Food | Kale Chips

"Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach."
Tony Robbins


I used to be a chip monster. In my tween and teen years, my lunch consisted of a slushie and a bag of chips; unbeknownst to my mother, whose rendition of lunch was tossed in the nearest bin. Chips to me, their nutritional devoid nature aside, are a perfect snack food- intensely flavored and easy to eat. The grown up me knows that chips for lunch everyday are the reason behind my tween and teenage skin; so the grown up me avoids them. Bad skin or momentary “culinary” satisfaction? Life is about choices; and I choose health.

Then kale chips happened.

I love kale, it’s one of those leaves that I was initially very frightened of; and then I had it sautéed with butter and sea salt. I was amazed at how this green, with little cooking intervention, could be rendered into such a flavorful dish. Since, I’ve put it in smoothies, pastas and soups; but chips were the final frontier. I honestly didn’t believe that kale could rival Old Dutch; but I was wrong. It happens sometimes.

With a quick toss in olive oil and a light dusting of salt, kale bakes up to be stiff opposition to the chips of my yesteryears. If you, like me, are frightened of kale; don’t be. And if you, like me, think that kale chips can’t possibly rival real chips; I say to you, trust me.


Kale Chips
1 bunch (about 6 ounces) kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 300°F. Rinse and dry the kale, then remove the stems and tough center ribs. Cut into large pieces, toss with olive oil in a bowl then sprinkle with salt. Arrange leaves in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, or until crisp. Place on a rack to cool.


Food | Tomato and Olive Salad

"Sun is shining. Weather is sweet. Make you wanna move your dancing feet."
~Bob Marley

Tomato Oregano and Olive Salad EDITED

Well folks, it is officially the dog days- it’s hot; and I love it. I spent the weekend lounging by a pool and sneakily sipping lime beer; if that isn’t part of a quintessential twenty-something summer, I have no idea what is.

Right now produce is something to be marveled at; and enjoyed. With tomatoes being a special kind of wonderful right now; from the moment I saw them, whispering to me at the market, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them. The bounty that is summer produce is so much more conducive to ease and simplicity; with tomatoes being the leader of the pack. Tomatoes are incredibly versatile; lending themselves well to slow roasting on a cold winter day; yet making a light and refreshing summer salad.

This tomato salad is the picture of ease and simplicity- completely no cook; and perfect for the dog days!

Tomato and Olive Salad
Makes 6 starter size salads
2 pint cherry tomatoes
2 cups olives stuffed with garlic in brine
1 ½ tsp oregano
2 tbsp chives
¼ cup brine
¾ cup olive oil
1 cup bocconcini pearls
½ tsp sugar
Halve the tomatoes; drain the olives and set aside the brine. Halve the olives and remove the garlic. Mince the garlic and oregano; and mix with brine. Slowly add the olive oil while mixing with a fork. Sprinkle the tomatoes with sugar and combine with olives. Add the brine vinaigrette and bocconcini pearls and toss until coated. Allow to sit for 15 minutes before serving.


Food | Basil, Mint and Cashew Pesto

Basil Mint and Cashew pesto 1

It was about a month ago that I made this pesto; and I had fully intended to post about immediately- it’s so good and I was inspired to share.

But then summer happened; it seemed to come out of nowhere. Summer started slow here, but then it really began to pick up speed; and just like that, this lovely little pesto fell to the bottom of my to do list. What, with patio season being a blink around here, sitting at home and writing about my emerald wonder seemed preposterous.

Basil Mint and Cashew pesto 5

After an amazing week in Montreal, spent sampling some of the best that North American food culture has to offer, I came home revitalized and ready to get back to blogging business; or semi business really. Although temperatures are soaring, I can feel the denouement of summer dawning; so despite my renewed blog vigor, I am going to keep this brief.

This pesto features cashews, one of the butteriest nuts out there; and this said buttery-ness lends itself so well to this sauce. I slathered this on toast and I was adding it to my tuna salad- I was hooked. I was using it in almost every cooking endeavor I undertook. Believe me, it really is that good.

Basil Mint and Cashew pesto 6

To keep this on the summer side of things, you could use this as a part of marinade for grilled meats or slather it on freshly grilled corn; this is the time to go wild people! My love for this pesto runs deeps, so don’t be surprised if you see this lovely little concoction making a winter cameo in my soups and stews.

Cashew Pesto

1 cup cashews
1 cup mint leaves
1 cup basil leaves
3 garlic cloves
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
¾ cup olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
In a food processor blend the garlic and ¼ cup of oil; once smooth, add the cashews, mint, basil and pepper flakes. Power on the processor and slowly add the remaining oil. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice and pulse for 5 seconds. Store in an air tight container, and enjoy for for 1 week.


Food | Brussel Sprouts, Pancetta and Almonds


Brussel Sprouts are one of the most misunderstood vegetables- they’re like Charlie Sheen minus the rants. Brussel Sprouts, given a bad rap by kids with turned up noses and perpetuated by poor cooking technique, are a lovely green jewel; and they have been sold short. They are incredibly healthy, filling and delicious; and I am here to elevate this vegetable to its proper standing.

I mean, I get how brussel sprouts have gotten negative press; when cooked poorly- by over boiling in water- they’re DOA. Because of its pungent raw aroma, boiling them in water alone, makes for an acrid side dish- at best. But when blanched quickly in flavorful broth and then sautéed until the edges are golden brown, brussels sprouts become the food of the gods. Yeah, they’re that good.


I speak to you as a convert, a former loather of the brussel- I’d had them in many ways, none of them good; but after two years of culinary school, I came away with a few lessons- never catch a falling knife, season appropriately and brussel Sprouts are amazing- when done right.

Brussel Sprouts are really good- seriously good; and if you naysayers still have your noses turned up I say, with love, grow up; and, trust me. There is no way to describe how delicious this recipe is and how much you will like it; but I’ll try. The result of these flavors in one bowl is nutty, salty, robust and romantic- if that’s at all possible. Why romantic? I don’t know, likely because everybody enjoys a little romance. I digress, brussel Sprouts with pancetta and almonds is perfect- plain and simple. Trust me on this one.


Brussel Sprouts with Pancetta and Almonds
makes 3 servings

2 cups brussel sprouts, trimmed of the woody outside pieces and halved
4 pieces pancetta
½ cup sliced almonds
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place pancetta in heated oven and cook until crisp- approximately 7-10 minutes. Cool and crumble.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil- feel free to use chicken or vegetable stock; add the trimmed brussel sprouts and cook for 2 minuts or until they turn a vibrant green. Drain and set aside. In a dry non stick pan heated to medium high heat toast the almonds. WARNING: do not walk away during this point; once the nuts start to brown, burning is only seconds away- keep your eyes on them.

Heat olive oil to medium high in a non stick pan, add the brussel sprouts. Cook for 7 minutes or until they start to brown on all sides. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and sprinkle with toasted almonds and crumbled pancetta.