Spring cleaning noodles.

The calendar is saying it’s spring, but other than the rare gorgeous day it’s still pretty rainy and cool here in Vancouver.  It’s the time of year when I’m itching to get outside but from experience I know it’s still a bit early to start planting much in the garden.  So instead I’ve resorted to that other ubiquitous spring activity.  Cleaning.

Spring really is on it's way!

A muppet inspired jicama slaw.

There is an old Muppet sketch that goes something like this …. (for full effect read it with a Groucho Marx/Fozzy bear kind of voice while using a carrot as a cigar)

“Do you know how hard is it for vegetables to break into show business?”
“Yeah, when we first started out, the audience used to throw people at us!”
(wocka wocka wocka!)

Imagine how hard it must be if you are a unique looking character actor vegetable? Surrounded by all the brightly coloured “pretty” vegetables it must be easy to be ignored. You work hard, you do your job, but no love. For the average cook, the good thing about many of these vegetables is you can get them for cheap.  A lot of value for a little money.
(insert commentary on film industry here….)

I seem to have taken a bit of a shine to odd vegetables lately.  Sunchokes, kale and most recently, jicama.  Jicama is a funny vegetable.  Sometimes called yam bean root, it’s one of those vegetables that I know I’ve had before, and have certainly read recipes that incorporate it, but it has only been lately that I’ve introduced it to my kitchen on a regular basis.

Power couple - Jicama and Cabbage.

Continue reading

Kale chips and gardens.

Spring is here.  Well, theoretically.

It is said that what we think, say and do manifests itself in our life.  If that is true (and I believe it is), it is warm, the sun is shining, there are fresh vegetables growing in the garden and I can eat pasta twice a day and be the size of a competitor again (without working out!).  Hmmm….. didn’t work…. okay time to get proactive, make a plan and take action.  Accepting that I can’t control the weather the rest is fairly simple.  First on the list? Simple.  Plant some cold weather vegetables.

So  that’s what I did.  I started to plant.  Kale, arugula and swiss chard outside, and with optimism on my side, four varieties of tomatoes inside.

Continue reading

Simple paprika chicken.

I’m a pretty simple cook.  To be frank I’m better at weeknight kind of meals than fancy-pants guest type meals and entertaining. The only menu items I’m consistently able to pull out for any occasion, without poring over cookbooks and stressing out, are pasta and chicken.  The trick for both, especially chicken, is in the spices.  Here’s a quick and tasty version that works for family and guests.

Continue reading