You guys know I’m Canadian eh? My momma grew up in Quebec and instilled a love for poutine into us from day 1. Okay, maybe not day 1 but you get my drift. That cheesy gooey goodness is infused into my childhood and every now and then I get a mad hankering.
Never had poutine? Well you’ve been missing something special but it’s never too late.
As far as Canadian cuisine goes, it’s literally all over the map, but Quebec wins every time. The twists on traditional French cuisine are endless, and there is also a smorgasbord of other cultures and their traditions thrown in. Quebec is home to most of Canada’s immigrants after all. Montreal is by far the most exciting and vibrant Canadian city.
So to honour my French Canadian roots I like to make homestyle real food delectable poutine once in awhile. Nope none of that weird packaged gravy or GMO fryer oil, just good old fashioned shoestring potatoes fried in chicken fat and smothered with the most delectable spicy roasted chicken gravy, mixed with melty raw cheddar, which isn’t traditional but sure is good.
To make the gravy and get the chicken fat, you really need to roast a whole chicken and save the drippings. I wrote a post on how to make the perfect roast chicken with a spicy smoky blend of flavours which lends itself to your eventual poutine. This is worth the effort, not only are there ample benefits from roasting a whole chicken, but the leftovers are superb.
This is a loose recipe so I am going to treat it as such. You could also make the gravy out of drippings from a roast beef if that’s more convenient, the procedure is the same. Enjoy this stringy, cheesy, comfort food, homemade poutine blows fast food chains out of the water. To make it paleo just ditch the cheese, it won’t be missed, unless you’re French 😉
If you use yummly, I’m now going to be using their recipe cards so that my recipes will show up in their database. It’s a pretty awesome way to keep track of all the delicious creations in your roster!
Spicy Chicken Poutine with Homemade Shoestring Fries
4 medium sized russet potatoes
1 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 C pan drippings from roast chicken, left in the refrigerator until the fat solidifies on the surface
2 Tbs tapioca starch
2 C leftover spicy roast chicken (link in article)
1 C shredded raw cheddar
2 green onions, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 425F
To make the shoestring fries, use a spiralizer on the smallest setting, par boil the spiralized potato for about 5 minutes and drain well.
Remove the fat from the chicken drippings and place it on a baking sheet (about 2 Tbs worth), pop this in the hot oven until melted.
Spread drained potatoes on to the pan and toss around until well coated in chicken fat, sprinkle with salt and bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown. You may want to turn the halfway.
To make the gravy simply heat up the remaining pan drippings (about 1 C) combine the tapioca starch with an equal amount of cold water and slowly add to the simmering drippings until desired thickness is achieved.
Prepare the poutine in layers, potatoes, cheese,chicken, gravy, repeat and finish with chopped green onions. Enjoy!
Green food is good food. It’s a rule I stick to, and trust me I don’t stick to many rules.
Matcha is a delightfully antioxidant rich green tea powder, it has an earthy taste that is akin to pure freshness and it isn’t overpowering. There’s something about matcha, it tastes like youth, it tastes clean and it transports you to a far off land, unless you live in Japan, then it’s probably more nostalgic.
You may have seen fancy matcha lattes at your local cafe, the craze is catching on- even my mom drinks matcha. She mixes hers with cacao powder though and I just can’t get on board, sorry Ma. But matcha paired alongside creamy cashews and delicate coconut, shazzam that is a flavour combo my friends. These little treats should grace your St.Patties day table, or just any days table. They’re the perfect little mid day boost alongside a nice cuppa tea.
I drank it when I was pregnant as I was trying to limit my caffeine consumption. Matcha has some caffeine but its energizing component lies mostly in its abundance of L-theanine, an amino acid that helps increase focus. Buddhist monks drink matcha to help with meditation.
Now that I am a sleep deprived mama I’ve switched back to coffee and matcha has been allocated to the treat category. It gives a nice energy boost to things like these matcha cashew coconut energy balls and my matcha cupcakes.
Ok so lately I’ve been listening to Esther and Jerry Hicks and boy are they trippers. Law of attraction is the name of the game and I swear if they taught this stuff in school the world would change. Again and again my lesson is gratitude, when I embody gratitude everything in my life unfolds so perfectly. It’s so easy to take simple things for granted, hot water and warm socks, strong legs to hike up mountains and an garden to grow food. I’m really grateful to have this space and to be able to share my small little world with yours. Even if just for a moment in time it’s pretty cool. Glad I’m not the only one who loves good food 😉
Oh how I love snacks, zesty, salty and savoury treats that just help get you through the day are the best. Even better when they aren’t loaded with weird additives, MSG and its pseudonyms. Piri piri is the swahili word for pepper pepper, the hot sauce is made from piri piri peppers also known as african birds eye chilis and a combination of spices, garlic and lemon peel. If you never tried it you’re in for a treat, there’s something about the spiciness paired with lemon that just hits the spot.
This paleo snack mix can easily be made milder by omitting the hot sauce and using smoked paprika instead. You’ll still get the richness and flavour without the spice. Perfect for the wee ones to munch, even though I have a theory that if you start them young on the hot peppers they’ll build up a good taste for them.
They do this in Thailand and places where they traditionally eat a lot of spicy foods. They’ll start with one thai chili and increase for every year, or so I hear. I’ve got my baby on mild spices, he loves curry, he absolutely devoured this kale and chicken curry I made one night. I’m sure it has a lot to do with how I ate when I was pregnant, and I certainly didn’t shy away from hot curries and the like. After all, at the time I was cooking in a restaurant for Thai night every week. I created some gorgeously spicy Thai creations that I taste tested until I was full. Get the babes started on immune strengthening foods early and they’re set for life, I’m still trying to coax him into gobbling up sauerkraut. He’s not quite there yet, to be honest it took me awhile to get there too, sauerkraut is intense!
I really didn’t know what to name this snack mix, so munchie mix it is because lets face it, everybody gets the munchies whether you live in Colorado or not.
I’m stoked, finally after many attempts I have made successful crackers! These little crunch bombs are bloody addictive and reminiscent of the long forgotten vegetable thin- only way better. These are totally adaptable you guys, so if your not into toasted cumin you prefer rosemary or sesame or onion, you could definitely subtract the cumin and add those in, respectively. I adore the brilliant yellow turmeric imparts, not too mention the various health benefits. Toasted cumin gives these bright yellow crackers an Indian flare and reminds me of my beloved pappadam. Paleo and vegan cheese and crackers shazzam everyone is pleased!
The green goddess cashew cream cheese is the perfect accompaniment to these crackers and it’s a cinch to whip up. Did you know raw cashews are great for alleviating depression and anxiety? Cashew cheese makes me happy! This green goddess version is spiked with green onion and cilantro, and of course garlic, it didn’t last very long in our house. The cashew cheese is also really nice smothered on sourdough toast or as a sandwich base.
Being the spaz that I am, I often forget key kitchen tools like, all the time, case in point, parchment paper. This is why my other cracker attempts flopped into a sea of crumbs. You need parchment to roll the crackers out, the dough is just way too sticky to not have a protective parchment barrier below and above. Aside from that, anyone can whip up the toasted cumin and turmeric crackers. The good news, like most health freaks, I do not own a dehydrator (not that I don’t want one) SO these crackers won’t take 800 hours, they bake up just perfect in under 15 minutes, presto.
For cashew cheese 1 C RAW cashews, soaked for minimum 2 hours, drained
1 Tbs lemon juice
2 garlic cloves
2 Tbs olive oil
½ tsp salt
handful chopped green onion
handful chopped cilantro
Heat oven to 350F
For the crackers, combine dry ingredients in a large bowl, almond meal, tapioca flour, salt and turmeric.
When the flax is egg like and viscous in texture (about 30 mins of soaking) combine it with olive oil and toasted cumin.
Mix into the dry ingredients until thoroughly combined. Separate into two equal parts.
Roll out one section of dough between 2 pieces of parchment until its about ⅛ inch thick. Use a pizza cutter to gently trace squares or diamond shaped crackers. Transfer bottom parchment to a baking sheet and repeat this process with the other half of dough.
Bake @350F for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Let crackers cool before serving.
For the cashew cheese, combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth
The ultimate in comfort food, these crispy on the outside, soft and pillowy on the inside little sweet potato cakes are the latkes great cousin. Super simple and consisting of about 5 ingredients, you just can’t go wrong. Top them with anything from lox to caviar, guacamole to a fried egg- the possibilities are endless.
Inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi‘s recipe, I have simply made a gluten free version with a zippy lemon-chile yogurt sauce. I’ve been cooking with sweet potatoes a lot lately as baby Mav just loves them, he’s my kinda guy. Ottolenghi is a huge inspiration, his cookbooks make vegetables look as exciting as skydiving off Mount Corcovado.
It’s sunny and beautiful out and the massive pile of snow is swiftly melting down, the igloo J built has caved in on itself and winter seems to be dissipating for the time being. So I’m going to keep this short and sweet, just like these little cakes, and go for a jaunt in Vitamin D land out there.
I made these paleo raw protein bars for my brothers birthday. He’s an avid cross fitter and thus devours huge quantities of protein at any given chance. I thought he’d enjoy these nourishing bars more than a fancy cake. He also got a gallon of my homemade bone broth to keep his joints limber and free from strain. These bars are yummy and really easy to throw together with ingredients you’ll likely have in your cupboard. You can switch up the toppings with whatever you have around, bee pollen, dried goji berries, hemp seeds,sunflower seeds, cacao nibs, coconut…the list goes on and on. You could also add a Tbs or 2 of cacao powder for chocolate protein bars. Ditch the cliff bars and try these on your next hiking adventure!
If you’re into re-wilding, paleo lifestyle,indigenous cultures and sustainability, check out this new documentary Origins. It’s free until November 22nd and definitely worth watching, you can tell a lot of work went into creating this film.
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.