Amy Chaplin’s cookbook

spring miso with lemon

31st May 2016

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I am out in the garden every day now, finding any excuse to be there.  The fresh air, to experience the spring in its full glory.  It can still be cold and unpredictable but we are now blessed with warm weather days that lift us up and put a spring in our step.

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precious evening twilight & a walk in the garden

I had written this at the start of spring last year but it got put to the side by other inspiring dishes. A lovely light cleansing soup. You can vary this recipe using whatever vegetables you like. In summer, I add a whole cob of corn, cut into fours, with thinly shaved garden zucchinis. For a more substantial meal, add a small amount of cooked noodles when adding the blanched vegetables. It is important not to boil the miso, the rich enzymes and nutrients due to the fermentation, will be lost.

spring miso with lemon

I have been slowly working my way through Amy Chaplin’s – At Home in the Wholefood Kitchen. This recipe is another from her book – ever so slightly adapted.

If you want to make this soup ahead of time, leave out the miso and keep the blanched vegetables and dashi separate.  Reheat together; then add miso, lemon zest and juice.

Serves 4

dashi

6 cups water

4-inch piece kombu

2 large slices fresh ginger

soup

8 asparagus spears, trimmed and cut diagonally

1 cup tiny broccoli florets/sugar snap peas, strings removed and chopped in half lengthwise

1 carrot, thinly sliced into rounds

2 small radishes, thinly sliced

6 – 8 Tbsp sweet white miso

zest of 1 lemon

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

handful of baby kale/spinach leaves

make the dashi

1.  In a medium pot place the kombu, ginger, and filtered water bring up to boil over high heat.  Cover pot, reduce heat to a low and simmer for 20 minutes.  Remove kombu and ginger using a slotted spoon.

make the soup

2.  Bring the dashi up to a simmer over high heat, add the asparagus, broccoli/sugar snap peas, carrots, and cook for 30 seconds.

3.  Add the radish rounds and cook for another 30 seconds, reduce heat to low, then remove all the vegetables using a slotted spoon.  Set aside to cool.

4.  In a small bowl mix the miso to a paste using a little of the soup and pour through a small strainer into the soup.  Taste, add more miso or a small spoon of salt if necessary.

5.  Add the blanched vegetables and small kale/spinach leaves, warm over a gentle heat for a minute or until the leaves are wilted.

6.  Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest and juice. (Adding a pungent flavour such as ginger or lemon to miso soup just before serving will activate the enzyme, making them more beneficial).

Serve immediately.

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apple almond oat slice (vegan)

8th October 2015

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The clouds opened up and gave us an offering, and now, this moment we are soaking up the rain, sun and light…
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and feeling truly blessed in seeing all this sweet unknown…

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apple almond oat slice

Makes one 9-inch square slice. 

Another recipe from Amy Chaplin’s – At Home in the Wholefood Kitchen.

Leave the skins on the apples as they give a beautiful red blush to the slice.  I have tried this with many fruits – my favourite being the apple and freshly picked small plums.  If using small plums or cherries there is no need to saute them,  just toss them in the maple syrup and vanilla before placing them on the oat slice.  

ingredients 

1 Tbsp extra virgin coconut oil

4 small red-skinned apples, core & cut into ½ inch slices

4 tsp vanilla extract, divided

cup plus 1 tablespoon maple syrup, divided

1½ cups regular rolled oats

1 cup dried shredded coconut

1½ cups almond meal

½ cup barley/whole wheat spelt flour

1½ tsp aluminium-free baking powder

½ cup extra virgin coconut oil

2 Tbsp unsweetened apricot or jam of choice

preparation 

1.  Preheat oven to 180C/350F.  Line a 9 x 9-inch square cake pan and line with parchment paper, covering the bottom and about an inch up sides; set aside.

2. Warm coconut oil in a wide skillet over medium heat, add apples and saute for 5 minutes or until golden in parts.

3.  Stir in 1 tablespoon maple syrup and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and continue cooking for another 6 – 8 minutes, lowering heat if apples begin to brown.  Cook until apples are soft but not falling apart.  If they’re still firm, reduce heat to low, cover skillet, and continue cooking for a few more minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

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4.  Add oats to a food processor and blend until finely ground, then transfer to a medium bowl and mix in the almond meal, flour, coconut and baking powder.

6.  In another bowl, whisk remaining ⅔ maple syrup, remaining vanilla and oil, then pour into dry ingredients – stir to combine.

7.  Lightly press the batter into prepared cake pan and bake for 12 – 15 minutes.

8.  Remove from oven (leave the oven on), and arrange apples 4 in a row over the surface of the slice, leaving a ½-inch border around the edge.  (I only had 3 big apples so I improvised and ended up with 3 rows, the smaller apples work better in slicing and the overall look). Lightly press apples into the cake and return to oven for 20 – 25 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and allow the cake to cool.

9.  To make the glaze, place jam in a small pot over medium heat and stir until melted, about 1 minute.

10.  Remove from heat and use a pastry brush to lightly brush glaze over the surface of the apples. Cut into squares and serve with vanilla ice-cream or thick yoghurt and a sprinkling of toasted almonds.

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pumpkin bread with a toasted walnut cinnamon swirl (vegan)

6th April 2015

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Just before we left for Israel for the holiday break, I was trying to use up most things in the kitchen. With this in mind and the arrival of a new cookbook, ‘At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen’ by Amy Chaplin, I was perusing through it the night before and was drawn to a recipe for pumpkin bread. It is an amazing book full of delicious recipes.

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mizpe hayamim – Israel

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pumpkin bread with a toasted walnut cinnamon swirl

Recipe found ‘At Home in the Wholefood Kitchen’ with a few tiny variations.  You can use any winter pumpkin, but the dense-fleshed ones like kabocha and red kur work the best because of their low water content.    

Lately, I have been mixing the cinnamon walnut twirl straight into the batter so that it is incorporated throughout.

Makes one 12-inch loaf pan

cinnamon walnut swirl

1 cup/100g toasted walnut halves, chopped

2 tsp cinnamon powder

2 Tbsp coconut or brown sugar

2 Tbsp maple syrup

pumpkin batter 

½ medium kabocha pumpkin, peeled, seeded, and cut in ½-inch dices (about 3½ cups/440g)

2 cups/240g whole-spelt flour

2 tsp aluminium-free baking powder

½ tsp salt

¼ cup, plus 2 tablespoons olive oil (65g)

½ cup/140g maple syrup

2 tsp vanilla essence

1 Tbsp vinegar

preparation 

1.  Preheat the oven to 350F/180C.  Lightly oil a loaf pan and line bottom and sides with parchment paper.  Set aside.

make the cinnamon walnut swirl 

2.  Place the walnuts on a tray and toast for approximately 8 minutes.  Allow to cool, roughly chop and place in a bowl, with the cinnamon, maple syrup, and sugar – mix to combine and set aside.

make the pumpkin batter 

3.  Steam the pumpkin for 10 minutes, or until soft – drain well, and cool.

4.  Place in a bowl and mash with a fork – measure out 1½ cups and place in a medium bowl, add the oil, maple syrup, vanilla essence, and vinegar – whisk until smooth and set aside.

5.  In another medium bowl, add the flour, baking powder, salt, and stir to combine.

6.  Using a rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture into the pumpkin batter until just combined.

7.  Spread half of the batter over the bottom of loaf pan. Layer the cinnamon-walnut mixture evenly over batter and top with remaining batter.

8.  To create a swirl, use a small rubber spatula or butter knife to zig-zag back and forth, finishing with one stroke through the centre. I like to sprinkle the top with 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and extra cinnamon and with roughly chopped pumpkin and sesame seeds.

9.  Place in the oven and bake for 45 – 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before turning out and place on a wire rack. Slice and serve warm or at room temperature.

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