Bullet Proof Coffee

So far I’ve been chugging back this cup of joe for the past week and so far I’ve been feeling pretty awesome.Its important to get the actual. According to the creator and “Bulletproof Executive” Dave Asprey, the frothy beverage triggers weight loss by way of ketosis, a metabolic state triggered by a lack of carbs that kicks fat-burning into overdrive. It also promises to keep cravings at bay and boosts cognitive function, getting rid of that “foggy,” morning feeling. Maybe it’ll even make my bed for me in the morning. Consider this now added to my morning routine!

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  1. Brew or buy hot coffee. I picked up Peruvian Andes Gold (#509) from the bulk bins at Community, Calgary, AB. These beans are grown at an altitude that allows for high-quality beans as well less contact with bacteria.
  2. Using a blender (I used my Vitamix), blend in two tablespoons unsalted, grass-fed butter, (I found it at Community and Superstore) as well as 1 tsp-2 tbsp of Brain Octane or XCT Oil.  I actually used to a tablespoon of coconut oil. It’s not as potent as XCT but it does the trick
  3. I enjoy my coffee a little sweet so I added a 1/2 tablespoon of coconut palm syrup. Coconut sugar will also work.
  4. Once everything is in the blender, blend for 30 seconds. There should be a nice white foam on top.
  5. Enjoy!
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Cauliflower Three Ways

I love cauliflower! It has so many uses. It’s also pretty darn good for you. It’s  nonstarchy and is a cruciferous vegetable just like cabbage and broccoli! High intake of cruciferous vegetables is associated with a lower risk of some cancers. They contain vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, or plant nutrients, that may help neutralize damaging toxins. It’s also extremely low cal, so enjoy!

Cauliflower Mash

 

INGREDIENTS

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets

2 tbsp. olive oil

3 cloves roasted garlic

1/4 cup chopped green onions

sea salt & pepper to taste

1/2 of vegetable broth

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Bring a large pot, about 4-6 cups, of salted water to boil
  2. Add the cauliflower florets, stir and boil for about 6 minutes, until softened and the florets slide easily of a fork
  3. Drain the cauliflower, rinse, then pat the florets dry with paper towels
  4.  Place in a high powered blender (I used a Vitamix)
  5. Add olive oil, vegetable broth, roasted garlic and sea salt and pepper to taste
  6. Blend to your desired consistency.
  7. Top with green onions

Cauliflower Rice

INGREDIENTS

1 medium cauliflower

1 Tbsp coconut oil

¼ cup water or vegetable broth

¼ tsp. sea salt

pepper to taste

1-2 green onions, chopped (optional)

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INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Trim leaves from cauliflower and using your hands or a small paring knife, break cauliflower into small florets.
  2. Rinse florets in a colander in the sink under cool running water. Pat dry.
  3. Fit in high-powered blender (I used a Vitamix) at a very low speed, I used speed 3
  4. You can also use a box grater, carefully grate the cauliflower and enjoy the mini-workout.
  5. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  6. Add coconut oil. Once melted, add cauliflower rice and saute for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Then add water or broth, cover and cook until tender, approx 3-4 minutes.
  7. Stir in green onions
  8. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

You can use this dish as any rice substitute

Sticky Sesame Cauliflower

INGREDIENTS

1 small head cauliflower, chopped (6 1/2 cups florets)

1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup pure maple syrup, honey, or agave

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1 tbsp minced garlic

1 ½ tsp toasted sesame oil

½ tsp powdered ginger

1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot

1/4 cup water

sesame seeds and scallions, for garnish

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INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat your oven to 450 F.
  2. Grease a baking pan or line with parchment.
  3. Cut cauliflower into florets, then slice so one side of each floret is flat. Arrange in a single layer in the greased pan. Bake 10 minutes on the center rack.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk together the soy sauce, sweetener, vinegar, garlic, sesame oil, and ginger in a saucepan. Bring to a boil.
  5. While waiting, stir together the cornstarch and water until cornstarch dissolves fully, then slowly whisk this into the saucepan as soon as it boils.
  6. Turn heat to medium and cook 2 minutes, stirring more frequently once it returns to a boil. Cook until thick.
  7. You can also make the sauce ahead of time if desired, and it thickens more as it sits in the fridge. Flip cauliflower florets and bake 10 additional minutes.
  8. If desired, you can now move the pan to the top rack and broil 1-2 minutes.
  9. Pour sauce over florets. Sprinkle sesame seeds and optional scallions on top, and serve.

 

Earl Grey Tea Misto by Ollia

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I am absolutely in love tea and macaroons and my favorite spot in Calgary, AB is by far Ollia. I popped in yesterday to get my favorite Earl Grey Tea Misto and asked the girl working there how I could make this at home on my own. She gave me the run down and I purchased one of their tea pouches and decided to give it a whirl.

A Brief History

What is Earl Grey?

Earl Grey tea blends are classically known as the black tea (Camellia sinensis) with a hint of the bergamot orange.  This special citrus is known as a sour orange and originates from a small citrus tree in Italy.  The black tea base, of course, being from China, which had been around for centuries.

Who is Earl Grey?

This tea blend’s namesake is to Britain’s prime minister in the 1830s, Charles Grey, who received a  gift of tea flavored with bergamot oil. Lady Grey would serve this tea in London, which became extremely popular and was later sold, which is how Twinings began.

What You Need

2-3 tbsp Madame Grey blend

1-2 cups of boiling water

 1/2 Milk of choice  (I used Almond)

1-2 tbsp Sweetener of choice (honey or maple syrup (if vegan))

1 Vanilla Bean

Milk Frother

Tea Steeper

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The How To

  1. First, bring the water to a boil and add the tea into the bottom of your tea steeper

2. Pour the boiling water into the tea steeper, add sweetener, cut the vanilla bean in half and place in steeper as well. Put steeper with tea in fridge and let it sit over night

3. In the morning grab your tea and add it to your milk frother along with the almond milk. Depending on the size of the frother the amount you put in will vary. Generally, the rule to use is 1 part to 1 part.

4. Add to your cup of choice and enjoy! I added rose petals only because they are so darn pretty. The steeped tea will keep in the fridge up to 10 days.

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Peanut Butter Puffed Rice Bars

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INGREDIENTS

For the base:
3 1/2 c. puffed rice cereal (or any puffed cereal — I used Nature’s Path)
2/3 c. creamy nut butter of your choice (if cold/firm, heat on stovetop or microwave to soften slightly)
1/3 c. melted coconut oil
1/4 c. maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. sea salt

For the topping:

3/4 c. peanut butter powder (I found mine at Body Energy Club)
1/2 c. melted coconut oil
1/4 c. maple syrup
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. vanilla

DIRECTIONS

For the base: 

Line an 8″x 8″ baking pan with parchment paper, ensuring there’s enough sticking out the sides to tug on for easy removal. If there are parts of your pan still exposed, grease so the bars don’t stick.

In a medium to large bowl whisk together nut butter, melted coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt.

Add puffed cereal to your bowl and stir with a spatula until completely coated with wet mixture.

Dump your coated puffed rice into your baking pan and press down firmly to create a flat layer (I find using the back of a spatula works best here).

Place in fridge or freezer to firm up (ideally one hour) while you make the topping. *updated

For the topping: 

Add all ingredients to a medium sized bowl and whisk until silky smooth.

Once your base is firm and chilled (at least 30 minutes), pour your topping over the base and spread evenly with the back of a spoon. You could garnish with nuts at this point, but I chose not to. Return your dish to the fridge until completely firm.

Recipe from Its To Die For

 

Blueberry Baked Oatmeal

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I took a recipe from So How’s It Taste and altered it so it was vegan. It was a great start to my morning and kept me full! I mixed everything in a bowl the night before so it would be ready to go in the oven while I was getting ready for the day!

Ingredients:

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1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, divided
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup 100% pure maple syrup
1 cup milk (I used almond)
2 tbsp. vegan butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2-3 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen, divided

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375F.

2. Lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish. In a medium bowl, mix the oats, half of the walnuts, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Stir to combine. In a liquid measuring cup, combine the syrup, almond milk, butter, and vanilla.

3. Spread the sliced bananas in a single layer over the bottom of the baking dish. Top with half of the berries. Sprinkle the dry oat mixture over the fruit in an even layer. Pour the liquid ingredients evenly over the oats.

4. Sprinkle the remaining nuts and berries over the top. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the top, is browned and the oats have set. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Italian Night

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For a quick and easy snack you can toss some olives on the able along with prosciutto wrapped dates for a little nibble until dinner is ready to go. (I sprinkle a little truffle salt on the dates for a more unique taste)

Handmade Gnocchi

I thought I’d give gnocchi from scratch a shot. Ingredients look simple but don’t be fooled it’s a little more difficult than it looks.

Ingredients

2 potatoes

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 egg

Directions

Prep 30 m

Cook 30 m

Ready In1 h

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Peel potatoes and add to pot. Cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain, cool and mash with a fork or potato masher.
  2. Combine 1 cup mashed potato, flour and egg in a large bowl. Knead until dough forms a ball. Shape small portions of the dough into long “snakes”. On a floured surface, cut snakes into half-inch pieces.
  3. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Drop in gnocchi and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until gnocchi have risen to the top; drain and serve.

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The Sauce

The sauce recipe is from my auntie Linda, who is full blown Italian. Her primary method and throw everything in a pot and simmer it. I basically watched her and attempted to write down what she was doing. The being said this recipe is overly clear but it tastes great every time!

Ingredients

Olive oil at bottom of pot

1 Medium Onion

Garlic 2-3 cloves minced

Cook until soft

Add in

Crushed chili peppers

24 oz of Tomato Juice

1 can of Tomato Sauce

Simmer for 4 hours

Then Add

2 small cans of tomato paste

Mushrooms and Green Peppers

1 tsp parsley

1 tsp salt

pepper to taste

1 more can of tomato paste (at the end)

1/2 tsp of chili powder

1 tsp of garlic powder

Simmer for 1-2 more hours

Cooking it slow is key!

The Salad

The salad was pretty simple I just threw together some mixed greens, sliced mixed baby tomatoes, bocconcini cheese and tossed it with olive oil and balsamic vinegar

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Nice and Smooth: Smoothie Bowls

I’m not the biggest breakfast person but I love these smoothie bowls. They always remind me of  warm weather and being on a beach. When I take off to Mexico its my favourite post surf treat. They’re plant based and loaded with all the good stuff! You can’t really go wrong with these bowls and what toppings you choose!

“Ice Cream” Smoothie Bowl (Makes 2)

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For the Smoothie:

1 cup plus 2 table spoons of unsweetened almond mild

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

2 large frozen bananas

1/4 cup of avocado

2 tbsp almond butter

1 tsp of pure vanilla extract

1/4 to 1/2 tsp of cinnamon

Toppings:

Sliced bananas

Rasberries

Coconut Flakes

Granola

Acai Smoothie Bowl (Makes 2)

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Acai Bowl Base:

1 package Sambazon acai berry puree (you can buy these packages at Community in Calgary)

1 cup frozen mixed berries

2 bananas, peeled and diced (frozen)

1 cups unsweetened almond milk

Toppings:

½ cup shredded coconut

1 medium banana (not frozen)

2 teaspoons honey (or agave/coconut nectar for vegan)

Mixed Berries: strawberries/Blueberries

Mermaid Smoothie Bowl (Makes 1)

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1 frozen banana, peeled and diced

1/2 cup unsweetened Almond Milk

1/4 cup raw cashews

1/4 teaspoon spirulina powder (you can get this at Community in Calgary)

1/4 tsp mint extract

Toppings

Blueberries

Hemp Seeds

Coconut Flakes

Don’t feel like making your own?

Check out some local places that make delicious smoothie bowls so you don’t have to:

Raw and Wild

Vitality Tap

Raw Peanut Butter Cups

CRUST

10 ounces crushed oreo cookies

2 Tbsp coconut oil (or sub melted or vegan butter)

FILLING

1.5 cups raw cashews, soaked in water 4-6 hours then drained

1 lemon, juiced (scant 1/4 cup)

1/3 cup coconut oil, melted

1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp full-fat coconut milk (see instructions for note)

1/2 cup maple syrup or agave nectar (or honey if not vegan)

1/3 cup salted natural peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)

CHOCOLATE GANACHE SWIRL

3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips (dairy-free)

3 Tbsp full fat coconut milk, warmed to a simmer

TOPPINGS

18 mini dark chocolate PB Cups (vegan-friendly), chopped

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and blitz Oreos in a food processor until a fine meal remains. Add 2 Tbsp melted coconut oil (or vegan butter) and pulse once more.

Cut 12 small strips of parchment paper (or use paper liners) and place them in a standard, 12-slot muffin tin. One at a time, hold down a strip in the center of the tin, add 1 generous spoonful of crust mixture, then use a small cup or your spoon to pack it down as evenly as possible. I like using a small glass because it packs it in really tight and gets the top flat. Continue until all tins are filled and no crust remains.

Bake for 5 minutes, then remove and set aside to cool.

NOTE: For the coconut milk, I like to scoop the “cream” off the top because it provides a richer texture. But if yours is already all mixed together, just add it in as is.

Add drained cashews, lemon juice, coconut oil, coconut milk, maple syrup and peanut butter to a blender and process until very smooth and creamy – about 3-4 minutes – scraping down sides as needed. You need to make sure you get it really smooth with no small pieces or you’ll taste them in the final result. If your mixture is too thick, add a bit more coconut milk or oil to get it going. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Pour evenly into muffin tins on top of crust and gently top on counter to remove air bubbles.

Prepare ganache by bringing 3 Tbsp coconut milk to a simmer in the microwave (30 seconds) or on the stove top in a small saucepan. Place the chocolate chips in a small mixing bowl and pour the coconut milk on top. DON’T touch for 3 minutes so it has a chance to warm the chips. Then stir gently until smooth. Microwave or set over a double boiler briefly if the chips didn’t fully melt.

Spoon 1/2 Tbsp amounts of ganache over the cheesecakes and swirl with a toothpick or knife.

Sprinkle 3/4 of the peanut butter cups on top of the cheesecakes and press down slightly.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap and freeze until firm – at least 3 hours.

To remove from muffin tin, simply pull on tabs at the same time and the cheesecakes should release. Otherwise, use a butter knife to pop them out. Serve immediately frozen or let soften for 10-15 minutes.

Top with any remaining ganache (reheated), chopped peanut butter cups and/or coconut whipped cream.

Vegan Coconut Twix Bars

Cookie layer:

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/2 cup almond flour

1/4 cup maple syrup

Pinch Himalayan salt

1-2 tablespoons melted coconut oil, if needed

Caramel layer:

3/4 cup pitted dates

1/4 cup cashew butter (or peanut butter)

3 tablespoons water, or more as needed

Pinch Himalayan salt

2 tablespoons coconut oil

Chocolate coating:

1/3 cup melted coconut oil

1/4 cup cacao powder

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make the cookie: stir together the ingredients until slightly crumbly and moist. It should hold its shape when pressed between two fingers. If it’s still too crumbly, add some coco oil (or water). Press into the bottom of a lined bread loaf pan. Place in the freezer.

To make the caramel: soak the dates in warm water for 10 minutes (then keep this water for the recipe). Blend all ingredients until smooth, thick and caramel-y! It should taste amazing. Spread evenly onto the cookie layer and place back in the freezer until solid. It will take a couple hours to harden up. 

To make the chocolate: whisk the ingredients together until you have liquid chocolate. Take your caramel-cookie combo out of the freezer and slice with a sharp knife into bars. Drizzle the chocolate over the bars, or dip the bars in the chocolate. 

Healthy Raw Nanaimo Bars

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INGREDIENTS

For the crust:

½ cup raw almonds

½ cup raw cashews

½ cup pitted dates

½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

¼ cupraw cocoa powder

⅛ tsp salt

For the coconut cream layer:

¼ cup softened coconut oil

½ cup raw cashews

2 tablespoons raw honey

¼ cup coconut cream(from a can of full-fat coconut milk, scoop out the cream)

½ tsp pure vanilla extract

For the top chocolate layer:

¼ cup coconut oil

100g 70% dark chocolate

 DIRECTIONS

Prepare the crust by adding all crust ingredients to a food processor and blend until a dough-like consistency is reached.

Place cupcake liners in each muffin tin cup and divide the crust mixture among the cups.

Press down firmly in each cup.

Clean your food processor and add in the coconut cream ingredients and process until smooth.

Pour the cream evenly among all the muffin cups over the crust layer.

In a small saucepan over low heat add the chocolate layer ingredients and stir until smooth. Remove from heat and pour evenly among the muffin cups to top the coconut cream layer.

Using a knife, swirl the chocolate layer slightly with the coconut cream layer to make a pretty design (this step is optional but nice for look!).

Add the muffin pan to the freezer and let set for 2-3 hours.

Enjoy!

Recipe from Nutritionist in the Kitch