Sunday, August 31

Nectarine and Almond Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

Before summer ends (unofficially, at least), I thought it best to get one last go at a summery recipe. Fresh cilantro, nectarines, and lime combine to make a clean and refreshing summer salad brimming with the seasons opulence.

If it could only be like this always — always summer, always alone, the fruit always ripe... 
~Evelyn Waugh

Nectarine and Almond Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

Recipe: Serves 2

A Couple Handfuls of Spinach
2 Nectarines, Sliced
1/4 Cup Slivered Almonds, Toasted
1/4 Cup Red Onion, Slivered
1/3 Cup Goat Feta (optional)
1/2 Cup Cilantro Leaves

1 Tbsp. Lime Juice
1 Clove Garlic, Grated
1/2 tsp. Grainy Mustard
3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1/2 tsp. Honey (or liquid sweetener of choice)
A Pinch Black Pepper
A Pinch Sea Salt

1. On a platter arrange the spinach, nectarine, almonds, onion, feta, and cilantro.
2. To make the dressing, combine the mustard, honey, salt, pepper, garlic, and lime. Slowly pour in the oil.
3. Dress the salad and serve.

xox Sophie

Tuesday, August 26

Blackberry and Rye Cobbler

Summer on the coast is synonymous with a few annual endeavours. Whether it be dipping into the chilly Pacific, hiking through wild flowers, or camping among the cedar trees, each is a special routine I look forward to all year. None, however, is as anticipated as much the annual berry hunt. For years and years now I recount wading through the prickles to find the perfectly sweet, but also kind of sour, blackberries. Turned into jam, pies, wine, or eaten as they are, they provide a much needed zip to what can quickly become a summer of tomatoes, salads, and cucumbers.

The Trailing Blackberries which are native to the West Coast are smaller, sweeter, and more flavourful than the more common Himalayan Blackberry (actually native to Armenia and Northern Iran and brought to North America in 1885). While the Trailing Berry was used for eons by the Salish and other Coastal people as a food source, medicine, and rituals, they are now often hard to find. The Himalayan variety on the other hand is rampant! Most would considered it a pest, and although it can overcome a garden, I still think they are an amazing source of wild food perfect for foraging. Found on most every roadside, riverbank, or disturbed soil, the blackberry is a staple in the diets of wild birds, black bears, and eager pickers like me. If they aren't easy to access, try this recipe with whatever berries or stone fruit are available in your area. 

I chose to match the berries with rye (another edible which seeds itself in my parents garden) as the earthy flavours complement each other so well and evoke deep seated bittersweet feelings of end-of-summer. 

Blackberry and Rye Cobbler

Recipe: (Serves 4-6)

6 Cups Fresh Blackberries (or any berry that's on hand. Peaches and even plums work too)
1 Tbsp. Arrowroot Powder
1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
2-3 Tbsp. Coconut Sugar (or 1-2 Tbsp Maple Syrup)

3/4 Cup Light Spelt Flour
1/3 Cup Rye Flour
1/4 Cup Coconut Sugar
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
4 Tbsp. Coconut Oil, Chilled (butter or vegan shorting will also work)
1/3 Cup plus 4 Tbsp. Almond Milk
1/2 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
1 tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar

***To make a gluten-free version, replace the spelt with your favourite gluten free mix and the rye with buckwheat flour. Begin by using 1/3 cup almond milk, adding just enough extra to make the batter a muffin like consistency.***

1. In an 20 x 20 cm (8 x 8 inch) pan, toss the berries with the arrowroot powder, lemon juice, cinnamon, and sugar. Pop the dish in a 205 C (400 F) oven for 15 minutes to let the berries begin to release their juice.
2. Meanwhile combine the light spelt, rye, coconut sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt in a bowl and mix well. In a separate dish add the vinegar to the almond milk and let sit a few minutes to sour.
3. Add the chilled coconut oil and mix into the flour with the tips of your finger tips until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
4. Combine the soured milk with the vanilla and pour over the dry mix, stirring until just combined.
5. Dollop 6 or so spoonfuls of the topping mix over the partially cooked berries. Don't worry if the topping isn't even, it will spread as it cooks.
6. Pop back into the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes or until bubbling and the cobbler top is golden and cooked through. Serve warm with coconut whipped cream, ice cream, or yogurt.

xox Sophie

Monday, August 18

Fruit and Nut Yogi Bars

When it comes to eating habits, I find that my friends fall into several different groups: the people who routinely eat only three meals a day, the mono-eater who eats one big meal once a day, the I-forgot-to-eat people who are too busy to notice when they're hungry, the always hungry who will eat whenever possible, and the snackers who continually graze. Without a doubt I fall into the last camp. Never able to finish a big meal, my body instead asks for small snack every couple of hours - an apple, some dates, a few crackers - I usually have something nibbley within arms reach to ease my rumbling tummy.

This being said, I often find myself in situations where snacking is frowned upon (school, work, yoga, the grocery store...). So in a need to find a quiet food which is both satisfying but not very filling (as that would make for one disastrous downward facing dog), I took a classic healthy bar from the Tessajara Cookbook and jazzed it up a bit. Moist and chewy, these bars are part cookie, part granola bar, and loaded with seeds, nuts, and fruit. They are quiet enough to eat during the middle of a lecture (unlike those deafening apples) or even on the bus. Best of all is that because these aren't heavy, you can snack on them before a run or yoga, or any of those times when you know you shouldn't eat, but are in dire need of a snack.  

Fruit and Nut Yogi Bars

Adapted from Tessajara Cookbook
Recipe: (Makes 15)

3 Cups Oats (Gluten free if needed)
1 Cup Flour (whole grain or gluten free)
1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Ginger
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
1/4 tsp. Black Pepper
1/8 tsp. Cardamom
Pinch Cloves
1/3 Cup Unsweetened Apple Sauce
1/2 Cup Coconut Sugar
2 Tbsp. Coconut Oil, melted
1 Cup Plant Based Milk
1 tsp. Vanilla
3/4 Cup Seeds or Nuts ( I used Pumpkin Seeds)
3/4 Cup Dried Fruit of Choice ( I used half Raisins and half Cranberries)

1. Combine the oats, flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, pepper, cardamom, and cloves in one bowl.
2. In another bowl combine the apple sauce, melted coconut oil, milk and vanilla. 
3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Add the dried fruit and seeds/nuts.
4. Scoop 1/4 cup of mixture and form into a little bar shape (you can also form it into a round cookie). Bake at 175 C (350 F) for approximately 11 minutes or until the bottoms are golden. Store extra bars in the refrigerator or freezer for longer use.

***Natural wraps from Abeego
xox Sophie