I’ve neglected both my blogs lately. I apologize for that.

The thing about having a food blog is that you have to make food. I haven’t been doing much of that. I’ve found it tough to find the time and the space to cook. Space is exactly the word I’m looking for. I’m rarely alone in the kitchen which makes it feel as if there is no room to move. To avoid the claustrophobic feeling I’ve been getting I avoided the kitchen. I found that I missed cooking; planning meals, shopping for ingredients, then putting it all together and  enjoying my creations. I also very quickly fell into some horrible eating habits. Last week I bought breakfast five times; lunch four times; and had dinner out twice. And by dinner I mean beer and nachos.

One week of that and I already felt like crap. Last weekend I made sure to spend some time in the kitchen. My parents were away Saturday, so I basically acted as though I still lived alone. I barbecued chicken breast for lunches during the week, and this gazpacho dinner. Gazpacho is the perfect summer meal; cool, refreshing, and a great way to use those summer vegetables.  As a bonus, no heat is required.

I followed this recipe from Canadian Living with a few adjustments to suite my tastes.


Serves 8

  • 3 tomatoes, peeled and seeded
  • 1 red pepper, halved and seeded
  • 1 green pepper halved and seeded
  • 1 english cucumber, halved and seeded
  • 1/4 red onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves roasted garlic
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cups low sodium tomato juice
  • Tabasco sauce to taste ( I used a lot)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a blender, puree the vegetables, garlic and onion in batches. I left mine fairly chunky, but if you prefer you can puree till very smooth.
  2. Pour the vegetables into a large bowl, stir in the tomato juice, red wine vinegar, oil, and the Tabasco. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Chill refrigerate for at least two hours.
  4. Serve with a garnish of diced vegetables.

Les Cuilleres

Welcome to Les Cuilleres! I spent a lot of time debating whether or not I should start this blog. Some of you may already know me from I’ll Have What She’s Having. I’ve been posting there for a little over a year now, and I plan to continue that blog. So why start Les Cuilleres? Well there are two main reasons. The first is that I’ve recently made a big change in my life by moving back in with my parents. The move is temporary as a I wait for my new condo to be built. The second reason is that I felt What She’s Having lacks focus.

Those two reasons aren’t as disparate as they sound. In the first few days at home I realized pretty quickly that my parents do not eat the same way I do. There is a lot of grease, and not a lot of vegetables. Healthy eating while I’m here is going to be a challenge. Les Cuilleres is about chronicling my struggles to eat healthy in an unhealthy environment, and trying to bring my parents along with me.

Today was the first time since I moved in that I had any time alone. Coming from an environment where I was alone often, I found this week incredibly challenging. I need my alone time, it’s how I recharge and clear my head. Between my mom walking into my bedroom whenever it pleases her and my dad blasting the TV volume as high is it can go, I felt as though I had no where to escape. This time to myself has been exactly what I needed. I spent the afternoon in the kitchen. I tried to re-familiarize myself with the layout, see what tools I now have at my disposal. I was tempted to reorganize the fridge so that I’d know where everything is, but I realized I’d be confusing the rest of my family. I need to keep reminding myself that there are other peoples needs to consider here.

After scoping things out I decided to make myself a quick, light dinner; barbecued shrimp with black bean salad. I cooked the beans from dry, but canned would work just as well. If you are buying canned, try to find a brand that doesn’t have too much salt.

Barbecued Shrimp with Black Bean Salad

For the Salad

  • 2 cups black beans, dried
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • hot sauce to taste ( I used Frank’s Red Hot)
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  1. In a medium pot over high heat, cover the beans with water. Bring to a boil then lower the temperature to simmer. Add the cumin, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Cook until the beans are softened. (This may take up to an hour)
  2. Once cooked, drain the beans and let them cool completely.
  3. Toss with the avocado, tomato and green pepper. Mix the lemon juice, olive oil and some salt and pepper together. Dress the salad with the lemon dressing.
For the Shrimp
  • 10-12 shrimp (the quantity will vary depending on the size of the shrimp)
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Mix the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper together. Use this mixture to marinate the shrimp for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat the barbecue to a moderate temperate.
  3. Place the shrimp on skewers. If using wooden skewers be sure to soak them before barbecuing. Place on the heated grill, cooking on each side for 2-3 minutes until the shrimp are pink and no longer translucent.
  4. Serve with the bean salad.