Some foods don’t work at a picnic; icing is one of them. These rich, dense chocolate cupcakes are great icing-free. I serve them with in-season berries. Pack extra water so you can rinse off the berries just before serving.
1 cup (250 mL) whole wheat flour
2/3 cup (160 mL) all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups (350 mL) granulated organic white sugar
2/3 cups (160 mL) natural cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) baking soda
1/4 cup (60 mL) organic refined canola oil
1 cup (250 mL) organic chocolate soy beverage
2 tsp (10 mL) lemon juice
1 omega-3 egg
1 - 4.5 oz (128 mL) jar strained prunes (baby food)
1 Tbsp (15 mL) pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Line 2 cupcake pans with 18 paper cupcake liners.
In large bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and baking soda. Add oil, chocolate soy beverage, lemon juice, egg, strained prunes, and vanilla. Using hand mixer or wire whisk beat ingredients together for 1 minute, scraping bowl often. Turn speed up to medium or whisk as if your life depends on it; mix for 2 minutes.
Pour equally into 18 paper cupcake liners and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and continue cooling. Serve with fresh berries. Makes 18 cupcakes.
Store completely cooled cupcakes in a resealable, nonbreakable container for up to 2 days.
Each cupcake contains: 158 calories; 3 g protein; 4 g total fat (0.5 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 30 g carbohydrates; 1 g fibre; 118 mg sodium
Adapted from Ultimate Foods for Ultimate Health...and don’t forget the chocolate! (Whitecap, 2007).
source: "The Organic Picnic", alive #322, August 2009
Tourtière is, for me, the dish that best represents Québec. It can be traced back to the 1600s, and there’s no master recipe; every family has their own twist. Originally, it was made with game birds or game meat, like rabbit, pheasant, or moose; that’s one of the reasons why I prefer it with venison instead of beef or pork. Variation: If you prefer to make single servings, follow our lead at the restaurant, where we make individual tourtières in the form of a dome (pithivier) and fill them with 5 ounces (160 g) of the ground venison mixture. Variation: You can also use a food processor to make the dough. Place the flour, salt, and butter in the food processor and pulse about ten times, until the butter is incorporated—don’t overmix. It should look like wet sand, and a few little pieces of butter here and there is okay. With the motor running, through the feed tube, slowly add ice water until the dough forms a ball—again don’t overmix. Wrap, chill, and roll out as directed above.
My love of artichokes continues with this classic recipe, one of the best ways to eat this interesting, underrated, and strange vegetable. Frozen artichoke hearts are a time-saving substitute, though the flavour and texture of fresh artichokes are, by far, much superior and definitely preferred.
Cervelle de canut is basically the Boursin of France, an herbed fresh farmer’s cheese spread that’s a speciality of Lyon. The name is kind of weird, as it literally means “silk worker’s brain,” named after nineteenth-century Lyonnaise silk workers, who were called canuts. Sadly, the name reflects the low opinion of the people towards these workers. Happily for us, though, it’s delicious—creamy, fragrant, and fresh at the same time. Cervelle de canut is one of my family’s favourite dishes. It’s a great make-ahead appetizer that you can pop out of the fridge once your guests arrive. Use a full-fat cream cheese for the dish, or it will be too runny and less delicious.