Soup for Olivia

Not a recipe so much as a description of how I made this soup, so Olivia’s Moms can look it over and make sure I’ve not included anything totally innapropriate.  If I’ve made a mistake Clare can alway add a bit of salt or hot sauce and enjoy it herself (I’m sure Meredith wouldn’t want the pork hock meat or broth!)


  • Vegetable scraps
  • Lemon grass
  • Lemon peel
  • Ginger root
  • Outer leaves and ends of leeks
  • Pork shin hock bones, trim (solid, lean meat picked over and reserved for soup)
  • Garlic
  • Peppercorns
  • Dried herbs

    Cover scraps with water, bring to a boil, then simmer for a few hours.  Strain broth, cool to allow fat to seperate.  Skim off fat and discard.


    Strain the broth, cool, and remove all fat.

    In large soup pot saute the following:

    • Diced carrot, celerey, broccoli stems, broccoli florets, mushrooms, parsnips, onion
    • truRoots sprouted rice and quinoa blend
    • Split green peas, soaked overnight
    • Pork hock meat, picked over, lean meat only
    • Tiny black lentils

      Saute vegetables until translucent, add other ingredients and cover with broth.  

      Simmer til vegetables are tender, and split peas are soft, adding enough stock to make soup  to desired consistency.  

      Simmer until rice and lentils are soft.

      Grown ups could add salt, soy sauce, or miso, hot sauce, chili peppers, smoked paprika, or whatever.

        Quick Kimchi

        I’ve tried fermenting cabbage several times, but it always went horribly wrong.  This time I’m trying something super-simple, from the Stone Soup Blog.  My attempt is based on their Quick Kimchi recipe:

        • 1/2 large white, savoy or napa cabbage (regular white cabbage)
        • 1 bunch bok choy (optional) omitted
        • 2-3 teaspoons chilli flakes
        • 5cm (2in) piece turmeric, grated (they carry this at my Superstore and I plan to try it asap)
        • 5cm (2in) piece ginger, grated
        • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
        • 1.5 – 2tablespoons fine salt

        I added a clove of garlic and a small jalapeno, grated.  I realize this is far from authentic kimchi, I just want to manage to succesfully ferment cabbage into something edible for now.

          I guesstimated how much cabbage would fit in my jar.

          After assembling the other ingredients (powdered tumeric subbed for fresh),

          Everything gets mixed togetherlong with some additional pink Himalayan salt.


          Now we wait for a few hours or overnight, covering the kimchi with a tea towel.  I also pounded the cabbage with a weird stirring tool we have.

          The cabbage didn’t release much liquid at all, but it did decrease in volume by about half.  Not sure how that happened, but here it is:

          Next I packed down the cabbage as much as possible, and topped it with several pieces of outer cabbage leaves to keep everything submerged.

          Finally I topped it off with filtered water.

          Then, seal up the top with a masom jar lid, and let sit out on the counter.  It should start to ferment, and needs to be opened once a day to release the built up gas.  We’ll see what happens!

          Day 2:

          The cabbage seemed to have a re-absorbed some of the liquid, but seemed to return to its original state and liquid level once I packed it back down. No smells or signs of frementation yet.

          KFC-Inspired Chicken in the Slow Cooker

          I wanted to try out Stephanie O’Dea’s recipe to see if it was at all alike, but also just to have a nicely, but not too strongly, seasoned batch of cooked chicken meat to use in a variety of things.  

          She originally came up with the idea as some of her kids are gluten free and had never been able to try “the real thing,” as she describes in this NPR article.

          She does a whole chicken but I used a tray of chicken thighs, skin removed by Will!

          This is the spice rub:

          • 1 teaspoon paprika
          • 1 teaspoon garlic salt (I used half salt, half garlic powder)
          • 1 teaspoon onion powder
          • 1 teaspoon sugar
          • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground thyme
          • 1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano
          • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground sage
          • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper
          • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground ginger
          • 1⁄4 teaspoon dried marjoram
          • 1⁄4 teaspoon celery salt
          • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cardamom (I substituted corriander)

          I let the thighs sit overnight with the rub on, then browned them both for flavour and to help keep the thighs a bit intact, rather than ending with a mess of meat and tiny bones!

          Now it should cook for at least 6 hrs on low, or 4 hrs on high.

          My chicken was done after about 5 hours, as it was small pieces , not a whole bird.  It is reminiscent of KFC but no gross/good greasy deep fried taste.  You could definitely use it anyhere you’d use rotisserie chicken.

          I’m going to put the juices in the fridge to get the fat off, then add some broth and thicken with some cornstartch for a gravy.  With leftover mashed sweet potatoes and some roasted cabbage it’s what’s for dinner tonight.

          The Verdict:

          Very good, will make it again.  Weirdly like KFC but good for you tasting, especially the gravy I made with juices, thickened with cornstarch.

          Sprouted Black Lentils

          I’ve been reading about sprouted lentils and beans lately and wanted to try them.  Sprouting is supposed to increase nutrient absorbtion and digestibility.  Also we’ve always liked sprouts like alfalfa and bean, but they disappeared from grocery stores for thevlast few years (that I’ve seen). I think there was a food safety issue, esp. with bulk, non-packaged sprouts, maybe salmonella?  

          I used 1/2 cup of beluga (black) lentils.

          9 pm – rinsed lentils in strainer, then set strainer in large bowl filled with tap water to soak overnight.

          6 am – rinsed lentils well, shook off excess water, placed sieve containing damp lentils in a bowl and covered lentils with pot lid to keep out dust and possible floating cat hair, though we probably eat plenty of that! 

          Reserved lentil soaking liquid to water plants with. 

          Supposedly whatever nutrients came out in the water will feed your plants.  You can do this with vegtable cooking liquid too, as long as you don’t include salt.

          9 am –  Rinsed and drained lentils.

          1 pm-

          7:30pm –  Starting to see more lentils that are splitting open.

          Day 2, 8 am-

          Day 2, 2pm-

          Day 2, 9pm – Thoroughly rinsed and dried by Will.  Tastes really nice as is, haven’t cooked with them yet.

          Teething Cookies

          I’m thinking of reviving this cooking blog with new experiments in cooking for my 10 month old niece Olivia.

          Our first experiment was a teething cookie, based on a recipe from Weelicious.  We didn’t change much from the recipe.

          Teething Cookies 

          • 1 egg yolk, beaten
          • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
          • 2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses (we used regular, which I think is sweeter, and dosen’t have as many nutrients)
          • 1 teaspoon vanilla
          • 1 tablespoon rice/soy milk (we used unsweetened almond milk)
          • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour plus 1 tablespoon for rolling
          • 1 tablespoon soy flour
          • 1 tablespoon wheat germ (we used toasted wheat germ, available at Bulk Barn)


          1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

          2.Mix all liquid ingredients in a medium sized bowl.

          3. Combine the dry ingredients in a separate measuring cup and then add to wet ingredients. Blend until mixture forms a ball of dough.

          4. Sprinkle whole-wheat flour on a clean surface and shape into a square, about 1/2 inch thick.

          5. With a knife cut into 1 1/2 inch logs.

          6. Place the logs on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

          7. Bake for 10 minutes.

          8. Cool on the sheet or tranfer to a wire rack.

          9. Serve.

          *I wouldn’t start giving these to a baby under the age of 8 months. You always need to be around when baby is eating something they could choke on.

          These seemed to be a hit with Olivia, she had one at family dinner and another as part of breakfast the next day!

          Chickpea Flour Cornbread

          I really liked cooking with chickpea flour in the recipe for Socca (chickpea pancake)from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything so I thought I would try adding some to a cornbread recipe to go with my green chilli tonight.  I subbed half the cornmeal for chickpea flour.

          1 1/2 cup cornmeal
          1 1/2 cup chickpea flour
          3/4 cup all purpose flour
          3 tsps. baking powder
          1 tsp. salt
          1/3 cup grated old cheddar or more (optional)
          2 1/4 cup buttermilk or equivalent milk/water and greek yogurt
          1 egg
          2 tbsps. oil (I used some hot chilli oil I’d made)

          Heat the oven to 375’F and put a cast iron skillet in while the oven pre-heats.

          Mix the dry ingredients well, then toss in the cheese so it is coated in flour and evenly distributed.

          Mix the milk/yogurt/buttermilk(whatever you use) and the egg together well.bread 001

          Add the liquid to the dry ingredients, stirring til just combined.  I had to play with the proportions here, it should be a thick batter (not pourable) but not a dough.

          Take the skillet out of the hot oven, pour in the oil (or bacon dripping or whatever fat you like) and scrape in the batter, spreading to cover the skillet.

          bread 003Bake for 30 minutes.  Adding corn kernels, crumbled bacon, chopped peppers or whatever else takes your fancy would be nice too!

          bread 004This was really tasty, lighter than cornbread, with the added toasty nutty flavour of chickpea flour.bread 005We had ours with our dinner of green chilli!bread 006I’d definitely make this recipe again and I want to find more ways to cook with chickpea flour!