Saturday, February 25, 2012

Super Energy Balls

Like a lot of people (women mainly) I am addicted to Pinterest. I end up pinning lots but never really making much, until these.  They looked delicious and easy, so with some adaptions I whipped them up and they ARE delicious and easy!

Here is my recipe for
2 cups quick cooking rolled oats
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup ground flax seed
1 cup chia seeds
1 cup hemp hearts
1 cup peanut butter or almond butter (that I whipped up in my vitamix)
1 cup honey
1 cup cranberries
2 tsps vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon

1. Mix all ingredients together.
2. Roll into balls
3. Devour and refrigerate any that are leftover.

Full of protein they are perfect after a workout, after swimming or any time!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Roasted Garlic and Pepper Crunchy Chickpeas

It seems like a lot of my food ideas are inspired by my husband's taste buds...but not the way it would seem.  I make foods I wish he would try but just won't...until I change them up a bit.  Chickpeas are full of fibre and protein but up until today I had only tried them in some Indian dishes and in the common form of hummus.  Then, like most days, I was surfing the web for recipes and came across one for roasted chickpeas.  It looked delicious so I decided to give it a try!  They were soooo good and my whole fam-jam (including my hubby) loved them!

Here is my recipe for Roasted Garlic and Pepper Crunchy Chickpeas

2 cans of chickpeas
2 tbsp olive oil 
2 tsp Clubhouse Roasted Garlic and Pepper spice

Preheat oven to 400.
Drain and rinse the chickpeas, toss with olive oil and spice.  Place on a baking sheet and bake for 30 to 40 minutes to the desired crispness.  (I baked mine for at least 40 minutes, I wanted them crunchy).

Coming up...

Chocolate Explosion Muffins (healthy, vegan and wheat-free but unbelievably delicious)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Spelt Upside Down Pizza

The other night pizza was on the menu but I am still trying to find the perfect pizza crust recipe, and with our recent convictions in 'grain diversification' I am looking for a kind of crust other than wheat.  I have tried both a yeast and a yeast-free spelt dough recipe.  The first one I tried with yeast rose like crazy and was quite good.  But I have this habit of googling recipes and then forgetting to bookmark them and I haven't been able to find that recipe since, plus our family likes a thinner crust.  Before our grain diversifying days I was using a delicious biscuit crust... so I tried a spelt biscuit crust!  I have tried it twice but haven't been too crazy about the results.  The first time - it was more like a cracker than a crust!  So on this particular night I had spent too much time searching for a recipe that I couldn't make a yeast crust (I also didn't have yeast), but I did find a recipe for 'upside down pizza' - so upside down pizza it was!

Spelt Upside Down Pizza
1/2 red onion
1 green pepper
6 fresh button mushrooms (not really sure how much that is)
6 pieces of turkey bacon (the kind from Costco)
2 gloves of garlic
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
2 tbsp spelt flour
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
2 cups mozzarella cheese

1 cup spelt flour
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a skillet saute the onions, pepper, mushrooms, and garlic till soft.  Add the the turkey to warm it.  Stir in the flour and spices, mix.  Add tomato sauce, bring it to a boil for 2 minutes and continue to stir.  Transfer to an ungreased 13x9 inch baking dish.  Sprinkle with the cheese.
For the topping (I use my kitchen aid mixer) add the flour to a bowl, beat in the remaining ingredients.  Pour over the casserole.  Bake uncovered at 425 for 25-30 minutes or until browned.

It was so easy and tasted great.  My husband said it tasted like a pizza pop!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Hot Apple Cider - Vitamix Style

Hot Apple Cider

Mid January and the wind chill is finally chilling us to our bones(not a good thing, I’ve been enjoying this mild winter) but time for some hot apple cider! I love hot apple cider but I'm not crazy about all the unhealthy stuff in the instant cider.  The Vitamix salesman gave us a sample of some hot apple cider, so of course I had to try it myself.  It was so yummy and healthy that I could truly feel good about drinking it and feeding it to my kids in the middle of the afternoon! So here is the recipe...

 Hot Apple Cider – Vitamix Style
5 medium gala apples (or any kind of apple)
3 cups of water
2 tsp vanilla extract (everything is better with vanilla)
2 tsp cinnamon (that made for a very strong taste of cinnamon, so if you aren't crazy about cinnamon reduce this)
1 tbsp pure maple syrup (like most of my cooking and baking it isn't super sweet, so you made need to add more sweetener of your choice)

Put all of this in the Vitamix, start at variable speed 1, quickly increase to 10 and then flip the switch to max and let it blend for 5 minutes or until steam escapes through the top. The beauty of the Vitamix and making hot drinks is you can stop it when it is warm and feed your kids then blend a little longer until you have reached the desired temperature for yourself!


It has been  a while since I have written and one of my many new years resolution for this year is to write more!  Life around here has been busy as we welcomed our 4th and final child into the world on November 27th.  So far (knock on wood) he is a fantastic baby, although like all newborns he has spent most of the last 6 weeks sleeping!  The other 3 have adjusted just fine and now that holidays are over and everyone is back at school we are slowly getting back into a routine!

Last week while shopping at Costco, we stopped at the Vitamix demonstration and after much deliberation, great salesmen and all our Christmas money spent we walked away with a Vitamix!  I know a number of people who have them and they all love them.  I like making smoothies (or chunkies if using a regular blender) but the one thing that really sold me was the dry mix container that can grind your own grains.  That was so worth it!  I ground brown rice into flour to use in baking in a matter of seconds.  This will help so much in our goal of diversifying our grains.  I have been using the Vitamix almost everyday since we bought it and so far it is all that it is cracked up to be.  I have made a lot of smoothies, soup (which with the Viatmix not only blends the raw vegetables but can also warm it up), a cappuccino, frozen yogurt (which was fantastic) and hot apple cider (from raw apples - I would never of even thought to put raw apples in a blender before).

I am going to try to post some of the recipes I am making with the Vitamix in the next couple days with pictures but I am waiting on a camera! 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wheat Free

UPDATE:  The link to On the evils of wheat is now working!!!

Over the weekend my husband and I read a very interesting article in Macleans magazine about wheat! Check it out for yourself - On the evils of wheat - but be warned it may change your thoughts and opinions about eating wheat. My sister-in-law has been preaching about the evils of wheat for a while now but her approach focuses on gluten as an allergen and the how hard gluten is on our digestive system, whereas this article focuses on how wheat has been hybridized throughout the decades.  It explains how the breeding process of wheat uses poisonous chemicals that we should never intake (much like cigarettes)!

When you think about it, we do as a society eat WAY too much wheat! I mean take a look at the average persons day - breakfast usually consists of some sort of wheat product (cereal, toast, muffins, donuts, pancakes), lunch - a sandwich, a hamburger, a piece of pizza and for supper lets say pasta and garlic bread, or even just a dinner roll with your supper; nevermind any snacks or desserts you might have had that day. On some days we consume an insane amount of wheat! In the article he stays that "20 per cent of all calories consumed by humans worldwide" comes from wheat. That is a staggering number - 1/5th of our daily calories comes from one food source!?! Where's the diversity? Our philosophy with everything is moderation, and that is just not moderate!

The one thing that really stood out to me in the article, however, is the way wheat is processed - not just after harvest but the actual seed and plant itself. The wheat we eat now is not the same wheat our grandparents, or parents or even we ate as a child! It has been processed and processed with chemicals that poison control will tell you to completely avoid! No wonder wheat is no good for us and contributes to all kinds of health problems. Can we really be surprised? Things need to be left in their most basic natural form!!! What is going to happen when the ancient grains begin to gain popularity and they start messing with them (if they haven't already)?!

I try to live my life free from toxins as much as possible, which of course in this day and age is getting harder and harder.  And now I find out that the wheat I eat and feed my kids is poisoned! My husband and I have been watching and limiting the amount of wheat we consume for a while now just purely to diversify our diet a little more, however, after reading that article we both decided we would try to eat 'wheat-free' for a week just to see how we feel! It's harder than we thought - wheat seems to be in everything, especially when you're in a hurry and nes to make something quick. Like a couple nights ago after spending two (plus) hours waiting to see the doctor what can I make quick for supper? Pasta! So that's what we had. But so far today -wheat free (at least for hubby and I)!  

Coming up...spelt apple pie muffins, cinnamon honey granola, rice pilaf, and turkey chili! 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

One of the most delicious things in the world (to me) is a piece of toast with peanut butter topped with sliced banana!  Yummy!!  However, with the exception of my daughter who also enjoys this delicious food no one in else in my house would touch it, not even try it!  I felt like the boys in my family were missing out so I found a recipe that would incorporate these two things with the added bonus of chocolate chips (something my husband says there is never enough of)!  I found the most incredible muffin recipe (I have been using this recipe for so long that I'm not even sure where the original came from, so I can't give credit where it is due).  These muffins are a staple in our house - loved by ALL!

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

2 cups of flour 
1 1/2 cups of quick cooking oats
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp baking powder
2 cups of milk
1 1/2 cups peanut butter
1 1/2 cups of mashed bananas
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract

1.  Preheat oven to 375C
2. Combine flour, oats, brown sugar and baking powder.
3. Whisk together milk, peanut butter, bananas, eggs, oil and extract.  
4.  Pour the wet into the dry - stir until moistened.  
5.  Filled lined muffin tins and bake for 16- 18 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. 

Makes 24 muffins (cause you can't just have 12).  These freeze well.  

Don't expect these to be super sweet or anything like store bought muffins, which in my opinion are more like cake!  
I have substituted honey for the sugar with excellent results!