I’m Back

Wow… so I couldn’t get on this for the longest time cause I had lost my password – damn things… I have a thousand of them and can never remember them – ugh.

Today ended up being a “snow day” – so as a teacher, I stay home when there is no school. The kids and I stay in our Jammie’s all day and I usually find cool things to cook. So keeping with tradition, I started researching what to cook.

I said to myself… ” I should try logging into WordPress again ” and for whatever reason, it worked. Now looking at my last post, which was in March 2017, a LOT has happened in our lives.

In May 2017, my Mike died. None of us saw it coming… he committed suicide.

Cooking was something we loved to do together, and gathering around the table was his favourite thing to do. So, after he died, we just couldn’t do it. We got rid of the table. I threw out a lot of kitchenware and we really didn’t have great appetites for a long time. One day this fall my 14 year old son asked me when we were going to start eating better again…. wow, slap of reality right there. I was having a hard time keeping it together let alone get back to cooking but the guilt of not being a good enough mother took over ( I know I’m a good mama, just didn’t feel it at the time ) and I put myself through the motions. We got a new dining table made for us and when it arrived we were all to scared to sit at it.

Fast forward to the Christmas holidays. I went to Italy on kind of a healing trip. Mike had booked it before he died so I wanted to follow through with his plans. I’m in Florence, eating incredible food and my son texted me…. ” Mom, I’ve done a lot of research and I’ve decided I want to start eating only plant based foods. I want to be a vegan.”

Holy geez… I better get my act together. Vegan food is a lot of work!!! What the heck is he doing to me!

I have him to thank cause I’m cooking a lot more now and I realized how much I missed it.

So my first post back has two recipes in it. Vegan protein balls AND non-vegan Asian Turkey Meatballs 😜.

Vegan Protein Balls

1 cup of rolled oats

1/2 cup natural peanut butter ( we used crunchy )

2 scoops of chocolate protein – we found a vegan one

1/3 cup honey

1/4 cup sunflower seeds ( unsalted )

2 Tblsp chia seeds

A splash of cashew milk – just to help it stick

Mix it all up and roll into balls and refrigerate

Asian Turkey Meatballs

Two pounds of Turkey

1 1/4 cups of Panko breadcrumbs

1 egg

3 large cloves of garlic

2 green onions chopped

1 tsp of sesame oil

2 TBSP soy seasoning – we used Braggs

Mix all this up and roll into 24 balls- put them on a cookie sheet and bake at 400F for about 20 min- but check em and make sure they are cooked through. Ain’t nobody got time for raw turkey lol

Sauce

1/2 cup hoisin sauce

1/4 cup of soy seasoning

2 tsp sesame oil

Toss the balls in the sauce and garnish with green onions and sesame seeds 😜❤️ yummo

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Maple Garlic Ginger Chicken

Ohhhhhh this dish will melt in your mouth!!!! All clean fresh health ingredients makes this a must try!!!! 

Mix together 

1 TBsp maple sugar ( you could use brown sugar if you don’t normally have maple in the house )

2 TBsp maple syrup 

1/4 cup Liquid soy seasoning ( we use Braggs but any soya sauce could do )

2 tsp of fresh ginger minced 

2 crushed cloves of fresh garlic ( we use more cause we love garlic!)

Set aside….

Heat a wok or deep skillet with 2 tsp of oil ( avacado oil is awesome but olive oil is good too ) 

Add and cook 4 chicken breasts sliced into 1/2 inch slices 

Season with salt and pepper and cook for about 6-7 min. Toss. 

Add sauce and 3-4 big handfuls of thin green beans or broccoli – any veg you like really but ones that won’t produce too much water while cooking

Simmer until sauce is less watery – almost thick. 

Serve over rice 🍚 
Mmmmmmm

Sweet Potato Nachoes

Gluten and dairy free


Peel and slice a large sweet potato thin – preferably with a mandolin to get them nicexand thin. Spray a pan that has holes in it ( I use an epicure chipster pan) and lay out the slices. Spray them again and sprinkle with seasoning – salt, pepper – I used the maple bacon salt from epicure. 

Bake at 400F until browning – watch carefully.

Top with taco beef or chicken – chopped onion, green pepper, salsa and then marble goat cheese.

Bake for 5-6 min till cheese melts 
Super easy and great substitute for our regular nachoes 🙂 

Crockpot Pork Roast with Sweet Potatoes and Carrots

So we have a really busy week and in order to have healthy meals on the table… that I can actually eat, while on this gluten and dairy free eating plan …and no potatoes, corn or peas… we are researching all the time. Mike has been awesome and enjoys the hunt to so he organized this crock pot meal for tonight’s supper. It was blog worthy! 

Ingredients 

1 large pork roast ( 3 pounds with the bone in )

3 large sweet potatoes- peeled and diced 

3 large carrots – peeled and chopped 

1 large onion – chopped

1 cup of chicken stock 

Rub the following spices on the pork 

– 1 tsp dried oregano

– 1 tsp paprika 

– 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder 

– 1/2 tsp. salt

– 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Place a bed of veggies on the crock pot the place the pork on the veggies and put the rest of them around the pork – pour the chicken stock over and cover. 

Cook on low for 8-9 hours 

We puréed the veggies with some of the juice and placed the pork on top. Delish! 

Breakfast Sausage Rounds

You’ll never buy them in a store again! And the spice possibilities are endless but here is 1 version. This recipe made 50 sausage rounds ( each about 2 inches in diameter ) so we’ll be freezing them for upcoming weekend breakfasts 🙂 the kids love them and I have to hide them from Mike lol.


2 pounds of ground pork 

Mix together the following spices and then hand mix them well into the pork 


2 tsp. dried ground sage

2 tsp salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

1/4 tsp dried marjoram 

1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

1 TBsp brown sugar 

Pinch of cloves

After mixed well, form into balls and flatten thin in a frying pan. Fry at medium heat until cooked through. Don’t forget to flip them 

The possibilities for spice mixs are endless, just remember – sage and marjoram are key and ya gotta have a little sugar and salt but try different peppercorns, sugars, spices with heat… so fun 🙂 

Bits and Bytes, Christmas candy and strawberry ice 

Treats treats and more treats! 

It’s that time of year and although I have been going hard core gluten and dairy free… I do have 4 and sometimes 5 (Jaclyn qualifies as a family member ) who need treats for Christmas…. and with two snow days in a row…. we have had lots of time to get er done! So here are 3 great treats for the holidays 🙂 (I’ll probably have to make more lol )

Bits and Bytes 


1 bag of pretzel sticks 

2 boxes of cheese sticks or nibs ( I used one of both )

1 box of shreddies

1 box of honey nut cheerios 

Mix that all up in a bigggggg roasting pan 

Melt 1 pound of butter ( I know right? It’s a lot – but it’s a big pan!! )

Add

1 TBsp  garlic powder

2 TBsp worchestire sauce 

2 heaping tsp onion salt

2 heaping tsp. celery salt 

Mixer up and pour over the bites 🙂 toss around and then bake at 250F for an hour and a half – mix up every 1/2 hour 🙂 

Strawberry Ice ( this is the kids absolute favourite dessert! ) 


Base 

2 cups of graham crumbs

2 TBsp brown sugar 

1/2 cup of melted Butter 

Mix it up and press it into the bottom of a 9×13 pan – bake at 350 for 7-8 minutes

Topping

1 big brick of cream cheese 

2 cups of white sugar 

Blend with a hand mixer 

Blend in 1 big tub of cool whip 

Fold in 1-2 cups of frozen strawberries ( really any frozen fruit will do but my kids prefer strawberries 

Christmas Candy

This is the candy from my childhood. My mother always bought a bag of this at Christmas time 🙂 a very sentimental taste lol


We called them Barley candy – I have no idea why lol 

I got the tin candy molds at Scoop and Save… do NOT use chocolate molds! 

2 cups of white sugar 

2/3 cup of white corn syrup

3/4 cup of water 

1-2 drops of food colouring ( I have red and green paste and it rocks ) 

Mix the sugar, syrup and water in a sauce pan at high heat and keep stirring until mixture reaches 300F on a candy thermometer. Take off the stove and let it settle a bit till the bubbles stop. Mix in your colour to your desired shade and then pour into the moulds. 

Let things cool and pop those yummys out! 
Enjoy!!! 

Ohhh so good Granola

So I concocted a recipe for a gluten and dairy free granola and I have to say it is absolutely amazing 


3 cups of gluten free oats 

3/4 cup of pumpkin seeds

3/4 cup of sliced almonds

3/4 cup of chopped pecans

3/4 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup of toasted coconut chips

1/4 cup of honey

1/4 cup of maple syrup

1/4 cup of olive oil

1 tsp sea salt

2 tsp. vanilla 

Bake in a pre heated oven at 250F  for 75-90 minutes until brown. Turn the granola every 20 minutes or so, so it bakes all through. 

I just had this with a chopped banana and some almond yogurt 


So delish!!!