Spiced Roasted Baby Carrots

Spiced Roasted Carrots
I find that my side dishes have become very routine. Roasted potatoes, roasted vegetables, salad etc… I’ll often throw in all the seasonal vegetables to provide some variety to both myself and my guests. I realized however how beautiful it is to highlight just one vegetable. For example, whole roasted cauliflowers have become a really popular side dish at many restaurants. Who would of thought cauliflower could be SO delicious all on its own. Ok… maybe with the help of a sauce or two. The cauliflower however, remains the star. So as fall has arrived, instead of doing the same old roasted butternut squash, I wanted to celebrate the deliciously sweet and nutritious carrot! It has a large dose of vitamin A that will help keep your eyes and skin youthful. A little bit of spice and a handful of fresh herbs will make carrots the star side dish at your next meal.
Spiced Roasted Carrots

Spiced Roasted Carrots

Ingredients:

• 12-15 baby carrots (peeled) *if using regular carrots slice in half for quicker cook time!
• 2 tbsp olive or avocado oil
• 1/4 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
• 1 tsp paprika
• 1 tsp granulated garlic
• 1 tsp maple syrup or honey
• salt and pepper
• 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. In a small bowl, whisk olive oil, granulated garlic, paprika, and maple syrup.

3. Brush carrots with olive oil mixture, making sure to coat all sides of the carrots.

4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes then flip and bake for another 10-15 minutes. Carrots should be tender and browned.

5. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with freshly chopped dill.
Spiced Roasted CarrotsSpiced Roasted Carrots

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip ‘Macaroons’

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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
• 2 and 1/2 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, salt, chocolate chips, 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.

Roasted Mediterranean Salad

Photo 2014-08-27, 4 03 11 AMMediterranean food is one of my favourites. It truly encompasses my food philosophy in that it uses wholesome, simple and good quality ingredients and allows them shine! We all long to look like the people of Greece, Italy and Spain etc… with their beautiful glowing skin and slim physiques. People have even gone as far as following the ‘Mediterranean Diet’. There is no real trick here.  It all goes back to the basics of clean eating. Heart healthy and tasty olive oils, vegetables, protein rich grains and legumes and lots of fish make up the Mediterranean cuisine. All fall under the various clean eating categories and most impotently, they are all delicious.

With colder days ahead, I think it is is really nice to serve a warm salad. What is also nice is that it also works great cold, straight out of the fridge. Throughout the week, I actually used this salad inside of an egg white omelette for a super quick breakfast or light dinner. It was also an amazing topping for my beloved avocado toast! yum…

This salad really involves just a little prep and then the oven does the work for you. A light toss in a lemony dressing with lots of fresh herbs makes it super light and refreshing. Lentils provide a boost of fiber and protein while you get lots of vitamins and antioxidants from all those veggies. I hope this salad eases you into the colder months with a smile on your face (and in your belly)! Bon appetit!
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Ingredients:

• 1 eggplant (chopped in cubes)
• 2 zucchini (sliced)
• 1 red onion (sliced)
• 2 red peppers (sliced)
• 1 tsp red chilli flakes
• 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil divided
• 1 clove garlic (finely chopped)
• 2 cups green lentils (if from can, rinse and drain well)
• 2 tbsp chopped chives
• 1 sprig fresh oregano chopped
• 1 heaped tbsp grainy dijon mustard
• 2 tbsp good quality balsamic vinegar
• juice of half a lemon + zest
• 3 tbsp toasted pine nuts
• 7-8 sundried tomatoes (chopped)
• 1 tbsp capers (alternatively, you can use chopped kalamata olives)
• salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375. Prepare vegetables and place on large roasting pan.

2. Coat in 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, chilli flakes, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper.
Roast for about an hour.

3. While the vegetables are roasting, prepare your dressing and toppings.

4.In a small bowl, whisk mustard, balsamic, lemon juice + zest until combined. Slowly add 1 tbsp of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and add chopped chives and some more oregano if you desire.

5. If your pine nuts are not roasted, you can do so in a dry pan over medium heat for 5 minutes. Watch carefully or they will burn!

6. Remove vegetables from oven and place in a large bowl. Toss together with dressing, lentils, pine nuts, capers and sundried tomatoes. Top with more fresh herbs. Beautiful on its own, but would be great served with your favourite toast, fish or chicken!

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