Hot & Sour Soup! 🍲

 

Ingredientshot and sour soup

Servings: 4
Total Time: 45 minutes

  • 1 – 10 oz bag dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp ginger, minced
  • 1 – 8 oz can bamboo shoots, julienned
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2-4 tbsp hot sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp cold water
  • 2 green onions sliced
  • 2 tsp sesame oil, extra for drizzling on soup
  • 1/3 block tofu, diced (optional)

Instructions

  1. Soak shiitake mushrooms in water for 6 hours or overnight.  Keep the water they soak in.
  2. Add vegetable stock, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, vinegar and hot sauce to pot.
  3. Drain mushroom liquid into pot, without putting mushrooms into the pot. Bring liquid to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer.
  4. Remove stems from shiitake mushroom caps and discard hard ends of stems. Slice mushrooms and add to pot. Let simmer 20-30 minutes.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste. Adjust spice and acidity. Add more vinegar or hot sauce if needed. Add a little sweetener if too spicy or sour.
  6. In a separate bowl mix together cornstarch and water.
  7. Add cornstarch to hot soup. Stir over medium heat until slightly thickened.
  8. Add green onions and sesame oil.
  9. Cook for 5 minutes.
  10. Serve and drizzle extra sesame oil on top if desired.

Notes:  Add seasonal veggies as you wish – snow peas & bean sprouts in spring, julienned carrots in the fall.  Let your imagination, and your tummy, guide you!

Enjoy!

Baked Vegan French Toast 🍁

baked french toast

Ingredients

  • 1 large, ripe banana
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tbsp ground flax or chia
  • 1-2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 9–10 slices stale or lightly toasted bread

Instructions

  1. Mash the banana and mix it together with all of the ingredients, except the bread slices.
  2. Dip each slice of bread into the mixture and fill the bottom of an 8″ baking pan (a loaf pan, like shown above, also works well), pushing them to the edge of the pan as much as possible. Cut bread slices before dipping to make them fit the pan, if needed.
  3. When the bottom of the pan is covered with the dipped bread slices, add a second and any additonal layers until the pan is full. Place the bread slices on each new layer in the opposite direction, so the bread overlaps the edges of the previous layer. 
  4. Pour any leftover dipping mixture evenly over the top of the bread layers.
  5. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
  6. Bake for approximately 30 min until it is fluffy and browned.
  7. Allow the pan to cool for several minutes and, after loosening the loaf from the edges of the pan with a knife or spatua, cut slices of the baked french toast and serve them with any toppings you’d like.
  8. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Stale bread always works best, because it is firmer, but you can also slightly toast it.
  • You can use gluten-free or wheat bread, but gluten-free will tend to be a bit mushier and not hold together quite as well.
  • The recipe can also be made eggs. To do so, just substitute 3 beaten eggs for the ground flax/chia. (In the above photo, the pan on the left is vegan and the one on the right is made with eggs.)

Pretzel Mix

Pretzel MixSalty Crunchy Yumm!
Pretzel Mix is a holiday staple around the Frost household and a 5th food group for Liz!  Her mom has made this once a year, every year of Liz’s life, and we all enjoy munching it. We hope you love it too!

Preheat oven to 250°F.

In a huge roasting pan mix together gently:

2 cups Cheerios (original unsweetened)
2 cups Shreddies (original, unsweetened)
4 cups pretzels (different shapes for fun)
2 cups corn chips 
2 cups small crackers, or potato sticks
1 cup mixed nuts

Mix together in a mixing bowl and then pour over dry mixture:

2/3 cup melted butter or margarine (add more if desired; Liz’s mom will use up to 1 lb)
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder, heaping
2 tbsp vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp seasoning salt

  • Gently mix well.
  • Bake uncovered for 2 hrs, stirring every 15 min to spread the flavour evenly.
  • The pretzel mix will be crispy but not overly browned when it is done.

This is a very yummy pretzel mix, and there are many ways to make it just the way you want. Here are a few tips and ideas:

    1. If you have a bulk food store in your area (like Bulk Barn) go peruse the aisles for things that might taste good in your pretzel mix. Think salty, crunchy. 🙂
    2. The mix can be easily made vegan by substituting the butter for a margarine of your choice (we use Earth Balance).
    3. Making the mix gluten-free is also easy. 
      • Cereals like Cheerios and Crispix are wheat-free already, but you will want to double-check for any other ingredients that may not work for you. 
      • Many brands of pretzels, cereals, chip-like substances, etc will have gluten-free alternatives you can easily buy at your local grocery or bulk food store.
    4. As for nuts, if you can’t or do not want to eat them, try substituting bigger seeds (like pumpkin or sunflower) or roasted legumes like chickpeas or snap peas (not raw snap peas – think dry snack foods).
    5. Spices are a matter of personal preference. The ones in this recipe are a good combo, but you can add more or less of each of them or try some new mixtures as an experiment. 
      • If you want to do some experimental pretzel mix making, try breaking up the recipe into 2 or 3 smaller batches that can each be flavoured slightly differently. This way you can try out a few different flavours and if one of your spice combos is a dud, you have not lost much.
      • Here are a few flavour ideas:
        • Curry: curry powder, turmeric, cumin, coriander, garlic and onion powder, salt
        • Sweet & Spicy: brown sugar/maple syrup, salt, cayenne pepper
        • Honey Mustard: honey (or maple syrup!), mustard, salt
        • Chili Lime: lime juice & rind, cumin, chili powder, salt
        • Do a few web searches and you will find many recipes to use for ideas.
    6. Ultimately, the recipe is more of a guideline than a set of rules. Make it however you want. (Have you considered popcorn?)

We make no claim that this is a health food snack. This pretzel mix is full of lots of carb, salt and buttery goodness that definitely is a better seasonal treat than a new food group item. It’s why we only make it once a year. 🙂 Enjoy!

Tell us about your favourite pretzel mix ingredients or recipe. We may add a few ideas from others to this page for the world to enjoy!

Maple “Butter” Tarts!

vegan & gluten free

There is no butter in our butter tarts, but they taste awesome!

Gluten Free Tart Crust:Maple Butter Tarts

  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup gluten free flour
  • 1 tsp Xanthum Gum
  • 1 ½  tbsp. margarine
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp cold water
  1. Combine the salt, flour and Xanthum Gum in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Cut margarine into the flour mixture with pastry cutter or knife.
  3. Sprinkle oil over dough and cut in with pastry cutter. Dough should have the consistency of cornmeal.
  4. Sprinkle with cold water and loosely cut in, so all is moistened.
  5. Cover dough with plastic wrap and put in fridge for 30 min.
  6. Roll out dough in between 2 pieces of parchment paper (or plastic wrap) to ~1/8” thick.
  7. Sprinkle dough with water if it gets too dry, but don’t overwork it.
  8. Cut out tart crusts with circular cutter (bowl plastic take out container) that is 1” larger than the radius of the muffin tin cups.
  9. Form dough in muffin cups, squishing it around with your fingers to fill in any breaks in the dough or thin spots.
  10. Bake at 400°F for 10-15 min.
  11. Let cool and leave in tin for the filling.

 

Vegan Maple Butter Tart Filling:

  • ¾ cup maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot flour
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp  vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp ground chia or flax seeds
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ cup raisins or pecans
  1. Combine the maple syrup and arrowroot flour with a whisk.
  2. Melt the coconut oil in a small pot and mix it in with the syrup mixture.
  3. Add the vanilla and ground chia/flax.
  4. Add the baking powder at the end and mix well.
  5. Stir in the pecans or raisins.
  6. Use an ice cream scoop to ladle the filling into each of the baked shells, filling only ¾ full.
  7. Bake at 325°F for 25-30 min, turning halfway through for even baking.

 

Choco-nana Butter Tart CrustChoc-nana Butter Tarts

Here is an interesting alternative for a quick and yummy tart shell.  It does not taste like any tart shell you had before, but the cocoa mixes well the banana for a yummily unique butter tart experience!

  • 1 whole banana, cold
  • 1 1/8 cup gluten free flour
  • 1 tsp Xanthum Gum
  • 2 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  1. Peel and break up banana into food processor or sturdy blender (we use a Blendtec).
  2. Add the other ingredients on top of the banana.
  3. Pulse the blender, scraping down the sides as needed, until the ingredients combine into a Play Dough-like consistency.
  4. Roll out dough and fill muffin tin cups as in previous dough recipe.
  5. Make sure to lightly oil the muffin tin cups.
  6. Two baking options:
    1. Baking shells ahead:  
      • Bake 350F for 10-15 min.
      • Let cool and leave in tin for the filling.
      • Bake <20 min at  325°F
    2. Baking shells and filling together:
      • Fill shells ¾ full with butter tart filling (add a few chocolate chips to the filling of each tart to enhance the chocolate sensation theme!)
      • Bake for ~20 min at  325°F

Rhubarb Crisp

Strawberry-Blueberry-Rhubarb CrispRhubarb is in season now and we have been happily adding it to the menu here at Sugar Ridge.  It has to be one of my favourite fruit (even though it is technically a vegetable!).  It has such a wonderful tangy flavour and works so well with other summer fruits like apples and all manner of berries, especially strawberry. 

So, for your baking and eating pleasure, here’s a recipe for a crisp that we make quite often.  There is not a lot to it, so it is easy to make, and it can easily be made vegan and gluten free.

Technically, this rhubarb “crisp” is actually a “crumble”, as crumbles have oats in the toppings and crisps do not.  But since this is the way the recipe was given to me from my mom and previously from my great aunt, I am keeping it this way.  We don’t have to tell anyone and it still tastes the same!

Enjoy!

     Kurt

 

Ingredients

Filling:

  • 1 cm-sized chopped rhubarb to almost fill 9″x9″ baking pan
  • maple syrup
  • water (as needed)

Topping:

  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup brown or Demerara sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/4 cups oats
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease 9″x9″ baking pan.
  2. Wash and chop rhubarb into ~1 cm pieces. (Smaller pieces will cook faster.)
  3. Fill the baking dish with the rhubarb to almost the top.  The volume of the fruit will reduce during the baking.
  4. Drizzle maple syrup liberally over the rhubarb to act as the sweetener and give it some of it’s liquid to bake. It is mostly done by feel and to taste, but you will probably need 1/4-1/3 cup syrup.
  5. If there does not seem to be enough liquid in the pan and the rhubarb is very firm, add a few extra tablespoons of water to help it soften during baking.
  6. In a medium mixing bowl, cream together the butter/margarine and sugar.
  7. Mix in the flour and then the oats and cinnamon. The topping should be crumbly, but still loosely hold together. If it has, for some reason, no stick-togetherness, then add a bit more butter/margarine.
  8. Spread the topping evenly over the pan of rhubarb so that all of the fruit is covered. You may need to press down slightly on the topping to gently compact it all into the pan.
  9. Bake the crisp for 30 to 40 min, until the topping is golden brown and the fruit is soft when tested with a knife.  Put the crisp back in for 5 min more if it is still too firm.

Notes

  • as mentioned at the top, pretty much ANY berry I can think of can be added to this recipe. The most obvious (and my favourite!!!) rhubarb berry combo is to add strawberries.  Berries can replace 1/3 to 1/2 of the rhubarb. You may need less syrup to sweeten the rhubarb with berries in the mix, as they already are pretty sweet.  Other great berries are raspberries, blueberries and cranberries.  Consider trying a combo of several berries and make it a bumbleberry-rhubarb crisp!  Apples are also an old standard for an addition to a crisp.
  • gluten-free flour can easily be substituted for wheat flour and the substitution has little to no effect on the recipe, as it plays such a small role in the topping and there are no concerns whether it rises or not.
  • other sweeteners can be used instead of maple syrup. As maple syrup is the “sugar” in our Sugar Ridge, it is a go-to sweetener for us, but honey, cane sugar, brown/demerara sugar or whatever you want will work well.