Wednesday, July 30, 2008


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A PhotoShopped view of some homemade grain meat

UPDATE: July 2012-- yes, the book has been delayed for a long time, but we're working on getting it going again!

I'm working on recipes for the book I'm doing with Field Roast creator, David Lee. It's been great fun and also very challenging-- learning techniques from the creator, and then developing my own recipes for new varieties, and recipes to use them, and also working long distance with a writing partner. I've learned alot from the experience!

Below, I'm posting some photos from my Field Roast book experiments (I can't divulge the recipes, I'm afraid!). Stay tuned!

At the very end of this post is a lovely recipe for a full-meal summer salad, featuring quinoa, avocado, shelled hemp seeds, and other goodies.

Homemade Grain Meat breakfast sausages and hot and spicy sausages (my recipes for the book)

My own invention-- Grain Meatballs!

Zucchini Grain Meatloaf (my recipe for the book)

Hemp 'n' Herbs Grain Meat Cutlets (my recipe for the book) Piccata

Vietnamese-style Grain Meatball Pho (made with Grain Meatballs--  my invention for the book)

Mediterranean Mushroom Grain Meat Cutlets (my recipe for the book)

Mediterranean Mushroom Grain Meat Roast (my recipe for the book)-- see how thinly you can slice it?

Homemade Breaded Grain Meat Cutlets

Homemade Grain Meat sausages with chanterelle mushrooms

Roasted Red Pepper Grain Meatloaf (my recipe for the book)

Stuffed Homemade Holiday Grain Meat Roast (my recipe for the book)

Grain Meat  Winter Terrine (my recipe for the book)

Grain Meat Roast just out of the pot

Orange Rosemary Grain Meat Sausages  (my recipe for the book)

Now that recipe!

Printable Recipe

6 servings

This salad was inspired by a recipe by John Barkley for The Culinary Institute of America, posted on

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup quinoa (most quinoa is pre-rinsed now)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/4 cups chicken-style vegetarian broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly-ground black pepper to taste

1 cup English cucumber, diced (or any kind you don't have to peel)
2 medium ripe tomatoes, diced
1 cup cooked or canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (or 2 teaspoons dried)
2 tablespoon fresh chopped mint (or 2 teaspoon dried)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh or pickled jalapeños
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 large ripe avocado, in 1/2" dice
1/4 cup shelled hemp seeds
Washed, dried and crisped Romaine lettuce leaves

Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the quinoa and toast it, stirring constantly, until golden brown.

Add the onions, garlic, and oregano, and stir for a couple of minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil.

Add salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low, cover tightly and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until tender, and until all of the broth is absorbed.

Spread the hot mixture on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer to cool quickly. When it is cool, scrape the quinoa in a salad bowl and fold in the cucumbers, tomatoes, chickpeas, green onions, mint, cilantro, and jalapeños. Gently fold in the avocado and shelled hemp seeds. Serve the salad on crisp Romaine lettuce leaves.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving):
302.5 calories; 35% calories from fat; 12.5g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 320.8mg sodium; 686.2mg potassium; 39.2g carbohydrates; 7.5g fiber; 5.1g sugar; 31.6g net carbs; 11.8g protein; 6.3 points.


Thursday, July 24, 2008


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 Chocolate-Orange Sorbetto ready to be scooped out of my new Cuisinart ice cream maker and ready to enjoy!

  UPDATE: The Chocolate-Orange Sorbetto recipe is in my newest book, World Vegan Feast.

I'm so glad I got my new ice cream maker in the summer! I can make delicious frozen treats-- low-fat ones, too-- for company and for just ourselves. The other day I made two very different sorbettos. A sorbetto is the Italian way of saying sorbet, a frozen dessert that is usually fairly intense in flavor and creamy in texture, but containing no dairy products, or even dairy substitutes. They could be called a "water ices", but that sounds so dull! Nothing dull about these treats!

I added Instant Clear Jel (which I talk about in this post) to ensure a creamy texture and no rock-hard freezing. But you can leave it out, if necessary.

Printable Recipe

Servings: 8
Yield: 1 quart

A friend gave us some large kiwis, but DH isn't fond of them, so I thought I'd make a sorbetto with them, using green tea as the liquid. This is a variation of a recipe that's going around the internet, so obviously, I wasn't the only one with this idea!

3 cups water
2 1/2 tablespoons your favorite green tea leaves
3/4 cup organic unbleached sugar
8 large kiwifruit, sliced in half lengthwise
zest of one organic lime
1 teaspoon Instant Clear Jel OR 1/4 teaspoon Xanthan Gum or Guar Gum

OPTIONAL: Green tea doesn't necessarily make a green brew, so
if your mixture looks kind of "blah" or brown add a few drops of green food coloring or green food color paste (For natural brands see Cooking Tips below.

PS: Here is an article about making your own natural food colorings.)

Bring water not quite to the boiling point in a small non-aluminum saucepan . Remove from the heat and stir in the tea leaves.

Cover and steep the tea for 5 minutes. Strain the leave off (discard) and pour tea back into the saucepan. Add the sugar. Over medium heat, stir until the sugar is dissolved. Raise the heat to high and simmer about 5 minutes, or until the tea becomes syrupy. Stir in the lime zest. Set aside in the refrigerator until it comes to room temperature.

Now you need to scoop the kiwi out of it's skin. Hold one half of a kiwi in the palm of one hand, and, using a grapefruit spoon, scoop out all the green kiwifruit. If the white membrane in the center is tough, discard it. Repeat with the rest of the kiwifruit.

Place the scooped-out kiwi fruit and cooled tea syrup into a blender or food processor, along with the Instant Clear Jel, and puree it until very smooth.
If the color is not pleasant, add some of the food coloring (be careful not to add too much!).

Prepare your ice cream maker and add the mixture. Freeze according the the directions that go with your machine. Scoop the mixture into a container and freeze until firm.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per 1/2 cup serving):
128.1 calories; 2% calories from fat; 0.4g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 6.3mg sodium; 302.5mg potassium; 32.3g carbohydrates; 3.1g fiber; 18.7g sugar; 29.2g net carbs; 0.9g protein; 2.0 points.

Cooking Tips
NATURAL FOOD COLORINGS (available online):

Here is an article about Chefmaster Food Dyes, which the author says are"All Natural Vegetable Food Dyes for the Allergy Sufferer, Earth-Conscious, or Chemically Sensitive".  I haven't verified this, but they are available from

Another brand is India Tree, also available from amazon, but you have to mix your own colors from 3 basics.


Saturday, July 19, 2008


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What kind of lettuce is this?
This morning DH went to the Denman Is. Saturday Market, which is held on the grass outside of our Recycling Center. We have eaten up all of the lettuce we planted (more is coming), so he bought an enormous lettuce, pictured above. I decided to showcase this in a luncheon salad, and had the taste for something Asian, so, the recipe below is what I came up with and we ate every scrap of it! It's open to adding or using different lettuces, greens (maybe the ubiquitous organic mixed baby greens) and other veggies, so, be my guest!

I wondered what type of lettuce this was, never having seen it before. It felt like an iceberg lettuce, but it was so pretty, with it's dark green and red leaves. So, after lunch, I looked it up and it IS in the "Crisphead" lettuce family-- it's a "Red Iceberg" lettuce! The seeds seem to be widely available online, and, obviously, it grows well in Canada!

It was much nicer than an ordinary iceberg lettuce-- maybe because it was organically home-grown, and we could also use the pretty outer leaves, which you usually never see.

I have to tell you about a new little gadget I got when I was in California-- a Messermeister Pro-touch Julienne Peeler. It was inexpensive and looked like it would be so handy for making julienne carrots, zucchini, etc., to pretty up summer dishes. And, I do love it! It's easier to use than a mandoline or an electric gadget, for this purpose, anyway.

Cuispro, Oxo Good Grips, and Kuhn Rikon also make julienne peelers, but the owner of the kitchen store in Healdsburg, CA where I bought it said she liked the Messermeister best, so I took her advice, and have no complaints. A very handy tool to have in your kitchen!

So, I hope you're having a great summer! The weather here is just perfect-- sunny and warm, but with a nice breeze most of the time. Before our trip to California (with a stop in Vancouver), we had a lovely visit to Salt Spring Island, a little south of us, where DH has family. If you get a chance to visit Salt Spring, it is beautiful!

Here is that recipe, and I hope you enjoy it!

Printable Recipe

Servings: 4 
This was a last-minute invention using what I had in my refrigerator, which included a beautiful Red iceburg lettuce, grown organically here on Denman Island.

4 cups reconstituted Soy Curls™ (4 oz. dry)
2 tablespoons (approximately) potato starch (or use cornstarch-- you can get organic)

(PS: If you don't have Soy Curls, use any vegan chicken substitute that you like, cut into thin strips.) Read about Soy Curls, where to buy, and how to use here.
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce (I used Kikkoman Lite)
1/2 tablespoon dark sesame oil (Chinese, roasted)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon Chinese  five-spice powder
1 dash Asian hot sauce (such as Sriracha)

Sesame Dressing:
1/4 cup rice vinegar (unseasoned)
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil Chinese, roasted)
2 tablespoons sugar or alternate
2 tablespoons lightly-toasted sesame seeds
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger 
1 large green onion (green part only), chopped

8 cups (approximately) shredded or torn lettuce leaves or salad greens of your choice (washed, spun and crisped before tearing-- Note: I like the Oxo Good Grips Salad Spinner)
1 or 2 tablespoons oil
1 large green onion, green part only, chopped 
any other veggies that you like-- I used sliced English (edible peel) cucumber

Mix together the marinade ingredients and mix well with the Soy Curls™ . Set aside.

Mix the dressing ingredients together and set aside.

Assemble your lettuce and other veggies on 4 plates before you cook the Soy Curls™.

Spread the Soy Curls™ on a platter and sprinkle with the potato starch. Mix well to coat. Add more starch if you think it needs it.

In a large seasoned wok, stir-fry pan, or hard anodized or nonstick skillet, heat the oil. When it's very hot, add the Soy Curls™ . Spread them out and let them start to brown on the bottom, then stir and toss until they are golden-brown all over. Sprinkle with the green onion and toss.

Distribute the Soy Curls™ evenly over the salad plates, and then drizzle with the dressing (whisk the dressing before drizzling on each serving).  Serve immediately!

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving)
: 300.6 calories; 51% calories from fat; 18.8g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 699.6mg sodium; 328.9mg potassium; 27.8g carbohydrates; 5.1g fiber; 9.6g sugar; 22.7g net carbs; 12.9g protein; 6.8 points.

Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Best Blog Tips

Summer is finally in full swing here, and, just in time, I have a new ice cream maker! I have had a Donvier hand-crank machine for years (the kind that you use with a frozen canister, not ice and salt), and it is great, but it only make a quart, and I wanted one that I could leave to its own devices. I finally decided on the Cuisinart ICE-30BC Pure Indulgence 2-Quart Automatic Ice Cream Maker, which is pretty reasonable in price, got good reviews, and is widely available. carries it, and, here in Canada,they now carry it on .

It is great and I have been having lots of fun with it. I just keep the canister in the freezer at all times so that I can make vegan ice cream, gelato or sorbet at the drop of a hat! If your ingredients are cold, all you need to do is whip them up in the blender, pour into the machine and let it turn for about 20 minutes. It gets quite firm, but should be placed in the freezer in a covered container for several hours before serving.

I have to tell you that originally I got the ice cream maker attachment for my Kitchen Aid stand mixer, which was a little more expensive. However, even after 3 days of freezing the attachment, and 45 minutes of churning, the ice cream did not freeze (this happened twice), so I returned it. A friend told me that the same thing happened to her.

Anyway, I've been playing with my gelato recipe from my book "Nonna's Italian Kitchen". I wanted to make it richer, easier, and more servings.

One of the things I did was to use Instant Clearjel® instead of the cooked tapioca flour mixture that I generally used (tapioca thickens the mixture instead of eggs, and it has better mouth feel than cornstarch). This eliminates cooking the starch mixture. Instant Clearjel® is a modified corn starch, which simply means that it is precooked, used to thicken recipes. And the vegan ice cream made with it does not crystallize, or get rock-hard. It's creamy, and has no starchy mouth feel. (I have added the alternative of using Xanthan Gum or Guar gum instead.)

In this recipe, DO NOT use the regular Clearjel® meant for making jam and pies and needs to be cooked.  Instant Clearjel® does NOT need to be cooked.  It is carried on and King Arthur Flour for US customers. It has been available in Canada primarily from baking supply wholesalers, but,  good news for Canadians-- finally carries Instant Clearjel®! (Make sure you add a note to your order specifying that you want INSTANT Clearjel®.) According to their website, Gourmet Warehouse in Vancouver, BC carries it, too, but I'm not sure if they do mail order (their website is under construction right now).
For information about these thickeners, see (According to this source and others, Instant Clearjel® and Ultra Gel® are both NON-GMO.)

So, here is the result and we love it!


Adapted from the recipe in my book "Nonna's Italian Kitchen", this is a knockout vegan ice cream treat! June 2008

1 cup soy or almond milk
6 oz dairy-free organic, good-quality semi-sweet chocolate, cut into small pieces, or semisweet chocolate chips
2 3/4 cup soy or almond milk
3/4 cup raw cashews or cashew pieces, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes and drained
(If allergic to nuts, or don't have any cashews, use 1/2 cup more nondairy milk, or soy creamer, and 1/4 cup oil.)
3/4 cup  brown rice syrup
1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
OPTIONAL: 2 tablespoons Amaretto, Frangelico, Kahlua, or other chocolate, coffee, orange, berry or nut liqueur
3/4 cup any organic unbleached sugar
1/3 cup organic dutch process cocoa powder (unsweetened)
3/8 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoons Instant Clearjel® (OR you can use 3/8 teaspoon Xanthan gum or Guar Gum instead)

Mix the first 1 cup nondairy milk and the chocolate in a small pan over medium heat. Stir until the chocolate is melted into the milk. Do not boil. OR (MICROWAVE METHOD) mix the milk and chocolate in a medium bowl and microwave at half power for 2 minutes. Stir. if the chocolate is not melted into the milk, microwave again in 1 minute increments until it is.

Place the remaining 2 3/4 cups milk into a blender along with the soaked, drained cashews, and blend until VERY smooth and frothy (make sure that it is not grainy at all).

Mix all of the remaining ingredients, and the melted chocolate/milk mixture, into this mixture and blend again until it is VERY smooth. (Scrape down the sides of the blender with a spatula so that no cocoa powder or Instant Clearjel® gets left behind.)

Chill the gelato mixture thoroughly, and then freeze according to directions for your ice cream machine. Scoop into a quart plastic container, cover and freeze for several hours before serving.

Servings: 16
Yield: about 2 qts.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per 1/2 cup serving)
: 179.7 calories; 30% calories from fat; 6.8g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 74.5mg sodium; 178.5mg potassium; 31.9g carbohydrates; 1.0g fiber; 22.4g sugar; 30.9g net carbs; 3.4g protein; 4.0 points.