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Grain Free Granola

 This is a recipe I have been making for quite some time. I started playing around with Grain Free Granola (or Nut-Nola as we call it) when I was trying out the Whole 30 and paying significant attention to grains and carbs in general. I have done the Whole 30 several times, it’s more stringent than I want to be on an on going basis, but I frequently still use recipes that are compliant to that plan and it was a great learning experience for listening to my body and understanding what it wants and what it does not.

In the end this recipe is not Whole 30 compliant at all but is a nutritious alternative to most commercial granolas because it has no added fat and minimal added sugar in the form of maple syrup.

Possibly what I love most about this recipe is how easy it is to make. So easy in fact, that it’s just become part of my Sunday routine: make a batch for the week, or maybe two if I feel like sharing. No one says no to a jar of this crunchy mix, especially considering its versatility: have it on yogurt, eat it out of hand like trail mix, have it with cold or hot milk, or sprinkle it into cookies or muffins. It’s a great go-to snack to have ready to go.

Let’s make some Nut-Nola! (more…)

Thank you, Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain was my hero.

Irreverent, whip smart, a rebel with a heart of gold, he inspired me to write, to love food writing culture and stay curious about the people and places that create the things we love to eat. He was authentic within himself, and carried just enough ‘tortured artist’ energy to be utterly fascinating. Today has been a sad day, one of tears and grief and exhaustion, one of empathy for his family and closest friends, one of frustration and anger that the world can become so small and dark for people that they can only see one way out. My heart feels broken and the existentialist in me wonders how, if someone as seemingly strong and resilient as he was, can give in and give up, what hope do the rest of us have? His candid writing on addiction and mental health was inspiring and real, hard to read at times because it was so raw, but he had made it through, he’d lived to tell the tale. His stories helped me, and I’m sure countless other people stay in the fight and push through to see another day. To call his suicide tragic is not enough. It is profoundly sad and numbingly surreal. I want to turn on Netflix, watch his shows, hear his voice, be a part of the wisdom and poetry that he gave us, but it’s too soon. (more…)

Light and Tropical Ambrosia Salad

I was pleasantly surprised by the (super official and unbiased – ha!) Instagram poll with a picture of my Light and Tropical Ambrosia Salad. So many more people liked it than I expected! Usually if the words Ambrosia and salad come up together they are met with moans of disgust, often misguided, and a litany of bad childhood memories of overly sweet, gloppy concoctions that were too “retro” to be cool and just felt out or date and unappetizing. I always think of that scene in Edward Scissorhands where he’s being fed all the ambrosia salads by the eager and repressed housewives of the neighbourhood. The kitschy pastels, the questionalble gloppity-gloop of it all, it always makes me smile. He’s so clearly repulsed and overwhelmed by a confection that is named for the food of the gods. Thank you, Tim Burton, for that nostalgic absurdity.

This particular Ambrosia I am calling Light and Tropical Ambrosia Salad because I have kept it more refreshing and focused in its flavours. If you look into Ambrosia recipes from the last 60 years or so you will see that there’s almost an Ambrosia for every cook out there. Much like other “salads” of its day, the term salad seems to just mean “all in one bowl”. For the uninitiated, Ambrosia seems to always include a few key elements: gelatin, whipped cream, and marshmallows. The combinations of fruit, and sometimes vegetables, is vast, with dividing lines drawn around specific additions – to add maraschino cherries or not, for example. (more…)

Sticky Chicken Bowls with Cauliflower Rice

Sticky Chicken Bowls with Cauliflower Rice

Around here we are pretty much obsessed with all sorts of “bowl” meals. The Buddha Bowl craze seems to be sticking and while it seems that the true Buddha Bowls are vegetarian of vegan, they have inspired many home cooks and restaurants to take a bunch of something delicious that goes well together and put it in a bowl. Voila. Burrito bowls, Tex-Mex Bowls, Breakfast Bowls, Smoothie Bowls, basically anything can go in a bowl and it makes for a fuss free, casual presentation and a great excuse to put together lots of fresh, fun ingredients and call it dinner. Or art.

These Sticky Chicken Bowls with Cauliflower Rice are as easy as can be and ridiculously healthy. This really should be called the Redemption Bowl because I put it together the day after a dinner of fried chicken and two bite brownies. But those nights happen, right? Sometimes you have to go with the urge to splurge or just throw your hands up and order take out. For the nights where you’re feeling somewhat more invested in your health and meal planning this particular Bowl is easy to prep and cook and it’s filling but light with regular rice swapped out for super flavorful coconut-lime cauliflower “rice”. Add a quick slaw and any other veg you like and you’re on your way to dinner Nirvana.

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Raspberry Cheesecake Tarts

I am such a sucker for all things raspberry. I’ve posted lots of raspberry recipes here before these Raspberry Cheesecake Tarts. There were these amazing coconut macaroons and this stunning cake, oh and this cake too and this simple galette … Just search “raspberry” and wander through the berry patch, so to speak.

Raspberries have such a potently magical flavor to them – they always taste like summer. In fact they are, to me, one of the most transporting of flavors. Even in the dead of winter when it’s grey and raining, or the streets are covered in snow, if you pop a ripe raspberry into your mouth, you get a fleeting reminder of warm days and sunshine and being outside. Nothing else quite does that for me.

These little Raspberry Cheesecake Tarts are so easy to make and require very little effort for a really stunning result. With the completely acceptable “cheat” of frozen tart shells you can whip these up in no time and take them somewhere to share with friends, or just make them for yourself. The recipe is easily halved to just make 12 …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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