Made at Home: Gazpacho

Hot days means cold soup. I’ve always wanted to make gazpacho and was totally thrilled with the super simple recipe I found in this cookbook (side note: this cookbook is amazing and I totally recommend picking it up – such pretty illustrations and good recipes!). All you have to do is chop up 6 ripe peeled tomatoes, 1 cucumber, 1 onion, and 1 red pepper. Then put all the chopped up veggies in a food processor/blender with some water, 3 tbsp olive oil, S+P, and hot sauce. I also added in some basil and mint leaves to give it an extra bit of flavour, but there are a ton of different spice combinations you could try to make it your own. Blend until it reaches the desired consistency. Chill in the fridge and serve with some ice cubes. This recipe makes about 4 servings. The soup was really refreshing and works well paired with a yummy salad or sandwich (we made cubanos). No cooking or hot stove required – definitely what I call the perfect summer recipe!

katie

Made at Home: Rhubarb Loaf

Rhubarb is a hardy plant that, in my experience, practically grows itself. The catch is its extremely bitter taste, which people often cut with strawberries in jams and crumbles. When my parents brought me a bunch last week, I wanted to try something new. My search turned up this recipe for a rhubarb nut loaf. The recipe was surprisingly simple, even though I had to make a few substitutions: milk + lemon juice for buttermilk, and walnuts for pecans. I also baked for only 60 minutes at a lower temperature, because I’m pretty sure our oven runs very hot. The result was pretty delicious, and you could easily omit the icing if you’ve got calories on the brain. So, if you ever find yourself with a rhubarb problem, I’ve got your rhubarb solution.

mike

Made at Home: Pineapple Basil Caesar and Tiramisu

Today’s post is the quintessential bar and bean. We put these together after strokes of inspiration and/or motivation from two unlikely places. Katie’s concoction, a pineapple basil caesar, comes from the bar. After seeing Clint Pattemore hype his book on the only television channel we currently pick up, Katie was inspired to mix one up. This one was only named on the show, but we found a recipe and Katie pulled it off beautifully. My dish is a product of the bean, the coffee bean to be exact. Lady fingers were on sale this week (sometimes that’s all it takes) and I finally had to try the Italian dessert: tiramisu. This one was actually easier than I expected; I cobbled together a recipe based on the ingredients we had, and the result was the perfect combination of coffee-soaked cake and rich, cheesy cream.

mike

Made at Home: Veggie Skewers

We’re all about easy, tasty food here at the bar and bean. And what could be easier and tastier than skewers? At your next BBQ try ditching the hamburger for this delicious veggie option. Take a few bamboo skewers and pierce on some cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, pressed (extra firm) tofu cubes, green pepper, red onion, and baby potatoes (microwave the potatoes a few minutes in the microwave first to ensure they cook all the way through). Then generously brush on some BBQ sauce to coat and place on the grill. While you’re at it, throw some corn on the cob (still in its husk) on there too. The resulting dinner will be so good you’ll be wishing you could grill all year round.

katie

Coffee & Cats

Coffee and cats. Is there a better way to start the day?
The little black and white cat is a newbie around here. He’s a 6 month old kitty we’re fostering from Heavenly Creatures. Der, our resident senior, is showing him the ropes. We call him Toonces (based on this SNL sketch we love). Toonces, you’re fitting in just fine.

katie

Made at Home: Vegan Quinoa Bowl

Vegan bowls are our new favourite dinner. We love experimenting with different healthy ingredients and flavour combinations. The key to a good bowl is making sure you have a hearty base (like quinoa, brown rice, sticky rice, etc), loading it up with veggies (preferably seasonal) and protein, and then topping the whole thing off with a delicious sauce or  spread. Today’s bowl was based on this amazing recipe from Oh She Glows. We made a few alterations, like nixing the purple cabbage and green salad and instead cooking up some spinach and beet greens with garlic and pine nuts. For our chickpea coating we decided to use garlic powder, sea salt, turmeric, and garam masala. We also topped off the dish with sesame seeds instead of hemp seeds, and whipped up some of our own jalepeno hummus. The whole thing only took about 45 minutes to make, and it’s probably the healthiest thing I’ve eaten all week. Vegan bowls, where have you been all my life?

katie