Since leaving South Africa, things have been a little crazy, but I’m happy to report that the jet lag has subsided, the sun was shining for a few days, and it’s good to be back in Beautiful British Columbia!
It is always nice to come back to your hometown after being away, equipped with that fresh new perspective and enthusiasm for life in general. And while everything looks exactly the same as it always did, everything looks slightly different, as if your home has been replaced with a really good replica of your old reality.
Despite the minor (but glaring) discomforts (i.e. falling asleep mid-day, having to wear significantly more clothing, staying in my parents’ basement suite) the return to Vancouver has been surprisingly easy and enjoyable. We’ve arrived just in time for the cherry blossoms, those beautiful pink botanical markers of Spring, we’ve enjoyed satisfying and umami bowls of ramen and udon noodle soups, and it is so much nicer to say hello to people than goodbye!
We have also arrived just in time for Easter, and the cloudy, but gorgeous, morning run along the seawall was the best way to start off a day that was to be dominated by over-eating and drinking. Vancouver, although it is usually grey, has this amazing West Coast atmosphere, so clean and fresh – the subtle blues and greens, the air, the birds, the seal slapping its tail on the water next to us – I had forgotten how it feels to be here. It’s a different kind of beauty, especially when it’s so grey, like a cold-hearted queen, but beautiful nonetheless.
Here I share with you some of our Vancouver Easter recipes – all super healthy, featuring something I missed so dearly when I was in South Africa: Wild Sockeye Salmon from the Pacific Northwest.
Baked Sockeye Salmon
Mix together some honey, prepared mustard, melted butter & breadcrumbs and brush onto a side (or fillets) of salmon. Sprinkle with chopped almonds and bake on a baking sheet (lined with parchment paper) for 10 minutes at 450F. Remove salmon while it’s still medium rare.
Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Raisins
2 pounds of brussel sprouts – trimmed & halved
5 slices of bacon
1 small red onion, sliced
large handful of golden raisins
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
olive oil, salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 425F. Toss brussel sprouts with some olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in oven for 15-20 minutes, turning halfway through. Meanwhile warm the apple cider vinegar in a small pot, remove from heat and then add the raisins. Let them soak for 15 minutes or so and then drain. Fry bacon until crispy in a pan over medium heat, remove bacon and dice. Pour off bacon fat but reserve a little for frying the onions. Add the onions to the pan and cook until soft. Toss together the brussel sprouts, bacon, raisins, and red onions in a big bowl and serve warm.
Brown Rice, Cranberry & Kale Salad
2 cups cooked brown rice
4 cups kale leaves, chopped and rubbed with olive oil & lemon juice
1/4 cup cranberries
1/4 cup almonds, toasted & chopped
1 tsp dijon mustard
4 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp tahini
salt to taste
Combine brown rice, kale and cranberries in a bowl. Whisk together mustard, olive oil, lemon juice, tahini and salt and dress the salad. Top with toasted almonds.
The Greenest Salad – a la 101 Cookbooks
This is the perfect green salad, made with broccoli, broccolini, romaine lettuce, avocado and feta. Get the recipe from 101 Cookbooks here.
Roasted Root Vegetables
Chop up your favourite root vegetables into large chunks (we used sweet potatoes, parsnips, turnips, carrots, red peppers, and red onion) and place in a roasting pan. Add some butter, olive oil, rosemary, garlic, oregano, and sea salt, toss and heat it over medium heat on the stove. Place the pan in the oven at 350F and roast for an hour.
Lemon Cake (my mother’s secret recipe from the 1970s, sorry!)
Vanilla bean ice cream
Thomas Hass Chocolates
Liberty School Chardonnay
KWV 10 year South African Brandy