Friday, May 25, 2007

Cheaper than basil

Nice and fresh for this heat wave we seem to be having here...

Cilantro Pesto

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Not only is cilantro (also sometimes known as fresh coriander) cheaper than than the ever-popular pesto-making herb basil, but it has the ability to pull heavy metals out of your body. Let's hear it for detoxifying foods!

1 1/2 cups chopped fresh cilantro (about 1 bunch, packed)
1/2 cup olive oil and/or flaxseed oil
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 tsp. dulse powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
ground pepper to taste

Give all ingredients a good whirl in the blender.
Serve over pasta (pictured here on brown rice noodles, with grape tomatoes and an extra bit of olive oil, salt and pepper), on pizza or in a salad dressing.

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Simple way to get flax

Ryan's in the kitchen right now burning pancakes and I've been sent out of the room so as to not drive him crazy with suggestions. A perfect time to write a blog post!

Flaxseed oil is an amazing and important source of the essential fatty acid (EFA) omega-3, which has preventative and healing anti-inflammatory properties. It has been shown to be very useful for respiratory conditions (asthama), joint problems (arthritis), skin problems (eczema), mental health and so much more.

Don't bother with flax oil capsules, use it as a food!
Here's what you have to remember about flaxseed oil:
* Always keep it in the fridge and use within 4 weeks of opening to avoid rancidity. This may mean only buying small bottles or keeping half of a large bottle in your freezer till you use up the first half. When it's gone off it will take like the smell of paint - throw it out.
* Never cook with it as it is unstable at high temperatures and becomes worse for you than a transfat! Make salad dressings with it, drizzle it on cooked or raw vegetables or whole grains and legumes.
* Consume 1-2 tbsp. a day - usually more than that is unnecessary.

Simplest Salad Dressing

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1/2 cup flaxseed oil
juice of half a lemon (about 1/4 cup or a little less)
1 clove garlic, grated
1 tsp. grainy mustard (optional)
1/2 tsp. sea salt
freshly ground pepper

Shake everything up in a glass jar with a good lid. Serve over salad.

Mystery Dressing

This dressing is similar to something my friend Liz, who I farmed with on Salt Spring Island, used to make. Everyone would go crazy for it, but it was never clear just how the recipe went.
I think I've finally got it.
This makes a small amount, but you could just double or triple it one you confirm you're also in love with the taste.

1/4 cup flaxseed oil
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. miso (buy the stuff in the fridge, not the kinds that are shelf stable)
1 tsp. natural nut butter (almond butter, peanut butter, etc)
1 tsp. tamari soy sauce
1 medium clove garlic, grated

Pour the oil in a jar. In a cereal-size bowl, combine the vinegar with the rest of the ingredients. Pour all that in the jar with the oil and shake it all up until a uniform mixture is achieved. Enjoy over salad or steamed veg.

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Friday, May 11, 2007

Favourite muffins

So what gives? No one had anything to say about the Chai Cake?
Boo, I'm disappointed. What would happen if I layed on the guilt - explaining that all these recipes are here for free because I want to exchange them for your feedback - ? I want to hear what you have to say!

Anyhow, let's move right along with some more baked goods. A shout out goes to Sasha, who's been wanting this recipe forever.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
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The only muffins I ever remember my mother making when I was little were Banana Chocolate Chip. Last weekend she came to Montreal for a visit and I baked these up for her. Needless to say, they were thoroughly enjoyed. (These photos were taken by Michelle a few months ago at a brunch at Ryan's house.)

1 ½ cups mashed ripe bananas (about 4 bananas)
1/3 cup olive or sunflower oil (or melted non-hydrogenated coconut oil)
2/3 cup maple syrup
1 2/3 cups spelt flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. sea salt
½ cup chocolate chips
½ cup nuts, chopped (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375oF. Prepare a 12-cup muffin tray with paper liners or with a light coating of oil.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour and all dry ingredients.
3. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix just until all of the flour is absorbed. Toss in chocolate chips, and nuts if desired.
4. Portion batter evenly into muffin cups and bake for about 25 minutes. Test with a skewer for doneness.
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John and Tyler
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Damien, Ryan and me

NEXT WEEK: salad dressings!

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Friday, May 04, 2007

Long time cake love

It's been a while since we had a dessert. Fire up the oven!

The New Carob Chai Cake

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When I fist made this cake, back on Salt Spring Island over five years ago, I just used a very strongly steeped chai in lieu of milk. Now with the addition of ground spices, there's no need to brew any tea. In addition, this cake recipe used to have sugar in it - now, maple syrup takes its place.

1 1/2 cups light spelt flour
1/3 cup carob powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom* (or ground cloves)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup organic (non-dairy) milk or filtered water
1/2 cup sunflower oil
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp. cider vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 375oF. In a bowl, stir together flour, carob powder, spices, baking soda, and salt.
2. Pour in the syrup, milk, oil and vanilla extract. Mix with a silicone spatula just until all the flour has been absorbed. Once smooth, add the vinegar and stir quickly - you'll see pale swirls as it reacts with the baking soda. Stir just until the vinegar is evenly distributed throughout the batter.
3. Pour into a lightly oiled and carobed (yes, dusting with carob powder in lieu of flour spares you the crusty whte bits on the bottom of the cake when it's done) 9-inch cake pan and bake for about 30 minutes. Test with a skewer to see if done. Serve warm, or let it cool and then ice or glaze it, or simply dust with confectioners sugar.

Chai Icing
2 cups powdered sugar* (often you can find organic powdered sugar in health food stores, or try making your own running organic sugar through a powerful blender)
2 tbsp. non-GMO cornstarch
1/4 cup non-hydrogenated coconut oil or margarine (or organic butter)
2 tbsp. organic (non-dairy) milk (coconut milk would be nice!)
1 tsp. ground cardamom**
1/2 tsp. anise or fennel seeds, ground
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. sea salt if using coconut oil, or unsalted marg/butter

* Now I found this icing to be a little sweet - you may want to try decreasing the amount of sugar to 1 3/4 cups and adding another tbsp. or two of cornstarch - and let me know how it goes!

In a medium bowl or food processor, combine the sugar, cornstarch, oil and milk. Mix until smooth, then add in the spices (and salt if needed) to taste. Adjust measurements slightly if needed for a smooth, spreadable texture.

Spread a very thin layer of icing over the cake, and then refrigerate for 10 minutes (this is called a crumb coat). Pull the cake out and coat with rest of icing, starting from the centre and working you way out to the sides. Garnish with a combination of chopped and whole raw almonds if desired.

** If you only have cardamom pods, de-husk 'em and toss 'em in the coffee grinder and whirl 'em around for a while.


In other news, I added some new links down below... thought I'd mention them now, so they don't just get lost in the crowd:
* Co-op La Maison Verte (Montreal)
* David Wolfe (raw foods)
* Real (Raw) Milk - if you eat dairy you've got to read this!
* The Rooftop Gardens Project (Montreal-based)
* Santropol Roulant (Montreal-based)

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"Domestic affair... do you think it's a funny title?" I asked a friend.
"Funny ha-ha?" she responded, "well, no not really."
"But 'domestic affair', it's like what's going on in the nation, but it's also me, being drawn to all these domestic tasks - knitting, cooking, caring for small children..." I tried to explain.
"I like that it has the word affair in it," she concluded.

jae's first book!

Get It Ripe cover Have you seen my award-winning whole foods cookbook Get It Ripe: a fresh take on vegan living (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2008)? Keep your eyes peeled for it!
To join the Facebook group for the book, go here.


about the blog:

about the cookbooks:

While I love hearing from you, and read each and every one of your e-mails, please understand that I just cannot respond to all of them due to the rate at which they're coming in these days!

If you have a question, I might have already answered it here.

in the press

live in person!

come see me:
* Vida Vegan Con in Portland, OR, August 26-28, 2011.

...but better yet, check the calendar for details!



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