Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Red Lentil and Wheat Berry Snacks
I'm always on the lookout for tasty snacks that are also good for us and was thrilled to come across this wonderful recipe.
I love red lentils and I'm crazy about Indian spices, so these really fit the bill when it comes to yummy yet nutritious snacks.
Here's what I did...

Melted some coconut oil and added chopped onion

Added cumin seeds, ground coriander, garam masala and chili flakes (I didn't actually have chili flakes, so I just crumbled up some dried chilies)
 Sautéed the onions and spices for a few minutes and then added some minced garlic

Added cooked wheat berries

And cooked red lentils

Decided it wasn't spicy enough or colorful enough, so added cayenne and turmeric and mixed it all together then refrigerated the mix overnight

On one plate I poured some white sesame seeds and black sesame seeds

On another I poured some chia seeds (Perry's brilliant idea!)

I rolled some of the golf ball-sized scoops in the sesame mixture, some in the chia seeds and left some naked

Baked them (on a parchment-lined cookie sheet) for 30 minutes at 400F, turning after 15 minutes.  Served with tamarind chutney.  YUM!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Kamut Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
The other day, I was really in the mood to make some chocolate chip cookies.  I didn't want to make a traditional chocolate chip cookie, but one with some healthy additions and omitting some of the less healthy options.  I had some kamut flour in the fridge, so I decided I'd search for a recipe online and see what I came up with.  I found this recipe
and decided it was exactly what I was looking for.  The recipe called for kamut flour and kamut flakes, but I decided to use rolled oats instead of the flakes because that's what I had on hand.

These cookies are absolutely delicious.  I'd say they're as good as or even better than any oatmeal chocolate chip cookies I've had in the past.
Here's what I did...

 I partially melted (gently on the stove) 1/2 cup of virgin coconut oil

 Added 1/2 cup maple syrup, 2 teaspoons water and 1 teaspoon vanilla (I think the water was unnecessary) 

 Then I added 1 1/2 cups rolled oats, 1 cup kamut flour, 1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt, 2 tablespoons flax seeds, 2 tablespoons chia seeds and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

 Next I added 1/2 cup chopped walnuts and 1 cup Guittard 63% cocoa (so happy to find these) chocolate chips 

Then I mixed it all together and dolloped by tablespoons (using a cookie scooper) onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet

And baked for 20 minutes, rotating cookie sheets after 10 minutes.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Wheat-Free Blueberry and Banana Muffins

I've been experimenting quite a bit lately with wheat-free baking and finding it a lot easier than I expected.  In the past, when I'd searched recipes online for wheat-free muffin and cake recipes, I always found ingredients like xanthan gum and guar gum and such things.  I didn't want to get into buying yet another bag or box of something I'd use once and then have to find storage space for, so I'd always forget about it and just make something else.  I've realized lately though, that I can sub. most flours for wheat and the products work out just as well as they had with wheat.  So, I looked at one of my favourite muffin recipes and made it over.  The texture and flavour of these muffins is pretty much the same as it was with wheat flour and white sugar, but this one is so much more healthful.
Here's what I did (recipe at the bottom)...
Put 3 very ripe bananas and two large eggs in my stand mixer
 Added 1/2 cup of gently melted coconut oil (didn't worry about it melting 100%)
 Mixed these until well blended
 Added 1/4 cup arrowroot flour, 1/4 cup brown rice flour, 3/4 cup oat flour and 2/3 cup coconut palm sugar
 Added 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, 1 tablespoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt and 1 teaspoon baking soda

Mixed on low speed until just blended

Added 1 cup frozen blueberries and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Folded them in and poured into paper muffin liners in a muffin tin.

Baked at 375F for 27 mins.

Blueberry and Banana Muffins
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup arrowroot flour
1/4 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup oat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
1/2 cup virgin coconut oil, gently melted
2/3 cup coconut palm sugar
3 very ripe bananas, peeled
1/2 cup chopped walnut pieces
1 cup frozen blueberries (don't thaw)

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix the eggs, coconut oil and bananas.  Add all other ingredients except walnuts and blueberries and give it another quick mix.  Fold in the walnuts and blueberries.  Spoon into muffin tins lined with paper cups.  Bake at 375F for 27 minutes or until they spring back when gently pressed.
Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from muffin tins and allow to cool (or eat while warm).

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Spicy Shrimp with Okra

This was dinner for Perry and me last Saturday night.  Krestan had few friends over for a sleepover, so they were doing their own thing for dinner.
The shrimp was just sprinkled with a homemade Cajun spice blend (recipe follows) and then sautéed in coconut oil for a minute or so each side.  I served the meal with quinoa which had been cooked with onions, garlic, cayenne, Celtic sea salt and lemon juice.
I made the okra similar to the way my Sister's friend Priscilla taught me when she was visiting from B.C. a couple of summers ago.  It's fairly simple, but absolutely delicious!!
Here's what I did...

I sliced some onions and green chilies and chopped some garlic (Priscilla pounded the 3 in a mortar)

 Washed and chopped some okra

 Sautéed the onions, garlic and chilies in coconut oil for a few minutes

 Added the okra and continued to sauté, stirring gently until cooked (about 25 minutes), then seasoned with Celtic sea salt

 About 5 minutes before the okra was done, I sprinkled some shrimp (peeled and deveined) with Cajun seasoning

 Sautéed in coconut oil for a minute or so each side, until pink

 Served the shrimp atop the quinoa, with a lemon wedge on the side

Cajun Seasoning 

1/4 cup Celtic sea salt
1/4 cup cayenne pepper
1/4 cup paprika (smoked is nice)
1/4 cup garlic powder (not salt)
1/4 cup freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons onion powder (not salt)
2 tablespoons oregano
2 tablespoons thyme

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Frozen Choco-Banana Coconut Treats

When I read Angela's blog this afternoon, I knew I had to make these little treats.
I'm so happy I did because they're absolutely delicious!  My photography skills (nor camera) are nowhere near Angela's level, but keep reading to see my version of her wonderful Chocolate Coconut Butter Banana Bites!!
The only changes I made were to use my Vitamix instead of a food processor, organic coconut palm sugar instead of icing sugar and 2/3 of a (100g) 70% cocoa chocolate bar instead of chocolate chips.
Here's what I did...
I put 2 2/3 cups cups of unsweetened coconut into my Vitamix

 Blended it for 45 seconds at speed #5, then increased to full speed for 15 seconds.  I was amazed to find liquid coconut after such a short period of time!

 Added 1/2 tsp. Celtic sea salt and 2/3 cup organic coconut palm sugar and blended for a few more seconds.

Broke up 2/3 of a 70% cocoa chocolate bar

Melted it and stirred the 2 mixtures together

dipped chunks of banana into the chocolate/coconut mixture (using a toothpick)

Then put them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment.  Then popped the sheet into the freezer for 20 minutes.

And they were done!

Yum, yum, yum!!

I had about 3/4 cup of the chocolate coconut butter left over.  Not sure what to do with it, but I'm sure Krestan will come up with some ideas :-)

The Lean Green Bean