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...]

Lentil Bisque

  Usually by this time of year we have put away our sundresses and started the morning walk into school with sweatshirts or light jackets. We have been lucky this year with summer weather going through to the third week of September. Not complaining here!   The fall equinox was this week, yet summer weather is still forecasted for the near future according to my trusted old weather app! I have been at a bit of a loss for dinners because many of our school night dinners usually consist of pre-made stews or soups but given the warm afternoons, we have been in the mood for more summer-ish dinners! Lots of salads and burgers have been on our menu but I saw pumpkins and autumn squash in the stores which seemed to turn my fall taste buds on! I have been craving the warming fall flavors and started leafing through the soup sections in my recipes books looking forward to making our seasonal favorites.   Had the idea of posting a weekly or biweekly Soup of Week post to share some of our … [Read more...]

Plum & Fig Crisp

It’s hard to believe the Fall Equinox was this past week. It’s the third week of September and we are still in shorts and t-shirts. Not complaining! Just noting this amazing weather! Since moving to the mid-west we have had a lot of colder autumns and I can even remember a few August days pulling out the fleeces. Not fair, As my kiddos would say! Despite being Canadian by birth, I am a friend and lover of warmer weather! So this autumn weather is amazing!! I am eating it up along with all of the end of summer fruit that is still in stores! I’m kind of like a kid in the candy store when I go in and see all the peaches and plums that are still there in abundance! Yay fresh stone fruit! This week’s post is another one using fresh figs!! My little ladies just started their adventure with the local orthodontist so their mouths were a little sore and needed a softer dessert for our Sunday night family feast. Summer fruit crisp with a little cashew cream ice cream was the winner … [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...]

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...]

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...]