Root Vegetable Soup (A Guide To)

Root Vegetable Soup || An easy to follow recipe guide on how to make an amazing soup with any root vegetables. Use any of the following: potatoes, parsnips, carrots, celeriac, rutabaga, turnips, sweet potatoes or squash. Cozy and perfect for Fall or Winter. Very healthy, great for a detox. Dairy free, gluten free, plant based, vegan. || creamandhoney.ca
Root Vegetable Soup || An easy to follow recipe guide on how to make an amazing soup with any root vegetables. Use any of the following: potatoes, parsnips, carrots, celeriac, rutabaga, turnips, sweet potatoes or squash. Cozy and perfect for Fall or Winter. Very healthy, great for a detox. Dairy free, gluten free, plant based, vegan. || creamandhoney.ca

Hi. I've been gone awhile and I've missed you. It was nothing you did, I promise. I went on vacation to Mexico where I spent my 33rd birthday and it was exactly what I needed. I stepped off my hamster wheel of spinning thoughts and routines and settled into daily nothingness with loose plans of what food to eat and which beach to go to. I took the time I needed to breathe and be in my body and sigh out loud while watching the waves roll in and out. I did nothing and everything. I asked myself what truly feels good for me lately. What makes me feel inspired? What feels stuck? How can I move forward while keeping aligned and not overwhelmed?

I debated if I want to continue creating this blog. I love it and it's been one of the best learning experiences about myself and my capabilities, but I was feeling unsure if this is still where I want to be putting my free time and energy. It can feel lonely and disconnected writing into an abyss of space that hangs in the air and on screens. It's easy to fall into a comparison trap on social media where you're left feeling like you don't have enough or you're not where you want to be while seeing your dream life lived by other people. These incomplete feelings aren't real though, they're made up by my mind. By all of our minds. I recently had someone send me a message on Instagram that said, “do you do food blogging full-time? Because your life looks like a dream". This astounded me and I actually laughed out loud at how anyone could think that was my life. The funniest part was I felt the exact same way about her– that she had a dreamy life I coveted. I realized I assume that about a lot of people online. I find there's not a ton of transparency with online presences on how they got to where they are. I always read  interviews that mention “a lot of hard work" and  “I kept believing in myself". Although I'm sure these are true, the rest of us want to know how. Like actually how– the details, the steps, the mistakes, the times you were about to give up, what made you keep going. I want to hear about the human stuff, the relatable stuff. A lot of hard work and believing in myself are sentences I've heard my entire life and aren't new information. Without the details, it feels like there are secrets to success that no one is revealing. And guys, I love secrets. And I love details. Or maybe these details are so irrelevant to successful people because they've already made it and don't need that information anymore. Who knows? Do you? If you do– tell me?

I've been craving doing creative things with my hands and less online.  I wish the days were longer so I could experience and create more. My serving job is essential right now to pay my bills but it takes a lot out of me. It's a much faster pace than I prefer to live my life at. And this life really is short– I can feel it in the quickness of the days, the anxious feeling that comes with dusk, the moments I wake unexpectedly at 5 am and debate getting up to see the sun rise but then tell myself “another day" and fall back asleep. How can I create a life with more time and slowness? I'm forever working on it. I'd love to hear your suggestions. 

A friend and I read tarot card last night. Mine urged to me continue moving forward with current projects and that was the small sway I needed to rededicate myself to working in this space. My goal is to maintain the blog and make time for other creative activities that give me a sense of relief and disconnection from my day-to-day. For me, this will mean less scrolling social media, less tv, and more action-to-begin rather than procrastination. I am excited about this renewed feeling and sense of self. It will be a loving self that moves slowly even when there's a lot going on. I've also been re-evaluating this blog in terms of what I can offer you. I want to hear you, to help you, to know what you like or find interesting. What are your favourite parts about these posts? What do you want more of? Comment or send me a message and let me know, I would love to produce more content you want to see. That's where this soup comes in. I posed these questions to a friend. She said she loves when I make recipes approachable and the tips, tricks and whys on making food.

I wanted to create a guide where you can learn to follow your cooking intuition and create a soup out of almost any vegetables you have laying around. Soups are easy, they don't take a lot of effort and are  nourishing and delicious. One of the skills that is the most valuable in cooking is to understand the basics of a recipe so you can create one your own. I have a recipe at the bottom which you can follow directly, but this post is to act as a manual to help you feel confident in your technique and the steps of making a soup.

Root Vegetable Soup || An easy to follow recipe guide on how to make an amazing soup with any root vegetables. Use any of the following: potatoes, parsnips, carrots, celeriac, rutabaga, turnips, sweet potatoes or squash. Cozy and perfect for Fall or Winter. Very healthy, great for a detox. Dairy free, gluten free, plant based, vegan. || creamandhoney.ca

After basking in sunlight and sea for ten days, it can feel pretty miserable returning to feet of snow and -20 °C weather. Some things that help me are:

  • making hot and nutritious food and drinks like this soup
  • practicing self care (yoga, a good skin care routine, home spa nights)
  • the strikingly beautiful winter sunsets

Because the air is less hazy and more crisp and clear in cold weather, it creates brightly coloured skies upon sunrise and sunset. Every night brings fiery oranges and reds, cotton candy pinks and blues, or a rainbow gradient as the sun dips below the horizon. Our world is what we focus on. Right now, I choose beauty and slowness to centre my attention on. 

Ontario Place. Sunset in Toronto over Lake Ontario.
Toronto sunset
Root Vegetable Soup || An easy to follow recipe guide on how to make an amazing soup with any root vegetables. Use any of the following: potatoes, parsnips, carrots, celeriac, rutabaga, turnips, sweet potatoes or squash. Cozy and perfect for Fall or Winter. Very healthy, great for a detox. Dairy free, gluten free, plant based, vegan. || creamandhoney.ca
Root Vegetable Soup || An easy to follow recipe guide on how to make an amazing soup with any root vegetables. Use any of the following: potatoes, parsnips, carrots, celeriac, rutabaga, turnips, sweet potatoes or squash. Cozy and perfect for Fall or Winter. Very healthy, great for a detox. Dairy free, gluten free, plant based, vegan. || creamandhoney.ca
Root Vegetable Soup || An easy to follow recipe guide on how to make an amazing soup with any root vegetables. Use any of the following: potatoes, parsnips, carrots, celeriac, rutabaga, turnips, sweet potatoes or squash. Cozy and perfect for Fall or Winter. Very healthy, great for a detox. Dairy free, gluten free, plant based, vegan. || creamandhoney.ca

Vegetables                                                                                   

What kinds? Almost any vegetable will work for a soup! Make sure to pick vegetables you enjoy. For extra easiness and minimal thought, use vegetables that are all similar in physical structure (eg. all root vegetables, broccoli + cauliflower, etc). If you want to blend an array of vegetables with structural ranges, stagger your cooking times. Firm vegetables all go in together and any type of green (kale, collard greens, spinach) are added at the end with 5 minutes or less left on cooking time.      

Consider balancing flavours with vegetables (eg. don't use all bitter vegetables like turnip, kale, cabbage, brussel sprouts etc). Use a few but balance them out with a sweet vegetable (sweet potato) or neutral vegetable (cauliflower, potato).

Tip: You can balance extra bitterness with a creamy component like yogurt, cheese, cream, or coconut milk. Or a salty component like bacon. You can balance stinky notes from cabbage with some lemon juice and/or white beans.

Broth                                                                                  

Use whatever broth you like! For pureed vegetable soups I prefer organic chicken or vegetable broth. If you have a limited amount of broth on hand, make up the rest of the liquid with water (plus extra salt). I do this all the time if I'm missing a cup or two of broth and it still always tastes amazing but you must remember the extra salt or it may end up a bit flat or bland since the salty umami flavour is a major component of broth flavour. I salt to taste. To do this, taste the broth on its own. Now add the water and taste again. It will taste flatter and watered down. Now add a good pinch of kosher salt, mix and taste. Continue adding a little more and tasting each time until it tastes like full flavour broth again but not “salty". 

Aromatics   

This is the first (and most important flavouring step) of the soup. Cooking aromatics in some fat to begin a soup is very important. It releases flavours and is the main component of what will give your soup depth and deep delicious flavours. To begin, heat your heavy bottomed soup pot on medium-high. Add a tablespoon of preferred fat. How to know when your pan is hot enough: add a single drop of water after your fat and if it sizzles, your pan is ready for the aromatics. Add onion and a pinch of salt. Stir often while they cook until translucent. Add other aromatics once the onions are cooked.

Try: fresh ginger, herbs (dried or fresh), spices, chilis, curry paste and garlic.

Tip: Garlic burns easily so add it last of all aromatics and reduce your temperature while constantly stirring for a minute or two before moving on to the next step.

Fats

Olive oil, coconut oil, butter, ghee, avocado oil, animal fat, etc. 

Deglaze

Deglazing the bottom of a pot is important to scrape all those flavourful brown bits off the bottom. By adding a splash of white wine or vinegar, it creates immediate steam that releases these bits and adds a hint of acid to help balance the base of the soup. You can substitute with a splash a broth to do the same thing if you don't have wine or vinegar.

Building the Soup

Add all your vegetables (except greens) and broth to a large pot. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Leave the lid off while you let your soup simmer for 30 minutes of so. Leaving the lid off lets steam release which allows the liquid to cook down and concentrates the flavours. I taste the soup after 15 minutes or so and add more salt if needed. I find by 30 minutes the flavours are well developed but you can leave it for longer if you want it more concentrated in flavour, just keep in mind that it will yield less soup since the liquid decreases with the lid off. 

Pureeing

Once you are happy with the flavour, ladle the soup in to a blender and puree until smooth (or use a hand blender). Sometimes I serve it right away after blending. You can also pour it back into the pot and cook over low for 5 to 10 minutes to develop more flavours. Add a bit of acidity if it tastes too rich– a splash of white wine vinegar or a good squeeze of lemon will add a brightness to the soup without making it taste too acidic. Start with a little bit, it goes a long way. You can also add a creamy element at this point if you like (coconut milk or cream). If you do, keep the temperature on low to mix the creamy component so it does not curdle. 

Toppings

 For me, a pureed soup needs a topping. It feels more complete and adds texture. I use a few things of whatever I have on hand.

Try:  fresh herbs, toasted nuts or seeds, croutons, crushed Mary's crackers, parsnip (or other vegetable) crisps, herb oil, sliced green onions, roasted vegetables, roasted chickpeas, poached egg, sausage, bacon, cheddar cheese.

Root Vegetable Soup || An easy to follow recipe guide on how to make an amazing soup with any root vegetables. Use any of the following: potatoes, parsnips, carrots, celeriac, rutabaga, turnips, sweet potatoes or squash. Cozy and perfect for Fall or Winter. Very healthy, great for a detox. Dairy free, gluten free, plant based, vegan. || creamandhoney.ca
Root Vegetable Soup || An easy to follow recipe guide on how to make an amazing soup with any root vegetables. Use any of the following: potatoes, parsnips, carrots, celeriac, rutabaga, turnips, sweet potatoes or squash. Cozy and perfect for Fall or Winter. Very healthy, great for a detox. Dairy free, gluten free, plant based, vegan. || creamandhoney.ca
Winter sunset on the Lakeshore, Toronto.

Let's all do things that make us feel good, okay? 

Love,

 Megan

xx


ROOT VEGETABLE SOUP WITH PARSNIP CRISPS

the magic

inspiration:                cold winter days and nights

the feels:                    warm, creamy, smooth, earthy

eat with:                     crusty bread, Mary's crackers, fresh herbs,                                        herb oil, poached egg, sliced sausage,                                                bacon, grated cheese, ground meat. 

might like if you're into:       cozy cottages, self care, detoxing,                                                      food in bowls, historical fiction                                                        books or tv, cellars, log cabins, one                                                  pot meals, watching the fire. 

 

the science

makes 8 cups of soup (4 to 6 servings) || time: 45 minutes

ingredients:

  • 8 cups of peeled and chopped root vegetables                                                                                                (this particular soup contained the following)
    • 3 parsnips (for soup) + 1 for crisps
    • 3 carrots
    • 2 yellow potatoes
    • 1 turnip
    • 1 celeriac 
  • 5 cups vegetable broth (or chicken)
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled + grated
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed or diced
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ground pepper to taste
  • splash of white wine vinegar or white wine (for deglazing)
  • optional: squeeze of lemon for each bowl before serving to brighten
  • topping suggestions: parsnip crisps, fresh parsley, herb oil,  sliced green onions, crushed Mary's Crackers, croutons, toasted nuts or seeds, roasted vegetables, roasted chickpeas, poached egg, sausage, bacon, cheddar cheese.

method:                                                                                            

soup

  1. Heat large pot over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of oil. Once hot, add onion and a pinch of salt. Sauté until translucent (5 to 8 minutes). Add any other aromatics you are using (this recipe is ginger) and cook for another 2 minutes. Add garlic (and another tablespoon of oil if needed) and sauté for one more minute. The bottom of your pot may be brownish and a bit sticky. Pour a splash of white wine vinegar and scrape the bottom with a wooden spoon or spatula. Add herbs (thyme and rosemary) and mix.  
  2. Add root vegetables and stir to coat. Pour in broth and turn to high heat. Bring to a boil and reduce temperature to a simmer. Let simmer for 30 minutes uncovered. Taste and add up to a teaspoon of kosher salt. When using vegetable broth I usually prefer the whole teaspoon. Chicken broth may need less. If your broth tastes slightly bland, it needs salt.
  3. Ladle soup into blender and puree until smooth. Pour back into pot and simmer for another 5 minutes or so and add anything else (more salt or ground pepper) you may like.
  4. Ladle into bowls. Add any toppings you like and add a squeeze of lemon to brighten the soup.  

parsnip crisps

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with tinfoil. Using a thin setting on a mandolin, shave a pre-peeled parsnip into very thin slices. Lay on baking sheet and brush with extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with salt. Bake for 3 to 8 minutes depending on thickness (check them at three and then every minute following). Be careful not to burn them. Let cool. 

 

MACA ALMOND GRANOLA

Maca Almond Granola || This healthy plant based granola made with almonds, pepitas, and maca powder is perfect for breakfast or a quick snack! Gluten free, vegan, no refined sugars and takes less than 30 minutes to make. Adaptogens like maca help balance hormones and gives a malted caramel flavour. || creamandhoney.ca
Maca Almond Granola || This healthy plant based granola made with almonds, pepitas, and maca powder is perfect for breakfast or a quick snack! Gluten free, vegan, no refined sugars and takes less than 30 minutes to make. Adaptogens like maca help balance hormones and gives a malted caramel flavour. || creamandhoney.ca
Maca Almond Granola || This healthy plant based granola made with almonds, pepitas, and maca powder is perfect for breakfast or a quick snack! Gluten free, vegan, no refined sugars and takes less than 30 minutes to make. Adaptogens like maca help balance hormones and gives a malted caramel flavour. || creamandhoney.ca

Oh hai!

I've been gone for a while enjoying the last month of summer before hibernating for the long Northern winter. I've missed you and I hope you've missed me too. I've also had a hard time getting myself to sit down and write. But here I am, writing. Not necessarily well, but writing no less. I was thinking I could claim writer's block and drink dry martinis alone in a bar while staring at people and penning doodles in my empty notebook. I could try and channel Hemingway, except he wrote real life- changing books opposed to a food blog. But who says a good slice of cake or bowl of soup can't change a life? Although he did love to drink, apparently he never drank while working, he knew this wouldn't produce his best works. Hemingway was a world traveller, a man after my own heart and frequented bars all over the globe. He said, “Don't bother with churches, government buildings or city squares, if you want to know about a culture, spend a night in its bars”. I've been very “nighttime" Hemingway lately and I feel this statement deeply. Bars have a rawness you can't get everywhere and night carries mystery that dissipates with sunrise. People engage with each other uninhibited, they let down their guards and speak more freely which allows for easier connection. Like Hemingway I cannot write in them, but they are a perfect place for conversation, fun and distraction. 

For now, I will cultivate my inner “day" Hemingway and recommit myself to putting words on paper (or computer), whether they're bad or good. I will go on walks and let ideas flow, I will lay on my couch and gaze into space instead of my phone and let my mind wander. I will leave scraps of paper around scribbled with sparks of ideas or reminders to myself of an inspiration I couldn't bare to forget. I believe that sometimes you must create bad art simply to move past it and towards better art. It's easy to get stuck on criticizing the bad work because you want it to be better so badly. But maybe it simply needs to release itself so you can move forward. 

To get back into the swing of things I've made this granola for you (and me, because I'm forever hungry and love this recipe). Granola has always been one of my favourite foods because of it's versatility, crunchiness and slightly sweet taste. If you want more time to focus on projects, work or relaxing– granola is there for you. Satiating yet so easy to pour into a bowl with some yogurt, milk and fresh fruit. I am known to eat granola at any time of day and indulge in multiple bowls if I'm too busy (or lazy) to cook. This granola uses quality ingredients with the addition of maca powder which adds a malty flavour (perfect for anything vanilla, strawberry or chocolate– think malted milkshakes). Maca is a superfood and adaptogen. It is reported to help balance hormones, energy, mood and increase your sexiness. It technically increases your sex drive, but that means sexiness because you are always sexier if you feel sexy, yes? Yes. 

Maca Almond Granola || This healthy plant based granola made with almonds, pepitas, and maca powder is perfect for breakfast or a quick snack! Gluten free, vegan, no refined sugars and takes less than 30 minutes to make. Adaptogens like maca help balance hormones and gives a malted caramel flavour. || creamandhoney.ca
Maca Almond Granola || This healthy plant based granola made with almonds, pepitas, and maca powder is perfect for breakfast or a quick snack! Gluten free, vegan, no refined sugars and takes less than 30 minutes to make. Adaptogens like maca help balance hormones and gives a malted caramel flavour. || creamandhoney.ca
Maca Almond Granola || This healthy plant based granola made with almonds, pepitas, and maca powder is perfect for breakfast or a quick snack! Gluten free, vegan, no refined sugars and takes less than 30 minutes to make. Adaptogens like maca help balance hormones and gives a malted caramel flavour. || creamandhoney.ca
Maca Almond Granola || This healthy plant based granola made with almonds, pepitas, and maca powder is perfect for breakfast or a quick snack! Gluten free, vegan, no refined sugars and takes less than 30 minutes to make. Adaptogens like maca help balance hormones and gives a malted caramel flavour. || creamandhoney.ca
Maca Almond Granola || This healthy plant based granola made with almonds, pepitas, and maca powder is perfect for breakfast or a quick snack! Gluten free, vegan, no refined sugars and takes less than 30 minutes to make. Adaptogens like maca help balance hormones and gives a malted caramel flavour. || creamandhoney.ca

Notes:

You can buy maca powder at health food stores or online. If you can't find it simply remove it from the recipe, it's still lovely without it. You can always substitute out one thing for another in this recipe, it is very versatile. Hazelnuts for the almonds, sunflower seeds for the pepitas, raisins or dried cherries for the currants; these are all good options. 

Baking the oats first without the nuts and seeds is important so that we don't over bake them which is easy to do. This recipe takes less than thirty minutes to make and yields you a ton of granola, 8.5 cups to be exact. This amount is great for a family or if you eat a ridiculous amount of granola like moi, but you can always half the recipe if you're a more reasonable person. 

I made strawberry cashew milk this week and have been pouring it onto this granola and it's sooooooo good guys. I will be posting the milk next week because you need it in your life and I need more of it in mine.

Maca Almond Granola || This healthy plant based granola made with almonds, pepitas, and maca powder is perfect for breakfast or a quick snack! Gluten free, vegan, no refined sugars and takes less than 30 minutes to make. Adaptogens like maca help balance hormones and gives a malted caramel flavour. || creamandhoney.ca
Maca Almond Granola || This healthy plant based granola made with almonds, pepitas, and maca powder is perfect for breakfast or a quick snack! Gluten free, vegan, no refined sugars and takes less than 30 minutes to make. Adaptogens like maca help balance hormones and gives a malted caramel flavour. || creamandhoney.ca
Maca Almond Granola || This healthy plant based granola made with almonds, pepitas, and maca powder is perfect for breakfast or a quick snack! Gluten free, vegan, no refined sugars and takes less than 30 minutes to make. Adaptogens like maca help balance hormones and gives a malted caramel flavour. || creamandhoney.ca
Maca Almond Granola || This healthy plant based granola made with almonds, pepitas, and maca powder is perfect for breakfast or a quick snack! Gluten free, vegan, no refined sugars and takes less than 30 minutes to make. Adaptogens like maca help balance hormones and gives a malted caramel flavour. || creamandhoney.ca

MACA ALMOND GRANOLA 

the magic

inspiration:           healthy snack food

the feels:               crunchy, nutty, chewy, sweet, salty

eat with:                milk of choice! I like it with strawberry cashew                               milk (recipe coming soon!), smoothie bowls, yogurt,                              fresh berries, bananas, carob nibs, chocolate                                      chips, apples, pears, cottage cheese, honey, maple                                syrup, ice cream, frozen yogurt.

might like if you're into:     after school (or work) snacks, malted                                                 milkshakes, The Old Man And The                                                   Sea, bulk food stores, camping,                                                         quick breakfasts.

the science

makes 8.5 cups granola (half this recipe if this family portion of granola is too much) || time: 30 minutes

ingredients:

  • 3 cups rolled oats (gluten free)
  • 2 cups raw almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup raw pepitas
  • 1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup dried currants
  • 3 tablespoons maca powder (I used white)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 6 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
  • fresh berries to top with (optional)

method:

  1. Preheat oven to 300ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl combine the oats, salt, maca powder, cinnamon and cardamom. Stir until combined. 
  2. In another bowl combine melted coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla. Whisk well until thickened homogeneously, it will become an thin paste-like consistency. Set aside two tablespoons of the maple-coconut mixture. Add the rest to the bowl of oats and mix together until evenly combined. Pour out on to baking sheet and spread evenly. Place into oven and bake for about 12 minutes, stirring half way through until light golden in colour.
  3. While oats are baking add chopped almonds, pepitas and coconut to the bowl you just used for the oats. Add the remaining maple-coconut oil mixture and combine evenly. Add to golden baked oats and mix together. Bake for another 5 to 10 minutes. Let cool. The granola will become crispy once fully cooled. Add dried currants and mix to combine. Store in airtight containers and keep for up to one month in cool dry place. You can also freeze granola in an airtight container if you like, but dried fruits can become hard so consider removing them from the recipe. 

AVOCADO EGG SALAD TOSTADA + ESCABECHE (PICKLED VEGETABLES)

Avocado Egg Salad Tostada + Escabeche (pickled vegetables)  || Healthy + delicious Mexican inspired dish. Great for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack.  A perfect recipe for summer that is easy to make and can be eaten at breakfast, lunch or dinner! A nice change from avocado toast and it's gluten free, plant based + dairy free without the cheese. || creamandhoney.ca

I went to Oaxaca, Mexico for two weeks. Since, I have been daydreaming of returning next winter to eat corn based snacks, wander amongst the bright coloured stone buildings and drink mezcal with strangers, (or friends –same thing in Mexico). We spent a week in Oaxaca City, two days in the mountains and a week on the coast in Puerto Escondido. It. Was. INCREDIBLE. I'm working on posts for Mexico so I won't go into too much detail. But I will  tell you about the day I saw some people vomit. You may be thinking, “Wow, what a great intro for a food post!". Yes. I only aim for the best here on my blog. I could write about something else like how delicious this meal is, but that seems cheap and repetitive sometimes. Because of course I wouldn't post something on here that tastes bad, so let's all assume I'm making good food for me and you. Also, this story  is much more interesting than listening to more food words like mouthfeel, paleo, or tasty. Don't even get me started on short form words or exact-same-length words like delish, yummers, or 'za. Only moms in the suburbs use these words because they heard them from a fellow suburban mom who only hangs out with her children, mom, and grandma (who is the most confused that we changed perfectly good words into slight variations that sound worse). I feel you g-ma. (The short form “g-ma" is okay because it sounds gangster and every granny is/was gangster in some way). Birthed nine children vaginally?! Gangster. Sipping on a bottle of sherry all day?! Gangster.  Saying whatever the f*$k you want all the time because you're 93 and don't give a sh*t?! Gangster. No no, this story has more adventure, mystery, and self reflection than food words. It also has vomit. You are welcome gentle human. (note: All badass grandma qualities are based on real life grannies I've known. Also, I love all my suburban mom friends! I was kidding. Kind of.)

We spent a night in the small town San Jose Del Pacifico in the Oaxacan mountains. Our next destination was Puerto Escondido and we were ready for the salty ocean breezes and beachside cocktails. The only way to get from this little town to the coast is by colectivo, large vans that operate all over Mexico. They are cheap and efficient and if you're lucky, they have tvs that play movies.

The van pulled up and the driver told us it would be 200 pesos each ($14 CAD) for the four hour ride to Puerto Escondido. Within a minute of being in the van we noticed a very robust smell. Like fresh sliced garlic mixed with overripe onions. “Wow. That. Is. Pungent." I whispered.  For some reason, I couldn't get used to the smell. It stung my nostrils on each breath. It became so intense that I dug out a long sleeve shirt from my bag and tied it around my nose and mouth. I imagined myself a bandito. The driver looked at me through the rearview mirror and made gestures like, “are you okay?". I gave him a thumbs up and he smiled. This long drive has over 200 turns, many of them 180°, while teetering on the brink of high cliffs. People began feeling sick and one guy asked them to pull over so he could throw up but instead they handed him a plastic bag without even slowing down. A woman started vomiting, sweat rolling down her face. People had told us this was a bad bus ride, but I assumed they were being dramatic or prone to motion sickness. I love fast bumpy rides so I figured we'd be just fine. Turns out, they were correct. I wouldn't wish the ride upon my worst enemy. Well maybe I would. But only because it's mostly harmless. 

Without being there, you can't fully comprehend the amount of severe turns. So here are a few Google map images of the ride itself with drawings on top from Paint (yes, it's still around) of my feelings/thoughts along the way. (more food photos + recipe at the end)

Yay!!!! On our way to ocean and margaritas!

Yay!!!! On our way to ocean and margaritas!

Weeeee!!! This is like a rollercoaster! 

Weeeee!!! This is like a rollercoaster! 

Oh okay, this IS a very winding road. I get it now. “Sorry for falling on you señor!"

Oh okay, this IS a very winding road. I get it now. “Sorry for falling on you señor!"

Two hours pass and vomit fest begins. 

Two hours pass and vomit fest begins. 

“Seriously though. Who brings stinky garlic and onions on this ride anyways?! I wish an permanent itchy butthole upon them."

“Seriously though. Who brings stinky garlic and onions on this ride anyways?! I wish an permanent itchy butthole upon them."

“Did we drive off a cliff and now I'm unknowingly in hell?!?! Will I forever be amongst vomit and the smell of alliums??!"

“Did we drive off a cliff and now I'm unknowingly in hell?!?! Will I forever be amongst vomit and the smell of alliums??!"

*Three hours have passed. Wonder if oxygen has always smelled like garlic and onions. Brain starts torturing me with thoughts of fish markets, dogs pooping, and that time I got food poisoning from Chinese food when I was 6. And then again when I was 12.*

*Three hours have passed. Wonder if oxygen has always smelled like garlic and onions. Brain starts torturing me with thoughts of fish markets, dogs pooping, and that time I got food poisoning from Chinese food when I was 6. And then again when I was 12.*

*Acceptance phase. Consider that maybe I entered an infinite time/bus loop and may never get out.*                     “I guess this is where I live now?" 

*Acceptance phase. Consider that maybe I entered an infinite time/bus loop and may never get out.*                     “I guess this is where I live now?" 

We finally make it onto straight road for the last hour and I consume three snacks.                                                   “YOU CALL THAT A BUS RIDE?!"

We finally make it onto straight road for the last hour and I consume three snacks.                                                   “YOU CALL THAT A BUS RIDE?!"

Avocados || Avocado Egg Salad Tostada + Escabeche (pickled vegetables)  || Healthy + delicious Mexican inspired dish. Great for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack.  A perfect recipe for summer that is easy to make and can be eaten at breakfast, lunch or dinner! A nice change from avocado toast and it's gluten free, plant based + dairy free without the cheese. || creamandhoney.ca
Avocados || Avocado Egg Salad Tostada + Escabeche (pickled vegetables)  || Healthy + delicious Mexican inspired dish. Great for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack.  A perfect recipe for summer that is easy to make and can be eaten at breakfast, lunch or dinner! A nice change from avocado toast and it's gluten free, plant based + dairy free without the cheese. || creamandhoney.ca
Avocado Egg Salad Tostada + Escabeche (pickled vegetables)  || A healthy and delicious meal with fresh ingredients inspired by Mexico. A perfect recipe for summer that is easy to make and can be eaten at breakfast, lunch or dinner! || creamandhoney.ca
Avocado Egg Salad Tostada + Escabeche (pickled vegetables)  || Healthy + delicious Mexican inspired dish. Great for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack.  A perfect recipe for summer that is easy to make and can be eaten at breakfast, lunch or dinner! A nice change from avocado toast and it's gluten free, plant based + dairy free without the cheese. || creamandhoney.ca
Avocado Egg Salad Tostada + Escabeche (pickled vegetables)  || Healthy + delicious Mexican inspired dish. Great for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack.  A perfect recipe for summer that is easy to make and can be eaten at breakfast, lunch or dinner! A nice change from avocado toast and it's gluten free, plant based + dairy free without the cheese. || creamandhoney.ca
Avocado Egg Salad Tostada + Escabeche (pickled vegetables)  || Healthy + delicious Mexican inspired dish. Great for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack.  A perfect recipe for summer that is easy to make and can be eaten at breakfast, lunch or dinner! A nice change from avocado toast and it's gluten free, plant based + dairy free without the cheese. || creamandhoney.ca
Avocado Egg Salad Tostada + Escabeche (pickled vegetables)  || Healthy + delicious Mexican inspired dish. Great for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack.  A perfect recipe for summer that is easy to make and can be eaten at breakfast, lunch or dinner! A nice change from avocado toast and it's gluten free, plant based + dairy free without the cheese. || creamandhoney.ca
Avocado Egg Salad Tostada + Escabeche (pickled vegetables)  || Healthy + delicious Mexican inspired dish. Great for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack.  A perfect recipe for summer that is easy to make and can be eaten at breakfast, lunch or dinner! A nice change from avocado toast and it's gluten free, plant based + dairy free without the cheese. || creamandhoney.ca
Avocado || Avocado Egg Salad Tostada + Escabeche (pickled vegetables)  || Healthy + delicious Mexican inspired dish. Great for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack.  A perfect recipe for summer that is easy to make and can be eaten at breakfast, lunch or dinner! A nice change from avocado toast and it's gluten free, plant based + dairy free without the cheese. || creamandhoney.ca
Corn Tostadas || Avocado Egg Salad Tostada + Escabeche (pickled vegetables)  || Healthy + delicious Mexican inspired dish. Great for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack.  A perfect recipe for summer that is easy to make and can be eaten at breakfast, lunch or dinner! A nice change from avocado toast and it's gluten free, plant based + dairy free without the cheese. || creamandhoney.ca
Avocado Egg Salad Tostada + Escabeche (pickled vegetables)  || Healthy + delicious Mexican inspired dish. Great for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack.  A perfect recipe for summer that is easy to make and can be eaten at breakfast, lunch or dinner! A nice change from avocado toast and it's gluten free, plant based + dairy free without the cheese. || creamandhoney.ca

At one point we stopped for a bathroom break and I realized who it was. An old man sitting by himself with a large bag in front of him filled with his aromatics. He wore sandals and his feet were so dirty and cracked they looked like actual stone. I immediately felt a pang of compassion and shame wash over me for being so angry. Oh god, was my white privilege showing? 

His bag smelled no less after, but the sharp corners of the mountains were behind us and people weren't vomiting anymore. I told myself stories of why he would be carrying a rotting bag of vegetables so I could have more understanding for him. Here are the viable options I decided on:

  1.  This bag of garlic and onions were his great-great grandfather's vegetables and passed down for generations. They bring good luck. But also turn your feet to stone. 
  2. There is a vampire hunting him so he must carry the most potent garlic everywhere he goes. 
  3. He has lost his sense of smell so he has no idea the torture he's putting everyone through. 
  4. He has a sick sense of humour and likes to rides colectivos carrying only the stinkiest items he can find. Last time he brought jars of cow farts and released them incrementally every 10 minutes. Before that, 2 dozen freshly peeled boiled eggs. The time before that it was a pillow peed on by ten cats. He's currently working on bottling an old-age-home smell of moth balls, bad perfume and undigested medicine breath. (Patent pending). 
Avocado Egg Salad Tostada + Escabeche (pickled vegetables)  || Healthy + delicious Mexican inspired dish. Great for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack.  A perfect recipe for summer that is easy to make and can be eaten at breakfast, lunch or dinner! A nice change from avocado toast and it's gluten free, plant based + dairy free without the cheese. || creamandhoney.ca
Avocado Egg Salad Tostada + Escabeche (pickled vegetables)  || Healthy + delicious Mexican inspired dish. Great for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack.  A perfect recipe for summer that is easy to make and can be eaten at breakfast, lunch or dinner! A nice change from avocado toast and it's gluten free, plant based + dairy free without the cheese. || creamandhoney.ca
Mexican hot sauces: Tapatio + Cholula || Avocado Egg Salad Tostada + Escabeche (pickled vegetables)  || Healthy + delicious Mexican inspired dish. Great for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack.  A perfect recipe for summer that is easy to make and can be eaten at breakfast, lunch or dinner! A nice change from avocado toast and it's gluten free, plant based + dairy free without the cheese. || creamandhoney.ca

 Tapatio or Cholula? Which one is your favourite?


AVOCADO EGG SALAD TOSTADA + ESCABECHE (PICKLED VEGETABLES)

the magic

inspiration:            my trip to Oaxaca + all the escabeche I ate

the feels:                soft, crunchy, creamy, sour, savoury, fresh  

eat with:                 mezcal, agua frescas, agua de jamaica,                                             horchata, sparkling water, margarita,                                               michelada

might like if you're into:     antojitos, avocado toast, street food,                                                 other pickled things, messy foods,                                                     meals that work for breakfast, lunch                                                 or dinner, lucha libre, curried egg                                                     salad on naan

the science

makes 6 tostadas || resting time: 2 hours (for escabeche, make in advance) prep + cook time: 20 minutes

ingredients:                                                                                                              

mexican escabeche (pickled vegetables)

  • 2 large radishes or 4 small, thinly sliced
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and kept whole
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp peppercorns

guacamole egg salad tostadas

  • 6 tostadas (or tortillas to bake into tostadas)
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 limes (1 juiced + 1 cut up for topping tostadas if desired)
  • 2 tablespoons of finely chopped cilantro + extra for garnish
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 - 2 green onions, finely sliced
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, depending on preferred thickness
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, depending on taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Optional Toppings                                               
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cotija cheese (feta or goat works too)
  • salsa of your choice
  • hot sauce of your choice

method:

  1. Escabeche – Add sliced vegetables, garlic cloves, peppercorns and coriander seeds to one large jar/container or 2 smaller jars. Add water, vinegar, salt and honey to a medium pot and bring to a simmer. Mix with a spoon to ensure honey is completely dissolved. Pour into jar(s) over vegetables. Let cool for an hour. Seal and refrigerate, you can use them in one hour but it's better to make them a day or two before. Will keep for up to three weeks in the fridge.
  2. Begin making hard boiled eggs
  3. In a medium bowl add avocado, juice of 1 lime, cilantro, garlic, green onions, cumin, salt, pepper and olive oil. When eggs are ready, dice them up and add to avocado mixture. Mash/mix together with fork. 
  4. If making tostadas from tortillas – Preheat oven to 450°F. Place tortillas on baking sheet and brush both sides with oil. Sprinkle a little salt over top of them. Bake for 4 – 8 minutes or until golden on edges, check oven at 4 minute mark. 
  5. Layer avocado egg salad on to tostadas. Top with pickled vegetables, cherry tomatoes, cotija cheese, salsa, hot sauce, and extra cilantro + lime squeezes if desired.