Friday, 12 October 2012

Pumpkin and Vanilla Layered "Cheesecake"

This recipe was created by me adapting the taste and texture as it was made. 
It was created to fill a 9" springform pan. If you have an 8", the filling should be fine but reduce the crust by 1/4.
* This makes quite a thin 9" pie. Personally, I would only do an 8" but I only have a 9" pan.

1 1/2 cups whole pecans
6-8 medjool dates
1/2 tsp salt

4 medjool dates
2 cups cashews, soaked 4+ hours and drained
1/3 cup agave 
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 + 1/2 tsp cup coconut oil (softened)
1 15oz can of pumpkin (there will be some leftover.)
6-8 stevia packets
2 tsp + 1 tsp vanilla 
1/2 heaping tsp powdered cinnamon
1/2 scant tsp nutmeg
1/2 scant tsp cloves (I did not have and did not use, but is used in most pumpkin recipes.)

2 tbsp roughly chopped pecans
1 tbsp + 2 tsp agave nectar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp (approx) powdered cinnamon

Begin making the crust:
1. Add half the pecans and 5 dates to a food processor and process until dates are mixed. Add remainder of pecans and add dates one at a time as needed. Press into the bottom of a springform pan. If you have a dehydrator, stick the pan into the dehydrator to help firm it up.

Begin making the filling:
2. Add cashews, 2 tsp vanilla, dates, coconut oil, lemon juice, 4 packets stevia, and salt to clean food processor and blend until well incorporated. Mixture should be thick and creamy. With processor on, add agave slowly. Mixture should be still thick and taste sweet.
3. Remove 3/4 cup of the mixture and reserve in a bowl.
4. Add 1 cup pumpkin, spices and 1 packet of stevia to processor and blend until incorporated. Taste. It may need more sweetener, add stevia if mixture appears a bit runny and if still very thick add agave, tsp at a time.
4. In a small bowl, mix 1/4 cup of pumpkin, 1/2 tsp of coconut oil and 1 packet of stevia until well mixed. Remove crust from dehydrator and smear in a really light layer over the crust. This will give the pie a stronger pumpkin taste without ruining the form. Place in freezer.

Begin making the topping:
5. Add chopped pecans, 2 tsp of agave and 1/2 tsp of salt together in a bowl. Mix well. If you have a dehydrator, spread on a sheet and dehydrate while you finish the rest. If you aren't using a dehydrator, this step can be done later.

Finish making the filling:
6. Take the crust out of the freezer once the light pumpkin spread has stiffened up considerably. Add the pumpkin cashew mixture to the pan and spread evenly with a spatula. Place back in freezer.
7. Clean your food processor and add the remaining cashew base. 
8. With processor running, add 1 packet of stevia and 1 tsp vanilla. Taste. It should sweet with a hint of vanilla.
9. When pumpkin layer has set approximately 30 minutes, take out of freezer and add the vanilla layer. Place back in freezer for another 30 minutes, approximately.

Make the topping:
10. Once vanilla layer has set, remove from freezer and sprinkle the top generously with powdered cinnamon.
11. In a small bowl, mix together 1 tbsp agave and 1-2 tbsp pumpkin, to taste. It should taste quite sweet, but still have a strong pumpkin taste. Place in a small bag with a tiny hole cut in corner or an icing bag with a thin tip.
12. Drizzle pumpkin sauce over the top of the pie. You may not use up all the topping, depending on how much pumpkin you used for your taste. Do not put too much sauce on the top.
13. If you have not yet made the sweet and salty pecan topping, do it now. If you have, remove from dehydrator and sprinkle over the top of the pie.
14. Keep in fridge or freezer until ready to eat!

Monday, 7 May 2012

Italian Tomato and Spinach Pasta

The best part about this recipe is that it is super quick and super easy to make. It uses minimal ingredients for a lovely, simple, whole foods kind of taste.

Back when I was still a salmon eating vegetarian, I would make this dish with salmon. Then, when my partner was away one night, I decided to try it sans salmon. It was still EXCELLENT! This was always our go-to dish because it was something we both enjoyed, but as I slowly began to withdraw from all animal products, I was happy to be able to still make my favourite pasta dish.

This dish uses tofutti tofu noodles for extra protein and to be more of main dish. I am sure you could make it with regular spaghetti or linguini. I REALLY love the spaghetti tofutti noodles though! They have a bit of a strange texture at first, but since I am gluten-free and don't remember "normal" noodle texture, I really do not notice it!
Sometimes I add mushrooms and sometimes I do not. My original recipe did not include mushrooms, so I will not include them here. But I do think some sliced crimini mushrooms make an excellent addition.

Italian Tomato and Spinach Pasta
serves two.

1 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup (approx) diced onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 package tofutti spaghetti noodles
1/2-3/4 cup diced tomatoes (use roma tomatoes or halved cherry/grape tomatoes)
1 cup (approx) spinach
1 tbsp dried italian seasoning
1 tbsp dried dill
salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a large skillet or wok, add olive oil and onions and sautee on medium-low until onion starts to become translucent. One this happens, throw in the minced garlic. I really like garlic so sometimes I add two garlic gloves.
2. As the onions cook, fill up a small pot with hot water and start to boil. Drain the tofutti noodles and rinse. Pour into the pot of water and try to separate the noodles as best you can. Once the water begins to boil, turn off the burner. The noodles are already cooked, I do it this way to heat them back up again.
3. Add the tomatoes to the mix and stir for a few minutes. Add the spinach and stir. Drain the noodles and add to the mix along with the herbs, stirring every so often until the pasta is hot and mixed well. Add extra herbs to taste.
4. Separate dish onto two plates and serve with some crusty gluten-free bread or on it's own!

Monday, 30 April 2012

Raw Veggie Crackers with Garlic and Italian Herbs

I have been really wanting to make a raw bread or raw cracker lately. I spend so much time searching for recipes, that I run out of time to actually make the recipe!

Then, I got inspired.

This recipe is great because it can be moulded and change to suit the tastes of the person making it. My favourite type of recipe!
I also loved how quick and easy this recipe came together. I sort of just threw what I wanted into the processor and mixed until I got my desired consistency!

Ready Time:
Approximately 1-2 days, depending on whether your soak and dehydrate your almonds first.

Actual Prep Time:
About 10 minutes!

1 garlic glove
1/2 cup raw almonds (soaked overnight and dehydrated first- optional.)
1/4 cup golden flax seeds (ground in a coffee grinder)
1 heaping tbsp hemp hearts
1 heaping tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp sesame seeds
3/4-1 cup grated carrot or carrot pulp
1/2-3/4 cup grated zucchini
1 heaping tbsp italian herbs
1 tbsp onion powder
salt and pepper, to taste (optional)
1-3 tbsp clean water (only if needed)

1. With food processor running, drop in the garlic clove. It will mince and splatter against the walls.
2. Add the almonds. Process until you get a fine crumbly powder.
3. Add the ground flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp hearts and sesame seeds. Pulse to incorporate.
4. Add the italian herbs and onion powder. Add more italian herbs if you really like the taste, and if you find that your garlic is very strong. Add salt and pepper, if using.
5. Add grated veggies. I am sure red pepper, celery and even spinach could be used also!
6. Process until thoroughly mixed. You may have to stop a few times and scrape down the sides of the processor. If you think the mixture is too thick, try adding water to thin it out a little bit. (Only use about 1 tbsp at a time! I didn't need to use any- my carrots and zucchini were moist enough themselves.)
7. Dump the mixture onto a non-stick baking mat, dehydrator sheet, or parchment paper. Spread over with the back of a spoon, not quite 1/2 inch thick. Clean up the edges and score with a butter knife.
* I was able to fill one entire 11" sheet with this- which made about 20 crackers. Double or triple the recipe as desired.
8. Dehydrate at 145 degrees for one hour, then dehydrate at 115 for 4-6 more hours, depending on how crispy you want it. Flip about halfway through. Store in a sealed bag in the fridge.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Vegan, GF, Sugar-free Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are delicious! I haven't had any luck making gluten-free cookies and haven't really tried. The few times I made them, they were too liquid-y and sticky and when I put them in the oven, they just spread into each other over the entire cookie sheet.
Today I was craving chocolate chip cookies like crazy, so I went through my bookmarks and I found this recipe and decided to try it out.

I made a few changes to suit what I had in the house and what suited my needs. I try to eat sugar-free whenever possible, so I skipped the sugar and used agave instead of maple sugar, adding an extra half-tablespoon. I also don't have any grapeseed oil or safflower oil in the house so I decided to use coconut oil instead. Worked like a charm! I also ran out of tapioca starch the other day, so I subbed that for arrowroot powder and used the entire 1/4 cup of potato starch. I used 1/2 cup of sorghum and omitted the brown rice flour. If I wasn't in such a hurry to eat cookies, I would have ground up some almonds in my mini grinder to use almond flour. I basically remade the recipe, so here is my version:

1/4 cup arrowroot powder
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup potato starch
1/4 tsp xanthum gum
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup + 1 tsp agave
1 1/12 tsp vanilla extract
Chocolate chunks

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Mix dry ingredients, stir.
3. Add wet ingredients one by one and stir to combine. Batter will be thick and very yummy looking.
4. Fold in chocolate chips and allow dough to sit for at least 10 minutes or longer to thicken up.
5. Drop by tablespoon full onto a greased cookie pan and bake for 10 minutes.
6. Remove cookies from oven and allow to sit for a few minutes. They will continue to cook once out of the oven, so don't worry if they look a bit underdone.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Nettle Kale Fruit Smoothie

I love smoothies!
I don't care if it has mangoes, bananas, blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, blackberries, kale, spinach, ginger, peach, pear, apples, nettles, romaine lettuce or whatever it has. (As long as there is no pineapple!) I like to put kale in all my smoothies- whenever I have it on hand. It's just so yummy and healthy!
I love smoothies.

Most of the time when I make a smoothie, I just throw whatever I feel like into a magic bullet cup, twist on blender attachment and whizz away for a moment. And drink. I love my magic bullet almost as much as I love smoothies.

It's stinging nettle season! These little green leaves are so fresh, spring-like and tasty. Healthy, too!

Benefits of stinging nettles:
1. Relieves pain associated with joints or arthritis. This is especially helpful for me since I have a painful wrist and hand!
2. Treat respiratory issues, such as asthma. Helpful in the spring as a remedy against hay fever and other spring-related allergies.
3. Protect against cancer.
4. Help slow any bleeding. (high vitamin K content.)
5. When dried, there is little no no vitamin K, making it useful as a blood thinner! This amazing little herb can be used as both a blood thickener and a blood thinner! Amazing! Helpful for those with high blood pressure.
6. Helps treat both alzheimers and ADHD.

Side Affects:
These little buggers can STING! Use gloves when handling and especially if you go out picking them yourself!

Follow me on instagram @missymichelleee

Nettle Kale Fruit Smoothie
makes one magic bullet smoothie cup, one serving

1 handful nettles, stems removed (keep stems if you want, I remove since the magic bullet isn't THAT magical)
1 leaf of kale
7-8 cubes of frozen mango (about 1/2 cup)
1 half banana
2-3 strawberries (can omit, I like nutrient content of berries, so I always add a berry into my smoothies)
approx 3/4 cup coconut water (from the bottom of a full fat coconut can, leftovers from a full coconut or store-bought. Use water if you don't have.)
Raw Power or other raw protein blend, ground chia or hemp seeds (optional)

Add all ingredients. Blend! Add a splash of water if it's too thick.


Thursday, 12 April 2012

Chickpea Edamame Burgers

I first tried a chickpea edamame burger at Mad Chef Cafe, here in Courtenay. Ever since, I have been trying to recreate their recipe. It's just so good! While my version is definitely different then theirs, I don't mind it. This one is thicker and and Mad Chef's is thinner and more fragile. I think the amount of flour and the arrowroot powder helps bind and keep this a hefty burger. I have layered the mixture for extra texture and it makes a big difference. Excellent with a garden salad and beet mango dressing!
I hope you enjoy this!!

2 cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
16 oz edamame (measurement with shells on. De-shell before using. About 1.3-1.5 cups)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp tahini (sesame seed paste)
salt and pepper, to taste
1 clove of garlic
2 tbsp onion powder
1/4 cup minus 1 tbsp flour (garbanzo bean flour or rice flour)
1 tbsp arrowroot powder (for binding- use regular flour if you don't have)
1 tbsp flax + 3 tbsp warm water

1. Grind flax and add to a bowl with water, stir and allow to sit until it forms a flax "egg."
2. With food processor running, drop in garlic clove. It should mince.
3. Add 1/2 cup of chickpeas and 1/4 of the edamame to the food processor. Mix until crumbly and still a wee bit chunky.
4. Transfer mixture to bowl.
5. In food processor, add remaining chickpeas (1.5 cups) 1/2 of the edamame and the flour mixture. Mix until combined. Add flax egg, lemon juice, tahini and 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add onion powder, salt and pepper, to taste. (I like it with a lot of pepper!) Pulse to incorporate.
6. Transfer mixture to bowl with previous mixture. Stir well to incorporate. Doing it this way allows different textures. If the mixture is too stiff, add the remaining 1 tbsp of oil.
7. Stir in remaining edamame, whole. The mixture will have different sized chunks and a good texture by layering it this way.
8. Add a small amount of olive oil to frying pan and heat on medium-high. With wet hands, shape mixture into thin patties and place on frying pan. Cook for about 7 minutes and flip. With the back of the spatula, squish the patties down. (Unless they are already thin enough.) Cook for another 7 minutes, or until done.
9. Pair with salad or eat on a bun and enjoy this unique flavour combination!


These recipes seem to be everywhere- I wish I had of discovered it before!
Hungry? Want a snack? Want something quick and convenient, but short on time? Lazy? Don't want to eat an entire batch of muffins to yourself? Have some almond butter or jam and nothing to spread it upon?
Any of these reasons are reason enough to try a mugcake!

I have two separate versions. A mugcake with flour, like a real muffin. And a protein mugcake, which is something totally strange but it works!

Regular Mugcake

1 tbsp flax + 3 tbsp warm water
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tbsp. agave
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup flour of your choice (usually a mix works best- tapioca starch and/or potato starch mixed with almond, sorghum or brown rice flour)
2 tsp hemp seeds (opt)
berries, chocolate chips, etc.

1. Grind flax and put in mug, stir in the water and allow to sit for approximately 5 minutes until egg-like. Choose a large enough mug- mixture will double in size once cooked.
2. Add vanilla and agave, stir.
3. Add baking powder and salt, stir.
4. Add hemp seeds, if using.
5. Add flour and mix well. Keep stirring until incorporated. Should be a sticky wet batter.
6. Stir in your choice of berries or chocolate chips, or whatever you would like.
7. Cook in the microwave on high for approximately 3 minutes. Allow to stand for another 2 minutes. It may need an additional 15-30 seconds, depending on your microwave. Don't overcook or the side of the mugcake will become tough.
8. Loosen from the mug, cut open and enjoy with almond butter, jam or earth balance! yum!

Protein Mugcake

1 scoop vanilla or chocolate protein powder (I have tried Progressive Harmonized Vegan Blend in vanilla flavour- and I know Sunwarrior works also. I cannot vouch for any other products- especially not vegan ones. But it should be okay.)
1 tbsp flax + 3 tbsp warm water
1 tbsp agave (or other liquidy sweetener)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
dash of cinnamon or extra vanilla, if desired.
hemp hearts, if desired.
berries or chocolate chips, if desired.

Use same directions, using the protein powder instead of the flour. Will make a smaller mugcake then the first recipe, but more nutrient dense and far more satisfying.