Tag Archives: clean eating

Spicy Sriracha Chicken Salad

Okay, so this salad was born out of a rad trip to the Calgary Farmers Market this weekend. I have to give a huge shout out to the Cherry Pit for their amazing pre-shredded cabbage, carrots and amazing bunches of kale and cilantro, as well to Bee Land for your amazing honey! Spring time is always amazing for finding fresh inspiration and healthy eats.

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Pumpkin Loaf

I fell for pumpkin spice many moons ago and while many people have adopted fall as being the season of “pumpkin spice” I still had yet to really hone my own pumpkin spice bread recipe, that is until today!

In celebration of the first day of fall I decide to play with my family recipe for banana loaf, which I realized made the perfect base to play with, take out bananas, add in a little pure pumpkin puree, and a little unsweetened apple sauce and some pumpkin spice and you have the perfectly balanced spiced pumkin loaf recipe!

So here is the recipe for the perfect pumpkin loaf, enjoy everyone!

Ingredients:

2 cups of gluten-free all-purpose flour (Bob’s Red Mill really yields the best texture but you can substitute another kind, if the blend you’re using has xanthan gum added in already then omit)
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup of coconut sugar (you can use white sugar, but I prefer the rich and deep flavour of the coconut sugar)
1/2 cup of chopped pecans
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup of oil (olive oil , vegetable oil or coconut oil will all do fine)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup of pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 cup of unsweetened apple sauce
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 3/4 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice

Method:

  1. In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients: flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, baking powder, and salt whisk to combine and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl cream eggs and coconut sugar together and then add oil, vanilla, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, pumpkin puree and apple sauce, stirring to combine.
  3. Add wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring them until just combined (DO NOT OVER MIX: gluten-free batters get tough when over mixed, keep it light)
  4. Fold in chopped pecans, and in a greased 9×5 loaf pan and put into a preheated 350° fahrenheit oven and bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out clean.
  5. Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack until completely cool.

Spicy Thai Red Coconut Curry

Fall is always a little chillier, the colours are inspiring though and there something about food that is spicy and whose colours match the fiery reds, oranges and yellows of Fall that I love. So it was time to mix it up with some Thai Red Coconut Curry.

After making this it dawned on me that some shallots, mushrooms or some shredded carrot would be phenomenal additions to this dish.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon of oil (I like coconut or olive oil)
1/2 small white onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 inch nub of fresh ginger, grated
1/4 teaspoon of red chili flakes
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 of each, red and yellow bell pepper thinly sliced
1-2 tablespoons of Thai red curry paste ( I say 1-2 so you can adjust the heat as necessary as it can be spicy but since I love spice I always add 2, should you dislike spice, omit the red pepper flakes)
1 can of coconut milk (I prefer the full fat kind but low-fat would work too I am sure)
2 teaspoons soy sauce (ensure the kind you are using is gluten-free) this adds some seasoning and brings out the flavours in the dish quite nicely.
1 pound of thinly sliced chicken or shrimp
Basmati rice or rice noodles (rice noodles are my personal favorite, follow package directions to cook both rice or rice noodles)

**Basil, bean sprouts, crushed cashews or peanuts, and sriracha make for fabulous garnish and condiments.

Make it:

1. heat a large skillet or wok pan at medium-high heat and add in 1 tablespoon of oil and swirl to coat the pan.
**if using chicken or shrimp cook these in the pan first prior to adding in onions etc, and cook chicken until browned on the outside or for shrimp until opaque and pink on the outside, remove from pan before cooking the curry you will add these back in add the end).

2. add onion to the pan, decreasing the heat to medium and saute until the onion begins to soften and cook (4-5 minutes)

3. Add in minced garlic and ginger to pan and stirring, fry until fragrant (about 2 minutes), once fragrant add in the sliced red and yellow bell peppers (also to fry for 3 minutes)

4. To the pan add the Thai red curry paste and mix in with the peppers and onions and allow that to fry with the paste for about 2-3 minutes (frying the paste is something I learned from my mom watching her make curry with pastes my whole life, it allows the spices and flavours in the paste to be deepened and brightened.)

5. Add in 1 can of coconut milk to the pan, along with 1/2 cup of water and 1 teaspoon of sugar (I prefer a non-refined sugar such as coconut sugar, but white or brown sugar would also suffice).

6. Stir to combine and allow to simmer for 10 minutes (if using shrimp or another protein, this is when you would add it back to the pan to continue cooking and absorb some of the flavour)

7. serve over basmati rice, or my personal favorite rice noodles.

 

 

Chai Spiced Hot Chocolate with Whipped Coconut Cream

You can also read this recipe as well in the Amber Approved Magazine 2016 Fall Edition.

For the Chai Spiced Hot Chocolate:

This recipe is a single serve

Ingredients

1 cup of unsweetened almond milk

1.5 tablespoons of raw cacao powder

1 tablespoon of pure dark maple syrup (the darkest grade you can find)

1 teaspoon of Chai Spice (I really love The Silk Road Spice Merchant’s blend but any other garam masala will do here if you liked to make your own chai spice take 1 teaspoon each of cardamom, all spice, ground cinnamon, cloves and 2 teaspoons ginger)

1.5 tablespoons of semi sweet dairy free chocolate chips (I prefer enjoy life foods brand).

Method

 

  1. Take a small sauce pan and start to heat your almond milk over medium low heat
  2. After about 1-2 minutes add in your cacao powder, maple syrup and chai spice
  3. Whisking constantly to ensure the chocolate chips, cacao powder, maple syrup and chai spice have dissolved and the chips have melted and are well incorporated, continue heating and whisking until you’ve reached your ideal temperature.
  4. Once heated to your liking, remove pot from heat, and pour into a mug, top with coconut whipped cream and a sprinkle of chai spice or cacao powder if desired (while not necessary the coconut whipped cream melts into the hot chocolate, making it even richer and creamier than before.)

 

Whipped Coconut Cream

Makes about 1-1.5 cups of whipped cream

*This recipe should be started a day in advance to accommodate the chill time of the coconut milk.

Ingredients

 

1 14-ounce can of full fat coconut milk (low fat will not do)

¼ cup of powdered coconut sugar (powdering your own coconut sugar is super easy, just toss it into a high speed blender or coffee grinder)

½ teaspoon of pure organic vanilla extract

 

Method

 

  1. Chill coconut milk overnight or for at least 8 hours prior, ensuring not to shake or tip the can to encourage the separation of the cream from the liquid.
  2. Chill a large bowl (stainless steel works best) for 10-15 minutes prior to making your whipped cream.
  3. Remove coconut milk from the fridge, being careful not to shake or tip your can and once the lid is removed, with a spoon, scrape the cream from the top of the can, into your bowl, leaving the liquid behind.
  4. With an electric mixer, start whipping your coconut cream at high speed, after about 30 seconds add in your powdered coconut sugar and vanilla, and continue whipping for another 2-3 minutes or until the cream has thickened, and soft peaks have started to form.

Spoon over your hot chocolate or any other dessert or beverage your fancy. This will keep for up to 3 days in a sealed container in the fridge.

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Photo Credit: Alexandra Borovsky 

Gluten-Free Stampede

Yes, the title may sound counter intuitive but thanks to Amber Romaniuk of Amber Approved, the Calgary Stampede has something that is gluten-friendly to boast not to mention that it is the healthiest breakfast in town.

Each year Amber dedicates her time, and vast knowledge of healthy, gluten-free living, while teaming up with the finest chefs from Calgary’s own Hotel Arts to bring us a gourmet breakfast unlike anything this city has to offer.

This is also a breakfast that not only your body can feel good about but your soul as well, as this breakfast is supporting two excellent causes: Calgary Meals On Wheels and Fort McMurray. Once again I will be donning my cowgirl boots and rising early to take part in what should be recognized as the best stampede event of the season. Foodies and celiacs rejoice, because unlike your typical flapjack breakfasts the menu this year will offer something much more delectable:

Pancake station
Sticky Maple Tamari Glazed Spraggs Farm Pork Belly
Cinnamon Sugar Dusted Mini Doughnuts
Tropical Coconut & Pineapple & Avocado, Chocolate Mint Smoothies
Yellow Door Spiced Kennebec Hash Brown Potatoes with House Made Ketchup
Baked Strat
Seasonal Fruit Cups
Infused Water
Tea Stations

Menu offerings are gluten, dairy and refined sugar free.

As well as visitors from Stella’s Gluten-Free Perogies, the YYC Tea Wagon, Fit Kitchen, Wild and Raw Superfood and Juice bar (and their amazing bullet proof coffee), and some other exciting treats!

So say “yeehaw” and get on t0:

http://amberapproved.ca/third-annual-stampede-breakfast-hotel-arts/

to get your tickets to the greatest Stampede breakfast on earth, mini donuts included!

Candida Diaries: The Kill Phase

So some food for thought, its not just about getting back on the horse so much as it is about making the effort to not fall off again. We are human and somedays life is not perfect and we slip…for myself I was having a terrible headache (die off symptom no. 1) and I had some bread, now this is not the worst thing I could have done however afterwards I felt flushed, and uncomfortable both emotionally and physically. I felt badly as I let my body down but I know better than to dwell on the past so I picked myself back up and trudged along on my candida diet.

This week was considerably better, after eliminating for the last two weeks I finally begun to ditch my headache and the nausea that went along with it, and being on the diet became a tad more natural. In my day to day life I am refined sugar free and mostly dairy free but cutting out ALL of it, was something my body noticed almost immediately. My gut punished me for depriving it of the things it craves the most, sugar, dairy, and corn.

The past two weeks I have been taking a probiotic and a magnesium supplement as well as a active B vitamin complex to help support my systems while they are adapting and healing. This week I got the results back from my food sensitivity testing and I am also cutting out eggs…this was moderate to high and this will last for around 90 days. And I will also continue to live dairy free for at least the next two months. However despite their dominance in my current diet, like gluten-free it will soon become second nature to not eat, or want these things and eliminating these will help my bloating, gas and nausea that I frequently feel.

My energy was so-so last week, but I am beginning to notice an improvement…my body is in a state of healing and is still under siege so I am not entirely surprised that I am still tired as my resources are going to war in my gut where a lot of my energy and happy hormones are produced.

I have set goals with my nutritionist to stay motivated and remember why I am doing this: to be the best possible version of myself, to  not just feel good but to feel amazing, to be able to get off my anti-depressants and feel human again. These will be at the forefront of our sessions, motivation is key.

We also discussed things i would like to celebrate and I chose the accomplishment of staying away from sugars and dairy, as well as alcohol…these are not easy when your favourite restaurant serves both. This week I will begin the kill phase, and will be taking a series of natural anti-fungals (garlic, cinnamon etc.) and we shall see how my body tolerates these. I began taking them today, this will help to kill off the candida from my gut and will help to promote healthy gut flora. I am taking two probiotics now, which will hopefully begin to help outnumber the candida.

I will be sure to update you on my life sans eggs…this one will be more difficult than dairy as all my pancakes etc. require them. It is time for myself to play around with substitutes. Remember if you have any questions regarding my candida cleanse or who to consult here in Calgary, feel free to give me a shout.

Fuck gluten, get money.

Oh hey check it out, my blogs first rant…given my nature I am surprised it took this long but hope you all enjoy it.

A year and a half ago I began to have some sincerely shitty problems, which I mean in both the literal sense and the figurative sense. My stomach hurt, my bowels hurt, my whole GI tract was on fire…a gurgling time bomb. And in turn it prompted, several trips the hospital and a awful endoscopy/colonoscopy with a biopsy to boot which left me with a disconcerting answer: celiac disease. It has been mentioned before, but to be honest I was aiming for colitis. Despite my Scottish last name, I come from an Italian family with a sincere love of pasta and the Stampedes famous mini donuts. With that biopsy I was handed a fresh pile of shit that at first stunk worse than its fathers that came before it.

However, I did right by my body and cut my old love affair out. I said goodbye to Ben and Jerry’s, half baked pints of ice cream, those pilsbury christmas sugar cookies with the Santa Clauses’ stamped on them, and real beer. However what I did not expect after doing so was to be so poor, I cut out one pain in the ass and inherited another.

My pet peeves about having a disease that I have no choice in the matter of,

1. paying 7.99 for a loaf of bread

2. Paying 10.99 for three cups of baking flour

3. Having to pay up charges  of 2.00-5.00 dollars at restaurants because I have to have the gluten-free bun or pizza crust.

4. Have I mentioned how much I loathe paying 7.99 for a fucking loaf of bread?

But alas, these are my miladies. I am bound by the gluten-free gods at Bobs Red Mill, Udis and Glutino and the fine establishments of my city to pay prices that to me seem unnatural. How is it I can go to Costco, buy a 15 pound bag of rice flour for 7.99 but when I buy a loaf of bread made with rice flour it is costing me the same price? Yes I could make 15 loaves for that price myself but I am a modern day woman with a full time job, a dog, friends and a kick ass blog. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Myself, and many other celiacs feel the pressure of being able to afford their food. And I can safely say that most of us feel like we are being penalized for a crime we did not commit. And I love my local proprietors and the fact that they went the extra mile to offer us poor celiac bastards some gluten-free loving on their menus and I realize that their up charges are a result of the fact that their suppliers are over charging them but it still sucks somedays. Hell, we all know it is not their faults and much like us they answer to the corporate jerks over charging for their products.

I know a lot of people who just avoid Calgary’s amazing restaurant scene because its too expensive to eat at them. Some say “its just three bucks who cares?” (moi, most of the time) but in a world where we are forced to eat to a certain kind of food for the sake of our bodies and longevity should we really have to say “its only an extra three bucks?” I am beginning to think not.

I believe some of these gluten-free companies, need to remember who they opened their doors for and why. And maybe need to reconsider their gluten-free morals pre-getting stinky filthy rich off their outrageously priced breads, cookies and crackers. The day they do, we celiacs will reap the benefits and will live our lives with full tummies, satisfied taste buds and some money left over in our wallets to dedicate to something other than our anti-gluten-obsessed lives.

 

 

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