Viktualienmarkt – Munich, Germany

October 24, 2013 § Leave a comment

olives munich

On my first day in Munich, Germany, I went straight to the famous Viktualienmarkt. It is like a farmers market but even better. They have the most amazing food to eat there and many cafes are in the market. I tried a few things and started with my favourite, olives. These olives were marinated with everything that you could imagine, herbs, cheese, citrus, garlic and much more. I got the most popular flavour which was herbs and spices and also tried the citrus and cheese olives.

deli munich

I bought a few items from this adjoining deli as well. I tried feta that was wrapped with thinly roasted eggplant, dried apricot that was stuffed with cream cheese and figs stuffed with cheese. I also got a cold lima bean salad that was in a tangy tomato sauce.

exotic foods munich

There are tonnes of stalls selling the most beautiful exotic fruit and vegetables that were all mini in size. I did not buy anything but was amazed at the selection.

ornaments munich

These were also popular at the market. It seems the Germans are always ready for Christmas and these ornaments were on sale at the market in September.

Turkish Street Food

October 24, 2013 § Leave a comment


Istanbul is full of street food and their food is similar to Greece. These bakery carts are all over and sell a round bagel like bread that is very airy. They are plain tasting but easy to get everywhere and cost twenty five cents.

roasted corn

Roasted corn is also everywhere and very cheap from fifty to seventy five cents. When I asked this man if I could take his photo, he insisted that I be in it.


This has got to be the coolest street food. You pick your flavours and they roll up the candy on a stick right in front of you.

Saya’s Harusame Salad

September 4, 2013 § Leave a comment


Harusame is a transparent noodle made from either potato or mung bean starch. It has texture and requires a good chew. This salad is very light and refreshing and easy to pack for lunch.

harusame noodles
sliced zucchini
sliced yellow pepper
sesame oil
soya sauce
white rice vinegar
slices of dried chill
sesame seeds

Place the ingredients in a bowl and toss.

Matchstick Coffee Shop

July 3, 2012 § Leave a comment

This morning I met a friend at one of my favourite coffee shops, Matchstick on East 15th Avenue at Fraser Street and Kingsway. Matchstick Coffee shop serves single origin coffees and if you are a coffee snob like me, you will thoroughly enjoy their americanos. For those of you who like drip coffee, you will love their pour-over selection of beans that are freshly ground and brewed per cup.

An hourglass shaped carafe sits on a digital scale and near the top rests a stainless steel filter which does not impart taste from previous use. The coffee is ground fresh when you order a cup and is place in the filter. They measure the amount of water used by weight and set  a timer to the brewing time. The result is a beautiful cup of drip coffee. In general the pour-over coffees taste, light and clean and this style of brewing allows the characters of the coffee to shine on the palate.

Matchstick is also known for their pastries which are baked on site and my favourites being their muffins and croissants. This morning I tried their banana coconut muffin which was delicious and not too sweet. I love everything coconut and the flavours of the banana and coconut complimented each other beautifully. Their almond croissants are to die for and probably the best that I’ve tried.

For an americano and muffin, I paid $6.50 with tip. Matchstick is located on 639 E 15 Avenue in Vancouver, BC. They are open from  7 am – 6 pm, every day.

Spring Photography

May 2, 2012 § Leave a comment

It’s May and I have another giveaway. This time it is for 5 photography art cards by Yolande Morin. To enter the draw all you need to do is follow Coriander Kitchen by email or like the Facebook Page. For two chances to win, do both. The winner will be contacted by email and to collect the prize, you must be able to visit Yolande Morin’s studio from May 19-21, 2012. Congratulations to Cera Ziegler who won the photography art cards. Please note that this contest is now closed.

Photography is a passion of mine and I love to photograph food. When I shop at the farmers’ market, I have my eco grocery bag over one shoulder and my camera hangs around my neck.  I walk through the crowded stalls as I shop for my groceries for the week. I squeeze past individuals riffling through fresh produce as I keep an eye out for food to photograph. When I find something that catches my eye, I try to get the shot as fast as I can without getting in the way.

Now that it is spring, I love to wander into my neighbours’ yards and capture the beauty of flowers. My neighbour Yolande Morin is well-known for her garden and even better known for her photography greeting cards that she sells around Vancouver at Choices Market on 16th Avenue and Banyen Books. Morin is among the few photographers who have not switched over to digital and she still uses 35mm film. She loves to take photos of her garden foremost and has a large collection of photos that she took in France, the Galapagos Islands and of other places that she has travelled.

Morin recently had the privilege of photographing the National Ballet of Cuba while they visited Vancouver in February. Morin will be showing a triptych of these photos at the Artists in our Midst Roundhouse Exhibit (181 Roundhouse Mews) on May 16, 2012 from 7-10pm. Artists in our Midst is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year and on the weekend of May 19-21, 2012, you can browse through 36 artist-created galleries and venues on the west side of Vancouver. For more information about Artists in our Midst and the artists featured visit

a photo that I took in Yolande Morin’s garden

Vegan Makeup: Cruelty Free Beauty

April 11, 2012 § 1 Comment

I am proud to present a free giveaway from Arbonne, certified vegan cosmetics, for a lucky reader. The prize package includes a free waterproof mascara ($35 value) and a 20 minute skin care consultation and make up demo with independent consultant Pola Schacter. To enter, all you need to do is follow my blog by email or like the Coriander Kitchen Facebook Page. For two chances to win, follow both. The winner will be contacted by Pola and the prize will be delivered in person in Vancouver, Canada. Congratulations to Ishi Dinim who won this prize. This contest is now closed.

When I was 14 years old, I remember walking home from high school with a friend who had recently become a vegetarian and the topic of make up and animal testing came up. It was the first time that I had explicitly heard of what happens to the animals that are used for the testings. I was very shocked and it was a defining moment in what propelled me to live a vegetarian lifestyle.

Vegan make up has come a long way since I first came became a vegetarian 20 years ago, though you still won’t find any at the drugstore. In general most drug store brands do contain animal products including those that say “animal cruelty free “or “not tested on animals”. A common animal product is carmine, red colouring which is made from female cochineal insects and found in lipstick.

One good place to buy natural vegan make up is at health foods stores. The bigger ones like Choices and Whole Foods Market, carry three to four cosmetic lines per store and vary depending on which location you visit. I like to ask questions about the products in the store and then research them later on the internet. On a few occasions when purchasing vegan products, I have been misled by the salesperson only to find out later that the product was not vegan. Two good resources for researching ingredients is on  PETA’s animal ingredients list and

Another good place to buy plant-based and mineral derived cosmetics is from Aveda, which is inspired by Ayurveda, the Indian holistic science of healing. They sell their products in boutique stores and are a leader in green cosmetics. I like to support companies that are committed to the environment like Aveda who uses sustainable packaging and creatively uses flax in their make up brushes.

For personalized one-on-one service try Arbonne, a Swiss formulated vegan certified cosmetic line,  which is available through one of their independent consultants like Pola Schacter. They are also environmentally conscious and their botanically based products are clinically tested on people. They have a comprehensive colour spectrum, which is great for people with olive or dark complexions and hard to match skin tones. Their products are available for sale through consultant’s websites and can be conveniently shipped straight to your door. As you can see, there are many options available for cruelty free beauty.

Rainbow Swiss Chard Pie

October 5, 2011 § 1 Comment

My daughter loves Greek food, and has since the age of two. For years her family birthday celebration was held at her favourite Greek restaurant. Everyone found it intriguing that a young girl of Indian descent would have such an appreciation for Greek food .We would joke that she must have been Greek in a past life.  To this day she argues that feta is a legitimate snack.  

After some coaxing, my daughter convinced me to make homemade spanokopita. I was surprised at how simple the ingredients are and that spanokopita is fairly easy to make. I decided to try substituting the spinach for rainbow swiss chard which is how I came up with this recipe. Swiss chard is much firmer than spinach and contains less water which makes it easier to roll.

Swiss chard is a part of the chenopod group of vegetables along with spinach and beets.  Chard has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits and the phytonutrients in chard help regulate the body’s blood sugar levels. Surprisingly, one cup of cooked chard contains 3.5 grams of protein.

Cooking time 75 minutes
prep time 45 minutes
bake time 30 minutes
Makes 6 pies
Oven temp 375 F

1 1/2 tbsp (25 ml) olive oil
1/2 cup (125 ml) diced onions
7 cups (1.75 L) rainbow swiss chard
1/4 tsp (1 ml) sea salt
1/4 (65 ml) cup chopped dill with stems removed
1 cup (250 ml) crumbled feta cheese
1 cup (250 ml) ricotta cheese

250 grams (1/2 pound) phyllo pastry
1/4 cup (65 ml) olive oil or butter for basting

1. Cut the stems off swiss chard and slice into 1/8 ” pieces and place into a bowl and set aside. Cut the swiss chard leave into 1 inch pieces and set aside.

2. Heat a medium-sized saucepan on medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and onions. Cook until the onions are transparent about 1-2 mins. Add the chard stems and cook for 3-5 mins until tender.

3. Add the chard leaves and cook covered for about 2-3 minutes until chard wilts.

4.Uncover and cook for another 5-8 minutes until the chard is thoroughly cooked and most of the moisture evaporates.

5. Add salt, turn off heat, add dill and stir.

6. Transfer the chard into a small bowl and allow to cool.

7. Add ricotta and feta cheese to the swiss  chard and mix together.

8. Gently unroll the phyllo pastry and place on a flat cutting board or baking sheet. Cover with a clean tea towel to prevent drying.

9. Take two layers of phyllo and place on  flat surface. Take 3 heaping tbsp of filling and place near one corner of the phyllo.

10. Slip your hand under the phyllo and gently fold over and tuck in the corner.

11. Fold again.

12. Fold in left side.

13. Roll forward.

14. Tuck right side in.

15. Roll forward and tuck in the ends.

16. Place upside down on a baking sheet and brush with oil or butter, applying extra to folded pastry. Turn over and do the same on the other side.

17. Bake in the oven at 375 F for 30 minutes or until the pastry becomes flaky and golden.

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