Whole Bowls by Allison Day

 

Whole Bowls Cookbook by Allison Day

I was pretty excited to review “Whole Bowls” by Allison Day. As a nutritionist I tend to seek out other nutritionists or dietitians or those with a strong health focus. It is just my natural affinity.  I enjoy her blog, Yummy Beet, which is fun and friendly and has terrific recipes, all written with her easy going style. Continue reading Whole Bowls by Allison Day

Yogurt Cake with Roasted Strawberries and Rhubarb

I feel so lucky to have a small but beautiful garden where I can grow strawberries and rhubarb.  It was completely delightful to head outside and pick what I needed to make this recipe.  Although I have only a small space, I continue to be impressed with just how much food we can produce in our compact garden. We just started to grow strawberries a few years ago, but the rhubarb I have had for a long time. It has in many ways become a  travelling rhubarb plant. I have moved it many times, never ready to let go of it, but always leaving some behind for the new caretakers of my previous gardens.  Do you have any plants like that? Continue reading Yogurt Cake with Roasted Strawberries and Rhubarb

Carrot Cashew and Apricot Energy Squares

 

These energy squares are fresh and light with freshly grated carrot, apricots and cashews. There is no sugar needed as the apricots provide natural sweetness
Carrot, Cashew and Apricot Squares

Energy balls, bliss balls, Lara bars, energy squares have become so popular and it is easy to understand why.  They are quick and easy to put together, are ready in only about 5 minutes and require no baking.  Flavoured with cardamom, ginger and orange zest, these healthy energy squares are great little snacks to pack for a hike, take on a camping trip, or for that mid afternoon energy boost. Continue reading Carrot Cashew and Apricot Energy Squares

Cherry Chia Cobbler

Cherry Chia Cobbler - This delicious healthy cobbler uses Chia seeds to thicken up the dark sweet cherries that are cooked with a tender biscuit topping. This heatlhy dessert is low in sugar and low in fat
Cherry Chia Cobbler

Don’t you just love desserts that can be put together in about 5 minutes?  Cobblers and crisps come together so quickly and easily,  yet are so warm and comforting. It is a perfect week night dessert or snack.  In fact, with only a little added sugar and butter, this delicious healthy cobbler could even pass for breakfast. Continue reading Cherry Chia Cobbler

Edamame Hemp Heart Hummus (Edamammus)

 

Edamame Hemp Heart Hummus (Edamammus) edamame, hemp hearts, olive oil (or avocado), garlic, lemon juice, salt, paprika or smoked paprika
Edamame Hemp Heart Hummus (Edamammus)

Quick, easy, simple, delicious, healthy; this hummus is a must try.  Smooth and creamy like you expect hummus to be yet has the light mild flavour of edamame. Adding protein rich hemp hearts in place of tahini, boosts the protein and adds healthy omega 3 and 6 fats.  This mixture needs a little extra processing time to smooth out the hemp hearts but the result is smooth and creamy. It is perfect as a spread on crackers, pita or in a sandwich. Continue reading Edamame Hemp Heart Hummus (Edamammus)

Lemon Ricotta Cupcakes

Lemon ricotta cupcakes topped with a little light lemon cream cheese frosting, raspberry fairy dust (crushed freeze dried raspberries) and topped with a raspberry
Lemon Ricotta Cupcakes

These beautiful lemon ricotta cupcakes are so tender and moist they literally melt in your mouth.  They are bursting with bright and sunny lemon flavour.  For those of us who find lemon treats irristible this is a pretty healthy option as they have less fat and less sugar than a typical cupcake. The secrets are in some extra special ingredients: ricotta cheese and olive oil. Continue reading Lemon Ricotta Cupcakes

Triple Berry Frozen Yogurt Layer Cake

 

Triple Berry Frozen Yogurt Layer Cake
Triple Berry Frozen Yogurt Layer Cake

It is so exciting to make this cake, but hard to wait until it is finally set and ready to unveil.  I was anxious to see all the layers.  It is so pretty!  I love this mix of pinks and purples with bright red strawberry sauce, and just a little dark chocolate. Perfect for Valentine’s Day.

The key to creating clean layers is to freeze each layer well before pouring the next so that the colours don’t blend together.  I added some fresh raspberries and did a fun swirl pattern on the top layer by spooning drops of the strawberry sauce and using a toothpick to swirl them about. It only takes a few ingredients to make this healthy dessert: berries, yogurt, a little honey, dark chocolate and fruit spread.

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Triple Berry Frozen Yogurt Layer Cake

Fruit spreads add sweetness and intensifies the fruit flavour and colour.  They are made without pectin.  Some brands are made without added sugar, and are a healthier choice than jam or jelly. Fruit spreads tend to be chunkier in texture and have a more spreadable consistency. Check the ingredient list and look for one that contains only fruit.

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Dark Chocolate Heart and Flower Scribbles

To add an extra special touch to decorate the plates we made some chocolate hearts and flowers.  Melt pure dark chocolate, pour into a parchment cone, snip the end and draw your shapes onto a parchment paper covered cookie sheet.  Pop them into the freezer and they will be firm in only a couple of minutes. I saved this part for an after school activity because I know the kids love it.

Triple Berry Frozen Yogurt Layer Cake

Raspberry Layer

1 cup frozen raspberries

2 tablespoons Raspberry Spread (All Fruit)

1 cup Greek yogurt, plain, unsweetened

Blueberry Layer

1 cup frozen blueberries

2 tablespoons Blueberry Spread (All Fruit)

1 cup Greek yogurt, plain, unsweetened

Strawberry Layer

1/2 cup frozen strawberries

1 cup Greek Yogurt, plain, unsweetened

Strawberry Sauce

2 cups frozen strawberries

3/4 cups water

1 tablespoon honey (optional, depending on how sweet your strawberries are).

Directions: In a medium saucepan combine frozen fruit and water and cook covered on low until strawberries are soft and mushy.  Remove from heat and purée with an immersion blender until smooth.  Return to heat and cook down until desired consistency.  Add 1 tablespoon honey (or more or less) depending on the sweetness of the berries and your preference) and let cool.  Prepare loaf pan by lining completely with parchment paper. In food processor or blender, process frozen berries, Greek yogurt and fruit spread.  Pour info prepared pan and freeze for at least 30 minutes.  Rinse out food processor and repeat with other berries and preserves, freezing in between layers for at least 30 minutes. After the final layer, freeze until solid, about 4 hours.  Because I was adding in the strawberry swirl to the top layer I did not add as much fruit to the top layer and also did not add any of the fruit preserves.

To serve, remove from freezer and let sit out for approx 10 minutes before slicing.  Drizzle with strawberry sauce and decorate with chocolate hearts or flowers.

 

 

Thai Sweet Potato and Lentil Curry

A bowl of Thai Sweet Potato and Lentil Curry with 2 wedges of fresh lime
Thai Sweet Potato and Lentil Curry
The other day my sister showed up with a bag of unique ingredients and a magazine I had never heard of. Some people bring flowers or chocolates or wine; my family brings me ingredients. They know me so well!  It was the perfect gift.
The magazine is Arabia Food and Travel. It has a picture on the cover of a gorgeous Pumpkin and Coconut Laksa. In the bag were some of the more exotic and interesting ingredients I needed to make it, and I could not wait to see what I could come up with.  Although my recipe is quite different from the original, it definitely provided inspiration.  
The curry paste is strong and spicy with lots of lemon grass and ginger and just enough heat that everyone in the family will enjoy it. The fresh turmeric, ginger, chili peppers and cilantro give it an extra brightness. Make the curry paste first and the rest comes together quickly.
This soup is truly delicious. The fresh lime leaves elevate this lovely curry so that it saturates your taste buds with sweet, spicy, sour and salty components. It is almost like a health tonic and perfect for giving the immune system a boost to stave off a cold or flu.  A great winter lunch or dinner.
Thai Sweet Potato and Lentil Curry
Curry Paste
3 stalks lemon grass, chopped, outer tough leaves and ends trimmed
1 1/2 fresh small red Thai chilis deseeded (or more for extra heat)
1 small onion, peeled and roughly chopped
5 garlic cloves, peeled
3 inch piece of fresh young ginger, washed, roughly chopped
1/4 cup cilantro
5 small fingers of turmeric (about 5 inches) washed and trimmed and roughly chopped
Pinch salt
water
Directions:  Place lemon grass in small bowl of food processor along with 1/4 cup water.  Process, stopping regularly to scrape down the bowl until it is a paste.  (This will take a little time) Add everything else and process until everything is  mixed well.  Add more water if necessary.  You will not need all of the paste for this recipe. It is a wonderful curry paste to have on hand and you will find all kinds of ways to use it.
Sweet Potato and Lentil Curry
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 medium onion, diced small
1/3  cup curry paste
1 liter vegetable stock
1 small can (160ml) coconut milk 
6 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (about 4 cups)
1/2 cup yellow lentils (toor dal)
4 lime leaves
Directions:  In a large saucepan, heat coconut oil.  Add onion and cook a few minutes.  Add curry paste and cook until fragrant.  Add vegetable stock, coconut milk, lime leaves, sweet potatoes and lentils and cook until sweet potatoes are tender and the lentils are cooked, about 25-30 minutes.  Remove lime leaves and serve. Garnish with minced fresh red chili peppers, coconut butter, cilantro,and lime wedges. Serve with rice, other grain or noodles.