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...]

How to Roast a Pumpkin (or Autumn-Winter Squash)

Come October, our family eats a lot of pumpkin! We add it in our oatmeal, waffle and pancake batter, we bake pumpkin pies, pumpkin muffins and loaves, we turn it into pudding, we stir it into our curries, make pumpkin cream sauce to pour over our pasta and who can’t forget the pumpkin smoothies we drink by the gallon! Oh and don’t forget the seeds! Those are another pumpkin treat we love. We can’t get enough pumpkin! While we rely on canned pumpkin a lot, nothing beats roasting your own fresh pumpkin. It makes it so easy to puree and flavor yourself. Pumpkins are easy to roast and just like their cousins the squash family, you roast pumpkins in the same way and it’s really a quick thing to do, you will be surprised how simple it is. Believe it or not, my sweet sister has never roasted a pumpkin before, so this blog is for her. The sugar pumpkins, pie pumpkins or baking pumpkins are sweeter than the larger pumpkins you see that are used for carving jack-o’lanterns. The insides … [Read more...]

Warm Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Oh dear its getting nippy in the morning chez les Jamiesons!  I don’t know if it’s my childhood memories of coming down for breakfast, seeing my mum over the stove stirring a pot of hot oatmeal (or porridge as we called it), that makes me crave a bowl of something warm in the cooler mornings, or do we just naturally want something warm in our bellies when the weather changes?  I’m not sure, but I find when the mornings start off requiring slippers and robes when I get up, my morning cravings start to change too and I find myself pulling a big pot out of the cupboard to carry on the porridge tradition with my little ladies. Now, I am usually not a “big” breakfast kind of person but rather more of what I’d call a morning grazer.  Fruit and veggie juice or smoothies are morning staples for me because I digest them well, they give me a boost of energy and I really feel best when I start my day off with a fresh juice or smoothie.  They are always accompanied with or followed up by a hot … [Read more...]

Quinoa Cakes

I was recently re-tested for food sensitivities. I have been battling with inflammation over the past few months and what I was doing/trying didn’t seem to reduce things. So this time I did a much more in-depth test and the results were, well shocking. I feel a little like I am allergic/sensitive to all of my favorite foods (apples, pears, beets, avocados, dates, spinach, kiwi, tomatoes, etc.) only to name a few. I was left shocked, pissed off and not really sure what I was going to eat for the next 3-6 months (the time period recommended to “cleanse” system from such sensitivities). A day or so later, as I was still digesting what I was and was not allowed to consume, I flipped open one of my cookbook to find a recipe to make for dinner. I was truly surprised to find that most of the recipes that I had created over the years, are recipes filled with ingredients I am not sensitive to.   Going back to what I did years ago when I first starting creating these recipes, I would once … [Read more...]

Salade Niçoise

In summer I often crave a big salad bowl. A bowl or dish that has it all: a little protein, some healthy fats, starches, fresh herbs and vegetables and maybe even a handful of legumes. Salade Niçoise is my go-to when I have such cravings. It really is a one bowl (or plate) fits all meal. I discovered while living in this region (such a lucky girl!!) that the original or authentic Salade Niçoise is a little different than what we see today in North America. It didn’t have cooked eggs, potatoes or even green beans, nor did they use vinegar or tuna!! Like most recipes it did change over time as the agriculture changed and industrialization occurred. Though nowadays the standard recipe would include lettuce, tomatoes, green beans, olives, eggs, tuna and anchovies and often some potatoes. I was told by several French chefs, what “a real” Salade Niçoise should look like, but each version was slightly different depending on where I was around Nice. The key being they all used the freshest, … [Read more...]

Recharge Cookies

The girls are in gymnastics camp this week and they’ve both asked me to give them more to eat for lunch because what worked for the past 3 weeks isn’t enough this week! They have also been absolutely starving at pick up!! I was due to whip up some cookies last night, so keeping their voracious appetite in mind and a serious need for a recharge of energy after camp, I came up with these cookies. Simple and quick to throw together, filled with protein, slow burning carbohydrates and treat-like, giving them some fuel to keep them going until dinner. I ended up having one too with my morning tea after my early morning intense Tracy Anderson streaming stamina and master class session!! Pheww these helped me recharge! Recharge Cookies The perfect to pack in kids lunches or as an after-school, post-camp or really anytime snack. Packed with nutrients and belly goodness they will keep coming back for more. Yields about 18 cookies 1 cup gluten-free oats ⅔ cup all-purpose … [Read more...]

Pearlicious Smoothie

I wanted to make a smoothie for my girlfriends who were over for lunch that was green but not too overpowering with “greenness”. This turned out to be a perfect addition to our salad based lunch and had the right about of creaminess, not too sweet and very refreshing. I remade it for the kiddos a few days later as their breakfast smoothie but added in some extra mango to sweeten it a bit more for them. The result was two empty glasses and two happy campers. Give it a worth and let me know how your crew likes it!   Pearlicious Smoothie 1 cup coconut water ½ cup non-dairy milk 1 pear (organic)* ½ cucumber (organic)* ½ avocado 1 cup mango, frozen (optional sweetener for kids) 1 tsp cinnamon (mixed in or sprinkled on top) * If not using organic fruit and vegetables, remember to peel off the skin before adding to the high-speed blender. Measure liquids into the high-speed blender then add remaining fruit and vegetables. Process until smooth and serve … [Read more...]

Creamy Vanilla-y Popsicles

This year while finishing our July 1st Canada then our 4th of July tri-colored popsicles (which also doubled as 14 Juillet (France’s Bastille Day) popsicles the girls made repeated requests for me to make just “white” popsicles. So of course I had to comply and whip some up. What’s great about homemade popsicles is there are so many options!! You can throw together some many combinations of fruit, splash of juice or coconut water or non-dairy milk and you can have so many different varieties. My biggest problem is remembering what I have mixed together and writing it down to remake again. I also love to make a little extra of our morning smoothie and throw that into a popsicle tray for dinner time dessert. This saves time and having to wash the vitamix twice!! J   Creamy Vanilla Popsicles 2 cups non-dairy milk 3-4 tbsp liquid sweetener (maple syrup, honey, or a few drops of stevia)* 2 tsp vanilla extract ½ - 1 cup chopped fruit of choice (blueberries, strawberries, … [Read more...]

Tortilla Soup

This weather has been all over the place this summer. One day its 88F the next its 68F, my system and meals don’t know if they should be warm or cold. Luckily we have lots of options and fun things to prepare with the seasonal summer treats. My Gabi requested a tomato soup last weekend, something I usually serve in fall or winter but I was with her on craving something warm plus I had a handful of veggies that needed to be used. Decided on creating a tortilla soup! Mexican inspired meals are so popular at our house. We do a lot of vegan bean-based meals for my husband and I but then throw in some organic chicken or ground beef for the little ladies. Such meals are great because we are eating (and I am preparing) one dish but get to add our own toppings. Hubby will add some extra jalapeños, salsa or Tabasco and a little cheese and I’ll throw in some extra avocado and cilantro. Gabi will have hers with some cheese too. Plus with a soup like this I will serve it with a big bowl of … [Read more...]

Pomegranate Baby Kale Salad with Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

In spring-summer my go-to lunch is a salad. Rarely the same one, often thrown together with last night’s left-overs or veggies and beans we prepped Sunday night. I love creating a pseudo-salad bar in my fridge where I can just reach in and throw different items together for lunch. Today’s lunch is an example of that. I had bought pomegranate arils for Twin A who put them in our cart at Trader Joe’s on Sunday but hasn’t “been in the mood” to eat them all week so not wanting them to spoil I threw them into our salad! Love the pop of color and crunch they provide plus the hint of sweetness.   These little gems are known to be one of the oldest fruits, originally found in Persia. It has long been toted as a fruit very rich in antioxidants, nutrients and a symbol of vitality, fertility and health. A delicious add-on to today’s lunch! I have always loved mushrooms and often pick them out of a stew or tomato sauce when no one is looking. I just love ‘em!! Portobellos though, were never a … [Read more...]