Archive | May, 2013

Balsamic Salmon

28 May

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This is my most favourite salmon recipe ever!  It is so easy and SO delicious.  I’ve tried lots of others but none can replace this old standby!  All I needed to do to clean it up was swap out the brown sugar for some maple syrup and it’s perfect.  I love making it with fresh garden dill, mmm mmm!

Balsamic Salmon

  • 3 or 4 salmon fillets
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill (or 1/4 tsp dried dill)Method
  1. Line baking dish with tinfoil (leaving enough overhanging to seal over top) and place salmon in it
  2. Whisk remaining ingredients together in a bowl and pour over the salmon
  3. Flip salmon over to make sure both sides are well coated
  4. If time permits allow it to marinade at room temperature for 15 mins
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  5. Seal tinfoil over salmon
  6. Baking at 450 F for approximately 15 min (cooking time will vary depending on thickness of salmon.  The fish should flake easily when cooked and be less red and more pink)
  7. Uncover and let it broil for a minute longer
  8. Shove it in your face!
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Roasted Whole Chicken

27 May

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I picked me up a couple of Hutterite chickens!  They cost a pretty penny, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I would rather have my family eat quality meat a few times a week, than unhealthy, and unethically produced commercial meats every day.  SO, a local butcher just happens to carry whole chickens supplied by a Hutterite farming community.

I must admit… I was a wee bit intimidated by the idea of a whole bird!  I’m spoiled by my mommy who always prepares our thanksgiving turkeys and I’m used to picking up a pack of boneless, skinless, chicken breasts from Costco.

Anyways, I did some googling and basically you just rub ’em and/or stuff ’em and cook ’em.  Actually pretty simple!  I used a recipe from Jamie Oliver as my guide and got to work.

This is not much of a recipe, but more so a guide on how to cook a whole chicken.

Roasted Whole Chicken

  • a 3lb (or so) whole chicken
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • small onion, quartered
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • fresh herbs, such as thyme or rosemary (optional)
    Method
  1. preheat oven to 350 F
  2. give a generous sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper all over the bird, rub a little inside the cavity too if you feel so inclined
  3. wash the lemon well and poke it all over with a fork, shove it in the cavity
  4. shove some onion chunks and garlic cloves in the cavity
  5. shove a small bunch of herbs in the cavity if you are using them
  6. you can also chop up some large chunks of carrot, celery and onion to lay in the bottom of the roasting pan under the bird, just drizzle with some olive oil
  7. place chicken in roasting pan
  8. bake uncovered in oven for approximately 1 hour 20 min
    *do yourself a favour and just get a meat thermometer! I’m underly cautious and my husband is overly cautious and having a meat thermometer has saved us SO many unnecessary squabbles about whether or not our dinner is well done enough!  let the number be your judge!*
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    ***if you want to try to be really fancy (creepy?) you can do what I did, and using a sharp knife separate the skin from the bird a wee bit and shove some lemon slices up there.  A friend did this once and I was super impressed with the lovely embossed lemon design browned onto the top of the bird.  HOWEVER, as with flowers, odd numbers look nicer, and me being in a rush decided to just use 2 lemon slices…  well, it came out looking like a nightmare!  Two lemon eyes, a lemon shoved in the “mouth” and interestingly enough the protrusion at the back end of the bird is known as the “Pope’s Nose.”  I know that is an  offensive term, but it is right between my bird’s eyes!  It’s too creepy and entertaining not to include a picture!
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    Also, I learned from my mommy that it’s better to cook a bird tat’s up!  I have much to learn… sigh…!  Either way, I have cooked a whole bird, by myself, and it was not difficult!  Tasted good too!  I put the bones in the slowcooker overnight and will be making some sort of chicken veggie soup in the next day or so!

Haystack Cookies

25 May

ImageI was craving chocolate something fierce the other day and had NOTHING to snack on.  Not even the ol’ standby of a handful of chocolate chips (or morsels, as my husband lovingly refers to them as).  Babies were napping (or at least trapped in their cribs!) so I couldn’t go to the store and get myself a treat.  To the computer I went and looked at some treats I had recently “pinned.” When I spotted this little number from The Little Red House.

We grew up eating these bad boys under the name of “Haystacks” or “Lois’ (my mama’s) Favourite Cookies”

So here they are, with just a couple little changes of my own.

Haystack Cookies

  • 1/2 C raw honey
  • 1/4 C + 1/8 C *cacao powder* (or cocoa)
  • 1/4 C unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 C coconut oil
  • 1/4 C almond butter
  • 2 C rolled oats
  • 1/3 C shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of sea salt

Image* cacao is cocoa in its purest, unrefined form, which is milled at a low heat to maintain all of its nutritional benefits.  It is an excellent source of antioxidants, magnesium and iron.  Pretty much, you’re doing yourself a favour to make and eat these cookies!  I have been using the brand Navitas Naturals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Method:

  1. mix honey and cacao together in small sauce pan, over medium heat
  2. add almond milk and coconut oil, continue stirring and bring to boil
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  3. boil for one minute, remove from heat
  4. stir in remaining ingredients
  5. drop by heaping spoonfuls onto parchment lined baking sheets
  6. put in fridge (or freezer if you’re really impatient!) to set
  7. shove it in your face!
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Balsamic Pot Roast

23 May

Balsamic Roast-2I love having a few lazy meals up my sleeve for times when I just don’t feel motivated to cook!  The slow cooker is great for that.  Even if it still requires time and prep, somehow doing it at the beginning of the day, and having dinner ready for you 6 hours later makes it seem so effortless!  This is a great one pot meal because you just throw in the veggies with the beef and the broth and let it all simmer away!

Balsamic Pot Roast

  • 2-3 pound frozen boneless roast beef (I used eye of round)
  • 1 cup low sodium beef broth (Epicure is great brand that doesn’t have all the additives)
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
    Option: (add the following items if you want to have a one pot meal, and sliced meat.  If you just cook the meat and marinade you can keep cooking until it is falling apart and it makes a DELICIOUS pulled beef!  You just need to take two forks and help shred it a bit.  If it does not easily shred, keep cooking!)
  • 3 carrots chopped into large chunks
  • 2 or 3 good sized potatoes, quartered
  • 2 small onions quartered
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch

Method 

  1. Put roast into slow cooker
  2. Measure broth, vinegars, sauces and seasonings into a 2 C. glass measuring cup (makes it easy to measure as you add each ingredient), whisk togetherBalsamic Roast
  3. Pour broth over roast
  4. Add veggies, lovingly placing them around the roast!!
  5. Cook 4 hours on high, or 6-8 hours on low (cooked from frozen should get you a nice, slice-able roast!  If your meat is already defrosted try 4 hours on low, or if you want it to be cooked to the “shreddable” stage, stick with the times/temps listed!)
  6. Spoon gravy out of slow cooker and place in sauce pan on med-high heat
  7. Mix cornstarch in small bowl with a few tablespoons of water, until well blended, pour into gravy while stirring
  8. Stir frequently until mixture thickens slightly
  9. Pour gravy over sliced meat and veggies
  10. Stuff it in your face

Balsamic Roast-3Adapted from recipe at Eve Was (Partially) Right

Tuna Salad

23 May

tuna saladOnce upon a time I used to have a day where I either had no desire to cook anything, had nothing in the freezer/fridge/cupboards to cook, or got so busy with the kids I ran out of time to cook.  That still happens, quite frequently.  BUT I no longer allow myself to fall into the trap of letting my husband pick up fast food, or frozen pizzas from the grocery store.  I found myself in this very situation last night, and realizing I had a couple of cans of tuna, googled “clean tuna salad” to see what came up.

I found a recipe on the fantastic website, The Gracious Pantry, and set about to make some up before I lost the tiniest bit of motivation I had to prepare a healthy dinner!  I made a few slight changes, and we ended up putting our tuna salad onto whole wheat roti with a bit of grated cheese on top and making tuna melts.  There are endless options on how to serve this- a basic sandwich, in a whole grain tortilla with lettuce, served over greens for a nice salad etc.  So NO EXCUSES!  Easy, healthy, quick meal!  (This pep talk is really for myself!)

Tuna Salad

  • 2 cans tuna
  • 1/3 C plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 small carrot, shredded
  • small handful of grape tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 chives, (or a green onion, scallion, etc.)
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp dill
  • 1/4 tsp dijon
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
    Method
  1. drain cans of tuna
  2. mix all ingredients together in medium bowl
  3. stuff it in your face!

Rhubarb Berry Crisp

21 May

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It’s spring!  The time of year when rhubarb starts to grow like crazy, and nothing else will yet…!  I’m not crazy about rhubarb but I have such a healthy plant that I’m determined to find a few recipes and enjoy nature’s bounty.

When evenings are still pretty cool, nothing beats a sweet and warm crisp of some sort for dessert.  Combining berries, apple and rhubarb takes a bit of the bite out of the rhubarb, but it is a MUST to pair it with vanilla ice-cream (like this delicious homemade coconut milk icecream!)

Rhubarb Berry Crisp

  • 2 C. chopped rhubarb
  • 2 C. berries of choice (if using frozen berries, thaw first and try to drain off as much liquid as possible)
  • 2 peeled, chopped apples
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot (or whole wheat flour)
    Topping:
  • 1 C. oats
  • 1/2 C. flour
  • 1/4 C. coconut sugar (or sucanat*)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp ground flax
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 C. coconut oil

*sucanat is a whole, unrefined cane sugar, which makes it a good alternative to regular cane sugar (or other refined sugars) if you are looking to eat clean.  This is the brand I have been using, and I’ve found it at Save On Foods and Superstore.

Method

  1. Mix rhubarb, berries, apple, cinnamon and maple syrup together in a large (9×13″) casserole dish.  Sprinkle with arrowroot (or flour) and gently mix in.
  2. In a medium bowl combine oats, flour, coconut sugar, cinnamon, ground flax and salt.  Add coconut oil and mix it in by squeezing it together with your squeaky clean hands (or you can use a pastry blender if you think that’s yucky!)
  3. Sprinkle topping over fruit layer
  4. Bake for around 45 min. at 375 F.
  5. Allow to cool slightly and serve with your favourite vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt

    revised from Clean Eating Magazine
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Basic Coconut Milk Icecream

21 May

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For my birthday I treated myself to the Kitchen-Aid ice cream maker attachment!  I have a weakness for ice-cream and it just doesn’t fit into my new clean eating lifestyle so I was excited to be able to try my own versions using coconut milk or yogurt instead of cream!

First thing is first, make sure you get full fat coconut milk!  Come on, you are already giving up real cream and going healthy so you gotta make sure it still tastes rich and delicous!  It’s just a much healthier fat.  I found a 2 for $5 sale on the Thai Kitchen brand and have been happy with it.

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You’re going to want to make sure you shake these fellas up real good to blend the thick creamier part with the more watery part.  You can always scrape out whatever is still clinging to the can.  You don’t want to waste any icecreamy potential!

Here is the recipe I am using for basic vanilla ice-cream.  Mmm mmm!

Basic Coconut Milk Icecream

  • 2 Cans full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 C honey
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • *2 tsp arrowroot*

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* arrowroot is a natural thickening starch that will supposedly keep your icecream from getting all those ice crystals.  Also, I heard booze… a little vodka or Bailey’s next time perhaps!?  I plan on sharing this with my 2 year old, so will stick to the arrowroot.  Bob’s Red Mill is a good brand.

  1. blend all ingredients together really well (I mixed it up in my Magic Bullet to make sure the honey and arrowroot were well incorporated)
  2. pour into bowl and chill in fridge first
  3. follow instructions for your icecream maker

VOILA!!

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-recipe adapted from cookieandkate and The Nourishing Gourmet