Monthly Archives: July 2010

All Natural Spa Product Recipes

We had a wonderful day with Kid Safe on the East Side – giving over 90 kids a well deserved spa day.

They chilled as we soaked their feet in lavender foot baths, put on mud masks on their face, gave them salt scrubs for their hands and massaged their feet with coconut oil!

Kids were pleasantly shocked at how easy and cheap it is to make your own natural spa products and they were also unpleasantly shocked to hear that many hair, moisturizer and bath products are loaded with chemicals and petroleum stuff! They also did not realize that their skin absorbs 95% of what what they put on it.

A big thanks to Keri, Manager of Rocky Mountain Soap Co. Vancouver, for providing us with all of the recipes! The kids loved them!

Here are the spa recipes we made – try them out for yourself:

1. Foot Soak

Soak feet in basins of warm water to relax and sooth sore feet.

Instructions: – Sprinkle in the water: – Approx. 1 cup Epsom salt – Approx. 1 tsp lavender flowers (optional) – A few drops of Essential Oil if you want (could add: grapefruit, fir needle, patchouli, & lemongrass)

2. Moisturizer

Massage moisturizer onto freshly soaked feet, can work extra into hands.

Why coconut oil? Cold pressed coconut oil is fabulous because it is very rich in fatty acids, but it absorbs really easily into the skin.

Instructions: – Put a spoonful of coconut oil into a bowl – Add a few drops of essential oil and mix (Sweet orange oil for encouraging new skin cell growth & rejuvenated skin. Lemongrass antibacterial and moisturizing)

3. Face Mister

Instructions: – Pour some water into a spray bottle. – Add whatever essential oils you want. We used 5 drops of lavender and 3 drops of rose essential oils. – Shake it up and then mist face.

4. Sugar Scrub

Exfoliate the hands! Rub sugar scrub all over hands for 15 seconds, and then rinse off under running water. Why sugar scrub? Sugar is very mild on the skin, and if any of you kids have any cuts, the sugar won’t sting at all. When the sugar reacts with water, it creates a mild amount of glycolic acid, which very gently releases and stuck on dead skin.

Instructions: – Add sugar (~ 2 Tbls) to a bowl – Add any light oil (~ 2 Tbls) – can use grape seed, or coconut or olive oil… – If the consistency gets too oily, add a bit of castile soap (100% natural soap). – Add 4-5 drops essential oil your choice. (lavender, or sweet orange). – Just mix together with a fork!


Making Tee Shirt Bags

The Flatbread Team is working with 90 kids at Kid Safe to convert their old tee shirts into library bags – they can also be used for shopping bags. The project is fun, quick, easy & stops millions of plastic bags ending up in our land fills and oceans – phew!

Tools and Materials

An old  cotton T-shirt


Sewing machine

Medium-size bowl

Water-erasable marking pen


T-Shirt Bag How-To

1. Turn T-shirt inside out and pin bottom of the T-shirt along the hem. Using a sewing machine, sew bottom of T-shirt closed. Flip shirt right side out and lay flat on table, making sure all seams are lined up.

2. Place medium-size bowl about half-way over the neck hole. Using a water-erasable marking pen, trace along the edge of the bowl. Cut along the outline, making sure to go through the front and back sides of the shirt, in order to create an opening for the bag that’s larger than what the neck hole allows.

3. Line up the hems on the front and back side of the sleeve and cut, making sure to go through both sides of the shirt. Repeat on the other sleeve.

4.  For decoration get out some fabric paints or markers and decorate

And enjoy as a library bag, shopping bag, swimming bag ….


Blueberries With Lime Sugar by Doug Hawrish

Another recipe to enjoy the best of B.C. Blueberries.

Ingredients for Blueberries With Lime Sugar

3 TBSP sugar

Juice of 2 limes

2 pints of blueberries

1 sprig of mint cut into chiffonacle (thin strips)

Citrus zest confit (follow recipe below)

1/2 cup of yoghurt

Directions for Blueberries with Lime Juice

Dissolve sugar and lime juice in a large bowl by stirring, add berries and toss well.

After all the berries are coated, add mint and citrus zest confit.  Toss well again.  Serve berries with yoghurt on the side.

P.S. Sugar may be substituted for honey or Agave syrup. Yum.

Ingredients for Citrus Zest Confit

2 limes, lemons, oranges or grapefruit

1/3 cup sugar

1 cup water

Directions fro Citrus Zest Confit

Remove peel from the fruit with a pairing knife or fruit peeler.  Ensure pith is removed from the peel.  Cut zest into strips.

Combine 1 cup of water and 1/3 cup sugar in a small pot.  Bring to a boil and add strips of zest.  Reduce pot to simmer.  Losely cover pot and reduce liquid by half.  Remove from stove and allow mixture to cool.  Strain the zest and store in airtight container

Blueberry Cornmeal Muffins by Doug Hawrish

This is a delicious way to enjoy the best of the blueberry season.


1/2 cup & 2 TBS unbleached all purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 TSP baking powder

1/2 TSP baking soda

1 TSP Kosher or Himilayan salt

1 TSP ground cinnamon

1 cup cornmeal

3 large eggs

3/4 cup sour cream

1/4 TSP vanilla extract

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 TSP lemon zest

1/2 cup fresh blueberries


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease muffin tins with vegetable oil and dust with flour.

Mix together flour, sugar baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon & cornmeal in a large bowl.

Lightly whisk eggs, sour cream & vanilla in a seperate bowl.

Gently stir liquid into dry ingredients.  Mix 1/2 cup vegetable oil into mixture stirring continuously.  After oil is mixed in well & fold in lemon zest & fresh blueberries.

Fill muffin mix to the top of tins.  Bake for 15 – 20 minutes.  Insert bamboo skewer to ensure muffins are cooked – should come out clean.  Makes 8 regular muffins.

Winter Gardening By Sharon Hanna

Winter vegetables keep the hungry gardener and 100-mile dieter rich in nutrients and close to the earth

Winter vegetables? Winter is likely the furthest thing from your mind as you wander among the lush rows of lettuce in your garden. I have no room, you sigh, eyeing that remaining patch of lawn. But don’t despair—winter vegetables can actually fit quite readily into your existing garden. Start them this summer, and just think: in January, you’ll be able to walk on past the dollar-a-leaf organic kale at the market.

With the exception of mustards and field peas (which are best direct-sown), winter veggies are seeded from late June through August, then raised as transplants. Sow seed thinly in a reliable seed-starter mix. Four or five weeks later, you’ll have a husky plant that will withstand winter cold. Then, simply plug your transplants, or “starts,” into the space left by peas and other vacating vegetables. Winter vegetables are light feeders; your already-well-fed garden needs only a light sprinkling of complete organic fertilizer at planting time.

One caveat: these veggies dislike heat, so starting them in summer requires a bit of staging on your part. Rear seedlings outdoors in partial shade (morning light is fine); the dappled light under trees is ideal. Use a table or bench to keep seedlings away from marauding slugs. Regular maintenance is easy, since you’re watering the summer garden anyway. Fertilize seedlings weekly with half strength of one part each liquid fish and kelp emulsion.

Here are eight winter veggie picks that will thrive in mild-winter climes, but I’ve also included recommendations from gardener friends who grow in colder zones. For more winter protection, consider row covers, or turn a raised bed into a mini-greenhouse with a “clip” system.

I’ve also provided some simple but delicious recipe suggestions to get you started on enjoying your harvest of tasty and nutritious greens this winter.


Lovely and aromatic when braised with tomatoes and herbs in a classic Niçoise-style dish, this Allium tolerates part shade, while its roots improve soil tilth. Sow winter-proof varieties like Siegfried Frost in July, eight to 10 seeds per pot. When they reach 10 to 12.5 centimetres tall, transplant them 7.5 centimetres apart. Periodically hill soil up around your leeks as they grow to create tender, blanched stems.

Tuck leeks into containers; their willowy form enhances decorative kale and winter pansies. The nectar-rich blue flowers are loved by pollinating insects.

Leek & Barley Soup

Precook 1 c. (250 mL) barley in 8 c. (2 L) water until al dente, about 30 minutes. Drain.

Sauté 2-3 c. (500-750 mL) sliced leeks in butter until soft. Combine barley and leeks with enough vegetable or chicken broth (or water) to cover. Simmer about 40 minutes.

Adjust seasonings, and if desired, garnish with parsley and a squeeze of lemon.


Brits know these as cabbage greens—their huge, flat leaves are really unruly opened-up cabbages. Frost is mandatory to bring out their sweet taste, and one or two leaves make a meal. Collards are loaded with iron and calcium. Raise as transplants in July.

Try them chopped, sautéed with bacon and onions—they’re so delicious you’ll always want collards in your winter garden!

Also try: mache, endive, radicchio, arugula, broccoli raab.


Young Scottish lassies of yore practiced soothsaying with kale. As she pulled the leaves off the stalk, the girl would call out names like “Jock!” or “Hamish!”, the last leaf predicting who her future husband would be. While the accuracy of kale in fortune-telling has yet to be proven, at the very least, kale’s many assets include being tough, easily grown and nutritious.

Try Red Russian, Redbor, Dinosaur (Lacinato) and other varieties. Give the big plants room—half a dozen of these can feed a family. Kale is a favourite of Mary Ballon, winter vegetable aficionado and owner of West Coast Seeds in Vancouver. It reliably self-sows, so relaxed (non-weeding) gardeners will have it forever.

Delicious steamed, drizzled with butter, or chopped and simmered in soup with potatoes, white beans, sausage and lots of garlic.

Swiss Chard

Once upon a time in Switzerland, a lonely beet shrivelled in the freezing ground. The greens kept growing—et voilà, Swiss chard! I especially love Bright Lights, with its stems and mid-ribs in every colour of the rainbow except blue. Harvest by cutting the outer leaves with a sharp knife.

Use in a multitude of ways: chopped in pastas, soups, even desserts like a semi-sweet torta featuring Swiss chard, ricotta cheese and rum-soaked raisins. Italian cooks love the stems….

Swiss Chard Stems in Blackened Butter

Steam 10-centimetre lengths of chard stems (2-3 big handfuls) until tender-crisp, about 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Over medium heat, melt 3 tbsp. (15 mL) butter in a skillet, add 6-8 (or more) fresh sage leaves, and sauté until the butter browns and the sage is slightly crisp.

Add 2 tsp. (10 mL) capers, along with the drained stems, and sauté 3-4 minutes.

Winter Lettuce

A star pick for your winter garden is an heirloom that originated in France in l885, Rouge d’Hiver. This prima donna is tough enough to withstand frost. Seed transplants July through August.

Also try: Winter Density green romaine and Merveille des Quatre Saisons (Continuity), a butterhead for mild winters, whose pink-bronze colouration becomes glorious in the cold.

Winter Lettuce Salad Composée

Combine winter lettuce leaves with slivers of fennel; arrange on plate.

Top with cooled, cooked sliced beets and sprinkle with toasted walnuts.

Dress with a simple walnut oil/balsamic vinaigrette, and a snip of chives or parsley from your winter garden.

Asian Greens

Also called mustard greens, these three Brassicas are idiot-proof, tolerating poor soil, freezing and snow. Best direct-sown sparingly (germination rates are generally excellent) in August, or even September on the coast.

Use the thinnings in salads, in stir-fries, or to add homegrown crunch to sandwiches.

Quick Dressing for Asian Greens

Boil together 5 tbsp. (75 mL) rice vinegar and 2 tsp. (10 mL) sugar. Heat until mixture is reduced by half, about 1 minute.

Add 1 tsp. (5 mL) each minced garlic, grated fresh ginger, tamari, and olive and sesame oils.


Fringed mizuna’s delicate appearance belies a tough nature. Arzeena Hamir of Terra Viva Organics, a Vancouver-based purveyor of organic gardening needs, favours these feathery, mild-tasting greens and serves them at Christmas dinner. Mizuna is easy to grow: “Toss the seed in—don’t worry about thinning!” laughs Arzeena. To appreciate mizuna’s attractive symmetry, however, thin to 25 centimetres between plants.

It’s lovely raw, or try steaming the leaves briefly, then drizzle with an Asian-inspired dressing.

Tah Tsai

Tah Tsai, tatsoi… whatever! Patrick Steiner of Stellar Seeds in Sorrento (zone 3-4) loves growing these delicately flavoured, spoon-shaped greens. Tah Tsai begins as diminutive edible edging, and expands to the size of a large, shiny-leafed African violet. Carefully thin to an eventual spacing of 20 to 25 centimetres—they bolt if crowded. Toss thinnings into salads or stir-fries.

Enjoy whole baby rosettes steamed for 45 seconds, then anointed with dark sesame oil, a dash of tamari and a touch of grated ginger root.

Also try: Komatsuna (Japanese “spinach/mustard”).

Giant Red Mustard

Calcium, iron and beauty in a single package, Giant Red gives new meaning to the description “holds well in the garden.” The plant can be frozen, thawed, snowed on, transferred from garden to pot in January—and you can still eat it. Thin 25 to 30 centimetres apart to achieve sturdy, statuesque purple/red rosettes.

Old leaves contain more heat, but their mustard-like tang works well in stir-fries and soups.

Giant Red Potsticker Soup

Simmer purchased frozen wontons or potstickers (available at Asian markets) in vegetable broth.

Add Giant Red leaves at the end, when wontons are done.

Minced ginger root, thinly sliced scallions and a drizzle of dark sesame oil complete this heart-warming winter soup.

Read more:

Cucumber Raita Condiment by Doug Hawrish

Cucumber (cucumis sativus) is in the gourd family.  Beyond the rich Canadian tradition of pickling the cucumber, there are many uses for this cooling vegetable.  Personally I like thick slices marinated in cider vinager and dill! Mmmmm with carway rye. Yum!

Here is an Indian condiment recipe which compliments the cucumber perfectly:

Cucumber Raita Dip Recipe

1 cucumber seeded and finely chopped

1 cup plain yoghurt

1 TBSP mint

1/4 tsp cumin

Stir & enjoy along bbq meats, fish, poultry and all vegetarian entrees.  This is a cooling condiment excellent for summer!

Spinach and Garlic Scape Recipe

Garlic scapes have arrived fresh from Kitsilano Farms in our restaurant.  And Doug our Field Chef created the most delicious Spinach & Garlic Scape Pesto which I drizzled on my Basil Bocconcini Flatbread Pizza for lunch.  An amazing taste!  Not too garlicy and so easy to make!

Spinach & Garlic Scape Pesto Recipe

3 cups fresh spinach leaves
1⁄2 cup parsley leaves
2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
8 chopped garlic scapes
2 Tbs. basil
1 cup extra virgin olive oil

Process until smooth. While motor is running, drizzle in oil. Makes 2 cups.  Drizzle on anything!

By Suzanne Fielden