Eat This Week: Let's Spice Things Up

Feb 27, 2018

It’s that time of year when people start to yearn for the spring thaw — not only for warmer temperatures, but for those first green leaves to poke through the ground. Before the arrival of asparagus and rhubarb, we still have plenty of imported veggies to play with — and my kitchen is always full of spices, rubs and pastes to keep things interesting. A quick one-pan curry is a staple around here, often made with a can of drained chickpeas and a handful of spinach, kale or chard. Sweet potatoes and winter squash are also particularly delicious in a curry, even combined with chickpeas or lentils, and so there will probably be more of those this week.  

salmon falafelI’ve been on a bit of a falafel kick lately, making the small, crunchy balls with canned chickpeas spiked with purple onion, cilantro, garlic and cumin, with a big pinch of red chili flakes for a little heat. I was inspired during one batch to add a can of drained salmon, which created a sort of a cross between a fish cake and falafel patty, and was easy to mix together and cook in a hot skillet — truly fast food. Equally fast is the garlicky yogurt or tzatziki to go with it: thick plain yogurt (I love Bles-Wold from just north of Calgary) spiked with garlic and lemon, and some cucumber I grate onto a double layer of paper towel, then gather up to squeeze out the excess liquid. Tzatziki improves with a day or three in the fridge, so I tend to mix up a batch to dip into all week. Once I made a batch of falafel, I invariably make another soon after. 

granola3It’s also time to replenish my jar of homemade granola — I usually wing it with old-fashioned oats from Highwood Crossing, and whatever nuts and seeds I have lurking in the pantry. Cinnamon is generally my go-to spice, but last year I made a batch heavily seasoned with turmeric, and it was wonderful — this week I’ll make another batch, or perhaps try using a warm garam masala blend like they do for the brunch menu at Calcutta Cricket Club.

Spices are a great way to keep food interesting — and help you stay warm. Have a great week, everyone!

 

Shopping list:
canned chickpeas
canned salmon
winter squash
garlic
cilantro
coconut milk
Highwood Crossing oats
almonds
turmeric
cumin
plain yogurt (Bles-Wold)

Links:
Winter Squash Chickpea Curry 
Crunchy Granola with Almonds and Turmeric
Salmon Falafel

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