Dynamite Roasted Potato Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette (Egg, soy and dairy free)

IMG_8816

For once I went to a restaurant and was impressed by something creative that they served!   It was a potato salad but served as an actual salad – lettuce, tomatoes, roasted baby potatoes, cilantro, fried egg and creamy dressing.  It was good…but I’m really not much of a mayo fan and with a man needing egg free meals…I was inspired to create a egg, soy and dairy free version of the salad for our camping trip this weekend!  It really hit the spot for supper and tasted even better the next day for leftovers.  The vinaigrette dressing was a refreshing and light change from the usual heavy mayo dressing.

Keeping the skins on the potatoes is great (other than being easy because I’m a lazy cook) because it increases their nutritional value and boosts up the potassium which is good for helping maintain blood pressure! 🙂

Amy:

1 small package of baby potatoes, halved (about 3-4 cups…ish)

1 container of cherry tomatoes, halved

1/4 cup dill pickles, chopped

1/2 onion, finely minced

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

2 tbsp fresh herbs (I used thyme, chives and rosemary)

Dressing:

1 tbsp dijon mustard

1 tbsp honey, melted

2 tbsp vinegar

3 tbsp olive oil

Dash of salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Cut potatoes in half.  Spray or coat potatoes with a little bit of oil.  Spread on parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake in the oven at 425F for about 30 minutes or until browned.  Allow to cool.

2. Chop tomatoes, onions, pickles, herbs and add into large bowl.  Add potatoes once they have cooled.

3. Whisk together dressing ingredients in a small bowl.  Pour over salad mixture and mix well.

4. Refrigerate for a few hours before serving!

5. Enjoy as a side dish or serve over top of salad greens to make it into a “salad”!

Kale Salad with Roasted Hazelnuts and Mangoes

Tabitha:

Well my greenhouse plot is starting to produce which means a lot more salads in my house! Kale is super nutritious but I like to mix up the textures in a salad. The roasted hazelnuts are amazing in this salad. If you have never toasted nuts you MUST try it! It amps up the flavour big time. And is really easy!

Roasted Nuts:
1. Place nuts spaced loosely apart on a baking sheet.
2. Place in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F.
3. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so and watch so they don’t burn. They should look darker and might start to split.

Salad Ingredients:
1 bunch kale, remove stalks, slice leaves thin
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp. honey
1 mango, diced (or dried mango soaked in water to plump)
Handful of roasted hazelnuts

Directions:
1. Chop kale, careful to remove the stems.
2. Mix dressing in separate bowl (lemon juice, oil, honey, salt and pepper).
3. Add mangoes and hazelnuts.
4. Enjoy!

20140617-191141.jpg

Artichoke and sundried tomato sauce

IMG_8749Amy:

I made this one up to go along with the quinoa cashew loaf.  It’s a delicious combination 🙂

I love artichokes (as I’ve gone on about in previous posts) because they are so versatile, tasty and have almost a meaty or fatty texture despite being a vegetable!  I was excited to find some artichoke hearts packing in water at Costco (instead of oil) so I’ve been on an artichoke kick lately.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup canned artichoke hearts, packed in water

2 tbsp sunflower seeds butter

2 tbsp sundried tomatoes

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp water

1 tbsp fresh herbs (I used chives and thyme)

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Place all ingredients into food processor.  Blend until smooth.  Add a bit more water if needed to thin it out.

2. Serve with crackers, over bread or with the quinoa, cashew loaf.

Cashew Quinoa Loaf (Vegan and Grain-Free!)

IMG_8759

Amy:

I received inspiration from looking at a vegan website the other day.  It was a delicious looking recipe for a vegan rice loaf!  Why had I never thought of making a meatloaf out of non-meat ingredients before?!  Since we’re currently limiting grains for health reasons and couldn’t have the bread crumbs in the recipe, I whipped up my own version using quinoa, cashews, flaxseed eggs and lentils!  Nutritionally it’s a powerhouse!  It’s a fantastic source of protein – quinoa, lentils AND cashews are all fantastic sources of protein.  The nuts give it a nice almost cheesy flavour and the rosemary really brightens it up.  Hubby was making happy mouth noises as he munched through it.  Also please try it with my artichoke and sundried tomato sauce…it was divine!

Although the ingredients may seems expensive to buy (quinoa and cashews) – think about how people don’t bat an eye buying $40 worth of steak for a weekend BBQ….it’s all about perspective….

IMG_8749

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked quinoa

1 cup of cashews, ground in a food processor or coffee grinder to a coarse powder

1 can of lentils, rinsed

2 flaxseed eggs (2 tbsp ground flaxseed and 6 tbsp of warm water – let it sit for a few minutes)

1/2 – 1 full sprig of fresh rosemary or other herb of your choice!

3/4 cup of milk or milk alternative (almond, soy, coconut) or just water

2 tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 tsp garlic powder or fresh garlic

1/2 large onion, minced

Directions:

1. Cook quinoa (or use leftovers like I did!).  Prepare flax eggs and set aside to thicken.

2. Add quinoa, lentils and ground cashews into large bowl.  Add flaxseed eggs and the rest of the ingredients.  Mix well.

3. Line a bread loaf pan with parchment paper and press mixture into pan.

4. Bake in preheated oven at 350F for about 1 hour or until set and browned.

5. Remove from pan by inverting onto a platter or plate.  Allow to cook slightly before serving.

Try serving with green vegetables and the artichoke, sundried tomato sauce!

Hot dogs…how bad are they really? Tabitha’s radio interview :)

Tabitha: I work as a dietitian in Inuvik, Northwest Territories and was contacted by CBC radio to do an interview about….”Hot Dogs, how bad are they really?”  listen to the link below.

https://soundcloud.com/#lorenmcginnis/hot-dogs-not-that-good-for-you

Highlights include:

1. Know where your food is coming from.  When  you eat beef or caribou you know it is made from cows and caribou.  There is no “hot dog” animal, so why are you eating it?  The more a food is processed, the less healthful it is.

2. Hot dogs are a low quality meat made out of “mechanically separated meat” which is the unpalatable parts of the animal ground up and mixed with fat, salt and spices.

3. Hot dogs and other processed meats are high in nitrates which increases your risk of colorectal cancers (according to Canadian Cancer Society).  One study in the United States saw that 1 serving of processed meat a day (such as hot dogs, sausages, bologna, salami, bacon, etc) increases your risk of colorectal cancers by 20%!

4. Hot dogs are high in saturated fats which are unhealthy for your heart health.

5. Hot dogs are loaded in sodium (salt), 4 hot dogs add up to your daily limit for salt….never mind the salty condiments that we add.

Better camping food choices?

1. Tin foil meals of meat, potatoes, vegetables and sauces heated in the fire coals.

2. Make pizza pockets out of pie irons with bread, sauces, vegetables and other toppings.

3. Make a camp stew or soup over the fire.

4. Lean hamburger patties, dried fish or meat.

 

Overall?  Know what goes in your food!  Eat processed foods in moderation.  Happy camping!

Aqua Fresca de Sandi (Watermelon Juice)

20140612-212904.jpg

Tabitha: during isolation time in Inuvik, the produce selection gets somewhat limited while we wait for the ferries to start running. As a result I ended up purchasing a watermelon that was too far gone to serve anyone. What does one do with an over-ripe watermelon? Make a refreshing drink if course!

Ingredients:
3 cups cubed watermelon
2 cups water plus about 3 more cups of water
~1/4 cup sugar (optional)
Juice from 1 lime
Plenty of ice

Directions:
1. Blend watermelon and two cups if water in a blender until smooth. Add lime juice, sugar and additional water to taste. Stir well.
2. Pour mixture through strainer or coffee filter to remove pulp (or leave it if you like the texture).
3. Serve with a lime wedge and lots if ice. Refreshing!

Rhubarb Apple Crisp with Chia

IMG_8738

Amy:

Farmer’s market adventure #2 in Prince George featured a big bag of fresh spinach and….RHUBARB!  I love it a lot!  Did you know it’s actually a vegetable? I love rhubarb because, unlike most fruits and vegetables that are now available year round, it’s really only around (fresh at least) for a couple months.  And what a treat stewed rhubarb is to the taste buds.  This was another garden favourite when we were growing up.  My Omi would give us a raw stalk of bitter rhubarb and a bowl of coarse brown sugar to dip it in!

The chia seeds are great for absorbing extra liquid so I used it in this recipe instead of a flour or starch.  It turned out delicious and nutritious!

Note – if you are into juicing and are considering juicing the rhubarb leaves…please don’t. The leaves contain a toxin harmful to humans.

Ingredients: (This is a bit of guess work as I more or less threw it together…)

4 large granny smith apples, peeled and chopped into squares

~8 cups rhubarb, chopped

1/4 cup honey, liquid

1/4 – 1/2 cup maple syrup (depending on how sweet you like it)

1/4 cup chia seeds

Topping:

1 cup oats (wheat free as needed)

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut

2 tbsp canola oil

2 tbsp honey, liquid

1/2 tsp cinnamon

 

Directions:

1. Chop apples and rhubarb and place in a large mixing bowl.  Add chia seeds, honey and maple syrup. Stir well to coat.

2. Mix topping ingredients together in a small bowl.

3. Preheat oven to 350F.  Pour fruit mixture into large casserole dish or pie dish.

4. Bake for 15 minutes.  Pull out and sprinkle with topping.  Place back in oven for another 30-45 minutes or until softened and bubbly!

Try not to eat it all in one sitting…it’ll be hard….

 

Spring Ribbon Salad

IMG_8691Amy:

Guess what spring-time means?!  Asparagus season!  I have fond memories of eating asparagus RAW out of my Nana and Papa’s garden in the spring when I was a kid!  So green and delicious…

I decided to make a ribbon salad out of thicker stalks of asparagus that I got in the bunch (tend to be a little more woody and tough) so this was a good use for them!  Feel free to dress it up with whatever herbs or vegetables you like!  I served it over top of some leave greens so it was more of a garnish being so flavourful!

Ingredients:

3-4 stalks of asparagus

1 carrot

1 small zucchini (peel up to seed core)

4 radishes

3 green onions

1/4 cup cilantro or parsley, fresh and chopped

Dressing – I used 1 tbsp olive oil, 2 tsp white vinegar, 1 tsp dijon mustard, 1 tsp melted honey, dash of salt and peppers

Directions:

1. Using a vegetables peeler, make ribbons or strips with the vegetables.  Place in salad bowl.

2. Chop the green onions and parsley and add to vegetables.

3. Whisk up dressing and add to vegetables.  Toss together to coat.

Serve over top of salad greens or on it’s own as a side dish.

Cabbage rolls…with cauli-rice! (Grain free)

IMG_8684

Amy:

One of the foods hubby has missed while being on this elimination diet is rice and…cabbage rolls. Especially at Easter time! While I didn’t try to make him any then, I did try them out the other day using my handy-dandy “riced cauliflower recipe”! While it wasn’t exactly like cabbage rolls it was pretty darn close – I was actually pleasantly surprised! I will next time use green cabbage but I just had red cabbage in my fridge….just so you know 🙂

Ingredients:
1 head of green cabbage, core removed
1 head of cauliflower, “riced” and cooked
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt and pepper (important for flavour)
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1/2- 1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 – 1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika (optional but fun)
Spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce, condensed tomato soup (not GF)…whatever you like for sauce on the cabbage rolls. I used some leftover vegetable/meat spaghetti sauce for DELICIOUS results.

Directions:
1. Dig out the core of the cabbage with a knife while you bring a big pot of water to boil on the stove. Once it’s boiling, CAREFULLY slip in the cabbage (don’t splash yourself!) and let it simmer for about 20 minutes or until the outer leaves are tender but not completely soft. Remove from the pot with whatever utensils you have that will work! I used a BBQ flipper and a large slotted spoon….set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile make the cauliflower rice. Using a food processor, process cauliflower florets in batches until it’s about a “rice size”. Dump riced cauliflower into a large bowl. Once it’s all riced, heat in microwave for 5 minutes on high. This boils off some of the water to achieve more of a starchy texture. Add olive oil, herbs and spices and mix well, let cool for 5 minutes.
3. Peel off a leaf of cabbage, cut off the thick rib part if needed. Place a couple of tbsp of rice mixture at the bottom of the leaf and carefully roll up, tucking in the ends as you go to make a roll. Place in baking casserole dish. Repeat with the rest of the cabbage leaves. Note: You may need to reboil the cabbage head part way though as the center may not be soft enough. Tuck rolls tightly in beside each other. You may do two layers if your dish is deep enough.
4. Once all rolls are in the casserole dish, cover the rolls with the sauce of your choice. My Ukrainian mother-in-law likes to cover the cabbage rolls and sauce with a couple of cabbage leaves to keep them from browning too much as they bake.
5. Bake covered in a preheated oven at 350F for about 1 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until very tender which may vary depending on how large the casserole dish is. 🙂 Enjoy!