Tag Archives: tomatoes

bagel melts

mmmMMMmmm…bagel melts.  Pretty sure no better breakfast exists in the world.  Someone once asked me what my favourite sandwich is and I couldn’t answer but come to think of it the bagel melt must be it.  So it’s not really a really real sandwich.  All good by me.  It’s close enough in my books and consists of three loves of mine; breads, fresh vegies and, of course, cheese.  This one’s made with an everything bagel, roma tomatoes, dill, black pepper and mild but wonderfully melty marble cheese but they can be made with just about every flavour combination.  Try cinnamon raisin bagels with apple slices and mozzarella or provolone.  Or sesame bagels with roasted eggplant, red pepper slices and goat cheese.  One would have to try very hard to do any wrong with these…you can even nuke ’em!  That said, I strongly suggest the oven method – just slip them onto a broiling pan (I slipped mine onto the pizza stone currently occupying the oven) then into a 450 degree oven.  Once in turn on the broiler and leave the oven door open a smidge, not to keep the broiler for turning off (the bagels aren’t likely to be in there for that long) but because the cheese will go golden brown (which is when you want to take it out) very quickly and having the door open tends to make one acutely aware of the fact that there’s stuff going on in there they need to not forget.

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black bean & tomato soup

This is probably the easiest meal we put together in our kitchen on a fairly regular basis.  Its roots are found in the CPHA‘s publication, The Basic Shelf Cookbook, which is something I feel every household should have a copy of.  I don’t actually own the book right now (and before you call me a hypocrite you should know that I’ve owned the book and given it away at least 7 times.)  The contents are brilliant on a fundamental level: simple meals comprised largely of ingredients with long shelf lives which focus on maintaining nutritional integrity.  It can be ordered here for CDN $7.50.

My recipe differs from the original by a couple of steps and ingredients but still maintains the inherent simplicity while stepping up the flavour quotient a couple of notches.  Oh, and it’s entirely vegan if you omit the cheese or replace it with a soy based cheese.

What you need:

1tbsp olive oil

1 tsp. coriander, ground

1 tsp. cumin, ground

1 medium sized cooking onion, finely chopped (vidalias and reds are my favourites for this soup)

4 cloves of garlic, crushed

2 cans of diced tomatoes (or jars if you do your own)

1 can of black beans (or soak the dried kind if you want to)

1 can of sweet or baby corn (or use leftovers if you’ve got ’em)

2 cups of vegetable broth (or dissolve 2 cubes/packets of bouillon-esque stuff in your 2 cups of boiling water)

1 tbsp dried or 1/4 cup fresh oregano

1 tbsp dried or 1/4 cup fresh basil

A pretty, fresh herb and some cheese for garnish (I’ve got cilantro and cheddar in the pic above but parsley &/or basil are great alternatives to the cilantro if you don’t have any on hand.

Toast the spices in a large pot over medium-high heat until fragrant.  Turn the heat down to medium-low and add the tablespoon of olive oil.  Once the oil is hot, sweat the onions and garlic in it for 3-4 minutes or until translucent.  Add the tomatoes, corn, beans & stock.  Up the heat again to medium-high and keep it there, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches a low boil.  Stir in the herbs.  Move to large bowls and garnish.

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black bean & tomato soup

This is probably the easiest meal we put together in our kitchen on a fairly regular basis.  Its roots are found in the CPHA‘s publication, The Basic Shelf Cookbook, which is something I feel every household should have a copy of.  I don’t actually own the book right now (and before you call me a hypocrite you should know that I’ve owned the book and given it away at least 7 times.)  The contents are brilliant on a fundamental level: simple meals comprised largely of ingredients with long shelf lives which focus on maintaining nutritional integrity.  It can be ordered here for CDN $7.50.

My recipe differs from the original by a couple of steps and ingredients but still maintains the inherent simplicity while stepping up the flavour quotient a couple of notches.  Oh, and it’s entirely vegan if you omit the cheese or replace it with a soy based cheese.

What you need:

1tbsp olive oil

1 tsp. coriander, ground

1 tsp. cumin, ground

1 medium sized cooking onion, finely chopped (vidalias and reds are my favourites for this soup)

4 cloves of garlic, crushed

2 cans of diced tomatoes (or jars if you do your own)

1 can of black beans (or soak the dried kind if you want to)

1 can of sweet or baby corn (or use leftovers if you’ve got ’em)

2 cups of vegetable broth (or dissolve 2 cubes/packets of bouillon-esque stuff in your 2 cups of boiling water)

1 tbsp dried or 1/4 cup fresh oregano

1 tbsp dried or 1/4 cup fresh basil

A pretty, fresh herb and some cheese for garnish (I’ve got cilantro and cheddar in the pic above but parsley &/or basil are great alternatives to the cilantro if you don’t have any on hand.

Toast the spices in a large pot over medium-high heat until fragrant.  Turn the heat down to medium-low and add the tablespoon of olive oil.  Once the oil is hot, sweat the onions and garlic in it for 3-4 minutes or until translucent.  Add the tomatoes, corn, beans & stock.  Up the heat again to medium-high and keep it there, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches a low boil.  Stir in the herbs.  Move to large bowls and garnish.

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Tabouleh

I was feeling particularly in need of something summery and given that making a dress would leave me unable to wear it for a few more months I decided to make Tabouleh. Of course it normally looks more parsley-laden that the one above but I was working on a whim and didn’t have everything available in the quantities require – it was still quite good.

What you need:

2 cups dried bulgur

4 cups boiling water

1 large, finely chopped, red onion

3 cloves crushed garlic

3 cups chopped fresh parsley leaves

1 cup chiffonaded fresh mint (dried can be used when it’s not in season)

5 or 6 diced medium-sized tomatoes (I find firmer, less ripened tomatoes hold up better in this dish)

1/4 to 1/2 cup lemon juice (depending on how lemony one likes their tabouleh)

2 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Several hours in advance (4 is probably the least one could get away with,) reconstitute the bulgar in the four cups of boiling water. Cover, refrigerate, do your laundry and come back and check to see if your bulgur has soaked up all of the water. If it has then add everything else to it. Stir (with a wooden spoon or some other gentle device which will not bruise your herbs.) Chill. Leaving it overnight is ideal as it gives everything a chance to marry.

This can be served in romaine lettuce leaves which make fancy little finger food boats, in or on pitas or just on its own.

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