Oct 212015
 

leakI used to live in Scotland and work in a cafe which I think was called the Old Bakehouse. We didn’t bake anything but if I remember correctly, there was a place in the stone wall where there was once an oven. It was a quirky little place filled with quirky characters. My god I miss living in Edinburgh. One of the girls I worked with was called Ange. She was my closest girlfriend the entire time I lived in Scotland’s capital. This was in  2007 and it’s foggy, but I’m pretty sure it was Ange who made up this recipe, which I still use today.

Ingredients:
2lbs (about 2 large) white sweet potato, peeled and chopped in smallish pieces (or regular potatoes as per Ange’s original recipe)
2T butter (sub with coconut oil if you want it to be vegan)
5-6 leeks. Washed, cut in 1.5″ rounds
1T each thyme, parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
4 cups bone broth or veggie broth

How To:
Melt butter
Fry leeks without browning them. About 10 minutes.
When they’re soft, add potatoes, herbs and broth
Bring to a boil, then simmer for a while, until potatoes are softUse an immersion blender to make some of the soup into a puree

That’s it. Enjoy :)

Mama’s 20 minute chicken salsa dish

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Jun 242015
 

salsaDo you ever find yourself scrambling to make a quick and nutritious meal? It happens to me all the time, and this time, my friend Cristina was over with her girls. We were talking so much (or more likely I was talking so much!) that I forgot about preparing dinner. Papa was going to be home for dinner soon! Nothing like a deadline to get creative juices flowing.

So, as we all munched on the always-yummy food Cristina brought, I threw this together in 20 minutes and it was de-lish!

Ingredients:
A few Tbsp coconut oil or similar
A pack of chicken thighs or breasts cubed
An onion, chopped
2 cups salsa (we buy Costco’s organic salsa but homemade fermented would be even better)
2-3 cups broccoli florets (I used fresh but frozen is even quicker)
1-2 cups already cooked rice–preferably in homemade bone broth
Fresh cilantro if you happen to have it
You could also top with sour cream and cheddar cheese of you eat dairy or Daiya if you don’t.

How to:
Heat oil and add onions and chicken. (If you’re like me and squeamish about touching raw chicken… Fry both sides of chicken then remove to cut into chunks. If you can cut clicked before frying, this will be an even quicker recipe). Return chunks back to pot

Add salsa, rice and broccoli, and simmer until chicken is cooked and broccoli is desired colour.

Told you it was easy.

Pro Tip: Do it in the crockpot.

Now please tell me if you’re family loved it as much as mine did.

 

Bacon, Brussels and mushaboom fry-up

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Jun 172015
 

bacon We’re all about the super quick meals these days. The weather is too nice to be inside (and it’s too hot to have the oven on). Papa mostly man’s the BBQ, so when it’s just me and the kids, we whip something together pretty fast. The other night, we created something that we all loved. Babe stirred while Bug added the 3 ingredients! How easy is that?

bacon2Ingredients:
Less than one pack of bacon, slices chopped in 3″ sections1.5 lbs Brussels sprouts, washed and thinly sliced
6 big muchrooms washed and chopped
1/2 cup of homemade broth

How to:
Put bacon in a pan.
Once it’s cooked for a while add Brussels then mushroomsFry until mushrooms are cooked then add broth and simmer
Salt and pepper to taste

Easy, right?

Jun 032015
 

green1Who doesn’t love ice cream? Last year, all of us admittedly ate way too much of it. None of us really consume dairy anymore (although I have been making ice cream with kefir!) I still mostly blame conventional ice cream for all the weight I gained when I was pregnant with Babe. I’m not going to lie– I LOVE a cold treat! But since I have a pretty sweet Blendtec blender, making ice cream at home takes about 5 minutes and it’s an opportunity to get some serious nutrition and healthy fats into the kids. No processed sugar, ever, but it’s so, so sweet!

When Babe sees me put greens into the blender, she has the tendency to complain, but once I muttered something to her about kale being crucial to getting a good ice cream texture, so now she doesn’t question it. Because I often use kale or spinach in our ice cream and smoothies, the colour is usually green, but the taste is very much not one of spinach!

Here’s a recipe for one of the treats we recently made. I don’t have an ice cream maker, but when some of the ingredients are frozen, the texture turns out solid enough. The banana and avocado makes it super creamy. You can get a good cream with either avocado or banana, or kefir if you like it!

Ingredients:
2T coconut oil
2.5 cups milk (almond, coco, cashew, cow etc.) I used almond.
2 leaves and stems of kale
1 avocado
1 frozen banana
3 cups frozen mango

How To:
Blend. Eat. Enjoy!

Grilled, “cheesy” tabbouleh topped BBQ Portabellos

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May 212015
 
Tabouleh mushroom topper

Tabouleh mushroom topper

Are we the only ones who shop at Costco? I bet not. We love that they have some of our staples in this house– organic ground beef, organic chicken, gluten free pasta options, frozen organic produce, coconut oil, almond butter, nuts. I could go on.

We do not buy all of our groceries there. I mostly follow the EWG’s Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 list. If it’s pretty clean, I try to buy it at Costco. If not, I buy it elsewhere. To be honest, as far as clean, fresh produce goes, there aren’t that many options at this store, but Portabello mushrooms usually make it in the cart. I usually use them as I’d use regular button mushrooms, but being BBQ season, I wanted to give grilling them a fair shot. We’ll definitely be doing this again!
Ingredients:
1-2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in rounds
1 bunch green onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped small
5 portabello mushrooms
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
A big handful of parsley, chopped
Nutritional yeast
How To:
Put all salad ingredients, salt, pepper, oil and vinegar to marinate in a bowl for as long as convenient
"Cheesy" mushroom burgers

“Cheesy” mushroom burgers

Clean underside of mushrooms with a napkin

Use a spoon to gently scoop the meat of the mushroom out and add to salad mixture
Top mushrooms with the salad mixture and sprinkle with nutritional yeast
Grill on low, indirect heat for about 20 minutes
We had ours with barbecued sweet potatoes (cumin, cinnamon and coconut oil, in tin foil for about 30-40 minutes) and bean salad. A big hit!

Raw Kale Salad

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May 072015
 

kale1 This recipe came together when there was still snow on the ground and we were desperate for summer. I bought loads of kale and asked friends on Facebook what they’d use it for. One woman, Rowan, suggested kale, parsley and cabbage salad. So thus is what I came up with. I’d have added lemon juice and green onions if I had them. As with all my recipes, please use them to guide your creativity!

Ingredients:
1 bunch kale

1 bunch parsley
3 carrots grated or spiralized
1 beat, grated
2 inches ginger peeled, grated
1 avocado, chopped
1 or 2 cups chickpeas
Handful each of raw cashews, pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup Chia seeds
Olive oil
Sea salt
kale2Wash and dry kale and parsley
Break or cut kale into bite sized pieces, removing the spine
Massage kale with salt and oil
Add the finely chopped parsley and mix well
Add all other ingredients and toss
You could also use the ingredients as an opportunity for people to decorate their own salad. All the good stuff tends to sink to the bottom so you can dish out the greens and let the other guys do the work of adding toppings

Mama’s spicy chickpea, root soup

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Apr 092015
 

root Babe had a cough at daycare and it stopped almost instantly when her teacher gave her some chickpea, ginger, carrot soup. I have no idea what the recipe was, but Babe’s enthusiasm prompted me to make this recipe for dinner that same night.

I added no dried spices, though allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg etc. would probably make a nice addition. Please use this recipe as inspiration to create your own version.

Ingredients
1 onion, chopped
3-4 carrots, chopped
4 cloves garlic
2″ piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
1 sweet potato, chopped
Half a butternut squash, chopped
root21 small turnip, chopped
Stalks of chard (if you happen to have some) chopped
2 cups cooked chickpeas (from can, rinsed, or soaked and cooked ahead of time–ideal)
4 cups homemade chicken broth (or water or veggie broth)

How to

Start by frying onions in the coconut oil, adding ingredients as you chop them.

Once everything is in the pot, add broth. Bring to a boil and let simmer until veggies are cooked. Blend using a Blendtec or immersion blender.

Papa and I topped ours with dried chili flakes. Crispy bacon also makes a nice topper.

Mama’s veggie lentil rice

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Mar 272015
 

lentilI’ve been making a version of this dish for years and decided it could use a bit more excitement–and nutrition. Lentils are great, but just like with my Root Veggie Dhal, adding a bit of veg made this dish that much yummier, and healthier!

Ingredients

4T oil (coconut, olive, whatever)
1 med onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 leaves of kale or other greens, spine removed and chopped
1 cup peas, frozen
2tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
3.5 cups homemade bone broth (or veg broth) or water
3/4 cup dried brown or green lentils, ideally soaked over night
3/4 cup rice of choice, ideally soaked overnight

How to

Heat oil
Add onions, garlic, spices and veg (except kale)
Fry about 5-10 mins
Add broth/water and lentils
Bring to a boil then let simmer for 10 minutes
Stir in rinsed rice then return to a boil and reduce heat, simmering about 25 minutes longer or until rice is cooked and water is absorbed. Add kale about 5-10 mins before the rice is finished cooking.

Enjoy!

Mama’s meatballs (gluten, dairy-free)

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Mar 042015
 

The other day someone on Facebook said they were making meatballs and I got a craving. But the last time I made meatballs was witmeat4h crappy store-bought breadcrumbs. I know people make meatballs with cheese as the binder, but that doesn’t work for us anymore, either. Then I came across a recipe that used the perfect gluten-free, dairy-free binder: coconut flour. The instructions involve baking and then putting in a crockpot. You could cook them on the stove and possibly even skip the baking part, just the raw meatballs into the sauce. I’ve done this before with breadcrumb meatballs and it worked great. Please let me know if you successfully make these without baking first. I think they would be a little moister. (I personally am not afraid of the fat and baking first allowed the fat to ooze out).

Here’s the recipe for Mama’s Meatballs, adapted from this recipe.

Meatballs
1 T cumin powder, dried oregano
1tsp fennel seeds, dried thyme, sea salt, ground pepper
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2.5 lbs ground beef, pork, turkey etc.
2 eggs
1/2 cup coconut flour

Sauce
6 cups tomato sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion
Anything else you’d like to add. Veggies, spices etc.

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix all ingredients with your hands or if it grosses you out to touch raw meat, put it all in a large ziplock and massage ingredients together.

meat1Roll 1.5″ balls and place on a pan with parchment or a silicone baking mat.

Bake for about 20 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare a simple tomato sauce.

When meatballs are done baking, pour sauce into crockpot, add meatballs, and let them simmer on low all day. Or for a few hours.

I did the preparation (including baking the meatballs and making sauce) at night. I put meat2the ingredients in the crockpot and left them on the fridge then got the crock going in the morning.

Serve with gluten-free pasta or spaghetti squash (for a Paleo version).

Orange Root Veggie Dhal

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Feb 122015
 

c

We’re still in the thick of winter where I live, in Montreal. We’ve been devouring comfort foods like stews and roast chicken. Other comforts for my family include curries and root veggies.

While a regular dhal is pretty nutritious on its own, I decided to make a recipe which would include a few filling root veggies. My kids don’t particularly have issues eating their vegetables, but the colour of these particular veggies camouflaged nicely!

 

 

Ingredientss
1 medium onion, chopped
1 inch of ginger, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 T curry powder
1 T cumin powder
1 T turmeric powder
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
1 Sweet potato peeled and chopped
1 large can chopped organic tomatoes
1 cup carrots, chopped
2 T sustainably sourced palm oil, coconut oil or olive oil
3 cups homemade bone broth or veggie broth
2 cups red lentils, soaked and rinsed

Melt oil in a pan or pot
Add onions, carrots, sweet potato. Fry for five minutes or until onions are soft
Add spices, ginger and garlic and fry for an additional five minutes
Add can of tomatoes and 2 cups of broth
Bring to a boil and simmer until veggies are cooked

dTransfer contents into Blendtec and use “soup” function in the original pot, add the remaining cup of broth. Bring to a boil, add the mix from the blender. Summer until lentils are cooked. Serve with rice or on its own.