Rhubarb + Rose Iced Rooibos Tea ⎮ happy hearted kitchenRhubarb + Rose Iced Rooibos Tea ⎮ happy hearted kitchenRhubarb + Rose Iced Rooibos Tea ⎮ happy hearted kitchenRhubarb + Rose Iced Rooibos Tea ⎮ happy hearted kitchen

I feel as though I have been operating on a higher than normal frequency this week.  Everything being so new and exciting here, and at the same time trying to get that to-do list checked off with things like car insurance and post office boxes. As I mentioned last time, and I am impatient but I am also really easily flustered. Getting all thrown off, probably looking a little bit too far into the future and not focusing on what is right for right now. If you have even just the slightest idea of what I’m talking about, then take 2 minutes to watch this. And then relax. We’re moving in the right direction.

We got a flash spring storm last night. Sometimes all it takes is a burst of electric energy and a glass of something cool to sip on to make us feel centered again. Maybe it’s nature’s way of reminding us to reset. Maybe not. Either way things feel clearer.  Those first few moments after a storm are my favorite. It’s been unseasonably warm here so the cool night air was a welcomed change. I don’t know what the weather has been like where you are, sometimes spring can be all over the map – but here’s hoping that there is some rhubarb and a few cool evenings in your near future.

Rhubarb + Rose Iced Rooibos Tea ⎮ happy hearted kitchenRhubarb + Rose Iced Rooibos Tea ⎮ happy hearted kitchenRhubarb + Rose Iced Rooibos Tea ⎮ happy hearted kitchenRhubarb + Rose Iced Rooibos Tea ⎮ happy hearted kitchenRhubarb + Rose Iced Rooibos Tea ⎮ happy hearted kitchen

Rhubarb + Rose Iced Rooibos Tea

Rhubarb is one of my favorite seasonal finds. Because it only last a short time, I always feel like I need to do something special with it. This refreshing pink spring tea is such a treat on a hot day. Look for rhubarb stalks that are mostly pink in color, otherwise your tea might end up looking a bit brown. A hint of mint or ginger would be really lovely here too, and would be a great replacement if you can’t get your hands on dried rose petals. I strain out the rhubarb before adding the tea and petals, that way I can keep the rhubarb for smoothies or compotes. 

Would love to see your creations – tag your photos #happyheartedktichen so I can see what your making. Hope it’s a sunny spring wherever you are! x

Serves 6.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups sliced rhubarb
  • 6 cups filtered water
  • 2 tablespoons dried organic rose petals
  • 1/4 cup loose leaf rooibos tea, or 2-3 bags depending on how strong you want it
  • Raw unpasteurized honey, to taste – about 2 – 4 tablespoons

What to do

Place rhubarb and water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer on low for 20 minutes. Strain rhubarb from water, and return rhubarb infused water to the pot. Add rose petals and rooibos and simmer for 5 minutes. Strain again. Stir in honey for desired sweetness.

Let cool in the fridge for a few hours. Shake before serving. Serve with ice cubes and garnish with rose petals.

Keep in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to one week.

 

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Asparagus + Brown Rice Sushi Rolls with Sesame Ginger Sauce ⎮ happy hearted kitchenAsparagus + Brown Rice Sushi Rolls with Sesame Ginger Sauce ⎮ happy hearted kitchen

Hello from the mountains! We made it. We’re here. We’re back. So many words can be used to describe how we’re feeling; excited, anxious, in awe, at ease, grounded, ambitious, motivated, inspired – but mostly, at home. Something in my heart is telling me that this is where we belong. It feels – comfortable. Familiar. A lot of people have asked us recently why we moved here, and it our most honest answer is because this is where we want to be. Can there be a better reason? I’m not sure.

I get all excited when we arrived some place new, I rush myself into organizing, unpacking, trying to find a home of every little thing and doing daily trips to the grocery store in order to fill up our pantry. I want to explore, to see everything there is to see. I’m impatient this way. I want to know all that there is to know about our new home. Matt is here to remind me that these things take time, that things have a way of eventually finding the perfect home and that one day soon I forget what it was like to have so many unknowns . We have to enjoy this time, when everything is new. And while I can’t ever imagine getting used to this view, I know he’s right.

We roamed the farmer’s market last weekend, and I was delighted to see an abundance of local produce stands selling off spring greens and summer plants. When asparagus and rhubarb are in season I always buy a bundle or two for our weekly meals. Asparagus usually hits the grill or gets tossed into a grains and greens salad, but in the spirit of discovery and all things new, I decided to go another route. I’ve noted my tips on making sushi at home in the recipe below, but most importantly I encourage you to just go for it. It’s definitely not as hard as it seems (nothing ever is) and the longest part about the whole process is just waiting for the rice to cook. So go for it. Go for all of it.

Asparagus + Brown Rice Sushi Rolls with Sesame Ginger Sauce ⎮ happy hearted kitchenIMG_1901_1IMG_2046_1Asparagus + Brown Rice Sushi Rolls with Sesame Ginger Sauce ⎮ happy hearted kitchen

Asparagus Sushi Rolls with Sesame Ginger Sauce

These rolls are exactly what I crave when the weather starts to heat up and picnics are in season. The fillings are of course up to you but I loved this spring combination. Light and refreshing. Don’t miss out on the sauce.

A few notes on homemade sushi. 

Rice. I used sweet brown rice here, which is similar to sushi rice as it gets nice and sticky. If you have white sushi rice, these are best instructions I’ve found + tested. It’s important to wash the rice to remove as much of the excess starch, leaving you with fluffy perfectly cooked rice. If time permits, soak rice for 30 minutes before cooking and allow time for rice to be well drained.

Rolls. Try not to overstuff your sushi or it will be harder to roll. On that note, it’s ok if the rolls aren’t perfect, they will still taste delicious. Just have fun. Keep a small bowl of water beside you while you’re rolling your sushi to keep your fingers clean and to avoid the rice from sticking too much. A bit of water will help seal the edge of the nori rolls as well. Once rolled, lay the rolls to rest seal side down. Use a sharp knife to slice, and clean in between cuts to prevent rice from sticking to the knife.

Sauce. Always Sauce. Tamari or soy sauce is nice. Pickled ginger is good too. Sesame ginger sauce is the best of both worlds. I love this sauce as a salad dressing, marinade or even on top of steamed veggies or rice noodles. If you’re not up for making sushi rolls, just place all your favorite fillings in a bowl and cover with sauce. I’m sure it will taste just as good.

Makes 4-5 rolls. About 20 pieces. Easily doubled. Vegan + Gluten Free.

Ingredients

Rice

  • 1 cup brown sweet rice
  • 1 + 1/2 + 1/3 cup water (sorry, but it’s the perfect amount!)

Seasoned Vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoons brown rice syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Sushi

  • 1 small bunch asparagus, about 10 stalks
  • 1 ripe avocado, halved and sliced (about 10 pieces)
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • Sprouts of choice
  • Lettuce
  • Black sesame seeds, to garnish

Ginger Sesame Sauce

  • 1/4 cup Tahini
  • 1 tablespoon white or yellow miso
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated or juiced ginger
  • 1 + 1/2 teaspoon tamari
  • 1 + 1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon brown rice syrup
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Water to thin, about 2 tablespoons

What to do

Start by making your rice. If time permits soak the rice for 30 minutes before starting. Place rice in a bowl and cover with water. Use your finger to massage the rice, the water will turn a milky white. Drain rinse and repeat 2-3 times or until the water is almost clear. Transfer rice to a sieve and let drain. Place rice in a pot with a tight fitting lid and add water. Cover and bring to boil over high heat, then keep covered and reduce heat to the very minimum, simmering the rice for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, remove from heat completely and allow the rice to steam for 20 minutes, leaving the lid firmly on. After 20 minutes, remove lid, fluff with a fork and stir in the seasoned vinegar (instructions below). Spread rice out on a cutting board or tray and let cool to room temperature.

Make seasoned vinegar while the rice is steaming. Combine all ingredients in a small pot and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes or until syrupy. Remove from heat and set aside.

Steam or blanch the asparagus. I bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a rolling boil and add asparagus. Boil for about 6 minutes or until tender, time will vary depending on the size of your stalks. Rinse under cold water and drain.

Place a sheet of nori shiny side down on a cutting board or bamboo mat. Have a small bowl of water nearby and wet your fingertips to avoid rice from sticking. Gently press a large handful of rice (about 1/2 cup) thinly over the surface of the nori., covering all but a wide strip at the end farthest from you. Place two stalks of asparagus lengthwise across the rice, add two slices of avocados, spread over green onion and sprouts, then top with lettuce leaf.

To roll, wet your fingers and rub over the exposed strip of nori, this will help seal the rolls. Carefully lift the end closest to your up and over the filling, squeezing firmly. If using a bamboo mat, lift the mat to continue rolling until you reach the end, seal and roll. Wrap the mat around the roll and squeeze to secure. Allow roll to rest seal side down while you repeat with remaining rolls. Use a sharp, moistened knife to slice rolls into 6 to 8 pieces, cleaning the knife between each cut.

For the sauce, combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Ginger People make a great organic ginger juice – I love it for all sorts of sauces and marinades, especially when I’m to lazy to bring out the juicer. That being said, grated ginger will work just fine. Sauce can also be made by placing all ingredients into a small blender and mixing until smooth.

Sprinkle sushi rolls with sesame seeds and serve with sauce. Leftover (what leftovers?) will keep in the fridge for a day or two, but sushi is always best when fresh.

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Avocado, Radish + Sprout Salad with Tangy Miso Dressing ⎮ happy hearted kitchenAvocado, Radish + Sprout Salad with Tangy Miso Dressing ⎮ happy hearted kitchenAvocado, Radish + Sprout Salad with Tangy Miso Dressing ⎮ happy hearted kitchenAvocado, Radish + Sprout Salad with Tangy Miso Dressing ⎮ happy hearted kitchen

I’ve turned 30 since my last post. And while I’m not one for big birthdays, this one was well celebrated. Cooking dinner and eating in with girlfriends, pizza-movie-couch night with Matt, lunch with Mom, brownies, pancakes and a chocolate cake all to myself. I was very well fed.

I received a message from an old friend the other day, saying that she was moving to Australia and getting married in the fall. I was overcome with joy for her even though it’s been years since we’ve seen each other. She went on the say that a lot had changed for her in the past 6 months, but that’s how her life has always been and she loved it that way. As I read her words, I noticed myself nodding my head in understanding. We have started packing up our things once again, and soon we will be packing up the car and driving west to Revelstoke, BC. We don’t have everything figured out just yet, but I know we will have a roof over our head and a few leads on jobs when we arrive. I’ve already pre-ordered 5lbs of asparagus from a local farm so at least we will have something fresh and green to eat as well. A lot can happen in life when you are open to possibilities.

Matt and I  have done two big moves together, and this one will be bringing us full circle. So many people have been asking us what we are going to do out there, and even though I know it’s a work related question I have started answering by saying that we will do lots of hiking and skiing, we will live in the mountains and we will soon hopefully start a family. Because right now, for me, those are the things that matter most.

This blog here has seen a few different kitchens in its time, and while our little montreal home has had its ups and downs, I know that it has been the perfect place for our transition. To leave knowing that we have made the most out of our time here and to have so many new adventures to look forward to. So – ok 30, I think we’re going to have a good year you and me.

Avocado, Radish + Sprout Salad with Tangy Miso Dressing ⎮ happy hearted kitchenAvocado, Radish + Sprout Salad with Tangy Miso Dressing ⎮ happy hearted kitchenAvocado, Radish + Sprout Salad with Tangy Miso Dressing ⎮ happy hearted kitchenAvocado, Radish + Sprout Salad with Tangy Miso Dressing ⎮ happy hearted kitchen

Avocado, Radish + Sprout Salad with Tangy Miso Dressing

I remember watching Jamie Oliver Shows on the food network way back when and always hearing him say that you should never taste a salad dressing with your finger tip, but rather use a piece of lettuce or salad ingredient to get the full flavor effect. It was just good simple advice that made sense and always stuck with me. At first I thought that the lemon juice in the dressing was too overpowering, but it really cuts through the richness of the miso and pairs well with the fresh, crunchy radishes. It’s a simple spring bowl that works. Add brown rice or quinoa or both here to make it a fuller meal. Sprouted mung beans or chickpeas if you want some extra protein. Or add some lamb’s lettuce or spring leaves to turn this into a bigger side salad. Really, this is just the start.

Serves 2. Vegan + Gluten Free.

Ingredients

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white or yellow organic miso paste
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey (or brown rice syrup/maple syrup)
  • 1-2 tablespoons water
  • Optional add-ins: 1 tablespoon of tahini and/or 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

Salad

  • 4 cups mixed sprouts (my favorites include sunflower, broccoli and pea)
  • 1 bunch pink radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 ripe avocado, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 sunflower seeds

 

What to do

Make the dressing. Place all ingredients in a small blender and blend until thick and smooth. Add water as desired. Taste and adjust sweetness if necessary. Optional to stir in thinly sliced green at the end for color.

Add pumpkin and sunflower seeds to a skillet over medium heat and toast until fragrant. Seeds will start to crack and pop as they toast, stir often to avoid burning.

Place sprouts, radishes, green onion, and half the toasted seeds and mix gently with your fingertips to combine. Drizzle in a bit of dressing and gently toss. Divide into two bowls and top with sliced avocado. Serve with extra dressing and seeds.

 

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