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, 16 August 2013

Samosas with Friends August 2013

My friend's sister is a newbie vegan, and was asking for some cooking suggestions to feed her somewhat particular young son. This is what we will make together. That's right, I am now a cooking instructor. Huh. The thing that is great about this recipe is that it is adaptable. You can sub in whatever vegetables you like. You can use different beans instead of chickpeas. In fact, you can eat the filling just by itself. So it's a good starting point. Another friend of mine once told me her son refused to eat broccoli. She steamed it and served it plain. When they were over for dinner, we did a light saute (almost like a steam) using coconut oil and some sea salt. He devoured it. I find with my own son that a little seasoning has endeared a whole lot of things to him he wasn't super keen on when they were plain. Raw spinach leaves are fine, but dressed with a little avocado oil, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper and suddenly they are delicious. Throw some diced avocado and tomatoes in there and forget about it! Amazing. Even when my son was a brand new eater, he was much more interested in food that had some pizzazz. And I'm not telling you to go crazy with the seasonings, but just the right about of seasoning can really bring out the natural deliciousness of beautiful ingredients. And don't forget not to fear the fat!! Many of the nutrients in vegetables are fat soluble. So judicious application of coconut oil for the hot ones or avocado oil for the cold ones is a great idea. If you are a butter lover, use butter. Just make sure it's organic so you don't get stuff you don't need. The chemical load in fat is far higher than in any produce. 

The selection of vegetables today is based entirely on what looked nice at the Sunday Farmer's Market. Yep, you've discovered my secret. I'm an impulse shopper. Anyway, it's fun figuring out what to make based on the ingredients you can find. That's how the cool kids do it, I imagine.

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  tsp sea salt

3/4 cup filtered water


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
1 onion finely diced
3 cups split chickpeas, already cooked
3 leaves green cabbage, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
1 large sweet potato, finely diced
1 very large pattypan (or 1 large zucchini) finely diced

1 or 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cumin powder


1. saute  the onions, and add the chickpeas and some of the salt and the cumin, and cook until the onions are translucent
2. add the cabbage, and sauté
3. layer in the rest of the ingredients, sprinkle with salt, and cover to cook for a while
4. stir to fully combine, and finish cooking

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.

School Muffins -- Chocolate Muffins -- gluten free, sugar free, grain free, moist and delicious

Today some friends came over for a cooking lesson. Lessons included how to make wholesome lunchbox eats, such as these muffins, which -- nut free as they are -- can be eaten with impunity at school. Additionally, they are delicious, wholesome, packed full of amazing goodness, and will keep your little cutie pie going for ages.


1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil (organic and unrefined)
1/2 cup coconut sugar
2 cups hot water
1 tbsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup raw cacao
1 tbsp ground vanilla bean
1 tsp sea salt
1/4  tsp stevia powder
1 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 pumpkin seeds
 1/2 cup ground sunflower seeds


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 pumpkin seeds
5. scoop into prepare muffin cups and bake at 345 for 45 minutes

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Veggies with treasures

I cooked this in my crockpot, and the combination is delectable. Need I say more? So many unexpected little delights ... 

2 tbsp avocado oil
2 onions, diced

4 cups chopped nappa cabbage

1/4 cup split green peas
1/4 cup black lentils
1/4 cup amaranth

1/4 cup crumbled dried mushrooms
1/4 cup finely diced dried apricots

2 cups diced carrot
4 cups diced zucchini
4 cups diced sweet potato
3 cups love

4 tsp sea salt

2 cups water

1. layer the ingredients in the order listed
2. cook in your crockpot for 6 hours
3. serve with chickpea flour and sweet potato flour pancakes

Layer Cake Supreme-- chocolate! Gluten free, grain free, but you won't miss a thing.

We had a wonderful un-birthday while our guests were visiting. We don't get to enjoy our birthdays together -- or more realistically the KIDS' birthdays together, so we made up for it with lasagna and chocolate cake. Right??


1/4 cup agave
1/2 cup bittersweet callebaut chocolate morsels (or any other very high quality bitter sweet chocolate morsel you prefer) (100g)
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup organic butter
1  cup boiling water
2 tbsp vanilla extract

 2 tbsp ground chia seeds
1 tbsp ground vanilla bean
1 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup raw cacao
1/2 tsp baking soda

4 eggs

2 cups almond flour 


preheat the oven to 345

1. pour boiling water over room temperature butter and chocolate morsels to melt them
2. when they are melted, add the agave and coconut sugar, followed by the apple cider vinegar
3. add the chia seeds, vanilla, sea salt
4. add the raw cacao
5. add the eggs and mix well
6. add the almond flour, and combine fully
7. add the baking soda

8. scoop the batter into prepared muffin cups
9. bake for approx 30-35 minutes, until the cakes feel firm and springy to the touch
10. pour the batter into prepared pans (buttered and lined with parchment
11. bake for 40-45 minutes, until the cake feels firm and springy to the touch

remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool before removing from the pan

I assembled the layer cake with a truffle ganache filling between the layers and a chocolate glaze covering the cake in a lovely layer of sheen and deliciousness. Plus, the glaze can hide a multitude of sins ... ;)

This recipe will make 24 baby cakes, or 3 x 8 inch layers. I guess it would probably make 2 of the 9 or 10 inch layers.

Sweet potato muffins v 2.0 -- coconut sugar instead of coconut nectar

You know me, I like to mix it up. Here's another recipe for sweet potato muffins, this time using coconut sugar instead of coconut nectar. My husband loves these too. My son has said they are his favourite -- yes, chocolate has been dethroned ...

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 cup raw whole milk
1 cup water
2 organic eggs (use 3 if they are tiny)

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tbsp ground vanilla bean

2 cups fine kamut flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 cup shredded sweet potato

1. combine the ingredients in the order listed
2. scoop the batter into 24 prepared muffin cups -- optional: sprinkle a little extra coconut sugar on top of each muffin before baking. Just for fun ...
3. bake in a preheated oven at 345 for 35 minutes

Sweet Potato muffins

Now that my husband can't eat any fruit except for sweet potato, delicious apple muffins are out. However, delicious sweet potato muffins aren't. These are loved and loved well by all who have tried them.

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup coconut nectar
1 cup raw whole milk (or water if you prefer)
2 organic eggs (use 3 if they are tiny)

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp ground vanilla bean

1 3/4 cup fine kamut flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 cup shredded sweet potato -- I use a hand grater (one with big holes, not tiny ones)

1. combine the ingredients in the order listed
2. scoop the batter into 24 prepared muffin cups
3. bake in a preheated oven at 345 for 30 minutes

Vegetables Baked in a Cast Iron Dutch Oven

My beautiful sister and her beautiful family stayed with us recently, and it was joyous. One of the meals we made was this rustic baked vegetable dish, served with fresh spelt flour bread and fresh tomatoes and basil as a side salad. It was fantastic. This is one of those meals that somehow transcends and is far far more than the sum of it's parts. I highly recommend this as a scrumptious rustic meal especially if you want to impress someone with deliciousness. I made it in a cast iron dutch oven -- Nemesis, for those of you who remember my red pot. I imagine you can bake it in a large casserole dish, too, or a stainless steel dutch oven. Just make sure whatever you use has a lid. You can also vary the vegetables, but the ones chosen married together beautiful for maximum savoury awesomeness. Mostly, they were the vegetables that we found at the farmer's market in the morning. A tad opportunistic, perhaps? I'll never deny it.  In a word? Heavenly. A rustic peasant meal fit for an emperor. A naked emperor, perhaps ...?

I wish that you could smell how amazing, delectable, and savoury the house smelled when this was ready ...


2 tbsp coconut oil -- unrefined, extra virgin, organic, etc
1 medium onion, small dice
4-5 large green cabbage leaves, chopped
3 cups split chickpeas, cooked, or whole chickpeas cooked (or canned, rinse, drained)
1 kholrabi peeled and diced
4 celery ribs, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
3 large green zucchinis, diced

2-3 tbsp herbe de provence
4 tsp sea salt
1 can coconut milk (400 ml, full fat, organic)
1 cup water


heat oven to 345 and put your dish in to melt your coconut oil.

1. In a dutch oven I melted 2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil, and then threw in my diced onion.
2. I layered on 4 or 5 large green cabbage leaves that I had cut fairly finely
3. on top of this went 3 cups of split chickpeas that had been previously cooked. Whole chickpeas would be fine, too. Cooked or canned (well rinsed).
4. Next I layered a diced kholrabi
5. On top of this went 4 diced celery ribs
6. Next went 2 diced medium carrots -- fresh from the ground and wonderfully tender
7. This was topped with 3 large zucchinis, diced
8. All this was sprinkled with 2-3 tbsp herbe de provence and 4 tsp sea salt
9. I then poured 1 cup of coconut milk on it, which washed the herbs and salt through everything
10. I baked it covered for 2 1/2 hours at 345
11. Then I stirred it and added 1 cup of water, and stirred again
12. I then baked it for another 30-45 minutes at 345, lid still on.

Fantastic ....

Remember to layer and not stir until after it has cooked for most of the cooking time. That's my secret I will share with you.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Thoughts on Food

We've recently had to tweak and revamp our eating habits. My husband was put on a very restricted diet due to ongoing digestive issues. To this end we've eliminated all nuts, seeds, acid, spices, chocolate, garlic, tomatoes, and all other fruit except for bananas. This has been an interesting turn-around for us, because we'd been using nuts and seeds as alternatives to grain flour when baking. And coconut oil has been my fat of choice for ages, and I've veered to butter for him. And you probably know about me that I'm an unrepentant chili-powder lover. Unapologetic even. So, suddenly my seasonings are limited to sea salt. I'm making cookies out of kamut flour and butter. I almost don't recognize myself.

Long story short, it's been 9 weeks of this 'other', and I am once again reminded that I am sensitve to the effects things such as kamut flour and whole grain millet.

But not everyone is. And quite frankly there is no good reason and no point in pushing a one-size-fits-all diet. Some people thrive on a higher carb diet that includes whole grain. Some people are brilliant on the paleo or primal approach. Some people excel as vegans, and some people need a shocking amount of fat in their diets. Some people swear by raw milk and others worship at the altar of super-foods and supplements.

The only diet that nobody thrives on as proven by study upon study and after years of anecdotal and circumstantial evidence is a diet heavy in processed foods.

We took a wrong turn back in the seventies when we started to replace fat with sugar and started to embrace processed foods as never before. In the eighties we got freaked out by fat and gorged ourselves on poor quality carbs to make up for the complete lack of fat in our foods. We started to invent weird fats to replace the healthy stable ones nature had given us that we'd unjustly vilified. And fast-forward to nearly 15 years post milenium and we are struggling more than ever with this weighty issue.

Food has become a battle-ground, and our bodies are the war.

We're fatter, sicker, over-fed, and undernourished. It's time for the 'real-food revolution', my friends. Who will join me?

Raw Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream V 2.0-- rich, creamy, smooth, and delicious

Version 2. What can I say? I'm addicted. Sublime. Subliiiiiiiiiime.


1 cup pitted honey dates
3 cups hot water
1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup unrefined cacao butter
3/4 cup raw cacao
2 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp sea salt
3/4 tsp stevia

1/2 cup coconut nectar

1. combine the dates and the hot water, the cacao butter, and the coconut oil, and allow to sit for 10 minutes
2. add the coconut nectar then puree with an immersion blender (or in your blender if you have one!!!)
3. add the rest of the ingredients and mix well
4. chill thoroughly!!

This is rich and smooth and velvety and tastes amazing. Prepare to be amazed!

Just to be super crazy this time around, I did  a full cup of cacao and a full tsp of stevia. Turbo chocolate for true chocolate lovers only.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Vegetable Crockpot -- vegan, gluten free, thick, and delicious

My nephew Matti prefers stew to soup, so this is thick.  A clever layering of flavours makes this delicious.

2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
1 onion, diced
1/4 cup dried mushrooms finely crumbled
3 cups red cabbage, finely chopped

1 1/2 cup moong dal

1/4 cup millet
1/4 cup amaranth
1/4 cup buckwheat groats
1/4 cup black rice

3 cups green peas
3 cups diced zucchini
1 cups diced carrots
1/2 cup diced celery
3 cups diced sweet potato

4 tsp sea salt

8 cups water


1. layer the ingredients in the order listed
2. sprinkle the salt and pour the water on top
3. cook
4. stir and taste for seasoning
5. serve with green salad