Friday, May 21, 2010


I've been looking for alternate grains to wheat, and millet has proven to be a great option. I especially appreciate that I can find local millet, as I read that it is best consumed within 6 months because it is technically a seed, not a grain and therefore contains volatile oils. It is high in B vitamins, and one cup of cooked millet provides 26% of daily magnesium requirements. In looking into millet, I found that it is a major subsistence crop in Africa, often ground into flour for injera, which is a crepe-like fermented bread. Injera is definitely on my to do list.. I have had the pleasure of home made injera in the past and it is really, really nice. In Ethiopia, the bread serves as a base for meals, and is used to scoop up the food in the same way naan is used for Indian dishes. Our friends told us that forks are associated with the colonialist oppressor! Injera is a powerful cultural symbol in Ethiopia, in the same way that rice is in Asia. (In South Korea, the friendly 'how are you' greeting is 'have you eaten rice today?')
I cooked the millet and made cakes with a Mark Bittman recipe similar to this one, but also included a bit of flour and an egg as a binder.

Monday, May 17, 2010


The Asian food kick continues. A trip to Superstore led to a fridge full of gai lan (what I would do for organic gai lan, sigh..) and many delicious meals. I also picked up some daikon, which became daikon kimchi and Dubu Mu Jorim (tofu and daikon in soy sauce). I hadn't had the tofu dish since I was living overseas and it was as good as I remember. Daikon is really nice cooked, it feels like comfort food. I don't think I've ever seen it in a cooked dish in Canada.

Korean Tofu and Daikon

1/4 lb. white radish, cut in 1 inch x 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup dried sliced shitake mushrooms (easy to find and well priced at Asian grocery stores)
4 oz. firm tofu, cut in 1 inch x 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup water
2 T soy sauce
1 T honey
1 T. Korean red pepper paste (gochuchang).

Soak the mushrooms in boiling water. Place the radish and water in a pot, season with soy sauce, and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes. Add the drained mushrooms, red pepper paste, tofu and honey and simmer for 5 more minutes.

The spring tonic adventures continue as well. I went to a really interesting weekend workshop with Daniel Vitalis on wild nutrition, and he taught us how to make drinks and tinctures from wild plants. We also went out to the mountains to drink mineral water from the springs around Banff. I learned that the idea of water being 'sweet' comes from mineral water that's high in calcium. We also tried sulfurous water which can be used medicinally as it is acidic and stimulating. I didn't know until this weekend that the water coming up out of a spring is often 10,000 years old or older.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


During my cleanse I was craving avocado for some reason, so I decided to finally try my hand at rolling sushi myself. This photo looks much more impressive than it actually turned out.. I quickly learned that I was overdoing the rice as I ended up with rolls that were too big to eat and that fell apart. Also, using brown rice meant they were less sticky that they normally would be with white, which made rolling a challenge. Post Punk Kitchen says don't bother with brown, but I did enjoy the taste..

I followed Marissa Baggett's approach for the rice; I like the idea of using honey and vinegar instead of pre-made seasoned rice vinegar, which is (predictably) sweetened with high fructose corn syrup. I also made Tuna Soboro to include in some of the rolls. We buy Raincoast Trading hook and line caught Pacific albacore tuna, which is still considered a sustainable source according to Seafood Watch. The soboro is GOOD. Very moreish.

Overall, it was quite straightforward. I was always impressed at the availability of these kinds of rolls in every corner store in Korea.. convenience food that has actual food in it. Koreans cut up a roll and wrap in in tin foil in the log shape, and take it hiking or on a picnic. I'm looking forward to trying it with other fillings.

In other news, the yard is slowly starting to be transformed. We discovered that the area we plan to have as the garden is sod on top of 5 inches of gravel, with better soil underneath. So lots of hard work ahead, but that's the fun part, right?