Pretty in Pink “Cheesecake”

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Amy:

In honour of my husband’s birthday I decided to go all out and make him a fancy cheesecake!¬† Not just a regular cheesecake but a raw, vegan, sugar/egg/grain/milk/gluten free cheesecake! ūüôā¬† Don’t think it can be done?¬† Think again.¬† It’s amazing.¬† It’s delicate, fluffy, tart, creamy and delicious.

Taste tests went off well with everyone that tried it, especially the birthday boy!¬† Can’t wait to make this again with blueberries or even lavender!

Based off of http://www.thisrawsomeveganlife.com/2012/01/lavender-cheesecake-with-lemon-honey.html

Crust:

1/2 cup dried fruit (dates, raisins or apricots – soak a little bit if they are dry)
1 1/2 cups¬†walnuts, almonds,¬†hemp seeds, oats (GF if needed) or whatever you like…
Cheesecake:
3 cups cashews (preferably soaked for 3-4 hours)
3/4 cup lemon juice
2-3 tbsp honey/agave/maple syrup (If you like it sweeter, add more)
3/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups strawberries
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions:
1. Process dried fruit and nuts together in a food processor until you get a rough, sticky mixture that you can pat down with your hands into the bottom of the cake pan.¬† Use a spring form pan or…if you don’t have one like me…just use a 9X9 inch pan.
2. Blend all ingredients together until smooth and creamy in a blender. May take a couple minutes. (I used a food processor and I would recommend the blender instead for optimal smoothness)
3. Pour onto crust in cake pan and set in the freezer or fridge until it has the hardness you want (3-5 hours or overnight).
4. Serve cold out of the fridge for optimal texture. Garnish with extra strawberries! Enjoy ūüôā
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Fireweed Jelly

Tabitha:

Up North in Inuvik Рthe spring and summer brings a plethora of wildflowers (to my delight).  Little did I know that many of these plants are edible!  Slowly I have been learning this through people in town.

Fireweed has been my latest revelation Рit grows everywhere up here!  There are huge patches in my backyard even.  This plant is not only delicious Рbut nutritious as well.  E.g. 1 cup of fireweed leaves chopped = ~100mg of calcium (about 10% daily value) and very good source of manganese (78% daily value).

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Photo credit: http://thefoodiearmywife.com

 

Researching this a bit I discovered a lot of different ideas.  Some of the most intriguing ones were:

– Fireweed coconut cr√®me br√Ľl√©e

– Fireweed ice cubes (freeze a flower in an ice cube for a very pretty addition to a cup of water or sun tea!)

– Fireweed-pepper jelly

 

I was asked to participate in a cooking class over at one of the local family-child¬†centres.¬† So I jumped at the opportunity to make fireweed jelly.¬† Now – I wouldn’t classify this recipe as “healthy” – but I was excited and eager as it uses a local, wild ingredient, its a unique flavor, and jams and jellies are just used in small amounts anyway.¬† As with most things – use in moderation.¬† Enjoy!¬† The flavour is sure wonderful and unique.

This recipe and photo came from: http://thefoodiearmywife.com/fireweed-jelly-preserving-the-harvest-sundaysupper/ Рshe has great photos to explain the process as well.  Or if you are familiar with jelly making Рfollow the directions below!

Note: make sure you follow the directions carefully Рdo not try to reduce the amount of sugar.  Sugar is the ingredient that preserves the jelly and prevents it from spoiling.  Reduce it and you risk your jelly spoiling or potentially growing some harmful toxins.

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Ingredients:

8-10 cups of fireweed flowers (do not use flowers that have wilted – they will have a very strong flavour)

8 cups water

4 packages powder pectin

1/4 cup lemon juice

8 cups sugar

 

Directions:

1. Sterilize your jars and lids in a large pot of boiling water.  (see directions here: http://www.countryliving.com/cooking/about-food/sterilizing-canning-jars).  We used 12 half pint jars (250mL).

2. Boil the blossoms and water together in a large sauce pan for 5 minutes.  It will look brown and tea-like (later it will be a glorious purple).

3. Strain the liquid through cheese cloth, and add the liquid to a large stock pot (discard the boiled blossoms).  Add the pectin and lemon juice, and bring it to a boil, boiling for 1 minute.

4. Add the sugar, stirring continually, and boil for another minute.

5. Ladel the jelly into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space Рmake sure the sides of the jar and the lip are wiped clean from any splashes.  Add the metal lids and screw bands Рensure you do no contaminate the sterilized lids with your fingers.

6. Process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes.

7. Carefully remove jars from¬† hot water bath and place on hard surface, away from drafts, where the jars can cool undisturbed for 24 hours.¬† Listen for the “pop” of success!¬† Enjoy.

Has anyone else tried any fireweed recipes?

Simple Mint Tea

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I love simple flavours.¬† Mint tea has always been one of my favourites because it’s such a fresh and clean taste.¬† Every year I always have mint growing in my garden for this purpose….to make a simple and delicious tea.¬† It tastes so much¬†better than using a tea bag!

Snip off a few leaves, add some boiling water, let steep for a few minutes and enjoy!

Dairy-free sour cream (Vegan, raw)

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Photo credit: http://www.healthfulpursuit.com/2014/03/how-to-make-mind-blowing-vegan-sour-cream/

Amy:

I fed this to my hubby and he looked at me with surprise in his eyes and said “wow…I’m actually impressed how close that is to real sour cream!”…and then polished off the entire batch.¬† It’s delicious, easy and¬†you can make it in your own kitchen in about 5 minutes!

Based from: http://ohsheglows.com/2014/02/05/my-favourite-vegan-chili-with-homemade-sour-cream/

Ingredients:

1/2 cup cashews (either raw or roasted and unsalted)

1/4 – 1/2 cup water (if you soak them, you’ll need less)

2 teaspoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Dash of salt

Directions:

1. Ideally….soak the cashews in water for 4-12 hours¬†in the fridge¬†to soften them up.¬† Drain. I didn’t soak mine the first time I made this. It still tastes great but the texture¬†won’t be¬†totally smooth.

2. Add all ingredients into your food processor and blend until smooth.  Scrap down the sides a few times.  Adjust the water and lemon juice until it suits your preference!

Enjoy!

Egyptian Lentils (Mujadarrah)

IMG_9231Amy:

Apparently this is Middle Eastern comfort food….and I can see why.¬† Try it out for yourself and you will be surprised.¬† Although the recipe may seem simple, it’s high on flavour and nutrients and the texture is awesome.

Pulses – by that I mean beans, lentils and peas – are very healthy foods.¬† They are high in both kinds of fibre that lower your cholesterol and make your gut happy and regular, have a low glycemic index (doesn’t spike your blood sugar), they are nutrient dense and a good source of plant based protein.¬† Lentils are also grown in Canada so from a ecological stand point, they are great too ūüôā

This recipe is based off of http://allrecipes.com/recipe/lentils-and-rice-with-fried-onions-mujadarrah/

Ingredients: (Serves 4)

– 2 medium sized onions, sliced

– 2-3 cloves of garlic (optional)

– 1 – 2 tbsp oil

– Dash of salt and pepper

– Cooked rice (about 3 cups depending on how much you want)

– 1 can of lentils, rinsed or cooked dried lentils

Directions:

1. Cook rice.¬† Open lentil can and rinse well….or¬†simmer lentils in water until tender, drain.

2. Slice onions and add to pan with oil.  Cook on low-medium heat until the onions are softened and browned (about 10 minutes).

3. Add lentils to the onion pan and heat until warmed.

4. Add rice to the bowl, top with lentil and onion mixture.  Add a dollop of sour cream or try my dairy free sour cream (equally delicious!).  https://deliciousdietitianduo.wordpress.com/2014/07/24/dairy-free-sour-cream-vegan-raw/

 

 

Rawsome Green Dragon Chili!

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Amy:

As you may have noticed I’ve been getting interested in “raw foods” – using plants in their¬†natural, unprocessed state!¬† It’s been pretty fun and I can’t believe how vibrant and intense some of the flavours can be!¬† In rooting through some of the food blogs I¬† have discovered that you can make raw chili!¬† I was completely blown away that this kind of thing could be done without meat and beans!!!¬† ¬†There sure are a lot of creative people out there.¬†¬†I chopped and whipped it up with my food processor and to my pleasant surprise it was a delicious vegetarian chili!

One thing that I will tell you about with this recipe is that you NEED to wear gloves when handling the jalapeno pepper!¬† I didn’t and suffered the consequences of a terrible burning thumb for two days afterwards and anything that came into contact with my¬†thumb….like eyes…

Original recipe was from http://www.rawveganista.com/2012/11/reddragonchili/¬†entitled Red Dragon Chili.¬† I didn’t make it nearly that spicy so I called it¬†Green Dragon Chili instead and added in some vegetables that I would normally add to chili.

“Gravy base”

  • ‚Öď C sun dried tomatoes (soaked in spring water)
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1¬† large jalape√Īo pepper
  • Dash¬†cayenne pepper
  • Dash¬†chipotle pepper
  • 1¬†clove fresh garlic (or powder)
  • 1¬†tsp¬†salt
  • several sprigs of fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 2 scallions (tiny onions) or about 3 tbsp red onion
  • juice of ¬Ĺ a lemon
  • Water from soaked tomatoes (add in to consistency)

 Blend all ingredients together in a high speed blender or food processor (I used the food processor) until smooth and slightly thick.

Plant-based protein = seed ‚Äúmeat‚ÄĚ mixture

  • 1/2 C raw¬†hemp seeds
  • 1/2¬†C¬†raw sunflower seeds (hulled)
  • 5 Tbsp¬†nutritional yeast¬†flakes (optional)
  • ¬Ĺ large jalape√Īo
  • 1 scallion
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ¬Ĺ¬† tsp granulated garlic (optional)
  • Several sprigs of fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 medium sized zucchini, diced
  • 1 orange sweet pepper,¬†seeded and¬†diced
  • 1 1/2 tsp olive oil

Blend these ingredients together in a food processor.¬† Don’t over process so that it still keeps it’s texture.

Mix the sauce and the texture parts together in a bowl.

Add chopped tomatoes, avocado, cashew cream¬†and/or some fresh cilantro as a garnish!¬† I prefer it at room temperature not cold so I heat it up gently before eating, but that’s up to you!¬† Mmmmmh, enjoy!

Raw zucchini noodle pasta (raw, vegan, grain-free)

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Amy:

Have you ever discovered an idea that seems so fantastic that you wonder why you haven’t thought of it before?¬† Like zucchini noodles.¬† Once again, being under the constraints of lots of dietary restrictions, we’ve discovered the joys of eating outside the box!¬† Pros of zucchini noodles – they are highly nutritious, faster to make than pasta, are more flavourful than the refined grain counterpart, can be grown in your garden, are¬†basically void of calories¬†and¬†are just as versatile as regular pasta!

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To make a dressing I just wanted to whip something up quickly and since I wanted to stick with the “raw theme” of the meal I just took¬†some vegetables, herbs and hemp seeds and whizzed up a intensely flavourful sauce to go with it!¬† I can hardly wait for my leftovers at lunch today ūüôā¬† I made an exciting purchase the other day of a julienne vegetable peeler.¬† It looks like the picture above.¬† You don’t have to have one though.¬† Before I bought one I used a straight vegetable peeler and just sliced the strips into smaller ribbons.¬† Works fine too.

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Ingredients: (1 large serving or 2 smaller…double if needed)

– 2 small zucchini, julienned or spiralized

– Dash of salt and pepper

Sauce (loosely based on what I used….feel free to let your imagination guide you!)

– 2 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in some water

– 1 small tomato, chopped

– 1/2 jalapeno pepper (optional but wear gloves if you do!)

– 1 madjool date (or another kind)

– 1 small handful of fresh herbs (or dried) I used cilantro, sage, rosemary, chives, oregano, basil

– 1 shallot (tiny little onion) it’s optional if you don’t dig the raw onion taste

– Dash salt and pepper

– Swirl of olive oil

– Big handful of hemp seeds or sunflower seeds

Directions:

1. Wash zucchinis.¬† Slice off ends.¬† Using the julienne peeler or vegetable peeler, make ribbons or “noodles” length-wise.¬† Stop when you get to the seedy core. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, set aside.

2. Add all ingredients into the food processor.  Blend together until relatively smooth or to your desired texture.

3. Serve zucchini noodles on the plate and top with the sauce.  Garnish as desired РI used a tomato, cilantro and some black olives!

Stonefruit and blueberry smoothie

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Amy:

Ordinarily I would never “waste” my stone fruits (nectarines, peaches, cherries, apricots, plums, etc) in a smoothie because I enjoy eating them whole so much.¬† However I discovered a sad-looking-almost-empty bag of cherries at the back of my fridge….and one of my nectarines got a bit bruised coming home from the store.¬† Instead of throwing them out, smoothies are a great way of using up distressed fruit!¬†

The other beautiful thing about this smoothie was the simplicity of it.¬† Just fruit and ice.¬† No milk, no over powering bananas, no¬†refined protein powders….just the refreshing¬†fruity taste. ¬†The intense colours of the fruit also indicate how nutritious they are.¬† Darkly coloured fruits and vegetables are bursting with disease fighting anti-oxidants.

Ingredients: (1 large serving or 2 smaller servings)

1 nectarine, removed from pit

1 cup of cherries, pits removed

1 cup of blueberries

6 ice cubes

Directions:

1. Place all prepared fruit and ice in blender. 

2. Blend until smooth!¬† Enjoy ūüôā

Patterson Porridge

Tabitha:
So, my husband often talks about this special porridge he used to make for guests when he worked as a river guide. It’s unique, filling, satisfying and a complete meal in a bowl! Great as a meal when camping when you expect a big hike that day. Cheese is the star ingredient in this oatmeal…might sound a bit strange but sure is delicious!

Here is a picture of a page in the book “Trail to the Interior” by R.M. Patterson that explains how he made it. See below our rendition of this breakfast.

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Ingredients (to serve two):
2/3 cup oatmeal
1 cup water
Pinch salt
1 teaspoon margarine or butter (optional)
1 tablespoon brown sugar or maple syrup
3 tablespoons raisins
1/4 cup skim milk powder
2 slices sharp cheddar cheese

Directions
1. Boil your water on the stove with your pinch of salt. Add oats, reduce heat to medium and stir frequently until cooked, about 2 minutes of so.
2. Once oats are cooked add remainder of ingredients except the cheese and stir well. Remove from heat and ladle into bowls.
3. Serve topped with slice of cheddar cheese!

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