Monday, June 1, 2015

The Case of Spring Risotto

Spring Risotto

2 cups water
2 rounded tsps (for 2 cups) vegetable bouillon powder
1 shallot, minced
2 carrots, chopped
2 tsps butter
1 tsp olive oil
2/3 cup Arborio rice
1/6 cup white wine
1/2 bunch asparagus, chopped
1 cup fresh peas
1/6 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
salt
pepper

Prepare a bouillon with the water and vegetable bouillon powder.

In a large pot over medium heat, sauté the shallots and carrots in the butter and olive oil for 2 min.

Add the rice, and sauté for 5 min.

Add the white wine, and stir until it's nearly absorbed.

Add 1/3 cup of the bouillon, and stir and continue to simmer until liquid is nearly absorbed. Continue adding 1/3 cupful’s of the bouillon and stirring.

With the last addition of the bouillon, add the asparagus and peas.

Add 1/3 cupful’s of water if needed, and stir and simmer for a total of 25 min. or until the rice is creamy and firm but not hard.

Stir in the Parmesan and parsley. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 2.

Becki

Friday, May 8, 2015

The Case of Vegetarian Detective in Italy

Buon giorno!
 
I feel like a snob saying, "I'm just back from Italy." That's me: jetsetter. Yeah, right!
 
But wow...Italy!
 
I could talk up a storm, and I surely will as I adjust to being back here, six time zones from magnificent Italia. I often ask people who've just travelled what was their favourite part of their trip. If I ask the same of myself, my answer is seeing Michelangelo's sculptures. His Pietà and The Statue of David literally moved me to tears. I just can't believe I saw "him" in person!
 
So...our plane from Toronto was delayed six hours and we missed the first day of activities, but we still visited Rome, Montecatini, Siena, San Gimignano, Pisa, Vinci, Florence, Cinque Terre and Assisi. Quite the agenda for ten days, including the two flight days, wouldn't you say? But Trafalgar made it work. I would go on a Trafalgar trip again in a heartbeat.
 
Things I learned in Italy:
 
  • In the regions we visited anyway, large rimmed plates are not used for pasta. Bowls or smaller plates are used.
  • It's not trendy to grate Parmesan into large flakes or to top pasta with Parmesan curls. Italians grate their Parmesan very fine.
  • Italians have built their villages on the top of large hills, not nestled in valleys.
  • Each and every village warred with every other village and there are still serious rivalries today.
  • Leonardo da Vinci was not a pacifist.
  • It's very true that gelato is addictive. I'm making do with ice-cream now that I'm home.
 
Cynthia will be posting more pictures on Twitter and Google+, so stay tuned if you want to see what a Trafalgar bus tour in Italy is like.
 
Becki
 
PS Feeling social? Use the share and comment buttons below. 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

A Quick Sketch at the Scene: Chocolate Banana Protein Smoothie

So I veganized (no that's not criminal) my Chocolate Banana Protein Smoothie recipe... It's now raw as well, and tastes lighter and more refreshing than ever. I'm pleased to say it's featured on Karen's Killer Fixin's **Author Special**.
 
Click on the screen shot below to grab the recipe and visit the website of award-winning author Karen Doctor/K.L. Doctor. Have you read her SATIN PLEASURES, CATCH THAT SANTA, and KILLING SECRETS?
 
http://www.karendocter.com/karens-killer-fixins-author-special-with-cynthia-st-pierre.html
 
Becki
 
PS Feeling conversational? Use the share and comment buttons below.

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Case of Lemon Broccoli Soup

Lemon Broccoli Soup

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb broccoli florets and stems (peeled and coarsely chopped)
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced and zested
3 rounded tsps (for 3 cups) vegetable bouillon powder
water
1/2 cup light coconut milk
pepper

In a covered pot, simmer the garlic, broccoli, onion, lemon juice and zest, vegetable bouillon powder, and water to barely cover, until the vegetables are tender.

Blend and return to the pot.

Stir in the light coconut milk.

Grate pepper on top to garnish.

Serves 2.

Becki

PS All the comment and share buttons are below. Thanks!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day and The Case of Red Pepper Soup

The next step beyond vegetarianism is veganism. I want to take it.

Even if I believe that it's possible to enjoy milk and butter and cheese without cruelty to the animals that provide them, I also believe that in our mass-market society, the norm is not cruelty-free dairy.

The next step beyond veganism is the raw food movement and it is utterly intriguing to me—the theory that vitamins, minerals and especially digestive-friendly enzymes are preserved by not heating food above 118ºF. Besides, when I eat raw I feel wonderful afterward. That's good enough for me!
 
Follow along with me as I continue to search for ways to eat healthy, delicious food in a cruelty-free and environmentally friendly way. I know that I'll take a few steps that make it seem like I'm moving backward. Perhaps when I crave a recipe like my Butternut Squash Risotto, that's vegetarian but not vegan or raw. But this is a life journey after all. A fabulous adventure, not a race. And certainly not a competition to be judged.
 
So let me share with you a recipe that's as kind and as close to nature as it's possible to get.
 
Try it yourself and see what you make of the raw food evidence.
 
Red Pepper Soup
 
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
3 red peppers, cut in pieces
1/8 cup red onion
1-1/2 cups water
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsps agave syrup
8 strawberries
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tbsp rosemary
salt
pepper
 
In a high-speed blender, blend together the sun-dried tomatoes to rosemary until smooth.
 
Pour into a pot and salt and pepper to taste.
 
Heat on low, stirring constantly so the soup at the bottom of the pot doesn't boil, until a thermometer reads 115ºF. Because heat rises so quickly, remove from heat immediately so temperature doesn't go beyond 118ºF.
 
Serves 4.
 
Becki
 
PS So did you try it? Did you like it? If the button below says "No Comments", start the conversation yourself by clicking and saying hello.
 
PPS Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year and The Case of Vegan Grilled Cheese and Tomato Sandwiches

Oh it's entirely possible to make ooey-gooey Vegan Grilled Cheese and Tomato Sandwiches!

There are three tricks to making Vegan Grilled Cheese and Tomato Sandwiches taste even better than traditional grilled cheese.

The first is to use delicious bread. Skip the white sandwich bread slices. Easy right? You'll find tons of inventive and tasty loaves out there. 

The second is to add moisture. My only fault with meat and cheese replacement products is that they tend to be dry. I know the reason for that is they don't have all the fat that their real counterparts contain, and low fat is okay by me, but I want a moist mouth-feel, don't you? That's why I sandwich diced tomatoes right in.

The last trick is to grill or bake/broil your sandwiches instead of pan-frying them. So much crispier on the outside!

Vegan Grilled Cheese and Tomato Sandwiches

4 slices Cranberry Walnut Loaf
Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Stick (softened)
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
pepper
4 Daiya Provolone Style Slices

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

On an ovenproof pan, spread what will be the inside face of the Cranberry Walnut Loaf slices with some of the Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Stick to taste.

Cover two of the buttered bread slices with the chopped tomatoes. Pepper to taste.

Top the tomatoes with the Daiya Provolone Style Slices. Halve them as needed in order to place cheese right out to the edges.

Lay the remaining slices of bread on top, buttered side down.

Bake until the cheese melts and the bottom of the sandwiches are golden brown, then broil until the top of the sandwiches are perfectly toasted as well.

Makes 2 sandwiches.

Becki

PS If the button below says "No Comments", start the conversation yourself by clicking and saying hello!

PPS Happy New Year! Like the new look for 2015?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Case of The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

What a joyful time for everyone, including our publisher Imajin Books!

Here's the scoop directly from Imajin.


Our big event is comprised of 4 individual events: 

1. Kindle Fire Giveaway (via Rafflecopter contest) - Dec 1-25. Prizes to be awarded Dec 25-31. https://www.facebook.com/imajinbooks?sk=app_228910107186452
 
2. Paperback Sale - Dec 1-7 - 15% off our titles (great for Christmas gifts!) ordered via CreateSpace only, using discount code: LRG4K8RH.
 
3. eBook Sale - Dec 24-Jan 7 - ($0.99, $1.99) Amazon and Smashwords http://www.imajinbooks.com/sale.

4. Special eBook Bundle Sale: DEADLY DOZEN (Dec 6-12); SWEET & SENSUAL (Dec 23-29).


Becki

PS Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

PPS If the button below says "No Comments", start the conversation yourself by clicking and saying hello!