real food. real life.
Ah, cake. Sweet, delicious, and usually bursting with loads of dairy and white sugar. And usually some eggs in there. Right?
But would you believe that this cake contains no dairy, no refined sugar, no eggs, and even no honey for my vegan friends out there? It can also be adjusted to suit your gluten/nut allergies/sensitivities, too.
Of course you believe me, because otherwise I wouldn't be posting it. :)
To boot - this cake actually contains vegetables!!! That's right. It's healthy for you in so many ways, I can't even count. If you would like to recreate the tower of chocolate awesomeness that I've pictured above, I used the Chocolate Beet Cupcake Recipe located on my blog, and instead of baking the batter as cupcakes, I doubled the recipe and poured it into 2 cake pans. Cooked it at 350 for about 30 minutes.
Want even more awesomeness? See that delicious scoop of ice cream resting so gently against that delicious piece of chocolate cake? It's made out of bananas. Not cream, not milk, not sugar. Just a little frozen banana, almond milk, peanut butter and vanilla. Yum. I actually some leftover ice cream in the freezer now and will be going to get a bowl after I write this. Yum Yum. If you would like to recreate this ice cream, check out Bet You Won't Believe It's Not Ice Cream on my blog. It's very versatile, swapping out whatever kind of non-dairy milk and nut/seed butter you have on hand. You can also add other fruit to it to make a different kind... maybe strawberry banana? :)
For icing, I made both of the recipes outlined below. I used the Light, Whipped Icing for covering the cake and the Thick, Creamy Icing for lettering and designs. The creamy one would be great on brownies! Both recipes I found on the web, so I can't take credit for creating them. Click on the links if you'd like to find the original recipes! They are both sweet and delicious.
Light, Whipped Icing
Total Time: 5 minutes + overnight
1 can coconut milk, refrigerated overnight to separate coconut solids from water. Use coconut solids
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tsp natural vanilla
1 tbsp maple syrup
What to do:
1. Blend ingredients until smooth. Put back in the fridge until you want to use it! Lick the spatula before cleaning.
*You can adjust this easily to make vanilla icing - just leave out the cocoa powder. You could also use a different sweetener than maple syrup if you wanted to, like honey, agave, or coconut sugar.
Thick, Creamy Icing
Total Time: 5 minutes
1/2 cup almond butter (could use any other kind of nut/seed butter)
2 tablespoons softened coconut oil
2 tablespoons agave syrup (Or honey or maple syrup)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/8-1/4 cup unsweetened almond, rice or coconut milk
What to do:
1. Combine all ingredients and blend until smooth
2. Add additional milk if needed
3. Enjoy making a mess, as it gives you an excuse to take a sneak taste now and then!
This was amazing. I was so surprised at how well it turned out and that I whipped it up on a Tuesday night!! This recipe is from Wendy McCallum, R.H.N, a real food coach and educator with Simple Balance, a local organization from Halifax! If you haven't checked her out yet, do so at her website here. She offers wonderful tips and advice and has created some pretty awesome real food recipes in her cookbook. I have a signed copy! She is also a TapRoot Farms CSA'er! So most of her recipes are created with the same veggies we get in our CSA boxes. Pretty cool!
So, here's my little promotion for Wendy as she continues to inspire many to eat real food and local food. She's a wonderful advocate for proving that kids can and want to eat healthy, too. Which I love. Her cookbook is one the most creative I've seen, as she proves how those packaged snacks and 'meals' like KD, Goldfish, Lunchables, Zoodles, etc. are full of junk and are never what they should be made of. She offers a recipe to replace them all! And those recipes are made with awesomely healthy ingredients. So exciting :)
Anyway, back to the recipe. It was really easy. Now, in saying this, I had a ton of leftover turkey from a roast we did on the weekend. So you'll need something like that in order to cook this recipe rather quickly. Other than that, everything else I grabbed out of the fridge, freezer, and pantry at 5:00pm with dinner on the plates by 5:45pm. I swear to you, this comes together rather quickly and simply. I hope you try it!
*I will write the recipe with the ingredients I used. I didn't have everything that was listed in the original ingredient list and opted to change a couple things as I was going. Either way, ours turned out great and I'm sure the original recipe would be good, too!
Total Time: 45 minutes
2 c. pre-cooked turkey or chicken, cut into 1/2” cubes
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 c. diced celery (about 1 large rib)
1/2 c. diced carrot (about 1 large carrot)
1 c. fresh or frozen peas (no need to defrost before adding)
2 large or 3 small garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
***Could add any other veggies you want: I would think broccoli and leeks would be a great add-in. The original recipe also called for spinach, mushrooms, thyme, and parsley.
2 c. low-sodium chicken broth, divided
3 tbsp arrowroot powder (we used corn starch)
1.5 c. unsweetened almond milk, divided
1 tbsp dijon
1/2 tsp sea salt
Biscuit Topping ingredients:
2 c. whole wheat flour (original recipe calls for pastry flour, which would probably make the biscuits lighter)
1 tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp sea salt
3 tbsp Earth Balance Buttery Spread (original recipe calls for coconut oil. I used the butter, thinking I didn't want it to be too bland. But now after eating it, I think the coconut oil would be just fine.)
3/4 c. unsweetened almond milk
What to do:
1. Preheat oven to 425F. In a large pan, melt the coconut oil over medium heat, add veggies and garlic and saute about 10-15 minutes, until veggies softened. Add spices and cook another 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and toss in pre cooked chicken or turkey.
2. While filling is cooking, combine flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl, cut in the coconut oil or butter with two knives or a pastry cutter, then stir in milk until well-combined. Roll out gently on a well-floured surface to about 3/4 inch thick, and cut out about twelve biscuits with the top edge of a juice glass or circular cookie cutter with about a 3“ diameter.
3. After transferring cooked filling to bowl, heat 1 c. chicken broth in the same pan to a boil, then reduce heat to low. In a small bowl, whisk the corn starch with 1/2 c. of the almond milk, then slowly add to heated chicken broth, whisking continuously. Mixture will thicken considerably. Slowly whisk in the rest of the broth, milk, dijon & salt until well-combined.
4. Add the filling back to the pan and combine well with the sauce, transfer mixture to a 9×11 baking dish, then top with a layer of biscuits. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until biscuits tops a light golden colour. Remove from oven and let sit about 10 minutes before serving. Scoop out a bowl and enjoy!!!
A little while ago I posted Spring Rolls for the first time. Although they were tasty, they weren't the healthiest, as I fried them in a copious amount of oil. I tried baking them this time and they turned out even better and healthier! Not as much oil at all! I paired them with a light cucumber salad with Asian spices. It was a great meal, here's the recipe!
Total Time: 45 minutes
Chicken & Rice Spring Rolls:
package of rice paper rolls
large bowl filled with warm water
cooked cubed chicken breast (i sautéed it with ginger and red pepper flakes)
4-5 leaves napa cabbage, chopped
3-4 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
cooked leftover rice, about 1 cup, depending on how many rolls you want to make
fresh basil leaves (2 per roll)
1/4 cup cooking oil with brush
1 red onion, sliced and separated into long pieces
1-2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 english cucumber, thinly sliced on an angle
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp dried cilantro
dash of hot pepper flakes
a few dashes of sea salt
What to do:
1) Prepare each ingredient for spring rolls and have them easily accessible for putting together the rolls. Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
2) Lay a dry towel on a flat surface next to your bowl of warm water. Working in batches (I so sets of 2 at a time) take one piece of rice paper, dip into warm water for about 10 second, or until it has become soft in your hands. Gently remove without tearing and lay flat on towel. Do another rice paper and set on towel. Take the first wet rice paper and move to a cutting board/counter surface. Start to add your filling at one end. A small handful of chicken piece, rice, carrots, cabbage, basil. Roll once, fold in sides, and then continue rolling, tight but not tearing, until completely wrapped. Edges should stick together well on their own. Place back on dry towel. Do subsequent rolls and lay on dry towel WITHOUT TOUCHING each other until done all of them.
3) Lightly oil baking sheet. Lay each roll onto the baking sheet without letting them touch each other. Take your oil and brush and lightly brush the tops of each roll. Bake in the oven on mid-lower rack for about 30 minutes, turning once, or until crispy on all sides.
4) Place all ingredients for cucumber salad in bowl. Mix well and let sit for about 20 minutes before serving.
We really cooked these things. From scratch. On weeknights. And we even had time to do the dishes.
They have real, simple ingredients that you'll find in your cupboards. They're healthy and delicious. No lies.
Thanks for reading. Leave a comment below!
Here's a pic of me and my babies. Just because.
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