May 23, 2016

Roasted Honey Dijon Pecans (SCD, GAPS, Paleo, Gluten Free)


Well friends, today it's all about snack food, and my latest snacking addiction. These Roasted Honey Dijon Pecans are so addicting! A little sweet, a little spice, and a lot of crunch! Oh yum!

And we'll get to the recipe in a second...

First I want to give you a little update on my life because it feels like it's been a while since I did that (and I know that you all care very deeply).

I am actually writing this post from Kelowna, BC where I am staying for a month for an elective. Well that's a lie. I am actually staying in Coldstream at my parents' place, but no one knows where that is so let's just call it Kelowna. It's gorgeous out here. Beautiful blue lakes, sunny skies and summer temperatures (well most of the time). There is already fresh produce growing in the garden! It's amazing. I have been snacking on fresh strawberries and I am just about to head out to pick a crazy amount of fresh basil for a pesto recipe I am working on. So keep your eyes peeled for that in the coming weeks! Because there is nothing better than food made with seasonal ingredients. Right? Right!


Can you believe I am almost finished residency? I have only five weeks left! Isn't that crazy? It doesn't feel real. I have been in post secondary education for the last 13 years of my life. Man that's a long time. I honestly can't wait to be done. Although it is also a terrifying thought to start working independently as well. So many mixed emotions. I just have to get through my rheumatology exams in the fall and then I will never have to write another exam again! Amazing right? To celebrate Erik and I are planning a trip in October. We are thinking about going to Bali but we are open to suggestions so if you have any please let me know! If I had my choice I would love to take a year off and just travel, and blog. Unfortunately, going that long without an income would be just a little challenging. So unless this little blog starts making me some decent money soon that will just remain a dream. An amazing sounding one if you ask me though.



So let's talk about these Roasted Honey Dijon Pecans. Because they are delicious! These did not last long the first time I made them that's for sure. Erik and I inhaled them. Literally inhaled. It can be challenging to find healthy snacks while on the Paleo diet so these are a great option to have on hand. They are super simple to make, only require 5 ingredients and have an amazing flavour. I personally love anything with a great crunchy texture and these definitely have that. Sweet, flavourful and crunchy. Three things that make a great snack if you ask me. If your will power is better than mine you can store these in the fridge for weeks and they will still taste great. I hope you like them!

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Until next time, happy eating friends! 


Roasted Honey Dijon Pecans 





Ingredients

5 cups raw pecans (preferably soaked and dehydrated first) 
2 TBSP avocado oil (I use this brand
2 TBSP honey (ideally local) 
2 TBSP dijon mustard (I use this brand
1/2 tsp sea salt (or more to taste) 



Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 325F
2. Place the pecans in a large glass or ceramic bowl
3. Add the remaining ingredients and combine well with a spoon
4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
5. Spread the pecans onto the parchment paper 
6. Place in the oven and bake for 20-22 minutes, or until starting to brown
7. Remove from the oven and let cool for ~20 minutes
8. Serve and enjoy!

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May 16, 2016

Sweet Potato Nacho Dip and Ditch The Wheat Cookbook Review (Paleo, Dairy Free, Whole 30)




It's that time again. I have another amazing cookbook to review for you today. Today it's all about Ditch The Wheat by Carol Lovett. Carol is a fellow Canadian who blogs over at Ditch The Wheat. If you haven't already checked out her blog you definitely should (just after you finish reading this post). Like myself, Carol switched to a grain free diet years ago to help solve her various health problems. She used to suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), chronic headaches, vertigo, depression, anxiety and being overweight. Switching to a paleo diet cured all of those problems. It's like I always say, food is medicine! So she decided to create a cookbook to help empower those who don't tolerate gluten, and want to adopt a paleo diet, without having to give up the foods they love.

This cookbook is a such a treat to flip through. Carol starts off by telling her story, and how she came to eat a paleo style diet. She then discusses why it's important to eat paleo, and how this diet evolved after many modern health conditions were found to originate when traditional societies moved to a North-American style diet filled with white flours, processed foods, sugars etc. She then describes what foods should, and should not be eaten, and how to choose high quality food products and maintain a paleo lifestyle.


The next section of Ditch the Wheat, which I think many people will appreciate, describes the various, hidden sources of gluten and soy, so that you know what to watch for when you are grocery shopping or eating out. Carol then breaks down some of the common ingredients that are used to cook paleo, including the various flours, fats, sugars and seasonings, as well as the tools you need to help you succeed in a paleo style kitchen.

One of my favourite sections of the book (minus the recipes of course), is "How To Bake With Success." Carol definitely taught me a few things that I could be doing better when I am baking. Tricks like sifting coconut flour and keeping eggs at room temperature to help them expand when the bake. Who knew? I am betting there are a few other tips in this section that will help you in the kitchen as well.

Next she outlines some important tricks like, "How To Cut Up A Whole Chicken" (because it is way cheaper to buy chickens whole than in individual pieces), "How To Cook Veggies And Starches" and "How To Make Paleo Noodles."




Then we get to the good stuff, the food! Carol has broken Ditch The Wheat into nine chapters:

  • Chapter 1: The Basics
  • Chapter 2: Fermented Foods and Drinks
  • Chapter 3: Crackers, Wraps, Breads, Bagels and Muffins
  • Chapter 4: Breakfast Favourites 
  • Chapter 5: Snacks and Starters 
  • Chapter 6: Soups and Salads 
  • Chapter 7: Main Meals
  • Chapter 8: Sides
  • Chapter 9: Desserts
Another great feature of this cookbook is that every recipe has a photograph. I personally hate when recipes don't have pictures in cookbooks. How else do you know what the food is supposed to look like? As well, each recipe is labelled as nut free, dairy free or egg free so that you can easily determine what is safe for you to eat depending on your own dietary restrictions. 

Now, I am lucky enough to get to share the recipe for the Sweet Potato Nacho Dip with you today, but there are so many other recipes in this book that I cannot wait to make. Here are just a few that I can't wait to try:

  • Spicy Citrus Salad Dressing
  • Smoky Pineapple BBQ Sauce
  • Watermelon Kiwi Kombucha
  • Berry Giger Kombucha
  • Coconut Milk Yogurt
  • Vegetable Crackers
  • Everything Bagel Inspired Crackers
  • Morning Glory Muffins
  • Grain Free Tortillas
  • Sandwich Buns
  • Sweet Potato Drop Biscuits
  • The Original DTW Meat Bagel
  • Coconut Flour Pancakes
  • Yuca Hash Browns
  • Apple Butter Chicken Liver Pate 
  • BBQ Kale Chips
  • Artichoke with Bacon Spinach Dip 
  • Salted Mexican Chocolate Clusters 
  • Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
  • Chicken Enchilada Soup
  • BLT Wedge Salad
  • Kale Citrus Salad
  • Warm Dandelion Salad
  • Curry Shrimp Dish
  • Spicy Fish Cakes with Dipping Sauce
  • Ginger Beef Stir Fry
  • Smoky Chipotle Aioli Burgers with Crunchy Mango Slaw
  • Meatloaf with Maple Balsamic Glaze
  • Honey Mustard Garlic Chicken Thighs
  • Smoky Pineapple Pulled Pork
  • Apple Butter BBQ Ribs
  • Mango Proscuitto Grain Free Pizza
  • Crispy Sautéed Kale with Bacon and Onions
  • Chocolate Cake
  • Caramel Chocolate Nut Bars
  • Cinnamon Buns
  • Chocolate Dipped Honeycomb
Okay, my mouth is officially watering! As you can see there are recipes for everyone inside Ditch the Wheat, including those picky kids of yours. In fact, there are 120 recipes inside this cookbook. That's a lot of delicious looking food! 

To learn more about this amazing book, please visit here.

And in case you needed a bit more motivation, here are a couple photos from the book of the Chocolate Chip Cookies and the Salted Mexican Chocolate Clusters. Don't they both look incredible? I can't wait to try these treats! Now keep scrolling to get to the Sweet Potato Nacho Dip recipe.



 
As always I would be thrilled if you followed me on my social media pages on  Instagram, FacebookPinterest and  Twitter. 

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Until next time, happy eating everyone! 



Sweet Potato Nacho Dip Recipe



Yield: About 1 cup   Prep time: 10 minutes   Cook time: 25 minutes

I love cheese, but I don’t digest it well, so traditional nacho cheese dip is not an option for me. This recipe is my alternative to a dairy-based nacho dip. The pureed sweet potato is amazingly creamy and dippable. I assure you, it does not taste like mashed sweet potatoes; it tastes like an addictive nacho-flavored dip that I can’t stop scooping with cassava chips.


Ingredients


1 large sweet potato (¾ to 1 pound), peeled and coarsely chopped
½ cup nutritional yeast (buy here
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon onion powder (I like this brand)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (I use this brand
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
½ teaspoon paprika (this brand is my favourite) 
¼ teaspoon ground cumin (buy here
Pinch of chili powder
Crudités or chips of choice, for serving

Directions

1. Place the chopped sweet potage in a 1 1/2 quart pot and fill with enough water to cover.
2. Cover and boil for 20 minutes, or until the sweet potato is fork-tender. Drain the water from the pot, leaving the potato in the pot. 
3. Add the nutritional yeast, olive oil, onion powder, red pepper flakes, salt, paprika, cumin and chili powder to the pot. Puree with a hand blender, or transfer the ingredients to a food processor and pulse until smooth. 
4. Transfer the dip to a bowl and serve immediately with your favourite veggies or chips. 

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