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...]

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...]

Chicken Fricassee

Chicken Fricassee is a classic French comfort food. It’s also called Tarragon Chicken in English. This dish is simply Chicken and vegetables simmered in a delicious wine and tarragon sauce. There are many variations of this dish, most of which are finished off with a dollop of cream. Given the strong dairy-allergy in our house, we have adapted our version to be dairy-free. The sauce is thickened by kuku, a smooth, neutral flavored starch naturally extracted from the roots of a Japanese mountain plant. Not traditionally French, I know, but this root has so many redeeming qualities. It is commonly used to treat minor indigestion and common cold symptoms and is also used to stimulate appetite, help with slow digestion and for its calming effect. We used it often in our kitchen and in place of cornstarch or flour as a thickener.   Just be sure to always dissolve it in cool liquid before adding it to anything hot. This will allow it to dissolve best into the stew. This dish can be served … [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...]

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...]

Pumpkin Pie Biscotti

Its that time of year again…..time to start making tons of pumpkin items!! This year, we are still having warmer days well into September. Cooler nights and mornings but we have been blessed with some beautiful sunny, warmer days. The girls love this because it means a few more weeks in their summer shorts, skirts and sundresses. Even though I am not yet ready to think about Thanksgiving, as soon as I see pumpkin on the shelves I automatically think of Pumpkin Pie. It is one of our family’s favorites and a pie that we don’t just consume on Thanksgiving. My version isn’t much like the traditional version, honestly its something I don’t mind making often because the girls love it and it serves up a good serving of lightly sweetened pumpkin which is super rich in Vitamin A, an excellent source of B-carotene, lutein, a good source of B-complex vitamins and rich in copper, calcium, potassium and phosphorus. So pumpkins go a long way for me on a nutritional platform and have so many … [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...]