Tahini oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

Cookies have got to be one of my greatest (current😉) weaknesses. I have made cookies an acceptable daily treat ever since getting sober. I would get home from a long day at the restaurant and instead of plowing back a bottle of wine I would make myself an herbal tea and have a couple of cookies. When you start to release toxic behaviours and take on new routines it’s paramount to lead with love always and that time after work was certainly a gift of self love. I loved that time to myself.

I no longer manage restaurants but my love for cookies and tea is still here. I made a pact with myself in the past couple of years that if I wanted something sweet I had to make it myself. I have spoken about this here before but it bears repeating. I want to know what’s going in my body and if I can make it, and make it healthier, WHY wouldn’t I?

I am a huge oatmeal fan. I have it probably 3 times a week after my workouts because there is no limit to what you can add. I love adding zucchini, carrots, sweet potato and alllll of the nut and seed butters. Calling in TAHINI. I have a love affair with this seed butter. I have made my granola with it (see previous posts), smothered it on my pancakes and most DEF added it into my oats. Got me thinking… cookies??? Hell yes.

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup gf rolled oats

  • 1/2 cup almond flour

  • 1/3 cup tahini

  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp maple syrup

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

  • 1 tsp maca

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 1 flax egg

  • 1/4 cup dairy free chocolate chips

  • maldon sea salt for topping

METHOD

Preheat oven to 350. Place sheet of parchment on cookie sheet. Prepare flax egg. Let sit for 5 minutes. Mix oats and almond flour together. In a separate bowl add tahini, maple syrup, maca, cinnamon, vanilla and flax egg and stir until combined. Add wet into dry and stir until fully mixed. Fold in chocolate chips. I got about 8 medium sized cookies out of the batter. Sprinkle Maldon sea salt on top(optional obvi😏 but soooooo good). Bake for between 10-14 minutes until slightly golden brown. Allow to cool and enjoy!!!!

Cold Rolls with Peanut Sauce

Hey there friends! With summer weather on the horizon (please god, let that be so) I got to making some summery rainbow rolls for a friends dinner.  They turned out amazing and felt compelled to share the recipe with you!!!

Like any thing, recipes are open to tons of interpretation, modifying and “winging” it if you will. This is what I had on hand for these rolls but you could literally fill these with any veggie of your choice.  

Makes about 8 cold rolls and dipping sauce 


Ingredients (Rolls)

8 medium sized round rice paper sheets

1 medium orange carrot, peeled and julienned

1 small cucumber, julienned

1/2 a red pepper, julienned

1 Ataulfo mango sliced  

1/4 of a small purple cabbage, thinly sliced

handful of fresh basil

handful of fresh mint

 

Ingredients (Dipping Sauce)

3 Tbsp peanut butter

1 Tbsp sesame oil

1 Tbsp sriracha sauce

2 tsp tamari

1 tsp minced ginger

1 clove garlic, minced

2 to 4 Tbsp warm water

pinch of chili flakes


sesame seeds

skinless shelled peanuts


Dampen two tea towels and layer them on a cookie sheet. You will be putting the finished rolls between the towels so they don’t dry out before you serve.

Put some hot tap water in a large bowl. Slip a rice paper sheet into the water and let soak until soft (30 to 60 seconds). The sheet should be pliable enough so that you can roll it around the fillings without tearing but not so firm that it will be chewy.

Place the softened sheet flat on a cutting board and arrange a few pieces each of the carrot, cucumber, pepper, and cabbage. Add a few leaves of basil and mint. The fillings should be near the middle of the sheet (back to front) and should be at least an inch from the edges (side to side). Grab the edge of the sheet that is farthest from you and fold it back over the fillings. Fold the side edges up to close the ends of the roll. Then roll the bundled fillings back towards you. Put the completed roll between the damp tea towels and start again until you run out of ingredients or rice paper. Filling and rolling is something that can be fun for kids (or adults) to do either with you or while you are preparing the rest of the meal.

Whisk all the ingredients for the dipping sauce in a small bowl except for the water. Add two tablespoons of the water and whisk again and see if the consistency of the sauce is runny enough to allow the rolls to be dipped without breaking but not so runny so that it won’t stick to the rolls.

Transfer the rolls and the dipping sauce to serving dishes and garnish with sesame seeds and peanuts.

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ENJOY FRIENDS🌈🌈🌈

Blueberry Tahini Cardamom Granola

This recipe has been rattling around in my head for a couple of months now but yesterday I got down to the business of actually making it and writng it down. The process of creating a recipe can be a long one or it can be super fast and easy which TBH is usually the way it is for me. I don’t do well with complicated recipes. 

I also don’t do well with long winded blog posts leading UP to the recipe which is why my posts are generally to the point🤣 Let’s be honest, who among us has the time required to actually read a long post leading up to the recipe. It’s sad to say but I’m guessing the reality for MOST of us, so without further ado....  

 

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 ready for the pan💙

 Blueberry, Tahini, Cardamom Granola

Ingredients

3 ½ cups rolled oats

1 cup chopped almonds

¾ cup chopped walnuts

½ cup desiccated coconut

½ cup dried blueberries

½ pumpkin seeds

½ cup buckwheat groats

1/3 cup tahini

¼ cup coconut oil

1/3  cup maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp cardamom

¾ tsp sea salt

Method 

Pre-heat oven to 325 F

Mix all dry ingredients and spices in a large bowl. Mix tahini, coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla in a pot and stir on low heat until liquid and evenly mixed. Pour melted wet ingredients into the dry and stir together. Spread evenly on two medium cookie sheets and bake at 325 F for 20 minutes. Remove and gently stir before returning to the oven for 10 to 15 minutes more. It’s done when golden brown but not crispy. Remove from the oven and let cool for several hours before transferring to mason jar💙 

ENJOY!! 

 

 

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Berry Berry Good💜

This may come to a surprise to some of you as I don’t believe I have ever made anything other than a green smoothie. Don’t be alarmed... I still love and cherish and will always  rate the green smoothie number one in my books but I have been trying to branch out and try new things and I definitely hit the purple jackpot with this here beauty. Just kidding of course.. I’ve made all different kinds of smoothies. But this berry smoothie from yesterday was the bomb and felt the need to share it with you all💜

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The reason all my smoothies turn green is simple.  I add spinach or some sort of leafy green to them all. I have tried to rock a purple or pink smoothie but the moment that green goes in, I end up with a turd brown colour and no one likes that colour now do they.. tell me I’m not alone here. Raise your hand if that’s happened to you🤚🏼🤣 Don’t get me wrong, it tastes friggin great but doesn’t quite strike the same cord as, well, let’s say this beauty. 

INGREDIENTS  (serves 2)

1/2c chopped zucchini

1/2c chopped cucumber

3/4c fresh blueberries (more for topping)

 1/2 avocado

chunk fresh ginger

1tsp maca powder @ecoideas

2tbsp @organika blue mylk latte powder

1 frozen banana (chopped into chunks) 

1c ice

1c filtered water

METHOD 

Add water to blender first and then all other ingredients. Save the frozen banana and ice for last. BLEND and top as you wish. I got fancy with a 1/2tsp coconut oil and 1tbsp of tahini. Microwave tahini for 20 sec and mix. The oil thins out the tahini making easier to drizzle.  

ENJOY!! 

💜💜 

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 🙌🏼Makes things A BEAUTIFUL shade of BLUE💙 I add to oats, chia pudding and even pancakes. So fun😁

Eggplant Bacon

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Say WHA???? Yup, you read it correctly. Eggplant bacon. Ive been eating a plant based diet for the past 7 years and really there’s only a couple of things that I truly miss. One, is for sure, hands down PIZZA. Like true blue cheesy, greasy, stringy... oh you get the point and this post is not about pizza. The other thing I miss is BACON. I grew up eating bacon in all the ways and there really is nothing like the smell of it to bring you back to your childhood. Well, fortunately for us plant based folks, we too can enjoy the satisfying crispy saltiness of bacon without killing Miss Piggy for it.

For those of you who follow me on Instagram you may have seen that we made a big heap of this stuff for Easter brunch and promised you the recipe. So as promised here it is.  Enjoy this the same way you would regular bacon. If you make it, LET ME KNOW!!!! 

 EGGPLANT BACON

2 Japanese eggplants

2 Tbsp Olive oil (or avocado oil)

1 Tbsp Maple syrup

1 Tbsp Apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp tamari

1 tsp mellow miso

4 dashes of liquid smoke (less is more here)

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 pinch of salt

1 pinch garlic powder

Cracked pepper to taste

METHOD

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degC. Use the convection setting if you have it.


Slice the eggplants into quarter inch strips. I like Japanese eggplants because I can use my Mandolin to get a uniform thickness and the slices look like bacon strips. You can use any type of eggplant and cut the slices any way you want as long as you maintain a relatively uniform thickness. Liberally sprinkle the eggplant slices with sea salt and then arrange in layers in a large colander and place in the sink or over a bowl. After 15 or 20 minutes the eggplant will release some moisture. Rinse the salt off the slices and then pat dry and place on a rack over a baking sheet.


Whisk together all the wet and dry ingredients except the pepper. Brush half the mixture on the topside of the eggplant stripes and season with cracked pepper. Put the baking sheet into the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and flip the stripes over. Paint the stripes with the remaining mixture and season with more cracked pepper. Bake until you start to see crispy edges (about another 15 minutes). Watch closely as the stripes can skip from perfect to burnt to a crisp very quickly.


It’s perfect right out of the oven but it’s also great after it’s cooled (BLT anybody?!?).



“Bacon” Lettuce Tomato🤤

“Bacon” Lettuce Tomato🤤

Alllllll the Goods

Alllllll the Goods

Hello there beautiful🥓🥓🍆🍆🍆

 

Green Goddess Salad🌿

With Easter here my feed is full of chocolatey treats, decadent desserts and all sorts of yummy treats. I decided to clean things up in my kitchen and add a healthy detoxifying salad that still has enough sustenance to stand on it own for a protein packed lunch. 

We made this salad for a light dinner before an evening of teaching and it was perfect. With the help of the nuts, seeds, legumes and avocado I stayed pleasantly satisfied until I got home.  

GREEN GODDESS SALAD🌱🌿 

4cbaby spinach

2c baby arugula

Handful pea shoots🌱

1/2c canned rinsed chick peas

1 Apple sliced

1/2 avocado diced

1/2c crushed walnuts

1 green onion sliced

1/2c crumbled vegan goat cheese

1/3c pickled red cabbage

3/4c diced cucumber

1/4c pumpkin seeds

ACV Dressing>>

1/2 cup organic extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup organic apple cider vinegar

juice from 1/2 lemon

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp pure maple syrup (or raw honey)

1 clove garlic, minced

pinch or two of sea salt

Mix salad ingredients in a big bowl and add a couple tbsp of dressing to coat. ENJOY💕💕🐰🐰


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Cardamom Tahini Granola

The mister and I are heading to Costa Rica. AGAIN, you might say? Yes, again. I have fallen in love with the country, the people and of course the weather. I would buy property there in a heart beat if it wasn’t so damn blasted expensive. I am offering a retreat this coming November at the Bodhi Tree Yoga Resort and will most likely make a visit once a year mandatory until I find another land that I love more. 

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This brings us to granola😊 Everytime we travel  we try to stay with AirBnb. The mister and I eat pretty special diets. Him being Celiac and both of us plantbased. We like to manage our food as much as we can and staying in a place with a kitchen REALLY makes our lives easier.  Our set up is to get a place, find food, and then make food ... but that can be expensive if you want all the comforts and option of being home. We love our superfoods and the last time we went to CR we spent a small fortune in the local organic market buying all of said staples and supplies. Well not this time. This time we are taking everything we need. Hemp seeds, chia seeds, granola, steel cut oats, cinnamon, sea salt and  even our homemade sourdough! 

The mister and I have talked about bringing our food on the plane with us for ages. Airlines TRY to accommodate the needs of their passengers and some go above and beyond (Air Singapore is amazing) but truth be told they just aren’t set up for allergies. The mister flew home from Hong Kong with next to nothing to eat. Our attendant on Air Canada took some snacks from first class to help but suffice to say, that was a long trek home. I have seen lots of insta accounts taking food on planes but it wasn’t until my friend @drtarasunshine posted her oats on route to Barbados that I was like OK, this is SO HAPPENING when we fly to CR! It is important to add here that while I made it thru security, I almost didn’t. If my jars had of been any more liquid he would have taken them away. It helps to SMILE and also, he wanted my recipe🤣

 Ok GRANOLA TIME... we took a huge bag with us cause there is nothing better than a sprinkle of this stuff on oats, toast or in a bowl with some banana and papaya!!  Homemade is always the way to go. I hope you enjoy this recipe and IF you make it, please let me know!

TAHINI CARDAMOM GRANOLA 

  • 3c gf Oats  
  • 1/2c desicated coconut
  • 1c raw almonds chopped
  • 1/2c raw walnuts chopped
  • 1/2c raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2c raw sunflower seeds
  • 1tsp cardamom
  • 1tsp true cinnamon
  • 1/2tsp sea salt
  • 1/2c raisins
  • 1/2c tahini
  • 1/3c maple syrup
  • 1/2c coconut oil
  • 1tsp vanilla

METHOD

Preheat oven to 325

Mix dry ingredients together. In a small pot add tahini, syrup, oil and vanilla. Stir until well incorporated.  Add to dry and mix. Spread out evenly on 1 -2 sheet pans (I love my Pampered Chef) and bake twice.. once for 15 minutes (remove from oven and give a gentle stir) and then a second for 15-18 min or until golden brown. 

 

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Tahini cardamom granola🥣🥣 

 Let cool completely in the pan and transfer to an airtight container like a mason jar.

Pink Chia Pudding

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. We moved on February 27th so my life has literally been a bit topsy turvy. I have not been feeling like myself AT ALL and in these times find it hard to do more. This blog would be considered my more. But today is the first day of spring and I don’t know about you, I am BEYOND READY for some warmth, growth and longer days.  

For the past week I have been dealing with major discomfort in my jaw. I have not shared here on the blog about my trials and tribulations when it comes to my dental history. Who wants to read about that?! It’s a long arduous story, but the coles notes of this current situation is that my left lower implant seems to be failing. Or to be more specific, the bone graft surgery that I have endured not once but twice seems to be failing. To be honest I still don’t have a proper diagnosis. Went to the dentist on Monday and she confirmed what I already feared. Diagnosis is happening today at the periodontist. It started as discomfort when I bit down on something chewy, then it morphed into a full blown TMJ flare (haven’t suffered from that since I was in my early 20’s) and severe headaches. Sounds fun right? I know what you’re thinking... WHAT in the world does this have to do with chia freaking pudding?? Soft food people, soft food. With my mouth and jaw collapse this week I have been forced to slow down, chew S L O W L Y, and predominantly on my right side. Chewing it seems, exasperates the TMJ so I try to avoid that at all costs. Enter in this mornings inspiration for pink chia pudding. Definitely not my first time making in but first time on the blog so here you go! And ps, THANK YOU for listening💓💞

 PINK CHIA PUDDING  

  • 2c cashew milk (homemade rules) 
  • 1/2c chia seeds
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 2tbsp @organika pinkmylk latte
  • 1/2tbsp @flora beetroot crystals  

>>combine milk with powder and crystals and whisk until fully combined. Add in vanilla and whisk again. Add chia seeds and whisk up to a full minute (will speed up gelling process and cut down wait time like crazy💗). Transfer to bowls, let set in fridge for a minimum 30 minutes. Top as you wish💞

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Pink chia in all its glory  

Pink Waffles

I don’t know about you, but I love playing with food. As a child I remember my mom at Christmas or birthdays with food colouring turning white icings pink or blue depending on who’s birthday it was. Food colouring was fun and it still is but that old school stuff has no place in my pantry. INSTEAD, I turn to healthy superfoods for food colouring fun. 

Yesterday was Saturday and I was craving waffles. I have made green waffles using spirulina, chocolate and vanilla using cacao and yesterday my inspiration went toward pink so I used @florafoods beetroot crystals to turn these beauties pink. So much fun! 

After a ton of requests for the recipe I decided to get to work to create one for you and here it is.  Other options for turning food pink would be gorgeous Acai powder, pitaya (pink dragonfruit) powder and I’ve even seen pomegranate powder. I hope you have as much fun making these as I did! 

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Beetroot waffles💓 

Ingredients

1c oat flour

1c buckwheat flour

1tbsp vanilla protein powder(I love @nuzest)

1tsp baking powder

1/4tsp fine sea salt

1/2tsp ground ginger

1tsp cinnamon

..

1c cashew milk

1tsp apple cider vinegar

1c water (plus more if desired)

3tbsp melted coconut oil

1.5tsp beetroot crystals (@flora)

1tsp vanilla

1 flax egg (or 1 real egg)


Method

*preheat oven to 200*

  1. Prepare flax egg and set aside
  2. Combine milk, water, ACV and Beetroot crystals. Whisk and set aside.
  3. In separate bowl combine dry ingredients, whisk, and set aside.
  4. Add flax and wet to dry ingredients and mix gently. The buckwheat flour soaks up ALOT of moisture. At this time you might need to add 1/4c-1/2c more liquid. I added water until I was happy with consistency. Too thin, and it will run, too thick and it won’t spread. 
  5. Heat waffle iron.
  6. Add in a heaping ladle of batter to waffle iron. Once cooked transfer to a wire rack in preheated oven while you make the rest of the waffles. I yielded 4 large round waffles from this recipe.

~Enjoy!!💞💞

 

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Healthy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I don’t know a single person who doesn’t love a good cookie. I know I sure do!TBH I have been on a bit of a cookie run as of late...Thank GOD for my trainer, yoga and all those steps I take daily. Trust me, I do it all for the sake of food. This recipe was adapted from one of my insta crushes Minimilist Baker. I made only a couple changes and one of them was swapping out the sugar for my new found fave Lakanto which is made from monk fruit. It is sugar free AND it tastes good. I know I am not alone here in saying that sugar substitutes taste terrible. I’m talking specifically about my nemesis Stevia. Sorry not sorry for those who love it. I just can’t wrap my head around the taste. Lakanto looks like sugar, tastes like sugar but has zero calories, no artificial flavours and has no weird aftertaste. 

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Here’s the recipe—If you make it, let me know and don’t forget to tag me in your pics!! 

ingredients 

  • 3/4c gf oats (I use @bobsredmill)
  • 3/4c almond flour
  • 1/4c desiccated coconut  
  • 1/4c dairy free chocolate chips (I used @enjoylifefoods) 
  • 3/4tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 fine sea salt
  • 1/4c Lakanto (monkfruit sweetner) 
  • 1/4c aquafaba (the liquid from canned chickpeas) 
  • 2tbsp almond butter
  • 3tbsp avocado oil
  • 1/2tsp vanilla

METHOD

1. In a mixing bowl stir together all dry ingredients. Including chocolate chips. Set aside 

2. In a separate bowl whip aquafaba using electric hand mixer until peaks form. Gently fold in almond butter, vanilla and oil. Add wet to dry and stir to combine  it should be a firm tacky dough. Place in fridge for about 30 min to firm up. 

3. Preheat oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment, or grease. 

4. Scoop chilled dough into roughly 2tbsp amounts. I used my hands to form and I flattened with palm of my hand. Leave approx 1 inch gap between cookies  (they don’t spread). My recipe yeilded 11 cookies. 

5.  Bake for 10 min  and then increase heat to 375 and bake for an additional 3 minutes or until golden brown. 

6. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes if you can wait that long. Grab a tea, a coffee or a glass of cashew milk and enjoy! 

 

 

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Chai Granola

Fewer things give me as much pleasure as a good granola, so when Tara @drtarasunshine and I got together to brainstorm recipes  a while back, I suggested granola and she suggested chai flavours, it was a resounding,  all of the yes😋

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Freshly baked chai granola  

Who among us has TOO many granola recipes. Not this kid, and with all the warm spicy flavours that bring oh so much comfort in these cold AF winter months, who doesn’t want that? So here ya go peeps. Please let us know what you think!  


GRANOLA:

CHAI SPICE MIX

4 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp ginger

1 tsp cardamom

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cloves

1/2 tsp allspice

GRANOLA

  • 2 1/2 cups gf oats
  • 1 cup roughly chopped raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup chopped raw pecans or raw walnuts 
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries 
  • 1/4 cup desiccated unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2 Tbsp hemp seeds
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (my family makes the stuff so I know it's top quality. Don't cheap out on the maple syrup. The good stuff is actually good for you. Full of magnesium. Just don't drink it😉)
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oi
  • 1/4 cup organic tahini
  • 1tsp vanilla 

METHOD

Preheat oven to 325.  In a large bowl mix dry ingredients together and set aside. In small pot, heat tahini, maple syrup and coconut oil until it melds together, remove from heat and add in vanilla. Add wet to dry and mix until well incorporated. You will most likely need 2 cookie sheet pans (or 1 large pan. I love my Pampered Chef ceramic pan☺️) to spread mixture evenly. Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and gently move granola around. Place back in the oven and bake again for a minimum of 15 minutes. With the addition of tahini, this recipe needed more time in the oven to dry out. Don’t be afraid to keep it in until desired crunch factor has been accomplished😉 It will also dry out once cooled. 

ENJOY!!! 

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Pretty Dr T and her gorgeous stove🙌🏼 

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Premeasured always rules. Makes me feel like I’m on a cooking show🤩 

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casual🥄

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Tahini, coconut oil, vanilla and maple syrup 

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All mixed and ready for the trays

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fresh out of the oven

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yum

Sourdough Bread-by Rick the mister Morton

As promised... our recipe for the most delicious HOMEMADE vegan and gluten free sourdough, made by my mister, thoroughly enjoyed by me☺️

 Sourdough Bread

Making a loaf of sourdough bread requires three steps. The first step is to create a levian which is the fermented flour concoction that acts in place of the activated yeast in a regular “yeasted” loaf. The levian is basically a big sourdough starter and the ingredients are mixed together and left on the counter until it becomes active (6 to 12 hours). Once the levian is active, then the dough can be made and formed into a loaf. The formed loaf is then covered with a tea towel, put into a bag and put aside until it has risen (4 to 6 hours). Finally, the loaf is baked in the oven for 60 minutes and, once cooled, it’s ready to eat!

Ready to eat

Ready to eat

Because there are some long wait times in this process it helps to think through your schedule when you are planning on making a loaf of bread. I sometimes make the levian at 10 in the evening, then I form the dough the following morning sometime between 6 AM and 8 AM, and finally I bake the bread in the early afternoon. Alternately, I sometimes make the levian at 6 AM, the dough at dinner time, and I bake just before bed (yikes … long day).

Create a levian

  • 40 g sorghum

  • 40 g buckwheat

  • 110 g filtered water

  • 140 g sourdough starter

Mix all the ingredients in a container and cover with cheesecloth or plastic wrap. Put it on the counter and let it become active. This will take 6 to 12 hours depending on the temperature on your counter. Mine has become active in as little as 4 hours when I was in the kitchen baking and cooking while it was on the counter.

The flours are certified gluten free.

The flours are certified gluten free.

Note: once you take 140 grams of starter to make the levian, you will have only a small amount of your starter left over. This is to be used for starter maintenance and so you should use it when you feed your next starter. I usually feed my starter at the same time as I make the levian.

Make the dough

  • 20 g psyllium husk

  • 10 g ground flax seeds

  • 350 g filtered water

  • 60 g sorghum flour

  • 60 g buckwheat flour

  • 60 g oat flour

  • 60 g corn starch

  • 60 g potato starch

  • 24 g coconut sugar

  • 1 tsp fine sea salt

Weight out the flours, starch, sugar and salt  in a medium size bowl, whisk together and set aside. Weight out the psyllium husk and the ground flax seeds in a large mixing bowl. Add the water to the large bowl and stir until the mixture is uniform (it thickens very quickly). Stir in the levian until the mixture is uniform. Then add the flour blend to the wet mixture in the large bowl. Don’t add it all at once … start with about 1/4 of the flour and stir it in with a wooden spoon, add another quarter and stir again, then another quarter and stir. The last quarter is a little more difficult to stir together. Use the spoon to start, then you can use a hand blender with dough hooks or simply use your hands. I prefer to use my hands … just because it feels good :) The idea is to incorporate all the flour and to have a uniform dough.

Once the dough is uniform then form it into a loaf. I have tried making a regular loaf in a 5” by 9” pan, a free form batard, a free form round boule, and a boule in a 7” diameter dutch oven. I liked the dutch oven boule the best but the loaf pan version was pretty good too. If you’re using a container of some sort then line the bottom and sides with parchment paper before putting your dough in.  Cover your loaf loosely with a tea towel or something similar and then place the covered loaf into a plastic bag. Loosely tie the end of the bag off and set it on the counter to rise. The  bag should be loose and allow some room for gases to be build up around the loaf. I use a thin compostable garbage bag. I don’t really have a test to say if a loaf has risen completely but I have waited only 4 hours and I have waited 6 hours and it hasn’t made much of a difference. The dough should probably double in size during this phase.

Scouring the dough before baking … use your sharpest knife.

Scouring the dough before baking … use your sharpest knife.

Once the loaf has risen, it is time to bake. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degF. Fill a pie dish about half full with water and place it  on the lower shelf of the oven once it is at temperature. Remove the loaf from the plastic bag and the tea towel. At this point you can try making some fine cuts in the top of the loaf. Use a very sharp knife with the finest/thinnest blade that you own. Cut any pattern you want but don’t go too deep. The deeper you go the more the cut will spread during baking. Spritz the loaf with water and then tent it with aluminum foil and place in the oven on the middle rack for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, wait five minutes and then turn the loaf out onto a cooling rack. Let it cool for at least an hour.

Fresh out of the oven.

Fresh out of the oven.

Time to eat bread!

RUSTY (aka, our sourdough starter) —featuring My Mister (aka, Rick😉)

 Sourdough Starter-By Rick Morton

A sourdough starter is basically a fermented flour mixture that will eventually be used as a levian when you make a loaf of bread. It replaces the yeast used in many bread recipes.

A happy, active, and bubbly Rusty.

A happy, active, and bubbly Rusty.

With yeasted bread you buy the yeast and add it to some warm liquid (perhaps milk & water) to wake it up and you mix in a bit of sugar so it has something to eat. The byproduct of the yeast eating the sugar is gaseous and that is what makes the bread rise and have little air holes. With a sourdough bread you ferment flour and the bacteria created during the fermentation process is like a natural yeast. Some might think of their starter as a flatulent teenager … you feed it sugar and flour and it grows and gets gassy :)

From a practical standpoint, the big difference between yeast and a sourdough starter is that it takes time for the flour to ferment and you have to tend to the mixture until it becomes active. To create the starter you mix flour and some filtered water in a jar, cover it with a porous material (I use cheesecloth at home but at work we use plastic wrap), then you put it in a place where the temperature is relatively stable and relatively warm (between 20 degC and 27 degC). You must use filtered water since chlorine in tap water kills the bacteria that makes the mixture active and creates the bubbles. The temperature of the ingredients is important … all of them should be in the low to mid twenties (between 20 degC and 27degC). The cover that you put over the jar needs to allow gas to escape so don’t wrap it too tightly if you are using plastic wrap.

Once the starter is created, it needs to be maintained until it becomes active. Every twelve hours or so you create a new starter and then take half of the previous starter and mix them together. Then cover it and leave it on the counter until the next “feeding”. The other half must be tossed in the organic waste bin :(

You need to keep feeding the starter until it starts to become active and bubbly. This could take anywhere from 3 days to ten days depending on the temperature on your counter. If it is relatively cool then it will take longer and if it is pretty warm then it will happen faster. It’s important that the temperature doesn’t fluctuate too rapidly during this initial growth period.

Once the starter is active and you can see bubbles through the side of your container (I use straight sided mason jars so I can see the activity), you can use it to make some bread (recipe coming soon).

Starter Recipe

  • 30 g Sorghum flour

  • 30 g Buckwheat flour

  • 90 g Filtered water

Starter creation

Weight out the ingredients and mix them together in your container (mason jar, clear bowl, or a clear glass). Cover with cheese cloth or plastic wrap and place on your counter.

All ingredients must be weighted … including the water.

All ingredients must be weighted … including the water.

Feeding - Initial growth

Make a new starter every twelve hours and add half of the previous starter before putting it on the counter again. Discard the other half of the previous starter at this point. Repeat this process every 12 hours until your starter becomes bubbly and active. You can use this to make bread at this point or you can go into maintenance mode until you’re ready to bake.

Adding half of yesterdays starter to todays flour and water.

Adding half of yesterdays starter to todays flour and water.

Feeding - Maintenance

If you are going to make bread every day then you can feed your starter daily when you make your levian/bread. If you are going to make it once a week or less then you can put it in the fridge a couple of hours after feeding. Take it out once a week and make bread or just feed it and return it to the fridge.

Prep-ed and ready to feed.

Prep-ed and ready to feed.

Cauliflower&Sweet Potato Curry

It’s that time of year folks. When soups, stews and curries start flooding your inbox, feed and the like. We, up here in the frosty north are headed into deep freeze season so in order to stay warm we turn to our Dutch ovens, crockpots and one pot meals to stay nourished and comforted. 

Yesterday was a fine example of how shite the weather can be in Toronto so with cauliflower and sweet potato (and all the other ingredients) on hand I got to making this gorgeous curry. Enough for dinner and leftovers (the best!) for the upcoming weeks ahead.  

I find this type of recipe easiest if all the ingredients are prepped before I start the “cooking” part. If you are missing one or two of the spices, don’t worry. It might taste a little different but I’m sure it will be good. This recipe is my take on an “Indian” curry but I’m sure it’s not a traditional recipe

Last time I made this, I had a russet potato so that went into the pot too. You can add pretty much any firm vegetable that you have on hand. If you find it too thick, add another can of tomatoes, some vegetable broth, or some water.

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STAUB makes the best Dutch Ovens🙂 

INGREDIENTS

1 tsp brown mustard seeds

 

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 medium yellow onion - small dice

1 large clove garlic - minced

1 inch ginger - peeled and minced

 

2 Tbsp tomato paste


1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (more if you like it spicy)

1/2 tsp ground cloves (careful this is a powerful flavour)

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp paprika

1 Tbsp curry powder (I added this because I had it)

1 Tbsp turmeric


1 large sweet potato - 1/2” dice, don’t peel it

1 head cauliflower - small florets


1 can crushed tomatoes

1 can full fat coconut milk


1 can chickpeas - drained and rinsed

1 bunch green kale - stems removed and torn into smallish pieces

  

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Spice is Life🧡 

METHOD 

Heat a large heavy pot on medium high. Once hot, add the brown mustard seeds and wait until they start to pop and jump around. Add olive oil to the pot and let it heat up for a minute. Lower heat to medium and add the onions, sprinkle with salt, sauté until translucent and then add the garlic and ginger. Stir until fragrant (1 to 2 minutes). Add tomato paste and stir to coat the onions. Add the spices, another sprinkle of salt and stir. Sauté the spices for about a minute and then add the sweet potato and cauliflower and stir to coat. Once coated, add the crushed tomatoes and the coconut milk. Bring to a boil and simmer on medium low until the veggies are tender (15 to 30 minutes depending on how large you cut the veggies). Add the chickpeas and kale, stir to mix and simmer for another 5 minutes to warm the chickpeas and soften the kale. Add salt and/or pepper to taste at this point. Squeeze 1/2 a lime into the pot and stir and then serve over brown rice with a sprinkle with fresh coriander.

ENJOY and STAY COZY🧡 

Hazelnut Chocolate Bark

HO HO HO....  So I just got home from Costa Rica. Vacation was awesome, so needed and was far far away from the hustle and bustle of Christmas chaos that seems to grip Toronto at the beginning of each December. 

Being away for two weeks was the perfect amount of time away but didn’t leave me a whole lotta time to prepare for Christmas. This year we (the mister and I) decided to pare down on the spending. More specifically, reducing the feeling of consuming for the sake of consuming. Choosing to give minimal gifts, mostly to children, and asking that the adults in our life do the same. No gifts please. At the end of the day, we don’t need for anything and really, everyone’s money could be put to better use. Right? 

Onto the gifts that are always appreciated ... Food. Last year was a bit of a debacle. We had made and prepped a ton of food to take to Moms but the day we left was a bit of a shit show and with an already overpacked car we somehow overlooked allllll the food. Homemade chocolate truffles, main dishes, and more. Much more... it was a teensy bit hilarious when we realized our gorgeous garlicky kale and lentil potato dish was still on the counter. Funny until we got home days later that is😝 

This Christmas will be different. We are still taking some treats but, again, minimal. We will do our cooking on Christmas Day in my moms kitchen.  

To the treats!  I love chocolate. Good dark chocolate. The higher the percentage of cacao, for me, the better. As we all know, store bought stuff an have all sorts of hidden nasties so the mister and I have a rule, if we want it, we have to make it ourselves. Challenging sure, but also SO WELL WORTH IT!!! 

Heres a recipe I adapted from Minimilist Baker cause she’s the queen and needs to be thanked here.  

CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT BARK 

for the chocolate: 

  • 1 1/4 chopped cocoa butter
  • 2tbsp organic coconut oil
  • 1c pure cacao (not cocoa!)~sifted
  • 2tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 big pinch of Maldon sea salt  
  • 1/2tsp organic vanilla extract
  • 3tbsp cacao nibs (I love Navitas brand) 
  • 2c toasted hazelnuts—preheat oven to 350 and roast for 15 min. Keep your eyes on them! Once out of oven, place on clean towel and rub the skins off. It’s perfectly fine to still have some skin on too!

how to do:

Set up a double boiler. We used a stainless steel bowl over 2 inches of boiling water. The bowl should be bigger than pot so no risk of splashing water in your chocolate. Add in chopped cacao and coconut oil and let melt. Stirring occasionally. 

Once melted, add in cacao using a fine mesh strainer (this helps avoid clumps), and stir to combine. 

Add in maple syrup, vanilla, sea salt and cacao nibs. Stir stir. Finally, add in your nuts (this can be made with any nut and or dried fruit combo!). Transfer to a parchment lined 8 by 12 baking dish and spread evenly. Transfer to the freezer and let set for minimum 1 hour but I let mine set for 3 before breaking apart in desired sized chunks.  

YUM!!! 

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Soup Season!

AAAAANNNND here we are.. we all knew it was coming. Change of season is happening as I type. I teach a 7am class every Tuesday and over the last month it’s gotten darker and darker and then it happened... pitch black AND raining😭 My class was small to say the least so I opted for a nice soothing restorative flow to gently bring in the light. It was lovely... sigh

To the soup! With the season change the sweaters come out, the socks go on and the soups get made. So for the first one of the season I decided to make my Spicy Sweet Potato Curry Tomato Soup🧡 It was spicy as promised and chalk full of legumes, veggies and a boat load of spinach at the end cause I’m forever turning things into a salad🤷‍♀️

This soup is versatile so don’t feel like you need to stick verbatim to the recipe. I have used kale and or Swiss chard instead of spinach, navy beans instead of chickpeas, and I have also thrown in zuchinni, red peppers and a variety of different veggies into the pot. THATS what is so awesome about soup! I have also puréed this soup when I was nursing a soar mouth after dental surgery and it was deeeelish. 

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RECIPE 

  • 1 large sweet potato cut into 1 inch cubes

  • 1 large carrot diced

  • 1 stalk celery diced

  • 1/2 red onion diced

  • 1 large clove garlic minced

  • 2 leeks sliced

  • 1 28oz can diced tomato (I use San Marzano cause they’re THE BEST)

  • 1c green peas (fresh OR frozen)

  • 1 14oz can organic chick peas (rinsed)

  • 1 tbsp curry powder

  • 1/2 tbsp turmeric

  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

  • 2 tsp chilli flakes

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast

  • 2 tomato cans of water

  • 2 tbsp olive oil (a drizz to garnish too🙂)

  • 4c baby spinach

METHOD 

Heat large pot over medium to high heat and add olive oil, chilli flakes, garlic and onion. Sauté until it begins to soften. Add in carrot and celery cook down for a couple of minutes. If mixture feels too dry add in a splash of water. Add in sweet potato and the rest of the spices. Mix well. Again, if mixture seems too dry add a splash of water to get things moving again. Season with salt and pepper.  Once sweet potato starts to soften add in can of diced tomato followed by two cans of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, partially cover and let it hang out for 20 min or until sweet potato and veggies are cooked thru. I like to add the chickpeas and peas near the end. Check for seasoning.. not spicy enough? Add more spice! At this time add in spinach, allow to wilt. Finish with more sea salt and cracked pepper and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. 

Enjoy!!! Xo

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Dog Days of Summer

Summer goes fast doesn’t it? Up here in Canada we get approximately 60 solid days of summer give or take a few and if you blink you just might miss them. 

I knew I was going to be working ALOT this summer. I took the better part of the beginning of the year off to travel and train and while I thought I’d prepared myself for the work I guess I wasn’t expecting the repercussions. At the end of December last year I was suffering burnout. Unsure that was actually a thing I did a little research and it turned out yes indeed it was. Exhausted pretty much ALL the time, trouble sleeping, and constantly needing to nap taking the first 6 weeks off in January-February was not only needed it was necessary. Well, here we are again.... Feeling pretty much the same symptoms I went to the doctor last week to find out WTF is going on with me. Waiting on results... I’ll let you know. 

This is actually a good post and I feel GOOD post believe it or not. Presently I am enjoying a full week off. I am in Niagara with my best girlfriends with all our misters and baby Maia at a gorgeous Air BnB. I am tapping away whilst sitting poolside with the mister reading beside me. Le SIGH... My hash tag this week has been #neverleaving🙂  The besties went winery hopping leaving us to relax and make PEACH CRUMBLE. It’s peach season here in Niagara so what better way to show case that.  

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greasing the vessel😊

 

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🍑🍑🍑🍑🍑🍑🍑🍑 

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Walnuts for crunch (and health) 

 

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Slicing all dem🍑🍑🍑🍑🍑 

 PEACH CRISP (for 7 people)

Ingredients  

  • 9 large peaches 
  • 2tsp maple syrup
  • 1 1/2c gf oats
  • 1/4tsp sea salt
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  •  1/2c almond flour
  • 2tbsp brown sugar
  • heaping 1/2c chopped walnuts
  • 2tbsp melted vegan butter 
  • 2tbsp melted coconut oil (plus more for greasing pan) 
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Dry ingredients🥄🥄 

METHOD 

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix all dry ingredients together then add melted oil and butter to make the crumb. Slice the peaches and add maple syrup to coat. Spread crumble mixture over peaches evenly and place on middle rack in oven. Bake for 42 minutes. I cranked my oven up to 400 add baked for an additional 15 to ensure the peaches were juicy. Serve with nice cream or coconut whip cream. So good!!! IF you make this recipe, please lmk how it goes! 

Oh and let’s make a pact to try to milk the rest of this summer for all it’s worth. Time waits for no one and we are worth every second💛 

 

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All ready for the oven☺️ 

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She’s just so pretty😍 

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Going in🍑🍑🍑 

............. 

 

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Just waiting on vegan ice cream!!!!😁 

M I L K

Let’s talk about it shall we?? M I L K... Now I am no authority on the dairy industry but from what I do know I can tell you I’m very glad I’m vegan. I CAN tell you with ALL the authority that there were no cows (or goats) mistreated in the making of this here milk. A student and friend asked me today after class if I had a recipe on my site for my milk and at one point I think I did, but nevertheless, here we go. 

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I have been making my own milk now for about 5 years. The moment I bought my first high speed blender I was hooked. I have made all sorts of variations. Almond, cashew almond, hemp, turmeric cashew, I’ve even tried pumpkin and walnut milk but hands down my favourite blend has got to be cashew and hemp seed. No muss, no fuss as they say. No need to have annoying nut milk bags or cheese cloth. Just blend, pour and enjoy. That simple... 

CASHEW & HEMP MILK 

  • 1c cashews (soaked for a minimum of two hours but not over 8. The nuts get slimy and weird and no one wants weird slimy nuts😁)
  • 1/4c hemp seeds (if you are making straight hemp, you don’t need to pre soak the hemp... how awesome is that)
  • 3c filtered water for really creamy milk or 3 1/2c water for still creamy but less so, got it?! 
  • 1 medjool date
  • 1/2tsp pure vanilla
  • pinch of sea salt

METHOD 

Rinse soaked cashews with cold water. Add desired amount of filtered water and all other ingredients and blend! I like to blend 3 times when using my Blendtec or at least 1 minute when using my Vitamix (I know who is this obnoxious person who owns 2 power blenders?? I inherited one when I got my mister😁). No need to strain this milk so pour into a glass jar and keep for up to a week. 

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Pancakes

I have been making these pancakes for quite some time now and I’d say it’s high time they made it to the blog! 

I’ve been stacking these beauties as high as I can get them (so far no toppling I might add🤗) but I’m also a fan of fanning them out for a more personal approach haha... 

There are SO many ways to top these beauties but my personal favourite is my homemade granola (see recipes), sliced banana, blueberries, maple syrup (preferably from my parents stash) and a healthy drizzle of almond butter.. 

pancakes

The “Fan” Approach😉

BUCKWHEAT SORGHUM PANCAKES (serves 2- 1 hungry mister and me)

  • 1/2c buckwheat flour
  • 1/2c sorghum flour
  • 3tsp baking powder
  • 1/2tsp fine sea salt
  • 1tsp cinnamon 
  • 2tbsp liquid coconut oil
  • 1 flax egg *1tbsp ground flax and 2 1/2tbsp warm water
  • 1c nondairy milk (I use homemade cashew)

Method:

Prepare flax egg and set aside for 5 minutes until it starts to gel.  In the meantime in a separate bowl sift all dry ingredients and set aside.  Once flax is gelatinous add milk, liquid coconut oil(*see notes) and whisk.  Add wet to dry.  There is a very good chance you may need to add more milk.  Don't be shy.. Add more until you get your desired consistency. Mix well so there is no dry ingredients hiding in your batter.  Heat non-stick pan with coconut oil.  Drop into desired sized cakes and wait for some bubbles to appear until flipping.  I store in preheated oven until all are done and then go to town with either stacking or fanning.  Load em up with whatever toppings you have on hand and scarf them down !!

*If your milk is cold your liquid coconut oil may start to harden making for a fine mess.  Warm the milk or leave out at room temp so you avoid this.  I learned this the hard way....If you forget this step simply warm the hardened oil and milk concoction in the microwave or stovetop.  You can bring it back I promise..  

*Also, note that the batter recipe is sugar-free.  I don't add any sweetener to my flapjacks but if you like it a bit sweeter feel free to add 1-2tbsp of sweetener of choice .  The fruit, granola and maple syrup at the end makes this decadent as it is.

 

 

 

 

 

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the STACKED approach🙌🏼