January 26, 2015

Tahini Molasses Cookies and Review of And Here We Are at the Table (Paleo, Dessert, Gluten Free)


 


Hi everyone! Did you have a good weekend? Get up to any exciting adventures? I sure hope so. We had a gorgeous weekend here in Calgary. It's acting like spring, yet it's January. You won't here me complaining about that that's for sure! I just wish I had some time to actually go out and enjoy the natural vitamin D. For now I get to enjoy it though my office window while I read about really exciting things like secondary amenorrhea, thyroid storm and adrenal insufficiency. I bet I am making you pretty jealous right about now aren't I? Oh the life of a resident…

But on a much better note, I have another exciting post for you today so keep on reading! You not only get a cookie recipe today but a cookbook review as well. Yay.

I have always admired people who go after what they want and take their success into their own hands.  This is one of the reasons why I am so pleased to be sharing my friend Ariana Mullins' new book, And Here We Are at the Table with you. Ariana produced this book entirely on her own, without a book contract or the help of a publishing company. Talk about taking a risk! The fact that she has produced such an amazing and beautiful book all on her own is an amazing accomplishment.




You might already know Ariana from her blog And Here We Are where she posts about food, travel, living abroad and family life. Well her cookbook is an extension of what you will find on her blog. In other words it is so much more than just a recipe book. It is part travelogue and part memoir that includes many stories and adventures from Ariana's life abroad. She shares her life experiences with travel, food, culture, and the inspiration behind the many different recipes you will find in the book. All of the recipes are grain free and focus on real, healthy ingredients. There is some dairy included in this book so it isn't full paleo, but most of the recipes have dairy free alternatives and the majority of the recipes include paleo friendly ingredients. And there are a lot of good looking recipes in here that's for sure. Like these Tahini Molasses Cookies that I am sharing with you today.

Now, I have to be honest and say that I was a little sceptical when I first read the ingredients for these cookies. How can you make a cookie without flour? Well my friends it turns out that it is indeed possible. These cookies turned out way better than I could have imagined. Think a crisp on the outside, soft on the inside caramel cookie. Is your mouth watering yet? It should be!

A few of the other recipes from the book that I can't wait to try include:

  • Caramelized Apple Dutch Baby (a delicious looking type of breakfast pie)
  • Greek Herb Frittata
  • Apple, Leek and Bacon Breakfast Sausage
  • Roasted Sweet Potato Puree with Ginger, Orange and Coconut
  • Strawberry Bruschetta Relish
  • Herbed Compound Butter
  • Chimichurri Sauce
  • Garlic, Lemon and Ginger Marinade
  • Thai Grilled Chicken with Lemongrass, Basil and Lime
  • Easy Moroccan Spiced Beef with Lemons and Butternut Squash
  • Carrot and Parsnip Cake
  • Fermented Blackberry Soda

Reading this book makes me want to hop on a plane immediately and start visiting all the places that Arianna describes. As a person who loves both travel and food this book was a great addition to my already over-flowing library. If you like good food made with real ingredients, have a zest for travel and want to learn more about life abroad then this book is for you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. And I would love to hear what you think of these cookies. I dare you to try eating just one.

Well on that note I think it's time to get to the recipe.  And as always I would be thrilled if you visited me on on PinterestInstagram or Facebook. And if you have any feedback, questions or comments please feel free to get in touch! I always love hearing from you guys. 

Happy eating!

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Ingredients

1 cup tahini paste
3/4 cup molasses sugar or dark muscovado sugar 
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 large egg
a pinch of sea salt
Optional: sesame seeds for sprinkling the tops of the cookies with




Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 350º F or 180º C.
2. Combine everything but the sesame seeds in a mixing bowl, stirring the tahini well before measuring.  3. Mix the batter until everything is combined.
4. Spoon tablespoonfuls onto your cookie sheet, about two inches apart. 
5. There can be some variation in the texture of the batter– sometimes it may be more firm than others, but it will always do some spreading while baking, so leave some space for that.
6. Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with sesame seeds.
7. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the edges are a little crispy and it all smells heavenly.
8. Let them cool for a few minutes before handling, as they will be fragile while they’re hot
9. Serve and enjoy! 












       

January 19, 2015

Roasted Root Vegetables with Mint Maple Vinaigrette (Paleo, Gluten Free, Dairy Free)




Happy Monday everyone!
How was your weekend? Did you do anything exciting? Eat any good food? Visit with friends? Go on any adventures? I hope so!

So yesterday was my birthday. I am officially one year older. 29. Somehow that sounds so much older than 28. I wish I could say I did something really exciting for the occasion, but I spent it like every other day lately - studying. Yep fun times. I didn't even have time to make a cake this year. It's sad I know. But I did get some pretty good gifts so there is a bright side. And I have a really good recipe to share with you today. So keep reading!

Since I had been posting lots of baked goods lately I decided it was time to bring some vegetables back into the mix. So today I am sharing my recipe for Roasted Root Vegetables with Mint Maple Vinaigrette. The dressing on these vegetables is officially my new favourite. I have been making this all the time now to use on everything from salads to fish to a dip for vegetables. Yes it's that good. I usually make a double batch just so that I can keep extras in the fridge. And my non-paleo family has been stealing this for their salads as well, which is always a good sign. Anything to get them to avoid those pre-made store bought salad dressings. Have you read the ingredients on most of those? Not a lot of real food in there my friends. Chemicals and more chemicals. Yuck, yuck, yuck! 

In totally unrelated, yet very sad news, did you hear that Target is pulling out of Canada???? 
I can't believe this. I for one love that store. That place is my go-to destination for workout gear, office supplies, home decor items and cosmetics. Now I totally agree that we didn't get nearly the same quality of items that the stores in the U.S do, but that doesn't mean they didn't carry good stuff! I'm so sad that the rest of Canada didn't appreciate Target like I did. Now I will just have to go back to my old ways of stocking up on Target supplies when I am visiting the U.S. It's just not the same…. 
Are any of my Canadian readers sad to see Target go? Or is it just me? 

Well on that happy note I think it's time to get to the recipe. I would love to hear what you think of this one! And I would be thrilled if you visited me on on PinterestInstagram or Facebook

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Roasted Carrots and Parsnips Ingredients

6 parsnips
8 large carrots
1/4 cup melted organic coconut oil (this brand is my favourite) 
sea salt and pepper to taste

Vegetable Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400F
2. Peel the parsnips and carrots and then cut them into pieces (I cut mine into thirds lengthwise and then cut each third into 4-8 pieces depending on how thick the section was - you want the pieces to be of similar size so they cook evenly)
3. Place the sliced vegetables into a large bowl
4. Add the melted coconut oil, sea salt and pepper to the bowl and mix well to coat evenly
5. Place the vegetables on 2 baking sheets, ensuring they are not overlapping 
6. Place in the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes (this will depend on the size of your vegetables - you want them to look roasted) 
7. Remove from oven and add the vinaigrette before serving (recipe below)



Mint Maple Vinaigrette Ingredients

3/4 cup olive oil or walnut oil (or a mix of both if you have them)
2 TBSP organic apple cider vinegar (I use this kind
2 TBSP pure organic maple syrup
1/4 cup packed, chopped mint leaves
pinch sea salt
pinch black pepper 

Vinaigrette Directions

1. Make this while the vegetables are cooking
2. Place all the ingredients into a large bowl and stir well to combine
3. Let sit for 20 minutes to allow the flavours to blend
4. Transfer your vegetables to their serving dish and pour as much of the vinaigrette over the vegetables as you like to taste (I had leftovers) 
5. Serve and enjoy! 









                

January 12, 2015

Coconut Cinnamon Cereal and Paleo Eats Cookbook Review (Paleo, Nut Free, Gluten Free)



Happy Monday everyone! Did you have a good weekend? I sure hope so. I won't bore you with the details of mine. Let's just say it involved studying. Lots and lots of studying. I am counting down the days until I can tell you that I actually did something fun with my weekends again (T-minus 5 months…)

I am so excited to share this post with you today. My good friend Kelly from A Girl Worth Saving recently released her first cookbook called Paleo Eats: 111 Comforting Gluten-Free, Grain-Free and Dairy-Free Recipes for the Foodie in You. I just received my copy in the mail a few days ago and I have ear marked almost every single page! Seriously the food in this book looks incredible. It was really hard for me to pick just one recipe to share with you. But I did it. And in continuing on with the breakfast theme here on the blog (Did you see the muffins I posted last time?) I decided to share the Coconut Cinnamon Cereal from the book. I can't even remember the last time I had cereal. Probably 4 years ago? Wow it's been a long time. And to think that I used to eat cereal with soy milk on a daily basis for breakfast. So unhealthy! But this cereal recipe is nothing like a cereal you will find in a grocery store that's for sure. It has healthy ingredients like raw sunflower seeds, cinnamon and coconut flakes. I added a little coconut milk to mine and it was delicious! And both my parents (who are not paleo) agreed. That is a win if you ask me.

Now I could keep raving about the Coconut Cinnamon Cereal but since this is a cookbook review I better tell you a little more about this book. There are 111 recipes in this book, many of them twists on classic foods that I am sure you grew up with, but that Kelly has made paleo friendly. Recipes like fried chicken, onion rings, breadsticks, chicken and dumplings and so many more. And just like on Kelly's blog, the photographs are gorgeous. Every recipe has a picture which I really like, and the directions are easy to follow.

Some of the other recipes that I can't wait to make include:

  • Caramel Apple Cinnamon Roles
  • Apple Fritters
  • Sweet Bread
  • Sweet Potato Biscuits
  • Oven Baked Dry Rubbed Ribs
  • Lamb Gyro Burgers
  • Chili
  • Kung Paleo Chicken 
  • Hummus
  • "Oatmeal" Raisin Cookies
  • No Bake Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake
  • Grasshopper Pudding 
  • Cream Filled Chocolate Cupcakes 


And for those of you who are just starting your real food or paleo journey I know this can be intimidating. Trust me I was in the same boat a few years ago. It can be very difficult, especially when no one around you eats the same way. Well Kelly's book, Paleo Eats, is way more than your average cookbook. To help you transition to this diet, Kelly has included a few special sections in Paleo Eats to help get you started. Including how to: 
  • Go Paleo without breaking the bank
  • Find the freshest, “cleanest” veggie
  • Work with new-to-you Paleo ingredients
  • Rescue a culinary disaster
  • Stock your Paleo pantry
  • Recreate your own family-favorite recipes

The bottom line is that this is not only an amazing cookbook, but a great resource for anyone looking to improve their diet and start a healthier lifestyle. I highly recommend adding Paleo Eats to your cookbook collection. Trust me, you will be glad you did!

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Ingredients

½ cup raw sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup maple syrup
1 large egg
½ teaspoon melted coconut oil






Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place the coconut shreds and sunflower seeds in a food processor and grind for 30 seconds.
3. Add the cinnamon, salt, maple syrup, egg, and coconut oil and pulse until combined, about 2 minutes.
4. Scoop the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. 
5. Cover with a second piece of parchment paper and with a rolling pin, roll to ¼-inch thick. 
6. Remove and discard the top piece of parchment paper.
7. With a wet knife, score the dough into 1-inch squares.
8. Place in the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until firm to the touch. 
9. Remove from the oven and let sit on the pan for 15 minutes to allow it to crisp up.
Serve and enjoy! 

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week


Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

Servings: 6