Tag Archives: healthy

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.

dsc_0036

Photo Credit: Alexandra Borovsky 

Homemade Fajita Night

Hello All, and welcome back! I hope everyone had a delightful summer, I know I did and my absence was a direct result of the beautiful weather we had here in Calgary!

So this labour day Monday, it was rather gloomy and glum in the YYC (sayonara summer), so I thought something warm and spicy would cure the rainy day blues, and it turns out that I was right!

I got adventurous and even made my own gluten-free tortillas which totally beat the dried out, store bought ones I had experienced in the past! Mexican inspired cuisine is always beautiful, bright and bursting with reds, oranges, yellows and its spicy which releases those happy endorphins so on your next glum day try these recipes!

Cajun Spice Rub:

this is a recipe that goes phenomenally with chicken but also with shrimp and pork, this will help blacken your chicken and veggies for your fajitas! This will make a fair amount of rub, this is not a single use recipe!

2 tbs ground black pepper
2 tbs white ground pepper
2 teaspoons of dry ground mustard
2 tbs of paprika
2 tsp sea salt
1/2-1 tsp cayenne pepper (depending on your love of spice increase or decrease this!)
2 tbs dried thyme

combine all spices in a bowl or mason jar and mix together!

Fajitas:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (this was enough for my mom and I plus a little left overs) rub these with the cajun rub, and allow to sit in the fridge with the rub for at least 30 minutes.
Sweet Bell Peppers (I like red, yellow and orange mixed) sliced
1/2 yellow onion sliced
Sour Cream
Grated Cheddar Cheese
Gluten-free tortillas (recipe below) or buy store bought, Udis makes a decent one

Take a cast iron skillet and warm to medium-high with a little oil in the pan (I used canola but camelina or another oil with a higher smoke point will do, once hot add your chicken and fry until a crust begins to form, and the flip to do the other side. Afterwards remove from stovetop and place in a oven, preheated to 350 degrees and allow to cook through (about 5-8 minutes)

In the mean time, heat another pan with a little oil in the bottom (I like my cast iron grill pan for this) and add your sliced bell pepper and onions, sprinkle with a teaspoon of your cajun spice and being to cook on medium heat until he bell peppers have begun to cook through and the onions are turning golden-brown.

once the chicken is done cooking, remove from the oven, tent with foil and allow to rest for a few minutes. After allowing to rest, slice the chicken and serve over the bell pepper and onion mixture.

Serve with sour cream, grated cheddar and salsa or pico de gallo if you wish! Load up your tortillas and enjoy!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Tortilla recipe:

This is a standard recipe that seemed to be similar from blogger-blogger all the way to the food network (flour, fat, water and salt) so I added some of my own favourite cooking ingredients like Alberta’s own, highwood crossings organic, gluten-free, all-purpose flour blend and and coconut oil instead of shortening or butter (as many recipes called for both)! For my first foray into tortillas i thought they worked out pretty good, although I still plan to experiment!

2 cups of all purpose gluten free flour
4 tablespoons of coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup of warm water (I used almost the whole cup, however too much water as I found out will create paste not dough!)

In a food processor, pulse the flour, salt and coconut oil together until the texture becomes mealy and then a little at a time add the warm water through the opening on the food processor lid and pulse and add water until a dough ball forms (like I mentioned before, you may need a little, or a lot to achieve the right consistency so pour slowly, you can always add more but can’t take water out!) . Line a plate or tray with plastic wrap and divide dough into 6-8 balls, cover and allow to sit for 30 minutes.

***TIP: plastic wrap is a gluten-free cooks BFF, it allows us to place it on a surface and roll it without it sticking as plastic wrap is the stickiest of gluten-free doughs kryptonite. This is a tip to remember when making pies, cinnamon buns, or any other gluten-free dough that a rolling pin will be required for!

Afterwards roll out tortillas or as I like to do place in a tortilla press lined with plastic wrap until thin. preheat a griddle or a non stick skillet on medium-high heat, you do not have to grease your cooking surface. Cook tortillas until bubbles form and brown, Do not overcook the tortillas because they could become crispy and won’t be soft enough to fold.

I hoped you enjoyed this spicy, cold weather inspired meal! Check in next week for my weekly recipe creation!

Candida Friendly Buckwheat “buttermilk” Pancakes with Strawberries

On my candida diet i am allowed one serving of fruit per day, this is something most easily incorporated into my breakfasts so I decided to brighten these soft and light buckwheat pancakes with strawberries however i am sure sautéed apple, or warm blueberries etc. would all be suitable.

For the strawberry topping: (for one serving) about 1 cup of fresh organic strawberries, sliced ( you can use frozen but ensure they are plain and unsweetened) 1/2 lemon juiced and the zest Add ingredients to a small sauce pan over medium heat and sauté until strawberries are beginning to break down and are natural juices have created a “syrup” IMG_5726

For the “buttermilk” Combine 1 and 1/4 cup of almond milk with 1tbsp plus 1/2 teaspoon of pure, raw apple cider vinegar stir and set aside for five minutes.

For the pancakes: 

1 cup of organic buckwheat flour
1 teaspoon of gluten-free baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/4 teaspoon of ground pink himalayan sea salts
1 teaspoon of raw green stevia
1 teaspoon of the silk road chai spice OR cinnamon (this gives the pancakes a nice flavour)
1/2 teaspoon of alcohol and sugar free vanilla extract (be careful of both, they like to hide in most brands)
1 large organic, egg
the buttermilk mixture
Coconut oil for the griddle

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk together until just combined (remember gluten free batters can become tough if over mixed so be wary of this) and with a ladle pour over a hot griddle that has been preheated to 350° Fahrenheit, cooking on the first side until the bubble have all popped, flip and cook for a few minutes more.

Serve pancakes with the warm strawberry sauce, and if you like add some shredded unsweetened coconut, or drizzle raw almond butter overtop for some added healthy fats.

Lemon Poppyseed Protein Muffins

Preheat oven to 375° F

Ingredients 

1-1/2 cups of Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour (I prefer bobs red mill)

1-1/2 teaspoons of gluten free baking soda

1/2 cup of ground pure, gluten free oats
(I use Only Oats brand)

1 scoop of Vanilla protein powder
(I use Vega Sport Recovery Vanilla, it is plant based, gluten free, dairy free and soy free)

1 tablespoon of poppy seeds

1/2 teaspoon of fine grain sea salt

2 lemons, zested and juiced

1 cup of coconut sugar (or another natural, unrefined sugar alternative)

1 cup of unsweetened almond milk

1/3 cup of coconut oil, melted

1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract

Make it

 1. In a large bowl combine dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, ground oats, protein powder, and poppy seeds) Stir to combine.

2. In a seperate bowl whisk together the wet ingredients (lemon juice, lemon zest, almond milk, almond milk, coconut oil and vanilla extract)

3. Stir the whisked wet ingredients into the dry, DO NOT OVER MIX! gluten free batters are made easily tough when over mixed, if the batter is a little lumpy this is fine.

4. Grease muffin tins with more coconut oil, and fill with the batter. Put into the preheated oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean.

5. Allow to cool in the muffin pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to fully cool.

%d bloggers like this: