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!


Monday, 19 September 2011

Garbage Soup -- or should we say, cabbage? Gluten free, dairy free, vegan, and good for what ails you.

A few years ago, I went with friends to Pulp Kitchen for brunch. On the chalkboard sign outside was written the day's variables, including the following: 'Garbage Soup'. I was intrigued enough to order it. However, I soon realized that it was merely a communication and transliteration error with our Korean waitress. It was supposed to be cabbage soup, not some leftist, in-your-face, alternative cuisine that could be somehow nicknamed 'garbage soup'. No pomo deconstructionist meal here. It was an okay vege soup, however, but nothing to get super excited about. You may be wondering why I ordered soup for brunch. But I think I was pregnant at the time, and pretty much everything else on the menu gave me visions of heart-burn. My pregnancy was marked by rather extreme food aversions, which was probably why I thought something out of the ordinary would be more interesting than usual.

Back to the future, when I saw these enormous, very delicate green cabbages at the farmer's market, I was moved to make a 'garbage soup' of my own. Not because I am pregnant. I am not. I just like soup.

Onion, carrots, cabbage, a few duPuy lentils, then some cumin, turmeric, and marjoram later, a star was born. Not a party in your mouth, but a soothing bowl just right for the first hints of autumn. The spices are warming, and the veges are soothing. It made a lovely dinner with our herbed dinner muffins.


2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
1 1/2 cups finely diced onion (1 medium)
1 1/2 cups finely diced carrot (2 medium)
1/2 large green cabbage, chopped

1/2 cup duPuy lentils

3  tsp sea salt
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp turmeric
1/2 tsp chili powder
2 tbsp marjoram

6-8 cups of water


1. in a large pot over low heat, combine the spices, sea salt, onions, carrots, and coconut oil
2. add the lentils and cabbage and water
3. slowly simmer for a few hours

If you are a soup lover like me, this can be a nice dinner with herbed muffins or rustic bread. 

Mojo Ice Cream -- Maple Syrup and Almond Butter

I call this mojo ice cream because this ice cream makes me think I have my mojo back -- kitchen wise, at least. I had the freezing bowl of my ice cream maker in the freezer, so when the  spirit moved me, I threw some milk and maple syrup in it. I was going to make a simple maple ice cream type concoction. But then mojo took over, and I was moved to throw a pinch of vanilla and a scoop of almond butter into the mix. The result was so good that I ran outside like an idiot with a sample spoon for my neighbour. Truly delicious. Maybe next time I'll try honey and peanut butter ... Plus, the almond butter helps keep the protein high and your blood sugar stable. How great is that?!?


2 cups whole milk (I use 5%, but you can probably use your organic whole milk if that's what you've got on hand)
1/2 cup dark maple syrup (or light, or whatever you've got)
pinch or two sea salt
generous pinch ground vanilla bean
1/4 cup almond butter (or a little more)


1. throw everything in cold into your ice cream maker and turn it on. I guess you could pre mix it if you want to, but I did not. Or turn on your ice cream maker and then throw everything in. That's what you're supposed to do with mine.
2. freeze according to the manufacturers instructions
3. run outside with samples for your neighbours, because truly, it's too good to keep to yourself. 

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Herbed Muffins -- a savoury snack or satisfying meal (gluten free, grain free, sugar free, dairy free, you know the drill ...)

Those of you who have rolled through the past 11 months with me know I like savoury flavours quite a lot. I wasn't in the mood for a big heavy meal tonight, so I made up a batch of savoury muffins -- super fast -- they were in the oven in 15 minutes or less, and baked up in 30 -- to go with a side of sauteed broccoli. Kind of a cheating dinner, but how nice are muffins hot out of the oven with butter melting on them? Some times simple food rules!

These gluten-free, grain-free muffins have many kinds of seeds in them, so they bring a whole host of powerful micro-nutrients to the table along with a fair bit of deliciousness. I didn't spice them overly, but you could easily throw in a little more chili powder if you are a hardier sort than I and didn't have the palette of a 3 year old to please. I -- she said sadly -- am a wimp.

Anyway, every member of my family enjoyed the meal, and found it satisfying as well as satisfactory. Might be nice with a bowl of autumn soup ... Or brunchie, with some fresh fruit and scrambled eggs.


1 1/2 cups boiling water
1/2 cup flax meal
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 - 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp marjoram
1 tbsp oregano

1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil

2 cups almond flour

4 eggs

1/2 tsp baking soda


preheat the oven to 345

1. combine the seeds and the boiling water
2. add the herbs and spices and let sit for 10 minutes
3. add the coconut oil, and stir until melted
4. add the apple cider vinegar
5. add the almond flour
6. add the eggs
7. add the baking soda, and stir well
8. scoop the batter into 24 prepared muffin cups, and bake for 30 minutes at 345
9. when the muffins are cool, remove them from the muffin cups
10. store in an airtight container in the fridge

Update: The left over muffins made great garlic bread to go with our lasagna last night. We split them open, buttered them, then sprinkled them with a little granulated garlic. A few minutes in the oven after the lasagna came out resulted in warm, buttery, garlic bread ... and they are gluten-free, high in protein, and super yummy.

Friday, 16 September 2011

'Mosas! A reprisal of an old favourite -- our samosas.

My cute as a button son loves samosas, and fondly calls them 'mosas. Before going to work on a film, I filled our freezer with these homemade goodies, so that he and my husband could have nutritious and yummy home cooked meals in no more time than it took them to pop some in the toaster oven -- and wait 40 minutes.

After getting home late from the zoo today, I tossed some in the toaster oven (it fits 6 perfectly, which turned out to be a reasonable number for the three of us for dinner).

Because they were super yummy, I decided to share our latest filling with you, as well as re-tell my way of samosa making. Super yummy.

The beauty of samosas like this is you really could make any filling you pleased so long as it wasn't too wet, and they would work out fantastically. Go crazy and see whatever suits your fancy. Make a huge batch and throw a bunch of them in the freezer for a quick dinner when you come home late.

Part 1) dough


1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil
2 cups kamut pastry flour (finely ground, whole grain)
1 cup blanched almond flour
1 1/2 tsp sea salt

3/4 cup filtered water + 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar


1. put the flours, salt, and oil in a food processor. pulse a few times to thoroughly combine.
2. turning the machine on, slowly trickle in the water (and vinegar) until the ingredients clump together and form a dough. If it seems too dry, add more water whilst the processor is on, a teaspoonful at a time. You do not want to add too much water, because then the dough will be very hard to work with. Too little water and the dough will be too crumbly.
3. take the dough out of the food processor, wrap it in parchment and put it in a plastic bag, or wrap it in plastic wrap. Set the dough aside to rest. (you can also make it ahead of time and put it in the fridge. However, it will need to come to room temperature before you can use it.

Part 2) filling


2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
3/4 cup diced carrot
1 cup green peas
2 cups diced sweet potato
1 cup diced kohlrabi
2 cups cooked chickpeas
150 g spinach, chopped

1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground cumin


1. saute  the carrots, peas, sweet potato, kohlrabi, and chickpeas with the coconut oil and the spices and seas salt until tender
2. add the spinach and stir until cooked
3. set the filling aside to use once the dough is ready

Part 3) samosas

1. take the fully rested dough, and divide into 20 g balls using a kitchen scale. Or if you are not as ocd as me, just make ping pong ball size dough balls. Try to make them even. Using the kitchen scale method, I got 35 balls this time. You could make 'em a touch bigger and get 24 balls, but I like this size best. Keep the balls covered by a piece of parchment topped by a damp towel to keep them from drying out. This is very very important!

2. one by one, roll the dough balls into circles, put some filling in the middle, and fold three sizes to make a triangular package. You should probably roll the dough on baking parchment or a mat of your choice. I find this dough easy to work with and somewhat forgiving.

3. place the samosas on a lined baking sheet. You don't need to leave a lot of space between, but you also don't want them to touch.

4. here, you have to make the decision to bake or to freeze. If you elect to freeze your bounty for later, put the baking sheet fully loaded into the freezer. Once the samosas have frozen solid, put them in airtight freezer bags. They can be baked right from frozen in about 40 minutes at 345.
5. If you choose to bake them now, put your baking sheet in the oven at 345 for about 25 or 30 minutes, until they seem adequately brown for your liking. If you want to bake them in a few hours, cover the samosas on the baking sheet with a piece of parchment topped by a damp towel.

I have served variations of these samosas to a lot of people, and pretty much they are well enjoyed by all.

I'd love to hear about your own filling variations!

Monday, 12 September 2011

Almond Butter Cookies -- this time with coconut nectar and hemp seeds

These were quite the hit last time, so I decided to do another go around, this time with such things as coconut nectar, hemp seeds, and chia seeds. Almond butter cookies truly are a treat. Hmm. I have a couple jars of natural peanut butter in my cupboard, and I'm thinking of peanut butter cookies next time ...

These are not the same as the first ones. They are not like parallel universe cookies or anything, but they depart a little in substance and in result. Coconut nectar is fruity where coconut sugar is secretive and dark, and I thought that fruitines might be fun with the dominant smooth nuttiness of the almond butter this time. I think I was right! 

My son enjoyed these very much, and I gotta tell you they are quite rich and satisfying. A good little energy boost when an energy boost is needed ...

Packed full of amazing powerhouse nutrition, these are a snack you don't need to stress over.


1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup boiling water
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup flax meal
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1/2 cup coconut nectar
1/2 cup almond butter
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 eggs

2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground vanilla bean

1 cup almond meal
2 cups pecan meal
1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/4 cup thompson raisins


preheat the oven to 345

1. combine the boiling water with the chia seeds, flax seeds, and hemp seeds
2. stir in the almond butter, coconut oil, and coconut nectar
3. add the apple cider vinegar
4. add the eggs
5. add the cinnamon, sea salt, and vanilla
6. stir in the baking soda
7. add the almond meal and pecan meal
8. stir in the raisins
9. scoop spoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets and flatten with a damp fork
10. bake at 345 for 20 minutes

makes 4 dozen cookies
store in an airtight container once fully cool

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Socca crackers -- a savoury, zesty, gluten free, crackery treat

For anyone who has had to listen to me ramble on about socca, you know how much I love the stuff. I love it so much I had to go and modify it into a sort of cracker that I can store in airtight containers and enjoy over the course of a couple of weeks instead of just for dinner.

My rosemary plants were glorious this summer, so large handfuls of the herb made it into this recipe. Liberal amounts of cumin and chili powder, apple cider vinegar, and most recently, turmeric, kick this crunchy affair up a notch. Don't get me wrong -- these are definitely not for the faint of heart. If you like bland and boring, please walk away now. These are not for you. 

However, if like me, you like a party in your mouth, you like ruby dancing shoes, and you like my zesty almond crackers, there is a good chance you'll groove on these the way I do, too.


1/2 cup water
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 cup chickpea flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp chili powder
LOTS of fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

preheat the oven to 300

1. combine the oil and water, and stir in the flour, sea salt, and spices. A whisk can help get rid of any lumps
2. add the vinegar and rosemary, and mix well
3. pour the mixture onto a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet, and spread evenly into a large rectangle (or bake in small circles like from the top photos)
4. bake at 300 for 30 minutes, then turn the oven down to dry it out for at least 30 more, or until it is very crisp.
5. break into pieces when cool, and store in an airtight container.

Share with Kristanne.

Plum Pie with Vanilla Custard -- holy hannah that's good

The other day my son and I came across a basket of Ontario plums -- the dusky blue kind that start out green and go all soft and orange on the inside -- and we decided to make plum pie. We have a book we like to read called 'Each Peach Pear Plum' that ends with everyone eating plum pie -- even the bunnies, even baby bunting, even the wicked witch.

I thought about it for a while, and I decided exactly what I wanted to do. I wanted a sweet, cookie type crust to remind me of the crust of the plum tart my mother used to make when I was a kid. And I knew the plums would be kinda sour, so I wanted to play with that by topping it with a sweet and delicious vanilla custard that would celebrate both the flavour of the plums and their sourness. So, we got the cookie, we got the sour plumminess, bits of chewiness where the edges of the plums got all baked and delicious, we got the creamy, rich vanilla sweetness of the custard, all balancing together into one fabulous dessert where the sum is definitely more than the components. 

It was also easy to make, so don't be shy.



2 cups blanched almond meal
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup coconut sugar
3 tsp cinnamon (I used 1 tsp each of korintje, saigon, and ceylon)
1 tsp ground vanilla bean
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar


preheat oven to 345

1. prepare a pie plate or springform pan (I like to line my springform pan with parchment and grease it well with coconut oil)
2. combine all ingredients in a bowl except for the coconut oil and vinegar
3. mix well
4. add the coconut oil, and cut it in as it were. I used a fork and sort of mashed it. It worked beautifully.
5. finally, add the apple cider vinegar, and mix very well
6. press the crumbly mixture VERY FIRMLY into the bottom of the pie plate or springform pan. VERY firmly.
7. bake for 20 minutes at 345



1 baked pie crust from above
1.5 L of blue plums (what, damsons are they?), washed, pitted, and diced or coarsely chopped -- yield 4 or 5 cups
pinch sea salt
1/4 cup coconut sugar
2 tbsp arrowroot powder


preheat oven to 345 if it's not still on from baking the crust

1. toss the chopped plums with the sea salt, coconut sugar, and arrowroot powder
2. put the plum mixture on the pie crust evenly, and return it to the oven
3. bake for 40 minutes at 345



2 cups milk (I use raw whole milk. I recommend at least using organic whole milk (not skim))
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 tsp ground vanilla bean
1/4 tsp sea salt
3 tbsp arrowroot powder


1. combine the ingredients in a double boiler
2. stir while cooking until thickened
3. remove from heat and set aside to serve over slices of pie

Sweet Potato, Carrot, Chickpea, and Pumpkin Seed Saute -- Delicious Autumn Fare

A trip to the farmer's market (the Lesieville market on Sunday morning) netted new carrots as big as a baby's arm, and as chubby and stubby, too. We have our cache of sweet potatoes, the asian kind, from the sweet potato man, both purple and white. In the freezer, divided up into parcels of a few cups each, are cooked chickpeas. So, with what was readily at hand, I became inspired to make dinner. This dish is so simple and took just a few minutes to prepare. The hefty chunks of sweet potato and carrot meant it took a little while to cook, but nothing crazy. It was ready in plenty of time for dinner.

The pumpkin seeds add texture, and the spices blend their flavours beautifully with the ingredients. I'm really into cumin and turmeric right now, even going as far as to load up my breakfast porridge with them the past few days. 

I 'diced' the carrots and sweet potatoes so roughly that the pieces are quite large and chunky, but hey it only took me about 3 minutes to get everything into the pot.


2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
2 cups roughly chopped sweet potato
2 cups roughly chopped carrot
1 1/2 cups chickpeas, cooked

1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar


1. put the coconut oil, spices, and pumpkin seeds in a large skillet, saute pan, or pot and cook lightly for a minute
2. add the carrot, sweet potato, and chickpeas and toss well to combine everything.
3. cover the pan/pot and cook on low heat until carrots are tender. If you need to, you can add a splash of water (if things start sticking).
4. serve with sauteed kale and a salad of tomatoes seasoned with salt and pepper.

Dinner, again. An autumn meal complete with pie ...


It wasn't a celebration. It was just a meal. It just worked out that way. We had plums that wanted pie-ing, and lovely kale and carrots from the farmer's market. Despite thinking about the 10th anniversary of 9/11, and the six months since Japan suffered a huge earthquake, it turned out to be a day for good eating.

We enjoyed a saute of sweet potato, carrot, pumpkin seeds, and chickpeas with sauteed kale, tomato salad, and sweet potato biscuits. We washed this down with a pretty plum pie topped with vanilla custard sauce. It was all so freakin' good. It was all so freakin' good that I would have loved to share the meal with you. Instead, I'll just share the recipes.

It was a day to look at photos and think and remember. Remember those lost, remember the lives broken, remember man's inhumanity to man, remember man's frailty in the face of nature and natural disaster, remember man's folly in the face of power, both nuclear and governmental.

I find it hard to feel grateful that my loved ones and I are safe and whole in light of all that, because it feels like it means I'm being glad someone else isn't, glad that these tragedies happened elsewhere to other people. Instead, I feel like we are all diminished somehow.

I hope my son grows up in a world where terror attacks and nuclear meltdowns are historical only.

And for all those who are lost or have lost, my thoughts are with you. I am with you ...

Monday, 5 September 2011

Chocolate Toasted Seed Cookies -- nut free and all that other stuff, too

Here we go with our nut-free, toasted seed cookies again. This time, I went overboard on the raw cacao, which is a pretty fun thing to do. The process was like last time -- toast the seeds and coconut then grind up -- and once again I made twice as many toasted seeds as I'd need ... So you can look forward to another nut-free, toasted seed cookie recipe in the not too distant future. With the heat of the summer over, perhaps I'll even return to my former posting glory ... I hope so. I've missed you.


1 1/2 cups toasted and ground sunflower and pumpkin seeds (any ratio is fine)
1 cup toasted and ground shredded coconut
1/4 cup ground flax meal
1/4 cup hemp seeds, also ground

1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp green leaf stevia
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 tsp ground vanilla
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 cup raw cacao

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
2 eggs
1/4 tsp baking soda


preheat the oven to 345

1. combine the sunflower, pumpkin, flax, and hemp seeds and coconut
2. add the sea salt, stevia, vanilla, cinnamon, coconut sugar, and raw cacao
3. add the apple cider vinegar and coconut oil and mix well
4. add the eggs, and mix well
5. finally, stir in the baking soda
6. scoop teaspoon of cookie dough onto a lined baking sheet, and flatten the balls with a wet fork
7. bake at 345 for 16 minutes.
8. makes one tray of cookies
9. store in an airtight container once fully cooled

Chocolate Baby Cakes. The usual: gluten-free and sugar-free, dairy-free and junk-free

These cakes have a light springy texture that puts me in mind of store bought chocolate cupcakes.  Unlike my gluten-free brownies -- which scream in-your-face fudgey goodness -- these have a more subdued, refined, calm, chocolate taste. They are lovely, and I bet they'd take chocolate frosting very well ... We ate 'em plain. My husband avers they are good enough to make up for the fact that I am annoying in many ways ...


1 1/2 cups boiling water
1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil
1/4 cup ground chia seeds
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
1/4 cup hemp hearts
1 cup coconut sugar

1 tbsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup raw cacao
1 tsp green leaf stevia

2 cups almond flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
4 eggs


preheat the oven to 345

1. combine coconut oil, water, chia meal, flax meal, and hemp hearts
2. add the cinnamon, vanilla, sea salt, raw cacao, and stevia
3. if you have one, puree it all using a stick blender. If you don't have one, don't worry. It will be fine. Just stir.
4. add the almond flour and baking soda
5. finally add the eggs
6. when the batter is well mixed, scoop it into 24 prepare muffin cups
7. bake at 345 for 30 minutes
8. allow the cakes to cool in the muffin cups before removing
9. store in an airtight container