From St. John’s, to St. Albert, to Toronto’s St. Clair West, we’re so lucky in the wonderful foods of this country. Patio time in Toronto as summer winds down.
Summer in Canada is short. All the more reason to enjoy summer foods while we can. All the more reason to remember that meals like this are “more enjoyable, more delightful, and more sparkling in taste than any junk food we could ever consume.” – Living Slim: A Canadian Woman’s Way
It was a cool, fresh spring day with an overcast sky. The Bow River flowed briskly. The Rockies were magnificent. Downtown Banff was uncrowded. And here, to complete perfection: this food, this place, this view.
Thanks Fairmont Banff Springs!
To all the Lebanese restaurants I’ve loved before: a million thanks. Tabouli recipes can vary a bit from person to person and place to place. Which is how good cooking must always be. This one is made with quinoa not bulgur. And I think of it, at least in part, as a winter salad. Because sometimes, in the dead of our Canadian winters, we may not feel like making salads the way we would in the summer. And yet, we yearn for that sparkle. The sparkle of tabouli lasts for a week in the fridge.
¼ cup quinoa
½ cup water (or tiny bit more)
About 1/8 tsp salt
Bring all to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
1 big, beautiful bunch of fresh curly parsley
1 whole English cucumber
About ¼ to 1/3 medium-sized red onion
3 green onions
8-10 cherry tomatoes or other tomato
¼ cup lemon juice (fresh or bottled)
1 tablespoon mild oil (sunflower, safflower, or olive oil)
1 teaspoon salt
Wash the parsley making sure there are no bits of sand hiding anywhere. Discard at least half of the stems and chop everything else fairly fine. Slice the cucumber into manageable slices and then chop into small pieces. Chop all other vegetables. It is not strictly necessary to have both red onion and green onion, but I like both.
Add cooled quinoa and toss well with the oil, lemon juice and salt. Taste for seasoning.
That’s it. If you like, add ground black pepper. Store in a good, sealed container in the fridge, and you have a sparkling taste of summer that is good for a week. Unless, of course, you are cooking for a crowd, in which case it’s done in a day. I like the flavour, the crunch, and the nutrition of quinoa. But bulgur (cracked, parboiled wheat) is traditional and also excellent of course. Either way, the grain should be cooked (or steamed in boiling water for the bulgur) but not to sogginess as it serves to keep the salad from becoming too wet.
Who can’t love antipasto? One of the prettiest love letters Italy has ever sent the world. Granted, an antipasto plate like this would not have graced the dining table of my trim Newfoundlander of a mother. But the idea of antipasto? Ahh yes, that would have been deeply acceptable to her. Because wherever we live in the world, an appreciation for real food as good food is written deep within us all, prompting us to acknowledge “deeply and profoundly, that these items are more enjoyable, more delightful and more sparkling in taste than any junk food we could ever consume.” –Living Slim: A Canadian Woman’s Way
Happy New Year as we take our “cups of kindness“ together-apart this year . This bouquet was a gift from a friend. May such friendships help sustain us as we attempt to keep well by keeping apart – perhaps for another six months – while all those working hard to bring us a vaccine continue their work. In gratitude.
What makes this “COVID cooking?”
It uses simple but good ingredients that keep well so you can space out your shopping: dried black beans; frozen kernel corn; cherry tomatoes; red onion; oil, vinegar and seasonings.
Why does Living Slim love this dish?
Because it’s delicious and nutritious and that’s what Living Slim is all about.
How do you put this together?
If you’re using dried black beans soak for at least 10 hours in cold water. Remember they will double in size. Drain, rinse and simmer in enough salted water to cover for about an hour. Taste to make sure they are done, then drain and let cool. If you’re using tinned beans, rinse and dump into a bowl. Add cooked frozen or tinned corn, chopped red onion and sliced cherry tomatoes. Dress with a gentle vinaigrette. Ratio should be 1 measure of oil to 3 measures of apple cider vinegar with a small sprinkle of sugar, salt to taste, and several shakes of dried parsley and basil. Don’t use too much oil in the dressing as lighter is better. Flavours meld as it sits. Enjoy.