Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Case of Bocconcini Salad and Olive Oil and Red Wine Vinegar Vinaigrette

Got this picture scanned at a higher resolution than my previous black and whites. Food's gotta look good, right? But let me be clear about something, there will be no touch-ups to my food pictures. No contrast adjustments. No colour enhancements. Only a little tasteful cropping here and there.

So, no false advertising. 100% transparency in reporting. And hopefully my dishes still look tasty. I'm an interior designer with my own little shop called Beautiful Things, so I should know a little something about art and beauty. If not technology, which seems to be leaving me in its dust. I'll warn you if I get the urge to pimp my ride...so to speak.

Because...the whole point of my blog is to show vegetarian cooking in a flattering yet honest light. In fact, I'd love to participate in the bringing of vegetarianism into the mainstream. It's already mainstream where you are? 'Cause in Black Currant Bay – not so much. More on the mainstreaming of vegetarianism in my next post. Now for the recipe of the day.

Bocconcini Salad

1 cup cucumber, chopped
1/2 yellow pepper, chopped
1 cup grape tomatoes, the larger ones halved
1 cup bocconcini
1/2 recipe Olive Oil and Red Wine Vinegar Vinaigrette (see below) 
1/8 cup fresh chives

Toss the vegetables and cheese with the Olive Oil and Red Wine Vinegar Vinaigrette. Plate, and snip the chives on top. Makes 2 meal-size salads.

Olive Oil and Red Wine Vinegar Vinaigrette

3 tbsps red wine vinegar
2 tbsps olive oil

Whisk or shake together the red wine vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Case of Tofu à l'orange

What's this? Why, my tongue-in-cheek photo to accompany Tofu à l'orange. Snapped it on a trip to Montreal with my friend, France, whom you'll meet if you read one or two of my TOFUdunits. The top two words in this quaint store window say Butcher Shop and Deli. So, meat. But in French. Tofu à l'orange is French. It's like a savoury Crème brûlée. I serve it with fresh green beans, and Karl always enjoys it, even if he doesn't brag all that much about it at the station.

Tofu à l'orange

1 cup pomegranate juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp soya sauce
2 tsps Dijon mustard
1 tsp grated orange zest
1 tsp rosemary
3/4 lb firm tofu, sliced and cut in triangles

Simmer together the pomegranate juice, garlic, soya sauce, mustard, orange zest, and rosemary, in a non-stick frying pan, for 4 min. Add the tofu, turning to coat, and simmer for 3 min. until heated through. Serves 2.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Case of Raspberry Frozen Yogurt Smoothie

Could this be considered a food photo? Please? I'm blogging about a Raspberry Frozen Yogurt Smoothie today, instead of the versatile vegetarian item I promised in my last blog, 'cause I haven't taken any good pictures of tofu. You? This photo of course depicts the ice-cream truck that winds its way around Black Currant Bay every summer, while emitting a merry jingle that invariably reminds me of the Pied Piper.

The recipe for my Raspberry Frozen Yogurt Smoothie is so simple I bet you'll think This isn't a  recipe. And yet there is art and technique to simple food – great ingredients, judicious preparation, attractive presentation. This smoothie is the essence of raspberry. And it looks sumptuously pink in a martini glass.

Raspberry Frozen Yogurt Smoothie

1/2 cup 2% milk
1/2 cup raspberries
1 large scoop vanilla frozen yogurt

Blend together the 2% milk and raspberries. Add the vanilla frozen yogurt and blend again. Serves 1.

My next favourite smoothie is Papaya Frozen Yogurt Smoothie, in which you replace the 1/2 cup raspberries with 1/2 cup chopped papaya, for that dare-I-say "peach" martini glass. 

UPDATE – picture of Raspberry Frozen Yogurt Smoothie here.
UPDATE – picture of Papaya Frozen Yogurt Smoothie here.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Case of Olive Oil and Lemon Vinaigrette

Antique store number 2. Except this one's in Langdon Hills, where I went to celebrate Godmom's birthday, when she suddenly died, leaving me feeling dreadful, as you may well imagine. Then after the funeral, we were hit with another death—a body discovered outside Godmom's home. Can you believe it didn't stop there? If you read A Purse to Die For, you'll find out exactly what happened...

I'm sure you're wondering what this has to do with vegetarian food. Not a damn thing. Emphasis on food and food photography to come. Promise. Even looking into buying a digital camera.

Olive Oil and Lemon Vinaigrette

3 tbsps lemon juice
2 tbsps olive oil

Whisk or shake together the lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Case of Mediterranean Potato Salad

I write a column called How to Spot an Aspiring Vegetarian for The Black Currant Bay Beacon Star. Above is a shot I snapped right here in Black Currant Bay, my beloved adopted hometown. It's the entrance to Frank's Antique Store. Yes, Frank's is completely charming! What I'm trying to get at is this. Does Black Currant Bay look like a town anxious to embrace vegetarianism? Honestly, took me awhile to build even the most modest of column readerships. There's my husband, Karl, who is Chief of Police. Several new-found friends...I'm so pleased to try blogging.

I was thinking I'd post recipes here that have already appeared in my column. Fan favourites? But then I changed my mind and decided to start fresh. How about with that potato salad I mentioned in my profile? No mayonnaise in it, no eggs, no cucumber, no celery...Radical! It's ultra safe to take on picnics, and it's vibrant with fresh, summer-garden herbs. I really hope you enjoy it.

Mediterranean Potato Salad

24 baby red potatoes, the larger ones halved
2 tbsps olive oil
3 tbsps lemon juice
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Spread the potatoes on a 9" X 13" pan. Drizzle with the olive oil. Toss to coat the potatoes. Roast for 30 min. Transfer to a large bowl and sprinkle with the lemon juice. Salt and pepper to taste. Let cool slightly. Toss in the rest of the ingredients and chill. Serves 4-8.

UPDATE—picture of Mediterranean Potato Salad here.