Saturday, 27 April 2013

Spring Bunny

Well, spring has finally come, and it has come in full force! In just a few days the weather went from freezing cold with gloomy skies and soggy snowflakes to sunny and warm with a welcome breeze. Soon I can start planting stuff in my garden! I just need to build a grid now. Ugh! It seems like there's always something keeping me from growing things! :)

At least now that the weather is finally nice, I can stop complaining about it. I don't think that anyone finds blog posts about the weather very interesting.

So for something a little more interesting, I thought I'd post this adorable picture of a rabbit I saw in my backyard a few days ago. He was so nice, I was able to get within a few steps of him!
These two are a bit blurry, but you can still see how cute he is!

I didn't even have to use the zoom on my camera!
Eventually, I did get too close to him and he jumped up that
hole. I hope he was okay! 

So I hope that satisfied your daily cuteness requirement. Enjoy spring, enjoy nature, enjoy life! Ahhhh, there's nothing like sunshine and bunnies to lift your mood!

Friday, 26 April 2013

Avocado Sauerkraut Nori Rolls

This is one of my favourite nori rolls! Avocado and sauerkraut taste great together, and it's an easy way to consume more lactofermented foods. If you have some on hand, try adding some cucumber matchsticks, it's delicious!

Avocado Sauerkraut Nori Rolls


1/2 avocado, thinly sliced
1/4 cup sauerkraut
2 cups of mixed lettuce, or more (however much you can pack into the roll!)
2 nori sheets
optional: some cucumber, cut into matchsticks


1. Have a nori sheet in front of you, shiny side down, with the lines running horizontally.
2. Place 1/2 of the sliced avocado near the bottom of one of the nori sheets. (you could also mash the avocado and spread it on. Leftover guacamole works great for this!)
3. Pile on 1/2 of the sauerkraut and greens, and cucumber if using.
4. Starting at the bottom, roll everything in the nori tightly to create a firm roll. Dab a little water on the last centimeter from the end to help the nori stick.
5. Repeat for the other roll.
6. Starting with the first roll you made, slice crosswise with a very sharp knife. (I don't have a sharp enough chef's knife, so I usually use a sharp serrated knife.)
If it's really difficult to cut, wait a few minutes for the
avocado to soften the nori

Super easy and delicious! 

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Spring Salad

A yummy, crunchy, fresh salad filled with springtime vegetables! Now, if only the weather would cooperate and realize that it really is spring! Anyway, even if the sunshine's running a bit late, this is a very enjoyable and filling salad that will make you dream of melting snow. Maybe it can even distract you long enough for spring to come. If only.

I find that the ripe avocado and lemon juice makes enough of a dressing to coat the vegetables and leave the salad with a light, mild, fresh taste, but if you like you can add some pepper and a drizzle of olive oil if you want it to be less light and mild. Just do so sparingly.

Black-Eyed Pea Chopped Spring Salad


1 stalk of celery, chopped
1/3 cup cooked black eyed peas
1/2 avocado, cut into a dice
1 large radish, chopped
1/2 cup or more sugar snap peas, coarsely chopped
2 inch chunk of cucumber, chopped
1 romaine heart, thinly sliced or chopped
1/4 large fennel bulb (or 1/2 a small one), chopped
fronds from the fennel bulb, chopped
1 green onion, thinly sliced
juice of 1/2 a small lemon
optional: other fresh herbs


1. Toss everything together.
2. If the black eyed peas you used weren't salted, add a bit of salt to the lemon juice before tossing with the rest of the salad.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Fennel-Tomato Ceviche Salad

Most raw foodists are vegan. If you buy industrialized meat, I can understand that. Personally, I think that if you get meat from a good source, it's fine to eat raw. Well, unless it's pork or poultry. If you're not vegan, things like ceviche and steak tartar are a great way to enjoy the benefits of raw foods. Raw meat is actually really good for you. This is a delicious way of consuming healthy raw fish! If you are vegan, or a raw vegan, you could probably just substitute some sliced mushrooms for the fish. This can be a light lunch or an appetizer.

Fennel-Tomato Ceviche Salad


1/2 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 tomato, cut into 16 wedges
1/2 radish, very thinly sliced
1 cup fresh raw fish, thinly sliced (I used salmon)
1 ancovy, minced
1/2 tsp green peppercorns, minced
1 tsp capers, minced
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/8 cup olives, chopped (I used kalamata)
pinch of salt
fennel fronds, chopped
balsamic vinegar 
olive oil


1. Combine the fish, anchovy, peppercorns, capers, lemon, scallion, garlic, olives, and salt in a bowl. Marinate in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
2. Arrange the fennel, tomato and radish on plates. It looks really pretty if you alternate the slices in a pinwheel formation.
3. Top the vegetables with the marinated fish.
4. Drizzle with a bit of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. 
5. Top with fennel fronds. Enjoy!

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Lactofermented Rutabaga

Have you ever heard of lactofermenting? It's kind of like pickling, but instead of cooking the canned stuff, you just let it sit so that good bacteria grows and keeps bad bacteria from forming. Lactofermented food is probably the easiest, tastiest, and cheapest way of consuming probiotics. If you do it right, it can also be the healthiest! For more information on lactofermenting and why it's so good, read this. (There are also lots of great recipes for lacto-ferments on that site.)

Lactofermented foods should be part of your daily diet. My favourite vegetable ferments are sauerkraut, ginger carrot, lacto-fermented beets, and lacto-fermented rutabaga. Kombucha, kefir, fermented condiments, sourdough and yogurt are also good sources of healthy bacteria. I constantly have kombucha brewing, and it's one of the most delicious fermented food there is (well, it's actually a drink, but you get my point).

The recipe that I'm going to share today is for lactofermented rutabaga (you can also use turnips, they're pretty much the same, rutabagas are just cheaper here). I like them best when fermented with some brine from fermented beets (you could also use beet juice, or just add a few chunks of beets), because then they turn the most gorgeous shade of bright pink!

Lactofermented rutabaga can be used in salads and lettuce rolls (great with avocado), in falafel wraps, wrapped in other ways (especially good with tahini sauce), or as a garnish. These make seriously beautiful garnishes.

Lactofermented Pink Rutabaga


1 large rutabaga or 2 turnips, cut into matchsticks
1/2 to 1 cup leftover brine from fermented beets or beet juice, optional (you can also just throw a few chunks of beets in with the rutabaga)
water, to cover (preferably filtered)
1 Tbsp salt, or 2 Tbsp if not using leftover brine


1. Pour the brine and salt into a large jar, or two medium jars (whatever can hold all the rutabaga), stir until the salt is dissolved.
2. Put the rutabaga in in the jars/jars.
3. Add water to cover, leaving at least 1 inch of air at the top of the jar.
4. Close the lid, then leave the jars to ferment for about 3 days.
5. Refrigerate after they have finished fermenting.

These are extremely versatile! Use then in salads, as a garnish, in nori wraps, or other wraps! They taste especially good with middle eastern/lebanese foods, like falafel.

Here are some recipes that include lactofermented rutabaga:
roasted vegetables on raw rice (as a garnish)
warm salad (as a garnish)

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Turkey Vegetable Soup

This works with chicken too, just use two carcasses instead of one, or halve all the other ingredient amounts. Yummy turkey soup is a great way to warm up, get healthy if you're sick, stay healthy if you're not, or just to enjoy! It's also really quick to make if you have the stock and meat on hand.

Turkey Vegetable Soup


1 meaty turkey carcass, made into stock, meat reserved and chopped (include 1 bay leaf and a large chunk of ginger in the stock, remove the meat as soon as it's cooked then add the bones back to the pot to keep simmering)
2 stalks of celery, sliced
2 medium onions, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped (yellow, orange ore red is best, and a combination looks really pretty)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 bunches of kale, thinly sliced
1 tsp each of thyme, sage, basil, oregano (dried, or triple quantities if fresh)
2 tsp dried rosemary (or 2 Tbsp fresh)
optional: 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp turmeric (for a slight curry flavour)
salt and pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp oil


1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot.
2. Add the onion and saute over medium heat until lightly browned. 
3. Add the celery and carrots and saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Add the bell pepper, cook for another 2-3 minutes.
5. Add the garlic and all other seasonings. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
6. Pour in the turkey stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the vegetables are just tender.
7. Add the kale and turkey meat. Cook until the kale is wilted and all vegetables are tender. Taste to adjust for seasonings.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Rainbow Kale Salad

Not only is this salad yummy and amazingly healthy, but it's beautiful too! We all know that we're supposed to "eat the rainbow", and now you can eat the whole rainbow in one salad! This salad is fresh and vibrant and full of lots of healthy things.

Rainbow Kale Salad


1 bunch kale, thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced, slices cut in half (or use a mix of yellow and red pepper for even more colour!)
1 carrot, shredded
1 cup sugar snap peas, chopped
1/2 cup or more lactofermented rutabaga
1 avocado, thinly sliced, slices cut into quarters crosswise
2 Tbsp sunflower seeds, sprouted or soaked about 8 hours
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp lime juice (or half a lime)
salt and pepper
optional: cherry tomatoes, fresh herbs, radishes


1. Pour the olive oil and lime juice on the kale. Add a pinch of salt and a few gratings of freshly ground pepper. Message the dressing into the kale.
2. Combine the kale with the rest of the ingredients. This salad is best if you leave it to sit for a while, so the kale has a chance to soften.
This is a great salad to take for lunch because you can put
the dressing on ahead of time and the greens won't wilt!

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Ginger-Lemon Salmon Veggie Salad

This is a delicious, fresh tasting salad. It can be made all raw if you use raw (sushi-grade) salmon, or leave it out altogether. It's crunchy, yummy and healthy!

This was originally meant to be a seaweed salad, since I'm trying to get more seaweed into my diet, but I kept adding so many other ingredients that the seaweed went from being the star of the dish to just another vegetable in the salad. Personally, I think it's much better this way, because you're still consuming super healthy seaweed, but the taste (which many find disagreeable) is mostly covered up. Feel free to add more seaweed if you actually like the taste, and be grateful that you do. Not all of us are so lucky.

Seaweed Salmon and Vegetable Salad


213g can of wild salmon
1/2 up to 2 cups seaweed, any kind, soaked (soaking time will vary with seaweed variety)
1/2 cucumber, cut into thin matchsticks
1 bell pepper, yellow or red or a combination, sliced very thinly
1 carrot, cut into strips with a vegetable peeler (or cut into very fine julienne)
1 avocado, half of it cut into small chunks, other half reserved
3-5 leaves romaine, very thinly sliced
1-inch knob of ginger
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper, to taste
pinch of red pepper flakes


1. Drain the seaweed, flake the salmon with a fork. Combine salmon, seaweed, cucumber, bell pepper, carrot, the cut half of the avocado, and the romaine in a large bowl.
2. Combine the remaining ingredients in a food processor or blender. Puree until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed.
3. Pour dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Enjoy!
Optional: top with toasted sesame or sunflower seeds

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Roasted Vegetables on Raw "Rice"

I'm not really into completely raw meals, but I do see the benefits of eating raw foods. So I compromise. This dish is one of those compromises, and I think it actually tastes better since it's half raw! The light freshness of the "rice" is a great contrast to the warm and heavy roasted vegetables. The roasted vegetables complement the rice in every way; taste, texture, weight, flavour, and colour! The rice is has fresh, springtime flavours and the roasted vegetables are salty and savory, warm and filling!

This seriously might be one of the best things I've ever made. Plus it's super healthy! What more could you want?

Roasted Vegetables on Raw "Rice"


2 parsnips, coarsely chopped
4 large radishes, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup (packed) fennel fronds
2 Tbsp (packed, or more, to taste) parsley
2 green onions, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup tahini
juice of 1/2 a lemon
tiny pinch of salt
2 eggplant, sliced into rounds
1 bunch asparagus, woody ends removed
1/2 to 1 pound new potatoes (I used purple ones, but any colour will work)
3 bell peppers, cut into sixths, optional
olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
lactofermented rutabaga, optional, to garnish


1. Turn oven to 425*F.
2. If you want, you can salt your eggplant by sprinkling salt on the slices and letting them sit for about 30 minutes, then draining them. This is supposed to draw the bitterness out, I don't really find that it makes a difference, so this step is optional. 
3. Coat the eggplant, potatoes, optional red pepper and asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper. Coat vegetables separately, except for the pepper and potatoes, which can be combined. Eggplant is very absorbent  it will require a lot of olive oil. 
4. Place the eggplant on a wire cooling rack and place the cooling rack on a baking tray. Place this in the oven. Roast for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the eggplant is starting to brown, flipping once halfway through.
It's best to have only one layer of eggplant,
but I only have one cookie sheet
5. The potatoes and peppers only need to be roasted for an hour, the asparagus only need about 15 minutes. 
6. Meanwhile, put the parsnips, radishes, fennel, parsley, and green onions in a food processor. Process until the vegetables are just slightly larger than grains of rice.
7. Whisk together the tahini, lemon juice and pinch of salt in a small bowl. Add to the parsnip mixture. Pulse just until everything is combined.
8. Plate the rice and top with the roasted vegetables. Garnish with the lactofermented rutabaga, if desired.

Beautiful as well as delicious!

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

This book was amazing! It was suspenseful, gripping, chilling, and had a great plot twist in the middle (I love plot twists, all good books need some). This book is about a man whose wife goes missing and her disappearance gets blamed on him. This is the description from
"On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer? 
As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?"

I'm really enjoying pretty much all the adult books that I've been reading. Teen books just seem so simple and one-dimensional to me now. Books like this have so many layers, so much more meaning, and are written with so much skill. No more "it sucks to be a teenage vampire 'cause no one understands you". Ugh. Those books are so boring.

This book isn't! Gone Girl is the best book I have read in a long time. Not only is the plot fast-paced and suspenseful, but the book also has substance. It makes you think, and fills you with conflicting emotions. You think you hate a character at one point, but then something changes or they say something, and then you feel sorry for them or agree with them. Do all adult books do this? I feel like I've been awaken from a long, dull dream of too many mediocre books to one that actually makes me feel something, a book that actually causes me to have an emotional response. Sure, there have been some teen books that have evoked an emotional reaction in me, but it's been way to long.

This book is also perfectly complex and amazingly detailed. I love books like that, ones that have words and events perfectly woven together like an intricate spider web. There are just so many elements to this story and so much detail. The characters are interesting and well-developed. They're complicated, and you feel as though you actually know them. The characters are unique, and it's fun to try and figure them out, and try to predict their next move.

I love how you never know what will happen in this book. It's not like in some stories where you think, yup, she's going to fall in love with him, they'll save the kingdom together, and live happily ever after once she finally makes up her mind as to whether she's really in love with him or somebody else; you don't know how the immediate problems or the overall problems are going to be resolved. Also, I have to say that the ending was genius. Maybe not entirely satisfying (there is someone who could use a bit of jail time), but still really clever. I hate books with endings that last two pages and make you want to throw the book against the wall.
Anyway, I'm not much of a book reviewer, but this is such an amazing book that I just want some people to read it! So go to your nearest book store or library (library is better, it doesn't waste paper or cost you money) and grab a copy of this book immediately! You won't be disappointed, trust me. Now read it. Go. Stop being here and read the book.
This is the genius who wrote the book