see the ruin below…

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Doesn’t even look like the pic at all. Hello, photoshop?!

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I love vinegar but it was too much. That’s all I could taste. The cream dressing on it’s own was so thick that no amount of added water could fix. Would have been better as a veggie dip I think.

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First attempt at dark rye bread…hmmmm. not convinced. The dough remained very wet.

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It came out with a pretty ok flavour. I couldn’t find rye kernels so used a cracked rye that I was able to get. This definitely could have been the culprit. I also let it sit in the fridge for over a day because I forgot about it! I would try this again…

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Ok…veggie chorizos. I was soooooo pumped but I have to admit they were a failure. I personally think they needed much more seasoning of all different sorts. The texture was right and everything else worked out fine I think. It was just that bland flavour ugh…

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Veggie chorizos in the making.

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These bad boys were wrapped in cheese cloth, kinda fun eh!

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All wrapped up!

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The cooking went well in veg stock.

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Ended up slicing them and frying again to make them more sausage like.

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Served in the suggested salad with quinoa, butter beans and apple. Bizarre and I couldn’t finish it. John liked it though. I think it’s partly that in my mind I really wanted them to be more sausage like so I could use them with buns. Not the case! Poor me.

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Maybe looked ok though?!

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Tasty banana blueberry pancakes but epically challenging to hold together!

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Actually not a fail, just hard to flip and make. Ended up cooking the rest like scrambled eggs and eating like a porridge! Still tasty.

So now we are at a cottage for the month of August and I needed to pick a book with easy to find ingredients that didn’t use a food processor for every meal. At the last minute I decided on a new book that I grabbed at Costco a couple months ago called Vegetarian Any Day by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming. They are the authors of Quinoa 365 that came out in the midst of the whole Quinoa craze. I have used many recipes from that book and thought this one looked pretty good. There seems to be heaps of recipes that will appeal to the meat-eater in your family.

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They seem to have a great blog too; at http://patriciaandcarolyn.com. Check it out…

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Ok Quinoa Sisters…Let’s have a healthy August together! Can’t just whip out to a grocery store when I’m on an island in Georgian Bay though! This is going to take some planning ahead to the next shop run!

Have a fabulous end of summer everyone!