going raw for 100 days

Photo by Lex Illustrator.

I have an announcement to make….. starting tomorrow, I will be eating a diet of exclusively raw food for 100 days. I mean to say that, until September 8, no food shall pass my lips that has been brought to a temperature higher than 118 degrees. According to Wikepedia, foodism is “Raw foodism (or rawism) a lifestyle promoting the consumption of un-cooked, un-processed, and often organic foods as a large percentage of the diet. If 75-100% of a person's total food consumption is raw food, he/she is considered a raw foodist or living foodist.” The idea is to consume living food at a time when it still has all of its natural enzymes, the same enzymes that are killed off during the cooking process. Once these enzymes are gone, the body must in turn create its own enzymes to assist the body in proper absorption and digestion. Click here to learn more about enzymes.

While researching this cuisine, I learned that most people seem to embrace a raw food lifestyle as a last ditch effort to overcome some sort of chronic illness. Cancer, obesity, diabetes, celiac, depression, candida…. There are countless testimonials of healthy people whose lives have been transformed through a permanent or long term raw diet. As for me, I have no health complaints. I have a very healthy diet and an extremely harmonious relationship with the food that I eat. So why have I decided to make such a culinary commitment? I’m curious. I want to know what it feels like to eat only living foods for a significant stretch of time. Will I think differently? Will I have more energy? Will I look 5 years younger and be 5 pounds thinner? Will my skin glow like a super model and my tresses flow thick and glossy like a show dog? Time will tell.

In all honesty, I am most drawn to the idea as an exciting opportunity for innovative culinary expression. I anticipate that a summer of raw food eating will quickly become an incredibly inspiring time to explore and showcase fresh, locally grown food in its most elevated form….. as nature intended it, but with a twist. I want to make locally driven (when possible) raw food that is imaginative, flavourful and appealing to the eye. I want to mess with colours, textures and unorthodox applications of ingredients. I want to have a lot of fun with this. So join me as I play with my dehydrator, blender, turning slicer, micro-plane and forage in my own backyard garden for the freshest, most local ingredients possible. Raw-k on!


chicken stroganoff with beer

Chicken Stroganoff

Tonight's feast for 4..... served with Lemon-Basil Basmati Rice and steamed asparagus. Oh yeah!

Chicken Stroganoff

Olive oil
Salt and pepper (to taste)
2 slices of bacon, diced
½ onion, peeled and diced
1 large green pepper, cored, quartered and thinly sliced
½ orange pepper, cored, quartered and thinly sliced
4 c mushrooms, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced

1 ½ lbs skinned and de-boned chicken thighs, cut into 2” pieces
1 ½ T flour
1 ½ c chicken stock
1 c beer
1 T Dijon mustard
1 t Worcester sauce
½ t hot sauce
2 bay leaves

½ cup sour cream- add very last!
1/4 c fresh chopped parsley for garnish- if desired

Bring a large pot to medium heat. Add 2T olive oil. Saute onions and bacon for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add peppers and cook for 3 more minutes. Remove all ingredients from pot and placeto side in a medium bowl. Add 1 T olive oil to same pot plus the mushrooms. Cooked mushrooms until lightly brown, until all extra liquid is gone. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Remove from pot and add to onion mixture.
Working on a dinner plate, lightly salt the chicken pieces and then sprinkle them with the flour. Add 2 T olive oil to the same pot and brown chicken in batches, setting the pieces aside as they are cooked. When all chicken has been cooked and removed from the pot, add the chicken stock, beer and remaining ingredients except for the sour cream to the pot. Simmer for 30 minutes with a loosely fitting lid. Return all vegetables to the pot and heat through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Right before serving, add the sour cream and heat through, but do not allow to boil. Serve with rice or pasta. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley, if desired.


veggie lemon quinoa with basil chicken

If you haven’t explored quinoa yet, I highly recommend it. Nutty in flavour and full of protein, quinoa is a delicious departure from rice or potatoes. Plus it’s just as easy to make. The chicken component of this meal was inspired by bbq leftovers from last night. I don’t know where the heck those busty birds came from, but they sure did have a lot of meat on them. Two breasts yielded 3 cups of meat.

Veggie Lemon Quinoa
Make sure to rinse the quinoa (to remove bitterness) before starting the rest of this dish.

2 T olive oil, divided
½ onion, diced
½ orange pepper, diced
3 c kale, washed and sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
½ t salt
Fresh ground black pepper
1 ½ c quinoa, rinsed and drained in a sieve
3 c water
½ c frozen green peas
Juice and zest of ½ lemon
1/3c fresh chopped parsley
3T toasted pumpkin seeds

Bring a large pot to medium heat and add 1 T of olive oil. Saute onion for 3 minutes. Add orange pepper and cook for another 3 minutes. Stir in kale and cook for 3 minutes. Add garlic and stir in for 1 minute. Add the drained quinoa and stir occasionally, until grain is dry and smells a bit ‘toasty’. Add the water + salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low. Cover with a lid and allow to cook for 17 minutes. Add peas, lemon, parsley to pot and return lid. Cook for 3 more minutes. Toss in pumpkin seeds. Serves 4 as a side dish.

Basil Chicken Breast

2 c cooked chicken breast, shredded
1 tomato, diced
2 T fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
1 T olive oil
1 T balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste.
4 T crumbled goat feta- optional

In a medium size bowl, combine all ingredients. Serve with the quinoa. Serves 4 as a side dish. If desired, crumble 1 T of goat feta on each serving. Yum!


lobster bisque

lobster bisque

This is actually part 2 of an earlier post….what started out as ‘lobster sandwiches!’ resulted in some left over shells. It would be a crime to through them away. Roasting said shells and making them into a flavourful stock is time well spent- trust me. Last night I opted to transform the stock into a bisque. Smokes! That’s good soup…..tres elegante and almost free to make.

Lobster Bisque

1 T olive oil
1/2onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1 T butter
2 T flour
1 litre of lobster stock (approx)
½ t salt
Fresh ground pepper
2 dashes of paprika
1 pinch of nutmeg
1 pinch of cayenne

Garnish: Crème fraiche + chives or parsley.

Bring a large pot to medium heat and add olive oil. Next add the onion and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add celery and carrot, continuing to stir. Cook for another 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Melt in the butter and then sprinkle with flour. Stir for 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes and cook for 1 more minute. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne. Continue to simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour soup into a blender in batches, filling blender about 2/3 full each time. VERY IMPORTANT: Before blending, remove cap from inside of blender lid, leaving a hole exposed in the middle. Cover this hole with a tea towel (preferably one that is not your favourite, as it will get some soup splashed on it). The reason for this is to allow the hot steam to escape safely, so that you do not make a big mess and get a nasty burn. Strain blenderized soup through a sieve and return to pot. Serve immediately (and garnish), or allow to cool, refrigerate and serve later.


lobster sandwiches!

Lobster and Tomato Sandwiches

My super awesome friend, Peter P, came by yesterday to help me with a plethora of computer issues. Quite frankly, I don't know where I'd be without him. I certainly wouldn't have this blog. He has been a quintessential part of global peasant's lay out and functions since even before its first post back in the summer of 2006. Heck, he even taught me how to write HTML code!!!

Not only did he spend half of his Sunday helping me out, he brought a fresh lobster with him....all the way from P.E.I. Suddenly dinner was a no-brainer. This isn't even a recipe, really- more like an assembly. Consuming it is messy (no cutlery and lots of napkins) and delicious.....even more so with the addition of a frosty, tall glass of beer. I love you, Peter!

Lobster and Tomato Sandwiches

1 lb lobster, cooked and meat removed from the shell*
2 T melted butter
juice and zest of 1/4 lemon
good pinch of salt

*Save the shells and roast them on a cookie sheet in the oven for about 20 minutes @ 350*. Put shells in 5 cups of cold water with 1 t salt, 8 peppercorns and 4 bay leaves. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Continue to cook for about 25 minutes. Strain through a sieve (into a bowl) and allow to cool. Use lobster stock to make lobster bisque (stay tuned for recipe).

2 roma tomatoes, diced
1/8 t Tabasco sauce
1 T parsley, finely chopped
1 T olive oil
2 t balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

6-8 slices bread, lightly toasted (I used spelt, but any light bread would do)

Shred the lobster meat into a small bowl and combine with butter, lemon and salt. Combine tomato mixture in a second bowl. Assemble the sandwiches by first spooning some of the tomato onto a toast, then topping it with a spoon of the lobster. Garnish with whatever visually floats your boat (I used micro arugula from my garden).


seedling update

My Tomato Seedlings

Tomatoes growing in the sun room.

It seems like forever since mid February, when the tomato seeds were first planted into their tiny little peat filled trays. Gardener's Delight, Black Krim, Kootenai and Green Zebra are the 4 varieties that are growing almost right under my eyes. Nurturing duties include daily watering, trimming back the leaves (to build hardy stalks and encourage a higher yield of fruit) and multiple transplants. Last night's upgrade was to roomier 8" pots plus heaps of extra (and super stinky) amending soil..... and they still have a long way to go. They will not be planted outside until sometime in June. Just when will be determined by how chilly the nights are. But lookie there! That yellow blossom holds the promise of good things to come. I can hardly wait.....


sue and robert get hitched

Robert and Susan Spooner

Sue embraces her brand new husband, Robert. (Michel Laflamme photo)

What more could one ask for than to see those we love happy and healthy? My friend, Sue, is from Vancouver, but has been living in Nairobi for the last two years. It was there that she and Robert met and fell in love. And it was at yesterday's wedding on the Sunshine Coast that guests were given an opportunity to see these two seal the deal. Set at her parent's ocean front house, the weather could not have been any more perfect, nor the 65 attending family and friends any more jovial. What a privilege it was to witness and to celebrate two such fine people tie the knot and begin their new life together as 'Mr & Mrs. Spooner'.

As noted by one of yesterday's guest speakers "Sue touches everyone that knows her." During her years in Vancouver she inspired me a great deal, encouraging me not just to explore the world of food I love so much, but also challenging me to do so in bold and unconventional ways. It was she who created the starting point for my blog's voice, coining the phrase "Global Peasant- A Journey of Culinary Respect". It truly is the gift that keeps on giving.

Heaps of love and blessings to Sue and Robert! xoxoxox

Spooner Wedding
Spooner Wedding
Spooner Wedding


libera and rome's anti-mafia shop

libera and rome's anti-mafia shop

You can’t make this stuff up. Catholic-anti Mafia group Libera first began back on March 25, 1995 with the purpose of "involving and supporting all those who are interested in the fight against mafias and organized crime". Since that time, Italian law has allowed over 3000 farms to be confiscated from the Mafia (by court order) and to be redistributed for “social use”, resulting in the creating of “tangible symbols of the restoration of lawfulness.” Libera has taken large tracts of this land and formed farming cooperatives in Sicily, Calabria and Puglia, where young people produce oil, pasta, wine and other organic products which are then sold under the 'Libera Terra' label.

These products are available for sale at ‘Flavours of Lawfulness’, a little shop on Rome’s Via dei Prefetti, which just so happens to be a stone’s throw from the Italian Parliament. These novelty rich products are great items for tourists to take home, with the proceeds going to ‘a very good cause’.

Marlon Brando, The Godfather

But Libera is busy with more than just food related acivites. Click here to learn about the other work being done in the areas of promoting discussions, public initiatives, and education..... as they relate to the subject of lawfulness and social justice. In addition; every March 21, a day chosen for its symbol of renewal, a gathering is organized for relatives of victims murdered by the Mafia to come together to remember their loved ones, to share in their mourning and to heal. Like I said before, you can't make this stuff up.

Left: Marlon Brando (AKA Sicilian born mobster Don Vito Corleone) shows his softer side in 'The Godfather'.


pasta with cauliflower alla sabbia

pasta with cauliflower alla sabia

My friend, Brad, was by yesterday afternoon to wash his car in our driveway (he lives in an apartment) and to watch some of the Rome Masters Tennis Series (he has no t.v. of his own and claims that if he did, he would be hopelessly glued to it day and night). And I believe him. Brad is the same friend that I cooked dinner for a few weeks back, the one with the pink cel phone that he never answers. That was the night that I made him Pink Risotto, in honour of his uniquely coloured communications device.

As the dinner hour passed and Brad was still clearly going nowhere anytime soon, I offered to cook us a meal. You may or may not be surprised to learn that he is wheat intolerant. Whatever would I cook for Brad?..... A few months back, I waxed on about how delicious Peter Zambri's Cauliflower Alla Sabbia recipe was. It really is a stellar dish. And dead easy to prepare. All the fixin’s were in the fridge. Why not try tossing it together with some kamut noodles and make it into a ‘Brad friendly’ pasta dish? It was a lip smacking success. The only thing I would do fifferently next time would be to slice the cauliflower into 3/8" slices after blaching it. He left later with a happy belly, a clean car and the pleasure of knowing that Nadal had kicked Djokovic’s ass.

Pasta with Cauliflower Alla Sabbia
(Cauliflower tossed with anchovies and chilies, leaving out the breadcrumbs)

1 medium cauliflower, cut into florets
4 small garlic cloves, thickly sliced
2 heaping tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. chili flakes (optional)
4 whole anchovy filets
salt and pepper
1/8 cup chopped parsley, leaves only.
1/4 c finely grated parmesan

pasta for 4

Blanch cauliflower in boiling salted water for two minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a cloth or paper towel lined baking sheet to cool. Slice the flowerettes into 3/8" thick slices. Add the pasta to the same boiling water and cook according to package directions. In the meantime, in a separate large pot, heat the oil and butter. Add garlic, chilies and anchovies and fry over medium heat until the anchovies melt and the butter & garlic turns a nut brown. Add the cauliflower to the pan and toss, making sure to heat through. Lightly season with salt and pepper at this stage. Add parsley and parmesan and toss again, coating thoroughly. Add about 1/3 c of the pasta water to the vegetable pot (to create a light sauce). Drain the pasta and toss it in with the cauliflower mixture. Serve immediately.


snappy ginger snaps

snappy ginger snaps

I really don't have many hankerings for sweets, which is probably why I'm not much of a baker. But for some reason, today I felt like making some cookies. This recipe comes from my mom. June usually reserves this particular cookie for Christmas time.....I guess because of its many holiday memory triggering spices. But I think it works well any time of the year. I have switched out her usually 'fancy molasses' for this darker, more intensely flavoured 'blackstrap molasses'. These crunchy treats are a perfect companion to a hot cup of tea and taste divine crumbled over vanilla ice cream..... not to mention that they make your house smell like heaven on earth when they are baking.

Snappy Ginger Snaps

½ c blackstrap molasses
½ c butter
½ c brown sugar

2 c flour
½ t baking powder
1 ½ t ginger
½ t nutmeg
1 t cinnamon
¼ t cloves
¼ t salt

Put large pot over lot / medium heat. Add the molasses and bring it to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and sugar. Combine all the dry ingredients and sift into the molasses mixture. Mix well. Turn dough out onto a sheet of parchment or wax paper and form into a long thin roll. Place wrapped dough in the freezer for about 45 minutes to chill. Then preheat the oven to 350*. Remove dough from freezer, unwrap and place on a cutting board. With a sharp knife, slice dough into 3/8” thick cookies. Place cookies on baking sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes.