We were in California this week, where roadside stands were selling avocados ten for a dollar. (Grapefruit, too!) With the skyrocketing price of produce here in Canada, this is hard to even imagine.
Friends know I am a keen “eat local, make it yourself” advocate. So I’m not going to buy a Brussels sprout that has travelled halfway across the continent when we grow them right here. On the other hand, I have no illusions that the world is going to give up coffee, tea, or spices. So today, I propose a delicious compromise.
On top of a slice of homemade wheat bread, toasted (Canada is a huge provider of wheat to the world), some locally-made Kozlik’s Old Smokey mustard. Then, an avocado (yes, even at $1.29 each, one makes two affordable breakfasts). Finally, local eggs, nicely poached.
That’s a compromise I can live with!
It’s Sunday morning and we are rushing around to get out the door (again). No excuse not to have a delicious breakfast in our bellies!
In a blender, whirr
2T / 30ml flaxseed to grind (always keeps better if you grind as needed)
3/4 c 180ml buckwheat flour
2 t / 10ml baking powder
1T / 15 ml brown sugar
Pulse to mix
1 c / 250 ml almond milk
1 large egg or egg substitute
1 T / 15 ml butter or oil or coconut oil
Mix just to combine (you might need a spatula to help).
If needed just enough milk to make a thick but pourable batter.
Pour pancakes into a nonstick pan buttered or sprayed with cooking oil on medium high heat, about the size of your palm. They will spread and puff a little.
When bubbles appear and the edges start to look dry, time to flip. My frypan does four at a time.
They can be kept warm in a 150F oven as additional batches are made. Recipe can be doubled. Finished pancakes can be frozen with parchment in between for reheating in the toaster.
Serve with fruit and maple syrup.
Today’s lunch is a new twist on an old favourite: rice and beans. Veggie bowls like these are a cheap and cheerful way to get your five to ten servings of fruit and vegetables, too. We started with reheated leftover brown rice and cooked beans. Then we topped this with grilled pattypan and orange bell pepper, and some diced avocado. Finally, a dressing (for two) with 1 T (15ml) each lemon juice, soy sauce, maple syrup, sesame oil and 1 t (5ml) wasabi paste for just the right fusion of flavour.
…I was going to end that title with “in the frozen northland”, but in fact, relatively speaking, we are in the south of our country. However it is most decidedly winter, and that can make local a challenge. Fortunately there is nearly always a hydroponic/greenhouse grower of greens – or a friendly windowsill.
Top a big batch of greens with a simple vinaigrette of mustard, olive oil, maple syrup and cider vinegar. Sprinkle with sliced apples, walnuts, raisins, feta, and…eat up!
What a wild weather week we’ve had! From knee-deep snow and frigid temperatures, the thermometer dropped yesterday and we had rain and high winds overnight. Now the sun is doing her best to break through the clouds, illuminating spots in the woods with her brilliant gaze. We’ve put the slow cooker on for a pot-roast dinner, and prepared for whatever the blustery day brings with some blueberry whole-wheat pancakes.
Whatever the weather, we’re grateful – for friends, family (thanks for the call last night!), and the good fortune to live with a big garden, great neighbours, and a view of the Bay.
It all started with a trip to the Valley. Two beautiful 20-pound bags of apples – Cortlands, and the apples I have longed for over my long absence from Nova Scotia: Gravensteins. Of course, combine this with a busy life, a business trip, and a couple of days off sick, and I have had to start coming up with apple ideas.
There are the usual, of course, like pies, or just eating these delicious orbs as is. (And on that note, I challenge anyone to claim they really find Red Delicious apples to be anything close to delicious!) We’re poring over recipes for mincemeat, chutney, and more. Yesterday we canned a supply of applesauce to last over the winter. But this morning, a simple solution: whole wheat cinnamon apple pancakes. Warm and tasty after a night of howling wind and rain, they will sustain us through what promises to be a dreary day. For that we’re grateful.
If someone tapped into our social network today, they might even discover what we’ve had for breakfast. In the midst of the net crawling, personal info spying controversy that is filling up the (do we still say airwaves?) we’re still talking about food.
Today, a quick substitute for Eggs Benedict. All the rich creaminess, topped with a poached egg, but fast and easy enough for a workday. Here you go, Internet spies, here’s the recipe:
2 toasted whole wheat English muffins
1 avocado, mashed, with the juice of 1/2 lime
4 poached eggs
Spread the English muffins with the pepper. Top with eggs, and sprinkle with chipotle powder to taste. Enjoy!
The great thing about pancakes is that most recipes make a large batch, enough for a family. But when there are only two of you, what can you do? Of course there’s always the option of going to a local breakfast place, if you have one close by. But even then, the portions are usually unhealthily large. If you make them at home, your best friend is the freezer. Freeze them in a single layer in zipper bags, and then when you want pancakes again, simply pop them in the toaster on the lowest setting (oven or micro will work as well, but the toaster is so easy!)
Today we warmed up some frozen mixed berries and a sliced banana, and then topped them with Greek yogurt and roasted almonds. That should keep us warm for a hike on the beach!
Yesterday we had a typical Canadian spring shock to the system. After days of gloriously mild weather, it turned very chilly, gray, and windy. Since we spent the day running around (Alliance Française for French class, some lunch, then the Canada Blooms show, then errands…whew!) we wanted a warming sort of dinner.
We made this easy chicken and pasta dish, which serves 3 (leftovers for Sunday lunch, with a salad).
Cook 100g (3.5 oz) whole wheat spaghettini.
Meanwhile, in 10ml (2 t) olive oil, sauté a leek that has been sliced and rinsed (white and light green parts only) until it starts to become translucent. Add 125 ml chopped cauliflower (1/2 c) and two spears of asparagus, sliced into bite-size lengths. Put a lid on this and give it a couple of minutes to release a bit of liquid. Then stir in a diced tomato, 30ml (2T) pesto, and 60ml or 1/4 c of pasta water. Lid, turn down the heat, and let it simmer til the pasta is done.
Drain the pasta and mix into the veg. Put the lid back on and let the whole thing sit on very low heat for 3 or 4 minutes for the flavour to develop.
It’s the time of year when minds turn to winter weight loss. But we’re not big believers in the quick fix. What gets us into a mess can often be turned around to get us out. We’re free of holiday distractions and back into our normal “eat less, move more” routine. Today though, the Toronto weather is still in the deep freeze. (Yes Winnipeg, we hear you laughing…) it made us want a warm and satisfying breakfast.
For 330 calories, here’s what we had: 2 large eggs, scrambled in a nonstick pan and topped with 1/2 ounce of Shropshire Blue cheese. On the side, a slice of whole wheat toast with 2 teaspoons of blueberry-raspberry jam we made back in the summer (thanks, East Lynn Farmer’s Market!) and half a small hothouse local tomato.
Starting the day in a satisfied frame of mind!