Getting it “Ripe from Around Here” with Lady Jae

September 15th, 2009 · Lisa · Recipe testing, RFAH · Comments

I always look forward to May. It means that the chill of winter is behind us and the seasonal markets will soon fill parks and parking lots across Toronto.

This year, I had even more reason to be excited. Jae Steele, the author of Get It Ripe, had invited me to join her for weekly cookdates. I’ve been on regular dates, and even data dates (during grad school), but this was to be my first cookdate experience. I didn’t quite know what to expect (I am used to being in charge in the kitchen) but I was ready to embrace the opportunity.

Apple Flax Pudding (with almonds and raisins)

Jae’s next book Ripe From Around Here, is focused on recipes that celebrate local, seasonal foods (that are vegan, of course!). If you know Jae, or own Get it Ripe, you know that it will have a lot more than just recipes. She is an amazing source of nutritional information, environmental considerations and balancing practices.

This season, Jae was undertaking the challenge of shopping at her local farmer’s markets (there are a number of them in Toronto), picking up a variety of produce, and using it to invent delicious, fresh, seasonal meals. These weekly excursions resulted in lots of fun new discoveries, including: Red Russian Kale, flavour-rich black raspberries, and attractive, friendly farmers.

Now that the season is winding down and Jae’s manuscript deadline is just around the corner I wanted to share with you a little round-up of the amazing recipes you can expect to enjoy when Ripe from Around Here hits shelves this spring. Here are just a few of the things I made in my own kitchen. You can see a lot more on Jae’s blog.

Check out this Apple Spice Ice Creem. This recipe is full of apples picked with Not Far From the Tree, from Toronto back yards. Jae really enjoyed creating recipes for ice creems (many of which are raw) to extend the enjoyment of seasonal produce.
You can look forward to recipes like Blueberry Lavendar and Chocolate Cherry Ice Creem.

Kale Chips

Jae is a wholistic nutritionist and enjoys here greens, probably as much as I do. I was excited to experiment with different Kale Chip flavour variations. Currently, my favourite kale chip coating is a tahini-based garlic dressing.
Flax crackers

A fantastic recipe to highlight a Canadian product that provides lovely Omega 3 fatty acids. With the additon of a little turmeric and ginger the nutritional benefits and flavour are significantly enhanced.
Roasted Apple Sauce

Another recipe that I enjoyed as a way to use the bounty from a night of gleaning with Not Far From the Tree.

Sesame Broccoli Arame Salad

This is a recipe that I dream about. I like to go heavy on the broccoli but I am a mean green eating machine. It has a great depth of flavour from toasted sesame oil.

If only these were local.

Playing in the kitchen with Jae has been a fantastic way to really experience the fresh produce available in my own backyard (or at least in Toronto’s as I live in a condo=no backyard). I hope that you are enjoying the current explosion of fresh pears, apples and squash. I have lots plans to use my freezer and dehydrator to extend my consumption of these local treats well into the winter. Thanks to Jae, soon you will all have access to amazing recipes and techniques to make eating local and vegan both easy and satisfying.


  1. Posted September 15, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    You are a cookbook testing superstar!! I also loved testing the recipes and I'm really looking forward to the book coming out!

    PS – It was lovely to meet you (briefly) on Saturday at the Fair!

  2. Posted September 16, 2009 at 4:20 am

    That sounds like an amazing cookbook. All your test recipes look and sound delicious, especially that ice cream!

  3. Posted September 16, 2009 at 8:32 am

    I really enjoyed meeting you at the Food Fair. What a weekend! I'm happy to hear you are having fun testing for Jae. I think this book will be a really useful addition to my collection-I've never before found so many different uses from local greens.

    Thank you for the kind words Mihl. You blog photos and recipes are always so inspiring. You make Germany seem like a vegan mecca.

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