Tuesday, July 22

Ancient Grain Market Salad


While I don't remember the first time I ever tried quinoa, I do recall that I was still living at my parents at the time, just becoming enamoured with whole foods, and like everybody else probably pronounced it kin-oh-ah. For the last ten years it has become a regular ingredient in our pantry. It makes it's way into our stews,  accompanies our dinners, and fills our breakfast bowl. A forever favourite, it's easy to prepare, versatile, and nutritious; but sometimes, like all good things, it can verge on being a little boring.

Last year I came across 'baby quinoa', or as it's actually called, kaniwa. Like quinoa (and amaranth and buckwheat), kaniwa is a grain-like substance which is actually a seed (and therefor gluten free). While the word kaniwa may sound a lot like quinoa, it is in fact an altogether different plant. About the size of amaranth, kaniwa is dark brown in colour and has a nutty, slightly earthy taste similar to quinoa. Yet, unlike quinoa which contains saponins, the bitter tasting protective coating which need to be washed off, kaniwa doesn't contain these and doesn't require rinsing prior to use. Taking about the same time to cook as quinoa, kaniwa makes a great addition to the kitchen and a nice switch-up to everyday  meals.

Like quinoa, kaniwa is very high in fibre and a good source of iron and calcium. If quiona or kaniwa isn't available in your area,  try using a mix of amaranth, buckwheat, millet, emmer, or spelt berries for the salad.
I used a mix of fresh veggies that I got from the local farmers market. While these exact veggies may not be available in your area, this salad is versatile enough to take on many different ingredients. Try swapping the carrots for yam, new potatoes, beet root, or cauliflower. The arugula can be swapped for baby spinach, baby lettuce, or young kale. In lieu of garlic scapes, try green beans, asparagus, or leeks.  


Ancient Grain Market Salad

Recipe: (Serves 4 as a main, 6 as a side)

1/2 cup uncooked Kaniwa (also called 'baby quinoa')
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1/2 uncooked European Soilder Beans, or other white bean, soaked overnight (or 1 cup canned)
8 Unsulphered Apriocts, diced
1/4 Cup Roasted Almonds, chopped
8 large, or 10 medium Carrots
1 Tbsp. Coconut Oil
1 tsp. Whole Cumin Seeds, crushed with a pestle.
A hand full Garlic Scapes, about 3/4 of a cup when chopped
A Couple Handfuls Arugula 
A Couple Spring Cilantro
Sea Salt

2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
2 Tbps. Orange Juice
2 tsp. Grated Ginger
1 1/2 tsp. Ground Corriander
3/4 tsp. Ground Cardamom
3/4 tsp. Whole Fennel Seeds
1 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
2 Cloves Garlic, grated
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1 tsp. Orange Zest
1.Begin by cooking the beans in about 4 cups fresh water until they are tender (30 -45 minutes or until tender). You will have to top up the water as they cook.
2. Meanwhile cook the quinoa and the kaniwa. In one small pot add the 1/2 quinoa and 1/2 cup kaniwa along with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then with the lid on, let simmer until tender and the water is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes. Let the mixture cool.
3. Heat the oven to 200 C (400 F). Slice the carrots into even bite sized rounds and toss them with 1/2 Tbsp. melted coconut oil, the 1 tsp cumin seeds, and a pinch of salt. Roast in the oven, stirring often, for 15-20 minutes or until tender.
4. In a large bowl combine the cooked beans, quinoa, kaniwa, chopped apricots,  almonds, and carrots (this can be prepaired ahead of time).
5. With the remaining 1/2 Tbsp. oil, toss the chopped garlic scapes in a heavy frying pan until they are tender and browned. Add to quinoa mix.
6. On a large platter arrange the greens, top with the quinoa mix and a couple sprigs of cilantro.
7. Combine all the dressing ingredients together in a small jar. Dress and toss the salad just before serving. 

xox Sophie

Wednesday, July 16

Raw Wednesdays - Week 3

Many of you know about my deep love of muffins and quick breads.  I adore the ability to eat a mini cake for breakfast, and completely legitimise it. However, I sometimes find that in summer I just don't want all that refined flour and  heaviness weighing me down. So in the midst of this current heat wave we've been having here on the coast  (heat wave a la west coast is only about 30 C), I thought it the perfect time to make a batch of no-cook, flourless, muffins. While these aren't muffins in the traditional sense - no oil, no flour, no refined sugar, no tops (sorry Elaine), they make a wonderful treat that perfectly fills the 'muffin void'. I opted for pistachio's for these, but any number of nuts and dried fruit combinations would be devine - think 1. date, raisin, and walnut, or 2. apricot, mango, macadamia, maybe even 3. fig, cranberry, and almonds! The possibilities are limited as your own imagination.

To make these muffins even more powerful, I added some maca and lacuma powder (the first of which balances hormones and the second which is anti-inflammatory), and cacao nibs. If these aren't available to you, simply add a 1/2 tsp- 1 tsp of your favourite spice such as cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, or fresh orange zest. In lieu of the cacao nibs add some hemp hearts, chia seeds, or ground flax.  

Breakfast - Fruit and Fibre Muffin

Recipe: (makes 5)

1/2 Cup Pitted Dates
1 Cup Unsulphered Apricots
1/2 Cup Pistachios (or nut of choice)
2 Tbsp. Cacao Nibs
1 Tbsp. Coconut Oil
2 tsp. Maca Powder
1 tsp. Lacuma Powder
1/2 tsp Vanilla
Pinch Sea Salt

1. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and puree until the mixture holds together.
2. Press the mixture into 5 muffin cups. Store in the Refrigerator.
3. They will last in the refrigerator for several weeks. 

I went to California once when I was 14. We were on one of those typical family road trips where you stop in at every state park in between long drives, with endless Mad Libs and BP&J sandwiches while playing with your sisters beany babies. We just dipped into the top of the state so that my dad could visit a bamboo nursery. It was enough of a visit that we were able to see the majestic Red Woods, but we never got a chance to go any further south, to see the beaches, the hills, or the California I had envisioned. Since then, I have had this romanticised idea of Californian sunshine, ocean, and endless fresh produce swimming around  in my mind. This salad is the ode to my rose coloured vision of the state of forever summer and healthy lifestyles.

Lunch - California Dreams Salad

Recipe: (Serves 2)

A Couple Hand fulls of Baby Greens
1 Cup Sliced Cucumber
1/2 Cup Sprouts (I used lentil, garbanzo, and adzuki)
1/2 Cup Berries (Blueberries, Raspberries, or Strawberries)
1/2 Avocado, Diced
1/4 Cup Walnuts or Pecans
Mango Dressing (Recipe Below)
Edible Flowers such as Marigold, Chamomile, or Pansy (Optional)

1. Make a bed of baby greens and top with the cucumber, sprouts, berries, avocado, and walnuts. Serve with Mango Dressing.

Mango Dressing

1 Mango, peeled and pitted
1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
1/4 Cup Water
1 Clove Garlic
1 tsp. Grated Ginger
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/4 Pepper
A Pinch of Chili

1. Puree all the ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. 

Cauliflower rice is a truly amazing and versitile raw food dish (see here), perfect for salads, bowl food, and even sushi. I used a white caultiflower for this recipe, but the coloured ones would make a spectacular choice too. If raw cauliflower isn't your friend (I know many folk like you), then try using all mashed avocado. 

Supper - Summer Roll Sushi

Cauliflower Rice (Recipe Below)
1/2 Avocado, Sliced
1/2 Mango, Sliced
6 or so Green Beans
A hand full Sunflower Sprouts
Black Sesame Seeds
Tamari, for dipping
Nori, or Raw Seaweed Sheets

1. Spread about 1/4 cup to 1/2 of the cauliflower rice onto the bottom 1/3 of the nori, leaving about 1/2 cm space at the very bottom of the sheet free of rice (so that it will stick together). 2. Arrange a row of veggie slices along the rice. Roll up, and slice. Like the traditonal sushi rolls, these are best eaten just after making. 

Cauliflower Rice

Adapted From Crudessence

1 Head Cauliflower (about 4 cups)
2 tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
2 tsp. Psyllium husk
A Pinch Sea Salt

1. Puree all in a food porcessor until 'rice like' consistency is acheived. Taste and adjust seasoning. Let the mixture sit for about 10 minuts prior to using.

xox Sophie

Sunday, July 13

On the Road & Wholesome Anzac Cookies

It's been a long time coming, but Adam and I are finally going to embark on a crazy, wonderful, travelling experience together. The last time we embarked on a worldly adventure was well over five years ago when we went to Viet Nam for a study abroad programme. This time, however, we will be able to enjoy the sights, smells, and tastes of travelling without the drag of homework (thank goodness!). Our journey will begin this September when we briefly visit my dearest and most talented friend Demetria, and Adam's childhood friend and amazing artist Cun Shi, both of whom live in New York city. From there we will spend a couple of weeks in Spain, Morocco, and Portugal before heading to Japan for just over a week to visit my brother... and then ultimately land in New Zealand were we will be living for the next 6-8 months! I have never lived anywhere besides my beloved Vancouver Island, so this is truly going to be an exciting and terrifying experience for me, but isn't that what life is all about after all?

We would love to hear any recommendations 
you may have for things to see, do, and eat in 
New York, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Tokyo,
and New Zealand!

In honour of our soon to be new home, I whipped up a batch of the classic Oceanic treat, known as Anzac (an acronym for Austrian and New Zealand Army Corps) biscuits, but like all things on WHE, they are made with a healthier twist. The story behind these cookies is that they were traditionally sent to soldiers due to their prolonged shelf life which allowed them to be mailed or stored on a ship long before spoiling. Regardless of if this story is true or not, the fact is that the Anzac biscuit is a naturally sweet, high fibre cookie, and all around great tea time treat. While they tend to always be egg free (like most war time classic recipes, which I love), they usually contain butter, white flour, refined sugar, and golden syrup (a by product made from  sugar refining and something I hear is often difficult to get in the U.S. and other non-commonwealth countries). With a little substitution, I managed to make a whole grain and vegan version using the lower glycemic coconut sugar. The end result? The oats and coconut provide natural sweetness meaning that that you won't even miss the reduced sugar, the whole grain flour make them much more substantial and 'granola' bar like, while less refined liquid sweeteners such as brown rice syrup (or honey) easily replace the golden syrup while not compromising flavour.

Wholesome Anzac Cookies

Recipe: Makes 12

1 Cup Rolled Oats, Gluten Free if possible
1/2 Cup Whole Spelt or Gluten Free flour Mix of choice
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Dessicated Coconut
6 Tbsp. Coconut Sugar
1 Tbsp. Maple Syrup,Honey, or Brown Rice Syrup
4 Tbsp. Coconut Oil (or butter, both room temperature)
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
2 Tbsp. Boiling Water
1/4 tsp. Sea Salt

1. Combine the oats, flour, coconut, salt, and sugar in one bowl. 
2. In another smaller bowl, combine the liquid sweetener of choice, baking soda, and boiling water. Stir well to combine.
3. Mix the coconut oil and the baking soda mixture into the oat and flour mixture. Mix until just combined. If you fine the mixture slightly dry add a 1/2 tsp more water or just enough to help it come together.
4. Roll into golf ball (or what I assume to be a golf ball) sized ball, and flatten ever so slightly so that they are roughly about 3cm (1 1/4 inch) across. Bake in a 175 C (350 F) oven for 10-13 minutes or until golden. Let them cool a few minutes on the try before moving them to a rack to cool.

xox Sophie