Autumn Eats

 

I’m already nostalgic for fall.

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I’ve always said October is the greatest (my birthday, pumpkin pie AND halloween all in one month? no competition!) and this year was no exception. So far I’ve traveled to rural Pennsylvania to catch my first college football game (y’all are crazy), spent some time in the wilderness hiking through the changing leaves and even flew to NYC for a weekend of art, food and moderate debauchery…more on that soon.

Anyhow in honour of my tender feelings towards my very favourite month I thought I would post a recipe starring the official ingredient of autumn…PUMPKIN!

This simple recipe is perfect to whip up on a Sunday afternoon and enjoy for lunches or quick dinners throughout week.

Turkey, white bean and pumpkin stew

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Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium diced white onion
  • 2-3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 diced celery stalks
  • 1 package lean ground turkey (could sub for 1 block of  tempeh, grated)
  • 1.5 cups cooked white beans
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • sage and thyme 
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Sautee onions, garlic and celery in olive oil on medium heat until just soft.
  2. Add ground turkey and cook until just brown, draining if necessary.
  3. Add in beans, pumpkin, spices and veggie broth. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmering.
  4. Simmer everything together for about 30 minutes or until the broth is thick.
  5. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Enjoy!

Seedy Sunflower Hummus

In my opinion, the ideal Sunday is spent wasted entirely.

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Today was almost perfectly that. It was a sleep in, watch Coronation Street, wear wooly socks for the first time all season, drink 3 cups of green tea, chat with my grandmother, listen to Sarah McLachlan, read my own tarot and make my own chickpea-spread kind of day. The dream, no? And while I can’t share with you the joys of my day…I can share the fruits of my labour.

Seedy Sunflower Hummus

  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 2 cups garbanzo beans, cooked from scratch
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 fresh lemon, juiced
  • 2 tbsp tamari 
  • 1 tbsp olive or flax oil

Directions

  1. Process all ingredients in a food processor til smooth and creamy.
  2. Add water if you need to until you reach the right consistency.
  3. Eat it with a spoon. Repeat all week.

Oh…and in case your wondering…the chariot signifies mastery and triumph which i choose to interpret as my success in hummus and in life.

No-Cook Tuna “Casserole” (Gluten and Dairy Free)

It’s been a cold and rainy (dare I even say…snowy) April here in Toronto. So as much as I’d like to be transitioning to fresh spring salads come lunchtime, the thought of something warm and satisfying is far more appealing.

This not-quite a salad, not-quite a casserole is reminiscent of a classic creamy tuna noodle casserole minus the white pasta and soup-in-a-can sauce. Plus its beyond simple to whip together and can be served hot, cold or somewhere in between.

No-Cook Tuna “Casserole”
(Gluten and Dairy Free)

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Ingredients:

  • 1-2 cans tuna
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1.5 cups cooked millet
  • 2 big handfuls of spinach, coursely chopped
  • 1/2 jar capers, chopped (about a palmful)
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1/2 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • pinch of garlic powder
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Mix together millet, chickpeas and tuna in a large bowl.
2. Add in 1 tbsp tahini, nutritional yeast and mustard.
3. Mix in the fresh chopped spinach and capers and the other tablespoon of tahini. Use your hands to mix the salad, ensuring all the leaves are separated and coated in dressing.
4. Season with salt, pepper and a pinch of garlic powder. Stir again to combine.

Flourless PB&B Cookies

On the hunt for a gluten free treat that doesn’t require 8 kinds of overpriced cement flour to stay together? Well look no further.

These cookies are tasty, cheap & ready in a snap. Did I mention they only have 5 ingredients? Srsly I’m always lookin out for you guys.

Peanut Butter & Banana Cookies
(Gluten-Free)

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup all natural peanut butter 
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 banana
  • pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix peanut butter, sugar and egg until well combined.
  3. Add coursely mashed banana
  4. Use a tablespoon to scoop onto wax paper  and press down with a fork. Top with extra banana slices if desired.
  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes. They will still be very soft when they come out of the oven so make sure you allow them to cool completely before serving.

Makes about 16 cookies.

Eat em up!

Savoury Breakfast Frittata (Vegan and Gluten Free)

One of the benefits of living in a big city – and the thing I missed most when I moved away – is the sheer variety of foods I have access to. I live in a Tibetan neighborhood, two blocks from my favourite Portuguese bakery (egg tarts. i die.) and three blocks from a string of West Indian roti restaurants with the hottest pepper sauce I’ve ever tasted. I mean…I’m the luckiest girl.

Beyond restaurants, my city is also full of these tiny hole-in-the-wall grocery stores that full of inexpensive “specialty” foods. Yesterday, when I made a stop at one of these grocers to pick up Chana Masala seasoning, I spotted a massive bag of Chickpea Flour for under 4 dollars. MINE!

I’ve experimented with Chickpea Flour (or besan) before but nothing has ever compared to this latest win. I tasted something similar to it in New York from a vegan foodstand at a farmer’s market in the lower east side and this was my first attempt at recreating what I’m loosely referring to as a “frittata” in that it is savoury, high in protein, can be mixed with any veggies you like and baked. I don’t have a fancy cast iron pan but I imagine it would be perfect prepared in that.

Savoury Breakfast Frittata
Vegan, Gluten-Free

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups chickpea flour
  • 2 cups liquid (I used a mix of almond milk and water)
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp dijon
  • 1 cup of mixed sauteed vegetables (onion, asparagus, zucchini, peppers etc)
  • italian seasoning blend
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients together except vegetables together in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Pour into a loaf pan or baking dish lined with parchment paper or well greased with coconut oil
  3. Sprinkle cooked veggies evenly across the pan.
  4. Bake on 350 for around 30 minutes or until browned on top and cooked through.
  5. Allow to cool completely, cut & enjoy!

Loving Lately: Grain-Free Banana Chocolate Chunk Bread

Life, lately you ask?

Hectic. Dynamic. Incredibly fulfilling.

Ahh the plight of the working gal in her mid-twenties.

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im pretty into moons these days. anything lunar, really. i cant tell if its like a feminist thing or a trendy gothy thing or in some way related to my general love and appreciation of all things astrological….but i just thought you should know since we’re getting reacquainted. ;) 

Other things I’m into lately…

things im loving lately
  • new boxy topshop blazer i bought on sale for $40. woot.
  • feel good guru and generally all things raw and vegetable
  • my pendleton docs
  • GIRLS season 2
  • the new tegan and sara album (whatevvvver guys, i know its pop music but i like pop music and i think its good. im also pretty into taylor swift right now. moving on…)
  • Solar Raw cheesy kale chips. How did I just discover these? I’m an addict on the road to rock bottom and there’s no turning back.

And (of course) the most important thing I’m loving lately… this delicious grain-free totally guiltless banana bread. Honestly no amount of busy-lady life could keep me from sharing this recipe with you because I am totally IN LOVE. It’s moist and delicious and not at all like the dense gluten-free baked goods I’m used to. PERFECTION.

Banana Chocolate Chunk Bread
(Gluten, Grain, Nut & Sugar Free)
Adapted from here

Photo Credit: The Vibrant Family

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 3 bananas (mashed)
  • 2 tbsp honey or a pinch of stevia
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 white tbsp chia seeds (mix with 3 tbsp water and allow to sit for 5 min or so to form a gel)
  • 3 tbsp dark chocolate chunks (use a cut up chocolate bar if you like)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • dash of cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Blend eggs, mashed bananas and coconut oil together, plus honey if using.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients and then combine with wet ingredients.
  3. Pour into greased bread pan and bake at 350F for 45 minutes, or until you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean.

The result will be a very soft and cake-like banana bread. Ideal for breakfast, snacks or any other time you please!

What’s your go-to healthy treat right now? What else are you loving lately?  

Holiday Recipe Roundup!

Morning lovelies,

While I’ve got lots of holiday recipes and baking on the horizon this season, I thought I might take a minute to revisit a few of my older recipes that both you and I may have forgotten about…

5 minute Figberry Jam (sugar free and ridiculously easy)

Gluten-Free Flax Lace Cookies
(I really need to take some new photos because this one just doesn’t do these cookies justice. These crunchy, sweet & buttery bites are a crowd pleaser but they are completely wholesome and a definite Holiday favourite of mine.)

Roasted Pumpkin Seed & Edamame Snack Mix

Gluten-Free Paprika and Rosemary Stuffing

Pumpkin Barley Risotto (A great side or alternative main dish)

Twice Baked Apple Cider Brussel Sprouts

Savoury Apple, Dijon & Kale Cornbread

And of course you can never go wrong with a big batch of cranberry & chocolate packed ULTIMATE COOKIES

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Hope you enjoy these & maybe even give them a try this season!

What are your go-to Holiday recipes?

Coconut Chocolate Bark

This coconut chocolate bark is, to put it simply, a revelation.

And like most revelations, it started out with humble beginnings. With a very utilitarian purpose. I was simply looking for new ways to incorporate coconut oil into my diet.

You see, in addition to all the benefits of coconut oil (which my nutritionist pal Joy has summarized beautifully in this post), it is also known to be a very healthful choice for people with gallbladder disease…which I have and have had since the age of about 8.

I haven’t mentioned this on the blog before because it seems like a total overshare, but I thought I’d say something now in case there are others out there who suffer from the same thing. And no, gallbladder disease is not something that only affects people who are overweight or over 50. Young’ins like me can be susceptible too for a wide variety of hereditary reasons (in my case a rare blood disorder). Represent.

So how does coconut oil help? Well, a doctor told me recently that coconut oil is unique because, unlike other fat sources (even healthy ones), it avoids your gallbladder entirely. That’s good news for everyone, not just gallstoney weirdos like me, because it is converted to usable energy very quickly leaving you feeling satisfied and energized, without the sluggish feelings that can sometimes accompany a high-fat meal. Universal win. So let’s get to it, shall we?

Coconut Chocolate Bark
Vegan, Grain-Free and pretty much everything-friendly.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp plain, vanilla or chocolate vegan protein powder (I used sun warrior blend)
  • 1-2 tbsp liquid sweetener or a few drops of good tasting stevia
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons finely ground coconut

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients except vanilla and coconut in a small microwaveable dish and heat in the microwave for about 30-45 seconds or until just bubbling.
  2. Add vanilla and coconut
  3. Transfer to a small freezer-friendly container, lined with saran wrap. I used a pie plate. Spread the mixture out thinly and pop into the freezer for 10-15 minutes or until set.
  4. Remove chocolate bark from freezer and slice into 12 pieces. Store in the fridge to avoid melting.

Nutrition facts: Around 50 calories/serving. 5 g healthy fats. 1.5 g protein. 

I enjoyed 2 big pieces (plus many spoon/bowl licks) as part of my breakfast this morning. Delicious. Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did!

Energizing Antioxidant Smoothie

If December is a month of celebration. Of fun, food, familytimes and fabulous holiday dresses…then what the heck is November? If you ask me, November is a month of dodging bullets. 

Bullet #1: STRESS – Whether you’re a student or a working stiff like me, the month of November tends to fall into that “crunch time” category. End of year budgets, final drafts of papers, it all seems to culminate smack dab in the middle of this strange penultimate month.

Bullet #2: SAD – And by SAD I mean SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER. Ie. “Its grey and cold and dark and I’m depressed” syndrome.

Bullet #3: DEBT – Christmas is coming….is your bank account ready? No? Then charge it! January-me will find a way sort this out.

and finally…

Bullet #4: ILLNESS – Everyone, everywhere is sick. Always.

My tips to dodging bullets 1-3 are mainly to stay conscious of them. Recognize that stress is fleeting, weather is changing and no gifts are worth the hassle of paying off that credit card.

As for Bullet 4…well there’s not much you can do to stop a cold once it’s started you can do your darndest to PREVENT it before it starts. And this nutrient-rich, energizing smoothie is a heck of a good start.

Love antioxidants? This smoothie packs em in like it’s nobody’s businesses.

Energizing Antioxidant-Rich Green Smoothie

Ingredients: 

  • 3/4 cup frozen blueberries
  • 2-3 frozen chunks of spinach (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped
  • 1 scoop vegan protein powder
  • 1 heaping tbsp dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp ground flax
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup or a few drops of stevia
  • 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • a few drops of vanilla extract
  • 8-10 ice cubes
  • pinch of xantham gum (optional, for thickness)
  • 1/4 cup of brewed coffee (optional)

Directions:

Blend until smooth, adding more liquid if necessary.

Want another antioxidant rich recipe? Check out these delicious espresso berry muffins!

How do you dodge the November doldrums? Any tips on preventing winter colds?

A Banana Bread Kinda Morning

Sometimes Most of the time, you wake up in the morning in a funk. You’re grouchy-hungry-tired-lethargic and generally lacking in motivation to do just about anything except chug a cup of black tar out of your french press, throw on a wrinkly something or other and stumble your way to work-school-etc.

Today was not one of those mornings for me.

Because today was a banana bread morning.

Yesterday I overheard one of my coworkers saying to another, “How does anyone have time to bake after work? I can barely make dinner let alone get a banana bread in the oven.” And, true to form, I took this as a personal challenge.

I had seen this recipe for gluten free banana bread on one of my favourite blogs and decided to make it exactly as it was shown. Ahem…obviously that didn’t happen. I didn’t have everything on hand in the right quantities, and I wanted to cut back on the sugar just a little. But here is my version (with full props to Ashley for her drool-worthy original).

Simple Gluten-Free Banana Bread


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  • 1/2 cup raw buckwheat flour
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1/4 cup almonds, coursely ground
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 3/4 cup egg whites (or 2 whole eggs)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp walnut oil (or whatever you have on hand)
  • 1 heaping tbsp blackstrap molasses
  • pinch of stevia or 2 tbsp raw sugar

Simply mix wet ingredients in a small bowl. Stir together dry ingredients. And gently fold together.

Fill a medium sized bread pan 3/4 of the way full with batter. I lined mine with parchment paper to avoid sticking.

Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes or until a nice solid crust has formed.

Allow to cool completely before cutting.

What gets you out your grouchypants funk in the morning?

(if you say coffee, i’m rolling my eyes and giving you a resounding OBVZ)

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