Thursday, March 17, 2011

What A Great Guy!!!

I just had to blog about this fantastic meal that my husband Greg made for us while the kids were sleeping over at my in-laws!! 
I was out all day long running around with the kids and didn't manage to get home until 7pm on Monday night ~ and this is what greeted me...

In our last CSA box from Cooper's we received organic lettuce greens and a cucumber.  Lisa had brought over a bag of alfalfa sprouts that they're now growing for the CSA and we had an organic tomato in the fridge.  Greg made this lovely salad with an Asian-inspired dressing and then whipped up some sweet potato and russet potato oven fries, seasoned with Montreal steak spice.  He paired this with a lovely Cooper's steak and made a creamy mustard and peppercorn sauce....and then topped it off by opening a fabulous bottle of 2005 Bourgogne Pinot Noir!!!!! 

Then he took me out to "Moxie's" for dessert and mango martinis!  A perfect night with my guy!

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Although India's Naturopath said that she is MUCH better now, we have to slowly reintroduce the previously restricted foods into her diet.  Therefore, I am still creating foods that stick to her diet (and frankly do us all the world of good as they have no dairy, wheat, refined sugar...after all it is only a couple of weeks until we head down to Mexico and have to squeeze our winter bodies into bathing suits!!!)
 I found this recipe in the "Get It Ripe" vegan cookbook by Jae Steele and all of the family LOVED them!!!

2 cups spelt flour (or 1 brown rice & 1 quinoa like I used!)
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 medium apple, peeled & diced
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup raisins
1/3 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
3 tbsp EVOO (or sunflower oil)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • Preheat oven to 375F.  Prepare a 12 cup muffin tray with paper liners or a light coating of oil (I have silicone muffin trays so I didn't do either!)
  • Whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.  In a smaller bowl combine the raisins, apples, applesauce, milk, syrup, oil and vinegar (this will help rehydrate your raisins a little so they aren't so chewy)
  • Add the liquids to the flour mixture and gently stir with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula until just combined.*
  • Portion the batter into the muffin cups and bake for 20 to 22 minutes until the tops are golden brown and domed and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • ENJOY!! 
*Ensure that you stir your batter gently as over-mixing can cause gluten to develop in the batter and your muffins won't rise as well.  Spelt has gluten but the amount is so minor that your body can process it much easier than if it were wheat flour!
**Make sure you remove the muffins from the tray 5 minutes after they've been removed from the oven - this will ensure that humidity doesn't build up in the bases of your muffins and cause them to become 'gluey'.
***You can also add flax or poppy seeds or chopped almonds or walnuts to the batter as well!!!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Fruity Beef Curry

As we have a freezer full of "Cooper's Farm's" hormone and antibiotic free, pasture raised, Angus-grade beef, and I was wishing I was somewhere far warmer than home, I created this sweet and succulent curry which fit the bill perfectly!

2 tsp EVOO
1 lb lean ground beef
1 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 tbsp cumin seeds
2 tsp coarsely grated fresh gingerroot (or 1/2 tsp ground ginger)
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 bay leaf
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp dried crushed red chilis
3 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
2 McIntosh apples, peeled, cored and chopped
Juice and grated peel of 1 medium lemon
1/2 cup sultana raisins.
2 medium bananas, cut into 1" pieces
1 cup chopped, ripe mango
2 tbsp liquid honey
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add ground beef and salt and saute until beef is no longer pink.  Add next 8 ingredients.  Stir together and cook for approx. 5 mins, stirring often until onion is soft.
  • Add next 4 ingredients, stir and cook covered for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until apple just begins to soften.
  • Add banana, mango and honey.  Stir, cook covered for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through and fruit is just slightly softened.  Remove and discard bay leaf.
  • Serve over basmati rice and ENJOY! 

Double Trouble Chocolate Cookies

In my pursuit of creating yummy lunchbox treats for India that remain true to the restricted diet her Naturopath has her on, I came across "Get It Ripe" written by Jae Steele which features Vegan cooking and baking.  These cookies were enjoyed by all members of the family and remind me in texture, of a dense chocolate shortbread biscuit.  Worth a try even if you aren't looking to bake wheat, gluten, refined sugar, dairy or yeast free like I am!

2 1/2 cups light spelt flour (or 1 of spelt and 1 of brown rice like I did!)
1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 cup less 2 tbsp of coconut oil*
1 1/4 cups sucanat (evaporated cane juice - Bulk Barn sells this!)
1 ripe medium banana, mashed
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1 /4 cups of non-dairy chocolate chips**
  • Preheat oven to 350F.  Prepare a baking sheet or two with a sheet of parchment paper.
  • Whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a large bowl and set aside.
  • Cream together the oil and sucanat in a separate bowl; preferably with an electric mixture for about 1 minute.  Beat in the banana and vanilla until well blended.
  • Add wet ingredients to dry and mix just until all flour is incorporated.  Fold in chocolate chips.
  • Roll dough into walnut-sized balls with clean hands (so the dough doesn't stick!) and place them, spaced 2" apart, on the baking sheet(s).  Press each ball gently to flatten to 1/2" thick.
  • Bake for about 13 minutes, until crisp on top but still soft.
  • Remove from oven and enjoy them warm or cooled!!!
*Gently heat the coconut oil in a small pot over a medium low heat prior to using as coconut oil tends to be somewhat solid in the jar, but only requires a little heat to melt to an oil.
**I purchased "Callebaut" vegan chocolate chips in the Bulk Barn and then taste just like regular ones but lack the skim milk powder!