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awake spring

from the kitchens of pinch and dash

awake spring seasonal inspiration from the kitchens of pinch and dash

copyright Š 2012 danielle arsenault and jessica perlaza AWAKE | spring photographs | jessica perlaza illustrations | danielle arsenault

I can become lost in the folds of nomadic travels now and then but I still find time to pursue my passions. I travelled the world and discovered isolated corners of over 20 countries, as a rock climber, English and Spanish teacher. With a Bachelor in Fine Arts and a degree in the Master of Teaching Program at the University of Calgary, I have been teaching and creating unique curriculums for almost 10 years in Canada, Mexico and South Korea. Polka-dotted within my studies and beyond, I have accomplished many things.

who are pinch and dash? two ladies full of passion who had once been neighbors now embark on journeys beyond them. as part of nature’s cycle, change is abound this season. fruits ripen on the vine and the garden boasts a bounty of love and life. everything must come full circle and new beginnings are born.

i’ve since settled with my husband and two baby boys into a charmingly tiny mid-century cottage in the sunny southeastern US. i spend a lot of time in the kitchen and am often hosting so i love making a simple, beautiful meal to share with friends and family. the details are just as important to me as the food and my collection of rustic pottery and vintage glass bottles (and the wildflowers sprouting up in my backyard) make that easy.

my husband and i took off to korea five years ago where a year of adventure turned into almost half a decade as we traveled the far east and found ourselves living in a tiny farming village nestled in the korean mountains. it was here that my path connected me to the most inspiring group of women and together, we built a community wellness oasis and retreat center in seoul. my time in asia was a transformative one and i left korea an insatiable traveler, a selfpublished author, and a mother. ​

i’m a freelance stylist, vegetarian cook, and nurturer by nature. i surround myself with beautiful things (and people) that bring lightness and joy into my life.

In March of 2012, I completed a ukulele-infused album under my musical pseudonym, Mustache Fable. In 2012, I received a Permaculture Design Certificate as well as a Living Foods Lifestyle Certification at the Ann Wigmore institute. Shortly afterwards I completed the 200 hour Raw Food Educator Program from Raw Foundation Culinary Arts Institute in Vancouver, BC and I continue my studies in the science of nutrition. I have also been so fortunate to write my own cookbook, Heal and Ignite; 58 Whole Food, Plant-Based Recipes to Heal your Body and Ignite your Spirit, published in 2015. Health and creating amazing healing foods wasn’t always my top priority. Being diagnosed with IBS, as well as a gluten and dairy allergy back in 2005, I decided to delve head first into clearing up the major discomforts that my diet was causing. Armed with nothing but motivation to be a strong and healthy vegan in a non-vegan world, I have definitely required patience, imagination and education. Always with an eye for fresh foods, over the years I have discovered endless combinations and hidden secrets in nutrition – especially in raw, living foods. Looking for some grounding roots, I founded Pachavega Living Foods Education in 2013 to inspire people to take charge of their happiness and health by eating mindfully. We offer whole foods, plant-based catering, nutritional consultation and chef certification including the most amazing 40 hour Healing Whole Foods Preparation Certificate and the 70 hour *Heal and Ignite* Raw Chef Certificate. No matter how busy I get, I still have to eat. My boundless energy and creative drive are directly related to the food I nourish my body with. I am chlorella, tahini, almonds and zucchini. Food gives me a way to express myself and it gives me the utmost pleasure to share my creative expressions with my loving family, friends and all those I meet, including you.

strange ingredients explained tamari - a wheat-free soy sauce used to add a kick of umami to your dishes nutritional yeast - makes a great cheese substitute and can be used in anything. made from sugarcane and beet molasses, it is a complete protein and is high in B vitamins. an essential in any vegan diet doenjang (korea) and miso (japan) paste - a salty fermented soybean paste which stimulates digestion and energizes the body. a staple in east asian cuisine for more than 2,500 years hemp hearts – although the subject of controversy all over the globe, the inner part of the hemp seed packs a powerful punch of balanced proteins, essential fats and vitamins chia seeds – remember chia pets from the eighties? who knew they would one day be a veritable superfood. when soaked, these little pinhead seeds provide us a wealth of nutrition raw cane sugar – be careful with common white sugars. most are refined using animal bone char. raw cane sugar most definitely is not and it’s a much healthier choice yacon syrup – a low-glycemic, antioxident rich sweetener from the andes mountains. similar in taste to molasses and with half the calories of cane sugar

oh no! i don’t have that! if you’re missing an ingredient called for in any of these recipes, don’t be afraid to come up with your own substitute. who knows? it may be even better! being creative in the kitchen is what makes food so fun! you never know what you’ll create if you give in to a little experimentation.

neither one of us owns a measuring cup. that’s why in this zine there are a lot of appoximate measurements. use your own judgement and taste as you go. follow your instincts and you’ll have a medley of spring soul food fit to share... or to keep all to your sweet self.

a pinch. a dash. and a handful.

volumes have been written about the ever growing demand for organic food. these days we are over informed, under informed and misinformed about the inner workings of the food industry. a hot topic at dinner tables and farmers markets alike, the conversation about organics is one worth having.

what exactly is organic anyway? organic agriculture is a system of growing crops that increases, enhances and fosters the life of the soil. conventional agriculture, on the other hand, depletes the soil and the life it sustains. organic foods are grown without the use of fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides. one thing is certain: from soil to seed to sprout to plant, organic food is grown from the ground the way nature intended. a common argument against buying organic is that it costs more than conventional food. is it worth the extra expense? truth is, every time you buy organic, you are investing in your health and in the health of the earth. believe it or not, conventional agriculture uses between thirty and sixty different kinds of pesticides to prevent fungi from growing and insects from dining on our favorite fruits and veggies. these chemicals are absorbed into the very core of the fruit or veg itself and stick with it as it grows. when you eat this produce, it becomes part of you too.

the organic debate

should i buy that organic? we try to consume as much fruit and veg as possible and you should too. the nutrition they provide, even the conventionally grown stuff, still outweighs the negative effects of processed foods. if you can’t buy all organic, just try your best! the following are considered “the dirty dozen plus” according to the environmental working group’s shopper’s guide to pesticides in produce and each year this list is updated online. if your budget is tight, these are the ones you should splurge on and buy organic. your body and the earth will thank you. apples celery sweet bell peppers hot peppers cherry tomatoes peaches strawberries nectarines grapes spinach lettuce cucumbers potatoes kale and collard greens

these “clean fifteen” fruits and veg rank the lowest in pecticide residue so you don’t necessarily need to buy them organic. this makes sense since most have a thick skin that is removed before eating. papaya onions sweet corn pineapples avocado cabbage sweet peas asparagus mangoes eggplant kiwi cantaloupe sweet potatoes grapefruit mushrooms check for the updated list

. . . . . . the juice of one orange a pinch of orange zest 1/3 cup of maple or maple syrup a dash of salt and cracked black pepper a sprinkle of sesame seeds ten asparagus spears

snap the woody stems off the ends of the asparagus and place the spears in a pan. whisk together the orange juice and maple syrup before drizzling over the asparagus then bring to a boil. reduce to a simmer for five minutes. serve with sesame seeds, a dash of coarse sea salt and cracked black pepper.

garlic greens

during the first weeks of spring, the korean mountains and fields offer a variety of edible greens and herbs, just waiting to be brought to your table. not only are these wild plants nutritionally rich, they are a treat for your tastebuds and are the first sweet indication that spring has sprung. the tradition of foraging is still very much alive in korea, preserved by grandmothers squatting along the roadside selling the fruits of their labors at local farmers markets.

. . . . . .

a bundle of spring greens, washed well a couple cloves of garlic, minced toasted sesame oil sesame seeds sea salt

you too can enjoy nature’s bounty from the hills. wilt in boiling water for a quick minute, give a cold rinse and hand-toss with garlic, sesame oil, sea salt and a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds. these greens make a great addition to any meal!

pickled spring radish it’s raw!

two cups of rice wine or apple cider vinegar half a cup of maple or brown rice syrup twelve small red spring radishes a handful of fresh dill weed, chopped half an onion, chopped a generous pinch of cracked black peppercorns a pinch of salt a bay leaf

mix the vinegar and syrup in a bowl. layer the radish, dill and onion in a clean glass jar and tuck the bay leaf in at some point. add a pinch of salt and crack some black peppercorns on top. pour the liquid over the veggies, making sure there is enough to cover. mix another 4:1 ratio of vinegar to syrup if needed to fill the jar. although you can ‘can’ pickles and have them last virtually forever – danielle’s grandmother’s closet has been stocked since she can remember – this recipe is for fresh spring pickles and they should be kept in the fridge and eaten relatively quickly. they’re best consumed within a month.

strawberry basil bellini

seven medium-sized juicy strawberries half a bottle of champagne a few ice cubes a handful of fresh basil a pinch of raw cane sugar

combine the above ingredients (except the bubbly) in the blender. pour champagne over the blended mix, stir and serve in glasses, mason jars, or any recycled jar you have in the house. top with a few sliced strawberries and enjoy on a sunny sunday afternoon. be sure to garnish your glass.

the virgin blend instead of champagne... use equal parts fresh apple juice and carbonated water


my lassi brings all the boys to the yard... on a perfect day last spring, jess set up a smoothie creation station at a community rooftop barbeque. a variety of smoothies were blended up for guests to taste but the strawberry cardamom lassi was such a crowd pleaser it ended up getting a new name. combine all ingredients in a blender and enjoy cold!

a handful of strawberries a cup of coconut yogurt or nut milk a few pods of cardamom maple syrup to taste

every nurturing meal is a celebration of the seasons, cycles, and rhythms of nature.

delicious, lovingly prepared food renews, revitalizes and nurtures your body, your mind and your spirit.

deepak chopra

a few years ago, jess was invited to a tasting tour at a respected institute for korean traditional food. housed in a magical hanok in the countryside, the institute is the lifework of a woman at the forefront of the korean slow food movement. jess was fortunate enough to talk with this incredible woman over lunch and even more lucky to be given this recipe, a beautiful combination of local ingredients, most of which were made on site. it tastes just as good with ingredients bought from the market so don’t hesitate to make this your new favorite salad dressing.

. . . . . . 3 tbsp of doenjang or miso paste 6 tbsp of strawberry jam or the fruit jam of your choice 2 tbsp of maple syrup a cup of soy milk 3 tbsp of crushed peanuts a tbsp of ground sesame seeds a tbsp of toasted sesame oil a tsp of brown rice vinegar

combine all ingredients and drizzle over fresh greens. use a combination of lettuces, herbs, chicory and mustard greens for a rustic and unexpected salad.

spring greens in soy miso vinaigrette

the noodles

the sauce

glass noodles spring onion green beans cucumber fresh herbs mint, basil, cilantro and sesame leaf toasted sesame seeds

2 cloves of garlic a drizzle of olive oil crushed red pepper a squirt of lime juice and a little of it’s zest a tbsp of apple cider vinegar a tbsp of tamari a generous drizzle of toasted sesame oil

cucumber glass noodles with fresh herbs

boil the noodles for five minutes, drain and rinse with cold water to stop the noodles from cooking. in a bowl, toss with a handful of chopped spring onion, shredded cucumber and a heap of chopped herbs. in a separate bowl, combine garlic and ginger, both finely minced with the other sauce ingredients. drizzle over the noodles and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

one whole beetroot (peeled and cubed or cut as you prefer) a varity of wild spring greens (we like the sharp bite of arugula)

the dressing two cloves of chopped garlic a tsp of minced ginger a generous drizzle of sesame oil a splash of tamari, maple and lemon a pinch of red chili flakes whisk the garlic and ginger mingle with the other dressing ingredients and let them mingle in a small jar while you cut up the beets and prepare the greens. a drizzle and a splash are subjective amounts. just toss it together - the flavor will speak for itself! preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. coat the beets using half the dressing and bake for 20 minutes. you can also pan fry the beets and coat with the sauce when hey’re almost cooked. wash the greens and remove the beets from the oven when soft. allow them to cool before transfering to a bowl with the greens. drizzle with the remaining dressing and enjoy. you can keep the extra sauce in the fridge for tomorrow’s lunch. this was so good we forgot to break out the camera before it was gone!

french lentil and fennel salad a cup of green french lentils 2 cups of water two cups of fennel bulb, chopped one or two stalks of celery, finely chopped a handful of daikon or spring radish, quartered and sliced thin a handful of fresh chives, chopped half a shallot, finely minced a thumb-sized piece of ginger, minced a few cloves of garlic, minced a spoonful of dijon or stone ground mustard a generous drizzle of cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil a dash of fennel seed and black peppercorns, coursely ground a squeeze of fresh lemon salt to taste rinse lentils and sift through to remove any stones that may have found their way into the mix. add water and bring to a boil over medium heat. reduce to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes. these green guys will turn brown but will keep their shape, unlike brown or red lentils that can become mushy (think indian dal). when soft, remove from heat, rinse and drain. once cooled, add the lentils to a bowl and toss with the other ingredients. Â

. . . . . . extra virgin olive oil - it is the first pressing of olives

that creates this rich, green-hued oil full of healthy fats. heat is applied to subsequent pressings in order to extract more oil, resulting in a lower quality oil with less olive taste. extra virgin, cold pressed is best consumed raw and unheated, just like in this dish.

wild rice pilaf

with apricot scented cashew cream the pilaf

the cashew cream

wild rice spinach mushrooms green peas white wine juice of half a lemon dried basil tarragon sesame seeds

a few dried apricots a cup of raw cashews, soaked and rinsed a cup of water a drizzle of olive oil a pinch of nutritional yeast a dash of salt

soak the cashews and apricots in water, just enough to cover, for at least four hours. rinse one cup of wild rice and add to a pot with four cups of fresh water. bring to a rolling boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover with lid askew. cook until water is absorbed, about 45 minutes. as the wild rice cooks, boil the peas in a separate pot for 5-10 minutes. drain, then set aside. in a skillet, sauté a handful of mushrooms with a cup of white wine. add a bay leaf, and a dash of dried basil and tarragon while it simmers. when the liquid is reduced by half, throw in a few handfuls of freshly washed spinach and a pinch of salt. when the liquid is almost gone and the spinach is wilted, add to the rice and throw in the peas too. mix well. to make the cashew cream, disgard the soaking water then blend soaked cashews and apricots for a minute or two with a cup of water. if it’s too thick, add a little more water and continue to blend. add a drizzle of olive oil, nutritional yeast and a pinch of salt and blend again. you can strain the cream through a cheescloth to make it even more creamier (and make cashew cheese with what’s left in the cheescloth!) drizzle the cream on the pilaf and top with a sprinkle of sesame seeds. yummy!

kimbap kimbap literally means “seaweed with rice� and is korea’s version of a sushi roll - vegan style. in korea the ingredients are standard, but the possibilities are endless. make the rice a day ahead and marinate overnight with a sprinkle of salt, oregano and a drizzle of olive or sesame oil.

try these combinations we used - balsamic infused strawberries, parsley, sprouts, red cabbage and wilted spinach. the extra balsamic vinegar that the strawberries soaked in makes a perfect dipping sauce!

with a whole lot of love and imagination, you can fill your kimbap with anything.

cucumber, avocado, stone ground mustard and strawberries

matchstick carrots, lettuce, tahini, a dash of cumin, red bell pepper

juliened ginger, radish sprouts, avocado, and green beans

wilted swiss chard, fresh basil, kiwi, purple cabbage

who needs ketchup when argentine chimichurri is so easy to make and so much better? a favorite at south american barbeques, chimichurri is traditionally a steak sauce but is so good on yams. try it on baked potatoes or as a tofu marinade too.

handcut yam fries with chimichurri for the yam fries

a few yams or sweet potatoes, scrubbed well, skins left on olive oil, sea salt and dried oregano cut the yams into rustic fries and toss into a hot skillet. quickly add a fewtbsp of water allowing yams to steam, and sprinkle generously with salt. before the water is completely absorbed, add another splash of water to keep steaming and repeat a few times until yams are soft. ensuring that there is no water left in the pan (oil and water in a hot skillet will result in dangerous splattering!), drizzle in some olive oil and toss well, making sure all the fries are coated. add a dash of oregano and another pinch of salt if needed and toss over high heat until fries are golden and crispy.

for the chimichurri it’s raw! a bundle of fresh parsley, tough stems removed a few cloves of garlic half cup of extra virgin olive oil quarter cup of balsamic vinegar red chili powder or flakes salt and pepper finely chop the parsley and garlic and add to a small serving bowl. drizzle in the oil and vinegar and stir to combine. spinkle in some chili, and just a pinch of salt and pepper. have a backyard barbeque and serve with yam fries and a frosty beverage.

plant a seed and watch it grow research shows that ancient civilizations have been sprouting seeds and soaking nuts and legumes for over 5,000 years. they must have been doing something right because that’s a long time. locked within these teeny tiny kernels is an abundance of nutrition just waiting to burst forth into the world. when you take a little seed and soak it, you bring it to life. it begins to grow and change, increasing its enzymatic activity and liberating amino acids and other notable vitamins and minerals such as phosphorus, calcium, and iron from their bondage within the seed. from seed to plant, sprouts have the highest concentration of nutrients and since you can eat hundreds at a time, it’s kind of like eating the nutrition of hundreds of fully grown plants! sprouts are living foods, rich with antioxidants and full of protein and chlorophyll too – both essential for human health. they purify your blood and detoxify your liver. with their own enzymes they digest themselves and regenerate cells within our bodies when we eat them. since they take energy to grow, sprouts have fewer calories than beans or grains in their dormant form. being raw, they contain oxygen and alkalize the body. according to double nobel prize winner dr. otto warburg, many viruses and bacteria cannot live in an alkaline and oxygenrich environment. so if you’re feeling under the weather… eat some sprouts! soaking nuts has a similar effect on the body but rather than sprout, they swell in size. nuts don’t keep as long as leafy sprouts so only soak as many as you can eat in a day.

what are the best seeds and legumes to sprout? easy-peezy – sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds only need a few hours whereas almonds should be soaked for at least twenty-four hours then rinsed thoroughly. patience is a virtue – buckwheat and most legumes such as adzuki, lentil, and mung beans take only two to five days. leafy sprouts like clover, radish and arugula take five or six days. steer clear – kidney beans are not for sprouting. if eaten uncooked, these sneaky guys are actually toxic. alfalfa sprouts are also mildly toxic – so don’t eat them every day. also, make sure your body isn’t getting an overdose of the same sprout day in and day out. always choose the freshest seeds and legumes possible. soak seeds in a glass jar for 8-12 hours and big nuts for at least twenty-four hours. after the first soaking, rinse well and spread them out in the jar as much as possible. cover with a thin cloth secured with a rubber band. we like to tilt the jar on its side to give the little guys more surface area to grow. keep them somewhere dark (like under the sink) and rinse them at least once a day in order to keep them damp but not wet. as long as they are rinsed diligently and kept out of direct sunlight, your seeds will begin to sprout after just a few days. soon you’ll have your very own homegrown sprouts! throw them in a salad or lightly cook them with your favorite stir-fry.

sprouted seeds, soaked nuts and legumes variety is key!

eat food. not too much. mostly plants. michael pollan

green tea nut crackers

a half cup each: almonds, walnuts and pumpkin seeds two tbsp of each: hemp hearts, chia seeds, and ground flaxseed

they’re raw!

a handful of green onion 1 cup of strong brewed green tea plus a pinch of tea leaves (about 1 tea bag) a tsp of spirulina a drizzle of olive oil a few pinches of salt

soak the nuts overnight. drain and rinse in the morning. if you don’t use them right away, just keep them in the fridge for later. put all the above ingredients into a food processor and let sit for ten minutes while the oven preheats to 180 degrees celsius. this will give the flax and chia seeds time to swell and bind with the other ingredients, forming a dough-like consistency. if the mix is too dry, add a bit of water until it holds together well when squeezed in your hand.

1/3 cup of pine nuts a handful of fresh basil two cups of olives green, black or kalamata a clove of garlic, minced (two if you like it spicy!) a pinch of nutritional yeast a dash of dried oregano a drizzle of olive oil throw all of the above into a food processor and let those blades sing. (make sure the olives are pitted. danielle once chipped a tooth on an olive pit!)

spoon little mounds of the nut mix onto a parchment lined tray and flatten into thin crackers. bake for twenty minutes and wait until cooled to transfer to a dish. you can keep these crackers raw by dehydrating them on teflex sheets for 4 hours at 115 degrees and flipping half way. serve with a heap of tapenade.

lemony cashew custard squares they’re raw!

for the base 1/2 cup of dates and a cup of pecans

for the topping two cups of raw cashews, soaked and rinsed a dash of vanilla extract a quarter cup of organic yacon syrup (maple will also work) a pinch of nutritional yeast the juice of half a lemon

. . . . . . line the bottom of a small glass dish with parchment paper. pulse the dates and pecans in the food processor until they are mixed but still roughly chopped. press the date-pecan mix into the lined dish, the parchement will ensure the squares pop out easily without sticking. disgard the cashew’s soaking water and rinse them well. blend together with the other topping ingredients then spoon the lemony mix evenly over the base, making a two-layered dessert. using a spatula, gently score a grid pattern into the top layer - this will make it easier to cut into squares once the lsquares are set. cover the dish and refrigerate. after an hour, you’ll have a raw dessert sure to satisfy any sweet tooth and healthy to boot!

anise poached pears with salted lemon chocolate drizzle a cup of water a spoonful of cane sugar two whole pears, peeled, cored and sliced four whole star anise a tsp of grated ginger the juice of half a lemon a handful of raisins or dried cranberries a tsp of vanilla a pinch of cinnamon sea salt

. . . . . .

the chocolate drizzle

half a bar of vegan dark chocolate (70% cacao or higher) the juice from the other lemon half a generous pinch of cracked black pepper

heat sugar in water until dissolved. add pears with the rest of the ingredients and simmer on low for 20-25 minutes until pears are tender. remove from heat. in a double broiler, melt the chocolate with lemon and pepper. transfer pears to a dish and drizzle generously with the chocolate sauce. add a pinch of sea salt over the top for an explosion of flavor!

strangely, a trip to india this winter was how we discovered these addictive raw energy bites. after her daily yoga practice in mysore, india, jess would limp stroll to the local brunch cafe to reward herself for her hard work on the mat. breakfast lasted for hours as yogis steadily trickled in all morning following their vigorous practice. the feast usually consisted of millet pancakes with date syrup or a tofu scramble (or both), and always with a cup of chai. but the most relished part of that satisfying morning meal was dessert: these little balls of energy that jess couldn’t go a day without. make them yourself and you’ll understand why.

they’re raw! a cup of gluten free oats a handful of dried cranberries a handful of almonds a pinch of sesame seeds a small handful of raw cacao nibs a handful of pitted dates or jujubes

pulse all ingredients except the dates in a food processor or blender until combined but still roughly chopped. fold in chopped dates, mixing with a spoon to combine well.

a cup of shredded dried coconut a drizzle of brown rice syrup or maple

transfer the energy mix to a bowl and drizzle with a bit of brown rice syrup. refrigerate for half an hour to make the mixture easier to work with. form into balls and roll in shredded coconut. enjoy immediately or save them in the fridge for a little pick-me-up throughout the day!


a seed




animal friendly and gluten-free companies mary’s gone crackers kaia foods lydia’s organic eden foods organic bob’s red mill nativas naturals

on our bookshelf silent spring -r. carson eating animals -j.s. foer


the organic debate

plant a seed and watch it grow

. . . . . . “one cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.�

virginia wolf

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