Thursday, 28 February 2013

When did Neilson Dairy Start Putting So Much Crap Into their Cream?

Today is Adam's Birthday.  He is turning 37!  For his Birthday he wants a Black Forest Cake.  I usually buy my cream at a local farm, but I didn't have enough cream to make the whipped cream for his cake so I went to my local health food store, no whipping cream and my local grocery store didn't have any organic whipping cream.  Since I didn't feel like driving into the next town to get some I just bought a carton of Neilson Fresh Whipping Cream instead.  Silly me didn't read the ingredients until I was actually whipping the cream.

Ingredients:  Cream, milk, skim milk powder, dextrose, carrageenan, mono and diglycerides, cellulose gum, polysorbate 80, sodium citrate.


Am I that old that I actually remember cream containing one ingredient, cream!  When did they start putting all that crap into cream?  I certainly won't be buying that ever again.

The irony of me writing a post about remembering to read food labels just a few days ago is not lost on me today.  I have learned my lesson for sure.

Now who wants cake?

Health Headlines with Lily and April 02/28 by Real Food Real Wellness | Blog Talk Radio

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Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Chicken Sandwich Using Lettuce for Bread

I love roasted chicken, I make it every other week.  I get so many meals out of one chicken, we eat it for 3 days!  Roast chicken dinners, chicken sandwiches, chicken and gravy over homemade fries and don't forget the chicken soup.  Today my chicken sandwich was so tasty I had to make a second one.

Roast chicken on romaine lettuce.

Some salt and pepper, a paper thin layer of butter and a couple pieces of bacon.

Don't forget the cucumber.

A chicken sandwich with a side of carrots.

For dessert I had a gala apple and 2 squares of Cocoa Camino 80% Dark Chocolate.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Read Those Labels

While surfing the Internet this morning I came across an advertisement for a few PC products.  These products are on the Blue Menu label which are supposed to be the Healthier Choice, containing 2g fat, 18g carbs, 13g sugar, 3g protein per 1/2 cup serving.  However reading the ingredients list it is easy to see that this product is anything but a healthy choice.

PC Blue Menu Low Fat Frozen Yogurt Vanilla


Milk, modified milk ingredients, sugar, glucose solids, natural flavour, mono and diglycerides, cellulose gum, guar gum, polysorbate 80, carrageenan, encapsulated fish oil [refined fish oil (anchovy, sardine), fish gelatin, sodium ascorbate, canola oil, natural flavour, tocopherols (from soy), sunflower oil, citric acid], active bacterial cultures [l. Bulgaricus, l. Lactis, s. Thermophilus, b. Lactis hn019™ (lyo 500 dcu)]. May contain peanuts and tree nuts. Frozen yogurt base made with 100% canadian milk.

I've highlighted in red all the ingredients I would never eat, purple I normally avoid and orange I would avoid because I'm not sure what they are!  The sugar isn't great either but at least I know what it is.

I would never eat this product, ever and what I really don't understand is how this product can call itself the Healthier Choice.  Is it just because it is low in fat?  There is so much more to it than that.  

Oh and one of the comments in the customer reviews says this product is "Diabetic Friendly" because it is low in sugar.  A tablespoon of sugar in 1/2 cup serving is not low in sugar, and it's certainly not diabetic friendly.  I know if I were to eat this my blood sugar would spike and crash for sure because of the high amount of sugar.

The moral of the story is don't trust the labelling on a package.  Read the ingredients and judge for yourself whether the product is something you want to nourish your body with.

Rant over :)

Saturday, 23 February 2013

My Plate



Oven Roasted Carrots

This is Ryan's favourite way to eat carrots.  After roasting they end up so sweet he says they are like candy!  Tasty and great for you, the best combination.  When making this recipe remember the carrots shrink so make more than you think you'll eat, they taste great reheated the next day as well so don't be afraid to make a lot.  When I take these out of the oven I tip the dish to the side so I can collect the extra carrot enriched butter which I eat on my other vegetables.

Oven Roasted Carrots

Preheat oven to 400 F.

1) Peel and cut carrots and place them into a cast iron pan or an oven proof dish with 2-3 Tablespoons butter and a pinch of salt.

2) Cover and bake for 30 minutes.

3) Uncover and turn carrots, return to oven uncovered for 15 minutes.

4) Turn carrots and return to oven uncovered for up to 15 minutes until carrots are done to your liking.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Health Headlines with Lily and April 02/22 by Real Food Real Wellness | Blog Talk Radio

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Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins - Gluten Free

These muffins are delicious I made a batch on Monday and by Tuesday they were all gone!  I have been eating a very low added sugar diet for a while now, in my baking I prefer to sweeten with  honey or maple syrup instead of table sugar.  Because banana's are so high is natural sugars already I found these muffins to be a bit sweet (for me) first time I made them so when I made them again yesterday I left out the honey and added an extra half cup of banana and they turned out great.

And yes I know the chocolate has sugar in it so I only put in a small amount because I love chocolate!

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins - Gluten Free

Preheat oven and cast iron pans to 375 F.  In a medium sized bowl mix together dry ingredients.

1 cup almond flour
1 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup arrowroot flour
1/4 cup ground flax meal
1/2 tsp salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder

In a large bowl mix wet ingredients.

1 cup melted butter
4 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup honey (or substitute an extra 1/2 cup mashed bananas)
2 1/2 cups mashed very ripe bananas

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mixing well.

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Stir in the chocolate chips.  Half fill hot pans with batter and bake at 375 F about 10 minutes for small muffins and 12-15 minutes for the mini cakes.  Let cool 5 minutes and remove from the pan. Cool on a rack.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Episode 3 - Foods to Avoid and Favorite Exercises 02/21 by Real Food Real Wellness | Blog Talk Radio

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Super Easy Spicy Baked Chicken

This recipe is so simple.  I buy frozen chicken breasts from a local farmer and for this recipe I just throw the frozen breasts into the oven and within the hour dinner is ready!

Super Easy Spicy Baked Chicken

Preheat oven to 400 F

1) Place 2 frozen chicken breasts in a cast iron pan and bake for 15 minutes.

2) Make a sauce from 2 tablespoons THAI Kitchen's Red Curry Paste, 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper.

3) Take the chicken from the oven and using a pastry brush, spread half sauce onto the chicken and bake another 10 minutes.

4) Take the chicken from the oven and spread the remaining sauce onto chicken.  Bake 10 minutes more and test internal temperature of chicken to make sure it it done 180 F.

Delicious Homemade Parmesan Sweet Potato Fries and Garlic Herbed Potato Fries

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Preheat clean cast iron pans in oven as well.

Scrub potatoes until clean.  Cut potatoes into 2.5 cm/0.5 inch cubes and slice sweet potatoes into wedges about 2.5 cm/ 0.5 inches at the widest part.  Soak in cold water for a few minutes.  Note:  I have read the longer you soak the fries the crispier they will be.  I however usually don't plan that far ahead.  Soak up to 24 hours.

Drain excess water on a clean tea towel.

Parmesan Sweet Potato Fries

Toss potatoes in half butter and half olive oil with a pinch or two of sea salt.

Spread fries on a preheated cast iron pan.  Bake at 400F for 15 minutes.

Finely grate some parmesan cheese.

Turn fries and sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.  Bake another 10 minutes until golden and cheese is crispy.

Garlic Herbed Potato Fries 

Toss potatoes in half melted butter and half olive oil, a few cloves of garlic, 1 Tablespoon dried oregano, a pinch or two of salt and some pepper.  These are all to taste.

Bake at 400 F for 10 minutes, toss, bake 10 minutes, toss, bake another 5 minutes until golden.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Grain Free Salmon Loaf

Everyone in our family likes salmon loaf so it is a big go to protein dish for me.  I will often turn this recipe into salmon patties which are a great take along snack for a busy family.  This recipe is easily doubled.

Drain water from a can of salmon and reserve.  Mash up the salmon with a fork or a pastry cutter.

Add 1/4 cup almond flour.

Add a small onion chopped, 1/8 cup chopped celery and a pinch of salt and pepper.  (I subbed 1 Tablespoon of dried parsley because I was out of celery.)

Mix it all together and add 1 beaten egg.

Add reserved salmon water and 1/8 cup cream or milk.

Mix and press into a 5x7 inch pan.  Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes.


I will post the fry recipes tomorrow.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Gluten and Coffee?

Okay so I stopped drinking coffee before Christmas quitting a 20 year habit around the same time as I quit eating gluten.  My skin condition Keratosis Pilaris got dramatically better as I posted about a few weeks ago.

So over the last few weeks I decided I could have a coffee now and then for a treat, what can I say I missed the taste.  Well by last week I was drinking one 8oz cup a day as a treat and a funny troubling thing started to happen, my KP was coming back.  I haven't eaten any gluten for at least 4 weeks now so I sat wracking my brain trying to figure out why the KP would be coming back.  Then I remembered I had read/heard somewhere that the protein in coffee can cross react with gluten antibodies.  So 3 days ago I quit drinking coffee again and my KP is so much better after just 3 days!  Soft and smooth, even my hands.

It is pretty amazing that coffee can cause these symptoms, it's something I would never have thought of.  Bye coffee it was amazing while it lasted... hello Earl Grey Tea.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Coconut Curry, Butter Chicken and Creamy Eggplant Curry Recipes

On Fridays Blog Talk Show we talked about our favourite recipes and both Lily and I said that Indian was our number one favourite food so I will share my favourite recipes with you

Coconut Curry

This curry is fabulous!  It's great tasting, great for you and when made with another dish like butter chicken you end up with at least a second meal for a family of four.  You can use whatever vegetables you want in it, whatever you have on hand.  Prepping is super important when making Indian dishes so before you start cooking measure out all your spices into a small bowl, blend the tomatoes and chop up all the veggies.

3 tablespoons coconut oil

1/2 cup mustard seeds
5 cloves garlic, finely grated
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
3 teaspoons garam masala
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons powdered turmeric
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 796ml/28oz can diced tomatoes, pureed
1 400ml/14.5oz can coconut milk

1 large sweet potato, peeled, thinly sliced
2 large carrots, peeled, thinly sliced
1 bunch of asparagus or 1 head of broccoli

Warm the coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add mustard seeds and cook until seeds pop (2-3 minutes).  Add onions and saute 5-7 minutes until soft and translucent.  Add garlic, ginger, jalapeno pepper, spices and salt and saute another 2 minutes.

Add tomatoes and coconut milk, adding water to the can to get all the milk out.  Mix well.  Add vegetables (if using asparagus wait until the other vegetables are almost done before adding) and simmer over low with the saucepan lid cracked for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.


Creamy Eggplant Curry

Poke a few holes into an eggplant and bake in a 350F oven for 1 hour.

3 Tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoons mustard seeds
3 small onions

In a small saucepan over medium heat fry mustard seeds for 1 minute lower heat to low and add onions and caramelize the onions while the eggplant is cooking stirring occasionally until golden.  

1/2 teaspoon each fenugreek and salt
1/4 teaspoon each tumeric and corriander
1/8 teaspoon each cumin, ground black pepper and cayenne pepper

Add spices to onions and cook for a minute stirring.  Blend onions, tomatoes and eggplant in blender until smooth.  Pour into a ovenproof dish and bake at 425F for 20 minutes.

And last but not least my favourite butter chicken recipe.

Butter Chicken/Murgh Makhni

I found this butter chicken recipe here.  The first time I made this I thought it was very complicated but so delicious I have made it many time since.  Each time I make this recipe it gets easier and easier.  Below are my notes to make this recipe easier.

Rub for Chicken

500g boneless chicken
50g/1.8oz garlic and ginger paste
1/2 teaspoon salt
65ml/2.2oz natural yogurt
1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masla
1/2 tablespoon olive oil

1) Wash and dry the chicken.
2) Season chicken with premixed sauce.
3) Marinate in the fridge no less than 4 hours preferably overnight.
4) Broil for 10-15 minutes.
5) Cool slightly/cut chicken/cover and refrigerate.


40ml/1.5oz olive oil
4 sticks cinnamon
5 green cardamon pods
5 cloves
2 1/2 large bay leaves
6 green chilies
15g/0.5oz ginger root
750g/27oz tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
75g/2.6oz raw cashew nuts
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons ground dried fenugreek
50g/1.8oz butter
60ml/2oz single cream

1) Peel and grate ginger.
2) Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan.
3) Add cinnamon, cardamon, cloves, bay leaves.  Stir for 2 minutes.
4) Add ginger and cook for 1 minute.
5) Add chilies and tomatoes and STIR for 2 minutes.
6) Add 100ml water, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes.
7) Remove from heat and take out any whole spices and blend until smooth straining out any lumps, adding a bit of water to get everything out the blender.
8) Bring back to a boil.
9) Meanwhile blend cashews (I blend all the cashews contrary to the video as I prefer my butter chicken not to have whole nuts on top), adding a bit of water to make a paste.
10) When the sauce is boiling add tomatoes paste and cashew paste.
11) Add chili powder and honey and stir for 3 minutes.
12) Add butter and stir until melted.
13) Add salt, "a generous sprinkle"
14) Add ground fenugreek and simmer for 20 minutes.
15) Fry chicken in butter for 3 minutes on high heat and add to sauce.
16) Add cream, stir simmering for 3 minutes.


I will post pictures the next time I make these!

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Taco Salad

 Grass fed beef, onions, celery, carrots.

I use a little coconut oil because the grass fed beef is very lean.  Fry everything on medium until the meat is cooked.

Add some chopped garlic and jalapeno peppers.  Add chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper to taste.

I add about 1-2 cups of crushed tomatoes and spinach for the last few minutes of cooking.

Make a salad with your favorite veggies and throw some taco filling on top.  Voila taco salad!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Health Headlines with Lily and April 02/13 by Real Food Real Wellness | Blog Talk Radio

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Episode 1 - Introduction to the Podcast - Meet the Hosts 02/08 by Real Food Real Wellness | Blog Talk Radio

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Lily's Chocolate Beet Mini Birthday Cakes - Gluten Free

Last winter I did some experimenting with beets.  I personally have never been a fan of beets whether they were boiled, pickled or roasted it didn't matter, I just never liked them.  But they are so good for you I had to try a way to get beets into our diet.  Upon searching the Internet I found a few grain/gluten free recipes and tried a few with the results being quite tasty if a little gummy in the middle.

Since we are your normal busy family, it's always a good idea to have a quick grab and go snack on hand.  Muffins are one of those snacks and this winter since I have had a bit more experience with gluten free cooking I have "created" a very flexible gluten free flour mix that works quite well with many different kinds of muffins.

One of the best parts of this flour mixture is the muffins hold together beautifully even though they contain no added gums (guar or xanathan), I don't like to use gums as they seem to upset my stomach and I think they haven't been around long enough to know whether they are safe to consume long term.  Natural is always better.

Lily's Chocolate Beet Mini Birthday Cake - Gluten Free

Preheat oven to 375F with cast iron pans in the oven.

In a medium sized bowl, combine the dry ingredients, mixing well.

1 cup almond flour
1 cup brown rice
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1/4 cup arrowroot flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder

In a blender mix together until creamy:

4 eggs
3 cups cooked, mashed and cooled beets

Using a spatula scrape the beet/egg mixture into a large bowl and add:

1/2 cup honey
1 cup melted butter
2 tsps vanilla or 1 vanilla bean scraping or both :)
1/2 cup cream (or milk)

Mix all ingredients together well.

I used my preheated, seasoned Lodge mini cake pans filled half full with batter and baked them in a 375F degree oven for 12-15 minutes.  I have also made them in my smaller Lodge mini muffin pan and baked them at 375 degrees for 9-11 minutes.

I stick a pointy knife tip into the cakes to see if they are done, but because I cook in cast and the muffins have to sit for at least 10 minutes before attempting to remove them from the pan they will still cook for a few minutes after coming out of the oven.  Therefore I usually take them out of the oven a touch earlier than I would if I were using stainless steel pans.