Wednesday, 26 June 2013

A. Vogel
Bio Snacky Sprouter
Day 4
Ready to Eat and Enjoy!

This whole journey has been so exciting.
As an avid gardener, I actually watch my plants grow daily.
You can imagine how fun it was to watch these next to my sink in the kitchen as they changed.
Here is what they looked like on day 4.
The mung beans were the largest and easiest to see. These would be great in a salad and sturdy enough for stir fry.

Now I can distinguish that these are radishes because they are the 2nd largest.
Just in case I couldn't figure it out....
I tasted them!
Wow did they ever taste like a radish with the hot kick too!
The tiniest seed are the alfalfa sprouts.
These are the ones we see in the grocery store packaged.
I must admit these are not as earthy as the store bought ones. That's a good thing.
This is a fabulous revelation for anyone (child) that is picky and apprehensive to try new foods.
I made two recipes you might want to give a try.
Wrap N' Roll
My kids love wraps this needs no recipe.
Just use any leftover chicken, slice or shredded.
Toast a tortilla wrap
Slather with Tzatziki
Layer carrot ribbons
Sliced peppers
Chicken or any deli meats
Fresh herbs or chives
Top with Alfalfa sprouts
Wrap and Roll
Chow down
Sprouty Spring Salad
This colourful hearty side dish or salad can be made up to 3 days ahead and enjoyed.
1 roasted yam, peeled
1/2 green or red pepper, chopped
1 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
1 peeled carrot, diced
1 cup bean sprouts (mung, radish, alfalfa)
1 can black beans, drained
3 tbsp. walnut oil
1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
1 clove garlic minced
3 tbsp. chopped chives
1 tbsp. chopped oregano fresh
(1 tsp dried can be substituted)
Mix together toss with salad ingredients.


Monday, 24 June 2013

A. Vogel
Bio Snacky Sprouter

Day 3
It is so exciting to watch mother nature
take its course and bring plants to life.
In just a short time we will have nutritious delicious sprouts to our meals

The mung bean have fully opened and should be ready for a stir fry, salad or wrap.
This size if very hardy.

 The radish sprouts, seem to be a little bigger than the alfalfa and sturdier, making them slower to sprout.

As they have to have water added daily to refresh the sprouts, I have to check daily before I pour the water to see if anything is blocking the siphon.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

A. Vogel
Bio Snacky Sprouter

Day two!
Look closely
I started these mid afternoon and the next morning the organic mung beans have already started to open.
If you are a gardener you would appreciate this step, it is the beginning of the
life cycle as the sprout breaks out of it's pod
Now it is difficult to distinguish if these are the radish or alfafa sprouts as they are tiny and look alike.
You can definitely see the husk is falling off and the light seed is beginning it's stage of growth.
It is rainy this morning.
I don't have to worry about too much sunlight but, prolonged dampness may slow down the growth.
When I poured the water to rinse the seeds, a twice daily step. The tray above was not draining. This worried me, so I took the tray off and lifted the red siphon cover and found a stray seed plugging the drain hole.
Little devil!
A quick flick with the knife and the problem was fixed.
Stagnant water can mould the seeds causing a catastrophe.
Stay tuned.....

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Tasty Delights: A.Vogel BioSnackySprouterI have been given a wonde...

Tasty Delights: A.Vogel BioSnackySprouterI have been given a wonde...: A.Vogel BioSnacky Sprouter I have been given a wonderful opportunity to try a new product that will allow me to grow my own Sprouts...

#bioSnackySprouts @AVogel_ca
Ruby Cookie Crumble
What better way to celebrate
Than with Summers' bountiful
When I bake it's to utilize what is freshest and whatever I have in the kitchen at the time.
This easy wonderful dessert is a double treat.
You get cookie on top
and luscious fruit with a thin juicy syrup.
If you are not watching calories add some frozen yogourt or ice cream and watch it melt...
1 1/2 cup red grapes, washed and cut in half
1/2 cup papaya, peeled, seeded and diced
1 lb. chopped strawberries, hulled, washed
3 tbsp wildflower honey
1 tsp each grated lemon rind + fresh ginger
1 pint raspberries, rinsed
1 Ida red apple or Macintosh, peeled, cored, diced
1 tbsp. flour or instant tapioca pearls
Mix ingredients together and place in ungreased 6-8 ramekins or an 8"x8" casserole dish.
3/4 cup each flour and whole wheat flour
1 tbsp. ground flax seed
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp each baking soda and salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup brown sugar
1lg. egg, whisked
1/2 cup butter, margarine or vegetable shortening
1/4 cup + 3 tbsp. almond milk or milk
3-5 tbsp. granola
In a medium bowl mix flours, baking powder, soda, spices, salt and flax.  Cut in shortening until crumbly.
Add liquid to egg, whisking to mix. Pour into dry ingredients. Stir with a fork.  With your hands form to clump together into chunks. Do not form into a ball.
Distribute over fruit to cover, sprinkle granola over crumble.
Bake in a 350F oven
Ramekins: 30min
Casserole: 30-40min
Until lightly browned and firm to the touch. Remember this is a cookie topping.
Allow to cool 5-10min.
Grab a spoon!
Enjoy with love

A.Vogel BioSnacky
I have been given a wonderful opportunity to try a new product that will allow me to grow my own
I have been using sprouts in salads and my kids sandwiches since they were wee ones.
Their friends always wondered what new and wonderful (strange)
foods I would be sending to school!
Luckily my kids actually liked the earthy taste of the sprouts, so I had no complaints.
If anything the other kids wondered what they were since it didn't look like their wilted lettuce that accompanied their sandwiches.
 Now that they are older, they still love sprouts in their sandwiches.
I love it because along with a crunchy texture, sprouts have great added nutritive values to their meal.
So, here goes my excited experiment to see if I can grow my own sprouts in my home with this great food safe counter top
Follow on Twitter: #bioSnackySprouts @AVogel_ca
First wash and leave the sprouter wet inside.
Rinse 1 1/2 tbsp. of seeds/legumes
I chose mung bean, alfafa and radish seeds that came in the kit.
Covering the drain spouts with the red caps, stack each level to fit together tightly.

The clear plastic dish is where the drained water flushes to the bottom. 

Pour enough water to cover the red tabs.
Cover with lid
The pressure of the water drains itself, covering the seeds/legumes all the way to the bottom.
When it reaches the bottom, drain the water.
You can use this water for your indoor or outdoor plants.
Place in an area where there is light but, not direct sunlight.
Wait and watch!
~Stay tuned~

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Bumbleberry Yogourt
Cream Cheese Pops
When the weather is hot
we look for something to cool ourselves off!
Bumbleberry Pops
are full of berries, yogourt and dreamy 
cream cheese
They take seconds to make and this size if perfect for mid day or after dinner snacks.

the kids can have some too!

1cup greek honey yogourt
1/2 brick of cream cheese
2 tbsp agave nectar or honey
1/3 cup mixed berries
6 Popsicle sticks
6 espresso cups plastic or styrofoam

In a blender or processor whiz the yogourt, cream cheese and 1 tbsp agave nectar.
Fill the cups 1/2 way up.
Freeze for 1hr to set.

Add the berries, 1 tbsp agave nectar to the remaining mixture, puree, then refrigerate.

Remove cups from the freezer and fill with the berry mixture.
Place a popsicle stick through the center of the mixture. It should hold straight up.

Freeze for 3 hrs or overnight.
If using plastic cups, warm the outside with your hand, then squeeze and it pops up.
Styrofoam, just break and peel away.

Enjoy with love!

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Classic Sausage, Mushroom & Pepperonata
A classic dish in many Italian households, this dish is actually served as a side at our Holidays.
An Italian grandmother would never cook just one meat!
Oh no, in my household there would be at LEAST
Because it is a fattier meat, my mom would make a small platter of this mixture so that everyone could get a few pieces of homemade sausage, roasted so dark that you could debate if any fat was left.
But, it was fully caramelized and had so much flavour.
I decided to pare it with pasta to make an easy filling dinner.
500g pkg penne or any type of pasta
2 tbsp. EVOO
6 sausages
1/2 each red, orange and green peppers, sliced
1 leek, washed, sliced
1 cup cremini or button mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 cup white wine
2-3 tbsp. chopped chives
cheese for garnishing
salt & pepper to taste
Add the EVOO to a preheated large skillet. Carefully place in the sausages. You do not want them to splatter. Brown on med. high heat turning to brown all sides. Add the chopped leeks and continue to stir and cook until softened 5-10min.
Add the chopped vegetables, some salt and pepper. Continue cooking and stirring for another 5-10min. When you begin to hear the pan sizzle the natural juices are beginning to evaporate and caramelize, add the wine. Continue cooking until the sausage is cooked through.
Place a large salted 3/4 full pot of water to boil.
Drop in the pasta and cook until "al dente", to your taste.
Before the pasta is cooked, remove the whole sausages and slice diagonally, place back in pan.
Drain the water immediately, put the pasta back into the large pot. This will give you some starchy water to coat with the mixture, before it is fully drained.
Add sausage mixture to the pasta, sprinkle on herbs and serve. Garnishing with cheese.
~Grab a fork~
Serves 6 with extras

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Apple & Cheddar
Thyme Biscuits

Is there anything more comforting than the glorious aromas from baked goods?

Most of us don't have thyme (time, tee hee)to bake
The scent of bread baking just puts us in a  wonderful relaxed state that, leaves us waiting in anticipation for the end product. 

Throughout the world breads are the symbol of home, comfort and food on the table.

This is an easy biscuit.
Of course, if I make it, it has to have some nutritional value in it! Right?

The addition of apple adds sweetness and fiber.
Um, your family and friends won't even notice it~
Unless you tell them
they tell you how delish they are~~

2tbsp coarse corn meal

3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
 1 tsp thyme
1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 stick vegetable shortening or butter
2 cup old sharp cheddar, shredded
 1/2 apple, peel on, shredded

1/4cup milk or water + more if needed

In a large bowl add the apple and cheddar. Drop in the dry ingredients. Using your hands "sift" the shredded ingredients into the dry ingredients to coat the mixture.
 Using a pastry cutter tool, cut the shortening into the dry ingredients.
 Begin to slowly add the water to add just enough so that the dough begins to stick together.
~you may need more or less depending on the humidity outside~
On to a floured surface, form into a round, gently pressing together.

Form into approx. 8"-9" circle
I used the bottom piece of a springform cake pan, which is quite thin.

Spray the bottom with non stick spray or grease and flour it.

Using a knife or pizza wheel cut wedges all the way through. 

Bake in a 350F preheated oven for 
The top can be brushed with melted butter before baking for a deeper browning.

Enjoy with love!

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Coconana Granola Pancakes

Summer weekends are almost here!
Lazy days, begging for lounging around in your pj's
What a great comfort dish to offer the family without the guilt
Coconana pancakes have the goodness of high protein and they are low in fat!
Slathered with your favourite yogourt and you'll be in euphoria
What a great way to start the weekend
Who knows the kids might even do their chores!

2 ripe bananas peeled and mashed
2 eggs 
1 cup coconut milk, stirred
1/2 cup water
2 cup ancient grain pancake mix or any other pancake mix you like
1/3 cup MuesliFusion Zen Granola
Oil for cooking

In a medium size bowl add the bananas, eggs, water, coconut milk, stir to combine.
Drop in dry ingredients.
Stir only to mix.
This is a thick hearty batter.
You can add more water if batter is too thick.

Add 1/4-1/2 cup batter to a greased skillet and cook on medium heat until golden brown. If the batter is thick you will not see the bubbles rising and popping, so you will have to check the bottom.
Using a heat proof spatula flip to and continue cooking until golden and cooked through.

Slather with yogourt and sprinkle with granola
Makes: approx. 9
Enjoy with love

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Kale Chips

There is a big trend in Toronto towards finding "healthy" snacks.
I say that jokingly because as we know, snacking generally is not "healthy" and also adds a lot of extra calories to your daily intake.
Even if the foods start out wholesome as they get processed, additives, salt, sugar and preservatives get added making the food less "healthy" than it should have been.
A big trend is to make your own Kale Chips, so of course being adventurous, I decided to try to make them myself.
Not always do my recipes turn out to be fab!
Especially on the first go,
these were too salty this first time around and the Kale gave off an aroma of cabbage in the house!
Surprise to me
since I always cook this veggie.
I have never baked it before.
Although I love cabbage I was not impressed with the kale tasting mildly of it.
My kids
 real surprise here!!!
I think they loved the crunch more than anything else and have already asked me to make more!
Go figure!
If you want to make something that is quite healthy with no guilt, here are the steps.
Wash and pull off the leaves from the stem
from 2 bunches of kale.
They shrink so much, you will need the amounts.
Grasp the stem with one hand and pull down, removing the leaves.
Leave them large.
Do not discard the tiny ones, they become bite size

Place 3-5tbsp olive oil in a ramekin.
Dip your fingers into the oil and using both hands massage each leaf, front and back.
*This is an important step, or they will not crisp*
Spread out evenly on two large baking sheets.

Lightly sprinkle with salt.
It will look like too little, but as they dehydrate the salt remains.
~Don't over do it~
Bake in a 350F oven for 20min.
See how much they shrink?
Turn the oven off and leave them in to continue to dry without added heat or they may brown and burn.
Check for doneness,
both sides are crisp when lifted off the sheet.
This is the yield of from one sheet.
Pile onto a platter and enjoy!
Great conversation piece for guests.
This beautiful repurposed Birch round was gifted to me by my friend Teri
I don't know how long they can be stored because, mine didn't last the evening :D
Enjoy with love!

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Roasted Balsamic Squash

Most people are familiar with squash but, only use it in the colder months.
I decided to not fire up my stove which would heat up the house now that the weather is warmer and decided to fire up the BBQ instead which makes clean-up much easier!
A colourful side dish cooked on the same grill as the rest of your meal.
This one was quite easy and the caramelization that develops can't be beat.
The BBQ adds a smoky aroma and sticky sweetness
1 butter nut squash, washed
2 tbsp each fresh snipped chives and oregano
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. EVOO + more for brushing on squash
pinch of sea salt
Cut 1/2" slices of the squash into rings
You don't need to remove seeds or peel, they can easily be removed when cooked.
My method keeps the rings together on the BBQ
Brush surface with some oil and sprinkle on some salt. Add just a sprinkling of herbs. More can be added to the finish.
Place on low temperature BBQ about 200F
Cook turning over to brown evenly,
until it is easily pierced with a fork.
When cooled to the touch, remove seeds and peel.
Dice into 1" cubes
Dressing: whisk the oil and balsamic vinegar together. Pour over the diced vegetables, add the chopped herbs then a sprinkling more of salt.
Can be served hot or at room temperature.
Can be stored up to 3 day in the refrigerator.
Serves 6-8
Enjoy with love!