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diy trail mix with all the good stuff….

21 May

diy trail mix theurbanpocketknife

Let me premise by saying I kinda hate trail mix.  It’s one of those snacks that you never really eat in the city and only when you’re on some outside adventure.  Although it’s a high energy snack, full of nutrients and fibre, I detest how it dries out your mouth, it’s filled with bland or overly salted nuts, and makes you more thirsty.

diy trail mix theurbanpocketknife

I stopped into Ayoub’s one day, which by the way is the most unique and wonderful bulk food store, and picked up some ingredients.  The shop stores their own roasted nuts and dried fruit in beautiful silver pedestals with dome lids.

I must admit that the trail mix was partially inspired by a vendor I saw at a farmer’s market once who added shredded beef jerky to the nuts….genius!

diy trail mix theurbanpocketknife

So what’s in this trail mix?  I wanted a mix of different complementary flavours, kill some of the salt, add some sweetness and different textures.  I suppose the ratios don’t matter too much as it’s up to your personal preference.

Spicy Cashews (cayenne, lime, saffron, salt)
Salted Peanuts
Raw Macadamia (probs my fav nut!)
Roasted Almonds
Green Raisins
Raw Hazelnuts (gleaned by my friend!)
Shredded Beef Jerky (blitzed in my food processor)

I’m debating on adding some chocolate chips but was not sure if that would be overkill 🙂  I’ll be honest, this trail mix isn’t that cheap but at least I’ll eat it on my next climbing trip!


bacon pork liver pâté with pomegranate jelly…

25 Nov

bacon pork liver pate pomegranate jelly urbanpocketknife


As usual, I kind of forgot that I had a whack load of piglet offal in my freezer that my local farmer graciously donated because her customers don’t really request it.  I can’t say no to free food so I accepted it and chucked it into my freezer.  My plan was to make all kinds of pâtés and terrines but I’ve never made it so kept it on the back burner for ages.  Scrounging through my deep freeze to find some chicken stock, I found the long lost offal bag and decided now was the time to attack it.

My family has always loved pâtés so we definitely grew up on it not really knowing what was in it.  Usually I buy it from Oyama on Granville Island because they sell the most delicious meaty things but it can run a little expensive at $3.99-$7.99 for 100gr.

So it turns out it’s way easier than I thought it would be…this recipe makes a few small batches and the great thing is you can freeze it!  I had a lone pomegranate in the fridge so I thought instead of a red wine jelly, maybe a pomegranate jelly would suffice.

Here’s the recipe!

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organic rainbow truffle parmesan popcorn…

18 Jun

organic popcorn theurbanpocketknife

Sometimes I get excited over the smallest things, I’m sure I let out a squeal when I saw these gorgeous cobs of popping corn in array of colours….COLOURS!  Klippers Organics once again blows my mind with what they can grow and this is ultra special, organic, non-GMO, popping corn.  I’ve had them sitting around to just look at but recently I went to a bar with a couple of friends and had some truffle parmesan popcorn…yum!  So naturally, I went home and made it.

organic popcorn theurbanpocketknife

Just look at these cobs, I find it so interesting that there is such variety in colour in a single cob.

organic popcorn theurbanpocketknife

I didn’t happen to grab any, but they also grow one that is a beautiful lilac colour.

On to the seasoning, these kernels pop just like any other, you can do it in an air popper, microwave or stovetop, do what you normally do with other types of popping corn.  Take a couple of teaspoons of butter and melt (I just nuke it), add a couple of teaspoons of good quality truffle oil.  Toss it all in the popcorn.  Take very finely ground parmesan (blitz it in a food processor if it’s not fine) and toss it in the popcorn.  You want the cheese to be fine so it sticks to the oil/butter mixture.

organic popcorn theurbanpocketknife

It’s not rocket science so just adjust the seasoning amount to your liking!  Fun fact, I thought I had BURNED my popcorn but it turns out that I’m just an idiot and when I saw dark specks on the fluffy white popcorn I thought I had scotched it.  Duh, it was blue popcorn.

kale chips that don’t cost a kajillion dollars…

12 Feb

kale chips the urbanpocketknife

Put me in front of a bag of potato chips and I turn into a teenage boy playing a video game marathon in the middle of the night….can’t stop…eating.  I make it a rule to never buy this stuff for my house because I have no self control.  A while ago, I had an abundance of kale available to me and I had no idea what to do with it so the farmer suggested I make kale chips.  Alright, I’ll bite.

It’s actually one of the more simple snacks you could make, it ends up being crispy, salty and well, kinda good for you.  I’ve experimented with using a dehydrator and different dressings that involve ground nuts for crunch but this one is by the far the simplest and still tasty.

Step 1: Buy a bunch of kale.  It doesn’t have to be organic but that’s what Granville Island had for me.

kale chips the urbanpocketknife

Step 2: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Wash your kale and salad spin it dry.  Rip the leaves off the hard centre stem and put it in a bowl.

kale chips the urbanpocketknife

Step 3:  Put some crap on it!  Drizzle a small amount of olive oil and massage it in with your hands.  A little goes a long way so just put enough to make it glisten.  Add some seasoning, whatever you like, sea salt, lemon pepper…I used a ready made tandoori seasoning from Maison D’Cote because JP’s the man and he makes it for me so I don’t have to.

Step 4:  Spread it out on a silpat on a cookie sheet, one layer high only please.

kale chips the urbanpocketknife

Step 5:  Bake for 10-15 minutes, give it a quick stir half way through.  It’s done when it’s starts to brown slightly on the edges and it looks dry.  Take a couple out to cool and take a bite to see if it’s the way you like it.  Be careful because it will burn if you leave it in too long!

Step 6: Eat your hippie-approved snack.  I apologize in advance because you WILL be disappointed with the yield, it shrinks like crazy and you’ll end up with only a small bowl of these treats.  Still…enjoy and thank yourself for not spending a trillion dollars for the same treat at Wholefoods.  (Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Wholefoods!)

Tips and Tricks

1.  Buy more kale than you think…two bunches will probably get you two trays worth.
2.  Curly kale is easier to make crispy because there is more airflow, you can use sturdy greens like collards but prepared to flip more often
3.  Too much oil and your kale will never crisp up
4.  If your oven is like mine, it doesn’t ventilate well, shove a wooden spoon in the door to let moisture escape easier

organic apple chips

3 Jan

organic apple chips urbanpocketknife

Since apple are practically the only fruit you can get now that is local, we stock up on them at this time until we’re blue in the face!  Dried apples that are leathery are just plain gross, I hate it when you get them in dried trail mixes.  The only way to go is to slice ’em up and put them in the dehydrator until there is absolutely no moisture left…no spongy apple nuggets here!

You can choose any apple your heart desires, tart ones make a nice tangy chip and sweet ones make it taste like candy!

Some people dose the sliced apples with lemon juice to preserve the colour and avoid oxidation, I don’t really mind that they turn slightly yellow so I don’t bother.  Fun fact!  Ambrosias oxidize the least out of all apple varieties so they’re perfect for apple chipping AND salads.

Cut the apples to about 1/8-1/4 inch, lay em on the trays and dry!  This is one of our fav snacks in the winter!

organic apple chips urbanpocketknife

crispy fat-free multi-coloured beet chips!

17 Nov

beet chips urbanpocketknife

Leave a whole bag of potato chips with me and I’ll devour the whole damn thing, same goes with my other half.  Finding an alternative wasn’t crazy hard since we have a surplus of beets from the market.

Making them in the oven proved to be only semi-successful.  Beets burn really fast so it’s quite tedious checking them every so often and I always had to them in batches since I can only fit two cookie trays in at a time.

Behold!  Dehydrators to the rescue.  Oh yes, that’s plural.  Side by side my friend’s kick ass dehydrator with temperature control and circulating fan beside my ghetto Ronco buy-it-on tv version.

Here goes the dehydrating madness that has become my house.  Select some beets that will fit in your mandoline.  I like red beets that are swirled with white stripes and golden beets.  Mostly because they are way less messy and doesn’t turn my kitchen into a blood bath.

beet chips urbanpocketknife

Slice ’em thin, I wouldn’t go too papery thin because they’ll shrivel up like the dickens and you’ll be sad that your chips are the size of nothing.  Don’t be a sucker like me and be super careful with the mandoline, I ended up slicing the heel of my palm and it was not pretty.

beet chips urbanpocketknife

Layer them on your trays, I cheated and overlapped them a bit.  Sprinkle some flavourings, I used plain old sea salt but you can add whatever your heart desires.

beet chips urbanpocketknife

Dehydrate at 135 F for as long as it takes to make them crispy…it’ll take at least a day or if you’re a Ronco dehydrator….forever and a day.  Do not cry as to how much beet you have lost.

beet chips urbanpocketknife

Once done throw these bad boys into a sealed container so they don’t suck up moisture from the air.  Enjoy your air dried beet chips!

roasted baba ghanoush…

11 Oct

baba ghanoush urbanpocketknife

We’ve had a surplus of eggplant lately and to get it all cooked up in one batch I decided to make baba ghanoush.  Once upon a time, this was the only human food that my cat Milo would eat…weird.

It’s a pretty easy endeavor, blacken up some eggplant, cook until it’s soft and blend it with some other delicious things.  It’s not too involved but it makes for a tasty dip for veggies and flat bread or a yummy spread for sandwiches.  It’s perfect for the low-carb diet as you can control what goes in and the bulk of it is eggplant!

I made a larger than normal portion so I could freeze some of it for another day!  Here’s the recipe…

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