Archive for May, 2012

May 31, 2012

rhubarb almond buttermilk cake with hemp streusel crumb

Today started with a chill in the air and baking is just the right way to take the edge of a mountain morning. I have been watching my new (thanks to my back road buddy) rhubarb plant explode in the yard, and I finally went out this morning and chopped of 4 large (enough) stocks and fired up the oven. hmm what to bake? At present I no longer have a good source of affordable or trade-able local butter and I cringe everytime I pay $10 for a lb of organic butter at the grocery store. So I have been baking alot more vegan treats… yet I am flush with little happy eggs from my girls and ripe with new spring time growth around me. This recipe is a collimation of all of these element coming together in one damn tasty and beautiful looking cake.

Start by creaming together (by hand-

1/2 cup coconut oil

1 cup cane sugar

1 egg

1 tbsp vanilla

Then in a separate bowl sift together:

2 cups spelt flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

a pinch of fine sea salt

Now gently alternate mixing

1 cup buttermilk

into the sugar cream along with the sifted flour

finely stir in 2 cups (4 stocks) of chopped rhubarb pieces

and 1 cup ch

For streusel topping combine:

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup hemp seeds

1/2 cup chopped almonds

1/2 cup dark sugar

Sprinkle topping over cake or cupcakes and bake at 350, until a tooth pick comes out clean. This recipe will make enough cake for a 9×13 pan or you could get a 9″ round cake and 6 mini muffins. My 9″ cake took 25 minutes to bake and the cupcakes took about 18 minutes. Makes ure your pans are well brushed with oil, or parchment or butter (your recuperation method of choice)

*Sorry for anyone who was looking over this recipe earlier.. it appears the last bit cut cut off and some weird bits added… anyway all fixed up!

Happy baking!

Oh and I served this with a dollop of whipped cream mixed with 1 tbsp of my dandelion jelly which was marvelous!

May 30, 2012

dandelion jelly oh my

Not only is is stunningly beautiful, it is as if the sun poured it’s nectar into a glass jar for you to spread onto any thing you please.

This divine preserve looks and tastes like sunny honey.

Now I understand why the french celebrated spring with this jelly, it takes 365 days (and flowers) between batches if you pick dandelions at the height of spring time. This jelly is all things spring time. And I was gratful to stumble upon it in a book I just got from the library: We Sure Can – How Jams and Pickles are Reviving the Lure and Lore of Local Food. I can only imagine how delightful this will be on the coldest cloudy winter days.

What I like most about this recipe is that dandelions are abundant and free and wild and oh so yellow and yet always get such a bad rap! I now have 2 uses for dandelion heads: make more jelly and feed to the bunnies! Yet I will certainly seek out more ways to enjoy this free and sunny food.

This is not a simple jelly but really all jams and jellies involve  preparing and processing  time, so when your fields are flush with bright yellow heads, get picking, then cozy in with a glass of wine or tea and start picking petals!

* make sure you are not picking dandelions from the side of the road or from fields that have been sprayed!*

Pick 365 dandelion heads wash them and then snip the green stock and collect only the yellow petals in a large bowl.

Then in a heavy bottom pot combine flower petals, 3 tbsp of lemon juice and 6 cups of water. Bring to a full rolling boil for about 8 minutes. Transfer mixture to a glass bowl cover and let sit in the fridge overnight.

The next day, return mixture to a pot, and add 6 cups of organic cane sugar then return to a boil for about 10 minutes. Strain out petals and return syrup to the pot once again and add 10 tsp powdered pectin then return to another boil  until the jelly reaches setting point. You can test this using the cold plate or spoon back method. (it took me about 30 minutes of boiling to reach a good gel)

Ladle mixture into prepared sanitized jars and cap with boiled sanitized lids. Leave 1/4″ of head space in jars, and process for 12 minutes (if doing small jars or 15 minutes if using 500 ml+ jars) in a rapidly boiling water bath (or steam caner)  allow jars to cool down slowly. Once they pop they are ready for the panty, shortbread cookies or toast! share, stock up and enjoy!

Happy spring.

May 29, 2012

bok choy + beans szechuan style

You can’t tell but I am doing the happy garden dance! Today I harvested a mountain of baby bok choy, and it’s my first real veggie of the season. Sure I have been snipping herbs and crest and snacking on tiny micro greens but TODAY I got out the knife and really harvested some substantial veg! YEAH!

To honor the first veggie of the year I adorned it in deep and intense szechuan spices and served it with fresh green beans, seared tofu and peanuts. Yumm. I have been pumping out some killer meals around here feeding the masses of permaculture interns and visitors and one of our interns who has enjoyed dozens and dozens and dozens of meals said that this just might be the best one so far! So, I will leave it at that.

This recipe isn’t quick or simple or straight forward, It involves a number of pans and various methods of cooking various things. But given the enjoyment to effort ratio is so high, I will certainly recommend you try this one out!

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May 27, 2012

maple banana nut egg rolls

Do I really need to say more? Ripe banana, crunchy almond butter, maple syrup, chocolate chunks and coconut mashed into a decadent slurry, then rolled up in a egg roll wrapper and quickly pan fried and best of all served  still warm with ice cream. Sign me up! I love these because they are like a fancy dinner party take on the camp fire banana boat classic. The prefect use for ripe bananas and they couldn’t be easier!

In a large bowl combine:

4 mashed ripe bananas

1/2 cup almond butter

1 cup coconut

1 cup chocolate chunks

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp maple syrup

Spoon filling into prepared egg roll wrapper and roll (starting with the sides then the bottom, moving upward to seal the top flap), brush edges with a well  beat egg, or a thick flour and water blend, then pan fry until golden brown on all sides in an organic veggie oil.

You can prepare the rolls ahead of time, but do fry them up fresh before serving them, so they are steamy and crispy. I should apologize for the photo quality. I was serving these to a troop of mouth-watering guys, who were just drying to eat them, as I rushed my way through the photos. BUT you will promptly forgive me for the image quality once you taste these… I promise!

May 24, 2012

asparagus brown rice benny

I know this seems like a weird combination of things, but I promise this unique dish is wonderful and exciting, it’s like a light lunch of friend rice and a hearty eggs benny breakfast clashing together to make a beautiful celebration of spring time tastes; local asparagus, eggs from the hens outside, crisp peas, garlic and an easy home made hollandaise sauce to bring it all together.

Your just going to have to take my word on this… I served it to 6 happy “customers” last night, and they all felt it was delicious and defiantly blog worthy. (that’s the new props to the chef around here, “blog worthy”)

You’ll need to:

Cook 3 cups of brown rice (to serve 6)

Hard boil 5 farm fresh eggs, and set aside.

While I was hard boiling the eggs I used the pot of water as a double boiler to make the sauce like this:

Melt 1/2 lb butter and set aside

Then in a large stainless bowl whip 4 egg yokes along with 2 tbsp cold water until frothy, place over  the boiling pot and wisk for about 3 minutes until the egg become thick (but not cooked) remove from heat and season with:

2 tbsp lemon juice,

Dash of hot sauce,


1 tsp of mustard

Pinch of paprika

Set aside but keep warm.

In a large cast pan start to brown:

a little olive oil and butter mix

1/2 yellow onion chopped fine

4 cloves of garlic

allow to brown somewhat,

Then add 1 bundle of asparagus, chopped into bite sized pieces along with 1 cup of green peas.

Splash with some lemon juice and season with S+P

Cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes, or until the asparagus is to your liking (crisp and bright is best)

Now quickly toss the cooked rice into the pan with the veggies and add a couple pads of butter and get everything mixed through.

To assemble:

Pour rice and veggies onto platter, drizzle with a little sauce, add sliced hard boiled eggs and another drizzle of hollandaise sauce, and serve with a smile!

May 22, 2012

orange and carrot soup

With the help of a slow cooker this recipe takes literally no effort, but yields bright tasty crisp and warming veggie soup.

Start by combining in a slow cooker pot:

10 carrots chopped coursely

2 celery stocks chopped

2 sweet potatoes chopped and peeled

1 yellow onion chopped

5 cloves of garlic

2″ of ginger freshly ground

2 lime leaves


a pinch of cardamon

a pinch of tuneric

the juice from 2 oranges

1 organic onion or veggie bouillon cube

and enough water to cover veggies

cook on low for about 4 hours

before serving zip until smooth with immersion blender add a fresh zesting or ginger and a handful of cilantro, garnish with an orange slice and hemp seeds then serve!

May 22, 2012

easy vegan mocha spelt cake

This is about as easy a cake recipe as I can imagine. It comes together in minutes and takes only 25 minutes to bake. A rich moist chocolate coffee cake drizzled with cafe icing served with a hot espresso, this is the perfect solution for an afternoon sugar attack.

Simply combine all ingredients in a bowl pour into prepared pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean.


1 cup strong coffee (or chai tea concentrate would be lovely too!)

1/4 cup organic veggie oil

1 tbsp homemade vanilla

1/2 cup cane sugar

pinch of sea salt

1 cup chocolate chunks

1 tbsp coffee finely ground

1 1/2 cups whole spelt flour

1 tsp each baking soda and baking powder


That’s it that’s all.

yummy and simple.





May 19, 2012

barley mushroom cheesy bean balls

As I am always on the hunt for a great veggie burger I opted to finally buck the system and just wing it with my food processor. The results were great! The patties and mini balls I made all held up to a good pan frying and I am certain they would do well on the grill too (although I haven’t dug mine out yet and taken it back for it’s new wasp inhabitants)

I got to use my fancy new pressure cooker to cook the black eyes peas and barley in just 12 minutes so that is what started it all off for me.

There was some controversy amung our farm interns as to wheather or not it was cheatting if you topped a veggie burger with local happy bacon. I felt it was all wrong, they rooted for bacon, so I gave in  (they were working so hard out there moving dirt), we topped our burgers with avocado and smoked thick cut bacon and a good slab of cheese, homemade pickles, and home made ketchup… YUMM. I am a bacon veggie burger convert:) sorry my veggie friends! We ate the burgers so fast I didn’t get a chance to snap a picture… but I did manage to get a shot of these darling mini bean balls.

This recipe makes a huge batch, which yielded 9 thick and lovely burger patties as well as about 2 dozen mini bean balls.

In a large food processor combine:

1 cup cooked barley

1 cup cooked black eyed peas

1/2 cup of feta cheese

2 eggs (fresh from the chicken nesting box)

6 shitaki mushrooms (fresh or dried and soaked and drained)

a handful of parsley

1/2 cup of sunflower seeds

1 carrot

1 celery stick

4 cloves of garlic

2 tbsp grainy mustard


1 tbsp home made seasoning salt

1 tbsp tumeric

1 tbsp garlic powder

2 slices of toasted sprouted grain bread (or 3/4 cup gluten free bread crumbs or cereal flakes)

and a good amount of love

Once combined, allow to set covered in fridge for about 1 hour.

Then form into desired shape and pan fry or grill using organic veggie oil until golden brown, top or dress as you see fit and best of all ENJOY!

Summer time good eating!

May 18, 2012


What do you get when you combine spinich, kale, feta, hemp seeds and dill all bundled up in fillo pastry… crunchy hempy pillows of goodness, that’s what.

I played with using hemp oil brushed between layers of fillo rather than the butter I always lean on, and the results were great! The fillo was toasted perfectly and the mild nutty flavour the oil imparted was amped up by the hemp seeds in the cheesy green filling.

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May 10, 2012

mediterranean rice bowls

I need to start this post by praising my new kitchen toy… I bought a insta-pot online (I know this sounds super cheesy already) BUT my old vintage stove is really a piece of work, and struggles to do much other than hard boil, I have no simmer or low settings, so as you might imagine making rice in a pot can be so very challenging. I was looking for a rice cooker, specifically one without a teflon cooking basket, but it seems they just don’t make them without hazardous coatings on them anymore?! My friend sent me a link to instructions on how to cook rice and beans using a pressure cooker, I gave it a go and viola wonderful! perfectly steamed rice and cooked beans in just minutes. The trouble now was my pressure cooker is actually a HUGE pressure canner (and made of aluminium) it also is a chore to get it boiling on my stove and not scorch the stove top. Basically I was back to looking for rice cookers when I stumbled upon the instapot. This is an electric pressure cooker / slow cooker / and rice steamer. It’s programmable and best of all there is no non stick anything! The cooking pot is stainless steal (and good thick steal at that).

The day the pot arrived I was having friends for dinner and opted to do two whole pork loin roasts and make pulled pork… which was pretty good, well cooked, but I will work on the liquid amounts in future, next I made quinoa (in 8 minutes perfectly), then baked brown beans (a total flop… but more on that later), and finally a perfectly cooked pot of brown basmati rice TADA! I love this thing! Especially these days when I am busting my but in the garden and feeding 3 grown men + me and the little one regular hearty meals on time! This thing is really saving me all sorts of time and effort.

Today I made lunch rice bowl for the crew and with the help of this new toy It took al of 10 minutes to put these beautiful bowls on the table. I adapted the whitewater glory bowl dressing to put a mediterranean spin on it, and the results were divine!

Start by cooking 2 cups of brown basmati rice

In a large mason jar mix up this roasted red pepper dressing:

2 tbsp tahini

2 tbsp italian red pepper spread

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup apple cidervinegar

2 minced cloves of garlic


3/4 cup hemp oil

1 handful of dried oregano crumbled

a squeeze of fresh lemon juice

shake shake shake and set aside (you can keep this dressing in the fridge for a couple weeks)

In a large bowl combine:

1/2 of a cucumber chopped into bit sized pieces

1 cup of feta cheese chopped into bit sized pieces

2 large canned whole fire roasted red peppers, sliced thin

2 cups of chick peas (canned or cooked)

1/2 cup of hemp seeds

Toss with a good amount of dressing and set aside to soak up the flavours (this will keep well in the fridge too)

Now assemble, cooked rice along with some salad greens and the marinated chikpea salad, drizzle with some more dressing and garnish with extra hemp seeds and some more oregano.

When you serve these you’ll look like a veggie rock star chef and you don’t even have to break a sweat.

May 6, 2012

no flour hemp almond cake

The other day my friends hubby showed up late in the evening requesting a delicious birthday cake for his wife for the next day, so I leaned on my old stand by gluten free nutella tort, but this time I made some great changes which yielded a denser fuller cake thick and rich and not too sweet at all, I would say it has stepped from tort-dom to cake dom with these additions.

pre heat your oven to 350

In a double boiler gently melt:

100 g of dark bittersweet chocolate

along with 150 g of good quality organic veggie oil (grapeseed or canola is best)

mix well and set aside to cool somewhat.

Meanwhile separate 6 eggs

whip the whites to soft peaks

In a large bowl combine:

egg yokes

100 g finely ground almonds

50 g hemp seeds finely ground

2 tbsp homemade nutella

2 tbsp vanilla

a pinch of fine sea salt

Stir in the melted chocolate and stir until smooth.

Then gently fold in egg whites, until you have a well mixed fluffy chocolaty mixture

Prepare a 2 piece tort pan (9-11″) by greasing it well (I like to use butter for this, but if you are keeping this recipe lactose free try coconut oil or vegan natural buttery spread

Pour batter into pan and bake for 20 minutes, or until the centre is firm.

Allow to cool before removing tort shell pan, then glaze with a chocolate gnache, fruit spread or just drizzle with melted chocolate. serve and enjoy!