Posts Tagged ‘food’

Recipe: Kale Crisps And Toasted Almond

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

I ‘m on a 21 day detox and was looking for an alternative to chips for me to snack on when I get savoury cravings. I saw kale chips in the store, but they cost an arm and a leg, super expensive for a really tiny bag, so I decided to make my own.

I found a kale crisp recipe online and it called for a dehydrator sheet. I don’t have one; I didn’t have a few of the other ingredients listed either, but I did have a bunch of kale and a few tasty seasonings so I decided to whip up my own version and what a success it was!

Kale is a wonder vegetable. In plants there are over 100 different glucosinolates, Kale contains 10-15 glucosinolates, these are what cause the bitter flavour in the vegetable. They work to activate detoxifying enzymes in the liver and help neutralize potentially carcinogenic substances, enabling us to clear them from our bodies more quickly.

Kale is also chockfull of nutrients (over 80), including substantial amounts of Vitamins C and B, calcium and iron. It’s delicious boiled, stir-fried and steamed. I put a handful of it in a golden veggie soup the other day and it brought the soup a lovely astringent earthy flavour.

These crisps are delicious!

Great as a snack between meals, as a topping on salads, on pizza or sprinkled on hearty cream based soups. They’re also very easy to make.


Half a bunch of kale washed and chopped finely

2 cloves of garlic grated

2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp of flax seeds

1/3 cup of blanched almonds

2 tbsp of sunflower seeds

1 pinch of sea salt

Sprinkle of red pepper flakes

Generous amount of black pepper


Pre-heat oven to 225°

Line a large baking tray with foil and place a wire baking rack over the foil.

In a big bowl mix the kale with olive oil and garlic, stir in flax seeds, almonds, sunflower seeds, salt and pepper; make sure all the kale is coated with the oil.

Next pour the kale mixture onto the wire rack and gently spread evenly, don’t worry if the nuts and seeds fall through to the foil they will bake just fine where they fall.

Place tray in the oven, on the top rack and bake for 45mins – 1 hour. Check every 20 minutes to monitor how crispy the Kale is becoming as oven temperatures vary.

Once the Kale has fully dehydrated remove tray from oven and let cool for at least 20 mins. Then lift the wire rack and gently scrape the mixture (which will have greatly reduced in size) onto the foil. Once the Kale crisps have fully cooled you can fold the foil in half and slide them into an airtight container… Delish!

Leanda is a writer based in Toronto. For the past 13 years she has hosted & produced music radio shows, managed bands & worked in online music PR. She now runs a music site & also writes for music & culture magazine `Relevant BCN`. Read more of her writing here -

Bart Schaneman’s Give Me Work or Give Me Death Love List

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

1. Routine–I have developed an ironclad routine that allows me to tell people no because I know exactly where I’ll be at what time everyday and what I’ll be doing. This makes getting work done so much easier.

2. Work–We are our work. Nothing feels better than getting in a full day of accomplishment.

3. Korea–I love this place. It is good to me in important ways. I wish my life in America could be as easy.

4. Chamchi jjigae–Kimchi and tuna stew improves upon tomato soup tenfold on a cold day.

5. Joan Didion’s essays–Anytime I need to sharpen my eye I pick up Slouching Towards Bethlehem or The White Album. Didion is my whetstone.

6. Protein powder–Going pescetarian means you can’t always get the protein you need.

7. Horseradish–Far and away my favorite condiment. When the Yellow Dust blows in from the Gobi I fight sinus congestion one creamy dollop at a time.

8. The Antlers–All the hype was right. A great breakup record.

Bart Schaneman is an American writer. He writes about his travels and about Nebraska. Read more of his writing at and

Recipe: Hushkoras–Onion Garlic Corn Cakes

Monday, March 15th, 2010

This one was an experiment that turned out to be pretty damn good. Hushkoras (I just came up with the name right now) taste like a cross between hushpuppies and traditional Indian pakoras. They’re fried, so if you don’t like greasy food this isn’t the recipe for you. Also, they take about an hour and a half to make so don’t start this unless you’ve got some time on your hands. But if you’ve got the time and patience and you can handle The Fried, let’s roll on these boys…

Two cups of polenta corn grits. I used Bob’s Red Mill
A half onion
A half bulb of garlic (six small cloves)
Curry powder
Onion powder
Sea salt
Vegetable oil

Make the polenta (two cups of grits to six cups of water) according to the directions on the package. (Just so you know, this step takes about 40 minutes and most of that is you stirring the pot, which’ll take some heavy elbow grease.)

Once the polenta’s done, add the onion and garlic (diced), a tablespoon of curry powder, a half tablespoon of oregano, a quarter tablespoon of sea salt, and a tablespoon of onion powder. Mix well.

Then pour the polenta into a glass casserole dish and set it in the fridge.

While the polenta’s cooling, start a frying pan with about two inches of vegetable oil. High heat.

Once the bottom of your polenta dish is cold to the touch (say, 30 minutes), turn it over onto a cutting board and slice it into 1″ by3″ strips. (Don’t go any thicker than, say, two inches or the inside will be raw and flavorless.)

Next, make sure your oil is crazy-hot and begin laying the strips of polenta into the grease using a metal spatula and a fork.

While the strips of polenta fry, you’re going to want to sprinkle them with more onion powder and curry. At this point it’s all left up to personal taste. I like mine heavily-seasoned so I use a lot of curry and a medium amount of onion powder. It’s all auxiliary seasoning by now, so it doesn’t matter all that much but I think it makes a difference in the end-result. But really, once you’re doing it it’s pretty intuitive; just use your best discretion and have faith in your judgment.

Now, every once in a while you’re going to want to turn the strips. No real rule on this. Just make sure they don’t stick.

All told, you’re going to want to keep them in the fry grease for about ten or 15 minutes. They need to be medium-dark brown and very crispy. I also like to break them up a little so they’re cooked a bit on the inside. What I do is use the spatula to slit them down the middle and press down on them with the flat side a couple times, just to let some grease mingle in and make things interesting. The more irregular-shaped the better it’ll taste.

When they look done to you (the whole procedure is actually super-intuitive) use your spatula and fork to take them out of the grease and set on a plate with paper towels or napkins to soak up the grease.

At this point you can either wait five minutes and eat them hot or, do like I do, and put them in the cooler and eat them later, cold.

As far as sauces I’d go with an Indian masala simmer sauce like the Trader Joe’s brand or, if you want to be really white trash about it, maple syrup. That’s basically what this dish is all about–the counter-intuitive clash of texture, culture, and flavor. Go with it.

Another thing, this recipe takes a lot of attention. I’ve done it alone both times and you can get pretty Zen with the endless stirring and the grease-watching. The first time I made them, our local public radio here in rural Kansas was playing a doubleheader of the space-music hour (which sounds just like you’d imagine) and their half-horrible, half-incredible new-agey instrumental composition show. After one such half-hour drone track I felt like I was cooking for myself on a far-off space station after the Earth had long-since gone cold and broken up into interstellar pebbles. I felt like a god; a force of nature. It was amazing.

Oh, and if you make ‘em, write me at and let me know how they came out. I just invented this one so I’m still working out the kinks. Still, any way I’ve made them, it’s about the best thing I’ve ever eaten. I’m sold, and I hope you will be too.

BIO: Adam Gnade's (guh nah dee) work is released as a series of books and records that share characters and themes; the fiction writing continuing plot-lines left open by the self-described "talking songs" in an attempt to compile a vast, detailed, interconnected, personal history of contemporary American life. Check out recent writing here and songs here. Contact:

Valentine’s List for the Single Woman

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

As a single woman, Valentine’s Day is a time for me to focus on reaching out to the people I love the most in this world, treating myself well and spoiling myself rotten!

1. A jojoba and lavender oil bath with beeswax candles – Baths are the best! Growing up, working class in the UK, we didn’t have a shower, so we had yummy warm splish sploshy baths. Once I moved to North America showering became the new mode of cleaning; they were quicker and faster, pretty much like most things in this culture, but I still love a nice relaxing, steamy bath once in a while. Jojoba, a lovely carrier for essential oils, is a great moisturizer and lavender is a calming fragrance. Beeswax candlelight is super cozy; it also improves indoor air quality, because as it burns it produces negative ions that have air purifying effects, much the same as some houseplants.

2. Pomegranate green tea – This is my go to tea during the winter months. I also enjoy it chilled with ice and honey in the summer. Both pomegranates and green tea contain antioxidants, and have a brilliantly refreshing taste alone and more so when combined.

3. A bottle of Jackson Triggs Delaine Vineyard, Riesling (06) – One of my favorite rieslings from Ontario under $20. This wine is a golden wheat color, has medium body, and sports the flavor of apricots and peach with slight petrol notes. Sounds gross, but tastes delicious!

4. A cup of Casi Cielo coffee and mini almond biscotti – Yeah, it’s a Starschmucks coffee… but it’s not acidic (most of their coffees give me gut rot!) and only comes out for a limited time in the winter months. It tastes like coco and blackberries and it’s smooth and mild. “Casi Cielo” means “Almost Heaven,” ’nuff said.

5. A snuggle with my coon hound/beagle cross – Brooklyn is my 2.5 year old dog. She’s energetic, mischievous, stubborn as all hell (just like her owner!) and is a super-duper suck, a 40lb ginger furred beauty with big, floppy ears  that are as soft as velvet. This dog is awesome. I’ve had her since she was seven weeks old and love her to bits!

Leanda is a writer based in Toronto. For the past 13 years she has hosted & produced music radio shows, managed bands & worked in online music PR. She now runs a music site & also writes for music & culture magazine `Relevant BCN`. Read more of her writing here -

List: Good Things in the Greatest Season

Monday, May 4th, 2009

I can’t think of many better things than springtime. Summer’s great but it cheats because it comes after the cushion of spring which makes the transition easier. Spring, of course, follows (what always seems to be) a death-march of a winter season.

This winter wasn’t so bad, but it was long and it was gray and it’s nice to see the sun again.

So in that spirit, here’s a list of some great things to do and check out in the Greatest Season.

1. Chesapeake by James Michener. More than 300 years of life along the Chesapeake Bay. Good thing to sit outside with and feel the sun while you go deep into some historical fiction.

2. 40s. Winter for me was all dark, dark red wine. It’s spring so I’m starting it off with a big bruiser like the one in the photo below.

40 on the dead Xmas tree for winter

40 on the dead Xmas tree for winter

3. Haircut. Give yourself one. Clear-cut your skull and nurture some new-growth forest. (Same goes for your face. How long have you had that beard? Do you even remember what your face looks like Will you look like your dad when you shave it off? Facial hair will always grow back; it’s good like that. Check in with your real face.)

4. “The Gentlest Gentleman” by My Brightest Diamond. Been listening to this on repeat. The MOKB version.

5. Make Your Place by Raleigh Briggs. DIY home-life book. (“Affordable sustainable nesting skills,” says the front cover.) Build a compost heap, make a planting bed, mix up a tincture, beat the Great Depression #II blues.

6. Ditch the bummer music. Look for these HI-NRG positive vibes punks: White Fang. Their album on Marriage Records is called Pure Evil and it’s a party straight through. Especially the track “Green Beanz.” When I hear Erik sing, “I will sing until the day I die/yes, I will sing until the day I die” I’m, like, “YES YES YES.”

Erik from White Fang celebrates t-shirt weather

Erik from White Fang celebrates t-shirt weather

7. Potatoes. Hardly anyone I know has a real job these days and we’re all looking for new ways to get through the same ol’ hard times. Potatoes. They’re cheap, filling, nutritious, and you can add a couple bucks worth of fresh vegetables and make a feast for 10. Last night I collected everybody’s spare change and bought a bag of 30 russet potatoes for $1.79. I added a handful of spinach, two cloves of garlic, and two tomatoes and fried up a massive supper for a bunch of really hungry people.

8. Fresh ginger. Clears your head. Heats up your chest. Easy to shoplift from mega chain stores. Go spring-clean your body.

9. Foxfire book series. Collected Appalachian folk-wisdom, ancient DIY tricks, and general cheap-living how-to’s handed down by people who were alive during the Civil War. Read up on haint and snake lore; build your own dulcimer; learn to keep bees; make soap, etc. First five books (1972-’79) are the best.

Foxfire, holy Foxfire

Foxfire, holy Foxfire

10. Anything by Frederick Douglass. Pure reason and calm-minded eloquence from a time in American history that was anything BUT. Start off the season with a big hot flashlight of genius (1818-1895) that’ll illuminate everything in your path.

Oh, and go outside.

BIO: Adam Gnade's (guh nah dee) work is released as a series of books and records that share characters and themes; the fiction writing continuing plot-lines left open by the self-described "talking songs" in an attempt to compile a vast, detailed, interconnected, personal history of contemporary American life. Check out recent writing here and songs here. Contact:

Joshua Ploeg’s Life-Changing Cooking

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Photo from Diana Arens' flickr

Photo from Diana Arens' flickr

Joshua Ploeg’s cooking blows my mind. It blows my mind so much that a secret door opens in the back of my head and white doves, musical notes, and winged horses fly out. His cooking is transcendent, dangerous, strange, and perfect. It’s full of colorful tastes that explode in your mouth like Pop Rocks; flavor combinations you never thought possible, crazy alchemy, freaky magic. Joshua’s the Traveling Chef; you make an appointment, he shows up at your house with a load of groceries, makes an incredible multi-course vegan meal using your pots and pans, and then he’s gone like the Lone Ranger riding into a big Texas sunset.

Joshua’s been in a bunch of hardcore bands (Mukilteo Fairies, Lords of Lightspeed, the latest of which is called Warm Springs) and he brings all the good things punk rock gave us—risk, passion, creativity, weirdness—and applies them to his meals.

I randomly lucked into a Joshua Ploeg dinner last year in Oakland. The menu was:

1) Spinach-Mushroom Nutty Cheezy Fingers

2) Wild Mushroom Pasties with Wine Gravy

3) Spinach, “Bacon,” Avocado, Onion, and Oranges in Watercress Vinaigrette

4) Avocado Mousse with Wild Mushroom Mince, Spiced “Cream” and Shaved Chocolate

5) Spiced Cinnamon-Tomato Rice Ring with “Lamb” and Vegetable Stew

6) Plum and Pistachio Crisp with Ouzo-Lemon “Ice Cream” and Rose Syrup

I usually eat really fast and kind of mindlessly—good food turns me into a wild boar—but I had to take this one slow and let all the flavors develop and do their respective stuff. Each had its own distinctive note, its own voice that rang out to let it be known that it was something special and unique. It was an experience in the finest sense of the word, like taking a submarine trip, reading Huysmans in the original French (not that I can do that) or getting in your first-ever, lip-bustin’ fistfight.

I was in the Bay Area for a few days and Richard and Amy from 1984 Printing took me and Joe Biel to some incredible places to eat, but nothing topped Joshua’s meal. I still dream about it months later.

Says Joshua, “A sample dinner party menu [would be] roasted eggplant roulades with green olive and almond tapenade, pistachio-coated deep-fried tofu with tangerine sauce, cannelloni and roma tomato salad with mint and arugula, vegan ‘chicken’ and escarole soup in ginger broth, tempeh ‘fish’ with orange herb sauce and garlic linguine, baby carrots in spicy tomato sauce, deep-fried chickpeas with lemon-chili sauce, almond sheet cake with lemon custard, rosemary lemonade.”

You can book a Joshua Ploeg meal by emailing thetravelingchef (at) gmail (d0t) com.

You should also check out his cookbook zines, most of which you can find online. His next one, In Search of the Lost Taste, will be his first full-on book. Look for it from Microcosm Publishing later this year.

BIO: Adam Gnade's (guh nah dee) work is released as a series of books and records that share characters and themes; the fiction writing continuing plot-lines left open by the self-described "talking songs" in an attempt to compile a vast, detailed, interconnected, personal history of contemporary American life. Check out recent writing here and songs here. Contact:

Wintertime Vegan Jalapeno Poppers

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009


Photo by lucianvenutian

It’s cold outside. You need some heat in your heart. Here’s your heat.

26 oz can of Embasa brand whole Jalapenos
Small tub of Tofutti vegan cream cheese
Two cups spelt flour (for gluten-free use rice flour)
Seasoned salt
Almond milk (unsweetened if you can)
Tequila (try Patron.)

Cut tops off jalapenos then slice open on one side-but not completely end-to-end, just a cut small enough to remove seeds. Scoop out seeds (be gentle) with your forefinger then wash jalapenos under running tap water to take some of the heat out. (Or don’t-and bask in the FIRE.) Using a teaspoon (or your finger) stuff jalapenos with cream cheese. Make sure they’re nice and full since some of the cream cheese will cook off. Pat and firm up like you’re rolling a ball of dough-but gently.

Take a shot of tequila. Laugh robustly and thank whoever or whatever you choose to thank that you’re still above ground.

Put one cup of flour mixed with a few pinches of seasoned salt and a light sprinkle of garlic powder in one bowl and two cups of almond milk in another. Dip each popper in milk using your dominant hand then roll it in flour with the other hand. (Don’t switch hands or it’ll get messy.) Let flour-coated popper dry on plate. Do this with all the peppers.

Take another shot of tequila while you’re waiting for the poppers to dry (five minutes should be cool.) Turn up the music you’re listening to. (Suggestions: something rowdy and alive-feeling … Vicente Fernandez, Waylon/Willie, or maybe the Dirty Projectors.)

Repeat every step from “dip each popper” to “dry on plate.” This’ll give you a nice coat of flour.

Set floured poppers in a half inch of very hot vegetable oil in frying pan and turn with fork until deep golden. Let sit five minutes then eat. Love your life.

Note: At no point in this process should you rub your eyes with your hands. Your head will melt off like the Nazis from Indiana Jones.

BIO: Adam Gnade's (guh nah dee) work is released as a series of books and records that share characters and themes; the fiction writing continuing plot-lines left open by the self-described "talking songs" in an attempt to compile a vast, detailed, interconnected, personal history of contemporary American life. Check out recent writing here and songs here. Contact: