I don’t like winter one little bit. I’ve tried the Wim Hoff method, I’ve tried to embrace cocoa and warm fires and snow angels. The only time I’ve ever really felt an attraction to winter is when I took mushrooms and couldn’t feel the cold and when engaged in snowboarding. Aside from that it would be really cool to just work from my computer and live in Ecuador. Hear that internet Gods!!! Make it happen. Please? Until then I embrace eating summer foods on dreary grey winter days which otherwise would be more akin to potato chowder and a glass of bourbon. Enter: Raw Zucchini Noodle Pad Thai
Subsequently I scarfed down half this salad before work and it moosted my bood x100. My lovely clients at primal paleo sent me a spiralizer to create some exciting new recipes for their blog. I’ve missed having one around, they are so useful and by george is it just me or does food taste better spiralized!?
I’ve made this pie twice now and it’s pretty much the best thing ever. It’s way easier than regular ol’ pumpkin pie and a lot healthier too. The crust is made with macadamia nuts (or whatever nuts you have kicking around) dates and coconut oil and the filling is a creamy combination of pumpkin, coconut milk, aromatic spices and grass fed beef gelatine which is absolutely loaded with health benefits. I was hesitant to use the gelatine as I didn’t want the pie to have a weird consistency, but if you use the right amount it does the job of thickening without creating any weird gummy textures. If you want a purely vegan pie you can get vegan gelatine using agar agar or irish moss which are both seaweeds.
You American peeps haven’t had your thanksgiving yet and my vote is that you try this Paleo No Bake Pumpkin Pie for the occasion. I made it for our thanksgiving and the fam jam went gaga. The best part is that its so light and easy to digest that you don’t get that same lead weight feeling in the pit of your stomach that usually comes along with thanksgiving.
Since we’re on the topic I would also seriously recommend dry brining your turkey 24 hours before cooking it. This technique definitely resulted in hands down the best turkey I have ever had or made. Last year I did a traditional brine, which is great but leaves the meat a bit watered down. Dry brining imparts the flavour from the salt without taking flavour away from the turkey. I suppose I should just write a post on this alone since I’m so passionate about dry brining but you guys I didn’t take any photos because that turkey was gone so fast.
If you’re in the kitchen for an extended amount of time and looking for a great jam, check out this mix, its long, varied and beautiful.
1 1/2 C unsalted macadamia nuts (pecans or walnuts also work well)
1/2 C date paste
1/4 C coconut oil
pinch sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla bean or vanilla extract
Filling and coconut whipped cream
1 28oz can pumpkin puree OR equivalent amount homemade pumpkin puree
1 can coconut milk (left in the fridge for a few hours to firm up)
1/2 C coconut oil
3 Tbs grass fed beef gelatine OR 1 tsp agar agar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
30 drops liquid stevia OR 1/3 C maple syrup
For the crust
In a high powered blender or food processor, add the macadamia nuts, date paste, coconut oil, salt and vanilla and blend until all the nuts are crushed and everything is evenly combined.
Press the crust into a springform pan, the smaller the pan the taller the pie will be but I used a 9 inch.
Set the crust in the fridge or freezer to set a bit while you make the filling.
Filling and coconut whipped cream
Using the same blender or food processor add the pumpkin puree, separate the liquid from the coconut cream and add the liquid only. Add the gelatine or agar agar (don't worry about blooming it) and puree until smooth.
Add the coconut oil, spices, salt, vanilla and stevia or maple syrup and puree again until smooth.
Pour over top of the crust and allow to set for at least 2 hours in the fridge before serving.
To make the coconut whipped cream simply use the remaining coconut cream and whip it with a whisk or in a mixer until light and fluffy, you can add a splash of maple syrup or honey to sweeten it up if desired.
Pie serves 8-10 people, place a dollop of coconut whipped cream on each piece and enjoy!
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.
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.
I meant to post this BEFORE I started the sugar detox from hell. I’m a fiend you guys. Even if it’s raw pies and honey I’m still jonesing for a fix. So I’ll live vicariously through you. This decadent cake is fully awesome. It’s loaded with all the best things- honey, vanilla bean, cacao, nuts, hemp seeds, young coconut meat, berries and of course, ba-nay-nays. Let me know the dirty details of each delightful bite if you make it. I’ll just be over here eating a carrot stick…
But in all seriousness, it feels good to make the conscious decision to get rid of some of the more junky aspects of my diet. All summer was just one big smorgasbord of enjoyment with family and friends. I’m grateful, truly, but that over indulgence catches up. So with a final slice of cake, I bid adieu for one month.
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds removed (save the pod for other uses)
1/2 C cocoa butter, melted over double boiler
1/4 C coconut oil, melted over double boiler
1/2 C raw honey
pinch sea salt
2 bananas, sliced
1/2 C cacao nibs
1 C mixed frozen berries
2 Tbs raw cacao powder
In a high powered blender or food processor, add date paste, walnuts, hemp seeds, coconut oil and a pinch of salt. Pulse until evenly combined.
Press crust into a 10 inch springform pan (or smaller for a taller cake) and pop it in the fridge or freezer while you make the filling.
For the filling. Add coconut meat, soaked cashews, vanilla bean seeds, cocoa butter, coconut oil, honey and sea salt. Blend until super smooth and pour 1/3 of filling on top of the crust. Top with a few banana slices and a sprinkle of cacao nibs.
Pop the cake back in the fridge or freezer for the first layer to set slightly.
Pour 1/2 the remaining filling into a bowl and set aside.
For the berry layer add 1 C frozen berries of your choosing to the filling and blend until smooth. Pour over top of the vanilla layer and top with more sliced bananas and cacao nibs.
Pop it back in the fridge or freezer to set slightly.
For the chocolate layer, add the remaining filling back into the blender with 2 Tbs cacao powder and blend until fully incorporated. Pour over the berry layer and top with the remaining sliced bananas and cacao nibs.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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
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.
Press mixture evenly into a rectangular 15x9 pyrex baking dish and set aside.
Add all the filling ingredients to your blender or food processor and pulse until super smooth and creamy.
Spread mixture over the base and pop in the fridge to set for a few hours.
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.
Hey I'm Chantelle, my alter ego would be a mermaid if I wasn't such a terrible swimmer. I love writing authentically and cooking in my pyjamas. My favourite pastimes include eating avocados, travelling the world and hanging out with a toddler.