I learned a few important things this week:
- Chia Seed Pudding is sort of blurry looking in real life which makes getting it to look crisp in pictures a struggle and a half.
- Sometimes mid-food-photoshoot one gets hot and removes their boyfriend’s over-sized sweatshirt, only to discover that it matches said food very well and should definitely be in said pictures.
- Kefir and chia seeds were meant to be together and create really good puddings.
Since writing a post all about probiotics a little while ago, I’ve been trying to think up new ways to welcome fermented foods into my life. And ohhhh baby I have found a way that I am going to have no trouble welcoming. Having little pots of this bad boy in the fridge ready to be grabbed was such a luxury this week. One that I think I am going to repeat next week. Okay and probably the one after.
This recipe couldn’t get much easier and it makes my little dietitian-in-the-making heart squeal just a bit. We’re talking protein and probiotics from the kefir, omega-3 goodness from the chia seeds and vitamins and minerals up the wazoo from the fruit. Don’t mind if I do.
Blueberry Banana Kefir Chia Seed Pudding
- 1 medium ripe banana, mashed well
- 1/4 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
- 3 Tbsp chia seeds
- 3/4 cup plain kefir*
- 1 tsp maple syrup (optional)
- In a mason jar or tupperware, mix all ingredients well.
- Taste and add sweetness to your liking.
- Let thicken in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours.
- Enjoy for up to 5 days.
*I used 2% kefir.
I hope you enjoy this if you try it!
And HAPPY WEEKEND!
Hi friends! I am just a tad excited to share today’s recipe (AKA REALLY EXCITED).
When Josh first made it for me I remember being so wowed by the flavour and realizing that I had never had – or even really heard of – anything quite like it.
As it turns out, Shakshuka (or Shakshouka) is a very popular dish in many North African and Middle Eastern countries. Its origins aren’t entirely agreed upon (and I can see why people fight for its credit), but whatever the true origin, all the countries that have adopted it as a staple deserve a gold star in my humble opinion.
By definition, Shakshuka is a dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, chili peppers and onions and is often spiced with cumin. Today’s version has more of an Italian undertone but it is as comforting as I imagine the original to be.
As my bestie and I brunched on this over the weekend, she remarked on the fact that it is a dish reminiscent of so many other foods we know and love. It’s somewhat like pizza, and quite a lot like spaghetti sauce. So if you love those familiar flavours and also love eggs – and egg YOLK – you are in for a serious treat. (Although for the record, if you’re not a runny yolk lover, you can by all means just bake it a bit longer, until the egg is cooked through!)
I love eating it with pita to soak up all the yolky goodness but Challah and rice are other popular options. Also take note that if you have a cast-iron pan, this recipe is a wonderful way to make use of it. But if you do not, the only real detriment is having to dirty an extra pot!
Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner Veggie-Packed Baked Eggs
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil, divided
- 1 onion, medium-sized, chopped
- 2 bell peppers, any colour, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, large, minced
- 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes (including liquid)
- 1 tsp italian seasoning
- 1 Tbsp Balsamic
- 4 eggs
- Fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)
- Pour 1 Tbsp of the oil into a medium to large pot over medium heat.
- Once hot, add the chopped onion, bell peppers and garlic.
- Cook for about 10 minutes, until veggies are soft and starting to brown slightly.
- Add the tomatoes, italian seasoning, balsamic and remaining Tbsp of olive oil to the pot, with the veggies and bring to medium-high heat.
- Cook at a vigorous simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring often, until most of the liquid is evaporated and the sauce is quite thick.
- Pour or spoon the sauce into an 8 x 8 inch glass pan and make 4 little wells with a spoon. Crack an egg into each well, being careful not to break the yolk. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
- Bake in oven preheated to 400F for 5-10 minutes while keeping a close eye on the eggs, removing it when they have reached your desired doneness.
(It took 8 minutes for a set white and runny yolk, as displayed in the pictures.)
- Serve alone or with bread or rice of choice!
*Note: If serving just one, you could place just a portion of the sauce into a smaller dish and bake with fewer eggs. Leftover sauce is great for pasta!
I hope that you love this dish if you give it a try and that it becomes a staple in your kitchen, as I foresee it becoming in mine.
Have you ever had Shakshuka or something similar?
What is your favourite way to eat eggs?
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Smoothies are really something else, are they not? I mean, try to name another form of food in which you could consume chocolate and spinach simultaneously without wanting to barf. I know, I can’t think of one either.
I first made it a couple months ago and have since downed more than a few. And when I made it for my mom the other day and she asked for the recipe, it occurred to me that it was about time I share.
Like many of the best things in life, this recipe is oh so simple. And I am always amazed at just how much spinach I can add without taking away from the delicious blueberry cocoa flavour. HOLLA.
Sneaky Spinach Dark Cocoa Blueberry Smoothie
- 1 cup milk (I usually use almond)
- 1/3 cup frozen blueberries
- 2 cups spinach
- 1 large banana, frozen
- 1 Tbsp Cocoa
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
This is one of those recipes that took me by surprise. I had a big bag of chickpea flour staring at me from my cupboard and very little idea what to do with it.
But muffins and I are pretty much tied at the hip these days so I figured it was worth a shot.
I just made 6, thinking there was a decent chance that they wouldn’t be that great and not wanting to waste more ingredients than necessary. But lo and behold, they came out of the oven and were just lovely.
Before getting to the recipe, let’s talk about chickpea flour for a minute! I’ve mentioned before that raw chickpea flour tastes HORRIBLE. Even the smell is quite the turn-off for me. And one possible reason behind that is the fact that raw legumes contain toxic substances like trypsin inhibitors and hemagglutinins (source and source) that get eliminated by cooking. So while chickpea flour is simply ground dry chickpeas in which those substances are hanging out, you’ve just got to give it some heat and they vanish (and presumably take the gross taste with them!)
I promise it doesn’t taste like you’re biting into a big ball of blended chickpeas with a few blueberries studded throughout. Ew. I admittedly find that there’s something about them that makes you stop and think “oh… what is that taste?!” but in a good way.
They’re also loaded with protein, fibre, folate and manganese (among a whole bunch of other good things I won’t bore you with) so cheers to THAT.
Blueberry Chickpea Flour Muffins
- 1 cup chickpea flour
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 apple sauce carton, unsweetened (104 mL)
- 3 Tbsp Oil (I used Canola)
- 1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- Preheat oven to 375F and lightly grease or line a muffin tin with liners.
- In a medium bowl, combine all dry ingredients (chickpea flour to salt) and whisk together.
- In a large bowl, combine egg, apple sauce and oil.
- Pour dry ingredients into wet and stir until moistened.
- Fold in the blueberries.
- Pour batter into 6 muffin cups and bake for 15-20 minutes (mine took about 18), until tops are set and browned a bit and a bit of pressure on the top doesn’t make a dent.
- Let cool a bit on a wire rack before enjoying.
I hope you guys love these if you make them!
I am going to go right ahead and admit that this is yet another Josh creation that I can take very little credit for. Broken record and a half. But the lentils were all me. I HAVE IDEAS TOO. ha.
This is just one of those staple recipes that I know I’ll be making for the rest of my life. It is quick, wholesome, versatile and so tasty. If I were to just see the ingredient list out of context, I have a feeling I would wonder if it were particularly flavourful. But wherever the flavour comes from, it’s there, alright.
Let’s talk lentils for a minute. This is a great way to give these little guys another shot if you’ve tried them in the past and not been a huge fan. They blend in beautifully and rather inconspicuously (to the palate more so than to the eyes) and add such a nutritional punch. My eyes seriously bug out of my head a little bit when I look at their nutrition facts. Protein, iron and fibre like whoa.
I’ve had this sauce with pasta and on pizza and even just alone as a chili of sorts. As I mention below, feel free to just throw in whatever veggies you have on hand that need using up. Also, you’ll see that I give the tomatoes a quick whirl with the immersion blender. I just find that this makes for a perfectly not-blobby-but-not-too-smooth texture, but you could certainly forego that step if you so desire!
Quick and Hearty Lentil Spaghetti Sauce
- 1 32 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup red lentils
- 1 cup water
- Optional: 1-2 cups chopped veggies of choice (carrot, bell pepper, zucchini, mushroom and celery all work well!)
- Pour entire can of diced tomatoes into a small pot and blend a little bit with am immersion blender*.
- Add all remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer to thicken.
- Simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until it starts sticking to the pot when stirred, lentils are tender and desired thickness is reached (20-30 minutes).
*If you don’t have an immersion blender, you could give it a few quick pulses in the food processor or not blend it at all! I just prefer a slightly smoother texture.
Hope you love this sauce if you give it a try. Be sure to let me know if you do!
Have a FAB weekend friends.