Collagen Gummies

Back in May I went to a free workshop on collagen that Kardish had given. We learned many things like that collagen is the more dominant protein and that a quarter of our body is made from it. It affects our skin, eyes, nails, hairs, muscles, teeth, cartilage, gut health… If we only take in animal protein we miss out on the non-essential/essential amino acids that collagen provides that meat does not. Eating too much protein means higher methionine in the body which can lead to heat disease later on. (Don’t quote me on this! I am NOT a nutritionist/doctor/dietician in any way. Do you own research!) Taking collagen will offset this, so I think you should start to eat this stuff right now! lol

You certainly don’t have to make the gummies in order to get  your daily dose of collagen. You can always just add some to your morning smoothie!

Great thing about this is that you can put it into any mold you want! Or if you don’t have a mold, you can line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment and pour it in there to set and then cut it up into cubes. You can also buy these awesome gummie bear molds from Amazon if you have little kids to trick them into eating this. They will think its candy!

The collagen and gelatine shouldn’t be hard to find for you. The collagen I found at my local bulk food store, and the gelatine I bought off of Amazon. But I am sure that in the baking isle of any grocery store would have it.

Note: when I am pouring the mixture into the mold, I don’t do it very precisely. I kind of just pour it were ever and the spread it out as I go along to get it into everywhere. My mold is a silicon ice cube tray that I bought a my local dollar store – easy peasy! If you are going to use a mold, I suggest silicon so that its easy to pop out and it won’t stick.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pureed fruits (1 1/2 to 2 cups of fresh or frozen fruits will work)
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp local non-pasturized honey
  • 3 tbsp collagen peptides
  • 3 tbsp gelatine

Directions:

  • Whether you are using fresh or frozen fruits, add it and the water to a small pot and boil down until the fruit has broken down and becomes soft.
  • Add the honey in and melt it in for a minute.
  • With a potato masher, mash the fruit until it becomes a puree. It will not be entirely smooth unless you put it into a blender, but that is up to you.
  • The next part you will have to work quickly as the gelatine will set the mixture.
  • Add in the gelatine and collagen to the mix  and stir until it is all combined.
  • Pour into your mold and set in the fridge for about an hour.
  • Enjoy!

Roasted Chickpeas – Sour cream and onion

I decided to make these as a topping to my grilled “cesear” salad that I made as inspiration from My New Roots. I changed around the chickpea crouton recipe to make it a little different in flavour by adding some onion powder, chives and nutritional yeast. And boy does the taste ever change! It was was super delicious on top of the salad that I made! You can certainly put whatever flavour you want on chickpeas. They are such a nuetral flavour that it will just absorb anything you put on to it!

I have so many flavours to roast chickpeas in, but this one was definitely worth sharing! Some times I put siracha, tamari, maple syrup and nutrional yeast (great combo to also roast cashews in!). Other times it is cayenne, cumin, onion powder, and salt and pepper. You can take this so many ways, you just need to experiment! And thank goodness chickpeas are not expensive, so its a great option to experiment with flavours.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast (I like this stuff, so I use heaping table spoons)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chopped chives
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to a 400 degree convection oven
  • Mix all the ingredients together until everything is coating the chickpeas
  • Bake on a parchment lined cookie sheet for 15 min
  • Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Loaded Nachos

I was craving those gluten-free nachos I made a couple of weeks ago. So I made them again lol! Slight modification by substituting the sweet potato crackers for actual sweet potatoes though! I baked the potatoes in a 400 degree oven for 15 min. I had cut them on my mandoline so they were super thin and cooked up really quick. A filling and quick dinner perfect for any weeknight dinner!

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sweet potato, cut on the thinest setting of a madoline like chips
  • 2 tsp each of garlic and onion powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • Melted coconut oil

Topping Ingredients:

  • Handful of enoki mushrooms
  • 1 chicken breast, cooked and cut into cubes (season however you like!)
  • 1/3 cup salsa (I used my grandmothers spicy one)
  • 2 sprigs of green onion, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/3 to maybe a 1/2 cup sliced green onions (I like olives, so I added more)

Directions:

  • Slice the sweet potato on the thinest setting you can find on a mandoline. If you don’t have this, just cut it as thin as you can. You essentially, you want to be making chips!
  • Season the sweet potato’s with the melted coconut oil, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.
  • Place them on a baking sheet on a single layer and bake them in a 400 degree convection oven for 15 min or until they are cooked through.
  • Once the potato’s are done layer them all up with all of the toppings. If you want different things, or don’t like other things, put whatever you want on it. These are nachos after all! You can do whatever you want!
  • Make sure that the cheese is the last thing on top and then broil it in the oven until it is all melted on top.
  • Enjoy!

Zucchini Carrot Fritters

I got inspired to make these fritters after thinking back to my recent trip to Toronto. My grandmother made zucchini flower fritters and some zucchini in them. They are so light and fluffy and if you have never had a zucchini flower then these babies would get you hooked on them! I don’t know how she does it! Instead of messing around a wasting a lot of ingredients, I just called her to find her secret to make the fluffy. She told me it was the baking powder. And man was she ever right! I would have never though to add it…but it was the right thing to do.

You pan fry these in coconut oil (or whatever high heat oil that you prefer). I don’t taste the coconut oil when I use it, so for me it tastes just fine. There are some people who are bothered by the taste, so you can use whatever oil you like best 🙂 I served these with a massaged kale salad that was topped with red cabbage, green onion, Brussel spouts, cauliflower and radishes. I thinned out my lemon tahini dressing and used it to dress the salad.

Ingredients

  • 3 medium zucchini, grated
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 1 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup egg whites
  • salt to taste

Directions

  • Grate the zucchini and squeeze it to drain all water. Use a sieve on top of a bowl to catch all the water.
  • Grate the carrot and then add it into the zucchini then combine
  • Add in the flour, baking powder, egg, egg whites, and salt
  • Mix well.
  • Fry on medium heat in coconut oil until golden brown on both sides. Don’t put the heat too high, or else you will burn the outside before the inside is cooked through.

Hoisin Orange Veggie Dipping Sauce

I got some inspiration to make these when we went to a friends wedding a couple weeks back. They had a lot of AMAZING served appetizers (most of which I wouldn’t know how to attempt to make), but these were so simple but SO delicious! So I decided to try to make my own, and this is the dipping sauce that I came up with. I even tried to recreate the veggies tied up with chives to match haha.. I’m so lame

In any case, I decided to make these for my mother-in-laws birthday because she is having a lot of people over and the appetizers need to be easy to eat. So I though veggies en crudités sounds fancy, but is really just raw veggies with a dipping sauce haha…1 point for Jess!

For the veggies, I just cut up a red bell pepper, carrot, cucumber and enoki mushrooms into around 2-3 inch long sticks, then tied them up with a chive. I thought that the chives would actually be the easy part, but damn! those things tear so easily. I went through almost half a package just to tie these suckers up. Its so worth it though! Presentation is everything and these look SO cute!

Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup hoisin sause
  • 1/4 cup siracha
  • 3 tbsp tamari (you can use soy sauce if you want, but use the low sodium kind)
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tsp corn starch

Directions:

  • Mix in a bowl
  • Enjoy!

All my recipes are pretty simple in terms of directions, but this takes the cake so far haha

Wednesday Night Curry

Since Thomas and I both were feeling super yucky, tired, and down today (dunno why), I made this flavourful, hearty, delicious dinner to help us feel better. And you know what…I think it did!

There was lots of veggies and beautiful Indian spiced that warm your soul and just make you want to smile. For us, these flavours aren’t too exotic, but always enjoyable. You can add or take away whatever spiced you like and get a totally new flavour profile. For example, you can take away the paprika and add chili powder. Or you can remove the ground cardamom (this spice is very particular) and add some ground coriander. Yum!

Even with the veggies, if you don’t have patty pan squash you can certainly substitute for some green or yellow zucchini instead. If you don’t like cauliflower, take it out an add some chickpeas…the combinations are endless and you can do what you want!

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 5 patty pan squash, thinly sliced
  • 2 ribs of celery, sliced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, julienned
  • 3 florets of cauliflower, chopped small
  • 2 small tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp each of cumin, turmeric, onion powder, curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp each of garam masala, paprika
  • 1/4 tsp of ground cardamom
  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk
  • 2 tsp corn starch

Directions

  • In a big pan, melt the coconut oil and add in the squash and celery
  • Sautee for a couple of min. Add in the pepper, cauli, and tomatoes
  • Satuee for about 5 more min until the squash is soft
  • Add in all of the spiced and stir until all veggies are coated and your kitchen starts to smell awesome!
  • Add in the coconut milk.
  • In a small glass, add in the corn starch with 1/4 cup water. Mix until smooth, then add into the hot dish.
  • Served with basmati rice, quinoa…or whatever rice/grain you are into and Enjoy!

 

Nut and Protein No-bake Balls

Here are some protein-packed no-bake energy balls. Great for a snack pre or post gym.

There are a lot of healthy fats (3 kinds of nuts, coconut oil) so be careful not to eat too many of these in a day. Cause then you are just over doing it. 1 or 2 is plenty, depending on how active you are.

Ingredients:

  • 9  pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup macadamia nuts
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder of your choice
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 3 tsp local non-pasturized honey
  • 1/4 cup nut butter of your choice (I used peanut)

Directions

  • Blend everything in a high speed blender
  • let sit in the fridge for 20 min
  • Roll into balls and enjoy!
  • These will keep in the fridge for about a week. You can even try to coat them in a crushed nut that was used in the recipe to give some texture if you want.

 

Gravlax 3-ways

Being the long weekend I wanted to make something special. What is more special and  beautiful than gravlax…right?! I decided to experiment a little bit with the flavours since I usually only really make one kind. And since the base of the recipe is so easy I thought why not to try. You can really choose any flavour that you like. I chose to do the 3 flavours below since the colours of each of the main ingredients are so saturated that it would essentially dye the outside of the salmon to look really cool!

The first picture below is of the matcha/lemon/ginger. I though the matcha would dye the outside a little more then it did. Also the lemon for me was not a strong enough flavour, so next time I would add a little more.

The second picture is of the blueberry thyme. The blueberry puree did an amazing job dyeing the skin a beautiful purple colour! The taste was unexpected too but very subtle. I would add some more thyme and a little more sugar to this mix

The third picture is of the beet and dill. The beets dye the salmon a pretty pink colour and the dill comes through strong in this mix (which I love).

Give these combos a go and see what you favourite flavours are!

Base Ingredients:

  • 1kg wild salmon, remove the skin and cut into 2 even fillets
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 shot gin

Flavour#1 Matcha lemon ginger: add 1 tbsp matcha powder, zest of 1 lemon, 1 inch grated ginger and replace the gin with the juice of 1 lemon

Flavour #2 Blueberry Thyme: add 1 cup of wild blue berry puree and 1 tbsp dried thyme

Flavour #3 Beet and Dill: add 1 cup of cooked and grated beet root, 1 bunch of dill that has been chopped, and replace the gin with vodka

Directions:

  1. Mix up the salt and sugar in a bowl.
  2. Prepare the salmon so that is washed and the skin has been removed.
  3. Layout a loooooonnnnngggg sheet of plastic wrap and place the prepared salmon on top.
  4. Pour the salt mixture on top of the salmon and make sure all sides are covered on both fillets. Add one of the flavour mixtures on top of one of the fillets, if you choose to use one.
  5. Pour the alcohol on top of all of this, then sandwich the two fillets together.
  6. Wrap up the fillets tightly and use a second piece of plastic wrap if need be
  7. Put the fillets in a deep dish and put a plate on top to weight it down
  8. Put in the fridge for at least 2 days and flip the fish over in the dish at least once a day.
  9. Once the cure is done, you can feel that the texture of the fish has changed.
  10. Slice it up and enjoy!

 

Pumpkin and Cashew Salad topping

This is the topping that I put on my kale salad that I had the other night. It is so amazing! The toast-y nuts and the garlic compliment each other so well! Honestly you can use this in so many ways as well, not just on salads. You can maybe use this as a breading for some chicken strips and bake it in the oven, or on top of a sweet potato soup, or even on a simple plate of pasta to use a substitute for parmesan cheese.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup cashews
  • 2/3 cups pumpkin seeds
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast

Directions

  • Toast the cashews and pumpkin seeds in a dry pan until you can smell the nuts and then put into a food processor
  • Process until the nuts are a fine powder
  • Add the garlic, EVVO and nutritional yeast , blend until everything is combined
  • Enjoy!

Green Pea and Edamame Dill Soup

This evening was very dark and gloomy in Ottawa so some comfy soup is what I was craving. Well, also we didn’t even eat until 6 pm cause it took so long to go grocery shopping! Sooo soup was the easiest dinner that I could make that had lots of veggies lol This soup isn’t very heavy, so you can serve it as a starter or add some chicken if you want to make it a little heartier for dinner. It is a thin soup so I added some cashews to make it creamier without adding heavy cream (and dairy).

This was super easy and quick!  There aren’t a lot of steps to it either so it makes for the perfect dinner. I served this with some kelp caviar…it was a sample from work so I though why not try it out 🙂 and some gluten-free rye bread.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp of butter (or you can choose any other oil that you like)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups frozen green peas
  • 1 cup frozen edamame
  • 1 bunch dill, chopped
  • 1 tbsp mint
  • 1.5 liters vegetable broth
  • 1 cup cashew’s, soaked in hot water
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • S&P

Directions

  • Sautee the onion and garlic in the butter until onions are softened and transparent
  • Add in the peas and edamame until heated through.
  • Add the dill, mint, and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil
  • While the soup is boiling, take 3 laddle fulls of the broth and use it to soak the cashews in.
  • Soak the cashews for 10 min while the soup is cooking then add the cashews into the soup
  • Blend it all with your high speed blender or a hand-held blender.
  • Once blended add the apple cider vinegar and then adjust your seasoning with salt and pepper
  • Enjoy!