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, 28 November 2011

Leek and Broccoli Soup with Cheese and Bread

It's like soup and a sandwich in one.


2 or 3 small slices of lovely bread cut into cubes
(lovely bread:
grated mozarella
grated parmesan
3 servings of leek and broccoli soup
(leek and broccoli soup:


preheat the oven to 345

1. put the soup into oven proof bowls
2. put bread cubes on the bowls of those who are neither gluten-intolerant nor intolerant in general
3. sprinkle the cheese evenly over all the bowls including the bowl with no bread if one of you is not a bread lover, lovely or otherwise
4. put the bowls on a baking sheet, and put in the oven for 20-30 minutes, depending on how brown you want the cheese to get
5. think kind thoughts
6. serve carefully because the bowl is hot and there ain't nothin' worse than cheese burns ...

This small transformation was a huge hit in these parts. But I have to confess there are few things that my two boys like better than cheese and bread.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Leek and Broccoli Soup

I discovered this summer that the flavours of leek and broccoli do some wonderful one-up-man-ship when sparring together. On the strength of this farmer's market discovery, I decided to become a little adventurous with our crockpot this morning. Plus, I'm just in the mood. I threw in a few other ingredients to get the full balance of flavours -- a little celery for the high notes, some chickpeas to provide a grounding, earthy flavour, and an onion to round out the leek's cheeky grin. A whole bunch of broccoli later, and a star is born. Catch me if you can!

You will need a stick blender, immersion blender, food processor, or the willingness to puree the soup by hand (that's up to you) to create a creamy soup texture that pieces of broccoli will then be reintroduced to.

The taste of the soup is pleasingly green, the flavour simple yet not bland. I perfect meal for an autumn day that is pretending to be spring ...


1/4 cup coconut oil
1 medium onion, chopped (1 cup)
2 cup of chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrot
3 cups leeks chopped
1000 g broccoli florets, chopped
4 cups chickpeas, cooked

6 cups of water
5 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp marjoram
black pepper

500g broccoli florets in small pieces, reserved


1. layer the ingredients in the crockpot in order listed except for the final 500 g of broccoli florets, which will be added once the soup is cooked and pureed
2. cook on high (to fully cook the onion etc) for 5 hours
3. puree the ingredients
4. adjust the seasoning, add the broccoli florets, and turn the heat down to low for 1 hour.
5. serve with lovely bread and a good attitude while thinking of those you love most in the world. If you are so lucky as to share this soup with them, so much the better.

Hmm. Broccoli soup with cheese melted on top? Maybe ... I can see it now. A bowl of soup with a piece of bread on top covered in grated cheese and browned in the oven. It'd be like a soup and sandwich in one ... Will I be brave enough to try it? Tune in tomorrow to find out.


Saturday, 26 November 2011

Date and Pecan Muffins -- gluten free, sugar free baby cakes for breakie

My sweet little boy was very eager for there to be muffins in the house. A Saturday morning baking binge produced peanut butter cookies, a loaf of bread, and these date and pecan muffins. Pecans are an interesting nut in that they have an unexpectedly sweet and maple-reminiscent flavour. On the strength of those sweet little morsels and a full cup of chopped dates, I decided to go without any additional sweetener in these muffins. The combination of nuts and seeds will make these a very good, high energy snack, or even a reasonable quick breakfast.  Try 'em and let me know what you think. 

I hope they are worth it. In creating the recipe I managed to over-write my post from July 17th, which I then had to go and painstakingly recreate and pull from online caches. Or rather I made my poor beleaguered husband pull from online-caches.  At the very least, I owe him a muffin! I've tried to repost it all, but it may be a little messed up ...

Anyway, dear friends and lovely readers, happy muffining!


1 cup boiling water
1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup shelled hemp seeds (hemp hearts)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 tsp ground vanilla
1 tsp korintje cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp sea salt

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

4 eggs

1 cup chopped honey dates (no pit)
1 cup chopped pecans


preheat the oven to 345

1. combine the boiling water with the coconut oil to melt it
2. add in the chia seeds, hemp seeds, and apple cider vinegar
3. add the sea salt, vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger
4. mix in the almond flour and baking soda
5. stir in the eggs once the mixture is not too hot
6. add the chopped dates and pecans and a generous dollop of positive thoughts and wistful memories
7. scoop into 24 prepared muffin cups
8. bake at 345 for 28 minutes
9. allow to cool for a while before removing from the muffin cups
10. store in an airtight container when fully cooled.

Dates are so sweet they taste like candy, and I'm having a hard time convincing my son these muffins don't have candy in them.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Vegetable Soup -- Crockpot does the work, I take the glory

I had a bizarre late night grocery store experience yesterday.  The grocery store near my house has recently been transformed into a 24 hour store. Historically, I would have thought "Why? Why would anyone want to shop in the middle of the night?" But yesterday evening I went to a wrap party for a show I just finished on. Wrap parties are bizarre at the best of times. People you see everyday for weeks or months show up looking generally polished and put together then proceed to get a little pie-eyed, and everyone hugs and kisses everyone, and introduces their spouses, and acts like they are best friends, even though maybe you only exchanged two words with them on set during the entire productions. Bottom line -- everyone is nice, everyone means well, and everyone wants to have good memories of the show.

Last night's wrap party was interesting because of many factors which included conversations with people that meant something entirely different than what was being said, learning the true definition of sociopath from a producer, and finding out the deep held ambitions of people that held their cards close to their chests.

Generally I feel like I have too many arms and legs and don't know what to do with all of them when I am at such events. So last night I was at least a little grateful to slink into the corner and engage in conversation with a gaffer who is both lovely and charming.

At pumpkin hour I headed home, calculating what the next day would hold. As I passed the all-night grocery store it suddenly occurred to me that I could get the ingredients I need for tonight's dinner on my way home instead of going for groceries in the morning. 15 minutes later I was back on my way, feeling like the time was well spent. Certainly, my inner misanthrope enjoyed the calm emptiness of the midnight produce section. 

I'm not sure if I've just bought into consumerism at its worst, supporting the machine that leads to the degradation of our socio-economic health. However, with the farmer's markets closed for the season, I am forced once again to be a grocery store shopped. Heck, I do believe this was my first grocery store experience since the farmer's markets ended.

Has anyone else out there done the all-night grocery store routine? If yes, is it Yea, Nay, or Meh?

Without further ado, here are the ingredients for my all-night grocery store soup:


2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbps minced garlic
3/4 cup finely diced onion
1 1/2 cups finely diced carrot
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved (or quartered if they are large)
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
250 g green peas

1/2 tbsp sea salt
1/2 tsp chili powder
black pepper

2 cups water

4 cups chopped nappa cabbage
1 cup finely diced celery

2 tbsp peanut butter
2 tbsp miso
1/4 cup water


turn on the crockpot to high for 6 hours

1. combine the coconut oil, garlic, onion, tomato, carrot, chickpeas, green peas, sea salt, chili powder, and black pepper.
2. pour on 2 cups boiling water
3. layer on the chopped nappa cabbage
4. top with celery
5. after everything is cooked, stir in the peanut butter and miso, and turn the heat off or to warm, and allow to sit for 1 hour.

This soup is super. We ate it with green onion pancakes, but it would also be fab with flat bread, socca, freshly baked bread, nothing but a spoon, etc.

Green Onion Pancakes -- a gluten free, dairy free, dinner dainty

I know green onion pancakes are a staple in Asian cuisine. However, this is not them. This is, instead, inspired by my late night grocery store adventure. The green onions looked so cute in the half-light of the deserted produce section. So, here they are, pancaked.

If any unexpected visitors drop by and ask to partake of your pancakes, please make sure they realize they are not being annoying. I did this by listing all the things I could think of that are annoying just to offer contrast: 1) when people stomp on my toes intentionally 2) when people hurt my feelings intentionally 3) when people say 'supposably'.  Just kidding. Sort of.


2  cups water

1/4 cup flax meal
1/4 cup ground chia seeds
1 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil

3/4 cups blanched almond flour

1/2 tsp sea salt
black pepper

3 eggs

1 cup very finely sliced green onion


1. combine boiling water with flax meal and chia seeds, and allow to sit for 10 minutes
2. add the hemp seeds, almond flour, sea salt, and black pepper.
3. add the eggs
4. stir in the green onion, and allow to sit for 1 hour (in the fridge) or longer
5. whisper a good thought
6. cook by 1/4 cup on a prepared skillet. Do not fear the sacrificial pancake.

Serve with dipping sauce if you like!
We did.

Dipping Sauce for Green Onion Pancakes


2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp raw honey
pinch chili powder
1 tsp tamari


1. combine the above ingredients
2. serve as a dipping sauce with green onion pancakes

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Apple pie filling -- My secret shame -- Naturally gluten free, vegan, dairy free, and yummy

How great is the smell of cinnamon anything baking in the oven? Here it smells like cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, apple ... You get the picture. I probably don't really need to say anything else. It's definitely an autumnal smell, and the fact that the temperature has been plummeting over the course of the day only adds to how appealing this dish is. We'll be enjoying it after a dinner of left-over lentil soup and homemade bread. Feel free to invite yourself over for dinner.

I'll admit that three kinds of cinnamon might just be showing off, and if you only have one kind at home, I can pretty much guarantee that this dish will still be a raging success.

It would probably be fabulous with the crust from my summer tree fruit pie. Hmm .... next time, PIE! This time, just pie filling ... Yes, I am apparently a child.


1200 g royal gala apple, cored and diced
2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
400 g organic raisins
1/4 sea salt
2 tsp ground vanilla bean
2 tsp ceylon cinnamon
2 tsp saigon cinnamon
2 tsp korintje cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger

1. combine the above ingredients in an oven proof baking dish
2. put in a 345 degree oven for 5 minutes to melt the coconut oil
3. remove and stir
4. return to the oven for 55 minutes
5. serve to people you like -- great with vanilla ice cream ... If you have enemies, just taunt them with it and refuse to give them any.

Maple Pecan Cookie Bars -- gluten free, grain free, vegan, good for you

It's good to mix things up. I tell myself this as I stubbornly force my infatuated gaze away from the peanut butter in my fridge. Shows strength of character, I tell myself. I can do this. I can make something that doesn't involve peanut butter.

 I make cookies every week to send with my son to preschool. So my cookies have to be kid friendly (what's the point otherwise?), and I don't mean just sans nudity and sans expletives. (Speaking of expletives -- I unwisely dropped the f-bomb in front of my son a couple of weeks ago, but managed to convince him that what I had really said was 'frog'. As in 'Oh FROG' when an error resulted in a large mess and much frustration. He still thinks I am being unfair blaming amphibians for my own missteps ... But I digress.) Cookies have to taste good enough that grubby little hands will stuff them in sticky little mouths and ask for more. Hopefully these will fit that bill. They also have to be real food and sustaining so a bunch of three year olds are properly fueled for art-making, mischief making, and general good-spirited learning. I made a similar concoction in the summer that vibed on walnut, raisin, and chocolate, and I do realize I am walking the line with these ones. But, heck, I had a bad week, and I'm in a mood to live dangerously. Maple and pecan is a long standing, well respected combination, so on the strength of that, I will challenge the kids this week to these cookie bars, and defy them not to enjoy them.

Eat the cookie bars!

(Sorry, was that scary?)


3/4 cup boiling water
1/2 cup flax meal
1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp ceylon
2 tsp ground vanilla
black pepper

1/2 cup hemp seeds (hemp hearts)
3 cups blanched almond flour

1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped pecans


preheat the oven to 345

1. combine the flax meal, boiling water, and maple syrup and let sit for 10 minutes
2. add the coconut oil, coconut sugar, and apple cider vinegar
3. add the cinnamon, vanilla, sea salt, and black pepper
4. add in the hemp seeds
5. add the almond flour
6. add the raisins and pecans
7. press into a rectangular baking dish lined with parchment
8. bake at 345 for 50 minutes
9. cut into bars
10. store in an airtight container when cool

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Lentil Soup in the crockpot -- 4 kinds of lentils and minimal work for a terrific result

My problem is I'm terribly lazy. Because of this, this may be my idea recipe. Chop a few kinds of vegetables, and throw them in the crock pot with a bunch of dry lentils and water. Presto, a few hours later, dinner is served.

This dish has a mild and savoury flavour that is a big hit with everyone in my family except the cat, but we try to discourage her from eating at the table, anyway.


2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
2 cups finely chopped onion
2 tbsp finely minced garlic
2 1/2 cups finely diced carrot

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

1/2 cup large green lentils
1/2 cup brown masoor lentils
1/2 cup small green lentils
1 cup du puy lentils

300 g chopped spinach

10 cups water


1. turn the crock pot onto medium or high, and se the timer for 6 hours
2. put the ingredients in according to the above order
3. close the lid
4. stir halfway through if possible
5. serve with crusty bread

Peanut Butter and Maple Syrup Granola -- our current fave

I've been making granola once every week or two, and it magically disappears. The recipe that we've come to after trying different things is this one. The combination of flavours is satisfying, and the ingredients provide long term energy. And yes, of course there is peanut butter ...


1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup smooth organic all natural peanut butter
1/4 cup maple syrup (you could also go with honey if you prefer)

1 cup quinoa flakes
1 cup spelt flakes
1 cup oat flakes

1 cup raw almonds, chopped
1 cup raw cashews, chopped
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 cup raw shredded coconut (organic)

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

1/4 cup hemp hearts
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 cup ground flax seeds
2 cups organic raisins


preheat the oven to 250

1. combine the pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cashews, almonds, coconut, quinoa flakes, spelt flakes, and oat flakes in a very large bowl. Add the vanilla, cinnamon, and sea salt.
2. combine the coconut oil, peanut butter, and maple syrup
3. pour the coconut oil, peanut butter, and maple syrup concoction over the contents of the bowl and stir very well until completely combined
4. spread evenly on two parchment lined baking sheets
5. bake at 250 for 60 minutes
6. after 60 minutes, turn the oven off and leave the trays in for another hour as the oven cools
7. remove the trays from the oven, return the granola to the large bowl, and add the hemp hearts, flax meal, chia seeds, and raisins.
8. mix well
9. when fully cool, store the granola in an airtight container

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Peanut Butter and Honey Cookies -- Gluten free, grain free, sweetened with honey

You many notice that my peanut butter rut is continuing. Resulting in a peanut butter cookie rut. Sigh. I have dodged and weaved a little with this recipe, and have gone smooth instead of crunchy for the peanut butter. And in homage to the classic sammie, I've damned the torpedoes and spiked the dough with unpasteurized honey from Kincardine. Full of micronutrients, full of flavour, and just so darn classic. The resulting cookie is a sweet little treat that will satisfy you with a cup of tea, or take the edge off when you need a snack. 


1 cup peanut butter (organic smooth)
1/2 cup unpasteurized honey
2 eggs

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

1/4 cup ground chia
3 cups almond flour
1/4 tsp baking soda

1. combine the peanut butter and honey
2. mix in the eggs
3. add the vanilla and sea salt
4. mix in the chia
5. add the baking soda and almond flour, and mix well
6. scoop by spoonful onto a lined baking sheet, and flatten with a wet fork
7. bake at 345 for 14 minutes
8. store in an airtight container when fully cool

makes 5 dozen small cookies (2 very full trays)