Raw Pad Thai

Pad Thai is something I crave at least once a week. Thankfully it is usually something I can find at restaurants in my neighbourhood when I don’t feel like making it myself.  Rice noodles, veggies, peanuts, yumm. I like it hot, I like it cold, I LOVE pad thai! This recipe is a twist on the traditional dish and oh my goodness it is fantastic! Thanks to Angela Liddon and her blog http://ohsheglows.com this pad thai is raw, healthy and absolutely delicious. After purchasing a $40 spiralizer online 6 months ago, this was the first recipe we tried and the results were great. Zucchini is a perfect noodle replacement, especially in this recipe. Lot of colour, lots of veggies, and lots of flavour! Check out the original recipe here: http://ohsheglows.com/2013/07/01/rad-rainbow-raw-pad-thai/

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Happy Saturday and Happy Spring! 

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Baking Makes Me Happy

So I had a bad day today. I got glutened at work (entirely my own fault) and have felt off ever since. I always end up baking when I don’t feel good. I get in trouble sometimes because if I stay home sick from work I always end up baking and if your too sick for work you should be too sick for baking right? Wrong! Because when I feel sick I need to do things to make me feel better. Tonight after dinner I decided to make a loaf of banana bread with chocolate chunks (vegan, gluten free and sugar free of course). So I whipped that up after dinner and put it in the oven. But I wasn’t satisfied with that so I made some peanut butter cookies as well. The peanut butter cookies were a new recipe I found and after preparing them and letting them set, I ate one..two..three of them! They are so delicious and they are fully raw! So I need to share this awesomeness with you lovely folk obviously.

The original recipe is from here: http://www.ahouseinthehills.com/ahouseinthehills/2013/1/14/raw-vegan-salted-peanut-butter-cookies.html

This is how I did it:

Yield: 24
Calories per cookie: approx. 100

Ingredients:

1 cup almond meal

3/4 cup peanut butter, natural

1 cup chopped medjool dates

1 and 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Himalayan Pink Salt to garnish

Directions:

1. Put almond meal and dates in your Vitamix or food processor and process until dates are finely chopped and it’s a bit sticky.
2. Place in a bowl and add peanut butter and vanilla.
3. Using your hands, mix everything together until a sticky dough forms.
4. On a baking sheet lined with wax paper, spoon and roll the dough into balls and place on the sheet.
5. Using a wet fork, press down balls into a criss cross pattern.
6. Sprinkle salt on top of the cookies.
7. Refrigerate 1 hour.
8. Devour.

After baking the bread and making the cookies I drank some tea and enjoyed some cookies. Then I started this post. I feel a lot better now in the stomach region. Hoping to do my 20km run tomorrow morning! Race day for the Half Marathon is fast approaching! Also the Boston 5k is in two weeks!! I’m getting so excited to visit Boston! I hope you all have an awesome weekend and you find some time to bake and be happy.

Now to eat some banana bread!

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Veggie Babies: Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato with Red Pear

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A new month means a new batch of homemade baby food! Sweet Pea and Ginger Snap have become such great eaters over the past month and it’s so fun and exciting to watch them trying new foods. After doing some research and watching how the twins experiment with food, I’ve decided that I definitely lean toward ‘baby led weaning’ when it comes to what and when they eat various foods. For those who are new to BLW, BLW more or less means allowing your child to try new foods in a natural way such as sucking on a whole piece of banana instead of puréeing the banana and feeding it to your child with a spoon. The only foods that Ginger Snap and Sweet Pea are eating that are mashed are ones that are commonly mashed up, such as root vegetables. I’m going to have a post up shortly that discuses BLW further and my journey in discouraging picky eaters, but for now I can for sure say that making my own baby food is not only cost effective but really fun and easy too!

My old lover and my new lover…well really I have 3 lovers…

Good afternoon blog land!

I’m writing to you from work! Shh! I need to tell you about two of my lovers…one is fudge and the other is my new vitamix! On Wednesday, we got a vitamix and it’s so amazing. On the first night I made hummus, salsa, almond butter and nice cream. Yesterday we made smoothies and soup! Soup in the vitamix! It came out steaming hot!! I love it!! Here are some pictures:
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So my other lover is fudge. I’ve always had a chocolate problem and then I went vegan and sugar free and I had to figure out how to quell the super craving for chocolate! Melissa made an amazing chocolate fudge that was vegan but unfortunately not sugar free so I set to work. My grandma used to make chocolate fudge brownies all the time and she used a fudgy topping that was lovely. So I asked her how she made it and she told me she made it with cocoa, peanut butter, butter, icing sugar and maple syrup. So I tried switching the butter for coconut oil and deleting the icing sugar. The first time I made it, I just used 3/4 cup of butter like the recipe said but it didn’t set at all, it was just a blob of chocolate and it didn’t harden. So I tried less coconut oil and after a few tries I got the right consistency. Then I started experimenting with flavours. I tried to make a maple fudge…it didn’t really turn out so I’ll have to keep working on that one. My best are just regular vanilla fudge with nuts, dark chocolate mint fudge with or without nuts, and raspberry almond fudge. So I’m going to give you the basic recipe and then tell you the different variations I make.

Angie’s Amazing Fudge
-Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-free
-yield about 25-30 pieces

Ingredients:
1 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup coconut oil at room temp.
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:
In the bowl of your stand mixer, blend peanut butter and coconut oil.
Add all other ingredients and blend again.
Place in a wax paper lined loaf pan.
Freeze for 1 hour.
Cut into small squares.
Store in Freezer in an airtight container. It will keep for a while but it doesn’t last long in my house…

Variations:
Add 1/2 cup of any nut you like chopped for a nutty flavour.
Dark Chocolate, use ruddy cocoa.
Mint, use peppermint extract or peppermint oil instead of vanilla.
Raspberry almond, use almond butter instead of peanut butter and mix in 1/4 cup – 1/3 cup fresh raspberries.
You can play around a lot with this recipe too which makes the fudge addiction more fun!

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In case your wondering my third lover is my fiancé and he’s priority number one, but chocolate is right behind and then the vitamix…I named him Harold. I should really start doing work again at work…go make some fudge and please tell me how it turns out and tell me about your creative variations! Tag me on Instagram @atuts87!

Now to go home and persuade my fiancé to order sushi for dinner…or make stir-fry like a good girl.

xoxo

Angie

Peanut Butter and Nut Cereal Squares

This recipe is one of my husband’s favourite! They certainly don’t last long in our home considering we both love nuts and especially homemade peanut butter.  Last year I was searching for a rice puff recipe that would be vegan, gluten free and refined sugar free. I came across a recipe on this blog: http://www.hisbuildingblocks.com/2011_07_01_archive.html and have adapted it to create these squares. The original recipe is truly excellent and the balls they make are delicious and are the perfect bite size treat! I was interested in making this recipe into squares and after changing a few things I was shocked at how delicious they turned out. See recipe below :)

Peanut Butter & Nut Cereal Squares

4 Tbsps of Coconut Palm Sugar

¼ cup of Maple Syrup

¼ cup of Honey

½ cup of Peanut Butter

3 ½ cups of Gluten Free Corn Flakes Cereal

1 cup of mixed chopped nuts

  • Combine Sugar and maple syrup in a medium saucepan
  • On low heat, stir ingredients and let simmer until mixture starts to boil
  • Remove from heat and add peanut butter to mixture, stir thoroughly
  • Add chopped nuts (I use a mixture of cashews, almonds, pecans and walnuts)
  • Add 1 cup of cereal at a time, ensuring mixture covers the cereal
  • Place mixture into a 9”x9” baking pan (parchment lined)
  • Place in fridge and let sit for 1 hour
  • Remove from fridge and cut into squares

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Goals and Pizza!

Good morning blogging peeps!

I’ve wanted to talk about this for a long time because it’s a big part of who I am. I am a very goal oriented person, I’m also a planner. So I always have a goal and a plan to achieve that goal. I do it with everything, money, work, health and travel. I don’t often tell people what my goals are, they are my own personal thing, my thing to work towards, to practice for, to focus on. I think they are really important, and they can be extremely motivating! If you set a goal, write it down somewhere that you will see it often. I have mine in a few different places. 2 are written on sticky notes and stuck to the inside of my closet door, every morning when I go in there to get clothes, I see them…and I think about them. I also have some written in my agenda and I transfer them to the next month always. I need to see them so that I plan for them. Especially over the past year and a half, goal setting has really helped me achieve some amazing things. You also have to be patient with goals. Sometimes they take longer than expected, and you have to give yourself more time and that’s okay as long as you are trying. I used to only have goals for running, now I have goals for everything. I’m going to give you some examples.

1. Run a half marathon in less than 2 hours. This goal has no deadline. I plan to run two half marathons a year, one in the spring and one in the fall. My next race is May 4th. I have been training a lot and working on speed. If I have an amazing race, I will be under two hours. But if I don’t do it, I will try again in October.

2. Save money for the wedding and honeymoon. This goal has the deadline of our August wedding date. We are also leaving for the honeymoon right after. We use a fantastic budgeting software called YNAB and it really helps us to save. However, we watch how often we eat out, which is difficult with a delectable sushi restaurant across the street. We also try not to buy frivolous things. This is something we do together and we constantly talk about it.

3. Maintain my weight around 120lbs. I’ve had this goal since August of last year, when I hit my goal weight. Since then I have struggled to keep that weight. This is my most challenging goal. I don’t own a scale and therefore don’t often weigh myself. I think this is good because I don’t need to focus on it too much. As long as I feel good, I’m happy. Unfortunately, just like everyone else, I have days when I don’t feel good. On those days I try to focus on eating lot’s of healthy food and I talk to the people in my support system. I do not restrict my food, I do not count calories, I stopped doing that a long time ago. Now I try to focus on mindful eating. When I eat a meal, I try to listen to my body telling me it’s full and then stop eating. Then I drink some water and wait 20 minutes, if I feel hungry again at that point, I will eat some more food, or dessert. I also try not to eat because I’m bored, or because there is food sitting in front of me. I only eat when I’m hungry. And for me that’s often because of the amount of exercise I do. My fiancé is always joking with me, that I’m going to eat through our grocery budget before the end of the month. Mindful eating has been very helpful for me and I highly recommend practicing it. It has made me aware of my body and how, for example, before my period comes, I’m hungrier and when I’m on my period I crave green smoothies and breakfast oats because these are foods I eat that are high in iron. Being aware of my body’s needs is so important for me and it really helps me to maintain my ideal weight.

Anyways, the point of the above blither-blather is to say that goals are important and they motivate very well. So make them, write them down, look at them everyday and stay focused. These things take time.

 

Okay… Pizza!

My fiancé and I love pizza. Before we become frequent sushi take-out customers, we were frequents pizza orderers. My favourite pizza was just greasy cheese pizza, occasionally, I would order Hawaiian. Since going dairy-free in June 2013, we haven’t been able to order pizza. This was a big problem at first, then I found a recipe that saved my pizza drooling fiancé from falling off the wagon. This recipe is actually for garlic breadsticks but it is very easily converted to a pizza crust. Here is the link to the original recipe I adapted from The Gluten Free Vegan: http://www.theglutenfreevegan.com/2011/12/italian-garlic-breadsticks-vegangluten-free/

So here is the breadstick recipe:

Ingredients:
2 tbsp dry active yeast (I use quick rise yeast)
1 and 1/3 cup brown rice flour
1 cup tapioca flour
2  tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp Italian herb seasoning (I use 1 tsp parsley, and 1 tsp of oregano)
1 tsp salt
1 and 1/3 cup milk (I used almond milk, but you could use dairy or soy milk)
1 tsp honey or maple syrup
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp cider vinegar
3 tbsp melted butter (I used a non-dairy butter)
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp parsley
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425F
2. In a mixer bowl combine yeast, flours, gum, Italian seasoning and salt
3. continue mixing but add milk, honey, olive oil and vinegar
4. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes
5. Spray or grease a cookie sheet, using oiled hands (I used olive oil) divide the dough into six even sticks, try to make them even so they cook through at the same time.
6. In a small bowl combine melted butter, garlic powder and parsley, brush this mixture over the top of each breadstick.
7. Bake for 15 minutes and serve hot :)
The breadsticks are great! I make them often when we have pasta or soup. This is how I converted it to pizza crust:
Ingredients:
2 tbsp quick rise yeast
1 and 1/3 cup brown rice flour
1 cup tapioca flour
2  tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp parsley flakes
1 tsp oregano flakes
1 tsp basil flakes
1 tsp salt
1 and 1/2 cup almond milk
1 tsp honey or maple syrup
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp cider vinegar
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400F
2. In a mixer bowl combine yeast, flours, gum, herbs and salt
3. Continue mixing adding milk, honey, olive oil and vinegar
4. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes
5. Using oiled hands, spread dough onto an oiled pizza pan and let it rest for 10 minutes. We like a thick crust so we use only a circular pizza pan, but if you wanted a thinner crust you would have enough dough for a rectangular pan.
6. Bake crust only for 15 minutes.
7. Add sauce and toppings. Increase oven temperature to 450F
8. Cook for 18-20 minutes.
9. EAT!!!
For toppings, we use whatever veggies, spinach and soy cheese. We also tried smoked tofu the other day and it was delicious. For my sauce I use hummus…I know that it is non-traditional but it’s really really good! The other day I also tried hummus and avocado mixed up together, but I think I like just hummus the best.
I hope you try out the crust recipe because it’s amazing! Enjoy!
Now to eat..my morning apple :)
-Angie
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Thai Rolls

Good morning blogerinos! I come to you bright and early (although it’s not bright yet) drinking tea and a bowl of breakfast oats is waiting for me in the fridge! I’m having a lovely weekend so far! Friday night the hubby-to-be went of to a boys game night and I had the house to myself. What did I do with my freedom you ask? I baked banana muffins and gabbed on the phone to my maid of honour for 3 hours. I also watched an unknown number of old Big Bang Theory episodes. It was very relaxing. Saturday morning I woke up early and went for an 18km run outside. It was plus 2C the entire run so a little bit warmer. I hadn’t run more than 16k/10mi since October so it was nice to get a good long run in. My distances are creeping up! Race Day here I come! In the afternoon Melissa, Shannon and Sweet Pea came over for a visit while all of our men hung out with Ginger Snap. It was a lovely visit with lots of girl talk, baby talk and wedding talk. My wedding being 152 days away!! Then Shannon left with Sweet Pea and our men returned to a night of sushi and board games! So Saturday was awesome. (Any day that includes sushi, is awesome by me though). Today my plans are laundry and reading. Also, I want to make a Shepard’s pie for dinner!

I wanted to tell you about a staple vegan meal in our house. Thai rolls were actually introduced to us by Melissa and her husband. Originally we ate them with chicken cooked in Sriracha sauce and cheese. Now we’ve modified them obviously. We usually do grilled mushrooms instead of chicken, and salsa instead of sriracha. We also put in avocado and hummus along with the usual, lettuce or spinach, carrot, cucumber, peppers and noodles. I also recently started mashing the avocado and hummus together to make for easier spreading and it’s delightful. The recipe below is for two people. I usually eat 4-5 wraps…but I’m a little piggy when it comes to these :)

Thai rolls

Yield: 8-10 rolls

  • 1 avocado
  • 3-4 tbsp hummus
  • 2 portobello mushrooms or 4-5 white mushrooms
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1/2 red or yellow pepper
  • 2 bundles of bean noodles or 1/4 package of rice vermicelli noodles
  • rice paper wraps
  • salsa
  • lettuce or spinach

Cut up the carrot, cucumber and pepper into thin strips.

Mash the avocado and hummus together.

Grill the mushrooms in oil and garlic.**

Boil the noodles for 3-5 minutes and drain.

For the rice wraps, you need to soak them in warm water before using them. They need to soak for about a minute and then you make your wrap immediately. When they are wet they are sticky so you can wrap them and it will hold. We usually have a brownie pan filled with warm water on the table and we make one wrap at a time, then eat it and then make another one. You can do the layers of your wrap however you like. My fiancé always makes longer skinnier wraps and mine are always shorter and fatter. Best thing to do, is arrange all the ingredients on a table and use your fingers to build each wrap piece by piece. You can also get creative with the ingredients. Avocado and hummus is a recent addition to ours! Here are some pictures and a note about the mushrooms.

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These are the mushrooms I did the other day. I used 5 white mushrooms and about a cup of spinach in my rival chef (it’s a quick chopper) and chopped them into little pieces mixed together. Then I sautéed them in some olive oil. When they were almost finished, I added some minced garlic and a handful of Daiya Mozzarella soy cheese shreds. It created a bowl of cheesy mushroom goodness which tasted divine in the thai rolls! So be creative! It’s not possible to make a bad thai roll!

Now to eat my oats!

Angie

Triple Chocolate Cake with Coconut Cream

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In our family we have what I call birthday season; from the end of February to the beginning of May we have five birthdays! As my husband and I eat sugar free and moderately gluten free, this year I have offered to make all the birthday cakes to accommodate our lifestyle requirements. I first made this Triple Chocolate Cake (originally from Gluten Free Krums) for my mother-in-law a couple of weeks ago but didn’t go as far as to make the cake vegan (although I’m not vegan, I tend to make 95% of my baked goods vegan).  At the time, I was too nervous to try and use an egg replacement for a cake so I used eggs. The cake turned out great but I knew as I was eating it that I would have preferred to have not used eggs. So, this weekend for my father-in-laws birthday I made the cake again and made a few more adjustments.



Ingredients:

2 cups of Gluten Free flour

1/2 cup of cocoa

2 tsp of xanthan gum

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of sea salt

3/4 cup of coconut palm sugar (or any natural sugar)

1/2 cup of butter alternative (I used Earth Balance Coconut Flavour Spread)

1/4 cup of vegetable oil (you could also use coconut oil)

3 Flax Eggs (3 tbsp of ground flaxseed with 9 tbsp of water, beat and set aside)

1 tsp of vanilla

1 cup of milk alternative (I used unsweetened coconut milk)

2 tbsp of cider vinegar

1 cup of vegan chocolate chips (FYI President’s Choice semi-sweet chocolate chips are accidentally vegan!)

Combine dry ingredients and wet ingredients in separate bowls. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, sir or beat until well combined. Add chocolate chips to batter, and stir gently.

Pour batter into well greased bundt pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 45-50 minutes.

Icing:

1 cup of powered sugar (I put coconut palm sugar in my food processor and made my own)

1/4 cup of cocoa

2 tbsp of butter alternative melted (here I used the Earth Balance buttery flavoured spread)

6-8 Tbps of milk alternative (I used coconut milk)

1 tsp of vanilla

Sift or stir together powdered sugar and cocoa. Place 6 Tbsp milk and 2 Tbsp butter in a bowl and warm together ether in microwave or stove top. Add milk/butter mixture to cocoa and sugar mixture. Add vanilla, and whisk together until smooth. Add more milk or more sugar as needed to get a consistency that will drizzle, but also stick to the cake well. After cake and icing are mostly cooled, drizzle icing on top of cooled cake.

*Note – I used a tiny bit of cornstarch to reach the consistency I was looking for rather than adding more sugar but this is optional.

Coconut Cream:

Soooo simple. Refrigerate two cans of coconut milk (use the full fat, the low fat won’t work as well). Overnight the ‘fat’ and the water will separate. Before you are ready to eat the cake, carefully remove the coconut from the water and beat with an egg better until desired consistency is reached. I personally add 1 tsp of coconut palm sugar to slightly sweeten.

*Note – a tsp of vanilla would be great to add as well if you wanted.

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