Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Trail-mix kale for backpacking or anytime snacking

Tired dog at the end of the trail
One more backpacking adventure awaits me before the snow flies or the temps get too cold. This summer, I've had the great fortune of visiting nine high mountain lakes. I've packed along some delicious backpacking food for someone who is pretty restricted on eating.

More red blaze
 I've shifted more to a paleo diet in order to get enough protein for all these high mountain adventures. Candida prevents me from eating grains, legumes and many of the other protein sources utilized by vegans. Right now, the paleo diet is the perfect fit for me.
Trail mix kale with seeds and freeze-dried pears
 I've got a ton of kale growing in my garden. I used my Tuscan kale to create Trail-mix kale, something I'm really looking forward to packing along on my next backpacking trip. My first batch never made it to a Ziploc baggie for packing.
 Here's what you need for 3 servings:

1 bunch of kale
1/2 cup each raw pumpkin and sunflower seeds
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 /2 cup freeze-dried pears or sub dried fruit of your choice (omit for ACD-Phase 1)
2 T. unsweetened sunbutter
juice of one lemon
vanilla stevia, to taste
2 T. water
Optional: add other dried fruit or nuts
 Here's what you do:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Use your dehydrator for a raw version. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Wash kale and dry well. I used paper towels to blot mine dry. Remove leaves from stems and tear the kale into bite-sized pieces. Place in a large bowl with seeds and freeze dried pears.

Mix sunbutter, lemon juice, water, stevia and cinnamon in your food processor. Pour this mixture over the kale, seeds and fruit. Use your hands to massage in the sunbutter mixture. Make sure all leaves and seeds are coated.

Spread the kale trail mix evenly over your baking sheet or dehydrator sheet. Place in the oven for about 20 minutes. Check frequently to prevent overcooking. For the dehydrator, I would start checking at two hours, especially if you are using Tuscan kale which tends to be a bit drier than other varieties.

Enjoy your kale trail mix while backpacking, hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, cycling or just snacking.

Recipe contributed to:

Friday, September 20, 2013

Grain-free monster cookies, baked or raw

Fall's color palette comes to the mountains

I've just finished another backpacking adventure. The mountains were ablaze with fall colors as you can see in the picture above.  Going backpacking has always been like "chicken soup for the soul" for me.

Sometimes, I need a little of Mother Nature's medicine, especially when I am going through an autoimmune flare-up. I discovered some wonderful tips on how to survive an autoimmune flare on I keep these survival tips where I can read them everyday.

Survival Tips
  1. Don’t let a flare define your world
  2. Make yourself a priority
  3. Sleep
  4. Focus on healing foods
  5. Drink ginger honey tea between meals
  6. Don’t binge
  7. Cry
  8. Laugh
  9. Practice self-love 
  10. Meditate
  11. Sunshine medicine
Read more survival tips at

Grain-free Monster Cookies, baked version
 I'm trying to follow the "Don't binge" survival tip but when I cook up something delicious like, Monster Cookies, it's hard to practice self-restraint. I cooked up these packable, tasty cookies for my next backpacking trip. This recipe is adaptable to most eating styles, whether it be vegan or vegetarian or even raw (check out the raw recipe below.) The optional ingredients also can be changed, depending on your preference or what you have on hand.
 Here's what you need for the baked version:
(Recipe yields four large cookies)

1/4 cup sunflower seed meal (or substitute almond meal)
2 T. each raw sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds (or substitute nuts of your choice)
2 T. finely shredded coconut flakes
2 T. large shredded coconut flakes
2 T. sunbutter
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 chia eggs for vegans and 1 large egg for vegetarians
vanilla stevia, to taste
2 T. freeze-dried pears
2 T. freeze dried blueberries
(Feel free to substitute other fruit, if desired)

 Here's what you do:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In your food processor, grind up 1/4 cup sunflower seeds to make a flour. Add the finely shredded coconut flakes, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, sunbutter, stevia, and either chia eggs or cage-free egg. Pulse to mix. Gently mix in the freeze-dried fruit and big coconut flakes. Divide the dough into four cookies and bake for about 13 minutes. Do not overbake.

Raw Monster Cookies
 For the raw version (which tastes like a crunchy candy bar):

Use all of the ingredients above but omit the baking soda and chia eggs or regular egg. Instead, mix in 2 T. softened coconut oil. Divide the dough into four cookies. Place in the fridge to firm up.

Recipe contributed to:

Friday, September 13, 2013

Paleo krunch bars

Hiking into Box Lake, Payette National Forest
I'm getting ready to go backpacking and I just made some delicious and packable paleo granola bars.
These bars are versatile which makes them perfect for hiking, long-distance cycling and just plain-old snacking. They can be made vegan or vegetarian, depending on your personal preference. Add or leave out certain ingredients if you are following a particular diet. Eat them as they are, spread on some topping or crumble them up in your yogurt. Oh, did I mention they are easy to make?

Paleo Krunch Bars

 Here's what you need:

1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
Note: Feel free to sub nuts for the seeds.
1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
3/4 cup sunflower seed meal (Almond flour may be subbed.)
1 tsp. cinnamon
vanilla stevia, to taste
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup freeze-dried pears
Vegans: use 2 chia eggs: Vegetarians: 2 organic whole eggs or 1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup coconut oil

Here's what you do:

Heat your oven to 325 degrees. Grind up sunflower seeds to make 3/4 cup sunflower seed meal. Grate your carrot. Put everything into a food processor and mix all the ingredients. Hint: Don't over process your ingredients. Keep the texture coarse like a granola bar.

Spread the mixture on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Pour and spread melted coconut oil on the parchment paper. Next, spread the krunch bar dough with dampened hands. Thickness should be about 1/4 inch. Score the spread-out dough with a pizza cutter or knife into the size bars you would like. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove the bars from the oven. Spread the bars out a bit and return them to oven for another 15-20 minutes.

Recipe contributed to:

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Baby veggies on greens

Baby veggies on sautéed greens with carrot sauce
I love to cook with organic foods. Having my own garden makes it easy. This year, I am trying to extend my garden past October by growing winter-hardy greens, lettuces, spinach and more.

I enjoy using my garden produce to make many of my favorites but sometimes I challenge myself to create something different. It's like my own Iron Chef competition against myself.

Here's my latest challenge. What do I create from these veggies: Tuscan kale, baby carrots, baby rutabagas, Swiss chard, onions and cilantro?

Answer: Baby Veggies on Sautéed Greens with Carrot Sauce

Here's what you need for two servings:

6 baby rutabagas (mine were really little)
6 baby carrots (ditto here on being small)
2 small zucchinis (yellow and green, if possible)
bunch of kale and Swiss Chard (probably about 1/2 bunch of each, if purchased)
1 onion
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 T. olive oil
salt and pepper
carrot sauce recipe (below)
Optional: 2 servings of quinoa
Vegan: add 2 T. of seed or nut butter, such as sunbutter or tahini
Non-vegan: add roasted whitefish such as black cod

Here's what you do:

Scrub and wash all your veggies. Trim off the tops of the baby veggies but leave a nice green stem. Cut onion into thin slices. If baby carrots or rutabagas are large, cut lengthwise into smaller pieces and peel. Leave skins on small carrots and rutabagas. Cut zucchinis into matchstick pieces. Steam the carrots, rutabagas and zucchinis until tender. Sautee the greens in the olive oil with 1/2 of the onion slices. Season with salt and pepper and stir in seed or nut butter of your choice for the vegan option.

If non-vegan, season your fish with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Cook on the grill until done.

To serve, place greens on plate. (Or start with optional quinoa first.) Arrange veggies on top. Spoon on the carrot sauce. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Carrot Sauce:

Here's what you need:

1 carrot, peeled and steamed
1/4-1/2 cup reserved liquid from steamed carrot
1/4 tsp. garlic granules
Juice of 1 lime
1 T. sunbutter or your choice of seed or nut butter
salt and pepper
1 tsp. cumin
Optional: 1/2 tsp. ginger, chopped cilantro
1/2 onion, sautéed

Here's what you do:

Steam your carrot. Reserve some of the carrot broth. Sautee the onion. Place everything in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add more carrot broth to thin.

XOXOXO from Bailey, our adopted fur kid

What shall I make next with my veggies? What are you cooking from your garden?

Recipe submitted to:

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Carrot cake ice cream cups

Nika, Bailey, Misha (l-r) are treat-loving snow hounds.
Nobody enjoys a treat like my fur-kids, plus one. Well, that is with the exception of me!

Sunbutter Carrot Cake Ice Cream Cups
I have been licking my chops over my Carrot Cake Ice Cream Cups, filled with sunbutter ice cream. I can eat these filled with ice cream and berries, or a myriad of other possibilities. Today, I filled one with a dollop of sunbutter, topped with coconut butter, which turned it into a carrot cake sunbutter cup.

Here's what you need:

1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
2 T. sunflower seeds, ground into a coarse meal
1 T. sunbutter
2 T. coconut flakes, unsweetened
1 T. coconut oil or coconut butter, softened
1 tsp. cinnamon
vanilla stevia, to taste
optional: 1 T. cacao nibs or 2 T. freeze-dried strawberries or both (Yummy!)
berries for topping
sunbutter ice cream (2 T. sunbutter, 1/4 cup coconut milk, 1 frozen ripe pear, vanilla stevia, 2 T. shredded coconut)

Here's what you do:

Grate your carrot in your food processor. Grind up your sunflower seeds. Toss everything else in with the exception of the ice cream and berries. Give your food processor a few pulses to combine the ingredients. Press the ice cream cup mixture into a silicone cupcake pan or use individual tart pans. Use about 1 T. of mixture per cupcake section. Yields about 6 cupcake-sized cups or 3 small tart pans. Place in the fridge to harden the cups. Pop out the cups once firm.

Fill your cups with your favorite ice cream or other filling. My favorite is sunbutter ice cream topped with berries from the garden.

Here's what you do:

Blend the ingredients listed above in a food processor. You will get a ready-to-eat ice cream if you use a frozen pear.

Spoon the ice cream into carrot cake cups and top with fresh berries.

Recipe contributed to:
The energizer snow hounds finally wind down.
You will be so contented after finishing off one of these treats!