Monday, 1 September 2014

Wrap-up: Summer Eats and Treats

Writing this post is bitter-sweet because it means admitting that summer is over and school season has officially begun. I had an INCREDIBLE summer, but was EXTREMELY busy working over 50 hours a week at work, which left very little time or effort for blog writing in the evenings. Now that I have a day to relax and regroup before the craziness that is second year med school begins, I wanted to write a post on some of my favourite summer eats and treats I enjoyed in the kitchen or in Toronto this summer!


This is by far my favourite meal of the day! Thanks to my amazing friends who spoiled me on my birthday (the first day of summer) I had lots of fun experimenting in the kitchen this summer using the Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon. In the photo below, this is me enjoying a hefy serving of chia seed jam I made using frozen raspberries and rhubarb, on top of my favourite paleo banana bread recipe.

I also made a huge batch of these monster batch cookies. This recipe originally comes from the Children’s Cottage Cookbook and is by no means a healthy snack. My beautiful and talented aunt has modified and re-tested the recipe over years, and her new and improved recipe makes a for a great high-energy snack. Feel free to halve the recipe as it makes a huge batch, I usually make the entire recipe then freeze half the dough to bake at a later date.

½ cup coconut butter
½ cup applesauce
3 cups nut butter of choice (or use a combination)
2 cups coconut sugar or sucanat
6 eggs or 4 eggs and 2 chia/flax eggs
1 tsp vanilla
4 tsp baking soda
5 cups gluten-free rolled oats
5 cups crispy rice cereal. (I used nature’s path gluten-free whole grain brown rice cereal)
1 ½ cups dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs

Oven 350
CREAM butter, PB, sugar
BEAT in eggs, vanilla, bs
STIR in oats, cereal, choc chips
FORM dough into balls
Place on ungreased cookie sheet,
BAKE 8 min

If you’re in a rush, try making a purple power smoothie taking advantage of fresh organic grapes from your local grocery or health food store. I combined frozen grapes with almond milk, vanilla protein powder, hemp hearts, greek yogurt, maca powder and ice for a cool and quick breakfast option

My lunches were pretty boring all summer because I had to pack something lightweight to bring in my backpack to work (I bike 35 minutes uphill to get there everyday), nut-free and fast to eat, I basically lived off hard cooked eggs, celery sticks, nut-free trail mix and diced fruit all summer, can’t wait to pack my usual snack of almonds to school this week

For Dinner, one of my favourite things to make this summer was zucchini noodles. They are quick, tasty and a great low-carb, nutritious alternative to any gluten-free pasta available on the market. I used a small serrated vegetable peeler, but a spiralizer would be the ideal choice for people who have real kitchens and more than two cupboards to store stuff. I combined mine with organic tomato basil pasta sauce, shrimp, onion and spices.

Another winner was this BBQ wild sockeye salmon with a homemade green mango salad. I combined 1 chopped green organic mango, ¼ cup roasted organic cashews, cilantro and onion with the juice of ½ lime, 1 tbsp each siracha and fish sauce and a pinch of stevia for a delicious and filling dinner for two

When eating out, my favourite restaurant Khao San Road, makes a killer veggies and tofu pad thai. WARNING: they do not mess around with spice here, do not try to be a ‘man’ and order the extremely thai spicy (level 8), or you and whoever you share a bathroom with will regret it tomorrow, you will also be throwing out whatever shirt you wore to dinner due to extreme sweating.

Who doesn’t love ice cream and other cool treats in the summer? My ice cream maker attachment got lots of use this summer, as I prefer making my own dairy-free ice cream at home and control the amount of sugar I add, which is usually in the form of organic raw honey or pitted dates. This paleo chocolateice cream recipe from the spunky coconut was by far my favourite of the summer, I hope this warm weather continues into September so I have an excuse to keep making it!

After a delicious dinner of blue goose whole organic roasted chicken and veggies last night, my special guy and I devoured (read: no time for photo taking) these paleo Almond Joy bars from Elanas Pantry. I cut down on the sugar and used light coconut milk and the finished product still was dense, moist and dreamy. For the chocolate chunks, I cut up half a chocolate bar of President’s Choice Extra dark 85% Organic Dark chocolate, which is extremely well-priced for the quality of the product.

Do you have any favourite summer eats and treats you want to share?

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