Tasty Kale Salad

11246024_836436116436771_5452422847574361426_nLately I just can’t seem to get enough green, curly kale into my system.  Actually Curly or Dark Russian long leafed, Red kale, doesn’t seem to matter.  I am power–chowing this nutrient dense super food like it is the latest fad. There’s plenty of chewing but I Gotta Have My Greens!

If kept in a cold spot in the fridge, wrapped in a wet paper towel inside a Ziploc bag Kale will not only keep longer, it will become slightly sweeter to taste.  The key with kale is to remove the curly leaves from the huge rubbery stem.  Stems are good treats to give to your dog as a chew stick.  Chop the kale and have plenty of other greens, nuts, seeds and fruit on hand for a real satisfying meal.

Particularly interesting lately, is my desire to have my kale raw and in salads. I have also learned that those pesky unpopular Brussels Sprouts are rather tasty raw.  Like tiny cute cabbages, also when kept cold will sweeten up.  Sliced very thin with a food processor or mandolin they add some added crunch to a tasty Kale Salad. 

I enjoy chopped fresh kale as a replacement for romaine lettuce in a classic Caesar Salad with bacon bits and croutons.  Add some protein like grilled chicken on top can make it interesting.

Kale chopped and tossed into pasta water during the last five minutes of cooking time is an easy way to get wilted greens on the table topped with your favourite pasta sauce or drizzled with oil and garlic and parmesan cheese, fresh ground pepper, a squirt of fresh lemon juice, a few pine nuts or walnuts to finish off the flavours.  So fresh, flavourful and such a gourmet-style dish, enough to impress your dinner date or family in an instant.


The addition of raw sweet beets, golden or purple will jazz up the look of your salad and give it a sweet edge.  Sliced red or orange peppers are a real hit too.  Fresh roasted almonds are a nice touch as well for added protein.   I have used cold rotisserie chicken or hot-off-the-grill chicken on top of the salad just before serving to make it a complete one dish meal.

  • 4 cups kale, ribs removed and finely chopped (about 1 bunch)
  • 2 cups Brussels sprouts thinly sliced
  • 4 med grated cooked or raw red or golden beets or thin sliced sweet peppers
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds and pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries or 1 chopped fresh apple or pear
  • 4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled – optional


  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 1 Tablespoon real maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Enjoy. L.L

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Best Homemade Wholesome Bean Burgers

IMG_0063Yum.  I cannot brag enough about how good this extraordinary yet simple burger recipe is. I created this burger on my quest for the best veggie bean burger recipe by  putting together the best ingredients of a few recipes and using our CSA dried beans.  The texture is amazing and holds nicely.  This is the best that I have found so far.  Topped with melting mozzarella and nestled in between a warm toasted bun with fresh slices of tomato, lettuce and maybe even a bit of mustard, and this is a fabulous meal. I am enjoying avocado in my burgers lately.  Have a bit of cider on the side or a cold beer, sit back and enjoy! WHOLESOME BEAN BURGERS Best eaten fresh made and hot off the grill or frying pan while charred and crispy.  Can be satisfying without the bun along with a side of brown basmati rice and fresh salsa.

  • 1 cup dried beans any variety
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 onion or scallion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs or ground almonds
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon each, cumin and chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped parsley or cilantro
  • 6 good-quality hamburger buns
  • avocado slices, tomato slices, lettuce leafs

Put beans, onion and water on stove and bring to a boil.  Turn off heat and allow to sit for 1 hour or leave to sit overnight.  Bring back to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes to one hour until beans are tender and slightly firm. Let cool to room temperature. Drain beans and put in food processor along with the breadcrumbs, egg, pepper, spices of your choice and garlic. Pulse until mixture starts to form together.  If it doesn’t start to form a ball, add more bread crumbs or ground almonds so it holds together and is not wet. Divide into equal portions and shape into 4-inch patties.

Warm the buns in a 300 degree F oven for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a drizzle of olive or canola oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium-high heat. Add the patties and cook, turning only once, until a crisp brown crust forms on both sides, about 6 minutes total. If you’ve chosen a burger that gets topped with cheese, add it now. Cover the skillet, turn the heat to low, and let the burgers continue to cook until the cheese melts. Top the burgers as desired.

Variation: Grill Method

Heat  burners of a gas grill on high. Lightly brush the tops of the patties with oil. Place the patties on the hot rack, oiled side down, cover, and grill until spotty brown, about 3 minutes. Lightly brush the tops with oil and flip the burgers. Replace the cover and continue to grill until the burgers are spotty brown on the second side, about 3 minutes longer. If you’ve chosen a burger that gets topped with cheese, add it now. Place the buns on the grill rack, turn off the heat, and let burgers and buns continue to cook until the cheese melts and the buns are warm. Top the burgers as desired.

Burger Options (use these extra flavorings to embellish the basic burger):

The Classic: Make the burgers without any extra flavouring and cook according to Stove top or Grill Method, topping the burgers with 6 thin slices of sharp Cheddar cheese when instructed. Stir together 1/2 cup mayonnaise and 1 tablespoon coarse-grain mustard; spread over warm buns and dress the burgers with green leaf lettuce, lightly salted tomato slices, and thinly sliced red onion. Serve with ketchup.

The Southwestern: Mix in 1/2 cup prepared salsa, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, and 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro before forming the burgers. Cook burgers according to Stove top or Grill Method. Mix 2 mashed avocados with 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Spread over warm buns and dress the burgers with lightly salted sliced tomatoes and thinly sliced red onion.

The Neapolitan: Mix in 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar before forming the burgers. Cook the burgers according to the Stove top or Grill Method, topping the burgers with 6 slices mozzarella cheese when instructed. Stir together a generous 1/4 cup mayonnaise and 1/4 cup pesto. Spread over warm buns and dress the burgers with lightly salted sliced tomatoes.

The Curry: Mix in 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, 1/4 cup Major Grey’s chutney (mincing any large mango pieces), and 1 tablespoon curry powder before forming the burgers. Cook the burgers according to the Stove top or Grill Method. Spread chutney over warm buns. Dress the burgers with cilantro and pickled carrots (4 peeled and coarsely grated medium carrots tossed with 4 teaspoons rice vinegar and a big pinch of salt).

The Cajun: Mix in 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, 2 tablespoons vegetarian Worcestershire sauce, and 2 teaspoons Cajun spice before forming the burgers. Cook the burgers according to the Stove top or Grill Method. Dress the burgers with slaw (4 cups shredded cabbage mixed with 1/2 cup finely diced bell pepper, 2 thinly sliced scallions, 3 tablespoons mayonnaise, 4 teaspoons cider vinegar, and 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning).

The Tahini: Mix in 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, 2 tablespoons tahini, 1 teaspoon ground coriander, and 1 teaspoon ground cumin before forming the burgers. Cook the burgers according to the Stove top or Grill Method. Dress the burgers with tzatziki (1 cucumber-grated and squeezed dry-mixed with 1 cup 2% Greek yogurt, 2 minced garlic cloves, 4 teaspoons red wine vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste).

The Five-Spice: Mix in 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 teaspoons sugar, 2 teaspoons rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil, and 1 1/2 teaspoons five-spice powder before forming the burgers. Cook the burgers according to the Stove top or Grill Method. Spread the buns with Thai sweet chili sauce. Dress the burgers with cilantro sprigs and pickled cucumber (1 thinly sliced hothouse cucumber, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 2 teaspoons sugar, and salt to taste).

Notes and Tips: – Not every type of bean works for these. When you are using a mix of mashed and whole, the smaller ones, like black beans, white beans, pinto beans, and black-eyed peas, hold together better than bigger legumes like cannellini beans and chickpeas.

– You can add fresh herbs, spices, and flavorings as seen in many of the variations, but the classic is flavored simply-just garlic powder and black pepper-and since most canned beans have already been seasoned, there’s no need to add salt.

– For an even quicker bean burger, substitute 1 can (16 ounces) vegetarian refried beans for one of the cans of beans and reduce the eggs from 2 to 1.

– Fork mashing 1 can of the beans helps the patties keep their shape; leaving the second can whole lends appealing texture to the burgers.

Also, see other recipes from Lady Locavore:

Veggie Bean Burgers from Scratch

Squash Veggie Burgers

Healthy Burger Toppings

Take a look at this awesome article put out by the The Culinarium blog, Dried Heirloom Beans

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Harvest Butternut Squash with Almond-Pecan Parmesan

IMG_0002Squash, such a versatile vegetable, enjoyed by vegans and omnivores alike.  I enjoy the fact that I can have it both as a main-course meal and as a dessert, but of course not in the same meal.  Did you know you can use butternut squash as you would use pumpkin for biscuits, loaves, soups, cakes and pies? Try it in your next chocolate cake recipe.  You can stuff the squash with your best meatloaf recipe and bake for 40 minutes.  You can even cube the squash and throw it in your best curry recipe for an added bit of yumm.  Steamed and added to chicken broth in a food blender with a bit of butter makes a nice bisque.


Caramelized roasted butternut squash and thin strips of kale are topped with toasted almonds, pecans and parmesan.  The hardest part of this recipe is chopping up the squash.

If you don’t have kale, use collards, or spinach, blue cabbage.  It’s your choice.

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup pecans
  • 1/12 tsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup kale chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly oil 3 quart casserole dish.

Peel the squash, remove seeds and chop into 1” chunks and place in casserole dish.  Cover dish with a lid or foil and bake 35 to 40 minutes or until fork tender.  Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine almonds, pecans, oil and salt and pulse until chunky. 

When squash is fork tender, remove from oven and reduce heat to 350 degrees.  Carefully fold in the chopped kale and sprinkle with nut mixture.  Bake for 10 minutes uncovered until nuts are lightly toasted and kale is wilted.

Recipe adapted as found in Oh She Glows Cookbook Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Corny Corn Bread

DSCF1994Looking for a nice breakfast idea or something easy to pack into your lunch bucket?

I believe this recipe would be great for kids lunches, for back to school or work where you have to take a lunch box or eat on the go.  You can eat it with your fingers and have it with a piece of string cheese and an apple perhaps.  It is also great made without the corn, which is then called “Johnny Cake” and used for breakfast with butter and maple syrup poured over top.  Always a favourite in my house.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Combine ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

  • 3 eggs

Crack eggs into a small bowl. Beat well.  Add eggs to large mixing bowl.

  • 2 cups milk, yogurt, rice milk, almond milk or combination
  • 2 cups corn (off the cob) optional

Add to mixing bowl and stir together.  Pour into greased casserole dish, square baking pan or mini bread pans. Bake in preheated oven 40 minutes.  (Toothpick inserted in center should come out clean.) Cut into wedges and serve.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Zucchini Cake with Lemon Glaze


Having trouble disguising zucchini cake? Really, who needs to hide zucchini?  Mom’s do, (some moms like me) and here’s the trick.  Peel it before you shred this summer squash by hand or in the food processor.  The bits of green will be gone, and those folks who “think” they do not like zucchini cake will not even notice it is there. Tried and true!  Been there!  Done that! It took my kid years to discover that that cake I had been serving to him for a treat was indeed that dreaded vegetable…zucchini. If you see him, do not tell him. I believe he maybe still does not know; even to this day. Which always begged him to wonder why mom was serving cake again.  Hmmm… not her usual style to go all out like that… (tee-hee)….


  • 1/4 c extra light virgin olive oil or sunflower oil
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 3/4 c organic granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 4 T fresh Lemon Juice, divided
  • 1/4 c low-fat vanilla greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 c shredded zucchini, green or yellow
  • 1 c chopped almonds or walnuts
  • 1 c powdered sugar

Oven 350 degrees F.  Coat an 8″pan lightly with butter.

zucWhisk oil and eggs in a large bowl.  Beat in sugar, zest, 2 T lemon juice and yogurt.  Add flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; mix until combined.  Stir in zucchini and nuts.  Pour batter into prepared pan.  Bake 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.  Cool in pan 10 minutes.  Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.  Stir sugar and remaining 2 T lemon juice in a small bowl until smooth.  Pour over cake and spread to edges.  Allow a little to trickle over the edge of the cake.  Makes 8-10 servings.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Golden Beets

golden beetGolden Beets…they are the best…they do not bleed and can be cooked by steaming or a sauté, amazing in soups too. One way to make it a quick side dish is to peel it and cut it up like you would home-fries in little pieces, then put in a sauce pan with a lid and about 1/2 cup water and a drizzle of olive oil. Heat up to a boil, and then sauté on medium heat in the liquid for about 9 minutes. Then take off the lid and continue to cook until tender. Throw on a bit of butter and eat…yumm… a tiny bit of salt and pepper if you wish…

Golden beets have an amazing sweetness. They tend to be a bit sweeter and taste a little less earthy and more mellow in intensity than Red beets. Thanks to its beautiful yellow colour, lightly steamed Golden beets can brighten up any food dish and look beautiful in all kinds of salads. This humble root vegetable is a welcomed contributor to our plates.


Beets and carrots are such companionable vegetables. They go together “grate” in this simple salad. Such flavourful veggies need only light embellishment — just a little added sweetness, plus the tartness of lemon, which brings out their flavours.

  • 2 medium golden beets, peeled and grated and par-boiled…see below
  • 4 large or 6 medium carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • Juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon (2 to 4 tablespoons), to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Leaves from a few sprigs minced fresh herb of your choice, such as
    parsley, cilantro, or dill, or a combination

Combine all the ingredients in a serving bowl.  Allow time to let the salad stand (at room temperature or refrigerated), so that the flavours can blend.

Note: If you like beets partially cooked (they’re also easier to peel and cut that way), you can simmer them whole in water to cover for about 5 to 8 minutes. Or, place them in a heat-proof container with a very small amount of water; cover and microwave for 2 minutes per beet.  With either method, don’t cook for too long — you want to be able to pierce through maybe 1/4 inch, with resistance. Peel and cut the beets into chunks once they’re cool enough to handle, before grating them.
Read more at http://www.vegkitchen.com/recipes/grated-beet-and-carrot-salad/#eXaLQspz7GPmSOHG.99


I have used this recipe for purple beets, golden beets and choggia (red and white) beets. I always enjoy cinnamon sticks with mine, although the liquorice taste from the star anise may be a pleasant change in flavour. 

  • 6 medium golden beets, steamed until tender
  • 2 1/2 cups rice vinegar or white vinegar
  • 1  cup granulated sugar (I have used less)
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 4 star anise or cinnamon sticks

Pack beets in clean sterilized jars, either cut in slices or chunks. If beets are tiny, leave them whole. Boil vinegar with sugar, water and star anise or cinnamon until sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes.  Let cool for 10 minutes.  Pour into jars add star anise at the top and cover with lids.  Let cool completely and refrigerate up to  2 weeks.

Also, try this amazing tasty and awesomely good for you “Tops to Bottoms” Beet Soup

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Romanesque Cauliflower, Broccoflower, Romanesco…it’s all the same

DSCF2041Isn’t this the coolest looking vegetable? I like when they show up in our CSA boxes. Some call it Romanesque Cauliflower, Broccoflower or Romanesco Broccoli. I like it raw with dip or steamed with a huge dollop of butter melting throughout the little “christmas tree” shaped pieces.

There are many different kinds of green cauliflower, and several are the result of the cross-pollination of broccoli and cauliflower.

Broccoflower is generally milder, more tender, and slightly sweeter than either broccoli or cauliflower. For those reasons, they are delicious raw, and make a great, conversation-starting addition to crudités platters.

Broccoflower can be substituted for cauliflower or broccoli in any recipe that calls for them. Beware of overcooking. Just like broccoli, broccoflower can become stringy and unpleasant when overcooked.


  • 1 head broccoflower, cut into florets
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper

In large pot of boiling water, cook Broccoflower until tender-crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain and transfer to large bowl. Add Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, butter, salt and pepper; toss.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment