Everything blue..

Blueberries are now in season,  though they don’t grow well in the Okanagan, Abbottsford is not that far away where the season is ripe and so blue!  We add them to everything, our porridge in the morning, with yogurt and granola, or just granola, muffins, on top of salads, in a smoothie and in a very delicious cobbler. We also eat them by the handfuls till we can’t eat anymore and our fingernails are blue!

We buy many pounds and freeze them for winter in ziploc bags. Don’t wash them, just sort them and bag them. Wash them when you take them out. Storing them this way allows you to take out a cup at a time without having them all stick together.  For the budget conscience, this is much cheaper than buying frozen berries from your local grocer in the winter.

Blueberry, Raspberry and Peach Cobbler

2 tbsp cornstarch

1 cup hot water

1/4 honey

2 cups sliced peaches

3 cups berries (blueberries, raspberries, saskatoon berries, or any combination)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

For the Crust

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp grapeseed oil

1 tbsp honey

1/2-2/3 cups soy or rice milk

Preheat oven to 400F

Combine the cornstarch and hot water in a saucepan on medium heat. Stir in the honey, and furit. Bring to a boil, stirring continuously, until the mixture thickens. Add the cinnamon and then remove from heat and pour into a 9x9in baking dish.

To make the crust, mix the flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. Add the oil and mix into the flour, crumbling the mixture between your fingers until it is fine and crumbly. Whisk the honey with the soy milk in a measuring cup then stir the milk mixture into the flour mixture. Pour the batter gently over the fruit (you don’t want to mix it, just leave it to sit on top. I find it is always much too thick to pour, so I use a large spoon and evenly drop blobs of batter until most of the fruit is covered. (It won’t cover it all which is fine. Don’t try to spread it) Bake about 25 minutes or until golden.

Serve with your choice of frozen vanilla dessert (icecream, frozen yogurt or soy icecream).

Enjoy! Serves about 6-8.

Beets, wild rice and kale…

Another great salad recipe that uses fresh, in season,  beets and kale from what is becoming my favorite cookbook….

3 medium beets, sscrubbed then roasted in the oven wrapped in tinfoil at 400 degrees for about 45min-1 hour, then cooled and cut into bite-sized pieces

1/2 cup wild or brown rice, cooked and cooled, set aside

4 kale leaves, picked  from thick center stem then chopped.

2 green onions chopped finely

2 tbsp goat feta

1/4 cup pecan pieces toasted

1 cup chickpeas drained and rinsed

In a separate bowl make the dressing:

1/3 cup olive oil

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2tbsp maple syrup

1 garlic clove, crushed

salt and pepper to taste

Prepare the beets and rice and once cooled put into a serving bowl together. Add chopped green onions and chickpeas.

In a small separate bowl combine the chopped kale with about 1 tsp of ready dressing. “Massage” the leaves with the dressing using your hands.

Add the kale to other salad ingredients. Toss together with a couple of tbsps of dressing at a time until it seems well mixed in, but not heavy with dressing. (I still had quite a bit of dressing left over to use again or on another salad. Serve topped with pecans and feta.

Double this up and bring it to a pot luck bbq. I guarantee it will be a hit!

Really good vegee burgers..

I know I had promised these a month or so ago, but I couldn’t remember which recipe I had made last year and so I tried a new one. This one is adapted slightly, and holds together quite well. If you wanted,  you could try adding an egg.  Thankfully it makes about 10 burgers. It is alot of prep but really a good vegee burger. I tested it out on my family tonight which now includes two young 20 year old males with big appetites and two who if I told them before they tried it there were so many mushrooms would not have eaten it.  They all said it was really good and we all agreed it is a really good vegee burger, that does not have to be meat. It was filling, served on a whole grain bun with lots of fixings (not bacon and cheese please!) , a caesar salad and grilled vegees.  It is worth the work and the best thing is that you can pronounce every ingredient in the list:)

REALLY GOOD VEGEE BURGERS

 

2 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, diced

½ tsp salt

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, minced or 1 tsp dried thyme

½ tsp red chile flakes

6 cups sliced mushrooms

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 ½ cups cooked brown basamati rice

1 cup grated carrot

½ cup grated raw beet

1 cup pecans, roasted and ground up finely

1 ¾-2 cup breadcrumbs

Fresh ground pepper

¼ hot sauce (Tabasco or other)

2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce

 

  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat and sauté the onion. Turn up the heat and add the salt, garlic, thyme,  chili flakes and mushrooms. Stir and sauté until the mushrooms have released their juices and the pan starts to dry out.  Deglaze the pan with the balsamic vinegar.  Cook until the liquid evaporates, then empty into a large bowl and cool.
  2. In a food processor or vita-mix add the brown rice, carrot, beet and mushroom mix. Pulse the mixture in a couple of batches if you need to, until combined but still coarse in texture. Return the mixture to the large bowl and add all of the remaining ingredients. Mix thoroughly and refrigerate for one hour.  Shape into patties and cook on the barbeque for about 5-6 minutes, turning half way. You can add a little barbeque sauce once turned.
  3. Serve with your favorite toppings and enjoy.
  4. Freeze what you don’t cook up between squares of wax paper in a ziploc freezer bag.

 

 

Three meals, trying my best to be local and healthy..

Hippie Pancakes were first up this morning. For the past almost 9 years, we have had a special breakfast every Friday morning.  It was pancakes, waffles or french toast.  I decided to try a new pancake recipe, a bit of a risk, but delicious. My husband loved them, Kirsten probably would have had I not told her what was in them. I served them with sliced local strawberries I picked earlier in the week, sliced bananas, maple syrup, a few toasted pecans and a sprinkle of freshly ground flax seed.  You could add a tablespoon of your favorite healthy plain greek yogurt if you wanted,

but then you might not taste the yummy pancake:)

Hippie Pancakes 

1.2 cup steel-cut oats

1/2 cup quinoa, washed and rinsed three times or until the water runs clear)

1 cup water

1/2 cup plain non-fat yogurt

1 tsp sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp nutmeg

3 eggs

1 tsp baking powder

Small scoop of coconut oil, melted or unsalted butter

In a blender add the oats, quinoa, water and yogurt, cover and refrigerate overnight. In the morning add the remaining ingredients. Blend on low to combine all the ingredients, then move the setting to high or puree and blend for a minute or more, until the batter is smooth.  (It will be runny).  Heat a scoop of coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat. When it is hot, pour in about 1/3 cup of batter slowly, so it does not run all over the pan and cook for about 3-4 minutes until golden brown and bubbly. Flip the pancake and cook the other side for another 3-4 minutes or until cooked through. These are not the big fluffy kind of pancake but delicious. Enjoy.

Noodles and Greens Salad was up for lunch. We had both our girls home, rare these days and what a treat it was. I served up this salad and felt good about feeding my family and healthy meal.

Serves 4

1/2 box whole wheat spagettini, cooked a la dente, rinsed with cold water and set aside

1 avocado chopped

1 mango, peeled and chopped

2 green onion, chopped(locally grown)

1/4 head savoy cabbage, thinly sliced

2 carrots, shredded (locally grown)

1/4 cup toasted cashews

1/2 red pepper chopped

12 cherry tomatoes, halved

handful of snap peas, washed, stems removed and cut in half (locally grown)

4-6 cups assorted greens, including kale (*from my garden)

4 tbsp crumbled goat feta cheese (optional)

Once everything is all chopped and prepared, arrange 4 plates starting with greens at the bottom, then cabbage, then spagettini, then everything else with cashews, green onions and mango at the top.

Top with Honey Mustard dressing:

4tbsp orange juice

4tbsp olive oil

4tbsp apple cider vinegar

3tbsp liquid honey or agave syrup

4tsp Dijon Mustard

 Whisk all ingredients together.

Homemade Pesto Vegetarian Pizza served at supper for just the two of us. Using a whole spelt grain pizza crust topped with made from scratch arugula/basil pesto (see previous post)and a little (about 1 tbsp tomato paste) at the bottom.

Toppings:

1 red bell pepper, thickly sliced

3/4 green bell pepper, thickly sliced

1 walla walla onion, quarters (locally grown)

splash olive oil

fresh ground pepper.

Toss vegetables with olive oil and pepper and put on barbeque to roast for 10-15 minutes. Remove and slice peppers and onions into thinner strips.  Add to pesto base. Add 1 tsp capers (optional), handful of sliced cherry tomatos  and 1-2 tbsp grated romano goat cheese (optional)  Bake 10-15 min 375 degree oven. *  This pizza would be even better when peppers and tomatoes are in season here in the okanagan. At least the  pesto was made with local and fresh basil and arugula.

At the end of the day, not alot of work, but we ate well with fresh and homemade ingredients.

Roasting fresh vegees..

Fresh baby carrots, beets and new potatoes are now available locally. If you have not tried a fresh raw baby carrot in a while (not the kind that are all exactly the  same size and shape in your local grocery store or costco bags) you just don’t know what you are missing. Sweet, crunchy, the perfect mid-day snack. And beets.. they are delicious raw too, grated and added to the top of a salad.  But best of all, roasting both carrots, beets and new potatoes brings out the sweet and amazing flavor of all these root vegetables. No need to peel. Just rub them gently to remove any dirt, toss them with a splash of olive oil, a little fresh cracked pepper, a little chopped fresh dill and either roast them in the oven in a baking dish lined with parchment paper or on the BBQ in a foil pack. They will take anywhere from 15-25 minutes to reach a tender, perfectly cooked deliciousness!

Leftovers are great too. I add them  to the top of mixed greens, add a little crumbled feta, some green onion, any other fresh raw chopped vegees you want and top with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar or the “Everyday salad dressing” I posted a while ago.