Spelt Sourdough Pancakes

Tart and rich with eggs and whole grain flour, these sourdough pancakes are an excellent way to use up excess sourdough starter. I have spelt starter which I use for this recipe.

Sourdough Pancake Recipe:

• Yield: 8 (6-inch) pancakes (4 – 6 Servings)
• Prep: 5 mins
• Cook: 20 mins
• Ready In: 8 hrs 25 mins

Ingredients:
• 2 cups sourdough starter
• 1 cup sifted flour
• 2 eggs (beaten)
• 1/2 teaspoon unrefined sea salt
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• butter, coconut oil or ghee (for frying the pancakes)
• milk / water to thin
Instructions:
1. Beat sourdough starter with flour, then place the batter into a mixing bowl, cover it and allow it to rest at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours.
2. Punch down the sourdough if it has risen, then beat in the eggs, salt and baking soda. If your batter is too thick, thin it with a bit of milk, cream or water (I add at least ½ c).
3. Warm a skillet over medium-high heat, drop in enough butter to prevent the pancakes from sticking (about 1 tablespoon). When the butter melts, reduce the heat to medium-low, then spoon 1/4 cup of batter into the pan. Cook each pancake until bubbles begin to rise to the surface – about 2 to 3 minutes, then flip and continue to cook a further 2 to 3 minutes. Continue working in batches, adding more butter as necessary. Serve warm with maple syrup or jam.

A Couple Favorite Vegetable Curry Dishes

Vegetable curry dishes are so great. Nourishing, economical, and deliciously flavorful. Here are two favorites I alternate between when I cook one of our weekly vegetarian meals. The Fresh Vegetable Curry was inspired from Nourishing Meals, the other I wanted to share is a Curried Vegetable Letil Chili from Kim’s Cravings which I have cooked often with a variety of vegetables. They are pretty forgiving and always tasty. Try them yourself!

Fresh Vegetable Curry:

3 tablespoons coconut or virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
2 to 3 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
1 medium sweet potato or 4 medium red potatoes, cut into cubes
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
dash cayenne pepper (optional)
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons sea salt or Herbamare
6 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
bunch of spinach or 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into pieces
3/4 pound cauliflower, cut into tiny florets (this can take a while to cook soft)
1/2 pound mushrooms, cut in half
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups cooked chickpeas or 1 can
chopped cilantro for garnish

Heat a large skillet (I use an 11-inch) over medium to medium-high heat for a few minutes to let the pan heat up. Add the coconut oil, then the mustard seeds and ginger. Saute for about 30 seconds (you should hear the mustard seeds popping). Then add the potatoes and carrots. Saute for about 10 to 15 minutes, keeping the heat moderate so they don’t start browning too much or sticking. Then add the spices and Herbamare. Stir well and saute for about a minute more. Sautéing the spices in oil is key to a good curry!
Next add the diced tomatoes. Saute for 2 minutes while stirring. Mix the cup of water with the arrowroot in a small bowl. I use a fork to whisk it together. Add this mixture to the cooking veggies.
Then add the green beans, cauliflower, mushrooms, garlic, and chickpeas. Stir gently. cover and cook for about 15-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve over rice or quinoa and garnish with chopped cilantro.

Curried Vegetable Chili:

1 cup brown or green lentil, rinsed and drained (a quicker option is using a can of garbanzo beans/ chick peas)
3 cups vegetable broth (water will work too)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
½ medium white onion, diced
1 large carrot, sliced
1 large zucchini, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 -1.5 tablespoons curry powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 cups (or handfuls) fresh spinach, chopped

Place lentils and vegetable broth in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for about 45 minutes or until tender.
I first rinse and start my rice, which we like with our curries.
Meanwhile, in a medium skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add onion and carrot, and sauté for about 3 minutes. Stir in curry powder, salt, pepper and garlic. Add zucchini and continue to sauté for about 3-5 more minutes. Continue to sauté until veggies are tender. Finally, add the spinach and continue to stir around the skillet until spinach is slightly wilted. You can throw in the garbanzo beans now, if using.
Once both lentils and veggie mixture are cooked, add lentil to the veggie mixture and stir to combine.
Optional, but highly recommended to make lentil chili thicker: Blend half of the lentil mixture in a high speed blender and then add back to the skillet for a super thick lentil chili.
Add more seasoning and salt, as needed.
Serve as is or over rice and enjoy!

Spelt Sourdough Bread

I love this bread because we always feel so good after eating it, it is so nourishing and hearty with tasty freshly ground spelt flour. I start this in the afternoon (when I know I will have some time to tend to it) and bake later the next morning. Because it takes some time, I like to do two batches of bread, or a loaf and a pizza crust.

Spelt Sourdough Bread Recipe

1 ½ c filtered water
3 Tbsp honey (I usually have to warm my honey first)
¼ c active starter

Dissolve honey in water. Add ¼ cup starter (should be bubbly). Mix with slotted spoon.
In another bowl mix:

350 g, or about 5 c spelt
1 ½ tsp sea salt

Mix flour in with water to form wet dough (my starter is kept in the fridge after I made bread so I keep it dry, therefor I usually need to moisten with a couple Tbsp extra water). You don’t want it clumpy and crumbly, but not slimy either.
Cover with plastic and sit 1 hour.

After 1 hour, dust your hands and the top of the dough with flour. Pick up the dough and stretch and then fold the dough. Stretch once again in the opposite direction.
Place back into bowl and cover with plastic for another 1/2 hour. After a half hour do a second stretch and fold in both directions. Put back in bowl and cover with plastic for another half hour.
After a half hour do a final (third) stretch and fold in both directions. Place the dough back into the bowl and cover with plastic and allow it to sit overnight. I usually start this whole process at 3:30 pm and bake it the next morning at 9:30 am.
In the morning (or 16 hrs later) you will need a wood cutting board, a colander and light dish towel.
Flour the cutting board, hands, the dish towel in the colander and the top of the dough with rice flour. Gently scrape the dough out of the bowl and place it onto the cutting board. Pull the sides up and pinch the dough at the top. Gently place dough into the lined colander, seam down, and cover with plastic and allow the dough to rise for another hour and a half (my bread is rising much better these warm Spring days than it was in the Winter!).
In a 400º-450º F oven (temperature might vary depending on your oven, I cooked mine in a 400º F oven) preheat a dutch oven with lid (I use a stoneware loaf pan) on for the last half hour that the dough is rising. Pull the very hot dutch oven out of the oven and gently transfer the dough into the hot dutch oven by flipping the dough gently out of the colander. Put the lid back on (I use foil) and return to oven and bake for 35 minutes. After 35 minutes remove the lid and allow to bake for 10 additional minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 195º-200º F.
Remove bread from pan and allow the bread to cool for 1 hour before serving.

Zuppa Tuscana

This version of Olive Garden’s famous soup uses fresh and flavourful ingredients for a delicious and rich (not something I’d eat every night) meal. The cauliflower is great for a meal that’s lower on the glycemic scale. The original recipe says to use a pan for sautéing, but you can do it all in one pot too! Serves 6-8.

2 quarts chicken stock
3 pieces pastured bacon (or reserved bacon grease)
1 onion, diced fine
3-4 large russet potatoes, peeled and diced (OR 3 c cauliflower for low glycemic version)
1 lb sweet Italian sausage (I use the sweet Italian sausage from Heritage meats)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch swiss chard or 1 bunch kale, cut into bite size pieces
2⁄3 cup organic cream
2-4 cups water
1⁄4 teaspoon ground aniseed
1⁄2-1 teaspoon salt, depending on taste
1 dash red pepper flakes
black pepper

Directions
1. Bring chicken stock and water to a light boil and add potatoes.
2. In a skillet (preferably cast iron or enameled cast iron) cook bacon until somewhat done and remove (but do not add bacon to the soup, save for a BLT or quiche).
3. Sauté the onion in the bacon rendering until almost caramelized (golden color).
4. Remove and put in boiling stock.
5. In the same skillet add olive oil and cook Italian sausage (with casings removed).
6. Add garlic with the sausage and cook until sausage is done and the consistency of ground hamburger meat.
7. Add mixture to the stock.
8. By this time check to see if potatoes are cooked by trying to squish them on the side of the stock pot.
9. When they are done reduce heat (you can see if you want to thin with the extra water at this point) and add cream and Swiss chard/kale, salt, anise, red pepper, black pepper.
10. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese, and a side of bread and salad.

Oatmeal Muffins (soaked)

These muffins are awesome because the grains are first soaked (and they taste good!). Soaking in kefir or an acid breaks down phytic acid and prepares it for better digestion and nutritional benefits. After trying the original recipe a few times, I found the texture was best with just under 1 c oats and 1 c flour, as you can mix the liquids through more evenly, and it keeps it nice and moist! I like them with frozen blueberries or blackberries added to each muffin cup before popping in the oven!

Ingredients:
• scant 1 cup rolled oats
• scant 1 cup white flour or whole wheat pastry flour
• 1 cup kefir or yoghurt (I usually mix 2/3 kefir with 1/3 filtered water)
• 1 egg
• 1/4 cup honey
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 tsp vanilla
• 1/3 cup melted butter, ghee or coconut oil
• Berries or raisins (optional)
• Raw cane sugar or chopped nuts to sprinkle on top (optional)

Instructions:
1. Approx 12 hours prior to baking, combine the oats and flour and drizzle kefir or yoghurt all over. Cover the bowl and allow the grains to soak.
2. When ready to bake muffins, preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease muffin tin (I use coconut oil). Add the other ingredients (sprinkling the baking soda & salt as evenly as you can over the batter). Stir to combine without over-mixing.
3. Fill muffin tins and bake 15 minutes until the muffins are set and lightly browned. Makes 12 muffins.

Roast Leg of Lamb

My husband, my boys and I had a wonderful dinner with my parents, giving thanks this Good Friday for the Lamb that was slain, covering all our sins. He is our risen Saviour and King Jesus, worth celebrating!
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Rosemary and Garlic Roast Leg of Lamb

Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse

Total Time: 2 hr 5 min
Cook: 1 hr 30 min – 2 hours
Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients:
1 leg of lamb, bone in (about 6 pounds)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
8 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper

Sauce:
1 cup chopped fresh herbs (combination of rosemary, chives, and parsley)
2 cups diced onions
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup red wine

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Using your hands, rub the lamb all over with the lemon juice. Pat the garlic and rosemary evenly all over the surface of the meat. Season the meat with the salt and pepper and place the lamb in a roasting pan. Place the lamb in the oven and roast for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue to cook for about 1 hour longer for medium-rare, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the center of the roast registers about 145 degrees F to 150 degrees F (be careful that the thermometer does not touch the bone.) I added an extra 30 minutes and it was just to my family’s liking. Remove lamb from pan and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving.

(You can also start the following step while the lamb is cooking. Saute onions in medium saucepan, add stock and wine and simmer for up to an hour before lamb is done cooking). Position the roasting pan over your stove burners. Add mixed herbs and onions to pan, and stir to combine with pan drippings. Add chicken stock and wine to deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon.

Reduce over high heat until sauce consistency. Strain before serving, if desired. Slice lamb and serve with sauce drizzled over the top.

Chai Spiced Sugar Cookies

Delicious mildly spiced soft cookie recipe, adapted from www.mybakingaddiction.com/chai-cookies
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Chai Spiced Sugar Cookie Recipe
Never ever used pepper in baking before, but these cookies full of spice with a cup of tea are such a treat! If you use nice fresh spices you will get the best flavour. 🙂
Yield: About 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup almond flour or almond meal (I included this, but using all-purpose is fine)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cups cane sugar
3/4 cups coconut sugar (or other sugar)
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
3. In a medium bowl combine sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, allspice and black pepper. Remove 1/4 cup of the sugar-spice mixture, set aside to reserve for rolling the cookies.
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar-spice mixture until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
5. Beat in egg and vanilla extract, combine until fully incorporated.
6. Slowly blend in dry ingredients mixing until just combined.
7. Using a small scoop (2 teaspoons) roll dough into balls and then into the reserved sugar-spice mixture. Place dough balls on prepared baking sheet about 1 1/2 inches apart.
7. Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes.
8. Let stand on baking sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.

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