Lunch at Good Fork (Toronto)

I have blogged about this restaurant before for breakfast or brunch I believe but I had a perfect lunch there the other day with my friend Kevin.

I was hungry but didn’t want a really heavy lunch so I opted for what is on the menu as “Anatolian delight” (I think that was it). The lunch included a bowl of delicious red lentil soup – thick and creamy and tasting of wonderful middle eastern spices. The bowl comes with a small container of olives, a small tomato and cucumber salad and another small bowl of the creamiest crumbled feta I have ever had.  I put some of the cheese into the soup and mixed it in. The meal also comes with a wonderful long flat piece of bread (actually it comes with two of these but it really only needs one). I put some of the feta on small pieces of the bread and it was out of this world.

Good Fork soup

It was such a good lunch and all for $12. I think that is a pretty good deal.

Good Fork restaurant is located on Bloor Street West just  east of Jane Street).  http://goodfork.ca

It’s a definite recommend!

 

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Cooking with friends

Recently I was visiting my friend Victoria in the Peterborough area and we always get into cooking when I go to spend a couple of days there (We also talk about financial ideas, the economy, the psychology of people – great brain work out). Anyway, we decided to do a combo dinner where I would bring the soup and she would make the salad. I made my homemade vegetable soup with beans sprinkled with grated parmesan cheese- recipe below.

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…and Victoria made a wonderful spinach, pear and caramelized walnut salad.  Perfect dinner. The salad was from the cookbook called “The Pollan Family Table” by none other that Tracey Pollan (remember her – married to Michael J. Fox and starred in Family Ties? – click on link above for recipe).

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Vegetable soup recipe:

Talk about hearty! I used the vegetables that were in the fridge and usually I add some pasta to this soup but thought I would add white beans to give it more protein and fibre.

Ingredients

1 tbsp of olive oil

2 sliced medium sized carrots

2 sliced stalks of celery

2 small onions chopped

1 tetra pak of vegetable broth

1 large can of low sodium diced tomatoes

1 can of navy white beans

1.5 tbsp brown sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

1 handful of chopped kale (I buy a fabulous product called “Chopped Greens” which is a bag of frozen chopped and cooked kale.  I add it to everything and it is wonderful! – use as much as you want)

 

Directions

In a saucepan add the olive oil and the diced onions. Stir till translucent. Add the chopped carrots and celery and sauté for about 3 minutes. Then add the diced tomatoes. Stir well and then add the vegetable stock. Add some salt and pepper to taste.

Stir this and let it simmer for about 15 – 20 minutes. Then add the kale (since it is already cooked it doesn’t need as long). Cook for another 15-20 minutes and then add the canned beans. Sprinkle in the brown sugar (takes some of the acidity out of the tomatoes and adds a slightly sweet note to the soup). Let this simmer all together for another 10-15 minutes and you have a wonderful hearty soup.

I served it with some shaved parmesan on top and it was perfectly filling and warming. Just what you need on these cold cold days.

 

Breakfast the next day was one of my favourites.

I have developed a craving for poached eggs. I always loved them but used to make egg whites for breakfast every morning. Now I make a poached egg on a slice of toast with a bit of cheese as my go to brekkie every day.  The whole egg has all kinds of things that are good for you and if cholesterol is not an issue then I say go for it.  Keeps me feeling satiated until lunch. This time we shared an english muffin (whole wheat) and I used some baldersons 4yr old white cheddar cheese with a couple of slices of avocado. YUM!!!

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Birthday Lunch with my Friend Peter

Awesome lunch with my friend Peter for my birthday at Hanks on Church at Front Street in Toronto.  It was delicious! Normally wouldn’t eat that type of meal but after all it was my special day so I threw caution to the wind and enjoyed it thoroughly. Definite recommend.

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Montreal Smoked Brisket Sandwich – my sandwich

Shaved brisket (also known as smoked meat), dijon mustard, creamy red cabbage coleslaw, swiss cheese on a toasted ciabatta

 

Hank’s Burger – Peters lunch

8 oz of Ontario beef dressed with green onion mayo, lettuce, tomato, dill pickle, a crispy onion ring, sautéed mushrooms and swiss cheese on a sesame seed bun.

We ordered half fries and half salad just to be good. Yes I did go to the gym that afternoon!  Nuff said!

Lunch with an Old Friend

Every year at Christmas I get together with an old good friend Beth and her family for the day.  I always look forward to it as it is a really nice full day of catching up and discussions on anything and everything.

This year for lunch Beth made a delicious soup. I gather it was supposed to be a squash soup but she added a package of chopped sweet potatoes instead of a second package of squash. I think it made the soup that much better by adding a sweet note to it. It was served with a dollop of yogurt on top with chopped green onions (might have been chives). Really nice and thick.

On the side were these delicious tiny pita pizzas. Beth used the tiny pitas split in half and on each side she put some brie cheese (I think it was brie) and caramelized onions and sun dried tomatoes.  Baked till the cheese melted and the pita got a bit crispy and served them warm.  Perfect light lunch (or appetizer) to go with the soup which was really filling.

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After lunch we went for a long walk along the boardwalk of Lake Ontario and did some more catching up. Beth lives in Asia so I am always curious as to what life is like there.

As always it was a great day!

 

PS – I should also say we had a fabulous dinner of sweet and sour pork over rice – A Lucy Waverman recipe, but my pictures didn’t do it justice. I do suggest you look up the recipe under “Sweet and Sour Pork” by Lucy Waverman in the Globe and Mail newspaper.  Well worth it.

Boston for a Day…

So a couple of friends and I decided to do a trip to Boston for the day.  We got a great deal (cheap cheap) through Porter Airlines and off we went to spend the day taking in the sites of Boston.  How great is that?

Started with a very early flight out of Toronto (6:50 am) where we encountered Madeline, our flight attendant who smothered us in food treats and wine (yes we realized it was 7:00 am but when you are going to Boston for the day you take advantage of every opportunity 😉 ). “I call it the Breakfast of Champions” (The juice was wine and cranberry/orange). By the end of the flight we were hugging Madeline goodbye with the pilot asking “what went on back there?”

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Kims cousin Jason picked us up at the airport and took us to where he works (Reebok).  They call it a campus – it is something out of a TV documentary….I would love to work there!  Huge gym with a full size basketball court right in the middle. He took us around and the highlight (for me anyway) was a trip into the Reebok store where we got everything for 50% off! I scored running shoes and little black booties (Rockport).

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Then it was off to lunch at a pub downtown after which we needed to walk off the heavy food we ate.

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We walked all afternoon and ended up sitting by the water/marina to give our feet a rest.  Then it was back into the main part of downtown and onto the shuttle to the airport at about 4:30. Caught our flight home at 6:30 and got into my house by 9:30.  What a whirlwind day!  I can’t stop smiling about it every time I think about it 🙂

Cheese, Arugula, Prosciutto and Chicken Pizza

I had a craving for arugula and prosciutto pizza. Mostly because I had the ingredients and I love the taste of arugula. Originally this was to just be cheese, arugula and prosciutto but I had a couple of chicken breasts that needed to be cooked so I just baked them and sliced part of one for the pizza (The rest will be left overs).

I have also made this as an appetizer without the chicken and cut into small pieces.  Pretty yummy – I used a creamier cheese for that evening (Port Salut).

This was so easy to make and 20 minutes in the toaster oven and I got two meals out of it. (Dinner and lunch the next day).

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Here is the process I followed:

1 stone baked crust (store bought – so many types – just pick one you like or by all means make your own!)

I only had old cheddar cheese on hand so I used that and just cut thin slices to basically cover the base of the crust

A large handful of baby arugula (looks so pretty) spread over the cheese

3 pieces of prosciutto torn apart and scattered over the top.  This alone makes a delicious pizza but I had the chicken so…

Thin slices of chicken breast cooked to cover the top of the pizza

Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes until the crust gets a bit crispy (I cooked it in a toaster oven)

Enjoy!

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“Chicks-in-Charge” Lunch

We had a gathering of our “Chicks-in-Charge” group a bit earlier than usual as one of our long standing members was going away for 8 months and we wanted to have a catch up before she left. (This is our group of about 8-10 women who run their own business) As usual our host Sheryl outdid herself with lunch. She wouldn’t let any of us bring anything other than side items.

Sheryl prepared a lunch fit for a group of special people (which I think everyone in the group is). We had roasted red and yellow pepper shells filled with red quinoa, a lovely salad, roasted potatoes and artichoke hearts (couldn’t stop nibbling at these – oh so good). Dessert was some sweet items one of the “chicks” brought.

It was a perfect lunch on a lovely summer day – who could ask for anything more?

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Meatloaf – who would have thought it….

I have never made a meatloaf. I know it’s hard to believe but there it is. I am not even sure why I haven’t made meatloaf before.  It is really pure comfort food and after spending a weekend visiting my friend Victoria in the country and making it there I am doubly amazed that I have never made it.

Meatloaf has to be the fastest, easiest, low cost meal going. Here is how Victoria made it and I have to say it was delicious both for dinner and for sandwiches the next day served cold.  What a staple meal to have in the fridge! Have I mentioned heathly too?

Turkey Meatloaf

1lb. ground turkey

1 chopped onion

A few chopped sundried tomatoes (only because she had them on hand – experiment with whatever is in your fridge)

1 egg beaten

½ cup relish of your choosing including salsa, bbq sauce, apricot jam (we used a sweet and spicy relish from Harry and Davids)

Directions

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and put mixture into a loaf pan.

Cook at 350 for 1 hour

That’s it!  How simple and it tasted great but the real treat was having it cold the next day in a sandwich (olive chibata buns).

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Lunch at Bloom Restaurant

Had lunch the other day with my friend Shelley at a neighbourhood restaurant called Bloom located on Bloor Street West in Toronto. We had a good catch up over a fabulous lunch.  The restaurant has a new theme of Spanish inspired food and on weekends gets some great jazz players. I believe it is under new management and I have been wanting to try it out for a few months now as their menu looked wonderful and the prices were very reasonable.

This day Shelley and I had the same thing – a chicken sandwich made up of roasted chicken, bacon (which was not listed on the menu but was in the sandwich), swiss cheese, chipotle aioli and was served with a mixed green salad that had roasted beets, pumpkin seeds and goat cheese. The lunch was absolutely delicious. The selections offered were great, from sandwiches to mussels with frites to salads and soups. They have a prix fixe menu as well that is a great bargain (we just didn’t think we could eat all that food – even though the course size was smaller). I highly recommend this restaurant and will be back again for both lunch and dinner in the near future!

lunch at Bloom

Brunch with Elizabeth and David

My friends Elizabeth and Dave are busy people. Trying to organize a get together is not easy, so when someone has a day free we jump on it.  The other Saturday afternoon we gathered for brunch at their place.

Brunch is one of my favourite meals because it is usually laid back, spent with friends and served with delicious food. Does it get any better?

This day was no exception. While Dave may have been worried that the brunch wasn’t over the top enough I am here to say it was outstanding!  Perfect meal to enjoy with friends and just kick back and have a good yak.

Brunch was an avocado dish that I thought was quite brilliant and have to try making.  We had avocado mixed with baby shrimp put back into the avocado shell which it was served in (so smart!). Beautiful tri-coloured tomatoes (one of my favourite things) and a touch of smoked salmon on the side.  It screamed springtime even though it was only 1 degree outside and pretty darn cold (if you can’t get your fill of spring with the weather you may as well get it with your food 😉 ).

Take a look at how beautiful this brunch was.  2 hours later we were talked out and we all had other stuff to get done. I left with a big smile on my face and the feeling of warmth and contentment.

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