Sunday, June 30, 2013

Happy Canada Day… eh?

We Canadians are fairly modest in our national pride but on Canada Day, July 1st, we do wave the flag and love to celebrate our day with red and white… we wear it, we decorate with it, and we eat it!  It is our 146th birthday this year.

Oh Canada!
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Here are some of my favorite red or red & white eats…

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Strawberries with Shortcake and Whipped Coconut Cream…  I will be sharing more about this with you later in the week.

What is your favorite red or red & white food?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Egg Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

I am so excited about this new dish that I could barely wait to post this idea and share it with you!  I am always on the lookout for new ways to enjoy my morning eggs, and this idea is fabulous.

I just know it would make a lovely dinner, too.

Last week my local produce market had Portobello mushrooms on sale… I picked up a package and then set it back down. I couldn’t really think of anything special to do with them so didn’t bother to buy them. 

Then my friend Kate sent me these pictures of some Portobellos she recently cooked.  You can bet I will be going back to get some now! 

Special thanks to Kate for allowing me to share her pictures and this idea here.


Egg Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
Makes 2 servings
  • 2 Portobello Mushrooms
  • Salsa, about 1/4 cup
  • 2 eggs
  • Bit of coconut oil
  • Salt, pepper, granulated garlic powder
  1. Scoop the gills out from the underside.
  2. Lightly brush the tops with liquid coconut oil, then season them with salt and pepper, and some granulated garlic.
  3. Place them top down on a grill pan, fill the underside with salsa, and then crack an egg on top.
  4. Bake them in the oven at 400° F for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on how solid you like the yolk of your eggs. 
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Make sure to leave some room in the caps for the eggs when you put the salsa in the caps.

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Bake or BBQ till eggs are cooked and the mushroom caps are heated through.

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Beautiful!  Enjoy.
Thanks so very much,Kate.  I can hardly wait to try this out for myself. 
Are you a mushroom fan?  Portobellos?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

More Grain Free Low-Carb Coconut Pancakes

I love coconut flour pancakes.  Have you tried them yet?

I am so happy to have found coconut flour use instead of wheat flour in various 'batter' recipes.

I made a slight tweak to my usual coconut pancake recipe,  and substituted 1/4 cup of egg whites for the 4th egg in this batch.  It lowers the fat content and raises the protein content slightly, and has the same great taste and texture of my originals.

If you haven't worked with coconut flour before, do flex your patience muscle.  It can very in moisture content from batch to batch... and you may need to add a bit more water to the recipe to get a nice consistency to your batter... but do start with a singe tablespoon and then add more after you mix it all very well, but only if you really need to!

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Vanilla and Cinnamon Coconut Pancakes
Makes 4 pancakes
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup egg whites 
  • 1 Tbs water
  • 1 Tbs vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  1. Beat eggs and egg white together in a large bowl.
  2. Add the coconut flour, water, vanilla and cinnamon, and mix well.
  3. Lightly coat a skillet with non-stick spray and set over MEDIUM heat.
  4. Use a 1/4 cup measure to spoon the batter into the pan.  Allow to cook 4 to 5 minutes till the edge dries a bit. It will not bubble like a regular pancake. 
  5. Flip over and cook the second side for 3 or 4 minutes.
  6. Remove to a plate to keep warm while you cook the rest of the cakes.
  7. Serve with fresh fruit and a bit of syrup if you like.
Per serving of 2 pancakes without toppings.
Weight Watchers P+ = 4.
Calories 187; Protein 15 g; Carbohydrate 11g; Fat 9g; Fibre 6g

I love to have pancakes for breakfast occasionally and these are a great way to get them in without succumbing to grains!

Have you used coconut flour before?  Any tips to share?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Grain Free Soft and Tasty Low Carb Tortillas

A couple of weeks ago my friend Sara, who writes Words to Run By, posted a Facebook message with a link asking me if I had tried ‘this’ yet…

Well I have finally tried ‘this’ and it is one of the greatest ideas I have come across since Cauliflower Rice… perhaps even better!

‘This’ just happens to be soft and delicious tortillas, grain free, gluten free and completely Paleo… and just guess what they are made from.  What do you think?

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Cauliflower and eggs!  Unbelievable!

I wish I could take credit for this wonderful idea… but it’s not to be.  And the creator at Slim Palate links to another blog called Empowered Sustenance  where a very similar approach had been taken to produce much the same thing before she did…. so I had a complete read through both of them, and sort of combined what I thought was the best of both approaches.

I am going to share the method I used and the ingredients.  I admit, there are several steps.  But once you make them you will understand why the time it takes (about half an hour) and the clean up is totally, absolutely worthwhile.

Cauliflower Tortillas
  • 1/2 large head of cauliflower
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 eggs
  • Dashes of salt and pepper
  1. Prepare a baking sheet by covering it with parchment paper.
  2. Wash and roughly cut the cauliflower and place the chunks in your food processor.
  3. Pulse till the pieces are very small and wet.  You should have 2 cups of cauliflower.
  4. Place into a saucepan along with 1/4 cup of water and cook for 5 – 7  minutes over MEDIUM heat.
  5. Put in fine sieve and strain as much water out of the cauliflower as you can.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  7. Put the cauliflower into a clean tea towel or double layer of cheese cloth and wring as much water out of it as you can. It will be hot so take care not to burn yourself.
  8. Put the cauliflower into a mixing bowl.  Add the eggs and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  9. Mix till well-combined.
  10. Spoon into rounds (or whatever shape you like) on the parchment paper.  The batter should be about 1/4 inch thick.
  11. Place in oven  and bake for 10 minutes.
  12. Remove from the oven,  flip them over, and replace and bake for 7 more minutes.
  13. Remove from the oven and keep warm till you serve them.

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After processing,make sure that you have approximately 2 cups of cauliflower.  It will be wet and looks a bit like cream of wheat.

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Watch to make sure that the cauliflower and water mixture doesn’t burn.

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Push the cooked cauliflower through a fine sieve and then place in a tea towel or cheese cloth to wring more water out of it.

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It’s hot and steamy so be careful you don’t burn yourself.

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The amount in the cloth gets smaller and smaller as the water gets squeezed out. I kept twisting the top of the ‘bag’.

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When you have squeezed out as much water as your patience allows, or have wrung that little bag as tight as you can, place the cauliflower in a bowl, and mix in the eggs and salt and pepper.

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I formed 3 tortillas on the baking sheet.  But you can make any number you like.  They do not spread out while baking.

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Bake them for 10 minutes…

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Flip them gently and then put them back in the oven for 7 minutes more.

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Keep them soft till you eat serve them and they are nicer if you keep them warm.

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I served them with a tasty Roasted Red Pepper Sun Dried Tomato ‘Hummus’ spread on top.

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But they are so soft and pliable, that you could use them to scoop up dips or chilis or stews… so versatile.

I decided to make them a second time before publishing this post… I made 4 tortillas and after they cooled for a while, I stacked them and put them in a container and froze them.  After a couple of days, I took them out of the container and let them thaw at room temperature.

I was very curious to see how the texture would be… just as good as freshly baked.  I did want to eat them warm though so I heated a couple in the mike for about 30 seconds to have with some chili for dinner.

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As soft as they were when just baked.

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I used the tortillas to soak up the tomato sauce in the chili and they worked beautifully.

So I pushed my experiment one step further… I had one tortilla left over from this batch and I decided to try toasting it in a regular 2-slotted toaster.

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I put it into the toaster cold from the refrigerator and made sure to keep an eye on it so it didn’t burn.

My hope was that it would dry out a bit and crisp up… however it didn’t.  It just got warm and then sorta sagged into the bottom of the toaster slot.  I ended up having to turn the toaster upside down to get it out!
But it still made an awesome wrap with some lettuce and ham for my lunch!

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All in all, I am completely in love with with tortillas and will be making them over and over again…. so happy that they freeze well… but I won’t be trying to double the batch. I doubt I could squeeze enough water out of it.

For the whole recipe.
Weight Watchers P+ = 4.
Calories 199; Protein 16g; Carbohydrate 12g; Fat 10g; Fibre 5g.

Oh... a p.s....  I even got The Captain to taste one and he HATES the flavor of cauliflower… and he said he would never have known what they were made of, if he hadn’t smelled the cauliflower cooking… and seen the bits that somehow ALWAYS end up on the kitchen floor!

What do you think?  Would you give these a try?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Living the Whole Foods Lifestyle

Here is some news I am eager to share with you today…

Angela, who writes Eat Spin Run Repeat, has published a fabulous e-book called

 Living the Whole Foods Lifestyle

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It has been produced in an easy to download and read .pdf format and the pages and pictures are truly beautiful.  Angela gave me a copy to use for this review and I have really enjoyed going through all her useful and practical tips, and drooling over the pictures of the recipes… they are all easy to prepare and made from things you are likely to already have in your pantry.

And I have been using the planning and shopping list templates, too.  They are easy to print and so very helpful. 

A little note from Angela…

In this 48-page e-book, you'll find:
  • A list of versatile, timesaving ingredients to keep on-hand in your clean-living kitchen
  • My favourite kitchen gadgets that make meal prep a breeze
  • A printable meal planning template, recipe planner, and grocery shopping list
  • 13 squeaky clean, super delicious recipes that feature those superhero timesaving ingredients

Check it out on her site Run Eat Spin Repeat…. and let her know I sent you! 

I wish you great success with your book, Angela.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Paleo Pops are Tops!

These tasty frozen pops are chock full of antioxidants and just the perfect icy treat for a hot Summery day.  The original recipe is in a book I am reading called The Protein Power Plan, but I did make a little change so will share how I put them together.

These freezer molds are great!  I won them from spabettie last year and use them a lot.

They hold a total of 3 cups.  If you plan to make some pops for yourself, you will want to measure your molds and then adjust the amounts of the ingredients accordingly.  When I made them, I didn’t put enough water in the food processor, so I just added some more to the mixture once it was in the molds and then stirred it a bit.

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Paleo  Pops
  • 2 cups frozen berry mixture (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries)
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • bit of Stevia (this is optional of course)
  1. Place water and berries into a heavy-duty blender and process until smooth and thick.
  2. Pour into freezer pop molds and freeze overnight.
Mine came out to about 23 calories each… and of course they are zero PointsPlus for my Weight Watchers buddies. 

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The authors suggest that you use a mixture of frozen and fresh berries, if you have some on hand.

Do you make your own freezer pops?

Sunday, June 09, 2013

A Variety of Tasty Egg White Bites

I have been making versions of these delicious little ‘bites’ ever since Gabby posted her recipe for 2-ingredient Sweet Potato Bites when I was doing my first Whole 30 Paleo Challenge in January.

I am so thankful to her for introducing me to these wonderful little morsels!

I didn’t have any sweet potatoes in the pantry when I first read the recipe, so I opened a can of pumpkin and used that instead.  I loved them immediately… and I really enjoyed them for a quick snack with a dab of almond butter on top!

I know my Weight Watchers buddies are going to want some details...

I didn’t have a  mini muffin tin at the time so I just used my regular sized silicone muffin cups.
I made 9 regular muffin-size 'bites' instead of the 18 minis that Gabby made and they came out to only 12 calories each.

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Then I made them with a whole mashed banana and enjoyed them just as much.  I think the banana makes them a bit sweeter, too.  Again, 9 regular muffin-size 'bites' and these were 19 calories each.

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Since then I have made them with sweet potatoes but I changed things a bit.  I used only 2/3 of the ingredients but made 9 again, and they were 24 calories each.

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But then I finally bought a mini muffin tin!

And Saturday morning I was making a batch of Bacon and Egg Muffins, so I decided to do a batch of ‘bites’, too…. I had about 1/4 cup of mashed sweet potato in the fridge so I mixed 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce with it and made up my ‘bites’…. wonderful!

So it worked out to only using half the prescribed amount of the ingredients but I made 12 mini muffins out of it and they are 9 calories each.  You can see the size difference between the mini muffin tin and the regular size muffin cups that I used for the Bacon and Egg Muffins.

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So now mine truly are just little ‘bites’.

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They do make wonderful little snacks… a perfect mix of protein and carbs.  Of course they need to be stored in the fridge, but are very portable and handy…. and it is so fun to see what combos you can come up with.

Check out the original recipe at Gabby’s Gluten Free and then get cooking!

What other combinations do you think would work?… kabocha squash perhaps, and maybe some pureed strawberries.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Roasted Red Pepper Sun Dried Tomato 'Hummus'

When the the post with a recipe for Roasted Red Pepper Sun Dried Tomato Hummus from PEACE + LOVE + LOW CARB first arrived in my inbox a few weeks ago, I knew it was something I wanted to try!

It is not truly a hummus, because there is not a chickpea to be found!  And it is more like the texture of a Babaganoush – likely because of the tahini that is in it. The flavor is more liket that Babanoush as well.   It will make a lovely dip or sandwich topping… and for dinner we enjoyed some served on roasted chicken breasts.

It fits into a variety of food plans, too…. vegan, paleo, gluten free, and it is also low fat which I know my Weight Watchers buddies will appreciate…. actually, you could leave the olive oil right out of it if you like.

I didn’t Pin the recipe, because I was afraid I would forget about it… I left it in my inbox to keep reminding me that I wanted to make it… just as soon as I found some red peppers that didn’t cost an arm and a leg!  Gosh they have been so very expensive here lately.

But, today was the day!

The Captain and I went for a nice long walk downtown this morning. I had some library books to pick up at the central branch and we circled around through Chinatown to check out the market stalls… I love wandering the Chinese grocers… no hype, no fancy displays…just great looking, fresh-off-the-truck produce for very good prices. 

Hurray for great produce buys!  I found some nice red peppers, some bananas and some limes, while The Captain chose some white onions and oranges. 

After we got home and had lour lunch out on the the balcony in the sunshine, I got to work, on this ‘hummus’… I made up only half of the recipe as given and then added a few dashes of red pepper flakes for a bit more of a taste punch.

Most of these ingredients are things that I normally have on hand.  When I want roasted red peppers, I do my own using an easy quick method for broiling them in my oven.  I have purchased roasted red peppers in a jar, and they would likely be fine in a pinch, but they just are not as tasty as doing them yourself.

I also used dried sun-dried tomatoes so I let them soak in a bit of water while I peeled and seeded the still warm, just-roasted red pepper.

Kyndra used a Vitamix blender to make her hummus. I don’t have a Vitamix. In fact I am sure that my food processor is pretty middle of the road, but it didn’t have any trouble handling the load from these ingredients.

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I did my clean up and put the hummus is in the refrigerator to chill.  I have to confess, I did lick the spatula after I finished using it to scrape out every bit of goodness from the bowl of my food processor… and the hummus is delicious…

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A few hours later I served it over baked chicken breasts with our dinner and it was soooooo delicious!  Very garlicky, and just the right amount of cumin. It did need a bit more salt and The Captain loved it, too.

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Yeah, I know… the color!   But in spite of that, it is wonderful!

Half the recipe, as I made it, produced about 2 cups of hummus.  The Nutritional Information is as I made it.

Per 1/4 cup serving.
Weight Watchers P+ = 1.
Calories 52; Protein 2g; Carbohydrate 5g; Fat 3g; Fibre 1g.

Do you like veggie dips?  What else could you pair this with?

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Coconut Chicken Curry

I have been doing a lot of reading lately about different ways to boost my immune system.  Of course, nutrition and the foods we eat play an important role in our health… and I have learned that the spice turmeric, especially when consumed with black or white pepper, is considered a super food when it comes to easing inflammation in the body, and giving our immune systems a boost.

This is very good news to me as I have become a very big fan of curries over the past couple of years.  And the main ingredient in my curry powder just happens to be turmeric.

I have a favorite Coconut Chicken dish, which I thought would work very well with the addition of some curry so decided to give it a try for our Sunday dinner.  It was delicious, and even though I had to open the windows while it cooked, so worth the little bit of effort it took to put it all together.
I served mine over some Cauliflower Rice, and I made some steamed brown rice for The Captain. I think it would be good over spaghetti squash strands, or roasted butternut squash too… and certainly over barley or faro if you are fan of those grains.

For my Weight Watchers buddies, go ahead and use a lighter coconut milk. I used a full fat version here and so the N.I. reflects that… the P+ values would be about 6 or 7 with a light coconut milk.

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Coconut Chicken Curry
Makes 2 servings
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 8 ounces boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled, smashed and minced
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced – about 1 cup
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 200 ml canned coconut milk
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • dash of red pepper flakes
  • dash of salt
  • 3 ounces fresh spinach leaves
  1. Place the coconut oil in a large skillet over MEDIUM heat.
  2. Add the chicken pieces, garlic and onions and cook about 7 or 8 minutes till the chicken is almost cooked through.  Be careful not to brown the garlic.
  3. Add the curry powder, and stir to coat the chicken, garlic and onions.
  4. Add the coconut milk, black pepper red pepper flakes and salt. Stir to mix.
  5. Increase the heat till the milk just begins to bubble.
  6. Toss in the spinach and cover with a lid.
  7. Reduce heat to LOW and allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
  8. Remove from heat and plate.

Per Serving.
Weight Watchers P+ = 9.
Calories 331; Protein 28g; Carbohydrate 8g; Fat 21g; Fibre 2g.

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Cook chicken, garlic, and onions in a the coconut oil over medium heat.

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Add the curry powder to coat, and then the coconut milk and stir well.

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Toss in the spinach leaves and then cover to cook for 30 minutes.

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Served over Cauliflower Rice for me…

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and brown rice for The Captain.

Printable Recipe

Are you a curry fan?