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Bison Steaks with Radish Salad

Bison with saladTHE VERDICT:

On the way home from the farmers’ market last week, we stopped off at 3P Natural and Exotic Meats, a butcher recommended to us by Arieanna and Ianiv that we had been meaning to check out. 3P is one of their North Shore sources for well-priced organic meat; it also happens to be their source for bison meat, a low-fat alternative to beef. We picked up a couple of Tri-Tip steaks to throw on the barbecue. We marinated them all afternoon in some beer first, which resulted in a very juicy, almost sweet-tasting steak. The trick with bison is to cook it at a lower temperature as it doesn’t contain as much fat as beef and can get quite dry if you’re not careful.

The radish salad was thrown together with some ingredients we picked up at the farmers market where we found a rainbow of radishes and the biggest green onions I’ve ever seen. We tossed them with a simple dressing and created an easy and yummy salad to accompany our slab of bison. Delish!

If you want to try it yourself…


Microbrew Marinade (source: Everyday with Rachel Ray magazine; original recipe)

Note: This recipe obviously makes enough for a restaurant, so you’ll want to cut it down. We made approximately 1/7 the amount.

Radish Salad (source: Tonight’s Dinner)

3 bunches assorted radishes, washed, trimmed and quartered

2-3 green onions, chopped

Juice of 1 lime

olive or grapeseed oil

freshly ground salt and pepper

  • Toss radishes and green onion together in a bowl.
  • Slice lime in half and squeeze juice over top.
  • Drizzle with oil.
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Toss until vegetables are coated.

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Garlic Scapes Pesto and Tipsy Salad

Pesto & SaladTHE VERDICT:

One of the best parts about shopping at the farmers’ market is discovering new things. For the last few weeks, we had noticed that some of the stalls were selling garlic scapes (the stalks of the garlic plant that roughly resemble a curled version of the green portion of a scallion). We love garlic, so we figured anything associated with garlic must be good, but we had no idea how to cook with them. Luckily, we came across a recipe for garlic scapes pesto at one of the booths and decided to be adventurous and try it out. We were well rewarded for our efforts. The scapes have a lot of garlic flavour, but it comes in a milder form. They made a wonderful base for this simple pasta sauce, but I think they would also do well mixed with some Greek yogurt as a dip.

We paired the pasta with a salad we nicknamed the tipsy salad because of its boozy ingredients. We picked up some mixed salad greens at the market along with a brick of Tipsy Jill cheese from Little Qualicum Cheeseworks. We diced the cheese, which is infused with blackberry wine, and tossed it with the greens along with some dried cherries and sunflower seeds. We drizzled a homemade raspberry-champagne vinaigrette over top. Enjoyed with a glass of the remaining champagne, it was quite a meal.

If you want to try it yourself…


Garlic Scapes Pesto (source: Trout Lake Farmer’s Market)

1 pound garlic scapes

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

olive oil (about 1/2 to 1 cup)

pine nuts, if desired

  • Chop the garlic scapes into 3 inch lengths. Put in the food processor and process until pureed.
  • Add the parmesan and pine nuts (if using) and process until smooth.
  • Slowly add the olive oil as the food processor runs and continue until all the oil is combined into the garlic and the desired consistency is reached.
  • Store in an air-tight jar in the refrigerator.

Tipsy Salad (source: Tonight’s Dinner)

Several handfuls of mixed salad greens

1 small brick of Tipsy Jill cheese or similar wine infused cheese

1 or 2 handfuls of dried cherries

1 handful of sunflower seeds

  • Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl.
  • Drizzle with your chosen salad dressing.

Raspberry-Champagne Vinaigrette (source: Tonight’s Dinner)

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 1/2 Tbsp. champagne

1 Tbsp. raspberry jam

A sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper and/or sea salt, if desired

  • Combine ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake until combined.
  • Alternatively, you can combine the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together.

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Parmesan Chicken Cutlets & Strawberry Spinach Salad

Chicken and SaladTHE VERDICT:

This meal was an excellent combination of recipes. Not only were both dishes delicious, but they also complemented each other very well. In fact, I consider this meal one of the highlights of the month.

The chicken is very easy to prepare–all the easier for me since Justin has discovered a love of breading meat. Along with cooking quesadillas, breaded entrees are becoming one of his cooking specialties.

I threw the salad together using some items we had in our fridge and pantry and taking a little inspiration from salads I saw on restaurant menus a few summers back. While most trendy restaurants seem to be steering away from strawberries and towards beets this summer, I think there is still a place for this tasty flavour combination on your table. I am already salivating at the thought of using fresh local strawberries in this salad in the coming months.

As I was free-styling the salad, the recipes that follow are just my best guesses on proportions, but it is hard to screw up salad, so just eyeball everything until it seems right.

If you want to try it yourself…


Parmesan Chicken Cutlets (source: Today’s Parent magazine; original recipe)

Strawberry Spinach Salad (source: Tonight’s Dinner)

2 cups sliced strawberries

5 cups fresh baby spinach

1/2 cup chevre cheese, crumbled

1/3 cup toasted & salted pumpkin seeds

Honey Balsamic Dressing (see recipe below)

  • Toss ingredients in a large bowl with the dressing.

Makes 4 servings.

Honey Balsamic Dressing (source: Tonight’s Dinner)

Honey, to taste (approximately one spoonful for every 2 people)

Equal amounts of olive oil and balsamic vinegar (approximately 1/2 Tbsp. of each per person)

  • Whisk together. Toss with your favourite salad.

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