rye and tuna patties & a tale of two immigrants

rye and tuna patties | conifères & feuillus

The strength of Canada lies in our diversity. Our harmony comes from knowing that there is commonality within this diversity.

Our first home in Canada was in the Mile End neighbourhood of Montréal. Back then it was far from being the gentrified hipster hangout that it is now. It had served as the stomping grounds for waves of immigrants, notably English Protestants, Irish Catholics, Jews, Greeks, Italians and Portuguese, long before we arrived. By the time we settled there, in the 70’s, it was already embedded with relics from its rich history.

Every Saturday morning, we took the 55 south to do our weekly shopping on The Main or boulevard Saint-Laurent as it is officially called or Saint Lawrence Boulevard as it was called back then among English-speaking Montrealers. My parents found the shops along this strip far less daunting than the pristine aisles of the large chain stores like Steinberg’s and  Simpson’s. These smaller shops were more in line with what they had been accustomed to back home in India. Money was tight and if a little haggling could save a few quarters and pennies, it made all the difference.  On Saturday mornings, the place was bustling, streaming with new and old immigrants alike. Everyone spoke with a different accent if not a different language, and although everything was new for us, we were strangely comforted by the diversity of it all.rye and tuna patties | conifères & feuillus Continue reading “rye and tuna patties & a tale of two immigrants”

toum, a middle eastern garlic sauce

Toum, a Middle Eastern garlic sauce | conifères & feuillus

Toum is simply a garlic sauce that hails from the Middle East and consists of no more than garlic, lemon, oil and salt. It’s very similar to the Mediterranean region’s aioli and what is often referred to simply as garlic sauce here in North America.  If you’ve had a bite to eat at a Lebanese restaurant, you’re sure to have had some!

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lime smoothie

Healthy, easy and delicious: 3-ingredient lime smoothie. | conifères & feuillus

Today’s recipe is a not-so-typical smoothie recipe. All you need for this recipe are about half of a lime, some milk and any type of sweetener. How does this become a smoothie?


Healthy & delicious, 3-ingredient lime smoothie. | conifères & feuillus Continue reading “lime smoothie”

grapefruit green tea thirst quencher

Grapefruit & Green Tea Thrist Quencher | conifères & feuillus

If you search “thirst quencher” in Google Images, you get a bunch of pics of processed sports drinks. If you look up their ingredients, you see that they are mostly water and sugar (a lot of sugar) and a few little nasty chemicals. Hmm… no thanks. And at that price, double no thanks. I can’t wrap my head around this.

Now google “benefits of green tea”. Pretty awesome, no?

How about googling “benefits of grapefruit”? Over the moon awesome.

Now put them together. This, you guys, is my go-to post-workout thirst quencher and it’s amazing.

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gujarati toor dal (split pigeon pea soup)

Toor Dal (Split Pigeon Peas) Soup | conifères & feuillus

Food, in the end, in our own tradition, is something holy. It’s not about nutrients and calories. It’s about sharing. It’s about honesty. It’s about identity. -Louise Fresco

My last post featured a Westernized version of the classic Gujarati toor dal soup. Today, I’m posting my family recipe for the traditional version. Toor dal (or split pigeon pea) has been cultivated in India for at least 3500 years and is a staple in Indian cuisine. However, in a Gujarati home, toor dal (which refers to both the uncooked legume as well as the soup) is a daily affair and is eaten during every meal. Although classified as a soup here in the West, it’s not eaten as you would a soup: it’s ladled over rice and eaten alongside rotis and a curry, at the very least. (Google ‘Gujarati thali’ to see what a typical Gujarati meal looks like).

Toor Dal (Split Pigeon Peas) Soup | conifères & feuillus

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citrusy split pigeon pea soup

split pigeon pea and orange soup | conifères & feuillus

Happy New Year! 2017 has arrived! After all that cooking and baking and over-indulgence, are you craving some simple nourishment? Me too. And I’ve got the perfect recipe to take care of that!

Of all the soups that I have ever served to guests, this one shines as a favourite.  Plus, it’s so simple to make. Not counting the spices, there are only 3 ingredients: split yellow pigeon peas, tomatoes and oranges. The result is a delicious soup balanced equally with just enough spice and just enough citrusy flavour.

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