Sunday, January 31, 2010

An Amazing Pasta

This weekend I started selling Grilled Panini Sandwiches at my table at the Halifax Farmer's Market.  So I spent some time today dreaming up interesting combinations I might offer in the future, which led to the idea for this pasta we ate tonight.  It was soo good.

ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND ARTICHOKE PASTA with Black Olives in a Sundried Tomato Hempseed Pesto 

1 pound of organic pasta of your choice
1/2 of an organic butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 can of artichoke hearts
1 organic onion, cut in slivers
10 black olives, pitted and left whole
3-4 Tbsp sundried tomato pesto
3 cloves organic garlic, smashed and chopped
4 Tbsp e.v olive oil
sea salt and pepper
fresh grated romano cheese

Method:  Preheat oven to 375*.  Toss the butternut squash in a drizzle of olive oil, and season with sea salt and pepper.  Spread them out on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes, or until they start to brown and cooked through.  Set aside.
     Bring a large pot of water to boil.  As you wait, heat a pan with some more olive oil and saute the onion for 3 minutes, then add the olives, garlic and artichokes.  Cook, stirring for another five minutes or until the onions are cooked and the wetness from the artichokes disappears.  Set aside, keeping warm. 
     Sometime while you are sauteing the water will come to a boil.  Season water with salt and boil the pasta according to package directions.  Drain water and return pasta back to pot along with the pesto, squash and artichoke mix.  Drizzle in some more olive oil, toss and serve with the romano cheese.


1/2 cup organic sun-dried tomatoes (not oil packed)
2 organic garlic cloves
3 Tbsp organic hemp seeds
2 Tbsp organic white miso paste
1/4 tsp organic red chile flakes
2 tsp capers
1 Tbsp organic balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp e.v olive oil
organic black pepper to taste

Method:  Soak sun-dried tomatoes in warm water for 15 minutes.  Strain and reserve about 1/2 cup of the water .  Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until blended.  Season to taste and thin out with some of the soaking water if necessary.  

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The lunch I forgot to photograph

Last night I made pot roast with some of the organic beef we have stashed in our freezer.  It was very good except I didn't cook the veggies long enough.  So for lunch today I decided to make an open face sandwich with some of the leftovers.  It is similar to the panini I posted the other day but very different tasting too.  Anyway, I was so into eating it that I forgot to take a picture of it.....


2 slices organic bread, toasted lightly
a few slice of organic beef pot roast leftovers
1 Tbsp organic dijon mustard
1/2 cup organic homemade (ok or store bought) sauerkraut
some grated organic cheddar (I had some swiss in there too)

Method:  Preheat your toaster oven to broil.  Slather each piece of bread with the mustard, sprinkle a little cheese, then sauerkraut it, beef it, and end with lots of cheese.  Broil until the cheese melts and starts to brown a bit.  Yum.

101 Recipes Using Spaghetti Squash

Ok, so not really....not even close.  But I do so like spaghetti squash and so here is another recipe featuring this lovely vegetable.

SPAGHETTI SQUASH with Hemp Seed Pesto and Romano Cheese

1/2 organic spaghetti squash, roasted or boiled
a lot of freshly grated Italian romano cheese

Method:  Either bake the squash at 350* until very tender, then scoop out the stringy squash or if in a hurry you can also just boil it until it's tender.  While it is still hot, stir in the pesto and then top with the cheese.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Scrambled Tofu

Not that I have anything against real scrambled eggs, I mean, I love my chickens, and I love eggs. But we ate quiche last night and I felt like something a little different.  And I like scrambled tofu!


1 Tbsp e.v olive oil
1 organic onion, chopped
8 organic mushrooms, sliced
10 black or green olives, pitted and sliced
2 organic carrots, grated
1 pound organic local firm tofu
1/2 cup organic cheese, grated
2 tsp organic turmeric powder
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 - 2 Tbsp organic tamari
fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp organic ground coriander
1/4 tsp organic ground cumin

Method:  Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Add olive oil and saute onion, mushroom and grated carrot until soft.  Sprinkle spices in and crumble in the tofu too.  Stir until well combined and tofu is heated through.  Sprinkle with grated cheese, lower heat, cover pan and heat until cheese melts.

I served this with toasted spelt bread and my homemade sauerkraut.  Since this is the second time I've mentioned the sauerkraut I decided to include the recipe from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon

Basic Recipe for Sauerkraut

  • 1 litre glass jar with plastic lid or spring lid
  • 1 Cabbage Medium sized (1kg)
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons of Kefir whey (you may use already fermented sauerkraut for an innoculant or simply add another tablespoon of salt.)
  • 1 tablespoon of carraway seeds or fresh chopped dill.

Germans have always sliced the cabbage with a specially made machine and pounded them with a wooden mortar in a large crock to bruise the cell walls.
Grate cabbage with a hand grater or process in a food processor, then mix in a large food grade plastic bucket (get them at a hardware store) with the salt and Kefir whey. Pound with a meat mallot or wooden pounder of some kind. I’ve been known to use a pick handle, a clean one of course. Pound until the juices cause suction when you pull the pounder out of the mix.

Press the mixture into a clean glass jar using a wooden spoon. Press firmly until the juice rises to the top and covers the mixture, which it will do when it is pounded enough. Leave at least one inch or more of space at the top of the jar to allow for expansion.
Cover the kraut and store the jar in a cupboard for 3-5 days (depending on the ambient temperature) before transferring to the refrigerator. The sauerkraut may be consumed after a couple of weeks, though if you allow the fermentation process to continue for a month or so in the refrigerator you will be well rewarded with a most delicious flavour. I love sauerkraut at 4 months old.

As with all fermenting, follow your nose. If it smells putrid or you have any doubts about the quality, then discard the sauerkraut and start again.

Fresh Juice Smoothie

When it comes to my juicer, I have to admit to being fairly predictable in what beverages I create.  My goal is to be a little more adventurous.  But this morning I stuck to the tried and true.  My all time favorite concoction is this smoothie.  If you don't have a juicer you can always substitute fresh apple cider from the Farmer's Market for the fresh apple juice.


1/2 cup unsprayed or organic local blueberries (mine are frozen except in the summer and fall)
1 organic banana, cut into pieces
fresh juice from 2-3 organic apples
1 -2 tsp organic spirulina powder (optional)
1 tsp bee pollen granules (optional)
1/2-1 Tbsp organic flax seed powder (optional)

Method:  Combine all ingredients in a blender or measuring cup if you use a stick blender and mix together until smooth.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Best Panini

Okay so here are two pics of our amazing supper tonight.  One picture is of Scott enjoying his awesome panini and his hurly burly carpenter hands.  The other is with me and my oh so delicate yoga teacher/baker hands.  In the summer I made a few jars of homemade sauerkraut and decided to crack one open tonight to add to the paninis...........sooooooooo good.  The pictures do these sandwiches no justice.


8 slices homemade organic spelt or whole wheat bread (I decided to try out making spelt bread this week...check out my bread post and just substitute spelt flours!)
2 Tbsp organic mayonaise
2 Tbsp organic dijon
1 1/2 cups sliced roasted organic chicken
1/2 cup organic sauerkraut ( I used the recipe found in Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions cookbook)
e.v olive oil
1 cup organic swiss cheese, grated

Method:  Preheat panini press.  Combine the mayo and dijon in a bowl.  Smother one side of each piece of bread with the dijonaise.  Then top this with some cheese, then some sauerkraut, some chicken and end with more cheese.  Close the sandwich and spray each side with some olive oil.  Grill in your panini press until all the cheese is melted and the sandwhich is warmed through and golden.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Broiled Spiced Haddock with Garlic Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Brussel Sprouts

This meal was so good I was glad Faegan barely touched his so I could eat his share

1 lb local hook and line haddock
1 Tbsp e.v olive oil or butter
2 Tbsp organic tamari
1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp organic paprika
1 clove organic garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp organic chili powder
1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce (tabasco)

Method:  Preheat oven to broil.  Whisk all the ingredients except the fish in  a bowl.  Coat the fish in the sauce and place in a cast iron skillet.  Pour the sauce over the fish and broil in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until fish starts to flake and browns on the edges.


1 1/2 pounds mixed organic sweet and yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
2 Tbsp organic butter
1 clove organic garlic, minced
1/3 cup organic whole milk
sea salt

Method:  Boil potatoes until fork tender.  Drain thoroughly and return to pot.  Melt butter in a small skillet over low heat and add garlic to cook the flavour into the butter.  Add milk just to warm.  Mash the potatoes while adding the butter and milk.  Season to taste with sea salt.


12 Brussel sprouts, end trimmed
1/2 Tbsp organic tamari
1 tsp organic sesame oil
fresh organic black pepper

Method:  Place sprouts in a pot, fill halfway with water.  Bring to a boil and cook for about 3-4 minutes, or until they become tender.  Drain the water and toss with the tamari and oil.  Sprinkle with pepper and serve.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Our Own Chicken

Our brood of chickens needed to be thinned out.  When we picked up our chicks in the summer, we weren't sure how many hens there were, as they were unsexed.  And so we waited patiently as they grew until the day came that we realized we pretty much had a 50/50 split of roosters and hens.  It was also at this point that the hens were due to start laying.  I figured there was no way they were going to start laying eggs unless we got rid of some of those aggressive males that were crowding the hen house.  So Scott spent one Saturday afternoon learning how to butcher chickens.  We said a little prayer to remind ourselves of the sacredness of all life, and by the end of the day we found ourselves with a whole lot of chicken meat, and very little freezer space!
     Since then, we've made three attempts at eating the meat.  The first I used for stock and soup, the second Scott roasted which only resulted in a very tough bird, and tonight I tried out an Italian inspired Chicken Stew which was the best one yet.  We give thanks.

ITALIAN CHICKEN STEW with Black Olives, Capers and Rosemary

1 organic chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1 bottle of organic red wine
8 organic bay leaves
2 sprigs of fresh organic rosemary
4 cloves organic garlic, smashed
1/4 cup e.v olive oil
1 cup organic all purpose flour
7 anchovies
2 Tbsp capers
1/2 cup black olives, pitted
1 can diced organic tomatoes
sea salt and pepper

Method:  Place the chicken in a bowl, sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cover with the wine, bay leaves, rosemary and 1 clove of the garlic.  Let sit for one hour.
    Preheat the oven to 350*.   Heat a dutch oven over medium high heat.  Reserving the marinade, pat dry the chicken and dredge in the flour.  Add the olive oil to the pot and brown both sides of each piece of chicken (about 5 minutes). Remove each piece of chicken and set aside until they are all done.
     Add the garlic and anchovies to the hot pan.  Stir quickly and then add the olives, tomatoes, chicken and the reserved marinade.  Bring to a boil , cover and bake in the oven for about 2 hours.  Serve over polenta with some grated romano cheese.


2 cups organic chicken stock or broth
1 cup organic whole milk
sea salt and black pepper
1 cup organic cornmeal
2 Tbsp organic butter
1/4 cup grated romano cheese

Method:  Combine the stock and milk in a saucepan, stirring in some sea salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil and reduce to low.  Whisk in the cornmeal and cook, stirring for about 15 minutes. When it almost reaches desired consistency, stir in butter and cheese.

Tonight we ate this with the curly endive/escarole salad from an earlier post......with added orange segments!