Monday, July 30, 2012

Mediterranean Tuna Salad

Lunch has been one of the hardest meals for eating paleo - mostly because it is the meal we are most likely to be out of the house making it the easiest to cheat. I recently through together a quick tuna salad for lunch and it was delicious - finally a paleo lunch I would actually want to eat on a regular basis and easy enough to make to pack to work.

Inspired by Guilty Kitchen , serves 2


2 cups lettuce or spinach
1 can tuna, drained
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
2 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Taste #5 Unami Paste, optional
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
1 green onion, chopped


Combine all the ingredients except the lettuce in a medium bowl. Mix to combine.

Serve over top of the lettuce with sliced avocado if desired.


Friday, July 27, 2012

Thai Grilled Chicken

Adapted from Artsy Foodie, serves four 


4 chicken breasts
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup basil, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon lime juice


Place all of the ingredients into a medium bowl and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes to marinade.

Preheat the grill or bar-b-que. Cook the chicken until the temperature registers as 165 F on the meat thermometer.

Let the chicken breasts rest for 5 minutes before serving.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Cherry Cola Float Cupcakes

Another fun summer cupcake inspired by a classic treat!

I cheated on this recipe and used a cake mix from the box - mostly because I could not find a good chocolate cake recipe that would allow me to incorporate both cherry pie filling and cola - but also because we are all allowed to cheat every once in a while...

The whipping cream frosting works well if you will be serving immediately or if you can keep them refrigerated until serving. I made these for Dave to take into work so I need a slightly "sturdier" frosting. I used my flour-based butter cream frosting recipe with out the vanilla beans and a package of powdered dessert topping mix (Dream Whip or Whip It) added in the final step to replicate the whipped cream taste.

For an extra cherry treat, scoop out the middle of the cupcakes before frosting and fill with a spoonful of cherry pie filling.

Makes 24 cupcakes


1 package Devil's Food cake mix
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups cola or root beer
1 21 ounce can cherry pie filling

1 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
4 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon powdered dessert topping mix, optional

Maraschino cherries, for garnish


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two standard muffin pans with cupcake liners.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the cake mix, eggs, cola and pie filling. Mix just until incorporated.

Fill each muffin tin about 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until the tops spring back when touched lightly and a toothpick inserted in the center cupcake comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.

For the whipped cream, beat the cream in a chilled bowl with whisk attachment or hand mixer on low speed. Add the dessert topping mix then begin to add the powdered sugar one spoonful at a time. Increase the speed to high and whip the cream until it holds stiff peaks.

Using your favorite tip, pipe the whipped cream onto the cupcakes and top with a maraschino cherry.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Mini Doughnut Cupcakes

Inspired by the Calgary Stampede staple mini doughnuts, I used my flour-based butter cream frosting recipe to make a cinnamon-sugar sweet treat for Dave's co-workers.

The cupcake could easily be made with any yellow cake recipe, even **gasp** yellow cake mix from a box.

Makes two dozen cupcakes


1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup flour
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk
2 vanilla beans
1 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups butter, room temperature
3 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar

To prepare the frosting, combine the sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in the milk until the mixture is smooth.
Place a fine-mesh strainer over a medium saucepan and pour the milk mixture through the strainer into the saucepan. Add the seeds from the vanilla pods. Cook the mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture boils and thickens, about 5 to 10 minutes.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl and allow to cool completely to room temperature.
Once the frosting is cooled, transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer and add the vanilla extract and cinnamon. Beat on low speed until combined. Add the butter, one tablespoon at a time, beating until all the butter has been incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and whip the frosting for five minutes.
Chill in the refrigerator for about 1 hour to stiffen.
To prepare the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350 F. Line two standard muffin tins with paper liners.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With the mixer on low speed, add half of dry ingredients, followed by the milk and vanilla, then the remaining dry ingredients. Mix just until incorporated, do not over mix.

Divide batter evenly among the prepared muffin tins. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.

Frost the cupcakes with the cooled frosting. If it is too stiff to pipe, allow to sit at room temperature for a couple minutes.

Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Sprinkle the frosted cupcakes with the cinnamon sugar, shaking off any excess.


Monday, July 16, 2012


Sprouts are so versitile... they can be added to sandwiches and salads for extra protein and a little zip.

There is a long list of beans or seeds that can be sprouted: adzuki bean, alfalfa, fenugreek, mung bean, pea, chick pea, soybean, wheat, corn, rice, quinoa, amaranth, sesame, sun flower, broccoli, radish, watercress, mustard, arugula, clover, lentil... Look in the bulk section at your local organic food store. In Calgary, try Community Foods - they even sell pre-packaged mixes specifically for sprouting.


1/2 cup of dried beans or 2 tablespoon of dried seeds
Glass Jar
Cheesecloth or mesh


Rinse the beans thoroughly to remove any dirt. Place the beans or seeds into the jar and cover with about 1 cup of water. Place the cheesecloth or mesh over the mouth of the jar and secure with the jar ring, rubber band or string.

Allow to soak in a dark location at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours for beans and 2 to 4 hours for seeds.

Drain the water from the jar. Rinse the beans or seeds with fresh water, completely drain the water. Recover the jar and prop upside down inside a small bowl. Return to the dark location.

Continue to rinse the beans at least twice a day for 3 to 5 days, until they have reached the desired size. They can be exposed to indirect sunlight for the last day if greener sprouts are desired.

Rinse the spouts thoroughly and remove from the jar.

Eat immediately or store in the fridge.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

CSA: Week 2

This weeks basket included a large bunch of kale, a head of romaine lettuce and strawberries!!! Nothing beats farmers market strawberries.

This week last year, we got a basil plant, lettuce, kale and snap peas.

With last weeks basket, I made Crunchy Kale Salad. The dressing was a little bland but the salad was good. I think I will have to do some experimentation to make the recipe my own. The best part? The salad stood up for over three days! Perfect for lunches.

I planted the basil plant and it is flourishing. I have already used it to make Thai Grilled Chicken. Recipe to follow soon!


Paleo Egg Salad


8 eggs
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 pickles, finely chopped
1 avocado
3 slices of bacon, fried and chopped, optional
1 teaspoon mustard powder or 1 tablespoon prepared mustard, additional to taste
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Paprika, optional


Hard boil the eggs. Let cool. Peel and separate the egg whites and yokes into separate bowls.

Roughly chop the egg whites. Add the bacon, celery and pickles. Mash the egg yokes, avocado, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper. Fold into the egg white mixtures.

Sprinkle with paprika. Serve on top of greens or sliced cucumber.


Friday, July 6, 2012

On the Town: Mighty Skillet Brunch Truck

About a month ago, my co-workers once again declared it to be 'Food Truck Friday' and we headed downtown to Shaw Court where a half dozen food trucks where supposed to be located. I had my heart set on trying the Mexican food from Los Compadres but they were no where to be seen so I settled on the Mighty Skillet - mostly due to the lack of line up.

Boy was I fooled. I was instantly able to place my order but it took over 30 minutes to recieve my food. By this time all of my co-workers had made it through the impressively long line at the Red Wagon Diner, eaten their sandwhiches and were anxiously waiting for me to get my food so we could head back to the office.

I ordered the Savage Land Salad ($6.00) which featured a fried egg, bacon, cherry tomatos and fresh greens with a balsamic dresssing.

The amount of greens was a bit of a let down. The egg was perfectly cooked. The bacon was crispy but in akwardly large peices. The combination of flavours was definetly delicious... but not worth waiting 30 minutes for.

The salad does win points for the fact that it was the only grain-free, paleo-friendly option I have found on any of the food trucks.

Mighty Skillet Brunch Truck
Check out YYC Food Trucks for their current location
Rating: ♥ out of 10


Thursday, July 5, 2012

CSA: Week 1

Summer is off to a slow start this year but we finally got our first basket from our CSA program today!

This weeks basket is small - only a basil plant, kale, spinach, onions and lettuce - but it is still a welcome delivery since I have not even managed to plant lettuce in our garden yet.

If you are interested you can check out the Noble Gardens website and register online or search out a CSA in your neighbourhood.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Banana Bread

We have had a lot of company around for breakfast lately and these muffins have been a big hit. They are a little lighter than your average banana bread.

Adapted from Heart Smart by Bonnie Stern , makes one dozen muffins or one loaf


3 bananas, mashed
1/2 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg or 2 egg whites
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt


Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly oil a loaf pan or line a muffin pan with paper liners.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the bananas, yogurt, baking soda, egg, sugar, oil and vanilla. Mix well. Add the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix just until combined.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake 50 to 60 minutes for a loaf or 20 minutes for muffins, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

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