Sunday, 31 July 2011

Will Run For Chocolate Banana Coffee Smoothies

The best part of early long Sunday runs (if you haven't convinced your running partner that you should eat cake or drink lattes instead) is eating breakfast for the second time.  Ideally your second breakfast is something delicious that someone else has prepared like the waffles and strawberry coulis that were being made at pace bunny's house (thanks for the tepid tap water by the way).


The next best thing is a chocolate banana coffee smoothie!   According to the my plate feature at www.livestrong.com this smoothie contains 235 calories, 5g of fibre, 5g of protein and 2g of fat (incase you were interested). 


Chocolate Banana Coffee Smoothie
(serves 1)

ingredients

1 frozen banana 
*1/2 C light soy milk 
1 tsp instant coffee
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until desired consistency is reached.   If you don't have a frozen banana you can reduce the amount of soy milk and add ice.


Saturday, 30 July 2011

Will Run For Chocolate Cherry Coconut Energy Bars/Balls

It was an innocent enough question, "Have you started planning for school yet?".  Who asks that question in July?!?  Rather than thinking about lesson planning, curriculum and the lovelies that will be in my class next year I started thinking about lunches and school snacks instead.

Sometimes you need a sweet treat to make it through the day (e.g. on days when you have an opera singing ballerina penguin in your classroom full of 9 & 10 year olds during your math lesson on probability).





Chocolate Cherry Coconut Energy Bars/Balls
(makes 15 bars/balls)

ingredients

4 C puffed kamut (puffed wheat, puffed millet, etc. also work well)
*1 C buckwheat honey
1 C unsweetened dried  coconut
1/2 C cocoa nibs
1/2 C dried cherries
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla paste (vanilla extract works as well)

* I've also used brown rice syrup and agave nectar but I found the bars to be fairly sticky and I had difficulty getting them to keep their shape.

In a large bowl combine kamut, cocoa nibs, dried cherries and dried coconut.

dry ingredients


In a medium saucepan combine honey, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and vanilla paste.  Bring to a boil and then turn down heat and simmer for approximately 5 minutes (this is not the time to check your e-mail, call your grandmother, etc.  If the honey boils over there will be a sticky disastrous mess.  Luckily, this didn't happen to me today but it was close).

resist the temptation to eat this on its own


Stir honey mixture with kamut mixture and press into a oiled 13 x 9 inch baking pan (I like silicone best for this).

turn onto cutting board


Let cool.  Cut into bars or roll into balls.  Oiling your knife and/or hands is helpful.

cut into bars or roll into balls

While I have been trying to avoid thinking about lesson planning, curriculum, etc.  I am very excited to be organizing a running club for my elementary school this year.  I found a very cool website www.runforlife.ca that has tonnes of resources that are definately worth checking out.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Will Run For Local Vegetables & Spicy Sweet Potato Hummus

spicy sweet potato hummus

There isn't anything particularly exciting about hummus.  There is however something very exciting about giant oregon snow peas, garlic and zucchini from Spill The Beans Farm!  My favourite farmer weaselled me  into picking about 30 litres of peas (plus the 3 litres that I ate while in the field) with the promise of being able to eat as many peas as I wanted.  I was also lucky enough to leave the farm with two heads of local garlic and 2 zucchinis.  While all of these vegetables are delicious a little dip never hurt anyone.



hardneck garlic


giant oregon snow peas

farmer & her zucchinis 



Spicy Sweet Potato Hummus
( 2 1/2 C)


ingredients

1 19oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (nothing is more disgusting than bean slime)
1/4 C fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp olive oil 
1 clove local garlic
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp chipoltle chili pepper 
1/3 C mashed sweet potato (optional)

In your blender combine chickpeas, lime juice, cilantro, olive oil, garlic (I put mine through the garlic press first), cumin, chipotle, & salt.

Add mashed sweet potato.  Thin with extra lime juice if necessary.

Serve with seasonal local vegetables.   Garnish with chipotle chili pepper (sparingly) and fresh cilantro.  This hummus also tastes great in a wrap made with an ezekial sprouted grain wrap, sunflower sprouts, avocado, cucumber, and tomato.

If you are in the area check out the Eat Local Co-op stall at Market Square for peas, potatoes, & zucchinis from Spill The Beans Farm










Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Will Run For Maple Rice Pudding



Today Pace Bunny and I officially started training for the www.torontowaterfrontmarathon.com !

We are only running the 1/2 marathon and have decided to call it the FULL (it doesn't seem like a big deal when you say your are doing half of something) 1/2 Martini Marathon (we're taking training very seriously as you can tell). 

After running a marathon that Pace Bunny is still having flash backs about* and a 10K that made me think I should buy a florescent purple wind suit, a sweatband and take up mall walking we decided to train for the 1/2 with the goal of having a  finish line photo where we don't look like death or sausages stuffed into our running gear (Pace Bunny's shorts were pretty short today and since when is there a gap between my running shirt and shorts).

*(NEVER take copious amounts of Immodium before running 42 kilometres regardless of how many times you have to visit the portapotty before the race begins)

How is all of this related to rice pudding?  On a cool summer day (or what was a cool day) rice pudding makes a pretty good post run snack.  

  
Maple Rice Pudding

ingredients

1/3 C maple syrup 
3 Tbsp cornstarch
2 C soy, dairy or nut milk  (I used Unsweetened So Nice)
1-2 TBSP vanilla bean paste
1/4 C dates or raisins chopped (soaked in just boiled water for 5-10 minutes)
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2-2 C cooked brown or white rice (depending on how creamy you like your pudding)

In a medium saucepan mix maple syrup & cornstarch.  Gradually stir in milk.  Cook over medium heat until it comes to a boil and then simmer for 1 minute (it's important to stir or you could potentially end up with a burnt mess...yuck!).

Add nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla bean paste.

Add cooked rice.

Pour into serving dishes (or eat it directly from the pot) and refrigerate until ready to serve.  Candied walnuts would make a great addition to this recipe as well.  Yum!

You could switch this recipe up by substituting some coconut milk for soy milk and adding fresh or dried mango and pineapple.  You could add an assortment of spices such as cardamom, allspice, cloves, etc.  Have fun with it.






Monday, 25 July 2011

Will Run For Vanilla Bean Rum Ice Cream



An ice cream maker can be a dangerous thing in the hands of someone like me.  With an ice-cream maker at my disposal there is very little standing between me and copious amounts of cookie dough, vanilla and chocolate chip ice-cream.

Last night I was lucky enough to get together for dinner with four of my favourite people.  Several of us used to get together over the guise of book club (more like buffet club) until we couldn't take anymore Jane Jacobs, Dean Koontz or Lucy Maud Montgomery (what were we thinking?!?) .   It was a great excuse to make vanilla bean rum ice cream.

Vanilla Bean Rum Ice Cream

ingredients

1 cup sugar  (I used camino golden cane sugar)
2 tsp lemon juice
*2 C 35% cream
1 C 2% milk
1 vanilla bean pod
2 Tbsp rum

If you have an ice cream maker place in your freezer at least 24 hours before you begin making ice-cream.  Thoroughly combine all ingredients.  Pour in ice cream maker and freeze until desired consistency is reached.  Pour into storage container and place in freezer for 3-4 hours.  Ice cream will need to thaw slightly before being served.

If you are without an ice cream maker simply place mixture in a shallow container and place in freezer until desired consistency is reached.  Stir several times.

If you were hoping for a dairy free recipe check out  www.theveganscoop.com for ice cream and sorbet recipes.  Maybe it's time for another dinner party.

*Do not try to make this recipe "skinny" by replacing the 35% cream unless of course you were hoping for a block of ice.  


Friday, 22 July 2011

Will Run For Not Your Mother's Macaroons

Sometimes a girl needs chocolate, lots and lots of chocolate!  Even better than chocolate is frozen chocolate.  When I think of frozen chocolate I think of eating macaroons that have just come out of the freezer and are ready to be put in tins full of holiday baking (assuming that they actually make it that far).



Since my mother makes the most delicious chocolate macaroons I thought that I would call her and ask for the recipe.  Who knew that chocolate bunnies + oats + coconut + vanilla extract = macaroons.  She was able to dig me out an actual recipe but sometimes you don't really need to know about the 2 cups of sugar or 1/2 cup of butter that are in your dessert.

Trouble makers with my silicone bowl while I  was getting the recipe from my mother!

After all of that I decided to try something a little different.  These aren't my mother's macaroons but I can't promise that won't go directly from the freezer into my belly.


chocolate macaroons


Not Your Mother's Macaroons
(12 + 5 (for tast testing) )

ingredients

* 1/4 C date paste 
3 Tbsp cocoa
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/2 C unsweetened coconut
1 C rolled oats
2 Tbsp melted coconut oil

* You can make date paste by soaking 1 cup dried dates in water for 4-6 hours, draining the dates and then blending them into a smooth paste.  If you are impatient you can soak them for an hour or so, save 3 Tbsp of the water that they were soaking in and microwave them with reserved date water for 1-2 minutes and then blend into a smooth paste.  As you might imagine I used the impatient version.  

Add cocoa, vanilla bean paste and melted coconut oil to date paste.

Add coconut and rolled oats.

Drop by the spoonful onto a lined (with wax paper or silicone mat) baking sheet or plate.  Place in freezer for 5 -10 minutes.  Best enjoyed directly from the freezer.  Yum!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Will Run For Summer Salad With Strawberry Vinaigrette



The only thing better than picking fruits and vegetables out of your own garden is picking fruits and vegetables out of a garden that you didn't have to weed.  However,  I can occasionally be convinced to weed if I'm allowed to sample the produce as I weed.  Luckily, this time there was no weeding involved (or bugs, or snakes, or dirt caked under my nails) only two delicious baskets of strawberries.



If baskets of strawberries weren't enough my nasturtium flowers are finally in full bloom.  My garden at home this year consists of kale, spinach, nasturtiums, rosemary, mint and lavender (and even then I can't really be trusted to weed or water).  

Summer Salad

(serves 2)

This salad makes me think of my grandmother.  She will take iceberg lettuce over 'weeds' anyway so I can hear her saying 'no thank you' (code for I would rather eat my own leg) to this salad.  For those of us who are a little more adventurous this salad is delicious!

Ingredients

4 C mixed greens
*1/4 C spiced nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts)
1/4 C diced dates (approximately 7)
1 orange 
*strawberry vinaigrette
10-15 nasturtium flowers & leaves

Gently rinse greens, nasturtium flowers and leaves (unless you don't mind little critters in your salad bowl).   Add diced dates, spiced nuts, and thinly sliced orange slices.  Drizzle with strawberry vinaigrette.





Strawberry Vinaigrette
(3/4 Cup)

After making some pretty bland salad dressings (and feeding them to dinner guests) I thought I would try something a little more exciting.  I came across an interesting recipe at www.wellpreserved.ca but decided to tweak it a little (any excuse to eat maple syrup, lime juice and sunflower oil).

Ingredients

1 C strawberries
1Tbsp maple syrup (not table syrup)
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp sunflower oil
1 tsp poppy seeds

In a small bowl combine strawberries and maple syrup.  Let stand for approximately 1 hour so that the sugar will pull the juices from the berries.

In a blender combine strawberries, maple syrup, lime juice, balsamic vinegar, olive and sunflower oils.  Blend until desired consistency is reached.

Add poppy seeds and enjoy.



Spiced Nuts
(1 C)

Ingredients

1 1/2 tsp earth balance
1 cup nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds)
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp chile powder
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
pinch chipotle powder

Melt earth balance in skillet.

Add nuts and stir until nuts are coated with butter.

Stir in maple syrup until nuts are coated.  Add spices.

Transfer to a baking stone (I covered mine with a silicone mat).   Roast at 300F for 5-10 minutes (watch carefully). 


Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Will Run For Garden Rolls

What isn't there to love about garden rolls?  Not only are they filled with delicious mango, avocado, mint, cilantro, snow peas, peppers, etc. but they are the perfect vessel for peanut sauce.


I first discovered garden rolls and Thai cuisine several years ago during a road trip to Toronto.  I also discovered that there were mice in the restaurant that we were eating at.  It is never good when the cook comes out of the kitchen with a mousetrap in his/her hand.  Since then I've found a new favourite Thai restaurant and I started making my own garden rolls.

Garden Rolls


Ingredients

The ingredients list is really flexible.  Use your favourite vegetables and fresh herbs.  You might consider using green onions, green or yellow beans, tofu, chick'n, tempeh, etc.  The serving size of this recipe is also very flexible depending on the variety and quantity of vegetables selected.

rice paper 
mango thinly sliced
avocado thinly sliced
lettuce (I prefer romaine)
mint finely chopped
cilantro finely chopped
red, yellow and orange pepper thinly sliced
snow peas in pods thinly sliced
garlic scapes thinly sliced (only the curly part)

Begin by thinly slicing all of your vegetables: mango, avocado, peppers, garlic scapes, etc.



Next, cut the 'rib' out of your romaine leaves.  This will make it much easier to roll your garden rolls.  In each leaf place a selection of your favourite vegetables/herbs.  Resist the urge to overfill otherwise rolling them up will be a nightmare and you'll have to eat the flops (and that would be awful).  Wrap the vegetables as tightly as you can in a romaine leaf.



Place rice paper in very warm water (I continue to add boiled water as I make the garden rolls) for approximately 15 seconds.  When  it is soft lay it down flat on a dishtowel.

Place romaine leaf  in the centre of the rice paper.  Fold bottom of rice wrap over vegetables.  Then fold over right side (or left) and turn over until the vegetables are well wrapped.  Fold the open top over until it is closed.

fold bottom

fold and roll

ready to be cut in half


Cut garden rolls in half.

Serve with peanut sauce.

garden rolls and peanut sauce in  terrible lighting

Peanut Sauce

This recipe originally started as k.d lang's Indonesian salad with spicy dressing.  It is worth checking out in The Compassionate Cook or "Please Don't Eat the Animals!" A Vegetarian Cookbook.


1/4 C + 1 TBSP crunchy just peanuts peanut butter
4 cloves of local garlic
4 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp maple syrup (not table syrup)
1 Tbsp soya sauce (I like kikkoman)
2 tsp tamari (www.pristinegourmet.com
2 Tbsp water 
Pinch chipotle chili powder 

Combine everything in blender until desired consistency is reached.  If you aren't mad about lime juice substitute light coconut milk for some or all of the lime juice.







Monday, 18 July 2011

Will Run For Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

peanut butter oatmeal dog biscuits with cilantro & rosemary

How much time have you spent this past week talking about dog treats, dog toys, dog feeding schedules, crate training, obedience classes, vaccinations?  If it is more than you care to admit this post is for you.  We've always been really concerned about what we feed our dog (I endured 3 months of making Jeb's dog food in the name of having a healthy happy dog.  There is only so much meat a vegetarian can take! He now happily eats Acana Lamb & Apple championpetfoods.com

Reading the labels of dog treats can be pretty scary!  So with the help of Dr. Khalsa's Natural Dog: A Holistic Guide For Healthier Dogs and The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur I made some dog biscuits (the same day that it was 28 degrees, there was absolutely no wind, and the air-conditioner wasn't working).

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Dog Biscuits

Ingredients 

1 1/2 C whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup oats (not instant I used Loon Song Garden oats)
1/3 C peanut butter (use a variety that only contains peanuts)
3/4 C just boiled vegetable stock or water
1/4 C chopped cilantro 
1 Tbsp dried rosemary (from Spill The Beans Farm)

Preheat oven to 300F.  Place baking stone in the oven.

In a large bowl combine pastry flour, oats and peanut butter.

Add just boiled vegetable stock.  Mix with hands until well combined.

Add fresh and/or dried herbs.

add herbs to dough

Roll.  Use your favourite cookie cutter to cut out shapes (dog bones, fire hydrants, etc.).  Alternatively you could roll the dough into tiny balls and flatten them to use as training treats.



roll and use your favourite cookie cutter

Bake on baking stone for approximately 25 minutes at 300 F.  Allow to cool before storing.

* I like to keep my dog treats in the freezer but they will stay fresh in a sealed container for 3-5 days.


finished product

Jeb approved
I am my mother (she has a dog 'photo shoot' almost everyday).  I can't pass up an opportunity to share some of my favourite dogs in action.

showers

dog wings















Saturday, 16 July 2011

Will Drive 1500 Kilometres For Puppy

Felicia where the 'F" are we?


Why have just one bouvier when you can have two or thirteen?

Hank's many brothers and sisters

It's probably best not to pick the puppies that are terrorizing the flower garden!

trouble x 3!
Unbelievably quiet ride home.

very long car ride home
I don't know about this?  We're not taking him home are we?

well hello.
Resting after playing outside all day with his new furry friends at his Granny's.

so sleepy

Two bouviers are definately better than just one (now we just need to convince Jeb).



quiet time.

As I type Hank is laying at my feet catching up on all of the sleep that he didn't get last night and Jeb is sprawled out in the entrance.  I think I might be able to get used to this.

I see a dog biscuit recipe in the future.







Thursday, 14 July 2011

Will Run For Vintage Tupperware Hamburger Press


I was not so secretly very excited when my grandmother gave me a 'vintage' tupperware hamburger press.  If you are wondering what a vegetarian does with a hamburger press she makes raw cocoa nib and oatmeal cookies with it of course.


cookie dough 'batter' 

hamburger press

raw cocoa nib and oatmeal cookies

raw cacao nib and oatmeal cookie balls

my kitchen 'helper'


* oats are not technically raw but they are pretty close (incase you were concerned :P)





Raw Cocoa Nib & Oatmeal Cookies
(7 large cookies or 14 balls)

Ingredients


1 C medjool dates (approximately 10)
1/2 C oatmeal (not quick cooking)
1/2 C raw almonds
1 vanilla bean + 1 tsp water (or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
1 Tbsp cocoa nibs (raw chocolate nibs  I used Navita naturals)

In a blender combine oats and almonds.  Pulse until you have a course powder.

Add dates, vanilla bean scrapings + 1 tsp water to oats and almonds and pulse until mixture sticks together.

Add cocoa nibs.  Roll into balls or use your 'vintage' hamburger press to make cookies.

* I like to store cookies in the refrigerator or freezer.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Will Run For Garlic Scape Pesto

Garlic Scape Pesto

There are many benefits to having your very own farmer.  One of them is all of the garlic scapes a girl could dream of.   Unfortunately, the farmer weaselled me into picking, washing, and bundling 180 green onions before she would hand over the garlic scapes.  It was worth it.

This pesto is fairly intense so a little goes a long way.  It would be great with linguine, cherry tomatoes, and black olives or mixed with grilled vegetables on a sandwich. 

**I wouldn't recommend eating this pesto before going out for a run.  Unless, of course you don't really like your running partner or you're trying to get back at her for making you run on the hottest day of the year.

See recipe below:


 garlic scapes at Spill The Beans Farm

garlic scapes

roughly chop scapes

add roughly chopped basil

raw sunflower seeds

blend

grilled vegetable sandwich
Garlic Scape Pesto

Ingredients

5 garlic scapes chopped (1 heaping cup)
1/2 C fresh basil
2/3 C raw sunflower seeds
1/4 C soup stock (or water)
1/4 C olive oil
1/4 C sunflower oil + 3 TBLSP ( olive oil works as well)

Begin by roughly chopping garlic scapes (I did not use the very tip of the scape).  Roughly chop basil.  Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until well combined.  You may have to scrape down the sides of the blender a few times in order to get a smooth pesto.  In order to keep the basil in the pesto green add a little olive/sunflower oil to the top of your pesto once it is in it's storage container.

Enjoy!