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THE NTRO

Vegan Magazine Cooking Green Goodness

Cooking Green Goodness April 2019

SPRING BRINGS US A Season Unapologetic Caribbean Rice Dishes

Motherhood Reflected


Plant-Based Food and Culture. Recipes For Your Wellness.

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a season unapologetic

CONTENTS FEATURES 6 YOUR HEALTH & WELLNESS with Amanda Li, M.Ap.Nutr., RD Dive into 5 daily habits that may increase your risk for pre-diabetes. 8 IN FITNESS Certified Personal Trainer and Holistic Nutrition Coach Krysta Marie gives ideas on how to Spice Up Your Fit Lifestyle. 10 MOTHERHOOD Porsia Tassone, Shanika Graham-White, and Felicia Denise are three beautiful women who share their journey through the joys, laughter, loss, lessons and love that is Motherhood. 15 IN FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY Featuring Dyutima Jha, an architect turned food stylist, photographer, recipe curator and founder of My Food Lens. Her motto being – ‘put your best food forward’.

Grilled Pineapple with Mint Matcha Cream

..40

Grilling pineapple wedges brings out their juices and adds a smoky flavour – and everyone loves dipping things!

36 SPRING FORWARD: CHERRY SEASON A sneak peak at summer cherries with Margie Cook, Vegan Chef and Culinary Consultant. Learn how to make a Cherry Blossom Cheesecake that is a `blissful, RAW, self care explosion!` 41 CARIBBEAN VEGAN RICE DISHES Eartha Lowe’s cooking with coconut, spice, and everything nice! Get recipes for: Callaloo, Coconut and Ginger-Spiced Rice (pg. 42), and Jamaican Rice and Peas (pg.44), one of the most popular Jamaican dishes eaten worldwide.

IN FOOD And DRINK: RECIPES Cooking In Season 24 Celebrate rhubarb season with a Classic Strawberry Rhubarb Pie 28 Strawberries; get a taste of what all the fuss is about in a cool, refreshing Daiquiri 30 Chocolate Strawberry Pudding

46 GETTING TO KNOW HERBS & SPICES (part 2 ) 'The use of medicinal plants, referred to as herbalism, has as many traditions and theories as there are cultures on earth.'

34 Bridge the changing seasons with light, simple, and utterly

56 VEGGIE FUN FACTS: PINEAPPLE

delicious Cashew Cream of Asparagus Soup

Exceptional juiciness with a vibrant tropical flavor that balances the tastes of sweet and tart. You can smell the ripeness of pineapple in season! See bonus recipe for Fresh Pineapple Juice.

40 Sweet Oatmeal Banana Pecan Pancakes 38 A JAMAICAN TRADITION Learn how to bake Vegan Easter Bun! While the majority of people purchase their Jamaican Easter Bun, learning to master the technique to make this bun at home has risen in popularity throughout the years.

57 JAMAICAN FOOD WORDS & PHRASES Jamaican Patois has been gaining ground as a literary language for almost a hundred years.

IN EVERY ISSUE 20 Editor’s Notes | 12 Food In Poetry ON THE COVER

Photography by Dyutima Jha, myfoodlens.com

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YOUR HEALTH & WELLNESS "We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty." Dr. Maya Angelou

5 HABITS THAT MAY INCREASE YOUR RISK FOR PRE- DIABETES, page 6

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder where chronic high blood sugar levels is associated with long-term microvascular complications affecting the eyes, kidneys, and nerves, as well as an increase risk for cardiovascular disease. The good news is that research has shown that if you take steps to manage your blood sugar when you have prediabetes, you can delay the onset or better yet, prevent type 2 diabetes from developing at all.

SPICE UP YOUR FIT LIFESTYLE, page 8

These days, we are surrounded by various ways to get fit, with there being something for everyone! With upbeat group classes, personal training for specific needs and technology led training, it is first important to know exactly what your needs are. Things to consider: Are you able to motivate yourself to get active or do you need some accountability? Are you someone who will be working out in the morning, evening or overnight? Do you require day care? Do you want to workout in a co-ed facility? What is the overall goal you are looking to achieve? What are activities you enjoy to help you reach these goals?

FOOD AND REMEDIES THAT HEAL (part 2), page 46

When learning about plants, it is important to realize there is no one way of knowing. There are historical records of plant use going back thousands of years. Many modern-day herbalists use herbs in their lives and in their practices and share their personal experiences. There's also a growing number of scientific studies on plants. Herbs support natural energy, provide essential nutrients, promote healthy aging, aid in the repair of vital processes, and strengthen healthy bodily functions.

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your health & wellness

FIVE

habits that may increase your risk for pre-diabetes BY AMANDA LI, M.Ap.Nutr., RD

Prediabetes refers to blood sugar levels that are higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. The three markers we use for diagnosing type 2 diabetes are: Fasting glucose level (no caloric intake for at least 8 hours) ≥ 7.0 mmol/L Glycated hemoglobin (A1C) ≥ 6.5% Oral glucose tolerance test ≥ 11.1 mmol/L Although not everyone with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes, many people will. Prediabetes usually occurs in people who already have some insulin resistance or whose beta cells in the pancreas are not making enough insulin to keep blood sugar in the normal range. Insulin is a hormone and that signals the cells in the body to uptake glucose sugar. Without enough insulin, glucose sugar stays in your bloodstream rather than entering the cells in your body. Over time, this could lead to the development of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a metabolic disorder where chronic high blood sugar levels is associated with long-term microvascular complications affecting the eyes, kidneys, and nerves, as well as an increase risk for cardiovascular disease. The good news is that research has shown that if you take steps to manage your blood sugar when you have prediabetes, you can delay the onset or better yet, prevent type 2 diabetes from developing at all. Let us dive into 5 daily habits that may increase your risk for pre-diabetes, and how you can take control of your blood sugar levels once and for all!

Sleeping less than 6 hours per night.

1

Sleep is one activity that we all know we need and the importance of it for proper restoration and detoxification of the body. However, more than often it is not prioritized into our daily life and instead is put on the back burner. Numerous research studies has shown that sleep has a major role in the regulation of hormone function and glucose metabolism. Sleep deprivation is a stress on the body, and when we are under stress, this leads to more adrenaline release. Adrenaline signals the body to release glucose into the bloodstream. The body may end up releasing more glucose than it needs, leaving excess amounts to linger. Aim to get 6-8 hours of sleep per night!

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Smoking.

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Exposure to tobacco is similar to having chronic elevated blood sugar levels, in that it can damage blood vessels. This contributes to the hardening of the arteries, which impairs the body’s ability to carry oxygen throughout the body. Quitting smoking is one of the most important things individuals with prediabetes can do to help prevent or delay the onset of complications related to elevated blood sugar levels.


Picking juice over whole fruit and vegetables.

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When you juice fruits and vegetables, all the fibre is completely removed. Fibre is a nondigestible carbohydrate that plays an enormous role in our bodies. One of its major benefits is delaying the emptying of food from the stomach, thereby keeping you feeling full longer and slowing the rate at which carbohydrates are broken down into sugars. Try choosing whole fruits such as apples, blueberries and pomelo, along with incorporating ample amounts of steamed, raw or cooked leafy greens, broccoli, zucchini, okra, or any of your favourite vegetables!

Skipping meals.

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Eating at regular times throughout the day helps to control blood sugar levels. Try spreading out your three meal occasions to no more than 5-6 hours apart. Some people may benefit from a nutrient-dense snack in between meals particularly if they are very active or have smaller appetites. At mealtimes, remember to balance your plate with a serving of protein, vegetables and high-fibre carbohydrates, just like what are new food guide recommends!

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Getting less than 10,000 steps per day.

Exercise is a one of the best ways to use up the sugar from the foods we eat, and to increase insulin sensitivity. Another words, it makes your cells more responsive to up taking the glucose from our bloodstream. Try to incorporate both cardio and resistance training into your daily life. This could be as simple as taking 3-10 minute breaks throughout the workday, and walking around the office building. When watching your favourite television shows, get up off the couch and do some body weight squats, lunges, push-ups and plank holds! Remember, our bodies are designed to move around, and if we do not use our muscles, they will atrophy and who wants saggy arms and legs, am I right? Diabetes is a serious chronic illness that can lead to detrimental complications. We only have one body, and it is up to us to take charge of our health because no one else we do that for us. Stay healthy, my friend and until next time, relish every bite!

To Learn More CONTACT: Amanda Li Registered Culinary Dietician Founder of Wellness Simplified Professor at the Centre of Hospitality & Culinary Arts at George Brown College wsimplified.com | IG: @wsimplified

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in fitness

SPICE UP Your Fit Lifestyle WRITTEN BY KRYSTA MARIE CERTIFIED PERSONAL TRAINER & HOLISTIC NUTRITION COACH CONTACT: KRYSFIT.COM Consider some of these ideas when looking for a new fitness environment to stay active in!

Looking for some interesting ways to spice up your fit lifestyle? These days, we are surrounded by various ways to get fit, with there being something for everyone! With upbeat group classes, personal training for specific needs and technology led training, it is first important to know exactly what your needs are. Things to consider: Are you able to motivate yourself to get active or do you need some accountability? Are you someone who will be working out in the morning, evening or overnight? Do you require day care? Do you want to workout in a co-ed facility? What is the overall goal you are looking to achieve? What are activities you enjoy to help you reach these goals? These are important factors in meeting your goals and the facility you choose needs to meet these requirements for you to have a successful workout program. Once you have written out what you are looking for, it is time to start the hunt! Big Box Gyms

Every city has them and there will always be a place for these gyms with machines and free weights! These gyms can now be found at almost every main intersection in any city.

Many of them are now providing additional services such as cycling classes, dance workout classes, meditation and stretching classes as well as personal training if you require a bit of guidance. Various pricing options now allow for anyone to join a nearby gym without cost becoming a barrier. Many of these gyms are now offering 24 hour service for those that need to hit the gym at non-traditional hours, shift workers can now focus on their fitness too! Pro Tip: First check with the company you work for, they may have a discount deal with one of the local gyms. Go for a tour of the facility. Things to ask and look out for would be how well kept is the facility? Is it clean? Is the equipment well taken care of? Do people seem friendly? Do the staff talk to the customers? Personal Training Studios

There are private gyms hidden throughout the corners of every city. These gyms have been developed by personal trainers and fitness enthusiasts who have made the decision to combine their passion for fitness with entrepreneurship. These facilities often come with non-traditional styles not seen in the typical gyms. If you think you would find interest in flipping tires or pushing a weight sled across turf, this might be the place for you! Pro Tip: Call ahead and arrange a time for consultation. Find out what other services they provide as they may be teaming up with other services within your community such as meal planning or massage therapy. High Intensity Group Training

These classes are great for someone who is tight on time and needs a push to work hard. With a trainer on hand to guide you through the workout, you can be sure to get an intense workout while meeting others and developing friendships along the way. These classes come in a variety of styles with dance, cycling and weight training being most common. Just like the private training studios noted above, many of these group classes will also offer non-traditional styles of training that include anything from tire flipping to cycling in a dark room with amped up music and disco lights! Pro Tip: Look for classes that include resistance training to get more from your workout. All-In-One programs that also include help with diet will help you to create a healthier lifestyle and give you more bang for your buck! Keep your eyes open for programs designed to give you complete guidance and support if you are unsure of what to do outside of the gym. Lastly, take advantage of as many free offers as possible while searching for the perfect spot! Jump around to different classes and programs and give them all a try! You will stay active for a few weeks without paying a cent and you will be able to find the program and atmosphere that is right for you!

Happy fitness hunting! 8

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When I

tuck him into bed, or snuggle him in my arms, or when he is sick and attaches himself to my body, in these moments, I find myself truly realizing just how much my Mother loved me. She told me that her life started the day that I was born. That she never had such love as the love she got from me. I get it now. The love that exists between Mother and child is like no other. It’s so big that sometimes it even hurts. My Mother passed before my son was born. She isn’t here to guide me and teach me but I feel that just having Her as my Mom for 32 years taught me what it means and what it takes to be a Mom, in every sense of the word. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss her, that I don’t need her, and I often wonder how different life would be if she was still here. But I am comforted when I look at my son and see Her in him. I know that everything she gave me, all that love, is passing through me into him every single day.

Porsia Tassone, Mommy to Landyn Motherhood is seeing your heart outside of itself. Although it’s fragile, has many moving parts, and super complicated, it’s the most important thing that you’ll ever have to do as a human being on this earth. Personally, Motherhood has stretched my perspectives, desires, and feelings in such a way that has made me my strongest. I wouldn’t trade this lesson for anything. In the thick of things--- I’ve learned that motherhood does not require us to be perfect. It just requires us to be present. That’s a mantra I’ve learned to lean on daily! But I must admit that motherhood has helped me discover the many facets of myself, shed light on the relationships I’ve tried so hard to hold on to, as well as a level of love that goes beyond what you want, feel, or think. Motherhood is a big teacher and once fully embraced, you’ll begin to realize that there is nothing in the world worth having than the very responsibility of creating a “good” human being for the world to see one day. EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED, YET I AM MORE THAN I’VE EVER BEEN. IAIN THOMAS

Shanika Graham-White, Orchids + Sweet Tea | orchidsandsweettea.com

My mother was one of seventeen children, and her mother and Methodist-minister father raised their children with a strong familial bond. Meals were part of the foundation of that bond, always shared together. So Mom-rule #1, when I was growing up, was mealtime was a family-time. My eight siblings and I shared breakfast and dinner with our parents—no exceptions. It wasn’t just a time to eat, but also for sharing. Everyone had a chance to speak, and no subject was off-limits. Sometimes there was a topic-of-the-day and sometimes there was random silliness, but school, church, and chores were never left out of the mix. As we got older, dinner time was shifted around because of after-school activities and part-time jobs. But Mom never wavered on everyone sitting down together. My husband was raised much the same way, and that’s how we raised our three children. We had our share of parenting headaches—hello, teenage years—but I believe we avoided many of the pitfalls other families dealt with because of the love and support fostered in part by sharing meals as a family. Once, when Mom joined us for dinner, she looked around the table smiling, squeezed my hand and said, “A family together—beautiful.” It was the best compliment she could have paid me.

Felicia Denise, Author, In The Best Interest Of The Child feliciadenise.com

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Motherhood Motherhood


A Mother’s Reflection WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY EARTHA LOWE

The cherished memories of a young child’s home made cards received throughout the years are often saved and neatly stored away in a box. These cards are filled with glittered hearts, cut-outs, smiles, humour, no rhyme but reasons, demands, errors, your child’s ever growing personality and awareness. Personally, I find my collection of home made cards difficult to toss because of the care and thoughtfulness that went into making them. So let the warm maple syrup flow over golden brown pancakes as sweet as these words, handwritten from a child’s expressive thoughts of a mother’s love. May the warmth flow over the freshest berries, as you too reflect upon the fruits of your labour.

Happy Mother’s Day

Get the Recipe! See recipe for Sweet Oatmeal Banana Pecan Pancakes, page 40. Serve with warm maple syrup, fresh berries or a Sweet Apple Slaw. APRIL 2019 | COOKING GREEN GOODNESS MAGAZINE

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food in poetry

A Season Unapologetic BY EARTHA LOWE

It's April now. Warmer days transform the land. Longer days light the fields blossomed by a kindness, Ever-changing yet steady. Water seeps into the earth, A sign of good fortune, Awakening the sounds of small creatures laid dormant, By the rhythmic cycles of the seasons. It's April now. Courted by a psychedelic language of hues and colours, Intricacies of life lay hidden, quietly waiting, Like the chrysalis of a butterfly.

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IN FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY Featuring Dyutima Jha

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“The power of visual story-telling inspires me.” Driven by an architectural background, I like to create modern, artistic and engaging compositions of food. Turning a 2-D image into 3-D with light and shadow and adding a 4th dimension of emotion, is what I strive for.

Each picture I create is with the intention of telling a story that draws the viewer into the scene, almost making them feel like they’re a part of it. My style of photography rides on evoking memories, bringing upon nostalgia, instilling emotions, while exuding a strong sense of movement.

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With colour as the foundation of my concepts, I believe that food can look beautiful, healthy & tasty when photographed with the right accompanying colour, which could be through the combination of ingredients within a dish or in the form of props. One of my favourite ‘props’ being light!

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Grilled Pineapple with Mint Matcha Cream Recipe, page 40 I like to create different moods by manipulating light. Be it a crisp feel through bright highlights, sophisticated feel through dark shadows or moody feel through deep contrast, I twist & bend light to bring out the mood & story the food dictates. A former architect, I am attentive towards scale & proportion in my pictures. I fall back on the rules, like the golden triangle or Fibonacci series, that I used in my architectural stint, to help me create food compositions. These rules guide the placement of the hero subject such that it creates movement, making the viewer’s eyes travel through the frame in the sequence the photographer intends. 18

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I

continue to use these rules as I play with various camera angles in the attempt to find that one, most flattering side of the subject. From flatlays to straight-on, I explore a whole range of angles in search of perspectives that make food look photogenic. One of my favourite tools to do so is using action in still life imagery. Creating motion makes food look real & brings it to life by making the viewer feel as though they’ve walked into the scene & are experiencing it real-time. But under all these principles of photography, lies my deep rooted love for food & adventurous outlook towards flavours. Combining ingredients that are not often found together is thrilling to me. I love to create innovative recipes with bold flavours & try to capture the thrill through my lens.

Looking through the lens, I constantly seek that shine on ingredients, those glossy highlights, accentuating shadows, the fall of light that brings out textures & that symphony of colours punctuated by striking flavours. My approach to photography is to achieve all of this while making sure the essence of the picture, the food always remains the hero.

Dyutima Jha Website: myfoodlens.com Instagram: @dyutima_myfoodlens Facebook Page: @myfoodlens APRIL 2019 | COOKING GREEN GOODNESS MAGAZINE

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EDITOR’S NOTES In Case You Missed It Let’s talk living healthily with Amanda Li, Registered Dietitian and Founder of Wellness Simplified. Amanda brings together her dietetic experience and working in a professional kitchen setting to create a nutrition coaching practice that is food-centric and grounded in teaching individuals a basic life skill - nourishing their body, mind and soul. Read 5 Habits That May Increase Your Risk For Pre-Diabetes (page 6). Looking for some interesting ways to spice up your fit lifestyle? Krysta Marie, Certified Personal Trainer and Holistic Nutrition Coach gives ideas on how to do so (page 8). Food In Poetry ‘A Season Unapologetic’ is a short poem that speaks true to nature; everchanging yet steady. Let us begin the journey for what it means to experience the wonders of the seasons: the rain, blossoms, the sweets songs of birds, bees buzzing, butterflies fluttering, sunshine, and breathtaking views of growth (page 12). Nature uplifts the very fabric that is human. A Lesson In Food Photography with Dyutima Jha (page 15) Through her “food lens” Dyutima shows us how to put our “best food forward.” Dyutima is an architect turned food stylist, photographer, recipe curator & founder of My Food Lens. After a decade of practicing healthcare architecture, she stumbled upon food styling and photography, which turned into an undying passion rather swiftly. Through her modern yet artistic style, she brings the colours & textures of beautiful ingredients to life & presents them in the best light. Her love for taste leads her to curate new recipes & her architectural background guides her in punctuating taste with aesthetics. Dyutima is the featured photographer in this issue of Cooking Green Goodness Magazine. She also shares with us a recipe for Grilled Pineapple with Mint Matcha Cream (page 40).

EARTHA LOWE

Lover

Mom, Food Writer & Entrepreneur

“Right now I feel, just like a leaf on a breeze, who knows where it’s blowin’? Who knows where it’s goin’?” These are lyrics from the song Nothing I’ve Ever Known, sung by Canadian Icon, Bryan Adams. This song is part of the soundtrack to the movie Spirit released in 2002. My two daughters loved watching this movie, and, I must admit, so did I. I loved this story about a wild stallion just wanting to run free and just be at peace in its freedom. It’s not that I wanted to be free from motherhood, but with motherhood comes that feeling of not knowing which way the wind is blowin’ on any given day. By the age of 23 I was already a Mom to two, while day dreaming beyond my reality as I put their needs above all else. As much as the movie Spirit is about the bonds of family, so is my life above all else. The learning however is that with that family bond, there are no limits to being free. I continue to reminisce and sing that song, the lyrics played out loud saying, “I feel so strong now, this can’t be wrong now.” In this issue of Cooking Green Goodness Magazine we celebrate mothers. Porsia Tassone, Shanika GrahamWhite, and Felicia Denise are three beautiful women who share their journey through the joys, laughter, loss, lessons and love that is Motherhood (page 10). Shanika shares that in the thick of things she’s learned that motherhood does not require her to be perfect; it just requires her to be present. Motherhood is seeing your heart outside of itself. Although it’s fragile, has many moving parts, and super complicated, it’s the most important thing that you’ll ever have to do as a human being on this earth. PHOTO BY AKHIL KAMBLE | A.K. RENEGADE STUDIOS INC.

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Cooking In Season Everyday cooking is about preparing good, wholesome, tasty, varied meals. With every meal we are presented with the opportunity to nourish ourselves and powerfully support our health. When you buy in-season, you also present yourself the opportunity to enjoy foods at their peak in flavour and nutrition like rhubarb (page 22), strawberry (page 26), and asparagus (page 32), celebrated in this issue. Diana Muresan and Sabine Alphonsine contribute their photography to this section of Food And Drink. Spring forward to a taste of summer with Margie Cook, Vegan Chef & Culinary Consultant. Cherry, the fruit of romance is celebrated in a Raw Cherry Blossom Cheesecake (page 36). A Taste of the Caribbean (page 41) The lure of the exotic cuisine of the Caribbean in general, and Jamaica in particular, has popularized products from the region as more home cooks begin experimenting with some of the island's popular dishes. Learn how to cook vegan rice dishes like Jamaican Rice and Peas (page 44) – one of the island’s most popular dishes enjoyed worldwide. Sophie Musoki contributes her photography in this issue for a Callaloo, Coconut and GingerSpiced Rice recipe (page 42). Learn to bake a piece of Jamaica’s Easter tradition; Vegan Easter Bun (page 38). Equally as important to the people who follow a plant-based diet, is the notion that they too can still enjoy a piece of this long-standing tradition when Easter rolls around. Celebrate the exceptional juiciness of pineapples in season with its vibrant tropical flavour that balances the tastes of sweet and tart. See Veggie Fun Facts (page 56). Get a recipe for making Fresh Pineapple Juice. We continue with food and remedies that heal in the magazine’s two-part series on Herbalism (page 46). Learn about the taste and energetics of herbs, and how they support natural energy, provide essential nutrients, promote healthy aging, aid in the repair of vital processes, and strengthen healthy bodily functions. Read about “pungent” herbs like ginger (page 48) and cayenne (page 50). Pungent herbs awaken the senses and get things moving. They are warming, spicy, and have become part of culinary tradition because they not only taste good but also support one's health. We also take a look at “bitter” herbs with recipes for your wellness. A bitter taste causes you to salivate, which is one of the first steps in the digestive process. Learn about cacao (page 52) and how to make Dandelion Root Vinegar (page 54). Huge thanks to all contributors. One Love. Enjoy this issue.


Cooking In Season

FOOD And DRINK Your Mini Cookbook! Recipes for Your Wellness APRIL 2019 | COOKING GREEN GOODNESS MAGAZINE

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Tips to Grow Your Own Rhubarb Degree of Difficulty

When

Easy if you have space. Rhubarb requires room. The leaves do get quite large. Take rhubarb’s mature size into account when deciding where to place it – plants can grow more than 90 centimeters tall with a spread of 120 – 150 centimetres.

Perennial. Stays outside all year.

Needs Sun. Rhubarb grows best in full sun. The soil should be fertile, humus rich, moist and well drained, but this plant adapts to most conditions. Some shade is okay.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY DIANA MURESAN, dianamuresan.com

Where

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In the ground or a container. If using a container, it must be deep and whiskey barrel wide. Digging the plant out of the container and dividing the roots will be necessary after two or three years. After 8 – 10 years in one location, you may find that the plant is too crowded to produce as freely as it used to. To rejuvenate the plat, dig it up in early spring while it is still dormant. Don’t worry about severing large roots when removing the rootball from the ground. Using a knife or a spade, divide the crown, or the top of the rootball, into several sections, such as into fourths or even smaller, making sure that each section contains at least one bud or “eye.” Replant the sections into different locations. If you can’t replant the sections immediately, store them in the refrigerator and rehydrate them by soaking them in a bucket of water for at least 6 hours before planting.

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Harvest In late spring, when stalks are young and fresh. Rhubarb plants unfurl in spring from a bulbous, shiny red crown, and leaves unfold almost magically into giant ribbed shields on tart-sweet stalks. Begin picking rhubarb once the stalks are large enough to use and roughly the width of your finger. To harvest, grab each stalk low down, twist it slightly, then pull. The stalk should pop neatly out of its “socket.” Cut the leaves from the stems with a sharp knife and compost or spread them around the base of the plant to conserve moisture, suppress weed growth and return nutrients to the soil. Do not harvest the stalks in the first year. Let the plant develop an established root system first. Harvest sparingly the second year – not more than half of the stalks. In the third and subsequent years, harvest freely.


IN SEASON SPRING Common uses for rhubarb begin with poaching in light syrup or stewing with other fruits. We typically eat rhubarb in dessert dishes and think of it more as a fruit, but, rhubarb is actually a vegetable. Rhubarb’s long, red stalks require some serious sweetness to balance their tartness, so dessert is a logical option.

Rhubarb is best if you “string” it (as you would Callaloo, see page 42). You can “string” rhubarb by grabbing one end between a pairing knife and your thumb and pulling straight down to remove the celery-like strings that run lengthwise through each stalk. Only the stems of rhubarb are edible. The leaves, while not suited for human consumption, contain sodium oxalate, a chemical that safely destroys ozone depleting CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons), giving the deep green leaves a purpose beyond photosynthesis. It has even been reported that an abundance of this plant could help to reduce our carbon footprint. Rhubarb leaves are safe to add to the compost heap.

GOOD COMPANIONS FOR RHUBARB Zest and juice of oranges, blood oranges, lemons, grapefruits, limes Cinnamon, clove, cardamom, nutmeg, ginger, vanilla, angelica Maple syrup, sugar, buckwheat honey Strawberries, raspberries, apples

RHUBARB COOKED IN THE OVEN What puts many people off rhubarb is boiling it on top of the stove. Stove-top cooking changes the texture, turning the firm cut-up chunks into unappetizing mush. Instead, wash a handful of rhubarb stalks, but don’t dry them. Chop the stalks into 1 inch / 2.5 cm pieces and place in a casserole dish without the lid. Add a big scoop of sugar or more to taste ad some grated orange

R H U B A R B

peel. Stir to coat the rhubarb. Cook in the oven on a low heat, about 300°F/150°C, for an hour. The rhubarb chunks will stay whole and be bathed in a thickish sauce.

BUYING AND STORING Rhubarb should be firm, like celery, not limp. Store in the refrigerator but use as soon as possible; it does not improve with age.

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A CLASSIC STRAWBERRY RHUBARB PIE RECIPE Servings: 8

Prep and Cook Time: 90 minutes

Difficulty: Medium

A crisp, tender-crusted dessert, made of simple, common ingredients with simple, easily mastered techniques.

INGREDIENTS

INSTRUCTIONS

2 x 9-inch vegan pie crusts

1) Preheat the oven to 400°F. Arrange one crust in the bottom of a pie pan, pressing the bottom and sides of the crust. Set aside.

1 ½ 1bs rhubarb, cut into ½ -inch pieces 1 ¼ lbs strawberries, hulled and quartered ¼ cup, plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar ¼ cup white sugar ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ cup arrowroot powder Zest of 1 lemon 1 tablespoon lemon juice 2 tablespoons coconut cream 2 tablespoons unrefined cane sugar

2) In a large bowl gently toss the rhubarb, strawberries, brown sugar, white sugar, salt, lemon zest, and lemon juice to combine. Transfer the berries and rhubarb to the pie shell, leaving any excess liquid in the bottom of the bowl and spread evenly into the crust. 3) Cover with the top crust. There are two ways to do this:  Cover with the top crust and decorate the edges by simply pressing down with the tines of a fork along edges of the dough, or by using your fingers.  Cut the remaining crust into 1-inch strips. The strips on the ends should be reserved for the end pieces on the pie and the center strips are used for the center pieces. Weave a lattice crust, then tuck any loose ends underneath the overhang of the bottom crust and pinch the edges into a decorative border. 4) Brush the crust with the coconut cream and sprinkle with cane sugar. 5) Place the pie on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil to catch any spills. Bake for 20 minutes at 400°F, then turn the oven down to 350°F and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes. 6) Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature. Serve.

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY DIANA MURESAN, dianamuresan.com

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IN SEASON SPRING

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FUN FACT The heaviest strawberry according to Guinness World Records, weighs 250 g (8.82 oz), which was grown by Koji Kakao (Japan) and was weighed in Fukuoka, Fukuoka, Japan, on January 28, 2015. The strawberry was of a Japanese variety called Amaou. It had an approximate height of 8 cm (3.15 in), length of 12 cm (4.72 in) and a circumference of 25 to 30 cm (9.84 to 11.81 in).

People flock to pick your own farms to fill baskets with these juicy red berries that are among the most popular of berries consumed worldwide. Almost all food, of course, is better when bought close to its source, but this is especially true of fruit. Strawberries grown in people's gardens - or those that grow wild - are true strawberries. Good strawberries, like so many fruits, do not travel

T R A W

well. If you've ever picked good strawberries yourself, or stumbled upon a hillside covered with the

B

distinctive red blanket of strawberries, then you know what all the fuss is about.

Many fruits, fresh or dried, can be combined in a fruit or mixed greens salad, soup, compote, and so on. While most people would agree that many fruits are at their best eaten out of hand, it is worth knowing how to cook with them. Since strawberries are very perishable, they should only be

E

purchased a few days prior to use. Do not wash until right before eating or using in a recipe.

To prepare strawberries, do not remove their caps and stems until after they've been gently washed and patted dry. This preparation method will prevent the strawberries from absorbing excess water, which can degrade texture and flavour. Pick off the leaves with your fingers, or cut them off with a pairing knife, or use a paring knife or small melon baller to dig out the stem and small core (which is not at all distasteful, but is relatively tough) at the same time.

GET RECIPES Strawberry Daiquiri, page 28 Chocolate Strawberry Pudding, page 30

R R Y Perennial. Can stay outside all year.

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY SABINE ALPHONSINE, begirlfoodphoto.com


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STRAWBERRY DAIQUIRI strawberry · lime A dab of agave is a great way to sweeten without using sugar.

INGREDIENTS 2 cups/225 g strawberries, hulled 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice 1 cup sparkling water 1 tablespoon agave nectar Crushed ice for serving (optional)

DIRECTIONS Combine the strawberries, lime juice, sparkling water, and agave nectar in a blender and process until smooth. Serve over crushed ice, if desired.

MAKES ABOUT 2 CUPS

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CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY PUDDING Servings: 3

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Difficulty: Super Easy!

A light pudding to enjoy with fresh spring and summer strawberries.

INGREDIENTS

INSTRUCTIONS

1 oz. 100% cacao unsweetened baking chocolate

Put 1 to 2 inches of water in the bottom of a double boiler. Melt the baking chocolate in the top. Remove from heat when completely melted.

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder ¼ cup maple syrup ¾ cup full fat coconut milk 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/8 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon cinnamon

Into the same bowl, mix the cocoa powder, maple syrup, coconut milk, vanilla extract, salt, and cinnamon. Combine the chocolate mixture with the avocados and strawberries in a food processor. Puree until you get a smooth consistency. Refrigerate for 2 – 3 hours. Consume within 24 hours.

2 very ripe avocados, peeled and pitted 1 cup strawberries, diced, stems removed

Getting to Know Herbs & Spices (part 2) See CACAO, page 52 One of the best ways to consume chocolate for your health is to eat dark chocolate that has a minimum of 70 percent cacao. High quality chocolate bars will list the cacao content on the front label. Dark chocolate may be an acquired – tastes getting used to for most. Once you prefer it thought, there’s no going back.

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY DIANA MURESAN, dianamuresan.com

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IN SEASON SPRING These succulent spears is one of the most welcome signs of spring. The best asparagus is local asparagus. In Canada, asparagus is harvested and sold late spring through June. You will be compensated with optimal sweet and grassy flavours of asparagus while its in season that you won't taste any other time of year. PREPARING Prepare fresh asparagus by first breaking off the butt end of each spear where it snaps easily. An easy way to do this, is to grab several spears at once, grasping the stems in one hand and the bottoms in the other. Bend the asparagus spears. An asparagus will naturally break (more or less) where the woody part ends and tender part begins. The woody bases can be saved and used for soup stock. Wash the stalks thoroughly and carefully to remove any sand from under scales. Steaming asparagus is basic but it doesn't matter how you cook the stalks, as long as you leave them just a little crisp - not so crisp that they crunch when you bite them, but not too soggy that they begin to fall apart. You know asparagus are done when you can easily insert a skewer or a thin-bladed knife into the thickest part of the stalk. NUTRITION Eat up! There’s an abundance of vegetables and fruits worth embracing that are your anti-inflammatory best friends, including asparagus. STARTING Asparagus can be grown from seed, but it takes an average of 3 years until you get a full crop. Most people begin with 1-year-old crowns, or roots, purchased from a garden centre. A plant started from roots will be ready to begin harvesting the second spring. Asparagus plants can last a lifetime, producing tasty spears every spring. STORAGE Store, wrapped loosely in plastic, in the refrigerator. Use as soon as possible to avoid the spears from going limp after prolonged storage.

A S P A R A G U S Perennial. Can stay outside all year.

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A CLASSIC CREAM OF ASPARAGUS SOUP Servings: 4

Prep and Cook Time: 40 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Made from crisp stalks of asparagus and a rich cashew "cream,� this soup is a light, simple, and utterly delicious way to bridge the changing of the seasons. INGREDIENTS 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 leek, rinse and chopped into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces (woody ends snapped off) 4 - 5 cups asparagus, chopped into 2-inch (5 cm) pieces 4 cups vegetable broth 2 tablespoons lime juice, freshly squeezed 1⠄3 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste INSTRUCTIONS FOR COOKING Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the asparagus to the saucepan with the broth and lime juice. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes until the asparagus is tender. Remove a 1/4 cup of the asparagus tips and reserve. Puree the soup using a standing blender, or a hand-held immersion blender. Drain the cashews from the soaking water. Add a fresh 1/3 cup of water to the cashews and blend until smooth. Add this "cream" to the soup, stir well, and return the soup to a boil. Season to taste with salt and a generous serving of black pepper. Remove from heat and ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish each bowl with the reserved asparagus tips. Tips for serving Garnish with fresh herbs including chives, minced green onion, or fresh thyme leaves.

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SPRING FORWARD A SNEAK PEEK AT SUMMER CHERRIES with Margie Cook, Vegan Chef & Culinary Consultant Plants On Plates On Wheels, plantsonplates.com It’s always been about food for Margie Cook so it only made sense to her when it became all about plant food that she returned to school to become a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN) and a Certified Vegan Lifestyle Coach and Educator (VLCE). Her vegetarianism began in her early twenties but her road to veganism was a colourful journey that played out over many years. Margie genuinely loves people, and because of that she genuinely wants everyone to live the happiest life possible, and for Margie, when it comes to food, health and happiness, you can’t have one without the other. Always one to experiment in the kitchen, when she switched to plant-based eating she was determined to discover and create delicious, filling and beautiful recipes that could stand up next to any omnivore diet. Her love of food, her exceptional skills as a cook and her spark for life has helped her discover and create plant-based foods that go above and beyond. Margie is not a big fan of sweets and has always maintained that she would rather eat a jar of pickles than a piece of cake. She has a huge soft spot though for raw plant-powered desserts with their pure and honest sweetness, vibrant colours and amazing texture combinations. With consciously curated ingredients packed full of antioxidants, amino acids, fiber, vitamins and even minerals, Margie maintains that these desserts become energizing, immune boosting, inflammation busting, collagen building, mood enhancing happy bombs and instead of needing a nap after eating a slice like often happens after eating dessert, you may just energetically She believes every meal you eat is a chance to take one small step towards a big smile, glowing skin, more energy, and a healthier planet. Through customized cooking classes, corporate wellness programs and coaching, recipe and menu development, catering and personal chef services she brings her unique, lighthearted style to the hearts and minds (and tables) of all she meets. 36

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CHERRY BLOSSOM CHEESECAKE ~ plantsonplates.com ~

A blissful, RAW, self care explosion! Garnish with fresh or frozen berries, brownie circles or hearts, fresh mint, edible flowers, shredded coconut. There are no rules. Have fun with this recipe. Use it as a template. Mix and match. Don’t be shy.

CRUST INGREDIENTS 3 cups walnuts pinch sea salt 1 cup rolled oats (GF if desired) 1 cup dried cherries 2 tablespoons coconut oil (plus extra for greasing pan) ½ lemon (approx. 2 tablespoons) zest from ½ lemon 1 teaspoon cinnamon ½ teaspoon turmeric powder ½ teaspoon acai powder (optional) ½ teaspoon ground sumac powder (optional)

CRUST INSTRUCTIONS Place all ingredients in bowl of food processor and pulse to combine until you have a crumbly yet slightly sticky mixture. Lightly brush cake pan with coconut oil and press crust mixture down evenly. Place in freezer for 30 minutes.

FILLING INGREDIENTS 2 cups raw cashews- soaked for at least 6 hours or overnight in the refrigerator- drained and rinsed Juice of two lemons Juice of one lime 1 tin full fat coconut milk ¼ cup pure maple syrup (more to taste) 1 teaspoon vanilla ¼ cup coconut oil

FROSTING INGREDIENTS 1 cup filling (reserve a few tablespoons if you want to drizzle on top of final cake like the picture) 1 cup frozen sweet or sour cherries Defrosted

FROSTING INSTRUCTIONS Add cherries to the blender with the reserved filling and blend until combined. Set aside until the filling has frozen and then pour over evenly. If you reserved some white filling then now is the time to drizzle it over top of pink frosting, use a toothpick to swirl through the white in whatever motion moves you to make a beautiful painterly design. Return to freezer finished cake to freezer for at least one hour before wrapping. Defrost in refrigerator for approximately 1 hour before you want to serve. Store leftovers in freezer wrapped well. Cook’s Notes: Recipe yields 2- 6 x 2-inch (spring form) cakes or 112 x 2-inch round (spring form) cake. Soak 2 cups raw cashews for 8 hours or overnight in the refrigerator before beginning this recipe.

FILLING INSTRUCTIONS Place all ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend until silky smooth. This will yield 4.5 cups. Remove pan with frozen crust from freezer and pour filling mixture on top evenly, leaving 1 cup in blender for frosting. Place pan back in freezer for an hour.

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‘Equally as important to the people who follow a plant-based diet, is the notion that they too can still enjoy a piece of this long-standing tradition when Easter rolls around.’

A Jamaican Tradition BY EARTHA LOWE, CGGMAGAZINE.COM

Growing up in Jamaica, I knew nothing of the Easter bunny. My family and I never hunted for colourfully wrapped chocolate eggs, and we definitely did not waste our food by painting it. Our tradition called for a “good” Friday fish fry and a day at church with the grown folks. Tradition also called for Easter Bun. Eating this fruity, rich, spiced bun - with cheese - during the Easter Holiday is an established activity, the roots of which go back generations. Jamaicans worldwide still practice this tradition of eating Easter Bun, keeping that deep-rooted connection to home. 38

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VEGAN EASTER BUN Servings: 4

Prep and Cook Time: 90 minutes

Difficulty: Medium

While the majority of people purchase their Jamaican Easter Bun from their favourite Caribbean grocer, learning to master the technique to make this bun at home has risen in popularity throughout the years. You only need to look at the blogs to see the different recipes available to you. Equally as important to the people who follow a plant-based diet, is the notion that they too can still enjoy a piece of this long-standing tradition when Easter rolls around. Here’s your step-by- step guide to baking this fruity, rich vegan bun – spiced with a blend of nutmeg and cinnamon. Candied and crystalized fruits, including cherries and vine fruits (raisins and currants, intensifies the flavour and

INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

              

Step 1: Preheat oven at 350°F/180°C. Grease a 9" x 5" x 3" loaf pan; set aside.

4 tablespoons vegan butter, melted 2 cups stout 1 teaspoon vanilla extract ½ tablespoon browning 2 tablespoons guava jam 1 cup dark brown sugar 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon nutmeg ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 tablespoon baking powder ¼ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon mixed spice ½ cup mixed peel, chopped (optional) ½ cup raisins Cherries to top bun (optional)

Cooking Tips You can easily introduce this bun into your wonderful universe of desserts. Layer on your favourite toppings like spoon sweets, fresh fruit, warm maple syrup, icing sugar. Here's are some other things worth noting. If the tips and edges of the bun start to blacken close to the end of baking it, cover the bun

Step 2: In a large bowl, mix together the butter, stout, wine, vanilla, browning and guava jam. Stir in the sugar and mix until all the granules are dissolved. Step 3: Mix together all the dry ingredients. Step 4: Combine the liquid mixture with dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in the chia seeds (optional), chopped mixed peel and raisins. Step 5: Scrape the batter into the loaf pan. Step 6: Bake in a preheated for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Step 7: Cool on a cooling rack. Step 8: To Glaze (optional): Combine 3 tablespoons maple syrup with two tablespoons water and bring to a boil; remove from flame and use a pastry brush to apply it over the surface of the bun.

with foil. Continue baking until cooked through. Allow the bun to cool and settle for at least 2 hours before serving. If you can wait 24 hours to serve it, even better!

BUN; it's not just for eating. The word "bun" has at least four different meanings as found in the Jamaican Patios and Slang Dictionary. See Jamaican Food Words and Phrases (page 57) to learn more. APRIL 2019 | COOKING GREEN GOODNESS MAGAZINE

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food

and drink Grilled Pineapples with Mint Matcha Cream With spring in the air & summer around the corner, chill out with these grilled pineapples that make for a delectable dessert or a scrumptious addition to a barbeque menu. Refreshing in taste & ready in a jiffy, they are perfect for all occasions. The tartness of pineapple caramelized to sweetness over a hot grill and then dipped into chilled matcha cream, gives that beautiful burst of fruitiness followed by an even finish of fresh mint, chocolate & a hint of liquorice. Opt out of adding sweet in the cream & you’ve got yourself a healthy, vegan, refined-sugar-free treat! Ingredients 1kg Pineapple, peeled 1 cup Coconut Cream, refrigerated for at least 6 hours

Golden brown and delicious. Let the warm maple syrup flow! Ingredients 1 cup whole wheat flour ½ cup oatmeal 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 tablespoon brown sugar ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon Pinch of sea salt 1 ½ cups almond milk 1 ripe banana 1 tablespoon chopped pecan pieces Warm maple syrup (as desired) Method In a large bowl, mix together the flour, oatmeal, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

½ teaspoon sugar (optional)

Combine the banana and almond milk in a food processor or blender, and process until smooth. Add the blended mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Add the pecan pieces.

Method

Add additional almond milk if the batter seems too thick. The batter should pour easily.

1¾ teaspoon T2 Mint chip matcha tea powder

1. Slice the pineapple into long wedges. Place each wedge into a skewer. 2. Preheat a grill pan over medium heat. Cook pineapples on each side till they begin to caramelize & turn golden - around 2 minutes each side. For the cream 1. Carefully transfer the coconut cream into a bowl, leaving behind the water at the bottom. 4. Add the matcha tea powder & sugar, if desired. Whisk till well combined. Cover & let it sit for 5-10 minutes in the fridge for the flavours to develop. 5. Serve hot grilled pineapple with chilled mint matcha cream.

PINEAPPLE Exceptional juiciness with a vibrant tropical flavor that balances the tastes of sweet and tart. You can smell the ripeness of pineapple in season! Read more in Veggie Fun Facts, PAGE 56.

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Sweet Oatmeal Banana Pecan Pancakes

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Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan on low to medium heat. Pour the batter onto the griddle leaving room between pancakes. Cooks until bubbles appear in in the center of the pancakes, then flip and continue cooking until golden brown. About 3 - 5 minutes each side. Serve with warm maple syrup, fresh berries, or a sweet apple slaw. Sweet Apple Slaw Ingredients You’ll Need 2 medium-sized gala apples, grated or thinly sliced ½ cup pecans, chopped and toasted ¼ cup dried raisins 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed 2 tablespoons maple syrup Directions: Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Alternatively, substitute the pecans and dried raisins with granola. Servings: 4 Prep and Cook Time: 30 minutes Difficulty: Super easy!


Caribbean Vegan Rice Dishes to Know and Love

The "lure

of the exotic cuisine of the Caribbean in general, and Jamaica in particular," has popularized products from the region as more home cooks begin experimenting with some of the island's popular dishes." The explosion of ingredients available internationally, including healthy vegan choices, have brought us recipes – both traditional and contrived.

Many cuisines have standby spice mixtures that are added to many foods as they cook. To cook brilliant Jamaican food, you need to “season” your food by combining the best ingredients. Synonymous with Jamaican style cooking, are whole ingredients like the fiery scotch bonnet pepper, allspice (also known as “pimento”), peppercorn, scallion, clove, cinnamon, thyme, garlic, ginger, lime, cane sugar, fresh coconut milk, nutmeg and bay leaf. The scotch bonnet pepper ranges in colours from yellow to orange to red and is considered the leading hot pepper in Jamaica. Jerk seasoning principally relies upon the use of two of these popularly used ingredients: scotch bonnet pepper and allspice.

See Jamaican Rice and Peas, Page 44 APRIL 2019 | COOKING GREEN GOODNESS MAGAZINE

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY SOPHIE MUSOKI, AKITCHENINUGANDA.COM

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“ilaloo” is a Rasta slang for “Callaloo”, a highly popular Caribbean dish which originated from West Africa. This green, leafy, spinach-like vegetable is typically prepared as one would prepare Swiss chard or collard greens.

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Callaloo COCONUT & GINGER-SPICED RICE Servings: 4 - 6

Prep and Cook Time: 45 minutes

Difficulty: Easy!

Ingredients 4 cups packed fresh Callaloo, chopped 1 large onion, chopped 2 garlic cloves, minced 2 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated Scotch bonnet pepper, use as desired 2 sprigs of thyme 1 cup coconut milk 1 teaspoon allspice Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 3 cups long-grained rice, washed

Directions On medium heat, heat the oil in a large non-stick pot. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and thyme. Place the lid on the pot and cook for 4 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add the Callaloo to the pot. Close lid and cook for 3 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Add the rice to pot and stir to combine with the other ingredients. Close lid and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the coconut milk, allspice, sea salt, black pepper and scotch bonnet pepper, and just enough water to cover the rice. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes – 20 minutes, until the rice is cooked. Remove thyme sprigs and enjoy. TIP Callaloo is available canned if you don’t have access to fresh bunches. Use 1 can for this recipe. Alternatively, substitute callaloo with Swiss chard or collard greens.

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JAMAICAN

RICE AND PEAS An island rich in heritage is, "Jamaica, Land We

One of the most popular Jamaican dishes eaten worldwide. Try nuh buss the scotch bonnet!

Love." “The sun shineth, the land is green and the people are strong and creative” symbolizes the meaning of the country’s flag. Black depicts the strength and creativity of the people; Gold is the natural wealth and beauty of sunlight; and green represents hope and agricultural resources. The history of Jamaica is a rich and vibrant one. The history of Jamaica inspires its people to move forward as a nation. Jamaica's history speaks to experiences of hardships and prosperity; and the growth and determination of a people.

INGREDIENTS 2 cups dried red kidney beans (red peas), washed 1 medium-sized onion, chopped 1 stalk scallion 4 – 6 sprigs of thyme 1 whole scotch bonnet pepper 2 cloves garlic, chopped 10 whole pimento seeds (allspice) 1 teaspoon sea salt 1 teaspoon black pepper

The Jamaican national motto is ‘Out of Many One

2 cups coconut milk

People’, based on the population’s multiracial roots.

4 cups rice (long-grain or basmati), washed thoroughly

TRADITION

INSTRUCTIONS

The smell of rice and peas with all of its fragrant seasonings moved freely through the neighbourhood every Sunday in Jamaica. You could smell the fragrant thyme. To walk by someone’s home was to smell the story of your neighbour’s rice and peas process. If it didn’t smell slightly sweet, the coconut milk hasn’t yet been added to the peas. Sunday was the day every household in the neighbourhood designated to cook rice and peas, as true as it was that Saturdays were designated for cooking up soup. Rice and Peas was a part of a Sunday dinner tradition. AUTHENTICITY It's worth learning how to cook "authentic" Jamaican Rice and Peas. It's also worth knowing the unspoken rule: say NO to canned kidney beans! This traditional recipe is known for its fragrant use of thyme - king of the herbs in most Jamaican kitchens - and coconut milk. Pimento, scallion, garlic, and scotch bonnet peppers are also ingredients used to round out the dish’s flavours. Jamaican rice and peas is delicious on its own, and best of all, it's vegan. This rice dish can be enjoyed with numerous vegan sides.

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1) Place the dry red kidney beans in a large pot. Pour in 8 cups of water and soak overnight. Keep the soaking water in the pot. Alternatively, you can skip the soaking overnight and instead just slow cook the peas until tender. 2) Place the pot on the stove, add the onion, ½ stalk scallion, 1 clove garlic, 2 – 3 sprigs of thyme and pimento seeds. Cover the pot and cook on medium to high heat for about an hour, or until the peas are soft. Occasionally stir the peas making sure there’s sufficient water remaining in the pot. The water can sometimes “boil out.” Add more water to the pot as necessary until the peas are cooked. 3) After the kidney beans are cooked, remove the shriveled scallion and thyme sprigs with a fork. Add the coconut milk and the remaining seasonings and let boil for 10 minutes. 4) After the seasonings have simmered with the coconut milk, remove the scallion. Add the rice to the pot and stir to combine the ingredients. Make sure the water level is just above the rice. Bring to a boil. Add the scotch bonnet pepper and cover the pot. Turn the heat to low and cook for about 25 – 30 minutes, or until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender and fluffy. 5) Take out the scotch bonnet pepper and mix the rice the rice thoroughly from the bottom.


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RECIPE & PHOTOGRAPHY BY EARTHA LOWE, CGGMAGAZINE.COM


GETTING TO KNOW HERBS & SPICES Part 2 BY EARTHA LOWE, CGGMAGAZINE.COM

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your health & wellness

TASTE THE HERBS 'The use of medicinal plants, referred to as herbalism, has as many traditions and theories as there are cultures on earth.' In the book Alchemy of Herbs, it speaks of plants being a major source of healing for people all over the world, long before the internet or even books existed. There was a shift in thinking in the early 1900s when the American Medical Association (AMA) proclaimed what was "science" and what was "quackery." Furthermore, with the creation of antibiotics in the 1930's, people began to turn more readily to "better living through science" and used pharmaceutical pills for their illnesses rather than plants. Herbs were revitalized in the 1960's with the back-to-earth movement it's here that we see the beginnings of our current herbal resurgence. So how do we know what herbs can do? When learning about plants, it is important to realize there is no one way of knowing. There are historical records of plant use going back thousands of years. Many modern-day herbalists use herbs in their lives and in their practices and share their personal experiences. There's also a growing number of scientific studies on plants. Herbs support natural energy, provide essential nutrients, promote healthy aging, aid in the repair of vital processes, and strengthen healthy bodily functions.

PUNGENT Black Pepper, Cayenne,

Cinnamon, Fennel, Garlic, Ginger, Holy Basil, Lavender, Mustard, Nutmeg, Parsley, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Turmeric Most common culinary herbs are classified as pungent. Pungent herbs awaken the senses and get things moving. They are warming, spicy, and have become part of culinary tradition because they not only taste good but also support one's health. Chinese FiveSpice Blend, a recipe that calls for a blend of peppercorns, cinnamon chips, whole star anise, whole cloves, and fennel seeds, is commonly used to flavour many popular Chinese dishes. SALTY In herbalism, "salty" refers to

herbs that are high in micronutrients. Salty herbs like Nettle, have a mineral taste rather than an overly salty taste.

SOUR Elder, Hawthorn, Lemon Balm,

The Energetics of Plants

Rose

Plants have hot/cold and damp/dry qualities, just like humans. You might already recognize energetics in common foods. Take a cucumber for example. Is a cucumber hot or cold? Is watermelon dry or damp? What about a habanero pepper? Think of a cracker. Energetic qualities can vary depending on where or how the plants grew and how they have been prepared for consumption. Let's use fresh ginger as another example. Fresh ginger is considered to be warm, while dried ginger is considered hot. This isn't an observation measured with a thermometer, which would likely display the same temperature for each variety of ginger. Instead, it comes from how the herbs act and feel in the body. As you experience herbs and spices in your life, remember that herbalism seeks to find balance in the four qualities of hot and cold and dry and damp. Keeping track of how you are feeling in those areas is a good way to judge if the foods, herbs, and spices you are choosing are working for you.

Just as with salty, the sour taste in herbalism tends to be more subtle. Many sour herbs have an important herbal action: they are astringent. Think of astringency as a mouthfeel rather than a taste. If you've ever bitten into an unripe banana or drunk a strong cup of black tea, then you've felt the astringent action often described as a dry sensation in the mouth. Astringent herbs tighten the mucosal tissues they come in contact with. Sour herbs are said to stimulate digestion, build strength, and reduce inflammation. SWEET Sweet herbs like Ashwagandha

nourish and build. Some Sweet herbs might be slightly warming or slightly moistening, but most have fairly neutral energetics. BITTER Artichoke, Cacao, Chamomile,

Coffee, Dandelion A bitter taste causes you to salivate, which is one of the first steps in the digestive process.

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GINGER TEA aromatic, spicy, relaxing To make ginger tea is easy. You can roughly chop pieces of ginger and boil in water for about 10 minutes - 6oz ginger to 1 ½ cups water. Alternatively you can grate the ginger and strain the liquid once it has finished boiling. Sweeten to taste and enjoy the heart-warming healing properties. 48

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your health & wellness

GINGER Taste: Pungent

Ginger is worth embracing. It has been widely studied by scientists with positive results for a variety of issues, making it one of the more accepted herbs in Western Medicine. This root contains anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols, which inhibit pro-inflammatory molecules, and is used to treat a wide variety of conditions, including digestive issues, nausea, motion sickness, arthritis, headaches, colds, and flu. Ginger is also a delicious culinary spice that can be added in small amounts to both savoury and sweet dishes. It is very aromatic with a strong, spicy taste. Other common names: gingerroot Parts used: rhizome (commonly called a root) Energetics: fresh rhizome (warming, drying), dried rhizome (hot, drying) Plant properties: aromatic, anti-inflammatory, diffusive, stimulating diaphoretic, stimulating expectorant, carminative, analgesic, antimicrobial, blood moving, vermifuge, rubefacient Plant preparations: culinary, decoction, powder, tincture, candied, fresh juice

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your health & wellness

CAYENNE (kai•en) Taste: Pungent Should a recipe call for 1 teaspoon of hot pepper sauce for example, and perhaps you don't have that option in your pantry, try whipping together 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (a standard grocery store item), 1 teaspoon vinegar and 1 teaspoon sugar as a substitute. The cayenne pepper is a rather hot and spicy herb (also known as chili pepper) 2 - 3 inches long. It is commonly used ground for flavouring various recipes including sauces, soups and stews. Many bottled hot sauces use cayenne for extra heat. Cayenne is a hot and spicy herb that has countless uses in your kitchen as well as benefits for your health as stated in the book Alchemy of Herbs. Pungent herbs like cayenne awaken the senses. They are warming, spicy and have become part of culinary tradition that not only taste good but also support one's health. Other common names: chili, chili pepper. Botanical name: Capsicum annuum, Capsicum frutescens Family: Solanaceae (nightshade) Parts used: mainly fruits, also seeds Energetics: warming, drying Plant properties: stimulant, antimicrobial, metabolic stimulant, blood mover, anti-fungal, antioxidant Plant uses: toothache, arthritis, fever, heart disease, poor circulation, parasites, digestive problems, sore throat, bleeding, inflammation, weight loss, menstrual cramps Plant preparations: culinary spice, tea, tincture, liniment, oil salve Cayenne is a great addition to many culinary dishes. It is most often used dried, either whole or powdered. The most capsaicin is located in the lining of the seeds and the membrane from which the seeds hang. If using whole cayenne chilies, you can decrease the heat by removing the seeds.

CAYENNE TEA Start with 1/8 or Âź teaspoon cayenne pepper depending on potency. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Place the cayenne powder in a cup, then pour the water over it. Add 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice. Sweeten to taste as desired, stir, and get ready to sweat it out!

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CACAO (kuh•kaw) Taste: Bitter Cacao is usually in the form of chocolate by the time it makes it to our grocery store shelves. And when you stand in front of that grocery store display of chocolates, you may not realize that you are looking at one of the most popular herbs of all time according to the book Alchemy of Herbs. Most people consume chocolate because it tastes good (real good in some instances!), but high-quality cacao products have powerful positive effects not just on your taste buds but your cardiovascular function, athletic endurance, and cognitive function. The botanical genus name for cacao translates to “food of the gods." Botanical name: Theobroma cacao Parts used: fermented seeds (humans continue to fine-tune the process of turning the interior beans into the many decadent and smooth chocolate creations of today) Energetics: warming Plant properties: cardioprotective, neuroprotective, inflammatory modulator, stimulating nervine Plant uses: improving mood, lowering blood pressure, increasing insulin sensitivity, supporting healthy cholesterol levels, supporting brain health, decreasing inflammation Plant preparations: beverage, candy, food

HOW TO USE CACAO Most popular chocolate candies have too much sugar and not nearly enough cacao content to be supportive of health. One of the best ways to consume chocolate for your health is to eat dark chocolate that has a minimum of 70% cacao. High quality chocolate bars will list the cacao content on the front label. Dark chocolate may be an acquired – tastes getting used to for most. Once you prefer it thought, there’s no going back.

The healthiest way to include cacao in your died is to skip products with sugar entirely and use 100% cacao. Cacao nibs, cacao powder, and 100% cacao bars are readily available for purchase. Whenever possible, buy organic chocolate that has been certified fair trade.

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RECIPE ALERT! CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY PUDDING (page 30) A light pudding to enjoy with fresh spring strawberries!

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APRIL 2019 | COOKING GREEN GOODNESS MAGAZINE


your health & wellness

DANDELION

Blowing on a dandelion seed puff offers both children and adults cheap entertainment and, some say, a free wish.

Taste: bitter (leaf); bitter, sweet (root) Dandelions are spring, summer, and fall greens which grows like a weed (some people think it is one). So instead of harvesting this free food and medicine, dandelions are sprayed with harmful chemicals to kill them. Why is there this hatred against dandelions? Because dandelions make an area look unkempt? Many of the herbicides used to kill dandelions are known to promote cancer, poison our soils and waters, and kill countless birds and bees. It's time to embrace this "weed" for its many benefits. If you're picking wild dandelions, pick them as early as possible in the spring and, of course, from a place where no sprays have been used. Dandelion has the distinction of being among the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet, containing more protein, fiber, calcium and potassium than any other green; they're also loaded with beta-carotene. When young, it is mild-flavoured; when mature, it is the most bitter of greens. Botanical name: Taraxacum officinale Parts used: root, leaves, flowers Energetics: cooling, drying Properties (leaf): diuretic, alterative, nutritive, digestive stimulant, choleretic Properties (root): alterative, nutritive, cholagogue Plant uses: poor digestion, water retention, nourishment, skin eruptions, supporting healthy liver function Plant preparations: decoction, tincture, food Dandelion leaves can be found more and more readily in grocery stores. Dandelions can be eaten in salads when young, but quickly become too bitter to eat raw, and are then best stir-fried, with soy sauce or garlic and lemon. When preparing dandelion, wash well to eliminate sand.

HOW TO MAKE DANDELION ROOT VINEGAR

Apple cider vinegar helps to extract the high mineral content in dandelion root. Use this herbal vinegar to make your own salad dressing, as part of a marinade, or even as a digestive (try a tablespoon diluted in water) prior to eating a meal.

INSTRUCTIONS

Fill a jar with finely chopped fresh dandelion root. Fill the jar with apple cider vinegar. Cover with a glass or plastic lid. If using a metal lid, place parchment or wax paper between the lid and the jar (vinegar will corrode metal). If using dried dandelion root, fill the jar 1/3 full (to leave room for the root to expand. Infuse for 2 weeks, shaking once daily. Strain when ready. Use within a year.

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VEGGIE FUN FACTS PINEAPPLE Ananas comosus Exceptional juiciness with a vibrant tropical flavor that balances the tastes of sweet and tart. You can smell the ripeness of pineapple in season! Pineapples are actually not just one fruit but a composite of many flowers whose individual fruitlets fuse together around a central core. Each fruitlet can be identified by an "eye," the rough spiny marking on the pineapple's surface. Pineapples have a wide cylindrical shape, a scaly green, brown or yellow skin and a regal crown of spiny, bluegreen leaves and fibrous yellow flesh. The Spanish name for pineapple, pina, and the root of its English name, reflects the fruit's visual similarity to the pinecone. The core and stem of this tropical fruit contains bromelain, which reduces inflammation and helps protein digestion. Pineapple is rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C is the body's primary water-soluble antioxidant, defending all aqueous areas of the body against free radicals that attack and damage normal cells. Add fresh pineapple to your morning smoothie, any fruit and most vegetable salads. Try adding chunks of pineapple to your next coleslaw or carrot salad. This fruit is definitely worth embracing. When purchasing pineapples, look for ones that are free of soft spots, bruises and darkened "eyes," all of which may indicate that the pineapple is past its prime. Pineapple stops ripening as soon as it is picked, so choose fruit with a fragrant sweet smell at the stem end. Avoid pineapple that smells musty, sour or fermented. FRESH PINEAPPLE JUICE Here’s a super easy recipe to make Step 1: Wash and peel your ripe pineapple. Step 2: Chop the pineapple flesh and place in a blender. Step 3: Blend until smooth. Add sparkling water to blender for desired consistency. Step 4: Strain to discard fibrous pulp. Tip: Add crushed ice to blender for a cool smoothie. Substitute sparkling water with coconut water for a tropical infusion. Garnish with mint leaves and/or pineapple pieces. Cheers!

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JANUARY APRIL 2019 2019 | COOKING | COOKING GREEN GREEN GOODNESS GOODNESS MAGAZINE MAGAZINE


JAMAICAN Food Words & Phrases BUN; it's not just for eating. The word "bun" has at least four different meanings as found in the Jamaican Patios and Slang Dictionary. See recipe for Jamaican Vegan Easter Bun in Food and Drink, page 38. Although the official written and spoken language of Jamaica is Standard English, many Jamaicans also speak Patois which is a separate dialect/language. Jamaican Patois (also known as “Patwa”, “Patwah” or “Jamaican Creole”) is the language that is used by most Jamaicans in casual everyday conversations while Standard English is normally reserved for professional environments. It is quite difficult to acquire the accent of a Jamaican, unless you've lived in Jamaica for many years but at York University in Toronto, Canada, their Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics offer an ‘Introduction to Jamaican Creole’ as a course. Jamaican Patois has been gaining ground as a literary language for almost a hundred years.

Definition 1 English Translation: burn Definition: To contain a fire Example Sentences Patois: Di fyah bun dem! English: The fire burned them! Definition 2 English Translation: annoy Definition: to be annoyed Example Sentences Patois: A wah yu do bun mi. English: What you did annoyed me. Definition 3 English Translation: cheat Definition: to be unfaithful to one’s partner. Example Sentences Patois: Mi cyan believe that Sarah gi mi bun. English: I can’t believe that Sarah cheated on me. Definition 4 English Translation: spiced bun Definition: A sweet spicy bun in which spice and raisins are added during the making process. This bun is dark in colour and shaped liked a loaf of bread. It is commonly eaten with cheese during the Easter season. Example Sentences Patois: Mi luv nyam bun and cheese durin the easta holiday. English: I love to eat bun and cheese during the Easter holiday.

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