Archive for March, 2011

March 28, 2011

simple split pea chaat masala soup

A savory and warm split pea soup with smoky cumin and masala spices: vegan, vegetarian, gluten and wheat free.

Why is it I always forget how much I adore pea soup until it reaches my mouth? I fall in love all over again every time I taste it. I think I have only made pea soup once before but today was the day for batch number 2.

This soup took very little input it just bubbled away most of the afternoon smelling fabulous.

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March 24, 2011

warm quinoa miso salad

I am starting on a bit of a miso journey, you see I have never really enjoyed miso, although I believe I have only had it in miso soup and I think possibly and hopefully it is the Dash itself I am not too found of.  I now have in my possession 3 types of miso and I am really wanting to incorporate it into more of my meals, other than the staggering health benefit of eating miso I want to add miso to my arsenal of super foods I think our bodies need to combat all sorts of toxic inputs we are exposed to on a daily basis. Certainly this concern has been heightened due to the situation in Japan today, but more and more I feel we ought to protect ourselves naturally from the impacts of this chemical cocktail world we live in!

So I am increasing my families daily intake of these items: kelp, spirolina, barley grass, apple fibre, beet, vitamin c + d, and miso. Most of these are covered with the super greens we take daily, but kelp and miso are things that I am going to try to add into our food often!

My first plunge into the world of miso was pretty successful! I made a warm quinoa salad with fried tofu and a miso dressing. I thought the combination was really bright and fresh and it came together fairly easily…

you’ll need:

1 cup cooked quinoa

1/2 brick of firm organic tofu

1/2 yellow onion

2 cloves of garlic

1″ fresh ginger

2 green onions

1/2 cup cubed cucumber

2 grated carrots

1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds

Braggs, lemon juice, S+P

for dressing:

2 tbsp organic light miso

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp hemp oil

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp rice vinegar

pinch sugar

grated ginger


Cook quinoa according to directions on package. In a pan brown cubed tofu, diced onion and minced garlic in olive oil along with grated fresh ginger, & S+P. Once everything is golden brown hit it with a splash of Braggs, and some lemon juice. remove from heat.

In a glass jar bring together dressing and shake well.

In a large bowl grate carrot, add diced cucumber, green onions, & toasted sunflower seeds. To the fresh veggies add warm tofu and onions, then add  still warm quinoa, toss with dressing and serve. This is also great cold!

March 23, 2011

Coconut Beans & Rice

So I had a big old pot of soaked pinto beans I had to serve up along with 3 cups of cooked brown rice in the fridge and I decided (on the cuff like so many of my culinary decisions) to create a coconut beans and rice dish and it was truly a wonderful adventure in eating.

I started by boiling about 2 cups of pinto beans which had soaked overnight in just water for 40-60 minutes in a large deep pot. cook the beans with no seasoning, no salt, no citrus, just add hot water as needed and cook until they are done to your liking.

Once your beans are just tender add 4 cups of vegetable stock along with a minced small yellow onion, and 2 large minced garlic cloves, a thumb of grated ginger  and one lime leaf. Let these simmer for 15 minutes, before adding your cooked rice and now some seasoning. I hit this with some Braggs, fish sauce, S+P, lemon juice and, cumin, and paprika. Allow all the flavours to come together adding more water as needed, allow to bubble away for another 10 minutes or so. Finally add 3/4 cup dried organic coconut powder* and stir through, cooking for another 5 or so minutes. Now serve and garnish with fresh chives, crumbled goat feta and a kick of hot pepper sauce. Mmm it’s like eating Cuban beans and rice in Vietnam!

* Coconut milk powder is my new favorite way to buy and use and store coconut milk. It is really economical and you don’t have a can to deal with after, and one box equals about 6 cans.





March 22, 2011

almond kamut lemon dollop cookies

Lets be honest here, I made these cookies simply because I wanted to make something dense and quick to settle a little dollop of lemon curd on, so thumbprint cookies were the answer! But frankly these cookies baked up really nice. Moist and dense with a hearty nuttyness to them that seemed to impress the folks at the potluck I brought them too!

Lemon curd vehicle aside I wanted to do an almond butter vegan cookie and use some kamut flour I have been playing with these days and here is what I pulled out of my hat:

Blend in mixer:

1/2 cup organic almond butter

1/2 cup brown rice syrup

1 Tbsp maple syrup

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup almond milk

3 Tbsp organic vanilla cane sugar

1 tsp vanilla

scrap down bowl and ensure everything is well combined before all dry ingredients.

In a Bowl sift together:

1 1/4 cup kamut flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp cinnamon

Add sifted dry ingredients to wet mix and bring together quickly.

Cool dough in fridge for 30 minutes before forming into small balls. At this point you could roll the balls in ground almond and bake as is, or create a thumbprint hole and fill with preserve of your choice, however if you are not vegan I would strongly recommend making this lemon curd and using that as I did.

Bake at 350º for 12-14 minutes.

Once cool dust with powdered sugar if you are feeling indulgent and enjoy.



March 20, 2011

easy peasy lemon squeezy

So this is like the best thing on the planet to eat; lemon curd. Good old fashion british lemon spread. I love the stuff and enjoyed it while in the UK, it can be hard to find here, and certainly I haven’t found a nice organic product. So when I stumbled upon this recipe at pickle and preserve a UK blog my mind was set and off to market I went for a bag of organic lemons. I used the exact recipe and method from the link above, only I doubled the batch, and it took me almost double the time (due to sea level I think). We had some friends over the night I made this we we literally stood around the kitchen licking up dribbles and plates from the 3/4 jar we consumed smothered on hot thin pancakes.

The game at our house right now is “what can I put lemon curd on?”… crackers, toast, dried apples, pancakes, frenchtoast…. all of these combinations have met our approval in the past 24 hours.

I have a new sourdough “fridge baby”, this starter was shared with me from a friend down the valley who coined the term fridge baby, and I am eager to bust into it make a rustic sourdough spelt lemon tart… if we have any curd left after tonight’s fridge raid.

March 18, 2011

mega omega rice bowl

It truly doesn’t get much easier or tastier than this super brain food quick dish. A gluten free and dairy free rice bowl with fresh lake fish, hemp seeds and hemp oil makes for a omega packed snack, that would travel well for lunch or make a lovely dinner served with a big green salad.

You’ll Need

1.5 cups of left over honey lime lake fish (but you could use any cooked fish)

2 cups cooked brown basmati rice

1/2 cup frozen garden peas

1 green onion, thinly sliced

S+P, rice wine vinegar, braggs, nutritional yeast, hemp oil, & hemp seeds.

In a hot skillet add a splash of oil and start warming cooked rice, along with the frozen peas over medium heat. When the rice is warm add left over fish and about 1/4 cup of warm water and a good splash each of Braggs and rice  vinegar. Stir everything up and season with S+P. Cover pan with lid and remove from heat. Let sit for 2 minutes then dish and finish with finely sliced onion, a sprinkle of both hemp seeds and nutritional yeast , and a hearty drizzle of hemp oil.

Thanks it. dig in and enjoy.

March 17, 2011

Buckwheat Butterscotch Cookies

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Mmm I found an inquiry on chow looking for help with a butterscotch cookie recipe, which really inspired me because the cookie looked just like my great grandmothers gingerbread chew cookie, which everyone loves!

I decided to give it a whirl, although never one for sticking to any recipe, I made it gluten free and broke out the buckwheat again. The test was a great success and I am pretty happy with the texture of this all buckwheat cookie as well as the deep brown butter sugar flavour. My old vintage oven runs really hot… so next time I will bake these at 275º for a few extra minutes instead of the 350º the original recipe calls for. I love the idea of starting a cookie with a bubbling butterscotch base! mmm

Wheat / Gluten Free rich dark deep sugar cookies.

180g unsalted butter, browned in skillet until nutty and golden

1 3/4 cups dark brown organic cane sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

2 tablespoon pure vanilla

2 1/2 cups buckwheat flour sifted along with:

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Sugar For Dredging

1/4 cup vanilla cane sugar with a pinch of Himalayan sea salt.

Start by browning your butter in a small cast iron skillet on medium heat, until golden and nutty smelling. Mix hot butter and sugar in stand mixer for 5 minutes until well combined and gooey and ridiculously yummy smelling. Add eggs one at a time and combine well before then next egg. Scape sides and beat everything for another 2 minutes, along with salt and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, sift together buckwheat, bs, and bp. Slowly add flour to wet mixture, scraping down bowl as needed. Mix until everything is well combined then allow dough to cool slightly in fridge for about 10 minutes.

Using a mechanical ice cream scoop portion your cookies and drop them into a large bowl with the sugar dredging mix, gently toss dough balls until covered then position on a silpat sheet. Bake at 350º for 10 minutes, or until lightly cracked and golden. This batch yielded 30 x 1 oz cookies.

March 16, 2011

Honey Lime Lake Fish Tacos

I was thrilled the other day when our friend dropped of some beautiful fresh Dolly Varden fish steaks, from a successful day on the lake. I decided to whip us some  fish tacos for dinner last night and I am happy to share the simple steps I took to get these beautiful fish steaks on the table. These tacos aren’t your traditional fish tacos, but they are a really nice spin on the old stand by.

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March 12, 2011

petit ebi?

Occupying my culinary life over the past 3 days has been preparing for my daughter 9th Birthday Party. It was a sushi night complete with little petite four sushi cakes and rice crispies rolls. I made a lovely vanilla sheet cake, and cut and iced and rolled and designed various sweet sushi cakes. I think they turned out pretty darn cute and I especially love the Ebi!

Along with the sushi cakes, I made some veggie and smoked salmon sushi, rocking veggie rolls, and steamed dumplings. I was trying hard to slip in as many veggies as possible to make up for the gummies prawn tails, and fruit by the foot nori’s which would follow dinner.

I was really fortunate as a child to grow up spending a great deal of time at my grandmothers home, where her and my uncle Gary and Anutie Clarene created stunning wedding and holidays cakes with an endless supply of creative energy and raw sugar art talents. I learned to ice roses when I was 7, and I would help to ice them by the hundreds every time some one was getting married. One of the most exciting things to do each year was to go through the newest annual cake pan catalogue and select a dream cake for my next birthday. I remember my uncle creating for my  9th or 10th birthday a 2 tiered winter wonderland, complete with skating penguins on a frozen pond, dripping icicles and an ice sugar igloo topper. You may well imagine that I now find a good sense of excitement in creating fun and wonderful cakes for my daughters birthday each year. And this year was no exception. This is the only time of year I really break out all the kit and go to town on a cake. My day to day decorating style tends to be more quick glazes and nut crumbles.

A few years ago I made her a watermellon birthday cake which was a strawberry pink cake dotted with chocolate chip seeds, sitting on a bed of leaves complete with a chocolate UPC code sticker. This was one of my favorites. And it was much funner to do than the year prior when I iced 100 mini cupcakes with blue and white flowers and a broken & cast right arm!

March 8, 2011

Punk Rocker Chocolate Drops

I couldn’t decide what to call these fabulously chocolate-y  vegan cookies, but I found the inspirational starting point for this recipe at the post punk kitchen, thus my Punk Rocker Chocolate  title. I tweaked this recipe a bit by taking out the standard wheat flour and replacing it with a blend of Buckwheat /Hemp and Kamut (I posted this as a WF/GF recipe because brown rice flour would be ideal in place of Kamut to keep this GF, however I just ran out and my partner is OK with ancient wheat grains, new discovery on the allergy front… yeah!)

I have a small confession to make… I actually HATE cookies. I know you are thinking no one on the planet hates cookies, and I know this is a true fact, because back in my city life I owned two cookie companies, and I did pretty well catering to the cookie cravings of the rest of the planet. Ok so now you’ll understand that after a decade of  making millions of cookies I don’t actually eat them, crave them, or enjoy them almost ever. Well this morning something happened… the universe has shifted, because I actually ate 3 of these! 3!

This speaks volumes at just how wicked these babies are!


2 cups organic (gluten free if applicable) Oats

1/2 + 1/3 cup buckwheat flour

1/2 cup kamut flour (or Rice flour for GF cookies)

1/3 cup hemp flour

2/3 cup cocoa powder

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

pinch of sea salt

1 cup organic cane sugar

1/2 cup hemp seeds

2/3 cup chocolate almond milk (you could use regular)

2/3 cup canola oil

2 tsp pure vanilla

1 cup fair trade dark chocolate chips.

Portion cookies and bake on baking parchment at 350º for  12-16 minutes.(depending on how big you make the cookies) I used a 1 oz mechanical ice cream scoop and yielded 30 super stellar cookies!

March 8, 2011

cha cha cha chia!


Amazing Vegan Gluten Free Super Power Squares!
Packed full of energy and essential fatty acids these are not only the most requested recipe I have, they are a personal favourite! I have made a raw variation of this snack too, which I am happy to share if anyone requests it.


1 1/2 cups crispy brown rice cereal

1/2 cup raw sliced almonds

1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds

1/4 cup hemp seeds

2 tablespoons whole chia seeds

1/4 cup flax seed

1 cup dried Medjool dates (about 6 ounces), pitted

1/4 cup natural smooth unsalted almond butter

1/4 cup brown rice syrup

1/2 teaspoonsea salt

1/2 teaspoon real vanilla

1 Tbsp pure cocoa powder

Toast cereal and nuts and seeds in oven for about 15 minutes (until aromatic and lightly browned) and then allow to cool for a few minutes before  pulsing the  mixture in a food processor  about 5 (1-second) pulses. Transfer to a medium bowl; set aside.

Place dates in the food processor and process until finely chopped and a ball forms, about 15 seconds; set aside.

Place almond butter, rice syrup, salt, and vanilla in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir until mixture is combined and runs like slow-moving lava, about 1 minute. Remove from heat, immediately add dates and cocoa powder, and, using a wooden spoon, stir, smashing down on the dates, until well combined and no streaks of cocoa remain. Pour / spoon hot syrup over cereal mixture and stir, pressing as you do, until evenly combined. (This takes some muscle and time, about 5 minutes.) Transfer to the prepared baking pan and, using your hands, spread and firmly press the mixture into the pan. Let cool completely.

Remove the date-seed slab from the pan. Cut it in desired size bars and keep in an air tight container or you can freeze them.

* I have a sweet little vintage flower  biscuit cast iron pan I often use to form these, in which case I call them chia flower power!


March 6, 2011

Seedy Sunday & Goat Cheese Corn Bread

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While I was at Seedy Sunday picking up and eying over and a zillion locally saved seeds dreaming of my spring time produce isle in the front yard, I had a big ‘ol slow cooker pot of chili going back home so I planed to make a batch of cheesy cornbread muffins.

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March 4, 2011

Ginger Pear Chocolate Buckwheat Loafs

That had to grab your attention!

These little darlings would be super stellar baked straight up with any old flour, however I wanted to crack open the bag of Organic Buckwheat Flour I got when I visited Annie’s Flour Mill out in Abbostford over Thanksgiving, so I took a pear loaf recipe I scratched down a while ago and tweaked it into this divine little creation.

You’ll need:

1/2 cup butter at room temperature

3/4 cup of organic cane sugar

2 fresh eggs

1/2” of grated fresh ginger (or 1Tbsp of ground ginger)

1 cup of Kamut or Spelt Flour if you can tolerate ancient wheat if not use rice flour to make it GF

1/2 cup of Buckwheat flour

2 tbsp pure cocoa powder

1 Tbsp baking powder (non aluminum)

a pinch of sea salt

1/3 cup of yogurt, (or soured raw milk, or sour cream)

1/2 cup of of premium dark chocolate chunks

1/2 cup of dried pear chopped up small (or fresh finely diced pear)

1/4 cup organic candied ginger finely diced.

In a mixer cream butter, sugar until well mixed then add eggs, and fresh or ground ginger. Beat until smooth, scrapping down the bowl as needed.

In a bowl sift flours, bp, cocoa add sea salt together. Add 1/2 of flour blend into the mixer, once incorporated add yogurt, followed by the balance of the flour. Now add candied ginger, chocolate chunks and pear, Stop mixing as soon as everything is incorporated.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake at 350º for 60 minutes for 1 large loaf or 25 minutes if you use a mini loaf pan.

These are so very lovely


March 3, 2011

Cosmic Collision Cookies

This is what happens when you dump all the seeds you have in the pantry in to a giant bowl and lace them with chocolate, molasses, coconut and spelt, a cosmic cookie collision of flavour and texture! I make a version of these best selling cookies at the cafe and they have become a valley favourite! Funny too because the gal who originated this recipe now lives in this very valley, as the storey goes… she created the cosmic cookie recipe for Planet Organic, which got published (without her knowledge I hear), the recipe ended up in the hands of a vegan baker friend of mine, who shared a version on her blog, I made it at the cafe, and now make a little different version at home. So here is my homespun cosmic cookie.

This cookie is vegan and uses spelt flour (however I have used kamut and barley flour both successfully as a variation)

mix in HUGE bowl

3/4 cup  oil

1 cups rice / almond / hemp or soy milk

1/4 cup molasses

1 cup cane sugar

1 Tbsp cinnamon

2 tsp salt

add dry:

2 cups spelt flour

2.5 cups oats

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup hemp seeds

1/4 cup flax seed

1/4 cup chia seeds

1 cup coconut

1 cup chocolate chips

1 cup dried fruit (raisins or currants, or cranberries)

Mix everything together, portion with a scoop or by hand and bake at 350º for 15-18 minutes. So quick and easy to make the beaming approval and gushing praise will make you feel almost like you  cheated!

March 1, 2011

Savory Vegetable Leftover Noodle Soup

Savory Vegetable Leftover Noodle Soup: Vegan, Wheat & Gluten Free

My favorite gluten free noodles are quinoa hands down! They have a great tooth and the best thing about them is they don’t get all soggy, or mushy and overcooked. They don’t turn the water into slime like rice noodles do, they are just more like wheat noodles than any of the many GF noodles I have tried.

2 nights a go I made some quinoa elbow noodles with a simple garlic pesto dressing, they were great but I had a lot of leftovers as we have had visitors this week and I always cook to much when feeding a crowd, so I decided to add the left over noodles to a hearty veggie soup. All day I simmered some carrots, onions, garlic, leek and corn in a rich vegetable broth I had frozen down earlier. I seasoned the stock with dried lemon rind and a little kelp powder, along with some apple cider vinegar and lots of peppery chili’s. After the soup was seasoned perfectly, I added the now room temp left over pesto noodle to the broth and simmered it for 10 minutes before serving.

The soup was a huge hit… even in a very un-veggie friendly crowd!

I am baking up a storm right now… more great wheat free dairy free dessert and snack recipes around the corner!