Cooking With Words

Cooking With Words Three cookbooks from the minds and kitchens of Edmontonians. by Ana Maria De La Fuente Cookbook authors Sarah Chan (left) and Leanne Brown Over the last summer, long-time friends Leanne Brown and Sarah Chan would explore the city’s culinary nooks on two wheels, and then pedal home…

Cooking With Words

Three cookbooks from the minds and kitchens of Edmontonians.

Cookbook authors Sarah Chan (left) and Leanne Brown

Over the last summer, long-time friends Leanne Brown and Sarah Chan would explore the city’s culinary nooks on two wheels, and then pedal home to cook meals based on the treasures they found. Their adventures resulted in 30 recipes, collected and self-published late last year in a new cookbook, Velo Fare.

The two friends documented their journey in images, while Brown, a food studies graduate student at New York University and author of the vegetarian cookbook, From Scratch, wrote most of the recipes. Chan, whose award-winning Girls and Bicycles blog stays active year-round, acted as the sous-chef and let Brown tweak her own family recipes. For example, her mother’s red bean popsicles, originally a simple mix of red beans, water and sugar, was upgraded with Brown’s additions of coconut milk, vanilla and lemon zest.

Most dishes, however, were inspired by the city itself, such as the Farmers’ Market Salad, made with Gull Valley’s zebra tomatoes, and especially green onion cakes. “They are a uniquely Edmonton treat and not nearly so popular anywhere else I’ve travelled,” says Brown.

The cookbook isn’t just about the pleasures of food, it’s about togetherness, friendship and “getting out of your pod and being in your city,” she says. “It’s about sharing experiences with people that you care about, and the whole experience of making this cookbook was absolutely delightful.” She says the best part was spending entire weekends working on it with her friend. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything.” ($25, 81 pages; available on lulu.com)

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