Lemon Garlic Habanero Sauerkraut

Lemon Garlic Habanero Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is my jam. No really I spread it on toast like every morning. Love the stuff. It’s immune boosting gold and it makes almost everything taste better.

What an interesting time to be alive. When what’s old is new again. You see all these ‘Food trends for 2016’ predictions and everyone is all “fermented foods are SO hot right now.”

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But you guys…they’ve always been hot, the discovery of fermentation enabled us to get this far as a species. I’d say that qualifies for a hotness factor way beyond Ryan Gosling or those cool new leaf necklaces that track pretty much every thing you do.

And speaking of HOT this Lemon Garlic Habanero Sauerkraut is pleasantly spicy, sour and super savoury. I made a huge batch and eat some at every meal.

With my three jars I let one ferment for a week, resulting in a really crispy not too pungent kraut.

The second jar I fermented for a month, the result is a much softer, spicier and more garlicky version.

The third jar has been fermenting for a month and a half and I only just tried it yesterday. The result with that one is a super soft, flavour packed pungent rendition.

habanero lemon garlic sauerkraut

Since I used red cabbage the colour change is noticeable. The first batch maintained a really bright purple/red, the second was a vibrant pink and the third a much softer pink.

The trick with allowing your krauts to ferment for a longer period is to ensure the veg is always under the water. You can get special weights for this or you can DIY and use a clean rock, a smaller glass filled with water or even the butt end of the cabbage.

For anyone super new to making sauerkraut I recommend check out this detailed post by Sandor Katz and my post on the plethora of reasons to indulge in this delicacy as well as a bunch of different flavour combination ideas.

 

Lemon Garlic Habanero Sauerkraut

Ingredients

  • 1 head cabbage
  • 1 Tbs sea salt
  • 1-3 habanero peppers, finely minced (depending on how spicy you like it)
  • 1 lemon, finely sliced (remove seeds but you can leave the peel on)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Instructions

  1. Remove the outer cabbage leaves and set aside. Shred cabbage in a food processor or finely slice using a mandolin or sharp knife.
  2. In a large bowl sprinkle the salt over the cabbage and massage it with your hands until the cabbage starts to break down and release moisture, this usually just takes a few minutes.
  3. Mix in the lemon, habanero and garlic.
  4. Portion sauerkraut into one large jar or a few smaller ones. Leave at least an inch of room at the top of each jar. Press firmly down so that all the air bubbles rise and the liquid rise to the top, the kraut should be covered with liquid but if you need more simply add 1 tsp of salt to 1 C warm pure water and dissolve. Pour as much salt water as is necessary on your kraut.
  5. Cover and set aside to ferment for anywhere from 1 week to a few months.
  6. Check the kraut often for the first few days to make sure its still packed down and covered with water.
  7. *This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.
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habanero lemon garlic sauerkraut

 

 

Double Chocolate Avocado Hazelnut Brownies

Double Chocolate Avocado Hazelnut Brownies

 

I used to be offended anytime I saw avocados cooked in any form. But there comes a day when you find yourself with a big old pile of super ripe avos that need to get used NOW. And you already made guacamole so that’s out of the question.

It is in these moments that you will cave into the baked avo madness. And you know what, it’s really really a beautiful thing. No one would ever know these dense fudgy double chocolate avocado hazelnut brownies had avocado in them. They come out super moist and the beauty of it is there’s no need for butter or coconut oil, not that there’s anything wrong with those but it’s nice to change it up.

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Last night as I was lying in bed watching Vikings (my obsession while waiting for GOT to return) I got a snack attack. You know, when you don’t neeeeeed a snack but you really WANT one. So my man was just coming back in and I asked if he would grab me the last brownie. His face contorted and he confessed that he’d just scarfed it down. 1 day people. These brownies lasted 1 day.

I can’t even. But you know what I think it’s proof that you should probably try them and fear not about the avo. I too was once a skeptic but am nearly fully converted. Although I don’t trust those eggs baked in avocados, thats just too in your face ‘heeeeeyyyyy I’m a baked avocado I’m all brown and weird looking’.

double chocolate avocado brownies

Switch it up with the additions in these, I love nuts in my brownies but other nice additions might be dried berries, coconut, cacao nibs, coconut whipped cream, fresh mint and pretty much whatever else you can dream up.

Oh and try not to eat all the frosting before the brownies are ready 😉

double chocolate avocado brownies

 

Double Chocolate Avocado Hazelnut Brownies

Yield: 9

Ingredients

    Brownies
  • 3 ounces dark chocolate
  • 3/4 C date paste
  • 2 ripe avocados, pitted and skins removed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 C cocoa or cacao powder
  • 1/2 C almond meal
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 C hazelnuts, chopped + 1/4 C reserved for topping
  • Chocolate coconut frosting
  • 3 ounces dark chocolate
  • 1/3 C honey
  • 1/4 C coconut oil
  • 2 Tbs cacao powder

Instructions

    Brownies
  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Grease a 9x9 pan with coconut oil or butter or line it with parchment paper.
  3. In a double boiler melt the chocolate
  4. In a blender or food processor, blend together the melted chocolate, date paste, avocados, eggs and vanilla. Add in the cocoa powder until fully blended.
  5. Transfer batter to a large bowl and mix in the 1/4 C of hazelnuts and almond flour.
  6. Pour into your prepared pan and bake for approx. 30 mins.
  7. Allow brownies to cool for at least 1 hr before serving. Cut into 9 big brownies.
  8. Frosting
  9. In a double boiler, melt together chocolate, honey and coconut oil and mix together. Add in the cacao powder and mix thoroughly.
  10. Pour frosting over the cooked brownies and sprinkle with remaining hazelnuts and any other desired toppings (I sprinkled some rose petals)
  11. Allow to set in the fridge for about an hour.
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PS. Here’s a groovy mix to jam out to while you make these

 

double chocolate avocado brownies

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala

Well hello to all you lovely people.

It’s been some time since I posted, which seems to be a pattern looking back at this time last year.

You see, it’s my birth month so I’m just excessively lazy.

Nah…it’s not that. I’ve got lots of good stuff in the works and I’m currently creating a FREE e-book for you packed with new paleo recipes that are just gonna knock your socks off.

But today, we’ve got a super creamy Indian comfort food:

Chicken Tikka Masala

chicken tikka masala

It’s been busy in the life department. I thought having a baby was hard but having a toddler is a whole new bag of ADD.

How the hell do those mompreneur coaches make like 6-figures a month all the while raising 7 kids and making dinner every night. I just don’t even…come close.

So as far as my scatter brain can recollect I haven’t wished everyone a happy happy new year.

2015 was a bat shit crazy year. It had its blessings and good times but overall, nuts. Glad to be rid of it.

2016 is already proving to be a productivity smorgasbord and I can’t even tell you how many crazy ideas I have lined up.

chicken tikka masala

My word for 2016 is *unfuckwithable* inspired by Ash of the Middle Finger Project (she’s my writing idol)

“I used to be incredibly naive and gullible. I used to cater to everyone around me, trying to be agreeable and helpful. I used to want to be “one of the girls” and be on the same page as my friends. (Jobs! Marriage! Babies! Houses! Stability!) I used to do whatever other people expected of me—including society.

But then certain things happened beyond my control, and slowly but surely, I discovered the beauty in not giving a damn. At first this felt irresponsible, but there’s an unspoken power in not apologizing all over yourself. The ocean doesn’t apologize for rising and falling (and then rising again), it isn’t ashamed that one day it’s turquoise and another it’s deep blue. It just is. And its matter-of-factness is what makes it a powerhouse. You recognize it, and you act accordingly, because you know the ocean isn’t fucking around. How nice would it be if people thought of you that way?”

chicken tikka masala

I urge the world to stop apologizing all over themselves. Being Canadian I have extra guilt about this. Which goes against my unfuckwithability, but nobodies perfect.

Oh ya, and the whole point of this blog post is to share with you some deliciousness. Some fuel for that unfuckwithability.

Enter: Chicken Tikka Masala

The star of the show, Chicken Tikka Masala is to Indian Cuisine what Amitabh Bachchan is to Bollywood.

chicken tikka masala

Now I looooove me some classic butter chicken and anything palak but the tikka is different.

The meat is marinated in an infused yogurt over night, then skewered and grilled to tender perfection. The sauce has its own story . Tomatoes, ghee, spices and creamy coconut milk pureed until silky smooth. Can I get a hari krishna!?

This Chicken Tikka Masala recipe is inspired by the Domestic Man, some slight changes but the recipes are pretty similar.

Chicken Tikka Masala

Ingredients

    For the chicken marinade
  • 1 Tbs garam masala
  • 1 Tbs turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili paste or cayenne
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch piece ginger, minced
  • 1 C yogurt
  • 2 lbs chicken breasts (about 4 medium size), cubed
  • For the curry sauce
  • 2 Tbs ghee or butter
  • 1-2 shallots or white onions, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 16oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1 tsp ajwain seeds (optional)
  • 5 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk (or 1 C heavy cream)

Instructions

    For the Chicken
  1. Combine spices, garlic, ginger and yogurt and mix with the chicken until thoroughly covered. Let sit in the fridge overnight preferably but at least for a few hours.
  2. When the chicken is done marinating, add the pieces to skewers and grill for 4 minutes per side on med-high heat or pop it under the oven broiler for 5-6 minutes per side.
  3. For the Curry Sauce
  4. Add ghee, onion and garlic to a frying pan and sauté until slightly browned.
  5. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, ajwain, cardamom, pepper and salt and simmer on low for 15 minutes.
  6. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth, pass through a mesh strainer to get rid of any stray cardamom pods.
  7. Add coconut milk and chunks of chicken. Serve with basmati or cauliflower rice and enjoy!
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chicken tikka masala

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