It was a rainy, rainy morning here in Toronto, so of course my thoughts turned to oatmeal. I’d had success with pumpkin butter oatmeal recently so I figured, why not skip a step?
When I make oatmeal for a weekday breakfast I either make instant at work (Nature’s Path maple nut mixed with Ruth’s hemp and chia cereal) or I go all the way and make steel-cut oats at home and carry to work in a Thermos. Steel-cut take a good 20 minutes to cook but if you cook them while you’re getting ready for work, they’re actually more convenient because they cook so slowly. My recipe is a 1:4 ratio – boil 1 1/3 cups water with salt and stir in 1/3 cup steel-cut oats, then simmer until tender.
Once the oats were cooked, I stirred in some cooked butternut squash. (Cut in half, scoop out seeds, roast face down on a parchment-lined sheet at 375F until tender, then scrape out flesh.) If you puree the squash in a food processor it will be smoother, but I kind of like it lumpy. You could use canned as well here. I put in between 1/2 and 1 cup (wasn’t measuring):
And stirred it in. Add molasses and maple syrup:
And spices (here: cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger):
And hemp seeds:
Stir together well. Close-up:
Then, if you’re transporting the oatmeal, transfer into your Thermos. I like to pre-heat mine with some boiling water so it’s not cold from the cupboard.
Topped with a few pecans and ready to go!
Home from a weekend away with no time to buy groceries, I was left to prepare lunch with what I found in my fridge or could buy on my way in to work. (Lots of travelling leaves little lunch money in my budget.)
Plan B delivered collards and shiitake mushrooms last week, so I started with those – collard wraps, inspired by Choosing Raw, were the clear choice as they’re easy to put together at lunchtime. First step was to soak some cashews for the nut paté. Cashews only take a couple of hours, as opposed to harder nuts like almonds. I processed them later in the evening with lemon, salt, miso and sundried tomatoes, and the last shreds of arugula hanging around. Next, I chopped the mushrooms and tossed them in a container with a tablespoon or two of olive oil and tamari. Voilà – this morning, marinated mushrooms.
I picked up alfalfa sprouts (grown in Ontario) and a red pepper from Longo’s this morning, and made up the wraps with all the ingredients, and extra red pepper on the side. Healthy, delicious and filling, albeit messy – I need to work on my technique.
I’ve written before about my CSA shares in Monforte Cheese, a local cheese-making company that used a CSA program to raise funds to build their own space. Well, they’ve just announced they’re selling another round of shares between now and December 31:
This second round of offerings is a means to continue development in the production of cheese, but also our goal of strengthening our local food infrastructure through a number of different means (production, education and innovation).
Three levels of investment are available, starting at $200. Find out more on Monforte’s website.
I invented this one based on what I had around the house. Between the green kiwis and the mixed bag of carrots (white, purple and orange), I was expecting an ugly colour, but instead it turned this lovely pinkish orange (it’s almost a salmon in real life). Four pears, six kiwis, six or so big carrots and a lime – made a lot of juice.
The Beetroot Frappé is one of my favourite drinks at Fresh, and their cookbook includes a recipe. Ginger, beets, apples and carrots, blended up with nutmeg and ice. I skipped the blending part and just whisked in the nutmeg.
Beets and carrots from Grow for The Stop via Fiesta Farms. Apples from Plan B.
Also: pumpkin chia pudding is excellent folded into plain Greek yogurt and topped with maple syrup and pecans.
This is a citrus-cranberry blend (no beets this time) from The Juicing Bible. Grapefruit, lime and orange. Delicious! I love getting a power shot of vitamin C this time of year, and this is way healthier than chewing those tablets.
Purple kale salad, squash/leek/corn/wild rice salad, and farro with lentils, caramelized onions and feta (I made mine with spelt and red onions). Looks very wintry – appropriate for the first week after daylight savings ends.
Kale, squash, leek and onions from Plan B. Feta from Ewenity and beluga lentils from Mountain Path both via Fiesta Farms.
I went to the Green Barn market on Saturday and stocked up on some deliciousness from Vicki’s Veggies, including bags of spinach, arugula and kale and a giant butternut squash. The squash was so big I used it for two squash salad recipes (both from Smitten Kitchen) that I’ve been enjoying for lunches all week: one with lentils and goat cheese (although I used a soft sheep’s cheese from Monforte) and one with chickpeas and a tahini dressing. It’s the latter that you see in the picture and that I’m eating for lunch today, alongside my standard kale salad.
I love “traditional” granola, but I don’t love that it has to be super high in sugar and fat in order to clump and get crunchy. (Go ahead – read the label of your favourite boxed granola.) So I was thrilled when I discovered raw granolas, which are typically based around buckwheat and clump due to their time in the dehydrator.
Buckwheat, despite its name (and here I feel like I’m repeating a million other articles, sorry if you know this already) isn’t related to wheat and isn’t technically a grain at all – it’s a seed. (Although I have to say, I’m no biologist, but the line between grain and seed seems odd. I mean, you can plant both of them to get another plant.) In any case, it’s gluten free so safe for those with celiac or other gluten-related problems, and it’s very nutritious and high in protein. Toasted whole buckwheat is common in Eastern Europe but the buckwheat we’re talking about today is untoasted. You can tell them apart in the store by their colour – toasted buckwheat is a lot darker.
Your basic raw granola recipe involved soaking buckwheat overnight and then rinsing well (it gets a slimy texture naturally – don’t worry about this, just rinse it off) and combining with other ingredients, including a liquid sweetener, so that a sticky almost-dough (which will be crumbly) is created. Then it’s dehydrated until dry and crunchy.
This time, I reproduced a recipe from Live – if you live in Toronto, you might have seen their packaged granolas for sale at places like Fiesta Farms and The Big Carrot. I recently downloaded their recipe e-book so I could make things like this and save a bit of money. (Although fairly priced due to quality ingredients and a lot of effort, packaged raw foods aren’t cheap.) It’s a chocolate granola (yum!) with tons of raw cacao powder and cinnamon, dried (but soaked before using) apricots and cherries (my sub for their raisins) and pecans (my sub for their walnuts). As a sweetener I used maple syrup.
Ready to dehydrate:
And ready to eat! I serve with homemade hemp milk.
Now I’m ready for the week month.