Archive for Seasonal

Farm Fresh Ratatouille with Polenta {Vegan}

Ask me about my food philosophy, and it’ll be the same answer every time: obviously it needs to be delicious, made with love, mostly plant-based, and ideally, sustainable, local and in season.

You see, what we eat has far-reaching effects, probably more so than we realize. By supporting local farmers and eating seasonally, it’s much better for the environment. Our carbon footprint is reduced when we eat locally-produced stuff, and the truth is, it tastes better, too. Now, I’m not saying I don’t buy bananas (I totally do), but given the choice between a locally-grown cucumber and one grown a continent away, I’ll choose the local one every time.

Cucumbers growing int he greenhouse

Cucumbers being grown in a greenhouse.

Supporting local farmers also supports our local economy. I’m a small business owner, I want to support other small business owners, and hopefully they will support me. More money stays in our local economy, and that’s also a good thing.

BC Greenhouse Vegetables

I really love visiting farms, so I was stoked to get invited to a long table dinner last week that took place inside a working greenhouse where they were growing cucumbers. It was a really cool experience to see how they are able to grow way more cucumbers hydroponically, by growing them vertically instead of on the ground. And it’s not just cucumbers. Other farms are growing eggplant, peppers and tomatoes.

BC Greenhouse Longtable Dinner

The dinner was fantastic, and paired with lots of other local ingredients, like cheeses and wine from Mt. Lehman, and local meats as well.

Roasted red pepper bisque Veggie Fritters Lemon curd with rhubarb

We went home with very full bellies, and also a bag of superfresh produce. I decided to turn mine into ratatouille, which is a kind of French peasant stew made of vegetables. You could serve it plain, or as a side, but I like serving mine on a bed of creamy polenta.

It’s such a great spring/summer dish, the perfect thing to make after a trip to the Farmer’s Market.

Hug a farmer, you guys! They work so hard, and without them, our lives would be much less colourful and a whole lot less delicious.

Ratatouille and Polenta

Ratatouille with Polenta

Ingredients for the stew:

  • 2 tbsp–1/4 cup EVOO
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small green zucchini, not peeled, quartered and sliced into 1/2″ dice
  • 1 small yellow or light green zucchini,┬ánot peeled, quartered and sliced into 1/2″ dice
  • 1 small eggplant, peeled or not peeled, quartered and sliced into 1/2″ dice
  • 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and sliced into 1/2″ dice
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced into 1/2″ dice
  • 3-4 vine-ripened tomatoes (small to medium), diced
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olives (optional)
  • 1/4 cup fresh herbs: parsley, basil, oregano
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce or 2 tbsp tomato paste plus 2 tbsp water
  • salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for the polenta:

  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup non dairy milk, unsweetened, unflavoured
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup corn flour
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 2 1/2 tsp vegan butter

Vegan Ratatouille and Polenta


  1. In a dutch oven on medium heat, heat up 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add the diced the onion, season and stir well. Allow to cook for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the eggplant and zucchini and stir well to coat with oil (add more if needed). Season. Allow to cook for another 5 minutes or so.
  3. Add the garlic and stir well to combine.
  4. Add the peppers and stir well, allow to cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes and the tomato sauce. Stir everything well together and allow to cook for 20-30 minutes until the vegetables are soft and the sauce has thickened. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and the olives. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
  6. Lastly, stir in the fresh herbs just before serving, reserving a few for garnish.
  7. To make the polenta: bring the vegetable stock to a boil in a medium saucepan. Combine the polenta and the corn flour together, and then add it to the boiling vegetable stock in a a steady, slow stream, whisking all the time.
  8. Turn the heat down to medium and continue to whisk until the polenta is a thick, porridge-like consistency. Remove from heat and whisk in the vegan butter and the vegan milk. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
  9. To serve: pour the polenta onto a large serving platter and top with the ratatouille. Garnish with fresh herbs, balsamic vinegar, EVOO and (if you’re not vegan) a little cheese.


Easy Apple Pie {Vegan}

A couple weeks back, I was craving apple pie, but it was Saturday and I was, in a word, lazy. After a couple of really busy, intense weekends with lots of running around, we finally had the opportunity to spend a quiet weekend at home.

It required pie. But not leaving the house, because that would mean me having to get out of my pajamas. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Thankfully, I had everything I needed on hand to make an easy apple pie. In fact, the easiest, laziest apple pie, well… ever.

Easiest Apple Pie

I always keep a pie crust or two in the freezer, and it’s worth mentioning that the ones I normally buy are vegan. Not healthy, mind you, but technically, they don’t contain any animal products. I keep them around for “emergencies;” I can easily whip together a quiche for a fast, weeknight dinner or a weekend brunch, I can make cold custard or mousse pies, baked fruit pies, or even savory pies with mushrooms and lentils.

So, simply put, with one of these bad boys in your freezer, a couple of apples and few things you probably had on hand anyway, you too can make the easiest apple pie ever. I didn’t even bother peeling the apples.

By the way, this pie is technically called a galette. You don’t need to make a second crust, you just make a slightly larger bottom crust and then fold it back up over the filling. The final result, though, is still pie. Just with less work.

lazy apple pie Vegan

Easy Apple Pie


  • 1 vegan pie crust
  • 2-3 apples
  • 3 tbsp vegan butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon


  1. Remove the pie crust from the freezer and allow the pie crust to come to room temp (ish). Remove from the pie plate and place on a cookie sheet.
  2. Cut the apples in half, and then use a melon baller to cut out the cores. Carefully slice the apples, into 1/4″ thick slices. You can toss them up if you like, but I kept mine together and then fanned them out for a prettier effect. Remove the end pieces, set them aside for later.
  3. Brush the bottom of the pie shell with melted vegan butter, then sprinkle with a little sugar and some cinnamon. Place the apples on top, making a ring of apples, slightly fanned out, about 2-3 inches from the edge of the pie shell. I used the bottom centre of the pie pan as the guide. Continue to layer up apples until you have a couple of layers. Place the leftover bits in the centre.
  4. Brush the apples with more butter and sprinkle with a little more sugar and cinnamon. Now begin to carefully fold the edges of the crust up over the apples, working your way all the way around until it’s all folded over.
  5. Sprinkle the crust on top with a little more sugar, then place in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until the crust is browned. Remove from the oven and slide onto a plate to cool slightly. Serve with ice cream and caramel sauce (if you have it).


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