Kale Stem Pesto (vegan)

Given the amount of kale we consume on a weekly basis in salads, smoothies or chips, we throw out a lot of kale stems!  Historically, I would toss most straight in the trash but I was inspired by recipe I saw on Rachel Ray to put these kale stems to use in a pesto!  My version below, is dairy-free or vegan given our allergies in our house but one could easily add in a little grated parmesan. I now store the kale stems in a resealable bag on my freezer door until it's full then use them to whip up a quick pesto to throw on a pasta salad, spread on a sandwich, serve as a pasta main dish or to mix into roasted or steamed vegetables.  Pesto is a wonderful and easy thing to freeze in ice cube trays and have on the ready for quick meals or to stir into stir-fry or stews as added seasoning. … [Read more...]

Nutritionally Nice Nutella

Every Christmas my Mum would buy a box of Ferraro Rocher chocolates for an evening treat.  Us kids would anticipate the moment when she would reach up on to the high shelf in our kitchen cupboard and bring down the hazelnut delights.  Savoring every bite I would eat mine off in layers, eating the outer chocolate-nut coating, gently nibbling the wafer-like interior to get to the rich hazelnut cream that has my mouth watering now!  Ohh did I love that interior gooeyness!!  I wished for just a spoonful of just that alone! Little did I know that Nutella was essentially just that! Nutella is undoubtedly the best tasting and marketed hazelnut spread on the market.  Traditionally Italians spread this on bread or toast for breakfast but these days people make ice cream, cakes, cookies, serve it on crepes, sandwiches, you name it.  My husband discovered Nutella while we honeymooned in Italy having it every morning with his cappuccinos.   While delicious, Nutella is dessert-like, high in … [Read more...]

Pumpkin Delights

It February already! Wow! I’m both shocked and excited because once we get through February we are over the hump for winter and spring is around the corner.   Despite it being February and we are officially past pumpkin season I noticed in our storage room how many cans of pumpkin we still have. May have over stocked this year but as you have seen from past blogs…we LOVE PUMPKIN!! The recipe below for Pumpkin Delights (had to come up with a name for these on the fly to boost excitement in my sleepy my girlies!!) came about from a kitchen scramble after realizing what little was left in the house for breakfast. Someone needs to hit the grocery store!! I was short on my gluten-free flour mix but we had a big old container of oats!   Given how many times we have had oats these past few weeks, knew I had to come up with something different and so these Pumpkin Delights were born. I was super excited and delighted (hence the name) to see how well these Pumpkin Delights turned out. … [Read more...]

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...]

Mama’s Fig Bars

School for the kids has started but the produce section is still rich with end of summer fruit and veggies! We are eating as much of these goodies as we can. Lots of peaches, nectarines, plums, berries, figs, summer squash, local corn, tomatoes, we love it all!! One of my favorite end of summer fruits is figs! I love grilling or sautéing them in balsamic vinegar and throwing in a salad or cutting them up and throwing them in our overnight-oats or cereal. My girls are less wild about eating them right out of the fruit bowl but once cut up, cooked or baked they love them, too. Their natural sweetness, like medjool dates, lends itself well to lots of dishes acting as a key sweetener. Figs nutritionally offer a number of essential minerals (magnesium, calcium, copper and potassium along with vitamin K and B6 and are high in fiber. When figs are dried their nutritional value increases. For example half a cup of fresh figs contains as much calcium as a half a cup of milk but only two large … [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...]