Welcome to my crazy world of real food cooking ...

Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly Plants. -- Michael Pollan

I wish I could take credit for that because I think it sums up how we should eat. Simply -- eat stuff that really is food, instead of stuff that is food like substance. The supermarket is almost entirely food-like-substances, and, my friends, you should probably never ever eat them.

Fortunately, there is a world of deliciousness out there, and it can all be had in a way that not only doesn't harm your health, but in a way that benefits you hugely.

I think it's important to eat stuff that satisfies you, that keeps your blood sugar stable, and that gives you stuff your body really needs to run optimally.

But baby, it's gotta taste good.

I really like getting experimental in the kitchen. I love cooking, I love layering flavours, and I love coming up with really super yummy food. I have very strong opinions about what constitutes food, and there are a lot of things I won't touch in the kitchen. Bottom line? Pretty much everything I make is ridiculously good for you even if it tastes decadent. Although there are occasional big fat cheats ... but even those stick to real food, my friends.

For food that is usual gluten free, usually free of cane sugar, usually super low on the glycemic index, full of protein, fiber, flavour, and excellent energy, join me and Alice down the rabbit hole.

Every recipe on this blog is my own original effort and idea, so please pass 'em on, giving credit where credit is due.

Many thanks, and come back often. I'm really glad you are here!

:)

Friday, 19 September 2014

simple cake -- nut free, sugar free, grain free, gluten free, simple vegan plain cake

Did you know you can fancy up a cake by sprinkling a little sugar on top? I like to use coconut sugar for this. It takes any plain cake an elevates it to kind of wonderful. Amazing!!










3 cups of water
1 cup coconut sugar

1 tsp sea salt

1 tbsp ground vanilla
1 tsp ceylon cinnamon (I went heaping this time)
1 tsp ginger

2 tbsp arrowroot flour

1/4 cup white chia seeds
1/2 cup hemp hearts

3 cups sunflower seed flour
1 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup coconut flour

a little coconut sugar to sprinkle on the top






directions:

preheat the oven to 345!

1.  combine the ingredients in the order listed.
2. divide into 2 square silicone pans, push it down with a rubber scrapper and smooth the top.
3. sprinkle with a  little coconut sugar
4. bake at 345 for 90 minutes
5. cool fully before removing from the pan

(I cut it into squares with a blunt stainless steel spatula so as not to score the silicone, and then lifted them out. Lovely!)


Sweet Potato and Chickpea with Coconut Milk

This is a mellow, savoury dish with notes of comforting sweetness. We have to keep spicing very light due to digestive issues in this household, but if you like more spice, this dish could certainly take it. I love the way cumin interacts with the other flavours in the dish, and the individual flavours all sing forth in a harmonious way. I reserve the lime juice to add to individual portions, but personally think it is most wonderfully balanced with this addition of acid. My husband and son have both declared it delicious, and Lumahai has even used the L word to describe his relationship with it. Then again, he does have a rather keen appreciation for the humble chickpea.





2 tbsp coconut oil
1 small onion, finely diced

3 cups green cabbage, very finely chopped

3 cups split channa (dry, uncooked, split chickpeas), well rinsed

4 cups diced asian sweet potatoes (I used white ones because they are wonderfully sweet)

3 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cumin

1 can coconut milk (or 1/2 cup coconut butter and 1 1/4 cups water)

6 cups boiling water

salt and pepper to taste
a couple tbsp lime juice


directions:

1. layer the ingredients in the crockpot in the order listed
2. cook for 6 hours
3. add salt and pepper and lime juice to taste after stirring

Lumahai's Carrot-Green Soup with a secret ingredient **

My six year old thought we should reserve all the carrot tops from the bunches we bought today and create a soup out of it. I suggested that pureed soup, thick and creamy, might work. He recommended we start with an onion. I suggested the leafy bits of celery hearts we have would add a nice dimension to the soup, and added that I thought perhaps some of our green cabbage, white sweet potatoes, and split indian yellow peas would give us the body and creaminess we wanted, while giving us enough sweetness to offset the bitterness of the carrot greens in a pleasing way.

This is what we came up with, together. I adore cooking with my son. I adore cooking. This was grand. I love his recipe ideas!!

I taught him the correct way to hold and use a gigantic chef's knife shortly after he turned six and I figured his hands were both big and strong enough to start handling this instrument under supervision. (I've also taught him out to cut bread with a bread knife.)

Today, he did most of the chopping of and adding of the ingredients to the pot.

Anyway, I think this soup is delicious, and I love the flavour. Cumin and carrot greens -- who knew??








ingredients:

2 tbsp coconut oil
1 large cooking onion, diced (yellow kind)

2 cups chopped green cabbage

1 1/2 cups chopped celery
1 cup split yellow indian peas, very well rinsed
2 cups diced sweet potato

3 tsp sea salt
2 tsp cumin

10 cups boiling water

black pepper


3 cups carrot-greens, washed and chopped (mostly the frondly bits, removing the toughest parts of the stems)

2 tbsp marjoram


directions:

1. saute/sweat/cook down the cabbage and the onion with some of the sea salt -- we let ours get a tiny bit brown, to be honest -- 5 or 10 minutes, not long
2. layer in the celery, split peas, sweet potato
3. sprinkle on the salt and cumin
4. pour on the water
5. cover and let simmer for 40 minutes
6. add the carrot greens
7. simmer for 5 minutes
8. take off the heat
9. puree with a hand blender, and add salt and pepper to taste

** we found a wild carrot in our garden, and added the carrot, sans greens, whole to the pot to simmer for the  cooking time, and then removed before pureeing

Trail Mix Cookies -- nut-free, school-safe, vegan, and awesome

These little goodies make a decent energy snack for kids. The coconut sugar is low glycemic, and any blood sugar elevation is mitigated by the chia, sunflower seed, and coconut flour. They taste great, have an enjoyable texture, and are safe for school. Vegan, gluten free, grain free, nut free, sugar free. Yum!








1 cup water
1 cup coconut sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp ground vanilla bean

1/4 cup ground chia seeds
1/4 cup raw cacao
1/4 cup carob powder
2 cups sunflower seed flour

1/2 cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda

1 cup whole sunflower seeds
1 cup organic raisins, picked through


directions:

1. preheat the oven to 345
2. combine the ingredients in the order listed
3. form balls of the dough, and place on a lined baking sheet (lined with parchment or a silicone baking mat)
4. flatten the balls with a fork dipped in water
5. bake at 345 for 20 minutes
6. will make 2 trays -- approx 40 depending on size

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Chocolate Muffins -- vegan, gluten free, grain free, sugar free, high protein muffins, safe for school!





So, these got made today. And they will find their way into Zephyr's lunch box tomorrow. The are not too sweet, but taste great. I threw in some pea protein, which is a high quality, easily digestible vegan protein. I got it recently because I'd been feeling like I was losing ground, strength wise, so I though maybe a little extra something would help me gain back and move forward. Anyway, it has been finding its way into my son's porridge in the morning, as well as into various meals I prepare for myself. And today, it found its way into these. I also threw in a small quantity of Krisda chocolate chips. Which taste pretty good in baked goods but are sweetened with stevia instead of sugar. So, I don't mind my child eating them at lunch. Coconut sugar is low on the glycemic index, and the combination of seeds and protein in these will help maintain stable energy and blood sugar for ages. And, they taste pretty nice. We all enjoyed one after dinner, and there were definitely no complaints.


ingredients:

1/4 cup coconut oil
1 coconut sugar

3 cups hot water
1 tbsp vanilla extract



1/2 cup raw cacao
1/4 cup pea protein powder 
1 tbsp ground vanilla bean
3/4 tsp sea salt



2 tbsp arrowroot powder
1/2 tsp xanthan gum


1 cup hemp hemp hearts, ground

1/4 cup ground chia seeds


2 cups ground sunflower seeds


1 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup krisda chocolate chips








directions:

1. combine all ingredients except sunflower seed flour and baking soda, and then mix with a hand blender.
2. mix in the sunflower seed flour and the baking soda
3. mix in the krisda chocolate chips
4. scoop into 24 prepared muffin cups
5. bake at 345 for 60 minutes

makes 24 delicious small muffins

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Cake! Simple gluten free, grain free cake. Lovely.

Let them eat cake. Let them eat simple cake. Let them eat a piece of cake. Let them eat gluten free, grain free, sugar free cake. Cake cake cake. Let them eat cake.


This cake is lovely.

Simplest cake in the world. Taste like a cake you might read about in a story of long ago. Simple light spice flavour, uncomplicated taste, mildly sweet, and fully satisfying. And you don't have to grind anything ... but I confess the xanthan gum gets me a little, and I like to use a hand blender to fully incorporate it ...









3 cups of water
1 cup coconut sugar

1 tsp sea salt

1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ceylon cinnamon (I went heaping this time)
1 tsp ginger (again, a little rounded)

1 tsp xanthan gum

1/4 cup white chia seeds
1/2 cup hemp hearts

3 cups almond flour
1 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup coconut flour


directions:

preheat the oven to 345!

1.  combine the ingredients in the order listed. If you are like me, you might want to take a hand blender to the mixture after you add the xanthan gum so that you can incorporate it well ... other wise maybe mix it in fully into your almond flour and coconut flour prior to adding those so that it doesn't clump up.

divide into 2 square silicone pans, push it down with a rubber scrapper and smooth the top. bake at 345 for 60 minutes

cool fully before removing
(I cut it into squares with a blunt stainless steel spatula so as not to score the silicone, and then lifted them out. Lovely!)



Monday, 1 September 2014

Nut free, gluten free, grain free cake

This happened yesterday afternoon, then people ate it whilst playing crokinole. People being Colin, Zephyr, and Papa Ed. And it was good. Friendly cake.






2 cups water
1/2 tsp xathan gum
2  tbsp arrowroot flour

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

3/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ceylon cinnamon
1 tbsp ground vanilla bean
1 tsp ginger

1 cup coconut sugar

1/4 cup whole chia seeds
1 cup hemp hearts

1 tsp baking soda
2 cups sunflower seed flour
1/4 cup coconut flour

1 1/2 cups thompson raisins
coconut sugar to sprinkle on top


directions:

1. preheat oven to 345, and generously oil a baking pan with coconut oil
2. combine the water, xnathan gum, and arrowroot flour with a whisk
3. whisk in the seasonings, sugar, chia seeds, and hemp hearts or use a hand blender
4. stir in the baking soda
5. stir in the coconut flour and sunflower seed flour
6. fold in the raisins, and scoop into 2 silicone pans. Smooth with a scraper, and sprinkle with coconut sugar.
7. bake at 345 for 1 1/2 hour
8. cool and cut into squares with a spatula before removing

Fancy Maple Pecan Muffins -- version 2.

So, now I've made a second version of this nut filled treasure trove of abject yumminess. The first was sweetened entirely by maple syrup. This second gives up half of its maple-y goodness for a helping of coconut sugar. The result. Fantabulous. No deliciousness is sacrificed, and the second batch was devoured with ferocity and joy by all who came in contact with them. I took a couple of dozen to a lunch, and the crumbs were fought over, to put it succinctly.




ingredients:

1/4 cup coconut oil

2 1/2 cups water

1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp ground vanilla bean
1 tsp ceylon cinnamon

1/4 cup ground chia seeds
2 tbsp arrowroot flour

2 cups almond flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup coconut flour

1/2 cup pecans -- little pieces

pecan half to put on top of each one
coconut sugar to sprinkle on top of each one



directions:

1. combine ingrediens in the order listed
2. scoop into muffin cups
3. bake at 345 for 60 minutes

Raisin spice muffins

School starts in a few days. And that means school lunches. And that means: No. Nuts.  No ifs ands or buts.

Enter: sunflower seed flour. Finely ground raw sunflower seeds make a beautiful flour. Soft, delicate, powdery. The flavour is not over powering, so works well in baked good.

These little spice muffins are full of raisins and deliciousness.








ingredients:

3 cups water

1 cup coconut sugar
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp ground vanilla bean
1 tsp ceylon cinnamon
1 tsp ginger

1/4 cup ground chia seeds
2 tbsp arrowroot flour

2 cups sunflower seed flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup coconut flour

1 cup raisins

a few tsp coconut sugar to sprinkle on top.





directions:

1. combine ingrediens in the order listed
2. scoop into muffin cups
3. sprinkle the top with coconut sugar (scant) if desired
4. bake at 345 for 60 minutes

Split yellow pea crock pot -- vegan stew










This shy little number is comforting and enjoyable. No strong flavours, just savoury, mellow, deliciousness. The Indian split yellow peas do not have a strong flavour like other split yellow peas, and the vegetables and peas just work together beautifully. A little cumin and sea salt perk them up, making for a simple, tasty dish that is comfort food to me. Perfect with a side salad and some chickpea flour flat bread. Devoured with delight by my 6 year old, and enjoyed with evident pleasure by my husband, both of whom can eschew slightly more esoteric flavours. Nice.




2 tbsp coconut oil
1 onion, finely diced
5 cups green cabbage, finely diced
2 cups split yellow peas (toor dal kori)

2 cups finely chopped celery
2 cups finely diced carrot


4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cumin
6 cups water


directions:

1. turn the crockpot on and let it heat
2. load in the ingredients in the order listed
3. cook on high for 6 hours
4. stir, and taste, adding salt and pepper if needed.



Dark Brown Bread -- Gluten free, sunflower seed flour bread





So, due to some digestive peculiarities in our house hold, we've been toying with this gluten-free bread. I'm not a huge fan of the rice-flour breads etc, so here's something with moistness and flavour that we enjoy for sandwiches and toast. In order for it to be school-able, we've gone the sunflower seed flour route this time. A little carob adds darkness and depth, and I threw in some pea protein powder for extra ooooooooomph.

I just ate a piece spread with coconut oil for fun. Some people like butter. It's also good plain, and I love it with almond butter.

This bread is more cake-like in texture, and is quite moist, but can slice thinly and do all the fancy dance-steps your usual loaf might undertake when your back is turned.


ingredients:


2 cups water
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup finely ground chia seeds
1/2 cup ground hemp hearts
2 tbsp arrowroot flour
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
4 tbsp carob powder
(2 tbsp pea protein powder)

2 cups sunflower seed flour
3/4 cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup whole black chia seeds


directions:

1. combine the water and vinegar
2. add in the salt, chia, hemp, arrowroot, xanthan, carob, and pea protein, and either whisk or use a hand blender. Xanthan gum is a tricky bastard if you are not careful. Slimy and clumpy? Ick. Mix that sass-monster in.
3. Add the flours and baking soda, and mix with a spoon
4. Finally stir in your whole chia seeds
5. put into a loaf pan that has been lined with parchment
6. shape the loaf
7. bake at 345 for 90 minutes
8. dehydrate at 200 for 3 hours, removing from the pan after 1 hour

(I do 2 loaves at once so as not to run the oven for this long for just 1.)

345 for 90 minutes
200 for 180 minutes

Nut-Free Wafer Cookies





Aaaaand just like that, the summer holidays are over. Well, I think they were a success. But now onto other things: namely, nut free lunch box fare. Ergo, these wafers. Simple and wholesome. No sugar bomb, but a nice little nibble when your little one needs something.

ingredients:

1/4 cup coconut oil -- melted
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp vanilla extract  (or 2 tbsp water)

1 tsp ceylon cinnamon
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp ground vanilla bean

1/4 cup white chia seeds finely ground
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups ground sunflower seeds
1/4 cup coconut flour



directions:

1. combine the ingredients in the order listed
2.
3. roll the dough  in two parts (between 2 sheets of baking parchment) and cut into perfect squares after trimming the  edges
4. bake at 345 in a preheated oven for 12 minutes then dehydrate for 2-3 hours at 170
5. cool and break into pieces
6. store in an airtight container

'milk' chocolate ice cream







This was my son's pick for ice cream flavour today. I do believe it may be our current favourite thanks to the creamy texture, and rich, luxurious flavour. Chocolate, but not overwhelming. Smooth, not bitter. Just right. A little bit of decadence in a bowl. Virtuous, but with all the forbidden seductiveness of Jessica Rabbit. If you are old enough to know who that is.


ingredients:

2 cups boiling water
1/2 cup coconut oil (3/4 cup)

1  cup dates (pitted or take the pits out)

1/2 cup coconut nectar

2 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp sea salt


1/2 cup raw cacao
1 can coconut milk



directions:

1. combine the ingredients in a bowl not including the cacao and coconut milk, and allow to stand for a while to fully soften the dates
2. once the dates are soft, and the coconut oil is melted, use your hand blender to create a smooth concoction. If you have no hand blender, use your jar blender. If you have no jar blender, maybe this recipe is not for you.
3. once the mixture is fully incorporated and beautifully smooth, add the cacao and coconut milk, and blend again
4. allow to cool and then chill
5. freeze according to your ice cream freezer's manufacturers instructions.

Updated Peanut Butter and Date Fudge

So far I know two people who don't like peanut butter who are now thoroughly addicted to these little delights. Delectable delectable delights. You can use ground vanilla bean or none, and just jump on the extract band-wagon. Either is groovy. They are not the same, but both have the wonderful property of being terrific. And really, how bad can it be if it's terrific. I can't keep them in the freezer, to put it simply. So, for a powerful wholesome bite, check 'em out. And if you love peanut butter already, you may just know what I'm talking about. Rock on.







ingredients:

2 cups shredded coconut
1/4 cup ground chia
1 cup hemp hearts

1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp vanilla extract

1 cup dates

1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup water


directions:

1. put the coconut, ground chia, hemp hearts, ground flax, sea salt, and ground vanilla bean into the food processor
2. process until completely pulverized and homogenous
3. add the dates and pulse until completely processed, but be dainty about it and don't over process
4. add the peanut butter and pulse until fully combined, adding the water as the food processor is running to form a thick dough
5. press into 2 square silicone baking pans, and then cut into bars with a dull instrument (before or after freezing)
6. (this is the after version) when firm, turn onto a cutting board and cut into small bars -- I do 8 by 4, resulting in 32 pieces per pan
7. store in the freezer!

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Chocolate Energy Balls -- lunchbox ready









Guilt free chocolate? You bet. This clever little concoction of cacao, ground up seeds, coconut, and dates gives all the illusion of delectable chocolatey goodness with none of the negatives. This well balanced combination will fuel you well whilst keeping your blood sugar stable. No drawbacks to these ones, friends.


For some reason, my child suddenly asked if we had any chocolate balls. The last time we made them was in the spring, so I'm not sure where he thought they might have been hiding. They just don't last that long in this house. So, we had no choice but to get busy in the kitchen. This time around, however, I tweaked the recipe. No nuts. Sunflower seeds and hemp hearts. And some chia. And half the usual amount of cacao. Which meant I could skip the stevia. Which means the flavour is a little more ... pure. So, here's a fabulous little snack that could go in the lunch box since there are no nuts. I rolled them in shredded coconut so they wouldn't stick ... pretty great. I one-two punch of high octane energy food to fuel your child without empty calories or preservatives, and super full of deliciousness. A perfect little pick 'em up when they need it. These are incredibly yummy.



ingredients:

1/2 cup hemp hearts
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup shredded coconut

1/4 cup ground chia

1/2  cup raw cacao
1/2 tsp sea salt
1  tbsp ground vanilla

1 1/2 cups pitted honey dates

1 or 2 tbsp vanilla extract or water

directions:

1. combine the hemp hearts, sunflower seeds, coconut, raw cacao, sea salt, stevia powder, and ground vanilla in a food processor, and process until as homogeneous as possible
2. add the honey dates and the vanilla and pulse and then process until it starts to form a 'dough'. Don't stop processing until this happens!! If you need to add more water for this to happen, add it just a bit at a time.
3. roll the dough into small balls.
4. if desired, roll the balls into shredded coconut to make them not as sticky on the outside.

As my child asked me yesterday: "What's brown and sticky?" Answer: A stick. Not these.


Saturday, 16 August 2014

Black Sesame Crackers

Can't get enough of sesame right now. Don't know why. So, these. Sesame crackers.




ingredients:

1/2 cup water


1/2 tsp (rounded) sea salt
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp marjoram


1/4 cup  black chia seeds finely ground
1/2 cup light sesame seeds, finely ground
1/2 cup black sesame seeds, finely ground
1/2 cup ground hemp hearts
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups ground sunflower seeds




directions:

1. combine the ingredients in the order listed
2.
3. roll the dough  in two parts (between 2 sheets of baking parchment) and cut into squares trimming the  edges
4. bake at 345 in a preheated oven for 12 minutes then dehydrate for 2-3 hours at 170
5. cool and break into pieces
6. store in an airtight container