Amazing recipes and meal ideas

Mug Cake – Seriously, a cake in a coffee mug!

It was my dad’s birthday and while I couldn’t celebrate with him as he was in sunny Phoenix, the occasion got me to thinking about cake and how I might like to have some.  I had seen recipes frequently for ‘cake in a mug’ that you can make ‘in minutes,’ but I had never tried making them.  To be honest, I really doubted they would turn out very well.  I wanted to make one that is grain free and sugar free so that Berrik could enjoy it, and I wanted it to be easy and failsafe.  This recipe is so fast and so simple.  I was shocked at how delicious it tasted! Because we try to avoid refined sugar in our baking, I typically use Xyla Xylitol-Xylitol Sweetener . It’s quite sweet, has zero net carbs, but doesn’t have the weird aftertaste that stevia often does.

Print Recipe
Mug Cake
When you need a single serving of cake - either because the cake being served does not meet your dietary requirements, or just because you need a treat, this 5 minute mug full of chocolatey joy is the perfect solution.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 4
Cook Time 1
Course Dessert
Prep Time 4
Cook Time 1
  1. In a small bowl combine all dry ingredients and mix well.
  2. Crack egg into another small bowl and whisk until frothy.
  3. Add remaining wet ingredients to egg and stir to combine.
  4. Add wet mixture to dry mixture and mix until just blended.
  5. Scrape batter into a mug well greased with coconut oil. I used a larger latte mug that has a bigger bottom. Using a regular mug should also work fine, but it may impact cooking time slightly, and may make it more challenging to remove the cake from the mug.
  6. Put in microwave for approximately one minute. Every microwave is different so you may want to start at 50 seconds and then microwave in 10 second increments until the centre of the cake is slightly springy to the touch.
  7. Optional toppings: Top with whipped cream, cream cheese frosting, peanut butter frosting, fresh berries, berry coulis or anything else you can imagine that would go well on chocolate cake. I feel as I could come up with 25 options!
  8. Either add toppings directly to the mug, grab a spoon and dig in, or gently remove the cake from the mug, add toppings and enjoy!

Cauliflower “Pasta-Bake”

Print Recipe
Cauliflower "Pasta-Bake"
Whether you are gluten-intolerant, follow a low carb lifestyle, or just want to incorporate more veggies and less pasta in your life, this recipe is a sure winner. The very versatile cauliflower provides a surprisingly pasta-like taste and texture that is sure to please everyone in the family.
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5
Cook Time 15
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5
Cook Time 15
  1. Put ground meat into a large skillet and begin cooking on low.
  2. Chop onion and add to skillet along with garlic.
  3. Coarsely chop the cauliflower until pieces are approximate size of macaroni noodles or slightly larger and add to skillet.
  4. Cook at medium heat until meat is cooked through, onions are translucent, and cauliflower is al dente.
  5. Turn heat down to low and add tomato paste and oregano. Add red pepper flakes (optional) to taste.
  6. Stir in basil leaves and remove from heat.
  7. Scoop mixture evenly into 4 individual sized casserole dishes or one larger sized dish.
  8. Drop ricotta in small circles on the surface and then sprinkle parmesan and mozzarella to cover.
  9. Put into the oven and broil until cheese is bubbly and starting to brown.
  10. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with a side salad for a delicious 'italian-style' meal.

Hippie Bowls, Buddha Bowls, Freshii Bowls….Call it what you want. I call it DELICIOUS

In Red Deer at McKenna’s dance competition last week, our hotel was across a parking lot from Freshii.  I ended up grabbing food there a couple of times.  They have ‘bowls’, wraps, yogurt and other yummy items, all fresh, customizeable and delicious.  I have been thinking about the Mediterranean bowl since I had it early last week.  Today I made my own version.  Pretty simple.  And completely adaptable to tastes and calorie or macro goals if that is important to you.


  • Greens (I used Organic Power Greens mix)
  • Quinoa – make as much as you want.  I wanted to keep the quinoa amount relatively low.  I used 1/2 cup dry quinoa cooked with 1 cup of water.  This provided three servings for me.  If you’re looking for something a bit heartier, this amount is probably more like 2 servings
  • Feta cheese – however much you want – for Vegans, maybe use chickpeas instead?
  • Cucumber – I cut up one mini cucumber per bowl
  • Red Onion – Again, to taste.  I used one thin slice through middle of onion and then chopped fine.
  • Olives – however much you want
  • Cilantro

NOTE: keep in mind that the olives and feta are both salty, so the more you use, the saltier your bowl will taste.  A little goes a long way for flavor.

Roasted Red Pepper sauce

THIS IS THE KEY INGREDIENT.  When you taste this you will wonder why you haven’t made it before.  And you will make it again. And you will put it on EVERYTHING.  This recipe makes more than 3 servings, but conveniently you will have enough left over to dip crusty bread, or to pile up with thick sliced tomatoes, thin sliced cucumbers, spinach leaves, and buffalo mozzarella on sourdough for a sandwich that dreams are made of. (Guess what I’m eating tomorrow….Sourdough is proofing as I type)

  • 2 red peppers cut, brushed with avocado oil (better than olive oil at high heat) and roasted until skin just starting to peel and turn dark around edges.
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil
  • ½ cup unsalted raw (roasted is fine too) cashews (I soak mine overnight as I like to get rid of the phytic acid, but this isn’t necessary)

Put all ingredients into a high speed blender or food processor and process until mostly smooth.  I like it a tiny bit chunky so I didn’t overprocess it.  In the spirit of full disclosure, I adapted this red pepper sauce recipe from about 3 different ones I found online, based mainly on what I had in my kitchen as I was way too lazy to go back to the store.

Assemble your bowl starting with lots of greens, and then adding the other ingredients.  I used black pepper and squeezed 1/4 of a lemon over everything as well.

You could definitely add protein such as chicken, tofu, fish etc. if you so desire.  I found this bowl filling as is.


Chocolate Chip Cookies (gluten free)

Berrik was having his two best buddies over for a sleepover and I was going to be spending the day at dance dress rehearsal where one of my dance mom friends cannot eat gluten.  So before we headed off to the rehearsal hall, I whipped up a batch of these gluten-free and refined sugar-free cookies.  I adapted a recipe from one of my favorite food bloggers, Monique at  You can find the original recipe here.   I haven’t made it as it is written, but based on all other recipes I’ve tried from this blog, I am positive it will be delicious as is.  img_8523

The only changes I made was to use Nut and Seed Butter from Costco in place of almond butter, Nuts4Nat_NutSeedButter_1-595x595raw local honey in place of the coconut sugar, and I used stevia sweetened chocolate chips.  Monique at Ambitious Kitchen made her cookies in a food processor, but I was too lazy and rushed to even grab mine out of the cupboard, so I hand stirred and it worked just fine.

I doubled this recipe, and used a bit less than half a cup of honey. Truth be told, I didn’t measure the chocolate chips.  I just dumped some in until it seemed like enough.  If you aren’t sure if it’s sweet enough, just give the batter a taste. If the batter tastes sweet enough, then the cookie will too.  If not, add a bit more

Berrik hasn’t had sweets/refined sugar for 14 months, so even a slightly sweet cookie tastes sweet to him.  But I handed them out to the dance moms at rehearsal and they liked them….and my girls really liked them too.  They are a bit cakey in texture. Next time I might add coconut and/or crushed nuts for some more crunch and texture, not to mention flavor, but it certainly isn’t necessary.  Dried fruits would also work well.


  • 1.5 cups Nut and Seed Butter
  • 1/2 cup raw local honey
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil, softened
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon celtic sea salt
  • 2/3 cup Stevia sweetened chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium sized bowl put in nut and seed butter, honey and coconut oil; hand mix until combined. Add in eggs and stir again.
  3. Next, add in coconut flour, baking soda and salt; stir again until a dough forms. Gently fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Use a cookie scoop to drop dough onto prepared cookie sheet. You can flatten dough with the palm of your hand or you can leave the dough as is and cookies will be a bit puffier.  I left them as is.
  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cookies turn slightly golden brown around the edges. Allow them to cool on cookie sheet for at least 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. Repeat with remaining dough. Makes around 36 cookies.