Thursday, December 25, 2014

Sweet Potato, Spinach and Feta Egg Casserole



This hearty egg casserole makes a great center piece for breakfast or brunch.  Left-overs can be sliced down the middle and lightly pan fried to go in a sandwich or wrap.  Roast the potatoes in advance to speed things up in the morning - you could even blend the custard the day before so that all you have to do is throw everything in a pan and bake.  If you're not into sweet potatoes, swap them out for white, or do a 50/50 white/sweet mix.

As always with eggs, please please please get them from a reliable source that treats their chickens well which is no small feat.    Otherwise, this becomes breakfast sadness casserole, and who wants to eat sadness for breakfast?

6 Week Refrigerator Bran Muffins


This is my most favouritest bran muffin recipe of all time.  Heck, I'd say it's my most super favouritest MUFFIN recipe of all time!  It comes from my mom, who got it from a friend in the 70's, who got it from god-knows-where.  It's been tweaked ever so slightly to suite my tastes (coconut oil in place of margarine, slight reduction in sugar, addition of whole wheat flour), and I'm happy to say that these changes in no way compromise flavour or texture.  The recipe calls for buttermilk, eggs, and a whole bunch of boxed cereal.  Sorry friends - it's not vegan.  It's not technically "whole foods" either, but it's delicious and wonderful and I wanted to share it with all of you.

Follow this recipe and you'll end up with a HUGE amount of muffin batter that can live in your refrigerator for up to six weeks.  Fire up your oven on winter mornings to bake up a half dozen or more and you'll have happy (and regular) holiday guests.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Green Protein Smoothie


For me, green smoothies are all about packing good stuff into my diet, things that I might not get around to eating otherwise.  Dark, leafy greens such as kale, spinach, swiss chard and collard greens are loaded with vitamins A and C, while also being very high in calcium and iron, not to mention fiber, phytonutrients, and digestion-enhancing enzymes.  Fruits and berries (common smoothie ingredients) are also great for you, but I personally never have a hard time working them into my diet.  It’s easy to toss back a few handfuls of blueberries, less easy to throw down a couple cups of kale. 

That said, green smoothie making isn't as straight-forward as fruit smoothie making.  Throw fruit in a blender and, 9 times out of 10, you’re going to be pleased with the results.  Throw lettuce in a blender, however, and you might end up wondering why you’re choking down a pureed salad.

It helps to have a couple of tips.  

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Summer Fattoush


Hello dear friends and readers!  It's been brought to my attention that Powered by Plantz is well over-due for a bit of love.  It's true, I haven't written since February.  Multiple factors have contributed to this little break - a new and ugly kitchen that's really hard to take photos in (I'll dazzle you with pictures of it soon, I promise), the start of a new business venture (Check out Dirty Bird Cold Brew Coffee!) and a totally unexpected, not-at-all-planned, holy what-the-whaaaaaa? pregnancy.  That's right folks, I'm pregnant, and have been so for about five and a half months.

Now I know that women do this whole pregnancy thing ALL THE TIME, but the truth is that it freaks me out and I haven't been quite myself.  To stay on the topic of food, let's just say that I've been eating my fair share of grilled cheeses (I'm so sad we're out of cheese now that I've just typed that), french fries, frozen veggie nuggets, and all matter of not-so-good-for-you food.  I'm not saying this to be down on myself, I'm just saying that I doubt you guys are really interested in a post about how to heat a veggie dog and stuff it in your face in under five minutes, or how to eat left-over pizza at 11pm, or how to eat a pint of Ben and Jerry's for dinner.  Feel me?  I haven't been feeling terribly inspired in the kitchen, and I haven't been terribly vegan either.   Which is another reason I haven't posted in a while;  this has almost always been a vegan blog, and I'm on the fence about whether or not I want to switch that up.  For today, I don't have the energy to get into the debate (playing the pregnancy card!), I just wanted to share a simple recipe for an amazingly delicious and fresh fattoush.

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.