Cold Carrot Orange Soup

2 tablespoons butter
¼ cup almonds, coarsely chopped
8 carrots, coarsely chopped (6 cups)
2 bay leaves
2 whole cloves
1–inch piece stick cinnamon
Juice of 4 oranges
1 cup heavy cream or coconut milk

1. In a large pot melt the butter. Add the almonds, onions, carrots, and sauté until the carrots start to become tender. Add water to cover, the bay leaves, cloves, and cinnamon stick. Simmer, partially covered, for about 15 minutes, or until the carrots are soft.
2. Allow the carrot mixture to cool. Remove the bay leaves, cloves, and cinnamon stick.
3. Blend the carrot mixture with orange juice and cream in a blender. Dilute to a good consistency with more orange juice, if desired.
4. Chill thoroughly. Taste, season and serve garnished with a dash of thick cream or coconut milk.

Serves 6

Fresh Strawberry Mousse

By Julie Jordan from Cabbagetown Cafe

½ cup honey (if your honey has crystallized, heat it until it is liquid)
2 cups fresh strawberries, stemmed
15-16 ounces ricotta cheese (about 2 cups)
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup heavy cream or coconut milk

1. Measure all the ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth. Taste for seasoning – I like to add about 1 teaspoon lemon zest to this.
2. Pour into serving glasses and chill.

Serves 6

Johnny Appleseed Cake

Thank you to Julie Jordan for this recipe, and the many others she has created over the years.

3-4 apples, diced
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cloves
1 cup raisins
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
½ cup butter
2/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons baking soda

1. Put the chopped apples in a medium-size pot with 2 tablespoons water. Simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes, or until the apples have become thick applesauce. Measure out 1½ cups and return it to the pot to keep it warm.
2. Mix together the flour and spices, raisins, and walnuts in a mixing bowl.
3. Melt the butter in a small saucepan, mix in the honey then stir into the dry ingredients.
4. Stir the baking soda into the hot applesauce in the pot – be prepared, this will foam up in a spectacular fashion. Add to the batter in the bowl, mix thoroughly and pour into a well-buttered 9-inch square cake pan.
5. Bake in a preheated 325 degree F. oven for about 40 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Makes 1 9-inch square cake, serves 8

Mustard Greens with Ginger, Cilantro, and Rice

2 bunches mustard greens, or 1 bunch chard and 1 bunch greens, coarse stems removed
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
¼ cup rice
2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 cup chopped cilantro stems and leaves
Sea salt

1. Wash the mustard greens, and chard if using. Chop, but don’t dry, them.
2. Heat oil in a wide, heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onion, rice, ginger, cumin, and paprika. Stir to coat with the oil. Cook for 2 minutes then add the cilantro and chopped greens. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Cover the pan and cook until the volume has reduced, 10-15 minutes.
3. Give everything a stir, then reduce the heat to low, re-cover, and cook slowly for 20 minutes – there should be ample liquid in the pot, but check once or twice to make sure there is no sticking on the bottom. If the pan seems dry, add a little water.
4. Cook until the greens are really tender, 25-30 minutes total. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 4-6

Vegetable Lo Mein


Sesame Garlic Sauce:
8 cloves garlic, chopped
1-inch piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
½ cup peanut butter
4 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
¼ cup rice vinegar, or juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup tamari or soy sauce
¼ teaspoon cayenne or less to taste

Lo Mein:
½ pound whole wheat spaghetti
1 head broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces (6 cups)
1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces (4 cups)
2 carrots, grated
¼ cup finely chopped chives or scallions
1 cup toasted almonds

1. First prepare the sauce – whisk together the garlic, ginger, peanut butter, sesame oil, vinegar or lemon, tamari, and cayenne. Set aside.
2. Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions. Set aside.
3. To prepare the vegetables – steam or blanch the broccoli and cauliflower for about 5 minutes, until just tender. Heat the oil in a medium-size pan and sauté the cooked vegetables and grated carrots until well combined, about 1 minute.
4. In a large paste cooking pot, mix together the vegetables, scallions, cooked pasta, and sauce. Heat for about 3-4 minutes, until it’s piping hot. Taste for seasoning.
5. Sprinkle with almonds to serve.

Serves 4

Carrots with Black Sesame Seeds

2 tablespoons black sesame seeds (kura goma) or use white seeds
4-5 medium carrots, about 1 pound, sliced into matchsticks
1 cup vegetable stock
Sea salt to taste
2 tablespoons any nut oil, mild olive oil, or Asian sesame oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground white pepper to taste (optional)

1. Toast the sesame seeds in a heavy skillet over low heat, shaking the skillet, just until they begin to pop – this is called parching. Turn the seeds into a bowl.
2. Spread the carrots in the heated skillet; add the stock and salt, cover and set over high heat. Don’t leave the kitchen, because in a few minutes the stock will be gone and the carrots will be tender with just a hint of crispness.
3. Remove from heat and stir in 1 tablespoon of the oil, then the seeds, mixing thoroughly. Saute again just enough to heat the seeds, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes.
4. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, the lemon juice, and taste for seasoning, adding salt and white pepper to taste.

Serves 5

Golden Cauliflower and Rice

1 medium cauliflower, including tender leaves
1 teaspoon turmeric
2/3 cup jasmine, basmati, or other long grain rice
1 and 1/3 cups mild chicken broth, cold water, or vegetable stock
1 large clove garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small tomato, or steeped sundried tomato, chopped
Sea salt to taste
Freshly ground white pepper to taste

1. Slice the cauliflower florets crosswise into quarter-size pieces (reserve the stems and tender leaves). Saute the florets in a dry non-stick skillet over high heat for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Lower the heat to medium, add the turmeric and stir and toss for another minute to coat the pieces. Cover and cook gently in dry heat for 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the rice and salted broth or other liquid to a simmer, uncovered. Once it’s simmering, cover and simmer for another 10 minutes.
3. Stir the cauliflower into the rice after it’s done simmering, then let sit undisturbed for 10 minutes.
4. While the rice is resting, cut up the leaves and stalks from the cauliflower into ½-inch pieces, and thinly slice the tender part of the main stalk. Turn into the skillet with the garlic, drizzle with olive oil and sauté over medium-high just until tender.
5. Just before spooning up, stir the tomato into the rice and taste for seasoning. Platter and serve immediately with the cauliflower rice surrounded by the stems and leaves.

Serves 4

Lemony, Buttery Broccoli Amandine

1 large head broccoli, cut into florets, stems peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup fresh lemon juice
½ cup fine dry breadcrumbs
Good pinch each of: minced parsley, chives, sweet basil, oregano, and paprika
1/3 cup roasted slivered almonds
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. In a large pot of boiling water, blanch the broccoli until just turning vibrant green, about 5-8 minutes. Remove immediately and run under cold water to stop the cooking and hold the bright green color. Place in large serving bowl or platter.
2. Melt 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a small, heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook until the butter begins to brown – keep an eye on it! Add the lemon juice and breadcrumbs; stir until the crumbs are golden. Blend in the herbs and spices.
3. The moment the herbs and spices are heated, spoon the mixture over the broccoli. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Toss to mix and top with the almonds before serving.

Swedish Spring Soup

In Sweden, an egg yolk and a few tablespoons of thick cream are whisked in at the end to enrich the broth, but I prefer these delightful flavors unmasked.

2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter or nut oil
3 carrots, coarsely grated
1 small leek, white and tender greens, trimmed, slit and rinsed, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
3 cups chopped radish greens
1-2 bunches radishes, trimmed and very thinly sliced in a food processor or grated
1 quart mild stock
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint or parsley
Plain yogurt or sour cream for topping (optional)

1. In a broad, heavy saucepan, warm the butter over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, leek, garlic and sauté, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.
2. Add the radishes greens, radishes, stir until they glisten, then add the stock. Add salt to taste. Bring to a simmer and simmer, uncovered until everything is tender, about 10 minutes.
3. Add pepper, taste for seasoning then serve in soup plates sprinkled with mint or parsley and dolloped with something creamy.

Serves 6

Celery Root Colcannon

1¼ pounds celery root (about 1 large), peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups thinly sliced, stemmed kale
¼ teaspoon sea salt, divided
½ cup milk or milk alternative
2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon chopped parsley

1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add the celery root and garlic. Cook until very tender, about 15 minutes. Drain.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add kale, sprinkle with a ¼ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring often, until very tender, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and cover.
3. Transfer the celery root and garlic to a food processor, add the remaining pinch of salt, milk, butter, and pepper; puree until smooth. Scrape into a large bowl and stir in the kale and herbs. Season to taste.

Serves 4