Squash Toast with Smoky Onion Jam

For my first time dining at ABC Kitchen my friend and dining companion forced the squash toast on me. I read that menu with as much enthusiasm, delight and excitement as I did reading Harry Potter 7 (I just finished rereading the series and am deeply missing it). Each dish ignited inspiration – except for… Read more »

For my first time dining at ABC Kitchen my friend and dining companion forced the squash toast on me. I read that menu with as much enthusiasm, delight and excitement as I did reading Harry Potter 7 (I just finished rereading the series and am deeply missing it). Each dish ignited inspiration – except for the squash toast. Squishy ricotta, on squishy bread with squishy squash. But she insisted.

 

I love it when I’m wrong. When I’m reminded of the very thing I teach my children on a daily basis, “Don’t judge something before you’ve tried it.” (Same goes for people, places, experiences, etc.)  Before I even realized it I’ve made up my own mind, somehow convincing myself of the truth when really I know nothing.

 

So here I give you my recipe for humble pie. Otherwise known as Squash Toast.

 

I have made this recipe several times since our dinner at ABC Kitchen. I’ve used butternut squash, as they do at the restaurant but I’ve since switched to delicata as I love that the squash doesn’t squish into the jam. Instead the skin (also, no peeling!) crisps in the oven so you get a lovely tender crunch. I also think the little roasted half moons are so stunning sitting atop a bed of creamy ricotta. However, no one complained when I used butternut squash so feel free to decide for yourself.

 

This dish can skew towards the sweet so don’t be shy with salt and heat. I have also added smoked paprika to the original recipe because, well, you know me, I love smoke.

 

Now I am the one insisting you try this recipe. Trust me.

 

Squash Toast with Smoky Onion Jam

Yield 4 servings

This recipe is my version of the iconic toast served at ABC Kitchen. 

Ingredients

Onion Jam

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion, thinly sliced

Pinch salt

Pinch chili flake

3 thyme sprigs

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Roasted Squash

1 delicata squash, halved and seeded

2 tablespoons Olive oil

Sea salt

Chili flake

Toast

4 thick cut slices of bread

Olive oil

salt

1 cup whole milk ricotta

1/4 cup mint leaves, torn or chopped

Instructions

For the onion jam:

In a large skillet or dutch oven set over medium heat, add the olive oil, butter, onions and then a pinch of salt. Stir in the chili flake and thyme sprigs.

Cook the onions slowly until they start to soften and then eventually brown. If the edges start to brown and crisp turn down the heat so as to gently encourage the natural sugars in the onions to caramelize. This, like so many of life’s finest things, takes time. So give it that. 45 minutes to an hour is fine. You could go longer and your patience would be rewarded.

Once the onions match the color of a fine aged cigar (first reference that popped into my head – Gabe is really into cigars right now) stir in the vinegar and maple syrup. Reduce until sticky – neither soupy or dry, about 3 minutes of cooking. Turn off the heat, wait for it to cool a bit then pluck the thyme sprigs from the jam. While the jam cools roast the squash.

For the squash:

Line a sheet pan with parchment and preheat your oven to 400°F.

Cut the squash into 1/4 inch thick half moons. Add to the sheet pan then toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and a pinch of chili flake. Roast until tender and caramelized in parts. I don’t even mind a few bits that are crisp and charred.

Gently fold the roasted squash into the onion jam. Keep warm for the toasts or make ahead, cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Rewarm before serving.

Assemble the toast:

Drizzle the bread with olive oil then toast in a hot skillet, grill pan or on an actual grill. You want a good bit of color on the exterior crust while maintaining some softness within. SO use a very hot pan.

Top the bread with ricotta then add a nice pinch of salt. Add to that about 1/3 cup of the onion/squash mixture. Finish with salt and fresh mint. I like to add a bit more chili flake to mine too but that is up to you.

Game Night Crispy Potato Bruschetta

Do you ever feel like you’re on the verge of a breakthrough, but you’re not quite sure how you’ll do it? This has been my mindset lately. I’ve been so inspired in different areas of my life to create meaningful change with things like personal growth, career dreams, family life, etc. You could say that […]

Do you ever feel like you’re on the verge of a breakthrough, but you’re not quite sure how you’ll do it? This has been my mindset lately. I’ve been so inspired in different areas of my life to create meaningful change with things like personal growth, career dreams, family life, etc. You could say that a little self-help inspo has struck me! I’ve felt stuck with indecision and fear for a while now, and the motivation finally hit me to actively do something about getting unstuck. It’s easy to just go through the motions each day.

For most of my life, I’ve always been trying to “fix myself”…this can be a positive thing (such as when I’m trying to be the best version of myself I can be), but it can also turn into a very toxic mindset. It’s easy for me to veer to the dark side of self-improvement and lose sight of my qualities and self-worth. Anyone who suffers from this tendency knows that it’s not a particularly fun way to live. You never feel “ready” because there’s always something to fix or a goal to achieve before being worthy of your and others acceptance. I’m working to make progress in this area. It’s kind of hard to explain, but maybe you can relate?  

I have Dr. Brené Brown to thank for my recent bout of inspiration. I first became enamoured with Brené after watching her TED talk on vulnerability years ago and listening to her on Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations podcast. I’ve read The Gifts of Imperfection twice, and plan on reading it a third time soon (it’s a quick read and easy to devour in a couple evenings). There’s so much wisdom to soak up, and I learn things each time I read it. Currently, I’m reading Daring Greatly (which I’m finding slower, but still learning from it), and hope to read this one and this one next. I’ve been carving out some reading time in the evenings lately, and it feels so good to get back into it! I’m also (late to the party) using my Kindle reader on my phone and love how I can read a few pages here and there while I’m waiting for an appointment or when I have time to kill. I’d love to hear if you’re reading anything inspiring lately too!

“As children we found ways to protect ourselves from vulnerability, from being hurt, diminished, and disappointed. We put on armor; we used our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors as weapons, and we learned how to make ourselves scarce, even to disappear. Now as adults we realize that to live with courage, purpose, and connectionto be the person whom we long to bewe must again be vulnerable. We must take off the armor, put down the weapons, show up, and let ourselves be seen.”

~ Daring Greatly, p. 112.

  

4.9 from 15 reviews
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Game Night Crispy Potato Bruschetta

Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free

The first time I made this healthy comfort food recipe, Eric and I had the song Ave Maria playing (Michael Bublé version...so hypnotizing!), and we fell into a trance as we ate crispy round after crispy round of potato bruschetta. Needless to say, we heard the angels singing and I think you will, too! This recipe serves two hungry people as a main or five as an appetizer. The best tip I can give you when making these is to serve it directly on the baking sheet (if you can!) as it keeps the rounds a bit warmer compared to transferring to a platter, and also to top the rounds and serve them right away. If they sit for longer than 10 minutes, they’ll start to lose their fantastic crispiness and soften considerably. This recipe is inspired by the Taco Fiesta Potato Crisps in The Oh She Glows Cookbook (also a delicious appetizer option!) and Potatoes USA.

Yield
30 potato rounds
Prep time
15 Minutes
Cook time
30 Minutes

Ingredients:

For the potatoes:
  • 2 large (500 g total) Russet potatoes (unpeeled)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) grapeseed oil or virgin olive oil
  • Fine sea salt
For the Avocado-Tomato topping:
  • 2 medium (7 g) garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup (15 g) lightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cups (344 g/12-ounces) grape tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste
  • 1 large (240 g) ripe avocado

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220ºC) and line an extra-large (or 2 medium) baking sheet(s) with parchment paper.
  2. With a sharp knife, slice the potatoes into 1/4-inch thick rounds. Make sure they’re not any thinner than that, or they might not be sturdy enough to pick up with your hands and the edges will burn more easily while cooking.
  3. Place the rounds into the centre of one baking sheet in a mound. Toss with the oil until all sides of the rounds are fully coated. Spread into a single layer, spacing them a 1/2-inch apart. Sprinkle liberally with salt.
  4. Roast the potatoes for 25 to 35 minutes (I do 30), flipping once halfway through baking, until tender and golden brown in some spots. I prefer these slightly overcooked so they’ll crisp up a bit around the edges.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the topping. In a large food processor, mince the garlic and basil until finely chopped. Add the tomatoes and pulseonly 10 to 14 timesuntil the tomatoes are chopped into almond- and pea-sized pieces. Remove the bowl, take out the blade and set aside, and stir in the lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and salt. Set aside to marinate.
  6. Five minutes before the potatoes are ready, dice the avocado very small into almond-sized pieces. Fold the diced avocado into the tomato mixture. Taste and stir in more salt if desired. The mixture will look quite juicy/watery, but this is normal!
  7. After removing the potatoes from the oven, add another generous sprinkle of salt on top. Add 1/2 to 1 tablespoon avocado-tomato mixture onto a fork and strain out the juices by tapping the inside of the bowl. Place the strained mixture onto the centre of a potato round and repeat this process for the rest of the rounds.
  8. Serve immediately, directly from the baking sheet(s)I find serving from the baking sheet keeps them warmer, but if you prefer you can transfer the rounds to a platter before adding the topping. If the potatoes sit they will soften and lose their crispness, so I don’t recommend letting them sit around for longer than 10 minutes (usually not a problem in this house!). If you have any avocado-tomato mixture leftover feel free to polish it off with some tortilla chips!

Tips:

Up the glow factor: Sprinkle my Vegan Parmesan Cheese on top.

 

Should your potatoes become soft from sitting for too long, these reheat well on a sauté pan, preheated over medium heat, for 1 to 2 minutes. This results in slightly browned bottoms and revives the firm texture without affecting the toppings.

Oh Eric, what a sport for being my food photography model, hah. There were some heavy sighs when his arms got tired…no one said being a model was easy! Okay, maybe they did say that…but just ask Eric about the struggles!

In case you’re wondering – these “photoshoot” potato bruschettas were SO COLD by the time we finally got to eat them. Sniff, sniff. But they were still worth eating! And we’ve enjoyed them many times piping hot out of the oven which is simply the best. If you try them out, I’d love to hear what you think and see your photos, so don’t forget to tag them with #ohsheglows on social media! 

Celeriac, Green Apple and Walnut Soup

There are a few simple things that I utterly embrace during this season of gray. Warming cups of tea in the dark evening light, long walks in the drizzling rain while sufficiently bundled, a mantle full of lit candles while the flames in the fireplace whip below, and soup. Steaming bowls of soup with a… Read more »

There are a few simple things that I utterly embrace during this season of gray. Warming cups of tea in the dark evening light, long walks in the drizzling rain while sufficiently bundled, a mantle full of lit candles while the flames in the fireplace whip below, and soup.

Steaming bowls of soup with a thick cut slice of bread and a slather of butter spread on like frosting. I’m certain I could eat that meal for week on end without feeling one bit sad about it. In fact, this time of year that’s pretty much what I do.

While I tend to shy away from cleanses and goals about diets that I will dismiss after day two, this time of year I do long for a reprieve from the holiday fare. A bowl of soup is quite possibly one of my favorite ways to disguise comfort with health. Over the last several years I’ve taken great pride in my soup-making abilities in that I’m able to whip up a smooth and creamy bowl that tastes, well, like it’s loaded with cream. And this recipe that I’m sharing today is my proudest soup achievement. The walnuts are added directly to the pot along with the vegetables. The key to a hearty, almost smokey flavor is to caramelize the vegetables until nearly charred in parts. The walnuts deepen color and add to the roasty flavor of the final soup. They also add an incredibly rich creaminess that mimics cream and butter like nothing I’ve ever tried.

The resulting soup is somehow decadent and does well with a bright lift from the lemon tinged Toasted Walnut and Rosemary Gremolata. It’s the sort of dish that perfectly strikes that balance of being utterly satisfying and yet also pleasantly healthful.

 

*This post was created in partnership with California Walnuts. The words, recipe, photos and opinions are all mine. Thank you for supporting me and the work I do by supporting the brands that partner with me.

Celeriac, Green Apple and Walnut Soup

Yield 4 servings

Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium leek, halved, white and light green parts thinly sliced

1 large (1 lb) celeriac root, trimmed and roughly cubed

4 garlic cloves, peeled

1 Granny Smith apple, core removed and roughly chopped

1 cup walnuts

1 medium potato, roughly cubed

4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

Salt and pepper

Toasted Walnut and Rosemary Gremolata

1/3 cup walnuts, toasted, finely chopped

2 tablespoons rosemary leaves, finely minced

Zest from one lemon

1 garlic clove, finely minced

Salt

Instructions

For the soup:

In a large dutch oven set over medium high heat add the olive oil. Stir in the leeks and sauté until just softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the celery root, garlic, apple, walnuts, and potato. Sauté the vegetables and nuts are deeply caramelized in parts, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Carefully pour in the stock and add a couple of hefty pinches of salt and a good bit of freshly cracked pepper. Bring the pot to a rolling boil then cover mostly and turn down the heat so the soup gently simmers.

Once all the vegetables are tender carefully transfer the mixture to a blender and blend until completely smooth.

Add more stock or a bit of water to get the desired texture. Taste and add more seasoning as needed.

Serve while warm with a generous shower of the walnut gremolata.

For the gremolata:

Combined the walnuts, rosemary, lemon zest and garlic in a small bowl. Add a pinch of salt and taste to adjust seasoning.

Store any leftover gremolata in a well sealed container in the fridge. Add to salads and soups as needed.

A food processor works wonders for the task of chopping all of these ingredients into a course sprinkle of sorts.

Crunchy Dill Chickpea Pancakes with Lemon-Garlic Aioli

How is 2019 treating you so far? Scrolling through Instagram would have me believe that we’re all killin’ this New Year thing, but something tells me I’m probably not seeing the less than stellar starts to the year. I know ours was nothing like we expected. Emotionally draining to say the least, and I had […]

How is 2019 treating you so far? Scrolling through Instagram would have me believe that we’re all killin’ this New Year thing, but something tells me I’m probably not seeing the less than stellar starts to the year. I know ours was nothing like we expected. Emotionally draining to say the least, and I had to give myself a break from the shiny social media highlight reels for a bit. Half-way into January, I’m now feeling ready to turn this year around and I’m hopeful it will be a really great year. 

Maybe you, like me, were more than ready to leave 2018 in your dust, but the start to the year hasn’t gone as you hopedplease know that you aren’t alone! Life challenges don’t adhere to a calendar format and they certainly don’t pause for holidays. All that we can do is put those lessons in our back pocket and carry them with us going forward. Progress, not perfection…am I right?! 

My passion for chickpea pancakes has reignited lately. I forgot just how quick and easy these savory cakes are to whip up for a light lunch or dinner. While I don’t see myself burning out on soup and toast anytime soon, these are a pleasant change from the usual winter fare. I’ve also been really into the bright and tangy combo of lemon-dill lately (must be that drab winter weather!) so I decided to make those the standout flavours in this recipe. Served with a rich Lemon-Garlic Aioli, crunchy chopped dill pickles, green onion, and fresh dill…this dish brightens up any day. Even though my brain can’t quite comprehend it, I know not everyone is a big dill pickle fan. If that’s the case, I’d recommend trying my reader-fave Jumbo Chickpea Pancake recipe instead! 

4.9 from 14 reviews
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Crunchy Dill Chickpea Pancakes with Lemon-Garlic Aioli

Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free

Calling all dill pickle fans! Chickpea flour, which forms the base of these easy-to-throw-together savory pancakes, is an earthy-tasting flour, so I like to brighten it up with fresh lemon and dill. Chopped dill pickle gives these pancakes a delightful tangy crunch, and grated carrot lends a touch of sweetness as well as an extra boost of nutrition. Topping them with my 3-ingredient Lemon-Garlic Aioli is a must for mega flavour and richness, so don’t skip it. (Uh oh, I'm getting bossy again!) Ready in 30 minutes or less, these pancakes make a light breakfast, lunch, or dinner. This recipe is adapted from my Jumbo Chickpea Pancake.

Yield
7 (3-inch) pancakes
Prep time
16 Minutes
Cook time
14 Minutes

Ingredients:

For the Lemon-Garlic Aioli:
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) soy-free vegan mayo
  • 1 large or 2 medium garlic cloves, grated on microplane
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons (5 to 10 mL) fresh lemon juice, to taste (I use 2)
For the pancakes:
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced (1 heaping tablespoon)
  • 1/2 cup (42 g) grated peeled carrot (1/2 medium)*
  • 1/3 cup (47 g) finely chopped dill pickle (2 small)**
  • 1/2 cup (63 g) chickpea flour
  • 2 tablespoons (10 g) nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) water
  • Fine sea salt and pepper, to taste (I use 1/4 teaspoon)
For serving:
  • Sliced green onion, chopped dill pickle and fresh dill, aioli

Directions:

  1. For the Lemon-Garlic Aioli: In a small bowl, stir together the vegan mayo, minced garlic, and lemon juice (to taste). Set aside.
  2. For the pancakes: To a large skillet, add the oil and sauté the garlic for a couple minutes over low-medium heat, stirring frequently, and being careful not to burn. Add the grated carrot and finely chopped dill pickle and sauté another minute or two until the carrot has softened a bit.
  3. Preheat another large non-stick skillet (I use a flat pancake skillet) over medium heat. Or, simply use the same skillet as before if that works for you! 
  4. In a large mixing bowl, add the chickpea flour, nutritional yeast, water, salt, pepper, and sautéed veggies. Whisk until combined and let the batter sit for 1 minute.
  5. When a drop of water sizzles after hitting the pancake skillet, it’s preheated and ready to use. Spray the skillet with oil.
  6. To the skillet, add 2 tablespoons of batter for each pancake. Use the tablespoon to spread the batter out until it’s about 3 inches in diameter. Space the pancakes an inch or two apart on the skillet. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes over medium heat, until a golden brown crust forms on the bottom. Flip and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown. I prepare the toppings while the pancakes cook.
  7. Place the pancakes on a cooling rack, grease the skillet again, and cook the remaining pancake batter using the steps above.
  8. Serve the pancakes warm with a big dollop of Lemon-Garlic Aioli and generous sprinkling of minced fresh dill, chopped dill pickle, and sliced green onion if you’re feeling fancy! We haven't found these to freeze or reheat very well, so I recommend making and serving the pancakes fresh.

Tips:

* I use the standard-sized grate hole on the box grater.

** It’s important to finely chop the dill pickle as larger chunks feel a bit too chewy in these pancakes.

Want to increase the garlic flavour even more? Use garlic-flavoured dill pickles for a fun twist!

If you're using fresh dill as a garnish, feel free to also add a bit of minced dill to the batter.

The Ultimate Movie Night Snack Platter

We have created a snack platter that leaves nothing behind and that you can toss together in 15 minutes. Fresh fruit, nuts, carrot sticks, dark chocolate

Movie_Night_Snack_Platter_1

Let me guess. You are trying to eat a little healthier after all that sweet December craziness and perhaps put chips and candy on hold for a while, but you still want something good to snack on in front of a movie this weekend? Well, we’ve got you covered. We have created a snack platter that leaves nothing behind and that you can toss together in 15 minutes. Fresh fruit, nuts, carrot sticks, dark chocolate, nut butter truffles and a little peanut butter cinnamon dip. Sounds good? It is! And here below is a little video where we show how to make it.

We actually recorded this last year but forgot to share. Our little assistant Noah looks so tiny and sooo cute. Now that we’ve showed you how to make it, go create that snack platter and crash in the couch with your family, friends or pets. And if you have any movie recommendations, please share!

Movie_Night_Snack_Platter_2

A Healthy Movie Night Snack Platter

All the fruit on the platter are just suggestions, you can of course add anything you wish. We do like the mix of truffles, crunchy carrots, crispy apple, nuts, dark chocolate (super delicious to dip in the nut butter) and a citrus fruit.

Nut Butter Balls
15 soft dates, pitted

2 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp peanut butter
50 g / 1/2 cup rolled oats
3 tbsp desiccated coconut
3 tbsp cacao powder
1 pinch sea salt

For rolling
4 tbsp finely chopped hazelnuts or desiccated coconut

Add the ingredients to a food processor and mix until everything comes together into a sticky dough. Roll 20-25 small balls between the palms of your hand. Cover them in chopped hazelnuts or coconut. If it doesn’t stick, you can dip each ball in cold water before covering them with the nuts. Store in the fridge while preparing the other snack platter ingredients.

Snack Platter Elements
3 carrots, peeled and cut into sticks
2 apples, sliced
2 kiwi fruits, halved
a handful nuts and raisins of choice
a handful physalis/inca berries
80 g / 3 oz dark chocolate, broken into large bits
Nut butter balls (see recipe above)

Peanut Butter Dip
100 ml / 1/2 cup peanut butter
2-4 tbsp water
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp maple syrup (optional)

Make the peanut butter dip by stirring together peanut butter, a splash of water and cinnamon. You can add a little maple syrup if you like it sweeter. Place it in the middle of the platter.
Place all other elements around the dip and fill up until the platter is full. Enjoy!

Pineapple Upside Down Cake, Again

Pineapple Upside Down Cake | apt 2b baking co pineapple upside down cake | apt 2b baking co Pineapple Upside Down Cake | apt 2b baking co Pineapple Upside Down Cake | apt 2b baking co Pineapple Upside Down Cake | apt 2b baking co

I have a thing for upside down cakes, and a special love for pineapple - especially in the winter. They are so bright and tart and juicy and as much as I love citrus this time of year, they are a nice change of pace. I guess I even made a pineapple upside down cake last year right around this time (which came as a surprise when I went to look it up). Turns out I am more predictable than I thought.

This cake is quite simple with no secret whiz-bang flavorings, and even though I pretty much always add lemon zest and vanilla to fruit cakes, I resisted the urge to add anything to this one and I can say that its totally delicious without. I also loved the sunny yellow, translucent pineapple slices as is, but some vanilla bean seeds would be a very pretty addition. Maybe for next January’s cake.

Take the time to cut and slice a whole pineapple here, the long slices of pineapple make the coolest design, don’t they?! The additional step of poaching the sliced pineapple might seem a little fussy, but it makes the fruit pliable and tender so that the slices fit together snuggly in the bottom of the tin and no sneaky batter peeks through the top of the finished bake.


Pineapple Upside Down Cake

lightly adapted from Donna Hay

makes one 9-inch (23cm) cake

I made this pretty close to as written, but made quite a few tweaks to the method so feel free to click through the link above if you’d like to see the original. The recipe, curiously, didn’t include any salt so I added it, swapped in a higher percentage of almond meal, and I reduced the total sugar by about 1/4 (from 385g to 300g). The finished cake was still nice and moist and plenty sweet for my palate. I also took a few extra minutes to reduce the pineapple poaching liquid to make a more concentrated syrup. I made this cake using gram measurements, and the cup equivalents were so wonky and confusing I decided to not include them here. I highly suggest baking by weight rather than volume - less dishes, more precision.

450g pineapple, cored and thinly sliced lengthwise (about 1 medium pineapple)

360ml (1 1/2 cups) water

300g granulated sugar

190g unsalted butter, softened

3 large eggs, at room temperature

280g all purpose flour

80g almond meal

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon kosher salt

240ml (1 cup) buttermilk

Add the water, 100g (1/2 cup) sugar, and the sliced pineapple to a wide saucepan set over medium-high heat (I used a 3 qt saucier) Bring to a boil, turn down the heat slightly, and simmer the pineapple for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the pineapple to a sheet pan and arrange it in a single layer so it can cool. Turn the heat up to high and reduce the liquid in the pan to about 3/4 cup (180ml). Transfer to a liquid measuring cup and cool slightly.

Heat oven to 350ºF and butter a 9-inch cake pan with high sides. Line the sides of the pan with parchment paper and butter the paper.

Starting at the outside of the pan, layer the pineapple in slightly overlapping concentric circles, rounded sides facing out. Gently pour 1/2 of the cooled syrup over the top.

Stir the all purpose flour, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and 200g (1 cup) sugar. Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour mixture and the buttermilk. Mix on low until a few streaks of flour remain, and finish the mixing the last few strokes by hand with a rubber spatula making sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.

Spoon the batter over the pineapple and gently smooth the top. Tap the pan a few times on the counter to release any large air bubbles. Bake for about 60 minutes or until deep golden and a cake tester comes out clean.

Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then invert onto a serving plate. Serve warm with the additional syrup, and some ice cream if you’re in the mood.


pineapple upside down cake | apt 2b baking co pineapple upside down cake | apt 2b baking co

Teddy and Isaac / Time Marches On

Though I’ve been neglecting this space in favor of other pursuits, I couldn’t not post Matt’s yearly video of the kids. Spoiler: Isaac falls in love with a goat.  Hope you all are well!


Though I've been neglecting this space in favor of other pursuits, I couldn't not post Matt's yearly video of the kids. Spoiler: Isaac falls in love with a goat. 

Hope you all are well!

The Epic Travel Salad

  When I saw the number, I couldn’t believe it: 29 hours. It was undoubtedly going to be one of the longest travel days of my life. I’ve been to Bali twice before, but always from Copenhagen, which is about half the distance from Toronto. […]

The post The Epic Travel Salad appeared first on My New Roots.

 
When I saw the number, I couldn’t believe it: 29 hours. It was undoubtedly going to be one of the longest travel days of my life. I’ve been to Bali twice before, but always from Copenhagen, which is about half the distance from Toronto. I almost gave it a second thought since spending that amount of time sitting upright just felt like it might end me, but the retreats were booked, and there was no backing out!

I knew what would get me through, and that was food. Lots and lots of delicious, nourishing, consciously-created food. I always always make a point of preparing meals for traveling, since eating mini, microwaved mystery munch seriously kills my vibe. Plus, the amount of calories in one of those airplane trays is barely enough to get me through one romcom and you know that I’m watching at least five in a row.

When you’re about to face any length of time on an airplane, there are a few things to take into consideration. First, fill your snack pack with foods that are hydrating: cucumbers, romaine, bell peppers, carrots, apples, oranges, celery, berries, grapes, and melon. Depending on where you’re traveling to, it can help to have the fruits and veggies already prepared or sliced, since some countries won’t let you bring in whole fruits and veg, but they will let you bring them in if they look ready to eat. It sounds nonsensical, but it works!

I love having huge vegetable salads with lentils and / or whole grains to keep me full too, since I have a tendency to stress-eat when I’m in transit and will totally mow down a bag of chips if they’re put in front of me (okay, sometimes I also eat those chips, and that is okay too, but I notice that it always prolongs my jetlag). For other filling munchies, I like my almond flour cookies, nuts like pistachios or walnuts, and granola – especially crossing so many timezones, which requires breakfast-y things. Veggie sticks are also nice, light fare that keep my crunch cravings under control.

 

 

As you can see from the photo, I bring my food in reusable containers, use washable wooden cutlery and a straw, all of which are convenient to have once I’m at my destination to use for my own cooking and storage. I also always have my 800-ml water bottle with me when I travel. I’ve mentioned it in previous posts, but it begs repeating: jetlag is exacerbated by dehydration, and drinking about half a liter (16 oz.) per hour of flight will make such an immense difference, you may never experience jetlag again. I used to suffer terribly from exhaustion for days post-travel (which really ruined my trip when it was a short one), and now it’s no big deal. I arrive, wait until a mildly appropriate time to go to bed, and wake up feeling about as normal as one could hope to. Yes, you’ll have to make friends with the flight attendants, since they are the keepers of the water, but go visit them at the back of the plane every so often for a refill, treat them like humans, and you’d be amazed at how accommodating and helpful they are. Make sure you fill your bottle before landing as well, since you never know how long it will take for you to get through customs, baggage claim and the taxi line. It always pays to have hydration close at hand.

Avoid the plane food if you can, since it is overly salted and often has added sugar. Our taste buds are actually less receptive at high altitudes, due to low air pressure, low humidity, and high levels of white noise. Yup – that is an actual thing. The way our brains interpret flavour signals is impaired, therefore, things taste different, so airlines pump up the levels of salt and sugar in their food to make them taste the way they would at ground level. If you ate that travel-sized “chicken or pasta” at your dining room table you’d be surprised at how exaggerated the flavours were.

 

 
Why is this the most epic travel salad? Because it’s got All. The. Things. Rich, hearty beets, protein-rich and satiating lentils, so it’s filling, but it’s not going to leave you feeling stuffed. And because of that whole flavours-being-less-powerful-at-high-altitudes thing, I endeavoured to add as many potent tastes as possible. Lemon, pomegranate, parsley, cumin seeds, and olives are like flavour fireworks that you can safely ignite at 30,000 feet. There is a Middle Eastern vibe going on for sure, and the multitude of textures tick every single box. You don’t want your mouth getting bored while you’re hurtling through the sky, and this combination will ensure that each bite is a surprise party.

Olives that come without their pits are often mushy and less flavourful, so I always opt to remove them myself, or leave them in until I eat them. The problem with leaving the pits in the olives in this situation, is finding a place to put them on your teeny table real estate (the airsick bag is a great option, just sayin’…and yes, I’ve really thought of everything). If you do want to remove them beforehand, it’s easiest to do so by smashing the olive with the flat side of a knife blade, then simply pulling the pit out. You can roughly chop the olives from there.

If you don’t have any black lentils, Du Puy or French lentils work just as well, with green and brown lentils as a passable fallback. I don’t dig these types of lentils in salads since they tend to be water-y and dilute the flavour of the dressing, but if it keeps you from making a special trip to the store, by all means just use them.

And normally I wouldn’t include alliums in a plane salad since your neighbours might give you the stink eye when you pop open your lunch box, but I’ve tempered their potency by pickling them ever-so-slightly. This is done in the same container that you’re going to put your salad in, preceded by mixing up the dressing right in there too. Easy peasy!

I guess I should mention that this salad is not just delicious on a plane – it’s also fabulous enjoyed at ground level. Perfect for road trips, picnics, school or office lunches, just make sure you make it the day before so that all the ingredients are cool. If you travel with this salad on the warm side, it could spoil in transit.

 

 
Maybe it’s a bit strange to have a travel salad as the first post of the year, but I’m a bit tired of the whole “new year, new you” rant. People expect me to talk about cleansing or detoxing in January, and although I’m all for reflecting and re-evaluating one’s lifestyle choices, I’m a bit bored of the narrative saying that the first day of the new year is the time to atone for all our dietary sins. Why do we need a specific day to act as a reason to start treat ourselves well?

If there a New Year’s resolution to pull out of this post, it should be to resolve to make yourself delicious food when you go anywhere. Avoid the overpriced convenience food, no matter how healthy it is, since nothing sold in a package will ever compare to the freshness, or high-vibrational energy of food you’ve lovingly prepared for yourself. Case closed!

If you’d like more travel food recipes, tips, and inspiration, check out my two previous articles here and here.

 

The Wild Heart High Spirit Retreats are starting tomorrow, and I cannot wait to embrace each of the women who have traveled from every corner of the earth to join us here in Bali. We are going to eat the most delicious food, practice yoga, dance, laugh, learn, and celebrate the joy of being alive together! We have one space left for the second week, so if you’re interested in joining us in tropical paradise, please visit our site for more information.

Peace and blessings for an abundant, healthy, vibrant year ahead. Thank you for being here. I love you.

xo, Sarah B

The post The Epic Travel Salad appeared first on My New Roots.

Get Curious

Our little black rocking chair with dog scratches and bite marks on the legs and I became good friends over the holidays. I read books, started practicing Centering Prayer and fell deeper in love with Harry Potter. The last six months of 2018 are a bit of a blur and I needed sufficient time to… Read more »

Our little black rocking chair with dog scratches and bite marks on the legs and I became good friends over the holidays. I read books, started practicing Centering Prayer and fell deeper in love with Harry Potter. The last six months of 2018 are a bit of a blur and I needed sufficient time to take a reprieve of the constant selling of this and that.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the work I do and am so honored to be able to support myself and my family doing it. In fact I am damn proud of my hard work and what is created as a result of that work. I mean, it’s not just me, I work with some crazy wonderful and talented people and we made some beautiful things this year and of course I want to tell you all about it and I want you all to love it and watch it and buy it so I can keep this whole thing going. But it’s exhausting. Have you seen this article?  So I sat in the rocking chair and stayed away from my phone (except for the occasional mindless game) and kept my computer close (except to watch Fraiser and The West Wing).

Anyway. That’s not exactly what I came here to say. I wanted to share with you something I wrote while in that rocking chair. And also to let you know that I have been in the kitchen today working on some new recipes to share with you shortly. As I type I have a whole cauliflower in the smoker. Fingers crossed on that experiement. In the meantime I’ll share some words and also point you to a few recipes in the archives that I still love to make this time of year. Like this citrus salad.  And speaking of smoke, do you remember this smoked pumpkin number?  We have our fair share of pasta this time of year. It’s the culinary equivalent to the blanket my grandmother crocheted for me. This roasted cauliflower linguini is often repeated.  And finally, soup. I’m a big big fan of the ease and coziness of soup. The method in this soup is one I repeat with any number of vegetables. 

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There is so much anticipation around a new year. I like the feeling of freshness it provides. The ability to say thanks for the past year and brush it aside with all the hopefulness of starting with a clean slate. I get fluttery with the anticipation of what the new year could be. For in this brief moment I feel a (however unrealistic) brief sense of control that I get choose my own destiny. What new habits will I strive to maintain and what lofty yet exciting goals will I create.

Inevitably reality crashes into my fantasies and somewhere, usually around March, I find a bit of a balance between my hope-filled goals and intentions created after the high of the holidays and the reality that settles after work, school and life begins.

This year I’ve been thinking about reframing in the hope that a subtle shift might not create such a vast space between hope and reality. What if instead of creating “goals” or “intentions” for the new year – which are often weighty words that in the back of our minds we already know that down the road they’ll be ditched alongside the Christmas gift we “needed” – what if we wrote down our curiosities. Like goals, we could use our curiosities to act as a road map but unlike goals, curiosities feel a bit more playful, more childlike and more easily adaptable to the inevitable shift when the collision of fantasy and reality hit.

Elizabeth Gilbert is a big fan of curiosity. She instructs the creative mind to shift the focus away from passions, which carries with it so much weight and angst,  to curiosities.

I am a big advocate for the pursuit of curiosity. You’ve maybe heard me talk about this before? We are constantly being told to pursue our passions in life, but there are times when passion is a TALL ORDER, and really hard to reach. In seasons of confusion, of loss, of boredom, of insecurity, of distraction, the idea of “passion” can feel completely inaccessible and impossible. In such times, you are lucky to be able to get your laundry done (that sometimes feels as high as you can aim) and when someone tells you to follow your passion, you want to give them the middle finger. (Go ahead and do it, by the way. But wait till their back is turned, out of civility.)

But curiosity, I have found, is always within reach.

I have goals, I have ambitions, I have hopes and desires for the new year but this year my focus is on what makes me curious. I want to give those fascinations the time and intention they deserve. And really, if I look back on some of my proudest accomplishments they were born out of my curiosities. Like when I became curious about taking better food photos and really digging into the mechanics of writing a successful recipe. Or when my curiosity led me to create restaurant quality food over the fire.

What are you curious about? And where are those curiosities going to lead you in the new year?

Happy 2019 friends! I can’t wait to be with you all for another year.