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!

:)

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.













Monday, 10 October 2016

Crunchy Almond Butter Bites

These are best friends with peanut butter bites. They are ridiculously yummy but not as in your face. Nobody is as in your face as peanut butter. Even with the freezer door shut, I can hear the peanut butter bites yelling 'In Your Face'. Not the almond butter bites though. They are mannerly and refined.




equipment needed:
mixing bowl and mixing spoon
scraper and plastic spatula
measuring cups
measuring spoon
square silicone pan or square glass pan and baking parchment


ingredients:

1/2 cup coconut nectar
1/2 cup smooth almond butter

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

 2 cups shredded coconut
1/2 cup hemp hearts
1/4 cup buckwheat groats
1/4 cup dates, pitted and chopped


directions:
1. combine the coconut nectar with the almond butter and mix in the sea salt and ground vanilla bean
2. stir in the shredded coconut and hemp hearts
3. stir in the buckwheat groats
4. stir in the chopped dates
5. press with great force into the square pan. I like to cover it with parchment whilst pressing so it doesn't end up on my hands, but that's just me.
6. score into bites
7. chill or freeze
8. remove from pan and store in an airtight container (I keep mine in the freezer)










Crunchy Peanut Butter Bites V 2.0

The irony of these bites is that they are made with smooth peanut-butter. That smooth organic peanut butter you can buy in bulk at the bulk barn. It should really be a controlled substance. Maybe it's just me? I think it is highly addictive. The crisp toothsome joy of these bites is not alas from perfectly roasted peanut pieces. Rather, it comes from raw buckwheat groats which are delicate enough to yield under slight pressure, but keep their encouraging crunchiness when made into bites.

Don't skimp on the sea salt, friends.

Unless you use salted peanut butter.








equipment needed:
mixing bowl
mixing spoon
scraper
measuring cups
measuring spoons
silicone square pan or glass pan lined with parchment
plastic spatula


ingredients:
1/2 cup coconut nectar
1/2 cup smooth organic peanut butter

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

2 cups shredded coconut
1/2 cup hemp hearts
1/4 cup buckwheat groats
1/4 cup dates, pitted and chopped


directions:
1. combine the coconut nectar with the peanut butter and mix in the sea salt and ground vanilla bean
2. stir in the shredded coconut and hemp hearts
3. stir in the buckwheat groats
4. stir in the chopped dates
5. press with great force into the square pan. I like to cover it with parchment whilst pressing so it doesn't end up on my hands, but that's just me.
6. score into bites
7. chill or freeze
8. remove from pan and store in an airtight container (I keep mine in the freezer)












Fall crockpot

Since it finally feels like fall, I felt like making this. The rich, savoury flavours are both delicious and comforting. And if you are not familiar with seitan, it's a toothsome, chewy, dense food made primarily from the protein in wheat. So obviously, not for those with gluten intolerance or wheat allergy! This crockpot is great without it, so that part is totally optional. I added some chickpea flour to my seitan this time because I am totally a chickpea flour fan. A last minute addition of oven crisped chickpea flour tofu when the crockpot is finished would also be good, or chunks of tofu for extra heartiness when you fire up the crockpot. We ate this with oven roasted potato wedges one day, and with brown basmati another. Versatile, hearty, and perfect for fall.





















equipment needed:
crockpot
 (or cook in a large pot on the stove, no prob)
measure cups
measuring spoons
cutting board
knife
mixing bowl
mixing spoon


ingredients:

2 tbsp coconut oil
1 onion, finely diced
2 cups green cabbage, finely diced

2 cups uncooked green lentils, rinsed

2 cups chopped celery hearts
2 cups diced carrot

4 dried shiitake mushrooms


4 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp herbe de provence
1 tsp cumin

8 cups water


directions:

1. layer all ingredients in order listed -- that's my crockpot secret for you.



---------------------
for seitan:

1 cup gluten flour
1/2 cup chickpea flour
1 tsp vegetable bouillon powder (or sea salt, herbs, and seasonings to your taste e.g. 1/2 tsp sea salt, some marjoram, basil or oregano, some chili powder or garlic powder etc -- I was in a hurry hence the bouillon powder)
1 1/2 cup water


directions:
1. combine chickpea flour, gluten flour and seasonings, and mix well
2. add water and mix well
3. knead
4. roll flat, and place on top of other ingredients in crockpot.

--------------------------

finally:
1. cook the concoction on high in crock pot for 5 hours
2. remove the seitan and cut into cubes
3. remove the mushrooms and cut into pieces
4. return the mushrooms and seitan to the crockpot, stir, and let cook for 1 final hour


This is a dish that tastes great the next day. It's really good as soon as it's made, but don't worry about making it ahead if that's more convenient.

Also would be great with some crusty bread for soaking up any residual (and delicious) broth.


Sunday, 9 October 2016

pea crackerrrrrsssss

For realsies, these are one of my favourite nibbles. I just love that green pea flavour! These ones are so savoury and yummy, too. I've made them with just salt and pepper, and those are amazing, no joke.

Crackers are so easy to make at home. The secret is to score them before baking, and if they don't end up crisp enough, dehydrate them extra after you finish baking on a heat that is too low to brown them more but will drive out the moisture.

Totally fine for school, totally tasty for kids.






equipment needed:
2 silicone mats or baking parchment
2 baking sheets
rolling pin
mixing bowl
mixing spoon
measuring cups
measuring spoons



ingredients:

2 cups pea flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch

3/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp chili powder
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp mesquite

1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar


1/4 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup water (a couple tbsp more)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar



salt to sprinkle on top (optional)

directions:

preheat the oven to 345

1. combine dry ingredients, then work the coconut oil in using a fork
2. add water and vinegar and mix into dough
3. divide the dough into two pieces
4. roll out each piece onto a silicone baking mat, by covering the dough with a piece of parchment,
5. score into cracker shapes, and sprinkle with salt
6.bake at 345 for 20 minutes

crackerrrrrrs





I love crackers. Crunchy, savoury little nibbles. My fave are the ones made with green pea flour. This are also awesome. Almond flour, coconut flour, and pea flour. You know what that means? Means they are good for you.

These ones are no good for school (obvi) but they sure taste good for a snack at home. Or have a small handful with an apple for a quicky lunch. I love chili powder more than I should, so these are awesome for me.



equipment needed:
silicone baking mats or parchment
rolling pin
baking sheets
mixing bowl
mixing spoon
measuring cups
measuring spoons

ingredients:

1 cup blanched almond flour
1 cup raw almond flour
1 cup tapioca starch
1 cup green pea flour
1/4 cup coconut flour

1 tsp sea salt
2 tsp chili powder
dash stevia powder
1 tsp baking soda
(optional 2 tbsp nutritional yeast)

4 tbsp coconut oil

1 cup water
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar




directions:

1. combine in order listed -- work the coconut oil in using a fork before adding the water
2. roll flat on 2 pieces of baking parchment or 2 silicone baking mats
3. place on baking trays and score with a plastic spatula or something like that to make lines along which to break after baking
4. bake at 345 for 30 minutes
5. bake at 200 for 60 minutes