Friday, 29 July 2011

Chocolate Chip Quinoa Power Puddin'

Who doesn't love a good puddin'?
Really, I'm asking you?!
It's smooth, rich and chocolaty goodness cannot be beat.
Not to mention the super healthy quinoa and chia components that allow you to justify shoveling your face full of the stuff...
Lets recap:
Quinoa and chia are both very high in protein.
Both are also super sources of magnesium, iron and phosphorus.

Not that you onto the puddin'!
Chocolate Chip Quinoa Power Puddin'
1/2 c. quinoa
1 T. chia seeds
1/2 c. water
2 T. organic cane sugar
1/4 c. cocoa powder
2 c. almond milk
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt
1/2 c. chocolate chips, chopped

Rinse the quinoa under cold water and strain it.

In a saucepan, combine the water, sugar and cocoa powder.  Bring to a gentle simmer until it starts to thicken up a little and looks like chocolate sauce.  Add the almond milk, vanilla and salt.

Add the rinsed quinoa and bring mixture to a gentle simmer over medium heat.  Let pudding simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and then add the chia seeds.  Continue to cook over low-medium heat for another 15 minutes until the pudding thickens.
Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.  Then add the chopped chocolate chips!  Stir until the chips are mixed in, then put the puddin' in the fridge. (Its summer, and I like this puddin' cold, but its also mighty fine warmed up - the chocolate gets all melty and creamy!)

Serve with a little almond milk drizzled on top...
And of course a cherry!  Or fresh raspberries, blueberries or strawberries are also delicious!
Really do anything you want to this puddin'!
You can't make it taste bad.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Experiments in Spelt

Good afternoon! I hope you're having an enjoyable Thursday!

If not, here's a suggestion

Afternoon snack + Keith! mmm Chocolate Almond Butter Protein Shake (1 c. almond milk, 1 scoop chocolate protein powder, 1 T. almond butter, some ice cubes).  After a (kinda) long day at work, and a (short) run there's nothing better than loading up on some protein and Stones trivia (I'm currently reading Life by Keith Richards).  I love summertime!

Anyways, if anything sums up how unexciting my day has been more accurately than the picture above, it's what I'm about to say next....

Today I discovered my love for spelt!
Yes. Spelt.

Spelt is a delicious ancient grain with a slightly sweet and nutty taste.  It also has tons of health benefits!  Spelt contains 50% more protein than regular whole wheat and contains unique vitamin and mineral complexes.  It is much higher in calcium, phosphorus, selenium and magnesium than other wheat types, and is also very high in fiber!

Spelt also has a low glycemic index (GI).  This means the carbohydrate content in spelt absorbs into the body slowly, therefore maintaining blood sugar levels and prolonging energy!  This property makes it a great addition to a diabetic diet as it will not cause drastic changes in blood sugar levels like other refined carbohydrates would!

Give spelt a chance!

Crusty Spelt-Walnut Bread

1/4 c. warm water
1 tsp. sugar
1 packet active dry yeast (about 1 T.)

3 1/2 c. spelt flour
1 tsp. Salt
1/4 c. chopped, toasted walnuts

1 c. boiling water
1 T. molasses

In a small bowl, combine the 1/4 c. warm water, sugar and yeast.  Set aside for 10 min.

Meanwhile, mix together the spelt flour, salt, and walnuts.  Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture and stir until incorporated.  Add the boiling water and molasses and stir until dough forms (dough will be slightly sticky, and you may need to add a little extra flour).

Turn out dough onto a floured surface, and knead the dough for about 5-8 min. until firm and elastic.

Place the dough in a greased bowl (I used a little bit of olive oil), and cover with a towel.  Let the dough rise for about 1 hour.

After 1 hour the dough will basically double in size.  Punch the dough down and turn out onto a floured surface.  Shape the dough into a loaf.  Place the loaf into a greased 9-inch loaf pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 min until crusty and golden brown!  Remove from oven. Smelllllllll....and then feast on spelt!

Delicious with Apricot-Orange Fruit Smear
or as a Curried Tuna Salad Sandwich!
Pink Spelt Berry Salad

Well, it's kinda pink.  Intensity of pink-color aside, the beets sure make it tasty!  The kale and toasted walnuts add a nice crunch, and of course feta makes everything beta!

1 1/2 c. spelt berries, cooked
2 c. fresh kale, chopped
1 c. fresh cooked beets, peeled and finely chopped
1/4 c. toasted walnuts, chopped
1/4 c. feta cheese, crumbled
2 T. fresh lemon juice
2 T. olive oil
1 T. lemon zest
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1 T. fresh basil, finely chopped

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss until its pink! (or just well mixed)

Chewy, cheesy, crunchy and sweet! Nom.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

I'm Back!

So after barely beginning this blog, it took only about one week for me to totally lose my blogging momentum (see date of late post).  But I'm back, and this time I'm sticking with it!

I've still got about one month of summer left before nursing school once again consumes my life in September.  Until then, this is what I plan to work on:

1) 1 blog post per day!
2) 30 day yoga challenge! (More on this later)
3) Create 1 piece of art per week (I'm making no promises about the quality)
4) Finish all of the books I'm currently reading

Just keeping busy.

On that note, this is my latest obsession: pinterest!
I. Cannot. Stop.

Monday, 4 July 2011

A time for pie

Happy 4th of July!

There's nothing more American than PIE, right?
Right.  Well at least that was my excuse for spending several blissful hours rolling out this tasty tribute whilst snaking on fresh berries and iced tea.

Oh yes.

Although I grew up here in the icy cold land of Calgary (no disrespect Canada), I'm half American and I heart the U S of A!  My Dad grew up in California, and somehow I have always felt so at home there.  I love you Cali, and I will call you home someday!

So this is an expression of my pie form.

Now, I'm not an expert pie-baker but this is how to experience the love pictured above:


1 3/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. vegetable shortening (COLD)
5-6 T. water (COLD)


About 4-5 c. sliced strawberries, cherries and blueberries
1/2 c. sugar
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
2 T. flour

Whisk together the flour and salt.  Add the vegetable shortening and work it into the flour mixture with your fingers until it is crumbly.  Add the cold water and gently work it in (it will be a little wet/sticky).  Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and gently knead it until it is formed into a ball.  Flatten the ball slightly, and wrap in wax paper.  Store in the refrigerator until you're ready to go with the filling!

Add the fruit, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice to a saucepan, and bring to a gentle simmer over low heat.  Stir the mixture constantly so it doesn't burn/stick to the bottom of the pan.  Add the flour and stir until it is completely mixed in.  Remove the pan from the heat and let cool to room temp. 

Next take the dough out of the fridge, and turn out onto a floured surface.  Divide the dough in two, saving roughly 1/4 of the dough for the lattice top.  Use a floured rolling pin to roll out the larger piece of dough into a circle.  Measure with your pie plate to make sure it is large enough.  Gently lift up the rolled dough, and place over the pie plate letting the extra dough hang off the edges.  Poke the bottom of the pie crust several times with a fork.   

Transfer the filling into the pie crust!

Next, take the remaining 1/4 of the dough and roll it out.  Use a knife to cut it into even strips.  Weave the strips on the top of the pie.  Pinch the extra dough together with your fingers to form a crust around the pie.  

Crack an egg in a small bowl, and add about 1 tsp. of water.  Beat together with a fork.  Use a pastry brush to brush the egg-wash over the lattice top to give the pie a lovely, shiny glow!

Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 min, until the top is golden brown.

God bless America.