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Favourite Things: July- Chicago, Montreal, Beck and recipe for Kale and Herb Fritters with Chipolte Tahini Yogurt Dip. Whew.

4 Aug

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July flew by with the quickness!

Things I did this month:

-Visited the Art Institute of Chicago
-Finally saw Beck live
-Ate crepes in Quebec
-Slept in a tent

Pretty excellent.

Here are a few of my favourite things!

ONE: Visiting friends, new cities and live music. (That’s three things)

We headed to Chicago once again this year to catch the Pitchfork music festival and meet up with Mike and Brittany. Headliners: Beck, Neutral Milk Hotel and Kendrick Lamar. All delivered excellent sets. I also really loved St.Vincent, Jon Hopkins and Tune-yards.

Highlight: Annie Clark of St. Vincent absolutely killed it and Beck performed one of my all-time favourite tunes, Chemtrails.

 

 

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TWO: The Art Institute of Chicago

…is now one of my favourite art galleries. Ever. So many iconic and priceless works of art, including American Gothic, Seurat’s La Grand Jatte, and Nighthawks. The Magritte exhibition was excellent, and made me come away with a new, greater appreciation for the Surrealists.

blognotapipeIt is not.

I could spend allllll day there, happily.

And audio tours. Obv.

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THREE: Mile End, Montreal. 

Last weekend we headed to Quebec for two nights. We spent a wild one in Montreal and another wild one (literally) in the wilderness outside of Magog, where we got to spend some time with more fantastic faraway friends. This is where the tent sleeping happened.

This charming neighbourhood in Montreal is home to fabulous coffee and bagels . A must (re) visit.

Highlights: Eating St. Viateur bagels hot out of the oven dunked in tangy cream cheese, $10 drink specials for 4 tequila shots (including tabasco chasers!) at Andrews Pub in downtown Montreal, people watching while drinking excellent espresso from Myriad, swimming in Lac Magog, partying into the wee hours with Nick and Kate, road trip playlists and eating cheesy asparagus crepes the size of your head.

 

 

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Understandably weary.

street

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bagel

coffee

crepes

FOUR: Tarte Amazonian Clay BB Tinted Moisturizer SPF20 Sunscreen

I love cosmetics and I just gotta share my latest favourites.

This product is another home run for me from Tarte. Contrary to most makeup, it is possible that this stuff has actually improved my skin overall. I have not broken out once since I started using it and the texture and evenness of my skin has improved! Impressed.

Bonus: it contains mostly natural ingredients. I don’t think I could ever stray from this super-light foundation.

tarte

 

Five: Kale and Herb Fritters with Chipotle Tahini Yogurt

I stumbled upon a fabulous food blog called Alexandra’s Kitchen. Intrigued, I decided to try out these fritters, as I had a whole bundle of kale withering away in the fridge (AS PER USUAL)

I was skeptical at times throughout the (slightly messy) process, but the end result was SO good. The tahini dip was my own edition, which I also like to pair with falafels.

You could substitute any dark leafy green, such as chard or mustard greens or even a combination.

 

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Kale and Herb Fritters with Tahini Chipotle Yogurt Dip 

(makes approx 8)

  • One large bunch of leafy greens, stems removed.
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 green spring onions (about)
  • fresh cracked black pepper
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (maybe a bit more 😉
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil for frying (unscented)
  1. Simmer greens in boiling salted water until soft, about 5 minutes
  2. Strain well and pat dry with paper towel
  3. Blend everything in a food processor except for the cheese. Once well blended, fold in the cheese.
  4. Over high heat, fry fritters in batches (about 1.5 tablespoons each) (about 5 minutes on each side). Be sure to leave enough room in the pan to flip them properly!
  5. Serve hot with a squeeze of lemon.

Tahini Chipotle Yogurt Dip 

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 3 heaping tablespoons tahini
  • Fresh juice of 1/4 lemon
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
  • 1 clove garlic
  1. Mix!

 

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Ok so…they’re not pretty, but these were a huge hit. They are a fun way to eat more greens, and potential flavour combinations are endless,. Really, you could  combine any fresh herbs with any greens and the result would be delicious.

They reminded me a little bit of palak paneer…I think next time I’ll try adding some different spices and put an Indian spin on it.

Happy mid-Summer all!

 

xo M

 

Gallery

Fresh Biscuits and How to Keep Herbs Fresh (Totally Unrelated)

23 Jan

Don’t get me wrong, beef stew, although lovely, is basically just a vehicle for the accompanied  fresh biscuits. I must say, these turned out very nicely. I wanted to attempt the basic biscuit before getting all fancy-like with flavours (the fun part!). This will be a staple recipe for me now, and I  may experiment with  cheddar and cayenne or lime with black pepper next time.

Many biscuit recipes call for shortening, which I have never kept on hand. However, one thing I cook with almost everyday is coconut oil. It turns out that one can quite easily substitute the much healthier coconut oil for shortening in almost any given recipe, as long as the textures remain similar (coconut oil melts very easily).

p.s. I normally hate baking.

Beef Stew with Fresh Whole Wheat Biscuits

Biscuit Recipe:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (or all purpose)
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup salted butter (cold)
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup almond milk (didn’t have regular)
  1. In bowl combine dry ingredients, and then cut in butter and coconut oil. Combine until mixture resembles course crumbs.
  2. Beat egg with milk, and combine with dry ingredients until just wet (do not over mix!)
  3. Turn onto floured surface, and knead no more than 20 times
  4. Roll out dough and cut into circles
  5. Bake on well greased cookie sheet for 9 minutes at 450

This was so easy. Gotta love the short baking time for the instant gratification.

Like many of the other recipes I’ve posted this month, the beef stew was chock-full of  fresh rosemary. Not that I am completely obsessed with the humble herb (like I am with say-cilantro), it’s just that I have discovered a technique that has made it last and last!   I purchased this rosemary and sage pictured below on January 3rd, and it is amazingly still  fresh! The secret is to keep it in the fridge in a sealed container wrapped with damp paper towel! Totally life changing for someone who adores fresh herbs, yet is sad to see them wilt after just a few days and minimal use. I used to hate buying beautiful  herbs in huge bunches when I knew they would wither and die in a few short days. Same goes for spinach and mixed greens. This has totally changed all that. Goodbye stinky boxes of mixed salad that I didn’t have time to eat yet!

Get ready for February everyone, ’cause someone just bought a whole whack of cilantro!

Maybe everyone else already knows this trick, and I'm just slow?

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