Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Kick Your Sandwich Into High Gear

I looooove a good duck pate. I just do. I know, it's a liver spread, but wow is it ever good! I blame my Grade 7-9 French teacher for this... 
But keeping pate and making pate are hurdles that I don't think that I'm really qualified to jump over just yet, so I have to make do with what my imagination and skills provide.
So, I present my take on the pate spread to light a fire under your boring sandwich's butt!

(FYI: This does not include any actual liver; but it will spread and look like a pate)
Also, you'll need a crockpot for this one.

Turkey & Avocado "Pate" with Sauteed Red Peppers and Caramelized Onions

500 mg lean, fat-free ground turkey
lightly toasted pieces of gluten & dairy-free bread
1/2 bottle of light, sodium and fat-free gluten/dairy free Italian salad dressing
1 tbsp pepper

In crockpot, combine turkey, Italian dressing and pepper thoroughly. Turn crockpot to low and leave for 7 - 8 hours (do this first thing in the morning). When time is up, turn crockpot heat to high and leave for 1 more hour.
Turkey should be a deep brown colour and finely minced.

While waiting for turkey, make avocado mixture and veggies:

2 avocados, pitted
2 tbsp lite mayo
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp pepper

1/2 or large onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 tbsp Becel vegan margarine

Mash avocados in medium-sized bowl along with mayo, garlic powder, lemon juice, and pepper (I like to leave chunks of avocado). Cover and refrigerate.
Melt margarine in medium-sized frying pan. Add onion and pepper, stirring frequently until onion is caramelized.

Once timer rings for turkey, add to avocado mixture and combine thoroughly. Avocado-turkey mixture should take on the consistency of a pate. Spread across toasted piece of bread.

Top with caramelized onion and red pepper and sandwich.


Daily Dose of Buddha

If for just the time of a finger-snap a monk produces a thought of loving-kindness, develops it, gives attention to it, such a one is rightly called a monk. Not in vain does he meditate. He acts in accordance with the master's teaching, he follows his advice. How much more so if he cultivates it.

- The Buddha (Shakyamuni)


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Get the Good Facts on Good Fats

Avocados are PACKED with good fats and have been branded a "superfood". That's right, move over quinoa! Check out Best Health Mag's post about health benefits of avocados here. The thing I find with avocados, though, is that they rarely take centre stage in a dish (except for guacamole), and they rarely get any credit for lending that lasting, buttery taste we all so crave.
So, I created this simple, avocado-featured salad to quench your good fats craving and satiate your stomach.

Ahhh-vocado Chicken Salad
2 avocados, without skin and pit
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast - cooked and pulled apart
1/2 cucumber, diced
3/4 leek, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
2 small red bell peppers, diced
1/2 large carrot, julienned
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 small apples, diced
2 tbsp. lite mayo
1 tsp. lime juice
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
sprinkle of curry powder
1/2 tbsp. black pepper, crushed
dash of paprika
dash of salt

In large bowl, combine all vegetables (except avocados) and chicken breast.
In small bowl, mash avocados until chunky-smooth. Add mayo, lime juice and spices and stir thoroughly. Combine avocado mixture with veggies and chicken thoroughly. Serve with my chicken tenders or tofu sticks.

Lovely, Lovely Lentils

This is an awesome, vegetarian recipe! Lentils are very high in protein and pack a nutritious, low calorie punch to spice up your dinner routine! Go meatless at least 4-5 days a week if possible.
(When I say 'gutted', you say 'fight'! No, but seriously... when I say 'gutted', I mean cored - cut the top off of the pepper and shake all those little seeds out from your lovely, gutted pepper)

Note: this recipe has been updated a bit since I first posted it almost two years ago :)

Lovely Lentil-Stuffed Peppers
2 bell peppers, gutted
1/2 cup red lentils
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tbsp. lite mayo
1/4 cup Kinnikinnick gf/df bread crumbs
1/2 cup gf/df, low sodium vegetable broth
(note: for non-veg, use beef or chicken broth)
1/4 cup medium salsa
2 tbsp. crushed pecans
2 stalks green onions, chopped
1 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tbsp onion powder
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. coriander
1/4 tsp. yellow curry powder
1/8 tsp. white pepper
1/8 tsp. basil
2 large bay leaves for garnish

In small stove-top pot, bring broth to boil. Add lentils and black beans and stir often. Once mixture is thick and soft, use masher to make it smooth, and then add the remaining ingredients. Stir after each addition.
Cover lentil mixture and let stand for about 5 minutes.
Pipe or spoon lentil mixture into each bell pepper (if lentil mixture is too runny, add more breadcrumbs or pecans).
Serve with salad or home fries (or grilled veggies - OM NOM NOM!)

Also (amazing idea) - you can use the extra lentil and bean filling as a kind of burrito filling for tomorrow - YUM!


Let's Talk About... Change

"Everything changes, nothing remains without change." - The Buddha

I feel like the word "change" is just an overall loaded word. I also feel like it's connotations are highly feared when they should be celebrated. Should we replace "change" with "metamorphosis"? "Growth"? "Blossoming"? These all have positive connotations - when we think of metamorphosis we usually think of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, or a flower "blossoming" from a plain, green bud into a thing of beauty.
So.... why can't we be that beautiful butterfly or that flower? Let's go back to kindergarten for a sec and be that beautiful butterfly!
 Maybe "changing" the world wouldn't seem like such a colossal task if we switched our train of thought to "assisting in world growth" or, to make it sound a bit more creative and less stick-up-my-butt, "telling the world to grow up!"
 We all have ideas about how this will happen, and that is why I love the internet. It is a world-wide forum on how we live our lives, how we achieve (and do not achieve) peace in our own lives, and our ideas about everything. Yup, every single little thing - haven't you ever perused the YouTube comments section?
Believe it or not, this is helping you to grow/change. You are taking a stance in what you believe in, whether or not you agree with something, and maybe even educating you on a topic that you wouldn't naturally stumble upon. Like.... the gluten and dairy free diet and controversies about it, perhaps?
 Growth/change can be the hardest thing. I am slowly growing up past my fears of failure, my fears of doing something wrong, my fears of letting things go, amongst others... not to mention to massive growth that it took to identify my allergies, discover cooking with them, and creating this blog!
But I am growing... and it is exciting! The new opportunities that have opened up to me are terrifying, fascinating, exciting, and will continue this never-ending growth spurt!
I am proud of myself.
Say it to yourself now. I AM PROUD OF MYSELF!
- list your accomplishments, big or small (if you can't think of any, you're not trying hard enough)
Now, what needs to change? What do you need to grow past? Are you holding onto something that is preventing this growth?
Chances are, you probably answered yes to at least one of those questions. If not, you're not thinking hard enough - you can always improve!
Think of the quote from Buddha above; where would we be if we hadn't changed/grew?
When I think of who I was, especially in high school, I see much growth/change. I see my Self hurdling over obstacles to GET WHAT I WANT TO BE HAPPY.
What do you want? Write it down, blow it up, frame it. WHAT DO YOU WANT??? Will you be happy and true to your Self?
How are you going to get it? I bet that it will involve change/growth - I bet that it will take a bit of life revision to say "I need to change this" or... "I need to grow up".
Our mantras:
"I am proud of myself"
"I am ready to grow"
"I can be that beautiful butterfly"
"I am going to be true to my Self"
"I am going to be happy"


Thursday, November 7, 2013

It's So Delicious!

So Delicious Dairy Free Nog, Pumpkin Spice, and Mint ChocolateStop the presses!
You can be dairy free this Christmas without cheating and taking a sip of that lactose, dairy-packed egg nog at the holiday party and totally regretting it later.... we've all been there - don't deny it!

So, take a taste of So Delicious Coconut Milk in three holiday flavours this holiday season to stick with the Dairy Free Diet!

Alisa at Go Dairy Free has written an awesome review about it here:

Ch-ch-ch-check it out!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Easy, Delicious Dessert!

I love a good dessert... something that love goes into, something homemade, something sweet! When I was a teenager living at home, I took great pride in cooking for my parents. So, one night I made a fabulous dinner and then felt the need to top it off with a dessert. They loved it and it has been sitting at the back of my mind for a looong time - I think I've only made it once since then! Now, this isn't a "healthy" recipe per se... so it is NOT for those who are doing the whole clean eating thing as it does use sugar. But, it is a delectable delight; enjoy!

Sugared Vanilla Banana Dessert
2+ bananas, peeled (depends on how many you are making for)
2 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tbsp white, granulated sugar
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of cloves (ground)

sorbet/ ice-cream (optional)

In small (large enough to hold an entire banana) pan, heat vanilla on low. Once vanilla begins to bubble, stir vanilla to ensure that it does not stick to the pan. Turn heat to simmer. 
Place bananas in pan and sprinkle sugars, cinnamon, and cloves on top. After 1-2 minutes, turn over and sprinkle sugars, cinnamon, and cloves on the other side. Once both sides of bananas slightly caramelized, cut banana in two and serve over sorbet (vanilla) or ice cream (dairy free or not),