Sunday, 22 May 2011

Spanish Black Rice

Hey friends!

We've had two beautiful days finally! I tried to spend as much time outside with the kids as possible enjoying the warmth and wearing them out with bike rides and park playing! And I love being able to just send them into the backyard and they make their own fun... yay for outdoors! One day it would be lovely to have a bigger backyard, but I'm grateful that we have a backyard at all. :)

I made this recipe a few weeks ago and decided to make it again since I enjoyed it so much. The kids liked it too! I used black rice this time to 'hide' the black beans since Girl1 thinks she doesn't like beans... but I made it the first time with long grain brown rice. I love it in lettuce leaves, but it would be yummy in a wrap too. I don't really like the rice wraps but I'm sure some people out there do! It would also be yummy in swiss chard leaves!

Spanish Black Rice

2 c water, salted
1 c black rice (or brown rice)
1 shallot (or small onion), finely diced
3 celery stalks, diced
half green pepper, diced
half red pepper, diced
3 tbsp olive oil
1 14oz can diced tomatoes
1 14oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 c corn
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 c Daiya cheddar cheese shreds (or grated cheddar cheese if you can tolerate it)
lettuce leaves for wrapping

Boil water, add rice and stir. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Boil 45 minutes until water is absorbed and rice is cooked.
While rice is cooking, dice shallot, celery and peppers.
Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large pan. Add shallot, celery and peppers and saute until the shallot is softened.
Add in tomatoes (with juices), beans, corn and spices. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes or until most of the juices are absorbed.
Add cooked rice into tomato mixture and stir to combine.
Fill lettuce leaves with rice mixture and top with cheese shreds.


Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Cocoa Dusted Popped Amaranth

Hey friends.

So today is ANOTHER rainy, dreary day here. Kinda just blah and I'm really hoping for some sun soon. We've been late to school the past few day 'cause its just too hard to get up in the morning! Sun just makes everything easier... To perk up my morning I decided to try a recipe for some popped amaranth with cocoa that I found on another blog because really, cocoa just makes everything better, right?!  Remember Count Chocula? I think I had it once in my life, but I remember thinking that chocolate for breakfast was pretty much the best thing ever!

Not sure if you can buy this as cereal in the store or not, but its really very easy to pop your own and I bet it tastes a whole lot better! Amaranth is a tiny seed/grain but it really is a superfood - thirty percent more protein, three times the fiber and 5 times more iron than wheat! Yes please! If you haven't tried it yet, aren't those reasons enough!? Its also good for baking with and adding to soups or stews. But I'm loving it as cereal!

Here's what un-popped amaranth looks like.

To pop amaranth, heat a heavy bottom pot over med-high heat (you might have to fiddle a little with the heat of your stove and find what works for you. I tested the heat with a small pinch of seeds so I didn't waste a whole bunch.) All you do is quickly pour the seeds into the dry, hot pan and put the lid on. They should pop right away and if they don't, your pot wasn't hot enough. Hold the pot over the element and shake/swirl until the popping stops. Keep it moving so that it doesn't burn. Once its popped, pour it into a dry bowl to cool.

Here's what I put into my bowl, but really the options are endless! If you can eat almonds, I think they would be especially delicious in here! Flax seed would be good. Cashews, strawberries, peanut/sun butter, raisins or pretty much whatever else you can think of to make it even better and keep you full! You could even put all of the dry stuff together and take it for lunch to work or where ever you're going and pour on the milk when you're ready. I've popped some extra so I'm going to see how well it keeps in a glass jar and if it gets stale easily. I'll keep ya'll posted!

*UPDATE* The popped amaranth keeps well in a glass jar for a few days! :)

Cocoa Dusted Popped Amaranth
Adapted from the edible perspective

1/4 c amaranth, popped 2 tbsp at a time, cooled
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp unsweetened coconut
1 tbsp coconut sugar (or other sweetener of your choice)
1 tsp chia seeds
1 banana
sprinkle of cinnamon
milk of your choice (I'm loving So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk Beverage right now!)

Stir together popped amaranth and cocoa powder. Add in the rest of the ingredients and enjoy!

Monday, 16 May 2011

Swiss Chard with Rosemary

Hi everyone!
I've had a bad week with headaches and feeling crappy - I'm blaming it on the weather... But feeling okay now and I've got a recipe for you! I had never tried swiss chard until last week. Not sure how I made it through 29 years without tasting this yummy veg but I'm totally hooked! Swiss chard everything!!! Bulk up your salads with raw chard, use the leaves in place of wheat wraps, saute it up - lots of possibilities! Delish and packed with goodness!


This recipe uses raisins, pine nuts, and my fav - rosemary! I served it over brown basmati rice which complements the pine nuts nicely. The kids didn't mind it either!!! Wooo! As long as the rosemary is subtle, they don't mind it. I could go for more though... One thing I love about the recipe is how quickly its done! If you have leftover rice cooked in the fridge, it comes together in just a few minutes once you've got the chard cleaned and prepped.

Swiss Chard with Rosemary

1 bunch swiss chard, washed, centers trimmed off and cut/broken into bite size pieces
3 tbsp unflavoured coconut oil (or 3 tbsp butter, if you can tolerate it - it adds better flavour! plus 1 tbsp olive oil)
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1/3 c raisins
2 tbsp pine nuts
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat oil in pan over med-high heat.
Add chard and rosemary, stirring to coat with oil. Cook 1 minute, stirring.
Add in raisins and pine nuts and cook until most of the moisture has evaporated (about 2-3 mins.)
Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately, over rice if desired

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

More Cookies!

We love cookies in our house! I can't remember where I got this recipe from but I've been making it for a few years now - handy that its something the B2 and I can both eat. They are soft, cakey cookies and are yummy with chocolate chips, if you're able to have them. I've even made them with added cocoa powder before and they were delish! If you're avoiding gluten make sure you use GF oats. The recipe can easily be doubled and the extras frozen for a quick lunch box treat.

Banana Oatmeal Cookies
Makes about 18 small cookies

1 1/2 c gluten free oat flour (you can make your own by whirling oats in a food processor)
3/4 c gluten free oats
1/2 tsp each baking powder, baking soda, sea salt
1/2 c coconut sugar or sucanat (or you could use brown sugar, but its refined!)
1/3 mini chocolate chips (allergy free, optional)
1 medium banana, mashed (about 1/2 c)
1/3 c rice milk or milk of your choice
1 tsp oil (I use olive)
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.
In a medium mixing bowl combine oat flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt and coconut sugar. In in chocolate chips is using. Stir well to combine.
Measure out milk in a large measuring cup. Add in oil and vanilla. Stir in banana.
Add wet to dry and mix to combine.
Allow mixture to sit for a few minutes.
Scoop out using a small (1 1/4 inch) scoop and drop onto baking sheet.  Leave enough space to flatten but you don't need space for them to spread - because they don't! Flatten with a spoon or fork.
Bake for 12 minutes until lightly browned and set.
Allow to cool 5 minutes on the baking sheet before removing to a cooling rack.

Here's Simon. Because who doesn't love Simon?! 
Well... my husband... but THAT'S IT! 
Oh to be a kitty all curled up in a basket!
Sorry to wake you...

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

SunButter Greenies

Hi everyone,
So my kiddies are finally better and off to school today. Thank goodness. I think one more day cooped up at home would have drove us all crazy - especially with the rain today!
I baked up these fun cookies last night made with SunButter and maple syrup. If you've never tried SunButter I highly recommend it! It tastes like peanut butter but there isn't a peanut in sight! They have sweetened and unsweetened. Its awesome for kids with allergies and great to sending to school! There is some chemical reaction that happens with the sunflower seeds and baking soda as the cookies cool and the centers turn dark green! The kids thought it was pretty cool and wanted to eat them for breakfast. And I let them!

I followed the recipe and used about 2 tbsp of batter per cookie which resulted in huge cookies. Next time I will use a smaller scoop, bake for a shorter amount of time and that way I'll be able to fit them in their lunchboxes. This recipe uses pretty much a whole jar of SunButter and a lot of maple syrup... If you're leery and just want to try the recipe out, you could easily halve it. Also you could substitute some agave for the syrup.

SunButter Greenies
Adapted from The Allergen-Free Bakers Handbook by Cybele Pascal (I love this book!!!)
Makes 24 3-inch cookies

2 c plus 4 tbsp Namaste Perfect Flour Blend (or Basic Flour Mix plus 1/2 tsp xanthan gum)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 c SunButter (organic, unsweetened)
1 1/2 c maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c dairy-free, soy-free chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Line to baking sheets with parchment or Silpat mats.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour mix, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
Measure the SunButter in a glass, liquid measuring cup. Heat for about 1 minute in the microwave to soften.
Add the softened SunButter, maple syrup and vanilla to the dry ingredients. Mix well with a wooden spoon. Once combined add the chocolate chips, if using.

For Large Cookies: drop 2 tbps of batter onto the baking sheet, then flatten slightly with the back of a spoon.
Bake for 15 minutes, until lightly golden.
Let cool 5 minutes on the baking sheets before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely. The cookies must cool all the way to turn green.

For Smaller Cookies: drop 1 tbsp of batter onto the sheet, flatten slightly with the back of a spoon.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, until lightly golden.
Let cool 5 minutes on the baking sheets before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely. The cookies must cool all the way to turn green.