Lemon-Thyme Cake

You will get a lot of thyme this summer (which is as it should be) and although it’s fussy to deal with, the effort is definitely worth it. Here’s an idea borrowed from “Taproot” magazine that yields an incredibly fresh tasting treat, dairy free. Just picked fresh strawberries and the helpers added to the delight!

For the cake:
1 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. whole wheat flour
2 tbsp. arrowroot starch/flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
3/4 c. sugar
2 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
Zest of 2 lemons
1/4 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 c. almond milk
1/4 c. water
1/3 c. olive oil

For the Coconut whipped cream:
14-oz can full-fat coconut milk, chilled at least 4 hours
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. maple syrup

For the garnish:
8 – 10 sprigs fresh thyme
1 1/2 c. sliced strawberries (fresh raspberries could be used when in season)
Shaved chocolate (optional)

 

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8 or 9 inch spring-form pan with parchment paper.

To make the cake, whisk together flours, arrowroot, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together the sugar, thyme, lemon zest, juice, almond milk, water and oil in a smaller bowl. Add this mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined.

Pour the batter into prepared pan. Bake 30 – 35 minutes or until done. Let cool completely then remove from pan.

To make the coconut whipped cream, open the can of chilled coconut milk and scoop out the thick, creamy coconut cream at the top (reserve the water for another use). In a medium bowl, beat the cream with vanilla and maple syrup until smooth.

Cover the cooled cake with the coconut cream, top with fruit and garnish with sprigs of thyme and shaved chocolate if desired. Enjoy!

Roasted Veggies

Roasted veggies
  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Beets
  • Garlic
  • Peppers
  • Zucchini
  • Chop into chunks, leaving the veggies that cook faster in larger pieces.
  • Make a dressing of oil, chopped rosemary, salt to taste, pepper, oregano and pour over veggies to coat.
  • Spread on parchment paper on a pan or wire basket and BBQ for about 45 min., stirring occasionally.
Notes:
Use whatever veggies are available but keep in mind if they are too small (like beans) they will burn.

Kale Salad with Almonds

Kale Salad with Almonds
  • 1/2 c. raisins
  • 7 tbsp. balsamic vinegar, divided
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup or honey
  • 6 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp salt
  • about 4 c. finely chopped kale, stems removed
  • 1/2 c. almonds, lightly toasted
  • grated rind from one orange
  • orange sections
  • Place raisins in small bowl and soak overnight in 5 tbsp. balsamic vinegar.  Or, if you are like me, just microwave on low for about 5 minutes.
  • Whisk together remaining 2 tbsp. vinegar and whatever drains from the raisins once they’ve soaked, oil, salt, syrup and orange rind.  Pour over chopped kale and stir thoroughly.  Add orange sections and nuts.  Toss.
Notes:
My measurements are approximate–if you find it too dry, use a little more oil and vinegar, sticking to the 3-2-1 rule (ie. 3 parts oil, 2 parts vinegar, 1 part sweet).
It’s important to chop the kale very fine.  I chop it once in fine slices and then turn the pile and chop again finely.
This is a great “make-ahead” salad as the kale actually tastes better as it marinades in the dressing.  In fact, leftovers the next day are just as delicious!
For another fabulous recipe for kale, check out this Watermelon Kale Salad at Living Life With Food.  A meal in itself!

Caesar Salad

What to do with an enormous head of romaine lettuce….An enormous caesar salad!

  • One farm-share size head of romaine lettuce (or 2-3 store bought ones)
  • 8 slices of bacon
  • a few pieces of leftover bread
  • 1/2 c. freshly grated parmesan cheese (plus 2 tbsp. for the dressing)
  • fresh garlic scapes

Dressing:

  • 1/2 c. fresh garlic scapes, chopped
  • 1/2 – 3/4 c. mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp. parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp. worchestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp. dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Wash and drain lettuce, tearing into bite-size pieces.
  • Fry bacon until crispy and allow to cool.
  • Put all dressing ingredients in blender and blend on high a few minutes.
  • Butter bread slices on both sides and sprinkle with salt, pepper and oregano.  Then toast under broiler on both sides until brown.  Cut into cubes.

Add bacon and cheese to lettuce and then dressing just before serving.  Last of all, sprinkle with croutons.

Notes:  The scapes are a great early season alternative before garlic is ready.  They add a lovely pale green colour to the dressing.  As well, although home-made croutons are rather time-consuming, the taste pays off big time (just don’t burn them like I did–the picture is burnt side down, of course).  Thanks to Dick Janssen for tips on the dressing 🙂

Arugula Feta Cheese Salad

A couple fresh ways to serve up spicy arugula–one of the garden’s first-fruits.

  • Make a bed of fresh arugula leaves.
  • Top with fresh fruit of some sort (watermelon)
  • Onions, green onions or garlic scapes
  • Feta cheese
  • Caramelized pecans (optional)
  • Make a dressing with:
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • Drizzle over top.  The dressing will be enough for 2 – 3 plates.

Variation:

  • Make a bed of fresh arugula leaves.
  • Place 1/2 cup cooked rice or coucous on top.
  • Place one serving of pan fried fresh BC Snapper (or fish of choice)
  • Top with fresh basil, a few chopped radishes, or chopped garlic scapes.
  • Make a dressing with:
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp fresh ground ginger (optional but delicious!)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Drizzle over top.