Thursday, September 9, 2010

Spelt Zucchini Bread aka 1st Day of Kindergarten Bread!

from some random google searching for gluten-free banana zucchini bread, shawn and i cobbled together a recipe that makes a really yummy moist bread.

2 tablespoons butter/coconut oil
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup maple syrup / agave
1 egg
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 tablespoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cup shredded zucchini
1/2 cup mini choco chips
1/2 cup walnut pieces
1 smashed banana

preheat oven to 350. grease a loaf pan.

mix dry stuff first then add wet. **add zucchini and walnuts and choco chips at the end.

bake for at least an hour closer to hour and half or until cooked obviously.

its a really good snacking/breakfast/first day of kindergarten bread!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Camping Trip #2

well people, it was a success. we did not forget the food!!! i know, amazing right?we actually ate really well!

2 large baskets of peaches were a good addition to our list, instant oatmeal instead of cereal, and Shawn's giant batch of amazing lentil soup was a fantastic meal (i will post that recipe soon...)

the pinery was gorgeous and even had yummy poutine for us at the tuck shop and the saltiest and vinegariest chips we have ever had. those were gross. but the poutine made primarily of salt was a yummy treat for me.

anyhoo we survived: it didn't pour rain and we had food to eat and made wicked campfires everynight.

**oh highly recommended is the campsite emergency phone that directs you to the camp warden office when the LOSERS right next to you party until 1 AM. had i known about this wonderful phone the night of, i would not have had to walk over and frighten them with my scary sleep deprived maniac shouting to shut the party down. i was happy to find out some one else had complained the next morning so i wasn't alone in my sleepy anger. but yeah next time i am all over that phone....beware loud loser campers.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Looks like Eva is back to having wheat issues. We kinda got lax on the wheat thing this summer and she has yet again developed a persistant cough and red racoon eyes. So we are back on the wheat-free train. This seriously ups the challenge for me in the food department.
Also super hard if we are out for the day since it seems that everything that is sold anywhere (except french fries) is made with wheat. I will admit limiting wheat isn't such a bad thing for the family's just HARD to do.

Food we can do:
Rice Pasta
Real Rye bread
Rice or Ryvita crackers
Baking our own wheat free cookies and treats

Feel free to suggest other ideas. PLEASE.

Oh Dear God These Are GOOD powerbars - UPDATE

Adapted from the Kitchen Stewardship Healthy Snacks To Go ebook. So good So easy.

You will need a strong food processor. I say this only because the first one I used broke after one batch.

Step 1: Grind 1/2 cup walnuts and 1/2 cup almonds
Step 2: Add in 1/2 cup of pitted dates and 1/2 cup of raisins
Step 3: Add approx. 1 tablespoon shredded coconut, approx. 4 teaspoons of cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon coconut oil (the one that tastes like coconut - virgin)
UPDATE - Add a tablespoon or two of peanut butter and a squirt of maple syrup to make thses into desserty power bars. SO YUMMY!

I mush the finished product in some parchment paper or saran wrap, keep in the fridge (not necessary) and eat whenever hungry. 

Next I want to try an apple cinnamon version.

Oh we are going camping this weekend and are determined NOT to forget the food. Wish us luck!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Easy Guy Tomato Basil Soup

adapted from Feeding The Whole Family. this is a souper :( easy soup.

this is also the double version because we eat BIG portions.

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter/coconut oil
2 onions chopped
4-6 cloves of garlic minced
2 teaspoons sea salt
4 cups veg or chicken stock - did not use this by accident and it was still super yummy just not as much soup was made. we added the stock after the soup was all blended.
2 cans of diced tomatoes, or equivalent fresh tomatoes
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup basil finely chopped

heat oil, butter/coconut oil on medium heat. add onion garlic and salt cook until onions are clear and soft. add stock (or not), tomatoes, honey simmer for 10 minutes.

cool tomatoes and blend with sour cream.

add basil and pepper.

soups are like magic they are so easy.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Camping! notes from the trip...

heading up shawn and i realised that we forgot pretty much all of the yummy food! What??!? but thankfully had enough to tide us over anyway. and we ate a ton of marshmallows!

here is the scoop:

cereal and scrambled eggs for breakfast - FORGOT THE EGGS CEREAL WAS BREAKFAST
easy chili - frozen, to be thawed and eaten 2nd day - YEAH THIS WAS GOOD! CUT UP AVOCADO TO GO WITH.
organic hot dogs from dufferin grove farmers market & beans from rural quebec bean restaurant called "la binerie". - FORGOT THE HOT DOGS, STOPPED FOR YVES VEGGIE DOGS EN ROUTE TO CAMPSITE, THE BEANS WERE EATEN AT TWO MEALS
egg salad sandwiches and canned soup - THESE SANDWICHES HELD US OVER THE SNACK ATTACKS ON DAY ONE

nacho chips with salsa and guacamole - FORGOT THE SALSA, NEVER BOTHERED TO MAKE THE GUAC.
cut up fruit & veg - FORGOT
large bag o' smartfood - ATE THIS FIRST DAY ON BEACH
quinoa banana berry loaf - muffin recipie baked in loaf pan - easier to transport - FORGOT
a few homemade larabars  - FORGOT
also planning a trip to the campground snackbar for a grilled cheese here - NO GRILLED CHEESE BUT HELLO DILL PICKLE CHIPS!!!

we are going camping again next month, i think we have learned our lesson...

also i THINK my kids are slowing down on the snacking front? did i just jinx myself?

Thursday, July 22, 2010


tomorrow we go camping for the second time ever with kids. last year was good and bad. daughter loved it while son cried pretty much the entire weekend. ROUGH. thinking/hoping this year will be better. here is the plan for food...

cereal and scrambled eggs for breakfast
easy chili - frozen, to be thawed and eaten 2nd day
organic hot dogs from dufferin grove farmers market & beans from rural quebec bean restaurant called "la binerie". plan to eat this awesome meal twice - fire cooked hotdogs YES!
egg salad sandwiches and canned soup

nacho chips with salsa and guacamole
cut up fruit & veg
large bag o' smartfood
quinoa banana berry loaf - muffin recipie baked in loaf pan - easier to transport
i also made a few homemade larabars but then my brand new (cheap) food processor died on the second batch. note these bars are KILLER good will post the recipe when we get back
also planning a trip to the campground snackbar for a grilled cheese here and there MAYBE an ice cream cone too

looks like they are calling for thunderstorms for day one of camping - perfect. will let you know how the camping adventure goes...and what food notes i will have for next year's trip.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Random Parenting Book Recommendations

this is not really anything to do with cooking, but i promised my sister i would make her a list of my faves just in case she ever wanted to do some prep work (no pressure buddy!!). i will update this list as i find more books i wish i had read before i had kids!!

Feeding The Whole Family a must, i mentioned this in my first post i think. each recipe includes a baby friendly version so you can include the littlest one in the family meal - just say no to custom meals for kids, make them eat what you eat! super healthy yummy whole food recipes and lots of health food info too.

How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk lays it out real simple. i like.

Buddism for Mothers not saying i am by any means close to a Buddhist, but just reading this calms me down. now if i could only apply to my life perhaps the yelling will one day cease...

Simplicity Parenting from a Waldorf perspective.

Free-Range Kids love this idea. let the kids be. worry less.

Lazy Time Lime Water

cut 2-3 slices of lime.
put in pitcher of water.
place in fridge.
cool your self down.

easier than lemonade & just as refreshing. limes just make everything better.

ps: i am so friggin overheated/sticky/grumpy. but i still love you summer!

pps: in other news i got a little food processor today so i can make faux powerbars out of dates and nuts and other yummy stuff. this means i can eat/continue to thrive with out cooking once i get a batch of these whipped up. party!

GENIUS Snack Solution

OK so while the kids were away for a week shawn and i had an AMAZING time. one of the highlights - no joke - was giving our fridge a deep clean (finally!! and thank you shawn!). i decided to then assign the bottom shelf to kids snacks. now if/when the kids are hungry they can go to the fridge by themselves and take a snack. the only rule is that they have to take a different snack each time. here is what i have right now for snacking:

- bowl of chick peas
- pint of blueberries
- bowl of watermelon chunks
- cheesestrings
- leftover pasta from dinner
- bowl of grapes
- hummus and mini pitas

* and that rule is actually working. eva goes for a single grape then 5 minutes later a chunk of watermelon or a handful of chick peas. very cute. seriously this is a life changing solution (for me at least) that takes a very little amount of time to prep and i think it makes the kids feel all independent and kinda grownup. also very cute.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Yummy Drink for Damn Hot Days

from the weelicious website. i am sure this would be good with any other juicy berry or fruit and would be fun to make with the kids. mmmm!

Blackberry Agua Fresca (Serves 4)
1 1/2 Cups Blackberries, rinsed (or Frozen Blackberries, defrosted)
4 Cups Water
2 Tbsp Agave
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice

pour blackberries, water and agave in a blender and puree
strain mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a pitcher, i'd say this is skippable if you don't really care about pulp, teeny seeds in your drink and are feeling lazy.
stir in the lemon juice
Refrigerate until icy cold

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Coconut Cherry Fro Yo...yo.

i am totally reposting this from smitten kitchen because i need to make this. my mom just dropped off a basket of fresh niagara cherries so i could really pull this recipe off - and eat it before the kids come home... (even if i have sworn off the dairy due to the fact that it makes me feel totally insane AND more importantly i do not have an ice cream maker - whatever. maybe i can just freeze this right? like what is so special about an ice cream maker?? perhaps i can just google that question for myself and report back).

Coconut Pinkcherry Yogurt
Adapted from 
The Perfect Scoop
Makes about 1 quart
3 cups Greek-style yogurt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup cherries, pits removed and roughly chopped
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk

Mix the yogurt, sugar, almond extract, cherries and coconut milk. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Refrigerate 1 hour.

Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

**filed under things i want to make one day....soon!!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Kids Are Away - NO COOKING!!

the kids are off to grandma's cottage for a week!!!

it's a cooking holiday - one of the best things i have ever experienced. the peace and mental clarity that i have on day two is unreal. if i ever win a lottery i am hiring a personal chef asap. i think the world would be a better place if i didn't have to cook food. straight up.

our big plan is to not cook anything all week. don't worry i promise we will not whither away. shawn and i will be eating cookies and popcorn all week and it will be awesome.

* we went out for dinner last night and i almost exploded from fullness. shawn thinks it is due to the fact there were no children to share food with, spill drinks, run after and interrupt my normal speed eating.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

"I Wanna Nack!"

this is what i hear like 20+ times a day. my children want to eat CONSTANTLY (and have a hard time pronouncing "S"). please understand for a person who is cooking illiterate, snacks are like surprise spelling tests sprinkled throughout the day.

so what do i do?

- peanut butter on something - banana, bread, crackers, apples
- hard boiled eggs! this one a bit of a hard sell (but so easy to make) they hate the yolk, don't really blame them "mommy am i eating a chick?"
- popcorn with butter and nutritional yeast (this used to be a go to dinner in my pre-child life)
- cheese wrapped with turkey cold cut
- cream cheese & rice crackers & cucumbers
- fresh blueberries
- bowl of oats with berries and applesauce
- kale chips (will post a recipe soon)
- get them to help me bake something yummy. this adds distraction and activity to stave off their voracious, ceaseless hunger

the wanting a snack i suspect is another way of them saying "i'm bored" which would drive me bananas so maybe snacking isn't so bad after all...

i must go make some popcorn now.

do you have any easy snack ideas? please comment and share your wisdom!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Quinoa Hippie Muffins

good for breakfast or snacktime.

1 cup cooked quinoa
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup oil / applesauce
3/4 cup or less maple syrup
3/4 cup milk*
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
to add yum factor to these fairly tame muffins add chopped up apple, banana, berries if you like. i'm sure walnuts would be good too.

* i use almond milk

preheat oven to 350F
get handy child to put muffin cups in muffin pan
mix dry ingredients in one bowl.
mix wet ingredients in another bowl.
wet into dry.
bake for 25-30 mins.

"I Don't Want To Cook Dinner" Chili

my own lazy ass recipe

olive oil
2 onions, chopped
3 garlic, chopped
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon or more dried cumin
1 tablespoon or more chili powder
1 avocado, sliced

EXTRAS if you have the time or inclination to make the meal a little more robust/healthier...
1 green pepper, chopped
10 baby carrots cut up
frozen corn, rinsed

heat oil add garlic and onions stir until clear (add green pepper, carrots & corn here too)
add tomatoes & beans
heap in spices add as much as you think you like
stir and simmer for an hour or so - can be less if you have been procrastinating about starting dinner. been there before.

make some rice or quinoa to serve with chili.
cover with shredded cheese (or ye old nutritional yeast) and avocado to top off this lazy chili.

Black Bean Tacos with Mango Cabbage Salad

yet another recipe adapted from Today's Parent. easy. fast. yummers.

olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can plum tomatoes
1 red pepper
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
salt & pepper
2 avocados

heat oil add onion and garlic until soft
add beans, tomatoes red pepper, chili powder, cumin salt & pepper
stir for about 5 minutes turn to low

put in warmed taco shells, top with avocados, cheese/nutritional yeast and mango cabbage salad.

olive oil
juice form one lime
2+ cups shredded cabbage
1 mango cut in small pieces
1/2 cup cilantro

2 tablespoons sour cream * optional to make this a coleslaw
1/2 red onion * optional

mix all in a bowl.

Spaghetti Squash with Tomato Sauce

adapted from Today's Parent magazine. every month this mag gives me a really easy recipe that actually tastes good. for some reason - maybe the nice pictures? - i always feel like i can do it. these are confidence booster recipes for the kitchen challenged. also do you know about spaghetti squash? co cute. so magical. so fun!

2 large spaghetti squash
olive oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small onion chopped
2 cans plum tomatoes
some dried oregano
fresh basil chopped
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar *
parmesan cheese **

* i skip this no biggie
** i use nutritional yeast because dairy makes me CRAZY. nutritional yeast is a super option whenever you need to grate some cheese on a dish - chili, pasta, etc... however whenever  i make grilled cheeses for the kids i die a little bit inside because there is nothing like a classic gooey grilled cheese - sad face.

preheat oven to 400F
cut squash in half rub it with some olive oil
place face down on baking sheet lined with foil
cook for 45 mins. with a fork scrape the awesome spaghetti strands of squash into a bowl. magical right?! add salt & pepper

while the squash is in the oven you should be making the sauce...
heat some olive oil in a pan add garlic and onions
once the onions are clear add the cans on tomatoes, oregano basil salt and pepper
simmer for approx 30 minutes until it gets a little thicker
so easy

eat it.

Killer Wheat-Free Peanut Butter Molasses Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

found a bunch of recipes for peanut butter cookies online. didn't care for the tons of sugar required so did a little experimenting. crazy i know. all measurements are approximate...

these cookies taste: cakey. deep. dark. earthy. hippie. yummmmmmy.

1 cup peanut butter *
1/2 cup molasses **
1/4 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup oatmeal
1 egg
1 teaspoon of baking soda
handful of choclate chips - optional

* natural no added sugar
** i used unsulphured blackstrap

preheat to 350F
mix all together in a bowl
make cookies on parchment paper
bake for 10 mins
let sit for like 5 mins, these are a little delicate

good luck not eating entire sheet of these in one go especially if you are having a stressful bedtime routine with your nutty children that particular day... just sayin these are good remedy for whatever ails you.

and shawn proclaimed these as his new favourite cookies. fyi.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Simple Sesame Grilled Chicken

from an alive magazine that i think i found in my building's laundry room giveaway. a place of constant inspiration.

1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons tamari sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ginger, shredded
1 clove of garlic, crushed
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts *
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted **
1/4 chives, chopped ***

*i only had a package of boneless skinless chicken thighs it was good
**put in pan, turn on heat medium swirl around until they start to get, well, toasted
***did not use, maybe next time

mix it all together.
add chicken. marinate in fridge for an hour or two.
broil flipping a few times until chicken is cooked NOT pink (gross)
sprinkle with sesame seeds.

i served this with some brown basmati and a salad. high fives all around.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

adapted from the only recipe book that ever got me to cook a thing: Feeding The Whole Family - SERIOUSLY AMAZING. this book was my cooking catalyst and has taken a slight edge off my hatred of all things cooking.

1.5 cups rolled oats
1 cup flour of some sort *
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup (or less) maple syrup
1/2 cup butter - melted **
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup crushed walnuts
1/3 cup chocolate chips

* we use spelt
** sometimes i use coconut oil

preheat oven to 350F
mix oats, flour and salt
in another bowl mix maple syrup, butter/oil and vanilla
wet to dry & mix. In go the nuts and choco chips
make into cookies on a sheet with parchment paper
bake 10-15 minutes
eat the M-Fers