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!

Monday, 21 April 2014

Grain Free Refined Sugar Free Blueberry Breakfast Cake

Somehow I ended up with 2 tubs of dates in my pantry. Not a bad thing, necessarily, but I didn't want them to go to waste. I generally don't need an excuse to bake, but this was a good one!

Dates make an awesome natural sweetener, being on the lower end of the glycemic index (I believe they are a 9) means less of a blood sugar spike, great if you happen to be diabetic. They are also rich in polyphenols  and fiber, making them a smart alternative to refined sugars that bring nothing to the table but sweet!

This cake is lovely for breakfast. (or any time of the day for that matter!) Moist and flavourful, it is not overly sweet, and virtuous enough in its ingredients to make having cake for breakfast an OK thing. (My blueberry shunning teen even packed two pieces in his lunch today, a definite seal of approval!)

The batter is made, start to finish, in the food processor.  If you don’t have one, I might suggest that you soak the dates to soften them, and whiz them with the banana and other liquid ingredients in your blender, pour into a mixing bowl and proceed with the recipe from there.

Grain Free Refined Sugar Free Blueberry Breakfast Cake

6 Medjool dates
2 ripe bananas
4 eggs
1/3 cup yogurt or kefir
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup softened coconut oil
1/3 cup coconut flour
2 Tbsp chick pea flour
2 Tbsp arrowroot powder
1 tsp baking soda
¾ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
Generous ½ cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
Cinnamon to sprinkle

Preheat oven to 350F. Slice the dates open and take out the pit. Line an 8X8 glass pan with parchment.
Place pitted dates and peeled bananas in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the dates and bananas make a nice smooth puree. Small bits of date are ok.
dates and bananas

Add the rest of the ingredients and process again until you have a nice smooth batter. Scrape into parchment lined pan and smooth the batter into the pan.
a sprinkle of cinnamon
Scatter the blueberries evenly on top of the batter and lightly press down. Sprinkle with a light coating of cinnamon to taste, I probably used around ½ -1 tsp.

Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Remove from oven, and carefully lift the parchment paper out of the pan and place on a wire rack to cool.

Store leftovers in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 2 days. If it lasts longer than that in your house, store it in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Rosemary Roasted Parsnip Fries

As many of you know, Jim and I are avid gardeners.  Having our own veggies and herbs just steps from our back door is one of our favourite things, and we try and make the most of our Canadian growing season. We have pulled carrots and parsnips, in years past, well into January, and, when we have planted enough kale, have pulled kale just before Christmas. This year, however, the winter cold came on early and hard, leaving a bunch of carrots, beets and parsnips unharvested. The ground was just too hard to get them out, and we mourned the loss of the last of our small root crops as we watched the snow get deeper… and deeper… and deeper.  
who knew a pressure
washer was such an
effective veggie scrubber ?
Fast forward to this past weekend. After a very long, very cold winter that seemed it would never end,  we were gifted with a warm spring Sunday that just begged to be spent out of doors. Even though rain threatened off and on all day, and the wind tried its best to blow us down, we spent most of our time in the yard and garden getting things ready for spring planting. When I pulled the dead foliage from the  parsnip bed, I was surprised to see little green leaves sprouting in nice tidy rows. (I have, in past years pulled a few stray parsnips out of the ground in the spring, but they were few and far between, and not very edible looking to say the least.) Not  expecting much, I dug the pitchfork out of the shed, and proceeded to dig up part of a row. When these marvelously perfect parsnips emerged from their earthy home, I was tickled pink! Dinner plans were quickly revamped to include these beauties. Nothing beats garden to table eating, and having this surprise spring harvest made it that much better.  I think Overwintering parsnips will become part of our garden plan every year!
These "fries" have a nice spicy undertone, and a lovely texture. They were a  perfect side for our rotisserie chicken and Bacon Scalloped Potatoes. (that recipe will be posted soon!)

Rosemary Roasted Parsnip Fries
Approx 9 parsnips, scrubbed and/or peeled
 1 ½ tsp dried rosemary
¾ tsp smoked sea salt or other sea salt of choice
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 tbsp melted coconut oil

Preheat oven to 400F
Scrub parsnips well, peel if desired.  Cut into 3-4 inch lengths, and then cut lengthwise into “fry” sized sticks.  (the smaller you cut them the quicker they will cook, ours were on the chunky side) Toss in 11”x15” glass baking dish (or a parchment lined baking sheet, cooking time may vary) with oil, rosemary, salt and pepper.
Roast for 20 minutes, stir and roast again for approx 15 minutes or until they start to brown and crisp. Serve hot!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Leftover Beef Skillet Supper

This was one of those improvisational dinners that turned out really well. Thumbs up from the teenagers, fast and frugal. Win Win Win!
When I make my bone broth, if my beef bones are meaty enough, I pull them out at the 10 or 12 hr mark, pull off the cooked beef, and put the bones back in for the rest of the time. The beef, by this time is lovely and tender, and is usually enough for an entire meal. I like to buy my beef stock bones from Oakridge Acres. I "stock" up(pardon the pun!) whenever we go out there to shop. They are meaty and big, and considering all of the wonderful goodness you get from them, a very frugal purchase. Two packages generally make about 10 cups of bone broth, and a meal from the pulled meat. For under 4$ a package, it helps to balance out the rest of our food budget.
I love my cast iron skillets for dishes like this, a quick saute and they can go straight in the oven, giving you time to toss a nice green salad and whip up some dressing, like this maple balsamic that is one of our faves! Feel free to substitute any leftover beef or chicken in this recipe, its a great way to use up leftovers!

Leftover Beef Skillet Supper

1 large red onion, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp coconut oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp sea salt or zesty Herbamare
1 cup Beef Bone Broth
1 796ml can of diced tomatoes (look for BPA free cans!)
4 cups pre-cooked beef
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400F
Heat coconut oil in a large cast iron pan over medium high heat until melted and hot. Saute the onion for 3-4 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic, thyme and salt. Saute for another 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and beef, and stir well to combine. Top with grated cheese and using an oven mitt (cast iron handles get hot!!) place in hot oven. Bake for approximately 35 minutes or until the cheese is melted and slightly browned. Remove from oven and serve hot, with a nice tossed salad.