Monday, July 27, 2015

Signing off to my blog life... for now.

Hello my amazing followers and supporters. You have obviously noticed that for quite some time now I have floundered at  trying to maintain my blog. After a tough last few months struggling with pain, injury and grief blogging has become more and more difficult, really becoming a chore more then anything. After some thinking and reevaluating I've decided that it's time to say goodbye to my blog. To make things easier on myself and more available to you in real time, I've decided to move this platform to Instagram.  I invite you to come follow me @tomatosnob and I promise not to disappoint with lots of new and old time favorite healthy holistic recipes and lifestyle advice. Chow for now my lovies, don't be shy to say hello, share your story and help me spread the love. See you on the flip side. :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Impromptu Mexican spicy black bean soup #vegan style

Hello old friends,

I'm in  desperate need for some time off lately, I'm sure that this time of year you're all feeling the need for rest, relaxation and all day pajamas, I hear ya!  I've been dreaming about my upcoming vacation to Mexico, pretty much counting down the moments until I feel the sand and sun. I've been recovering over the last few weeks from whiplash, after recently being in a car accident. Yes I'm going to completely skip over what happened because luckily nobody was hurt and thankfully it wasn't my fault, but I'm ready for some days off, like 14 of them in a row - at least. 

In the meantime I crave flavors of spicy, smoky and sweet, you know anytime any day I'm ready to enjoy a big bowl of soup so I was super inspired when I whipped this deliciousness up.

I had some black beans I had cooked the day before, yes most of us health nuts actually cook our own beans, it's so much better then opening a can and way healthier. I wanted to do something satisfying, spicy and vegetarian. Soup is the ultimate way to pack vital nutrients into your body and it just happens to also be my favorite thing to cook as you've noticed if you've been following me the last five years. This soup takes roughly 30 minutes and will knock your sox off!

2 small carrots - fine chop
2 small celery - fine chop
1 large Spanish onion - fine chop
1/2 small butternut squash - fine chop 
4 garlic cloves - minced
black beans - about 1.5 cups or a can
tomato passatta - 1/3 cup 
1 dried guajillo chilies - fine chop
2 dried chili de arbol - fine chop
1L vegetable stock
fresh cilantro stems - 2 tbsp fine chop
dried Mexican oregano - big pinch crumbled
Miguelito - about 1 tbsp
cumin - about 1tsp
smoky paprika - about 1tsp
cinnamon - small pinch
tamarind paste - optional 1-2 tbsp
lime juice - 1-2 limes
Coconut oil - 1-2 tbsp

Sautee the onion in coconut oil, add garlic and continue until translucent then add in the carrot, celery and squash. Cook until everything is soft about 5 -10 mins. Add pasatta, chillies, dry spiced and herbs and continue to cook for another minute then add stock, beans and cilantro. Simmer until veggies have softened then add in the tamarind paste. 

A splash of lime juice and fresh chopped cilantro leaves. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Butternut squash flat bread, #HappyFallYall

Howdy partners. I wanted to share an easy cheats recipe for a delicious fall/winter flat-bread with butternut squash. Find a good quality plain flat bread or pizza crust to begin. I just love Stone Fire flatbread and in Toronto you can get them in packs of three from Costco. I use the Artisan style pizza crust and it bakes up deliciously. The beauty of this recipe is that you can make up the flat-breads in advance and bake before serving, which makes it perfect for a party.Try it for American thanksgiving or your upcoming Holiday party. The flavor combination is seriously yummy, sweet, savory and a little spicy. Every time I serve it people just swoon.

Butternut squash
Maple syrup
Chinese 5 spice
Red pepper flakes
Olive oil 
Fresh thyme
Lemon zest
Sea salt
Black pepper 

Remove skin and seeds from the butternut squash and dice into small pieces (parmentier). Zest a lemon and fold into the ricotta cheese with a pinch of salt (if the cheese isn't salted).

Toss butternut squash in a few generous pinches of Chinese 5 spice a healthy drizzle of olive oil, maple syrup, pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Roast at 350 until tender and slightly browned around the edges (30-40 mins). 

Drizzle olive oil all over pizza crust (you can use a flavored chili, garlic or rosemary oil as well). Evenly distribute a generous layer of roasted squash and ricotta. Sprinkle with Parmesan and red pepper flakes. You can make this up to two days in advance and keep covered in the fridge before baking, or you can also freeze for later.

At 350-375 for about 10-15 minutes or until crust is slightly golden. If baking from frozen will take 20-25 mins. 

Give it a try and tell me just how much you love it! Happy Fall y'all.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Sharing: Cast Iron Cooking Myths

Hello Snoblets, 

I just wanted to share this great post on the myths of cast iron cookware. It's a useful read and I would agree with all of these except for #5. I actually don't like to use mettle utensils on any of my cook wear, I reserve it strictly for bbqing.

What do you use your cast iron cookware for?

I love mine for...  Searing meat & finishing in the oven, skillet corn bread, frittata or tortilla espanola and...
Blackened sword fish steaks

Charred Peaches, onions and jalapeno (dry roasting) for salsa

Shakshuka (baked eggs in tomato sauce) with fresh arugula
Dry roasting chilies, onions spices.
Roasted whole chicken & root veg

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Monday Moong Dal

 I've literally tried to write this post three times. Sometimes technology isn't our friend and I have to say apple (iphones/computers) really aren't as streamline as you need them to be. For example why isn't there a "command z" short cut on your phone. It would really come in handy and yes I am blaming my phone, partially for not posting this sooner. Anyways as I'm averaging one blog post every three or four months, it seems like I'm due for a recipe. I will not apologize for being such an occasional blogger anymore. I hope you enjoy what I offer up, healthy easy to follow recipes, once in a rare blue moon. This one is the bomb dot com if I do say so myself. It's easy to digest, vegan and excellent for it's anti inflammatory qualities. I created this recipe on some wildly inspired whim a few months back, when I was trying to eat less meat (right now I haven't had meat in almost 2 months - WOAH!). No I'm not going vegan, but I am still on my journey to understanding how to heal my psoriasis. I'll try anything natural. Food is our most powerful medicine or our most perilous poison. What's good for one body can be lethal to another. Right now I'm off meat, diary, gluten, soy, eggs and.... ahh fuck it. I'm happy and I'm feeling good so hopefully my skin will acknowledge that. It's challenging when people invite me over for dinner or  out to a restaurant but I'm just trying to go with the flow. Pushing myself as a chef by limiting my pantry is never a bad thing, I'm always up for a challenge.

Back to the important stuff, the recipe. This warm vegetarian stew uses Indian spices and is some serious comfort food, perfect for the cooler weather coming in. The dish also freezes well, so make extra. You will not be disappointed! 

2 cups moong dal (yellow split mung beans)
2 sweet onions - fine chop
4 cloves of garlic - minced 
2 tbs ginger - minced 
1- 2 red bird chilies - fine chop
2 tbs of tomato paste OR 1/2 c. chopped tomatoes
2 tbs cilantro stems - fine chop + leaves to finish
1 can of coconut milk
1L of water or vegetable stock
Tbs coconut oil 
1 tsp cumin
1tsp turmeric
1 tsp mustard seed
1tsp coriander seed
1/2 tsp fenugreek
Celtic sea salt to taste
1/2 lemon - juice (optional)

Rinse the dal three times, I like to soak them for a few hours but it's not necessary. Sauté the onion, garlic and ginger in coconut oil add the chilies and spices then the dal. Add the liquids, tomato, pinch of salt and cilantro stems, then simmer until the lentils are tender, you may need to add more liquids, monitor it. 

keep ginger in the freezer and grate it in using a microplane, you can also keep the bird chilies in the freezer, one of my favorite cooking hacks. 

You can add a spritz of fresh lemon once the dish is cooked, some chopped fresh cilantro leaves are nice too. I like to serve with blanched broccoli or wilted greens and a side of brown Jasmin rice.

Make this and let me know if you love it as much as I do. Chow for now!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Just can't get it together and a wicked Vegan Rawish Asparagus Soup

So it seems it's almost summer and I think I'm going to rename this blog The Lazy Tomato Snob, or perhaps in the spirit of being a total douche bag TLTS, cause acronyms are oh SHRN (so hot right now). I might have just made that up, but probably it exists. Anyways this is an awesome springy, green, rawish soup recipe and If you like Thai flavors you'll swoon for it. 

Medium sweet onion - chopped
4 garlic cloves - minced
1-2 Thai bird chilies - chopped
1 tbs grated ginger
6 dried kaffir lime leaves
1 tbc minced lemongrass 
1 large bunch of asparagus - tough bottoms trimmed off and rough chopped
1 cup frozen sweet peas 
1/2 can coconut milk 
1L vegetable stock
1 tbs coconut sugar (honey or maple syrup can be used instead)
Celtic Sea salt - pinch
1-2 tbs coconut oil 
1 lime - juiced 

toasted peanuts
toasted, shredded coconut (sweetened)  
fresh cilantro leaves - optional 
extra section of lime 
finely sliced red bird chili

On medium heat sautée onions, garlic, ginger in coconut oil until translucent. Add a pinch or two of salt, chillies, kaffir lime, lemongrass and continue to cook for another minute or two. Then add asparagus and cover to allow them to slightly steam only until they go bright green (1-2 minutes). Add in coconut milk, and stock, stir to combine, and remove from heat immediately. Add the peas and blend everything until smooth. 

Freeze your ginger and grate it into the pot using a wrasp or microplane. Gourmet Garden makes a great organic line of minced herbs and spices, I always keep the lemongrass to throw into soups, dressings and even juices. You can find their products in most Canadian grocery stores.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Frozen Breakfast Bowl for happy bowels

Sorry I couldn't resist. Happy bowels make your day an life better, you know it, even if you won't admit it. This delicious breakfast bowl is filled with antioxidants and best of all it's super easy to make. All you need is frozen fruit, nuts, seeds, dried berries, green powder, and some coconut milk. 

On a trip to Miami in December my friend took me to this awesome juice bar concept called Jugofresh. Although I couldn't really appreciate it at the time - I was desperately hung over and in serious need of a greasy spoon type meal. Not a post workout green healthy type of morning. Any way this place was amazing. A wicked selection of cold pressed juices and elixirs in these super cute mini glass bottles. They also had some interesting sounding dishes that until you have them in front of you are a totally unimaginable. Like a kale and coconut ceviche, raw oatmeals, and the frozen fruit bowl I made today. 

Ingredients: All quantities are approximate
Frozen fruit - 1/3 c. mango, 1/3 c. blueberries, 3 chunks pineapple 
Powder - 1 tsp spirulina & chlorella 
Liquids - 1/3 cup coconut milk, splash cold water & 3 oz seabuckthorn liquid supplement 
Crunchy toppings - goji berries, raw macadamia nuts, pumpkin & sunflower seeds, bee pollen, black chia, and Danielle's coconut chips. 

Blend the fruit and liquid, until it forms a sorbet consistency- I use a Nutribullet. Then top with a sprinkling of crunchies. That easy. You can even make your fruit puree in advance an leave it in the freezer. 

Happy pooping peeps. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Tomato Snob is back, don't hate me.

Looks like I'm the worst! I'm sorry, I suck, I know. I've been so busy the last few months with work, life and my own health journey, that I've totally neglected my blog. Using my blogger app from my phone has been a total bust, but I do vow to give it an honest try in efforts to win you all back. 

So a lot has happened since that boring fall pear post from a few months back. I've started teaching yoga, pilates and ballet bootcamp on a permanent basis at a studio called Wicked Barre in Toronto. I finished teaching all of my community classes at Yogaspace and I'm hoping that in the spring I'll score something more permanent there as well. 

I missed the 4th anniversary of the TomatoSnob blog. Wow can't believe it's been four years. Thank you to all of the people, fans, readers and even the haters who have supported and inspired me to express myself in this format. Looking forward to another four years and I hope I'm able to continue and maybe even pick up the pace since as you've noticed I've been seriously slacking.

I've been traveling like crazy the last few months going to NYC, Miami, Panama City, New Orleans, Bracebridge and San Jose del Cabo. Since i've come back smack dab in the middle of tax season my first priority is getting that out of the way, but here are some photos of my travels. 

Lots of love and appreciation!!! xoxo J

PS. don't forget to follow me on instagram @devijaime