Chocolate Pudding

These days I don’t have much spare time to try new recipes, but this recipe is pretty quick and uses ingredients that we always have. I used 2% milk (from the freezer) instead of whole milk, I had to add about a tablespoon more cornstarch, though I’m not sure if this is related.

IMG_4875

The verdict? It was good, very creamy and smooth. I don’t think it’s as rich and chocolatey as the pudding I used to make (which I never used a recipe for), but some people like that.

IMG_4885

Pudding is such a great thing to make because it’s easy, quick and a crowd-pleaser. It’s one of those things, I think, that people don’t really make anymore since it’s so easy to buy. but it is so worth it to make your own.

IMG_4886

English Muffins

I love making breads. The are fairly simple as far as ingredients go, and though they generally take a lot of time, much of it is spent waiting. Making bread is a great lazy day activity, especially since there will sandwiches at the end of it.

English muffins are no different. There are many steps, but they take place over a long period of time. People also seem really impressed when you tell them you made english muffins.

I adapted this recipe to work for me. I used a mixture of spelt and all purpose flour, and butter instead of shortening. I ended up with 8 good sized english muffins.

IMG_4842

You basically mix the dough, then knead for a while. Let it rise, then divide it into balls, rise again. Cook each side in a pan, then bake. So it sounds like a lot of steps, but each one is easy and quick.

IMG_4839

IMG_4844

IMG_4845

IMG_4847

IMG_4848

The result was great. They looked very much like english muffins (I think sprinkling them with cornmeal helps with this), and tasted great. We’ve been eating them with sandwiches, hamburgers, and eggs. Yum!

IMG_4849

IMG_4853

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

This is something I’ve been meaning to make for a while, but I put it off thinking it would be a lot of work. Turns out stuffed peppers are quite easy to make.

All I did was cook a pot of red quinoa and amaranth (you can use whatever you want: rice, lentils, couscous, millet, etc.). Once it was all cooked I added in some chopped onion, chopped tomato, chopped spinach, frozen corn, black beans, tomato paste and hot sauce. You can really add whatever you want. I let it all cook together for a bit, then threw in some cumin and chili powder.

While the mixture cooked I chopped the tops off of two red peppers, and cut out the white stuff, then knocked out the seeds (actually Kurt did all this). Once the peppers were ready I scooped the mixture in, then topped them with cheese. My peppers weren’t flat at the bottom, so they wouldn’t stand up. Next time I will trim them so that they are flat.

IMG_4705

I put them in a pot (to try to hold them up), in the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes (until the peppers get soft). I didn’t get a picture of them after they were cooked because they were kind of a mess since they fell over while cooking. So you will just have to take my word for it!

This is really a simple meal, and you can even freeze the mixture, for a super quick meal.

It was delicious, healthy (lots of veggies!) and filling. Plus it’s kind of fun eating something out a edible bowl.

Give it a try!

Garden Plans

I’m really, really sick of winter. I’m tired of the ice chunks that surround our driveway. I’m tired of the extra time it takes to get out the door in the morning. I’m tired of the dry skin. I’m beyond tired of scraping my windshield. Sadly, this is Canada, and it is only February. Luckily, the time changes soon and that will give us an extra hour of sun in the morning (at least I think, I really have trouble wrapping my head around Daylight Savings).

The temporary cure for this feeling of never-ending winter is thinking forward to Spring. That beautiful season of sun, relative warmth, and green things poking up outside (though when it finally arrives I will probably be complaining of the mud….we live in a very muddy place). With Spring comes garden planting. I’m so very excited!

We’ve already started planning our garden out this year. Kurt has been reading books about seed saving, and such. I’ve been writing up lists of plants, and drawing out plans. We would like to have: tomatoes (a variety or two), hot peppers, kale (red and blue), radishes, carrots, beets, broccoli, garlic, zucchini, sweet potatoes and regular potatoes, as well as a few herbs. Our garden space isn’t huge right now, so we try to be economical with how much a plant takes up versus how much it produces. We are also trying to plant mostly heirloom varieties suited for our region. Hopefully this will increase our changes of healthy plants. We are lucky to have a few options for seed producers local to us.

We will be starting some plants early from seed in the house, starting some outside when the frost is gone and we will also be buying some plants. We will have to wait and see what works best. Hopefully we have a good crop of beauties!

(Last year’s tomatoes)
IMG_3982

What I Learned from My Diet

My elimination diet is officially over. Here are the things I learned about myself, food and life in general though the process:
– flax milk is horrible and should not have ever been invented
– despite what everyone else seems to think, Bob’s Gluten Free All Purpose flour was, in my opinion, gross
– surprisingly with all of the restrictions, what I missed most was eggs
– also surprisingly, I did not crave anything
– life without an after school snack is almost not worth living
– when offered a donut, I am capable of saying no
– the time and money needed to eat healthy on a restricted diet is really shocking
– gluten-free products are almost all rice
– the second ingredient in Rice Crispies is sugar (silly me thought they were just rice)

And the most important thing I learned (the entire point of this endeavour):

– from what I can tell I have no food allergies or sensitivities, other than those I already knew of (whole wheat flour, pork and high fat foods).

I wish there were an ending to this story, but currently there is not!

Sushi Bowl Recipe

So it turns out one good meal idea came out of my highly restrictive, not at all fun elimination diet.

This recipe is super quick, easy and adaptable to what you like/have around.

wpid-20140218_164408.jpg

Cook short grain rice (sushi rice); you could also use regular old rice if you prefer. I mixed mine with a little red quinoa that was in the fridge. Once cooked add a splash of rice vinegar and a tiny bit of sort of sweetener (honey, agave, sugar, etc.) to the rice and stir it in.

While the rice is cooking chop up some of your favourite sushi ingredients. I used avocado, cucumber (cut out the seeds), green onion and canned tuna. I left the chunks fairly big.

Dish up your rice and add your toppings. Add any ‘garnishes’ you want. I added sesame seeds. Then cut very thin pieces of nori (the seaweed wrappers used for sushi). I just used scissors for this and it worked great. Sprinkle on top. Add soy sauce, wasabi or ginger if you so desire.

Dig in!

IMG_4665

Super healthy, quick and easy, what’s not to enjoy?

Elimination Diet Update

Well it has been a little over a week and the results are in. I don’t feel better at all. My hives are still there and my tummy troubles haven’t subsided. I’m keeping it up for now because maybe something will change, but I’m also going to the doctor’s to see about an allergy test.

I was really hoping I’d have some great recipes to share with you. The trouble is with so many restrictions, making anything is really hard. Kurt made one thing that was really good. We were going to try to make tortillas, but they just didn’t work, so he somehow magically turned it all into pie. The crust was a lot like cornbread, but made out of sorghum flour. I wasn’t there when he made it though, so I don’t know what else he used.

I did make squares yesterday that turned out pretty good. Here’s the link. They are grain, dairy, egg, refined oil, and refined sugar-free. I’m pretty sure they fit in the restrictions of any diet, except a nut or coconut allergy.

image

I had to use walnuts instead of almonds for the crust since I made them on Family Day and nothing was open. I slightly overcooked it, that it why the crust is so dark, opps! I also have been keeping them in the fridge, otherwise they are just a gooey mess. They really satisfy my desire for dessert though, and that makes me happy!

Here are some other things I’ve been eating:

image

image

image

So, I will probably keep it up for at least another week, unless my doctor says otherwise. We will have to wait and see.