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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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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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

 

 

 

Fruity Breakfast Pilaf (made with steel-cut oats)

Fruity Breakfast Pilaf with pecans (optional)

Fruity Breakfast Pilaf with pecans (optional)

fruity breakfast pilaf

fruity breakfast pilaf

I love this recipe, not only because it’s delicious, but because of it’s make-ahead ability, ensuring you have a healthy, low-glycemic breakfast that really sticks to your ribs.  Steel-cut oats are used, making this recipe a lower glycemic option to flaked oats or instant oats. Remember, the more processed oats are (or grains in general),  the quicker they convert to sugar in your body. So, it takes some extra time to cook these oats (30 minutes), but when you make a batch large enough for 4 or 5 days, it’s not really that much of a time investment. Just reheat in the microwave and Bob’s yer uncle, as they say.  Feel free to change up the fruit and nut component to your liking. You can find steel-cut oats in every grocery store in the cereal aisle.  ***You can use any grain in this recipe (rice, millet, quinoa – just adjust the water amount and cooking time according to package directions).***

Fruity Breakfast Pilaf

adapted from VB6 by Mark Bittman

serves 6 

Ingredients:

1.5 tbsp cooking oil (I used coconut oil)

I 1/3 cups steel-cut oats

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp each nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger

2 tbsp real maple syrup

1/2 cup chopped pecans

2 cups berries, fresh or frozen (divided – 1 cup added at end of cooking)

4 cups water

Directions:

Put the oil in a large non-stick pan or medium-sized saucepan over medium heat.  When it’s hot, add the steel cut oats. Cook and stir for approximately 4 minutes until kernels are starting to colour and are well covered in oil. Add salt and spices, stirring until fragrant.  Add 4 cups of water, maple syrup and 1 cup of fruit. (I used blueberries). Stir, bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Cover and let cook, stirring occasionally for about 25-30 minutes, until most of the water is absorbed and oat kernels are tender.

Uncover, and stir in remaining cup of fruit (I used raspberries) and serve with milk product of choice (very nice tasting with nut milk or coconut milk beverage) and additional nuts, if desired.  You can eat these without any milk product if you prefer.

If making ahead, let cool (covered) then place in a container and refrigerate for up to 5 days.  Reheat individual portions in microwave.

steel cut oats

steel cut oats

Saute oats in oil, add spices

Saute oats in oil, add spices

add water, syrup, nuts and fruit

add water, syrup, nuts and fruit

simmer, covered (stirring occasionally) for 25-30 mins

simmer, covered (stirring occasionally) for 25-30 mins

serve with milk product of choice and nuts (optional)

serve with milk product of choice and nuts (optional)

Walnut-Date Chews (gluten free)

Walnut Date Chews

Walnut Date Chews

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These are the best cookies if you want to avoid too many carbs, refined sugar, gluten, egg and dairy! Even if you aren’t avoiding these things, they are the best cookies. You know how after dinner you just want a little sweet? This fits the bill with absolutely no guilt and all pleasure.  It’s based on ‘bliss ball’ recipe but I’ve refined and adapted it to be even more blissful. I sometimes even crumble one on my yogurt in the morning.  They are a snap to make,  so get going.

Walnut-Date Chews

makes 16-20 cookies

Ingredients:

2 cups walnuts

1/3 cup dates, diced (make sure they are soft – reconstitute them with boiling water if they are hard )

2 tbsp maple syrup

2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F.  Prepare baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper. Set aside.

Place walnuts in bowl of food processor and pulse 5 or 6 times until roughly chopped.  Sprinkle dates over top and pulse 5 or 6 more times.  Add vanilla, maple syrup, coconut oil and salt.  Continue to pulse until walnuts and dates are finely minced and a nutty ‘dough’ has formed.  You may have to take the top of and move the mixture around, pressing it down, then pulse a few times, then repeat until it’s evenly processed.

Using a 1 tbsp scoop,  scoop balls of nut mixture onto cookie sheet.  Shape into flat-topped circles.  If using, place 2 chocolate chips on each cookie. (just for fun and a little hit of chocolate–so good).  Cookies only need to be about an inch apart, you can fit them all on one sheet.

Place in preheated oven for 9 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Enjoy! Store in airtight container for 1 week, or freeze for up to a month.

process until fairly fine

process until fairly fine

these are the best dates

these are the best dates

1 tbsp of dough

1 tbsp of dough

bake at 350 for 9 mins

bake at 350 for 9 mins

 

YUM

YUM