Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Set some carrots aflame, make them your soup.

I really dig Occasions magazine. It like to read about all the newly-released alcohol I can't afford, and dream about the ones I will purchase someday. I also enjoy the recipes, usually created by local chefs and paired with wine, beer or spirits. While I often doddle and procrastinate for years before trying a recipe that I've clipped out or copied down, I made this recipe the day after I first read it. Roasted Carrot and Cumin Soup? It called to me. This one's incredibly easy.

About to set these carrots on fire!
I made mine with rainbow carrots, so the colour isn't a normal carrot orange but a deeper, more pumkiny hue. Root vegetables are very grounding, connecting us to our centre and helping us settle down and not be so flighty. Goes nicely with this time of the year, don't you think? These qualities are enhanced further when you roast them (the carrots, not the qualities). If you've got a bag of carrots (preferably local and doubly preferable-- unsprayed or organic), and a decently-stocked spice cupboard, you can make this soup right now. Get lost in a book or some work, and you'll blink before this soup is done. My carrots only took 40 minutes to roast, as I cut them pretty small, therefore shortening the time between being tempted by the awesome aroma of roasting carrots, garlic, and... oh wait. I used garlic in lieu of onions in this recipe, as Brucifer abhors onions. 
Cookin' this soup twice, gettin' all the beta carotene!
Here's how to roast garlic: Take a head of garlic and chop off the top so a little bit of each garlic clove is exposed. Rub the whole thing in olive oil. Cover it in foil. Chuck it on  the pan with the carrots in the oily spice rub. When the carrots are done, remove the foil from the bulb (careful, it will be hot-- let it cool some!), and squeeze the garlic up and out of the holes in the top of the  skins. The garlic will ooze out nicely (a bit sticky maybe, but I've still found this to be the best way). Puree the roasted garlic with the roasted carrots, the water or broth (less if you like it thicker) and you're golden. I also added some nutritional yeast to mine, for the extra vitaminions! 

This bowl of soup has a nipple.
Let me know if you make this soup. Carrot makes for good soup. I'll totally root for it! 


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Miso Soup for Ninjas!

Miso (a fermented, aged soybean paste) is one of the most nourishing foods on the planet. Really really. It's been around since 800 BC, and there's probably a pretty solid reason for that. It's a good source of calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, many B vitamins, as well as easy-to-digest protein. It's possible you find that boring. Stay with me.... it also helps improve crappy, weak digestion, is used to help treat cancer, to alkalinize overly acidic bodies, as a libido tonic (you heard me), as well as to heal several types of intestinal infections. Miso's got lots of antioxidants such as sapoins and melanoidins (moreso in the darker, aged versions). It's got lots of good bacteria which increases the overall usability of nutrients as well as myriad other benefits. Miso helps you rid your body of excess tobacco. In traditional Japan, miso is still used to remove tar from smoker's pipes! That blew my mind just a bit.

I promised you guys forever ago that I'd give you my recipe for miso soup. Not sure why it took me so long, but it did. Allow me to mention in advance that this is the Beany von Doom take on the traditional miso soup. A real miso soup is usually mostly broth, peppered with a few vegetables, some tofu and seaweed and is generally meant as a starter course. When it's a main meal, it's generally a light meal meant for healing. Enter my miso soup. It is a meal that will not leave you wanting and I'm not frigging around. Adjust the quantity depending on your appetite or the number of folks you intend to feed. 

Basically, I boil about two cups of water in a small pot, add three or four dried shitake mushrooms, between one and a half and two cups of seasonal vegetables (make sure to have some greens!), a quarter of a block of fresh cubed tofu or a few pieces of frozen fried tofu, and some kamut soba or spaghetti. Simmer this for 15 minutes with the lid partially askew. This way much of the water evaporates, and we're left with enough to make a broth, but not so much that you'll be full off water. 

When the vegetables are suitably tender, ladle out a bit of broth in a small bowl and add a heaping teaspoon of miso paste. If this isn't enough, you can add a bit more, but remember that miso is extremely salty! Whisk to combine, then add it back to the soup. This step is important, because if you boil the miso, the heat destroys many of its beneficial properties. To cool it down,  I add a splash of rice wine and sometimes some hot sauce or spicy seasoning. This is an awesome ninjalike move, definitely not a traditional monastic one, not that there's anything wrong with monks.

Voila. You just ate lots of vegetables for breakfast! This is actually my favourite breakfast. I'll often prepare the soup before I begin to exercise, let it simmer, then take it out to cool partway through my workout. When I'm done, it's ready, and I'm rewarded with my lovely soup. I eat it, breathe in the steam, and continue to sweat. It's awesome. It's a very alkalinizing start to your day. Your cells have a fighting chance!

Do you make miso soup? What the heck is yours like? What else do you do with miso?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Kale Satan!

I've probably eaten too much kale today and it's only 2pm. Kale, as you may or may not know, is a leafy green vegetable which has many varieties. It's got the highest antioxidant rating of any commonly-eaten vegetable (I'm sure someone would debate this, but it's generally held to be true), it's beautiful, and I think it's generally pretty badass. I went from hating it to tolerating it to liking it to loving it. The nutritionist in me was the one to push. "LOVE KALE OR DIE, BEEYOTCH!" I said to myself, or some such thing. I said the same with seaweed. I made it happen in both instances. With enough willingness, I believe you can make yourself like any food. I don't even mind cilantro now.

Brassica bra, or bra-ssica. 
Yup. If I ever get married, I'd do it in the autumn, and carry a huge bunch of kale down the aisle with me. I love holding a humongous bunch of kale. Makes me feel very alive, very strong (lots of vitamin K and calcium in those leaves!), and very beautiful. 

Anyway, back to kale consumption! This morning I woke up on day two of my cleanse and was keen to make a whole juice with my Blendtec blender. I concocted a juice from some purple kale, blueberries, a pear, an apple, and some ginger. I put too much water in it and it tasted kinda bland, so I won't bog you down with a shitty recipe. But I was feeling MIGHTY good after that, and additionally after my peppermint yerba mate with with almond milk and syrup from the tit of the Mother Maple Tree (a crude yet apt analogy from the geniuses at Epic Meal Time). 

Fastforward to my first meal of the day, after recording my workout on Fitocracy, I decided to make some Hail to the Kale salad, a recipe from the company who shan't be named where I used to work (although you can click to see). Brucifer isn't too into vinegary dressings so he wasn't into this, but I ate a ton of it alongside some sprouted grain bread and some happier eggs (free-range from a cute little Menonite farm). 

Goth Kale Salad
Anyway, I feel like a crazy person I feel so good right now. Part of it's the cleanse, part of it's the juice from this morning, and part of it I'm sure is the kale overload (and the sunshine outside)! I'm about to go for a massive walk in the park to check out some squirrels. I'll report back if the kale was an overload (I'll be able to tell). Because you know, you can overdo everything (even kale and links and parentheses-- what the hell is my problem today!?) you like or love kale? If so, how do you like it? 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Sushi, beet cake, and 40 years of marriage!

My parents might've predicted that they'd be married 40 years (hopefully most newlyweds have this hope at first!), but they probably didn't predict they'd be at the cottage making sushi and eating beet cake for their 40th anniversary party. 

Instead of a traditional gift, my brother and I rigged them up with all the gear they'd need and taught them something they could use throughout life-- how to make delicious and nourishing sushi. We made sure they knew that t there's no limit to what you can put in sushi (even though it might prompt trained sushi chefs to weep), as our "Thanksgiving Roll" exemplified!

This is my plate: avocado and mashed sweet potato with sweet chili sauce, a Korean Gimbap roll (pickled radish/mu, kimchi, avocado), and the one most universally loved by all-- the Thanksgiving Roll (tofurkey-- they used real turkey, cranberry sauce, dressing, and I totally put some gravy on mine too)! An awesome way to use up Thanksgiving leftovers whilst getting some wonderful sea minerals!
I think Mom's getting a chopstick refresher lesson from my brother here. She caught on quickly.
My Dad, rockin' the chopsticks.
Aw, it's my wonderful family (including Brucifer) eating homemade sushi together! I'm taking the photo, though-- so please assume I look smashing!
I didn't want to use artificial food colouring in my icing, so I chose Swedish Berries. Then I realized there's artificial colouring(as well as natural) in the Swedish Berries (which are vegan!) Anyway, I think they look like l'il rubies here-- and it was my parents' Ruby Anniversary, so huzzah!
And here's the lovely couple, 40 years married. I forgot that my Dad was using the stained glass 40 he made for my grandparent's 40th the cake said 40 twice-- one for the first 40 and one for the next?

I went to the kitchen after the cake'd been de-panned and I saw that my brother had made some Beany von Doom-approved baked good grafitti. He later edited his own message to say "beef power" but I didn't glorify that with a photo!

That's right- a beet cake! I suppose it's not the first beet cake I've shown you here, but I still think the concept is amazing no matter how many times I make one. I made a cake version of the  Velvet Cupcakes from Jae Steele's Ripe From Around Here. The cake batter itself was a lovely fuschia colour, and the cake often ends up with a reddish tinge, but ever so slight. The cake was moist and delicious, just as a chocolate cake should be. It even prompted a story about my Dad taking chocolate cake in his lunchbag to school way back in the friggin' '50s (were they called the friggin' '50s?). 

His teacher called him to come to the front of the class. "Bobby, could you bring in a copy of your mother's chocolate cake recipe?" Panic subsided. Grammie earned the reputation of being a fantastic cook, having routinely fed dozens of her husband's woodsmen buddies at lunchtime each day). On top of that, her chocolate cake looked moist and delious. I'm honoured that a chocolate cake I made (one of dozens before it) prompted a story that reminded my dad of his mother's baking!

We had an awesome Thanksgiving weekend (two weeks ago now, geez!) and I hope that if nothing else my parents get some use of of the rice cooker and enjoy many more years of happiness and health living together!


Your daughter and your other unconventional kid

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Carrot facial

A friend of mine just sent me this and said it reminded him of me. I feel mixed, but mostly awesome. Enjoy.



Friday, August 12, 2011

Saffron smoothie for Grampie

My grandfather wasn't Middle Eastern (his last name was Scott!), and I'm guessing he's probably never tried saffron, but this smoothie is still dedicated to him. I served it in a Home Hardware cup, as that's where he worked for years. Grampie passed into the Great Beyond this morning, and he will be missed by many. If I'd had beer (he enjoyed it in small amounts in his younger years), I'd've put a splash of that in too. And turnips. And garden peas. These are the things that remind me of Grampie. RIP, John Burris Reid Scott.

The Burris

1 c. almond milk
3 medjool dates
2 tsp tahini
2 or 3 strands of saffron*
1/8 tsp cardamom, ground
1/3 c. pumpkin puree

*Saffron has shown to have significant cognitive effect on mild to moderate Alzheimer's patients. I just heard this last week. My grampie was suffering from severe Alzheimer's at the time of his death. I'm a new lover of good, real saffron, which I'll talk more about later. 

Now I've gotta go be with my family. 

Be well and have an awesome weekend! 

Friday, August 5, 2011

I've got tea and Jager in every crevice!

My computer sucks. My AA batteries are all toast. My online presence has suffered. Anyway, I managed to squeeze enough juice out of my batteries to document some of the goodness I've been up to lately. This summer has been super fun and awesome so far, and I hope yours has too.

It was pretty chilly this morning which reminded me of shirking all my other duties, throwing on some wool socks, blasting some awesome 70s rock, and baking. So I did. I took a huge bunch of kale and made it into chips. Kind of morbidly, I photographed the kale chips beside my kale that's growing. THIS IS WHAT YOU WILL BECOME, KALE!

Meanwhile, I made a blueberry smoothie with coffee and peanut butter, then baked up a variation on Matthew Kadley's Maple Pumpkin Tea Loaf.  I kept it pretty similar to Matthew's recipe except I used flax seeds (1T. ground flax+ 3 T. war, water per egg) in lieu of eggs, light spelt flour, instead of wheaty business, I added pumpkin seeds rather than walnuts, Jagermeister-soaked raisins (YES, JAGER-SOAKED RAISINS! SOAKED FOR A DAY in magical German cough medicine!!) in lieu of dried cherrries, and I topped the loaf with Maple Omega Crunch shelled flax! Pretty delicious. I enjoyed the loaf with the iced tea (served in the mini New Brunswick stein I got at PEDVAC, the awesome thrift store close to my parents' cottage)  I made yesterday. No recipe-- just strong black tea, lemon juice and raw sugar. I don't like any bottled iced tea I've ever had-- why would you? Pretty much the only drink I like that comes in a bottle also has the power to get me drunk. Alcohol is supposed to agecfor a while. Everything else should be made fresh. So there. 

Also, in case you were wondering, I haven't stopped making Indian food. Man, it's fantastic with fresh summer vegetables. This dish translates as "Nine Jewels." The jewels are vegetables, obv. 

I also scored a good deal on a mandolin slicer o cut vegetables all fancy-like. Stay tuned to see if I actually use it! 



Tuesday, June 21, 2011


In fact, I've been eating and stuff. Here's what you missed!

Spring has brought us some awesome fresh produce. No offense to the noble beet and turnip, but-- see you next fall!

Strawberry rhubarb apple and blueberry crisp. All but the strawberries were local (wasn't berry season yet. Blueberries were frozen). Oh yes, and cashew cream. 

This was absolutely one of the best dishes I made over the last month. My only regret is not trying to recreate it. Fiddlehead pasta with olives, mushrooms, garlic, balsamic turmeric goodness. 

This is a rendition of a maple flax brownie that I make. They're truly a health food brownie. Brucifer wanted to put nuts on the top. He decorated it beautifully. Also we threw on some maple omega crunch shelled flax. 

A stir fry with cabbage, carrots, spinach, maybe some other vegetables. Served with fake chickens and salt and asian cucumber salad.

An amazing breakfast. Indian scrambled eggs, Earth Balanced toast and stir fry with mushrooms, rainbow chard, asparagus. Yes. I eat eggs now from free run hens. 

Rhubarb cupcakes with rhubarb icing. Yes, really. The frosting was more gorgeous than the photo managed to capture. 

I understand that this looks rather ghastly, or perhaps gothy if I was being kind. I like this sort of a meal, though. Stir fried vegetables with soy sauce and fried tofu on toast. And some hot sauce for good measure. 

This was my rushed pre-birthday trip meal. A tuno sandwich with yellow carrots and some wilted swiss chard on the side. 

This $23 breakfast at the Fairmont Algonquin was AMAZING. This was a salmon dish and I asked for a vegetarian version and they made me little carrot burgers! With avocado salsa!!

Other than the Algonquin, this was the best meal that could be had in St. Andrew's NB on a Wednesday evening in the off-season. The sauce was pretty good, but the vegetable selection weak. 

After my sushi dance party I wanted to make more sushi with the remnants. My brother's sushi was prettier. This was made in haste. Pickled radish (mu), kimchi, cucumber and shitake.

Blueberry grunt. This is so goddamned good. I will make a strawberry grunt soon. 

I got a li'l BBQ from my friends on my birthday. For a couple of weeks I went pretty apeshit. My ambitious first attempt to BBQ anything finds me BBQing a homemade black bean burger with carrot, onion, sweet potato. Most of it fell in the BBQ. 

Fermento burger! Here's the same burger but with sauerkraut, mu and kimchi. I digested that! 

Good ol' Yves veggie dogs with grilled asparagus and mushrooms. Oh, and obviously sauerkraut!

Yves veggie chicken burger salad with PC Smokin' Stampede Chipotle Beer BBQ sauce-based dressing. And sauekraut. And lettuces. 

Homemade chickpea burger topped with fried egg on rye bread with lime ponzu grilled asparagus. This meal felt amazing!

This was some sort of leftover meal-- a lentil soup, I think, mixed with leftover basmati rice and served with kimchi for extra digestibility. 

Chickpea burger BBQd (success!) with asparagus and pepper rings! 

Coconut cinnamon toast with strawberry heart, two lovely fried eggs and mixed greens with caesary dresssing. 

Japanese vegetable stew with asparagus (can't get enough), shitake, buttom and enoki mushrooms, and spinach. From this book.

Sukiyaki (calorie-less yam noodle dish with fried tofu and vegetables)-- asparagus, mushroom, cabbage, kale and ginger. It's got a soy sauce-mirin dressing. Oh yeah! From the same book.

Kamut noodles with kale, arame seaweed, black sesame seeds, toasted sesame oil and ginger. This was ridiculous and so quick. A la Jae Steele's Get it Ripe

Holy living hell this was delicious! Warm NEW POTATO potato salad with asparagus and kale and the first egg I've hardboiled in the last 11 or so years. Also some bacony bits. Amazing. 

Fresh local strawberry shortcake. My first attempt at biscuits. Cashew cream. I might make this again tonight. 

So yes, this is what I've been eating. Please accept this photo overload while I scrape together the story of what's been preventing me from writing. 

Have you been enjoying spring's bounty? I hope so. 



Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The best and the worst week so far!

Week 4

Monday, May 2

-1 c. curry leftovers  (2)
-pita and baba ganoush 1/4 c. (0.5)
-lunch: raw carrot ginger cashew soup (3 servings)

-supper: rest of soup (3 servings) with rye crackers

Total: 8.5

Tuesday, May 3

-samosa (2)- that's right that thing was FULL of potatoes and peas!, hummus and pita
-Kopi colada with coconut and pineapple (no real fruit here I don't imagine), bourbon
-quick but homemade chili with garlic bread (2)
-carrot (1)
-1/2 Crowbar 

Total: 5

Wednesday, May 4

-Breakfast at 2pm: tuno sandwich with 1/2 c.lettuce, tomato, kraut (1)
-supper: piece of toast with 1/2c. chili sauce  (1)
-another piece of toast, tapioca pudding. Kinda rebelling against myself today. 

Total: 2

Thursday, May 5

-miso soup with 1.5 c. carrot, enoki mushrooms, shitake mushrooms (3), 1c. spinach (1)
(That's right-- 4 servings of vegetables FOR BREAKFAST!)
 -guacamole (1), sweet potato dip with cucumber (2)
-Magaritas with fresh lime juice (1), 1 serving of organic blue corn chips (these are too healthy not to count (1)! Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Total: 9

Friday, May 6

-smoothie with 1 c. blueberry, 1/2 banana (2.5)
-1 c. red pepper/mushroom/garlic/spinach/garlic in stir fry (2)

Total: 4.5

Saturday, May 7

-leftovers from last night (2)
-pakora--cabbage and potato (1) + 1 c. vegetables in salad (2)
-1/2 lime in Margarita (0.5)-- I'm getting the official word on how much lemon and lime juice count for-- until then, I will count as such

Total: 5.5

Sunday, May 8

-BLT with 1/2 c. lettuce and tomato. I don't frig around (1)
-Fried tofu and vegetable stir fry from Robie Food (6) + veg spring roll (1)-- I ate this in two sittings

Total: 8

Daily average for the week: 6.07-- Best so far! 

Week 5 (this is where I really screwed the pooch):

Monday, May 9

-smoothie with 1 c. strawberry (2) + 1/2 banana (0.5)
-egg sandwich with 1/2 c. lettuce, tomato and green pepper (1)

Total total: 3.5

Tuesday, May 10

-BLT with 1/2 c. Fun Jen and tomato (1)
-Indian food combo from Taste of India (1.5)
-burger with 1/2c. Fun Jen, tomato (1)
-molten chocolate cake 

Total: 3.5

Wednesday, May 11

-cake (yup. for breakfast. don't tell anyone)
-Thai fiddleheads 1 c. (2) with rice and tamarind chickpeas
-more chickpeas and rice
-sufficient number of delicious cupcakes

Total: 2

Thursday, May 12

-BELT with extra lettuce (1)
-Crownola-- Crowbar granola
-red lentil soup with 1 c. carrot/beet turnip (2), 1c. spinach (1), 1/2c. peas/corn 
Total: 4.5

Friday, May 13

-miso soup with shitake, carrot (2), 2 c. spinach (2)
-hummus and delicious organic blue corn chips (2)
-margaritas with 1 lemon (1) Thanks, Cinco de Mayo!

Total: 7

Saturday, May 14

-hummus and chips
-pakora (1)
-tostada with lettuce, avocado, tomato (1)
-If I ate anything else it couldn't've had any vegetables because I didn't record it

Total: 2 yeesh!

Sunday, May 15

-smoothie with fresh mint and raw chocolate
-3 c. salad with tomato (3.25)
- scrambled eggs with 1 c. mushroom/green pepper, garlic (2)

Total: 5.25

Daily average for the week: 3.96

Week 1 Daily average: 4.93
Week 2 Daily average: 5.86
Week 3 Daily average: 4.88
Week 4 Daily average: 6.07
Week 5 Daily average: 3.96

Daily average overall: 5.14

Still not great, under what's recommeded by the most recent Canada Food Guide (7-8 min for adult Canadian women), but realistic. Apparently this is average for Canadians!  According to the Canadian Community Health Survey, In 2008, 50.1% of Canadian females (6.8 million) and 37.0% of males (4.8 million) reported consuming fruits and vegetables 5 or more times per day. Call me sceptical, but I think people are overestimating. In most cases, I'm doing everything I can to eat as many vegetables as I can. Every meal I make at home, I actually use measuring cups for accuracy! Nobody's perect, but I think I'm doing pretty well. 

How are you doing? How many servings of vegetables are you eating per day?