Raw Cherry Lemon Crumble

It is 7AM and I am sitting, curled in a big, cozy blanket on the couch, drinking tea and writing to you. I like these moments, when the house is still quiet and the early bustlings of morning can just be heard through the windows that overlook a small, residential street. I hear the beeping of car doors being locked, and the muffled shuffle of footsteps from next door. A train passes by and the subtle rumble of the tracks makes me look up, curious about the passengers making their morning commute by my living room window. The light floods across the large, open space, catching a chair here, the edge of a rug there, spots that light up as the sun makes its passage into the sky. 

The heat of the past few weeks has made porch hangs and iced drinks the ideal around here. I am trying to stay cool, calm, trying to forgive myself imperfections and let down my own ideas of how I should be. I find it is easy for me to be extra hard on my body in these days when everyone seems to be showing more skin and there are seemingly millions of people to compare myself to. I am trying not to, but sometimes it can be hard. I've started listening to more body positivity podcasts and trying to have an open dialogue with friends about how we feel in our own selves. It is good, I think it helps. 

This recipe came about kind of by accident. It was actually a mistake, but I am all for embracing those these days and honestly? It turned out amazing! I wanted to make a kind of crumble bar. Something that would set in the fridge and could be cut into little squares. This raw crumble dessert is what I found when I pulled it out of the fridge, and it was just too good not to share with you folks. The crumble has a creamy dreamy pecan and date crust, followed by the gooey sweet/tartness of the muddled cherries, and finally a rich and zesty crumble topping that had me eating straighttt out of the food processor. I am hesitant to turn the oven on in this hot weather, and have been craving fresher lighter foods anyways. This crumble does it all. Eat it for breakfast, afternoon snack, or sweet evening treat. It is everything you could possibly want, with a cherry on top (hehe I had to). Love you babes <3 

raw cherry lemon crumble 

Makes an 8x8 square pan of crumble - you could easily make it in another equivalent sized dish of a different shape

Serves about six people (or if you are like us, two people over a few days!)

The instructions for this recipe look long, but it is really just three steps in the food processor (and you don't even need to wash it in between). It comes together in under 30 minutes. 

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Ingredients

Crust

  • 2 cups raw pecans
  • 1 cup medjool dates, pitted
  • pinch of sea salt 

Filling

  • 2 cups pitted cherries, divided
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Crumble Topping

  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour 
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest, divided 

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Notes

Line an 8x8 baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.

To make the crust add the dates to a food processor and process until the dates form a large, sticky ball that won't seperate. Remove the date ball from the food processor and add the pecans. Process the pecans into a course flour. Begin to add small tbsp sized pieces of the sticky dates into the food processor while it is running through the stem at the top. Keep adding until all of the dates are in there. Process for a little longer until a sticky dough is formed. You should be able to press the dough between your fingers and have it keep shape. Press the dough into the prepared pan, using the heal of your hand to even it out. Set aside (if it is hot in your kitchen you can set it in the fridge). 

To make the crumble topping, add the oats to the bowl of your food processor (there is no need to rinse your food processor after making the crust). Pulse until a course flour is formed. Add in the rest of the ingredients, plus 1 tsp of the lemon zest. Pulse until a crumbly mixture is achieved. If it feels too dry you can add an extra tbsp of coconut oil, although I found 4 tbsp was perfect for richness and crumb. Set mixture aside in a bowl. 

Wipe out the crumbs from the food processor, but don't worry about washing it. Add 1 cup of the pitted cherries and the lemon juice to your blender and process until smoothish (I like it to be slightly textured). Pour the cherry filing over the crust in your baking pan. Next, add the second cup of pitted cherries on top of the processed cherries in the baking pan. I squished some of them between my fingers as I added them, but left most relatively intact. Finish by evenly distributing the crumble topping over the cherries, and sprinkling the remaining lemon zest over the top. Serve! Will keep for about 3 - 4 days in the fridge in an airtight container. 

Miso Chocolate Fudge Popsicles

This post was created in partnership with Amano Foods

Lately, I've been thinking about the idea of permanence. Permanence in relation to people, to places, and to the ideas we create about the world and our surroundings. I think it is easy to make a web that kind of secures everything you know into place - not that every day becomes a routine, but there is a sense of security in knowing the general boundaries of what you can and need to do. I think this also draws a parallel to the sense of home, and what that means to each person. I recently read a blog post by my friend Sarah of Well and Full, and she was writing about a post she had just read, and it got me thinking about how so many of us share this longing for stability and familiarity and a sense of ease. I certainly feel lucky and extremely privileged to be able to call so many places home, and I will always be grateful for that, but I think the feeling I am trying to explain comes in tandem with a safe space and hot food. It is an intangible feeling, like some kind of internal compass, that tells you, yes, this is my place. Returning to my original thoughts of permanence, I stand firmly on the side of home dweller. That doesn't mean I don't also crave adventure, it is just that when the day is over I crave my couch, cup of hot tea, book, movie, etc. I was looking over some of my older blog posts the other day and I stumbled across this one. It made me happy to read, but also sad in a way. I miss Montreal, I miss my apartment and the home that Sebastian and I had created there. I know it is still waiting for me to return to it in September, and I couldn't be more excited to see it again. Moving is always a bittersweet thing for me, but I feel so lucky to have my web of homes that extend further than physical space, and for that I will be eternally grateful. 

Phew. Well I am glad that I was able to somehow pin down those feelings and share them, but now... POPSICLES! I was so inspired by popsicle week and everyone's amazing creations that I decided I had to create my own. I know you might be skeptical of miso in a popsicle, but I am telling you, it works! It better than works ;) . These took a few tries to get right, but I finally found the perfect balance between too fudgey to get out of the popsicle molds, and fudgey enough that you can convincingly call them fudgesicles. I used Amano Foods' Genmai Miso in these and it was fantastic. Before I ever connected with Amano, I always had at least one container of their miso in my fridge and I can without a doubt say that it is my favourite. 

Lastly, the Saveur 2016 Blog Awards are here! I have already nominated so many of my favourite bloggers, and will continue to do so until the deadline! If you like the things I've shared over this past year, feel free to give me a nomination for the Best New Voice category (or whichever category you would most like to). It would mean the world to me <3 

miso chocolate fudge popsicles

Makes 10 popsicles (with this popsicle mold)!

If you have extra popsicle mix, you can pour it into a shallow glass container or bowl and set it in the fridge overnight. It turns into a super creamy and delicious mousse! 

*This post is sponsored by Amano Foods. All opinions are my own and I think that their products and company are totally awesome! 

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 6 hours 
  • 1 cup coconut cream (or coconut milk)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 - 2 tbsp Genmai Miso (or miso of your choice) 
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup cocoa or cacao powder
  • 1/3 bar finely chopped dark chocolate 

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Notes

Combine all ingredients in an upright blender and blend on high for about a minute (or until completely smooth). Pour the mixture into the popsicle molds and place in the freezer for at least 6 hours, but recommended overnight. Enjoy!

Baked Rosemary Chickpea Patties w/ Creamy Avocado Dressing

Well heyyy there. I am currently sitting on the couch in a haze of sleepiness (yes it is ONLY 10:30pm) and watching Louie while trying to stay awake and write this blog post. I am not really sure why I feel so low energy today, maybe because I am getting my period soon or maybe because I spent three hours last night in driving school class (UGH), OR maybe it is just the heat. Whatever the reason, I'm gonna keep this short because my eyes are closing a little more with each word I type.

I feel like I am reaching that predictable point in the summer where I begin to feel restless. Working a summer job as a student when you KNOW that you are only there very temporarily can start to feel a bit monotonous. There is a clear end goal but no source of excitement or progress. I guess I've started to feel a little melty, like the parts of my brain that were so engaged during the school year have kind of slid out of place. I know I can still access that knowledge, but it feels distant right now. Not to say that I never feel frustrated during school, but this particular state of stasis is leaving me feeling a little dull.

On a high note, I have started doing a grade 11 high school chemistry class online to make up for science credits I didn't do in high school. I've been thinking a lot about going into health care when I am done my degree, and now is the time to start catching up on what I missed. It feels really good to have a study routine again (even if it is just starting out). I love the feeling of bringing just my computer, notebook, and pencil to a cafe and really, truly focussing on the work I have before me. I am really enjoying the course so far, I will keep you updated!

Before I say goodnight... THIS RECIPE! I am super stoked about these patties. They are lemony, garlicky, SO SIMPLE, and crazy delicious. I am really into simple but filling salad-y type meals right now, and this just hits the spot. Try it out babes! Love you xxxxxxxxxx

baked rosemary chickpea patties w/ creamy avocado dressing

Serves four - This is really just for the patties as the other ingredients can easily be prepared per bowl made.

Make sure to save the liquid in the can of chickpeas (aquafaba) to use in the recipe. You can drain the can into a bowl to save the liquid, and rinse the chickpeas if you want to (I didn't rinse mine). 

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Ingredients

Rosemary Chickpea Patties

  • 1 can chickpeas (28 oz)
  • 6 tbsp aquafaba (as mentioned above)
  • 1/3 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats (GF if needed)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast 
  • 1 tsp turmeric 
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika 
  • 2 - 3 sprigs rosemary, stems discarded 
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 2 cloves garlic 

Creamy Avocado Dressing

  • 2 ripe avocados 
  • juice of 2 lemons 
  • 2 cloves garlic 
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 

To Serve (per bowl)

  • a handful of spinach 
  • 2 sliced radishes 
  • chopped pecans or cashews
  • sliced green onions 

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Notes

Preheat oven to 400 and line a large baking tray with parchment paper. Set aside. 

To make the patties combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend on high until smooth. Make 3 - 4 tbsp sized balls of dough and press them down onto the parchment paper lined sheet so that they form round flattish discs. They won't expand while baking so you can place them pretty close together (I think I did 6 per sheet but you could probably do 8). Drizzle olive oil over the tops of the patties and then bake for 15 - 20 minutes. Flip the patties at the halfway point and drizzle more olive oil on the tops. Bake until golden brown and slightly firm. Set aside to cool. 

To make the sauce combine all of the ingredients in a high powered blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.

To serve, place a generous handful of spinach in each bowl and two patties stacked up along the side. Top with sliced radishes, chopped nuts, sliced green onions, and avocado dressing. The patties are best when fresh, but the dough can keep in the fridge for up to a week. 

Roasted Vegetable Pasta w/ Lemony Shallot Oil Sauce

This pasta was born on a road trip. And when I say that, what I really mean is that after about six hours of driving I looked over to my friend Adam and said, "What should I make for my blog this week?" And he told me about this shallot oil dressing that he had at his work, and I thought roasted veggies, and then it all sort of came together. Probably in about three minutes. I actually meant to make this last week when I got back from Bonnaroo, but of course what with hanging up wet tarps and feeling a lil sad about missing my new pals, actually cooking anything was pretty much out of the question. Now that tarps and dusty clothes seem to have dissipated slightly from my life, I am getting back on the recipe testing train (train?) and trying to find my groove. 

Kind of a side note, but is summer not just the best thing? The other night I had an earl grey sour cocktail (YEAA) and then lay on the grass with my friend and just watched the stars and talked. I really do love that I get to experience all four seasons where I live, but this year summer seems to be extra magical and constantly keeping me on my toes searching for new adventures <3 

Anyways, I am so glad that I finally did make this pasta because it is one of my favourite pasta recipes I have ever made. It has this deep richness from the shallot oil, just the perfect zing from the lemon juice, and a creamy almost sweet base from the dijon mustard. It is such a perfect summer dish because you can totally pack it up and take it to the park for a picnic, or just have it with a cold drink after a long day of work. I hope you love it as much as I do, and if you make any of my recipes you should totally tag @spiceandsprout so I can see! Love ya xo 

roasted vegetable pasta w/ lemony shallot oil sauce

Serves 4

One of my favourite things about this pasta is that you can substitute most of it for what is in your fridge. The eggplant and tomatoes can easily be subbed out for different or more veggies, and the type of pasta you use is completely dependant on your preference! 

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Ingredients

Pasta

  • 1 package gemelli pasta (454 g) 
  • 2 small eggplants (whichever variety you have/like)
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 3 - 4 sprigs fresh basil, washed and roughly chopped
  • olive oil, salt, and pepper for roasting

Lemony Shallot Oil Sauce

  • 4 shallots, diced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste 

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Notes

Preheat your bbq to 500 (if using an oven 400 or 450 will work, but cooking times may vary slightly). 

Slice your eggplant lengthwise into 1/4 - 1/2 inch slices. Drizzle each slice with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place all of the cherry tomatoes onto a baking sheet or any pan with raised sides. Lay each piece of eggplant onto the bbq (as pictured above) and place the pan with the cherry tomatoes onto the grill if you have room (if not you can cook them after the eggplant). Roast for 5 minutes with the bbq closed and then flip each piece of eggplant, they should have dark grill marks on one side now. Roast for another 5 minutes and then remove from the grill. They should be pretty dark and crispy looking, with nice grill marks across both sides. Slice the eggplant into thin strips and set aside. Cook the cherry tomatoes for a total of 10 minutes, moving them around the pan at the halfway mark. Set aside.

While the vegetables are roasting, cook the pasta and make the sauce. Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the pasta as per instructions on the package. In a medium sized cast iron pan, heat the 1/4 cup of olive oil over low-medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the diced shallots and stir continuously for 5 minutes, or until the shallots start to turn a golden brown. Remove from heat and pour the shallots and oil into a high speed blender. Add the lemon juice, dijon, salt and pepper, and blend on high until smooth. 

To assemble toss together the pasta, roasted vegetables, shallot oil sauce, and fresh basil. Serve immediately! It will last in the fridge for about 3 - 4 days. 

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Spicy Sesame Cucumber Noodles w/ Mango + Black Beans

Baaaaaaabes! How are you? It has been a while. I've been off adventuring and having one of the best times of my life! I don't really know how to start. Bonnaroo has been a life changing experience, but I think when I say that the realness of the experience gets a bit lost. Saying that a music festival changed your life can come off as a little flaky, or just a bit bullshitty. The thing is, and any of you roo goers out there will understand me, it is just completely magical and filled with so much happiness and friendship and love. I can say with complete confidence that I have never been in a situation that is so filled with people who want OTHER people to be as happy as they are. I don't think I can detail the whole trip here, and besides, the actual everyday activities and shows aren't what I will hold with me. It is the friendships I made and every person who I shared a smile with that will keep that positivity radiating through me until I make it back to the farm. 

I am going to keep it short today because to be honest, I am feeling a little deflated. I spent eight days travelling across the country (well Canada and the U.S.), camping in a field, dancing with new friends, listening to music, and loving everything. Coming home is amazing because it brings me back to my loved ones, clean clothes, a bed, and a shower, but there is a definite feeling of sadness permeating the comforts. I made this dish last night when I got home, and I really want to share it with everyone - to Zeke and Adam who brought me along on this crazy adventure, to all of my new friends who (fingers crossed) I will get to see again next year, to everyone at Bonnaroo because you are all awesome, to YOU all of my readers for sticking it out here and always being lovely, and of course to Sebastian who has patiently listened to all of my stories again and again and again xo 

spicy sesame cucumber noodles w/ mango + black beans

Serves two as a main and four as a side

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Ingredients

Noodles

  • 2 large cucumbers, spiralized
  • 2 mangoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 can of black beans (15 oz), drained and rinsed 

Spicy Sauce

  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1.5 tbsp sriracha 
  • 1 tbsp miso
  • 1 tsp maple syrup

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Notes

To make the sauce combine all of the ingredients in a jar and shake until smooth and combined. Set aside. 

In a large bowl toss together the spiralized cucumber noodles, mango slices, and beans. Toss with as much sauce as desired (you will likely have leftover sauce) and serve! It is best when fresh, but the sauce can last in the fridge for up to a week. 

Minty Chocolate Shake // What I'm Reading

Sitting down to finally write out this post has been harder than usual. Don't get me wrong, I love the process of putting together each post - testing the recipe, taking the photos, EATING the recipe, editing, writing etc. This week has just been more challenging than others. For one, it is just so FREAKING beautiful outside that I can't seem to find a time that I would rather be inside on my computer than outside enjoying the world. I've also been sick this week, work has been very busy, anddddd I stupidly spilled water on my laptop, which almost prevented this post from coming out at all! Anyways, nothing too dramatic really, just a busy and full week which I am grateful for (besides the computer issues). 

Over the last few months, I have become obsessed with reading medical memoirs. This book, The Secret Language of Doctors by Dr. Brian Goldman, is the sixth medical memoir type book that I've read in three months. I finished reading his first book, The Night Shift: Real Life in the Heart of the ER, and was totally hooked. I have always been pretty fascinated by hospitals and doctors, and this book gives an amazing insight into that world. Goldman's writing is so honest, and his goal to unveil hidden truths about the culture of hospitals and medical professionals is something that I find fascinating and admirable. Of course, not being a medical professional myself I don't know what is left out of this book, but he covers such a wide range of topics with a huge scope of research and at least for now I feel like I can trust what I am reading and feel like I am getting a multiplicity of perspectives. There is just something so fascinating about delving into a world you don't know a lot about, and discovering that each little pocket of our existence has a code and a language that people abide by. I think that exists in the food blogging world just as much as anywhere else, and it is awesome to get a peak inside someone else's space. 

Next week, I am heading out on a little road to Bonnaroo (the music festival)! I am super stoked about it, and will definitely tell you stories when I get back. I hope that I will get it together to have a post for next week while I am away, but if not I promise there will be something the week after. I hope everyone is enjoying the sun, and takes the opportunity to kick back and relax with this cold, creamy, sweet drink and a book in a cool patch of grass. xo

Minty Chocolate Shake 

Serves One

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups frozen banana slices
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water (or more coconut milk)
  • 2 tbsp cocoa OR cacao powder
  • 2 sprigs mint (apprx. 18 leaves)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp cacao nibs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp lucuma powder (optional) 

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Notes

Combine everything in a blender and blend on high until smooth! Enjoy immediately :)