Posts Tagged ‘Garlic’


I spent some time living in Europe. I became very good friends with an Italian who has a lot to do with how and why I cook today. His passion was for Italian food, and he made amazing pasta. It opened my eyes. This recipe is largely influenced by him with a lot of my own twists in it.


  • 15-20 Roma tomatoes, diced (Romas have less juice and more pulp so they will form a sauce faster)
  • 4-5 Cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Zucchini, diced
  • 1 Large yellow onion or 2-3 shalots, diced
  • 1 bunch basil, chopped
  • 1 palmful of sunflower seeds, chopped
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Good quality Spaghetti Noodles (I use barilla)


  1. Put a deep fry pan on medium heat
  2. Once hot add olive oil and garlic
  3. Once the garlic becomes fragrant, but not browned, add the tomatoes
  4. Leave for about 10-20 minutes until the tomatoes start to break down
  5. Add the zucchini and allow to soften
  6. Put a pot of water on the boil, add a palmful of salt (The may seem excessive, but is very necessary)
  7. Once boiling add the pasta and cook to package instructions, careful not to overcook, and drain
  8. It is important to try to time the sauce and noodles so that they finish cooking at about the same time
  9. Once the pasta starts to form a sauce like consistency, remove from heat and add the basil and sunflower seeds (Adding the herbs after cooking helps them to keep their flavour and creates a fresher taste)
  10. Toss the noodles with the sauce and serve

If you are in a hurry you can add tomato paste to thicken the sauce. I use pecorino cheese on top instead of Parmesan. What ever you do, do not ruin the dish with that fake Parmesan that is already shredded. It is far better to keep a piece of cheese and shred it as you need it. Parmesan and pecorino are both hard cheeses and will keep in the fridge for a long time.


Rhubarb and Tofu

Spring has sprung and rhubarb is an amazing and underused spring vegetable. This is adapted from one of Jamie Oliver’s recipes where he used pork. The idea is to pair the tartness of the rhubarb with a bit of heat and savory from the 5 spice and soy sauce.

Into food processor and puree

  • 400 grams rhubarb, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • Thumb ginger
  • 2 big chilies, chopped roughly
  • Big teaspoon 5 spice (Chinese spice mixture)
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp honey

Tofu Stuff

  • 1 kilo tofu, chopped
  • Noodles, I prefer thicker udon  noodles
  • Fresh coriander, just a bit for on top
  • Spring onions, sliced
  • Sunflower or groundnut oil to coat pan

Marinade: First, cut the tofu into about 1″ cubes. Marinade the tofu in the puree for a few hours in the fridge.

Once you are ready to cook the tofu put a fry pan on medium-high heat and add a bit of oil to the pan. Meanwhile, Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the noodles to the water; cook until done. Add the tofu to the fry pan and do your best to not add the rhubarb mixture. Once the tofu is browned, add the rhubarb mixture and warm it all up. Taste tofu sauce for seasoning.

You are ready to plate it up: Noodles, tofu on top, sprinkle onions, sprinkle herbs from a height, squeeze of lime, maybe some more fresh chilies if you like some extra heat.

This dish goes very well with a salad of other sour spring time vegetables like green apple, radish and chard.

Salsa Soup

I love salsa. This soup is inspired by salsa and my love for it.


  • 1 pound tomatoes; chopped in half and roasted on a cookie sheet at 400F for about 30 minutes
  • 5 cups miso or veggie broth
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3-4 bulbs garlic, minced
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1-2 Jalapeños, seeds removed and chopped finely
  • 2-4 tbsp Cumin
  • Hot sauce to taste
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. Roast the tomatoes in the oven.
  2. Once they are done, fry the onions and garlic with olive oil in a deep pan until they start to soften.
  3. Add the tomatoes, jalapeños, half the black beans and broth.
  4. In an upright blender or food processor blend it in batches until it’s all smooth.
  5. Add the rest of the black beans, cumin, salt and pepper, and spice it up to your liking with the hot sauce.
  6. Heat and serve.

You can serve with a bit of cheese grated and/or tortilla chips broken up over top.

Other ingredients that would probably work (untested):

  • Cilantro; garnish with it or add it chopped up about 2 minutes before you serve the soup
  • Corn; add it after the blender or the same way the black beans were
  • Some salsa!
  • Roast the garlic with the tomatoes
  • Hemp or Sesame Seeds; add just before serving

Burger and Fries

Nothing beats a burger and fries. When we first went Veg we used to eat the soy burgers with oven fries all the time. Since then we have found a few recipes that are good and easy to make to replace the store-bought soy paddies. The nice thing about these paddies is that they are made from things that don’t go bad so they can be made without having to go shopping.

These are from the book “The Thrive Diet” which I would recommend getting as it has lots of recipes that are quick and nutritious.

For these you can use any nut you have around. You can change the herb and spices; just try to keep the wet to dry ratio the same so that they form nice patties.

They have basically the same instructions. Put everything into a food processor and then form into paddies. They can be eaten raw or you can heat them in a frying pan or they would be great on the BBQ. Makes 2 paddies.

Almond flaxseed

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup almonds
  • ½ cup ground flaxseed (coffee grinder works great to grind them)
  • 2 tbsp balsamic
  • 2 tbsp oil (EFA or olive is best)
  • A pinch of salt

Walnut Hemp

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • ½ cup hemp seeds
  • 2 tbsp apple cinder vinegar
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • ½ tsp basil
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • A pinch of salt

You can see the similarities between the 2 recipes. The flavour combos are endless. You can use half a cup of 2 different types of nuts, mix it up with the seeds, dig deep in the cupboards and find some fun vinegar. Fresh herbs like dill would make for a nice fresh paddy.

Garlic Oregano Yam Oven Fries

  • 2 medium yams- peeled and cut into fry shapes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds, chopped
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • ½ tbsp basil
  • 1 ½ tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste

Toss everything and put it in the oven on a cookie sheet at 300F for about 35 minutes. If you are BBQ’ing you can tinfoil wrap them and throw them on.

UPDATE – I recently tried freezing the burger before cooking them and it works great! I pressed them into paddies and then placed wax paper between each one and put them into a ziplock. works great for lunch and for evenings when you don’t feel like making supper.

Get Better Soup

My girlfriend was feeling sick and since us veggies can’t have chicken noodle soup I thought I would make something to help her feel better. Soups can be fairly quick and easy to make; this is an example of something healthy, quick and good.


  • 4 cups veggie broth (I used bouillon, make sure you read the label and find one without MSG!)
  • ½ bunch spinach
  • 1 thumb ginger
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • ¼ red pepper


  • 1 onion
  • 4-5 mushrooms
  • ¾ red pepper

You can use a food processor or a blender to puree the first set of ingredients. Add the puree to the fried stuff and bring to a boil. Ours came out a little to gingery so I added a spoon of tahini as well to mellow it out. I also added a bit of hot sauce to get the sinus going. I served it with a bit of cheese grated on top and garlic toast.

Beet It! A Leftover Creation

I find that some of my best meals are the result of trying to use up what’s in the fridge. They are a product of me having to try to combine flavours that I would not have thought to combine in the past. There are basic things that are essential to have in the house to make this work. For this recipe we still had a bit of left over beet paddyy and a beet left in the fridge from this recipe . I rolled the leftover beet paddy into small balls and put them in the oven at 350F for 10 -15 minutes; beet balls. There was also lettuce from a couple of the salads that we have had.

Lettuce is a great way to turn some left-over food into a meal. Miso is also something that I use to help make quick and delicious soups. It is a soup base that is a paste and it keeps in the fridge forever. I bought the brown rice miso paste, but there is a bunch of different kinds that you can choose from. I also added dulse to the soup. Dulse is a sea vegetable that is one of the very few sources of vegetarian B12. It doesn’t have a great taste on its own, but is good in miso base soups.


  • 1 beet, shredded
  • 2 tbsp miso
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 4 bulbs garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup dulse

Put the water and miso into a pot and bring up to a light boil. Add the other ingredients and reduce heat. Allow to simmer until the beet softens.


  • A bunch of lettuce
  • Salad dressing – I added a bit of balsamic
  • Beet balls (Beet paddy rolled into balls and baked at 350F for 10-15 minutes)
  • 1 tsp hemp seeds
  • A handful of almonds and a bit of pine nuts

Put everything in a bowl and toss.

Lime and Black Bean Chilli

Chilli is a fairly easy meal to make in large quantities. Great to freeze for lunches or future dinners on nights you might be feeling lazy. This recipe made about 4 servings, but you can scale it up as much as you like. Chilli is a great way to use up wilted or about-to-go-bad veg in your fridge. I used fresh tomatoes, but you can replace part or all of them with canned tomatoes. Using canned tomatoes makes it a bit easier, but I love the flavour of fresh. I prefer Roma tomatoes because they aren’t as juicy and don’t take as long to cook down, but you can use any tomato that is in season. I added the seeds as an extra protein and iron boost. Seeds have a lot of benefits and it is good to add them to soups, salads, and baking. Get creative with them!

Hemp Seeds

Sesame Seeds

  • 6 hot house tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 small potatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 red onion, cut
  • 1 lime
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 8 large mushrooms, cut
  • Hand full torn cilantro
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 4-8 cloves of garlic or to taste, chopped finely
  • Chillies to taste (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Chop up the mushrooms and onions. Put them in a non-oiled deep frying pan over medium heat. The oil from the mushrooms will be enough to cook both. Add the tomatoes, potatoes, cumin, garlic, and the juice of the lime. Allow to simmer until the tomatoes start to breakdown and the potatoes soften. Add the black beans, sesame seeds, hemp seeds, and chillies and allow to simmer for about 15-20 more minutes. When the chilli is almost done add the cilantro, taste and add salt and pepper as needed. It is best served in a warmed bowl with some garlic bread.