Archive | August, 2014

Fermented Pickles (Homemade Probiotics)

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The first time I fermented my own pickles, I made them way too salty. I have issues with numbers, which makes following recipes really hard, and apparently results in salty pickles. After staring at them for a while, I saved them and added them (in small amounts) to recipes the same way you might add capers. The rest, I dehydrated, ground up and realized I had invented my own fermented, raw dill pickle seasoning (popcorn, anyone?).

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Chili-Lime Jicama with Muscular Guacamole

Have you ever moved the guacamole to the other room, just to get people out of the kitchen? It works, doesn’t it? Because everyone loves guacamole (even more than sitting at the kitchen bar asking you questions). It is one of the healthiest and easiest to make snacks out there. It’s also really, really delicious. Guacamole even has power over those of us who plug our ears when health food convos come up. It’s that good.

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This makes it the perfect vessel for some muscular activity. I am not trying to change the classic guacamole with this recipe, I am just trying to gently point out a few super-food opportunities. As it turns out, guacamole is one of the easiest places to add some cancer-fighting beasts, and here is a little hint: you’re probably already adding most of them. Now you just need to consciously add them every time you make it, perhaps in greater volume and possibly with a little more variety. Do you add cilantro to your guac? Add twice as much. You don’t like cilantro? (I’ve heard about you!) add some Italian parsley instead. Or maybe some kale, sliced very thin as though it was a herb. Or maybe both cilantro/parsley and kale.

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Do you already add a bit of onion or garlic to your guac? Try adding both. Or if raw garlic doesn’t fly with you, add some roasted garlic. And dice up some red onion (pigment power) and green onion. Same but different, and complimentary. And what about turmeric? I know, I sound like a broken record, but it is a powerful anti-inflammatory. It’s not that I want your whole life to be yellow-spiced, I just want to point out places where it could work. I think it works in guacamole, that’s all. Not your morning millet porridge with blueberries or your tomato and basil salad with almond cheese. I promise not to talk about turmeric in those posts.

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Sesame Kohlrabi Slaw with Miso Apricot Dressing

It’s been a while since I turned my oven on. Not to seem ungrateful for all of this sunshine (and vitamin D), but it has been really hot with humidity that Vancouver doesn’t generally see. So maybe I am complaining a little bit, but chin sweat you guys! All of the time.

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So I have been making recipes that require very little heating up, both for me, and the recipients of the meals. It makes it hard to complain about chin sweat when I think about how un-amazing it must feel to add a rough post chemo week into the mix with all of this heat. No ovens no cry.

This recipe requires the very bare minimum of cooking. It is mostly a raw dish in all of its enzyme-rich glory, but not just for the sake of being raw, more because the dish itself feels so right for this time of year. It is made with seasonal produce, but not necessarily the sweet and juicy stuff that you dream about during the winter months. Is anyone familiar with kohlrabi?

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I think it would be sad to be a vegetable that only reminds people of the parts of vegetables that they normally discard (or save for juicing), but it is true, kohlrabi’s taste and texture are very similar to broccoli stems and cabbage cores. But don’t worry, kohlrabi doesn’t wallow in self-pity, it knows that it is unique and beautiful, with lush, edible greens growing out of each of its many strange little arms. And like all self-respecting vegetables, it also comes in purple.

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Carrot Hummus (with superpowers)

In the land of eating a little bit healthier every day, hummus is considered a comfort food. Chickpeas and tahini, fresh garlic and some extra virgin olive oil, perhaps a squeeze of lemon juice, it’s hard to go wrong.

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Never mind the fact that the chickpeas and sesame seeds in the tahini create a complete protein for us to dip our antioxidant-rich veggies into. Or the fact that the fat in the tahini and olive oil help us to absorb the vitamins in the dip-able veggies. Hummus is already pretty awesome, it doesn’t need a makeover.

But everyone needs a night out on the town, right?

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There is an abundance of amazing seasonal produce available this time of year, but one of my favourites is always the local carrot. Not boring. The humble carrot, recently pulled from the ground has a sweet, extra carrot-y taste that reminds me of why I wanted a veggie garden to begin with. Remember that carrot soup that you make in the middle of winter? Try making it now with farmers’ market carrots; it will blow your mind. Of course these local carrots are the perfect pair to some hummus, but what if instead of serving carrots with the hummus, we put carrots in the hummus?

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