shanmonster: (On the stairs)
I've made these a couple of times. They're delicious and quite filling. The recipe is based off Chai-Spiced Almond Butter Bites. The recipe yields approximately 15 ~1.25" balls.

I like these as a quick snack before/after a workout. I've had them as part of my breakfast, too.

The recipe is vegan and paleo-friendly, if this matters for you.

1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup almonds
1 cup pit-free dates
1/4 cup nut butter (I've used peanut butter and almond butter. Both are good.)
2 Tbsp hemp seeds
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp coconut oil

  1. Pulse coconut and almonds in food processor until there are no large chunks.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and pulse until everything is combined to a dough-like consistency.
  3. Press dough with hands and then roll balls up about 1.25" in diameter.
  4. Place in an air-tight container and store in the fridge. The cooled coconut oil will firm them up.
shanmonster: (Purple mohawk)
In case you haven't figured it out, I'm clearing my tabs. There are so many open.

Here are a bunch of recipes I want to try out. Maybe you'd like to try them, too.

Apple Banana Quinoa Breakfast Cups

Dark Chocolate and Parsnip Cakes

Greek Avgolemono Chicken Soup
shanmonster: (Purple mohawk)
My friend Mo sent me this link a while back, telling me the pancakes are delicious. It took me a while before I finally made them, but guess what? She's right.

It's gluten-free and egg-free, and super yummy.

The original portions in the recipe are too small, but here's the scaled-up recipe. It serves about three or four.

1 cup buckwheat flour
1 cup steel-cut oats (or grind rolled oats with a blender or food processor)
2 Tbsp ground flax seed
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup plain or Greek yoghourt
1 1/4 cup milk or milk substitute
2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
2 sliced ripe bananas

Heat a skillet over medium heat for 3-5 minutes while you prepare the batter.

Whisk together dry ingredients. Add yoghourt, milk, vanilla, and oil. Mix until smooth. Batter should be thick, but you can thin it with a bit more milk, if you like.

Fold in bananas.

Put some oil in the pan, then add about 1/4 cup of batter per pancake. It should sizzle when it hits the pan. Cook until bubbles start to appear throughout, then flip and cook for about two minutes.

Serve 'em warm with all the fixings.
shanmonster: (Purple mohawk)
I had some sad-looking bananas that had to be used or tossed, so I went looking for a banana bread recipe. I found this one and modified it thusly (it's delicious!):

1 cup gluten-free flour
1 cup teff flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup Demerara sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
3 mashed ripe bananas
1/3 cup plain yoghourt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Olive oil to grease pan

Preparation

Heat oven to 350°.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and sugar, stirring with a whisk.

Mash up the butter and add the eggs, beating well. Blend in banana, yogurt, and vanilla. Add flour mixture; stir just until moist. Spoon batter into an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch greased loaf pan. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.
shanmonster: (On the stairs)
This sounds like it would taste weird, but it doesn't. It's delicious, and it also has the benefit of also being pretty darned good for you. It tastes like a nice, rich chocolate pudding, but contains no sugar beyond what's already in the fruit.

Here goes:

2 ripe bananas
2 ripe avocados
a bunch of cocoa, according to taste (I usually use about 1/3 of a cup)
1 tsp cinnamon

Throw it all in a blender or food processor and process until fully blended. That'll give you a delicious pudding.

If you want to make a milkshake, add coconut milk until you get the right consistency. Scrumptious!

This is a pretty forgiving recipe, and you can add vanilla or other spices if you like. If you have a real sweet tooth, you can add some honey, but if the bananas are nice and ripe, that should be plenty sweet.
shanmonster: (On the stairs)
Gluten-free bread is often a disappointment. Even when it's good, it's almost always mediocre in comparison to "the real thing."

This recipe is an exception. It is genuinely delicious. I'm baking a loaf right now.

However, since there is soooo much almond in it, don't pig out on it, even though it's so yummy. I'll probably eat too much, anyway. Mmm.

I based my recipe off this one: Irish Soda Bread.
  • 2 ¾ cups blanched almond flour
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ tablespoon sesame seeds (optional)
  • ½ tablespoon hemp hearts (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • pinch of caraway seeds


  • Combine almond flour, salt, baking soda, raisins, sesame seeds, and hemp hearts in a large bowl.
  • In a smaller bowl combine eggs, honey, and apple cider vinegar
  • Mix wet ingredients into dry.
  • Put parchment paper on a baking sheet.
  • Dump batter on a piece of parchment paper and shape into a large, flat circle that is about 8" across and 1 ½" tall
  • Sprinkle top of bread with caraway seeds
  • Bake at 350° for 20 minutes, then turn off oven and leave bread in for 10 more minutes
  • Cool bread for ½ hour then slice and serve with butter and jam.
shanmonster: (Purple mohawk)
I grew up eating a lot of food traditional to my Canadian ancestors. We rarely purchased pre-made baked goods, and my mother baked almost everything from scratch. My family were gatherer/hunters, and much of our food came from our farm or from the wilds. I grew up cooking on wood stoves and over campfires with wood we gathered with our dog or pony teams, so I suspect my understanding of foods differs from that of people from urban, western upbringings. I was once used to cooking and baking in the ways my ancestors did over the past couple of hundred years. Although I now cook with modern implements I find the food tastes quite similar as long as I'm using comparable ingredients.

A while back, I picked up a copy of Dorothy Duncan's Nothing More Comforting: Canada's Heritage Food. It contains a variety of recipes similar to the ones I grew up with. I chose a recipe for honey bread because I had all of the ingredients in my larder already. This recipe was first published in 1896 in Fanny Merritt Farmer's The Boston Cooking School Cook Book. It was only about this time that honey was first listed as an ingredient in recipe books. Before that time, honey was served as an accompaniment to scones, tea, and such.

The recipe is as follows:

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 cup strained honey
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup milk

Mix and sift dry ingredients. Add others. Beat thoroughly. Bake in loaf or bread stick pans in moderate oven, 350*F. Makes 1 loaf.

These would have been staple ingredients in a Canadian larder around the turn of the 20th century, available from the local grocer. The fresh ingredients such as honey, eggs, and milk, were produced on many farms, and flour was available from grain mills.

If you're familiar with baking, you may notice that a cooking time isn't listed. Neither does it say if the pan should be greased or powdered. I made the guess that I should cook it for about 45 minutes, as that's about how long it takes a gingerbread loaf to cook. I also lightly greased the loaf pan with butter.

Read more... )
shanmonster: (Zombie ShanMonster)
This is a fantastic old-fashioned cookie recipe. I make it with gluten-free flour since gluten causes me gut issues, but it'll work just fine with regular wheat flour. I've based the recipe off this with a few tweaks.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour (I use gluten-free pancake mix, and it turns out beautifully)
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans
2/3 cup any flavour fruit jam or jelly
1/4 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 300 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets.
Separate egg, reserving egg white. Cream butter, sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla.
Add flour and salt, mixing well.
Shape dough into 1.5" balls. Roll in egg white, then walnuts. Place on cookie sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake for 5 minutes.
Remove cookies from oven. With thumb, dent each cookie. Put jelly or preserves in each thumbprint. Bake for another 15 minutes.
Cool on rack.

Try not to eat them all. They have a delicate, subtle flavour, and are one of the tastiest cookies I've ever made, and that's saying a lot, because I make damned fine cookies.
shanmonster: (Zombie ShanMonster)
I grew up detesting pea soup. I thought it tasted gross and looked worse. However, this year, when I had a big ol' hambone left over from Christmas dinner, I figured I'd give it another go. I'm glad I did, because what I cooked was delicious. I ate two giant bowls of it, and although I'll spare you a description of the aromatic after effects, I want to make this again!

I adapted the recipe from My Paleo Crockpot. (Split peas, btw, are not considered paleo, because cavemen thought peas were gross). Here's how it goes:

6-quart crockpot

-2 cups dried split peas. I used yellow from a local organic farm.
-1 meaty ham bone, 2 ham hocks or 2 cups diced ham
-3 carrots, diced
-1 small onion, diced
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
-1 bay leaf
-dash salt
-dash pepper
-6 cups vegetable bouillon stock

Layer ingredients in the order listed here, pouring the stock over it all at the end.

Cook on low for 8-10 hours. If you used a ham bone, the meat should be falling off easily.

Dig out the bone and bay leaf, and serve it up. OM NOM NOM.
shanmonster: (Tiger claw)
I never cared much for mayo until I made my own and ate it with homemade baked sweet potato fries. This is the shit.

I got the recipe from here, but this is my halved-down version.

1 egg
1 cup light olive oil
1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or fresh lemon juice)
1/2 teaspoon fine celtic sea salt

I also add
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Combine the egg, vinegar, salt, mustard, and cayenne in a blender and pulse a few times until frothy.
With the blender running, add the olive oil a little at a time – almost drop by drop at first – until an emulsion starts to form.
Continue adding the rest of the oil in a slow, steady stream.
Add more salt or other ingredients to taste.
Store, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Link Dump

Mar. 12th, 2013 02:08 pm
shanmonster: (Purple mohawk)
Time to clear my browser tabs! Here are a few links I've had open for too long. You may enjoy them, too.

School of Thrones: Game of Thrones meets DeGrassi....

Chocolate Cake: Grain-free recipe I want to try out.

Masterpieces of the Imaginative Mind: Literature’s Most Fantastic Works: Science fiction/fantasy literature course by a professor whose style I enjoy.

675 Free Online Courses from Top Universities: This is how I get my university education, nowadays.

Upsided-Down Pancake with Apricots and Plums: Another tasty-looking grain-free recipe.

Pope Innocent VIII: What a crazy life and death.
shanmonster: (On the stairs)
Intrigued? You should be. It's good. I'm eating it right now. It's delicious. I based the recipe off this. Here's my version.

- 2 onions, diced
- 2 Tbsp grapeseed oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- about 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 tsp anchovy paste
- 1 peeled and diced sweet potato
- 660 ml of strained tomatoes
- 2 tsp Bragg's Organic Herb Sprinkle (or dried basil)
- about 12 black olives
- 4 filets white fish (I used haddock), fresh or frozen
- about 20 shrimp, deveined and peeled, fresh or frozen
- salt and pepper to taste

- Boil the sweet potato until soft. Will take approximately 20 minutes.
- Put oil in a large soup pot at medium heat. Add the onions to the oil and put the lid on the pot. Cook for 5 minutes, then take lid off, turn heat up to medium-high, and sautée until edges start to brown. Add garlic, and sautée for about 30 seconds. Add the wine, and listen to the delicious sizzle. Add anchovy paste and stir in until it dissolves.
- Add cooked sweet potato, tomato, herbs, and olives. Give it a stir and simmer on medium-low for about 15 minutes.
- Add fish and shrimp. If they're frozen, cooking time will take longer. Cook until fish flakes with a fork. Season with salt and pepper.
- Eat it! It's good!

[Delicious fishes!]
shanmonster: (Zombie ShanMonster)
I've been making this recipe for years. Time to do it again for Christmas....

If at all possible, use gluten-free flour mix, rather than regular wheat flour. Shortbread based on rice flour is vastly superior to the stuff made from regular flour.

Time: about 90 minutes

1 1/4 cups icing sugar
3/4 cup butter
6 sqs. semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour
1 cup ground almonds
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup sliced toasted almonds

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in melted chocolate and vanilla. Mix well. Add flour, ground almonds, and salt. Press into a 12"X9"rectangle on an ungreased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and almonds. Bake at 250 degrees for 45-50 minutes. Cool on the pan on a wire rack. Chill and cut.
shanmonster: (On the stairs)
I'm getting better at this flourless baking thing. Today, I tried out a new recipe. This one is adapted from this recipe.

Enjoy!

  • 1 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 2 Tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  • dried banana or additional pecans for optional topper


Heat oven to 375. Place muffin liners in muffin tin and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix ground almonds, flaxseed, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt.

In another bowl, mix mashed bananas, eggs, and olive oil.

Dump the wet mixture into the dry and stir until combined. Stir in the pecans.

Fill muffin cups about 3/4 of the way. Sprinkle additional nuts or poke a banana chip into the top of each one. Bake for 21-23 minutes, or until toothpick poked in comes out clean.

Makes 6 giant muffins, or about a dozen regular sized ones.

[Banana Bread Muffins]
shanmonster: (Default)
I was a member of a farm share this summer, and it got me eating vegetables outside my normal choices. One of the vegetables I received was the tomatillo. I'd never cooked with those before, so I went searching for recipes incorporating them. Mostly, I found salsa recipes, but I didn't want salsa. I wanted a dish, not a condiment. But then I found this recipe for chili verde, I made it, and I was won over. I made some small changes to the method, so I'll post my version, here.

1 1/2 pounds tomatillos
a full bulb of garlic, broken into cloves
2 jalapeños or other hot peppers
1 bunch cilantro leaves, cleaned and chopped
a pork tenderloin cut into 1" cubes
Salt (optional) and freshly ground black pepper
Bacon fat
2 big cooking onions, chopped
2 Tbsp of chopped fresh oregano or 1 Tbsp of dried oregano
2 1/2 cups stock (I've used chicken, turkey, and vegetable stock. They all work)
Pinch of ground cloves

Put your oven onto broiler mode and start peeling the papery husks off the tomatillos. Wash the tomatillos off, slice them in half, and place them onto a large baking sheet with a lip. Put about half the garlic cloves onto the sheet (you can peel them or not. It doesn't matter.) Discard seeds and stems from the peppers, and put the peppers on the baking sheet, too.

Stick the baking sheet into the oven for about 5-7 minutes, until the skins are lightly blackened.

If you haven't already, take the skins off the garlic. Dump the garlic, peppers, and tomatillos into a blender. Toss in the chopped cilantro. Pulse until everything is well blended. You can add some of the stock, if necessary.

Put a tablespoon or so of bacon fat in a large skillet and heat on medium. Season the pork cubes with salt and pepper (I don't bother with salt half of the time, and it still tastes fine to me). Brown the meat in the pan, then dump it into a crock pot.

Mince remaining garlic, and fry that and the chopped onions until soft in the skillet. Dump them into the crock pot.

Pour the tomatillo mixture on top of meat and onions. Add oregano and cloves, then top up with stock and give it a stir. Cook on high until it comes to a boil, then turn to low and let it cook at least 3 hours until the meat is tender.

Delicious!
shanmonster: (On the stairs)
I was biking home from the gym yesterday and happened to see a café sign advertising pear and parsnip soup. "Mmm," I thought. "That sounds delicious!"

So I got home and started looking around for recipes I could use, considering I'm doing the Whole30 challenge again, right now. And lo and behold, I found something. The following recipe is adapted from this. My changes make it Whole30 compliant, and vegan, too.

2 lbs parsnips, ends trimmed, peeled
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
2 cloves garlic, whole but not peeled
Sea salt and fresh black pepper
1-2 Tbsp grape seed oil
2 pears, peeled, cored, and cubed
2 cups vegetable stock
1/2 tsp marjoram
1/2 cup coconut milk

Heat oven to 375°F. Toss parsnips, onion, and garlic in oil, then place on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle on salt and pepper.

Roast for 40 minutes, shaking the pan once or twice, until vegetables are lightly browned. Remove pan from oven. Squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skin into a large soup pot. Cut the parsnips into 1-inch chunks and add to the pot with onion, pear, marjoram, and stock. Add enough water to almost cover the vegetables.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cook, uncovered, until the pear and parsnips are tender (approximately 25 minutes). Use an immersion blender to purée the soup in the pot (or purée in batches in a blender). Blend in the coconut milk, and serve.

This is good.

No, you don't understand. It's good. Good good. I'm talking one of my favourite soup recipes ever good....
shanmonster: (On the stairs)
I have never liked turnip. Or rutabaga. Excuse my ignorance, but the two taste the same to me.

I got a rutabaga in my farm share, though, so I figured I'd better find a way to cook it that might make it palatable. I succeeded. Not only is it palatable, but it's pretty darned tasty. And nutritious, of course!

So here's what I did:
  • one rutabaga (or turnip), at least the size of a small bowling ball, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large onion, sliced in half, then chopped in 1/4" slices
  • about 2 Tbsp of cooking fat (bacon fat, coconut oil, or whatever)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • about 1/4 cup of apple cider
  • a few sprigs of fresh parsley


Cover rutabaga with water in a pot, and boil for 10-15 minutes, until tender.
Sauté onions in fat/oil until tender and golden brown.
When rutabaga is cooked, drain and mash. When well mashed, mix in apple cider, onions, and parsley. Ta-da!

And now I have a turnip recipe I like. Yay!
shanmonster: (Tiger claw)
I have so much leftover turkey from T-day, and two cabbages from the farm share. What to do?

This.

I adapted this recipe from here, and it's absolutely delicious.
  • 1 Tbsp bacon fat
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • About a pound of chopped, leftover turkey
  • 4 cups chopped cabbage
  • 1 giant carrot, sliced
  • 2 cups of strained tomatoes
  • about 3-4 cups of turkey stock
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 Tbsp Italian spice blend
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Brown the onion and garlic in bacon fat in a stew pot. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the vegetables are soft.

That's it.

Om nom nom....
shanmonster: (Default)
I'm on the Whole30 challenge right now, which cuts dairy, legumes, and grain out of my diet. So when I saw this recipe for Hungarian Mushroom Soup I thought, Damn. That looks mighty tasty.

So today I decided to make it Whole30 friendly.

It was delicious.

Here's what I did:

4 tablespoons coconut oil
2 cups chopped onions
1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 teaspoons dried dill weed
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon coconut aminos (basically coconut sap. Takes the place of soy sauce)
2 cups broth (I used homemade turkey stock, but I'm sure veggie or chicken would work, too)
1 cup coconut milk
3 tablespoons ground almonds
ground black pepper to taste
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup coconut milk

  • Melt the coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  • Sauté onions in this for 5 minutes.
  • Add mushrooms and sauté another 5 minutes.
  • Stir in dill, paprika, coconut aminos, and broth. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, mix coconut milk and ground almonds together. Add to soup and stir well to blend. Cover and simmer for 15 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in ground black pepper, lemon juice, parsley, and the rest of the coconut milk. Mix together and allow to heat through over low heat, about 3 to 5 minutes. Do not boil. Serve immediately.


It was delicious.

Mushroom soup
shanmonster: (Tiger claw)
I like my cooking, and think I've come up with some pretty tasty dishes, but I think I may have outdone myself this time. This is good. No, strike that. It's AWESOME.

I came up with the recipe last night while looking through my fridge for inspiration. I am a member of a farm share, and each week, I receive a batch of veggies. Some of them are vegetables I've never cooked before. This time, I had a couple of new things, and boy oh boy, are they ever delicious.

So, rather than be greedy and keep this momentous discovery to myself, in my great generosity, I have deemed you worthy of receiving a step-by-step breakdown of how to replicate this culinary masterpiece.

Allez cuisine! )

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