It's that time of year again, AGAIN. (I can not believe it. Where did the summer go?! Time flies when you're having fun.) Sweaters. Boots. Scarves. Spending the morning cuddling in bed under the blankets with a cup of tea. All the ladies that feel my love, you know exactly what I mean. I've never been into pumpkin spice lattes -my abhorrent distaste for milk nixes that off the list- or anything pumpkin-ey, except for carving them of course! However with my green juices in hand I'm running into fall, and going to jump in all those puddles. Thank Raincouver.
I used to be a red wine drinker. I LOVED the big bold reds, dry and sometimes a little fruity. But never sweet. Never ever sweet. Then I was told I was intolerant to red wine. I was shell shocked. Whatever was I going to do?! I've never really been into white wine -I found it lacked the substantiality that red wine provided (maybe I just wasn't trying the right ones.) ...continue reading
I have always been curious about deviled eggs. I knew they fall into the "love 'em or hate 'em" category of foods, but I never quite understood why. Possibly it could be because I'd never had one before, let alone had a terrible one. They intrigued me. Snacking on a hardboiled egg is a super easy (lazy) way to get a shot of protein with out a tonne of work. Why not jazz it up with some spices and fat? ...continue reading
Several years ago I attended a vegan potluck at my friends house in Riley Park, Vancouver and was blown away by a Vegan Chocolate Avocado "Cheesecake" my friend brought. Dairy & gluten free?! Whaaaat?!
A while back I was on a clean eating kick, but still craving something sweet. From my experience smoothie making, I knew that coconut cream gets hard in the fridge. With that and the "cheesecake" in mind I designed this recipe, which is pretty my guilt free and SO DELICIOUS.
Try it and tell me I'm wrong. I dare you.
For this recipe I like Trader Joes Coconut Cream. Any coconut cream works really, just stick it in the fridge the night before, and pour off any coconut water that may be in the can. Or you can always just keep a can in the fridge, you know, just in case. I also use Trader Joe's by the pound dark chocolate, its about $5 for a HUGE bar and the quality is nicer than bakers. I do not recommend using chocolate chips as they are mostly just chocolate flavoured sugar wax. Step up your game -use the good stuff.
Scoop your chilled coconut cream from the can, adding it to a bowl with a two tablespoons of cacao powder and a beautifully fresh, ripe avocado. Save your pit and make an avocado tree! Add a scoop or two of your favourite vanilla protein powder. I like Genuine Health's Vegan Fermented Vanilla. As a protein powder its delicious, and has no filler like other major brands. This is how you're going to get your sweetness, so the amount here is totally up to you.
Roughly chop your chocolate, and place into a double boiler. You can also use a microwave, heat for 30 seconds at a time stirring between until melted. ...I won't lecture you here but we all know what microwaves do.
Add the melted chocolate to the bowl and use a hand blender to mix it all up. The reason I use the hand mixer is to incorporate the chocolate well into the chilled coconut mixture. As soon as you add the chocolate its going to harden because the coconut mix is cold. I find that the blade of the hand mixer breaks up the chocolate for a smoother consistency. If you want a fluffier texture, and are willing to wait a while, do not chill your coconut cream overnight and use a hand mixer to beat air into the ingredients.
For presentation you have two options: spoon it into individual bowls, or chill it in the mixing bowls to scoop onto plate later. I find that the scooping is prettier for presentation with fresh fruit and garnishes. You can use an ice cream scoop for a round dollop, or use two tablespoons to make an egg like shape by transferring the mixture from spoon to spoon, smoothing the sides.
Chocolate pairs well with many things, including bubbly! BC organic cherries are in season so I simply could not resist pitting some of those juicy little babies up to go with this decadent, healthy treat. I encourage you to try something different! Blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries are all very good. Who knows, maybe a candied sundered tomato might be a good mix? Or just weird.
Garnish with coconut, cacao nibs or shaved chocolate and enjoy! If for some crazy reason you don't finish it all it lasts 2-3 days covered in the fridge.
- 1 can Coconut Cream
- 1 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder- I use Genuine Health Fermented Vegan
- 1 cup Dark Chocolate
- 2 tbsp Cacao Powder
- Refrigerate can of coconut cream overnight.
- The next day set up a double boiler on medium-high heat. Turn can of coconut cream upside down, and open. Pour off any liquid and save for a smoothie etc. Spoon contents into a chilled bowl. Add cacao & protein powder and scoop the meat from an avocado. Blend ingredients together with a hand mixer. Place in the fridge.
- Chop chocolate roughly. Add to double boiler and stir constantly. When melted, remove from heat and fold into cream mixture. Spoon into individual bowls, or if you want to portion later leave it in the same mixing bowl. Chill for at least 2 hours. If portion use and ice cream scoop or two large spoons to make an "egg shape."
- Serve with cherries, raspberries or other fruit and garnish with cacao nibs or coconut.
Porcelain Elephant Serving Bowl $58
Small Porcelain Plate $28
Small Porcelain Bowl $24
Fitzerald Vase- Handpainted 18K Gold Abstract Geometric $68
Black Stoneware Spoon -Large $28
Small Black Stoneware Plate $28
Photos by Hannah Cummins Photgraphy
Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day. I usually eat breakfast-ey foods once a day whether its at 8am, 12pm, or 5pm. I like omelettes, frittatas, pancakes and generally more of the savoury side of things. For years I cooked my eggs easy over, but in the past couple years or so I have discovered the decadence of perfectly poached eggs.
Of course, this is from an avid love of Eggs Benedict. That recipe will come later, but for now I present to you the Paleo (ish) version of eggs benny. This breakfast is sure to satisfy that buttery morning hunger pains. The key to all this is fresh herbs and quality ingredients. I cook a lot and I will tell you firsthand that organic tastes better. It doesn't keep as long, but its worth it for taste and your long term health.
Get free range, organic eggs. Your yolks should be orange! Not yellow! This is not photo editing!
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Take your mushrooms and with a moist cloth, gently rub them to remove any dirt or debris. This is essential as mushrooms are quite porous -just like unfired ceramics!- and when you wash them under a running tap they absorb all that moisture. That means that when you go to season them they soak up less flavour! Cut the stems off, and set aside for later. If you're not using bagged spinach, rinse it and allow to draining your berry bowl or colander. Do the same with your fresh basil.
Now let's talk oils. When you're using oil for baking I highly suggest against going with Olive Oil. High heat destroys the Omega Fatty Acids -which beside the amazing flavour of a good olive oil is the reason to go with that variety. The low smoking point can also make it carcenogenic. Save your olive oils for vinaigrettes and garnishing, makes sense anyways because a good quality one can be a little expensive (I had the pleasure of trying one imported from Italy recently and it was AH-mazing!) My holistic nutrionist suggests going with a Camelina Oil as it helps to zap fat. Her words. I'll take them. It's got a yummy nutty flavour and isn't refined like avocado (second choice.)
So! Back to breakfast. Drizzle your oil of choice over the mushroom and season with salt and pepper. Place on a cookie sheet or baking pan and into the oven it goes! Set your timer for 15 minutes.
On medium heat in a frying pan, melt 1-2 tablespoons of butter. Chop your mushroom stems and chop finely. Add to pan, stirring every few minutes.
Mince, press, or grate your garlic. I make my own garlic graters- I prefer this method as it releasing the oils in the fibres. When your mushrooms are tender, add chopped spinach & garlic. The idea here is just to wilt the spinach and warm the garlic. I was taught in cooking class in high school to start every recipe with garlic and onions. THIS IS SO WRONG. Garlic is like an herb- the more you cook it (unless your caramelizing or roasting) the less flavour you get. Most people actually end up burning their garlic which makes it rancid and bitter. I buy Persian Garlic from the White Rock Farmers Market which has the most amazing flavour. Persian garlic is actually the original form, the crappy stuff from China you get at the store doesn't even resemble the amazing flavour of the original.
Once the flavours have warmed up and mellowed out (1-2 minutes) remove from heat and add your basil. Remove the pan from heat and set aside.
By now, your water should have little bubbles forming. You don't want hard rolling boil because it will be too violent on your eggs. Add your eggs, one by one, pausing to allow the water to maintain its temperature. Turn the temperature down lower, and keep the water at a point where little bubbles come up and around your eggs. I sometimes move a spoon around the eggs to make sure they're not getting stuck to one another. If you have more time you could also remove from heat completely and let it cook in the warm water -this is almost sous vide. I say almost because I the water is hotter than the 60 degree mark that characterizes sous vide. I actually don't know what temperature this is, I just know it works.
Keep an eye on your eggs; I use a ladle to scoop up an egg and drain the water off so I can gently press my finger into the middle to see how soft it is. You want your egg firm, but still malleable. Almost the consistency of jello. Remember that once you remove your eggs from the water they will keep cooking. So aim on the softer side to give yourself some time.
When your eggs are ready use a ladle and drain off the water, and put them all into a bowl. I do this so that any excess water can drain to the bottom and you don't end up with a soggy mess on your plate. If you haven't already, remove the mushroom caps from the oven, and place on your place with tongs.
Grate your applewood cheddar, the amount here is up to you. Place the cheddar on the mushroom cap, and top off with the sautéed butter/mushroom/spinach/garlic mix. Add your eggs, and season with salt and pepper. I LOVE the contrast that breaking the yolk gives for photos. Try it and impress your loved one(s.)
- 4 Eggs
- dash Vinegar
- 2 Portobello Mushrooms
- 2-3 Garlic cloves
- 1-2 tbsp. Butter
- 2 handfuls of Spinach
- 1/4 c. Applewood Smoked Cheddar
- 2-3 tbsp. Dijon Mustard
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wipe mushrooms clean with a damp cloth and remove stems. Chop mushroom stems, spinach, basil, garlic & set aside.
- Drizzle mushroom caps with camellia oil, season with salt and pepper and bake for 15 minutes. If you want them a little more tender, cook them longer.
- Melt butter in a frying pan over medium heat and add chopped mushrooms. Cook for 5-10 minutes. When the mushrooms are tender add garlic & spinach and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and add basil.
- Fill a small or medium pot 3/4 the way with water. Add a dash of vinegar. When water begins a soft boil crack the eggs and gently open them into the water. Wait a moment between adding the eggs to maintain the temperature. Keep on low heat for about 5 minutes, then remove eggs from water and set aside.
- Remove mushrooms from the oven. Grate your cheese, and place onto mushroom caps. Layer with spinach mixture then top with eggs. Season with salt and pepper and serve!
- Dijon is a great condiment for this breakfast.
Photos by Hannah Cummins Photgraphy