Modern Lunch: Citrus, Shrimp and Quinoa Salad

Liven up your desk lunch with this vibrant, make-ahead salad.

Ladies who lunch has become a bit of a theme for me this winter, as I’ve been connecting with fellow food creatives here in Halifax.

Thanks to this warm and welcoming community I have been able to discover the best eats around the city, talented market vendors and unique local businesses to support. A few of us have even launched a cookbook club, which promises to be inspiring and absolutely delicious.

On a recent lunch date with the exceptionally talented Kelly Neil, we whipped up a salad from the brand new cookbook Modern Lunch with incredibly tasty results. Read on for more about this book, plus the recipe for a Citrus, Shrimp and Quinoa Salad with Feta.

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How to Regrow Vegetable Scraps

Even thought my daughter is just six years old, it’s clear that I’m raising a little environmentalist.

Clara carries a bag and picks up garbage on our forest walks, aghast at people who litter. Of her own free will, she turns off the water in the shower when soaping and is keenly aware of water conservation. She wants to know about everything from global warming to water pollution and is fiercely protective of nature.

This simple kitchen project started as a way to demonstrate to Clara how not all vegetable scraps need to end up the compost bin – many can sprout again if given the chance. You all know how I love a good lesson from the kitchen, especially if it promotes food sustainability.

Once you start looking, there are a thousand little ways we can make environmentally friendly choices in the kitchen. Regrowing vegetable scraps is just one of them.

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Simple Cioppino

Simmer this fragrant seafood soup for dinner and discover that a simple cioppino is perfect for chilly winter nights.

On a recent food-centric trip to Prince Edward Island, I found myself on a fascinating aquaculture tour with a group of Top Chefs and local food advocates for Canada’s Food Island.

It was a warm September day, and the sea and sky were so blue, it was difficult to tell where the two met. Out on the waters of New London Bay, drifting in a mussel boat,  I watch as a line was hoisted out of the water, with thousands of blue mussels determinedly clutching their ‘socks’.

Talk about a food memory! This lifelong landlubber was impressed.

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Romantic recipes to cook now

Whether you celebrate Valentine’s, Gal-entine’s or neither, it’s always good to have a handful of romantic recipes for the repertoire.

We generally don’t do much for Valentine’s Day around here beyond setting a pretty table and cooking a special dinner.

Danny and I always stay in, because if a decade of restaurant experience will teach you anything, it is that February 14th is one of the worst nights of the year to eat out (expect rushed service, hastily prepared foods and stressed staff).

So Clara puts out candles and makes place cards for our table and I whip up something dreamy in the kitchen. This year we’ll probably eat all together, but when our children were really young, we’d feed them first and then enjoy a ‘date night in’ dinner for two when they were asleep.

However you choose to celebrate at home, one thing is certain: the menu is of the utmost importance! Although most of my recipes here on Simple Bites lean toward the practical (chicken soup! breakfast sandwiches!) I do have a lovely little collection of recipes I consider to be romantic, and today I’ve rounded up the best ones for winter.

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Creamy Beef Stroganoff Soup

What’s keeping us warm this winter? This comforting creamy beef stroganoff soup. You can make it in minutes and only dirty one pot.

A beautiful new cookbook arrived on my doorstep shortly after the holidays and was immediately transported to the kitchen, where it hasn’t left since.

Today, Jan Scott, friend of Simple Bites, releases into the world Oven to Table: Over 100 One-Pot and One-Pan Recipes for Your Sheet Pan, Skillet, Dutch Oven, and More. It’s a passionate ode to home cooking without an ounce of pressure, written by an author who has logged many hours at the stove – and has figured out a thing or two along the way.

I’ve been a fan of one-pan/pot cooking for a while but was in need of new inspiration. Jan shares my passion for family food, writing the popular blog Family Bites, and we often find ourselves cooking the same dishes at the exact same time. I feel like Oven to Table was written specifically for me and I know you’ll find it relatable too.

The future of family food is this brilliantly creative and approachable cookbook. Read on to see what I’ve cooked from Oven to Table so far, and get the recipe for Creamy Beef Stroganoff Soup.

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