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, 18 October 2014

Chocolate muffins






ingredients:

1/4 cup coconut oil
1 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup date 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

1 cup ground sunflower seeds (raw)
1 cup ground pumpkin seeds (raw)


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

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Chocolate Energy Balls V 2.0

So, these. If you love dark chocolate, these are kind of like candy. If you hate dark chocolate, they might taste like dirt to you. We adore them. Nut free, raw, and vegan. Oh, yeah!!








ingredients:

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

1/4 cup ground chia

3/4  cup raw cacao
1/2 tsp sea salt
1  tbsp ground vanilla

1 1/2 cups pitted honey dates -- picked through

1 or 2 tbsp vanilla extract or water


directions:

1. process hemp hearts, sunflower seeds, shredded coconut, ground chia, raw cacao, sea salt, and ground vanilla until perfectly reduced to dust.
2. add dates and pulse until combined well. Or until you lose your mind.
3. add vanilla and as little water as possible whilst running the processor until a thick dough forms.
4. let sit for a while
5. roll into balls, and roll the balls in shredded coconut. Or cacao if you prefer. I don't prefer. I like the coconut. Says obvious guy.

Date and Pecan Energy Balls

Do not make these for school. Make these for yourself, and hoard them in your freezer. Don't tell your husband they are there. I repeat: do not tell your husband they are there. My son said they taste like caramel. I've long held that date and pecan together have some kind of alchemy. Anyway, these don't taste like they are good for you. When you want a sweet bite after dinner or a little nibble to keep you going, these fit the bill.






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

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

1 1/2 cup dates


1 tbsp vanilla extract
up to 1/4 cup water


1. process the coconut, ground chia, hemp hearts, and pecans with the sea salt, ground vanilla, and cinnamon.
2. then add the dates, and pulse until fully deconstructed
3. finally, process in the vanilla extract and as little water as you can to form a homogeneous dough
4. let it sit for a little while, then roll into balls, and roll the balls in shredded coconut.
5. store in the freezer.

Apple Muffins

I don't know if I should be embarrassed or proud that my new favourite ingredient has made its way into even these. Pea protein powder, people. Creamy, smooth, mellow, mild. It adds a certain longevity to the ingredients that keeps you going. And really, who doesn't like apples with spices? These are delicious. And vegan. And grain free. And gluten free. And nut free. Yes, I am magical.






ingredients:

1/4 cup coconut oil
3/4 coconut sugar
1/4 cup date sugar

3 cups hot water
1 tbsp vanilla extract




1/4 cup pea protein powder 
1 tbsp ground vanilla bean
3/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ceylon cinnamon
1 tsp korintje cinnamon
1 tsp ginger

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

1/4 cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda


1 cup diced apple -- or a little more. I used 2 teeny royal galas.


directions:

1. preheat the oven
2. combine your ingredients in the order listed.
3. I like to use to a hand blender to properly combine every thing up to the sunflower seed flour.
4. Then add the sunflower seed flour, coconut flour, and baking soda.
5. Finally, the apples. Delightful, delicious apples.
6. scoop the batter as evenly as possible into 24 prepared muffin cups -- those silicone ones are fabulous, but use a little coconut oil to grease them if they haven't been used much before
7. bake at 345 for around 60 minutes. When they are resilient to a gentle poke you will know they are done.




A Power Snack -- the trail-mix cookies

A third version of our now favourite trail-mix cookies. Delicious. Good for you. Goooooooood for you. Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, full of mother-nature's bounty. And definitely kid approved.







ingredients:

1 cup water
1 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup date 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
1 cup ground up hemp hearts
1 cup sunflower seed flour
1/4 cup pea protein powder

1/4 cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup whole sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup organic raisins, picked through
1/2 cup krisda chocolate chips


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 -- 3 to 4 dozen depending on size

Shape Cookies -- an excellent school snack




I'm always long on intention and short on time. That's why rolled shape cookies have been in abeyance these months and months and months. Sabbatical? Study abroad? World tour? Relegated to the dust-heap? None of the above. Anyway, my small human requested shape cookies, and this is the recipe I cam up with. Yes, pea protein powder again. Do not be affeared. It's so gentle on your stomach, and has a lovely flavour. Sort of mellow and nutty. Anyway, these are super yummy. I sent my son to rock climbing with a container of these which he shared amongst all the kids in his group. They were devoured with grunts of delights. Befitting, I imagine, the shape. We like these little piggy cutters. But we also did flowers. Make sure you roll 'em between 2 layers of parchment. Or on a silicone mat covered by a layer of parchment. Trust me. You won't be happy if you do it sans ...

ingredients:

1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup date sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup water


1 tbsp ground vanilla bean
1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 cup ground chia seed


1/2 cup carob powder
1/2 cup raw cacao

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup sunflower seed flour

1/4 cup pea protein powder

1/4 cup coconut flour


directions:

1. mix the coconut oil with warm water, then add coconut sugar and vanilla
2. mix in the spices and then the ground chia, using a whisk if necessary
3. add the cinnamon, vanilla, and sea salt
4. mix in the carob and cacao
5. mix in the baking soda and sunflower seed flour
6. mix in the coconut flour
7. let sit for 10 minutes
8.
9. preheat the oven to 345
10. roll out the dough in 2 or 3 parts between two sheets of parchment
11. cut using your favourite cookie cutters
12. place on a lined baking sheet, and bake for 17 or 18 minutes at 345

makes about 1 1/2 or 2 trays of cookies, quantity depends on size of cookie cutters

October Crockpot -- a rich creamy vegan stew

With the sudden change in the weather it is truly autumn. Rainy, chilly, and grey. So, this. Not that I don't make crockpots in the summer. But this time, I really mean it.

The use of chickpea flour from our local Indian super market gives this a mellow creaminess and body that is quite delightful. I have become a raging chickpea flour aficionado. I adore it. Adore, I tell you. Anyway, these creamy delicious dish is awesomeness in a pot.

The onion, cabbage, and cauliflower melt away to nothing, so this stew is about the split chickpeas, the creamy broth, and the carrot medallions. Pretty!!

Every time my husband eats a bowl of this he declares it 'delicious'. That never gets old.

I will definitely use chickpea flour to make the broth again. Inspired!!










ingredients:

2 tbsp coconut oil
1 onion, finely diced
3 cups green cabbage very finely chopped
2 cups channa dall, split chickpeas (I used raw, dried, well rinsed split chickpeas. If you don't wanna, you can use canned whole chickpeas. I'm okay with that.)

2 cups white cauliflower, crumbled and very finely chopped

4 carrots -- 3 yellow and 1 orange, narrow and cut into discs (I used what I had from the market)

1 tbsp cumin
3 tsp sea salt
1 cup water + 1/2 cup chickpea flour mixed together

6 cups water

Vegetable Soup

A light vegetable soup. Hearty enough to be comforting, but basically a light soup. Serviceable soup. Savoury and tasty, made with pedestrian ingredients. A last minute soup when I realized I had nothing for dinner. The indian split peas cook up lickety-split. Thank goodness for split peas and their fast cooking. I seem to have an addiction to cumin ... I most often use the crockpot, but here is a regular soup on the stove top. Yes, a last minute soup. Yummy!





ingredients:

2 tbsp coconut oil
1 cup diced onion

4 cups green cabbage, finely chopped
2  cup yellow indian split peas very well rinsed (dry, not cooked or canned) (toop dahl kori)
2 cups celery hearts

2 cups diced carrot

3 tsp sea salt (4 tsp)
2 tbsp marjoram
1 tbsp cumin

10 cups water


directions:

1. I like to start a cooking pot soup by sautéing some onion in coconut oil with a little sea salt. Give it that wonderful creamy sweet cooked onion base note.
2. The cabbage received a similar sauté treatment, letting it become all wonderfully translucent and delectable.
3. Then I added the rest of the ingredients, gave it a good stir and simmered for about 45 minutes.
4. At this point, the split peas were completely soft, so I judged the soup done and ready.
5. of course, soups like this taste even better the next day.

Next time I'll add the cumin when I add the onions, and give it a bit of a sauté, too.


Saturday, 27 September 2014

Bread made with Pumpkin Seed Flour -- gluten free, grain free, vegan, yummy





Bread made with pumpkin seed flour, pea protein, chia seeds, hemp hearts, and coconut flour. Yes, I am crazy. But this tastes good!! It doesn't go stale, either. Not in the same way regular bread does. Anyway, here is my weird and irregular bread. But it works.



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
(4 tbsp pea protein powder)

2 cups pumpkin 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

Thursday, 25 September 2014

The Trail Mix Variation -- awesome school cookies -- vegan, sugar free, nut free, gluten free, grain free!!

In addition to a nut-free lunch, I need to pack 2 nut free snacks for my grade-one kiddo. These are a good kiddie snack because they are packed with natural, high-energy components. Because, you know, I'm still on my high horse about keeping kids away from processed foods. Don't get me started!! This time, for the cookies, I decided to throw in some pea protein powder for extra 'oomph' this time, and added more mix-ins. I think they are delicious, and my child has no trouble gobbling them down when he needs a quick nibble. No nuts means they are school-safe. No sugar means I'm happy. The krisda chocolate chips are stevia sweetened, and of course entirely optional.  The sunflower-seed-and-raisin variety are terrific in my opinion. This version, with the krisda chocolate chips, raisins, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and shredded coconut as mix-ins was really just because I can. But not, strictly speaking, necessary.








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
1 cup ground up hemp hearts
1 cup sunflower seed flour
1/4 cup pea protein powder

1/4 cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup whole sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 cup organic raisins, picked through
1/2 cup krisda chocolate chips


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 -- 3 to 4 dozen depending on size

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