Monday, December 21, 2009

Creamy Mushroom Rotini

I planned ahead and made sure that I bought enough mushrooms from the Farmer's Market for my turkey stuffing.  But then I made this pasta and used them all up.  I thought I was pretty much ready for the grand feast, but it looks like we need to make ONE more trip to the supermarket!
     The photo was taken long before I coated it with a massive layer of grated romano cheese.  Be sure to remember to add cheese before you serve.
  In the spring I made a small batch of Dandelion Wine from the lovely flowers that grow in our yard.  It takes 6 months to ferment and I opened a bottle this weekend.  I like it!  I used up what was left in this pasta.

CREAMY MUSHROOM PASTA with Spinach and Bacon if you're not a vegetarian 

1/4 pound organic bacon, chopped into little pieces
4 cloves organic garlic, smashed and minced
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 pound organic mushrooms, sliced
2 Tbsp fresh organic thyme or 2 tsp dried
sea salt and pepper
3 Tbsp organic unbleached white flour
1/2 cup organic white wine 
1 cup organic chicken stock or veg stock
1/2 cup organic whole or half and half cream
2 cups organic fresh or some frozen chopped spinach
grated fresh romano cheese
1/2  pound organic kamut rotini
1/2 pound organic rotini

Method: Bring a huge pot of salted water to boil.  Add the pasta and cook according to package directions.  
     As this cooks, heat a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add the bacon and cook for a couple of minutes, then add the garlic and onion.  Fry for 1 minute then add the mushrooms .  Sprinkle with the thyme and cook mushrooms, stirring for about 5 minutes.  Then add salt and pepper to taste, and the flour.  Stir and cook for about 3 minutes.  Whisk in the wine and and cook for about a minute, stirring.  Then whisk in the stock, cooking for about a minute until it starts to thicken.  Add the cream and cook on low for about 5 minutes.  When done, stir in the spinach and serve.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Crunchy Fish Sticks

There never seems to be enough fried fish to go around so you might want to double up on this recipe!


1 pound local hook and line haddock, cut into strips
3 organic egg whites
1 cup organic yellow cornmeal (if using Speerville, grind it a bit in a coffee grinder first)
1/2 cup organic unbleached white flour
3/4-1 cup organic vegetable oil for frying
tartar sauce and lemon for serving
2 tsp sea salt
fresh ground black pepper

Method: Whisk together the egg whites and 1 tsp of the sea salt and some pepper.  In another bowl, mix the cornmeal, flour and the rest of the sea salt and pepper.  
     Coat the fish in the egg whites and then transfer to the flour mix, dredging it and patting it.  Work in two batches - fry the first batch in a skillet warmed over medium high heat.  Cook fish until golden brown (about 5 minutes), turning it once.  Transfer to a warm oven while you cook the rest of the fish.  Serve with a squeeze of lemon and tartar sauce.

That lovely little salad contains fresh sprouts that I've been growing the last couple of days.  A perfect accompaniment to winter salads!  Try it out!

Apple Cheddar Pizza

We've been eating more pizza than usual now that I sell pizza dough.  Today's creation required me to come up with something that didn't require tomato sauce or mozzarella.  


1 organic whole wheat pizza dough, pressed into a pan
1 organic cortland apple, sliced thinly
1/2 cup organic old cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 of an organic red onion, sliced thin

Method:  Preheat oven to 450*.  Sprinkle the dough with the cheese, and top it with the red onion and thin slices of apple.  Bake for 10-15 minutes or until crust begins to get golden.

Breakfast Waffles

Christmas is one week away.  Today we comb the beach for bits of driftwood and shells, to weave together magical charms as gifts for those we love.  But first we need some breakfast.

WHOLE WHEAT BLUEBERRY WAFFLES with Stewed Apples and Strawberries

1 cup organic whole wheat flour
1 cup organic unbleached white flour
2 organic eggs, separated
2 cups organic whole milk
1/2 cup fresh or frozen organic blueberries
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 Tbsp local maple syrup
2 Tbsp organic butter, melted and cooled slightly

Method: Whisk the egg yolks, maple syrup and milk together in a mixing bowl.  Stir in the melted butter.Combine the dry ingredients and stir into the egg mixture.  Then stir in the blueberries. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until peaks form.  Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.  Heat a waffle iron and cook one at a time.  Serve with a dollop of organic yogurt, stewed fruit and maple syrup.


1 organic cortland apple
1 cup organic fresh or frozen strawberries
2 Tbsp water

Method:  In a small saucepan, combine the two fruits and the water.  Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to medium low.  Cook for about 10 minutes, or until apples are soft.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Oatmeal Blueberry Pancakes

These pancakes get made very often in our house.  Whole grain goodness, made even better with the addition of blueberries.  Great topped with maple syrup, fruit jam or applesauce. Sometimes I even add a wee bit of spirulina to the batter too.


1 cup organic oats
1 1/4 cup organic whole milk (you can also use rice/soy milk)
1/2 cup organic whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of sea salt
1 organic egg
2 tsp organic vegetable oil
1 Tbsp milled organic flax seed
1/2 cup organic fresh or frozen blueberries
1 Tbsp maple syrup
organic butter

Method: Combine the oats and milk in a mixing bowl and allow to stand and soak for 10 minutes.  Whisk in the egg, oil and maple syrup.  Sift in the flour, baking powder and sea salt. Stir in the flax seed and blueberries.
     Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Add a dab of butter to pan, swirl it around and then pour in about 1/4-1/2 cup batter, shake pan to distribute the batter and cook for about 2-3 minutes or until the edges begin to dry out a bit and little bubbles start to form on the surface.  Flip and cook the other side 1-2 minutes.  Serve hot!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Kung Pao Tofu and Shrimp

I know there have been alot of shrimp recipes lately, but this organic shrimp thing is exciting, and Scott really, really loves shrimp.  You will notice though that today's dinner also features tofu, which can replace all the shrimp if you so desire.  Or you can use chicken...

KUNG PAO TOFU AND SHRIMP with Green Peas and Peppers on Short Grain Brown Rice

1/2 pound organic shrimp, cleaned
1/2 pound organic firm tofu
4 tsp organic tamari
1 tsp local honey
1 tsp toasted sesame oil

2 Tbsp organic tamari
1 Tbsp fermented black beans, rinsed and chopped
1 Tbsp local honey
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/4 water, divided
1 tsp organic cornstarch
3 Tbsp sesame oil, divided
1 Tbsp chopped fresh ginger
1/2 tsp hot Asian chile paste
1 sweet organic red, yellow or green pepper
1 cup frozen organic peas or edamame
3 organic green onions, sliced on the diagonal
1/2 cup organic cashews, toasted

Method: In a bowl, marinate the shrimp, tofu, tamari, honey and sesame oil.  Marinate for 20 minutes.
     For sauce, combine tamari, black beans, honey, sesame oil, and 2 Tbsp of the water.
     In a small bowl, combine remaining water with cornstarch.
     To cook, heat a cast iron wok (or any non stick skillet) over medium high heat.  Add shrimp and tofu and stir fry until lightly browned or 1-2 minutes.  Remove and reserve.  Heat remaining 1 Tbsp oil in the skillet.  Add the peppers and saute for 1 minute.  Add the ginger, garlic and chile paste, stir a couple of times.  Add sauce to skillet and cook 1 minute.  Add peas, tofu and shrimp.  Stir in cornstarch mixture.  Cook for 30 seconds or until sauce thickens slightly.  Add green onions and cook for 30 seconds.  Sprinkle in cashews, stir.  Serve on cooked organic short grain brown rice.
2 cloves organic garlic

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Soup Day

A perfect foggy rainy day soup for this time of year.

CARROT CARDAMOM SOUP with Red Lentils and Squash

2 Tbsp organic coconut oil
1 organic onion, chopped
3 Tbsp peeled, grated fresh organic ginger
1 tsp organic ground cardamom
1/2 tsp organic ground turmeric
1/2 tsp organic ancho chili powder
1/8 tsp organic ground cinnamon
5 large organic carrots, cut into small pieces
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
8 cups organic chicken or vegetable stock or water
1 cup organic butternut squash, cubed
1/2 cup organic red lentils
1 Tbsp maple syrup
sea salt and pepper to taste
a few squeezes of fresh lime juice
organic yogurt for garnish

Method:  Heat the oil in a large stock pot over medium heat.  Add the onion, ginger, spices, carrots, potato, and squash.  Stir to coat the vegetables in the spice and saute for 5 minutes, stirring. 
     Add the stock, lentils, and maple syrup.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Remove from heat.  Keep soup chunky or blend until smooth.  Stir in salt, pepper and lime.  Add a dollop of yogurt into each bowl before serving.

SPINACH SALAD with Feta, Celery and Cabbage in an Apple Balsamic Vinaigrette
Okay, so I strive to eat locally.  Come winter though, I admit to buying the odd package of salad greens and celery.

Organic spinach leaves
Organic celery, chopped
Grated organic carrot
Feta cheese, crumbled
Organic sunflower seeds
Organic cabbage, shredded
Boates apple balsamic vinegar
E.V Olive oil
Sea Salt and Pepper

Method:  Combine all ingredients and enjoy!


Our hens are laying!  It is so much fun to wake up each morning, go outside and check for eggs in the henhouse.  To prevent the ladies from laying their eggs outside in the woods where we won't be able to find them, we usually keep them in until about 9 or 10 am.  Today they must have been busy at work because I found three eggs.  You wouldn't believe the difference in flavour and colour of these eggs!  Yesterday I fried one up whose yolk was literally orange.  I never knew eggs could be so flavourful.  The beauty of our chickens is that they are free range, so they eat lots of bugs, and we feed them organic feed.  I love our chickens!
My husband is so mean (but funny).  Before our chicks were laying, but right around the time we knew they might be starting I would go into their house and check for eggs.  One morning I was so excited to finally see an egg, beautifully nestled in the straw.  I ran into the house and called his mom's house where he was visiting and told her all about it.  Scott came home that night and started laughing.  Apparently he had put one of his leftover boiled eggs from lunch in that morning to fool me.  I wasn't impressed.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Winter Salad

Lately our salads have been coleslaw type salads made with cabbage because that's what is available this time of year in Nova Scotia!  To switch things up a bit I decided to use up an avocado that was perfectly ripe on our counter to make a salad using frozen green peas.  Last year I actually froze some local green peas, but I have to admit these ones are regular supermarket peas, prepared in an unusual manner.  Can you believe I was able to buy tomatoes this time of year at the Farmer's Market?  Norbert is amazing.  He had yellow, green and red peppers too!

PEA SALAD with Grated Carrot, Avocado and Tomato

2 organic carrots, grated
1/2 organic avocado, cubed
1/2 organic tomato, cubed
1 cup frozen peas, cooked
1/2 Tbsp umeboshi vinegar
1/2 organic lemon, squeezed
drizzle of organic sesame oil
black pepper

Method:  Combine all ingredients and toss.

I've started a new business called Earth's Oven Organic Bakery (  I sell at the Halifax Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings.  We offer lovely baked goods, and as a special item, Organic Whole Wheat Pizza dough.  I had one left over at the end of market day so we are having it for supper......this is just a picture of the basics.

Almond Butter Hummus

Sometimes it takes running out of an ingredient you need when you're in the middle of making something to encourage you to try something new.  And so it was this morning when I was making this hummus.  Ran out of tahini, so subsituted almond butter and it was delicious!  


3 cups fresh cooked organic chickpeas (or canned)
5 cloves organic garlic
1/4 cup organic tahini (or use all almond butter)
1/2 cup raw almond butter
1 1/2 Tbsp organic tamari
1 1/2 organic lemons, fresh squeezed
1 tsp organic cumin powder
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup water

Method:  Combine all ingredients in a food processor and mix until thoroughly combined.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Things are Only Getting Better!

Contrary to what the media portrays to us about the state of the world, there are good things happening too!  The ever increasing availability of organic foods for one is quite an amazing thing.  I remember when I first got into the health food scene, organics were only available in little health food stores, and the variety was slim.  Fresh organic veggies were hard to come by, and they weren't always that fresh.  Now, you can buy Organic Shrimp at a major supermarket chain.  How exciting is that!  President's Choice Organics now stocks organic shrimp in the freezer section.  So I had to buy them and cook them up for supper.

SESAME SHRIMP on Brown Rice with Sauteed Swiss Chard and Peanut Sauce
The Peanut Sauce can also be made with Almond Butter if you prefer.

1 bag PC Organics Shrimp, peeled
2 cups organic short grain brown rice
1/4 cup organic sesame seeds
1 Tbsp organic tamari
1 Tbsp organic brown rice vinegar
2-3 Tbsp organic sesame oil
1 bunch organic swiss chard

Peanut Sauce
4 1/2 Tbsp organic peanut butter
3 Tbsp organic tamari
3 Tbsp organic brown rice vinegar
2 Tbsp local honey
2 tsp finely grated fresh ginger

Method:  Rinse rice in a sieve and place in a pressure cooker with 3 cups water and a pinch of salt, bring to a boil and then reduce heat and cook for 50 minutes on low heat.

Combine the peanut butter, tamari, vinegar and ginger in a blender to make the peanut sauce. Set aside.

In a bowl, mix the tamari and vinegar, toss the shrimp in and then remove with a slotted spoon. Dredge the shrimp in sesame seeds and set aside.  

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add some oil to the pan and saute swiss chard in the leftover tamari vinegar blend until wilted and soft.  Remove the swiss chard from pan and reserve, covered to stay warm.  Reheat the pan and add more oil.  Cook the shrimp for about 2 minutes, or until they are opaque and cooked.

To serve, pile a mound of rice onto a plate, followed by the swiss chard, the shrimp and a drizzle of sauce.

ASIAN COLESLAW with Sea Vegetables 
2 cups coleslaw, shredded
1 carrot, thinly sliced or shredded
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 big strip of wakame, soaked in cool water for 2 minutes (not too long or it gets slimy)
1 handful of local nori, rinsed in cool water, shells removed and chopped
1 handful of arame, soaked in a bowl of water
1 Tbsp brown rice vinegar
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
small drizzle of local honey
1/2 Tbsp organic sesame oil
sea salt and pepper

Combine and sprinkle with sesame seeds.