Archive for Seasonal

Quinoa, Black Bean, Butternut Chili

I tend to cook with the seasons. That means I like to eat ingredients when they are seasonally available; which means fresh greens and fruit in the summer, heartier winter vegetables in the winter.

a, Black Bean, Butternut Chili

It’s been a long, hot summer here in Vancouver, with very little rain. It’s only just over the last few days that we’ve started to feel a change in the weather, and have been happy to see some badly-needed rain.

One of the things I love most about living here is our beautiful, warm falls. You can pretty much count on there being beautiful weather well into October.

So while Starbucks may be already pimping out the PSL, I’m going to try to enjoy the last bit of summer for a while.

However, I am turning to warmer recipes these days, now that it’s cooled down enough for me to turn on my oven. I’m loving my French Enamel cookware (I am lucky enough to now own TWO Staub Cocottes), which are busy these days making up pots of beans and soups and stews.

Even before I was a vegetarian, I made my chili without meat. I just don’t think it needs it, simply put. Chili, made with beans, especially, is so meaty and full of protein already. It really fills you up.

The spin on this one includes one of my favorite fall ingredients: butternut squash. It also includes and extra dose of protein in the form of quinoa.

It’s a little sweet, a little spicy, very warming and oh-so-filling. You can make this in your French Enamelware, or in your slow cooker.

Vegan Chili

Quinoa, Black Bean, Butternut Chili



  • 1 medium onion
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 c vegetable stock
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 smallish butternut squash
  • 1 large (14-oz) can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 c uncooked quinoa
  • 1/4 c chopped cilantro


  1. Heat your dutch oven over medium heat, and add a couple tablespoons of oil. Dice up the onion and add it to the pot. Season and stir well. Allow onions to sweat out for 5-10 minutes, until soft.
  2. While the onions are cooking, cut the butternut squash in half, and peel. Scoop out the seeds, then cut into 1″ dice.
  3. Finely dice the garlic and add it, stirring, just until fragrant. Now add all the spices and stir well so that they coat the onions and garlic.
  4. Now add the squash, and stir well. Cook for 5 minutes or so more, allowing the edges to soften and pick up some colour.
  5. Now add everything else, stir well, and taste for seasoning. Allow to simmer, partially covered, on top of the stove for about 20-30 minutes, until the squash is soft and everything is thick and comes together.
  6. Before serving, taste and see if it needs more salt or heat. Stir in most of the cilantro, reserving a few leaves for garnish. Garnish with a sprinkling of cilantro, and slices of avocado, if you wish.



5 Ways with Garlic Scapes

This time of the year makes me so happy.

It’s like Christmas, but in the middle of the summer, so it’s warm. There is a very small window, every year, usually in June, where garlic scapes are in season. It’s a short window–usually only a few weeks, so I go mad buying and making stuff out of these delicious green curly delights.

5 ways with garlic scapes

If you’ve never heard of them before, garlic scapes are the green tops of garlic which sprout in the spring. They are milder in taste than the actual cloves, and thicker and more fibrous than say, chives or a scallion.

But holy smokes, are they tasty! You can do so very many things with them, and I thought I’d share some of my favorite ways to use them with you.

  1. Stir-frys. We eat a lot of stir-frys at our house. They are easy and healthy. I throw some rice in the rice cooker, or if we are really running late, I just make some noodles. Then I sautee up some diced tofu that I’ve tossed in cornstarch and set it aside. Finally, I quickly fry up whatever fresh veggies we have on hand–Michael likes broccoli and cauliflower, I usually have carrots and zucchini and onions, too. Dice up your garlic scapes and add them to this mix. Finish with a little sauce (we like hoisin) and voila! Dinner!

    Pickled Garlic Scapes by Chef Heidi Fink.

  2. Garlic Scape Pesto. This is the one I’ve been making for years. I make a huge batch and freeze it in ice cube trays, and it lasts me all year long.
  3. Pickled scapes: These make an amazing garnish for that most Canadian of all cocktails: The Caesar. This recipe from the lovely Chef Heidi Fink.
  4. Garlic Scape Jam: I made this for the first time last year, and it took me quite a few fails to get it right. I love this on a cracker with a slice of brie.

    Image by Well Fed Flat Broke

  5. Garlic Scape Cheese Bread: This recipe is from Well Fed, Flat Broke, and the first time I made it, Michael’s eyes literally rolled back in his head. Yeah. It’s really good.

What’s your favorite way of enjoying scapes? Let me know in the comments below, quick! Before the season is over!



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