Saturday, February 22, 2014

Gingerbread Protein Pancakes - Gluten Free!


I love buckwheat flour for pancakes and quick breads.  It's rich, flavourful and loaded with nutrients, protein and fiber.  In fact, it just beats the crap out of wheat flour in terms of the nutrition it brings to the body.  As a bonus, it's naturally sticky, which makes it a uniquely easy gluten-free flour to use.  (There's no need to add xanthan gum, guar gum or eggs to get buckwheat to stick together.)   I used a 50/50 mix of buckwheat and brown rice flours here, but if you don't have brown rice flour on hand, feel free to go 100% buckwheat.

And please note:  These pancakes are not only for the gluten-free people among us.  They're just some damn tasty pancakes that happen to be gluten free.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Ultra-Dark Chocolate and Pumpkin Seed Bark


This chocolate is inspired by two things.  First; the disgustingly, wonderfully, alarmingly addictive product known as Bark Thins Snacking Chocolate.  It is pure evil in a bag.  I fell victim to a bag of it once and resolved never to buy it again, lest I snack myself into a diabetic coma.  Second; I'm currently following the Clean Program by Alejandro Junger M.D. (more on that below).  No sugar is allowed on the Clean program, which rules out most commercial chocolates.  Coconut sugar, however, is game-on (in moderation, of course) which makes this recipe possible.  Apparently, coconut sugar is high in minerals and has a relatively low glycemic index, making it a pretty decent alternative sweetener.  I find it to be a lot less sweet than regular sugar.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Pistachio Date Bars



No-bake Pistachio Date Bars.  These babies take all of 20 minutes to make and are great as a late-afternoon snack, or as fuel for long workouts.  I made this batch specifically so that I could send some with a friend who's doing a cross country ski marathon.  I believe he's looking at two, ten-hour days of skiing, so he'll definitely need a lot of energy.

Many people shy away from coconut oil, thinking that it's bad because it's a saturated fat.  I've come to learn/believe that it's actually a GOOD fat, so I've included it here on purpose.  Coconut oil is a rich source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs).  MCTs are digested easily, and unlike fats that are not MCTs, they are utilized in the liver.  Within moments of being consumed, they are converted to energy by the liver.  In other words; coconut oil provides more energy, more quickly than other fat sources.  Coconut oil has strong anti-viral, anti-microbial, and anti-fungal properties.  All good things when fighting yeast overgrowth.  Coconut oil helps stimulate thyroid function, ladies, which in turn helps lower bad cholesterol.  It is also known to help regulate blood sugar.  I could keep going, but I'll stop before I bore you.  For more information on the value of coconut oil, check out Eating for Beauty by David Wolfe, Clean by Alexandro Junger, M.D. or Thrive by Brendan Brazier.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Roasted Eggplant and Asparagus Rolls


These have become something of a holiday party staple for me this year.  They're just so dang good lookin' and everyone loves them.  They're a no-fuss finger food that don't require plates, forks, or additional dips.  You can just pick them up and put them in your face (in two bites, of course).   I also like that that they're happy at room temperature and gluten free.  You can prepare all of the elements the day before, and then just roll them up an hour or two before before serving.

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto


I don't know why it's taken me so long to post this recipe.  This is one of my absolute favourite things,  I put it on everything.  It makes just about every sandwich and wrap taste better, makes a nice base for crostini, and is a key component of these Roasted Eggplant and Asparagus Rolls.  

For best results, I use semi-dried tomatoes.  A semi-dried tomato is similar to a dried apricot.  It's dry, but still succulent enough that you can eat it out of the bag.  They seem to be quite common in Montreal; I find them at Anatol and Milano.  For my Kansas friends?  Good luck.  All I can ever find when I'm back there are super-expensive, very dry tomatoes, or super-expensive oil-packed tomatoes.  If you're using dry, rehydrate them in water until they soften up.  If using oil-packed, drain them and adjust the amount of oil you use accordingly.  If you have a garden, semi-dry your own!  If you need me to ship you a bag, tawk to me.  Whatever it takes to help you get this into your face, I'll help.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Lentil and Tempeh Tourtière



During the holiday season in Quebec, tourtière is as much of a necessity as pumpkin pie.  French Quebecers have been mixing multiple meats in this traditional pie since long before the monstrosity known as the "turducken" was foisted onto the earth's population.  Indeed, enjoying tourtière with family and friends is a time-honoured highlight of the season.  I've been a vegetarian since before I arrived here, so I've never actually had it.  This year, however, I'm determined to not miss out on the fun.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Drops



Hershey's kiss cookies are one of those rare varieties of cookies that I avoided during the holidays growing up.  I didn't like the options those cookies presented to my mouth:  a.)  Get stabbed in the roof of the mouth by a pointy, chocolate spear. b.) Smash chocolate into gums and gap between front teeth while trying to bite down through an inch of cold chocolate. c.) Cram entire giant cookie into face while trying not to be noticed as drool escapes from corners of mouth. d.)  Gnaw cookie in half using back teeth, again while trying not to be noticed.

Anybody feel me?