hydration drink

January 1, 2011

This sounds a little crazy but it is good, and it definitely works. If you’re ever feeling totally dehydrated – you know when your eyeballs feel dry, and your throat is parched, and your body feels a bit like the Sahara – this is the drink for you. I’m not sure about absolute measurements. I usually just toss things in a big cup and add water but I’ve tried to make reasonable estimates. Whatever the case, you can’t go wrong.

1 Tbsp maple syrup

1 Tbsp organic cane sugar

Juice from 1/2 lemon

2 Tsps grated ginger

A couple of pinches of sea salt

2 Tbsps 100% cranberry juice

Hot water

Simply mix it up and drink. You’ll feel immediate hydration!

garlic ginger tea

August 18, 2010

vgourmet, Ruth Richardson, garlic ginger tea

Sounds weird right? It’s a bit kooky but it’s good and it works. Andrew woke up with a sore throat and feeling totally under the weather. I had a hunch I would find the right drink in my new Modern Ayurvedic Cookbook and I did! It’s Shelley’s Garlic Ginger Tea and “Shelley swears by this tea whenever she catches a cold or cough that she can’t seem to shake.” Try it. It works because food is healing. Eat and drink the right stuff and you’re on the road to recovery!

4 cloves garlic

pinch of cayenne

4 tsps fresh ginger, chopped

4 cups water

maple syrup to taste

squeeze of lemon to taste

In a large pot on high heat, combine garlic, cayenne, ginger, and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain, serve with maple syrup and a squeeze of lemon. Drink throughout the day.

We came to the farm for Easter and, low and behold, the rhubarb is coming out of the ground! Not surprising since it’s such an early bloomer, but it still amazes me each time I see its red and green leaves pushing out of the earth so early in the season. Doesn’t it know it could turn quite cold again? Alas, it’s a very hearty plant.

In honour of rhubarb’s robustness, initiative, and tenacity, I am going to give you an incredible compote recipe. It’s from The New Basics Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lutkins. I made it last spring, canned it, and enjoyed it until Christmas when my family wolfed it down one breakfast with rhubarb coffee cake (recipe to follow if I can figure out how to truly vegan-ize it). I wish I had made more.  It would be particularly scrumptious if you wait until the strawberries come into season. But perhaps you have some frozen from last season? Whatever the case, beware. This recipe is awesome and addictive.

10 large stalks rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths

4 cups hulled, halved strawberries

1 cup organic cane sugar

1 cup fresh orange juice

Finely grated zest of 1 orange

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

2 tsps ground ginger

1/2 tsp salt (optional)

1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

1. Combine all the ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Stir well and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring once and skimming off any foam that forms on top, until the rhubarb is just tender, 10 to 12 minutes.

2. Remove the vanilla bean and let the mixture cool to room temperature. Then cover and refrigerate. It will keep for two days.

The refresh cookbook by Ruth Tal is fantastic. There are a number of soups I want to try out (butternut squash and pear with coconut milk – sounds yummy!) so I’ll get back to you on those. In the meantime I thought I should highlight two of their sauces that are the perfect accompaniment to rice and veggies, or what they call rice bowls. Rice bowls are simply steamed brown basmatic rice (but you can use any rice) topped with, well, pretty much anything from tofu to grilled vegetables to nuts and seeds. My favourite is sticky rice with grilled peppers, zucchini, fennel, maybe some steamed greens, sesame seeds and/or tamari sunflower seeds and then, of course, these two sauces – tahini and tamari. Dollop on liberally and enjoy. It’s good, it’s filling, it’s nurturing. Vegan comfort food. And because you build it yourself, the kids can opt in and out of whatever tickles their fancy or not. Everyone’s happy.

Tahini Sauce

2 cloves garlic

1/2 cup chopped parsley  (the other day I didn’t have any so I used cilantro instead which was equally good)

1/2 tsp sea salt

2 tbsps lemon juice

2/3 cup filtered water

1/2 cup sesame butter (tahini)

Whiz ingredients in a blender or food processor. Run until smooth, scraping the sides down once or twice.

Simple Tamari Sauce

1/2 cup tamari

3 tbsps sesame oil

1 1/2 inch ginger root, peeled and minced

4 tbsps lemon juice

Put all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

ginger hummus

March 15, 2010

I’ve tried a number of hummus recipes which have all been more or less good. Last night I tried this new one. We decided we like it best. Not sure why – flavours are a little more subtle, it’s softer and smoother, it doesn’t firm up the way others do after a day or two. It’s a good one. It’s from a cookbook I bought awhile ago but haven’t really explored fully – Tassajara: Dinners and Desserts. I’m now motivated to work my way through it, especially after reading about their very appealing approach to food (Musing #5). If I could only tap into that. Wow! Watch out. The Tassajara Zen Mountain Center is the oldest Japanese Buddhist Sōtō Zen monastery in the US located in the Ventana Wilderness area in California. It attracts serious zen practitioners and is known for its mission of teaching teachers. They eat this hummus. Now that’s a powerful endorsement.

2 cups chickpeas, cooked

2 inches ginger, peeled and cut into coins or grated

4 garlic cloves, peeled

1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground

1 tsp coriander seeds, toasted and ground

2-3 tbsps olive oil

1/4 to 1/2 cups of tahini

Juice of 2 lemons


Prepare the chickpeas (either cook dried chickpeas or rinse canned chickpeas). Puree chickpeas with remaining ingredients and about 1/4 cup of water. Check consistency. If you want it less stiff, add more olive oil, tahini, and/or lemon juice. Add salt to taste.

nourishing teas

March 13, 2010

Teas have become an absolutely critical staple in my life as they are so nourishing and yummy. I gave up coffee a couple of years ago. Not entirely because I do love a “vegan-ized” latte once in awhile, but mostly. I think I would have probably gravitated back to coffee had it not been for the unbelievable teas Jeanette introduced me to (in fact, some say they go to Jeanette just for the tea!). Rishi Teas are definitely the best I’ve found. They are super-high quality and very good blends.

Here are my three all-time favourites:

Rishi Masala Chai (blend of black tea and aromatic spices) with some organic ginger powder, organic cane sugar, hot water, and vanilla soy milk. Nice and spicy. Very warming.

Rishi Earl Grey (blend of black tea and natural essential bergamot oil) with some organic cinnamon powder, organic cane sugar, hot water, and vanilla soy milk. Really comforting. Very warming. One of our favourites at breakfast.

Rishi Green Tea Mint (blend of roasted green tea and pleasing, comforting peppermint) with organic cane sugar, hot water, and vanilla soy milk. You can also add some cocoa powder to make it more like a minty hot chocolate almost. This is one of our newly discovered favourites. Bekah loves it and drinks it almost daily now. It really is strangely good.

miso soup

March 2, 2010

vgourmet, ruth richardson, vegan soup, vegetarian soup

This is from my dear friend Emily McInnes who just started Eye Buy Art – a new online art gallery representing young photographers from Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Check it out. It’s fabulous!! (Not only do you learn about food here but have a platform to buy awesome art. Make beauty necessary. Make necessity beautiful.) Anyhow, she loves miso soup and, having experienced it myself, it’s great. Here’s what she has to say about making miso soup de jour:

– boil water (add crushed ginger if you feel like it – oftentimes I’m too lazy)

– add cubed tofu, dark fresh greens, Asian greens, carrot, corn niblets, mushrooms (dried or otherwise) – whatever your heart desires

– OPTIONAL: add vermicelli (thin rice noodles) or any kind of noodle if you want (i.e. dried ramen)

– once the above has been steamed slightly – add in a good dollop of miso, a good 2 hearty scoops for a soup that serves 2
(if your soup is lacking in flavour then it could be that you just didn’t add enough, or the miso you bought is a boring variety?)

– fix this by adding a sweep of tamari or soy-like sauce (I like Bragg’s)

– if you’re feeling experimental you can add a little dash of rice wine vinegar

– cook until miso is dissolved (NB: I read that you shouldn’t let your soup, with miso added, come to a boil. Keep it just under a boil.)

And then:

– add fresh chopped onion on top

– fresh cilantro or parsley is nice

– sprouts (the ones in the photo are from Kind Organics who were at the Brickworks Farmers’ Market on Saturday)

– shredded seaweed (yum!)

– shake some gomashio (sesame seeds – I like black ones) on top

– drizzle a tiny TINY amount of sesame oil on top (optional – it’s strong)


Make up your own soup. I think I’ve never made the same one twice!