Fermented Cranberry Sauce

I love cranberries! I love them so much, I usually wait for fall, buy a ton and freeze them. Like that I get to enjoy cranberry sauce all year round. It is perfect paired with curries or salads. If you follow my blog, you also know that I like fermenting vegetables. I got this crazy idea: why not make a fermented version of cranberry sauce?

Here is what you need:

  • 300g cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 3 small oranges (I used blood oranges)
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1 cup maple syrup-sweetened dried cranberries (you can also use fruit juice-sweetened dried cranberries)
  • 2 tbs chopped candied ginger

Here is what you do:

  1. In your food processor, chop the fresh cranberries for a few seconds. You want most of the berries to be chopped, but chunks are okay.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the chopped cranberries and the salt. Let sit.
  3. Peel the oranges and remove the membranes to keep only the supremes (pulpy part). Cut them in small chunks. If the membranes are really thin and the pulp is really stuck to them, just cut the oranges in small chunks.
  4. In the mixing bowl, add the orange chunks, dried cranberries and ginger. Mix well.
  5. In a sterilized jar, pour the mixture. To seal, I used a ziploc bag: press the empty bag on top of the mix to remove air pockets. Once everything is well pressed and covered with the plastic, fill in the bag with water to add some weight. Close the bag and place your jar in a large plate to catch any overflowing liquid. Let sit out of light for 5 days.
  6. On the fifth day, remove the plastic bag, close the jar with its lid, and place in the fridge to stop fermentation.

IMG_3024.JPG

This is great! There are two sour points: the cranberries and the fermentation, which creates a more complex flavour. The ginger also gives this a slightly sparkling taste which is complementing the sourness perfectly. The oranges add a sweet note to the mix, but if you find that it is too sour, mix in some maple syrup or honey to even things out. This is clearly a winner! It is super delicious, so tasty, and look at this color. Let me know if you try it out!

Simple Mushroom Risotto

This is the perfect recipe for a busy night because it takes minutes to prepare, and you’ll have enough for some lunch. It is also filled with amazing flavours and textures. Plus basmati rice is so fluffy and makes everything better! I don’t know if basmati rice qualifies as risotto rice, but this is still extra yummy.

IMG_3015

Here is what you need:

  • 1 tsp oil
  • 3 cups of sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 4 cups of water
  • 2 cups of chopped cilantro, divided in two
  • 1/2 cup raw cashew nuts
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp paprika powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 pinch of red chili pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste

Here is what you do:

  1. In a large sauce pan (make sure it is deep enough), heat the oil on medium-high heat and stir in the mushrooms. Cook until they lost all their water and are starting to get a nice golden color.
  2. Add the rice and  mix over. Add the water, the nuts, the spices and half the cilantro. Keep on medium-high heat until boiling. After 5 minutes, turn down the heat to medium-low, a let simmer until all the water is absorbed by the rice. Taste and add salt and pepper.
  3. Mix in the other half of the cilantro just before serving.

IMG_3016.JPG

This is delicious! The spices and mushroom are a great combination, and the basmati rice is soft and light. It makes for a great side dish, but can really make a great meal on its own. Give it a try next time you are looking for a one-pan supper, and let me know how you like it!

Stale Bread to Crunchy Croutons, a Cinderella story

If you are gluten-free, you know that, often, gluten-free bread is a silly oxymoron. Too dry, yeasty taste, old sponge texture, strange smell, the life of the gluten-free bread maker seems to be filled with difficulties. Even the yummiest gluten-free bread often has a very short life-span. We rarely buy gluten-free bread, but when we do it often ends up staying in the fridge for days, and then it’s not so appealing anymore. Enter Cinderella moment.

IMG_2990

Home-made croutons!

These are really fun because you can add all kinds of topping, herbs or nuts to make them extra flavorful and delicious. They also only take a few minutes to whip up, and that’s always a plus.

Here is what you need:

  • a few slices of bread
  • 1 tsp oil: you can go classic and use olive oil, but why not use hazelnut, pumpkin seed or pistachio for extra flavour?
  • seeds and nuts: almonds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, or sesame seeds? Use ground or whole to add a nice crunch.
  • herbs: rosemary, thyme, basil, cilantro or oregano. Go fresh or dried!
  • Salt, pepper and other spices of your choice.

Here is what you do:

  1. In a large pan, heat the oil on medium-high heat. While it is warming up, cut up the bread in small bites.
  2. Once the pan is nice and hot, fry the bread, tossing it from time to time to avoid burning. Once the bread has a nice golden colour, add all your additions, and let sit for a few more minutes.
  3. Turn off the heat and let the croutons cool-off before keeping them in an air-tight container. This is really key if you want your croutons to stay crispy.

IMG_3000.JPG

This is so great because you get to use up some bread, but you can also really make it your own to match whatever it is you are eating. And they are deliciously crunchy and full of flavour! Let me know if you try it out!

Spicy Bean Purée, a nice sub for hummus!

I love hummus! It goes great with everything:  bread, veggie sticks, salads, soups, by the spoonful… I really like adding hummus everywhere as it adds great flavour to any dish: it makes a nice substitution to salad dressing, adds protein to vegetable soups and is (of course) great in sandwiches. However, sometimes it gets old, despite all the different things you can add and all the flavours that are popping up in stores.

IMG_2682.JPG

Here is what you need:

  • 2 cups of mixed cooked  legumes (I used a mix of green lentils, black beans, and red kidney beans)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbs paprika
  • 1 tbs turmeric
  • 1 tbs ground coriander seeds
  • 1 tbs ground curry powder
  • hot pepper flakes to taste
  • salt to  taste

Here is what you need to do:

  1. Add all of the ingredients in your food process and process until smooth.

I love this! The Indian spices are a nice addition to any dish for us, so this really hits a sweet spot. It brings out any dish and makes it more special. It goes great in salads and can be used everywhere hummus can. I usually make a big batch of this and keep it in the fridge. Like this I can add it everywhere for a week or so.

IMG_2678.JPG

Here we ate this with lettuce, shredded carrots, preserved beet roots, sweet fried tofu and a little bit of pistachio oil for a delicious salad! Seriously, try it out!

Veggie Love: Purple Sweet Potato

These purple sweet potatoes are amazing! I am completely in love with them and have been eating them everyday since last week, and I can’t get enough of them!

IMG_2585

I like boiling them with their skin until they are just tender. After that, I keep them in a sealed container in the fridge and use them as part of almost every meal. They are so tender, sweet and look at that color! It is so much fun!

IMG_2637.JPG

They also make really good snacks: because the skin is still on, they don’t crumble and are easy to eat. These little purple treasures are amazingly smooth and keep me filled up for a long time. Easily found in Asian grocery stores, they are a little bit more expensive than regular potatoes, but it is so worth it for the flavour, texture and colour of this potato is exceptional. A quick search around the internet will also let you know that these have amazing nutritional properties. But really, look at this colour!

IMG_2584

I just can’t believe how gorgeous they are! Let me know if you tried them out and if you like them!