Spicy Parsnip Soup

The weather has is grey and dreary, I am battling a head cold and as a result have little energy for fancy food prep plus I have a bag of parsnip and 2 sad carrots that need to get used ASAP! What to do? Why make a soup of course!! Soups are my go to lunches and sometimes dinners in the fall/winter because they are generally quick to throw together, easily digested and most importantly …. keep me warm! I find I am permanently cold in winter so my stove stop is often brewing, boiling, cooking something to warm me up! This soup is perfect in so many ways. It is creamy, smells amazing, a little spicy thanks to the ginger and fills me up! Parsnips are often a by passed veg but they are so similar to carrots only a little sweeter. Not sure why they get passed up! They go great in soup especially in ones like this one that is pureed, they lend a nice creamy texture to the soup. Parsnips are high in fiber, nutrients and minerals (super high in potassium). They are a good root vegetable … [Read more...]

Detox Oatmeal Cookie

Detox oatmeal cookies maybe I need to find a new name for this recipe because I know it sounds like an oxymoron right?? One should probably take a break from all cookies during a detox right?  Or what are you adding to these "treats". Stay with me!  We are still on a high from the fun of the festivities (and several helpings of pie, cookies and sweets), my kids get crazy grumpy when I suggest we take a break from dessert or treats.  Who wouldn't right?? Oats, chia and flax to the rescue!  Instead of saying we're going to skip dessert, I offer them some healthier options. These"detox" oatmeal cookies are my solution to the kiddos dessert while still giving them a good dose of fiber, healthy fats and vitamins. This is one of desserts or "treats" on rotation for the next few weeks and probably in the new year as well.  A simple and quick to make oatmeal cookie that can be made with or without the chocolate chips.  I made half the batch with Enjoy Life Chocolate Chunks (2-3 chunks … [Read more...]

Pumpkin Breakfast Cookie

Pumpkin Spice Breakfast Cookies Anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE all things pumpkin! Come October I stock up on my sugar pumpkins and cans of pumpkin and get busy in the kitchen on many things pumpkin! Trader Joe’s is totally in my corner! This year they have even MORE pumpkin items than normal! I’m talking pumpkin pasta, pumpkin butter, pumpkin gluten free pancake & waffle mix, pumpkin bread mix and even pumpkin cheerios!! Seriously awesome!! Such inspiration to whip of so many tasty treats of my own! Thanks to celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving and many weeks of houseguests, I have already made many pumpkin pies and we haven’t even gotten through Halloween yet!! Pumpkin pie will always be a favorite but I also extend the pumpkin love into muffins, cakes and of course cookies! Now that school is in full swing, I thought I’d try something new, Breakfast Cookies! I have tried these before with mixed success, one child loves, one hates or they haven’t kept well. I had all … [Read more...]

Artichoke, Mushroom, Coconut Soup

In my brief experience in the Midwest I’d say that normally by this time of year we would be in sweaters or at least long sleeves full time by now. Its mid-to-late October and we are having another unseasonal day of 80F. I’m not complaining but the big shifts in temperature keeps sending my cooking plans in a spin. It’s cold one day, shopping day, so I stock up with lots of veg to roast and turn into soups or stews, then we get warm days and all I want is a salad. What’s a gal to do! Well given the huge pot of soup I made this week, I ate the soup but served it warm instead of hot. I don’t mind because I do love soups! This week’s Soup of the Week is an Asparagus, Mushroom Coconut Soup. I tried it out last week when it was a little cooler and boy did it hit the spot! It’s warming, creamy and calming. Made a second batch as part of Sunday batch cooking session to fuel my lunches this week. This soup freezes really well so if the weather suddenly switches to summer weather over night, … [Read more...]

Red Velvet Vegan Cupcakes

I had never heard of red velvet cake or cupcakes growing up.  Think they originate from the south and are often people dye hard favorite cake or cupcakes!  The name alone sounds divine, rich and oh so good!  Who wouldn't want one? It took me a few attempts to find something that would give my cakes a red'ish color and figure out how to make my healthier version close to the original.  The beets add a great red tint to the cake and icing.  These chocolate cakes are not a family favorite and I can't help but love that they are a one bowl wonder.  Quick to whip up for parties or an afternoon with friends.  Today's batch was whipped up to share with the kids on our street to celebrate "back-to-school" and the end of a fun summer!   They were a big success and some even asked if we could make this annual tradition....cupcakes every day on the first week of school!  Sounds like a plan to me! Red Velvet Cupcakes My take on red-velvet cake!  A healthier version of the original which … [Read more...]

Nuts About You Granola

School is officially in gear for us for another year!  This year should be a little easier for us logistically but I will still need to get my meal plans back in order to tackle this year.  More on meal planning and prep work coming soon to the blog.  I have a few tips that have helped me tackle the week and kept healthy meals on the table and in lunch boxes for the kiddos and parents alike! To start the after school run I made a batch of grain-free granola.  I made a variety of variations of this mix depending on what I have on hand.  Today I had a good assortment of nuts so did a good mix of almonds, cashews, walnuts and pecans.  I was out of my large coconut flakes along with goji berries and dates so I used smaller coconut flakes, some dried cherries (unsulfured and unsweetened) and chopped up some dried figs.   Throw in what you have on hand.  I  have even throw in some of the "healthy" chocolate coated M&M like candies from Trader Joe's (the dye free kind) when I was … [Read more...]

Spinach Vanilla Cupcakes

I know it may sound nuts to put spinach in a cupcake?  Or there is no way your little ones are going to eat it if they know it has spinach into.....so don't tell them!  At least not until they have devoured these treats! I add spinach often to the girls smoothies because its an easy way to throw in some greens without them knowing.  The flavor and often color of the spinach is masked by the flavor of the other fruit.  Same thing works here!  The cakes come out a tinge green but make it fun or add a fun icing or topping.  My gals used to call these Kermit Kakes because they were a little green like Kermie!   They are a fun spin on an classic kid (and grown up) dessert.  My kids actually ask me to buy spinach so we can make these treats! Light and less sweet than the usual cupcakes you may get a birthday parties, when topped with an easy icing, coconut cream or a good dollop of jam, they are a yummy guilt-free goodies packed with goodness. SPINACH VANILLA CUPCAKES  1 Ener-G egg … [Read more...]

Power Protein Banana Bread

There is nothing like waking up to the smell of homemade banana bread!!  I had a roommate in college that used to make banana bread of Sundays.  The scents from our tiny shared kitchen would flow into my room and wow was that not always a good excuse to take a study break!! Bananas are a key staple in our house.  We throw them in our smoothies, mash them into overnight oats, put them on seed butter toast, whip them up into 'nice cream' or throw them in pancake, muffins or this yummy Power Protein Banana Bread!!  Given it's harder to buy super ripe bananas at our usual grocery stores, every few weeks I tend to buy several dozen bananas  and let them go nice and brown and spotty or super ripe.  Super ripe bananas are easily mashable and add natural sweetness to your baked goods, smoothies or oats.  I also like to freeze the spotted brown bananas for the same reason.  Friends or neighbors have been shocked to see the numbers of bananas we have ripening in our window sills at times but … [Read more...]

Pumpkin Oat Muffins

Did I mention our family is nuts about pumpkin? You’d never guess that from the number of pumpkin blogs I have written over the past couple of weeks, but we are we love pumpkin!! We love adding it to everything! We throw it in our oatmeal, smoothies, pancake and waffle batter, we make cookies out of it, soup, pasta cream sauces, chicken curries, you name it. Pretty much any type of dish we have added pumpkin! So we didn’t go vary long this season before whipping up a few versions of pumpkin muffins. I usually make gluten-free Pumpkin Buckwheat Muffin recipe but one morning I was out of buckwheat and low on my gluten-free mix so I had to improvise. The result was the recipe below, which in a recent taste test, two out of three of my tasters preferred. Though it was a very close decision that required multiple muffins to decide! Option to use canned pumpkin puree or roast and puree your own pumpkin (see Roasted Sugar Pumpkin).   Pumpkin Oat Muffins Healthy wheat-free, … [Read more...]

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Don't throw those pumpkin seeds out!  Give them a good wash and dry then toast them in a warm oven to get a delicious seasonal and satisfying treat.  They can be seasoned with just a dash of salt, a little maple syrup and a dash of cinnamon for a sweeter treat or a little oil and some smoked paprika or your favorite spices for something more savory.  So many options.  They are great as a snack, to throw in your morning cereal, granola, or on top of a smoothie, soup or salad. Be sure to keep an eye on them when they are in the oven, they can burn quickly and as I found out the hard way, the inner seeds cook quicker than the outer seeds.  Be sure to stir often and if they look done...take 'em out! PUMPKIN SEEDS While the pumpkin is roasting, wash off the pumpkin seeds and pat dry with a paper towel. Place the seeds on a lined baking sheet and pour a half teaspoon or so or coconut oil (or olive oil) over the seeds and massaging the oil into the seeds. Lightly season with fine … [Read more...]