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?
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?
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.
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!
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!
Grain-Free Carrot and Zucchini Muffins (Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-Free, Paleo, SCD)
Adapted from these at Amazing Paleo.
Ingredients (12 muffins)
- 2 cups almond flour
- 1 tablespoon of coconut flour
- ½ teaspoon of baking soda
- ½ teaspoon of sea salt
- 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
- ½ cup of grated carrots
- ¾ cup of grated zucchini (unpeeled)
- 1/8 cup of raisins (optional)
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.
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!
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!
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
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!
Hello my baby carrots!
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!
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 ;)
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
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.
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!
Ahhh Monday, why do you always arrive so quickly? I was greatly enjoying my day off lounging, reading, cooking and sleeping…let’s make a deal. Next week you just give us an extra Sunday k?
Good Monday morning my readers! Hope you all had great weekends. As you can probably tell I did and didn’t want it to end! While I worked Saturday, I still got to spend time lounging in the sun and then Sunday, while it brought rain, allowed for some lazing around inside without feeling guilty that I’m not “enjoying the summer weather”. There’s a part of me that misses the cooler weather- I love being all snug and cozy inside. I got loads of prep done for the week too- a new hummus recipe, some raw pizza snack bites (I am SO excited to share these with you!) as well as almond milk, almond butter, coconut butter and some cookies.
So now getting into today’s recipe. I’m happy to report that I am keeping with my goal of putting together 2 nicer dinners for myself every week. While nothing I’ve been making has been complicated, they’ve sure been satisfying! Take this veggie stir-fry for example- the most difficult part is cooking the rice, it’s that simple!
I’ve been wanting to try and make a raw veggie stir-fry for a while, ever since I discovered this method of preparing raw vegetables so they taste cooked. While in that post I used broccoli, it works great for lots of other vegetables and I knew that with the right marinade I could make them taste stir-fried.
Incorporating more raw vegetables in your diet is super beneficial! As I discussed in this post, since you don’t expose the vegetables to heat, all the nutrients remain intact as do the vegetable’s enzymes which allow you to gain more valuable nutrition from the food. In fact, you can even enhance the nutrition you gain from cooked food by incorporating some raw vegetables on your plate. Cool eh?
And since you want to eat raw veggies more, it’s important to be able to prepare them many different ways! In this recipe I used a simple, Asian-inspired marinade to help soften and flavour the vegetables. I used broccoli, carrots and red peppers, but I suspect you could use others like cauliflower, green beans and snow peas as well! You can make these with or without a dehydrator and can serve with brown rice like I did for a high-raw meal or feel free to pair with some raw cauliflower/jicama rice for a completely raw dish!
Raw Veggie Stir-Fry (Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-free, Raw)
- 1 small head of broccoli, cut into small florets
- 1/2 cup chopped carrots
- 1/2 a red pepper, chopped
- 1 tbsp hemp oil (or sesame oil or oil of your choice)
- 1 tbsp coconut aminos/Bragg’s/nama shoyu
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp agave
- 1/8 tsp red chilli flakes
- sesame seeds
- additional coconut aminos/Bragg’s/nama shoyu to finish
Mix the hemp oil, coconut aminos, garlic, vinegar, agave and chilli flakes in a small bowl. Put the vegetables in a ziploc bag and pour in the marinade. Massage the veggies to ensure they are all coated. Leave to marinate in the fridge for a few hours or overnight for the best flavour. I’ve also left it for 2 nights and it was delicious!
The next day, you can either serve the vegetables cold straight from the fridge, or if you have a dehydrator, you can spread the vegetables onto a Teflex lined tray and dehydrate for 1-1 1/2 hours to warm them. You could also try this in an oven set to it’s lowest temperature. I’ve also heard of some raw-foodists sun-cooking their food but I have never tried this.
Serve with short-grain brown rice or raw rice of your choice and sprinkle with sesame seeds and a little more coconut aminos/Bragg’s/nama shoyu if desired.
I'm submitting this recipe to Wellness Weekends!
eating my stir-fry…it’s not the best pic but man was it difficult getting it! I can’t hold chop sticks to save my life in my left hand, so I was forced to juggle my camera in my left while maintaining a steady right hand. I felt I had to include this picture since I worked so hard to get it ;)
How was everyone else’s weekend?
Do any of you do lots of prep on the weekends to make weekday eating easier?
Hope this is the beginning to a wonderful week for all of you!
Hello friends! Today is Sunday, which means the official ending of the first phase of my cleanse! I have to say I’ve really enjoyed the last couple weeks, I’m a little sad to see them gone!
Some of my favourite things from the past 2 weeks:
1. I was forced to think outside the box and come up with new and interesting foods to enjoy. I finally found a way that I enjoy chia pudding (recipe to come!), tried out raw breakfast porridges and never once got bored of what I was eating!
2. Raw food! Who knew eating high raw could be so delicious? Well obviously lots of people, this is not a new concept, but I never thought I could enjoy it so much! From raw granola to “meat sauce” to sprouted quinoa, I dabbled in a few areas the last couple weeks. I even managed to surpass my goal of 2 raw meals and 1 raw snack per day. I often had 2 meals and all my snacks raw and even sometimes an almost 100% raw day! I’m really proud of that and also amazed at how easy it was. I envisioned raw eating to be something that required a lot of planning and forethought (which it can at times) but it can actually be as simple as you want it to be and still be delicious!
3. Dry skin brushing. This is seriously one of the best practices I have taken up. I’ll do a post on it soon to outline why I started and my results and experiences with it. But so far I am IN LOVE!
4. No more caffeine. Not only that but I have found awesome replacements and find I don’t really miss it! This cleanse has opened my eyes to the physical and emotional effects of caffeine. It is a real addiction with real withdrawal and I don’t feel comfortable with having that kind of dependency, no matter how much society says its of in moderation (i.e.. 1-3 cups a day). I’m really going to monitor my consumption of it from now on and keep my eyes peeled for some good quality decaffeinated teas.
5. Body acceptance. For some reason I have noticed just how much time I spend looking in the mirror. Maybe it’s heightened awareness from doing yoga everyday and being diligent about what is going into my body, I’m not sure. While I don’t think checking yourself in the mirror is a bad thing (we all have a little vanity in there) but I know for myself it’s not always a positive experience and I’m sure other people can relate. And this is the problem: for every time I look in the mirror and find something wrong with myself that is a moment taken from my day where I am putting myself down when instead I could be using that moment for positive thinking and gratitude. This last week I decided that whenever I looked in the mirror and found a negative thought creeping in, I would immediately find something, physical or not, that I liked about myself and repeat it 3 times. This did wonders for my mood and I found myself walking taller and prouder as a result. Turns out simple reminders of what I liked about myself crowded out the bad and led to a serious boost in being comfortable in my own skin!
Now this post wouldn’t be complete without a recipe. And I have 2 for you! The first highlights my recent experimentation with new foods and my newfound love of all things raw and the second is a caffeine-free beverage that is so good, you’ll never miss the taste of coffee. I almost feel bad posting it as a recipe and I don’t have a great picture of it, but it’s really good so I hope you’ll forgive me!
Raw Veggie Cereal (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Raw)
This is an idea I got from roomag.com and at first I was totally skeptical of the idea. But the curiosity in me took over and I decided to make it. And now I’ve made it 3 times and tweaked it to where I like it. What I love about it is all the fruits and veggies you get in you first thing in the morning! 5-6ish servings! It’s a great way to start a busy day where you won’t have a lot of time to pay attention to what you’re eating or won’t have the opportunity to eat a ton of fresh produce. Apples are lower on the glycemic index as well, so that combined with the veggies mean this breakfast is easy on your blood sugar levels. Loaded with tons of fibre, good carbohydrates and healthy fat this is a breakfast that will keep you going and give you an energizing start. Give it a try!
Adapted from this recipe for raw veggie cereal.
1 carrot, chopped roughly
2 tbsp raw almonds (or any other nut you choose)
1 cup raw broccoli
2 apples, cored (pears are good too!)
1 medjool date, pitted
splash of vanilla
unsweetened dried coconut
Pulse the carrot and almonds in a food processor until they are in small pieces, then add the broccoli, apples and the date and process until the pieces are the size of couscous. Put into a bowl, pour in almond milk and vanilla and stir. Top with coconut flakes and cinnamon and serve!
This makes a huuuuge bowl. I ate about 2/3 and was completely stuffed so save the rest for a snack for later.
It’s so pretty too with all the green and orange flecks!
Dandy Blend Hot “Coffee” (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free)
I have been drinking this almost every morning lately. It tastes so much like coffee it’s unreal- rich and deeply flavoured but with no caffeine!
1 1/2 tsp Dandy Blend
1-2 drops chocolate stevia
splash of almond milk
Spoon the Dandy blend into a standard size mug (if you use a really big mug, use 2-2 1/2 tsp of Dandy blend) and add the stevia (adjust according to much size and taste preference). Pour hot water on top, leaving space for a splash of almond milk. Stir and enjoy!
The next step: tomorrow marks the beginning of reintroducing some grains as well as tea and chocolate. I’m not sure just how much I’ll put back in, probably sparingly. I feel so good right now I just don’t want to tamper with it!
Happy Sunday all!