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Kale Chips

Kale chips last about as long as it takes them to cool down in my house.  It’s an incredibly effective way to eat a LOT of greens all at once! They are pretty comparable to regular chips in terms of tastiness and ‘you can’t eat just one-ness’, but you get to control how much salt goes on them and anything else you can think of.

Serves 2-3 (or 1 if you’re me)

2 bunches of kale washed and dried
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 375°. Ripe kale off the spines so that you have bite sized ‘chips’.

2. Place the chips on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil and salt.

3. Put into oven and set timer for about 12-15 minutes, checking to make sure they’re not burning. They should be crisp and a little brown on the edges.

4. Remove from oven and enjoy.

Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Corn Bread

I have to admit that gluten-free baking is not my forte. I`ve been blessed to be tolerant of gluten, so wheat free does it for me meaning that I`ve had no need to seriously explore the world of sorghum and rice flours. Luckily, there are others out there who are very, VERY good without gluten in their larder: www.glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/. Goddess is a very appropriate word for this woman as she pumps out amazing gluten-free recipes and charm in every post she delivers. She also has somewhat of a fixation on chocolate which no one seems to be complaining about either. Enjoy this lovely bread with a hot bowl of Moroccan Yam Soup or simply by itself with a bit of butter.
3 large organic free-range eggs
1/2 cup extra light olive oil or vegetable oil
3/4 cup sweet potato puree
3/4 cup organic light brown sugar, packed
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup Bob`s Red Mill gluten-free stone ground cornmeal
1 cup Pamela`s Ultimate Baking Mix – (or your own flour mix with 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and a good pinch of sea salt added)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp Pumpkin Pie spice blend
Sea salt, to taste.
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Grease the bottom of a 8-inch cake pan and dust it with cornmeal. I used a Springform pan.
3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs until foamy; add the oil; whisk again to combine. Add in the sweet potato puree and mix well. Add the light brown sugar, and bourbon vanilla extract, and mix to combine.
4. In a separate mixing bowl whisk together the dry ingredients: cornmeal, gluten-free flour mix, baking powder, cinnamon, Pumpkin Pie Spice blend, and sea salt.
5. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, add the dry ingredients into the wet; and stir by hand just enough to make a smooth batter.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.
7. Bake on a center rack in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes or so, until the cornbread is firm to the touch and golden. Check with a wooden pick, if necessary; if it emerges clean, the cornbread is done. [Remember, Dear Reader, I bake at high altitude, so please use your own tried-and-true guidelines for baking times.]
8. Cool the cornbread in the pan- on a wire rack- for ten minutes. Remove from the pan and continue to cool.
9. Serve slightly warm with a dab of your favorite butter or buttery spread.
Chickpea Pancakes with White Bean and Basil Tapenade

Chickpea Pancakes with White Bean and Basil Tapenade

This recipe is very easy to prepare and the chickpea pancake is a nice break from the regular cracker or pita that is normally served with bean dips. This would go great as a starter to a Greek or Mexican meal, or on it`s own as a light meal.

Serves 8

1 cup chickpea flour (also called garbanzo bean flour)
5 tbsp olive oil
1 cup canned or cooked cannellini beans or white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp chpped fresh basil
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp sea salt, plus additional to taste
fresh ground black pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 450°
2. Prepare pancake: pour 1 1/3 cups water into a medium bowl. Add flour to bowl slowly, whisking in until smooth. Allow mixture to stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour. When hour is complete, stir in 2 tbsp olive oil and 1/2 tsp salt.
3. Heat a 10 inch cast iron or oven-safe heavy skillet on medium-high. Add 2 tbsp olive oil, pour in vatter and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until the edges of the pancake begin to turn golden brown. Do not flip. Place skillet in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, until crisp around edges and light golden brown. Slide pancake onto a cutting board and slice into 8 wedges.
4. Prepare tapenade by placing white beans, remaining 1 tbsp olive oil, 3 tbsp water, basil, and garlic in a food processor and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Scrape mixture into a sealable container, and set aside until needed, or dollop directly onto chickpea pancakes and enjoy.

This recipe is from Clean Eating magazine.

Wild Rice Salad with Pecans and Dried Cranberries

Wild Rice Salad with Pecans and Dried Cranberries

This delicous recipe comes from my mother-in-law Vivian who is an excellent cook.  She excels at finding and executing tasty recipes like this one.  This was passed to her via a friend.

Balsamic-Raspberry Dressing;
3tbsp balsamic vinegar
3tbsp raspberry vinegar
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

The Salad:
1 cup wild rice
4 cups water
1 cup pecan halves
1 yellow pepper
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup minced parsley
4 scallions (or onions, or leeks)

1. Blend all ingredients for the dressing with a hand mixer, food processor or blender, until smooth.
2. Place wild rice and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Cover the rice, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 45 minutes or until the rice is tender.  Drain the rice and chill it completely for at least one hour.  Place the cooked rice in a large mixing bowl.
3. Add the remaining ingredients and salad dressing and mix well.
4. This is a very carb-rich salad due to the rice.  It works great as a main dish in the summer with veggies on the side, or as a substantial side dish next to a protein and veggies.

A crowd pleaser at parties and potlucks.

Sunny Sunflower Seed Burgers

Makes 6-8 burgers

1 cup uncooked short grain brown rice
2 cups water
pinch sea salt

2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp Herbamare
1 small carrot, coarsely chopped
small handful of fresh parsley
extra virgin olive oil for cooking

  1. Place rice into a small pot with a tight-fitting lid. Add water and sea salt, cover and bring to a boil. Turn heat to a low simmer and cook for 45 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for at least 20 minutes.
  2. In a food processor, place the sunflower seeds, garlic powder, thyme, oregano, cumin, and Herbamare and process until finely ground. Add the chopped carrots and parsley and pulse a few times. Then add the rice and pulse a few times to combine all of the other ingredients. Be sure not to over process the mixture or it will get very gooey.
  3. Form mixture into patties. Uncooked patties can be sotred in a glass container in between pieces of waxed paper in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  4. When ready to cook, heat a skillet over medium heat and add about one tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Add burger and cook on both sides for 3-5 minutes.
  5. I recommend enjoying these burgers on Ezekiel hamburger buns (available frozen at most health food stores) with your favourite toppings.

Taken from The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook 2nd edition by Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre

Grilled Vegetable Stacks

Grilled Vegetable Stacks

You may have noticed that I have a soft spot for many different foods. Roasted vegetables come close to the top of this list. Roasting takes something wonderful like a zucchini and makes it divine, turns garlic into something swoon-worthy, and gathers every last drop of sweetness from a tomato. These vegetable stacks take all that deliciousness and adds two more amazing ingredients; fresh bocconcini and balsamic vinegar. Once you try these little towers of vegetable power, you`ll be singing their praises too.

Serves 8

1 cup pesto sauce (homemade or store bought)
2 japanese eggplants (the thinner ones)
2 red peppers, quartered and seeded
2 yams peeled
2 zucchinis
2 red onions
2 tomatoes
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup grated mozzarella or sliced fresh bocconcini
1/2 cup (125 ml) goat cheese

8 six inch wooden skewers
8 sprigs fresh rosemary
1/4 cup balsamic crema (this is a creamier reduction of balsamic vinegar mixed with grape juice. You’ll find it in most specialty stores and well stocked grocery stores).

1. Slice eggplants, yams, zucchini, red onions, and tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices. Brush all vegetables, except tomoatoes, with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
2. Heat barbecue to medium and grill all vegetables except tomatoes until they have some nice grill marks and are tender. If you don’t have a barbecue, or it is raining or snowing heavily, roast the vegetables in the oven at 350° for about 20 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender.
3. Assemble 8 vegetable stacks by layering slices of vegetables with pesto and cheeses between the layers. Start the stacks with the yams and finish with the zucchini. Place a wooden skewer in the middle of each stack.
4. Make ahead and reheat in a 350° oven or the barbecue for approximately 20 minutes to melt the cheese and heat the vegetables. Once heated, remove the skewers and replace with sprigs of fresh rosemary. Serve the stacks drizzled with the balsamic crema.

This recipe was taken from the ‘Whitewater Cooks at Home’ cookbook by Shelley Adams.

Moroccan Yam Burgers

Ryan’s Moroccan Yam Burgers

My husband Ryan is a talented guy in many ways. Cooking, however, is not one of them; this is not his recipe :) I’ll likely be posting many many vegetarian burger type recipes as I love a good burger. And though I will occassionally go all out and indulge in a grass-fed, organic, free-range beef or buffalo burger, I usually prefer to go for a lighter option. Really, it’s just an excuse to layer all of my favorite toppings between two buns! Who can resist sauteed mushrooms, crisp red onions, garlic aoili, all the varieties of lettuce, cheese (sometimes), unpasterized saurkraut,  etc etc etc. It’s got to be lunchtime somewhere…….

Makes 12 patties

6 cups grated yams
2 tbsp garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 tbsp ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
1-19oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cup unsalted mixed nuts
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pepper
2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp egg replacer mixed with 3 tbsp water (or 2 eggs)
1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs (use wheat-free or gluten free breadcrumbs to suit your diet)
vegetable oil for sauteing

1. Peel the yams and grate them in a food processor or by hand. Put grate yams in a large mixing bowl.
2. Put the garlic and ginger in the food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
3. Add hald of the chickpeas to the garlic and ginger and process until fairly smooth. Add this mixture to the shredded yams. Put the remaining chickpeas in a bowl and mash them slightly with a potato masher or a large metal spoon. Add them to the yam mixture.
4. Add nuts to the food processor and grind until coarsely chopped. Add them to the yam mixture.
5. Add cilantro, cumin, chili powder, coriander, cinnamon, and black pepper to the yam mixture and mix well.
6. Mix the egg powder mixture, or eggs, in a small bowl and set aside.
7. Add soy sauce or tamari and sesame oil to the yam mixture and mix well.
8. Add eggs or egg replacer and breadcrumbs. You may need a bit more breadcrumbs to make the patties stick together. Measure into 1/2 cup portions and form into patties.
9. Saute on medium low, approximately 5 minutes on each side.
10. Serve on Ezekiel buns or your favorite whole wheat bun with lettuce, tomato, sliced red onions, and tzatziki.

This is another recipe from the ‘Whitewater Cooks at home’ cookbook by Shelley Adams. 

Crispy Tofu Nuggets

Crispy Tofu Nuggets

Tofu is unfortunetly not without it’s faults as a potential health food. It is however a very good source of protein and relatively fast to prepare. I keep it on hand for the occasional quick dinner. Like anything else that isn’t completely healthy, use this food in moderation.

Serves 4

1 package (440g) firm or extra firm tofu
2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp thai sweet chili sauce
1 tbsp arrowroot powder
1 tbsp water
1/3 cup sesame seeds (untoasted)
or 1/3 cup panko or other dry breadcrumbs
2 tbsp vegetable oil for frying

1. Slice tofu into 15 rectangular pieces. Put the pieces on the bottom of a glass baking dish.
2. Mix soy sauce or tamari with sesame oil, rice vinegar and sweet chili sauce; pour this over the tofu turning the pieces over to coat. Marinade for about an hour (or longer) turning the tofu over a couple of times.
3. Mix the arrowroot powder and water together in a small bowl. Put the sesame seeds or panko bread crumbs in another bowl.
4. Remove the tofu from the marinade, (most likely, it will be all absorbed to the tofu) and dip each piece first into the arrowroot mixture and then the seeds or crumbs, pressing quite firmly to get them to stick.
5. Heat a saute pan to medium and add the vegetable oil.
6. Add the tofu nuggets to the hot pan and saute for a minute or 2 on each side until they are golden brown. Don’t try to fitr too many in the pan at one time or you’ll have trouble flipping them around.
7. Remove from the pan and set onto paper towel to soak up any extra oil, then serve right away with your favorite dipping sauces.

This recipe was taken from ‘Whitewater Cooks at home’ by Shelley Adams.

Sesame Miso Ginger Dressing

Sesame Miso Ginger Dressing

As a foodie and wannabe chef, I am super proud of this dressing.  It is a little labour intensive for a dressing, but well worth it. Read more

Warm Winter Kale Salad

This salad is a lovely way to enjoy a nutrient packed green.  Kale is high in Vitamins A and C, as well as beta-carotene, and minerals iron, manganese, calcium, and potassium. Serve this salad warm or cold, to company or for a Tuesday night dinner, and know that you’re feeding your cells as well as your taste buds.

Serves 4
2 bunches of Kale (any variety is fine)
2 red peppers
1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup marinated articoke hearts optional
Dressing: Sesame Miso dressing

1. Preheat oven to broil. Cut peppers in 2, removing stems and seeds.  Place on baking sheet with skin side up. Broil for about 10 minutes or until most of the skin is black.  Take out of the oven and put on plate with a metal bowl ontop, or into a ziplock baggie, as long as they are sealed in so that they can steam.  After peppers have cooled slightly (about 15-20minutes) skins should peel off easily.  Discard the skins and cut peppers into stripes.

2. Meanwhile, put pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet with oven at 350˚ and roast for 6 minutes.

3. Cut carrots into thin matchsticks (or just rounds if you’re short on time).

4. Wash kale and rip the leaves off stems into bite-sized pieces.  Place in steamer and steam for 3-5 minutes until kale is bright green.

5. Place peppers, pumpkin seeds, carrots, articoke hearts, and kale into a salad bowl and toss with one recipe of Sesame Miso Ginger dressing. Can be served cold, but is especially nice warm.