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!

:)

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Chocolate Chip Muffins -- vegan and adorable

This is what passes as simple for me. Simple means the way it tastes usually, instead of how few ingredients there are. I realize I could have used one type of flour instead of 4. But each plays a role in the texture. Scotch oats keep it moist. Tapioca gives it spring and bounce. Millet gives it a lovely delicate texture. Kamut gives it body and resilience. Plus each one is good for you and adds its own stamp to the pleasant flavour profile. Try 'em, and you'll see what I mean.





equipment needed:
muffin cups -- I prefer the silicone kind that are reusable (I've had mine for a decade)
muffin pan or baking sheets (the silicone cups don't need a muffin tray)
mixing bowl
mixing spoon
whisk
measuring cup
measuring spoons
oven


ingredients:

a)
1 cup warm water + 1/4 cup coconut oil
1 cup cold water
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup coconut sugar

b)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/2 cup millet flour
1 1/2 cup kamut flour
1 cup scotch oatmeal

c)
1 cup chocolate  chips


directions:
preheat the oven to 345

1. combine the warm water and coconut oil and let the oil melt
2. add the rest of the ingredients from a) and whisk together
3. add the ingredients from b) and whisk them in
4. stir in the chocolate chips
5. scoop into muffin cups and bake at 345 for 20 minutes

makes about 24 muffins
I like to give them space so prefer to bake the muffin cups spread out over 2 baking sheets








crockpot a la amazing -- split chickpeas and chunky vegetables

You may not know how magical a few tbsp of coconut manna or coconut butter can be in a recipe. Coconut by itself can be kind of stultifying and drab. But, somehow, it ante's up the mix when put with the right ingredients. In this case, the cumin, the sun-dried tomatoes, and the apple cider vinegar help the coconut manna decorate for a party. I have to say I'm a huge fan of split chickpeas and chunky vegetables. So this concoction, served with saffron infused brown basmati rice, is a winner. Step up and receive your award, cutie. Paired for dinner with a salad of spring-y delight we nom-ed for realsies. You had better believe it.












equipment needed:
crockpot/slow cooker or large cooking pot and stove
cutting board
big knife
measuring cups
measuring spoons


ingredients:

1 onion, diced (1 cup)
3 cups split chickpeas, rinsed but not cooked

1/4 cup sun-dried tomato pieces

2 cups diced celery
2 cups diced carrot
2 cups diced sweet potato
2 cups diced yellow potato

1/4 cup coconut butter or coconut manna
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder or paprika
4 -5 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

8 cups boiling water

2 cups frozen green peas, defrosted


directions:

1. in your crockpot, layer in the ingredients in the order listed, reserving the green peas until the cooking is finished.
2. cook in the crock pot for about 3 hours on high
3. if you are using a pot on the stove, cook for about 1 hour, until the chickpeas are tender, and the vegetables have achieved your ideal consistency
4. when the pot has finished cooking, stir in the defrosted green peas.
5. taste. if necessary, add salt pepper apple cider vinegar

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Pudding Cake -- Hey, 1970s, you can keep your shag carpet.

Flashback to the 1970s. We ate stuff like this from a mix. I think there was a lemon, a chocolate, and maybe some kind of butterscotch flavour. Butterscotch was very big in the 70s. You'll have to take my word for it.

Somehow you mixed this up, threw it in the oven, and it turned into some cake with pudding generously oozing through it like lava through the rapacious, primordial heart of Mordor.

This one isn't quite that simple. This one requires you to dirty two  bowls, and mix two separate things. But if my husband and child are anything to go by, it is worth it.













Pudding Cake

equipment:

prepared silicone muffin cups
baking sheet
mixing bowl and spoons
oven


ingredients:


pudding ingredients:

1/4 cup coconut butter (aka coconut manna)
1 cup water or vegan milk
1/2 cup coconut sugar
2 tbsp date sugar

4 tbsp cacao
1 tbsp tapioca starch

1 tsp vanilla extract

a generous pinch of sea salt -- 1/8 tsp


pudding directions:

1. combine in a small saucepan, and whisk until thickened over a low heat
or
whisk to combine and  gradually heat in a microwave safe bowl, stopping to whisk a few times

2. set aside until after cake batter is made


cake batter ingredients:

2 1/2 cups water
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup coconut oil or avocado oil (if you use coconut oil, melt it before using by heating one of the cups of water and combining the oil with that 1 cup of water)
1 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup date sugar
6 tbsp raw cacao

1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup oat bran
1/2 cup tapioca
1 1/2 cups kamut flour
1 tsp baking soda


cake batter directions:

1. combine the ingredients in the order listed, mixing thoroughly after each addition
2. once all ingredients have been combined, you are ready for the third part of this endeavour


pudding cake directions:

1. preheat oven to 345
2.  scoop a little cake batter into the bottom a muffin cup
3. add a small portion of pudding on top of the bottom layer of batter
4. place a small scoop of cake batter on top of the pudding layer
5. repeat until all the cake batter and pudding is used up.
6. if you run out of pudding, but still have cake batter left, bake a few cakes with nothing in them, or throw a few chocolate chips into the remaining batter and make chocolate chip cakes
7. if you run out of cake batter and still pudding left, put it into a dish and put it in the fridge for later or eat it quickly before anyone else does.

8. bake the pudding cakes at 345 for 30 minutes




Buckwheat Muffins with Hemp hearts and Ginger **

Buckwheat is one of those tricky flours. The texture makes  for spongey, cohesive baked goods, but the flavour can be strident with certain other flavours. Cinnamon and buckwheat are not a harmonious combination for me. However, vanilla and maple can make buckwheat purr.

Here I was inspired to add a hint of ginger to the mix, and I find it pleasing. We've done these muffins without the ginger, and they are exceptionally yummy. Definitely one of our favourites.

These muffins have just a handful of ingredients, mix up in about 5 minutes, and bake in 30. Definitely an easy recipe to make. The part that takes the longest is scooping the batter into the muffin cups.







equipment needed:
mixing bowl
measuring cups
measuring spoons
mixing spoon
muffin cups (I use silicone muffin cups on a rectangular baking sheet)
oven


ingredients:

a)
1 cup coconut sugar
2 cups buckwheat flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch

b)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking soda

c)
2 cups water
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

d)
1 cup hemp hearts


1. combine dry ingredients (a and b)
2. add water, vanilla and vinegar, and whisk
3. add hemp hearts
4. scoop into 24 muffin cups
5. bake at 345 for 30 minutes

Millet oat bran cookie bars

There are so many reasons why these are a great little tea cookie bar. 1) they are so easy to make. 2) they aren't too sweet 3) they are comforting 4) what's not to like?

I've been keeping a tin of these on my counter for the past number of weeks -- not that they last that long, but I've been making a new batch each time the tin is empty.

I slip a few into a snack box for my son to take to school with him, and my husband grabs one a few times a day with his tea when he needs a quick nibble. Sometimes I go 1 cup oat bran and 1 cup large flake rolled oats, but either way they are nice and simple.











equipment needed:
2 square silicone pans
mixing bowl
mixing spoon
measuring cup
measuring spoon
oven


ingredients:

a)
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/2 cup sweet brown rice flour
1/2 cup millet
2 cups oat bran
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup coconut sugar


b)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda

c)
1/4 cup coconut oil

d)
1 cup water
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract


directions:

1. preheat oven
2. combine the dry ingredients from a) and b)
3. using a fork, work in the coconut oil until it's all combined and sandy looking
4. add d) and mix well
5. divide the batter between 2 square silicone pans and bake for 20-25 minutes at 345
6. remove from the oven and cool
5. using a blunt object like a metal spatula edge, cut into bars -- I do 32 per pan
6. when cool, remove from the pans and store in a cookie tin.
7. makes 64 cookie bars


25 minutes 345

Whole foods easter eggs ****

For me, this recipe continues to be exceptional. It's so simple, yet the results are far more than the sum of its parts. Somehow date and cacao together do a tango so fine, the artistry is remarkable and fascinating. Then again, it's probably just me. But an entire batch of these in our freezer doesn't last long. Just saying.




equipment needed:
food processor
freezer
measuring cups
measuring spoons
airtight container


ingredients:

1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup hemp hearts
1/4 cup raw cacao


1/4 tsp ground vanilla bean
1/8 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup pitted dates -- actually, keep adding dates until it changes from crumb to something that holds together -- it will look like a beautiful dark chocolate dough



directions:

1. process the coconut, hemp hearts, and raw cacao until as fine as possible, with the vanilla bean and sea salt

2. add the dates while the processor is spinning, and keep adding until the dough is cohesive

3. chill a little or not, and then roll into egg shapes, toss in coconut or cacao, and wrap in foils



Wednesday, 19 April 2017

muffins -- plain-Jane oatmeal muffins

 Sometimes plain and simple is just what you need. These muffins combine the simple pleasing goodness of oatmeal with the powerful nutritious punch of hemp hearts. Lightly sweet and uncomplicated, these muffins are great for everybody. They mix up in about 10 minutes, and bake in 20. And just like the plain-Jane of apocryphal fame, you may realize that uncomplicated and reliable may not be so plain after all.







equipment needed:
oven
mixing bowl
measuring cups
measuring spoons
whisk
spoon
24 muffin cups (I use silicone muffin cups on a baking sheet)


ingredients:

a)
1 cup hot water + 1/4 cup coconut oil

b)
1 cup cold water
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup coconut sugar

c)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup oat bran
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1 1/2 cup kamut flour
1 cup large oat flakes
1 tsp baking soda

d)
1/2 cup hemp hearts


directions:

1. preheat the oven to 345
2. mix together the hot water and coconut oil
3. when the oil is melted, add all of b)
4. whisk in the ingredients from c) in the order listed
5. stir in the hemp hearts
6. scoop the batter into 24 muffin cups
7. bake for 20 minutes at 345
8. cool, and store in an airtight container (in the fridge)

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Cream filled eggs -- the vegan kind

I remember eating a Cadbury cream egg as a kid. Man those things are sweet. I always liked the idea more than I liked the reality. Too sweet, no flavour. These ones, dear friends, taste really good. The centre is a creamy, smooth concoction that includes maple and cashew cream. The outer shell is a organic, fair-trade dark chocolate. I used a 71% chocolate made by cacao berry. This one melts beautifully. Some chocolates with higher cocoa content may not melt to a liquid state, making them harder to work with. Use a double boiler!! Use a double boiler use a double boiler use a double boiler.

The combination of the dark chocolate flavour with the maple cashew is just right. It's more sweetness than I can handle often, but really amazing. And certainly a much more body-friendly and environmentally sound option than the commercial preparation.


My fellahs and family all enjoyed very much.

I got little silicone moulds, and made half eggs. I made a few whole eggs, but that's really more cream egg than I really liked. Hard to use. Too big around. Too much commitment. The half eggs were perfect.














equipment needed:

double boiler
food processor
moulds for egg shape
mixing bowl
mixing spoons
measuring cups
measuring spoons


ingredients:

a) fair-trade organic dark chocolate, like cacao berry. Did you know that a lot of chocolate is harvested using slaves and slave-children. True story. Go for fair-trade, friends.

b)
1 1/2 cups cashews -- raw -- soaked in filtered water with some sea salt for a couple of hours then rinsed well
3/4  cup maple syrup
3 tbsp agave

6 tbsp coconut ol
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/8 + tsp sea salt

c)
turmeric


directions:

put your mould in the freezer to pre-chill

1. in a food processor, combine the ingredients in b)
2. pulse until chopped up, then  process until as smooth as possible. The smoother the better!!
3. set a little of the mixture aside to combine with enough turmeric to make your 'yolk' colour.
4. chill the filling -- it will firm up and be easier to work with, imho

5. in a double boiler, melt your chocolate. I used about 2 cups total chocolate for these eggs, and had a little of the cashew cream mixture left over but was tired of making eggs by that point so ....
6. I painted the moulds using a silicone pastry brush, but some people spoon it in. Let it chill a few seconds, and then sluice the chocolate around the moulds. Practice until you find a technique that works for you!
7. When the chocolates thick enough, scoop a little white and a little yolk colour inside.
8. spoon a little melted chocolate over top of the filling to close it. Pop it in the freezer to firm up.
9. Gently remove from the moulds.
10. I kept them refrigerated.
11. The cashew cream filling will be quite soft and creamy at room temperature, and a little more firm when chilled. You can see which way you like them best.

Friday, 16 December 2016

Nutty Breakfast Cookies

  • Cookies for breakfast? The point is, you could eat these for breakfast. And since a lot of people still insist on saying breakfast is the most important meal of the day, then maybe these are on point. I prefer them as an after school snack. Because these little fuckers are full of nuts. So not for school. NOT for school. Almond flour! Peanut Butter! Man, they are rich. And taste great. And not too sweet. You know what? They ARE perfect for breakfast. Go ahead, and indulge. Now I really want a cookie.




  • equipment needed:

  • mixing bowl
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • kettle
  • spoon for stirring
  • whisk
  • baking sheets with silicone mats or baking parchment
  • oven


ingredients:

a) wet ingredients
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
    • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter (all natural please -- I used the organic smooth one from bulk barn)
    • 1/2 cup coconut nectar (or sub in another liquid sweeter if you prefer -- maple syrup/honey etc)
      • tsp vanilla extract


      • -------
      • b) dry ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups oat bran
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground vanilla bean
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt salt


  • ------------------
  • c) stir-ins
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup hemp hearts
  • 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (fair trade please)
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut


directions:


preheat oven to 345


1. combine wet ingredients (part a) and mix well, whisking, let cool a little
2. stir in the oat bran, almond flour, vanilla bean, baking soda and sea salt (part b)
3. stir in the stir-ins (part c)
4. scoop 12 per baking sheet (lined with silicone), and flatten and shape a little with your hands or a fork
5.  bake at 345 for 20 to 25 minutes
6. cool and remove from baking sheet
7. makes 24 large cookies. Store in the fridge in an airtight container



get creative! sub in dried cranberries for raisins! throw in walnuts instead of pumpkin seeds! there is no wrong when it comes to these awesome cookies!

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Maple layer cake

Waaaaay back in the way back machine it was summer. And it was good. And we made these little, spongey maple baby cakes. (Not for babies. Baby cakes because they are little. Like babies. Like babies, not for babies. Little.)



Fast forward: it hit zero over night. What? And additionally, it's mi madre's birthday. She likes maple. So I thought, what could be more fitting than a fabulous maple layer cake? The baby cakes became two small layers, and I made a beautiful whipped chocolate maple frosting. And this cake came together,  simple and yet decadent.














equipment:

1. kettle
2. mixing bowl
3. mixing spoon
4. whisk
5. measuring cups
6. measuring spoons
7. 2 * 8" round cake pans, coated with coconut oil and  lined with parchment
8. oven


ingredients:

a)
2 cups of water (warmed up a little but not hot)
2 tbsp coconut oil (the warm water will melt it)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp raw apple cider vinegar

b)
4 tbsp ground chia seed
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1 3/4 cups kamut flour

c)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground vanilla bean (optional but awesome)
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp baking soda
(you can use 2 tsp baking powder instead of cream of tartar and baking soda)



directions:

1. preheat the oven to 345!
2. in a mixing bowl, combine the warm water and coconut oil and let the coconut oil melt
3. add the rest of the ingredients from part a)
4. using a whisk, mix in the ingredients from part b)
5. still whisking, mix in the ingredients from part c)
6. pour the batter into the pans
7. bake at 345 for 40 minutes, or until the top springs back when gently pressed



(Thick Gooey Ganache Frosting:

equipment needed:
kettle
measuring cups
measuring spoons
mixing bowl
mixing spoon
mixer with whisk attachment

immersion blender

ingredients:

1 1/2 cup pitted honey dates
1 cup very hot water (just boiled is good)
1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil
1/4 cup cacao butter
6 tbsp maple syrup


2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup raw cacao

directions:

1. In a bowl, combine the boiling water , the cacao butter, and the coconut oil.
2. add in the dates
3. add in the maple syrup
4. let it sit for 15 minutes
5. add the sea salt, vanilla extract, and raw cacao
6. blend until smooth with an immersion blender
7. allow to  cool until it starts to resolidify. This will take a long time.
8. when it's cool enough, it will whip up and transform from dark and glossy to lighter and fluffy
9. frost the cake generously when it's ready.






Monday, 28 November 2016

Because I cracked the Black Bean Brownie Code

Friends, lovely cake loving friends, I have news. Okay, so I already spilled the proverbial and literal beans in the title of this recipe, but I've never been one to keep good news to myself. Friends, it's true. I have cracked the black bean brownie code, and it is more beautiful than you could have imagined.

Picture this:

a brownie.






Yep.

That kind of moist and a little dense and fudgey brownie that makes you do a little dance and say oh yes oh god oh yes oh thank god. You know the kind. Of course you should know better than to talk with your mouth full but you will for realsies be forgiven because this is that good.

I've seen black bean brownie recipes kicking around here and there and they looked unappealing. I have to confess that one of my favourite baking flours for a little while was chickpea flour. So versatile.

My secret in these brownies: I don't use a can of black beans. I use black bean flour.

Nothing to puree. Nothing to blend. Just measure, mix, and go. Simple. And the texture is not gummy or dense. It's perfection. So there you have it.

A nut-free, vegan, gluten-free, perfect brownie that tastes just right.

OH, one small quirk: it taste better the next day. So, bake it, cool it, and refrigerate it over night. Then: eat. So. Good.



equipment needed:

mixing bowl
mixing spoon
measuring cups
measuring spoons
square baking dish (I used silicone but glass is good too -- just make sure you grease it well with coconut oil and maybe line the bottom with parchment)
a grinder for the chia seeds if you buy whole and grind them yourself (or buy ground chia)
oven (obvi)


ingredients:

a)
1 cup black bean flour
1 1/4 cup coconut sugar   (or as an alt: 1 cup xylitol + 1/4 cup coconut sugar +1/4 cup date sugar)
1/2 cup date sugar
1/2 cup raw cacao

b)
1/4 cup ground chia seed
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground vanilla bean

c)
 1 cup warm water + 2 tbsp coconut oil
1 cup cold water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

d)
1 cup chocolate chips -- fair trade, please

e)
plus either 2 tbsp chocolate chips or 2 tbsp coconut sugar to sprinkle on top



directions:

preheat oven to 345 and prepare your baking pan!!

1. combine 1 cup warm water and 2 tbsp coconut oil and let it melt
2. in a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients from parts a) and b) and stir until completely homogeneous.
3. in a small mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients from part c)
4. combine all of the above, and mix well
5. once the ingredients from a) b) and c) have been righteously integrated, stir in your chocolate chips (part d)
6. pour the batter into the baking pan, and make sure it's smooth and even
7. sprinkle the top of the batter with either the chocolate chips or the coconut sugar from part e)
8. bake at 345 for 40-45 minutes
9. Cool and then enjoy the NEXT DAY

seriously.

my husband eats them right away, and says they are great, but even he agrees they are BETTER the next day.


MAKE AHEAD MAKE AHEAD MAKE AHEAD

this is not a recipe for immediate gratification.