apple parsnip breakfast bread

lovely bread

I have an 11 month old baby girl, and morning comes pretty early around our house. It’s nice to have something healthy on hand for breakfast on mornings when you just don’t feel like bothering with making oatmeal or eggs.
This is one such recipe. We’re all familiar with carrot cakes, muffins, and breads, but carrot’s cousin parsnip does well in these recipes, too. The following is one I recently came up with, and it is delicious and moist. I like to make two loaves at a time because, as you can imagine, this gets eaten for more than just breakfast and tends to disappear pretty quickly.

Apple Parsnip Breakfast Bread

lovely bread

Makes 2 loaves
2 extra large eggs (if you have med or large, you should use three)
1 ½ cup sugar
½ cup maple syrup
1 1/3 cup olive or canola oil
1 teasp vanilla extract
3 cups grated parsnips
1 cup grated apple
3 cups flour
1 ½ teasp baking soda
2 teasp cinnamon
2 teasp nutmeg
1 teasp salt
1 cup chopped walnuts

lovely bread
lovely bread

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease two 9×5 loaf pans and set aside.

2. In a very large bowl, lightly beat the eggs with the sugar, maple syrup. Stir in oil and vanilla.

3. Mix shredded parsnips and carrots into egg and oil mixture, mix well.

lovely bread

4. In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients, including walnuts.

lovely bread

5. Add the dry mixture to the wet in thirds, mixing well after each addition, but not stirring more than needed.

6. Fill the loaf pans with the mixture, and bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, approximately 1 hour 10 minutes.

lovely bread

7. Let rest in the loaf pans for five minutes, then carefully remove loafs onto a cutting board, turn them on their sides, and let cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing.

lovely bread

I hope you enjoy this delicious and nutritious breakfast treat!

-Nicole Marsh-Mueller loves to cook locally and seasonally for her family and blogs at The Armchair Housewife

photo credit: Nicole Marsh-Mueller

apple cinnamon coleslaw

Picnic in the fall? Why not, eh? We’re expecting 14 degree weather tomorrow which is a nice break from the frost-bitten days we had earlier in the week. I’m going to take the dogs for a 3-hour trek in the woods tomorrow and plan to pack a lunch for the trip. What could be more perfect than a crisp coleslaw filled with local, seasonal produce to take along?

lovely apple cinnamon coleslaw

This crunchy coleslaw recipe uses cabbage, apples, carrots, radishes and beets and is tossed in an apple-cinnamon vinaigrette. It’s sweet, it’s spicy and it’s perfectly delicious!

lovely apple cinnamon coleslaw

For the salad, you’ll need more-or-less equal parts of cabbage, courtland apples, carrots, and beets. Throw in a bit of radish for a little extra zing. Grate each ingredient in your food processor.

Crunchy Fall Coleslaw

1-1/2 cup grated cabbage
1 cup grated carrots (3 medium sized carrots)
1 cup grated apples (2 courtland apples)
1 cup grated beets (2 small beets)
1/2 cup grated radish (1 medium sized winter radish)

(A heads up: you will want to rinse off the beets before you toss them with the other ingredients as the colour bleeds immensely. Also, know that once you add the dressing, the beet juice will spread like wildfire. I expect that by the time I sit down to eat my coleslaw tomorrow, the whole salad will be a bright red! You can always leave the beets out of the recipe if this is a concern for you.)

lovely apple cinnamon coleslaw

Tanya Lea is a vegan-at-home cook who loves working with fresh, seasonal produce.
Her blog is

chunky brown sugar applesauce


lovely hash browns

My in-laws called us recently with a last-minute invitation to a pancakes and bacon supper at their place. I’m not one to turn down free food prepared by someone else under any circumstance, but we relished even more the opportunity to spend some time visiting with family over a meal of comfort food that appropriately celebrated the arrival of maple syrup season.

I wanted to bring something, but what do you bring as a side dish to a breakfast? I took a gander into this week’s local box and saw those lovely Macintosh apples and thought how nicely a dish of buttery, brown-sugary homemade applesauce would go with pancakes and bacon.

lovely hash browns

Applesauce can be made a million ways, but here is how I prepared it this time, relatively quick, easy and delicious!

Chunky Brown Sugar Applesauce
makes 4-5 servings (as a side dish)
6 medium Macintosh Apples
¼ Cup organic butter
2 T brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
6 tablespoons warm water

1. Peel and core your apples, and cut them into about 1 inch chunks. No need to be super uniform, as long as they are approximately the same size they will cook nicely.

lovely hash browns

2. In a medium saucepan or pot, melt the butter on medium heat until it just starts to brown. Add apples and brown sugar and cook, stirring frequently, for about five minutes.

lovely hash browns

3. Add the cinnamon and water, and turn the apples down to medium low. Cover the pot and allow apples to simmer, stirring occasionally, 10-15 minutes or until nice and tender. Add more water as needed to keep the apples from sticking to the pan, or if you want your sauce a bit more liquidy.

lovely hash browns

4. Remove from heat. I like to hand-mash the apples so they keep a chunky consistency, especially when serving warm. You could also use a hand blender or a food processor to make the apples more smooth.

lovely hash browns

Serve with breakfast or as a side dish to any hearty winter or early spring dish. Leftovers are great with oatmeal at breakfast the next day! Enjoy!

-Nicole Marsh-Mueller loves to cook locally and seasonally for her family and blogs at The Armchair Housewife

photo credit: Nicole Marsh-Mueller

spring equinox salad with black radish vinaigrette


lovely salad

Spring has sprung! And while sometimes in Ontario the first few days of spring can still feel like the middle of winter, there’s no reason you can’t celebrate the new season with a beautiful green salad, thanks to the local, organic lettuce and other fresh produce that comes in your local organic food box.

black radish

I was first introduced to the beautiful black radish last week, and I confess I did not know what it was when I first saw it. Once I found out it was a radish, I was excited! I love the earthy, crisp flavor the bite of a radish gives to a fresh salad, and my thoughts turned immediately to creating a new vinaigrette. I started making my own salad dressings a few years ago and haven’t looked back- the bottled stuff pales in comparison once you have enjoyed the real deal.
You’ll want to make the vinaigrette first, as you will use it as a marinade for your chicken and you can allow it to refrigerate and get happy while your salad makes.

black radish vinaigrette

Nicole’s Black Radish Vinaigrette
1 cup olive oil
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 black radish
1/8 apple
3 tblspn maple syrup
2 1/2 tblspn dijon mustard
1 tsp salt
Peel your radish and cut half of it in chunks and place it in your food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth. (if you do not have a food processor a blender could work, and if you’re really old-school and have neither appliance, you can simply dice the apple and radish very fine and whisk the ingredients together).

Spring Equinox Salad

lovely carrots
lovely lettuce

Note about ingredients: I do not usually list ingredient amounts for salads, as its really to your liking and how many people you are trying to feed with the salad.
Organic chicken breast, cubed
local, greenhouse boston lettuce
yellow carrots
orange carrots
blue cheese
1. Heat a frying pat to medium high heat while you toss your cubed chicken breast in just enough of the Black Radish vinaigrette to coat.
*Note about vinaigrette: I find that marinades made with apple cider vinegar can be delicious, but unlike other marinades you do not want to refrigerate the chicken in this vinaigrette before cooking. Apple cider marinades should be applied just before cooking or it can make your meat mushy, and who wants that?

2. When pan is nice and hot, cook the chicken until its nice and browned, remove and set aside.

lovely chicken

3. Tear your lettuce and slice the remaining fruit and veg into a medium sized bowl, along with your walnuts, croutons, and blue cheese.
4. Add your chicken breast and just enough of the Black Radish vinaigrette to coat, and toss.

lovely bowl of goodies

5. Plate your salad and enjoy with some fresh local bread.

time to eat

Happy Spring Everyone!

-Nicole Marsh-Mueller loves to cook locally and seasonally for her family and blogs at The Armchair Housewife

photo credit: Nicole Marsh-Mueller

pumpkin apple muffins

Muffins are a staple in our house. I bake ’em on the weekends and they go into the freezer for quick removal here and there for breakfasts or snacks. The little one will gobble them up and I can sneak healthy things into them without him knowing.

Stumbled upon a neat website last weekend called Weelicious. It offers up good inspiration for those of us trying to feed babies and toddlers. The focus is on fresh, seasonal and organic food. Hundreds of recipes to choose from and good search options. Well worth a peek.

I made these pumpkin apple muffins from the site this weekend and they turned out pretty well. I needed to add slightly more liquid than the recipe called for (it called for 1/2 cup milk and I substituted yogurt and used more like 3/4 cup). It’s a great way to use up some squash puree (doesn’t have to be pumpkin, which mine wasn’t — i believe it was kabocha squash).

I also threw in some sunflower seeds (some chopped nuts would be good, too) for a little added nutrition. Voila.

pumpkin apple muffins

– Dinah Murdoch lives, eats and writes in Kitchener.

apple pecan bars

We are beginning to accumulate apples more than we are eating out of hand, so I made up a batch of these vegan, wheat-free bars yesterday and sent half of them with my son to his daycare, where they were enjoyed by a handful of toddlers. I skipped the streusel topping to lessen the sugar and still found them plenty sweet.

This used up two apples but if you’re looking to use more, you could make a small batch of applesauce to fill the recipe’s one cup requirement.

I didn’t have oat flour or rice flour on hand but made my own by grinding oats, then brown rice, in my Magic Bullet until finely ground. Presto.

This recipe comes from the Rebar Modern Food Cookbook, one of my very faves.

Apple Pecan Bars

1/4 cup vegan margarine (use butter if you’re not worried about the bars being vegan)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup “flax eggs” (recipe follows)
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup oat flour
1/2 cup rice flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 apples, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup chopped pecans (didn’t have any, so used walnuts)

Streusel topping:

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 vegan margarine
3 tbsp oat flour
3/4 cup chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly oil a 9×9 baking pan. Cream together the margarine and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the “flax eggs.” Mix in the vanilla and applesauce and set aside.

2. In a separate bowl, mix together the flours, spices, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the dry mix to the wet mix and stir to combine. Fold in the apples and pecans and spread into the prepared pan.

3. Prepare streusel topping by combining the ingredients and forming a crumbly mixture with your fingertips. Sprinkle the topping over the entire surface and bake 40 minutes. Cool on a wire rack and cut into 12 bars. These keep well refrigerated for up to 4 days.

Flax Eggs
(yields about 1 cup)

1/4 cup flax seeds
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp water

Place the flax seeds in the bowl of a food processor and grind them thoroughly. With the motor running, slowly add the water. Once all of the water has been added, let the processor run for 5 minutes. Measure and use as required. Store extra flax eggs in the fridge for up to 5 days.

apple bars

– Dinah Murdoch lives, eats and writes in Kitchener.