This blog is all about Food. Real Food. Food that Nourishes, Heart and Soul.

Real Ingredients, Organic and Locally sourced whenever and where ever possible, shared with love.

No packages, no ingredients that are impossible to pronounce.

Real, honest food, from my kitchen to yours. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Curried Millet and Veggie Salad

At the beginning of May, the health food store that I work for (Goodness Me!) ran a Community Cleanse Challenge, both for the community to join in, as well as staff. (my store won for best overall store participation...woot woot team Brantford!!!)

Anyhoo, both my husband and I jumped on the cleanse bandwagon, and for two weeks have been eating clean and healthy. Our diet is already pretty clean, but its sometimes good to check in on all the little habits that creep back into your diet and linger. A cleanse is a great reset...it gives your digestive system a great spring cleaning!! 

I was looking for something different to cook for dinner one night, and saw millet listed on the chart  of "ok" foods. So I cooked a big batch pot of this delicious little seed (yes, it is technically a seed, not a grain!) for dinner and then had to come up with a use for the rest. I had a fridge full of veggies for eating on the cleanse, so I started chopping and this salad was born!

It keeps really well in the fridge for 3-4 days, and is great warm or cold. We  topped it with both salmon and chicken to add some protein, and I think it would be great with chickpeas for a vegan version. It makes enough for a crowd, or for several meals during the week. Definitely a keeper recipe, cleansing or not!! If you don't have any millet, cooked quinoa would be a great alternative!! 

Curried Millet and Veggie Salad

3 cups cooked millet (I toasted mine first, follow this link for cooking instructions! )   
3/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
4 cups chopped kale (green, red, black or a combo!)
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup diced red pepper (red, yellow, orange…mix it up!!)
1 cup diced zucchini ¼ - ½  cup cilantro, chopped (optional if you hate it!!)

Dressing:
1/4 cup lemon juice (freshly squeezed if you can!)
4 Tbsp avocado or olive oil
1-2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp herbamare or sea salt
freshly ground pepper to taste

Mix veggies, seeds and millet in a large mixing bowl.

Measure dressing ingredients into a mason jar, shake well and toss with other ingredients. 
Eat as is, or add your choice of protein (pre-cooked chicken, salmon, beans...the choice is yours!)
(Its also delicious heated!!!)
Store covered in the fridge for 3-4 days. 
All ready for lunch with some leftover salmon!





Sunday, 12 March 2017

Orange Chocolate Chia Donuts (Grain Free, Gluten Free, Sweetened with Honey)


These little heavenly morsels were created for two reasons. The first being that I was ever so kindly given a bag of Salba Chocolate Chia Seeds a while back to see if I could come up with a recipe to incorporate them into (thanks Deb!) They have been sitting staring at me for way too long, awaiting a burst of inspiration for a new recipe. 

On to reason number two… We have been house hunting as of late, and our wonderful agent-who-is-also-my-sister-in-law has been driving us around kingdom-come for a number of weeks. We were embarking on another road trip and I wanted to surprise her with some tasty treats for the drive. (She is celiac, so cooking for her, with all of my own dietary issues, is a proverbial piece of cake!) So on went my thinking cap. My brain jumped to donuts pretty quick, and these lovely little chocolate coated chia seeds were screaming at me to use them. I also had some beautiful organic cara-cara oranges, for further inspiration. Chocolate and orange is such a classic combination that is so well represented in these lovely little morsels, I was absolutely thrilled with the results! The texture is not unlike a poppyseed muffin or loaf, with a delightful bit of crunch, and the mix of flavours conjures
 a little happy dance in your mouth!  So, to Deb and Jo, a labour of love, and a brand new recipe!

This is also my first post using pictures taken with my son Mac's amazing camera..I am totally enamored with it..(so much that he had to buy me my own memory card so I quit filling up his...)

Orange Chocolate Chia Donuts

½ cup tapioca starch
½ cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
3 eggs
Zest from 1 orange (make sure its organic!)
Juice from one orange (3-4 tbsp approx)
¼ cup melted coconut oil (***see end of post for handy tips to melt your oil!)
¼ cup honey
¼ cup kefir, yogurt or non dairy alternative
______
¼ cup chocolate chia seeds (Salba brand)

Preheat oven to 350F

Grease the donut pan with coconut oil or butter and set aside.
I love my silicone baster for greasing pans!!

Measure all ingredients except chia seeds into a large mixing bowl and mix with an immersion blender until well blended. If you measure your coconut oil first, and then use the same scoop for your honey, it will slide right out of the cup, no scraping required!! 
Handy dandy kitchen rasp is awesome for zesting citrus fruits!
be sure to zest first, and then cut and juice your orange !


 Ensure no lumps are left.

Stir in the chocolate chia seeds and let stand for 5 minutes to thicken up.
Scoop batter into a zip top bag, squeeze out the air, zip, and cut off one bottom corner of the bag (alternatively use a piping bag with no tip), 
fold the edge of your zip bag down when filling to keep it clean!

and squeeze evenly into pre-greased donut pan.
 
Bake in preheated oven for approx 10-12 minutes or until cooked thru.
Tip out onto wire cooling rack to cool completely before enjoying!
Store at room temp in an airtight container for 2-3 days. 
Alternatively freeze for later enjoyment!
 

***How to melt your coconut oil with ease!!
I keep my coconut oil in a mason jar, and melt it one of two ways: 
1. in-front of the vent on my
gas stove-top

2. immerse jar in your hottest tap water until
melted enough to pour out your measurement!


Sunday, 8 January 2017

Butter Chicken

We love curry in our house, and butter chicken is definitely a favourite, and not at all difficult to whip up for a weeknight dinner. (if you add all the other selections pictured on the plate, you're into a marathon cooking session with masses of dirty dishes, spatters of yellow yumminess all over your kitchen and a very happy belly at the end!) but, I am only sharing the butter chicken recipe at the moment, and it stands alone very well.

I used chicken thighs, as I feel they have more flavour, but breasts could easily be substituted (2 large ones would probably suffice). Just to note, I have also made this with leftover rotisserie or roasted chicken, deboned and chopped up, and added at the simmering stage below. Just start the recipe where you saute the onions, and you're good to go!

With any recipe, a bit of pre-prep is always a good idea, but I find with curries, there are so many spices for the layering of all that yummy flavour, having them measured out and ready to add helps alot! If you like a spicier dish, feel free to increase the cayenne! As it stands this recipe has a nice mild heat with a ton of flavour.

I will include the links at the bottom for the other recipes if you are into marathon- kitchen-destroying-but-oh-so-much-fun cooking sessions , and I promise I will also add a link when I finally get my grain free naan recipe posted as well.


Butter Chicken

8-10 skinless boneless chicken thighs
2 tbsp butter 

4 tbsp of butter, divided into 2 tbsp chunks(yes...MORE butter :) )
4 smallish cooking onions, peeled and chopped (a generous cup ish)
3 tsp of garam masala
1 tsp of chili powder
1 tsp of cumin
½ tsp cinnamon 
½ tsp of cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
1 Tbsp. of grated ginger (use a kitchen rasp or fine grater)
3 garlic cloves, minced
S&p to taste

796 ml canned diced tomatoes
½ small can of tomato paste

1/2 can full fat coconut milk( approx ¾ cup)

Method:
Chop into chunks and then saute chicken thighs in 2 tbsp butter in a large cast iron pan until browned on all sides. I gave a quick grind of sea salt and black pepper while the chicken was browning. 
Remove from pan and set aside. Depending upon the size of your pan, you may need to do this in batches. If your pan is crowded they will steam rather than brown. 

In the same pan, Sauté onions in 2 tbsp butter over medium heat until slightly softening and just starting to brown, approx 5 min. 
Add spices, garlic and ginger, sauté for 2-3 more minutes. 
the amount of spices included
in this recipe is CRAZY, but
oh so yummy!!
Add the tomatoes and tomato paste, stirring well to combine. 
Add the chicken back to the pan, bring to a quick boil, and then reduce to a simmer for approx 15 minutes. (if you are serving rice, this is a good time to put on a nice pot of basmati rice to accompany your butter chicken!)
Stir in the coconut milk and last 2 Tbsp. of butter and 
additional salt and pepper to taste if needed. 
sorry for the steamy picture but the 
saag paneer was cooking on the 
front burner and tried to take over 
the shot!

Warm thru and serve with hot basmati rice or naan.


Other recipe links:

This recipe includes both a recipe for the paneer, and the recipe for the delicious saag paneer pictured on the plate above. I used fresh spinach instead of the frozen suggested in the recipe, just adding it to the pan in batches and tossing with tongs as it cooks down.
http://selfreliantschool.com/make-worlds-easiest-cheese-plus-delicious-indian-recipe/

These lovely little samosa patties were divine, although we tweaked them as we all felt they needed a deeper flavour. I added a 1/2 tsp each of garam masala and coriander, and 1/4 tsp of cumin to the curry powder, and added an egg as it seemed to need some glue to form the patties.
http://theprettybee.com/2014/03/spiced-samosa-patties.html

This raita is a wonderful palate cleanser and cooler between bites of different curry dishes.
http://www.marthastewart.com/851902/cucumber-raita






prepped ingredients ready to add to the pan!























Monday, 13 June 2016

Gluten Free Rhubarb Crisp

I love rhubarb. It has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. My Grandma Pringle had a large lovely row of rhubarb growing in her garden every spring (along with a cherry tree that grew two kinds of cherries, gooseberries, and the most wonderful black raspberries ever!!) Their house in the summer was the best place to visit… my brother and I spent many an hour pilfering whatever was ripe and in season at the time.  My love of both food and gardening definitely had its start in that lovely backyard of delights, and for that, I am thankful.  

This crisp is delicious. The topping has a delightfully crisp texture, and if you decide to add the pecans, they add a lovely crunch. (my eldest son prefers the version without…but he isn’t much of a nuts-in-baked-goods fan. If you like pecans, throw them in…they won’t disappoint!) Made with maple syrup, it is refined sugar free as well as gluten free!

The strawberry version is every bit as good as the straight rhubarb version. Try them both out…let me know which your favourite is!  We served ours with a nice scoop of good quality vanilla ice cream (look for one with ingredients you can pronounce!!)

Gluten Free Rhubarb Crisp

Fruit base:
8 Cups washed and chopped rhubarb (or 6 cups rhubarb and 2 cups sliced organic strawberries)
3 Tbsp arrowroot flour
¼ cup maple syrup

Topping:
½ cup rice flour
1 ½ cup large flake oats
¼ cup arrowroot flour
½ tsp salt (if your butter is unsalted increase to 1 tsp)
½ cup butter (1 stick, cold!)
½ cup maple syrup
Optional: 1 cup chopped pecans (really good addition!)     
 
Preheat oven to 350F

Toss rhubarb (and strawberries if using) with the maple syrup and arrowroot (the first measurement) in a large 9X13 glass baking dish. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, stir together all of the dry topping ingredients. 

Using a box grater, grate the stick of cold butter into the bowl, and then rub into the dry ingredients with your fingertips until it is well combined. 
Stir in maple syrup and mix again until it makes a nice thick batter. Drop by spoonful evenly across the top of the prepared fruit. 
Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until fruit is bubbly and topping is starting to brown and get crispy.
Remove from oven and cool slightly before serving.
Store leftovers, covered, at room temperature for a day or two, if they last that long!
When the temperatures outside soar, I love to use
my bbq as a second oven, to keep the heat
out of my kitchen!  Bricks help to
keep the heat more even,and The oven
thermometer is great for keeping an eye
on the temperature. 



Sunday, 3 April 2016

Grain Free Chunky Monkey Muffins


Oh, what a bad blogger I have been! Having not posted a brand new recipe since Christmas, I knew it was high time I got on with it! 
So, on a blustery April Sunday afternoon, baking was on the agenda, and these lovely muffins were just  begging to be blogged. Two overly ripe bananas were the starting point, and the rest just fell into place. I had intended to blend the peanut butter in with the immersion blender, but decided at the last minute that the crunchy peanut chunks in the peanut butter would lend a lovely texture to the muffin, and I was right! Smooth peanut butter would work as well, and if that’s all you have, don’t dismay. The flavour will still be lovely!

You will notice there is no added sugar in the batter. With two bananas, and the chocolate chunks, I think they are perfectly sweet enough. They are grain free, gluten free and dairy free too, for those who avoid dairy! Lovely for breakfast, or with an afternoon cup of tea, I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

Grain Free Chunky Monkey Muffins

Batter:
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/3 cup arrowroot flour/starch
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 ripe bananas
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 eggs
---------------
Add ins:
¾ cup crunchy peanut butter (natural, no sugar added!), at room temperature!!
¾ cup chocolate chunks (or chips...Enjoy Life are my favourite!)
------------
Topping:
Sliced fresh bananas for the tops

Preheat oven to 375F.
Line a 12 section muffin tin with parchment liners and set aside.
In a medium sized mixing bowl mix all the batter ingredients together 
with an immersion blender until well combined.
Fold in the peanut butter and the chocolate chunks with a silicone spatula 
or wooden spoon until completely mixed.
Scoop evenly into lined muffin tins, and top with sliced bananas.
Bake in preheated oven for 22-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Let cool in pan for 4 minutes, and then remove from pan to wire rack to cool completely.
Store leftovers at room temp for 1 day, or in the fridge for 2-3 days. Freeze for longer storage. 

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies

These cookies were created for two reasons. First: they are the 12th post for my holiday “12 Days of Cookies” on my Facebook recipe page (I saved the best ‘til last!)  Second: they are one of my husband’s favourite kinds of cookies, and I thought it would be a nice Christmas gift for him! 

I sweetened them with pure dark Maple syrup, and the flavour, while not quite traditional, is divine!

As for making them grain free, as is more the norm for my baking, that was a struggle. I couldn’t seem to strike the right combo of ingredients. But, when I added in the rice flour (which is still a traditional shortbread ingredient) the whole cookie came together beautifully. Chill the dough thoroughly to make rolling out a breeze!

They do make a very tender cookie, so take care when handling the finished product, as I had a few that broke when I was plating them for a gathering.Let them cool completely before attempting to move them at all...unless you are taste testing of course!!

Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies

1 cup Butter, room temp
½ cup Maple syrup
1 ½ cups Arrowroot flour (plus a bit more for rolling out the dough
1 c white rice flour
Pinch salt

Preheat oven to 350F

Cream the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer until nice and creamy. 
Add the maple syrup and mix until well blended.
Turn mixer off, add flours and salt, turn mixer on low (to avoid a large cloud of dust!!) and mix until it all comes together into a nice dough. 
Do not over-mix!
Shape dough quickly into a disk and refrigerate for 
at least 30 minutes or until firm.
On a lightly  arrowroot or rice floured board or piece of waxed paper, roll out dough into a ¼ inch flat disc. Cut into desired shapes, re-rolling scraps(and chilling if needed) until all is used up.  
Carefully place on parchment lined cookie sheet, prick with fork 
if desired for a more traditional look.
Bake in preheated oven for 12-13 minutes or until they just slightly start to turn brown at the edges.
(You don’t want much colour at all!!)
Carefully remove from pan and let cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container on the counter for a few days, or in the freezer for longer storage.