Thursday, August 30, 2012

Kale and Wheat Berry Salad

This salad is very simple, easy, fast to make. It is also surprisingly filling, almost meaty. The kale is more dense and filling than a lettuce and the chewy wheat berries make this salad a meal on it's own. It also can stand being made ahead of time and still tastes great after a day or two in the fridge.

Kale Wheat Berry Salad:
Two large bunches of kale, any kind
Two cup cooked wheat berries
Pesto, thinned with a little olive oil
Parmesan cheese

Chop kale roughly, toss with wheat berries and pesto until coated. Top each serving with a few shavings of parmesan and a generous sprinkle of black pepper.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Pineapple Reborn (Hopefully)

I have become obsessed with plants that can be grown from the remnants and scraps of groceries. I have planted several celery stumps and they are all growing well. I have stuck a few other bits and pieces into the ground with varying results, carrots, bok choy, onions. I am not too worried about whether or not they grow into new plants since I already ate the vegetables, but if I can manage to get another plant out of their remains, that is a bonus.

One of these projects which is a little less practical perhaps, but maybe more exciting, is my new pineapple plant. I twisted the top off a regular, store bought pineapple and peeled off about an inch or two of the bottom leaves. The pineapple roots are already growing, waiting for you to discover them. I had no idea that pineapples had roots lurking under their leaves.

I stuck the roots in a jar of water for a few days and then I potted my pineapple plant in a pot. It is living on my balcony at the moment, but in the winter I will take it inside to the sunroom. Pineapples grown this way take a year or two to produce fruit, and sometimes never produce fruit, so this project is more of a novelty than a serious food production endeavor. 

It was so easy and fun though, I think that I will start a couple more pineapples so that hopefully at least one of them might grow fruit eventually.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Salad Rolls with Peanut Sauce

It has been really hot for a few days and I have been eating salad rolls a lot. I have had them for lunch and dinner for maybe three days in a row. I love that they are cold and they are full of vegetables and they are waiting for me in the fridge.

I like to put a lot of garlic and chile flakes in the peanut sauce.You don't need to make your sauce so spicy if you don't want to, but I like the spice in contrast with the cold, mild vegetables.

Salad Rolls:
Large rice paper wrappers
Shrimp/Prawns if you like

Finely chop or shred the vegetables and toss together in a bowl. Add shrimp if using and mix everything up.
Fill a large bowl with hot water. Place a rice paper wrapper completely underwater until it is soft and flexible. Take it out, letting excess water drip over the bowl. Spread out the wrapper over a cutting board and put a big spoonful of the vegetable filling in the middle of the wrapper. Fold the sides over the filling, and then roll the top and then the bottom over the center. Repeat until you run out of filling or wrappers. 

Peanut Sauce: 
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tbs soy sauce
5-6 cloves garlic 
large pinch chile flakes
2 tbs lemon juice
black pepper
vegetable or chicken broth (or 1/2 bouillon cube and water)

Blend all ingredients in the food processor. Adjust the liquid until the texture is dippable but not runny. Or until it is however you like it. 

Dip a salad roll into peanut sauce and eat. And again and again and again until it isn't too hot to actually cook anymore.

A Little Party for a Birthday

Birthday Girl and birthday balloons
It was my roommate L's birthday last week and we had a little party.

We decide that the party decorations would be all white and cream. We made mason jar tissue paper lanterns for candles. We hung strings of white Christmas lights and little white lanterns from Chinatown.

We bought white and cream balloons.

 We foraged and bought lots of different kinds of white flowers.

I made some cakes. Chocolate-salted caramel, browned butter and pistachio. I'm not good at choosing just one flavour. Then we filled our small home with more people than it could reasonably accommodate. 

Happy birthday love.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Protein Balls

I have some hemp protein powder that I really hate. It is vile. I bought it because I thought it was another hemp protein powder from the same company, but it was in fact not the one I normally buy and it is too gross to eat in smoothies. I have been attempting to smuggle it out of my fridge by adding it to baking recipes. When I make muffins or cookies I add a tablespoon or two. I can't bring myself to throw it away because that stuff is expensive. I realized that I might be able to disguise the horrible taste by mixing it with enough peanut butter and chocolate.

If you are using a protein powder that you like, or at least one that isn't actually repellent, you can increase the protein powder in the recipe if you like.

Protein Balls
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
3 tbs protein powder, chocolate, vanilla and unflavoured types work well
3 tbs cocoa
1 tbs ground flaxseed
1 tbs hemp hearts
2 tbs chocolate chips
1/2 tsp sea salt

Mix all ingredients in a food processor. If the dough forms small moist clumps, it is probably the right texture. It should be about the texture of playdough. If it isn't clumping together add a little more peanut butter until it does.

Form the dough into balls; I make mine about the size of ping pong balls. It can be quite greasy while you're rolling it but after it sits in the fridge it firms up and feels less greasy.