Tag Archives: food

Maple Banana Pancakes

Everyone likes pancakes. Those who say they don’t like pancake is because they haven’t tadted good pancakes, ergo they haven’t tasted my pancakes.

My pancakes are legendary.

Why?

Because my pancakes are carb free!

SAY WHAT?

Tis true, fellow healthy eaters. It is possible to indulge in a plate filled with banana pancakes without feeling bloated or guilty or too stuffed. I can’t all the credit. While I was in Nicaragua watching a rodeo (as we all do on a regular basis), I began to speak to one of the girls on the trip with me. The rodeo was quite long and boring, so we had a lot to talk about. And what is my favourite subject? Obviously, it’s food. We exchanged recipes and she told me about these pancakes and I was salivating. I quickly hurried back to my room to write it down, and tried making them the week I returned from South America.

Well, lemme tell you…they have become my staple weekend breakfast! They are easier to make than normal regular and they’re filled with protein so they keep you going all morning!

I like eating them with greek yogurt, berries, and maple syrup or simply with peanut butter.

To make one serving, you need:

1 banana

2 eggs

1 tbsp flax meal (because it’s good for you)

1 tsp maple syrup

1 tbsp coconut oil (canola oil works well too)

Mash your banana in a bowl. Beat your eggs in another bowl. Combine the two and add the maple syrup and flax meal.

In a pan, add the oil, let it melt and add your mixture! You can probably make 4 or 5 smaller pancakes. Flip after 2 minutes, or until they seem cooked to your liking.

Set the table with your desired condiments and dig in!

You won’t be disappointed, and if you are, I don’t know what to tell you.

Enjoy!

Dijon Chicken on the Grill

Grilled chicken is one of the easiest things to make, and it’s so wonderfully versatile. You can marinate it or coat it with whatever ingredient you like depending on your mood of the day.

One day, I was in a Dijon mustard mood.

I have no shame in saying that I am a mustard snob. I absolutely hate French’s mustard because once you go Dijon, you never go back.

The taste is strong yet subtle, if that makes any sense at all. It makes the simplest meal taste like it was fit for a king.

Barbecue season is around the corner, so these little guys are a perfect quick dinner for the family! Serve it with salad for a light meal, or with my eggplant fries and salad for a perfect meal.

For 4 people (and some leftovers), you will need:

1 pound of boneless chicken thighs

1/4 cup Dijon mustard (regular and a l’ancienne preferably)

Salt and pepper

Flatten your chicken thighs. 

Coat your chicken thighs with the mustard. You don’t want to drown them in mustard, but you do want to make sure that each piece is nice and covered in Dijon goodness.

Season with salt and pepper and put in a bowl.

Turn your grill on!

Once it is heated and ready, put the thighs on the grill and cook for about 5 minutes of each side (it may be more, but I don’t want you to overcook it! Thighs are more difficult to estimate a clear cooking time). 

Make sure your chicken is not pink when you cut through it and you’ll be fine.  

Once they are cooked, remove them from the grill and serve them immediately.

Enjoy! xx

Peanut Butter Banana Boat

As I may have said before, bananas, chocolate and peanut butter are three of my favorite ingredients EVER.

Combined together, I can’t describe just how good they taste.

For those of you who have to live with an allergy to peanuts, I am deeply sorry. I have no idea how you survive, and I admire you for leading wonderful lives despite the tragedy in your life.

I, on the other hand, could not survive without peanut butter. It’s an addiction, I am not afraid to admit it.

It turns out that peanuts are actually really really really good for you, which makes me really really really happy!

Filled with healthy fats, antioxidants, they’re good for your heart, so long as you don’t finish the jar in one sitting (easier said than done).

The best thing to do is to buy natural peanut butter, because that means that it isn’t filled with useless ingredients that may be doing you more harm than good! The less ingredients on the label, the more your body will thank you in the long run.

This is one of the easiest desserts I have ever made.

When I feel like something sweet and salty and fruity and delicious, I make myself one of these.

For 2 servings, you will need:

1 banana

2 tbsp peanut butter

3 squares dark chocolate

First, cut your banana but not completely! We’re looking for a boat structure to our dessert.

Fill each half with one tablespoon of peanut butter.

Put your chocolate in a little cup and microwave for 30 seconds at a time until it all melts (I like to reduce the power level of my microwave to do this, to make sure my chocolate doesn’t burn).

When it is melted, pour it evenly on each banana boat.

Put in the freezer for an hour, or until it has the consistency you want.

Take out of the freezer and enjoy!

Cookie Dough Bites

I am a big fan of cookie dough, raw or cooked.

It tastes like my childhood, which is ironic because I rarely ate cookie dough as a child. Nonetheless, every time I bite into some delicious cookie dough, I think of myself as a 5 year old brunette in a pink dress and pigtails.

Call me crazy, I already do.

This little cookie dough balls, I admit, do not taste the same as regular old fashioned the way your mom makes it cookie dough, but it’s still really tasty! You can make these with any nut butter of your choice. I went for cashew butter because I hadn’t used it in a while, but I feel as though it must be delightful with peanut butter.

The recipe is ridiculously easy (if you have a food processor) and there are hundreds of variations! You could different flavoured chips, raisins, m&ms, cranberries, or even candy if you want to treat yourself to an old favourite!

Eat one or two with a glass of milk. It will make your day!

Thanks to With Peanut Butter On Top for the inspiration!

To make 20 small bites or 10 big bites, you will need:

1 cup nut butter

Cinnamon

2 tbsp maple syrup

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup chocolate chips

Maple flakes

Combine all your ingredients in a food processor, except the chocolate chips, and turn that machine on! 

Put into a bowl and add about 3 tbsp of your chocolate chips. 

Roll the dough into 20 (or10) bites and place on a plate.

Sprinkle the maple flakes on the top.  

Melt the rest of the chocolate chips in a cup. 

Drizzle over bites.

Leave in the freezer for at least an hour if you want them to be extra cold! 

If not, enjoy them on the spot!

 

 

 

The Best Cheesecake

Biting into a piece of delicious cheesecake is the closest thing to heaven you will ever experience in your life.

My friend demanded I post this recipe as soon as possible. She even suggested I create a category called “mental health” in which this recipe would go. I quite like that idea because, whether you admit it or not, you feel mentally wonderful when you eat your favourite food! I also think that you will go crazy if you only eat healthy food the rest of your life!

Not all of my recipes on the blog will be healthy because I want the blog to represent my lifestyle. I eat healthy most of the time, but I allow myself to indulge in the treats and sweets I love when I have a craving for them. The trick is to eat everything in moderation.

But let me tell you, it’s pretty difficult to eat this cheesecake in moderation….

This is one of my staple desserts. I found the recipe in a children’s cookbook written by Williams-Sonoma  and I can’t recommend it enough! It’s pretty simple (although you have to make it the night before) and it knocks the socks off every person I know! Yes! Even those who hate cheesecake admit that it’s tasty. Friends have begged me to make it, and a few have shed tears of joy when they tasted it for the first time (they didn’t actually cry, but I know they wanted to).

For one cheesecake, you will need:

Crust

1/2 cup butter

2 cups Graham cracker crumbs

3 tbsp sugar

9 inch springform pan

Filling

4 rectangle packages (8 ounce each) of cream cheese, at room temperature

2 tbsp flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup sour cream

1 tbsp vanilla extract

3 eggs

For the crust:

Melt the butter in the microwave for about 30 seconds, or until it has melted completely (duh).

Put in a large bowl and add your graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Mix well and scrape them into your pan.

Take some saran wrap and place on top of the crumbs. This will make the spreading of the crumbs much easier. Spread them all over the bottom of the pan and 2 inches up the sides of the pan.

Refrigerate the crust.

For the filling:

Preheat oven to 300 F.

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer (or a kitchen aid mix master) to beat the cream cheese, flour, and salt. Do this until it looks fluffy.

Add sugar, sour cream, and vanilla. Beat until smooth, once again.

Add the eggs one a time, beating all the time.

Make sure to scrape down the bowl once in a while because it is inevitable that your ingredients will want to crawl out of the bowl. Don’t let them!

Take the crust out of the fridge and pour the filling in the pan.

Bake for 65 to 70 minutes.

When it looks ready, nudge the pan: if it jiggles in the middle, you’re good.

Now if your cheesecake cracked at the top, that’s pretty normal. I have yet to make a perfect looking cheesecake.

Take the cake out of the oven and let it cool completely.

Refrigerate overnight.

When it is time to serve the cheesecake, loosen the clasp of your springform pan and remove it.

Here’s a tip: if your cake is very cold, your pieces will not be pretty when you cut them. You may want to run your knife under some hot water each time you cut the cake.

Place the cake on a plate.

Decorate with strawberries or fruit coulis.

Taste.

Permission to die and go to heaven. You’re welcome.

 

Gluten Free Pouding Chomeur

Tis the season to eat maple!

March is Maple time! I love maple, I really do. I also love desserts. I therefore ADORE maple desserts!

For all you non Canadians out there, let me explain to you what the maple season entails in the province of Quebec.

Traditionally, the places in the country that have many maple trees and produce lots of maple syrup have a shack. That shack is called a sugar shack, or “cabane à sucre” in French. There, people from all around indulge in traditional Quebec food.

Eggs, ham, beans, pea soup, potatoes and bread, all of it smothered in maple syrup. The desserts include sugar pie, maple candies, and my personal favourite: pouding chomeur or “lazy man’s pudding” as anglophones have translated it to.

It is a vanilla cake that has been baked with maple syrup in it. Served with ice cream, it is heaven in a bowl.

The vanilla cake recipe was found on Allrecipes, a great website.

For all you gluten intolerants out there, now you can finally enjoy it!

For 12 people, you will need:

3/4 cup rice flour

1/3 cup tapioca

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp flax meal

2 eggs

3/4 cup cane sugar

1/3 cup 0% plain Greek yogurt

1/2 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup maple syrup

Preheat oven at 350 F.

Grease an 8 inch cake pan with butter.

Mix rice flour, tapioca, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and flax meal in a bowl.

Mix eggs, sugar and yogurt until fluffy.

Add flour mix, milk, vanilla and mix well.

Spread batter in pans.

Drizzle the cake with maple syrup.

Bake for 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean and the cake springs back.

Let it cool.

Serve it with one scoop of vanilla icre cream.

OR

If you want to be truly truly healthy, take a individual container or vanilla greek yogurt. Stick a toothpick in it and put it in the freezer for at least 3 hours.

Now, try to take the yogurt out of the container (tis no easy task) and serve it with your pouding chomeur.

Try not to devour it in seconds, I dare you. Easier said than done.

Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

No fancy title for these little guys. Sometimes, simplicity is better.

That’s how I feel about chocolate chip cookies. No matter how much you go out to restaurants or no matter how much you love to cook over the top delicious meals for your friends and family, you won’t say no to a warm chocolate chip cookie right out of the oven. With a glass of cold milk, your hand is just waiting to dunk that cookie.

It’s human nature…almost.

These cookies are completely good for you! Not too much sugar, just enough butter (because yes, your body does not some fat) and lots of flavour! You can substitute the flour for gluten free flour if you’re going gluten free.

To make 24 beautiful cookies, here is what you need :

1/2 cup cornstarch

1/2 cup flour

1/4 cup rice flour

2 tbsp flax meal

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

salt

1 egg

2/3 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup butter

1 tsp vanilla extract (or maple syrup)

1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350 F.

Butter a cookie sheet.

Mix the cornstarch, flours, flax meal, baking soda and salt in a bowl.

Whisk together your egg, vanilla and sugar.

Stir in into the flour mixture.

Stir in the chocolate chips.

Scoop about one tablespoon of your dough into a ball. Do that 24 times.

Bake your cookies in the centre of the oven until the edges are golden, about 15 minutes. The cooking time may vary depending on the oven).

Let cool or enjoy on the spot.

Cinnamon Raisin Quinoa Concoction

Quinoa? For brunch? I know, it’s not exactly your first thought when you think of you what will make for breakfast with your friends. You think of pancakes, quiche, eggs, fruit, toast but, for some reason, quinoa never comes to mind, yet it’s such a versatile ingredient! The fact that it has a plain taste makes it really easy to cook something original with it.

I personally adore going out for brunch, but I always find it frustrating when people make little to no effort to serve something different. Granted, if someone came to me with frog’s legs toast served with cinnamon ketchup hollandaise sauce and blood pudding flavored scrambled eggs, I would be a little skeptical to try it. That being, said, jumping out of your comfort zone is not that bad once in a while.

If you love that cinnamon raisin smell in the morning, this recipe is right up your alley. En plus, it’s healthy! Quinoa is a wonderful ingredient; high in protein, gluten-free, filled with riboflavin (helps reduce migraines) and low in calories, who could ask for anything more!

I was inspired by a few recipes I found on Yummly. If you don’t know this website, you really should. You enter an ingredient or a food and it gives you tons of different recipes to choose from! It’s like a culinary Pinterest, but it’s better!

The aromas in the kitchen are bewitching. You’ll want to make this every weekend, trust me.

Personally, I would serve this dish as a side dish to eggs because it brings a sweet taste to a savoury meal…but that’s just my humble opinion.

For a large portion to bring to brunch, you will need:

1 cup dry quinoa

1 ½  cups water

½ cup unsweetened applesauce

2 tsp vanilla extract

¼ cup raisins

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ cup pecans

1 red apple, chopped

Combine the water, quinoa, cinnamon and vanilla in a saucepan and let it boil. Reduce your heat to simmer and let it cook for 15 minutes, or until quinoa seems fluffy.

            Put the cooked quinoa in a bowl and stir in the applesauce, pecans, raisins, and apple. Sprinkle the top with some cinnamon and let sit for 30 minutes.  Enjoy! Your guests will either love it for its originality and taste, or hate the idea, but in the end, even they will love it too.

Curry in a Hurry

Everybody enjoys a good Thai curry once in a while; even the ones who haven’t tasted it love it, they just don’t know it yet. It’s as comforting as a bowl of soup and it has that lovely little Asian kick to it. It is simply delicious; voilà tout.

You’re probably thinking that it must be really hard to make and that if you ever tried to cook a curry, it would taste like liquid soap. Wrong again my friend! This curry recipe is really quite simple, even though the ingredient list is a little long. None of these ingredients are the kind you can only find in Asian grocery stores; I bought mine at a very Western grocery store. Make sure to make enough to have leftovers! It makes a delightful packed lunch for the next day.

There’s a big debate on whether or not coconut milk is good for you or not. The truth is that it has TONS of saturated fat , which is not for your health. That being said, millions of people in the world swear by it, so there definitely are benefits to using it. If you can find light coconut milk, it will make this dish healthier. If not, just don’t make it everyday. That being said, I still consider it as being healthy, so don’t worry too much about it.

Quick tip: if you’re ever wondering what the health benefits of certain foods are, check out Livestrong. It’s a wonderful website that gives you tons of information of various nutrients and exercises! The best part is that there is a list of references at the end of each article, so you know that they’re not making this stuff up!

Thanks to the amazing Nigella Lawson and her cookbook, Nigella Express. She has tons of quick recipes for busy busy bees. It’s an excellent investment!

Ingredients

1 tbsp. vegetable oil

1 tsp. toasted sesame oil (you need this if you want it to taste amazing)

1 onion, chopped

1 ½ tbsp. red Thai curry paste

½ 400 ml can of coconut milk

250 ml chicken broth

2 tsp. fish sauce

2 sweet potatoes, chopped in cubes

1 cup butternut squash chopped in cubes

1 package of frozen uncooked shrimp

1 tsp. lime juice

¾ cup diced mango

Before you can make the sauce, you must let your shrimp unthaw a little if you bought the kind with shells. Here’s how: place your shrimp in a large bowl and fill the bowl with cold water. Let them sit there for 15 to 30 minutes. Afterwards, get ready to have cold hands. Take each shrimp out of the bowl and remove the shell, and then put the shrimp back in the bowl. Yes, it will hurt.

            Heat your oils in a deep frying pan, and fry the onion for a minute. Add curry paste. Next, mix in the coconut milk, chicken stock, and fish sauce. Bring to a boil (wait until you see lots of bubbles); add butternut squash and sweet potato and simmer over the heat for 15 minutes. Make sure the pan is partially covered.

            Drain your freezing cold shrimp, pat them dry and add them in the pan. Now let the sauce come back to a boil. When that time comes, add the lime juice and mango; cook for one minute or until the shrimp are cooked. It is very important not to overcook shrimp because if you do, they will taste like rubber, and your friends will stop coming over. You have been warned.

You have now mastered the art of Thai curry preparation. Place your feast in a bowl, serve with rice or anything that comes to mind, and enjoy!

Beautiful Baked Eggplant

A few years ago, you couldn’t put me in the same room as an eggplant. I hated it. I thought it was the weirdest, most random vegetable in the world. Now, I can’t get enough of it. It is one of my favourite vegetables now, and that’s all thanks to a dear friend of mine who got me hooked. She’s my veggie junkie. I can’t thank her enough for introducing me to the wonderful and diverse world of veggies.

Now, let’s get serious.

They say that we can have as many vegetables in a day as we want because they’re just so darn good for you! We’re not talking about starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, corn or peas, we’re talking about all of those other ones: beets, carrots, turnips, celery, zucchini, cucumber, and of course, EGGPLANT.

This is one of my most treasured dishes, and I was inspired, both aesthetically and ingrediently (just made a word) by the fabulous British chef, Ottolenghi. He is simply amazing. He wrote an entire cookbook on how to cook vegetables. It’s called Plenty, and I consider it as my healthy Bible.

This recipe is wonderful as a side dish to chicken or lamb. I’m not telling you how to serve it; I am merely giving you suggestions.

For 4 servings, here is what you will need:

1 large eggplant

3 tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper

Thyme leaves (any spice is good, so don’t cry if you don’t any thyme at home)

1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

For the sauce:

1 cup Plain 0% Greek Yogurt

1 crushed garlic clove

Preheat your oven to 400 F.

Cut your eggplant in half. Take a knife and cut diamond shapes in your eggplant, without cutting all the way through. You must to do this so that the olive oil will absorb itself better in the eggplant.

Place them on a cookie sheet and brush your olive oil on the eggplant halves. Make sure you brush it well! Think of it as a painting ; if you only press the brush a little on the canvas, we won’t see what you’re painting!

Add salt and pepper and bake for 35 minutes. By this time, your eggplant should be nice and browned.

Your kitchen will smell like heaven at this point. Take a moment to savour the smell!

Now I will tell you how to take the pomegranate seeds out without struggling for hours on end! I have no merit in unleashing this secret, it’s all Ottolenghi’s genius.

Take half of the pomegranate and hold it in your palm over a bowl. The cut side should be against your palm. Now, take a wooden spoon and gently but thoroughly massage the pomegranate skin. Do this for a few minutes and eventually, you will see the seeds coming out of your hand naturally! It’s amazing!

Now for your sauce, mix the yogurt with the garlic.

Serve your eggplant as is shown in my picture.

Fair warning: your guests might drool at the sight of this marvellous side dish.