Snap Pea and Pistachio Salad

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This salad is a perfect light appetizer or lunch for those hot summery days that are around the corner. Simple to put together and packed with healthy ingredients, this salad is easy on the eyes and tastes delicious. Although I often throw everything that is in my fridge into my salads, it is nice to have a planned meal where the ingredients really compliment one another. The crunchy radish, pistachio and peas go great with the soft spinach and creamy avocado. The fresh basil and garlicky apple cider vinagraitte make the salad fragrant without leaving you feeling heavy. Perfect combination!

Heres some added benefits you’ll get from the ingredients!

Avocado: Amazing source of monounsaturated fat, vitamin K, folate, potassium, vitamin E, lutein, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and fiber. Put away that multivitamin people. Plus it hydrates your skin from the inside out!

Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar helps the body maintain a healthy alkaline pH level. Kind of like lemons, it may seem odd to treat stomach acid with an acid-containing vinegar, there is research suggesting that apple cider vinegar works by correcting low acid, hence reducing heartburn. There are other claims that apple cider vinegar detoxes the body and can help with diabetes, weight loss and arthritis! It can also work as a great hair mask and face toner. Mix 1 tbsp of ACV in 1 cup water and see for yourself.

Pistachio: Rich in antioxidants, vitamins, fiber and healthy fats these nutritional powerhouses will keep you feeling full and have shown to lower cholesterol.

Garlic: Research has shown that this tasty herb is responsible for helping with many heart conditions,cancer prevention, diabetes and to fight infections.

Tastes good. Good for you!

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Serves 4

Ingredients:

• 3 cups spinach
• 2 cups snap peas (chopped in chunks)
• 4 tbsp pistachio (roughly chop)
• 4 radish (thinly sliced)
• 1/2 avocado (chopped)

Dressing Ingredients:

• 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
• 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
• 1 tsp honey
• 4 tbsp olive oil
• 1 garlic clove (finely chopped)
• 1 tbsp shallot (finely chopped)
• 1-2 tbsp fresh basil (finely chopped)
• pinch salt
• 1 tsp pepper

Directions:

1. Prep all ingredients and place in a bowl.

2. Whisk vinegars, honey, salt, pepper, garlic, shallot in a bowl until combined. Slowly add olive oil. Then add basil. Toss salad with dressing and serve.

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Cornmeal Berry Cake

Cornmeal Berry Cake Gluten Free
Happy Mothers Day! In honor of my amazing mom, I will be sharing my recipe for her favourite cornmeal berry cake. I have been making this scrumptious cake for her for years. I have even poured the same batter into muffin tins! It is not overly sweet and is a perfect light end to a meal (or start to a day…). I am actually going to be sharing not one but TWO versions of this recipe.. one that is lower on the carb scale, and the other a more simple approach for all you new gluten free folks out there. I make both versions of this cake depending on what I have in my pantry, but both are equally as good.

Corn has become a very controversial ingredient with all the GMO talk swinging around. As always, buy good quality ingredients and do some research. I use Bob’s Red Mill medium grind cornmeal which leave the germ and bran right inside where it belongs. Although not advertised on their bags, Bob’s Red Mill products originate from identity-preserved, non-GMO seeds. If the bags don’t say anything about the GMO’s look up the product on the internet. Most reliable brands will have all your questions covered with a click of a button! Yay for technology! Back to the cake…

Berry Cake Gluten Free
This cake can be turned upside for that cool psychedelic berry look, but I prefer to leave mine right side up! I really think it is most beautiful left with that warm berry stained cake bottom with fresh berries contrasting nicely on the crisp top.  This cake is fantastic with some coconut milk ice cream but it would also go great with some coconut whipped cream or drizzled with pure maple syrup(yum)! Personally, I enjoy the cake as is. Remember that if you are not dairy free, gluten free etc… feel free to replace with your own flours, sugars, milk etc… Likewise if you are vegan, replace the eggs with 1 tbsp of chia/flax to 3 tbsp almond milk for each egg. As always, my recipe is gluten, dairy and refined sugar free! Hope you all enjoy, and show your mom how much you appreciate everything she does!

XX
Jen
Photo 2014-05-10, 11 25 27 PMmixed berriesCornmeal cake

**The low carb version will have a more solid batter. It will look more like cookie dough, don’t be alarmed!

Low Carb Ingredients:

• 2 1/2 cups fresh berries (divided)
• 1/2 cup coconut flour
• 1/2 cup medium grind cornmeal (Bob’s Red Mill)
• 3/4 cup almond flour
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1/2 tsp pure vanilla
• 1 tsp cinammon
• 1/2 cup xyltiol
• pinch of salt
• 2 eggs lightly beaten
• 2/3 cup almond milk
• 1/3 cup coconut oil (melted)

or for the regular version….

Ingredients:

• 2 1/2 cups fresh berries (divided)
• 1 1/3 cup brown rice flour or all purpose gluten free flour
• 1/2 cup medium grind cornmeal (Bob’s Red Mill)
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1/2 cup xyltiol
• 1/2 tsp pure vanilla
• 1 tsp cinammon
• pinch of salt
• 2 eggs lightly beaten
• 2/3 cup almond milk
• 1/3 cup coconut oil (melted)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Line springform or 8 inch cake pan with parchment paper and then grease with coconut oil.

3. Arrange half of the berries on the bottom of the pan. Set aside.

4.In a medium sized bowl stir together flours, cornmeal,xylitol, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

5.In another bowl whisk together eggs, almond milk, vanilla and coconut oil. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir until combined; spread evenly over prepared pan of berries. ** the low carb version will have a thicker batter. Use your hands to spread the mixture across the pan to cover berries.

6.Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until pick inserted near center comes out clean and top is golden. Cool for 5 minutes. Run knife around edge of the pan to loosen sides and remove from pan. Let the cake finish cooling on a wire rack. Top with berries and serve plain or with recommended toppings!
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Spicy Avocado Brownies

IMG_0634Happy Cinco de Mayo! Avocado, chocolate, cayenne… sounds a lot like Mexico doesn’t it? Believe it or not, this combination also makes the perfect clean brownie. No refined sugar. No gluten. No grain. No dairy. No added oil. I swear they were more moist than any other brownie I’ve had! They are so delicious and rich they would fool any adult and child alike. These brownies are packed with antioxidants, fibre, protein and good-for-you fats… oh and they taste like heaven. Its all thanks to their secret ingredient… avocado. Yes I said it, avocado in brownies. Avocado gives these brownies a fudgy texture that makes your tastebuds very happy, while keeping you glowing. With the addition of cacao, dark chocolate and vanilla, you would never know avo was in there.

In light of Cinco de Mayo I had to add a little spice (my favourite). But… no Franks Red Hot this time (sigh). Cayenne or chipotle pepper are what you want to add here. Chipotle and/or cayenne adds a perfect back note of heat that comes on slowly. After you take your first bite and swallow… thats when it will hit you. Much like coffee, spice really helps to bring out the flavour of chocolate. Feel free to leave this ingredient out, but for Cinco de Mayo… I think you need to have a little in there.

I know you guys are all going to fall in love these brownies. Whether you make them for Cinco de Mayo or just for a special chocolatey treat, you really don’t need to feel any guilt here. After you have this once, you will feel no need to ever eat those boring ol’ refined filled brownies AGAIN! Magnesium, fiber, protein and essentials vitamins make these brownies superfood powerhouses! Wooohoo! Hope you all have a wonderful holiday!
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ps. Giving advance warning that the batter is beyond addictive. There is raw egg in it so don’t eat a lot. (Even though I did.. whoops)

Ingredients:

• 2 very ripe avocados
• 1/2 cup cacao
• 1/2 cup mexican chocolate or 70% chocolate (I like Purelife allergy friendly variety)
• 1/2 cup almond flour
• 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
• 3 eggs
• 1 tbsp flax
• 3 tbsp almond milk
• 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 1/2 tsp sea or himalayan salt
• 1 tsp gluten free baking powder
• 1/2 tsp chipotle or cayenne pepper (or to taste)
• 1/2 tsp paprika (for garnish,can omit)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Using an electric mixer (I did it by hand, but if you don’t want to get too tired use a mixer), whip the eggs, flax, almond milk and the maple syrup until fluffy.

2. Melt the chocolate chips using a double boiler or in a microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between (chocolate can burn easily).

3. With the mixer on low, add the melted chocolate and cacao.

4. Using a spatula, mix in the almond meal, baking powder, salt, cayenne and vanilla extract.

5. Using a blender or food processor, mix avocado until very smooth.

6. Fold the avocado into the batter.

7. Pour into an 8×8 parchment lined baking pan for 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

8. Sprinkle paprika for garnish (can omit this step).

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