Sunday, 16 February 2014

WIAW- Winter Edition

Time for my 2nd edition of WIAW. If you find yourself in a food slump and need some meal inspirations for these cold nights, here are some recipes definitely worth trying, all our GF and a few are vegan as well.  Reminder, I am NOT a food blogger or food photographer, I realize my pictures are ugly and taken on my poor quality iphone camera, the purpose of this post is to inspire you to get your bum into the kitchen and start cooking, especially breakfast the MOST important meal of the day!!!

Breakfast- Technically I ate this on Tuesday, but it tastes so good I felt obligated to share this recipe. Tuesday morning we have a practical acupuncture class, which means unlike all my other classes, there isn’t a chance to chow down a quick snack during break. Normally by lunchtime I’ve eaten two breakfasts (pre and post workout) and at least one snack, so I find myself needing a really sustainable breakfast on Tuesday to make it till noon. Enter chia seeds, a nutrition power house and an easy mocha chia pudding you can make the night before. I adapted this recipe from several websites.

1/3 cup strong coffee, chilled
1/3 unsweetened chocolate almond milk
1 tbsp chocolate protein powder (I uses vega energizing smoothie)
dash of cinnamon and real vanilla extract
2 heaping tbsp chia seeds
optional: 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup or almond butter for extra richness

Combine coffee, almond milk, protein powder, cinnamon and vanilla in container, cover with lid and shake well. Whisk in chia seeds, cover and leave overnight in the fridge. In the morning, I topped it off with 3 chopped strawberries for a tasty breakfast. Feel free to sub coffee with all almond milk, or canned coconut milk for a richer pudding.

I’ve tried several DF version of Alfredo sauce from numerous websites and this RECIPE by Oh She Glows is by far the best one I’ve come across. I substituted Natura unsweetened organic soy milk for almond milk (because I only had chocolate almond milk open in my fridge), and left out the earth balance spread because I don’t own any and it still turned out very creamy and great tasting. I threw in some pan-seared scallops, sautéed onion and spinach and used kelp noodles to make a delicious seafood fettuccine Alfredo.  Kelp noodles are a delicious gluten free alternative to pasta; they are low carb and taste good cold on salads or in hot noodle dishes. A lot of gluten-free pastas contain white rice flour aka empty blood-sugar spiking carbohydrates, or corn, which is another common allergen especially for people who are gluten sensitive. I rounded out my lunch with some veggies sticks for crunch and added nutrition.

For an afternoon snack, I had a ton of frozen bananas in my freezer to use up. I’ve made a lot of versions of gluten free banana bread, and this RECIPE by Civilized Caveman is by far my favourite. Its moist, naturally sweetened with fruit, and easy to make. I added only 2 tbsp of coconut oil and used a combo of two eggs and two flax eggs and it held together fine. Can’t wait for some more brown bananas so I can make this again. 

Everybody loves chicken wings, but most people’s bodies don’t love them back. Even though a few frozen brands exist that are GF, I often find the rice flour coating way too thick, the sauce too sugary and very expensive for the portion you get. By comparison, 2 pounds of chicken wings from Sobeys were $8, whereas 1 pound at St. Louis Grill is 12.99. Instead, make your own oven baked chicken wings that taste equally delicious without any coating and much healthier. I served this alongside some broccoli rabe sautéed in olive oil and garlic for a comforting meal that’s perfect on a cold winter night.  I wish I had a recipe for the sauce I used but I really just threw together some ingredients from my fridge, a little ketchup, siracha, honey, paprika, garlic and apple cider vinegar. There are tons of healthy BBQ sauce recipes on the web you can search for. I cooked my wings at 425 degrees, turning after 30 minutes and cooking for an additional 15. They came out juicy, meaty and oh so delicious. (I didn't eat the entire tray in one night although it was tempting) 

BTW, if you missed the chance to check out Winterlicious in Toronto,, I suggest visiting Eat Fresh Be Healthy for an unreal prix fix meal all year round. Located at University and Dundas, they offer delicious three course meals with fresh ingredients and friendly service, a steal at $20 for lunch and $25 for dinner. If you have allergies, call ahead and request because the Cajun coat on the salmon contains gluten but can be ordered plain with fruit salsa and still tastes incredible.

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