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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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).
I have just joined this great recipe swap blog group run by the Burwell General Store, and I am thrilled to be part of an inspired group of seasoned bloggers who are up for the monthly vintage cookbook challenge Christina dishes out.
Once I joined the group and as I was eagerly awaiting my first challenge I had this creeping fear of receiving some mayo laden jellied meat recipe, seriously… when low and behold what challenge should arrive in my inbox, but a jell-o snowflake salad. Yes folks, veggies and cheese encased in jell-o served on a bed of greens with a dollop of MAYO! ACK. Luckily the challenge leaves room for interpretation, and I embraced the jell-o (albeit organic, vegan gluten free jello alternative) and can honestly testify that I created delicious vegan snowflake salad rolls, which totally rocked!
I am literally licking my plate clean as I write this entry, this somewhat uninspired hump day meal was wonderful and complex, bright and fresh! Yum I love it when a few simple ingredients and a memory of flavor combinations turn into a delightful dinner success. I rarely if ever use recipes for meals I let my inspiration come from what is fresh (from the garden usually or pantry these days), what needs to be used, what is left over and then I let my pallet guide the accompanying flavors. This dinner was born from a beautiful savoy cabbage and the memory of spicy sichuan dan dan noodles.
One of the things I miss most about city living is the delicious ethic food abundance! Back in my hometown of Calgary I miss Namskar my favorite Indian place, and Rea’s for Italian from scratch and the great service, Golden Bell for Pho, Borak for Turkish, and just about everywhere and anywhere in New York city for a slice of pizza pie or a bagel with a schmeer!
Out here in the bush I have to settled for home made ethnic everything shy of a very few mediocre Mexican / Japanese and Indian places all at least an hour from me! Some days I could kill for some veggie sauté soup and a bean curd springroll!
I just checked one of my readers blog voguevegatarian.com and was thrilled to find a hot and sour vegan soup recipe! Yumm, my mind was set on trying out her recipe at once. I have since made it twice, the first time I made the big mistake of subbing Braggs for light Soya sauce, and while my sweetie LOVED it and ate the whole pot.. it lacked authenticity for me… my mistake. Anyway’s this evening I took a crack at it again, and netting quiet possibly the best hot and sour soup I have ever had… well except for the soup on sizzling rice versions which I adore and miss dearly.
This dish was born out of a bit of a “chef block” I was struggling with. I generally have too many cooking / baking ideas to even attempt to execute, but the past week I have been overrun with other ideas and plans and inspirations, and my culinary life took a little hit. I am happy to report I back on the wagon and these lentils were not nearly as dreary as my cooking mood, when I made them. And like all great soups and stew this huge batch was a million times better the next day. The family has been devouring them day after day, which is good news for a left over pusher like me!
My family goes crazy for this easy fried rice dish, and my sweetie just loves that I used frozen mixed veg for the ultimate food court authenticity! I actually have run out of both corn and peas from my harvest (had a bad crop of both this year) and although I do have carrots, when I saw the mixed organic veggie bag in the freezer section of my local natural food store… I know these little babies were destine for a veggie fried rice dinner.. sans foam take out container.
There are so many foods I cook in volume when I cook them… to ensure the fridge is always armed with a quick fix meal, whether it’s rice, bean, lentils, ground meat or boiled eggs, I love to have them on hand. Because eating out of the pantry means planning ahead, and sometimes I am not very good at that… So when I go to the trouble of soaking beans, I make sure I have enough to make a few meals.
This quick fry rice is the perfect use for left over brown rice and an abundance of fresh eggs. Oh and all the beer cans in the picture, were just delivered from the “province of cheep beer” by a visiting friend the other day, was the perfect accompaniment for this dish. Oh Big Rock Beer!
In a wok or deep frying pan brown:
2 cloves of garlic
2″ ginger freshly grated
in a bleand of sesame oil and organic vegetable oil
1 small can of matchstick chopped water chestnuts
1 cup of thinly sliced green cabbage
1 tbsp chinese 5 spice
5 sichuan peppers ground
Once the onion, garlic and cabbage are just golden brown, then add:
2 cups of cooked brown rice
a drizzle sesame oil
and a good glug of rice vinegar + soy sauce or braggs
allow to cook for 5 minutes before adding:
4 eggs, cracked into a well in the middle of the pan, break yokes and run a fork through the eggs a couple times. Then wait a few minutes until they cook a little more, before running a fork through them again. Do this a couple times before mixing the egg into the rest of the dish.
Toss in a handful each of sunflower seeds, black seasame seeds, hemp seeds, and fresh minced parsley.
Serve and enjoy. Dinner on the table in less than 15 minutes!
Wow this dish burned the mouths of my loved ones… while I enjoyed every spicy morsel… and as my world got doused in snow today the idea of peppery warmth with new Chinese flavours rolled over and over in my mind, and seemed like the perfect solution for a frustrating start to the wintery season. It’s all down to a great new book I started reading “Sharks Fin and Sichuan Pepper, a sweet-sour memoir of eating in China” by Fushsia Dunlop. The book it self is a bit of a conflict for me, as I never read in the day time, and I am not usually a late night snacker… but reading before bed about mysterious Sichuan dishes in mouth-watering detail is leaving me dreaming about pepper and meat and noodles and smoke, even wondering about the texture and taste of things like rabbit head and pig ear, and even jellied chicken blood!
Dan Dan noodles mean shoulder pole noodles, which come from tradition of Chinese street vendors who carried noodles over their shoulders on bamboo poles. The storey of eating these noodles, steeped in Sichuan peppers was instantly appealing to me, and when I found a recipe to follow the chapter I was delighted. Not only did I get to play with entirely new spices and fermented flavours, but I realized just how much I can relate to wanting to eat foods that warm you from the inside when you live in a humid climate (which is still pretty new to me, coming from the dry prairies).
I know it has been a long time since my last post because when I went to find a picture for a recipe and found I have 5 images waiting to post! I guess I have some homework to do…. I have been really swamped with gardening, and getting ready for a little one year in the valley celebration this past long weekend, at least I have still been snapping pictures of the tasty bits along the way.
Everything here is getting green and blooming, and the little chards and collards are popping their heads out if the mulch, little purple artisan lettuce’s are lapping up the rainy drizzle and I am waiting for them all to grace out table. Tonight after running to town and rushing around the valley, I came home with two simple ingredients: rice noodles & goat feta from up the river.
I made two quick and delicious light dishes tonight that went beautifully together; an almond butter tofu pad thai with hemp seeds and a citrus spinach salad with feta and cabbage, complete with miso hemp dressing. yum and yum.
This salad is super simple: spinach, one orange, some purple cabbage shaved thin, fresh goat feta, sunflower seeds, and a little shaved carrot all snuggled up in my new favourite miso hemp dressing.
This is a yummy new addition to my miso collection of successful experiments! And I have fallen head over heals in love with this wonderful new cold pressed organic hemp oil I have in abundance, making this dressing a delicious combination of two perfectly pairing superfoods!
I love to make dressings in mason jars which makes for an easy way to measure, shake, serve and store it.
Start with 1 generous Tbsp of miso and mix into 2 Tbsp of hemp oil using a small whisk or the back of a spoon, until well blended. Add 2 Tbsp of lime or lemon juice, and 1 tsp of honey or maple syrup. S+P, and one toe of garlic minced. Shake well and douse your greens in this nutty rich dressing. This fab dressing keeps well in the fridge for a while, so you can scale up the recipe to make a larger batch easily.
Sticky Ginger Tofu, with Swiss Chard and Cashews: Wheat & Gluten Free, Vegetarian & Vegan.
This dish makes a wonderful meal with a nice grain like quinoa or brown rice. It takes only minutes to make and is packed with vitamins and flavor. Also it is some of the only local fresh veggies I can get these days, So i try to cook with Kale and Chard as much as possible.
This is a real crowd pleaser, they look like way more effort than they are, and once you make them yourself, I am certain you won’t buy the “asian appetizer sampler” from M&M ever again!
Start by browning both sides of firm tofu slices about 1/4” thick you will need three of them, season with S+P and brown in a blend of canola oil and sesame oil, set aside to cool a little. Add to the hot pan: 1 jalenpeno diced, 2 garlic cloves minced, 2” ginger knob finely grated and 1/4 of a red onion finely minced. Get these guys all browning and then add: 3 julienne carrots (sliced finely lengthwise). Reduce heat. You want the carrot to get just tender… not cooked through, about 1-2 minutes only. Add equal parts about 1-2 tbsp each: soy sauce, rice vinegar, sweet chili sauce, and just a splash of sesame oil and coat mixture evenly. Turn off the heat, but leave your pan on the element and add two big handfuls of bean sprouts, 3 green onions diced, and your browned tofu now sliced like the carrots. Mix everything together and place in a bowl. Add a little cilantro chopped and a small handful of fresh spinich finely chopped. Toss everything and set aside to cool completely, then refrigerate until your almost ready to serve the spring rolls. Before using strain the juices from your filling.
Ok, so maybe you are thinking.. again with the tofu and mushrooms? enough all ready.
But in all honesty this recipe is truly an amazing combination of flavors, and it takes about 12 minutes to make. I am sure you could easily add chicken and cashews instead of mushrooms and tofu and it would be just as wonderful.
This is a super quick weeknight meal!
Start by browning 1/4 of a red onion with 2 cloves of minced garlic and a good pinch of fresh minced ginger. Add the meat from 2 lean sausages ( I used garlic buffalo, but you could use anything even firm tofu would be great) Add 1/2 can bamboo shoots cut into thin ribbons. Season with S+P, a dash of chili oil and 2 tbsp Thai green curry paste. Add and simmer with 1 can coconut milk and the juice of 1 lime along with a dash of rice vinegar and a tbsp of cane sugar. In a separate pot boil 1 package of rice noodles. Cut 1 large baby bock choy into ribbons along with a 3” piece of cucumber cut into small ribbons. When the noodles are ready toss the bok choy and cucumber with the noodles and mix everything together with the curry, dress each serving with fresh cilantro and an extra squeeze of lime juice!