Thursday, March 25, 2010

Give the Sponge a Squeeze

You know what I mean, right?
The sponge that stays wet and when you pick it up it squeeze and use it, well, it stinks. It is also full of germs that belong nowhere near food, clean dishes or maybe your kids dirty faces!

It doesnt take much, when youare finished rinsing it, just GIVE THE SPONGE A SQUEEZE.

Enough said. Be happy in your kitchen.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Roasted Sesame Seeds

This doesn't sound like a special recipe. But great roasted seeds are incredibly satisfying in any salad, on tofu, rice,veg, or any other grain. They add loads of calcium and good oil to your meal. When my kids were babies they would get teaspoonfuls of ground up roasted sesame seeds every day, and then they never needed a calcium supplement!

1 cup raw sesame seeds.

Place sees in a small-holed sieve. Rinse well in cold water.
In the meantime, have a skillet on the stove on a medium fire, heating up.
When skillet is hot, place seeds in it. If you want to add salt to the mix, add 1 tsp of seasalt now.

Here is the patience-part... you have to stir it almost constantly. It will take some 5-10 minutes to get to golden brown. Maybe a bit longer if your fire is low enough. It is important NOT to heat them on HIGH heat, they can easily burn.

You will be able to smell a wonderful nutty sesame-u aroma, watch closely then. they get light golden any minute. Put on a plate to cool. YUM.
Just keep stirring just keep stirring.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies

As my first child started to grow up... it took her all of 2 years to rebel against having no sugary things in the house! So, I started baking in a new way, relying on my history of macrobiotic study rather than my Mum's good Canadian fare (although that still has its place on our table!). This is one of my first ever recipes without eggs, butter or sugar! After we ate them, I kept going, so they must be good!
These can easily be changed into Chocolate-Chocolate Chip by replacing 1 cup sliced almonds for 3/4 cup cocoa powder.

1/2 cup (125 ml) vegetable oil/melted coconut oil
1/4 cup (75 ml) almond butter, preferable white bu tit is more expensive
1 cup (250ml) maple syrup
1 1/2 TBS (1 1/2 soupspoons) vanilla extract

3 cups flour (I use whole or white spelt/epeautre)
1 cup sliced almonds, roasted or not (optional)
1 cup chocolate chips (or more!)
1/2 tsp (1/2 coffeespoon) sea salt
1/2 TBS (1/2 soupspoon) baking powder/cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 325F/160C.
Oil cookie sheets and put parchment paper on them.

In a large bowl combine all DRY ingredients.
In a separate bowl whisk together all WET ingredients.
Mix wet into dry. Let sit for 15-30 minutes if you can!
Place in spoonfuls on cookie sheet and press down with back of a wet spoon.

Bake for 12-17 minutes. Until the edges start to change color.

Egg Replacers

I love to find recipes without any eggs. We have no allergies to them, especially when they are baked into cakes & cookies! It is just fun to mess with my husband's taste buds! He is your image of a frenchman who loves good cakes... cream, sugar and butter please~! I have found some good replacements. They most often work, but not always. So don't try them for the first time if you are baking for 20! I got these from an old Vegetarian Times!

1/4cup coconut milk per egg.
Coconut milk naturally has a high fat content, so you don't need to add extra oil. It will add flavor.

1 tablespoon flax meal or 1 tablespoon flax seed pureed with 1/4 cup water
If you choose the flax you may have to add a bit more liquid to your batter if you are baking. Do this at the end. I have used this in meatballs to get them to stick togther!
Watch out for adding too much sharp-nutty flavor. You recipe needs to have enough flavor to mask the taste.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil, almond butter or tahini mixed into 1/4 cup soy milk.
Great in cookie recipes. Most of the cookie recipes on this blog are no-egg. As a matter of fact, I will post our favorite right now!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Gratitude, Rainbows & St. Patty's Day

We are getting ready to paint a HUGE Rainbow to tape onto our window... with a pot of gold at the end. Each 'piece of gold" will represent something we/I/each kid is grateful for. I am sure the"gold" will quickly be turned into Easter Eggs!

This is an exercise in PURE JOY. Last Thanksgiving we made a Gratitude Tree. The leaves being where we wrote our 'what fors"on. It is amazing how kids embrace doing this. Mine are 4 and 7, and they had a ball. Not only coloring, but in having place to actually be grateful for "pasta & cheese!" We even include all the kids who came into the house. When they enter, they color and tape the leaf or gold or (Easter) egg.

Kids GET this. It gives then space and joy to experience gratitude. They have so many emotions for which they have no definition, or only the definition their parents give them. There is nothing that one cannot be grateful for. Nothing. No matter how material, small or grand. It works.

For us, it reminds us of the everyday things we are actually grateful for, and maybe we just forgot to remember that. This effects how I feel everyday.

As I write, I grateful for a venue in which to share this. I am grateful for the hope that someone is reading it! The hope that it will give someone an idea of their own. And for my kids who embrace my ideas....

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Amazing Coffee Cake

I love Coffee Cake. For years I have had an image of coffee cake in my mind that I have never found. Well, yesterday I found it, and you can love the healthful ingredients! For you Europeans, 'Coffee Cake" is a sweet, moist cake that is made specifically to be eaten with coffee or tea. Usually it has alot of cinnamon.
FYI, if you want to make it purely vegan, you can make "soy buttermilk"by adding 1 tsp apple cider vinegar to a cup of soy milk and let it sit for 10 minutes!

Amazing Coffee Cake

-New, Improved Recipe!-

1 1/2 cups (300ml) coconut oil, melted
(or 1lb (4 sticks of butter))
2 tsps (coffeespoons) liquid vanilla extract
1/2 cup ground flax seed (or 4 eggs)
2 1/4 cups maple Syrup or 2 cups packed raw cane sugar
4 cups flour (I use whole spelt flour)
2 TBL (soupspoons) baking powder or cream of tartar
2 tsps (coffeespoons) baking soda
1/2 tsp seasalt
1 TBS (soupspoon) ground cardamon
2 cups sour cream, fromage blanc or plain/nature yogurt

Nut Mixture, mix all together in separate bowl, do not add to batter.
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 TBS cinnamon
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 350F/170C. Butter or oil a 'tall" cake pan or bundt pan.

In a small mixing bowl, mix all dry ingredients, except flax meal..
In a large bowl, whisk all liquid ingredients except sour cream/fromage blanc/yogurt/buttermilk, but DO whisk in FLAX MEAL.
Add dry ingredients to dry to wet, 1/3 at a time, alternating with sour cream/etc. Each time mix until just barely combined do not in any way over mix.
Batter will be very thick, almost like cookie dough. You really have to spread it into the pan.

Into greased cake pan spread in 1/3 of batter. Then sprinkle in 1/3 of nut mixture. 1/3 more batter, 1/3 more mix. Finish with rest of batter on top, and sprinkle on rest of nut mixture. Smooth nut mixture into batter a bit.

Place in oven for 45minutes. Check with knife or skewer, if it comes out clean it is ready, if not keep in oven 10 minutes more until knife comes out clean.
Let rest in pan 20 minutes. Let cool at least 30 minutes after you take it out of pan.