Food Friday – Vegan Wraps

With my new weekly food boxes I am getting loads and loads of foods I wouldn’t go out and buy on a regular basis, which is forcing me to experiment more, vary my vegetable sources more, and to get a little bit more creative with my meals to make sure I don’t let anything go to waste.

With our second shipment of rainbow chard I figured it was time to see what else I could do with this delicious green besides juicing or sautéing. So I got on the internet and started researching how to make a gluten free wrap with the leaves of the chard and what I made was so delicious.

Now there are many components to the wraps I made, however you can make it as simple or as complicated as you would like.  But if you are going to make this recipe I would recommend maybe trying it on the weekend or when you have a bit more time on your hands.  With making the slaw, bean spread, quinoa etc. it took me about an hour and 20minutes before I had a final product for eating.  I am sure this would go a bit faster if you had a friend helping you chop everything up so if you have the opportunity get your friends involved.

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Now let’s get down and dirty, here are all the fixings for the wraps.  Also a little side note the black bean dip is DELICIOUS with veggies, so if you have extra don’t fret just chop up some carrots and enjoy.

Black Bean Dip

20140403-061450.jpg1/2 can black beans
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp garlic Farm Boy salad dressing
2 tbsp Cilantro

Blend in food processor until smooth set aside until assembly.

Carrot and Beet Slaw:
beet and Carrot SlawIngredients:

1 Beet chopped into match sticks
3 large Carrots chopped into match sticks
1 lemon juiced
2 tsp Olive Oil
2 tsp fresh Parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste

Process:

I used a mandolin to chop the beet and carrots into match sticks, but you can also use a grater or if you want to take the time to chop it all up by hand that is an option too.  Once everything is chopped, juiced and ready combine all raw ingredients into a large bowl.  Add parsley, salt and pepper and toss.  Set aside for later.

Other Fixings:

20140403-061515.jpg1 cup Quinoa cooked according to package.
1 small Zucchini sliced
1/2 can of black beans
Sprouts of your choosing
Any other veggies you like, sliced for easy rolling.

Prepare and set aside for wrap making.

Preparing the Rainbow Chard:

Chop off the hard ends. Flip the leaf to the vein side and slice off some of the thick stem end, this will help you to wrap them.

chard prepGet water boiling in a large pot and fill your sink up with freezing cold water. Blanch the chard leaves.  Place the leaves in the boiling water for no more than 2-3minutes, then immediately transfer them into a cold water ice bath.  I did this with one leaf at a time so that I had a bit more control over the cooking time.

Dry them off and get ready to assemble your wraps.

Assembling Wraps:

20140403-061554.jpg1. After drying off the leaves lay them flat on a cutting board or other hard surface.

2. Spread the bean dip down the center of the leave and then I would recommend placing quinoa and beans first so they kind of stick to the dip.

3. Add all other fixings, zucchini, sprouts, carrot slaw and wrap.  Starting at the end with all your fixings fold over the sides (inward) and being rolling. You will want to keep curling in the outer edges so you get a nice tight wrap without anything falling out.  The first one might feel like a disaster but trust me you will get the hang of it.

20140403-061526.jpgI ate mine with a fork and knife but if you want to get in there and get dirty feel free to attack these bad boys with your hands.

Happy Friday!  I hope you enjoy these veggie packed tummy filling meal.

 

 

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Food Friday – Apple Berry Snacks

Today’s post is going to be a quicky because there is a lot going on here (work, school, yoga retreat, meal planning) basically it is bananas but I didn’t want to leave you all hanging over the weekend. So I whipped up these delicious treats that will help to curb your sweet tooth, fill you up and provide you with loads of vitamins, antioxidants and other feel good stuff for your body.

So without further delay the recipe:

Apple Berry Oatmeal Snacks:

2 cups homemade apple sauce (organic no sugar added store bought is fine too)
1/4 cup blackberry purée
2 1/4 cups organic old fashioned oats
2 tbsp chia seeds

1. Preheat oven to 350
2.Combine everything in one large bowl. There is no real science to this so just toss it all in and stir it up.
3. Grease a mini muffin tray with coconut oil. These little guys will stick if the pan isn’t greased.
4. Scoop about one TBSP into each of the little muffin spaces. It should make between 22-24 snacks.
5. Place tin in preheated oven and cook for 25minutes. The centers should be spongy but not oozing.
6. Allow them to cool and the. Serve.

20140314-125017.jpg
I hope you all enjoy this one.

Have a great Friday!

Food Friday – Flat Bread

It is Friday! It seems that the second the weather starts getting nice it’ becomes painful to be locked up on the 18th floor of a concrete building for 9 hours a day. So today I am so happy to be getting to post this from my backyard.  My deck is probably the best office I have ever had, you get to feel the wind and sun, hear the kids in the school yard across the street and just be outside it is pretty glorious.  But today is about food so let’s get down to business.

Before I dive into the recipe I want to talk a bit about meat.  With the farmer’s market in full swing, I do my best every week to have my meals planned out so I can buy local, antibiotic free meats.  This past weekend at the farmer’s market I lucked out and was able to get a giant grass fed organic flank steak (this cut is so hard to come by for whatever reason).   Seeing we were having a BBQ this week (last night to be exact) I figured it would be great for the evening. However as the evening got closer my husband and I became concerned that we wouldn’t have enough meat for everyone so we picked up another flank steak from the grocery store. We then figured this would be a great opportunity to do a taste test.

I have known for some time now that picking organic, antibiotic free and local meats is the healthiest choice, if you can make the financial commitment, but I had never actually taken the time to see if there was an actually difference in flavour.

So we did them up in the same marinate and grilled them, we kept them separate and had our guests test out a bit from each steak and it was unanimous the grass fed, local, antibiotic free beef was the hands down winner. It was more tender, thicker (it didn’t shrink up as much in the cooking process) and was so much juicer.  Also for an extra 4$ a pound I would say 100% worth it.

Now onto the recipe.  I have been toying with the idea of creating a gluten free dough for a while now, however working with gluten free flours can be pretty intimidating if you don’t have a lot of experience with it.  But I figured that seeing how I am trying to reduce the amount of wheat in my diet, it was time to suck it up and just give it a try, I mean really the worst thing that could happen is that it doesn’t work out.

So this week I set out to make a dough, I wanted it to be something I could use for flat breads but could also be used for pizza if the mood hit me.  I was actually quiet surprised and satisfied with the results and best of all it was husband approved. So here it is:

flatbread cooked Collage

Flat Bread/ Pizza Dough:

1 1/4 cup All Purpose Gluten Free Flour or Brown Rice Flour
1 cup Coconut Flour
2 tbsp Tapioca Startch
1 tsp dried Oregano
1 tsp dried Basil
1/4 tsp Onion Powder
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup Coconut Milk (you can use any milk that you perfer)
2 tbsp Organic Honey
2 tbsp Avocado Oil or Olive Oil
4 eggs

  1. Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Whisk them together until they are blended.
  2. In a small bowl mix together the coconut milk, honey, oil and eggs. Add wet ingredients to the large bowl of dry ingredients.  I would recommend using an electric mixer for this mainly because it will be faster and easier on your arm.
  3. Mix all ingredients together until it is no longer lumpy and everything has been blended. Use a spatula to help you form a bit of a “dough ball” then cover with plastic wrap and set it aside for 20 – 30 minutes.Flatbead Collage
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. If making flat bread, divide the dough ball into four equal parts and roll it out in between parchment paper or plastic wrap.  The dough is very sticky and will stick to your rolling pin otherwise, even if you dust the pin with flour.  If you are making pizza you can divide the dough in two for two personal size pizzas or leave it as one for a large sharing pizza.
  6. For cooking use a cookie sheet or pizza tray without any holes. Line the tray with parchment paper and place dough on top.  Top with your favourite toppings, I choose to make two flat breads the first was an arugula, peach and prosciutto combo and the second a tomato, basil and feta.
  7. Pop the flat bread or pizza in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the crust begins to golden. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes, then enjoy!

Note: the dough will look very moist, do not continue adding flour, the dough will not look similar to dough made with wheat flour so just go with it, it will cook up great. 

Now let’s all just hope for some nice weather and think some really loud positive thoughts to make the chances of thunder-showers for the weekend disappear. 

Happy Friday everyone. Have a great weekend. 

Food Time Friday – Birthday Edition

Hello folks today is my birthday AND more importantly it is International Women’s Day!!! Every year I feel so lucky to have the chance to share my birthday with the celebration of women everywhere. If you haven’t been grateful, thankful or otherwise positive towards a lady today maybe just take a minute to do so and if you are a lady I hope today is a bit of a reminder to all of us to support one another with positivity, love and compassion.
tumblr_m0kvlehwjS1r09zijo1_500So today is my birthday and you might all be thinking I am taking a vacation from things, and all I have to say to that is I WISH! I am not giving myself any breaks. I will be hitting the gym up like any regular Friday and I strongly doubt Alannah will be easier on me just because I am getting older. I actually think it will be nice to have a little sweat session at the gym in celebration of getting older and to remind myself of just how far I have come on this health, fitness and happiness journey of mine. Although I am looking forward to the gym, I don’t think the same can be said for heading to the office. Is it just me or do you agree that we should get a floating vacation day to be used on our birthdays, I mean how awesome would that be?

All that being said, today is still Food Time Friday and intend to bring you some tasty healthy treats. Well this week it isn’t so much of a treat as it is a great brunch or breakfast. You can prepare everything before hand and then just pop it in the oven in the morning and easy fuss free brunch/breakfast is served.

Broccoli and Turkey Sausage Oven Omelette

Serves 6

1/3 cup egg whites
5 eggs
1 cup steamed broccoli, finely chopped
3 green onions
½ sweet potato baked and diced
4 turkey sausages cooked and diced
Dash of soy milk (can use skim if you prefer)
Coconut oil (about a tsp)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place whole sweet potato on a baking sheet and cook for 40-45 minutes. In the last 30 minutes of cooking the sweet potato add in the turkey sausage and bake through.
2.Once sweet potato and turkey sausage are fully cooked remove from oven and allow to cool. Turn oven down to 350.
3.In a medium sized bowl mix eggs, egg whites and soy milk together until blended. Season with salt and pepper.
4.Chop green onions, broccoli, sweet potato and turkey sausage.
5.Put some coconut oil on a paper towel and grease a casserole dish, to limit the amount of sticking that will occur. Once the dish is greased place onions, broccoli, sweet potato and turkey sausage in the dish and pour egg mixture over top. If you need to stir the dish to make sure everything is coated in egg.
6.Cook oven omelette for approximately 35-40minutes. You know it is done when you shake it and the egg doesn’t move.
7. Serve with a side of salad.

I hope everyone has a great day today. Happy Friday!

Food Friday – Protein and Vegetables

Finally two Fridays in a row that I am able to bring you some delicious dishes! This one is completely delicious, it would be great served over some brown rice or quinoa, it is also completely delicious on it’s own if you are trying to cut down on your supper grains.

I think my favourit thing about the dish is that it is so simple and so quick to toss together after a hectic day of work, gym, cleaning and running around. I served mine with some roasted sweet potatoes and it definitely hit the spot on a colder winter evening.

Shrimp with Broccoli:

shrimp and broc

Cooking time = approx. 10 minutes
Total Prep = approx. 15-20 minutes
2 servings – 4 if served with rice/quinoa

1 pound Medium-large Shrimp
1/2 tbsp Olive Oil
2 cloves Garlic, Finely Chopped
2 heads of Broccoli, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 tsp Sesame Oil
3 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
3 tbsp Braggs or Tamarind (soy sauce if you aren’t keeping it Gluten Free)

1. In a large bowl place chopped broccoli and onion. Add olive oil, garlic, sesame oil, red pepper flakes and 1/2 the amount of Braggs. Mix together and let sit for about 5 minutes. While heating a frying pan to medium high heat.

2. Once pan has been heated toss in the broccoli mix. Cover for about 3 minutes to get the broccoli and onions to start cooking. Uncover and stir. Repeat this one more time. Remove cover and continue to cook for another minute or two, until the onions begin to go translucent. Toss in the shrimp and stir in the remaining Braggs stir for for another 2 minutes or so, until the shrimp are heated but not over cooked.

3. Plate and serve. If you are having guests over or are feeling fancy I would recommend sprinkling the dish with some sesame seeds, it will give it extra texture and enhance the flavour of the sesame oil in the dish.

I hope everyone is as excited for today as I am! Happy Friday Everyone!!

I have also updated the EATS pages so if you are looking for some food ideas check it out.

Also just a heads up, there may be little to no posts next week as I will be on vacation. Stay warm everyone.

Grab and Go Breakfast

After a short, okay okay LONG hiatus from providing you guys and gals with delicious healthy recipes I am back, and I am back with what my husband called my “winning” granola bar recipe.  And if I do say so myself they are delicious. So I know I have shared a couple granola bar or protein bar recipes but this one is a little different. Why is it different you ask, well I recently found these shelled pumpkin and sunflower seeds online by GoRaw, they were gluten and most importantly NUT FREE!  For those of you out there with tree nut or peanut allergies you will understand how difficult it is to find a seed without the dread “processed in a plant that also processes tree nuts and peanuts” warning at the bottom of the ingredients list.

So having found these glorious seeds I went to work right away filling up my online shopping cart with as many bags as I could afford, only to find out for whatever reason they don’t distribute in Canada. I can’t get local stores to put them on their shelves, I can’t get them shipped from amazon.com and they wont send them over from their direct webpage. So Go Raw if you are out there in cyber space this is my plea to you, please do what you can so that us allergic folk can get in on your products in Canada!

Luckily for me my soul mate, sister, and forever friend lives in the states, so she just went on down to her local Whole Foods and scooped me up a couple bags of their seeds and their granola  for me…all of which is completely delicious by the way.

So all of this to say, my granola bar recipe this time around is more “well rounded” getting some of its protein from seeds instead of protein powder and I did everything I could to keep it as natural and delicious as possible. Also for this recipe I am going to do something I haven’t done in a while, I am going to post the nutritional information, mainly because they are super tasty and therefore they are easy to over indulge on them.   These little guys are packed with protein and flavour so I really hope you all enjoy them.

oatmeal bars preoven

Serving 20 – (Breakdown Per Serving: 331.2 calories – 17g total fat (5.3g Saturated Fat) – 36.3g carbs – 6.5g fiber – 11.6g sugar – 10.8g protein 

oatmeal bar ingredient CollageDry Ingredients:

3 cups Old Fashioned Large Oats
1/4 cup Sunflower Seeds
1/4 cup Pumpkin Seeds
1/4 cup Ground Flax Seed
1/4 cup Chia Seeds (whole)
1/2 cup Raisins or Craisins (just make sure no extra sugar was added)
1/2 cup Unsweetened Coconut

Wet Ingredients:

1/2 cup Natural Chunky Peanut Butter
1/4 cup Organic Maple Syrup
1/4 cup Organic Unsweetened Apple Sauce
1 cup Soy Milk
2 eggs
1 tsp Vanilla

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl mix together all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. In a medium sized bowl whisk together all wet ingredients, once combined fold wet ingredients into the try and thoroughly mix together.
  4. Line a large glass casserole dish with parchment/wax paper (don’t make the mistake I did and under estimate the size of the pan required, you will probably need at least an 12×8 or 3L dish).
  5. Press the granola bar mixture into the lined dish, the granola bars should be about 1 inch thick.  Place in oven and cook for 25 to 30 minutes.
  6. Once cooked (should be a bit of a spongy texture when you press on them), allow to cool before cutting (at least 15 minutes of cooling before taking a knife to them).  Great for eating right away, or storing in the fridge for breakfast all week.   They will also freeze well for consumption later on.

Long Weekends

This long weekend has been great. The weather has been amazing and this weekend has been ridiculously productive.
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Starting out on Friday my fiancé and I began to pull down the hideous shed in our backyard.  The thing has been an eye sore for the past almost five years. Judging the shed only on its shotty workmanship we didn’t think it would be much of a challenge to rip it apart.  Shortly after getting started we noticed that the only thing holding the shed together was an excessive use of nails.
UntitledAfter tearing down the shed and filling up two dumpster bags of materials it was time to get started with construction. We headed to Home Depot and spent a small fortune on wood.
UntitledLucky for us some friends had volunteered their time for the day.  The actual construction of the fence and the deck took much more effort than the four of us had previously assumed, with work spilling into Sunday.
Untitled But after two days of work we got to sit down and enjoy the fruits of our labour.
UntitledNow all I have left to do is plant some pretty flowers and plants along the edge of the deck along the fence and the whole picture will be complete.

In exchange for the crazy amounts of help from our friends we decided to make some delicious BBQ’ed meals followed by my first attempt at dairy free “ice cream”.   I favour coconut milk as my liquid dairy substitute so I decided to make a coconut “milk” desert. It turn out completely delicious, much more solid than regular ice cream and I will probably sub out at least 1.5 cups of coconut milk for condensed coconut milk next time. But it turned out great, just more of a sorbet than an ice cream.

Pina Colada Sorbet

4 cups Coconut Milk (unsweetened)
1/2 cup pureed pineapple
1/2 cup and 1tsp sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tsp coconut extract
1 oz. malibu rum (optional)

1. In a food processor puree pineapple, transfer to a Tupperware and mix in 1 tsp of sugar, store in fridge for one hour.
2. Combine coconut milk with 1/2cup of sugar, mix until sugar is totally dissolved. Stir in 1 tsp coconut extract, rum and shredded coconut.
3. Transfer to ice cream maker and freeze according to manual instructions. This is normally about 30minutes in the ice cream maker.  5-10minutes before the end of the process mix in the crushed pineapple which has been sitting in the fridge for the past hour.
4. Transfer to a freezer friendly container and let it harden up.  If you want something more slushy the “ice cream” is perfect for serving fresh from the ice cream maker, if you want something  a little harder, let it sit in the freezer for 2-3hours.