Friday, November 14, 2014

Soft Fruit and Nut Breakfast Cookies

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 medium ripe Bananas
  • 2 chia seed eggs (2 T chiaseed, ground + 8 T. water)
  • 1/3 C. organic Tahini (or other nut butter of choice)
  • 2 T. Coconut Oil, melted
  • 1 tsp Almond extract.
  • 3 T. Maple Syrup
  • 1 3/4 cup gluten-free Rolled Oats (or 1 3/4 C. Oatmeal Porridge)
  • 3/4 C. Almond Meal (ready-made OR pulse 1/2 C. raw almonds in your coffee bean grinder)
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp. Celtic Sea Salt (or to taste/health requirements)
  • 1/2 - 3/4 C. of dry fruit and nuts/seeds of your choosing (I chose Coconut shreds, Pumpkin seeds, Sunflower seeds, Raisins, chopped Dates and 5 Almonds
METHOD
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit / 177 degrees Celsius
  2. In a large bowl combine chia seed and water and let rest for 5 minutes to achieve "eggy" effect
  3. Mash in the bananas until well integrated, and then add in Tahini, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, melted Coconut Oil, Maple Syrup, Salt, Vanilla and mix well.
  4. Add Rolled Oats, and Almond Meal and incorporate well
  5. Add in the 1/2 to 3/4 C. of mixed Fruits and Nuts, and stir until well combined. Refrigerate for a few minutes to firm up the batter
  6. Drop spoonfuls of batter on a lightly greased baking sheet or a sheet covered with parchment paper or a Silicone Baking Mat .  Make them the size you want them to be-- they don't expand much (a little puffy).
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cookies are lightly toasted golden.
  8. Let the cookies sit in the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling grill.  
These cookies are softy ones, like individual slices of banana bread, with a few munchy parts where you encounter a nut or seed, and maybe a little chewy too.  They are very tasty and I joked that I was on an oatmeal cookie diet when I baked them because after I consumed a number, I was NOT hungry for the rest of the day (unimaginable for anyone who knows me).  Caution: The chia seed has a slight, gentle cleansing effect so you may either not want to eat more than one or two at a go if you have outdoor engagements.  The chia might just be the cookie's protection against natural predators because I might eat the whole batch, one go, if it were not for those consequences! LOL... too much information, right?

Enjoy!

Apparently Oatmeal is also good for the Brain... but make sure you get GF Oatmeal!

And speaking of "brain"-- here is Arlene Taylor, PhD, Brain Function Wiz talking about "The Physiology of Forgiveness"


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Zesty Gluten-Free Lentil - Quinoa Pasta Sauce, Soy-Free, Vegan



Protein-rich Gluten-free Zesty Lentil and Quinoa Pasta Sauce
This delightful warming sauce with its plant-based proteins of lentils and quinoa, is adapted from the "Lentil Quinoa Bolognese Sauce" recipe in Kathy Hester's The Great Vegan Bean Book: More Than 100 Plant-Based Dishes Packed With The Kindest Protein In Town.  

I love beans-- well, legumes of all ilk-- and I love how Hester has put together this cookbook, with recipes that meet people's dietary and health needs (gluten-free, soy-free, no added-oil, nut allergy recipes are labeled) and in a way that shows the diversity of the protein-rich bean.  There are recipes for everything from the familiar hearty savoury dishes straight through incorporating beans into breads and other baked items to amazing beany desserts (like, how about "Double-Chocolate Devil's Food Cookies" using cooked or canned black beans?)  I hope you enjoy this take-off on her sauce.  I do 'adaptations'when I don't have all the ingredients in my pantry, or when something needs to be made free of the gluten ingredients in the original recipe.  Sometimes I adapt because my husband and I prefer other ingredients to the ones listed.  In any case, here we go with the recipe:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 C. (92 g) Lentils, green, brown or beluga
  • 3 medium   Carrots (peel if not organic) each chopped into 4 big pieces 
  • 1-2 C. (235 - 475ml) Water (I used 1 C. Water, 1 C. Ginger Tea)
  • 2 T. (28 ml) Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Small Onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • *2 Cans (398 g each) Organic Tomato Sauce from Costco, Kirkland brand (or canned chopped Tomatoes)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. dried Oregano
  • 1 T. (2 g) dried Basil
  • 1/2 tsp. Mexican Chili Powder (optional)
  • 3 C. (about 201 g) fresh Kale, torn into small pieces, stems removed (optional)
  • 1/2 C (87 g) well-rinsed Quinoa
  • 2 T. (28 ml) Organic Balsamic Vinegar (or Fresh Lemon Juice)
  • Celtic Sea Salt-Kelp Mix (see below) and Pepper, to taste
  • Gluten-Free Pasta, cooked
METHOD:
  • In large soup pot cook Lentils, Carrots, and Water until Lentils are soft (20-30 min.)
  • Meanwhile, in Olive Oil in fry pan, saute Onions 5 minutes, Garlic 1 minute more
  • After Carrots-Lentils are cooked, put Carrots in Food Processor/Blender and whirl up with Tomato Sauce, Oregano, Basil, Chili Powder, and Kale along with Onions and Garlic
  • Add Quinoa and Vinegar to the Soup Pot with Lentils and bring to simmer with Medium heat, then cover and turn down heat to Low until Quinoa  starts to show their white tails.
  • Add the puree to the Lentil-Quinoa combo and simmer on LOW until cooked through (20 min.)
  • Each person can stir in a pinch of the Salt-Kelp mix and the Pepper can be ground on individually
  • FREEZE left over sauce in muffin tins (scroll down to see)
CELTIC SEA SALT - KELP FLAKES

This combination is not a requirement of the recipe-- you can always just use regular salt.  But the flavour is soooo wonderful AND you get 82+ minerals.  We use and eat this mix with everything-- have not had "regular" table salt in our home for years.  I only started adding in the Kelp Flakes when I saw a pricey mix at the Health Food Store... do it yourself and save a bundle $$.
I buy Celtic Sea Salt in the bulk section at the Health Store
Bull Kelp from Salish Sea Products

Sea Veg Blend from Harmonic Arts Botanical Dispensary

Shake the Sea Veg Flakes into a Mason Jar of  Sea Salt and Shake! Cap.

                                                                 FROZEN TREATS

I freeze any left-over sauce in a Silicone Muffin Pan so they can be popped out easily and then I transfer them to a freezer ziplock-type baggy so that we can enjoy the sauce at future meals with little fuss but all the gourmet / home-made delight!  



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