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!

:)

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

Chickpea Vegetable Soup

Well, Papa is coming over for dinner, and we're going to have a houseful for his birthday. So, in addition to eatables such as lasagna and chickpea flour flat bread, we'll rock this vegan crockpot.  Simple and delicious. Old fashioned diced veggies and chickpeas. Super delicious. And since it feels like fall, perfect really. We all enjoyed it.







ingredients:

2 tbsp coconut oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 cup green cabbage, very finely chopped

4 cups soaked chickpeas -- not cooked

1 tsp sea salt

2 cup diced carrots
2 cups diced celery
1 diced kohlrabi

1 tsp sea salt

4 cups diced white sweet potato

1 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp marjoram
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp chill powder

9 cups water

1 tsp sea salt


directions:

1. turn crockpot on to high, and set for 6 hours
2. layer ingredients in the order listed
3. let cook for 6 hours. I used dry chickpeas that had been fully soaked but not cooked. If you use canned or cooked chickpeas, you can reduce the cooking time
4. stir and taste, add seasoning if needed.



Maple Pecan Baby Cakes

Genius. Genius. Genius. Genius. That is all.




ingredients:

1/4 cup coconut oil

2 cups water

1 cup maple syrup
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
maple syrup to drizzle on top of each one -- just a few drops, really



directions:

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

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Herbed Crackers with Sesame

I seem to be on a cracker kick. These are great. Great for me. I don't know about you. Simple, crisp, and good for your gorgeous self. Vegan, gluten free. Grain free. Not sweet. Just a simple little cracker. Perfect texture. Love it.









ingredients:

1/2 cup water


1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp marjoram


1/4 cup  chia seeds finely ground
1/2 cup 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

Vegan, Gluten-Free Brownies' Best Friend: Enter the Nut-Free, gluten free Brownies

I like to keep a well stocked pantry. Alas, sometimes I run out of stuff. I hate going to stores, so when this happens, I improvise. We had some pals coming over for dessert yesterday, and knowing that they are severely allergic to gluten and love brownies, our gluten free brownies were a no-brainer. And then I realized I had about 3 tbsp of coconut sugar left, and that's all. Fortunately, I had coconut nectar, and I thought the fudgey consistency of brownies and rich dark flavour would only be celebrated by this thick, sticky, low glycemic sweetener. In the interest of exploring my nut-free avenues, I decided to make them out of sunflower seed flour instead of almond flour.  (I made this myself by grinding raw sunflower seeds very finely in my small grinder (it's a coffee grinder that I use for seeds etc).  Anyway, I used the remaining coconut sugar to sprinkle on top before baking (this is a little bit magical, keep it up your sleeve for future baking references),  and reworked our fave brownie recipe as follows. Entirely delectably wonderfully successful. And now I have a fridge full of brownies. Tea party, any one?

Vegan. Gluten-free. Cane Sugar Free. Nut-Free. Grain-free. But wholly BROWNIE.

Sometimes people are surprised that -- not having allergies -- I force this gluten-free-ness on my poor family. They think I've drunk the kook-aid (bless you auto correct, that's so much better than kool-aid,) and have jumped thoughtlessly and mindlessly on the gluten-free bandwagon. Not so. I actually happen to believe that things like almonds, sunflower seeds, hemp hearts, and chia seeds contain more goodness than refined white flour. And if food doesn't send your blood-sugar sky-rocketing, that it is doing better for you than food that does. And that for a child, maximizing the nutritional content of their food can only help them. And there's the matter of how delicious it all is ... My non-conventional ingredients have the benefit of yielding moist and delectable baking. And that, my friends, needs no convincing.









ingredients:

1 1/2  cup pitted honey dates
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil 


1 cup coconut nectar

2 tbsp arrowroot flour
1/4 cup chia seeds, finely ground

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp ground vanilla 
1  tbsp vanilla extract 

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 cup raw cacao powder

1 cup sunflower seed flour
1/2 cup ground hemp hearts -- should practically be a paste

1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup coconut flour

coconut sugar to sprinkle on top -- use plenty, it's awesome that way.

directions:

preheat the oven to 345

1. pour the hot water over dates in a bowl, and let sit for about 10 minutes to soften, along with the coconut oil, so it can  melt
2. add the coconut nectar, then puree the whole thing with a hand blender (immersion blender)
3. add in the apple cider vinegar, the ground chia seeds, arrowroot powder and the cacao, and mix very well
4. add in the vanilla, and sea salt, and mix well
5. add the ground hemp seeds
6. add the sunflower seed flour
7. add the coconut flour and the baking soda
8. mix well and thoroughly and rapidly
9. 
10. divide the mixture into 2 square silicone baking pans
11. sprinkle the top with a little coconut sugar (or a lot)
12. bake at 345 for 60 minutes
13. allow to cool in the pan before removing

Friday, 1 August 2014

Chocolate Muffins: Nut Free, Sugar Free, Grain free, Vegan, and delicious











ingredients:

1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil (organic and unrefined)
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup date sugar
3 cups hot water
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar


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


1 tbsp arrowroot powder
1/2 tsp xanthan gum


1 cup hemp hemp hearts, ground

1/4 cup ground chia seeds

2 tbsp ground black sesame seeds

1 cup ground sunflower seeds


1 tsp baking soda








directions:

1. combine the coconut oil, and hot water. Let sit for 10 minutes. 
2. add the cacao, vanilla, salt, stevia, hemp seeds, shredded coconut, and mix
3. add the egg replacer mixture
4. stir in the ground chia seeds, ground flax seeds, ground sunflower seeds, ground pumpkin seeds, followed finally by the coconut flour. Then add the baking soda
5. scoop into prepare muffin cups and bake at 345 for 60 minutes

makes 24 amazing muffins. Amazing.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Chocolate Ripple for Vanilla Date Ice Cream -- A vegan, nut free, sugar free, whole foods dessert

So, this happened. This sensual and charismatic marriage of two disparate -- but not desperate -- parts. The perfect and lyrical union of resonant, vocal, insistent chocolate, and mellow, rich delectable vanilla. We used to adore our chocolate ice cream -- so dark and creamy and in-your-face chocolatey ... And then we got on our Vanilla Date ice cream kick, somehow suggestive of caramel and naughty deliciousness. But then the voices in my  head -- the voices that say 'what if', not the ones that say to do bad things -- suggested the vanilla date might be great with a ripple of fudge running through it ... Actually, it was my son who made me think this. He'd take a little vanilla and a little chocolate in his bowl and then sort of let them melt a little and then smoosh them together (smoosh is a word, right?) Well, this fudge swirl is a little thicker to give it substance and difference of texture. More like a deep and decadent fudge kick than chocolate ice cream. This spontaneous fudge swirl is the perfect partner for such a spunky vanilla. The result: a rich, creamy, wonderful taste treat. Vegan, gluten free, sweetened with date and coconut nectar, full of such wonders as cacao and coconut milk. Amazing. Genius. We've done it again.







fudge swirl:

ingredients:
1  cup hot water
1 cup pitted dates
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 cup raw cacao

1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp vanilla extract

directions:

1. combine the ingredients
2. let sit for at least 10 minutes to fully soften dates and melt oil
3. puree with a hand blender
4. let cool


vanilla date ice cream:

ingredients:

2 cups boiling water
1/2 cup coconut oil

1 cup dates (pitted or take the pits out)
1 can coconut milk
1/2 cup coconut nectar


2 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp sea salt


directions:

1. In a large bowl, pour 2 cups boiling water.
2. add your coconut oil
3. add your dates, followed by the coconut nectar
4. let the whole thing sit for 10 minutes to soften
5. using a hand blender or a blender, blend until perfect homogenized and smooth
6. add the vanilla extract, sea salt, and coconut milk
7. process a little more
8. let cool fully
9. freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturers directions



Now for the fun part -- you'll either need a container large enough to contain all of the above, or you can use 2 containers like I did.

Divide the ice cream into the two container (or one container), and add the fudge. Then, randomly fold or swirl. But don't mix!!

Freeze!!!!!!!

Eat!!!!!!

Swoon ....


:)


Friday, 13 June 2014

Almond Flour Wafers for vegan smores -- Variations Happen

So, my kiddo kind of wanted to try marshmallows. I found these vegan ones that weren't even too junky. Sure, sugar. But no weird chemicals and texturizers. And then I thought maybe we'd do smores because I had some 70% cacao chocolate chunks. So, these happened. But I made 'em a little different than usual. And you know what? That's okay. Almond flour wafers to use for smores. I'll let you know what happens.


okay, what happened was this:




The wafers were basically perfect for this purpose. We used some fair-trade organic 70% chocolate, and some vegan marshmallows. And a good time was had by all.












ingredients:

1/4 cup coconut oil -- melted if it's not already soupy due to summer conditions
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp vanilla extract

1 tsp ceylon cinnamon
1/2 tsp sea salt

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

Monday, 19 May 2014

Best Ever Roasted Cashews







raw cashews
a little water
natural or salt

directions:
1. toss the cashews with water
2. season to taste with the salt
3. spread on a baking sheet
(4. bake at 345 for 20 minutes)
5. bake at 200 for 4 hours


This works with raw almonds, too

A chickpea and vegetable 'pot' dish

'Pot' as in cooking vessel, not as in marijuana. I recently read Michael Pollan's cooked. I am a Michael Pollan fan, and in his description of learning to cook in his book, I was inspired to make a dish that used very finely chopped vegetables as a base, and to let those vegetables sort of cook down into nothingness. Nothing, that is, except for flavour. As is my wont, I used a crockpot instead of a stove top pot. I layered finely diced vegetables, with the onions and garlic right in the oil at the bottom of the pot where they would get the most heat, then proceeding with the cabbage, then carrots and celery. The layers of chickpeas and sweet potato went last, and then enough water to come up to the chickpeas.  The chickpeas and sweet potato, being largest as well as farthest from the heat  will breakdown the least. Which is just what we want!! Even with very very little seasoning (only a bit of salt), this is a very richly flavoured dish. Perfect with socca-ish ...







ingredients:


2 tbsp coconut oil

1 1/2 cup very finely chopped onion
2 cloves of finely chopped garlic

1 cups finely chopped celery
2 cups finely chopped carrot

4 cups finely chopped cabbage

4 cups soaked chickpeas

3 cups diced sweet potato -- if possible use a firm dry variety (I love bonita. others are kyushu and murasaki, also called 'asian sweet potatoes' or 'oriental sweet potatoes') Chop 'em so they are about the same size as the chickpeas


3 tsp sea salt

2 to 4 cups water


directions:

1. turn on the crockpot to high, and add the coconut oil
2. chop the veggies. In the interest of time (I had very little) I used the food processor and did a fine chop.
2. once the oil has melted and the crock is hot, spread the onion and garlic over the bottom, and the cabbage right on top.
3. spread the carrots and celery bits on top of this
4. evenly spread the soaked chickpeas over this
5. sprinkle a couple of tsp of sea salt over the chickpeas
6. spread the diced sweet potatoes over the chickpea layer
7. sprinkle one more tsp of sea salt over the sweet potato


Simple Wafer Cookies -- vegan, gluten free, sugar free

The thing about these is they are way less time consuming than cookie cutter cookies. A simple, not too sweet, plain-jane little wafer cookie. Gluten free, grain free, vegan, sugar free, and simple. Snack or dessert, perfect for grubby little kindie kids as a after-school stabilizer with a cup of cold red tea (I chill herbal tea as a colourful drink for the kids. A couple  drops of stevia can be a good addition.)















ingredients:

1/4 cup coconut oil -- melted if it's not already soupy due to summer conditions
1/2 cup coconut sugar + (approximately) 1/4 cup water to make 1/2 cup total
2 tbsp vanilla extract

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

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


coconut sugar to sprinkle on top -- optional


directions:

1. combine the ingredients in the order listed
2. chill the dough
3. roll the dough  in two parts  and cut into perfect squares after trimming the  edges. Or cut into imperfect squares. They will still taste good.
4. bake at 345 in a preheated oven for 12 minutes then dehydrate for 3 hours at 170 to 200
5. cool and break into pieces
6. store in an airtight container

Peanut Butter and Date 'fudge'

Oh man oh man I'm addicted. I had to make a third batch. Yes, three.

I don't know if you've ever tried date with creamy peanut butter. We get these dates from 'Parnoosh'. Sometimes they are dry and unappealing to eat as is, but still suffice for baking. Sometimes they are soft and creamy and kind of delectable. I opened a fresh box to make a lovely vegan date and vanilla ice cream, and my son requested four dates filled with our fave organic smooth peanut butter.  They were so soft and so creamy that I too decided to try one. And I realized just how decadently fabulous date and peanut butter are together. I might have known this before, but my memory being what it is, I might also have forgotten.

Date and peanut butter -- an out of this world combination. Unless you hate peanut butter. Or date. Or both. In which case, you have my sympathies but that's it. And, as my darling Bubbi Edith used to say: "More for me."

(I read the above as: I had to make it to third base. I don't know if you've ever tried to date creamy peanut butter. Now THAT would be a different movie entirely.)






ingredients:

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

1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp ground vanilla bean

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
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 chill in the freezer
6. 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!

Banana muffins -- gluten free, grain free, sugar free, vegan, and delicious

Okay, so these are amazing. If you like banana. The GENEROUS sprinkling of coconut sugar on top gives a wonderful coating when fresh from the oven. My husband and son have loved every bite they've eaten (I've made batches for the past two weeks), and the recipe is fool-proof. Awesome vegan gluten free goodness. They've been enjoying them with our vanilla date ice cream.






ingredients:

2 cups very ripe banana


1 cup water
4 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp vanilla extract

4 tbsp ground chia seeds
1/2 cup coconut sugar



1/2  tsp sea salt
1 tsp ceylon cinnamon

2 cups almond flour
1 tsp baking soda

2 to 4 tbsp coconut flour



coconut sugar to sprinkle on top


directions:
1. puree the bananas
2. mix in water, melted coconut oil, lemon juice, and vanilla
3. stir in the ground chia
4. add the coconut sugar
5. stir in the salt and cinnamon
6. add the almond flour
7. mix in the baking soda
8. stir in the coconut flour
9. scoop into muffin cups -- I used 24 small ones
10. sprinkle coconut sugar on top
11. bake at 345 for 45 minutes