Vegan Black Bean Brownies (Gluten free and sugar free)

Amy:IMG_8145

One of my all time favourite recipes has got to be black bean brownies.  I feel better eating a decadent dessert made with pureed beans….and hey, no flour!  I decided to experiment today with cutting out the sugar and substituting instead stewed raisins and also using a flaxseed “egg” instead of the real deal.

I ate three today alone.

Ingredients:

1 15 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed

2.5 Tbsp of ground flaxseed with 6 Tbsp water

3 tbsp any oil of your choice

1/2 cup lightly packed raisings (or dates)

3/4 cup cocoa powder (high quality is best)

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1. Preheat oven to 350F and line muffin tins with papers (12)

2. Prepare flax “egg”s in a small bowl and set aside to thicken.

3. Add raisins and 2 tbsp of water to a bowl and microwave for 1 minute until steamy and softened.

4. Add all ingredients to a large bowl and puree until smooth.  If it’s a little thick add 1 – 2 tbsp water (should be like chocolate frosting texture).

5. Evenly distribute into 12 muffin cups and smooth the tops as best you can.

6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tops are dry and edges start to pull away from sides.

7. Store in air tight container in the fridge.

 

Cauliflower “Rice”

Amy:

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I believe this is a fairly well know idea around in the food blog World but I’ve only just recently come across this idea!  I’ve tried and enjoy using mashed cauliflower as a substitute for mashed potatoes but as rice?!?  Now that’s exciting.  It’s a great way to add bulk, diversity, vegetables and nutrients to your plate without all the heavy starch of white rice.  This type of recipe works the best with entrees that aren’t wet or too saucey as the cauliflower will then get soggy.  Do not use it in recipes like casseroles where the rice is expected to absorb water…because it won’t. 

I decided to pair it with black bean refried beans, salsa and sliced avocado!  It was a delicious combination, definitely one I will try again.

Another brilliant idea I found about “riced cauliflower” is that you can pre-prep your “rice” and freeze it in smaller portions for convenience! 

Ingredients:

1 head of cauliflower, washed, trimmed of spots and cored.  Cut into small florets

1 small onion, sliced

1 tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper

Alternative for mexican rice as pictured above: add 2 tsp cumin, 2 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp paprika

Directions:

1. Using a food processor – pulse cauliflower and onion in batches until it reaches a “rice” size.  Alternatively you can use a box grater for the same effect.

2. Heat oil in a large skillet.  Add cauliflower, onion and spices.  Stir until browned and softened or about 10-15 minutes.

 

Grain free “Porridge”

Amy:

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Porridge is a dish made by boiling ground, crushed, or chopped cereal in water, milk, or both, with optional flavourings, usually served hot in a bowl or dish.

Breakfast has been the hardest meal in light of our recent dietary restrictions so I was pretty excited when I found a recipe for a grain free porridge!  It’s quite good, highly nutritious, filling and extremely adaptable!  So many variations are possible – using different seeds, nuts, fruits, nut butters, etc!

Ingredients for 1 bowl or ingredients for bulk batch (store in air tight container):

– 2 Tbsp ground flaxseeds or 1 cup

– 1 Tbsp chia seeds or 1/2 cup

– 1 Tbsp ground walnuts or 1/2 cup

– 2 Tbsp unsweetened, shredded (or flaked) coconut or 1 cup

– 2 Tbsp chopped dates, apricots or raisins or 1 cup

Instructions

1/2 cup cereal mixture = one serving of cereal. Use 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of water for 1 serving.

1. Boil water in a pot.  Add cereal mixture and stir well.  Turn to low and simmer for about 1-2 minutes until thickened to your preference.

2. Add toppings of choice such as raisins, berries, chopped nuts, honey, coconut cream, milk, fruit, maple syrup, etc. Eat warm.

gluten free onion soup mix

Founds this on another blog. Looks delicious!

gf and me

gluten free onion soup mix Once you have this around for a while you’ll wonder what you did without it. This onion soup mix is great to use for a quick cup-of-soup, for dips, a rub for meats, or a base for sauces, soups, stews, and gravies. Stored in an airtight jar, it will last for at least a month.

Below you will find a recipe for the onion soup mix as well as some suggested ways to put it to good use.

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Raw, grain-free carrot cake

Amy:

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Photo credit deliciousdietitianduo.  Recipe based off of http://bettyrawker.com/2012/02/02/260/

amazing, raw, vegan, grain free, carrot cake

Photo credit http://www.pinterest.com/pin/102808803968146420/

This was one of those recipes that made me sit up straight and pay attention.  Raw…vegan….grain free…sugar free…oil free carrot cake?!?  Does that exist?  Apparently it does and boy is it ever delicious.  The beauty of it?  The only ingredients in the cake are dried fruit, nuts and carrots!  Icing?  Coconut oil and honey! I did a quick nutrient analysis on my version of the recipe and it comes in at a mere 215 calories per cupcake – and I argue that it is more moist and flavourful than a traditional one with cream cheese icing which weighs in at around 325-350 calories.

Cake Ingredients:

– 1 cup carrot pulp from juicing or grated carrot

– 1 cup walnuts

– 1 cup dates (medjool or other)

– 1 cup dried apple slices

– 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

– 1 tsp vanilla

– 1/2 to 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice plus a small dash salt and pepper

– 1/3 cup raisins

Directions:

1. Fine chop the carrots into a quick “shredded carrot” in the food processor, or juicer pulp (drink the juice!) then scoop into a bowl.

2. Puree 1 cup walnuts in the food processor. Add in dates into the pureed walnuts, and then blend into a sweet paste. Add walnut/date paste into bowl with the grated carrots, stir and mash in together.

3. Blend dried apple slices with dried coconut in food processor.  Add to bowl.

4. Add vanilla and spices then mash carrot mixture together well until well combined.

5. Add in 1/3 cup raisins. Mix until well incorporated.

6. Shape the carrot cake with your hands onto a plate or make individual cupcakes (like I did) by filling muffin papers.  Using a ice cream scoop is easy.  Chill in the fridge to help firm up.

Icing Ingredients:

My icing…

2 heaping tablespoon coconut oil

1 heaping tablespoon honey

Dash of vanilla

Mix together well in a little bowl and dollop each cupcake with a little bit of icing!  Refrigerate to harden.

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

– 1 cup cashews or macadamia nuts

– 2 tablespoons coconut oil

– 2 tbsp honey

– 2 tsp vanilla

– Pinch of salt

– 1 tbsp of water or more if needed

Blend all ingredients together in a high speed blender or food processor. It may also help to soak your cashews for an hour prior to making for easier blending, if you soak the cashews, expect to use less water in blending.

Roasted Tomatoes

Amy:

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I’ve never tried to roast tomatoes before but boy am I glad I did.  In the hospital I used to work at we had roasted tomatoes on the menu but they were topped with bread crumbs.  Instead I just sprinkled them with a bit of salt and pepper – I found they didn’t need any help in the flavour department.  They turn out sweet and delicious!

Ingredients:

Tomatoes, sliced in half

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Slice tomatoes in half and place on parchment paper lined baking sheet.

2. Sprinkle with a little bit of salt and pepper.

3. Roast at 425F for about 20-25 minutes until bubbly and reduced in size.

Coconut oil macaroon bar

Amy:

Chocolate Covered Coconut Bars.

Photo credit and recipe adapted from: http://www.artandthekitchen.com/2013/04/chocolate-covered-coconut-bars.html

So I finally cracked and bought one of those large jars of coconut oil.  I’ve been hesitating for a while because I didn’t want to jump on the “bandwagon” of those that claim coconut oil has miraculous benefits despite the lacking research.  HOWEVER it seems that at the very least coconut oil will not do harm in terms of heart health – and it’s a good source of calories for those that need to amp up their energy intake….so I bought some.  And I’m glad I did, it’s delicious.  It just melts in your mouth.  My recipe didn’t turn out as pretty as the one above so I borrowed it to encourage people to try it out 🙂  I did a slight adaptation and cut back on the honey and substituted chocolate for straight up cocoa/coconut oil drizzle.  Trevor’s been eating it twice a day, I have to make more soon! 

Another bonus – guess how many ingredients are in here?  Four!  Coconut oil, coconut, cocoa powder and honey!

Note – for those who are watching their waistlines – 1 tbsp of coconut oil has 130 calories (a heft amount) so be warned this isn’t a light recipe!  Enjoy, like all decadent things, in moderation.

Ingredients:

1 cup of organic coconut oil, liquified

1/4 cup honey, liquified

2 cups unsweetened dried coconut

Drizzle:

1 heaping tablespoon cocoa powder

1 tsp coconut oil, melted

1 tsp honey, melted

Directions:

1. Place coconut oil and honey in a pot and melt until just liquified. 

2. Add in dried coconut and mix well.

3. Mix drizzle ingredients together in a small bowl and microwave until just melted (doesn’t take long). 

4. Line a 8X8 casserole dish with parchment paper and pour in mixture, smooth.  Drizzle chocolate mixture over top.

5.  Refrigerate for 2 hours or until hardened.  Cut into small pieces and enjoy!

Sunshine Potato Cakes (grain, egg and gluten free)

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Amy:

I came up with this little beauty of a recipe out of necessity.  As they say necessity is the mother of invention!  My hubby has now been prescribed a fairly restrictive diet for the next number of months which basically excludes a lot of common foods.  Since we were out at a hockey tourament this weekend he needed something quick, filling and tasty to snack on.  This is based on one of Tabitha’s recipes – sweet potato chickpea cakes, just adapted.

Ingredients:

1 sweet potato (medium sized), peeled and cubed

1 medium potato, cubed

1 can chickpeas, rinsed

2 handfuls of torn spinach or other vegetable

2 tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 4 tbsp of water (let it thicken for 5 minutes)

2 tbsp sunflower seeds

2 tbsp sunflower seed butter

1 tsp each garlic power, curry powder, onion powder and tumeric

Salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Heat sweet potatoes and potatoes in the microwave, covered (add a splash of water) until softened (about 8-9 minutes).  Add chickpeas and spinach and microwave for another minute to soften.  Meanwhile start preparing the flaxseed egg replacer in a small bowl.  Let stand until thickened.

2. Mash together either with a potato masher or an immersion blender.

3. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well to combine.

4. Preheat oven to 350 and cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Using a small ice cream scoop portion out potato mixture on baking pan.  Flatten slightly with a fork and spray with oil.

5. Bake in preheated oven for ~30 minutes or until browned slightly.  Enjoy!

…Could also be fried in an oiled pan for a delicious treat as well….

 

 

Moroccan Vegetable Curry

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Tabitha: Its Nutrition Month!  And Dietitians of Canada released a new app called “Cookspiration”!  Its a fantastic app with recipe ideas.  I got this little gem off there – slightly modified to what ingredients I had access to here in Inuvik.  Hope you enjoy as much as I did.

Ingredients

2 tbsp canola oil

1 large onion, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tsp ground tumeric

2 tbsp curry powder

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground cayenne pepper

1/2 cup vegetable broth or water

2 cups peeled and cubed sweet potato

1 chopped yellow pepper AND red pepper

2 cups chopped carrots

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 cups diced zucchini

1/4 cup raisins

1 cup unsweetened orange juice

1 package frozen spinach, thawed and drained

5 cups prepared rice or quinoa

1/4 cup flaked almonds

Zest and juice from 1/2 lemon

 Instructions

1. In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat.  Saute onions for 3-4 minutes or until softened.  Add garlic, curry powder, cinnamon, turmeric, and cayenne; saute for 1 minute or until spices are fragrant.

2. Add broth and deglaze the pan, scraping up any brown bits.  Add sweet potatoes, carrots, pepper; saute for 5 minutes.  If vegetables begin to stick to the pan, add more broth.

3. Stir in chickpeas, zucchini, raisins and orange juice; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until sweet potatoes are fork – tender.  Stir in spinach, cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until heated through.

4. Meanwhile, prepare your grain.

5. Spoon vegetable mixture over couscous and garnish with almonds, lemon zest and lemon juice.

Adapted from “Cookspiration” by Dietitian of Canada.