Apple Bomb Seed Bread

Apple Bomb Seed Cake

APPLES!!! I love them. I eat one everyday. I suppose I give truth to the saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Well, I don’t want to jinx myself because my baby is sick with a chest cold and I’m doing everything I can to not get sick. Other than letting him sneeze in my mouth. Cause that is just awesome. I feel it brings our attachment closer. Gross. Sometimes being a parent is really unglamorous. Actually, the majority of the time it is.

Back to apples! We went to the UBC Apple Festival this weekend, and it was so lovely. They had so many different types of apples that I have never heard of. On top of that, they last up to 6 months in your fridge?! Say what?! I had no idea. So, I have plans for these apples. So many plans and this loaf is just the start.

I love baked goods. I have a serious love affair with them but I have to limit my intake because I am that person who will eat the whole loaf. In one sitting. Which is about an hour. NO JOKE. I freeze half of my baked goods all the time (that does not really stop me, because every baked good tastes good frozen). But I love to have them as a snack in the mid morning with a steamed cup of vanilla almond milk.

Here is the thing, when I began the Paleo lifestyle, I went nut crazy. I gained 7 pounds in 2 weeks. Ugh. The transition is hard, you get carb flu, cravings and you have to retrain your brain to eat more fat, protein and nutrient dense food to keep you full. After the first 3-4 four months, I got the hang of it. I only eat nuts once a day and it is in the form of nut butter in my smoothies, or on my muffins. How does this relate?? Well, I do not bake with almond flour or any other type of nut flour. As a special treat, I sometimes make nut based baked goods and count them as my nut intake, but I think they are too good and too easy to eat a lot of them. So I stay away.

This is a really nice and light loaf that is nut free, grain free and Paleo. Substitute coconut oil for the butter to make it non dairy. It is not too sweet and perfect for a mid day snack. Also, full of in season apples!! Enjoy!

Apple Bomb Seed Bread

Ingredients:

Cooked apples:

1 large apple, quartered and diced

1 tbsp of butter

½ tsp of cinnamon

Batter:

½ cup of tapioca flour

½ cup of coconut flour

1 tsp of baking soda

1 tsp of cinnamon

½ tsp of cardomon

½ cup of coconut oil

½ cup of coconut sugar

4 eggs

1 tsp of vanilla extract

½ cup of applesauce

¼ cup of pumpkin seeds

1 tbsp of chia seeds

¼ cup of cooked apples

 Topping:

2 tbsp of butter, softened

¼ cup of cooked apples

1 tbsp of pumpkin seeds

½ tsp of chia seeds

Steps

Melt the butter in a pan over medium low heat. Add the diced apples and cinnamon. Sautee the apples until they are cooked, stirring occasionally. About 15 minutes, while waiting, make the batter.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a standard loaf pan and line with parchment paper at the bottom.

In a small bowl, combine the flours, baking soda and spices.

In another bowl, mix the coconut oil and coconut sugar together. Add one egg at a time, making sure it is mixed well before adding the others. Then add the applesauce and vanilla extract, stir well.

Add the dry mix and using an electric mixer, on low speed, mix the wet and dry ingredients until there are not more lumps.

Fold in the chia seeds, pumpkin seeds and apples.

Pour the batter into the pan.

Combine the tipping ingredients.

Using a spoon, make a small well in the middle of the loaf. Spread the topping in the well.

Bake for 55 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

You know what comes next. NOM that for breakfast, snack or dessert…maybe with ice cream??

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Creamy Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

Acorn Squash

Seriously? Can you believe it? I have another blog post for you already?! I got inspired by last night’s blog post that I decided to go for it. Also, the day was perfect. It turned into a warm and sunny afternoon here and this recipe just came to me. It fit the day like a glove.

Let’s talk about sausages. I love sausages. They come in so many different flavours. On Granville Island, there is Oyama Sausage Company and they make the most delicious and outstanding flavour combos. Duck and Orange anyone? While, I might splurge here and there, I do one big meat order every six months from an amazing farm called Big Bear Ranch. They are all organic grass fed beef and organic pigs. We also got a lamb but it is being delivered in the winter. I know, you must be as excited as I am to see what I am going to come up with for lamb! I digress. I get sausages from them, and they are so good! For this recipe, you can use your favourite sausage. I suggest a sausage that pairs well with fall flavours, such as Bratwurst or Italian.

As for the squash? I suppose you could choose whichever squash you like, but I find Acorn has a delightfully buttery and nutty flavour that just enhances it all. Well, also steer away from Turban squash. Just looking at one frightens me. That squash should be featured on American Horror Story; Freak Show. It could be someone’s pet. Oh, did I mention how excited I am for fall TV? No? More on that later.

Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

Serves 2 or 4 (depending on your appetite)

Ingredients:

2 acorn squash, cut in half

4 sausages, (you choose your fancy) casings removed

1/2 red pepper, chopped

3 mushrooms, chopped

1/2 red onion, diced

1/2 cup of chopped acorn squash

1 Tbsp of each, fresh sage, italian parsley and thyme

1/4 cup of chicken stock

1/4 cup of coconut milk

Olive oil and S&P

Steps:

1. Preheat the oven to 425. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the middle, leaving a hole. Cut a little more of the squash off, to get 1/2 cup of diced squash. Sprinkle oil and S&P on it. Put them skin side up on a baking sheet with parchment and roast for 30-40 mins.

2. In a cast iron skillet, melt some fat of your choice on medium heat (I used bacon fat, that makes everything better). Break apart the sausage as it cooks. Add the onions and mushrooms and squash. Let them cook for 5 minutes. Add the red pepper and the herbs. Let mixture cook for 10 minutes.

3. Add in the chicken stock. Scrape up the brown bits and let the mixture absorb the stock so it cooks the veggies a little more.

4. Turn the stove down to low and allow the mixture to cook until the squash is cooked.

5. Stir in coconut milk.

6. Take the squash halves out of the oven and fill them with the mixture.

7. Oh you know it. NOM NOM

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Garlic and Herb Spatchcock Chicken

Hello….is there anybody out there? Nod if you can hear me…is there anyone home?

I imagine this being the mantra of my blog over the past few months. I have not updated this in so long…Why you ask? Because I know you care. Well, life has been crazy! I did my second summer of my Masters program, took care of my baby, worked out and cooked for six solid weeks. Then I came back and was a Maid of Honour in my bestie’s wedding, which was seriously, uber spectacular. Then my dad was visiting and then, well, my time came was up! Back to work from my mat leave.

My cooking has not slowed down at all, it went crazy and I tried tons of new things! Especially with my little man eating a ton, I try to keep things interesting.

Now, it is time to hunker down because Fall is here. My absolute favourite season! Bring on crispy apples, squash soups, baked goods, cozy big sweaters, boots, leather jackets and walks with leaves crunching under my feet. The season just feels like a warm hug. Well, anything involving food feels like a warm hug to me. So on to that topic! What do I have for you? An amazing, simple and super tasty chicken recipe. Things have to be simple for most dinners around here, and this meets both simple and tasty. Enjoy!

P.S. Super happy to be back blogging!!

Garlic and Herb Spatchcock Chicken

Ingredients:

1 whole chicken

1/2 cup of chopped flat leaf parsley

1/2 cup of chopped herbs of your liking (I use a mix of basil and sage, but feel free to use whatever herbs you like!)

4 organic garlic cloves (taste is superior)

juice from 1 lemon

Salt and Pepper

Steps:

1. Preheat the over to 350. Rinse out and pat dry your chicken. Using your hands, pull the legs out until you feel/hear the bones separating from the back of the chicken and they are lose. Using poultry sheers, cut out the backbone and make your chicken lie flat.

2. Line a glass dish with foil and lay your chicken down, cut side down. Season well with salt and pepper. Toss it in the oven for 30 mins.

3. Mix the chopped garlic, parsley, herbs and lemon juice in a bowl

4. After 30 mins, take the pan juices and pour them into your garlic and herb mixture.

5. Evenly spread the mixture over the chicken.

6. Put it back in the oven for another 30 minutes.

7. Take it out and NOM NOM!

I have to apologize for the awful food photography happening here. I asked Z to take the photo while I was with my little man and well…this is the best I got. Much better to come! I promise!

Spatchcock Chicken

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Good Wolfe Review

wine board

Last night marks the second stop on K (sis in law) and I’s Tour of Vancouver. I made that name up, but I kinda like it. So, we went to Mamie Taylor’s last time, and it deserves all the hype it gets. SO GOOD. If you are a fried chicken connoisseur, you have met your match. Last night was K’s pick and she decided on Good Wolfe . Of course, we could not help ourselves and looked at the menu each day in anticipation.

I walked in and was greeted immediately by a server. We did not have a reso but the manager came up and told me there were two tables available so I did not have to wait. Perfect, especially on a Saturday night. The place was packed and from what I can see, the bar is the place to be. It is in the centre of the room, large and square, so lots of people can sit all around it. We got a nice table right behind the bar, perfect for evening chatting. Our server came up right away with water and to say hello.

K is a white wine drinker, and I prefer red, but they did not have a glass that I liked (just personal preference) and so we went with the Tinhorn Gewürztraminer. It was fabulous. Notes of apples and pears, some peach but without an overwhelming sweetness. Perfect. Like 2 bottle perfect. More on that later.

K had heard about their famous bread. Now, I have not had bread in a long time, but it was our night and so we went with it. They bake it in house, traditional peasant bread; crunchy on the outside, warm and chewy on the inside. So, pretty much bliss, then I topped it with some buttery bliss.

We decided on our appetizers; Caesar salad and Charcuterie. The appies arrived very quickly. K is a Caesar salad connoisseur and she loved it. The croutons were the highlight and it was everything a Caesar salad should be. Yet, it left me wanting, something to set itself apart from the same ol’ Caesar salad. The Charcuterie was excellent. What I liked the most was how different and unique it was.  It had spec and two types of pates on it, topped with gherkins and frisee. The flavours had great depth with both sweet and salty notes. Lots of texture in there too.

We ordered our mains and the conversation flowed. The ambience of the place is fabulous. Not too loud, small enough to be intimate but large enough to accommodate walk in’s, like ourselves. Diminly lit, but not too much that I have to squint. It is cozy, with a European feel to it and the service is absolutely outstanding. Having served for 6 years, I know  great server when I am served by one. Our server was warm, funny, and not the least bit intrusive, he was fully available before we needed him but not around to hover. He picked up on our vibe and let us have our evening.

So then dinner came. Oh…the dinner. We ordered the Cornish game hen. It was baked in a cream, mushroom and onion sauce, served with a side of spaetzle. Then, because we decided to go all out and fully against all Paleo guidelines, we got the scallop carbonara. First, the cornish game hen. It was to die for. Crispy, perfectly seasoned skin, with a moist and juicy inside. The spaetzle was pan fried, which made it the heavenly combo of buttery crunch with a smooth interior. The cream sauce was rich, but not heavy and the right consistency to ooze over the hen. Second, the pasta. I can still taste it. Freshly in house made pasta, in a rich herbed cream sauce and giant, perfectly seasoned scallops. This entree was everything pasta should be and what breaking Paleo is all about.

Halfway through our entrees, K ordered another bottle of wine. This would be where I got in trouble. Or should I say hammered. We did not have dessert because we were both so stuffed and drunk.

So, all in all, it was an amazing evening. I give Good Wolfe 4 out of 5 stars. It really surpassed my expectations and I highly recommend it.

Good Wolfe

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Cod and Prawn Tostadas

Prawn and Cod Tostada

When I made this dish, it was sunny and 25 degrees outside. As soon as that kind of summer weather hits, my inner Mexican comes out. Just in time for Cinco De Mayo. I adore all kinds of south of border food, but corn and beans give me major bloat…so much that I could float. Haha! I made a funny. Not so funny? Well, bloat is nothing to joke about it, is it people? I did some research and found that you can make the tostadas out of the ever versatile plantain. Is there anything plantains cannot do? You could say they cannot give hugs, but they hug my insides, so really, they are everything to me.

On an exercise note, I did my first cycle today. Rode to the base of Grouse Mountain and home. Did it in 90 mins. I felt the strongest and fastest I ever have. Must be carrying around and squatting with my 22lb, 7 month old.

Cod and Prawn Tostadas

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 cod fillets, fresh or frozen

20 prawns

1 cup of red cabbage

1/2 an onion, sliced

1 red pepper, sliced

2 large, green plantains

1/2 cup of soft, crumbled goat cheese

1 cup of Guacamole

Cod Marinade

1/2 tsp of each: chill powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.

Cucumber Pineapple Salsa

2 mini cucumbers

1/4 of a pineapple

2 tbsp of lime juice

salt and pepper

Mix this all together and you have salsa

Steps:

1. Preheat oven to 350. To make the tostadas peel your green plantains. I find it easiest to cut off the ends, score it down the middle and then using a sharp knife, open it up and using my hands to peel the rest. Cut them in half width wise. Get out your mandolin and slice them, lengthwise, so they are potato chip thin. When you are done, make a basket of a kind. I slightly layered three beside each other, with a small overlap and then one at the top and bottom with a slight overlap. Brush them with avocado oil and season with salt. Bake for 15 minutes on one side and 15 on the other. The sides will turn up and resemble bowls. The more to hold I think!

2. Have the cod unthawed or fresh, and place in a ziplock bag with avocado oil and spice marinade mix. Let sit in the fridge for at least 30 mins or until you are ready to cook it. When you are, bake at 375 for 15-20 mins. Break into bite size pieces.

3. Place some avocado oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and red pepper with some onion, chilli and garlic powder. Sauté until cooked through, not mushy though. About 8 minutes. Set aside when done.

4. Mince up 3 cloves of garlic and heat some butter (or choice of fat) in a frying pan. Sauté prawns until they are pink.

5. Now time to assemble! Put goat cheese (or none if strict Paleo), on the bottom of your plantain tostada. Then add your onion and pepper mixture. Then your cabbage. Then your prawns and cod. Then top with some spicy guacamole. And finally, top with your cucumber and pineapple salsa.

6. Mmmmmmm, nom nom nom that stuff down!

 

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Bone Broth Short Ribs

Short Ribs

It has been one of those weeks. Both my son and I had a chest infection and that puts a stick in the ever moving wheel of my life. We are getting back to normal and by that I mean exercise and eating well. Ever notice that when you are sick you seem to really go off the bandwagon? Not just getting off at a stop. I’m talking, you roll off, hit your head, end up in a ditch where prisoners are working and covering you with mud. Okay, maybe I am being a bit dramatic, but I did eat 1/2 of an almond lemon ricotta cake. Damn it was GOOD. No regrets right? Anyways! So here we are, a new week, starting again and feeling better every day. We love short ribs in my house and I always make it the same way. Yet, with the addition of my bone broth and grass fed beef, the taste is just unreal.

Bone Broth Short Ribs

Ingredients

4 slices of bacon, chopped

4 lbs of short ribs

1/4 cup of arrowroot powder

4 carrots, chopped

4 stalks of celery, chopped

1 onion, diced

1 leek, diced

2 tbsp of tomato paste

3 cups of bone broth (or beef broth if you do not have it)

Steps:

Preheat oven to 325.

1. In a dutch oven, fry the bacon pieces until crispy. Remove and let sit on a paper towel. Drain fat but leave 2 tbsp in the dutch oven.

2. Place the arrowroot powder in a swallow bowl with some salt and pepper. Coat the short ribs in the flour mixture. On medium high heat, brown all sides of the short ribs in the remaining bacon fat.

3. Remove short ribs and place on a plate.

4. Take some of the reserved bacon fat, add it to the dutch oven. Lower the heat to medium  and sauté all the veggies together. Once soft, add in tomato paste and coat. Add in 1/2 cup of the bone broth and deglaze the bottom.

5. Place short ribs back in the dutch over. Cover with remaining bone broth (it should not cover them, but just reach them) and add salt and pepper and 3 bay leafs.

6. Put in the oven for 3 hours.

7. Then….nom nom nom. With cauliflower mash, or if you are into it like I was, some potatoes!

 

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Paleo Pub Night

Paleo Pub Night

This has not been our typical April. April is usually random weeks of gorgeous, sunny and 17 degrees. This April has been very rainy and just kind of bleh. I am hoping that it is a lead up to a fabulous sun-filled summer. So, on a rainy Saturday, I was sitting and thinking about dinner. Well, really, food in general. Let’s be serious. It is all I ever think and dream about. I was lying in bed the other night dreaming about birthday cake. Not just regular birthday cake, but that flavour that is all the rage. You know with the sprinkles and super sugary icing. Sigh, yum.

Anyways! On those rainy spring days, Z and I loved sitting in a warm and cozy pub where you could get an afternoon buzz on with some great appies. Pub food. Of course, it always left me feeling bloated and uncomfortable. So, I thought, why not have one at home? And you know what? That is what I did…

Paleo Pub Night:

Plates:

Tikka Masala Chicken Wings, Double Stuffed Chorizo Yams, Pizza Bites, Asian Pork Cups

Tikka Masala Chicken Wings:

1. Take 1/4 cup of coconut milk, 1 tsp of both garam masala, cumin, 1 tbsp of curry powder and salt and pepper and put it in a bowl. Marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Take out and bake for an hour at 425 degrees. Turn every 20 minutes. (I like mine crispy!)

Pizza Bites:

1. Lay your chorizo salami on a baking pan (how many depends on how many mouths). Add a 1 tsp of pizza sauce on each, do not spread it all the way to the edges. Top with sliced mushrooms, peppers, cheese and olives. Broil for 5 minutes.

Double Stuffed Chorizo Yams:

1. Poke holes into 4 whole yams with a fork. Bake in the oven at 400 for 20-30 minutes. (Depends on your yam size). Take them out of the oven and let cool. Cut them in half and let cool some more. Take insides out and retain the skin of the yam. Cut up some roasted red peppers. Mash the yam meat with leftover chorizo salami, butter, salt and pepper and roasted red peppers. Then scoop the yam mixture into the skins. Top with goat cheese and bake for another 15 minutes at 375.

Asian Pork Cups

1. Peel back leaves of a Chinese cabbage (amount depends on the number of mouths). Chop up the damaged/leftover cabbage leaves, mushrooms and onions. Sauté until cooked. Take 1 lb of ground pork and sauté with fresh grated ginger and garlic. When pork is almost done, add in the veggie mixture. Pour in a 1/4 cup of coconut aminos and let simmer until some of the liquid is adsorbed. Scoop mixture into cabbage cups.

And never forget to…nom nom nom

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