Summer Roasted Corn and Bountiful Veggie Salad

The sky is all kinds of pale pastel; mostly blues fading into pink, with a shimmer of orange light creeping its way over the tops of distant buildings and shining straight through the house to catch a door knob, or the side of a wall. There is a pale magic to this early morning light, something more subdued than the intensity of golden hour or the deep rays of an evening summer sunset. 

I don't think that there is truly a time when I can say that I am the most myself, but my thoughts feel clear and my creative energies the most intact during this quiet morning time. 

This is a very exciting week, full of transitions and changes. Today (Wednesday) is my last day of work for the summer. On Friday, I am flying out to Vancouver with my mum! We are staying for a little less than a week but I am sure that it will be filled with friends, family, amazing food, and the most beautiful hikes and swims imaginable. The day after we get back from Vancouver, Sebastian and I are moving back to Montreal for the school year. This is my last semester of undergrad, which comes with a slew of different feelings from crazy excited to completely unsure. But, for now, I am just happy to be going home :)

I was reading this post the other day - because it is one of the more popular on the blog - and it made me so excited for my apartment and my morning rituals. There is something so amazingly comforting about returning to an old routine, or at least an old space that holds so much new potential. 

I am going to take lots of photos in Vancouver, and hopefully put together a post of my trip and some foods so I can share with all of youuuuu! 

This recipe is probably one of my favourites I have ever made! Just looooook at all those colours! 

Summer roasted corn is just something that is endlessly amazing to me. I roasted it with a mixture of lime, cumin, olive oil, and salt which is my absolute favourite marinade. It just really makes the sweet freshness of the corn come out, while still adding a tangy savoury flavour to the mix. 

The saddest thing about this recipe is that Sebastian couldn't eat any of it! He is allergic to corn, and I felt so bad wafting this pretty bowl of summer goodness in front of him when he couldn't eat a bite (well, he maybe did have just ONE bite). But don't worry, I had other testers who confirmed what I already knew: this salad is a keeper. 

It is a little more complex/ingredient heavy than my usual recipes, but I promise it is so worth the BBQ process and doesn't even take that long if you use the time well. 

Try this out, and savour that late summer bounty before fall creeps up and we are bundled into coats and scarves. Have an amazing last week of August, babes xo 

summer roasted corn and bountiful veggie salad

Serves 4

I made this salad with quinoa because it was what was in the cupboard, but I am sure it would be delicious with spelt berries, barley, or any of your favourite grains (although rice might be weird). 

This recipe looks more complicated than usual, but really it only takes about 35 minutes and is SO worth it, I promise. 

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Ingredients

Corn Marinade

  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pepper to taste

Salad

  • 1/2 cup black quinoa + 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3 ears of corn, husked
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 nectarines, sliced into small cubes
  • 16 heirloom cherry tomatoes, sliced lengthwise 
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced into small cubes
  • handful of fresh basil, roughly chopped or ripped

Dressing

  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp cumin
  • pepper to taste

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Notes

Preheat the barbecue. I turned mine up to the second highest heat and kept it around 550 - 600. 

While the barbecue is heating, shuck the corn and whisk together the marinade in a small bowl. Liberally coat each ear of corn with marinade using a pastry brush or baster. Place both the corn and the red bell peppers on the barbecue and cook for 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes. You will know they are done when the corn is a golden brown in some places and a deep bright yellow, and the peppers are blackened on the outside.

While the corn and peppers are cooking, put the quinoa on and prepare the veggies. Combine 1/2 cup quinoa with 1 1/2 cups water in a small pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook covered for 20 minutes. Slice the nectarines, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber, and place in a large salad or mixing bowl. 

When the corn and red peppers are done, remove them from the barbecue (and turn it off). Place the red peppers in a brown paper bag or cover with a kitchen towel for 10 minutes (this is called sweating the pepper and it makes the skin easier to peel off). Let the corn cool until it can be safely handled. 

While the corn and peppers are cooling, make the dressing. Place all ingredients in a small jar and shake vigorously to combine. 

Remove the peppers from the bag and slice open so you can lay them flat on a cutting board. Remove the seeds and peel the charred skin from the backs of the peppers. Slice into thin strips and add into the salad bowl. Slice the kernels off the corn by holding in upright and and slicing from the top down. Add to the bowl. 

Add the cooked quinoa and basil to the bowl of veggies, toss with dressing, and serve! This will last in the fridge for about 3 - 4 days. Enjoy! 

Creamy Coconut and Tomato French Lentils

The last few days have been stormy. The clouds boiled over the city and let go with a vigour that has been so anticipated amidst this crazy heat wave we've experienced most of August. It was glorious. Nothing beats the after storm magic of fresh greenness and the quick drying of a watery, yet hot sun over the drenched city. 

I lay in the park the other night with a dear friend and we talked about love, friendship, life, our adventuring dreams, and the excitement of change. I love summertime nights. Sitting on the grass, nearby but just out of earshot of so many other groups and couples of people, it feels communal in the sort of way that we all share this city and the easy green places we are drawn to together. 

I had this thought, sitting there and watching everyone around us, that it is just really amazing to have so many completely different lives in the same place at the same time. Everyone's conversation holds something unique, and yet so often we are concerned about the same core things. To not know is sometimes a beautiful thing. To hear glimmers of thought drift over from the humans at the picnic table to the far left, or to catch the trail end of a passionate speech from just down the grassy hill is to be let in, for a second, to someone else's world. 

Summer is drawing to a close, but I am ready to hold on to every moment of those magical nights before it turns fall. I am sure fall will bring its own magic, and I am excited for each new adventure to come!

I've been craving coziness during these stormy days. This recipe wasn't actually intended to be a recipe for the blog. I made it for dinner the other night because I wanted something warm and hearty, but I loved it so much that I knew I had to share it here.

The combination of the coconut milk and tomatoes really steals the show here. It is creamy and rich, with an amazing depth of flavour brought on by those heirloom tomatoes and the smoked paprika. I love this bowl because of its simplicity. You can make it in one pot, and then eat it from one bowl with just a piece of bread and a spoon. I am sure that this will be a perfect fall and winter recipe to have in my back pocket, but sometimes summer needs a good dose of those cozy feelings too. 

Make this on a rainy day, and share it with a friend alongside some rainy day tunes (I just watched this and it is so beautiful) <3 

creamy coconut and tomato french lentils

Serves 4

I think that this recipe is perfect when served with a whole wheat sourdough (pictured above), but your favourite bread type thing would work, or even just a bowl and a spoon! 

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup french lentils, rinsed
  • 1 (14 oz) can coconut milk
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1 large vidalia onion, julienned 
  • 2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 16 heirloom cherry tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise 
  • 6 stalks kale, leaves washed and ripped 
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika 
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (depending on desired spice)
  • 1 tsp salt 

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Notes

In a medium sized pot, combine 1 cup of lentils with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook covered for 20 minutes, or until just tender. 

While the lentils are cooking, prepare all of your other ingredients - mince the ginger and garlic, julienne the onions, slice the red peppers and tomatoes, and wash and rip the kale. 

Place a large pot on the stove over medium-low heat and add a generous glug of olive oil (a couple of tablespoons maybe). Once the oil is hot (you can tell by adding one slice of onion, if it sizzles the oil is hot enough) add in all of the onions and red pepper. Cook these, stirring often, until the onions turn translucent and the peppers look soft. Add the garlic, ginger, smoked paprika, cumin, red pepper flakes, and salt. Stir until combined and a slight pasty texture forms. Add in the lentils, cherry tomatoes, and coconut milk. Bring the mixture to a rapid simmer (almost boil) and then reduce heat and cook covered for 10 minutes. Add the kale and stir for another couple of minutes until it is deep green and soft. 

Serve hot with plenty of bread and a good dose of coziness. I would guess that this would last in the fridge for about five days, but I couldn't tell you because we ate it all in two days! It re-heats well, but might need some added liquid as the lentils absorb some in the fridge. 

Vegan Coconut Cream Berry Parfaits

I turned 22 last Friday! In the absence of writing a post here, I visited my grandma, saw my lovely family who were in town from LA, went rock climbing with Sebastian, shared beautiful meals with people I love, was treated to one too many tequila shots with dear friends (HEH), and ended my first day at 22 with a late night cycle down to the beach to watch the waves and the velvety darkness of the night sky.

I wanted to take a moment here to thank everyone in my life who constantly loves and supports me. As I tried to articulate to Sebastian, I feel like birthdays are an opportunity to thank people as well as to celebrate another year of life. Without these beautiful humans around me I wouldn't be this person, or be in this place, or feel the intense love that I do. So I guess what I am trying to say is simply thank you for being here, I love you all to the moon and back! 

Before my birthday, I kept making lists. What do I want to accomplish while I am 22? Who do I want to be and what goals should I meet? They were done jokingly and with a slight sense of irony, but really I am starting to wonder what the purpose of setting these goals is.

I could say a million things like I want to exercise more, and I want to be more stylish, and learn how to do makeup, and read the pile of ten thousand books sitting on my bedside table, and I want to go on adventures, do well in school, write more poetry, post more frequently in this space, be the most independent yet loving version of myself that I know how to be.

Really though, I want to be happy and love what I am doing and I think that all of those goals are things that will happen naturally because I feel the urge to do them, not because I wrote them on a list. I want to be by the ocean and know the smell of and feel of fresh salt on my skin. I want to spend more time gazing at the sky. I want to write down all the silly and beautiful things that come up day to day. And of course, listen to this song on repeat while I dance in the living room with Sebastian and cuddle our cat! 

Coming back to a grounded place of self care and love is always important to me - enter this dessert. I've been trying to clear up my skin for the last while now (UGH) and cutting out sugar is a big part of that. To be honest, I am definitely a savoury over sweet person, but that doesn't mean I don't like to indulge in something chocolatey on the semi reg.

I am being super diligent though, and really making an effort to cut out things that will inflame my skin, so I needed to find the perfect birthday treat to satisfy both needs.

These parfaits are like dreamy clouds studded with fresh berries, cacao nibs, and crunchy little buckwheat groats! Each bite melts in your mouth, and it all kind of feels like summer captured in a jar. I love the lightness of it all, and the bursts of natural sweetness and crunch through the creamy coconut goodness. 

Really though, I kind of surprised myself with how delicious these are considering it is hardly even a recipe. It reminds me of my childhood when we used to eat berries and sweet whipped cream as a summer treat in the evenings.

This is a slightly more sophisticated version, mostly healthy, and entirely decadent.

Enjoy these babes, you deserve it <3 

vegan coconut cream berry parfaits

Serves 3 - 4

In the photos there are only two parfaits, but I realized that it would have worked better to put them in four glasses. Two is really too much in each glass to serve. These are very versatile and can definitely be adjusted to your preferences and size needs! 

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Ingredients

Coconut Whipped Cream

  • 2 cans full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight 
  • Optional: 1 tsp your preferred sweetener (I didn't sweeten mine) 

To assemble per glass

  • 4 raspberries per layer
  • small handful of blueberries per layer
  • sprinkle of cacao nibs per payer
  • sprinkle of raw buckwheat groats per layer

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Notes

To make the coconut whipped cream scoop out the solid cream that has risen to the top of the can and whip it with electric beaters until creamy and fluffy (adding sweetener if desired). 

To make the parfaits layer apprx. 2 tbsp of coconut cream in the bottom of each glass or dish. Top with raspberries, blueberries, cacao nibs, and buckwheat groats. Continue this layering process until the glass is full. Enjoy! These are best when fresh, but will last about one day in the fridge. 

Nectarine + French Lentil Salad w/ Creamy Caper Dressing

The other night at 5AM I woke up to a thunderstorm. There was a crack of thunder, and the whole sky lit up from the storm. After a couple of seconds, the rain began beating down. It increased in bravado until there was a literal flood washing its way down the street. I could barely see through the window for all of the rain, like that part in a carwash when everything is obscured. I love these summer storms. They bring a kind of comfort and joy that is reminiscent of childhood because it makes me feel so small in the world. The rain subsided, and slowly I curled myself back into bed, one arm draped over Sebastian as we watched out the window and tried to fall back to sleep. 

It is a strange thing to wake up to sunny skies and dry streets after such a storm. Almost like it never happened - although the lingering effects can be seen in the greenness of the garden and that particular smell in the air that so many of us love after a storm. I've been thinking a lot lately about everything going on in the world. All of the horrible events that pop up like badges on my phone, so disconnected from reality. I still don't know how to speak eloquently about any of this, and I am not even sure if eloquence is helpful or meaningful in any way. It is hard to know how saying anything at all in this space is effective or useful. I keep thinking about how privileged I am that I can forget. That I can see that headline and feel horror for a few moments, and then just slip back into my world. Not that the knowledge and trauma of it escapes me, but that really in my life I am not directly touched by it. This isn't a complete thought, and I am going to continue to listen and read from those people directly effected, and continue to be an ally in any way that I can. 

This is a difficult point to transition to recipe talk, so I will make it quick. This recipe is really about simplicity. Simplicity and nourishment. It takes only a few minutes to throw together, but is hearty and filling because of the lentils. It is inspired by a recipe I made last summer, one of my favourites in this space. Make this for sharing, or just for yourself as a quick and healthy meal. Love you, babes xo

Nectarine + French Lentil Salad w/ creamy caper dressing

Serves 3 - 4

This recipe can be adapted to what is in season around you/ what you like. I personally love having the stone fruit and arugula combination, so apricots, peaches, plums, or cherries would also work really nicely here. There will be extra dressing for the salad, it can last in the fridge for about a week. It is really good tossed with some grains and veggies, or any other type of salad you like! 

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Ingredients

Salad

  • 4 cups packed arugula 
  • 2 nectarines, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup dried french lentils (rinsed) + 1.5 cups water
  • handful of toasted walnuts 
  • sprinkle of capers 

Creamy Caper Dressing

  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup 
  • 1 tbsp dijon
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cups water (depending on desired thickness) 
  • 2 tbsp capers + 1 tsp liquid
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika 
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp salt (to taste) 

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Notes

Cook the lentils. In a small saucepan combine the lentils, water, and pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer and cook covered for about 20 minutes, or until soft (but still firm). 

To make the sauce combine all of the ingredients in an upright blender and blend until completely smooth, about 30 seconds to a minute. Set aside. 

To make the salad place the arugula in a large bowl, top with sliced nectarines, cooked french lentils, toasted walnuts, and capers. Toss with dressing and serve! Once the salad is dressed it should be eaten right away, but all of the prepped ingredients can be stored in the fridge. 

Raw Cherry Lemon Crumble

It is 7AM and I am sitting, curled in a big, cozy blanket on the couch, drinking tea and writing to you. I like these moments, when the house is still quiet and the early bustlings of morning can just be heard through the windows that overlook a small, residential street. I hear the beeping of car doors being locked, and the muffled shuffle of footsteps from next door. A train passes by and the subtle rumble of the tracks makes me look up, curious about the passengers making their morning commute by my living room window. The light floods across the large, open space, catching a chair here, the edge of a rug there, spots that light up as the sun makes its passage into the sky. 

The heat of the past few weeks has made porch hangs and iced drinks the ideal around here. I am trying to stay cool, calm, trying to forgive myself imperfections and let down my own ideas of how I should be. I find it is easy for me to be extra hard on my body in these days when everyone seems to be showing more skin and there are seemingly millions of people to compare myself to. I am trying not to, but sometimes it can be hard. I've started listening to more body positivity podcasts and trying to have an open dialogue with friends about how we feel in our own selves. It is good, I think it helps. 

This recipe came about kind of by accident. It was actually a mistake, but I am all for embracing those these days and honestly? It turned out amazing! I wanted to make a kind of crumble bar. Something that would set in the fridge and could be cut into little squares. This raw crumble dessert is what I found when I pulled it out of the fridge, and it was just too good not to share with you folks. The crumble has a creamy dreamy pecan and date crust, followed by the gooey sweet/tartness of the muddled cherries, and finally a rich and zesty crumble topping that had me eating straighttt out of the food processor. I am hesitant to turn the oven on in this hot weather, and have been craving fresher lighter foods anyways. This crumble does it all. Eat it for breakfast, afternoon snack, or sweet evening treat. It is everything you could possibly want, with a cherry on top (hehe I had to). Love you babes <3 

raw cherry lemon crumble 

Makes an 8x8 square pan of crumble - you could easily make it in another equivalent sized dish of a different shape

Serves about six people (or if you are like us, two people over a few days!)

The instructions for this recipe look long, but it is really just three steps in the food processor (and you don't even need to wash it in between). It comes together in under 30 minutes. 

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Ingredients

Crust

  • 2 cups raw pecans
  • 1 cup medjool dates, pitted
  • pinch of sea salt 

Filling

  • 2 cups pitted cherries, divided
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Crumble Topping

  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour 
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest, divided 

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Notes

Line an 8x8 baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.

To make the crust add the dates to a food processor and process until the dates form a large, sticky ball that won't seperate. Remove the date ball from the food processor and add the pecans. Process the pecans into a course flour. Begin to add small tbsp sized pieces of the sticky dates into the food processor while it is running through the stem at the top. Keep adding until all of the dates are in there. Process for a little longer until a sticky dough is formed. You should be able to press the dough between your fingers and have it keep shape. Press the dough into the prepared pan, using the heal of your hand to even it out. Set aside (if it is hot in your kitchen you can set it in the fridge). 

To make the crumble topping, add the oats to the bowl of your food processor (there is no need to rinse your food processor after making the crust). Pulse until a course flour is formed. Add in the rest of the ingredients, plus 1 tsp of the lemon zest. Pulse until a crumbly mixture is achieved. If it feels too dry you can add an extra tbsp of coconut oil, although I found 4 tbsp was perfect for richness and crumb. Set mixture aside in a bowl. 

Wipe out the crumbs from the food processor, but don't worry about washing it. Add 1 cup of the pitted cherries and the lemon juice to your blender and process until smoothish (I like it to be slightly textured). Pour the cherry filing over the crust in your baking pan. Next, add the second cup of pitted cherries on top of the processed cherries in the baking pan. I squished some of them between my fingers as I added them, but left most relatively intact. Finish by evenly distributing the crumble topping over the cherries, and sprinkling the remaining lemon zest over the top. Serve! Will keep for about 3 - 4 days in the fridge in an airtight container. 

Miso Chocolate Fudge Popsicles

This post was created in partnership with Amano Foods

Lately, I've been thinking about the idea of permanence. Permanence in relation to people, to places, and to the ideas we create about the world and our surroundings. I think it is easy to make a web that kind of secures everything you know into place - not that every day becomes a routine, but there is a sense of security in knowing the general boundaries of what you can and need to do. I think this also draws a parallel to the sense of home, and what that means to each person. I recently read a blog post by my friend Sarah of Well and Full, and she was writing about a post she had just read, and it got me thinking about how so many of us share this longing for stability and familiarity and a sense of ease. I certainly feel lucky and extremely privileged to be able to call so many places home, and I will always be grateful for that, but I think the feeling I am trying to explain comes in tandem with a safe space and hot food. It is an intangible feeling, like some kind of internal compass, that tells you, yes, this is my place. Returning to my original thoughts of permanence, I stand firmly on the side of home dweller. That doesn't mean I don't also crave adventure, it is just that when the day is over I crave my couch, cup of hot tea, book, movie, etc. I was looking over some of my older blog posts the other day and I stumbled across this one. It made me happy to read, but also sad in a way. I miss Montreal, I miss my apartment and the home that Sebastian and I had created there. I know it is still waiting for me to return to it in September, and I couldn't be more excited to see it again. Moving is always a bittersweet thing for me, but I feel so lucky to have my web of homes that extend further than physical space, and for that I will be eternally grateful. 

Phew. Well I am glad that I was able to somehow pin down those feelings and share them, but now... POPSICLES! I was so inspired by popsicle week and everyone's amazing creations that I decided I had to create my own. I know you might be skeptical of miso in a popsicle, but I am telling you, it works! It better than works ;) . These took a few tries to get right, but I finally found the perfect balance between too fudgey to get out of the popsicle molds, and fudgey enough that you can convincingly call them fudgesicles. I used Amano Foods' Genmai Miso in these and it was fantastic. Before I ever connected with Amano, I always had at least one container of their miso in my fridge and I can without a doubt say that it is my favourite. 

Lastly, the Saveur 2016 Blog Awards are here! I have already nominated so many of my favourite bloggers, and will continue to do so until the deadline! If you like the things I've shared over this past year, feel free to give me a nomination for the Best New Voice category (or whichever category you would most like to). It would mean the world to me <3 

miso chocolate fudge popsicles

Makes 10 popsicles (with this popsicle mold)!

If you have extra popsicle mix, you can pour it into a shallow glass container or bowl and set it in the fridge overnight. It turns into a super creamy and delicious mousse! 

*This post is sponsored by Amano Foods. All opinions are my own and I think that their products and company are totally awesome! 

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 6 hours 
  • 1 cup coconut cream (or coconut milk)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 - 2 tbsp Genmai Miso (or miso of your choice) 
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup cocoa or cacao powder
  • 1/3 bar finely chopped dark chocolate 

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Notes

Combine all ingredients in an upright blender and blend on high for about a minute (or until completely smooth). Pour the mixture into the popsicle molds and place in the freezer for at least 6 hours, but recommended overnight. Enjoy!