Monday, April 30, 2012

Indian Spiced Peas

Adapted from the Kitchn, serves four


1 tablespoon ghee
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamon
1/2 teaspoon crushed chilies
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 pound peas
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Cilantro, for garnish


In a large skillet over medium-high, melt the ghee. Add the ginger, garlic, cumin, mustard, coriander, cardamom, chili and onion to the pan and cook until onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the peas. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Saute for about 3 minutes, until the peas are cook through. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice.

 Serve garnished with cilantro.


Saturday, April 28, 2012

30 Day Paleo Challenge: Week 2

As to be expected, the second week went a little smoother than the first. The cravings were not as intense and we began to get into a groove. However, we did break down and make ourselves some paleo friendly treats to get over the worst cravings - N'oatmeal Cookies and Coconut Fudge.

Since lunches prove to be the hardest meal for both of us, we resorted to making double recipes at dinner in order to provide us with lunches for the next day.

An added bonus - in my search for recipe ideas I came across two great websites - Paleo OMG and Cupcakes to Crossfit.

  • Scrambled eggs with wilted spinach for Amy
  • Fruit smoothie for David

Morning Snack

  • Small fruit smoothie for Amy


  • Leftovers from dinner
  • Omelets for David

Afternoon Snack


  • Grilled chicken with roast sweet potato and grilled vegetables
  • Steaks and salad
  • Hawaiian chicken burgers
  • Jamaican jerk salmon with mango salsa
  • Sausages with vegetable fritters 
  • Grilled sole with roast brussel sprouts
  • Sweet potato and beef enchiladas


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Power Protein Cookies

These cookies are not your typical afternoon snack cookies. These cookies pack a serious (protein and calorie) punch.

I whipped up a big batch of these cookies for Dave to take with him to Icefall Lodge.

They can be made using your favorite protein powder. The original recipe used whey protein, I used chocolate flavoured soy protein.

Adapted from createlive, makes 3 dozen cookies


3/4 cup almond butter or peanut butter
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips
2 tablespoons flax seeds
2 tablespoons hemp hearts, optional
2 tablespoons chia seeds, optional
1/4 cup diced walnuts
2 scoops protein powder


Preheat the oven to 375. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or Silpat.

Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on low speed until combined. Scoop onto cookie sheet using a cookie scoop and flatten with a fork.

Bake for 14 to 18 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to brown.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Paleo Baked Apple

An easy paleo-friendly dessert that would be fantastic served with paleo "ice cream".

Adapted from Making it Paleo, serves two


2 Granny smith apples
1/4 cup almond flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1/2 cup raisins
2 tablespoons walnuts, chopped


Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Cut the top off the apples and remove the core.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, syrup and butter. Mix until well combined. Stir in the raisins and walnuts. Stuff the mixture into the centre of the apples.

Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

30 Day Paleo Challenge: Week 1

The first week was not as hard as I thought it would be - other than having to constantly think and plan ahead. I had one bad experience trying to eat lunch out with a co-worker where I had to become that person who asks the ingredients in everything and requests annoying substitutions. Dave, on the other hand, had serious sugar withdrawl and ate a lot of fruit to compensate. It seemed like every time I saw him he had an orange in his hands.

We have both found that being at work is the biggest challenge. Dave is exposed to a constant parade of baked goods and Tim Horton's coffee at the hospital. I tend to eat out often with co-workers and our office decided to hold a impromptu Margarita party on the patio on Friday to celebrate the first warm weather (and the manager's being away at the AGM in Victoria). It is hard to stick to your guns and say 'no' when everyone around you is indulging in tempting treats! Tonight will be another test as we are destined for a going-away party.

  • Scrambled eggs with wilted spinach for Amy
  • Fruit smoothie for David

Morning Snack
  • Small fruit smoothie for Amy

  • Salads with turkey breast
  • Leftovers from dinner

Afternoon Snack
  • Carrots, celery and cucumbers
  • Almonds

  • Pork stew
  • Spinach and bacon omelet
  • Jamaican jerk trout with roasted sweet potatoes and spinach salad
  • Tandoori chicken with grilled vegetables
  • Bacon, tomato and avocado salad
Five days down, twenty five to go...


Friday, April 20, 2012

Venison Steak Diane

One of Dave's co-workers gave us some deer steaks. We had both eaten deer before - in sausage form. But neither of us had cooked it. I was actually quite surprised with how good the steaks turned out and that I really liked venison. Traditional Diane sauce has cream in it but we omitted it to create a lighter version.

Adapted from Honest Food, serves two


2 venison steaks
2 tablespoons butter
1 shallot, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup brandy
1/2 cup beef stock
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup heavy cream, optional


Season the steaks with salt and pepper. Heat the butter in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Transfer the venison to the pan and brown on all sides. Reduce the heat and continue to cook for 8 to 10 minutes, turning periodically, until the venison reaches

Remove the steaks from the pan, cover with tin foil and allow to rest.

Add the shallots and garlic to the pan and saute until soft. Add the brandy and allow to cook down to a glaze.  Add the stock, tomato paste, mustard and Worcestershire sauce and stir to combine. Continue cooking for 3 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and add the cream, if using.

Pour sauce on to plate and top with meat. Garnish with chives or parsley.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Rocky Road Cookies

See I promised non-paleo recipes - these are about as far from paleo as you can get!

The original recipe called these Hot Cocoa Cookies but they are so rich and gooey they reminded me more of rocky road fudge.

Adapted from Pip & Ebby, makes two dozen cookies


1/2 cup butter, softened
12 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut into 24 pieces
12 marshmallows, halved
Preheat the oven to 325 F.


Melt 12 ounces of chocolate and the butter in a sauce pan over low heat, stirring frequently. Allow to cool slightly.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the eggs, brown sugar and vanilla extract until smooth. Add in the cooled chocolate mixture and blend to combine. Add in the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until combined. Add the walnuts and stir to combine.

Taking approximately 1 tablespoon of dough, roll the dough into 1 inch balls. Arrange on a Silpat lined baking sheet and flatten slightly.

Bake for 12 minutes or until the tops start to crack.

Remove from the oven and top each cookie first with a square of chocolate and then a marshmallow halve. Return to the oven until the marshmallows start to brown, about 5 minutes.



Tuesday, April 17, 2012

30 Day Paleo Challenge

Although we have been dabbling in the paleo diet for a while now, we have never fully committed ourselves. Lately we have been 'cheating' more and more... Easter candy, cookies, french fries, cupcakes...

In order to kick our selves back in to gear, we have decided to challenge ourselves to eating strictly paleo for 30 days.

The rules are simple:

Via Crossfit Maximus
Allowed to Eat
  • Lean Meats
  • Vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Oils (Coconut, Olive, Sesame)

Allowed to Eat in Moderation
  • Vinegar
  • Salt
  • Coffee and Tea

Not Allowed to Eat
  • Dairy
  • Grains
  • Legumes
  • Sugar
  • Processed Food
  • Alcohol
  • White Potatoes 

Wish us luck!


PS I will still be posting some non-paleo recipes over the next 30 days (I have an extensive back log of baking recipes to post) so don't worry!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Caramel Apple Tart

Of course, I didn't make salted caramel sauce for no particular reason... I made it to go on a caramel apple tart.

I had previously used this same recipe with peaches but knew that apples and caramel would take it to the next level.

Serves four


8 ounces marscapone cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons salted carmel sauce, plus more for garnish
5 Macintosh apples, peeled and sliced


Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, combine the marscapone, sugar, egg, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. Whisk to combine. Spread the mixture over the puff pastry, maintaining a inch border. Drizzle with caramel.

Arrange the apples over the marscapone. Fold the edge of the puff pastry over the apples.

Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Drizzle with additional caramel sauce and serve with ice cream.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Can you tell what Dave has been craving lately? First the paleo-friendly chocolate chip cookies, now the indulgent chewy not-so-paleo version.

From Anna Olsen via Chatelaine, makes 3 dozen


2 cups flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or Silpat.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Add the sugars and beat until fluffy, about two minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla.

Add in the dry ingredients. Mix just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop spoonfuls of dough onto the prepare cookie sheets, spacing at least two inches apart. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown on the edges. Allow to cool for two minutes before removing from pan.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Salted Caramel Sauce

Salted caramel seems to be the *it* dessert right now. 

I finally broke down, set aside to my aversion to candy making and attempted to make salted caramel sauce.

Of course, I burnt the first batch. 

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen, makes about 1 1/2 cups


1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons salted butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream, room temperature


In a saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the sugar, stirring constantly. Continue cooking the liquefied sugar until it starts to darken. 

Just as the sugar starts to smoke (do not let it smoke or it will burn), add the butter and stir to combine. 

Remove from heat and add the cream and salt. The sauce will foam considerably. Whisk until smooth.

Store in a jar in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from Make it Paleo, makes 2 dozen cookies


1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 eggs
3 cups almond flour


Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or Silpat.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs, syrup and vanilla. Add the baking soda, salt and almond flour.  Melt the coconut oil and pour into batter. Mix until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop spoonfuls of cookie dough onto the prepare cookie sheets. 

Bake 15 minutes. 


Monday, April 2, 2012

Rosemary Garlic Focaccia

This recipe is for real restaurant quality focaccia. It is not difficult but it takes a long time. Several days long. Believe me, it is worth the patience.

From The Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhardt via Clockwork Lemon, makes one large loaf


5 cups bread flour, plus additional for dusting
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons yeast
6 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional for brushing
2 cups water, room temperature

3/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon rosemary
3 cloves garlic, smashed

1 tablespoon rosemary
1 head garlic, roasted and chopped


Combine the 3/4 cup of olive oil, rosemary and garlic in a small sauce pan over low heat. Allow to warm for a couple minutes to infuse the rosemary and garlic into the oil. Set aside. (You could always infuse additional olive oil for dipping or for use in salad dressings. The oil can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.)

In the bowl of the stand mixer, combine the flour, salt and yeast. Stir to combine. Slowly add the water and oil while mixing on low speed with the paddle attachment. Once the mixture has combined into a wet sticky dough, switch to the bread hook and knead for 5 to 7 minutes. The dough should be smooth but still sticky. It should have cleared the sides of the bowl but still sticking to the bottom.

Generously sprinkle the work surface with flour. Scrape the dough on to the surface. Dust the dough with flour and then pat into a large rectangle. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.

Stretch the rectangle out lengthwise to twice the size. Fold over in thirds like a letter. Brush the top surface with olive oil and sprinkle with flour. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes.

Repeat the stretching, folding and resting process two more times. After the last fold, allow the dough to rest on the counter for an hour to rise.

Line a 11x17 baking pan with parchment paper. Drizzle 1/4 cup of the infused olive oil over the paper ensuring it spreads to cover the entire surface. Transfer the dough into the pan. Spoon an additional 1/4 cup of infused olive oil over the top of the dough. Use your fingers to dimple and spread the dough, making sure not to tear the dough. If the dough is too springy to dimple and stretch, allow it to rest for an additional 15 minutes and then resume dimpling. Ensure that the entire surface is coated with olive oil.

Cover the pan with plastic wrap and transfer to the fridge to rise overnight.

The next day...

Remove the dough from the refrigerator three hours prior to baking. Drizzle the remaining 1/4 cup of infused olive oil over the bread and dimple the surface again. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature for an additional three hours.

Preheat the oven to 500 F.  Sprinkle the rosemary and roasted garlic on top of the dough. Place the pan in the oven on the middle rack and lower the temperature to 450 F. Bake for 10 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes until the surface turns golden brown.

Remove the oven and immediately remove the bread from the pan. Allow to cool for 20 minutes before serving.

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