Tips for Grilling Vegetables (with recipes)

Simple tips for grilling vegetables – and a round-up of delicious summer recipes for transforming seasonal produce over an open flame.

June in Nova Scotia is when the lilacs bloom at the tips of the trees and the edges of the lakes warm up enough for wading. The air is still crisp, yet inviting, and we’re gathering around the patio table a little more often.

For the next three months, my trusty charcoal grill becomes a handy extension to my tiny kitchen. It’s not all about meat, though. Every summer there is a bounty of produce just waiting to be transformed over an open flame.

Grilled vegetables like cherry tomato skewers, baby summer squash, and charred sweet peppers bring both intense colour and flavour to the plate. In this post I’ll share my best tips for grilling vegetables – paired with a round-up of recipes to get you inspired.

[Read more…]

Tips for Freezing Produce to Avoid Food Waste

Stop Food Waste Day is April 29. In the Simple Bites kitchen, I’m always looking to increase my zero waste efforts and get others on board too.

If you can’t eat it immediately, tossing produce in the freezer is the quickest way to save it for later. I’d much rather make and freeze a quick pesto with wilting herbs, then lose them to the compost bin.

Many fresh ingredients, such as berries and spinach, can quite simply be bagged and frozen. But what if you want to do something more – and set yourself up with a stash of staples?

I’ve put together a list of recipes and methods for “putting up” produce by freezing foods. From pesto to pizza sauce, these are my favourite ways to stock the freezer – and stop food waste.

[Read more…]

How to Build Power Bowls

Recipes and tips for cooking nourishing power bowls at home.

With a little creativity and a lot of flexibility, nourishing power bowls are a fantastic family dinner plan.

They are great use of leftovers, feature pantry ingredients and can be customized to suit the different taste preferences around the table.

Sure, macaroni and cheese is great, but we can’t eat it all the time! In a recent interview with the National Post, I shared some of my favourite isolation meals, including a big rice bowl topped with kimchi, chili oil and a fried egg. So simple and yet so comforting.

Today’s post looks at how to build power bowls in your own kitchen. I share my best ideas for building block ingredients and power bowl ‘themes’. Oh and plenty of recipes, too!

[Read more…]

10 Kitchen Rules to Cook By

Even after years of practice, it still can be challenging to get a home-cooked meal on the table.

Today’s post reviews a list of reminders for achieving this goal, day after day. Most well-established kitchen habits or ‘rules’ have stood the test of time, but others have shifted with the changing years.

For example, a few mantras, such as ‘clean-as-you-go’, have been replaced by zero-waste efforts and eco-conscious movements. Mindful eating is more important than ever.

We’ve also realized that sitting down for dinner is about being present, rather than perfect. And I think we’ve given ourselves permission to simplify it all.

With that in mind, here are ten kitchen rules to cook by for the modern home chef.

[Read more…]

Meal Prep 101: How to Freeze Grains

My mother instilled a love of whole grains in me from a very early age, back on our original homestead in the Yukon.

I can still picture the orange oval cast iron pot that she would set in the middle of the table at meal time when the six of us were gathered. That pot of rice or barley or millet rounded out most of our meals, filling the corners in the tummies with comfort.

Nowadays grains of all kind fill my pantry – red quinoa, basmati rice, wheat berries and farro, in addition to my childhood favourites. I add them to everything from citrus salads to quick stir-fried dinners.

You all know that meal prep is key for helping me to get organized for dinner and I’m also a long-time believer in batch cooking. Freezing big batches of grains checks both those boxes and makes my life a little bit easier; here’s how I do it.

[Read more…]