Tuesday, 24 December 2013

                                       Happy Holidays everyone!

Sunday, 15 December 2013

parsley pesto

This pesto was my mom's inspiration, since fresh basil isn't usually available this time of year where we live.  I was skeptical of a pesto sauce without basil, but I think the experiment was a success! You can use this sauce in or on anything you like. It's absolutely delicious as a sauce on pizza (pictured below). Serves 2-3


1 cup cashews (soaked beforehand if necessary)
1 cup parsley, washed and chopped
1/2 cup veggie broth
1 clove garlic
half of an avocado (optional)
salt and fresh pepper (to taste)

Blend ingredients in a blender or food processor.  Either flat or curly leaf parsley works for this and it keeps a little longer than basil (for my basil pesto recipe, see "cashew pesto").

Monday, 9 December 2013

vegetable soup broth

     Many of my recipes call for vegetable soup broth, so I thought it would be good to include a method for making your own broth.  Not all of us live near a health food store or can find soup broth without problem ingredients.  If you have the time, making your own soup stock is a good option.

    With our dietary restrictions, this skill can be quite useful as there will be no preservatives and you can include only ingredients which you know to be bladder friendly for you. I've found it's easy to do once you get the hang of it. It's fun to experiment with and it has a richer flavor (and less salt) than store bought.
    The following is just a basic method rather than a specific recipe. The ingredients will depend on what you have on hand and what's available where you live. If you haven't made your own stock before, there is a lot of information on the internet or in cookbooks that you can browse for more tips before you start.


You can use any combination of vegetables, fresh herbs, and clean, edible vegetable scraps (broccoli stems or carrot tops, for instance) that you desire.

For a classic base, saute carrots, celery, and onions together for a few minutes. If you avoid onions you can just use carrots and celery, plus garlic (whole cloves) if you wish. Transfer to a large pot and add the rest of your ingredients.

Add enough water to just cover the vegetables. Add salt (to taste - I usually use 1-2 teaspoons).

Bring to a boil and then simmer. Length of time is up to you - I usually simmer for about 45 minutes.

Remove from heat and allow it to cool for a little while with the vegetables in the pot. Then strain all the vegetables out by pouring it through a strainer or colander into another pot or a large bowl. Discard vegetables in the compost.

The liquid broth is now ready for use in soups and sauces. It will keep for a few days in the fridge or longer in the freezer.

Good in stock (examples):  sweet potato, rutabaga, parsley (including stems), lovage, bay leaf, zucchini, turnip, fresh thyme including stems (in a loose leaf tea bag), celery (including heart and leaves), carrots (including clean peels or leaves).


Monday, 18 November 2013

chickpea dip

This is a nice dip if tahini is ok for you.


1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup soup broth
1 clove of garlic
2-3 T tahini paste
a generous amount of fresh dill
salt and fresh pepper (to taste)

Blend ingredients in a blender or food processor until desired consistency is reached.  If you want it thicker, add more tahini.  If you want it thinner, add more soup broth.  Serve with ic friendly crackers or vegetables.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

veggie borscht

A healthy and comforting wintery soup.  Typically a sour soup, this variation has no vinegar but the beet-dill combination gives it a nice flavor.  This soup is easy to make, but requires a lot of chopping so you might want to listen to the radio or something as you chop away.        Serves 7


8 cups vegetable broth
half of a green cabbage
4 beets, peeled
2-3 carrots
about 3 cups fresh dill

Chop cabbage and julienne beets into small matchstick sized pieces, about 2 inches x 1/4 inch.  Bring broth to a boil and reduce heat.  Add the cabbage and beets and let them simmer while you chop the carrots.  Julienne carrots in matchstick sized pieces and add to the pot.  Simmer about 15 more minutes.

Meanwhile, wash and chop the dill and add to the pot.  Simmer another couple of minutes.  Taste test to see if everything is cooked and serve.  I like to put a few individual portions in the freezer for later as well.

Friday, 1 November 2013

date coconut hedgehogs

I got the idea for these cookies from some I had once at a raw food restaurant. They're tasty and pretty easy to make since they don't require baking.


4 medjool dates (no preservatives)
3 T almond butter
1/8 t cinnamon (optional - if tolerated)
1/8 t vanilla
1/4 cup almonds
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut (no preservatives)
1/4 cup cashews

Soak the dates in a bowl with warm water for a minimum 1 hour, or until the skins come off easily.  Drain the water, remove the skins and pits.

Mash together the dates, almond butter, cinnamon (if using) and vanilla with a fork until well blended.

Measure the almonds whole and then finely chop them and add them to the date mix.  Squish and knead the almonds into it with your hands.  Add the coconut and squish it in, too.

Measure the cashews whole and then finely chop them.  Knead the cashews into the mix.  You can add a few more chopped cashews here or not, depending on how dry or sticky your mixture is at this point.

Spread a thin layer of shredded coconut on a plate.  Roll the mixture into little balls with your hands (about 1 inch diameter) and then roll them in the coconut.  Makes about 9 cookies.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

stir fried broccoli and baby bok choy


1 cup broccoli florets
1 bunch baby bok choy
1 T toasted sesame oil
1 small shallot (optional)
2 garlic cloves
sea salt and fresh pepper (to taste)
1 t sesame seeds (optional)

In a frying pan or cast iron skillet with a lid, heat up sesame oil on a very low heat ( I did it on heat 2 on my stove).  Wash and chop broccoli and add it to the pan.  Peel and thinly slice shallot (if using), add it to the pan. Simmer a couple of minutes, removing the lid to stir.

Smash and chop garlic, add to the pan.  Cook another minute or so, stirring regularly.

Wash bok choy, chop stems and add them to the pan, saving the leaves.  Simmer another minute or so, then add the leaves, a pinch of salt and pepper, plus a little extra sesame oil if desired.  Press the leaves to the bottom of the pan.  Stir, cooking for another minute or so until they are just wilted.

Remove from heat, sprinkle with sesame seeds (if using) and serve.

Monday, 28 October 2013

roasted red pepper tapenade

My boyfriend made this tasty dip originally for a pasta sauce.  It works as both a sauce or as a dip for chips if you are missing salsa.  Requires a blender or food processor.


1 full bulb of roasted garlic (before putting it in the oven, cut off the whole top of the garlic bulb so that the fleshy part of the garlic cloves is showing. Bake for 30 minutes at 400F)

4 roasted red peppers (to make roasted red peppers, broil them for a few minutes until the skin is blackened, then remove the skin)

1 250ml container of green olives - preserved with salt only (optional - add a bit of salt if not using olives)

1/2 cup cashews (soaked beforehand if necessary)

Put everything together in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Friday, 18 October 2013

potato cauliflower soup

Even better heated up the second day.  This is really good with new potatoes if they are in season/available. Serves 6-7


6-7 cups veggie broth
7-8 medium size potatoes
1 whole cauliflower
1 cob of sweet corn
2 leeks (optional - if tolerated)
2-3 garlic cloves
1T Olive oil
fresh thyme, fresh ground pepper, chopped fresh parsley (to taste)

Wash and scrub potatoes, cut into cubes.  You can leave the skins on if they are organic.

Bring the broth to a boil and add the potatoes.  Reduce heat and simmer.

If using leeks, slice just the white/light green part.  Saute in olive oil on a low heat  and let them soften, stirring occasionally (this takes a little while).

In the meantime, wash and cut up the cauliflower and add it to the pot.  Husk the corn and do your best to remove all the cornsilk.  Slice vertically into the pot.

When leeks are tender, add garlic to the pan and cook a minute or so, stirring frequently.  Add the thyme and simmer for another minute.  Add the contents of the frying pan to the pot.  Mash some of the potatoes and cauliflower against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon to thicken the broth.

Let simmer a few minutes more.  Add parsley and fresh ground pepper.  Serve!

Tuesday, 1 October 2013


This is my mom's lovely dal recipe.  There's no lemon juice or hot spices, but it tastes so good I feel like nothing is missing :).                  Serves 3-4


2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup cooking onion (optional - if tolerated), peeled and chopped
1/2 t each cumin and tumeric (if tolerated - just use more italian spices if you aren't using them)
1 t  italian spice
1 cup red lentils
2 cups soup stock
1T olive oil
1 grated apple or pear
1 grated carrot

If using, saute the onion in olive oil at the bottom of a pot for a few minutes, until it is translucent.  Add the garlic and stir, cooking for about a minute.  Add the spices and toast them for another minute or so, stirring often.

Add the soup broth (2 cups broth and an extra little splish of water) and bring to a boil.

Rinse and add the lentils. Also add the grated pear/apple and carrot.

Reduce heat and simmer, about 35 minutes or until lentils are cooked and your desired consistency is reached. Stir every few minutes and scrape the bottom of the pot because the lentils and garlic will stick to the bottom.

Taste test to see if it is done. Serve with grains and maybe a side of steamed vegetables.

Additional notes:  Feel free to adjust spices to taste. Bay leaf, coriander and cardamom are also good in this. Salt and pepper if desired.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

cashew pesto

This is really nice with pasta and sauteed vegetables.  Tonight my boyfriend and I had it with pasta, sweet potato, broccoli, zucchini, red peppers and onions.  Requires a blender or food processor.  If your  blender isn't very powerful, you may want to reduce the amount of cashews slightly to 1 1/4 cups.
Serves 3


2 cups basil leaves
2 T Olive oil
1/2 cup veggie soup stock
1 clove chopped garlic
1 1/2 cups cashews (before soaking)
salt and fresh pepper (to taste)

If necessary, soak the cashews in water first to make them easier to blend.  If you have a food processor, you can probably just put all of the ingredients in and blend without soaking the nuts.  If not, to make it easier you can blend the cashews, soup stock, and olive oil first, adding the cashews a little at a time.  Wash the basil and prepare the other ingredients, then add them and blend.

Meanwhile you can cook some pasta and lightly saute some vegetables, if you desire.  Serve when everything is ready.

Note:  If you'd like a cheesy pesto you can substitute 1/2 cup feta and use 1 cup cashews, or sprinkle feta on top when you serve it

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

chickpea salad

This salad makes a good snack or little meal on days like today when it's too hot to cook! It's also portable (in a leak proof container).  If you want to keep the salad in the fridge for a couple of days, keep the dressing, avocado and cheese (if using) separate and add them just before you serve it/take it to work/etc.            Serves 2-4


1 tin chickpeas
1 cup each chopped cucumber and red pepper

Optional:  1 ripe avocado
                chopped fresh herbs, if on hand (parsley is nice)
                goat cheese or feta

Dressing:    2 T Olive oil
                 2 T Pure blueberry juice
                 1-2 t  pure maple syrup
                 2 pinches each dried spices such as parsley, italian spice, and dill
                 salt and fresh pepper (to taste)

Drain and rinse the chickpeas and put them in a large bowl. Wash and chop the cucumber and pepper, add to the bowl. Add the avocado, if using. I find it easiest to slice it in half with a sharp knife and then cut it into cubes with a butter knife while it's still in the skin. Add the herbs and goat cheese, if using.  Make up the dressing and toss the salad.  If it sits for a little while the dressing will sink to the bottom, so just toss it again before serving.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

butternut squash bisque

A deliciously creamy, rich and sweet soup.  Great with fresh baked bread or salad.        Serves 4-5


Half of a medium size butternut squash
1 small sweet potatoe, or half of a large one
1/3 cup yellow onion (optional - if tolerated)
1T Olive oil
2 Cloves garlic
3-4 cups veggie broth
1 tin coconut milk
1 t pure maple syrup
Cinnamon, nutmeg, tumeric (to taste and if tolerated)
fresh thyme, chopped fresh parsley, fresh ground pepper (to taste)

Boil the squash in a pot of water for a few minutes to make it easier to peel.  Carefully remove it from the pot and dump the water.

Meanwhile, wash and chop the sweet potatoe into cubes, dice the onion (if using), smash and chop the garlic.

If using onions, heat up some olive oil in a frying pan or cast iron skillet on a very low heat and add the onions.  Let them cook slowly and stir with a flipper occasionally.

When the squash is cool enough to handle, carefully peel, cut in half, and de-seed the squash.  Cut it into cubes.  You can put the other half of the chopped squash in the freezer for later use.

Put the sweet potatoes and squash into the pot and add enough veggie broth to just cover them, about 3 or 4 cups.  If you are using boullion cubes, use a bit more of the boullion than you normally would.  For example, if the box calls for 2 cups water per cube, then use two cubes for three cups of water (or two and a half cubes for four cups of water. You get the idea.)  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.

When onions are translucent, add the garlic and thyme to the pan and saute for another minute or so, then empty the contents of the frying pan into the pot.  Simmer a few minutes more.

Puree the soup in a blender or food processor. You can do it in batches if it doesn't all fit into your blender.  Open the lid periodically to release the steam.  Then pour the soup back into the pot.

Add coconut milk, spices, and maple syrup.  Simmer for a couple more minutes.  Have a taste to test the seasonings and see if it needs more of anything.  Add some chopped fresh parsley, if desired.
Serve :) .

Friday, 30 August 2013

some useful items

a flavorful olive oil
toasted sesame oil
pure maple syrup
a flavorful honey
sea salt
vegetable broth or cubes without problem ingredients (check health food stores, organic grocery stores, or the bulk barn)
an assortment of dried spices that you can tolerate
pure blueberry juice
almond/cashew butter
tahini paste (if tolerated)
nuts and seeds (such as almonds, cashews, pumpkin and sunflower seeds if tolerated)
tinned or dry beans and legumes (such as lentils, chick peas, aduki beans, great northern beans)
Grains (brown rice, quinoa, etc.)

salad dressing without vinegar

Here's a basic one that I use often.  You can always add other yummy things if you happen to have them on hand, such as fresh herbs or homemade pesto.

Basic Salad Dressing:

1T Olive Oil
1T Pure Blueberry Juice
1/2 t pure maple syrup (optional)
Pinch each of a few dried herbs such as parsley, dill, and thyme
Pinch of salt and fresh pepper

Monday, 26 August 2013

maple roasted nuts


1/2 cups each almonds and cashews, or enough to cover a cookie sheet
1/8 cup pure maple syrup
pinch of salt
1-2 T neutral oil, like grape seed

Preheat oven to 400f.  Spread oil over cookie sheet with a flipper.  Spread the nuts over the cookie sheet and drizzle with maple syrup, stirring to coat all the nuts.  Put them in the oven and bake about 20 minutes to half an hour, stirring every five to ten minutes.  Remove from the oven when they are lightly browned and transfer to a bowl or pyrex dish to cool. Add salt (to taste) and stir.