31 July 2011

wild kale recharge bowl

i just got back from the most wonderfully fun & sweaty trail run at the lake with friends!  the best part was that all of the sudden the woods opened up and we had ended up running to one of the beaches without even knowing it - so of course we took a much deserved swim break in our running clothes before lacing up again to head back.

suffice it to say i was very hungry when i got home!  i made a super quick dressing with oil & lemon but decided that i felt like something rich and creamy so i added some tahini too!  this rice bowl totally got the job done - i feel recharged and refueled to the max without feeling like i overate.

{wild kale recharge bowl}

wild kale recharge bowl
serves 2
2 cups cooked wild rice
2/3 cup cooked pinto beans
1 cup kale, shredded
1 tomato, diced
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
2 tbsp goji berrries
1/2 cup creamy tahini & lemon dressing

place 1 cup of wild rice in each bowl and top eat with half of the pinto beans, kale, tomatoes & sunflower seeds.  drizzle with 1/4 cup of creamy tahini & lemon dressing, followed by a sprinkling of 1 tbsp of goji berries.  serve it up pretty & layered like i did for m's, or mix it all up first like i did mine.  season to taste with a sprinkle of sea salt or tamari.  refuel.  recharge.  yum.

{eat up}

creamy tahini & lemon dressing
makes about 1 cup
1/4 cup tahini
1 organic lemon
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1-2 tbsp nutritional yeast
sea salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup water (more or less as needed)

for the dressing mix everything up in a blender, or if yours gives out like mine did (pitty party for one over here!), just whisk things up by hand.  depending on the thickness of your tahini and how thin you like your dressing, adjust the 1/2 cup of water to suit your taste.


{my recharge bowl, all mixed up}

this was SO good and just what i needed!  i'm all ready to get back outside again, this time for a bike ride over to m's mum's house on the lake - hurray for more summer lake swims!!


29 July 2011

blueberry lemonade cupcakes

i told you so.  another sweet recipe with blueberries.  but with cupcakes actually in the title of my blog you can't hold it against me!

{blueberry lemonade cupcakes}

these cupcakes were made for a potluck last night with some of the lovely ladies i learned to run with last summer.  that's right i learned to run.  you see i never enjoyed running (i was that kid in gym class who always had an excuse when it came to running units) nor did i really know how - but after seeing a poster early last summer for a free learn to run 5k clinic i knew i had a goal to reach.  and would you believe it, i learned to run!  since then i've completed 3 races: 2 5ks and my first 10k was in may!  i still get giddy thinking about it.... :)

anyways, when i brought a batch of cupcakes to one of our previous gatherings, everyone raved about them and couldn't believe that they were vegan (gasp!) - so when this potluck invite went out, there was a special request from the hostess that i bring cupcakes - and i of course was ever so happy to oblige.  anything to spread the vegan love! 

{light & lemony}

blueberry lemonade cupcakes based on the vanilla cupcake in VCTOTW

1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (any non-dairy milk will do)
1 tbsp organic apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup organic cane sugar
1/3 cup canola or safflower oil
rind of one organic lemon
1-2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon)
1 1/3 cups organic all purpose flour + 1 tsp more for the blueberries
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 cup fresh blueberries, chilled*

preheat your oven to 350.  mix together the milk and cider vinegar in a large bowl and set aside to curdle a few minutes (if you're new to vegan baking, this step allows the non-dairy milk to act more like a buttermilk when baking which gets you a light crumb).  add in the oil, sugar, rind and lemon juice mixing until well combined.  into a separate bowl sift and combine the dry ingredients.  add the dry into the wet and mix until smooth, but be careful not to overmix!  toss the chilled blueberries gently with the 1 teaspoon of reserved flour and then fold them into the batter.

spoon the batter into a cupcake tin filled with liners and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  allow the cupcakes to cool completely before icing with lemony vanilla buttercream.

lemony vanilla buttercream
1/2 cup earth balance vegan margarine
3 cups icing sugar
1-2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp almond milk (more or less as required)

whip the earth balance and incorporate the lemon juice.  add in the sugar a bit at a time, mixing as you go along.  thin things out with the almond milk if need be until you reach a consistency and flavour you're happy with.  i never actually measure when i make my icing, so you'll have to play around (and don't forget to sample often!) to find what works for you.

*by chilling the blueberries and flouring them, they'll be less likely to bleed into the cupcakes while cooking.  by all means, skip this step if you'd like a marbled look!
 
{vegan love}

i hope you'll whip a batch of these up for yourself to share the vegan love <3

happy weekend!
xo
jess

28 July 2011

classic guacamole

{classic, creamy guacamole}

have i publicly shared my love of avocados yet?  if yes, then i apologize for any repetition, but i LOVE avocados.  love 'em.  i always pick winners too.

how do you know when your avocado is ready, you ask?  there are a couple tricks i use to know when i've got a perfect avocado; you know the kind, one that when you slice it open presents the brightest, creamiest green flesh you've ever seen, and spreads like butter.  and because you're oh so lovely for reading, i will now share my two simple tricks:

trick #1 skin & squeeze:
look at the skin of the avocado.  it should be be a rich, dark colour - not bright green.  now pick it up and give it a gentle squeeze, and it should have just a bit of give but it shouldn't be squishy or feel like there are pockets of air under the skin. 

trick #2 the stem flick:
this is a trick my mother in law taught me and it's never let me down!  if the avocado looks and feels ripe, hold it in one hand and try to 'flick' the stem off with your thumb.  if it pops off easily you've got yourself a winner!  (now this trick requires of course that your avocado still have the stem on it, so if yours is without, don't fret - you can still use it!)

{a skilled thumb flick in action}

{stem, flicked}

{voilà: a perfect avocado}

if you're as much of an avocado fan as i am (and eat them at least 4 times a week) then in no time you'll become an avocado connoisseur.  yes, there is such a thing.  and yes, i just made it up now.

now that we have our bases coverd, i can share my best ever guacamole recipe - as you'll see it's the easiest thing around and only has 3 ingredients!  being the avocado connoisseur that i am, i've tried many other recipes that have lots of spices and add-ins, but in my opinion guacamole should be simple, creamy, cooling and clean tasting - to mexican cuisine what raita is to indian.

classic guacamole

2 ripe avocados
1 big juicy lime
sea salt to taste

first, slice the avocados in half and mash them up with the back of a fork. then squeeze in the lime (if it happens to be a really dry lime you might need another one to juice too), sprinkle with salt (a pinch at a time) and mix it up. for the salt, start with a bit, gradually adding more to taste (i usually use about 1/2 tsp). yep.  that's it!

{yum}

when i make guacamole at home i don't add tomatoes, but on occasion, i have been known to seed and chop some up to throw in - espcially if i'm serving a group, because it's a great way to stretch it and have it feed more people.  olé!

27 July 2011

blueberry cornflour pancakes

one of the reasons northern ontario rocks: wild blueberries.  they're everywhere.  for real.  take a walk in the woods and what looks like just ground cover turns out to be patches of blueberries.  last week i went for a run with a few of the gals from my running group and we took a couple short breaks to pick a handful of berries here and there.  i love it!

yesterday i went out for a proper pick with my basket.  it was a mucho successful outing.  get ready for a few blueberry related posts in the coming days - and they might be a bit more on the sweet side, rather than savoury, because i'm not completely convinced that i like fruit in savoury dishes.  that being said, if you've got a savoury recipe that includes blueberries you'd like to share i'll give it a go!

{wild blueberries}

{along my walk in the woods}

this morning we indulged in a breakfast of cornmeal pancakes with local maple syrup.  they were light, fluffy and not too sweet themselves, all the more reason to drench them in maple syrup.  swoon...

{pancakes, stacked}

blueberry cornflour pancakes
makes about 8 small pancakes
1 cup + 1 tbsp corn flour
1 flax egg*
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of fine sea salt
3/4 cup non-dairy milk (i used so delicious coconut milk)
1 tsp light vegetable oil
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
earth balance vegan margarine for frying

heat a frying pan or griddle to medium-high heat.  in a medium sized bowl mix together the corn flour, baking powder & salt.  add the flax egg, oil & coconut milk (or whatever milk you're using) and mix well, but lightly, so that no lumps remain, and then fold in the blueberries.

place a bit of earth balance in your pan to melt and then add about 1/4 cup of the pancake batter for each pancake.  cook until the top bubbles, about 4 minutes, then flip and cook for another 2 or 3 minutes until the bottoms are browned.  keep them warm in the oven at 200' until all the pancakes are cooked and you're ready to serve.  since they only have corn flour in them, they're not only vegan but gluten-free too!

{blueberry cornmeal pancakes}

i enjoyed mine with a sprinkle of powdered sugar, maple syrup and of course more fresh blueberries.

{drenched in liquid gold}

* haven't tried flax eggs yet?  they're a great egg replacement in baking.  for one flax egg, mix 1 tbsp of ground flax seed with 3 tbsp hot water.  allow to sit for 2 minutes and your flax egg is ready!  it will become thick and a bit gelatinous and will do the job of an egg (binding) as it cooks.  flax eggs are great for cookies, bars, muffins, pancakes, etc.  

i wonder what i'll cook up next with blueberries....

if you've got a blueberry recipe you love, don't be shy - i'd love to try a few new ones!

...maybe if i'm lucky i'll stumble upon a new one to try over at diet, dessert & dogs for this weeks wellness weekends round-up!

26 July 2011

almond cherry bars

nuts.  dried fruit.  maple syrup.  chocolate.  sweet craving fixed.

{almond cherry bars}

i baked the most yummy batch of bars after having seen this recipe last week.  they were totally worth turning the oven on for.


almond cherry bars based on this recipe from peas & thankyou
3 tbsp ground flax seed
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 1/2 cups raw almonds
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup dried "cherry" cranberries (sweetened with cherry juice) or dried cherries
1 tsp fine sea salt
1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips

in a small bowl, combine the ground flax seed & maple syrup and set it aside.  chop up the almonds and cashews, keeping the pieces fairly large.  place the nuts in a bowl along with the salt &  cherry cranberries and mix well to distribute the salt (trust me, you don't want the whole teaspoon to end up in one bite.  or maybe you do).  pour in the flax syrup and stir well to coat evenly.  pour the mixture into an 8x8 parchment paper lined pan and with a spatula spread it out evenly, being sure to get the corners too.

bake in a preheated oven at 350 for 25 minutes - take the pan out to cool even though the mixture will still look gooey.  allow it to cool fully and harden.  there is no shame here if you want to pop it into the fridge or freezer.  once it's cooled, melt the chocolate chips and drizzle over the bars.  allow things to cool and set once more before removing the entire thing from the pan (with ease thanks to the parchment!) and cutting.

{oh my kale}

{or rather, oh my peas}

what great timing today too with this post as i found out this morning that sarah (aka mama pea herself) has selected me as a winner of her new cookbook release prizepack!  i am such a lucky gal!  i got all giggly and was gushing about it to m, who looked at me like a bit of a crazy lady because i'm sure he was confused with all the blog stammering, but the message he understood was, "new yummy recipes are coming and i will inevitably reap the benefits" - then he got excited for himself me.

also, today actually happens to be sarah's official book release day!  happy tuesday all around!

25 July 2011

tempeh salad wraps

i hope you enjoyed a lovely weekend wherever you are.  i certainly did - it was full of hot steamy weather, girlfriends, catch-ups, flipflops, cold drinks, silly games, beach swims, tanlines, dripping watermelon & sunshine.

last night i cooked up some big rice bowls for m & myself that were topped with hoisen-glazed tempeh.  they were delicious, but you'll simply have to take my word for it because i forgot to take a picture!  i only used half of the brick of tempeh last night, so today for lunch i made a deliciously creamy tempeh salad with what was remaining.

{tempeh salad wraps}

tempeh salad wraps
makes about 1 1/2 cups or enough for 4-6 wraps

1/2 brick tempeh (about 4oz)
1/4 cup cucumber, diced
1/4 cup celery, chopped
3 green onions, diced
1 dill pickle, diced
1 tsp pickle brine
2 tbsp vegenaise
fresh cracked pepper to taste
4-6 lettuce leaves, rinsed

start by steaming (or simmering) the tempeh for 20 minutes.  this will swell the tempeh slightly and it will also mellow out the strong bitter flavour.  allow the tempeh to cool.  into a medium sized bowl, crumble the tempeh and add the cucumber, celery, onions & pickle followed by the brine and vegenaise.  mix well to coat everything evenly.  add some freshly cracked pepper and give it a taste.  adjust to suit yourself with more brine, vegenaise or pepper. 

scoop a heaping 1/4 cup of tempeh salad into the middle of each lettuce leaf to serve.  use your hands here to wrap up the sides of the leaf and munch away.  alternatively, enjoy this tempeh salad in a toasted sandwich, dolloped onto rice crackers or straight from the bowl.


{yum}

today this was gobbled up in cool, crispy lettuce leaves.  it was seriously yummy.

22 July 2011

garden love

this morning i spent a lovely short time out back in our garden.  there is so much action going on all the time, between the bees buzzing, the butterflies fluttering, ants working, vegetables growing and flowers turning to sun themselves.  i just love seeing the progress of it all...


{raspberries ripening}


{row of onions}


{shy brown-eyed susans}


{fingerling aubergines}


{cherry tomatoes, sunning themselves}


wishes for a wonderful few days of relaxation wherever you are... happy weekend!

xo
jess

21 July 2011

peanut butter chip cookie dough bites & csa week 4

so, i know you all know how hot it is in canada these days, but (wo)man, it is hot!  i'm trying to be productive today and get ready for a weekend away with my best girls but i'm not gonna lie - i'm pretty slow moving.  m & i have already discussed closing the record shop and go for a jump in the lake!  but i digress... last night was the 4th week of our csa delivery - here's what it contained...

this week's csa box included:
2 varieties of lettuce (romaine & red summer crisp)
new green cabbage
radishes
shelling peas (a different, larger variety than last weeks)
snow peas (giant oregon)
yellow wax beans
green onions
turnip greens
beet greens
and broccoli

the deliveries are getting to be so big that soon i'm going to need to wear a backpack because i'm finding it hard to fit everything in the front basket of my bicycle!

{my little basket overflowing with goodness}


last night after a huge salad i felt like something sweet.  two watermelon mint popsicles almost cut it, but i wanted something a bit more rich so i whipped up a quick batch of raw cookie dough balls, this time with peanut butter.  i used my favourite peanut butter which is sold at our local food co-op and made from ontario-grown peanuts!  it's got a great texture and even comes in a glass jar, as opposed to plastic, which i love. 

for this recipe i stuck pretty close to the recipe for cookie dough bites, only changing a few things up.

{spelt, almonds, chips}

{homegrown pb}

peanut butter chip cookie dough bites
makes 14 balls
1/2 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup spelt flakes
1 tbsp agave nectar
pinch of fine sea salt
1/4 pitted dates (about 6)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp natural peanut butter
1/4 cup vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips

in a food processor, grind the almonds & spelt flakes to a fine meal.  give the dates a rough chop to make sure that there are no bits of pit remaining and add these in along with the vanilla, agave, salt, peanut butter and half of the chocolate chips.  process until the dough naturally forms a ball.  at this point stir in the the remaining chips, this way you get both little bits and big bits of chocolately goodness.  roll them into balls of about a tablespoons worth.  (be prepared to get your hands sticky here, especially if you're making these in the heat!) store in an airtight container in the freezer.

these little guys are the perfect balance of chocolate and peanut butter.  i'm not sure about including a photo of them though because although the flavour remains amazing, they aren't so pretty out in the heat!  i think they'd taste delicious in one of these blizzards too!  yes please!

{peanut butter chip cookie dough bites}

looks aren't everything.... right???

20 July 2011

sweet pea crostini

{fresh shelling peas}

i love sitting and shelling peas.  i find it soothing and almost meditative, the repetition of it all.  it's pea season in the north and i couldn't be happier.  unlike snow peas (or mange-tout, as they're also known), shelling peas have a more fibrous pod that is too tough to eat, so like edamame, only the ripened inner peas are eaten.  to shuck them easily, press your thumb into the top seam until the shell pops open and then the peas can be pushed out of the pod with your thumb.  (alternatively, pop the peas right into your mouth!)  shelling peas are great enjoyed raw, but as it gets later in the season, sometimes they're not as sweet, so a light cooking will bring out more of their inner sweetness.

{peas, love & eternal grooviness}

peas are a good source of vitamins a, c, b6, k, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate, potassium, lutein, antioxidants and fibre.  phew!  long story short, they're both yummy and good for you.  had i been told this as a kid, i don't think i would have liked them any more than i did then.  but, that being said, i was never handed a bunch of shelling peas still in their pods to snack on - that might have just won me over - because nothing beats sitting in the grass, shelling peas and getting to eat your hard work!


{yes peas}


this sweet pea spread is lovely as a dip, but it also makes for a pretty summer appetizer on bbq-grilled crostini.

{sweet pea crostini}

sweet pea crostini
1 cup or so of just-shelled peas
1/2 a lemon
1/2 cup raw cashews
1 clove garlic
1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (+ more for brushing)
1/2 tsp sea salt
whole wheat baguette
basil to garnish

place the peas and cashews in a blend or food processor along with the garlic, olive oil and the juice of half a lemon and process until you get a nice, smooth consistency.  season to taste with the sea salt and set aside.  slice your baguette and brush both sides of each slice lightly with olive oil.  grill over medium-high heat on your bbq - watch them closely!  spoon about a tablespoon of the pea mixture onto each slice, garnish with fresh basil and serve.

i've just submitted this post to this weeks wellness weekends round-up over at diet, dessert & dogs - you should go check it out, there are lots of delicious recipes (all free of refined sugars, by the way too) just waiting to be tried out.  i for one can't wait to try the baked granola haystack cookies!

{a pea-hater no more}

 is there a vegetable you hated as a child but have now grown to love?

19 July 2011

green salad with baby beets & turnips

my lunch today was just too good to not share.  i was going through the fridge today as i planned for a trip to the grocery store, local food co-op & bulk barn, and found that i still had some beet greens and turnip greens from last weeks csa delivery.  at the end of the greens were the tiniest, cutest little beets and turnips, so i removed them from their greens (which i plan on using in a pasta tonight) and enjoyed them in a big fresh salad.


{salad with baby beets & turnips}
green salad with baby beets & turnips
serves 2
4 cups lettuce, rinsed & torn into bite-sized pieces (i used romaine & red buttercrunch)
1/4 cup baby beets
1/4 cup baby turnips
1/4 cup radishes
1/2 cup plain quinoa or quinoa salad
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
sea salt & pepper to taste

bring 2 cups of water to boil in a small saucepan.  add the beets & turnips and blanch (mine were quite small so this took only 3 minutes).  remove them to cool with a slotted spoon.  if some are a bit on the bigger side, slice them in half.  assemble the salad by arranging the lettuces onto 2 plates.  top the centre of the salad with half of the quinoa (i had leftover quinoa salad from our camping trip similar to this one) and arrange half of the beets, turnips and radishes around each plate.


{fresh on a plate}


for a really simple vinaigrette (and m's favourite), whisk the evoo & lemon juice with sea salt & pepper to taste and drizzle over the salads.  serve with an extra wedge of lemon.  if you need more dressing, i find i'm always happy when i stick to a 2:1 ratio of oil to acid.

{i mean really, how cute are those little turnips?!}

i highly recommend seeking some beet greens or turnip greens out at your local market, farm stall or co-op while they're still in season.  they're simply just too cute to miss.

18 July 2011

strawberry iced tea

wow.  what a weekend.  i am so full of gratitude for the vision of pz and the community of people that came together for what was yet another incredible river & sky festival.  there was music, sun, friends, campfires, music, kids, lake swims, woods, a full moon, dancing, more music, bicycles, river swims, tents and all around good times.  i'm pretty sure my hair still smells like campfire. 

sigh... life is good.

here is a list of things that i am so happy i packed along. 

my festival camping must-haves:
1) avocados - so ridiculously good for breaky, smothered on a campfire-toasted bagel.
2) a light weight dress - which saved me from suffocating in jeans in the summer sun.
3) my karma solid perfume from lush - which saved everyone else from having to deal with a smelly me.  plus it's always nice to smell pretty in the woods.
4) burt's bees lavender complexion mist - a few spritzes would leave me refreshed... it's especially nice after a late night.
5) homemade granola, packed in mason jars of course - perfect for breakfast, perfect for snacking.  yum.


{music in the woods}

{full moon}

there were a few things i forgot to pack including our swiss army knife & a toque for those chilly nights around the fire, but i think my top 5 list totally made up for them.

i'm not quite ready to say goodbye to the festival so this afternoon i'm sitting back and sipping on some strawberry iced tea, inspired by the lovely folks from the flying chestnut who served it up all weekend along with a mean vegan chili fries. 


{strawberry iced tea}

strawberry iced tea
1 or 2  green tea bags
3 cups of water
1 cup fresh, local strawberries
1 tbsp agave nectar
a big wedge of organic lemon

brew yourself a pot of green tea and allow to cool.  mash up the strawberries in a sieve over the tea pot or pitcher, squeeze in the lemon for its juice and add the agave.  (i reserved the leftover strawberry pulp which i'll use in a smoothie later today.)  mix things up, chill and serve.

{with a cupcake, of course}

14 July 2011

soaked oats with blueberries

today has been a crazy day of running around, searching for our camping gear, airing out tents, picking up some weekend bevies and prepping food for our weekend that will be spent at the river & sky camping and music festival.  i'm feeling a bit anxious about forgetting something, but all in all i'm so excited to hit the road!

i imagine that the weekend will be so busy with music and running the merch tent that we might not get too much time to cook from scratch over a fire so i've started ahead on some of our meals, including making lime & cilantro brown rice and refried beans to enjoy in big fat burritos, a huge quinoa salad that's loaded with radishes & edamame, and i even whipped up another batch of granola.  i also baked a bunch of goodies for the bands to enjoy in the hospitality tent.  ...like i said, i've been busy!

needless to say that i used up so much kitchen power that i really didn't feel like making all that much to eat for myself today!  the solution?  a big bowl of soaked oats & blueberries.  i first discovered overnight oats with this version of them courtesy of my friend tara from pretty clean.  even though it's a dish that is hearty & filling, the fact that it's chilled and raw makes it feel ever so light.  although this is traditionally a breakfast recipe, i totally enjoyed it mid-day.

{soaked oats with blueberries}

soaked oats with blueberries (also known as overnight oats)
1/3 cup rolled oats
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp maca powder
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1-2 tsp agave nectar
cinnamon
blueberries

mix together the oats, chia seeds & maca powder in a bowl.  pour in the almond milk (any non-dairy milk will do), stir, and set aside in the fridge for at least an hour.  in this time the oats will soften up and the chia seeds will also absorb a lot of the liquid.  when you're ready to eat, sweeten it with agave to suit your taste, add a bit more almond milk if you need it, sprinkle with cinnamon & berries and dig in.  yum!

{yum}

festival weekend (and sun), here i come!

happy weekend to you too,
xo
jess

ps - don't forget to check out some other great recipes over at diet, dessert and dogs for the diet, dessert and dogs for the weekly wellness weekend!

turnip greens & fennel tart

yesterday was wednesday which means my fridge is stocked with fresh goodies from the farm! in this weeks bin (our 3rd csa delivery of the season) we received:

romaine lettuce
red buttercrunch (possibly the best lettuce ever!)
green summer crisp lettuce
turnip greens
green onions
radishes
beet greens
snow peas (so sweet and delicious!)
shelling peas (so tender and sweet!)
kohlrabi

tonight m and i were going to have a quick dinner with bbq'd burgers but i remembered that i had some puff pastry in the fridge that needed to get used up.  so, i made an (almost) equally quick puff pastry tart.  i can't recall if i've ever tried turnip greens before, but i'm going to go ahead and tell you that i haven't.  (because if i did, they certainly weren't memorable!) 

there's no way i'll forget about them now.  they were the star of the show.  i gave them a rough chop and sauteed them with garlic and they were SO good... tender and a little peppery, almost like arugula.  they were SO good in fact, that i had to add more to the pan after got a bit carried away with the sampling!  :)


{turnip green & fennel tart}



{tarty}

turnip greens & fennel puff pastry tart
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch of turnip greens, chopped
1/2 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1/4 onion, shaved
1/4 cup mozzerella daiya
1 sheet of puff pastry
sea salt & pepper

preheat your oven to 375.  heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a small pan.  add the garlic & turnip greens and saute for a few minutes until tender (about 3 or 4 minutes).  season with sea salt & pepper, move to another dish and return the pan to heat.  add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, followed by the sliced fennel.  saute the fennel for a few minutes until browned and remove from the heat.

roll out the vegan puff pastry on a floured surface and transfer it to a cookie sheet lined with either a silpat or parchment paper.  sprinkle with daiya and top with the onions, fennel & turnip greens.  place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until puff pastry is flaky and just starting to brown.  remove, slice & serve.  enjoy alongside a salad for a light dinner, or cut into bite-sized pieces for an appetizer.


{turnip greens... who knew?!}

have you ever tried turnip greens before?  what did you think of them?

12 July 2011

watermelon mint popsicles

summer is here.  it's hot out.  hot.  and it got me thinking... can one ever be too old to enjoy a popsicle?  i think not.

my lovely mom left me with a big chunk of juicy watermelon and my fridge is just too jam-packed to fit it in.  my freezer however had a bit a room.  so, i picked up some popsicle molds and into the blender went the watermelon along with some fresh mint from the garden.  i waited anxiously all afternoon for them to freeze, and like a small child waiting for cookies in the oven, i kept peeking into the freezer.

are they done yet?  how 'bout now?  maybe if i just check once more.... and...

{ta-da!}

cold.
sweet.
minty.
refreshing.

{watermelon-mint}

and sans all that garbage found in store-bought popsicles.  

watermelon mint popsicles
2 cups watermelon, chopped
14 big leaves of fresh mint, chopped (about 2 tbsp)
1 tsp agave nectar
squeeze of lime

place the watermelon and mint in a blender and puree until smooth.  add the agave and lime and blend.  taste the mixture and adjust the sweetness as you see fit.  pour into popsicle molds (or dixie cups & popsicle sticks if you're without) and place in the freezer.  wait (patiently) until frozen and enjoy!  a quick rinse under hot running water will help ease the popsicles out of their molds.

{yes please!}

i actually had a little bit of pureed watermelon leftover which i sipped on in the sun.  i'm thinking of whipping this up again and maybe with a bit of rum...

{watermelon mojito?}


{garden mint}