Thursday, December 6, 2012

Mini Date Granola Balls

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Mini Date Granola Balls

A simple snack that my fab four love to devour after a long day of school.

Easy. Delicious. Nutritious.

4 cups rolled oats
1 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
8 dates (soaked, pit removed, and chopped)
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. In a large bowl, combine the rolled oats, coconut flakes, cinnamon, salt, vanilla and sunflower seeds.
  3. In a saucepan over low heat, combine the coconut palm sugar, coconut oil, dates, and maple syrup.  Let the mixture come to a soft boil and stir with a wooden spoon until incorporated.  Do not allow the mixture to boil for a long time.  1 minute is enough.
  4. Pour hot mixture over the dried ingredients.  Stir until combined. Mixture will be very sticky.
  5. Spread oat mixture evenly in a square baking dish.
  6. Bake for 2o minutes, or until just barely browned on top. Remove immediately from heat and allow to cool.  
  7. Cut room temperature mixture into 12 bars. When mixture is warm to the touch take a square and divide it into two pieces.  Use your palms to roll them into small balls. Store in an air-tight container  if they last long enough.  

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Chicken Tikka Pops

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Chicken Tikka Pops & Mint Raita
One of my all time favourite Indian dishes is Butter Chicken.  I wanted to make a version of this dish that was heavy on flavour but without the butter.  One of the things that are essential to this recipe is allowing your chicken to marinate for up to 24 hours.  Another important must-do is to grill your chicken before hand.  This makes sure that the juices stay in and the chicken doesn't dry out.

4 chicken breasts cubed (2 inches pieces are best)
2 inches of ginger
2 bunches of garlic
1 medium onion
1 cup of goats milk yogurt
1 cup nuts (almond or combination of other nuts)
1 cup of crushed tomatoes
 2 tablespoons Coconut milk (the thick part)
3 tablespoon of butter chicken seasoning or use the mix below
coconut oil (canola oil, safflower oil or your favourite healthy substitute will work)

1. Mince the ginger and garlic in a food processor.
2. Combine yogurt, minced ginger-garlic mixture, and 2 tablespoons of seasoning in a large bowl with a cover.  Add cubed chicken pieces.  Mix to incorporate everything evenly. Marinate for up to 24 hours.
3. Remove chicken from fridge and grill on all sides.  Set aside.  This optional.  You could just add the chicken directly into the pan if you were in a hurry. 
3.  Make a paste with tomatoes, onion and nuts in a food processor.  Set aside.
4.  Heat a large pan with coconut oil.
5.  Add chicken to heated pan.  Add tomato and nut mixture.  Add water and 1 tablespoon of spice mix.
6.  Cook for 15 minutes. Remember to stir it occasionally.
7. Add 2 tablespoons of coconut cream and stir.  Cook for 2 minutes.
9. Use lollipop sticks inserted into the chicken cubes to make this a quick and mess free appetizer at your next party.  Spoon any additional sauce on top of the chicken and serve.  This taste great the next day too!
8. Enjoy!

Butter chicken seasoning mix:
(All of these are dried spices)
1 tablespoon each of coriander, turmeric, garlic, salt, and onion powders
1 teaspoon of green cardamom, black pepper, and ginger powders
1/2 teaspoon of red chilli, nutmeg, mace, and star anise powders

Combine and use according to your taste buds!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Rawtella Coconut Cheesecake: Dairy and Gluten Free Goodness

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Rawtella Coconut Cheesecake

This recipe came together as a result of a desire to make a cheesecake that was dairy and soy free.  Coconut has excellent flavour and great health benefits so it made sense to start there.  I made the coconut cream cheese using a recipe from Pumpkin's Pantry.  It was simple and required easily attainable ingredients.  The Hungry Hippie and Nigella Lawson's site were also helpful partners for creating this recipe.  The following is a recipe that I'm proud to say will make you forget about dairy and make the unconverted reconsider their attachments to dairy!

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coconut cream cheese in the making

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Coconut Cream Cheese Heaven

1 cup Brazil nuts
8 medjool dates (pitted and soaked)
1 tspn cinnamon
1 cup shredded coconut
pinch of sea salt

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Raw Pie Crust
Blend everything except for the dates in a food processor.  Add dates and place all around pie dish of your choice. it should be sticky and come together easily.  

2 cups of Rawtella (homemade recipe below) at room temp
1/2 cup of hazelnuts (lightly roasted with a little coconut palm sugar, coloured salt)
2 1/4 cup s of coconut or cashew nut cream cheese at room temp
1/2 cup or more of coconut palm sugar 

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Lusciously Delicious Cheesecake batter
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1. Beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth
2. Add Rawtella
3. Check for sweetness (Add more sugar if needed)
4. Continue beating until easily combined
5. Smooth mixture over crust. Cover and place in fridge for at least four ours or overnight.  

Serve straight from the fridge.  

Rawtella Recipe (I modified it by using coconut palm sugar mixed in with coconut oil)

Recipe of Myrtle Sodhi with help from Nigella Lawson and Hungry Hungry

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Saturday Morning Breakfast Will Never be the Same!

Gluten free biscuits restore Saturday morning breakfasts.

One of my gifts of love to my children are fresh baked goods on Saturday mornings.  It all started when my first child would scream with glee when he found out I was making pancakes.  I found that kind of enthusiasm addictive.  So I vowed to make baked goods every Saturday morning.  One of my children's favs were buttery buttermilk biscuits.  I became an expert in the gentle handling and restrained hand of biscuit making.  Now since going gluten free biscuits have been a great mystery.  They lack flavour, a crispy-on-the-outside-yet-soft-on-the-inside-texture, and most importantly they were hard as rock.  I ran across the Domestifluff recipe which helped launch this one that I feel has all the right components of a great biscuit worthy of homemade jam or a great partner to awesome omelettes.

Hope you enjoy the recipe!

Gluten and Dairy Free Biscuits
The raw biscuits

1 cup cornstarch or potato starch
1 cup white rice flour
1 t xanthan gum
2 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1 t salt
4 T butter substitute cold (I use Earth Balance Coconut  flavoured spread)
2 egg whites
1 cup Almond buttermilk- yogurt mixture (I cup of almond milk with 1 T of vinegar or lemon juice left to sit out for 10 minutes. Add 1/8 of goats milk yogurt and whisk. )
1/4 cup goat milk yogurt

Preheat  oven 425 degrees.

Bowl 1:
Add dry ingredients and combine with a whisk.
Add chilled butter substitute and mix with your fingers to create a crumbly mixture.  Try to leave small chunks.
Toss goat's milk yogurt into mixture gently until it is incorporated with some small chunks.  Be very gentle here.

Bowl 2:
Mix almond buttermilk mixture and egg whites until blended.

Add Bowl 2 to Bowl 1 and mix with a fork until incorporated.  It will be sticky.  Domestifluff recommends dropping spoonfuls unto baking sheets.  This is a good method for a Red Lobster type biscuit.  I like the more traditional type so I use the biscuit cutter method.

Grease your hands. Place dough unto floured surface and gently press all around until dough is about 3/4 of an inch high. Grease a biscuit cutter and use it to cut out biscuits.  Place on a cookie sheet and bake for approx. 18 minutes.

Saturday morning breakfast restored!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Gluten & Dairy Free Peppermint Chocolate Crownies

Lately I have been a very chocolately mood.  This means a lot coming from a girl who can take it or leave it where chocolate is concerned.  I was looking for an after school snack for my kids who were scheduled to have a play date.  I was a little tired of the granola bar scene and wanted something a bit surprising. So I stumbled upon a recipe from the Gluten Free Goddess that gave me some inspiration.

Some notes:
I make my own gluten free flours but have been known to obsess over Astoria Mills a little.  The recipe that gave me the inspiration doesn't use a flour mix so you can have a look at what she does if you need  to.

I use a pure extract that is very concentrated.  I find mine in the Bulk Barn where I live.

When you make these for your children they will want to inhale the whole batch (if you don't do it before they do).  I suggest you freeze some for later.

Crownies: Cookies that were brownies in a former life.

Makes almost 2 dozen depending on size.

Preheat oven to 365.

1 1/2 cups of gluten free flour mix
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
3/4 teaspoon of sea salt
3/4 cup of cocoa powder
1 cup coconut palm sugar
1/4 heaping cup white sugar

3/4 cup coconut oil (not melted)
2 teaspoons of honey
2 eggs
1/2 cup of coconut milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla
couple drops of mint extract

Mix dry ingredients until combined.  Whisk the wet ingredients.  Its okay if there are little bits of coconut oil left after whisking.  Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.  Mix until it is properly incorporated.

Spoon a tablespoon of batter onto cookie sheet leaving 1 1/2 inches in between cookies.  Bake for 10-13 minutes or until cookies are firm and soft but no longer wet.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Waiting for the Light to Change

The red light. I waited anxiously for it to change. The list of errands for children, myself, and who ever else happened to squeeze in my life hung from the rear view mirror in front of me.

Something new caught my eye. Something I had seen thousands of times before. Yellow streams of fluttering leaves made a beautiful entrance beyond the lights. I was caught up in the wonder and beauty of this ordinary, common and frequent visitor. My attention soaked in the world that metamorphosized all around me. This beauty was all around me and I have been missing it all together - waiting for the light to change.

My life could be summed up in that simple act of waiting for the light to change. The lists of what I had to accomplish or had to become always hung in the rare view mirror of my mind. My life was either about what I had lost or what I was going to create. Moments would slip away unnoticed and discarded. They were uncomfortable to me because I was neither what I once was or what I was going to be. I saw my forward facing stance as ambition, determination, and perseverance. My backward glances I saw as reminders of what I was made of. This mental shuffling left little for the moments in between. I was uncomfortable in the moments. Minute after minute life slipped away unnoticed.

Facing motherhood and life alone meant that my list for the future cascaded in the damp memory of my mind. I am at a place without a map for my dreams and plans. Not because I am despondent or disillusioned but because I hadn't thought of this moment. This place is where dreams meet the past and the future is like the point at the edge of the world. There is nothing here but at the same time there is everything. I don't have a bucket list of plans. I am neither looking to the future to satisfy nor am I rummaging through the past to pacify. Instead I can enjoy filling an afternoon with bubbling pots of love ready to nourish. I can sit in an evening of prayers sent up to heaven by my children. I am content to watch the happy yellow winged trees make an entrance.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

What To Eat Before & After A Workout

Good Morning! I always wonder what I should eat before and after a workout. This article gave some great ideas and I loved the format - I had to share! I also loved how easily my Neurofit plan works with these suggestions.


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