Best damn burger in the Valley

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Need a killer Veggie Pate?

This dip is wonderful as a vegetable dip, serve with crackers or even as a sandwich spread. Delicious!

Toasted Walnut Pate

You will need:

1 hand full of fresh oregano
60g of Feta cheese
1 lemon
4 cloves of garlic (less is fine if you don’t want it too garlicky)
1.5c toasted walnuts
(to toast, put in a dry frying pan over low heat until you can smell them toasting. They burn easily so toss them intermittently).
1 can of tomato paste
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Pinch of salt
A hint of smoked paprika
Fresh pepper to taste.

In a food processor, toss in your garlic cloves and feta. Run until smooth. Add your toasted walnuts, then run the processor again. You will have a grainy paste after this. Take your fresh oregano and chop it slightly. Get rid of any stems or woody parts and throw it in with your can of tomato paste, apple cider vinegar,lemon juice, paprika, salt and pepper. Run one last time in the processor until you have a smooth paste.


Secrets that comfort on cold winter days

I am totally giving away my secrets with this one... well not really! This is the comfort of comfort food with a couple twists. I have made this in many ways, but this week? This is my fave!

My way Mac ‘n’ Cheese w/ Sesame Seeds

You will need:

Some fresh Thyme (chopped fine)
Some fresh or dried Marjoram (use oregano if you don’t have marjoram)
Whole wheat/kamut/spelt macaroni (the white just don’t cut it in my house)
1.5 cups Monterey Jack cheese (grated)
1c milk
1 tbsp whole wheat flour
1 tbsp of butter
1 small bunch of broccoli (stem and all)
1 chopped leek
1 lemon juiced
1/4c of sesame seeds
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.Boil water for pasta and add some salt to the water. Get out a sauce pan and place your butter in over medium heat. Soon as your butter melts, add your flour and cook the flour until all the butter is absorbed. Add you milk very slowly and heat through, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Add half your cheese, stir in with your leeks, salt and pepper to taste, then remove from heat. Chop up your broccoli into bite size chunks. Add your broccoli to your pasta water about 2 minutes before you strain your pasta. Just until it is nice and green. Don’t over cook your pasta because it still has a trip to the oven to make. Put your strained pasta and broccoli into your pot, pour your cheezy sauce over it all and toss until the sauce is covering every ounce of macaroni. Squeeze your lemon in there, chopped herbs, salt and pepper, then toss one last time. Sprinkle the top with sesame seeds and place the pot, with a lid, in the oven for 1/2 hour. Done!


**Tip** You can add any green, red, orange or blue veggie you want to this dish. If you don’t have sesame seeds? Go with sunflower seeds. Toast them a bit first to really bring out the flavor.

~Them naughty legumes.... ppp Peanuts~

I dunno about the rest of you... but I love Peanut butter!

I know I know peanuts are 'bad' and big, crappy false food companies use their 'no peanut' strategy to sell terrible, chemical laden food to honest folk! I am not of the mind to buy such things though... and if you have an allergy to peanuts, almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, or anything related to nuts... DON'T EAT IN MY KITCHEN.

I'm very sorry! I sympathize deeply with those that are allergic to nuts or peanuts!

I couldn't imagine my life without nuts/peanuts in it.

I have a few problems though with the mistreatment of peanuts. First of all, they are not nuts! They are legumes! Banning peanuts from schools is understandable if there deathly allergic kids. I understand that. But all nuts???? Man oh man! In this day and age where people are eating less and less meat, we have to look at this issue in a different way.

Anyways, on that note... here's how to make peanut butter!!!

2 cups of roasted peanuts
1 x food processor.

(no a blender will not work for this).

Put your peanuts in the food processor and turn it on!

Let the food processor run until you have the most perfect, amazing, wonderful, fresh peanut butter.

If you like your peanut butter a bit salty? Add some sea salt to it. If you like your peanut butter sweet, add a drizzle of maple syrup or honey and run the food processor until smooth. If you like chunky peanut butter, add some pre chopped peanuts at the end of this process and stir them in.
Place in jars and repeat.

Tips: Don't make more than 2 cups at a time otherwise the peanut butter doesn't come out smooth before your motor on your food processor gets over heated. Trust me... been there!

You don't have to use peanuts, you can use pecans or macadamia nuts too. These nuts are as high or higher in oils than peanuts so they work great!

If you want to make almond butter, follow the same instructions but you will need to add a drizzle of almond oil (or grape seed) to smooth it out while the food processor is running. Almonds don't have as much oil as peanuts.

***Note*** I buy raw peanuts cuz I'm spoiled. I then roast my own on a low temperature for a while to make them uber delish'us. I find peanuts that are pre roasted are full of unnecessary oils. Just a hint for those that are interested!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Me and my monkey talkin' about kitchen Multi tasking!

Sunday's are more often than not completely dedicated to cooking/baking/cleaning/prepping/saucing/dishing/drying/canning and MUZAK!

My kitchen is often a flurry of activity from mid morning till bedtime. I love to cook... but who has the time? Its dedicated, hard work to feed ourselves somewhat nutritionally all week on a budget! An organized pantry, fridge, freezer and spice rack, are extremely important when trying to kitchen multi task. So I dunno how the heck I pull it off every week, cuz none of things apply to my kitchen. My fridge is a precarious Jenga game of sequentially aging food like substances. But hey, I rotate and over the years I have systematically adapted my creative chaos to work for me.

Preparing food for ourselves is such a journey of trial and error. I am sure most people who love to cook won't tell you they were born with it. But they can tell you who taught them and what they loved about those peoples cooking.

In our family, the kitchen is the hub. In my grandma's kitchen, you often had 3 generations of family members cooking, prepping and laughing together. Now that tradition has passed to my mothers kitchen.

One of my fondest, child hood memories are the times Mom was away and Dad cooked. My Dad made the best homemade pizza ever.. and chili! My Mom hates beans, so the only time in my childhood I ate them was when Mom was away and Dad made chili.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Pumpin' Pumpkin Pipin' HaWt

Family Friday Nite!

Gotta make recipes for the radio that are pumpkin'lish'ious.

The adventures of 2 sugar pie pumpkins...

Quarter 2 sugar pie pumpkins, spread with a drizzle of olive oil, touch of sea salt and place upside down with a dose of h2o.

Pop in the oven @ 4oo degrees or so, until the flesh is mushy. Peel off the skin, when cooled, and set aside in a mixing bowl.

Wash and de'muck'ify your seeds. Wash 'em good (don't fret over a bit of pumpkin muck, your gonna dehydrate them anyways).
Let the seeds drip dry in a colander for a bit.

Place the seeds in a bowl, coat with a bit of olive oil, some chili powder, smoked paprika and a touch of sea salt. Coat 'em good and place on either your dehydrator screen evenly, or on a cookie sheet with parchment on it. Spread really nice and evenly. Place the seeds in the dehydrator and run for 8 hours or so on 115 degrees or so. In the oven, 200 degrees for about an hour or 2 maybe? Check it often.

Sunday Nite Potluck!

Pumpkin Walnut Artichoke Orzo

I haven’t used orzo too much. I know it makes a tasty greek pasta salad. But I needed to use pumpkin in something... this worked. I saw something similiar with squash... Pumpkins squash right?

1/2 sugar pie pumpkin roasted and diced
1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove of garlic diced
1/2 cup of chickpeas
1 cup chopped kale
1 med. grated carrot
1/2 cup shredded green cabbage
1 cup lightly toasted walnuts whole
1 cup feta cheese cubed
1 small jar of marinated artichokes, chopped (keep some of the oil)
1/4 red onion diced
A light sprinkle of chili powder
A squirt or two of white wine vinegar to taste
Fresh ground pepper & sea salt to taste

To cook your pasta, season the water (sea salt and olive oil) cook according to your personal pasta rules. Drain and set aside.

I pretty much chopped everything else up and lightly sauteed it with the vinegar, chili powder... while its hot, toss it in to your pasta, add the feta and walnuts...done. This way is hot... but its yummy cold too.

You can even add all your veggies raw to the hot pasta. Toss everything together, then once cooled, add your cheese.

More to come....Still got a whole pumpkin roasted that needs a life!

Not gonna lie? Might be pumpkin soup... Im thinkin' for the spice/curry fans... I feel something brewin' along that vein... Send ideas and Stay tuned!!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Pleasant plant pleasures Abroad?!... Well in Alberta*

This morning I had the pleasure of browsing the Downtown Edmonton Farmers Market. The last one of the season. Of course with this weekend bringing the promise of much anticipated stomach stretching, it was a busy, bustling hub of delicate masses of food.

But nothing stood out quite as much (to me!) as the abundance of beautiful vegetables. I love visiting other towns and cities during harvest season, because you see what grows where and why we grow what we do at home. The growing season this year in Alberta was a bit....wet! Alberta (or some parts of it) have experienced an drought for the past 3 years. Until this summer!! It rained and rained and rained... leaving many gardens muddy and cold.

Some of the veggies that do well here in this region, dislike our heat at home and actually thrived in the gardens here this summer.

I'm talking about Brussel sprouts, carrots, parsnips and cauliflower. Ohhhhhhhhh how I love thee... I wanted to bring a swack of stuff home for my own feast of giving this weekend.. alas tho.. I don't think they woulda let me on the plane..would they??

The one thing that jumped out for me tho mainly was this bizarre type of cauliflower I saw called Romanesco Cauliflower! WOW it was a trippy swack of fractals piled up on one another... It seriously made me think that I have to grow this magic madness veggie!

Anyways, I stole a picture off the internet for you all to enjoy.

Thanks for reading! From the Edmonton Airport, I wish you all happy stuffing your faces this weekend.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Cruciferus Crunching cabbage n' kale

It seems today that I wanted cabbage very badly. I began my day by preparing cabbage salad that my friend Enaunda taught me how to make. It is wonderful and I crave it often.

Slice up some cabbage, kale and whatever other vegetable you think would fit and you toss it with some lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. If you wanna get fancy, add some feta. It lasts a couple days in the fridge at least! Infact, it gets yummier with age! Don't we all?

I probably could easily say that I almost always have cabbage on hand. Kale is a very close second... I love spinach, but I have a hard time with the plastic tub of spinach from the gets all slimy in there and its stinks! Soo I tend to mostly eat spinach when I can get it fresh! Thank gawd it has a long growing season!

Kale, on the other hand, lasts FOREVER in the fridge! It tastes like crunchy spinach and it goes in everything!

Today it made its home in: My cabbage salad, salad rolls and my cabbage roll babies... mmmmmmmmm ~cabbage rolls~

My mom gave me a whack of vine ripe, splotchy, bountiful red tomatoes that seriously tasted like heaven. Some were just over ripe enough to make sauce. They sat patiently on my counter for a couple days until, tonite... chopped and roasted with garlic, fresh oregano and dill. Then buzzed with that wand thing. Fittingly called a 'buzz buzz'! I promptly stir in some lemon zest and check if it needs salt or not.

Hey, wanna know the trick to get the cabbage for cabbage rolls all nice and limp? (*snicker*)

Pop it in the freezer! Don't tell my mom I told anyone that tho... its a secret.

When you pull the cabbage out to unthaw, pop it in the sink with some water. It thaws quickly.

I made the filling with 1 cup rice and 1 cup pearl barley, a whack of fresh corn off the cob, zukes and kale from my garden. Coupla spoonfuls of greek yogurt (sour cream, normal yogurt, nothin' if you wanna skip the dairy), some nut yeast (aka nutritional yeast), chili powder and smoked paprika. Salt and pepper to taste of course. If I ever leave that part out about salt and/or pepper, assume its in there, cuz it is... I just gap out and forget to say that..... fresh ground pepper and sea salt to be exact!

Take some of that sauce and cover the whole bottom of a casserole dish. Preferably something with a lid.

Take your limp (*snicker*) cabbage and stuff it full of the rice stuff. Roll it loosely and place them in your casserole dish.

When you have placed all your rolls, douse them in the rest of your sauce. I like saucey rolls....! Yum!

Pop in the oven 350 degrees covered for about 40 minutes. Then take the lid off and let them brown up a touch on the top.

Voila! Serve with a salad..... mmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

I am pretty sure that cabbage rolls are one of those genetic things that telepathically got passed on from generation to generation. Cuz I don't ever recall actually learning how to make them... I just know how! Maybe its cuz my grandma made em all the time and my mom and my aunty... that it has become almost innate in our family genes!

None the less these lil' rolls of happiness are the best post summer meal and they freeze exceptionally well.

The only thing missing, is some toasted sunflower seeds! I am outta them and it drives me crazy. I use them in so much and I don't realize how much, until they are all gone. Oh well... Rancho season has begun and soon enough I will have more.

Lotsa love in the Kitchen tonite.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Harvest Pie of Shepards Lentil

Sundays are always a cooking day for me in some form or another. Whether it is about coordinating food for the week or if it means 'company's coming', I spend 4 to 5 hours of a Sunday cooking!

This crisp and cloudy Sunday afternoon, I decided to make a Lentil Shepards Pie. Mashed potatoes and savory lentils absolutely deserve a place in heaven together. All the vegetables in my garden right now are begging to be sauteed in lentils, then topped with pillowy tators!

Here's how to make it:

10-12 yellow skinned tators (chopped & covered in water to boil)
1/4c of butter milk
1tbsp of butter
A sprig of fresh rosemary

1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 small head of cauliflower
1 small head of broccoli
4 small carrots
1/4 braggs (soy sauce is fine, just use A LOT less & supplement with water)
2 tbsp of nutritional yeast
1 tsp of chili powder
1 cup of brown lentils
1 med zucchini
Some kale or chard
2 cups cooked brown rice
2 eggs (beaten)
Salt & Pepper to taste

Boil tators until they are soft for the squishing. Drain your tator water, but save 2 cups and set it aside. Add buttermilk and most of the butter (save a bit) to the tators and start mashing. Add a bit of the tator water in till you get a nice smooth texture. Chop up your rosemary as fine as you can and stir that into the mashed potatoes . Add salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a dutch oven or a large pot, saute your onions and garlic lightly in your left over butter on medium heat. Add your chopped carrots, broccoli and caulflower. Add braggs, nutritional yeast, chili powder, tator water and lentils, then cover and simmer until the lentils are cooked.

Remove from heat and stir in brown rice and beaten eggs. Transfer veggie mixture to a greased casserole dish with a lid. Then smear your velvety smashy tators all over the top. Bake covered in the oven for 10 minutes or so. Then remove the lid and let brown up. Approximately 20 minutes.

Serve hot hot hot!

P.s. This recipe loves hot sauce ~ Don't be shy now!

Tip: If you have a dutch oven, then you get to cook it all on the stove then transfer it all to the oven! Every foodie must have Le Creuset!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Clean Demon

Cleaning is so subjective. Everyone has their own view of what 'clean' is!

Some days, clean to me is nothing but outta site outta mind...stuff tucked in unused closets and under beds. Other times... clean is every surface scrubbed with mixed emotions of love and hate...almost rage.

Sterile has never really been in my conscious cleaning practices. For the most part I'm a fan of borox and tea tree oil. But there comes a point where I no longer can contain my urge to completely rip apart my house and put it back together with a whole lot less stuff and every surface scrubbed with the most astringent thing I can find!

Is this some process of neurotic catharsis? Or a generational, seasonal 'dung out? I seem to remember this phenomena with my Mother growing up. Every change of season, some kind of crazy, neurotic episode forced my mother to frantically clean every nook and cranny in our house. It was almost like some sort of 'Clean Demon' had possessed her for the duration of time it took to clean her entire house, stem to stern!

I have inherited that 'Demon! Possession has truly taken hold of me!

But when it is all done and I climb into bed with clean sheets, freshly showered, I feel like a new woman.

Thanks Mom...

For anyone else going through your 'Clean Demon Possession'


Here's to fall!

May it bring a bounty harvest, a nutty revolution and a Clean House!

Friday, August 27, 2010

How Come Toronto has all the cool VEg FolKs??

I'm Jealous!! I am soooo jealous. The Toronto Vegetarian Fair is happening Sept. 10-12th and I want to go!! I have wanted to go for a couple years now!! All my fave bloggers are gonna be there.. tons of amazing speakers and demonstrations and...of course...FOOD!!!!!!!! But alas *sigh* Toronto is...hmmmm... like 4000 kms away and I can't go!

I love the path that food is going. I have read many books about food security and how we treat the food we eat. But social media and general education of the world around us at our finger tips has really really enlightened many of us in the micro-managing of what we put in our bodies. Now, don't get me wrong... I have SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much to learn about food! Infact, the recent candy attack I have had lately has taught me a lot about how my body reacts to what it is fed!!! But I continue to be fascinated by what wild imaginations people have with their food and how innovative we can become with raw vegetables, seeds and nuts!

If you are a ridiculously obsessed Foodie Freak, like myself, here are a few of my all time favorite blogs to check out: MakingLoveInTheKitchen StraightFromTheFarm TorontoVEG

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Fresh Mint... How I love thee

Food For Thought

This ‘salad’ can be breakfast, lunch, snack or dinner! High in protein, low in fat and just plain easy to make!

Orange & Date Quinoa w/ fresh mint and walnuts

You will need:
1 c quinoa (dry)
4 large dates (soak in water for 1 hour)
1 small orange
1 hand full of walnuts (toasted)
As much or a little fresh mint as you would like.
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook your quinoa to the desired texture and set aside to cool. Take your soaked dates, slice the pits out and cut into small chunks. Toss with your quinoa. Toast your walnuts in a dry skillet over medium heat until they are browned slightly. They burn quickly so don’t take your eyes off ‘em! With your orange, zest some of it into your salad, then segment your orange. Finally, chop up your mint really fine and toss everything in your salad together. Done!! This salad keeps well and can be enjoyed up to 3 days after making it.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tomatillo Enchilada Action

Food For Thought

These precious little green gems that have sprouted beautifully in our garden, make me oh so very happy and a sauce that I can’t get enough of. Oh and just as an extra bonus, this bad boy is *gluten free*

Quinoa Enchiladas w/ Tomatillo Sauce

You will need:

  • 10 small to medium fresh tomatillos
  • 4 cloves of garlic (less is fine if you don’t want it too garlicky)
  • 6-8 fresh tomatoes (or a big can of canned ones)
  • 3 limes (zest and juice)
  • 2-3 hot peppers (jalapenos, cayenne, pasilla, banana peppers... all are good!)
  • 1 large red onion
  • Some fresh cilantro
  • 2 sweet peppers (either red, yellow or orange)
  • 1 tbsp of smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp of chili powder
  • Fresh pepper to taste.
  • 2 cups uncooked quinoa
  • 4 cups refried or mashed pinto beans (black beans work well too)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup white cheddar cheese
  • 60g of Feta cheese
  • 3 limes (zest and juice)
  • 1/2c toasted sunflower seeds
  • 12 medium to large corn tortillas

Cook your quinoa according to packaged instructions and set aside. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Chop your tomatillos in half and toss them in a big bowl along with the roughly chopped sweet peppers and 2 of the hot peppers. Throw in 2 cloves of garlic, the olive oil, half the paprika and chili powder, a dash of salt and some lime zest. Toss this all together until the olive oil is mixed in well. Lay this out on a baking sheet and place in the oven.

Let this bake until the edges of the peppers turn brown. In the meantime, take your tomatoes and dice them. Chop the rest of your garlic and toss it in with your tomatoes. Chop up your hot peppers, red onion, your cilantro and add them to your tomatoes also. Squeeze in your lime juice and add all your zest.
Mix well with the remaining paprika and chili powder. A touch of salt may be needed and some fresh pepper. Now you have made some fresh salsa.
Half of your fresh salsa you are going to want to heat up on the stove with your bean mixture. The other half you will want to put in the food processor with your roasted tomatillo concoction. Once you have pulsed your tomatillos with your salsa, you have the sauce. Once you have simmered your beans with the other half of your salsa, you have you filling.

Pour a bit of your sauce in the bottom of your casserole dish (9x11 pyrex is what I use). Take your tortillas and dollop a bit of quinoa in the centre and a dollop of bean mixture in each one. Loosely roll them up and place them neatly in your casserole dish. Once they are all placed, pour your sauce evenly over the whole thing, cover with your white cheddar, a sprinkle of feta and your sunflower seeds for some crunch. Bake for 45 minutes or until the edges of the tortillas are browned.

Don’t be surprised if you have filling or sauce left over. You can freeze both or make another casserole dish of enchilada’s. These are easy to freeze once they are prepared also.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Day 3

Wild Rose Cleanse and I are getting along quite nicely this afternoon I am happy to say. Feeling alive again, happy to be cleansing and not yearning for my bed like yesterday. I think for me, the decision to purge my body of its unholy inhabitants for 12 days really gives me a sense of control.

My next step is going to do 12 days of yoga straight! I used to be a yoga-aholic! Never ever missing a night of yoga. No matter what I had planned in a day, there was guaranteed to be a 1/2 hour that I practiced yoga naked in my living room. I think I had that sense of control in my head then. That feeling of calm that I feel lately I have been scrambling to find. Again, like cleansing, starting it is the hardest part.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Cleaning out tha' old pipes!


Im cleansing! I have been kinda ill lately and I figure I need to really have a clean out. So I dug The Wild Rose Cleanse, that I bought.... 6 mos ago or so, outta the back of my cupboard and set to work!

Today is day 2 and my brain is fuzzy. I have a slight headache and a few waves of nausea. Obviously I was pretty toxic inside!! Cleansing feels great to me and gives me an opportunity to reassess my bodies needs. The hardest part of cleansing is starting the damn thing!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

To cluck or not to cluck...

Ok, so I have chickens on the brain.

I love chickens! For pets that is... and eggs! I am really quite terrible at eating them... tho I have attempted many times. Killing is a whole other story, that I know for a fact I would not participate in on my own free will! Not that I raise issue with eating chickens as food. I might not choose to do so myself, but if you raise chickens for your own families consumption... I see no harm! If your neighbor raises chickens/beef/pigs... etc... for there own personal consumption and sell a bit to you, I also see no issue!
Small scale local butchers and meat producers should be allowed to produce the meat of our communities.

I grew up with backyard hens. We had various different chicken coops in various different backyards and they always were a complete and utter pleasure to have around. As a kid, not only could I name all the hens, pet them, chase them and collect their eggs, I also had the fine pleasure of introducing myself to the barnyard mice that lived in the chickens food! I loved to open the chicken feed and giggle while the lil' grey mice scurried up my wee arm into the hood of my jacket. My mother enjoyed this game less than I, but in the end, the chicken bond grew between her, myself, the chickens... and the inevitable mice.

There is certainly plenty of chatter out in the world right now about the security of our food and what kind of 'foot print' our families leave on the face of our earth. My own awareness of my addiction to 'foreign' food is now measurable. The nutritional density of food is also becoming very easy to measure. Some nutritionally dense food can be harvested and raised in our backyards. Some comes from far off countries that need the fair trade support of strong, economic power-houses like Canada. I am not wanting to stop purchasing food that is nutritionally dense and now embedded in my families diet, I just want to be smart about it! Food that is shipped from abroad once a year, is much more reasonable than say lettuce shipped once a week!

If having 2 hens in my backyard provided me with approximately 10 (at least) eggs a week, 30 weeks as year... that is 300 eggs from happy, healthy hens that my family had to enjoy that year.
25 dozen eggs that I didn't have pay $4.00/doz for @ the grocery store. Of course I have to ensure my chickens are healthy and I need to give them safety and security in order for them to produce for me. But the fear of backyard chickens needs to be put to rest. Feeding chickens kitchen scraps and letting them scratch the earth for grubs is a great start. Throw in some grain and corn in the winter and pop a heat lamp and a bail of straw in their roost and they will thrive!
Love goes along way these days.....

Backyard chickens don't stink, they don't carry bird flu (unless they are trapped in a barn never seeing the light of day with 15 thousand other hens) and the mice??? Well... that's is up to your discretion.

I am not going to run out and get myself a couple hens for my backyard right now.... tempting.... adding to 'Wild Kingdom' always is! I simply want to openly discuss with myself the pro's and con's of what we eat.... and where it comes from.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Creative Creations~Sometimes so simple!

So tonight for the lil' radio jingle I do with Eryn, we did our lil' talk on kohlrabi. I always associate kohlrabi with my momma cuz as soon as she could get it outta the garden or on the rare times you found it in grocery stores, she would rush inside with it, peel it, slice it up, put salt on it and revel in its deliciousness!!

I thought it tasted like radish, personally. And until today, that's what I thought it was. A type of radish. Well, nope! It is actually a type of cabbage! Who woulda thunk! So I like kohlrabi for the fleeting couple days that we had it every year, but not that much. Much like my relationship to radishes. Good but no big deal! Getting them outta moms garden is one thing, but buying them? Forget it!! Until now!

This year, with this new radio fun thing I am doing, I have had to branch out and actually experiment with these two short-seasoned veggies and find de'lish ways of making them taste good!!

I thought because kohlrabi is actually a type of cabbage and NOT a radish, I might actually try making a Kohlrabi Slaw and I was THRILLED with the results. My friend Enaunda told me a while back that she liked cabbage, lemon juice and feta together and I have also become quite smitten with that marriage so instead of traditional coleslaw I went with simple. Traditional Coleslaw to me reminds me of the gross lil' clump of mayo gunk that they slapped on the side of your Pirate Ship at Whitespot. I'm not a mayo lover unless I make it. So this recipe don't got no mayo!!

You will need:
1 large bulbous fat kohrabi
2 fat juicy radishes
4 scrawny, farmers market fresh early carrots
1 juicy lemon
1 tbsp of olive oil (or any kinda good oil that makes things taste good)
Some crumbled feta
A few gorgeous sprigs of cilantro
A generous handful of sunflower seeds (slightly toasted is always nice but not necessary)
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Get out your grater and grate the kohlrabi, radish and carrots into a bowl. Might as well slip in a bit of the lemon zest as well while your at it. Juice your lemon and add it in, sans seeds, of course. Toss in everything else, toss and serve!

Soooo good! And for all you weirdos out there that don't like cilantro, you can add dill instead! Ha.

So here is to Kohlrabi and Radishes Everbody! *Cheers*

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Blast some Batter Baby

Batter Blaster Mishap!

Just to summarize, laura commented about there being a product on the market that provided pancake batter from a can. I of course was extremely curious and decided I needed to share this very bizarre product with whom ever may read my blog today.

For those of you that need a really simple pancake recipe that is *fool proof* and you can add whatever your heart can imagine to it with out it going mucky, this is it!

Aerosol *FREE* Pancakes

1 egg
1 c flour (spelt/kamut/wholewheat works great too)
3/4 c milk/almond milk or water
2 tbsp oil and a lil' more for the griddle
1 tbsp honey/sugar/agave
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
A baby nub of butter

Beat your egg up until its fluffy and fold into your other ingredients. Have a hot griddle/pan ready to go. Add your extra oil (just a smidge-this helps your butter not burn) and your nub of butter. Dollop your batter in to your desired size (don't do too big or you can't flip it) and wait for the little bubbles to form. Then you know its done on the one side and you can flip it!

You can add so many nummy things to pancakes! Bananas, blueberries, razberries, walnuts, pecans, you name it! In Japan, I had pancakes with greens, squid and soy sauce in 'em. They were yum!! The family I was staying with wanted me to make pancakes with maple syrup because they had never had maple syrup. Only read about it!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Fresh herbs truly are my love . i think more than anything else in the garden, i most look forward to all the amazing herbs that can be used soo many ways. Basil, mint, rosemary, thyme, i sound like Simon and Garfunkel I know... marjoram, cilantro, oregano... My sister in-law, Sandy, has taught me a lot about good Vietnamese cooking! I don't know if she knows it, but she is an AWESOME flavor princess! She has introduced me to some good restaurants too. Not so much here, but in Calgary. I love Pho, but i'm not super big on the whole beefy broth, boil the bones thing that people do to make that really flavorful broth. So a while ago I started to experiment with making a killer Veggie Pho. Its taken some time, i'm not gonna lie! Even tonite when i made it, I added my greens too early and they got kinda over cooked... but none the less, i got the broth part down! Even though i totally cheated tonite! i usually have some veggie broth in my freezer... but not lately! So i used a high quality, no salt mushroom boullion cube to get the base.

Veggie Pho
1/2 a red onion thinly sliced
a smidge of grapeseed oil (divided)
2 cloves of garlic
6-8 cups of water/quality or homemade veg stock/boullion (remember most of 'em are uber salty and too much salt in this bad boy will kill it so read your ingredients)
a big nub of grated ginger
1 medium size grated carrot
Some chunked up mushrooms (tonite I used oyster)
A big handful of greens ( you can use: spinach, chard, collards, kale... )
A good size chunk of thinly sliced green cabbage (reds fine too, it just makes everything purple)
1/2 a brick of tofu (i use the other half in yummy salad rolls)
A itty bitty smidge of toasted sesame oil x 2
1/4 c of braggs (if you don't have braggs, get some! but if you don't wanna, use soy sauce but use WAY less.) x 2
A baby teaspoon of rice vinegar (apple cider works too)
A little Hoisin sauce
Some black bean sauce
Some kinda hot sauce or chili flakes ( do this to taste)
The juice of 1 lime and a bunch of the zest too.
Some thinly sliced red pepper
As much mint, chives, basil and cilantro that you want (or don't want!)
Some fresh pea shoots
Toasted sesame seeds
A bit of red pepper for color
Some rice vermicelli (i use about a 1/3 of a pkg)

Saute your onion in 1/2 your grapeseed oil in a big pot over med/high heat, add finely chopped or squeezed garlic, add water/broth, add grated ginger. Let this part simmer for a few. Add you carrot and your mushrooms. Preheat your oven to 350. Cube your tofu and toss in a bowl with a little bit of your braggs/soy sauce, a bit of hoisin, a touch of sesame oil and the rest of your grapeseed. Make sure all your tofu is covered, lay on a baking sheet and send'er into the oven. 15 minutes tops for the tofu. Watch it cuz everyones' oven cooks differently.

Add the rest of your braggs, hoisin, black bean sauce, rice vinegar and your other smidge of sesame oil to your pho. Add in your cabbage and cover to simmer. Boil the kettle for vermicelli. I like to slice up my greens into nice 'fit-in-my-mouth' size strips. I highly reccomend that. I also do the same for my herbs, but not at the same time. First I do my greens, put 'em aside. Then I do my herbs. Pour your boiled water over your vermicelli.

When your tofu is done, toss it in your pho. Send your greens in after. Zest and squeeze your lime, drain and rinse your vermicelli. Portion your vermicelli into the biggest, best bowls you can find, ladle the pho over top and sprinkle with your herbs, red pepper, sesame seeds and pea shoots.


I usually eat this (all the time!) with salad rolls and peanut sauce, but, I'm not ambitious enough tonite to write out those recipes. However, I did post pics of the salad rolls and if anyone chooses to read this, they can guess whats inside, until I post a recipe. They are sooo easy though!! Its the peanut sauce that makes it!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A hopeful spring bitter start...

SO... I'm new at this! That's for sure. I have followed a lot of food blogs, especially lately, to get ideas and fodder for the radio bit I have been doing with Eryn at 107.5 Kiss Fm. I love the way people lay out such beautiful pictures of their creations in some of these blogs. Like art work! More and more I find myself being drawn to sharing my ideas and experience in the food industry and doing this bit on the radio is REALLY driving this passion forward.

I am shocked and appalled at the state of our food industry and our acceptance of the 'out-of-the-box' culture we have adopted as a rule. Our lives are now ruled by time and no longer by quality. The days of making home made bread and jam have been replaced by splashy marketing slogans geared towards convenience and it is acceptable now, to buy dough from some far off factory, place it in your oven for 8 minutes and call that home made!

I fully understand that planning to feed our families takes time and energy, but I feel the fundamental issue with how we eat actually stems from lack of education about how to cook!

I personally don't believe there is one way to cook or really any rules to it. All I know is that food is what you make it... and we are, truly, what we eat.

A spring time recipe for today: A bit of Bitter... Arugula Pine Nut Pesto

Arugula, also called rocket, is one of those hidden gems of spring time eating! Peppery in flavor and packed with goodness, makes arugula a favorite with chefs and foodies alike. Make sure to toss some arugula seeds into your lettuce patch!

You will need:

2 handfuls of fresh Arugula
A few basil leaves
60g of asiago cheese (grated)
Maybe 2 tbsp's or so of Olive oil
1 lemon (zested then juiced)
3 cloves of garlic (less is fine if you don’t want it too garlicky)
1.5c toasted pine nuts
(to toast, put in a dry frying pan over low heat until you can smell them toasting. They burn easily so toss them intermittently).
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
A few stems of fresh chives
1 tbsp of diced red onion
Pinch of salt
Fresh pepper to taste.

In a food processor, toss in your garlic cloves, basil leaves and arugula leaves. Run until smooth. Add your toasted pine nuts, red onion, your olive oil and asiago cheese. Run the processor again, drizzle your balsamic vinegar and lemon juice in. Add salt and pepper, then run one last time in the processor until you have a smooth paste. Garnish with fresh chives and lemon zest.

Pesto can be served in a variety of ways. Toss with fresh pasta, use as a sandwich spread, toss with roasted veggies or add yogurt and use as a veggie dip... Use your foodie imagination!

Pesto also can stay in your fridge for 5 days or portion it into ice cube trays, freeze it and take it out when you need it.

**Tip** You can use walnuts, sunflower seeds or even hemp seeds for the base of this pesto. Experiment!