Archive for February, 2010

February 25, 2010

Gluten Free Sweet Potato Corn Cakes with Maple Syrup and Flur de Sel

These are a beautiful addition to “breakfast for dinner” which we enjoy often, they were pretty quick and easy to make too:

Peel and boil and quarter 1 large sweet potato, until fork tender. Cool then grate into a bowl. Add 1 egg, and 1/2 cup of milk and mix. Then add 1/4 cup brown rice flour, 1/4 cup of  potato flour, along with 1/4 cup of course corn meal, a pinch each of guar gum and potato starch. S+P and 1 green onion chopped. Bring together into a thick dough.

Oil a hot griddle and panfry pancakes until nicely brown on both sides (we made toonie cakes)

Finish with pure maple syrup and a sprinkle of green onions, hot chilis, and course sea salt!

**Perfect to enjoy with a poached egg and micro greens!

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February 21, 2010

Sweet potato + Arugula salad * this is for you Kate…

I made this tonight for a little pot luck I hosted, and everyone enjoyed it, but Kate wanted the recipe and though it would be a good idea if I had a blog with recipes on it *lol* so this one is for you…

2 smallish sweet potatoes + 2 equally smallish yams or russet potatoes cut in to small 1/2” cubes. toss in olive oil and salt with flake sea salt and roast at 350º for about 45 minute, until just tender with a fork.. BUT NOT MUSHY.

Dressing:

1 tbsp grainy mustard (my favorite is Braassica, locally made and magnificent) 1 tsp regular mustard, 2 tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 splash lemon juice,  1 splash of balsalmic vinegar,  1 tbsp walnut oil and 1 tbsp olive oil, S+P, and a pinch of cane sugar, along with 2 minced garlic cloves, and about 1 tsp of chopped fresh rosemary.

Allow the potatoes to cool to room temp, then douse in dressing and add 2-4 green onions chopped finely, set aside for 2-8 hours to let flavours marry.

Just before serving toss in 2 big handfuls of Arugula and serve at room temp.

* I have made this before with chopped bacon and served it with the potatoes still warm and it was equally wonderful!

enjoy!

February 15, 2010

Coconut curry noodle bowl, with baby bok choy and cauliflower

I use my favorite brand of GF noodles SOBA KING (the ones in the beautiful frosted bags) to make this super comforting curry bowl. The noodle’s I made today were a blend of organic corn and rice in a small spaghettini size, which is really great for soaking up lots of flavour!

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February 10, 2010

Avocado rice with orange honey glazed tempeh + almonds

Tonight’s dinner was a yummy vegan wheat free knock out! The flavors were sharp bright and punchy. I was inspired by a (food network of all places) recipe for Green Goddess Rice, and realized I have been ho humming over a box of tempeh taking up residence in my fridge for almost too long.. So I slapped this up and will definitely make it again and again. *** Just a note on tempeh, if you are gluten intolerant, be sure to buy plain tempeh, without flavouring as it often hosts wheat hidden in soya sauce. Also be sure to buy an Organic variety, as with all soy products it is really important to stay away from GMO soy, so organic is best! Especially if you have breasts that you love!

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February 9, 2010

Urban Chickens

Having chickens is like having a magic little production system in your yard…. where kitchen waste gets turned into fresh eggs, and nitrogen rich compost. And what could be a better step towards being more self sufficient that adding some lovely ladies to your yard to help with the work? It just doesn’t get much more local than your own backyard!

As we are only a few short months away from moving to the mountains, I think one of the many things I am looking forward to most is having chickens! If I wasn’t moving this spring I would defiantly be building a little chicken coop to house a few urban chickens, in my backyard. Instead we will be houses a couple dozen hens in a rolling coop for most of the season and our chickens will winter in a passive solar greenhouse.

As you re probably aware there is certainly some controversy across Canada and the US about home owners keeping chickens, and there is no end of regulation and bylaws which community groups are fighting, to allow folks to get one step closer to their food source.

A backyard garden along with backyard chickens just makes so much sense for so many reasons: you reduce your dependency on external food systems, you reduce your carbon imprint substantially, you increase your vitamin and mineral intake, you take control of what is in the food you are eating, you learn valuable skills, and you are reconnecting to the cycle of food.

I just finished reading a really inspiring story of an Australian family of 3 who go on a 6 month journey to sustain their family on only what they grow and barter from their backyard. It was a great read and it has helped make our future plans seem all the more doable. Also the volume of CHEESE this family made from one goat was really exciting!

Living the Good Life by Linda Cockburn

There are lots of wonderful resources out there about chicken keeping and urban farming, and here are a few of my favourites:

Resources:

http://urbanchickens.org/

http://www.backyardchickens.com/

http://www.naturallifemagazine.com/9806/chickens.htm

YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCPEBM5ol0Q&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVwVbmtTyME&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsP-MljU84o&feature=fvw

For more info on CLUCK Calgary Liberated Urban Chicken Klub

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=68948494632

http://cluckurbanchickens.blogspot.com/2009_08_01_archive.html

February 9, 2010

Cardamon Orange Marshmallows

This latest kitchen creation is a bit of a cross roads between my usual ethical guidelines and a self indulgent experiment in pleasing my daughter. Her and I have been planning on making homemade marshmallows since I bought a vintage candy thermometer last summer, I kept finding other things to make rather than a batch of sugary gelatin confections, but the day finally came and now that they are made, I must admit they are pretty divine in texture and taste. I used all organic ingredients, with exception of the gelatin powder, if I make these again, I will certainly try a vegan substitute, and I will use maple sugar instead of corn syrup (which I despise)

The process is pretty simple and just requires some heavy duty clean up and a little time.

Cardamon Orange Marshmallows

In a stand mixer bloom 3 packs (21 g) gelatin in 1/2 cup cold water, let bloom 10 minutes. I

n the meantime combine 2 cups of cane sugar, 3/4 cup white corn syrup, and 1/2 cup water in a saucepan. Bring mix to a boil and using a candy thermometer bubble until your temp reaches 250º (hard ball). Slowly add boiling mix into gelatin bloom and mix for 10-12 minutes, start with a slow speed (to avoid boiling sugar eruptions) and gradually increase speed to med –high. Add 1 tsbp vanilla and after about 10 minutes your mix should look like marshmallow, and have doubled in size.

Use an oiled spatula and pour / spoon into a prepared dish or tray. There are a few methods I read to prepared your pan, I just used a large deep baking pan, and poured the mix on to a reusable silpat sheet, I then oiled my hand with canola and patted and spread the mix until it was flat and my desire thickness. You can dust a pan with oil and or a blend of icing sugar and corn starch if you prefer. Let set at room temp for up to 12 hours.

After about 2 hours or so I cut the sheet into small squares which I rolled in a few different finishes, the traditional marshmallow would get rolled into a blend of icing sugar and corn starch. The ones I like the best I added orange zest and freshly ground cardamom seeds (from about 18 green pods) to cane sugar and dredged the squares in that. We also made cinnamon sugar ones.

So will I make these again?.. maybe with the above mentioned adjustments, they certainly look beautiful and I think they would be divine in a hot cup of cocoa. And If I had a sweet tooth I would for sure make more…

February 3, 2010

Take a Minute to Act…

The below link will take you to Fresh the Movie’s, action petition against Monsanton’s newest product…. GM alfalfa, which is on the table to be approved this month by the USDA.

Alfalfa is a HUGE and essential seed stock in the grass fed and organic beef and pork industry, with the introduction of GM alfalfa to the western market, it won’t be long before the majority of these locally grown crops will be the patented property of Monsanto’s, as has happened already with soy (95%) and corn (80%).

We have enough GMO food in this world which we are only now beginning to see the effects of, this approval by the USDA will make eating organic meat safely all the more difficult. This is a huge step backwards and just another shinning example of the USDA protecting the interest of big business not the people. Although this is a US decision, our Canadian Food system is so reliant on the US and it’s protocol, that it is REALLY VERY IMPORTANT to take action, take a minute and let the USDA know that this is not OK!

TAKE ACTION NOW : VISIT THE FRESH PETITION

More on Monsanto’s and GM corn see an earlier blog

February 2, 2010

Break’in the fast salad

Break’in the fast salad

This is so lovely served for brunch, or for a nice dinner when you really want to be eating breakfast. It is simple and can easily be made vegetarian by quick searing tempah in a maple syrup and substitute for the bison bacon I used here…

Medium hard boil a farm fresh egg for 10 minutes in salted water, set aside.

Grill 1 slice of your favorite artisan bread with a dash of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt, until golden, then cube. While you are grilling the bread grill 2 rounds of bison bacon (super sustainable lean and luscious)  slice them as well. Dice one fresh green onion, and compile all breakfast ingredients over a bed of greens and garnish with your favorite dressing, or try this garlic mustard one I use as my go to dressing recipe:

Garlic mustard dressing:

1 clove of garlic minced, 1 tsp of grainy mustard, 1 pinch each of sea sale, pepper + organic cane sugar, mix well and add equal parts apple cider vinegar and olive oil, about 2 tbsp each.

February 1, 2010

Greens & Beans

This is a punchy great way to get your greens in, It makes a nice side or entree.

Dice 1 shallot or half a red onion along with 2 cloves of minced garlic. In a large cast iron deep pan brown onions in olive oil, add garlic, the zest of 1 lemon, then add 1/2 can of navy beans and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes, season with S+P.

Coarsely chop 1 bundle of rainbow chard leaves (reserve stocks for another dish, or chop and cook along with onions) add the greens along with juice from the zested lemon, and 1 tsp of chili peppers (I just bought Aleppo Chilies from THE SILK ROAD, SPICE MERCHANT) and it is a mild heat but a zesty fresh and bright flavor which is great with theses greens and beans. Cook down for about 3 minutes and serve with a little drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of course seal salt.

That’s it that’s all, super simple