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 August 2011

Toasted Seed Cookies with dirty little secrets -- No nuts, you crazy kids. Also, gluten free, grain free, and sugar free.




 When I made the toasted seed cookies last time, I doubled up on the seed toasting and grinding, so I had some containers of toasted and ground seeds all ready to go in the fridge.  This time, I decided to get darker and dirtier than last time. I'm weird like that. Anyway, these, too, taste great, and have nary a nut, grain, gluten, dairy, or sugar to boot.

Eat up and then let me know how much you like 'em.


ingredients:

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup shredded coconut

2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup cooconut sugar
2 eggs

1/4 cup flax meal
1/4 cup hemp seeds

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

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup carob powder
1 tbsp water



directions:

1. toast the sunflower and pumpkin seeds for 30 minutes at 300 C.
2. toast the shredded coconut for 15 or 20 minutes at 300 C.
2b. If you need to toast your sesame seeds, do so in a dry pan over low heat on the stove top. You can grind these little cuties in a coffee grinder. BTW I used black sesame seeds this time, not white.
3. grind up the pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and coconut in a food processor or fancy blender. Mortar and pestle?
4. preheat the oven to 345
5. combine the coconut oil (melted), coconut sugar, and eggs
6. mix in the sea salt, vanilla, and cinnamon
7. add the flax meal and hemp seeds
8. add the baking soda
9. mix in the toasted seeds and toasted coconut
10. add the carob powder and ground and toasted sesame seeds along with 1 tbsp water
11. mix really well
12. put spoonfuls on a lined baking sheet, and flatten with a wet fork
13. bake for 16 minutes



Makes 2 dozen or so depending on size. Store in an airtight container.

Toasted Seed Cookies


Seeds, bless their seedy little hearts, get a lot of flavour boost from gentle toasting. All you raw foodists out there may be scandalized by my flagrant use of toasting, but then again I'm sure you're not lurking around my blog since my only raw recipes are salads and the highly addictive chocolate power bars, but that's another matter.

Now, all you coconut haters must know there is very little coconutty about these cookies despite their toasted coconut content. The flavour is ... well, reminiscent of Dad's Oatmeal cookies. I was a kid in the seventies and I still remember trying to eat one in the wading pool in our backyard only to find they melted when they got wet ...

Anyway, here are some fabulous seed cookies that are 100% nut free. They are also gluten free, dairy free, and cane sugar free. They are sweetened with coconut sugar, which is nice and low on the glycemic index. I like 'em! They are an excellent cookie to go with tea.

Now, these cookies require 2 steps really. Because you have to toast the seeds then grind 'em up. You have to, or else the cookies will taste like raw seeds instead of toasted seeds, and won't be half as yummy. Trust me!


ingredients:

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup shredded coconut

2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup cooconut sugar
2 eggs

1/4 cup flax meal
1/4 cup hemp seeds

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

1/4 tsp baking soda


directions:

1. toast the sunflower and pumpkin seeds for 30 minutes at 300 C.
2. toast the shredded coconut for 15 or 20 minutes at 300 C.
3. grind up the pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and coconut in a food processor or fancy blender. Mortar and pestle?
4. preheat the oven to 345
5. combine the coconut oil (melted), coconut sugar, and eggs
6. mix in the sea salt, vanilla, and cinnamon
7. add the flax meal and hemp seeds
8. add the baking soda
9. mix in the toasted seeds and toasted coconut
10. put spoonfuls on a lined baking sheet, and flatten with a wet fork
11. bake for 16 minutes

Makes 2 dozen or so depending on size. Store in an airtight container.





Saturday, 13 August 2011

Chocolate Chip Baby Cakes for Papa Ed (Don't tell him they are gluten-free, sugar-free, and good for you ...)






Papa Ed doesn't like my brownies. Papa Ed likes the way chocolate cake from a bakery tastes, with thick fudge icing. I wanted to make some cakes to take with us to Oakville to share with Papa Ed, so I'm hoping these ones will not earn the thumbs down. We shall see. Will the copious quantity of callebaut save us? (Seriously, I think we went with the maximum chocolate-to-batter-ratio permissible by law.) Will this variation on our popular gluten free chocoloate chip baby cake recipe fit the bill? Will the soup├žon of raw cacao and carob in the batter give depth of flavour without compromising the sweetness? Stay tuned to find out ...

Or try them yourselves?


ingredients:

2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
3/4 cups warm water
2 eggs
1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp agave
3 tbps coconut sugar

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

2 tbsp ground chia seed
1 tbsp carob powder
1 tbsp raw cacao powder
1 cup almond meal
1/4 tsp baking soda

2 tbsp coconut flour

1/4 cup to 1/2 cup bittersweet callebaut chocolate morsels (or other good quality chocolate chips)

directions:

preheat the oven to 345

1. combine the warm water and coconut oil to melt the oil
2. make sure it's not too hot and add the eggs
3. add the coconut sugar, agave, apple cider vinegar, sea salt, cinnamon, vanilla, ground chia seed, raw cacao powder, and carob powder
4. mix well (I used an immersion blender)
5. add the almond flour and baking soda and mix
6. mix in the coconut flour
7. when thoroughly mixed, add the callebaut and stir
8. scoop into 12 prepared muffin cups and bake at 345 for 37-40 minutes
9. store in an airtight container when thoroughly cool



After the fact update: Papa Ed ate two of them and then declared that they were terrible so no one else would eat any. ;)


Monday, 8 August 2011

Lemon cake for my brother -- a guilt free trip down decadence lane






For some people, cake is a controversial topic. For me, it is like a polka in the ballroom of life -- a polka dot on an executive's socks. Me, I go for stripes, but that is neither here nor there. And for those of you who hate dancing, perhaps you can think of it as a cosmo daisy in a field of weeds.

Even if you've jumped on the low carb zero carb primal paleo bandwagon, perhaps we can set aside our differences to enjoy this brightly-flavoured, moist dessert. And for those of you who hate lemon, I say: don't be such a sour puss.

xoxo,

your conscience.


ingredients:

1/4 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup boiling water
1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1 cup coconut sugar

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

4 eggs

1/2 tsp baking soda
3 cups JK gourmet almond flour


directions:

preheat oven to 345

1. combine water, lemon juice, coconut oil, hemp seeds, and chia seeds
2. add in coconut sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, ginger, and sea salt
3. allow the mixture to sit for at least 10 minutes
4. add the eggs
5. add the baking soda and the almond flour
6. pour the batter into a prepared pan (I've used a rectangular pan for this, but also a 12 inch springform greased and lined with parchment
7. bake for 45 minutes on 345, or until the cake springs back when lightly poked
8. remove from oven and chill
9. serve with lemon glaze (recipe to follow)


lemon glaze:

ingredients:

1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup coconut sugar
pinch sea salt
1/4 cup coconut oil

directions:

1. dissolve the coconut sugar in the lemon juice
2. add the coconut oil and emulsify with a stick blender
3. pour over chilled cake
4. garnish with berries if desired -- don't be afraid to be a show off ...

Kick you Pizza Quiche -- gluten free and bad to the bone






I wanted to make a substantial, filling, satisfying entree that wouldn't be legume heavy, and wouldn't be intimidating to your average carnivore. I came up with this ass-kicker of an egg pie. It's dairy free, gluten-free, super high in protein, rich, fluffy, and super delicious.




crust:
ingredients:

1 1/2 cups blanched almond meal
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp water

directions:

1. combine the ingredients and form ball
2. press into a prepared pie plate (a big one)
3. prick with a fork and bake at 345 for 20 minutes

pie:
ingredients:

1 pie crust from above

1 good sized onion
coconut oil
sea salt

2 cups tomato sauce (sauteed tomato, onion, garlic etc -- see my other recipes please)
6 eggs
2 tbsp arrowroot flour
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/4 cup parmesan
1 tbsp oregano
3/4 tsp sea salt

1 cup diced mozzarella


directions:

1. saute the onion in coconut oil with a little sea salt until sweet, sweaty, and translucent
2. take your baked crust from above, and cover the bottom with sauteed onion
3. top the onion with the diced mozarella
4. combine the tomato sauce, eggs, arrowroot, nutritional yeast, parmesan, oregano, sea salt, pepper, and puree with a hand blender (immersion blender). You could probably also puree it in a food processor
5. pour the tomato sauce/egg mixture over the diced cheese. If you have any extra, pour it into greased silicone muffin moulds or any other well greased cake pan
6. decorate the top with rosemary
7. bake at 345 for 1 hour (or until the pie is firm to a light poke)
8. allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving


Rosemary Socca -- gluten free, dairy free, vegan, fun with chickpea flour!


If I could sit around in dirty sweat pants and do nothing but eat socca for the rest of my life, I would probably be both grubby and bored.  However, I love socca so much, especially this super savoury version, that I am tempted to do it all the same. This socca disappeared like a cat on a hot tin roof, and by the end of dinner there was nothing but crumbs (which I diligently scooped up in my abject piggery, I must confess). Please stay tuned for my socca cracker recipe based on this savoury scintillator ...


ingredients:

1 cup chickpea flour
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 or more tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

directions:

1. combine -- use a whisk if needed to de-lump -- and let sit
2. heat the oven to 345
3. oil a skillet and pour it on
4. bake at 345 for 1 hour or so, until crispy and chewy

sauteed broccoli






1. chop the broccoli
2. add some coconut oil to your pan and turn it on
3. add the broccoli, and sprinkle with sea salt
4. cover and steam a little, then uncover and saute a little (low heat)
5. serve with delight and devour with abandon

Shredded Kohlrabi and carrot salad




Kind of coleslaw but not even remotely. Kohlrabi is more like broccoli hearts than cabbage, and the flavours of this owe nothing to the creamy or oily picnic standby. The fresh herbs kick this up in spritely spring freshness, and the sweetness of the kohlrabi, carrot, and grape tomatoes are a lovely foil for the hint of balsamic.



ingredients:
2 large kohlrabis
2 medium carrots
1/4 cup fresh herbs, chopped
balsamic vinegar
sea salt
black pepper
1/2 tsp sea lettuce
1/2 pint quartered grape tomatoes


directions:

1. shred the kohlrabi and carrots using a large holed grater. If your kohlrabi is particularly juicy, squeeze out the shreds before using them to get rid of extra moisture so your salad isn't watery.
2. chop your tomatoes into quarters
3. coarsely chop your herbs
4. combine and toss with balsamic vinegar, sea salt, black pepper, and a little sea lettuce (or dulse) (if desired)

So simple and refreshing. It also kept well and was nice the next day for lunch ...

M-Dog's B-Day Dinner -- happy birthday, my brother. A gluten-free feast














Well, in a confidential attempt to tempt my birthday brother's carnivorous palate, I pulled out the stops and made a bit of a feast. He didn't know it was a birthday dinner for him, because he wasn't keen on the idea of a family birthday dinner this year. So be it.

Anyway, on the menu:

a shredded summer salad of kohlrabi and carrot tossed with chopped parsley and basil, and quartered grape tomotoes, and seasoned with a  little balsamic vinegar, sea salt, sea weed, and black pepper

rosemary socca made with copious amounts of rosemary from our window box garden

sauteed broccoli (our fave)

an egg pie with the flavourful goodness of a gooey cheese pizza

and finally:

lemon cake with lemon glaze and much yumminess

recipes to follow!