Archive for October, 2011

Bon Jovi’s Community Restaurant

I saw this story in a lot of places last week but I think it is really interesting so I wanted to share it with you too.  Jon Bon Jovi’s charitable foundation has opened a new restaurant in New Jersey called the Soul Kitchen.  The concept is simple and refreshing in the age of celebrity restaurants that charge an arm and leg for a meal.  Basically, the restaurant serves regional, organic cuisine with a pay-what-you-can pricing model.  I love this idea – so many people think organic meals are too expensive or that eating out means that they need to eat fast food to be able to afford it.  The idea that a community can come together to share a meal is such a positive one that I hope we see more of these restaurants in near future.


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Menu (week of 30/10/11)

This week I feel a little bored with my cookbooks and with so many great vegan mofo recipes online I’m adding a few blog recipes to my list this week…

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Links I like (October)

  • Locally roasted coffee – The Citizen article here and the company’s website here.
  • It is cranberry season!  Check out these photos, this recipe, and buy local!
  • This vodka is now available at the LCBO.  Previously, they did not carry it because of the shape of the bottle.

Sort of obsessed with:

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Art-Is-In Bakery Classes

It seems like everyone in Ottawa loves Art-Is-In bread.  Their breads have a distinctive taste that is perfect to serve when company is coming.  On Sundays you can expect to spend a long time in the line-up at the farmer’s market.  And, I’ve had a number of people highly recommend the sandwiches at their eat-in location.

Today my co-worker let me know that Art-Is-In is now offering classes:  http://www.artisinbakery.com/classes.  Now, to choose between sourdough or baguettes….

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Ottawa foodie challenge

I think Mike and I will be participating with this – and you should too!  All the proceeds to the Ottawa Food Bank:  http://www.ottawafoodiechallenge.com/

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Menu (week of 23/10/11)

  • Shepherd’s pie (Mushroom version)
  • Ricotta and zucchini tart with a potato crust served with a tomato salad
  • White and green chilli
  • Chakchouka

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It’s soup season!  Last night as I was walking home with a cold rain and harsh wind blowing I realized that pretty soon it is going to snow.  Luckily, Mike and I  had lots of leftovers of this soup to keep us warm.  If the ingredient list seems a little long it’s because there are lots of spices in here.  I actually did not intend on posting this recipe because I was just planning on making the Squash-and-White Bean Soup from this cookbook. However, when I started to cook  I realized I was deviating from the recipe quite a bit.  Instead of leaving chunks of squash and celery I blended the “base” of the soup to a creamy texture.  And while I love the taste of winter squash and white beans, I had black beans in the fridge that needed to be used. 

The real highlight of this soup is the garnishes.  I recently discovered Harissa and have a jar of it in my fridge to use up.  I knew the taste would go perfectly with this soup so I  drizzled about a 1/3 of a teaspoon in the bowl just as I served it.


  • Harissa (to taste)
  • Feta cheese (to taste)
  • Crusty bread
  1. Make the stock (if you have none on hand)
  2. Combine the oil, squash, onion, celery, jalapeno, ginger and garlic in a large soup pot. Cook over medium-high heat until softened for 7-10 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Add the vegetable stock, chile powder, thyme, allspice, salt, and ground pepper.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer.  Cook for 20 minutes.
  4. Using an immersion blender blend the soup to a smooth texture.  Add your ancho chilli powder and taste for salt.
  5. Stir in the spinach and beans and cook for about 10 minutes more.
  6. When serving add some harissa as garnish with a bit of crumbled feta.  Serve warm with crusty bread.

Soup, beer and bread

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