Posts Tagged ‘recipe’

Raw Kale Beet Carrot and Pomegranate Salad Recipe

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

This seasonal combination of raw kale, beet, carrot and some pomegranate seeds is a great start to the new year and antidote to the excess of the holiday season.

After 3 turkey dinners and a truly obscene amount of baking and chocolate I need some green leafy vegetables in my life stat.

For the Salad

2 carrots

3 beets

a bunch of kale

half a pomegranate’s seeds

2 avocados

Grate your raw carrots and beets.  I cut off the ends and use the food processor but you could grate them by hand.

Tear kale into bit sized pieces. Now for the fun part; massaging your kale with avocado. This is what makes this salad so delicious.  With clean hands take two avocados and much them into the torn up kale covering each piece.

Combine the avocado massaged kale with the beets, carrots and pomegranate seeds. Toss as evenly as possible.

Dressing

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

1 scant teaspoon of salt

Pour on your dressing and toss again.  Delicious and a nice break from the gravy train.

Moosewood Vegetable Soup with Extra Mushrooms and Alphabets

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Mmm Moosewood.  Mollie Katzen’s Classic cookbooks are all well worn around these parts.  I’ve mentioned them here before, but somehow forgot to share our favourite soup during last year’s soup swap recipe posts.  

The Moosewood Vegetable Soup from The Enchanted Broccoli Forest
and it’s many variations are a regular part of our fall meals around here.  There’s a big pot of it boiling on the stove right now for our dinner so there’s no time like the present to share this classic.


As the title suggests, this is a basic vegetable soup recipe with  bunch of great suggestions on how to mix it up.  This is our favourite way to make it, with a gazillion mushrooms and a rainbow of carrots, but it changes seasonally.

Boil together until the potatoes are just tender:

4 cups vegetable stock
1 large potato sliced thinly
a dash of sea salt



Next you’ll need


2 1 1 1 1tablespoons of butter
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 large white or yellow onion chopped
1 large clove of garlic crushed
1 teaspoon of salt
4 carrots, we use a mix of orange and purple carrots
a handful of button mushrooms
a bunch of enoki mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon each; thyme, savoury, marjoram, basil
freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat a heavy skillet, add butter, olive oil, onions, garlic and salt and sauté on medium heat for 5 minutes or until onions clear. Add the remaining finely sliced vegetables and herbs.  Continue stirring for 8-10 minutes.  Add the skillet full to your pot of stock and potatoes. Simmer for another 20-30 minutes.


Before serving we add little italian soup noodles, especially the alphabet ones.  This is how my mother made it and now how we make it for our family. 
You need to cook the noodles separately or else its a big mess.  So cook one cup of soup noodles until al dente. Drain, rinse and put them in the bowls.  Serve the soup on top of the noodles, mix gentle and enjoy.

We’re sending some over to a some friends with new babies, so we send the noodles separately with the instructions written on the lid of the jar.
Now I’m off to eat some.  I can’t wait for a reasonable dinner hour.

Cubit’s Organics’ Roasted Carrots and Beets with Mint and Feta

Monday, October 10th, 2011

The combination of sandy soil and full sun means that we are able to grow really nice root vegetables in our front yard here in Toronto.  When we’re not growing for seed, we just grow all the different types and colours mixed up so what you pick is a surprise; A striped beet or a purple carrot? Who knows.


Our two year old daughter has taken to announcing that she needs a carrot and then heads to the front door to go get one from the garden.  I can’t help but oblige and let her pick a few whether I was planning on having them for dinner or not.

This is really so easy that it hardly qualifies as a recipe but it’s simply too delicious to keep to myself.  We bringing carrots to my mother’s every year for Thanksgiving dinner and will continue the tradition this Sunday.

1. Send the two year old out into the yard to pick some different coloured carrots and beets. Going to the farmers market to get some heirloom root veggies will also suffice.


2. Preheat your oven to 425.
Wash your carrots and beets. I cut the greens off but leave a little at the top just because I think it looks good.  I cut the really long tails off the beets because they will burn otherwise and then cut them all in half length wise.


3. Coat everything in olive oil, add a little sea salt.  Then roast them in the oven at 425 for 40 minutes.


4. Let everything cool down for a few minutes, then crumble feta cheese on to your veggies and add a hardy handful of mint leaves. Toss and serve out of your favorite vintage bowl.  I think they look nice in this plaid one.


These are tasty when hot but are also great as a room temperature salad so there’s no hurry to get everything done at the right time. 

5. Give thanks for the vegetable gardens and the small children that tend to them.

Make Your Own Organic Cranberry Sauce {Enough for both Canadian Thanksgiving and Christmas}

Saturday, October 8th, 2011

I had a lovely evening out last week with my friend Shana.  We went out on the town to a canning class put on by Bernardin in a local church kitchen. Although we’re both becoming rather seasoned canners it’s nice: 

1. To have a nice community event to go to.
2. We kind of like hanging out in church basements.
3. We need to start having real answers when we get asked questions about canning instead of having to admit to some of our bad practices and mishaps (see here, and here for details).

One of the recipes shared by Chef Emerie was for Spiced Cranberry Preserves.  The process is the same as this recipe for cranberry sauce off the rather useful home canning website.  The only difference is that this method uses 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves and 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon so no need for cheese cloth. I actually used a 1/4 teaspoon of each. There’s also a good recipe for straight up cranberry sauce which is basically just a larger amount without the spices.  

This is so simple.  Thanksgiving and Christmas Cranberries are essentially just jam so you really can’t go wrong. 

The high pectin content of cranberries really makes this simple though; 10 minutes and you’re set.  Get it? Set?  That’s a jam joke. Really though, I had completely finished this project in one toddler nap and even had time to call my dad and a clean kitchen when she woke up.

I made this recipe twice; once with the spices and one without.  I think they are equally delicious but we’ll be putting them to a taste test on Sunday at Thanksgiving dinner.

So the recipe is: 

4 cups of fresh cranberries {but frozen would work fine too}
1 1/2 cups of water
2 cups of sugar

1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon {optional}
1/4 teaspoon of cloves {optional}

makes 4x 250ml jars

Our version is entirely organic. The Big Carrot and Better Bulk {both on the Danforth in Toronto} have  awesome organic spice sections and it is getting easier and easier to find organic ingredients at the grocery store.

I wish I could have found Ontario Cranberries today as they certainly grow pretty close to home, but it seems there are only three commercial cranberry producers in Ontario. The store had frozen and organic from BC, Some from Maine, and then the f
resh organic Quebec ones I ended up choosing. I’m going to keep my eye out at the farmer’s market this weekend as I have a few more cranberry recipes I need to make and the foodies & farmers of twitter tell me there are smaller scale cranberry growers to look for.

Let’s can some cranberries while there’s still enough time to do this for Thanksgiving dinner this weekend:

Prepare your jars and lids by washing and bringing your jars to a boil and in a separate pot bringing your lids to a simmer.

In your best non-reactive pot, combine all your ingredients over medium heat.

Cook for 10 minutes or so.  You’ll see / hear the cranberries burst / split / explode. Here’s a photo of them splitting. They really pop.

I then squished a few up with the back of my spoon just to mix things up a little.

Quickly jar up the preserves with a 1/4inch head room, wipe the rims, put on your warm lids, screw finger tight and then heat process for 10 minutes.  That’s it! You’re done and the star of Thanksgiving dinner with some extra to bring again at Christmas; Ensuring that you remain your parent’s favourite daughter.

All kidding aside, I’m really pleased with how these turned out and would recommend making some both to the seasoned canner and the tenderfoot who is looking for an easy to make preserve that will certainly be well received.

If you would like detailed step by step canning instructions just check out www.homecanning.com.  I really couldn’t lay it out any better and there are even instructional videos.

How to Can a Bushel of Peaches in 7 hours with Some Swearing, a New Pot and 29 Jars

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

As mentioned in last week’s peach lemonade post and in our #canning play by play on twitter, we spent most of last Tuesday turning 1 bushel of gorgeous, perfect, marvellous Red Haven Ontario peaches from BizjakFarms into 29 jars of assorted canning goodness.  

I feel like this post is a little late as once I actually got a bushel of peaches into jars I was sort of done with the whole thing for a few days. There was some swearing and lessons learned but I think I’m ready to share now.

First things First, we went to the Leslieville Farmer’s Market to eat croissants and the last of our Monteforte CSA cheese curds.  I then moved on to driving the poor peach guys crazy with distracting chit chat and placed an order for a bushel of freestones (lessons from Well Preserved on this one) to be picked up the following week. I think half of twitter was at the market that day.

The next week rolled around. We went back, obtained a ridiculous amount of peaches, fed some to the babies, let everybody take some photos and then got  Ryan and Andrew to carry them to the car while I went & got more cheese curds.


So after eating a dozen and taking about 2000 photos it was time to get cracking. Or smashing as its now known. 

Growing up, canning peaches was one of the few “old fashioned” canning activities my mother did. In fact she has 4 pages of scribbly notes about it which is the 1980’s equivalent to blogging.  I bet there are photos too. I have fond memories of eating these and admiring them in their jars.

Our objective was to can peaches to eat all winter. It’s my seasonal depression defence strategy. Let me tell you, when you bite into a Niagara Peach in the middle of February life is good.

Really it’s simple and once we got going things moved smoothly. 
Start by preparing all your jars; we did this the night before. Dallas has a good run down of safe canning practices on her post about her easy-peasy co-opertive peaches.  We used 2 dozen 1 litre wide mouth Jars.

 

 


Next make up a light syrup of 
1 part sugar to 2 parts water.  We used the organic stuff in a carton so it has a darker colour which really looks nice with peaches.  I think we used 4 cartons, something like 16 cups of sugar by the end of the day. We made a big pot on fairly low heat and kept adding to it as needed. Just keep to the ratio and you’re fine. 

You want to wash your peaches really well.  These were low spray peaches as organic are really hard to find especially in bulk. You want to wash off the fuzz and the pesticides. Peaches are always up there on the dirty dozen.

Next 

Blanche
Peel (we’ll get back to this)
Cut (we did some halves and some quarters)
As you cut the peaches, sprinkle lemon juice on them to prevent browning.
We processed for 25 minutes but processing times will depend on where you live and the size of your jars.

Blanching and Peeling was a total disaster, greatly reducing the yield and quickly raising the panic level. These perfect lovely peaches were crumbling in my hands.

2 large baskets were reduced to 7 litres of uglyfrustrating peaches.  We quickly movedon to not blanching or peeling, leaving some in halves, some in quarters and had great results.  I will never ever peel another peach and haven’t a clue why all the instructions and recipes I looked at were all peeling peaches.  What a mess.

Our other near-disaster was not having a large enough pot. I have canned many things but never used the giant jars before; so there I was, with hot peaches in hot jars and Ryan running out to buy a bigger pot.  I love my new giant pot.

All in all, we have some lovely peaches and learnt some valuable lessons; always make sure you have a big enough pot (this is a lesson is optimism perhaps?) and never-ever-no-way-no-how bother with blanching or peeling your peaches; especially when there are approximately 120 of them.

PS these were the last 4 peach halves and we were out of jars so this is 1 peach in one jar.  I think they’re for lunch.