Friday, June 29, 2012

'Find patience in the breath of life'

Quote by: Ryunosuke Satoro 
Our indoor cherry tomato plants are coming along real slow. They appear healthy but are not growing very tall - just yet. Unfortunately we lost our basil plants that we were also growing indoors. Something went wrong and they're all gone. We'll be planting some seeds soon and trying again.  At least we haven't lost any of the tomato plants and still hope to harvest some cherry tomatoes in the near future.
Below: Our updated tomato plants photos.

Below: A couple of tasty meals - a dairy free pizza with a thin crust (gluten free), homemade tomato sauce, onions, garlic, spinach, yams and oyster mushrooms AND a breaded eggplant dinner with a side of French green lentils, spinach, asparagus, onion and garlic! We can't get enough of that pizza! Yummy... 

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Creating Curtido

Curtido is fermented cabbage with carrots and onions, similar to coleslaw, that is common in Salvadoran cuisine. In the next week or so we'll be having some pupusas. Pupusas are also a Salvadorean dish - a favorite of mine growing up. My (Guatemalan) mom made the best pupusas and curtido that I ever had! Pupusas are served with curtido, so we prepared two jars (below) to ferment. We also fermented a cauliflower and leek mix. We'll be sharing the recipe for gluten free pupusas in about a week when the fermenting process is complete.

Below is a photo from today's walk in the park. Enjoy!

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Green Tea With Ginger Soy Latté - Homemade

A couple nights ago we soaked some soy beans in the fridge to make soy milk (not the fermented jar ones). In order to make soy milk, you have to soak the beans*, strain the beans, remove the hulls, add water, blend the beans, filter the mix and heat the liquid with a bit of salt and honey. Removing the hulls was quite the task but worth every second once we tried it as a Green Tea with Ginger Soy Latté! So tasty and sweet in flavor - because of the honey. We'll definitely be trying it again soon! The left over soy pulp is called 'okara'. We searched the internet to see what we can make with okara and discovered that it can be made into tofu and applied to different recipes. We kept it simple and made some Okara Nut Cookies With Shredded Coconut. Very tasty as well! We'll be sharing the recipe for the cookies on some later posts.

* If the anti nutrients in soy are not removed by extensive preparation like fermentation or soaking, soybeans are really bad for your health. Learn more here.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Spicy Live Salad With Lentil

GoodVeg on Squidoo shares recipes, news and information relating to a healthy vegan and vegetarian diet. It's an excellent resource to healthy information and recipes! I recently created an article that contains my latest fermenting recipe that I felt was worth sharing. We were literally counting down the days when we could crack open the fermented zucchini and onion mix! The recipe below is very tasty - give it a try and enjoy good healthy and flavorful food!

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Releasing Nutrients In Soybeans

In their natural form, soybeans contain phytochemicals that have toxic effects on the human body. It has been linked to digestive distress, allergies and immune system breakdown. Fermentation releases nutrients and transforms soybeans into nutritious food. In small amounts, once fermented, they help build the intestinal system, providing a wealth of friendly microflora to the intestinal tract that can help with digestion and boost immunity. We're fermenting some soy beans to make miso soup this week. We've done some research but if anyone has any experience in fermenting soy beans please let us know. To learn more about the harmful effects of non fermented soybeans click here
Below: Our organic soybeans fermenting - it's been about 48 hours since we placed them in the jar.

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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Dry Kale With Red Onion and Spicy Peppers

Dehydrated kale is very healthy and makes a great snack! It tastes even better when you add other ingredients for more flavor and additional health benefits. Dehydrated foods are easy to digest and rich in vitamins (specially vitamin K), minerals and enzymes! 
Below: Oven dehydrated (at 120° for 4+ hours) kale with red onion, cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper, sea salt and black pepper. Yummy!
UPDATE: Use a dehydrator for about 5 hours at 110-115.

Don't forget to hydrate yourself accordingly when eating dehydrated foods!

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Dairy Free Mushroom and Beets Pizza

We enjoy making our own tomato sauce from scratch - our main ingredients are tomatoes and carrots. We find that the sweetness of the carrots give the acidity of the tomatoes a good balance in flavor. For Friday's dinner, we wanted to make another thin crust pizza but didn't have any carrots for the tomato sauce. We used red beets instead of carrots and also added some hot peppers for spice. The results were amazing! Very tasty! Red beets are healthy - they provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support.
Below: Gluten free thin crust pizza made with brown rice and green pea flour! Our toppings were spicy homemade tomato sauce, leeks, garlic, spinach, shiitake mushrooms, sliced red beets and 2 happy chicken eggs! (click here for pizza crust recipe).

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Fermenting Greens

On Tuesday, we began fermenting sliced zucchini and cucumber. It's been really hot these days in Toronto and you can see the fermenting results in just 4 days! We are still going to wait a week before cracking it open but we started pickling some more and added hot peppers to the mix! We can't wait to try them...

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Butternut Squash Cookies

Butternut squash provides about one-third of the Daily Value of vitamin C in every cup and contains vitamins are B1, B3, B6, pantothenic acid, and folate. The sweetness of butternut squash makes it an excellent ingredient for cookies! Check out our recipe below for some yummy butternut squash cookies made with a mix of gluten free flours, shredded coconut and pre-soaked cashews. Enjoy!

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The Versatile Blogger Award

We would like to thank Laurie, blog owner of 'Laurie's Cravings' for nominating our blog for the 'Versatile Blogger Award'. Laurie is a Holistic Health Coach and fellow foodie at Foodbuzz, who also practices healthy eating that includes organic food! You can check out her recipes here.

We wanted to also share and nominate 15 blogs that we have recently discovered and enjoy! They are the following:

As part of the rules, here are 7 things about me:
1. I worked as a barista for many years and I am obsessed with perfect foam when it comes to frothing!
2. I love skipping rope as a form of exercise!
3. One of my most memorable experiences is hiking into the Grand Canyon on a lunar eclipse night.
4. I really enjoy watching martial arts movies with great stories.
5. I love dogs and would like to raise a couple of huskies one day.
6. I love to paint landscapes and animals.
7. My favourite book is 'The Awakening Of Intelligence' by Jiddu Krishnamurti.

Thanks again Laurie!

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Dairy-Free Zucchini and Yam Thin Crust Pizza

We love pizza! But it's hard to make when you are on a dairy-free diet. It's not the same without the cheese, specially because the toppings don't stay on! Today we created a delicious thin crust pizza recipe with an excellent substitute for cheese. Since we love the sweetness of yams, we made a zucchini and yam pizza with a healthy gluten free crust, homemade tomato sauce, spinach, leeks, garlic and the main ingredient to bring it all together - happy free range chicken eggs! If you are on a dairy free diet you should give this recipe a try. The egg acts as a binding agent (like cheese) and adds more flavor to your pizza. (see recipe below)

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Naturally Storing Food

A root cellar is excellent for storing food! It can store food for long periods of time which can be beneficial during the winter season. The earth soil on top of the cellar controls the temperature naturally, keeping your food from freezing or overheating. We are going to be building one for our sustainable home. When considering our design for the root cellar, we decided to buy a book entitled 'The Complete Root Cellar Book! The book is available on Amazon and we will be reviewing it and sharing what we learn in an upcoming post.
Below: An image of a root cellar (photo taken from here) and more fermenting jars (eggplant, celery, garlic and cayenne pepper mix and red onion, leeks, celery and garlic mix).

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Benefits Of Dehydrated and Fermented Foods

Dehydration is one of the oldest methods of food preservation known to man. The history of dehydrated food includes dried fish, Chinese tea leaves and preserved fruit, vegetables and meat. Today it is still put into practice and is beneficial for your health. Not only does it preserve food so it is readily available but it also provides the enzymes and nutrients you need for a healthy immune system. Food fermentation is also very beneficial for the immune system because it provides healthy bacteria to the gut flora which can fight against bacteria, viruses and 'diseases'.
Below: Our dried fruit yeast is ready to go, our new additions to the fermenting family (zucchini with cucumber and red beets) and dehydrated banana chips. Yummy!

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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Making Yeast Water

While researching the internet for information on creating yeast, we came across an amazing blog that shows you how to make yeast water. We decided this was going to be the method for making yeast that we will use in our first gluten free bread loaf recipe. We're very excited! We placed dried figs, dried prunes and some honey in our glass jar. Hopefully the results will be successful!
Below: Our latest addition to our fermenting family - dried fruit yeast water!

7 hours later... The figs began to float to the top of the jar. According to Wao, the fruit should begin to rise during this process. So far so good!

And later on... we are officially addicted to fermenting and decided to also try Wao's tea leaf yeast water! We only had organic red rooibos tea leaves available, so that's what we used. Hopefully it works out. (see image below)

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Friday, June 15, 2012

Zucchini and Shredded Coconut Flatbread

We haven't baked any gluten free bread loaves (except for flat bread and buns) because we don't have organic yeast. Since we love fermenting food now, we'll be making our own yeast tomorrow to finally bake some loaves. For now, enjoy our recipe (below) for gluten free zucchini and shredded coconut flat bread. For dinner, we toasted some of the bread and then blended it to use as bread crumbs for our Fish and Chips! (see image below). We also added some more fermented veggies on the side. Yummy and healthy!

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

White Fish With Fermented Goodness

It's been over a week since we began fermenting some red cabbage and celery! Today we decided to try some as a side dish to our tasty White Fish from Kolapore Springs. Fermented vegetables are very tasty! We are very happy with the results. They also create healthy bacteria for the immune system! We are now fermenting some napa cabbage so we can make some Kimchi Non Fried Rice next week.
Below: Healthy White Fish sautéed with organic leeks and garlic and served with a side of fermented organic red cabbage and celery spiced with organic cayenne pepper, sea salt and black pepper. Yummy!

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Cacao Fudge Zucchini Cookies

Over the weekend we purchased flax meal and wanted to try it out for our new cacao cookie recipe. We usually use chia seed powder because it has more health benefits than ground flax, but were curious to try something new. Last week we made our own sweetened cacao chunks for our double cacao and oatmeal cacao chunk cookies. We wanted to make more cacao chunks but decided to add more coconut cream to the recipe. It turned out more like fudge than chunks so we decided to go with it and make cacao fudge cookies instead of chunks. We also wanted to add zucchini to the recipe so they would be more chewy than our last batch of cookies. Very yummy! (see recipe below)

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Monday, June 11, 2012

Green Delicious

Apple crisp made with natural shredded coconut, organic oats, organic coconut nectar and organic (pre-soaked) nuts is a quick and easy dessert idea! We made 2 small servings in under 15 minutes. The ingredients in this recipe do not require a lot of cooking time except to soften the apples. We used organic granny smith apples for this recipe and the results were yummy!(see recipe below)

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Spicy Benefits

Curry spices are healthy! They each have their own health benefits and combining them means adding more health to your meals! We wanted to make another curry chicken dish and decided on chicken roti. Free-run vegetable grain-fed chickens, that are free of antibiotics, are a good source of protein, Vitamin B and selenium. Selenium is an essential component of thyroid hormone metabolism and immune function. We were unable to wrap our roti because of the gluten free flour we used, so we had an open roti meal. It was very tasty and healthy!

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Saturday, June 9, 2012

'Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace.'

Quote by May Sarton
Our indoor tomato and basil plants are growing healthy so far. The tomato plants are now 44 days old. It is a challenge to grow them indoors and it requires patience! Butterflies play a major role in gardening. During every walk to the park we see butterflies and moths, but we don't see too many around our neighbors' gardens. If you have an outdoor garden, you can raise your own butterflies for your backyard and help in maintaining the ecosystem. Here is an excellent link on attracting helpful animals to your garden.

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