Posts Tagged ‘Recipes’

Rice, we’re over. Cavena Nuda Je t’aime.

I confess – we eat rice.

Rice straight from the Bulk Barn.  Not straight from the rice fields, but from the truck that travels thousands of miles from the port in the US where it met the tanker that had crossed the ocean after it met more trucks in the harbour where it came from.  Straight from unsustainably managed rice fields somewhere out there where a farmer is just trying to feed his family.  Even worse, we love white rice.  Sticky white basmati rice.  While I keep a supply of what is touted as a healthier choice, brown basmati, on hand also, neither are remotely local and if I want organic, I’m bound to buying some form of plastic packaging.

With (purchasing) power comes great responsibility.

For the most part, I’ve played the ignorant card when buying rice, justifying it because well, everyone else eats it and if I have things on hand that Dylan enjoys, such as rice, he’s less likely to say “Pita Pit?” when brainstorming dinner ideas.  But rice, you’ve been replaced (it may be more of a gradual phasing out, and I make no claim to perfection).  Welcome Cavena Nuda. Je t’aime.  I first found you in the bulk barn flyer, labelled “New! Rice of the Prairies” and the possibility of a rice from Canada made me have to try you!   A “hull-less” oat that cooks just like brown rice, cavena nuda is a nutty grain that cooks al dente and is amazing in many dishes because it holds up very well.  I may be late for the cavena nuda train because apparently it was on Dragon’s Den, but I bet there are many people out there who have yet to hear about it.  I can’t remember all the ways that I’ve used it, but the other night I added some garlic scape pesto, basil, steamed beans (all from the garden), and some canned Ontario tomatoes and wow!

Here’s another fresh spring meal that we had, pretty much simple rice (eek) pasta with a simple home-made sauce of garlic, onions and canned tomatoes, made so fresh with herbs from the garden!

And here are our watermelon radishes that have been great additions to potato salads, beet salads and sandwiches…

Having vegetables right in our backyard has been the highlight of my summer!  No more ethical dilemmas at the grocery store, no more debates at farmer’s markets and lots more fresh, local, organic veggies!



I picked up some Canadian grown french lentils at the 100 Mile Market last week and wanted to put them to proper use.  Before I tell you about Mujadara, I will share that according to, Canada is the largest exporter of lentils and peas, and I have a hard time finding Canadian grown lentils and peas.  On top of that, apparently Ontario has a huge kidney bean crop, yet any dried or canned bean I source is “prepared for x company”, making it obvious that the beans are not from around here. sigh. Another symptom of a system gone wrong.

Anyhow, on a lighter note, this dish was super cheap, easy and made for scrumptious leftovers!  Stamped and approved by the carnivore of the house too.  He was very full after the meal and was pleased and surprised by it.  We didn’t have onions when I came across it, and I almost was going to try it without them.  That would’ve been a terrible mistake. The caramelized onions are absolutely essential!  They make every bit perfectly well rounded with their smoky and sweet flavour.  Let me know if you try it out (especially because it can be likely made “locally” in many global places!…fyi: It’s a middle eastern dish).

Recipe and photo credit:


2 large sweet white onions, thinly sliced
2 tbl butter
2 tbl vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups brown or green lentils (not red lentils or french lentils!)
2 cups long grain white rice
3-4 cardamom pods
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste
splash of good olive oil
optional: plain thick yogurt for serving

1. Melt the butter along with the oil and a pinch of salt in your largest skillet, and add the onions. Set heat on medium-low and stir occasionally until very soft, about 30 minutes. Turn heat to medium high and keep cooking and stirring often until deeply browned and sweet, another 20 minutes or more. Deglaze the pan with a splash of water (or more untraditionally white wine), stir and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, cook the rice and lentils separately according to the package directions. Add the cardamom pods to the rice pot while cooking, then discard when done. The lentils should be tender but not smushy or soupy, they should retain their shape.

3. Combine rice, lentils, half the caramelized onions, cinnamon, cumin, salt and pepper in a large pot. Add about half a cup of water and the olive oil and heat everything together until fragrent, warm and combined.

4. Place mujadara in serving dish. Scatter remaining caramelized onions over top. You can also decorate with some toasted pine nuts or chopped parsley. Serve, with plain thick yogurt on the side if desired.

Parsnip and Red Fife Bread

This recipe, originally from a CBC article, worked really well!  Like 100% better than anything I’ve tried to hide red fife flour in.  It turned out rather like muffins, so like any good home-made muffin, slap some butter on it and mmm.  Next time I would add raisins, or maybe even a blend of carrots and parsnips, and I’m planning to splurge on some cardamom.  I don’t know Evelyn – but thank you!

Evelyn’s Parsnip Red Fife quick bread:
Yield: 2 9×4 loaves

4 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cup kefir or yogurt, full-fat
2 1/2 c. Red fife whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 cup finely shredded parsnips
8 T melted unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 350F.

Butter and flour two loaf pans
In a large bowl, add eggs, sugar, kefir and mix well. Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl and add to the egg mixture. Stir in the parsnips and melted butter.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until loaf starts to pull away from the pan and feels firm to touch.

In the gypsie pot lately…