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I have a recipe that will add such deliciousness and ease to your day.

It is a quick tomato sauce with incredible tang and richness and it was given to me by my yoga instructor and friend who is committed to helping the world stress less, Chitra.

The tomato sauce recipe is as simple as this.

  • Pour a nice amount, like 1 tablespoon, of olive oil in a pan over medium heat.
  • Add a little garlic and gently brown.
  • As the garlic is browning, slice cherry tomatoes in half.  Put a little X at the round end of each half, if you want.  Place each tomato cut side down in the pan.
  • Add a little fresh or dried rosemary.  Allow to quickly simmer into a delicious sauce.  Add a little salt and pepper to taste.
  • A couple ways to use this sauce include; in a toasted baguette with cheese or over roast vegetables, such as cauliflower.
Thank-you, Chitra!  Peace and Namaste.

chill cat

Tammy Schmidt, Montreal

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chicken, sprouts, cheese, and extra flavours

I like to eat well. Every couple of weeks I make a chicken, I buy (and sometimes take the time to grow) organic sprouts. I prefer unpasteurised cheese (less processing and better flavour!) I am trying to avoid the mysterious ingredients and priciness of restaurant or take-out foods. No I am not perfect, and too often enjoy indulgences, but for day-to-day living this plan has been working for me.

delicious and convenient

 For my typical busily scheduled day, this lunch is about as perfect as a lunch can get:

Layer in a glass jar:

  • pieces of boneless chicken
  • sprouts (or other salad greens, should you have them)
  • pieces of tasty cheese
  • a glob of mustard
  • about two tablespoons of olive oil and balsamic or red wine vinegar
  • sprinkle of salt, pepper, dill

Close up, shake around as much as you wish, and take with a fork to eat later. Mmm…

Natasha Henderson, Montreal

Fleurbain is under construction. Fleurbain is moving… moving in, setting up shop, shifting around, clarifying, distilling, and experimenting to compound our knowledge and expertise.

Fleurbain is no longer only a dream and a website… Fleurbain is a site.

We will have a grand ouverture and vernissage soon (probably in early November), but in the meantime we will have small open-houses, host workshops, and meet with our clientelle in the realms of herbalism and art. In coming weeks we will announce regular opening hours, but for now we are available by appointment.

Tammy Schmidt, Clinical Herbal Therapist, is available for appointments through tammy.schmidt.herbalist (at) gmail.com and Natasha Henderson Artist and felt-making crafty Workshop Instructor is available through nhen@videotron.ca. We can both be reached through fleurbain@gmail.com!

See you soon, Montreal!

Tammy Schmidt and Natasha Henderson, Montreal

©2011 Julie Webb

Our friend Julie Webb is a brilliant researcher of vegan recipes who often makes insightful modifications to these delicious vegan formulas she finds on various blogs and in great recipe books.

One of her latest endeavours that I was able to sample was a simple chocolate truffle made without sugar.  It was perfect!

 

the simple ingredients you need to create deliciousness ©2011 Julie Webb

Chocolate Date Truffles:

1 1/2 cups dates, pitted and soaked in hot water until soft (15 minutes or so)

1 1/2 cups almonds

1/4 cup unsweetened, fair trade cocoa powder

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped

1 cup shredded coconut

  • Chop 1 cup of the nuts into small pieces and set aside

    ©2011 Julie Webb

  • Place remaining 1/2 cup of nuts in a food processor and grind to a powder.
  • Drain dates, add them to nut powder and process until thoroughly mixed.
  • Add cocoa, vanilla and ginger. Process until well blended.
  • Stir mixture into chopped nuts.
  • Roll 1 inch balls between your hands and then roll them in coconut.
  • Place on a lined plate or container and refrigerate until ready to use.

Recipe makes about 15-20 truffles.

If the mixture is too soft and sticky to roll, pop it into the fridge for half an hour and it should be easier to work with. Feel free to experiment with the type of nuts you use (walnuts make a great substitute), and different add-ins such as chopped dried fruit or even a pinch of cayenne pepper for a fiery kick.

Chocolate Date Truffles are excellent for an afternoon pick-me-up or to share with friends at a picnic. They also make a perfect ending to a romantic dinner!

This recipe was inspired by one in Robin Robertson’s Vegan Planet.

Recently, circumstances conspired so that I had the means to create a new recipe, using ingredients I don’t usually have on hand. I had a package of thawed smoked salmon (thank you, friend who moved and cleaned out her freezer into mine!) The other day I noticed that goat’s cheese was on sale at my local supermarket. I had some fresh dill-infused olive oil leftover from a salad dressing from a few nights ago. Grape leaves are easily available at my local Community Gardens. Naturally, thinking of these ingredients, I made some Altered Dolmades.

I have never made a dolmade before, but from my fully adequate experience in eating them, I know they usually have rice inside. I am trying to eat fewer carbohydrates, so I thought to replace the rice with cheese. Yes!

rolling up the yumminess

So, here is a delicious treat to fix up in very little time. Please note everything is changeable, and you can add anything you want (hot peppers, olives, capers, other cheeses, little bits of bacon…) If you like your rice, you could mix some cooked brown or white rice into the cheese mixture. One thing I really wish I’d had for this was some lemon. I would have squirted it overtop before baking…

*Cheese mix: 1 tube of goat cheese (I used “herbed”), two sprigs of green onions chopped up fine, two tablespoons of crushed almonds, a sprinkle of salt

*Olive oil/dill mix: a couple of sprigs of Dill, settled into a small bowl (about 1/4 cup) of olive oil, and a few grinds of pepper. (Please note in the photographs, I’d used too much oil. Try about 1/4 cup, or even a little less.)

*1 small packet of wild smoked salmon, thin slices

*about 20-30 grape leaves (smaller ones, still clear and bright in colour and translucency)

METHOD: I laid out the grape leaves so that about four to six of them were on my work surface, overlapping. I then took a piece of the fish, and rolled it around a spoonful of the cheese mixture. Then I blobbed a little more of the cheese mixture onto the outside of this fish-tube, and rolled it up in the grapeleaves.

I used a little casserole dish to lay them out in. Once then were all there (I had enough to make about six dolmades) I drizzled the olive oil/dill overtop.

I used the leftover oil afterwards for yet more salad dressing.

BAKE in a moderate oven ’til done (about half an hour? or more or less… everything is edible raw so you can’t undercook.) When I say done, I mean the smell is unbearably delicious, and the grapeleaves are very dark.

If I’d had any leftover grapeleaves, I’d have simply added them to my salad.

I’ll be doing this one again!

Natasha Henderson, Montreal

I don’t need no ice cream maker! I don’t need no dairy!

Chocolate Ice Cream

2 cups organic coconut milk

1 cup unsweetened chocolate almond milk

1-3 tablespoons sugar (I use very little, not even a tablespoon)

200 grams dark fair trade chocolate, snapped into pieces (I used Cémoi dessert chocolate)

2 eggs, whisked

1 tablespoon of excellent homemade vanilla

1.  Pour the coconut milk, almond milk and sugar into a sauce pan and slowly bring to a boil.  Stir as it comes to the boiling point.

2.  Take the saucepan off the heat, add the chocolate and whisk until smooth.

3.  Add the whisked eggs and vanilla to the pan and continue to whisk until smooth.

4.  Return to medium low heat, stir gently and allow the custard to thicken until it will coat the back of a spoon.  What does this mean?  Well, at one point it will thicken so much that you notice a difference in how much can coat the back of a spoon.  Depending upon how hot your element is, this should take 10 – 15 minutes.  It is important to make sure that the custard does NOT to come to a boil otherwise you will have something the texture of porridge instead of a nice smooth custard.

5.  Pour into jars with straight sides, leaving room for expansion as it freezes.  Place into the freezer with the lids off.  Allow to freeze, then put the lids on.

6.  Like any good old fashioned ice cream, allow to sit on the counter for 10 minutes before enjoying with seasonally delicious fresh fruit.  Or enjoy this beside a fruity sorbet.

this is chocolate pudding made with coconut milk. like magic, after an hour in the freezer, it will become ice cream!

* if you use more chocolate, like up to 300 grams, the ice cream is very thick and there are no ice crystals to it.  If you use less chocolate, like 100 grams, and therefore have less fat in the mix, the ice cream has a much more icy crystal texture.

Tammy Schmidt, Montreal

brilliant echinacea flowers in front of a nice patch of mint

Is mint taking over your garden?  Here is one way to use it up.

* Take a good fist full of mint from the garden
* Coarsely chop it with scissors and put the mint into a shaker or jar
* Add a little gin to the shaker. Add 3 ice cubes and juice of a lime
* Shake vigorously to bruise the mint. Allow to sit and infuse as long as you can stand (at least 2 minutes)
* Strain into a glass filled with ice
* Top with tonic water or sparkling water, stir, voila!

Tammy Schmidt, Montreal

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