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Bonnie Stern

Phone: 416 484 4810


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Bonnie Stern

About Bonnie

When Bonnie Stern started her cooking school in 1973 she wanted people to have more fun in the kitchen, eat more healthfully and nourish their families and friends with delicious food. That goal has never changed. Bonnie is still sharing her love of cooking in everything she does.

Bonnie is an award winning author of twelve best-selling cookbooks and writes weekly in the National Post. She offers a wide variety of corporate services, cooking classes and unique book clubs where authors actually attend and dinner is included. Bonnie is the recipient of the 2007 Premier’s Award.


May, 2016

I hope you are as happy as I am that Spring is here. It has been a long winter.

In one of my recent columns in the National Post I explained the most common terminology regarding smoked salmon. It can be confusing so here it is and be sure to check the recipe for smoked salmon and roasted beet salad below in the recipe section.

Lox is salmon that is cured with salt but not smoked.

Gravlax, originally a Nordic specialty, is salmon that’s cured with salt, sugar and herbs and spices like dill, juniper berries and black pepper. It also is not smoked.

Smoked Salmon, the most commonly available variety, is cured and then smoked at a low temperature so that the salmon remains silky and smooth in texture. Most salmon is gently smoked for a delicate flavour. Nova Lox used to refer to salmon, originally from Nova Scotia, that was cured and smoked but now is used just as another name for smoked salmon.

Hot Smoked Salmon is less commonly available and is cured and then smoked at higher temperatures resulting in the texture of cooked salmon.

One of my favourite smoked salmon is from Wolfhead in New Brunswick. It is double smoked and available in Toronto at Avenue Seafood and Schmaltz Appetizing. Kristapson’s (gently smoked) is available at their own store in Toronto and many others listed on their website. And Mike’s Fish Market at St. Lawrence Market in Toronto carries a large variety of different kinds of smoked salmon and gravlax.

Whenever the sun is shining, the farmers markets get busy but remember our farmers need our support all the time. So see you at the market.

Happy Mother's Day!







Bonnie's Book Club
Bonnie's Book Club is a labour of love. Nothing pleases Bonnie more than to have the opportunity to bring readers and writers together in a truly unique way that offers the rare opportunity to meet some of the country's leading authors, discuss their work and enjoy a delicious meal inspired by the book.

Drawing on her degree in English and her passion for food and cooking, Bonnie Stern invites you to a literary feast you won't soon forget - Oprah's book club never tasted this good!

*Small print: All registrations must be paid in full when registering. Please check your schedule carefully before registering. Cancellations can be accepted only up to 14 days before event date, a $50 charge (plus HST) applies to cover the administration fee and cost of the book. At any time you may send someone in your place for no additional charge. It is the attendee’s responsibility to mark their calendar with the date, time and location of the event.


JIM LYNCH: BEFORE THE WINDWith his bestselling novels The Highest Tide and Border Songs, Jim Lynch has earned a distinguished reputation as one of America’s leading novelists. He is also a huge favourite of Bonnie’s Book Club. Many people still talk about Jim’s last appearance back in 2009.

This May, Bonnie is very happy to welcome Jim Lynch back to Toronto for the publication of his new novel Before The Wind, a grand saga of a sailing obsessed family coming to terms with life’s unexpected twists and turns.

Robert Johannssen Jr. is a man with big dreams that often fall short. He and his father, Robert Johannssen Sr. - or as the two are better known, “the Bobos” - design and build sailboats; beautiful vessels that are built for speed and greatness. In Bobo Jr’s mind, the Johannssen family business - and sailing legacy - will live on through his children, sons Josh and Bernard and daughter Ruby.

But Bobo Jr’s children have other ideas. Josh has turned his back on college and the unrealistic expectation that his father has for him to shape his own life on water, living at the local marina and looking for love. Meanwhile, Bernard is so much like his father that he has to get as far away from him as possible to make his own dubious mark in the world.

And then there is Ruby, a former sailing prodigy who can read the waves and find wind where none exists. A local legend by her early teens, she is destined for greatness. Yet while racing to qualify for the U.S. Olympic team, Ruby has an epiphany on the water and turns away from glory and her father. She eventually leaves her family behind to do humanitarian work in far-off places.

Over the years, the family keeps in tenuous touch, with intermittent postcards and infrequent, volatile visits. It seems that the Johannssen legacy is in danger of dissipating. That is until the Bobos and fate align. Against all odds, the family agrees to come together to sail one of their classic designs in the prestigious Swiftsure Yacht Race in Victoria, British Columbia. But by the time they reach the starting line, it’s clear that years of family issues are about to come to the surface.  

Filled with humour and wonder, Before The Wind is a novel of great heart and poignancy that highlights Jim Lynch’s extraordinary gifts as a master storyteller.

Date: Monday May 9, 2016 (Wait list only)
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: Piano Piano The Restaurant
88 Harbord Street, Toronto
Fee: 165 + HST
(includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of Before The Wind sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810

CHRIS CLEAVE: EVERYONE BRAVE IS FORGIVENChris Cleave captured the attention of critics and readers around the world with the publication of his debut novel, Incendiary, the powerful story of one woman coming to terms with an unexpected tragedy. The book received rave reviews, became an international bestseller and was adapted into a film starring Academy Award-nominee Michelle Williams. Cleave's follow up, the beloved bestseller Little Bee, explored what happens when two lives collide in the most unexpected circumstances. It went on to become an international publishing sensation, and a book club favourite around the world.

This May, Bonnie is proud to welcome Chris Cleave for a very rare visit to Toronto as he launches his eagerly-awaited new novel Everyone Brave is Forgiven, a sweeping tale set against the backdrop of the Blitz.

As World War Two begins, Mary - a newly qualified teacher in London, left behind to teach the few children not evacuated - meets Tom, a school official. They quickly fall in love, but this is not a simple love story...Moving from Blitz-torn London to the Siege of Malta, this is an epic story of love, loss, prejudice and incredible courage.

Date: Monday May 16, 2016 (Wait list only)
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: To be announced
Fee: 165 + HST
(includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of Everyone Brave is Forgiven sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810


KEVIN PATTERSON: NEWS FROM THE RED DESERTBonnie is thrilled to kick off the thirteenth season of the book club with a powerful new novel from one of Canada’s most respected writers, Kevin Patterson, and his long-awaited new novel News From the Red Desert. This is the first literary work to explore the incredible toll taken by Canadian forces serving in Afghanistan.

The author of the award-winning The Water in Between and In a Country of Cold, and the contemporary classic Consumption, Kevin Patterson’s road to a writing career was an unusual one. Born in Manitoba, he joined the Canadian Forces in order to finance his way through medical school. Over the years, Patterson’s medical career has taken him around the world, from the Arctic to Afghanistan. Yet while practicing medicine, Patterson has also established a career for himself as a writer to watch, shifting effortlessly between non-fiction and fiction. It is Paterson’s personal experience in the Afghan conflict that gives the book its incredible depth and poignancy.

News From the Red Desert begins on the Kandahar Airfield in late 2001, when everyone believes the war has been won and the Taliban defeated. Then it leaps late in the severely escalated conflict - into the mess, and death, and confusion. At its heart are the men and women who have come to Afghanistan to seek purpose, adventure and danger, by engaging in the most bewitching and treacherous of human pursuits - making war.

It's the story of Deirdre O'Malley, an American war correspondent who has come to love the soldiers she covers so much that she's sliding toward feeling like a member of the mission herself. Embedded with Canadian infantry, she can't ignore the situation on the ground. Her loyalty toward her ex-lover, the American general who has taken command of the theatre, wavers as the war wavers, and the use of torture and the steady slaughter of civilians is brought to light. Fuelling the tension is a melancholy American supply sergeant who accidentally releases a trove of war porn online that sparks a furious hunt for the person who leaked it. Fearing arrest at any moment, he has stayed on too long in Kandahar for reasons he doesn't understand himself. Caught up in these currents are the Pakistanis who operate the Green Beans cafe on the base, led by optimist Rami Issay, who wants to lighten his customers' hearts by running film and chess clubs on the premises. But the war intrudes even into the lives of the well-intentioned. In a powerful climax that tests everyone's loyalty and faith, the essential chaos of violence asserts itself. Love and desire endure, but no one escapes unscathed.

Date: Monday August 22, 2016
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: Tabule on Yonge Street
2009 Yonge Street, Toronto
Fee: 165 + HST (includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of News From the Red Desert sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810


CRAIG DAVIDSON: PRECIOUS CARGOBonnie is very happy to welcome back Scotiabank Giller Prize-nominee Craig Davidson to the Book Club as he shares his critically-acclaimed, national bestselling memoir Precious Cargo.

With the publication of his debut collection of short stories, Rust and Bone, in 2005, Canadian writer Craig Davidson attracted considerable attention from the international literary community. In 2007, he followed his debut success with the critically-acclaimed The Fighter, a hard-hitting exploration of the lives of two very different young men heading down the road of self-destruction.

In 2012, Davidson’s star soared even more with the release of celebrated French filmmaker Jacques Audiard’s adaptation of two of the stories featured in Rust and Bone. The film, Rust and Bone, starred Academy Award-winner Marion Cotillard, was a sensation at the Cannes Film Festival and received rave reviews around the world.

In 2013, Davidson dazzled readers and critics with Cataract City, the powerful story of two lifelong friends haunted by memories of the past as they try to build lives for themselves. The National Post proclaimed the novel “A superb, thoughtful and thoroughly entertaining novel...Davidson is a seriously talented writer…” while Academy Award-winning filmmaker Paul Haggis called Cataract City “An astounding, accomplished book. I truly did not want to leave this world.”

Davidson’s novel went on to become a national bestseller and was shortlisted for the prestigious Scotibank Giller Prize. Davidson’s new book, Precious Cargo is a surprising and revelatory work of memoir that documents an incredible year in the author’s life, and the unexpected career shift that forever changed the way he saw himself and the rest of the world.

Before the great success of Cataract City and the film adaptation of Rust and Bone, Craig Davidson experienced a period of great doubt about his abilities as a writer and the possibility of making a living doing the thing he loved most. One morning in 2008, desperate, impoverished and living in a one-room basement apartment, Davidson plucked a flyer out of his mailbox that read, "Bus Drivers Wanted." That was the first step towards an unlikely new career: driving a school bus full of special-needs kids for a year.

Armed only with a sense of humour akin to that of his charges, a creative approach to the challenge of driving a large, awkward vehicle while corralling a rowdy gang of kids, and surprising but unsentimental reserves of empathy, Davidson takes us along for the ride. He shows us how his evolving relationship with the kids on that bus, each of them struggling physically as well as emotionally and socially, slowly but surely changed his life along with the lives of the "precious cargo" in his care. This is the extraordinary story of that year and those relationships. It is also a moving, important and universal story about how we see and treat people with special needs in our society.

Don’t miss what promises to be a terrific evening of literature, food and conversation.

Date: Monday September 19, 2016
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: Fat Pasha Patio
414 Dupont Street, Toronto
Fee: 165 + HST (includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of Precious Cargo sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810

Book Club Locations
Piano Piano 1
Piano Piano3
Piano Piano4
Piano Piano Restaurant

Piano Piano The Restaurant

An exciting location for our May 9, 2016 book club - Jim Lynch: Before The Wind. We have the private room downstairs at Piano Piano (formerly Splendido). Chef/owner Victor Barry has switched up his elegant and innovative tasting menu for a more casual, but still innovative and delicious, approach. Join us!

88 Harbord Street
416 929 7788

Tabule lamb
Tabule 4
Tabule on Yonge Street

Tabule on Yonge Street

Tabule is one of my favourite Toronto Restaurants for great Middle Eastern food. Always fun and so delicious.

2009 Yonge Street
416 483 3747

Corporate Services

Corporate culinary events are a great way to host a corporate function. Great food always brings co-workers and staff together. People have fun, learn a lot and take home delicious memories.

Events are customized to meet your location, schedule, objectives and food preferences. Bonnie works with nutritionists, food producers, restaurants, etiquette experts and authors to create exciting programs.

All events will be planned and hosted by Bonnie personally.

Corporate Cooking Class
Private Cooking Class

Bonnie Stern has worked with various food manufacturers, grocery chains, restaurants, chefs, health professionals as well as cookware manufacturers, etc., offering a wide variety of corporate services, such as:

Corporate culinary events
Corporate family dinners
Market Tours
Recipe development
Private cooking classes
Product consultation
Menu consulting for parties
Fundraising events

For detailed information,
please call: 416 484 4810

Some of Bonnie's Cookbooks
Friday Night Dinners (Paperback)
Friday Night Dinners
Bonnie's latest cookbook with her favourite menus, recipes, photos and stories. Over 170 delicious recipes for every occasion - holidays, barbecues, fast suppers and fabulous feasts - and Bonnie makes sure you can make fantastic meals and still enjoy the food and fun with everyone else. You'll want to use this book every day of the week.

Published by Random House of Canada, 2010, 320 pages, paperback

Bonnie Stern's Essentials of Home Cooking
Bonnie Stern's
Essentials of Home Cooking

Winner of the 2004 International Association of Culinary Professionals Award. A beautiful cookbook filled with Bonnie’s personal favourites - dishes that reflect the way we are cooking today.

Published by Random House of Canada, 2003, 208 pages, paperback

This wonderful compendium is a must for every kitchen featuring over 300 favourite recipes from the bestselling Simply HeartSmart Cooking, More HeartSmart Cooking and HeartSmart Cooking for Family and Friends, as well as 75 brand-new recipes to add to your HeartSmart repertoire. Many of the classic recipes have been fully updated to incorporate current food trends and new nutritional information.

Published by Random House of Canada, 2006, 480 pages, paperback.

Cuisiner au goût du cœur
Cuisiner au gout du coeur
Published by Trecarre, 2006, 512 pages

A very special collection of over 150 mouth-watering recipes including soups, spreads, salads, hors d'oeuvre, pastas and much more. Complete with presentation, entertaining, menu planning tips and over 50 detailed illustrations.

Published by Random House of Canada, 1990, 176 pages, paperback

Over 120 recipes for decadent cakes, pies and pastries, scrumptious cookies, creamy mousses and ice creams – A collection of recipes from a master that stand the test, and tastes, of time.

Also provided are elegant decorating tips, helpful information on equipment and ingredients, and black-and-white illustrations throughout demonstrating basic techniques that will make these recipes absolutely no-fail.

Published by Random House Canada, 1998, 214 pages, paperback

News And Events
TUESDAY MAY 10, 2016
PONGAPALOOZASPiN Toronto will once again host a night of epic ping pong in support of First Book Canada where thirty-six teams of four will battle it out for the 2016 Scotiabank Pongapalooza Cup.

Join in the fun where guests can win prizes, play some recreational ping pong, taste SPiN’s amazing hors d’oeuvres and cool off with a cocktail.

The 2015 event, sponsored by Scotiabank, raised over $30,000 helping First Book Canada give away more than 1,000,000 new books to children in need across the country. Help reach thousands of Canadian children who want to experience the joy of reading and owning their very own first book.

For information on team registration and spectator tickets click: Pongapalooza

WEDNESDAYS: MAY 18, JUNE 8 & 29, 2016
FOOD ON FILMThis is the fifth year Food on Film brings together chefs, food experts and film lovers to enjoy the best in culinary cinema and conversation. I saw the first three films and enjoyed them all. The films, the host and guests were all amazing. Don't miss the rest of the series.

For more information click Food on Film

AMBITION NUTRITION SYMPOSIUMJoin academic professionals, dietitians, culinary experts, and industry leaders for an interactive day filled with discussions, workshops and presentations. This symposium will focus on nutrition in theory and practice, examining the gaps and opportunities that exist between research, education, nutrition, diet, and culinary arts.

For more information click:
Ambition Nutrition Symposium

MONDAY MAY 30, 2016
FOOD & BEERUp Close & Personal with Daniel Burns & Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergso celebrating their new book Food & Beer. Admission includes the new book Food & Beer (retail value $60). A reception and book signing will follow the conversation and Q&A.

Chef Daniel Burns, owner of the Brooklyn restaurant Luksus - the only Michelin-starred restaurant in the world to exclusively pair its dishes with beer will be joined by co-author Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø, the gypsy brewer behind Brooklyn's Evil Twin Brewing and the beer bar Torst. The discussion will be led by Joshua David Stein, restaurant critic for the New York Observer.

For more information click: Food & Beer

A TASTE OF HOME EVENINGTop chefs from across Toronto will come together for a unique fundraising event, A Taste of Home Evening – Recipes My Mother Taught Me, in support of Child Development Institute’s Taste of Home program, an after-school cooking program for children living in shelters. Bonnie Stern will return as host.

For more information click A Taste of Home Evening

LINDA’S COUNTRY KITCHENBonnie will be teaching two cooking classes at Linda’s Country Kitchen in Baltimore, north of Cobourg, Ontario.
SUNDAY JUNE 12, 2016
TORONTO TASTEThis legendary culinary event turns 26!

Savour scrumptious dishes from 50 top chefs, a startling array of beverages and breathtaking lakeside views. Best of all, you’ll enjoy the satisfaction of helping those in need by supporting Second Harvest’s food rescue program.

Each ticket purchased enables Second Harvest to rescue and deliver food for 500 meals. To-date, Toronto Taste has raised more than $10,300,000 for Second Harvest.

For more information click: Toronto Taste 2016


Restaurant Recommendations and More
69 Yorkville Avenue
416 923 3323
Still one of our favourite dim sum places in Toronto. The location is great and so is the food.
The Queen and Beaver Public House
35 Elm Street
647 347 2712
When Helen Simonson came to Bonnie’s book club for her new book Before the War, which takes place in Britain, we decided that London’s popular restaurant meal ‘Sunday Roast’ would fit the bill perfectly. Even though it took place on a Monday night, the Queen and Beaver, one of Toronto’s best pubs, cooked their special Sunday Roast for us and it was fantastic. We’ll be back on a Sunday.
Jamie's Italian Yorkdale
3401 Dufferin Street #20
416 238 7450


Pretty good for a restaurant in a mall but it’s hard to compete with Toronto’s great Italian restaurants. If you are at Yorkdale shopping or going to a film – it’s worth a try.
Honest Weight
2766 Dundas Street West
416 604 9992
I love this fish store/restaurant where you can choose your own fish. The fish was delicious, the service was friendly and warm, the place was cute - but go on off times as it is tiny and there’s no reservations. Oh and be sure to have dessert - the pudding chomeur was incredible!
Treadwell Farm To Table Cuisine
114 Queen Street
This is one of my favourite places in the Niagara area. The food is so delicious, the service is so professional and I love the bistro vibe. If any of these are on the menu when you go, don’t miss the cauliflower and truffle soup, tuna tartare, gnocchi with wild mushrooms, confit leg of lamb, Indian spiced halibut, chicken with duck fat potatoes and carrot cake!
Moderate to Expensive
Featured Recipes
  • 2 lbs beets (preferably a combination of red and golden)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 cups arugula or other greens
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 8 oz thinly sliced smoked salmon

  • dressing:
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup unflavoured yogurt
  • 2 tbsp grated horseradish (freshly grated or bottled white horseradish)
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh dill
  • ROASTED BEET AND SMOKED SALMON SALAD WITH HORSERADISH MAYOThis is a gorgeous and delicious spring salad. The horseradish gives the dressing a kick!


    1. Wash beets well and peel only if necessary. Trim ends and carefully slice into 1/4" rounds. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast in preheated 400F oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until tender.

    2. Bring a medium sized saucepan of water to the boil. Add 1 tbsp salt. Lower eggs into the water. Bring back to the boil. Cover and remove from heat. Let sit 10 minutes. Drain and cover with cold water. Crack shells gently and return eggs to cold water. Peel eggs. Cut into quarters.

    3. Prepare dressing by whisking mayonnaise with yogurt, horseradish and Worcestershire sauce.

    4. Arrange arugula over the bottom of a shallow serving bowl or individual salad bowls. Top with beet slices and eggs. Halve avocado, peel and slice into wedges and arrange on salad and add smoked salmon. Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with dill.

    serves 4 to 6

  • 3 each red and golden beets
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 oranges, combination of cara cara, navel and blood, peeled and cut into rounds
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 4 cups arugula or baby Romaine

  • dressing:
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil or more to taste
  • ROASTED BEET, ORANGE AND POMEGRANTE SALADThis is another stunning salad. Leftovers taste great marinated in the dressing (discard the greens!).

    The easiest way to get the seeds from a pomegranate:
    Cut the pomegranate around the equator just through the skin. Gently pry open. Hold one half, cut side down in your hand with fingers spread open. Holding your hand with the pomegranate over a large bowl, hit the skin side firmly with the back of a wood spoon letting all the seeds fall into the bowl through your fingers.

    To peel oranges and grapefruit for salads, cut off the top and bottom and hold securely on one of the flat ends on a cutting board. Cut skin off from top to bottom, removing the skin and pith, following the curves of the fruit.


    1. Scrub beets, trims ends, slice and toss with olive oil and salt. Arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast in a preheated 400F oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until tender.

    2. Spread greens over a serving platter. Arrange beets and oranges on top. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.

    3. Combine pomegranate molasses, lemon juice and honey with salt and pepper. Whisk in olive oil. Drizzle on salad before serving.

    makes 6 servings

  • 1 bunch red beets (or 1 1/2 lbs beets)
  • 1 bunch golden/yellow beets (or 1 1/2 lbs beets)
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • ROASTED BEETS - BASICFor the last few years I have been roasting beets wrapped in foil. Good tasting and brightly coloured but when they are roasted like this they have so much more flavour. (Be careful slicing raw beets as they are sometimes very hard and roll around a bit.)


    1. Trim beets reserving stems. Scrub well. Carefully slice into rounds about  1/4" thick. Place in a large bowl and toss with olive oil, salt and thyme.

    2. Arrange beets in a single layer on rimmed baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Roast in a preheated 400F oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until tender.

    Note: if you have stems and beet greens, chop the stems and greens separately. Heat 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil in a saute pan and add stems. Add 1 clove finely chopped garlic and 1/2 tsp kosher salt. Cook gently about 5 minutes and add greens. Cook another 5 minutes until wilted. Use as an omelet filling, rice bowl, in tacos etc.

    makes 6 to 8 servings

  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless ribeye, sirloin or flank steak, about 1" thick
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp dark toasted sesame oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced (pressed or grated)
  • 1/2 tsp gochujang (Korean hot chile paste) or sriracha, or more to taste
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 4 green onions, cut into 1" pieces on the diagonal
  • 1 to 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • BULGOGI (KOREAN STYLE STEAK)Bulgogi is one of the most popular and delicious Korean dishes.  It is a great way to enjoy steak because when it’s cut into strips, a little goes far – better for your health and budget. If you are using flank steak be sure to slice it across the grain. Serve bulgogi with steamed rice and vegetables or in a taco with kimchi.

    Note: Steak slices can also be grilled on a barbecue. Grill whole green onions and combine with grilled steak slices.


    1. Cut steak crosswise into 1/4” thick strips.

    2. In a medium sized mixing bowl combine soy sauce with sugar, sesame oil, garlic and hot sauce. Add steak strips and toss well.  Cover and marinate 1/2 hour at room temperature or longer in the refrigerator.

    3. Remove steak from marinade and drain well.

    4. Heat a large heavy skillet and brush with oil. Cook steak in 3 batches about one minute per side. Do not overcrowd the pan – you want the strips  to brown well but do not overcook. Return all meat to the pan with the green onions and cook 30 to 60 seconds longer.

    5. Place in a serving dish. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

    makes 4 to 5 servings

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp harissa or other hot sauce (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 lb ground lamb or beef
  • 1/2 cup small black, green or red lentils, rinsed
  • 1 796mL tin plum tomatoes, broken up with juices
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • tahini sauce:
  • 3 tbsp raw tahini
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt or more to taste
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced or grated
  • 1/4 cup ice water
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • MIDDLE EASTERN LAMB AND LENTIL CHILI WITH TAHINI SAUCELentils replace half the meat in this chili. You can use green or red lentils – black and green ones hold their shape when cooked and red lentils will dissolve into the sauce. Serve over rice or couscous or use in tacos with chopped cherry tomatoes, diced cucumbers and the tahini sauce.


    1. Heat oil in a deep skillet. Add onions and garlic and cook gently a few minutes until tender. Add cumin and paprika and cook about 20 seconds. Add hot sauce and ground meat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Cook a few minutes until meat loses its raw appearance.

    2. Stir in lentils. Add tomatoes and bring to a boil. Add 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Reduce heat and cook gently approximately 30 minutes until lentils are very tender. Stir occasionally and if mixture starts to stick or thicken too much add water. Taste and adjust seasoning.

    3. Meanwhile whisk tahini with lemon juice and salt. Do not worry if mixture stiffens. Stir in ice water until smooth.

    4. Serve chili over rice or couscous. Drizzle tahini over chili. Sprinkle with cilantro.

    makes 4 servings

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (or half whole wheat flour)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups buttermilk*
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted, optional
  • 2 bananas (preferably very ripe), mashed
  • 2/3 cup raw tahini
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 cups coconut or vanilla ice cream
  • 2 bananas, sliced

  • chocolate sauce:
  • 4 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/3 cup raw tahini
  • TAHINI BANANA PANCAKES WITH COCONUT ICE CREAM, BANANAS AND TAHINI CHOCOLATE SAUCETahini (sesame seed paste, also called tahina) is delicious and healthful. Top with crumbled halva (tahini fudge is the best way to describe halva) if you wish.

    *Note: Buttermilk is a naturally low fat milk and great in baking and pancakes. You can use sour milk instead of buttermilk - put 2 1/2 tbsp plain vinegar or lemon juice in a 4 cup measure, add 2 1/3 cups regular 1% or 2% milk. Let sit about 10 minutes. (It may separate a bit.)


    1. Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl.

    2. In another bowl beat eggs with buttermilk. Add melted butter, mashed bananas, tahini and maple syrup.

    3. Combine wet and dry ingredients just until you have a lumpy batter.

    4. Brush a large non-stick skillet with extra butter (or olive oil). Use 1/4 cup batter for each pancake. Cook on medium heat until surface loses its shine and holes appear in the top. Flip and cook second side - about 5 to 6 minutes in total.

    5. Melt chocolate in the microwave on medium heat about 2 minutes checking every 30 seconds. Stir to finish melting. Stir in tahini until smooth. Sauce will firm up when cold - warm to serve.

    6. Layer 2 or 3 pancakes with scoops of ice cream and sliced bananas. Drizzle with sauce.

    makes 4 to 6 servings

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