Tag Archives: raw

Sour Cream n’ Onion Kale Chips

Looking for a sure-to-win way of getting more greens into your family’s diet? Well, try these kale chips! This crunchy and savoury snack conquers any mean craving for a potato chip. Guaranteed.

sour cream n'onion kale chips

Our family has been making these kale chips for the past few years now. So addictive. Seriously. Just try stopping at one. And, just to brag a little, these chips have been kid-approved by all the little people who have ventured through our house. 🙂

You’ll find this recipe in Brendan Brazier’s book Whole Foods to Thrive: Nutrient-Dense, Plant-Based Recipes for Peak Health. Another kale favourite of mine from the same book is Brendan’s Quick Kale and Avocado Salad.

If you don’t own the book, you’ll find the recipe here. We make our chips in my Excalibur dehydrator, but the oven works just as well. The recipe is perfect. In my last batch (pictured above), I added a small handful of hemp seeds – just to kick this nutrient-dense snack up a notch. I also doubled the recipe.

Tried another kale chip recipe that you love? There really are some great recipes out there. Care to share your favourite? We have a wonderful supply of organic and local kale in our stores right now. I’m wanting to make me some more!

 

What’s Been Cookin’ (And A Tasty Protein Shake)

It’s about time I shared with you the main reason for me being so inconsistent and sporadic with my posts these days (by the way, A BIG thank you to many of you who have written asking me ‘what’s up?’).

Well, I am thrilled to announce that I have gone back to school! 🙂 CSNN study booksNot as a teacher, as some of you would suspect (I work as an occasional school teacher in my small town). I am back to school as a student and loving every minute of it. It really feels good to hit the books once again. Most importantly, it feels good to finally work on completing something I started nearly 15 years ago.  By the end of 2015, I hope to have earned my certificate in Holistic Nutrition from The Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. Yay!!

Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway. ~ Earl Nightingale

I do realize that earning my Holistic Nutrition Certificate may involve some blood, sweat and tears, but I’m up for the challenge. At 45 years of age, it’s been some time since I’ve had to take tests and write reports. Thankfully, my busy family is on board and they are giving me all the love and support I need to fulfill my goals.

I have many interests and hobbies and one of them is this food blog. While I study, I will continue to post all the delicious gluten-free and plant-based dishes that are palate-approved by my family and friends. However, for the next little while my posts will be a little “here and there”. If time goes by between posts, as it so easily does, please know that I will be back!

If you haven’t already done so, I would love for you to like my Facebook page. I tend to use Facebook to share tidbits of interesting health and nutrition info, as well as recipes so worth trying. Lately, I’ve been inspired by the many vegan athletes fulfilling their dreams. You’ll see a few of those stories on my fb page, too.

Now…back to the books, but first I’ll whip up a shake.

PINEAPPLE PROTEIN SHAKE (from Ani’s 15-Day Fat Blast)

  • 1 1/2 cups frozen pineapple
  • 1 tablespoon flax meal
  • 1 cup filtered water (I used coconut water)
  • 2 pitted dates
  • 1 teaspoon spirulina*

Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Ani Phyo, an award-winning chef and raw food guru,  says it will keep in your fridge for two days. I seem to drink it within minutes! 😉

* Spirulina is a microscopic blue-green algae. But don’t let that turn you away!  This superfood contains high amounts of protein, essential amino acids, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. You can find it in many natural health food stores. I have seen it in powder form or in pressed tablets. I like to purchase it as a powder, so that I can add it to a variety of recipes. On its own, it tastes like seaweed.  If this is not your choice flavour, rest assure – you will not taste it in fruit smoothies like this one!!

Cheers!! 🙂

Pineapple Protein Shake

 

Shamrock Smoothie

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!

shamrock smoothie

SHAMROCK SMOOTHIE (inspired by Kriss Carr’s Greensicle Smoothie)

  • 2 cups non-dairy milk
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 2 small oranges, peeled
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 large handful organic kale leaves
  • 4 organic romaine leaves

Blend all the ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth. Cheers!!

May your thoughts be as glad as the shamrock.

May your heart be as light as a song.

May each day bring your bright, happy hours.

That stay with you all year-long.

Banana-Chai, Chia and Sesame Seed Crackers

I am so excited to share these raw, vegan and gluten-free snacks with you! If you are like me and love a good cup of Chai tea on a chilly November morning, then you will love these slightly sweet and spicy crackers.

banana-chai crackers

BANANA-CHAI, CHIA AND SESAME SEED CRACKERS

  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 1 tablespoon cardamom
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon cloves
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup or agave syrup (optional)*
  • 1 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds, soaked for 4 hours and rinsed
  • sea salt and a generous amount of freshly ground pepper

Using a food processor, blend bananas, spices and syrup. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl and add chia seeds, sesame seeds and salt and pepper. Mix well. Pour batter evenly on Paraflexx lined dehydrator trays. Set dehydrator to 112 degrees Celsius and dehydrate for approximately 12 hours.

I served these crackers to my kids this morning for breakfast.  You may want to try pairing a few with a pear and almond smoothie.  🙂

*If you have been following me for some time, you’ll know that I have a tendency to sweeten some of my dishes with pure maple syrup. Maple syrup is one of my choice sweeteners because it is full of vitamins and minerals. I also adore its distinct flavour. I live in the heart of Ontario’s Maple Sugar Capital, so I am very fortunate to have this heavenly sweetener at my fingertips.

However, if you are at all concerned with using maple syrup because of its high glycemic index then you can certainly leave it out. My previous attempts at these crackers did not contain maple syrup or any other sweetener. They were good, but I found that maple syrup highlighted the chai flavour of these crackers perfectly.

“For the Road” Raw Balls

powerballs

This post is going to be short, but sweet.  I made these for a very long car trip that I will be taking tomorrow morning.   I thought these tasty fudge-like morsels would be a perfect pick-me-up for my long haul.

For the next 3 weeks, I will be away from my computer, so I will not be making any posts.  Instead,  I will be engaged in some kayaking, snorkeling and some all around good outdoor fun with a few very adventurous family members.  Reading is definitely in order.  I packed the newest addition to my library, Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition. 🙂

These raw balls were inspired by Alicia Silverstone’s Raw Balls. They are quick and easy to put together and are forgiving if you desire to get “creative” in the kitchen.  If you don’t like getting your hands messy, then ask the kids to do it!

For the Road Raw Balls

  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup pitted dates
  • a little less than 1/2 cup raw carob powder
  • a little less than 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup raw almond butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • some shredded unsweetened coconut on a plate for rolling

In a food processor, process almonds until coarsely ground. Add the dates and pulse a few times. Add the carob powder, maple syrup, almond butter, vanilla, and salt. Process until the mixture is thick and smooth. Add the cashews and sunflower seeds and pulse a few times. I like the cashews and seeds to remain in chunks.

Roll the mixture into approximately 12 balls with your hands. Roll the balls on a plate of shredded coconut. Place balls in a sealed container in the freezer until hardened.

These may be my breakfast. 😉 See you in 3 weeks!

Living Foods – so much to love!

It’s been exactly one week since I completed Natasha Kyssa’s 28-day Simply Raw Detox programI ran into a friend and follower over the weekend and she asked if I had a big celebration to mark the end of this raw food cleanse.  I told her I did.  The truth is I celebrated with a bottle (well half) of kombucha and a big plate of greens and sprouts.

I feel so absolutely wonderful from eating raw foods for the past 28 days that I hesitate to veer too far away from the raw food diet.  I have more energy and focus, especially during those long afternoons.  My fingernails are long and strong instead of chipped and peeling and, as an added bonus, I  dropped a couple of pounds. 🙂

Natasha Kyssa’s program put me back on track by breaking the bad habits I acquired over the winter months.  It helped me recognize the patterns of these bad habits and the reasons for particular food cravings.  The great thing now is that I have no cravings!  I am eating to live and not living to eat.

Yesterday, my husband and I took our eldest daughter to an event in downtown Ottawa.  When it was finished, it was about 3 pm and we were thinking of places we could stop to get a bite to eat.  It was a hot and sunny day and my daughter asked for a fruit smoothie, so we stopped at the perfect place!

simplyraw

SimplyRaw Express is located on Wellington Street in our nation’s capital – Ottawa.  Not only juices and smoothies, this quaint eatery has a good selection of salads, wraps, and desserts.  Guess who made our smoothies? Natasha Kyssa!

We enjoyed a Mango Lassi, Strawberry Fields, and Peaceful Warrior smoothie and split a mexican wrap stuffed with black beans, veggies, and cilantro.  Absolutely mouth-watering!  I am now on a mission to replicate these flavours at home.  By the way, mango and parsley are an awesome combination.

This was my treat this afternoon – to share with my husband, regrettably. 😉 This is SimplyRaw’s Mocha Cheezecake.  Who needs dairy or sugar in their cheezecake?  This was freakin’ delicious!

cheezecake

Next raw food cleanse is in October.  Are you in?

I need to come clean

I had the greatest intentions last week of converting my kitchen into one mean sprouting and fermentation facility.   If you recall, my plan was to embrace my third go of Natasha Kyssa’s The Simply Raw Living Foods Detox with enthusiasm and my utmost devotion.  I will be honest.  This past week was not a good week.  Life just got in the way or, as the saying goes life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.

I won’t bore you with all the things that went wrong this past week.  Let’s just say I was a jack-of-all-trades for about 22 hours each and every day. 😉

Week 3 of my cleanse had me introduce more living foods to my diet.  I ate a lot of sprouts, dark leafy greens, green smoothies and juices, and shots of wheatgrass juice and E3 Live.  E3 Live is a frozen/liquid form of blue-green algae that comes from ocean water.  You can read more about this superfood here.

I reduced my consumption of extra virgin olive oil which meant that my salads on most days were topped with lemon juice only.  By the end of the week, I was getting pretty darn tired of sprouts and salads. I wanted Natasha’s seed cheese and puddings but because of my hectic week, I only had time to throw (I do mean this literally) greens and sprouts on my plate. I was also feeling quite irritable as I was making the kids their dinner (so much for cooking with love), as I wanted to dive right into their meal of soups and pasta.

So, what did I do?  I turned to my support group on Facebook and ranted.   Then I cheated. (gasp!)

I had “lightly” steamed asparagus a couple of nights on my salad.  Asparagus is by far a favourite of mine.  I then met a friend at a local coffee shop and ordered an herbal tea and had a couple of her raw power balls that are to die for.  Her power balls are raw,  but they contain maple syrup and almond butter – both foods not allowed this week.  The following day I returned to the same coffee shop with a friend and ordered a black coffee.  Gosh it was good.  On Sunday, the last day of week 3, my daughter and I met some friends for our annual pre-Stars On Ice lunch.  The restaurant of choice was Japanese.  I ate more than my share of avocado and sweet potato tempura sushi with a side of my very own pot of green tea.

So much for following the plan 100 per cent. 😦

I’m not going to beat myself up over it though.  Today is the 23rd day of this 28-day plan.  I will get back on the horse to finish this week proudly.

I will end this post by sharing with you my breakfast,  mid-morning snack, and lunch. All of this with a lot of water in between.

As I end this, the sun is shining and the temperature outside has finally reached a normal high.  A walk into town might be nice.  I think a little fresh air, sunshine, and exercise will help me stay positive. 🙂

Wraps and Sandwiches in the Raw!

It occurred to me last weekend that if I plan on being successful on Natasha Kyssa’s detox program,  I had better get organized and start making some lists.  So, over a warm mug of Lemon Water, I poured over all my raw food books in search of some delicious and satisfying meals for the week.  That job was pretty easy.  The hardest part was narrowing my list down, as all the dishes looked absolutely mouth-watering.

books

Along with 40 other adventurous gals,  I am entering week 2 of the program.  Unlike last week, week 2 meals must be 100 per cent raw and vegan.  Sprouts and leafy greens are to be the focus of each or most of our meals.

Since I like to try new things in the kitchen, I decided that I would make one or two dishes that I have never ever made.  I have had great success with crepes in my dehydrator, so it only made sense to give wraps a try.  As well, I recall last summer at the cottage when my sister-in-law had brought me a sample of one of her wraps.  It was so vibrant and delicious stuffed with sprouts and a variety of vegetables.  I decided I would make the same wrap.  By Sunday afternoon, I had Judita Wignall‘s Garden of Eden Pesto Wraps in my dehydrator.

On Monday, my husband and I sat down to wraps stuffed with a delicious pesto spread, broccoli sprouts, red pepper, red onion strips,  sliced avocado,  Julienne cucumber and shredded carrot.  Basically, I stuffed them with what was available in my fridge.  We ate our pesto wraps with a mixed green salad.  This meal carried my husband and I through to dinner.  In fact, I didn’t feel like much more than a smoothie later that same day.

tomatowraps

Still thinking of wraps,  the next day we enjoyed sunflower herb pate in collard leaves.  I stuffed the collards with the same veggies as the previous day’s wraps.  On this day,  I was craving something a little sweet which was odd.  I have always been a person that could pass on sweets.  In fear of breaking down and grabbing my daughters’ chocolate chip cookie stash, I catered to this craving by throwing some chopped dates in our mixed green salad.  And just to be sure, I made a dressing of cold-pressed olive oil, apple cider vinegar and a good splash of maple syrup.

collard

SUNFLOWER HERB PATE (taken from The SimplyRaw Living Foods Detox Manual)

  • 2 cups sunflower seeds, soaked overnight
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp raw tahini
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • dash cayenne
  • Himalayan salt to taste

Blend all ingredients in a food processor. Season to taste with salt.

Now, I’m excited about sharing this next creation!  I wanted a bread similar in texture to sandwich bread.  I chose to make Ani Phyo‘s Zucchini Bread.  I changed up the recipe a bit by adding one garlic clove (did you know that garlic is an aphrodisiac?), some chopped onion, and some fresh dill to the mix.  Later that night, I couldn’t resist the garlic and onion aroma any longer so I opened up the dehyrdrator and picked away at the sides of the bread.  Just so the sides looked more symmetrical, of course. 😉

This was my delicious sandwich yesterday afternoon – a pesto spread, tomato and sprout sandwich!  I had another for dinner and a piece this morning as my mid-morning snack.

sandwich

RAW ZUCCHINI BREAD (adapted from Ani Phyo’s “Raw Food Essentials”)

  • 2 cups chopped zucchini
  • 1/4 cup cold-pressed olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • a sprig or two of fresh dill
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 cup flax meal

Place the zucchini, oil, salt and garlic in a food processor, and process into a puree.  Add the chopped onion and dill and pulse processor a few times.  Process the almond meal and flax meal into the batter.  Spread the batter evenly on a lined dehydrator tray.  Dehydrate at 104 degrees Fahrenheit for 6-8 hours.  Flip directly onto a mesh tray and dehydrate for another 4-6 hours. This bread is moist and flexible.

Today is leftover day.  I have a busy night at the skating rink, so I will pack myself another wrap, an apple, and a jar of green smoothie.   On busy days, I make more than enough smoothie to fill one or two jars as a snack later in the day.

jarsmoothie

I feel great!  I love that I don’t feel hungry throughout the day on this program.  I also love the fact that I am now making foods I may never have tried if it wasn’t for this cleanse.  I love that my family will share these foods with me.  I will mention, as well, that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE  the fact that my fingernails appear stronger and longer (I’ve never had nice nails) and I can comfortably wear my blue jeans all day long!

It only took 3 runs at it, but I finally learned that the key to being successful on this program is to be organized.  Make lists and keep your fridge stocked with lots of fresh fruit and veggies.

“When the body is cleansed, it becomes more efficient at digestion, assimilation, and elimination. Detoxifying strengthens the immune system and give your body greater energy. It also reduces inflammation and results in a slimmer body.  Skin becomes softer and more youthful in appearance; your eyes sparkle and become brighter, you will shed excess weight, and you will feel much more vibrant, happy, and alive!”  – Natasha Kyssa

Sunday Morning Sunshine Smoothie

I’m just finishing off day 7 of the SimplyRaw Living Foods Detox.  This is a 28-day cleanse written by Ottawa’s own Natasha Kyssa, a raw foods chef and healthy lifestyle coach.  This is my third time in the past year that I have tried this cleanse and I must admit that each time it gets easier.  This time is particularly fun because my sister and sister-in-law are doing the same cleanse.  Not to mention, we are 3 out of 40 plus members of one very enthusiastic support group.

I was feeling great all last week until Friday night rolled around.  I was sitting at the ice rink (like I do every Friday night) watching my daughter skate when suddenly my throat started to ache.  My immediate response was to blame this on the kindergarten class I had been teaching all week.  A few of the little ones had pretty bad colds.  I was so upset!  I thought I was finally over the winter “hump” and the likelihood of getting sick now was next to nil.  I have had a good winter and I am very proud to say that I’ve been able to fight off the number of colds and flu bugs that have made their way throughout our small community.  To get a cold or the flu now just seemed cruel!

By the time my daughter had finished skating and we made the 50 minute trek back home, my nose was running like a tap, my throat was on fire, and I was nearly in tears.

Thankfully, this brief episode of being ill was short-lived.  Today, I feel so energetic! I can’t remember the last time I had so much energy.  I am now wondering if the symptoms I was experiencing was a reaction to my body releasing toxins.  Napping and lots of water probably lessened the severity of my symptoms.

The sun was not shining this morning, but I felt cheery.  I decided that after my wheatgrass shot and mug of fire water that I would make a delicious tropical drink that the whole family could enjoy.

This smoothie was perfect for our lazy Sunday morning.  I found the recipe in Judita Wignall’s “Going Raw” book which has been parked on my kitchen counter since day 1 of this detox (her new book is on my wish list).   It was my husband’s idea to add the lemon and lemon rind giving this smoothie a refreshing taste and altering the hue to a beautiful shade of yellow.  I purchased the coconut meat from Wanigan Organics during my last visit to Toronto.

coconutsmoothie

SUNSHINE SMOOTHIE

  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1/2 cup coconut meat
  • 2 cups pineapple chunks
  • about 1/8 of organic lemon and lemon rind (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup ice

Process in high-power blender until smooth.  Satisfying and refreshing.

Looking forward to week 2! 🙂

Kale Salad With a Kick

kalesalad1

I finished day 3 of Natasha Kyssa’s “SimplyRaw Detox” with this beautiful and slightly spicy kale salad.  By far, this has to be the best kale salad I have ever tasted.

The recipe is from Brendan Brazier’s “Whole Foods to Thrive”.  Early this morning over a warm cup of Fire Water, I earmarked several pages of this book.  It never really dawned on me until today of the large number of raw recipes Brendan actually has in this book.  This kale salad recipe popped out as it contains a good pinch of cayenne pepper, just like my early morning Fire Water.

This salad was my dinner tonight, so I gave it a little extra by adding a handful of sunflower sprouts and a handful of raw pumpkin seeds.

QUICK KALE AND AVOCADO SALAD

  • 1 head of kale, shredded
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • handful of sprouts
  • handful of raw seeds or nuts
  • 3 tablespoons flaxseed oil
  • 2 green onions, finely diced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • a good pinch of cayenne pepper

In a large bowl, using a fork, mix together the oil, lemon juice, salt and cayenne pepper.  Toss in chopped avocado and chopped tomato and mix.  Add kale and green onions and toss.  You may want to use your clean hands to help “wilt” the kale and soften the avocado to a creamier texture.  Once kale has been coated, toss in sprouts and seeds.  Serve immediately.