Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Fig, Pecan and Hazelnut Bread

Fig, Pecan and Hazelnut Bread

The dry ingredients you will need

Dried figs

Butter, milk and brown sugar mix

Hazelnuts and Pecans

Dried figs are chopped and soaked in water then drained

The pecans and hazelnuts are chopped and toasted

All ingredients are mixed and kneaded ready for the first rise

The bread dough has risen and is shaped into loaves and will rise once more

Fig, Pecan and Hazelnut Bread, smells amazing

All this needs is some butter and a drizzle of honey
  • Fig, Pecan & Hazelnut Bread recipe
    ½ cup (120 ml) dried figs
    hot water, for rehydrating figs
    2 tbsp (30 ml) unsalted butter
    1 2/3 cups (400 ml) milk
    2 tbsp (30 ml) light brown sugar
    2 3/4 tsp. yeast (I use bread machine)
    2 1/2 cups (600 ml) all-purpose flour
    1 1/2 cups (360 ml) whole wheat flour
    1 tsp (5 ml) salt
    1 cup (240 ml) pecans or walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
    1 cup (240 ml) hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
  • Place figs in a bowl with hot water. Let sit for 30 minutes to plump and soften.
    Drain figs and chop.
    Put butter in a bot and heat just to melt.
    Take off heat. Allow to cool a bit.
    Pour in milk. Add sugar. Add yeast and stir to dissolve.
    To a separate bowl, add both kinds of flours and salt. Add nuts and figs and mix together well.
    Pour wet ingredients slowly into dry and stir to combine.
    Turn onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for about 10 minutes
  • This can be done in a stand mixer as well
    Form dough into a ball and let sit in a lightly greased bowl.

    Cover with a tea towel and let rise until doubled in size.Punch dough to release air pockets.
    Cut dough and pull dough apart and form into loaves (your choice of one, two or three).
    Place loaves onto a greased baking sheet.
    Rub tops with olive oil.
    Cover with a damp tea towel and let rise another 20 minutes.
    Preheat oven to 375F (190C)
    Bake for 20 - 40 minutes in the oven.
    Enjoy a slice with some butter and honey.

    'Remember a future from another dream.....and hold on'.
    Claudia Rankine

    Saturday, April 8, 2017

    Beet Leaf Holubtsi......

    The smell of baking bread is so comforting, like a warm hug from Mom. I love to bake the bread my Mother and Grandmother always baked. Today I am using some of the dough to make something called 'Beet Leaf Holubtsi' that my friend Wendy shared with me or as my friends Beth and Lindsay called them ' Beetniks'. I love when friends and family share their memories and their recipes with me as it takes me to another place, another country and my family and friends get to enjoy something new. So thank you to all my family and friends for sharing their memories with me.
    I received some beautiful organic beets in my weekly box of organic vegetable delivery and the beets came with beautiful beet tops, perfect for trying out this new recipe. The recipe below is posted as sent to me by my friend Wendy with a few adaptations on my part.

    Beet Leaf Holubtsi or Beetniks

    Bread dough

    Blanched beet leaf topped with a small roll of bread dough ready to be rolled up.

     The dough is wrapped inside the beet leaves

    Wrapped and ready for the onion and cream sauce.

    Ingredients for the sauce.

    Sauteing the onions in a bit of butter, the cream will be added to this in a few minutes.

     Beet Leaf Holubtsi, wrapped, drizzled with butter, covered in a cream and onion sauce and sprinkled with fresh dill. They are ready for the oven.

     Beet Leaf Holubtsi baked and ready for sampling.
    Mmmmmm.....smells amazing....great as a snack, an appetizer or just eaten with a bowl of soup or borscht.

    Bread dough for one small loaf of bread
    6-10 beet leaves, blanched and dried
    1 small onion, diced fine
    1/2 cup heavy cream
    1/8 - 1/4 cup butter melted
    *See note below if storing in the freezer

    Let bread dough rise to double in bulk. 
    Put a bit in a wilted beet leaf. Roll as for cabbage rolls.
    Place on a cookie sheet and drizzle with melted butter.
    Making sure the tops of the beets are brushed well with the butter.
    Sprinkle with fresh dill (optional)
    Let Rise - the dough will stick out of each end of roll.
    Bake in oven at 425 degrees for 5 min. Then turn oven down to 375 degrees for about 15 or 20 min. Watch closely so they don’t burn.
    *At this point you can cool and put in bags in freezer if you want.
    When ready to use, melt butter in a frying pan (electric frying pan with lid works well) put beet top rolls in pan. Turn to high for just a minute, then turn over and turn the heat off - put lid on pan tightly so that they stay nice and soft... otherwise they will burn. You have to watch them closely, at first.

    'Keep what is worth keeping and with the breath of Kindness, blow the rest away.'
    Dinah M. Craik

    Thursday, March 16, 2017

    Korean-Style BBQ' Ribs' - vegetarian style

    In my search for interesting and flavourful vegetarian dishes I see some amazing ideas, Korean-Style BBQ 'Ribs' were one of them. Earlier in the year while working with my Seitan recipe I decided to flavour up a batch that would give it a nice smoky BBQ flavour. This particular dish has a few different additions to the 'protein' Seitan -  the addition of nutritional yeast, smoked paprika and a few more interesting ingredients and the fact that I baked it instead of steamed/boiled in my recipe for Seitan. Once this was cooked and cooled I wrapped it in plastic wrap and froze it whole, and forgot about it! I was reading an article on the spices and flavours of Korea when the idea came to me and I remembered the smoky seitan in the freezer. and that is how my Korean-Style BBQ Ribs - vegetarian version came to be. A very easy recipe to work with, having the pre made Seitan in the freezer made it even faster. It can be made as spicy or as neutral as your family likes and so very versatile. Whether you serve it over a rice vegetable side dish or just alongside some sautéed cabbage and Mushrooms......wrap it in a pita pocket, dip it in a special sauce...........the possibilities are endless. It can be tailored for every single person in your family❤

    Korean-Style BBQ 'Ribs' - vegetarian version

    The ingredients you will need for the smoky seitan.

    The vital wheat gluten and spices are all ready to be kneaded together.

    The smoky seitan dough, kneaded and ready for the next step.

    The smoky seitan dough is pressed into a greased 8 x 8 inch baking dish.

    The smoky seitan is baked, barbecue sauce has been spread on it. Ready for the BBQ, or as I did cut and marinated for this Korean-Style BBQ 'Rib' vegetarian version.

    BBQ 'Rib' recipe

    1 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Several grinds fresh black pepper
  • ¾ cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter (any nut butter will work)
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce of choice, plus more for serving

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease an 8x8 baking dish and set aside.
    In a medium bowl, stir together vital wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper.
    In a measuring cup, whisk together broth, peanut butter, liquid smoke, and soy sauce until incorporated. Pour mixture into bowl with the dry ingredients, and stir gently until well-incorporated and the mixture has formed a soft dough. With your hands, knead gently for 2-3 minutes.
    Transfer mixture into greased baking dish and flatten so it's spread evenly across the entire pan. Use a knife to make one lengthwise cut across the dough, then cut evenly crosswise to make 1-inch slices. You don't need to pull them apart; you just want the ability to easily separate them after grilling .Place the pan in preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes.
    At this point if making the Korean-Style BBQ 'Ribs' follow the method below.


    1/2 cup sake or dry white wine (use vegetable broth if alcohol if you don't want alcohol)
  • 3/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce  
  • 1/4 cup Vegetarian fish sauce  
  • 1/4 cup honey  
  • 2 Tbs. vegetable oil  
  • 1 tsp.  sesame oil  
  • 7 large garlic cloves, minced  
  • 1 Tbs. peeled and minced fresh ginger  
  • 5 green onions, white and light green portions, minced   
  • 1 cup water  
  • 1 batch BBQ 'Rib' recipe (above) cut into 3 inch lengths - 11/2 in wide)
  • 3/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper  
  • 1/2 tsp. Chinese five spice (optional)   

  • In a large Ziploc bag, combine the sake/vegetable broth, soy sauce, vegetarian fish sauce, honey, vegetable oil, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, half of the green onions and the water and mix well. Add the 'ribs' and rub on all sides with the mixture. Let stand at room temperature for 2 hours.
    Remove the 'ribs' from the bag and set  aside the marinade - it can be used for a sauce (see below). Place the 'ribs' on a parchment lined  baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, turning over after 10 minutes. If your oven is hotter cook for less time, you want the ribs to have some 'browning'. They are ready to serve.
    To make a sauce, put marinade into a saucepan and stir in 1 -2 tsp. cornstarch, bring to a simmer. Cook 1 minute until the sauce is translucent. Serve over ribs if desired.

    Note: Method for barbecuing the 'Ribs' -

    While the ribs are baking, heat up your grill or lightly oil a grill pan.
    Remove from oven and brush the top of the ribs with barbecue sauce.
    Place sauce side down on heated grill (or grill pan on the stove over medium heat). Brush the top with more barbecue sauce.
    When the bottom of the ribs are deeply browned (about 5-6 minutes), flip over and cook the other side until brown. Remove from heat and serve immediately,
    with more barbecue sauce if desired.

    'For the breath of Life is the sunlight, and the hand of Life is the wind.'
    Khalil Gibran

    Tuesday, March 7, 2017

    Crustless Roasted Pepper, Mushroom & Artichoke Pie

    Crustless Roasted Pepper, Mushroom & Artichoke Pie

    The Crustless Roasted Pepper, Mushroom & Artichoke Pie baked and ready to slice and enjoy!


    8-12 button Mushroom, sliced
    1 medium onion
    1 tablespoon oil ( your choice)
    1 teaspoon fresh oregano minced ( I used 2 leaves of Cuban oregano-  just pruned my plant and it handy) any oregano will work. Any herb you like add it in.
    10-12 marinated artichokes, quartered ( canned would work too)
    1/4 cup Sun dried tomatoes ( I used herb and oil packed)chopped
    2 roasted peppers, diced ( I had some jarred yellow and red)
    1 head roasted garlic ( I just happened to have a few baked up)
    1/4 cup feta cheese
    1/8-1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
    8 eggs, beaten
    1/8-1/4 cup cream or whole milk
    Salt and pepper to taste
    Deep dish pie plate

    In a frying pan, on medium heat oil, add onions and sauté 3-4 minutes, add Mushrooms and cook until all moisture is gone and Mushrooms are starting to brown, approximately 3 minutes. Turn off heat and set aside to cool.
      Dice the roasted peppers, chop the  sun dried tomatoes and cut your artichokes into quarters if not already done. In a large bowl beat eggs until smooth add some salt and pepper,cream and the oregano. Into the cooled mushroom mixture, add the roasted garlic, diced roasted peppers and the sun dried tomatoes. Place this mixture into the greased pie plate, place the quartered artichokes evenly on top. Sprinkle the feta cheese over top. Pour the egg mixture carefully over everything. Sprinkle or grate the Parmesan cheese over the top of the pie.
    Place onto a foil lined pan ( easier to get into the oven without spilling and if it bubbles over, no mess)
    Bake in a preheated 375-400 degree oven and bake for 40-50 minutes. Checking to make sure the centre is cooked through. Remove from oven, let site 5-8 minutes. Slice and serve.
    Serve with a green salad or salad of your choice.

    "Stop being afraid of what could go wrong, and start being excited about what could go right."
    Minoa ladybug

    Monday, February 6, 2017

    Dad's Veggie Burgers.....lovingly remembered

    In our family, our mother was the primary cook. However on weekends, our father would often take over the kitchen to create one of his specialties.
    My father, Harry, was a very talented man. He grew up in a small area called Pass Creek, approximately 15 minutes north of Castlegar. His father, Nick, had a Stucco business that he ran with all three sons, Peter, Harry & John. When I was in my late teens, on one of his stucco jobs my father got his hand caught in the blades of the cement mixer and it damaged his hand, crippling his dominant right hand forever. After many months of surgeries and healing he realized that he could not successfully return to the Stucco trade.  Having only a Grade 8 education, he went back to school to get his GED, knowing that without it he would not be able to get a satisfactory job. He had a family of 4 young children and my Mom to support. It was fun watching our father do homework at the kitchen table for a change!
    Upon completion of his certificate, he decided to open a restaurant featuring vegetarian Doukhobor food, near the local Doukhobor Museum. Mom was an amazing cook and Dad cooked delicious breakfasts and loved socializing too. So thus Doukhobor Village Restaurant was born. Situated in a small building near the Doukhobor Village Museum just outside of Castlegar across from the Castlegar airport, they began the next stage of their lives. Everyone in the family worked and helped in the restaurant. My sisters, my brother, my aunts and cousins. We baked bread, made borscht,  pyrohi, vareniki nalesniki and Mom's famous fruit and cream pies and much more. Even our boyfriends had their turn waiting on tables! People came from all over Canada and some even flew in just for the borscht ( bought by the gallon and flown out on their planes). They served tour buses full of guests, they had wedding receptions, engagement dinners and many birthday celebrations in their banquet room....those of my sister and I was one of them. Dad was always thinking, creating and keeping things interesting with the food they were serving. This Veggie Burger was one of those creations. A friend of the family Verna recently sent me an email asking if I remember Dad's Veggie Burger as she was craving a taste of his patty. Sadly I did not, but I put the question to my sisters Holly and Wendy. Thankfully Holly remembered...the ingredients at least. So today was the day to create...and recreate Dad's delicious Veggie Burger. I Think Dad would be proud of these, once I tasted the burger I created today the memories came flooding back.

    Dad's Veggie Burgers made at the Doukhobor Village Restaurant

    Dad's Veggie Burger

    The ingredients you will need.

    The vegetables are shredded and ready.

    Eggs and seasoning are ready.

    All the ingredients are mixed together, ready for shaping into patties.

    Dad's Veggie Burgers frying in some vegetable oil.

    They smell soo good, they look even tastier.

    Served up on a bun with your favorite toppings.

    Dad's Veggie Burger

    1 large carrot, peeled and grated (1 rounded cup)
    2 medium beets, peeled and grated (11/2 cups)
    12 Mushrooms, grated or chopped fine (21/4 cups)
    1 large onion or 11/2 medium onion, chopped fine
    2 stalks celery, chopped fine
    3 large cloves garlic, minced or grated
    11/4 cups flour, whole wheat or white
    3 cups kidney beans, mashed
    3 eggs, beaten
    11/4 cups bread crumbs
    1 tsp. seasoning salt 
    2 tsp. granulated garlic
    11/2 tsp. salt
    2 tsp. pepper
    1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated ( optional)
    In a large bowl beat eggs, seasoning salt, granulated garlic, salt, pepper
    Stir in grated beets,  carrots, Mushrooms, onions, celery, garlic and mashed beans.
    Stir in the bread crumbs and flour ( Parmesan Cheese, if using)
    Shape into patties ( your choice of size)
    Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan, add your patties and cook until nicely browned for approximately 2-5 min per side. Serve in a bun with your favourite dressings and toppings.

    'Let Miracles sneak into your life today while your back is turned.
    and Joy seep into your being when you are not looking and overtake you.'
    Veronica Hay

    Tuesday, January 24, 2017

    Teff Burgers.....delicious, nutritious, vegetarian and gluten free

    I am always on the look out for interesting recipes full of protein and when talking with my sister Holly who had just baked a beautiful loaf of bread with leftover flours (Teff, Rye &a whole wheat). The grain Teff caught my interest and thus my research began. I found a recipe for a Teff Burger (Bob's Red Mill) and decided to make a batch. They were very easy to make and simple to cook and oh so delicious and filling. My husband and son ate the burgers in a whole wheat bun adding some home made horseradish mayo and a tomato horseradish sauce, topped with some cheese, lettuce, onions and tomato. I decided to go ' bun-less' and topped my Teff burger with a spoonful of horseradish mayo along with a side of steamed asparagus.....this was dinner last night. Delicious, nutritious and so very filling. I fried a few of the burgers as per recipe instructions and also decided to bake a few to see the difference in texture. My preference were the baked ones as they seemed firmer and the texture I prefer in a burger. Either method was delicious as there were no complaints from the boys! I think the firmness of this Teff burger will even stand up to a BBQ. This is a base and I will continue to experiment with this grain and I hope you do too.


    The ingredients you will need.

    The Teff is ready to be cooked with the rest of the ingredients.

    Great product.

    Green onions ready for slicing.

    The Teff grains are thickening up nicely.

    The Teff grains are cooling in the pan, waiting for the green onions to be added.

    Burgers are shaped and ready to be cooked.

    Teff patties are browning nicely.

    Almost ready.....smells amazing.

    Teff Burger a perfect meal.


  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 3 scallions, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon thyme ground
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup whole grain Teff

  •  Place sesame oil, Teff, water, thyme, garlic, and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir once or twice toward the end of the cooking process. Spread cooked Teff in a shallow pan to cool. When cooled, add scallions and form 6 equally portioned patties.
  • Heat a non stick skillet that has been lightly sprayed with non stick vegetable spray, and fry until nicely browned on both sides. Top with cheese; turn heat off and allow cheese to slightly melt. Assemble burgers with lettuce, tomato, and whole wheat buns.
  • NOTE: to bake these burgers - Preheat oven to 400 degrees, light oil each patty and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes, flip and bake another 12 minutes adding cheese in the last 2 minutes until it melts.
    TO BE MORE Loving.
    TO BE MORE Thoughtful.
    TO BE MORE Giving.

    TO BE MORE Sensitive.
    TO BE MORE Forgiving.
    TO BE MORE Tolerant.
    TO BE MORE Humble.
    TO BE MORE Patient.
    TO BE MORE Grateful.