Posts Tagged ‘Food’

San Francisco

Just back from a whirlwind weekend in San Francisco for Nike Women’s Marathon (I did the half). Running aside, my real goal was to eat well.

The biggest mind shift? Realizing that the California produce is local. And oh, what they can count as local.

The Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market was fantastic, not just for its produce but for eating. I could spend days there without having to leave.

The fresh produce was excellent, and vendors kept plying us with snack-size bites of fruit.

And the dried fruit and nuts… I ate a scary amount of dried fruit this weekend. Plums, peaches, cherries… all super soft and so, so flavourful.

I had a few too many pastries, and coffee. (Check out the awesome personal-drip system they’ve got going on.)

Basically, the market was endless. We were full before we realized we should have made some more calculated eating decisions.

We also had some great restaurant meals. Brunch at Spork was a hit – those are the veggie Mission Eggs, which almost satisfied me post-race.

And on one of our walks, we spotted a lime tree. Oh, California.



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I just picked up two awesome raw-food “cookbooks” by Ani Phyo: Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen and Ani’s Raw Food Desserts. My sweet tooth being what it is, of course the first recipe I tried was from the desserts book: Halva Chia Thumbprint Cookies. And now I can’t stop eating them…

I made them pretty much according to the recipe, but next time I think I’d use honey instead of agave (I agree with Ani that agave syrup is overrated) – you’d have to cut down on the quantity, though, and I even found this amount of agave too sweet – and I might leave out the dates, or chop them before adding.

What makes these local? Well, I used my handpicked, handmade blackcurrant jam instead of her suggested (and actually raw) raspberry sauce. I have a thing for jam-making, and I think that one day, when I die, they’ll come into my house and find cupboards full of years of jam. So there’s no need to add to the stash.

Also, she says this makes 9 but I got 12 decent-sized cookies, and you could make them even smaller.

Halva Chia Thumbprint Cookies
from Ani’s Raw Food Desserts

3/4 cup sprouted chia seed powder
1/2 cup tahini
3/4 cup almond meal
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup agave syrup
1/3 cup pitted semi-soft Medjool dates
jam or fresh fruit sauce for filling

Combine the first four ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Add the agave syrup and mix well. Add the dates and mix with your hands or a spoon.

Roll the dough into 9 balls (about 2 tablespoons each) and place on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper. Use your thumb or the end of a wooden spoon to make an indentation into the centre of each cookie. Fill each with a generous 1/2 teaspoon sauce or jam.

To serve, chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes or more to firm up.

Will keep for several days in the fridge or many weeks when stored separately from jam.

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My local dinner

Roasted beets, potatoes and onions:

roasted potatoes, beets and onions

+ Sautéed spinach, shiitake mushrooms, sliced almonds and garlic:

sautéed spinach and mushrooms

+ An egg poached in last summer’s tomato sauce:


= a yummy local dinner. Not bad for March 31.


Eggs and spinach from Karma Co-op, tomato sauce canned with the help of my parents, other vegetables from Plan B, almonds and olive oil from the lovely state of California.

(My version of the poached eggs in tomato sauce with spinach from Smitten Kitchen. Her pictures are prettier.)

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In all my efforts to use up the cabbages I get with my organics box, I’ve been neglecting the carrots, and I suddenly realized the other day that I had a big backlog. At the same time I was craving cake, so carrot cake seemed in order. I have an amazing recipe from the Rebar Cookbook for a layered carrot cake but I don’t really need to eat an entire cake by myself, and it’s not all that convenient to take on the subway so I can pawn them off on my coworkers. So instead, I found a recipe for carrot cupcakes with white chocolate cream cheese icing (yes, they’re as good as they sound) and baked up a batch. 12 cupcakes used up 2 cups of grated carrot (about three carrots) so I’ll be making another batch soon, I think.

The recipe is quite good but as per usual I made a bunch of modifications. Here’s what I did:

• Cut back quite a bit on the sugar – 2/3 or 3/4 cup of white instead of 1 1/8; 1/4 cup of brown instead of 1/3 – and I used raw sugar instead of brown as I’m out of brown. If you don’t ice them you may want to use more sugar than I did, but with the icing they’re plenty sweet.
• Doubled or even tripled the spices – I like lots of ginger and cinnamon and they’re good for you, too. I might add some grated fresh ginger next time I make these.
• Used pecans instead of walnuts (allergies) – one commenter said she used coconut instead of walnuts and that would be good, too.
• I halved the icing recipe (saved the other half of the cream cheese block in the freezer for next time) and still had too much icing. If you can do the math, a 1/3 recipe would probably work.
• Cut back on the sugar in the icing – 1 2/3 cup instead of 2 cups.
• Used the zest of one orange instead of orange essence, which I don’t have and didn’t want to buy. A mixture of lemon and orange would be good, too.

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