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!

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Quick Tuna and Tomato Sauce

I threw this sauce together one night this week when my pre-planned dinner fell thru due to a lack of kale in the garden. I picked some to go in a big pot of soup  and realized that there was not near as much left as I previously thought, so the creamed kale and eggs plan had to be back-burnered for the time being. A quick inventory of my cupboard revealed these ingredients, and in less than 15 minutes, we were eating this tasty meal. I didn't even take any pictures (gasp!) during the cooking,  not really expecting it to be as tasty as it was. Luckily the leftovers that I packed for lunch willingly posed for a picture J  It is well worth sharing, and much healthier (and cheaper!) than take out. This fed 4 of us for dinner, and there was enough left for 2 lunches. Frugal, healthy and tasty, give it a try!

Quick Tuna and Tomato Sauce
1 cup thinly sliced onions
2 tbsp butter
1 796ml can diced tomatoes (look for BPA free cans, like Eden)
1 184g can flaked tuna (ethically caught)
2 tsp dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste
“noodles” of choice ( We had ours over spiraled zucchini noodles, the boys had their favourite gluten free pasta.)

Heat butter in a large cast iron pan over medium high heat. When it starts to bubble, add the onions and sauté until they start to soften, and almost start to brown, about 5-6 minutes. Add the basil, tuna and tomatoes, stir to combine. Bring to a boil and let simmer until your noodles of choice are ready.  Season with salt and pepper and serve with your “noodles”.   Top with grated cheese if desired.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Grain Free Crockpot Chocolate Fudge Pudding Cake

With the colder weather , as I have said before, I crave comfort foods. But my dietary needs and taste buds have changed so much in the past few years, those typical good old comfort foods just don’t fit anymore. So when I really get a craving for something, like this pudding cake I remember from my childhood, I reinvent it to suit the way we eat now. It is still definitely a treat, but one that you can indulge in without “most” of the guilt!
This cake is made in the Crockpot or slow cooker (I use my smaller 3 quart one, if you only have a large one, this recipe could easily be doubled, the leftovers are great!), and is typical of an old fashioned pudding cake, where you make the batter, and (gasp!!) ...pour a bunch of water on top of it...seriously! It then magically creates a moist fudgy pudding en-robed cake that cooks merrily away on its own while you throw together a nice healthy supper to balance it all out. It is best served at room temperature or chilled, IF you can wait long enough to let it cool! The pictures do not do it justice, it is just not photogenic.  But, what it lacks in beauty, it makes up for in flavour! (It also goes really well with a scoop of your favourite vanilla ice cream...just in-case you were wondering :)
You want a nice thick batter--if it appears
too thin, add another Tbsp or two of
coconut flour.

Grain Free Crockpot Chocolate Fudge Pudding Cake

Cake batter:
3 eggs
2 tbsp chickpea flour
1/3- ½ cup coconut flour (start with the 1/3 and add more if needed)
2 tbsp arrowroot powder
¾ tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp coconut sugar
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup of milk (use a non-dairy alternative if you wish!)
2 Tbsp coconut oil
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp organic instant coffee powder (optional, but deepens the chocolate flavour!)
1/3 cup cocoa powder
½ cup coconut sugar
grease pan
2 cups boiling water
Butter/coconut oil or coconut oil butter ghee spray to grease the crockpot

In a medium mixing bowl, mix together all of the batter ingredients with an immersion blender until well combined. Scrape sides as needed.  (it should be nice and thick, add more coconut flour if needed to thicken it up) Spoon batter into the bottom of your greased crockpot, and smooth slightly.
Mix the topping ingredients together in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly across the top of the batter.

Gently pour the boiling water into the crockpot, completely covering the batter. Cover with the lid, and turn on to high. Cook for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Remove lid and let cool at least to room temperature before serving. The “pudding” part of the cake will thicken up the longer it sits. 
spread batter in greased pot
 sprinkle with coconut sugar-cocoa mixture
now, pour on the boiling water (!!!!) cover and cook!
the results? not pretty, but tasty!

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Grass Fed Meat Loaf with Feta and Cranberries

This meat loaf will fill your kitchen with a wonderful nostalgic aroma, it is comfort food at its finest. Moms meatloaf, but with a few modern twists. The extra step of sautéing the veggies is well worthwhile-- if you are in a rush you could potentially skip this step, but I wouldn't! 
Adding the cranberry sauce to the typical ketchup topping (especially if you make them both yourself!) creates a dish worthy of company, and the feta adds a subtle creaminess that blends well with the rest of the flavours. 

Grass Fed Meat Loaf with Feta and Cranberries

1 tbsp coconut oil
3 onions (mine were smallish, you want a generous cup when chopped)
2 stalks celery
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp each dried rosemary and thyme
2 lbs grass fed ground beef
3 eggs
1/3 cup coconut flour
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
¾ cup crumbled feta cheese
½ cup cranberry sauce (recipe here)
¼ cup organic ketchup (see below for recipe if you want to make your own!)

Preheat oven to 375F
Finely dice onions and celery, and sauté in a cast iron pan over medium heat with the coconut oil for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, rosemary and thyme, and continue to sauté until everything is fragrant and just starting to brown. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Combine the rest of your ingredients EXCEPT the cranberry sauce and ketchup in a large mixing bowl. Mix well to combine. Add the sautéed vegetables and mix till evenly distributed.
Grease a 9X13 glass baking dish, and shape the mixture into a nice even oval shape.
Mix together the cranberry sauce and the ketchup, and coat the meatloaf with the mixture, ensuring you cover the entire loaf.
Bake in preheated oven until the internal temperature reaches at least 165F, approx 45-50 minutes.
Serve hot.

Homemade Ketchup

A homemade option for that ever so popular brand that starts with H J

1 can organic tomato paste
¼  cup raw apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp coconut sugar
1 clove of garlic, pressed or finely chopped
1/8 tsp allspice
1 tsp salt
2 tsp molasses
1 cup water

Mix all ingredients in a small pot, bring to a boil and simmer for about 8 minutes.  Cool before using. Store in the fridge for up to a week, or freeze in small jars that you can thaw one at a time. 

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce

Approx 4 cups fresh or frozen organic cranberries,
½ -¾ cup coconut sugar (depending on how sweet you want it, I like mine more on the tart side)
1 cup water (or sub organic orange juice for your liquid)

Rinse cranberries and add them to a medium saucepan with the water and coconut sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes  until the cranberries start to burst. Remove from heat and cool before using or freezing.

Used most recently to top these muffins, and to top an awesome meatloaf with feta that will be posted soon :)

Grain Free Chocolate Brazil Nut Muffins with a Cranberry Swirl

I love cranberries. So much that when I make a batch for the holidays, I like to make extra and freeze it in small jam jars, to pull out whenever a craving strikes. They are just too darn tasty to be relegated to the holiday season! I pulled a jar out earlier in the week and used some to top a meatloaf recipe that will be posted soon ( I will link here when I get it posted) . I wanted to make a muffin with chocolate and Brazil nuts, but knew they would need some sort of brightness to balance the flavours. Cranberry sauce to the rescue!  It added just the right amount of tartness to the muffin without overwhelming. I think these would be an awesome Christmas morning brunch muffin too!

Grain Free Chocolate Brazil Nut Muffins with a Cranberry Swirl

4 eggs, preferably pastured
1/3 cup coconut flour
2 T Sunflower Seed Flour
2 Tbsp Chickpea Flour
2 Tbsp Arrowroot flour
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
Generous pinch of Himalayan sea salt
¼ cup coconut sugar (or other sweetener of choice)
½ cup kefir or yogurt
½ cup raw Brazil nuts, chopped
Approx ½ cup premade cranberry sauce (see recipe here)

Preheat oven to 375F.
Place all ingredients EXCEPT the Brazil nuts and cranberry sauce into a medium mixing bowl, and mix well with an immersion blender , scraping down the sides as necessary.  With a spatula, mix in the chopped Brazil nuts (I chopped mine in my handy little chopper, you want to see some larger chunks to add a nice texture to the muffin) and stir well until combined.
Divide evenly between 12 muffin cups, either greased or lined.
Top with approx. 2 tsp of cranberry sauce (be generous!), and swirl in with a butter knife or the end of your measuring spoon.
Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove to a wire rack and cool for as long as you can before gobbling them up!

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Grain Free PBJ Bars

I created these bars on the weekend when I decided to try a new flavour of the grab-and-go-type bars that have become a staple in our freezer. I intended to make a chocolate and brazil nut combination, but someone found my stash of brazil nuts in the fridge, and that combination quickly went out the window. So while cupboard/fridge surfing for inspiration, I found a lonely jar of crunchy peanut butter.  (my guys all like the smooth kind, and I inadvertently came home with a jar of crunchy not too long ago, and there it has sat ever since…I had to take pity on it and use it!) The jar of raspberry jam sitting beside it completed the inspiration, and these babies were born. Grain free protein packed goodness  that is now stored in my freezer for a tasty on the go treat ( I roughly calculated the protein of each bar to be about 8 grams). I am sure you could swap the peanut butter for any other nut butter you wish if peanut allergies are an issue.

Grain Free PBJ Bars

½ cup almond flour
½ cup coconut flour
2 tbsp chick pea flour
¾ tsp baking soda
¾ tsp Himalayan or Celtic sea salt 
1/3 cup coconut sugar
½ cup natural organic peanut butter (mine was chunky)
4 eggs, preferably pastured
2/3 cup plain yogurt (I used a full fat one)
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup raspberry jam, preferably fruit juice sweetened  (or flavour of choice)

Preheat oven to 375F and grease a 8x8 glass baking pan with St. Francis Coconut Oil Butter Ghee Cooking Spray or butter, or line with parchment paper. Set aside.

Place all ingredients EXCEPT the raspberry jam into a medium to large mixing bowl, and blend well with an immersion blender until well combined, scraping down the sides if necessary.
Scrape batter into prepared  pan. Drop the reserved jam by teaspoon-full’s evenly across the top of the batter, and run a knife thru the batter and jam in a zigzag pattern to swirl the jam into the top of the batter.
Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let cool in pan before cutting.
I cut mine in half diagonally, turn the pan ¼ turn and then cut again 6 times evenly, creating 12 rectangular bars.

At this point you can store the bars in a container in the fridge for a few days, or , as we do, wrap in parchment or plastic wrap individually and store in the freezer for a quick snack or lunch box treat.