Monday, April 14, 2014

Kale and Chickpea Salad with Lemon Dressing

Kale salad is easily one of our favourite dishes.  Both my girls enjoy this salad as well.  I like this recipe as it includes some extra protein with the chickpeas.  You could use canned chickpeas but if you want to cook your own dried chickpeas, I have included some directions below.

Ingredients

  • kale
  • chickpeas
  • chopped favourite raw vegetables
  • chopped basil
  • avocado
  • drizzle lemon, honey and olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Directions
  1. Combine all ingredients and let sit for 30 minutes in the fridge to allow the flavours to settle together.


Soaking and Cooking Beans or Peas 
*I generally cook extra beans and freeze the remaining.   The method below will create approximately 4-5 cups of beans.

Option 1-soaking then boiling (more environmental, slower)
  1. In a large bowl add 2 cups dry beans, rinse with water and remove any poor looking beans.  Add 6 cups fresh cold water to cleaned beans.
  2. Let soak for 6-8 hours on counter.
  3. Rinse beans and place in a large pot.  Add 6 cups fresh water to the pot and bring to a boil.  Tilting the lid a little let the beans simmer for 1 -2 hours depending on the bean.
Option 2- boiling then boiling again (uses more electricity, quicker)
  1. In a large pot add 2 cups dry beans, rinse with water and remove any poor looking beans. 
  2. Add 7 cups fresh water to cleaned pot and bring to a boil, turn off and let sit for 1 hour  
  3. Rinse beans  again and add 6 cups fresh water to the pot and bring to a boil.  Tilting the lid a little let the beans simmer for 1 -2 hours depending on the bean.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Taco Seasoning (Gluten, Grain and MSG Free)

Taco seasoning is very easy to make and will save your body a lot of unnecessary sodium and MSG.  Those little packages (even many organic ones) have mono-sodium glutamate hidden in their ingredients.  Why is this bad?  MSG is a food flavour enhancer that can cause depression, obesity, migraines, disorientation etc. To learn more about the foods that contain MSG as well as it's hidden names read, MSG, I Found You.
These are some great reasons to simply make your own seasonings.  This being said, do read the ingredients in your spices to ensure that there are simply the spices you want. This recipe is on the mild side, you can adapt the heat by adjusting the amount of chili peppers and cayenne.

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano 
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne (to taste)
  • chili flakes (to taste)
  • 2 teaspoon black pepper

Directions
  1. Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container.
  2. Use approximately 2 tablespoons for 1 pound of meat.


Thursday, April 03, 2014

Dairy Free Chocolates (Dairy, Gluten,Grain and Refined Sugar Free)

If you haven't already been able to tell, I do have a weakness for chocolate, of the dark variety. This recipe satisfies my craving and can be used in variety of ways.  It works well in a mold, cut into squares or as a top layer for bars or cakes.
Chocolate has amazing health benefits.  Unfortunately, most of these benefits only come from raw chocolate or cocao.  Cacao is very high in iron and magnesium. Magnesium is essential in bone growth, blood pressure as well as relieving depression and migraines. Magnesium can also relieve menstrual symptoms, so isn't interesting that women often crave chocolate during their cycle? Raw cocao is one of the highest sources of antioxidants, higher than blueberries and green vegetables.

Cocoa powder, found in most store bought chocolate bars, has been roasted at a high temperature, thus killing most beneficial enzymes.  Raw cocao is made by cold-pressing raw cocoa beans, therefore keeping the enzymes alive.  So, go ahead have your raw chocolate and eat it too. I know I am.

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup raw cocao or cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon honey, agave syrup or maple syrup
  • pinch of sea salt

Directions

  1. In a small pan, warm coconut oil just until melted.  
  2. Stir in cocao, honey and sea salt.
  3. Pour into molds etc.
  4. Set in fridge or freezer until firm. (It will firm in freezer in about 30 minutes)



Saturday, March 29, 2014

Sweet Potato and Pear Soup (Dairy, Gluten and Grain Free)

This is one of my favourite soup recipes.  I make it all the time and continually get requests for the recipe.  I definitely can't take credit for it, as it is my adaptation of Vegan Sweet Potato and Pear Holiday Soup  by Oh She Glows.  Angela has some excellent vegan recipes on her website, do check it out and definitely try this soup.
Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 diced stalks of celery
  • 2 diced carrots
  • 2 peeled and diced sweet potatoes
  • 2 diced ripe pears
  • 3 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth if vegan
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 juiced lime
  • sea salt to taste



Directions
  1. In a large pan heat oil and fry onions for 3-5 minutes or until clear.
  2. Add thyme, paprika and cayenne.  Heat and stir for 30 seconds.  
  3. Add celery, carrots, sweet potatoes, pears and broth.
  4. Bring to a boil and the simmer until vegetables are tender.
  5. Add coconut milk, lime and salt.  
  6. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  7. Puree soup in a blender or with immersion blender until smooth.  If soup is too thick just add a little water or more coconut milk if you prefer.
  8. Enjoy!


Monday, March 24, 2014

DIY Homemade Ketchup (Free of High Fructose Corn Syrup)

Ketchup is another popular condiment in this house, especially for my youngest who would like to eat it with a spoon.  Thankfully she enjoys this one just as much as the popular HFCS versions many of us have come to know.  Sometimes you need a little ketchup on those eggs or fries!
 Ingredients
  • 1 1/3 cup organic tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 5 drops liquid stevia
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/2 tablespoon organic molasses
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon all spice
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cup water

Directions
  1. Place all ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth.
  2. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.