Friday, 30 November 2012

Vegan Cinnamon (pseudo) Shortbreads

My favourite holiday cookies are my mother's cinnamon shortbreads - and not just because she shapes them into moons :)

They are so simple, yet SO delicious. I thought, why don't I try and make these without sugar, dairy or gluten and see what happens?

Vegan Cinnamon (pseudo) Shortbreads

1 cup of coconut oil
2 cups of almond flour
4 tbsp cinnamon (I used a dash of pumpkin pie spice as well)
3 tbsp pure maple syrup

• Preheat oven to 300
• Mix coconut oil and maple syrup together. Add in flour and cinnamon and mix until smooth
• Make into small balls and flatten with a fork on baking pan (add a pecan if you wish)
• Sprinkle extra cinnamon and a bit of brown sugar on the top
• Bake at 300 for 30 minutes

I gave a few out today at work and people LOVED them!!!!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Amaranth Cinnamon Bake

This breakfast is amazing, especially if you love cinnamon as much as I do - I can't imagine a fall or winter season without tonnes of cinnamon in my baking, cooking and drinks!

So, although you can basically just make a bowl of this on the stove, I decided to take it a step further and try a bake in the oven.

2 cups of amaranth
4 cups of vanilla unsweetened almond milk
Cinnamon - I think I probably put 1/4 cup
Drizzle with maple syrup

Mix together in your baking dish, bake at 275 for 30 min. There should be a bit of a cinnamon crust on the top...mmm mmmmmm good!

I keep mine in the fridge for a few days so I can just scoop out into a bowl and heat up with a splash of water to make it a little moist. Sprinkle more cinnamon if you need to, I didn't with the bake - and maple syrup or honey. I added walnuts to mine as well, and I'll probably try almond butter with banana and apples, almonds and honey next time!

This is much deeper than it appears in the picture, and notice the crystalized cinnamon on top - yum!

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Creamy Broccoli Soup - dairy free!

This soup is a variation on my other broccoli/spinach soup - and it packs more protein and is extra creamy all from one different ingredient - beans! When the weather gets colder and you want to stay inside more often than usual, having a delicious soup on hand is key. I usually make about 3-4 mason jars full and keep them in the fridge to eat throughout the week!

2 heads of broccoli and all stems
1 can of white cannellini beans
1 yellow onion
3 cloves of garlic
Veggie Stock (I use 1.5 cubes and 4 cups of water)
Black Pepper and Sea Salt to taste

• Saute pressed garlic and diced onions for 5 minutes in grapeseed oil

• Add water and veggie stock and bring to a boil

• Add broccoli and beans (well-rinsed) and turn down to a simmer for 25 minutes

• Remove from heat, let cool for 15 minutes and then puree in batches

• For an added touch put some small broccoli florets at the soup of each bowl when serving and if you do prefer cheese I would add some sharp white cheddar or parmesan for a nice flavour!

This soup is so good with the beans and even though broccoli already has protein, the beans give this soup an even higher protein count AND make it smoother and creamier! It is SO easy to make too - I had this going at the same time as an oatmeal bake and cacao muffins in the oven - multi-tasking at it's best!!!

Monday, 26 November 2012

Kale Dill Slaw and Spicy Cumin Quinoa

About a month ago my friends from high school and I had a big reunion night up north. I was in charge of the salad and a side dish so naturally I incorporated both kale and quinoa into the recipes!

These both turned out AMAZING - everyone had seconds and the leftovers didn't last past noon the next day, so you definitely have to try both of these out for your next get-together, or weeknight dinner!

Kale and Dill Slaw Salad

(quantities of below are at your own discretion)

Chopped Purple and Green Kale
Chopped Purple Cabbage
Fresh Parsley (use a lot it's so freshing)
Julienned Carrots
Sliced Apples
Green onions and chives
Pumpkin Seeds
Fresh Dill (lots of dill for flavour)

Dressing: EVOO, 1 whole lemon, apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp whole grain mustard, black pepper)

I let it sit in the fridge with the dressing for about an hour before serving - the dressing was amazing with the mustard and the apples, dill and parsley!

The side dish was a variation of a quinoa salad I usually make:

Spicy Quinoa Dish or Salad (can be served hot or cold)

1 cup of red quinoa
Diced Yellow and orange peppers
Cherry tomatoes halved
Fresh Parsley
1 can of black beans
Diced red onion
1 small can of corn
Pumpkin seeds

Dressing: EVOO, 1 whole lime, cumin, 1 garlic clove pressed, black pepper, a few chile flakes

I sprinkled more cumin and some chile flakes after the dressing had been mixed in and let it sit as well before serving.

Oatmeal Breakfast Bake

Last night I went a little crazy with the baking for the week - especially breakfast dishes! So at least it will give me quite a few posts this week and some yummy food that I don't have to prepare each morning.

The first breakfast meal I made last night was:

Oatmeal Breakfast Bake

2 cups of gluten-free rolled oats
4 cups of almond milk (I used unsweetened vanilla)
1/4 cup of pecan pieces
1/4 cup of raisins
Lots of cinnamon
Drizzle of maple syrup throughout

Mix all ingredients in a baking dish - make sure it is mixed evenly. Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes at 275.

Save for the week - add extra hot water or milk in the morning when you heat it up and serve!

How I serve it - by mixing it all up in a bowl!

 Before the baking...

After the baking - not much difference but it is denser, and the top is a little crusty which is so good!

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Lunch Leftovers

This lunch isn't one of my major specialties, but it's still delicious, even if it is leftover from the night before! I was need of a serious protein-boost, I could feel it, so we bought some organic grass-fed chicken from the store and spiced it up just a bit - still under the cleanse rules.

Organic boneless, skinless chicken breast baked with pepper, oregano and sea salt
1/2 sweet potato cut into thin slices and pan-fried on low heat with coconut oil, sea salt and pepper
Fresh organic arugula with lemon and EVOO

The sweet potato is a treat but still really healthy. They are almost like chips they are so thin, and work perfectly as a side to the chicken and arugula. You can also bake the sweet potato slices, and you would just toss them lightly in a bit of coconut oil, salt and pepper, other spices you desire and a dash of  maple syrup - yum!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Green Juice Kicks Coffee's Ass!

Yeah I said it. And really, you can't knock it til you've tried it - trust me. As my good friend pointed out on facebook, nothing beats an americano with almond milk latte - ok, ok, I agree...taste-wise that is. Nothing, and I mean nothing beats the high you get from green juice, and the lasting effect it brings with it as well. No afternoon slumps, no caffeine jitters, not heart's awesome!

And, I've been saying this ever since I was introduced to Kris Carr 2 years ago - she's a juicing goddess and although I'm not as hardcore as she is...I still try to get at least 3 morning green juices in per week. Sometimes I will experiment with other combos, but usually I stick to my morning green juice!

2 stalks of celery
4 large romaine leaves
1/2 cucumber
1 large chunk of ginger

Other combinations to try could be:

• spinach/kale/cucumber/celery/apple/lemon

• apple/lemon/ginger/beet/carrot

• pear/ginger/celery/cucumber

• pear/lime/cucumber/spinach

• grapefruit/carrot/ginger (one of my favourites!)

If you haven't juiced you should really try it. Does it taste like the best thing ever? NO. Does it taste pretty good if you add ginger, lemon or apples? YES! Will it change you life? YES YES YES!


Kale, Quinoa, Chick Pea hot or cold!

Last night I had to make a super quick easy dinner before running off to Power Yoga - it was light but just enough to make it a substantial meal.

So, I threw together some already prepared things I had in the fridge and came up with a delicious meal, or salad - whatever you feel like calling this dish that can be served warm, or cold!

Raw Purple Kale - Sauteed with garlic until soft
Raw Arugula - Sauteed with garlic and kale above
Cold Chick Peas - warmed in a pot
Cold Red Quinoa - served warm
1 Avocado
Few Leaves of fresh Parsley

Dressing: EVOO, Whole grain mustard, black pepper, garlic, Apple Cider Vinegar

Sprinkle with walnuts, hemp seeds and pumpkin seeds

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

More Soup. Day 9

So, I feel ok after the first week, honestly nothing much has changed other than I do in fact have A LOT more energy when I wake up in the morning and don't get ANY 3-4pm tiredness.

I miss tomatoes. I miss being able to take that ice-cold Guinness in our fridge and enjoy it on a Friday night with some popcorn - but, I want to make this little experiment work, and I want to see what happens at the end so I am sticking to it. I really haven't taken much insulin since being on this cleanse, other than my hourly rates which I don't mess with. And I'm juicing a lot more which gives me extra energy and inspiration!

So this is a soup I have made before, however, it has some alterations and it came out SOOOO good I had to share it with you today!

Ginger Butternut Squash Sweet Potato Soup (it's a mouthful)

1 butternut squash
1 large sweet potato
1 small yellow onion
2 carrots
2 big chunks of ginger
6 cups of vegan vegetable stock
2 cloves of garlic

Spices: cinnamon, tumeric, cardamom, cumin - 1 tsp of each to start

Saute minced garlic and diced onions in grapeseed oil for a few minutes until onions are soft. Add in vegetable stock/water, chopped squash, sweet potato and carrots.

Add spices once brought to a boil, or really whenever you wish along with minced ginger. I also cut about an inch of ginger into 2 and threw them in on their own.

Simmer on low for 25 minutes.

Let cool, add to a blender and puree.

Add extra spices as you desire :)

This soup is different from my others because I added sweet potato and cardamom, which honestly you wouldn't think make that big a difference but wow, they do! This soup was creamy, sweet yet with a bit of a kick and oh so good. When I had it for lunch today I actually thought it was made with cream and lots of sugar - but low and behold it's not, it's HEALTHY AND DELICIOUS! Yes, the 2 can coexist in virtually any recipe - I hope that is something you are learning here with my lovely recipes! :) xo

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Day 2 Dinner/Day 3 Lunch...

This dinner was spur of the moment (even though we had purchased the salmon on Monday night) because I was running off to yoga and Will was running off to hockey!

BBQ Salmon with freshly squeezed lemon and fresh dill served on top of kale and spinach mixed salad with sprouts
Broccoli steamed and lemon squeezed on top
Sweet Potato Fries: tossed in coconut oil, salt and pepper and a titch of maple syrup (from the farmer's market) sliced and baked for 25 min at 450 in the oven
Kalamata olives on the side for a garnish and treat!

It was so good, went along with the cleanse and we have SO much left over it will do us lunch and dinner again - yummy!

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Day 2

So, I know it's only Day 2 but I still wanted to write a post. It was weird, yesterday I was craving everything I couldn't have - which honestly isn't really like me. I think it was all psychological - I wanted a croissant with a cheesy omelette and a nice americano coffee. I settled for amaranth porridge with walnuts and cinnamon - it was friggin delicious!

Day 2, I feel great. I feel fine, no cravings. Not that I eat enough of that "bad" stuff to really crave it anyway, but I think when you embark on a detox you start to crave the things you "aren't allowed" to consume - even if you don't drink or eat them all the time.

I've decided to try and clean up the detox even a step further. No meat other than fish, probably just salmon because I have a tough time digesting meat and I really don't feel like spending an arm and a leg on the nice organic stuff. Also, I'm trying to juice every morning, or make a smoothie. But quite honestly it's hard for me to make a smoothie without almond milk - I could try Rice milk I guess!

I am going to keep a journal as well, of what I'm eating and how I'm feeling. For instance, I just bought this organic hummus that looks and tastes delicious but my stomach starting burning after a few dipped celery sticks - not sure I'll even buy anything pre-packaged while I do this now. Or, it could be random...not sure.

So, Day 2 almost down. Still have to commute home, cook dinner with my fantastic hubby, eat, make it to my 75min power yoga class at the studio where I work now, and get home for enough time to shower, try and meditate and read before bed. Life is busy, but not too busy to make your health #1!


Monday, 12 November 2012

Elimination Diet - Day 1 Detox Salad

So today is the first day of my 3-week Elimination Detox Diet as set by my Naturopath.

It's actually not far off of how I already eat however, there are a few things I have not cut out for more than 7 days before: all forms of dairy, coffee and caffeine in general, eggs, alcohol, most fruits, nightshade veggies (tomatoes, onions, peppers, eggplant) and milks of all kinds - even almond milk. I've decided to cut out meat as well because it tends to feed inflammation which is a problem for me due to my Diabetes. I'll stick to Wild Salmon a few times a week and use Kris Carr's beautiful new cookbook for other amazing recipes!

So....I am trying to get as prepared as possible by making some different healthy soups this week, cutting up select vegetables for snacking on and making yummy amaranth porridge for breakfast (man, I miss eggs already!)

So, here is my Day 1 Detox Salad:

Organic Spinach
Organic Kale
Sprouted Chickpeas (did it myself yay)
Sprout mix from Whole Foods containing lentil sprouts, red clover, alfalfa sprouts
Hemp seeds
1 Avocado
Organic EVOO and 1/2 a lemon

It is very delicious, totally satisfying (to me - you know I love my greens) and makes you feel so light and fresh sitting at an office all day!

So follow along with me and see how I do on this major cleanse :)