16 October 2016

Pear-Pomegranate Parfait

It's been a little over two years since I've visited Iceland and the moment I left I never stopped wanting to go back. From the otherworldly landscapes to the tasty food, I just couldn't get enough! 
One of the foods I did try while I was in Iceland was a cultured dairy product called Skyr (skeer). It has a similar texture to greek yogurt except it has very little to no fat and has a slightly milder flavour. Like yogurt, Skyr comes in a variety of flavours and can be consumed in the same way yogurt is. 
I've never seen or heard of Skyr before I visited Iceland, but now I see it popping up in local grocery stores everywhere. So, I thought I'd share a simple parfait recipe that I've been enjoying lately. 
In this recipe, I use plain Skyr because I like to control what I sweeten it with and how much I sweeten it. Because the Skyr is high in protein and low in fat, I like to add other elements to this parfait to make it a more wholesome and nutritious breakfast. I layered the Skyr with Chia Pudding, which is high in fibre so it will keep your belly feel full all morning. I also like to add some healthy fats, which also keep you feeling full, so I added some walnuts and coconut chips to the mix. They also give a lovely crunchy texture. And then, of course, you need to add some sort of fruit to a parfait. So, I chose to use predominantly pears and pomegranate. And then for a little added sweetness and tartness I threw in some dried cranberries. 

Orange Scented Chia Pudding
(Makes approx. 1 1/2 cups)
  • 4 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 cup almond milk (or milk of your choice)
  • zest of one orange 
  • pinch of sea salt

Chia Pudding is best made overnight or a few hours in advance, so the chia seeds could really soak up all the almond milk and plump up real nice.
To make this Chia Pudding is super simple. Add the chia seeds to a medium to large sized container. Then add the almond milk, orange zest and sea salt. Stir it up, put the lid on and store it in the fridge overnight, so it's ready to use in the morning. 

*You can add a sweetener such as maple syrup or honey to this, but I normally like to keep it unsweetened and then sweeten if I need to afterwards. 

  • Maple Roasted Walnuts (or you can use raw walnuts)
  • Coconut chips
  • Pomegranate arils 
  • Pears
  • Dried cranberries

You can make these parfaits as fancy or as casual as you please. 
Add a hefty amount of Skyr to a bowl, followed by some chia pudding and then top with as much or as little of your desired toppings. 
To add another element of sweetness, you can drizzle a little maple syrup or honey to your liking. 

18 May 2015

Mini Turkey Burgers with Homemade Ketchup

Today is Victoria Day here in Canada, which means - food, fun, fireworks and the great Canadian outdoors! It's been a fairly hot (dare I say) weekend in Southern Ontario, perfect for enjoying food outdoors; on the patio or by the bonfire. Burgers are one of those foods which are reminiscent of celebration and warm weather. 

What's awesome about a burger is all you need is a well made, tasty burger patty and then you can dress them up however you like! What's not awesome, is that usually burgers are served with buns made with white flour and high fructose corn syrup laden ketchup. Sure, you can skip the bun and pass on the ketchup, but what's a burger without a bun and ketchup?! It's not a burger, that's what it is!

Thankfully, I came up with this burger recipe. I used ground turkey to make the patties, but feel free to use beef instead, or whatever meat you prefer. The ketchup is homemade, sugar free and full of probiotics! And for the bun - it's fluffy and satisfying like a bun, but contains no grains, it's gluten free, full of fibre and protein! I think it's safe to say that this is pretty darn close to the real thing, so you won't be missing out! It takes a little elbow grease to make, but most importantly it nourishes your body and taste amazing!

Happy Victoria Day!


Turkey Burgers
(Makes 12 mini burgers)

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt 
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Large handful or fresh cilantro, chopped

Cilantro Guacamole
  • 2 avocados
  • 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Homemade Ketchup 
  • 2 cups tomato paste
  • 5 tablespoons fermented pickle juice, sauerkraut juice or whey*
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2-3 tablespoons raw, unpasteurized honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • Pinch of ground allspice
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper

* If you don't have any fermented pickle juice, sauerkraut juice or whey on hand you can just add 4-5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar. 

Flaxseed Bun
  • 2 cups ground flaxseeds (I like to use Organic Golden Flax Seeds)
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda


Turkey Burgers
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
Add the ground turkey, garlic, chopped onion, chili powder, smoked paprika, salt, pepper and fresh cilantro into a bowl and mix until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined. 
Using your hands, form the meat mixture into 12 burger patties. I like to dip my hands in a little olive oil, to prevent the meat mixture from sticking too much. Place the patties into a roasting pan and bake in the oven for about 10 minutes on one side. Then I flip them on the other side and back them for another 10 to 15 minutes, until they are cooked through. 

Cilantro Guacamole
As always, guacamole is so simple to make and always tastes amazing! If you like smooth guacamole, you can make this in a food processor. I like mine a little chunky so I just scoop out the avocados into a bowl and mash them up with a fork. Add the lemon juice, chopped onion, salt, pepper and cilantro. Mix until combined and it's ready to eat!

Homemade Ketchup
This ketchup recipe is also adapted from the The Heal Your Gut Cookbook. I fine tuned some of the ingredients and added a couple as well, to make it ideal for my taste buds! I love it, not only because it tastes amazing, but also because it's lacto-fermented, meaning it contains highly beneficial bacteria for your gut. This is only if you add the fermented pickle juice, sauerkraut juice or whey. It also contains no high fructose corn syrup, therefore it only a small fraction on the sugar content regular, store bought ketchup would.

To make the ketchup, simply place all your ingredients into a bowl and mix until well combined. Pour the ketchup into a quart sized mason jar, cap it and leave it on the counter for about 48 hours to ferment. If you didn't happen to use the fermented pickle juice, sauerkraut juice or whey you don't need to leave it on the counter, it can go straight into the fridge. It's best to let it sit for at least a couple hours before using, so the flavours can really infuse the tomato paste.
This ketchup will keep well in a mason jar for a good 2 to 4 weeks in the fridge. You can use as you would regular ketchup: burgers, hotdogs, fries, etc.

Flaxseed Bun
This recipe is inspired by the Flaxseed Focaccia Bread by Healthful Pursuit. Again, I altered some of the ingredients to make it GAPS friendly, such as using baking soda instead of baking powder.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9" by 13" baking pan with parchment paper. 
Place your ground flaxseeds in a large bowl along with the sea salt and baking soda. Whisk together. In a blender, add the eggs, water and olive oil and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour the egg mixture into the flaxseeds. Using a whisk, rapidly mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients as it begins to thicken quickly. Pour the mixture out into you prepared baking pan and spread it out evenly. Place the pan into the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. 

You can either cut this up into 12 equal square pieces or cut them out as circles, which is what I did. You can use a 2-inch or even a 3-inch pastry ring to cut out 12 circle pieces for your "buns."

Cut the "bun" in half, lengthwise and make your burger! Add your favourite condiments: ketchup, mustard, mayo, guacamole, etc. I like to also add tomatoes, pickles, cucumber and onions. And of course, I like to eat my burger with a nice helping of greens! 

13 October 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Every Thanksgiving my sister and I take the time to go for a hike and appreciate the colours of fall. This year we had the opportunity to take a stroll through the beautiful autumnal foliage AND forage for mushrooms. Our father, Wojciech, (we'll call him the mushroom expert, because his name is a little difficult to pronounce) has been picking mushrooms his whole life - so he knows a thing or two about them. Our mushroom expert guided us through the woods and in no time we were filling our baskets with various fungal forms. 

Mushroom expert (Wojciech) leading the way through the forest.

Honey mushrooms were the predominant mushroom in the forest.

We also came across Turkey Tail, which is well know for it's cancer fighting properties.

These grey mushrooms are part of the tricholoma family.

We left the forest happy and grateful for our bountiful finds. All that was left to do was go home and fill our bellies with a delicious thanksgiving dinner. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!