middle eastern grilled lamb kafta with tahini yogurt sauce & whole wheat pita bread

grilled lamb kafta & tahini yogurt sauce | conifères & feuilllus

One of my son’s closest friends happens to be of Lebanese descent. The first time my son went over to his friend’s, he returned home and exclaimed rhetorically “Why can’t you make food like theirs?” I didn’t have much a choice; this one question set into motion the quest to add a few more recipes to our arsenal.grilled lamb kafta & tahini yogurt sauce | conifères & feuilllus Continue reading “middle eastern grilled lamb kafta with tahini yogurt sauce & whole wheat pita bread”

potato, chive, and cheese soup with chive oil

potato, chive, and cheese soup with chive oil | conifères & feuillus
Spring appears in whispers and hushed tones, as the bellowing winter bows away.  -Author Unknown
As the snow melts away after months of winter and the ground begins to thaw, my brave chives are always the first to poke their green stalks out of the ground. And while the other herbs in my garden just begin to show signs of life, my chives are ready for the first harvest. As soon as that happens, it’s time to whip up a batch of this potato, chive, and cheese soup. It’s a much anticipated tradition here; a celebration to mark the start of a new gardening season. It’s a rich and creamy soup, perfect for these still cool, damp days of spring, but with whispers and hushed tones of chives and Emmental. For additional allium flavour and visual appeal, it’s garnished with a drizzle of chive oil.

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coq au vin blanc with spring vegetables

springtime coq au vin blanc | conifères & feuillus

If you limit your choice only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is a compromise.  -Robert Fritz

My husband grew up on a meat and potatoes diet. When we met, I was happily heading down the road to becoming vegetarian. Somehow, none of that got in the way of a budding relationship. Now, married and three kids later, we still apply the golden rule of marriage to every meal- compromise. And that’s why coq au vin in our house looks like this.

springtime coq au vin blanc | conifères & feuillus

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khichdi & kadhi, gujarati peasant food

gujarati comfort food, khichdi & kadhi | conifères & feuillus

Every peasant cuisine has incredible ingenious tricks for getting a lot of nutrition out of a small amount of ingredients.  –Michael Pollan

A simple dish consisting of rice and lentils, khichdi is deeply rooted in the history of the Indian subcontinent. Originally, a peasant food of rural India, it has since been reincarnated into elaborate dishes fit for royalty. Present day, amongst Indians, it holds the title as both the ultimate comfort food and a perfect plant-based source of protein. Throughout India, it is one of the first foods given to babies and long before the word “detox” became a thing here in the West, it has been Ayurveda’s answer to detoxification.

Each region of India has its own version of khichdi. In my birth province of Gujarat, it remains much like the original peasant dish and consists of no more than rice, split mung dal,  a pinch of turmeric and a dallop of ghee and is always served with kadhi, a spiced, soup-like yogurt curry.gujarati peasant food, khichdi & kadhi | conifères & feuillus
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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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