Kale+Black Eyed Pea Stew

•December 7, 2011 • 7 Comments


In the rush of the season, it’s good to be tempted by books and luscious photos.
Making the almighty “what’s for dinner” question resolve, I made this stew from the earlier reviewed:
Superfood Cuisine by Julie Morris.

Of course I mentioned wanting to try it, and a few of the commenters did too!
The recipe was straightforward and although I didn’t have wakame on hand, the book has a handy list of substitutions to suggest in its place.
My stew didn’t look anything like her photo, red and warm; quite the opposite really.

I found the stew to be heavy on the onion and I wasn’t sure where the colour went and It really needed that hit of lemon juice at the end and the recipe didn’t call for salt, so I put out some of my salish, smoked salt. For a little more meal, I added some sesame marinaded tofu which I’d diced, which just hit the spot. All in all it was an easy and pretty quick, hearty meal on a chilly December afternoon.

Do you want to try this or another of the recipes? Julie Morris and her publisher have offered to help with your Holiday shopping by offering a copy to one of my readers.
Leave a comment, maybe let me know what I should make for dinner next.
I’ll randomly draw a name this Saturday, December 10, 2011 to a win a copy of Superfood Cuisine By Julie Morris!

Congratulations to Annie! The random number generator chose you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
& Happy Birthday!

Holidays Are Approaching

•December 4, 2011 • 3 Comments

As the Holidays approach, I’ve been asked to review books and promote products. I’ve been asked you to remind you all to donate and give generously through various outlets, like Unicef, or Plan, where you could buy the gift of clean water for a familyschool supplies for a child or a grove of mango trees. (Now, I bet your mom, sister or teacher would love that!)
Of the books, one in particular caught my eye. Perhaps I’ve been on the right health bender trying to cure my ails. While I’ve been reaching for greener greens, I’ve been trying to figure out new dinners and better grains; Superfood Cuisine by Julie Morris, appears at my doorstep.

Subtitled, “Cooking With Nature’s Most Amazing Foods”, it covers the traditional acai, quiona but also touches on many South American “superfoods” and the ANDI rating scale (Aggregate Nutrient Density Index) that’s been popping up in Whole Foods and the like.

By first Glance, the book is quite lovely. A vibrant photo begins my journey into the book. The pages are thoughtfully on recycled paper and are packed with many more images to accompany the recipes. I tend to flip from backward to front through almost every cookbook. Glancing from desserts to appetizers, to breakfasts and back again, I found many titles intriguing, with recipes that seemed both delicious and attainable.  At the beginning of the book, I read close to five dozen pages, describing many new and interesting ingredients, their heritage and how best to prepare and pair their flavour profiles with other foods getting the best health benefits.

With many appealing recipes, both savoury and sweet the Holiday chill swayed me towards many of the warm and hearty dishes.
Admittedly, although I’m adventurous, some of the recipes were a stretch for me flavourwise. Added that I have a family to feed with many of these new ingredients, I couldn’t get to crave making a few for myself, let alone my kids.
First on my list to cook was the Cauliflower Risotto and the Kale and Black Eyed Pea Stew. Both meals went over well convincing me more and more that these foods aren’t simply super, they can be delicious as well.

Peach Cobbler Muffins

•August 22, 2011 • 6 Comments

It’s peach season again!
Everywhere you look, there are baskets of peaches in the store and on market stands.

PEACH COBBLER MUFFINS

Preheat oven to 350ºC

1 1/2 Cups AP Flour
1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/4 Cup Vanilla Sugar (or regular sugar + 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract)
2 Tablespoons Corn Meal
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoons Salt
3/4 Cup Soy Milk
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice (Juice of 1/2 Lemon)
1/4 Cup Safflower Oil
1 1/2 Cups Peeled, Chopped Peaches and their juice

2 Tablespoons Cinnamon + 2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar, for dusting.

Preheat the oven to 350ºC and prepare a  12 cup muffin tin with liners or trimmed parchment paper.
Combine the soy milk, lemon juice and oil; allow to sit.
Meanwhile, combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Mix the wet to the dry until it is just moistened, then fold in the peaches.
Spoon batter into muffin tin, 3/4 full.
Sprinkle over the cinnamon sugar just before putting the muffins in the oven.
Bake for about 18-20 minutes, or until golden and the muffins spring back in the center when touched, or until golden and cooked through when tested with a skewer.

Foodista – Best of Food Blogs Cookbook

•November 2, 2010 • 1 Comment

When I got home today, I found a lovely surprise in my mailbox!

It’s the Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook, and I’m on pages 32 & 33!
Just from my quick flip through, the book looks like a best seller. There are pages of scrumptious photos, winning recipes and personalized stories of bloggers from around the world.

I found it amazing watching this come to be. I had first heard of the idea during a food blogging conference over a year ago. I was later approached by Sheri Wetherell, the founder of Foodista, regarding their call for submissions and took her up on the offer!
Having seen the end result, I’m very glad that I did as they did a quality job bringing together great blogger’s recipes and their stories.

Please go out and have a look yourself. In fact, the lovely Foodista people are hosting a contest for those who buy the book on Noevember 3rd!

… And for those of my readers who haven’t seen Vegan Visitor’s new look and location, reset your RSS readers to veganvisitor.com!

•July 12, 2010 • 28 Comments

I was recently contacted and asked if I would take a look at this new book: Substituting Ingredients, by Becky Sue Epstein.
To be honest, I wasn’t sure of the idea to first. I am a bit of a purist after all. However, I was convinced at the notion of the author’s section on homemade household cleaners. I mean, who can’t be without a reference like that? Regardless, I haven’t met anyone who hasn’t been left without a cup of sugar only to run out to the neighbour’s. But these aren’t the 1950′s and we can’t always expect a helpful nextdoor darling there whenever we need her.

The book is listed like an index of common ingredients which substitue their closest food relatives beneath. At first glance, I wasn’t too sure how to use the book exactly, but when I eventually ran into my own kitchen dilemma about vinegar, I did find it handy.  I think I may have been invaluable to have a more scientific explanation of things though. How close is the acidity of one vinegar to another? How would one sugar bake v.s. another? Or how could I make confectioners sugar in a pinch?

Is this practical book on my shelf? Sure. Nevertheless, where I may not have found an answer I was looking for, or something was too vague, I might be back Googling again.

Needless to say, I am keeping it on my shelf. I went to it once already, so I’m sure I will again.

Random.org just randomly randomized your great list of comments and handed out lucky #7.
Congratulations to JoLynn! & Thanks to everyone for their comments & follows. This was fun! Because you are all so great, I’m going to give more stuff away! Promise.

Wilted Greens & Wheat Berry Salad

•June 4, 2010 • 5 Comments

As the coolish spring weather halted into a heatwave, I rushed to gather the rapidly sprouting greens from my garden. Spinach and arugula could practically be seen growing and bursting seed heads.

A junky of all things green and grainy, I’ve been into wheatberries lately. A super grain, they remind me a bit of quinoa, chewy, firm pods of whole food goodness. Plus, if you can boil water, they’re pretty much a cinch to cook.

WILTED GREENS + WHEATBERRY SALAD WITH MIXED MUSHROOMS

4 Cups Mixed Mushrooms, sliced – I used Shiitaki, and crimini
1 Cup Soft Wheat Berries
Zest + Juice of One Lemon
6 Cups Assorted Field Greens, Spinach & Arugula, or any combination you have and like
2 Tablespoons Italian Parsley, chopped
1 Tablespoon Cilantro, chopped (optional – if you’re one of those people:)
1/4 Cup Olive Oil, divided
Salt + Pepper, to your taste

Soak the wheat berries for 20 -30 minutes. Rinse the wheat berries well and drain.
Boil 3 cups of lightly salted water and add the wheat berries. reduce the heat to medium and cover with a tight fitting lid. Cook for 1 hour, checking after 45 minutes for doneness and if your water has been absorbed. (If it almost has and the berries aren’t quite tender, reduce the heat to medium-low and finish your cooking time.)
Pick over and wash your greens, spin to dry.
Heat a sauté pan with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.
Add the mushrooms and sauté until golden. Remove from heat and Add, parsley and cilantro.
Fluff the wheat berries with a fork, add the lemon juice, remaining oil and mushrooms, tossing to combine.
Divide the greens between 4 servings and top with the wheat berries, lemon zest, salt and pepper.

Dandelion Jelly

•May 8, 2010 • 9 Comments

Has it been a month already? Time to post!

All kidding aside, the spring weather has been pretty balmy and our world rapidly grew green again and dandelions dotting most of the nooks between each blade of grass it could find. Luckily, with most of my lawn converted to garden, there isn’t much space for them to grow. Besides, snapping up each golden specimen has been a relaxing hobby of mine for years, so they don’t stand much of a chance with me. My new neighbour to the south however, near blinded us with his yellow lawn and my family and I soon found our neighbourly side, down on our hands and knees. While pulling the dandelions from their roots, we shared stories, a glass of rosé and generally got better acquainted. It was quite a sight.
Our conversation turned to curiosity as our bucket bulged with weeds.

We’d each seen little old ladies with their protuberent bags, walking along dandelion dotted roadsides and parkettes. What do they do with all that weed?

Dandelions are good for you, I know that. Vitamin and potassium rich, the whole plant can be used. I’ve made salads myself.
I have the tea and heard the roots can provide a locavore their coffee fix. Plus, I know that wine can virtually be made from anything. But it wasn’t until I recently received my newsletter for this week from one of the city’s farmer’s markets did I read of one of the vendors selling, you guessed it, dandelion jelly this week.

Now, I wouldn’t be the so-called foodie I claim to be if I didn’t look a little deeper. Of course I was intrigued, as were others. There were the B&B’s and a few homestead posts, but it wasn’t until I’d come across the recent article in the New York Times, that I’d realized foraging is cool!

It’s easy and fun to make. The colour is like lemon drops and sunshine, which is a pretty nice thing to say about dandelions, I think. It tastes a bit floral and honey-esque. Certainly not what a I thought a bitter weed would taste like, spread over my morning toast.

DANDELION JELLY

2 1/2 Cups Dandelion Petals, packed
3 Cups Water
Juice and Zest of One Lemon
2 1/2 Cups Granulated Sugar
1 Pouch Liquid Pectin

Find a trustworthy lawn, free of pesticides and doggies, or raid your neighbour’s like I did, and behead about 4 cups of dandelions.
Separate the petals from the green bud or “receptacle” and collect the petals in a measuring cup, pressing down gently until you have 2 1/2 cups.
Transfer the petals to a saucepan, add the lemon zest and cover with boiling water. Bring it to a rolling simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until the water in well infused and coloured.
Strain the liquid from the petals, pressing down if necessary, into a measuring cup and compost the petals when you’re done. There should be about 2 1/2 cups of liquid, if not add water to top it up.
Return the infused liquid to a saucepan, add the lemon juice, about an overflowing tablespoon, and the sugar, bringing everything to a hard boil.
Finally, add the pectin letting it return to a boil for two or so minutes, while you set up your jars, then remove it from the heat.
Pour the hot jelly into steralized jars with 1/4″ headspace. Screw on lids and process in a near boiling simmer for about 5-10 minutes.
This recipe will make four 125ml jars of jelly.
Enough to share with the neighbours you stole dandelions from.

 
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