Saturday, August 09, 2008


It is quite ridiculous that I haven't posted since April. I've been a little busy and this is why...

carrying all of your natural necessities.
1255 Dundas St West, Toronto, ON

Opening MONDAY, AUGUST 11th, 2008

See you there!

Friday, April 04, 2008


Recently, my friend Bernie introduced me to Hungarian Style Lentils. They are made with french lentils, which are smaller, firmer and more meaty.

The original recipe was from Gourmet magazine (I think...I lost it somewhere in my office) and it called for duck fat. I have no idea what it tastes like with the fat but I promise, even the biggest meat-lover will swear there's an animal in there. The lentils don't get mushy at all. The paprika also gives it that lovely smokey flavour. Here is the recipe sans duck.

Hungarian Style Lentils (or The Best Darn Lentils...)

We are hopelessly addicted to them here at the Bouchard-Brown house.

What you will need:

2 cups french lentils, soaked at least 8 hours
(to soak em, just enough water to cover lentils in a bowl. Leave, covered on the counter over night. The lentils will absorb the water. Rinse them in cold water before cooking)
4 cups veggie stock or water
1 red onion, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp flour (I used spelt but any flour will do)
2 tbsp smoked paprika (use more if you like it spicy)

2 tbsp fresh chopped thyme or parsley or both
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
juice of 1/2 a lemon

In a large pot, add lentils and cover with 4 cups vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and cook on medium heat for 15 minutes. DO NOT OVERCOOK!

Meanwhile, saute onion and garlic in a large pan until soft. Add flour adn cook for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add paprika.

Once lentils are cooked, add onion mixture and cook for 5 minutes or until lentils have thickened up. Turn off heat.

Add herbs, dijon, balsamic and lemon. Mix it up.

There are a million ways to enjoy:
- with poached eggs and toast
- on rice
- alone
- add chard or spinach
- on a bed of watercress, served with spelt toast (shown here)



Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Alright! I've been a horrible blogger lately...I apologize. Thank you to all who have requested posts and expressed your appreciation for them when they happen. Blame it on the winter or whatever you want, I have made a vow (that I will keep) to post more often. Pinkie swear!

for those not in Toronto, this has been the state of my bike for the past few weeks. ugh!

Alas, Spring is upon us and I have many posts brewing in my lil'noggin.
In the meantime, here is a recipe to tide you over and keep you warm while winter keeps it's grip on us for a little bit longer.


What you need:
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup (or so) brown mushrooms, sliced
1 zucchini, chopped
½ eggplant, chopped
½ can whole tomatoes (all the juice from can)
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1½ cups short grain brown rice, cooked
2 tbsp goat cheese
¼ cup basil, chopped

Before you start anything, prepare the rice and set aside, or have the rice cooking on the stove (I do mine in a rice cooker).

In a large pot, sauté red onion and garlic in some olive oil on medium heat until fragrant. Add mushrooms and sauté for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add zucchini and eggplant, tomatoes and cayenne. Bring to a boil and turn down heat to a light simmer for about 7 minutes. Liquid should be reduced to about half. Add rice, cheese and basil and let simmer for about 3 more minutes or until most of the liquid is gone and it’s all risotto-ey.



Sunday, January 13, 2008

Are You Being Serious?

This Saturday's Globe And Mail had a interesting article titled, Why Meals Are Better Without All The Fixings. The article is pretty much a plug for Michael Pollan's new book, In Defense of Food, An Eater's Manifesto which I have no doubt will be as great as his other's.

The book (which I have yet to read)looks in to food a little deeper and talks about eating REAL FOOD. It outlines Pollan's 12 COMMANDMENTS FOR SERIOUS EATERS I do agree with a lot of them (in my own way of course) here they are.

1. "Don't eat anything your great grandmother wouldn't recognize as food."

That means pretty much anything processed. Margarine...nope. Microwave popcorn....see ya. That also goes for granola bars.

2. Especially avoid food products containing ingredients that are a) unfamiliar, b) unpronounceable c) more than five in number — or that contain high-fructose corn syrup.

If you can't read it don't eat it.

3. "Don't eat anything that won't eventually rot."

I love this and think it's a simple thing to think about when choosing foods. A maraschino cherry is one molecule away from being plastic, that baby's here to stay.
Whole foods are just that WHOLE. Anything that contains something artificial is something to avoid.

4. "Avoid food products that carry health claims."

On the rare occasion that I venture into a grocery store, I am amazed at the number of things that shouldn't have omega 3 fatty acids, claiming to be packed with them. Eggs are the HUGE one. They claim the Omega 3 is in the egg because the hens were fed Omega 3's. So it may be technically true that the intention was to have the egg be a source of essential fatty acids but are they absorbed in our Also and more importantly, Omega 3 essential fatty acids become useless (*ahem* rancid) when heated. So unless your eating raw eggs, which is not so great, stick to flax oil or fresh water fish.
Foods like cold water fish are supposed to have good oils. Yogurt by nature has active bacterial cultures, ones that claim to have a "special" bacterial culture are more than likely not that great for you.

5. "Shop the peripheries of the supermarket; stay out of the middle."

I will take this one step further and say avoid supermarkets entirely whenever possible. The supermarket is where all the processed foods and "
non-foods" live. Most towns have a local farmers market where you can purchase fresh fruit and veg. If you're in Toronto, there are also many food box schemes like Good Food Box or Front Door Organics that will deliver to your door year round. This is expecially useful in the winter. People living in cities like Toronto or Vancouver have no excuse for shopping in large grocery stores, in my opinion.
If you can't avoid the supermarket and I know many people can't, stick to the outside where the fresh produce and other fresh foods live. The inside is where the junk lurks and is waiting for you to take it home.

6. "Better yet, buy food somewhere else: the farmers' market"


7. "Pay more, eat less."

"Americans spend, on average, less than 10 percent of their income on food" Canadians aren't much better. Why isn't food a priority in our society? If our bodies are our temple that why are we filling them with cheap junk?

8. "Eat a wide variety of species."

By "species" I like to think that Pollan is talking about plant species more than animal species but I didn't write the book. Eating a variety of foods is important. Making sure your plate is colourful is a good way to ensure variety. Also rotating foods throughout the week is great too.

9. "Eat food from animals that eat grass."

I'd like to change this to "be aware of the animal products you are eating and where they come from". I think it's important to make it priority to research the meat and dairy you buy and trust where it comes from.

10. "Cook, and if you can, grow some of your own food."

Not everyone can cook and I get that. That being said, things like steaming veggies and making rice are skills that are easily learned. Everyone can have simple, great tasting recipes under their belt. On the days that eating out is a must (and going to a restaurant is a great thing that no one should be deprived of), knowing how to choose the right foods is essential. Do not be afraid to ask how something is cooked or where it came from.
Growing your own food can be trickier for us city dwellers. Herbs are easy to grow, as are sprouts.

11. "Eat meals and eat them only at tables."

Coffee tables and desks don't count!

12. "Eat deliberately, with other people whenever possible, and always with pleasure."

I think that this can only come naturally when all the other commandments are followed. Eating with pleasure is a big one. If you don't trust what you're eating and that it is serving your body, how can it be good for you?
This is part of why the French diet eludes us North Americans? Different cultures enjoy their food and eat it slowly, and with company. They also make sure they are eating foods that accompany each other and aid digestion and longevity. Red wine with dinner is a good thing.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

I'm a Pepper

Bell peppers have a lot going for them. Shall we say they are one of the best lookin veggie out there? Red ones, green ones, yellow and orange...even purple.

Among it's long list of nutritional attributes, they are crazy high in vitamin C. It is said that the more brightly coloured a food is, the more anti-oxidant power it has. Peppers are definitely top of the list. Red peppers also contain lycopene, a carotenoid that is linked to the prevention of many types of cancers (it's also in tomatoes).

They are also super tasty!

Peppers are one of those produce items that is best enjoyed organic. They tend to be sprayed. It is best to look for ones with relatively blemish-free flesh. I like to smell my peppers and if they smell like a pepper, they're probably fresh.

One of the biggest things with bell peppers is knowing how to cut them. I've witnessed many a friend struggle with cutting out the stem and fighting with those little seeds making a huge mess. Allow me to attempt a little tutorial on:


(this is one of the many things I have learned from "Mr. Brown")


slice off the top of the pepper (right where the flat part meets the "bell" part.


pull out the seed bit. it should come out very easily and all in one piece

it now looks like this:

the stem will easily fall out of the top


the only thing wasted is the seeds. you can slice it so you get lovely rounds, or slice it into long strips.


Take care,


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Thursday, November 08, 2007


What am I talking about? I'm talking about brussel sprouts. So many people claim to not like them. I know! Those who love them find it incomprehensible. My theory is that those who claim them to be vile are those people who have only had them boiled or cooked in some other horrible manner.

So this post goes out to all those B-sprout haters. These little green wonders are members of the Brassica family, along with cabbage and broccoli. They are very high in Vitamin C and have many anti-oxidant and cancer fighting properties. They are also high in Vitamin A which is key in healthy skin. What's best is that they are in season right now so get out there and buy some.

I bring you the best way to easily cook them and make them taste wonderful.

right out of the oven


What you need:
- however many sprouts you have. The more the merrier. - Trim off the white end bit and either cut them in slices or leave them whole
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- an oven or toaster oven pre-heated to broil

In a bowl, toss sprouts in a little bit of olive oil (so they are coated. Place them on a cooking tray and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place tray in oven and let them broil until they are just brown. They are sooo delicious and sweet. TRUST ME.

Take care,


Monday, October 15, 2007

Macaroni and Cheese - NUTRITIONISTA style

Last night I was craving comfort know the craving that can only be satisfied by a dish that reminds you of childhood. The trouble with comfort food (or at least the ones I crave) is that they are usually pretty fatty and don't usually come with much in the way of nutrients.

In order to remedy this, I bring you...
Macaroni and Cheese NUTRITIONISTA Style

What you need:
about 2 cups brown rice pasta (I love love love Rizopia)
one medium size red onion, diced
one large clove garlic, diced
one bunch of kale, chopped (I know I run the risk using kale in every dish but I don't care! It's good for you)
about 1 tsp hot pepper flakes, more if you can take the heat
a generous amount of good quality feta cheese (by "good quality" I mean one that's organic and preferably from a sheep or a goat, which is more digestible than cow's cheese. It also has much more flavour. We are also trying to get away from traditional comfort foods that tend to be high in dairy. I used a sheep feta from Monforte Dairy that I got from my My local farmer's market.

In a pan, saute garlic and onion in some olive oil until onions begin to carmellize (you can usually tell this is happening when they become really fragrant). Meanwhile, boil your pasta. Add kale to pan and reduce heat and cover to allow it to steam. If it seems to dry, add a tiny bit of water.

Steam kale for about 7 minutes. Add red pepper flakes and feta to pan (heat should be at low now) and allow feta to melt into the kale and onion.
Once pasta is cooked, strain and add to pan slowly, mixing it well with the sauce.

Serve and enjoy!

Really, it tastes and looks amazing! I'm sorry this photo is not so much the best. Maybe I should have taken more lighting courses in university.

Take care,