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summer arrived, officially, 9 days ago. the weather seems unaware of this fact, but the strawberries? they know.
the crop this year will be smaller than usual, due to a virus which has hit the east end of the province the hardest.
we’ve been picking up the early crop from Balderson’s Farm Market. they have some of the best strawberries i’ve tasted on this little sandbar. so juicy they are, they have simply begged to be macerated.
ingredients [for mint macerated strawberries]
- sliced strawberries, perhaps a pint or so
- 2 – 3 tbsp of fresh mint, chiffonade
- a mere bit of honey drizzle, 1 tsp
ingredients [for lemon olive oil cake]
- 4 eggs
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2/3c evoo
- zest of one lemon
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1c almond flour
- 2 tbsp arrowroot powder
- 2 tbsp coconut flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
ingredients [for cake glaze]
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp honey
ingredients [for whipped topping]
- 1 can coconut milk, refrigerated
- 1 small slosh of bailey’s irish cream (optional)
preheat your oven to 350 degrees. grease an 8 inch square cake pan with olive oil.
beat eggs until foamy and pale in colour, add honey and lemon juice and beat to combine.
slowly drizzle the olive oil into the egg & honey mixture, keeping the hand mixer beating constantly, until the oil is fully incorporated.
in a separate bowl, combine almond flour, arrowroot, coconut flour, baking powder, lemon zest and salt.
add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredient. beat on slow speed to mix thoroughly.
place in oven and bake approximately 30 minutes, until top springs back when gently depressed and a toothpick inserted in the cake is dry when removed. cool on a wire rack.
when cooled, the cake can be glazed for a bit of added sweetness. melt butter. add honey and lemon juice. stir and brush over the top of the cake. this is optional.
place the solid coconut fat/cream from the refrigerated coconut milk in a chilled bowl. beat with chilled beaters. add a touch of bailey’s irish cream (if you want to veer slightly from a paleo recipe) or a bit of a scraped vanilla bean.
plate pretty and enjoy! this is a lovely, light and delicately flavoured delight!
as i sit writing this, i watch wet, heavy, lazy flakes of snow fall to the ground, dusting what had been clear of winter. trees and birds and grape hyacinths had been spring hopeful in vain.
the calendar says spring but the weather does not. my mind sometimes drifts into warm sunshine-lit morning runs but that is for another day.
my body and spirit, however, know it is time for a spring cleanse; an opportunity to dust off my liver, unclog my intestinal tract, squeegee the mucous, shine up my skin and hair, get good sleep.
this time around i chose to follow the thoughtfully planned, pleasingly presented For The Glow Spring Cleanse by the most effervescent and naturally wise Jennifer Jordan.
Jenn provides health, fitness and nutrition services and information. i followed her work for a while now and i really appreciate her wholesome approach and her sense of style – her work is infused with fun and wisdom, simplicity and compassion.
i selected this cleanse partly because it takes me into nutrition places i’ve not really ventured before. as a paleo/ancestral/low inflammatory/low carb eater for over a year now, the thought of green smoothies for breakfast, mostly raw meals, and no meat was an intriguing experiment for my body and mind, my spirit even.
so, today is day 6 of the two week mini cleanse. week one , in Jenn’s words,
features a high raw, (almost) vegan diet that aims to give your digestive system a bit of a vacation.
thus far this week, i’ve single-handedly consumed 6 bunches (i’ve taken to calling them clumps) of raw kale and a clump of raw collard green, 10 lemons, and a goodly sized knob of ginger root.
i’ve added spirulina, acai, and maca — all previously untried ‘superfoods’ — to my daily intake.
i’ve spurned all meats, dairy, coffee, and alcohol. processed foods are also verboten on the cleanse, but i’ve been away from most processing for quite a while now.
i’ve attempted to step away from all technology an hour before bedtime.
the only cooked food i’ve consumed in 6 days has been one hard-boiled egg, one poached egg, and kale chips (though drying them in the oven can’t really be called cooking them, can it?).
so, what’s been happening with my body, mind, and spirit? there isn’t drama, but there are effects.
there was an almost immediate change in my skin, commented on by a few people. it has been better hydrated and there has been an improvement in skin colour and tone.
there was also an almost immediate change in my bowel regularity. in a not good way. i’m not sure why that is. i’ve always eaten loads of veggies though never this amount of raw greens. all the roughage, however, has been accompanied by the daily swilling of litres of lemon-ginger H2O. the bowel, sluggish like late fall house flies at the beginning of the week, is now active, but lacks a sense of smooth rhythm – there’s clanging in the pipes, though diminishing amounts, at odd and random times of the day.
my energy levels neither slumped nor jumped. they’ve been fairly unchanged and generally steady across the course of the day.
i’ve been hungry. that isn’t necessarily or inherently a bad thing – knowing the feeling of hunger has merits. on the other hand, i start most of my days between 5:30 and 6:00am (that’s the start of the work hours) and end them between 6:00 and 8:00pm. the three prescriptive meals aren’t enough to get me through the day and so i’ve had to add in snacks, which are available, if needed, on the plan.
i’ve learned that spirulina is slightly short of vile but oh-so-good for me.
i suspect i am down a couple of pounds, though i’ve not weighed in on that yet.
my body feels more awake, perhaps more freshly nourished and lighter. must be that my cells are happier!
one of the nice parts of extra time at home is extra time in the kitchen. this holiday season has afforded a lovely amount of prepping and consuming of truly fine, fresh foods.
when i came across a recipe for roasted grapes whilst browsing the ‘net i could only think roasted grapes! paleoslave did the cooking and tweaking.
lobster tails served with roasted grapes in a balsamic reduction
for the lobster tails
- lobster tails. plenty of them
- 3 – 4 tbsps ghee
- 4 or 5 cloves of garlic minced
- 2 tsp italian seasoning
- salt to taste
- 2 cups + grapes (we used globes, seedless would work best)
- 1/2 tsp each dried rosemary and dried thyme
- 1 tbsp honey
- fresh rosemary for garnish
- 6 tbsp drained ricotta cheese
- 2 tbsp 9% fat greek yoghurt
- 2 tsp honey
- zest from 1/2 lemon
- big pinch of sea salt
for the balsamic reduction
- balsamic vinegar reduced to a thick, yummy syrup consistency
heat the gheel in fry pan, add spices. add the cooked lobster tails and sear quickly. remove from heat and set aside.
for the roasted grapes:
wash and dry the grapes. in a bowl combine the grapes with the honey, thyme and rosemary. toss to coat thoroughly. lay them out on parchment paper. roast in a 300 degree oven for 45 minutes. remove from oven and set aside.
for the cheese-yoghurt topping:
thoroughly mix ricotta, yoghurt, honey, lemon zest and salt together in a bowl.
for the balsamic reduction:
place balsamic vinegar in the small sauce pan over medium low heat. bring to a simmer. keep at a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally, until a thickened sticky syrups forms.
plate the lobster tails and roasted grapes. top the grapes with the cheese-yoghurt topping and drizzle all with the balsamic reduction.
what a wonderful holiday repast. cheers!
yesterday at the charlottetown farmers market, fresh island deli scallops – also known as blue-eyed scallops – were on offer.
we sampled them. and, then, i sampled them again.
we picked up a two pound bag.
for the evening meal, my loved and loving paleoslave created a simple and sumptuous feed of scallops. oh yes yum!
scallops paleoslave’s way
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/3 cup shallots, finely diced
- 2 lrg garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely cut
- 1 1/4 cup white wine (we used yali sauvignon blanc)
- 2 pounds blue-eyed scallops
add olive oil to large, shallow pan. when heated add shallots and garlic. sautee until the shallots become golder. add rosemary and cook, stirring a minute or two, until the fresh herb gives up her oils and flavours.
add scallops. cover and steam until they open and then continue to cook another minute or two.
serve with wine and a side of steamed or seared veggies. add a generous pat of butter to those veggies.
a raw slaw would also plate well with these delights.
i’m really pleased to present today’s guest post, the first of many i hope, by jaz krautwurst. jaz is a registered holistic nutritional consultant living in halifax, nova scotia. she has a passion and talent for living with ease, prefers dancing to walking and walking to wheels, and does a darned fine job of practicing nonattachment. a lover of food, drink, people as party companions, acrobatics, fire, and coffee, she is mistress to living with love and compassion. sometimes she yells at her roommate.
(note: i am privileged to have birthed jaz and am grateful for all the ways she has danced my life)
When you hear the word ‘cleanse,’ what does it make you think of? I think it’s pretty easy for people to perceive a cleanse as intense and restrictive, something unpleasant ‘healthy’ people do in the name of being ‘healthy.’ Literally, the word cleanse means, ‘Rid (a person, place, or thing) of something seen as unpleasant, unwanted, or defiling,’ and that is the purpose of a cleanse: to facilitate the body’s natural detoxification processes through diet, exercise and often the use of herbs or vitamin/mineral supplements. It is a process unique to each individual — there is no single ‘correct’ cleanse or cleansing diet that is right for everyone. It is dependant on the individual’s goals as well as their everyday lifestyle.
For myself, a cleanse is a way to tune up my habits. Knowing what is right and applying it can be two different things and I, personally, am easily swayed by temptation. The treats aren’t treats if you have them every day and a party isn’t a party if it happens every night!
A cleanse is an opportunity for me to make lasting change in my lifestyle and instill new, positive habits (and remember my old, positive habits)… it’s a gratifying feeling!
A cleanse is a way for me to get in tune with my body. It is a time for me to know myself further, treat myself gently and remind myself what a gift I (and all of us humans!) have been given: a beautiful, resilient, capable body that contains incomprehensible wisdom inside of it. We carry within ourselves not just the potential to be well but the ability to achieve it. A cleanse allows me to see this very real ability in action.
A cleanse during the season’s change prepares me for the shifts of nature. The temperature, weather, amount of daylight, even the quality of the air and direction the wind comes from all change. Simple food, simply prepared, coming from this corner of the world (as much as I am able) prepares me, body and spirit, for the shorter days and cooler temperatures upon us. I am aware of the shift from watery fruits and vegetables to root veggies as much as I’m aware that it now gets dark at 5:30 in the evening. Squashes, sweet potatoes and other foods of the season warm me up from the inside out. A cleanse attunes me to the planet.
With these things in mind it is with great pleasure and a healthy sense of challenge that I begin my own 21 day cleanse. Today is day two! During this time I am saying goodbye to my non-food of choice: coffee. So far I don’t miss it but talk to me tomorrow afternoon after I’ve finished serving brunch to a hundred people at work! Herbal teas, pure water and scalp massages are among my methods of handling the cravings. I give myself a personal bonus if I can get someone else to deliver the scalp massage!
Have you ever done a cleanse before? What do you do to diffuse a craving for something you want to avoid?
so, working with what was on hand today, creative carpaccio was served for lunch. all the ingredients, except for the dressing ingredients and capers, were purchased through my organic veggie home delivery or at the local farmers market.
i just love fresh and local!
creative carpaccio & poached eggs
- 4 slices local beef bacon, rolled paper thin between sheets of plastic wrap
- local salad greens
- 1/2 sweet onion, sliced thin
- lusciously ripe green german tomato, sliced (so good. i admit to eating a few slices that never made it to the plate. from weedy gardens.)
- cumin gouda, shaved (light & flavourful. love the cheeses from avondale meadows farm…& margaret and allister who run the show)
- tbsp capers
- 4 eggs, poached
- fresh pepper and sea salt to taste
- 1/4c olive oil
- 1/8c balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp whole grain dijon mustard
place greens on plate. lay beef on top, followed by onions, capers and green tomatoes.
whisk the dressing ingredients together in a bowl, until well incorporated.
sprinkle dressing over all. add salt and pepper to taste. top with shaved cheese.
plate with poached eggs.
salmon wrapped tuna salad
- 2 tbsp goat yoghurt
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp whole grain mustard
- zest and juice of one lime
- 2 cans tuna, drained and rinsed
- 12 pieces, thinly sliced smoke salmon
- sea salt
- black pepper
- fresh mint
ingredients for the salad
- 2 large tomatoes, sliced
- 2 kiwi, peeled and sliced
- 1/4 cucumber, matchstick cut
- 1 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
- 1 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp whole grain mustard
mix yoghurt, tomato paste and mustard in a bowl. add lime zest and juice. stir to incorporate. add tuna and black pepper to taste. mix well.
spoon tuna mixture onto smoked salmon slices. roll or fold into lovely parcels.
arrange tomato slices, kiwi slices and matchstick cucumber on plate.
spoon dressing over tomato & kiwi slices.
arrange tuna & salmon parcels on top. garnish with fresh mint leaves and fresh ground pepper.
serve with live organic raw sundried tomato and chia crackers and vegetable garden crackers on the side.
serve with norcal margaritas:
- half dozen ice cubes
- 1 oz tequila
- zest of one lime
- juice of one lime
- top up with soda or flavoured water
thai scented fish salad
- 1 lb halibut fillets (purchased fresh at the market)
- salad greens
- 1 mango, peeled and sliced
- 1 pitaya, peeled and sliced
- 1 tomato, cut into wedges
- 1/3 cucumber, sliced
- 2 spring onions, sliced
- 2 garlic scapes, sliced
ingredients for dressing
- 1 tbsp creamed coconut
- 3 tbsp boiling water
- 4 tbsp walnut oil
- zest of one lime
- juice of one lime
- 1 red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 tsp honey
- 3 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
- salt to taste
method for dressing
place the creamed coconut and salt in a mason jar. add the boiling water and let sit until the coconut is dissolved.
add the remaining ingredients (less the fresh coriander if you are prepping in advance). shake well. (if advance prepping, add coriander and shake just before dressing the salad).
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp honey
- 1/2 tsp hot chilli sauce
- 2 tbsp garlic olive oil
method for marinade
crush the coriander, fennel and cumin seeds (i use a coffee bean grinder). add remaining ingredients, stir to incorporate.
method for the salad
cut the fish into strips. spread the marinade over the pieces. cover and refrigerate – minimum of 20 minutes and up to 8 hours.
place greens, fruit, cucumber, spring onions and garlic scapes in a large bowl. add dressing and toss.
arrange salad on plate.
heat pan, add fish and cook for 5 minutes.
add fish to plate and serve.
every bit of this meal was a taste burst. the dressing, the fruit, the marinade, the fish. perfect sunday salad.
lamb burgers with greens & avocado lime dressing
lamb burger ingredients (from finecooking.com)
- fresh ground lamb, about 1.5 pounds
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
avocado lime dressing ingredients
- 1 avocado
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter olive oil
- 1 tbsp garlic olive oil
- 1 tbsp corriander chutney
- salt & pepper to taste
- greens (our supply was fairly bereft … some arugula and spinach)
- two hard boiled eggs
- thinly sliced cucumber
- thinly sliced tomato
- crispy bacon bits
- green olives
- orange slices
method for burgers
combine the ground lamb and spices in a bowl. incorporate thoroughly. form into burger patties and cook in cast iron fry pan.
method for dressing
combine avocado, lime juice, olive oils, chutney, salt and pepper in a food processor. process until blended and smooth.
method for salad
toss greens, cucumbers and bacon.
arrange on plate along with sliced egg, sliced tomato and orange segments.
top with dressing. add fresh ground pepper to taste.