Sunday, November 21, 2010


Years ago when I first started really getting into yoga, my interest and fascination with all things "India" began.  Visits to Gerard Street in Toronto to shop in the fascinating stores of Little India, feasts at Indian restaurants, forays into the world of Hare Krishna, and of course, chai.  Keep in mind, I've never been to India and have never had authentic chai, for I am sure it is probably quite different than the chai I like to make.  However, most accounts of this delectable beverage include these ingredients in some form or other.  I like mine really milky with lots of honey.  If you're not really into black tea, you can omit it altogether, which I often due, most of the time just because I forget to add it in.  Chai makes a great alternative to hot chocolate on a cold winter day.

(makes enough chai for 3 servings)

2 - 2" pieces of organic cinnamon sticks, smashed
2 cups water
5 organic cardamom pods
5 organic cloves
2 black peppercorns
1 thumb sized nob of fresh organic ginger, grated
1 Tbsp organic loose leaf black tea leaves
2 cups organic milk (coconut, almond or cow)
2-3 Tbsp local honey

Method:  Add the ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and peppercorns to the water in a small saucepan.  Bring to a gentle boil, then turn the heat low and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add the milk, increase heat slightly, but do not boil, just heat milk gently.  Remove from heat, stir in tea leaves and let brew for 1-3 minutes.  Strain, stir in honey to taste and serve.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


     I don't know why it has taken me this long to finally make some homemade fruit leather.  I can remember flipping through my mother's Time-Life cookbook collection as a child, and drooling over the idea of making my very own fruit roll ups!  Anyway, better late than never.  And it was so easy!  I can't wait  to try mixing the apple puree with some strawberries, cranberries and all kinds of yummy fruits next summer.  Oh and don't forget the possibility of pear leather..........

(please note I used a Vita-Mix blender to make this puree, which really liquifies the apples.  You may need to use more water if you are using a different blender)

1 quart of local organic apples(I used Macintosh, but feel free to experiment), cored and sectioned - keep skin on
a wee bit of water
a squeeze of organic lemon juice (optional)

Method:  Place the apples in the blender and add a wee bit of water to get the blades moving.  Blend until it reaches the consistency of applesauce.  Spread onto a dehydrator tray fitted with a Teflex mat, about 1/4" thick.  Dry at 108* overnight.  Peel off and cut into strips.  Store in a glass jar.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

BUTTERNUT SQUASH SCONES with White Cheddar Cheese

     I found a sneaky way to get some squash into my toddler with these delicious scones.  He definitely ate more of these than the carrot studded bowl of oatmeal I tried to squeeze into him the other morning.  They were the perfect accompaniment to a big bowl of lentil soup and a visit with some lovely friends.


1 cup organic unbleached wheat or spelt flour
1 /3 cup organic whole wheat or whole spelt flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup organic unsalted butter
1 cup organic roasted butternut squash puree (or pumpkin)
2/3 cup organic buttermilk
1/2 cup organic medium or old cheddar cheese, grated

Method:  Preheat oven to 350*.  Peel and cube the squash, and roast in a greased pan for 20-30 minutes. Puree and allow to cool.
Preheat oven to 400*.  Sift the flours, baking powder, and salt.  Using a pastry cutter, cut in butter until it is sandy in texture.  In a separate bowl, combine the squash, milk and cheese.  Mix this into the flour.  Turn the mixture out onto a floured counter.  Roll into a ball and flatten into a long cylinder.  Cut with a pastry paddle into triangles.  Place on a parchment lined sheet and bake for 18 minutes.

Monday, November 15, 2010

HOMEMADE SPELT SPINACH NOODLES with Cauliflower and Broccoli in a Mustard Butter

I really need to learn how to use my external flash to take pictures of the food I make at night.  Now that it is darker earlier in the evening, I've been having a hard time getting a picture good enough to post on this blog!  To my horror, I am unable to share with you the visual delight of the meal we ate tonight.  Trust me, it looked as delicious as it tasted.  The inspiration for this one comes from Deborah Madison's "The Greens Cookbook" which is a classic, French inspired vegetarian cookbook from 1987.  Since I am avoiding wheat these days, one of the adaptions to  the recipe was the use of spelt flour in the pasta.

HOMEMADE SPELT SPINACH NOODLES with Cauliflower and Broccoli in a Mustard Butter

Spelt Spinach Noodles

1 cup organic spinach leaves, loosely packed with stems removed
2 organic eggs
1 cup organic spelt flour
1/4 cup organic whole spelt flour
pinch of sea salt

Method:  Wash the spinach leaves and dry them as well as you can.  Chop them very finely to make a coarse puree, then gently squeeze out the water.  Mix the spinach with the eggs.  Place the flour and salt in a bowl, and make a well in the centre.  Pour the egg mixture into the well and gradually, work the egg into the flour, using your fingertips.  Continue until the egg is evenly distributed, then turn the mixture out onto the counter and begin to knead.  If the dough is too dry, add a few drops of water at a time.  Knead the dough until it is smooth and shiny (5 mins).  Place it in a covered bowl and let it rest while you prepare the other ingredients for the pasta.  When ready for pasta, roll the dough out onto the counter by hand and cut into thick strips, or use a pasta machine according to machine directions.

The Vegetables and Sauce

5 Tbsp organic butter, softened
2 Tbsp organic Dijon mustard
3 cloves organic garlic, minced
2 tsp organic balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp organic parsley, roughly chopped
1 cup organic breadcrumbs
2 organic sundried tomatoes, soaked and cut into small pieces
3-4 cups organic broccoli and cauliflower cut into small pieces and florets
sea salt
romano cheese

Method:  Prepare the pasta dough, set it aside to rest, then roll it out and cut it by hand into strips about 1/2" wide.  Shake them with more flour to keep them from sticking together and set them on a floured cookie sheet while you make the sauce.
     Cream 4 Tbsp of the butter with the mustard, garlic, vinegar and parsley.  Melt the remaining butter and add the bread crumbs.  Fry them in a small skillet until they are crisp and browned.
     When you are ready to cook the pasta, salt the boiling water, melt the mustard butter on low and then add 1/2 cup of the pasta water and the tomatoes.  Drop the broccoli and cauliflower into the pasta water halfway into the cooking time of the pasta and then drain the whole pot  when the pasta is ready.  Toss with the butter sauce, season with salt and pepper.  Serve garnished with the breadcrumbs and fresh romano cheese.

APPLE CAKE with Walnuts and Honey

There were so many things to do last night, but all I wanted (and was craving ) was to make a dessert.  Even though it took about an hour before I could indulge, this delicious cake was definitely worth the wait.  The best part about this cake is that it's wheat-free, and sweetened with fruit, honey and just a wee bit of maple sugar.

APPLE CAKE with Walnuts and Honey

1/4 cup organic unsalted butter or organic palm oil at room temperature
1/4 cup (generous) local honey
1/4 cup flax slurry or 1 organic egg
1 tsp organic vanilla
1 cup organic applesauce
1 cup organic oat flour (or spelt or wheat flour)
1/2 cup organic brown rice flour (or spelt or wheat flour)
1 tsp organic cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp gmo and aluminum free baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 organic apples, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup organic raw walnuts, chopped

Topping: 1/4 cup local maple sugar or coconut sugar
1/8 cup organic butter at room temperature
2 Tbsp organic oat flour
1/2 cup organic raw walnuts, chopped
1 tsp organic cinnamon powder

Method:  Preheat oven to 350*.  Oil a 9 X 9" cake pan, or line it with parchment paper.  Cream the butter and honey together until light and fluffy.  To make the flax slurry, blend 1/8 cup organic flax seeds with 1/2 cup water until frothy.  Stir the slurry in, along with the vanilla and applesauce.
     Mix together the dry ingredients in another bowl.  Add the dry mix to the wet and stir.  Fold in the apples and nuts and spread into the cake pan.
     Combine the ingredients for the topping in a separate bowl.  Sprinkle on top of the cake and bake in the oven for 40 minutes.  Cool and cut.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


     I have a vivid memory of my mother taking me out for dinner in a restaurant as a child, and ordering me Beef Barley Soup.  It was so good!  This soup is my attempt at trying to re-create that awesome yumminess.  Although, I am pretty sure that one probably didn't include organic kale, cabbage and grass-fed beef.


4 pounds meaty grass-fed or organic beef bones
2 Tbsp e.v olive oil or organic vegetable oil
4 organic onions, coarsely chopped
6 cups water
2 cups organic cabbage, chopped
3 stalks organic celery, chopped
4 organic kale leaves, stemmed and chopped
2 organic parsnips, chopped
4 organic carrots, chopped
3 pounds organic tomatoes, peeled and diced (or use canned tomatoes)
1 organic bay leaf
3/4 cup organic pearl barley
sea salt and pepper to taste

Method:  Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.  Brown the meat bones on all sides, then remove from pan.  Saute the onion in the oil until softened.  Add the water and stir, removing the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.  Be sure the water covers the meat.  Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours.
     Add the rest of the ingredients and cook another hour.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Friday, November 12, 2010

BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP with Cauliflower and Sage

     It was another beautiful sunny fall day after a week long deluge of torrential rain here in Nova Scotia.  After a long day hanging out with my wee one, I really craved a comforting bowl of soup.  The cauliflower in the fridge was begging me to get creative with it, so this is the soup I came up with.  It is going to taste great with a salad chock full of homegrown sprouts and some warm rye sourdough bread dripping with butter.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP with Cauliflower and Sage

3 cups diced and peeled organic butternut squash
4 cups chopped organic cauliflower
1 large organic onion, chopped
4-5 cloves organic garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp organic butter
2 tsp dried organic sage leaf, or 2 Tbsp fresh organic sage, minced
3-4 Tbsp organic white/mellow miso paste
sea salt and pepper to taste
enough organic chicken or vegetable stock to cover the vegetables ( or use water )

Method:  Heat a large soup pot over medium low heat.  Melt butter and saute the onion until soft.  Stir in the garlic, sage, squash and cauliflower.  Add enough stock to just cover the vegetables.  Bring to a boil, adding some salt and simmer until soft.  Dilute the miso with a ladleful of stock, then stir into the pot, being sure not to boil it to.  Using a blender, puree the soup and thin with more stock if soup is too thick.  Season to taste with sea salt and pepper.  Serve with a dollop of yogurt if desired.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

OATMEAL with Apple, Grated Carrot and Goji Berries

My two and a half year old is becoming more of a picky eater.  While I can still occasionally get him to gobble up a plate of broccoli, sometimes it is a real challenge to get him to move past the carbs and protein. I thought I was being pretty clever this morning by grating some carrot into his bowl of oatmeal.  First thing he said was carrot!  and then decided he didn't want oatmeal for breakfast.  I guess I'll have to be a little more devious next time.

OATMEAL with Apple, Grated Carrot and Goji Berries

1 cup organic quick oats
2 cups water
1 organic apple, peeled and sliced
1 small organic carrot, grated
1 Tbsp organic goji berries
dash of organic cinnamon
maple syrup or honey to taste

Method:  Bring pot of water to boil in a small saucepan.  While you wait, prepare the apple and carrot and stir them into the pot.  Add the cinnamon and goji berries.  When water is boiling, stir in the oats, reduce heat and let simmer until nice and thick.  Add more water if necessary.  Drizzle with maple syrup.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

TOMATO CHEESE MELTS on Sourdough Bread

     I've been enjoying the last of the local tomatoes by making these tasty tomato cheese melts almost every day.  They are a definite comfort food, reminding me of all the times I ate some sort of variation of them growing up.  These days the tomatoes have been piled up on top of homemade sauerkraut and topped with swiss cheese.  When I was a kid, they often included slices of salami, and yesterday I used some leftover salmon mixed in with mayonaise and capers.  You can get pretty creative with these little suckers, maybe a little pesto, not to mention you could use bagels, crumpets or english muffins.  They make a great hot breakfast or lunch special!

TOMATO CHEESE MELTS on Sourdough Bread

4 slices organic local tomatoes
2-3 Tbsp organic sauerkraut
1/4 cup grated organic swiss cheese
2 slices organic spelt sourdough bread (this one pictured was made using Heartwood Bakery bread which I bought in store, specifically asking them to keep their plastic bag)

Method:  Toast the slices of bread.  The top with some cheese, the sauerkraut, tomato and end with the rest of the cheese.  Broil until melted.  

Thursday, November 4, 2010


     I had a request from my husband Scott to make some more oatmeal scones.  Is it because they are so amazingly delicious, or just so handy to grab on the way out the door when he leaves so early in the morning?  Both.  We've been enjoying these scones for many years now.  What I love about them is that they're just like eating a nice bowl of oatmeal smothered in real maple syrup.  They freeze really well, sometimes I eat them frozen when I am too impatient to pop them in the toaster oven.  Last week before I started my modified cleanse I ate two in a row, warmed up and smothered with honey.......
     My father in law likes to pick wild cranberries each fall.  One day I am going to go out with him, but until then I just enjoy the bounty he provides.  To switch things up a bit, I decided to add some to the mix, along with some ground almonds and almond extract....delicious!  Feel free to experiment with other additions like blueberries, walnuts, hemp nuts, raisins, currants, cinnamon........


2 cups organic whole wheat or spelt flour (please note spelt makes a crumblier scone)
1 1/2 cups organic quick oats
1 1/2 tsp aluminum and GMO free baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup organic unsalted butter
1/2 cup organic whole milk
1/2 cup pure maple syrup or brown rice syrup or honey
1 organic free range egg
(optional - nuts, dried or fresh fruit, spices)

Method:  Preheat oven to 375*.  Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl until combined.  Cut in butter and mix with a fork or your fingers until butter is mixed in with the flour and marble sized.
     Combine milk, maple syrup, and egg.  Add to the dry ingredients and mix until dough comes together.  
     Flour your work surface liberally and pat dough out about 2 inches thick in a log shape.  Use more flour if necessary to dust the surface.  Using a knife or pastry scraper, cut the log into triangles.
     Place on a greased cookie sheet in a 375* oven and bake until light brown, about 15-20 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool on a rack.