This blog is all about Food. Real Food. Food that Nourishes, Heart and Soul.

Real Ingredients, Organic and Locally sourced whenever and where ever possible, shared with love.

No packages, no ingredients that are impossible to pronounce.

Real, honest food, from my kitchen to yours. Enjoy!

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Garden Vegetable and Quinoa Salad

I love summer. More to the point, I love my garden in the summer. Picking fresh veggies and using them right away for lunch, or dinner, or a salad, is definitely a highlight of the season for me. There is always the makings of a meal or a side dish just outside my back door, as fresh as fresh can be. I highly recommend gardening of some kind to everyone, even if it is just growing some herbs in pots on a sunny windowsill.
 The green and yellow beans, the spinach, the zucchini, and  the herbs in this salad all came from my garden. I created this salad  
for my last GBG gathering, (my grade school girlfriends group), the same one that I took the chocolate cake with this raspberry sauce to. I somehow neglected to take a picture of the salad though, and had to make another batch, just for the pictures, of course! (I missed taking pictures of the cake too…that one will have to be repeated soon too, just for pictures again, really!

Garden Vegetable and Quinoa Salad

3 cups chopped green and or yellow wax beans( 2 inch pieces ish)
1 ¾ cup cooked quinoa
1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced into thin half moons
¼ cup fresh chopped basil
Zucchini in the garden
¼ cup fresh chopped parsley
1/3 cup chives, regular or garlic (garlic are my favourite!)
3 cups packed baby spinach
1 cup thinly sliced red onion (to remove the bite, after slicing, soak the onion in ice cold water for 10-15 minutes, drain well before using)


Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp grainy mustard
1 tbsp maple syrup
Salt and pepper to taste

Green Beans :)
Bring 6 cups of water to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to medium, and drop in the chopped beans and cook for 4 minutes. Plunge into a bowl of ice cold water to stop the cooking process and chill the beans. Change the water if necessary to get them cold.
Toss into a large bowl with the quinoa and the rest of the chopped veggies, and herbs . Set aside.

Measure the dressing ingredients in a 2 cup mason jar. Put lid on and shake well. Combine with salad ingredients and mix well to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate till needed. Keeps well in refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Grain-Free Nut-Free Gluten-Free Blueberry Pancakes

I found myself alone for breakfast on a Sunday morning, and had a craving for blueberry pancakes. I was out of almond flour (again!) so I got creative with some other grain free flours and came up with this tasty version.  Tasty and quick, a perfect breakfast for one on a sunny Sunday morning!
This amount made 1 large pancake in my 8 inch cast iron pan. It could easily be doubled for more servings.

Grain Free Nut Free Blueberry Pancakes
1 egg
2 tbsp kefir (or yogurt)
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tbsp chick pea flour
1 tbsp hemp flour
1 tbsp sunflower flour
1 tbsp coconut flour
¼ tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp butter
¼ cup of organic blueberries, rinsed and dried

Whisk all ingredients together well,(excluding the butter and blueberries) making sure there are no clumps of flour.
Melt butter over medium high heat in a cast iron or other pan of choice.
Scrape the batter into the pan and cook for approx 4-5 minutes, or until the edges start to look cooked (they should look set, and loose the shine of the raw batter. Don't flip too soon or you may have a mess on your hands!) Sprinkle the batter with the blueberries, and flip carefully to cook the other side, approx 2-3 minutes.

Serve hot with toppings of choice.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Raspberry Sauce

This is an easy and adaptable cooked fruit sauce that can be used in multiple ways. It would be lovely over ice cream, or a custard tart, or cheesecake, or a flour-less chocolate cake, the possibilities are endless! I have made it with both Brandy and Grand Marnier, and both are divine. Frozen blueberries would substitute nicely as well.
This batch is heading out with me this afternoon to a summer gathering with my girlfriends from grade school, the “Graham Bell Girls” or GBG’s for short. It will top this flour-less chocolate cake, and be served with a chocolate version of whipped coconut cream. I hope you like it girls!!

Raspberry Sauce

600 g bag of frozen organic raspberries
1/3 cup organic cane sugar
3 tbsp Brandy or Grand Marnier (or replace with 3 tbsp water)
2 tbsp organic lemon juice
3 tbsp arrowroot powder
¼ cup cold water

Set aside about ¾ cup of the frozen raspberries.
Place the rest of the raspberries and the sugar in a medium saucepan and stir over medium heat until raspberries are melted and sugar is dissolved, (5-10 min).  Bring just to a boil.
While the raspberries are cooking , whisk together the cold water, brandy, lemon juice and arrowroot powder .
When berry mixture is just boiling, add the brandy arrowroot mixture to the pot, and stir until the raspberry mixture becomes thick and translucent, ( the arrowroot will lose its white colour and become “clearer” when it is cooked)
Add in the  reserved berries to give the sauce some chunks of raspberries. Cool slightly or completely  and serve as desired.

(alternatively this sauce could be sieved at this point for a smooth raspberry sauce if you do not want chunks, if you are doing this, add the entire 600g bag at the beginning, without setting aside the ¾ cup)

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Orange Sesame Salad Dressing

As promised, here is the orange sesame dressing that I used last week. Be sure to use organic oranges for the zest, as to avoid any nasty pesticides that may reside on the exterior of the orange.

Orange Sesame Salad Dressing

Juice of 2 organic oranges (approx ¾ cup)
2/3 cup olive oil
Zest of 1 organic orange
½ tsp freshly grated ginger
1 tsp Herbamare
2 Tbsp honey
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 clove garlic, minced

pictured with a salad of fresh garden greens,
pulled grass fed roast beef,
fresh garden peas, shredded carrots,  and
black sesame seeds
Measure all ingredients together in a 2 cup mason jar. Screw the lid on tightly and shake well. Chill before serving.
Use to top any salad greens you like!
Store leftovers in fridge for up to 1 week.
I use my kitchen rasp for grating ginger,
it works great with frozen ginger too!
No need to peel! But, be sure to always
buy organic!!

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Zucchini And Snow Pea Salad With Fresh Apricots, (and a small garden tour!)

I love picking meals directly from our garden. We have been having salads from our lettuces for quite a while now, but other vegetables are just now becoming big enough to harvest. Maybe not cause for a big celebration to most, but in my world, it is kinda exciting. I guess I am a garden geek, but nothing tastes better than freshly picked produce, from seeds that you planted yourself. Pulling a pea off the vine and munching while I am weeding is one of life’s simple pleasures, and I am still sometimes surprised at how simple and rewarding gardening can be.
Tonight’s dinner contained a lot of first harvests. I thinned a few rows of beets (I always wait to thin my beets until they are of a usable size, see the picture below) and roasted the beets I pulled in a bit of coconut oil on the BBQ. We sautéed the beet tops in some butter and served them with a squeeze of lemon. The salad recipe included in this post  has our first zucchini, and our first big enough harvest of peas to do something with other than just snacking on. The salmon steaks were marinated in butter, lemon and fresh herbs picked from the herb garden.

Zucchini And Snow Pea Salad With Fresh Apricots
1 medium zucchini
¾ tsp Herbamare
1 pint snow peas (1 ½ cups ish), trimmed
4 fresh apricots
2 Tbsp black sesame seeds (I like the Organic Traditions ones)
1 cup pea sprouts

3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tsp honey
Fresh ground pepper to taste

Slice the zucchini into very thin round slices, a mandolin is very helpful for this! Toss it in a bowl with the Herbamare, and set aside for 20 minutes or so to “sweat”.
While the zucchini is sweating, blanch the snow peas. Drop them into a pot of boiling water for 30 seconds, and immediately remove them into a bowl of very cold water to stop the cooking process. When they are cold to the touch, drain well. Set aside.
Mix together the dressing ingredients and set aside.
Toast your sesame seeds in a cast iron pan over medium heat until they just start to pop. Remove from hot pan to a plate to cool. Set aside.
Remove the pit from your apricots and cut up into pieces. Set aside.
Gently squeeze the zucchini to release any excess moisture and drain any liquid away.
To assemble the salad:
In a medium salad bowl, mix the zucchini, snow peas, and apricots together gently until well mixed. Add the dressing to the bowl and stir to distribute.

I always over-plant my beets, and start thinning
when they get about this big, they are amazing
when they are roasted!
Just before serving, toss in the pea sprouts and the black sesame seeds.  Gently toss and serve.
Main Vegetable Bed
Herb Garden
and Sunflowers
Tomatoes, Garlic
 and Rhubarb
(and Ryley the Poodle!)

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Coconut Turkey Curry

This was tonight’s dinner. I was craving some kind of curry. Not the crazy-burn-the-inside-of-your-mouth-for-days kind of curry, but a full flavoured one with just a bit of heat. This could have used a bit more heat, in hind-site, but it would be a great dish to serve to those who swear they don’t like curry. The word curry congers up so many negative  ideas for so many people, which is a very unfair assessment. Curries are so complex and variable in colour, heat and flavour, you really can't paint them all with the same brush. This is a nice mild one, flavoured predominantly with garam masala and coriander. Feel free to add some cayenne if you want to spice it up a bit, I will be trying that next time for sure.
To make this a vegetarian dish, I think it would be great if you omit the turkey, and add 3-4 cups of cooked organic chickpeas after sauteing the onions, and then proceed with the recipe.

Coconut Turkey Curry

3 Tbsp butter, divided
1 T coconut oil
2 cups organic raw turkey thighs, cut into bite sized chunks
1 ½ cup diced onion (1 medium ish sized)
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp paprika
2 ½ tsp garam masala
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 496 ml can of diced tomatoes (I like Eden)
2 Tbsp coconut sugar
1 400ml can full fat organic coconut milk
Salt to taste

Heat 1 tbsp butter and the coconut oil in a deep cast iron or other sauté pan over medium high heat. Sauté the turkey chunks until they are just starting to brown, approx 4-5 minutes (sauté in batches if necessary). Remove from pan to a heat safe plate, and set aside.
Add remaining 2 tbsp butter to pan, and sauté the onion until it starts to soften and brown, about 5 minutes. Add all of the spices to the pan and sauté with the onion for another minute or so, until they become fragrant.
Add the turkey back to the pan and mix well. Add the can of diced tomatoes, stir in and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Add coconut sugar, coconut milk and then salt to taste, and simmer for another 10 minutes until the sauce thickens up slightly.

Serve over riced, mashed or roasted cauliflower if you are grain free, or basmati rice for a more traditional curry.