Posts tagged ‘gluten free recipe’

February 12, 2012

slow food february french onion soup

I am chasing the winter blues away with the most local soup ever, although it’s named French onion soup, it’s really not French at all, what it is however is made entirely with the contents of  my food shed + a splash of dry sherry from Australia. This is my hands down all time favourite soup! BUT only when done properly… have you ever been served watery broth with a handful of salad croutons from a box and a sprinkle of the plastic powdery parmesan cheese at some restaurant? Gawd what a sad affair that is.

I decided to make this soup because I had lots of yellow onions, local cave aged cheese, a deep craving, and the only herb I have still growing is thyme. It seemed a natural.  We are blessed with wild creeping thyme which covers a HUGE amount of grass and roadside at my homestead, and when I built a herb spiral in my garden a couple years ago, I added a big shovelful of this hearty thyme to the base of the spiral. As it turns outs the herb spiral is cozied up just below our walk through cold frame , and I have about 2 sq ft of still living fresh green, un-snowblanketed thyme! Which is pretty fabulous because I actually didn’t dry any thyme this year, so I have been enjoying  gentle grazings of this robust fresh herb on occasion.

I used a new technique for making French onion soup this time and that is to oven roast the onions in butter (which coincidentally was churned by my neighbour) slowly for hours the day before putting the soup together. I also decided at the same time to boil down a batch of dinosaur sized cow bones, that I hauled home from the latest down the road butchering day. Originally I intended on giving them to the dogs, but when I realized I was out of my home-made beef stock and had no bouillon cubes left… the answer was obvious, and the house smelled divine for the whole weekend as I bubbled away bones, celery, onions, parsley and garlic to yield about 2 quarts of hearty stock.

You could of course do this all in one day, and use tetra pack stock (mushroom would be perfect for a veggie version), but It sure added to the appeal of this dish for me to draw the process out, build the flavours and use my friends cow bones to brew up another supply of beef stock for my freezer!

On the rare occasion I make a pot roast, I often make this soup the next day mainly because you end up with so much meaty beef stock and I always think this is the perfect venue to use it up in (only after making leagues of gravy of course). I also tend to use a slow cooker to make onion soup, but this weekend, I set out to soak up the onion-y steam and spend some time being very domestic, tending to the stove and the fire (while my partner was up in the forest cutting down dead standing tree’s to keep us cozy through the last push of winter), It also seemed a natural fit.

Regardless of if you do this in two days or one, in a pot or in the slow-cooker the first step is certainly the most important to adding a rich deep caramel colour and flavour to this soup.

In a well buttered heavy bottomed oven safe pot add:

1/4 cup of butter

8 medium onions sliced 1/4″ thick


two sprigs of fresh thyme

Roast at 300 for  about 4 hours, in which time you only need to stir it twice.


Remove from oven and place on stove top over medium high heat

Paying close attention and stirring very little you want to create a deep caramalized char on the bottom of the pan, once it is all deep brown you want to de-glaze with 1/4 cup of sherry. stir all the golden bits into the liquid and essentially clean the bottom of the pot with your spatula. Do this 2 twice more but on the last time use 2 cups of stock instead of sherry. at this point you can transfer the pot to a slow cooker or the fridge or keep right on making the soup.

In to the pot add:

6 extra cups of stock (beef is ideal, but as I said already mushroom would be nice too)

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

2 tbsp sherry

2 additional springs of thyme


Simmer for at least 30 miutes (if cooking on stove top)

To make this soup authentic and wonderful you need some oven safe soup bowls. Portion hot soup into individual bowls, top with a thick cut slice of sourdough rye bread, cover with a good amount of gouda, or another aged and robust cheese, sprinkle with fresh parsley and broil for about 5 minutes, or until you can’t take it any more and you have to dive in!

bon appetit!

January 15, 2012

doukhobor borscht

Before moving to the Slocan Valley of BC, whenever I heard mention of borscht I immediately thought of beet soup, that bright deep pink concoction often served with a dollop of sour cream… which to be honest I avoided my whole life.  Well things are a little different out here in the valley. The Doukhobor population and culture is really rich here and I kept seeing this creamy orange soup everywhere… borscht they called it, and it was the exact opposite of what I expected. This Doukhobor borscht was bright and creamy, complex and hearty. I have enjoyed many a bowl, at community events and local cafes. I finally set out to try my hand at borscht making and I have to say the results were pretty damn good, considering I had no mama to teach me. I did however talk to many of my Doukhobor friends about how their mom’s made this soup, I also researched many recipes on line, and finall settled on one which I thought was most inline with the flavours I was after. Now making Borscht is NOT for the feint of heart. It is a multi pot multi hour process with many of the hearty root veggies being prepared two different way, in both cutting and cooking. It involves a whole lot of cream and butter, and some serious patience. And only now do I understand why someone might pay $15 / L for this soup, as I have seen it advertised often throughout my valley. Props to those Doukhobor Momas!

So if you are looking for a grand event of a soup making challenge, I urge you to try this out, I will post the recipe in it’s original form along with it’s source link, then below you will find the very few tweaks and thoughts I have from my borscht making adventure. This is one of those recipes I tried not to mess with too much, as it was all new territory for me!

Vegans beware… this is not for you.. however I think a nice olive oil in place of the butter and veggie stock in lue of the crazy amount of cream would net a really nice veggie soup… and I will certainly try my hand at a vegan version soon!

I will also note the book open in the background of this picture is The Third Crop by Rita Moir and it is a wonderful pictorial historical book on the history of my new home land, and we have really enjoyed reading all about the development of the Slocan Valley and the roll the Doukhobor people have played in making my valley what it is today!

but back to the borscht…

the recipe came from here “Traditional Doukhobor recipes”

Doukhobor Borscht

3 qt. water
5 medium sized potatoes
3/4 cup (180 ml) butter
1/2 cup (125 ml) grated carrots
1 small beet
1 cup (250 ml) chopped onions
2 tbsp (30 ml) fresh chopped dill
1 cup (250 ml) diced potatoes
6 cups (1.5 L) shredded cabbage
1 tbsp (15 ml) salt
1 cup (250 ml) whipping cream
1/2 cup (125 ml) chopped carrots
4 cups (1L) canned tomatoes
3/4 cup (180 ml) green pepper
3/4 cup (180 ml) green onions
1/4 cup (60 ml) chopped celery

•In fry pan pour 4 cups (1L) of canned tomatoes and mash. Add 1 tbsp (15 ml) butter and 1/4 cup (60 ml) of onions and simmer until thick.
•Place 1/4 cup (60 ml) of butter, 3/4 cup (180 ml) chopped onions, 1/2 cup (125 ml) finely grated carrots and 1/4 cup (60 ml) chopped green pepper into a frying pan and sautee until transparent – do not brown.
•In a separate frying pan, place 2 cups (500 ml) of shredded cabbage and 1/4 cup (60 ml) of butter and sautee until tender – do not brown.
•Boil 3 qts (3L) of water in a pot, add 1 tbsp salt, 1/2 cup (125 ml) chopped carrots, 4 medium potatoes halved, 1 beet, 1/4 cup (60 ml) chopped celery, and add 1/2 of the simmered tomatoes from step 1, continue to boil ingredients in pot until potatoes are tender.
•Remove potatoes and mash with 1 tbsp butter, 1/2 cup (125 ml) cream, 1/4 cup (60 ml) green pepper, 1/4 cup (60 ml) green onions, 1 tbsp dill, then set aside.
•To the pot in step 4, add 1 cup (250 ml) of diced potatoes, 3 cups (750 ml) shredded cabbage, 1/2 cup ( 125 ml) cream and bring to boil.
•Pour the mashed potatoes back to pot in step 4, bring to boil.
•Remove pot from heat and add remainder of simmered tomatoes from step 1, fried onions and carrots from step 2, the fried cabbage from step 3, add 1/2 cup (125 ml) green onions, 1/4 cup (60 ml) green pepper, and 1 tbsp dill.
•Discard the whole beet. Season to taste with black pepper.
•Let sit for a few minutes before serving to allow flavours to mix. Serve hot

*** Whew that is a set of instructions and this is no one pot chili! I did a few things ever so slightly different that called for… I only had 1/2 green cabbage and half of a red cabbage.. so my soup was a little redder than I was hoping for.

I was dreaming of a Fominoff style borscht (from a local bakery: Fomi’s Bakery) Theirs is less creamy more yellowy orange and that is really what I was after… next time I will omit the boiling of the while beet and I will also only use green cabbage.. along with more carrot and less tomato, in exchange for a veggie stock… also less cream would suite me just fine.

Having said all of that.. this looks and tastes like many bowls of borscht I have enjoyed over the last couple years, and I am sure if you are up for the challenge, you will indeed enjoy the results!

And to my dear friend Tash out in the foothills of Alberta, who first introduced me to this style of Borscht as she was visiting us and reliving her honeymoon dinner (at the borscht hut in Castlegar on route to Rossland)… Thanks Lady! miss you all like crazy! xoxo

December 21, 2011

lemon ginger meringues

aka pillows of heaven (as my daughter has dubbed them)

So for our solstice dinner tonight we decided to celebrate our abundance of eggs, and make another batch of home made pasta, which we added fresh parsley and grated garden garlic into the dough. The noodles will be part of a prosciutto carbonara our festive ode de oeuf ! As with all my adventures in pasta making, today called for a egg white dessert coupling. My daughter skilfully separated 12 egg yokes from their whites, which netted a GIANT HUGE BATCH of lemon ginger meringues (you may want to half this recipe)

you’ll need:

12 egg whites

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

2 cups of organic cane sugar

1 cup icing sugar

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp fresh grated ginger

In a stand mixer:

Whip egg whites to soft peaks, then add cream or tartar and sugar, continue whipping to hard peaks before adding lemon juice and ginger, whip for 1 minute longer.

spoon mixture into piping bag with large star tip, squeeze into dollops on a parchment lined pan. then bake at 250 for about 30 minutes, or until just golden brown.

cool and enjoy quickly as they won’t stick around long!

December 12, 2011

seedy rice quick fry + import beers

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 shallots

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!

October 26, 2011

glory bowl dressing with roasted glorious squash

I know this dish looks pretty monotone.. but the flavours are a rainbow of fabulous-ness!

This dish also happens to be maybe the best way to ever to eat squash… certainly it did the trick with my daughter.. who really dislikes every variety of squash (unless i stuff it in ravioli and slather it with cheese). I traded a few little acorn squash I grew with a girlfriend who grew lovely huge spaghetti squash, and her squash was the feature in this meal, which seamlessly blended into brown basmati rice topped with toasted tofu and roasted seeds, all in a smooth garlicky glory bowl sauce.

First things first… the glory bowl dressing recipe comes from whitewater cooks recipe book and it’s fabulous on salad, rice, greens, roasted potatoes or whatever… the nice thing is you can make a big batch and keep it in the fridge, because it contains no olive oil, and it’s scrumptious!

Glory Bowl Dressing

1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup tamari or soy sauce
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 tbsp tahini paste

Mix well in blender or processor and keep in a mason jar ready to drizzle when ever you need a good kick of yum.

Now for the roasting goodness…

Get your oven fired up to 375

Half a large spaghetti squash and clean inside, saving the seeds for toasting. On a large roasting pan place both halves insides up and drizzle each half with an organic veggie oil and a heavy dusting of course sea salt, pepper, chillies and parsley, along with 3 cloves of smashed garlic dropped inside each half. (these pockets will soon fill with bubbling garlic oily goodness)

Roast for 3o minutes then add to the same pan:

1/2 cube of firm organic tofu sliced into strips and seasoned with S+P, a pinch of cane sugar, and a dash of parsley.

and all of the seeds from the squash, cleaned and patted dry then seasoned with S+P, and paprika along with a drizzle of oil and a quick toss.

Put the pan back into the oven for another 30 minutes,  flipping the seeds and tofu every 10 minutes, so all sides get toasty brown

meanwhile cook 1.5 cups of brown basmati rice.

Once the rice is cooked mix in about 3/4 of a cup of glory bowl dressing along with the garlic and oil and squash from one of the halves (use a fork to remove the spagetti squash gently from the skin). Use this rice squash rice mix as a base for your toasty tofu and seeds. The other roasted squash half is sitting in my fridge destine for a soup one day soon.

If I made this again I would add some leafy bitter greens to the mix at the last minute.. as I was missing a hearty green kick.. but a big salad easily overcame my green craving, but as I stare at this yummy image.. my heart bleeds for some green!

So give this a try next time you are drumming on a squash wondering how to deliver it to the table! And until then, whip up some glory bowl dressing!

October 21, 2011

sweet chipotle corn chowder

What do you do when your friend gives you 30 ears of corn?

Well I tucked into it right away! Beginning with a big ‘ol batch of this smoky sweet corn chowder.. followed by chilli corn bread muffins.. and the rest will end up in a run of frozen kernals. ‘Oh and then the chooks will be  happy to peck clean each and every cob I use!

This divine soup has both farm fresh milk and coconut milk which makes for a lovely balance of richness and sweetness. The coconut milk also helps to soothe the intense smoky heat in this chowder. My batch was crazy hot… I scaled back the chipotle and cayenne for this post… but if your a spice fiend then by all means give ‘er!

If your vegan.. I think you could still pull this soup off amazingly; using half almond milk and half coconut milk.. and obviously you’ll want to omit the gateway meat… but if you do eat meat and have naturally raised lovely local smoked bacon on hand.. why would you make this soup without it?

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October 2, 2011

cream of chanterelle soup

It was a real hunter gatherer kind of day which started in the wee dark hours of the morning, as my partner set off for his first ever bow hunt,  I was in bed dreaming of venison meals to come. Mid morning the hunters came back empty handed, but luckily our mushroom hunting afternoon was totally successful!

Today was our local fall mushroom class and forest foraging, and just like last year it was wonderful! There is so much about mycology to learn and taste! Last year we were flush with pine mushrooms, and this year we came home with a huge basket of chanterelles. At the end of the foraging session we enjoyed a tail gate mushroom and wine tasting… which got my taste buds fired up! I came home and cleaned and trimmed a whack of these beautiful shrooms, while deciding what kind of meals to build around them. For tonight I settled on cream of chanterelle soup, and it turned out divine and rich, and meaty with mounds of thick cut mushrooms throughout. After sharing some fungi and making this big old pot of soup we still  have enough mushrooms for a few more meals!

It is one thing to forage through your garden and pick your dinner, one of my favourite things in fact to do, but the hunt of forest walking and foraging is a whole different level of rewarding and deliciousness!

Cream of Chanterelle Soup:

In a large soup pot start by frying in olive oil (about 1/4 cup of it):

I large yellow onion diced fine

3 cloves of garlic minced

about 8 cups of sliced chanterelles

Cook these all down for about 15 minutes at which time they will be golden brown and have reduced by nearly half and your house will smell divine.

Season with S+P

1 bay leaf

heavy pinch of fresh minced herbs; thyme, rosemary, and parsley

mix and add:

3 cups boiling water

2 cups of milk

2 tbsp soy sauce or Braggs

2 tbsp worcestershire sauce

reduce heat and let slowly simmer for about an hour

In a small bowl put 2 tbsp potato flour and stir/ wisk really well into about 2 cups of boiling water, remove lumps and add thickener into soup.

Allow soup to cook for another 15 minutes, then remove bay leaf, finish with a sprinkle of more fresh herbs and serve.

September 28, 2011

crimini’s + zucchini’s

After almost a week away from home (and man is it good to be home and get back into the garden for harvesting today) I was looking for a comforting flavor for dinner and found myself inspired by the way my mom used to fry up a fresh zucchini bits in butter with parmigiana cheese… this was always a favorite of mine growing up,  and I had hoped that my daughter (who HATES zucchini) would fall in love if I drown it in butter and decked it out with cave aged grana padano cheese. Zucchini surrounded  in golden browned tofu and mushrooms, who could resist? Appanently her … She ate everything except the zuc’s, but the mister + I really enjoyed this combination of flavors. I served this over brown basmati rice, and it made for a good use of fridge treasures (crimini’s) and garden overrun (zucchini’s)!

In a large deep cast iron pan start by melting a good 2 tbsp of butter, to this add and brown:

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 block of firm ORGANIC tofu (cubed)

2 cups of quartered mushrooms

get these frying for 5-7 minutes before adding 1/2 of a medium zucchini quartered and sliced, along with another 2 tbsp of butter.

Season with


2 tsp chili flakes

2 tsp fresh parsley

2 tsp fresh rosemary

Don’t over toss, but slowly allow the faces of the veggies to brown.

Once everything looks lovely and golden on most sides add between 1/2-1 cup of grated grana padano cheese (or parm) season with a few more fresh herbs and toss. Serve hot, and enjoy.






April 5, 2011

mason jar 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.

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 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 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!

February 27, 2011

Sunday Noodle Salad

Simple, punchy and fresh this vegan gluten free lunch won over my whole family even the picky little one (who actually made the dressing for this)

If I had tempeh or tofu I would have grilled it up like this earlier recipe for orange glazed tempeh and added that as well, but this simple lunch is  great straight up with any combination of veggies you have kicking around!

I used rice vermicelli noodles and I think I finally have a reliable way of cooking them without being disappointed, as has happened all to many times. So here is what you’ll need to make 4 portions:

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February 27, 2011

Sticky Ginger Tofu, with Swiss Chard and Cashews

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.

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February 24, 2011

Divine Hemp Chocolate Brownie

Divine Hemp Chocolate Brownies: Gluten Free, Lactose free, High Protein, Ultra gooey.

Yum, the other day I was totally inspired by this cocoa-ee brownie recipe I found online here and I gave it a whirl at the cafe, and it turned out pretty darn good… I wanted to make it a little more chewy and I really wanted to use my great new Organic hemp flour… So I gave it a SOLE kick at home and it turned out just right! Super dense, really rich and the dates I added injected a caramel sauce like element which threaded it’s way through the whole brownie. When I remake this I will use a dark chocolate, cut into little chunks and sprinkled on the top rather than the milk chocolate bits I had in hand… alternatively a boozy chocolate gnache would be elevate this brownie to white tablecloth dessert!

The only dairy in these brownies came from our sweet little hens.

In a mixer bring together;

2 fresh eggs

1 Tbsp vanilla

1 tsp sea salt

9 whole dates, pitted and torn into quarters

2 Tbsp each: unsulphured molasses, honey, and brown rice syrup

1/2 cup of almond butter

1/2 cup of organic hemp flour

1/2 cup pure cocoa power

1/2 cup of chocolate pieces (I just cut up a chocolate bar)

1 tsp baking power

Combine everything together and pour into a prepared small square pan.

Sprinkle the top with organic hemp seeds and more pieces from your chocolate bar.

Bake at 325º for 20-25 minutes. Don’t worry about pulling a toothpick clean, the inside will set as it cools. Just make sure the top is firm-ish

dig in while they are warm.. its so worth burning your fingers for!


February 18, 2011

Goat Cheese Please!

Gluten Free Penne with creamy goat cheese, peas and pesto. Our plates were licked clean all round, poor dog didn’t even get a crack at them!

This was really quick to throw together:

Start by boiling salt water to cook about 2.5 cups of organic corn penne. Once the pasta is cooked drain and quickly add 2/3 cup of frozen peas (from the garden), a dollop of butter (we used goat butter and it is really really nice, it adds just a little of that goat cheesey taste) 2 tbsp of goat cheese, S+P, and 2-3 Tbsp of pesto (I have found a pretty good locally made organic pesto that will cover me while there is no fresh basil to be had… but this summer I vow to make and freeze a whack of pesto’s while the basil and arugula are fresh and abundant) That is it, stir and serve. This delicious dish takes about 16 minutes from start to finish. Enjoy.



February 10, 2011

The whole bird, and everything from the bird.

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Truly nothing grosses me out more that seeing yellowy pink chicken breasts in a foam tray wrapped in plastic film on the grocery store shelf. Nothing, well aside from mayo, but that stems from a lifelong issue I have yet to uncover, and no desire to get into at this time. From this I am sure you can assume you will not find a “super chicken salad sandwich” recipe here, ever!

But lets get back to the bird. I can’t tell you when the last time I ate conventional chicken was. The thought of beakless caged, medicated almost translucent ghost birds eating old battery house hens, cows and often times mercury and lead rich fishmeal, had all driven me to vegetarianism for years. But in the past 5 or so years I met a number of really stand up poultry farmers, who’s farms I toured and who’s birds I came to enjoy.  Now I always laugh (sickly to myself) when I see pictures of a quant little farm on the packaging of any conventional meat & dairy products, as if the food in those containers comes from anything but industrialized processing compounds. Compounds where animal health and the impact on the health of the humans who eats those animals, is never calculated in to profit projections.

Well now I have my own little farm and a lovely flock of chooks which I have raised from 2 day old chicks through the slaughter, and the plucking, and the cleaning right to the fryer (as was the case for many of our roosters). We enjoy the chicken-ness of the chickens fluffing away in the garden, and we cherish the warm fresh multi-coloured eggs we collect each morning from our little feathered friends.  I have learned a thing or two about chicken keeping and eating this year, but more than anything, all of this chicken-ness has given me cause to celebrate the full life cycle and all the bits of a whole bird.

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December 1, 2010

Goats & Torts

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Slow Stewed Goat Tacos; I was trying to come up with a witty title for this recipe; bah bah black beans, goat-ita’s, chimichangoat… you get the picture, and while I realize that it may be unlikely you have goat meat in your freezer, I wanted to share this easy, meaty Mexican dish which is great for strong and gamey meats; ground lamb, venison, or elk would all be nice slowly stewed in this blend of beer and chillis. Goat is one of my favorite meats, I adore a good Caribbean goat curry with roti, and would maybe give a toe for a firy Indian goat vindalo, seriously. This was my first time cooking goat and I was really thrilled to be given a few bundles of goat meat from some new and lovely friends who are in their first year of goat keeping and very recently they learned how to pack the gents neatly into brown paper. They now have two Nubian girls left who are sweet as pie (with another hopefully on the way) and of course milk and cheese to follow…

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November 6, 2010

Rock ‘n Veggie Rolls

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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.

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November 1, 2010

shitaki soba noodles * return of the mushrooms!

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.

In this recipe I used 3 of my favorite ingredients: Soba king rice noodles (the pumpkin flavored ones) SilverKing Tofu (firm) and fresh local mushrooms (I used shitaki tonight)

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October 20, 2010

Chantrelles & Moma Cows

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The garden is finally frosting and getting ready for a long winters rest. I have lots of work to do to clean up the beds and do some due diligence work to keep spring couch grass at bay. The garlic is getting planted tomorrow in a deep dark bed of soil from my first Kootenay compost pile! Currently I am drowning in grapes so I am going to attempt a batch of grape juice tomorrow, I had hoped to dry some and make raisins except the grapes I am flush with right now are seeded and after removing seeds from a few I decided juice would be more fun to make.

While I write this I am drinking the most delicious cup of tea ever, made with creamy delicious milk from the glowing mommy cow you see above. It doesn’t get much closer to your local food source than a gift of fresh milk 😉

Last night I whipped up a small batch of yellow pickled beets, which are sure to be my last pickles of the year.I couldn’t resist buying 10 lbs from a no spray farm we visited in Chilliwak last week, they were $2 a bag! I really love the recipe I am using for pickling beets which includes vinegar, apple cider vinegar, honey and cinnamon sticks, yum!

Mia came home from school today with a lovely little selection of Chanterelle mushrooms, as her class did a mushroom walk with the same biologist who taught our excursion 2 weeks ago.  So I did an Asian inspired stir fry of Chanterelles with tofu and pumpkin seeds on a bed of brown basmati rice for dinner tonight that was pretty divine if I do say so. (recipe below)

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