Tag Archives: Amazing recipes and meal ideas

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.

Ingredients:

  • 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 AmbitiousKitchen.com.  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.

Ingredients

  • 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
Instructions
  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.

 

Date Paste – Key Ingredient to everything chocolate and sugar-free!

The key to making most chocolate-based items successfully and without refined sugar seems to be date paste.  It’s easy to make, adds a ton of sweetness (and fiber and actual nutrients as opposed to the calories and nothing else good of plain ol’ sugar).  It has the bonus of being good and sticky, so eliminates the need for a million eggs that much gluten free baking requires.   And finally, perhaps the best thing about it, is it sounds like you’re fancy, but it’s really so ridiculous easy to make.

Because I’m using it for chocolate based treats, I use coffee to soak the dates.  I like the richness that the coffee flavor adds to the chocolate. You can’t really ‘taste’ the coffee in the treats, but I think it just adds some depth. You could totally use water if you are worried about the coffee flavor, or use decaf if you’re concerned about caffeine.  Caffeine and I are life long pals, so I go with the full strength version.

I buy my organic dates from Costco because it’s considerably more fiscally responsible – now that I’m not working, I like using terms like this.  Take away one full salary from a family, and you start to really get a sense of what it means to budget-cut, and demonstrate fiscal restraint!  Anyhoo..back to the paste.  

To make a couple cups of paste, I dump approximately half of one of these bags into the blender, and pour one cup of hot black coffee over them.  If you’re an exact measuring type (I am not….thank you Mom, for the genetic refusal to get caught up in the details of exact measurements and following directions) you can weigh out 14 oz of dates to get exactly half a bag’s worth.  Let them soak for a minimum of 15 minutes.  A bit longer is probably better.  I like to make up some date paste ahead of time, planning for a couple of recipes.  You can freeze it, or keep it in the fridge for a few days with no issues.

When the dates are good and soaked in the coffee, pour the remaining coffee into a cup leaving only a small amount in with the dates.  Blend them with a highspeed blender adding small amounts of the left over coffee as needed to get a very smooth, but still thick paste.  It should look a little like the photo below.  Kind of like peanut butter consistency.

And that is it!  Now you have some yummy date paste (taste it, it’s delicious) to use in chocolate recipes.  Sneak peek – I’ll be posting the recipe for these cookies later today, and the key ingredient is, you guessed it, date paste:

Fall. Veggies. Comfort food. Easy.

For us here in Calgary, we have enjoyed an unseasonably warm November….until yesterday when we got a bit of transient snow, and now are sitting at about 2 degrees Celsius (just above freezing for those of you in the US!).  It’s chillier than we are used to thus far this season, and overcast.  Nothing better on a day like today than a good hearty soup!  Bonus if you can get your kids to eat it.  Lucky for me, my handsome boy thought it was pretty good.

Ingredients:

1 head of cauliflower

1 head of broccoli

2 large carrots

1/2 large onion

3-4 cloves of garlic

1-2 tbsp melted coconut oil

3-4 cups of bone broth or stock

OPTIONAL: old cheddar, nuts, seeds, crackers or anything else that you think would taste good sprinkled on top!

Directions:

Chop up veggies and arrange on a cookie sheet.  Drizzle with oil. I prefer to drizzle with 1-2 tbsp melted coconut oil, but you can use olive oil or any other oil of your choosing. Put these in the oven to roast at 400 F (I used convection roast on my oven).  Roast them until they are just this side of overcooked.  This really intensifies the flavor, in my opinion.  (Garlic and onion were in a different pan, but can certainly be put all in the same pan).

When veggies are roasted, put them all into your blender.  I use Blendtec…. Vitamix is essentially the same.  Alternatively you can use an immersion blender if you’re lucky enough to have one.  It’s on my Christmas list this year!  Add about 3-4 cups of stock (or bone broth), homemade if you have it. Commercial stock is fine too.  We recently roasted an organic chicken so I boiled the bones for bone broth and saved.  So good for your stomach, particularly if you have any issues with leaky gut (like my son).  You will likely need more liquid than this, but I like my soup thick so I start here and add more liquid until it’s the desired consistency.

My Blendtec has a ‘hot’ blend feature, which is perfect for this!  My veggies are hot from the oven, but the broth is not, so this helps get soup up to a good ‘eating’ temperature.

If you want a chunkier texture, stop blending before it gets smooth.  I prefer it to be smooth as silk, so I blend and add liquid until it’s like thin pudding!  Mmmmm.

The end result is a creamy, pumpkin-colored, rich flavored soup that warms the body and the soul.  Would highly recommend experimenting with veggies such as sweet potato, peppers, parsnips or potatoes, and other additions such as pesto, hot peppers or even peanut butter.

I added some extra old cheddar to the soup in chunks because I love the gooey bites of melted cheese, but you could certainly use grated cheese of any kind, or skip the dairy and sprinkle roasted nuts, sunflower seeds, pepitas or anything else that would add a bit of crunch and some fall flavor.  Enjoy!