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Zucchini chips

It’s a drizzly day. Perfect time to try making zucchini chips. Here goes my first attempt: I found this recipe online from the Wishful Chef blog and used the giant zucchini from the garden.

I found an old mandolin of my uncle`s that looked like it was from the 70s.  It took him a while to remember which attachment I was supposed to add, but once we figured it out it was very simple to use.

Attempting to slice as thinly as possible

Attempting to slice as thinly as possible

Luckily the zucchini provided it`s own attachment for preventing me from chopping my fingers off

Luckily the zucchini provided it`s own attachment to prevent me from chopping my fingers off

I`ve found other recipes that said bake them for 2+ hours (and recipes for dehydrators, but I don`t have one). I liked this one because it was simple, with few ingredients, and the cooking time was only 30-45 minutes.

Not every even but it made a lot!

Not very even but it made a lot!

First batch in the oven!

First batch brushed with olive oil and salt in the oven!

Because my slices were uneven, the thinnest parts were brown and crispy while the thicker parts barely changed colour and were soft after 30 minutes. But the taste of the cooked part was unbelieveable! Just like my favorite root chips.

Fresh from the oven

Fresh from the oven

I would definitely try this recipe again, with other roots too (sweet potato, beets, etc). Perhaps my slices turned out uneven because I used the mandolin on an angle or applied uneven pressure. Maybe using a smaller zucchini would have given me more control.

Big take home messages for zucchini chips:

  • Thinner is better – use a mandolin if you can
  • Even-ness of the slices is important
  • Less salt is better – zucchini shrink and the salt concentrates
  • Less oil is better or they turn out soggy – use a basting brush or cooking spray
  • Watch them closely as oven temps vary
zucchini chips

A little oily and soggy but still yummy. My uncle took my basting brush to season hamburgers for the grill so I had to drizzle using a spoon. Brush is better!

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Brrrr!: As in, temperatures are cooling. October 6th was supposed to be the first frost of the season. I threw down some kale and collard seeds last week in the hopes that maybe they might germinate before it gets too cold, but I haven’t been back to check on them yet.

On Sunday, I made black bean and butternut squash burritos from the Oh She Glows blog that I follow (through her Facebook page actually). I shared the recipe with a friend on Facebook. We were supposed to make it on the same day and share our stories, but she made it before I did so my story comes later :).

I followed the recipe closely, except as usual I just shake in the spices rather than measuring them out, I didn’t cover the squash while baking, and I used cheddar cheese and red pepper because that’s what I had at home.

Just salt and pepper with a little bit of olive oil – so good!

I chose to use a red onion because the recipe called for a sweet onion. I was thinking “red onions are sweet” rather than “if we’re supposed to use red onions, the recipe would have called for red onions!” The next time I make this I will use a regular cooking onion. They become sweet once cooked.


I boiled the beans and the rice separately and then mixed everything together in the pan according to the recipe.

Ready for the squash

All done!

I used Ezekiel sprouted tortillas which I bought at Tutti Fruitti in Kensington Market. I liked the fact that it was made entirely of sprouted grains! No oil, and most importantly, no artificial crap. Added some avocado, salsa,  extra butternut squash and cheese and called it a wrap!

Time to wrap!


It turned out pretty good! I would definitely make this recipe again. It was easy to follow with a reasonable amount of steps. I was absolutely shocked at how good the butternut squash was with just salt and pepper and a bit of olive oil! I’ve been making soup and using a maple syrup coated recipe when I make butternut squash so it was nice to be reminded of the simplicity of good old salt and pepper.  Definitely a keeper!

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I made sushi!

To be more accurate, I made maki on the weekend. I love maki! I prefer the cooked stuff and tend to go for the vegetarian options as well. I decided to make vegetarian maki, just to make things easier.

I bought the nori at Tutti Fruitti in Kensington market. I chose the Yamamotoyama brand because I liked the packaging and the price was right.


On Saturday after work, I made the homemade pickled ginger recipe I found on Allrecipes.com. First I peeled the ginger using a vegetable peeler. Then I salted it and let it stand for 30 minutes as the recipe stated.

Super thin ginger slices using a vegetable peeler

Then in a pot I mixed the rice vinegar and sugar until it dissolved.

Rice vinegar and sugar mixture. Steam is fogging up the camera.

Once it came to a boil, I took it off the burner and poured it into the jar with the ginger slices. Once it cooled, I put the cap on and put it into the fridge. Easy peasy lemon squeezy! The recipe makes a lot of pickled ginger.

Pickled ginger

On Sunday, it was time to get down to it. My brother had been trying to source out wasabi for most of the week. I told him to buy powdered wasabi because I had read it was cheaper than the paste. However, he managed to find a very affordable paste at T&T Supermarket. He picked it because it actually had wasabi in the ingredients. The downside was that it had sorbital and other preservatives.


I bought Lundberg brown rice from Essence of Life in Kensington Market and followed the instructions on the package for boiling the rice. The package said it could be used when a sticky consistency was desired and I’d read that short or medium grain rice was ideal for sticky rice. I used the recipe at essortment for making the sticky rice seasoning.

I decided to attempt a California-style roll with the rice on the outside. I don’t own a sushi mat so I researched what I could use if I didn’t have one. I came across a Youtube video that used a kitchen towel, which sounded interesting. In the end I decided to go with plastic wrap, which had come up a lot in my research, because it was handy and I could just toss it.

Fresh veggies for filling

I placed a piece of parchment paper on top of a cutting board (to keep it from getting dirty) and got to work. After putting rice on my nori, I realized that I had put the plastic wrap underneath the nori with the rice on top. Instead of just rolling it with the rice inside, I clumsily reversed everything so the rice was on the bottom of the nori and on top of the plastic.

Ready to roll – California style (the rice is on the bottom)!

The first roll didn’t turn out too well as I didn’t wrap it tightly enough…

Attempt no. 1 – fail!

but man, it tasted great! My sister, who swears she hates maki (she doesn’t like the taste of nori), loved it. The wasabi was brutally hot (and therefore really good) and the pickled ginger was pretty good as well (maybe a bit too salty). Neither condiment, nor soy sauce, were necessary as sticky rice seasoning gave everything more than enough flavour. Yum!

We rolled a few more California-style rolls and rolls with the nori on the outside. My brother wet the edges of the nori so it would hold together better. I skipped this step on my first attempt so that could have been the cause of my rolls falling apart.

My brother shows me how it’s done

We ended up using the parchment paper to roll our maki in later attempts because it held its shape better than the plastic wrap.

Nice, tight roll

My technique improved on subsequent attempts. I found that the trick to keeping it together is to roll it tightly (I used a roll-squeeze-roll-squeeze technique) and to use a serrated knife to cut the rolls.


Looking forward to making them again!


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I’ll be honest. I don’t really like to cook. But my garden inspires me to eat healthy and make simple and healthy snacks.

Pita pizza

Pita pizza is filling and a much healthier alternative to store bought or take-out. I use Greek style pita bread  and a hot and spicy salsa base. I used to use ketchup that I seasoned with oregano, basil, garlic powder, and black pepper but salsa is healthier, tastier, and less work.  I top with fresh basil leaves from the garden, mushrooms, green peppers, red onions, and goat cheese (the icing on the cake), stick it in the toaster oven for about 10 minutes and voila!

Green smoothie

I started making green smoothies at the beginning of this year after reading Green for Life and Green Smoothie Revolution by Victoria Boutenko. It was a quick and easy way to get more greens, fruits and veggies  into my diet. I like to make my smoothies with very few ingredients. I’ve found that this basic recipe works well:

  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 2 green apples
  • frozen berries to your taste
  • chunk of ginger to your taste
  • handful of greens of your choice
  • 1/2 cup water

I really like the taste that frozen cranberries add to the smoothie. In the photo above, I used frozen wild blueberries. I’ve found the frozen berries to be better than fresh. Just a personal preference. Ginger adds a nice zing and cucumber adds water so it’s not too chunky. I’m not sure why I add the apples but they’re good for you and they add bulk and fibre. For the greens I use whatever is available. I used kale a lot when I first started but I read you should rotate your greens to reduce toxicity. Right now I use whatever I pick in the garden. The smoothie above had chives, beet greens, nasturtiums (leaves and flowers), and a few basil leaves (the rest goes to pita pizza!). The last one I made had carrot tops. The trick is to add enough fruit so you don’t taste the greens so much. And blend a few items at a time so don’t jam the blender (the water also helps with this).

A healthy snack from the garden

This snack is healthy, yummy and almost 100% from the garden! Collard green wraps with homemade carrot hummus filling and a green garden salad (lettuces and dill). Recipe for hummus:

  • 2 cups chick peas
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic (less or more to your taste)
  • 2 to 3 TBSP tahini
  • cayenne pepper, cumin, salt to taste (I just shake it in)
  • a veggie or two of your choice (I like carrots)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

I throw these into a blender and process ’til smooth. You can add more olive oil for consistency or water if you don’t want it to be too oily. I usually just pour until I think there’s enough.  I make tahini by grinding sesame seeds in my coffee/spice grinder (I bought it to grind spices, I don’t drink coffee) and add olive oil to make it runny and then just pour it in. Recently I’ve been adding onion although I haven’t found the right amount  yet (a small onion or even half is pretty overpowering). I might try green onion or chives next time. The store bought onion I’ve been using is really strong. I’m sure my garden onion would have been perfect.

Garden greens June 24th – onions, kale, collards, beet greens, lettuces

I made a dill tea once after reading that could. It smelled better than it tasted. Maybe I should have sweetened it.

Dill tea

It’s fun to experiment!

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