Salt & Pepper Delicata Squash Chips (Paleo, Vegan)


Delicata squash (also known as sweet potato squash) are easy to find in local farmers’ markets lately. I would often look at these interesting striped vegetables, but not buy them as I was not sure how to cook them. An office friend gave me a sample she had made with three simple ingredients: salt, pepper, and coconut oil. I tried her recipe and now I am a convert – thanks Janet!

These chips are so easy to make and really addictive. They are chewy, sweet, and savoury. The next time you have a craving for potato chips, whip up this healthier and satisfying version instead. I bet you will be addicted to them like I am. They are the perfect fall treat.

Sansational!

 

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Makes 1 full baking tray

Ingredients:

1 small delicata squash
Sea salt
Pepper
Coconut oil, melted

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and brush the paper with some of the melted coconut oil.

3. Cut the squash length wise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Cut each half into thin slices (about 1/4 inch.) and place on tray without overlapping.  ( There is no need to peel the squash.)

4. Brush the slices with melted coconut oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until tender and golden.

Sansational Tips:

1.  There is no need to flip the chips.

2.  Use your own combination of spices for a varied version.




To Go Kale Salad (Paleo, Possibly Vegan)


Adapted from Meghan Telphner

 

What I love about this salad is that you can make it in advance and it will last for days. It also makes for a satisfying pack and go lunch. I recently took this salad to a Toronto Blue Jays game where the selection of nutritious food is not that great. Notice as well my portable bamboo spork (bought at Grass Roots on the Danforth). It is the perfect size for my purse.

 

Sansational!

 

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Makes 4 to 6 servings

 

Ingredients:

1 head kale, stems removed
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
A sprinkle of sea salt
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
¼ cup dried cranberries
2 tbsp hemp seeds
A few dollops of goat cheese

 

Directions:

1. Slice kale into thin strips and transfer to a mixing bowl.
2. Add lemon juice, olive oil and sea salt and massage for about three minutes until leaves get dark and limp.
3. Add all ingredients to the bowl and toss with homemade dressing of choice.

 

Sansational Tip:

Swap pumpkin seeds with walnuts or the goat cheese for chicken or protein of choice.  Add other toppings for choice such as sun-dried tomatoes, grated carrots, sliced red onion, chopped cucumbers, or grated beets.  The options are endless!




Strawberry Banana Chia Pudding Parfait (Paleo, Vegan)


This pudding parfait has been my go to breakfast lately. It tastes like a Dairy Queen banana spilt, but without the belly bloat. With fresh strawberries in season, you have to try this Sansational!

Serves 2

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Ingredients:

1 cup almond, cashew, or coconut milk
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp maple syrup
Sliced strawberries and bananas
Topping of choice for crunch: sliced almond, toasted coconut chips, coconut, pumpkin seeds, walnuts (I used the first two)

Directions:

1. For the pudding: Place the first four ingredients in a mason jar, mix well and refrigerate for four hours to overnight.

2. For the parfait: Layer the pudding with the fruit and toppings. Enjoy!

Sansational Tip:

You can use other fruit such as mango and pineapple to create your own Sansational version. I have tried this parfait with mango and banana for a tropical twist.  So delicious!




Chocolate Cherry Date Bars (Paleo, Vegan)


I love the combination of cherries and almonds (as seen in my previous posts: Cherry Almond Smoothie and Almond Cherry Thumbprint Jam Cookies). These date bars are similar to a Lara Bar and are bursting with the flavours of cherries, almonds, and chocolate. Perfect for an afternoon power lift or grab and go snack.

Sansational!

 

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Makes about seven bars

 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup raw almonds
10 Medjool dates, pitted
½ cup dried cherries or cranberries
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tbsp cacao powder
¼ cup chocolate chips (I use dairy free, Enjoy Life brand)
dash or two of sea salt
¼ tsp almond extract or 1 tsp vanilla (optional)

 

Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor (I used a Vitamix) until a sticky mixture is formed.

2. Grab a small handful and shape into small square bars or balls.

Enjoy!

 

Sansational Tips:

1. Any combination of dried fruits or nuts will work with this recipe. If you don’t have dried cherries, dried cranberries are delicious too!

2. Look for apple juice sweetened dried cranberries, cherries, and/or blueberries, instead of the one sweetened with sugar.  I recently bought a mixed bag at Costco and my local health food store always has apple juice sweetened dried cranberries.




Fruit n' Nuts Scones (Paleo)


Adapted from Elana’s Pantry

These scones are not too sweet, full of healthy nuts and seeds, and really delicious with no belly bloat. Perfect for breakfast or an afternoon snack with a cup of tea.

Sansational!

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Makes 16 small scones

Ingredients:

2 cups almond flour/meal
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 dried cranberries
1/4 cup dried apricots, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
1 large egg
1/4 cup coconut oil, softened
2 tbsp maple syrup

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, combine the first nine ingredients.

3. In a small bowl, beat the egg and add the coconut oil and maple syrup.

4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry.

5. Use your hands to form a dough and place dough between two large pieces of parchment paper. Roll out to a 61/2 x 6 1/2 square that is about 3/4 inch thick.

6. Cut into 16 squares and place squares on baking sheet.

7. Bake for 10 to 13 minutes until slightly golden on top.

8. Let cool for at least 10 minutes for serving.

Sansational Tips:

1. You can change up the fruits, seeds, and nuts as you like.

2. I like using dried cranberries sweetened with apple juice. You can find them in most health food stores.

 




Egyptian Lentil Soup (Vegan)


This Egyptian Lentil Soup is so lemony, filling, and warming. It is similar to my Sunshine Soup. The variation is a few spices and that it was made in a VitaClay. A VitaClay is a rice cooker and slow cooker in one. Soups taste so much better when made in the VitaClay and take about one-third of the time than when made in a classic slow cooker. Just throw everything in a VitaClay and puree with a hand blender when cooked. Doesn’t get much easier than that.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a VitaClay. A regular slow cooker will work. Cook for about 4 to 6 hours on low in a slow cooker. If cooking on the stovetop with a Dutch pot, just cook the onion and garlic in a little olive oil or coconut oil before adding in the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes or so before blending.

Sansational!

 

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Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:

6 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup dried lentils
1 large chopped onion
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
2 celery sticks, diced
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
2 garlic cloves
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp smoked paprika (optional)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup coriander or parsley

 

Directions:

1. Add all ingredients to VitaClay pot, except lemon juice, salt, pepper, and cilantro.

2. Cover and set on “Slow Cooking-Soup” mode for 2 hours.

3. Puree soup with hand blender to desired consistency.

4.  Add lemon juice, salt and pepper and stir well.

5.  Serve and top with coriander or parsley.




Apple Hemp Bake (Vegan)


From Julie Daniluk

 

This is a warm, satisfying and healthy breakfast. Since it makes eight portions, you can make it once and have it for a few days. It smells and tastes like apple pie. It sure beats packaged Quaker oatmeal.

 

Sansational!

 

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Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:

1 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp sea salt
6 large organic eggs
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup coconut milk
2 cups quinoa, cooked
4 cups apples, cubed
1/2 cup hemp hearts

 

Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl until well mixed.

2. Pour into a 12 inch baking dish and bake at 350° F  for 35-45 minutes until golden and firm to touch.




Easy Raw Peppermint Fudge (Paleo, No Bake)


Easy Raw Peppermint Fudge (Paleo, No Bake)

Adapted from Joyous Health

I love this versatile and easy fudge recipe. I added a St. Patrick’s Day twist to it by adding peppermint flavoring. It is smooth, creamy and minty – just like an After Eight.

Sansational!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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Makes about 20 small bite size pieces

Ingredients:

4 tbsp coconut oil
1/4 cup crunchy almond butter or nut butter of choice
1/2 cup raw cacao powder (I like Giddy Yoyo)
1/4 cup raw honey
1 tsp peppermint flavouring (I used this one)

Directions:

1. Line a small container with parchment paper. (The smaller the container, the thicker the fudge).

2. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt coconut oil. Remove from heat.

3. Add the rest of the ingredients and still well. Pour in the container and freeze until solid (about an hour).

4. Holding the parchment paper, remove from the container, and cut into pieces.

5. Enjoy straight from the freezer or fridge (don’t leave out at room temperature too long as it will melt).




Long Squash and Fish Curry (Paleo, Possibly Vegan)


Adapted from detoxinista.com

There is no need to go out for Thai food when this delicious dish can be whipped up in almost no time at all. I picked up a long squash on the weekend and was wondering what to do with it. It was delicious in this curry.  If you haven’t tried long squash, give it a go in this recipe.

It will be Sansational!

Here is my curry:

 

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Here is what long squash looks like:

 

 

Makes 3 to 4 large servings

 

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon coconut oil
½ yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 long squash (no need to peel or seed), cut into one inch pieces
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 (13.5 oz.) can coconut milk, full fat
1 tablespoon tamari, or soy sauce
4 large pieces of any white fish (Tilapia, Bass), cut into small pieces
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh coriander

 

Directions:

1.  Melt the coconut oil in a large wok or Dutch oven over medium heat, and saute the onions and garlic until tender, about 5 minutes.

2. Add in the long squash and cook for another five to ten minutes until softened.  Add in the curry powder and stir well.

3.  Add in the coconut milk, tamari, and salt and stir well. Add the fish.

4.  Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes until the fish is cooked through.  

5.  Top with coriander and enjoy!

 

Sansational Tips:

1.  You can make a vegan version of this recipe by omitting the fish and serving with quinoa.

2.  If you don’t have long squash, this recipe works great with other veggies as well such as sweet potato, cauliflower, peppers, or broccoli (use about 1 pound of veggies).




Almond Cherry Thumbprint Jam Cookies (Paleo, Vegan)


Adapted from Detoxinista.com

 
Cherry and almonds is one of my favourite flavour combinations (see my previous Cherry Almond Smoothie post). These cookies are filling, not to sweet, and healthy enough to eat for breakfast. Any jam can be used (try my Strawberry Raspberry Chia Jam) or try the easy to make cherry jam below. Yes, it is easy to make this jam as there is no waiting or gelatin used – just Omega 3-filled chia seeds to act as the binding ingredient.

Sansational!

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Makes 16 – 24 cookies (depending on your desired size)

FOR THE COOKIES

¼ cup coconut oil, softened
¼ cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
2 cups almond flour
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

FOR THE CHERRY JAM

½ cup fresh or frozen cherries
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or a Silpat. In a small saucepan, combine all of the cherry jam ingredients, bring to a boil and let cool and for at least 15 minutes while you prepare the cookies.

2. In a separate bowl, cream together the coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla and almond extracts until smooth. Gradually stir in the almond flour and sea salt, and mix well until a uniform dough is formed.

3. Scoop the dough by tablespoons and use your hands to roll into smooth balls. (I made mine into one inch balls and this made 16 cookies). Place the balls onto the lined baking sheet, about 2 inches apart, and use your thumb to press into the center of each cookie, creating a well for the jam.

4. To prepare the cherry jam filling, transfer the jam ingredients into a high-speed blender, and blend until uniformly combined, about 1 minute.

5. Use a spoon to drop a dollop of jam into the center of each cookie.

6. Bake for about 12-15 minutes until lightly golden. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for at least 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Enjoy!