January Classes!

Hello Everyone! I hope you’re all having a fabulous week. This is just a quick little post to let you all know that January’s classes are now posted on the site!! There’s the four class Intro to Macro Course, which is now being offered on weekends AND weeknights! And I’m REALLY excited to let you know that we’ve launched two new Series of Classes! A FRIDAY NIGHT OUT Series and, one for all you guys out there, the MACRO MAN Series. So head on over to the cooking classes, and check it out! In the meantime, I leave you with a picture of one of my very favourite foods. Hijiki. More on this bad boy soon.

Jeremy - November 22, 2011 - 5:42 pm

Yum! I’m really looking forward the Macro Man series!

Shauna - November 26, 2011 - 12:12 pm

haha!! That’s because you’ve already tasted the deliciousness!! We’re going to have a good time!!!

Irene - December 5, 2011 - 10:32 pm

WHERE DID YOU GET THAT TOTALLY AMAZING BOWL??

Apple Butter

When I was a kid there was one thing I detested more than anything else. Nope- not broccoli or green beans. Applesauce. I don’t know why, or what it was about the stuff- if I had to have applesauce as a standalone item, it was pure torture. Luckily, my parents didn’t often serve just plain applesauce- it was something that most often accompanied another dish- which was fine for me. Plus, it was usually homemade, which I liked as long as it was served with something else. Just. Not. Alone. Weird kid, I know. There was this traumatic moment though, at a friend’s house one summer day. We had been playing all morning and wanted a snack so she decided that the perfect thing would be…. applesauce. Yuck. She made me eat it. I can’t remember if I cried- I was a sensitive young thing- but I do vividly recall her mom coming in and busting up the whole forced applesauce consuming business. Thank goodness.

Thank goodness also that tastes change. The years pass and horrid flavours and slimy textures gradually metamorphose into something sensuous and velvety on the tongue. Even the detested applesauce can become pleasurable. Forget the wane coloured, prepackaged mushy nightmare of my childhood force feed. This is applesauce all grown up. Matured and developed into a thick, rich spread. If apples had a high school reunion, this is how they’d want to go. “Check me out- Oooh Yeah. Can’t you just see how rich I am? How fabulous? I’m apple butter now. Oh! What’s that? You want to know my secrets? Well… I suppose I can indulge you inferior apples just this once….” It’s ridiculously easy, the only thing it requires is some time. Make it when you’re spending the day lounging at home or doing some housework, when you know you’ll be there to tend to it. It’s not high maintenance, but does require a little stirring every now and again. Set the timer and you won’t even have to think about it- although it will be impossible to ignore as the scent of slowly, slowly cooking apples fills every nook and cranny in your home.

Apple Butter

3 lbs apples (approximately 10 – 12 apples, depending on size) The first batch I used Empire apples, and it was a lighter, more rosy colour- and so very sweet. This batch I used Macintosh apples, as they were what I had on hand and needed to be used up. It’s still nice- just not quite as sweet, and more brown in colour. Apparently Northern Spies are a good choice for making apple butter. I’m on a quest and I’ll let you know… On a quest for Northern Spies- sounds quite exciting, doesn’t it? I came into the room and there he was- just sitting there all rugged, the handsome Northern Spy…

2 cups apple cider, apple juice (no sugar added) or water.

pinch of sea salt

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Peel, core and slice the apples. You can keep the pieces fairly large.

Put the apples in a heavy bottomed pot (I used my Le Creuset), add the apple cider (or whichever liquid you are using) and the salt and bring to a boil. When boiling, lower the heat and let simmer until the apples are soft- 10 – 15 minutes or so.

Run the apples and the liquid through a food mill (I used the finest grate disk), then transfer back to the pot.

Reduce the heat to low, and let the apples do their thing. Set the timer so you don’t forget about them. I gave them a stir every 20 minutes or so, then every 10 minutes towards the end. The butter will turn brown and when completed will not have any  liquid left along the sides when you stir. It should be nice and thick. It takes a couple of hours, but the final thick apple-y deliciousness is worth the wait.

Next time I’m making double the batch. Maybe triple…. then I can share!!

Store in a tightly sealed glass jar in the fridge- keeps for about 2 weeks. Makes about 1 cup of apple butter.

Janine - December 5, 2011 - 4:23 pm

I’m drooling! Great stuff Shauna! Miss u so much!

Birthday Quinoa Salad » She Cooks Macro - March 19, 2012 - 7:52 pm

[…] my dinner plate. Things could be mixed, sauced, spicy… I’d try mostly anything (just not apple sauce). For many years my sisters plate was a pristine temple of not touchingness. Everything equally […]

[…] can add any number of extras. Fruits- fresh or dried, nuts, seeds, milk or amasake, a syrup, jam or apple butter perhaps? Alongside the porridge, we try to include some sort of leafy green. Napa and collard are […]

[…] see here on the biscuits. For now, you can enjoy them with whatever preserves you may have on hand. Apple butter or almond butter work a charm […]

Teresa - April 6, 2014 - 3:46 am

Hi, your blog and photos are amazing…I really want to try this recipe..
Ciao dall’Italia,
Teresa

Shauna - September 28, 2014 - 9:32 am

Hi Teresa- Thank you! Especially now- it’s the perfect season for apples!!

Tropical Sunset Squash Soup

It has been a busy few weeks around here. A good busy, actually a really good busy- Warren’s visit, launching the first series of shecooksmacro cooking classes, getting into the swing of meal planning and cooking for a new private client, and  planning/packing to visit family for a few days over the upcoming weekend- Canadian prairies here we come!! It is crazy times like this that I am always thankful for a fast and easy soup. Especially when it’s the colour of a tropical sunset. Mmmmm… those perfect vacation evenings, salty ocean air and the feeling of just a little too much sun on the skin from playing (laying on the beach) (lounging by the pool) all day. Chillaxin’ on the lanai, cold beverage in hand… Is it sad that we haven’t even seen our first snow and I’m already counting the days until hubs and I head south for some sunshine? Hmmm. Don’t answer. Instead go make this soup. Just please don’t blame me when the same tropical wanderlust strikes you. Oh well, at least you’ll have really yummy soup as a distraction.

Tropical Sunset Squash Soup

This recipes makes a whole bunch. Believe me- you’ll be glad of it. Freeze it if there’s any left, as it makes a nice easy lunch or dinner on a busy day when eating out might tempt.

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2 organic orange kabocha squash. Try to find the orange ones as they are ridiculously vibrant with a sweetness to match. Hubs actually wondered if I had used coconut milk. I hadn’t.

2 medium organic yellow onions

3 tbsp olive oil

spring water

a couple pinches of salt

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Cut open the squash and scoop out the seeds. If you’re using a food mill (I did and it makes the most amazing texture) trim off any nicks or rough spots on the skin, then leave the rest of the skin intact. Cut into one inch cubes and set aside. If you are using a hand blender or food processor, you can still leave the skin on- the soup just might not have the same super smooth consistency. If that creaminess is what you’re aiming for, peel the skin. Or experiment with a food mill- they might look scary (and a food processor doesn’t??) but they are super easy to use- and fun too!! I use an Oxo Good Grips Food Mill and I LOVE it.

Dice the onions and divide into 2 equal portions. They don’t have to be a crazy small dice, but the smaller they are the sweeter the soup will be.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy bottomed pot. Be careful that it doesn’t smoke.

Add half of the onions and the salt. Keep the onions moving for 5 – 7 minutes, even a couple minutes longer if you have the patience. They should be a golden brown and on their way to caramelizing. The longer you go the sweeter and richer the onions will be. Just don’t let them burn.

When the onions are perfect, add in the squash, the rest of the onions, and enough spring water just to cover.

Bring to a boil, then cover and lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes. The squash should be fork tender when done, not too mushy.

Strain out the squash and onions and blend through a food mill, using the finest attachment you have. This ensures that whatever skin might come through is completely blended. Then add the broth- also through the food mill- until you get the desired thickness of soup.

Try not to get too depressed thinking of tropical destinations and fabulous weather. Enjoy your soup instead.

This soup would be killer with sourdough croutons or fried mochi croutons. Yum.

Quinoa Porridge for Dad

Macrobiotics crept up on me. My doctor told me about it during an appointment a few years ago, so I took a cooking class. I didn’t know what to expect, but I discovered that I liked it. A whole lot. I started to practice in the kitchen, slowly building a repertoire of dishes I loved. It was interesting and playful and tasty. Last February, Warren Kramer came to do a series of lectures, and I left them feeling on fire, curious and excited. So excited that when I was faced with choosing a new career I found myself contemplating macrobiotics. Indeed, the power of food had snuck in and taken hold. It felt good, right and I wanted to share it. Two months later the car was packed and hubs was dropping me off in the Berkshires to take The Macrobiotic Leadership Program at The Kushi Institute.

The months in between then and now have been filled with travel and learning. From the three months at the Kushi Institute, to Calgary where I cooked macro for my family for 2 weeks. From hubs and I driving through the Rockies to spend a few days catching up with long unseen friends in idyllic Summerland, British Columbia to ferrying across to Vancouver Island. (The makings of a mid-winter blog escape?) Life definitely has been an adventure, and I am grateful. I learned a lot cooking for my family, and fell in love with seeing people you care about really enjoying healthy food. My Dad has been asking for this recipe since I left Calgary in August so finally I sat down (procrastinator) all ready to e-mail it to him, then had the thought that maybe you’d like this too. Nothing too fancy, and easily adapted to your own personal taste, it’s a simple porridge I made for breakfast one morning this summer. Dad- this one’s for you.

Quinoa Porridge for Dad (makes 2 small servings)

(If you want larger, or smaller portions, the ratio for the porridge here is 1 part quinoa to 4 parts liquid)

1/3 cup Quinoa

1 cup Water

1/3 cup Apple juice

Cinnamon- a few shakes, to taste

1/4 tsp Vanilla- optional

Brown rice syrup or maple syrup to taste- optional

Amasake, rice, almond or soy milk. Whatever you have on hand. Each will have its own distinct flavour. I used hazelnut amasake here.

 

 

Rinse the quinoa. Heat a pan over medium high heat. Add the quinoa and keep it moving around the pan until it starts to dry out. Reduce the heat and keep stirring until it turns a bit golden and releases a toasty nutty smell.

Meanwhile, bring a pot of lightly salted water to boil.

When the quinoa is all toasted (it should no longer stick to the stirring spoon) add it to the boiling water. Cover and cook over medium low heat for approximately 30 minutes, until most of the water is evaporated. This can vary depending on time of year and climate. If after 30 minutes there is lots of excess water, just keep the lid off and let the water content boil down.

Stir in the cinnamon, and the optional additions. You can add in the milk of your choice here, or you can pour it over the quinoa porridge in a serving bowl.

Garnish with fresh berries, apples or pears (raisins also play nicely- rinse them and add them in earlier on in the cooking process) or enjoy on its own.

Jennifer Bilt - November 3, 2011 - 1:08 pm

This looks FANTASTIC!!! I can’t wait to add it to our morning breakfast routine. Simple & healthy! What more could you ask for?!? Love-Love-Love!
Thank you for sharing a wonderful way to start the day!

Ting - November 5, 2011 - 1:34 pm

Shauna! I’m following your website – it’s so beautifully laid out and I’m really desperate to get more recipes! :) I’m definitely going to try this.

Amazing job! For the apples – did you boil them or cook them somehow? They look beautiful with their browned skin.

Ting - November 5, 2011 - 1:35 pm

And also, where are you getting your amasake? I’ve been contemplating buying some koji myself and attempting to make it.

Shauna - November 9, 2011 - 4:06 pm

Hi again TIng!
I get my amasake at Whole Foods or The Big Carrot. It’s made by Green Cuisine and comes in almond or hazelnut flavours. It’s not the same as homemade… but it’s easy and tasty!

MARIO - November 16, 2011 - 2:01 pm

Hey Shauna, thanks for your wonderful recipes. Tomorrow for breakfast i am going to try this one. i have quinoa, some almond cream, apple juice, i think it could match. Big hug!

Shauna - November 26, 2011 - 12:13 pm

Mariooooo!! You’ll have to let me know how you liked it!! Big hug back!!

Shauna - November 26, 2011 - 12:15 pm

Hi Ting- They’re pears!! That’s why the skin looks so beautiful (thanks!!) :) I just love pears!!

Exciting!

Get ready to feel inspired!! Macrobiotic expert Warren Kramer will be teaching here in Toronto at the end of this week! Read on to find out more about all of his lectures and classes. There are still a few (but limited!) spaces if you’d like to come. To register simply click on “Let’s Talk” and fire me off a message. Hope to hear from you soon!! In the meantime, I’m working away at some exciting new class announcements and a super yummy recipe post for later this week. 

Janine - October 24, 2011 - 9:22 pm

YES!! I was waiting!! Omg awesome post, recipe and pictures! Lovely writing too. Love ya!

Karin - November 1, 2011 - 4:53 pm

Great lecture and amazing dinner last Thursday night! Keep me posted when Warren comes to town again. I’d love to take the other classes as well.

Shauna - November 1, 2011 - 5:32 pm

Karin! I’m glad you enjoyed the night! Warren will be back from February 22 – 27th, 2012. More details coming soon!!!