Sunday, October 31, 2010


I decided to go nuts at the Farmer's Market this week and buy loads of veggies to turn into lacto-fermented yumminess.  It is amazing the amount of veggies you can pack into a jar once they've been salted a bit.  So I spent the afternoon grated, chopping, peeling and smashing all that produce and they are now happily resting on the kitchen counter, busily fermenting their little hearts out......

(adapted from "The Maker's Diet" by Jordan Rubin)

These carrots taste great in salads, with eggs, and on sandwiches.

4 cups grated organic carrots, loosely packed
3 tsp sea salt

Method:  In a bowl, mix the carrots and salt together.  Place in a Mason jar and press down with a wooden pounder.  There should be about an inch of space between the top of the carrots and the top of the jar.  Cover tightly and leave at room temperature about 2-3 days before transferring to cold storage.

Makes a half-gallon jar

3 1/2 pounds organic cabbage
1 tablespoon sea salt

You can add optional ingredients from the following list: 1 tsp caraway seed, peeled sliced garlic; washed, cored and sliced apples; peeled onions cut into eighths; dill seed; juniper berries; or other spices.

Wash cabbage and cut into thin shreds, with a kraut cutter, mandoline, food processor, or by hand with a knife.  Mix cabbage shreds with the salt in a large bowl and let stand for 15 minutes.  Then press the cabbage with your fist or a wooden stamper until the juice is flowing well.  It is important to crush the vegetables enough to create the juice.

Pack the juicy shreds into your jar in layers, interspersing the caraway and any other ingredients you are using.  Pack tightly enough that all the air is pressed out.  You should leave about two inches of space below the lid. If you don’t have enough, you can add a little brine: 1 tsp salt to one pint water.  Put the lid on and screw down, but not really tight.  Put the jar on a plate or pie tin, and keep in a dark corner of your kitchen for one week.  Then put in a cold place for another four weeks to mellow.  Sauerkraut keeps many months under proper storage conditions (provided you keep out of it that long).

Untraditional KIMCHEE
Makes a half-gallon jar

1 ½ pounds organic Napa cabbage
1 pound organic daikon radish
3 tablespoons sea salt
1 ½ tablespoons peeled and sliced organic garlic
6 organic scallions trimmed and sliced or ½ cup trimmed sliced leek 
2 tablespoons peeled and grated organic ginger
1-3 tablespoon fine quality medium Korean hot chile powder
1 teaspoon organic sugar

     Wash Napa cabbage and cut in half lengthwise.  Cut out the core, chop the rest in approximate 1.5” squares.  Peel daikon and slice ¼” thick.  In a large nonreactive bowl, mix 6 cups water and 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons salt. Then put in the radish and Napa, dunking them in the water.  Let stand 8-12 hours, dunking occasionally.          
At the end of this period, prepare the rest of the spices along with 1 teaspoon sea salt and 1 teaspoon sugar into a mixing bowl (a second bowl).  Scoop the vegetables out of the brine into the bowl with the spices, mix well.  Reserve the brine. 

Pack the vegetables reasonably tightly into your jar. Be sure to pour in any liquid left in the bottom of your mixing bowl.  Then fill the jar up to the neck with the reserved brine.  Cover jar loosely, put on a plate or pie tin, and keep in a dark place.  Kimchee takes from five to nine days to ferment, depending on the ambient temperature.  At five days, start tasting the brine with a clean spoon.  When it is sour enough to your taste, your kimchee is done.  Cap tightly and keep in a cold place.  It is ready to use at once, and will keep many months under refrigeration (or buried out in your yard if you live in Korea). 

SUPER HEALTHY CHOCOLATE COCONUT BLOBS with Flaxseed, Almond Butter and Tahini

There is nothing better that a decadent treat that you can feel really good about eating.  These Chocolate Coconut Blobs are so good, I find it really hard to stop at just one.  The trick to these little suckers is eating them frozen.  The freezing element has absolutely nothing to do with extending shelf life because they will not last long in your house.
(adapted from "The Maker's Diet" by Jordan Rubin)

1 cup ground organic flaxseeds
1/2 cup organic tahini
1/2 cup organic almond butter (roasted or raw)
1/4 cup organic hemp nuts
6 Tbsp organic cocoa powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup local honey
2 Tbsp organic extra virgin coconut oil
1 tsp organic vanilla extract
1 tsp organic almond extract
1/2 - 1 cup organic shredded coconut

Method:  Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir well.  With a spoon or your hands, form into balls and roll in the coconut.  Freeze and enjoy.


     These past few mornings I've been drinking a delicious strawberry smoothie made with kefir.  Kefir is a lacto-fermented beverage that supplies beneficial probiotics, enzymes, minerals, rapid hydration, and enhanced digestion to people.  It is so easy to make too!  I have to yet built up a taste for drinking it straight up though, so I like to blend it into this delicious smoothie.  Kefir is even easier than yogurt to make, so don't be timid, try it!  Just stir in the cultured powder and let it sit on your counter.  


1 litre organic whole cow or goat's milk (raw if you have access)
1 packet kefir starter

Pour the milk into a glass Mason jar.  Add kefir starter, screw on the lid and shake.  Set at room temperature (70-75*) for 12-48 hours, then transfer to the refrigerator.    Can last for several months in the refrigerator.  

(adapted from "The Maker's Diet" by Jordan Rubin

300 ml organic kefir or yogurt
1/2 Tbsp organic extra virgin coconut oil
1 Tbsp organic flaxseed or hemp oil
1 Tbsp unheated local honey
1 Tbsp organic hemp nuts
1 cup organic frozen or fresh strawberries
2 Tbsp organic goji berries
1 Tbsp organic greens powder

Method:  Blend all ingredients and enjoy.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

LACTOFERMENTATION aka Delicious Veggies

     Many cultures around the world include lactofermented vegetables and foods in their diets.  Lactofermented vegetables are easier to digest, and in fact improve the general digestion when taken regularly in small amounts.  Vitamins and minerals are more available.  Carbohydrates are broken down and therefore require less insulin for digestion, making lactofermented vegetables ideal for diabetics.  These aren't the only reasons why I love them's because they taste so delicious and are so satisfying somehow.  I am on a bit of a cleanse right now that involves eliminating sweeteners (sugar), yeast and gluten from my diet.  The best part of this diet change though is the emphasis on consuming more lactofermented foods and probiotics.  So I've been busy making up batches of homemade yogurt and fermented salads.  Right now I have a beet salad fermenting in my basement fridge.  I've never tried it before, so I am very excited for it to be done it's thing, which unfortunately is going to take about a month! It can be eaten before then, but the extra time gives it a chance to mellow out.  Good thing I still have sauerkraut in my fridge from about a year ago!  It's still good though.  I ate some this morning mixed with grated carrot, avocado, and umeboshi vinegar.  Great way to start the day!

LACTOFERMENTED BEETS with Napa Cabbage, Apple and Onion

Beets, with all their sugars, turn out a fierce fermentation.  It is good to add other vegetables such as the Napa in this recipe, or rutabaga or turnip, so that you are not using only beet.

Makes one half-gallon jar

 2 to 2 ½  pounds beets
 ½ pound Napa cabbage
3 ounces chopped apple
 3 ounces chopped onion
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sea salt
mustard seed to taste.  

Peel, wash and grate or shred the beets in food processor.  Trim and cut finely the Napa cabbage.  Put beets and cabbage into a big bowl with the salt, and press with your fist or a wooden stamper until the juice is flowing well.
Pack into your jar in layers, interspersing the apple, onion, and spices.  Be sure to leave at least two inches below the lid.  Put lid on jar loosely, and be SURE to put the jar into a pie tin.  Beets can run over the top of the jar since they have a vigorous fermentation.  Put the jar in a dark place in your refrigerator for one week.  Then wash the sides of the jar if needed, and keep in a cold place for another four weeks to mellow.  Keeps many months under proper storage conditions.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

PUMPKIN MUFFINS for Wee Little Pumpkins

Today my son and I attended a Pumpkin Fun Playgroup with a group of moms and wee ones who gather together every week as part of a Waldorf Initiative.  Everyone brought along pumpkins to carve and I thought it would be very tasty to bake some Pumpkin Muffins.  I try to avoid feeding my family refined sugar, and so chose to make a batch of not too sweet muffins using brown rice syrup.  Simple, delicious, vegan, and the best part is there is a load of pumpkin puree in each one!

(from "Cooking the Whole Foods Way" by C. Pirello)

1 cup organic pumpkin or squash puree (simply roast a pumpkin, cut in half in the oven for abou 20 minutes until soft, scoop out flesh and puree)
2 cups organic whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp organic ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground organic cloves
1/4 tsp ground organic cinnamon
1/3 cup soy, rice or whole organic milk
1/4 cup organic vegetable oil
1/2 cup organic brown rice syrup
1/2 cup coarsely chopped organic walnuts (we omitted because of nut allergies in the group)

Method:  Preheat oven to 350*.  Lightly oil one muffin tray.  Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and spices into a bowl.  Combine cooked pumpkin with milk, oil and rice syrup.  Stir pumpkin mixture into dry ingredients, mixing just until well blended to make a thick, spoonable batter.  Spoon into prepared muffin holes.
     Bake about 20 minutes or until the muffins start to brown slightly and they spring back to the touch.  Cool and serve!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


     I didn't wake up this morning expecting to make a huge Indian feast.  In fact I didn't even know it was going to happen until I started.  I absolutely love paneer in any Indian dish, so decided to make some.  I will remember next time to wait until I have LOTS of milk in the fridge, because by the time you strain off all the whey, you aren't left with much cheese.  Anyway, there was just enough to make a small batch to use in a lovely dish that was made with whatever chard was left in our garden, along with some kale.  
     The ultimate kicker in this feast was the Puris I made, otherwise known as FRIED bread.  That's right, pretty much like dipping donuts in your curry.  But oh so good and worth the hassle of deep frying and the oily drippiness of it all.  I can remember eating lots and lots of puris in my favorite Indian restaurant when I lived in Ontario, where it was served with a bowl of delicious curried chick peas.

A punjabi homemade cheese resembling ricotta.  It can also be pressed to make a harder curd much like tofu.  For the recipe I made tonight, I kept it soft and crumbly.

1 litre organic whole milk
juice of 1 organic lemon

Method:  Bring the milk to a boil in a heavy bottomed saucepan.  When it boils, it will rise to the top of the pan.  Turn off the heat and immediately add the lemon juice.  Stir with a wooden spoon and watch the curds separate from the whey.  Strain with a cheesecloth in a colander.  

METHI CHAAMAN (Chard with Fenugreek and Indian Cheese)

 1 1/2 (675 g) pounds organic chard
2 cloves organic garlic
4 Tbsp organic yogurt
1 Tbsp fresh cilantro
3 Tbsp ghee or oil
8 oz crumbly paneer
sea salt
2 Tbsp fenugreek leaves, dried (methi)
1/2 Tbsp dried organic coriander powder
1/2 tsp organic cumin powder
pinch organic cardamom powder
pinch organic clove powder

Method:  Rinse the chard well, drain and coarsely chop.  Boil it in some water for 10 minutes, drain.  Put the spices, a couple of tablespoons of the cooked chard, garlic, yogurt, and coriander in a food processor and blend to a smooth paste.
     Heat the ghee or oil in a large saucepan or skillet and stir fry the paste for 6-8 minutes, adding water to prevent sticking.  Add the remainder of the chard and stir fry until it is well mixed and heated through.  Add the cheese and salt to taste.  You can add more water to make it runnier.  Serve hot.

MASOOR DAL (Red Lentil Curry)

1 cup organic red lentils (masoor dal)
5 cups water
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp each organic turmeric, coriander and cumin powders
1 Tbsp freshly grated gingeroot
1 Tbsp organic oil
1/2 tsp organic black mustard seeds
1 organic onion, chopped
2 dried hot red chiles broken in half and seeds removed (optional)
pinch of hing

Method:  Wash the lentils and drain; set aside.  Boil the water and add the lentils, turning down the heat and cover, cooking for about 15 minutes.  Next add the salt, spices, and ginger.  Cook for another ten minutes, reducing to low while you prepare the next step.
     Heat the oil in a small saucepan.  Add the mustard seeds.  When they finish popping, add the onion and saute until translucent.  Stir in the hing and broken chile.  Pour this into the pot of dal.  Continue to cook until the dal becomes thicker, about 15-20 minutes.  Serve with basmati, garnished with fresh cilantro.


1 cup organic whole wheat flour
1 cup organic unbleached white flour
2 1/2 Tbsp organic ghee or palm oil
a little over 1/2 cup warm water
organic ghee or vegetable oil for deep frying

Method:  Add ghee solids or palm oil to flour and mix with your hands until flour is the consistency of coarse meal.  Add water and keep mixing.  Knead dough about 10-15 minutes.  Cover and let sit for half an hour.  
For rolling, lightly flour your surface and pinch of bits of dough and roll into round flat circles.  Place puri in hot oil, push it to the bottom and bathe it in oil.  It will rise and puff up like a balloon.  Turn over quickly and remove with tongs.

Friday, October 15, 2010


     My recent attendance at a sprouting workshop has inspired me to include even more raw foods into my diet.  The constant whirring of the dehydrator is proof that I've gotten my raw mojo back!  I love it when I make something raw that I REALLY love to eat.  Today, it's raw granola that's got me so excited.  Do yourself a favour and make this granola......

(adapted from "I am Grateful" by Teres Engelhart)

1 1/2 cups organic almonds, soaked overnight
1/2 cup organic sunflower seeds, soaked overnight
1/2 cup organic buckwheat, soaked overnight
1/2 cup organic hulled hemp seed
5 organic apples, grated
1/2 cup pureed organic dates
1/2 cup organic coconut flakes
scant 1/2 cup local honey
1 tsp organic pure vanilla
2 tsp organic cinnamon
1/3 tsp sea salt

Method:  Rinse and drain the seeds and grains.  Chop the almonds and add them, along with all the other seeds and grains to a large bowl.  In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the "S" blade, puree the dates along with some apple to make it moist.  Now add the apple, dates and remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix well.
     Prepare 2 dehydrator trays with both the grid and Teflex sheets.  Spread out the granola with your hands and dehydrate at 145* for one hour, and then reduce temperature to 115* and dehydrate until dry.