Blackberry-Pear Crumble

Yesterday I made a pear-only crumble for my dear friend Alison's house warming potluck and the general concensus was good. Today I thought I would try it again, but with the addition of blackberries, so I went out picked a large yogurt container's worth of berries this morning (very exact measurements, I know). All of the fruit in the recipe was handpicked by me today (and free!). Crumbles usually call for brown sugar but I am using honey instead, since my Dad and I harvested 40 lbs. of honey from our backyard beehives yesterday. He got two stings, but I avoided it entirely. His advice? Tuck your pants into your socks.

Blackberry-Pear Crumble
4 c. pears, peeled and diced
1 to 2.5 c. blackberries (I used the full amount, but it's your call.)
2 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. butter, melted
2 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

2 c. rolled oats
1/2 c. oat flour
1/3 c. butter
1/3 c. honey
1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tbsp. vanilla extract

Preheat over to 350

Filling: Peel and core pears, then dice them into 1" cubes. Combine diced pears with cornstarch, butter, honey, and pumpkin spice spice until pears are covered. Gently add in blackberries, making sure they are coated, but trying not to mash them up. Tranfer filling into 9x9 pan and gently even out fruit.

Topping: Combine rolled oats, oat flour, pumpkin pie spice and butter, and using fingers or a pastery wire hand pastry blender, chop the butter into pea-sized pieces. Add in the honey and vanilla extract. Pour the topping on to the fruit in the pan, then flatten mixture gently so it is evenly covers the filling. Bake for 40-45 minutes.


Late Summer Vegetable Chili



Plum Pie

There are hundreds of plums in my backyard, so I decided it was time for a pie. In the background you can see the tree where all the plums came from. I love when things come full circle like that.

My first three pie crust attempts failed. Once because I tried unsuccessfully at using gluten-free flour. The next two failed as well, which baffled me because I used regular flour and two different "No Fail Pie Crust" recipes. After this I tried tasting the the flour I had been using, only to discover it was not flour, but powdered soy milk! I tried for a fourth pie crust and got this beauty. I am so good at making pie crusts.

After the (eventual) success of the first pie, I made a second. This pie had a starry double crust. I got the idea for the crust from Joy of Baking, and they got the idea from Martha Stewart who makes "star spangled" blueberry pie for 4th of July reasons. Please, never make this with a blueberry pie. Unless you're being deeply, deeply ironic.

I used the same basic recipe for Blueberry Pie from Joy of Baking, except that the filling was different.

Plum Pie Filling
  • 6 cups plums, pitted
  • 3/4 c. honey
  • 2 tbsp. lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 5 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/3 c. water

Cook the plums in water for 10 minutes. Add the honey, lemon zest, vanilla and cornstarch and cook until thickened (about 5 minutes). Allow to cool slightly before pouring into pie crust.

Cherry Snowballs, again.

I made these to take to a VIVA-Raw vegan potluck and it went over well, with all of them disappearing in the first three minutes. I've made these many times, and if you're interest in the recipe, click here.


Tomato Vegetable Soup

I've been making a lot of meals in the slow cooker lately, my second favourite appliance. So there have been many soups/chilis/curries. I like slow cookers because you can go off and do something else whilst your meal cooks. The recipe for this is almost a non-recipe, but I wanted to demonstrate how easy it is to make something like this via a slow cooker. It was made even easier by chopping up all the vegetables via the food processor. Oh, the food processor, my favourite appliance, maker of nut butters.

Tomato Vegetable Soup
  • 1 c. cooked kidney beans
  • 2 c. crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 c. tomato paste
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 bunch celery
  • 1 head broccoli
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 purple onion
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • handful basil leaves
  • tbsp. organo
  • tbsp. cumin
  • 2 c. water
Put the previously listed ingredients in the slow cooker for at least three hours. You've made soup!


Whippersnaps-inspired Stir Fry

My cousin Allison runs the food blog Whippersnaps, detailing her culinary adventures in healthy vegetarian food. After reading a few pages of it I decided to make a tribute meal, partially because the idea of a tribute meal from one food blog to another amused me, but at least 70% because she makes delicious looking food. So I tried my hand at a healthy, vegetable-laden dinner inspired by some of her stir frys. I even tried to get the photography similar, but it came out a little dark.

"The Whippersnap"
  • 1/2 c. salsa
  • 3 deseeded tomatoes
  • 2 sm. heads broccolini
  • 1 sm. Japanese eggplant
  • 5 green onions, chopped with scissors

I stir fried this, adding maybe 1/3 c. water to keep it from burning. It made about 3 servings.


Cafe Bliss

I frequented to Cafe Bliss, the local raw vegan restaurant a'coupla times (okay, a *lot*), which made for some excellent food photography opportunities.

I Love Summer salad
(mixed greens, avocado, blueberries sunflower sprouts, tahini-lemon dressing, flax seed cracker)

Greek salad
(lettuce, mixed greens, tomato, red pepper, purple onion, cucumber, olives, cashew cheese, flax cracker)

Mediterranean Pizza
(cashew cheese, pesto sauce, marinated vegetables on a dehydrated buckwheat and flax crust)

Thai Coconut Soup

A closer inspection of the ever-present flax cracker.
(chia seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, unhulled sunflower seeds)

Caramelized Walnut Fruit Salad
(bananas, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, caramelized walnuts)

... and finally a chocolate raspberry cheesecake. It was the one year anniversary of the restaurant so I had to get it. I should post DIY instructions for how to make these because raw vegan cheesecakes are much easier to make then you would think and understandably delicious.


Honey Harvest

As some of my readers know, my Dad took up beekeeping a few years ago in order to look into Colony collapse disorder, and because, you know, it's in the top five for Things You Can Put On Toast. I too have become an apiarist. A few days ago there was a ball of bees clustered outside the entrance to the hive. There are are almost always bees outside the entrance, particular during the daytime in the summer, but we're talking thousands of bees. At first he thought they were about to swarm, but after explaining the symptoms to his beekeeping mentor it was decided that more likely the bees had completely filled the hive with honey to the point where they had driven themselves out. Which means: honey harvest!

We've already harvested about 30 lbs of honey of the 100 lbs available in the hive. My Dad doesn't take any more than a generous estimate of what the bees themselves will need, so he would be considered an ethical beekeeper. The 100 lbs of honey is top of what the hive needs to sustain itself during the winter.

One comb was full of pollen, about one in seven compartments packed full of it. The tangy pollen-laden honey has completely spoiled me for anything else. Bee pollen is around 40% protein and rich in B-vitamins (mustn't... make... pun). I really wanted to make a pun there, but ultimately I decided against. Anyway, it is particularly useful to eat pollen from local beekeepers if you suffer from allergies, because it exposes you to local flora in minute quantities.

Green Juice, again.

Yes, more green juice. These consisted of celery, cucumber, swiss chard, mixed greens. I made these up for me and my parents, because the tables have turned and I am now the one insisting they eat-...er, drink their vegetables. The two on either side of the picture also contained an apple each, but I didn't put one in mine (middle) because I am a juicing masochist, OBV. Lower glycemic index!

Vegetarian Salmon

This isn't salmon. Oh no. We finally cooked up the vegetarian mock salmon as seen here. A friend of a friend of mine got this at Lotus Pond, a vegan Buddhist restaurant. It's not vegan itself because it contains whey powder. As I said, I love that they bothered to replicate salmon skin using nori. Step 2: Replicating the little bones you are at risk of choking on.

Root Bake

This is the second root bake I have made in the past month, but putting a layer of sliced tomatoes on top definitely improved it. Love those nightshades. This consisted of yams, turnips, potatoes, celery, red pepper, onions, and carrots.

Black Bean Burgers

I made these ages ago, but thought them blogworthy since I have rarely been making anything besides salads and stirfrys. I'll post the recipe soon since they were delicious.


Blog Shoutout: Heather Eats Almond Butter

Heather Eats Almond Butter is pretty much my new favourite blog.

This is possibly because it reminds me of my answer to possibly the most intimate question one can ask a person: If you could only eat one food forever, what would it be? The rules of this questions are as follows:
a. It must be a single food, not a combination food eg. pizza
2. The food can only be prepared in one way.
iii. The nutritional value of the food does not need to sustain you. This is a taste-centric fantasy.

My answer is, without hesitation, almond butter. It's not often that I read a blog in its entirety. The author has a great whole food, no sugar approach to eating that isn't carb heavy. I get so many meal ideas from her. The pictures are also inspiring and she manages to make oatmeal look beautiful, which I can tell you is quite a feat.



I love cherries. That is all.


Bacon N' Pancakes

This is the first time I have ever been witness to bacon cooking in my kitchen, so I had to document it. For reference, I did not eat this bacon. Here it is gently soaking grease into the Times Colonist.

I cooked blueberry-raspberry pancakes using fresh berries.

Next-day Father's Day pancakes. You can see how I poured the batter in a spiral.


Tempeh Vegetable Stir Fry

Organic marinated tempeh with broccoli, bok choy, celery, garlic, onions, red pepper + yellow pepper.
The making of.
I made this at a friend's house who had some weird food including vegetarian salmon.

I love the attention to detail. Vegetarian salmon skin, anyone?
Banana ketchup. Finally.


Fruit Salad for potlucks x2

So berries are ready and I'm on a fruit salad making bender.

bananas, lychee, mango, pineapple + strawberries

ataulfo mango, grapes, pineapple + strawberries


Orange Juice

We had about 15 oranges, so I liquefied them.


Jackfruit Smoothie

Besides this smoothie, I've only ever had jackfruit in freeze-dried form. It's said to be the largest of all tree-borne fruit and the flavour for Juicy Fruit gum. It's one of the few things I've heard compared to durians, so now I just need to find fresh ones...



Raw Chocolate

I tried my hand at raw chocolatiering and the outcome was less than perfect. The white chocolate was perfect, but the dark chocolate's texture wasn't perfect and it melted too easily. So first time chocolate makers, don't feel disheartened if your first try yields fudgey disappointments.


Dr. Vie Chocos+

I got this organic, raw chocolate bar from Market on Yates. It's Dr. Vie Chocos+ in Mocha Cheri. I know chocolate isn't a health food, but this seems like an upgrade from regular chocolate bars since it uses a low-glycemic sweetener instead of white sugar. I also wanted to see how they made a raw chocolate, so that I can try to do it myself.

Speaking of making chocolate, I now have heart-shaped silicone moulds for just such an occasion. They would also work for non-cube ice.


Hemp Pesto

Hemp Pesto
makes 1/2 c.

-2 c. basil, loosely packed
-1/2 c. hemp seeds
-3 cloves garlic
-sprig parsley
-1/8 c. olive oil (OR half avocado)
-juice of 1/2 lemon
-1/8 tsp. salt

Mix all ingredients together in a food processor or high-powered blender until smooth. That's it. I prefer to use a 1/2 avocado instead of the olive oil, but I didn't have one today.

This recipe would work excellently with kelp noodles or zucchini pasta. It also makes a good salad dressing if you add olive oil, lemon juice, or water. Hemp seeds are the best, I use them so much.

Juice + Pizza

Two Cafe Bliss juices, Creamsicle (orange, carrot + lemon) and the Alkalizer. I really should start making my own juices (actually I did today, 48 oz!), but this way I don't have to clean the juicer. It will be easier to make wheatgrass juice when I'm growing my own.

I also got another piece of raw vegan pizza. It was the same as last time, but without the pesto sauce.


Almost Cheesecake

I made a raw vegan cheesecake, using this recipe for Berry Cheesy Cheesecake, sans berries. I cut it up right before I left and took it to a VIVA Raw potluck. By the time I got to the table, there was once piece yet, so I didn't get a picture of it. I will definitely take a picture of the next one I make.


Pizza + a Vanilla Mylkshake

I went to Cafe Bliss today and ordered pizza. I was interested to see how they did it, considering it is 100% raw vegan. It's on dehydrated carrot and buckwheat crust. There is cashew cheese, and on top of that is lettuce and marinated vegetables (mushrooms, tomato, red pepper). It's been drizzled with a pesto sauce.

This is a vanilla mylkshake. I have made something similar myself.


Pumpkin Pie II

I made a pumpkin pie using this recipe from Joy of Baking, one of the greatest websites of all time. I haven't baked in ages, but this was for my Dad's 60th birthday. I used a steep sided pan, with the sides at a 90 degree angle rather than 45 or so, but it still worked. There was whipped cream, but until I own one of those bags that gives you the sculpted, soft-serve-ice-cream style flourishes of whipped cream I am ashamed to post pictures of it. One day I will have one and, oh, the cupcakes I will photograph.

Green Juice x3

The usual cucumber, celery, and greens concoction for everyone. 48 oz. in total.

Drink yer salad.