Posts in Category: At Our Table
Have I just done something blasphemous? I’ve certainly broken a cardinal rule of some sort. I truly don’t mean to offend! Some of you may know of the connudrum our family faces with having to slash our meat intake becasue my husband has gout (which means more legumes and grains/wheat which are not the greatest for my underactive thyroid or in being pre-diabetic.)
Then there’s the whole other can of worms that I opened up in watching Cowspiracy, (all about Animal Agriculture and the enormous, devastating affect it has on the planet) the other night. Suffice to say, I’m confident that the universe is telling our little family to eat less meat when we can. So sometimes we go vegetarian, sometimes we eat local, free-from meat and eggs. We’ve successfully squandered down to very little dairy and will be switching to almond milk 100% for a test run. I’m researching viable plant-based vegetarian meat replacement options that aren’t going to wreak havoc on my digestive system and aren’t highly processed with tons of crap added into them. I’ve been told “good luck with that.” Anyways, the world’s all a big mess and we’re just doing what we can, what’s right for our family. I think? Yea, watch that documentary. If you dare.
So if you’re a vegetarian and you’re not totally offended by my pairing of paleo versatility with this recipe – enjoy. Play around with it, mix things up.
- 1 large
- 2 cups sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped (big chunks fine, it's just going into a food processor or blender
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 cup fresh basil (pressed down, loose leaves)
- ¼ cup fresh oregano
- 4 tbsp. hot water or veggie or bone broth
- 3 pounds organic grass fed ground bison or beef *or* 3 pounds vegetarian ground round
- 8 spears of dino
kale,washed and shredded
- 1½ cups of grass fed sheeps' feta *or* 1 cup shredded Daiya cheese alternative combined with 1 cup nutritional yeast
- ½ teaspoon
pinkHimalayan sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 large head of cauliflower, trimmed, chopped and steamed until very soft
- 2 large (or 3 or 4 small) sweet potatoes, peeled chopped and steamed until very soft
- Blend onion, garlic, sundried tomatoes, carrot, basil, oregano and broth (or water), till a chunky paste is formed. (Use a food processor or standing blender with a tamper.) Set aside.
- Combine paste and ground bison or beef (or ground round) and mix with your hand to combine.
- Brown in a cast iron pan, only takes a few minutes
- Place steamed cauliflower, sweet potato, pink salt and ground
peppin food processor and puree until smooth
- Shuffle meat (or non-meat, HA!) mixture into a 9 x
13 inchbaking dish (I use a glass Pyrex one)
- Layer shredded kale on top
- Layer cheese or cheese alternative and nutritional yeast on top
- Scoop and smooth out mashed cauliflower and sweet potato over beef mixture, sprinkle with the smoked paprika
- Bake at 350° for 30 minutes
It was with swift fortitude that I began to experiment in cracker making once I made the leap into grain and wheat-free eating. The cost of purchasing a box of wheat and grain-free crackers, containing maybe 20 crackers (sometimes less), is ridiculous. And hard to find. You can find gluten-free everything, but that’s a whole other post for another day. Giving up refined sugar was easy, I found alternates (raw honey, real, dark maple syrup, dates and bananas) far superior anyways. But pasta. Bread. Crackers. Vehicles with which to devour avocado smashed, and cracked salt and smothered goodness. Other dips and spreads. Without at least one staple with which to enjoy any of these fine things I knew I was in for it and fall off the wagon I did, many a time.
If one is going to completely over-haul their diet and eat/treat food as the medicine it was intended as well as the truly scrumptious and sensual experience that it should be; well then. You need an alternate plan of action. For me it was these crackers. Which, until of recent…have satiated many a would-border-crossing over to the dark-side of grainy, wheat-y goodness. Yet, I’m rather enjoying the well-rested, non-spiked blood sugar, migraine-free days of my life as it happens to be right now…being pre-diabetic in two words? Can SUCK IT. These have become a staple and I’ve moved right along into testing (over and over and over) again a Paleo rye bread recipe. When that recipe gets approved out of test-kitchen status to that of something mouth wateringly magnificent, oh my friends. Then we shall have a smashed avocado on toast party. All the things on toast.
Until then, I have these crackers and they’ve been doing me just fine. Others too, if my neighbours count. (Of course they do. You wish you had neighbours as awesome as I do.) You don’t have to be a Paleo cuisine convert to make/enjoy these beauties. If you care about what you put into your body or simply love delicious food, in a ‘from-scratch’ sort of way; these belong in your mouth.
Eggs you say? YES EGGS. Well, two per serving to be exact. (Or one if you prefer a smaller cuppa.) And grass-fed butter or ghee. Some peeps use unrefined coconut oil. You can even make this with tea of you’re not into coffee. Yep, TEA! (Thai would complement this beautifully, or any dark and rich blend.) This is basically a fusion of bulletproof coffee, but frothier, creamier and just dang delicious.
I love coffee and it has to be perfect. Well, my idea of perfect. I’m not full-on into the coffee culture that has become extremely trendy as of late and I don’t say that as a bad thing! I would LOVE to get into it. Roasting my own beans, playing around with brew methods and siphons. I also dream of old school espresso and americano/latte making machines. But I digress. While I may not have any of those things, what I DO have is a blender. Which is all that’s required to froth this magically delicious action up. (With the right ingredients of course.)
This is obviously a filling cup of coffee! I don’t recommend it as a meal replacement as some others might, I think it goes amazingly with a small bowl of paleo meusli or fruit salad for breakfast. In a pinch though, on the odd day you can totally rock this on the go and it will hold you over for a bit till you can eat something clean and delicious. Eating 6-7 times a day is the way to go anyways! Keep that glorious bod fueled, nourished and happy!
1. Not all coffee is created equal! The wrong coffee (those containing mycotoxins) will zap your energy, leaving you lethargic and irritable. This is my absolute favourite. Kicking Horse for life! Blending is KEY here… or it won’t taste the same. Stirring won’t emulsify your cuppa. To get that rich, creamy texture you MUST use a blender.
2. Butter alone does NOT make your coffee Bulletproof. Putting grass fed butter, ghee, MCT or coconut oil in your coffee promotes high energy, fat loss and increases brain function. It also makes the coffee have a better feel in your mouth. I’m personally ALL ABOUT mouth feels. Take that as you may. And on that note, I highly suggest only using grass-fed butter because butter coming from grain-fed animals has a different fat composition. It doesn’t blend as well, doesn’t taste as good, and lacks fat soluble vitamins (which is one of the reasons this coffee is ‘bulletproof’). Don’t use low-fat or butter substitutes!
The lecithin in egg yolks are excellent emulsifiers not to mention being an excellent source of protein and micronutrients. Local, free-range eggs are ideal, because with pastured eggs you’re getting the supercharged versions: full of extra choline, vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin K2, omega-3 fats, vitamin D, and beta-carotene. When I stumbled across some other primal egg coffee recipes and then Vietnamese and Swedish egg coffees, I was sold. I knew I had to dabble with something of my own, putting ole’ Starbucks to shame. (At a fraction of the cost, even with using organic and local ingredients.)
Why Bulletproof Coffee —> Health Benefits
- Helps you stay in ketosis
- Accelerates fat loss
- Promotes muscle gain
- Boosts brain power
- Increases mental clarity
- Bumps up energy levels
- 2 cups (240 ml) coffee
- ¼ cup full fat coconut milk
- 2 pastured eggs
- 1 tbsp grass-fed unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp unrefined coconut | MCT oil
- 2 tbsp raw cacao powder (or raw cacao nibs)
- ¼ tsp real vanilla extract
- 1 tsp raw honey
- Dash cinnamon
- Pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt
- Brew coffee using a french press (3 heaping tablespoons of fresh ground coffee per bodum) and steep for 5-6 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk the two eggs in a bowl and set aside.
- Once the coffee is ready, dump it in a blender, set it to “low,” adding in the coconut milk and raw cacao nibs. Blitz till all of the nibs
- Then drizzle in the eggs and the rest of your ingredients and whizz agin till frothy! Pour out and enjoy this creamy decadence.
In the search for a quick weeknight dessert, that can be sent to school the next day as a healthy treat? I was! Luckily, my friend the Baker Babe came to the rescue a while back with this recipe. Except it featured almond meal, so since then I revisited it and experimented a bit and came up with these delicious little suckers.
Again, they are totally 21 Day Fix approved for those of you who give a care, so rock those yellows when and if you wanna! Heck, have an extra one because I said so! You’re welcome!
- 10 pitted Medjool dates (blitzed in food processor with a wee bit of hot water until a paste is formed)
- 2 tbsp. unsweetened apple sauce
- 2 tbsp. coconut flour
- ¾ raw cacao powder
- ½ c. melted coconut oil
- 1 tsp. real vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 1.5 c. sunflower meal (pre-food-processor blitzed sunflower seeds to resemble flour)
- ¾ tsp. g-free baking soda
- ½ tsp. pink Himalayan sea salt
- Preheat over to 350 F and grease an 8x8 baking dish with coconut oil
- Whizz sunflower seeds in food processor until a rough flour-like consistency is formed (like almond flour), remove and set aside.
- Whizz medjool dates with a wee smidge of boiling water in the food processor until paste is formed.
- Add coconut flour, cacao powder, melted coconut oil, vanilla, baking soda, salt, eggs and whizz/pulse again until mixed (stopping to scrape down sides as needed).
- Pop in the oven for 35-40 minutes depending on the heat of your oven.
- These need to set for about 20 minutes after baking as they are gooey and I've found that all paleo baked good need time to set as they continue to cook a bit in doing so. Enjoy!
When I was a kid, there were few comforts come winter that soothed as much a hot bowl of homemade turkey soup did. With Thanksgiving and Christmas being so close together, bone broth gets whipped up on the regular around here and there’s always leftover turkey from hosting to tend to. This is one of my favourite dishes, hands down, based on nostalgia AND taste.
What’s even better is that I’ve made this low-carb, dairy and wheat free. Paleo if you please, but … more importantly, gloriously full of root veggies that are low on the glycemic index.
- 2 c. cooked wild rice (cooked separately)
- 2 c. cubed and cooked sweet potato
- 4 tbsp. grass-fed butter/ghee/coconut oil
- 4 tbsp. avocado oil
- 2 c. chopped onion
- 2 c. chopped celery
- 2 c. chopped carrot
- 2 c. chopped turnip
- 4 cloves garlic
- 8 c. turkey bone broth (or any other stock)
- 2 bay leaf
- 5 cups chopped leftover turkey
- 2 tbsp chopped, fresh thyme
- 1 tsp. kosher/pink himalayan sea salt
- 1 tsp. teaspoon ground black pepper
- Prep all your ingredients and begin cooking wild rice and roasting sweet potato in the oven. Toss all prepped and uncooked root veg together in a big bowl and set aside.
- In a large dutch oven, melt the butter and oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, carrot and celery and cook about 10 minutes until onions are soft and translucent. Deglaze with white wine. If making a double batch, take out half of the mirepoix and add to another big soup pot.
- Add half the turkey broth to one pot and the rest to the other with the bay leaves, thyme and turnip. Turn the heat up to medium-high and bring soup to a boil. Turn heat back down to medium and let simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add turkey, cooked wild rice, cooked sweet potato, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes more.
- Serve soup in large bowls, slurp and savour! (Freeze the other batch after cooled down!)
Those of us in the Paleo world know about the controversy that is whether or not to include white potatoes into one’s diet. On the one hand, they are a delicious, nutrient dense whole food. A fabulous starchy tuber in fact! Unprocessed, versatile and satisfying. And yet, they sit quite high on the glycemic index and as someone who has chosen to try and stick to a Paleo diet because I’m pre-diabetic … then obviously I am going to avoid sugar spiking foods.
I’m especially NOT going to deny myself of delicious foods however, when it comes to any holiday spread I might be hosting this time of year. I double especially love surprising my doubting guests when it comes to Paleo food substitutions. Because they’re definitely not all a win. (Sad face apple pie.)
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock with nary a Buzzfeed food video or heady list touting the many wondrous virtues of eating cauliflower (instead of carbs) crossing your path, then I’m sorry. This is one of those rare times you’ve been missing out on what the internet has to toss your way. Cauliflower is a splendiferous thing indeed. I’ve tried it out in bread, soup and to make faux ‘cauli-rice’ and pizza crust already. Perhaps you’ve already been served, or have tried mashed cauliflower as a mashed potato substitute. It’s pretty good (no, it doesn’t taste exactly the same so let’s just lay that inquisition to rest), but I’ve found that the addition of parsnips really adds the taste a texture needed to make it a damn good combo of a sub needed to mimic the cloudy peaks of buttery, creamy goodness that is mashed potatoes. Cauliflower is a part of the cabbage family, which means it’s a vegetable and we know that vegetables are a good thing, yes? Particularly rich in vitamin C and B vitamins, cauliflower also has a significant amount of vitamin K, manganese, phosphorous, and potassium! As if all of that weren’t enough, noshing on cauliflower also gives you a good dose of sulfur. And until I read Mark Sisson’s article on why eating sulfur-rich foods is a grand idea, I had no clue about why I should care about that either. It’s a damn good, eye-opening article about vegetables in general!
Pumped up with various B vitamins, vitamin C, and vitamin K, parsnips and turnips are a great source of trace minerals, including manganese, phosphorous, potassium, and zinc! While they may be moderately high in natural sugars, parsnips are also comprised of both soluble and insoluble fiber. (Which slows the body’s digestion of carbs and prevents a spike in blood sugar and makes food easier to digest!) When accompanied with the cauliflower, one really is bestowed with the great satisfaction of eating mashed potatoes without the dense insulin spike.
I’m straight up gonna tell you that using a blender will issue you a gluey mass. Which you might be going for if you wanted to make a vegan cheese sauce sub; say for mac and cheese. But that’s not the texture we’re going for here. I myself am a fan of the rustic hand-held mashing or using a food processor.
- 2 heads cauliflower
- 4 parsnips, peeled and chopped into chunks
- 1 small turnip, peeled and chopped into chunks
- 5-6 tbsp. grass-fed butter or ghee
- 1¼ tsp. pink sea salt
- Remove the cauliflower florets from their bases of stems and leaves. Wash and add to a water-filled pot, along with
yourwashed, peeled and chopped parsnips and turnip.
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and simmer until all is tender.
- (You can cook the veg in two separate pots if you don't have a big enough one.)
- Drain the cauliflower, turnips and parsnips into a colander and topple them all into a food processor (or back into the pot if you are hand-mashing.)
- Add the butter and whizz/mash until well creamed! If you like it rustic then by hand is the best way to go.
- Season with sea salt to taste, eat it, love it and gloat all about it.
Just so we’re clear, this is a Paleo soup recipe, but obviously the sandwiches aren’t. If you’re new here, you might not know that I try and alternate between a plant-based and Paleo diet. The rest of my family don’t have the same health issues as I do so essentially they can indulge in what I do not! Meals like these make that kind of diverse food prep easy. It’s just grilled cheese yo. Perhaps a little bit fancy, but no big whoop. If you want to get into making big batches of bone broth to use in many an Autumn and Winter recipe, here’s my recipe!
- Soup (double batch if you please)
- 2 tbsp. ghee, coconut oil, or
- 2 tbsp. REAL maple syrup (amber if you have it!)
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 8 c. bone broth (or 3½ quart sized tetra packs of veggie or meat based stock)
- 10 cups 1-inch pieces peeled butternut squash (about 3½ lbs.)*
- 2 tsp. minced fresh thyme
- 2 tsp. minced fresh sage
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 (heaping) tsp. ground ginger
- 1 c. cashew cream (soak ¼ cup of cashews in hot water for about 20 min., drain rinse and blend, adding
inmore water until cream-like consistency is obtained)
- BONUS! Apple, Crispy Sage + Gruyere Sandwiches (for 4)
- 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
- 8: ¼-inch-thick Italian loaf bread slices (or bread of choice)
- 8 slices Gruyere cheese
- 2 peeled and thinly sliced honey crisp apples
- 5 or 6 baked sage leaves per sandwich
- Bake cubed butternut squash tossed in 1 tbsp. of oil or butter and the maple, in a preheated oven of 350 F for about 25/35 minutes (depending on the heat of your oven), turning cubes midway.
- Melt the other tbsp. of oil or butter in large dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, ginger, garlic and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Add broth, all squash and herbs; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer a few minutes.
- Working in batches, puree soup in double batches. Return soup to same pot. Stir in the cashew cream and bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper.
- Preheat panini press. Butter BOTH sides of each bread slice. Arrange bread, buttered side down across a large expanse of counter to create an assembly line.
Tophalf of the bread slices with one slice of cheese, then apples, topping with another slice of cheese. Place other pieces of bread slices to complete the sandwich prep and grill until golden, about 2 minutes. Remove from press and let sit for 30-60 seconds before slicing.
- Ladle soup into bowls and serve those delectable sandwiches with those who can eat bread and cheese without a care in the world!
A versatile dish, this can be made vegan or vegetarian. You can add chicken or leave it out as I have done. Curry is a soul-food. It sticks to your ribs, warms your tummy and can be made to your own heat preference. Our kids like it with yogurt (tames the spice a bit). Do you have your kids eating curry yet? Try our this version! The mangos and a natural sweetness to the more savoury elements of this dish.
I used to purchase pre-made curry powder (because easy), but I’ve gotten into the habit of making from-scratch pastes each time I give curry a whirl as the depth of flavour is incomparable once you’ve gone there. I’ve tried to simplify the process as much as possible from some of the more conventional/traditional curry adventures, it doesn’t always have to be a huge time commitment! Enjoy!
- 2 large yellow cooking onions, chopped
- 8 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 4 tbsp fresh ginger, roughly chopped
- 4 tbsp ghee (or grassfed butter or coconut oil)
- 3 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tsp fennel seed
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 tsp cayenne
- 1½ tsp garam masala
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 400g can chopped/diced tomatoes (or diced fresh plum tomatoes)
- 1 250ml can of full-fat coconut milk
- 1 cup veggie broth
- 2 tbsp chopped coriander
- 3 sweet potatoes, cubed (about 1 lb worth)
- 1 lb carrots, cubed
- 2 mangos, cubed
- 1tsp. pink himalyan sea salt
- 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
- Fresh minced kale to garnish (I like to sprinkle at least ½ cup's worth per serving)
- ***Optional: 1 can of garbanzo beans, ½ lb of baby potatoes and 2 cups of frozen peas
- Saute the chopped onions in ½ of your ghee/oil with the garlic cloves (whole) until translucent. Transfer to a small food processor, adding in the ginger, cumin, fennel, cinnamon, chili, cayenne, garam masala and turmeric, with 1 tbsp ghee/oil (of the remaining 2) with 2 tablespoons of water - process to a slack paste.
- Heat the last of the ghee/oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Scoop the paste out of the blender/processor into the pot. Swirl everything around for about 30 secs until the spices release a fragrant aroma.
- Tip in the tomatoes, broth, coconut milk and carrots. (You can add the garbanzo beans and baby potatoes if you've chosen to add these). Continue cooking on a medium-low heat for about 25 mins without a lid until the liquid begins to reduce and darken.
- Add in the sweet potatoes and mango and simmer for another 40 mins without a lid until the carrots are nicely stewed and the sweet potatoes are fall-apart tender. The masala should be thickened now – you might need to add an extra ladleful of broth or water if the curry needs it. Sprinkle with chopped coriander and stir.
- Serve with minced kale and cashew yogurt or regular yogurt and sprouted brown rice for the non-paleo eaters at your table!
Fridge and pantry staples. I’m all about them! I’m wrapping up a Free 5 Day Sugar Detox and Intro Into Clean Eating Group on Facebook today and as I was compiling some of my favourite, simple, refined sugar and processed-crap-free recipes I wanted to able to include this little gooder in the list for the group members. We were out of strawberry jam anyways and since it only takes a few minutes to make, I decided to whip some up, take some pics and shoot off a recipe post. I also have a strawberry, chia seed and lavender infused jam recipe here on They Roar, by way of the traditional canning method if you’d like to give that a whirl for a longer shelf life or to gift this holiday season!
- 600 grams bag of frozen strawberries (could use fresh too, approximately 2½ cups)
- 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 2 - 3 tbsp. ground chia seeds (depending on how thick you like your jam)
- 4 tbsp. raw honey
- Simmer berries until soft and easy to mash
- Mash it up, adding in the honey, lemon juice, and ground chia
- Scoop into a mason jar, chill and ENJOY!
- (last up to about 2 weeks, if it's not devoured by then!)
The only thing that makes the coming of winter acceptable is Autumn. It encapsulates everything comfortable. Soothing. It’s the time of year where us women bust out the knee socks and boots with pleasure. Tights and chunky knit sweaters are welcomed with glee.
As is the craft beer, fresh, warm baked bread, hot stews and holiday gatherings. So much about this time of year for me has always revolved around harvest, canning food, feasting with friends and family. Revelling in the spirit of gratitude and solstice. Come New Years however … the pounds from all of those indulgences would be hard to ignore and the inevitable New Years resolutions would start to float around in my head. (No matter how much I tried to say I didn’t believe in them.) I know I’m not alone in this. I’m ready to step out of my comfort zone this Autumn and embrace all that I love about this season without forgetting to revel in the care of my body and health too.
Our eating habits, exercise routine and stress levels lay the foundation for how we feel. So this year I’m sharing all of my favourite Autumnal recipe makeovers. Over the past couple of years I’ve attempted trying to make healthier versions of the indulgent savoury dishes and sweet treats that come with the feasting, the ceremony … the gathering in gratitude and solstice that many of us do over the next few months. Regardless of our varying beliefs. There have been a few hits and misses. All I’m going to say is that one has to respect the power of coconut flour. And the science of baking. We’ll leave it at that for today because I’m sharing one of my easier, fave savoury side dishes that pleases everyone come the holidays …
- 2 - 4 pounds (depending on how many you have at your holiday table!) small brussels sprouts (each about 1 inch in diameter), trimmed, halved through root end
- 1½ (double if using more brussles sporouts) cups diced bacon
- Juice of 1 lemon, (double if using more brussles sporouts)
- Zest of 1 lemon
- ½ (or more) cup of grated asiago cheese (or parm, or nutritional yeast if wanting it vegan)
- 1 tbsp. (or more) real maple syrup (the dark stuff)
- Optional: 1 cup of shaved almonds
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss brussels sprouts in medium to large bowl with bacon, lemon juice, zest, maple and optional shaved almonds.
- Toss and spread brussels sprouts onto a parchment lined baking sheet in single layer.
- Roast brussels sprouts until tender and beginning to brown, stirring every 10 minutes, about 40 minutes.
- Transfer to bowl, sprinkle with the grated asiago (parm or NOOSH) and serve.
- You can also do this dish in a crock pot on slow for 4 hours, which I typically do for Xmas, as oven space is scant.