Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream

I have and obsession with peanut butter. I know it's not very healthy (peanuts contain toxic substances), but I just can't stop myself. It's sooooooo good! And peanut butter and jelly is a match made in Heaven. So peanut butter and jelly ice cream was obviously something that I came up with right away when thinking about what ice cream flavours I should try, and just had to make it. I'm glad I did, because it was utterly amazing! Besides, my peanut butter's organic, so it's not that bad. ;) This is for all the peanut butter addicts out there: eat it in moderation, but when you do eat it, be sure to savor every last sweet, creamy, toasty, fruity, peanut buttery bite!

Peanut Butter Ice Cream with Berry Jelly Swirl


2 cups mixed berries, fresh or frozen
1 Tbsp honey
2 tsp arrowroot powder

1. Put the berries, honey and a splash of water in a saucepan and simmer until the berries start to break apart and the liquid reduces. Keep cooking until the mixture starts to thicken. This may take a while.
2. Puree either with a stick mixer or in a blender. You can strain this if you want, to remove the seeds, or just leave them in. Put this mixture back in the pot over low heat.
3. Mix the arrowroot powder with warm water in a small bowl (similar to a cornstarch slurry). Pour this into the berries slowly, stirring constantly. If you notice the mixture becoming thick, you can stop pouring in the arrowroot. If the mixture is still too thin, make more slurry and add it. Remember that it will thicken as it cools.
 4. Allow mixture to cool.

Ice Cream

3 cups organic full fat coconut milk, chilled
3/4 cup raw honey
3/4 cup smooth organic peanut butter (no sugar added)
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt (or more, I usually use twice this much because I like salty peanut butter)

1. Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth and well blended.
2. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturers directions.

Peanut Butter Chunks

3 tablespoons coconut oil
6 tablespoons creamy peanut butter (I use lightly salted)
4 tablespoons Honey (don’t sub sugar here, you want soft chunks)
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
pinch of salt

1.In a small saucepan over a low heat, stir and combine all ingredients.
2. Cook until melted. Keep it slightly warm, because it's harder to add to the ice cream when cold and thick.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream

peanut butter ice cream, straight from the ice cream maker
peanut butter chunks, warm

1. Put about one third of the ice cream in a container.
2. Add half of the jelly, or less if you want a higher peanut butter-to-jelly ratio.
3. Pour another third of the ice cream over the jelly.
4. Add the rest of the jelly.
5. Pour the rest of the ice cream over the jelly.
6. Pour the peanut butter chunk mixture over the ice cream. Try to spread it in as thin a layer as possible.
7. Close the lid and freeze the ice cream for about 30 minutes, or until the peanut butter chunk mixture has hardened.
8. Break up the peanut butter chunk mixture into chunks with a knife (I actually find this easier to do with my hands, but it's really messy that way. You can make smaller chunks, though).

9. Swirl everything together with a knife, making sure to reach the bottom to spread some jelly there too. Just be careful not to swirl too much, or the colour will be muddled and it won't freeze as nicely.
I over-swirled this a bit, but it was still delicious!

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Lettuce Wraps

This isn't really a recipe, it's more of and idea. I just threw a bunch of stuff in some lettuce leaves for lunch and thought it tasted good, so I thought I'd share what I made! It was lettuce wraps stuffed with vegetable walnut pate from the moosewood cookbook (minus the mayo, plus a tiny splash of coconut milk), avocado, lactofermented rutabaga, and bean sprouts. It was yummy! Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures, because I didn't think I'd be blogging about it! Oh well. Enjoy anyway!

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Coconut Cookies

These delicious cookies were made as an accompaniment to my coconut lime ice cream, but they're also delicious on their own. They have crispy edges, and they're soft and chewy in the middle.

They're based on these cookies, but they're a bit crispier. They're healthy and so delicious, you won't even miss the grains, refined sugar, dairy, or grains! Enjoy!

Coconut Cookies


3 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
2 egg whites


1. Preheat the oven to 300*F.
2. Put 1 2/3 cups of the coconut in a mini food processor (I haven't tried a regular food processor, but you'd probably have to add more coconut so it blends better), and blend for about 10 minutes, or until it turns into coconut butter, scraping the sides as necessary.
3. Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl.
4. Scoop tablespoons of cookie dough onto a cookie sheet and flatten into thin circles.
5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges get crispy and brown.
6. Let the cookies cool a bit before eating.

7. Enjoy coconutty yumminess!

Monday, 17 June 2013

Spinach, "Rice", and Egg Soup

This is a very simple, yummy soup. The inspiration comes from a recipe in the De Luca's cookbook. Enjoy!

Spinach, "Rice", and Egg Soup


9 cups stock (chicken is best)
1 cauliflower, riced (chopped in a food processor until it's the texture of rice)
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 cups spinach, coarsely chopped
4 eggs
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
fresh grated nutmeg, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste


1. Bring the stock to a boil in a large soup pot.
2. Add the cauliflower and simmer until tender.
3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan and cook the spinach until wilted. Set aside to cool.
4. Whisk the eggs with the nutritional yeast, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
5. Mix in the spinach.
6. Stir the egg mixture into the stock. Let the soup heat up for a few minutes.
7. Taste and adjust seasonings. 
8. Serve with a sprinkle of extra nutritional yeast, if desired.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Half Marathon

I ran my first half marathon today, and it was great! I thought it was going to be exhausting, but it actually went great. The day was beautiful, warm but not too hot; it was windy but not extremely. The course was really nice too. It was really flat, so that made it easier. Most of it ran through trees, so it was nice and shady. There were also a few parks, which were really nice to run through. There were some interesting people who were fun to watch or had funny T-shirts or signs. They made the race more interesting.

I felt fine for the first half, then I started to get a bit tired, but by mile 9 I realized that I wasn't all that tired and I managed to pick up my pace a bit. My time was better than I ever could have hoped for! My goal was 2h 15min, but I managed to run it in almost exactly 2 hours!

Running through that giant arch at the end of such a long race was such a great feeling.

Some tips I have for someone wanting to try running a half marathon:

  • sleep well the night before and the night before that
  • bring an iPod or MP3 player (make sure it's charged!)
  • wear comfortable shoes
  • don't drink too much the morning of the race
  • rest a few days before the race
  • train hard!

Anyone can run a half, it just takes some determination, time, and dedication! And you get a T-shirt and a medal just for finishing! Plus you get bragging rights and a sense of accomplishment, as well as free food.

Now I just need to run a marathon! 

Monday, 10 June 2013

A Bike Ride

It's always nice to take a bike ride on a beautiful day.
June is a beautiful time. The sun is shining, green is everywhere. 
This is one of my favourite places to ride in the summer. It can be hard to find nice little pockets of nature like this in the middle of the city. Especially since Bunn's Creek is flooded this time of year.
It's flooded here too, but not on the path.
Roots are beautiful. Trees and leaves are beautiful. I love the outdoors! But not in winter.
Winter looks like this:
Winter is not beautiful. Nothing grows in winter. Now compare the above picture to summer:
Seriously, which would you prefer? And look at all those dandelions, growing little heads of fuzzy sunshine for us! It's not their fault they love to spread their sunniness, which can ruin crops. They just love brightening the world!
Without weeds, there would be a lot of empty dirt. Weeds are much more beautiful than empty dirt!
See? They're already starting to beautify this patch of dirt. Unfortunately, to get to these beautiful natural areas, it's sometimes necessary to go through some very unnatural places. 
But it's so worth it!

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Chinese Beansprout Salad

There are often times, usually a few days before the next grocery shopping trip is planned, were I start running out of fresh vegetables. At these times, beansprouts can be a lifesaver. I sprout my own, so the bag of dried beans is always sitting ready for me in my cupboard. It takes a bit of pre-planning, but beansprouts really help to stretch the last bits of fresh produce in my fridge until more can be bought. Did I mention that beansprouts are really healthy? Yeah, they contain protein, they're low in calories, and they've got tons of enzymes. Raw foodists love them because they're the most "live" food you can eat. (Unless you eat a live bug, but I don't think anyone really wants to do that on a regular basis.)

This is one way I enjoy beansprouts. They're also really good with some leftover roasted winter squash and peas.

Chinese Beansprout Salad

1 cup mung beansprouts
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 carrot, grated
1/2 cup sugar snap peas, chopped
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp organic tamari, nama shoyu, or coconut aminos
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger (or less, to taste)
pinch of red pepper flakes
optional: a few grinds of pepper (I like to put pepper in everything)

1. Whisk together the tamari, vinegar, oil, ginger, red pepper flakes, and optional pepper.
2. Combine the beansprouts, carrot, bell pepper, and sugar snap peas.
3. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Coconut Lime Ice Cream

I wanted to call this lime sherbet, but it's not extremely sour, it's not lime green (ironic, I know), and it's creamier than most sherbets. This is why I decided to call it ice cream. This is just another one of coconut milk's incredible advantages; it doesn't curdle!

Since it's getting warmer and I haven't used my ice cream maker nearly as much as I've wanted to, I'm planning on trying out a lot of different ice cream flavours this summer. I'll try to post an ice cream recipe every 1-2 weeks.

Coconut Lime Ice Cream

3 cups full-fat coconut milk
2 egg yolks
zest and juice of 3 limes
1/2 avocado
pinch of salt
1/3 cup maple syrup (or more, this doesn't make a super-sweet ice cream)

1. Throw everything in a blender.
2. Blend.
3. Follow the instructions for your ice cream maker to freeze the ice cream.
4. Put the ice cream into the freezer for a few hours to harden it up.
5. Devour your healthy, delicious ice cream!