Fennel Grapefruit Detox Salad

Fennel Grapefruit Detox Salad

 

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Holy case of the Mondays today. On top of the ‘kill all things’ stage of the whole 30, my little teething monster has been draining 60 calories of comfort a minute from me. I don’t understand how women with children under 3 get absolutely anything done. Murphy’s law is in full swing because as soon as I wrote that he is off on his own smashing remote controls. Do I care? Nope.

How do you cope with ineffective days? I feel like our society superimposes really high standards of productivity. But some days it feels pretty difficult to cross anything off the to-do list. I have to gently remind myself that raising a child is always on the top of that list, and that I must always work on that first.

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About this salad, it’s beyond refreshing and packed with craving busting minerals. Often we get those mad cravings for sweets and quick fix foods because of mineral deficiencies. But you know what sucks? Boring salads. Boring vegetables. They give vegetables a bad rep. It’s my mission to never ever make a boring salad. Cruciferous vegetables are particularly detoxifying because they’re so high in I3C or indole-3-carbinols, which help to break down bad estrogen in the body and regulate hormones. Aside from that the fiber and vitamin C in this salad are cleansing and help me feel more vibrant and just plain happy during the first few days of the whole 30. I find that I always have a craving for crunchy foods and this Fennel Grapefruit Detox Salad more than satisfies. Save some of the fronds for garnish or adding to soups and what not, they really impart that lovely anise flavour.

Fennel Grapefruit Detox Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 bulb fennel, remove stalks and finely slice
  • 1 grapefruit, zest and remove skin and pith, slice and set aside zest.
  • 4 kale leaves, stalks removed, chopped
  • 1 C red cabbage, finely chopped
  • 1/4 C red onion, finely sliced
  • 1/2 C pistachios
  • For the dressing:
  • 1/3 C olive oil
  • 2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbs tahini paste
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • 1/4 C finely chopped chives

Instructions

  1. Zest the grapefruit and set aside. Remove skin and pith and slice. Add all vegetable to a large salad bowl and top with grapefruit pieces.
  2. Combine grapefruit zest with olive oil, vinegar, tahini, salt, pepper and chives until smooth and creamy.
  3. Toss salad with vinaigrette and top with pistachios.
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Vanilla Bean Macadamia Nut Fudge

Vanilla Bean Macadamia Nut Fudge

Vanilla bean and macadamia nut fudge

Vanilla beans are a magical magical thing. They blow my mind. Every little seed bursting with the most common yet rare and precious flavour in existence. Vanilla is an ethereal looking orchid, truly stunning. It adds something so special to anything it touches and brings out the hidden characteristics in the foods it mingles with.

If you can’t tell, I’m pretty fucking gung ho about vanilla. 

 

I just got back from my brothers wedding where I had the pleasure of making THE cake. What foods represent the true characteristics of star crossed lovers and real deal twin flames?

Chocolat et vanille of course.

Vanilla bean and macadamia nut fudge

Cacao and vanilla grow in the same jungles, one is masculine, rooted, robust, dark, hard shelled yet amazingly soft inside. While the other is light, ephemeral, delicate and grows upward towards the heavens. The two were ordained the perfect match long before modern society had any idea of their existence. It only made sense to encapsulate their majesty into their luxurious wedding cake. I’ll post the recipe on the blog soon of the cake which was a double fudge chocolate quinoa cake with vanilla bean, rose and honey cashew cream icing.

For now, I’ll ramble on a little more about vanilla…

And macadamia nuts because mmmmmmmm…

Whenever I go on vacation I crave fudge. Which likely stems from childhood trips to Banff where we would always visit the fudge factory and stock up for our trip back home. And if you know me at all, you know that when a craving lurks, it cannot simply be ignored. But most fudge is way too sweet so of course the simple solution is to make it yourself.

Vanilla bean and macadamia nut fudge

Vanilla Bean Macadamia Nut Fudge is my new obsession, and you only need a tiny bit to satisfy even the maddest sweet tooth. It’s loaded with healthy fat from coconut and adorned with another tropical favourite, macadamia nuts.

I’ll tell you a secret. The other night I watched game of thrones for hours and ate nearly two cups of mac nuts. Talk about a binge. I can’t even have them around or I just go mental and day dream about Jon Snow while noshing my life away. So, if you got em, use em!

Vanilla bean and macadamia nut fudge

 

Vanilla Bean Macadamia Nut Fudge

Ingredients

  • 1 C macadamia nuts (roasted) + 1/3 C crushed macadamia nut pieces for topping
  • 1 C shredded coconut
  • 2 Tbs raw honey
  • 1/2 C coconut oil, melted
  • pinch of sea salt (if the mac nuts are unsalted)
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds removed (safe the pod for infusing drinks or making vanilla extract)

Instructions

  1. In a blender or food processor add macadamia nuts, coconut and honey and process until smooth.
  2. Add coconut oil, sea salt and vanilla bean and blend again.
  3. Pour the mixture into a parchment lined 3x8 pan (or smaller for thicker fudge pieces) and top with remaining crushed mac nuts.
  4. Put in the fridge or freezer to set for at least an hour before cutting into inch sized pieces. Store in the fridge and enjoy!
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Loaded Tex Mex Sweet Potato Fries

Loaded Tex Mex Sweet Potato Fries

loaded tex mex sweet potato friesYesterday I went to the farmers market and the poutine truck was there. They have some pretty impressive renditions on the classic poutine, including donair poutine and buffalo blue cheese poutine, tempting to say the least. But instead we got some gorgeous fresh northern pike and breaded it with shredded coconut, yum. But the craving for poutine, once you have it, doesn’t just go away. So today I whipped up a worthy equivalent, minus the gravy, and oh my did it hit the spot. In case you were wondering, loaded implies a bunch of spicy beef cooked with onions and garlic, goat feta and aged raw cheddar cheese,fresh tomatoes, peppers and a big ole pile a guacamole in the middle. These loaded tex mex sweet potato fries are healthy yet satisfying enough to meet any comfort food criteria.

loaded tex mex sweet potato fries

This is a filling meal for two, or a nice snack or starter for four. Once you start, its hard to stop, and you are pretty much guaranteed to lick the plate clean.

loaded tex mex sweet potato fries

Loaded Tex Mex Sweet Potato Fries

Ingredients

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, cut onto 1/4 inch strips
  • 2 Tbs avocado or olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 C goat feta, crumbled (optional)
  • 1/2 C raw aged cheddar, shredded (optional)
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 pepper, sliced pr diced
  • For the guacamole, 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tomato, diced
  • handful chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 400F
  2. In a large bowl, add oil and sweet potato, toss until evenly coated.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread an even lay of sweet potato fries, bake for 25 minutes.
  4. Heat a small amount of oil in a frying pan and add onion and garlic until slightly golden. Add the Worcestershire and beef and cook on medium high heat until the juices start to release and the meat starts to brown. Turn down the heat until thoroughly cooked.
  5. For the guacamole, mash together the avocado, garlic, lime, sea salt, tomato and cilantro
  6. When the fries are done, top with cheese, beef, tomatoes, peppers and serve alongside fresh guacamole.
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loaded tex mex sweet potato fries

 

Coconut Orange Creamsicles

Coconut Orange Creamsicles

Coconut Orange Creamsicle

These are so lip smacking simple and a zillion times better than those neon coloured chemical bombs filled with who knows what.  I used to love those crack pops, arrrrrgh like my life depended on them. But this of Coconut Orange Creamsicles is waaaaaaaay better and ultimately super easy to make. Especially if you have one of these handy dandy zoku popsicle makers which give you perfectly frozen pops in mere minutes. Yes such a thing exists. Yes they are a bitch to get out of the moulds. But when yo baby is screaming his face off because he’s getting four new molars all at the same time, they are a godsend, and momma muscles kick into full swing.

I kid you not, my child at two and half of these all in one go and he was SO stupendously happy. And since they have barely any sweetener, just a touch of maple syrup, and are packed with healthy fats from coconut milk and vitamin sunshine from oranges, momma was stoked. No more waiting hours for popsicle heaven to unfold. No more teething death screams. Just pure popsicle bliss ahhhh.

 

Coconut Orange Creamsicles

 

Coconut Orange Creamsicles

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 6 oranges, juiced, seeds removed, about 1 C juice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 2 Tbs maple syrup or honey

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients and pour into popsicle moulds.
  2. For the zoku just wait a few minutes, for traditional moulds, allow to set for at least 2 hours in the freezer.
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Coconut Orange Creamsicle

 

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Raw Raspberry Lemonade Bars

Raw Raspberry Lemonade Bars

Raw Raspberry Lemonade Bars

Lets be real. Nobody in their right mind is cranking up the oven this time of year. It’s just not happening unless you’re making pie and have a kiddy pool on the kitchen floor. So the raw raspberry lemonade bars goodness is where it’s at and this light as air pillowy cloud of tangy lemon and raspberry on a decadent nutty crust without any added sugar is DA bomb. Top it with some coconut whipped cream and you will be in the land of blissful nummies (it’s a real place, I swear).

Raw Raspberry Lemonade Bars

Have you ever thought what it would be like to be psychic? Maybe you are psychic. Please comment if so, I want to know how many psychics are reading my blog. I disgress, my writing challenge postulated the idea and I wrote a little piece on a day in the life of moi, as a psychic.

Raw Raspberry Lemonade Bars

She stepped up into the precociously parked bus only to be bombarded with the inner screams of impatience of it’s inhabitants. A common chord amongst many in the busy city, nothing is ever fast enough. Places to go, people to see, and a massive shortage of time. She was always quick to scan for the ones that held an inner stillness, that didn’t let their feathers ruffle at the mere drop of a pin or tick tock of the clock. Today was like no other, as she looked through the eyes of those around her she felt dismal. There was no one on this bus wrapped in calm cascades of inner peace. What she felt was an unspoken turmoil amongst the masses, self-absorbed and lost in thoughts composed mostly of what ifs. She decided that day to stop taking the bus.

Descending the steps to a busy street her heart ached to scream that we aren’t all so separate at all. Clinging to the illusion of drastic differences between us we create a world where there are few bridges. The homeless man, whose shadow even had thoughts, his mind never turned off, he was constantly churning through his choices and how they shaped his reality. But that corporate banker who frequents the same cafeteria every day goes through the exact same process.

It’s not very often that she shows what she knows. Blending in is the best technique if you want to remain out of the egoick glare of the limelight. Today was different though. Today she was desperate to find someone who wasn’t a frantic mess. Scanning more than usual, she picked the best chances. The woman carrying her yoga bag, she must be focused more on the well being of others than her own problems. I wonder what I’ll have for lunch- damn my ass hurts from all those lunges. Nope. She continued her hunt. What even was she looking for? Just something different, someone whose world is wrapped in love, maybe even gratitude.

A plump older fellow was waddling towards her, his glasses crooked and a smidgen of mustard tucked into the crease of his lip. His clothes were ruffled and his face twisted into a sort of worried grimace. It was easy to pick up that he had just been through something heavy. He’d been helping a stranger, a neighbour that he had seen but never spoken with before that day. The old lady was losing it to the demons of dementia. She watched movies and couldn’t figure out that they weren’t her life, they weren’t reality.

He’d seen her falling from afar, down that big old hill that the kids loathed climbing on their way to school and the reason many seniors avoided this neighbourhood. It was a tumble of epic proportions, like a scene out of a movie when a person just rolls and rolls and rolls. He ran like a maniac to reach her, to grab her before she hit the pond at the bottom. The superman he’d always wanted to be kicked in, and he made it just in time. She told him she’d taken the roll on purpose, reliving her youth she said. The absurdity was still lingering in his mind. He offered to buy her a hot dog and she accepted. Now she was all he could think about, but even more so, how marvellous it felt, to do something heroic, to break out of his comfort zone.

She locked eyes with him and they exchanged tender smiles. Though she knew his inner dialogue she didn’t say a thing. But her heart softened, she let herself be at ease in knowing that she doesn’t know the whole story. She taps in for a moment, a glimmer, a glimpse into the lives of others and that is all. Her judgement faded into the distance, she decided she might take the bus tomorrow after all.

 

Raw Raspberry Lemonade Bars

Ingredients

  • Base
  • 1 C date paste
  • 1 C walnuts
  • 1 C shredded coconut
  • 1/3 C coconut oil, melted
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • pinch of salt
  • Filling
  • 1 C fresh raspberries
  • 2 C young coconut meat OR raw cashews (soaked for 2-6hrs)
  • 1/3 C coconut oil, melted
  • Juice of 2 lemons, about 1/3 C
  • 4 Tbs maple syrup or honey
  • 1 C shredded coconut
  • Optional- top with coconut whipped cream
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk without additives

Instructions

  1. In a high powered blender or food processor add walnuts, date paste, lemon zest, salt and coconut oil and pulse until combined. I like to mix in the shredded coconut afterwards.
  2. Press mixture evenly into a rectangular 15x9 pyrex baking dish and set aside.
  3. Add all the filling ingredients to your blender or food processor and pulse until super smooth and creamy.
  4. Spread mixture over the base and pop in the fridge to set for a few hours.
  5. To make the coconut whipped cream pop the can in the fridge upside down for a few hours or overnight. Open the can and pour out the super liquid semi clear portion. Scoop out the coconut cream and whip by hand or in a stand mixer until fluffy. Spread over top of the filling and sprinkle with additional shredded coconut.
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Raw Raspberry Lemonade Bars

Zucchini Taco Shells

Zucchini Taco Shells

Zutacos may just be the next zoodles. Just maybe. Zucchini Taco Shells are delightful and such a tasty way to enjoy summers abundance of zucchini. I cannot take the credit for this marvellous invention at all. Those gardening and food photography geniuses consisting of Todd and Diane invented them, I just made them gluten free.

You can pile whatever your favourite taco adornments are, I made some spicy smoked paprika ground pork topped with kimchi and fresh veggies, YUM.

This is my first post in a long while. It’s not that I haven’t been cooking up a storm and enjoying the hell out of summers abundance. It’s just a matter of taking an extended break to focus on other projects and make sense of life, all that jazz. Not that I’ve made sense of anything at all, aside from loving food, and the inevitable company it brings.

 

 

Zucchini Taco Shells

My sister got me hooked on this useless facts website. A dragon fly has a lifespan of 24 hours. I’m really not sure they are all accurate. There’s an entire section devoted to Chuck Norris, I mean reeeeeeeally. 7 Up pop used to contain lithium, too bad it still doesn’t, we could call it crazy pop. They say nutritious food costs 10 times as much as junk food. I don’t think this is true either. But it’s definitely double the cost, even though you’d think less chemicals would equal less expensive. This website makes bold statements, like if you eat lemons you’ll live longer and the older the father of your child is the uglier the child will be. I’d really like to see some evidence beyond the anecdotal here.

A few wise words of warning… don’t put grapes in the microwave, don’t intravenously inject nutmeg, don’t put your pearls in vinegar and when eating peanuts be sure not to combine them with other components of dynamite.

Well I feel good that I learned something today, know any weird ass random facts?

 

Zucchini Taco Shells

 

 

Zucchini Taco Shells

Ingredients

  • 3 small zucchini or 4 C worth, grated
  • 3/4 C almond flour
  • 1/2 C parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • fresh pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Strain any excess juice from the zucchini as best you can.
  3. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.
  4. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, drop zucchini mix by the spoonful, 4 tacos per sheet, and press down evenly.
  5. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes and let cool slightly before peeling off the parchment.
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Zucchini Taco Shells