Healing Winter Foods

Thai Kale Soup | www.purplehousecafe.com

I’ve recently had a couple more recipes published to the Pete’s Fine Foods blog – one for an awesome Thai Kale Coconut soup that will help you get your greens in a warmer, maybe-even-more delicious way than the ubiquitous green juice.  The other is a variation on the Ayurvedic kitchari, which is meant to help restore the body and immune system, as well as detoxify without all the deprivation.

Kitchari Bowl | www.purplehousecafe.com


Recipes With Pete

La Tourangelle | www.purplehousecafe.com


I’ve had the good fortune of working with one of my favourite local grocers, Pete’s Fine Foods, to develop a few recipes for some of their most interesting specialty products.  For those of you who have never had the pleasure of stepping into the sensory cacophony that is a Pete’s store, imagine finding the largest selection of both fancy imported and local foods – many of which are grown on Pete Luckett’s own property in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia – and getting completely lost in a world of culinary possibility.  

The recipe pictured above is a hearty salad of pistachio encrusted salmon, beluga lentils, candied squash, apple and pistachio dust drizzled with a simple vinaigrette of pistachio oil and lemon.  

Then there was this duck leg confit that I tossed with papardelle, local chanterelle mushrooms, and an exquisite cherry anise hyssop jam.  Though I was a little speculative about my idea to make pasta sauce out of jam (nothing like thinking outside the box…) it was outstanding.

Tagliatelle | www.purplehousecafe.com


Also, there were these pumpkin chestnut truffles, which were so incredibly devour-able, and yet sophisticated and nuanced in their flavour.

Chestnut Truffles | www.purplehousecafe.com


I’m excited to keep sharing with you some of the creations that are coming out of the Purple House Cafe kitchen via Pete’s Fine Foods, and, as always, on my business site, Nalumana Women’s Wellness.  

See you soon.

Kale Salad with Honey Pepper Bacon, Pistachios and Parmesan

Kale Salad | www.purplehousecafe.com

This recipe is the perfect balance of healthy-not healthy, which, in my mind, truly makes the perfect salad. Kale just goes so well with bacon!

I suppose this is hardly a recipe at all: tear up some kale leaves and massage them in a large bowl with about a tablespoon of olive oil. This softens the leaves and makes them easier to eat, not to mention beautifully, luxuriantly green. Meanwhile, cut 2-3 strips of bacon into chunks and fry. Once the bacon has reached your preferred level of crispy, remove from the heat, drain off as much fat as you can, and drizzle liberally (very liberally!) with honey, and then freshly ground pepper (also liberally!). Allow the heat remaining in the pan to caramelize the honey and bacon, stirring every few minutes to ensure an even coating of honey on the bacon.

Add about a quarter cup of very finely chopped pistachios to your kale, and along with that, shave plenty of fresh Parmesan cheese into your salad as well. Once it’s mostly cooled, add the bacon.

Kale Salad | www.purplehousecafe.com

This salad needs the tartness of lemon to balance out the salty/sweet bacon and earthy nuts and cheese. I achieved this by mixing, half and half, some lemon white balsamic vinegar I had with some good quality olive oil. If you’re lacking in the lemon white balsamic vinegar department, whisk up equal parts olive oil and lemon juice, along with a half part of honey to thicken and sweeten.

Toss the salad components and dressing together and serve. Enjoy!

This is a cross-posting from my new site, Nalumana Women’s Wellness.  

Blue Cheese-Stuffed Hamburgers with Caramelized Onions and Apple Cabbage Slaw

Blue Cheese Stuffed Hamburgers | www.purplehousecafe.com

Sometimes, this food blogging thing can get a little obsessive.  When you’re a bit Type A, like I am, you start food blogging, taking kind of crappy pictures with whatever ambient light you have (even after dark) of the food you make which happened to also taste good.  Then, as the years go by, you find yourself with a little studio in your basement, a window of about two hours when the light streaming into your little photography space is just right, and you refuse to post a recipe that isn’t original and hasn’t been subject to round after round of testing.

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BBQ Broccoli

BBQ Broccoli | www.purplehousecafe.com

We’re just getting back from ten days of vacation, so forgive me for wrapping up some vegetables in tin foil and calling it blog-worthy.  I’m just not in the headspace for browning butter or grating cheese…or boiling water.  It will be a tough week this week, I think, as we plunge back into routines and say goodbye to my hubby as he sails away on an eight month deployment.  But we’ll get through it, and I’ll consider anything more elaborate (and green) than scrambled eggs or take-out pizza a victory right now.

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