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Monday, June 29, 2009

Top Ten assorted spices, herbs and oils

Top Ten assorted spices, herbs and oils
in clockwise order.
1. Cilantro- It is a good source of Thiamin and Zinc, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Vitamin K, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper and Manganese.

2. Extra Virgin Olive Oil- heart healthy, anti-oxidant oil.

3. Organic garlic- anti-cancer agents, lowers cholesterol, prevents blood clots, tastes amazing, need I say anything more?

4. Tumeric- antioxidant, good for your liver, helps with joint inflammation. Tumeric is the spice that gives East Indian food it's amazing distinctive flavor. we love it.

5. Cinnamon- antimicrobial properties combat yeast, fungi and bacteria overgrowth, helps increase good cholesterol and can help treat blood sugar imbalances.

6. Ginger- soothing to an upset tummy, aids digestion, boosts the immune system and seriously helps with well, just about any ailment you might have. oh and of course. it tastes great!

7. Hot Chili peppers- add chili peppers to your meals and you add vitamin A, fiber, potassium, folic acid and iron. great metabolic boosters, which aid in digestion and stimulate the appetite.

8. Basil- It is a good source of Protein, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Riboflavin and Niacin, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, Copper and Manganese.

9. Chives- Thiamin, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Phosphorus and Zinc, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Copper and Manganese. and really really easy to grow in your own garden.

10. Red Palm oil- amazing color, it is good to use at high heat. You want to buy quality organic, virgin Palm oil from your health food store. -full of antioxidants and especially Vitamin E, Red Palm oil is a rich source of carotenoids. oh and yes, it tastes great!

(we also like organic unrefined macadamia nut oil, organic unrefined peanut oil and of course organic virgin Coconut Oil! )

there you have it. 10 more of my favorite healthy things.

Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Just to dispel any thoughts that we never indulge over here! We adore Turtle mountains Dairy Free coconut ice cream.
There is great misconception that coconut is evil because it contains saturated fat.
Actually saturated fat from natural sources like coconut is not really a problem for the human body. Refined polyunsaturated vegetable oils are the thing to avoid (along with too much animal fat) . Coconut has fiber, potassium, magnesium and lot's of heart healthy medium-chain triglycerides. MCT's are mainly composed of a fat called lauric acid which is antiviral and antimicrobial (and preferably used by the body for energy rather than fat storing). Studies have shown that the fat in coconut has no adverse affects on the heart or on general health.

THAT said, THIS is ice cream and I'm not recommending you eat it everyday! haha
The ingredients of Turtle Mountains coconut ice creams do meet my strict guidelines though. and seriously, it's way delicious.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Organic Orange and Oregano Salad

This salad is fresh and zingy! I used Oregano straight out of my little herb garden. We bought the most delicious organic oranges from our local organic market.
so easy too!

3 navel oranges, peeled, de-seeded, segmented and chopped (or you could cut them in rounds if you are feeling all fancy)
2 Tbsp. Fresh Oregano leaves whole
1/2 red onion thinly sliced
Organic Extra virgin olive oil
Red Wine vinegar
coarse salt
fresh ground pepper


1. arrange oranges and onion slices on serving plates.
2. Generously sprinkle with fresh Oregano leaves.
3. drizzle ( generously) olive oil on the individual salads, then drizzle the red wine vinegar along the same lines.
4. salt and pepper to taste and voila!

Orange Ginger glazed carrots- for BREAKFAST!

I liked these so much at dinner the other day, I made them for breakfast. :)
Orange-Ginger Glazed Carrots


1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices (about 2 1/2 cups)
1/3 cup water
1 Tbsp. organic butter
1 Tbsp organic honey
1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, minced fine
1 med. sized orange, grate the zest from the orange and squeeze the juice out (1/4 cup juice needed)
1 Tbsp. organic shredded coconut
1 Tbsp raw organic sunflower seeds


1. Place ginger, butter, honey, salt and water in a large saute pan and bring to a boil. Add the carrots, cover and simmer over med/low heat for 5 minutes. Remove lid and simmer for another 15 minutes or until all the water has reduced. Add the orange zest and the orange juice, stir and simmer for another 5 minutes. spoon into bowls and add sunflower seeds and coconut.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Maple Soy Halibut & Orange Ginger Glazed Carrots with wild rice

Ingredients for maple soy glazed halibut:
Maple soy glaze-
2 Tbsp. gluten free tamari soy sauce
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 clove garlic, pressed

1/3 cup gluten free tamari soy sauce
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 clove garlic, pressed
2 halibut steaks
fresh ground black pepper
vegetable oil for grill

1. Stir together soy sauce, maple syrup and garlic in a small saucepan. simmer over med/high heat until slightly thickened. 3-4 minutes. set aside 2 Tbsp. worth in a small bowl for use before serving.

2. Whisk 1/3 cup soy sauce, and 1/3 cup maple syrup in flat bottomed dish. place halibut steaks in a single layer in marinade. refrigerate for 1/2 hour

3. Heat barbecue grill med/high heat, scrape and clean grill and oil it lightly. place steaks on grill, cook for about 5 minutes, flip, brush with glaze and cook for another 5 minutes or until the steaks are cooked through.

4. Arrange on plate and drizzle with reserve glaze before serving.

Orange-Ginger Glazed Carrots


1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices (about 2 1/2 cups)
1/3 cup water
1 Tbsp. organic butter
1 Tbsp organic honey
1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, minced fine
1 med. sized orange, grate the zest from the orange and squeeze the juice out (1/4 cup juice needed)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper to taste


1. Place ginger, butter, honey, salt and water in a large saute pan and bring to a boil. Add the carrots, cover and simmer over med/low heat for 5 minutes. Remove lid and simmer for another 15 minutes or until all the water has reduced. Add the orange zest and the orange juice, stir and simmer for another 5 minutes. salt and pepper to taste before serving.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Garam Masala Beans and Rice

My friend chocokat sent me some Rancho Gordo beans for my birthday! I was so excited to try them! They have the most beautiful beans
Adapted from this recipe on the Rancho Gordo website. The recipe is super vague and expects you to have some knowledge so I have adapted it and written it down in a way that any old girl could whip it up.

1 Cup of Cargamanto Cranberry Beans
First things- rinse your beans and then soak them. Soak them for around 6-8 hours. Do this in the morning and your beans will be ready to cook by late afternoon. The dish will take at least 2 hours to cook so don't wait too long or the family will get hungry.

as I said earlier- 1 cup of beans (rinsed and soaked for 6 hours)
1/2 cup white onion, diced
1/2 cup carrot, diced
1/4 cup celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 red hot chile, diced
1/2 cup sweet potato, diced (I used a pretty purple asian sweet potato)
2 cups gluten free chicken or vegetable stock if you are a vegetarian
3 cups water
2 Tbsp. Ghee
2 Tbsp. Garam Masala
1/2 lemon to squeeze over dish at serving time
Fresh cilantro from your herb garden :)
and I used some edible flowers from my herb garden . because they look nice.
organic fruit chutney, I used a nice apricot/apple chutney


1. melt ghee in a large lidded pot on med/high heat

2. add the onions, garlic and hot pepper and stir for 1/2 minute. Add the remaining vegetables and stir for about 3 or 4 minutes until the veggies are all starting to feel the heat, add the garam masala and stir for another minute.

3. pour in the gluten free chicken stock and the water, add the drained, rinsed beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cover. cook for at least 2 hours (until the beans are ready)

4. Serve on a bed of brown basmati rice. garnish with lots of cilantro, squeeze a little lemon on it all, add a generous dollop of fruit chutney and maybe some edible flowers if you had them. :)

so delicious!
thanks chocokat! I love my Rancho Gordo beans

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My 10 favorite Foods

Here is a list of my 10 favorite foods and why. all of which happen to be quite healthy.
Oh, and we buy organic products from local shops.

1. almond butter.

I eat a little natural almond butter everyday. usually I smear it on fruit like an apple or banana. I have found that raw nuts are not always easy for my IBS ridden system to digest, but a Tbsp. of almond butter won't cause me any problems. Rich in monounsaturated fat, almonds are a filling nutritional powerhouse. one ounce contains about 6g of protein and 3 g of fibre. plus they (almonds) are rich in calcium, phosphorous, vitamin E and magnesium.

2. avocados.

again, rich in monounsaturated fat (to help LOWER cholesterol), avocados taste delicious. They are great for your skin and hair and they have tons of fibre. 11-17g per avocado!. Potassium, folate, vitamin A, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin and more! again, so satisfying and filling that you don't feel the need to over eat. I use them in salads, with eggs, on pizza, smashed into gaucamole and all by themselves. several times per week.

3. broccoli sprouts. also pea shoots, mixed sprouts, any sprouts! I love sprouts.

Sprouts are baby plants, which means when you eat them you get all of the nutrional benifits of the mature plants condensed into each one of those little tastey morsels. Sprouts are a concentrated source of nutrition. They are full of enzymes, vitamins and amino acids. not to mention fibre!. I put them on top of everything. I eat them along with a little salt. I honestly use salad dressings only in the evening. I prefer my sprouts at lunch totally undressed.

4. prunes.

I adore prunes. officially they have changed their name to dried plums. I like Earthbound Farm's Organic premium pitted dried plums.
antioxidants, Vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, iron and of course TONS OF FIBRE.
I eat 4-6 prunes a day. yes I do.

5. eggs.

we buy organic free range eggs. I eat them poached, boiled and in the occasional omelette.
excellent source of protein, loaded with vitamins and minerals, great for hair and nails, eat with spinach for a real healthy mix that can improve your eye health.

6. carrots.

I eat them for breakfast. I eat them at lunch. raw, boiled, roasted. whatever! carrots are sweet and delicious and full of good things. Antioxidants, beta-carotene, calcium, potassium, vitamin A, fibre and more! Good for your eyes carrots will help you live longer. One of those foods that will prevent cancer. yep. good stuff.

7. berries. my favs are blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. (in that order)

since I try not to play favorites, I just eat them all together. berries are my fruit salad base. I will add, bananas, tangerines, oranges, kiwi fruit and other fruits to my berries. But berries are always the base. fruit salsa- needs berries! hot or cold cereal- needs berries!
ok so they are full of antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and vitamins and minerals. oh and fibre again! just eat more berries.

8. spinach. I have always loved spinach

I like it raw, wilted, stewed, in baby form, in salads, as a substitute for rice in a meat dish, by itself as a snack, in my omellete.
Vitamin K, calcium, magnesium,beta-carotene, iron, lutein. oh and it's super low cal. eat an entire bunch of it if you like.

9. wild pacific salmon.

Omega-3s! Omega-3s! oh wow. so good for you. notice- I say wild pacific salmon. Northern wild salmon (alaskan) is relatively mercury free.

10. dark chocolate

Green and Blacks 85% dark chocolate is my favorite. If like me you can't stop once you start , it's best to buy it only as an occasional treat. :)
flavonoids reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes, and excellent to lower blood pressure. Go for dark chocolate , the darker the better. the less sugar the better as well. of course.

I'll do some other lists later.
1. oils and spices
2. things I avoid and why

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cinnamon Bison Noodles

We used Bison but grass-fed beef would be just as nice

4 green onions, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
4 cloves of garlic, pressed
3 large slices of fresh ginger (loonie size) smashed
4 red hot chiles, diced very fine
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp. aniseed
1 tsp. organic red palm oil

4 cups water
1/3 cup tamari gluten free soy sauce
1 pound stew meat (we actually used bison striploin since that is what we had) trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
5 ounces of spinach, washed and drained
1/4 pound flat chinese rice noodles (cooked until just tender, rinsed under warm water and drained)
1 Tbsp. diced green onion

1. heat a large pot or casserole over med/high heat (we use a tagine for this). Add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the chiles, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, aniseed and green onions and stir-fry for 15 seconds

2. Add the water and the soy sauce and bring to a boil, add the bison or beef and bring to a boil again. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours (or until the beef is very tender).

3. remove the ginger and cinnamon and discard.

4. add the spinach and bring to a boil again.

5. divide the noodles between bowls and ladle the soup over the noodles. garnish with diced green onions.

delicious! keeps well and gets better with repeated heatings.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Rhubarb Crumble (gluten free)

adapted from Mom's recipe which goes something like this-
"take some rhubarb, cut it up, put some sugar and lemon juice on it. crumble up some flour/butter and sugar. bake it until it's done."

2 cups washed, chopped fresh red rhubarb
1/2 lemon (juice of)
1 & 1/2 Tbsp. sucanat

Topping Ingredients:
1/3 cup sucanat
1 cup Bob's Red Mill garbanzo and Fava flour
1/2 cup organic butter (melted)

preheat oven to 350°F

1. place cut rhubarb pieces in oven proof bakeware (or individual ramekins)
2. sprinkle with sucanat and lemon juice (more of each if the rhubarb is very sour)

3. In a bowl, combine flour, sucanat and melted butter with your hands until it sticks together and forms a "crumble". cover rhubarb with crumble. bake for 20 minutes or until the crumble topping has browned and the rhubarb is soft.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Macadamia Panfried mushrooms with wilted organic pea shoots, garlic chives and rock salt

Todays lunch
heat some macadamia nut oil on med/high heat in a saute pan, add some sliced mushrooms and cook until browned and about 1/2 their size. remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside.
throw a handful of washed, organic pea shoots into the pan and heat through until just wilted. remove from heat.
arrange the pea shoots in a bowl with the mushrooms on top. add fresh onion chives from your herb garden (teehee you better get an herb garden) and sprinkle with nice big rock salt.

delicious! and fast.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Thin Crust Pizza with Organic goat mozzarrella, mushrooms, olives and yellow pepper

This gluten free Pizza is great even if your not on a gluten free diet!
Jillian asked for the recipe. Ken and I had made this in the past and really thought it was great. I have been avoiding dairy for a while but I decided to go ahead and make this for a treat!
This pizza dough recipe is right on the package of Bob's Red Mill Gluten free Garbanzo & Fava Flour. we have made a few small adjustments.
Pizza Dough-
1 Tbsp. gluten free- dry yeast
2/3 cup Bob's Red Mill Garbanzo & Fava flour
1/2 cup Tapioca flour
2 Tbsp. Dry milk powder
2 tsp. Xanthan gum
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. unflavoured gelatin
2/3 cup warm water (105° F)
1/2 tsp. sucanat
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. Cider Vinegar

1 baking stone
parchment paper
cornmeal for dough shaping

1. preheat oven to 425° F

2. In med. bowl use regular beaters (not dough hooks), blend the yeast. flours, dry milk powder, xanthan gum, salt and gelatin at low speed. Add the warm water, sugar, olive oil and vinegar. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. The dough will resemble soft bread dough. (if the dough is to stiff to beat, you may need to add a little water) out the dough on parchment paper into a pizza shape. use some cornmeal to keep it from sticking to your hands and the parchment. Keep the edges a bit thicker for a nice crust.

4. Bake the pizza crust on the pizza stone (and the parchment paper) for 10 minutes. remove from oven, spread your pizza sauce and toppings on top. don't overload it. it's a thin crust and doesn't need heaps of cheese etc.

5. return to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and the crust is browned (about 10-15 minutes but watch).

Pizza Sauce Ingredients:
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1/4 onions (chopped fine)
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 cup fresh tomatoes (pureed in the blender)
1/8 cup red wine
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. fresh oregano, chopped
1 tsp. fresh basil, chopped
1 red hot chile pepper, diced

1. in a large skillet, heat the oil and saute the garlic and onion until soft and browned
add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano, basil, hot chile peppers and red wine.

2. cook on medium , stirring frequently until the sauce is slightly reduced.

Pizza Directions!

we used, thinly sliced mushrooms, chopped yellow bell pepper, chopped onions, black olives and fresh goat mozzarella on our pizza. spread out your toppings thinly and don't overlap.

When you follow the directions for the pizza dough you will get a crisp, bubbly pizza crust that could easily pass for a normal flour crust. It was very successful and between 4 of us we ate 2 entire pizzas (we made a second batch of the dough).

Sunday, June 7, 2009


2 Tbsp. Olive oil
1 onion sliced
3 garlic cloves, pressed
4 chicken thigh fillets, cut into chunks
2 leeks, split, washed and chopped
250 ml gluten free chicken stock
1/4 cup KUNGFU GIRL white Riesling wine (obviously you can substitute other white wine for this)
1-2 cups cannellini beans, cooked -you can use canned OR- (soak 1 cup dried beans for 12 hours, rinse, and pressure cook in 4 cups water and 1 Tbsp. oil according to your pressure cookers instruction manual for 15 minutes)
2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 red chiles, sliced
bunch curly parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat the oil in a casserole and fry the onions until soft but not browned (4 min), add the garlic, chicken and leeks and stir until the chicken is browned. Add the cumin, cayenne and chili peppers and stir.

2. Add the chicken stock and wine and simmer until the leeks are tender and the chicken is cooked (8 minutes, give or take what is needed).

3. Stir in the beans, heat through, salt and pepper to taste, stir in parsley and serve.

drink the rest of the wine with dinner.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Gluten Free Pancakes

1 cup Bob's Red Mill gluten free all-purpose flour
2 tsp. sucanat
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup organic buttermilk
1/4 cup organic milk
1 large egg separated with egg white beaten to soft peaks
2 Tbsp. butter , melted
vegetable oil for griddle

1. Mix dry ingredients in a medium size bowl.
2. in another bowl combine the melted butter and the egg yolk, add the buttermilk, milk and fold in the egg white
3. dump the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until "just" mixed. don't over mix.
4. heat griddle or skillet over medium high heat and brush with oil. pour the batter (about 1/4 cup at a time ) onto the griddle but don't overcrowd! when the bottoms are browned and the top surface begins to bubble, flip (2 or 3 minutes), cook the remaining side until browned. repeat until all the batter is gone!
5. top with fruit and real Canadian maple syrup.