Chocolate-Banana-Cherry Smoothie

So for my birthday this year, my awesome dad got me the Nutribullet, which I freaking LOVE! It honestly works really well, making my smoothies/nutriblasts delicious and smooth.

I tried using kale and spinach the first few times, and found it kind of disgusting! No matter what other ingredients I added, I could smell those leafy greens, and it made me want to gag.

Anyway, today I have a quick simple recipe that is so delicious you will think its bad for you, but its really not. Its so good it tastes like dessert!

Ingredients
1 Banana
3/4 cup Frozen Dark Cherries
1 tbsp Ground Chia Seeds
1-2 tbsp Raw Cacao Powder
1 cup Unsweetened almond milk

If you are using a Nutribullet, combine everything in the largest cup, filling it up to the max line with almond milk. Place the bladed lid on the cup, mix it around a bit, then blend for three rounds of 20-30 seconds, stopping in between each round and shaking it a bit. It should be smooth when done.

If you are using a different kind of blender, combine all ingredients and blend them until smooth, or to your preferred consistency.

Its that easy guys! Enjoy your dessert breakfast smoothie!

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World Cup Fever!

I’m not a huge sports fan. I love watching live games, like baseball in the summer, but I’m not really one to sit in front of the TV and watch hockey or football every week.

The only exception is soccer.  Every two years, when FIFA or UEFA rolls around, I become glued to the television.  I have an immigrant father who grew up on soccer (aka football), so from as far back as I can remember, we always watched the world cup and the euro cup.  My mom even told me that the summer she was pregnant with me, my dad rented a VCR for a month and taped every game to watch after work.  She was banished to the balcony of their apartment in Montreal and made friends with her neighbour, who was also banished to the balcony so that her husband could watch soccer.

Normally I am a huge Spain fan.  I started liking them for a somewhat trivial and girlie reason (uhhhh, Fernando Torres anyone??), but grew to love the whole team, and their tiki-taka method of play. Before anyone shouts “Bandwagoner!!”, I started liking them in 2006, before they started winning like crazy, so there!!

Anyway, I was so disappointed when Spain was ousted in the group stage.  I could not believe that my team, which had dominated international soccer for so long, was out in the GROUP STAGE!!! Inconceivable!! I didn’t know what team to cheer for, and felt like a bandwagoner because I changed my mind every week.

In the end, Spain losing so early was kind of a good thing, because I started to appreciate other teams that I may not have noticed if Spain was still included.  I gained a new appreciation for the game, watching how different teams played with different methods and techniques.

While I wasn’t really  rooting for Brazil, it was absolutely heartbreaking to watch their semi-final game.  Yes they played terribly, but just seeing the utter defeat in their bodies and faces as the third, fourth, fifth goal went in…And on top of that, being the host country, ugh I just felt so bad for them!!

In the end, I will be pretty happy with either Argentina or Germany winning on Sunday.  I’m just looking forward to an amazing game!!

OLÉ, OLÉ OLÉ OLÉ!!!

Delicious Mushroom Side Dish

This is an incredibly delicious and easy side dish to make.  I used only mushrooms this time, but I have done it before with mushroom, zucchini, bell peppers, and onion.

Ingredients

I put a link to the spice mix that I use because I am not sure if there are other companies that make an equivalent.  It honestly is so delicious. There is a little bit of sugar and sunflower oil used in the mix, which are not really paleo/primal.  But the way I see it, I’m only using a small amount to add flavour.  Its not like I am eating the whole bottle, so those ingredients almost become negligible.  If you want, you can make your own version by using some of the same ingredients.

Depending on how many mushrooms you are making, use 1/4 to 1/3 cup of melted butter.  Pour over clean mushrooms, and sprinkle the garlic and pepper mix overtop.  Toss and either bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes, or wrap in aluminum foil and BBQ until browned.

Eat this as a side with your favourite meat.

Enjoy!!

Greek Salad

One of my favourite salads is Greek Salad.  It’s so simple to make, and tastes delicious!  I am a vinegar fiend, so this dressing has a lot of vinegar in it.  Whenever I order Greek Salad at restaurants, I have to ask them to bring me vinegar, because their dressings are not sour enough for me. I am not Greek, so I’m not sure if this dressing is authentic, but it’s the recipe my mom always used growing up and I  love it. I hope you will too.

Ingredients

  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Green Onion
  • Kalamata Olives
  • Feta Cheese (Goat or Sheep)
  • Olive Oil
  • White Vinegar
  • Pink Himalayan Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Fresh Crushed Garlic

Now some of you may question whether cheese is part of a Paleo/Primal diet.  I have looked into this, and I know that the Primal diet allows for good quality (preferably raw) cheese, as long as its only once in a while and not in every meal.  This is also dependent on how well you digest dairy, so I leave it up to you if you want to eat it or not.  You can always leave the feta out if you want.

There is also the question of whether or not people with PCOS should eat dairy.  In general, I stay away from most dairy, except for the occasional plain yogurt and feta in my salad.  I find that excluding dairy works best for me, but once in a while I will indulge.  Again, it all depends on how well you digest dairy. Also, you are better off with organic and raw if you can find it, as they are the least processed and will not have antibiotics or hormones.

I’m not going to tell you how much lettuce to cut, or how many tomatoes to put in your salad.  It all depends on your interests.  I personally love my salad with as little lettuce stems as possible (the dark green leafy parts are the bestest!!), and a lot of green onions and olives. You may not like that, so customize it any way you want.  Even add green pepper or carrots if you want.  To me, the most important part of this dish is the dressing.

For the dressing, the important thing to remember is that however much olive oil you use, the same amount of vinegar should also be used.  So if you use a quarter cup of olive oil, use a quarter cup of vinegar.  This way, no matter how large or small your salad, you can adjust the amount of dressing without too much math.

Cut up all of your veggies, place in a bowl. Use a fork to break apart the feta into small pieces.  Remember that a little cheese goes a long way in terms of taste, so don’t overdo it. Add it to the salad, as well as kalamata olives.

In a measuring cup, put equal amounts of olive oil and vinegar. Press one clove of garlic with a garlic press; add it to the dressing.  Add a pinch of salt and pepper (again, however much or little you want) and mix with a whisk. Taste the dressing and tweak if needed, then pour over your salad.

Toss and serve.

Enjoy!!

Happy Canada Day!!!

Happy Canada Day!!

I can’t say how proud I am to be Canadian.  I live day to day, not really focusing on where I am from.  Most days I wake up,  go to work, go to the gym, come home, make dinner, and watch some TV.  Not really things you can call definitively Canadian.  But every so often, I see things that remind me of where I come from.  Like a backpack with the flag stitched on it, or someone with a “Canada” sweater, or the Molsen Canadian beer fridge commercial.  All of a sudden, I feel this huge sense of pride come over me.

Every time I watch the Olympics, the anthem makes my throat tight with emotion.  I love when we prove to other countries that we are contenders, not to be pushed aside or scoffed at. I love that the country comes together to celebrate as one.

Well, today is another day we can all celebrate together.  Whether we are going camping, to the beach, downtown Toronto/Montreal/Vancouver, or just staying at home, we will all be watching fireworks and saluting to our great country  (dare I say the best country) with a bottle of Molson Canadian.

Together.

Happy 147th Birthday, Canada! We love you.

 

Coconut Cake with Coconut-Maple Icing

Ok so first off, I’m sorry about the sucky photo.  I’m still trying to get the hang of taking professional-looking photos, so please bear with me. The next time I make this cake, I will attempt again to take a nice photo, and if I succeed, I will change it!

Now to more important things: This cake!!  If you don’t like coconut, stay away.  I REPEAT: Stay away if you don’t like coconut.  I don’t know how that could even be possible, but if it is, then you will most likely not like this cake.

I, on the other hand, LOVE COCONUT!! And this cake is amaayyyziiiinnnngggg! It’s actually very easy to make, but I must warn you, the ingredients can get a little pricey, compared to conventional cakes (or boxed cakes).  That, unfortunately, is a reality that occurs often when following a paleo/primal diet. I personally think its worth the extra money, especially since these types of desserts are more suited for special occasions as opposed to daily consumption.

To be fair, I will admit that I did not create this recipe.  I found the original from Primal Palate, and made my own tweaks and revisions. I used the recipe for coconut cake and vanilla frosting.  I wish I was a chef that could come up with my own fabulous recipes, but alas, I was not born with that ability.  Thanks, parents!  So I have to work with what I’ve got, and that is rockin’ good research skills and an open mind (at least I like to think it is).

So here are the recipes for both the cake and the frosting:

Coconut Cake

Ingredients

1 cup Butter

1 cup Maple Syrup

1 cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut

3/4 cup Coconut Flour (sifted)

1 tbsp. Pure Vanilla Extract

1 tsp Baking Soda

1 tsp Pink Himalayan Salt

10 Eggs

**You may be wondering why so many F@#%&$* eggs are used.  I admit even I thought it was a bit excessive.  But coconut flour is like a sponge, soaking up great deals of liquid, which is why a lot of oil and eggs are needed to prevent your baked goods from being dry.

Anyway, to start, preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. In one bowl, combine sifted coconut flour, salt and baking soda.  In another bowl, combine the eggs, vanilla, maple syrup, and melted butter.  Blend these ingredients with a hand mixer until smooth.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and continue to blend until smooth.  Add the shredded coconut and stir.

Grease two 9-inch round cake pans with butter or coconut oil and pour batter into both, making sure there is equal amounts in each.

Bake for 20-25 minutes and check with a toothpick if they are done. (I baked my cake for 25 minutes and part of the bottom was very slightly burned but not badly enough to affect the overall taste).

Let them cool to room temperature.  When cooled, frost the top of one cake, then place the other cake overtop.  Frost the rest of the cake to your liking.

Coconut-Maple Icing

Ingredients

1 cup Coconut Milk

1 cup Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

1/2 cup Maple Syrup

1 tsp Xanthan Gum

1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract

Over medium heat, whisk coconut milk, vanilla and maple syrup in a saucepan.  Using a hand mixer, blend in the xanthan gum until it starts to thicken.  Remove from heat and add coconut oil, blending with the hand mixer until it is smooth and thick.  Chill in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours before using.  (The original recipe says overnight, but I only let mine sit for 6-7 hours and while it was not the exact consistency of icing, it was nice and thick, and covered the cake well.)

Once the cake is covered in frosting, make sure you grab a piece for yourself quickly, or else there may not be any left for you.  It’s that good!!!

Enjoy!!

Raspberry-Coconut & Chocolate-Coconut Popsicles

Ok so these popsicles are super easy and delicious.

Ingredients

Raspberry-Coconut Popsicles

  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1.5 tbsp raw honey
  • 1 small tray fresh raspberries
  • popsicle trays

Chocolate-Coconut Popsicles

  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1.5 tbsp. raw honey
  • 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • popsicle trays

Depending on which type of popsicle you are making, mix all ingredients in a bowl and use a hand blender to make a smooth texture. Fill the popsicles trays and place in the freezer for at least  2 hours.  You may need to run the outside of the trays in hot water for 30 seconds before removing the popsicles.

Enjoy!

 

Chipotle Chicken Wings on the BBQ

Sorry its been so long since my last post.  Life just kind of got in the way, and I haven’t had much time to blog the last week.  But as promised here is the recipe for the chicken wings I made a couple weekends ago.  And after this post, I will post the super-easy and delicious recipe for the popsicles I made.

Anyway, just like the last recipe for the chicken & bacon zucchini boats, the spices here are completely customizable in terms of the amounts.

Ingredients

  • 1 tray of raw chicken wings
  • chipotle chili powder
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
  • black pepper
  • coconut palm sugar

The chicken wings I bought came in a tray of 24, each one with a drumette, wing and wing tip. I kept them all attached to each other, but you can separate them if you want, and throw away the wing tip.

Put all the spices into a bowl.  Chipotle can be spicy, so be careful how much you use.  I can tell you that you need at least a half cup total of all the spices in order to have enough to cover all the wings. So if you like spice, you can make the combination with more chipotle. If you don’t like a lot of spice, use more garlic and onion powder.  You can also add as much or as little coconut sugar as you want.  The sweeter the overall combination, the more like barbeque sauce I think it tastes.

Put all the chicken wings into a large bowl, and sprinkle the spices on them, then toss them to get the spices as even as possible.

Cook the wings on the BBQ on low.  I know that my barbeque has certain areas that are hotter than others, so I tried to keep the wings in the areas with less flame, to prevent them from charring.  I also frequently turned them, and rotated their positions so that all the wings had a more equal exposure to heat and flame.

Cook them for around 15 minutes.  Since the wings are pretty small, they will cook pretty fast.

Pair these babies with your favourite sides (hopefully paleo/primal sides) and ENJOY!

Chicken & Bacon Zucchini Boats

Ok here is the recipe for these delicious appetizers.  It is very simple with very few ingredients needed:

Ingredients

  • 3  Large Zucchinis
  • 2  Boneless-Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 6  Strips of Bacon
  • Chili Powder
  • Ground Cayenne Pepper
  • Onion Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Oil of your choice (Olive or Coconut or Palm)

As you can see, for the spices I didn’t put any measurements.  This is because I usually just pour them in as I see fit.  Also, everyone likes different amounts of flavour and heat so this way everyone can decide how much of each to put.

To start, preheat your over to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Fill a pot with water, and bring to boil on the stove.  When boiling, place both chicken breasts inside and boil for 15-20 minutes (until completely cooked/no pink). When fully cooked, use a fork and knife to pull apart/shred the chicken breasts into tiny pieces.  Once shredded, place in a bowl with a little bit of oil and all the spices (again, however much you want – beware of the cayenne and chili powder if you are sensitive to spice/heat). Mix together until all chicken is evenly covered.

Cut each zucchini in half, both lengthwise and widthwise.  Using an apple corer (or a similar kitchen utensil if you don’t have one) carefully remove the white insides of the zucchini, until they resemble little boats.

Cut the bacon strips in half, then lightly fry them in a pan (you don’t want to make them too crispy because they have to go into the oven as well.

Place the zucchini boats on a pan (lightly greased) and fill them with the shredded chicken.  Place a piece of bacon on top of each boat, and keep it in place with a wood toothpick.

Place in the oven for 15-18 minutes.

When cooked to your liking, remove from the oven.

Enjoy!!

Managing PCOS with a Paleo/Primal lifestyle.