Posts in Sauces
Kale & Barbecue Corn Bowl With Chili Lime Dressing
Corn, Kale & Cuke Salad with Chili Lime Sauce - The Nomadic Wife-7652.jpg



Corn Boils

Back in Quebec, where I grew up, we would have block parties where corn would get bought, husked and boiled al fresco. I distinctively remember an evening in my early teens. I was at my aunt's place. The humidity of summer was at it's peek and a sheen of sweat covered everyone.

We stepped out into her backyard, where friends and neighbors had assembled. There were strings of holiday lights hung up and picnic tables covered with homemade dishes in every color and style. There was also an abundance of sweet treats that the neighborhood conspired to get their sticky fingers into. They would then run off and hide under the tables to relish their stolen delights.

At the center of all of this laughter and companionship was corn. That was what brought us together under the summer moon. Fresh sweet corn is delicious in all its forms. You can eat it raw, boil it or grill it.

Leftovers can be frozen, canned or included in all matter of dishes like this one.

Corn, Kale & Cuke Salad with Chili Lime Sauce - The Nomadic Wife-7662.jpg


per person

3 stocks curly kale
1 ear of corn
2-3 small cucumbers
1/4 C pumpkin seeds
1/4 C black or white sesame

For sauce

1/2 C mayonnaise
2 T grainy mustard
1 t smoked paprika
1 t chili powder
1 t turmeric
2 T lime juice
1/2 t salt

10 min PREP 

  1. I use leftover grilled corn for this recipe but if you want to make it from raw you can follow the instructions here.

  2. Remove the kernels from the corn using a knife or a fork, then place in a large bowl with cut kale + cucumbers.

  3. Mix the sauce, then top with seeds and serve.


more corn recipes

Bounty Bowls With Minty Labneh Sauce
Bounty Bowl with Minty Labneh Sauce - The Nomadic Wife



Labneh Tzatziki Sauce

This sauce recipe was created to become a staple in your kitchen. It can be served alongside cut vegetables as a quick snack, in a cold or warm bowl or as a garnish on top of your favorite soup.

Like I mention in this post, it's all about the dressing when it comes to bowls, so I figured I'd let you in on some of my favorites.

The goal with these (and every recipe created in The Nomadic Wife kitchen) is “do this easy thing & call it good”. Don’t strive for perfection. Use it as a tool. Most of all, show yourself a little grace and allow yourself the space to make it your own.

I also use a similar sauce in this recipe, as a salad dressing with broccoli and carrots or in this recipe as the dressing in yummy chickpea gyros on naan bread.

Bounty Bowls / Veggie Bowls

I can talk about eating bowls until I'm blue in the face (as you may have noticed). Truth is you can really throw in anything you like. Right now there are a lot of veggies available in your CSA bounty, so don't be afraid to mix it up.

Try a version with mostly greens. Try one with all your veggies raw or all your veggies cooked. Go nuts!

Bounty Bowl with Minty Labneh Sauce - The Nomadic Wife
Bounty Bowl with Minty Labneh Sauce - The Nomadic Wife


Serves 2-4

1 C labneh
2 T fresh mint
2 T fresh dill
1 large clove garlic
2 t Himalayan salt

10 min PREP 

  1. Chop your herbs and use a microplane or the small side on the box grater to grate the garlic

  2. Mix in with strained yogurt (labneh) * see pro tip below

  3. Let sit for a few minutes and salt to taste


Pro tip:

Don't have labneh? No problem, place 1.5 C plain yogourt in a paper coffee filter and let the water drain out into a bowl. Labneh is basically drained yogourt with a little salt!

more yogourt/labneh recipes

Fettuccine Alfredo a la Thomas - with broccoli and summer peas
MEL × RIVERBEND: Fettuccine alfredo with broccoli and summer peas - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens



“This is the kind of recipe you serve your mother-in-law if you want her to roll out of your house when she leaves.” - Thomas

I do most of the cooking in our house, but Tom has a handful of sensational recipes that he keeps in his back pocket for the days where I really can’t be bothered to cook (or the ones where he feels like treating me to a sprinkle of his culinary genius).

Tom has been making this particular pasta recipe for as long as I’ve known him, and it’s still part of our special occasions rotation today. I’ll be frank in saying it’s definitely not something that makes it to our table more than a two or three times a year, as it truly is an indulgent dish.

A friend told me that Alfredo sauce is completely absent in Italy. So, there’s no real saying where this is from. I can tell you however that Alfredo pasta is quite popular in Quebec. Most of us have, at some time or other, had some form of it from a glass jar or a simply-add-milk type of pouch.

This alfredo sauce recipe is neither here nor there.

While it is made from very few ingredients, don’t be fooled by its simplicity. When combined, these ingredients sing each other’s praises and make for a dish worthy of a queen. It’s very creamy, perfectly umami and a touch on the salty side. One must approach it with a certain sense of epicurean greed and appreciate that your tablemates may not want to share their bowls as they relish in every bite.

MEL × RIVERBEND: Fettuccine alfredo with broccoli and summer peas - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens
MEL × RIVERBEND: Fettuccine alfredo with broccoli and summer peas - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens

Gratitude for the hands that cook

This recipe always floods me with gratitude towards Tom and the time he takes to cook for me. Especially at the height of summer when it is his busiest season. I feel like it's one of the gifts of life that keeps on giving. This seemingly simple act of kindness fills my cup in more ways than I can explain.

It has me reaching for the quote on my desk (sent to me by a friend & pen pal) which you can see in the photos. It reads:

“I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. It is surprising how contented one can be with nothing definite, only a sense of existence. My breath is sweet to me. O how I laugh when I think of my vague, indefinite riches. No run on my bank can drain it, for my wealth is not possession but enjoyment.” - Henry David Thoreau

MEL × RIVERBEND: Fettuccine alfredo with broccoli and summer peas - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens
MEL × RIVERBEND: Fettuccine alfredo with broccoli and summer peas - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens


Serves 6-8

¼ lb salted butter
473 ml heavy cream (35% or more)
250 g parmesan

1 package fettuccine


16 large raw shrimps

1 C freshly shelled peas
2 C broccoli florets

* the three cups of veg can be swapped out for greens like kale, spinach or collards

10 min PREP + 20 cook

  1. Place a large pot of salted water to boil.

  2. Add butter over medium heat to a pan large enough to accommodate all of the ingredients.

  3. Place pasta in the water and cook until al dente (usually a few minutes less than the package indicates) then drain.

    • keep a little bit of the cooking water in case your sauce doesn't thicken to your liking

  4. Once butter is melted, add cream.

  5. Once cream has begun to simmer, reduce heat to medium-low and incorporate Parmesan a little at a time

  6. When the Parmesan is completely incorporated, add the shrimp and veggies.

    • If the sauce is still very liquid, add the pasta water.

  7. The minute the shrimp turn fully pink, add the drained pasta, toss well and serve immediately.


Pro tip:

  1. Keep an eye on the butter as it’s melting and don’t let it brown. Add the cream in as soon as your butter is fully melted.

  2. Keep a bit (2-3 T) of pasta water in case your sauce doesn’t thicken enough, the starch will help it thicken.

more Broccoli recipes

Fennel Fronds + Herbs Yogourt
Fennel Fronds + Herbs Yogourt - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens



I could basically survive off of bread and cheese ( or some other form of wheat and dairy combination ) but we all know that’s rather unsustainable and can quickly become quite boring. Well, that is, if you’re only exploring the basics. Thankfully this recipe is quite a few steps beyond good old cheddar on crackers, but it remains in the same realm of quick, satisfying and delightful.

You can have this herbed yogourt + crackers on its own, but also keep it in your arsenal for the next time you have friends over. This recipe would make a great addition to a charcuterie board or as part of a tapas spread. Also, given that they have a similar acidity to plain yogourt, you could easily experiment with goat cheese or labneh for the base of this recipe if you’re craving something a little bit more spreadable.

Fennel Fronds + Herbs Yogourt - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens
Fennel Fronds + Herbs Yogourt - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens

A little bit about fennel

Fennel is one of those vegetables that people seem to either love or hate. The bulb has a slight anise-like flavor which I personally find quite refreshing when it’s eaten shaved and raw. It becomes milder as it cooks, so if you’re on the fence about trying fennel, I’d say start with a recipe where it’s cooked like this one or this one.

The fronds on the other hand can be quite stringy and tough, like a celery stick but denser, so I prefer cutting it against the grain whenever possible. The wispy fronds also hold a bit of licorice-like flavor, but in a somewhat subdued form which is perfect for today’s recipe.

Fennel Fronds + Herbs Yogourt - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens



1 C fennel fronds, minced
6-8 large basil leaves
10-12 mint leaves
Small bunch of parsley
½-¾ C plain yogourt

30 ROAST + 10 min PREP

  1. Cut all your herbs, place them in a bowl

  2. Mix in yogourt + a good pinch of salt

  3. Cover and let sit in the fridge at least 15 minutes.

  4. Taste and adjust salt before serving with your favorite crackers or as part of a charcuterie board

more fennel recipes

Kohlrabi, kale & carrot summer bowl
kohlrabi, kale & carrot summer bowl - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens

RECIPE Sponsored by riverbend Gardens


Bowls are quite fashionable right now. If you look at any foodie’s Instagram feed long enough (mine included) you will begin to see little pops of bowls everywhere. Breakfast bowls. Lunch bowls. Dinner bowls. Poke bowls. Bowls bowls bowls.

So, why am I trying to get you on the bus with me on this one? So we can be fashionable friends together? While that seems like an alluring proposition, and I’m all for fashionable friends, there’s more to it than that. Bowls to me are an easy way to get a variety of foods onto the table with very little effort. Laziness, my friend, is at the root of this one. You can call it strategic or even cleaver, but between you and I, I don’t have a million hours a week to put food on the table (and neither do you I assume). I’m also not willing to compromise on a simple principle. I want fresh food fast, not fast food.

kohlrabi, kale & carrot summer bowl - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens
kohlrabi, kale & carrot summer bowl - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens

How to build a bowl

My approach to bowls is a simple one. Start with what’s available right now. Sure we can get whatever we want from big box stores (or small local grocers) these days, but I like to start at the farmer’s market and look around to what’s available. Right now, there’s a myriad of produce available, because it’s the end of july, so you can easily pick a handful of produce that inspires you.

I try to aim for at least one green thing and then I add as many colors as I can.

From there I make sure there is a good source of protein & some fat so that I’m not hungry 5 minutes after I’m done eating. That could mean cheese, eggs, beans or leftovers from last night’s rotisserie chicken. Easy enough right?

It’s all in the dressing

One of the key ways to make a bowl taste divine, is to make sure that you have a tasty dressing. I suggest keeping on hand a couple of dressings (perhaps one oil-and-vinegar and one creamy style) that you really enjoy to make bowl making a breeze.

For this particular bowl I went with an Asian-inspired dressing made from sesame oil, tamari, and rice vinegar. it's one of the combinations that you find often in my cuisine (it’s the base for my ginger beef and sunomono salad) and it has all of the flavors that I enjoy. It's slightly salty, perfectly acidic and a good amount of umami.

kohlrabi, kale & carrot summer bowl - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens
kohlrabi, kale & carrot summer bowl - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens


MAKES 2 bowls

2 eggs
2 medium carrots
1 baseball size kholrabi
1 bunch kale
3-4 garlic scapes
(or garlic cloves)
2 t butter
1 t sesame oil
1 t toasted sesame seeds
1 t black sesame seeds


1/2 C labneh
1 T fresh mint, chopped
1 T fresh dill, chopped
1 small clove garlic, grated
1 t himalayan salt
1 T avocado oil

15 min PREP

  1. Remove greens from kohlrabi and chop them in ribbons along with the kale (stems included)

  2. In a pan over medium heat, add half the butter.

  3. Chop the garlic scapes, add them to the pan. Stir until the scapes becomes fragrant.

  4. Then add the greens & 1 t sesame oil, stir and remove from heat.

  5. Peel and julienne the kohlrabi. Grate the carrots and place both in your bowls.

  6. Give one last stir to the greens and remove them from the pan into the bowls.

  7. Add the remaining butter and fry your egg to your desired doneness (scrambled worked well too).

  8. Mix the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl with a fork, then drizzle over your bowl.

  9. Top with egg & sesame seeds and enjoy!

more kohlrabi recipes

Roasted Beet + Berry Hummus
beet and haskap hummus - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens



The first time I had homemade hummus was in Montreal, standing in a friend’s kitchen as his mother began preparing the evening meal.

It was one of the first times in my life that I had experienced family life in a multi-generational home. There was tension, for sure, as everyone was grown up, had their own opinions and schedules. Yet, among all of these fine lines that needn't be crossed and unspoken rules, there was a sort of balance I had never felt before. A sense of deeply rooted belonging that permeated every word, every action and every dish.

Daily meals were prepared for twice as many people than there were sitting down at the table. It was understood and expected that a friend or family member might pop in, unannounced, to share the meal. There was always more than enough food to go around, and in the very unlikely occasion that food should run out, there was always a full pantry and capable hands ready to make more.

To me, this level of hospitality is heart expanding. It is one of the underlying notions of how I run my own kitchen today. In our home we jokingly say to our friends “It’s simple enough to add another stone to the soup. You are always welcome here”.

So, back to hummus.

Her’s was a traditional recipe, made of chickpeas, lemon, tahini & olive oil. She had been making this recipe long enough that her grandchildren, who were now adults were eating it. I couldn't help but think that part of the reason why her hummus was as bright as sunshine in the early morn', was that her hands were steeped in lemon from years and years of pressing.

haskap hummus - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens
beet hummus - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens

This recipe is something else altogether. While it still contains some of the soul and simplicity of the dip I tasted in my friend’s kitchen, it is vibrant in ways unrelated to the juice of those sun-kissed citruses. It celebrates the coming of summer with the season’s very first roasted beets and the end of the cold season with the last of their pickled companions.

The acidity comes from vinegar in the pickles and the color, oh the color, comes in part from the beets and in part from this little northern berry that ripens on the summer winds. Fresh haskap berries bring a lovely acidity of their own to the mix. Their flavor is akin to raspberry meets tart green apple, and they round out the earthiness of the beets just perfectly.

If you cannot find haskaps, don’t fret, this recipe will be delicious without them. But if you can find them fresh, add them in and you won’t be sorry.

beet hummus - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens



1 C cooked and drained chickpeas
½ C roasted beets
½ C pickled beets
½ haskap berries
2 T olive oil (more if needed
½ t salt

30 ROAST + 10 min PREP

  1. Remove greens from 4-5 small beets if there are any.

  2. Place on a baking tray at 400 for 30 minutes

  3. Once cooled add everything in a food processor & blend until smooth.

more beet recipes

The best carrot top sauce & dip you've ever had.
Carrot top pesto & summer dipping sauce



Putting carrot tops to good use can sometimes be a daunting task. They're a little grassy and quite frankly not to everyone's liking. I get it. I hear you.

However, I had this amazing experience recently that may lead you to believe that even the grassiest parts of the carrot can be transformed into something perfectly charming & utterly delicious.

Don't believe me? Read on.

Are carrot tops edible? Carrot top recipes.
How to eat carrot tops. Simple carrot top recipe.

Carrot top pesto for the win

Recently Tom took me out for date night at one of the city’s best restaurants. I won’t name names but they pride themselves in nose to tail & seasonal fare. They also host an on-farm dinner at Riverbend Gardens. The long and short of it is that, while we were there, we enjoyed a scrumptious six-course meal and one of these dishes featured a carrot top pesto.

It was divine. Truly. My mind was completely blown. It was complex, bright yet rich, vibrant and yet perfectly umami. So, of course, I had to run home and create something inspired by the experience of this dish.


Enter Riverbend Garden’s carrot tops, grana padano & toasted hemp seed dip.

Hemp heart pesto
carrot top pesto with grana padano and hemp hearts

One sauce, two ways.

There are two ways of using this recipe. One is hot and omits the mayonnaise. It's a little more earthy, but it rounds out a pasta dish beautifully. The second is cool and creamy. Using all the ingredients turns it into the perfect salad dressing or a crudité dip. 

Carrot top dip recipe for crudite

wheat free, meat free, egg free, soy free, vegetarian

makes 3 C of sauce

1 C finely chopped carrot tops
1 C hemp hearts
/4 C olive oil
3/4 C finely grated Grana Padano cheese
1/4 C mayonnaise
2 T or more apple cider vinegar

Salt to taste 

15 mins prep

Begin by chopping the carrot tops as small as you can with a knife (like the photo above). 
I break tops off the carrots and chop until I have a full cups worth of chopped greens.
Grab a small pan, place it over medium heat and add your hemp hearts.
Stir every minute or so until the hemp hearts begin to brown. 
Careful here as they go from gold to char rather quickly.
Place them in the bowl of your food processor to cool.
Grate your cheese (Pecorino or Parmegiano would do well here if you don't have Grana Padano on hand)
Add the cheese to the bowl of cooled hemp hearts a long with the chopped greens.
Blend on high until it forms a paste, then slowly add the oil & apple cider vinegar.

You can stop here if you want to use it as a pesto or add in the mayonnaise if you want a pasta salad/bowl sauce or dip.



Pesto of any kind can go bad in the fridge pretty quickly. To keep this from happening store pesto in a jar that has a narrow opening & doesn't house a lot of air. To keep the pesto from oxidizing inside the jar, pour a little olive oil to "seal it in".



Salsa Verde: A Green Tomato Salsa
We have, what seems like, a million unripe tomatoes in the garden. It’s a lot.

I read somewhere that when you farm you should grow what you love to eat. This way, you will always have produce that you enjoy and you will be able to make more loving & practical decisions towards your crops.

Makes sense. Sounds like a sane person said that... but what about the unripe produce? Is it still edible? What does it taste like?

We planted eighty or so tomato plants this season, and they all survived. They all bore fruit & they're all green. Yup. 

They never had a chance to ripen. Not enough heat I'm told, but now it's cold out. We covered the crops with row covers in hope to give them a few extra weeks to ripen. Who knows. Maybe it will be enough.

In the meantime, however, we have a large crop of green tomatoes. So what are we to do if they never ripen? Well. Salsa verde, to start.

I would consider it extremely wasteful to waste some perfectly good green tomato when loads of other people use them.

I really believe that one should use as much of the plant as possible, as often as possible and waste as little as possible. We are so wasteful as a people. It really pisses me off.

So in an effort to show you what I've been doing to act on what I preach. I will try to include notes in my future recipes about ways that I use the less common parts of the plants & veg we regularly consume. Sounds good? Awesome.


Makes 2 cups

2 small chipolini onions, peeled
12 unripe plum tomatoes
1 small cayenne pepper
4-6 cloves of garlic
2 limes, juiced
1 t olive oil
1 t salt
1 t paprika
1 t cumin


10 mins

All the veg goes into a pan on high with olive oil
Moving it around until all sides are blistered
Then transfer everything into a blender with lime juice, salt, paprika and cumin
Blend and serve right away or pack into mason jars


A few things to make your life simpler & less wasteful