Pumpkin Blondies with Salted Maple Pecans

Photo 2014-10-27, 2 35 47 PM
Hello everyone! Sorry I have been MIA this month. As many of you know, I teach, tutor, blog and am currently doing my holistic nutrition certification. I always try and post at least once a week but these days, real life has gotten in the way! If you are one of my Instagram followers (now 10k followers wow!) you know I also visited my sister in NYC last weekend which was so much fun but SO exhausting. If you want to see some of my favourite food spots, you can check out my Instagram posts on the right side of my homepage! Just click on any picture and you can read the caption.

In all this busy-ness I have tried to make sure I get enough sleep and eat well. I still managed to get myself seriously sick this past weekend where I was left literally bed ridden. What I realized is that even if you plan out your time and do everything ‘you are supposed to do’ it is SO important to UNPLUG. What I mean is to emotionally, physically and electronically detach from all the busy-ness that makes up your day. My day consists of waking up at 7:45, making breakfast, heading to work until 4:15, tutoring until 5, 6 or even 7 pm, go to the gym, get home shower, make dinner, laundry etc.. In between I am making sure my Clean Eating Goddess social media areas are covered, thinking up recipe ideas and planning blog posts. By 10 pm I feel accomplished but truly exhausted and I basically just restart the next day. I realized that my sickness was really just pure mental exhaustion and stress! Even if you love what you do everyday, trying to juggle multiple tasks and responsibilities will eventually equal stress at some point and thats ok… It just important to take time for yourself, away from your phone, tv, thoughts, etc… and truly detach from daily life! Go for a walk, have dinner with loved ones, have a drink (or two, or three), paint a mug, just change up the scenery or just do NOTHING!

I can’t imagine adding children to this picture… scary!

In any case..even if I was sick I needed to get back on my blog game. Thank god for Zach who helped me prep everything so I could muster up energy to do some baking/cooking. I have had this recipe stored in my notepad on my phone for weeks! When I think of something that might be delicious, I jot it down anywhere and at a later date start to configure the measurements. Then I put it together, cross my fingers and hope for the best!

These pumpkin blondies are made with…beans! I have seen recipes all over the health food blogs about bean brownies, cookies etc.. The result always looks amazing, so I had to try it myself. Trust me… just like you I had the same reaction. EW. Beans in dessert. But I have to stay these are INCREDIBLE. They are so incredibly moist from the pumpkin and cannellini beans that lend a delicate fudge-like texture that melts in your mouth. The salted maple pecans add a much needed crunch, that frankly I can eat by the handful on my own.

What’s best is that these have no added oil, grain or egg! So paleo, vegans, celiacs, health fanatics and foodies alike can enjoy this sweet treat all season long. Whats best is that you can make the entire recipe in the bowl of your food processor. Just pulse, pour, bake and enjoy. Your kids will never know they are gluten, dairy and refined sugar free + packed with protein and fibre! Happy Halloween and Bon appetit!
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Having fun!

Having fun!

Blondie Ingredients:

• 1 1/2 cups canellini beans or 1 can well rinsed
• 1/2 cup smooth almond butter
• 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling, pure pumpkin)
• 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (I used an amber no 2, the darker the syrup the more flavour!)
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp pumpkin pie seasoning
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• pinch salt
• 4 heaped tbsp coconut flour

Topping Ingredients:

• 1 cup whole pecans
• 2 heaped tbsp pure maple syrup
• 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
• good pinch sea salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9 by 9-inch square baking pan. (I used a cookie sheet because that was all that was on hand, use what ya got!)
2. In a bowl of a food processor pulse beans until smooth. Add almond butter, pumpkin, vanilla, maple syrup, baking powder, pumpkin pie seasoning, cinnamon, salt. Pulse until creamy and smooth. Add coconut flour. If the batter looks really wet and runny then add more coconut flour until it is slightly thicker and holds together.
3. Pour batter into baking pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool COMPLETELY.
4. For the topping: On medium heat, toast pecans in a dry saucepan for 5-7 minutes. Once toasted, add maple syrup and toss pecans to coat. Cook for about 2-3 minutes or until most of the syrup is dissolved. Add sea salt and allow to cool on parchment or cutting board. Roughly chop.
5. Sprinkle topping on blondies and dig in! The blondies can be quite delicate, fork and knife might be required for some. I went with the hands of course… Enjoy<3

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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip ‘Macaroons’

Photo 2014-10-09, 5 24 03 AM
No these aren’t really macaroons, but I had trouble coming up with a name for these babies. Are they cookies? Clusters? Balls? All sounded a bit off. They do have almonds and coconut so, why not put a twist on a macaroon. Don’t get confused with the Laduree macaron (mack-ah-rohn) you get in paris. These are a play on the  mack-ah-roon you most likely have tried at a passover dinner or at one of your g-free friends get togethers.

These clusters were created months ago while watching a pretty intense Montreal Canadians hockey game. For those of you reading who live outside of Canada, hockey is pretty much a religion here. We take it very seriously. There were lots of dudes and their ladies that were craving something sweet. I pretty much need no excuse to bake, so I went to to my mans (Zach) kitchen to see what he had in his pantry. I had been making him granola weekly at this point so I figured something had to work!  I pulled out oats, almond flour (that was there from cauliflower pizza making), chocolate chips, coconut, coconut oil vanilla, maple syrup and got started. I basically used my best baking judgement of the amounts I needed and mashed it in a bowl, formed it into balls and put it in the oven. What we were left with was a pretty amazing cluster of goodness that we polished off that night.

So ladies, if you are trying to get your significant other or male friend to eat a little healthier, I suggest you start with these. All the boys couldn’t get over how it was even possible that these cookies were good for you. One of Zach’s friends even called me the next day to personally tell me how good they were. He said, “why have I been eating unhealthy cookies all this time when I can just eat these?” Music to my fucking ears.

So these macaroons, cookies, clusters whatever you want to call them, are gluten, dairy and refined sugar free. They are packed with fiber, healthy fats, good carbs and are a really good snack to get your energy up after a long day or before a workout. The best part is that they are so easy to put together. One bowl, barely a mess (yay no flour), and bake in half an hour. Enjoy!
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Ingredients:

• 3 tbsp coconut oil + extra for greasing
• 2 eggs
• 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
• 1 tsp pure vanilla exract
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• 1 cup almond flour
• 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
• 3 cups large flake gluten free oats (not the quick cooking kind)
• 1/3 cup 70% cacao chocolate chips or 70% cacao chocolate bar chopped finely
• good pinch sea or pink himalayan salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet parchment paper and grease with coconut oil.In a pan or microwave safe bowl, melt 3 tbsp coconut oil.Transfer coconut oil into a large bowl and allow to cool.
2. To the coconut oil whisk in eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla.
3. Then add in cinnamon, almond flour and coconut. Stir until combined.
4. Add your oats one cup at a time and stir. If you find the batter is getting too dry then leave out 1/2 cup of oats.
5. Form palm sized balls (about 2-3 tbsp). Squeeze tightly so that the liquid inside the oats releases and allows them to stick together.
6. Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden. After 15 minutes, turn the pan so they bake evenly.
7. EAT AND ENJOY <3
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One of my many taste testers, Kat, giving her approval.

One of my many taste testers, Kat, giving her approval.

Squash and Carrot Soup with Spicy Cilantro Corn and Pumpkin Seeds

Photo 2014-09-16, 2 19 52 AM
Todays post will be a short one as I have had a super busy week and am quite exhausted! Lots of teaching, tutoring, cooking and catering and I have barely any steam left. But, I don’t want to leave you with no post this week so this one mostly be recipe.

One of the best parts about the cooler weather is cozy sweaters and comforting food (although we are getting one hell of an indian summer here in Montreal). I love making hot soups that both fill and heat you up. I love most soups, but squash and carrot soups are two of my favourite. I had both options in my pantry so I figured why not combine the two? I have started ordering produce from any amazing farm here in Montreal called Lufa Farms.  The produce is beautiful and always in season. It has actually helped inspire me to use ingredients I don’t normally buy and combine ingredients I hadn’t thought of before.

For this soup, I spiced it up with fresh ginger, turmeric, cumin chilli flakes, garlic and creamy coconut milk. I love different textures in my food so I topped my soup with fresh corn sautéed with cumin and fresh cilantro and some toasted pumpkin seeds. This soup is a meal in itself as it gives you loads of vitamins, good carbs, protein and healthy fats. Have a great weekend! Bon appetit!
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Soup Ingredients:

• 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
• 2 leeks (chopped)
• 1 sweet onion (chopped)
• 4 cloves garlic (chopped)
• 1 tbsp turmeric
• 1 inch knob of fresh ginger
• salt and pepper to taste
• 1 tbsp cumin
• 1/2 tsp dried oregano
• 1 tbsp paprika
• 1 acorn or butternut squash (chopped)
• 1 lb carrots
• 1 quart vegetable or chicken stock (preferably homemade or low sodium organic)
• 1 can coconut cream

Topping Ingredients:

• 3-5 ears of corn (kernels cut off the knob)
• 1 tsp cumin
• 1.5 tbsp freshly chopped cilantro
• 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
• a few drops stevia (optional)
• 1/2 tsp chopped fresh garlic or garlic powder
• salt and pepper to taste
• 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

Directions:

1. In a large saucepan, heat oil on medium-high heat. Add leeks and onions, sautée until tender and translucent. Add your garlic, ginger and spices. Cook for 1 minute.
2. Add your squash and carrots. Allow to cook in the spices for 5 minutes. Add your stock and allow to come to a boil. Reduce heat and cook with the cover on for about 25-30 minutes. You want the squash and carrots to be super tender and easily pierced with a fork.
3. Add your coconut cream and taste. Adjust any seasonings and then carefully transfer the soup into your blender with a ladle. (Make sure to hold the top of the blender with a dishtowel to save yourself from being burned!) Puree until reached desired consistency.
4. For the topping: Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan on high heat. Add your corn, cumin, garlic, salt, pepper, stevia and chilli flakes. Allow to sit on one side for about 5 minutes to add colour to the corn. Sautee until golden brown. Turn off the heat and add freshly chopped cilantro.
5. To serve the soup: ladle one scoop of soup into a bowl. Sprinkle about one tbsp of the corn and 1 tbsp of toasted pumpkin seeds. Enjoy!
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