Monday, October 15, 2012

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Pumpkin Frozen Yogurt

We are officially in the holiday season!  Yes, it is that time of year again.  Here we are, between thanksgiving and Christmas, wondering where the summer went.  Mittens and snow falls and hot chocolates and rosy cheeks - here we are.

This is a recipe that I like to make just after thanksgiving every year, as it's a mix of both summer and winter memories.

Pumpkin Frozen Yogurt

Ingredients:
-1 cup pumpkin puree
-1 cup vanilla greek yogurt
-1/2 tsp cinnamon
-1/2 tsp pumpkin spice
-1 tbsp sugar

Instructions:
Simple - mix all ingredients together!  Next, throw it in the freezer and stir every half hour until it's at the consistency that you want.





Thursday, October 4, 2012

Four Gluten-Free Myths

Four Gluten-Free Myths

1. Everything gluten-free is healthy
MAJOR FALSE right here.  This also goes along with, “I can lose lots of weight if I go gluten-free.”  I’m not sure who came up with this idea, but it is wrong, wrong, and wrong again.  Someone somewhere came up with the belief that just because you aren’t eating wheat, you aren’t eating carbs or sugar.  This idea is not true at all.  In fact, some foods that are gluten-free contain more carbs and more sugar depending on what the product substitutes the wheat with.  The key is to read the labels and ingredients if you are buying gluten-free merchandise instead of making it from scratch.  There is way more gluten-free food items out there now than there was 10 years ago.  Companies are now making gluten-free foods, but still using the same “poisons.”

2. Going gluten-free means your enjoyment of food is over
This is absolutely not true.  If you go through my recipes, you will see that going gluten-free doesn’t mean your food enjoyment is over.  Most people believe that gluten-free foods don’t have much taste or satisfaction.  The only difference between glutinous foods and gluten-free foods is substituting.  Make rice noodles instead of spaghetti, use almond flour instead of regular flour, or have a glass of wine instead of a beer.  It’s that simple, and still yummy.

3. Only food contains gluten
There is a variety of products that contain gluten other than food.  Vitamins, medications, shampoos, body wash – all can contain gluten.  Again, the key is to read the labels and talk to your doctor or pharmacist about medications and vitamins that may contain gluten.  As of July 1st of this year, companies had to start labeling their goods as to whether they contain gluten.  If you read the bottle or container, it should be labeled as to whether it has gluten as a filler. 

This also depends on how allergic you are to gluten.  If you are Celiac, it is recommended that you do not use gluten infested products.  Since I am gluten intolerant and not Celiac, I can handle small amounts of gluten; Therefore, I have not been negatively affected by shampoos, conditioners, or body products.

4. You have to have a stomach ache to be gluten intolerant or Celiac.
There is no evidence that you must have a “gut feeling” to be gluten intolerant or Celiac.  Each person has their own individual symptoms.  For myself, I experience extreme fatigue, nausea, fever, chills, and some diarrhea.   Gluten doesn’t just affect the stomach.  It also appears in tissues and organs in the body.  Studies have shown that going on a gluten-free diet can aid in recovery of chronic pain, mental illness, autoimmune disease, cancers, and many more.


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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Roasted Chickpeas

I began writing as a hobby in high school and have continued, mostly because it’s soothing and partly because I suck at talking.  I write because when I speak, I stutter and my words don’t seem to come out properly or the way I want them to. When I write, my words are smooth and my sentences connect. I am no longer inept.  Cranberries turn into verbs and politics turn into champagne. I do not have hair or eyelids or fingernails or freckles or breasts and I do not have a shadow.  Just me and a keyboard, or a pen and a notebook.

If possible, I would never speak, only write. Because words spoken are final and I am never final, only continually developing as a being, a sculptor, a writer, a blogger. Spoken words are conclusive, but not always truth, again leaving me to favor written words with no clothes on – naked and undeniable, for the world to see.  No blonde hair and no green eyes.

That’s what writing online is all about for me.  Taking facts of life and knitting them into a blanket of unedited authenticity.  It’s true everyone has problems, it’s true that we’re judged for them, but it’s also true that we can use our obstacles as our power.  Sharing my story, facts, and recipes….that is my power.

Enter the next recipe.

Roasted Chickpeas

Ingredients:
-1-2 tbsp olive oil
-1 can chickpeas
-3 tsp chili powder
-1 tsp lime juice
-1 tsp cumin
-1 tsp onion powder
-1/2 tsp sea salt


 










 
Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Drain and rinse chickpeas.
3. Cover baking sheet in tin foil and spray pan with some Pam.
4. Spread chickpeas across baking sheet.
5. Bake chickpeas for 45 min-1 hour.
6. After chickpeas are cooked, put into bowl and mix together with olive oil, spices, and lime juice.
7. EAT THEM.



 
 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Energy Bites


For the purpose of attracting good attention, I named this blog ‘Energy Bites.’  But I actually call them Energy Beebles.  I’m not going to lie, it’s mostly for the purpose of annoying my boyfriend, Blaine.

Beeble – anything that is small and/or cute that you don’t know the name for.

There is nothing more annoying to Blaine than when I call something a ‘beeble.’  “It’s not even a word!” he says.  Well I made it up and I think I’m pretty cool, so therefore, it is a word.  He's from Newfoundland and if you know anything about Newfies, they’re the royalty of making up words.

I recently downloaded an app on my phone called ‘Whaddaya App.’  You pick a saying or word in English and it will say it in Newfanese.  I sat on the couch one night with Blaine reading out the regular English sayings and having him translate them before I activated the Newfie way of saying things.  And, not surprisingly, he translated them all correctly.

For example:

"I do not believe you, sir” – Go on whicha by 
“I’m very thankful to you” – God bless your cotton socks
“I am interesting in courting you” – Misssesss, whaddaya at?
“Sir, you are not very smart” – Buddy you’re some stunned you is

And, my favourite.......

“You are unattractive” – you gotta face on you like a hen’s arsehole in the northwest wind

What the hell, right??  Who invented that language?  “Someone awesome,” is Blaine’s response.  And I probably have to agree.  There is no one more friendly, welcoming (and crazy) than a Newfie.

So, I’m thinking that making fun of me for making up the world ‘Beeble’ is not that bad after all.  Agreed?

Anyway, let’s get down to business.  There are many different recipes out there for energy bites.  I have played with different ingredients, and this one came out as my favorite. 

Energy Beebles

Ingredients:
-1 cups oats (There is gluten free oats out there so depending on how allergic you are, this is probably a smart choice)
-1 and 1/3 cups coconut
-1 cup flaxseed (or protein powder)
-1 cup chopped dates
-1 cup peanut butter
-2/3 cup honey
-2 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients together in bowl and mix
  2. Put in fridge for ½ hour
  3. Using your hands, roll into even balls.

And, that’s it.  Simple, right?  This is a great item you can pop in your mouth for a little energy before hitting the gym or throughout the day as a snack.






Honey is a wonderful ingredient in this recipe because it is known to provide relief from constipation and indigestion.  Studies have shown that honey can help treat IBS and IBD, as it provides protection against damage of the colon and reduces inflammation.  It is also used as a stress reliever to promote good mental health, as its ingredients have a calming effect.  This recipe also contains peanut butter, which is high in calories and fat, but is a great energy booster and has been connected to helping reduce depression.

Flax.  Flax is one of my favourite ingredients to use in recipes, as it is jam packed full of nutritional benefits.  These include fighting cholesterol, cancer, constipation, inflammation, diabetes, and depression.  Flax contains both soluble and insoluble fibre, which assist in regular bowel movements.  Flax is the richest source of Omega 3 fatty acids, which is an ingredient that most people with mental illness lack.  Studies have shown that by adding 2-3 tbsps of flax to your diet each day, an individual’s depression can improve after 9-10 months.

Who wouldn’t want these benefits?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Mac & Cheese Quinoa


Oh, hello.  It's been a couple weeks.  I've been on holidays for the past 10 days so I took a little time off from the computer and headed to Vancouver & spent some time relaxing.  But now I am back, refreshed, and ready to rock with the recipes! (Yes, that alliteration was on purpose).

After my holidays, life delivered me the cold from the underworld.  Five days of sneezing, hacking, sleeping, bathing, snotting and fevering.  But, close to the end of my health crisis, I had some extra time to spend experimenting with Quinoa.  One of my favorite recipes that came out of it was Mac & Cheese Quinoa.




Mac & Cheese Quinoa

Ingredients:
-1.5 cups quinoa
-Salt and pepper
-1 clove garlic, minced
-2 eggs
-1 cup milk (could also be soy milk)
-Cheese
-Veggies
-Panko Crumbs (you can get gluten free ones at Safeway or Bulk Barn)

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Cook quinoa (follow instructions on package)
3. Saute any veggies that you want to use with garlic.  I used Broccoli.  
4. Whisk together eggs and milk in a large bowl.  Once Quinoa is cooked, stir into bowl with eggs/milk mixture.  Add cheese and salt/pepper.  Mix well.
5. Coat a baking dish with cooking spray and pour mixture into this dish.  Sprinkle cheese and panko crumbs on top.
6. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the top is browned.






Thursday, August 30, 2012

Gluten-free Pizza


6 Reasons why adults like pizza too

  1. Two words.  It’s fast and easy.  Done and done.
  2. Variety.  For us non-teenage folks, we generally get bored of the same old double cheese pizza every Friday night at 2am after four Gin and Tonics and a Bacardi breezer.  Actually, I can barely make it to midnight anymore.  I don’t know about you but when I was 16 I could down 8 pieces of pizza only consisting of cheese and bread.  You can basically put anything on a pizza and it tastes delicious so as I’ve gotten older I’ve experimented more with different toppings.
  3. Miraculous taste
  4. Because it goes well with a Caesar salad and everyone likes Caesar salad.
  5. Finger food
  6. Miraculous taste

Enter the homemade pizza.

There are many different ways you can make a gluten-free pizza crust but on a particularly lazy day you can find gluten-free crust at a few different places.  My go-to place is Safeway.  They carry Udi gluten-free products such as bread, bagels, donuts, pastries etc.  One of these days I will make a crust from scratch but as far as a lazy day goes, these the Udi kind are perfect in my books.



Lately I’ve been using pesto in place of a tomato based pizza sauce.  Pesto is made up of basil, pine nuts, olive oil, garlic and cheese.  These ingredients contain some health benefits such as minerals and vitamins, but are also high in fat so use in moderation.  I’ve been experimenting with a lot of greens on my pizzas such as spinach, broccoli, zucchini etc.  As we all know, green vegetables are nutritional powerhouses that provide enormous amounts of vitamins.

My favourite home-made pizza

Ingredients:
-Gluten free pizza crust
-Pesto
-Spinach
-Cheese (you can also use goat cheese or feta)
-Asparagus
-Broccoli
-Zucchini
-Cooked Shrimp, detailed
-Red pepper

Instructions:
  1. Spread a couple tablespoons of pesto on the pizza crust
  2. Place spinach flat on the pizza crust, spreading evenly to cover to crust.
  3. Cut up veggies into small pieces and distribute evenly over pizza.
  4. Spread cooked and detailed shrimp over pizza (I usually fry up my shrimp with 2 cloves of garlic).
  5. Sprinkle cheese lightly over pizza.
  6. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese has melted and crust has browned.




Yummay!!