Creamy Coconut Lentils

Happy holidays and Happy New Year!

I will make this short and sweet…thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you for making my dream/goal of running my very own food blog a successful reality in 2013. I appreciate your support and encouragement so much. It’s a beautiful thing when you have an idea and it comes to life!

I am pretty sure 2013 had been my most eventful year of my life. Lots of ups (a few lows) and I am grateful for all of it. This blog has definitely been like a journal for me. A journal through food and photography 😉

My favourite dish combination has to be rice and beans…or PULSE and beans, if you will. I probably have a dozen variations that I make continuously and yet somehow my brain always think they are different. It is no surprise that dishes like this have been eaten globally for tens of thousands of years. It just works. Every time.

Wait…I may have just decided on a theme for my first cookbook 😉

“101 Ways to make Rice and Beans” or “Pulsating Beans”…a work in progress!

It is a meal in itself with only a few ingredients needed. In fact this particular recipe only requires about 4 ingredients plus a few spices.  And on these cold winter nights nothing satisfies they way this hearty dish can.

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For a slight variation it is fantastic with baked zucchini (I simply cut the zucchini lengthwise and bake at 350 for about 20 min with a little olive oil and sea salt)…yum!

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I hope and trust that the close of the past year is joyous and reflective for all of you!

Here’s to 2014 and all of the wonderful food possibilities.

Cheers.

Creamy Coconut Lentils

Serves 4-6

Prep Time 20-25 mins

Ingredients

4 cups cooked coconut jasmine rice (cook as per instructions using coconut water instead of regular water and then finish with 2 tbsp coconut oil once fully cooked)

3 cups vegetable broth

2 cups of dry red lentils

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp coriander

1 tsp tumeric

1- 400 ml can of coconut milk

sea salt to taste

handful of chopped cilantro

2 tbsp sriracha (optional)

  • Bring vegetable broth and lentils to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Then reduce heat to low and cook until all liquid is absorbed. Approx. 15 mins
  • Add garlic powder, cumin, coriander, tumeric and salt. Stir to combine and then add coconut milk. Heat for another 3-5 minutes.
  • Scoop creamy lentils over the coconut rice and finish with sriracha and cilantro. Easy peasy!

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Muhamarra

A few years ago when I was in school taking studying Holistic Nutrition, I met a beautiful chef who shared the same love of food as I do (albeit not vegan food but I adore her nonetheless).  Her name is Christina and among many other things she is a Red Seal chef, Holistic Nutritionist and operates a gorgeous blog  www.honeyandvanilla.com

Throughout my time at CSNN she introduced me to several simple and delicious recipes. I had never experienced Muhamarra before she passed on the recipe and I was over the moon excited once I tried it. This dip works with anything- cucumbers, baked sweet potato medallions, crackers, bread, whatever!

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Pomegranates are a fruit that contain a variety of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that help to improve the skin, bone quality, digestion, cardiovascular health and much more!!!

I have used this spread numerous times for different types of get togethers or holiday parties and it is perfect for this time of year. What screams HOLIDAYS more than pomegranate?…aside from a spiced rum and holly nog 😉

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So please do not skip out on the pomegranate molasses. If you don’t know already it has so many uses and tastes delicious. Buy the large bottle (stick with me) and I will help you figure out how to use it!

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Muhamarra

Created by HoneyandVanilla.com

1.5 cups walnuts (lightly roasted)

12oz jar roasted red pepper (or if roasting yourself then use 2 bell peppers)

1/4 cup EVOO

2 Tbsp pomegranate molasses

2 cloves garlic

1 Tbsp honey

1/2 tsp cumin

1 tsp dried chili flakes

salt to taste

Cooking Instructions

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Season with salt. Allow  to rest in fridge for a couple of hours before serving. Cut up you favorite veggies or pita bread and serve on the side.

Quick Tip: Scoop muhamarra dip into a large Ziploc bag and then cut a small opening in one corner to create a piping bag!

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To create the sweet potato medallions I used a thin sweet potato to start, peeled it and then cut into equal slices. Lay them on a baking sheet coated with a small amount of olive oil and bake at 350 for approx. 20-25 mins (turning half way through)

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Also great served simply as a dip for raw veggies…

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Pumpkin Bran Muffins

Who doesn’t LOVE homemade muffins!?!

I do.

Now if someone could just bring me some that would be fantastic! 🙂

So here I am in my new home trying to get my life back to its new normal. I have spent the last week and a half painting and moving. That’s right I said MOVING (who likes moving?…oh ya no one).  I am exhausted but content. Hopefully within this next week I will get back to doing what I do…sharing food ideas on Instagram (@figbasil) and creating new recipes with you all. I am looking forward to sharing some holiday sweets and appetizers in December.

Until then, my lovely friend Stacey has given me an amazingly delicious looking muffin recipe that she created just for my Fig and Basil readers. A huge thank you to Stacey for this!

Check it out and let me know how it turns out. Also go find Stacey’s blog at http://www.staceydeering.com

Have a great week! Emily

Stacey’s post:

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Anyone who has children knows that baking of some kind is almost a parental requirement, whether it’s a birthday cake, cookies or muffins. While some muffins can be loaded with sugar, refined oil and refined flour this recipe is the exact opposite. I try and find ways around refined ingredients without compromising taste.

This pumpkin bran muffin is dairy free, wheat free, gluten free and low fat. The quinoa and almond flour are high protein flours and loaded with oat bran, they are high in fiber. Oat bran is a soluble fiber which helps to clear the digestive system. The pumpkin puree adds a great nutritional boost, high in vitamin A and beta carotene.

Sweetened with pure maple syrup and molasses, unrefined sources, they are not overly sweet. I like to serve them with coconut butter, which is naturally sweet, and warm tea.

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Pumpkin Bran Muffins

Vegan, Gluten Free, No Refined Sugar

Yield: 12 muffins

Author: Stacey Deering, RHN, staceydeering.com

Ingredients

1 cup oat bran (gluten free if required)

1/2 cup quinoa flour

1/2 cup almond flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

3 tablespoons ground flaxseed

6 tablespoons warm water

3/4 cup pumpkin puree

2 tablespoons molasses

3/4 cup almond milk

3 tablespoons pure maple syrup

2 tablespoons coconut oil, warmed

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup raisins

pumpkin seeds for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place paper muffin liners in a 12 hole muffin pan.
  2. Combine the oat bran, quinoa flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and sea salt in a medium bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the ground flaxseed with warm water, stir and let sit for 5 minutes. Then add in the pumpkin puree, molasses, almond milk, maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla.
  4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until mixed well. Stir in the raisins.
  5. Divide the batter equally into the prepared muffin pan and sprinkle pumpkin seeds on the top of each muffin.
  6. Bake for approximately 20 minutes.

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StaceyDeering.com

Hello everyone!

This week I was thrilled to be asked to contribute a vegan recipe to my friend, Stacey Deering’s amazing blog. Stacey is literally a SUPERWOMAN (no exaggeration) and when I grow up I want to be just like her 😉

Stacey is a Holistic Nutritionist, a Personal Trainer and frequently offers seminars and classes on how to live your best life.

To checkout my most recent recipe and to find out all the very cool things about Stacey, go to www.staceydeering.com

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And in return Stacey has generously agreed to guest blog on my page very soon with one of her baking recipes (I know most of you wish I would throw in a little sugar every once in awhile ;))…so stayed tuned for that! 

Hope your week is going well.

Emily

 

Protein Pizza

So I hope you all enjoyed your short week last week, because honestly it messed me UP!

I spent most of the week thinking it was the day prior.

My inner dialogue sounded something like this…”Oh shoot I cannot do that on Tuesday cause I have that thing, oh, actually, hold on a second, it’s Wednesday never mind. Oh crap! It’s Wednesday I am supposed to be at that other thing :/”

So here in lies the reason that I am sending out my blog post on Monday instead of my usual Sunday. I really hope this does not mess you up for the rest of the week 😉

Thankfully in the kitchen I don’t adhere to any weekly food schedules, you know like Taco Tuesdays.  So throwing together meals was just as wonderfully spontaneous as most weeks are. I started last week with an idea that I couldn’t let go of and that was that my kids are not getting enough protein. Not that I am jumping on the “protein bandwagon” because as a mostly vegan adult I have no concerns about getting enough protein. My kids however are another story. If you let them, kids will very quickly (and without warning) jump into a “food rut”.  Sticking with what they know, or like, can somehow turn into a less than colorful plate…Brown rice pasta with butter or cheese pizza (both non-dairy, of course)…neither of which carry alot of protein!

Well, until now  🙂

I am a huge lover of beans. I could eat them at every meal and usually try to sneak them in to a few dishes throughout the week. But more often than not, I find them carefully removed and resting on the side of my kids plates 😦 My heart breaks a little each time.

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On Tuesday this week I was whipping up a homemade pizza sauce for dinner and a tiny little light bulb went off in my head. Why not hide the beans in the sauce? Brilliant! (my inner dialogue said) I had some fresh white beans in the fridge so I threw them right into the food processor with the rest of the sauce. Could it really be that easy? I felt a little like Jessica Seinfeld 🙂

Up until this point no one is aware of any of my deceptive behaviours and watching them inhale their pizza was enough to make me smile. Because the sauce wasn’t the only thing that I “rigged” with protein 😉 I also substituted some of the white flour with quinoa flour and it was completely undetectable.

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This sauce is also great as a pasta sauce or shoved into a quesadilla

But don’t be fooled by the veggie pizza pictures…those were for me. The kids still want their “cheese” pizza, but at least I know that I have controlled the amount of sugar, salt and protein that they are eating with this homemade pizza sauce. And that is a small victory that I feel good about 🙂

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Have a great week!

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Protein Pizza Sauce

1- 28oz can crushed tomatoes

1-14oz can navy beans, drained and rinsed

1 tbsp dried basil

1 tbsp dried oregano

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

2 tbsp sugar

2 cloves roasted garlic

1 tsp sriracha (optional)

  • Add all ingredients into a food processor and combine until smooth

Protein Pizza Dough

Prep time: about 1 hour

2 cups warm water

1 tsp dry yeast

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp sea salt

4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

4 cups organic unbleached white pastry flour

1 cup quinoa flour

  • Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees for 10 mins and turn it off.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the water, yeast and sugar and let sit until the mixture begins to bubble, about 5-10 mins.
  • Add the salt and olive oil to the mixture. Slowly add the pastry flour. When the dough starts to thicken, use your hands to mix in the quinoa flour and knead until smooth. Place the dough in a large oven-safe bowl that has been lightly oiled and cover with plastic. Set the dough inside the oven until it has doubled in size , about an hour.
  • When the dough has expanded, place a floured flat surface and roll out the dough.

From here, the sky is the limit with whatever toppings you enjoy most! On this pizza I have added grilled zucchinis, chopped orange bell peppers, steamed asparagus ribbons and finished with Herb de Provence cashew nut cheese.

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10 things for vegans to do in Vancouver

Veg Coast

Are you planning a vegan trip to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada? If not, perhaps you’re a local resident looking to discover more of the vegan food and activities in your own Pacific Northwest city.

Either way, the Vancouver area offers plenty of possibilities for vegans—locals and tourists alike. Here’s the Veg Coast list of 10 things for vegans to do in Vancouver.

View original post 776 more words

Portobello Tacos

I hope you all are enjoying this lazy July weekend!

I am completely guilty of being 100% submerged into summertime and this may have created a bit of a writer’s block!?!  With the kids being out of school and no real routine in place, it’s a free-for-all around here. These days I am usually torn between working in my garden, creating recipes in my kitchen, food photo sessions for my Instagram account (yes, I actually do that), the kids and their social life or keeping myself moving either on my bike or at the gym…Tough life I know!

But the reality is that alot of changes have occurred over the last month leaving me to fall behind on some of my responsibilities and  I feel somewhat out of balance. Not in a “Help me I am drowning!!!” kind of way. More like a “Oh!…did I forget to do that?” kind of way 🙂  But lucky for me, I am not in a huge hurry to get myself back to balance just yet so I will continue to be aware of the imbalance for now. And when it comes to this blog, it is never far from the front of my brain. I am always creating and thinking of things to share with you all.

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Over the past two weeks all of my meals have been about using what I have at hand, to avoid more visits to the grocery store, while still pulling together delicious and simple dishes. This recipe could definitely fit into the “Simple Summer” category. I think I have made this 3 times over the past two weeks and everyone loves it. And when everyone loves it, then I know its worth sharing. The clean, whole foods and light flavours make this perfect for this time of year.

I also have been experimenting with my hummus recently…and I have discovered that the possibilities are endless! In this photo session for the Portobello Tacos I was using a Radish & Cilantro hummus combo which paired really well with the radish greens I used in the tacos. Another great one was this Cilantro & Lime Hummus that I paired with some leftover steamed purple cauliflower (pulsed in the food processor before folding into the hummus). It is packed full of amazing nutrients and the only thing anyone cares about is how great it tastes 🙂

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A trick that I learned a long time ago was to prep caramelized onions when I have a bit of time so that they are quick to use whenever a recipe calls for it. The sweet and savoury onions are one of my favourites and can be used in just about anything. Just this morning I added them to my avocado toast for breakfast. But it’s important not to rush the cooking process of the onions to fully bring out their natural sweetness. So try to prep these when you have a good 45 mins to watch over them and give an occasional stir. I like to use red onions but really any onion gives great flavour. You can cook them down with olive oil, coconut oil or Earth Balance with a good amount of sea salt. Cooking a large batch allows you to have extra for pizzas, sandwiches or salads.

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This week we are heading on our summer vacation on the West Coast. As always, I try to rent places that have great kitchens so that I can continue to prepare most of our meals (I have been known to pack important kitchen utensils and spices in my luggage to bring on family vacations). Being away from a cutting board is never a vacation for me! I am fortunate enough to be able to return to Tofino, BC for a few weeks to explore and relax with the kids. I am looking forward to trying a couple of new restaurants (well, new to me) and utilizing all of their amazing local produce for my own creations. I hope to be able to share some of this with you while I am out there.

Before we know it the summer will be just another passing season and complaining about the cold weather will be part of our regular conversation again. So I hope that you are enjoying the perfect imbalance that comes with this time of year and that you are still finding joy in your kitchen!

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Portobello Tacos

Prep Time: 30 mins or less (if you have the caramelized onions pre-prepped)

Serves 4-6 people

Ingredients:

8-10, 6″ corn tortillas

1 cup of hummus, homemade with your favourite flavours is the best option

1 cup caramelized red onions

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for tortillas shells

1 tsp truffle salt, optional

3 portobello mushrooms, gills removed and cut into 1/4″ slices

2 avocados, pitted and sliced

6-10 cheery tomatos, sliced in half

a handfull of greens, ie. radish greens, micro mixed greens

a small bunch of cilantro, chopped

your favourite hot sauce, optional

  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place mushrooms slices into pan and sprinkle each piece with truffle salt or regular sea salt. Cook about 5-7 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove from pan and set aside.

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  • Pre-heat outdoor BBQ to a medium heat. Drizzle olive oil onto large plate and with your hands lightly coat each side of the tortilla with the olive oil.
  • Add tortillas to grill and grill for approx. 3 minutes each side. Watch carefully as each grill is different and the “hot spots” on your grill will cook some of them faster than others. Remove and immediately fold them in half to shape them before they cool and harden.
  • Lay out your buffet of tacos toppings and allow each guest to make their own version of Portobello taco. Serve with a side of hot sauce for those you like it a little spicier.

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  • For added enjoyment be sure to be sitting outside on a patio with a cold Corona close by 😉

Sweet Yam Quinoa Salad w/Pomegranate Dressing

Hello foodie friends!

This past week I have received an overwhelming amount of support. From hundreds of new followers on Instagram, to increased interest on my blog, messages of encouragement, and even a photo from readers that made one of my recipes last week (shout out to my West Coast girls!). I am just so grateful for all of it. Not for any other reason than it helps me realize that my passion is connecting with people and that reaffirms for me that I am exactly where I should be. So keep it comin’! 🙂

And on that note, I going to try something new with my blog this week (and the next few to follow)…a series!

I will call it 6 Simple Summer Recipes. With the intention of sharing 6 recipes that can be made in rotation during the warmer months.  All of these recipes can be made in under 30 minutes (look at me ripping off Rachel Ray :-)) and are deliciously simple to throw together.  Its harder to get in the kitchen when the sun is shining and the garden is calling but you still gotta eat!

So hopefully I can help you.

I am a huge fan of quinoa in the summer months for salads. Mainly because it is so versatile, can be made ahead of time, and is just so flipping good for you. The most commonly used quinoa is the white variety but red and black quinoa are also readily available in most grocery stores so why not explore?  This week I am using the red quinoa in my Sweet Yam Quinoa Salad.  Nutritionally speaking, the benefits are pretty much equal between the white and red quinoa. All quinoa, being a complete protein, offers numerous vitamins and minerals to you that your body will love you for. The small difference between the two varieties would be the texture and flavour. Red quinoa has a slightly crunchier bite (which is an awesome combination with the soft & sweet roasted yams) and a slightly bolder flavour. As I have said before about rinsing, the same rule applies to the red quinoa, which is to make sure you give it a good rinse before cooking to wash away the outer coating.

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A few simple whole foods make up this incredibly satisfying lunch or dinner dish. The dressing is sweet and tangy and only requires a couple of ingredients that most of us have available in our pantry, with the exception of the pomegranate molasses. I would highly recommend that you grab yourself a bottle of this “deliciousness-in-a-bottle” before the summer months approach, as it is amazing in almost every homemade dressing!

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Have a lovely week.

Sweet Yam Quinoa Salad

Prep time: 30 mins

Ingredients:

2 cups red quinoa (cooked according to directions…but instead of water I like to use vegetable stock)

3 medium-large yams, peeled, cut into 1″ cubes

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 medium red onion, chopped small

small bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped

Pomegranate Dressing Ingredients:

1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp pomegranate molasses

juice of 1 lime

1 tsp dried chili flakes

salt and pepper to taste

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place chopped yams on a baking sheet, coat in olive oil and season with sea salt. Bake for approx. 20-25 mins, checking about half way through to turn them. * make sure to cut the pieces small enough so they cook fast
  • Combine all ingredients for dressing and set aside.
  • Combine onions, cilantro, quinoa and slightly cooled yams into large bowl and toss in dressing. Taste and season with sea salt and pepper as needed. If you find it too dry then add a bit more olive oil.
  • Ideally, letting this rest for more time allows dressing to absorb and increases the flavour (which makes this dish fantastic for leftovers or tomorrow’s lunch) but serving it immediately is also delicious!

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Homemade Dairy-free Ice Cream

With summer peaking its head out and pulling us outside into the our backyards, gardens and whatever other warm weather pleasures you enjoy, there is one thing that seems to be synonymous with summer….ice cream!

It is a food that is on many people’s “favourite food” list, adults and children alike.

But the reality is that many people have dairy sensitivities and the remainder of the people have dairy sensitivities and don’t  know it 😦 These sensitivities do not just show up in the form of an upset stomach, there are numerous ways your body can react. Asthma, behavioural issues, mood swings, constant skin irritations (rash, psoriasis, acne) and headaches just to name a few. There is no doubt that dairy is hard on our bodies with all the use of antibiotics and growth hormones used by the dairy industry, harder to digest than even red meat. And don’t even get me started on the treatment of dairy cattle, forced to lactate continuously when their natural biology only requires them to produce milk during and after pregnancy (just like humans!).

But seriously, I intended this post to be light and fun…how am I doing so far?   😉

When you can find a recipe that requires less than 5 ingredients, takes about 10 minutes to make and is incredibly delicious, you must go for it! I first found a version of this frozen banana treat last summer and it has been a hit in my house since then.

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FYI- I bought all of  these organic bananas for around $4.00 from my local organic market. Because they were overly ripe they gave me a reduced price.

The directions are pretty straight forward—-peel banana, freeze banana, put ingredients in food processor, stir in favourite toppings and eat. That simple.

Feel free to experiment with different combinations and try reinventing your favourite dairy ice cream at home.

This week I managed a few batches with 3 different combinations; strawberry (everyone 1st choice), Mint Chip and Maple Walnut.

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A new trick I tried this year was putting the ice cream into mini mason jars before putting them in the freezer so that they were already portioned out for the kids (and myself). It also makes it easy to grab if you are heading outside in the backyard or to the park for a refreshing and healthy snack!

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I have a few flavour ideas that will definitely be created sometime this summer, like Raspberry Cardamom, Maple Peanut Butter, Mango Coconut…and maybe something with pine nuts…I will let you know how they turn out! 

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I hope that this simple recipe finds its way into your home (and your belly) this summer.

And if you haven’t already, come join me on Instagram @figbasil for daily food photos and meal inspirations.

Enjoy.

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Strawberry Dairy-free Ice Cream

Active Time: 5-10 mins plus time to freeze bananas

Ingredients:

4-5 ripe bananas, peeled and frozen

2-3 tbsp any nut or seed milk ( I used flax milk but you could use soy, coconut, hemp, almond)

8-10 fresh strawberries, pureed

8-10 fresh or frozen strawberries, cut into small pieces

Method:

  • Place your peeled bananas into an air-tight bag and place into freezer until completely frozen. I like to leave them in overnight.
  • When you are ready to make the ice cream, remove the bananas from the bag and chop into larger chunks. Place in a food processor with your milk of choice. Pulse a few times and then put on high speed to puree the bananas into a smooth, creamy texture

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  • Pour in pureed strawberries and pulse for another minute.
  • Scrap banana mixture into bowl and gently fold in the strawberry pieces.
  • You could eat immediately but depending how long you have had the bananas out of the freezer, I like to throw the completed ice cream back into the freezer for another 10-20 minutes to get a harder consistency. It stores in the freezer for a very long time…but honestly I actually don’t know how long cause we have never had it in there for longer than a few days 🙂

Pad Thai

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Happy Mother’s Day!

The day has arrived again, when everyone lets their mothers know how much they love them and appreciate them. The funny thing is that most mothers already understand how much they are needed and loved on a daily basis because if we didn’t then we wouldn’t do what we do! But it’s nice to be reminded. This is the most unique and powerful relationship one can have in their life…for good or bad 😉 A two-way street that somehow generally only feels like a one-way! And the payoff simply comes from being called Mom. 

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I like to think of motherhood as a long-term investment. Most days I’m the mom that doesn’t serve bacon, that has weird greens growing the fridge, that didn’t buy the “good” cereal on my shopping trip, and is totally annoying for serving new foods that don’t look familiar! I am that mom. Some days it feels like I am pushing against a brick wall and then other days, like when I see my kids eating greens or when they get excited that the avocados are ripe enough to eat, I think that maybe I am making some progress. It helps me to sleep at night to assume one day they will look back and understand that aside from wanting to nurture their bodies and fuel their brains, that one day they will also understand that I am simply doing the best with what I know. Making a tonne of mistakes along the way.

This week I am stepping out of my comfort zone. Into the unknown. Okay, perhaps a bit dramatic…I am testing out a new ingredient and a new recipe! I have been wanting to try kelp noodles for a very long time since I have read all about the health benefits and how easy they are to use. I am not sure what has held me back but now that I have tried them, nothing could keep me away! I am in love.

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The texture is almost unexplainable. Kelp noodles have the familiarity of a rice noodle with a surprise crunch of a lettuce. They soak up which ever sauce you submerge them in without loosing any of the crunch. I am familiar with dried kelp and so I assumed that the noodle would have the same “fishy”  flavour but I was wrong…no fishy flavour at all!

There is almost too much information on the benefits of kelp noodles for me to sum up articulately so I did a little digging and found this fantastic summary supplied by www.rawguru.com

What Exactly Are Kelp Noodles?

Kelp is a kind of seaweed, or algae, that grows in the ocean. To create kelp noodles, which are raw and very white, almost clear, in appearance, the clear substance that holds the individual pieces of kelp together are harvested. Though the noodles are not made from the entirety of the algae, they are packed with the same nutrients that have made kelp a popular ingredient among health-conscious individuals.

Although they can be treated much like regular noodles, kelp noodles may need to be marinated before use. They are naturally crisp, and by marinating them in citrus juice or vinegar you can enhance their texture without having to cook them.

Here are some of the great things kelp noodles can supply to your body:

  • Over 70 nutrients and minerals, including iron, iodine, calcium, magnesium, and potassium, among others
  • Vitamins, including B6
  • Over 21 amino acids
  • Improved thyroid function from iodine
  • Stronger bones from calcium and magnesium
  • Alleviation of menstrual cramps and premenstrual symptoms, as well as a few cases of arthritis, through calcium and magnesium
  • Folic acid, which protects the circulatory system
  • Anti-inflammatory properties, due to the magnesium
  • Absorption of radioactive materials and heavy metals through phytochemicals
  • Polysaccharides, which provide antifungal and antibacterial properties
  • Supported memory health
  • Decrease of allergies

So why do we not eat them regularly?  Probably because trying something new can be intimidating. Not wanting to waste your money or scare the children 😉  It’s worth the risk, just re-read the list above and realize all of the ways that your body will thank you. You will find this product refrigerated and usually close to the produce section. Of course, the sweet and tangy peanut sauce is the real killer  in this dish so substitute which ever noodles you wish, such as rice noodles. If you are keeping it raw then you can bang this recipe out in about 15 mins and on these hot spring days it makes dinnertime more enjoyable for everyone.

If this post does nothing else but make you feel a tiny bit better as a mom (by understanding how much I torture my kids) then that would make be happy. But if it makes you drive to your grocery store and ask the awkward teenager in the produce section where you can find the kelp noodles, then you have made my day!

Enjoy.

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Tangy Pad Thai

Prep time: approx. 15 mins

Serves: 4 people

Ingredients for the sauce:

1/2 cup crunchy natural peanut butter

1-400ml can of coconut milk

2 tbsp tamarind paste (optional)

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 1/2 tbsp tamari (you can substitute soy sauce or my new fav coconut aminos)

1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

1 tsp grated fresh ginger

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1 tsp dried chili flakes

2 shakes of hot sauce (optional)

juice of 1 lime

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Ingredients  for the pad thai:

1 package (15 oz) kelp noodles

1 red pepper, thinly julienned

1 cup shredded red cabbage

4 green onions, sliced

1/4 fresh chopped cilantro

  • In a high-speed blender, blend all sauce ingredients until smooth. If you are heating your sauce then use a saucepan and slowly bring to a low boil and stir regularly.

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  • In a colander, rinse kelp noodles, shake dry and transfer to a serving bowl. Add in red pepper, cabbage and green onions.
  • Add sauce and toss gently to combine. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

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