Saturday, May 30, 2009

Gallopping Galettes

Ginger Rhubarb Galettes

I am an apprehensive pie baker. I think this comes from a childhood full of pies with fantastic crusts baked by my mum. (Of course she used white wheat flour, butter and maybe even an egg.) I can wrap my head around a galette (a rustic-looking free-form pie), though. Rhubarb is, of course, impossible to resist this time of year. And this is also a great time to use some of those local apples that are no longer nice to eat raw.

Fruit filling
4 cups chopped rhubarb (make pieces roughly 1/2-inch cubed)
2 cups peeled and sliced apples
3/4 cups organic sugar (any sort of granulated sweetness - just not conventional white sugar - will do. Could be organic brown sugar or Sucanat, try to get it fair trade.)
2 tbsp non-GM cornstarch
2 tsp. finely grated ginger root

Gallette dough
2 2/3 cups spelt flour
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 cup cold coconut oil
2 tbsp. maple syrup or other natural sweetener of choice (agave nectar, barley malt, brown rice syrup, raw honey)
up to 1/3 cup cold water

Toss all the filling ingredients in a 3-quart saucepan, stirring with a silicon spatula so that the sugar and cornstarch are evenly distributed. Cook, covered, over medium to medium-low heat (check to see that there's no sticking at the bottom and reduce heat as necessary) for about 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes, until the rhubarb begins to soften and the juices thicken up noticeably.
Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

You can make the dough in a food processor (or a bowl). Pulse (whisk) the flour and salt together in the bowl of the food processor (a large bowl). Add the cold coconut oil and pulse (or cut with a pastry cutter or 2 knives) until there are just some pea-sized pieces of oil visible. Add the syrup and water and pulse some more (stir with a spoon or spatula) just until the dough forms a ball - you don't want it too sticky, but it shouldn't be crumbly anymore. Form the dough into a flat disk, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge to cool for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400oF. Prepare a 3-4 baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper (or don't line them, I'm sure, with all the oil in the crust that'd be fine, too). Once the disc of dough has cooled, peel off the plastic wrap and slice it into 8 even pieces. Taking the pieces one at a time, roll them quickly (you don't want them heating up too much or your crust will be less flaky!) into balls. Place a ball on one half of the piece of plastic wrap, fold over the other half (or rip off another piece to place on top) and roll out evenly with a pin to about 7 inches across (making sure it's an even thickness - it doesn't have to be a perfect circle though). Peel off the top plastic, flop it down gently on a baking sheet and peel off the rest of the plastic. Portion 1/2 cup filling in the middle of the dough and fold up the edges as best you can to keep the filling from oozing out. Repeat until all the dough and filling has been used (you should get 8 tarts).

Slide the trays into the oven and bake on the top (or a higher) rack(s) in the oven for about 30 minutes, just until the the top crust begins to brown and the underside of the crust in golden. Enjoy warm or at room temperature, maybe with some cashew creem (from Get It Ripe) or organic non-dairy ice cream.

Makes 8 individual galettes.

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Inspired by Spring Produce, part 1

Working with seasonal foods I'm realizing I've really got to be on the ball as far as figuring out recipes and getting them up on the blog goes! I meant to post these sooner, really, so now you get four recipes all in one go. You can expect a lovage soup recipe real soon, as well as that PMS tutorial as promised, ladies.

Citrusy Roasted Asparagus

Love these! Just can't get enough asparagus this time of year, really!
Prep tips:
* Pencil-thin asparagus will just snap at the bottom, naturally breaking at the woodier part that you won't want to eat. With thicker shoots, cut off the bottom centimeter (or so), then peel off just the bottom inch of the remaining shoot.
* Be sure to zest your lemon before you cut it open and juice it! (You could also try this with lime or orange.)

1 lb asparagus, trimmed (see note above)
1 tsp + 2 tbsp olive oil (divided like that)
2 tbsp lemon juice (from about 1/2 lemon)
1 tsp. lemon zest (organic preferred)
1/4 tsp sea salt
freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 425oF.
Place the asparagus in a roasting pan (one where they'll all find nicely in one layer). Add the tsp olive oil, toss and slide them in the oven and roast for 20-30 minutes (depending on their thickness), until the skin begins to blister and they are tender when pierced with a sharp knife.
While the roasting is happening, pour the lemon juice into the smallest of saucepans and warm over medium heat to reduce to half the amount (so you'd have a tbsp remaining). Remove from the heat and whisk in the remaining oil, zest and salt. Pour this over the roasted asparagus (once they've come out of the over) and pepper to taste. Serve hot.
Makes 3 servings.

Garlic Roasted Fiddleheads

If you haven't discovered fiddlehead ferns before, now's the time! They're a cute spring delicacy somewhat similar to asparagus (though not by looks!). And in this recipe these little suckers turn out a little like olives in their succulentness, but that may just be me.
Turns out you have GOT to wash and blanch/boil fiddleheads before eating them to release some natural toxin that is sometimes present. I'm glad Lisa, my cooking companion, warned me about this - turns out she hadn't done it when preparing some a few days earlier and got a pretty bad stomach ache!

3 cups fiddleheads, trimmed
3 new garlics, chopped or 12 medium cloves garlic, halved lengthwise
2 tbsp olive oil
3/4 tsp sea salt

Preheat the oven to 450oF.
Put a pot of water on to boil, and once boiling, toss in the fiddleheads and blanch them for 4 minutes. Drain, run under cold water, and transfer to a roasting pan (one where they'll all find nicely in one layer). Add the garlic, olive oil and salt and toss.
Slide them in the oven and roast for 10-15 minutes, until the fiddleheads begin to brown. Serve hot, topped with Creemy Ramp Dressing (below).
Makes 3 servings.

Creemy Ramp Dressing

I've really been enjoying this one! If it's too thick for your liking, feel free to water it down a tad.
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup chopped wild leeks (bulbs and leaves)
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup light miso paste
1 tsp. prepared mustard

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor (or handblender jar/cup) and blend till very smooth (about 1 minute). Serve over veggies, cooked grains or salad.
Makes 2 cups. Best used immediately, but will store in the fridge in an airtight jar for up to 5 days.

Wild Leeks with Wild Rice

Dominika felt there needed to be some carrot shavings in here, but I just couldn't wrap my head around it. Both she and Ryan weren't sure about the texture of the amaranth in there - I like it, but if you're apprehensive, go for the millet or additional brown rice.

1-2 tbsp olive oil
12 wild leeks (to make 1 cup sliced bulbs and 1 cup packed sliced leaves and stems)
1 new garlic (about 2 ft), chopped, or 4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp rosemary
2 tsp sage
2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup brown rice, rinsed
1/2 cup wild rice, rinsed
1/2 cup amaranth or millet (or additional brown rice)
3 1/2 cups hot vegetable stock or just-boiled water
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Heat the oil in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Toss in the wild leek bulbs (not the leaves yet!) and garlic. Saute for 5 minutes, reducing heat if needed to prevent browning. Mix in the herbs and salt, followed by the grains. Stir.

Pour in the hot veg stock or water, turn up the heat to bring it all to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook about 40 minutes, until the wild rice is al dente. Remove from the heat, stir in the chopped wild leek leaves and stems, and black pepper and serve hot, perhaps with something like marinaded and grilled tempeh, as we did.
Makes about 6 servings.

* * *
Lisa and I have another cookdate tonight, so don't forget to come back next week!

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Farmers' Market finds - weeks 2 & 3

Last week was a bit uneventful at the Sorauren Farmers' Market, but a successful kitchen week (as I pretty much had everything from week 1 to work with still... yes, I'm slow to start). This week my market saw the arrival of asparagus (brought by Plan B, but not from their farm) - yay! You can expect the appearance of rather-locally focused recipes to come - and maybe not just on Fridays!

Week 2
from Plan B Organic Farm
2 bags spring greens ... $6
1 bunch lovage ... $2
1 bunch fresh lemon balm ... $2

total = $10

And sadly, I can't find the photographs I took that day!

Week 3

Dominika got into cooing lovingly to the produce as I was photographing them together.

from Plan B Organic Farm
5 new garlic ... $2
3 bunches asparagus (1 lb. each) ... $12
2 bags spring greens ... $5
2 white potatoes ... $1

from Dale (a local forager)
1 lb. fiddleheads ... $7
wild leeks ... $4

total = $31

The close up - clockwise from top: asparagus, wild leeks (aka ramps), new garlic, fiddleheads.

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Spring salad: be still my 'beeting' heart

I am really enjoying these locally-grown salad greens. So fresh and crisp with delicate flavours. Last weekend, in anticipation of picking them up at my farmers' market on Monday (see post below) I started playing around with some new ways to make salads exciting. Enjoy the sweet flavours of the roasted beets and the dressing - they go quite nicely together. The salad picture also includes caramelized onions and raw sunflower seeds. Yum!

Heart Beets

1 large beet
1 1/2 tbsp. olive or non-hydrogenated coconut oil
1 tbsp. liquid sweetness (maple syrup, agave nectar or raw honey - it's up to you)
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp. sea salt

Preheat your oven (or toaster oven) to 375oF. Scrub the beet and chop off any funky bits - I only peel the scabbier parts of the beet skin. Slice the beet in 1/2 cm (or 1/4 inch) slices. Using a heart-shaped metal cookie cutter (I'm not sure it'd work with a plastic one), punch out as many "heart beets" as you can, always placing the cutter near the edge of the slice of beet in hopes of punching 2 hearts per slice. You can chop up the remaining oddly-shaped leftover pieces and roast them too (or pass them through your juicer if you plan on using it in the next few days).

Mix the remaining ingredients together in a small bowl.
Place the beets on a baking tray, and drizzle with the glaze. Slide them in the oven and bake for 40 minutes in all, until mostly soft (though a little al dente's alright). Serve warm or cold, as a side, or on a salad as pictured.
Makes at least 8 hearts (with my cutter) and a bunch of bits.

Maple Apple Cider Vinaigrette

1/2 cup flaxseed and/or olive oil
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp apple cider
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 medium cloves garlic, pressed or 2 tsp finely grated ginger root
1/2 tsp sea salt

I'm thinking the best way to make this is to put all the ingredients in a blender, and give it a whirl. You can also simple combine them all in a 300mL (or so) glass jar, screw on a tight-fitting lid, and give it a good shake, but I've been finding that when I pull the dressing out of the fridge on subsequent days, the oil has unpleasantly solidified and needs to sit out on the kitchen counter for 30 minutes or more to liquefy again.

Will keep in the fridge for at least 2 weeks.

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Farmers' Market finds - week 1

Today was the first Farmers' Market of the season at my local park. I'm going to try and keep track of what I pick up each week, but I thought it'd be helpful for us all to keep track of what's available locally when (at least in this bioregion). Hopefully I'll create some decent recipes that'll be featured on Foodie Fridays over the next few months.

from Plan B Organic Farm
4 new garlic ... $2
2 bags spring greens ... $7
cuke (from HOPE) ... $2
apples ... $2

from Dale (a local forager)
1.25 lbs. fiddleheads ... $9
1/2 lb. wild leeks ... $3.50

total = $25

Any suggestions would be welcome, I'm planning on making for something for lunch tomorrow.

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Friday, May 08, 2009

I love my mum.

Mother's Day is this Sunday - yeah, it kinda snuck up on me too, but it's a national holiday so there's some incentive to celebrate it... Not that I don't want to celebrate my mum everyday, fantastic woman that she is. She's also a lavender fan - more in her toiletries than anything else, but I thought I'd dedicate this new recipe I've been playing around with to her anyway.

Lavender Tea Cake

We're having a tea party on Sunday afternoon and I expect this will make a fine contribution. You can feel free to try baking the batter in a lined muffin tray too for about 20-25 minutes, or in a regular loaf pan for 50 minutes or so. If you'd like to go all out and glaze it, make the Buttahmilk Glaze from Get It Ripe with a splash of blueberry juice for colour.

2 1/2 cups spelt flour
1 tbsp. dried lavender flowers
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 cup non-dairy milk
2/3 cup maple syrup or 1/2 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup softened non-hydrogentated coconut oil or sunflower oil
1/4 cup apple sauce
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 350oF.
Prepare one 8.5 by 4.5-inch loaf pans or 3 mini-loaf pans with a light coating of oil. Line with parchment paper if desired for greatest ease of removal at the end.
Whisk together the flour, lavender, baking powder and soda, and salt in a large bowl. Add the milk, maple syrup, oil, applesauce, and vanilla extract, and stir just until all of the flour is absorbed. Quickly stir in the vinegar just until it's evenly distributed.
Portion batter evenly into the loaf pans and bake for about 35-40 minutes, until the tops are domed and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Makes 3 mini-loaves.
Stores in an airtight container for 2 days, or in the fridge for up to a week.

A strip of parchment paper makes lifting the cake out of its pan the simplest thing ever!

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Friday, May 01, 2009

This one goes out to all the ladies

Any minute now, I know I'm going to get my period. I can feel it. I've had bouts of almost insatiable hunger, my uterus has had a bit of a churny feeling, and the other day I snapped at Ryan for something that in hindsight wasn't really a big deal. (He did make me dinner while I was off sulking though, which was nice gift for being a bit of a bitch.)

I bring this up at this start of this particular cycle because I recently got the results of some blood work back from my doctor. I thought with the amount of whole foods, and deep green veggies in particular that I eat, that I should have healthy levels of all the vitamins and minerals my body needs, but this time my iron stores were low - still in the conventionally accepted range of normal, but too close to low for my liking. This got me thinking that I should make a particular dietary push in the iron-consuming department for the next while, but especially around the time that I bleed, when I'm obviously loosing more of the stuff.

We need iron to enhance oxygen distribution throughout our bodies, keep our immune systems healthy and to help our bodies produce energy. Signs of iron deficiency include fatigue and weakness, decreased ability to concentrate, increased susceptibility to infections, hair loss, dizziness, headaches, brittle nails, apathy and depression. (I got this info of the World's Healthiest Foods Website.)

Here are the plant-based iron-rich food sources worth focusing on: Swiss chard, lentils, kidney beans, spinach, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, shiitake mushrooms, mustard greens, turnip greens, green beans, blackstrap molasses, as well as herbs and spices like nettle, thyme, cumin, basil, cinnamon, black pepper, oregano and turmeric. (And remember, you can generally expect higher nutrient levels in these things when they're organically grown!)

If you have Get It Ripe you might make yourself some Hot Iron or Ginger Turmeric Tea to drink, and the Chili Non-Carne (maybe over spinach or chard). If you're needing something sweet you might nibble on the Gingerbread, the Double-Whammy Ginger Cookies or the Tahini Thumbprint Cookies.

If your a bit lazy in the kitchen, and even steaming some greens isn't a daily habit, you might look into an iron supplement like Floravit (it's the gluten- and yeast-free version of Floradix).

A regular practice of deep breathing won't up your iron levels, but it will help get more oxygen in your body, help you to feel calm and energized, so I'd advocate for that too.

Now that I've brought up "Lady Health", if you want me to talk about PMS sometime, just let me know and I'd be happy to do so.

PS. For those of you who haven't heard yet, I was accepted to return to the Midwifery Education Program at Ryerson University this fall. Wheeee!

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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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