Sourdough at Haines Junction Yukon Territory – photo credit – Karen Anderson
Keeping a sourdough starter requires some planning and dedication but for those that love the tangy taste, crumb infiltrated with air pockets and a thin but firm crust, it’s definitely worth the bother. This post will share some of the history and technique involved in building your own sourdough starter. Continue reading
No Knead Bread is not new. It became famous when Mark Bittman wrote a New York Times article about it a decade ago in 2006. I’m going to talk about the recent comeback of bread’s popularity and the rise of sourdough breads in this post “wheat belly” era for my CBC Alberta at Noon column tomorrow. But, after researching sourdough I know the art of working with this living breathing organism will not be for everyone so that’s why I’m posting two simple No Knead Bread recipes here. Give the dough lots of time to rise and the yeast will have time to begin digesting the sugar and proteins in the flour for you.
No Knead Breads are definitely something anyone can do and most importantly – enjoy! Continue reading
Polenta Lasagna – photo credit – Karen Anderson
This month on CBC Radio One’s Alberta at Noon I’ll be talking about the importance of cooking skills for children. I believe cooking is a basic life skill that determines how healthy an individual and in turn a family will be.
A lack of ability to cook from scratch leads to a life dependent on processed foods. Processed foods are more likely to contain excess salt, sugar and food additives and a diet filled with processed foods is more likely to cause obesity.
Harvard University says the health consequences of obesity include heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, asthma, some cancers, susceptibility to depression due to discrimination and the emotional impact of that. Thirty per cent of youth are now obese.
We are three generations since the norm was a stay at home homemaker and cook for each family. Many parents (let alone their children) lack cooking skills beyond reheating, microwaving and combining packaged foods. Women in the 1960s were told cooking was a chore and they needed to be emancipated from the kitchen. Women did go out to work but instead of “freedom” they now work outside the home and still do the majority of household work as well. Equal partnerships are slow to evolve. Reframing cooking as a family activity and a creative way to nurture, care and ensure health for ourselves and our children could go a long way to correcting our society’s obesity epidemic.
I developed the Polenta lasagna recipe in this post to act as a cooking skills bridge from reliance on highly processed packaged food to cooking with healthier choices. The result is a fun assembly of quality ingredients with delicious results. Older children can make it on their own. Parents and younger children can make this together. Continue reading
Getting to know pulses – photo credit – Karen Anderson
My last CBC radio Alberta at Noon column was all about pulses (peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas). You can check the podcast out here. I’m out at the 10:25 mark in the show.
The United Nations declared 2016 The International Year of Pulses (IYP) because pulses are good for people, for soil and for the world. You can get involved in IYP by taking a pledge to eat pulses at least once a week for 10 weeks.
I decided to do this and once I started to pay attention I realized that I’ve already been eating peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas more than weekly for some time. It’s actually a lot easier than you might think.
I hope you’ll give the pulse pledge a try and to encourage you, this post shares two of my favourite pulse recipes – Mixed Vegetable Bhajias (pakoras) made with chickpea flour and Bharazi – pigeon peas in coconut cream. Both recipes are from the cookbook I co-authored with my beloved mentor Noorbanu Nimji called A Spicy Touch – Family Favourites from Noorbanu Nimji’s Kitchen. I’m thrilled to tell you that our beautiful 320 page cookbook just won an IPPY Silver Medal the Independent Publishers Book Awards based out of the United States and representing the English-speaking world.
There are a dozens of recipes in the book that include pulses or flour made from pulses. I hope you’ll enjoy the two I share here. Continue reading
Best Bran Muffins
Best Bran Muffins – photo credit – Karen Anderson
This is a recipe I’ve been testing for years. I’ve varied many aspects and have tried butter, coconut oil, agave nectar, cane sugar, no spicing, spicing, different flours and fruits but I’ve finally decided that this is my best bran muffin. I hope you enjoy the recipe that follows. A cup of tea and a good muffin in the morning is a great way to savour it all. Continue reading