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!


Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Muffins for my son: Magpie Muffins -- full of treasures

Okay you know the drill -- gluten free, grain free, sugar free, dairy free, high in energy, high in protein, awesomely good for you, and of course yummy.

Safe to say, things got a little silly. How else to explain the combination of peanut butter, shredded coconut, dates, pecans, carrot, and sunflower seeds? The results are great, hinting at chocolate despite its absence, and are sweet despite containing no other sweeteners than the date. An energy powerhouse, and very kid friendly.


1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup evco
1 1/2 cup hot water
2 eggs
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

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

1/4 cup chia seeds
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup hemp flour
1/2 tsp baking soda

1 large carrot grated (1 cup)
1 cup dates chopped
1 cup pecans chopped
1 cup sunflower seeds


preheat the oven to 345

1. combine the peanut butter, coconut oil, and water
2. add the apple cider vinegar
3. add the hemp flour and the coconut
4. add the eggs
5. add the baking soda and almond flour
6. add the carrot, dates, pecans, and sunflower seeds
7. scoop into prepared muffin cups
8. bake at 345 for 30 minutes

makes 24 muffins

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Things that don't suck

In no particular order:

1. family
2. friends
3. my son's laugh
4. tea

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Stuff that Blows -- Not about food. Not about much.

In no particular order, here are things that suck:

1. losing friends and loved ones
2. making mistakes and being selfish
3. prejudice
4. racism
5. people who break other people's spirits
6. not getting what you think you want
7. getting what you think you want then finding out it's not what you want
8. miscarriages
9. processed food
10. the greed and corruption of most governments

And that, my friends, are my small-minded thoughts for a Saturday. Now I must go to a memorial.

Crazy Energy Cookies -- peanut butter, hemp flour, seeds, and craziness

By now you probably have cottoned on to the fact that we like cookies. Part of it is that I provide cookies for my son's preschool. The other part is they make a handy quick snack. At least these ones do. Full of seeds and stuff like that, these are a gluten free, high energy belly filler that will recharge waning fuel supplies, won't elevate bloodsugar, and will taste good.

My son and I created these together, and I have to say all the truly good ideas in this recipe are his.


1/2 cup unpasteurized honey
1 cup smooth organic peanut butter
1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil
1/4 cup water
2 eggs

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

1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 chia seeds
1 cup flax meal
1/2 cup hemp flour

1/2 tsp baking soda


preheat the oven to 345

1. lightly warm and combine the peanut butter, honey, coconut oil, and water.
2. add the eggs, sea salt, vanilla, and cinnamon
3. add the coconut, flax meal, chia seeds, and hemp flour
4. add the baking soda
5. stir in the sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds
6. drop by spoonful onto a prepared baking sheet, and flatten and shape with a wet fork
7. bake at 345 for about 13-14 minutes
8. store in an airtight container when cool

makes about 4 dozen

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Honey Cookies with hemp flour and lotsa seeds

Mama got a brand new batch of hemp flour. It's good stuff. Be prepared, I warn you, for some recipes featuring this quite fabulous ingredient.

For cookies that are gluten free and high in protein, you can give these a whirl.


1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil
1/2  cup unpasteurized honey
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 eggs

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

1/4 cup chia seeds
1 cup flax meal
1 cup shredded coconut

1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup hemp flour
1 1/2 cups almond flour


preheat the oven to 345

1.  combine the ingredients in the order listed
2. drop by spoonful on a lined baking sheet
3. flatten with a wet fork
4. bake at 345 for 14-16 minutes
5. store when fully cool in an airtight container

These might disappear from the cooling rack when your back is turned.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

While out with my son ... ** warning: contains self-indulgence**

z: I have an idea.
me: What's that?
z: We can get a button for Dawn to press to stop the rain and start the snow.
me: Oh?
z: (warming to his inspiration) We can get it at the store on Monday!
me: We can? Which store?
z: The button store. (Duh)
me: I like your idea.
z: (conversationally) Last week I shrinked the moon.

(Sorry for the self-indulgent mommy-yammer. I have a few other good ones such as "Mommy, what is that human doing?" "Bob Marley was at Bulk Barn" and "It feels like human flesh". I shall try to refrain.)

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

'Green Curry' Chickpea and Sweet Potato Stew -- My Fakey Fakey Version

Time to have a little fun. Okay, I'm being lazy again. Sorry. This'll be good though.

I'm riffing on the same flavours from our New Year's soup experiment. I'm anticipating greatness.

Truthfully, it hits the same notes as our fave green curry with just a hint of heat instead of surpassing the peak of our heat tolerance. My three year old loved it. My husband loved it. I loved it. If I can say love about food.


2 tbsp coconut oil
1 onion
1 shallot
1 tbsp minced garlic

3 cups chickpeas
1 cup sliced dried mushrooms
1 1/2 cups green peas

2 cups celery, chopped
1 1/2 cups carrot, diced
3 cups sweet potato, diced

1 tsp fennel seed
1 tsp chili powder
3 tsp sea salt
black pepper

1 can coconut milk (organic, 400 ml)
1 cup water

500 g broccoli florets

1 cup finely sliced green onion
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, minced
1/2 cup fresh basil, minced


1. turn the crockpot onto medium heat, and set the timer for 4 to 6 hours
2. layer the ingredients in as listed up to and including the coconut milk
3. when the food is almost ready, add the broccoli, adjust the salt and pepper, and add the green onion, cilantro, and basil. Stir and let it all come back up to full temperature, and then shut it off. If possible, allow it to sit for a while before using, to allow the flavours to meld.
4. think of those you miss until your heart aches with it
5. stir

Serve this dish with whatever you like. I like socca, so I made socca. Some people like quinoa, which would also be a splendid choice to go with this dish. So would brown rice, especially a jasmine rice ...  Or a nice fresh loaf of bread to sop up all the goodness. Anyway, whatever you like, have fun.


btw the socca was ridiculously good too ... so ... what can I say the whole meal was like a party in my mouth.  You should be really jealous. Or you can just come over for dinner next time. Your choice.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Socca with Flax and Herbs -- gluten free, vegan, fun-loving, and full of caprice

Well, those of you who know me know I can never leave well enough alone. Those of you who know me know that I monkey around even when I should know better. So, here you have it -- a monkeyed-with-little-dish I like to call socca's cousin. I threw some flax in there. Just for fun, mind you. Haven't you heard, flax is the new black.


2 tbsp coconut oil
1 1/2 cups water hot
3/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp chipotle powder

1 cup chickpea flour

4 tbsp fresh rosemary and oregano, chopped
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup ground flax seed -- just for fun


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

While you are waiting for it to finish cooking, think of the ones you love and the ones you miss.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Cookies with Honey, Almond Flour, and Coconut

These are really good. You should make them. You should eat them. You should give them to all your friends. We went through 3/4 of the batch today. I watched them fly off the plate in less time than it takes to say JIMINY CRICKET.


1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup unpasteurized honey
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 eggs

1 cup flax meal
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 cup shredded coconut
1 tsp sea salt
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking soda
2 cups almond flour


preheat oven to 345

1. combine the coconut oil, honey, and apple cider vinegar (if the coconut oil is solid, you can warm it gently to melt it)
2. add the eggs
3. add the flax meal, chia seeds, coconut, sea salt, vanilla, and cinnamon
4. add the baking soda
5. add the almond flour
6. once fully combine, drop spoonfuls on a lined baking sheet and flatten with a wet fork
7. bake at 345 for around 16 minutes or until the cookies are browned on the bottom
8. while they are baking, think of everyone you would have shared them with if you'd only had the chance ...

Makes 2 full trays of cookies.

Store in an airtight container when fully cooled.

Upon Losing a Friend ...

I lost a friend yesterday. I was introduced to him over a decade ago as "Curtis Fuckin' Ramone". He was the sort of person that it was always a treat to see. He made everybody laugh, even at the end of a 16 hour day. His gangly-armed hugs were something to look forward to. His rude t-shirts were legion, his enormous heart legend, his mixed tapes and cds coveted, and his humour endless.

This sucks!

I hate losing people.

I always start to think back to the last time I saw them, what I said, the last time I thought of them ... Did I ever tell them how much I liked them? Of course not ... you rarely know the last time you see them will be the last time you see them.

Sometimes it feels like life is just a series of losses strung together by not-quite-enough breathing space. I guess that's one way to look at it. Another way to look at it is that time is short, and life is precious. There's way too much suck and ass, so you gotta hold tight to the good stuff.

So, I'll sit here right now and resolve not to take life for granted, not to take people for granted. But then I'll go back to my old ways of impatience and inattention, once the shock of loss wears off, and I get to the next patch of 'breathing space'. But at least for today I shall try to do better.

Michael Curtis, I was very fond of you.

Twenty-twenty-twenty four hours to go I wanna be sedated
Nothin' to do and no where to go-o-oh I wanna be sedated ...

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Sweet Potatoes and Lentils, IN the Crockpot!

January settles in around us, and there have been days in which we've reached nearly -30 with the windchill. How does a bowl of hot stew sound? Pretty good to me. Crockpot, do your thing.

Don't get too hung up on exact measurements. If you put in a little more or a little less of a particular vegetable, it won't make much difference. Just enjoy the process, and enjoy the results. I rough cut all the vegetables -- as opposed to dicing with precision -- to get them into the crockpot ssssssssuper fast. Things to do, people to see, you know how it is. Actually, just more play time with my son.

The resulting stew is really everything a stew should be: full bodied, full flavoured, mellow, yummy, comforting, and delicious.


2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 cup finely chopped onion

2 cups small lentils (green, masoor, dupuy)
1 cup sliced dried mushrooms (crumbled up) (I think they were shiitake or something bigger ...
5 cups water

coarsely chopped:

3 cups sweet potatoes
2 cups diced carrot
2 cups diced celery
300 g spinach diced

3 cups napa cabbage, chopped small

4 tbsp sea salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
handfuls fresh herbs -- I threw in some very large sprigs of rosemary and oregano

500 g broccoli florets


1. turn your crockpot on, and set the timer if you have one. I think medium heat for 6 hours should do the trick.
2. layer in the ingredients as follows: coconut oil, garlic, onion, mushroom pieces, lentils, celery, sweet potato, carrots, spinach, sea salt, cumin, chili powder, water. Herbs.  Lots of herbs. Now. Later. Herb it up.
3. throw on the nappa cabbage.
4. when the stew is cooked, add in the broccoli and let the residual heat cook it up once you've turned your crock pot off, or cook it for a little while but not too long.
5. think of all the friends you'd like to feed with this yummy stew, and remember how lucky you are to have them.

You can serve this with a loaf of freshly baked bread, or some savoury muffins. Or whilst wearing a hula skirt and a kind of absent-minded smile. Your choice, really. I know what I'd choose, but that's just me.

Actually, we ate our with savoury corn muffins and top hats -- spats optional. No elephants in attendance this time.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

New Year's Lunch Fruit Salad


1 cup frozen blueberries

1 small royal gala apple (1 cup chopped)
1 bosc pear (1 cup chopped)

pinch cinnamon
pinch vanilla
pinch sea salt


1. Combine the ingredients and serve with pancakes. Sweet and delicious.

Think of all the people you wish a sweet new year to as you eat this sweet fruit salad.

New Year's Day Pancake Lunch -- gluten free, grain free, super yummy pancakes

Welcome 2012.
Let's eat pancakes. What's not to love?

This is how we spent the morning:

And then we came home and had spontaneous pancakes with Sandra and Dave:


1 cup +2 tbps water
2 eggs

1/2 cup flax meal
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground vanilla
1/2 tsp ceylon cinnamon

2 tbsp shredded coconut
1/2 cup pecan meal
1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 tsp baking soda


1. combine the ingredients
2. cook the pancakes for 1 or 2 minutes per side depending on size. You'll have to press 'em down when you flip 'em because all the seeds etc make 'em thick.
3. eat the pancakes with butter and syrup and fruit salad

These are seriously super delicious.

Truffles Again

I've decided to make more truffles -- why not?

I've changed the recipe this time (increased the chocolate to cream ratio) in hopes of making a truffle with more body. While the previous truffles tasted heavenly, they were a little ... wimpy. So, please find a nearly 50% increase in chocolate for a truffle with more tooth. The resulting truffle is still creamy, but with a darker, more mysterious demeanor. Bon appetit, mes amis.


1 cup cream
2 tbsp butter (room temperature)
a generous pinch of sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
10 oz bittersweet Callebaut chocolate (or your fave)


1. heat the cream, vanilla, and sea salt just to the point of simmering
2. pour over room temperature butter and chocolate morsels
3. let sit for 2 minutes
4. stir gently and slowly until well combined
5. chill for two hours after fully cooled
6. roll into balls, and roll the balls in raw roasted pecan meal, cinnamon, and coconut sugar with a pinch of sea salt
7. roll into balls around roasted hazelnuts, then roll the balls in raw cacao and coconut sugar
8. make tiny bowls and fill the bowls with organic peanut butter, then cap the bowls so you have tiny balls filled with peanut butter. Roll the balls in raw cacao and coconut sugar
9. sky's the limit!! your idea here!!!!

Keep chilled. Serve to people you really really really like.

Lettuce Leaf Tofu Broccoli saute roll up

This is a fun and tasty dish that has appeal for all ages.


boston lettuce leaves, washed and dried to use as wraps

1 cup firm tofu (frozen and defrosted is also good), small cubes
1 small carrot -- 1/4 cup for colour
2 cups broccoli stems, small cubes
1 cup water chestnuts, small cubes
1 cup bamboo shoots, small pieces

tamari 2 + tbsp
honey 2 + tbsp
lemon juice splash
ground ginger pinch or two
1 tsp black sesame seeds
sea salt if needed
1 tbsp coconut oil


1. saute the tofu  and carrots in coconut oil with tamari, honey, a pinch of ginger and a dash of lemon juice. Make it good and saucy
2. add the water chestnuts and bamboo, as well as the sesame seeds
3. finally add the broccoli stems, and cook up until all the sauce is gone
4. serve in lettuce leaves (with a little extra tamari and honey sauce on the side if desired)

The leaves can be picked up and sort of rolled up. Yummy for all ages.

Gluten -- an alternative protein to tofu for your soup

I wasn't keen on putting tofu in this soup for some reason, so I made a tofu and meat substitute from vital wheat gluten, which is the protein in wheat. Some people find it hard to digest. Some people like it. I fall into the latter category.

It's very very simple to make, but it takes a little bit of time. It has to be steamed or boiled before it is ready to be eaten.


1 cup gluten flour
1 cup water

sesame oil
bouillion powder (I used 2 tsp)
garlic powder


1. combine the seasoning and the gluten flour, then add the water and mix really quickly until it turns into a mass
2. steam on a piece of parchment in a steamer for 30 minutes
3. alternately you can also boil it for 30 minutes
4. cut into pieces to use in your soup
5. excess can be sliced and frozen

Soup with Coconut milk and Lime Juice -- vegan and delicious

This is kind of a big cheat loosely based on a list of ingredients for soup someone once said was their fave. I made it up as I went along, and have cheated pretty much the whole way. 

But, if you don't mind me saying: yummy

This was one of those times when my reckless experimentation proved wholly successful.

For my husband it reminds him of his favourite green curry from up the street, but sans heat. For me it's just a complex melding of many many flavours into a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. Yay!! I love alchemy.

making the broth:


12 cups water
dried shiitake mushrooms sliced 1 cup
dried kombu -- 1 piece 6  inches by 8 inches

sea salt and black pepper
fennel seed

peanut butter 2 tbsp
coconut milk 1 can
lime juice 2 tbsp
black pepper
chili powder or chile pepper flakes


1. In a large pot place a large sheet of kombu (dashi kombu -- a kind of seaweed for making broth) and a cup of sliced dried mushrooms
2. add sea salt, black pepper, and fennel seed, and 6+ cups of boiling water
3. simmer for 1 hour and then let sit until it cools
4. remove the sea weed and the mushrooms, and strain the broth
5. to 6 cups of strained broth add 1 can (400ml) coconut milk, 2 tbsp peanut butter (smooth), 2 tbsp lime juice, and salt and pepper/ chili powder to taste

to serve the soup:


1 1/2 cups broccoli florets in small pieces
1 1/2 cups steamed gluten -- cut into small pieces. You can substitute tofu if you prefer 
1 cup bamboo shoots sliced
1 cup water chestnuts sliced
1 1/2 cups nappa cabbage sliced into small pieces
1/2 cup carrot sliced

4 tbsp each green onion, basil leaves, and chilantro leaves finely chopped

To serve:

1. Bring the finished 6 cups of broth to a simmer, and adjust seasoning with lime juice, salt, and pepper. Feel free to add chili pepper flakes if you don't have a three year old
2. add nappa cabbage and carrot pieces and simmer for 10 minutes
2. add bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, and gluten
3. let simmer for 10 more minutes
4. add broccoli and simmer for 5 minutes
5. add basil leaves, chilantro leaves, and green onion, turn off the heat and let sit 2 minutes
5. serve, making sure you get some of each of the goodies into each bowl.

It really is pretty darn fabulous.