Vegetarian

Book Review: Green Kitchen at Home

Green Kitchen at Home

It's hard to find inspiration sometimes, especially when cooking. If you follow a specific diet - like vegetarian, gluten free, or vegan - it can be even more difficult to find inspiring, easy recipes without too many specialised ingredients, which is why we are so excited about the Green Kitchen at Home cookbook.

This book was written by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl, the family behind the Green Kitchen Stories blog. It's full of versatile recipes for all types or meals and snacks. We picked up this book a couple of months ago and have been testing it with great (and delicious) success! 

Where this book Succeeds

Delicious food! The recipes in this book showcase and combine veggies in new and delightful ways - it made us love cauliflower and fennel like nothing else! We also love the side tips on how to elevate the recipe. We especially love the Mediterranean Tray-bake with Halloumi Chunks and the Green Pea, Broccoli, and Mint Soup with Puy Lentil Topping. 

It reads like a narrative. We weren't familiar with the Green Kitchen Stories prior to picking up up this book, but now we feel like we've known them for a while. The authors do a great job talking about why they picked these recipes and how their family (they have 3 little ones) feels about every dish they talk about. 

Versatile recipes! They have options for everyone - whether you're vegetarian, gluten free, or vegan! If you are an omnivore, you can easily add meat to most recipes as well! 

Points worth noting

Some recipes require a lot of ingredients. They're not necessarily speciality items but they also may not something you have on hand or shop regularly for, which can add up if you're getting them on top of your usual grocery list. 

Many recipes also require more prep work than others, which may be difficult or hassle full for some folks. We found most recipes we had to plan for - it wasn't something we do in the spur of the moment. 

If you want to check it out but are unsure about committing to purchasing it, the Toronto Public Library has several copies on hand! 

Love, 

The Spectrum Team

 

Get Snacking: Winter Vegetables

wintercooking.jpg

Winter cooking can involve a lot of cheese and carbs. Which is great - we really really love cheese and carbs - but we can't live off that alone. With the cooler weather and our desire for cosiness (and fats), incorporating lots of vegetables into our cooking can be a struggle - we don't feel nearly as dedicated to salad as we do during summer! 

To remedy that we decided to give Yotam Ottolenghi's book Plenty a try - it promises us an array of vibrant vegetables recipes. We picked a simple Broccoli and Gorgonzola pie (see our photo above) but we changed the recipe slightly. Check it out below:

Broccoli and Gorgonzola Pie (recipe adapted from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi)

  • 1 package of puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 lb of frozen broccoli 
  • 1 tbs of olive oil + 2 tbs water
  • 3 leeks, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 water
  • 3 tbs mustard
  • handful of chopped fresh tarragon
  • salt+pepper
  • 1 package (125g) of blue cheese (we used PC blue cheese)
  • 1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Roll out two-thirds of the pastry into a circle that can easily line a pie pan - be mindful not to overwork the dough as it can harden. Line the pan and trim off the excess pastry. Roll out the next piece to make a thinner top; place this piece on a piece of parchment paper. Chill the dough in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Prick the tart bottom with a fork several time and cover with aluminium foil and cover with baking beans. Bake for 15-20 min, depending on your oven. Remove from the oven, take out parchment and baking beans, and bake for another 5-6 minutes. Let cool.

As the shell is baking, cook the broccoli in a pot of boiling water. The florets should be tender but crisp, approximately 2-4 minutes. Rinse broccoli under cold water, and let dry.

Heat up a pan, add olive oil, and saute leeks on a low heat for 10 minutes, adding more water as needed. Incorporate cream, water, mustard, tarragon, salt, and pepper.

To assemble, spread the leek and cream mixture over the bottom of the tart. Spread the broccoli on top. Add the blue cheese. Brush the rim of the tart pan with the egg, and then place the pastry top over the filling. Press and seal the tart, and cut off any excess pastry. Glaze the top with the beaten egg and bake for 30-35 minutes, until your top is golden brown. Allow to cool 5 min before serving.

We served the pie with a tomato, red onion, dill salad, dressed in olive oil and white vinegar. 

We hope you enjoy it, 

Love, 

The Spectrum Team

Get Snacking: Date love with Daits - delightful natural treats

Prenatal Snack Dates

As the seasons get cooler we thought we would share some treat ideas! Dates are both delicious and beneficial prenatally - in one of our previous blog post we offered delicious ways of eating 6 dates a day. Some of those recipes require more ingredients than others -  for those days when you don't have all the ingredients on hand or you'd like an extra special treat we are happy to present you: Daits!

Daits was founded by Reem Aljarbou - a busy mama of two. Reem grew up in Saudi Arabia, where dates are a traditional staple of daily life. After relocating to Canada, Reem was surprised to find that none of the varieties of dates she loved were available here and so she began ordering shipments of her two favourite types of dates (Sukkari and Khalas). She would eat these plain or fill them with delicious and high quality ingredients, like nuts or nut butters. 

Healthy Prenatal Nutrition

Reem began sharing her date treats with friends and coworkers and everyone loved them!  Daits was born our of Reem's desire to share her family traditions with the rest of Canada and to offer a naturally sweet treat full of health benefits. 

Daits is located inside the Saks Food Hall at the Eaton Centre Pusateri's. You can find a treat for everyone in your family at Daits: plain dates pressed in their own juices or stuffed with almonds; protein bars (made mainly with dates and few other high quality ingredients); salted caramel date bars; and of course stuffed dates with whimsical names such as seeds of love (dates stuffed with walnuts, drizzled with honey, and sprinkled with fennel and nigella seeds), first dait (dates stuffed with roasted almonds, coated in almond butter, and rolled in crispy feuilletine), and cloud 9 (dates piped with peanut butter). 

If you (or someone you love) are in the mood for a delicious (healthier) treat, give Daits a try! We try it every week...

Love, 

The Spectrum Doula Collective

 

Get Snacking: Peanut Butter Granola Bars

Peanut Butter Granola Bars

Quick and easy healthy snacks whether it be during pregnancy, labour and postpartum (or for when kids are getting older) can be hard to find. This recipe is insanely easy, packed with protein and super transportable. 

But it's got nuts!?

If you or one of your children has an allergy to nuts, this definitely is not the recipe for you. If you're wondering if it's safe to eat nuts while pregnant or nursing babe, the most current research shows that your child's development of a nut allergy is not impacted by whether you eat or do not eat nuts throughout pregnancy and or while nursing. Yay!

Supplies

  • Parchment Paper
  • 8 x 8 in pan

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups Rolled Oats
  • 1/4 cup Flax Seeds
  • 1/4 cup Hemp Seeds
  • 1/4 cup Sunflower Seeds
  • 1/4 cup Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1/2 cup Almonds
  • 1/2 cup Pecans
  • 1/2 cup Dried Cranberries
  • 1/2 cup Maple Syrup
  • 1 cup Peanut Butter

Directions

Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir ingredients together (it might be easier to use your hands to mix all the ingredients together). Cut a piece of parchment paper big enough so the paper hangs over the edges of the 8 x 8 inch pan. Place mixed ingredients on the parchment paper and use a fork to flatten the ingredients to the edges of the pan and then place in the fridge for a couple of hours. Once chilled the Peanut Butter Granola should easily be cut into bars. Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week.

Enjoy!

Love the Spectrum team xo