Tuesday, December 3, 2013


I would like to say I have a dirty little secret, but it's not, it's a fabulous secret!
I like to rot stuff on my kitchen counter, then I eat it!
And it's delicious!
And I share it!
Then people ask me for my recipe.  Well now here's the dirty secret.  I don't have one.  I wing it with what I have on hand and what I want to accomplish.
This is especially true for kimchi.

When I lived in Korea, I thought kimchi was pretty scary, and I'd only eat the thick stem part, but now, my palate has adjusted and I love the stuff.  But in my years of cleaning up my diet and learning about additives and the like, there is a lot in commercial kimchi that I don't like, such as additives, preservatives and MSG.  It is possible to find organic, additive free kimchi, but it's just easier to make my own.  So I do.  A lot.

I find there are 2 schools of kimchi on the internets.  There are those who are teaching the traditional Korean way of making it, and there are those who are teaching the nourishing/ traditional food way of making it.  They are often similar, except the nourishing folks aren't often Korean.  I find their kimchi to be less red, less potent and less delicious, but I like the nourishing aspect of that kimchi.  So I've created my own kimchi that takes both schools of thought into consideration.

Without adieu.

For a small batch I use 1 napa cabbage, you can adjust.

1 napa cabbage head, chopped and the obvious dirt removed
2-3 carrots (optional)
2-3 green onions (optional)
1 diakon radish (optional)
Korean chili flakes (1/2 a cup, but to taste)
1/2 an asian pear (or a tablespoon of sugar, it's not for you, it's for the bacteria)
handful of kosher salt
5-6 garlic cloves
1 inch of peeled ginger
1/2 cup of a good fish sauce, I really like Red Boat. (check to make sure yours doesn't have any nasties in it like MSG etc.)
1-2 tablespoons of liquid whey (optional) can use 1 tablespoon of kosher salt instead.
mason jar/ fermenting crock/ fido jar/ something to ferment in
plastic gloves

I start by chopping my cabbage up into bite sized pieces, making sure to pay attention to the stems to make sure they're not huge.  Slice or chop carrots/ onions/ daikon.  Make them bite sized and fairly thin, a couple millimeters thick.
Place it all in a large bowl and sprinkle with a generous sprinkling of salt, cover with water and let sit for an hour or so.  This will wilt the cabbage.
After an hour, rinse the cabbage and veggies really well, and let rest in the bowl.
Then move on to the sauce.
In a blender mix the garlic, ginger, pepper flakes and peeled and cored pear or sugar.  Blend into a paste, add water to make it go.  Add your fish sauce, this adds that umami flavour that we like, it doesn't taste fishy to me.  More traditional Korean receipes call for shrimp jut or even whole fresh shrimp, oysters or squid.  I'm not there.  Plus I like the subtle flavour of the fish sauce, not the fish flavour the others impart.
Blend it all together, add your whey or salt, this helps to preserve it.
Once the sauce is blended pour it over your bowl of veggies and mix well with your hands (wear the gloves!)
Then pack it into your fermenting vessel, make sure there is a layer of liquid over your veggies, if not add a little water, close the lid and let ferment on your counter until you see bubbles rise.  This will vary by the temperature in your house and by how much tang you like your kimchi to have.

Other variations you can make is to adjust the amount of everything.  More pepper flakes, more garlic etc.  Vary your veggies.  Mostly this is a technique, there are so many options.
I've come close to making the same kind twice, but each batch does vary.  Kitchen chemistry at it's finest.

It is important to get Korean chili flakes, they're less potent than regular chili flakes and they really impart that lovely red hue that makes kimchi, well, kimchi.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Zucchini and Granola Muffins

Trixie loves these, Adam says they're like a cookie and muffin hybrid. They are vegan, inspired by traditional Zucchini bread.

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (can use ww, but I like the pastry stuff better)
1 cup coconut flour (can sub any other flour)
3/4 cup rolled oats (can sub any other flour)
3/4 cup sugar (I used sucanet)
1 cup granola (this was my own recipe too, I can send that as well or use 1 cup of chopped nuts)
5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup flax
2/3 cup almond milk (can sub any milk or liquid)
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup honey
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup apple sauce (can sub pumpkin or more zucchini)
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chocolate chips

preheat oven to 325 degrees
in a large measuring cup or small bowl mix the flax and milk, let sit
in a large bowl mix flours, sugar, granola, baking powder, baking soda, salt, spices
then add to the flax mixture: honey, oil, zucchini and vanilla, mix well
stir liquid mixture into flour and mix until flour is moistened, add chocolate chips, it is very thick and dense, may need more almond milk
then spread into loaf pans or spoon into muffin tins (you'll have to spread them a little in the muffin tins, it's very thick)
for muffins bake 15-20 mins, until a toothpick comes out clean.
for loaves bake 1 hour, or until toothpick comes out clean
makes 2 loaves or about 30 muffins"


I've been asked for my granola recipe before, and it's hard to give. I don't have any special attachments to it, I just don't have a solid recipe for it.

I start with a large bowl, the biggest one I have, that can fit in the microwave.

I'll melt a 1/4 cup of coconut oil in the bowl, when melted add 1/4 cup of sweetener, I use honey, agave or maple syrup
then add 3-4ish cups of oatmeal, not steel cut, or instant, just rolled oats
mix mix mix
I've also added puffed buckwheat* 1-2 cups, adds a nice crunch.
mix mix mix
add seasonings
cinnamon, nutmeg, maca**
add dry extras,
seeds, nuts, coconut, cocoa nibs, flax, hemp etc...
mix mix mix,
then I microwave it for 6 minutes. (I understand that this might be doing some damage to the benefits of some of the antioxidants, but it's so easy!) stirring 1/2 way through.
then I remove and mix occasionally until cool
then add the wet extra
dried fruit, chocolate chips, stir and put into storage.

This yields a lot of granola. It will keep a while, but the coconut oil can go rancid. It does not make a lumpy granola, it's pretty free flowing. Everything can be adjusted to taste.
I love it with some Greek yogurt, honey and fruit.

*To make buckwheat crispies, soak a pound of buckwheat in a large bowl of water, you can change the water because it will get slimy. The buckwheat will double in size, at least. After 12ish hours (I did 24) spread out on dehydrator sheets lines with paraflexx or other type sheets and dehydrate until crispy. They are pretty flavourless, but have a lot of crunch.

** Maca is a super food, adds an interesting nutty flavour.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

fruit roll ups, healthy style!

A couple weeks ago our fridge started going crazy. It started to warm and stuff started defrosting. This lead to many frantic trips downstairs to empty the freezer into the chest freezer. Then I was left with a fridge full of warming food, which included a lot of berries. Since I had just bought a fancy new dehydrator I thought I would try it out. So I made fruit roll ups!

I took a whole pint of strawberries (or blueberries or any fruit), washed, topped and hulled and blended them in my fabulous blender with about a tablespoon of honey. (while the strawberries were sweet, you need the honey to keep the rolls pliable) Then I poured it onto a dehydrator try lined with a non stick drying sheet (I use a paraflexx sheet), spread to about an eigth of an inch thick, and dry at a low temp, 110F-105F over night. Then peel off and wrap in cling wrap.

They got a double thumbs up from Trixie.

new philosophy

Now that I have a toddler that eats and baby who's close to being a super nosher, I have changed the way I approach food. I am concerned about additives and ingredients that I can't pronounce, I don't want that going into my babies! I cringe at the thought of what that is doing to their wee insides.
So I've been making an effort to make everything from scratch. Everything.
It's daunting, yet rewarding.
I'm going to try to keep this updated with some of my more recent trials. I'll even include the flops!
I've been asked what my food philosophy is; I would say that it's whole food. Not the store, but the idea. I try to make things from scratch, with the purest, most healthy ingredients that I can. Oh and it has to be palatable to a toddler.
The cookbooks I love the most right now are:
Nourishing Traditions
Ani's Raw Food Essentials

I feel that my book choices show that I am all over the board in terms of style, raw, vegan, low carb and meat eater! But the general theme is to use whole ingredients.

So join me on my journey. If you know of somewhere to get more inspiration please let me know!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

So Delicious!

One of my favourite blogs is Heather Eats Almond Butter, and on one of her posts she is doing a giveaway for So Delicious and Purley Decadent. I am excited about this because I want a milk alternative but I won't consume unfermented soy products (I'll only eat tofu, miso and soy sauce), so a coconut milk choice is a good one. It doesn't taste really coconuty, so it won't mess with the flavour of your cereal. And most of all it's delicious! I love it.
So long story short, go to Heather's blog and see what she has to say about it.
Now regardless if I get any coupons I'll keep buying it. I'm going to try the icecream and I am going to try to make my own coconut yogurt again, since I've recently become a pro at making my own yogurt.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Chicken and Artichoke hearts

So yummy....

2 chicken breasts
olive oil
2 cups artichoke hearts
1/2 cup flour
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste

Pound chicken breasts until they are 1.5 their original size, dredge in flour.
In a heated pan coat with olive oil and place each breast in pan. Cook through, turning once.
When cooked remove chicken from pan. Add chicken stock to deglaze pan. When stock is simmering add artichoke hearts and stir to heat through. Add butter to thicken and add salt and pepper to taste.
To serve pour artichoke sauce over chicken breasts.
It's so good!