Friday, April 17, 2015

Baked Falafel (Dairy, Gluten and Egg Free)

Okay so traditional falafels are fried, however I do prefer them baked, a little less oil in the diet and of course I can put it in the oven and leave them while I make something else.  I am also thinking of multi-tasking ;)
These falafels are full of flavour.  We enjoy them with a large salad and some creamy dressing.
 Ingredients (makes approximately 8-10 balls)
  • 1 1/2 cup cooked garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1-2 clove garlic depending on taste
  • 3-4 sprigs chives or 1/4 chopped onion
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon coriander or 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • cayenne pepper to taste

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and grind into a thick meal or dough.  Set in fridge for an hour to bring combine the flavours. (Optional)
  3. Roll into ball and flatten a little.  Place on baking sheet.
  4. Bake in oven for 30 minutes flipping once in between.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Emotions, Grief, Anxiety and Essential Oils

Today I said good-bye to our beloved dog, Howie (Howard or Boy.)  He had been a member of our family for nearly 10 years and was so well loved.  My heart has been aching all day but I have blessed with so many hugs, kind words and support from friends and family.
Our handsome "boy" all dressed up for a party
You are missed my friend

Since our family has been incorporating more essential oils into our life, I definitely reached for a few of them for today.  There are countless oils that have an effect on our emotional states.  Essential oils should not be considered as a cure for serious emotional illness however, they can provide support for your emotional state.  Today I used citrus bliss, wild orange, balance and frankincense which were essential in lifting my mood, balancing and supporting my emotions.

Here are just a few of the oils and their functions:


Oil
Function
Balance
promotes body relaxation, tranquility and balance
Bergamot
calming, soothing
Breathe
supports respiratory health
Citris Bliss
helps reduce stress and anxiety, positively affects mood and energizes
Germanium
helps calm nerves and lessen anxiety
Lavender
mental stress, help you sleep/relax, eases muscle tension around head/neck
Ylang Ylang
balances hormones, lifts mood with a calming effect
Elevation
elevates mood, increases vitality, energizing
Frankincense
emotional and spiritual connections
InTune
enhances and sustains focus, supports efforts to stay on task and focus
Serenity
calming, supports restful sleep
Vetiver
calming, grounding effect on emotions
Wild Orange
energizing revitalizing to the mind and body
Some ways to use the oils
Vaporize - 3 or 4 drops in a cold air diffuser

Room or body mists - Add 1/4 cup water and 20-30 drops of your essential oil to a coloured, glass spray bottle.Shake the bottle before each use and spray in a room or on yourself.

Inhalation - Simply smell the oil in the bottle or add a drop to your hands and breathe it in. Add a drop onto a pillow, scarf or other piece of clothing and carry the scent with you. 
Topically - add a drop of the essential oil to a teaspoon of olive oil, grapeseed oil or fractioned coconut oil and hit reflexology points of feet, under your nose, forehead or back of neck.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Apple Spice, Red Fife Muffins (Dairy and Refined Sugar Free)

I have been exploring some new grains in my baking.  One that my daughter has used in a previous recipe Blueberry, Cranberry Red Fife Muffins.  Organic Red fife flour Canada's heritage wheat flour, which was introduced to in the 1840's.    It is a gluten grain, however it is much lower in gliadin (a protein present in wheat gluten) which makes this flour much easier to digest for those with gluten sensitivities.  I have been told this the only wheat some people can eat.  

Red Fife flour has not been altered by synthetic compounds, chemicals or GMO's. We enjoy its flavour and find it be a great flour for breads and hearty muffins.  It is definitely a great compliment to the apple and spices in these muffins.  We enjoyed these for breakfast or as a snack with a cup of tea!
 

Ingredients (makes about 9 muffins)
  • 3/4 cup organic red fife flour
  • 1/3 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 tablespoon psyllium husk
  • 3/4 tablespoon flax seed in 3 tablespoons water and let sit for 2 minutes (flax egg)
  • 1 cup shredded or chopped apple (1 medium size apple)
  • 1/3 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup honey, agave or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and prepare muffin tray.
  2. In a large bowl add all the dry ingredients.
  3. A medium size bowl add all the wet ingredients including the apple.
  4. Stir to combine and then add the wet ingredients into the dry and stir to fully combine.
  5. Scoop into muffin tray and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.



Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Easter Egg Hunt Ideas Without Candy

A friend of mine posed a question the other day about non-candy Easter Hunt Ideas so I thought maybe I would share a few of my ideas but would love to hear yours. Easter in our home is really about the gift that Jesus gave us and this is not to be overshadowed but bunnies, eggs and candy. Our home, church and their school really surround them with the true celebration for Easter and I can't give enough thanks for the love we have been given.
Since Easter is such a celebration, we do enjoy having a little fun with the girls.  Every year we have set up an egg hunt for the girls and their cousins.  They may find one or two pieces of dark chocolate in an egg but for the most part there are filled with other fun ideas.
 

Here are a few ideas of things that we have put in our eggs:

  1. coins (who doesn't like adding to a piggy bank)
  2. tattoos
  3. barrettes
  4. hair elastics
  5. lip gloss
  6. nail polish
  7. socks 
  8. shoe laces
  9. band-aids
  10. beads
  11. glow sticks
  12. lego
  13. play-doh
  14. seeds for the garden
  15. pieces of a puzzle
  16. notes of things to do (give out a hug, jumping jacks, act like a tiger etc.)
  17. questions about the Easter story
  18. notes of where to find another egg
  19. pieces of a treasure map to find a larger treasure (I tend to use practical ideas for the treasure ie. night light, crafts, markers, outside toys, games, books, new bathing suit)

 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Creamy "Ceasar" Dressing (Dairy Free)

After a busy weekend and having eaten not a typical diet for us, I decided to make a hearty salad for lunch.  Salads are great meal when combined with a lot of greens, some protein and fresh vegetables and herbs.  It is the dressing that can often make salads, not so great anymore.  This dressing is rich and creamy, yet lower in refined fats and higher in fibre.  Go ahead enjoy!   
Ingredients (makes approximately 1 cup)
  • 1 cup soaked raw cashews*  
  • 1 cup water 
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1 clove garlic 
  • 1 tablespoon chopped onion or 1 teaspoon onion powder
  •  teaspoon dried parsley or use 1/2 tablespoon fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil or use 1/2 tablespoon fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1-2 drops liquid stevia (optional)
  • black pepper to taste
  • cayenne pepper to taste


Directions
  1. Combine all ingredients and blend until smooth.  
  2. Place in a sealed container.  Will last at least a week in the fridge.

*cashews can be soaked 2 cups water for 1-7 hours to soften, this may be helpful if using a less powerful blender in order to get a creamier texture.