Coconut Chia Banana Pomegranate Parfaits

Coconut Chia Banana Pomegranate Parfaits

 

Is it just me or does time go by exceptionally fast this time of year? Today is the solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, the shortest and darkest day of the year. From this point forward we move closer to spring and my desire to jump on the first flight out of this tundra will slowly diminish.

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The drive to hibernate this time of year is strong. Lately I’ve been running myself down (maybe subconsciously?) and I’ve caught a nasty cold. Heaps of my Immunitea, sleep and medicinal mushrooms are the best cures but there’s a certain part of me that doesn’t mind being sick. I mean I hate it, but it’s also an excuse to watch planet earth and monkey kingdom on netflix all day long, and to let others do the cooking for once, and snuggle on the couch with my little guy who has the same bug. It’s just sometimes it takes getting ill to do these things without feeling slightly guilty or lazy about it. Terrible, I know, I should be able to do what I want anytime without guilt; we all should. What a crazy society we live in to think that getting ill is often the only way we can slow down.

I’ve been on a chia kick lately and it’s official, layered parfaits and chia puddings are a match made in heaven. Texturally beyond the capacity of a simply chia pudding, parfaits give you the best of all worlds in one bite. These Coconut Chia Banana Pomegranate Parfaits are loaded with layers of thin sliced banana, cacao nibs and pomegranate for a perfect combo of crunch, pop, gush, ahhhh.

Coconut Chia Banana Pomegranate Parfaits

Yield: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 package young coconut meat (optionally you could use an extra can of coconut milk+1/2 C shredded coconut)
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 3 ripe bananas, sliced
  • 1 pomegranate, seeds removed
  • 1/3 C cacao nibs
  • 1 tsp vanilla stevia
  • 1/2 C chia seeds

Instructions

  1. Add coconut and coconut milk to a blender and blend until super smooth, empty into a large bowl.
  2. Combine coconut mixture with chia seeds and stevia. Set aside to thicken for 30 minutes.
  3. Pour a little of the chia pudding into ramekins or small jam sized mason jars, layer bananas, a sprinkling of cacao nibs and pomegranate and repeat. Enjoy!
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Rainbow Superfood Salad with Lemon Basil Dressing

Rainbow Superfood Salad with Lemon Basil Dressing

 

It is bloody cold right now which equates to a high level of importance placed upon colourful salads like this one. Salads loaded with superfoods like pomegranate, avocado, hemp seeds and sauerkraut are great for any season. This Rainbow Superfood Salad with Lemon Basil Dressing is highly adaptable to what’s in season and the dressing has the perfect balance of zing and creaminess that just keeps you wanting more. If you love a good salad dressing as much as I do, my lemony tahini dressing is another great one to have in your repertoire.

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I like to add sauerkraut to my salads for extra probiotics and insanely delicious crunch factor. I can even manage to sneak it past sauerkraut skeptics (they don’t know what they’re missing). If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of sauerkraut and other ferment foods check out my article on 10 reasons to eat sauerkraut and some delicious recipes. Eating fermented foods with every meal literally changed my health. Not only are they delicious but they improve digestion, mood, and reduce inflammation.

 

I wrote this recipe for the lovely Irena’s Eat Drink Paleo blog. If you don’t know about her website check it out because she has a plethora of delicious recipes!

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Rainbow Superfood Salad with Creamy Basil Dressing

Ingredients

    For the salad
  • 6 C mixed greens or chopped lettuce
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 yellow pepper, sliced
  • handful sauerkraut
  • 1/4 red onion, finely sliced
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 pear, sliced
  • 1 apple sliced
  • 1 pomegranate, seeds removed
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • handful hemp seeds
  • handful pumpkin seeds
  • For the dressing
  • 1/3 C extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbs lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs paleo mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • handful fresh basil, finely chopped OR 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • fresh cracked pepper

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl top greens with sliced zucchini, peppers, apple, pear, pomegranate and avocado. Sprinkle with sauerkraut, hemp and pumpkin seeds.
  2. Combine all ingredients for the dressing in a jar, cover and shake until everything is combined.
  3. Pour over the salad just before serving and enjoy!
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15 Gluten and Sugar Free Holiday Treat Ideas

15 Gluten and Sugar Free Holiday Treat Ideas

It’s the time of year when I go into full on holiday baking mode. Cookies, pies, fudge, you name it. But it still doesn’t mean a plethora of refined junky foods, no thanks. Instead, I look at the holidays as an opportunity to get creative and experiment with new sweeteners and flour substitutes. Technically none of these are completely sugar free but they all contain natural unrefined sweeteners like honey, maple syrup and coconut sugar. Refined sugar free just sounded like a long and annoying title.

Here are some of my favourite treats to make for the holidays, as well as some that I really want to try out this year. I think after I write this post I might run to the kitchen and make those paleo gingerbread cookies. I’m feeling a little blue and lethargic today and I have a feeling the smell of cookies wafting through the house is just the fix.

 

1. Vanilla Bean Macadamia Nut Fudge

Vanilla bean and macadamia nut fudge

 

 

 

2. Maple Pecan Protein Cookies

Maple Pecan Paleo Protein Cookies

 

 

 

3. 4 Ingredient Superfood Truffles

4 Ingredient Superfood Truffles

 

 

 

4. Raw Creamy Chocolate Tarts with Caramel Hazelnut Crust

Raw Creamy Chocolate Tarts with Caramel Hazelnut Crust

 

 

 

5. Paleo “Oatmeal” Cookies

Paleo-Oatmeal-Cookies-1

photo courtesy: mynaturalfamily.com

 

 

6. Raw Black and White Chocolate Hemp Seed Bark

raw black and white hemp chocolate

 

 

 

7. Paleo Pumpkin Pie

Paleo-Pumpkin-Pie-Image2

photo courtesy: thelittlepine.com

 

 

8. Homemade Ferrero Rochers

homemade ferrero rochers

 

 

 

9. Salted Caramel “Cheesecake” Bars

saltedcaramelcheesecakebars

photo courtesy: paleogrubs.com

 

 

10. Raw Chocolate Pomegranate Bark

Raw Chocolate Pomegranate Bark

 

 

 

11. No Bake Cardamom Plum and Berry Tart

Add coconut sugar,vanilla and cardamom

 

 

 

12. Chewy Gingerbread Cookies

(Paleo)-Chewy-Gingerbread-Cookies-(3)

photo courtesy: theironyou.com

 

 

 

13. Blueberries and Cream Truffles

blueberries and cream truffles

 

 

 

14. Chocolate dipped grain free shortbread

shortbread

photo courtesy: Acleanbake.com

 

 

 

15. Creamy Chocolate Crunch Bars

creamy chocolate crunch bars

 

What are your favourite Gluten and Sugar Free Holiday Treat Ideas ?

wishing you a merry

 

Crispy Roast Duck with Habanero Honey Glaze

Crispy Roast Duck with Habanero Honey Glaze

 

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I’ve decided that wine makes me a better person.

On days when I don’t care that my toddler just climbed on top of the phone desk.

These white winter days have a way of zapping the gusto right out from under you.

Making binge watching of inspirational TED talks totally acceptable.

Feeble attempts to embrace the cool crisp air, get out there and make some snow angels or at least walk for more than 30 seconds without the little having a tantrum.

He hates winter just as much as I do. 

How can such a simple thing just throw you over the edge.

Why can’t you just have one of those 700$ super mom all terrain strollers and you wouldn’t have to pull the baby on a cheap plastic sled? Why can’t he just like sleds! 

Breathe in, breathe out. Eat this fatty tender delicious duck. Sit back, chill out, drink wine and wish that you smoked cigarettes again.

 

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Crispy Roast Duck with Habanero Honey Glaze

Ingredients

    Duck
  • 1 whole duck (approx. 2kg)
  • sea salt and pepper
  • Habanero Honey Glaze
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 habanero pepper, seeds removed for less spice, minced
  • 1/2 C honey
  • 1/4 C rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbs tamari ( gluten free soya sauce) or coconut aminos

Instructions

  1. Prepare duck by thoroughly drying the skin and coating with sea salt and pepper. Place on a wire rack above your roasting pan. Preheat oven to 300F.
  2. Cook duck for 3.5 hours, turning over every hour.
  3. Remove duck from the oven and increase the heat to 400F, brush the duck all over with about half the glaze and return to the oven for 10 minutes to get nice and crispy.
  4. Allow duck to rest a few minutes before serving. You can shred the meat nicely with two forks or slice it thinly with a bit of extra sauce on top. Enjoy!
  5. Habanero honey glaze
  6. Heat oil in a small sauce pan or skillet and add garlic and habanero, allow to become fragrant and turn slightly golden before adding the remaining ingredients. Bring to a simmer for 5 minutes, allowing the mixture to become slightly thicker.
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Spaghetti Squash Pesto Shrimp Breakfast Bowls

Spaghetti Squash Pesto Shrimp Breakfast Bowls

spaghetti squash breakfast bowl

I eat weird things for breakfast. Mostly I’ll just put an egg on just about anything and call it breakfast, case in point, spaghetti squash pesto shrimp breakfast bowls. Yep, I ate this baby for breakfast, but it would be equally suitable for any other meal of the day. My mom likes to reminisce about the origin of names and spaghetti squash confounded her. ‘Its called spaghetti squash but wouldn’t it have existed before spaghetti, maybe they named spaghetti after the squash and not the other way around’. Maybe mom, maybe.

spaghetti squash breakfast bowl

The healthiest way to start the day isn’t cereal or God help us, oats (there’s nothing more loathed in my books that a big sloppy pile of oatmeal). If you want lasting energy without needing a triple shot americano at 10AM then load up on the veggies, fats and protein for breakfast. A nutrient dense breakfast just sets you up for success. No blood sugar crashes or succumbing to the stack of sticky doughnuts in the break room, nope, just pure energy to conquer the world. So while to some my shrimp laden squash bowl might look like an odd thing to have for breakfast, its actually ideal, healthy and damn delicious. Make the squash the night before and this whips up in a pinch. Want to know the easiest way to cook squash? You guessed it, slow cooker!

I like to find really big ones so that I can eat half with dinner and the other half for breakfast. Get creative, you can do this with any type of squash, the spaghetti just has that nice stringy texture.

spaghetti squash breakfast bowl

Spaghetti Squash Pesto Shrimp Breakfast Bowls

Prep Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 2

Ingredients

  • 1/2 a large spaghetti squash, seeds scooped out
  • 2 Tbs ghee or butter
  • 1 Tbs basil pesto, homemade or store-bought
  • 2-4 eggs
  • 1 Tbs vinegar (for poaching the eggs)
  • handful sliced bell pepper
  • handful sliced tomato
  • handful chopped green onion
  • handful arugula or spinach
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 6 wild raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Either cook your spaghetti squash in the oven at 400F for one hour or in the slow cooker for 2 1/2 hours.
  2. Start a small pot of water to boil, when its boiling add vinegar and drop the eggs for 3 minutes if you want soft poached, 4 minutes for medium and 5 for hard.
  3. Melt butter or ghee and basil pesto together in a skillet and pour half over the cooked spaghetti squash, leave the other half in your skillet and add shrimp to it. Cook for 1.5 minutes each side and remove from heat.
  4. To assemble the bowl simply scoop out the strands of spaghetti squash and push to one side, add greens and the other vegetables, top with poached eggs and shrimp and add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
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spaghetti squash breakfast bowl