Welcome to my crazy world of real food cooking ...

Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly Plants. -- Michael Pollan

I wish I could take credit for that because I think it sums up how we should eat. Simply -- eat stuff that really is food, instead of stuff that is food like substance. The supermarket is almost entirely food-like-substances, and, my friends, you should probably never ever eat them.

Fortunately, there is a world of deliciousness out there, and it can all be had in a way that not only doesn't harm your health, but in a way that benefits you hugely.

I think it's important to eat stuff that satisfies you, that keeps your blood sugar stable, and that gives you stuff your body really needs to run optimally.

But baby, it's gotta taste good.

I really like getting experimental in the kitchen. I love cooking, I love layering flavours, and I love coming up with really super yummy food. I have very strong opinions about what constitutes food, and there are a lot of things I won't touch in the kitchen. Bottom line? Pretty much everything I make is ridiculously good for you even if it tastes decadent. Although there are occasional big fat cheats ... but even those stick to real food, my friends.

For food that is usual gluten free, usually free of cane sugar, usually super low on the glycemic index, full of protein, fiber, flavour, and excellent energy, join me and Alice down the rabbit hole.

Every recipe on this blog is my own original effort and idea, so please pass 'em on, giving credit where credit is due.

Many thanks, and come back often. I'm really glad you are here!


Thursday, 31 March 2011

Banana Muffins -- Gluten-free, moist, and very banana-y

We didn't manage to get through the bananas from our organic box before they were far too ripe for even the staunchest banana eaters in our house to tackle them. Over ripe bananas are the harbinger of banana muffins around here, so I knew the time had come for me to put our politically correct fruit to the test and come up with a gluten-free treat.

You may recall from my banana pecan muffin recipe that I have a predilection for lightly mashed bananas instead of pureed bananas. Now, if you are operating from frozen, you'll pretty much need to go with the puree or the utter mash. However, if you are using bananas that are "flecked with brown and have a golden hue" as the old Chiquita song goes (you know, when the skin has become super thin, and they are very very sweet?), you can lightly mash them to a chunky consistency using a dinner fork. The difference for me is the resulting texture of the finished muffin. A lightly mashed banana results in a lighter, fluffier muffin in my experience. As I recall the banana cake of my childhood, I can still feel it like a rock in my stomach ... However, I have also cooked with bananas from frozen, because it may not always be the right time to bake just because your bananas' biological clock has spoken.

Thanks to the coconut flour in these muffins, they will not be dry. In fact, they will stay wonderfully moist for days if not weeks. The coconut sugar was sort of an after-thought, not motivated by the need for sweetness so much as a desire to add to the depth of flavour. Coconut sugar adds a little darkness, the lemon juice a little brightness, the banana sort of a middle tone. Coconut flour has a bit of a stultifying effect on flavours, so the flavour balancing act is even more important than usual (and it's always very important). I might try a tbsp of carob powder next time, perhaps instead of the coconut sugar, but the flavour of these muffins is very pleasant the way they are, and will go over well with banana lovers. My three year old gives them the pre-schooler seal of approval -- which basically means stuffing them into his mouth and making as much of a mess as possible, then asking for more while his mouth is still full.


1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil
1 cup warm water
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 xl eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups lightly mashed bananas (about 4)
1/4 cup coconut sugar (sort of optional)

2 tsp ground vanilla bean (or 1 tbsp vanilla extract)
2 tsp ceylon cinnamon
1 tsp regular ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp sea salt
a little freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 cups almond flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup coconut flour

optional -- some good quality chocolate morsels for the chocolate monkey lover ...


preheat the oven to 345

1. combine the warm water and coconut oil to melt the coconut oil
2. add the lemon juice and mashed banana
3. add the egg and coconut sugar
4. add the vanilla and cinnamon
5. add the salt and pepper
6. add the almond flour then the baking soda
7. finally add the coconut flour
8. if using, throw in 1/2 - 3/4 cup of chocolate morsels
9. scoop into 24 lined prepare baking cups
10. bake at 345 for 45 minutes

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

I'm So Spoiled

I just received my first ever fan mail -- of a sort -- which included gifts. How spoiled am I? Answer: very.

As a thank you from someone who has been enjoying my recipes, I received a silicone spoon/scraper, a dough cutter/scraper, and some very fancy flavoured sea salts in fabulous ice cream colours. I am such a geek when it comes to kitchen tools, and I am very anxious to try my new toys out. They are just so cool, so I wanted to share them.

Thank you!!!!!!

I loves me a silicone scraper ...

dough cutter/scraper -- shiny -- I'm like the magpie ...

seriously ... it's sea salt ...
I'm going to have to steam up some plain short grain brown rice tomorrow to sprinkle this on ...

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Quinoa Polenta -- Nut free, gluten free, savoury, and great for you

A new twist on quinoa. Instead of cooking it the usual way, just in a pot with some water, I decided to cook it a la polenta, jazzing it up with some other ingredients, then baking it in the oven. The resulting polenta can be sliced and topped with something savoury such as the yummy Vegetables with Green Peas and Chickpeas we topped ours with, or eaten as a side to whatever you wish. Or by itself as a quick meal. My previous polenta was mostly cornmeal, jazzed up with a little almond meal and flax meal. Gluten free, but not nut free. This one is nut free as well as gluten free. I think it's possible to experiment and add whatever strikes your fancy. I'll often saute some tomato and garlic with the onion, and use that as a base for my cornmeal polenta. Wanting to go simple this time, I just used a little onion. However, I think this sort of dish is open to endless possibilities, depending on what sort of flavours you are in the mood for. Your imagination (and pantry) are your only limitations.


2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 1/2 tsp sea salt

3 cups water
1/2 tbsp herbe de provence
black pepper

1/4 cup (organic) corn meal
1/4 cup flax meal
2 tbsp chia seeds

1/2 cup amaranth
1/2 cup quinoa


1. saute the onion in coconut oil with sea salt until translucent and well cooked
2. add the boiling water and herbe de provence
3. stir in the corn meal
4. stir in the flax and chia
5. add the quinoa and amaranth
6. cook for 30 minutes at a very low simmer until thickened, and the quinoa is fully cooked
7. scoop into a greased baking dish (this would fit a square), and bake on 345 for 1 hour
8. allow to cool before cutting
9. serve as a side, or as a base for such dishes as vegetables with chickpeas and green peas

This dish won't be quite as 'cohesive' as polenta with more corn meal in it, however it will cut into pieces when cool.

I specify to use organic cornmeal because, along with soy, corn is one of the more polluted options in its non-organic form, according to my research.

Vegetables with Green Peas and Chickpeas -- Continuing Crockpot Adventures, or is it Chickpea Variations?

This dish feels spring appropriate to me with its flavours of green peas and celery. The ingredients mellow and blend together, so there are no sharp edges, just a satisfying meal that appeals to all ages. We have been enjoying it as a topper to slices of quinoa polenta, and my three year old gobbles it down with great enjoyment. Even my husband has no complaints on this one ;)


2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
1 tbsp finely minced garlic
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup finely diced carrot

1/4 cup amaranth

3 cups finely diced tomato
1/2 tbsp sea salt
1/2 tbsp marjoram
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tbsp mesquite powder
black pepper
2 bay leaves

1 1/2 cups chickpeas

2 cups frozen green peas, defrosted (organic) (250g)

1/2 tbsp sea salt

2 cups broccoli florets, either lightly steamed, or defrosted from frozen (250g)


1. turn your crockpot to high, set the timer for 6 hours
2. layer:
a) coconut oil
b) garlic
c) onion
d) celery and carrot
e) amaranth
f) tomato
g) sea salt, marjoram, mesquite, black pepper
h) tomato
i) chickpeas
j) green peas
k) rest of sea salt
3. cook for 6 hours
4. turn off heat and stir in broccoli
5. serve over quinoa polenta, cornmeal polenta, with a slice of bread, with a big smile, or simply with pride and enjoyment.

very yummy.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Roasted Fennel, Jicama, and Apple Salad -- Refreshing and yummy

Our organic box included something I have never used: fennel. In addition, I had picked up a jicama when I happened to come across one. So, I thought it would be fun to see what I could do. The result was a refreshing, crunchy, and tasty salad that went nicely with our oven roasted potatoes.


preheat oven to 345

2 tbsp coconut oil
1 fennel, bulb cut into slices, then halves of slices
1/4 tsp sea salt

1 jicama, peeled and cut into 'matchsticks'
1 pink lady apple, cut into 'matchsticks' (or granny smith)
1 piƱata apple, cut into 'matchsticks' (or royal gala)
2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped

1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp lime juice
3/8 tsp sea salt


1. melt the coconut oil in your baking pan by placing it in the preheating oven for a few minutes
2. add the fennel and 1/4 tsp sea salt, and toss well
3. bake uncovered for 30 minutes, until fennel is done
4. combine apples, jicama, and fennel, and toss to coat everything with the oil from the baking fennel
5. add the honey, lime juice, and sea salt, and toss well
6. add the parsley, and toss well

I found the roasted fennel to be sublime, and the jicama to be interesting. In future, I might try skipping the jicama, and add some oven roasted beet for contrast ... or perhaps oven roasted black radish.

The salad was enjoyed very much by all ages, including the unpredictable three year old, and my dear husband who has the tongue of a twelve year old.

Oven Roasted Potatoes with Parsley

I rarely cook potatoes. I'm just not a big fan. However, we received a pound of red potatoes in our organic box, so potatoes it was.

My husband pronounced the results to be 'fantastic', and fortunately the recipe is easy-peasy.


preheat the oven to 345

1 tbps extra virgin coconut oil
1 pound of small potatoes (we had seven), cut into halves then wedges

1/2 tsp sea salt
black pepper
1/4 tsp marjoram (dried)

2 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped


1. lightly warm your (covered) baking dish with the coconut oil to melt it (I do this by putting the casserole in the oven for a few minutes as it's preheating)
2. add the potatoes, and toss well to coat
3. add the sea salt, pepper, and marjoram
4. bake at 345 for 40 minutes
5. remove from the oven, and add the fresh parsley, and toss well. Cover for 10 minutes, then serve.

Even I thought they tasted good ;).

Chili Con Broccoli -- Continuing Crockpot Adventures

Oops, I just realized that athough I had posted the cornmeal polenta that I made as a side for this dish -- actually, I sliced it and used it as a base, and put the chili on top -- yum -- I neglected to post this recipe. It was sitting there, languishing in my 'drafts' section. Sorry!

It's quite zesty and bright in its flavours -- not as mellow as the chickpea stew from a week or two ago. However, we enjoyed it very much, and the mellowness of the polenta was an excellent foil for these flavours.


2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
1 onion finely chopped -- about 1/2 cup
1 tbsp finely minced garlic
3/4 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup diced celery

1 1/2 cups cooked kidney beans
5 or 6 cups diced organic roma tomatoes -- 1 1/2 or 2 lbs

1 tbsp sea salt
1 tbsp marjoram
1 tsp mesquite powder
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp basil
black pepper

1 1/2 cup cubed sweet potato

2 cups broccoli florets (either lightly steamed or defrosted from frozen) (250 g)


1. turn your crockpot on to High, and set the timer for 6 hours, (if you have that long -- a longer cooking time will mellow and meld the flavours more, and improve the dish)
2. layer as follows:
a) coconut oil
b) garlic
c) onion
d) celery
e) carrot
f) tomato
g) 1/2 of salt, pepper, herbs, mesquite etc
h) kidney beans
i) sweet potato and rest of salt
3. after the cooking has finished, turn off the heat and stir in the  broccoli florets.

Typical of tomato based dishes, this tastes great the next day. If you like you can serve it with polenta, quinoa, bagels, bread, nothing, or whatever else strikes your fancy.

My three year old enjoyed this very much, and for him I cut polenta into small cubes and ladled the stew on top. It was a big hit.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Cornmeal Muffins -- Savoury or sweet, gluten free and dairy free.

Despite rarely using corn, I was still in the mood after our delectable chili con broccoli on polenta this week. So, I decided to make cornmeal muffins. I wanted to make them gluten free, and although they have 2 xl organic eggs, they are dairy free. These muffins are super versatile. I made this batch with some cinnamon and vanilla, and a little coconut sugar. But they could easily be make with some salt and pepper, a generous dose of chili powder, and a couple of handfuls of corn kernels thrown into the batter. Super yummy to go with soup, me thinks. I think these muffins would take blueberries beautifully, but I didn't add anything this time, because I wanted to make sure the texture of the pastry would be suitable.

So, plain with just a hint of cinnamon and vanilla, they are simple and homey tasting, perfect with a cup of tea, and could take a little butter or honey beautifully.

Unlike some cornmeal muffins, the coconut flour keeps these ones nice and moist, and the texture is light and delicate, with that lovely cornmeal crunchiness.


1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil
2 cups water
2 xl organic eggs
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp ground vanilla
2 tsp ceylon cinnamon

1/4 cup flax meal
1 cup almond meal
1 cup organic cornmeal
4 tbsp coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking soda

optional, to be added at the end:

1/2 cup blueberries (frozen are fine --  add them at the end when they are still frozen fully)
and add 5 minutes to the baking time


1/2 cup corn kernels -- these you can defrost before using
(eliminate the vanilla and cinnamon, increase the sea salt to 1 tsp, add some black pepper, and 1/2 - 1 tsp chili powder)


preheat the oven to 345

1. pour warm water over the coconut oil to melt it
2. add the apple cider vinegar, and eggs (makes sure the water is not too warm)
3. add the coconut sugar, if using
4. mix in the spices and sea salt
5. add the flax meal
6. add the almond flour
7. add the corn meal
8. add the baking soda
9. add the coconut flour
10. finally, when the batter is fully mixed, add the blueberries or corn kernels if you are using any
11. scoop into 24 prepared muffin cups, and bake at 345 for 25 to 30 minutes (in the upper half of the oven), until the muffins feel resiliant to the touch
12. remove the muffins from the muffin cups shortly after taking them out of the oven

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Polenta My Way (or the highway) -- gluten free, dairy free, vegan and all that jazz

We don't eat a lot of corn or corn products, but every now and then we really enjoy some polenta. I often will add sauteed tomato, garlic, and onion, but this time I wanted a very simple and basic tasting polenta as a side for our rather zesty chili con broccoli. I did use a tiny bit of sauteed onion, and some herbs, but the taste is simple and homey, instead of a zesty party in your mouth. If you prefer a zesty party, I recommend adding said sauteed tomato and garlic, and perhaps a little chili powder, too. I personally loved it like this, and I think it makes a very nice basis for other dishes. Think slices of polenta topped with chili, slices of polenta topped with chevre, slices of polenta topped with sauteed mushrooms and onions ... 

I have veered from a traditional polenta by adding both flax meal and almond meal, but I believe neither the taste nor the texture are compromised by this compromise ;)

And like with all soy products, I would strongly urge you to choose organic corn and corn products if at all possible. You can find organic corn meal in the organic section at Loblaws, and it is widely available.


1 onion, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
2 tbsp coconut oil

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
6 cups boiling water

2 or 3 tsp sea salt
black pepper
1 tsp herbe de provence

2 cups organic corn meal
1/2 cup flax meal
1 cup almond meal


preheat oven to 345

1. cook the onions into submission in the coconut oil with the salt
2. add the boiling water, then stir in the flax meal, almond meal, and corn meal
3. add the herbs and pepper
4. stir until thickens
5. scoop into a greased baking dish (square) and bake for 60 minutes on 345.
6. allow to sit for 1 hour before serving in order to remove from the pan without mushing, but can be reheated in slices lightly basted with coconut oil on a baking sheet.


Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Shape Cookies -- Really Delicious Rolled Cookies -- gluten free! Vegan! Sugar Free!

This is not my first bake sale. That is to say, this is not my first rodeo. What I mean, is I've made shape cookies before. However, this is really delicious. There is a sweet crunchiness to them, a pleasing intensity, and an overall harmonic synthesis of flavours that elevates the taste beyond the sum of its parts. There is alchemy afoot here.

My son (three!) and I decided to make some shape cookies today, and these are what we came up with. Chock full of goodies such as chia, flax, almond, and pecan, these cookies offer a sweet treat that won't monkey with your blood sugar, and will fuel your body. The sweetener is coconut sugar, which you may recall is very low on the glycemic index. Unlike some sweeteners, it doesn't give me headaches or a racing heart, so I love it. Plus it has a rich dark taste that works beautifully with the carob powder in these cookies. I chose carob for a few reasons. I wasn't trying to get an imitation chocolate thang going on. I love using raw cacao when going for chocolate. However, carob is a nutritional wonder of protein, minerals, vitamins etc. Additionally, it is naturally sweet, unlike cacao which requires more sweeteners to balance its dark and dirty flavour (yum). Carob goes beautifully with the spices, pecan meal, and coconut sugar flavours in this recipe, and I would recommend against substituting cacao for carob without trying the carob first.


1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
2 tsp egg replacer + 1/2 cup water, combined

2 tsp ceylon cinnamon
1 tsp ground vanilla bean
1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 cup ground chia seed
1/2 cup flax meal

1/2 cup carob powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup pecan meal
1/2 cup almond flour

3 tbsp coconut flour


1. lightly warm the coconut oil to melt, and mix in the coconut sugar and apple cider vinegar
2. make sure oil is not warm, and mix in the egg replacer and water
3. add the cinnamon, vanilla, and sea salt
4. mix in the chia and flax
5. add the carob
6. mix in the baking soda
7. mix in the pecan meal and almond meal
8. finally add the coconut flour, and mix well
9. preheat the oven to 345
10. roll out the dough in 2 or 3 pieces between two sheets of parchment
11. cut using your favourite cookie cutters
12. place on a lined baking sheet, and bake for 17 or 18 minutes at 345

makes about 1 1/2 or 2 trays of cookies, quantity depends on size of cookie cutters

variation: I wanted to have a bit more of a dark and dirty flavour this go around, so in addition to the 1/2 cup of carob powder, I added 2 tbsp of raw cacao. I also added one tsp of regular cinnamon to the 2 tsp of ceylon cinnamon. To make up for the difference of dry ingredients, I reduced the coconut flour from 3 tbsp to 2 tbsp. The verdict? The three year old says: MMMMMMMM!

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Gluten Free Pancakes for Dinner -- gluten free and delicious

We love pancakes for dinner, and it's always a happy evening in our house when there are pancakes.  I made these using only gluten free ingredients, along with some very nice organic cow milk from a lovely milkman with very happy cows, and some beautiful organic eggs from very happy chickens. However, it is perfectly possible to make these pancakes without milk or eggs for those who are intolerant, sensitive, allergic, or philosophically and morally opposed. You can substitute egg replacer and water for the eggs and use water or nut milk for the cow milk.

I wanted to experiment more with gluten free grain flours, and used a combination of buckwheat and quinoa along with my beloved almond flour. Spiked with a little ground vanilla bean and ceylon cinnamon, the result is a delicate, fluffy, subtly sweet and fragrant pancake that makes you wonder why anyone would ever use white flour for pancakes.

Needless to say, they were very well received, and the flavour is wonderfully balanced and tasty. I made the batter hours ahead, and this is something I find makes for better pancakes and crepes -- if they are made ahead and left to sit in the fridge for at least an hour.


2 xl organic eggs
2 cups organic milk

1/2  tsp sea salt and a touch of black pepper
1 tsp ground vanilla bean
1 tsp ceylon cinnamon

1/4 cup flax meal
1 cup almond flour

1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup quinoa flour

1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
(or you can go with 1 tsp baking powder)


1. beat your eggs
2. add the milk and seasonings and stir well
3. add the flax and almond flour
4. add in the buckwheat and quinoa flour and mix well
5. add in the baking soda and cream of tartar and combine well
6. allow to sit covered in the fridge for at least 1 hour, or all day
7. on a heated skillet, cook the pancakes a few at a time, depending on how big the pan is, and how big your pancakes are.
8. serve with your favourite pancake toppings.

I personally like my pancakes savoury, and have been known to top them with such things as pizza sauce, or eat them with sauteed veggies instead of syrup. Whatever suits your tongue works with pancakes. 

Broccoli, Cauliflower, Spinach, and Peas -- a crazy vegetable side dish

In my pursuit of vegetables, I decided to assemble this motley stirfry of assorted vegetable riff-raff as a side dish to go with our pancakes for dinner. 

As with much of my cooking, it was opportunistic based on what I had in my possession already.


1 or 2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
1 small red purple onion, finely chopped (approximately 1/4 cup)
2 medium carrots, diced (about 3/4 cup)
1 large tomato, diced (about 1 cup)

250 g cauliflower florets
150 g chopped spinach
250 g green peas
250 g broccoli florets
(those 4 are all organic, frozen vegetables -- defrost before using if you do the same)

up to 1 tsp sea salt
up to 1 tbsp marjoram
up to 1/2 tsp turmeric
up to 1/2 tsp chili powder
up to 1/2 tsp mesquite powder


1. in a large saute pan, melt the coconut oil, and add the onions and carrots
2. add the tomato, cauliflower, turmeric, chili powder, and a little of the sea salt
3. when they are nicely cooked, add the spinach and peas, and the marjoram and mesquite, and a little more salt
4. when the vegetables are all happily seasoned and cooked, add the broccoli and combine well to sauce everything. adjust seasoning and add more salt if needed.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Quick and Easy Miso Broth for When You're in the Mood.

Sometimes I'm in the mood for a light soup -- a miso soup chock full of match-sticked veggies. I found myself with some black radishes in the fridge -- after my experiences with simmered daikon radish in Japan I am particularly fond of radishes in miso soup. I cut the radishes into rounds, then the rounds into sticks. I did the same with some carrots -- cut 'em into medallions, then into sticks. I even did the same with some ginger. I then put the veggies in a pot with a handful of wakame seaweed, covered the whole thing with water, added a splash of organic, wheat-free tamari, and a little sea salt. After the veggies have simmered to softness, I will turn stir in some miso paste, and bring it up to heat without boiling it.

You can really use whatever veggies you have around that can take a little simmering. Kale is fab. Broccoli? Why not. Whatever you like.

This is a very light tasting soup, and something I find very satisfying in the evening when I don't want a heavy meal. The ginger, toasted sesame, and seaweed are all mellowed and balanced by the savoury richness of the miso, bringing out the delicate sweetness of the veggies and creating a beautifully complete taste sensation.

You can also jazz it up by doing an egg drop into the miso soup, cooking it carefully so the egg cooks without boiling, and you don't kill the enzymes in your miso.

Yummy :)


3 black radishes -- sliced into rounds, and then cut into sticks (or whatever veggie strikes your fancy)
1 carrot -- sliced into medallions and then cut into sticks (ditto)
ginger root -- finely minced

1/2 cup dried wakame

soy sauce -- organic tamari is my choice, wheat free
sea salt

miso paste -- organic


roasted sesame seeds -- optional (for sprinkling on top)


1. places cut vegetables in a pot
2. top with ginger and wakame
3. add water to cover, and bring to a boil
4. simmer gently until the vegetables are pleasing
5. add miso paste (first mix with a little water in a small bowl and then add to the pot)
6. if the soup has cooled down by this addition, bring back to heat, but don't boil

really, fantastic.

New Bagels -- vegan this time, and full of seeds

I have a slightly new bagel recipe, and a slightly new bagel procedure. The bagels are soft and chewy on the inside, with a nice texture and a thin, crisp and chewy outside. Do you remember those chocolate chip cookies that came out in the 80s called 'Crispy Chewy'? I'm scared to think of what vast quantities of sugar went into them to achieve that texture. These bagels are nothing like those cookies, however. And I strongly advise against adding chocolate chips. I think the boiling process would be their downfall.


1 1/2 cup warm water
2 tbsp unpasteurized honey
1 tbsp bread yeast

1 tsp egg replacer + 1/4 cup water

1 tbsp sea salt
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup spelt flakes
1/4 cup flax meal
1/4 cup chia seeds
4 cups whole wheat pastry flour

big pot
baking soda (approx 2 tbsp)


1. mix the honey into the warm water, and stir in the yeast (the water should be about bath temperature). Set aside
2. mix the egg replace with the 1/4 cup water and set aside
3. in your mixing bowl add the sea salt, spelt flakes, flax meal, chia seeds, whole wheat pastry (soft) flour, and apple cider vinegar
4. add the egg replacer mixture, and the proofed yeast/water, and mix it into dough
5. knead the dough for about 15 minutes (thank you Obsidian Betelgeuse)
6. divide the dough into 24 equal balls, and make those balls into bagel shapes
7. rise the bagels uncovered for about 1 hour
8. preheat the oven to 345. Heat a big pot of boiling water, and boil the bagels for 2 minutes per side (you can probably do between 4 and 6 at a time, depending on the size of your pot)
9. drain the boiled bagels on a cooling rack before placing them on a baking sheet (lined with parchment or silicone is best)
10. bake for 25-30 minutes at 345, switching the positions of the trays halfway through

Now an important thing to mention is this:
The top side of the bagels will be dry and firm, while the underside will be soft and malleable after rising. For this reason, I like to pick the bagels up one by one, and put them top side down onto a slotted metal spatula to deposit into the water. This way the bagel won't get squished and compressed before boiling. I also like to make sure the original top side is up when baking the bagels after boiling, and if I put the top side down for the first side of boiling, the top side is naturally up after the 2nd side of boiling.

Also, it is possible to coat the bagel in seeds or sprinkles of some kind after boiling, when the seeds will stick to them because they are wet. You absolutely don't want to add these before boiling. ;)

I hope that made sense.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Green Sesame Noodles with Bok Choy Saute

green sesame noodles with bok choy saute

We received another organic bin this week, and in it was baby bok choy. Really lovely fresh baby bok choy. I thought green noodles would make a wholesome backdrop to a saute of baby bok choy, perhaps sauced with something in the miso honey and ginger family ...

I wanted to see what would happen if I added chia seeds to my standard green noodle recipe. And then tossed them with coconut oil and toasted sesame seeds after cooking. Here's the amended noodle recipe, and the saute recipe follows.

green sesame chia noodles:


150 g frozen organic spinach, defrosted
1 organic egg (xl or l)
1/2 cup almond flour
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 chia seeds
1 1/2 cups  kamut flour


1. in a food processor, puree the defrosted spinach. If you are using fresh spinach, let me know how it turns out.
2. add the egg and combine
3. add the sea salt, chia seeds, and almond meal, and combine
4. add 1 1/2 cups kamut flour, and pulse to combine.
5. gather the dough into a ball, flatten, wrap, and set aside to 'rest'.
6. divide the dough into 4 parts
7. roll each part on a mat sprinkled with kamut flour, using a rolling pin sprinkled with kamut flour.
8. if the dough is too sticky, add more kamut flour
9. roll the dough out until it is nice and thin
10. make sure the surface is well sprinkled with kamut flour, and roll it up 
11. set the roll aside and repeat with the other portions of dough
12. once all the portions of dough have been rolled up, cut them into spirals using a sharp chef's knife or bread knife (I prefer a bread knife because the serrated blade makes this task easier)
13. uncoil the spirals and lay them out
14. put the noodles in boiling water spiked with a little oil, and cook for 2 minutes.
15. drain the noodles, and toss with coconut oil and a couple of table spoons of toasted sesame seeds

Ready to roll
Green noodle dough with chia seeds. What country does this look like?

A spiral
Three rolled up portions of dough

Cutting them efficiently with a serrated blade

Spirals before they are unrolled

the noodle spirals, after cutting, before unravelling
unravelling the noodle spirals
boiled for 2 minutes, and tossed with coconut oil, a pinch of sea salt, and toasted sesame seeds

bok choy saute:


2 lbs baby bok  choy, cleaned and cut into bite sized pieces
2 cups carrots, cut into medallions then sticks
1 celery rib, cut on the diagonal, then into strips
1 cup raw almonds
2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
1 or 2 tbsp finely minced fresh ginger

up to 1 tsp sea salt

2 tbsp miso paste
1 tbsp honey
1 or 2 tbsp lemon juice


1. heat the coconut oil in a large saute pan, and add the almonds, carrots, celery, and ginger, with a little sea salt. Cook until happy.
2. add the baby bok choy and a little sea salt, and stir
3. mix the miso, honey, lemon juice in a small bowl
4. add the miso paste to the vegetables, and combine well
5. serve on a bed of sesame tossed green noodles

Now, if you want to orchestrate the making of this meal in a way that fits into your busy life, you can do it in stages:

1. make the dough, and wrap it and put it in the fridge. The dough can easily be made a day ahead.
2. at your leisure, roll out the dough in 4 parts, roll up the dough, and slice. Put in an airtight container, and put it back in fridge
3. at your leisure, clean and cut the carrots and celery, and store in an airtight container.
4. Before cooking, measure out your ingredients into 'junbi' bowls. 'Junbi' is the Japanese word for 'preparation'. A student of mine who was an amateur gourmet cook used to say to me 'Ryori wa junbi desu', which means 'Cooking is all in the preparation'.
5. You can actually saute up your almonds, carrots, celery, and ginger earlier, and leave 'em in the pan on the stove.
6. Bring water to a boil at the same time as the carrots and almonds are done cooking, and hot.
7. Add the bok choy and do your thing with it, and then toss in the sauce. When that is all ready, set it aside, and cook your noodles. They only need 2 minutes. When the noodles are done, drain 'em, and toss  'em with a little coconut oil and sesame seeds. Put a little bed of noodles in a bowl, and top with the vege stir-fry. Easy-peasy!

ready to top the noodles