Simple Herb-Marinated Beans

How was your Easter? Did you eat yourself into a frenzy? We came precariously close 🙂 As such, this pot of simple, herb-marinated beans is definitely needed this week. It’s light and fresh (because spring is trying to appear), full of protein (to keep you away from all the leftover chocolate) and it lasts all week in the fridge (making your lunch or dinner choices so much easier). | Simple herb-marinated beans

I was working from home one day last week and didn’t have any leftovers to eat up for lunch, which sent me on a minor food-hunt around the apartment. Aside from some herbs and tomatoes, the fridge was looking fairly bare. But a quick nose around the pantry turned up a few cans of beans, and some shallots. From that, this bowl of really tasty herb-marinated beans was born, just in time for lunch! | Simple herb-marinated beans

I started with one can of butter beans (those gigantic ones) and decided it wasn’t going to be enough, so tossed in a can of cannellini beans as well. I love how big and meaty these beans are, and this salad makes a great base for many additions. Cucumber or peppers would be great, or even thinly sliced mushrooms. Just don’t skimp on the herbs. Everything is marinated in a fragrant herby vinaigrette which, when piled on a piece of toasted bread, makes for a perfect lunch. | Simple herb-marinated beans

The beans have been sitting in our fridge for the last 4 or 5 days and everyday, they always seem to taste just a little bit better. That’s what I love about salads like this – they’re easy to make and last more than an hour in the fridge.

We’ve eaten them on toasted bread, on their own as a salad, and even tossed in with roasted veggies for a tasty kick. I love it when an almost-empty fridge surprises me like this 🙂 | Simple herb-marinated beans

Simple Herb-Marinated Beans
Recipe type: Salad
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
These healthy herb-marinated beans are easy to make, full of protein, and bursting with flavour.
  • 1 small shallot, finely diced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, diced
  • 1 tsp dried red chili flakes
  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 cans of beans (398 mL each), drained and thoroughly rinsed (I used butter beans and cannellini)
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • ½ cup finely chopped herbs (I used cilantro and mint)
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil (optional)
  1. In a small bowl, mix the chopped shallot, fresh ginger, dried red chili flakes and white wine vinegar. Leave it to sit for 5 minutes while you are prepping the rest of the salad.
  2. Place the beans, tomatoes and herbs in a large bowl. Add the olive oil and toss to combine.
  3. Add the shallot mixture to the beans and mix thoroughly.
  4. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes, to allow the flavours to meld.
  5. Serve as a side salad, or on top of toast or bread.
In a tightly-sealed container, this salad will last in the fridge up to one week.

Enjoy these simple herb-marinated beans! | Simple herb-marinated beans

Baked Red Pepper Falafels:

Baked Red Pepper Falafel Bowls with a Pomegranate Slaw

Do you go through food phases? We do! Sometimes they last a few weeks, sometimes for many months, and sometimes they change with the season. We’re going through one at the moment – the “let’s eat tapas-style food… in the living room… on the floor… while watching this and this phase. It’s kind of a great phase to be in because the only stipulation is that the food can be eaten out of a bowl and a table isn’t required.

I saw a falafel recipe in Bon Appetit‘s October issue. Served with a pomegranate-studded slaw and guacamole, I thought would make a perfect weekend meal. I was right! So right, that we made them two weekends in a row – the first, served all together in a bowl; the second, served in soft homemade pita bread. Both variations were superb!

The original recipe called for deep frying the falafel balls, but we prefer to keep things on the lighter / healthier side. Also, the thought of heating up a big pot of oil just doesn’t sit well with us (unless it’s to make donuts with Grandma – then we’re in!). I modified the ingredient list a bit and baked them instead, and they turned out great. To bind the mixture, I used a combination of ground flaxseed and oat flour, and they held together remarkably well (if you don’t have either of these, just use regular flour)! A touch of fresh herbs and lemon juice really brighten the entire meal.

If you have a food processor, these falafels are a breeze to make as everything gets pulsed in the same bowl. I let the mixture chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes before forming the balls, but it’s probably not necessary. | Baked red pepper falafels with a pomegranate slaw

I used a measuring cup (1/4 or 1/3 of a cup works) to portion out the mixture and form them into round balls. At this stage, if you find the mixture has too much liquid in it, add more flour, a tablespoon at a time, to soak up the liquid. When you form the balls, they will feel quite delicate, but they hold together very well once baked. | Baked red pepper falafels with a pomegranate | Baked red pepper falafels with a pomegranate slaw

Jonty whipped up the pomegranate coleslaw and guacamole and in no time, the tapas-feast was ready! | Baked red pepper falafels with a pomegranate | Baked red pepper falafels with a pomegranate | Baked red pepper falafels with a pomegranate slaw

The result was a light and flavourful meal that completely satisfied our craving. The baked red pepper falafel balls keep in the fridge for up to a week and should freeze well, too. | Baked red pepper falafels with a pomegranate | Baked red pepper falafels with a pomegranate slaw

I can see these guys making their way into our regular rotation for the next while 🙂

Baked Red Pepper Falafel Bowls with a Pomegranate Slaw
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 12 falafel
  • Serving size: 1 falafel ball
  • Calories: 81
  • Fat: 1.7 g
  • Saturated fat: 0.1 g
  • Unsaturated fat: 0 g
  • Trans fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 13.4 g
  • Sugar: 2.4 g
  • Sodium: 185.9 mg
  • Fiber: 3.1 g
  • Protein: 4.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 g
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Inspired from Bon Appetit
For the Falafel
  • 1 cup / 250 g / 8 oz dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained
  • ½ medium yellow onion
  • 1 small red pepper
  • 1 - 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup loosely-packed parsley
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 tbsp oat flour (or oats ground up)
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tsp dried red chili flakes
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ lemon, zest + juice
For the Pomegranate Slaw
  • ¼ medium head savoy cabbage, shredded
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded
  • ¼ medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp grainy mustard
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil
  • ⅓ cup pomegranate seeds
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400°F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. In the food processor, pulse the rinsed and drained chickpeas until they resemble ground nuts. You still want to be able to see chunks of chickpeas. Transfer them to a large bowl.
  3. Place the onion, red pepper, garlic and parsley into the food processor and pulse until the mixture is finely chopped. Add the ground flaxseed, oat flour, lemon juice + zest and all spices, and pulse to combine. Transfer into the chickpea bowl and mix well. Refrigerate the mixture for up to an hour, or form balls to bake right away.
  4. Using a ¼ or ⅓ cup measuring scoop, form the mixture into a ball and place on a parchment-lined tray. If the mixture feels too wet, add more oat flour, one tablespoon at a time, to soak up some of the liquid. As long as the mixture holds together slightly, this will be enough to keep the shape as the falafels bake.
  5. Bake the falafel balls at 400°F for about 25 minutes, flipping half-way through the baking time, until golden brown.
  6. To make the coleslaw, finely shred the cabbage and carrot, and thinly slice the onion. Mix the mustard, olive oil and vinegar into a dressing, drizzle over the coleslaw and thoroughly. Taste and add more vinegar, salt and/or pepper to taste. Add the pomegranate seeds and mix. If you can, allow the salad to sit for at least 30 minutes before serving, to allow the flavours to develop.
  7. Serve the falafel and slaw in a bowl (or in a pita!) with a good dollop of guacamole.

Enjoy these Baked Red Pepper Falafel Bowls with a Pomegranate Slaw!

Farmer’s Market Greek Salad

We love summer – the early-morning sunshine, the warm days, no need to bundle up in layers of clothing… Oh, and the abundance of summer fruits and veggies! Chop up any seasonal vegetable, toss with a  bit of olive oil and a vinegar, throw in a good handful of fresh herbs, and you have a fantastic dinner that requires very little effort (and leftovers for lunch the next day!). We live on salads like this during the summer, and never tire of the flavours.

The tomatoes taste like candy, the peppers are sweet and crunchy, and the smell of fresh basil infuses the kitchen, begging to be thrown into salads, whizzed up with olive oil, or topped onto a pizza.

Salads like this don’t really need a recipe – we keep chopping until the salad bowl looks reasonably full. The only thing I will mention is that we slice the onion first and drizzle on a bit of balsamic vinegar to take off the raw edge off. We leave them to mellow a bit before adding the rest of the veggies. Oh, and lemon zest (or any citrus zest!) is da bomb – adding the zest as well as the juice will do nothing but great things to a salad!! | Farmer's Market Greek | Farmer's Market Greek salad

We grilled up several chicken and beef kabobs to go along with this salad, but the salad is really the star of the meal 🙂

Farmer's Market Greek Salad
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 4
  • Serving size: 1 bowl
  • Calories: 160
  • Fat: 9.2 g
  • Saturated fat: 4.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 13.9 g
  • Sugar: 8.2 g
  • Sodium: 126.8 mg
  • Fiber: 2.8 g
  • Protein: 7 g
  • Cholesterol: 11.5 mg
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Total time: 
  • 15 - 20 cherry tomatoes
  • 3 medium bell peppers
  • 1 medium cucumber
  • ½ medium red onion
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • 1 lemon, zest + juice
  • Handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • Handful of fresh basil, slivered
  • 100 g crumbled goat cheese, if desired
  • Handful of olives, if desired
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  1. Dice the red onion into thick chunks and place into a large bowl along with the balsamic vinegar. Let the onions mellow a bit before adding the remaining ingredients.
  2. Chop the peppers and cucumber into thick chunks and slice the tomatoes into halves (or quarters, depending on their size). Add these to the onion mixture and toss to combine.
  3. Finely chop the parsley and basil and add to the salad, along with the olive oil, lemon juice and lemon zest. Toss thoroughly to combine. Taste and add more olive oil or vinegar, if desired.
  4. Serve the salad with a few olive and goat cheese.

Enjoy! | Farmer's Market Greek salad

New Meal Monday: Yogurt Beet Dip with Chopped Walnuts

Last weekend we cycled down to the Postmark Brewing tasting-lounge to sample the craft brews and nibble the tapas from their Belgard Kitchen. We decided to try the beet dip and veggie platter, which was worth ordering for the vibrant beet colour, alone, and it was very tasty! We nearly always have some beets in our fridge, so I knew I just had to recreate this at home… so last night I took the plunge and tried it out… it was fantastic! | Roasted beet and yogurt dip

Did you know that beets are nutritional powerhouses? They boast a number of health benefits, including being rich in antioxidants and high in fiber. They help to lower blood pressure, fight inflammation and help the body detoxify impurities. Beets (and beet juice) may also help improve physical stamina, which is great for all those active people out there, looking to make the most of their workouts! | Roasted beet and yogurt dip

For this dip, the beets are cooked in the oven for about 45 minutes, then puréed in a blender with some Greek yogurt and a few spices. | Roasted beet and yogurt dip

The colour is incredibly bright and vibrant, it’s almost hard to believe that no horrible food-colouring drops are added! | Roasted beet and yogurt | Roasted beet and yogurt dip

I made this in the afternoon and let it sit in the fridge for an hour or so before we really dug in. The flavour improved as it sat, so if you can wait, I would suggest the same. We ate ours with a few homemade tortillas, and along-side fish tacos made with sablefish. | Roasted beet and yogurt | Roasted beet and yogurt | Roasted beet and yogurt dip

I can see this dip falling into a regular rotation in our household. The original recipe topped the dip with goat cheese, which would be great, but it’s just great on its own too. | Roasted beet and yogurt | Roasted beet and yogurt dip

New Meal Monday: Yogurt Beet Dip with Chopped Walnuts
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 1.5 cups
  • Serving size: 1 tbsp
  • Calories: 20
  • Fat: 0.7 g
  • Saturated fat: 0.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 2.6 g
  • Sugar: 1.9 g
  • Sodium: 16.1 mg
  • Fiber: 0.6 g
  • Protein: 1.0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0.3 mg
Recipe type: Appetizer, Snack
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 2 - 3 (425 g) medium red beets, trimmed
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes (less, if you prefer less spice)
  • ½ cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • ¼ tbsp chopped walnuts
  • 2 tbsp finely-chopped parsley
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Trim the beets, cut them in half and place in a shallow roasting pan. Add a few tablespoons of water, cover loosely with foil and bake for ~45 minutes until tender (a fork should easily pierce the beet pieces). Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  2. When cool enough to handle, peel the skin off the beet and place in a food processor, along with the garlic, red chili flakes and yogurt. Blend until well-combined.
  3. Add the olive oil, maple syrup and spices (cumin, oregano, paprika, sea salt and pepper). Blend until smooth.
  4. Transfer into a shallow dish either and sprinkle with walnuts and parsley. Serve with warm bread and veggies.
The flavour improves after resting, so feel free to make this dip well in advance. The dip also freezes well, so we will often make a double batch.


How to Make: Corn Tortillas

While I understand that many of the plastic-enclosed foods we buy at the store require a long list of preservative ingredients in order to extend their shelf-life, I don’t understand why we may actively choose these products when we can make some of them at home!

Homemade corn tortillas are one of the easiest things to make and do taste so much better than the plastic-enclosed ones! Only three ingredients are required: Masa Harina (corn flour), water and salt – that’s it! Masa Harina is very finely-ground corn flour, which is not the same as corn flour or cornmeal… so look out for that specific name when shopping.

Mix everything together and shape into a ball. The dough should be soft and pliable, but not sticky or crumbly, so add more water or flour until you have the right consistency. Then let the dough rest for about 30 minutes. | Homemade corn tortillas

When you’re ready to make the tortillas, divide the dough into 8 or 10 equal pieces. I made ten 6-inch tortillas from this batch.

You can buy a fancy-dancy tortilla press, which will make this process easier, but who needs another gadget in the house, when you have two plates and a rolling pin! Roll the dough into a little ball, place between two pieces of parchment paper, then flatten into a thin disc between the bottom of two plates. I start the tortillas this way to get them flat-ish and round-ish, then I use a rolling pin to press them further. Aim for a thickness of a few millimetres.

Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat (once I tried a regular stainless steel frying pan – it did not go well – so use non-stick!). Place a tortilla in the pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, flip and cook for another 2 minutes.

Completely wet a cotton dish-cloth with water then wring it out. As the tortillas finish cooking, wrap them in the damp dish cloth until you are ready to eat. This keeps them from drying out. I have also started wrapping the warm tortillas in a piece of aluminum foil (it makes clean-up much easier!). | Homemade corn | Homemade corn tortillas

Time to eat! We made salmon tacos with a pile of slaw and guac, so very tasty!

We froze half of this batch, which will save a run to the store the next time we have a taco-craving. Bonus! 🙂 | Homemade corn tortillas

Easy, Homemade Corn Tortillas
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 10 tortillas
  • Serving size: 1 tortilla
  • Calories: 83
  • Fat: 0.8 mg
  • Saturated fat: 0.1 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 17.5 g
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Sodium: 2.1 mg
  • Fiber: 1.5 g
  • Protein: 1.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 2 cups Masa Harina
  • 1 cup water (plus more, as needed)
  1. Mix the Masa Harina and sea salt together. Add the water and stir until a dough forms. Mix/knead with your hands until a soft, pliable dough forms. If the dough is too dry, add more water. If too wet, add a bit more corn flour. Form into a ball and cover for 30 minutes, if desired. Feel free to make the tortillas right away, though.
  2. When ready to cook, evenly divide the dough into 8 to 10 pieces. Flatten each piece between two pieces of parchment paper. Either use a tortilla press, two plates, or a rolling pin. Flatten the tortillas until they are a few millimetres thick.
  3. Heat a non-stick pan (or griddle) over medium heat. Place a tortilla on the pan and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, flip and cook for another 2 minutes.
  4. Remove the tortilla from the pan and wrap in a damp cotton dish-cloth until ready to eat. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
Keep any uneaten tortillas sealed in a zip-lock bag, as they will dry out fairly quickly. They freeze well, too.