spelt

garden decides

Cashew & Spelt Gnocchi

We had a massive clean out in the garden this weekend, kind of an everything-must-go clearance of spent broccoli, earwig-eaten kale and woody fennel. And just in time to grab the last of the nettles too. The season turned really quickly this year – it seemed to take forever to get here, but the transition was complete in 2 days, according to the wilted and browned state of the veggies. So we did what we do every year, and pulled everything out ready for the next season’s efforts. I’ll admit to getting a bit sentimental over this process at times, I always feel bad pulling anything out that may still have a skerrick of green about it, but all it takes to quash that and buck up, is to think about the many pioneering hands that have worked the very same soil on our hill in the 100 or more years there’s been a veggie garden here. Our little patch is a good place for big thoughts.

Had to laugh at myself though, when I interrupted my subconscious mulling over the idea of changing my Instagram name. All romantic notions of connecting with my pioneering forebears ran off right about then. Thing is, the idea of an Instagram name wouldn’t have even been on my radar 5 years ago. Maybe 6. Does it ever make your brain hurt at where things might be at for all of us in another, oh, 5 years? Anyway, I did change it. My Instagram name, that is. Figured I write it in the wet cement of our renovations so it would be there in another 100 years. It’s bound to have historical significance. Having sorted that pivotal point out, I also made plans for dinner. To be honest, the garden decided that one without me. Here’s what the days gardening efforts became…

img_8905img_8964img_8920 img_8922 img_8936 img_8950 img_9004

Cashew & Spelt Gnocchi 

Serves 2

I make good use of the cashew cheese I make each week for the Scullery’s Saturday pop-up, so this recipe is exactly what I’ve been promising our cashew cheese customers, for maybe 6 months now. Eeep. Or you can always follow the recipe for cashew cheese here if you’re not able to call in to the Scullery this Saturday!

I make my own egg replacer for things like gnocchi too, but you can just as easily use 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed mixed with 6 tablespoons of water.

If you’d like to make the egg replacer, it’s great for when you want a lighter finish, with things like biscuits and cakes. This will make a batch that you can store to use beyond this recipe. To make it, mix together 1 1/4 cup arrowroot powder, 1/4 cup baking powder and 1/2 tablespoon xanthan gum. Store it in a glass jar for up to 6 months.

For the gnocchi:

1 cup cashew cheese

1 1/2 cups organic spelt flour

1 tsp Himalayan salt

3 tsp egg replacer mixed in 6 tbsp water

Mix cheese and egg replacer liquid mixture in a medium sized bowl and add flour and salt, stirring together until you have a dough consistency. You should be able to handle it without it sticking to your hands. If it’s still sticky, add a little more flour, bit by bit.

Roll into sausages about 1 cm thick on a floured board and cut into 1-2 cm pieces with a sharp knife. On a floured board, make sure to keep them from touching, while you’re preparing the remaining gnocchi, you don’t want them to stick.

When you’re ready to cook the gnocchi, bring a large pan of water to the boil and gently drop the gnocchi in. Wait until they float to the top and then scoop them out with a slotted spoon. Serve with pesto immediately.

For the nettle pesto:

A generous handful of each of the following herbs –

organic nettles

organic fennel fronds

organic mint

organic sage

organic oregano

1 clove garlic

extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp capers in salt (don’t rinse)

Blitz together in a food processor until you have the consistency you prefer, adding the olive oil as you go.

To serve the gnocchi, drizzle generous spoonfuls of pesto across the hot gnocchi, top with extra rocket flowers, fresh herbs or whatever takes your fancy. These little guys are filling, so don’t be put off by what seems like a small amount!

 

let us eat cake!

Lemon Spelt Teacake with Coconut & Borage Flowers

It’s been celebration central around our kitchen table over the last week or so. A great deal of my favourite people have birthdays in June. And where there’s birthdays, there’s cake. At least, that’s been the theme this year; none of this politely letting the day slip by without a mention, not when there could be a tea party instead.  There’s been a general consensus of throwing things to the wind this year and I’m all for it, so working on Thursday went out with a gust and in came teacake, raw rainbow pizza, cashew cheese and vegan caviar and at least 4 pots of tea.

Making cakes is the best gift I can think of giving, but there’s always that little extra pressure on anything that calls itself a birthday cake. One of my girlfriends who I baked for earlier in the week had the suggestion that I do something I’ve done before, something simple. Stellar advise, except I can’t ever make the same cake twice, and not for any egoic reason akin to not wearing the same outfit twice, I just really can’t ever reproduce cakes to be what their predecessors have been – just ask anyone who comes to our stall at the Farmer’s Market! So, no tried and true cake recipe but I did have a rough idea of a teacake from an old Country Women’s Cookbook  I have and all it took was swapping the butter, eggs, sugar, flour and milk, and icing it with whipped coconut oil, honey and lemon instead of icing sugar and butter, dusting it with coconut flour and throwing some borage flowers over the top. You know how that game of swaps can go. Dressed in sparklers and song, it was just the kind of cake that the birthday girl ordered. I hope her birthday wish was for next Thursday to be the same all over again. Of course, the cake would be different.

Happy, happy birthday Janelle!

IMG_1052 IMG_6299 IMG_6314

 

 

Lemon Spelt Teacake with Coconut & Borage Flowers

2/3 cup organic olive oil (I used ‘agrumato’ for the extra lemon)

1 2/3 cups organic panela sugar

2 cups organic soy or almond milk

1/4 cup organic lemon juice

zest from 2 organic lemons

1 tsp organic vanilla bean paste or essence

2 cups organic plain spelt flour

1 cup organic plain unbleached flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp Himalayan salt

1 1/2 cups organic desiccated coconut

organic coconut flour for dusting

1/4 cup organic coconut oil

1 tbsp organic raw honey

juice of 1/2 organic lemon

Pre heat the oven to 180C and prepare a 20cm bunt tin with coconut oil and a dusting of flour.

Mix the first 6 ingredients together with a whisk, then sift in the flours, salt, baking powder and soda, continuing to stir until thoroughly combined. Stir through the desiccated coconut at the final stage. 

Pour the mixture into the prepared bundt tin and bake for 35 – 40 minutes.

Be sure to let the cake cool in the tin for at least 10 minutes before turning it out onto a cooling rack.

To make the icing, simply combine the coconut oil, honey and lemon juice and whip together in a food processor or by hand with a whisk. Let the cake completely cool before icing (which I didn’t do – it makes for a landslide of icing and a very quick rendition of ‘Happy Birthday”!)

Sprinkle fresh flowers over the top of the icing if you have any, otherwise some extra desiccated coconut would be pretty too.

IMG_6320 IMG_6308

antique roadshow

roasted pumpkin & hempseed spelt pasties

After another rather deep conversation about the goings on of the planet and our place on it, a beautiful friend of mine proposed a beautiful thing; can we have a play date and remember that carefree joy that sits in us somewhere under the seriousness of how we’re planning to save the world? Instantly on board with the idea, my mind went to setting up jumps for the ponies (our legs) that would be racing around the hill next time we caught up. That little gem of a game featured heavily in my childhood so it was a given it would be the first thing to come to me, but thinking about it a little more, I kind of felt a bit sad that we might have to organise play for ourselves, that it did seem like quite a while since that easy, go-with-the-flow creative process had us captured in that wonderful place of no time and no expectation. A heavy sigh out let in a gorgeous visual vignette of antique shops, a packed lunch, thermos of tea and laughing in the car – a road trip – of course! Grown up play of the very best kind.

Just thinking about what we’d have on our roadside picnic had the creative process started, food always does it. Actually, that’s not true, sometimes cooking can be a drag, but when you take the expectation away the whole concept flips itself into the same territory as finger painting or potato stamping. Good stuff. So, with the current roast-ahead-to-make-easy-meals-later theme at play in our kitchen, I had some roasted pumpkin ready to go, the hemp seeds came out of the fridge and some lemon thyme and sage joined in to make pasties. Because that’s what the miners used to eat, and we were heading into old mining towns, and somehow this all made sense at the time. You know how it goes.

It was the very shiniest of days as we set ourselves up on a blanket in the overgrown grounds of an unused church, drinking kombucha, eating pasties and rocket salad with sauerkraut and pesto, and chatting about everything and nothing. The raw chocolate and tea was saved for our next stop further up the road and every little antique shop in every little town we drove through filled in the blanks along the way. As we stopped to watch the sunset on the way home, in the middle of absolutely nowhere, where the sky was so big we had to turn the music way up in the car to do the scene soundtrack justice, we vowed to make this a seasonal event at the very least. Given, eating vegan food and antique shopping in quiet country towns isn’t the wildest thing we could all imagine doing, it’s our new favourite game. And don’t worry, we giggled at that too.

 

IMG_6136 IMG_6138 IMG_6147 IMG_6156

 

Roasted Pumpkin & Hempseed Spelt Pasties

makes 4 pasties

for the spelt pastry:

1 1/2 cups organic spelt flour

2 tbsp organic virgin coconut oil

enough water to pull dough together

Himalayan salt, to taste

for the filling:

1/2 organic pumpkin (about 4 cups), cut into 2cm cubes, skin on and roasted

extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp organic lemon thyme, chopped

2 tbsp organic fresh sage, chopped

4 tbsp organic hempseeds

Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat your oven to 180C.

To make the pastry, combine the flour, salt and coconut oil in a food processor and blitz for 30 seconds. Then slowly add a little water until the dough pulls together to form a ball. 

To make the pumpkin filling, simply combine all the ingredients without mashing the pumpkin up too much in the process. If you’d rather not have the skin as part of the plan, remove it prior to mixing, but I love the texture it adds so I’ve left it on in this recipe.

Remove the dough and cut into 4 even pieces. Roll each piece out into a circle about 20cm in diameter and place a quarter of the pumpkin mixture along the centre line in a small mound, tapering off at each end.

Using your fingers to wet the edges of the pastry, pull the two sides of the pasty over the top of the filling and press together using your finger and thumb to concertina the join. Work all the way down to each end of the pasty and finally fold the very last piece of dough at each end over itself to completely seal the pasty.

Repeat with the remaining dough and mixture to end up with 4 pasties.

Brush a little almond or soy milk across the tops of the pasties and put into the preheated oven to cook for about 25-30 minutes, or until the pastry just starts to colour and is cooked through on the bottom. This is not the kind of pastry that puffs up, so don’t wait for that as the sign it’s ready!

When the pasties are cooked, remove from the oven and slide onto a cooling rack to ensure they don’t end up with soggy bottoms. Nothing worse.

We ate our’s with sauerkraut which I’d highly recommend as the perfect accompaniment but I’d never say no to a good homemade tomato sauce either.

IMG_6180 IMG_6175 IMG_6186  IMG_6165

IMG_6161IMG_6196 IMG_6171 IMG_6203

a big birthday

Spiced Carrot Cake with Cashew Cream & Hempseeds

Damien turned 40 yesterday. No biggie really, we said. I can only see good things ahead when my question of what kind of a birthday cake he’d like was met with, “Some gnarly, full of spice, vegan concoction.” What a guy.

At one point across the day, it struck me that I’d love to pop back and chat to our 14 year old selves about what might fill in the time for the next 26 years. I think the bucket list might be more of a surprise in itself, than the shock of a visit from our future selves. It’s been a heck of a ride. And so much of it unplanned and unexpected but always met with hearts wide open. Mostly because at 14, we had no idea there was any alternative. I’m sure we could have saved ourselves some anguish if we had. Momentarily at least. But if I turn around to look back at the pages and pages of our story together, it’s more like a flicker book. It’s so full, and the feeling of all those memories we’ve made is almost overwhelming. Not for a minute has it all been daisy chains and cloudless skies, but it’s been beautifully raw, and unencumbered of the kinds of expectations our 20 or 30 year old selves might have had if we’d met much later along the line. We’ve held such a big love in our hands all these years, and sitting around a fire last night, celebrating with some of our dearest friends, dropped me perfectly into the space to remember that. And be so grateful for it. Happy Birthday DT. Big love.

IMG_4780

IMG_3958 IMG_4820

Spiced Carrot Cake with Cashew Cream & Hempseeds

 

2 cups organic spelt flour (I used freshly milled from Nature’s 9, so good)

1 cup organic panela sugar

1/2 tsp Celtic sea salt 

2 tsp baking powder 

1/2 tsp baking soda 

2 tsp ground organic cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground organic cloves

1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg 

3 cups organic carrots, grated 

3/4 cup organic extra virgin olive oil 

2/3 cup freshly squeezed organic orange juice

1/2 cup organic raisins

1 cup organic walnuts / brazil nuts / almonds, chopped

 

1 cup organic raw cashews

1/2 cup organic raw coconut oil

1 cup water

juice of 2 organic lemons

pinch Celtic sea salt

3 tbsp raw honey or maple syrup

4 tbsp organic pepitas, dry roasted for 3-5 minutes until coloured

1 tbsp organic hempseeds

 

Pre heat oven to 180C.

Prepare a 26cm diameter bundt tin with coconut oil.

 In a large mixing bowl, add spelt flour, panela sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda and spices and stir with a wooden spoon.

In a separate bowl, mix carrots, oil and orange juice.

Ad the wet ingredients to the dry and mix together. Don’t worry that it will seem too dry, keep mixing and the cake will come together.

Finally add the raisins and nuts and give one last mix through before spooning into the cake tin.

Bake for 30-35 minutes until cooked through. Remove from the oven and leave in the cake tin to cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.

 

To make the icing, blend the cashews, coconut oil and water until really smooth. Add the salt, lemon juice and honey and blend again. At this stage you can put the icing into the fridge if you’d like more of a set icing that you can spread with a butter knife, or if you’d like to let it run down the contours of the cake like I have then leave it out at room temperature.

Once the cake has completely cooled, ice it with the cashew cream cheese and sprinkle toasted pepitas and hempseeds across the top. Hempseeds make sprinkles just blokey enough.

Candles are optional.

IMG_3951

IMG_3965 IMG_4789