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...]

Go -Bars

I am a little late in posting this blog, but the week of Thanksgiving was a little nuts for us. We had family in town then my youngest got really sick and needed to be hospitalized for 3 days. Not the Thanksgiving we envisioned! Nonetheless, I wanted to post these for this time of year when every week seemed to have a lot going on! They are inspired and based off of Angela Liddon’s Present Glow Bars from her  OH SHE GLOWS COOKBOOK. I wrap them individually and keep them in a container in the freezer so we can grab one when we need one. They are filling, delicious and filled with nutrients to balance off some the less healthy holiday treats we may eat. Go Bars 1½ cups gluten-free oats 1 cup puffed millet or rice cereal ½ cup almond flour (or additional oats to make nut-free) ¼ cup sunflower seeds ¼ cup non-dairy chocolate chips (our favorite Enjoy Life) 1 tsp cinnamon ¼ tsp fine sea salt ½ cup brown rice syrup (see TIP below) ¼ cup almond or sunflower butter (to make … [Read more...]

Lucky Leek Soup

Lucky Leek Soup

My Dad frequently made Potage Parmentier or Leek and Potato soup. He was often whipping up soups for weekend lunches for us throwing in what ever we had on hand and needed to be used up. This soup was on regular rotation as soon as the cooler weather set up. Though I am usually not a fan of heavier potato based soups, this one is a different story. It is incredibly filling, smooth and creamy, despite having no dairy of any sort in it. It’s thanks to the potatoes that it has the consistency it does. Plus it is quick to put together and only contains a few ingredients. My challenge with this soup was getting the kids to eat it. Like many kids, they turned up their nose at this bowl of cream stuff. Immediately saying they didn’t like it even though I promised they would. I even added a little extra salt to their bowls given their love for anything salty! But every time there was a fight. Then one day I had left over pasta from last night’s dinner and I thought, would they eat it if … [Read more...]

Thai Veggie Burger

Thai food if a regular theme of our menu board. The girls have grown up eating Thai, largely because hubby and I love this delicious cuisine and in part because we had a Thai nanny for a while when the girls were young. She loved talking to the girls about her home country and to take the girls out for Thai with us. Now at first the girls version of Thai was chicken satay and plain rice or bean thread noodles, but over time they graduated to Pad Woon Sen (bean thread noodles stir-fried with bean sprouts and veg), spring rolls, Tom Yum soup ( sweet & sour broth soup with veg and noodles). I love watching their taste buds develop, flourish and get used to spicier meals. With two parents who LOVE spicy foods, it was only a matter of time before these kids embraced spices! Slowly we are getting there and it has been fun watching them try and love new dishes. Back to today’s inspired meal! We saw a Thai flavored turkey burger on a menu recently and the flavors looks (and smelled) … [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...]

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...]