I bought a bunch of red peppers a few weeks ago to make fajitas. Unfortunately, I got home and realized I didn’t have any tortillas. There was no way that I was going back to the store, so I set my mind to figure out what I could do with the ingredients I had at home. Somehow, stuffed red peppers came to mind. I had the rice, the feta, the guacamole, the sour cream and the peppers, it was perfect! In the end, the missing tortillas was a blessing in disguise. I hadn’t ever made stuffed peppers. In fact, I rarely even bought red peppers. Now, they are a whole new meal under my belt, which I am very thankful for. They are healthy, filling, and easy to make. They’re even pretty quick to throw together if your rice is already cooked: a great weeknight, vegetarian meal.
Sometimes I feel like I forget about the most obvious meals. The other day I thought of chili, and I am pretty sure that it has just never occurred to me to make it before (maybe I’m forgetting? It almost feels impossible that this was my first time making it). Either way, it’s not something that I normally think of and the other night, it kind of just occurred to me: vegan chili would be a great one pot meal! I totally committed to it (i.e. my boyfriend who can be pretty picky with dinners approved) and then I realized I had no beans. Luckily, I was able to run to the corner store which is pretty well-stocked with canned goods, grabbed some beans and corn (which is such a nostalgic part of chili for me) and I was all set! It’s pretty amazing that a bunch of beans, some basic vegetables, and a few dried chiles and spices can make something so hearty and delicious.
A very long time ago, I worked in a kitchen for a short period of time. The restaurant was a steak house and I worked on the salad station. It was a time in my life when I was debating quitting university to go to culinary school so I thought it was a good idea to get some experience in the kitchen before I made such a life-changing decision. For a lot of reasons, I didn’t end up going to culinary school but the one dish I think of when I think of that time was their caesar salad. I remember, on my last day, the chef I was working with gave me a little container of the caesar dressing because he knew I loved it so much. Since then, I have never really made my own caesar salad dressing. This is because every time I looked up a recipe they called for anchovies, which I have never been able to find at the store. A couple of weeks ago, I got a massive craving for caesar salad and decided that instead of tracking down anchovies, I would just try to make a dressing without it. On top of that, I knew I wanted it to be a kale caesar salad. I finally got my hands on some black/dinosaur kale again (which is my favourite in salads) and since caesar salad dressing is quite heavy, I didn’t want any delicate greens that would get weighed down.
I never learn when it comes to beets. I always buy them, come home, stare at them, and have no idea what to do with them. I don’t love beets in juice and never really eat more than a couple of bites of roasted beet salad. Don’t ask me why: they are gorgeously sweet and earthy and have a lovely, firm texture but beets just aren’t my thing. So, last week when I went to the store and bought a bag of beets, I came home not knowing what to do with them, again. That is, until I remembered borscht. I love borscht and it has been on my list of things to make for this blog for a very long time. I have no idea why I haven’t gotten around to making it, but I’m so glad that I finally did. I realize that for someone who said they don’t particularly like beets, borscht is a strange thing to like. But I’m ok with being a little bit strange. And I can proudly say that this soup is great and I won’t mind eating bowl after bowl of it in the coming days (this recipe makes a lot of soup!).