The Staycation continues and Some recipes

After an outstanding shopping experience at Toronto’s St. Lawrence Market, it is time to make the best use of all that fresh and delicious food.

Market day with Tovah
Heading out to the St. Lawrence Market in Toronto

Shopping in the market is really part of my staycation mentality.  I love shopping in markets around the world and cooking my own food at home.  The St. Lawrence is the best of what Toronto has to offer and it is really well priced.  I bought all my groceries there this week.  The lemons and avocados are huge – 2 avocados for $3 compares to a whole bag of those little one at a discount market.  The same goes for lemons – 4 times the size of the ones in the grocery store.

It was all about the lunch yesterday.  I treated myself to 15 fresh oysters – they were $1 each and an extra 25 cents to have them shucked.  I was literally in heaven………….savouring every delicious bite.   This is living life large.  I don’t need an expensive restaurant – just amazing fresh food.  Eating it right there in the market transported me to a picnic table at the wharf in Pt. du Chene, N.B.

I used my Uber account for the first time to get home with all my loot.  My grocery cart filled to capacity.  The trip was $13 – from downtown to the beaches – usually pay $10 with tip to get home from my local supermarket so this really isn’t a big difference.  Kudos to Uber.  They are really doing it right.  The drivers are interesting, vehicles are clean and this really feels like the sharing economy.   This has been a tough decision for me.  I drove a taxi part time for 5 years in the early 90’s to supplement my income as a single parent.

For me the secret to healthy eating is being prepared.  A kitchen filled with healthy options.  Each week I make my own hummus.  Today’s batch turned out better than ever and I thought it might be the perfect time to share the recipe.

Hummus Recipe


I soak 1 cup of dried chickpeas over night.  Usually I do 2 cups at a time so I have chick peas to cook with during the week or to whip up another hummus batch mid-week.  In the morning I cover the chick peas with water and boil for at least an hour.  Rinse and cool the chick peas.

Now put the chick peas in your food processor.  If you don’t have a food processor, you can use your blender but usually need more liquid.

Add 1 tsp salt, 1 heaping tbsp cumin, ¼ cup apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice), ½ cup water, 1 clove garlic (or 1 tsp. Garlic powder), 2 tbsp tahini.  I often add fresh or dried parsley and sometimes a sprinkle of red chili flakes.

Blend until smooth. Delicious!

This week I made a batch of Spinach and Basil pesto. I pour it into an ice cube tray and freeze so that I can use only a few cubes as needed over the next several weeks.  It is great with soba noodles, or any wheat pasta, over fava beans or chick peas, and my favourite is mixed with spaghetti squash!  I got this recipe over 20 years ago from my sister and she got it from the Moosewood cookbook.  I lost the recipe years and this is how I make it.

Spinach Basil Pesto Recipe

1 large bunch of fresh spinach

1 bunch of fresh basil

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup parmesan cheese  (optional).  I am not eating dairy these days so I sprinkle nutritional yeast when I am eating it.  I haven’t tried putting it in and then freezing.

¼ cup sunflower seeds (substitute pine nuts or walnuts).  I always use sunflower seeds.

1 tsp salt

1 clove garlic

Everything goes into the food processor until it is liquid.  Then I pour into  an ice-cube tray, slip into a plastic bag and into the freezer.

Spinach Basil Pesto

When it is frozen, I break it into individual cubes and put into the plastic bag.    This is so yummy and so easy.

Frozen pesto

Black Bean Dip

I also make this is in my food processor.  I like to make everything the same day to cut down on clean up.0

1 cup dried black beans.  Soak the bean overnight and cover with water and simmer for an hour.

Add the beans to food processor

1 tsp salt

1 lemon (juice only)

2 tbsp olive oil

1 clove garlic

Few sprigs of cilantro

I like this thick so I don’t blend for too long.  This is good as a dip or made into patties and baked or fried.

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