Archive for ‘Ethnic Inspirations’

July 8, 2014

Snow Pea Summer Stir Fry

Snow Pea Summer Stir Fry

Freshly picked snow peas are perfect in this spicy bowl of early summer flavors! Crunchy Asian cabbage from Ravine Creek Farm,  organic SilverKing Tofu, along with fresh from the garden cilantro, snow peas, and garlic scapes all cooked up in a chili sesame sauce. This is the perfect meal for a summer time patio dining.

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January 31, 2014

simple sichuan noodle soup

beef noodle soup

Sometimes you just need a kick of spicy rich noodle soup, when those days happen and you still want dinner on the table within the hour, then this recipe is your soul warming solution. Tender beef (or not) in a steamy broth of ginger, garlic, Sichuan peppers and chili, laced with earthy garden kale, cabbage and carrot ribbons with just enough rice noodles. Yum. ever since I made those melt your face off to die for dan dan noodles I have been a wee bit scared of the sichuan pepper, but I freed myself of that fear and it was liberating! Also this would so easily be a killer vegetarian soup, omit the beef (duh), use mushroom broth instead of beef broth, pump up the mushroom volume and likely you’ll already have vegetarian fish sauce in the pantry (which is all I use anymore). Easy.

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December 29, 2013

tourtiere a borrowed tradition

tourtiere

So pretty, isn’t it? This holiday season I was adamant that I would make French Canadian tourtiere to be served on Christmas Eve along side my new favorite killer condiment green tomato ketchup. What a great idea! I read about a million recipes for traditional tourtiere from various regions all over Quebec, which differ vastly. I settled on a flaky pork lard and butter whole spelt crust and created a dish of rich browned pork, lamb and beef seasoned with garlic and onion, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, bay and savory. I added small pieces of potato and a little chili for just a hint of heat.

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December 16, 2013

pakora perfection

pakoras

So the other day while my daughter and I were making doughnuts I figured we might as well stack our deep fry functions and make some pakoras to go with the killer pot of chicken curry that was waiting for us in the slow cooker. These turned out perfect and were actually really easy to make.

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November 28, 2013

cornbread wife saver

wife saver with corn bread

I am pretty sure you all are familiar with the dish “wife saver” we lovingly call it wife beater around here because it is pretty “white-bread-trashy”, why do folks love it so? My mom used to make this on Christmas morning once in a while, with SPAM if you can believe it, and my sweeties grandma makes it pretty often for brunch; white bread (crusts off) layered with ham and orange cheese soaked in egg and topped with corn flakes and more processed cheese! I tried once to make a really fancy version of this for a brunch, I used baguette, smoked bacon, roasted garlic, fancy french cheeses and even a bechamel sauce with fresh herbs, I loved it but my guy was missing all the trash factor, seriously. He told me not to mess with his wife beater, and for the last 8 or so years I have complied, until the other day that is… My daughter and I made a big batch of chili and she whipped up some corn bread skillets using our families favorite recipe (with the substitution  of corn flour for spelt flour). By day 3 we were over the corn bread and the chili, and I kinda forgot about half a skillet of corn bread for just long enough for it to start to dry out, and that is when it came to me; corn bread wife saver! It was worth a go, and I am so happy I tried it and the whole family LOVED this version.

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November 23, 2013

ox tail curry

ox tail curry

I have eaten a good amount of ox tail curry in my life (love it), and since our pig-in-a-day snout to tail cookery and butchery experience I feel like my chef-y odd bit cookery skills are more honed than ever. When my friend brought be a bundle of ox tail bits I was pretty stoked to bust out a curry, and tonight was the night. I knew I had to braise the meat and then pressure cook it for the softest tender beef, and that is exactly what I did. These nubby tail bits were slowly braised in pork lard and a heavy seasoning of salt and my favorite garam masala spice, then set to cook (in my instapot pressure cooker) for a few hours with some frozen whole garden tomatoes, loads of onions, and garlic… the yield was the most insanely moist buttery bits of beef ever! This curry also got a healthy dose of potatoes, peas, more spice and coconut milk for a creamy robust spicy curry, very similar to a vindaloo.

Ox tail isn’t for the faint of heart though! It’s no boiled pig head, but it is a little gnarly, albeit an abundant and cheap cut of meat. It’s a little bit like cleaning a roasted chicken carcass for soup, you need to caress the meat from the bone and sort out the fatty cartilage-y undesirable bits, of which there are about equal amount yuck to yum factors with tail. Totally worth the effort, and in fact the only time I have cooked as buttery melt in your mouth meat was in fact when I was making headcheese, the pork check was divine.

So if you find yourself flush in tail chunks, here is the low down on making a killer curry with them, you won’t soon forget:

ox tails

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November 5, 2013

kimchi corn crusted avacado taco

kimchi taco

Korea meets Mexico, and falls happily ever after in love on this organic yellow corn tortilla wrapped up in homemade chipotle salsa, fresh feta and red cabbage. Kimchi and deep fried avocado who knew?

Well the other day me and by back-road girlfriend ditched our muckers, baled on our canning and went to town for lunch, we hit this new Mexican place and on the menu they had a panko and kimchi taco, yum right. Well I have been thinking of how it could have been improved and gave it a shot tonight. I decided to forgo the white bread panko crust and do a gluten free chickpea and corn meal crust on the avocodo quarters, and I used some lovely locally made kimchi, and garnished the tacos with a little more … get up and go. Perfect if I do say so myself. These avocado wedges golden fried would be pretty killer just served up for a party with a stellar salsa to dunk in!

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October 25, 2013

ginger beef

gunger beef

This is the real deal my friends. If you are from Calgary you know what I am talking about when I say Ginger Beef, this is a homegrown Western Chinese classic, born in “cowtown” Alberta, this dish can be really hard to find all over the place. I don’t think I have actually eaten ginger beef  since I was about 16, but tonight I made a killer super authentic ginger beef, that blew my family away, and my guy is a total ginger beef connoisseur, he claimed it was the best ever, and I totally agree! I made it gluten free and of course the beef was grass raised grass finished happy healthy beef, I also made mine super heavy on the garden veg.

Now straight up this is not a easy dish to bang out in a pinch, it took hours of marinating and a double fry, with a wok stir fry finish. Lots of steps, but if your miles away from a decent Chinese meal and your family is aching for a fix, this is the answer. Pair this with my vegan hot and sour soup, and a batch of mu shu pork noodles and you are  off to the races… just need some fortune cookies to finish the night off.

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October 19, 2013

sweet potato skillet pie

sweet potato skillet pie

This recipe is the origin of so many amazing adventures in my life. I recall always disliking Thanksgiving dinner as a child… I didn’t eat meat, I hate stuffing, dry potatoes arg, overcooked brussel sprouts… all bad things. One year my aunt brought to dinner something that changed my life forever… a baked mashed sweet potato dish covered in sugar coated pecans… finally FLAVOR for a holiday meal! I started making it myself as a teenager and really amped up the seasonings, I played with maple coated nut toppings and loved it all. It soon became the dish I always brought to the festive meals… that and the turkey later on, as I would seek out sustainable happy turkey farms and drive for hours and pay top dollar to deliver a raw fresh bird to whom ever was hosting the big family dinner that year, just so I could indulge in turkey and gravy along with my sweet potato pie!

This sweet potato pie dish welcomed me to the world of sharing food with folks, presenting a truly stand out dish and soaking up the oohs and ahhs. From there I was hooked on nourishing people with really tasty foods! Fast forward many years and when I was opening my second bakery and was developing vegan and gluten free recipes I decided one day to plop a couple cups of holiday left over sweet potato pie into the mixer… that moment the famous Pure vegan Sweet Potato Pow cookie was born. Here is a revised version of that killer cookie recipe and a little more of the story, but back to the pie…

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October 19, 2013

green tahini dressing on falafel salad

green tahini dressing on falafel salad

OMG my fear of all things white and creamy have had me avoiding tahini most of my life, admittedly  I still do when eating out as so often it is mixed with yogurt which I still can’t manage to eat… But the other night I made a killer batch of homemade falafels with sesame seeds and all sorts of crunchy deliciousness, and imagined the dinner needing a bit of a dressing to appease my sweet heart who drowns his falafel in all sorts of white sauce. This killer green tahini dressing was born and I just have to share it with you all, because it is so very good!

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October 16, 2013

asian lake fish soup

asian fish soup

I have a huge backlog of recipes to get through, boy the harvest time is busy!

Last week my sweetie came home after a long day of fishing with the boys with 2 lovely and large fresh lake Dolly Vardens, which as I understand are land locked salmon, they are a little oilier than salmon and even yummier. I don’t buy fish ever, if you want to know why check this out. I miss eating fish a whole lot so when we go fishing and come home with fresh caught lake fish I sure try to make the most of all of it! I also decided to fillet these lovely fish myself, thankfully youtube guided me through the process and I can’t believe how much easier it was to do than I imagined. First night I oven roasted 1 fillet with a thick coat of grainy mustard, maple syrup and garlic, yum! The I started the fish stock. I boiled down the spines and tails and all the boney bits and fins with some onion and garlic all night and much of the next day. After straining the result was a deeply rich fish stock to build this aromatic Asian inspired soup with.

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August 22, 2013

red pepper white bean dip

white bean dip

yum this dip is so nice and easy it’s perfect for dunking or as a dollop on a noddle / rice salad bowl!

In a food processor combine until silky smooth:

2 cups cooked white beans

3 heaping Tbps Italian red pepper spread

3 cloves of garlic

1 small yellow onion

3 tbsp tahini

splash of lemon juice + red wine vinegar

Glug of olive oil

Sea salt

A pinch each of paprika and cayenne

Garnish with a dollop of red pepper spread and a drizzle of nice olive oil. Enjoy.

July 22, 2013

feta avacado dip

feta avacado dip

Such a nice take on same old same old guacamole, this feta dip is fresh and bright and totally dunk-able! Best of all the feta came from my favorite milk maid curiosity of her lovely dairy goat aptly named “feta”. This is by no means mexican in flavor, and you could so easily make this the spread  on a BLT or any number of burgers. It is flavored with basil and lemon and garlic, it’s smooth and sharp and perfect for any manor of summer grilling menus. Best of all it’s so simple.

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July 18, 2013

perfect thai style curry

easy thai yellow curry

Honestly this might be the easiest, tastiest and most authentic tasting Thai style yellow curry I have ever had let alone made! This perfectly punchy sauce was made in a wide mouth mason jar with my handy immersion blender using only a few simple ingredients. The veg can be what ever you have on hand and of course you could add meat or fish or tofu, served over steamed rice you’ll think you were on a beach in Thailand… trust me this is ridiculously good!

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July 5, 2013

dolmades

fresh grape leave dolmades

OK this is crazy cool, We have crazy big grape vines here about 6 really hearty vines that produced well over 50lbs of grapes last year and are poised to do way better this year! Well it has only taken 4 years, but we finally harvested grape leaves and for the first time ever I made dolmades. So fun and lovely tasting. I am considering canning a good amount of leaves right now… but I might just steam and freeze them for future days.

I had some ground pork from our pig at the ready, along with some leftover rice and ample fresh herbs on hard, which all combined to make bright refreshing and delicious dolmades! The grape leaves were really easy to process and roll, and I am sad I have overlooked them for so long.

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June 15, 2013

vietnamese pork vermicelli

vietnamese pork vermicelli

All this time living in the country I have been missing Vietnamese food so much, and finally tonight I decided to crack into my lovely stash of our very own piggie and char up some sweet marinated chops and serve them atop vermicelli noodles with farm fresh lettuce, some homemade chili pickled carrots and green onions, all drenched in a kickin’ fish sauce. Wow! better than lots of crappy Vietnamese meals I have had in my life! All this dish was missing was some veggie spring rolls. The troops LOVED this meal, and it will defiantly hit the table again soon!

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May 26, 2013

vegan palak “paneer”

_MG_2292

This is a great dairy free take on a garden fresh spinach curry, made with my canned tomatoes and Chamela Giri’s Garam Masala. I used local organic tofu as the paneer and coconut milk to thicken this rich dark curry. For a from scratch curry, this is pretty easy to make. Serve over rice with a garnish of cilantro and your off to the races!

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May 2, 2013

Mu Shu Pork Noodles

Mu Shu Pork

Seriously folks this dish is sooooooo amazing, and delicious you have to try it. I just happen to have for the first time in my life some pork in the freezer (a whole pigs worth in fact), and as I am not really adept at cooking pork I had to Google myself some inspiration this evening. And when I entered pork+ cabbage+Chinese in my search engine, Mu Shu arrived and instantly I was gun-ho to create a noodle hybrid of an old favorite of our families – My Shu Pork. I Love Mu Shu… although I have never had a pork version of this as I always had to order it sans pork, I was pretty sure that my happy little piggie would taste great in this dish I was already drooling over in my mind. I read a few “authentic” mu shu recipes before settling on being inspired by the flavors of two, which I combined along with rice noodles rather than the traditional mu shu rice cake wrappers.

I used two huge thick fatty pork chops to make this dish, along with cabbage, dried mushrooms, celery, eggs and my favorite brown rice noodles, all finished with hoisin sauce and chives fresh from the garden. Yumm. Who knew pork was so delicious when you raise it with love and let it live outside and feed it good food and let it do what pigs want to do!??

My veggie friends I have not abandon you, In fact this dish I know will be just perfect without meat. Maybe add some bean sprouts instead or tofu if you feel you need it, but the mushrooms are really meaty and rich.

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April 7, 2013

easy lentil curry soup

easy curry lentil soup

This is so simple, fast and bursting with flavor you can’t help but love this soup! This is more Vegan and Gluten free goodness that sticks to your ribs! Perfect for drizzling cool spring days…

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February 27, 2013

glass tiger noodle soup

creamy thai mushroom soup-6

My sweetie helped me name this soup, as I have no personal memories of Thailand or Vietnam,  I do have a pretty clear memory of seeing Glass Tiger play a concert at Calaway Park as a kid , thankfully  the delishiousness of this asian inspired soup  is not in anyway connected to the bands performance (only in reference to the glass noodles), and in fact I think this soup rocks harder than Glass Tiger ever did! The other big plus is this soup recipe is offering some reprieve from the never ending request for hot and sour soup… finally a substitute. More about hot and sour soup drama here.

This soup is silky and sweet, sour and creamy with some good hot undertones. A great vegan (or non vegan) bowl of goodness, depending on your supply of old roosters; My batch today  was made with rooster stock (from our meanie bird who just departed the barnyard cast this past weekend, he was only good for dog food and soup stock, as he was lean and tough and did I say mean?) BUT of course you can you veggie stock to make it none meaty no problem!

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January 25, 2013

masala hash

_MG_0533

This dish is a fiery collision between trailer park cooking and indian spices, and it is amazing!

Hash. Maybe this stems from a potato rich european country (Ireland I am looking at you), in theory it sounds simple, even boring, fried meat and potatoes, but man add a dozen layers of indian depth and you are onto something. Starting with roasted sweet potatoes, yams and russet potatoes seasoned with sea salt and Chamela Giri’s garam masala, slathered in ginger spiced vindaloo ground beef and onions garnished with bright fresh cilantro and chunks of creamy avocados. Can you say comfort food. I can’t help but believe you will enjoy this yummy concoction as much as our household did.

This recipe couldn’t be simpler to bring together:

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November 20, 2012

slow cooker curry vindaloo

I could call this meatball curry, but not because the curry has meatballs in it… but because it has our friends cow “meatball” in it, and oh boy is he tasty! I made a leek and potato soup today for lunch and at the same time I filled the slow cooker with my favorite Indian flavors and let the lot cook down for about 6 hours,  upon taking my first bite, I new I had to share this recipe with you all! This might be the best curry I have ever made, you gotta try this!

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October 25, 2012

community chutney

This is the grand prize winning chutney in the salsa ‘n such category of our 1st annual pickle palooza! I called it community chutney because my community supported this deliciousness entirely… I grew some of the ingredients, my friends grew others, yet more friends helped me pick even more of the ingredients from other friends land, and then my friends mom shared her famous (and likely secret) chutney recipe with me. I adapted the recipe to work with the fruit I had in abundance and the results were exceptional! This sweet and zingy chutney is the perfect accompaniment for most any curry or rice dish, meat pie, or any flakey tasty appy that needs dunking. So here is my spin on this fabulous recipe (which I will keep it’s original form a secret for Carol)

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October 16, 2012

pine mushroom pad thai

One of my favorite things about fall is mushroom hunting! This is my third year foraging for fungi and I just can’t get enough of this edible past time. My daughter and I took the fall mushroom class again this year, and finally I think some of this crazy mycelium is sticking in my mind! Me and the Chanterelles were on the same wave length, I could truly sense where they were, and found myself lifting bits of forest duff only to find a lovely chanterelle ready to burst out! What luck. Last night we enjoyed a creamy chanterelle fettucini and last year I made this killer cream of chanterelle soup. But my favorite mushroom of the day was the pine mushroom (Matsutake) . I am hopeless at finding them, but my daughter and her friend (with the help of our guide and local mushroom enthusiast) found a few sweet flushes. We left with a basketful and shared many with our friends and hunting companions.

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September 22, 2012

eggplant parmesan

Even though I am eyeball deep in canning / drying / harvesting and about 1 million client projects I had this incredible desire to make something super special for dinner the other night. The kind of dish that requires messing up a million pans, and pots and bowls, while balancing 3-4 burner temps and times all in stride. You see the night before I met my new farmer friend Tony on the side of the road and loaded up (again) with his bio dynamic organic goodness, from the valley next to us. He brought with him these stunning eggplants. Eggplant I think is the most voluptuous and sexy veg on the planet. I swooned and came home with a dozen of these perfectly deep dark purple glossy wonders and started dreaming of jars of Italian styles eggplant in oil, and of course of egg plant parmesan. Along with the aubergines I also bought 5 lbs of these fabulous tie-died looking colored peppers, that were so sweet and crisp and I just had to pull out all the stops and honor this beautiful food… And so these gluten free eggplant parmesan with oven roasted pepper sausage sauce was born.

Where to begin with this recipe…

Lets start with the eggplants. Maybe some of you like me have experience trying to fry eggplant in a pan of oil, only to discover the oil being lapped up and mysteriously disappearing into the eggplant, it has a unique ability to make you feel really bad about your ability to bang out a tasty veggie dish. Well here is the answer to that struggle:

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September 17, 2012

chutney canning

I have a “Kootenay Mom” my mother in law appointed our regional mother when we moved to a new province, and far away from our folks. My Kootenay mom is a super woman, her garden is magnificent and her husband and her grow all of their own food for half the year right here in the Kootenays and then pack up their VW bus with all of their homegrown food canned and preserved foods, and head south to live in Mexico for half of the year, where they promptly get canning tropical fruit salsas and chutneys to bring back north with them in the spring. Truly an inspiring year of eating and growing. She has shared so many delicious relishes and chutney with us over the years, and just the other day I called her for her fabulous plum chutney recipe, which I am inclined to share with you all, because it’s great, I am drowning in plums so likely this will not be the last canned plum recipe you see here.

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September 8, 2012

chipotle peach BBQ sauce

Canning canning canning. I am trying to focus on canning things that can be used as elements to hearty winter meals rather than as accompaniments. So sauces are top of my list. Today I branched out and tried a southern style chipotle peach BBQ sauce made with honey and apple cider vinegar. Yum, my friend and I licked the vat clean, (after the jars were canning away of course). I can’t wait to slather this on a rack of ribs, or stir it into baked brown beans, I think this would also be a lovely dipping sauce for spring rolls and baked crunchy goodies.

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August 1, 2012

fataya fabulous fataya

A few years back I had the great pleasure of trying a fabulous Lebanese dish called fataya, my girlfriend brought some out to the farm here to share, and I feel in love with the fluffy bread bundles stuffed with spicy beef and mint. Reminded me of classic British Sunday roast slathered in mint sauce. These fatayas have inspired a few dishes, namely these minty meat balls, so I thought it was about time I tried to make some fataya for my self… not sure if it was the bountiful mint bog that inspired me, or the fact that our vegetarian interns are now gone, and we have had a 2 day meat party! Whatever the case I am thrilled at the results and I made a stellar veggie fataya too, complete with garden fresh peas, fresh mint, and my girlfriends goat feta. I tricked the guys and bundled all of the fatays in the same triangle shape, so they could’t skip out on their veggies in during their great meat gluttony (which is now behind us for the record)!

I searched for a nice sounding dough recipe and finally found this one, which I used, and it was a delight to work with, silky and soft, forgiving, and fluffy.  I started the dough and let it sit and rise for a couple hours while I assembled the two different fillings.

Mint pea feta filling:

In a frying pan start by browning 1 small onion in a good glug of olive oil

add and fry 2 minced garlic cloves

when brown add 3 cups of fresh peas

season with S+P

add 1/2 cup of water and a splash of fresh lemon juice,

allow to simmer on medium for about 3 minutes.

add a handful of fresh chopped mint and mix, remove from heat.

In a bowl mix together

1 cup chopped (or crumbled feta)

along with the pea and onion mix

Set aside until your ready to stuff the dough

Meat and mint filling:

In a frying pan start by browning 1 small onion in a good glug of olive oil

add and fry 2 minced garlic cloves, and 6 finely chopped garlic scapes

cook for 2 minutes before adding in 1 lb of grass fed local / organic ground beef

season with:

S+P

2 tsp chili flakes

Allow to cook down before adding:

1 HUGE handful of fresh chopped mint

1 handful of fresh chopped parsley

Once cooked through set aside until your ready to stuff the dough.

Follow the dough instruction from the link above, which yielded me about 24 fataya. I used a 4.5″ circle lid to cut out the dough into rounds, then stuffed each with about 2 tbsp of either meat or veggie filling. I then pinched half of one side together, and then pulled the center of the open flap up to the triangle tip and sealed up the two new sides, to form these lovely little triangles.

Each one got a good beat egg brushing, and were baked for about 13 minutes at 350. I whipped up a spicy tomato chili dipping sauce that was perfect, and the dish was a huge hit. I will certainly make these again and again. I had a little of both of the fillings left over which I mixed together and plan to stuff into baked potatoes tomorrow night!

July 24, 2012

mexi brunch stack

There is a great indulgent presentation that comes from a platter of food, offering intrigue with each layer of fresh from the ground foods. I find myself leaning on this family style dinning presentation often, as it saves dishes and looks beautifully inticing. On this occasion I found myself trying to decide if I should serve a bang up breakfast for lunch or make use of some leftover black beans from tacos and make a mexican style beans and rice, My interns suggested I do both, and that is what you see here a brunch stack infused with Mexican flavors in each layer. Brunch, where the best of both lunch and breakfast come together to break bread.

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July 12, 2012

tamari turmeric sesame fry

Forgive me for being away so long… Although I have been cooking up a mountain of delicious vegetarian meals for all my hardworking interns, I have been lacking the time to snap a photo and share any recipes. The good news is the garden is ripe with inspiration and we are amid a crazy hot hot hot spell, so a little time to sneak away to a less sunny spot for a mid day blog entry is awfully appealing!

Tonights meals was a total rush job, but my friend who mentioned early in the day that she liked to toss french fries in olive oil, turmeric and sesame seeds motivated to do the same with tofu seared with fresh from the garden garlic scapes, zucchini and brown mushrooms. Yum

The seasoning in this dish is relatively subtle with hints at sesame, ginger and cilantro, chili and turmeric with the lovely garlic infusion that stir fried garlic scapes offer. Simple and fast and perfect served over brown rice with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast.

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June 8, 2012

chai chocolate pansy cake

Remember a couple weeks back when I posted this delicious spelt espresso vegan cake recipe, well when I was enjoying a bite of this dense and moist cake I though about how great it would be with chai spice rather than espresso, and so I busted one out to take to a lovely dinner party, and I was right… it was FABULOUS with a spicy chai kick. My daughter picked little purple pop up pansies from all over the garden and they were the perfect finish for this divine vegan dessert.

I didn’t tweak too much from my original post but I did double the batch to yield a whopping 12” spring form pan that made for 12 hearty portions (easily could have served 24)

I used in this recipe both a chai concentrate liquid as well as a chai spice blend. If you don’t have both I am sure just the concentrate (or a stiff brewed chia tea) would do, but you may want to add a pinch of a few chai essential spices from your pantry; especially cardamom and cinnamon and clove.

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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 18, 2012

spanak-o-hemp-ita

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

S+P

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.

April 29, 2012

ginger chilli lime coconut rice

TO DIE FOR RICE! Seriously…

The wonderful inspiration for this dinner came from 101 cookbooks, this just posted spicy lemon coconut sauce recipe totally spoke to me! I served this sauce over jasmine rice and made just a wee couple tweaks to the recipe, served it with chilli ginger meatballs and ground peanuts! Mmm we all licked our plates clean tonight!

Those of you that are aware of my serious aversion for creamy white things are likely shocked by this post although it’s dairy free the colour and texture of white-y things are tough for me… but not today!  By the time I zipped up all the chilli, galic and herbs I was sold, and I love coconut milk, so this sauce is the perfect white sauce for me!

In my spin on this great coconut sauce I zipped it all up in the food processor like this…

Start by pulsing:

3 cloves of garlic

2″ of ginger

2 hot green peppers (stem and seeds removed)

a handful of fresh from the garden chives

then add 1 handful of cilantro

a drizzle of sesame oil (about 2 tsp)

pinch of sea salt

the juice of 1 lime

and 1 can of coconut milk

process until combined and keep in a jar in the fridge.

To make the best rice you have ever tasted pour 1/2 of this batch on 2 cups of hot cooked jasmine rice garnish with cilantro and enjoy!

April 23, 2012

finally AMAZING corn bread muffins

Everytime I make chilli or baked beans or bean soup I feel inclined to make corn bread… and in theory I like the stuff, but recipe after recipe has let me down. I have tried it a million ways, on the grill, in a skillet, in muffin tins, with buttermilk, with butter, with honey, with maple syrup and while some I like more than others I have had more ho-hum batches than I care to admit. BUT FINALLY I found a keeper recipe for my house, and I am really excited to share it with you all. (did you imagine I said yall’ with a drawl, just now?)

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April 11, 2012

hot and sour stir fry

Other wise known as COMPROMISE! If your married you will understand this one…

Remember a few months back when I posted a delicious vegan hot and sour soup recipe? Well my sweetie has quite literally been requesting I make it just about every other day. This is no joke. Frankly, as much as I really do love the soup I can’t eat anything week after week, let alone back to back UGH! I am at the point where I actually resent the soup and having ever made it all together. He has even taken to making it himself (following my blog recipe, which I will say is very ambitious and totally out of character for him, but, I will say that speaks to the level of desire he feels for this soup), although he hasn’t cranked out a perfect batch yet  he has begun now to soak the mushrooms in hopes that I will sweep in a whip him up a pot. This past week as he was harping on me to make it again, but Uh-Oh  I found we had no canned Chinese vegetables to go in it (these are things I am really not wanting to consume to much of anyway, so in all honesty I am slow to restock).

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April 7, 2012

cauliflower potato and tofu curry

This curry is so lovely and easy to make. Super similar to this garden grown korma recipe…. just with more last days of winter veggies in it. A straight forward vegetarian curry with punchy traditional flavours sowly bubbled on the stovetop for about 45 minutes. Best served with rice and roti.

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April 6, 2012

red pepper black bean orzo soup

If you have a tetra pack of tomato or red pepper soup in the back of your pantry just waiting for some inspired idea other than grilled cheese, then this mexican spin might be just for you. This isn’t my usual approach to soup… that is tossing canned and tetra pack ingredients together and serving after only a quick boil.. but today it was just what was required. I had hungry chicken coop fencers to feed and only a few minutes to put something hearty on the table. While this soup didn’t have the slowly simmered away all day with love taste… it certainly had a great chili kick and enough fuel to keep us all going through the afternoon (and saw the completion of the chickens happy new home in the forest!)

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