More from My New Roots in the Experimental Kitchen

Looking through My New Roots is much like looking through the old Sears catalogue at Christmas time from when we were younger. (I know, I am dating us…sorry about that Val) Every time you flip a page, there is something else we want.  Each picture looks better than the last.  Each recipe sounds better than the last.  Don’t read recipe books when you’re hungry.

We decided to try out the Grain Free Hemp Tabouleh on page 141.  I love tabouleh.  We often make it with quinoa instead of couscous as we have a few Celiacs in the family.  Bulgar wheat can also be used as well.  Sarah Britton’s new twist on Tabouleh is made with chick peas so we were super excited to give it a try.

Ingredients:

1 cup cooked chickpeas

1/2 cup packed flat leaf parsley leaves

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves

1/3 cup raw pine nuts (toasted in oven for about 10 minutes on 350)

1/3 cup hemp seeds

1 small red onion, sliced

Grated zest of 1 lemon

5 medium heirloom tomatoes in different colours.

Olive oil for serving.

Dressing:

2 table spoon cold pressed olive oil

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 teaspoon maple syrup or honey and a pinch of sea salt

In a food processor, pulse the chickpeas until grain -size.  This did not take long at all.  You don’t want to do it too long as you’ll end up with hummus.  Which is ok, but not what you are going for here.  Put the granules into a large bowl.

Finely chop the parsley and mint leaves, and add the herbs to the chickpeas.

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Toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat until golden and fragrant.Immediately remove the pine nuts from the pan and transfer them to a plate to cool completely.Add the cooled pine nuts, hemp seeds, sliced onion and lemon zest to the chickpea mixture.

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Make the dressing: whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, honey and salt together in a small bowl.  Pour this over the salad tossing to combine.

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Slice the tomatoes into thick slices and arrange them on a platter.  Drizzle with little olive oil and sprinkle with salad.  Spoon the tabouleh over the tomatoes and serve.

The chick peas in this tabouleh recipe are a perfect substitute for the couscous normally found in tabbouleh salad.  The dressing is fresh and the mint gives you the Mediterranean flavours that you get with the traditional salad.  Fresh, fun, and a great addition to any dinner.  We just happened to be having a back yard barbecue and this was an awesome choice.

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We are still working through My New Roots and so far, it has not disappointed.  The recipes are full of flavour and the book is a joy to work through.  I have a feeling we are making some dessert next, so stay tuned.

My New Roots can be purchased from Amazon by clicking the picture below.

Experimental Kitchen Day – Working through My New Roots

Yesterday was Canada Day and a welcomed day away from my office and alter ego as an Accounts Payable Administrator.  Val was also with out clients on our national holiday so we thought it was a good day to have what we like to call…”Experimental Kitchen Day”.

Val had recently purchased My New Roots, by Sarah Britton.  If you haven’t seen the book, check out her blog.  So full of informative and really interesting posts.  Sarah is a Holistic Nutritionist and Certified Nutritional Practitioner from Canada who has relocated to Copenhagen, Denmark. Upon arriving there, she was unable to practice as  Nutritionist, but decided to pour her heart and knowledge into her blog, which quickly became world known.

Val and I decided that we would pick a couple of Sarah’s recipes (it was very hard to just pick a few, there are so many good ones!) and try them out.

Our first pick for the experimental day was to try Sarah’s Fully Loaded Breakfast Bars on page 81 of My New Roots.

Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.  Or in our case we decided to do a bar version so we lightly greased a square cake pan.

Combine 1 tablespoon of Chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water in a  small bowl and set aside for 15 minutes to allow the Chia to gel.

Pulse 1 1/4 cups of rolled oats in a food processor until they resemble a very rough flour.  Transfer the flour to a large mixing bowl and whisk the remaining 2 cups of oats, 1 teaspoon of each baking powder and baking soda, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of fine salt. Put into a large bowl and set aside.

Take 1 1/2 cups of cooked white navy beans and pulse with 1/4 cup of coconut oil, melted in a food processor.  Ok, here is where we improvised.  We used chick peas instead.  Like I said, it is “Experimental Kitchen Day”.  Pulse them until creamy.  Add 1/4 cup of maple syrup or honey, grated orange zest (of one orange), the Chia gel, 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.  Pulse all together until smooth.

Pour the mixture over dry oat mixture and stir.  Add 1/3 chopped dried apricots, 1/4 cup of raisins, and 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds.  Stir it up to combine them all.  We found that mixing by hand…I mean use your hands, seemed to combine all the ingredients well.

Sarah shapes these into about 10 balls and flattens them and cooks on a cookie sheet for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.  Val and I were feeling extra experimental and decided to do a bar version instead.  We lightly greased a square cake pan and put the mixture into it, flattening with our hands so it was even.  Cook about the same amount of time, until the outer edges are brown.  Let cool completely before you cut them, or you may end up with granola. 🙂

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The verdict from the group of judges we had was an overwhelming thumbs up.  They were very addictive.  Excellent replacement for boxed granola bars that usually contain a lot of sugar and preservatives.  Use for breakfast, snack, or even as a cookie with your tea.

Stay tuned for more updates from our “Experimental Kitchen Day” on Canada Day as we do two more amazing recipes from Sarah Britton’s new book, My New Roots.

My New Roots is available on Amazon by clicking the photo below.

Green Smoothie Bar – James St. North

As people try to eat more healthy, the challenge that they are met with is when they are going out.  Whether it is a snack or a full on dinner, finding a place where they don’t look at you like you have 3 heads when you ask for vegan, or even vegetarian choices can leave you just asking for a garden salad.  Do not even try to ask for gluten free at some places.  Then, when the salad arrives it is just iceberg lettuce and some tomatoes with probably Italian dressing on it.  Not very appetizing.

Thankfully, as the word gets out, more and more places like the Green Smoothie Bar on James Street North in Hamilton open their doors and give not only those who have already chosen to eat healthy a place to go, but also gives people an opportunity to see just how good healthy food can be.

Opening in 2012 on Hamilton’s super cool James Street North, the Green Smoothie Bar has  become a destination for many that not only live in the area but for those who make their way onto the street for the monthly Art Crawl and yearly Supercrawl.

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Co-owners, Joe and Danielle, have created this bright and sunny lounge style eatery where you can grab one of their famous smoothies if you’re on the go, along with a take out snack, or stay and eat some hearty hot food they have prepared fresh daily.  All of what they prepare is 100% organic and 100% Vegan.  Most items are also gluten free too, but just ask, the staff is friendly and very well informed.

I discovered this gem in the heart of my home town the year they opened and have been a frequent customer ever since.  The smoothies are amazing.  Each flavour contains spinach and kale (hence the name) but they have perfected the art of creating wild and wonderful flavours out of fresh ingredients.  My personal fave is the Muddy Monkey, but I am impartial to anything peanut butter and chocolate.  Rest assured there are enough different flavours to please anyone.  Fruity, fresh, and delicious.

They also have some delectable eats as well if you are on the go.  I have had the Detox salad quite a few times and as it fills you up, you are left feeling satisfied without the feeling of being over full.  The macaroons are delicious as well as their in house protein bars that pack a whopping 20g of protein per bar. Perfect post work out snack.  Hot food is also available every day.  The chili is a definite favourite especially on a cold winter day.

For more info on the Green Smoothie Bar, just click on the name and it will take you to their site.  Or check them out of Facebook.

Ok…now I’m hungry.  Stay tuned for more reviews and updates to our blog and thanks for reading!  Have a great day.

 

 

The Vibrant Table – Book Review

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The Vibrant Table is the first cook book for Anya Kassoff and her photographer daughter, Masha.   Working from their Golubka Kitchen , Anna created 100 recipes  over the course of 4 years of blogging and experimentation. This book is both full of mouth watering recipes as well as a work of art.  The photos are to die for!

The Vibrant Table is filled with inspired and inventive vegetarian and vegan recipes to please every palette. The ingredients are healthy whole foods that are combined so creatively and then photographed with such flare, that you can’t help but want to try them out right away.  A great read as well, including useful tips on on sprouting, grinding your own flours, making nut milks, and cooking with children.

So far, we have tried out a few recipes that you should definitely check out.

Roasted Kala Chana Hummus, pg 101…out of this world east Indian inspired recipe. Delicious as a dip or spread.

Cacao Buckwheat Granola, pg 55…a fresh take on traditional granola with a lighter texture and pleasing crunch.  Great to add to a bowl of fruit or a topping for yogurt or cereal.

Pumpkin Seed Falafal with Grilled Peach Salsa, Pg 167… baked falafal never tasted so delicious and light. Served with savory tahini sauce on a lettuce leaf or in warm pitas.

Black Lentil and Butternut Squash Chili, pg 117… a warm and soothing fall chili.  I like to serve with wholegrain naan bread.

Matcha Kiwi Smoothie, pg 71… spring fresh, energizing smoothie loaded with antioxidants, vitamins/minerals and fiber.  You can take on the world after one of these!

Cacao Nib Cookies with dried Currants, pg 260… a gluten free, low in sugar treat made with an almond quinoa and coconut flour base. Not a very sweet cookie which can be altered by reducing the amount of cacao nibs and adding a little more coconut sugar. I like it with espresso or rooibos tea as a mid afternoon pick me up. The cookie is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Fingerling Potato and Rosemary Flatbread Pizza, pg 135.. perfect appetizer or as an entry for lunch or dinner. Colourful and bright with the amazing flavours of potato and rosemary together.

Pink Lemon Coconut Bonbons, pg 308… these fun treats reminded me of an old fashioned styled candy from another time. Pretty to look at and serve to young ones and beyond. Made with macadamia nuts, lemon zest, lemon and rolled in coconut. Can be frozen and enjoyed right after removing from the freezer.

The cook book is available on Amazon by clicking the link below:

These are just a few of the delectable recipes found in The Vibrant Table.  I hope that Anya is working away experimenting for another addition some time. In the mean time, we are working our way through and enjoying every moment.