carrot ginger soup with curried croutons

carrot ginger soup with curried croutons #vegan #glutenfree

remember when i said one of my goals this year was to post more savoury recipes? and then i proceeded to post only sweet recipes for the month of february? granted, they were delicious sweet recipes (like zucchini bread oatmeal, double chocolate and goji granola, sesame crispy rice treats, chocolate rum (or raspberry) truffles, paleo cranberry chocolate chip cookies, hempy halvah, raw almond butter and caramel apple cheesecake squares, and double chocolate blueberry pancakes), but it leads to a rather unbalanced recipe index no?

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grain-free, paleo and vegan carrot zucchini muffins!

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Hello my lovely veggies! Thank you all so much for all your votes in the Vegan Recipe Challenge! I came in 3rd and that was way more than I was hoping for!

It’s been a busy week around here- I'm so sorry to my fellow bloggers whose blogs I've been neglecting. I am trying the best I can to catch up and will read every one of your wonderful words. But I’m back and eager to share a ton of stuff with you! You can expect some delicious food coming up on the blog!

I'm constantly playing around with my diet, trying to come up with a combination that helps my tummy feel it’s best. For those of you who are new readers, I’ve suffered from very uncomfortable digestion for years and I’m on a quest to correct it! Read this post for a few things that I’ve found helpful recently.

So in playing around with my diet, one thing I’ve tried is cuting out grains. I know, crazy right? It’s something I never thought I would do and I always thought that “paleo inclined” eaters were insane! What do they do without quinoa? Fresh baked goods? No sushi? No BREAD?

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turns out you just need to find the right kind of baked goods!

Just goes to show you the lengths I’m willing to go to fix this problem. And it actually isn't too bad! .

You see, due to the make-up of grains, people with delicate digestive systems often find them aggravating. The carbohydrate content of the grain is primarily made up of starches as well as some sugars that require extra steps to digest. If you are unable to digest them properly due to a weak system, we are left with undigested fragments that are then used to feed the no-so-good bacteria in our system. This can lead to an overgrowth of harmful bacteria and a crowding out of the good guys. The bad guys can also begin to produce toxic substances that can damage our intestinal lining, leading to something called leaky gut. And what leaky gut basically means is that the tight junctions between your intestinal cells become “loose” due to damage and now undigested proteins and particles can make their way into your bloodstream and cause inflammation, allergic responses and general havoc! All in all, not a pretty picture for proper digestion.

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So through cutting them out, healing can be brought to the digestive system. I by no means think this should be a permanent move, but can be extremely therapeutic for a time!

Now for the fun part- grain-free kitchen experiments! Grain-free baking was really daunting to me, but my recent success with my berry crisp and now these muffins is making me feel like all that fear was unwarranted. Now I can say I LOVE grain-free baking!

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I love that when you bake with nut meals and coconut flour, there is a ton of natural sweetness and healthy fats in there- meaning you can use less added oil and sweetener! Not only that, nut meals and coconut flour are so healthy! Lots of healthy fats and fibre! While they are not exactly low in calories, you’ll find that you are wonderfully satisfied after a small portion.

Like take these muffins. They certainly are not light bites. BUT they are filling, nutritious and delicious. And they surprisingly don’t feel heavy- they have a wonderful crumb that would satisfy the most traditional baker. I hope you all try them- I’m certain you’ll love them!

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Grain-Free Carrot and Zucchini Muffins (Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-Free, Paleo, SCD)

Adapted from these at Amazing Paleo.

Ingredients (12 muffins)

Dry

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut flour
  • ½ teaspoon of baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon of sea salt

Wet

  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • ¼ cup melted raw honey
  • ¼ cup melted organic coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

Add-ins

  • ½ cup of grated carrots
  • ¾ cup of grated zucchini (unpeeled)
  • 1/8 cup of raisins (optional)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350. Grease with coconut oil or line a 12 muffin pan.

Mix all your dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, mix your applesauce, honey, coconut oil, vanilla and cinnamon. In a final small bowl, whisk together the 1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil, water, baking soda and apple cider vinegar. Now add the applesauce mixture to your dry ingredients and combine well. Now add in the coconut oil and baking soda mixture. Finally, mix in the carrot, zucchini and raisins.

Spoon the batter evenly into your muffin pan. You want to do this fast since you want to make sure the baking soda and vinegar will still be reacting to give some lift in the oven. Bake for 35min, or until tops are browned and a knife inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes then move to a cooling rack to cool completely.

carrot coconut curry soup

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I wasn’t going to post this recipe, mostly because I didn’t get any great pictures of it. It had nothing to do with the taste. The taste is UNREAL!

But then I brought it into work, and heated it up. Suddenly all my coworkers were gathered around me wondering what the delicious smell was. Many “mmmm"s were heard without anyone even having a taste!

I should also tell you how significant this is, coming from the people I work with. They like to, lovingly, give me a hard time for my eating habits. I’m sure many of you have been there- the weird health foodie who brings food with her everywhere and won’t eat the desserts we sell! SO the fact that they just smelled my food and had that reaction- well that was saying something!

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Then I gave my manager the recipe. She had been having a particularly hard day and could not wait to go home and snuggle up. I knew this recipe would be perfect for the situation- full of warming spices, creamy coconut milk and most importantly, diary-free since she’s allergic to milk.

The next day she came in and told me the soup was INCREDIBLE. It completely turned her day around and now she has leftovers just waiting for her the next time she has a tough day. I truly believe in the power of food to heal- both physically and emotionally, and I love getting to see it in action- especially when I get to be a small part of that :)

So of course following these experiences, the fact that the pictures I had were mediocre just didn’t seem to matter anymore!

This soup warms the tummy and the soul and just dances on your taste buds. Loaded with fiber and beta-carotene from the carrots this is wonderful for your skin, hair and nails and for boosting your immunity during the flu season. The organic coconut milk gives the soup a creaminess and is loaded with healthy saturated fats that your body can use for energy! Finally the curry spices, cloves and ginger make this the perfect winter soup! I hope you love it as much as we did!

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Carrot Coconut Curry Soup (Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-Free, Paleo)

Ingredients (6 bowls)

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1.5 – 2 lbs carrots, chopped
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can organic coconut milk (organic is important since pesticides concentrate themselves in the fat of foods!)
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pinch coconut sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Sauté the first 6 ingredients in large soup pot until the onions are translucent (about 8 min).

Add in the broth and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 30 min, or until the carrots are tender.

Let cool slightly and remove the cloves. Then transfer to a blender to puree. Or alternatively use an immersion blender.

Add the rest of the ingredients, stir well and serve hot!

 

Happy Wednesday everyone! See you all back here on Friday for Healthy Vegan Friday!

carrot cake chia pudding

Hello my baby carrots!

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So today I decided to do something a little different for What I Ate Wednesday. While it’s a blog party that I love, I’ve been finding lately I just haven’t been feeling it, at least not in the same sense. The idea of photographing all of my eats in a single day was beginning to cause some anxiety for me- do I really want to admit I ate that? Or that much? Plus I felt a pressure to ensure my food was as clean as possible and interesting. And sometimes that just doesn’t feel healthy for me to do. I have had issues with restriction in the past, something I haven’t discussed too much on the blog, or with very many people at all, but I could feel it starting to creep back. While I understand the benefit of recording your meals in a kind of food diary (you can see things that are missing, food ruts, etc.) and looking at other people's posts (for ideas, etc.), if something is creating anxiety for me when it comes to food, I just don’t feel it’s a good idea for me to be doing. I have come to develop a healthy relationship with food (although, of course I have slip-ups) and I want to keep it that way! I don't want to fall into the comparison trap or feel bad about fueling my body the way it needs to be fuelled. I know I shouldn't no matter what, but if it's something I'm struggling with right now, it's best to remove the triggers. I was actually talking to a blogger-friend about this very topic recently and I felt it was something that was important enough to me to share with you all, and make a change to how I approach WIAW.

So instead of cataloguing a day of eats every week with you guys, I think what I’ll start doing is a post about a recipe, or a food I have been loving the past week! If it’s a recipe, I’ll of course share it with you all and if it’s just a food or ingredient, I’ll fill you all in as to why YOU should love it too! And of course, I may occasionally revert to the more traditional WIAW. How does all that sound to you guys?

So today I’m going to kick off my new WIAW format by sharing a recipe I have made countless times since adopting an anti-candida diet. I teased you all with it on this WIAW post and have gotten a few, fairly adamant requests for it!

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It’s sweet without any fruit, or any kind of sweetener except stevia. It’s protein-packed, omega-3 rich and super filling! Plus, while it’s no green smoothie (oh how I miss those) it still lets you start your day with some veggies while feeling like you are eating dessert.

Yes everyone, it’s my Carrot Cake Chia Pudding!

The star of this pudding are the chia seeds. They help create a thick and satisfying pudding texture without sacrificing taste. What I love about chia seeds is how they absorb water and bulk up helping you to feel full for longer. I also use some Sunwarrior Protein Powder, which is delicious tasting on it’s own and it really helps add some creaminess to the pudding. Now I can’t emphasize this enough- make sure you use a protein powder you like the taste of when making this! I tried it with a protein powder I don’t love but I’m trying to use up and I really did not enjoy this. Don’t come back to me and say you hated it if you try it with a less-than-stellar powder. I warned you ;)

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Carrot Cake Chia Pudding (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Raw)

Tastes like carrot cake but without any grains or sugar! Healthy enough for breakfast, but delicious enough for dessert! If you're feeling really decadent, try topping with some of this icing (minus the turmeric).

Ingredients (1 bowl)

  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • heaping 1/2 cup baby carrots (almost 3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 scoop protein powder (I use Natural Sunwarrior Warrior Blend). Make sure it's a protein powder you like the taste of on it's own!
  • 1/2 tsp maca (optional, may need more stevia without it)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 drops stevia (I use english toffee stevia) or to taste, depending on tastes and protein powder used
  • 1 + 1 tbsp chia seeds, divided
  • optional toppings: coconut flakes, chopped walnuts, raisins

Instructions

Place everything except 1 tbsp chia seeds in a blended and blend until smooth. Add in the last tbsp chia seeds and stir to incorporate. Refrigerate overnight or for at least 15 minutes to allow the mixture to thicken. Serve with coconut flakes, chopped walnuts and raisins (if eating fruit) if desired!

It’s super quick to whip up the night before, or even in the morning. If making in the morning just mix it up, go get ready, then come back to a lovely treat! Even easier if made the night before, just whip it up, refrigerate and in the morning add your toppings.

I am submitting this recipe to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Fat Tuesday, Real Food WednesdayAllergy, Free Wednesday, Gluten-free Friday, Foodie Friends Friday and Wellness Weekends!.

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Hope you all like my new format for WIAWs. It’s not the usual thing, but I think it works for me!

Have any other bloggers or readers struggled with writing or reading WIAW posts? I know that we are all unique and therefore need to eat different foods in different amounts, but I just can't help but fall into the comparison trap lately. Maybe it's the stress of moving and change! Either way I think this is a format I can happily participate with. 

What’s your favourite go-to breakfast?

Happy hump day everyone!