Root Vegetable & Quinoa Rosti

 

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This is a really tasty recipe for this time of year, utilizing root vegetables.  It’s quite comforting with middle-eastern spices and works with your healthy diet plans. Feel free to  use what root veggies you have on hand – just be careful of your heat when cooking – the natural sugars can burn – so medium to medium-low heat and a sharp eye and nose is needed.

Root Vegetable & Quinoa Rosti

adapted from I Quit Sugar

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 small onion, chopped finely

1 large clove of garlic, minced

2 medium carrots, peeled and grated

1 small sweet potato (or 1/2 large), peeled and grated

1 medium parsnip, peeled and grated

1/2 cup ground almonds or almond meal (sub in 1/2 cup more cooked quinoa if you don’t have any)

1 cup cooked quinoa

1/2 cup  gluten-free all-purpose flour (I’m using PC)

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground pepper

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cumin

2 tbsp tahini

1 tbsp curry paste (I used Patak’s mild yellow curry paste)

2 eggs

cooking oil of our choice (I use ghee)

Directions:

In a small frying pan, with a bit of cooking oil or ghee, saute onion on medium heat until somewhat browned, about 5-7 mins. Add garlic and stir around for one minute. Remove from heat.

Combine all the ingredients, including the onion/garlic mixture, and mix well, until all the flavours are well incorporated.

You can make them into large burger shapes, or like a rosti, as I’ve done here.

In a 10 inch cast iron or non-stick skillet, melt one tablespoon of ghee or cooking oil of your choice over medium heat. Tip mixture into pan and using a spatula, press down and go around edge and tuck it in and press it down and make it tidy.

Cook slowly – being careful of your heat, remember not to let it get too hot  – these veggies have lots of natural sugars and will burn. After about 10 minutes, place a plate over the rosti. Flip the pan over, and the rosti should now be on the plate. Place pan back on heat and put another tablespoon of cooking oil or ghee in your pan. Once melted, slide the rosti back into the pan so the other side can cook.  Cook for an additional 6-8 mins, being careful of your heat. Slide out onto plate.

Cut into wedges and serve with a chunky raita.  Here’s how I make mine:

Raita:

1 cup plain yogurt, 1/2 cup diced cucumber, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro.

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Cocoa-nana Cream Cheese Swirl Muffins (gf)

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I just created these as a handy snack for those of us trying to really keep processed sugar out of our diets. They turned out really well. I wrap them individually and freeze – just grab and go. Enjoy. (if not freezing, keep in fridge).

Cocoa-nana Cream Cheese Swirl Muffins

makes 12 regular sized muffins

Ingredients:

3 medium sized ripe bananas

1/3 cup coconut oil or butter, melted and cooled

1/4 cup real maple syrup

2 large eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 cup finely ground almonds (or almond meal or flour)

1/2 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour (I use PC )

1/3 cup dutch-process cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)

Cream Cheese Swirl Mixture:

4 oz cream cheese, softened (1/2 of a regular sized block)

1 tbsp maple syrup

1/2 tsp vanilla

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a 12 cup muffin pan with muffin liners. Set aside.

In food processor pulse bananas until pureed.  Add coconut oil or butter, maple syrup, eggs and vanilla. Blend well.

In separate bowl, mix ground almonds, cocoa, flour,  baking powder and salt and when combined, add wet ingredient to this dry mixture and combine until well incorporated.  Fold in chocolate chips, if using.

Cream Cheese Mixture: Mix up cream cheese, maple syrup and vanilla.

In each muffin cup, place a heaping tablespoon of chocolate batter.  Using a small scoop or teaspoon, place about about a tbsp of cream cheese mixtue on top of chocolate batter.  Then place another blob of chocolate batter on top of the cream cheese and use a little spatula to spread over cream cheese mixture. (see photos for more insight).

Place into oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool. Serve.  Will keep for 3-4 days, covered in fridge. Wrapped individually in plastic wrap and frozen, will keep for 2 weeks.

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Healthy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Raisin Breakfast Cookies

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Here’s a ‘no refined sugar’, gluten-free healthy breakfast cookie that’s great for breakfast on the run,  bedtime snack and I love them for travelling as well.  They freeze really well and you can modify the ingredients as you see fit.

Ingredients:

makes about 20 three inch cookies

3 large ripe bananas, mashed (1.5 cups)

2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

2.5 cups rolled oats (I use large flake)

1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Method:

Preheat oven to 350F.  Prepare baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners. Set aside.

In medium bowl, mix together oats, coconut, salt, cinnamon, baking powder, raisins and chocolate chips. Set aside.

In food processor, puree bananas (or you can mash by hand). Add in egg, coconut oil and vanilla. Blend well. Add wet ingredients to oatmeal mixture and mix well.

Drop by 2 tablespoon sized dollops about 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.  Bake for 13-15 minutes, until bottoms are brown. You may need to rotate your pans halfway through or leave them in a little longer, depending on your oven, and their size.

Cool. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge. Enjoy!

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Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

 

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Here’s the best recipe for chocolate chip oatmeal cookies in my opinion. I’ve been making them for years and years, and my friends Morgan and Leah begged me to post it,  so here it is.  The key here is not having your butter too soft when you start out – ‘room temperature’…and making each cookie the same size for baking consistentcy…use a ‘cookie scoop’ if you have one.

Ingredients:

makes 3 dozen

1.5 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup large flake oats

2 tsp cornstarch

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup dark chocolate chips

1/2 cup chocolate chunks (if unavailable, increase chocolate chips)

3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Method:

Preheat oven to 350F.  Prepare baking sheets, lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

In a bowl, mix together flour, oats, cornstarch, baking soda, salt. Set aside.

In bowl of stand mixer, beat butter until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl. Add brown and granulated sugars and continue to beat, until well mixed and fluffy, scraping down sides as you go.

Beat in egg and vanilla.  With mixer on low, gradually add in flour/oat mixture, just until evenly mixed. Fold in chocolate chips and chunks with a wooden spoon.

Scoop dough in one tablespoon size globs, spacing about 2 inches apart. Bake for 8 to 11 minutes, rotating pan if necessary, until edges are golden.  Remove from oven to cool for a few minutes, then, using spatula, remove to a plate or rack to cool.  Eat! Yum!

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Homemade Hummus

 

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Homemade Hummus

Some simple ingredients are all you need to whip up this basic recipe for hummus.  You can adjust the flavour by adding more lemon juice, cumin, olive oil, smoked paprika…It’s delicious and healthy as a dip with veggies or pita, as a spread on a sandwich or wrap,  or even spread on a plate and topped with salad or curry.  Super versatile – don’t just think ‘dip’.

Hummus

adapted from the book Jerusualem

makes 4 cups

3 cups chickpeas (cooked or canned)

1 cup tahini

4 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

4 cloves garlic

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup ice cold water

Method:

Drain chickpeas and place into food processor, blend until it forms a thick paste. Add tahini, lemon juice, garlic and salt. Continue to blend, scraping down sides until mixed. Pour ice water through feed tube while leaving the processor to run for 5 minutes. Let hummus rest for 30 minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Will keep for approx. 4 days in fridge.

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Homemade Hummus

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Homemade Hummus

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Red Onion Jam

onion jam on a cracker with old cheddar

onion jam on a cracker with old cheddar

This jam is totally my jam. 😉  It’s a fantastic condiment with a never-ending list of uses.  I love it on a piece of cheese on a cracker. On a grilled cheese? D-lish. This recipe requires a few exclusive ingredients,  but aside from that, it is very straight forward and easy.  I’m a big fan of kicking up the flavour of dishes with the use of great quality condiments.  Makes a great hostess gift with a chunk of cheese and some artisinal crackers.

Red Onion Jam

adapted from a recipe by Rachel Allen

Makes about 3 cups

Ingredients:

1/3 cup of unsalted butter

6 cups of diced onions (I used red but use whatever you like)

1.5 tsp salt

1.5 tsp freshly ground pepper

3/4 cup (real) maple syrup (or granulated sugar)

1/2 cup sherry vinegar (or balsamic)

1 cup red wine (leftover from the night before is fine, or even if it’s been sitting around a few days)

3 tbsp creme de cassis (a blackberry flavoured liquer)

Directions:

In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions, salt, pepper and maple syrup (or sugar). Stir. Cover and let cook on medium-low heat, stirring every few minutes to avoid it sticking (add more butter if it starts to stick). Cook for approximately 30 – 45 minutes until onions are quite soft and cooked down.

Add the red wine, sherry vinegar and creme de cassis. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and continue to cook, uncovered, until it thickens and becomes ‘jammy’.  (anywhere from 30- 60 minutes. If using maple syrup, it will take longer as there is more liquid).  Pour into sterilized jars. Refrigerate when cool. Will keep for months, in sterilized jars – refrigerated.  Caution: addictive.

dice up onions

dice up onions

add to saucepan and cook down slowly

add to saucepan and cook down slowly

red wine, creme de cassis and sherry vinegar

red wine, creme de cassis and sherry vinegar

makes about 3 cups. Pour into sterilized jars.

makes about 3 cups. Pour into sterilized jars.

YUM

YUM

close up YUM

close up YUM

Banana-Beet Chocolate Cake (GF)

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rich and delish

 

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just so you see how everything isn’t perfect! Still tastes good.

I found this recipe, modified it to suit my baking tastes, and boy is it good! Deliciously moist for a gluten-free product and keeps that way for days (covered).  I made mine in a non-stick bundt pan which gives it a nice appearance, and, as with all the recipes here — if it’s not a ‘keeper’, I don’t blog it.  Easy, easy, easy.  You can eat this as is – plain, and it’s great, but dress it up for any occasion and there will be no complaints from anyone– gluten-free or not.  Just make it.  I think you’ll actually be healthier after you eat this, too. 😉

Banana-Beet Chocolate Cake

adapted from a recipe from www.greenkitchenstories.com

Serves 8

Ingredients:

1 ripe banana, grated

1 medium cooked beet, grated (if you don’t have a beet, use 2 bananas instead of one)

1/3 cup coconut oil, melted (or butter)

1/2 cup (real) maple syrup

2 eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla

2 cups almond flour

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp. sea salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Grease a bundt pan or 8 x 8 inch baking pan. (I used non-stick as well). Dust pan with a bit of cocoa to prevent sticking.

Mix together in a medium sized bowl – banana, beet, coconut oil, maple syrup, eggs and vanilla. Blend well.  In separate bowl, mix almond flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt and when combined, add to wet ingredient and mix until well incorporated.

Pour batter into greased bundt pan or an 8 x 8 inch baking pan.  Bake for 45 minutes or until tester comes out fairly clean. Remove from oven, let cool and then loosen cake and pop out onto a cake platter or plate. Cool. Serve plain or with whip cream, yogurt, chocolate sauce, berries – get creative and enjoy.  Keeps for several days, covered.  (but won’t last that long).   Cheers! Enjoy.

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easy ingredients

mix together grated beet, banana, egg, oil, vanilla and syrup

mix together grated beet, banana, egg, oil, vanilla and syrup

baked in bundt pan, tastes great plain

baked in bundt pan, tastes great plain

it's this good.

it’s this good.

everybody enjoys this cake

everybody enjoys this cake