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Favourite Multigrain Bread

30 Jul

bread-9My mom, my aunt, my sister-in-law, and myself have been making the same delicious bread recipe for years!  It can’t be beat!  It is a bit time consuming since you gotta do those old school things like use yeast, knead the dough, let it rise, roll your loaves, etc. BUT it is really easy, it tastes amazing, and you can get 4-5 loaves, which will do our family for the whole month… so it’s totally worth it!

I googled “clean” bread recipes, and nothing sounded as good as this old standby, so I just cleaned it up a bit using all whole wheat flour and coconut sugar instead of white sugar.  You could also use honey to sweeten it, but since I will be feeding it to my wee boy, and babies under 1 can’t have honey, I opted for the coconut sugar.

Sooooo if you know you have a day at home and want to fill that home with the most pleasing smell of fresh baked bread, check out the recipe below!

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Favourite Multigrain Bread

  • 4 C warm water
  • 1 C Red River cereal
  • 1 C flax seeds
  • 5 C whole wheat flour
  • 2 TBSP quick rise yeast
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 C coconut sugar
  • 1/3 C sunflower oil
  • 1 TBSP sea salt
  • 4-5 more C whole wheat flour


    Method

  • In medium bowl, mix together Red River cereal, flaw seeds, 5 C whole wheat flour and yeast
  • In a large bowl (or bowl for your stand mixer), mix together eggs, coconut sugar, oil and salt.  Add warm (not hot) water and stir.
  • Add dry ingredients and mix until smooth
  • Add remaining 4 C of flour one cup at a time, mixing well in between each addition.  At this point your stand mixer might begin to struggle!!  No problem, just take over by hand.  (I usually add the 5th C of flour while I’m kneading the dough)
  • Turn dough onto floured surface and knead for about 10 min adding more flour as needed. You want this dough to be somewhat sticky, but you don’t want it to be gooed to your counter top, or attaching itself in giant globs to your hands, but you also don’t want to overdo the flour and have it be dried out!  Sheesh!  The pressure!  It’s pretty easy to get the ratio right- as long as the dough is moving as you are kneading, it should only be sticking a bit, if it gets too sticky to handle give a sprinkle of flour and keep it moving!  I usually need the 5th C of flour every time.
  • Grease a large bowl and put your dough in it, rolling it over once so it has a greased side up.  Cover with plastic wrap if you like (I like.. It makes me feel like I’ve created a tiny, bread greenhouse that will help this puppy rise!) and leave in a warm spot for 30 mins
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  • After 30 mins. punch it down!  Wash you hands, make some fists and beat the air out of that puppy!  Recover and let rise another 30 mins.
  • Now punch it down again and separate into 4 equalish balls.  If you want to be cute, like my mom, you can weigh them on a kitchen scale and pinch and add until they are all pretty much even!  Or you can just be wild and free and eyeball it.  I am usually more “cute” than “wild.”  Whatever, don’t judge!
  • Roll each ball out with a rolling pin, ensuring that you squeeze out any air bubbles that might have formed.  You should have an ovalish/rectanglish (or a rectoval.  That sounds kinda of gross.  Sorry for that one!) Beginning at one of the short ends, roll it up tightly so you have a log.  Pinch  the seam along the roll so that it sticks to itself, and pinch the two short ends as well.  We don’t want to end up with a cinnamon bun effect here (that is a totally different type of bread…. sighhhhh!) we want it to bake into a nice, light, but solid loaf.
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  • Place each loaf into a well greased bread tin and let them rise for 1 1/2 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 350 and bake for 20 min.  Or if your oven has a mind of it’s own (aka it heats terribly inconsistently) check it at 15.  You just spend all day preparing these bad boys, no way you’re going to let a touchy oven spoil it for you now!bread-7
  • Allow to cool until you can no longer resist the smell of warm bread wafting straight to your soul, yet cool enough that slicing is a viable option
  • shove it in your face!

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Quinoa Cheese Bites

29 Jul

ImageKeen-whaaaa!?  My husband does not want to eat this stuff!  But I was successful in finding one way that he would eat it right up, and enjoy every last bite.  Quinoa cheese bites! Mmm mmm! BONUS: These are the perfect, healthy, protein rich, finger food snacks for a baby or toddler.  Health Canada now says it’s okay to give babies under 1 year eggs.

Found this gem of a recipe at So Very Blessed

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Quinoa Cheese Bites

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (1/2 C uncooked)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 2 stalks green onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp seasoning salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

Method

  • preheat oven to 350 F
  • mix all ingredients together
  • distribute mixture into a greased mini muffin tin, filling each cup to the top
  • bake 15 – 20 min.
  • stuff it in your face!  either on it’s own, or with tzatziki or another clean dip!

Clean Eating Update!!

15 May

FLASHBACK TO EARLY 2012………………

Sooooo last time I decided I was going to try Clean Eating, I read this book, and got REALLY pumped!

I ate SUPER healthy for about a week and a half, felt awesome, excited, optimistic about the future and my potential to become happier, healthier, and fitter!  Then suddenly, as my body was detoxing out all the sugar and refined crap I had been eating I felt SOOOOOOO SICK and TIRED and YUCKY!!  How long would this detoxing phase last before I started to just feel good!??  But, wait a minute… AH HA!

 

 

So, it was MORNING SICKNESS!  After a period of eating hardly anything but crackers and lemony drinks, I fell into the classic “I’m pregnant I can eat whatever I want” and thus began the period of sending my husband out for chocolate, icecream, french fries, lemonade, whatever this little mama desired!  Needless to say I did not pick up again on the Clean Eating!

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We had a beautiful baby boy, Luke, in November.  Christmas rolled around and I devoured Nanaimo bars, shortbread cookies, and all sorts of other Christmas baking, in sort of a “last supper” mindset… knowing full well that in January we were going back to business with this Clean Eating.

I READ THE BOOK AGAIN!!  GOT INSPIRED, PUMPED, EXCITED!  And began to cook more clean and incorporate the clean eating principles:
-eat 5 or 6 small meals/snacks a day
-eat protein with a complex carb every meal
-drink water like it’s your job
-cut out all sugar and refined, processed, unnatural foods!

Let’s just say it was an adjustment.  Sugar is in pretty much EVERYTHING.  Ketchup, yup.  Oil based salad dressings, yup.  Yogurt, yup.  If you’re lucky, the ingredient list will just say “sugar.”  Sometimes you have to do detective work and find sugar by it’s other names.  Anyways, I had to learn how to replace these staples with new choices… herbs and seasonings instead of processed condiments, my own oil/vinegar/herb concoctions instead of salad dressing from the store, and plain yogurt with fresh fruit and a drizzle of honey.

BLOGGITY BLOG TIME!  I first started this blog without any clear intentions.  A place to store random thoughts… now I’m reviving it because I’m just about 6 months into my new CLEAN EATING lifestyle and I’m loving it so much, and finding so much success with it, and my head and heart are bursting with new found favourite recipes and I want one place to keep all of them.

So here it is… CLEAN.EATING.MACHINE.  A place to find my favourite recipes, and cleaned up versions of the things you thought would never touch your lips again if you were eating healthy!!

Clean Eating Challenge

19 Feb

Well, I think it’s time to do something about my eating… Too many times I’ve had an eating plan (eat healthy during the week and then eat whatever on weekends) and then fallen away from it because I didn’t plan ahead for meals, or my husband has a McDonald’s craving and I jumped on the bandwagon or there’s some special event/dinner/birthday/occasion and I feel like I “deserve” to eat all the unhealthy stuff.

I have tried numerous diet/weight loss plans- weight watchers, Body for Life, and cleanses and I know what it takes to eat healthy but I just don’t seem to follow through.  Recently I found myself feeling jealous when I read a friend’s blog post about following the clean eating plan for a month and finding her already petite body tightening and shrinking and becoming leaner and healthier.  It is ridiculous to eat my daughters leftover birthday cake late at night while being jealous that my friend who is following through on eating healthy is becoming leaner!  I recognize the ridiculousness in this and am ashamed of it!  Soooo, typically I would say “Starting on Monday I’m going to begin the Clean Eating plan.” But, Mark is big time believer in not starting on Monday/1st of the month/after such and such a holiday, he believes if you are serious, you start today!  So today for lunch, while he was eating a cheeseburger and fries, I resisted temptation and had a huge salad with lots of fresh greens and veggies, avocado, boiled egg and a homemade dijon vinegarette.  I didn’t feel satisfied after I ate, which I often don’t with salads, cause I feel like I need something grainy, or bready, to actually chew… not just leaves… but, I had a big glass of ice water with a squeeze of lime and waited a bit, and now I feel perfectly satisfied.  Not full, not boated, not hungry, just 100% comfortably content… kinda like my body has just been perfectly and properly fueled… funny how that works.

Anyways, so I’m excited to join Macy in healthy breakfasts of hot cereal (oatmeal, red river, cream of wheat etc.) with berries or other fruit, and my big healthy salads for lunch.  I’m looking forward to exploring some of the delicious recipes from Clean Eating for dinner.  I’ve already made a few meals from Clean Eating that even Mark has loved!  Lots of Mexican influenced recipes, and a few chicken stirfry/stew type of dishes.  I think the challenge for me will be finding good snacks for in between meals.  I tend to get bored of the typical cottage cheese, fruit, yogurt etc. types of healthy snacks.  But Clean Eating isn’t like Weight Watchers or Atkins or something in that you are limiting carbs cause of high calories or points.  You are cutting out REFINED foods and eating foods in their most natural and pure (clean) form.  So, I could find a recipe for some delicious clean muffins, and maybe I’m using honey or maple syrup instead of lots of white sugar, and whole wheat flour instead of white.  I’m sure there are lots of options.  There are even clean desserts if you look for them.  So this should be okay if I plan for it and have lots of healthy clean foods on hand.

I’m setting the goal of following Clean Eating for one week to begin with.  I know myself, and if I say I’m going to do this faithfully for one month, or until Easter or something down the road I will feel overwhelmed and I will give up at some weak moment!  But, to say I can do this for a week should be attainable, and then I will renew the commitment after that point.  I know that the fat will melt off my body when I stick to this healthy way of eating, but I will also combine this with regular exercise to really make a difference.  I have been going for lots of walks with my friend and neighbour Andrea, and Macy and Andrea’s dog Finn.  I wear Macy in a backpack because of all the snow and our walk consists of uneven ground with slight dips and rises and two significant (well, significant to me with about an extra 30 lbs on my back) hills.  We’ve been going about 3 or 4 times a week, so I will say I’m committing to going 3 times a week (even if Andrea can’t make it, Macy and I will go on our own) and going to the gym 2 times a week.  That is 5 days of decent exercise combined with healthy eating.

I’m looking forward to seeing a difference in how I feel (and possibly even look) at the end of the week!