Thursday, July 17, 2014

Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia Strawberry Jam

I just couldn’t help myself. 

I’ve been on vacation this week, enjoying my time off in the garden and getting some odds and ends done at home.  The weather has been overcast and or rainy all week, but I’m good with that.  I’m not a lover of the heat so this weather works for me, and it makes it easier to deal with the overgrown mess that is the flower beds around here.  The wet ground makes it much easier to pull out those pesky weeds. 

The veggie garden is coming along nicely.  I thought I was going to lose a lot when hurricane Arthur visited a couple weeks ago, but everything survived and has for the most part recovered nicely.  So far I’ve harvested, bok choy, mixed greens, kale, early turnip, radish, and garlic scapes. Still waiting on the tomatoes, cukes, cabbage, brussel sprouts, onions, peppers, potatoes and zucchini.  I didn’t want to let those garden spaces sit empty so I just planted some more radish, mixed greens, and peas a couple of days ago for a second harvest, and they have sprouted already.

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One of the the yummy things I wait all year for is our amazing Valley Strawberries.  These little red bundles of deliciousness just can’t be beat.  If only they were around longer. 

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There were a couple of boxes hanging out in the fridge that seemed to be destined for some jam.  Since I can’t make traditional jam to save my life Chia jam is a perfect solution.

Strawberry Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia Jam

1 pound fresh strawberries

2 –3 tbsp local honey or maple syrup

2 tbsp chia seeds

1/2  tsp vanilla

squeeze of lemon (optional)

Wash, hull and chop strawberries. I pulse mine in the blender or food processor a few times to speed the process up since strawberries take a little longer to break down than other berries, but you can skip that step if you like.

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Place chopped berries, and sweetener of choice in a pot over medium heat.  Mash with potato masher once they start to heat up (if you didn’t blend first) to get desired consistency. Bring to a boil add chia seeds, turn heat down to a simmer.  Continue to cook for another 5 – 7 minutes,  stirring frequently.  you can cook a little longer if the mixture still seems very liquid.  Remove from heat, add vanilla and squeeze of lemon if using.  While it’s cooling the magical chia seeds will do their job and thicken it nicely.

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Store in fridge to use right away or freeze for later use.

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Enjoy, have a qreat day!

~~ Jackie

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Tabouli Inspired Quinoa Salad

 

Summer is finally underway.  Last week was super hot, then Arthur blew in yesterday, and seems to still be hanging around based on the winds outside.  The wind and salt spray were not kind to the garden.  I think I lost most of my peppers and a number of tomato plants.  The chocolate tomatoes seemed to fare the worst.  Time will tell I guess.

Last weekend was my first trip to the Market in a while.  So many yummy things to chose from.  The number one thing on my list was Valley strawberries.  I wait all year for these delicious little berries and they never disappoint.  There really is nothing better.

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Other fresh finds – Beets, carrots, green onions, feta, free range eggs, zucchini, herbs, and sprouts

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Included in the purchases was a huge bunch bouquet of Italian parsley, that was supposed to be destined for Tabouli until I realized I didn’t have any tomatoes.  So I was forced to improvise.

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Tabouli Inspired Quinoa Salad

Amounts are approximate.

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa

Shredded purple cabbage, chopped or julienned carrots, diced yellow pepper, chopped green onions

1 1/2 cups chopped parsley (more or less to taste)

juice of 1 very juicy lemon (about 3 tbsp)

xtra large clove of garlic minced or (2-3 small cloves)

EVOO to taste (2 – 3 tbsp)

salt & pepper

RInse quinoa very well, and prepare per package instructions.  Let cool completely.  I always rinse my quinoa well,even though most says it’s already rinsed.  I still find it has a bitter taste if I skip this step.  I also almost always toast it first before adding the water.  Just place in the dry pot over medium – med high heat until slightly toasty.

Whisk oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper until well combined.  Add cold quinoa, veggies, and parsley.  Mix well.

There is a lot of healthy goodness in this salad.  Did you know 100 grams of parsley contains more vitamin C than an orange. It’s also an excellent source of vitamin K, A and folate.

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This type of salad is easy to change up, add more or less garlic, more cabbage, less peppers more lemon.  Make it your own, get creative and enjoy!

~~ Jackie

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Seven Spice Brown Butter Rice

Here is a simple and tasty side dish for you to try.  Don’t be scared because you see the word butter in the title and whatever you do don’t try to substitute that food like item, that is one molecule away from plastic (aka margarine) you may have in your fridge.  Personally I never liked the taste of margarine and for the most part have always used butter.  There was a short period of time where I did buy into the advertising and used olive oil Becel but it was short lived. 

Butter is a real food that your body knows what to do with and it isn’t the villain it has been made out to be. Grass fed and organic is the best choice because it contains more Omega 3 fats, vitamins (A,E, K2) and antioxidants.  I remember growing up my nanny making butter, from the milk that came from their cows that were milked by hand.  You can’t get more real or organic than that! 

Lets face it butter just tastes better and brown butter, well you just can’t go wrong.

SEVEN SPICE BROWN BUTTER RICE

  • 2 cups Basmati rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tbsp curry powder (or more if you like curry)
  • 3/4 tsp 7 spice
  • 1 - 2 cups organic spinach, chopped
  • 3 – 4 tbsp butter

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Rinse rice and cook according to package instructions.  In a skillet over medium heat melt butter cook till it is a medium brown colour.  Be careful though once it gets there it will burn quickly.  Turn the heat down a little bit and add the curry and seven spice.  Stir for a few seconds to let the heat bring out the flavour of the spices.  Add the rice and chopped spinach, stir to combine. 

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~~  Jackie

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Dark Chocolate Crispy Rice Treats

Hi everyone.  What fun and interesting activities did you partake in this weekend?  We celebrated our friends 50th birthday this weekend at a fancy dinner in Citadel Hill.  I’ve lived here my entire life and had no idea they held functions there.  It was a great evening with great food, and great people. 

Here’s a quick and easy treat for you courtesy of one of the PC Cooking school classes I went to.  It’s a different take on Rice Krispie treats.

DARK CHOCOLATE CRISPY RICE TREATS

  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup brown rice syrup
  • 3/4 cup smooth almond butter
  • 1/2 chopped dark chocolate (70%)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 cups krispy rice cereal

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Grease 9 1/2 x 11 pan and line with parchment paper.  Heat brown rice syrup and maple syrup to a boil. Remove from heat, add almond butter, chocolate, butter and salt.  Stir till chocolate melts  Pour over cereal and mix well.  Pack mixture firmly into prepared pan.  Chill for an hour in the fridge or about 15 minutes or so in the freezer.  Lift out of the pan and cut in squares.  These are best stored in the fridge.

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Have a good week.  Fingers crossed we’ll see some sun.

~ Jackie