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, 29 March 2013

Chocolate "easter" eggs

My son asked me if we could make easter eggs and decorate them. So, my big idea was to draw on little squares of foil with permanent marker and then wrap them around these. Guess what? It worked. This are so intensely chocolatey and delicious.








ingredients:

1/2 cup hemp hearts
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup shredded coconut

1 cup raw cacao
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp stevia powder
2  tbsp ground vanilla

1 1/2 cups pitted honey dates

1 tbsp vanilla extract or water

directions:

1. combine the hemp hearts, sunflower seeds, coconut, raw cacao, sea salt, stevia powder, and ground vanilla in a food processor, and process until as homogeneous as possible
2. add the honey dates and the vanilla and pulse and then process until it starts to form a 'dough'. Don't stop processing until this happens!!
3. roll the dough into small egg shapes
4. how many you get will depend on the size. I got about 40.

School Muffins -- The Cacao Variations

My son has been eating lunch at home lately, but we persist in our nut-free muffins all the same. Just in case. Now, let me advise you that cacao has a dark and dirty flavour that sucks all the sweetness out of the universe, sort of like a black hole. But in a good way. To balance this harmony crushing flavour trump, I've added some stevia in addition to the date, but this is entirely optional, and sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. My son is very fond of the bitter dark and dirty taste of true chocolate, so  he's equally happy with it either way. He-who-used-to-eat-raw-cacao-nibs-as-a-toddler ... I, not being a true chocolate lover, can't quite distinguish between the taste of dirt and the taste of cacao nibs, but with the right flavour combination do find cacao to be ... compelling. For me, the chocolate and peppermint energy bars are just the bees knees ...




ingredients:

1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil (organic and unrefined)
1 cup pitted honey dates
2 cups hot water


1/2 cup raw cacao
1 tbsp ground vanilla bean
1 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp stevia powder (optional)
2 tbsp carob
1/2 tsp baking soda

4 eggs

1 cup shredded coconut -- ground
1/2 cup hemp seeds

4 tbsp ground chia seeds
1/4 cup ground flax
1/2  cup ground sunflower seeds








directions:

1. combine the dates, coconut oil, and hot water. Let sit for 10 minutes. Then, puree with an immersion blender. 
2. add the cacao, vanilla, salt, stevia, hemp seeds, shredded coconut, and carob powder and blend again
3. add the baking soda and blend
4. add the eggs and blend
4. stir in the ground chia seeds, ground flax seeds, and ground sunflower seeds
5. scoop into prepare muffin cups and bake at 345 for 40 minutes

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Pumpkin Seed and Black Pepper Pate

I wanted to make a pate that would have a sort of 'richer' texture -- a little more solid when it's cold, velvety mouthfeel. Anyway, this pate has a good flavour and works well spread on veggies or on our home made matza. And it's gluten free, raw, vegan, nut free, grain free, etc.







ingredients:


1 1/2 cups raw pumpkin seeds, soaked for at least 2 hours in water with sea salt, drained and rinsed (soaked over night is best)
3/4 cup water
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 - 3/4 tsp sea salt
LOTS OF black pepper
1 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder

4 tbsp coconut oil


directions:

1. process all ingredients in a food processor, and adjust salt and pepper to taste. When it's all smooth smooth smooth and creamy, scoop it into a container and either serve or refrigerate.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Savoury Almonds V 3.0


I've upped the savoury ante this time around -- twice as much chili powder as last time. And a little more mesquite. Yummmmmmmm ....







800 g raw unpasteurized almonds
4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp lime juice

3 tbsp mesquite
4 tsp chili powder
black pepper
1/2 + 1/8 tsp sea salt

1. toss the almonds with the vinegar and lime juice until absorbed
2. add the spices and toss until evenly coated
3. spread on a lined baking sheet and dehydrate in your oven at 170 for three hours
4. turn off the oven and let the almonds cool down in there
5. store in an airtight container
6. hide the container so they don't disappear when you aren't looking

Matza for passover 2013


If you are a religious person or a person who is gluten-intolerant, then this recipe is not for you. However, if the spirit of passover food is your aim instead of the letter of the law, well then, go ahead and make your own matza. It tastes great.







3/4 cups kamut flour
1/2 cup almond flour

2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup water




directions:

preheat the oven to 400

1. put the flour, sea salt, and coconut oil in a food processor, and pulse to combine
2. turn on the processor, and drizzle in water just until it forms a ball. Do not add too much water!!
3. divide the dough into 6 pieces. 
4. roll each piece until it is super thin. Place it on a lined baking sheet and prick it all over with a fork (and optionally sprinkle with a little more sea salt)
5. bake it for 8 minutes, or until crisp and browned.
6. store in an airtight container


you must take fewer than 18 minutes to complete the task
good luck.  and .... go!!

(That is why the recipe is just for 6 pieces, because then it's possible to make the matza from start to finished baking in 18 minutes or less, especially  if you can fit three matzot on your baking sheet.)

Matza Balls -- Passover 2013

Matza balls are not gluten free, nor are they vegan, but this whole foods version is a little more wholesome than some other versions. I choose whole wheat matza, and supplement with ground chia and almond flour. Instead of chicken fat, I use coconut oil, and my eggs are from chickens who run freely with roosters and eat bugs and grubs to their hearts content. Most importantly, they are tasty, and everyone who eats them enjoys them with great good gusto.





ingredients:


1 cup whole wheat matza meal (approx 5 sheets of commercial square matza in the food processor if you don't have matza meal)
1/4 tsp granulated garlic
3/4 tsp vegetarian bouillion (optional -- if you use one, choose one without msg)
plenty of black pepper
3/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp dried marjoram
1/2 cup almond meal
1 tbsp ground chia seeds

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




directions:

1. combine the matza meal, almond meal, chia seeds, and seasonings
2. add the apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, and eggs and mix well
3. roll into 18 balls of equal size
4. boil for 40 minutes in a pot of water with the lid ON
5. remove from the water and store in an airtight container
6. reheat in the soup, allowing the matza balls time to absorb the flavour of the soup.

Leek and Vegetable broth for Matza Ball Soup -- Passover 2013





This is a couple of separate elements. I took a bunch of leeks and washed them thoroughly -- sandy little veggies are they -- and then put the green part un chopped up into a pot with 12 cups water and a piece of kombu (optional) and simmered away for 2 hours. Meanwhile in a pan I sauteed the veggies. When I was content the leeks had simmered enough, I removed them and the kombu from the pot, drained them well, and then added my sauteed veggies and brought it up to boiling again, for a few minutes. I made this 2 days before, in the old adage that soup is better the next day. That is an adage, right? Anyway, I hate being rushed at the last minute, so anything I can make ahead, I do. 


ingredients:

2 cup celery, sliced
2 cup carrots, sliced
1 bunch of leeks, well washed (leeks can have a lot of dirt between the layers). Slice the 'whites' thinly, and leave the 'greens' in large pieces
4 tbsp coconut oil

4 tsp sea salt
black pepper

12 cups filtered water

(a 3 x 3 inch piece of kombu)

directions:

1. put the leek GREENS in a large pot with 12 cups of boiling water
2. simmer the leek greens for 120 minutes -- and if you want to use it, some a giant kelp leaf, about 3 inches by 3 inches -- KOMBU
3. meanwhile in a large saute pan: saute the celery, carrots, and leeks in the coconut oil with the sea salt until they are happy and sweaty
4. When the stock has finished, take out the leek greens and kombu, and add the sauteed veggies and simmer for 5 minutes
5. taste, and adjust seasoning
6. your broth is now ready!
7. before serving, reheat it with the matza balls in it.
8. put one matza ball in a bowl, ladel soup over it, and garnish generously and foolishly with copious amounts of parsley from your window garden



Sunday, 24 March 2013

Charoset -- Passover 2013 -- vegan, raw, and super yummy

We grew up with charoset made of apple, walnut, and kosher wine. To me it was terrible, because I'm not a fan of the taste of wine in food. Now, that may be just me, but if you are like minded, here is a recipe you might enjoy. The dates, lemon, vanilla, and ceylon cinnamon all give subtle layers of flavour that balance beautifully with the apples and walnuts. Super yummy.









ingredients:

1 cup raw walnuts, ground in the food processor
1/4 cup pitted honey dates, pulsed into the ground walnuts
2 large apples, peeled, cored, and finely grated -- I used one gala and one pink lady 
1 tsp ground vanilla bean
1 tsp ceylon cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp lemon juice

directions:

1. grind the walnuts in the food processor
2. add the dates and pulse until combined
3. put into a bowl, then stir in the grated apple, sea salt, lemon juice, vanilla bean, and cinnamon
4. if your apple shreds seem too long or big, give the whole thing a pulse or two in the processor
5. store in an airtight container in the fridge. This made exactly 2 cups, but it will vary a little depending on the size of your apples.


Friday, 22 March 2013

Vegan Cheese Cake -- passover 2013

The Great Vegan Cheese Cake experiment 2013.

So, I decided to make vegan cheesecake. Why? I don't know. Anyway, after 2 versions, I think it works. As my husband said: neither is a failure, they just have slightly different properties. However, I think I'll go for V 3.0, this time with blueberry on top ...  why? why not!

You probably need to know the final V 3.0 is just right. The texture, the blueberry, the flavour. Very nice!! Enjoy, my friends.

Please note, they are best after being refrigerated for 24 hours. Don't know why.
















filling:

filling ingredients:

1 1/2 cups raw cashews soaked in water and sea salt for at least 2 hours or overnight, then rinsed
1 cup water
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp agave
2 tsp lemon juice
4 tbsp coconut oil



1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp vanilla extract

3 tbsp finely ground chia seeds


filling directions:

1. in a food processor, process the ingredients until creamy and smooth, scraping down the sides as needed



crust:


ingredients for the crust:

1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup shredded coconut (I gave it a quick pulse in my grinder to make the shreds small)
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1 1/2 tsp ceylon cinnamon
1/2 tbsp ground vanilla bean
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil

2 tbsp water



directions for crust:

1. combine the above ingredients in the order listed, mixing well with a fork before adding the water



Blueberry topping:


topping ingredients:


1 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 1/2 tbsp arrowroot powder
1 pinch sea salt
3 tbsp coconut sugar




topping directions:

1. combine ingredients and let defrost
2. mix well




Making the cakes:

preheat the oven to 345

1. once all three parts have been made, you are ready to start
2. scoop the crust mixture evenly into 12 small tart cups  (I use the silicone muffin cups) -- pressing the crumb firmly down with the back of a spoon. I like to also use my fingers and take it up the sides of the cups (I actually used 16 small muffin cups, not 12, and used my fingers on the crust not a spoon. Damp fingers work best.)
3. spoon the cheese cake filling evenly over the crust, and bake for 28-30 minutes at 345
4. if adding the blueberry topping, add after 10 minutes of baking by spooning evenly over the partially baked cakes, then bake for 15 more minutes. The blueberry topping will be scant. If you want more blueberry, make more.


cool thoroughly before removing

notes:
1. bake at 345 for 25 minutes
2. if using the blueberry topping, add after 10 minutes of baking
3. cool before removing from the silicone muffin cups
4. makes 12 to 24 baby cheesecakes
5. make the day before, and serve chilled






Thursday, 21 March 2013

Vegetarian Pate -- Passover 2013

So, for Passover this year my mother wanted to make a vegetarian pate to go with the gefilte fish, so that the vegetarians among us could have a dish at the same time. In the spirit of fish, I added a soup├žon of kelp to the mix, giving it a hint of the sea. You could call this vegan fish cake if you want to. Although fish cake doesn't sound as funny as meat cake. Meeeeaaaaaaat caaaaaaaaaaaake. Try it, you'll see. Vegan! Gluten free! Nut free! Grain free!






ingredients:

1 cup onion, finely chopped
1 cup carrot, grated
2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
black pepper

1  cups raw sunflower seeds, soaked in water with a little sea salt

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp kelp powder (optional)

2 tbsp ground chia seeds

1 1/2 tsp arrowroot powder


directions:

1. soak the sunflower seeds in water for at least 4 hours, then rinse
2. saute the onion and carrot in coconut oil until done
3. puree the sunflower seeds with all the ingredients except the sauteed vegetables and puree until smooth, then add the sauteed vegetables and process again
4. adjust the seasoning if you like
5. spread in a 8 inch square silicone baking dish and bake for 30 minutes at 345
6. cool, and cut into squares
7. serve on a bed of greens 

Chocolate Energy Squares (for school)-- it's a weekly ritual

Vegan, raw, nut free, gluten free, sugar free, grain free, dairy free, so packed with intense deliciousness and chocolate-goodness that your head might explode. Please consider this your waiver.






So, this allotment is with pumpkin seeds instead of sunflower seeds. Pumpkin seeds have a much stronger flavour than sunflower seeds. But cacao is stronger yet, so we'll see who wins! A small handful of these fit perfectly into my son's lunch box and help keep him evenly fueled until the end of the day.



ingredients:

1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup raw hemp hearts

1 cup raw cacao powder
1 tbsp ground vanilla bean
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp stevia powder
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup wheat grass powder

1 cup pitted honey dates

1/2 cup coconut butter
1/2 cup coconut oil


directions:

1. combine the first set of ingredients (up to not including the dates) and process until fully powdered
2. add the  pitted honey dates (check for pits) and pulse until completely chopped
3. add the coconut butter and pulse until combined
4. add the coconut oil and pulse until combined
5. press into a silicone pan (I use 2 square ones), and score into pieces
6. chill or freeze until set
7. break along score marks and store in airtight containers in the fridge

Monday, 18 March 2013

A Great Moong Dal Crockpot -- veggies and deliciousness in one great dish

I put my crockpot to work again today while I did other things. Green cabbage, green peas, purple carrots, and moong dal conspired with broccoli to make a fabulous stew. Fantastic.






2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
1 tbsp finely  minced garlic
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
2 cups finely chopped green cabbage
2 cups moong dal (split mung beans)



3 cups frozen green peas
2 cups finely diced carrots
1/2 cup finely diced celery



4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
black pepper
3 tsp raw cacao powder
3 tsp carob powder



combine the following:

4 cups water
1/2 cup coconut butter
1/4 cup almond butter

4 cups water

2 tbsp lime juice

3 cups (steamed) chopped broccoli -- to be added after cooking is complete



1. layer the ingredients in the order listed
2. sprinkle the seasonings on, then pour on the liquid mixture of water, coconut butter, and almond butter, pour on the rest of the water (8 cups total), reserving the lime juice until cooking is finished
3. cook for 6 hours in the crockpot, then add the lime juice
4. when done, add the broccoli, stir, and let sit for  a little while.
5. serve!

Savoury Almonds -- nuts about nuts

This are not quite roasted -- more like dehydrated. And I love them.








800 g raw unpasteurized almonds
4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp lime juice

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

1. toss the almonds with the vinegar and lime juice until absorbed
2. add the spices and toss until evenly coated
3. spread on a lined baking sheet and dehydrate in your oven at 170 for three hours