Sunday, October 19, 2014

Wasabi Daikon Chips

Post and recipe contributed by Katrina Kairys.


Daikon. Even if you claim you haven’t heard of it, I bet you’ve eaten it before. Ever poked at the curly white stuff on the edge of your sushi plate? Maybe grabbed a piece or two unsure if you were eating the garnish? It turns out that it’s good to eat and especially good for you! A hundred grams will give you 36% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C. When eaten raw, it has a slight peppery taste but it’s much milder than horseradish. You can eat it in a slaw or toss it into a stir-fry.  During my (rather short) cooking career, I have managed to turn almost any vegetable into a chip: kale, zucchini, beets, sweet potato, squash and more. They’re great for when you’re craving something salty and crunchy. Thanks to veggie chips I can kiss Doritos goodbye!


Now for this recipe I don’t use any oil on the chips, just canola-based cooking spray. While some recipes call for a tablespoon or more of oil, I find that it makes the chips too soggy. Additionally, make sure you don’t salt the daikon beforehand. Ever study osmosis in grade school? As you probably know, salt draws out moisture so the daikon will shrink too much before you start cooking it. One twist I added to this recipe was wasabi powder. Typically the powder is used to make wasabi paste, another sushi staple. I sparingly sifted wasabi powder directly onto the chips to give them a hint of that wasabi “zing”. But fear not, these won’t leave you with a sniffling nose and watering eyes.

Wasabi Daikon Chips
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Ingredients
2 daikon radishes (oriental radish/white radish)
1 tsp wasabi powder
1 tsp salt
pinch of pepper

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 375 and lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
2. Thinly slice the daikon using a knife or mandolin.


3. Lay the daikon slices on a plate and using a fine sifter, sift the wasabi evenly over them. (Since I didn’t have a fine enough sifter, I used my tea-steeping spoon and it worked perfectly.)


4. Place the chips on the baking sheet and cook for 15 minutes.

5. Take out the tray and lightly salt and pepper the chips. Then flip them over and bake them for another 15 minutes. (Watch them carefully, as thinner or smaller pieces can burn quickly).


"My interest in cooking began with a goal to eat healthy and use clean (and pronounceable) ingredients. After months of steamed veggies and chicken I got bored quickly. I started visiting Montreal's local markets and learned what a spice rack was. Montreal has turned me into foodie extraordinaire, and I now experiment with vegan, paleo, and gluten-free recipes that pack tons of flavour. Mind you, I'll add the occasional slice of butter or full-fat cheese to my recipes, but I'll warn you beforehand!" - Katrina

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Golden Greek Salad

Post and recipe contributed by Katrina Kairys

This week at the McGill Farmers’ Market the stalls were filled with gourds and squashes in the spirit of the fall season. As cheesy as it sounds, for me, one of life’s little pleasures is buying my groceries in the crisp outdoors surrounded by the fall colours all while getting to step on a crunchy leaf or two. As I’m still struggling to let go of summer, I whipped up a refreshing, yet seasonally-coloured Greek salad this weekend. The very adorable lemon cucumbers sparked my idea for this dish. I had to ask the vendor what they were, as it was the first time I had ever seen them, and also the first time that I called an heirloom vegetable “cute”. They don’t taste lemon-y at all, and they are less bitter and slightly sweeter than green cucumbers. I decided to go Greek, and I picked up a red onion and golden Roma tomatoes from the Macdonald Campus Farm. 

This salad will give you healthy dose of carotenoids, folic acid, and calcium, along with the monounsaturated fats in the olive oil. If you’re struggling with that freshman fifteen, swap this for your next Caesar salad, and you won’t be disappointed. I do promise that an October-inspired recipe is to come, for there is only so much time before apple cider and pumpkin spice lattes are replaced with the gingerbread lattes of the holiday season.

Golden Greek Salad
Prep time: 10 minutes
Assembly time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:
2 golden yellow tomatoes
6 lemon cucumbers 
½ cup cubed feta cheese
6 pitted olives, sliced (add 3 whole olives for the garnish)
¼ finely chopped red onion
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
pepper to taste




Directions:

1. Coarsely chop the tomatoes and cucumbers and add them to a bowl with the olives and red onion. (It's fine to leave the skin on the cucumbers, as it doesn't have a strong taste and would be a pain to peel).


2. Add the feta cheese, oregano, and pepper to taste.

3. Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with whole olives.



"My interest in cooking began with a goal to eat healthy and use clean (and pronounceable) ingredients. After months of steamed veggies and chicken I got bored quickly. I started visiting Montreal's local markets and learned what a spice rack was. Montreal has turned me into foodie extraordinaire, and I now experiment with vegan, paleo, and gluten-free recipes that pack tons of flavour. Mind you, I'll add the occasional slice of butter or full-fat cheese to my recipes, but I'll warn you beforehand!" - Katrina

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Beet & Cucumber Raita

Post and recipe contributed by Katrina Kairys

Cumin found its way into another one of my dishes this week.  It's a staple ingredient in raita, a yogurt sauce popular in South Asia, which can be made a variety of different ways. There are tons of recipes using different mixes of spices, vegetables, and yogurts. In need of fresh veggies, I went to the Organic Campus stand and looked for cucumbers but couldn’t find any. Strange.  I asked the vendor and she pointed to a basket full of green veggies. I picked one up and it was easily big enough to feed a family of six. You’ll see in the photo below how this honker of a cucumber dwarfed a spoon. I decided to add beets to the raita to make it sweeter, but you can add other veggies like tomatoes or onions. The more veggies you add, the more of a side dish and less of a sauce it becomes. It's best eaten with spicy meat or tofu dishes as the coolness of the yogurt pairs nicely with the heat.


The monster cucumber from Organic Campus that inspired this dish.


Beet & Cucumber Raita
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Assembly Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:
1.5 cups diced cucumber
1 cooked medium beet (approx. 1 cup diced)
1/2 cup 0% Greek yogurt
6-7 mint leaves, chopped
1 tb chopped dill
1 tsp cumin
pinch of salt

Directions:

1. Combine diced cucumber and beet in a large bowl.



2.  In a separate bowl combine yogurt, salt, cumin, chopped dill, and mint. Stir to combine ingredients.


3. Add yogurt mixture to the vegetables and stir to combine.


"My interest in cooking began with a goal to eat healthy and use clean (and pronounceable) ingredients. After months of steamed veggies and chicken I got bored quickly. I started visiting Montreal's local markets and learned what a spice rack was. Montreal has turned me into foodie extraordinaire, and I now experiment with vegan, paleo, and gluten-free recipes that pack tons of flavour. Mind you, I'll add the occasional slice of butter or full-fat cheese to my recipes, but I'll warn you beforehand!" - Katrina

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sautéed Cumin Swiss Chard & Kale

Post and recipe contributed by Katrina Kairys
Cumin is a wonderful spice. It’s always a staple ingredient in my chili, but it can add a richly warm and spicy aroma to simple vegetable dishes. Cumin is a great source of iron which is needed to keep our immune systems up to par, especially now that – okay, I’ll say it – winter is coming. Use cumin to spice up vitamic-C packed kale and vitamin-K packed Swiss chard and you’ve got yourself an elixir in a bowl. Swiss chard comes in many colours and there was a rainbow of chard at the McGill Farmers’ Market this week – purple, green, and yellow – but it doesn’t matter which you use for the recipe. I find that Swiss chard and kale go together nicely, but you could also prepare spinach or collard greens with this mix of spices. This “veggie hash” as I call it can be eaten as a side, or as a main dish topped with tofu, chicken, or another source of protein. I did the opposite and used it to top my scrambled eggs. You get the point. It’s a versatile dish that’s worth trying out.

Sautéed Cumin Swiss Chard & Kale


Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups coarsely chopped Swiss chard
1 cup coarsely chopped kale
½ cup diced white onion
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Chili powder
1 ½ tsp dried oregano
 pinch of salt

Directions:
1. Heat olive oil on medium heat and add chopped onion.

2. Cover and cook for 10 minutes until transluscent white.

3. Turn up to medium-high and add Swiss chard and kale. Cook uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes.



4. Turn heat to low and add cumin, oregano, chili powder, and salt. Mix well.  


Sautéed Cumin Swiss Chard and Kale atop 
Sweet-Potato Scrambled Eggs


"My interest in cooking began with a goal to eat healthy and use clean (and pronounceable) ingredients. After months of steamed veggies and chicken I got bored quickly. I started visiting Montreal's local markets and learned what a spice rack was. Montreal has turned me into foodie extraordinaire, and I now experiment with vegan, paleo, and gluten-free recipes that pack tons of flavour. Mind you, I'll add the occasional slice of butter or full-fat cheese to my recipes, but I'll warn you beforehand!" - Katrina