Friday, June 27, 2008

Ruby red local dessert - mmm mmmm!

A Get It Ripe press update to start:
* a review in Taste T.O.

Now, as you may know, my sweetheart and I finally moved in together almost two months ago, and our kitchen negotiations have been interesting. Turns out I am more of a culinary bossy-pants with my loved ones than I'd expected to be, and I've had to adapt my approach in order to help Ryan feel empowered to make things instead of simply relegating him to dish-washing boy status. While I made us dinner the other night, Ryan pulled out a copy of Get It Ripe and tackled dessert, making his first crumble, with local fruit from our farmers' market....

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble

A delicious early to mid-summer treat. You try keeping yourself from eating the leftovers at every meal until there's none left - we weren't able to resist!
Fruit bottom
5 cups chopped rhubarb stalks (just less than 1 1/2 lbs. - cut into 1 inch piece)
1 1/2 - 2 cups sliced organic strawberries (about 14)
3/4 - 1 cup organic sugar* (fair trade if possible)
2 tbsp. tapioca flour, arrowroot powder, kudzu or non-GM cornstarch

Crumble top
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup whole grain flour (we used oat flour)
3/4 cup organic sugar (fair trade if possible)
1/2 tsp. sea salt
finely grated zest of an organic orange or lemon (optional)
1/2 cup non-hydrogenated coconut oil

Preheat the oven to 350oF.
Toss rhubarb and strawberries with the sugar and starch in a 2.5 litre baking dish. Rub the oats, flour, sugar, salt and zest into the oil in a separate bowl. It should be kind of clumpy.
Spread crumble over prepared fruit and bake for 35-45 minutes, until fruit is soft (poke a knife in to see) and the crumble top is dry and maybe just beginning to brown.
Enjoy warm, possibly with organic (non-dairy) yogurt.
* For sugar in the fruit bottom, we actually used 2/3 cup organic sugar and 1 tsp. stevia powder with great success! It wasn't too stevia-y, and we felt better having less sugar in there.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Vegan restaurant's cookbook do-over

First, I'd like to direct you to an article in the BC-based online indie mag The Tyee. It features me and 3 other foodbook authors, two of whom are vegan (me, duh, and Sarah Kramer of How It All Vegan fame) and two who are proud carnivores. It was the first interview I did for the book and to tell you the truth, I was more nervous about representing myself than I'd expected before the interviewer called.

And now for another edition of the Tuesday Review:

The Book: reFresh: contemporary vegan recipes from the award-winning Fresh restaurants by Ruth Tal with Jennifer Houston (Wiley, 2007)

Preamble/Overall feeling: I'll admit - the first time I thumbed through this book (on a visit to Ruth's popular Toronto veg chain restaurant, Fresh) I was a little peeved. What gives? I thought. There are so many repeat recipes (from Ruth's first two cookbooks). Do I really need this one for just a few new recipes? It wasn't until I read the preface at a later date that I learned that this book is actually a polished-up do-over of Ruth's first, and far more modest two-colour cookbook that came out in 2000 under the title JuiceForLife (which is also the former name of her resto).
Best bits: Especially if you don't have JuiceForLife, this book is one that's well worth getting your hands on. It's beautiful and glossy and there's an immediate feeling that if you make the recipes that line its pages you will blossom into a virtuous, healthy being. It's full colour throughout with lots of beautiful photographs - a better reflection of Ruth's restaurants, really. It offers lots of tasty options for vegetable-packed meals (though as a nutritionist I'd say to just be sure to use only 2/3 of the rice called for in any of the Rice Bowl recipes). The recipe titles are creative, though not obscure-sounding. The recipe methods aren't complicated. I made the Fresh Burger and they tasted pretty good (though they didn't hold together as well as I hoped they would - and that they do when you order them at the restaurant, and the batch I made yielded 8 patties, not 6 as the recipe says, for what it's worth).
Less-wonderful bits: Like I said, there's a decent amount of recipe overlap with her first book - it's the ones that are labeled "New!" that appear only in this edition. I'd like to see more of a push for local and organic ingredients in the book, but the lack of it is also in line with the resto's approach from what I know of the place. I might also note that some of the measurements are a little vague for my liking, like "1 shake cinnamon" or "4 slices pineapple" - I'd have to ask, what sized slices? or what if my cinnamon isn't in a shaker?

Whole foods focus?: Sure!
Vegan-friendly?: Indeed!
Eco-conscious?: Somewhat - in the sense that it's free of animal products. (Though I doubt the glossy pages are made of recycled paper.)
Web presence?: yup

Don't forget to come back of Friday for beautiful Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble!

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Just a quickie

Another busy week and I'm sorry to say I don't have a recipe to offer you. Just some 'food for thought':

* I got a lovely review on this week.
* I found this smart article from The Tyee (not about me, though there is one coming up that features me and a few other cookbook authors in the next few weeks).

What'd ya think?
Thursday, June 12, 2008

Busy as a bee

Please forgive by disappearing act, things have been so busy!

I'm embarrassed to admit that I have series of photos for all sorts of things - the Veggie Pride in NYC, the arrival of my book, the Toronto book launch... will I get to post them before they're ridiculously out of date? (or are they already?)

And even now, I'm too tuckered out to say much of anything, so you'll have to be satisfied to jump over to these links:
* My small (and kinda strange) mention in the National Post
* My interview on Eco-Libris

"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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