Chicken Shawarma Bowls

Shawarma BowlsI missed being on here. I have taken another, albeit, small hiatus from blogging and fooding. Yes, I created that. I created another verb to describe my favourite action: eating loving and dreaming about all things food. Fooding. Ha. I actually cracked myself up with my ingenuity there. But if that was already used by someone else, well, I’m not so smart after all. Damn.

I have been away finishing up my MA project. And guess what? I finished it and handed it in last night. It felt amazing and honestly, I’m actually pretty happy with it. There was so much more I could write, but then it would have turned into a giant ugly monster, most likely called a thesis, and ain’t nobody got time for that! Please tell me you have seen that woman. She is amazing. I need to get a T-Shirt with her on it.

But low and behold!! A new blog post, one I am actually quite excited about. We have this awesome Falafel and Shawarma place a block away from us. Before Paleo, it was a go to dinner when I did not want to cook. Always satisfying. Salty, texture, creamy and packed with flavour. And you can’t beat it for 10 bucks. I probably could make it Paleo with excluding the rice and hummus, but who wants to take away vital items that make a signature dish what it is. That is like taking away my right to spring shopping. It is VITAL. And it creates a signature look…right? Reaching?

This dish does require to either have the ingredients on hand or some more prep time than I usually allow for. But it is worth it, because damn it was good!! Also, I sourced from other bloggers out there for a couple of items to make it complete. Thanks for all the food blog love. We are a community and it makes us better. Honestly, I’ve been writing about counselling for far too long. I’m all goopy and melted inside.

Have an awesome week!

Chicken Shawarma Bowls

Ingredients:

Chicken

6 chicken thighs (I prefer bone-in for taste and moisture)

Chicken Marinade

Hummus

This is inspired from Ash at My Heart Beets, but I changed it a bit

2 cans of artichokes

½ cup of tahini

4 garlic cloves, minced

Juice from 2 lemons

1 tsp of cumin

Tabbouleh

1 bunch of Italian Parsley

1 tomato, diced

¼ red onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 lemon, juiced

Cauliflower Rice

2 cups of shredded cauliflower (I always made one head into cauli rice)

1 tsp of avocado oil

pepper

Tahini Sauce

2 tbsp of Tahini Sauce

I got this one from Oh She Glows. Seriously wicked and packed with nutrients. Scroll down a bit on the page.

And your favourite, Paleo approved hot sauce. I like Franks!

Method:

1.Marinate the chicken for at least 6 hours. I prepped mine in the morning.

  1. To make the Hummus, sauté the minced garlic cloves in some olive oil until they are slightly golden. Drain the artichokes. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. About 20 seconds.
  2. To make the Tabbouleh, begin by finely chopping the parsley. In a bowl, mix the chopped parsley, onions, garlic and tomato together. Pour the lemon juice over it, and add some salt and pepper.
  3. Make your Tahini Sauce
  4. Take the chicken out and grill it until cooked through. I do not have a BBQ and live in an apartment, but this does not limit me! I have a George Foreman and that worked great. Chop it up and discard bones.
  5. Sauté the cauliflower in some avocado oil, over medium heat, until it is cooked through. About 5 minutes
  6. Assemble like this: Cauliflower Rice, Tabbouleh, Hummus, Chicken, Tahini Sauce and then top with some hot sauce.
  7. I know that you might not make it through the assembly part, but NOM it all down as you go!
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Banana Morning Muffins

Banana Morning MuffinsI have just come up for air. I am sitting watching some trashy Grey’s Anatomy, (I just cannot seem to let it go, no matter how epically dramatic it gets). My son got the hand, foot, mouth virus. First off all, who’s the smart doctor who named it that? Wow, you are a real winner there. You see some bumps on the hand, foot and mouth, yes that’s it! I shall name is hand, foot and mouth. I am amazing. That’s why I paid a ridiculously amount of money to be a doctor. You think that’s the best part? Nope. The actual viral name is Coxsackievirus. As a good friend of mine said, “that virus should never be near a minor”. I seriously laughed at that one. Well, good news, it passed in about 3 days but we got it from a kids birthday party and all of his cousin’s got it and so did our friends. So what did I learn from all of this? Kids are dirty cesspools.

How was your weekend? Wherever you are in the world, I hope it was awesome and not full of rashes, bumps, sleepless nights and crabby babies. Life is staying busy and I really do not see any end in sight, maybe in the fall. Like I have said before, I love it and feel exhausted by it. But your 30’s are your empire building years and so I’m going for it. Full throttle. Except, if my family could remain healthy, that would be great. Coxsackie can suck it.

Well, these muffins went over famously. When Z tries a Paleo muffin and eats two of them in a row, you know they are a good ride. Of course, he slathers them in Nutella and PB. Soooooo….maybe he is not the best judge of them. And I’m on Whole 30 so no muffins for me. But, my nose say they are awesome. And so does my non-Paleo judge.

Enjoy and every have an awesome week!!

Banana Morning Muffins

Ingredients:

 Dry:

½ cup tapioca flour

½ cup of coconut flour

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp of baking powder

½ cup of shredded unsweetened coconut

2 tbsp of hemp hearts

2 tbsp of chia seeds

1 tbsp of cinnamon

 Wet:

2 large, ripe bananas

½ cup of pumpkin puree

¼ cup of melted coconut oil

4 eggs

¼ cup of maple syrup

 Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. In one bowl mix all the dry ingredients together.
  3. In another bowl, mix all the wet ingredients together
  4. Pour the wet into the dry. With a hand mixer, mix all the ingredients until no lumps are present. If it is not thick enough, let it sit for a couple of minutes. The coconut flour will absorb it.
  5. Scoop batter into into a large 12 muffin tin
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes.
  7. Let cool and then NOM NOM NOM. It most certainly does not have to be the AM to NOM these babies down.
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Spring Cod Burgers

Spring Cod BurgersThese probably seem out of place. It is the beginning of February and I am presenting you with fish burgers. How odd? Well, here is the story, about how my life go turned upside down, so if you want to take a minute just sit right there and I’ll how I became the Prince of a town called BelAir……..

Sorry, that was a weird tangent. But honestly, if we are talking about it, I miss Fresh Prince. The hair, the Hilary, the dance, where Tyra Banks got her start. Anyhoo….

So, we were out at a birthday party for a close friend’s son. I had taken out some cod for dinner, but got home to late to cook. So I thought to myself, what is the best way to use this? LIGHTBULB! I got a new meat grinder. This kitchen accessory is amazing. I am in love! So I ground up my cod and made some burgers. Seriously, they turned amazing. I might be eating a lot more fish if I can eat them in burger form. Wait. Well, I probably would eat a lot of more of everything if it was in burger form.

While I might be wanting Spring to arrive, it kind of has in Vancouver. It is 10 degrees and raining. So, mild and wet, but mild none the less. I am planning on going for a hike with the little man after this, and I do not care if it is raining. I actually kind of like it a lot more when it is.

So this recipe is for all you people drawing in snow and freezing temperatures. Spring is on its way! Hang in there and make these babies to get into the spring mind frame. Only to walk outside your door and be welcomed by the seventh gate of frozen hell. But you know, a girl can try.

Spring Cod Burgers

Makes 7 burgers

Ingredients

3 fillets of cod, thawed and chilled

1 sweet potato, roasted and peeled

1 egg

¼ of a sweet onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

¼ cup of flat leaf parsley, chopped

2 Tbsp of fresh basil, chopped

½ jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped

½ tsp of sea salt

fresh ground pepper

 Paprika Aioli

¼ cup of “30 second Mayo” from The Paleo Kitchen

1 tsp of smoked paprika

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. With a meat grinder, with the course grind plate, grind up cod
  3. In a large bowl, add all of the ingredients and mix well
  4. Using your hands, form burgers the size of your palm. Unless you have serious man hands, then aim for ½ that. Pack them well because you want them to stick together
  5. Bake them for 30 minutes.
  6. To make the aioli, make the mayo and add the paprika. Stir well
  7. See how stupid easy that is?! So get busy NOM NOM NOMMING and hoping for spring.
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Outrageous Orange Soup

Orange Soup

HELLO! It has been way too long since my last post. Of course, I have a couple reasons to explain my absence from my darling food blog and to all my readers! Who, by the way, am so thankful and overjoyed anytime anyone likes my post or follows me. It really is an amazing feeling. I might have a glass of wine and chocolate overtime I get a new follower. Come on, with that challenge, I know more of you want to jump on this Type A Paleo bandwagon!

I was down in Florida for a week with my family. It was blissful. Here in Vancouver, we are having a very mild winter, which suits me just fine! I am not a skier or snowboarder, so I really do not care. I am a hiker and cyclist, so mild winters and I get along just fine. My parents and bestie on the other hand, well they had a 45 degree temperature change. That is nuts. Walnuts to be exact. They went back to a warning of people being required to keep sleeping bags and food in their cars in case their cars break down. That kind of cold is stupid. I am so glad I don’t live there anymore because no body wants to be in that kind of cold. That is freeze your eyelashes off your eyeballs cold. Yuck.

Then it was back to work and back to school. A very heavy schedule. I have only 3 weeks to finish this project of mine. While I wrote that, I did vomit a little in my mouth. ANXIETY. I have to get cracking, but I am half way done, so hopefully this long weekend will afford some serious butt to chair time.

So here is the other tidbit. My dad and I have decided to take on the Whole 30. I’ve never done it before, I went straight paleo/primal when I made my switch. I still enjoyed pancakes and baked goods and cheese. So here I am, Day 3, and not feeling too bad. But I will say this: cheese is glorious. It is my saviour and shines down on me from the heavens. And am I ever missing it. Sigh, really? Another 27 days of no cheese messiah? Damn.

This soup, is for obvious reasons, Whole 30 approved. It is really tasty and filling, exactly what you need when making a drastic diet shift. Enjoy!!

Outrageous Orange Soup

Ingredients: 
1 butternut squash
1 yam
4 carrots-chopped
1/2 red onion-chopped
3 cloves of garlic-smashed
1 heaping tbsp of medium curry powder
1 tsp of cumin
1 tsp of turmeric
1 tsp of sea salt
4 cups of water
1/2 can of full fat coconut milk
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Cut the butternut squash and yam in half, length wise. Scoop out the seeds and lay the squash and yam flesh side down on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Put it in the oven until both are cooked through and soft, about 30 mins. Remove skins
  3. Heat up some oil of choice in a heavy soup pot, on medium heat (I used avocado oil) and sauté the onions and garlic, until fragrant. About 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the carrots, cook for another 2 minutes.
  5. Add the curry powder, turmeric and cumin. Toast the spices in the pot for about 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add the cooked squash and yam to the pot. Add the salt.
  7. Add the water and break up any large pieces. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for 15 minutes.
  8. Take an immersion blender and puree the soup until no more chunks remain.
  9. Add the coconut milk and blend until the soup is at a smooth puree.
  10. Take that awesome and outrageous bowl of soup and NOM NOM NOM!
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Broccoli Bacon Skillet

Broccoli Bacon SkilletSometimes life is just a blur, or at least it feels like that. I cannot believe the first week of January is already over and we are going into the next and then half way through! I think I talk about this too much, but as a mother, you really have a different sense of time. The sense is that it passes too quickly. I have no idea where the weekend went, or the last six months.

I got offered a new job in my agency, which is thrilling! It is going to be more work and commitment, but I need it. I need to busyness and the challenge to keep my practice fine tuned and keep improving. So, between new job, leading a parent group and school, I have got a very busy three months. But I think it is going to be really great! Sometimes when it rains, it pours, and those rain drops are filled with abundance. Of course though, I am not doing any of that work at the moment. Nope. I am wasting copious amounts of time blogging about food and watching The Hundred Foot Journey, which is all about food. De.Lish. Sigh, I love food. I love everything about it. And apparently so do my hips, which are carrying around some holiday curves. Back to some cleaner eating and hitting the gym harder. I’ve got to keep up with the high gear I’ve been kicked into.

This dish is a favourite. I make it at least once a week as a go-to veggie side. The key to this dish is the cast iron skillet. There is something about the heat and how it chars the broccoli. There are only three ingredients and it is super simple and easy for anyone needing something quick.

Broccoli Bacon Skillet

Ingredients:

2 heads of broccoli, chopped into florets and stalks cut

5 strips of bacon, diced into 1 inch slices

1/2 red onion, sliced

Method:

  1. Heat the skillet on medium heat. Put the bacon in the skillet.
  2. Let the bacon cook for 2-3 minutes, allowing the fat to coat the skillet.
  3. Add the onions, cooking for 2 minutes. Stir a couple of times
  4. Add the broccoli and stir to coat it with the onions and bacon.
  5. Allow the broccoli to blacken in the skillet for 10-15 minutes, stirring every 3-4 minutes.
  6. When the broccoli is to your liking, I like mine a little charred, take it off the heat and serve right away.
  7. As my son would say, NOMMY NOMMY NOMMY. This is the only way he will eat broccoli.

Broccoli Bacon Skillet

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Truffle Sunchoke and Cauliflower Soup

Truffled Sunchoke Cauli Soup

Don’t even talk to me about cleansing. If you are in the mood for a cleanse, skip this soup. FAKE! This is what I love about Paleo. No cleanses, no weirdos standing at the new juice bar in town, in their new stretchy pants talking about how amazing their colons feel. Since going Paleo, I never feel the need to cleanse, fix my diet or whatever comes after the holidays. Yeah sure, I indulge and have all along the way. But my indulgence is once or twice a month (more like once or twice a week around the holidays). Then I get back to my regularly scheduled program and it’s, like, totally, oh my god, no. big. deal.

The holidays are over and we are gearing up for back to work, school, everyday busy busy life. It was a wonderful holiday. Quiet and just us making plans up as we go along. Sometimes it is so great to say, “Screw you schedule!” and just let it happen. I saw lots of my friends, missed my family in Ontario, had lots of laughs and a great New Years. Onward to 2015! This year is all about the same business of laughs, plans, balance and getting holistically stronger. I hope you are also on that page.

So this soup. Let’s talk about Lux. There are some flavours out there that just scream luxury and truffles is one of them. The truffle oil I used in this recipe is by no means the top of the shelf stuff. But the taste is pronounced and gives you that 100 dollars a gram per truffle feel. This is not a soup to skimp out on the additions. It is actually what makes the soup. So, dress up, have people over, and keep living life in a big way!

Truffle Sunchoke Cauliflower Soup

Serves 4-hearty portions

 Ingredients:

6-10 sunchokes, washed and sliced, you do not have to peel them

1 small cauliflower, chopped

1 tbsp of butter or ghee

1 leek, cleaned and chopped

3 cloves of garlic, smashed

4 cups of water

1 tsp of sea salt

½ cup of full fat coconut milk

freshly ground pepper

truffle oil

 Parm Crisps

8 Tbsp of grated parmesan cheese, separated

with your oven set to broil, place the 8 Tbsp of parm cheese in little circles on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Broil until crispy. Watch them! Mine almost burnt. Almost.

 Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 425. Take sliced sunchokes and coat them in truffle oil, salt and pepper. Put on a flat cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and roast for 15 minutes in the oven.
  2. On medium heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic and leeks and let cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add in the roasted sunchokes and cauliflower. Stir to coat.
  4. Add in the water and salt. Bring to a boil the let simmer for 10-15 minutes or until cauliflower is soft.
  5. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup. This took me about 5-7 minutes. I like a well-pureed soup.
  6. Stir in coconut milk.
  7. Top that baby with parm crisps and drizzled truffle oil. The NOM, but slowly, this is to lux for any other way.
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Chi Chi Chi Chia Chai Latte

Chia Chai

I wish that I could take credit for this fun little jingle, but alas, I am not that witty. Actually…you know those moments when your mind is blown by the simplest things? Yeah, chia seeds and I had this moment a while back. I had no idea that chia seeds were also the chia that grew grass on heads. And dogs. And cats. Sometimes I wonder how my brain and I have made it this far.

Christmas is almost here and it is exciting! I love Christmas and I am pretty much done all the shopping, but I still have to shop for the man. We decided to do a scale down this year. There is just too much STUFF (I capitalize because this is currently how I feel about it, it’s too big and too much!). I actually feel like this is the cause of cholesterol. STUFF. It just clogs your arteries and gives you heart disease. If we really wanted to go into a deep philosophical discussion about this, we could say that STUFF does clog our heart centre and cause disease. It fuels a cycle of materialism, blocks connection to each other and can be down right soul sucking. I do not need anymore stuff, he doesn’t and neither does D. I want to have a wonderful Christmas that is about family, fantastic food and laughter.

BUT, if a pair of Louboutin’s came wrapped in a box, well, I suppose I make room for those babies in my heart…err, my closet.

This fun recipe is great for breakfast, snack or a sweet treat. It is packed with spice and a special ingredient that you would not normally find. Fresh ginger. I think this makes all the difference. I had two awesome people test this recipe out and they gave me the thumbs up! Or actually, it was said that it was some yummy puddin. More wittiness that I cannot claim. Enjoy!

Chi Chi Chi Chia Chai Latte

Ingredients

1 can of whole coconut milk (the thickness of the pudding will vary based on different coconut milk)

1 cup of almond milk, unsweetened vanilla

6 tbsp of chia seeds

1/4 cup of honey

Spice mix

  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice

Method

1. Mix all ingredients together in a tall tupperware container. Mix really well so the chia seeds do not get stuck in lumps. Let sit in the fridge overnight. Open the fridge in the morning, give it a stir and it’s a breakfast NOM! Top with whatever you like or leave it as is.

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