Greek Yogurt with Mango, Berries & Walnuts

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Here is a quick and easy… And delicious breakfast that will satisfy your ‘breakfast food’ cravings.

Rather than buying yogurt that is packed with added sugars, buy plain, organic, full fat Greek yogurt (I buy Krema 11% M.F.) and add in the following ingredients:

Frozen blueberries – thaw overnight in the fridge, inside an airtight container.
Frozen Mango – thaw overnight in the fridge as well, in a separate container.
Chopped walnuts – the evening before, chop walnuts, and in the morning heat in a frying pan. Once you start to smell the nutty aroma, add about 1 teaspoon of raw, local honey and mix around until the walnuts are coated with the honey.

1. Add yogurt to the bowl.
2. Add mango.
3. Add blueberries.
4. Top with nuts.
5. Enjoy!

Ground Beef/Bison & Veggies

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Beef & Veggies 2
I love the taste and texture of ground beef, especially when accompanied by avocado! This meal was originally supposed to be a stuffed pepper dish, however in my experience, most people just cut the pepper and make a mess on their plates, so I changes it to be a mess on the plate that tastes fantastic and is easy to cook, and even easier to enjoy.

Ingredients:

Ground Beef – 1lb
Ground Bison – 1lb
Onion – 1 medium
Garlic – 1/4 cup minced
Red Cabbage – 1 cup diced fine
Spinach – large handful chopped fine
Sweet Red Pepper – 3 chopped
Green Pepper – 1 chopped
Field Tomatoes – 1 chopped
Sweet Potato – 1/2 chopped
Ancho Taco Spice blend from Food You Can Cook (add based on your taste preference)
Bacon Fat – enough to cook the veggies

Method:

1. Chop and roast the peppers in a roasting pan at about 400 degrees.  I usually toss in some melted bacon fat or coconut oil to grease the pan so the peppers don’t stick.
2. Caramelize onions in bacon fat (or butter or coconut oil), add cabbage, spinach and garlic. Cook until cabbage is soft, set aside in roasting pan.
3. While cooking the onions, ground the beef/bison and season well with the taco spice blend, add chopped tomatoes and cook for another 3-5 minutes
4. Once all the veggies are cooked, mix with the cooked ground beef, and add to the roasting pan with the peppers.
5. Season the sweet potato with more taco spice, fry in the same pan you used for the beef.  If you are using quality meet, do not remove the remaining juices…use them to cook the sweet potatoes!
6. Once the sweet potatoes cook for about 5 minutes, mix them into the veggie and beef mix and bake at 400 for about 10 minutes.
7. Add some goat feta cheese to the top, toss back in the oven for about 5 more minutes
8. Serve and add chopped avocado, or guacamole and enjoy:)

I suppose you could toss this on a bed of sauteed greens in place of using the spinach in the recipe.  If you have picky eaters, then hide it in the meal and they won’t even know it’s there.

Beef & Veggies

Quick and Easy Cottage Cheese Pancakes

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Cottage Cheese Pancakes

Cottage Cheese Pancakes

A few years ago a came across a recipe from the Egg Farmers of Ontario website for Blueberry Fold Over Pancakes which I have altered slightly to have a go to pancake recipe which can me made the evening before, stored in the fridge and cooked in the morning for a super fast tasty breakfast.

The recipe is as follows…

In a large blender, toss in all the ingredients:

6 pastured eggs
1 cup organic cottage cheese
1/2 cup almond flour
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil (I have used olive oil as well)
3/4 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Sprinkle of teaspoon real sea salt
I also add 1 scoop of New Zealand Whey Protein and it doesn’t change the texture from the days when I don’t add the powder.

If serving immediately, try to blend the mixture for about 1 minute at a medium speed in the blender until it is a liquid consistency. Let sit for about 5-15 minutes and then pour into a pan that has been heated to low heat (I usually keep it at 3 at the highest). Make sure you add butter or coconut oil to the pan before pouring the mixture.

If serving the next morning, keep in blender (covered) overnight, or pour into a dish that you can keep airtight overnight in the fridge.  In the morning, turn heat on the pans, just before you pour the mix into the pan, butter or coconut oil is added and cook for about 1 minute on each side.

These pancakes are not thick. Every time I have made these for guests they commented that the pancake was perfect because you get your pancake fix but don’t feel bloated or overfull after eating.  I generally top with frozen blue berries which were thawed overnight in the fridge and a little bit of organic plain yogurt.

Today I thought this recipe would be great for crepes so I used my crepe pan, added the mix and then spread around by tipping the pan as I would with a traditional crepe mix.  This also turned out to be an easy crepe that didn’t fall apart! Next time I want a morning treat, I think I will add banana, and melt some chocolate!

The mixture makes about 12 pancakes depending on the size.

Enjoy!

Beef 4 Breakfast

Mango Yogurt Parfait

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Serve this one for breakfast or dress it with some chopped dark chocolate for a desert.  Either way you serve it, the dish will look great, tastes great and is quite easy to prepare.  The following example makes enough for 4-5 people.

Ingredients:

1 tub of plain yogurt (I use full fat Krema plain yogurt)
About 2 cups of frozen mango (I buy the costco brand)
Homemade granola (I make a big batch each month with nuts, seeds dried fruit, cinnamon, maple syrup, butter, nutmeg)
Sprinkle of cinnamon
Teaspoon of Vanilla
Teaspoon of Maple Syrup

Method:

1. Take out all the ingredients and serving dishes. This doesn’t take long so it’s best to be prepared.

2. Melt frozen mango in microwave for about 1 minute.

3. Pour the cinnamon, vanilla, maple syrup and yogurt into a medium size bowl, mix with a spatula until satisfied.

4. Puree the mango in a food processor or blender

5. Add mango to the bottom of the dish

6. Add a layer of granola.

7. Add a layer of yogurt

8. Repeat steps 5-7 until satisfied and then top with a sprinkle of granola and/or dark chocolate.

9. Serve and enjoy.

Lunch Idea for the Munchkins

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This is a topic that many of us have struggled with, and as the children are exposed to more junk outside of the home, it can become increasingly more difficult to feed your offspring a balanced meal.

The photo above, is a combination of foods that my daughters will eat, for the most part. It all depends on the day and what kind of mood they are in at the time.

Cottage cheese with chopped fruit mixed in, tomatoes, a few raisins and nuts, sausage, avocado (one of their first words!) and carrot. So we have veggie, fruit, meat, nuts and dairy for a meal that will keep them happy, healthy and satiated for much longer than many of the options that kids are offered and marketed to in the grocery store.

Share your kids lunch tips in the comments below.

Treats and Snacks # 1 – Avocado Banana Pudding

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I haven’t met many people in my travels who do not enjoy a treat here and there. One of my goals over the past 3 years has been to venture into the world of real food deserts such as the photo above. The main reason for this adjustment from highly processed sugary treats that taste great but make me feel awful afterwards, was that I wanted to enjoy the treat and still feel like a human in the hours after the desert.

Take this week’s desert as an example. Instead of using a bunch of sugar and other ingredients that I no longer buy, I found a few examples of tasty looking concoctions that only require regular foods such as avocado, banana and honey.

My wife and I, as well as my dad all enjoyed the pudding after our meal, and the girls were more interested in playing with their cousin so I decided to make it again, with slight adjustments and I turned it into a pudding pop that the kids loved.

I did not creat this one, and unfortunately I can’t remember where I got the recipe, I think it was a version of one of the recipes featured on the Facebook page ‘Just Eat Real Food’.

Ingredients:

2 ripe avocados
1 banana
2-3 tablespoons coconut oil (soften before using)
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 tablespoons raw, unpasteurized honey

Method:

Mix in the food processor, serve into ramekin dishes and toss in the fridge for 3 hours.
Serve with home made granola and a few banana slices or whip cream.

If you want to make it into a pudding pop, then simply add some milk a bit at a time and pour into the popsicle tray and freeze for about 5-6 hours and serve as a tasty desert.

Making Dinner – White Fish and Veggie Soup

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Doesn’t the photo above look fantastic! This was one of my soup dishes that are not only nutritious, but quite filling and easy to prepare all at the same time.

In this edition of Making Dinner, which I plan to have as a regular Friday theme, I want to share some of my thoughts on the idea of making a nutritious meal with real food.

1. First and foremost, making healthy meals in your own kitchen will certainly make a difference in your health, and at the same time it can provide a strong foundation for your family. Dinner can be the only time of the day where some family members interact with each other, so why not make the best of it.

2. Making dinner does not have to be elaborate. You do not have to prepare a spread fit for your grandmother’s Sunday dinner on a week night, and in most cases, it is perfectly fine to eat leftovers as a family. This saves time, and money.

3. Involving your family members in the decision process helps, and having a theme makes it exciting as we can look forward to casserole Tuesday, and especially Pub Night Friday!

Keep those things in mind next time you plan your groceries, and share your favorite dinner time ritual in the comment section.

On to the soup…

Chop the following ingredients and measure based on the volume of soup you want to prepare:

Onions
Garlic
Celery
Shallots
Fennel root

Carrots
Cauliflower
Potato
Yam
Pumpkin
Spinach

Method – In large heavy bottom soup pot

1. Heat oil (coconut, ghee, bacon fat, lard or butter)
2. Add onions, fennel, celery and shallots, sauté until soft
3. Add garlic and cook for about 30-45 seconds
4. Add broth and bring to a boil (home made bone broth is best)
Season with a bunch of salt, pepper, and fresh herbs
5. Add remainder of ingredients, simmer until root veggies are almost cooked and remove from heat.
6. In a frying pan or on a grill, cook the fish (whatever white fish you choose) in oil of choice (see list above) and spice with a good blend of salt, pepper and fresh herbs.
7. Once fish is cooked, toss into soup and let sit for a few minutes while you clean or set the table.

Enjoy!