Root Vegetable Risotto

This Root Vegetable Risotto is easy to make and will make you discover or use vegetables you’re not too acquainted with. We use parsnips, turnips, celery root and carrots, all shredded, and get to a vibrant, yet totally grounding vibe. One bite of this risotto and you’ll be thinking of a whole heap of ways to transform the recipe with the seasons.

If you love recipes using rice, check out this fabulous Wild Rice with Acorn Squash, Caramelized Onions, Pomegranate and Maple Vinaigrette. It will truly bring the flavors of the season, with the squash and the pomegranates.

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Root Vegetable Risotto

  • Author: Karine K
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Method: Stovetop

Ingredients

Scale
  • 5 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup carrots, grated
  • 1/2 cup turnips, grated
  • 1/2 cup parsnip, grated
  • 1/2 cup celery root, grated
  • 1 cup arborio rice, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Fresh parsley, minced, for garnish

Instructions

Pour the vegetable stock in a saucepan and bring to a light simmer. Heat the olive oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sea salt and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots, turnips, parsnips, and celery root. Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. Add the arborio rice, tomato paste, ginger, and garlic and cook while stirring for 2 minutes, until the tomato paste is getting darker and fragrant.

Add 1 cup of the stock and stir, adjusting the heat to ensure the rice simmers nicely. Keep cooking and stirring until the stock has been absorbed. Keep adding stock with a ladle, about 1/2 cup at a time, and stir while cooking until each addition is absorbed. Repeat this process until the rice is tender but still has a bite. The whole cooking process should take about 25-30 minutes.

Once cooked, stir in the butter and season generously with pepper. Serve garnished with fresh parsley. Bon appétit!

Keywords: risotto, root vegetable, rice

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Risotto aux légumes racines

  • Author: Karine K
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 portions 1x
  • Method: Sur la cuisinière

Ingredients

Scale
  • 5 tasses de bouillon de légumes
  • 1 oignon, haché finement
  • 2 c. à soupe d’huile d’olive
  • 1 1/2 c. à thé de sel de mer
  • 1/2 tasse de carottes, râpées
  • 1/2 tasse de navet, râpé
  • 1/2 tasse de panais, râpé
  • 1/2 tasse de céleri-rave, râpé
  • 1 tasse de riz arborio, rincé et égoutté
  • 1 c. à soupe de pâte de tomate
  • 1 c. à soupe de gingembre frais, émincé
  • 2 gousses d’ail, émincées
  • 2 c. à soupe de beurre
  • Poivre noir, au goût
  • Persil frais, haché, pour la garniture

Instructions

Porter le bouillon de légumes à mijoter dans une casserole. Faire chauffer l’huile d’olive dans une autre casserole à feu moyen. Ajouter l’oignon et le sel de mer et cuire, en brassant quelques fois, jusqu’à ce que l’oignon soit tendre, environ 5 minutes. Ajouter les carottes, le navet, le panais et le céleri-rave. Cuire, en brassant quelques fois, pendant 3 à 4 minutes de plus. Ajouter le riz, la pâte de tomates, le gingembre et l’ail et cuire, tout en brassant, jusqu’à ce que l’arôme de la pâte de tomate se développe, environ 2 minutes.

Ajouter 1 tasse du bouillon de légumes et brasser, ajustant le feu afin de maintenir la cuisson du riz. Continuer de cuire, en brassant, jusqu’à ce que tout le bouillon soit absorbé. Continuer d’ajouter du bouillon, 1/2 tasse à la fois, et continuer de brasser jusqu’à absorption complète du bouillon avant chaque nouvel ajout. Répéter jusqu’à ce que le riz soit tendre. Le processus prendra environ 25 à 30 minutes.

Une fois cuit, ajouter le beurre et assaisonner généreusement de poivre. Servir garni de persil frais haché. Bon appétit!

Keywords: risotto, légumes racines, riz

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Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Spinach and Cherry Tomatoes

This Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Spinach and Cherry Tomatoes recipe is one of those dishes you can make anytime, anywhere, and for anybody. It is sure to please, even the kids, and it requires only fresh, everyday ingredients. If you’ve never cooked a spaghetti squash before, please check here for step-by-step instructions. This whole dish can be made in the oven, all at once. How’s that for healthy AND easy?

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Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Spinach and Cherry Tomatoes

  • Author: Karine K
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Method: Oven

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 small to medium spaghetti squash
  • 2 lbs cherry tomatoes
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 2 big handfuls fresh spinach
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • Fresh basil (optional)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400˚F. Place the tomatoes and two whole cloves of garlic, peeled, in a roasting pan. Drizzle generously with olive oil and sprinkle with some sea salt and pepper. Transfer to the oven and roast for 40-45 minutes.

Cut the squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and webbing using a spoon. Place the squash halves, cut side up, on a parchment-lined baking sheet Drizzle a generous amount of olive oil into the cavity and season with sea salt and pepper. Using your hands, rub the olive oil on all surfaces of the squash halves. Turn them cut side down, place two garlic cloves in the cavity under each half and poke the skin of the squash with a small knife, maybe 2-3 times. Transfer to the oven and roast 30-40 minutes, depending on the size, until tender but not mushy. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.

When ready to eat, using a fork, fluff and scrape the flesh of the squash, making strands as you go. Keep in the half skins or transfer to a platter. Using a fork, mash the tomatoes and the garlic cloves to make the sauce, mixing well as you go. Feel free to add the peeled cloves that cooked under the squash. To serve, place some spinach on top of the squash and top with the sauce. Garnish with fresh basil, if desired. Bon appétit!

Keywords: spaghetti squash, tomato, spinach

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Courge spaghetti au four avec épinards et tomates cerises

  • Author: Karine K
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 2 portions 1x
  • Method: Au four

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 petite à moyenne courge spaghetti
  • 2 livres de tomates cerises
  • 6 gousses d’ail
  • 2 grosses poignées d’épinards frais
  • Huile d’olive
  • Sel de mer et poivre
  • Basilic frais (en option)

Instructions

Préchauffer le four à 400˚F (200˚C). Déposer les tomates et deux gousses d’ail pelées sur une tôle de cuisson et arroser généreusement d’huile d’olive. Assaisonner de sel de mer et de poivre et bien remuer. Mettre au four et rôtir pendant 40 à 45 minutes.

Couper la courge en deux sur la longueur et retirer les graines. Placer les moitiés, face coupée vers le haut, sur une tôle préalablement recouverte de papier parchemin. Arroser d’un généreux trait d’huile d’olive et frotter avec les mains. Assaisonner ensuite de sel de mer et de poivre. Retourner les moitiés la face coupée vers le bas et déposer deux gousses d’ail sous chacune de celles-ci. À l’aide d’un petit couteau, faire 2-3 incisions dans chacune des moitiés. Placer au four et rôtir pendant 30 à 40 minutes. Retirer du four et laisser reposer quelques minutes.

Au moment de servir, gratter la chair de la courge à l’aide d’une fourchette. Servir dans les pelures ou transférer sur une assiette de service. À l’aide d’une fourchette, écraser les tomates et les gousses d’ail et bien mélanger la sauce. Pour servir, garnir la courge d’épinards frais, napper de la sauce et garnir de basilic frais, si désiré. Bon appétit!

Keywords: courge spaghetti, tomate, épinards

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Super Simple Watermelon Poke Bowl

Super Simple Watermelon Poke Bowl
Super Simple Watermelon Poke Bowl

This is a super simple watermelon poke bowl. Because who has two hours to fuss in the kitchen? You make the marinade, you let the watermelon soak in it overnight, and the next day, you have poke. The marinade is tangy and has the perfect bite. You can leave the watermelon in the marinade even after it’s ready, and simply take out what you need with a slotted spoon until no more.

In its traditional form, poke is diced raw fish served either as an appetizer or as a main course and is one of the main dishes of Native Hawaiian cuisine. And if you like fruits in savory dishes, check out this Millet Salad that features strawberries and this Chickpea Curry with Figs and Apricot.

If you make this recipe, I’d love to see it. Please tag @LivityGardens on Instagram and use the hashtag #LivityGardens.

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Super Simple Watermelon Poke Bowl

Super Simple Watermelon Poke Bowl
  • Author: Karine K
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 portions 1x

Ingredients

Scale

Watermelon Poke

  • 1 small seedless watermelon (about 3 lbs), peel removed and cut into 1/2″ squares
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1” piece of fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

Marinated Zucchini

  • 1 zucchini, sliced thin with a vegetable peeler
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Garnishes

  • 1 avocado, pitted and cut into cubes
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 green onions, sliced thin

Instructions

In a food processor or blender, combine the lemon zest, ginger, maple syrup, red chili flakes, and sea salt. Process or blend until smooth. Add the rice vinegar, lemon juice, tamari or soy sauce, olive oil, and sesame oil. Process until well combined.

Transfer to a large bowl and add the watermelon. Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight.

When ready to eat, slice the zucchini very thin with a veggie peeler. Place the slices in a colander, sprinkle with sea salt and let stand in the sink for 15 minutes. Rinse the zucchini and place in a shallow bowl. Sprinkle with olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt and pepper. Let marinate while you peel and slice the avocado and toast the sesame seeds.

Assemble the watermelon cubes, the zucchini and avocado slices in bowls and top with toasted sesame seeds and green onion.

Notes

Recipe adapted from 101 Cookbooks.

Keywords: poke, poke bowl, watermelon, raw

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Bol poké de melon d’eau en toute simplicité

Super Simple Watermelon Poke Bowl
  • Author: Karine K
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 portions 1x

Ingredients

Scale

Poke de melon d’eau

  • 1 petit melon d’eau sans pépins (environ 3 livres), sans l’écorce et coupé en cubes de 1/2 pouce
  • Zeste de 1 citron
  • 1 bout de gingembre frais de 1 pouce, haché
  • 1 c. à soupe de sirop d’érable
  • 1 c. à thé de piments broyés
  • 3/4 c. à thé de sel de mer
  • 1 c. à soupe de jus de citron frais
  • 1/4 tasse de vinaigre de riz
  • 1/3 tasse de sauce tamari ou soya
  • 2 c. à soupe d’huile d’olive
  • 2 c. à soupe d’huile de sésame grillé

Zucchini mariné

  • 1 zucchini (ou concombre)
  • 1 c. à thé d’huile d’olive
  • 1 c. à soupe de jus de citron
  • Sel de mer et poivre, au goût

Garnitures

  • 1 avocat, pelé, sans le noyau, coupé en cubes
  • 1 c. à soupe de graines de sésame grillées
  • 2 oignons verts, tranchés mince

Instructions

Dans un robot ou un mélangeur, placer le zeste de citron, le gingembre, le sirop d’érable, les flocons de piments broyés, et le sel de mer. Mélanger jusqu’à l’obtention d’un mélange uniforme. Ajouter le vinaigre de riz, le jus de citron, la sauce tamari ou soya, l’huile d’olive et l’huile de sésame grillé. Bien mélanger.

Transférer le mélange dans un grand bol. Ajouter les cubes de melon d’eau. Couvrir et réfrigérer toute la nuit.

Avant de servir, trancher le zucchini (ou concombre) sur la longueur à l’aide d’un épluche-légumes. Placer les tranches de zucchini dans un tamis, saupoudrer de sel de mer et laisser égoutter pendant 15 minutes. Rincer les tranches à l’eau fraîche et placer dans une assiette creuse. Ajouter l’huile d’olive, le jus de citron, ainsi que du sel et du poivre au goût. Laisser mariner pendant la préparation de l’avocat et des graines de sésame grillées.

Disposer les cubes de melon d’eau marinés, les tranches de zucchini et les cubes d’avocat dans un bol et garnir de graines de sésame grillées et de l’oignon vert.

Notes

Recette adaptée de 101 Cookbooks.

Keywords: poke, melon d’eau, cuisine vivante

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Cauliflower and Edamame Fry

Another beautiful treasure from my Mother-in-law. This Cauliflower and Edamame Fry is easy to make, satisfying and complete. Cauliflower has been having a moment for the last few years, and this recipe places it front and center. The addition of edamame makes this dish a complete and filling one. Try it today!

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Cauliflower and Edamame Fry

  • Author: Karine K
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Cuisine: India

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 10 curry leaves (optional)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 head cauliflower, separated into small florets
  • 12 ounces edamame, boiled according to package directions
  • 2 teaspoons garlic-ginger paste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon red pepper powder
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala

Instructions

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add cloves, cinnamon, mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Mix well and sauté 1 minute. Add curry leaves, onion and turmeric. Sauté until the onion is translucent and starting to caramelize, about 5-7 minutes.

Add cauliflower, stir well and cook, covered, 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add sea salt and garlic-ginger paste. Mix well, cover and continue cooking for 3-4 minutes. Add the edamame, red pepper powder and garam masala. Mix well and cook, uncovered, for an additional 2 minutes. Serve with rice and raita and any other curries. Bon appétit!

 

Keywords: cauliflower, edamame, fry, curry

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Chou-fleur et edamame à l’indienne

  • Author: Karine K

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 c. à soupe d’huile d’olive
  • 10 clous de girofle
  • 1 bâton de cannelle
  • 1 c. à thé de graines de moutarde noire
  • 1 c. à thé de graines de cumin
  • 1 c. à thé de poudre de curcuma
  • 10 feuilles de cari (en option)
  • 1 oignon, en dés
  • 1 tête de chou-fleur, défaite en petits fleurons
  • 12 onces de fèves edamame, bouillies selon les directives sur l’emballage
  • 2 c. à thé de pâte de gingembre et ail
  • 1 1/2 c. à thé de poudre de piment chili
  • 2 c. à thé de sel de mer
  • 1 c. à soupe de garam masala

Instructions

Dans une grande poêle, chauffer l’huile. Ajouter les clous de girofle, le bâton de cannelle, les graines de moutarde et les graines de cumin. Bien mélanger et sauter pendant 1 minute. Ajouter les feuilles de cari, l’oignon et la poudre de curcuma. Sauter jusqu’à ce que l’oignon soit translucide et caramélisé, environ 5 à 7 minutes.

Ajouter le chou-fleur, bien mélanger, couvrir et cuire pendant 10 à 12 minutes, en brassant de temps en temps. Ajouter le sel de mer et la pâte de gingembre et ail. Bien mélanger, couvrir et continuer de cuire pendant 3 à 4 minutes. Ajouter les fèves edamame, la poudre de chili et le garam masala. Mélanger et cuire pendant 2 minutes. Servir avec du riz et de la raita, ou tout autre curry. Bon appétit!

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Cream of Celery

This Cream of Celery is wonderful eaten hot or cold. My mom used to make a version of this when I was little, and although it sounded like nothing, it was always so savory and velvety, always a treat. This version uses coconut milk and it gets as tasty as the original. The addition of fennel seeds really makes this soup stand out.

For other wonderful soups, check out this Simple Vegetable Soup with Creamy Coconut Broth and this Creamy Cabbage Soup.

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Cream of Celery

  • Author: Karine K
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 68 servings 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop

Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 cups celery, diced
  • 1 large potato, grated
  • 4 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 cup coconut milk

Instructions

In a large pot, bring the vegetable broth to a boil. Add the celery, the potato, the sea salt and pepper and parsley. Cover, lower the heat and let simmer for 1 hour.

Remove from the heat, add the coconut milk and transfer all but 1 cup of soup to a blender. Process until smooth. Return to the pot with the leftover cup. Mix well and adjust seasonings if needed. Bon appétit!

Keywords: celery, cream, potage, soup

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Crème de céleri

  • Author: Karine K
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 6 à 8 portions 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 tasses de céleri, en dés
  • 1 grosse pomme de terre, râpée
  • 4 tasses de bouillon de légumes ou d’eau
  • 1 c. à thé de sel de mer
  • 1/2 c. à thé de poivre
  • 1/2 c. à thé de graines de fenouil
  • 1/4 tasse de persil frais, haché finement
  • 1 tasse de lait de coconut

Instructions

Dans une grande casserole, porter le bouillon de légumes à ébullition. Ajouter le céleri, la pomme de terre, le sel de mer, le poivre et le persil. Couvrir, réduire le feu et laisser mijoter pendant 1 heure.

Retirer du feu et ajouter le lait de coconut. Transférer la soupe dans un mélangeur, en gardant 1 tasse de côté. Mélanger jusqu’à l’obtention d’une texture lisse. Remettre dans la casserole et incorporer la tasse de soupe mise de côté. Bien mélanger et ajuster les assaisonnements au goût. Bon appétit!

Keywords: crème de céleri, céleri, soupe

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How to Roast Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is one of my favorite things to roast. I used to dislike it so much, but in time, I realized that the reason I did was because of the way it was cooked. I can’t say it enough, here, al dente is king! After getting the cooking part right, I started experimenting with flavors and toppings. In the interest of keeping things super simple, my go-to recipe is this Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Spinach and Cherry Tomatoes. You can find below the steps I take to roast the squash. I hope you enjoy it as much as I now do.

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How to Roast Spaghetti Squash

  • Author: Karine K
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Method: Oven

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 small to medium spaghetti squash
  • 4 cloves of garlic, with peel, left whole
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt and pepper

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400˚F. Cut the squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and webbing using a spoon. Place the squash halves, cut side up, on a parchment-lined baking sheet Drizzle a generous amount of olive oil into the cavity and season with sea salt and pepper. Using your hands, rub the olive oil on all surfaces of the squash halves. Turn them cut side down, place two garlic cloves in the cavity under each half and poke the skin of the squash with a small knife, maybe 2-3 times.

Transfer to the oven and roast 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of your squash, until tender but not mushy. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. When ready to eat, using a fork, fluff and scrape the flesh, making strands as you go. Keep in the half skins or transfer to a platter. Serve with your favorite sauce or topping. Bon appétit!

Keywords: squash, spaghetti

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Comment cuire une courge spaghetti au four

  • Author: Karine K
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 2 portions 1x
  • Method: Au four

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 petite à moyenne courge spaghetti
  • 4 gousses d’ail avec la pelure
  • Huile d’olive
  • Sel de mer et poivre

Instructions

Préchauffer le four à 400˚F (200˚C). Couper la courge en deux sur la longueur et retirer les graines. Placer les moitiés, face coupée vers le haut, sur une tôle préalablement recouverte de papier parchemin. Arroser d’un généreux trait d’huile d’olive et frotter avec les mains. Assaisonner ensuite de sel de mer et de poivre. Retourner les moitiés la face coupée vers le bas et déposer deux gousses d’ail sous chacune de celles-ci. À l’aide d’un petit couteau, faire 2-3 incisions dans chacune des moitiés.

Placer au four et rôtir pendant 30 à 40 minutes, selon la grosseur de la courge. Ne pas trop cuire, comme elles sont bonnes al dente. Retirer du four et laisser reposer quelques minutes. Au moment de servir, gratter la chair de la courge à l’aide d’une fourchette. Servir dans les pelures ou transférer sur une assiette de service. Napper de votre sauce préférée et le tour est joué! Bon appétit!

Keywords: courge, spaghetti

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Find Yourself Again at Portland Riverside Retreat in Jamaica

We have left Portland Riverside Retreat only a few days ago, and I already miss it terribly. It always takes me some time to let go of a place and ground myself into another. There are those few days that I feel somewhat “in the air”. It’s especially true when it’s a place that left such a strong impression on my soul. That feeling when a place feels so much like home, so much part of you from the moment you arrive. Maybe some flashbacks from a past life…

There is undeniably something calling me to Jamaica and this time, on the river, it’s like I discovered the absolute core, that precise pressure point from which this love originates. In Swift River, the natural beauty is abundant, the shades of green are unlimited, and the respect for the land is palpable.

The kids and I had the absolute delight of being hosted by Miss Claudette and Mr. Landy. They are some of the very best and most loving humans I have been blessed to meet in my life. I felt a wave of comfort and love from the minute I was greeted by Miss Claudette. A beautiful woman with a cheerful attitude and a contagious laugh, she really spoiled us from the beginning. I mean, being offered a fresh soursop juice on arrival! How did she know that was my favorite?

The home itself is brilliant. Miss Claudette keeps a clean house. Everything is tidy, the kitchen is spotless, it’s as if my mom lives there. The beautiful woodwork throughout the house makes you want to linger and enjoy the simple moments. In the bright kitchen, it always smells nice. Miss Claudette definitely knows what she’s doing in there. We were kept fed and happy, making our way through plantains, smoothies, an abundance of fresh fruits, and wonderfully tasty plant-based meals. Everything is made from scratch, using what is available at the moment. Miss Claudette gets a lot of her ingredients from their farm, which is located a short driving distance from the retreat. We all loved snacking on sugar cane while drinking a peanut smoothie. Pure bliss.

When we arrived to Portland Riverside Retreat, we were at the beginning of our third week in Jamaica. It was time for some laundry. I had bought some laundry detergent wanting to wash some clothes by hand, and asked Miss Claudette for a washing basin. She offered to put the clothes in the machine for me, but seeing my enthusiasm in hand washing, she quickly suggested I do it at the river. That was revelation time. Something as simple as doing laundry in the river can truly take you back to the real life. Using a source from nature to accomplish an otherwise mechanical task really resets your system and makes you appreciate the simple, little things. I don’t appreciate my washing machine more, but I appreciate nature and what it allows me to accomplish.

The river, because of its self-cleaning properties, is the source of life here. It feeds and cleanses the body, it brings water to the roots from which the food grows, and it gives life to the multitude creatures participating in the ecosystem. You feel its energy when you drink from it, when you wash in it, and when you are simply swimming in it.

And thanks to the river, Portland Riverside Retreat boasts many fruit trees like banana, plantains, coconut, and mango. During a hike to a nearby spring, Miss Claudette showed us many other trees like jackfruit, mammee, and something we never had before, rose apples. The kids fell in love with the floral aroma of the unique fruit and were inspecting every single rose apple tree to see if any ripe ones were still hanging low. Known also by its scientific name Syzygium jambos, the rose apple tree, indigenous to Southeast Asia, has been naturalized to Jamaica. It grows nicely on the riverbanks, and I might have to find a way to plant one in Arizona.

Kids eating rose apples found by the river.

The retreat is also surrounded by growing pineapple. Pure, organic sugar loaf pines. They are of such beauty and majesty. Mr. Landy takes good care of the garden and the farm. The kids loved reasoning with him and asking questions. He’s a man of presence, kindness and zen. Along with Miss Claudette, they are the perfect balance, a pair that simply vibrates different.

The whole time we were there felt like we were away from the world. In a very good and blissful way. All we wanted to do was enjoy the river and its serenity. You don’t need wifi, music, or even books. Nature is running the show. We would wash ourselves in the river and head to bed early. One last game of Uno before I close my eyes… I was always the first one asleep, and would rise with the birds and the sun, always refreshed after at least ten hours of deep, restful sleep.

One day, we planned a visit to Moore Town with Maurice from Kromanti. I wanted to explore the sites and waterfalls dedicated to Queen Nanny of the Maroons. Back in the 18th century, Nanny and other enslaved people sought refuge from the brutal slave society in the mountains, where they established a Maroon community. In 1720, Nanny had become the leader of the Maroon settlement, Nanny Town, in the Blue Mountain region. She now appears on the five hundred Jamaican dollar bill and has been declared a national hero.

That whole day was a blessing. I felt the love, bathing under those beautiful falls with the strong presence of Nanny’s spirit. The kids enjoyed the experience very much and collected many medicinal herbs along the way, all of them explained in detail by Maurice. They were like little sponges with all the new information. They still talk about the falls, about Nanny and about Joseph’s Coat. If you go to Nanny Falls soon, you might even see the makeshift raft the kids put together with bamboo logs they found lying around.

The rest of our days flowed comfortably. We enjoyed the spring, the hike, the absolutely exquisite food and simply living to the beat of the river. Before we knew it, it was our last morning, our last swim. I always get emotional the day of departure. Tears flow. How do you leave such a place? A place that changes the way you view the world, the way you understand your kids, and the way you interact with nature. Mr. Landy looked at me and said: “You’re doing good. Keep on trodding. Go with love in your heart.” I will always remember his wise words and I am leaving only with the certainty that I’ll be back.

For more about my enduring love for Jamaica, please read Jamaica: A “Feel” Trip and Treasure Beach and the Mystical South Coast of Jamaica.

Treasure Beach and the Mystical South Coast of Jamaica

A stay at the stylish Sea Urchin, all the feels at YS Falls, and miles of unspoiled, vast beaches. The south coast of Jamaica really has a vibe all its own.

There’s always this unique feeling in me when I’m in Jamaica. It’s something deep I can’t really explain. And many years ago, I stopped questioning it and decided to just keep coming back as often as I can. I’m experiencing this strong and loyal feeling right now, as we are on our second week of a month-long adventure on the island. I have to say, this last year has brought many blessings upon our family, and being able to “bring school” with us has been completely life-changing.

Leaving from Miami, we landed in Kingston, after a quick and uneventful 90-minute flight. I later found out that landing in Montego Bay would have saved at least an hour in driving time to Treasure Beach. We rented an SUV (recommended in Jamaica, because potholes), and headed west to spend the first leg of our trip in Treasure Beach, in the parish of St. Elizabeth. St. Bess, as it is locally known, originally included most of the western part of the island and was the largest parish of the island. It is now the second largest, since Westmoreland was taken from it in 1703, and a part of Manchester as well, in 1814.

Jamaica Parishes
The Parishes of Jamaica

Early settlement in St. Elizabeth began in the Pedro Plains. The Taínos, an Arawak people and the first known inhabitants of Jamaica, were established along the coast. When Europeans started occupying “discovered” land, a.k.a. colonizing, in the late 15th century, the Taínos were the main inhabitants of most of Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola, and Puerto Rico. Taíno indigenous groups are still present in the region today and you may even find remnants of pottery if you look around the fields, especially after a rainfall.

With all this mystic, it is clear why it feels so special in Treasure Beach. The beaches dotting the coast line are raw and natural, making it enticing for the kids’ curiosity. There is so much to see and do, and the kids were lucky enough to spot an octopus going about the reef! The sea can be rough in certain areas, but there are many quiet coves where the water is tranquil and swimming is chill and enjoyable.

Of all the memories we carry back from Treasure Beach, the one about the melody of the wind will always give me goosebumps. You see, my Jamaican trips are usually filled with music, but in Treasure Beach, we rarely listened to music. There seemed to be no need to add to the already complete song of the breeze.

The pace on the south coast brings you back to simpler days. Your body adapts to the movements of the sun and the moon, and you adjust your internal rhythm to Mother Nature’s heartbeat and simply allow yourself to be. After spending a week in excessive Miami Beach, the change of pace was most welcome, and staying at Sea Urchin was the perfect landing spot for the beginning of our month on the island.

The house is gorgeous, appointed cleverly, and complete with everything you need. Everywhere you turn, you find beauty, purpose and intention. It was the perfect home to support our mission for relaxation, offering many different spaces to unwind, read, hang out, and play. We filled our mornings with swimming at the beach, after which we would do school work (although a bit reluctantly) and then have lunch. The afternoons were made for lounging at the house, escaping the hot midday sun. We would then return to the beach to enjoy a refreshing sunset swim. A dream routine! And speaking of routine, Rama was even able to take a bike for a spin one morning toward the Great Pedro Bluff.

“But Karine, what about the food?”, I hear you say… Clearly, all this lounging was obviously punctuated by intentional food. Now, I can’t be the only one with a sweet spot for Jamaican food! Well, Sea Urchin didn’t let me down either. Tamesha and Catherine spoiled us from the very beginning with the most delicious meals and the freshest fruits. The kids were always excited to see what was for dinner and I think they might even give me the side eye when we return home. I admit, it was quite a treat to be cared for and nourished for a whole week, something I have never experienced before in such private and gorgeous settings.

Even though we took it slow the whole week, we managed to drive into the vibrant town of Black River, the capital of the parish, to replenish our fruit stash at the farmers market. We also had the chance to experience YS Falls, a beautiful seven-tiered falls set in the middle of beautiful gardens and everything nature has to offer. Jumping off the cliff and swinging from a rope over the water truly made me feel like a kid again. The kids (the real ones) had fun doing the zip-line over the falls and jumping again and again in the beautiful natural pools of water. What I thought would be a quick sightseeing visit ended up being a three-hour stay.

Our week in Treasure Beach was relaxing and grounding. We spent some wonderful family moments that will stay in our hearts forever. It was my first time visiting that part of Jamaica, and I can wholeheartedly say that I will return. After meeting a resident on the beach a few times and exchanging thoughts, something clicked. You come to Treasure Beach for peace, tranquility and mystical history. We are grateful for all the ones who made this first week so magical and promise to return. One complete love.

To read more about my previous adventures in Jamaica, check out Jamaica: A “Feel” Trip.

Pasta al Limone with Asparagus

Pasta al Limone with Asparagus
Pasta al Limone with Asparagus

A creamy and plant-based take on an Italian classic, this Pasta al Limone with Asparagus is quick to make and completely decadent. Pretty enough for company, it can also satisfy weeknight cravings, as it takes less than 30 minutes to put together.

For other fabulous pasta recipes, check out this Effortless Pumpkin and Spinach Pasta Sauce and this Pasta with Greens in Creamy Wine Sauce.

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Pasta al Limone with Asparagus

Pasta al Limone with Asparagus
  • Author: Karine K
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x

Ingredients

Scale

For the Lemon Cashew Cream:

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the Pasta:

  • 8 oz. pasta of choice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 spring onions, sliced thin, or 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 cups fresh asparagus, sliced thin on the diagonal
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 wide and long strips of lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 4 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

Cook pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Meanwhile, make the Lemon Cashew Cream by blending all the ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth. Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the spring onions and the asparagus. Season with salt and cook, stirring, until just beginning to take on color, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, the lemon zest and red chili flakes, and cook 1 minute more. Add the lemon cashew cream, the lemon juice, the pasta, and stir well until well-coated, adding some of the pasta cooking liquid, as needed. Add 3 tablespoons of the fresh basil and season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Divide among bowls and top with remaining fresh basil. Bon appétit!

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Spaghetti al limone avec asperges

Pasta al Limone with Asparagus

Une version végé d’un grand classique italien, ce spaghetti al limone avec asperges est rapide à préparer et totalement décadent. Bien que ce plat soit assez joli pour une soirée entre amis, il est aussi parfait pour un soir de semaine, comme il ne requiert moins de 30 minutes en temps de préparation.

  • Author: Karine K
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 portions 1x

Ingredients

Scale

Pour la crème de noix de cajou au citron :

  • 1/2 tasse de noix de cajou brutes
  • 1/2 tasse d’eau
  • 2 c. à soupe de jus de citron
  • 1/4 c. à thé de sel

Pour les pâtes :

  • 8 onces de spaghetti, ou de pâtes au choix
  • 2 c. à soupe d’huile d’olive
  • 4 oignons de printemps, tranchés mince, ou 1/2 oignon, haché
  • 2 tasses d’asperges fraîches, tranchées mince sur la diagonale
  • 4 gousses d’ail, émincées
  • 3 longues et larges bandes de zeste de citron
  • 1/4 c. à thé de flocons de chili broyés
  • 4 c. à soupe de basilic frais, haché
  • Jus de 2 citrons
  • Sel de mer et poivre, au goût

Instructions

Cuire les pâtes dans un grand chaudron d’eau bouillante salée jusqu’à ce qu’elles soient al dente. Égoutter en réservant 1 tasse du liquide de cuisson. Pendant ce temps, mélanger tous les ingrédients de la crème de noix de cajou au citron dans un mélangeur haute-vitesse. Réserver.

Dans une grande poêle, chauffer l’huile d’olive à feu moyen-élevé. Ajouter les oignons de printemps et les asperges. Assaisonner de sel de mer et cuire, en brassant souvent, jusqu’à ce que les légumes ramollissent, environ 3 minutes. Ajouter l’ail, le zeste de citron et les flocons de chili, et cuire pendant 1 minute de plus. Ajouter la crème de noix de cajou, le jus de citron, les pâtes, et mélanger vigoureusement jusqu’à ce que les pâtes soient bien enrobées de sauce, en ajoutant du liquide de cuisson. Ajouter 3 c. à soupe de basilic frais et assaisonner au goût de sel de mer et de poivre. Servir dans des assiettes creuses, garni du reste de basilic frais. Bon appétit!

Keywords: pasta, spaghetti, citron, asperges

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Springtime Minestrone

Spring Minestrone
Spring Minestrone

This Spring Minestrone will use up all the bounty of the season. It is delicately flavored with fennel seeds and finished with a nice dose of fresh herbs. The addition of serrano chile makes it just the right amount of spicy. This Spring Minestrone is healthy, alkaline and truly flavorful. Make this part of your spring!

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Springtime Minestrone

Spring Minestrone
  • Author: Karine K
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • 6 scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 or 1 whole serrano chile, minced (I like spicier)
  • 3 wide strips of lemon zest
  • 2 leeks, white and light green parts only, cleaned, halved lengthwise and sliced in 1/2″ half moons
  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced thin
  • 8 oz. sugar snap peas, sliced thin on the diagonal
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and sliced thin on the diagonal
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 cup sweet peas, fresh or frozen, then thawed
  • 3 teaspoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh tarragon, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh chives, chopped
  • Sea salt and pepper

Instructions

In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the fennel seeds and the garlic and cook, stirring often, until the garlic is softened but not gold, about 2 minutes. Add the scallions, serrano and lemon zest. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the scallions are soft, about 5-6 minutes.

Add 7 cups of water to the soup pot. Increase the heat and bring to a simmer. Add leeks, fennel, snap peas and asparagus. Season with a generous pinch of sea salt, reduce heat to medium and let simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and the peas and cook for another minute. Remove from the heat and add the fresh herbs. Season to taste with sea salt and done. Bon appétit!

Keywords: spring, minestrone

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Minestrone printanière

Spring Minestrone

Cette belle soupe minestrone printanière, vêtue de vert, vous fera profiter au maximum des bienfaisances de la saison. On la parfume délicatement avec des graines de fenouil et on termine l’assaisonnement en beauté avec une bonne dose d’herbes fraîches. L’ajout d’un piment serrano épice le bouillon de façon équilibrée, pour une soupe santé, alkaline, et tout-à-fait goûteuse. Un pur plaisir!

  • Author: Karine K

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1/4 tasse d’huile d’olive
  • 1 c. à thé de graines de fenouil
  • 4 gousses d’ail, tranchées mince
  • 6 oignons verts, hachés
  • 1 piment serrano, émincé
  • 3 larges bandes de zeste de citron
  • 2 poireaux, la partie blanche et vert pâle seulement, lavés, coupés en deux sur la longueur, et coupé ensuite en demi-lunes de 1/2 pouce (1.25 cm)
  • 1 bulbe de fenouil, paré et tranché mince
  • 8 onces de pois mange-tout, tranchés mince sur la diagonale
  • 1 botte d’asperges, parées et tranchées mince sur la diagonale
  • 2 tasses d’épinards
  • 1 tasse de petits pois sucrés, frais ou surgelés (décongelés)
  • 3 c. à thé de persil frais, haché
  • 2 c. à thé d’estragon frais, haché
  • 2 c. à thé de ciboulette fraîche, ciselée
  • Sel de mer et poivre, au goût

Instructions

Dans un grand chaudron à soupe, chauffer l’huile à feu moyen. Ajouter les graines de fenouil et l’ail, et cuire en brassant souvent pendant 2 minutes. Ajouter les oignons verts, le piment serrano et les bandes de zeste de citron. Cuire, en brassant à l’occasion, jusqu’à ce que les oignons verts soient tendres, environ 5 à 6 minutes.

Ajouter 7 tasses d’eau au chaudron et augmenter le feu à moyen-élevé, jusqu’à ce que le bouillon mijote. Ajouter les poireaux, le fenouil, les pois mange-tout et les asperges. Assaisonner généreusement de sel de mer, réduire le feu à moyen et laisser mijoter pendant 5 minutes, ou jusqu’à ce que les légumes soient tendres. Ajouter les épinards et les pois sucrés et continuer de cuire pendant une minute. Retirer du feu, ajouter les herbes fraîches et assaisonner au goût de sel de mer et de poivre. Bon appétit!

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Greek Potatoes with Tzatziki

Greek Potatoes with Tzatziki
Greek Potatoes with Tzatziki

Greek Potatoes with Tzatziki? For sure we’re all in! This recipe is easy to put together, tasty and pretty. The hardest part might be to find a plant-based yogurt that’s worth the try. Luckily, not too long ago, I discovered the cashew yogurt by Forager, and I couldn’t be happier with how versatile the plain version is. It allowed me to indulge in one of my favorite sauce, the Indian raita, and it shines here in this bright and tangy tzatziki, which is somewhat the Greek version of raita. I promise that once you’ll try this potato recipe, you’ll be making it on the regular.

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Greek Potatoes with Tzatziki

Greek Potatoes with Tzatziki
  • Author: Karine K
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Method: Oven

Ingredients

Scale

For the Potatoes:

  • 2 pounds potatoes, scrubbed and cut into wedges
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • Small handful fresh dill, chopped
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

For the Tzatziki:

  • 1 1/2 cup plant yogurt of choice (I love cashew yogurt)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cucumber, grated
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Sea salt
  • Small handful fresh dill, chopped

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 450˚F. In a large mixing bowl, mix the potato wedges, olive oil, oregano, rosemary, garlic powder, paprika, sea salt and pepper to taste, until well coated. Arrange the potato wedges on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Turn the wedges and put back to bake for another 10 minutes. Raise the heat to 500˚F and bake the potato wedges for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until done. 

While the potatoes are baking, using a fork, mash your minced garlic into a paste with a pinch of sea salt. In a small bowl, mix the garlic with the olive oil and let rest. Place the grated cucumber in a colander, sprinkle with some sea salt and let drain about 30 minutes. After, squeeze the leftover water from the cucumber and add to a mixing bowl. Add the yogurt, the garlic-infused oil, the lemon juice and some sea salt, to taste. Let rest. Before serving, stir in the fresh dill. Once the potato wedges are done, remove from the oven and transfer to a serving platter. Garnish with the fresh dill and the lemon zest, and serve alongside the tzatziki. Bon appétit!

Keywords: Greek, potatoes, tzatziki

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Pommes de terre à la grecque avec sauce tzatziki

Greek Potatoes with Tzatziki

Difficile de croire que certains n’aiment pas les pommes de terre. Du coup, quand on parle de pommes de terre à la grecque, on voit bien que les têtes se retournent. Cette recette est incroyablement facile à réaliser et divine au goût. La partie la plus compliquée est sûrement de trouver un yogourt végétal digne de ce nom. J’ai découvert, il n’y a pas si longtemps, le yogourt à la noix de cajou, et je dois avouer qu’il me plaît bien. Il me permet aussi de réaliser la fameuse raita, un plat d’accompagnement essentiel à la cuisine indienne. Je vous invite à essayer cette recette, qui vous plaira, j’en suis certaine.

  • Author: Karine K
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 portions 1x
  • Method: Au four

Ingredients

Scale

Pour les pommes de terre:

  • 1 kilo (2 livres ) de pommes de terre, lavées et coupées en 4 ou en 6 pointes sur la longueur
  • 1/3 tasse d’huile d’olive
  • 2 c. à thé d’origan séché
  • 2 c. à thé de romarin séché
  • 1 c. à thé de poudre d’ail
  • 1/2 c. à thé de paprika
  • Poignée d’aneth frais, haché
  • Zeste de 1 citron
  • Sel de mer et poivre, au goût

Pour la tzatziki:

  • 1 1/2 tasse de yogourt végétal, au choix (j’aime bien le yogourt aux noix de cajou)
  • 4 gousses d’ail, émincées
  • 2 c. à soupe d’huile d’olive
  • 1 concombre, râpé
  • Jus de 1/2 citron
  • Sel de mer
  • Poignée d’aneth frais, haché

Instructions

Préchauffer le four à 225˚C (450˚F). Dans un grand bol, bien mélanger les pommes de terre, l’huile d’olive, l’origan, le romarin, la poudre d’ail, le paprika, le sel de mer et le poivre, au goût. Déposer les pointes de pommes de terre sur une tôle de cuisson préalablement recouverte de papier parchemin. Mettre au four et cuire pendant 15 minutes. Tourner les pointes et remettre au four 10 minutes de plus. Augmenter la température du four à 260˚C (500˚F) et continuer de cuire les pointes de pommes de terre pendant 5 à 10 minutes de plus, ou jusqu’à ce qu’elles soient tendres et croustillantes.

Pendant que les pommes de terre cuisent, réduire l’ail émincé en purée avec une fourchette et en y ajoutant une pincée de sel. Dans un petit bol, mélanger la pâte d’ail avec l’huile d’olive et laisser reposer. Placer le concombre râpé dans une passoire, saupoudrer de sel de mer et laisser égoutter pendant environ 30 minutes. Par la suite, retirer l’excédent d’eau du concombre en essorant avec les mains et déposer dans un bol à mélanger. Ajouter le yogourt, l’huile et l’ail, le jus de citron et du sel de mer, au goût. Laisser reposer. Avant de servir, incorporer l’aneth frais. Une fois les pommes de terre prêtes, déposer sur une assiette de service. Garnir de l’aneth frais et du zeste de citron. Servir avec la sauce tzatziki en accompagnement. Bon appétit!

Keywords: patates, grecques, tzatziki

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