6 03, 2014

Foodie Pen Pals February

By |March 6th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

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I’ve been a little lax about my foodie pen pals postings lately.  In fact I think I’ve forgotten to post one or two of them in the last few months.  I’ve just been busy with other things in my life especially volunteering at the food bank and working on my new business, so some other things have fallen by the wayside.

Last month I had the great pleasure of being matched up with Emily in Toronto.  She’s studying to be a naturopath and I’d have to say this was the best match so far when it comes to our likes and dislikes and especially the way we feel about food and nutrition.

Emily sent me the most wonderful package of yummy and thoughtful goodies.  I have to say I was especially thrilled that she sent me chilies that she had brought back from Thailand!

Here’s what she sent…

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A lovely handwritten card.

 

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This delicious and very different trail mix.

The most wonderful raw chocolate which I devoured rather quickly.

The most wonderful raw chocolate which I devoured rather quickly.

This curry masala that I absolutely love.

This curry masala that I absolutely love.

And these Thai chilies that she brought back all the way from Thailand.

And these Thai chilies that she brought back all the way from Thailand.

I hope you’ll take a look at Emily’s blog and you can even read about what I sent to her 🙂  Thanks again Emily for all of the wonderful treats you sent me!

1 04, 2013

By |April 1st, 2013|Uncategorized|8 Comments|

Foodie Pen Pals!

You may have noticed the link on the left-hand side of the page for ‘Foodie Penpals’.  I found out about this wonderful exchange programme a few months ago and recommended it to my sister Ashleigh.  She signed up for February and had such a blast, that I decided to do it for March.  The reason I didn’t do it right away is because we don’t eat wheat or most grains, rarely eat sugar of any kind and really don’t eat a lot of processed foods.  I figured that would be a bit too difficult for the person who was buying food for me, so thought maybe it wasn’t a good idea.  But when I mentioned this to Ashleigh, she said there’s no reason why I couldn’t just explain about my restrictions and see what happens.  So, I went for it and I’m so happy I did.  What a great time I had buying items for my penpal’s package!  She’s a teacher in Toronto and said she loves everything except papaya, so that made for a fun shopping spree with almost no restrictions.
I received my box of goodies last week and was thrilled with the thought my penpal (you don‘t receive from the same person you‘re sending to) Vesna put into my treats.  

Here’s what I got…

   

 
A lovely little hand-written card
  
 Delicious seaweed (I LOVE seaweed)

 Dried apricots, with no added sugar
 A fruit and seed mix which is supposed to be a snack, but I’ve got some cookies planned with this in them
 Raspberry licorice, which I found a bit sweet but Perry gobbled up in 2 seconds flat 🙂
And the very best part, homemade blondies made with chickpeas.  They are delicious!
 
Thank you again to Vesna for such a great Foodiepenpal first experience!  If you’d like to participate in Foodiepenpals, just click on the link at the top left-hand side of the page.  Do it, it’s so much fun!!! 🙂
2 03, 2012

By |March 2nd, 2012|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Quinoa Flatbread with Flax and Chia

I found this flatbread recipe on Pinterest the other day and thought it would be a nice option for us since we’ve completely cut out wheat and most grains.

It turned out pretty well, although I think I’d do a little tweaking next time.  Even though it’s a flatbread, I think I’d like it a little bit lighter, so I plan to use some baking soda next time.  It really is a great recipe though and came together in next to no time.  We ate it for dinner with mussels in a spicy garlic sauce.
Here’s what I did…

 
 Put 2 cups of quinoa flour in a large bowl.
 Added 1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt, 2 tablespoons psyllium husk and 1 teaspoon garlic powder.
 Then I added 2 tablespoons of flax seeds and 2 tablespoons of chia seeds.
 Next I stirred in 1 1/2 cups water and let the batter sit for about 5 mins. while the oven heated to 400F.
 Then I dolloped the dough in circles onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and used wet hands to form it into small patties (about 4″ across).  My dough made 10 in total.
 I sprinkled sesame seeds on top and gently pressed them down so they’d stick.
Baked them for 20 minutes, rotating pans after 10.  Then cooled them on wire racks.


19 01, 2012

By |January 19th, 2012|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Blueberry Butternut Squash Muffins
 
  
This is a recipe I’ve been playing around with for some time.  The  original idea came from this recipe.
If you read my blog regularly, you know that I love Meghan Telpner and often use her recipes, or bits and pieces thereof 🙂  This one actually came from one of her assistants.  I started off using 2 kinds of sweeteners, as the original called for, but found we didn’t think it needed that much.  So I’ve made it with maple syrup, or coconut palm sugar (my fav. low GI sweetener) and this time I tried it with raw honey.  I’ve also used various kinds of flour in this recipe, including oat, brown rice, premade gluten-free blends, arrowroot, tapioca, etc…  This time I used a mix of besan (ground chickpeas), oat and brown rice flours.  I think this might be the one that’s baked up lightest and fluffiest so far.  This is also the first time I’ve used blueberries in this particular recipe.  I usually use dates or raisins.
Here’s what I did…
 Cut in half a beautiful butternut squash I bought at our favourite organic farm (Simpler Thyme in Waterdown, On.)
 Roasted it for 45 minutes in a 400F oven (on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper)
 Cooled, then mashed the squash
 Put it into the bowl of my stand mixer with 2 organic eggs
 And 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (I usually use coconut oil for this, but thought it would make a change) and 1/2 cup raw honey
 Mixed it all together 
 Then added 1/2 cup oat flour (I just ground the oats myself), 1/2 cup chickpea flour and 1/2 cup brown rice flour
 Added 3 tablespoons lucuma, 2 tablespoons chia seeds, 2 teaspoons baking soda, 2/3 tsp. Celtic sea salt, 1 tablespoon ground ginger, 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon & 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
This is lucuma.  Some info. on it can be found here.

 Then I added 2/3 cup chopped, raw walnuts
 And one and a half cups frozen blueberries
 Folded them in gently and then dolloped the mixture into large muffin liners
 I baked them for 28 minutes at 350F (rotating trays halfway through cooking time)

Finished!!
18 01, 2012

By |January 18th, 2012|Uncategorized|2 Comments|

Salad in a Jar!

When I read about this idea on Twitter last week, I was totally blown away.
  What a simple, but brilliant way to package salad for Perry to take to work with him!
I didn’t use any leafy greens in this particular salad, so it probably wasn’t as vital to keep the veggies away from the dressing as it would have been had I used lettuce.  Regardless, it’s an awesome idea and I’ll continue making these.

Here’s what I did…
 To a small bowl, I added balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, Dijon mustard, Celtic sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
 Whisked it all together to make a dressing
 Poured the dressing into a large mason jar
 Added some grape tomatoes
 Diced celery
 Chopped red peppers
 Chopped cucumber and sliced green onions
 Lots of grated carrot
 And topped it all with pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts and pine nuts
Voila!!
25 12, 2011

By |December 25th, 2011|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Chocolatey Brown Rice Treats

These treats were inspired by a recipe posted in the Vitamix ’13 days of Christmas’ album.  You can see

the original here.

 The recipe was for Granola balls, but I had half a box of brown rice crisps that I wanted to use up, so I figured I’d give it a try with my own substitutions.  It worked out really well!  

Here’s what I did…
To my Vitamix, I added 1/4 cup of coconut milk
This is the brand I used
  Then I added 1/4 cup of coconut oil
and 1/3 cup of coconut palm sugar
I broke up half of a 70% cocoa chocolate bar (about 50g as it was a 100g bar)
Then I added 1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
And blended it all on high speed for a couple of minutes.  The recipe said 5 minutes, but mine didn’t need that long
I dumped it all into a bowl, using a spatula to scrape the sides of the container
Then I added 1/2 cup of shredded coconut (unsweetened) and 3 tablespoons chia seeds
and 4 cups brown rice crispies
 These are the ones I used
Then I stirred it all together until the crispies were all completely coated
And patted it all into a silicone pan (9×9 I think) lined with plastic wrap
Then I placed it in the freezer for about 45 mins. and then cut it into squares. 
20 11, 2011

By |November 20th, 2011|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Chia Banana Date Cookies

I found this recipe while searching for interesting things to bake with chia seeds.
I decided not to make many changes since it’s the first time making the recipe and it sounded different from what I’m used to in a cookie recipe.  I did go the gluten-free route and used coconut flour, so I knew there’d be extra liquid needed.  I figured I’d use the amount called for and then add extra when I saw how dry the mixture was.  I ended up adding a couple of extra tablespoons of water and one more egg.  

I won’t lie and say they’re the best cookies ever, but they’re actually quite tasty and I like the ingredients, so I’ll muck around with the recipe and next time add some chopped nuts (probably walnuts) and some chopped dates or maybe raisins for texture and a little more sweetness.  I would also (and meant to, but forgot) add cinnamon and ginger for a kick.
Here’s what I did…
I ground 4 tablespoons chia seeds in my spice grinder and dumped this into a large bowl
 Added 4 tablespoons coconut flour
I added 2 tablespoons rolled oats
 Into my Vitamix, I added half a ripe banana (next time I’ll use the whole thing) and 2 pitted Medjool dates
 I added 1 large egg, a tablespoon of water and 2 tablespoons of raw honey and 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
 Then I blended it on high speed for a few seconds until well-mixed
 I added 1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt to the bowl
And mixed the dry ingredients together with a spatula
Mixed all the ingredients together and as expected, it was a stiff, dry blob 🙂
 So I added an extra egg and 2 tablespoons of water and this mixture seemed more managable
Dropped it by teaspoonfuls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and baked at 350F for 20 minutes
Not the prettiest cookie, but quite tasty!  As I said, I’ll tweak it in the future and I’ll report back 🙂

11 09, 2011

By |September 11th, 2011|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Flourless (Gluten-free) Almond Butter Muffins
I’m still on my quest for good gluten-free recipes for my Mum, so I was very happy to come across this recipe.
It sounded very similar to those cookies that only need eggs, peanut butter and sugar that I’ve made in the past.  The first time I made them, I really didn’t believe they’d turn out but they were wonderful.  What I loved about this recipe was that it didn’t call for refined sugar and that I could sub. almond butter for the peanut butter.  Also, I got some lovely organic, free run eggs in my CSA share last week, so this was the perfect use for some of them.  These turned out beautifully and will definitely be added to my ‘keeper’ recipe file.
Here’s what I did…
Into my stand mixer, I put 1/3 cup maple syrup, 1/3 cup raw honey and 2 teaspoons baking powder
 I mixed them for about a minute on setting #3 and then added 1 1/4 cups almond butter
In a separate bowl, I mixed together 4 eggs, 2 tsp. vanilla and 1/4 cup water
I added the egg mixture to the almond mixture and mixed for another minute. Then I added 1 tbsp. raw cacao powder and 1/2 tsp. Celtic sea salt.
I mixed this very well (about 2 minutes), scraping down the sides a few times. 
I didn’t have any mini chocolate chips, so I took about 1/4 cup of 62% cocoa chocolate chips and whirled them in my mini food processor.
I placed liner in a muffin tin (didn’t spray them) and poured the mixture in until they were about 2/3 full.
Then I sprinkled about 1 tsp. of chips into each liner
I baked them for about 26 minutes at 350F.  Mmmm! 🙂

FLOURLESS ALMOND BUTTER MUFFINS
1/3 cup maple syurp
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons baking powder
11/4 cups almond butter
4 eggs
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
1/2 tsp. Celtic sea salt
mini chocolate chips (or choc. chips chopped in a food processor)
In a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer) mix together maple syrup, honey and baking powder.  Add the almond butter and mix well.  In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, water and vanilla.  When well-combined, add to the almond mixture and continue to mix for another minute or so.  Add the cacao and salt and mix until smooth.  Preheat oven to 350F.  If you don’t have mini-chocolate chips, just pulse regular-sized chips in a food processor until desired size.  Some of mine turned into crumbs, but it didn’t make any difference.  The finished product was still great.  Fill muffin tins with liners (I needed 18 in total) and pour in batter until each is about 2/3 full.   Sprinkle about 1 tsp. of chocolate on top of each muffin.  Bake for about 26 minutes (my oven is slow, so maybe yours will take a little less time) until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.  Allow the muffins to cool for about 5 minutes in the muffin tins and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

16 08, 2011

By |August 16th, 2011|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Protein Breakfast Bars


 Perry mentioned to me lately that he has been feeling really hungry in the mornings.  He hates to get up extra early to eat breakfast before he leaves for work, so I thought I could make him some sort of ‘energy’ bar that has a good amount of protein in it.  I think this one fits the bill.  It has healthy fats (virgin coconut oil and almond butter), a little fruit (banana) and lots of seeds and other goodies.  I tasted one a little while ago and it’s really delicious.


Here’s what I did…

I peeled a banana and put it into a bowl
 Mashed it with a fork
 Added 1/2 cup raw honey and 1/2 cup organic almond butter
 Mixed it all together and added 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil (which is pretty liquid at this time of year)
 Meanwhile, I toasted 1/2 cup coconut flakes in a small pan
 Added 2 cups rolled oats and the coconut to the mixture
 Then I added 2 tbsp. chia seeds, 1 tbsp. brown flax seeds and 1 tbsp. golden flax seeds
 Then I added 1/4 cup hemp seeds, 2 tbsp. maca and 1/2 tsp. Celtic sea salt
 I added 1/2 cup 62% cocoa chocolate chips and 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
 Mixed it all together and then added 1 cup puffed quinoa
Gave it a final mix and pressed it all into a 13×9″ glass baking pan.  Popped it into the freezer for a couple of hours
Cut it into bar shapes and wrapped and froze them individually.

Thank you to my dear friend Teresa for typing this recipe out for me 🙂


Protein Breakfast Bars


Put in a bowl and mix:

banana mashed

1/2 cup raw honey

1/2 cup organic almond butter

1/4 cup virgin coconut oil

1/2 cup coconut flakes toasted in a small pan

2 cups rolled oats

2 tbsp. chia seeds

1 tbsp. brown flax seeds

1 tbsp. golden flax seeds

1/4 cup hemp seeds

2 tbsp. maca

1/2 tsp. Celtic sea salt

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

Mix it all together and add 1 cup puffed quinoa.

Press it all into a 13 x 9″ glass baking pan.  

Freeze for a couple of hours.

Cut it into bar shapes. Wrap and freeze them individually.

13 08, 2011

By |August 13th, 2011|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Gluten-free Lemon Flax Cookies
  
These cookies are so delicious!  I found

this recipe last week and thought it sounded wonderful.  My Mum has decided to try eating gluten-free for a while, so I figured I might as well start working on some recipes.

I’m a huge fan of citrus zest in cookies and I thought the addition of a little dried rosemary would make for an interesting combination.  It definitely works and the texture of the cookies is just right.
  
Here’s what I did…
I gently melted 5 tbsp. coconut oil in a large bowl over a pot of simmering water.  Added 1/2 cup maple syrup and 1 tsp. vanilla extract.
Then I added 2 tbsp. lemon zest and 1 tsp. lemon juice.  I noticed after I added the maple syrup (from the fridge) that the coconut oil started to solidify, so I very gently warmed it again and then mixed it all together.
I added 1/2 cup ground flax seed and 1 cup brown rice flour
 I mixed it all together then added a couple of pinches of dried rosemary (partially ground in my spice grinder) and 1/2 tsp. Celtic sea salt
 I dolloped tablespoons of the mixture onto 2 parchment-lined cookie sheets and baked at 350F for about 22 minutes, rotating the cookie sheets after about 10 minutes.
 Removed from the oven and left on the cookie sheets for about 2 minutes and then placed on a cooking rack.  Yum, yum!!