Archives for posts with tag: Spinach

a participant during Nuit Blanche in Griffintown trys out Snow Painting

This past weekend during the Montreal High Lights Festival, we participated in Nuit Blanche in the Griffintown Cultural Corridor. It was a great deal of fun to put our recent experiments in Herbal Snow Painting to the test.

Despite the cold, we had many keen public participants join us in creating some snow paintings!

the first image was a tree with robins on a hill

We began the day with a large canvas; on this we painted a tree and birds using alkanet and plantain, cabbage, nettles, blueberry, turmeric, coffee, beets, and hibiscus. We moved the activity along the expanse of our large snow-hill, stenciling some simple leaf-shapes in amongst the poles and pilons that poked up through the snow. This intervention would hopefully give people pause on their daily walks.

The Community Participation area was a lot of fun to fill with boldly painted graphic designs.

a participant paints a snowy garden

There was a little shed at the end of this (regularly a parking lot) space, and it housed a fibre arts installation. The fibre artists in this shed were a little frustrated that people were not making their way to their exhibit, so we went about remedying that problem.

leaves amongst the poles

Patterned, stenciled leaves, boldly painted arrows, and beautiful colours glowing in the snow enticed people to enter this parking-lot space. They could see that it wasn’t just barren and empty; it was alive and vibrant with activity, colour, and interesting smells!

Tammy used a delicate touch to pour elderberries, then sprayed hibiscus... a dash of Love

We encouraged people to try out snow painting for themselves, and we had many takers. Some very beautiful temporary paintings were made that day, and we took great joy in documenting the activity.

an herbal graffitist...

We will be continuing with our Snow Paintings. We will paint around the city, and host some workshops on the subject in the very near future (before the snow melts!)

One concern we have with sharing the work in public, is that unsuspecting people might assume that the work was made with toxic spraypaints. To deal with this, in the future we will tag our creations with a stenciled “fleurbain” signature, and the words “herbal pigments”.

Hopefully over time people will recognise this means that the pigments we use are not only non-toxic and natural, but are even downright edible.

dribbled heart

Keep your eyes open, Montreal, for renegade Snow Paintings… and keep your eyes on our Workshops Page for upcoming events!

To see the full album of photos from this day, go to our facebook page.

spiral and leaves

universal herbalism

pilon button

the impermanence of plant pigments on snow contrast well with the bright lights of an electric city

tasting the paint... normally you can't do this with paint.

Natasha Henderson and Tammy Schmidt, Montreal

not seaweed. not white rice.

Last night I really wanted to eat something cute for supper, while at the same time using up things from my pantry and freezer. I don’t know why I felt compelled to eat something cute, but such is life. I decided to make “sushi” out of brown rice, potatoes, eggs, frozen spinach, and a bit of avocado. I like normal sushi, but I don’t have seaweed (though I like it) nor did I feel like making and eating white rice (though I’d have eaten it gladly if someone else had made it) and I didn’t have wasabi nor pickled ginger nor soy sauce. Oh, and I don’t have a sushi mat.

Having recently been inspired by making “fake sushi” out of felt, I thought why not use my own ingredients to make edible, fake sushi? Something formed like sushi, that looks (possibly) a little like sushi, but certainly isn’t sushi…

To start, I boiled up some brown rice… about a cup or so. While it was finishing up, I added in two small, sliced potatoes. This was to make a starchy mash. I boiled this for a few minutes, then just covered and let stand for about ten minutes.

chopped up, rolled fake sushi is ready for the oven

In the meantime, I also boiled a few little frozen-spinach pucks. You could use about a half block of frozen spinach, if that is how your frozen spinach is sold to you. Once it had loosened, I placed it in a casserole dish. Then I cracked a couple of eggs into this dish, and stirred it around with the spinach. I pressed this down with a fork (yes, and my hands too), then popped it into the oven (about 350 F) for fifteen minutes.

I used this spinach/egg combo as my “seaweed”. I took it out of the oven, loosened the base with a spatula, and let it cool a little. Then I spooned some of the smushed-up potato/rice blend onto the half closest to me. On top of that, I laid out some thin slices of avocado.

Next, I rolled up this “sushi”. I popped it back into the oven. I cooked it for about five minutes in roll format, then took it out again to slice it into little rolls. I then placed them flat in the casserole dish, and baked an additional thirty minutes or so.

edibly delicious

This was quite delicious, however it honestly could have used a little sauce, home-made ketchup, or chutney. For a very late Monday night meal it did, however, completely fill the bill! Leftover mashed potato/rice and avocado worked deliciously scrambled into eggs the next morning. For the breakfast mash I added a large amount of chili powder and pepper, and this was so good that next time I will try this blend in the “sushi” too.

Natasha Henderson, Montreal

Curly kale

curly kale

It is such a shame to spend money on tender greens, then take them home and find out that they froze on the way back from the store.  After many years of experiencing this, I now use a variety of foods, other than baby salad greens, to get greens in the winter. Here is a short list of ones that I like.

Tough Leaves. Kale is one of my favourites.  It can be stir fried, steamed, or made into some of the best chips.  Black kale is more tender and can be used in salads.  Collards and cabbage are also great.  Rapini and Romaine lettuce can often make it home, no problem.

Nutritive Teas such as Nettles. Nettles can also be powdered and mixed with smoothies and food.  Matcha green tea is another good option.

Hearty Herbs. I love adding fresh flat leafed parsley to foods.  Usually, it makes it home without freezing.  Yes, it would be bleak to only rely on dried herbs, but I consider herbs, even if they are dried, to be a source of greens.  Herbs preserved in salt are also a source of greens, but obviously they can not be the only source without over doing it on salt.

Seaweed. I love little snippets of seaweed added to all kinds of foods; pizza, salad, soup, rice or other grains.  Sometimes I will add bits of Laver, a wild Atlantic Nori, to a trailmix or I will eat it like chips.  Alaria, a wild Atlantic Wakame, can be added to salads or soups.  Dulse is nice on pizza, mixed with salsa, or in sandwiches.  Kelp chips are fun.  Kelp can also be added to rice, beans or soups.

Frozen Spinach.  At my local grocery store, I can pick-up spinach that is frozen into little individually portioned “spinach pucks.”  I quickly thaw out and use these pucks in dishes.  I add them to fried shallots and eggs to make a nice plate of green eggs in the morning.

Lactofermented Cabbage and Other Veg.  In small portions, this will aid digestion, and it adds a little something extra to a meal.  If you are looking for a great book on fermentation, check out Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz.  This is an awesome , well researched and easy to follow book on fermentation.

Sprouts. I love sunflower sprouts and I am told that they are really easy to grow.  I would like to try sprouting these this winter.

Greens powder. This has got to be my least favourite, but I will take them from time to time.  Many people claim to have good results with green powders, especially when they take them on a regular basis.

Tammy Schmidt, Montreal

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