Sunday, December 28, 2008

PCC Emerald City Salad

This salad is borrowed from PCC Natural Market's Deli of Seattle. Being a former Employee of the PCC Deli I got insight on many delicious recipes, such as this one. Emerald City was one of the most popular, if not the most popular deli case item. Not only is it a beautiful jewel of a salad dotted with colorful gems, it is also a super flavorful dish packed with vital nutrients. Some like to go heavy on the rice making it more of a main dish, where others relay on the greens for the bulk of the recipe(the later being my tendency). Hands down this is my favorite way to eat my greens! Not having straight wild rice on hand I substituted a wild rice pilaf, which worked just as well.


-2 cups organic wild rice
-1 bunch organic kale
-1 bunch organic chard
-1 red bell pepper
-1 yellow pepper
-1 fennel bulb
-1 bunch green onion
-1/2 cup chopped parsley
-1/2 cup olive oil
-3/4 cup lemon juice
-2 teaspoons minced garlic
-2 teaspoons salt
-1 teaspoon black pepper


-1/4 cup cranberries
-1/4 cup sliced almonds
-top with a fresh goat cheese or cubed gruyere

Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper to make dressing. Cook the rice in ample water and cool. Drain, cool, and toss rice with dressing. Remove tough stems and ribs from greens and chiffonade (roll up greens length wise and chop in thin strips).Combine with diced peppers, thinly sliced fennel bulb and chopped green onion. Just before serving, toss veggies with dressed rice.

Serves 6

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Pumpkin Pie With Hazelnut Crust

This is an adapted recipe from my last years vegan version that didn't go over so well. It tasted great but was much too soupy. I rarely use plain old sugar(raw sugar of course) but decided it would work best, not needing any more additional liquid from agave or maple syrup. The coconut milk is so delicious and blends so nicely with pumpkin, and the coconut flavor is hardly discernible. The crust is the same as from the pecan and hazelnut pie recipe, and adds a nutty aroma to the sweet pumpkin filling. I enjoy topping my pies with hand cut and scored leaves, each one adding its own character, but leaf cookie cutters will of course work just fine too.


Hazelnut Spelt Crust:

2 cups spelt flour(whole or white)
2 tablespoons butter or earth balance
1 cup cold water
3/4 cup whole hazelnuts (reserve 1/4 cup for topping pie)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the 3/4 cup of hazelnuts and toast until fragrant or lightly browned.(about 10 minutes)

Place 1/2 cup of the hazelnuts in food processor and blend until fine. If you do not have a food processor a coffee grinder or a rolling pin and a stiff wrist would work fine. Butter and flour a pie dish and set aside. In a large bowl place the spelt flour, salt, butter, and hazelnuts cutting in the cool butter with a dough blender, adding cold water until well mixed. (Additional flour may be necessary if dough is too sticky). Dough will roll out best if refrigerated at least one hour, but if you wish to bypass this just be extra careful rolling out the dough and use the help of a metal spatula. (I set aside about 1/8 of a cup of dough to use for the leaf topping.)

Place crust in dish and crimp edges. If desired you can brush the crust with a beaten egg mixture to give the crust a glossy brown sheen. Cut small slits in bottom of crust with sharp knife, as to not let the crust raise up with a hollow center, and place in oven for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.


1 small sweet pumpkin
1 tablespoon safflower oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup coconut milk
3 eggs
1 cup raw sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon ginger powder

Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees. Clean and chop pumpkin into 6 slices down the center, discarding the stem. Place on pan and drizzle with safflower oil and salt, and place in oven for about 50 minutes or until very tender. Once cooled scrape flesh into blender or food processor and blend smooth. Place pumpkin puree in large bowl and mix in the sugar, salt, vanilla, cinnamon, allspice, and ginger. Then add the eggs(lightly beaten) and coconut milk.

Decrease oven temperature to 350 degrees. Pour filling into crust and bake for about 50 minutes.

Leaf toppers:

Increase oven to 400 degrees. Roll out remaining dough to same thickness as pie crust. I use a small sharp pairing knife to cut the leaf shapes and score the veins with the back side of the knife. This is of course also achieved with cookie cutters, but I prefer the hand done look. Place on pan and bake for 10-15 minutes. Once cooled place on pie top in desired pattern... my leaves actually turned into a poinsettia!

Serves 10

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Cherry Walnut Tea Biscuit

Having been snowed in today, I thought what else, then to make some warm biscuits and sit wrapped up with a hot cup of tea and good book. Toasting the Walnuts just shy of burning them, allowed a rich nutty fragrance to permeate the whole biscuit. Barley sweet, rich in aroma, and cherry tart; these biscuits are the perfect addition to a snow day.


1 cup oat flour
1 1/2 cup spelt flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons butter or earth balance
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1 egg
1/2 cup almond, rice, soy, or dairy milk

1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup dried tart cherries

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place walnuts on baking pan and toast until fragrant and darkly browned(5-10 minutes). Place flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in large bowl and set aside. In seperate bowl place beaten egg, agave, and almond milk. Place the butter in with the flour and cut in with pastry blender. Mix the wet ingredients in with the dry until dough is formed. If dough is too wet put additional flour in. Form into a log about ten inches long and 2 1/2 inches in diameter, wrap in wax paper and place in refigerator to chill one hour. After chilling dough heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut dough log into 12, 1 inch buiscuits and place on pan. Bake for 15 minutes.

Makes 12

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Pecan & Hazelnut Pie

This pie is similar to the traditional style pecan pie without the corn syrup, high levels of refined sugar, and unhealthy fat content. It is still a super sweet sticky dessert, that will fool even the most discerning pecan pie fans. The crust is a hazelnut spelt blend that marries nicely with the nutty aroma of the filling. Brown Rice syrup is the perfect sticky pie filling, and when cut with agave the rice flavor is indiscernible. A dollop of freshly whipped cream puts this pie over the top.



-2 cups organic pecans
-1 cups organic hazelnuts
-3/4 cup brown rice syrup
-1/2 cup agave nectar
-3 organic eggs
-3 tablespoons butter or earth balance
-zest of one orange
-1 teaspoon cinnamon
-1 teaspoon allspice
-1/2 teaspoon fresh nutmeg

Hazelnut Spelt Crust:

2 cups spelt flour(whole or white)
2 tablespoons butter or earth balance
1 cup cold water
3/4 cup whole hazelnuts
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the 1 3/4 cup of hazelnuts and 2 cups pecans on pan(keeping nuts separated) and toast until fragrant or lightly browned.(about 10 minutes)

For the crust:

Cool the oven to 375 degrees.

Place 3/4 cup of the hazelnuts in food processor and blend until fine. If you do not have a food processor a coffee grinder or a rolling pin and a stiff wrist would work fine. Butter and flour a pie dish and set aside. In a large bowl place the spelt flour, salt, butter, and hazelnuts cutting in the cool butter with a dough blender, adding cold water until well mixed. (Additional flour may be necessary if dough is too sticky). Dough will roll out best if refrigerated at least one hour, but if you wish to bypass this just be extra careful rolling out the dough and use the help of a metal spatula. Place crust in dish and crimp edges. If desired you can brush the crust with an agave oil mixture to give the crust a glossy brown sheen. Cut small slits in bottom of crust with sharp knife, as to not let the crust raise up with a hollow center, and place in oven for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

For the filling:

Cool oven to 275 degrees when crust is done.

Chop pecans and hazelnuts until to desired size and set aside. If you prefer extra fine pieces you may achieve this with a food processor, but I prefer larger chunks, coarsely chopped with a knife.Place rice syrup, agave, and butter in large pan over low heat to melt butter. combine orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Combine beaten eggs with mixture and mix well. Place in oven for 60 minutes, checking occasionally.

Serves eight

Monday, December 8, 2008

Holiday Spice Cookies

The base of this recipe is simple and versatile, and once you have the essentials you can swap various ingredients to your liking. It makes a light, fluffy, and less sweet cookie that is ideal for a quick morning breakfast or mid-morning snack. Chocolate, fresh cranberries, and walnuts marry nicely in my mind, but other variations would surly work great as well. The applesauce is used to add additional moisture and allows you to cut back on the other oil and sugar amounts.


-3 cups barley flour
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 teaspoon sea salt
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
-1/4 teaspoon allspice
-1 teaspoon cinnamon
-a few grates of fresh nut meg

-1/4 cup safflower oil
-1/2 cup rice, almond, soy, or dairy milk
-1/2 cup agave nectar
-1/2 cup apple sauce
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-zest of one orange and one lemon

-1/2 cup chocolate chunks..or chips
-1/2 cup fresh cranberries
-1/4 cup walnuts broken up with hands

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the dry ingredients in large bowl and set aside. In separate bowl combine the wet ingredients stirring in the applesauce last. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry mix, and lastly add the chocolate chunks, fresh, cranberries, and walnuts. On cookie tray Place 2 inch dollops of dough and flatten with a spatula or palm of hand lightly. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden on bottom.
Makes 2 dozen

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Turmeric Tofu Salad

The dressing for this salad packs a punch, with a heavy dose of ginger, lemon, and turmeric. With the Japonica rice and tofu this dish is hearty enough for a main dish. Turmeric is my favorite spice but can be tricky to find fresh, ask around at specialty markets and health food stores, it is well worth it! Also wild rice would be a fine substitute for Japonica.

-Mescaline salad mix
-Shredded carrot
-diced celery
-green beans cut in thirds (cooked and cooled)

-1/2lb. extra firm organic tofu cut in 1/2 inch cubes
-1clove diced garlic
-1 tablespoon diced ginger
-2 tablespoons agave nectar or honey
-1/4 cup safflower oil

-1/4 cup Tamari

-1 clove garlic diced
-1 tablespoon diced turmeric root
-1/4 olive oil
-1/4 lemon juice
-sea salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss cubed tofu in large pan with garlic, ginger, oil, and Tamari and place in oven for around 35 minutes, checking and turning often. Let cool to room temperature, or to chill fast place uncovered in fridge.

In a small jar with lid place dressing ingredients together, shake well, and chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.

In small pot bring water to boil and another bowl of ice water set aside. Place green beans in boiling water for 3 minutes, draining and placing in ice water immediately to stop cooking. Toss salad ingredients in large bowl, cover and refrigerate.

Serves 2 as a main 6 as a side

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Cream of Broccoli Soup with Rosemary Croutons

This recipe is very simple, with the only imperative being a big fresh head of broccoli. It is a nourishing winter soup, that can be adapted to a more hearty, decadent variation using heavy cream, more potato, and topping with creme fraiche or a tasty Swiss cheese...and of course a heap of rosemary croutons!


-10oz. Broccoli (one large head)
-2 large stalks celery diced
-1 Russet Potato cut in 1/2 inch cubes
-1 yellow onion diced
-1/2 cup chopped parsley
-1/2 whole milk, cream, rice, almond, or soy(unsweetened)
-1 tablespoon safflower oil
-1/2 teaspoon rosemary
-1/2 teaspoon thyme
-1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
-4 cups water or vegetable broth

-1/2 loaf rustic bread cut in 1/2 inch cubes
-1 teaspoon rosemary
-1 tablespoon safflower oil

Heat oven to 425 degrees.

Heat safflower in large pot and toss in diced onion, spices, celery, and potato. Whirl Broccoli in food processor until fine, and combine in pot. saute mixture for 5 minutes and then add water or vegetable broth. Bring to low boil for 20 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Place in food processor in batches of two(less or more depending on the size of your food processor) and whirl until desired consistency. Add the cream and parsley, bringing back up the heat.

With hands toss cubed bread on pan in oil and rosemary, distributing oil throughout. Place in oven for 10-15 minutes or until croutons are golden brown and crispy.
Serves 6

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Raw Cranberry Relish

This recipe is super easy and super delicious. I am all for the raw relish... although I love cooked cranberry sauce as well... a definite toss up. With all the hot dishes Thanksgiving typically brings to the table, it's nice to throw in a couple cool sides for a change.
-16 oz cranberries rinsed(organic or course)

-2 Oranges with peal

-1/2 lemon with rind

-1/8 cup agave nectar

-1-2 Apples(any red)

Combine all ingredients in food processor and pulse until desired consistency. Use the rind of at least one orange and 1/2 of lemon as well. Additional agave may be desired for a sweeter relish.

Serves 6

Friday, November 14, 2008

Goji N' Berry Linzer Cookies

These cookies require a bit of work, but are well worth it atleast once during the holiday season. Goji berries are becoming more common and can usually be found at any natural market; they are highly nutritious and add a unique twist to the classic raspberry lizner.I combine a marionberry and cranberry preserve I had on hand, but any berry would pair great. The recipe goes a long ways since they are rolled so thin, so there should be plenty to share around!
Recipe :

-1 1/2 cup spelt flour - 1 cup buckwheat flour (could use all spelt)
-1/2 cup any flour for dusting
-3/4 stick butter
-3/4 cup agave nectar
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-1/2 teaspoon sea salt

-1/2 cup goji berrie -2 tablespoons agave nectar
-1/4 cup marionberry preserves(or other berry)
-1/4 cup cranberry preserves (or other berry)
-1/2 cup water

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl combine the spelt and buckwheat flour, plus salt. In seperate bowl combine melted butter, vanilla, and agave nectar. Fold wet ingredients into flour mixture until mixed well, the dough will be fairly stiff; place in refrigerator for 1-2 hours. Once chilled roll out on floured surface to about 1/8 of an inch thick. Cut out with perferated cut out, or any disired, with one half of the cookies(around 17) cut an additional hole in the center, with smaller cut out( hearts, stars, and perferated edges are all appealing) Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly brown.

Reconsitute the goji berries in 1/2 cup water for 10 minutes. Place goji berries and water used in pan with agave nectar, simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes. Combine other berry preserves, and set aside to cool.

When cookies have cooled place a heavy teaspoon worth of filling in the center of the bottom of the cookie without hole. Carefully place cookie with cut out on top, as not to spill over the filling.

makes around 18 cookies

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Grand Finale Fennel Salad

This salad seems much more on the summer mode, and infact I often do make a similar fennel salad in the summer months, substituting the pomegranate with dried cranberries. However, this salad is great paired with hearty winter meals, and is especially delicious with a polenta main dish. The nastrisiums have survived the couple frosts here in the Northwest and added an extra zing to this piquiant dish.


-1 large bulb of fennel sliced thin
- 1/2 pomegranate seeds
-1/4 green oilves sliced in half
- 1 tablesoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablesppon oilve oil
-1 lemon (juice and rind)
-salt and peper to taste

Serves 4-6

In large bowl toss all ingredients and serve. If serving later, combine all ingredients except oil and vinegar, and place covered in refrigerator.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

From the steets to the table...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

So Simple Salsa

It's November already and still the summer harvest of tomatoes is yet to be used up. Having canned tomato everything over the past weeks, a fresh salsa sounded refreshing with much less fuss. This recipe can be elborated on with all kinds of fresh ingredients: corn, blackbeans, peach, mango, pineapple, red pepper, and the like. Use it as a base and throw in what's handy and the ammount of spice to your liking.

-5 cups chopped tomatoes
-1 tablesppon apple cider vinegar
-1 yellow or red onion diced
-1 bunch of cilantro
-3 cloves garlic
-1 teaspoon sea salt
-1 tablesppon fresh lemon juice
-1 small jalepeno without seeds(or with for super spicy

Whirl chopped tomatoes in food processor or blender, until all tomatoes are bite size, but not mush. Pour tomoatoes into large bowl and add aple cider vinegar, salt, and lemon. Throw onion, garlic, and jalepeno in food processor until diced fine and combine with tomatoes. Taste and adjust as needed. Refrigerate for up to two weeks.

Apple Sauce Cake

This recipe is a spin off of Heidi Swanson's 101cookbooks "Unfussy Apple Cake". However, most ingredients are swapped, but the result is a similar light, not too sweet coffee cake. Feel free to make adaptations as you see fit. The flours can easily be swapt for whole wheat, all-purpose or your flour of choice. This cake is most delicious drizziled with yogurt or a dolop of creme fraiche and of course along sige your favorite cup of coffee or tea.


-2 apples cut in 1/2 inch cubes
-1/2 cup apple sauce
-1 cup barley flour
-1 cup spelt flour
-1/2 cup oat flour
-1 tablespoon baking powder
-1 teaspoon cinnimon
-1/4 cup butter softened
-1 egg
-1 teaspoon sea salt
-1/4 cup agave
-3/4 cup plain yogurt
-opptional: 1 teaspoon corse sugar sprinkled on top

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Oil 8 inch square or circular pan and set aside. Mix flours, salt, cinnimon, and baking powder in large bowl. In seperate bowl combine apple sauce, yogurt, agave, beaten egg, apple, and softened butter. Gently fold wet ingredients into dry, careful not to over mix. Spoon into pan and sprinkle with corse sugar and a dash of sea salt. place in oven for 20-30 minutes or until top is golden brown.

Serves 6-8

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Wild Pumpkin Pilaf

This recipe is satisfying as a side salad or main course, especially on a dreary autumn night. It is a flexible recipe that is great with various ingredients. Start with the rice
and cubed squash then go wild from there!


2 cups wild rice pilaf
4 cups water
1 small pumpkin cut in ½ in. cubed
1 TBL sunflower oil
1 onion chopped
½ cup pumpkin seeds
½ pomegranate seeds
1 large crisp apple chopped
1 TBL lemon juice
1 TBL agave or maple syrup
Dash of sea salt and pepper
Optional: top with fresh goat cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degree. Cook rice in 4 cups of water on stove top or in rice cooker. (I prefer rice cooker so you can forget about it well you prepare the dish). Halve and clean out pumpkin (saving seeds of course!) cut off rind, and cut into ½ inch cubes. Toss onion and pumpkin in sunflower oil and maple syrup on large pan and place in oven for 30 minutes. Toast the pumpkin seeds in skillet with a dash of sea salt over medium heat for about 10 minutes, keeping a close eye, and tossing them often. Cut apple into ½ inch squares and soak in water with the 1 TBL lemon juice and set aside. Submerge pomegranate in large bowl of water and work to retrieve seeds, set aside. When the rice and pumpkin are done, toss all ingredients in large bowl. Serve warm topped with fresh goat cheese.

Serves 6

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Cream of Watercress and Cauliflower Soup

Watercress is packed with antioxidants and rich in Vitamins A, C, and E, along with calcium, magnesium and iron. It can be foraged in marshy areas and along stream beds, or found in most markets and specialty stores. This bright green soup is simple and nourishing.

-2 bunches of watercress

-2 red potatoes sliced thin

-1 onion

-1 TBL butter or oil

-1/2 head of caulifower chopped

-3 cups Vegetable broth or water

-1 cup whole milk, or soy/rice/ almond(plain unsweetened)

-salt and pepper to taste

-few grates of nutmeg-optional: top with Creme fraiche and sprigs of watercress

Bring large pot of water to boil. Wash watercress and disregard the stems, leaving out 10-12 sprigs for garnish. Blanch watercress in boiling water for about 1 minute. Drain the water and rinse watercress in cool water, ring out with hands. In large soup pot melt butter, suttee onion and water cress for 2-3 minutes. Add potato, cauliflower and spices and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes. Add vegetable broth or water and let simmer 30 minutes. Pure'e soup in blender or food processor until smooth. Bring back to a low boil and add milk. Serve topped with creme fraiche and sprigs of watercress.

Serves 4

Pumpkin Spread Bread

Having just made a mondo batch of pumpkin butter, I am using it quite liberally. If you don't have pumpkin butter, you could use pumpkin pie filling, or better just boil down pumpkin and sweeten with agave or honey. This bread is super moist and not too sweet, it is a great base to start with: chocolate chip-walnut and currant-coconut are nice additions. Also having preserved sweet fall pears recently, I am using this as a sweetner and to add moisture. They work surprising well, store bought canned pears should work just fine... of course freshly preserved are better.
Dry Ingredients:
-1 heavy Cup Spelt Flour
-1 heavy Cup Barley Flour
-1 heavy Cup Oat Flour
-1 tsp Baking Soda
-1 tsp Baking Powder
-1/2 tsp Sea Salt
-1-2 tsp Cinnimon
-1 tsp All Spice
-tsp dash of Nutmeg

Wet Ingredients:
1/2 Cup Safflower Oil
1 1/2 Cup Pumpkin Butter
3/4 Cup Canner Pears (mashed)
1 TBL mollasis
1 Egg
(additional sweetner if disired )
optional: Chocolate chips, walnuts, currants, coconut shreads, other nuts and seeds
Preheat oven to 350degrees. Oil the loaf pan, dust with flour, and set aside.Combine dry ingredients in large bowl and set aside. Combine wet ingredients in seperate bowl, adding the egg(beaten) last. Fold wet ingredients into dry igredients.
Serves 8

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Super Ratatouille!!

This recipe was born from a lonely old half an egg plant in the bottom tray of the refrigerator, and a counter filled with over ripe tomatoes, neglected after harvest. Not surprising, literally ratatouille translates "to toss food" , simple and savory ingredients are key, other than that it's hard to go wrong! For this dish I layered arugula, a quinoa/polenta mix, and topped with a nutty swiss cheese, toasted pumpkin seeds, and fresh parsley.

-2 cups fresh Tomatoes
-1/2 Lrg Eggplant
-1 Yellow Onion
-1 TBL Olive Oil or Safflower Oil*
-1 med. Zucchini
-1 Green Pepper
- 8oz. Roasted tomatoes
-2 cloves Garlic
-1/2 bunch fresh parsley
-1 teaspoon Thyme
-Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

*Olive Oil is of course traditional, but oxidation occures under high heat, so it is always best to use a high heat oil such as Safflower.

In a dutch oven saute' the oil, diced onion, and minced garlic until translucent. Add the eggplant and cook until tender. Comine the rest of the ingredients and simmer for atleast 30 minutes. The longer the better, creating much more depth of flavor. Serve as a side, atop pasta, polenta,rice, or as the main dish served with fresh greens, and a rustic loaf of bread.

Serves 5